A Rather Smug Autumn

October 24th

I don’t mean to jinx things around here, but you guys — I am wearing sleeves. Okay, okay. I am wearing sleeves first thing in the morning when I walk the dogs. Not all day. The afternoons are still in the 90s, but this is sweet progress! The mornings are crisp and cool enough to open windows. My electricity bill is likely to be halved this month.

In a nutshell: this is the best time of year.

The garden, on the other hand, doesn’t look so swell. These babies weathered July and August. Troopers, really.

Fall gardening

Fall gardening

Thankfully, I was gifted a handful of great new gardening books for my recent birthday. I’m using them to draft plans; my beau is building garden boxes at his house for winter vegetables and herbs. This is very exciting news! I have never gardened when watering was easy. These boxes will be on a timed drip.

Fall gardening

My love of weird succulents continues too. Check out these odd balls that were recently added to my collection:

Fall gardening

Fall gardening

Love it. So thankful our outdoor season has finally arrived!

~K

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Arizona, Flora and Fauna, Happy Hippie, Heirloom Hacienda
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Throwing Shade

October 16th

Around the hacienda

These poor pumpkins were cooking in the heat. The edges were browning and the flowers weren’t doing great. Even though I planted the native seeds when I was supposed to, I am not sure we’ll see gourds before Thanksgiving.

Regardless, I knew they needed some shade. In the spirit of using what we have — I repurposed four tomato stakes, a yard of heavy canvas fabric from the thrift store and the grommet tool.

Around the hacienda

Around the hacienda

Voila. Does a good enough job to keep the sun off during the hottest part of the day. The plant has flourished since. And, when we get those freak rain storms, that canvas dries and can be easily replaced.

Are you planting a fall garden? What are you planning?

~K

 

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Arizona, Domestic Art, Earth Mama, Flora and Fauna, Heirloom Hacienda
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Horns

October 15th

When I saw this paper mache deer head at the craft store, I knew I wanted to paint it. I wasn’t sure why, but I loved it. And so, for a few bucks and a couple coats of paint…

Around the hacienda

Around the hacienda

The first Christmas decoration is up. (Because, you know. In Tempe we see lots of deers.) The simplicity of this does delight me, however.

~K

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Community, Happy Hippie, Heirloom Hacienda
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Nelson in Hats

October 14th

Because sometimes it is the little things that make me crack up:

Around the hacienda

Around the hacienda

Around the hacienda

Around the hacienda

Around the hacienda

Around the hacienda

 

The last two are to prove it isn’t all torture. He occasionally gets walks and belly rubs too.

~K

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Nelson
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Final Grand Canyon Photos

October 9th

I’m sure I’ve bored you to pieces with all of these photos. Here are a few of the remainders I love:

Grand Canyon Trip

 

Who knew the Colorado looked like chocolate milk? This was the only time we really saw the river.

Grand Canyon Trip

 

More falls. You cannot tell from this vantage, but that is a 25 foot drop.

Grand Canyon Trip

Grand Canyon Trip

See that trail down there? Yep. Walked it.

Grand Canyon TripDone! Sweaty, tired, and DONE! Some three days and 30 miles later. Woo!

Loved it. Can’t wait to go back. Have I mentioned this?

~K

 

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Arizona, Happy Hippie, Travel
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Phantom Ranch

October 8th

Rather than camp at Bright Angel, the group made reservations a year in advance for Phantom Ranch. There are a dozen or so small rock cabins, full of bunk beds. The accommodations are simple, clean and very comfortable. (Real toilets, hot running showers) The main canteen offers breakfast, sack lunch and dinner with reservations. Otherwise, they are well stocked with snacks and drinks. Long tables hold 12 people; meals are a tight fit, but it feels like adult camp.

Grand Canyon Trip

Grand Canyon Trip

Grand Canyon TripGrand Canyon Trip

How do they get those supplies down there? The same way they run the mail and trash up the canyon: by mule. I’m fairly certain this is the last remaining mule mail service in the US.

Grand Canyon Trip

Grand Canyon Trip

I loved being there. We did yoga one morning on our bath towels outside, stretching out the previous day’s hike. We eyed the board games, drank bad boxed wine, watched a bit of wildlife, took side hikes and sat in the river — again, trying to ease the soreness.

Grand Canyon Trip

Grand Canyon Trip

Grand Canyon Trip

The meals were the same from day to day. Breakfast was coffee, pancakes, bacon and scrambled eggs. Lunch was a sack of snacks. Dinner was cornbread, chili, salad and cake. We ate it all with gusto.

