Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Did you know...

...that 12 place settings of china packed for a cross country move fills approximately four large-ish produce boxes per set.  My mother has five sets of family dishes, 12 settings per set.  Oh and have I mentioned the collection of antique glassware?

Monday, August 30, 2010

A Few Random Thoughts

1. Collecting antique glass is an evil, evil hobby.

2. Black wiggle dresses from the 50's that fit me are beautiful things.

3.  Soft orange gloves from the 50's look amazing with black wiggle dresses.  As do black, turquoise, yellow, pink and cream Italian leather gloves.

4. Newspaper ink makes my hands itch.

5. Blue silk suits from 1957 are divine!

6. Plaid cotton suits from 1956 are amazing!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Groovin' to a Cover Band Covering Kid Rock, Covering Lynyrd Skynyrd and Drinkin' Ice Cold Bud

Yes, I'm back in the Heartland.  Could you guess from the post title?

  The family farm - a picture of a picture.  This is where my mother grew up and where I spent a good deal of my youth running, jumping and instigating all sorts of shenanigans.  I've not been to the farm for well over a year and we sold it earlier this year.  On Tuesday we plan to go for a little walk down memory lane.  The older parts of the farm (not pictured) are still in the family.

It's moving week and there is so much to do before the movers arrive.  It's going to be exceptionally busy and emotionally draining.  First, I'm going to get a good run in this morning (as soon as my coffee is gone) then it will be packing city!  I'm recovering from the street dance last night.  Nothing like groovin' on small town brick streets to a cover band and drinking Budweiser.


And....visit my new blog, 806 West Street.  
 You'll get all the info you need about buying this magnificent home in a charming small town in Iowa.  Ever dreamed of getting away from it all and living the good life?  Here's your chance!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Another Scrumptious Find!

Throughout the purging and sorting of my childhood home, we've been on the lookout for a box of my mother's gloves from the 50's and 60's.  She had loaned them to the high school for a play several years ago and decided that she'd never gotten them back since they were no where to be found. 

Well, yesterday she found them!  I can't begin to express how excited I am!  I have a very, very small collection of gloves which I adore but this will top it all off.  I remember playing dress up with them as a child.  They were always kept in a box from an old clothing store in St. Joe, Mo and each pair was wrapped in tissue to keep them clean.  I'd carefully unwrap them, slide them on my tiny hands and be completely enamoured at the sight and feel of them, even though they were far too big.

 I'm pretty sure I'm going to be just as enamoured as an adult each time I slide them on....which will be frequently!

I'm back in Iowa for the move.  It's going to be a very long, stressful and very emotional week.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Too many bikes and not enough racks at my son's school this morning.  This photo shows only one rack (the one we're at) with a manageable number of bikes.  There are three others where bikes are literally piled and an additional bunch of bikes locked to each other and leaning against a wall.  Pretty easy solution though, more racks. 

This is a bold contrast to my daughter's school where there are two very long racks which could hold a total of about 30 to 40 bikes (positioned just right) and there are generally only two to four bikes. 

There are several issues with her school: many of the kids bus in, many of the kids have to cross a busy street with a short light (which parents report makes them uncomfortable for biking,) many of the kids don't have bikes.  The Baker is working from the parent angle with the school.  I'm working from an advocacy angle from my board work with The Bike Depot. Even though we are probably only going to be at that school for one year (then she'll return to my son's school), I hope we can help spark some change.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

In which B1 rides, refuels and climbs.

B1 and I decided to take a little ride this morning.  It was just going to be a quick ride along the Sand Creek trail, hitting the Platte trail, stopping at REI then taking the Cherry Creek trail a ways until we decided to hop off and head home. Six hours later we got home. It was a good day.

August on the Front Range - hot and dry.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

A Day of Bike Stuff and Bake Stuff

While I was working on a major bike project...

The Baker was, well, baking!

My project turned out like this.

And his project turned out like this!

Homemade wheat bread and turkey with cucumbers and tomatoes from the garden.  YUM!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Vivian, Vivian, Vivian

I'm having issues with Vivian, my main commuter, a '92 Bridgestone XO-2.  It has bar end shifters and despite two years of nearly daily riding, I have yet to get used to them.  I bump them, hit them, knock them around and I generally just can't stand them.  The X0-2 originally came with thumb shifters and I'm not at all interested in those.  I have the original mustache bars on the bike which I like OK, but I wouldn't shed a tear to switch to drops or something else.

 The fact of the matter with this is bike is that I shift it about one time every six months, literally.  Well, I take that back.  I'm not counting the 5,387 times a week I knock the shifters around.  I *intentionally* shift about once every six months.  My commute is very flat and aside from occasional meetings downtown, which is also a pretty flat ride, that's all the territory this bike sees.

I'm thinking of maybe stem shifters.  Seems like they are inexpensive, easy to install and would work with my current bars or most any other.  I'd change out the stem if I go this way, something I've been planning to do for awhile anyway.  The stem that's on her isn't exactly a looker.

Anyone have any thoughts or advice?

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Galette? You bet!

The baker is the obsessive type and his obsessions typically take hold in trying to perfect a dish.  This week it's been the beautiful galette.  Third one in as many days and I'm not over them yet.  He puts only the tiniest bit of sugar in with the fruit - in this case peaches, mangos and blue berries. The lack of super sweetness makes them pretty irresistible for me since I don't have a huge sweet tooth but I can't let a good pastry crust go uneaten.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Comfort Food, Baby!

There's this dish we make around here which goes by many names. It's typically a little different each time we make it, which isn't too often because it's ridiculously rich and fattening.

