lydamorehouse: (Default)
 ...than using up my leftover homemade French bread for bread pudding.  I don't know why, I probably should feel more like someone who lived through the Depression (Captain America?).  

For those following along, it's a bazillion degrees below zero here. Mason's school is cancelled AGAIN for tomorrow. As he pointed out, now the only day he will have school is Friday and then it will be the weekend again. He says, "It's going to feel less like going back to school and more like a break in my winter vacation."

It's been lovely to have both him and Shawn home. We've done a whole lot of nothing all day; none of us is out of our PJs and it's 5:37 pm.  I did some stamping, but mostly I've been cooking and eating... and napping. I really have to say that this cold weather is working for me. I'm also really glad that several local businesses have taken it upon themselves to close. My coffee shop closed. The postal workers didn't try to deliver. People who could, should stay home, inside, and warm.

In less lovely news, my Loft class was officially cancelled.  I was really looking forward to it, but alas. I only got 4 people interested. (Worse, we could have used the money. Ah well.)

On the other hand, Broad Universe is trying out a mentoring program, and I signed up to be a mentor. I've got myself a mentee, and we've started working together. By chance, she's written a fantasy novel involving the sidhe and Irish politics. Considering that I wrote something similar (my first novel, which got weirdly published via a pay-as-you-go outfit: https://tapas.io/series/sidhepromised), I'm VERY excited by her novel.  So, that's a yay. 

I am reading something, but I'm not enjoying it. I decided to try to pick up the books that are up for the Philip K. Dick award and I started Claire North's newest book 84K. I'm... not much liking the fact that she leaves sentences trailing off, unfinished, and there are a LOT of fragments and fragmented scenes. I'm not QUITE ready to give up on it, but, man. It's tough going.

What are you reading this fine Wednesday?

lydamorehouse: (Default)
Though not by too many days!

Hello, hello! How's things? I don't have a huge amount to report. Friday was the day of forgetting things. I was just leaving the coffee shop when I got a text from Mason. He forgot his iPad at home. So, I headed home, picked it up, and then went back to school. As I was half way to school, he wanted to know if I could also grab earbuds? But I didn't get that in time to double back. I left his iPad with the school but then remembered we might have earbuds in the car, so I quick texted Mason to come back and grab them. He'd already headed back, but was able to turn around. That was all before 8 am!

Then, when I was getting ready to go to the coffee shop, I got a call from some guy trying to sell us on a paint job that made me unreasonably angry for various reasons, and I was so wound up about that that I brought my cord to the coffee shop, but forgot my laptop. I think that worked out okay, however, because it meant I was less distracted during the conversation we had about a story that [personal profile] naomikritzer was writing, which opened up a lot of interesting questions to me (none of which she was actually writing about, but hey) like: what's it like to know you're related to a criminal or a murderer (which I am) and any number of similarly fascinating philosophical questions.

What else... oh! Shawn finally watched "Infinity War" and we all saw "Solo." We ended up doing two movies because "Infinity War" was such a downer AND I had earlier tilted during a game of "Trivial Pursuit" that spilled over into another little snip. "Solo" was just what the doctor order. Y'all think it sucked, but I thought it was fine--entertaining, even.

Saturday Mason worked and I had my first session of a new Star Trek RPG game with a bunch of friends: [personal profile] jiawen [personal profile] bcholmes John T., and Sabs. MUCH FUN. As I've said earlier, I haven't role-played for some time and I had so much fun I ended up writing fan fic (in the form of my character's personal log) about our adventure.

Sunday we spent the day hanging out. Mason had an in-person D&D game, Shawn made a disastrous pie (it was a cannoli pie). Shawn notes that the "Idea" of the pie was good, but the flavor didn't suit us (me less than her). I did a lot of stamping, which I enjoyed.

This morning I woke and chatted a bit more with [personal profile] jiawen about life and the super, blood, wolf moon eclipse. Most of which I missed, because I CAN NOT with the late nights now that I'm old. (Shut up. 11 pm is late for me, okay??) Anyway, chatting with [personal profile] jiawen always fun, we can talk about anything for hours.

Then I did a lot of cooking. I tried to make cheesy puffy ball bread things, but they collapse. They were tasty though!

my sad cheese things

Very much like eggy popovers, which was fine since we ate them with lunch (spaghetti) with a hot marinara sauce dip.

