Sunday, October 31, 2010

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween! I'm so behind... I still need to run to the store to get candy to hand out tonight, and a strand of halloween lights. Our porch light is not next to our door, but on the other side of the overhang (does that make sense?) so our doorway is always dark. I'm hoping I can find cute lights to hang around our front door!

Last weekend we had some friends over to carve pumpkins and have a game night. Unfortunately, I don't have many pictures. I mulled some wine and I think it was a hit - I had to make more!

I'd definitely make this again, but I think I'd cut the sugar in half. Here is the recipe, which I got from here.

  • 2 bottles dry red wine (I used Cabernet Sauvignon)
  • 1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice (about 3 oranges)
  • 2 more oranges (one to float on top, and one for garnish wedges)
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 4 whole cloves

Serves 6-8... sort of... it really depends if you want your guests to have a taste, or a bunch. I ended up doubling this recipe.

Squeeze the oranges to get 1 cup of juice. I'm sure you could get away with using store-bought juice, but the pulp floating around is what's kind of neat about mulled wine; it's more rustic this way. And oranges are in season.

Pour in the wine, add orange juice, stir in the sugar, and add the ground spices. Float the cinnamon sticks and whole cloves on top. Slice one of the oranges in rings, and float the rings on top.

Cover and cook on high for 2 hours, or on low for 4. You want the wine to get as hot as a traditional hot beverage. 
Ladle into mugs, and serve with a fresh orange wedge. When serving, leave the lid off and the crockpot on "low."

Our carved pumpkins
We had fun carving pumpkins, fishing out the pumpkin seeds (which I totally ruined by making them WAY too salty), and laughing at each other's carving faces. Apparently carving a pumpkin is serious business. No eye blinking!

OK, I better get going before all the good candy is gone. Have a great Halloween night! I leave you with my favorite Halloween song (in my most evil scientist voice), the Monster Mash.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

I'm a Coloradan

Peeps, it's official, finally! I can call myself a true resident of Colorado.

I have...

... lived here for 365 days
... a Colorado drivers license with my mug on it
... the green and white mountain license plate
... a ski pass, also with my mug on it
... enjoyed all 4 seasons here

And gosh darn it, I've hiked a 14er! :)

Here are a few fun facts about Colorado (I got these from a page I tore out of a local magazine a while ago, sorry, but I don't remember the source):

  • Denver has the largest city park system in the nation with 205 parks in City limits and 20,000 acres of parks in the nearby mountains.
  • The 13th step of the state capital building in Denver is exactly 1 mile high above sea level.
  • Colfax Avenue in Denver is the longest continuous street in America. 
  • Katherine Lee Bates wrote "America the Beautiful" after being inspired by the view from Pike's Peak.
  • The highest suspension bridge in the world is over the Royal Gorge Bridge near Canyon City, it spans the Arkansas River at a height of 1,053 ft.
  • Colorado has more microbreweries per capita than any other state. 
  • Colorado has an estimated 54 peaks poking at 14,000 feet above sea level. 

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Random Update

Happy Hump Day!

Well, I was hoping to keep blog posts a regular thing... but between being sick and not having much to post about this blog has been neglected recently. AND, I failed to blog about water for Blog Action Day 2010. Oops. I did see that Kate from Twenty-Six 2 Life did a great blog post for BAD, check it out here!

Not much is going on here... we had Survival Field Day for Wilderness Trekking School last weekend which was fun. We lit all kinds of things on fire (various fire starters, lint, steel wool, and stuff doused with Purell as an accelerant) and set up emergency shelters. I learned that the cheap-o space blankets are not what I want to rely on if I have to bivy under stressful circumstances - while it's storming, cold, or if I'm injured. They are pretty much aluminum foil and are not durable, as in, it would not hold up to a hail storm. As soon as we got home, John and I invested in real bivies from REI. I plan to post about WTS soon, it may end up being one big post we'll see.

What else... We've been hanging out with friends eating lots of Thai and Sushi - good times! Ooh, I just got a Soft Hea®t Luxury Micro-Fleece Electric Heated Warming Blanket for our bed and it is AWESOME. It's not your mother's electric blanket... it's soft, and the wires are nearly invisible. Yeah... you know when I'm this excited about a blanket and climbing into warm sheets, that there isn't much going on. :)

This weekend we're having a few friends over to carve pumpkins and have a game night. It should be really fun... I want to keep it casual so we're having grilled cheese (on homemade bread) with various toppings, tomato soup, mulled wine, pumpkin dip... and whatever my peeps decide to bring. I can't wait! Hopefully I'll remember to take some pictures.

Here's a random fall picture for you... the view from my "office".

