Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Colorado!

Here's the story so far! We flew into Denver yesterday and drove right to Boulder, not too far away. We found that our hotel has a really good vegetarian restaurant and we had lunch there before heading out to see what the town was like. We ended the town visit by hanging out at Cheesecake Factory's outdoor table for a long time so we could watch people - I ordered a cup of mint tea after our meal just to prolong the table.... :) Then we drove up Flagstaff Mountain - very nice.

Today we rode bikes along Boulder Creek trail and into town - this is a really bike-friendly town and it was a lot of fun to get around that way. We shopped on the Pearl Street Mall and then got caught in some rain so we hid out in a cafe for a while. Here's DD's boyfriend and his "Bro Look" which we get a particular kick out of. We dried off our bikes and rode back to our hotel, had lunch, and then jumped into the car to go to.....


The actual tea company! Tea factory! Right in Boulder! Who knew??

It was fun and interesting and it smelled GREAT and we bought some teas we've never seen at home, and cute stuff.

THEN we drove to a town called Nederland, through Boulder Canyon about 20 miles, and it was very rainy and foggy so we went to a great store called Nature's Own and browsed fossils and rocks and minerals for a long time. (All of that was on the advice of a guy who works in a bookstore in Boulder.) Nederlands was authentically weird and Colorado hippie. Some evidence of that:

Yes, a combined bike rental and coffee shop. It was actually a great latte.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Quick pics of the kitchen!




And they are from my cell phone so they aren't great, but here we are so far, 95% done!







Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Rusty's Day

Here's a day that began really well for Rusty but turned into his LEAST FAVORITE DAY of the month. He was so happy to be out doing errands with us....captions are below the pictures this time!


Here's Rusty looking out the window while in a line of cars. He hasn't yet realized that we are in line at one of his favorite places...

"What?? Bank drive-through window!! I'll just stare at that little machine until a treat comes out of it!" (He has no idea that the girl who is waving and talking to him from inside the bank is the actual source of the biscuits. It's all about the pneumatic tube.)

" C'mon. Guys. I thought we were just coming in here for a new collar and some treats?? You never said NAIL CLIPPING! What? We are going to rent one of those bathtubs???"

"Get. That. Away. From. Me."

"I can't believe this is happening. "

"Look at these two. A turban. What's wrong with them? How humiliating. All I need now is for one of those Big Dogs to come walking through."


"Do you have to brush my freakin mmmmfffsss....."


"Oh my God. I am exhausted. Get me the hell home and let's just STAY there."

Poor Rusty!

The lengths you go to....


to install undercabinet lighting!

Friday, May 29, 2009

Spring Bag

I have been hauling around a spring bag that's too big for some days, and I needed something different. I remembered the fabric bundle and pattern I bought at the quilt show a few months ago and last night I made this:
See the blue bead closure? I took it right off a bracelet I had in my jewelry box! You can be a little desperate at midnight.
It only took about 3 hours, I think I started around 9:00. The rest of the fabric from that bundle will be made up into a yoga mat bag, maybe tonight!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

A good present!

Background part one: There's a little "craft exchange" thing going around on Facebook where you make something for the first five friends to sign up under your name. I haven't made my five things, in fact it nearly slipped my mind in the craziness of the kitchen. Good thing you have a year to do it!

Background part two: I have a friend I met online more than a dozen years ago and who I've met in person many times. We were writing partners for a while on AOL, we share a lot of similarities in our lives, and we generally crack each other up. She is a talented watercolor artist.

Background part three: I took this picture in NH a few months ago and put it up on my Facebook page. It is not a downhill trail, but a little cut into and back out of the woods and looks like a fairytale forest, I just loved it, it was magical in there.

You've probably figured it out; my friend took the photograph from my page and did a painting of it!!




Look at that! I may have to buy a red ski jacket now! Is this not the best gift!!?? It is about 12 inches square and I can't wait to get it framed.

It is BEAUTIFUL and I have to tell you, it never even crossed my mind that she would do a painting for her exchange, that just seems like too much! My son brought the package in the house and I was puzzled at first, having forgotten about the exchange, and then when I saw the protective boards I got a little shaky, wondering aloud if she'd done a painting for me, no no, did she send me a painting? When I opened it, I burst into tears. Really, tears. What a thoughtful present, what a beautiful treasure.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I am so unaware

I was watching a movie last night and thinking to myself, "Wow, Kate Hudson looks like kind of like Goldie Hawn...."

Duh

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Leonard Cohen

Leonard Cohen . . . more than THREE HOURS of incredible music - - 3 backup singers, 6 musicians with everything from a giant bass to a harmonica, and it was one of the BEST NIGHTS OF MY LIFE! Go stream some Leonard this morning!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Trees!

This is such a gorgeous time of year, and part of the reason is the particular shade of green that lasts for about a week before deepening. Spring green. DD thought it looked as if the trees were colored with a green highlighter. I should have photographed it last week because it's been raining for days and days and is already deeper, but I took a few yesterday.

For comparison, I took this picture about two weeks ago when things were just starting. I actually don't know why I took it, there might have been a bird that I missed or something.
Not the same spot, but just look at the differences! Green and black after a rain.

Where's the house?

Monday, April 20, 2009

WOOOOOOOOO FREAKIN' HOOOOOOOOOOO!

I am going to see LEONARD COHEN in a few weeks and I AM SO EXCITED!!!! Thank you DH for not only buying the tickets but for agreeing to go (he's not the biggest fan!). So here you go, stream some of his music at this link.

Here's a clip of a documentary about him, which I also love...


Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter!

