"Two roads diverged in a yellow wood... And sorry I could not travel both. I took the one less traveled by. And that has made all the difference." --Robert Frost

Friday, December 31, 2021

Finishing 2021 with Family, Friends & Food!

Placerville, California

A little re-cap of December.  We're just enjoying the last of the year with friends and family.  It was a pretty quiet month.  We loved our extended stay here in California but looking forward to hitting the road again and warmer temps!

Hurley says, Merry Christmas!
We enjoyed several hikes.  Steve is up to 4 miles now and feeling very well after last month.  Thank you to everyone for the get well wishes and all the help you gave us!

Good times with Doug and Deanna.  Lots of Mexican food was consumed this visit!
And libations!
The Sierra got pounded with 20 feet of snow with the recent storms that rolled through.  Placerville got quite a bit too.  We even had a dusting down at our elevation.
More fun with friends!
More hiking with Tina and Hurley.

Steve enjoyed the 49er game with Brennan and Shane (Ryan couldn't make it)
Our Christmas Eve was super fun and special as we went all Italian with John and Tina.  We combined several dishes we both made and some great Italian Red wines.
Shrimp Linguini
A treat was opening our 50-year-old Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale from Modena, Italy that we have saved from when I had my store.  We decided tonight was the night to open it.  It is usually saved for special occasions like a wedding or a birth.  It's served in just a few drops on a tiny spoon.  I had to use regular spoons though.  $250 for this little bottle.  It was glorious!
For dessert I browned some Panettone in butter and topped it with Whipped Mascarpone mixed with some Amaretto we have from Italy from my Uncle/Godfather.
And a little Aperitivo to finish it off.  Salute!
John brought over It's a Wonderful Life, his Christmas Eve tradition, and we watched it colorized.  Good times!

Hurley had a ball opening his Christmas present.  As usual, it was toast in 5 minutes.
The aftermath!
We had Christmas at Brennan and Alex's new house.  Lindsay, Alex & Mom.
Brennan, Alex, Ryan, Shane & Lindsay. 
Diana and Jaxon were sick and couldn't make it. Ryan stopped over for a bit. Kaylee always works Christmas.  We sure missed them.
Steve, Shane, Ryan, Dad and Brennan
Happy Birthday Ryan!
Brennan made his famous Saran Wrap Ball and we all had fun playing.
Even my parents had a good time with it.
Ryan, Jaxon and Diana

I hope everyone had a wonderful December and a Merry Christmas.
Happy New Year!!

Monday, November 1, 2021

November Began in the Emergency Room

Placerville, California
Ponderosa RV Resort

Thought I'd start out with a couple of cute photos of our Meatball out on a hike with his parents in the Redwoods.

Our November started off with a trip to the Emergency Room.
At least Steve had a nice view from his room in the ICU.

Steve hadn't been feeling too well by late Friday (of course it's always a Friday, right?) He rested over the weekend but still wasn't feeling any better.  By time we moved to Coloma, next to my brother and our friends John & Tina, he was feeling very weak and actually passed out.  I took him straight to the Emergency Room in Placerville with a GI bleed.  After many tests he spent the week in the ICU with even more tests.  Poor guy also had 9 blood transfusions.  Yep, NINE.  It was pretty scary for a while.  Of course there was too much bleeding at first to find where the bleed was occurring so he was later transferred to a bigger hospital down in Sacramento with a better GI Dept.  Unfortunately, due to Covid cases, staff and bed shortages he couldn't get transferred right away.  By time he was transferred and tested more, there wasn't enough bleeding so he was sent home after a couple days once he was stable.  Turns out this can happen again or maybe never.  
Hurley was in very good hands.
Between my brother & sister-in-law and John & Tina they set up the trailer for us and took care of Hurley the next week and made me a couple delicious meals.  I only came back to sleep.
Poor guy couldn't eat or drink the first 5 days.  He was so happy to finally get some Jello!  He's doing much better but since he left the hospital with only 1/2 his blood, we had to wean him back on food slowly and his exercise is a little at a time until his blood levels come back up. 

We relaxed much of the second week and did small walks along the river at camp.
A small road trip brought us through town and to one of our wineries for a pick up of some more Port.

We discovered one of those Tiny Outdoor Libraries on the backroads by a goat pen.

There's a small 1 mile loop hike down the road where we could get Steve hiking a bit.  It's flat.
This funky rock reminds me of the Lips on the Rolling Stone's album without the tongue.

It's unusual for the Madrone tree to get so large like this one.  It's been called the Octopus Tree.  The Native Americans would use the peeling bark to make medicinal tea.

These rock walls and other areas were made by the Chinese 150 years ago to channel water from the river to the mining areas.

Holes left behind by Woodpeckers hiding acorns for later meal.

It was nice to get back out in nature and Steve is getting his strength back slowly.

Next thing we knew it was Thanksgiving.  What was going to be only my parents and us turned into 16 people.  Everyone was there except my niece and her husband as they now live in Florida.
Always lots of good food!  Everyone brings something and helps out which makes it nice.
Then Ryan put up my parents tree.  My sister and Jaxon help decorate.

We also got a group pic in but I should've taken it earlier as Kaylee had to leave early.

We ended the month with our Black Friday usual hike.  Mike and Rose came along too.

Gerle Creek Trail is about 4 miles.  Again it's mostly flat and Steve did great.
Turkey Tail Mushrooms (thanks Angie for the name!)

Strange trunk left of this tree.  It's still alive too!
It was a great way to wrap up November.
Ryan, Jaxon and Diana's Santa picture.  Let's hope December goes more smoothly!