Wednesday, December 30, 2009

New Year Review 2009

It feels like the time for lists and "best of's" so I thought I would try and wrap up 2009 with a list of some of the notable events in somewhat chronological order:
  1. Winslow New Year's Visit
  2. Bench Yurt Trip with the gang
  3. Boulder Ski Tour 2009
  4. Snow-box Derby Champion!
  5. Visit to Tucson to see the LaDukes and celebrate Avery's 1st Bday
  6. Hadley Walker was born March 3rd
  7. Duh! Skiing in Switzerland, France, and bike riding in Italy
  8. Ketchum Wide Open Mini-Golf Extravaganza
  9. Stay-cation at Les Saison
  10. Middle Fork River Trip, yee-haw!
  11. Bryan & Kat get engaged
  12. Lucy's 1st knee surgery and recovery
  13. Growing my garden...yummy :)
  14. Trip to Cali to visit Nana and drink wine with my girls in Carmel on my 30th.
  15. Our one year anniversary!!! Phew, made it!
  16. Born Lakes hiking with Lucy and Zach
  17. More mountain bike riding then I knew I was capable of
  18. Tony's retirement in Salmon
  19. Lily dog passes away :(
  20. Trip to Yosemite and Reno!
  21. Cutting fire wood and then giving it back for a lack of permit
  22. Farewell to Jen Lyons :(
  23. Painting our entire house
  24. Erin moves into MoLo and then moves out and then moves in....
  25. Thanksgiving in Reno with the family
  26. Tree hunt Charlie Brown style
  27. And a pioneer Christmas in Hailey!
Phew! And that doesn't really cover it all. If you made it through my list you can only wonder what is to come in this next year...2010 bring it on!!!!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Outtage!

If you stop and think for a moment what it must have been like for the pioneers of the 19th century to wake up Christmas morning in a Western mountain town. Before rushing to the presents you had to find a light source, build a fire because of the negative temperatures, and look for something warm to eat...

Whether we liked it or not that was our Christmas morning. The entire Wood River Valley was powerless as of 10pm Christmas Eve. No Christmas tree lights, no warm coffee/tea, no lifts running on the ski mountains, no phone calls, and most importantly no heater! That was a glimpse into our Christmas morning. But despite our lack of things that need power (which is pretty much everything) we managed to have a wonderful Christmas!

We sprung into action like true campers. Zach pulled out the headlamps and camping light. We built a fire in our wood stove and luckily we could make coffee/tea on the wonderful flat surface. Not being able to contact anyone, we decided to load up and head up the canyon to Zach's parents house. Not surprisingly, they were doing the exact same thing as we were, however we had coffee :) We decided to head back down to our house and have a proper Pioneer Christmas :) Jean and I whipped up some eggs, hashbrowns, and toast on the wood stove. Then we settled into opening gifts around the tree. Aaaahhh, Christmas!

Luckily, the power returned around noon in our neck of the woods but the people north of us (yes all the rich Sun Valley folk including Schwazeneger, Jamie Lee Curtis, etc.) where not as lucky. Their pioneer Christmas lasted into the evening and I can only imagine what they were eating for breakfast.

We continued to stay warm with a skate ski around Quigley with Lucy.
Later that night I served up a proper Swiss fondue for four. Apples, rosemary bread, and chicken sausage in melted cheese. Fresh duck in peanut oil. Not too shabby for pioneers.

Lucy settles in with her new "goosey"
I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday and are staying warm where ever you may be!

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Stories and pictures to follow.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Holly Jolly

We've had a festive weekend starting out with the annual office party for Ruscitto Latham Blanton. Appetizers, wine, and a white elephant exchange made for some funny office memories involving the latest holiday trend, the "snuggie". An adult blanket with arms, this item is sure to frighten any Christmas gift recipient.

Saturday was a great day for skate skiing and we headed up north with Jenna, Willie, and our dogs to break in our winter sticks. Lot's of laughs followed by a delicious meal at Galena Lodge, we all went home ready for a nap.

Nik and Erin arrived to Hailey from Portland the same day and geared up for action on the town. In Ketchum we made sure to stop by all the local favorites, the Pio, Lefty's, Grumpy's, and the newly opened Whiskey Jacques. Oddly familiar the new Whiskey Jacques feels just like old times with some obvious and needed improvements. We ended the night by boogieing down to the Damphools band.

Sunday we struggled out of bed and took the Reno kids up to Galena Cross for some back country skiing. I have to say for their first time ever skinning on skis they did very well. It's not easy breaking in your lungs going up the mountain, and then your legs coming down but they managed to pull through nicely. We finished it off with another delicious meal at Galena Lodge. Seriously how can you go wrong there :)

Only when we returned to town did Zach realize that his money clip was missing. He searched through every pocket, nook, and cranny that he could think of before he was ready to surrender and start canceling cards. Not gonna happen, I thought. I convinced him we needed to go back to where he saw it last which unfortunately meant returning to the mountain that we had skied on earlier that day. In the dark we looked in and out of snow banks and all over the snow covered road for a needle in the haystack. We had to return to the summit of the mountain and then back down to where we had pulled off the road when we finished our run. Zach retraced his footsteps and low & behold he found it! Face down in the snow. The only visible part was the white back of his Costco card. Needless to say we were happy to have made a worthwhile trip.

