We got six inches of snow yesterday, and it’s still falling! Our cars are buried, the cats are enjoying fresh snow cones in their water, and for our little princess dog, it means very quick pee breaks and a quick torpedo run through the snow. He was so fast we could barely capture him with the camera!
We got a fantastic first snow last night. Just enough snow for some fun play, but not enough to keep us trapped inside. We’ve been pup-sitting Fred so we thought a good romp in the snow would be the perfect opportunity to get them both worn out.
And they’re off!
Clive leads the way!
He breaks away!
Headed right for me!
Agile like a tiny deer…
Yet still snorting like a pig…
Woops, private time…
And he’s back, sans pewp and more nimble than ever!
We had an incredible Thanksgiving down in Springfield with Neil’s family. Three wonderful days in the country with little connection to the outside world. Even though we are active bloggers, we value the precious little time we get off and really took the holiday as a time-out for ourselves. We made no new blog posts, took no work with us, and instead pooled our hours into some much needed self-indulgence. We read books, watched movies, played video games and spent hours warming couches and cuddling with Clive and the cats. We also walked the many trails Neil’s dad has made on the property. So while you didn’t see any last-minute Thanksgiving food posts or some early Christmas cookies out of us, know that we are refreshed and ready to hit December running!
And now, on to our holiday! We had an awesome feast, all healthy recipes we kind of made up as we went along. The turkey was local, organic and free-range that Neil’s mom got from someone who raises them, and it was perfectly smoked by Neil’s brother Ben. We had tons of sides and lots of fresh fruits and veggies to snack on. A perfect feast with a little something for everyone.
Neil’s cousin Austin made his first latticed Apple Pie for Thanksgiving!
It’s a skill every teenage boy should master don’t you think?
Ladies, Austin is single and can lattice!
A close-up just in case you weren’t already convinced.
Deb’s baked sweet potato balls. I’m making them this weekend to share with you!
My cranberry-orange sauce.
I love watching cranberries pop!
Working on my cranberry-artichoke stuffing…
Our Thanksgiving Turkey, perfectly smoked by Neil’s brother Ben.
Neil’s Red Wine Gravy, perfect as always!
My corn and herbed mashed red potatoes, carefully atop every black-Friday ad.
Deb’s cayenne and smoked paprika deviled eggs, Neil’s favorite.
The guts of my cranberry-artichoke stuffing.
Fresh cold weather garden slaw. I just love the color.
The finished cranberry-artichoke stuffing.
Deb’s all-veggie stuffing. Mine had chicken stock.
Freshly washed green beans in an antique collander.
Neil’s mom does the snapping because she does it lightning fast.
Fresh veggies for snacking.
My heaping plate. Hey, it only happens once a year!
Neil’s brother Ben ate the leg. It looked so funny on the plate I had to take a picture! I was actually kind of jealous, it looked really good.
The required picture of Austin for his dad.
Clive wore himself out just watching us cook.
The desserts! Apple Pie and Neil’s mom’s super special rum cake. Special meaning she puts the rum in after the cake is baked.
Neil’s dad’s first photobomb.
While we were cooking and eating, it actually started snowing, so we went outside to play after dinner with our cameras. Austin took these incredible shots. I’m envious of his lens collection!
Snow, snow SNOW!
ice covered all the branches…
…some with leaves still on them.
Grass poking through the snow.
Clive looking out over the yard. It was his first snow and he loved it, despite loving neither wet or cold. His hypocrisy knows no bounds.
Mimi from a perch.
A shot of Lucy taking a sun nap on the porch.
Perfect little crystallized flakes.
A shot of Neil from the trails.
A view of the setting sun from the front porch.
It was a perfect holiday that like so many are gone before you realize it. Before we knew it, it was Saturday and we were driving home to a mounting pile of emails and work. Ah well, Christmas is only a few weeks away right? Thanks again to Austin for taking all the wonderful photos for us to share!
How did you spend Thanksgiving 2010? Did you succumb to the turkey sleeps? Spend time outdoors?
Above: The homemade business cards I threw together right before the event.
I was finally able to attend my first blogging conference, Show Me the Blog, in St. Louis this past weekend. I won a free ticket via Kate at Capturing Como, an amazing local blog that covers the happenings of Columbia outside Mizzou. I can’t tell you how great it is having people in this town whose lives don’t revolve solely around football and tailgating. Columbia is definitely a lot more fun for me with her around.
Although it was a smaller gathering of local Missouri bloggers and social media gurus, I completely had a blast and believe I’ve finally caught the conference bug everyone keeps talking about. Going into it I really didn’t know what to expect. I am the most awkwardly shy person I know, especially when I’m around groups of people, which is mostly why I got into blogging in the first place. Meeting and interacting with bloggers in person was a lot easier than I thought it’d be and all the credit goes to them for being so awesome!
Rather than recount chronologically everything that happened between Friday afternoon when Kate picked me up and Saturday night when we finally headed home, I thought I’d recount some of the great people I met while I was there.
The first speaker was Roshini Cope, author of Glamazini.com who spoke about “The Ten Commandments of a Successful YouTube Channel” Roshini is hilarious. There are just those people with natural comedic timing and a dynamic public speaking style and Roshini has them both. It’s unfair really. Her presentation was phenomenal and I learned so much. Who knew YouTube channels had so much power!? Okay you probably did, but I have totally underestimated it. See her conference recap here and be sure to check out her Youtube channel!
