Sunday, April 29, 2012

Delayed

Colorado Springs KOA
Fountain, CO 80807
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We've extended our stay near Colorado Springs, CO because Scott & I have been sick with the flu all week!!! So instead of leaving Monday, we'll be leaving Wednesday and hope to squeeze in some local sights in 2 days. We were hoping to take the 3 hour PIKES PEAK COG RAILWAY, which looked beautiful, scary and exciting. But since we are both still somewhat congested, we aren't sure how our bodies would handle the 14,000 feet altitude. Scott read that they have finished paving a road up Pikes Peak and that it is safe. We'll probably try driving and see how high we get before we think our heads will explode. Plus, we can take the dogs with us then. It's always more enjoyable in the company of our pups. And, yes, I'm starting to feel a slight bond with our Irish Setter, Devin after adopting him 6 months ago.

It really hurts to keep my eyes focused on the computer. I haven't been doing any reading. Just a lot of tv watching and sleeping. It's really been a miserable week for both of us, BUT we are still so very fortunate in that we didn't have to worry about getting a Dr's note for being absent from work!!! We have the luxury of being able to just lay around and let our bodies fight the illness. The most difficult part was having to walk the dogs. Sure wish we could just let them loose in the yard. The dogs were really good during our illness. Although Devin didn't let me sleep  past 6:10am, once he went for a very short walk in the morning, he stayed quiet and let us be until at least mid afternoon! That was bliss. One day, I just couldn't walk them, so in late afternoon when Devin started pulling on his leash to go out, I simply put them out on the tethers and sank into a chair outside and practically fell asleep. I was so sick, I didn't care what I must have looked like out there. Scott was feeling well enough that afternoon and took them for a walk. Poor dogs, deserve an outing to Pikes Peak.

Hopefully, we'll be fully recovered in a couple of days and I'll report on the KOA and the surrounding area.

Craft week went to hell also.

Friday, April 27, 2012

CRAFT WEEK (Day 5): Different way to present content



This blog post is part of the 3rd
3KCBWDAY5
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Always in my heart & keeping me warm.
 








video

Thursday, April 26, 2012

CRAFT WEEK (Day 4): Seasons

This blog post is part of the 3rd
KNTTING AND CROCHET BLOG WEEK
3KCBWDAY4
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Do I knit and crochet projects according to the season? Hmmmm. I don't really think so. 
During the summer, I may not crochet a big heavy afghan, but I would knit a worsted weight sweater such as the COMFY CARDI, I am currently knitting now as seen on my WIP's RAVELRY page. It has been in the 90's the past two days here in Colorado. I knit this cardigan project no matter what the temp.

I will knit/crochet a quick project no matter what the season for special occasions such as... 
Baby Shower:
Made in November


Made in May

Made in January
And quick holiday knits:
Christmas:
Made in December


My sweet sweet Pillsbury who we lost to a stomach tumor in Feb of 2011.





























I am a definite project knitter. 
Here is how PEACEFUL KNITTER BLOGGER describes the difference between a process knitter and a project knitter...

  "This is a classic question among knitters: are you a process knitter or a project knitter?
A process knitter is someone who chooses to knit something based on what they might pick up along the way. A new stitch pattern or technique, let’s say. It’s like a puzzle to be solved, and as you work your way through the challenge, it gets easier, you gain confidence, and when you finish you feel quite satisfied with your accomplishment.
A project knitter is a person that sees a finished object and knows that they want to knit it so they can wear it or give it away. They will figure it out if they don’t know how to do something, but the joy is in reaching the finish line and admiring the finished piece.
I’d like to note that both knitters probably equally enjoy the process of selecting patterns, choosing the yarn, and casting on."


I do not like to start a project until I have finished one.  I just pick out the next "kit", I have made up from my stash/kit bin, no matter what the season or temperature.

