Thursday, July 15, 2010

Finally cleaned up the Brew Room


A few weeks ago, I decided to start brewing again for the first time in a year. I decided a yummy chocolate cherry vanilla cream stout would be great as a first beer. Well, the fermentation went kind of wild and this was the result...









This was the ceiling after the stout exploded. The walls, ceiling and bathtub were all wrecked when a cocoa nib got caught in the blow-off tube and allowed pressure to build up to the point of the explosion... I lost about a gallon of the beer from this one..








Now the brew room is all cleaned up and ready to go again. In the foreground you see what is left of the beer that exploded all over the bathroom. In the back you can see the orangecello that is settling. The flask on the stir plate is the yeast starter for the yeast that are going to be used in the Pumpkin Pie Ale that I will be brewing this weekend...







MMMMM... Limoncello!

I finally got around to bottling up another batch of Limoncello that has been sitting for a month. This is the first batch of clear Limoncello that I have made and it looks really yummy. I did accidently put an extra 1/2 cup of syrup in the batch but we will see how that works with this batch. I have a couple of batches of "orangecello" going. One batch is getting some vodka and the other one has just had the sugar syrup added. It should be ready to bottle in 2 - 3 weeks.


The large bottle in the milk crate is the Tupelo Honey Mead. I made this back in Feb of 2009. I am hoping to bottle this sometime this weekend and try it. We were aiming for a dry mead, we will see how it turns out... Snark is in the sink, she is my new Jr Beer Rat...

Well, I took the first try... Hmmm... I think this needs to age a while longer. Yes, it has been in the carboy for a year and a half but it needs more time. The first taste is Rocket Fuel... It has a nice complexity in the middle and ends with a nice woody taste. The beginning? I think my hubby's description "Prison Wine" is a good descriptor. I will ask another one of the brewers to give it a second opinion. I really think another year or three will pay off on this one. Time is good to all meads that will wait...

Friday, July 02, 2010

Hey, is anybody still out there?


This was the ringtail cat that was living in my toolset at work. Isn't she/he a cutie???

OK, I took a break from blogging for a couple of years to let life pass me by. Time to get back into it. I am still hanging out on Facebook doing the farm thing but I need to put my brewing, knitting, spinning, weaving and SCA stuff somewhere so I thought I would bring this blog back to life...

Currently, working in the solar industry for about another week, then off to find greener pastures where my engineering skills will work for me :-) I am excited about a change in life right now.

This weekend will be fun. We have a Pumpkin Pie Ale ready to brew (all-grain) and I am going to mix up some Sangria for the weekend. No big plans, just cleaning, playing silly farm games and brewing beer. I hope to be able to get the mead bottled (that I made a year ago February) but that depends on how well the back holds out. Right now, it is not up for bending over a bathtub and washing out a few dozen wine bottles. I am dying to take a taste of it (18 months worth of aging, it should be OK right about now...) and will try it once I get it bottled.

SO GLAD that I keep recipes on the blog. It makes for a great place to find things when I lose them. So here is the recipe for this weekend's Pumpkin Pie Ale:

8 lb 2-row Pale Malk
1 lb British Caramalt
1 lb Toasted Malt
1 lb wheat, torrified
1 lb rice hulls
60 oz pumpkin
.25 lb molasses
1/2 oz Magnum hops
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon clove.

Bake pumpkin uncovered for 1 hour at 350F to caramelize some of the sugars and gelatinize starches. Mash at 152F for 60 minutes. Pumpkin should be included in mash. Be sure to use rice hulls as the pumpkin will make a sticky sparge. Boil for 60 minutes. Add Magnum hops at the beginning of the boil. Add Molasses with 10 minutes left in boil and add spices with 5 miutes left in the boil. Cool and add English Ale yeast and put in Carboy for 3 weeks. Bottle and allow another 3 - 6 weeks for carbonation.

Time to head to the brew store and the SCA meeting tonight.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

We are moving...

I am currently working on moving the blog to a new site and revamping the blog. It will become more "fiber" oriented and less personal stuff. I will post the new blog address once I have set it up and have it running...

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Arts and Crafts Day

And we have a new drink recipe too!

