Saturday, December 29, 2012

Good bye to our Hazel the Llama Mama

About 14 months ago a co-worker asked me if Crystal wanted a free goat and a Llama.

I grimaced and said, '"Probably". grrrrrrr.......

So we built a fence and two gates and a three sided pole barn, borrowed a trailer from a retired co-worker and hauled the beasts home. Stanley came here with his name attatched, an angora billy. The Llama had no name. She was gifted to Brad along with another Llama and he only had room for one. We threw names around for what seemed like a good while and settled on Hazel the Llama Mama. She was brown and white, really needed a shearing and was pretty stand offish. After a while she would eat out of our hand on occasion if we had the right kind of sweet mix in our mitts. She would make a calling sound at the site of dogs or coyotes or me wearing the wrong hat, and the other animals would come running and duck under her belly. By this time there was another angora/churro goat (Choco) and a little Alpaca (Princess Buttercup).

There is an account further back in the blog of the rodeo the first day I roped her. Then there was a shearing that she was good as gold during, surprising us all. Mostly she was a calm presence that meant we didn't have to worry about our other little guys.

When we came home last Thursday, the 27th Mama wasn't doing well. Her breathing was labored and her lower lip was hanging way down. We went in to gather our stuff to get set to try to help her out and a half hour later when I checked on her.... Mama Llama was gone.

We buried her today, in a nice deep grave where the coyotes she fended off can't get anywhere near her now that she's defenseless. Crys* made sure she had a handful of sweet mix to munch on her way to the next pasture where goats won't ride her back and crazy Denny's won't chase her around the pen.

Stanley misses her already and so do we. It was way too short a time and we got so attached to our friend Hazel. I hope her rest is good and the grain stays sweet.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Sunday, December 2, 2012

The roof... the roof.... the roof is on the house.

This weekend we got the roof on the studio/shed. Our friend Aliena came out to help nail up the OSB.  It's been nice to have help, our sis Christie helped out last week. It is amazing how much more quickly this stuff goes with an extra set of hands.

So now the walls are up, the roof is up and soon we can start shingling. Haven't bought the shingles yet.

And we have this afternoon off. 'Cause you gotta rest sometime!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Making apple pie at Nana's house

Autum and Crystal baking for Thanksgiving. This came after the walnut crusted pumpkin pies.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Snow, and a bit chilly

It started snowing Friday and kept on throughout the night. That put a bit of a crimp in my building plans :D  I got half a wall built Friday evening and then worked 11 of the next 13 hours. It'll make for a bit nicer of a christmas. Perhaps I'll get back to work on the building today.... or maybe we'll take the weekend off and enjoy our home. Yesterday when I got home around noon Crys and Autum had done all the snow sweeping for me. That's usually my job and I was thrilled to come home to warm soup smells, a freshly drawn hot bath and no snow moving to do. The rest of the day was just as good as the first few moments home.

Life is good.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Nana says hi

We spent last weekend in LaJunta helping Nana get her house straightened up a bit. Thanks to Jessee there was even a trailer to throw it in and thanks to Tonya we had some help. :D Man, were we ever tired Monday morning......

Monday, October 22, 2012

Footer for some passive solar.

This was the last useable spot for the "extra" concrete. It's a footer about 12 X 4 and we'll set some windows into frames with a temperature operated fan to blow the hot air into the studio. We'll see how well it works but hey........ any added heat is a bonus.

When we got done pouring this the truck driver looked into the back of the cement truck and pronounced that there was less than a wheel barrow's worth of concrete left. And he gave me a thumbs up.
These fellas helped pour the concrete.

