Monday, June 17, 2013
Jeff and I took a much-needed, very wonderful, perfect afternoon off for our anniversary. Facilitated by our ever-accommodating and incredibly thoughtful sis-in-law, we dropped the girls at their cousins' house mid-afternoon, then drove to the city.
After spending all week looking for *the* restaurant to visit, we realized we really just wanted a few things from a few different restaurants. An anniversary wouldn't be complete without sitting outside at Barbette with a glass of wine and pomme frite, so that's how we began our afternoon. We moved from the uptown area to downtown, finding parking north of the river so we could walk the Heritage Trail, which we've never done before (one or the other of us having lived here 16 years, pretty crazy). We had to make a slight detour to the power station, of course, to read all the signs there, but we weren't able to go on a lock and dam tour, unfortunately. (I told Jeff to tell them it was our anniversary! but they weren't open, anyway.)
Once back, we headed north up Central to a restaurant we've been meaning to try, Sen Yai Sen Lek. I heard of it when the GM from a natural foods co-op nearby the Thai restaurant mentioned that they get produce from the same growers (and meat from the same local producers) as the co-op does. And also that they're really good. We do like Thai food, and the kids couldn't care less, so it was the perfect stop. We knew it was a "real" Thai place, because the dinnerware included a large spoon, but no chopsticks. I especially liked the Thai ice tea!
After a call to be sure the girls weren't falling apart with Auntie, we pointed north again and finished up at Victory44. I mostly picked this restaurant because of its perfect location on the way home, but also the intriguing idea of being served by the chefs themselves. We're actually sort of glad we didn't eat dinner there, as the tasting menu included many things along the lines of "lamb's neck" and octopus (not one dish), but the dessert was something else. She brought it out in a cloud of dry ice smoke, then broke the balloon shaped chocolate shell at the table. Inside was frozen whipping cream, "crystallized bubble gum foam", and, yes, carbonated chocolate, among other unusual things. Despite the grandioseness of the description of the chocolate concoction, I was much more impressed by the taste of the 20-year tawny port we shared to accompany it. Was worth the fun, though (and also being able to bring some home to share).
So, we've come a ways in these fifteen years, but we don't really feel much different. Still positive we met the right person and did the right thing! (...Providence is so nice that way.)
Wednesday, June 12, 2013
It was time to get out.
(p.s. Isn't that quite the bicycle?! I chatted with the owner a couple minutes; the bike is a snow bike, also for dirt trails. The tire PSI is about 5-8, he says, and he lets it down to about 3 for riding on fresh snow. He also said he has a bike with even LARGER circumference tires!)
(p.p.s Really, I'm not going to talk about the ticks, any more than to say at least we didn't get bit, we just kept finding them even after multiple showers and clothing changes...and friends combing through my hair...)
Thursday, June 6, 2013
This is a male antheraea polyphemus moth!
Jeff and I were chatting in the backyard, and I was pulling weeds and dead tree leaves out of the little hazelnut bushes. I went to reach for this big brown leaf and jumped back with a start, then immediately called the girls over. Kaatje had him in a second, and he seemed quite content to quietly sit in her hand (seeing as it was about 60 degrees out, he was probably happy to be warm).
We've never seen one of these before around here, though we're not out of their zone. This fellow looks a bit worse for wear, but considering they only live one week (we learned), who knows where he's been in his brief life. Kaatje didn't want to let him go, but I wasn't about to adopt another creature (not knowing at the time, they don't even eat for the week they're alive) so after his portrait session, he was gently deposited back on the hazelnuts.
The variety of interesting wildlife here in our own little city backyard amazes me!
(note to Dad: pictures are with the Canon ELPH 100 on macro, automatic settings, FYI! I think you'll like the camera, too!)
Monday, June 3, 2013
After having a lovely time with family (hi Cary!) and waiting out the rain, we went out into the chilly late afternoon and did some garden work. This has been such a cold and cloudy spring (and still is) for planting, but I was sick of the sad little tomato and pepper starts in their sad tray, so we planted everything out and will hope for the best. Those sad peppers, not even longer than Gret's finger. A bunny's going to come by and snap 'em off in a second, but all we can do is try! (The ground's still so cold, that if and when that does happen, we'll just hit the nursery for more -larger- seedlings and they'll do better than these will anyway.)
~ Didn't get everything in, these are the girls' thyme and marigolds, plus some miscellany.
~ The walk to the side (south) garden, our smaller raspberry patch on the left. We had bugs/worms in the raspberries last year, so chopped to the ground they went, and Jeff dug out the (unliked) white raspberries at the same time. No spring berries this year, but also hopefully the berries won't have worms (eh, more protein, I say).
~ Eight sad tomatoes and one nice healthy (from the co-op) cherry tomato plant in one raised bed, then
~ more sad tomatoes, very tiny green peppers, and a nice pumpkin which we'll trail over the edge of the raised bed to the empty spaces adjacent to it, in the other bed.
~ Harebells growing under my mushroom
~ Ash and red oak reflected in the bird bath (which the robins frequent)
~ A sunny area for herbs is near the compost bin; I didn't know tarragon was a perennial!
~ Finally getting around to taking the remainder of the sidewalk out. This walk used to go all the way around the south side of the house, and the dirt on one side and grass on the other was taking over. The walk becomes a pool in the rain, and prevents us having proper drainage from the house, so this is the last bit to go. I'll be moving all these plants so Jeff can regrade at some point, but I'm looking forward to it, as these beds have always been odd.
Still more garden ideas brewing as Spring moves along to Summer!
Friday, May 31, 2013
Before and after our walk to the co-op, in the morning,
~ century old lilac in our yard, with dark blooms I haven't seen elsewhere, finally blooming
~ marking out lines for our newest spring project idea
~ blowing-in-the-wind flax, fairy house drawbridges
~ (it's been too rainy to cut the grass)
~ back at home, 1:1 sparkling water:strawberry lemonade, over ice= treat
We're all so happy to be back in the sun again! Happy weekend!