After a year full of epic adventures with Alpine Trails Book Club, Ashley and I decided to end the year with a low-key get together, especially since December can be such a hectic month. Last fall, the two of us had spent a relaxing day walking through Seward Park, followed by brunch and some book browsing at the Seward Park Third Place Books, and we agreed that a repeat of that trip would be the perfect outing for our group. I gave my friend Ingunn a ride into the city, and as we waiting for the rest of the group to arrive, we were confused to find flowers blooming abundantly as if it were early May and not early December. We even spotted a few hummingbirds darting between the flowers. Even after the group arrived, we took our time swapping stories of recent travels and plans for the holidays before setting off on our short loop around the park. After our walk, there was still plenty to discuss over an absolutely delicious brunch before it was time to head home with a pile of new reading material. I can never resist picking up a least one new book when I’m in a local bookstore!Read More
This was the week of Thanksgiving leftovers. Seriously, we had enough turkey, cranberry sauce, and brussels sprouts for a full week of dinners. Oddly, I never thought to document our drawn out Thanksgiving meal. I didn't think to document most of this week. I seem to have gone through the week in a turkey trance, although I do remember bits of the weekend, which was mostly spent catching up with friends in Seattle! I always feel a little disappointed when a week goes by without at least a little time spent hiking, but it was worth it to catch up with old friends. Obviously I need to get better at luring my friends out on hikes, so I can do both at the same time!Read More
It gets dark so early these days. Somehow work has managed to stay busy, even though we should be well into our holiday season lull, so I've mostly been cooped up inside, especially during daylight hours. To compensate for all the darkness, I've been burning lots of candles, and even finally got around to using the pretty glass oil lamps we inherited from Andy's grandparents. I had my annual holiday craft party on Sunday, where I get together with friends to watch Christmas movies and work on our various craft projects. That meant spending most of Saturday baking and cleaning in preparation. I baked cookies, the Winning Hearts and Minds cake, and my favorite - pulla. Pulla is a Finnish cardamom bread that my family has had every year at Christmas for as long as I can remember. Instead of cookies for Santa, my sister and I would leave a plate of pulla. Last year, I didn't have the time to make pulla at all, so I'm enjoying it even more this year! I might even have time to make another batch before Christmas!Read More
I love the stormy grey skies, wind, and rain we've seen so much of recently, but part of me always mourns the last of the golden leaves and sunny skies. Soon there will (hopefully!) be days of frost and snow, but these wet transitional periods can feel so long. Partly because of the weather, I've fallen into a comfortable slump of knitting and reading and hardly venturing outside at all. It can be nice for a while, but I'm definitely getting antsy to get back out in the woods and mountains. Of course, before I know it, Christmas will be here, with all the baking and family gatherings. If I want to get outside, I'll definitely need to do it while I still have the time!