Monday, September 27, 2010

Out with the old, in with the new!

new tires2

I needed new tires last year... but I said I was going to make it one more winter without getting new tires. I wasn't sure how long my car would live. My good ol' Jeep Cherokee has made quite the journey thus far. I bought it back in 2004, before I moved to New York.... so it drove across the eastern part of the country to Long Island New York, a few trips to Cape Cod, then Boston, and a trip to Washington DC while I lived there. Then it made it's way back to Missouri (oh I got new tires when I lived in NY... which are these tires I have on it)
old tires

After coming to Missouri, it's made a trip to Omaha, Colorado, and many trips back and forth from Springfield to Kansas City. Then it made a trip to Atlanta, GA... then to Orlando, Florida. Then back and forth from Atlanta to Missouri a few times. Then it took a long trip from Atlanta to Minneapolis. After moving to Minneapolis it became retired in the status of 'the traveler' and was replaced by Kyle's Jeep. It has still taken me a few times to Missouri and back when Kyle stayed home and I made the trip alone with Harpo. It's been a good ol' Jeep and I wasn't too sure how long it was going to last me. We've been thinking about the possibility of having to get a new car, but we both would really like to get all that we can out of my Jeep.

Look at this tread, it is pretty bad. I knew I wouldn't be able to make another winter up here with tires like this.
old tires2

It wasn't until the other day Kyle came across this article (10 Cars that Refuse to Die) and the light bulb went off telling us this car could really last us a while... so it is probably worth getting new tires, keeping things fixed, and helping it to live a nice, long life.

So I got new tires today!!! Look at this tread!
new tires

I love you little black Jeep Cherokee!!!

Saturday, Sept. 18th

(picture taken from inside our house, through a screen window... sorry you can't really see very good, but the picture is only for memory purposes in telling the story) :-) hee hee

For two nights before this day, Kyle and I had heard random meowing at night.... I looked out our south window in our living room and saw three kittens playing on our neighbors deck. This neighbor is rarely home. She travels a lot for her work and her house is often neglected... which is probably how these stray cats came to live under her deck. They were so cute, there was a fluffly kitty: which we ended up calling 'the dumb one' because he was very easily distracted and looked like he got into mischief a lot. Then there was a not so furry gray and white kitten that we ended up calling 'the smart one'. This one was on alert and was aware we were watching them. Then there was 'the grey one' this one didn't show his face too often.

Well I was determined to catch one of these kittens, they were so cute. Okay maybe I wasn't dead set on CATCHING one... but I wanted to nurture them. So I put out a little lid of milk... well they didn't know it was there, so I started throwing dog food to make a trail to where I had laid the lid of milk. Here you can see the three cats, 'the smart one' was right by the fence so close to the milk, while the other two were back nibbling on Harpo's dog food.
3 kittens

The milk is there on my side of the fence near the bottom. My hopes were they would come through the fence to my side to drink the milk.... they didn't. After some hours of obsessing over the kitties we had to leave for a campfire get together we had that evening. I ended up sitting the lid of milk up on our neighbors deck when we left in hopes they would find it. When we came home the lid was knocked down... either the cats found it and licked it all off causing it to blow off... or it blew off... either way I couldn't find the cats that night. And the next day I couldn't find them either... or the day after that :-(

Maybe their mama came to take them away to a new place.
Maybe I scared them away.
Maybe our neighbor came home and they didn't like that so they ran away.

Whatever happened to them, I hope they found a good home.


I lost track as to what numbered box this is... but we have two left. I picked this one up last Thursday
CSA box

This has to be our most 'interesting box', which is why it deserves it's own blog. We got some veggies that I've never seen or heard of before....

This is a Romanesco:
csa romanesco
"there's a lot of cool looking vegetables in this box, but Romanesco tops them all. This Italian heirloom sometimes referred to as a broccoli & sometimes a cauliflower looks more like something growing on a coral reef than either. Its sweet nutty flavor is better than broccoli or cauliflower, too! It doesn't need any fancy preparation, either - best to steam it whole until tender, cut in quarters the long way, & drizzle a bit of butter or olive oil & fresh lemon juice, salt, & pepper. Gorgeous & delicious! Store in plastic in fridge & use up within 5 days or so" --taken from our weekly newsletter our CSA gives us with our box.

