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Showing posts from March, 2007

Signs of Spring!!!!!

Over the last few weeks, the weather here has turned beautiful (last Saturday’s blizzard notwithstanding). When things begin to warm up, thoughts begin to turn to planting things.

Dev and I have decided to grow vegetables this year. This will be no small feat considering we live in a little apartment with no patio or deck.

So far we have a few herb plants (rosemary, mint, parsley, cilantro and soon chives), peas, mini cantaloupes, tomatoes, bell peppers and jalapeno peppers. Most of these things are still being coaxed from seeds.

I’ve never really grown anything from seeds before. I always wait until the plants show up at garden centers. We are having mixed results. The peas are going crazy. The herbs, however, are not doing so well.

I am discovering that Dev is quite the farmer. He patiently waters the plants everyday, and moves the peas out on the front walk, then moves them back inside when it starts getting chilly in the evening.

I really hope all the veggies survive infancy. I think i…

Art Walk

Imagine sitting in a charming little coffee shop…..hot, spicy chai in hand….listening to bits and pieces of fascinating conversations going on all around you…..seeing people from all walks of life laughing and talking together. Soon, live music starts, and then after that, people are reading aloud from novels and books of poetry.

This was the scene last Saturday at Milagro’s in downtown Alamosa. This was only one of several such scenes playing out all around the downtown area. Was this just a spontaneous outcropping of artistic energy? No…..

This was Artwalk- and it is a great concept.

The idea of bringing together groups of artists and groups of art buyers (or art browsers) is inspired. It’s a classic win/win situation. The artists reach an audience that they might not have accessed on their own, and the audiences gain exposure to art and music they might not have ever discovered. That, to me, is a great way to spend a Saturday.

I wish the weather had been more cooperative. Altho…

Unexpected Snowy Day

This last Saturday morning when I awoke from a great night’s sleep, there was a surprise waiting for me…

Outside my window was falling lots and lots of snow!

Being from GA, I have not quite become accustomed to this climate. The first week I lived here, there was a big blizzard (at least that’s what I’d call it). Snow really bothers me if I have to drive or travel in it. But Saturday, I didn’t really have anything to do, so I thought it was great.

Dev and I ended up spending the day downtown, sitting in the local coffee shop, listening to novel and poetry readings and sipping hot drinks. That’s my kind of snow day.

It did seem a bit odd that one of the poetry readers had chosen to wear a Hawaiian shirt. Watching him reading (in all his tropical glory) silhouetted against the heavy snowfall outside made for a surreal experience.

And while I’m griping about wardrobing……

I could not believe the number of people I saw wandering around downtown stepping through snow drifts WEARING FLIP FLO…

Easter Decorations

When I taught school in Savannah, I always took pride in the fact that my classroom was extravagantly decorated for whatever season was current. Most of the time, this spilled over into my apartment.

When I decided to move from GA to CO, I had to make some tough packing decisions. I am a pack rat by nature, and had accumulated quite a bit of crap in the last 38 years. Many of the items that did not make the cut were seasonal decorations.

I find it a little sad that the one and only Easter decoration I have this year is a tiny, plastic SpongeBob with Easterbunny ears on. How far the mighty have fallen…

New Toy!!!

Everyone loves getting new toys…..and I am certainly no exception. A friend recently decided to buy a new laptop, and asked me if I would like to have her old one. I thought about it for about a quarter of a second before accepting her offer.

I have recently discovered the art of blogging, but my blogging activities have been somewhat stunted by the reality that I live in a one computer household. My better half is a student, and does quite a bit of his homework on our one and only laptop. I feel pretty crappy about interrupting to use the laptop to blog.

But NOW I can blog whenever I want!!!!!!! I am bound only by time constraints.

Things will be even groovier after we buy the wireless router and I can blog from anywhere in the apartment……..

Spring Break 2007

Spring Break is traditionally a time when college students get away for a week and pillage some poor, unsuspecting town. At some point in time, however, college students must grow up. It was with a tinge of regret that I came to terms with the fact that I am not a care-free college student anymore. Truthfully, I haven't been for well over a decade. But now I live very close to a college campus, and my boyfriend is a non-traditional college student. So- as Spring Break drew closer, I began seeing references to wild trips and general craziness. Admittedly, it caused a small pang of regret in my tiny skull.
Luckily, I yanked myself out of pointless reverie and Dev and I planned a sedate, respectable week-long trip.
We began by visiting Dev's parents in Montrose, CO. On the drive over we saw a mountain lion. Apparently this is not a common thing to see. It was slightly surreal. Unfortunately, I was not fast enough on the draw to get a picture of said creature.
After staying a few day…

Boyfriends

In the boyfriend category, I can say without hesitation that I am one of the luckiest girls in the world.
There are many things I could say to sing the praises of my boyfriend Devin, but I think one of my favorite things about him is, he likes to cook. I absolutely LOVE to cook, and I think it's nifty that we both enjoy it. I am posting pics of two of Dev's latest culinary accomplishments. One is a very well presented plate of beef stew, and the other is an apple pie he made 3 days ago. I am not much of a baker, so it's wonderful that he can do this kind of thing.

Whew!!!!

OK.....

So I have now finished transferring all of my old myspace blog entries over here. It took forever.
Hopefully I'll have time soon to add entries about our Spring Break trip......

Community Chorus

I almost forgot to tell y'all about the choir I'm singing in here. We had our second rehearsal last night. It's the Valley Community Chorus, and it's hosted by the college.
We are gearing up for a combined concert with the Taos, NM community chorus and orchestra. The pieces we are working on are Vaughan(sp) Williams' "Dona Nobis Pacem" and Haydn's "Mass in Time of War." Both pieces are beautiful, but my favorite is the Vaughan Williams.
It feels really good to be singing again. This stuff is fairly athletic, and I haven't done anything like that in a long time. So far so good, most of the cobwebs are coming off and things don't sound too bad.
Anyway, off to learn about subjective probability.....
I love long weekends...
Dev and I left Friday afternoon for his parents' house in Montrose, CO. We had a spot of good luck because Dev's afternoon Geography class (a real snoozer) was cancelled. PLUS it was sushi day at the local coffee shop. I LOVE those kinda days. The soup of the day was seafood bisque. I thought it was excellent. Dev nearly puked because they snuck squid in there on him. The first bite, he hauled up a purplish, tentacled thing on his spoon and that was it for him. I like squid, but was still surprised they put it in seafood bisque. Usually that is made of calmer stuff, like shrimp and scallops. Anyway, I got to eat my bowl and his. He seemed to like the sushi rolls I ordered. I always feel guilty on sushi days, because I don't think he gets enough lunch. Maybe I should just bring him a cheeseburger.
Anyway, we struck out on the road just before 2pm. The weather in Alamosa was gorgeous (nearly 40 degrees). As we travelled, however, conditio…

Long Time No Blog

So there's been quite a bit going on around here lately.
My adventures at the Community Partnerships office are increasing. I actually got to do a few minutes of a radio show yesterday. I programmed 3 songs.....Allman Brothers (Melissa- that was for you Di), Cake (Sheep Go to Heaven) and Dave Mathews Band (Ants Marching). After some additional training I'll be formating the whole show by myself at least twice a month! I'm envisioning a 99X-type "House of Retro Pleasure" kinda format. I suppose we'll see.
Dev took me practice fly fishing in the park the other day. That was dismal. I know he was getting frustrated with me. But it's just not a natural mechanical action for me. It's kinda like learning how to properly hold a golf club- it doesn't feel natural. And I know Dev meant well, but the whole "10-2 sweetie" thing was making me freak out. Apparently, the proper form for casting involves swinging the pole between 10 and 2 on t…

Life

I have not been blogging much lately. Perhaps this is because I have been working my tail end off. I should say volunteering my tail end off.
I have been volunteering on the college campus in the Service Learning Department. I really like the work these people are doing. They go into schools and help teachers plan service projects for their students to do.
Just this week, we brought the seventh grade from the local middle school to our campus and gave them a little taste of what it's like to be in college. They got a tour of the college, an English and Science class with actual professors and a chance to eat in a real college cafeteria (not sure how much of a benefit that is). The kids had a blast. My feet just hurt.
Next week, we will visit the school and follow up with these students. We will also begin helping them plan a project that will allow them to work with the local homeless shelter, providing a meal for the people who live there. I think more students should get …

