Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Saturday, September 25, 2010
Even with a fully laden tree, from twenty feet it mostly just looked green. The one visible plum I had taken for a stray yellow leaf, and all the rest were hiding, back under the leaves. I once was blind to wild plums; but now I see.
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Monday, August 23, 2010
We have biked like this to several places including our church, which is about five miles from home and up quite a hill! Another disadvantage which kept me from doing it for so long is the lack of storage space--I can't wear my backpack. This should be easily resolved with a generous handlebar basket and a rack over my back tire to support panniers. Maybe we could even put a rack on Gibbie's tagalong? I can't use a rack with a crate on it, because the tagalong runs in that space over the wheel.
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Monday was Ezra's 4th birthday.
We usually go to a coffee shop on Mondays, and so we asked Ezra where he'd like to go. He picked Kopplins Coffee. Here he is with the owner, Andrew Kopplin:
In the afternoon, we had an outdoor party with neighbors and some family. There was a kid pool (which Ezra was born in...), a slip and slide, and a greased watermelon.
Note: All of these pictures were taken on Arista Premium 400 film using either my Nikon EM with a 28-105 Vivitar lens, or my new Zeiss Ikon Contaflex with a 50mm Carl Zeiss Tessar lens.
Friday, July 16, 2010
We went to our beloved spot in Dunn County again last month. It had been over a year since we'd last been there. I'd say that it was one of the most relaxing cabin trips yet. We even had some friends visit us.
Here's a set of pictures from the trip, including digital and film photos.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
I love that now when I talk with Pat, I can picture his life and the scenes from one of his average days.
The trip was also about photography. I hadn't intended it to be, but bringing along my favorite Nikon system was bound to do something. Walking into Jim's Cameras to get my FE2 fixed did something too. I was surrounded by old cameras. I wanted to look at so many of them that I think Jim got tired of me. Oh well.
I got home, started developing film again, and bought a Canon CanoScan 8800F scanner. I'm having a lot of fun scanning my hand-processed negatives. It's great because I can use my 35mm cameras for everyday photography and have a way to use the photos digitally, and then hand print the ones I really like.
So, my Seattle & Portland Set on Flickr is now complete with both digital and film pictures taken during the trip. I also have a set just of film scans.
If you run into me on the street or in a coffee shop soon, chances are I'll have an SLR or a rangefinder on my person.
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
It doesn't seem quite real yet, because of busy-ness, but we are so excited about the Promise of Mary With Us. I have long longed to have some wonderful person living with us, for more community and companionship and working-together-ness, and we really missed Mary while she was studying and travelling in Europe. It is beautiful to see her growing.
Welcome, Mary dear!
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Sunday, May 16, 2010
The hutch and butcher block we thought of while trying to imagine how this kitchen may have first been in 1900-- probably not built in cabinetry, but simple freestanding furniture if any, and a big table? The butcher block (craigslist) is awesome for kneading, chopping, rolling, grinding, all of which happen a lot in this kitchen!
Thursday, April 29, 2010
Sunday, April 25, 2010
It's odd to me how open-plan houses are all the rage because people supposedly never use their dining rooms, because one of my favorite things about our house is having a nice ample dining room. It is such a joy and privilege to have a big crowd of people over for a meal, and that's just what dining rooms are for! or course that big table is also for drawing, and cutting and pasting, and play dough, and judging by this week, storing mail and newspapers, catalogs and laundry and stacks of library books. Or--this one's new for me--nothing at all except (hopefully, as the garden gets going here) a vase of flowers.
I'm learning about myself that though it used to feel like we couldn't possibly handle having lots of people over, having people over regularly helps our life be more sane. It helps us clean up. It helps us remember what we have. And it helps us remember what's important-- friends and neighbors, not the house.
Saturday, April 24, 2010
Gibbie and Ezra wore the kilts I made them for our friend Pat's wedding. Alas, they outgrew them so quickly!
I just thought of these because I was telling a friend about the house's community potlucks, which are open to anyone--Monday nights, I think. It's a pretty neat place, and they have great parties.
Also missing our dear sister and auntie Mary, who is not at the greenhouse anymore, as she is travelling. Ezra made her a special letter this morning, so he's thinking about her too.
Friday, April 23, 2010
Margaret Kim Peterson, from Keeping House; the Litany of Everyday Life.
The above is from a wonderful book, I am reading it through a second time, it was so full of practical good to me.
Above, Gibbie and Ezra, above and beyond companionable conversationalists, engage in mealtime sillyness.
I was making waffles one day for our weekly breakfast with neighbors, and Gibbie was watching, and all excited over our new contraption. A waffle maker is one of those things that would usually have no justification in our kitchen. I don't like single-function gadgets, or most things that plug in, and try to cook without that kind of stuff. Except for waffle makers, which are just a phenomenal thing. Because we mostly eat all homemade food, sometimes there's not enough around our house in the way of snack food. Sure, sometimes I make energy bars, and the kitchen is stocked with yogurt, granola, fresh fruit, bread, and cheeses. But during busy weeks, when we're more likely to need more snacky stuff, I'm less likely to have all that around. Waffles are a super thing for this! We can have fun making a big batch, have a luxurious breakfast with fruit and cream and all, and then freeze the rest for instant toaster fun for ages to come.
