April 17, 2013

Not so secret garden...

This is the year. I am starting asparagus crowns that I will harvest in a year. I am starting raspberry canes and wisteria. I am growing lettuce, beans, peppers, strawberries, blueberries, tomatoes, and Alan is building me up some fancy boxes to do it. We finished one today when it was freezing out.

That and I finished my first pair of socks. Hear that? Two items that match, done.

Cross that of the to do before 33 list (ha, need to finish that list)! I gifted them to Alan so I could make myself some that are longer in the leg and now I just need to decide... Tosh Vintage in Cove or Water Lily? Pictures of the yarn yum are from google images and I am not sure who to credit...

I am in the middle of another fantastic class at the local shop, Insouciant. I went with a double strand of the Habu Tsumugi Silk in charcoal and light grey. I am slow to knit it up but it should be a good summer top.

I have another knitting project that is quite an undertaking. The recipient could be a silent lurker so no details will be revealed until gifted. I know, such a tease!

I have also fallen behind in my book challenge. 50 for this year. I need suggestions so shout some out. And I am not counting cookbooks in the count. :)

On top of life and knitting, I am hindering helping Shirley help a new neighbor. He needed some suggestions for his house (yep, from paint to lights, tile, etc.) so Pinterest to the rescue. I will have to post some before pics, mood boards, and after pics. Have I told you how much I love painting? I do!

April 9, 2013


I write this now knowing this is personal. Maybe too personal. I haven't said much about this to many but I need it out there. Maybe I will look back on it later and I won't be so sad or angry.

The place I worked in Oregon was a great place. Mostly kind, good people and good benefits. A group of people that really cared about things like helmets. They would basically pay you (through special funds) to buy a helmet to wear when riding a bike. I loved it and took advantage of it. I wear a helmet when riding a bike, it is a no-brainer. Do they help? I don't know, I am not an expert. But really, do they hurt? I cannot imagine they hurt. I am open to reading, researching, and understanding this better so inform away.

In Utah, I see a lot of folks who do not wear a helmet. It drives me bonkers. Especially when I see kids with no helmets. Or parents on bikes with no helmets even though the kid has one. As most of you know, I was in an accident when I was 10. Drunk driver, a bicycle, a 10 year old, and no helmet is a recipe for many years of pain. The guy that hit me was in jail for less than 2 hours because he had a heart condition. He died before we went to trial, liver failure I think. And to this day, I still cannot ride a bike without remembering every single bit of that experience. Hospitals, doctors, pills, and years of bills was a huge burden on my family.

Side rant:

Drunk drivers are attempting murder in my book. Sorry. No way around it. We know what happens to a human when they drink. We know what you need to operate machinery safely. Drinking and operating machinery do not mix. You as a drinker, already suffering the effects, cannot begin to be able to safely make the call of whether you can operate a car on X number of drinks. Don't do it. Don't guess. Don't just do it once. No excuses.

End of side rant.

My sister called me Monday. The kind of call where she kept calling until I picked up. When it kept ringing I realized I better wake up and answer. My Uncle C was in an accident on Easter night.

Details... I cannot begin to understand this. This that my family has had so much experience with.

He was not wearing a helmet. NOT wearing a helmet.

He was on a motorcycle. Going fast. Free range area. There was a cow in the road.

A life flight, a female figure from my past that lies to get on the life flight, and days later. He is still in the induced coma. There are multiple fractures, including a skull fracture. A punctured lung. So far no response. We also cannot find a living will. So much pain.

He has a little girl. My youngest cousin. She is 8. What a mess. 

I am trying to think this through. My Uncle C has always been able to remind us all of what not to do in life. I keep thinking, what is the problem here? Would the helmet mess up your hair? Do you need more examples of what happens without one? Did you just forget it? Do you even own one?

I have said this before and it crushes me now with complete despair. When you don't wear a helmet you must understand that your family will be the ones dealing with the aftermath of an accident. You will likely not comprehend much after the damage is done.

Please, not just for you, but for those around you. Wear a helmet.

I promise something on the lighter side soon. Hug your family.

Mardi Gras in March

So in an effort to meet people and make friends, we have tried to hold some neighborhood events. We have set up a couple for the whole street and then we tried a few dinners with specific people. We have had a sushi night, pizza night, soup night, and maybe this month we will have a crepe night.

It has ballooned into a dinner once a month with 14 (ish) people. Kind of crazy but definitely fun. We might try to have dinner with a smaller group sometimes just because it is hard to visit with such a large group. Anyway, we pick a theme and run. March was Mardi Gras, the PG version. We know Mardi Gras wasn't in March this year but that didn't matter to us. We got some beads, feather boas, and figured out the menu.

Muffulettas... oh how I love thee. So we first had one at Caputo's Downtown. I am not a sandwich eater. This sandwich changed that. I think about this sandwich... a lot. We have tried no less than 3 times at the Caputo's on 15 & 15 but it is way too spicy, inedible. Caputo's Downtown is perfect. Granato's makes one too but we tried it and would NOT eat it again. Ever. :(

When we make muffulettas at home we make the olive salad with the pimento stuffed green olives, giardiniera, two kinds of cheese (provolone and swiss is good), salami, and honey ham. We use a good bread that soaks up the olive oil and balsamic vinegar. We eat it cold but that might be personal preference. Come on, sing with me...

Jambalaya... I have never made jambalaya. I cannot even say if I have ever eaten it. One of our neighbors explained that there are 3 main things, gumbo, jambalaya, and étouffée. Gumbo is the soup, which he made and brought to dinner. It was delicious and I would love a bowl on this crummy, rainy day. Jambalaya is the rice dish. Research shows that it is incredible varied and people have strong opinions on consistency of the rice. We made it with smoked sausage, andouille sausage, and shrimp. It turned out pretty good, I will definitely make it again. It is just a matter of frying up the sausage with peppers and onion, add cajun spices and seasoning, broth, rice, and cook! Yum. 

Last but not least, dessert. The tradition is King Cake. Some cake that has a plastic baby baked inside of it. Whoever gets the piece with the baby brings the next cake and they might get special treatment or something. I didn't want to bake plastic IN food so I made cupcakes, cored one, and added a gumball. Paul, the newest neighbor was the lucky recipient. The cupcakes themselves were a recipe from Mini's Cupcakes cookbook. They were alright but not THE chocolate cupcakes. The search for the perfect chocolate cake recipe is still on.