Nick on the left is the son of the folks that own Center Redi-Mix. He came out with the sons of one of my co-workers. They brought plenty of tools, a lot of get up and go, and just flat worked their butts off.
And the new building pad :)

This is a bit of a milestone in the project. It took upwards of 3 weeks to get the propane tank and underground lines all moved outta the way and the site prepped. The concrete went down in less than 4 hours. Above are the local fellas I hired to give me a hand. And here's the pad, with the bolts in place for the 10 X 23 foot building addition for storage and the post anchors for the covered storage (no walls since you can't have an enclosed building within 10 feet of the propane tank. :D And we're all about the safety. Now to get the wood ordered and put that sucker up!
Shiny new sidewalk :)

My dad taught me to just order a full truck load of concrete and build more forms than you think you need. Above was the reason for the project, the building pad. I figured I'd have enough left over concrete to do at least most of this sidewalk. Surprise surprise surprise, there was plenty there to do the whole thing!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Concrete is down

Friday October 19th was concrete pouring day. I got really lucky and a co-worker volunteered her son to help do the pour. He and his brother and their friend showed up. The day worked out really well. I worked at my day job in the morning and at 10:30 I went home and got started. First was to fire up the tractor and finish the forming for the passive solar against the solar house. Then I hooked up the water, moved all the cars, and pre-wet down the spot where the mud was to go.

The boys and the concrete truck got here together. We started on the 19X28 pad, the driver helped make sure we did it in a way that involved a whole lot less shoveling of wet concrete. I took one end of the scree board and the boys took turns on the other end. When we got that all in the forms, Nick and Alec went off to work on the sidewalk while I and boy #3 went back over the building pad. About the time the sidewalk got filled up the boys started in with trowels and I went with the driver to fill up the footer I'd formed up for the studio/solar house passive solar stuff. Then I went back to the building pad. We tried the power trowel I'd rented but the mud was still too wet and it just sank and screwed up the flatness of the mud. The boys kept troweling, and I set in bolts for the building and post forms for the covered storage.

About then the boys were done, driver was long gone. So I paid the kids and kept working until I was done enough. Gave the power trowel one more shot but it just never got dry enough before I had to return the thing. Live and learn I guess.

I went back to work, then the store, then came home and covered the building pad and sidewalk with tarps and every other cover kinda thing I could find. Had to steal 2 tarps from the hay for the barnyard. The goats didn't seem to mind. :D

We left it covered overnight and yesterday I pulled forms, and tarps and cleaned up the bits of flotsam concrete.

It looks pretty good. We're going to love having a sidewalk and now I can work on the building and not have to worry about the weather.

One more bit done toward our studio. That makes me happy.

We had a little campfire by the creek last night. With family. And today I ain't doin shit.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Weekend. I like the weekend.

It's been both a busy and a quiet weekend.

Crys* has done a lot of farming this weekend. She also did a good bit around the house and worked with her goats and Llama and Alpaca. They got fresh water, more treats than they deserve and lots of attention. And she spent lots of time taking care of that lazy old man of hers.

I got my pad prepped for the solar house addition. I've been working on it for a while. It took a ridiculous amount of time to get the propane tank moved and the underground lines re-routed. With that finally done it was time to dig out and level for the new building and covered shed pad. As of today it is  leveled, formed up and ready to go. This week I'll get building anchor bolts and post anchors and mark things out so that when we pour and level the concrete I can put in the bolts and anchors. A co-worker is going to loan me her sons on Saturday and we'll get that sucker poured. I figure I'll order a whole truck of mud and I'll have a sidewalk and a kiln pad framed up in case there's extra. :D Might as well save on the trip charge.

Tonight we're chilling. Crystal is knitting Christmas presents and I'm doing this. Lots of good dinner is cooking on the stove thanks to the girl.

I need a week off, and I can really get some stuff done.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Busy Day at the Rest

We got a lot done today. 

I got my pre-level done on the building extension for our studio. Crystal got the toenails clipped on the goats. We worked together and got Princess Buttercup, the alpaca, sheared for the first time. 

It can suffice to say that she did NOT like it.

We got more rocks piled up for the goats to climb on. Our last ton bale of alfalfa/weeds/grass is in place for the winter feeding. Crystal is still cleaning like a mad woman, I have no idea where she gets her strength or fortitude. 

It would appear that we are nearly ready for winter. I just need to get concrete poured so I can work on the studio, and that has to happen before it gets too much colder. It's nearly ready and that makes me happy. 

A flute was won on ebay so that our niece can learn something new. Good job Crys.

