Monday, June 25, 2012

Colorado is Burning

There are/have been quite a few fires in Colorado this summer. Here in Colorado Springs we're experiencing record high temperatures and on Saturday we got a fire of our own. 
 Here you can see it from the our grocery store parking lot.
 As the day starts to fade into evening this is what we could see from our apartment balcony.
Below, you can see this normally empty section of parking lot, full of fire spectators who were all ironically watching the fire and smoking.
 The record high heat (into the 100's) combined with smoke in the air create quite the Fresno Smoggy effect and seems to be effecting the health of my neighbors. The two emergency vehicles are two of four that I have seen in the last two days.
 The horizon of the fire had spread by today.
 This evening the wind changed direction and blew the smoke in even worse. I though someone was cooking bacon or something else yummy when all of a sudden I realized it was major smoke! Shortly after, when I went outside, our view of the fired was terminated, but my cousin Tom sent me these pictures. He lives toward the north end of the city which confirms that the fire is moving north.
Please pray for the fire fighters! I'm feeling rather miserable with all the conditions, I can't even imagine how they're feeling! Please also pray for those displaced from their homes and those in fragile health conditions. Luke and I are young and healthy and are experiencing the side effects of the smoke, I can't imagine how others are doing.

To Be Faire

I suspected I might not enjoy the Renaissance Fair when I began making plans to go but I kept hearing about it as such a huge event I thought, I must check it out. I bought my discount ticket at the grocery store and made my way to the outlying town to the fair. 
My sentiments: I sent Luke a text message saying "OMG this place is a historical mess."

To make a connection to the show "The Big Bang Theory" as a person who takes a particular interest in history I resonate with Sheldon (“it was rife with historical inaccuracies.”) I also learned that Howard had an accurate point, that its about taking women “lacing them up in corsets so tight their bosom jumps out and says ‘howdy!’”  

For example, homegirl on the left(sorry for the bad picture, I was trying to be a camera phone ninja), shes wearing a swimsuit and a souvenir jingle belt.
There were people everywhere with little horns and animal tails. (See below) Also, explain the bandana and t-shirt? Did I miss something about horns and animal tails?
This one's straight out of The Fresno Fair and they didn't even put "Ye Olde" in front of it.
The "red couple" in the middle of this picture actually makes me very happy. There may not have been enough of them though.
Anyway, if any of you have insight regarding this business, particularly the horns and animal parts (tails and ears) fill me in. I could use it.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Knitters Scorned

Similar to the Nerd Wars knitting competition, the much anticipated Ravelympics have been fast approaching. As the name would allude, this competition happens in conjunction with the Olympics starting during the opening ceremonies and ending during the closing ceremony. The popularity of this competition has grown over the years. This year was/is to be my first year competing.
Anyway, Ravelry recently received a letter from a Law Clerk of the Office of the General Counsel of the United States Olympic Committee. To sum it up the letter told them that they have to get rid of Ravelympic because "lympic" suggests connection to Olympic and they own Olympic. Fine, fine, if you want to get knit-picky I thought the Greeks owned that. BUT THEN  dude says:
"We believe using the name “Ravelympics” for a competition that involves an afghan marathon, scarf hockey and sweater triathlon, among others, tends to denigrate the true nature of the Olympic Games.  In a sense, it is disrespectful to our country’s finest athletes and fails to recognize or appreciate their hard work."
That is a far cry from the nature of the beast, and carries a bit of sting. 
Sting it did. It stung a whole group of social media knitters everywhere. Twitter, blogs and forums were and are full of the buzz in regard to this "sting." Didn't know how many knitters there were out there, didja?

There's an article on NPR Sports and Val's Husband (hehe Val has a husband!) Matt sent me a link from Yahoo Sports.

Then a semi apology statement was made saying: 

We embrace hand-crafted American goods as we currently have the Annin Flagmakers of New Jersey stitching a custom-made American flag to accompany our team to the Olympic Games in London. To show our support of the Ravelry community, we would welcome any handmade items that you would like to create to travel with, and motivate, our team at the 2012 Games.”

Which was received by many knitters as, "Yah, yah, sorry we made you mad send us your money and your time."

Here's the other zinger. The Ravelympics is an international affair! We've got knitters from all over the world! The "our team" in the semi apology isn't all of "our teams." This is international relations folks.

