Thursday, January 31, 2008

Matted & hung!

All of these rainy evenings are so good for crafts! The t-shirt quilt is coming along - I'm adding borders now.

Just a few minutes ago, I finished matting and framing a print that my parents gave Scott and I for Christmas! It took some organization, but it was a pretty quick and easy project overall. (It was cheap too! The frame was about $25, and the mat was only $3 - a scrap from Ace Hardware.) This was my first time using my mat cutter, and now I'm excited to mat more stuff!

Not bad, eh? I didn't take a very good photo of it, but I think it looks great on my wall. Clean corners, straight lines, etc. Thanks for the print, parents!

P.S. The print is "The Trapper's Daughter and the Pickerel," by Rick Allen. You can see (and buy) more of his fantastic prints at the Kenspeckle Letterpress website.

Here's a better picture of the print:

It's part of a story. This print says,
On Winter Nights When Northern Lights
Would Paint the Snow With Color...
With Her Concertina
The Trapper's Daughter
Would Sing to the Pickerel.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Making Jell-O in the Rain

It's been raining all week, and it doesn't look like it's going to stop anytime soon. Sort of a glum start to the weekend, but any start to the weekend can't be all that bad. I went to the grocery store to get the last few items for tomorrow's Minnesota Party and got the Jell-O salad started. I made the glögg last night, so that it would have a few days to steep, and our house still smells wonderful from it.

Besides the MN Party tomorrow, we get to go to a birthday party tonight, and on Sunday I have my second belly dancing class - I'm very excited.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Ghost cat

Last night I dreamt about the ghost of my dead cat Puff! I dreamt I heard her outside the door, meowing to be let in. I opened the door, but she wouldn't come in of course, because she was just a ghost. (She didn't look ghostly, she looked normal, but in my dream I knew she was dead.) My dad was sitting on the couch while I was standing at the door and said something like, "Yeah, she does that to me too."

Mom and Dad, hope Puff is resting peacefully and not bothering you...

Monday, January 21, 2008

Stebbins Cold Canyon Hike

As promised, here are some pictures from Saturday's hike to Stebbins Cold Canyon. We had terrific weather - it felt so good to be out in the sun, and it was nice to see the hills getting a little bit green.

From the top of the ridge, we could look left to see Lake Berryessa. On some days, there's a view of the mountains to the right, but it was too smoggy on Saturday.

As we were driving through the rolling hills on the way to the trailhead, Ashlyn announced that she felt like she was "frolicking on the thighs of the Earth Mother," and we giggled about this for the rest of the day.

Ashlyn, Lisa, hatless Libby

Cooking green stuff

Sometimes I wish I could take a picture of the way our kitchen smells and post it here. The other night, we made two recipes from the San Francisco Ferry Plaza Farmer's Market Cookbook (my Xmas gift to Scott), and they were excellent. I think they would have been tasty even if we hadn't been ravenous! Brussels sprouts with prosciutto, and penne with arugula and parmesan. Yum!

Friday, January 18, 2008

First week back in CA

An up-and-down week. It was weird being back in Davis, and spending all day at home by myself after four solid weeks of spending time with terrific people. I felt lonely, and more than once considered buying a last-minute ticket to DC to attend the annual MLK party at Delafield. Fortunately for my credit card and carbon footprint, lots of good stuff also happened this week, and I have a fun weekend here to look forward to.

1. I signed up for three courses at the university's Experimental College - yoga, fire dancing (aka poi) and belly dancing. I'm definitely excited about belly dancing and poi - I have a tiny bit of experience with each and am looking forward to learning more!

2. Scott and I went on a date last night - Ciocoat for dinner and carrot cake. We jumped in the hot tub when we got home.

3. We went climbing tonight! I miss the rock walls we used in Duluth and Boulder, but it was good to get out nonetheless.

