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Showing posts from August, 2011

Hey, I was gonna say that...

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As you know, I no longer plan to make Pandora-size beads. (If you don't know, read the previous post.) Several people have emailed, letting me know that the ruined silver is not really wasted, because I can turn it in for "scrap." Yes, I know that, and I've been saving silver bits for years. But I certainly don't get what I paid for it, and I just can't stand to waste all that time making beads that are likely to be broken in the final step. As far as I can tell, there are about 4 people who really want me to make Pandora-size beads. That's not great incentive... Now if 100 or so of you round yourselves up and ask very sweetly, I'll reconsider working out the glitches in the process. Until then, I plan to entice you over to the Trollbeads Side.

I see nothing at all wrong with owning more than one brand of bracelet, so here's what I propose: From now through the end of September 2011, email me a copy of your receipt for a new Trollbeads bracelet, an…

Pandora Predicament

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Pandora Bracelet Fans, I have bad news... The picture above is not the first Pandora-size bead I've broken while adding the silver core. It's one of many, and it is the last because I'm not going to make them anymore. I'm not sure why, but something about the larger tubing doesn't play well with my beautiful riveting tool. I've broken almost as many as I've made successfully. If it was just the glass, it would be less of a big deal, even though I lose all the time it takes to make theses beads that are breaking. When I combine it with the cost of the ridiculously expensive silver that's wasted, it just isn't worth it to me. I'm really sorry. But I will try to make it up to you somehow. I have an idea that I'm going to think about a little longer before I launch into action with it. So please don't give up on me. Man, this is frustrating!

Expansion

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Sometimes things get worse once you dig into them, and sometimes they get better. We got lucky this time. The pine floor that was under the stinky-cat-pee-carpet isn't damaged too badly. There are a couple of spots that need some attention, but now that the offending carpet is far, far away (at the dump), the smell has gone away with it. We also found remnants of an even older carpet - long tan and brown shag. Hideous. But at least our stinky carpet wasn't as old as we'd thought, for whatever that's worth.




We realize that we still need to treat the wood with enzymes and sanding, to prevent any residual stench from surfacing in the future. And just to be sure we really solve the problem, we'll also be sealing, priming, and painting the clean floor with a super-hard epoxy floor paint. Even though the wood is pretty, it's still going to be stained in places, and it's full of holes from the carpet tack. Good paint is the easiest, cheapest option. And if the pai…

Zombie Cat Pee

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We reclaimed our house from The Renters almost a year ago, and we're still dealing with cat pee issues. I'm not a cat hater. I've had lots of cats over the years. But this whole experience has probably put me off felines forever. I'm sorry all you cat lovers, but this latest bit of fun has sent me 'round the bend and over the edge.

To bring some of you up to speed, we rented our house to two lovely women for about a year while we had a little RV adventure, looking for a new place to live. They were well employed, paid their rent on time, and they loved our house. They even wanted to buy it at one point, but couldn't get the financing worked out. We agreed to the pets they told us they had, and took a large deposit, but over the course of the year, they somehow managed to collect close to 30 cats and dogs. Yes, I said 30. Three zero. Astonishing. And... stinky.

The only room in the house that has carpet is our bedroom. Apparently, the cats spent a good deal of t…

Be Who You Are

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Rick and I spent some time at Pride in the Park today. It's part of Taos's second annual Pride Weekend, which promises to grow into a lovely, welcoming "be who you are" event. There were vendors and music, food and a beer garden, Taos Pride Queens and Kings, and a particularly fabulous drag queen em-cee-ing the event. When she was Liza Minelli, the crowd went wild. We wandered around a bit, stopped for a beer, and bought our rubber rainbow Taos Pride bracelets. It was great to see so many locals families there too, uniting cultures and different facets of the community in a way that made me feel all warm and fuzzy about our little town.

Sadly, there was a group of small-minded, big-mouthed "Christians" who did their best to spread hate and fear in a place where people were only interested in love and acceptance. They were really awful, and sort of comical at the same time. It's amazing to me that there are people like this, but I suppose there always wil…

Watermelon Martinis

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The other night I wished out loud for a Cosmo at cocktail time, but the only ingredient we had was vodka. Moments later Rick had the great idea to buzz up the watermelon in the fridge and mix it with vodka. Oh yeah. He likes to make me happy. 
Rick got busy with the blender while I pondered other possible additions. Then I got out the martini shaker and got to work. I was a cocktail waitress at Harrah's Tahoe for years, but never spent any time behind the bar. This was just like cooking though! Fun and easy, and often best to keep it simple.
I put some ice in the shaker, two shots of vodka, 1/2 a shot of orange liqueur (Grand Marnier would be far superior to the stuff I had on hand), every drop of juice from 1/4 lime, and then filled it up with the blender-ized, liquid watermelon. A few good shakes later, we had fresh, nearly-healthy Watermelon Martinis, that just happened to match the shirt Rick was wearing. That's good I guess, if he intended to slosh, but mostly it just made …

Fresh Green Bean Salad

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I like the challenge of cooking with what I have on hand. It always surprises me when I look in the refrigerator and think there's nothing to eat, and then start pulling things out, and suddenly, there's a plan, and then a meal. When we were gifted with a big bag of fresh green beans from our friends' garden, I had no plans for dinner, and no real idea of what to do with the beans. A bag o' beans on its own isn't really a meal, and I didn't want to make Dream Beans again, since I'd done that with the previous batch. So I just jumped in and started cleaning the beans, snapping the ends and pulling off strings. All alone in the kitchen, this kind of work can be sort of a meditation, and I find that when I do that and open the space, something delicious is likely to come through. Sure enough, my mind flashed on that marinated 3-bean salad Mom used to buy in a jar. I was off and running.
I only had 2 kinds of beans - the greenies, and a batch of chickpeas I'…

I'm Going To Vegan Cooking School!

