Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Random Ramblings: Time Sure Flies!

Okay, this may end up being a short one (HA!  Yeah, right!), but I am blogging outside at the Tiki Bar and will be forced to go in when it gets too dark (far too early - and yes, I know, it's only gonna get worse!!!).

First up, some Random Garden Ramblings:

So Blogger-Friend (And Piggie-PartnerFinny is starting her own Garden-Coaching Business, IndieFarms.  And I "Like" her Indie-Farms FB Page.  So, this past weekend, I decided to stay indoors and fight-off The Black Plague (I was feeling a nasty head+chest cold coming on), whilst annihilating my opponents on my various Scrabble and Words-With-Friends Games.  Well, in the course of switching between games, I happened upon a post by aforementioned Indie Farms about how "It's rained three times, people! Time to give-up on those tomato plants and sow those cover crops!" (Okay, that wasn't a Direct Quote) accompanied by a jpg of a wheelbarrow-full of recently MURDERED 'MATERS! :::GASP:::

Well, if you know me, you KNOW how Cleopatra-like I can be.  Yes, I am the Queen of De-Nile!  "Summer's not over!" I pouted.  And, in fact, I managed to pry myself away from my computer long enough to toddle out to the garden where I found SEVERAL 'maters that were fully ripe-and-ready for pickin', and several MORE on the way!

Annnnd...  The Weather Prognosticators were claiming that yet ANOTHER warm-spell was on the horizon.

So take THAT - you Cover-Cropping Season-Pushers!

I wished I'd taken pictures of my last haul, but it included two GINORMOUS Kellogg's Breakfasts, a couple-three Speckled Romas, and :::gasp::: another Early Girl!  And I am confident that I'm gonna pull a few more RIPE 'maters off the vines before *I* call it quits! (Hmph!)

Of course, now I've got a BIG pile of tomatoes getting ever-mushier-by-the-minute on my kitchen counter.  I may drag out the Tomato Press and make more Frozen-Squozen 'Maters, or I may choose to roast them with olive oil and basil, then simmer them into a tasty bisque...  Haven't decided yet - but I'd better decide quickly or they'll end-up being compost!

I've also got ripe apples on my 6-variety espaliered apple-tree, and a basket-full of organic apples from the farm-share and grocery store (and 6 bags of cranberries) and DELUSIONS of thinking I'll have time to put-up a batch of Cranberry Apple Chutney. (Umm, when?!).

(Worst case: The cranberries can go in the freezer and the apples can run thru the Juicer!)

Complicating matters even further: Yes, we are having another brief spell of downright pleasant weather (and I'll take it!).  Of course, that means I spend EVERY AVAILABLE MOMENT outside and soaking-it-up while I can.  But that definitely cuts into my "I want to make Cranberry Apple Chutney" and "I need to do something with these 'Maters" (and assorted other "Wanna-Do" Indoor-Projects Time!)

Plus, my workload has gone a little crazy of late, so I can't get outside in the afternoons anymore.  Actually, the total number of projects I'm working on, right now, isn't all that bad.  But the complexity is a bit mind-boggling.  Annnnnd...  I'm getting ready to take some time-off!  This, unfortunately, has resulted in widespread PANIC on the part of all my business partners and clients.  Nevermind that I gave EVERYONE a week-and-a-half notice of my imminent departure and "If you need something, speak-up NOW" blah-blah emails...  My last day is tomorrow and I had wisely (?) blocked it - figuring I needed time to wrap-everything-up before I took off, right?  Well, by the time I closed-down today, my "Tomorrow" was fully-booked with back-to-back-meetings.  "WTF???"

:::sigh:::  It sucks being popular!

Next up, Vacation Ramblings:

Last year, Hubs and I went to visit my College-Buddy/Ex-pat friend D, and her husband in Jocotepec, Mexico.  Near Lake Chapala (a BIG ex-pat enclave) and Ajijic (pronounced Ah-hee-HEEK) - not too far from Guadalajara.  We got a taste of what "Ex-Pat Life" is like.  I loved it.  Hubs, not so much!

