Time is on your side.

So many exciting adventures happened this week. Berries were picked and consumed, Shannons were befriended, mountains were climbed.

Monday we went to Maple Springs Farm in Harrison, Maine.  They have pick-your-own raspberries – all sorts! We picked red, black, and golden raspberries.

Only half a pint made it home..

In the fall they have another berry harvest and I’m hoping to have learned some about making jam and canning by then.

On our trip to Maple Springs Farm, we also acquired one very lovely tomato plant (yet to be appropriately named). I am trying my hand at apartment gardening. I have a basil and tomato plants – hopefully peppers will be happening soon, too. So anyways, we got this tomato plant. I’ve been real good about watering it every day, but after a couple of days noticed a collection of what appeared to be chunks of soil gathering on the floor beneath the plant. I am naive to the ways of gardening, and had no idea that what was really pooling on my kitchen floor was FRASS. Frass is caterpillar poop. If I had known this, I would have know that we had no less than three tobacco worms living, eating, and shitting in our tomatoes.  First, we met this little guy.

And we named him Shannon. I harnessed the power of the internet to figure out what kind of caterpillar Shannon was and found out that although I desperately wanted to keep him in a fish bowl as my newest pet (and, in fact, Josh and I were gathering our things to run to the pet store immediately upon Shannon discovery), I read that Shannon would someday transform into a gargantuan, fuzzy moth, and in the meantime would quickly consume my entire tomato plant. The decision was made to move Shannon outside into the backyard. Right after Josh brought him outside, I checked the plant and came upon two more Shannons. They too were moved to the outdoors, and all Shannons seem to be fine with the transition.  Shannon 3 was the smallest of the trio:

I don’t have any pictures of the mountain climbing that occurred this week, but it wasn’t super exciting anyways. We hiked Bradbury Mountain, got winded because we’re terribly out of shape, hiked down and ate snacks. We then watched television for the remainder of the day to make up for all that physical activity. Snacks were created and eaten, such as this amazing barbecue faux-chicken and goat cheese pizza that Josh made:

Summer is slipping away from me, but we’re planning to make August a banner month!  Camping and picnics and crafting adventures to come – I can’t wait!!

Pandas are just drunk other bears.

Hello heatwave.

Temperatures neared 100° today in Portland.  The entirety of this week has been a sweaty nightmare, every day reaching the nineties.  This type of heatwave is a rarity in my part of New England.  (Perhaps not – maybe this happens every summer but my sunbaked brain simply blocks out the terrifying, sweltering memories?)  Either way, I don’t enjoy the heat.  If I had air conditioning and only needed to go outdoors to swim in the ocean, I would not mind it.  Unfortunately, work and poverty dictate otherwise, thus I find myself roasting in my third floor apartment.  Here at the parking garage we have a sputtering underdog of an air conditioner, and while I appreciate it’s efforts, the meager amount of air it expels is just not enough to cool me.  During childhood I waited all year for weather like this.  I had nothing to do other than lounge at the shore and drink plastic-encased sugar waters or loaf around in my parents’ pool.  There were always sandwiches, often Cheez-Its, and life was breezy.

I did make it to the ocean today, and swam one other time this week.  The water was crowded with people and seaweed, but nice.  I hear the heatwave is due to break over the weekend, and Maine will resume its regularly scheduled weather pattern on Monday with temperatures in the seventies.  I hope so, because I have a bunch of baking projects lined up for next week.

Josh and I fell into a dark hole of processed food consumption sometime around fall semester finals.  We’ve been living off of pizza and ice cream since about December.  We’ll have bouts of healthy eating, but they never seem to last more than a week at a time.  Thus, I’m revisiting an old method I used when converting from lifetime junk-food junkie to conscious eater: meal planning.  In addition to wanting a healthier diet, we are also attempting to limit our budget.  As of today, Josh and I have begun a week-long sabbatical from eating at restaurants (no takeout or delivery either!).  So now I’m really forced to figure out what the hell we’re going to eat this week.  Coming up with healthy things that both he and I enjoy is a slippery slope of hopelessness that typically results in frantic pizza ordering.  But I’ve worked really hard to come up with delicious, semi-healthy meal ideas.  Here’s what dinner will be:

Cauliflower ‘Macaroni&Cheese’ (recipe here: http://dianasaurdishes.com/03/cauliflower-macaroni-and-cheese-recipe/)

Whole-wheat soft tacos with veggie beef

Veggie Burgers with swiss cheese and veggie bacon, baked potatoes

Veggie Chicken Cutlets grilled with Scalloped Corn (recipe here: http://stylethatfood.com/?p=349)

Veggie Beef Skewers in soy sauce with brown rice and grilled edamame (recipe here: http://stylethatfood.com/?p=200)

Pineapple Fried Rice

Whole-wheat veggie pizza

We’ll still be consuming a lot of carbohydrates and cheese, but we’re taking this healthy thing in baby steps.

(Ugh.  There is a sizable moth in the garage booth as I am typing this.  I’ve already had one moth stuck in my hair this summer and I hope to avoid a repeat of the scenario.)

Anyways, healthy healthy, etc etc.  I’ll post pictures of any successful meals.

In not-as-boring news, Josh performed at a hip-hop show on Wednesday night.  His long-time friend, Charles (aka Moon Rocks: http://moonrocks.bandcamp.com/) put together a mix tape featuring his beats and lyrics from various individuals.  Josh’s track is #12: Lost in a World Maze.  The show was really fun, even though I had to leave stupidly early to get to bed in preparation for an early morning of work the next day.  Josh was a bit nervous, as it was his first time performing hip-hop, but here is the result:

One other fun adventure from earlier in the week was a trip to a Seadogs game!  My love of baseball and fried food combined to create one night of summer bliss.  Also, it was Josh’s first time at a baseball game.  The Seadogs lost miserably to the Bingingham Mets, but luckily minor league baseball is more about watching kids race mascots around the infield and crap like that, so we really enjoyed ourselves.  Gorging oneself in the outdoors seems to always make for a pleasant evening.  On the list of snacks we had at the game?  A soft pretzel, fried dough, french fries, soda, beer, and two ice cream sundaes.  Oh, also a Seadog biscuit (aka ice cream cookie sandwich).

(as you can see in this last picture, Josh was going to have fun whether he liked it or not.)

I think I’ll take a stroll around my little booth now and sea if any cold air is coming in off of the water.  Next time I report back, new projects of the craft and food variety will have been undertaken.

Heat induced lazy days.

The cover band that plays at the bar next to my parking garage has finally learned new songs.  Typically, I spend my Friday and Saturday nights here at work listening to played out classic rock songs waft across the water to my little booth.  I have been crossing my fingers for weeks in hopes that said musicians would branch out a bit.  And while I’m glad that I won’t have to listen to ‘Summer of ’69’ for the 9340th time, I wish that they had not chosen to move onto every mediocre dance-pop tune featured on the past 10 ‘NOW: That’s What I Call Music’ compilations.

If those bastards start playing Phil Collins next, I will steal a vehicle from the top floor of the garage and launch it off the roof, across the water, and into the bar to cease the band from assaulting my ears with the filth that is Collins’ music.

Aural woes aside…

I’ve made four friendship bracelets while at work this week.  I just learned how to make them a few days ago, which seems strange because I am 25, and why isn’t bracelet weaving a skill I acquired in my youth?  Probably because I was too busy learning to kick my little brother’s ass in Top Gun for NES.

I have not had much time to write lately.  Combine that with my deletion of all of my social networking accounts resulting in decreased internet usage and I end up a pretty lazy blogger.  Hopefully I will have more projects to report back on soon.  As of late, it’s been too damn hot to bake or craft or do anything other than lay around in my underoos, sweating and complaining.

I now present y’all with proof of my recent, somewhat meager, DIYing:

 my unicorn-colored bracelet, inspired by the many great minds over at HonestlyWTF (http://honestlywtf.com/diy/diy-friendship-bracelet/)…

…and some bag clips I made from clothes pins and alphabet stamps.

In the works are a tin can lantern, repurposed glass jars, and eventually a couple of stools up-cycled into side tables.  Also, lots more friendship bracelets.

That’s the thing about summer colds.