This is the loom I have set up for tablet weaving. After much searching, I was able to find the book "The Techniques of Tablet Weaving" by Peter Collingwood. It was supposed to be the "Bible" of tablet weaving, and they were right. Man, this book goes into some great detail about all sorts of things you can do with tablet weaving. I know, I needed another string hobby like I need a freaking hole in my head. But, here we are! This is the loom all tied up with string and working on a new pattern. We were given the looms in our Beginners Tablet Weaving class at the SCA Collegium a few weeks ago down in Tucson. WOW!!!


Here was my second weaving pattern. My DH, Mike, wanted a strap that he could use in orange and black so I made this for him. It was a lot of fun to make and didn't take all that long once I got the loom working. My mother in law is really going to give me an "I told you so" when she comes down to visit in August. She has been trying to get me into weaving for a while but I didn't think I would be interested. Then, I took this class and the rest is history. She will be so happy to have another weaving buddy! We can spin yarn together and now we can weave together. The loom is portable so I can take it up to Santa Fe when we go over and visit later this year.


Here is the newest pair of socks! I decided to cave into peer pressure and try some Noro Kureyon Sock Yarn in color 185. This yarn is OK. Now, don't get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE the colors. These colors are so awesome. When I got finished with the heel, the sock begged me not to do 2x2 ribbing and ruin the gorgeous color but to do stockinette all the way up the leg and do 1x1 ribbing on the top 1.5 inches. Such pretty socks. I did find one knot in this skein but it spit-spliced nicely so there were no problems. I have 4 more skeins of it in my craft room (it was buy 4 get one free) so I am looking forward to a few more pairs of socks like this. When I first started using the yarn I really hated the feel of it. After trying on the socks a few times (to make sure they fit well), I think that the yarn is really great and pretty soft. I will see how the colors make it through a wash before passing final judgement on this sock yarn.

New drink recipe!!! I found this Sangria recipe that really kicks some serious butt! It is really good and pretty rich...

1 Bottle Red Wine (use a good table wine, not wine in a box or cheap red wine. I found some Menage a trois at Sam's Club for $7.99 a bottle that worked really well)
1/4 cup Apricot Brandy
3/4 cup Brandy (use at least a VSOP for this recipe)
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup lemon juice (fresh squeezed is best for this recipe)
1 red plum
1 peach or nectarine

Mix the apricot brandy and regular brandy in a pitcher. Stir in sugar and dissolve. Add lemon juice and bottle of red wine. Mix well. Chop up the plum and nectarine and add to the mix. Refridgerate for 6 hours (preferably overnight) to let flavors mix well then serve over ice.

This recipe is WONDERFUL for hot summer days. (Ask me how I know this...) The big thing to remember with this recipe is the better and fresher your ingredients are, the better this sangria turns out (aka get ripe fruit and don't get too cheap with the brandy and wine). You don't need to get top of the line red wine (it would be wasted on this recipe) but DO NOT use wine in a box for it, either.

We still have mead brewing in the bathroom with no additional "mead-canos". I am hoping that my JAO recipe will be clear in a couple of weeks in time for Highlands War in August. I love SCA events!!!

It looks like I am headed back to work next week. I will edit this post with more details as I get them.

Last week, we went to the True Colors tour and saw Cindi Lauper, the B-52's, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Wanda Sykes and this new group called the Puppini Sisters. If you get a chance to see the Puppini Sisters, go see them. They are a retro 40's musical harmony Jazz kind of group (think The Andrews Sisters for vocal style) and they were a load of fun! Their cover of "Walk Like an Egyptian" was a hoot! I picked up their CD and it is awesome!

Friday, June 20, 2008

More fun projects to work on

Oh Boy! OH BOY! What is cooking in the cauldron today? Some Eye of Newt? A little bit of Frog Hair? Let's throw some honey in there, some oranges, some cinnamon and call it mead! This stuff brewing on the stove is my first official batch of mead. We were at an SCA Collegium a couple of weeks ago and they had a Beginner's Mead Making class. This is the recipe that they handed out so I thought I would try it... I got it all loaded up into the 3 gallon carboy then I found a really great website for mead makers called GotMead and found out I didn't have to cook it. This batch will hopefully be ready for the holidays when the entire family comes down to Arizona. Attention family, this should be some pretty yummy stuff...

