Playing catch-up: Summer and Fall

Whoops, haven’t been doing much blogging!

We finished out our time in Knoxville with a few roadtrips: NC, Chattanooga, and a hike up to the Appalachian Trail.


Gwen, Nick, Rachel, and Alice


the Gwens


brewing an all-grain batch

DSC_0915 DSC_0914We met up with Gwen’s cousin and his family at the Children’s Museum.


…..and sought refuge in this art museum, because we thought we might otherwise die from the heat.

DSC_0971 DSC_0966And then on the way home got stuck in a crazy tornado!DSC_1007 DSC_1024

We made it up to the Trail on our last day in the south.

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The drive home was more insanity.

DSC_1125 DSC_1122 DSC_1121When we got home we were clearly starved for culinary creativity, since we didn’t have much of a kitchen in Knoxville.  These are the products of our kitchen in August (the yellow dots are bottles of the lager I started in May):

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Dave set up his own all-grain system at home. I am trying to get him to do a post about it!

And we got in one camping trip at Rifle River.DSC_0084


we picked up MORE cast iron accessories in TN!


We dine on Pear Clafoutis when camping because we are FANCY

DSC_0170 DSC_0121 And then we were back to life as normal for the fall semester!


I think these geese may be trying to nest in the soccer field across from our house.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe’ve had many days of rain and so they have not been able to cut the grass.  Also, I’ve never seen two geese so aggressively inhabit one spot for so long.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIf I start to cross the field, one of them starts walking slowly toward me.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Aftermath of snow storm

While we were gone for Christmas, Lansing got a horrible ice storm that knocked out power to 40% of Board of Water and Light’s customers, some for up to 11 days in cold temperatures. Somehow our house was spared, while people who live across the street were not.

These pictures were taken 4 or more weeks weeks after this storm. Yards still look like they have brambles growing next to the street due to the huge piles of brush that have yet to be picked up.
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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn our neighborhood, the power company (a private one; Consumer’s Energy, not the Lansing Board of Water and Light) came around and spraypainted trees that need to be trimmed.  They have yet to actually touch these trees,weeks later.  Newsflash guys:  you can’t just trim trees every decade after a storm.  Upkeep!DSC_0359

pretty sure this is not a recent development

pretty sure this is not a recent development

Snow days

As the semester started, Lansing was crippled by some snow and subzero temperatures.  Neither of us had to work, so we did some very important things.

I finished a project I started three years ago!  (See: procrastinating.)  This was a desk that my grandmother passed down to me that I wanted to refinish.  My initial plan was to strip it to the wood, but the paint was so deep in the grain that I couldn’t get it all out.  And in the process I learned that I think my grandpa had stripped it of its original dark brown paint, so it’s not like it was the original color anyway!  Thanks to the internet I learned that the trick to bringing out the wood grain is lots of very thin coats.  I got a little craft brush to do the paint on the wood overlay and did two coats over the primer.


We got to watch the Packers and Niners play each other again (see: what we will do to watch the Packers Niners game).


Dave thought he’d take advantage of the lovely weather and cook us something on the grill.  (The high this day was 2 degrees.)DSC_0218 DSC_0221Later that week I finished a little baby quilt for my cousin’s first child–I’m sure even Seattle gets pretty cold in January!!


Route 66

After Christmas we stopped in Mesquite NV and then headed back east.  Not wanting to repeat our snowy adventure, we followed old Route 66 back to the midwest.


leaving St. George, and the temple


had to drive through Colorodo City, given the opportunity

had to drive through Colorado City, given the opportunity


Barley at Lake Powell

Barley at Lake Powell

Dave at Lake Powell

Dave at Lake Powell


by now we were driving through the reservation

by now we were driving through the reservation


how'd ya like to live there?

how’d ya like to live there?


almost every old town on Rte 66 was dead

almost every old town on Rte 66 was dead

DSC_0205DSC_0206DSC_0208DSC_0209We were glad we got to see this part of the country, and even more glad that we only encountered snow during the last two hours of our trip.   To accomplish this, though, we drove through the night nonstop from Albuquerque to Lansing!  Sometimes you just want to get home.

MSU in the fall

Peak color season went by very quickly, and we had a busy week so were unable to photograph it at its best.  But there’s still lots to see on campus. OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe ivy suddenly looks amazing! OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

How many trees do you see?

How many trees do you see?

There are lots more oaks here than in Madison, and they turn a wide range of colors from orange to burgundy-rust.


leaf identification practice


no one's home

no one’s home




purple berries!

purple berries!


old and tired

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA There’s a little botanical garden on campus:


railing to the garden



sweet gum tree, I think