Hi! My name is Marianne Gries, welcome to my blog.
I am a thirtysomething amateur. Amateur what? Cook, photographer, knitter, home-economist, and writer. I am a professional non-profiteer; and I’m a dedicated dog mom, bike commuter, beer fan, friend of libraries, fritterer, patron of the arts and crafts, and lover of all things Lowell, MA! I’m a huge devotee of the medium chill.
I’ve lived in Lowell since 2004 – before moving here from San Francisco, I’d never set foot in the city and had no idea what I was getting into – luckily, it was love at first sight! I’m a New England girl at heart, but I have a bit of the midwest and west coast thrown in for good measure: as a child, I’ve lived in the Chicago area, Santa Barbara, eastern Massachusetts, and The Quiet Corner of Connecticut. As an adult, I’ve lived in The Quiet Corner, Boston, Amherst, and San Francisco.
I love Lowell for many, many reasons, one of them being that it really inspires my photography. I often ride my bike or walk around town and photograph the things that I love: the mills, the canals, the rivers, and the red brick. I also love Lowell’s diversity, cultural offerings, festivals, restaurants, sense of community, and all of the wonderful friends I’ve made here.
I love to eat and cook. My love of good food is why I started cooking and it’s what keeps me in the kitchen. After being laid off in December 2008, I had to become a super home-economist in order to “make it work” (I love Tim Gunn!). I started cooking for my partner and myself on a $60 a week grocery budget. That economic reality has morphed into the $60 a Week Project. I post my shopping lists and recipes for what I’ve made during the week. I go on (and on) about the project here.
I learned to knit in 2004. I love everything about knitting. I like to knit (duh), look at yarn, buy yarn, read about yarn and knitting, visit fiber festivals, surf Ravelry, take pictures of yarn and knitting, and spend time with my friends who knit. Heck, I even go on not one, but two, knitting vacations a year! It’s awesome.
This blog is a work-in-progress, just like me. I use it as a place to explore and talk about what I’m doing and where I am (both geographically and mentally) at a given time. I generally write about my hobbies and interests which include my adorable pups, food, knitting, riding my bike, my friends, books, photography, museums, yoga, beer, visiting, and whatever else flits through my mind.
Thanks for stopping by! If you have questions, please feel free to e-mail me at marianne [dot] gries [at] gmail [dot] com
100 Things About Me
Yikes! That’s too many, 35 is enough!
- I am a typical Aquarius – or so I’m told.
- I learned to swim at a very young age – like before I could walk.
- I drink my coffee black.
- I am the oldest of seven children. I like all of my siblings a lot.
- I spent my childhood (and some adult) summers at camp.
- I like the beginnings of projects but not the follow-through.
- I have ugly feet with very spread out toes. I can pick things up with them.
- I love biking, public transportation, and walking but I hate owning a car.
- However, I do love to drive a manual-transmission car with a big ole engine. I have a lead foot and a need for speed.
- I am completely tone deaf but I love to sing.
- I love libraries, so much so that I always check out the library of whatever city or town I am visiting.
- I have the most wonderful family of choice.
- I love to play croquet and sing camp songs.
- I am not a planner and it always surprises me when I meet people who have plans for their lives. I just don’t understand it.
- I have always had pets. I can’t imagine living without animals.
- I love honey.
- Popcorn is my favorite snack.
- Both of my parents are mathematicians. I stink at math but am excellent with languages – that’s how I rebelled.
- I love Orion the Hunter.
- My favorite subjects in grammar school were reading and science.
- I hate to drink milk. I love to cook with it.
- I am a truly hateful person in the morning before I’ve had coffee – it’s honestly like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde!
- I sometimes whine.
- My father’s childhood nickname for me was Marsidotes and it was only five or so years ago that I connected that with the song “Mares eat oats and does eat oats…”
- I love going sledding!
- I love the color red.
- I like odd numbers better than even numbers.
- I have been a barista (not at Greedybucks, thank you very much), a waitress, a customer service rep., a preschool teacher, a phone surveyor, a cashier at a hardware store, a receptionist, an office manager, and a fundraiser/marketer. Except for retail/foodservice jobs, I have always worked for nonprofits. I am currently unemployed – damn recession! I am currently the Director of a small, local non-profit. I love it and feel like I am doing what I was always meant to do.
- I am a candy addict.
- I love strawberries and asparagus.
- I was a vegetarian for 12 years.
- I love bacon. It was the meat that broke me.
- I can identify most constellations and I love looking at the night sky.
- I am happy most of the time.
- I like to make up words.