Anddddd The Holidays are Here

I guess it’s that time of the year again. Hopefully everybody had a good Thanksgiving, I know we did. We went to a large gathering “down the hill” and enjoyed a huge meal with a bunch of friends. Outstanding meal. My favorite was the smoked turkey I believe. Remarkably, there are several in the group that intentionally avoid it. I will never quite grasp that bizarre trait, but hey, more for me. Other than that, well… We have watched a lot of football and done some shopping and… Yeah not much. We were supposed to be out camping this week, but called it off last minute due to the rain. There is only about two weeks of rain per year here, and of course it happens to coincide with our trip that’s been planned for months. Go figure.


It got cold up here! (Over here, out here, down here, whatever… I’m not a geography major.) Our poor garden went from big healthy plants, full of tomatoes and peppers, to a bunch of dead sticks. Time to open the gate and let the deer feast I guess. Supposedly the tomatillos will come back next year, but I am guessing not. They certainly don’t look like they survived. We have grand plans of tearing down the beds and replacing this winter anyway. (Yeah, we’ll see how that works out.)

Well, my scheme of jotting down a few notes during the week to remember the highlights didn’t really work out. Not only can I not remember the highlights without notes, I can’t even remember to take notes. Tsk. Luckily this past weekend we didn’t do much, so it really ain’t that hard to recall. The weekend kicked off Friday with an appointment for family Christmas photos. Yeah, really. The rescue we got our little ‘uns from does an annual fundraiser, and it’s kind of fun to get the dogs in for some portraits. And when I say “kind of fun,” I mean an anxiety-filled 30 minutes of complete mayhem and chaos. Yeah, you can tell Quinn & Nacho to “sit, stay,” all you want; They’ve never heard those words before so it doesn’t have a huge effect. Put a few little holiday costumes on them to confuse them even more, and you’ve got a real recipe for mayhem on your hands. Quinny didn’t bite anybody, and Nacho didn’t faint, so I declare it a victory. Hopefully they snuck in a few good shots, we’ll know in a few weeks. Their buddy Renfield joined in the fun also, so we went over to his house afterwards to decompress for a few hours, then back up the hill.

Saturday and Sunday were spent out at Hart to Hart vineyards, visiting their annual Christmas fair event. Wait… Two days worth? Yeah, it just sort of worked out that way. A friend of ours had a booth there, so we went out to see her wares on Saturday. The event was pretty well attended, considering the weather was a little overcast and just a bit on the chilly side. I will admit that although I was certainly drawn to our friend’s top-notch selection of totally adorable Christmas baubles, I also held a strong interest in the food trucks that were in attendance. Among them was Cousins Maine Lobster, which I’ve wanted to try for quite some time. I gotta say, I was just a touch underwhelmed. To be fair, I’ve never had a “lobster roll,” so I didn’t really have much of an idea what it was. I’ll admit though, I had built it up in my head to be something a bit more dramatic than some lobster meat on a roll. Live and learn, as they say. Don’t get me wrong; The lobster was delicious, and I’d call it a plenty generous portion, I just thought it was something “different.” (In which case, I would have complained about there being too much filler and not enough lobster.) They did offer two different styles though, maybe I’ll try the other next time I see them.

Sunday we got up ready for our standard day of NFL games on the couch. And, indeed, we watched the early game at 6:30, and then of course the Chiefs at 10:00. We enjoyed the Chiefs win, and then noticed it had warmed up to a nice, 60-degree sunny day outside. It looked so nice out we actually hauled ourselves off the couch, put the top down on the car, and headed out to the Christmas fair again. Effectively just a repeat of our Saturday, but with nicer weather. Oh, and we did buy a few things Sunday. I got some alpaca socks to keep my lil’ feet warm, some cheeses, and a few packages of peanut brittle. Solid event!

Happy Halloween ’22

Ah, another pseudo-holiday is upon us. Good ol’ Halloween. One of our favorites in years past, but not so much anymore. Another casualty of moving to the hills; Nobody is going to walk up a 1/4 mile of pitch-black gravel to see if that crazy old couple has any candy. And, they’d be disappointed, because we don’t. We do actually have some rather modest decorations this year, consisting of a single pumpkin somebody gave us sitting (uncarved) on the steps. Shows a little effort, I suppose.

