Pre-Memorial Day Minication

•May 24, 2015 • 1 Comment

I’m home tonight from a mini-vacation down to Albuquerque to see my best friend’s daughter in her first ballet and modern dance recital. I’m so glad to be home. It seemed like everyone was messing with me in the city. However, I’m fed up with people screwing with me, so I’m not taking crap from anyone right now. I headed out Friday morning to avoid traffic and drunk drivers. I think I may go South on Memorial Day weekends from now on. We live near a town that holds a huge (not Sturgis huge, but huge for the tiny town it’s in) biker rally and the whole area is flooded with tourists, so we generally hide out at home Memorial Day weekend. Traveling South on Friday was pretty great, almost all the traffic was headed North and today (Sunday) most of the traffic was going back the other way. Plus, I heard the weather up here was awful. We even have a fire going tonight.

I took care of a few errands when I got into town and visited my work and a couple friends, including getting my money back from the chef I hired for our wedding back in August (he wasn’t able to make it and hadn’t had the money to pay me back until now). We got my best friend and her daughter off to the recital early and I took her husband out to eat. It was a little weird to be eating at a restaurant with a guy that wasn’t my husband but we talked about Guardians of the Galaxy and other random crap. We grabbed some flowers for the little ballerina and took our seats for the show.

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I’m not going to post any pictures of her but you’ll have to take my word for it that she was adorable. Her modern dance routine was kind of African themed and she had a blue and gold animal print outfit. A couple acts later she did ‘A Spoonful of Sugar’ in a cute pink and pastel tutu. I gave her a galaxy necklace to match her modern outfit and a pink sparkly marble to go with her tutu.

I threw a bit of a fit because my best friend was volunteering wrangling children backstage, so she couldn’t watch the performance. They’d asked the parents not to film so that there wouldn’t be a rush on the stage but I was seated on the Mezzanine in the first row. I filmed most of her modern dance number before an usher came to our row and told me I was disturbing other patrons. I looked around at my best friends family and looked at her and looked back at my camera. She assumed I’d just do what she asked and wandered off somewhere. I kept filming. She came back a little before the routine ended and shined her flashlight at me and told me I couldn’t film because they wanted to sell the professional DVDs, after a couple more backwards looks, I gave in. There were a couple routines between modern and ballet, so I behaved. When she came out again for ballet, I started filming again. After I got about halfway through the routine, she came over again and threatened to take my cell phone. Apparently I look young enough that I actually believe an old school marm can confiscate my phone. Once intermission started, I found her and asked her who had been telling her to bug me. I talked to her manager and I plan to call the dance studio to discuss their policy. I think it’s only fair that her mother be able to see her daughter dance that night even if she’s stuck volunteering backstage. She already purchased professional photos and is planning to buy the DVD, not to mention the lessons, 2 outfits, tickets to the recital ($30 a person) plus parking at $7 a car. Anyhow, it was Act II in my new take no shit philosophy.

The show started at 7pm and we left at intermission because she was done with her parts around 9pm. She was so tired. She inhaled a big plate of pancakes and passed out face down in a booth at Village Inn with a tutu pouff coming off her butt. She had to be carried to the car and into the house. Poor little thing was all danced out.

The next day, her grandma came to take her shopping so my bestie and I headed out for a girls day. We hit the flea market first so I could visit my mom and drop off Mother’s Day presents. I saw a dude being a jerk to my mom and it pissed me off so I bought the item he was trying to low-ball her on. He came back 5 minutes later offering her another dollar for it. She had the satisfaction of telling him it was sold. I hope he thinks twice next time he tries to bully her into a low price. She told me he does this crap every weekend. What a jerk!

After the flea market, we went to the Fiber Arts Fiesta at the Fairgrounds (I suppose it’s called ExpoNM these days but it’ll always be the fairgrounds to me). My best friend knits and crochets, so she was in a state of ecstasy. I saw some really cool quilts and I think I might try to take up quilting again this winter.

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We were just finishing up when I heard my vehicle described on the loudspeaker. I go over and ask what’s wrong and they tell me I’m double parked and people are complaining. I immediately run outside to move my truck and find my truck is right on the line and half of the lot is empty.  I would totally understand if the lot was full, but geez!

We went for some bagels at Einstein’s, I love my green chile and cream cheese! We stopped at my favorite hole in the wall gem and mineral store. It’s in a horrible part of town and my friend had never been because of the location. She cringed a little when I pulled into the gated parking lot and she saw the bars on the doors and windows but when I opened the door to the store, her eyes lit up. This place is stuffed with every kind of rock you can imagine in case after case. We looked for almost an hour and she determined she just had to come back with her daughter, there was just too much to choose from. I definitely recommend Southwest Gem and Mineral on Central and Louisiana. They’re affordable and the staff is really helpful and are genuinely passionate about rocks.

By the time we finished running around, it was too late for me to make it the whole way home before dark, so I decided to just stay the night rather than chance running into a drunk driver. New Mexico has a pretty bad DWI problem, besides, it’s another sleepover night with my bestest buddy. I made some big steaks, which her daughter inhaled about a pound of. She LOVES meat and is apparently having a growth spurt. I think she ate 4 pop-tarts this morning! We had corn and watermelon too, it was the perfect way to kick off summer…until I got home mid-afternoon in 50 degree weather!

New Strawberry Bed

•May 21, 2015 • 1 Comment

I got a bunch of extra strawberry starts from my in-laws. Since most of my garden was already planted, I decided to start a new bed just for strawberries. I already had a patch of wild strawberries and had planted a couple starts in a tire, but these are especially cold hardy so they get a fresh patch. I was going to till up an old pig pen and plant them there, but it needed a lot of rehab to keep the animals out and it would require new hoses to get water to it. Instead, I dug up a patch where an old fire pit was, pounded in some stakes and wrapped it with scrap chicken wire.

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I added a sign I made for motivation.

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And it seems to be working! My shallots, bok choi and radishes are going gangbusters and I have cucumbers coming up.

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My lone artichoke continues on…

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Happy Mother’s Day!

•May 10, 2015 • 1 Comment

Happy Mother’s Day to all the mommas out there, including the ones with fur-babies! Hootie and Lucy haven’t presented me with anything as of yet, but I suspect they have something up their sleeves. My moms are both working today but we stopped by the in-laws to drop off her present.

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Her present was a tiny clay pot (not the terra cotta one, but a small raku fired one), a bud vase made from a butter knife handle and some garden markers made from old silverware. My hubby picked out what plant names he wanted and hammered the silverware flat and I pounded in the letters.

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I painted a saw and customized a mug for my mom. For the saw, paint with chalkboard paint and draw on your wording/designs with a chalk marker. For the mug, draw onto ceramic with Sharpie and bake in a 350 degree F oven for 30 minutes.

saw mug

And for my step-mom; a sign to keep the peace since she’s a night shift nurse.

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Saturday Treasure Hunt

•May 9, 2015 • Leave a Comment

We’d planned on visiting a friend at a craft fair in Taos, but the wind has been horrendous today. I decided to grab a few groceries in town and hit the thrift shops while I was at it. At the first shop they charged me $5 for 3 coffee mugs, 2 shirts, some ribbon, 2 cookie sheets an otter and this awesome lard tin;

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My other random goodies:

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At the second store, I found this random electrical device for $7 (hubby loves to pull apart old electronics) but when I looked it up online, it’s worth between $300-$500, so he’s not allowed to rip into this one. But what a score!

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When I finished, it started snowing…yeah snow in New Mexico in MAY. It was 70 and sunny a week ago. But that’s New Mexico for ya.

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Baked Funfetti Donuts

•May 8, 2015 • 1 Comment

I had a mighty craving for sweets and have yet to try out my donut pan. Don’t judge me about the Christmas sprinkles!

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Yield: 8 donuts

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:

Donuts

  • 1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour (careful not to overmeasure)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg (gives them that “bakery donut” taste)
  • 1/3 cup (65g) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) milk*
  • 1/4 cup (60g) Greek yogurt*
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 Tablespoons (30g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 and 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup rainbow sprinkles

Glaze

  • 1/4 cup (60ml) milk*
  • 2 cups (240g) confectioners’ (powdered) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • extra sprinkles to sprinkle on top, optional

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350F degrees. Spray a donut pan with non-stick spray. Set aside.

For the donuts: whisk the flour, baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, and granulated sugar together in a medium bowl. Set aside.

Whisk the milk, yogurt, and egg together until smooth. Add the melted butter and vanilla, whisking until fully combined. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Do not overmix. The batter will be very thick. Fold in the sprinkles gently to ensure they do not bleed their color. I use these rainbow jimmies and they do not bleed.

Spoon the batter into the donut cups—I highly recommend using a large zipped-top bag for ease, as pictured above. Cut a corner off the bottom of the bag and pipe the batter into each donut cup, filling 2 ∕ 3 –3 ∕ 4 of the way full.

