Thursday, April 29, 2010


This is my newest friend Xiang.

He's leaving today to go live in Shanghai with our new nephew, Wesley.

Bon voyage!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

class of 2010

Congratulations Critter!

BFA in Acting from the BY.

That's big time.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

project Eli-fant

He has a tail and a trunk (and eyes even though you can't see them).

But he still needs a name.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

more flowers

Isn't it cool that something so pretty can grow from something to prickly?

Thursday, April 15, 2010

sticky thanks

Remember that time I ordered a Phoenix poster?

Today it showed up in my mail box.

It's very vibrant and pretty. I love it.

And I love the sticker that came with it.

Heads of State, I {heart} you.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010


This is my friend RubyQ.

Designed to look like she was drawn by a kid. Or maybe I design like a kid. Either way, I like her.

I made her last week and shipped her off to live in Montana with the Marshalls and their baby girl, who should come into the world any day. Both baby and doll will be especially loved because that's the kind of people they are.

It was kind of sad sending her away, but I'm going to sew some new friends to keep me company.


Mr. Yin and I have always been anti-salad spinner. We have been known to make fun of people who use them and always pretend that we want one when we're at TJMaxx. (At least we crack up each other!)

One time I was at Herman's. We took the bus to the the Castro Farmers Market and walked our treasures back to her house. There she whipped out her salad spinner and proceeded to wash the little Jewel lettuce we'd just purchased and then we had lunch. And I told her how silly I think salad spinners are.

About two months ago, I was sitting in a waiting room while Mr. Yin's head head was scanned, reading Martha Stewart Living. She was instructing me on how to wash and keep leafy greens. Take each leaf, she taught, wash it, and then dry it by rolling it in a flour sack dish towel and then store them in the fridge in a leafy green flour sack roll. I love Martha so I went home, got some lettuce, washed and rolled. Proud to know I could live without a salad spinner because Martha had shown me the better way.

I had salad for a few days and promptly forgot about the leafy rolls. Until a few weeks later I unrolled them and tossed sad, limp lettuce leaves into the grinder.

And for the first time I thought fondly of the salad spinner.

Flash forward a few weeks and I'm making kale chips. Washing each leaf individually, rolling them up in towels, and waiting for them to dry. I had so much kale I ran out of towels.

And for the second time I thought fondly of the salad spinner.

Monday I bought some more kale (the curly kind) to make more chips. And yesterday I bought a salad spinner at TJMaxx.

And today I spun the kale.

It took about as long as it usually takes me to dig out all of my towels.

And I'm having salad for lunch with spun lettuce.

I stand corrected, little salad spinner. Please forgive.

*not the kind with a bike

Update: The spun kale chips were mighty tasty. Not necessarily because they were spun but because I baked them for a shorter time on a lower heat and used only curly kale. So much easier than my friend Martha's prep process.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


I'm repurposing some of Mr. Yin's old clothes for some sewing projects. To save on fabric costs.

Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without.

Wish me luck!

Monday, April 12, 2010

I wanna live and I wanna grow

My iPod is so old, it predates the click-wheel. And requires a charging dock.

And I love it. It's 40GB of pure joy, including everything the Beatles have ever recorded (5GB). And it's engraved with "Harold A. Gimenez Ch." on the back. Because originally it was Harold's.

When we moved we didn't bring our cds because we hadn't listened to them since we got married and figured we could do without them for another 16 months. Brilliant idea! Way to maximize the space in the moving pod! Right?!

Wrong. Now that I spend so much time in my apartment, cooking, cleaning, sewing and reading (ie: being a 1950s housewife), I was missing my cds. The music on our computer is mostly Mr. Yin's and he changes it around a lot. And it lacks music that speaks to my soul.

Thankfully (to Harold) I have the iPod. Except I couldn't find the charging dock for about 6 weeks. I even tried to charge it with the special iPod adapter in the car. No luck. I was getting mopey without my good tunes.

Last week I went crazy and searched and searched until I found it. And find it I did. Under the bathroom sink in the box with light bulbs and golf balls. (Limited storage, you see.)

It was one of the best days of my life in AZ.

John Denver and the Indigo Girls are back and singing to my soul.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

play ball!

Enzo, an enthusiastic Chilean
Thanks to Mr. Yin's athletic prowess (and that of his orientation team's) they all won tickets to go see a Diamondbacks game. And I got to trudge along.

As it turns out, most of the American students dropped out at the last minute, but all of the international students and a handful of American sports fans (and their trusty sidekicks) put away their books for a night to catch a game. Game two of the 2010 season, D-Backs vs. the Padres.

We carpooled to the light rail and publicly transported ourselves to Chase Field. (Which, coincidentally, is right next door to US Airways Stadium where the Suns play.) The ball park is huge, and fancy complete with retractable roof and tons of seats (1/3 of which were empty).

Our free tickets seated us in the nosebleeds, but provided us with an awesome view of the game. None of the international students had any idea about the rules of baseball, but were an enthusiastic bunch, cheering at anything and keeping the wave alive. Mr. Yin and I spent a good part of the game explaining the rules to guy from India. He is a huge (please do not underestimate this adjective) cricket fan. I think I did Jaime and Jay proud, drawing on the similarities (which I think are limited to stick and ball) and explaining the differences. I think I may have learned as much about cricket as he did about baseball.

My favorite? He kept calling the catcher "the wicket keeper". As in "Jason Varitek is my favorite wicket keeper". Awesome.

All in all it was a fun game because the people were fun and the view was great. But it made me miss Fenway. Of course I wore my Boston hat.

Gotta represent.

Oh, and after a mini-rally in the 7th (or was it the 6th?) Arizona lost 3-6. Good thing there are 162 games in a season.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter!

Today we celebrated new life and resurrection. Three years ago, on Easter, Mr. Yin came home from the hospital to start his new life.


Saturday, April 3, 2010

learnin' to love the desert

Today's hike took me and a classmate of Mr. Yin's to the east valley. The cacti there are not blooming.

(We hiked right up to the butte before we realized we'd gone way off trail. The off-trail adventure was more challenging and less crowded than the real trails.)

Friday, April 2, 2010


I've fallen in love.

And become a bit obsessed.

And it's just the beginning.

upside-down farmers market

Farmers markets here in the desert run from October -May. In Boston they run from June-October. So we only have a couple of months left for farmers markets!

The other day we ventured up to the market and ended up with some kale, scallions, asparagus and artichokes. Though truth be told there were far more food artisans than farmers. But I did learn agave is used as a sweetener. Like unto maple syrup and honey.

Last night I turned the kale into baked kale chips. Joe made omelets for breakfast with the scallions and will sprinkle them in his noodles and various other concoctions. The asparagus is for Easter dinner. And the artichokes are for fun.

Having never prepared an artichoke, I threw one into a pot of boiling water and let it do its thing. It was quite tasty, but a lot of work for not much food. The heart is being saved for artichoke heart pizza.

What was more fascinating than the artichoke itself was the dark green water left in the pot after its bath. Dark green water.

Since Easter is right around the corner, some dyed eggs were in order.