They have a bunch of really good recipes on the site so I thought I would try mead batch number 2, also known as Joe's Ancient Orange Mead. This is a VERY simple mead that anyone can make with common household ingredients. We made 3 gallons of it with Desert Blossom honey and 2 gallons of it with Orange Blossom honey. I am hoping that this batch will be cleared and ready to drink in August! Yummy! Chris came down from San Diego last weekend so he helped me make this batch! This stuff is fermenting like gangbusters! I am looking forward to trying some of it when it clears and is ready to bottle.


In the shower in the guest bathroom, we have batch #1 (the small bottle) and last night's newest batch. It is a cherry cyser (mead) that I am also hoping will be ready in time for the family coming down for Yule. We learned some valuable lessons from batch number 3. We used cherries, apple juice, yeasties and Orange Blossom and Mesquite honey. We mixed it all up in our sanitized food grade bucket then transferred it to the carboy. We did not leave nearly enough head space in the carboy. When we got up this morning, we discovered what happens when you don't leave nearly enough head space in the carboy...

Holy Crap! It's Engineers Gone Wild!!! This is the ceiling of the shower in the guest bathroom. What is that weird red stuff on the ceiling? Cherry puree from the latest batch of mead. I did not take a picture of the whole shower since it was pretty gross. I was able to get it cleaned up in about an hour. So, when anyone asks me "Why do you ferment mead in your guest bathroom shower?" this is the reason. When your mead turns into a "Mead Volcano", clean-up is a breeze! If this would have been in our mud room or the laundry room, I would still be cleaning this mess up 4 hours later! Yes, the picture above is the shower AFTER I got done cleaning cherry puree off of the walls, carboys and tub. The big bottle is the new batch. I am working with the fruit cap every couple of hours at this point until fermentation settles down a bit. I just found out the limit on fermentation for personal use is 100 gallons per year... Hmmm, what to make with the other 86 gallons???

Yes, there were other great classes offered at the collegium. The first one I took during the weekend was Beginner's Tablet Weaving. OK, I already spin wool, knit and crochet. Did I REALLY need another string hobby? It looked like a fun class so I thought I would sign up for it. It was SO GREAT! I have already made a few belts and I am currently working on something that will become trim on my tunic.

Which was another great class that they offered, Newcomer's Garb Basics! They went through patterns for tunics and basic undergarments for SCA garb. I have some nice, lightweight cotton that I want to try to use and make a couple of tunics for myself and my hubby so we have something to wear under the "nice" clothes. There was also an awesome herbology class I was able to take that taught me a lot about using herbs for more than just incense! Way too cool! We learned so much over that weekend that we are still working on processing all of it.

We got our plane tickets for my High School Class Reunion up in Minnesota in August. I almost died when we got the prices for the trip. We paid $300 round trip per person flying from Phoenix to Minneapolis. I thought we would have to pay at least twice that amount with the cost of fuel going nuts like it is... I just started driving my car again last week (stick shift) and in the 8 weeks that I did not drive it, gas went from $35 to fill the tank up to $50 to fill the tank. WTF??? I have also discovered that I can drive a stick shift without having to bend my knee. It is all in the ankle and keeping the seat back as far as I can put it back. By using my foot and ankle to work the clutch rather than the whole leg, I am keeping the pressure off of my knee and it doesn't hurt to drive. It is SOOOOO nice to be able to drive again! I feel like I got my independence back!

The knee is still healing. I have been doing PT 3x weekly. It is slow, but it is getting better. Can I stand on my feet for a 12 hour shift yet? Not even close. I can do about an hour before I am in some serious pain. It may be a few more weeks until I am back at work. So, until then, I will be making some mead, weaving some trim and belts, sewing up some tunics, getting into some new meditation techniques and celebrating Litha! More adventures as they happen!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Oh Boy!!! Trader Joe's!!!!

