Friday, December 28, 2012

Out and About Around the Central Coast

December 24 - December 28, 2012

West Cuesta Ridge Road aka TV Tower Road

Oceano Dunes
Off Roading at the Beach

 Elephant Seal Rookery at Piedras Blancas

SLO Thursday Night Farmer's Market

McClintock's Outside BBQ Special

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Merry Christmas

Our Christmas card made by the Man from "scratch" ie, no template.
Next year we're buying cards.


Sunday, December 23, 2012

Gadget Love

Our friend, Jerry, has been bringing over boxes (and boxes) of his home-grown apples: Granny Smith, Fuji, Red and Golden Delicious, Pink Lady and their own grafted Riz apple.  I've been hand peeling and coring like crazy.  I've canned apple butter, apple sauce, and baked several apple pies.  The animals and the neighbor's horses have been getting their share as well.

Today, The Man got me a "Peel Away" apple peeler from the local hardware store.  Love it.

Hand peeled Apple Butter


Saturday, December 22, 2012

Whole Lotta Cookin' Going On

We're going to be merrily enjoying visits from friends and family for the next week and a halfI've been meal planning like crazy.

The other night we had our Hawaii friends, Ryan and Marie, spend the nightI had a pork sausage lasagna ready to pop into the oven but instead we opted for SLO's Thursday night Farmer's Market and ate "on the street".  Tri-tip sandwich and tri-tip chili from the Ribline booth, veggie burrito, churros, and kettle corn was consumed. 

I volunteered to make breakfast for Marie's family since they were stopping by before heading south to Redlands.  Eighteen of the Girls' eggs were scrambled with bacon, spinach, tomatoes, avocado, and cheese and our still-alive green onions and parsley.  Topped with my "homemade" canned salsa (Mrs Wages salsa mix)Also, fried potatoes with garlic chives, Jimmy Dean turkey sausage, and San Luis sourdough toast and the apple butter I made with Jerry's apples. 

On Sunday, the Man's nephew Zac and his wife are driving from Las Vegas (with their two dogs) and will be here till the morning of the 26th.  Since they'll be spending Christmas with us we headed to Costco to recreate our delicious Thanksgiving meal.  We couldn't find the 5# Butterball breast (only available Thanksgiving and Easter per Costco butcher) and opted for a smaller precooked one.  We did find the same Harry's Roasted Turkey Gravy 2-pack.  We'll also make mashed potatoes, Cornbread stuffing, roasted brussel sprouts from last week's CSA box and, of course, pumpkin pies.

ETA 12/25/12 - Christmas Dinner (Granny Smith apple pie)

Right now I've got two pans of brownies cooling: one with walnuts and one with chocolate chipsI've already made pecan tassies/tarts a couple of days ago.  This will be for the neighbors' Christmas plate along with a jar of my canned apple butter.    

The Man's Mom (Tutu), his brother's grandson and his sister are flying in on the 26th from Denver.  I've already prepared (and froze) a big pot of beef stew.  We also have a spiral ham.  Woohoo, whole lotta eatin' going on.  


Sunday, December 9, 2012

Reaching Higher Heights

Zeke eating the moss in an Oak tree . . . 

. . . high up . . .

. . . way, way high up!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

A Little Bit of Cheer

Last night, The Man and I went to downtown Atascadero to see their "Winter Wonderland".  Over 50 tons of shave ice was used to make a snow mountain for the kids and adults to sled down.  I looked at The Man but he said, "don't even think about it" just before a couple of kids tumbled off their sleds.  Instead of risking bodily injury we opted for free hot cocoa (and literature) from one of the church booths and bought cotton candy freshly-made by the Pozo 4-H club.  Huge cones of pink awesomeness.
Feeling very festive after so much sugar, we drove to downtown San Luis Obispo and watched their Christmas parade.  Perfect weather as usual.


Today we did a little holiday decorating.  Hohoho.

Goaty Boys' Christmas tree

Monday, December 3, 2012

Weather Report: Rain

It seems like it's been raining for weeks now but it's probably only been a few days here and there since Thanksgiving.  Mostly it's been a drizzly off and on rain here on the Central Coast not nearly the severe weather they're seeing further north.  I like rainy days and we call it my "dream day" as long as I don't have to leave for work or go outside for that matter.  Having the animals changes things up a bit since the rain seems to make everyone miserable especially the Goaty Boys.  My new rain boots from came in the nick of time and they've been getting a workout unlike The Man's rubbah slippahs.