I did it. I thought I'd have to think about it longer, but I really don't think thinking ever got anybody very far. It's doing that does it. So that's what I did.

Facebook can be a wonderful tool. It forces me to distill a head full of words down to a sentence or two. Yesterday, after finishing my blog post, I popped over to Facebook and said, I want to go to cooking school. There. I said it. The Wish is out of the bag. OK Universe... take over! And maybe that's what happened. I'll never know for sure. But a little while later, my next post was, ‎...and then the Universe said, "Get out your credit card, honey. We'll take care of the details later." I'm going to cooking school!


Oh yes I am! I have a real love-hate relationship with credit cards, and try to use them only when I really need to, especially when it's a sizable chunk of change. I believe in buying what I can afford, but that wasn't going to get me where I wanted to be. So he…

Back To School?

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I've just started seeing school busses kicking up some early morning dust along our road. It seems too soon, and I'll bet the kids think so too. The question I'm asking myself though is, Is it too late? I've done a lot of things in my life, but higher education never made the list. I didn't need it for anything in particular, and didn't care about the piece of paper. But now I do. No, I don't want to go back and become a doctor/lawyer/teacher/accountant. I want to be a chef when I grow up. And a vegan chef at that.

Crazy? Nah. I don't think so. I think it's perfect. I love to cook and feed people, and I'm already a good cook. But I want to be great, and I want all the tricks and skills and confidence that come with going to school and really learning my stuff. And I want the title. Chef Kim. Sounds good, doesn't it?

Going to Le Cordon Bleu, or some other long term culinary academy is not much of an option for me. It's too expensive, and…

News and Birds... More Birds...

If you've been here a while, you know I'm not one to wait around and weigh the options for long. I'm decisive, and once I decide, I get to it, whatever it is. Over the weekend I looked at the results of the little poll I posted last week, and saw that some changes were in order. I got a few pretty in-depth responses, even though I asked for that not to happen. It always does though, so I was ready for it. And actually, I got some very useful input, which I'm grateful for. This is not to say that I welcome a steady stream of "experts" emailing me with advice. But when I need help, I'll ask for it, and I'm pleased that there are some really smart people out there who are willing to share what they know.
I was already in the process of moving my website over here to the blog. So I finished that up, and then came to the realization that there was no reason to have the same exact pages drifting out there in two different places. So I killed the website. Boo…

One Quick Question

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It was brought to my attention that maybe some people don't like to shop for beads by email. Some might prefer to just click a button and pay from there. I agree. That's actually my preference when I'm shopping. But experience has shown me that a lot of people, bead collectors at least, really enjoy the thrill of the mad dash. Remember the Secret Bead Club? It was back in the good old days when people had lots of money to spend, and sales were great. It was a huge amount of work for me, and very stressful, so I switched to a regular shopping cart thinking it would look more like a "real" business. And suddenly... sales dropped. Nothing else had changed at that point except the sales venue. I can't even blame the Stinkin' Economy. I think it's as simple as I took the fun out of it.

So now I'm trying to bring the fun back, and keep things sane for myself at the same time. I think it's working well, but if one person suggests that they would pref…

Location, Location, Location

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I'm feeling better today. Thanks for all the love! I spent part of yesterday, (when I wasn't sleeping like a lazy bum - that old work ethic is hard to ditch), moving all the content from my website to my blog. A while back I read in some expert blogger's blog, "Your blog is your new website." It got me thinking, and it actually does make a lot of sense.

Even though my website software (Weebly.com - it's free, and easy to use) has a blog page option, it made no sense at all to move my blog over there. All my readers are used to coming here, and I'm not a silly-head. I'm not going to mess with something that works. But I look at the numbers on my website, and they're not that great. Why should they be? All the fun is over here! But it seems like a lot of people never see all the other stuff that's on my website, and they might want to, if they knew it was there. So now it's here too. I'll keep everything where it is for now, same stuff, …

Hiding Out

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I am... unwell today. Not exactly sick. Not exactly not sick. I think it's because I got overheated yesterday morning, pulling weeds in the hot sun, on an empty stomach. I started feeling woozy, then queasy, then headachy. By the time I went inside and got some water and a snack it was too late. My system had been thrown off balance, and there was no instant fix.

I think it was the sun. It might also be a bad reaction to selling the trailer, to feeling once again stuck here with no way to change things. It could be resistance to What Is, which almost always takes shape in some form of physical ick. I wear a little charm on a necklace that says, Move Like A River. I've had it on for months. It reminds me to stop resisting, throw my arms in the air, and go with the flow, because it's where we're going anyway, whether we resist or not. Stop struggling, and there is no more struggle.
I'm laying low today, drinking coconut water, eating fruit, napping. I still feel crappy…

Good-Bye Trailer

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Here we are, Rick and Kim, on June 1, 2009, setting out on our great RV Adventure. Was it really that long ago? So much has changed. For starters, look at those chubby people. Clearly this was in our pre-vegan phase, when cheese was still a food group of its own. We've changed, inside and out, and all for the better, I think. I hope. We know better what we want. We're grandparents. We continue to learn and grow. We eat better, that's for sure! And we have a different perspective, because we stepped outside of our comfort zone.
We've been reminiscing a lot the last couple of days, as we prepped the trailer one last time, not for a trip we were going on, but for potential buyers coming up from southern New Mexico. We retraced our travels, and went over what we liked and didn't like about the traveling and not traveling, the time we spent on the move, the time we spent as camp hosts, the trailer itself. It wasn't perfect, any of it, but at times it came pretty darn…