Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Snow Day


video

Randy and I pulled over to play in the snow and look at an icy river after spending our second day skiing. I've never made a snow angel in such deep and powdery snow- yummy!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Rocks Rock.


There is too much to talk about, too much to see. Hurricane is less than an hour drive from Zion, the Red Cliffs, old mining sites, abandoned mills with green and blue rocks, and Babylon Trail (The Sin City for silver miners) which has petroglyphs!

I have waaaay too many pictures I want to post and talk about and I'm not sure how to organize the entries from the past few days. I'll just start with these photos from yesterday's adventure with Randy's marmy.
The road at Red Cliffs is super sandy and easy to get stuck in. The earth is so soft and is a lovely shade of burnt orange. :) I found lava rocks, flint, and a "rock taco" at this site. The weather was gorgeous and the mountains were easily visible all around us- perfect picture taking condition.

Old mining spot. We were able to stand on it and look down the hole but couldn't see the bottom.
Nearby is a small cemetery with crosses marking several "unknown" graves from the 1800s. One man came all the way from Ireland.

I hunted for treasures at this old mill for at least a couple hours. There were bright blue and green rocks everywhere and some really old glass pieces mixed in. I started with a peanut can and quickly filled that up. I think I earned Michele's respect as a beginning Rock Hound at this location.

Tomorrow Randy and I go skiing again.
I have a huge rash around my mouth from our last skiventure (Randy named it my RashStache) and my knee is a little achey but other than that we are ready to return, with warmer socks and a neck/face protector for me!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

I'm dreaming of a.......

So Randy got a raise because he is an awesome teacher. (And got Teacher of the Month in December- woo-hoo!) Because of this raise, we decided to try and ski while in Utah. Because of this ski-venture, my amazing roommate/former Whole Earth employee decked us out in some rad gear. Really nice pants, helmets, goggles, and gloves- we were set!

Despite one near-death, life-flashing-before-eyes experience of sliding on an access ramp prior to turning on 4-wheel-drive- I would highly recommend skiing at Brian Head Resort in Brian Head, Utah.

Recommended to us by Randy's family friend, Brian Head is only an hour and a half drive from his abode. We took his brother's 4-wheel truck which ended up saving our lives during the trek up the mountains.

This ski location is known for having short lift lines and reasonable prices, something that we definitely encountered while there.

I'm not sure if there were less people because of the holiday (not likely) or because of the harsh-ish conditions driving up to the slope, but I was amazed at the amount of people there and the space we had while on the slopes. Four-wheel-drive or tire chains is a necessity to get there, unless you want to drive 5 miles an hour and swallow your stummy the entire trip.


Anywho, Randy and I arrived safely and because some of the more advanced lifts were down we only had to pay half-price for the lifts and rentals. Awwwwwesome.
The longest lift line was less than 5 minutes and the snow was perfectly powdery.

It was cold, and my hair turned to icycles. It was hard work, Randy and I made the misetake of trying one blue and I spent over 15 minutes trying to put my skis back on after losing them in a face-plant. I'm not complaining though because had we never tried and failed that course, we never would have known that the powdery snow was higher than our waist. It literally swallowed me.

This was a beautiful skiing experience. We will try to go again if my aching body and sore knees have recovered.



A Little House in Hurricane, Utah

Here are some more photos of Hurricane and the abode that Randy's folks live in.
I am taking it easy, cooking a few dishes for tomorrow and resting my sore body because every muscle aches from skiing...Even my fingers under my nails.

Mr. Duck.

Mocha.

Stonework all done by Randy's mom.

Stones all found and collected by Randy's mom. She has buckets and buckets of beautiful rocks of every type and petrified wood.

Backyard Treasures.

I've had a taste of why this town is called Hurricane- you can hear the wind howling outside at night.

It's nice and cold here but the sun is shining, exposing the many reds in the rocks and burnt orange soil, subtle reminders of Austin. :)

Off to peel eggs...
Merry Christmas Eve!


Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Utah Part 1

Day One of Utah Vacation:

Gambling in Nevada for the first time after leaving the airport. (Ten whole dollars turned in to dust in less than 10 minutes)

Hurricane, Utah. Home of Randy's folks. I love me some pomegranate trees, and they have three around their abode.

I have met three of Randy's four brothers, his "wicked" funny mom and pop, the family dog Mocha, and the pet duck.

Randy's mom took me on a quick tour of Zion. We saw the Virgin River and drove part of the Switchback. Dramamine has served me well.

I feel lucky to have my very own rock hound (Randy's mother) to show me around. She gave me a box to store all the goodies I find while here, I wish I could carry on the flight some of the beautiful boulders I have already encountered.