Last week we gave the bees a good feeding. Lots of tomatoes and peppers are canned and frozen for the coming winter doldrums. 

The cars are in pretty good shape.

Now if we can just get that deck sanded and sealed, the studio done and some gutters put up.........

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Enzo's, now that's good eatin

Winefest... in grand junction

This was the end of day dinner at Enzo's somewhere between Palisade, where the winefest was, and Pablo's new digs over by the college.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Cantina in johnston village... mmmmm good after a long day!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The SWARM!!!!!!!

We spent the last week caring for family and taking a couple days off to do it. It's also readying for winter time around here. We're also working on our new plan for our pottery studio (temp style).

But the coolest thing ever? When I'm out hauling wood and Crys* is out hanging laundry and there is a gigantic bone jarring hum that pervades the air ground and every solid thing for a hundred yards.... then you look up to see a tornado of bees circling, humming....


and they circle and fly and hum and beat the air as the entire cloud of thousands of bees winds it way through the yard as we walk into the cloud and travel with them until the crest the mountain to the east and out distance us, flying to a new home and a new life with their new queen among them.

It was beautiful.

So the wood is cut, the laundry is done, the bees have divided themselves and we'll harvest honey this coming weekend.

Pretty damned cool.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Fiber Fest weekend

We had a pretty good fiber fest weekend in Monte Vista.

Friday we set up the tent and got things situated.

Saturday I somehow hurt my back and spent the day in a chair while Crys fought an illness and we made the best of a day that was still pretty darned good.

Sunday was a day of fun finishing up with take down of the whole shebang. Brad helped us out a whole lot with the big tent. Melissa and Alina and Christie were good help too. :D Special thanks to Alina for giving Melissa a ride home after the somewhat tiring take down.

Of course when we got home Oomie was missing which we discovered after unloading the giant tent from the trailer and preparing to settle.

Settling waited.

We finally found him scared under the deck. We only had to remove half a dozen boards to get him out and herded back into the house. After that, all was well. Fernandez for dinner and a little TV and bed.

I'm home sick today with my crotchety back. Waiting on a call back from the Chiropractor since this is just not going to fix itself. :D

Good weekend. Fiber and friends and family. Wish I could have made it to the memorial service for Mando, but sometimes the blending of blended families makes it better to send notes later.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

My workplace: near Summitville Mine last Thursday. Lots of Elk

Saturday, July 7, 2012

More prep

This weekend...... hopefully we'll give the goats a manicure. I have to check the big tent for the SLV Fest (got some new anchors in this weekend and need to get some more hurricane straps) dig up the septic line to see what the flow line can be for the new building because that will determine the elevation of the floor level, and ... kitties, shopping, coffee and general chillin.

If I don't have to work too much.....

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Up close!

Sunday July 1st at the Taos SolarFest. Michael was amazing and such a nightmare for the security folks :D He kept wandering out through the crowd with guitar in hand, dancing with children. You never knew where he was going to be: up front hugging fans; strolling through the crowd; all the way in the back singing with a child; oh yeah, sometimes he was up on stage rocking the f out too. :D

Michael franti rocks!

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Maintaince and prep

This weekend was prep weekend. We did a little bit of fixing and finishing and a bit of prep and planning.

The range hood over the stove? Now finally properly installed and cleaned.

Floors swept and mopped and vacuumed.

3 year old watched and played with Friday night and Saturday.

Joint shopping trip that was fun.

Trashed and dented barbecue grill disassembled pounded flat/round/angled reassembled and screwed to the deck, then cleaned and prepped for summer.

Wii games played.

LOTS of laundry done.

Footprint of new building laid down, rearranged, re-staked out and decided on.

Goats and Llama and Alpaca babied and treated and sat with and played with.

Little messes in the corners picked up and put where they go.

Now if it would just rain.......

Friday, June 22, 2012

GIANT camel from the place we got the new alpaca

We got one Of these. A suri. Good birthday present. And the guy, Dean, has GIANT camels too.