It all started when I lived with D about 13 years ago.  We were perfect roommates!  We liked the same foods (and lots of them!)  We worked together, liked the same TV shows, held a similar sleeping schedule, enjoyed working out, and most importantly, we were both neat freaks.  Best roommate I ever had.

She taught me how to make enchiladas.  Over time we began mixing them up a bit.  Chicken, no chicken, red chili, green chili, veggies, no veggies, more veggies, and more veggies and more veggies.  It morphed into something of a southwest lasagna.  Whatever it was then and whatever it is now, it's ridiculously good.

First we cook up a pot of green chili.  We buy bushels of fire roasted green Hatch chilis each summer. Portion them into quart bags, freeze and we have sublime fire for a full year.  The chilis are transformed into hot nirvana stew.  Next, while the chili expands it's flavors, we saute veggies.  Lots of veggies!  Sometimes we cook the chicken in the chili.

We layer everything between flour  or fresh corn tortillas.  Tortilla - beans (on his side) - veggie mixture - chicken, chili, cheese.

We load the top up with lots of cheese and a little touch of the last of the chili and then, we bake.

And when it's done baking it looks like this.

And then when you put it on your plate to eat, it looks like this.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

The Pannier Gods Looked Down Upon Me and said

"Ye shall have the well used army surplus pannier of your dreams." 
And it was so.....for $2 plus tax.

The light!

A little dirty but I simply couldn't wait to get it on.  It's in the washer now.

It's not actually hooked on yet.  I have an Axiom pannier hook kit I might use or I'll try and utilize some hardware already on the bag if I can find some hooks that will work with them.  I also need to attach some sort of carry strap.  I have a brown strap off another old canvas bag that I might get attached.  I'll need to either take it to a cobbler or find a friend with a super heavy duty sewing machine.

Thanks Ray Linkart (the faded name written inside) for abandoning this bag, thus allowing it to end up in a misc. bin at the Army Surplus off Pecos and the Boulder Turnpike.  I'm grateful.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Other Stuff We've Been Up To the Summer

Pearl St. Mall in Boulder

Lakeside is our favorite local amusement park.  It's old and kind of junky while at the same time beautifully retro.  The rides have that edgy this-thing-is-going-to-fall-apart-at-any-time kind of feel to them, which I personally think only adds to the Park's charm.

Much, much more after the jump -->

Friday, August 13, 2010

Almost Done!

The Swoopy One - I'm beginning to think this might be the bike's name.  It's what I just keep using and none of the "people" names are sticking.  Heck, my son was nameless for a week while I tossed names around.  Anyway, The Swoopy One got its new light yesterday.   It looks perfect and works like a charm!

Sorry for the crowded and cluttered repair bench in the photo.  
We couldn't wait!

Now for a bag(s). My Favorite Thrift Store (that's a secret code) is having a 50% off sale for VIP members this weekend. I'm feeling good about this.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Swoopy One Needs a Bag

I need to get a pannier for the Swoopy One (ya, it's still nameless.)   I'm thinking about something like the Minnehaha Canvas Utility Pannier.  Simplicity being the key and I can get by with only one bag.  My preference would be to come across the perfect bag to convert into a pannier, but we'll see.  That will involve some thrifting.  Twist.

Anyone have any other suggestions?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Lookin' Odd but Feelin' Good

I've really been struggling with Mrs. Gale.  She's an absolutely beautiful bike but she's simply not that comfortable.   I've ridden her on short rides under five miles and longer rides around 25 miles and it's all the same, just awkward.  So last night I decided to do something that I knew would look odd but that might make her more comfy.  I flipped her north road style bars, a set-up I love on Irene (another older mixte.)
After a minor seat adjustment, the seas parted, the fog lifted and the ride was like a dream!  She simply wasn't mean to be an upright bike I guess.

Perhaps I'll add a rack and move the basket to the back?  We'll see.  While this look is odd I kind of like it....definitely unique!  I'm still contemplating those fenders.

Out on a test ride to pick up a few essentials - beer, hard cider and, umm, eggs.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Garden Goodness

Some leftover Moroccan chicken + odds and ends from the garden = YUM!

Garden bounty!  Sweet orange pepper, red onion, zucchini and chard.

All chopped up with some garlic, olive oil and leftover chicken.

Cucumber and sweet vidalia onion waiting for a classic dressing of sweetened cider vinegar.

Tossed with leftover basmati into a flavorful "fried rice"

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Tan Adorable Chiquitita!

Welcome the newest member of our bike family!

A gorgeous bright blue Miyata Sport Junior! 
How could I resist?

A little size reference.

A little more reference, he's 51" tall.

When he saw it he jumped off his (way super cool, all chrome BMX that I picked up for $10 at a thrift store) and ran for it yelling, "It's a mixte!  YES!"

Later on I told him that some people think mixtes are for girls and he cut me off saying, "What they just don't get is that most mixtes are vintage and vintage bikes are way better." 

It's in great shape and really just needs a little cleaning and some bright yellow handlebar tape.  I'm really not sure who's more excited, me or him?

Friday, August 6, 2010

Nice Rack

A couple folks emailed asking for a better look at the Swoopy Mixte's rack.  Here you go!  It's lovely, isn't it!

Another Update on the Swoopy One

We're slowly getting this gal all fixed up. I got a beautiful rack from one of the great C&V members on Bike Forums and a light is in transit.

She's been completely disassembled, cleaned and put back together by my wonderful husband, The Baker.

These are NOT the panniers I want to use with this bike but they're what I have for now. I'm on the lookout for something *perfect*. I'll know it when I see it.