Monday

[misc] Murderface Monday

Murderface


I wanted winter to end so badly, I didn't think about the ensuing mud season. I barely made it to the paved road to run my errands on Saturday. Sunday it rained all day, making the mud worse. This morning, the ground was mostly frozen, so it wasn't terrible to drive on/over/across the ruts. Who knows how bad it's going to be this afternoon when it warms back up. 

This weekend I planted some cacti seeds in the house and set up little greenhouses in the window. I winter-sowed a few perennials and annuals. I'm blithely going forward assuming everything that I've sown will germinate. Every. Single. Seed. If nothing germinates, I'll just... I'll just set myself on fire! Just kidding, I'll probably throw myself on the ground and cry (kickin' it tantrum-style).

I've got some poor crafting juju hanging over me like a dark cloud- I made another bottlecap tray and mod podge coasters, neither of which came out the way I would have liked. Maybe I'll do some spinning- that always comes out nice and cheers me up.

Friday

[misc] Penny Friday

Penny


Penny was all squinty-squinty in her left eye. We figured it was pink eye again and still had ointment leftover from when she had pink eye (in the other eye) in January. We're in the middle of a 10-day cycle and her eye appears to be back to normal. 

There is still so. much. snow. around the house. I'm trolling Pinterest non-stop for pictures of gardens and flowers and anything green. I'm going to start some cactus seeds inside this weekend and winter-sow most (if not all) of the remaining seeds that I have. And then shovel out (a) a place to put the new containers, and (b) uncover/find the containers already out there somewhere under snow.

Tuesday

[vermont] Spring

Things around Vermont look like:

First day of spring. :(

We still have ten tons of snow at my house. Ugh. Great season for the snowmobilers but I'm beyond ready for spring. I want to see the bulbs I planted last fall. I want to forage for ramps. I want all the seeds I've winter-sown to germinate. Come on!

Monday

[cooking] Maple Whiskey Jelly Shots

For the past couple weeks I've been obsessed with Jelly Shot Test Kitchen. Such pretty and intricate shots- they're like little wobbly works of art.

I had lots of extra packets of gelatin in my pantry. After seeing panna cotta as the dessert of choice on so many cooking shows last season, I had to make it myself. I had never had it prior to making it myself. It was cream jello. We did not like.

But shots? That's a different matter. Those are small bites of boozy fun. I made my own:

Maple whiskey jelly shots.

Ingredients

2 packets Knox gelatine powder
1/3 cup real maple syrup
3 tablespoons water
3 tablespoons vanilla ice cream
1 cup Cabin Fever (maple whiskey)

Pour maple syrup into small sauce pan. Add water and gelatin packets. Let sit 3 minutes. Add ice cream. Over med-low heat, whisk until smooth and all the gelatin is dissolved- should only take a few minutes. Don't excessively heat the gelatin. Turn off heat, stir in whiskey. Pour into pan and refrigerate overnight. 

I used a meatloaf pan. I sprayed the inside with a flavorless baking spray and wiped it down with a paper towel, just so the jelly could come off the pan easier. The ice cream settled a bit to the bottom, which made the white layer. I inverted the slab of jelly onto a plate and used a sharp knife to cut into 1" x 1" squares.

FYI: Gelatin is often taken as a structural protein supplement for people who want some extra support for their spinal disks and knees. It's also excellent for hair and nails. Because of this, I classify these jelly shots as "health treats" ;)

Thursday

[travel] Joshua Tree National Park

Because I was going to be so close to Joshua Tree National Park, I rented a car to drive over and check it out. I went in the south Cottonwood entrance from I-10:

Joshua Tree National Park

I stopped by the visitor center to pick up some souvenirs and a national parks passport book. Joshua Tree was my first stamp!

Joshua Tree National Park

I stopped at the cholla cactus garden:

Joshua Tree National Park

Joshua Tree National Park

This lizard was very nice and posed for pictures for me:

Joshua Tree National Park

I think it's a desert side-blotched lizard.

Eventually I made it far enough north in the park to start seeing Joshua Trees:

Joshua Tree National Park

Not sure what kind of cactus this is:

Joshua Tree National Park

This is a mojave yucca. These were everywhere:

Joshua Tree National Park

Mounds of smooth rock outcrops were near the road. People were climbing all over these:

Joshua Tree National Park

More trees.

