The land of the ice and snow

Happy almost 2011! A significant year, if you think of 2012 as the end of days. Maybe that will be a good way to spend the year. Maybe we should all treat this year as our last, just to switch things up. I promise I will drink more and swear more.
We had a nice holiday with my family in Truckee. It’s been below freezing for most of the time we’ve been here, and I got to experience my first snowstorm. It was close to blizzard conditions, and we were outside for some parts of it. It barely limited our visibility, but was plenty chilly and I felt like I was on Planet Hoth as the white snowflakes whirled around and stuck to my clothes.
We haven’t really been into Christmas in our family these last few years, since it’s a Christian holiday and we’re so not Christians, and there are no kids in the family besides Christian (hey!). Most of the traditions of late December are Pagan traditions anyway, though, and we might as well take advantage of the days off. SO we exchanged a few gifts, and it was Ian and Missy’s turn to get a stocking from me. The stocking buying is my favorite part of the holidays anymore.
We made an awesome sled run off the back porch, and took turns popping the sledding inner tubes that were meant for children. We did some snowshoeing, and a couple of us also made it out snowboarding. We also got some of our annual Jenga games in, and a crushing game of Star Wars Trivial Pursuit. Tim and I have been learning to bake artisan bread this past year, and earlier this week Tim baked one of the best loaves I’ve seen so far.
This morning I went snowboarding again, and was only reminded that I should either go way more often, or stop going. On my last run, I tried to find a route that was more boarder friendly, because I kept ending up with all of these skiiers. Since when has there been a resurgence of skiing? I took the wrong lift and ended up on the top of the mountain, and the route down was not at all my skill level. I was doing cautious switchbacks the whole way down the hill under the threat of somersaulting my life away. My thighs and knees were on fire, and I was whimpering loudly into my scarf and cursing everything. Tim, however, made sure I had a new pair of super warm mittens with wrist braces underneath. So my hands were nice and cozy warm during my sad ordeal.
We also both bought Camelpaks, since we plan to do some hiking this year. When I got on the lift for my first run, I went to take a drink, quite pleased with myself for planning ahead and taking care of my hydration for the day. That’s when I discovered that the tubes were frozen and completely useless, at least for that morning. Bonus, I got to be that dork walking around with frozen tubes sticking out of my jacket.
We stopped next to Donner Lake on the way back to the cabin and checked out the water. The lake is just on the verge of freezing for the season. It looks glassy all the way across and has these ripples of steam coming off of it. I only brought my little point and shoot, and I wished I could have spent hours down there photographing it with a big camera and a tripod.
Anyway, Happy New Year, friends and Fam!

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Yay, it’s that time of year again! No, seriously!

We’re enjoying the season in stride, with most of our shopping done -but not all! We don’t want to slip out of holiday mode. And I can’t keep baking, because I’ll run out of people to help me eat it.
We’re packing for our trip up to the High Sierras, where a couple of heavy snowstorms seem to be awaiting us. Also if all goes well, an igloo. Here’s our tree:

Yes, that’s a framed image of a tank next to the tree. We love Banksy in this house.
But more important than the holidays, have you seen the HotBooth App? Rather than making you fat or old (see Fat Booth or Old Booth), you can add makeup or accessories to your photo. Or a kitten. I’ve been playing with a pic of one of my favorite people, Avegail:

You can only imagine what I did with this photo:

One of our favorite things this season, though, was figuring out how make the Hawaiian Kettle Corn that we had as an appetizer at our current favorite restaurant discovery, the A-frame.

When you get it just right, which only happens if you go to Farmer’s Market and pick up actual kettle corn, it is so delicious, and you can’t stop until your hands are covered with butter and the japanese seaweed seasoning.
So we’re all geared up for a nice holiday season, and I’m sure it will only get better.