The Local Fires

It's been a crazy summer, so far. We've been insanely busy, but the last couple of weeks have been even crazier, with 100+ degree weather, a few wild fires that multiplied in one day's thunderstorms into dozens of wildfires. The air's constantly smoky, but we're not directly threatened by anything, thank goodness. Still, it's rather disheartening seeing all the ways the fires are out of human control, and how close they can strike, when places like NCAR, the National Center for Atmosphere Research had to be evacuated because of the Flagstaff fire. It's very close to here.

I've mostly been inside with an air cleaner, and we're watching a lot of the local coverage, and it's been just kind of crazy all over here. There are drives for donations for all the evacuees, the fire fighters themselves, and lots of local help has come to the fore, which has been really great to see, too. Sorry about the quietness for the whole of this summer.

We headed down to New Mexico and the edge of Texas, and saw Roswell, the Carlsbad Caverns, and White Sands, near the Trinity Site. We also have been swimming, had a couple house guests for different weeks, went to the Conference Annual Meeting for the Rocky Mountain Conference, I also had to go to the local St. Vrain River Valley little Association gathering as well, and demented_dee and I have been working on a complete rewirte of David and West's story, and it's a lot better this time around.  

There was a beautiful little Longmont Pride, with dozens of kids and a potluck. And John, Jet, and I have been working at the Inn Between, a very low income housing project for helping people get out of poverty, and often a shelter for abused teens that are getting out of a really bad life and getting on with their lives. We've been painting, nailing, edging, trimming, and hanging doors, and it's been really hot work, but good work, and doesn't involve a trip down to the Gulf. *laughs*

Jet and I have been brewing root beer and ginger ale and it's been so hot I think one of the batches of root beer actually got so hot the yeast died. The ginger ale was fizzy and wonderful in just a day!  But it's nice to be able to brew ginger ale from a big chunk of ginger root, sugar, lemon juice, and a bit of baker's yeast.  A never ending supply the way I'm going at it, I'll admit I love the stuff.

I also got a doctor's appointment in, and he looked at my knee and proclaimed that there's a front facing in front of the tibia, that when I banged and scraped it like that, probably damaged it enough that the nerves in there are going pretty hard. It's a really painful spot to hit, and it's just going to take a while for it to heal. Functionally, the knee looks like it's working just fine! Which is the good news. The bad news is that it's just going to hurt for a long time before it heals.

Another really good thing is that my eyes are better, and the dry eye and allergies are pretty much controlled with a little Clear Eye and Zaditor have taken care of, along with a dunking in the pool every day, and a lot of artificial tears or petroleum jelly at night.

I've also been knitting like crazy.  Entrelac seems to be the current craze, including one regular cowl, and then a reversible, rib Moebius strip scarf/cowl for John, with special increases and decreases, treating the two rib stitches as a single stitch in regular entrelac. The result is perfectly reversible, and thick as anything, but waaaaarm... I'm also working on a Beekeepers Quilt, when a quilting friend of mine heard about it she said, "Only YOU would *knit* a quilt."

I beg to differ. There seem to be plenty of people doing the same pattern. *laughs*

I'm also about done with one of Stephanie Pearl-McFee's Pretty Thing, and am starting to think about making more than one of them, as they're fast, very pretty, and the lace is really fun to do.

The vegetable garden got a great weeding today, as it was finally cool enough outside for me to even contemplate working on it for a couple of hours.  I dug up a dozen heads of garlic, a Red Hard-neck garlic, some of which was accidental seeding, some of which was deliberate planting of cloves of garlic last fall.  The cloves all grew to uniform, big heads, but the seeds, as might be expected, were really varied in their size.  Some of the lettuce was too far gone to aphids to really eat.  The red lettuce, however, stood up well to the weather and the bugs, and is quite good.  The tomato plants are reveling in the heat and growing like made and producing fruit already. The strawberry plants, the ones I bought, are refruiting again, and the little wild ones we found growing randomly by our fence are taking root and starting to flower and fruit as well.  Tiny wild strawberries too sweet to be believed... and the raspberries are going again.

So on the whole we've been good and things are good, even with the fires looming on the mountain sides, we're grateful for what we have and are giving to those that need it. 
  • Current Mood: busy busy

You keep on doing such excellent things!