Then we decided to have a big chicken roast, so I started roasting the bird around 1:30 pm, made mashed potatoes, brussel sprouts, corn, cheddar bay biscuits (from a box), and chicken gravy. I managed the timing pretty darn perfectly, if I do say so myself, and the meal was a huge success.

So. LOTS of food today.

I managed to mostly keep up with my spells over the intervening days. I will give you a series of quick updates under the cut. I will note that I did spend the day after the DOWN THE DRAIN money spell, undoing it, and decided that was enough of a spell-of-the-day for that day, since it was supposed to be a day to get rid of something.

Spell-a-Day Project (Jan 18 & 19) )


Spell-a-Day (Jan 20) )
lydamorehouse: (writer??)
 gingerbread people "trapped" inside glass jar

I see that the last thing I reported was that gingerbread cookies were on the agenda for Thursday night. I am happy to report, they were made. We have successfully captured the gingerbread people (including the rare cyclops ninja)  and trapped them inside this cookie jar.  Resistance is futile.

As you can see, we had too much fun decorating these. Initially, I thought I'd stay out of the kitchen and let Maria and Shawn catch up. Maria is a former colleague of Shawn's. She used to work at the Minnesota History Center, but has now moved on to records management, maybe? (I wasn't entirely paying attention early on), at Thrivenet, formerly Lutheran Brotherhood.  BUT, when it was clear that what they wanted to do was drink wine and chat, I let them settle into that and did the rolling and baking. At this point, it's second nature to me, so I could join in the chat while getting things together.

When the cookies were cooled, everyone did the decorating.  

I had bought the "googly' eyes from Micheal's along with a bunch of other odd edible bits, including lips and mustaches--they all came in a packet for a couple of bucks. I also bought a few frosting tubes because I was there and decided that I was feeling too lazy to do the frosting from scratch on top of everything else.

They're quite whimsical, so I'm very happy with them.

Tasty, too.

I got together with the usual crew on Friday afternoon, except for Eleanor, who was off getting her hair cut. [personal profile] pegkerr brought along her holiday cards to label and stamp. It's interesting to note that Peg's family has always done a Christmas family newsletter. She and I had both come across recent articles talking about how fewer people are writing these sorts of things any more and how this is a concern for historians, as sources of 'mundane' life.  The article I had read was from the Smithsonian and was called "The History of Our Love-Hate Relationship with the Christmas Letter".

I happen to enjoy a well written holiday letter, myself. But, given that I still enjoy the long form of blogging, that's probably not a surprise.

But, otherwise, we were all fairly low-key on Friday. [personal profile] naomikritzer is still, in many ways, recovering from her trip to Taiwan and China. And, I think we were all suffering from a lack of sunshine (though it's been more sunny here starting on Friday. Previously it had been gray with gray sauce.). These dark nights have been tough on me. I'm already an early to bed sort and when it's dark at 5:30 pm, I think, "Okay, great! Time for bed!" Except, yeah, it's like 5:30 pm.

Saturday was a busy day for our family. I took Mason into his job at the Science Museum at 10 am. I was able to say "hello"/"goodbye" on a hangout with [personal profile] jiawen , but then had to take off to go to Mason's work's "open house" that they had scheduled from noon to 2 pm. The Science Museum is not normally more than 10 minutes from our house, but we have gotten in the habit (thank goodness) of leaving a bit earlier because it always seems that there is something happening at the Xcel Center. Saturday seemed to be no exception. There was a Minnesota Wild (our hockey team) game happening and we ended up having to pay $20 for parking. (Outrage! Except, that Shawn pointed out that we could think of it as a donation to the Science Museum, which we happily support in all of its endeavors.)  

The open house was cool.

The program that Mason works for is called KAYSC, which stands for the Kitty Andersen Youth Science Center. They're a nifty little organization that focuses on bringing STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) skills to high schoolers in underserved communities. Mason goes to one of their target high schools, which is how he ended up able to apply. Washington Technical has a predominantly Asian-American student body, with Caucasian students making up only 6%. At KAYSC, Mason gets an opportunity to get paid to learn STEM and project management skills, with a focus on using the sciences to served local communities--something the KAYSC people call "STEM Justice," which is a term I adore. Honest to gods, I would have killed to have a job like this when I was Mason's age. Heck, I'd love one like this _now_.  