Michele is an amazing collector of antique and rusty treasures. She builds stuff..... out of rocks and stuff.... And is quite the eccentric lady........ And we have twin cameras.

Every time I go outside (or walk around inside), I find more interesting and beautiful things to look at. Not too shabby of a vacation, I'll say. And tomorrow Randy and I will drive about 2 hours and go skiing all day.....Weeee!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

I've Been Slackin'

But I've been craftin'....

Due to lack of time and my dead money tree, there will be fewer (but more crafty) presents for friends and family this year.

While away from the Blogiverse, I have been sick, resting, stressing, crafting, and preparing for my upcoming adventures. On Saturday I will be heading home to Odessa and then to Utah for the first time in my lil' life with the boy to visit his semi-homeland.

I cannot share what I have been making since I will be giving them to some of the readers, but I can show you what I planted in my bathroom! (My going away present from Central Market to myself)
It was a little scary how fast this thing bloomed- like an alien, it was.

And I can show you my awesome paper star that Shaela taught me to make and is now the primary Winter decor in our abode.

The stars served as awesome decorations for my housemates Hanukkah Party last Saturday, where I got to see my very first Menorah lighting. It was beautiful.

I'm very lucky to have such grand roommates. And because of them I have tried Latkes and Matzo Ball Soup! Hoorah!

Latkes, served with applesauce and sour cream


Dradle, of course

I hope you all have safe travels and stay warm over the Holly-Days! I will be posting many pictures of my travels.
Until then....

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Furry Trees


I splurged and bought myself Thymes-Frasie Fir oil to put in my oil burner.

The entire house smells like pine trees.
Ahhhh, happiness.

On another happy note, Randy just texted me that he is picking me up and taking me on my Pickle Picnic. Almost makes up for the fact I have to babysit all night and will be missing out on some of the East Austin Art activities.

Happy Saturday!

Monday, November 9, 2009

'Tis the Season...

to stuff our faces.....Tonight I went out and bought picked up my Riverside turkey from HEB. A nice big pre-cooked, frozen, 23 pound feller. Probably raised in a warehouse and injected with lotsa poisonous goodies, but he was FREE and he will be a grand treat for all of my Thanksgiving guests.
I want to do some trial runs of Thanksgiving.
In fact, I think the feasting done on Thanksgiving should be performed several times a year. We have breakfast for dinner don't we? Why not Thanksgiving for Spring Break, for the beginning of summer, Easter, Memorial Day, etc.?
I have fond memories of Turkeydays past. It is one holiday I sorely regret not being able to go home for. In Odessa I get to partake in multiple Thanksgiving feasts, each of them with traditional and unique dishes that are absurdly delicious. Why wouldn't we eat these more than once a year?
It usually goes something like this:
Helping prepare the meal, carrying the dishes over to the host's abode or preparing the abode for guests.
Chatting away and picking at food while the meal is finished up.
Eating said meal. Miserably returning for seconds and thirds.
(watch football)
Nap time
Wake up and eat more.
Eat food for the following week.
Eat bean/ham stew mom makes with leftover ham.....You know the drill, or know something similar.

My stepdad often fries a turkey after injecting it with cajunesque goods- the BEST way I have ever had one. Although one year my mom did the brine and it was mighty fine too. Then there was the deep-fried-turkey-accident year, a day my stepdad was severely burned, so that was put on hold for a few years.

My mother always goes overboard, as she does with most holidays. She makes homeade stuffing (the kind where you actually bake cornbread and such), broccoli and rice cheesy casserole, cranberry compote (admittidly NOT my favorite), stuffed mushrooms, millionaire pie which she attempts to hide but my brother and I always find, some sort of veggie because people tend to forget about healthy-er stuffs, etc. etc. etc.

My grandmother makes a red velvet cake, the best I have and will ever have.

Pam, my stepmother, always makes Twiced baked potatoes and her version of broccoli and rice casserole which is moy yummy.

My MiMi Karen makes this strangely delicious dish that has pineapples, Ritz crackers, and cheese among other ingredients that make for a surprisingly good party in yo mouth. She also makes these deathly good Chex caramel peanut butter bars. We are lucky to get those at Christmas time as well.

It's interesting to see what families have a tradition of making. Some do green bean casserole, which I love, but I don't remember ever having. Some do duck or pheasant or steak. We stick with the turkey, ham, and sometimes Turducken. (tasty indeed!)
Throughout my many years of gorging, I have made a mental list of my favorite dishes and as I prepare my own Thanksgiving feast this year I will force these dishes upon my pals. While there are several recipes I found in Gourmet magazine I want to try, such as a fig tart, I will always have my favorites that have been with me since my childhood.