Better late than never, I have been meaning to post the Ren Fest garb pic for a while, here it is :-) My mom was asking me what it looked like since we are planning to wear it when we head up to Minnesota for the Ren Fest up there (and my 25 year class reunion). The only thing missing from the outfit is the mouse... I will probably throw a pic up here in my SCA garb soon too...

We FINALLY found Trader Joe's! It is down in Ahwatukee on Chandler Blvd right across the street from my PT clinic! Man, I have missed their Mac and Cheese and the chocolate covered cranberries! I loaded up on some of the fizzy lemonade and limeade along with some of their fabulous hummus!!! Next, need to get some "Two Buck Chuck" for cooking!

Right now, I am working on moving all of my stuff from both my old computer and my work laptop onto my new computer and external hard drive. It is nice because now I know where all of my music and pictures are. The bear of it is trying to get rid of the duplicates. Some songs in my library have 1 copy, some have 2 copies and about 80% have 3 copies. I have gotten rid of duplicates up to the letter "D". This is going to be a long night... Next, I need to copy my address book from my work laptop into my home laptop... Then I can let most of my friends know that I am not answering email in that account since I am at home on medical leave...

I have discovered a new comic online. For any cat fans, this one is really funny, it is called Two Lumps and details the adventures of the feline brothers Ebenezer and Snooch. We have a kitty named Ashley who looks and acts just like these two, so the thing is a hoot...

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Mr Sting is really HOT!

Fromage is taking it easy!

Wow! Over Memorial Day Weekend, we went out to see Elvis Costello and The Police in concert. What an excellent show! First, imagine Memorial Day Weekend in Phoenix... The temp during the concert was an unusual low 60's during the show! NO KIDDING! We were wearing jeans and sweatshirts to an outdoor concert at the end of May! (Gotta love cold fronts!) Elvis Costello did a great job. The special surprise during the concert was a duet with Mr Sting and Elvis doing "Allison" together. They did a great job, their voices blended so well together! What an excellent duet! The Police were also great! They did most of their hits and 2 encores. Mr Sting was SO HOT! I didn't think he was "all that and a bag of chips" when I was younger but DAMN, he has aged so well! I have been joking with some friends that if Mr Sting had been my English teacher, I never would have become an engineer, LOL!!! Next up is Crosby, Stills and Nash then Cindi Lauper and the B52's...

Speaking of the B52's, did anyone else see The Daily Show on Monday? Fred Schneider of the B52's was putting part of Scott McClellen's new book to music, it was absolutely drop dead funny!

This weekend, we are headed down to Tucson to the local SCA get together. They are going to do a "collegium" with lots of classes going on with stuff from archery to rapier to brewing to crafts. I am hoping to learn to brew mead and learn to tailor some more authentic period clothing. We are also having some of my "spiritual sisters" come down from north Phoenix come down to stay at the house with us for the weekend...

The knee is still out of commission. I started doing PT last week and have another appt with the ortho doc on the 25th of June. The MRI did show a small tear in the meniscus and we are hoping that PT will help heal it up.

My roses are still in bloom. I have 6 of them in the living room in a bowl of water right now, it smells so nice in here! The blooms are beautiful!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The weirdest thing is going on outside

The End of the World is upon us! Prepare for the End of Days!!!! First, the temperature didn't reach over 100F today. The skies got dark during the daytime... Then the heavens got angry. First, they started flashing bright lights at the humans below, then they started arguing in loud tones. During this display of light and sound, the heavens then let out this strange substance that fell to the ground. It was colorless and very wet to the touch. This has been going on all day. I am not sure what is happening. This is Arizona, it is always hot and sunny here. I couldn't figure out what was happening so I took a picture of the heavens and posted it here so someone tell me what are the strange happenings that are occurring here???

Cute? THEY ARE EATING MY ROSES!!! GRRRRR! Last night, Mewstradamas caught a kangaroo rat and brought it in the house... While it was still alive... Nice to know that the kitties still catch those mousies...

Saturday night is the Elvis Costello and The Police concert. I am getting really excited!

We just came in from town and the temp is 50F. Yesterday, it was in the upper 90's, day before that it was 110F. I kinda like this rain stuff...