These next two pictures are Celeriac:
celeriac 2
"one of my favorite fall/winter veggies. This is old-school celry - the stem celery we know has only been around for a couple hundred years. before that, celery was grown for its root. These gnarly looking roots pack lots of celery flavor mixed with an earthy sweetness you won't find in California stems. Peel them with a sharp paring knife & grate, slice, or cube them to add to coleslaws, soups, roasts, & gratins. They're delicious mashed with potatoes & add lots of body to pureed soups. You can also roast them whole with the skin on. They oxidize quickly after cutting, so cook right away or place in lemon water to stabilize it for later use. Store in plastic in the fridge"

House Cleaning & New Shutters

When we moved into our house, the front looked like this:

Not sure if you can see (the tree is kinda covering it up) but the left window's shutter is broken. There was a huge hail storm a few months before we bought the house, which caused pretty much every house in our neighborhood to get new siding and new roofs... except us. When we got new windows we had them take the shutters down and we just left them down, knowing we would be getting new ones sometime.
house before

This left a nice little color outline where the old shutters were and showed us just how chalky our house was. This was of great concern to Kyle... it didn't really bother me because you couldn't really tell unless you got really close.
close up

After a day of putting a 'power washer' attachment on our hose and scrubbing scrubbing scrubbing... we knew more had to be done to clean this chalk off the siding. So our plan was to rent a power washer and clean the metal siding. So a few weeks ago that is just what we did.
kyle power wash

We sprayed and sprayed, and even scrubbed a bit. There was a little improvement, but for all the work we were putting in it... it really didn't make that big of a difference. This was Kyle's turning point "I'm fine with the way it is" he said. So we used up our rental wisely, cleaned the gutters, and cleaned our patio furniture.
power wash table

That same day we went to get new shutters... which once we got home we found out they were not the right size. We were going to have to special order them. And since we special ordered them we got the kind we wanted and not like the ones everyone else in our neighborhood has. Well they arrived in the mail the other day and this past weekend we got them put up.

TAHDAH, another house project complete:
house with shutters

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Blubber Run September 11th

A couple of Saturday's ago Kyle and I ran a 5K. We had heard about this run before, Kyle had an old co-worker that won the costume contest last year. The slogan is "walk, run, whatever". It's a 5K beer run, put on by James Page brewing company. We didn't dress up this year, but we did have fun seeing everyone else dressed up. It was also a dog friendly run, which I love! Here Kyle is in line to get his run number. If you notice the trashbag in front of him... there is a person in it, lol.

There were a lot of thing 1 and thing 1 costumes.

Here's Harpo getting ready to start the race. We were toward the front since we didn't have any elaborate costumes and were actually planning to run the race.

And we're off! We started near the stone arch bridge, ran across it and a loop around the Mississippi river. Yes I was running and taking pictures :-)
bridge running

There was even a band playing for us as we ran by!

I had fun watching the costume runners as Harpo and I ran. (kyle is somewhere ahead of me about 10 seconds.)

There was a water station at mile 1. And there was a beer station at mile 2. Well a beer garden, they had it gated off so people couldn't leave the given area with a beer. We didn't stop because we were wanting to make good time, but there were lots of people stopping to cash in one of their two beer tickets. After we finished, (time info here) we stood at the end watching all the people come in. We saw some pretty funny costumes. We were actually waiting for Kyle's friend (the guys who won last year) to come across. We had briefling spotted them right before the race started... well we spotted their 6'x6' walking ROCK! LOL

Here's a UPS guy chasing his package:

I liked this bee and bee keeper. Oh and the 80's gals on the side.
bee and beekeeper

This poor dog....

And the Black-Eyed Peas!
black eyed peas

These guys were dressed up as "Minnesota Road Construction"
mn road construction

We waited and waited and still didn't see Kyle's friend. So we decided to get in the SUPER long beer and lunch line.... Once we cashed in our tickets for drink and food, we went over to sit on the lawn just as the costume contest began.

Then we did see Kyle's friend... who actually won AGAIN this year. Here they are 'Indiana Jones' with their winning prize - the beer mugs.
indiana jones

And yes there is a person inside of the rock, he has it down now, but when he's standing you can see his feet underneath. They actually walked the whole 5K... Kyle asked if they stopped at the beer garden, but he said it was closed when they went past.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Twins Game: Tuesday, September 7, 2010

minneapolis twins
Last Tuesday, we had tickets through Kyle's grad-school: University of St. Thomas: MBA program to see the Twins play!!!! We went a while ago, but we actually had these tickets before that other game.

WAIT WAIT, I need to start from the beginning - I almost forgot. Okay so on my way home Tuesday evening I stopped by Dick's Sporting goods to get some Twin gear. We had looked at the shop in Target Field last time we went and I made a mental note there to go somewhere else to get Kyle a hat and me a shirt before this game.... well nothing like waiting til the last minute, because I just now remembered. So I stopped at the store and found a cheap shirt for me and the hat that Kyle has had his eye on for a year or so. Came home showed him our goods... and the hat was too small :( I was afraid of that because all they had was a medium. SOOO we said "if we leave now and head to the other Dick's Sporting Goods store in Richfield, we can hopefully return it for a large if they have one there and then head up 35W to downtown. (which we knew 35 W would be a mess during rush hour and road construction). On our way to Dick's, which we couldn't figure out the best back way to get there, Kyle took a wrong turn into a roundabout in front of Best Buy's headquarters.... I look to my right and scream!!!! LOOK WHAT I FOUND:
youre the life of the party chuck

It was meant to be! Too bad I had to take the picture through the glass, the doors were badge access only. But hey I saw it and can add it to my list!

