Friday, November 30, 2007


Last weekend we travelled to our favorite Christmas tree farm to take a horse-drawn wagon ride out to the field to cut down our Christmas tree.

It was a perfect day!

The ride through the woods and field was so much fun.

The scenery really makes the trip special!

Going through the tunnel under the turnpike was exciting!! Mason's favorite part!

We found the perfect tree with no arguing what-so-ever.

It was Tommy's turn to put the star (made long ago by Doug) on the top of the tree. Actually it was Sarah's turn but, sadly, she wasn't home.

I so love having the Christmas tree up. We'll have it for an extra week this year as long as it lasts till New Year's.

Advent starts this Sunday.

Best wishes for a beautiful, holy season!


Friday, November 23, 2007


What a wonderful day we had!!

~The tables were ready~

~The "fire" was lit~

~The turkey was roasted~

~The buffet was set~

~The most important, was gathered~

The weather even cooperated for a hayride after dinner.

I hope everyone who celebrated Thanksgiving was able to enjoy time spent with family and friends and lots of delicious food!

Thursday, November 22, 2007


Best wishes for a happy, blessed, and fun filled Thanksgiving!

I am so grateful for all the blessings in my life. How wonderful that we have a day to celebrate our bounty!


Saturday, November 17, 2007


I thought I would share yet another of my favorite soups.
This recipe comes courtesy of my sister, Maria. She made this up years ago for some family dinner.

It was a big hit and I have made it many times since.

She calls it "Mexican Chowder"

It's an easy soup to make because most of the work involves opening cans.

1 cup chopped onion
1 garlic clove, crushed
3 Tbls oil or butter
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp cumin
pepper flakes ( I use cayenne)
1 can diced tomatoes
2 cups diced potatoes
2 cups broth
1 can corn

Saute onion and garlic in oil until soft
add spices and cook for a couple of minutes

Add chopped potatoes, tomatoes, and broth

Simmer until the potatoes are tender
Add corn (I don't drain it)

Take about 1/2 of the soup out and blend it until smooth in a blender or food processor

Add the pureed portion back to the chunky portion and reheat it

This soup holds wonderfully in a crock pot.

It is absolutely delicious topped with shredded cheddar and maybe a little crumbled bacon.


Wednesday, November 14, 2007


Were you worried that we didn't make it through our hike? Sorry about the delay in posting. Sometimes real life must take precedence over my online life.

Our hike was wonderful. Cold, tiring, challenging, exciting...wonderful!

We met Jimmy, Andrew, and Billy at the visitor's center in the morning. They were none the worse for wear after spending the night out in the below freezing temperatures. Billy swore that he was sweating in his tent at night and Jimmy said that he slept with his tent flap open. Really????

As we stood around waiting for everyone to gather to begin our hike, I noticed two white things drifting down from the sky. I joked that maybe it was snow. Well, no joke, it was snow! It snowed off and on throughout the whole hike. I loved it!!

The hike began with a short, gentle climb to the south lookout. Just enough to get our muscles warmed up.

The view was overcast but still amazing.

The down portion of the hike was very relaxing. Not too difficult except for watching each step because of the rocks and protruding tree roots.

We stopped a couple of times to take off layers, put on layers, have a drink of water, eat a small snack, or snap a few pictures of the beauty that was surrounding us.

Our trail meandered down through the woods and eventually went through this amazing rock field. There are several of these fields throughout our state. My brother tells me that they are debris left over from a glacier passing through long, long ago. We irreverently refer to them as "glacier poop". They are really fun places to explore, difficult, but definitely worth the effort for some pictures. Luckily because of the freezing weather, we saw no snakes. I imagine this would be quite the snake playground in the warm weather. I don't intend ever to find this out though!

After a stop for lunch, we started the climb back up the mountain. This was, as always, the most challenging part for me. I get out of breath very quickly. I took it slow, stopped A LOT to catch my breath, and eventually made it up the steepest part of the trail.

Then we came to the truly scary part of the trail. Oh, did I say scary? I really meant fun and challenging!

We have climbed this trail many times. Each time I seem to forget just how hard it really is. The snow on this trip added quite a lot more excitement with the slippery foot and hand holds and frozen fingers trying to grip the rock.

Finally, after 4 hours, and some help on the rocks from Scott (Thank you Scott), we made it to the top, North Lookout.

The view was not what it usually is because of the snow and overcast conditions, but it was still breathtaking and totally worth the trip!!

After spending just a short time at the top admiring the awesomeness of the place, we decided to head back down. IT WAS FREEZING!!!!

The walk down seemed like more of a stroll in the park compared to the hike up.

It was a terrific day. One of the best ever! I already can't wait for our next hike.

Any takers??