Joshua Tree National Park

The tips of the green poofs are needle sharp.

Joshua Tree National Park

Here's a crow on a young Joshua Tree:

Joshua Tree National Park

I stopped at Barker Dam to walk a quick 1 mile loop around. 

Joshua Tree National Park

Since I didn't have much time, I was power walking as fast as possible. I started a little white-tailed antelope squirrel:

Joshua Tree National Park

 I stopped and it came a bit closer:

Joshua Tree National Park

So cute. 

Finally a couple panoramic shots. This is from the Cottonwood area of the park, where the view was more flat and expansive:

Joshua Tree National Park

This is from the north-western area of the park, where there were more rocky areas and Joshua Trees.

Joshua Tree National Park

I loved this park. It wasn't crowded and it was really beautiful. I saw plants and animals I've never seen before. The passport book for national parks and places will be fun to fill with stamps. It's not only for the big parks- there are a couple places close to me where I can get stamps (Billings Farm, Saint-Gaudens).

Wednesday

[travel] Palm Springs Art Museum

The Palm Springs Art Museum was not far from my hotel downtown. I walked over to check it out one evening:

Time for some culture.

They had a really great collection of western art- paintings, sculptures, artifacts.

Palm Springs Art Museum

The museum is also known for it's glass collection. I took a picture of this because it so soo soooo creepy.

Awesome, this museum has stuff from my nightmares. #notawesome #neversleepingagain

Their contemporary art was really thought-provoking. Like this painting:

Contemporary art. Makes me think of the color grey. #deepthoughts

Doesn't that make you think of the color grey? It really makes me think of the color grey. Mind blowing.

Now look at this garbage:

Art is garbage? Garbage can be art? Post-modern statement on the persistence of consumption? #itsjustgarbage #ibringmyarttothedump

Literally. Black trash bags. How... avant garde? This is funny to me. It could be commentary on the state of art or consumption- but what this is really doing is making people look down at bags of garbage and say things like, "All art... it is garbage, no? You look at this trash... Is it art? It is art in that it is meaningless. The artist is so brave- to put it in our faces like this." That's funny.

Anyway, my favorite piece was this huge collage made from ripped magazine pages:

Palm Springs Art Museum

Close-up:

Palm Springs Art Museum

Walking back to the hotel, I saw a huge Marilyn Monroe statue:

Big Marilyn Statue

I had to walk around to get another picture:

Big Marilyn Statue

Biggest granny panties ever!

Tuesday

[travel] Hard Rock Hotel

My hotel arrangements were made late enough so that I wasn't able to get a room in the actual hotel attached to the convention center but early enough so that I didn't have to stay 20 miles away. I stayed the week in a Hard Rock Hotel and it was awesome.

Palm Springs, CA

Everything about it was super cool and hip, with lots of artifacts all over the walls.

Palm Springs, CA

Palm Springs, CA

This is the wall paper inside the elevators:

Palm Springs, CA

My room was great. I had my own balcony:

Palm Springs, CA

I wanted to steal the duvet cover on the bed so bad. It looks like some regular pattern but when you look closer:

Palm Springs, CA

HOW COOL IS THAT? \m/ (I just checked and the duvet cover is for sale online at the Hard Rock shop.)

The floor lamp was shaped like a drum and you turned it on my stepping on a little button on the floor:

Palm Springs, CA

Coolest hotel I've ever stayed in. 

Monday

[travel] Palm Springs, CA

Last week I was lucky enough to be able to attend a conference in Palm Springs, CA. I knew it was going to be 80 - 100 degrees warmer than here, so I was expecting to melt/die, but the weather was phenomenal. Warm, sunny, dry- perfect. Everyday was like the most perfect summer day in Vermont.

Palm Springs, CA

[crochet] Shamrocks

Used leftover green Malabrigo worsted to crochet tiny little shamrocks.

Shamrockettes

I used this pattern but only did the inner round of treble-crochets. I made an extra 4-leaf clover for Dollar to carry around in his pocket.