Taos, NM- Part Two

As we left Streetwalking Emma in the background, once again we were happy to be out on the open road. After a few minutes, we came upon the Shamrock gas station I had been told about. I suggested we stop to get a map, and some gas. I always feel weird about going somewhere new, not knowing exactly how far it is, and having less than a half tank of gas. I know this is a symptom of my neurosis, but I've come to terms with it. Dev is doing his best.
Unfortunately, there was no map. But I did snap a cute picture of this dog that was in the truck at the pump next to us. He had one perky ear and one limp ear. I'm a sucker for that everytime.
Again, we headed out. We were about 65 miles from Taos. We also discovered that we could drive all the way to Sante Fe on this road. It was about another 90 miles south.
Taos is a really neat place. We stopped at an Overland store. It had really nice things that were really overpriced- but cool. I snapped some pics of Dev and myself trying on some …

Taos, NM- Part One

Taos Part One
Dev and I jumped in the truck and headed over the Taos, NM Saturday morning.
We thought we knew exactly where we were going, but we didn't. But you know, it turned out alright, so I'm willing to chalk this up to another life adventure.
Happy we were, rolling south down highway 285. I was only mildly concerned about the risk of being stranded away from home for another night. We even stopped along the way to snap a few pics of the scenery.
After riding past a sign advertising the Jack Dempsey Museum (located in downtown Manassas, CO), Dev asked me to hand him the map. So I did. He determined that his proposed route might not take us to Taos. We studied the map some more, then decided that our map of Colorado really needed some help from a map of New Mexico. But we also determined that in order to get into the right area of New Mexico, we needed to turn around and drive past the aforementioned Jack Dempsey Museum.
The sleepy little town of Manassas, CO doesn't reall…

Salmon Experiment Part Two- Bravery

I ate some of the salmon yesterday. Just a little....and suffered no ill gastric effects. This is very good.
In reflecting upon the salmon experiment I have reached the conclusion that next time I will cut back on the amount of salt I use in the cure mixture. Even after rinsing the fillets before I sliced them, I still felt they were too salty. And I also think I will increase the amount of cure I use on each fillet.
I'm just happy it didn't kill me!

Salmon Experiment- Part One (Trepidation)

Hmmmmm.... where to start.....
I'm not ready to call the salmon experiment a failure or a success. I'm just scared to eat the results.
I followed the procedure exactly. I'm just not sure what it's supposed to look or feel like. It seems more elastic and rubbery than fresh salmon. I will eat a little for lunch today.
I left a copy of the recipe on the fridge, so the paramedics will know what I did.......

Pasta

The pasta experiment was a huge success. Dev and I feasted on fresh, hand made pasta Saturday night.
It wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. The dough was fairly simple, and the rolling part was pretty fun. The kitchen looked ridiculous with my laundry drying rack full of fettucini(sp), but that's ok with me. I think next time, we'll just roll the sheets and make that rag pasta stuff. Then we can tear it in pieces, or make ravioli, or even lasagna.....yummmmm.

Bowling Sober

So Dev and I went bowling Saturday afternoon....
I have never seen such a tiny little bowling alley before. It has 12 lanes. But they have room for the important things, like a popcorn machine and beer.
Anyway, Dev kicked my butt in the first game (135-116), but I came back to reclaim my dignity in the second (115-80).
It had been quite a little while since I threw a bowling ball. I used to love bowling. Of course, my little sister was way better at it. It's nice to know I haven't lost my mediocre technique.
I'm hoping we spend many more afternoons at the tiny little Alamosa Bowling Alley....and next time we'll order some beer and popcorn.



New Bike!

I got a new bicycle for Valentine's Day! I know it's a little early, but that's the way it works sometimes.
The only frustrating thing about having a new bike is that I can't ride it right now. At least, not unless I can find snowchains for the tires.
I'm praying for an early Spring!!!!

Cool Things About Winter

t has been quite cold here lately. During the night it's been around -20, and during the day, the highs have been around 15.
There are very few nice things I have to say about weather like this. But here are some of them:
It is kinda nice to have a season other than muggy. The air is crisp and clear and the views of the mountains are beautiful.
This morning, when I went outside, the air was literally sparkling- like little tiny fireflies. I'm not sure whether it was frost in the air, or what, but the air was glittery. It was very beautiful. I'm sure Dev didn't think so, because he was on the outside of the truck, scraping ice off the windshield. Sometimes I love being a girl!
I can finally cook all the wonderful stews that are just too heavy to eat back home very often because it's just too hot and muggy.
Now- with that said, here are a few things I don't like about this weather:
My skin is going nuts. It is used to 100% humidity all the time. I think it ha…

