Pumpkin carving

on Monday, October 31, 2011
Since Halloween is the last Western holiday we'll be able to celebrate here for awhile, I wanted to go all out for my pumpkin carving. I went to browse for ideas on Pinterest, my latest and greatest time-waster these days. This is the manifestation of the idea I got:

If you're wondering, the pumpkin I carved is on the right :)

I was excited because it involved both Christmas lights (I happened to have orange lights on hand) and a power drill. I had never used a drill before, especially on a member of the Cucurbitaceae family. For carving his very first pumpkin, Reuben did an epic job as well. If a pumpkin could describe our personalities, I think this pair did a pretty good job.

Happy Halloween!

Dogs, susurrus.

on Friday, October 28, 2011
Reuben came into the room when I was still sleeping early yesterday morning and says, "we have a strange situation this morning." Apparently that dog barking that I was hearing wasn't a remnant of a dream, but a real dog on our front porch. A rabid, aggressive dog, to be precise.

When Reuben says that a dog is aggressive, I take it seriously because I consider him to be a dog-whisperer. He's an any-animal-whisperer, really, charming hamsters, squirrels, and most creatures known to man. He had already tried to call animal-control and the ASPCA but their offices weren't open for the day yet, so he suggested to me that we "call 9-9-9". "Do you mean 9-1-1"? "Oh yea". I learned that 9-9-9 is the emergency contact number in Malaysia. Good to know.

I am averse to loud, aggressive barking so I wasn't interesting in venturing toward the front door. Reuben had taken some pictures of this thing and I thought, oh, he's not so bad!

Don't let the picture deceive you, our camera was just exceptionally good at taking away the 'red eye' effects of his rabidness. And that's when I saw this:

The policeman showed up, and by that time the dog had wandered back to the street and into our neighbor's yard. The poor thing couldn't walk straight. If a dog could be highly intoxicated, this is what he acted like. Reuben started feeding it bread to keep it close until animal control came, which the policeman highly disapproved of.

Holy moly, I've never seen an animal snarl like this!

I went inside to let Reuben take care of this situation, and eventually animal control came and picked the dog up. He says that the police officer used his taser gun. Apparently the dog had been on the loose for a long time, and had been getting a lot of reports about it. Crime stoppers!

On a totally unrelated note but coincidently has to do with dogs, we decided to take the afternoon to enjoy the crisp fall air by biking the greenway and walking some dogs at the animal shelter.

I should have known that this is the perfect activity for Reuben, because it involves both cycling and dogs. Within 15 minutes of starting our walk with the dogs, Reuben had basically leash-trained one, and the other was no problem.

It was a perfect day for enjoying the fall colors at the greenway

And allowed me to engage in one of my most favorite activities: crunching leaves! It was the perfect time and the leaves were the perfect consistency to generate maximum 'crunch'.

I was randomly on thesaurus.com today and this is what caught my eye:

You're kidding me, there's actually a term for such a thing? Perfect. And yet not such a perfect word: susurrus.
Too bad I'll never be able to remember it, much less spell it.

Forbidden fruit

Reuben and I both have an eye for spotting road-side fruit for picking. We go running at least 4 times on a loop around Scenic and Cowiche Canyon, and at the moment we have three different fruits to choose from on this route: apples (fallen on the ground, left to rot) grapes (in the form of gigantic road-side vines that the owners of the property seem to not know exists), and our latest discovery, raspberries (about to shrivel up on the bush), just a few minutes from my house. I feel a little bit crazy running with handfuls of grapes and apples, but at least it keeps my arms loose and my running form good!

Some may consider it thievery, perhaps, but we're just trying to enjoy what other people don't want to!


on Tuesday, October 25, 2011

This is what happens when you live in a limbo-land of needing to unpack from one place and pack for another....but not immediately. We're in the process of sorting our things into bins for storage, suitcases to live out of at the moment, and boxes of stuff to pack. It's driving me crazy!!

We leave for Malaysia November 5th!

Fall bounty

on Monday, October 24, 2011
I'm trying to take advantage of fall here in Yakima as much as I can. My mom got a gigantic zucchini from church. I've managed to make three meals from it already.

First, I made this, yummy!

And these have been one of my favorites all summer long:

Everybody doubted me when I said I was going to make fritters, but these were a bit hit (at least for Reuben and I, not the rest of the family, but only because they wouldn't even give them a chance!

I still have one quarter of the zucchini left and I'm thinking about trying some muffins or cookies!

Next fall food obsession: apples!

I've made apple pie, 3 huge pots of applesauce, apple crisp, and a fan-tabulous pot of butternut-squash apple soup (thanks Martha!). More surely to follow.


Remember when?

on Sunday, October 9, 2011
I realize that I haven't written about what we've been doing in CO at all. Even the fun stuff. Like that time when we stayed at the cabin in Yampa. This was the view from our cabin:

We had lots of fun with the horses, and I was only slightly terrified.

They had a natural hot springs hot tub. That, combined with a view of the Milky Way galaxy. Perfect.

We hiked around the ranch, and I fell in love with Aspen trees.

Reuben carved our initials into one of those aspens, hopefully we'll manage to come back and find it again.

We spent Labor day in the tiny town of Oak Creek. A coal town, they were the very first place to officially recognize Labor Day, back in the 1800s. They've been celebrating with the Labor Day Parade every year since. Pretty much the entire town is in the parade (which isn't many) so we came to show our support. There were lots of ladies dressed up like the olden days.

We celebrated our anniversary (yes, one year!) with some good old fashioned bbq ribs.

On the way back to CO Springs, we stopped in Vail, to see what all the fuss was about.

My parents own a piece of property near Breckenridge, and we wanted to stop by to see the place. Yes, it is located at 11,000 feet and in the middle of absolutely nowhere, but they were hoping to build a cabin there someday, and cabins are supposed to be in the middle of nowhere anyway. It was quite a nice piece of forest, actually.

Other random things, check out this rainbow!

We spent a week up at another cabin, just north of the Springs.

I was so excited to see prairie dogs!

And oh yes, who could forget when we went to the prologue ride of the USA Pro Cycling Challenge. It started at the Garden of the Gods, so we parked at the YWAM base and took our bikes there. This day pretty much made Reuben's LIFE. He got to cheer on The Schleck brothers, Cadel Evans, George Hincappee, and everyone that he always admired from the television screen in the Tour de France.

Oh yes, and we woke up one day to watch the sunrise.

Snow Day!

Yesterday was bliss. I woke up and it was SNOWING. Snow in early October - what is this? It felt like summer two days ago.
I get giddy whenever I see snow start falling, especially if it's the first of the season, and double-especially if it's the first thing I see when I wake up. It snowed and snowed and snowed, and then the sun came out and it all melted in an hour. So much for that! Snow brings on immediate cravings for two things: hot chocolate and soup. And that is what I had yesterday. To make the day even better, I took a nap, went for a walk, drank hot beverages all day, and had dinner at Cracker Barrel. Good day.