thirty days

it’s been a month since i’ve had coffee… i don’t really feel that differently, but i do think i’m sleeping better. at least, i’m sleeping through the night instead of waking up at midnight and 4am for no good reason.
my second attempt at making kombucha resulted in mold again. it’s made me frustrated… apparently the water for the tea needs to be boiled in a stainless steel pot, which i don’t have. i also read that a coffee filter should be used to cover the brewing vessel instead of a recycled shirt. luckily, i have a bunch left over.
in other news, after the work day is over, i’m off for five days.

this weekend

i always think of lofty home-goals when i have a long weekend and feel as though i rarely make a dent in the list.
i’d like to start thinking about painting the rain barrels so they’re not two big, white eyesores in the middle of the driveway. my intention, when the first one was installed, was to paint it the color of the house and foundation so it looked like it wasn’t there… from certain angles.
we need to get the morning glories, moon flowers, and other vining plants into the ground… just not sure where to put them.
additionally, the front porch is becoming a bit of a disaster; one of the handrails rotted and needs to be replaced before someone gets hurt and i get sued by the mailman or something.
we still have to put together the soft goods room, but it involves some basement activity which makes me want to start project basement-cleanup… and that’s likely a day’s worth of work itself.
i’m sure we’ll get the canoe into the water again… i don’t know if we’ll take another voyage to mickey’s this weekend… the lake is sure to be busy with boaters celebrating the holiday.
in other good news! the scoby is growing nicely, there’s the start of a film that will slowly turn into a mother; i think the warm temps are helping a lot. i’d like to start another batch soon so i have some more growing before the first batch is decanted so there’s enough going without having to buy a continuous brew system.

nice!

the weekend was great. we spent a lot of it fixing bikes, on bikes, in a canoe, on a stool, in the kitchen, and on the couch. on friday, matt repaired my innertube while i started a batch of scoby-growing tea.
we did breakfast at the tavern on saturday and got some rope for our homemade anchors. after wrasslin’ with the overflow hose under the sink,
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we took our maiden voyage outside of the creek to mickey’s!
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it took about 40 minutes but we weren’t racing anyone. it was a little daunting once we cornered the pier at the olbrich outlet, but we made our way along the shore over to the yahara river inlet. it would be nice to install a lockbox on the canoe in order to leave our life preservers and anything else we don’t want to haul inside wherever we end up; i also want to get something waterproof for our phones.
sunday, matt had to work. i went for breakfast and then proceeded downtown to stare at some really fast bikers and see if ragstock had anything i’d like. it seems as tho they raise their prices in the summer to get more money from tourists. a skirt that was $5 during maxwell street days last year was $29 yesterday. :/
i’m glad half the day is past me; i’ve got a five-day weekend coming up.

first try

my first batch of kombucha got the dreaded mold… it’s kinda frustrating since i had to wait so long for the mother to come out of dormancy. i think i might try growing my own scoby and starting over.
also, here’s the view of the train tracks by olbrich from the canoe:
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water-bound

we have some friends who are leaving the country to experience europe for a year (or more?) and they have a canoe that obviously can’t go with them… so they’re giving it to us! with life jackets and everything! we can just hop in the creek and canoe over to lake monona and have a picnic in the water! i’m not sure if nora will enjoy the trek, but i think jones could handle it for a little bit.
maybe this will be the excuse i need to get myself a pair of vibram shoes.
i’m not sure where we’ll store the thing, but it might fit nicely under the deck.

found!

during one of our outings this past weekend, we happened upon this guy… for scale reference, his head is about as big as the pad on my pointer finger.
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i’ve been kinda frustrated at work lately, so i’m glad we (hopefully) get to play kickball tonight. it might help work out some tension.
also, the not-drinking-caffeine is going ok; i kinda miss it for the flavor, but once i get my kombucha brew in full swing, i’ll have that to play around with. maybe i can even use hazelnut syrup on a couple jars.

