Tuesday, November 21, 2006


I think there is a slippery slope with siblings, at least in my family. We are a very close family and I'm so thankful to be so close with my sisters and brother. However, learning they will all visit for Thanksgiving with about 2 weeks notice is a little bit of a shock (a welcome one though!). First my older sister bought a ticket, then my brother decided to drive down from the Bay area and then my twin sister who didn't want to be left out, buys a last minute ticket. With all the scheduling and last minute tickets the only day all 4 siblings will be together is Saturday so that's when we'll be celebrating Thanksgiving.

As stated in my secret pal questionnaire, it is my favorite holiday, and I get to do a lot of the cooking, which I actually enjoy. My older sister will also help out a lot. It'll be really nice, although fitting 6 adults, a small boy and a furry orange cat into a little over 1200 sq ft, should be interesting.

We're lucky we're close :) I'm looking forward to it!

Friday, November 03, 2006

Coffee Package :)

As stated in my last post, I have THE BEST sp9 spoiler. This is the contents of the package I found on the doorstep Tuesday:

This package is the the most thoughtful gift I have received in a very long time. It's clear my secret pal took a lot of time and caring putting this together and I'm thrilled. The yarn is on-line Goby and is a cotton/rayon blend. The bar chocolate is dark chocolate with espresso beans and lemon essence. The coffee is from a local coffee roaster in her area, and she said she's a tea drinker, so I even more appreciate the effort she put into it and finding a local coffee. (I'm assuming my secret pal is a she!) There's dark chocolate covered espresso beans, double espresso soap and a beaded keychain that looks like coffee beans. I wanted to rip into many parts of this package, but I also wanted to get a good picture of everything first, it did take quite a lot of self control though! The package is just so very cool and the theme is so perfect with my renewed coffee obsession. So if I haven't gushed enough already, thank you secret pal!

On the coffee side of things, as Madge put it, I MacGyver'd my larger roaster together. Last Friday it had it's first roast, and I was fairly pleased with how things turned out. I had to tweak the order of nuts and bolt around so it would fit nicely. This is what it looked like before the final tweaks:

The only things my husband did was enlarge some washer holes for me and I had trouble disconnecting some wires that he did for me. This part of the center shaft fits into a metric socket that sits on top of the motor. The original piece is all plastic, and I didn't want to risk it melting. It seems a lot of people just cover the top of the plastic piece with a metal cap, but I just wanted to be safe. Plus it was kind of cool to do it myself.

I was a little too excited when I did the first roast and kept on lifting the lid to look, which resulted in a slowed roast, but the coffee doesn't taste baked. The oven top slid around on top of the spring form pan and wouldn't stay put, so my next purchase will be some high temperature gasket goo to prevent it from slipping so much. I also need to find a way to get rid of all the chaff. On the whole though, for a first run I was pleased.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Spoiled Rotten

I'm a bad sp9 recipient, but I have the best sp9 spoiler. I've been so busy with work, since I taught 2 new classes for me this weekend, among other stuff going on. There are literally hundreds of emails in my box from 2 busy lists I subscribe to. I also was on duty for a list I help moderate last week so was even more overwhelmed. But I'm finding time now before I pick up my mother in law from the airport.

Last week I received this:

I was so surprised to see another gift from my sp9 spoiler! The air freshener is hanging up near my desk, and the yellow package contains a quilt block. When I get around to it, it'll probably end up being a small pillow. And I love the card, so sweet for her to put Winston look alikes on the homemade card. In a really busy week it's so nice to get surprises.

However, yesterday I was heading out the door, slightly late for work when I saw a small box by the front door. And it was another sp9 package! I couldn't believe my eyes, and even though I was running late, I tore the box open to look what was inside. But that will have to wait for another day when I have more time. I don't feel worthy for all the care she put into this package, and I really like everything in it. THANK YOU SECRET PAL!