Monday, November 23, 2009

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Garden of the Gods - Colorado Springs

Yesterday, we took my niece/daughter, Leilani aka Mimi to the Garden of the Gods for a walk about in the glowy sun. She hadn't been there before and it was also Erin's first visit to the Garden that it wasn't actively snowing or a drive through in the dark.

Another giveaway, go check her blog out!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

The Birthday Surprise

The Birthday Girl, Erin and her Surprise, Leilani aka Mimi. Yesterday we had a very long adventure to celebrate the DD's birthday on the actual day of her birth. I very nearly didn't go as I had given up my ticket to Wicked for Eriy's cousin and I hadn't slept well the night before. So, I was grumpy and not so sure that I wanted to spend the whole day out of the house. In the end it was a good day had by all.

Anyhoo, we left the house at 5:30 am to drive to Boulder for breakfast with another birthday girl, Katte Beth (her's is on Monday) at the Boulder Tea House. Erin and I hit the WalMart in the Flat Irons before hand to finish up some grocery shopping in anticipation of potentially being snowed in. Mark, Darla and Aidan joined us as well as the surprise that wasn't, Leilani aka Mimi, who flew in the night before from CA and stayed at the Judd House until we all met up for breakfast.

After breakfast, I took the whole gang to Gypsy Wools also in Boulder, to look at and fondle fibery goodness. Darla found some bamboo and merino to spin together for socks. Aidan got a BIG foam mat for his needlefelting projects. I got some lovely lavender fiber to spin(think I will ply it with the silk/wool that I have going) and Katte got some yarns and patterns for a mitt and scarf set, that I am going to knit for her.

Then we headed into town for the Wicked Ticket Lottery sign-up. I gave up my ticket for Mimi, so she and Erin could see it together. Sadly, I didn't win a ticket in the lottery. That means I get to see Wicked in London next year. Sad for me, NOT! The gentleman with his back to us in the brown leather jacket in the waiting group is Don Stewart. We met this fellow conspirator while waiting in line to get in the lottery for tickets. He joined the three of us and we all entered for 2 tickets each. As we only needed the one for me we would give him the other and vice-versa. Don didn't win either, but he was going to try again last night and today as this is it. Wicked ends this evening and moves on to Cleveland...

Since the ticket lottery sign up started at 11:30am and the drawing was at Noon and the show didn't start until 2:00pm,we had time to kill. So, we hopped on the 16th Street Mall shuttle and went down to the Tattered Cover at 16th and Wynkoop in LoDo to peruse the books and be inside til the show started for the girls. We sat in the knitting/art/craft area on the second floor and rested the feetsie and looked at the books. The Joy of Sox which has two patterns by my friend, Gina House was on the shelf and it was the first time I got to really look this book over. I so want to add this book to my collection of knitting books. The girls left me at the Tattered Cover when it was time for the show and I pulled out my knitting (I had a pair of socks with me). I discovered a huge mistake and put them aside to peruse the magazines. My phone rang and it was Sheila checking to see if I had gotten a ticket. She also wanted me to know she and her friend, Sue were heading to The Lamb Shoppe for the afternoon stitch in. Since I was at loose ends, they very kindly came downtown and picked me up and took me with them. It was a very satisfactory way to spend the afternoon and I thoroughly enjoyed my first visit to the shop and my visit with Sheila and Sue.

After the girls picked me up, we headed home to the Springs in the snow storm. We had planned hand built pizzas for the supper, so we stopped to pick up the fixings at the Whole Foods after we got Pan's supper at the Pet'sMart. We were smart to stop even at the lateish hour as this is what we woke up to...

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Peace Shall Reign

My daughter is getting laid off. She is going to be SO much happier, the job was killing her. Told to slow down as her stats were killing the average, WTF..

Anyway, we'll be able to hang out more before she leaves for the UK to marry her boy.

Money will be tight, but we'll manage. To have a less cranky housie mate and daughter, it's a good thing!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Guy Fawkes Night

With the Dear Daughter's pending move to the UK to marry a guy named Guy, we are all about things English. Here, therefore is a post about a very English event.

A Poem to enlighten:

Remember, remember the Fifth of November,
The Gunpowder Treason and Plot,
I know of* no reason
Why the Gunpowder Treason
Should ever be forgot.
Guy Fawkes, Guy Fawkes, t'was his intent
To blow up the King and Parli'ment.
Three-score barrels of powder below
To prove old England's overthrow;
By God's providence he was catch'd (or by God's mercy*)
With a dark lantern and burning match.
Holloa boys, holloa boys, let the bells ring. (Holla*)
Holloa boys, holloa boys, God save the King!

It's Guy Fawkes Night, so go get V is for Vendetta and watch it or in the alternative, here's the link to the YouTube Guy Fawkes Night Speech from V is... by the character as portrayed by Hugo Wheeling as V. Guy Fawkes Speech

Here is some information on the origins of this day...

