27 May 2010

Heading Into Summer

We've had a nutty spring at the Struckman-Brown house. In fact, the weather has been so weird that it feels like we're moving straight from a mild winter to summer (it's supposed to be 90 tomorrow!). Here are some highlights:

The garden is flourishing. We've already harvested our first round of radishes. They were delicious. If all goes well, we'll have two more rounds. We're eating lots of salads too with our early greens. The peach tree is working like crazy to produce some sweet fruit. The potatoes, carrots, kale, arugula are up. The tomatoes and cucumbers are planted. Now we just need some rain AND sun and we'll be on our way!

Benny likes to help water. He's becoming quite the little gardner. Other spring highlights include a trip to Edmonton, Alberta, to my brother's wedding. Benny looked like such a little man in his sweater vest. We had a wonderful time. Luke and Aman make a great couple.

This weekend we head to the great state of Iowa to visit Nate's family. After Memorial Day, summer officially begins. Happy sunny days!

18 May 2010

Well, I'll Be

After weeks of asking, nagging, then outright harassing, Nate has put up some cabinet doors! They look great! Now we just need to find a tile contractor and paint the walls and we'll be all finished! I'll post pictures once all the doors are up. At this rate we'll have the kitchen finished in time to welcome our petite fille!

17 May 2010

Little Guy

Here's a great story from the weekend:

It was gorgeous out yesterday, so we decide to take a walk to our local coffee shop, which also serves ice cream. Every once in awhile we'll treat Benny to a little kid's cup. It's a cheap way to get a nice walk in...

Anyway, Benny saw some older kids licking their ice cream off cones. We still get Benny a cup because we aren't sure if he's coordinated for a cup. He watched the older kids for awhile and then said, "That little guy over there is licking!" Yes, he used the words "little guy" to describe another kid. Hilarious. We promised that the next time we get ice cream, that he will get to lick too.

13 May 2010

Book Review: The Girls From Ames

After slogging through Animal, Vegetable, Miracle, I was ready to read something a little lighter. During my recent trip to Minneapolis to visit my Ames girls, my PG friend gave me The Girls from Ames, a book about a group of 11 friends whose friendship has lasted 40 years - from their girlhood in Ames, to their adult lives all over the country.

I was a bit disappointed with the quality of the writing. The whole book was rather repetitive. However, the book was interesting and heartwarming. And it reminded me about how lucky I am to have some amazing women in my life. Old friends who have experienced the ups and downs of early adulthood with me and matured with me into middle-age.

It was the perfect read for this moment. And I read it in less than two weeks! Up next: Reading Lolita in Tehran.

10 May 2010

Fenced In

I don't think I've announced the most recent house/yard project to the blog. Two weeks ago, Nate and a few friends built a fence. About a month prior to that, we had a bunch of concrete removed from the yard (the old carport and all of the sidewalks). We're planning on planting grass and bushes to extend the yeard. We'll be replacing the sidewalks with brick. I'm not sure when that will happen, but we're on our way...

While I am very happy to have a fence, I also must report that the kitchen is nowhere close to being finished. We moved back in three weeks ago. The doors have been finished for at least two and a half weeks. And, we're still living with door-less cabinets. Read: Mama is slightly frustrated. I did attend a tiling class this weekend. We're going to pick out tile and glass door inserts this weekend. Perhaps the doors will be up by Friday, but I'm not holding my breath. If they are, I will most certainly post photos.

06 May 2010

Spring Break: Good for the Soul

For the past six years, three college friends and I gather for a weekend to recharge, reconnect, and bask in the glow of good friendship. One of my friends calls us her "strong ladies." And I would have to agree. We met at Iowa State while I was there for a year. They are amazing, smart women. Jayne graduated last year with her JD from the University of Nebraska. Smaifeld has a PhD in chemistry from the University of Wisconsin. Katie is a talented dietician - and so much more. Jayne lives in Minneapolis, Smaifeld lives in San Francisco, and Katie lives in, wait for it, Bejing. This year we met in Minneapolis. It was a fantastic weekend of food and conversation. It's good for my soul. And now I'm counting down for next year's spring break, wherever that may be!

05 May 2010

Easter Bunny

Benny loved hunting for Easter eggs. He was mostly interested in what was INSIDE the eggs. Candy is a great motivator.

04 May 2010

Girl Parts

We learned that the "it" baby is a "she" baby last night. As the ultrasound tech put it, "I don't see a penis ... those are the girl parts." We're having a little girl! Hurrah! We won't get the results of the ultrasound back for about a week, but everything looks normal - heart beating, right size, etc.

Happy day!

03 May 2010

Book Review: Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

Finally. Finally. Finally. I finished Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver. I've been reading this book for at least six months. A two-hour flight gave me the time and motivation to polish it off.

It was a good book - definitely worth reading. My thoughts of it haven't changed since I wrote my half book review about it oh, so long ago. I am going to try to use it to continue to be more informed about my food choices. The garden is blooming, so I should have some success this summer. Radishes are already up. So is lettuce and kale. We're well on our way.

A preview of our garden: