Sunday, November 27, 2011


We hosted Thanksgiving again this year, although our numbers were down a little from some years.  That does make the whole thing a bit more manageable, since we can all fit around one table and we don't need quite so large a turkey.   We had a 19 lb bird for 11 people this year -- which would have worked better if the proportion of dark meat had been higher!

We rarely entertain, so Thanksgiving is our annual opportunity to actually host something.  It's an excuse to clean the house. It's my annual deadline for wrapping up house projects.  And I'm finally figuring out how turkeys are put together - although I still make a mess of taking it apart.

I think we can call the kitchen officially done, after a year and a half (more actually) of cabinets and floors and paint and appliances.  I finished a shoji shade for the south window and installed it Thursday morning after the bird went into the oven.  And I just finished the pot-hanging rack over the stove a few days earlier.  For years we have said that the only reason we really needed a dishwasher was Thanksgiving.  And this year  we finally had one.  What a great idea!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Denny Creek

A sunny, brisk Sunday morning and fresh snow in the mountains, and M grading papers all day, so I headed for the foothills hoping to catch sun reflecting off of ice on the edges of Franklin Falls or on the waterfalls up Denny Creek.  But the road got snowier and snowier and by the time I realized I should turn back, it was awfully hard to figure out how to do so without getting stuck.  The Denny Creek road (old highway 202) was beautiful in the  snow, but just as I approached the top (about to pass beneath the westbound lanes of I-90 near the summit), the snow got too thick and icy and I slid to a stop, high-centered between deep ruts.

All I could think was that M would see this as just one more of my excuses to replace my 235,000 mile Outback with a new one.  If I could have just gotten 50 more feet, I could have parked it beneath the overpass for the winter.  I called AAA, but realized they might be of limited use up here.  What could have been a very long and complicated day was saved by three guys in two jeeps that showed up before AAA could even find me.  They ignored my pleas of gross stupidity and clearly thought that getting stuck in the snow was what made a day like this fun!  They put their jeeps to work, pulled me to solid ground, where I could finally get the chains on and turn the car around.  So I could head back down.  I had realized that there was no way I could make the last 400 feet up to the Alpental Road, but with the jeeps standing by and chains on the rear wheels, I could probably make it back the way I came up.

It was a very pretty drive back down and I even made it back to town to see most of the Seahawks game.  The adventure cost me a breakfast sandwich and a burger on the way back down, but no expensive tow back to the city.  It looks like I did break a torsion bar, but maybe that's just a down payment on the new car.

Speaking of breaking things, these pictures were taken with my new SX150, which replaces the SX130 that I filled up with salt water a week ago Friday (Whidbey Storm).  I wonder what expensive thing I'll break next week?