4. I'm going hiking tomorrow and Monday! Look for photos next week...

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Offices away from home

The Florida Office:

The Minnesota Office:

The South Carolina Office:

Friday, January 11, 2008

Sheep Retreat in South Carolina

I arrived at the retreat on Monday night and was immediately welcomed into the mix of Sheep eating, drinking, reuniting, meeting for the first time, laughing, etc.

It was probably our most luxurious retreat yet, with absolutely gorgeous beach houses and a professional chef! It was probably our most focused retreat as well - after December's restructuring, our leaders have a clearer idea of our company's mission, so a lot of time was spent making sure everyone is on the same page. As usual, I left feeling physically exhausted (I slept most of the 5 hour flight home, and then slept 11 hours that night.) but professionally rejuvenated. I'm really excited about upcoming projects and processes.

This retreat will probably be known as the Rock Band retreat. On Wednesday night, there was a Rock Band tournament using the Nintendo Rock Band video game, where teams of four must successfully sing, drum and play guitar and bass in order to score points for a song. Teams were announced on Monday, so Sheep were practicing all week long. My bedroom happened to be right above the Rock Band living room, so every night I was lulled to sleep with "My Sharona." Thank goodness Allison bought earplugs for us. The tournament itself was fantastic - so many Sheep showed a different side of themselves. Sibley's insane dancing, Paul's incredible McCartney impersonation, Tristan's slicked hair... I wouldn't be surprised if we see Rock Band at future retreats.

(Thanks to Dan and Sam for the photos.)

Monday, January 07, 2008

New Years in Colorado!

On New Year's Day, Scott and I drove down to Minneapolis. We spent the afternoon with Alissa - a wonderful and long overdue visit. We flew to Denver in the evening, rented a car and drove west to Silverthorne where we were greeted by Rob and Nate and a pull-out couch with our name on it.

I had to work on Wednesday and Friday, but got to go skiing on Thursday and Saturday - my first time in 10 years. (It had been 15 years for Scott.) All in all, it went pretty well! The low point was on Saturday when I gamely decided to follow Scott and Nate down a black diamond - it started off with some not-so-bad moguls and rapidly turned into steep and scary moguls. It took me a long time (with many falls and a few tears) to get down. But Scott and Nate were very supportive and patient - couldn't have asked for better pals on the slopes.

We spent Sunday in Boulder. Dan and Jess came to visit (Dan, Nate and Scott all went to high school together), and we spent the afternoon at the climbing gym. We were all a little worn out but had a great time. I drove Scott to the airport and sent him home with our two enormous suitcases filled with cold-weather gear and Christmas presents. I flew to South Carolina on Monday morning with a laptop and a nice little duffel filled with warm-weather clothes.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Christmas in Minnesota!

Minnesota exceeded even my high expectations. We got a ton of snow, on the day we arrived and throughout the week, and the temperatures stayed right around 20°F, so we had a great time being outside and playing in the snow - frisbee, sliding, hikes along Tischer Creek, walks on the Lakewalk.

A few sad things:
(1) Not having Margaret home. She's spending the year in Turkey, and a short trip home wasn't worth it. It was the first year that one of the three of us missed Christmas. We missed her.
(2) My cat died. We returned home from Christmas dinner in the Twin Cities to find her curled up, dead, a few months shy of her 20th birthday. I got her when I was 6 and slept with her in my bed almost every night until I left for college. I'm glad I got to see her again before she died, and I'm glad she died peacefully. Still, it's sad she's gone.

A few fun things:
(1) All the snow. Even shoveling it was fun.
(2) Scott and I went climbing with Fred and our neighbor Jane. Cool to climb new walls, to cheer Fred on and to hear him encouraging me when I went up.
(3) A few more of my relatives got to meet Scott!
(4) Getting dressed up for the annual Red Flannels dinner dance and the New Year's Eve symphony.
(5) LOTS of good food. Venison, salmon, Christmas cookies, breakfast at Hell's Kitchen, akvavit, and coffee anytime you want it.
(6) Spending an afternoon with Alissa! Brunch, fine art, and lots of catching up.
(7) Snow!