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adventures with arnold

October 21, 2014

i have some friends* who have recently discovered a rat in their house. fortunately it hasn’t actually entered the living space yet as it can’t seem to find a point of entry (although a vent in the kitchen ceiling is looking promising). arnold, as he’s been affectionately named, has duped pest control by finding a way in around the steel wool shield… he’s also performed what we can only imagine to be acrobatic feats that are helping him steer clear of the rat traps waiting for him in the vent space.

there was some excitement when arnold’s kitten sized body and beady little eyes were spotted in the flesh in the backyard on sunday evening.

scene: a basement kitchen
characters: tam, jose and of course, arnold

jose: you saw him out there! are you sure?
tam: yes!
jose: what’d he do?!
tam: he just popped out and was like dhfajdhfkjahkjfd(unintelligble words)! and then he scampered away. like, screw election season, i’m just gonna hunt rats.

jose: we should get a cat in here for a few days.
tam: cats eat rats? they eat mice! a cat couldn’t get up in here where we need it to.
jose: but if a cat was sitting here and the rat ran out it would totally scare it
tam: arnold’s smarter than a cat. can katie just procure a cat for a few days?

to be continued….

*name have been changed to protect identity. rats have friends you know

Crooked

October 17, 2014

Crooked

You guys. I readjust this desk to be level every week. And then somehow, whether caused by a faulty part or magic elves, it becomes crooked again. It’s very mysterious. Last time I even had a strong looking coworker do the tightening of the little do-hickey’s that supposedly keep things in place. No luck.

But then I realized that maybe it’s not the desk, it’s me (or at least the world telling me something). Have things felt a little crooked in your life too? No, just me. I blame it on too much traveling (for fun and work!) and maybe the changing of seasons and perhaps some grown up realizations…. I don’t know but I think it’s time to level this desk equilibrium and embrace this season of equal opportunity plaid wearing (Fall is not just for hipsters y’all!).

I think I’ll enjoy these last few days of iced coffees, drink (more) wine with my tribe of lady friends, and prepare for windows-open-while-sleeping-snuggling-season (extra points for plaid pajamas!). If this doesn’t level the world than maybe it’s just not worth being level…

Happy Friday!

The story of a flag

October 6, 2014

This is a story about patriotism…. sort of.

Somewhere along the way I may have mentioned that I have four roommates. One of our newest roommates moved in last December. We have a pretty stringent screening process to ensure we find housemates that are equally cool, clean, low key, and non serial killers. We like to find people that want to join the family, hang out with us and not hide in their room. So Nick (the roommate in which this story is about) moved in circa early December and because of holiday festivities there was no time to throw himself a housewarming party… which he had expressly said he was interested in doing during his interview with us.

After some delay he decided to throw one in February.

Nick determined that he wanted to commemorate this occasion and his legacy (ongoing that it is) by contributing something substantial to the homestead. He decided to buy the house an American flag.

Our house is over 100 years old and there are regulations for drilling into the ancient bricks and things like this. Thus, we needed to wait for our land lord and could not display the flag outside during the party. This wouldn’t have been possible anyway because Nick showed up fashionably late to his own party toting an outdoor sized American flag…. because obviously it was to be a surprise so we were unaware of his “gift” until party time.

As one does when one finds himself in possession of a large flag with no outdoor holding device, Nick propped it in our dining room and sort of wedged it behind the dining room couch and draped it over a wall hanging so as not to let it touch the ground. While waiting for people to arrive I told Nick he needed to take a photo with his new flag.

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There he is looking quite proud and happy with himself if I do say so.

As people started to trickle in, for no real reason other than a need for an ice breaker at the beginning of the party (you know the awkwardness), I jokingly made a few other people take photos in front of the flag. (Because that’s not awkward…) Turns out my friends, that this, was a slippery slope. Do you see where this is going? On accident, the flag photos became a thing…. As flag photos are wont to do (but are they?).

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Next thing we knew every person that arrived was asked to pose for a portrait in front of the flag. And it was a total group effort. People were yelling things like, “hey Katie, this guy needs to take his flag photo,” or, “grab a beer and then come pose for your America photo.”

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In true testament to Nick and his hilarious friends everyone just sort of accepted this as normal. Why of course I will pose in front of this American flag at this random 3 month late housewarming thank you so much. Or maybe there are flag pictures taken at lots of parties and I’m just terribly out of the loop?! Who can know.

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And kind of my favorite part of all of this is that out of all these photos I only know like ten people…. Of which three of those I live with, one I’m dating, and one was in town visiting (hi Michelle!). Which means that Nick has like a whole lotta weird / cool friends and they’re all appropriately patriotic (as in not too much and not too little).

Nicholas – so happy you moved in! I’ll unlock the door for you any day(!) (inexplicably he rings the doorbell like fifty percent of the time despite having a key and being a resident).

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the time in which we ate All The Seafood

October 2, 2014

Sometime last spring a few friends and I took a Sunday afternoon trip down to the Wharf. AKA, the Fish Wharf aka the Maine Avenue Seafood Market. My Wikipedia research just told me that the “Maine Avenue Fish Market stands as a cultural relic popular with locals but unknown to many of the tourists who flock to the monuments and museums just five blocks north.” Seeing as how I had no idea such a place existed until several weeks before this adventure I second whoever wrote this.

