Saturday, March 30, 2013

Friends in HI Places

Omiyage from Hawaii

Thank you Kyle and John (mucho mahalos).

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Golden Moments

Last Thursday, I noticed a posting for a fiberglass utility sink on CraigslistSince I'm trying to keep our kitchen sink "food prep only" The Man needed a sink outsideIt's been on his to-do list since we moved hereNowadays, he's pretty good about taking a few more steps to the bathroom sink rather than washing up in my kitchen sink but I still need to give him stink eye every once in a while.

The Craigslist sink was located about 30 minutes away, near the town of Creston.  It was a perfect day for a drive and I brought my camera.

Longhorn cattle on the drive to Creston

After we bought the sink, Donna and I stood by the truck waiting for The Man and her husband to return from their solar show-and-tell.  She was talking about the Karakul sheep she had raised for their specialty fiber.  She was explaining that due to their coarse fiber their wool was popular for making Persian rugsThen all of a sudden I blurted out, "Wow, what's that?".

That was a Golden Pheasant.  Just one of many amazing birds and animals Donna housed on their 17-acre property:

Several outside aviaries contained her beautiful unique birds. 

Golden Pheasant

Lady Amherst's  Pheasant

Sebastopol Geese

Flightless due to their long curly feathers

A friendly Clydesdale (with a prosthetic right eye) named Natalie and her two donkey friends came to greet us.  Donna had gotten them from a rescue organizationAt the time she was only looking for one donkey. . . .

Whoa, Girl

Natalie, Gentle Giant

Mama and Daughter

Donkey Love

Donna's Angora goats went into hiding when I took out my camera.  They had already been shorn of their mohair fleece and may have felt shy by their nakedness.

Funny, you just never know what you'll find when you set out to buy a sink.


Friday, March 22, 2013


(Omiyage: souvenir of a local product, preferably edible; "it's the thought that counts".)

Omiyage gift-giving is big in Hawaii and Trader Joe's has been our one-stop shopping destination when we visited the Mainland.  Family, neighbors, and co-workers all received the yummy goodness of specialty food items such as dried fruit (Dragonfruit and Hibiscus Flowers), dried nuts (Sesame Honey Almonds), and dark chocolate covered anything.

Since we moved back to California we've only been to Trader Joe's a couple of times.  Imagine my surprise to hear two different people refer to Trader Joe's as their primary grocery store.  In the same week.  John, in New Mexico, mentioned to The Man that TJ was cheaper than their other grocery stores.  This I had to see.

Last Sunday, I dragged The Man to our nearest Trader Joe's, a mere 10 minutes away, and with a small list we proceeded to "regular" grocery shopIn addition to bananas, tomatoes, and white mushrooms we added a few items with flair - Dried Kimchee, California EVOO, Tomato & Olive FocacciaThirty-seven items in our cart for $137.00.  I have a feeling this may be the beginning of a wonderful new relationship.

Here's the beef . . . pork, chicken, and lamb.


Sunday, March 17, 2013

We're Wearing the Green

It feels like Spring is here.  Everyone and everything is out and about enjoying the mild temperatures:

Return of the Eagle Ranch cows

Cows and feral pigs

The feral pigs have been showing up with their new babies

Four-legged Rototillers

Favorite evening spot for the deer

Joe's new tenants.  Their temporary fencing is made with chicken wire and tree branches instead of posts in a few places


Brand-new twins

Migratory reddish-brown hummingbird

 It's green all over.  Happy St. Patrick's Day.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Where's the Beef?

Today's Talley Farms CSA produce box is a good one.  We received a St. Patrick's Day box - cabbage, red potatoes, and carrots - veggies that will go well with our Corned Beef Dinner on Sunday.  I hadn't thought about corned beef earlier but I'm pretty sure we'll be eating some this weekend.


And the Beet Lady scores again.  My Co-worker's husband, Jon, prepared a falafel meal for us.  He also instructed Mary to explain what each item was and how to put it togetherThey were hesitant to share the pickled beets in case we liked it so much I would change my mind and not give them anymore beets.  And, yes, I did like it.  It tasted like pickled mango except beety.

Mountain bread, tahini sauce, Talley Farms (pickled) beets, and falafel

The falafel meal was delicious.  I think it's a safe bet they'll be receiving bunches of beets from the Beet Lady.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Goat Gossip

Ganked from The Man's Email:

"Yeah, and we get brushed every day. . . ."


Our friends from Hawaii, John and Kyle, were visiting their kids in Santa Cruz so we did a meet up on Friday at Monterey's (old) Fisherman's Wharf for lunch.  It was an easy 2-hour drive for us.  We enjoyed our delicious meal at Rappa's - the last restaurant at the end of the pier.  But mostly we enjoyed seeing our friends again and catching up.

Landscaping with Protea

Omiyage from SLO

I made a Brambles Beret for Kyle.  I used Cascade 220, colorway "Olive Heather".  I hesitate using non-superwash yarn for folks in Hawaii because generally we are not wool-savvyOnce, I found a doll-sized hat I made for my brother sitting on top of the dryer.  But I think Kyle understands felting and shrinkage.  Besides she is knit-worthy and I can always make her another hat.  In superwash yarn.

*Superwash wool is a special wool product that has been treated or processed in a way that allows it to be machine washable.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Lip-Smacking Good

I have been delinquent in my grocery shopping duties and we've pretty much emptied the larder of breakfast cereals both hot and cold.  Yesterday for breakfast I took out the last of the frozen Costco Butter Croissants and drizzled them with melted Ghirardelli dark chocolate chips.  Oh, my.

Today's breakfast was Apple Oven Cake - quick, easy, and delicious.  It was more of a crepe rather than a cake.  I came across the recipe a few days ago while catching up on my Sunset magazines (Jan '13).  I followed the recipe as written but I would make one correction.  Instead of "serves 6" I would change that to "serves 2".

In addition to food I've also used up the last of my favorite lip balm.  I had been purchasing Happy Acres goatmilk lip balm directly from the source but the Templeton self-serve farmstand has been emptied out and looks abandoned.  No lotions or potions, no lip balm, no goats.  I just hope they're on winter hiatus and will be back in the summer.

In the meantime, after a little research on Etsy, I ordered a Lip Balm Kit from CandleLynnSupplies which included everything I needed to make 10 lip balms with my choice of flavor.  It was difficult to choose a flavor: Creamy Caramel, Creme Brulee, Vanilla Bean . . . or Monkey Farts.  Of course I chose Monkey Farts after reading Jana's description - "fresh bananas, juicy grapefruit, kiwi, juicy bubblegum and strawberries with a hint of vanilla".  It was surprisingly fast and easy to whip up the 10 tubes.  Taping on the tube pictures took a little longer.

I got the idea to cover the tubes after watching a video on Martha Stewart making lip balm.  I cut little squares of yarny pics from my last KnitPicks catalog and taped it on the tubes with 2-inch packaging tape.  I think Martha would be proud.


Oh, and the flavor?  Fruity, not farty at all.