• SLO Farmer’s Market

    Los Osos is on the coast from San Luis Obispo (California).  We live in Los Osos – the ‘big town’ is San Luis Obispo – fondly referred to by locals as “SLO” town.  (We had a friend who had a passionate hobby – photographing all the ‘SLO’ vanity plates.)  Thursday night farmer’s market in San Luis Obispo has been happening since before we moved here 25+ years ago.  It’s 4 city blocks (more or less depending on the season) of produce from Cal Poly ag program, local farms and organic farms, Fresno…  And not just veggies – but honey and nuts and cheeses and flowers….  Lots of local restaurants have a street booth (not just the BBQ places).  There is always entertainment – belly dancers, puppeteers, music – you name it.  It’s really pretty amazing when you think of it – this is a local constant.  

    We don’t attend often – There’re are several others that are not nearly as crowded that I generally will attend vs the Thursday night market – Los Osos has a good one on Monday afternoons.  Morro Bay has a nice but small market on Saturday afternoons.  The Saturday morning market at the shopping center parking lot in San Luis Obispo is really nice.  But on this past Thursday – Ted and I were celebrating our 27th wedding anniversary.  We wanted to do something before heading to dinner and there weren’t any movies that appealed to us.  Farmer’s Market it was.  How fun!  The Artichokes were HUGE.  This is dinner tonight.  2 rib-eyes (bone-in) and these gigundous artichokes and some strawberries for dessert.  YUM.  

  • WebCam is up and running!

    …. well, er, more like up and panning and tilting!  Hannah hopped over to St. Croix from St. Thomas to install the webcam she got us for Christmas!  It’s great to have the view again.  You can go too:

    http://rustoptwist.viewnetcam.com

    The logon is guests  and the password is rustoptwist

    Let us know what you think!

    Hannah is also enjoying a visit to the AgraFest – or more commonly – Ag Fair.  It’s like a County Fair without the rides.  It’s big for the islands – People from all the West Indies islands come to display or have booths – not just Ag related stuff – teachers and schools profiling their special programs or student projects, farms – commercial – with goods and methodologies.  Local people who make hot sauces, bbq sauces, jams and jellies – many for sale.  And they have devoted followings – Hannah was in Craig and Sally’s on St. Thomas and mentioning that she was coming over for the AgFair and was promptly given money and specific “orders” for certain jams and hot sauces from people sitting at the bar!  Ted and I have not attended yet…  Never seem to be there in February.  Wish I were there…

    It’s very WINDY here in Los Osos today – and the skies to the north are very dark.  Supposed to rain a lot coastally – with the Sierra’s getting up to 3 feet of snow from this storm today or tonight.

  • Little Debby and Karin

    Circa?  … 1962 maybe? I wonder if Deb remembers having this picture taken.  You can just barely make out that she’s got some big lady shoes on her feet!

  • What’s up?

    February 2009 – January went by in an Arizona blur!  We deserted poor Nim (who has Jim and Shera wrapped well around his left front dew-claw) and took Bekka along with us for the marathon install and startup of the 1st TCSA Excitation Unit at Glen Canyon Dam.  All went really well – hard work all around – success!

    I’m back in the office.  Catching up and moving on.  I have one of the “wristies” finished and am well into the 2nd – I did little knitting in January.  My loom is still awaiting me.  I’m thinking instead of a twill weave – I will use some of the stuff that I got from Kathy and make a mixed media tabby weave shawl.  I am intrigued with using different fibers in the same piece – yet have not much experience in doing such for figuring out drape and feel, etc.  Well – still looking at the colors and touching…  No set plans yet.

  • 2009 – New project, new technique

    It’s called “Twined Knitting” – a Swedish method of knitting.  I found the pattern (Larus & Ardea) on Ravelry (ravelry.com) by Spinnity – and the technique was detailed at Knitty.com by Teresa Vinson Stenersen.  It sounds complicated and looks impressive – but has been pretty easy to follow along (thanks in large to a very well written pattern!).  The fabric as I knit is very cushy/thick.  

    Happy New Year!  We’ve been home.  Hannah is home too (heading back on the 10th).  We’ve kept things pretty quiet – and that’s just fine.  We are contemplating the best approaches to rebuilding our front porch/stairway.  I would like to make a small deck out there – the streetside of the house benefits from a lot more sun and a lot less wind than the ocean facing side of the house.  I’m hoping to get to this in the 1st part of 2009.  …. and if wishes were horses…..  !

    We’re all three off to MacWorld on the 6th – Jerry’s coming along with us.  We’re wishing Tim were here too!

  • Phew – it’s been awhile

    I’m startled to see how much time has passed since my last entry…  Hurricane was intense for us.  We went from California to Pittsburgh that next Sunday.  From Pittsburgh we convinced Hannah on St. Thomas to check out generators at Home Depot – which she did.  She ended up buying a 6000 kva(?) one and she hauled it to the ferry and then she put herself on a plane and went over to St. Croix (on Wednesday Oct. 22).  