Pictures to follow....

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Pioneer Woman

A great friend of mine gave me "The Pioneer Woman's" cookbook for Christmas yesterday and I couldn't be more thrilled! In the kitchen I need all the help I can get and the more ideas the better. From this cookbook and my friend, I've discovered "The Pioneer Woman" blog and enjoyed all the insight, photographs, and stories. As I looked through the cookbook I realized there was more to this than just the recipes, there was a story of a woman and her transition from an urban life style into the rural west. Sound familiar?

Since becoming "Idaho Sarah" I have trodden down a similar path to the "Pioneer Woman". I've learned how to cut my own wood, hike up steep back country mountains with two sticks on my feet, stay camouflaged from ducks in the bitter cold, raft down wild rivers, sleep in a tent for almost a month, replace and grout an old tile floor, hate Nap weed, eat wild moose, and more! I've given up my trendy city clothes for heavy winter boots and a long down jacket. I've learned to eat potatoes at almost every meal (Zach's favorite). We have a yellow lab, love the mountains, and are constantly outside regardless of the weather. And I love it all! Living life has never been better since I turned into Pioneer Sarah :)

Thanks Jenna for the great cookbook and the reminder of why I'm grateful to live here!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

New Whiskey's

I just checked in on the construction progress at the New Whiskey Jacques in Ketchum. They've got a way's to go before their opening next Friday but the completed building is going to be awesome! For those of you that don't know Whiskey Jacques is a historic bar/restaurant that burned down last year in Ketchum. The entire town stood in main street and watched in shock as the building went up in flames. Many a local, traveler, and ski bum, have found themselves in Whiskey's at one time or another on their way through the Wood River Valley.

I'm very excited for everyone in the valley to enjoy having this back in our community. I can already visualize the fun times to be had on the new second level back deck, overlooking Baldy while soaking up the rays with a beer in hand. I'll be seeing you at the new and improved Whiskey's no doubt!

Monday, December 7, 2009

O' Tannenbaum

It was time to break in our new AT boots so Zach and I woke up at 5am on Saturday morning and skinned up the big bad Bald one (otherwise known as our local ski mountain, Baldy). I believe it's around 3,200ft to the top and I always anticipate the first skin of the season with dread and excitement. Dread because I know it's going to be painful to get my lungs and body back into ski touring shape. Excitement because it is always so beautiful and serene to be outside in the quiet moonlight on skis. I'm happy to report we made it with little pain and enjoyed the tour up, well before the first skiers hit the mountain. It was a frigid 2 degrees and windchill of -15 on top of the mountain so we quickly put on our warmer coats, de-skinned our skis, and headed down the mountain on the perfectly groomed corduroy. Our new boots stood the test and my legs are the only thing that need to be broken in now. Warm hot chocolate by the fire in the lodge helped to refuel us for the next part of our day...

Our Christmas tree hunt! Granted we were a warn in from our hike up Baldy but we had gotten the permit (yes of course) and Lucy was ready to go. Why does it always seem that the best Christmas tree's are at the top of a mountain and not near the road where the car is? Maybe it's because they always look so great from far away. By the time we had found the "perfect" tree we had probably hiked up another Baldy and then some, so anything looked good at that point. We had fun sliding down the somewhat snowy hill with our new Christmas tree and quickly stuffed it into the back of the truck.
The perfect tree
At home we quickly realized that our tree was too big for our living room. So we cut a few branches off the bottom...then some more....then some more...until we had what appeared to be the remaining 8ft top of our once beautiful tree. Zach and I were so upset we couldn't even look at it without laughing how ridiculous it looked in the house. Determined not to waste this tree's life I proceeded to decorate the remaining six branches with all the ornaments that would fit. I think Charlie Brown would be proud :)

Next year, needless to say, we are looking for a small tree no bigger then we stand.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Handmade Christmas

With December here I have been trying to gather ideas for Christmas gifts for family and friends. The slow economy hasn't made this easy as it has affected us all. But I don't want to loose the quality in the gifts I'm giving so I'm loading them with love! Ready or not I'm doing my best to make everything by hand this year. I thought I would share my ideas to help others that may need a few. Don't be shocked if one of these items turns up in your stocking.

Peppermint Bark: My favorite holiday treat is delicious
and always brings Christmas to mind.

Hand knit scarves: I've been knitting one for my mother. She wanted something cranberry red and black. She still wears one I made for her years ago.

Poppy Seeds: I have been collecting the poppy seeds from our garden for the last two summers and will give them out to family and friends to plant in their gardens this spring.

Tea: I love hot tea!
And nothing better then fresh tea dried with love for those around you.

Leg Warmers: How cute are these?
My next knit project will be for a pair that I might have to gift to myself.

Hopefully I don't run out of time to do all this! If your looking for me I might be frantically knitting late at night :) xoxo