Hope you're having a great week!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Join in on B.A.D. 2010: Water

Blog Action Day is an annual event held every October 15th that unites the world’s bloggers in posting about the same issue on the same day with the aim of sparking a global discussion and driving collective action. 

Blog Action Day 2010: Water from Blog Action Day on Vimeo.

Please join the global discussion on water, tomorrow October 15th.

Friday, October 08, 2010

One Lucky Earring

Let me tell you a story of an earring... 

A little dirty, but in perfect condition!
Five months ago, we took a trip to NH to visit some dear friends of mine, for a visit and a wedding. I took my sapphire earrings with me, the ones John gave me on our first Christmas being married. I had them packed in a jewelry roll, attached to one of those earring holder thingamajigs inside. I thought they were safe. Until I realized there was only one there, with just the backing of the other staring at me. 

I panicked. I had that feeling where first you freeze, then your insides melt into queasiness. Getting jewelry from the hubs is a rare thing as it is (they're just rocks he says), and this would not help my case. Well, naturally, I tried to retrace where the jewelry roll had been since it was packed... We went to the bachelorette party pretty much right after I got off the plane. We stopped at the house just long enough to change, and I took my make-up bag and jewelry with me to finish getting ready in the car. This means the earring could have been anywhere from inside my carry-on where it was packed, to the door to the garage, the garage, the driveway, the car, and the gravel parking lot in Boston. This was very sobering... I realized the earring was gone when we got back from the party at two in the morning. Nevertheless, my BFF and I were out in the driveway with flashlights, and searching the car in the middle of the night. No luck. The next morning we resumed the search, crawling around the carpeted floor with a flashlight, scouring the driveway and inside the car. We all kept looking for it the rest of the week, but it never turned up.

A few weeks ago I got a text from T, telling me that her husband found the earring while cleaning! Apparently it was stuck in the runner carpet by the door to the garage. The amazing part is that the carpet had been vacuumed and even shampooed since we were there! I still can't believe he found it, even now after they mailed it back to me, and I have the pair together again. It needs to be cleaned, but otherwise the earring is in perfect condition. Thanks T & G!

Now that is what I call a lucky earring.

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Wednesday Randomness

  • Mumford & Sons. I love them. They are from the UK. They are my new favorite band. I had no idea who they were until John and I were sitting in the car last week and heard a song on the radio we both really liked. John had me shazam it, and that's how we learned about the song Little Lion Man, that led me to discover Mumford & Sons. Seriously, I liked it so much, I bought the song from iTunes while riding in the car (I wasn't driving!). Here's the video for Little Lion Man... Warning: this isn't the "clean version" there are swear words.

  • I am loving the fall weather! I noticed today that I can open the blinds during the day and the house doesn't spike to a bagillion degrees. I love how much natural light our house gets, but it gets roasting in here in the summer with all the windows. It's nice the rest of the year though, and helps keeps the house warm in the winter - so I won't complain.
  • Did you know that one in fourteen people in the world have a facebook account? It's true peeps. Isn't that crazy? 1 in 14 peeps, in the WORLD. 
  • I think it'd be awesome to work in a think tank for Apple, Google, or facebook. I don't want to write code, I just want to think cool stuff up and help implement the ideas. 

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Hike: Maroon Bells

Last weekend we took a scenic drive to Aspen to see the Maroon Bells Scenic Wilderness Area in all it's fall beauty. Unfortunately for us, it was hazy so we didn't get clear pictures of the peaks against a bright blue sky like we were hoping... though it did clear up a bit by mid-afternoon. I think I got a couple of good pictures. John took his DSLR but of course, I haven't seen those pictures yet. These were taken with my point and shoot.

We hiked the Scenic Loop, and parts of the Maroon Creek and Crater Lake trails. We had a really relaxing day just enjoying fall in Colorado. On the way back we made Independence Pass part of our route. It was a beautiful drive (there and back), and we can't wait to go back and spend more time there.

When we were hiking the scenic loop, going through an Aspen grove, I couldn't help but take this little video clip of the "raining" leaves...

What are you doing to celebrate fall? Going apple picking, or to a pumpkin patch? A festival? 

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Got Talus?

The other day, I posted about our class hike in Eldorado Canyon State Park. Well, when we were at Maroon Bells, I saw this slope and snapped a quick shot so I could show you an example. This is a slope of talus. Boulders are bigger, scree is smaller and more gravelesque (yes, I just made that word up). I am happy to say that we did not climb up this hill.

I'm still sorting through my pictures that I took at Maroon Bells... but here's Koda wishing you a happy October too. 

Hope you had a great weekend! 

Friday, October 01, 2010

Happy October!

We celebrated the 1st of October in Aspen, Colorado enjoying the view of Maroon Bells and the fall foliage.

We hiked the scenic loop and parts of other nearby trails. I hope we got some good pictures! More to come...

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone