Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Thanksgiving–California Style

Please pardon my out of sequence posts. I have a few pics from the Cabin that I want to get posted….but I just did not want to wait before posting about everybody’s Thanksgiving.

Our girls and their guys headed to Encinitas,  for a California style Thanksgiving visit with Uncle Mike and Aunt Pam…………which included walks on the beach…….

From left….Jason, Sarah, Laura, and David   (Mike and Pam were nice enough to share these pictures)

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And eating at one of our favorite Mexican restaurants in Encinitas.  That’s Mike and Pam on the right.

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Then getting ready for a beach side bon fire…..Mike had been collecting pallets to burn!

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I am so glad that you guys had such a nice visit! You ALL needed a break….We love you! Take care……

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Monday, November 28, 2011

A Walk in the Woods–Oct. 2011

Fred has been working on our trails….getting several trails that can be maintained with just a bit of mowing with the tractor.  It makes walking in the woods so much more enjoyable……


This is a walk from the front southwest corner of our property (starting at our road close to the mail box) ……And continuing along the south (or front) boundary……


The trail continues down the east boundary, past the power line…….and back into the woods…..


I stopped here to take a picture of the big, beautiful trees….




At the bluff, overlooking the creek…….that’s as far as the tractor goes…….



But we walk on…..crossing the creek…..


Down to the old bridge……


And back on up the hill to St. Francis…..



This Fall, just before hunting season opened, we had seen a number of deer coming up. These are along side of the road just up from the turn-around…..


And these were hanging out just under the crape myrtle trees just down from the cabin. These pictures are not the best, taken in the early morning or evening light, and at full zoom. The deer are so skittish that as soon as they spot us, they run….making it quite difficult to take their picture!


I love the Fall! Getting out in the woods reminds me of why we bought this place so many years ago……..

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011–with Brian and Rebekah

This year we celebrated Thanksgiving in Sioux City, Iowa with Brian and Rebekah – We were delighted to be invited to help celebrate their first Thanksgiving in their new home.
Thanksgiving requires a lot of activity in the kitchen……..
The first time roasting a turkey for Rebekah…… I think that I had been married 20 years before I actually did the whole Thanksgiving meal….turkey and all…..by myself.
The turkey turned out beautiful! and we had sweet potatoes topped 1/2 with the brown sugar and pecans, and 1/2 with marshmallows.
The table was set with Brian and Rebekah’s “wedding” china and wine glasses…..
Brian learned to carve a turkey from the ‘master’…….
On the menu….. sweet potatoes, turkey, green beans,  dressing and homemade cranberry sauce, and a nice white wine.
Is it just our family who likes to take pictures of the food and then each of us with the food?…….. : )
A wonderful Thanksgiving meal! Then a bit of clean-up……
Meanwhile…..Sarah and Jason (from Phoenix) and Laura and Dave (from Oakland) all traveled to Encinitas, CA to spend Thanksgiving with their Uncle Mike and Aunt Pam. We were able to Skype with them this morning. Technology is wonderful…but, as great as it is to see them on the computer, I still miss being able to hug them ….I will admit to a few  tears……Miss you guys……but it is so good to know that you are having a great time and a good visit with each other.
I feel so blessed this year…..thankful for family and good friends, a home, tasty food, jobs for the kids, and a wonderful life with so many opportunities……I hope that you all had a Happy Thanksgiving, too.
With hugs all around……..

Monday, October 10, 2011

Settling In and Chores- Oct 2- 9th

Life back at home is not nearly as exciting and eventful as when we are traveling, but, I will try to keep the blog going, anyway…….

We decided to try to take our time settling in, and to not feel that we had to get all the chores done right away. We were fairly successful…..Fred took his time, over several days, to get the grass and weeds mowed. Mowing can sometimes be fun, rather than just a chore. You ride around,  rather slowly, getting to observe and enjoy everything ‘up close and personal’. The weather has been lovely, not too hot, making outdoor chores quite enjoyable.


And the right tools for the job, make the work easier.  Then we just sat back and admire the finished results…  : )


While Fred was doing the yard work, I got caught up on laundry and grocery shopping and spent time putting away some of the things that we had brought home with us (which took cleaning up some of the spaces at home that we had left cluttered).

And, Fred hung our new stained glass pieces that we bought on our travels……This one over the kitchen window is from Quebec.


This one hangs over the bathtub window…..We bought it in Maine, to remind us of all the beaches we have loved…..


In addition to settling in at home, we hit the gym on Monday with a new resolve…..a necessity after 4 months of travel. Our muscles were sore, but we knew that, in the long run, we would feel better for it. I’ll let you know how that goes…. ; )

And, of course, there is family….we had Sunday lunch at Grams and visited with everyone….getting caught up on things since we had been gone. And, on this past Saturday, Sally had a wonderful party for her brother-and-sister-in-law’s 25th wedding anniversary. Sally’s parties are always done with such style….and, this gathering  was a perfect opportunity to showcase Sally’s new kitchen, which looks fantastic, and functions beautifully!

Add in LOTS of porch sitting…..and a visit with our neighbors….and I would say that we had a nice balance for our first week back…….

Sunday, October 2, 2011

We Are Home!

12 weeks and 13,000 miles since we had buzzed through Louisiana in July……..19 weeks total on the road since we left in May……..And we are now HOME!


