Busy Week

This week was busy and fun – not a lot of time for knitting or blogging though.  On Tuesday, I watched my five year old grandson after school.  He is in Kindergarten this year.  We played Pirate-opoly – a version of Monopoly with pirates especially for kids ages 5 to 8.  It is very fun and he loves to play as he usually always wins! (I don’t let him either!)  He also loves to play the game with plastic jumping frogs that is kind of like tiddly winks – I can hardly get them to jump in the container but he does it so well that he wins every time.  Bubble gum is another of his favorite things – just look at the size of the bubbles he can blow.  He is so full of energy and fun.  Being a grandma is great!

On Wednesday, I went to lunch with a close friend.  Afterwards, I did the grocery shopping and on the way home took this picture of Mount Blanca.  There had been fresh snow during the night and it looked so pretty.

On Friday morning, I went to a school play.  My friend’s daughter in the 6th grade was in the play that was a project for her drama class at the middle school.  It was really good!  They did a set of four fairy tales – Three Little Pigs, Rumplestiltskin, Cinderella and Little Red Riding Hood.  Each of the tales had its own new spin – such as the wolf ending up being friends with the three little pigs and the glass slipper getting broken when it was tried on by one of the ugly step sisters but Cinderella came up with the other one and still got to marry Prince Charming.  It was really an enjoyable play and the acting was very well done for 6th grade students.

Friday afternoon, I decided to go for a drive to the wildlife refuge then drove on to a neighboring town and shopped at a cute little organic store.  The Sandhill Cranes are back in the valley – they stop here on their migration in the spring and fall.  November is the main month for the fall migration but there are already a lot of cranes near the refuge.

The weather was lovely this week, warm without much wind.  Autumn is my favorite season.

Quick Trip to Salida

On Saturday afternoon after we got some stuff done around the house we decided to drive to Salida to eat dinner and look around.  It was a nice drive – most of the fall colors had gone from the mountains though.  They go in a hurry once it has been windy – all the leaves blow off the trees very quickly. 

I got quite a bit done on my car knitting project along the way.  It is going to be a vest that I’ve modified – more about it in this post:  Autumn Colors and a New Knitting Project

We took a walk along the river when we got there – it was really looking beautiful with the fall colors on the trees and the sun reflecting on the water.  The water was so clear that under the bridge (where there is no glare) we could see fish swimming in the water!  The sounds of the water and the leaves rustling in the breeze were so pleasant. It was warm, too.  There weren’t too many people around either – we saw one man riding a unicycle.  I’d kind of like to try that – just to see if it was difficult or like riding any other bike.  There are several benches and even a couple of tables along the riverwalk in Salida so you can just sit and enjoy being there.

After that we did a bit of shopping before we ate out at our favorite restaurant in Salida – Amicas.  It wasn’t very busy either – sometimes, it is so busy there that you have to wait a long time.  They have the best soup of anywhere I’ve ever eaten – everything is good but the soup is ultra delicious!

The drive home was nice, too.  There are so many deer in the roads anymore, you really have to be careful to avoid them.  We hit one back in March and it was dreadful – it killed the deer and really smashed our car.  Today, we saw one in Alamosa on the way out of town; saw several walking around the streets of Salida and one was standing in the highway in Alamosa on the way home and it wouldn’t even move!  They are so lovely to look at but are really a hazard on the road.

Another Birthday

On Thursday evening we went to a birthday celebration for the daughter of our close friends – she turned eight.  Her Mom fixed a great dinner for everyone – there were almost 20 people there!  Afterwards, she opened her presents and then everyone had cake and ice cream.  She had a Hannah Montana cake – it seems like all the little girls around here really like Hannah Montana.  Since it was a week night there wasn’t much time for anything else but we did get to play a few card games with the kids.  They love to play Go Fish, Crazy Eights and Old Maid.

I brought two salads for the dinner.  One was a Wilted Spinach Salad that is very easy to fix and tastes great – I think so anyway!  The whole salad was eaten so others must have liked it, too.  It doesn’t look that wonderful in the picture as I had a hard time cutting up the boiled eggs – I grabbed a dull knife and it kind of mutilated them rather than slicing them neatly.  You have to make this salad at the last minute as it needs to be served as soon as possible after making it to stay warm – so, I was in a dreadful hurry with the eggs as we were already a few minutes late.

Anyway, it is easy to make – you need a lot of spinach, I used a huge sack that was about 14″ x 14″ stuffed with spinach.  You also need some bacon (1/2 a pound of so); one bunch of green onions; pepper; vinegar of your choice and several  hard boiled eggs for garnish.  Cut the bacon into small pieces (I used a scissors – so much quicker than a knife); chop the green onions and then cook the green onions and bacon in a large heavy pot until the bacon is cooked.  Stir in some pepper (1/2 tsp) and about 1/3  cup of vinegar – I used a combination of  white wine vinegar and balsamic vinegar.  Let this come to a boil and then start putting in the spinach.  Fill the pot with spinach and stir it until the spinach wilts down and then fill the pot with spinach again and stir it until the spinach wilts down – keep doing this until  you use up all your spinach or you think there is enough.  Put the pot contents into a serving bowl and garnish with boiled eggs – serve as soon as possible.

This salad would be good for people who are eating low carbs – the bacon and eggs have fat and protein but not many carbs.  It must be pretty nutritious as well because it has a LOT of spinach in it!

First Snow!