Bake for 9–10 minutes or until the edges are lightly browned. Allow the donuts to slightly cool before glazing. I find the glaze “sets” easier onto cooled donuts.

For the glaze: combine the glaze ingredients in a medium saucepan over  low heat. Whisk until the glaze is smooth. Remove from heat and immediately begin dunking the donuts, one by one, into the glaze. I simply dropped each donut into the saucepan and moved it around to coat evenly. Transfer each donut to a wire rack over a baking sheet to catch the glaze drippings. Take each donut and dunk again if you have enough glaze leftover. Sprinkle with additional sprinkles.

Donuts taste best eaten the same day, though they may be covered tightly and stored at room temperature for 2 days.

Additional Notes:

*Skim milk, 1%, 2%, whole, almond milk, soy milk, coconut milk, or rice milk is OK.

*Sour cream or nonfat, low fat, vanilla, plain, Greek, or regular yogurt is OK.

Hummingbird Swing

•May 7, 2015 • 1 Comment

I saw one of these on Pinterest and decided although we don’t really need a hummingbird swing because we have a lot of trees, it’d be a nice addition of color and sparkle. My inspiration was this:

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With a couple twigs, silk flowers, garden twine and a glass pendant the hubby made, I threw together this:

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Garden Planting

•May 2, 2015 • Leave a Comment

This weekend has been perfect for planting. It’s been cool and cloudy so I made the most of it and got our gardens planted. In one garden I planted 2 varieties of kohlrabi, my kitchen herbs and a corn circle with squash. In planning our garden this year, my M-I-L sent me this graphic about symbiotic planting, so I tried to adhere to beneficial plant pairings.

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Corn and squash are part of the Native American Three Sisters planting group, I’m not a big fan of beans, so I skipped them, but Corn and Parsley get along well, so I tucked a few in between the squash mounds. It’s not much to look at yet, pictures coming soon. We’ve always had problems with bugs and kohlrabi, so I planted my herbs in with them to hopefully deter some pests.

I’m experimenting with potatoes. I wanted to do them in some kind of container, initially tires, but in my research it sounds like root vegetables soak up the toxicity from the tires. After checking out several methods, I settled on the wire cage type.

potato cage

I staked the chicken wire down with bamboo poles and lined the bottom and sides with leaf and straw compost. This one is planted with 3 types of potatoes, 3 plants of each; reds, taro (purple) and gold. Once the plants get to be 6 inches tall, I’ll add more soil. I’m planning to go all the way to the top to maximize the yield. I also tried an experiment with some Yukon Golds in a mesh laundry basket. It was broken, so no big thing if it doesn’t work. I’ll do the same process as with the cage and fill it up to the top.

laundry potatoes

As you can see, we’ve got a lot of tires. From my research it sounds like strawberries are fine to do in tires. I planted some in our tractor tire, some in an old sink and a couple backups in our greenhouse.

straw tire strawberry sink

My tulips have bloomed too! Scooby is minding his garden manners FOR ONCE. The first of the hummingbirds have arrived as well.

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In our front garden, I followed more companion planting guidelines. I made some trellaces out of bamboo, based on this:

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Mine are smaller, but I have them across beds in hopes that my peas and cucumbers will hang like this:

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I planted my cucumbers with lettuce and bok choi. The bed closest to me is radishes. I’ve got some of the beds covered with scrap windows to keep them warmer and moist until they sprout.

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A 180 will find my new rhubarb and purple asparagus from roots.

rhubarb

Across from the cucumbers, I have Romanesco broccoli, cauliflower and Di Cecco broccoli that I started a couple weeks ago in our greenhouse. Planted among them are Dill and Sage to help with pests. I’ll also be adding Rosemary to this bed once I get a start.

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On the other trellis I have peas growing up both sides. On the East I have beets to compliment the peas. Then onions for the beets. Followed by more onion varieties, shallots and garlic.

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On the other side the peas are planted next to 3 types of carrots, followed by leeks (when I get them) with chives, green onions and lavender as companions. I’ve got the carrots covered with windows to help them sprout.

leek bed

My last bed is just 2 mounds for pie pumpkins. Tree roots have grown into this bed, so it’s not much use for root veggies. I threw in a few leftover onion starts around the mounds to see how they do.

pumpkins

I put the artichoke start we got from a friend in the cage to protect it and laid a metal grate over the wild strawberry patch.

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And now we wait…

 
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