A good picture for this day - my orchid! This plant has bloomed every year since 2005, making this its 5th bloom. I don't know anything at all about orchids and am always completely surprised and thrilled when it shows signs of blooming again!

You might think this is an expensive nursery specimen - nope! Home Depot! When I was planning a 25th anniversary dinner for my mom and stepfather, I noticed a display of blooming orchids and stopped to look at them. I didn't have any idea how to care for them or choose one. Another woman was also looking at them and said that she couldn't believe the quality, she was a hobbyist and these were amazingly good orchids for Home Depot, and she was buying three of them. $20 fit my budget for a table display so I asked her to select one for me and now wish I had bought more. (None of the others I've bought since then have bloomed again, and only one is still alive a few years later.)
After it blooms I cut the stems back a bit, put it outside for the summer, and then in my bathroom for the winter until I see new stems and buds. It's lovely and lasts for months.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Angel Food Cake

DS2 inspired me to make an Angel Food cake by his description of how really good it was and how interesting it was to make. Let's be clear - he didn't find it interesting, he found it a little bit of a pain in the butt, but I thought it sounded fun. I don't make cakes from scratch - I made one, 23 years ago, in our first house - but I'm kind of ashamed of that, so I thought I'd try.

His cooking teacher used Alton Brown's recipe so I did too. I had to buy a pan, as a matter of fact, and cake flour, but it was SO worth it. DD is happy because she loves Angel Food cake, and this, well, this tastes dramatically better than the store-bought one.

Batter looks delicious, doesn't it? Thank goodness for electric mixers. DS2 did the folding and I did the sifting on this tricky part - he had the experience.

This looks like a lamp but it's the cake, cooling upside down on a wine bottle, to set the structure so it doesn't crush itself on the cake plate.
And the cake.
Everyone loved it with lemon curd, which really just made it perfect. I have to make another one this week for DD when she comes home. It was fun, and with the 12 egg yolks that were left over I made a whole lot of french toast for the freezer. Which will also make her happy, now that I think about it.

After that I cleaned for until it was time for a late dinner, so it's a good thing I had that cake for fun in the day! Oh yeah, and then at midnight I was in the parking lot of Game Stop so DS2 could pick up his new Nintendo DS the moment it was released. LONG DAY!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

SO FUN!

At the quilt show I saw a lot of "redwork," an embroidery style developed during the Victorian era. I bought a few blue and white kitchen towels and decided to look for some free patterns online and make a few. Redwork is always done in just one color. I used to embroider a lot, but not since DD was born, when I picked up other needlework.

Part two of this story is that I have a friend who loves Obama. It's great - she has posters, a calendar, magazine pictures, screen savers - just like someone I know who used to have a shrine to Hanson. (You know who you are) When I came across this image for embroidery, I cracked up...


I decided I had to sacrifice one of my two new towels and embroider this for her. I traced that printed image onto the towel with a washable blue marker used for sewing:

Got to work with this needle and #311 embroidery floss....

and by 2:15 a.m. I had this masterpiece!



Here's a cropped shot. She is going to LOVE this just as soon as she stops laughing! It's even better if you click on it so you can see all the stitches. Now I wonder how many people have made this into a pillow/frame/quilt block/tea towel and mailed it to the White House?

Thursday, April 2, 2009

A Textile Day



First of all, this is what it looked like very early this morning. I thought it was beautiful, and that view will change very quickly as the woods turn green again.

Today I went to the......

with a friend. I am not a quilter, I will never be a quilter, and I don't really even like quilts all that much. But I do like my friend, and, you know, there was gonna be fabric there, so I went. Long day, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., solid. I have to admit, the art quilts are gorgeous. Talented people out there. I'm not so much into the traditional patterns and colors but I certainly stand in awe of their work.

At any rate, I picked up just a few things. Like this red fabric by Japanese artist Yoshiko Jinzenji. I don't know what it is about this piece that I loved, but I do! It's a very high quality cotton, not a very big piece, and I don't know what I'll do with it. Yet. Really, click on the picture and look how cool it is.

Then there were these two very small hand-marbled cottons. I bought little pieces to make a headband of them, just because the were gorgeous.

Finally, this bundled of coordinated prints will make at least two bags. I really liked the colors and the prints that had been put together by the shop owner (quilters are so good at combining colors and prints) and it was reasonably priced. Just cotton. I have a very cute bag pattern to use with it.It was a fun/long day. Unfortunately, tomorrow I have to drive an hour to the appliance dealer we are using, and I was just there yesterday. Yesterday, when I went to finalize the order, he should have told me that there are 4 shades of black paint for my oven, and I need to pick one. He didn't. Big black mark against him. So tomorrow I have to drive an hour there, walk in for 43 seconds and point to the color chip, and drive back home.


Rats.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Where have I been?

Here, sitting with the kitchen designer. This has been my view for many many hours in the last few weeks....and remember, pictures can be clicked on...His laptop, my bag and sketches, a cup of coffee and my phone.

This is a bird's eye view of the completed plan.

I am thinking about blogging the kitchen on a different blog, so I'll let you know when I figure that out.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Ski Pictures

That is a view of Mount Washington, as seen from the top of Bretton Woods The white line going down the mountain is the snowed-in railway. What a beautiful place - half the reason to ski is to be able to outside in such beautiful places.
This is a nice ski trail...
DS2 waiting for us to decide if we are having lunch inside that lodge, or not.

DS1, aka Darth Vader, getting off the lift.
DD and her snowboard.
Ah, this is my favorite little pass through some trees, just a nice safe little run off the trail for a few hundred yards through the woods, then back onto it. So pretty.
I'm not going to name the person who has a little sprig of pine on her binding. How do you get branches stuck in your binding? When you have a little crash :)