On Tuesday, we woke up to the first snow of this winter season.  It is always so beautiful and I still feel that thrill I did when I was a kid of winter finally arriving.  However, as one gets older one also thinks of all the work that will be starting up now.  The firewood to be brought in and fires started, the sidewalks and driveways to be shovelled. Also, the car windows to be scraped and brushed!  But yesterday, I really enjoyed the beauty and wonder of it. Somehow, it seems like magic that everything is coated in white.

I took this picture of the mountains from the end of our road the day after the snow – some of it had already gone and for some reason it was kind of hazy.

Even though snow and cold can be a hardship – I am glad we live in a place that has a long winter season.  It is good to have a reason to knit sweaters, hats, mittens, scarves, shawls and warm socks!

Barbecue, Birthday and Bowling

We had a busy, fun weekend. On Friday, we were invited to a barbecue at the home of our close friends – they are really more like our family than friends. We love them and being included in their lives.  It was too cold for a real barbecue but they barbecued meat in the garage and then everyone ate in the house ~ there were 19 or 20 people altogether.  The food was great but the company was even better!  It was wonderful to see members of the family we hadn’t seen for a while and to see how the children had grown and changed.

After dinner everyone visited and played games.  Some people (mostly the young men) played the Rock Band video game.  They were very good at it.  I’ve tried playing it a couple of times when we’ve been over and it’s very difficult.  My husband and I played a version of monopoly with the kids, it’s called Boo-opoly – it was fun, exactly the same as monopoly but the properties are named different things with a spooky twist like Dark Place instead of Park Place.

The Birthday Girl & Her Sister

On Saturday, we went to the First Birthday Party for a sweet little girl.  All the same people were there from the Barbecue plus quite a few more.  Even though it was a cold, dreary, rainy day the party was happy and fun. 

There were delicious sub sandwiches for lunch along with the birthday cake and the kids had a pinata to break. 

 On Saturday evening we went out to eat at a new restaurant with the same friends.  Afterwards, many of the young people (and us) went bowling at the Rock and Bowl from 10pm till 1am.  I’ve never bowled that long before – or that bad!  I’m ashamed to even mention my scores!

My husband and I paid the price on Sunday – very stiff and sore all day from the bowling extravaganza.  Both of us were especially feeling it in our left hip.  We spent the day resting up.

Taos Wool Festival

My husband and our dog.

On Sunday, October 5th, we went to the Taos Wool Festival. We’d been in Taos on Saturday but the Festival was already finished for the day by the time we got to town after our drive through the mountains to see the autumn colors. My husband said he didn’t mind driving back again on Sunday so we decided to go.

It was raining a bit when we first got there but cleared off shortly afterwards. There were lots and lots of booths with all sorts of things having to do with wool – not just yarn. There were rugs, hats made from felt, hats knitted and then felted, fleeces – everything wool.

There were booths set up in a big circle and stuff in the middle, too.

Click For Larger View

There was so much beautiful yarn – I didn’t get any though.  It was very expensive but mostly I have such a huge stash already that my husband had to build a shed for me in our back yard to store it! 

One booth had the most amazing knitted items – dolls, airplanes, lizards – everything! They are really works of art – knitted sculptures. The patterns for knitting them were sold, too.

 

 

There were pens with llamas, alpacas and goats. The alpacas are such cute animals, they are more friendly than the llamas as well. The little goats seemed almost like pet dogs.

Many of the booths were selling fleeces and spinning wheels.  We’ve been to the Wool Festival many times and I always think it is more geared towards spinners than knitters. Spinning looks so interesting but I’ve never really been tempted to try it.

 

It was fun to walk around and see all the wool related stuff! The yarn pictured below was my favorite – it is such a pretty color.

Autumn Colors and a New Knitting Project

On Saturday, October 4th, my husband and I decided to go for a drive to see the autumn colors in the moutains near our home. It is the perfect time for fall colors but it was a less than perfect day for a drive to see them! It was cloudy, rainy and sometimes so foggy you couldn’t even see very far ahead. However, it was still a beautiful drive – some of the aspen trees just seemed to glow with color. It was also kind of fun to drive in the rain and mist – it felt very cozy in the car.

Here are a couple more pictures. It was pretty wet so I didn’t take my good camera outside to get any super pictures, just used my little point and shoot though the windows.

  

I got started on a new knitting project on the way – all the others I have going are at a point that they aren’t good to take in the car. This is going to be a vest, it is based on this pattern from Gardiner Yarn Works – Venice Beach Tank. I’ve changed the bottom shaping quite a bit but I really like the way the straps are knitted on in one piece with no sewing. The yarn is lovely, it is called from Koala from Needful Yarns. It’s a very soft wool, alpaca and acrylic blend which I purchased from Elann. It has lots of body yet is still soft. This is going to be for a friend of mine who is like a daughter in law – this color looks wonderful on her.

We stopped at our favorite shop in Chama, New Mexico and bought some fudge and looked around. The couple who run the shop are so nice. It was very busy there as the Cumbres Toltec train had just come in and the passengers were wandering around Chama. On the way, I had wondered aloud to my husband if they would have some pumpkin fudge for the Halloween season. They did! It tastes really, really good. In the picture it is the gold color fudge on the upper left.

We ended up in Taos and did some shopping at Cids grocery store (they finally had some adzuki beans) and then ate Mexican food before we came home. It was a fun day even if the weather was bad.