Thursday, April 28, 2011


I'll never stop posting about spring. Not when it's this pretty.

Crazy storms came through last night, including a tornado 5 miles down the road from us. Ironically, right by the first house we looked at.

And this morning the sun is shining and it's so beautiful.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Easter Eggs are Running Amok

I just couldn't let Easter pass without decorating some eggs. I felt fun and adventurous and bought two different egg coloring kits. One traditional Paas and a newfangled speckle egg thing.

There wound up being some repeat colors, but the speckle egg kit had way richer colors.

Dakota running amok while I decorate. Dakota usually runs amok. That's kind of his personality. We actually should have named him Amok.

Oh, and for the record, it was not sunny. It started to rain and I had to shut the door to the backyard and Dakota had to contain him amok-ness inside.
See the wonderful green and pink and the yellows, those are from the speckle kit.

Me, trying to get the eggs to speckle.

I wasn't liking the effect, so I grabbed my paint brushes and went a little crazy.

See? Oops, not exactly like the cover of the box. And, technically not our 1st Easter. More like 6th Easter. Just our first as a married couple.

You might think that the ones in the background with the peeling dye are the speckled ones. They're not, they are all the Paas colored ones. For some reason they started peeling in a very odd way. They still look kind of cool, I guess.

And, I'm really proud of the egg with the bees. : )

Wondering where my husband is?

Uh, not helping me decorate eggs.

He's calming the crazy Amok

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Spring on the Home Front

This morning feels like Spring, crisp and sunny. There are also green buds starting in on the trees. I am so happy about this! We have a lot of trees, when these fill in we'll have a nice shady backyard. It's nice because our porch has no trees nearby, so it'll be sunny on the porch but we can go out and lay in the shady yard. Under a hammock, perhaps.

Some sort of flowering shrub. There are some of these on the south side of the house as well. I'll have to take them out because the previous homeowner planted them way too close to the house.

I'm an all-season girl. When it's summer, I love it and can't imagine a better season. When it's fall or winter I feel the same. Every time of year has something to other that makes it beautiful. Even though Ohio winters don't seem to be as distinct as Minnesota winters I'm grateful there seems to be four distinguishable seasons.

Speaking of seasons, pretty soon it's going to be gardening season and I'll be getting ready to start work on my garden in a few weeks, I can't wait!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Tropical Fruit and Grocery Stores

As a native to southern California I value the availability and variety of my fruits and vegetables all year round. At any time of year I could get the freshest produce and sometimes unique produce.

A childhood friend of mine lived across the street from me for most of my young life. Her grandparents lived across from them on the other side(corner house). Her grandparents had a farm; chickens and I think goats. Vicky if you're reading this you know I'm talking about you : )

They also had acres of fruit. Bananas, oranges and my favorite guavas.

I remember visiting and they'd let me take home as many as I could carry. They'd go from the tree and straight into my tummy.

I knew them as guyava the Spanish name for them and only learned the English name guava until a few years ago when I started seeing guava nectar on grocery store shelves. It's funny, I never picked up Spanish but I didn't even know the English words for some things.

Back to the point. Andrew and I decided to check out a new grocery store to find my favorite pickles for macaroni salad. I won't settle for anything less than Vlasic Zesty Dills, not Kosher Dills. Thanfully, we found Zesty Spears, they aren't as crunchy but at least they have flavor.

While we were there, we looked around at our most purchased items to compare prices and see if we should make the switch to this new store. We walked the produce section, since 50-75% of our grocery bill is fresh produce.

After I picked up two delicious cantaloupes I saw from the corner of my eye my childhood favorite, guyava!! I'm pretty sure I skipped over.

They also had prickly pear fruit, yummy yum yum (it's the fruit of a cactus) and passion fruit. I'm hoping in a few weeks I might see figs! And maybe even the leaves of cactus(yeah, I eat those too).

Here is my delicious loot!

I cut of the ends. And dig in, you can eat skin and seeds.

According to several online sources, guava has 5 times more Vitamin C than an orange, plus calcium, iron, potassium among other things.

So, if you see these on your grocery store shelf consider yourself lucky and grab a couple to try.