Grand Canyon Trip

Grand Canyon Trip

Grand Canyon Trip

Pretty incredible supply chain, someone is managing — all via UMS. (United Mule Service)

Also of note: apparently they do not like you to touch the mules. Even if they are adorable and wiggle their ears at you and basically BEG to be nuzzled. Coincidentally, I got scolded by a cowboy, and that was not all bad.

~K

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Arizona, Happy Hippie, Travel
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Ribbon Falls

October 6th

Perhaps my favorite part of the trip was the side hike to Ribbon Falls. Just south of the Cottonwood campsite, Ribbon Falls are a brief .5 mile hike off the main trail. We were able to easily climb up the falls and stand behind the water, watching it pour down on years (centuries?) worth of limestone and moss. The water was a refreshing break after 10 miles of hiking from the north rim. And simply gorgeous:

Grand Canyon Trip

Grand Canyon Trip

Grand Canyon Trip

Grand Canyon Trip

Grand Canyon Trip

Grand Canyon Trip

 

Grand Canyon Trip

Grand Canyon Trip

Amazing!

~K

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Arizona, Happy Hippie, Travel
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We Hiked the Grand Canyon

October 5th

We started in Flagstaff and continued on, North Rim to South Rim, with a couple of nights at Phantom Ranch in between:

Grand Canyon Trip

Grand Canyon Trip

Grand Canyon Trip

Grand Canyon Trip

Grand Canyon Trip

Grand Canyon Trip

Grand Canyon Trip

Grand Canyon Trip

Grand Canyon Trip

Grand Canyon Trip

Grand Canyon Trip

Grand Canyon Trip

Grand Canyon Trip

Grand Canyon Trip

Grand Canyon Trip

We parked at the South Rim, took a shuttle across the Navajo Reservation, and spent the first night at the North Rim. The lodge is fantastic in every western way; made of old wood beams and rock, it is a marvel of architecture and history. It sits on the lip of the rim. We arrived in time to watch the sunlight drain from the sky, the moon climb, and lights on the other side of the canyon twinkle as dusk faded into night. The North Rim lodge has far fewer visitors and is a good bit higher in altitude than the South. It is fairly hard to get to, unless you are dropping in by helicopter from Las Vegas. The 4.5 hour drive was mostly desolate reservation, with red cliffs and sage green hills. As we crept closer to the rim, climbing in altitude, the horizon changed from dust to juniper to pinon pine and aspens — which were yellow and rust orange, ready to shed their leaves to cooler weather. The aspens stood out like show girls, waving all their color and sass on an otherwise green hillside.

After a cold first night in bunk beds, nestled in a log cabin, we started the hike off the North Rim. In darkness, we used headlamps for the first 30 minutes as we descended with our group down the path. The early morning light danced on the canyon walls, and we watched with true awe as the colors changed before us, shifting like crayons in the box of 64. The sky from indigo to azure. The rock walls from forest green to sienna and amber. The dirt beneath our feet changing too. In places dusty red, and in other sandy and silty — with puddles, toads and moss.

The first day was a little more than 14 miles — longer than I’ve ever gone with a pack and poles. It was a long, delightful journey and my feet were so very happy to arrive at Phantom Ranch.

~K

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Heirloom Eats: Part 2

October 3rd

Ellen asked for those recipes I make all the time. (Thank YOU for all of your amazing suggestions. I’m going to cook and review one a week. Stay tuned.)

Those magical 8 standards in our kitchen:

Mexican meatloaf

Mexican meatloaf

Chicken Enchiladas

Enchi-wawas

Shepherd’s Pie

shepherd's pie

Trupti‘s Chicken Curry

Sunday dinner

16 Hour pulled pork

march 27 015

Turkey pot pie

chicken pot pie with biscuits -- CAOK for a sick friend

Turkey meatballs with yogurt sauce

High Five Meatball Soup

Juliann’s risotto

April cooking

 

Mmmm… mushroom risotto. That is my ultimate comfort food!
Enjoy friends!

~K

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Domestic Art, Heirloom Hacienda, Recipes
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Knitting Rolls

October 1st

 

Sewing and Knitting

Sewing and Knitting

Sewing and Knitting

Sewing and Knitting

I started a knitting club at work last week. Everyone who came to the first meeting received a knitting roll with a set of huge knitting needles for an easy first project. Because when I nerd out, I like to do it with others. And snacks.

Also: I am hiking the Grand Canyon like RIGHT NOW AS YOU ARE READING THIS. Woo!

~K

 

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Happy Hippie, Heirloom Hacienda
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