take that, Whole Foods

One of many things I prefer about the Bay Area over Boston is the produce. Now, before I get all smug in a way only Northern Californians can be, I will say that the Boston area does offer an increasing number of CSAs (community supported agriculture) and farmers' markets but only during the "growing season," i.e. the three or four months of summer. And they fill up fast. We started getting weekly boxes o' veggies (and a little fruit) last time we lived in Oakland from Full Belly Farm, but only a few months before we packed up and moved to Boston. When we got to Boston and looked into it the list for the following summer was, I believe, already full. After that we quickly got used to supplementing limited seasonal offerings with frozen staples like broccoli and green beans. But now that we're back, we've renewed our relationship with the Farm and the honeymoon is not yet over. We already have way more onions than we can use but otherwise we've been doing a pretty good job each week at incorporating whatever we get in our box into that week's menu. Having an addition to the family who loves melon certainly helps.


fresh from the Makery: in honor of my feline friend

The Makery is back.

Up for grabs this week are, I'll admit, the leftovers from a project I put together for my Etsy shop, a sister product, if you will, to the last installment of the Makery, before things got crazy with project move. I have three mini punches and wanted to create mini notes around each one. I posted the seahorse notes today and didn't plan on putting the pink cat version together right away but decided the project would be good distraction from the sad news this morning that my childhood kitty went to kitty cat heaven around midnight last night.

Ozzy (or "Ozzie" as everyone else always spelled his name...I don't think he really cared either way) was a cool cat. He was my 15th birthday present, a birthday I celebrated when we lived in Bedford, England, about an hour or so north of London. I remember we got him from a farm - he was the only tabby out of a litter of black kittens and it was love at first sight. But he was also, apparently, the runt of the litter and when we took him to the vet a few days after we got him home, clearly not doing so well, the vet warned my Dad to not let me get attached since she really didn't think he'd make it. Obviously, we nursed him back to health, an experience that had me convinced I wanted to be a vet until well into college. He went from being able to fit on my shoulder under an oversized flannel shirt I'd wear around the house (this was the early 90s after all) to being the longest, sturdiest domestic cat I've ever met, usually weighing in at a trim 16 pounds as a full-grown cat. In fact, I'm still convinced he was part European Wildcat. He moved with us from England to Germany, where he spent his only time as an indoor cat, and back to the States with me when I graduated from high school. Once my Dad moved back it made more sense for him to be with the more settled member of our family and they've been best buds over the past decade. He lived a good, long life and I haven't been around him consistently for quite some time, but that doesn't make me feel any better about his passing.

Anyway...in honor of Ozzy I wanted to use this little cat punch I have that's just about the same size as the seahorse punch I used for the mini thank you notes. I decided the cat cards would be simple hellos instead of thank yous. There are a couple of sets in the shop and up for grabs here are the four or five notes that didn't make the cut (they look fine, just a spot here and there where the adhesive didn't lay perfectly flat and they don't come with the little green envelopes, but hey, they're free). If you like what you see, you know what to do. And if you don't win the giveaway, which will be announced at the end of the week, you can get a set of three for a mere three bucks at the ol' Etsy shop.

I can't promise that the Makery is back in any consistent or consistently free way but I hope to start making stuff again on a regular basis. I've added beige felt and Britney Spears stickers to my craft supplies and of course now that I'm back in the Bay, I can always swing by the East Bay Depot for Creative Use for inspiration and materials. Love (and missed!) that place.

Here's to you, Oz. You'll be missed, cool cat...