– farmer’s market bounty: zucchini, broccoli, radishes, strawberries, cherries, some other stuff I can’t remember, and SOFT SHELL CRABS that looked like giant bugs but tasted delicious
– made amazing strawberry and toasted coconut ice cream, and then had kitchen disaster #3 of the weekend when the ice cream maker overflowed
– brunch with Mel and Ray and Jill and Kevin and Fred, wherein Fred was charmed by a strawberry, and Mel beat everyone at Carcassone
– feeding and playing with the cats at KSC
– crabs and grilled zukes for dinner with Mel and Ray
– Shane goes to Michigan tomorrow!


May Projects!

This year, I resolved to complete one project per month.  I’m not sure how well I’ve done at posting about those projects, but that’s neither here nor there, as this post is about May’s project.  And by ‘project’, I mean ‘projects’!

Project #1: envelopes for the Etsy shop

Drakesboro, KY

Earlier in the year I inherited three boxes of deaccessioned USGS maps from the library.  After asking and then asking again if I *really* got to take them home, they sat in a corner ignored until I finished my last class and could focus on them.  Right now I have 9 sets of envelopes posted, and a possible custom order pending.  Hooray!

Project #2: Handmade items for the Facebook meme

I promised handmade items to Jackie, Jen, Tina, Molly, Rachel, and Greg.  So far I’ve made an apron each for Jackie:

Sparkly Stars for Sipes


Fun prints for Molly


Olivia apron for Rachel

and a special bonus for Jennifer, who was late on the draw.

Fun patterns for Jennifer

Items forthcoming for Jen, Tina, and Greg.  I have plans, but I’m not revealing them yet.

I also canned four pints of strawberry-rhubarb jam (and 7 more half pints tonight!):

Strawberry Rhubarb

And no, I have no idea what June’s project will be.  Hopefully the Etsy custom order – and also more canning (pickling too)!

3 Songs

The other day Mike posted a challenge – Henceforth, of all Beatles songs, you can listen to only three. The rest are lost to you. Which three do you save?

My answer?  Dear Prudence, In My Life, and I’m So Tired.  I then passed on the challenge to my friends via Twitter and Facebook, with the following results.  Out of 18 responses, including mine and the responses of 3 people to Mike’s original Tweet, the top songs – with 3 votes each – are: In My Life and A Day in the Life.

Receiving 2 votes each: Dear Prudence, I’m So Tired, Let It Be, Norwegian Wood, Across the Universe, Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, Strawberry Fields Forever, and Blackbird.

A total of 29 other songs received 1 vote each.

Amongst the 18 respondents, the White Album appears to be most popular, with 9 songs receiving a total of 12 votes.  Sgt Pepper came in second with 4 songs receiving 7 votes total – however Revolver actually had more songs receiving votes – 6 songs with 1 vote each.

The moral of this story is that amongst my friends, the overwhelming majority believe that The Beatles were better after taking drugs (i.e. post-1965).  Take from that what you will.  I don’t make up the facts – I just report them.

Race for the Cure

On Saturday, my friend Tina and I will be running in the Susan G. Komen Global Race for the Cure.  The fundraising for this race supports breast cancer research and women’s health advocacy around the world.  If you know me well at all, you know that both of these things matter a great deal to me – which is why I’m asking for your support in my fundraising efforts.

When I was 17 and a senior in high school, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer at age 44.  My brother, then barely a year old, refused to nurse from one of her breasts, so she had my dad, an oncologist, check it out.  He found a lump, and a biopsy found that it was cancer.  I remember coming home between school and rehearsal and getting the news from my dad, then going back to school and being wrapped up in the arms of two family friends – one of whom had been my dad’s patient when she had Hodgkin’s lymphoma – as the three of us cried.  My senior year of high school was overshadowed by the fear and uncertainty that goes along with chemotherapy, with watching your mom’s hair fall out, with helping to care for your baby brother because your mom is sick from a treatment.

Me and Mom at Iowa v Illinois, fall 2006

Jen and Grandma

Jenn and Grandma, Thanksgiving 2006

We are very lucky and thankful that Mom has been cancer-free for a number of years, as has my grandma, who was diagnosed in her 60s and is still healthy at 91.  With two close family members diagnosed and treated, though, my sister and I are considered to have an elevated risk.  It’s fair to say that my interest in supporting breast cancer research is a selfish one – I want there to be money for research so that if/when my sister and I are diagnosed, there will be a better understanding of the disease, leading to better treatment for patients and better education for their loved ones.

In addition to these personal reasons, I also believe strongly in helping women become advocates for their health.  Several of the Komen programs emphasize education and strengthening doctor-patient communication – both things that we worked on when I was a gyne instructor at UIUC.  I grew up in a medical household – my father’s an oncologist, and my mother’s father was first a surgeon, then practiced occupational medicine until he retired at age 79 – so medical care is something I’ve taken for granted all my life.  Despite this, it wasn’t until I worked as a gyne instructor that I felt any sense of ownership of my own healthcare.  Going to the doctor was something that I did because it’s what you’re supposed to do – not because I wanted to make sure I was getting what my body needed.  Gyne instruction changed this, and I now feel responsibility to help empower my loved ones to ask questions and get the care they need.

If these things are important to you and you can spare the money, please consider donating on my behalf – or to our team, Team Helpful Paws.  If you’re in the DC area and feel like running on Saturday, consider joining our team!  For personal, selfish, and altrustic reasons, I greatly appreciate your support.