Things look a little scraggly – and,  the grass REALLY needs cutting ! But, overall, the cabin and land did not fare too badly for the weeks of neglect. We promised ourselves not to get too overwhelmed by any ‘chores’ that need to be done, but to remember that we can work at it a bit at a time.



The orchard looks good….there, too, the grass needs cutting……and the trees pruned this winter. The orchard (and the garden) look to the future. They will be there,despite a bit of neglect, when we are ready to stay home and harvest their fruits.


The only things lost to the draught were expected….. the deer had eaten the hydrangeas down to nothing the last time we had left, and we expected them to be gone……and the azaleas that I had planted in front of the cabin were dead. It will take a summer of watering to get anything to grow there…..


Homecoming has mixed feelings…….It is so hard to give your heart so fully to two different things. The cabin is my heart and soul……it has been since we bought the land in 1978. It speaks of home, comfort, loved ones, and memories and my special ‘things’. I wrap it around me like a blanket.

The camper speaks of adventure……of the worlds out there that we have yet to explore…..those ‘end of the road’ places. New places and new experiences that draw us…..that excite us….that keep us from becoming complacent.

Our camper represents simplicity. Everything we need within reach…pared down to the basics. And with simplicity comes freedom. Life on the road is about doing just whatever you want to do…going where ever you want to go. Yes, there are a few regular ‘chores’ and the occasional repair, but mostly, life is simplified and free of the usual concerns and routines.

Our cabin life is rich with complexity and layers. We have beautiful things which bring beauty and comfort to our lives.   We have the room and appliances which make cooking a joy, and allows us to share that with others. And, we have family and community which enrich and bring meaning to our lives. But, all of this comes with responsibility……Things require upkeep and a house and land require maintenance, and a community requires participation…..

There is a tension….a push-pull……We are not only giving ourselves permission to feel that tension……without feeling like we have to choose…or betray….either love….but to embrace the feelings. Perhaps it is in this ‘tension’ that life is really lived…….


Saturday, October 1, 2011

Visiting with Brian (and Jade) in Sioux City, IA

Friday Sept 23rd – Wed Sept 28th – We arrived in Sioux City Friday afternoon and settled the camper in at Stone State Park, a nice campground on the  north side of Sioux City. Then we headed over to Brian’ house to do laundry and a few other chores while waiting for him to get home from work. (Brian has been working as a project engineer for Gelita for 8 months, now). Brian’s house is lovely and very comfortable……and we appreciated being able to just make ourselves at home.


Over the weekend, we enjoyed just hanging out with Brian, taking Jade for walks, and revisiting some old, familiar places. Having lived in Sioux City from 1995-2001, we have a lot of ‘favorite’ places and favorite memories.

We were amazed that we could find the apple orchard where we used to go apple picking, and that they were still in business. We picked a bag full of apples for old times sake. We drove out to Trinity Heights to see the Mary statue that I liked because her skirts look ‘wind blown’ like they would be there in Iowa. Then we drove out to Bacon Creek Park, which turns out to be quite close to Brian’s house and reminisced about taking a family picture out there.

We also enjoyed cooking in Brian’s kitchen…..I have missed having a nice kitchen while we have been traveling……So we fixed waffles one morning and eggs and biscuits another. We also grilled steaks, and made pizza, and fixed a pork roast. And, of course, I made a batch of chocolate chip cookies.   : )

And, we caught up with good friends. We headed up to Orange City to see Jeff and Sara on Sunday evening, and got together with the Ryans and the Kelloggs on Wednesday evening. Catching up and visiting…..it feels like no time has passed……

We were  heading on out on Thursday morning……..Brian’s wife, Rebekah was coming for a weekend visit on Friday (she is finishing her PT school in Delaware) and we figured that they would like to have the time visiting to themselves.   : )

We said our goodbyes on Wednesday evening……. It is soooo very difficult to leave………

Sioux City will always have that feeling of ‘home’ to us…….always a special place in our hearts……so much more, now, with Brian there……..

Friday, September 30, 2011

Driving On to Sioux City……with a side trip through the Badlands

 On Wed. Sept 21st, we planned to leave Glacier NP and start driving towards Sioux City to visit with our son, Brian, so, we were up and about early, and so was Becky. We said our 'goodbyes', hoping that the roads we traveled would bring us back together before too long.

Sept 21, 22, 23rd – These days were spent mostly driving. We had about 1,200 miles to go to get to Sioux City, and we wanted to be there by the weekend. Most of the drive was just back- tracking from a month earlier (after the South Dakota Reunion), so…not much interest in stopping to sight-see……with a couple of exceptions…..

Sept 22 - Passing back through Belle Fourche, South Dakota, we stopped to take note of the monument noting the geographic center of the United States.  Who knew……?
And on our way through South Dakota, we detoured through Badlands National park.
We enjoyed the drive through, and stopped at most of the over looks…..
These Badlands formations consist of layers upon layers of ancient volcanic ash and sediment, hardened into rock.
They had distinct colored bands of yellow, pink and white…….
Giving the whole area a pastel water colored appearance…..
You could almost imagine yourself in some strange ‘moon –scape’ ……
Life in the Badlands seemed scarce……few birds or insects or other creatures.
But, just when you might think that the Badlands were barren and hostile……
These long horned sheep appeared…….They were blissfully walking down the road…..stopping to graze ….seemingly unbothered by our car……
Then, they turned their backs on us and bid us adieu……