I would be a better blogger if I wasn’t working all of the time, really I would.  Lately when I’ve come to work at the garage, however, I’ve been too tired from my day job to do anything but play cashier and zone out on television when I don’t have any customers.  I thought summer vacations were for relaxing?  Oh well – I need to be extra careful that this journal doesn’t become an outlet for my rants regarding my employment situations.

In non-work news: Fourth of July was nice.  The weather, the company, and the explosives were all enjoyable.  On the evening of the third, I attempted a delicious project inspired by http://www.livelovepasta.com/2011/07/hamburger-cookies/ .  The recipe was exceedingly simple – the only items I omitted were the sesame seeds, and only because I didn’t have any on hand.  The cookies turned out to be quite cute and were enjoyed by all!

The morning of Independence Day, boyfriend and I lazed about in our oven of a third floor apartment.  He even picked me some flowers while running an errand, and we enjoyed them while sipping coconut smoothies.

The coconut smoothie recipe was inspired by http://www.girlcooksworld.com/2011/04/frozen-coconut-rum-drink.html and was thirst-quenching in the most serious of ways.

After a morning of relaxation, we trekked up to Portland’s Munjoy Hill to visit some friends hosting a barbeque (cue hamburger cookies).  There were water balloons thrown, squirt guns shot, and lots of beirut played.  Oh, and wigs.

After walking home to walk Teddy, we received a free, patriotic-as-hell cab ride back up Munjoy Hill, where we fought the crowds to ooh-and-ah at the fireworks.

Since the Fourth, I’ve been planning up a storm for some near future craftiness.  I’ve started making a plethora of yarn pom-poms for various uses, and have a tin can lantern project scheduled for this weekend.  It’s been tough to take on craft projects in the midst of working so often, but I hope to swap a little bit of work time for a bit more personal time before summer is over.

If people ask us “Can you speak rhinocerous?”, we’d say, “Of courserous! Can’t you?”

I like a little (lot?) of creep factor in my life.

I also possess an affinity for music boxes and musical movement machines.  I have a musical ceramic mother and baby bear that a dead relative gave me as a child.  It plays a languid version of “Talk to the Animals” that I somehow find simultaneously miserable and warm.  The notes lazily progress, metal comb plucking each pin deliberately.  The result is calming, but gives me goosebumps.  I have loved the tiny metal device for as long as I can recall, and now look to it for inspiration, as I have decided to try my hand at crafting a musical movement machine.

Musician boyfriend will be composing a 50-note tune for me, and I will painstakingly prod pins of musical wire into polymer clay to produce a minuscule music machine.  What I hope to do is purchase parts to create a moving piece, similar to a musical windup carousel horse.  In lieu of a horse, I’m hoping to pick up an older ceramic doll head. Nothing would delight me more than an eyeless, porcelain head bobbing up and down while boyfriend’s melancholy jingle resounds.  I hope to begin purchasing the parts soon, although final construction is far off.  The man who authored the internet guide I will be using in my endeavor took two years to complete his music box, perfectly named the “Foreverbox”.  His steps to music box construction can be found here:   http://www.unity303.com/musicbox/

I will be pleased with myself if I manage to complete this project.

In terms of workplace updates (as this stupid blog is supposed to be written while I’m stuck at my job as a parking garage attendant), I have few.  Not much by way of importance happens around this place.  Mostly I surf the internet, watch “Criminal Minds” on the cable television, and think about moving away.  I do have another job perk to add to my list of workplace bonuses:  self defense lessons.  Upon hearing that I was groped the other day while buying coffee at the market near my apartment, the security guard who closes the parking garage at night taught me a couple of techniques to defend myself should anyone ever attempt to touch me in a threatening manner.  He also recommended I purchase a taser, but I think I’ll try the ol’ elbow-to-the-throat tactic before I resort to jolts of electricity.

Tonight at my concrete parking labyrinth by the sea it is quiet.  I am supposed to be handing out American flags in celebration of the holiday weekend and I feel awkward when doing so.  The past couple of nights I’ve been lucky enough to see newly legal fireworks being set off from a parking lot nearby.  I may not understand or appreciate the extreme nationalism represented by American July Fourth celebrations, but I will gladly accept any excuse to see massive, colorful explosions in the sky.