Saturday Sky - Hello!

Today I am grateful for friends who check to see what I'm up to when I haven't posted for awhile and who remind me I have a voice. 

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I am very grateful for the long, warm autumn we experienced, however, quickly it ended with the northern winds bringing in the cold and snow of winter. It was 73 degrees one day and within 36 hours the high for the day was 36. I am grateful for my ability to make something warm with woolen fibers. We hope for more snow because we are in great need. 

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More than snow, I am in need of the positive energies of friends, of community, of beauty, and the joy daily life can bring. I am grateful that many of my dearest blog friends have been posting daily. I am grateful for their voices, for their guidance, their calls to action, and for their strong sense of community. I am grateful you are here and grateful for your friendship. 

Hello, friends. 


That Very Best Breakfast

Camping

It's been years. Back in the 80s, which is so crazy. How can it be that long ago? Let's say it was 1983, during the years we spent camping, sleeping on the ground, often without a tent, and cooked breakfast and dinner on an open fire. We often reminisce about the amazing meals we had. Like the time Camille readied a huge prime rib roast to cook as soon as we arrived at our campsite. We would head off to the wilderness of the High Uinta mountains and four-wheel the mountain trails until we found the perfect spot. We liked to have a creek or a lake nearby, which made life a little easier, but was not necessary. As soon as we found the perfect place we'd build a fire and get the coals red hot. The rib roast was slow cooked in a pit, surrounded by hot coals, and it was the best piece of beef we ever had. We were starved by the time it was ready, but it sure was worth the wait.

But, I should be talking about breakfast as it's Kat and Carole's "Think Write Tuesday".  When we were on our camping trips, breathing in the fresh mountain air, our appetites were enhanced. We took extra care in planning our meals, as one need not eat tin foil dinners when four-wheeling in the wilderness. Our friend Dave was the chef and everything he cooked was delicious and memorable. I could go on and on about his meals, but his mountain breakfast is something we still talk about, brag about, really.

Dave was always the first one up in the morning and he'd start the fire and put on the coffee. He would make sure there was a flat rock on the edge of the fire pit for his big old fashioned enamel coffee pot to rest. He'd get the water boiling and then tossed in a big handful of coffee and let it boil until it was dark and strong. When you wake up in the wilderness, nothing smells better than strong coffee.

The next thing he did was cook up a ton of bacon in his well seasoned cast iron skillet. When the bacon was nice and crisp, he's slice a bunch of bagels and crisp them up in the bacon grease. The best way to eat a crispy bagel is to slather it with cream cheese and topped with crisp bacon. The bagels were the perfect appraiser to what comes next, mountain eggs!

Mountain eggs are the pièce de résistance. They cannot be repeated without an open fire, a wood fire, in the middle of the wilderness. To begin Dave would add a cube of butter (yes, I said cube) to the leftover bacon grease, and as the butter melted, he crack a dozen eggs (or so) into a bowl, stirred until fluffy, then poured them into the skillet. As the eggs cook, he'd add in chunks of cheddar cheese and a big bunch of sliced jalapenos. The addition of the "mountain pepper", ashes from the burning wood, was the true seasoning for the eggs and that just happened as they cook. When the eggs were the right consistency, Dave liked them custardy, he'd serve them up to the hungry, waiting gang.

Food and friends make the best memories.


The Catch All

Where was I when I stopped blogging? I have been a bad blogger and, for the most part, it's because I am enjoying my time away from a computer. The end of summer came and went and autumn is now in full swing. The last few days the weather has been perfection. I am not ready for the nice days to end and I hope they keep coming. In any case, I must go back a few weeks and share some of the highlights of what's been happening around here.

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First, there was our time with the Etherknitters!  As it turned out, their timing was perfect! The beauty of autumn was in its full glory with the aspens showing off against the clear blue skies and the bronzed and burnished patchwork of color covering the mountainsides. To say it was a treat to be with friends we rarely see is an understatement. 

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Smith and I took our visitors up and over the mountain to our favorite spots. We had breakfast at Silver Fork Lodge (of course) and a delightful walk around Silver Lake (of course). The next leg of our trip was back up and over the mountains to the added bonus of more amazing vistas. We made a trip to Sundance and then, down American Fork Canyon during its most stunning time of year.

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We ended the day at another of our favorite spots, Red Iguana, which has the best Mexican food anywhere in the West (according to many). We were sorry to see the day come to an end, but happy we could enjoyed a fun time with truly wonderful friends. 

 Then...

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...there was a little thing we call The Retreat (The Alta Knitter's Retreat), which is a chance for knitters to come together and hang out, eat, drink and do anything else they can think to do.

The beautiful blue skies and autumnal colors of the previous weekend, came to an abrupt end Thursday night and, by the time I arrives Friday afternoon, the weather had turned cold and blustery. Snow started to move in and by Saturday morning we woke to about 8" of snow on the ground! The white snow and golden leaves made the views all the more beautiful, when you could see them, as the low lying clouds and fog often obscured the mountain.