Menu Planning

You know, everybody's different.
When it's -24 degrees outside, some people want to go outside and built snow forts. Other people want to go hiking. I want to stay inside and turn my oven on.
Because of my current unemployed state, money is understandably a little tight. Dev and I are not soaking up the Alamosa night life (of course, even if we won the lotto, there's not much night life to soak up around here- unless you like extreme snow plowing or bingo at the VFW).
I have decided to do my part for home economics by sitting down on Sunday afternoons and planning a menu for the week.
Last week's menu looked something like this:
Monday- honey roasted pork loin with roasted potatoes and steamed broccoli- the afore-blogged-about chocolate cookies for dessert.
Tuesdays- Dev cooks on Tuesdays. We had chicken done in the crock pot with white wine, cream and green peas (sorry Di).
Wednesday- We took the leftover chicken, shredded it off the bone and I warmed the sauce part, th…

High Altitude Baking II- A Tragic Tale

Here we go again. As of my last posting, I was not sure if my baking misadventures were my fault, or the fault of sheer altitude. This time, I'm pretty sure it's the altitude's fault (really).
I decided to make Dev a simple chocolate sheet cake for dessert Monday night (see my next blog entry for details on weekly menus).
I mixed up the cake (not from a mix, either!) and put it in the oven at 350 degrees for 30 minutes because that's what Paula Deen's directions told me to do. I know- don't roll your eyes. I don't like her either, but the woman knows a good chocolate cake when she eats one.
30 minutes later, I had what appeared to be chocolate soup in a pan in my oven. The edges were a little cooked, but the middle was completely raw. So I left it in for another 30 minutes.
Again, chocolate soup with crispy edges.
At this point, I had to take it out of the oven, because I needed the oven to to bake the mack daddy shrimp dish I was serving for my appetizer …

High Altitude Baking- A Cautionary Tale

So I have had quite a bit of time on my hands lately, what with being unemployed AND climatically challenged. So, to fill the empty hours, I have been cooking quite a bit. I may start blogging about the recipes I try. Maybe I can even find a way to put pics with these blog entries.
I have made 2 batches of cookies.
One was the traditional Toll House cookie recipe. I decided to make big monster cookies, instead of civilized, normal cookies- strategic error on my part. First of all, they all melted together, forming what Dev said looked like chocolate chip toast (which sounds kinda yummie). And, the batter part kinda melted away, leaving only the chocolate chips raised up. So the cookies looked like they had horrible complexion difficulties. I was assured by Dev that they tasted fine. I wonder if the melting thing was just a fluke, or if it had to do with the altitude?
The other batch was chocolate chocolate chip cookies, using the recipe from Ghirardelli that's running in …

Lobster Bits

Ok......The only place in this town that bears any passing resemblance to a seafood restaurant is a Long John Silver's. I realize those of you who share the blessing of having been raised on the coast are thinking to yourselves, "Long John Silver's is not a real seafood restaurant." I agree- but everything is relative. Anyway, I digress.
The other day, Dev and I were driving home from the Wal-Mart (that's a whole other blog posting, BTW) and I see the following new entree advertised on the sign of the aforementioned "seafood" restaurant: "Lobster Bits."
I immediately began wondering which bits of the lobster were being served. Is it like lobster bologna (lips and assholes, as my dear father likes to say)? Is it minced lobster parts reassembled to look like a lobster (as in the case of the McRib)? Or is it the naughty bits of the lobster, battered and fried (like lamb fries or something)? How does one tell the difference between a girl an…

Wintertime Travels

Dev and I have attempted the trip to Pueblo, CO twice. The first time, we set out, full of hope, on a BEAUTIFUL Friday morning. There was not a single cloud in the sky (in the valley). We decided to take a scenic route to Pueblo...one that lead through a little town called Salida, and wound its way over the Royal Gorge Bridge. As we got closer and closer to the mountain (we have to go over a mountain pass to go anywhere), we noticed snow blowing off the peaks of the other mountains in the area. We thought it was really cool looking....until the snow started blowing around on the mountain we were trying to cross. Soon, new snow was falling heavily. Well, I'm sure it is shocking to no one that I started getting very concerned. I could not even see the road for all the snow. It didn't even look like there was a road. After a while, we passed a snow plow coming from the other side of the mountain, so Dev turned around and we made our way back home. He says he did it bec…