Anyway, Ajijic has lots of Artsy Farsty Galleries that cater to the Rich Gringo Ex-pats, and there is a town called Tonala - with lots of Mexican Artisans - not too far away.  Ajijic is more Fancy-Shmantzy/Artsy-Fartsy.  Tonala is more "gritty" and less "Gallery-ish."  Soooo...  Me being of the Artsy-Fartsy (but decidedly not Fancy-Shmantzy) ilk, I was actually looking forward to doing some "Gallery-Hopping"/"Art-Prowling" in both towns while we were there.  But, for various and sundry reasons (that I shall not dwell on), it never happened.  I was actually extremely disappointed about that.  So then it was decided that I would fly back down to Guadalajara on my own so that D and I could go and prowl around the galleries of Ajijic and the streets of Tonala on our own.  A "Girl's Weekend" as it were.

So I made travel arrangements several months ago (Scored a KILLER fare: $230.00 R/T! Awesome!) (Including "Overweight Baggage" charges for the Return Trip - Don't tell me I don't plan ahead!!!).  And D will be sending her husband back to the states for a week (He's retained his U.S. Citizenship and utilizes Medicare for some of his health-stuff.  I think he's getting more stents put in, or something).  Anyway, point being: It will be Just Us Girls for an extended 5-day weekend.


Hubs will drop me off at the airport on Thursday morning, and I'll return home on Tuesday afternoon.  Wish it was a little longer, but I'll be SURE to cram AS MUCH FUN AS HUMANLY POSSIBLE into those five-and-a-half days!!!  Hubs is in charge of keeping the critters alive while I'm gone (They will drive him ape-sh*t crazy, I'm sure.  He lets them get away with murder and they know how to "work him!").  I will have internet while I'm down there (or at least I *hope* I'll have internet!).  Their next-door neighbor has unsecured Wi-Fi which is accessible from the side-yard/smoking lounge.  Of course, this is all dependent on the "Community's" Internet being operational - so, we'll see.  Just in case, I've also purchased an International Data Plan for my phone for while I'm down there.

I highly doubt I'll be blogging though.  MAYBE some Facebook Updates - and definitely checking email.  But that's about it.

Anyhoooo...  I am SUPER excited about this.  And D is one of those friends that you can go - for years - without communicating, but when you get together, you just pick-up again like it was only yesterday, ya know?  Pretty damned cool, I think!

Next (Oh crap, it's getting dark out - but I have the Tiki Bar Mini-Lights on!), Artsy Ramblings:

(So much for this being short - HA!)

Okay, anyway.  I know I whined, previously, about my Psoriasis Woes (and yes, they are definitely STILL there - even with the Added Bonus of "Immune-Suppressant"/Burns-Like-A-MoFo  Humira!).  Well, I've decided to break-down and attempt Clay-Play with Vinyl Gloves.  Not nearly as satisfying, but I'm making it work.  I definitely wanted to make another "Hostess Gift" for D (especially now that I've seen her house and know her color scheme).  Plus, my company has a "Holiday Bazaar" every year where people can sell their hand-crafted wares.  I missed it, last year (We were in Mexico), but Good Friend P secured a booth (actually, a table) and sold a bunch of her stuff, as well as a good chunk of mine!  This year, we will share a table again - only this time I will BE THERE.  Annnnd... Well, I need crap to sell, right?!

P, bless her heart, is always sharing AMAZING ideas of stuff to create.  None of it is particularly difficult, but some of it can be a bit "challenging."  I figure, at this stage of "getting back into it" I want to keep it SUPER SIMPLE so I can get the Instant Gratification of cranking something (ANYTHING) out!  So I made a few soap-dishes in various colors.  One is intended for D.  It kinda/sorta matches the spoon-rest I made for her a couple-three years ago.  Nothing earth-shattering, but the colors will go great in her kitchen (D's decor - to sum it up: She is NOT afraid of color!).