I think making a kit is a great idea.  Go through your stash by weight. Then search Ravelry by yarn weight, then thin out the search by how much yardage you have. Pick out a pattern you like, print it and put the pattern in a ziplock with the corresponding yarn.
Instead of your stash just looking like a yarn store, your stash is now projects to look forward to!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

CRAFT WEEK (Day 3): Hero

This blog post is part of the 3rd
KNTTING AND CROCHET BLOG WEEK
3KCBWDAY3
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Today's craft week blog challenge is to write about people in the fiber industry who have inspired me.

1. My Nana: She taught me the basics of knitting. Nana used to knit me all kinds of Barbie doll clothes, which I loved. Now that I'm an adult and "real" knitter, I can appreciate the time she spent knitting those girlie outfits for my Barbie. I'm not sure I would take the time to knit those little outfits for my grandchild. (Not having children and therefore, no grand kids, it's hard for me to say)

2. Barbara R.: Barb is a woman I met, at the Toms River (NJ) knitters meeting, held monthly (2nd Tues @ 7pm) at the American Bread Factory in Brick NJ. I hadn't knit in years and then it was simple items from the knit & purl stitches my Nana taught me.
So what do we decide to knit as a long project "knit-a-long"? The GREAT AMERICAN ARAN AFGHAN. What did I get myself into???? Thanks to Barbara's patience and inviting me to her home. she was able to show me the cable stitch which is essential in any Aran pattern.
Ravelry has a forum for the GAAA. I started my GAAA along with Barbara & Diane, in January of 2008. We were hoping to do one square per month. There are 24 squares. Well, it's 2012 and I have about 12 or 13 squares completed. Here's a link to my GAAA RAVELRY PROJECT PAGE
Here's just a couple of samples of my work. There are definitely mistakes, but I'm still proud of myself.



3. Teri L.: I met Teri at a different knitting group that met at Border's in Eatontown, NJ. 95% of what Teri knits is lace and I mean real lace on itty bitty skinny #2, #1 knitting needles with lace weight yarn. Teri also designs many lace patterns. We very rarely see her look at a chart or pattern. Amazing. But even though she is so proficient in lace knitting, she is not snobby about it. She is very willing to encourage you to give it a try and will then will help you out if needed. She is listed as a DESIGNER ON RAVELRY. Check her designs out!

4: Shirley W.: Shirley is from the same Eatontown, NJ knitting group as Terri. Shirley is like a machine at knitting. Oh wait, I mean she likes to use a knitting machine.
Shirley is a fast hand knitter and almost always has a new project for "show & tell" each week. But she is my inspiration because of her stick to itness in widening the world of machine knitters. She has sought out machines knitters through out the US! She has greatly helped expand a local machine knitting Meet Up, now called RAPID ROWS. This group meets once a month. There are different techniques taught, with instruction sheets. Show & tell, socializing, etc. Great source of machine knitting knowledge in this group, in NJ.
Because of Shirley's persistence and patience in cleaning up my machine and teaching me how to use it, I was able to complete this afghan on the machine. My one and only project. Someday, I'll work on the machine again.

Edging

5. Lily Chin: Lily Chin is well known in the knit & crochet world. She is a designer, teacher, author.
I am inspired because she is proficient in BOTH knitting & crocheting and she designs for both crafts equally. What I truly love about Lily is her way of teaching. She is full of short cuts, and helpful tips to make knitting & crocheting easier. I love her books,  CROCHET TIPS & KNITTING TIPS.  They are now available for the KINDLE also! She gives many practical tips and after reading, you may say, "Of course, why didn't I think of that!" Because you're not Lily Chin.
Here is an interview with Lily on CROCHET INSIDER. Also, here is a Google search for PODCAST INTERVIEWS with Lily.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

FOUNTAIN, CO 80807

Fountain, CO 80807
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RV LIFE:
We left Santa Fe about 10:30 am and arrived in Fountain, CO (near Colorado Springs) about 4:00. It is so cool to see the land change as we travel.
Lubbox, TX was just flat land everywhere!
Santa Fe, NM was flat, but we could at least see mountains farther out.
Colorado Springs, CO is right next to the Rocky Mountain Range.  I'm looking out the window as I type and am looking at the Range. I think I am looking at Cheyenne Mountain. 
WIKIPEDIA describes it as "The eastern edge of the Rockies rises dramatically above the Interior Plains of central North America,..." That is exactly what we saw while driving. We drove on Interstate 25, with miles & miles of flat grazing area and then the mountains appear! Beautiful.