At the open house, we got to see some of the areas of interest that the students had identified for themselves. They had set-up various presentations (some static/interactive displays, a couple of video programs, and one tour). I wanted to do the tour, because they were going to talk about gentrification, but we also didn't want to miss the big team reveal at the end of the open house, where Mason would find out which project leader he would be assigned to. They have four "tracks." There's an environmental sciences and sustainability one, which is where Mason ended up, a Engineering and Design, a Biological Sciences and Public Health, and a Media and Technology one. There were some really well put together displays, including Mason's which focused on stereotypes in storytelling.  I was also really impressed with a team that had micro greens growing and talked about ways in which low-income houses could cheaply incorporate more nutrient rich foods.  Another group has a display about the problems GLBTQIA+ students have in high school.  

So you can see the sorts of things they focus on.
 
Mason seems very happy with the assignment. Engineering and Design had been his first pick, but Environmental Science was his second. Given that he has an engineering track at his high school, I imagine they factored that into their decision where he might learn the most.  Because, getting serious, this job is 100% about getting paid to learn, which is why it is SO awesome and probably the best first job any high schooler could hope for. 

But, the event was high energy and full of people moving around and OMG, even this extrovert needed a NAP after that. 

Mason, meanwhile, had us stop at home to pick up some gaming stuff and headed over to his friend's house to play D&D with his robotics crew. He was there, with them, until almost 10 pm. 

Shawn and I came back and collapsed into a heap, but we got back up to make homemade pizza for dinner. Shawn had a work holiday party at a house on Summit Avenue (fancy!) which I bowed out of for a bunch of reasons, but not the least of which was that I am staring up some RPGing of my own. 

I had such a lovely time doing a Star Trek: Discovery one-shot with [personal profile] jiawen and [personal profile] bcholmes at CONfabulous this last year, that we decided to try to make it a regular thing. We spent Saturday night rolling up our characters, and I'm already very happy to watch everyone's character histories comes through my e-mail feed. We're doing this online, as our players are scattered across the globe. I'm looking forward to the campaign beginning in earnest. It's been some time since I had a regular gaming group... probably college, which is going on 30 years ago. Though to be fair, I did keep up with some folks a few years after that, so let's call it 25 years ago?

Even so, that's a long time ago.

I had gone cold-turkey from gaming about the time I started concentrating on novel writing as a career because, for me, I felt it used a lot of the same mental muscles. I felt I could EITHER use those muscles to write _or_ RPG. I'm not sure I was right about that, however--I know a lot of pro writers who could do both.

But, that was the choice I made. 

I'm excited to get back into it, regardless. I also love that in the twenty-five or so intervening years the demographics have flipped. The STRONG majority of us are women (4/5ths). There's only one guy gaming with us. That's amazing. I can't wait to find out what that's like. In the past I was always the only woman or one of a very few... I met my wife gaming, but we drifted together partly _because_ there weren't many women in that campaign... though I think there was at LEAST one other. (To be fair, it was actually love at first sight, since when she asked me to draw her character and said that they should have blonde hair and brown eyes, I told her I thought that was an unusual combination, and she said, 'that's what I am,' and I looked up and literally said, "Oh. You have the most beautiful eyes I have EVER seen." So, you know....)

Anyway. I'm not sure exactly what happened on Sunday, except that Mason and I got into a hormone fueled bickering session that ended with us marathoning several hours of the new Super Smash Bros, Ultimate game on the Switch in order to work it out (which we did. Gaming as therapy is real in the house of hormones, which is what we call our house as Mason is in puberty and Shawn and I are both in various stages of menopause.)

So, that's me. How's by you?
lydamorehouse: (Bazz-B)
 ...I turn to baking.

Shawn really likes to have a LOT of cookies around for the holidays. Not only are they nice to trot out for our usual Thanksgiving guests, but also they are a Sustaining sort of Smackerel to get us Minnesotans through the dark months.  This weekend, we made: Snickerdoodles and Pizelles (Saturday). Nutmeg teacakes, the dough for date cookies, and "failed" pecan tassies were made on Sunday. 

Kowalski's had a whole cut-up chicken on sale, so I made a big roast with mash potatoes, gravy, and green beans. I also made my first French bread loaf of the season.

two very plump French loaves in a curved metal pan

The recipe I use technically makes four, more traditionally skinny baguettes, but I like my bread to be like me: fat and stout.  So, I have always only made two loaves from the recipe, that's why they are not especially baguette-looking. 

They sure are tasty, though.

And, ah... but the eating was gooooooood 
lydamorehouse: (ichigo freaked)
We always say we're going to clean the house on Sunday, but inevitably we end up cooking a ton of food. Shawn woke up this morning and wanted kuchen (edits because Shawn read this and said, no, change the link to reflect North Dakota German's from Russia kuchen.)  Mason wanted to make an apple pie for his girlfriend, so we all made that together.

