Thursday, May 20, 2010

Sprouts in the Garden!

Early this week we had a few days of nice, soaking rain followed by a cloudy day and then today was sunny, warm and beautiful. I thought this weather was perfect for the garden, so I stopped by on my way home from work to see if anything had sprouted and sure enough, green bush beans (above), lettuce and cauliflower were all sprouting.

The garden is in the same place that I had last year, but the gardens are configured a little differently. Instead of having walkways all the way around the garden, I only have walkways on two sides. This means I have to have a little more room for getting into the garden than I did last year. But the plot I have is sunny all day and it's close to the water source, which is nice.

Above are some sprouting cauliflower. I've never grown cauliflower before, so I'm looking forward to seeing how it turns out.

And last weekend I drove out to Gravity Hill Organic Farm and picked up 4 tomato plants! This is in addition to the 3 that I already planted, so yes, I'm going to be swimming in tomatoes this summer. One of the plants is actually a husk cherry (above), which produces small, almost citrusy fruits that grow in a husk, similar to a tomatillo. Sylvie introduced me to these when we were living in Cambridge and they are truly a treat! I hope this plant works out. I haven't grown these before, either.

I also have some pepper plants growing and I'm hoping to put in some carrots and arugula to round out the mix. I decided not to do summer squash or zucchini this year since they didn't work out so well last year and they take up SO much space in a small garden. I'm considering doing cucumbers, but I already lost 6 cucumber plants, probably to some hungry little critter, so I'm not sure if I want to risk that again. One of the things I love about the garden is that it is ever-changing and evolving, and every time I stop by there seems to be some little surprise.

Here's hoping for a good growing season!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Spring Campfire

There is a brick fireplace down by the lake in Princeton that seems like it might have been surrounded by a house at one point, but now only the fireplace exists. It is a perfect place to have a campfire, complete with guitars and singing and good company. Mother's Day offered the perfect chilly spring evening and a bunch of folks came by to enjoy the fire.

Here are Mac and his roommate Mike enjoying the evening, the music, the drinks and good company. It was a great way to end a nice weekend.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Queen Mom

Since as long as I can remember we have brought out this well-loved hand-made crown to celebrate my Mom's birthday and Mother's Day. The crown is over 30 years old and has been torn and spilled on multiple times and is held together with tape in many places. It's made out of construction paper, which isn't the sturdiest of materials, and was decorated with magic marker by my Dad and my brothers. It's quite possible that this was made even before I was born, if not when I was an infant. It is, to say the least, a family tradition.

Since the original crown is in quite fragile shape, I decided to make Mom a new crown this Mother's Day. I tried to make the decorations as similar to the original as possible, but I used die cut crowns from Paper Source (layering two of them) as the base of the crown. It's much sturdier than construction paper and will hopefully serve this Queen well for many years to come. The original crown will be retired as the "Crown Jewels" and added to the family archives.

Here's a great photo of Mom with her new crown and some of the flowers she received for Mother's Day. She is the Queen, and I love her! Happy Mother's Day, Mom!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

PubQuiz @ DBar

Every first and third Wednesday of the month I usually find myself at Pub Quiz at Princeton's Graduate Student bar, DBar. It's a great excuse to hang out with a good group of folks, have a few cheap drinks and hopefully win some snacks if we're lucky.

The first Wednesday in May we were lucky enough to win Round 1, which netted us a 1 lb. bag of sourdough pretzels and Round 6, where we won Nutter Butters! It was a good night even though we came in 3rd or 4th overall. Pub Quiz doesn't start until 10:15pm, and usually wraps up sometime between midnight and 1am. This means that I'm usually pretty tired on the 1st and 3rd Thursday of the month, but it's worth it.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Adventure Day: NYC

On Saturday, May 1st, Mac and I had another Adventure Day and this time it was to NYC. We got a fairly early train out of Princeton Junction and made it to MOMA by about 11am. We were excited to see two current exhibits, one of photographs by Henri Cartier-Bresson and one that we kept referring to as "naked performance art". The actual title of the exhibit was "Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present", and it really did involve naked people and performance art. It sparked a good discussion on the way home about "what is art?", which is truly one of life's unanswerable questions...

Our next stop was to head up to Harlem to see the Carolina Chocolate Drops give a free performance. This band is one of my favorite old-timey bands. What I really like about them is that they know the history of so many of the songs that they play and their concerts are always part history lesson and part performance. It was one of the highlights of the day.

On the way to the Jewish Museum, we decided to take the train part of the way, but to walk through Central Park for about 20 blocks. It was a beautiful day and the park was packed!

It was fun to explore a part of Central Park that I had never seen before, including the Conservatory Garden, which was blooming with tons of tulips and lilacs.

We finally ended up at The Jewish Museum, which is free every Saturday, to see the Curious George exhibit they have going on. It was interesting to learn the history of Margret and H.A. Rey and to see original drawings that were used to create Curious George and other books by the Reys.

From there we walked another 10 blocks south and had a nice Italian dinner before heading to the rooftop at the Met. Mac had never been to the Met before, so we did a quick tour (ha!) and ran through some of the most popular exhibit halls before making our way up to watch the sunset and have drinks on the roof.

We could see kites being flown from somewhere in Central Park (look closely in the photo below). I thought it was amazing how high they looked:

The exhibit on the roof this summer is called Big Bambu. It's an ever-growing structure made out of bamboo and hiking rope. It takes up the entire rooftop and I found it to be pretty impressive.

There are walkways that are only accessible if you get on a guided tour, which were popular tickets to come by on the first Saturday that the roof was open. We'll have to go back at some point and see if we can get a tour.

It was a beautiful night to be up on the roof and watch the sunset.

After enjoying the last daylight hours at the Met, Mac and I headed back to Penn Station and caught a train back to Princeton. It was a long, exhausting, exhilarating and fun day in the city!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Last Day

Friday, April 30th was my last day as a Senior Image Cataloger at Princeton University. I had a good day with fun signs taped to my computer, a nice lunch with my colleagues, cake in the afternoon and one more sign for the end of the day.

It was sad to say good-bye to a good bunch of people, but I'm excited about my new position as a Digital Imaging Technician at Firestone Library. Change can be good, right?