Okay back to the twins game....

This was a night game and better seats at that. We were facing the skyline - which I love!
night time twins game

night game

I also had my birthday present with me: a better lens. Allowing me to get nice wide angles (18mm) and zoomed in tight too (200mm).
batter up

Here's Joe Mauer up to bat. Everyone is so crazy about him, I'm not sure why.
mauer at bat

mauer batting

The Twins played the Kansas City Royals... so of course it was a no-brainer game... sorry KC, it's true. We ended up leaving before it was over - mainly because we're old farts and go to bed early, but also to avoid traffic congestion. But we didn't leave before my favorite parts!
grooming the field

I LOVE seeing them groom the field... I think it is rooted from when I would go to Yankee games and watch them pull the till things behind them, at the Yanks games they would dance to YMCA as they would pull them... I miss that. But still I like watching them groom it because I always think of the Yankee dancers :-P

Friday, September 10, 2010

Camping/Hiking: Father Hennepin State Park {day 2}

We woke up and fixed breakfast. We had survived the cold night. It really wasn't too bad, cold, but we were prepared so that helped. Harpo spent the morning chasing chipmunks and making a mess of himself:
messy harpo


But that wasn't all the excitement he was getting himself into. On our walk back to the jeep (again he was running up ahead of us like he loves when we're in secluded areas, he'll run ahead and then stop and wait for us, run ahead stop and wait), well I looked up to see him and saw this dark blob running along side him. At first I thought someone else was on our trail with a dog... but then I realized that is NOT a dog... Harpo made some kind of wild friend!! We holler for Harpo to come back and watch as this creature waddles away. It was a little taller than harpo, well it's hair stood taller than Harpo and his body was longer than Harpo's... we weren't sure what it was and it ran off so I couldn't get a picture of it. We thought it was a porcupine because we had read there are a lot of them in these woods. We made it back to the jeep and walked over to the park office where Kyle talked to the ranger to find out what is was. They believe it was a fisher! They used to see a lot but hadn't had many reports of them this year. Turns out they EAT small creatures like squirrels, porcupines, cats, and um dogs! Maybe he wasn't Harpo's new friend after all. Here's a picture I found on the web:
That's about how we saw it... but if you search the web you will see images not quite as friendly like this one. (click the link)

After that excitment drove over to another area of the park where they had an interpretive trail. Basically it's just a trail with numbered signs and a pamphlet telling about the surroundings. Kyle was our narrator, Harpo was happy to be back on his leash:
not the leash

I had fun capturing lots of shots of spider webs
spider web

We learned about the TALL trees
trees tops

The interpretive trail went through a few different types of wooded areas. One being a boggy area with a board walk

bog boardwalk

And a pine wood forest area

After the interpretive trail, we hopped back in the jeep (I'm telling you this park was huge) and drove over to another trail by the horse campsite. This trail went up by an observatory tower. We climbed it.

Actually the story goes a little differently. We started to climb it, the stairs were very thin so I picked Harpo up because he was pulling on me... I made it about half way up when the tower started shaking (at first we thought it was wind but soon found out it was some old jackass at the top being stupid) I got kinda pissed, scooped up Harpo and headed back down. Once Kyle went up and back down I gave Harpo to him to watch and I went back up to get some pictures. You could see the other side of the lake.
mille lacs from tower

mille lacs from tower2

After coming down from the tower we drove the 12 or so miles over to the other state park: Father Hennepin. Before going into the park we had lunch in the small town of Isle, it wasn't too exciting - hence no pictures, nothing really worth taking a picture of. Then we went to the park and walked the Hiking club trail there as well and got another password!!
FH trail

This park was closer to the water and had trails that went right along the lake shore
FH mille lacs sailboat

FH lake shore

We also learned about the big pile of rocks we saw in the middle of the lake. Turns out it is a big pile of rocks
rock pile

After we explored Father Hennepin State Park, we decided to drive around the lake, it was only about a 45 minute drive. We found some big fish
big fish

We made it back to the campsite and was tired from our busy day, although it was only 4 or so. We played some cards and then started on dinner.
sitting by the fire

After dinner we drank some hot chocolate by the fire
enjoying hot chocolate

As you can tell I had fun with my tripod and self-timer :-)

The next morning, we got up, fixed breakfast, and packed up camp.
kyle backpack daisy backpack

We had heard it was suppose to rain on Monday and we wanted to get out of dodge before it came. Luckily we did miss the rain and it didn't come until we made it back into the cities.

All images are copyright of Daisy Simpson. It is unlawful and illegal to copy, scan, alter or edit the images in any way. This depreciates the photos value as well as my reputation, I take great care in capturing and editing each image and they are each important to me. Thank you for respecting my passion and my copyright.