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However, nothing could dampen our spirits. 

We stayed cozy and warm inside and had a great time drinking a little,  snacking occasionally, and spending a lot of time knitting, talking, and laughing. There was even some yarn buying, which I'll share with you later.  We did not lack for entertainment as Anna, one of the SnB grrls, introduced us to Korean facial masks, which provided a large amount of raucous laughter. Cheryl took a video of me during my bit of self-pampering, but you'll have to go here to see it as videos make the blog go boom. (Thanks, Kym!)

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After two days of cold, snowy conditions, the skies cleared and Sunday afternoon we enjoyed an hour or two on the deck. It was the perfect ending to a incredibly fun weekend. 


Knitting and Reading (Because I Do Not Do Football)

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Kat's KAL ended on Labor Day, but my TTLM (now known as Thistle Rambles) did not meet the deadline.  A couple of weeks ago, while admiring my work of, I noticed a section that wasn't like the picture of Kirsten's shawl. It was then I realized I would have to take out ALL of clue 5 (because I had not read through it thoroughly enough) and reknit. I am very grateful I hadn't yet started the beautiful, but time consuming, picot bind off. As of today, the first few picots are now in place. Wish me well!

The book, The Underground Girls of Kabul, is for my Book Group. (This month marks our 29th year together!) I am only a chapter into the book and have 300 pages to go. However, I didn't buckle down and put in the time needed to finish, instead I found other things to do. 

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I left for work a little early so I could take a picture of the sunrise. I love a crepuscular rays and it was worth giving up my reading time to capture this shot.

When I got home I cleaned the bathrooms. (It had to be done!)

I, also, worked in the garden because the weather was superb and I had to be outdoors. 

I sipped a glass of wine whilst enjoying the patio (I do drink alone). 

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And, I ended my day with a walk and pictures of the sunset, which I painted with Prisma (Caribbean).  

With summer ebbing I have to revel in the beautiful days as much possible.

 


The Old and the New

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Maybe I'll just post a picture every day of my incredible mountain view. The light changes throughout the day, but in the morning it is often a breathtaking play of shadow and light between cloud and sky.

There are times I have made the (somewhat) arrogant statement that I do not have UFOs (which we all know can't be true) and that I rarely have more than two WIPs hanging about. It was Kat's summer KAL that got me thinking about what might be lurking in the corners of my crafting closet and, on closer inspection, I found two lovely knitting bags, each with a pair of socks tucked inside.

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Technically, I'd finished the both pairs of socks pictured, so the UFO/WIP situation may hold true, BUT, shortly after they were finished, I had to admit to myself the toes where not very comfortable. I tucked the socks aside (or, as you can see, ripped out one toe), so as to fix the fit, and then, add the pair to my sock rotation. If you are a believer in "things happen for a reason" (I'm not), you could say this is a very opportune time for two nearly finished pairs to come to light. In any case, I will now have THREE new pair of new socks to greet the wintry chill. This is very good news, indeed!

The skein of yarn you see pictured, has yet to be wound. It is Knitterly Things "Vesper" sock yarn (Carole's favorite), in the colorway Fire and Ice, which must have entered my stash around Christmas 2 years or so ago. At the moment, I seem to be on a stripy sock kick, which is good, as I have numerous choices in stripy yarn languishing in my stash. If I end up knitting this pair it would result in a 4th pair of socks for winter's rotation, but I'll wait and see how my knitting time fares. 

Are you knitting this something fun this summer? Is it blazing hot where you live? 


Officially Summer

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There was a reason we took an extra day off for this first weekend of summer. Memorial Day Monday is notoriously crowded no matter where you go, but on Tuesday, everyone goes back to work and peace reigns.  Our Favorite Breakfast Spot is very crowded on weekends, but during the week there is no wait and the kitchen can prepare a meal to my specifications. It felt so good to once again be sitting on the deck in the clean mountain air.

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The day after a holiday is the perfect time to visit Silver Lake because everyone else was there for the Holiday and we had the trail mostly to ourselves. The aspens have not yet leafed at this elevation and the meadow was filled with dried grasses. Since snow totals were higher than they've been the past few years, there is a good amount snow yet to melt. Silver Lake sits in a glacial bowl and is fed only by snow runoff. This year the lake is fill nearly up to the boardwalk.

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On the backside of the lake where the walkway wends through the forest, we had to hike over piles of snow and jump over streams of running water. Parts of the lake were still iced over. The sounds of birds filled the air, a sure sign of mating season, but we did not hear the usual scolding of squirrels or the quacking of ducks. We also did not see moose (as we have many times in the past) but we did hear a frog, Our first ever!