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Thursday, June 21, 2012


My new suri baby girl meeting the goats and hazel (the llama mama)

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Maintainance and prep weekend

It's been the weekend for upkeep and prep. :D

We're having a bit of a struggle with the bee hives. Since both blew down in the crazy assed winds from our drought..... we've moved both of them. The Buckfast hive seems to be doing well but the Carniolians are struggling. They keep clustering outside the hive, we're figuring that the queen got smashed in the destruction. At this point Brent from Grandpa's Honey just emailed me and he has a couple queens and some nucs left so we can at least still get a hive going for them.

Yesterday we volunteered at the Roots fest in Alamosa with ALMA. I rolled in getting a ton of hay for the critters and that worked out well. So now our drama queen Stanley the goat has a whole pile of hay. We got 2 bales last year and that lasted about 9 months. This year we're getting the hay 3 months earlier so I'm going to get 4 bales and we won't end up hunting for hay just before they cut (and when the protein content is too high for our goats anyway). See....

Education time.....

The first hay cutting of alfalfa is the richest in protein and the content goes down with each successive cutting. IF you know a farmer you can still get one big bale when they cut the first harvest in early June. This is because they leave a bale in the chute of their baler through the winter. SO... that means you get a nice old bale from last years second or third cutting. And they have to get rid of it and it's composition makes it essentially worthless for dairy cattle or horses so you get a deal. :D I love a deal.

education time over.....

Today we'll work on a layout for the studio/apartment and we hope to get a building shell up before winter. Good luck us.

Also we'll lounge in bed with coffee and internets and music until it's almost to late to accomplish anything. I love Sundays.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Sun goddess entering the 5th world

OK..... I forgot to rotate the darned thing. :D This was in a rebuilt Kiva at Spruce Tree House in Mesa Verde. It was very cool to get to enter one, and I really enjoyed that the sun was so bright when leaving.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Sunset on the canyon

This was our last night at the Grand Canyon and we made it out to see the sunset. This was on a nice ledge, overlooking the Colorado River. We went during a really good time, not too many folks there in the  beginning of June.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Our "new" RV at spot #116, Juniper Loop, Grand Canyon, AZ 0I812
Pronounced Oh I ate One Two. :D

We spent over a month fixing up the old '77 Dodge Tioga for the trip and it would appear that we did just fine. The motor held up fine, and though it got a little hot going up hill in a heavy wind in the desert in the afternoon (go figure) the old beast just kept going. I did the structural repairs and Crys made new curtains with a little help from our Sis and Niece. We fixed the water, the roof vents, the roof, and all kinda other stuff. Now we'll have it and working well for years to come.

Sure..... it only gets about 6 MPG but it's really really FUN. And I'm working on the MPG next. A new ignition system, headers, and a cold air intake to start. That and some new shocks so we won't bottom out going through the roller coaster roads in New Mexico and Arizona .......
Autum on a big rock holding up Luna

First night at the Grand Canyon. We LOVED the shuttle buses. This is from a vantage point near the Visitors Center which is also wonderful. We happened to get there the night of the full moon and got to this spot too late for the sunset but in perfect time for moon rise. The other folks have lots of very cool pics of us pinching the moon, farting the moon, kissing the moon and mooning the moon.

But I go this one of the kid holding up the moon.

I like it.
Girl on the edge.

We got a number of cool shots here on this vantage point. This is the only one I got with my phone.

Looks FANTASTIC doesn't she? :D

Thursday, May 31, 2012

At noon today I was home doing a little maintenance. When I was driving off I noticed that the bee hives didn't look right. So I walked over to check. Of the two hives, the buck fast hive was all over the bee yard. Parts scattered everywhere. This was a surprise. I had strapped the whole thing together through the cinder blocks that make up the support underneath.

Last night there was prodigious wind.


Destroyed frames. Bees scattered. Varrora trap dented. Queen excluder bent outta shape. Short super sugar feeder twisted and tossed aside and empty with sugar juice dryed all over the place.

Pandaemonium. Bee Pandaemonium.

SO.... into the house I went. And like any good man, safe in his manhood, secure in his presence of self....

I put on my wifes bee coat and my gloves and went back outside. :D

I re-assembled the hive as softy and gently as I could, making sure to not squash any bees. They were predictably upset.

