Thursday, September 30, 2010

Mesa Verde plus a slap on the back!!

This wide open canyon is littered with countless empty homes and sacred grounds of the Anasazi, the Ancestral Puebloans to be precise.

Why would anyone want to leave this - Cliff Palace

We're told they may have been here for defensive purposes - but there are no signs of war. Did they leave to be closer to water? Even though they lived in these dried out canyons they still had access to water right in their very own homes (seep springs). The best reason I heard is they found the Kachina cult and moved towards it. But it's all part of it, a complex set of reasons why they up and left out of nowhere, like they had a last supper and left the next morning, tools and vessels in plain sight, with these grandly architected and sacred ruins left here, amazingly intact, for us to explore and ponder and marvel at.

Carebear and I, very much enjoying that the tour portion of this site was DONE! Kids and tours don't mix. Don't worry though. As soon as the tour is done and people start to filter out, we drop our guards and really explore all the many wonders and possibilities of the lives that were once here.

The kids LOVED every moment of it. It is just as fascinating to them as it is to us.

Away from the rest of the tour - on lookout duty (and peering through windows).

This is from our second tour at Balcony House - I know, we never learn. But it is a good thing. Because this was the best one!!! Cliff dwellings just leave you in AWE! Come on - a house in a cliffside!!! It is just unbelievable. And it was quite the scary journey to get there. This picture scares me. She can't get a good grip with those posts being so large. Just climbing the face of the canyon, 32 rungs up.

It was a very informative tour. Which is great!! Very interesting to learn how they build their home on the cliff and how they would spend their time - it was not very leisurely. This balcony is a straight-up original, where the house got its name. You could see 900-year old juniper bark fibers protruding where the cement wore away.

Me holding Jarom, Bella watching Milly on her leash, and Matt held Orion. I am a wuss when it comes to heights. I'm mean. Just look at this picture. Do you see the tour guide's feet (the one in the green ranger pants) or the other guy in tan pants. Their backs are to the cliff. I was worried one of them would mindlessly take a step back and fall to their death.

Family photo

Bum shot. This is exiting the home - which is the very same way they came in and out. A tiny tunnel of course.

A better view - coming out.

I made sure to stay just about on top of them.

It was nice that there were handrails and fencing.

Kind of get the feeling these turkey vultures know something I don't.

Our last stop for the day - Spruce Tree House. It was so beautiful. Out of the three homes we visited this was the only one that made real sense to me. It is tucked up under one amazing canyon. And every window view looked out at a forest of trees. Between the rock and trees is air and sky. I can imagine living here and hearing the wind coming down that canyon and through the trees. One thing is for sure. They all had one amazing view of the stars. Forget city lights!

Jarom and Bella becoming Junior Rangers

Last morning at our little acorn grove

All the kids collected baggies of acorns

On the way home, right before you get to Moab, is a little place called Hole N' The Rock!! And we being the very curious cats that we are had to check it out.

Long story short. Old man and lady built their home in a rock - a big one at that! It even was a diner at one point where the man was the fry cook and mam was the server. They were both very hard creative workers. And you can even visit their grave as you leave the house.

Never never give up my friends. We have tried a few times to locate dinosaur tracks (footprints) with no success.

This is the fruit of our labors.

The water really helps it show - Victory is OURS!!

Nothing like a good sprint to the car for the long but short journey home.

My little doe, basking in the warm desert light.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Harvest Moon

Our harvest has been much more than this ridiculously fun Full Moon (Harvest Moon) lift ride.

This year it was warm for once. I know we looked all bundled but we are usually freezing our toes, fingers, noses and tushes off.

My mom came a while ago and showed me the ropes of canning. This is the real beginning of our story.

See our harvest of cayenne peppers! What to do with them all? Anyone have any other ideas then using their seeds for pizza toppings?! And this is all from one little lovely plant. He pleases us so much. One hard worker he is.

That is the window over my kitchen sink. So it makes for some fun decor as they're drying.

You probably want a close up of these cute little fellers. It's funny how much joy these little rock homes give me. I just stare at them as I do the dishes. Dreaming of a far-off homestead lined with fruit trees. While my chicks lay golden polkadotted brown eggs.

Hoping to make my backyard into my dream garden. Maybe next year.

Matty hard at work turning our tomatoes into sauce.

He is loving it

This is my favorite part - the pooper!

I'm busy making loads of fruit leather. This batch is nectarines - nothing added. SO yummy.

In the past few weeks we have added peach jam (local peaches), huckleberry jam(which we hand picked in the Wallowa Moutains of Oregon), raspberry jam (from our garden), strawberry jam (also from the garden), and salsa (much of it from our garden). Many more to come!!! A lot of it will be the same though, maybe I'll mix some up.

Dried apples, and Matt's roasted soynuts in the back.

Always loaded with fresh veggies.

And in different places through out the house (if you are lucky) you will run into some good smelling herb bundles left to dry (also from our garden)--here's oregano, rosemary, and lemon balm. I'm totally bragging - sorry.

Matt has been very diligent about saving everything--sage leaves

And has been collecting every seed and herd from our yard--sage, oregano, coriander, rosemary, dill seed

Tonight we had pizza with Matt's sauce!!

Oey with his pumpkin pie pizza. Don't mind the messy table. The kids have also been working hard at trying to find all of our Halloween decorations.

And this bag and box of apples is our next target. Applesauce!!!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Keep up with your Mom, kids!!!

The perfect evening to enjoy the state fair - warm, breezy, ELECTRIFYING!!!!!

We got this party started with deliciousness.

This was my year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Still very happy about this.

It was buddy pass day!! Which is buy-one-get-one-free pass to all rides. We only have three kids so it was up to me to step up and be a buddy. I LOVED every moment. I haven't laughed so hard in years. My stomach was doing somersaults nonstop. It was also very fun to share this with the kids.

That's me - a fun mom!!! Cool for one day.

Matt got to go on one ride with Jarom. They went on the Zipper!!! So crazy that he is big enough. My very happy lad.

My rosebud at the fun house

This is my (our) night in a nutshell - FUN!! Pee your pants FUN!!

Actually looking forward to next year. And too late in the night we saw that we could have bought Matt a pass for half price ( no extra buddy needed). Next year it will be fun for all. I didn't leave until I rode every last ride. I was Jarom's best friend for once xoxo