Saturday, December 3, 2011

Happy December

Today, 7am. Any bets on how long the snow lasts? Until 10am?

Friday, December 2, 2011


I promised you some exciting travel updates. However, my most exciting trip of the year just got postponed by half a year, so you'll have to wait a bit longer to hear about Egypt. Instead of Cairo, I will visit another city that starts with C and has a pyramid.

Which would you rather visit in December?

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Back in the game

In my world, this is big news. I want you to notice the shoes I'm wearing for this walk. Not only am I able to wear heels (and even go for a walk in them) for the first time in years, this happened on a week when I went for 3 runs. And my feet don't hurt. Not anywhere. No plantar fasciitis, no ball-of-the-foot pain. Why not? I don't know. It's been 3 years of foot pain, that I just noticed wasn't bothering me this week.

This is great, because after completing half of the Mt Taylor Quadrathlon last year, I thought it would be fun to do the whole thing this year. The only problem is that it involves 10 miles of running. Now that is no longer a problem.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Holiday Travel

As promised, here is the next installment of travel blogging. This time we head north to Wisconsin. Clearly, we aren't chasing the good weather. Instead, it's about good food and family.

Thanksgiving day:

Taking a walk in a nearby park.

 Black Friday (sorry, no videos of shopping mobs):
Boys will be boys...

...while I try to get some work done.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Knitting Backlog

My knitting posts always seems to get more attention than anything I write about. Since the blog was dormant for about a year, there is a back-log of knitting project to share with you. I'll start with the things that I was working on about this time last year.

Two pairs of mittens donated to an orphanage in Kazakhstan. This is a great way to use up non-washable wool leftovers.

A sweater for Hubbers' birthday last year. This is from some great hand-dyed wool from the Taos Wool Festival.

A vest for Mom, from some yarn purchased in Kazakhstan that claimed to be camel. However, it appears to be machine washable, so I'm not so sure. I managed to find the word "100% wool" in Chinese on the label (followed by 6% something else), but can't translate anything else. The labels are nearly identical for the gray and orange yarn, yet the orange seems decidedly more acrylic while the gray has wispy white hairs throughout that could believably be camel.

A sunglasses case for my sunglasses. Made from cotton yarn purchased in Vancouver last year. The little strap with a button lets me attach it to my purse. Despite the current giant purse craze, I insist on carrying the smallest purse that fits my phone, wallet and ipod. But that doesn't leave room for my sunglasses, so this hangs on the outside.

 If you want more info about these, like the names of the patterns or the modifications to the patterns, that info is available on my Ravelry page.

Saturday, November 12, 2011


As promised, travel season has commenced. I am enjoying a cup of locally roasted Stumptown coffee in downtown Portland, Oregon. I had to wait in a line that was less than half the length of the Voodoo doughnuts line down the street. I do enjoy a good cup of coffee, but good doughnuts are lost on me.

The first morning here, I went for a run along this river (dodging bicycle commuters everywhere) crossed the river a couple of bridges down, then came back on this drawbridge. There's a nice path along the river, although it is a bit industrial. This town has always reminded me of the city I grew up in... it's the weather, the industrialness, and the feeling that it's probably a nice place to live.
Below is the convention center where I spent that last few days. The highlight is really the gorgeous red trees surrounding it. Inside, they've gone out of their way to be sustainable. They had donation bins for us to dump our unwanted swag, compost for leftovers, recycling for all containers. Yet, they were quite punctual in everything. If the schedule said dinner is 6:30-9:30, you couldn't touch the food until 6:30 (even though it would be setup several minutes ahead of time) and announcements began around 9 to warn you to wrap up your networking because the hall would be closing in 30 minutes.
Red leaves everywhere. We only get yellow leaves at home, so it's nice to see some fall color. Although the trade-off is that they only get gray sky here for a backdrop to the colorful leaves.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Vixen's new friend

I have quite a travel schedule lined up for the next couple of months, so the blog should get more active with exciting photos from exciting places. I'll let the travel unfold as it happens, to surprise you with all the great destinations.

For now, enjoy some backyard photos of Vixen with her new bff, Bronte. What makes them bff's?
They dress alike. And enjoy showing off their "sit" skills.

They play alike. It's all about chase -- no wrestling, no fetch.
And they have matching tails, but I don't have a great photo for that. You'll just have to take my word for it. They also both happen to have nervous stomachs meaning that they go on hunger strikes when the state of the world doesn't suit them.

(To avoid confusion, Bronte is not our new dog, she belongs to a friend.)

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

More chile

I posted a couple of weeks ago about chile harvest season. We have since decided that we just didn't have enough chile, so we got another 40 pounds. I suspect that the first bag was less than 30 pounds and it didn't look like enough for all the sauce and salsa I wanted to make. Here's a rundown of the work that goes into processing 40 pounds of chile.
Hubbers has his peeling operation figured out
Roasted chiles in the bag before peeling
Peeled chiles (these were eaten as rellenos that night)
After peeling, I made 3 batches of green chile sauce from 4 pounds of chiles per batch. Then a batch of salsa (pdf of recipes from NMSU) from 3 pounds of chiles. The rest get ziplocked and frozen.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Pedal Los Pueblos

The Multiple Sclerosis Society holds 2-day, 150-mile bicycling fundraising events across the country. The New Mexico version, called Pedal Los Pueblos, happens every August through beautiful northern New Mexican countryside, towns and pueblos. The cycling club I joined earlier this year (Women Riding Well) takes this event quite seriously, gathering some 50 riders as a team and raising around $40,000 together this year. It was a great weekend of cycling, riding and (for me) learning about MS and some very promising treatments that could use more funding.

