Mostly I just putter.

Doctoral student, amateur cook, beginning sewer.

Mostly I just putter.

Monday, March 30, 2009

To Market, To Market

(Reminiscing about our trip to Oz in Dec./Jan.)

On our first day in Tasmania we were able to spend a few hours in the Salamanca Market in Hobart. Because the Australian dollar was performing so badly (sorry, Aussies!) the prices were delightful. It was so fun to take pictures and buy trinkets for loved ones back home knowing that I was basically on the end of the earth.

Friday, March 27, 2009

It's That Time Again...

Happy birthday to me! If I could have one birthday wish, it would be a trip to Oz and another day on Wineglass Bay in Tasmania. My feet were pretty happy there.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

...And For Contrast

This storm isn't supposed to be done until noon tomorrow, so I'm guessing our sushi dinner and Botanic Gardens trip will have to be postponed. Still, it's nice to be snug and cozy in our little house. I had the good sense to put a bottle of sparkling wine in the fridge this morning--you know, just for emergencies.


My birthday is this weekend! I have Friday off so the Mister and I are going to visit the Denver Botanic Gardens for the first time. Will try to remember the camera as they have a tulip exhibit running right now and we have some empty space on our walls that needs to be filled with photos of pretty flowers.

These photos are from the Sydney Botanic Gardens. I loved the succulents.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

From His Party

Nephew is a one-year old now, and I can tell he's already developed a keen interest in cake. Auntie didn't have anything to do with that at all. Not at all.

Impossible to Kill

This picture is of the Mister pulling mint out of our yard. We have lots and lots of mint because it is the world's most. aggressive. plant. Seriously, the mint took on our 8' ornamental grass and was winning. I know it's eyeballing our grape, but we're trying to prevent that from happening. The roots are a thickly woven mat just under the soil, so you can literally pull it out by the handful. Did a lot of research on the internet trying to find out how to kill it, but it's every gardener's dirty little secret---nobody wants to talk about the aggressive mint, just the friendly, tastes-good-in-mojitos mint that everyone wants to party with.

We're just grateful it smells good while we're tearing it out by the roots.

I Seriously Thought This Wasn't Going To Happen

Something I planted last year is growing back! Granted, it's sedum, a.k.a. "no-kill-'em", but still...not bad for a newbie. The peonies are showing signs of life, the daffodils and tulips are about to bloom, and more plants are on order. I heart spring.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


This weekend we decided to try a Colorado wine: Two Rivers Riesling. Turns out it wasn't Colorado wine at all (gotta read the label!), just bottled for Two Rivers. Still, it was tasty. The label was uninspiring.

We also tried the Yalumba Riesling from Australia. I liked it better as it had more citrus flavors. They don't get any points for an attractive label, either. We paired this wine with an outstanding recipe for roast chicken that made the Mister profoundly happy.

The Mister got a phone call from his sister this weekend. She was in the Hunter Valley and couldn't remember where we purchased that excellent sparkling shiraz. There was much wailing and gnashing of teeth that she was wine tasting in Oz and the Mister was doing homework while I was doing yard work. Isn't it true that the lust for travel is insatiable?

Image found here.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Veggie Attempt, Part Deux

The other night I made vegetarian tostadas. It was a result of one of those "Duh!" moments where you're looking in the pantry trying to figure out how to use up some of your canned goods. Cans of black beans and enchilada sauce were my inspiration. The Mister prefers refried, I prefer black, so I mixed a can of each to smear on the tostada shell with a little garlic and cumen for flavor. Top with the sauce, sour cream and/or cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, and avocado, and you have a fast and tasty vegetarian meal.

Friday, March 20, 2009


In May I'll be teaching Philosophies of Education, a course designed to survey people who have influenced education, directly or indirectly, through their personal philosophies. For instance, one of the textbooks profiles people such as Confucius, Socrates, John Dewey, and Jane Addams. At the end of the course the students are to write their own philosophy of education. This has provoked some challenging discussion in my head. Who has influenced my beliefs? What is my philosophy of education? How does that influence my teaching practice?

I think this is going to be another instance where the teacher learns more than the students...

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Pending Arrival

I've ordered three rose bushes for the garden that will arrive at the end of May. I can't wait. I love that they come from Oregon, so I'll be growing a little piece of home in our backyard.

William Shakespeare

Elegant Beauty

Glamis Castle

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

St. Patty's In Review

Nephew turned one--he's officially a big boy now! We'll be seeing him this weekend at his big boy birthday party that he'll be sharing with my grandmother, who turns 85 on Friday.

My cousin, her husband, and their four children were in town for the night. They live in Mozambique so it was a rare treat to see them. We had our traditional corned beef and cabbage dinner followed up with a viewing of The Incredibles while the adults got caught up. It was such a fun evening! The Mister and I need to plan a trip to Africa. Their descriptions of Cape Town, in particular, were intriguing.

Image via UpNorth Memories


Three wines we've tried lately:

Little Penguin Pinot Grigio
: Yummy at the beginning but a little sour on the end. However, I tend to base my wine choices on the label, so they get bonus points for a cute label. Apparently I'm not the only one to do this!

Clovely Verdelho: I like Verdelho; this one was good but not my favorite. While not cute, the label is charming.

Black Swan Riesling: My favorite, and very popular with our dinner guests.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Yard Work

The older gentleman who owned the house before us buried 5-gallon plastic buckets in all of the flower beds. We thought we'd dug them all out last summer only to find FIVE MORE today. Do you have any idea how long it takes to dig a five-gallon bucket out of clayish soil? The Mister and I should start a pool on how many we end up finding back there. We haven't even started digging around in the Dead Zone yet. Aiiyyy!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Texture Sensitive

This soup recipe showed up in the New York Times last week and it seemed perfect for our vegetarian experiment--didn't rely on pasta, all familiar ingredients, included beans (love me some beans). I made a batch this weekend with the recommended whole wheat couscous and dug in with great anticipation. And it was gross. Really gross.

I am texture sensitive. There. I've acknowledged my pickiness and admitted my weakness to the world. It's only getting worse as I get older and become a better cook. I know how I like my food prepared, I know how to make food that I like, and my standards are getting higher with every year. Something about this recipe just hit me all wrong. Unfortunately, it makes a big batch so we're wasting food (the Mister was just as unenthused) but I know there's no way we'll be having a second serving. We eat so many of our meals at home we've made our peace with the fact that a certain percentage of our meals will fail and you have to throw food away.
Back to the vegetarian drawing board. In the meantime, I have a lovely pork loin in the crock pot.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Giving It The Old College Try

School is a go, but I'm waiting until September. Looks like I'm going to try being a Cowgirl! I've decided to be a non-degree-seeking student at the University of Wyoming. I can transfer in up to 12 credits (I missed their deadline because of the UCD mess) while I decide if the program is really what I want. It's an EdD, not a PhD, which is one major point against the program. However, given the circumstances I'm in, this is the best way to start school while I have momentum and motivation and gives me another year to decide what to do. If Wyoming doesn't work out then I'll need to convince the Mister to pack up and move to Lawrence, Kansas because that's where my dream program is. How many people can say their dream is to move to Kansas?!?

Two Word Summary

Shoe shopping.