Archive | August, 2011

Day 22

10 Aug

Day 22: A picture of something you wish you were better at

Another tough one.  There are lots of things that I’m competent at, but wouldn’t brag about, like my ability to change a tire, or construct things, color coordinating an outfit or being on time.  Also, there are things that I used to be good at and am now just totally out of practice with, like speaking German, or welding, or holding any yoga pose for more than 5 seconds.  I’ve tried lots of things, failed miserably and gotten over it in short order; playing basketball, softball, bowling or any number of organized sports, making pickles, and drawing anything concrete other than cats and plants.  But the one hobby I tried vainly at for years and just never got the hang of is knitting.

During college it was the fashionable thing to do.  This was the rise of Stitch ‘n’ Bitch; the hip way to get back into doing something domestic.  I had dreams of my own hand made mittens, hats, socks and scarves, which were quickly squashed by my own two clumsy hands.  All my friends seemed to be enjoying relaxing homework breaks in front of the T.V. with a ball of yarn on the floor, needles clicking softly as colorful scarves appeared magically in their laps.  I, on the other hand, missed most of the T.V. show and anything that was being said to me because I constantly had to be supervising my disobedient hands lest they do something disastrous resulting in me having to yet again pull apart said colorful scarf.  It also didn’t help that around this time I discovered I had a wool allergy and while all cotton yarns turned out not to be out of my college budget, they stretched too easily and everyone else used wool.

Yet, I persisted, and amassed quite a lot of needles and different colored yarn which are now collecting dust in a box on the porch.  I did finally finish two things after years (and I promise I’m not exaggerating) of frustration.  The one scarf I knitted for myself is about 3 and a half feet long and has no determinate width.  I also managed to take all the yarn my mom dyed during her career in textiles and make her a mother’s day scarf.  That scarf is quite long, but equally lumpy and took me at least 2 years to complete.

Now that I’m older, I’m harboring a delusion that I will pick up the needles once more, but I guess only time will tell if practice makes perfect, or it’s just not meant to be.

Day 21

9 Aug

It’s a two-fer day!

Day 21: A picture of something you wish you could forget

It’s sort of been my mantra since high school to not regret anything, just learn from it, and frankly I choose not to remember much before then, but I have made some pretty bad movie choices in my life.  Most recently, it was watching “Hot Tub Time Machine” and I seriously want that hour and a half of my life back.  Please people, don’t see this movie.  It’s seriously not worth it, unless you’re going for the mind-numbing confusion that comes from a loosely knit plot, too much sexual innuendo from an unrealistic depiction of testosterone and bad stereotypes of eighties fashion.

If you want to watch something stupid and worthwhile, watch South Park instead.

Day 20

9 Aug

Day 20: A picture of somewhere you’d love to travel

As with most of my motivations in life, where I want to travel often comes down to what I want to eat.  It’s a tossup between Italy and Spain, but I think Spain wins thanks to the abundance of seafood and paella:

Mmm, although I could do without all those extra eyes starting at me.

But I there are places alluring to me because of their impressive wildlife and natural beauty, so if I’m going that route, I’d have to go with Yellowstone National Park.

Day 19

7 Aug

Day 19: A picture of someone you have been on vacation with

Lucky for me, Eric and I just got back from a 10 day vacation!  We took the Amtrak out through Minnesota, North Dakota, Montana, Washington and into Vancouver, BC where we spent a few days with family and then turned around and did the whole train trek again.  It was a great way to see the sights and not have to deal with airport security B.S. This picture was at a stop in Havre Montana.  (not my favorite state on the trip… it seemed like we were there FOREVER)

My favorite state was Washington.  The eastern part of the state was scrubby and empty, which I like, and then we crossed this invisible line and suddenly there were fruit trees everywhere.  Did you know they put windmills in the middle of apple orchards to move away cool air during a cold snap?  Being from a state where there is no avoiding a cold snap, this was a learning experience for me.

And of course the Cascades were breath taking…

Day 18

6 Aug

Day 18: A picture of your biggest insecurity

That’s right, folks, it’s big.  I’ve struggled with my weight for most of my life.  I’ve yo-yo’ed all over the place, gone on crash diets, joined gyms, fasted, tried to walk it off, sweat it off, the list goes on.  This winter I decided it was time to gain some control.  I try to follow a regular schedule of fitness activities including swimming and yoga while taking advantage of our small town to walk at any opportunity.  I couple my workouts with healthy eating choices; lots of fresh veggies and alternate protein sources like beans and lentils.  I was fortunate enough to find a doctor in town who shares my philosophy on weight loss and thus has greatly increased my self-confidence around the “big” picture.

Day 17

5 Aug

Day 17: A picture of something that has had a huge impact on your life recently

Last October Eric and I packed all our belongings up into a small UHaul and moved back to Grinnell, Iowa.  I quit my full-time plus some job, to become a stay at home gardener/cook/painter/writer/swimmer and Eric got a salaried position with Grinnell College.  I’d say things are quite different from a year ago!

Day 16

4 Aug

Day 16: A picture of someone who inspires you

This is appropriate after yesterday’s post…

This is The Herb Man.  The Herb Man is my hero, and not just because of the hat he likes to wear.  His operation is based just outside of Farmington, MN where he and his wife grow herbs, vegetables, a variety of trees and flowers from seed that they sell off of their property and at local Farmer’s Markets.  Last summer I was searching for Amish Paste tomato plants and my search led me to the Herb Man.  I was invited back into one of the many greenhouses and it was like a jungle paradise.  The greenhouse was packed with little seedlings of all varieties.  While we searched, I got to know a little bit of his history as a grower and instantly became jealous.  He started out with the same dream I have; being able to grow food for his family.  He went on to tell me to be careful when considering greenhouses, as they can be habit forming, and admitted he needed a day job to support his.  Later that summer Eric and I went to him in search of rosemary and sage plants to use in our wedding ceremony and we left with two sprigs from a bay tree that was given to him at his own wedding to symbolize the strength of unity.  The Herb Man inspires me to reach for my goal and remain passionate about growing and paying my respects to Mother Earth.