The weather is odd right now.  Last night the heat ran off & on all night and today, during the day it was 90°!
We were told the norm this time of year is 65°, which is perfect for me. 90° forces me to stay inside.

(A little side note if anyone is interested. How do I get the little degree sign? My Dad found this key shortcut.
Press the Alt key and while holding the Alt key click 0176. The degree sign ° should show up.)

FOOD:
At the Santa Fe Farmer's Market last week, we purchased two rib eye steaks, YAK steaks, that is.  We were told to keep them rare (which Scott likes). Tough, Tough, Tough! They really gave our jaws a workout.  Flavor was good, didn't seem much different than beef, but I tried 3 different knives to get it to cut easily.
The dogs ended up enjoying my Yak immensely.  


BOOKS:
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's NestThe Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest by Stieg Larsson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

3rd book in the Millennium Series:
This book was just as good as the first one. How is Lisbeth going to get out of these situations? She does and it's not silly fantasy. I loved, respected some characters and others, I wished them dead. Slime of the earth.
Lisbeth is a survivor physically and mentally.
Great series.


View all my reviews

AUDIO BOOKS:

Changeless (Parasol Protectorate, #2)Changeless by Gail Carriger
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I read the first book "Souless", which was a hoot. A different take on vampires, werewolves, etc.
Unfortunately, this second book was getting a little too sci-fi for me.  I listened to half and although the characters are cute and the narrative is excellent (Emily Gray), the story line got more outrageous, than I'd like.


View all my reviews




CRAFT WEEK (Day 2): "Perfect Day"

This blog post is part of the 3rd

3KCBWDWC
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Today's craft week blog challenge is to set a scene with photography. I follow instructions well, but to create is difficult for me. So I am opting to take my "wild card" challenge today which is "Craft Your Perfect Day".
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CRAFTING A PERFECT DAY
This will be just off the top of my head. 

1. Good night's sleep & being able to sleep till 7:30 instead of 6am



2. Drinking a good cup of strong, smooth, black coffee & a "nutritious" breakfast of cookies, or a toasted blueberry bagel with cream cheese, or pastries & reading an extraordinary book on my kindle while looking out to a beautiful view.

Knitted mug cozy. Mmmm coffee and cookies!
3. A little internet, following blogs, new Ravelry patterns, email, playing a game or two etc.


4. Take the dogs for a walk with hubby through a pine forest (and the dogs aren't pulling).

5. Sit outside in the shade with that beautiful view once again. The temperature is about 65° with just a very subtle breeze. I have a glass of wine, the dogs are laying near me, hubby is seating near me with a glass of his favorite Port and reading.
I'm cross stitching while listening to an excellent audio book. I like to cross stitch outside because now that I've gotten older, it's more difficult to see the charts and all those itty stitches. The daylight gives me perfect light for this project.  After a couple of hours, I switch to knitting or crocheting.

6. Not a soul around but us and the birds chirping, and squirrels running about.

7. For dinner, going to a casual local restaurant with great food at a reasonable price.

8. Back home to watch a movie with hubby and do some more knitting.

Not very exciting, but that's what I like. I don't look for excitement. Excitement is stress.

Monday, April 23, 2012

CRAFT WEEK (Day 2): "Color Lovers"

This blog post is part of the 3rd
KNITTING AND CROCHET BLOG WEEK
3KCBWDAY1

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My favorite colors are jewel tones...royal blue, deep purple, deep rose, etc. Or more specific, emerald green, amethyst purple, sapphire blue, ruby red, etc.
Courtesy of  DIZANNE
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Speaking of Jewel tones...here's a little diversion from yarns & crafting....



By 999 Diet  |   Published: June 24, 2011
Prep time: 10 min   |    |   Total time: 10 min .
Yield: Serves 6  |   Serving size: 1/2 cup  |   Calories per serving: 231  |   Fat per serving: 21 grams.

