Our Serenity

No house for Ben and I, for now.  Instead we’ve obtained this beautiful creature, thanks to a Craigslist ad heads up from a friend and a wonderful, similarly heighted couple from Wisconsin.


Love can certainly come in bicycle form.  Adventures to the Garlic Festival, a music festival, and possibly along the Mississippi River Trail lie ahead to be sure.

What joyously spontaneous decision have you made as of late?

Beautiful things: February edition

February is almost over.  A month that in past years distressed me to no end (see  Valentines Day and the agonizingly long winter) and this year February redeemed through the magic of Vitamin D and varying weather that, dare I say, was almost pleasant.  Between continuing to create, the slow return of spring, and a singularly adorable cat, it’s been quite a lovely month.

The return of the chives!  I had though them dead for certain, but lo and behold the green stalks have begun to emerge through the remnants of last year to make delicious seasoning for my morning eggs of the future.
Recent record purchases and the ensuing well soundtracked project time has given my days off a new feel.  Now I can spend my time quilting, blogging and reading to the tune of Brothers and Sisters by the Allman Brothers!  Or the epic that is 2112!  ::commence geek out on orchestral and Southern classic rock::  Even though vinyl isn’t sustainable persay, I figure used vinyl has a smaller footprint than new cds, hence the inclusion of a record player on the wedding gift registry 🙂

Handquilting!  I’m taking a class at Glad Creations Quilts and feel like I’ve discovered the perfect project in many ways.  It’s useful, it’s portable, and it starts loads of great conversations with strangers.  The project for the class is a sampler quilt wall hanging, but I hope to make a full bed sized quilt using one particular block pattern and all recycled/reused fabric in the not too distant future.

This little cat has squirmed her way deep into my heart.  Su-Su (or Sioux-Sioux as I spell it in my head) looks like a kitten, occasionally acts like a dog, and is maybe the best example I’ve ever encountered of a cat that could melt that heart of any supposed cat hater.  There’s a great quote on a mural on the animal hospital I pass by frequently that says something along the lines of “Until one has loved an animal, one’s heart is not fully opened”.  Su-Su is living proof of that.
Transition Towns and sustainability/community building work have been particularly inspiring this month.  I plan to write a more comprehensive post on this in the future, but for now suffice to say that parties and potlucks and canning and backyard chickens make any impending apocalypse due to climate change seem that much less terrifying and that much more an opportunity to truly know your neighbors, live lightly on the earth, and build authentic community.

What have you been loving this month?

Beautiful things: January edition.

Inspired by my dear friend Caleb’s recent post on haiku writing and reflecting, I’m going to rein in my verbosity and explore by haiku the beautiful things of the moment.

Birds
Wintry companions
delicate yet tenacious
burst of hope through song.

Girls to the Front
LOUDpunk voicesfound-
my kind of feminism.
Incendiary.

Sweeping
A meditative
cleaning; misguided think it’s
inefficiency.

Contemplating buying a house with Benjamin in the next couple of years
Commitment indeed
yet building community
excites my deep soul.

~Lauren

Beautiful things: November.

BIRDS!  The chickadees have been out in full force, joyously announcing the final days of autumn, and I was lucky enough to discover a pileated woodpecker on an oak snag in the golf course on Larpenteur yesterday.
You can’t really tell from the picture, but the pileated woodpecker is over a foot long, in comparison to the 6-9 inch woodpeckers of other sorts.  Grand indeed.

The new drivetrain on my Bridgestone bicycle.  It is so much more efficient and the gear sizing suits my travels.  With a single cog in the front (and, as a result, no front derailleur to get shifted out of wack and generally be a pain) and seven in the back, I can make good time in the flat bike lane of Minnehaha, and summit the Pelham hill on the way to work with relative ease.

Sour cream raisin pie.  I have promised to make it for Thanksgiving, though I am still intimidated by the prospect of whipping up good meringue.  Stories will certainly ensue, post haste.

Old factories and warehouses that are now artist spaces.  I went to a fantastic Halloween party at the Foci Minnesota Center for Glass Arts, which is housed in an old cookie factory.  They blew glass in the dark, and for $15 one received a handmade glass and unlimited refills of beer.

NaNoWriMo.  I haven’t started writing yet, and it might be a late night in order for me to get my 1,667 words out for the day.  But I’ve committed, and have gone a step further and set up a Tuesday afternoon write-in at the Fireroast Mountain Cafe.  Come join me in writing from 12-3 every Tuesday in November, or just stop by and say hello!

Be well, and enjoy the final vestiges of autumn!

~Lauren

Simple food beauty.

Minimalism isn’t always my favorite.  Particularly in room decor, minimalism often feels sterile.  However, these photographs from a new cooking book released by IKEA are GORGEOUS.

By highlighting the individual components of each recipe, Homemade is Best spotlights how simple food can be.  Composed of identifiable, pronounce-able ingredients, the tastiest and most heartfelt food really is homemade.  Funny how well this unites with this year’s Nobel Conference at Gustavus…

~Lauren

Beautiful things, September edition.

In general, it is quite the beautiful life these days.  But more specifically…

*The arrival of autumn, the sights and smells and chill.  Norway and Red Maples.  And the upcoming Zombie Pub Crawl of course, as well as the plethora of other autumn activities and events that I hold so dear.

*Realizing that Mary Poppins, arguably one of my favorite Disney movies of childhood (did anyone else act out the individually flavored medicine scene– “cherry cordial, delicious!; strawberry, mmmm!”– repeatedly?), is both class conscious and blatantly women’s liberation.  I discovered this after my housemates unearthed a record of all the MP tunes in the garage.  This may explain my propensity for social justice.

*The Midtown Farmers Market, particularly the apple vendor.  Sadly I missed it this Tuesday due to participating in the National Bike Counts, but will absolutely be there on Saturday.  On the grocery list: jam, apples, whatever veggies look delicious and are in season.  Can we get a ‘what what’ for six tomatoes for $3?

*Having so many wonderful blogs to follow and so little time.  The Rejectionist, Zen Habits, Brain Pickings, and New Dress a Day are present favorites, highlighting literature with humor and snarkiness, methods for centering one’s life, quirky projects/ideas/creativity, and how to make awesome clothing from really cheap stuff respectively.  Check them out and spread the love!  And if you have your own favorites, do share.

Namaste,
Lauren