November 10, 2022
Things are slowing down around here as we ease into winter and more time spent on indoor activities like reading while huddled under a cozy blanket. Right now I am reading the biography written by Flea, Acid for the Children. Wanna know why I’m reading this book? I saw it on the shelf in an airport bookstore last month and the title made me chuckle. Why not? I love books and it’s not often that I come across a book that is a boring waste of time so I trust my instincts in the books I select. So far, it’s well written, funny, interesting, and shares common values and ideas that make us all feel good. Flea’s literary hero is Kurt Vonnegut and so I immediately find him relatable.
There were a couple of nice days this past where it was enjoyable to be outdoors while the sun was shining. Amanda and I took another hike in search of another set of pictographs. We did not find it, but the hike was beautiful and fun. When we got back we resolved to try again next week and we did a bit more detailed research about the location we were looking for and quickly realized the error we had made. Now we have maps and GPS coordinates for our destination so I’m sure our next trip will be a success. It was the only day this past week that I took many pictures. We stayed within this canyon we found off of route 12. We hiked through this area until we came to a pool that was too deep and cold for us to wish to continue through it.
Luke and I also went out one day and hiked around the hills across the street from us. We found some interesting washes to hike through and brought the dogs with us for their run. We marveled at the make rock bowls creating by rushing water and the giant chunks of petrified wood we found. We also took in a nice view of the town below.
The BLM paleo team connected with me and sadly their excavation work has concluded for the season and will resume in April. In the meantime, they did offer to send me the lab schedule in case I want to volunteer there over the winter. It’s a cool possibility, but the lab is 2.5 hours away so I’m not super keen on that. However, it sounds like there is still some volunteer opportunities for me in the winter at the visitor center and doing some trail mapping and descriptions.
Luke has talked me out of my latest “fun idea”. I made some delicious homemade meatballs this week and while making them I remembered my self-invented game I call, “That’s a Spicy Meatball”. Consider this game for your next family get-together or dinner party. To prepare play, you simply form some delicious meatballs following the recipe you prefer. Before popping those babies in the oven, poke a bottle of siracha into one of them and fill ‘er up. After baking cover them in red sauce so there is no features to distinguish the spicy meatballs. Serve these to your guests and the game begins. I suggested I do this game for our last family meal at the campground as it would be fun. Luke said this was a horrible idea and is not fun at all, only terrifying.
Luke and I have started talking about short trips we may take around the area over the winter. I think that Bisti Badlands in New Mexico is at the top of our list so now I need to do a little research to make sure that destination makes sense for that time of year. Since we saw that lecture on Lake Powell I’ve also been thinking about wanting to do a boat trip through the lake. Luke agreed to go along and even said he would feel confident driving the boat. Let’s see what kind of options I find for boat rentals. I think it would be best if we found one with a cabin so we can overnight during the trip and catch sunrise in the perfect spot. Most I have found so far though are huge expensive houseboats. I also have no idea how Dobby would feel about being on a boat. I wonder if we can find an opportunity to test that out first. Will he be a brave adventure dog on sea as on land?
We had a lovely lunch one day this week at Ranch Dog Kitchen. No Ted sightings this time, but we did get the chance to meet a local eccentric. Just after our food arrived, a gentleman named Sid sat down and asked us if we read the bible. We immediately knew what kind of conversation this was going to be and we buckled in with interest. Sid believes many things that honestly do not match my belief system. For example, the earth is flat and surrounded by a dome. He was friendly, eager to share his ideas and beliefs, well spoken, and intelligent. We listened with interest, respectfully challenged a couple of things he said, and made a new acquaintance. I would love to share a picture of the truck he drives. Once I can snag one I’ll share it in the blog. We also learned that they will be having an acoustic jam weekly, possibly starting tonight so we will check that out. It will be fun to see live music and Luke playing again. Lately I just hear him sing Happy Birthday to friends and family.
Downtime is good too so I need to slow down lest I make myself too busy this winter. Downtime gives you a chance to get a little bored or just think and reflect. These times usually bring out creativity and the energy and desire for the next cool thing. It’s also a good time for learning new things, engaging in fun and fulfilling hobbies, or reconnecting with loved ones. As always, I have a list in my head of things I want to use the time for including earning some CEUs, volunteering, exploring (as always), more cooking and baking, painting, and making a new miniature kit or two. I shopped online today for some of these new crafting supplies. I’ve also thought of writing to my siblings and taking more time to get to know them better. For now, I’ve got a new pencil sharpener and lots of colors.
Despite the shifting temperatures, we are staying warm. We bought a heated hose and installed it along with some insulation at the spigot as we had a couple of mornings with a frozen pipe. We also have a new electric heater that works great so we haven’t been burning through much propane so far. Our electric fireplace stopped emitting heat for us though. Luke ordered a replacement, but it was just slightly too small for the hole that the old one left. We gave our old one to our neighbor who is a mechanic and thought about what to do with the smaller new one. Within a couple of days, our neighbor had fixed the heater so we decided to just trade him the new one for our old one back. Hopefully, it stays working properly for a while this time.
Jennifer MacNeil is currently traveling the US with her husband and two dogs. She loves to have adventures, explore, meet fascinating people, and see amazing places. She strives to learn every day and spread kindness to others. She documents her journey through her photography and blog to share with others.