Monday, April 30, 2012

Still life with dog

I have all kinds of ideas for posts about what I learned during M3 year, and the craziness that M4 year holds, but right now I’m on VACATION!!! I’ll be working on all of those posts in good time, but for now, I share with you my latest work of art. I call it “Still Life with Dog.”

Saturday, April 21, 2012

One more week

Also posted on Dose of Reality:

I have one remaining week of M3 year. It's hard to believe, and I have enough studying to do that now is not really the best time to reflect on lessons learned or experiences gained. Suffice it to say for now that I'm looking forward to being done, and when I take brief study breaks, I imagine what my two weeks of summer vacation are going to look like before M4 year is off and running. It's an awful lot like this:

Walter enjoying the newly remodeled Huron River canoe route just past Argo Canoe Livery.
Things I am planning to do starting 4/28:
  • Ride my bike: I've got to get in shape for that ride coming up in July!
  • Walk the dog: He deserves it after a year of craziness. 
  • Reading for fun: The list of books I need to read at this point is endless, but I might as well try!
  • Things that are as yet unscheduled, because I will not need to be scheduled within an inch of my life...

Monday, April 16, 2012

Hitsville USA

I don’t know how I had never visited the Motown Museum before. It’s been around since just before I was born, nestled on Grand Blvd in the heart of Detroit, a monument to the incredible music that flowed from our lovely city.

Ruti and I went and checked it out (along with a million other people who bought the Groupon) a few weeks ago, and found it to be wonderful.

The two houses that form the museum include Motown Studio A, the original offices of the company, and the apartment of the Gordy family who owned the business and lived upstairs. The tour guides sing and dance, and it is totally worth the wait. (You have to stand in line a bit because a tour is the only way to see this compact but amazing little gem.)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

And the winner is…

Thank you to everyone who took the time to offer me your opinion about which bike ride I should do for my century ride this summer. To refresh, the options were all 100 mile rides in Michigan, on in Ann Arbor, one outside Grand Rapids, and one outside Kalamazoo. Here are the results:

All of you were on board with riding somewhere other than Ann Arbor. Rationale for this included statements like “go see something new” and “you know [Ann Arbor] all too well.” The one vote for the Kalamazoo ride was based on one lovely friend’s happy experience on the west side of the state and her love of the scenery there. The rest of you were wooed by the covered bridges. You made comments like “Bridges! I mean, seriously” and “the scenery will be the best on this one” and overall emphasized the loveliness of the bridges and of that part of the state. One person suggested that covered bridges were “so Iowa,” but did not leave a name for me to follow-up about this assertion. And then there was my mom. She left a treatise on the various tourist attractions around Grand Rapids, including a knit shop she likes nearby and an exhibit at the Gerald R. Ford Museum she thought was worth checking out. I love you mom.

Aside from these useful comments, I also learned that it is a good idea to use a free text box that asks “who are you?” because while some of you put your names, others of you use descriptive phrases that include childhood nicknames, obscure and anonymous comments about how well I knew/know you, or read entertainingly to the point (i.e., “your mother”) and a full quarter of you used smiley faces in your identification response. This made me happy. Thanks!

I make no commitment to the Covered Bridges ride just yet, but I’m leaning strongly in that direction.

Saturday, April 07, 2012

A taste of summer in the springtime

I get a lot of frozen fruit with my wintertime CSA, and I’d struggled a bit to know what to do with it all. I mean, pies and crumbles are delicious, but I was pretty sure that it wouldn’t be good for me to eat pounds of fruit in the form of baked desserts. I also enjoy smoothies, but they are hardly a winter beverage. I’ve baked a lot of fruit into muffins, which works well, but still doesn’t use quite the volume I’d had in my freezer. Enter ice cream. Sort of.
This is my most recent batch, featuring peaches, raspberries, and a few mint leaves. I didn’t know that color of fuchsia could occur in nature, but it can. Also, did I mention that this stuff is good for you? It’s basically a really, really thick smoothie. It won’t keep in the freezer (or rather, it will keep beautifully as a giant block of ice), but who would want to do anything but eat it all?
Not quite ice cream
1c frozen fruit
1/4 c soy milk (approximately)
sugar/sweetener to taste

If you are using large frozen fruits, like peaches or pears, let them thaw a little bit in the food processor. Once you can actually puree them, you are good to go. Add a little bit of soy milk and any small fruits you are adding (berries, in particular) and process until the consistency is nice. Add a little sugar/honey/sweetener if you’re using rhubarb (which is a little stringy, but pretty good) or some other not-so-sweet fruit.


Wednesday, April 04, 2012

This tree smells like poop, and other signs of spring


There is a particular type of tree that, while lovely, smells a little bit like poop when it blooms. Perhaps there was a sale on these poop trees (bonus points if you can tell me what kind of tree it is…), because my apartment is surrounded with them. My neighbor said she thought that someone had forgotten to pick up after their dog until she realized that it was the tree. Unfortunate aroma aside, the trees are blooming and that means it’s springtime. Other signs:

1. Random public art. No one wants to make random art when it is cold outside. There is some artful string I noticed out behind my apartment (pictured below) and there are new decorations on the fence around the abandoned lot on my way to school. Perhaps the creative juices freeze and thaw too?
2. Walter still thinks it’s too cold for a long walk in the morning.
3. I have awesome new bar ends on my bike!!! Alicia helped me pick them out and I rode with them for the first time today. It was amazing, and as Ash predicted, I do not know why I didn’t do this sooner. They have cushy nerve padding and give me more hand positions that I had before. I’m looking forward to riding long distances with them – I’ll be sharing the results of the ride poll in the next week or so, so vote now if you wish!