Monday, December 6, 2010

The Seasons in all their Glory: Part II

Just an update from yesterday's post.  The forecast for today ended up being SNOW HARD ALL DAY LONG, instead of "occasional snow showers at times".  We definitely enjoyed getting that 3:42pm work email reading, "Everyone will be dismissed at 3:45pm today due to treacherous road conditions."  All of the sudden I feel like I'm in 6th grade again!  Snow days are waaaay up there on my charts...i mean, almost like mini-Christmases.  Going to work on snow days feels sinful.

So...back to my autumn memories.

We had a fun backyard bonfire party with friends where we drank homemade cider and carved pumpkins!

Apple Tart with Walnut Crust..Mmmm

Farmer John's pumpkin (those are trees, not aliens)

Beth's "punkin'"
...and we saved the pumpkin seeds to roast!

My valley-dwelling friends and I celebrated the coming baby boy of our friends Heather and John Mark.  A festive co-ed party!

Mere and her girls going for a ride around the block

The beautiful mother-to-be

A little angel enjoying some cider

And last but not least, Farmer John and I ventured out west for a little R&R time.  John was already out in San Francisco for a work training, so I cashed in some miles for a flight out to meet him.  From there, we got a rental car and headed up through Northern California for a week long tour!  Some of the highlights...

Napa Valley
Castello De Amorosa
the California coast
We loved the Redwoods!  (Humboldt Redwood State Park)

This was John's favorite part of the trip

One of many fallen log crossings

Fern Canyon

more Fern Canyon

Searching for agates on the beach
beautiful beach rocks as we looked for agates

We stopped to let John fish for a bit on this gorgeous river along the way

So many beautiful sights along the way
Camping in Yosemite

Mirror Lake in Yosemite
John in front of Half Dome

We had the best time throughout the whole road trip!  We're already looking forward to our next adventures somewhere next year!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

The Seasons in all their Glory: Part I

We were just given a beautiful present this weekend!  It was a big white blanket..which covered our entire mountain town. 

Snow has once again fallen upon us and since it's been 7 months since we've last seen it, we are welcoming it with wide open arms!  I have no doubt that we'll soon remember those feelings of hate from last winter, when the last thing in the world we wanted to see was a forecast like this: 

....when we spent our spare time digging each other's cars out of ditches,

...or nearly lost our faces in the bitter cold winds, or had to go to work in the midst of record blowing squalls, or just the fact that we were buried in 30+ feet of snow by the time March rolled around.  Since our laundry room can only be accessed from the outside, I had to create this pathway last winter to reach it.  Of course, if the wind blew at all, it would have to be re-created. 

Anyway, all that to say that I still adore the snow.  It represents the 4th season of the year at it's very best.  That's one of the many reasons I love living in this mountain town:  we get to fully enjoy each season for what it's worth!  As I sit here indoors enjoying our warm refuge from the winter wonderland, I wanted to share with you a few recaps from a fun and festive fall!

I traveled to Tennessee to meet my first baby niece, Eden, shortly after she was born.

...and she now looks like this!

I also got to play with my nephew, Eliot.  He is growing so fast and is talking, running, laughing and playing hard!

I went on a fun hike with friends to the top of Snake Mtn to enjoy the brilliant colors!  Apparently, I wore my fall camo without even realizing it!

Farmer John and I discovered that our apple tree was actually producing tasty apples...

So we made apple cider...

And I made apple pie...

We made Butternut Squash Soup and a Peanut Thai Spaghetti Squash...

I made applesauce...

I decorated for fall...

I harvested the last of my herbs...

...and this is the end of part I of "The Seasons in all their Glory"!  Sorry for the abrupt ending!  It's 11:13 pm.  More fall recap to be continued in part II...