So, in my waffle enthusiasm, I was eager to introduce our budding cook to waffliciousness. I had no idea how much of the process he would be able to do. The first morning he tried it, he ladled batter for dozens of waffles, pressed the lid down, watched for the steam to stop leaking out (the waffley sign of doneness), open the lid, and fork out a couple of lattices of golden goodness onto the butcher block. It's really fun for me to cooperate together, rather than just teaching cajoling. I like hanging in the kitchen, working together, a lot. Especially on Saturday mornings, when Paul is home, with BlueGrass Saturday Mornings on the radio (Local public radio jewel Jazz 88's jewel; just the best show for that sunny, relaxing productive kind of Saturday morning I like), and a morning with friends ahead of us.
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Also pictured is a treasured ring. It came from a quarter vending machine, at Java Train Coffee in St. Paul, and Oh, did Ezra treasure it. I haven't seen it in a while.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
It's a vintage (1960's or '70's) polish frame called a Tyler. It's surpisingly light for something that old.
We overhauled and greased-up all the bearing systems.
Almost all of the parts were from Daniel's home stockpile. We got used brakes (with new pads) from Sibley Bike Depot along with new Salsa brake levers.
It was great to finally get the bike I've wanted for so long, and be able to participate in building it.
Monday, February 22, 2010
Sometimes there are pictures I would like to share, but not write a whole lot about. Thus I've saved up a bunch of fun pictures that I never blogged. Instead of having them forever asleep on my hard drive, I started a flickr account. You can see new and old pictures whenever you like. Follow the photostream far back enough and you can see past trips and previously unreleased construction photos. Clicking on Ezra's latte above will work, as will the little widget that will remain on the sidebar.
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Here's Robin Hood and Maid Marian.
Ezra was the Sheriff of Nottingham.
I think this is a wood fairy.
At Gibbie's request, we all had personal apple pie "cupcakes."
As a side note, I loaded-up my old Nikon FE2 35mm SLR for the event. I haven't used one of my film cameras since Ezra was a newborn (over 3 years). It still feels much more natural to me than the digital Nikon I use all the time. We'll see how long it takes for me to finish the 36 frames of HP5 and get the negatives developed. I'll keep you posted. Speaking of keeping you posted, I'm on Twitter. I don't know how long that will last... but as long as it is I'll keep a little twitter widget on The Full Cup sidebar so you can follow along... if you want to.
Happy birthday Gib.
Friday, January 22, 2010
You can see by the color that they're pretty early in the roast process above.
I can just barely see that Pat was wearing his Clover t-shirt. Very appropriate.
As Pat said, it was a "fantastic uneven roast."
Not good coffee, but a very good time.
Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Coming up with a new question day after day is a challenge. I try to gauge the difficulty level of the question so that maybe %10 of the people can get it right. It's no fun if it's so hard that no one can figure it out, and it's no fun if it's too easy. I also try to have looked up at least two sources and some background information in case I'm challenged on the legitimacy of the official answer. (I tend to get at least one challenge every day.)
So I thought that maybe all of this work (and fun) I put into trivia questions might interest some of you enough to enjoy a blog full of them. Right now I open three days a week, so I should have at least three questions a week as well as some favorites from trivia past. I'll post the official answer at the end of the next day's question. I don't have any prizes to give out, but the satisfaction of being the first to comment the correct answer should provide some satisfaction.
So with no further adieu I present to you Trivial Cafe!
Thursday, January 14, 2010
I got home from that trip with almost a pound of green Guatemala and a little bit of boldness. I walked two blocks to a thrift store and spent $2 for a used popcorn air popper that was to become my first roaster.
Gibbie and I roasted at least once a week in the back yard until one day it was too cold for my little popper to achieve proper roast temperature and I ended up with a very sad batch of Kenya French Mission coffee. Since then, we moved into the basement stairway of our house, which isn't heated, but is usually warm enough to roast. More importantly, being out there doesn't get our house all smokey. Much of the roasting process smells pretty good in one way or another, but the lingering smell afterwords is pervasive and not much like good coffee. Smoke detectors don't like it much either.
Here's Gibbie with the green beans. They don't seem much like coffee. They're feel more agricultural and smell of the earth.
Once the popping chamber heats up, Gibbie pours them in.
I've recently outfitted my popper with a candy thermometer. This helps me to monitor the roast more systematically than I previously could. I've gotten a lot of useful information on using and modifying air poppers for roasting from Kenneth Davids' book Home Coffee Roasting: Romance and Revival. There's also a lot of good information at Sweet Maria's on air popper roasting.This is Gibbie's main task in the roasting process. He stirs the finished beans after we pour them out of the popper to ensure that they don't keep roasting themselves with their own heat. He's convinced that the more he stirs, the better the coffee will be. He's a good roasting buddy, and we're both excited to get a first crack on a real machine some day soon.