We are back to the wool dyeing again. I wound another 6 pairs of socks into the striping pattern, I just need to dye the wool and set it then it will go onto the Etsy site...

Time to snuggle up with a good book under a nice, warm blanky and listen to the rain on the windows. It is a treat we don't get enough of here in the desert...

Monday, May 19, 2008

Playing catch-up again

OK, I have officially gone stir-crazy...

I hurt my knee at work (not because of work, just overwork or something) about a month ago. What is the injury? That seems to be the $64,000 question. I have been to the workmans comp Dr (just to have them tell me I didn't have a work related injury) then to Urgent Care so I could get a note to be off of my feet for a week until I could see my primary care Dr. I got in to see him, he told me I had injured my knee and (tried) to set me up for an MRI. Gotta love HMO's... A week later, I got the MRI appt made for the following week (at6:45 am...) I got the MRI done and followed up with my primary care Dr. He said that the place I got the MRI at gave him a diagnosis that was "clear as mud" and then referred me to a orthopedist. Guess how long it takes to even GET an appt with an orthopedist? 3 freaking weeks!!! So, a month later, I am still at home, having a LOT of pain in my left knee and still have another 2 weeks until maybe someone can tell me what is going on.

Now, for folks that know me well, you already know that I have ADD and can't sit still to save my life. This has been a wonderful opportunity to sit for the last 4 weeks! I AM GOING FREAKING BAT-SH*T!!!! There are a few HUGE changes going on in life on top of the fact that I am not able to walk so on top of being restless and not being able to do a thing about it, I am also getting really depressed. I don't deal well with change, either...

A couple of neat things have come about from my forced rest. First, I have been able to work with yarn again. I am still wrapping yarn and I have posed some stuff on my etsy.com site. I can't wait to get the dye bench cleaned off (when I get the ability to stand for any length of time without pain) and start dyeing wool again!!!

Second, my wonderful hubby and I found a really cool group to hang out with and start doing activities with. OK, so it was only a matter of time on this one... We went up to Prescott, AZ over the weekend for an SCA event and had a BLAST. Well, hobbling around a primitive campground is not the easiest thing to accomplish in middle ages garb but it can be done! I found another kindred "fiber spirit" at the event who was spinning on this gorgeous Reeves spinning wheel (not a Schadt-Reeves, a real Reeves wheel signed by the craftsman)... OMG! I was in heaven! We talked about spinning, about fiber, about the SCA and had a blast. We watched the fighters and I also learned some basic Medieval needlepoint stitches and had a great time at feast and around the campfire that evening. Mike and I were not sure we wanted to camp out (since this was our first SCA event) but we had SO MUCH FUN that we wish we had brought our gear and camped out (yes, crutches and all...). There is a Collegium going on June 7-8 down in Tucson that we are going to attend that has some classes on how to make an SCA persona, all sorts of newbie stuff and some other cool classes like making beer and mead! No spinning or fiber classes are going to be taught, but I will bring my wheel to the classes for the weekend...

SCA is the Society of Creative Anachronism. It is a middle ages re-enactment group. WOW! The folks at this group were so nice! I am going to be working on fiber arts related stuff and working on period-correct outfits for myself and Mike. Mike will be checking out archery and other activities that work well for him. We had the King and Queen at the Championship last weekend. I am really looking forward to participating in this activity! I have crocheted 3 snoods so far (yup, I am going nuts not being able to walk... I haven't crocheted in over 10 years) and found out that wool socks are a great thing to have in the mountains in May. I am looking forward to the Highlands War in August and the Estrella War in Feb. I hear that the Estrella War has around 8,000 people show up for it each year... YIKES!

Now that I am sitting on my glutes, I will TRY to be better at posting on the old blog...

Saturday, May 10, 2008

30 some years later, Rush still kicks *ss!!! My rant to get me sent to Gitmo...

OK, we went to the Rush concert here in Phoenix on Beltane (May 1st). They actually played one of my favorite songs from back when I was in high school. The scary thing? I think it is more applicable today than it was back in 1981. Scroll down to the end of this post for the lyrics and the song I am talking about... (No, it's not Tom Sawyer, but the same album) I guess that means I am out of the "proverbial broom closet", LOL!!!