This salad is both sweet and tart, and crunchy thanks to the addition of the heart healthy walnuts. It’s loaded with fiber and antioxidants and delicious as well. A salad like this can help you keep control of your sweet tooth, thus promoting weight loss by avoiding processed sugary treats. This would go well with an orange juice, as not only the flavor would be complimented, but the color as well.

Ingredients:
1/2 cup sour cream
3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1/2 juice from a lemon
2 tsp Whole grain mustard
2 tbsp olive oil
2 cups grated carrots
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 cup walnuts, chopped and toasted

Directions:
In a blender or food processor, blend the sour cream, vinegar, lemon juice and mustard. Fold in the carrots, cranberries and walnuts. Serve chilled.

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I like staring off with a rich jewel color, turning into tonals and subtle changes. BERROCO ULTRA ALPACA TONAL is a great example below.
 

 

I also like combo colors that blend well as Red, orange, rust in this "Howl" project. "Howl" is a Hat and Cowl combo. I used 3 strands of yarn in red, orange & rust.
(Ravelers, here's the pattern link)

LION BRAND HOMESPUN yarn has the quality of color I love. Different colors that I would not think would go together, but they do & also tonals.

I love gradient color also. That is when you start with a rich color and it fades and fades and pales, to a pastel or even white/cream color.

Here's a link to a YOU TUBE TUTORIAL about how to dye yarn in a gradient colorway on the stove with food colors & vinegar.

Odd that I like rich colors, but I'm knitting a black sweater right now. But if you look at my STASH ON RAVELRY, you'll see that I do stick true to what I said above.  I wrote this post before looking at my stash. I think that's pretty cool, that I knew myself so well!

Nice meeting you SF


This little critter kept Devin enthralled for at least an hour this morning.
Look just below center


Photos of around our RV site at Santa Fe Skies RV Park.





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"Not all those who wander are lost" J.R.R. Tolkien

Off to Fountain, CO (near Colorado Springs)

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Busy day in Santa Fe

Santa Fe, NM 87508
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RV LIFE:
I'm so excited! I met fellow bloggers Brad and Suzanne from RV'ING AND TRAVELS. Also a blog for their dog, ZOEY.  
I've been following so many RV, dog, craft blogs, that I now have to make a spreadsheet to keep track of who is who and things about the people. Thank goodness I did. Because I immediately was able to recognize that our neighbors were bloggers I follow.

I mentioned to Scott the other day, that a blog I follow repairs RV blinds. Scott has repaired one before and is not looking forward to repairing another.  I said they are in NM, but 4 hrs. away. Scott said wouldn't it be odd if they ended up here?
This is our view from Scott's computer desk.
We first saw the magnetic sign on the side of the truck advertising BRAD'S BLIND REPAIR. THAT'S THEM!! I screamed to Scott. He just looks at me like I'm nuts.

So I've been peeking out the window off & on for about an hour. THERE THEY ARE!! What am I?..a blog celebrity stalker? Oh and now a blog paparazzi too (photo above). I run outside to their site and say, "I'm so excited! Your the RVING AND TRAVELS BLOGGERS!" After I settle down, I see the "famous" ZOEY, THE FULLTIMING DOG too!  Isn't the internet wonderful!  Of course, it's usually anti-climatic when you meet folks you've only "talked" with or known about on the internet. Ok, now what? Very nice couple and hopefully they'll take on the job of fixing our blinds.
**Update: Brad indeed restrung/fixed our large "dining room" day/night shade for $25.  Thank you BRAD'S RESTRINGING BY MAIL.
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SIGHTS:
Yesterday we were supposed to go to a distillery in Santa Fe, but SCOTT put in the address for the distillery in Los Alamos! No worries, so we have to drive 40 miles instead of 10 miles at $4.19 per gallon of diesel! No worries! We don't have a house in NJ and NJ taxes and utilities to maintain anymore. I'll take the $4.19 per gallon as to paying $550.00 per month (almost $7000.00 per year) for property taxes in NJ. Some views along the way...
Can you see the ski slope trails?
Skin hides being dried.
So off we headed to DON QUIXOTE DISTILLERY. The building is definitely a work in progress. It is on Route 4, and we almost didn't go in, because the shrubbery & weeds are all overgrown, making it look like it is closed, in spite of the "open" sign displayed.  It will be a really nice place once it is refurbished. They are working on a stone patio, with fountain. Inside they have tables for seating at events they hold.  Nice stone bar where we had our wine tasting for $5.00 for 5 tastes.