one week

i survived a week without coffee at work. it really wasn’t too difficult… tho, i think it’s affecting my metabolism, so i’ll be happy when i get a batch of kombucha going. i also just read that you can grind up a scoby and a little kt to make a paste for your skin!
i just hope my mothers cooperate… they’ve been dormant in a fridge for a while.
i’ve also been diligently taking my multi-vitamin, an extra b12, and potassium pills this week. i can’t tell any difference, but maybe i’m not supposed to.
i forgot to share this when it came out, here’s the first peony. i finally remembered to support them with cages this year so they don’t topple over.
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sans caféine

this could become a little confusing due to all my holiday/sick time over the last few weeks… essentially, i stopped drinking coffee on thursday, may 26 some time in the mid morning. i had a four day weekend, during which i didn’t have any. i was sick on tuesday the 31st and came to work on the 1st, mug in hand.
i had more days off from the 2nd to the 5th and decided that my anxiety may not be helped by the caffeine, even tho i barely drink any, and figured it wouldn’t be terrible to cut it out of my diet for a bit.
so far, it’s been fine. we’ll see how i feel in a couple weeks. if anything, i could probably stand to only drink coffee on the weekends when i can really enjoy it. it doesn’t hurt that it’s 102° out right now… the mere thought of anything very hot is grimace-inducing.
speaking of heat… i hope our plants are handling it. they just about doubled in size over the last couple days, but it looks like a lot of work for them to keep upright, especially the mustard.
also, here’s marco, demonstrating his acrobatic abilities:
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hm

need to start photographic evidence of plants with date stamps.
we had a really nice, long weekend…. thursday, we went to the lazy oaf for lunch. my catfish sandwich was obviously frozen and thawed, not sure what i expected; matt got the wrong blue cheese burger. the bloody’s were ok, tho a little strong on the pepper.
we then spent an hour at the dmv so matt could become a bonafide madisonian (after how many years here?). so, now he can vote.
on friday, we went to the cupcakery for lunch and then to see x-men: first class. it was a pretty good flick. afterwards, we went to the tornado room for matt’s bday dinner. an old friend is the host there and he bought our first round of drinks. my sockeye salmon was really yummy, it came with a sauce of sweet potato and apple puree. i think i might try to replicate that.
matt made quick use of shiny things to pull apart and devour his crab legs.
we headed to mickey’s to say hi to some friends and then to the inferno for girls’ night out + matt. the djs i wanted to see (gene ferris and delta9) hadn’t even gone on stage at midnight, so we came home.
saturday morning was slept away and we had “breakfast” at mickey’s. we took a break for grocery shopping and then went back to wait for no one (ok, very few) to show up for kickball.
we called it an early night and grabbed some orange roughy from jenifer st to do up on the grill; i also made the best mashed potatoes ever in the universe.
sunday, matt had to go back to work… so i slept in a little and met mom and geo around 11 for some noms.
today, i go back to work after almost 10 days off (lots of holiday/sick/vacation time in the last week). i’ve decided to stop caffeine all together… just for a little bit. i only drink it at work, so it shouldn’t be too hard. we’ll see if i doze off in my chair this afternoon.

happy unofficial summer

our memorial day soirée was a success! lots of food eaten, marshmallows roasted, dog begging, and laugh sharing.
except there’s one thing that’s been bugging me. our yard is adjacent to a shared yard of about five houses on fair oaks, and we’ve not had a (complete) fence separating the two since last year (it’s the responsibility of the closest adjacent neighbor). so, some kids took advantage of the usually unused greenspace to toss a ball around. after some time, a woman who lives five houses away (with whom i’ve had a pretty good rapport) announced that she was feeling violated and would they stop playing in her yard.
of course, i thought it was a reasonable request and attempted to apologize at the time, but she was no longer outside when i heard the news. so, we just kept everyone inside the invisible fence line.
i ran into her yesterday while walking the dogs and said “sorry about the kids playing on saturday.” she responded with, “i was about to ask them for their addresses so i could hang out in their yards!”, to which i came up with nothing; i couldn’t even formulate a fake laugh. i finally said we’d keep them reigned in next time and sorry again.
i wanted to tell her that most of those kids have barely a quarter of the size of the shared yard that no one uses except five four-legged poop machines, and i wanted to ask her if it’s such a terrible thing that some kids were playing one time in a yard that she doesn’t even maintain?
it kinda makes me sad cuz we’ve talked on dog excursions and now i feel like she’s a mean, selfish person. whotf would threaten to ask a four-year-old her address so they could “hang out in your yard”? kinda creepy.
i hope my feelings go away.