An apple pie, freshly baked, with cut-outs of stars in the crust

Then, just as I finished the dishes from all of those, Mason announced he wanted Scotch Eggs for breakfast... so we went to the meat market and I made those as well.

Tonight, we're going to grill out.

I kept saying to my family, "Good thing I'm trying to cut down on my cholesterol! Hand me another Scotch Egg!"  Yep. Ah, well. My only comfort is that I spent a large part of the afternoon raking up a [bleep]-ton of leaves that somehow we always have in our yard in the spring (and literally no one else ever seems to. Maybe we're the yard that everyone's blown leaves end up in.)

Yesterday, when we ALSO had plans to clean the house, we ended up estate and rummage sale-ing.  That was a lot of fun.  Shawn and I used to spend a lot of weekend mornings estate sale-ing.  We spent all of $26.00 and came home with some plates, a few odds and ends, more fabric for her rugs, and an exercise bike.  :-)

The coolest venue we stopped at was St. Clement's Church.

St. Clements Church in St. Paul

The rummage sale was in the basement, but they had their sanctuary open to the public:

interior church sanctuary

The church building is on the national historic registry. It was really very lovely. An okay sale, though my latest goal at these things is to see if anyone is giving away decent stationary.  It's not really the sort of thing you find very often, so that makes it especially fun to try to hunt for.  I did find a few cards at the church that weren't too religious, so that's a bit of a find.

How was your weekend?
lydamorehouse: (Default)
 Took Mason to robotics this morning.  Apparently, today was "bring your pet to work day" (okay, not OFFICIALLY!) and one of their teacher/coaches brought in her adorable Corgie, which prompted a number of shenanigans.  The point is, Mason had a lot of fun today, and their robot has a name, "Onyx."

I meanwhile, have been cooking and baking up a storm. I decided that what I really needed for lunch was a mess o' beans, so I made a big pot again for me to eat lunch from for the remainder of this week, into next.  Shawn made some orange, date, and pecan bread and a batch of chocolate chip cookies.  I've started a loaf of bread, half of which I'm thinking of making into onion rolls.  I may post pictures of some of this extravaganza later.

I'm trying a new white bread recipe from The Gasperilla Cookbook, which Shawn found at the library friends sale.

In about an hour or so, I'll be taking Mason over for movie night at his girlfriends'.  Mostly, at her house they watch "Great British Bake-Off," and here they watch an anime called "Haikyu!" and various other movies.  Shawn and I might have a movie night of our own and watch "Dark Tower," because we still get the occasional disc from Netflix and that's what we have at home right now. But, if we're not in the mood for that, we'll see what's streaming.

Otherwise, it's been a fairly quiet Saturday. How about you?
lydamorehouse: (ichigo irritated)
 I'm not even sure what I'm planning to make as the meal that goes WITH the oatmeal bread I just started, but, I don't know if you've noticed, fellow Minnesotans, but it's [bleep]ing COLD out there.  The cold weather always makes me want to hunker down and bake bread.  Oatmeal bread seemed especially hearty. I've made this recipe before. It isn't overly sweet. Maybe I can just make tunafish sandwiches or some such.

Mason is home sick today.  I think that, while he does have cold/flu symptoms, he's run himself down.  His schedule has, as has been reported, is pretty grueling. I'm not surprised he feels like crap. He needs way more sleep than he's been getting.  

The big thing on my list of things to do today is decorate the porch. Of course, today would be the day that the windchills are -2 F / -18.9 C.  The last thing I feel like doing is futzing around on the unheated porch for several hours.  BUT, I do love the lights once they're up, so I'll just have to bite the bullet. 

I finally got FB to work so here's a picture of our tree this year:

traditional looking Christmas tree

We put up a combination of a lot of Solstice ornaments (birds, the Solstice spider, the sun, an orca, several fish, etc.,) and classic blown-glass. Our newest cat, Buttercup, is fairly convinced THOSE BIRDS are for him.  This morning we discovered him "gutting" and gnawing on a pine-cone nested bird ornament.  When we took that one away, he tried to get another bird.  So, I found a sacrificial bird (ironically? A white dove) to give him.  Hmmm, yeah. So. The symbol of peace has been mauled in 2017.  TELL ME THAT'S NOT SYMBOLIC.  Especially since I foolishly offered it to him, knowing what would happen.  :-)

Work was good.  Apparently, I was sent to North Saint Paul's library because Mondays are their school visit days. So, when I arrived to this very tiny suburban library, it was filled to the brim with countless screaming argonauts (as They Might Be Giants might say.)  I spent the first hour catching them up on their shelving, since the staff has to spend a lot of time corralling the youths. But, as soon as the waves of children was over, North Saint Paul settled into its usual quietness. I found a manga for when I finally finish all 21 volumes of Nana.