Soap Dish

I don't think I have a picture of the Spoon-rest on this computer so - Oh well! - But it's in the same color-scheme.  I was also hoping to make a batch of Coffee-Scented Hand-Made Soap.  But that's an even *lower* priority than Tomato Bisque and Cranberry Apple Chutney.  In other words - ain't gonna happen!

Ooh.  Thank Goodness for my FB Albums.  I did find pictures of some of the earlier items I'd made for D!


Vase - formed over a wiffle-bat
And the pattern is from a silicon sink-liner!

Salamander Coasters
(Matches the bar in her side-yard/smoker's lounge/WiFi Zone)

Actually, her house is more rusty-orange and green (paint-wise, inside), but she has lots of yellow and cobalt accents.  Very "Mexican." And I think my mostly-yellow + cobalt "accents" work nicely with her decor.  At least she is a most-gracious recipient and claims that she loves them!

She is also a most-gracious House-Guest and always brings awesomely appropriate Tiki/Beach-Themed gifts for us, as well.  I've got an awesome Retro-looking Corona Beer Bar-Server tray, a hand-made wrought-iron parrot sculpture and some fused-glass vases that she picked up in Tonala.

Anyhoooo...  I have cranked out a few pieces (mostly soap-dishes and trays).  I was rather hoping I would be able to "start" a few more trays before I leave for Mexico but - prob'ly not gonna happen. (Well, maybe...  We'll see!).  I did start all of my Holiday Ornaments for my coworkers, so those - with a few more trays - will fill up the kiln for a bisque-firing.  And I think I can somehow manage to squeeze-in one more Glaze Firing before the Holiday Bazaar.  I also really DO want to mix up a batch of that Coffee-Scented Soap (I'll post the recipe whenever I get around to making it!).

In the meantime, I REALLY DO have to do a couple-three loads of laundry ("Drudgery!").  Somehow, I think I'm gonna need to bring CLEAN clothes with me on my trip to Mexico!  (Jeez, this ALSO falls under "Where does the time go???")

Okay, Lastly, some Buffett Ramblings:

Oh, and THEN, immediately after I return from Mexico, we are turning around and hopping ANOTHER plane (or two!) to head up to Boise (I abso-freaking-lutely HATE the state of Idaho - and I have valid reasons, k?!).  Jimmy Buffett is playing a show there and I HAVE TICKETS!!!

Thankfully, hubs has abundant FF miles on Southwest and with Holiday Inn and whatever Car Rental Company - so transportation is Almost-Free.

Now Jimmy added a few shows at the last minute (as I expected he would!).  He had two shows scheduled in Vegas (which is normal), and he usually squeezes-in a NorCal and a SoCal show in between.  Not this time.  He actually added a Seattle Show (the sane-day that I fly back from Mexico), then the Boise Show (next Thursday).  Well, I scrambled and was able to secure tickets to the Boise Show (Yay! Parrothead Club!).  

But THEN! THEN!! Sunuvabitch scheduled ANOTHER show at the Fillmore in San Francisco (SUPER intimate venue - only accommodates appx 1000 people!) (I paid over $300 to a scalper for ONE ticket, once, to see him at the Fillmore  and it was an UNBELIEVABLE show!!!).  Buttttt....  That's this Thursday: The day I LEAVE for Mexico.  Thank Goodness I had already scored tix to the Boise Show - otherwise, I might have cancelled my Mexican Sojourn altogether!

So, much as I hate to miss Buffett at the Fillmore...  I think the Girl's-Gone-Wild Weekend in Mexico is probably gonna be better for my soul (and probably pocketbook!) in the long run...

Okay.  Well, how's THAT for a "Short Post" - HA! (LIAR, I know!).  It is decidedly DARK out here and I've got LAUNDRY to do, so I think I'll call this a wrap, eh?!


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