Have we mentioned we have some new "fur kids"??? In this picture you see Grants (in Black), Pan (in Brown), Ishtar( the white mommy in the foreground), My Mommy (in pink, HAPPY MOMMY'S DAY!!!), Loki (in white in the background) and Sappho (in gray). We got Pan and Loki back last year and the other three came home from New Mexico a couple of months ago. Ishtar is due in mid-July and we will have our first cria then... My mom is feeding them some yummy treats... Anyone interested in their fiber, please check my site at lauriegator.etsy.com.

My mom and dad came down to Phoenix to visit us for the NASCAR race in April. My Aunt Susie came down for the race also! It was so much fun...

Chris has FINALLY gotten his orders and is now stationed in San Diego... We went out to visit him a couple of weeks ago. WOW! San Diego is so beautiful!!! I am used to Florida where all of the coastline is FLAT! What a difference! We will be out there a lot more while he is stationed there...

Chris brought up a valid point... Did you know our service men and women are paid about $2.15 an hour when they are in their first year of enlistment (E2/E3)? Oh boy, that is sure the wage I want the folks paid when they are fighting and dying for our country in the Middle East! I think I made more as a bartender when I was in college... Oops, I can't talk against our country or I may be "made to disappear"...

More in a bit... I am on crutches off of work with a knee injury and going NUTS! I was not meant to sit still...

Now, to that Rush song:

The night is black, without a moon.
The air is thick and still.
The vigilantes gather on
The lonely torchlit hill.

Features distorted in the flickering light,
Faces are twisted and grotesque.
Silent and stern in the sweltering night,
The mob moves like demons possesed.
Quiet in conscience, calm in their right,
Confident their ways are best.

The righteous rise
With burning eyes
Of hatred and ill-will.
Madmen fed on fear and lies
To beat and burn and kill.

They say there are strangers who threaten us,
Our immigrants and infidels.
They say there is strangeness to danger us
In our theaters and bookstore shelves,
That those who know what's best for us
Must rise and save us from ourselves.

Quick to judge,
Quick to anger,
Slow to understand
Ignorance and prejudice
And fear walk hand in hand.
Rush - "Witch Hunt "- Moving Pictures Album, 1981
(Go Barack Obama!!!)

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Proud Mom Moment

OK, at least my son let me take this pic last weekend... I am SOOOOOO proud! Last weekend, my mom and I went up to Chicago to watch my kiddo, Chris, graduate from Navy Boot camp!!! Here is the really serious picture of the two of us in the hotel room we were able to get at Great Lakes...

Let's start from the beginning. I took off from Phoenix (a couple of days before the Stupor Bowl) for a nice vacation up in Chicago. I got to the airport a couple of hours before take-off... We were told an hour before take off that we were going to be able to get out of Phoenix, but they were not going to guarantee that we were going to land in Chicago... I called my mom to let her know that we were going to get out but we may be landing in parts unknown....

4 hours later, we were in Chicago... We got there and I figured out why I had moved from Minnesota to parts much warmer... We got in and it was SNOWING... Awww, pretty... I got off of the plane and found my mom... We got to the counter, got the rental car and started our drive one hour north to the hotel about 4 miles from the Navy Base. We passed downtown Chicago and saw the Sears Tower, going about 5 MPH... No problem, this is Thursday Rush Hour traffic and we are supposedly making good time... Well, the snow starts getting a LOT heavier and we have made it about 6 miles in an hour and we decided that this hour long drive up to the hotel may take an hour or two longer... Since I flew Southwest, I had kept the snack-pack that they gave us on the plane. My mom was a bit hungry so I gave her the snack-pack and had her call my DH and Dad to let them know that we had landed but we were driving in some snow...

The trip was fun, we did make it to the hotel about 4 hours after we landed. We found out later that we were some of the last planes to make it into Chicago that evening... Here is my mom with her proud grandson...

We made it to Navy Graduation and we were looking for some seats close to where Chris would be marching when we heard "Would you like some help?" Mom replied "No, we know where we are going" and we turned around and saw Chris all decked out in his Dress Blues... Mind you, Dress Blues are actually black but that story is for another time... I was so happy to see him... It is amazing how much he had grown into a full-fledged adult since December...

