Latest Publications

I’m bringing home my baby bumblebee…

Tonight, I researched bees.  Tina got stung the other day (3 times!!!  By the same bug!!!), so we were trying to figure out what kind of bug it was.  She found a picture online, but it didn’t say what kind of insect it was.  So I found a different website (I’d give you the link, but I already closed it, and I’m pretty sure I don’t ever need to see it again) that is supposed to help you identify every sort of crawly or flying thing in existence.  Ugh.  I’m pretty sure I’m having bad dreams about bizarro bugs tonight. There were SO many pictures (did you ever have any idea how many different types of earwigs there are?!!) of SO many bugs. 

I have a theory… I think bugs, like mosquitoes and bees and the like, are more attracted to people who have bad reactions or are allergic to them.  I haven’t been stung by a bee since I was 5 (knock on wood!!!).  And when I get mosquito bites, I don’t usually welt up too badly – and I really don’t get bitten that often (knock on wood!!!).  But other people who seem to be way more sensitive to little venomous beasts seem to get attacked more often.  Is there any scientific truth to that, or did I totally make it up?  Do you think I’m on the verge of a huge scientific discovery??  Maybe I should trademark it, or copyright, or patent, or whatever you’re supposed to do with major scientific discoveries.

Bicycle races are coming your way, so forget all your duties, oh yeah…

Fat bottomed girls they’ll be riding today, so look out for those beauties, oh yeah…

HA HA HA HA HA HA!  Bicycle Race, by Queen.  Love it.

So today, I did forget all my duties (laundry, housecleaning, laundry…) - some of them at least.  I rode a bike for the first time in about two years!!  And guess what – it’s just like riding a bike.  (Again, HA HA HA HA!  I’m cracking myself up).  Last time I rode my bike was right after I started having problems with my knee, a few months before I got my rheumatoid arthritis diagnosis.  I rode downtown and back home (for a flat town on the plains, there are some crazy hills around here!).  After that, my knees just couldn’t do it – I couldn’t bend or straighten them enough to make riding possible.  But today, I got brave.  Tina has been trying to get me to try her bike, just to see if I could do it, but I was scared!  Today, though, I tried out her Fat Tire cruiser and her super fancy racing road bike.  And guess what!  I was able to ride!  Not very far or very fast, but I did it!  Now I think I need a recumbent bike – it wouldn’t be hard to get on, I wouldn’t have to straighten my cranky left elbow… but I’d still get a nice little workout.  And be able to get around without always taking the car.

The cruiser was easier on my upper body, but it killed my knees.  The road bike is awesome – it made even me feel fast – but hard on my elbows & stuff.  I’m going to try that one out again, probably next weekend, to see how I do.  The problem with liking it is that I’ll let it convince me that I really truly need a brand new super fancy awesome racing road bike. 

On top of the bike rides today, we also went to the neighborhood pool and swam for a while.  So it’s hard to tell now which one was harder on me - old skool cruiser bike, super fast racing bike, or playing swimming pool tag.  Or running errands and buying dog food and aquarium filter thingies.  I need a more specific test.  And I need to actually start using some muscles once in a while.  I need to start swimming in the mornings again – it’s the only athletic activity I’ve ever been remotely decent at, plus it’s relatively easy on the ol’ joints.  Geez, I sound pathetically old.  Seriously, how old do people usually get before they start telling everyone about their arthritis????  Older than this, I know that!  Ugh.

Happy birthday yesterday to Mom! 

And the Colorado Rocky Mountain High…

I wanted to use that one on Friday afternoon, sitting outside on a golf course looking at Mount Daly, but no dice on an internet connection!  A whole weekend with (almost) no internet!  Wow.

Over the weekend I got to go on what is becoming an annual trip to Snowmass Village – right next door to Aspen (the subject of my song today!).  It was a pretty short trip this time, but it was nice anyway – we seem to have missed a lot of the rainy afternoons there (and had those at home instead).  The trip there was fun – we left Friday morning and went the “long” way, over Independence Pass, instead of taking I-70.  That pass is SO gorgeous, but I’m always glad I’m not the one driving.  Tina & Jimmy were going to try riding their roadbikes down the pass into Aspen, but decided against it once they saw it and remembered how narrow and steep it is!!  Which was fortunate for me and the truck.  If I had to drive it, I’d get so distracted by the scenery and scared by the narrowness, I’m sure I’d end up at the bottom of a ravine somewhere.  They (and Jordan) did end up riding from Aspen into Snowmass Village, though, with me stopping every couple of miles to make sure no one had died yet.  (No one did).  I also stopped at a roadside stand and bought some yummy cherries, and wandered around downtown Aspen for a bit and had a mint iced chai.  Delish!  I think I’m going to try making some when my mint gets bigger.