The following are must-haves at a Jennifer Thanksgiving feast:
Turkey
Mashed Potatoes
Giblet Gravy
Cranberry Sauce- and although I make homemade version, my favorite is from a can.
Broccoli and Rice casserole- the type with wild rice and velveeeeta
Stuffed mushrooms

I'm sure I've left some things out- I'll probably have to make a few edits.
But this is what comes to mind for now, and these are the things I will be dreaming about until Thanksgiving day.

Oh, and I MUST do the wishbone.

Happy November!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Pizza Much?

Randymanboy and I have been on a pizza kick.
Actually, I think Randy could eat pizza every day and not get sick of it. I get sick of the idea of what it is doing to my waistline, but I love it all the same.
The following pizzas were inspired by the delicious parmesan pizza crusts sold in the bakery section at Central Market.

Pizza #1 and #2-
Baked potato Pizza.
Made with purple and red potatoes, bacon, broccoli, cheddar and mozzarella cheeses.
One pizza had a ranch/sour cream sauce and the other had an alfredo sauce.

Pizza #3-
Macaroni and Cheese Pizza.
Made with pepperoni, bacon, Kraft mac-n-cheese spirals, black olives, 2 cheeses, tomato/alfredo (pink) sauce, and a bread crumb topping.


Pizza #4-
Macaroni and Cheese Pizza Version 2.
Made with MORE pepperonis, bacon, green chili sauce + pink sauce, Velveeta shells-n-cheese, two kinds of cheese, bread crumb topping.


We have more plans such as a tuna pizza with capers and dessert pizzas, oh my!
Perhaps it is a good thing the 'ole CM is cutting my hours big time because Randy has suggested we come up with a pizza for every day of the year.
Yikes.....Yum.....Oi.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Zom-Weeeee!

This weekend will be Zombielicious!!

Friday- Zombieland viewing with Randy and Co. I hope it's not too scary- I am a weenie Zombie poser lady.

Saturday- Thrill the World Dancing! Complete with a full dance lesson at 5pm and a mass Thriller dance at 8pm which will hopefully break the world record- weeeee!
Description from the Alamo Drafthouse Page:
On Saturday, October 24 we'll have the main event at the iconic abandoned power plant in downtown Austin: SEAHOLM! The festivities that day will start at 5pm with a FULL LESSON for anyone that hasn't had a chance to learn the dance yet. Then promptly at 8pm we'll join in with all of the Thrill the World dancers from across the world, setting at least one world record and maybe, just maybe, taking Mexico City down as well. After that performance, we'll have multiple screens set up to play music videos and more and we'll celebrate with Austin's first Rolling Roadshow outdoor Sing-Along with a full on Michael Jackson Dance Party.
Fun pictures to come! Nothing planned for Sunday yet, but word on the street is I am being thrown a pickle picnic! Color me Green!
The weekend is forecasted to be beeeeauteeful! Get out there and get yer Zombie on!!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

A Friday Night Tale....

Randy is a Geography teacher.
Randy invited me to the Manor High Homecoming game and dance.
We made each other mums.

Randy's mum was robot themed. It's name was Mumbles.

My mum had drawings of Julia Child, a pickle, an art palette and art easel on it.

We went to the football game.
And then to the dance.

And while at the dance we discovered this little gem, which I will be submitting to Cakewrecks.

Wow.
Despite the lovely HEBaked good, the night was fabulous. Even better than my high school homecoming experiences- which I'm not sure I even partook in.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Mee-Maw.

Clydene Celeste Damron(English)- 8th Grade
Mee-Maw turned 80 in September.

Mee-Maw is my mom's mom and has collected bells over the years while on her travels. Us grandchildren used to ring the ones on her entry shelves and she would threaten to make us dust them. My brothers and I had first pick and I took home 6 or 7 bells; most of them were from India and one was an old school bell- because I'm a teacher and all.
Mee-Maw decided to give away bells at her birthday- she gave away well over 150 bells.
There was a grand slide show put together by my brothers and I designed the invitation.
A deeeeelicious raspberry butter cream cake was served.
My brother Tony flew in from Connecticut. Between him, my other brother Ben, and me, we had plenty of photos of the event .

There were 4 generations and some of my Mee-Maw's oldest friends present.

One man even told me that he and my grandmother used to ride horses to their schoolhouse together. Bah!

My friend Mollie who I've known since elementary played the harp.

It was a grand 'ole time. Happy Birthday Mee-Maw!!
(She is kind of adored by all)