Friday, November 17, 2017

Baby J goes to Dan-Nastics

 A few pics of Baby J enjoying her third week at gymnastics with Coach Dan
or as she calls it Dan-Nastics.

an outside the box Thanksgiving

It is hard to believe it was only 2 years ago that our little family got the once in a lifetime chance to spend Thanksgiving at Horse Thief Ranch 15 miles down a dirt road not too far outside of Moab, Utah.  The house itself may not look like much but it is a historic ranch.  The property has a long, rich history.

We spent 5 days without electricity.  Five days of friends and fires, desert walks, desert roads, and star bursting skies. 

When I think about it I remember the way the morning seemed to linger for hours in the rocks before breaking. The weight of old hand-tied quilts on featherbed. 

The smell of wet red sand in the frost on the way to the outhouse. The light crawling like shadow across the tight, little canyon kissing the house before disappearing over the western walls in a slip of pink.

There was a lot of authentic work to be done just to be comfortable. The care of oil lamps and wood fueled fires for light and heat. Freezing trips up the trail to the outhouse. Feeding and brushing the horses. The twice daily chore of shaking sand from the coiled rugs. But the kitchen had running water, a working stove, and a cold refrigerator.

Before we left for the ranch I spent 2 days baking 4 different kinds of cookies, 2 pumpkin pies, mashing potatoes & yams, blanching green beans, gathering the fixings for mushroom stuffing and orange-cranberry sauce.

BC harvested 2 of our turkeys which he and our host Steve (legendary Moab River guide) fried in a vat of peanut oil over the fire on Thanksgiving day.

We packed oatmeal, brown sugar, apples, salt water taffy, a large sack of salted peanuts, red peppers, zucchini, a few pounds of creamy butter, thick loafs of bread, 3 dozen eggs, a bag of coffee, and a few cases of 'drink'.  

The days were filled with the wealth of the desert.  The nights with the glow of firelight and smoky tall tales. Long games of cards and the thickness of the scent of the oil lamps burning.
There was a stone hot tub heated by the wood fire burning beneath it.  
There were horses, lizards, desert rats, and desert dogs. 
Rabbit hunting and a lot of quiet time to think in. 
On the day we left to return home it began to snow, dropping a white closing curtain over the best five days.

No TV, no shopping, no social media, no rushing on to the next holiday- in fact, no rushing at all.  Nothing fake for miles and miles and miles. Simply our family and a few friends keeping the home fires glowing. Thanksgiving has always been my favorite holiday but after our time at Horse Thief I see it as so much more than simply a few good hours in the middle of all of Life's madness. 

The possibilities are endless when you step outside the box.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

giving thanks dinner

Next week is Thanksgiving but Fisher who only just returned to the States will be gone again by then.  He has picked up a winter job working at Ski Resort in Southern Utah.  So we pulled Beach early from gym practice for a Ries family Thanksgiving at Chanon Thai Café (best Thai food is SLC). 
Clearly Beach is upset about missing gym :) 

Tuesday morning

 Simple French vocabulary from a very old book.
Ice cube tray chocolates, math, Shakespeare, and reading.