I will be hoping the fire stays well away from you, and look forward to pictures of the Beekeepers Quilt.
Been following your posts for months & glad to see you back after the past few weeks!

It's hot here too... 112 yesterday I think. Sounds like we may live in the same lovely, nutty state, LOL.
Stay safe away from the fires & out of the smoke. =)

... & thanks for posting the link about the dog & the sweet potatoes. Loved it!

PS, want 2 say I'm eager for updates on a couple of your fanfics... but don't want to add any pressure...
(oops, guess I just said it!) So in addition, I'll offer many, many thanks for sharing your writing here. have really enjoyed it! :)
We may well be. *grins* Hope you stay safe too!!

*laughs* Which fanfics? I've only got Twin Souls and Winter War left, and I'm halfway through a chapter of Winter War and got stalled when David and West hit us both really hard.

Very happy you're enjoying the writing. It's been fun.
Yes, those two. LOL
Just hoping y'all are continuing these gems... ;)
I keep coming back to your list and finding something more to read that I missed before - Yay!
I crocheted a sort-of quilt! Kinda...

I'm glad y'all are still doing well and hope the fires stay well away from you!
I'm glad to hear the fires are not threatening you and your family.

I've always wanted to learn how to do entralac but never got around to figuring it out. But I'm also up to my ass in finishing a baby blanket and then need to make a poncho for my mom so....
Oooo... baby blanket...

Yeah, busy is key! And I only picked it up as a quick thing to do. There's a lovely little pattern for an entralac cowl, which I highly recommend for a first time entrelac project, as it's fast, the instructions are nearly bullet-proof and I like how they actually use the finishing triangles to cast off.

It's very nice.

Good luck with all the projects!!
Cool pattern, but it looks more fiddly than I like. If that's typical entralac, then it's probably not a knitting technique for me.
You are, as always, an amazing and awesome and generous woman, and I am boggled by your creativity, generosity, and time management skills.

Would it be an imposition to ask for that ginger ale recipe sometime? My CSA is doing a ginger-growing project (they actually have a video about it on youtube, even!) and towards the end of the summer, I will be getting a lot of fresh ginger in my weekly bags. Last year I was a little flummoxed what to do with it - I'd never really had that much fresh ginger on hand before. I love ginger ale, so trying to brew some would be a hoot. (Back in my "Green Acres" period with my first hubby, we made some rather ill-fated dandelion wine. Drinkable, but only just. *lol* )

That knitted quilt is amazing! I love stuff like that. It reminds me of the crochet style of my crochet maven - I love her stuff, and a lot of mine is along the same lines as hers (but not nearly as good, especially since I can't afford the quality of yarn she uses, and just am frankly not nearly as experienced or talented at crochet. Not yet, at least.)

Edited at 2012-07-02 05:36 pm (UTC)
Having *just* done a whole set of batches, I now know the recipe by heart. *laughs*

Put the following together, stir thoroughly and bring to a simmer:
2 1/2 ounces fresh ginger, grated on a box grater
1 1/3 cup sugar
2 quarts water

Simmer for 25 minutes, turn off the fire, and let sit for an hour.

Stir in:
Juice from 1/2 a lemon (about 2 Tbs)
1/3 cup local honey

Filter into a 1 gallon jug, add water to make it 100 degrees Farenheit (warm but not HOT).

Dissolve 1/4 tsp baking yeast in 1/4 cup warm water. Let it sit for about 5 minutes, and then stir before adding it to the jug. Shake thoroughly.

Bottle the way you'd bottle it. You can just use 2 screw top plastic bottles, or I use the wire cap bottles from the French Fizzy lemonaide. Or the usual 12 ounce or even 8 ounce bottles. NOT screw tops, they just don't seem to work.

Put lying sideways in a warm spot. Sideways so you can tell if anything is leaking. With the citric acid, mine usually seems good after one 90 degree day outside. Sometimes it'll take 2 or 3. Test 'em by opening one and seeing how it is.

Refrigerate ALL of it as soon as one bottle is Good Enough.

It doesn't use a LOT of honey, but it's good with it.

I love your crochet maven's stuff!!