Eat, drink, (garden, knit, quilt, think, fix, read) & be merry

A little trip

P and I went on a little trip with his parents to the southwest over New Year’s.  It was so cold!  The Grand Canyon was -20F at night.  We had to shuffle a few things around as roads were closed due to some major snowstorms.  But we still had a lovely time.

We flew into Las Vegas, stayed the night, and then headed to the Hoover Dam.  Here I am with my sweet MIL under the new bridge.

And then off we went to the Grand Canyon.  We almost had to skip the Canyon because of weather, but the roads cleared and we made it.  I was so excited!

It was so cold there were few people hiking.  We had most of the lookouts to ourselves.

We spotted a few Elk and mule deer.

We stopped at Montezuma’s Castle on the way to Sedona.  A five-story dwelling built into the side of a cliff more than 800 years ago.  Wow!

There were Sycamore trees in the area.  In the summer you can feel the water rising skyward under the bark.  In the winter, though, they’re just pretty.

We took the back roads to Sedona and it was unbelievably beautiful.

We arrived at sunset and the red mountains were brilliant!

In the morning we went for a little sunrise hike

In Phoenix we visited with some of P’s family.  They had three grapefruit trees in the backyard.  We picked a suitcase full and brought them home.  That was a highlight, for sure!

I love climbing trees.  Especially when it involves food.

Some of the fruits were enormous!

Finally, on the way to the airport, we drove up South Mountain to see the city and find some Saguaro cacti for a photo-op.  I couldn’t pass up this guy with a face!

I hope you, too, had a wonderful start to 2011!

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Still Alive, Surely Still Kicking

Life has melted to a slow drip around here with the heat and humidity and living on the third floor.  We’ve got fans, but it ain’t enough.  I slept with an ice pack under my neck and down my back last night.  It worked and I got the most sleep I’ve had in days.  I hug P with only a few fingers because I just can’t stand to be too close to a human furnace.  I get sad in the mornings when I awake tempted to snuggle into his back like usual.  But his side of the bed is soggy and I’m sticky and, well, I slink back to my side uncuddled.

We’ve been busy, though.  Last weekend we picked nearly forty pounds of strawberries at our favorite U-pick strawberry farm.  We’ve been eating strawberry shortcake (with real pound cake) and strawberries on salads and smoothies.  I’ve made jam and frozen quart after quart of the ruby-red goodness.  We’ve gleaned some juneberries and mulberries from trees around the city.  I’ve been meaning to take pictures, but extra energy expenditure is forbidden.  

On Friday we’re biking down to Afto*n State Park to go camping.  It’s around 30 miles so it should be a sweet ride.  P is going to pull the bike trailer and I’m loading up the panniers.  It’s our first trip like this together.  The last time I did a bike tour it was with my ex.  We arrived at Willia*m O’Brien State Park and I was all giddy, unloading the stuff and setting up the tent.  He loudly proclaimed he hated camping.  I, very unsympathetically exclaimed, “What?  Who hates camping?”  At that point I think we both knew it was over, even though it dragged on painfully for another few months.

But this time should be different.  I am starting to feel like I’m settling into married life.  I don’t wince quite as much when I refer to my husband.  I sometimes refer to myself in the plural.  I am becoming less petty and confrontational.  I’m learning “I told you so” often doesn’t feel very good once it’s passed my lips.  

So we’re taking a mini vacation this weekend and it should be good.  Very, very good.

Not much on the craft front.  Too hot.  Too sticky.  And my needles fell out of my lace shawl that I was working on.  Picking up lace?  Ugh.  Impossible.  I’ll try, but I’ll likely end up frogging weeks of work.  Depressing.

Besides the externals of everyday life, I’ve been quietly working on my internal landscape as well.  I’ve been picking away at a few items from my bucket list – which will require a follow-up post once I get my thoughts together.  However, in the spirit of that, tonight’s conclusion is a small list of a few things I’m most grateful for at the moment.

– P.  I’ve been admiring his smile lately, his sweetness, his ability to draw me out when I’m most down.  I’ve been grateful, also, for his family and the way they’ve embraced me so wholly.  I feel so lucky to have in-laws that take me just the way I am.

– Family – in both the narrowest and broadest senses of the word.  My brother and I are trying to make amends after a childhood of bitter fighting and an adulthood of infinite distance.  In the wider sense, I’m grateful for my broader family that can pull so tightly together in the midst of difficult news and terrifying circumstances. 

– For the space and resources to think about my future and take action to make it more fulfilling.

– For hobbies and pursuits and creative endeavours.  For the knowledge to grow some of my own food.  For dexterity to knit some of my own clothes.  For the imagination to play and sing and dream.

– For enough.  For enough to eat, enough to pay the rent, enough to play a little and put away a little for a rainy day.  Although it always feels like there is room for more, if I step back I see how very, very much I have already.


Home again

Despite the best intentions of updating at least a little bit while I was away, I barely had enough internet time to pound out wee emails to P to let him know that we were still alive.

I spent eleven days driving with a friend to her new home in Alaska. I joined her for the Canadian/Alaskan Highway leg of her massive two month van trip to Fairbanks. The trip was relaxing and fun, good bonding time, spectacular mountain scenery, and lots of wildlife. We snowshoed in De*nali Nati*onal Pa*rk and were almost the only ones there. We saw bison chilling out in the mountains. We saw caribou and Santa’s house and the world’s largest weather vane. We ate self proclaimed world famous carrot cake. We ate cinnamon rolls at the “Cinnamon Bun Center of the Galactic Cluster.” I could go on, but in reality I’m staring at the clock knowing I have to work in a few short hours. I’m jet lagged and still adjusting. I should be sleeping.

More to come. Maybe this weekend.

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