November 19 - One More Sky

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That was it. One storm, a foot of snow in the mountains and about an inch of rain in the valley. Then, poof, the sky was clear and the storm gone. Yesterday was cold, but the sun warmed the air and with a warm coat, a scarf wrapped round my neck and mitts on my figures, I was able to take a walk in the sun.

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I walked our new trail, even had a few surprises along the way. The trail is on a 6' rise which puts above the fence line of most houses. A person walking by can easily see into yards that abut the trail.  It's a little disconcerting to come around a corner and see a couple sitting in a hot tub on their deck, steaming in the cold air. One does not wish to be a peeping Tom, but the yards are small and there are times you just can't help but see. When I passed by on my return, I was happy to see they had a privacy curtain around their space. They may well need it at all times. The canal and trail have always been there, but it wasn't well known and only, infrequently, use by people in the neighborhood. As word spreads, the trail will become better known and use will increase. I know I'll be walking it often. 


November 18 - A Week of Sky

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November 5th

November, the month when evening light disappears rather quickly, as turned out to bring us some of the most beautiful sunsets and sunrises. Everyday the sky has been brilliant, the days warm and not very winter-like.  

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Monday afternoon, about 4:00, Smith and I were in the garden (it was 60+!)n. The clouds had played with formations all day long and just before sunset they put on a show. 

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This is what happened an hour later when the sun hit the clouds and lit them from below. The trees have lost all their leaves and their bones are bare unto the sky. What a sight the clouds and sun create together as they color the sky.

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Tuesday's sky was clear, nearly cloudless, although the air was a bit chillier. I walked the trails of Wheeler Farm and thought how nice it will be when I can walk our new pathway and enter the farm from the back side. The trail from our trailhead will be a bout a mile walk to this vantage point.  

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Wednesday's temperatures were back into the 60s and I walked over to the garden where Smith was spending his day off. How can you argue with a day this exceptional in the middle of November? This photo was taken from the far southwest corner of the garden. The clouds were forewarning of a storm.

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And then it was Thursday, a day that was about as blustery as one you've ever seen, although it started with an amazing sunrise. High winds one day mean a storm is coming in the next. I could hardly walk along the new trail, as gusts kept buffeting me and stopping forward progress. The dirt field just beyond the horses where the new development will be.  *sob*


November 16 - 3TT

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Every day this week I could have shown you pictures of amazing sunrises and sunsets. For today's picture I had to run out of the house, nightgown flowing, slippers flopping, just to stand in the gusty winds (storm's a coming) to capture this bit of delight. 

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I bought this amaryllis with so much hope and joy, but it has done nothing but disappoint. No buds, not one, only leaves coming up all sorts of places you don't expect leaves, and then, they just flop over without warning. The bulb has plenty of water, but flop go the leaves. A few days later they might start the process of standing upright again, only to flop down. I confess to trouting for the pot, which is white ceramic with a little red stripe. I saw Christmas blooms in my future, but sadly that appears not to be. I will vacating my house of this bulb and starting fresh, hopefully with better luck. This time I went big time with a double bulb planter and I'll find a new single bulb for this cute pot. 

Last, but not least, I bring you a new musical find. A few days ago I heard Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile's Guest DJ gig on NPR  (I'm a fan of All Songs Considered), which lead me to buy their collaborative album. After listening to it through a couple times I ended up humming Over Everything for the rest of the day. 

You can find more 1, 2, 3 Things posts over on Carole's blog.


November 4 - Numinously Cerulean

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One day last week I walked out my back door into a day that was incredibly beautiful. I saw my neighbor and inquired as to how he was doing and he looked at the sky and said "numinously cerulean!" (He's always coming up with creative word combinations to let me know his state of mind). I turned and looked over my shoulder into what was one of the most amazing cloud and sun duets I had ever seen. I think he was right on the money with his word gumbo. Thank you, JD! 


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.