And speaking of Thanksgiving . . . I was supposed to work the day before and the day after which just left Thursday and though I wanted turkey (and leftovers) I didn't want to be cooking all day.  In Hawaii, Zippys and other restaurants, hotels, even supermarkets offer complete heat and serve meals and though I've never had them I've heard it was pretty goodSadly, none to be found around here.  The Man suggested a turkey breast and we found a Butterball turkey breast just under 5 lbs at Costco.  The selling point was we could make it in the slow cooker.   

The turkey breast looked pretty weird when I took it out of the wrapper.  I expected something that resembled a bird not a skinless mound of something.  I had my doubts but in the crockpot it went on a bed of quartered granny smith apples, onions, celery, a little salt and pepper and basted with melted butter.  I cooked it on high for one hour then turned it down to low for about 4 hours till it reached 165+ degrees.  Took it out and let it rest with a foil covering.  Surprise, it was delicious. Moist and perfectly seasoned.  In addition, I made 3 pumpkin pies (gave one away), fresh cranberry sauce, roasted brussel sprouts and The Man helped with the mashed potatoes.  We also got some ready-made turkey gravy a 2-pack so we could pour it on liberally.  I decided not to make stuffing though I bought some.  It was so good we forgot to take pictures of our Thanksgiving dinner.  Or the next night, Thanksgiving Dinner 2, which was just as wonderful.

Strange looking but so delicious.  Really.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Late Fall - Weird but Interesting

Hot and cold weather, I love it.  Today we're supposed to hit the high 80's again and this weekend drop back down into the low 60's maybe even 50's.  Right now I have the windows and doors open; other days we've been firing up the wood-burning stove.

We just changed our clocks to "fall back".  Hawaii is on Standard time year round so it's a concept I don't understand.  All I know is the dog is wanting her dinner but she's got to wait another hour.  I guess we both don't get it.

So now it's dark by 5:30 pm.  The chickens put themselves to bed which is half the battle.  The Goaty Boys still need some coaxing with COB (corn, oats and barley) before they go to bed.  

The Oak trees are shedding like crazy and the driveway is thick with leaves.  The Goaty Boys just can't seem to get enough.

Saturday, October 20, 2012


Cal Poly won their football game against Portland State 37-25.  We sat in the south endzone with a bunch of crazy fans.  It was a fun and noisy (cowbells) game.  I used the Man as a body shield since the balls were kicked over our heads.  There were a few unsuspecting fans that ended up with a football in their lap.  Crazy, I know!

A year ago we returned to the Central Coast.  Happy AnniversaryHappy Homecoming.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Block Party

Finally got around to blocking the UFO's:

Two woven scarves made on the Cricket Loom:  DIC Smooshy 'Good Luck Jade' this was a reblock, I tried getting it softer by machine washing and drying but I didn't hang it up and it got wrinkled and creased so back in the Soak wash.  And, Malabrigo Sock yarn 'Rayon Vert' fresh off the loom.  (ETA 12/28/12 - Gifted to Tutu.  It's purple.)

Multnomah Shawlette #4 - Malabrigo Sock yarn 'Alcaucil'.

Ann Budd's top down socks - Knit Picks Essential 'Meadow Multi'.

Bramble Beret - Cascade 220 SW 'Ginger'. (ETA 12/20/12 - Gifted to Marie.  The Man said it made her look European.  Oui.)

And if that wasn't exciting enough I learned to drive the tractor:

The very patient John Deere rep, Galen

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Green and Gold

Or, green and yellow, everywhere I look I see this color combination:

The Man's new toy property management equipment

 I also won two tickets for this weekend's Cal Poly Homecoming game against Portland State (and tickets for their pre-game tri-tip dinner).  This Saturday I'll be wearing the school colors: green and gold.  Go Mustangs!


Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Socks and Swatches

I've got cold feet.  Literally.  It's 85 degrees outside, 79 inside, and the tile floors are cold.  Anyway, cold feet makes for a great excuse to knit socks.  I have a bunch of sock yarn and two sets of Knitpicks dpns so I can knit 2 socks at once (and avoid the dreaded SSS--Second Sock Syndrome).  And, last night, I came across a Ravelry pattern that is a toe up sock with a heel flap called "Top Down Toe Up Vanilla All the Way Baby!" by Rachel Olsson.  I'm excited.  I tried toe up once and couldn't get past the short row heel.  After a couple of years I finally frogged the damn thing.  This will be my third sock.  So far, I've made 2 cuff down w/heel flap socks out of Ann Budd's "Getting Started Knitting Socks" book.  Here's the second one:
Weird camo color pooling, I was hoping for stripes.

The first sock has major holes in it after being worn continuously last winter.  They are wool and they are warm.  Both of these socks were made on "big" needles with a loose gauge of 7st/inch.  I made a couple of swatches with DIC Smooshy and though I didn't get gauge I think I know what needles will; I'm going to try 1US/2.5mm to get 8st/inch. Wish me luck.