Here is an etching of the celebration in the year of our American Independence, 1776

Today, one of the ceremonies which accompanies the opening of a new session of Parliament is a traditional searching of the basement by the Yeoman of the Guard. It has been said that for superstitious reasons, no State Opening of Parliament has or ever will be held again on November 5th. This, however, is a fallacy since on at least one occasion (in 1957), Parliament did indeed open on November 5th. The actual cellar employed for the storage of the gunpowder in 1605 by the conspirators was damaged by fire in 1834 and totally destroyed during the rebuilding of the Palace of Westminster in the Nineteenth Century.

Also known as "Firework Night" and "Bonfire Night," November 5th was designated by King James I (via an Act of Parliament) as a day of thanksgiving for "the joyful day of deliverance." This Act remained in force until 1859. On the very night of the thwarted Gunpowder Plot, it is said that the populace of London celebrated the defeat by lighting fires and engaging in street festivities. It would appear that similar celebrations took place on each anniversary and, over the years, became a tradition. In many areas, a holiday was observed, although it is not celebrated in Northern Ireland.

Guy Fawkes Night is not solely a British celebration. The tradition was also established in the British colonies by the early American settlers and actively pursued in the New England States under the name of "Pope Day" as late as the Eighteenth Century. Today, the celebration of Guy Fawkes and his failed plot remains a tradition in such places as Newfoundland (Canada) and some areas of New Zealand, in addition to the British Isles.

So have a cuppa and light a bonfire or failing that, have a cuppa and sit in front of your fire.

More information can be found at Wikipedia

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Samhain Supper or Enough Already

A while back I went to Blazer's in Aurora to do some shopping with my friend Katte Beth. She was all excited about this place and wanted to show it off to me. We went on a Sunday morning, only to discover that the store was closing THAT day for a 2-3 month remodel. As, I was also expected to be somewhere that afternoon, we did a "quick" run through the store and scooped up what goodies were left to find. The store was pretty well gutted of the good stuff due to EVERYTHING being 1/2 price. I did buy a little over a $100.00 worth of pastas, teas, oils, balsamic vinegar and crackers for which I paid a grand total of $50.00. As always, more fun is to be had with the adventure that is Katte Beth, thanks, grrly!

One of the pastas I purchased that day was a black linguine made from squid ink. Squid ink, you say, ewwww! Not! It was for colour only, not for flavour. I saw it and said to myself, hmmmm? Then I thought, All Hallows Eve is coming and put it in my basket... I also picked up some Pesto and Sun-Dried Tomato pastas at the same time...

One of the foodie blogs or some such (could have found it through TipNut), that I read had a recipe for a Creamy Pumpkin Sauce. I looked over the ingredients and thought to myself, yum! Then I thought of the black linguine and wallah, Samhain Supper was born... I used this recipe as the basis, Creamy Pumpkin Sauce. As Erin responds badly to pork and turkey, I used sweet Italian chicken sausage instead of the one called for. She also isn't that big a fan of sage so I substituted fresh rosemary for it. It was still yummy. One should, in my opinion, make any recipe to your own taste and with the ingredients that suit you best.

The enough already is for the friends that have been bugging me for the recipe for the sauce and my Golden Yam Waffles...

As to the rest of the weekend. I did a fair amount of spinning. I finished the DIRTY brown alpaca which I ended up with 1200 feet of, so will likely will get about 300 yards of 2 ply. I found that it was easier to spin if I didn't comb it out and just spun the locks. However, I ended up with a lap full of vegetable matter (VM) and soil and more was released when I ran it off my bobbin thru the yardage counter. Ick!

The light specks you see on the brown yarn are the VM that still hadn't gotten removed as yet. When I boil it to set the twist after plying, most of it and the soil will finally go away, but I suspect that I will be picking VM out as I knit with the finished yarn. Will keep you posted on that.

I also spun up the hand dyed watermelon colours of Blue Faced Leicester (BFL) from which I got about 420 yards. I think I will ply it with a creamy white. I had never spun BFL before, it's loverly to work with.

I also spun up some merino pencil roving in very pretty colours. Pencil roving had been giving me fits before when I tried to spin with it, so it was an exercise in prevailing over a challenge. The last time I tried to spin some, I ended up having to have it combed into rolags to spin from. This time I was determined to get it to spin in it's stripy way and surprisingly it didn't fight me back and the effort was a much more successful. Yea! for me! I will probably ply this with some black after I find a source for it and get it spun up. I think that likely will mean a field trip to Gypsy Wools in Boulder for some black merino fiber. Sad for me, not!

Again, I have to thank my spinning teacher, Darla for all of her help in getting me to this point. Also, for giving me the confidence to KEEP trying till I get where I want to be in my spinning efforts. Thanks again so much, you are an awesome addition to my life.