Very rarely (VERY rarely) do I ever meet people who could very easily be long-lost good friends. Melissa Gilliam, author of Small Town Girl’s Guide and Marketing Director for the YMCA Trout Lodge & Camp Lakewood not only gave an amazing speech about Non-Profits and the Implementation of Social Media and Social Networking (which is hugely relevant to what I do) but she likes good food, backpacking, and exploring rural Missouri for all of it. She also apparently has some famous boots now!
The informative food blogger panel. From left to Right: Angela Ortmann of STLWineGirl.com; Troika Brodsky, Communications Director for Schalfly Beer; Steff Pollack of CupcakeProject.com; and Abby Schwartz, Yelp St. Louis Community Manager
Chris Reimer, Chief Marketing Officer of the Scorch Agency and owner of Rizzo Tees with his awesome F Bomb t-shirt. Chris started out like many of us do, trying to be practical and what most would consider to be a responsible, serious adult. His creativity however was undeniable and once the entrepreneurial bug bit him in 2007, Rizzo Tees was born. I have a feeling I’ll find some Christmas gifts there this year!
So there you have it, my very short abbreviated review. I could easily go on for hours, but I wanted to keep it short. There were so many great speakers and panel discussions. Check out the conference page for more info on all of them. Also, they’ve set up a Flickr for photos. I’ve also added them to a Twitter list, which I hope to grow as I connect with more people from the conference and St. Louis in general.
While I still have you though, I have to share this:
Flaming Sushi! I kid you not. I’ve never seen anything like it. This is what happens when you live in a small town people. You are entirely too easily sold on anything that’s bright and shiny! Kate and I had fun in our post-conference race to hit every store we don’t have in Columbia, including a stop for sushi with local radio host Leslie (of Simon and Leslie in the Morning on 102.3 BXR if you’re local) and then a fiendish sprint through Trader Joe’s after they had technically closed the store. I came out well, though I regret not splurging on the dark chocolate peanut butter cups.
What did you do this weekend?
I’ve totally neglected writing up the rest of our trip in Montana. Life since has been insane and I feel like I’ve been swept off my feet and am truly just along for the ride. Looking at the pictures though, I still can’t believe we were at Glacier, and how used to the surroundings you get, almost taking them for granted after a while. Our intended plans for Day 4 included an ambitious 8-hour hike to actually see the Glaciers. That was squashed when I woke up to my period that morning. Having endometriosis makes them highly unpredictable (let alone painful) and I didn’t want to have issues on such a long hike commonly evacuated because of bears. Remember that line in the movie Anchorman? I didn’t exactly want to test the myth.
So instead we decided to drive up Going-To-The-Sun road to do some short hikes and check out the scenery. First we started with another awesome breakfast. We had seen Anthony Bourdain eat Spam on his Hawaii episode. We both had never had it, but decided to give it a tray. Why not? It’s vacation, it’s not like we eat this stuff every day. Behold:
Yup, Spam and Eggs. It’s right out of Monty Python’s classic bit. It doesn’t taste too bad, and like in No Reservations, I could see how it would be good in sushi. But alone? It’s a salt block. Either way, it filled us up for our drive up the mountain.
I want to say that I did good most of the way up, at least until the vertigo hit. I have a nasty case of acrophobia (fear of heights). I’ve overcome it to a greater extent, at least I think so. We hiked Flat Top Mountain (over 11k feet) at RMNP on our honeymoon, but I still get super anxious around sheer drop-offs, and Going-To-The-Sun-Road has no shortage of them. It’s a really narrow road, in some areas a tight fit for two cars. It’s the only road that crosses through the park and over the Continental Divide, by way of Logan’s pass.
I wish I could say we made it to the top, but I was sobbing and a complete mess about 1 mile from the top so finally at one of the picture points, we turned around. I still feel terrible. Apparently it’s GORGEOUS at the top, but I become another person once acrophobia takes over, and I can’t control it. At all. I sob to the point of drooling, and there is snot all over my face. To say I’m whimpering would be an understatement, because I’m screaming in “what if” scenarios. I can’t even look out the window. On the way back down, once I composed myself and stopped white knuckling the seat, we stopped to see the river:
We also checked out Hidden Lake, a short trail off Going-To-The-Sun Road. Yes it really was this green, and all the Photoshop in the world couldn’t tone it down.
That night I taught Neil to play Cribbage over s’mores. Cribbage is my all-time favorite card game. It’s actually part of the curriculum in a lot of Minnesota Public Schools because it’s a great dynamic thinking and counting game, perfect for kids…and adults! I think he likes it, though probably not as obsessively as me. I even have it on my phone!
My cheapie Dollar Store board just for camping.
There is that point in any camping trip when you feel truly a part of the nature of things. Campfire and evergreens have permeated your clothing and hair, and you begin to feel like a “regular” around the campground. You’ve watched several overnight campers come and go, and people who are very obviously new to the game struggle with tents and where to get firewood. You don’t even mind anymore that you’re on day three without a shower. It’s an awesome feeling and the best part of camping for us. The feeling of belonging and mastery far from home. I’m craving it all over again!
Our fourth and final day in Montana coming up soon!