Both hive bodies went back on the stand, on top of the reworked varrora trap. Then the queen excluder followed by the sugar super, the top cover and the lid. It went well. No stings. Then I strapped it together again and went back to work.

Tonight I installed 6 screw in anchors. Then I started strapping everything together.

Yep. bee in shirt. Sting. Ouch. This was after Crys* went to look at them with me and picked up the very first bee sting of her whole life. My shirt sting was followed by the complete and sure knowledge that there was a bee up by pants, somewhere around my thigh.


I did not panic.

I did vacate the premises, strip and let the bee loose. She landed next on my nuts.

OK, now I did freak a little bit. :D

But it turned out OK. Mostly by shooing her off my scrotum and then running pel-mel down the drive way like a lunatic until I had outdistanced her. :D

In the morning we'll feed them some sugar water and put the last strap on.

Hee hee.... strap on........

For now it's dinner time, and I'm a little weary. Vacation starts Saturday.

Should be fun.

Hope it was the wind and not a bear.......

Monday, May 28, 2012

The long Memorial Day weekend. We're prepping the RV for our big trip. The roof vents are all in and nice and tight and dry. We've ensured that it'll run (funny story with starting fluid and backfires and actual fires and then finding out that it was outta gas) :D . The water system needs a bit of work yet and that'll happen this week. (Or some of it will happen on vacation which is OK because I do so like to tinker.) Today we'll put most of it together, finish a bit of fit and finish work here and there, load up most everything, finalize our list, and have our traveling companions out to sort their stuff into appropriate boxes as well.

This should be a whole whopping lot of good fun!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Dinner at the Ethopian Restaruant on Colfax. At long last

Sunday, May 13, 2012

No pics to post today. :D I don't feel like climbing to pole to send.

Yesterday we got a LOT of brush clearing done, and it looks beautiful down by the creek now. We also fed the bees their "getting started sugar syrup" meal and we're hoping that's about all they'll need and can get to foraging soon.

We got a LOT of nice rain Friday night and Saturday (all day). A new shelf for all the cookbooks is up above the desk in the stove room, I built it so it's...... rustic ..... but functional. Crys is getting the place all shined up for Summer.

Today I'm hoping to get the final repair on the exterior of the 77 RV we just bought and are taking on a canyons trip in June.

We've loved having some company this week. We got to see Dave and Tonya, Christie and Autum, and Alina. It's always nice having folks out.  So if you've been thinking about it? Pop out, just txt first to make sure we're home.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Came home to snow... it's definitely spring in colorado!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

The bees are home. And in their new home.

Yesterday was one of those completely wonderful days. Get up slowly with coffee and internets and kitties. Make a delicious asparagus and parm cheese with poached eggs breakfast. Do a little laundry and a little cleaning with some music playing in the background. Swap stuff from the old '76 RV, to the new '78 RV in prep for our canyons trip in June. Move 2 nucleus colonies of bees to their new hive homes.

That was fun. :D And like the shearing last weekend we set up the video camera and captured it. One of these days we'll sit down and process the raw footage to take out all the butt views and center in on what we're really trying to get done.

The wind kept jacking with us, and the Buckfast queen tried to camp out on the lid so we had to keep a careful eye on her while we got new frames set. Was satisfying to see her slide back into her hive, it really looked like she was going home. Never saw the Carniolian queen, but I reckon she was on one of the frames and we didn't see her out of the hive. We just didn't take too long with the rehiving because of the wind.

 Then we did a workout, P90X2 Base and Back with AbRipper. Our shiny new pull up bar works quite well. I set it up last week, the prep had been done for a long time. Last year when we built the deck around the house I set two 4X4 posts really tall. (Bought 12 footers) so all I had to do was drill a 1 1/4 inch hole through the tops and slide an inch and a quarter pipe through the holes. :D The new pull up assist devices that Crys* got work really well too. We worked our backs off then we did our abs. One of these days I'll see the results. Mostly I just notice that I've lost some weight and that's good even if I don't look like Arnold.