Well, the weekend was a blast. The day of graduation, I am driving Chris back to his Base...There is this empty parking lot, full of snow, just ripe for some donuts in a rental car.. My "ever-so-responsible son" says "Mom! Don't you DARE start to whip donuts in the Navy Base Parking Lot"... Oh Goddess, since when has my son become RESPONSIBLE??? The kid was reading my mind... I didn't whip donuts in the parking lot and dropped him off in time for his watch... (Come on.... I hadn't driven in this much snow since I left Minnesota about 19 years ago...It was SOOOO tempting...) We all had such a wonderful weekend...

I flew back the night before the Stupor Bowl... The plane was FILLED with NY Giants fans... Did I mention they were a bit intoxicated? And they had tickets for the game the next day? I had 5 offers to be an "official chauffeur" for different parties to drive them to and from the game. I passed, I preferred to watch the game from home and have some fun watching the game... Go whomever!!!

Remember Super Tuesday??? We got our voting notice to go vote in the "Improvement District Office"... We thought this was in a big building but we "google-mapped" this and found the location was in the middle of a field... Where did we vote??? In a barn... Yuppers... We voted in a barn... We were in the minority (voting Democrat) but we had fun voting in a barn...







Here was the view across the street from the voting area...

Saturday, January 26, 2008

My cat eats Milk Bones

Hi! My name is Mewstodamas and I eat Milk Bones! My mommy gave some snack size Milk Bones to my doggie pals Roxy and Puma the other day and she gave me one to see what I would do. Since I LOVE to play fetch and sleep with my doggie pal Roxy and since Roxy LOVES Milk Bones, I thought I would try it. You know, they are REALLY YUMMY! Don't tell my mommy but my brother, Fromage, likes to eat them too. He doesn't like them as much as I do since he lets Roxy steal them from him while he is eating them. I don't let Roxy have my Milk Bones! OOPS, my mommy is coming! I'd better let her type on the computer now since this is her blog!

OK, how long has it been since I have blogged? YIKES!!! Rumors of my demise are greatly exaggerated and I am alive and well. To say that we have been busy would be an understatement!

So, what have I been doing on my fall/winter vacation? Hmmm... My son came home for a while, more about that in the next paragraph. I took a WONDERFUL spinning class in Davis OK in October, been working one heck of schedule, went to NM and picked out a couple of Alpacas, went to FL for the final NASCAR race of the season, picked out a couple more alpacas from a farm outside of Tuscon, went to FL for the holidays, flip-flopped from nights to days to nights to days to nights, helped a girlfriend from New Mexico get moved and settled here in AZ, worked an 11 day in a row stretch, had the sinus infection crap over Christmas (while on vacation), got a new spinning wheel and I am about to embark on a trip to Chicago on Thursday. There is a bunch more, and as I think of it I will post about it...

Chris came home in Sept and left for Basic Training in Great Lakes, IL on Dec 6th. He is graduating from basic training this week and I will be headed up to Chicago for his graduation ceremony and the couple of days of Liberty he has coming up. I am excited to see him and see what he looks like with short hair! OK, with no hair! I have been sending him really bad jokes that I pluck out of my email inbox for entertainment while he was in training. I am excited to head up there but I am NOT looking forward to that cold stuff up there. The bummer is that I fly back home the day before the Stupor Bowl. Guess where the Stupor Bowl is being held this year??? Yuppers, you got it, Phoenix. I am HOPING that the fans will already be here when I am flying back. I am NOT looking forward to getting to the airport 3 hours early because of the Tourons... (a combination of Tourist and Moron...)

I have also taken out the knitting needles again and I have been on some kind of lace and sock knitting kick recently. I am about 1/3 of the way through my newest stole and I knit up 2 pairs of socks in 1 week last week. I love hand knit socks when I am on my feet for long periods of time.

Work has been rough, to say the least! We are very short staffed due to circumstances beyond our control so anytime anyone misses one day, it is a killer and we are working our butts off. So, since people get sick, take vacation, and have things happen to them, this occurs on a regular basis. Most days, I am lucky to get an hour break in a 12 hour shift! I hear rumor that they will be working to fix this situation, but I will believe it when I see it...

