Sheared Bliss


Wagons West

Or, more accurately, Buick West.

Last week NurseK and I drove to Portland, Oregon to visit some of her extended family.  Well, she went to visit her family, I went to keep her company on the drive and do touristy things in Portland since I’d never been before.

We drove through Colorado, Wyoming, Utah, Idaho (with a stop for the night in Twin Falls), and Oregon in two days.  To pass the time we read aloud from Notes from a Small Island by Bill Brysonand played the Mormon church game (think punch buggy game, but replace VW Beetles with Mormon churches – bonus points for temples).  We also made a couple of stops along the way.

In Baker City, Oregon we stopped at the Oregon Trail Interpretive Center.  I would highly recommend it to anyone with even a passing interest in history.  Very well done museum displays and some really excellent first person living history.  Also, you can see the original wagon ruts from the Oregon Trail.

See that dirt under my feet?  Thats very historic dirt.

See that dirt under my feet? That's very historic dirt.

We also stopped at the very beautiful Multnomah Falls for a quick hike up to the bridge.

After finally arriving at GrandmaK’s house and having a delicious spaghetti dinner and some much needed sleep, we were ready to commence being touristy.

On Monday NurseK, GrandmaK, and I drove to the Oregon coast.

We stopped at Cannon Beach to dip our toes in the water (BRR!) and have a delicious seafood lunch at a waterfront restaurant.

Our other stop for the day was Tillamook where we toured the cheese factory

Mmm . . . cheese . . .

Mmm . . . cheese . . .

Tuesday was our day to tour downtown Portland.  We started with the International Rose Test Garden – it was beautiful and smelled even better than it looked.

Next we toured the Pittock Mansion where I got to thoroughly geek out over all of the antique furnishings and architectural details.

If this shower looks familiar to you, you are officially a Wright Brothers geek.

If this shower looks familiar to you, you are officially a Wright Brothers geek.

 

While we were downtown we also did some of the obligatory Portland touristy things.  We saw Portlandia.

We saw the Rain Man.

Thats Katharine Wright (sister of Orville and Wilbur).  Shes our traveling mascot.

That's Katharine Wright (sister of Orville and Wilbur) with the Rain Man. For those of you who have not had the pleasure of her acquaintance yet, she's our traveling mascot.

 And of course we went to Powell’s Books.  Oh. My. God.  Soooo many books . . . Pardon me while a drool a little bit just thinking about it.  You know you’re in a good book store when they hand you a map when you walk in the door.

That’s it for the first half of the trip, stay tuned for part two!

PS: I almost forgot to mention, Katharine met a friend while we were at the Rose Garden.

Thats Katharine with Wesley the dragon.  See?  Im not the only wacko who takes pictures of a stuffed toy while Im traveling . . .

That's Katharine with Wesley the dragon. See? I'm not the only wacko who takes pictures of a stuffed toy while I'm traveling . . .

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Throwdown
June 19, 2009, 9:00 am
Filed under: Randomness, Work | Tags: , , , , , ,

Ok, so apparently Some People are feeling little insecure that my tomato is totally kicking their tomato’s butt in the Great Tomato-off.  Rather than simply admit that my tomato is superior to their tomato, Some People have to get all up in my business about how awesome their office is.  Well, if you really want to go there . . . I say, “Bring it!”

The deskular area

The deskular area

 

Crap-ton of Books

Crap-ton of books

 

My office could totally take your office, Sarah.  Or at least , you know, bury it in books.  Pay no attention to the inflatable cowboy on the table . . .

I’m going to be away gallivanting about the countryside for the next week.  While I’m gone, might I suggest you draw a giraffe or three?  It’s for a good cause (or at least a random and entertaining one)!



Three years ago today . . .
June 17, 2009, 9:00 am
Filed under: Family & Friends | Tags: , ,



Breakfast of Champions
June 15, 2009, 9:07 pm
Filed under: Food | Tags: ,

I made yogurt.  From scratch.  Like, I took milk, did things to it, and now it’s yogurt.  I’m quite proud of this fact.  This accomplishment has caused me to say things I never thought I would say like “Come quick!  Look at my yogurt!”  Every time I open the refrigerator I have to stand there for a few moments and admire my yogurt.  If CodeMonkey is near by he also is required to admire the yogurt.  He’s starting to act as if he thinks this is abnormal behavior . . . He may not be as appreciative of the yogurt as he should be.  The cat is entirely unappreciative of the yogurt and has, therefore, ceased to be asked for her opinion.

