Showing posts from 2013

Our Year in Review

Wishing you peace, love and happiness in 2014!  (click photo sets to enlarge)

Utah Vacation: Goblin Valley State Park

Back in October Christian and I ran away for two weeks of adventure in the gorgeous state of Utah. I'd like to share some highlights from that trip because it really is a beautiful place.

Driving from Arches National Park to Bryce Canyon was going to take the better part of a day so we decided to break up the drive by staying a night at Goblin Valley State Park. (The park also has free showers which was another reason why we wanted to stop there.) We rolled into the park in the dark so we didn't get to see the landscape until the morning. 

After we packed up camp, we set off for a short loop hike on the Carmel Canyon Trail. 

The area was very barren and eroded and somehow we lost the trail. We followed a few "deer trails" but never ended up back on the correct trail. Luckily, it was very easy to see where we were going so we just off-roaded until we got back to the parking lot. Next we went down into the valley to get up close and personal with the goblins.

Just a few da…

"They only take 10 minutes in a pressure cooker."

I was talking to my mom about how long it takes to cook dried beans. The last time I made turtle (black) beans, I had to cook them for 1-1/2 hours and that was even after I soaked them overnight. She told me to make them in the pressure cooker because they only take 10 minutes. I've only used my cooker a few times so I decided to give it a shot. Well, you know how people talk about pressure cookers exploding? Yeah, well, I kind of experienced that firsthand...

While the beans only took 10 minutes to cook, it took me 1-1/2 hours to clean the exploded beans off the ceiling, the window, the dishes, the floor, the rug, the fridge, etc.

Never again! That pressure cooker is going back to the thrift store from whence it came!

Utah Vacation: Arches National Park - Day 2

Back in October Christian and I ran away for two weeks of adventure in the gorgeous state of Utah. I'd like to share some highlights from that trip because it really is a beautiful place.

On our second day in Arches, we set out early in the morning to hike the Primitive Loop Trail which took us past 8 popular arches. 

In the afternoon, we took a ranger-guided hike into the Fiery Furnace: a maze-like area that involves a like of scrambling. My kind of hike!

Utah Vacation: Arches National Park - Day 1

Back in October Christian and I ran away for two weeks of adventure in the gorgeous state of Utah. I'd like to share some highlights from that trip because it really is a beautiful place.

We rented a car and drove from our home in Wisconsin to our first stop: Arches National Park. The drive took around 22 hours and we stopped somewhere in Colorado for the night before continuing on to Arches.

And arches we saw! On the first day we hiked around The Windows, to Double Arch and then on to Delicate Arch.

Stay tuned for Day 2 in Arches!

Yarn Along: Little Sheep Stitch Marker GIVEAWAY!

I'm linking up with Ginny for this week's yarn along.

Knitting: Pashmina Cowl
I've only made a little progress on the Pashmina Cowl that I was working on last week. That means I'm really going to have to ramp up my efforts if I want to finish all my Christmas gifts on time. I'm not in panic mode... yet. I know the other two cowls that I want to knit will go much faster than this one so I may be okay. I plan on making Stop, Drop and Cable and Drop Stitch cowls.

Reading: Where Yesterday Lives by Karen Kingsbury
I'm a big fan of Kingsbury audiobooks. This one has been a little hard for me to listen to right now. In the book a family is facing conflicts as they plan their dad's funeral. My grandma has been in the hospital all week so it's a little hard to think about death and dying right now. Her condition is not critical but she's in her late 80's and when someone is sick, you realize just how precious life is.

And now, how about a GIVEAWAY!
Last week I …

Free Turndown Service

Every morning I make the bed by pulling the comforter up over the pillows. Buster likes to snuggle up to the pillows and nap while we're not in bed so this keeps the hair off of our pillows. Gross, I know. But that's life with a spoiled dog. This strategy worked for us until Winston came along. In his former life Winston must have worked in a hotel because every night we receive turndown service. He pulls the comforter and the top sheet down so he can lay in the bed. We haven't caught him in the act, yet, but every night it's the same story. The dirty dog!

Yarn Along: Beautiful Pashmina

I'm linking up with Ginny for this week's Yarn Along.

Knitting: Pashmina Cowl
A week before Thanksgiving I decided that I was going to knit a few different cowls to give as Christmas gifts. Nothing like waiting until the last minute! I knit one of these for myself a few years ago and I really like it so I figured I would crank out another one.
Pattern: Pashmina Cowl by Joelle Hoverson
Yarn: I have no idea what this yarn is; I think my mom gave it to me after finding it at a rummage sale. It's super soft but kind of a pain to knit with because the strands like to get stuck together.

Reading: Story of Beautiful Girl by Rachel Simon
I just finished this audiobook and it's a good one! A mentally handicapped girl escapes from an institution with her guy friend to have a baby. The authorities are after them so they leave the baby in the hands of an elderly woman. The book is about the woman's dedication in keeping the baby safe, the girl's quest to find her baby again, and…

Cyber Monday Deal at kejeara

Enjoy 10% off your entire purchase from my Etsy shop, kejeara. Good for Monday, December 2, 2013 only! Use coupon code: CYBERMON13

I have a lot of cool vintage Christmas tins for sale right now. Use them as gift boxes for your holiday gifts!

Why I'm Not Looking Forward to Thanksgiving Dinner

I'm on a new "diet" and it's not to lose weight. Let me explain. 

After many other tests and dealing with pain in my appendix area since April of 2012, in May I had a capsule endoscopy - I swallowed a pill camera that took pictures of my gastro-intestinal tract. The results: inflammation throughout my small and large intestines. 

My gastroenterologist said that I have Crohn's Disease and that I would have to take steroids and a bunch of other meds for the rest of my life to control the disease (there is no cure). I don't agree with the Crohn's diagnosis because I don't have any of the other typical symptoms of Crohn's except for the inflammation. Along with pain in my appendix area, I had pain in my hands and up the sides of my lower back. I researched different ways to control Crohn's thru diet but my Dr. wasn't willing to offer me any guidance or support in trying those methods. Besides, like I said before, I didn't think I even HAD Cr…