It’s time for an updated ‘About Me’ section, I think! Hi. My name is Anna. I usually start these things by telling you how to pronounce my name — if you’re American, it doesn’t rhyme with ‘banana’; it’s the other one. You know, pretend you’re German. I suppose it doesn’t matter if you’re just reading along here, but I wouldn’t want you incorrectly believing I’m an Anna-Banana.
I grew up in a suburb south of the Twin Cities, in Minnesota. I went to college in Wisconsin, moved to London for a while, came back and lived in Minneapolis for several years, and now I have a house in Hinckley, MN. It sits on 40 acres — we have some trees, some hay fields, and a really pretty pond. Who’s ‘we’? Well, I’m part-time housemates with my best buddy, Rob. He’s from the UK, but we share this place when he’s in town, a little less than half of the time. We bought the house when it was in foreclosure and have been putting a lot of work (both DIY and by a contractor) getting it just how we want it.
I’ve been gardening since 2007, the first summer I spent in Minneapolis. I love to grow vegetables (and fruit!), and now that I’ve got more than just a little urban backyard, the sky’s the limit. For now, I’m happy with the manageable garden I’ve fenced in, which is about 21′x28′. There’s certainly room to expand, but I also have to consider all the time and effort it takes to maintain anything more than that! And in addition to all the wild acres of land, there’s a lot of lawn — one of my guilty pleasures is using the riding lawn mower to cut it once a week in the summer. It’s about a 2-hour job, but it’s really satisfying (sorry atmosphere).
I don’t have any horses or chickens yet, but I do have something of an indoor menagerie. Beany was the first to join me, adopted from the Humane Society in 2007 (as of January 2013, she’s six years old). At her post-adoption check-up, the vet told me to keep an eye on her, because ‘she’s going to be a biter’. He couldn’t have been more wrong about that — she’s shameless in her pursuit of affection. She will happily greet any stranger and routinely gets in the way of utility workers who come to the house.
Birdy is a different story. She also came to me from the Humane Society, just a kitten in 2010 (she’s currently three years old). Despite never knowing a cruel person in her life, she’s quite a timid cat. Any disturbance in the house will send her into hiding, and some friends refer to her as ‘the invisible cat’. I tend to think that her rarity makes her attention all the more valuable, even if she is quite vocal in her complaints. She loves exactly two things: her ball track and soft cat treats. Everything else is either tolerable or horrible, depending on her mood. I like to poke fun at her behavior, but I actually love her really a lot.
In 2010, I started fostering Henny, a chihuahua who had been rescued from a puppy mill at the age of three (she’s now about five and a half). I had no intention of adopting a dog, but there was never any interest in Henny from potential adopters, and after a few months, she and I had bonded. It took a long time to bring her out of her shell; being a breeder, probably kept in a cage for most of her life, had really done a number on her confidence. She still has her quirks, but she’s a very happy dog these days. It hard to imagine not having her in my life!
Lastly, in 2012, I adopted Nova, again from the Humane Society. She was a four-month-old puppy when she came to live with me (still not a year old, at the moment), and it’s been an adventure adjusting to the energy of such a young dog. She’s also a chihuahua (possibly a mix of some kind), and Nova has been great for Henny. The two of them chase and play fight, and Henny has probably never been so fit. Nova is a good watch dog, but she’d make a terrible guard dog, on account of her weighing about six pounds and the fact that she loves everybody she meets. Despite being incredibly social, she quietly slinks away whenever there’s the possibility of having to get in the car. Henny, on the other hand, loves running errands with me.
When I’m not catering to the pets’ needs, I work as a publisher, editing fiction manuscripts, typesetting, and designing book covers. I work from home, and yes, it is a pretty awesome job to have. I’ve also been blogging since 2000 (not all the archives are available to read), although I don’t get paid a cent for that. I started when I was still in college, and the blog has changed to reflect my interests as I’ve moved through life. For a long time, I focused on crafts — sewing mainly. Around 2007, I started posting more about food (I’ve been a vegetarian for over a decade), but it’s always been a hodgepodge of whatever going on. Because I like talking about the pets (and I think people enjoy hearing about them!), they get mentioned a lot. Most of the site’s traffic comes from people looking for either my zipper tutorial or the paper house patterns (you can find links to both on the sidebar).
Mainly, I just like taking photos and sharing pieces of my life with people! I hope you might enjoy it, too.