Thursday, October 20, 2011

Scary faces in the night

So... for the first time in.... years, I carved a pumpkin! Really, Heather, Jay and I carved pumpkins... a little pumpkin carving party, if you will. It was so much. More fun than I remember it being as a kid. Maybe... because now I had the strength to actually cut all the way through the pumpkin?  Maybe because hot wings and onion rings were involved? Maybe because it was just a lot of fun...
We had picked these fabu pumpkins when we went to Miller Farms over the weekend. We each got busy sketching out faces and ideas... and all made some scary jack 'o' lanterns!  Let me just say now... that I should probably practice carving or something before next year. Because both Jay and Heather put my pumpkin to shame.

pumpkin guts
 The tough part of pumpkin carving? Still scooping out all the goopy insides. After a while I got bored with it and decided to get on with my carving.
 Jay was serious when he sketched out his pumpkin. Look at that thing!
Jay and Heather working hard
 Apparently, the one MAJOR thing we forgot about the whole pumpkin carving extravaganza?  Candles. Stupid candles. So Jay scoured the house looking for anything we could stick inside and light. We found 1 really old, red pillar candle and two birthday candles. #3 and #2. Random, I know.
My scary face...with the #2 candle

Heather's creepy face with the #3
Jay's freaky face with the red pillar candle

They all turned out really good. But... like I said, I need to take some carving lessons or something before next year.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Fall Adventures

We've had some beautiful weather here in Colorado. Very un-October like weather. Temps in the 70s and 80s. Weird! However... since we've had such nice weather... Jay and I and Heather decided to take full advantage of it on Sunday. By going to a farm! Say what, you say?  Yes, a farm.  Miller Farms, to be exact.  I heard about this place from a co-worker of mine. Apparently, its a place where you can pick your own vegetables. Hmmm....? Jay and I had already discussed (at length) the idea of going pumpkin picking. Heather has been all about doing anything "American" since she returned. So the three of us made a trek to the boonies of Colorado... to pick vegetables.
It was AWESOME!!!! I wish we had known about this place over the summer. It is truly a foodie heaven. F-R-E-S-H produce. That you pick yourself! You pay $15.00 per person, which covers the bouncy balloon, corn maze, pumpkin, the tractor ride out to the fields and up to 5 grocery bags per person of whatever you pick. So off we went!
We got the option to pick...onions (red, yellow and white), cabbage, green beans, carrots, red potatoes, sweet corn, and pie pumpkins!  The onions were pretty easy to pick, just pry them out of the ground since they were half uncovered anyway. We skipped over cabbage and Heather and Jay went to town picking green beans. I got the job of getting the carrots...which isn't nearly as easy as Bugs Bunny makes it out to be. The potatoes were pretty easy since they had a little tractor thing that pulled them out of the ground for you.  The pumpkins were also easy, but you had to be careful not to get carried away. They were small and so easy to grab!  The corn was my favorite part. We picked the ears right off the stalk, wandering up and down the rows of corn. It would have been easy to get totally lost. The best part about the was so sweet we shucked a couple ears right there on the tractor and nibbled away on the raw ears. Yum!

picking sweet corn right from the stalks!

chose not to get any cabbage...



our loot! 2 people's effort yields a lot of veggies!

Heather had her own wagon!

sweet corn for dinner
We got boatloads of onions and potatoes. I will be learning/making French Onion soup in the near future. I am also planning to make a slow cooker stew this week to use up some of the carrots, onions and potatoes. The corn is oh, so, sweet... and I am planning corn bread and possibly corn chowder as well!! Lots of cooking in my future... but it will be great with such fresh veggies!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The right colors...

the wrong team.  Thats how I felt on Sunday when Jay and I headed to a Broncos game.  It was the last of his birthday presents, so I felt like I should be a good sport and cheer for his team. We were both decked out in Blue and Orange (I might have left my Bears socks on)...and we headed to Sports Authority Field at Mile High.  Thankfully all the snow was gone and it turned out to be a pleasant day!
we were pretty high up!
The seats were pretty high up, but we were right at the 40yd line, so it was good viewing for sure.
I kept hoping that the field would magically turn to Bears...but to no avail.  It was still a very fun and exciting game!
During half-time, they held a tribute to Breast Cancer survivors.  A few women's stories were shared... and it brought tears to my eyes. It was really, very touching and great to see.
pink balloons released
The day cooled off while the game heated up. It ended with the Broncos losing (terrific effort made!)... but it was a great Sunday to spend watching football.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Got my competitive juices flowin'

Dance. I haven't talked about it much... mostly because there hasn't been a ton to talk about, and partially because I was hoping that I would have something exciting to post about soon. Which I do. Today.
I haven't competed since April (a month or more before I broke my foot) and hadn't been too keen to test the competitive waters in September when Longs Peak feis rolled around. However... due to the amazing teaching skills of my friend Mary (soon to be TCRG? fingers crossed!!)....some serious ass getting kicked in class and diligent private lessons... I felt ready to hit the competitive stage again for Octoberfeis. I opted to only compete in my hardshoe dances, that way I didn't feel too stressed out and because all my hardshoe was in Novice.
Octoberfeis. Ironically enough, it fell on the same weekend as the Great American Beer Festival. Which I attended/volunteered for. So... when Saturday afternoon came for class... I felt like poop. I didn't think I was dancing well... and was not looking forward to competing.  Mary kicked my butt a little and told me to snap out of it and own my dances.
So... Sunday morning... I headed back to the competitive stage. And totally rocked it.

I still have things to work on... but coming back from a broken foot and placing my Treble Jigs and Hornpipes? Felt GREAT! My Treble Jigs moved into Prizewinner... sadly there were not enough people to move my Hornpipes. But still. I. Felt. Great. And it was fantastic to be competing again. Looking forward to the next feis!!

Beer, baby, Beer.

I love when September rolls around. Not only is the start of my favorite season... but it also means cooler temperatures, brilliant colors, and BEER. Yes, I associate beer with fall. If you lived in Denver and were a beer lover, you would too. Why? Four words...
Great. American. Beer. Festival.
Seriously. Imagine a convention hall packed with tables. Each table has beer on it. From different regions of the US. 2400 different types of beer. Bliss doesn't even begin to describe it.
GABF is a great event...made even greater when Heather and I decided to volunteer to pour beer 3 festivals ago. We had no idea what to expect, what we were in for... or how utterly AWESOME it was.
Let me sum it up for you.... by being a Brew Crew volunteer you:
get in FREE
pour beer
taste beer

meet people
free Brew Crew shirt and
drink beer...lots and lots of beer. FOR FREE. Enough said.  Also... at our first GABF as Brew Crew, I met Jay. Two whole years already. Obviously, GABF now holds a special place in both Jay's and my hearts.
Happy Anniversary Babe!
 The beautiful Miss Stacey joined us again this year (last year was her first, and now she's hooked!) And... my mom joined the Brew Crew as well. She seemed to have a total blast, and I am pretty sure the brewers wanted to take her home with them.
Brew Crew newbie!

She's back!!!

This is typical Heather and I

Stace and Jay!

my girls and I. Love these two!
Sadly... beer fest has ended for another year.... see you next year GABF!