(L)2US/3mm= 7.5st/inch     (R)1US/2.25mm=9st/inch.  Washed.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Last Day of September

It heated up to 97 degrees today.  We were anticipating 100+ with Santa Ana Winds (think: fire).  It was tolerably warm with a gentle breeze.  I spent the afternoon reading outside in the shade.  Surprise, surprise: no bugs.  I hope they're gone for good!

Critter alert:  Saw a bobcat as we were leaving this morning.  It was walking up the hill and stopped to watch us drive away.  Thankfully, the Girls were all accounted for when I got home.  We heard some weird animal calls last night and Mele came upstairs to bark out of our window.  Coincidence?

Trying to read a book with goats can be distracting


Friday, September 28, 2012

Warp Speed Mr Sulu

Received my Schacht 20" Flip Loom yesterday.  It had been backordered for over a month from Lion Brand Yarn Company.  After warping the Schacht 10" Cricket (last used Spring 2011!) I decided that was plenty loom for me and I was going to cancel my Flip order Monday morning.  I guess it wasn't meant to be cancelled because it shipped out that very same Monday morning 7:30 am CDT.

It took a little fiddling with the Cricket to remember the steps of direct warping, weaving, winding the shuttle, and hem-stitching.  Yes, well, I pretty much forgot everything.  My first attempt at warping was with Malabrigo Sock yarn but since I couldn't remember how to tie on and sley a couple of slots I (very smartly!) put on an 8-dent reed and wove up some scrap Sugar'n Cream cotton and made a little sample.  That helped me remember the steps and I was able to warp up the Mal Sock in 1.5 hours without too much trouble.

The Man helped me put the Flip Loom together and it's ready to go!

Malabrigo Sock yarn, Rayon Vert, plain weave with 10-dent reed

Saturday, September 22, 2012

First Fall

Picture taken at 6:45 am.  Okay, going back to bed now.


Friday, September 21, 2012

Space Shuttle Sighting (sort of)

The Man and I drove to Oceano Dunes and parked at the end of Pier Avenue adjacent to the beach.  There were about ten of us hopeful spectators waiting for the Space Shuttle Endeavour, carried piggyback on a modified Jumbo Boeing 747,  to fly overhead on it's way to LA.  The Man thought the Coast would be in the path between Monterey Bay and Vandenberg AFB which was the next scheduled flyover.  He was right.  Unfortunately, the fog rolled in at the same time.

Foggy Apparition
Nice day at the beach

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Last Days of Summer

All of a sudden Fall is upon us.  The days are getting shorter, the shadows longer, and the sun seems different in the sky . . . weaker.

The summer has brought us:

Bountiful produce from Templeton's farmers market and Talley Farms Fresh Harvest CSA
And the realization that I am not a very good gardener
The Mid-State Fair and saying goodbye to Cora's 4-H pig
The Daily Feral Pig Show
Beautiful Sunsets
Fear of Fire
Beach weather ~ Port San Luis Harbor, Avila

Summer, we're sad to see you go.
Fall, I'm looking forward to chilly knitting, weaving, and baking weather.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Beware of the Souvenir Yarn

When The Man and I went to Alaska in October 2008 we (of course) visited a couple of LYS.  At the Far North Co. yarn shop I picked up a variegated, fuzzy, sparkly, pricey ball of acrylic and mohair called Broadway by Artful Yarns.  It's a beautiful mixture of teal, purple, green, with a strand of glitzy, sparkly nubs.  It was my souvenir from Anchorage.

In 2009, I added 5 more balls to my stash from a Ravelry destasher.  Why?  Same color and lot number?  Less than half of what I paid?  I do not know but it seemed like a good idea at the time.

Now, three years later, while organizing the Craft Room yesterday I started knitting up the stuff.  I'll plan on gifting the diagonal scar(f/ves) because someone will (hopefully) love it.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Artist Envy

How do they do it?

On Sunday, The Man and I went to the I Madonnari Italian Street Painting Festival at the SLO Mission Plaza.  It was their 21st anniversary and benefited the Children's Creative Project of SLO County.  (Santa Barbara has a sister festival held at the Santa Barbara Mission over Memorial Day weekend.)

The paintings are made with chalk.  It's amazing and transient.  There was one painting with writing on the lower half stating the city of SLO forgot to turn off the sprinklers and had washed away that portion of the painting.

Only a few people were still working on their artwork including a couple of boys copying a 1980's Star Wars "Empire Strikes Back" VCR box.  They were covered head to toe in chalk.  Perhaps if we go next year it might be fun to see the paintings in progress on Saturday and then the finished work on Sunday.

Pictures were taken by The Man:


I Madonnari   September 9, 2012