Most of the rest of the weekend, I relaxed!  I sat outside on the decks (one upstairs, one downstairs), tried out my new crafty endeavours (more on those later), and enjoyed the gorgeous mountains.  On Saturday, I drove to Glenwood Springs, to the hot springs spa there, and had a Rocky Mountain Minerals massage.  Awesome!  Other than that, I was completely boring.  And out of touch – I stayed away from the TV and didn’t have any internet – just the BlackBerry.

We are family…

Last week was a big week!

Mom spent the week with the lovely and wonderful and cute Grandma Hope (Mom and I TOTALLY take after her, don’t you think?) in Denver, and we got to head down there on Tuesday and visit for a while, and go to lunch.  It was fun!!!  We also got to play with Reggie, of course.  My dogs were HIGHLY unimpressed with me when I got home and they found that I’d cheated on them.  Grandma complained about how Mom was not listening to her, and was doing dishes and cooking and trying to get Grandma to sit down and RELAX once in a while!  Sheesh, Mom, doing what you were trained to do?!  For shame.  We also did a little bit of computer stuff, and Tina rigged up a handy little trick to help keep Grandma from right-clicking when she doesn’t really want to.  Grandma is getting downright speedy at the jigsaw puzzles!

In other BIG news, I’m going to be an aunt again!!  (It is all about me, you know).  Rhiannon called me the other night to tell me she is going to be a big sister again, and Kylah called me about 5 minutes later!  Exciting stuff!!!  (Kylah told me I was number one on her calling list, but I don’t know if that’s really true…)  Rhiannon also told me that she would like to have twins – a boy and a girl.  (Shannon, you are a trend-setter)!  I talked to Kelly for a while too, and I am anxiously awaiting more details!  Yippee!

And lastly in family news, Happy Father’s Day (yesterday) to my Dad!  It was good to talk to you!

Coming up… crafty stuff, and Colorado stuff…

What do I do with me?

I’m looking for some recommendations.

So, next weekend, I’ll be heading to Snowmass with Tina for the weekend.  Her crazy rich uncle (who also has houses in Tampa, Puerto Rico, and who knows where else, and spends lots of every year vacationing somewhere fabulous) invites her to his place in Snowmass every year to play lots of golf.  Since I can’t golf anymore, and even when I could golf I was WAY too horrible to play with these people (they play for money!!), I usually spend the weekend doing crafty stuff or reading a lot.  One year, I took my mountain bike and took it up the ski lift and rode down the mountain (FUN!).  Another time, I took my Featherweight and made a bunch of little bags, bibs, coasters, and a variety of other little projects.  And I always take a bunch of books and magazines.  Last year I spend the entire weekend working (I’m talking middle of the night stuff too – it was a really awesome time).  But – I have no intentions to do that this year!  But (again) - I haven’t figured out yet just what I should take with me. 

One choice – just a ton of books.  Does anyone have any recommendations?  Anyone read anything awesome lately?  I think I’ll pick up the next Mitford book from the library.  Grandma Hope introduced me to that series – the books are all fun quick reads, and I like to talk about them with Granda!  I just finished the Twilight series.  I also just read a good book called Mudbound, by Hillary Jordan.  Anyway… if anyone has read anything recently that they loved, let me know!  I like all kinds of different stuff, but not always the things I’m “supposed” to like.

Another choice – crafty stuff.  I don’t think I’m up for hauling a sewing machine and everything else that would go along with it, especially for a pretty quick weekend.  Beading stuff is also a lot to take – I’m not very good at organizing projects ahead of time, so I always have to have ALL of my stuff.  Which is a LOT!  So I could do something portable, like cross-stitching…  Or there’s always knitting, crocheting or tatting – except that I am completely unable to do any of those.  Has anyone tried the Knifty Knitters?  I think I want to try it out!!  I already have way too many hobbies to actually keep up on, but still.  One more wouldn’t hurt, right?  I can’t decide.  Should I spend more money on another hobby that I may very well be completely inept at? 

My other choice… spend a lot more cash and get masssages and spa treatments.  Aaahhh. 

I have a little turtle, his name is Tiny Tim…

I put him in the bathtub to see if he could swim.  He drank up all the water, he ate up all the soap.  And now he’s sick in bed, with bubbles in his throat.

 

So, I have a new pet (pretty sure it’s a boy).  He’s actually been here for a couple of weeks now, but I’ve been hesitating to post about him!  His name is Tim Little – it started as Tiny Tim, though, because of this song.  I’ve been hesitant to post about him for a few reasons.  After he arrived (as some of you may be aware, Tina tends to take in strays – I’m probably the number one example of a stray who won’t leave, but there’s also the cat, and now the turtle, and at various points over the years her nephew, her son’s friend, her friend, and so on.  The cat’s the only one who has outlasted me…), I started researching.  I found, among other things, that it’s illegal to sell tiny turtles (under 4 inches) due to a big nasty salmonella outbreak in the 70s.  I also found that tiny turtles kept as pets have SUPER high mortality rates.  And lots of other scary things.  Oh yea – and Grover tried to eat him on his first day here. 

