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Gardening Mama (or How to Hang Out with High School Friends)

Some of Scott's friends from high school that he hasn't seen in like 7 years were stopping by later to see our house. We quickly cleaned up the place, breaking one of our favorite mugs on the way.

On Saturday night I turned off the gas to the house instead of the water. I turned it back on still thinking I was turning on the water in the morning.  A few minutes later the house smelled like sulfur. For the next few hours I found different things to light in our vintage double oven. Eventually the smell dissipated.

 There's this neighborhood cat that we noticed creeping through the neighborhood all winter. A few weeks ago she actually let us pet her and now she won't leave our yard. She's the sweetest thing, but belongs to someone down the block. Our neighbor saw her right before the tornado came and then he didn't see her again. I was worried something had happened to her. I think she was just having fun playing in all the trees that had fallen. 

It took a while, but the house was presentable enough that we decided to get our gardening on. I'm still peeved that we broke the handle off that gnarly mug. As you can see, I still haven't got my zip code map of the Twin Cities up.

 All my seeds have sprouted and need to be transplanted to the garden soon.

 Torta (as Scott likes to call her) likes picking on Peanut by jumping up and sitting in the window he looks out. They usually growl and hiss at each other. Scott wanted to see what would happen if they met face to face. I knew it wasn't going to be pretty. A few seconds after this photo was taken they went for each others throats and there was fur flying and then Peanut chased her all the way back to her house. Scott chased after them and found out she is actually pregnant from her owner. I hope we can get one of the kittens.

I actually don't think she is pregnant from talking to the a friend of a friend. But here's hoping. She's such a good kitty.

Cats must have a 10 second memory because she came trotting back like nothing happened.

As always, on lazy days at least, we had oatmeal while I perused my new tumblr account. I spend way too much time on their, but it's where I can be a serious journalist. I've been photographing and recording interviews since the storm hit. With the tornado-ravaged hood still at the top of my mind, it's my way of helping North out.

We headed over to Weber's Greenhouse after breakfast. Brooke and I had a little time before my Cudahy friends arrived and thought it would be fun to buy some perennials. Weber's is my absolute favorite nursery in the Twin Cities. Butted up against the Shingle Creek neighborhood of NoMi, this Brooklyn Center greenhouse is the perfect place for those who don't want to start from seed or simply don't have the time. We picked up some goodies like flowering kale, asparagus and a few herbs.

We had decided to meet up with Jeremy, Krystal and a few other stragglers at Papa's Pizza on 42nd and Thomas. Sadly they aren't open on Sundays.

I hadn't seen Jeremy in five or so years and the last time I ran into Krystal was the week I was hired on as METRO Magazine's web editor. That was almost two years ago. When I texted Krystal earlier that weekend she let me know that they were staying with fellow AP Government nerds Cal and Doug. The latter was tagging along with his lady friend. I wanted to see all of them.

This bout of nostalgia was the perfect medicine for a stressed-out Northsider. We ended up eating at the delicious El Burrito Cubano, which is way up on 48th and Lyndale Ave N. They have some of the best burritos (and tortas) in the Twin Cities, as good as El Taco Riendo or Los Ocampo. I felt like I talked too much about my big business plans, but I think they were cool about it.

After eating we showed them our house and our cat. We had to get some more chores done and they had be on there way. I quickly texted them back after they left and made plans for meeting them later for a few beers.

Peanut was all over the catnip we bought and then moved on to other plants. We had the perennials, but now we needed topsoil.

We drove down Penn, planning on heading straight for the Home Depot. The owner of Weber's suggested we head there. They were selling soil for 99 cents a pop. The Depot isn't my favorite big box store, but with our Mendard's out of service for a year or so, you can't complain. 

As you can see, even a week after the storm, Penn and Broadway is still in distress. The furniture store in background was having a "Tornado Sale."

I lose lens caps every time I go on vacation. My trip to the Bay Area was no different. We decided to head to National Camera Exchange before going to the Home Depot, since it was on the way. Their downtown location recently closed, but the handy salesman, Steve, let me know that they plan to open a new location in the city's center. Their building had been deteriorating and the co-owner would not invest in the Hennepin Avenue location. Here's hoping Steve's right.

 We then stopped at Bachman's to pick up more garden supplies and plants. 

 I got a blueberry plant (they had 6 different varieties to choose from) and a bok choy plant.

I looked for hearty shrubs for the hill in our front yard. 

 Home Depot had the soil that was on sale so we loaded up our car. 

 The neighbor kids came over to help us out. For us it's free labor and for them they get a chance to see where food comes from.

The little runts were having a little too much fun at times. Our outside faucet has been acting strange, despite the fact that I "fixed it." They felt it would be fun to have to the water come down the gutter extender. At least of one of them did. 

We did indeed get the garden tilled. The combo of our soil, compost and the cheap top soil is going to be great. I can't wait to get the first crops, but we'll have to make sure the kids don't eat them all before they're fully grown.

I made a cake while everyone ate. I was asked to make a puppy cake for a 6 year-old's birthday. It has been a long time since I was asked to make a cake. I agreed to do it, but warned her I am terribly out of practice. I've made cakes at home for Scott's birthday and a yule log at Christmas. I hadn't been paid to make a cake since my friend Amanda's wedding in 2008.

While Brooke finished up the cake and we ate an average stir fry, baby Olive enjoyed the hexagon floor and/or the white ceiling. 

I talked Tyler (despite the reluctant Emma) into coming with me to Pracna on Main. I thought he might enjoy getting away from the women. We met with the Cudahy High School crew, which had expanded to include one more Cudahyan. We drank and I got to ask more about what each of them was doing. 

It was really fun to talk to Jeremy. We go back a long way; there wasn't  more than a week (or a vacation) that we'd be apart as kids. He let me know that Krystal and him had decided to cancel their original wedding photographer and hire me instead. I was surprised and excited. 

Obviously I didn't bring my camera, but it was a beautiful night on Minneapolis' (nee St. Anthony) old Main Street. After the Cudahy kids left Tyler and I cruised around Minneapoils eventually walking through North Mississippi Regional Park. We surveyed the damage to the massive park, recorded ambient sound and chatted like we were high school kids again. It was a good night.

 I leave you with the darling cake that Brooke made.


jay colstad said…
Awww, A puppy. Lol.
Can Brooke do Spiderman, or Optimus Prime?
emma. said…
Can we make ourselves a really cool birthday cake next year? Maybe a tiered puppy cake? Olive kind of stole our birthday thunder this year... We'll have to do it big next year... the big 27.. ooo.. ahhh.
We definitely could attempt both for you guys. The Optimus Prime would be so sweet.

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