Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hi all,

So...I think I must be crazy.

We're hosting Thanksgiving this year and have another couple coming to share it with. Their family can't make it so, here we are.

I'm doing the turkey.

Not that big a deal really.

I mean, it's not like the bird hasn't defrosted in the fridge the last two days...oh wait.

So it's currently on the counter in the hopes it'll defrost in time for it's big debut. Slow goings when the fridge keeps things extra cold, even on the bottom shelf.

FYI: It's been known to freeze the top of my coffee in a mug on the top rack. Gotta love an old fridge.

Made my first cranberry sauce from scratch this year. 

Yes, I bought a can of sauce as a back up in case I failed the recipe.

I didn't. *smile* You can find the recipe I used here

Only five ingredients. Can't beat that!
Orange Juice
Cranberry Juice
Orange zest
Maple Syrup

15 minutes later, it thickened and is now delicious and oh so lovely.

Up next, attempting a high altitude pecan pie (p.s. you add another egg and cook a little longer at an average temp). It's a must for the desserts in our house.

And you know what they say:

You can take the girl away from the South but not the South out of the girl. 

(And you better bet your booties I'll succeed in that endeavor.)

BTW, I've always wanted to know who "they" are. We say it all the time in conversation.

Perhaps it's from past Southerners? 
Or maybe philosophical thinkers? 
Celestial Seasonings writers?

Who knows. One day I'll find out. For now it's under lock and key from the commoners. 
Or so they say...

Agh! Stopping now, I promise.

To add to the menu, I'm also making some sweet potato casserole-in a crock pot.

I know, I know. It bucks tradition. 

But hey, it's the 21st century. We have technology and honestly what is a crockpot for but to free up some space in the oven. 

And let me tell you, that's a very good thing on Thanksgiving.

What else...maybe a salad. We have cider. And some wine. Guess that's all I'm doing. 
Our friends are bringing the mashed potatoes and green beans and some other things. 
For that, I am so thankful.

What else has passed since my last entry?

Well we did have a little holiday called Halloween. (Again, sorry for the lack of posting!)

Mr. K and I went as steampunk aviators.
Mochi was a little witch. (the hat lasted just long enough for the picture)

This shot reminds me of those vintage pics with a girl and her dog.

We had 9 trick or treaters. Probably would have had more, but we went to a party. 
All in all, it was fun. 

A week or so ago, I experimented with making biscotti.

White chocolate cranberry biscotti with nuts

It was so delish!
I will be making them again. 

Of course, we also had our first snow.

So pretty. 
Alas it melted just a few hours later.

But then we had another dusting.
And someone refused to come inside.

Saucy little minx.

She loves snow. Must be all that Nordic blood in her.

That was the night before.
In the morning there was a delay (I know, not much snow for a delay- but the roads were icy). 

So Mr. K and myself and a few friends went to the dog park to play.

And the best part was teaching M how to throw a snowball and run away.

And maybe this part too.

Sleepy puppy.

So with that last image, I wish you all a restful and joyful Thanksgiving.

Until next time,

Friday, October 30, 2015

Time To Catch Up Before It Doesn't Cut The Mustard

Hi everyone,

It's been a bit busy here. But we're going to play a little game of catch up to bring you all up to speed.

In September my Aunt and Uncle came to visit us.

So we went on a few excursions to Taos and Santa Fe and around our town. Very fun!
(Even if we happened to take the long route home once...)

Anyway, here's a recap of their visit!

We went to Taos to go to the Taos Drum Factory Outlet. I thought I'd seen drums...I was so wrong. This place had so many it was hard, even knowing what you were looking for, to choose one. Which was exactly why we spent a little while there. But it was great.

My relatives got to meet the drum maker and artist and say hello. The same artist who painted the buffaloes on their older lampshade was there and recognized his work and said he had changed it up just a little since the last time. But that he'd paint it again for their lamp.

How awesome!

 I found a little clay adobe hut, complete with hanging chiles, that is an incense burner. It'll go nicely on our table for Christmas and our nativity. The cool thing about the incense is that it's piƱon and mesquite incense. It'll smell like a wood burning fireplace in our great room.

And I'm thrilled. We don't have a fireplace, so if I can get that wonderful woodsy smell this way, you bet your booties I'll do it.

After our purchases, we hung outside taking some photos. It really was a lovely day, a bit bright for photos, but in everything else, gorgeous.

My Aunt K and me. Photo taken by my uncle

Love this shot. Especially with the mountains behind.

These teepees were huge. 

Now, there are a couple ways to write it. Tipi or Teepee. I have yet to decide which is the right way. But I do know that these abodes are not typical to the Southwest. Here, the most typical dwelling is a Pueblo adobe house. The ones in the picture are more of the Plains and Canadian tribe dwellings.

We went to a wonderful New Mexican restaurant called: Ranchos Plaza Grill.

My Aunt and Uncle

The food was great with generous portions and delicious to boot!
But my favorite part was the interior. 

Hand painted walls to resemble a village. Adorable!

And just a heartbeat away, visible from the patio was the backside of the San Francisco De Asis Mission Church. After lunch we had to go see it. And even though it was only the exterior, it was beautiful. It has been the subject of art for many artists: Georgia O'Keefe and Ansel Adams to name only a couple.

The weather started turning a bit wet...but a piece of bright blue caught our eyes.

And there, hanging in the doorway of a beautiful adobe building was a lovely wreath of red chiles.

Now, I have seen these chiles hanging on houses all over New Mexico. We even had a chile ristra here when we moved into our rental until it fell in a bad snow storm. I thought nothing of these chiles, just thinking them a beautiful accent of Southwestern culture.

