Friday, September 28, 2007


I'm back home after a twelve hour drive. Our little one seems to be doing well. Thanks to all of you who have kept him in your prayers.

Going to bed now.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Santa Fe

Ojo Calliente was great. I highly recommend it. I did not get to spend much time in the pools but I think I spent a few minutes in every one of them. I feel as if I met a long lost sister in the woman I was sent up there to meet. I am sure that I will keep in touch with her. We have a lot in common and the meeting felt like a reunion.

The Pecos area was beautiful. This is the first time I have taken a vacation by myself. I have traveled for classes and spent a few days at workshops near home, but this is my first trip with no agenda to speak of. I am having fun. I will be glad toget back to Stephen and Lani, though.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Road Trip

I am sitting in a coffee shop in Santa FE, not the most wired city. The trip out was great....80 mile an hour speed limit on I-10. Wooohoooo!!!. I thought that people might be driving 90mph but they weren't. Everyone was staying pretty close to the posted limit. There was not much traffic on Sunday. I was really surprised by the lack of big rigs. It made for a pleasant drive. I left the interstate at Ft. Stockton and took US 285 the rest of the way in. I saw lots of Cooper's hawks once I left the interstate. I was on the road about 12 and a half to 13 hours. It is about twenty degrees cooler here than in Austin.

Yesterday, I went downtown and looked around in the shops on the plaza. I am not much of a clothes horse but I could spend thousands of dollars on the clothes they have in those shops.

Today I am going up to Ojo Calliente to meet a friend of the friends with whom I am staying. She is going to show me around the area and I will definitely get in a good soak.

Tomorrow my host is going up to Pecos with me so that I can check that area out. I had planned to visit museums on Thursday and come home on Friday. However, my best friend is in Flagstaff right now. Her first grandchild was born prematurely and is now trying to decide if this is the planet he intended to land on. She is having a tough time and I may drive on up there tomorrow afternoon and spend the night with her. If that happens, I'll be leaving Flagstaff around mid-day on Thursday so that I can be home by Friday evening. I ask that everyone send up prayers, energy or however you express the requests you send to the Universe. There is a little baby boy and his family in Flagstaff who could really use your positive thoughts.

Peace and happy trails.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Crystalized Ginger, Day 5, The Finished Product

I had to be at work early this morning so last night, I strained the syrup through a coffee filter.

As I was pulling my massage table across the mezzanine at the Driskill, my phone rang. It was the delivery man from the appliance store telling me that he would like to deliver the new stove between 11:00am and 2:00pm today. Since Stephen was at home, I told him that that time would be fine. We have the world's best landlord!

When I got home, I put the syrup through the coffe filter again. Then I put it in a pan on the beautiful new stove and set it to medium heat. While it was getting up to a boil, I got out a plastic shaker container with a screw on lid. I put a small amount of ginger in it, added a heaping table spoon of sugar and shook it up and rolled it around. Then I poured the contents back onto the rack. I repeated this process until all the ginger had been coated with sugar.

I let the syrup reduce to between a third and a half of the volume I started with. I may have used more water than necessary when I started this process. This was due to the size of my pot. It took a lot of water to cover the ginger and have an inch and a half or so on top.

I will put some of the ginger in a white paper bag and make a cutesy label for it as part of the gift basket I am putting together for my friends in Santa Fe. They will also get the nice bottle of syrup. There is still plenty for us. It is in a small jar. The syrup has quite a bite so I think it may be a good idea to mix it with maple or cane sugar syrup to use on pancakes or waffles. It may be a little bit too hot by itself. The ginger has the perfect texture and a nice bite as well.

Thanks for all your help, Mistrel Boy.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Crystalized Ginger, Day 4

I had to get started early again today because my afternoon was booked with a corporate massage gig and Lani has to have her walk as soon after Stephen leaves for work as possible. If her leash were kept where she could get to it, she would probably try to put it on herself and drag me out the door.

I took the lid off the pot and brought it to a slow boil. Then I turned the burner down to 5 again and pretty much followed the same procedure as yesterday. I think this took about 45 to 50 minutes. I then extracted the ginger and placed it on the rack. I strained the syrup through 2 different strainers but it still looked a little cloudy. When I returned home this afternoon, a lot of sediment had settled to the bottom. I am going to strain it through a coffee filter tomorrow. I may heat it up and boil it a few more minutes. I think it could be a little bit thicker. This is actually a 5 day process anyway. Tomorrow I will put the ginger pieces in a bag with some course sugar and give it a good shake.

In the meantime, here is what it looks like.

In case you noticed that I have not been adding a sound track to these posts, there is a reason. I refer you to Harp & Sword's Friday Random Ten.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Thursday 13

MY 13 favorite blogs (in no particular order):

Christine Kane

Heart In San Francisco

Harp & Sword

Blog It Like You Mean It

Truth Cycles

I Gallop On

Littlel Pea

The Road Lester Traveled

Soul Collage Journey

Open Window

Little Wing

Running on Empty

As If You Care

I did not put links to these because they are all on my side bar.

