Sunday, October 10, 2010

July to the Present

Here are some quick updates that span July to October:

For our anniversary, we went to "Guys and Dolls" at an historical fort. We had a little time to kill beforehand, so we toured.

Luke and I ran a 5K.

Our cat still thinks she's a kangaroo.

We went to Rapid City over Labor Day for my brother's birthday. We went to Boot Hill cemetary in Deadwood and hiked nearly straight up to get to Seth Bullock's grave.

I painted the rest of the kitchen/entryway green.

Bryan's making beef stew today!

And lastly, the volleyball team is 14-4 (exciting!) and the main reason why I haven't been blogging!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Just Like a Movie II

I got to fly with my Dad today! The title is in reference to my previous post about my Dad's airplane:

After assessing the wind situation, Dad deemed it safe to fly and off we went.

Before: on the ground looking out the little porthole. This supplied the AC during the flight.

After: 85 mph and 400 feet in the air.

I got brave and put my finger OUTSIDE the airplane.



Dad's called flying his personal IMAX.

Checking cows

Lauren: Dad, you know what I call this one?
Dad: Hm?
Lauren: "The Prairie is No Place for a Woman."
Dad: Hm. I call it "Comforting."



Back down the runway

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


The storybook quest (see below) to find more baked goods on which to place jam continues.

Great Grandma Tastad's butterhorns!

In making these, I learned:
1. How to scald milk
2. What "proofing" means
3. How to proof in the oven

Much like blanching rhubarb, I think that both 1 & 3 are not necessary and I'm waiting for my Mom to inform me of this. Regardless, I felt like a pioneer woman when I did both.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie

This week has reminded me of the book If You Give a Mouse a Cookie. Except, in my case, it's, If You Give a Lauren Some Rhubarb.

It all started when Bryan suggested a geocaching adventure on Sunday. Here'a a memorable shot from our day.

(we didn't ever find this was tucked away down this prairie trail near this museum and Bryan kept saying, "This is weird. I feel uncomfortable." So we gave up and went to DQ instead.)

One of the caches was located on a local farm - and not just any farm. It's the largest herb farm in ND.
We happened to be there on rhubarb harvest day so we decided to get some. I had no idea how much to get and was told there's about 5 cups in a pie. So I decided to get enough for two pies.

After cutting, blanching, and freezing, I ended up with 14 cups.

Note: after performing this process, I was told by my mom that you don't really have to blanch rhubarb. Noted.

So, I couldn't just let that rhubarb sit in the freezer for 8-10 months. I had to do something with it.

That lead me to buy all the supplies for cannning because I was going to make rhubarb jam.

I forgot to buy one thing though: a BIG pot for the jam to boil in for 15 minutes.

So I watched helplessly as purple goop splattered....

...all over.

My attempts to stir the jam only made it splatter more, burn my hand, and cause the large purple goo splots on the stove.

Fast forward about 30 minutes from this stage and I have a legion of nice jam jars on the counter. Very satisfying.

But, that wasn't quite enough for me. What's homemade jam without homemade buns? So I made my first ever batch of buns.

And I don't remember how the Mouse was satisfied in the book, but for me, I was satisfied when I got to eat a warm bun with jam on it. I was also satisfied to eat it sitting down because my legs were sore from standing in the kitchen all day.


Shelby and I went to Arizona to visit...


...and Bumpa over Memorial Day weekend.

It was really fun and they had a lot of great places picked out for us to visit.

This was a Mexican restaurant - Tia Rosa.

We had lunch at an olive orchard. I liked their version of bruschetta: bread topped with marscapone cheese and nutella.

Bumpa has a great mode of transportation.

We had a little mishap when Granny was nearly run over as she was trying to get in the back. No one was injured; we just had a good laugh.

Our traditional Memorial Day weekend cookout: corn on the cob, hot dogs, and potato salad.

I knew going in that we were heading to the desert, and, never having been to AZ before, I didn't really know what to expect as far as the heat...I never appreciated air conditioning more. Here we are enjoying some AC in their Arizona Room.