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It turns out the the Fish Wharf is one of the last remaining open air fish markets on the east coast. Ten plus stalls are arranged in a horseshoe and are technically floating barges. Upon entering, the scene feels satisfyingly “UN-DC.”

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This place is so cool. The market has been continuously open since 1805 (whoa) and fresh seafood arrives daily. It’s charmingly dilapidated with vendors yelling, the sound of fish being wrapped in crisp paper and the undeniably “fishy” smell that accompanies any such place.

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So as not to make any rash decisions we decided to take a lap and check out options and prices before purchasing anything. Some stalls were running sales but for the most part prices were similar from vendor to vendor.

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It’s been awhile now but I think we bought something like four pounds of mussels, three pounds of clams, a jar of oyster shooters, two dozen scallops and a bag of shrimp. Ultimately the seafood plus a few side salads plus some french bread fed 12 people for about $14 per person. And when I say fed I mean stuffed to the gills (I couldn’t resist) with seafood and butter.

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So we bought all the seafood and then came home and googled how to cook all the seafood. One of my roommates is from America’s hometown Plymouth, MA and he also had some pointers for those of us less familiar. Not a lot of seafood in Missouri… The most weird/exciting this I learned about was pulling out the beards of mussels prior to cooking. Mussels have beards!

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We sautéed the scallops, made a butter linguine situation with the clams and steamed/boiled the mussels in two different ways; one in a tomato based sauce with sausage and one in a butter based sauce with like, a lot of delicious Irish butter.

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We ate the oysters raw in shooters of course.

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This was such a fun night. From the fish market to the meal with some de-bearding and youtubing in between it was all hilarious and great.

There was a rumor that the fish market was closing due to a revitalization condo project but this article reports that it will stay open (although perhaps in a different form?). It would be damn shame if such a historic place that is the livelihood of so many people closes. And hopefully it doesn’t lose it’s slightly dilapidated charm. :)

Friends, lets do this again soon, yes?

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Summer Loving

September 29, 2014
Dear Summer,

Goodbye now! You were fun. But like, SO fast. Can you work on your speed next time around? You were one for the books this year. Partially because I got to spend so much time doing fun things with so many lovely people and partially because OMG THE WEATHER WAS GORGEOUS. Turns out you were sort of over the humidity too this time around eh?

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We picnicked, concerted in the park, and enjoyed several free movies. Parents and friends visited, we drank wine, we drank at the Blaguard, we monopolized the juke box at the Blaguard, we went hiking…

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Summer, you offered just the right amount of lazy Saturday’s and soccer-filled Sunday’s. And you held off the rain for the most perfect day of saturday softball and barbecuing.

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We celebrated two summer birthdays and a lot of summer Thursdays in sundresses, rompers and sandals. At least one of us achieved the coveted sandal tan line to wear proudly into fall (cough, Kathleen).

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We biked and played games and sat on the porch and attended a rally….

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High five summer! You were good! But now marketing propaganda everywhere is telling me it’s time for Fall and all the pumpkin things (can we talk about how trendy pumpkin beer is these days!)….

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So over and out! Later summertime.

Sincerely,
Katie

the appendix quilt

June 27, 2014

Last year on November 4th I woke up with slight stomach pain. It wasn’t terrible but it was enough to be concerning. I did some googling, some Web MDing (verb?), some consulting of friends without their appendixes and I determined that I was indeed experiencing symptoms of appendicitis. I cabbed myself to the ER and had my appendix removed 8 hours later. Seemingly smooth and seamless. Not.

To make a long and sort of gross story short… as a complication of the surgery I developed an infection two weeks later and had to spend some time in the hospital and have a second procedure.

All this to say that for the month of November and early December I was pretty much out of commission. What’s a girl to do but sit at home and binge on television and sew a quilt?!

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So I sewed a triangle quilt. Technically my third quilt and technically my second triangle quilt. I sewed a baby quilt for Miss Erica Greco Millay last year that I almost forgot about until I stumbled upon a photo. It’s so tiny… Next time I need to focus on making it a standard size. You can’t quite tell but the quilt below is a little guy.

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Back to the appendix quilt though…. The idea for it started back in the early fall. The gray triangles with pink and green floral pattern were originally pajama pants. I saw the pants at Target and decided that I wanted to make a quilt with that pattern as the focus. I bought an extra large pair of pants to provide the most fabric and then picked the others ones to compliment it.

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I knew I wanted to do a triangle quilt (instead of a patchwork square) this time after seeing this one by Elise. I used a rotary cutter and self healing mat to cut the triangles. I laid everything out and sewed rows of triangles and then joined the rows.

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I’m mildly obsessed with the final product. I finished the quilt with an organic cotton middle layer and gray binding. It’s satisfactory to assemble the quilt and of course finish it but I sort of like the step of cutting all the pieces the best. Something about cutting the fabric and putting it together in the pattern the first time is very nice.

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Lost an appendix, gained a quilt! Excellent trade.

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