Friday, April 4, 2008

... time passes

Well, actually it seems to whiz by.

Too much happening to really catch up in the amount of energy and time I have available to me right now. But will try to hit the highlights!

I had to go through 2 full courses of antibiotics to even sort of get my sinus infection under control. The sulfa drug (10 days of twice a day) took down the pain but after it ran out, I started to get really sick. I begged the doc and got the wonder drug "Z-pack" which is a 6 day course of once a day. I finished it and still am having lingering symptoms. But so far they haven't progressed to pain. I've been very puny with low energy but the past day or so I've been feeling a bit more spunky.

Inspired by my friend M, I've been slowly opening up the idea of a garden again. Today, a lovely Colorado spring day that followed a week of right terrible weather, saw me planting a seed flat with some wild flowers and digging in a couple of bags of day lilies!

I am planning on a veggie garden this year for the first time since we quit being a small CSA which was about 13 years ago or so. I am terrible with dates, but it's been a long time. A good way to starve to death is to be a small farmer we found!

It's been too cold and wet and I've been too sick to spend much time with Kyra. I have been out a couple of times to brush some of the bushels of fur she sheds every spring. Her fur is a couple of inches long and she's around 17 hands. Believe me, when she sheds it's a fur storm. Few things itch like horse hair down the shirt. She's been hive free the past couple of weeks which is really good news. I've done some research and horses and hives are not unusual. The hard part is figuring out why. It's time to think about spring shots, worming, dental, and farrier things for her. k'ching! But the maintenance costs are so much less than emergency vet bills!

The Leap Year Day +2 meads are doing fine. The fermented fairly slowly due to the cold spring. The traditional worked slower than the cran-apple but both are moving along as expected. The fermentation, while a bit slower, has been clean and trouble-free. I am in the phase where I stir the mead a lot to amp up the mouth-feel with out splashing air in which causes the mead to oxidize. I was with a panel of judges this last weekend to review an SCA brewer's mead. She is working to create a drinkable mead using a variation on medieval and modern methods. So far she's doing fine. I think with a bit of tweaking, she should get to a good drinkable mead. She likes a drier mead than I do. But I think that the dry meads are a good entry for wine drinkers.

One of these days, I want to take a accessible medieval recipe and brew it up as close to period as possible in method and ingredients. Then I want to take the same ingredients and brew it up using modern techniques.

The other Old Broad and I talked today about doing a gruit braggot. Translation? A beer that is brewed with herbs instead of hops and then honey is added and the beverage is fermented again. There are some very cool ancient herbs that folks used before the tyranny of hops began.

I cut my hair tonight. I have quit dyeing it but the ends were a very dark red temporary color that is from about 2.5 years ago. A very bad color choice that made me feel like a weasel had died on my head. And the color has lasted unchanged for years now. I finally just decided to chop away. I put my hair in a ponytail and sawed away at it. It's about shoulder length now. There is still some of the darker dyed hair, but much less of it! It feels so good to have so much of it gone. I wish the temporary dyes were actually more temporary. I have had to cut off the color every time no matter what I use.

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