Monthly Archives: May 2013

and the winner is…

…Brooks, from Big River Running (South City).  Brooks Adrenaline GTS 13 to be exact.

Thanks for all the recommendations.  You said I’d get the best service and fit at a local running store, so I picked the local-ist.  The fact that it was located across the street from a favorite bakery was an added bonus.  The fact that said bakery was closed on Monday (when I went to buy my shoes) was an added disappointment.  In the end it all worked out because I went straight home and managed to get a few miles on them before the three o’clock sky turned completely black.  That was some creepy looking storm system that came through – like two sunsets and two sunrises in one day.

After a lot of foot assessment, walk assessment, run assessment, personality quizzes and a horoscope reading, three shoes were selected for me.  I felt like I was standing in Ollivanders, waiting for the wand to choose me.

This was the one.  Liking the color was just an added bonus.  They look less colorful from above, but they are pretty bright in the back.  I have some wacky looking feet – my big toes turn in slightly and cross my other toes, so I have this really odd, wide shaped top half, but a narrow foot in general, and narrow ankle.  I’m like a triangle foot.  Or an inverted pear foot.  I actually need surgery at some point on them, but I’ll put that off forever if possible.  This shoe worked well for me – I actually got the wide width (D) and the ankle on this shoe snugs up nicely.    It’s perfect for triangle feet, I guess.  I’ve never worn a shoe that I didn’t have to break in to feel comfortable on my foot, but I ran about 2.5 miles on this shoe right out of the box.  

This week between school and summer camp has been hectic, and there’s a whole lot of juggling going on, so I missed my Wednesday run.  Looking forward to a second run in these shoes on Friday.

admiring: extra seating

If we can call this the summer of the backyard (projects), then I must say one of the things I’d like our backyard to do is host dinner for twelve, complete with amazing food and wine, good conversation, seventy degree weather, and just enough breezes to keep the mosquitoes at bay. And it should also do the dishes afterwards.  (Photos from the exact same event I just described, but a few blocks from my own backyard.  Apparently the food was so good that any stealthy attempt at photographing the table by me just produced a bunch of people with their cheeks stuffed with food.  It was that good.)

I would need some extra seating, so enter the latest thing I’m admiring:
It’s the Hanger Chair by Philippe Malouin via Remodelista.

There are many options for flat folding chairs, but I love the idea that these can serve as hangers and then come out to play for summer time al fresco dining.  I first liked the idea that winter coats could hang on them, but then I pictured a pile of coats at the base of the wardrobe whenever a party happened.  I think I might like the idea better that linen tablecloths or simple slipcovers could hang from them, and then you’ve got a ready-made party in a closet when the time is right…


…or when the mango is right.  Yellow mangoes (not the more common green ones) served on a stick, with a slight crosshatch to them, sprinkled with chile powder, some lime juice and a little salt.  According to our friends that made them, these type of mangoes are only found for around two weeks, twice a year, and you can get them at Jay’s.  Hammer the sticks in, but peel and score them at the last moment before serving.

Mexican street food.  Divine.

We were mostly hanging out, eating, drinking and enjoying the company, but we were also brainstorming for this year’s wine tasting / foodie feast that I talked about here, last fall.  And while we were eating very specific, seasonal food on Sunday, we were getting inspired for September when the weather is likely to be just as nice.  Speaking of extra seats for that event, there might be a few. Email me (address in sidebar) if you want more details.

project backyard: step one

We rebuilt the back porch (and balcony framing above) many years ago.  The structure of the porches is pressure treated wood, and the railings are fir.  The deck itself is ipe, a very dense, tropical hardwood that is extremely durable, and absolutely gorgeous when maintained yearly.  We did that right on schedule each spring for the first few years, but we let it go last year, and maybe even the year before that, so it was long overdue.

Last week M sanded down the deck…

…as well as all those railings.  It had been at least eight years – maybe more –  since we had stained those the first time, so they were in need of a freshening up as well.  The top rail has a semi-opaque Cabot stain in an inky black, and the vertical rails and the bottom rail have an opaque Cabot stain called Juniper.  We had leftovers of both colors, but the Juniper stain was hardened into a brick in the can, so we had to track some more down.

We still haven’t finished the upper balcony – which we would like to make a screened porch – and when we do that we’ll trim out the vertical columns at the same time.  Right now they look sort of plain next to the rest of the finished porch, but they do the job they are supposed to – and they are a far cry from the porch we found here when we bought the house.
The sealer on the deck really brings out the beautiful color of the wood, and the water just beads off the surface.

So now the herbs are out, and the deck looks alive again, and it just might be summer soon around these parts.