Walking is One of My Favorite Things

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And, one of my favorite places to walk is around Silver Lake. While I walk the lake trail my antenna are up while I carefully scan the willows looking for ears or antlers. You never know when a moose is sitting in the cool grass seemingly unseen by the eyes of walkers by. Smith saw fresh moose scat along the trail so we felt certain moose were about. 

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We made it out to the first dock and eyed the beauty of the lake. As I looked towards the trees I spotted a big cow moose stripping a sampling aspen. She was hidden within a copse and deep into shadows. We walked back along the trail and easily found her (once we knew she was there) but couldn't get a good photo because the shadows were so dark. 

The morning was comfortable, but the day was already starting to heat up and I had forgotten my hat. The sun was brutal as temperatures this week are nearing record highs, but the back side of the lake trail winds through a pine forest and we continued along the trail. As we rounded the lake and headed into the trees we bumped into a volunteer ranger who told us of a big bull sitting in the reeds near the end of the trail. She told to keep an eye out as only his rack and his ears were visible. 

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Can you see him? His ears bounced and his rack danced, as he must have been scratching, or eating. We were delighted to have seen two moose, but when we turned back to the trail we saw the cow had left her shaded copse and was heading out into the grass. Despite the heat we took off in her direction, passing the parking lot and walking about a quarter way around again.

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She was big, beautiful, and enjoying her stroll through the shallows of the lake. I loved the way she leisurely walked along, dripping with water, slowly pulling up grass and looking about. What an amazingly large creature she was! We watched for a long time and finally decided to head back to the car, but half way there we were told by a passing couple that a group of three (more) moose were sitting in a meadow back up the trail. We turned around and backtracked to the meadow.

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The meadow is off to the side where the trail forks and heads off into the mountains. There they were, in a lovely shaded quiet meadow, a big bull, another cow, and smaller moose, likely a calf, of which we could only see its ears. Over on the left of the photo, near the top of the gray rock, you can see the rack of the bull, and back in the trees there sits the cow, who looks more like a big black rock. Somewhere in the bright green shoots sits the smaller moose, only seen by wiggling ears (to the naked eye), but which was not visible in any of the pictures I took. You'll just have to believe me that all three were there. 

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It was a Five Moose Day, not a record (six is my record) but exciting nonetheless. I going to credit Bonny's elk for bringing us luck on our hike. 


On Monday

Like so many of you, yesterday, I too had the experience of finding crescents every where. 

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We ended up having an impromptu eclipse party with our neighbors who share the same drive way. One person had glasses, we had a colander and a box with a pinhole. Then I noticed the crescents and we all became fascinated. The sun was 92% blocked here in Salt Lake and we could tell the light was softening, the temperature dropping (3 degrees). We talked and laughed and shared until the sunlight had almost fully returned.

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Smith and I decided to head to our favorite spot for lunch. We had just ordered and found a seat (boy, it was crowded!) when Susan and Barry walked in! The serendipitous meeting was all the more exciting as it was it was Susan's birthday! Smith decided we had to all be outside and he horned his way into table on the patio. We sat in the shade and chatted far longer than intended before we said goodbye. 

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Later in the evening, as the day started to cool down, we worked in the garden. Many other gardeners were there and we talked as we watered, comparing zucchinis, and assessing the how beautiful all the gardens looked this year. As Smith and I walked around the garden I learned we actually had peaches this year! They're a week away from perfection and they are a complete surprise to me. I thought all fruit was lost in our last freeze on May 7th. 

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Don't tell anyone as I want to make sure I get a couple just at their ripest juiciness! Aren't they beautiful? 

We enjoyed this perfect day together as Smith had the day off. Everyday my heart is near to bursting with gratitude as I can use my time as I see fit (most of the time). Life truly is fabulous and fun. 

 


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!