That was a bit of a fun weekend, based on my pretty low bar of “fun” these days. Basically, leaving the house more than once is considered a wild, exciting weekend in my book. And man, did we ever tear it up these last few days! We went out not only Friday, but Saturday & Sunday as well! Surprised I’m not still in bed after all that mayhem. We actually got invited to go over to a friends’ house this evening to pass out candy, but we had to pump the brakes. Four days in a row?!?!? Yeah, I think not. To break down the details of that rather egregious exaggeration, our big night out Friday was happy hour at the place around the corner from our house. Turned out they were gearing up for a big costume party, so we only made it about 30 minutes before scurrying back to the safety of the house. The girl waiting on us was nice enough to say “It’d be a lot more fun with you guys here!” Well, thanks for the misplaced sentiment, but no, no it wouldn’t. Back at the house, we enjoyed a nice fire outside for a while, then Donette made a new pasta dish for dinner. I bought the spicy Italian sausage from Kings for the first time… Holy smokes it was, indeed, SPICY! Way too much for me. I made it through the meal with some help from a dishtowel and a handful of heartburn pills, but I think I’ll stick with the toned-down version next time.

Saturday we exercised our new-found interest in college football games once again. This is mostly the result of having nothing better to do, and it passes the time. Can’t tell you what games we watched other than Oregon, but we saw several. For dinner we traveled down to the big city and met some friends. (“Big City” being Placerville, not Sacramento.) We joined them at the Hangtown Cantina, one of our favorite dining spots when we make the journey all the way into town. (A rather daunting trip of eight miles or so.) Enjoyed some awesome Mexican food, hung out for a while, then headed back home for a few semi-scary movies.

Sunday turned out to be some fantastic weather. It’s going to turn chilly soon I imagine, so given the Chief’s bye week and limited interest in the other games, we decided to get out in the convertible for a drive. It was indeed a fantastic day for a road trip, if there is such a thing. We ended up heading to Sutter Creek, which is about a 45 minute drive down some nice winding roads. When we got there we went wine tasting at Yorba & Baiocchi wineries, kicked around the nice little town a bit, then headed back home. On the way back we took an unscheduled left turn and grabbed an early dinner at a pizza place, which was thankfully rather empty for a Sunday evening. Guess we were a little bit before the rush, but it’s usually packed anyway. We headed back home with best intentions of watching the evening football game, but I fell asleep rather quickly and missed the majority of it. Who won anyway?

A Little Something Different

Another weekend in the books. Another struggle to remember what the heck we did… Sigh. I actually took a few notes this week so I would have something to work with, but I don’t remember what I did with them. Another sigh. Friday, I do recall what we did, simply because it was so out of the ordinary. We drove out of our circle (just a little way) and watched our friend Harper competing in a cross country race. It was nothing like I expected, not that I had any idea what to expect in the first place. It was some kind of season finals thing, and it was absolute mayhem. I don’t guess I would put it on a par with Kauffman Stadium or anything, but there were definitely several thousand people there. Pretty sure each of them drove separately too, there was no parking to be found. I felt like I’d been in one of the races by the time we finally walked all the way to the course. It was rather exciting though, we had fun. Luckily Harper is only nine years old, so her race was early which let us beat the main traffic leaving. Sadly, she informed us that cross country is no fun and this would be the end of her illustrious career. (I’m right there with her on that; Running is a horrible sport.) After that we met up with her and her folks at a nearby restaurant for some awesome pizza.

Saturday was partially consumed with the excitement of the #10 ranked Oregon Ducks game, against #9 UCLA. We’ve become low-level Oregon fans since moving here, and this was a big game for them. Our friends had tickets to the game, and had a big party bus lined up to take everybody. Unfortunately they didn’t invite us, so this information has no bearing on my weekend whatsoever, but it sure did sound fun. While they were whooping it up with 50,000 fans, we were doing our best to share the fun from the comfort of our couch. Much safer. Oregon won the game quite decisively, so a good time was had by all.

Sunday we traveled down the hill to a friend’s house for a big brunch and football. Haven’t done that in a while, it was a great time. Great food too, although maybe too much of it. We had scrambled eggs, corned beef hash, and biscuits and gravy. That’s a heavy start to the day right there. I was barely able to keep my eyes open during the early games, but then I managed to rally a bit for the Chiefs game. It wasn’t easy to stay subdued while sitting with a bunch of San Francisco fans, but I thought we did a pretty fair job of it. It was a pretty good whipping, no need to rub it in. Besides that, I didn’t want anybody throwing leftover biscuits at me.