 Then we fed the bees. A sugar water mixture with a feeding stimulant that is also good for their health, just to get them started. Our Bee Dude, Brent from Hafeli's gave me some advice.... we'll probably have to do a little feeding in June and then they'll just take off. I still have to buy a couple more deep hive bodies and maybe a couple more honey supers, but we're just about done with the outlay on that. 

Then we drove the old RV over to Uncle Dave and Aunt Tonya's. They're gonna drive it around for the exposure and maybe we can sell the old beast. We really love it, the newer one just has a much better layout. :D We hung out with those guys for a while, they're really nice to visit with, then hit the store and came home to get to bed. L o n g day. And very good. Today looks much the same.

We love Sundays.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

The bees are a buzzin. They get their permanant home on Saturday and they look pretty darned ready to go.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

All ready for summer

Rodeo weekend

Last weekend was the ultimate fest beer weekend. This weekend was the rodeo. Pics to follow, possibly even a utube video if Crys* gets around to it. The day started sparkling early with a fast and a trip to the 9 News Health Fair in Monte Vista, where we discovered that going to our own doc for blood work and stuff was a whole lot more reasonable than the charges at the health fair..... Then we picked up the RV, and filled the propane tank (only took 8 1/2 gallons) in preparation for our June trip to several canyons in Colorado and Arizona. We're gonna hit the Grand Canyon for 3 nights, Canyon de Chelly for 2 nights and Mesa Verde for 2 nights. More about that as it comes up and gets finalized. At this point we have the reservations set up for dry RV camping and this payday I'll buy the National Parks Pass for the trip. We think the new(er) RV will work just fine for us. Got it from a co-worker and we had our trusty mechanic Raul go through it. He fixed the brakes, which were in HORRIBLE shape, and some water stuff like the water pump, temperature sending unit and radiator cap connection which needed soldering. I drove it to get propane and then home. Crys* and the kid (Autum, she and her mom are coming with us on the trip) will swap stuff from the old ('74) RV to the new ('78) RV today while I level the spot for the bee yard. BUT ...... Yesterday was the freakin rodeo. After the health fair and breakfast at Crys*' favorite place, Boogies in Del Norte, we got to work. I had to rope Hazel, the Llama, to catch her again and she behaved so very well. No spitting and no weird noises this time. I think roping her a month or so ago really helped. The generator was going and I grabbed the electric shearer. It went really well, she didn't move around much and the shearer worked pretty darned well. This one we got all of on the video camera and Crys* will go through and edit and all that stuff and share it when it's cleaned up and all the cursing is bleeped out of it. Then we moved on to Choco, our navajo/angora weather. We had to rope Choco also, and he is wary and quick :D. Then we got him down and I grabbed the electric shearer. The first strip down his back went well, and the second and on the third I nicked him. Took about a quarter sized chunk of hide off the poor little guy. SO I figured I wasn't being careful and we started stretching the skin. Damnit, nicked him again. At that point we shut down the generator and put the electric shearer back in the case. Out came the hand shears. Yep, did the whole rest of him by hand. I was not gonna nick our baby again. He was so good. Hardly a complaint the whole time. We were pretty tired by the end of that and he was so happy to be let go. On to Stanley, our angora weather. He comes to us easily, is really friendly and loves treats. He is a whiney, complaining, hollering freakin MESS to shear. He jumped every time we made a cut of the fiber, thrashed, pitched a fit, screamed with his tongue out and his eyes bulging the whole time. THE WHOLE TIME. You'd think he'd get tired? Not our Stanley, he was like, "You're gonna keep cutting? I'm gonna keep torturing you for doing it". It was REALLY pissing me off. I kept seeing me taking the hand shears and plunging them into the little bastard so he'd stop moving. Decorum, intelligence, and wisdom prevailed. By which I mean I listened to Crys*, as that is the only place those things come from. I am a product of my nurture and nature which means if you piss me off I want to kill you. It took an interminable time to finish our whiney, yowling, thrashing little boy. At the end of that we were exhausted, backs hurting, tempers worn past angry to just desperate to settle down. It was to the shower first as both goats shit and pissed on us during the process. I had a tic to burn to death that had decided to feast on one thigh, ug. We scrubbed and scrubbed and scrubbed and finally got the stench off. Then we had to make dinner. Crys* did most of that, mushroom stroganoff which was delicious. Then we watched some TV and put the kid to bed. (Did I mention that Autum spent the weekend with us and was wonderful at keeping Stanley occupied while we shaved Choco)? This morning is bright and wonderful with that job done. Just a bit of work here and there and all of it fun. :D Life is good.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Grand Junction beer and chili fest. Fun

