Sunday, January 31, 2010

The Corners of My Home

We're in a state of transition here on Osage Ave; two of our housemates recently moved out (three if you include Wild Bill), and two will be moving in over the course of the next month. The house is in disarray and there are boxes and newly empty walls all over.

This recent post from Soulemama allowed me to take a breath, look around my home, and appreciate the parts of it that are still making me happy.

I also joined the Corners of My Home group on flickr, which provides some very nice procrastination fodder.

*** Favorite stuffed animals (Beanie, Flat Cat, a wild thing, and the Phanatic), pictures, a self-portrait I took in college, nick-nacks. ***

*** A favorite spot in the front room, with a bird's nest that was a gift from my mom ***

*** Winter on the south side of the house - on the right is my pineapple sage which makes me very very happy. ***

***Nick-nack corner with my jewelry box from Poland, ring holder (my first engagement gift), striped rock from Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge, and art from blue bicicletta. ***

*** My favorite bread-rising place ***

***Part of my sweetie's studio.***

***Bedside table full of things that make me happy.***

*** Furniture from my grandmother, a print from my time in Hawai'i, Steelers fanstuff.***

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Kitty T.V.

We've had several days recently that were sunny and in the 50s. Perfect time to air out the room and give the cat a brand new experience.

On a sad note, Billy moved away last weekend with our other housemates. He's now living three looooooong blocks away, WAH!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Sprout Love

My parents gave me this book for Christmas (which I forgot I had asked for and was so excited to see!), "Fresh Food From Small Spaces: The Square-Inch Gardener's Guide to Year-round Growing, Fermenting, and Sprouting." Unfortunately it's more of a beginner's book, and it's more vague and less organized than I hoped it would be. Regardless, I did learn some things about how to maximize the light that I have on my porch (levels are your friend, I will be experimenting with those this spring). I also remembered that I love to sprout, and there are some good examples of different types of seeds to sprout and how to use them. I've got some broccoli seeds going in this jar right now, and some mung beans and soybeans waiting in the wings.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Winter Commute

When I take the train to work it takes twice as long as when I drive. Not cool. But the trade-offs are that I get to read on the train and I get to walk through the quiet beauty of pre-sunrise West Philadelphia. A few weeks ago, that commute looked like this.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Beauties from Poland

I just had to share with you some of the adorable things I brought back from Poland. I was mostly enamored with small wooden things, both painted and natural. And the dollar is doing pretty well in Poland against the złoty so I came home with quite the haul.

Pretty wooden tulips.

Tiny painted wooden birds with metal feet, acquired over the course of the week because I kept going back for more!

The most exciting purchase, a painted wooden jewelry box. I've been looking for a good one for a while now and I was ecstatic to find this gorgeous box with a key, mirror, drawer and two levels on top.

Wooden tree, natural.

Saturday, January 16, 2010


Happy 2010 everyone! I'm back from my trip to Poland and it's time to share some photos. We stayed in Krakow and made one weekend trip to Warsaw, a day trip to the mountain town of Zakopane on the border of Slovakia, and a day trip to Auschwitz (no photos, I just couldn't). I read about the history of Poland before going and was so happy I did because when I got there it was like leaping into my books. Amazing. I live in the oldest city in America and I guess I get cocky about it, because nothing compares to seeing buildings that were built in the 1400's. the history of Poland pervades everything, as you'll see in the photos.

The food was another highlight. Everything was cooked in butter and bacon fat, and preserved meats, various kinds of cabbage, and dumplings made an appearance at almost every meal. We took a cooking class where we learned to cook traditional foods (which will greatly help when we cook food for Wigilia next year). My favorite dish was Bigos, a stew featuring sausage and sauerkraut.

Krakow: Battle of Grunwald monument. This is one of the most important battles in Polish history, it happened in July, 1410.

Krakow: Christmas tree and nativity scene in Old Town Krakow, in the main market square (Rynek Główny w Krakowie), the largest medieval town square of any European city.

Krakow: The Church of St. Adalbert (Kościół św. Wojciecha) in the main market square.

Krakow: (left) St. Mary's Basilica (Kościół Mariacki) in the main market square. (right) the Adam Mickiewics Monument (Pomnik Adama Mickiewicza w Krakowie), Mickiewics was a Polish romantic poet of the 19th century.

Krakow: inside St. Mary's Basilica (Kościół Mariacki) on Christmas Day

Warsaw: Castle Square (Plac Zamkowy), the entrance to the reconstructed Old Town (it was completely levelled by the Germans during WWII). (right) The Royal Castle (Zamek Królewski w Warszawie)

Warsaw: Stencil

Warsaw: Plaque commemorating Polish citizens who died by the hands of the Nazis. (These plaques are all over Warsaw and they often have the number of people who were shot on them. Sobering).

Warsaw: Castle Square (Plac Zamkowy)

Warsaw: Castle Square (Plac Zamkowy)

Warsaw: Doorway

Warsaw: Stencil

Warsaw: City walls that surround the Old Town (Stare Miasto). They were severely damaged during WWII and rebuilt meticulously using brick from houses that were the same age as the original wall.

Warsaw: Wilanow Palace (Pałac w Wilanowie) built for King John III Sobieski in the late 1600s in the baroque style.

Warsaw: One of many churches we saw during our trip (the Polish people are almost 90% Roman Catholic).

Krakow: Making pierogies in our cooking class at The Culinary Institute in Crakow

Krakow: View from Wawel Hill (Wzgórze wawelskie)

Krakow: Stencils (Notice how there are layers of stencil on top of one another - as though it was a collaborative piece and people came along and added to the picture.)

Zakopane: Peksow Brzyzek cemetery

Zakopane: Peksow Brzyzek cemetery

Zakopane: Oscypek, salted and smoked sheep's milk cheese from the Tatar Mountain region of Poland. We tried it cold and it was gross, but when they grill it and add a dollop of cranberry sauce? Mmm, mmm, good!