Thursday, December 27, 2007

The obligatory post-Christmas post

When are they going to develop teleportation technology so I don't ever have to drive to Chicago again?

Once there, of course, everything was fine. Awesome to see The World's Coolest Mother-in-Law, as always, and the family gathering meant trundling off to the theater to watch hapless fellows in need of a shave get ground up into meat pies. Festive! Ah, Sweeney Todd, you are a weird-ass musical. Thumbs up from me & Puck, thumbs down from the W.C.M-i-L, who is tremendously fond of the stage version and didn't appreciate the liberties taken by Mr. Burton. Also, I totally fail at celebrity identification. I spent half the movie leaning over to Puck and whispering, "Hey, is that the guy from [insert movie here]?" Turns out no, none of them were.

After a rather hairy drive up into Wisconsin, we hit the other side of Puck's family and then retired to his dad's, where the four of us promptly disposed of an entire bottle of Jameson's. Note to self: Irish whiskey goes down way too easily. Stick to Scotch.

Luckily we'd planned to drive back Christmas Eve day, so we did not have to deal with the snow, and the last leg of the trip was by far the best driving conditions. I still think next year we ought to fly, though that means airports around the holidays, so perhaps not. Maybe Amtrak. Christmas Day was entirely self-indulgent. We drank beer and played way too much Rock Band and watched the snow flutter down in beautiful fat flakes, and I made a yummy butternut squash-potato chowder for supper, which was the perfect kind of cozy comfort food for the day.

Weather permitting, I hope to go cross-country skiing again Saturday, January 5. Consider yourself invited.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

I am a giant taking big giant steps

That? Is the best part of cross-country skiing. Especially for people with short stubby legs like me who ordinarily do not get to cover 8 feet with a single stride. Puck and I went out to Bunker Park Sunday and it was marvellous! It was super-pretty except the part that went by the road, but it's hard to find places in the metro where you can avoid that, and most of it succeeded in feeling open and woodsy. Besides, for most of it there were well-groomed ruts for me to fit my skis into, which is necessary for those of us who have trouble with that whole "keep your skis pointed the same direction" concept. (And Ms. Huis, you'll be happy to hear that I did take a tumble [with dramatically flailing limbs, and from a standstill no less], no outside assistance required. *grin*)

So yeah, I am very much hoping that January remains at least relatively temperate so we can go again after the holidays.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Turkey and dirt

I was reminded by a comment on Syl's blog by The Sexy Blonde about tryptophan and seratonin that I meant to post a link to this brief article, because I think it's cool. Basically, the University of Bristol found a bacteria in soil that triggers the brain's production of seratonin. Scientific validation that playing in the dirt makes us happy!

Of course, right now the soil is frozen solid under a foot of snow, but ... when is the next landscapalooza?

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

I predict a white Christmas

Going out on a limb there, I know. :-)

I'm trying not to be too annoyingly gleeful about the snow. Especially after reading the no-snowblower driveway travails of the Kluges/Huis household. But ... it's so pretty! And I want to go cross-country skiing. Of course, when I think of cross-country skiing now, I think of that absolutely perfect day at Cascade House when we skied up that gigantic hill to that spectacular view where we rested and ate gorp, and then had the fun swooshy downhill, and it was like the Platonic ideal of cross-country skiing and no other cross-country skiing will ever live up to it, and then Ms. Huis tackled me into a snowbank. (I could probably do without that last bit, though it was awfully funny.)

In any case, looking out my window and seeing nothing but a blanket of white naturally makes my mind turn to garden planning. I've decided I could use some new porn gardening books, and I'm looking for recommendations. Help me out! What books do you have? What books do you love and why? I've been pretty much running my life from The Renegade Gardener's books, Perennials for Minnesota & Wisconsin, Tree & Shrub Gardening for Minnesota & Wisconsin, and Stone Landscaping. Expand my horizons!