Thursday, July 2, 2015

An update on waiting and aquaponics.

I'm still waiting and praying for my number from State Board. I'm hoping it will be soon, as in today would be great. In the meantime I'm learning how to cook tasty vegetarian food and it's a lot of fun. I made eggplant moussaka and it came out pretty tasty. Tonight I'm going to try to make a nice coconut curry.
I've got a ton of websites bookmarked for recipes and I think we even saved a bit of money when we went shopping. It's a win win so far!

Transplanted peppers
We had so many pepper growing in the aquaponics bin that we transplanted some of them outside. At first they were a bit floppy looking, but in a few days they got used to the dirt and are now growing happily. Soon we'll have to plant them in the ground, but for now they are happy.

Baby lentil plants!!!
I tried to sprout lentils and it didn't work. I followed the instructions, but after 4 days of rinsing twice a day and keeping them in a dark cool place all I had was a smelly jar of icky lentils. I had noticed that there was a small number of sprouts in there so we carefully got them out of the jar and sorted on a paper towel. We wound up with about 15 tiny shoots. We put some in the aquaponics and planted the rest in a pot. I haven't seen any in the aquaponics yet, but 2 of them are holding strong in the pot. I just moved them outside today and I hope they survive! I've found that I actually like lentils and can't wait to grow some!

Parsley and cilantro
We've added parsley and cilantro to the aquaponics bin. Rory love them and it's fun to try to grow things there. There's even some lettuce still growing too!

Tasty yet tiny.
The peppers are great but small. If we let them get red they get a bit of a bite. The seeds were from a bag of roasted pepper that I just tossed in to see if they would grow. Boy did they!

Lots of pepper plants!
The peppers in the bin are still cranking out like crazy. They are really tasty too! I really need to replant more of them now that the testers are doing great. When I get my fancy beans to plant I'm going to need room, but for now I don't have the heart to shock them that way. 
Everything is growing now so I'm happy. It's a real warm tingly to use food we grew in a recipe! And it tastes better too! 

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Sylvia's new skirt guards

Here's some pictures of the new set of skirt guards I made for Sylvia. I just don't think she looks right without a set.  They're made of cotton yarn with an iridescent thread running through it. 
It's a simple triple crochet mesh stitch that I finished with a single crochet at the top and bottom. I just used more of the same yarn to tie them on over her fender. They don't interfere with removing the tire because of where and how I attached them.

I like the shiny!

Ready to have her rack back.

Up close view. 
This pair came out lighter and more airy than the others and I like how it looks. I need to secure the drive side one to the top of the chain guard. (Just noticed that in the pics!) I love making things for my bike, it gives me a feeling of accomplishment. I may make some sleeves for her U locks next. I'm also trying to work out a triple lock holster. It's a pain unvelcroing  them from her rack every time I go somewhere. 
I thought about doing a basket liner but I like the look of the wood base to much to cover it up. I haven't placed anything small in there without a bag yet either. Time will tell what I do to the poor girl next! 

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

A tasty new discovery

A few weeks ago I decided to go vegetarian. I'm not all the way there yet (I love my TV dinners way more than is healthy), but I'm giving it a strong go. My husband is very supportive of this and that is making it a lot easier than it could be. Plus, not having a paying job means I can read and research things to eat when I do have one.
One of my favorite things when I was vegetarian years ago (darn TV dinners!) Was something called the Tofurky Roast. That thing is so amazing!!!! It's better than turkey and turkey is one of my favorite things.
So, I contacted Tofurky to see if they had any suggestions and they sent me an email back with a few. They also sent me an envelope with a bunch of coupons! The people at Tofurky Rock! I'm really glad that there's a company out there that stands as solidly behind their product as they do.
Yesterday I went into Whole Foods, not a place I usually go but they had this product I couldn't find elsewhere and I had a free item coupon. I rushed to the cooler section and snatched up my prize. After checkout I literally skipped out the doors. I was that excited to get these. It's the little things that do that.

My prize!
We had them for dinner last night, I couldn't wait. We had them on buns with tater tots on the side. I made extra tots in case they sucked, at least we wouldn't have to cook something else. I had mine on a bun with a little cheddar, It was a bit to long for the bun so I bit off part of the extra first.
The first bite was awful. It was just like biting into a hot dog. I hate hot dogs almost as much as I hate beans and you can't just swallow them whole. It took a bit of will power to not spit it out. I ate a few tots then tried another bite of the sausage. It wasn't so bad, right before swallowed I detected a hint of apple flavor. I ate a few more tots. 
For the third bite I decided to actually chew it and see what happened. The flavor was really good; smoky with a hint of apples and spices. It was hearty and good. I really liked the flavor. It's not like the chicken and apple sausages made with meat, but it was good. I happily ate the rest of it then finished off my tots. An added bonus is I only needed to eat one to feel full.
I definitely would suggest these to anyone, and I'm looking forward to grilling the last couple up later this week. It was an easy and tasty dinner. They are a bit pricey, but I think that's because of where I got them and I plan to request them from the Sprouts we usually shop at. That's where we get most of our produce anyway.
My suggestions for Tofurky would be to add larger pieces of the dried apple to improve the texture and maybe thicken the outer skin a bit to make it less floppy. Also if they cut them down by a third in length you could get 6 in a pack for the same price and they would fit a bun better. Plus, they would be a better deal for a family and more comparable to hot dogs. I think it would make them more approachable.

Friday, June 19, 2015

A rose for Princess

Not as beautiful as she.
The rose bush we planted in memory of Princess opened it's first bloom today. It's hard to believe it has been 21 days since she died. It's a Melody Parfumee and it has a good smell.
We miss her.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Still waiting for my number

I'm still trapped in limbo waiting for my number from State that says I'm a CNA. Technically I have a number but it's not valid because it expired 17 years ago. Wow that's a long time.
Day before yesterday I got my application back with a different application that I had to fill out because I had a defunct number. It was enclosed with a very nice note explaining the new application. It also meant I had to pay a late fee for my change of address from the one they have on file. The funny thing is we've lived here for about 14 years. I did appreciate the addressed envelope they sent with it though. I informed the school of this annoyance in case they have anyone else who is re-getting their CNA after a lifetime away. Now I'm waiting for them to get this one and give me my number. I wish I could charge them a late fee for sitting on it for almost a month while I waited, but oh well. That's the way it goes.
Lots of spinning wheels here. I made Sylvia a new set of skirt guards. Her old ones were eaten by the washer and I found another skein of the same yarn. I'm thinking of drilling her fender so I can make a more vintage looking set that will hold up better, but that would be a lot of work. I'll probably do it when I decide to repaint her later on. That way I won't be damaging the paint. Her new basket is still perfect, I like the way it carries weight. It really helps to smooth out the steering.
I've picked the places I'd most like to work and have been practicing the ride distances to get there and back. I've only actually gone to two so far but I can easily cover the distances with out dying. It's fun to explore on her, I'm going more places than ever and it feels good. It's my therapy! The only downside is I have to get up super early to go out, it's hitting 95 degrees before 9:30 am now a days. Good thing I like the heat.
I've been working hard on a new Old Agnes short story. It's a race to see what comes first, finish and publish the story or I get a job. It'll be interesting to see what wins. I hope everyone is doing great and keeping cool!
Have Fun!
I see you!

Monday, June 8, 2015

Monday, June 1, 2015

Sylvia the Linus Dutchi and her changes; part 2

The wheel set my dear husband got me for Christmas made all the difference in my riding. The roller brakes let me stop with out having to put my feet down and my pedals no longer take a bite out of my calves every time I stop. The 8 gears instead of 3 means I'm now able to go as fast as I want without spinning like a lunatic and I can easily get up all the hills in my area without needing to get off and walk. With the exception of the stupid overpass, but I will conquer that one eventually! I'm saving up for a dynamo light set to go with the generator, then I'll have light anytime I want it. The rims are way beefier than her originals and the spokes are a bit thicker so I don't worry when I hit a pothole or take her off a curb. Supposedly these rims are lauded by mountain bikers and BMXers for their strength and durability.
As she is now. Ready for anything.
Her grips are now natural cork because the bike shop that spread her for the new gears cut my nice foam ones and I wanted to try something different. As soon as I get a job I'm going back to the foam though. I don't like how hard the cork is. I'm a squeezer and these just don't have the give I like.
Her new basket helps balance her out and can hold a lot of stuff. It's the perfect size for my bag and has made her even more stable feeling than she was before. I definitely like the added weight in the front. It's not the first basket she's had, but I think this one is the winner!

Cyclops bike.
There are still a few small changes I want to make. I want dynamo lights,  better tires and maybe a beefier kickstand. I really want another water bottle holder and I've been playing around with where to place it. I think the basket may be where it goes. 
She goes well both on pavement or dirt in the alleys. She is cheerfully oblivious to most bumps and can carry a very nice load. We can toodle along at a stately 8.5 mph or if necessary fly along at a zippy 15 mph. (Fastest we've gone was 22 mph, but I couldn't sustain it for more than 2 blocks.) She's comfortable for long rides/distances and makes our usual short jaunts fun too.
I'm so glad we found her! She's practically perfect in every way! At least for me!;)

Princess approved.