Friday, December 30, 2011

Ledgewood Yurt Update

Last winter Jim and I went for a wander through the woods of Killington in search of the Ledgewood Yurt.  It was a fun adventure and it left me with a desire to dine there with a group of my Peeps.  This week I finally had the opportunity.  Tuesday evening a group of us met at the new Killington Umbrella Bar next to the Killington Base Lodge.  We enjoyed a hot apple cider with ginger brandy before boarding a snow cat driven sleigh ride to the Ledgewood Yurt. 

Meeting for a Broken Leg at the Umbrella Bar

The weather went from snow to rain as the evening progressed. Killington provided us with plastic cover ups and wool blankets to stay warm and dry as we traveled.  The Yurt was simple, warm and friendly.  Prior to dinner the Killington's Executive Chef, Greg Lang, described each course of the five course menu (which changes monthly).  Much of the food was  from local Vermont farms.  I have to admit I was a bit skeptical that he would pull off the ambitious menu in a yurt in the middle of the woods on a cold winter night.  Somehow he did.

Sitting down to dinner

A peak at the first two courses.  Very Yummy.

First Experience:  Bonne Bouche
Ash Ripened Goat Cheese from Vermont Butter & Cheese Creamery
Salted Marcona Almonds, Roasted Shallot Confit, Sundried Tomato Lavash

Second Experience::  Vermont Ring-Necked PheasantFarm Raised, Cavendish Vermont
Beauregard Potato Johnny Cake, Brandied Quince, Cold Hollow Cider Reduction

It was a delicious fun filled evening that exceeded my expectations.

Muse: Christmas Reflection and Ubuntu

Luke 2:10-11 And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

You might ask what Christmas and the South African Philosophy of Unbuntu have in common.  I say everything. 

I first heard about of Unbuntu from my friend, Mike, after he returned from a trip from South Africa.  He reflected on what he learned on his visit.  Bishop Desmond Tutu's philosophy of “Ubuntu” - I am Because We Are had the greatest impact.  Tutu believed that we as humans are made for goodness, and life is enhanced by helping to enhance others' lives.  Tutu goes on to say we as humans can't live in isolation.  It is our interconnectedness that makes us human.

To me this is what Christmas is about.  I am because of my interconnectedness with family and friends.  My life is enhanced when I hance the lives around me.  Christmas to me is a celebration of this.  I shared most of the day with the people I love most my, mother and children.  Our time together was simple, Church, breakfast, conversation, silly games, and thoughtful gifts.  It was being together, taking the time to care and share that made the day special. 

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas

Wishing you a snowful, blessed, and joyious Christmas. 
Please enjoy this dream run with me.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Killington: End of the week snow report

I waited until the last minute to give an update on the ski conditions at Killington.  When I left on Wednesday it was just starting to rain, and I was pretty discouraged.  Afraid much of the snow they made this week would be washed away down the hill.  There was no snow on Bear.

A friend of mine just sent me this photo of Bear Mountain as of 4:30 PM 12/23/11.  It is looking promising for the weekend.  Six inches of new snow and counting .  Exactly what I want for Christmas.

I plan on being back up next week with a house full of family, and snow always makes the holiday week merrier.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Killington: Show Me the Snow

I find it hard to believe Killington opened on October 29th with a foot of natural snow, and now they are struggling to get and keep snow on the ground.  There is mostly man made snow on 167 of a possible 752 acres of trails.  It has been an odd year.  A big dump of snow, cold temps, snow making, then a warm up, rain and melt down...repeat. 

I think or hope now winter has begun and the cold temps will stick around.  The snowmakers are working their magic and systematically covering the acres of snow barren trails.  Each day there are a few more trails open.  I am here through Thursday.  I'll report back and let you know how white Christmas Killington will be having.

Snow guns covering as much terrain as quickly as possible.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Muse: Is He Still My Brother Inlaw?

I want to know is my brother in-law still my brother in-law even if I'm no longer married to his brother?  My brother in-law John and his wife Karen were in town visiting my ex.  They gave me a call to let me know they were in town, and we met for lunch.  It was like nothing had changed.  Our relationship is still the same. 

There visit provoked me to muse about my relationships with my in-laws.  I know I am divorced, but we have known and loved each other as family for 34 years.  For me, the hardest part of being divorced is the way it impacts relationships formed while part of a couple.  As I was musing about this last night, my sister in-law Brooke (or is she my ex-sister in-law) texted me for Christmas present ideas for my children.  The call brought back a flood of happy memories of Christmases spent at his parent's home, with his brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews and my parents too.

The last Christmas together (2006)

I feel loved and very sad at the same time.  I now miss the milestones of their lives, but I hope to always remain in their hearts. They will always be in mine, and I will always consider them family.  It was time for my marriage to end, we had changed and grown apart, but I am still not ready to let go of all of the loving relationships that were generated by it.   

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Connecticut Wanders: Bear Mountain Hike

Connecticut has many wonderful hikes, one of my favorite is part of the Appalachian Trail.  It is in Salisbury, in the northwest corner of the state at Mt. Riga State Park.  The hike takes you to the top of Bear Mountain and the states highest summit of 2316 ft.  It is a moderately difficult 6.7 mile loop.  The steep and rocky climb is worth the view from the top.

The surrounding hills and lakes spread out in front of us as we reached the top.  We climbed crumbling old stone pyramid at the top for even a better view.  The original 22 ft stone pyramid was the work of Robbins Battell and built in 1885.  Over the years the tower deteriorated.  It was rebuilt a number of times, but now it  just a pile of stones adding and addition 8-10 feet to the peak of Bear Mountain.

Eric and Sue on stone pyramid at Peak of Bear Mountain

Location: From the junction of Route 44 and Route 41 in the center of Salisbury, proceed north on Route 41 3.2 miles to the Undermountain Trail parking area on the left.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Household Hint: Getting Sticky Foods Off Fabric

My kids were home over Thanksgiving weekend, and I had other friends and family visiting.  After they all left, I started cleaning up.  I discovered sticky marshmallows smeared and stuck to a sofa cushion and on a throw pillow.  Yuck. 

I tried scraping it off, but it just pulled at the fabric.  Dabbing with water did nothing.  I was afraid of using a strong solvent that might stain or hurt the fabric.  I tried ethyl (rubbing) alcohol.  It worked like a charm.  I soaked a little bit of a white towel with alcohol, then blotted the marshmallow laden fabric with it.  It dissolved the marshmallow enough that I could easily dab and gently rub it off.  It dried quickly and no left over film, stickiness or stain on the fabric.