We came home tan, well fed, and happy.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Flowers and Mutant Grass

School's out so I finally got some flowers planted!

I also did some amateur landscaping and installed this brick edging. There's lots of how to videos online...but in the end I think I made up my own method just because I wanted to get it done quickly.

And for his part, Bryan fertilized the lawn....with a LOT of fertilizer. It has created mutant, turquoise grass that needs to be mowed every 3.5 days. Notice the line where the fertilizer stops. It looks really lush, though, so I'm not complaining.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Geocaching & Track Meet

I went to a Bryan's brother Luke's track meet in Jamestown this weekend saw him compete in a few relays and throw the javelin. He made the javelin look really easy...and he got a PR of 113 feet!

When the track meet was over, Karen and I went on an adventure! I'd been wanting to try geocaching for awhile, but we didn't own a GPS, so the hobby was out of reach. We recently bought a Garmin, so I decided to try to GPS-treasure-hunt. I went online to, became a member, and searched all of the hidden geocaches in the area. Turns out there are a few in Jamestown, so I picked two for us to search after the track meet. The coordinates for the first geocache led us to the campus of Jamestown College, which was really close to the track meet. The little box was cleverly hidden on a light post. We signed the log and returned it to its spot.

The second geocache was a little more interesting. The coordinates took us to a little park with a gazebo. Then the GPS died... As were were searching around the gazebo, a man pulled up and we thought, " he geocaching, too?"

He wasn't.... It was National Train Day and he was setting up for a program in honor of the day. He showed us the public service announcement and the order of events and lamented that it wasn't well advertised so we should stay around. Another man pulled up and blew his train whistle. That seemed like our signal to get out of there. So we gave up on that geocache, but the hunt made it worth it!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010


I had my first foray into pottery this evening. There's an artist-in-residence at school this week teaching the high schoolers all about ceramics. In the evenings he offers classes to adults. Last night we made finger bowls (sculpting the clay into a bowl with your....fingers....hence the name). Tonight we graduated up to the wheel!

You literally throw a round ball of clay onto the wheel, but I was too embarassed to ask if that's where the phrase, "throwing a pot" comes from. The artist that taught us, his name is Memo, was really helpful. I was surprised with how difficult it was and how easy it was to make a mistake. In fact, the pot is really more Memo's than mine because he stepped in to fix all of my mistakes.

The pot hasn't been fired yet so I don't really know what the final product will look like, but I'm really happy with how it looks now. I just have to decide what to store in my new bowl....change? pins?....SALSA?....I'm leaning toward salsa. I'll have to ask Memo if it's safe to eat out of.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

A little slow around here...

Things have been slow in the condo.

Exhibit A - The cat commandeering the largest chair we have for her 8th nap of the day. I didn't kick her off because I took a nap today, too, and would have felt like a hypocrite interuppting hers..even though she's ahead by 7.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Speech & Cookies

Speech season is in full swing and last weekend our team got second! It was really gratifying. Now I know why people coach things for years and years. It's a LOT more fun to "win" through others. So, being the proud coach I am, I took a picture of the plaque. Being the unprepared coach that I am, I didn't have my camera at the meet to take pictures of the students WITH the plaque.

As a member of the Cando Arts Council (which means I attend meetings once a month at which I say nothing and sometimes volunteer to either hang up posters for cultural events or offer my students extra credit to attend aforementioned cultural events) I was called upon to do something challenging: make a dessert that someone would pay for. It's going to be on a dessert buffet tonight at the art gallery. Extra challenge: make it valentines-y so that it can have a cute name. So, after much online searching and consulting with Bryan, I settled on the Game of Love cookies.

I'm thinking these are sugar cookies...I just followed the recipe so I'm not sure. The checkerboard pattern was created by stacking long squared off logs of white dough and chocolate dough.

Bryan's comment about the whole process: "You're very brave."

He didn't know that my back up plan was a tube of sugar cookie dough in the fridge...