A chill that lasts all day.

The month of October has arrived!DSC01357

And I couldn’t ask for more perfect weather to start off the month. For the first time since spring, when I woke up this morning it was chilly and it kept that edge of cold all day long even though the sun came out. There is one way and only one way to celebrate weather as spectacular as this-to spend as much time outdoors as possible.

First, I hung out with one of my little friends. We went and played at a wonderful wildlife center that is a stone’s throw from his house. We sang songs, looked for animals and took lots of pictures. For a not-quite three year old, his photography skills are impressive. (The first two are his.)DSC01279DSC01274DSC01270DSC01329DSC01336DSC01289DSC01325

It brought back fond memories to come here. The last picture above, of the water, shows the spot where my grandparents used to take me and my older brother. My brother and my grandpa would fish and my grandma and I would walk around the pond talking about anything and everything. It is one of the few memories I have of my grandpa before he died and it is a wonderful, happy one.

When my little friend’s mom got back home, I went for a bike ride. I went straight into a headwind for the first half of the ride and then enjoyed the wind on my way back. I forgot how great is it to bike in the sun without the temperature actually getting warm. I got home after 25 miles feeling pumped. I feel mean saying this because I know the majority of people prefer the heat, but, from here on out the weather is only gonna get better!

Advertisements

Jack of All Trades

DSC00581

This little guy is killing it!

I really put my new trailer to work today, we went 19 miles together and climbed over 960 feet.

I used it to haul…
-trash
-laundry
-my laptop
-groceries
-two kids

Not all at the same time though, thankfully!

This was my first time hauling my own trash to the dump. Previously, I would bribe my brother with either food or money to drop in off with his car. It might seem like a tiny, even weird thing to finally be able to take my garbage to the dump completely independently, but it made me beyond thrilled. Look at me, my bike and trailer! We can do practically anything!

On the way up to the dump a pickup truck passed me, but slowly, because he was hauling trash as well in a (slightly bigger)trailer. When I got to the dump a few minutes later he told me he was impressed by how I kept up with him. The guys at the dump were really kind as well. One of them helped me carry my bags to the drop-off point and the other dude gave me a break on the cost I was supposed to pay on the bags.
First dump experience = win!

Then I went to babysit and since my trailer is actually a child-specific trailer, their mom was fine with me giving two of my favorite little boys in the world a ride. They are two and four years old and thought it was the best thing ever.

“Fast!” They would call out and I would pedal furiously (in a low gear for increased dramatic effect of course).

With a cry of “Slow!” I would coast, giving my legs a break, which I needed for what lay ahead.

I am a pushover when it comes to cute little kids that I adore, so when they asked to go, “Faster, faster, faster!!!” I coasted down a hill. Not just any hill though. A hill that is fairly short but has a gradient up to 13%. Have you ever pulled a 22 pound trailer with 65 pounds of kids in it up a hill? I never had before and I personally believe that no gears that exist are small enough to make that task easy.

There were two town workers cleaning the road on the hill and they asked me, “Will you be able to make up there?” I told them I didn’t know, but that I was going to give it my best shot. It took everything I had, but I climbed that hill with the best cadence I could muster. I was sweating bullets at the end but it felt great.

After babysitting, I went to the store and picked up groceries. It is so nice to be able to buy whatever I need to buy without calculating available pannier space. My world has changed, I could buy out the whole store and take it home with me if I wanted to!

My new trailer is awesome, with it I can do anything and everything I need to do in my day-to-day life without the help of a car. It feels wonderful!

What a day!

I woke up this morning instantly thankful for three things.

1. We once again have a substantial layer of snow on ground and it looks beautiful.
2. I get to spend the day cooking at my parent’s house.
3. Yesterday.

I had a really fun, really full day yesterday. If I spent every day in a similar fashion I would be extremely happy but also extremely tired. My brother is currently home from Colorado so I am spending as much time as I can with the family, I have been here since Monday night.

I woke up in the morning on a mission. My mission? Homemade ravioli. I love making ravioli but it is very time consuming, so I only make it a couple times a year. Please excuse my horribly subpar photography skills, I simply had to share these pictures because ravioli makes me so giddy and happy and bubbly and smiley and I will stop embarrassing myself now.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Flour, salt, egg yolks and water about to be turned in a sticky mess.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Sticky mess of dough.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Ten minutes of intense kneading produces silky smooth dough.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Rolled that dough until my arms were aching, does anyone want to buy me a pasta machine? You will receive instant best friend status.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

64 sausage and spinach stuffed raviolis

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

The end result after boiling in salt water and dumping in marinara sauce.

To round out the meal I made two loaves of savory monkeybread and a marinated Italian salad.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I invited my grandparents to come up and eat with us and as soon as they arrived and my brothers came back from basketball practice we all sat down together to eat. I love making food for anyone and everyone but there is a special joy that only comes from spending all day in the kitchen to create food for the people you love most.

Right after we ate, my brother (the one home from Colorado) and I headed out to do some babysitting. He had no idea what he was getting himself into. My three little friends jumped on him, poked him in the eye, begged him to do games over and over again and were their adorable, high-energy selves.

Putting three children to bed is always a challenge especially when two little boys share a room and do everything in their power to keep each other awake. I ended up sitting on the floor between their beds telling them a long story until they couldn’t keep their eyes open anymore. Telling stories to children until they fall asleep is one of the best things ever.

Then my brother and I hung out, laughing at stupid TV shows until their parents came home. It was great. I finally fell asleep at 12:30, super tired but super happy.

Well I have another day of cooking ahead of me, I better get a move on it! Have a great last day of 2014!

Here are the recipes I used.

Savory Bubble Bread
I doubled the amount of cheese and spice mixture, my family loves extra flavor. I don’t have a bread machine so I used my normal technique for making rolls.

Spicy Italian Salad
I used red wine vinegar because who keeps tarragon vinegar in their house? No one. I also threw everything except the romaine lettuce in the dressing early on in the day so it could get some nice tangy flavor throughout.

Ravioli
I always end up using more eggs yolks then this recipe calls for but it explains the process very well.