Sound track : Get By With a Little Help From My Friends Beatles or Joe Cocker, your choice.

Crystalized Ginger, Day 3

I got an early start on this project today because my landlord was scheduled to come by at 9:30 to look at the stove. He is getting me a new one. Yeah!!!!

Here are the instructions from Harp & Sword:

Day 3 - Uncover and bring to a boil again. Stirring often, add in 1 cup sugar and reduce heat to a simmer and stirring often, simmer 30 minutes. Bring heat back to a boil slowly, add in the last cup of sugar and stir until completely dissolved. Remove from heat, store covered at room temperature overnight.

This is pretty much what I did. I managed the simmering the best I could by setting the control on the burner on 5. This usually gets me a slow boil but more than a simmer. I stood over it and every time I saw a bubble start to form, I stirred.

If you have been reading the comments on this series, you know that MB has been mentoring me through this process. I did consider his suggestion to use the crock pot. However, there is no way that my crock pot will hold a pound and a half of ginger pllus the water and other ingredients.

I was sure I had seen what I thought was Lyon's Golden Syrup at World Market so I stopped by and picked some up. When I got home, I realized that I have Lyle's Golden Syrup. It has a lion on the label. I bet it is close to the same thing. I also bought a large cooling rack, something I needed anyway.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Crystalized Ginger, Day 2

Yesterday I began the four day process of making crystalized ginger. I made a trip to Fiesta to get fresh ginger. I thought I had plenty since I had some at home as well. However, I had not read through the recipe that day before I went shopping. The recipe calls for a pound and a half. I had to make a quick run to the HEB to get more. As I said, you will need about 25% more ginger than the recipe calls for because you will lose about that much when you peel it. I have a very precise scale that I use for soapmaking and I used it to weigh the ginger before and after I peeled it so I'll know how much to buy next time. I don't think you have to be that precise with this recipe.

Using my trusty Wufstof Classic 3 inch paring knife, I took the hard outer 'bark' off the ginger. This should have been the most time consuming part of the whole project. (More later on time consumption.) Then I used my Wufstof 7 inch santoku knife to slice it into medallions about a quarter inch thick. I love these knives. They are perfectly weighted and stay sharp with little effort on my part. It is important to use good, sharp knives for jobs like this. They make things a lot easier and you are much less likely to cut yourself with a knife that goes through things easily and efficiently.

I put the ginger in a heavy stainless steel stock pot and covered it with purified water. You might be able to use tap water where you live but I have well water with a lot of minerals in it. Even if it worked OK for the recipe, I would not want to boil anything in it multiple times and then try to clean the pot. I was supposed to bring this to a boil, no problem there, add a cup of sugar, then reduce the heat and let it simmer for 20 minutes. At this point, the burner on my stove went into business for itself. I reduced the heat and thought I had a good simmer going so I set the timer and left the room. When the timer sounded, I checked on the pot. It was not simmering. It was warm, but no simmer. I tried this on anther burner twice before I got it to simmer for about 10 minutes. It had been hot all that time so I had to guess at how much time it needed. It did not exactly simmer. It boiled a little more than I wanted it to so I just gave it my best shot.

Today, I brought the concoction to a boil again before adding the thinly sliced lemon and a cup of Karo syrup. Then it was supposed to simmer for 15 minutes. I did the best I could. I think it was more of a light boil.

( I used Karo because MB thinks is works better than other brands of corn syrup but I will look for an organic corn syrup before I do this again. When I read the label, I discovered that this ain't my grandmother's Karo. You know, the stuff she used to make those pecan pies. The stuff I loved as a child when she put it on the corn griddle cakes she made for my breakfast. No, it is not that Karo. This new version has high fructose corn syrup in it. I don't have to have everything organic but I try to avoid high fructose corn syrup because it is highly processed and most likely made from genetically altered corn. It seems that a strand of corn has been developed that 'blows up' in the stomach of any caterpillar or other bug that eats it. I don't see how that could be good for humans. It also has vanilla in it which may be what MB thinks makes the ginger better.)

My house smells fantastic.

Since it is National Talk Like a Pirate Day, the soundtrack for this post is Pirate Looks at Forty, one of two or three Jimmy Buffet songs that I will admit to loving.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Making Crystalized Ginger

I love just about anything with ginger in it so when Mistrel Boy over at Harp & Sword posted a recipe for crystalized ginger, I just had to try it. I have a simple recipe but this one takes four days and I figure that my house will smell wonderful for that length of time.

The by product of making your own crystalized ginger is ginger syrup. I am going to Santa Fe next week. I have a friend there who is kind enough to let me sleep on a futon on the floor of his recording studio for 3 or 4 nights. One of the things he just has to have when he comes here is gingerbread pancakes from Kerbey Lane Cafe. I'll be taking him a package of the mix for the pancakes and some of this syrup to go on them as a thank you gift. His sweetie, whom I have never met, will recieve some of my handmade soap.

