Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Planning for our Departure and Arrival

I have some plans in the works. I have come to the conclusion that I am a busy body. I have recently noticed that my husband and I work well together because we motivate each other. I've been racking my brain over things I can do to improve my life and my overall situation. I recently was pressed to try something new, and take a chance to do something I love: Cook.
Well, I do love to cook, but I also love to entertain. And, I'm taking on a challenge by hosting a home cooking class at my house (that is still in the middle of a remodel). I'm opening myself up for people to see my life, but I'm also trying to move to do something that I love. I have been cooking for a long time. I don't have cooking credentials, but I do have experience. I have been published twice for my recipes as a child: 1. Zucchini Spaghetti and 2. High-Hat Lobster Bisque.  I have been ravenous through cookbooks and read many magazines with which I experiment. I have read thousands of cooking blogs, and I own many cookbooks. The biggest thing that I have discovered since we've been travelling is that I don't even need cookbooks anymore. I'm sure that my repertoire of recipes was essential to me finally discovering my ability to find textures and flavors that I love.

On November 4, I am hosting a home cooking class at my home. It's a super cheap way to have a meal, but also to encourage those who cook every night to try new, interesting recipes. I had mentioned this idea to my husband months ago, but he seemed to think it wasn't a good idea at the time.  As a result, I decided to wait, and I have found that this  is the right time for such an event.

I have taken several cooking classes. One of which was from the Viking Culinary Institute in Memphis and the others have been in various locations. The most significant experience that I draw from often is my travel. When traveling, I go to local markets, prepare food inside or outside on little equipment, and devour delicious meals. I have noted these meals and chronicled the cooking I have done in Chile, Europe, and across the United States. I hope to encourage others to continue to have family meals and to spend time together around the dinner table. This is something I am very passionate about since I did not grow up having meals around the home dinner table. And I am very opinionated about it because currently in my life it is so important.

Some of you may be reading this and not live in the St. Louis area- I hope to post the recipes that I use on the November 4 cooking class here. If you have questions, email me or facebook me. I'm a huge believer in NOT spending all day in the kitchen, but I do believe in healthy, accessible meals with whole food ingredients... no HFCS, no highly processed foods.

Thanks for reading, y'all! It's going to be a good November.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Things I love about Dubois, Wyoming

 1. Every time I look out my window, I see snow covered Slate Mountain.
2. Best story time: drop your child off for 5 bucks, and they get lunch.
3. It smells like sage everywhere.
4. People are still close to the earth in that, gardens are close... and we use up everything we have. Groceries are darn expensive here. Except bananas- $0.29 a pound.
5. Sundays are sundays- nobody is open.
6. Anywhere you walk, you feel like you are still in the wilderness.
7. The wind river twists like 8 times in the middle of town.
8.There is a cool playground, and they have bikes for anyone to use.
9. The aspens.
10. The opportunity shop is the best thrift shop in the whole world because of the FREE box.
11. Yoga at Wind River Yoga.
12. It's colder- not humid at all. Wood stove kind of weather. Awesome.
13. Cinnamon Italian Sodas from Kathy's Coffee Shop.
14. The library has free books all the time.
15. People are really friendly here. Genuine.
16. Cowgirls and Cowboys thrive here.

It's a beautiful, fun place. And, it's a small town like where I'm from. It's nice to be thankful for these small wonderful things here in Dubois, Wyoming.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Lake Louise