Also, try a prickly pear fruit, cactus leaves(nopales), figs, jicama and anything else you've never had before.

Monday, April 11, 2011

My Love

Is so understanding, of my need to take pictures of him.

He looked around to see where I'd gotten. My telephoto was on and I had to lag behind to get him in the frame.

Sigh, isn't he pretty? (he's going to hate me for that)

Friday, April 8, 2011

What my dog sees

I often wonder what on earth Dakota is looking at when he's playing around the house. Those people with pets, and I suppose even young children who can't communicate with speach yet, experience the same thing.

Is he trying to figure out "What on earth is that big thing she keeps holding up to her face? Why does she keep saying my name in a high pitch squeel?" "Why can't I go out front and chase the neighbors cat. They let it run around...that's free game. Right, momma? Momma?"

"Hi, momma!!! I slobbered all over your window. You still love me, right?"

"If only they would open the window, I could go terrorize that 3-legged cat hobbling across the street."

I'm sure it goes something like that.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Gear (creative title, I know)

I told you we did cool things last Sunday too. We drove 3 hours 17 minutes to the closest Michigan. If you forgot, we live in Ohio.
There wasn't really anything on our list, except wasting a day and visiting REI. We were experiencing some REI withdrawal. Can you believe Ohio doesn't have an REI? Say whaaat? Andrew and I are members of this awesome Co-op and are lucky(?) that we spend a lot of money there on a yearly basis. So, each Spring we look forward to our REI dividend and how to spend it.
We wound up buying a stove : ) So, pretty. It's a personal cooking/eating system, so I'll bring a spare cup and Andrew will pour some contents into my cup. That way we save on packing a larger stove or tools to cook with. It's a multi-use type of thing. And saving weight counts.

Picture courtesy of

We also bought multi-day packs for both of us. We spent almost 2 hours there looking for a pack. Ok, I was the one taking all the time. But, in my defense, I'm super hard to fit.

I finally found a pack that fits my shortness. It's a Deuter(hehe, such a funny name). The awesome thing about this pack is it's adjustable.
And, yes. It's on the lowest "setting" that's how short I am. So, when I grow taller I can adjust it to fit. Don't judge my dreams. Andrew's pack. An Osprey. My blue day pack is in the background. Sadly, I couldn't find a larger pack by Osprey that is small enough. If that makes any sense.
A full-frontal of mine.

It was a very succesful trip. We both got a pair of hiking pants as well. I am so tired of hiking in jeans, it was time to cross over to "real" hikers material. My pants are stretchy for maximum flexibility. Sadly, Andrew's are not : (  I also bought a Nalgene bottle, with a rubber insert to prevent myself from spilling water all over my face. In awesome discount news, with our dividend and a 20% coupon for members we saved almost $100.
It better not be thunderstorming this weekend. That 13 mile loop is calling my name.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Fossils and Baking

Ok, I didn't find the fossils while I was baking.

Today is a rainy, stormy day which is a perfect day for baking.

One of Andrew's coworkers requested these peanut butter Hershey cookies. I've never made them before but they were a cinch.

Well, that wasn't enough for me. I had this recipe written on a scrap of paper for an oatmeal no-bake cookie. I took a stab at it.

I have no idea how either of my cookies turned out, but they do look delicous.

This is what I caught Dakota doing while I was baking.

Dancing? Sniffing?

Andrew and I had an awesome weekend.

On Saturday we headed down to a town that boasts that it's the "antique capital of the midwest".

We love antiques so it didn't take much convincing.

We arrived way too early for anyone to be awake but us. And decided to explore. On our way to what was advertised as a Pioneer Village we saw a sign for Cesear Lake Gorge or something like that.

Took a left, a right and found our way into a really pretty park. With a huge resivore.

To our surprise and my giddy excitement there was a flat area in between two rock cliffs with a sign that said free fossil hunting permits were available at the park office.



So, we spent the next hour in the freezing wind(without proper clothes) looking for fossils.

We found a neat variety of shells and coral. This area is a dried up sea floor, so there were lots of shells.

The ranger up front also told us about their hiking trails and they have a 13 miler! Woo hoo.

So, this weekend that's our plan.

We also had fun on Sunday too, but I'll blog about that tomorrow.