After I get back from Santa Fe, I'll make a ganache of some Scharffen Burger dark chocolate thd dipping some of the ginger pieces in it. Yummmmmm!!! If all this turns out well, I'll be making more for Christmas gifts.

If you try this recipe, you will need a couple of very sharp knives, one for peeling the ginger and one for slicing it. I used my kitchen scales that I bought for soap making to weight the ginger. I don't think I would have ever figured out how much a pound and a half is by volume. You will lose about a quarter of the fresh ginger you start with when you peel the stuff. You will also need a heavy, non-reactive stock pot.

If you haven't read Harp and Sword, you are really missing some good reading. I have to warn you, though, you might gain weight if you try the recipes he posts.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Lizard Love

I seem to attract geckos into my life from time to time. That is fine with me as I consider them good luck and down right cute as well. A couple of weeks ago, I saw something crawling around in my bathroom. It was pale beige, almost the color of the tile. I had to look really close to see that it was a baby gecko. It must have come in through the tiniest of cracks between the screen and the window ledge. I figured that it would get out the same way it came in so I left it alone. A day or so later, I saw it again. It was a little bigger but I still thought that it would be able to get out. I kept seeing it until finally, I realized last week that it was to big to get out whatever crack it had originally found and decided I should do something. I got a plastic cup and a junk mail card and placed them on the back of the toilet so that I could cover the gecko with the cup, slide the card under it between the gecko and the floor and use it for a lid so that I could carry the gecko out side to set it free. Days went by and I did not see my little friend again. I thought that it had found its way out after all. And it had. Out of the bathroom anyway.

The next siting was in my office. It scurried behind my vision board a few days ago. There was not way to get it out of there so I thanked the little one for the positive energy that it brings to my manifestations and forgot about it.....

Until yesterday when I saw it on the hearth, real close to the back door. Maybe it will find its way out. Last night, Lani kept sniffing around the fireplace. I knew that she was after the gecko. I made her get away from the area. Then, today as I was eating lunch, she was standing over her toy basket which is between the hearth and the door. At first I thought that she was perusing her possessions trying to decide what she wanted to drag out into the floor, but then she started dragging the basket away from the wall and sniffing around behind it. I knew what she had found. Quickly I grabbed my plastic cup and junk mail. Of course, the gecko went straight for the corner where the hearth, floor and wall meet. I had to scrape at it a little with the junk mail, but I managed to get it into the cup and taken out side.

This is not the first time I have had to rescue a gecko. A few years ago, one got into the little house we were occupying and grew to full size. A friend came over to let me practice some of my newly acquired craniosacral techniques on her. Over and over, the gecko climbed up onto the window sill and jumped into the glass as it tried to get out. We had quite a circus going for a while as we propped the screen door open and tried to herd the thing out. We were unsuccessful so I left the door open for a little while to give it ample opportunity to escape. I am pretty sure that it did because here is what I saw on the corner of the house a few weeks later.

There is only one song that could be the sound track for this post: Arosmith's Lizard Love.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Thursday 13

Thirteen great things about my life:

1. My relationship with my life partner. I can't describe it without getting mushy or preachy so I'll just say it is wonderful when the right people find each other at the right time.

2. My kids. Of course, yours are probably almost as wonderful.

3. My chosen family. I just read a Richard Bach quote that says most real families are made up of people who did not grow up under the same roof. I love you all.

4. My dog, Lani.

5. Time to meditate every day.

6. Our income has increased every one of the past 5 years.

7. I look back at how far we have come and am totally amazed.

8. All my teachers. The ones I know in person, the ones whose books I read, the ones I only meet once......

9. The house in which I live.

10. My dependable, perfect for me car.

11. The variety of foods available to me on any given day.

12. Being over 50 years old.

13. Living this day.

If I could add a sound track to this post, it would be Chuck Brodsky's Happy Little World.


Tuesday, September 11, 2007


This is just my photo for my proile. Had to host it myself.

Sunday, September 9, 2007

Schrodinger's Lotto Ticket

I bought 14.5 million dollars worth of daydreams for a dollar. The lotto ticket in my purse may be worth that much. As long as it stays in my purse, that is. As soon as I take it out and check the numbers, it is either worth a lot of money or it is totally worthless. In the meantime, I can imagine how I will spend 14.5 million dollars. A horse farm in New Mexico will be mine. It will be complete with a huge adobe house and guest quarters for all of my best friends to come and stay in indefinitely. I’ll travel the world starting with Equador and the Pacific Islands before touring Europe and the rest of South America. Then I’ll come home and ride those horses. My mother will have her own house as will my children and few close friends who may not like New Mexico as much as I do. Of course, I’ll maintain a condo here in Austin as it will always be home to me on some level.

I think of the piece of paper in my purse as Schrodinger’s Lotto Ticket. As long as I don’t check those numbers, these things are within my reach.

If I could add a soundtrack to this post it would be Dream On by Arrowsmith and maybe Don't Dream It's Over by Crowded House.