This is what $183.83 looks like!
We bought port, sweet red, sangria, and merlot. I'll do a rating & write up at a later time. I did try their GIN, but I thought it was disgusting. But, I've never sipped Gin straight. I always have it as Gin & Tonic with lime. Alright, I just took a sip of the Gin I have here.  I think it is Beefeater Gin. (My favorite is Tangueray Gin). Anyway, just tasted like Vodka to me. But the Don Quixote Gin, had a strong odd taste, that I just couldn't handle.
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We started off this morning by returning to the SANTA FE FARMER'S MARKET. This is why we extended our stay from 7 to 11 days.  We wanted to return to the market for more items.
Back row, left to right:
STAR G HONEY, Blue Ribbon Sweet Clover Honey
Janet's Clay Workshop, Functional Polymer Clay Artwork, Celtic handle paring knife
Close up of clay celtic knot handle
Trujillo Family Farms, Spicy Vegetable Garden Mix, red mild chili powder & pinon fudge. Pinon fudge is just a fudge with pinon nuts (from the pinon pine cone). PINON NUTS are basically a specific pine nut. Reading up on it, I didn't realize that pine nuts come from pine cones. They are hidden under the "scales" of the pine cone.
DUKE'S RASPBERRY RANCH, Raspberry BBQ Sauce and Freezer Jam
Also, the oatmeal raspberry square. We had to buy from this merchant. Duke is a black lab. We're always softies for dog lovers.
Mario Reynolds CD, Andean music.  He was playing in the Old Santa Fe Plaza. His instrumental music was very soothing. If I can figure out how to add music to the blog, I'll add a sample.
OLD PECOS FOODS, Hickory Almond Mustard. A quote from their website "A wonderfully smoky mustard with the suprizing crunch of Almonds excellent to use on barbeques for exceptional flavor for meals. A must for picnics."
LAVENDER LADY, sold sachets of lavender She definitely draws attention at her booth in her lavender outfit.
MILK AND HONEY, soap & lotion made from goats milk.

After the farmer's market we walked a few blocks to "old" Santa Fe Plaza. That is a hopping place! Lots of vendors selling anywhere from home made beautiful crafted by local Indians, jewelry to high end stores.  This was our first really hot day in Santa Fe.  I've been told I should be drinking more water, to off set the symptoms of altitude sickness I've had. Oooh, look! Watermelon juice! For $2.00 I got a 16 ounce (with very little ice) cup of real, pure watermelon juice.  Delicious!

The streets/house architecture are as interesting as New Orleans. We didn't bring our camera, or our cell phone (camera). I was too hot to be carrying anything bulky. 

Because we didn't know if we would be heading back this way in the coming years of our travels, we opted to go home, get our camera, and free our dogs from the RV.  Santa Fe Plaza was very dog friendly. It was nice to be able to bring them along.  I always feel somewhat rushed, when I know they are "stuck" in the RV.

Ahhhh, now with camera in hand (Scott's hand, I was still too hot), here are some photos of Santa Fe Plaza, etc.
NY/NJ/PA have hot dog & hot soft pretzel vendors, Santa Fe has fajita vendors!
We missed taking photos of antique CORD AUTOMOBILES. Very cool.  I don't think I've ever seen this type before.

Here's a video link (taken by someone else) of the OLDEST HOUSE IN THE USA. They left part of the outside wall in it's original state and you can see the straw mixed in with the mud to form the wall.

So much turquoise, silver and copper jewelry. Live music, food vendors, restaurants, etc.  Definitely another must see excursion.  


Old Vaudeville Theatre












We finally saw our first BUFFALO!!! The dogs handled it well.

And finally, here's a photo of the not so mighty Santa Fe River.




Our Travels