Thursday, December 04, 2014

It's That Time of Year...

Back again,
Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving! We certainly did. We had a Friendsgiving, with Mr and Mrs B and some other friends of theirs from Santa Fe.



These are some of the best shots from our Thanksgiving feast. Mr B is making a brussel sprout and bacon salad with pomegranate seeds as one of our sides.
By the by, did I mention that we had close to five star chefs as our hosts?
We're spoiled. Yes. We know it.

Of course, the hostess and I had to do our sorority girl shots. We matched in leggings!




I wanted a kitchen shot and said the words, "Act normal."
Apparently this is what normal is...hehe


But now onto the food, right?

First up, a sweet potato casserole with crunchy topping and marshmallow stripes, pre melt phase. I didn't get a shot of our casserole after the browning of the marshmallows. Oops.


The main course, and probably typical in most households, the turkey.
Which was brined and then smoked.
Which was also really good.


Next, the famous potato rolls and a side salad.
Delish!


And lastly, before the dessert, we brought out some French cheeses for all to enjoy.

Clockwise from right: Saint Augur, Morbier, Chevre, Brie, and Comté

We also brought my great-grandmother's pumpkin pie. It's really yummy, and that's saying something. I usually prefer a pecan pie. But the feast was sans nuts due to allergies. Not too shabby though, in my book. Didn't even miss the nuts!

And after that feast, boy do I have some news for you!

First off, NaNoWriMo is done and I made it to the end!!!


I'm very excited about this. So far, two novels for two NaNoWriMos.
What had started out as an exercise, seeing if I could take one character from another work and pair her with a new one, blossomed into a 50,874 word piece of fun. I know a lot of it is, as some of my writing group friends would say, "faff" and will need to be slashed, changed, and rewritten, especially the ending. Oh dear, yes.

I'm terrible with endings for some reason.

But I'm happy to have gotten it done.

Actually, I have visions in my mind of making it into a novella. It'll be punchier that way, I think.

Anyway, I'll have some time in January to revisit it. I'm taking December off from working on novels, er, this novel. I got back some notes from my beta reader in Connecticut (Hi Mrs. P!) on my last book and will be tackling that next.

Then we'll see what happens.

Dream list? I'd like to find an agent. And then editor. And then one day, publish.

I'm not a big fan of the self-published for $0.00 on Amazon. I've read a bunch of those. There's generally a reason they're free. Not to say some aren't good. It's just, well, you can tell when something needs more work. And the spelling typos! (Don't get me started on that.)

But yeah, I am doing a happy dance. And Mr. K was so sweet. The night I finished, he made me dinner. (P.F. Changs does frozen food, by the way.) And he got me this:


Scrumptious baby tiramisu cup three inches wide. Served with a coffee, because we WriMos are addicted to the stuff after November, it was divine.

I love that man.

And secondly, we have our tree!
The day after we went with friends to go get our Christmas tree. Actually go and chop it down in a forest! To do that, we had to drive North past the Valle Calderas. I'll apologize in advance, I didn't think to take my camera with me for the first part of the trip. I just had my phone.

That said, I think some of these turned out pretty nice.

Like this one of the Valle Calderas.

Gorgeous!

The road takes you right by it. It was so breathtaking, we had to stop and take photos.


But of course, Mr K and I had to get a shot in.

By the way, I'd just like to point out that it was SUPER windy that day.

My hair takes on a mind of its own in wind.
But the baby behind us was totally adorable. So look at her, will you?

Our friends, Mr and Mrs C with Little M

We took one more photo then hopped back into the Jeep.


On we went, heading to the place to get the trees.
We drove over the Rio Grande, by the way...

Not very Grande if you ask me, but pretty nevertheless.
However, when we got to the ranch...


**Cue western whistle from duel here**



I'm just kidding...they did have trees. But they weren't allowing people to chop them down.

However, after a few well timed calls from Mrs C, we found out that if we went to the Santa Fe National Forest with a permit, we could chop down our tree there. So the boys piled into the SUV and drove back down to Los Alamos because why sell permits any other place but forty minutes away from where you are.

The rest of us went on a hike around the area.


Can I just reiterate how much I love our area?
Cause I do.



After our little one and a half mile hike, the boys returned with the permits. We finished the cookies and hot chocolate and piled back into the car.

I was seated next to this little gem. Little M.


Oh, and Mr. K was a real sweetie and brought me back my camera!!

We got up to the National Forest, but had to ask for where we could go to get some good trees.


Told to go back a bit, we passed some great scenery.

Looks like the West, no?

We found a good spot and parked. Believe it or not, there was snow.


Just to give you some perspective, the blue dots are our friends. Those trees were HUGE!


And as the sun was setting, our time to get a tree was ticking away...


Mr. K and I walked into the forest to try to find one.


We hiked up the mountains, pushed past branches, slapped our faces on twigs...but had a hard time finding something that was less than 10 feet tall and no more than 5 inches of base.

The guys took a break on a rock though...


A little perspective is needed I think for this...


Back into the woods we went.

I like this shot. It shows the white trunks of the aspens very well.

And then we found it!

Time was short, the sun was setting, and it was the best looking single trunked tree out there.

Now we had to go down the mountain and take it to the car...no easy feat, but Mr. K was awesome.

This reminds me of a Hallmark card...

Say Ouistiti! (The French say this instead of Cheese!) Even through the branches, Mr K is smiling.

Tying up the trees came next. Roof of the car time!


Group photo!


And this is one of my favorites...

Doesn't Mr K look dashing, with a hint of vintage flair about him, courtesy of Mr and Mrs C's Jeep.

So I guess you want to see our baby up and decorated too, huh?








We thought it resembled the Charlie Brown Christmas tree... you know, bare branches, weird shapes.

But after decorating it, we love it. It looks resplendent, sort of. I still miss my bushy fir trees


Well, there you have it. Our first Southwestern Christmas Tree. It's not like the East Coast ones we're used to, but we like it.

So that's all for now.

Until next time,
Bisous

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