I was wrong.

It's apparently a tradition and a great one at that. Hanging chile ristras in the doorway symbolize welcome, an invitation to visitors. And apparently also a belief that they will provide an abundant harvest for the coming year. You can read more about them here.

Aren't these two just so cute? Awww.

Well, after our lunch and the briefest visit to a church, we were back in the warm car and on our way up to Taos. That town is wonderful. Lots to see and do. All sorts of Mom and Pop shops as well as antique stores, but what it's known for is it's art...and skiing.

I told Mr. K that we'd have to go back in winter sometime and go sledding (neither of us downhill ski) or cross country skiing.

On our way back home, we decided on taking the scenic drive. And let me tell you, it was very scenic.

But with the sun setting, we thought it best to head home.
Little did we know we'd miss the turn off (which isn't very well marked and if you see it, you'll see the hairpin turn that it is). So...we missed it.

And then realized an hour past the turn that we'd missed it...

So, we had a two hour drive back instead of an hour. We were a little hungry by the time we made it home. But the stories we have from the drive made it all better.

On another day we went to Santa Fe and walked around. It was a feast day and we visited the Cathedral Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi.

In the courtyard going in was a statue of the Native American saint, Saint Kateri Tekakwitha.

And the cathedral is stunning. If you ever visit Santa Fe, please go visit it.

We wandered and went into the Santa Fe Art Museum.
They had a lovely exhibit on Georgia O'Keefe while we were there.

 And then we walked around the plaza and came across a parade for the Fiestas de Santa Fe.

I love the horses.

 And then it came time to say goodbye. Thanks Aunt K and Uncle B for the visit! It was a blast!

So what else has been going on?

Well, there was a small thing called a Blood Moon Lunar Eclipse. (Kind of sounds like a YA novel, in my opinion.)

And with Mr. K being a computational nuclear astrophysicist...we kind of wanted to see it.
Besides, we got to break out the telescope.

At the beginning. Spooky, huh?

We had fun posing for it. Luckily it was a warm night and pretty cloudless.

Mr. K set up the scope in our backyard and we sat down to enjoy watching it happen.

A few hundred shots later, a four legged nuisance sticking her wet nose on my lens, and a couple of phantom spider scares (hey, we have black widows and brown recluses here), I managed to get a good shot.

You can even see a few stars if you look closely.

We love where we live.
Oh yeah, forgot to mention this guy.

We had another visitor: Mr. Praying Mantis on our screen.
 As for the garden...

I'd like to say that it went well, but what I can really say is it went...well, rather small. Maybe I should have replaced that chile ristra.

Potato harvest- made exquisite rosemary mashed potatoes

And then we had these.

Looks big until you realize the tomato is the size of a golf ball. *sigh*

Our cucumber. The one and only.

And then we had these guys.


I think I'll have to rethink my placement of my pots for next year. Either that or start growing them in February in our garage...
Although, I'm thrilled we had kale and rainbow swiss chard. I was worried since the first shoots were eaten completely to the ground by green worms and aphids.

But I wouldn't change where we live in the world. It's perfect.

 So, until next time,


Monday, September 21, 2015

Ren Faire? I'm There!

Good morrow!

This past weekend we had a fun escapade to the Santa Fe Renaissance Faire.

So much fun!
We even dressed up for the occasion.

Doesn't Mr. K look dapper?

We drove the hour's drive from our house to the Living Spanish Museum on the outskirts of Santa Fe and I was worried we'd be the only ones dressed up.
Well, us and my friend L. We'd arranged to dress up.
But anyway, yes. I worried.

I needn't have. It was a good mix of people in costume and not.
About a third to a half of the attendees, I'd say.
We felt right at home.

So, this is a picture journey of that day!

Found a harpist there. His music was quite enchanting.

And of course, we met up with the lovely and fair, L with her bubby, A.

Well dressed and ready to go!

 I love the fact that A looked like Robin Hood (or Link, according to L). And that the cape I helped make last year for halloween still fit him!

The place was beautiful and we couldn't have asked for a more perfect day!

There were even corn fields.

Carpenter workshops.

And proud men carrying the wee ones.
G is totally rocking the baby snugglie. And Mr K has Link.

Of  course, we had to go to the Fae Wild.

But sadly, we missed the troll and apparently there was a unicorn too.
However, we did get to see lots of fairy houses.

A castle, a seashore, a book house, and of course a fairy cake house.

They had Blacksmiths...but they were on break.

And right outside the blacksmith hut was a fairy fiddler.
A was completely mesmerized by her. And all the loose dirt.
Oh to be a two year old again.

There were Celtic games in one area.

The guy in the back is throwing a caber!

And of course, the jousting! But we got there right after it.
However the horses were still there.

There was a Gypsy Vanner and the other two were even bigger!

They had a costume contest and there was a steampunk traveller who almost won.
Said that the queen should trust Mr. Columbus in his exploring.

There was also a long train of belly dancers that passed through the faire, with their cymbals and bells all a-jingling at one point. 
Very cool.
Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to take a photo. 
I did however take a short video!


Her majesty, Queen Isabella made an appearance.

This is probably the only time I'll eat fried food (corn dogs only, thank you very much). But this one had roasted corn-which was to die for. So we made a small allowance.

Two fair roses

But then the day grew long and we had to leave.

Pay no attention to these hobbitses...

But not before one last photo with L!

Ah yes, I love Renaissance Faires. They're a blast.

So, until next time, I bid you adieu.


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