Through further research, though, I found that it’s not actually illegal to OWN a tiny turtle – just to sell them.  And the high mortality rates were probably due in large part to these turtle bowls they used to sell with them, which helped contribute to them not getting the best quality of care, water, light, etc. 

So… now, this little guy has quite the setup.  A ginormous aquarium with a filter, a heat lamp, a floating platform for him to bask in the light, and for the time being at least, lots of natural sunlight.  We got lots of good advice from the folks at Petco and PetSmart.  Tillie’s got a vet appointment in a couple of weeks too, and we’ll be able to get even more info from Dr. K.  We’ll have to move him when winter shows up, and buy him some new lamps.  So, I’m feeling pretty good about his chances!  (Knock on wood!)  And he’s eating well, and he might have even grown a millimeter or so!  Pretty exciting stuff, huh? 

Here’s another shot of him running around in the grass:

Urgent, urgent, urgent, urgent… Emergency!

DAD!  WE ARE OUT OF BISCOTTI HERE!  HELP!

Yea, in theory, I could be out in the kitchen right now baking some more.  But yours is so much yummier! 

‘Cause I’m the ice cream man

Guess what I made yesterday!  Homemade fresh strawberry ice cream.  Yum! 

I begged for an electric ice cream maker for Christmas a couple of years ago, so that I could make Alton Brown’s banana ice cream.  (I saw an episode the other day where he made avocado ice cream!  Sounds bizarro, but now I’m dying to try it too.  Maybe I could halve the recipe or something in case it’s horrid.).  I’ve used it approximately twice – I made banana ice cream (yummy, but kind of gluey texture) and peppermint ice cream (yummy, and very minty!).  So yesterday I decided to try out some other flavors.  I followed the recipe pretty much, except for changing the heavy cream and whole milk for some lower fat variations.  It was delicious, if I say so myself!  But next time, I will add WAY more strawberries (it probably didn’t help that I kept sampling them).  And maybe some other berries.  And call it Berry Berry Extravaganza Ice Cream, or something fancy like that.  Yum.

Give us dirty laundry…

That’s such a bad title.  But I just finished folding it all for this week.  Then I remembered that I’ve been slacking again on the blog.  It’s been a busy few days!

Mom & Dad came to visit over the Memorial Day weekend!  Yay!  We did some shopping, did some eating, even did some baking.  Dad did most of the baking (I just handed him the supplies).  Right now, I’m enjoying the fruits of our labor – some delicious lemon-anise biscotti dunked in Tension Tamer tea.  Yum!  We played a LOT of my new Trivial Pursuit game too!!  In spite of his vocal objections to playing a game where he supposedly never gets a turn, I think Dad secretly loves the game.  He suggested several rematches on Sunday night.  I got the 25th Anniversary game for my birthday – I thought it would be a good one, since they say in the ads it has easy, medium, and hard questions.  I thought I’d have an easier time talking people into playing with me if they thought I might have to have the harder questions.  Plus, I figure that the more random facts I can learn and remember, the better I will do when I get on Jeopardy (my life’s ambition!). 

Over the river and through the woods…

…to Grandmother’s house I went today. 

Tina and I headed for Denver today to hang out with Grandma Hope for a while!  She is always such fun to visit with!  We went to lunch at House of Windsor and had some delicious food and tea and desserts, and then bought some English marmalades – some ginger and some lemon.  What a fun little place!

After lunch it was back to Grandma’s house.  We chatted about lots of things – names, families, sprinkler systems… We went out to the backyard to see where Tillie might have jumped the fence to the neighbors yard last time I was down there – it’s a wonder the silly dog didn’t kill herself.  She definitely didn’t look before she leaped.  Then we went to the garage, where I tried to figure out a way to talk Aunt Susie out of her cute little VW Beetle that’s parked in there right now (I want one!  I could pull it behind the motorhome that I think I need!), and Tina checked out all the “antique” power tools (and hand tools, of course).  As with every other room in Grandma’s house, the garage holds lots of treasures, not the least of which are the very well organized cans of nails.  We also checked out the ski rack that was used to hold the infamous boat on the roof of the car during the camping trip that ended before anyone did any camping… but not before Grandpa & the boys got to hang out in the boat with some beers and a French Horn! 

After that, we showed Grandma some stuff on her computer – fixed the date column on her emails, and showed her some of the games that can provide hours of entertainment (and procrastination and time-wasting…) like the jigsaw puzzles Mom introduced us to.  With enough practice, maybe we’ll get her on Twitter and Facebook:)