Then they issued another apology statement and by now the fiber artists of the world have their feathers thoroughly ruffled. 

My stand: Ravelympics sounded like a fun way to take something I enjoy (knitting) and use it to enjoy and get into the spirit of the Olympics. To be honest I can leave or take the Olympics. If I do watch any, it's pieces and bits. This leaves a bitter taste in my mouth and I'm feeling rather meh. There's a forum for new names for the competition. Almost all of the suggestions now have a negative spirit. The do-er in me wants to drive by the United States Olympic Committee office and give them the thumbs down. (I could do that ya know since they're in Colorado Springs...there are signs all over telling visitors so.) the do-er in me also wants to call and cancel cable so we wont watch the Olympics either but then Luke would be sad about missing Euro Cup, Basketball, Tour de France, and some tennis event coming up. Oi. Think he'll take not watching the Olympics lightly? 
Then again, maybe I'll just make some hexi-puffs with the Olympic rings on them. That'll show them. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

My Baby Sister...

is marrrrriiiieeeeed! Ok, so we're 15 months apart. She's really not that much of baby sister. She's the one with the practical advice and I'm the one with the cooking/whimsy advice. We're often opposites, and yet so the same. Anyway. On June 9, 2012 she got married to Matt, her boyfriend of forever, in Las Vegas at a cute little place called Chapel of the Flowers.
 Val found the most perfect dress at J.Crew.
It was a simple, casual day with the focus being on Val and Matt and not all the little details and chaos.

 Insider story: When Matt asked Val to prom many years ago, he asked her with one of his stuffed bears, Gunther. Well Matt's mom Mrs. Croskey found medium sized white Gunther bears to sit on the top shelf of the cupcake stand and gave them little bride and groom outfits. Too perfect for words!
 I knit up this last minute bow tie for Yoda (pictured below) as part of my Nerd Wars competition! He wasn't thrilled but isn't he the funniest! That dog is quite the character!

 There was even some basketball watching going on at the end of the evening!

Congratulations Matt and Val! 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


Luke has gotten this healthy eating bug. He has decided that he'd like to cut grains out of his diet (except for tortillas and rice) and increase his intake of veggies, fruits and protein. I really shouldn't complain as he eats salad now and it has encouraged me to think outside the box, but really, this girl loves her some bread.
One of my first experiments was a broccoli, celery, potato soup. I cooked those ingredients in chicken broth with garlic, added salt, pepper and cayenne pepper and then immersion blended them until it was creamy with variable chunks. (Chunks remind people it's homemade.)

It kind of looks like baby food but it's pretty hearty and delicious. Easy to reheat, in consideration for Luke's un predictable schedule. I enjoyed two bowls full and Luke resisted trying it. I'm not sure why. Finally I heated the last bowl up, put it in front of him and asked him to try two spoons full. The bowl was empty in minutes thank you very much.
Another one I likes is these carrot chips. I quartered baby carrots and coated them with olive oil and let them marinade with garlic.
Then I spread them on a baking sheet and sprinkled some spicy pepper and ground up sea salt.

I baked them at 350 degrees. They were so good I didn't have time to take a picture.
I've also made more of that lentil chili. I cooked it with a homemade salsa from a friend instead of all that tomato business this time. It added quite the kick. It definitely meets Luke's spice preferences but it's got a bit too much kick for me to eat a lot of it. We come back to the need for convenient reheat ability due to Luke's busy am un-predictable work schedule.

I loaded these bowls up, some with shredded pork from the night before and some saving room for chicken I would be making the next night. Half of those are empty now.
Lastly, I made a healthy Mac and Cheese. I modified a recipe from Valerie's guy Matt to make it more healthy.

It's definitely not as great as the original, but it worked out.

I'd made it again. Though next time I'd probably re include the sour cream.
Lastly, it's been pretty warm here and I've been trying to get out to the pool. Thing is, we get afternoon rain. But going to the pool is a reward for getting all my stuff done. So I've been going about my chores and I just get out to the pool and the weather turns into this:

Sigh. The irony, I finally made it out to the pool yesterday and my front is now lobster red. I seem to always have a memory lapse during my first major encounter with the sun here. Then nature gives me a reason to remember for the rest of the summer.
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