It’s almost winter, and both my chickens have finished their molts just in time for the cooler weather (and what timing — we dropped from a balmy 72°F on Monday to a chilly 57°F today!).
It was an especially trying year for the chickens, since they both suffered from fowl pox at the same time they were molting. The process of regrowing their feathers for winter was already exhausting enough (both of them stopped laying in early fall), but they also went through weeks of fowl pox, which put them in a slump.
Thankfully, they bounced back last week and seem to be their normal selves again… happy, hungry, chatty, and perfectly fluffy.
When it comes to mulled cider, I usually freestyle it depending on what I have in the pantry. Sometimes there’s allspice, sometimes it’s nutmeg… sometimes there’s booze, sometimes it’s virgin. But this version is my all-time favorite mulled cider recipe and I can easily drink an entire pot by myself on a lazy, loungy night at home.
Mulled cranberry apple cider is a comforting sipper on a rainy day by the fire, a crowd-pleaser to stir up and serve at a holiday party, and the perfect cocktail for an après-ski in that mountain cabin you rented for the weekend (you know what I’ll be doing this winter!).
Happy (belated) Thanksgiving! With family in town this week, I postponed the usual Friday post to spend more time with them… but it simply gave me one more thing to be thankful for! Hope you all had (or are having) a wonderful weekend with loved ones.
Here are the six little things that made my week… (What made yours?)
1. Bacon-wrapped turkey in our smoker. A beloved Thanksgiving tradition at our house.
When it comes to the Wonders of the World, there are quite a few lists compiled for everything from the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World to the Seven Wonders of the Industrial World. To limit these lists to just seven is really not fair, considering the vast wonders to be found on this earth… as well as off of this earth. Did you know there’s even a list for the Seven Wonders of the Solar System?
But no matter what any list says, Havasupai Falls deserves to be one of these wonders.
One of my favorite things about fall is the smell of burning wood and bonfires. Whether it comes from a backyard chimenea or a wood-burning stove, I’m always anxious for the temperature to drop a few degrees just so I can light a fire at home.
I mostly keep it low-fi and light some crumpled newspaper to get a fire going, but these homemade herb and spice fire starters are a simple step that makes a fire feel really special. If you use them inside the house, they’ll fill the air with the most wonderful aroma that lingers until the next morning. The only way I can describe it is… it smells like fall!
Anyone who’s even just peeked at my blog knows that I’m an adventure addict. If you stepped inside my garage, you’d seriously think you were inside an REI store… Shelves and hooks full of climbing, camping and backpacking gear; bin after bin filled with watersports equipment; snowboards, downhill skis and cross-country skis leaning against the wall; surfboards of all sizes and a stand-up paddleboard hanging from the ceiling; kayaks sitting on the floor wherever there’s still space and my beach cruiser hiding in a back corner next to my husband’s project BMX bike. It really is astonishing how much can fit inside what’s essentially a one-car garage.
Though I’m a lover of the outdoors, it’s almost silly that I’ve continued to venture into the backcountry without any formal first aid training, save for what I’ve learned watching Bear Grylls (and yes, I know, he still has a camera crew out there to rescue him if shit really hit the fan).
I’d been wanting to take a course from the Wilderness Medicine Institute for a while, with one excuse after another for why I couldn’t attend (usually it involved me jetting off on another adventure the same weekend).
But last weekend, I was invited to join a course offered by REI Outdoor School and I jumped at the chance to finally attend their two-day Wilderness First Aid program, taught in conjunction with WMI.
A couple years ago, I took a three-week holiday through Europe with my mom. We circled Western Europe and toured 9 countries in total (10 if you count the Vatican), zipping across channels and cities and countrysides, starting in London and ending in Amsterdam. (Has anyone ever flown out of Amsterdam’s airport? I don’t think I’d ever gone through so many security checkpoints in my life.)
In the middle of it all, I landed in Germany. I spent an afternoon roaming the Munich farmers’ market, but to call Viktualienmarkt merely a “farmers’ market” is underrating it.
Viktualienmarkt is a daily open-air market and square in the heart of Munich’s old town. It spans 240,000 square feet with over 140 stalls and farm stands selling everything from freshly cut flowers to freshly butchered meat. Everything is fresh fresh fresh. For a farmers’ market fiend, a stop here is a vacation in itself.