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Part of our afternoon was spent in the garden, but I returned home to get out of the sun and relax a little. I did a little knitting and reading before starting preparations for a nice dinner together. While working around the house I listened to The Queen of the Night, a book that has everything! Intrigue, sex, prisons, murder, mystery, music, PLUS, beautiful descriptions of gowns and costumes* (after all it is historical fiction of an opera singer's life during Napoleon the IIIs reign). I rarely read books of this genre, but I'm trying to stretch my reading muscle. I decided on the audio format because the book is quite long (over 600 pages) and when listening I can use my hands to get things done. Best of all, this book fits on both my Read Harder list (historical fiction set before 1900), as well as fills a Bingo square (set in a place you'd like to visit). Win-win! 

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Yarn is wound, directions printed, and needles at the ready, but I have yet to begin my TTL Mystery Shawl. Tonight will be quiet, which means I'll be able to listen to my book and work through the first clue. I hope to finish the sock this weekend as well!

Enjoy your weekend, my friends. 

*For more information about the costumes and the book, read this Vogue interview with the author, Alexander Chee.


Sky Watching

24827187204_eefbf1ccb3_oThe one thing you can count on around here is the sky is going to put on a great show. This is the sunset a week ago last Tuesday, which turned out to be the perfect photo to play around with on the Waterlogue app. Since inversion season passed the sky has mostly been blue, but we've had a few small storms move through.

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Monday morning a fog bank moved through just as I was leaving for work. The drive was a little challenging, but the mood created by the fog was quite unusual. Within the hour, the sun was high enough in the sky to clear the fog away. The rest of the day was clear, the blue sky highlighting the newly white mountains.

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 Yesterday, just as Smith was leaving for work he turned back to tell me the sky was afire. I went out in my nightclothes and stood in the cold to snap a few photos of the golden, spectacular, sunrise. 

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When I'm not watching the sky, you might be surprised to know, I am knitting a sock. My sock drawer is in imminent danger of becoming devoid of hand knit socks. I may not be able to keep up with attrition, but my plan is to do what I can to replenish the waters of what has become a drought of sock knitting. Needles this small are not friendly to my arthritic hands and I can only knit a few hours a week. However, I'm determined and have made good progress. I love the red/gray/black stripy-ness of this sock yarn, Biscotti and Cie's, Loopy Herman. 

Happy Weekend, my friends. I have a three day-er ahead! Yay me! 


Five Things About My Weekend

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1. Friday counts as part of the weekend (in my estimation) and the rain and thunderstorms that day were impressive and exciting. My view, as I returned from lunch, was of a huge black cloud full of lightning and thunder. I tried numerous times to capture the lighting, but it evaded my camera lens. 

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2. Saturday, just as I was driving away from the library, and heading to dinner with a friend, the tiniest part-arc of a rainbow appear at the mouth of Big Cottonwood Canyon. You can see I was stopped at a red light and not snapping pictures whilst operating my car. This little bit of rainbow delighted me and I, for once, I was happy to stop at the light. 

3. I have no picture to share for number three, but the the churros I had for dessert, following a delicious taco dinner, were wonderful. I ate them before I remembered to take a picture, but the crunchy outside and soft warm center (dusted with sugar and cinnamon, dipped in whipped cream and/or chocolate) created a mouth full of joy. 

Do not worry, I am not dead or ill as the next photo might suggest.

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4. I had a bit of a disaster while trying to fill one of my fountain pens. I wanted the last drop of ink from the bottle and ended up squirting it all over my hands, my face, and my shirt. I am a novice fountain pen owner (my pens belonged to Smith's mother) and I am trying to get the hang of filling cartridges and converters. I am grateful the ink washed out of everything except my fingernails (which will be clear of blue soon enough). 

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5. Sunday dawned clear and cool, with beautiful blue skies and entertaining clouds. Smith had the day off (yay!) and after breakfast, we took a walk, taking time for a little photo shoot (which you'll see later in the week). Because we had most of the day together, we were able to take advantage of the beautiful day and spend time on the patio, grilling dinner and making the most of our day. 

How did your weekend go? Did you have a lovely one whether rained on or no? 


Weekend Viewing

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I had a room with a view this weekend at the Rocky Mountain Knitter's Retreat. We took over Alta Lodge and had a great time knitting, talking, laughing, eating, drinking and then doing it all again. I had a fabulous massage on Saturday that calmed down many of my back problems. 

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From the dinning room we could see a sliver of a view of the sunset and the valley below. Leaving all the news, the running about, and the day to day of life down in the valley was quite a treat. I hardly looked at my phone and took very few pictures. It was just a fabulously relaxing weekend. 

21580399938_398457ee9a_kBefore I left the canyon on Sunday I drove up the road to look down on the city of Alta and it's scenic beauty. The colors of the aspens were as bright and golden as can be and the sky gave all it could to the weekend, too. 

Last night I watched the moon come up near total eclipse and kept watching until the shadow passed and the moon was whole again. Being able to watch this stunning phenomenon was a wonderful cap to my weekend.  Today I have the day off and I'm going to run my usual errands, But will also take a few minutes to relax and keep the calm beauty of the weekend within my heart.