It's been a while since I've written. I feel a little guilty about it, but I think I needed a vacation from the writing of our daily do's. I just did it. There are a couple of things that I do want to remember, so I'll document them today. We've been in Dubois, Wyoming since October 3, and the night that we arrived, there was a huge snowstorm. We got about a foot of snow here. We hiked through town and grocery shopped and enjoyed the fireplace here at our cabin. Ryan and I were already missing Adam. We made the week fun hanging out with friends and meeting new ones. We had some really nice weather after this thunder snow.
So, I figured we should do some hiking (!) and we did. I wanted desperately to try again to Lake Louise that we attempted and failed in late May. I grabbed our accouterments+ and we headed down the Fish Hatchery Road to the Wind River Trailhead. And, Ryan and I spent an afternoon on the trail. We hiked for a good while up and down some hills, rock scrambling, and enjoying the scenery. We listened to the wind blow and the waterfall over tons of rocks. The torrey creek lead us up some steep passes and through some tight canyons. Luckily we didn't see any bears or other wildlife. We had been going for about 2 hours, when we reached this beautiful rock walled area, and Ryan and I were both spent. She's heavy in a back pack on a moderately strenuous hike. Alas, we failed in this attempt to get to the Lake. Again. I felt so beaten.  We had a light snack next to the waterfall area, and then we headed down. Along the trail, I took a photograph of this big beautiful mountain protruding out of the ground covered with snow. It was an incredible view, and I couldn't leave without a photo of the view. We continued heading back to the trail head over 2 major hills, and I notice that my favorite hat, and the first gift Adam gave me is missing. I'm not sure where we lost it, but I've got to find it. I walk back a distance to look, and no luck. I put Ryan down and walk as far as I can while I can still keep her in eye distance. Still, to no avail. I decide we're going back until I do. I couldn't part with it- yet. We get back to the point where I shot this said photograph, and there it is. Lying a few feet from that stopping point.
My legs are shaking, and I'm sure that we've been walking for 3 hours. Ryan is doing well, but I'm a little anxious, and I'm tired. I encourage Ryan to encourage me. I have her tell me, "Step by Step, the closer we get to the Volvo." And, she does. It helps tremendously. And, she's so well-behaved. We trudge back after the grueling hike- spent and hungry. I'm sore already, but I feel good we made the attempt albeit failed.

I decided that it was probably good that I didn't see Lake Louise without Adam, but I was unsure if we would attempt it again. Adam and I spoke one evening about going over Google video chat, and he wanted to on the day he came back to Wyoming.

Yesterday, we picked him up in Riverton, and we decided we would still try a small hike- maybe not to Lake Louise, but to the bridge that overlooks the waterfall.We took the drive back down the road to the trail head, and at 4:40pm, we started our hike. Ryan was on Adam's back, and I was hiking in front. We made it to the waterfall overlook on the Glacier Trail, and spent a few minutes there. We talked about our next move. It was a short hike, and we both wanted to go to Lake Louise. So, onward we hiked. And, after what seemed to be a running pace- because we wanted to try to not hike in the dark- WE MADE IT! We climbed the beautiful rock walls that Ryan and I picnicked at on our previous attempt, and not a 1/4 mile later were we at this beautiful vista where the mountains formed a hole where Lake Louise filled with water. The sun had already moved behind the mountains, and we just enjoyed the beautiful hour glass shaped lake. Snow twinkled around it and the sky gleamed purple. The moon rose above the mountain to our left as we stood at the pinnacle of our hike while the lake and mountains were to our right. It was an incredible moment in my life. It's one that I'll never forget- and one that I don't want to forget. We dropped the backpack off at the bottom of this rocky area, and I didn't bring the camera. It's almost fitting how that happens. I just want to remember the view-and I surely will.

Now, Ryan is getting cold. It's dusk, and we're hauling butt back to the car. Shortly after our turnaround, I ask Adam to look at the backpack that I'm holding- We notice that Ryan's coat has fallen off. (This trail wants our items, huh. Not to mention that Ryan's hat fell off at the top, and we had to find it. ) Adam runs for a good 6 minutes to retrieve the coat- and we keep moving. By the time we get back to the waterfall bridge, it's dark. Ryan is miserable by this point, and she has layers of clothes on, but refuses to put on her coat.  I'm wet from the camelback spilling down my back. Adam steps in a huge puddle of water and soaks his foot. We are the crazy family that just desperately needed to see Lake Louise that we are hiking in the dark, in the wilderness, with a single child's headlamp. We do have all of our necessities, but I feel like we might have over did it. It took us 3 hours to go up and down. It got dark at 7. We were at the Volvo at 7:40.

You know what though... It was totally worth it. The day we had was unmatched. And our sunset over Lake Louise...majestic. I'm so glad we finally made it- Third times a charm, right??