I also made granola because nothing goes better with yogurt than granola.  For the yogurt I used the recipe from Milk by Anne Mendelson and the granola came from The Enchanted Broccoli Forest by Mollie Katzen.

First you heat milk to just about boiling, then you cool it back down to around 115 degrees, then you mix in some already made yogurt (store bought is fine, so long as it says “live and active cultures” on the label), then you let it sit undisturbed in a warm place for six hours or so.  When you’re done, if you’ve done everything right, you’ll have wiggly goo where there used to be liquid.  Pour the goo into a cheesecloth lined colander and drain until it reaches the desired consistency then eat.

This is my Super-High-Tech yogurt making setup.  The milk is heating in a pan on the back of the stove.  Note the Super-High-Tech temperature monitoring device on the edge of the pot (a binder clip, a rubber band, and an instant read thermometer).  To the right of the stove you’ll see the Super-High-Tech yogurt containment and heat preservation device (a mason jar with two towels rubber banded around it).  In the foreground is granola making paraphernalia.

It’s pretty amazing to see the transformation from liquid milk to gooey yogurt.  Mmm . . . gooey . . .

I’ve been eating it with a little bit of maple syrup and the granola mixed in.  Yummmmm . . .



Estes Park Wool Market
June 14, 2009, 9:47 pm
Filed under: Fiber Arts | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Today NurseK and I headed to Estes Park for the annual Wool Market where we met up with YogiK.

YogiK and NurseK bond with an alpaca.

It was a beautiful day and we got to see tons of fiber animals as well as some wonderful fiber, yarn, and other beautiful things for sale.  I could talk more about it, but let’s be honest, y’all just want to see gratuitous shots of cute animals, right?  Of course right.  On to the cuteness!

There were llamas . . .

There were llamas . . .

 

. . . and alpacas . . .

. . . and alpacas . . .

 

. . . and vicunas . . .

. . . and vicunas . . .

 

. . . and yaks . . .

. . . and yaks . . .

 

. . . and bunnies . . .

. . . and bunnies . . .

 

. . . and goats . . .

. . . and goats . . .

 

. . . and sheep . . .

. . . and sheep . . .

 

. . . man were there sheep . . .

. . . man were there sheep . . .

 

. . . lots and lots of sheep . . .

. . . lots and lots of sheep . . .

 

. . . you never saw so many sheep!

. . . you never saw so many different kinds of sheep!

 

This little fellow wanted to come home with me.

This little fellow wanted to come home with me.

 

Look how friendly he is!  Only $200!  Practically a bargain!  They only get to be about 50 pounds.  If we put a collar on it and tell everyone its a dog . . .  Yeah, CodeMonkey didnt buy that either.

Look how friendly he is! And at just $200 he's practically a bargain! They only get to be about 50 pounds. If we put a collar on it and tell everyone it's a dog . . . Yeah, CodeMonkey didn't buy that either.

 

So I didn’t come home with a sheep, but I did come home with a pretty nice little haul.

Thats May/June 2008 lace issue of Piecework, 2 ounces of bombyx silk in shades of purple, some Yarn Place Gentle cashmere/merino laceweight in a lovely rose color, and 4 ounces of bamboo/nylon/merino in turquoise, brown, green, and purple.

That's May/June 2008 lace issue of Piecework, 2 ounces of bombyx silk in "Iris", 50 grams of Yarn Place's "Gentle" cashmere/merino laceweight in a lovely rose color, and 4 ounces of bamboo/nylon/merino in "Dragonfly".

It was a great day, despite the whole not bringing a sheep home thing . . . 
Im an alpaca fan

"I'm an alpaca fan"



Whirlwind of Fun

The past few days have been a fun whirlwind of a visit from the VeganNinja.  She’s a Gemini too, so we enjoyed spending time together celebrating our birthdays.

On Wednesday when she arrived we headed straight to dinner at WaterCoursewith NurseK.  CodeMonkey graciously acted as chauffeur and photographer.