Remind me to post pix of our newest fur-kids, the alpacas. My dear hubby, Michael, has worked his butt off getting the new fencing put in, building the shelter and getting the halters and other necessary supplies together to bring our babies home. We will be picking up the ones in Tuscon first then we will pick up the ones in NM.

I will put more news on here over the weekend. Time to head back to work!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Chris is coming home today!!!

It is a long week this week (this is night #4 of a 4 night work week) and I am so happy! My kiddo, Chris, is coming home this morning. He left a couple of days after his high school graduation in May to spend some time with his dad in Florida. His plane gets in at 10:45 this morning and he will be hanging out here until December when he goes to Naval Boot Camp... (Great Lakes in December, sounds a wee bit nippy to me...) So, once I get off of work at 6:20am, I need to go home and take ALL of the wool that is currently occupying every available inch of floor space in his bedroom and TRY to find some place to move it to... And WHERE am I going to find room for this? I have no clue. The garage is out because of the buggies and moths that tend to be out there. The bedroom is out because I still have boxes in there that I haven't unpacked from our move last November. I could stash it in Chris's room, but then he wouldn't have anywhere to move or sleep. The bedroom closet has the same problem as the bedroom, still need to unpack boxes. The cubby/pantry area is filled with yarn and other knitting stuff and is piled about shoulder high so that is also not an option. It is going to have to go in the living room until I can make room for it on one of my days off this week...

The sunsets here in AZ are not as spectacular as the ones I remember in NM, but this was a nice one. One minute before, it looked even more awesome!

I have swatched for my next KAL. I am going to be doing it in really nice wool/silk blend and it has matching beads. I will get around to getting a picture of it and getting it posted sometime in the next week... (yeahrightsurewhatever...)

Brunch sounds nice while we are waiting for Chris to come in. I think Mimi's Cafe would be a wonderful place for an omelette and a mimosa (or two). Why do people look at you funny when you want a glass of wine at 7am? Heck, I have been working for 13 hours, a glass of wine tastes pretty good when it's the end of a hellish week.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

My newest lace project

Here is a close-up of my current lace knitting project. This is the border of the Magickal Earth Shawl from the book "A Gathering of Lace". I have the lace next to a 15 inch ruler for a comparison. I have about 3 repeats of the pattern pictured in the close up. The pattern calls for 48 total repeats, then the two ends of the border will be joined together and I will pick up loops from the end closest to the ruler and knit from outside to the middle of the shawl. I think I will be picking up something over 1500 stitches when I start on the body of the shawl. I think I have lost my mind yet again.


Here is a view of the 11 repeats that I have currently finished (a little less than 1/4 of the total length of the border). This is a 48 row repeat, but there are only about 35 stitches per row so it does seem to go pretty quickly.

I am also a member of the Secret of the Stole KAL. If you are interested in another mystery stole type of knit-a-long, this one closes membership on October 4th, so join up quickly! I ordered some Plum Zephyr wool/silk lace yarn for this and got my beads in the mail yesterday. I am hoping to swatch it up this weekend!

A quickie question to the Albuquerque SnBers out there... Are you all still meeting at the Flying Star restaurant off of Rio Grande on Tuesdays at 7pm? It looks like DH and I will be headed back to ABQ for a little break sometime in October and I would love to have a chance to see some friendly faces while I am down there. We will be coming in sometime on a Saturday and will be going back to Phoenix on Wednesday so I can get back to work on Wednesday night... Let me know if y'all are still getting together, I would love to see everyone! Yes, I will be stopping by Village Wools to see what kinds of wonderful treasures that they have (and bring a few skiens home with me!!!) SHHHHH! Don't tell my DH about the yarn store! He doesn't think I need any more wool, LOL!!!!

I am hanging at home tonight, battling another round of "The Gift that Keeps On Giving" that someone at work decided they needed to share with the rest of us... BLEH! Low grade fever, stuffy nose and feeling like I got hit by a freaking Mack Truck... I hope to be back to work tomorrow evening...