Monthly Archives: September 2010

Mandy’s Wedding

While in Nashville, we had the pleasure of attending my old roommate Mandy’s wedding in Gallatin. Mandy spent countless hours making countless items for the wedding. Now I wish I had taken pictures of some of her details! You can check them out on her blog if you want to bask in your own laziness and lack of craftiness…seriously…Mandy is a crafting machine. Here are a few pictures we took on the big day.

S-5 (old roommate) reunion:

Canning Fun

As part of my ever increasing domestic aspirations, I did some more canning. Last week, I canned tomatoes. I didn’t have enough from my plants to can and since they’ve been tasting bad, I went to my favorite Berry Patch Farms and got a box of organic tomatoes. Peeling, coring, and seeding the tomatoes was a lot of work, but hopefully they’ll be great this winter. Here are two of the pints:

Last week, my friend Laurel invited me over for a grape jelly party. Her neighbor (also a church friend) has a huge grape vine, and another lady from our church was coming over to teach the art of making grape jelly. We picked tons of grapes (I should have taken a picture!) and made loads of freezer jelly. We had heard of a method of canning grapes with water and sugar to make a not too concentrated grape juice concentrate, and I wanted to try it. So yesterday, I picked more grapes and made the juice! We’ll see how it tastes, but it was at least a fun experiment.

A while back, we had a groupon (50% off deal) for Door to Door Organics. They make weekly deliveries of organic produce to subscribers. The produce is of course not local at all during much of the year, so I waited to redeem mine until a good bit was local. My delivery came yesterday, and I’m excited to use everything! It’s turned out not to be a great cooking week for me, but I’ll see what I can do.

If you’re interested in garden updates from other people, check out the Tuesday Garden Party at An Oregon Cottage.

Nashville fun

We had a wonderful trip to Nashville around Labor Day. The weather was shockingly not hot which was such a blessing. We were hit with the humidity when we exited the airport, but it didn’t bother us again. During the trip, we were quite busy, but we had a great time visiting with family and friends. The highlights were Mandy’s wedding, seeing Joseph and Courtney’s new baby, having meals with my family, meeting up with Joel’s parents in Huntsville, going to Waverly to see Grandmommy, and visiting with the Fykes, Baxters, Huffards, Otts, Allyson, Dave, Brittney, and Joel’s old coworkers.

Joseph and Courtney with baby Noland:

Us with Noland:

Mom with Noland:

The Huffards:

Joel holding sleeping Noland in the sheep they received as a gift…I think it was called something like a Pillow Pal, and apparently they’re fancy?

Us in Huntsville at Monte Sano State Park with Joel’s parents (there wasn’t anyone to take a group shot):

Hiking with my parents at Radnor Lake:

We can’t wait for another visit!

5 Years!

A couple of weeks ago, we had our 5th anniversary. For our honeymoon in 2005, we went to San Francisco and Yosemite National Park. When Joel needed to go to San Francisco a few months ago (part 2, part 3), we figured that would be our main anniversary celebration since it was almost 5 years since we were there before. We still wanted to do something on the real day, so we headed to Georgetown, CO for a little historic small town fun. Here is a shot of the downtown and one of us downtown.

We stayed at the Hotel Chateau Chamonix, and we highly recommend it! It was pricier than we wanted to spend, but it was worth it for a special occasion.

Our other main activity was touring the Hotel du Paris museum. It was fairly interesting, but we do not recommend it because the tour guide was really rude. The main Georgetown attraction is the Georgetown loop railroad, but we didn’t partake this time. Overall, Georgetown is a a nice place for a quiet break. Joel might not agree, but it was quite nice to have a weekend in the mountains that didn’t involve strenuous activity!

Capitol Fever

In the summer of 2001, (summer after my freshman year of college) I painted houses for my summer job. That summer, I learned at least two things:

  1. I learned how to paint
  2. I learned that I hated painting

I guess while high on paint fumes one day, I decided that my friend Jason Rice and I should try to climb two of the hardest mountains in the states.

The first mountain I picked for us was Capitol Peak. Capitol Peak is one of Colorado’s 14ers located in the Elk Range (near Aspen). Unfortunately during our climb, we were rained/sleeted off the mountain and never got to finish.

Photo: Jason reading below Capitol Peak

Almost 10 years later…

Capitol Peak has always been in the back of my mind. It’s one of the most distinct and beautiful mountains I have come across. So, at the beginning of the summer, I told Lauren that I had only one thing I wanted to put on the calendar: round two with Capitol Peak.

We arrived late one Friday evening at the Capitol Creek Trailhead and set up camp. The trailhead is over 9,000 ft. in elevation, and is far away from city lights, so the stars were amazing. The next morning we packed up our backpacks, and made the 6.5 mile trip in four hours.

Our camp was just below Capitol Lake (and the peak).

Our arrival time was just about perfect. Within 15 minutes of setting up our tent, it started raining…and raining. From 2 PM on Saturday, to 7 AM on Sunday, it rained on and off. Our alarm was set for 4:15 AM to start the climb, and around 6:30 AM we knew we had missed our window to start the climb. In order to avoid dangerous afternoon storms, it’s extremely important to start early enough to be off the top by noon.

Despite another failed attempt, we still had a wonderful trip, and it’s hard to get tired of such beautiful scenery. Maybe the third time will be the charm.

Slowly fading

We recently returned from our trip to Nashville and were a little worried about our garden. Temperatures crept down to the high 40s a couple of nights while we were gone, and tomatoes hate temps below 50! Things were looking ok, but they are definitely slowing down. As expected, based on the baby zucchini when we left, we had…drumroll…another club! This one was a good bit bigger than the last.

We also recently picked the first of the butternut squash, but our crop will come nowhere close to last year’s!

Finally, here are a few more tasty treats from the lovely garden. The cherry tomatoes still taste great, but the big ones are tasting terrible right now – I don’t know why!