I didn't think that I put in the necessary training to handle 150 miles, so I wasn't sure how much I'd ride. On Saturday, I decided to ride with my club going whatever speed we go, stopping as often as we like, and just see how far we get. The ride starts just north of Santa Fe in Pojoaque. On Day 1 (map) we head north through Espanola and Ojo Caliente, then turn westward up a big hill to lunch in El Rito, before angling back southeast through Hernandez and Espanola, ending back at Pojoaque. Turns out that we (most of us anyway)*, made it the full 88 miles and 5000 ft of climbing, in plenty of time to get cleaned up and enjoy dinner.

On Sunday, I was feeling so good, I decided to go the longer route of 55 miles, including an optional long, steep climb from Chimayo to Truchas. When I got to the turn-off for Truchas, nobody wanted to go with me... at first... and then 2 club buddies talked each other into it. Up we went. At the top, I found some members of the club that are also on the racing team. I had never ridden with them, but they said they were going to set a nice easy pace for a pace line on the flatter sections of the ride. I hopped on and did my best to keep up with the 20 mph pace through the rest of the ride. Wow, that was fun! I never would have worked that hard for that many miles without the group but with the group it was great!

* My worst nightmare about bicycling is a crash. Unfortunately, we had a crash. I couldn't possibly tell you exactly what happened because all I really know is that one minute we were riding along having a great time, and the next second everybody was falling over. It went something like this: With 73 miles done and 15 to go, Karen who I was riding next to, hit a big chunk of metal in the shoulder of the road (or she didn't hit it, but was trying to avoid hitting it and me) and went down. On her way down, she bumped me but I managed to stay up while bobbling around. Priscilla, behind us, also went down (rather than swerving into traffic) but much more softly than Karen. Once medics bandaged up Karen's road rash (no broken bones), she and her bike got a ride back to the end. Priscilla and I rode on.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

The End of Summer

It's the best time of the year... summer is ending and fall is getting ready. I can smell it in the air! I already have one bag of Hatch green chiles roasted & peeled. Here are about a dozen of them stuffed with cheese and getting ready to be covered in egg batter and baked into Chile Rellenos Guillermos. This is earlier than I normally get my chiles, but some good friends (and fans of chile) were traveling through on their way to Austin, so we spent an afternoon peeling.
Living in a hot climate, I anticipate these hints of fall (thunderstorms, chiles roasting, etc) much the same way I used to look for hints of spring in Cleveland (daffodils poking through the snow, sun peeking through the clouds, etc).

I could probably use another bag of chiles, and peeling is best done socially, so if anyone local wants to do a chile-peeling morning/afternoon let me know!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Yampa Float

As promised, the next installment of our weeklong Colorado trip. For the second adventure of the week, we canoed 50 miles of the Yampa river from the city of Craig to a place called Juniper Canyon (several miles upstream of Maybelle). We did not expect to accomplish this in one day, so we spent two nights on the river. I don't know what the flow of the river was officially; it was enough to keep us afloat (barely), but clearly had been higher earlier in the season.

Launching from the city park in Craig
This section of river quickly goes through farmland, then through BLM land known as Duffy Canyon, past Duffy Mountain and then back out to farmland. Somewhat surprisingly, the BLM land had more cattle than the farmland. It is not fun to camp with the cows (Vixen disagrees) and it is not legal to camp on private land, so we camped on islands.
Beached on a desert island for the first night
A lazy river

Full moon rising over our second camp
The shuttle vehicle at the Juniper Canyon takeout
After 50 miles of river, I biked back 30 miles to retrieve the pickup truck. Every afternoon on the river, we had wind gusts pushing us back up-canyon. I was hoping that would be a tail-wind on the bike, but that last day just wasn't as windy. Or maybe it was the 95-degree heat that slowed me down.

Friday, August 19, 2011


Last week I took a trip that seemed worth blogging about. Only time will tell whether this is really a blog-revival or if it will be shortlived.

For the first few days of our trip, we started near Aspen, Colorado with backpacking up Snowmass Creek to camp at Snowmass Lake with the goal of summitting Snowmass Mountain.

Snowmass Creek

Is this really the trail? Apparently it is.

Snowmass Lake - as seen from near our camp. The peak in the back is our goal for the next day.

Looking back down at Snowmass Lake from our summit hike.

This is not the summit, just a pretty meadow along the way. The summit was actually quite ugly (just rock and months-old snow). I have my doubts about Hubbers hobby (Colorado 14ers) - getting to these peaks is painful (that lack of oxygen problem always gives me a headache) and they aren't pretty hikes. If there were just a few of them then fine, but 54 ugly painful hikes? No thanks, I'll stay below the headache-inducing zone.

Plenty of people were camped at the lake but nobody hiked up the mountain the same day as us. There were others at the lake who brought along ice axes and crampons, presumably for some peak-bagging. Wish we had brought our ice-axes, it would have made me feel a lot better crossing massive snowfields... who would've thought that a mountain named Snowmass would have snow in August?

Next installment: canoeing the Yampa.