VeganNinja, NurseK, and me at WaterCourse

VeganNinja, NurseK, and me at WaterCourse

 

For anyone who hasn’t been there, the food is amazing.  So amazing that the VeganNinja kept stealing my fries.

After dinner we headed to the Mercury Cafe for some dancing.  The theme for the night was Prom so the whole place was decked out in crepe paper and streamers and several people actually came in tuxes and evening gowns.  We had a great time dancing and an even better time playing with the balloons.

Balloon Fight!

Balloon Fight!

 

I guess Footloose was right . . .

I guess Footloose was right . . .

 

On Thursday we headed up to Boulder for the day.  First stop – Celestial Seasonings where we did some tea shots and had fun being the bad kids on the tour.

Chug chug chug!

Chug chug chug!

 

After the tea extravaganza, we decided to head over to Redstone Meadery for their tour and tasting.  Unfortunately, we got slightly sidetracked by a flat tire, met some very nice young men from the car repair shop next to the meadery who gallantly put the spare on (thanks guys!), and spent the next several hours obtaining a new tire for Sue (my car).  While Sue chilled at the tire shop, the VeganNinja and I explored a used bookstore.

Next stop was the Dushanbe Teahouse.  This is an absolute must see in Boulder – amazing architecture, amazing garden, amazing food.  It was exactly the pick-me-up we needed after the trials and tribulations of car repair.

We were torn between sitting outside and sitting inside, wouldn’t you be?

Inside Dushanbe

Inside Dushanbe

 

Outside Dushanbe

Outside Dushanbe

 

We ended up inside near a lovely sculpture fountain.

VeganNinja played hostess and we enjoyed some delicious food and some refreshing tea.

Following tea, we took advantage of a break in the clouds to do a little hiking at Chautauqua.

After our hike it was time for some shopping on the Pearl Street Mall and then dinner at Sunflower.

Friday we headed to the Denver Zoo.  Apart from being a nice zoo overall, they also have the BEST bathrooms in the world.  No, seriously.  Not only are they clean and spacious, but they’re beautifully decorated.  The floor is a mosaic depicting various animals and each stall door is decorated with an animal picture.  The giggles start though when you enter a stall and realize that the backof the stall door also has an animal picture on it – the rear elevation, shall we say.  I was treated to a baboon’s behind.  While you’re sitting there admiring the rear end of your chosen animal you also get to enjoy the soundtrack.  That’s right, the bathroom has a soundtrack.  You have to imagine this in a very cultured British woman’s voice . . .

“Birds go both number one and number two at the same time from a hole called their cloaca . . .”

Um, there was more and I’m sure it was highly educational, but I was too busy giggling to remember any of it.  Yeah, I’m twelve, poop is funny.

I was sad to see the VeganNinja go, but I must admit that I was starting to feel a little bit like this sun bear:

Today I got things done around the apartment including several large cooking projects.  I also got a little much-needed rest because tomorrow I’m off for another adventure!



WiP Wednesday
June 10, 2009, 6:00 pm
Filed under: Fiber Arts, Knitting, WiP Wednesday | Tags: ,

Nothing much exciting to report.  The Mysterious Stripe-a-licious Project is nearly done except for the crocheted border which I need assistance with.  I have a confession to make – I am crochet challenged.  Not sure why, but it’s never really clicked for me (yes, I know, I probably just need to practice more, but for me knitting is fun and crochet is something to do when necessary).  I can fumble my way through some basic single and double crochets, but anything more complicated than that usually ends badly.  NurseK is my crochet guru.  She will be helping to remedy my crochet ineptitude in the near future. 

In the meantime I’ve been chugging away at the Poison Dart Frog socks.

Socken!

Socken!

 

Hm, do they count as socken when they’re really only about one and a third of a pair of socks?  I’m about five stripes away from turning the heel. 

Time to start pondering what my next project will be.  It needs to be something that will be good travel knitting because I’m going on a trip in about a week and a half.  I have a few things in mind – several Christmas presents and a special project that I’d like to get started on soon.  Decisions, decisions . . .  Plus I’ll probably chuck a skein of sock yarn in my suitcase too – you know, for emergencies.