    The tenants were happy to see her and the generator and the chain saw.  They had lost electricity the evening of Omar and it still wasn’t restored.  And the big sea grape tree on the south street side of the house has broken some big branches and was pretty much blocking Bob’s driveway access.  

    Ted and I arrived Friday the 24th – noonish.  Hannah met us and we made a quick grocery trip – then to the house.  We surveyed and basically went right to work on the property.  The house was fine – inside is dirty (6+ months of not being there – the Sahara dust combined with the ocean-front atmosphere = grime on everything….), outside was equally poorly maintained.  The landscape guy was coming by more less than often it appears.  So there was a lot of neglect along with the hurricane damage.

    The house – after our 10 day stay is still not really cleaned up.  We didn’t get electric until Sunday evening Nov. 2nd (18 days without – thanks WAPA!).  The generator is so loud and intrusive that you ran it only when really needed – and we powered 3 fridges, fans, washing machine, lights, computers with the generator – it didn’t support the water heater.  I cleaned the floors with a mopping of bleach and water.  I got most surfaces with some cleaning products and a rag.  But….  Ted worked like a fool on the yard.  He put a lot of energy into getting things back in shape and did well.  He even sifted the beach sand (we could use more to ‘freshen’ things up – but the stuff is $85/ton and you have to haul it yourself – whoa).

    Hannah arranged a trip to Buck Island for us with one of her peers – Ian Lundgren.  He works for Fish and Game and his normal job is monitoring turtles on Buck Island – so he’s used that to form the basis of his masters thesis.  In a nutshell – he is studying how soil composition and shade/sun variations equate to success in turtle hatches.  We went over around 5:30pm – and were back by 11pm.  We witnessed two Hawk’s Bill turtle ladies dig nests and lay eggs (awesome) and one of Ian’s relocated nests hatched while we were there – so we helped him to take his data from the hatchlings and release them to the ocean.  Hannah is sending me pictures – and I’ll post some once I get them.  It was an amazing evening.

    We’ve been home since late on Nov. 4th.  I’m almost recovered from the 4-hour time change (I’m definately getting older….)  Ted left for Arkansas for work yesterday.  

    The SLO weaver’s guild held their annual sale this weekend.  It was amazing.  I’m inspired and have new energy to work at the loom.  The Alpaca Scarves I’ve been weaving measure up nicely to some of the very lovely things I saw these amazing weavers have done – so I have renewed confidence.  …. now I just need to be home more than a few weeks at a time….

  • Hurricane Omar

    …. is off of St. Croix as I type.  It’s been an unsettling day.  Hannah was all set to get on an early morning Cape Air flight from St. Thomas to St. Croix today – and they cancelled all flights.  So not only were our hurricane prep plans for Rust op Twist on St. Croix stymied – but now Hannah was without a plan…  Her condo sits high up on a mountainside (higher = stronger winds potentially) – but the road to her home is steep and tho generally paved – very narrow and will likely become impassable with mud/water/etc.  So even if the structure of the condo remains sound – she would be stranded up there…  But as of now she’s safe in the Holiday Inn in Charlotte Amalie.  Jaquie and Lisa (THANK YOU GUYS!) picked up our truck from the airport and buttoned up the upstairs and all of the downstairs shutters and probably a dozen other prep tasks….

     

    Omar as of about 4pm Pacific time on Wednesday.  The big white outline is Puerto Rico – I circled St. Croix in red…

     

    NOAA graphics (http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/)

  • Tognazini’s for Lunch

    Ted and I went to Morro Bay – Tognazini’s for lunch.  It was a fabulous Fall day – crisp and clear.  No wind (at least at noon).  This sea gull was happy to join our lunch….  Ted didn’t really think that calamari and chips (fried) were on the approved list for sea gull diet – but in true Gray-family fashion I couldn’t resist sneaking him a few tidbits.  He was grateful.  

    (pic taken with Ted’s iPhone)

    Tognizini’s is at the T-pier in Morro Bay – it’s mostly a seafood shop – with a patio dining area and a fish and chips-mostly menu.  Good food.  Dogs welcome.

  • Soccer Day!

    Nicolas – the little guy to the left coming at the ball – is 4 years old. The new skill is to run down the field (in this age group they don’t play positions) and get in front of any play and defend the goal! And he’s determined about it! Jessica is in high school – these girls are tough. Play is about an hour and a half…. She is generally playing mids. Ian played in Templeton this week – 8 years old – this is his 3rd year of soccer. He has been mainly playing goal – but some forward too. They are all three good players – smart about the game. Note the cheering section! Amy (their mom) is in the foreground. She was at Nic’s game at 9am, Ian’s (an hours drive away ) at 11am and then back to Jessie’s game at 2pm…. Home at 4pm….