Unpacking with the Mormons

We finally arrived at our new home on Friday, December 22nd. We pulled into the parking lot, and I got the first look at my home for the next few years.
I have to say, Devin did a fine job picking the place out. The kitchen is HUGE. I managed to find places for all my kitchen stuff IN THE KITCHEN. I had no more need to use the spare bedroom as the kitchen annex.
We left to get some lunch. When we got back, we were hit in the face with the realization that we had to unload a truck that it had taken 10 people to pack. This, unfortunately, led to a short crying binge on my part. As always, Devin just comforted me and waited for it to pass.
As we were very slowly unloading thousands of boxes, these 2 guys appeared out of nowhere (ok- really they live downstairs). They asked us if we needed any help. Not being an idiot, Dev told them if they didn't mind, he could use help moving the sofa and the freezer. They drove away, and about an hour later, returned with 2 or 3 more guys. …

Clayton, NM

Clayton, NM Current mood: cranky
I mean no disrespect to the fine folks who live and work in Clayton, NM......but with that said, I'd like to relate the story of my stay in captivity there.....
We managed to get one of the last few rooms at the downtown Clayton Super8 Motel. I think Super8 rooms deserve their own ranking system. We had stayed in a Super8 the last time we made this drive. I think they use a chain-wide air freshener called "Institutional Citrus/Dirty Feet." The room was fairly clean and tastefully decorated in the always charming "motel shabby/chic" style, complete with stirring paintings of mountains and wildlife on the walls.
We started getting hungry so our thoughts turned to dinner. We decided we didn't want to drive the truck, so we limited our focus to the options within walking distance of our stylish lodgings. The sign out front of the Super8 highly recommended Pop's Drive-In, conveniently located right next door to the hote…

Westward Ho!

The trip was relatively uneventful until day 2. We had decided to push on into Shamrock, TX. We found a hotel room and turned on the weather channel. The little people on the TV began talking about a winter storm that was sweeping through Amarillo, TX and parts of New Mexico. Sections of I-40 were already closing. We decided to sleep on it and figure out what to do in the morning. OK- that's not exactly what happened....I dissolved into tears and Devin did his best to calm me down. After a 20 minute crying jag I decided there was nothing I could do about it and fell asleep.
The next morning we got back in the truck and pushed on farther west on I-40. We got almost to Amarillo, thinking we had seen the worst of the storm. We made our exit onto highway 87 and began the final leg of our journey. We were 5 hours from our new home.
We stopped for lunch in a charming little hamlet just outside of Clayton, NM. It was a little country cooking place that looked warm. As I was eat…

Leaving Home

Well, after many months of waiting and preparing, it's time for me to pull up my tent stakes and move to Alamosa, CO.
When truck-loading day arrived, I had muchas help. Not only did my family and friends show up (many thanks to my brother-in-law Ron and my bestest friends Diane and Suzanne and my mom), but some of my students and their families came to help as well (again, much love to Alan and his mom and brother, William and his grandmother, Jason and his mom and dad). I also must thank my significant other (who made the whole trip necessary and possible), Devin. He worked his heiny off. But then he should have, cuz I'm moving to shack up with him.
After the truck was loaded, my friends Di and Suz went on a run for liquid refreshments while the apartment cleaning commenced.
Before the good-bye's were said, it was only fitting that Di and Suz and Dev and I headed across the street to the old school playground for a walk down memory lane (Di and Suz were held captive ther…

Inaugural Blog

After months of thinking about it, I have finally decided to liberate my blogging from the myspace environment. There's nothing really wrong with myspace, it just requires people to join myspace to view blogs, and I have friends who don't want to do that.
I'm not even sure anyone will want to read what I have to say about things. That, of course, never stops me from commenting.... :)
So, what will this blog be about?? It will be about everything that matters to me. Specifically, it will be about food/cooking, books I'm reading and things about which I need to talk to myself.
Because I am a very recent transplant to the San Luis Valley of Colorado, many things I think about revolve around how different things are here. I am originally from Georgia, and Georgians have their own way of doing things. Georgians also like sweet tea WHICH DOES NOT EXIST IN RESTAURANTS AROUND HERE. How can that be? Anyway, there will be time for me to vent about such things later.
So that's ab…