Thursday, June 26, 2008

The felted purse is done!

After shelving this felted purse project for a while... I finally finished it yesterday. The Tuesday knitters convinced me not to pull the whole thing apart and start over. Instead, I pretty much just added the strap, felted it and will have a zipper along the top to close the purse.

However, this presented a new problem: If I can't work on this project during my very long flight to Ireland tomorrow, then what will I work on? I don't want to finish the socks, because I have to go through Heathrow, and I'm sure the pointy, little, metal needles would get confiscated there. This purse on the other hand uses rather large, circular needles and mine are made of bamboo which is not particularly sharp. So naturally, I will take those and start a new purse in different colors... and I may stick to the pattern this time so I won't run out of yarn.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Drip System: Phase I complete

I've spent endless hours in the last couple of weeks converting our in-ground sprinkler system to a drip system. Most of it was pretty easy, especially laying the tubing and putting drip emitters in the tubing. We had to build the entire head assembly, which includes an electric valve, filter, backflow prevention valve and pressure regulator. I was expecting that half of those things would have already been part of the sprinkler system, but they weren't. It would have been easier and less leaky to get a plumber for that part, but hopefully we can tighten it up and get rid of the leaks now. This is just Phase I, because I still need to lay a whole new system in the backyard, where there currently is no sprinkler system. It will involve more digging of trenches to lay tubing, but there will be no need for a plumber because all of the valves will attach to the faucet.

Unrelated to that, yesterday was the third Tuesday in a row that I had to fill up my motorcycle tank. Which means that I'm riding it a lot more than I used to (and I haven't been on any joyrides recently). Maybe it's because of the cost of gas... at 70mpg, I really do use a lot less gas compared to my 25mpg car. But it may just be because of the large saddle bags I added recently, so I actually can carry stuff around and stash my riding jacket in the bag.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Friday 5: Tastes

  1. What’s too spicy for your tastes? Not much, unless it actually hurts my tongue.
  2. What’s too sweet for your tastes? Any drink with even a drop of sugar. And any sweets that have more sugar than fat.
  3. What’s too salty for your tastes? Most pre-packaged food has too much salt and not enough flavor for me. Stuff like Rice-a-roni and Kraft mac&cheese...
  4. What’s too bitter for your tastes? Hmmm... when I crack open a pecan and can't separate out the little part of the shell that gets stuck in the wrinkles of the nut... that's so bitter, it ruins the nut.
  5. What’s too sour for your tastes? Nothing. I've been eating the tart cherries right off the tree to see if they're ripe. When they're not quite ripe, it puckers me right up, but I still like them.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

More socks!

Some people may be curious as to whatever happened to that nearly finished sock from a while back. Never fear, the toe has been grafted shut and a pair has been knitted. They actually fit me, although I have not worn them out of the house yet. Who wants to wear wool socks in this weather? I think the self-striping yarn and a simple sock pattern make a good combination. The stripes hide any mistakes that may exist in my first pair of socks.And, I've started another sock. Hubbers requested that I make him a pair of socks, which is what started this whole sock-knitting thing in the first place. Here's the gusset of the first sock in his pair. This one is going a bit slower, maybe it's the smaller needles, the ribbing or the larger size.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Cherry Harvest

This year, our garden is indeed producing food. So far, we've been eating our own mulberries, cherries, basil, cilantro, oregano, chives and snap peas. A few days ago, I collected the last of the cherries, and put them into a little pie. As I threw the mini-pie into the toaster oven to bake, Hubbers rented a movie... Sweeney Todd. About 30 minutes into the movie, I took the cherry pie out of the oven only to discover it's eerie similarity to one of Mrs. Lovett's meat pies. So we didn't eat the pie that night, we saved it for the next day.

Monday, June 16, 2008

"I'm a tenured professor of archeology..."

That's a line from Indiana Jones. Now that Hubbers just got tenure, I think I'll be using it a lot. Apparently, having tenure means that he has a lot more time to spend building block walls and shoveling rocks... and not in a way that helps him find artifacts.

We've thought about re-landscaping our yard for years. We've done plenty of planting of trees, but at some point we stopped watering the grass and didn't do much to replace it. Finally, the yard will be more than a dust bowl.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Friday 5: Needles

These questions come from
  1. When was the last time you had a needle stuck into you?
    Last October, for surgery, I had more needles stuck into me than I can count.
  2. Who among your friends is the easiest target for needling?
    Katie... just say "bathroom door".
  3. What’s something you can confidently do with a needle and thread?
  4. About how many phonograph records do you have in your home, and when’s the last time you dropped a needle on one?
    We have at least 50 vinyl albums. I think I listened to one a month or two ago, but Hubby listens to them more often.
  5. Someone told us the other day about someone at a party using a flavor injector to spike a watermelon with vodka. Is this brilliant or is this stupid?
    On the scale of brilliant to stupid, it's average. If the party were a little kid's birthday party, then I'd call it stupid.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Alternative Exercise Week

While everybody else is concerned about alternative energy and transportation these days, I'm more worried about getting exercise everyday. So this is my personal Alternative Exercise Week.

My post-surgery get-back-into-shape plan was quite successful. It started in February and culminated in running the Zoo 10k. However, without a current running goal, it's been tough to get motivate to run every morning. Usually when this happens, I rely on exercising in the middle of the day at the gym (one perk of being a student). Yet, the end of the semester means that the treadmills, bike machines, and resistance machines are out of service for a few weeks (one drawback of a college gym).

So I'm looking for other ways to incorporate exercise into my day. On Monday, I walked to all of my appointments which added up to about 3 miles. On Tuesday, I swam laps (which I haven't done in years) at the gym during lunchtime. Today, I bicycled the 6 miles to work... and will have to bicycle back. On Friday, I'll play racquetball with a friend if I can find my racket.
On Saturday, I'll canoe the Rio Grande as part of the Great Race. But I don't know what to do tomorrow... I may just have to run in the morning like I used to do.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Name that hike

Ya'll did great on April's Name that Hike. In response to the comments on that post... yes, it was the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk, the section along the Rio Grande. And yes I know the people in the photo (the two kids, their mom and grandma) even though none are looking anywhere near the camera.

So here's May's hike and it shouldn't be too tough to identify the location. Note the fresh snow! We did not hike all the way to the snow. I bet someone can name the mountain at least. Bonus points for naming the trail.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Vick's Peak

Due to technical difficulties, I am getting a bit behind on the blogging, so here's some photos from Memorial Day Weekend. Originally, we envisioned hiking up Wheeler Peak, near Taos... but snowstorms (in late May!) convinced us to go south. So, we ended up backpacking Saturday through Monday in the Apache Kid Wilderness, which is a mountainous area just west of Elephant Butte. In other words, it's in the middle of nowhere, but just a few hours south of Albuquerque. We hiked to the top of Vick's Peak because it was the tallest thing around and the hike was described in our 100 Hikes in New Mexico book. There is a whole network of trails back there, and a lovely pine forest. We camped on the saddle of a ridge next to an old miner's cabin. There really is not a trail to the top of Vick's Peak, but it wasn't far from the cabin.