This was one of those really long and yet really good days. :D We drove up in our old Honda Wagon the night before and made it even thought the alternator went out along the way and we drove up to Pablo's house on the last of the battery. Lucky for us Crys* found that the Autozone we'd pass along the way had, in stock, an alternator for an 88 honda civic wagovan. Go figure, so we stopped and ran in to get that and ended in Pablo's driveway in the fading light. He put us up for the night, and bought us dinner at nice place he knew of in Grand Junction. He drove :D since navigating by braille wasn't the best idea. Next morning I was up to put the new alternator in. It didn't go too bad, got all set up and Pablo got up at just the right time to point me toward his tools in the garage. He had everything I needed including a drift pin to line up "stuff" that was way down and impossible to see and impossibly tight. Let me just say that to get the old piece out required jacking up the car, pulling the oil filter off and help from both Pablo and Crys* before it was all said and done. The new one went back in the same way and needed about the same level of help but we were done by 10 AM, headed to breakfast and then the fest! That was an extremely well done fest. You paid $20 and got a 10 or 12 ounce glass and a ticket to vote for your favorite. (I found an extra ticket on the ground so I got to vote twice). My favorites were an Irish beer by Horsefly brewery. They sampled us an Irish and a Scottish beer. That made it tough, with my Wallace/Collins background. :D But the Irish was what I liked, Crys* preferred the Scottish with it's long smooth finish but her absolute favorite (and mine) was the Chocolate Porter by Great Divide brewery. She even got a shirt from them for free!!!! (Hey, if I wanted to advertise beer I'D put a shirt on that body!!!) We had the greatest breakfast at a place called Louis' there in Grand Junction, and the waitress was wonderful as well as the food. We all ate like pigs. OK I got out of order but with our workout program we haven't been drinking and there was BEER BEER BEER!!!!!! Goodness but there were between 17 and 20 microbrews at the fest and each of those vendors had at least 2 samples some with 3 and a few with an enormous pile of choices. There were wine like beers and oak aged beers and ciders and ....... Yes. I got shit faced and loved it. And the only things better than the beer were spending a nice day with each other and our Pablo. We came home late, arriving here about 11:30 to feed the goats and kitties and do chores, all because we all worked together to get that alternator changed so we could drive after dark. Wish Pablo coulda come home with us. We love him.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Eating Pho :)

This was my first chance at eating Pho. It was really good! Especially with Schracha . The really fun part today was all the folks from the comic book conferance wandering around. Man they are all REALLY pale.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

La Fontana Sicilian :) we've had a day of walking, exploring, music, conference, and food... we only stop to eat most of the time. otherwise, we're walking miles every day.

At La Fontana for dinner. Scilian food. Starting with a Tuscan Sangiovise and burshetta. Then fancy pastas and a long hike to the hotel :)

"Added later" This was our fancy fancy dinner out for the trip. We usually get one fancy, decadant dinner in. Crys* set this one up by way of a groupon a good while before the trip. Guess it's time to start on Houston now.......

Blue C Sushi. It was fab!

This is that really fun kinda place with the food that cycles around on the belt and you grab what you want as it goes by. This was breakfast and it was wonderful.

On the monorail loading platform looking toward the Experience Music Project

The Nirvana exibit was great. And the space on the movie Avatar was really fun too. The coolest was the whole room where kids get to play with guitars and drums and stuff.

It was raining so hard when we got done that we took the momorail downtown. Nice dry warm ride. And it ends at a mall!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Got some time to kill? Go to Gameworks in downtown Seattle. Right by the conference center :)