• No art today…

    Deb left for Florida and home today.  :(  We had a really great time!  And made most moments count.  This morning we did meet with John and Hannah at the F’sted pier for a snorkel to the old dolphins.  I saw a turtle several times and a good sized barracuda.  Lots of fish.  Big schools of silvery bait fish which are always fun to swim through.  The cruise ship schedule doesn’t seem to have impacted the waterlife at the pier in any negative way.

    We enjoyed a brunch at Polly’s and later after Deb left took solace in a mama-wanna and beer at Domino Club.  I’ll miss you Deb.

  • ART on the Gallery

    I brought all my wonderful gifted (by my dear daughter) watercolor supplies down with me to St. Croix last week.  I had some idyllic thoughts about gazing at the wonderful vistas and dreamily preserving the images in watercolor….  Especially with Deb here – she’s practiced and skilled at drawing and such!

    Well – all much easier said then done!  But what a FUN time!  We started very nervously – had to actually make an effort to “Do It”.  The paper and colors and brushes are somewhat intimidating.  But again – What FUN!  We’ve tried to do at least one thing everyday.  I’ve found that the water is the most difficult so far.  I’m not very happy with either of my two attempts.  Otherwise I’m pretty surprised at how pleased I am with the results of my tries!  Keep in mind – I’ve not used watercolor before and I’m far from an “artist” of any sort.

    What is most interesting is how Deb and I had the same topics – sitting side by side – and the results are in all cases very different in approach and in color use.  Very cool.

    Deb’s first attempt at the waterscape in front of the house:

    Deb’s 2nd waterscape painting:

    Now MY 1st waterscape try:

    Karin - 1st Waterscape at Rust op Twist

    Karin - 1st Waterscape at Rust op Twist

    Karin - 2nd waterscape try at Rust op Twist

    Karin - 2nd waterscape try at Rust op Twist

    Deb - Conch Shell

    Deb - Conch Shell

    Karin - Conch Shell

    Karin - Conch Shell

    Seagrape Tree Leaf - Deb

    Seagrape Tree Leaf - Deb

    Seagrape Leaves - Karin

    Seagrape Leaves - Karin

    Hibiscus Bloom - Deb

    Hibiscus Bloom - Deb

    Hibiscus Bloom - Karin

    Hibiscus Bloom - Karin

    So that’s the show folks.  I’m hoping that I’ll still do this most everyday after Deb leaves!  It’s most fun it seems because she is here doing this with me.

  • CRUZAN RUM Distillery

    Deb and I toured the Cruzan Rum Distillery here on Island.  It’s interesting that Diageo is building a facility very nearby to manufacture and warehouse their Capt. Morgan rum….  Cruzan Rum has been here for a very long time.  Rum taxes and export rules change frequently.  Just now – they bottle some rum here.  They export quite a lot in barrel.  They also export quite a lot of Day 1 old rum in big tanks that will eventually ride on semi-tractor-trailer trucks once it reaches Florida.  There is apparently quite a tax benefit to ship it at this stage – maybe it’s not technically rum at this point – but some other product.  They also export quite a lot of fusel oil – a waste product in making rum – the fusel oil is used in the perfume industry….  Hmmmm… given the smell from the fermenter tanks I’m kind of curious which perfumes I should consider avoiding….

    The tour was interesting in that nowhere stateside would the public be allowed in an industrial facility so unguarded, unprotected, and so close to the manufacture of a product that will be released to consumers…  I could have added anything I wanted to the fermenting tanks without notice by staff.  The stairs we climbed were incredibly steep and corroded.  There were hoses and pipes in any number of the “pathways” we walked.  We wore no hardhats, eye or hearing protection.  We were not continually warned to keep our hands at our sides, etc.  It’s my experience that Cruzans have an expectation of common decent behavior from all of us.  I like it here!

    So – the pics from the day:

    Next is a view of first the mixing tank and then a fermenter tank.

    There is a significant amount of waste product that they dump.  They send the very hot mix out on this open-air rack where gravity moves it at a good pace through a number of tiers and then into a pipe.  It travels several miles through the pipe to the ocean where they are allowed to dump the now cooled waste.  There are no chemicals – so they are allowed to dump with full permit.

    The remaining pics are just my “eye”.  I always enjoy banana trees with bananas growing.  The red flower at the end of the cluster is pretty fascinating.

    And that concludes your tour of Cruzan Rum.  The benefit to being here in person is that after the tour they pretty much open the bar for us!  And I do like rum!

  • St. George Botanical Gardens

    Deb and I took a self guided tour of the St. George Botanical Gardens today. I’ve been there a number of times as that is where Mango Melee is held annually – but I’ve never actually toured the gardens. They are extensive.

    A chenile plant in Laura’s Garden. Themed with red flowering plants. I’ve only ever seen chenile plants as hot-house house plants.

    Next stop – the Blacksmith’s cottage. There was, apparently a big earthquake in the mid – later 1800’s that destroyed alot of buildings on the estate. This particular building was rebuilt after that earthquake. However, I don’t know how the home-made lime, coral rock and possibly molasses would actually hold up to any of known building code/earthquake zone standards….

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  • The Dam Work

    We’re working this week at Glen Canyon Dam in Page Arizona (on Lake Powell). Drove over Monday (11.5 hours in the car). We did stop for an early dinner at Emeril’s Table 10 in Las Vegas – Delicious! Home tomorrow.

    The View from the Dam Trailer at the Dam Worksite at the Dam:

    The Colorado River just on the other side of Glen Canyon Dam…

  • NEW MAC!

    I finally got off of the wishy-washy wagon and marched on down to the Apple store and got my new mac! There was a parking spot open right in front of the store – what more convincing evidence did I need that this was supposed to be?
    The really best news is that restoring all the stuff from my old computer – apps and all – via the time-machine backup was 100% successful and painless (after software updates and reboots). Whooo Hooo!
    Bigger hard-drive, faster processor, more RAM, BIGGER and brighter screen – what more could a girl want?? :)

  • Quintessential California Day…

    Well not exactly.  What we might hope for everyday.  Hard to tell that earlier in the week was gale force winds with an ocean upswell making water temps the lowest recorded….  Today was 74+ degrees at 2pm at Hole in the Fence Beach.  Dog heaven – if the tail-o-meter was any indication.

  • 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:


    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!