While I was pulling this new one (it's called I Hear Sunspot, about a hard of hearing college student,) I got to chatting with one of the patrons who was sitting in the YA room (at North Saint Paul the teen room is very isolated, and a lot of people end up using it as a quiet room during the day).  He's moving into the neighborhood and was looking forward to making this little place his new library. Maplewood is just a little out of the way for him, though he liked it a lot, and I asked him if he'd ever been to Roseville.  Turns out? His girlfriend DIED after falling down the stairs there.

What's especially weird about this is that I remember coming in the night, maybe two years ago (?), when everyone at Roseville was really shaken up because a woman had fallen down the stairs.  She had left there alive, but, according to this guy, she developed complications because she was on some medication or other that thinned her blood. Worse, because he was only her boyfriend and not a relative, even though she'd called for him, they apparently wouldn't tell him everything that was going on with her.  (This gave me flashbacks. It never happened to us, but I used to be terrified of being denied access to Shawn before we were legally married--which is why we always had a medical power of attorney in our back pockets.)  But, anyway, it was heartbreaking story.  I felt so bad for him. But, being an awkward Minnesotan, all I ended up doing was saying how sorry I was.

What else can you really do?

Yikes.  

Right. So. On a happier note, I think I will check on my bread and decorate the porch. I should at least try to get the lights strung. 
lydamorehouse: (Bazz-B)
What am I reading these days, anyway? A lot of manga still. This week, I read My Hero Academia / Boku no Hero Academia volume 10, “All For One” / “Ōru Fō Wan,” Blood-C 1 by Kotone Ranmaru, and four and a half volumes of Nana by Ai Yazawa.  I was sort of 'meh' on the first two series, but I'm really enjoying Nana so far, which is good since I think the library has all 21 volumes.  In fact, I was thinking about taking off a little early to go get Mason by way of Roseville Library, so I may just return what I've read and pick up as many as they have in a row.

Nana is about two twenty-something women, both of whom are named Nana. Both are originally from small towns and they meet each other on the train to Tokyo, one wintery night.  Nana Komatsu is frivolous and the sort of giggly girl who pretty much falls for every man she meets.  Nana Osaki is a hardcore punk rocker, hoping to make it big. It's slice-of-life with a heavy dose of romance/sexy times. I have this huge weakness--particularly lately--for slice-of-life stories where there's just not a WHOLE lot at stake, beyond people just trying to live good lives.  So, I'm not entirely surprised that Nana is the one working for me out of the three series I read this week.

Otherwise, I continue holiday baking. Today, I made spritz:

a colorful array of spritz cookies

Here's a close up of ones I was surprised to discover have six-pointed star.  Perhaps for Hanukkah?
Hanukkah spritz?  Was surprised to discover a six-pointed star in the center of these.

The funniest part of all this baking is that we're really not expecting anyone for the holidays.  Shawn just really, really likes having a lot of cookies around.

Who doesn't?

How about you? Reading anything good this week?

lydamorehouse: (Renji 3/4ths profile)
I haven't checked in since the anniversary, so here's a full report of my weekend, starting with Friday, the big anniversary.  

Mason, as I think I've mentioned, is in debate this year.  The debate team has the craziest tournament schedule. This last Friday? They were in Eagan until sometime after ten. I didn't get him home until almost 11:30 pm, and then they get up to be on the bus again, Saturday morning, at 6:45 am.  

The only upside of that, for Shawn and I, was that we had the whole night together.  Va-va-voom, wink-wink-nudge-nudge. That's right. We got take-away from Vina (a Vietnamese/Thai restaurant in Highland Park) and binge watched "Longmire." I don't expect my nerd friends to be terribly familiar with "Longmire" as it's the type of show that I tend to associate with the "wine mom" set.  It's a Western/Police procedural that takes place in a make-believe county in northern Wyoming. The hero is a manly-man of few words and (supposedly) sterling character. There's nothing about what I've just describe to you that would normally make me say "OOoooHHHH! SIGN. ME. UP."  Except, the story telling is very compelling, and I'm fascinated by the intersections between the county Sherif's Department and the various tribal police (Cherokee and Crow nations). I have no idea how accurate it is or what the American Indian community thinks of the show, except I do know that the actors are all Native. 

It was, however, a grand way to spend the evening with Shawn.

Saturday, while Mason was away debating again, we made a lot of Solstice cookies.

a table full of Christmas/Solstice cookies.

I love making these because I love mixing the color into the frosting.  (I'm still very much a little kid in this regard.) Not shown are the date cookies... with are also favorites because I have a strange weakness for warm fruit.

Sunday, we intended to keep baking but, after I made an amazing yeast-based plate of cinnamon rolls, we kind of topped out.

gooey plate of cinnamon rolls, fresh from the oven.

This is a new recipe that Shawn found for "easy" cinnamon rolls. They were, actually, fairly easy for me, though that's said by someone, like myself, who makes a LOT of yeast breads and has done for decades.  So, if you're not super-confident with yeast, I wouldn't necessarily call this recipe "easy."

I can post it in the comments, if anyone asks for it.

Then Sunday night, Mason and I hopped on the light rail and headed into downtown Minneapolis to see "Brain Candy" with Adam Savage and Micheal Stevens at the Orpheum.  That was a good show.  It was basically LIVE science, but Adam Savage is very much the same sort on stage that he is on MythBusters (impish, vaguely dangerous, funny...).  We watched Adam build (and explode) things and Michael (a science You Tuber that Mason loves) explain things.  Even though it meant another LATE night for Mason, it was well worth the price of admission.  

We actually had really nice seats, too. We sprang for the middle-range price tickets, and so got first balcony, front row. We had ZERO leg room, but we had no one sitting in front of us.  The house was packed, too.  We were cramped knee to cramped knee with a full row, but the show was entertaining enough that I didn't actually mind at all.  Mason had never been to the Orpheum and said, "Wow. I feel under dressed," because it's the kind of theater that has a giant chandelier and fancy architecture (being historic, and all.)  

I hope we can keep doing things like this. That was a lot of fun.  A friend of mine at the coffee shop this morning said that the University of Minnesota puts on some kind of science show in January that's worth seeing. I'm going to see what Google coughs up about that, and see if Mason is interested.  These things get expensive, but, with luck, we can do them now-and-again.

That's the weekend.  Onward.  I'm planning on doing even more cookie-making today, because holidays. We're not even having guests, but Shawn and I love to celebrate Solstice with lots and lots of treats.

Rosettes

Dec. 23rd, 2013 07:49 pm
lydamorehouse: (more renji art)
It's the day before the day before Christmas, so we made rosettes.  If you've never had a rosette, here's what Wikipedia says about them: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosette_(cookie).  Even though these are Norwegian, my Polish grandma made them to (or bought them somewhere, but I'm guessing made.)  I have fond memories of these crispy, sugar coated cookies.

Since I love my photo montages, here's one of that process:










lydamorehouse: (more renji art)
Mason and I went back to kuk sool after a couple week's absence.  We had a great time, but my calves, of all things, are sore this morning.  I suspect that it has to do with being out of practice of standing in a stance.  Also we did kicks... who knows.  All I know is that the more I go, the better I feel.  So it's good to be back at it again.

I'm tired today because I spent last night hanging out with a friend.  We met up at Izzy's icecream parlor last night after martial arts, and, by chance, we also ran into some friends from Crossroads and their kids, Ava and Gavin.  To people who say St. Paul is a dead town after 5:00 pm, I call bull.  That place was HOPPING, and there was a whole sidwalk culture happening up and down that entire block, thanks to everyone hanging around outside, eating icecream.  In fact, it was so noisy, my friend and I had to retire back home so we could hear each other talk. 

Mason got to stay up late, since Shawn is away on a business trip.  That meant I was in charge of bedtime, and, since I wanted to stay up and chat myself, Mason got to stay up too.  He built himself a fort on the front porch and read, while the grown-ups talked in the living room.

It was actually pretty awesome.

But I'm paying for it a little today.  I have things to do, but all I really want to do is nap and possibly do a bit of writing.  I do, at least, have a loaf of zucchini bread in the oven.  I was thinking, given how many zucchini I STILL have in the fridge, we may have to sign up for the kuk sool barbeque just so I can drop off several loaves and flee.  :-)

Otherwise, I'm going to turn into that weird neighbor who leaves zucchini at people's front doors.

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