Posts Tagged ‘friends’

Winter Storm + (Almost) Famous Friends

Posted on December 14th, 2012 by Tonia No Comments

We woke up this morning to white light streaming in through the windows, which can only mean one thing: Fresh snow! A whole foot of fresh snow–to be exact–stealthily fell during the night. And the forecast calls for more to fall over the weekend, so I guess it’s time to break out the ice skates and skis and snow-pants! My friends Sarah and Ashley had the right idea this morning, and ended up appearing on the local news when they were spotted out on a trail with their skis by a reporter (at 1:03 in the video below–which probably won’t work if you’re viewing this on a mobile device, sorry!)



Lookin’ good, ladies!!

We’re planning a weekend of slow mornings spent with delicious books and multiple cups of coffee, skiing, sauna, and belly-warming soup made from the contents of the root cellar. And I’m buckling down and working on a few handmade Christmas gifts as well.

What do your wintertime activities look like?

***Update: Unspeakable evil happened yesterday. While I was peacefully sipping coffee and writing this post, 20 children and 6 adults lost their lives in Newtown, CT. This news is absolutely crushing. I am brought to tears every time I think about it. We are shutting off the electricity in our house tonight and lighting candles in our windows as a vigil to the innocent lives that were lost. I hope you’ll join me in praying hard for the families that are suffering.

We Ran Away to Spain…

Posted on November 6th, 2012 by Tonia 1 Comment

If you follow me on Instagram or Twitter, you saw that I have been in Spain for the past week with Mike and two friends of ours.

The trip was kind of shotgun {the four of us were out to dinner together, eating pizza and talking about traveling, decided we should all go on a trip together ASAP, planned it in one day and bought our tickets before we could think too hard about it.} It was a thrill to just up-and-go somewhere, even though it was kind of bad timing {work is crazy right now…} and made the whole trip feel romantic and spontaneous.

Of course, the romantic feeling could also have been due to how incredibly romantic Spain is. Have you ever witnessed the blushing, throbbing passion of live Flamenco? We did. And, wow.

We started off in Vejer de la Frontera- a small town in the region of Andelucia, on the Atlantic coast {Morocco’s just a one hour ferry ride away.} We stayed in a little cottage on a farm {found via} owned by a British couple.

It was so quiet and relaxing, and we ate fresh eggs and potatoes for breakfast every day. The days were warm and sunny, but at night the temps dropped so we took advantage of the little woodstove in the cottage and sat around its radiant warmth, sipping wine and reading.

After a few days in Vejer, we jumped a bus to Cadiz, situated right on the Straights of Gibraltar. It’s usually a beach-vacation destination but we were there at the wrong time of year for that. We walked around and enjoyed the ancient architecture {it’s one of the oldest cities in all of Europe} and the GIANT Rubber trees in the park.

I ate churros in Cadiz, and was pretty excited about it. They lived up to all my fried-doughy-goodness expectations.

From Cadiz we continued by train to Seville, where we stayed for three days. The name of the game in Seville is tappas and Flamenco music, and we enjoyed both to the max. I was blown away by the intensity and talent of the flamenco performers- never seen anything quite like it!

Other things I loved about Spain:
The obscene amounts of cafe con leche we consumed. Mannnnn oh man I am going to miss the cafe con leches! / The Thyssen-Bornemisza art museum in Madrid. I got to see works by all of my favorite Impressionist and Fauvist artists- really special! / The hotel we stayed at in Seville, La Casa de Maestro- so much character and so comfy! / The fresh-squeezed “zumo de naranja” {orange juice}. Holy yum. / The hot, sweet roasted chestnuts you can buy on the street and peal and eat while you walk around. So delicious. / The hot Spanish guys. What?

We got back late last night and, as usual, it feels really freakin good to be home. We owe a huge thank you to our neighbors Bob and Sarah who held down the fort for us {they even changed the cat litter-box and watered our house plants! Neighbors of The Year Award.} THANK YOU!!

I have more photos {like, real CAMERA photos} and stories from the trip, but they’ll have to wait. This week is going to be n-u-t-s, catching up on work and household stuff after being gone. I promise, though…hog butchering post/photos coming soon! Thank you all for your comments and interest on the subject. I’m looking forward to sharing the process and discussing the whole idea of raising animals for food with you. Hasta luego!

First Day of Fall

Posted on September 23rd, 2012 by Tonia 4 Comments

It’s full-fledged fall around here. These past couple weeks have been pure heaven for fall-lovers like me: The colors are changing, the days are sunny but there’s a nip in the air, I’ve broken out the wool socks, we’ve made soup with one of the massive squashes in our garden, and apples are ripe and ready for the pickin’! And pick we did:

Saturday morning we headed out with a few friends into the neighborhood to poach apples from peoples’ yards.

That sounds way more bad-ass than it really was. Explanation: The apple trees on our property are in their off year {apple trees naturally produce fruit every-other year unless they’re manipulated via pruning to produce every year}, so we called around town asking neighbors if they’d be okay with us picking some of their apples. The answer was ‘yes’ in every case. We ended up only needing to visit two trees, and we filled the whole bed of the truck!

No husbands were harmed during the climbing of this tree….

We headed back to our place to eat lunch, press cider, and play a little touch football in the field. I made the winning touchdown. I’m not even going to re-structure that sentence to sound less gloat-y. It was a big moment for me. Sadly there is no photographic proof.

This year’s cider is sweeter than last year’s. It’s incredible how different it tastes depending on the mixture and variety of apples you use. We pressed 16 gallons of cider from all these apples, some of which will be fermented into apple cider vinegar and hard cider.

A toast to my favorite time of year: May the nip in the air remind you you’re alive, make you snuggle closer to the one you love, and provoke a feeling of gratitude for the simplest pleasures and privileges in life- the roof over your head, the food in your belly.  Happy Equinox!

A Sweet Farmstead Wedding

Posted on September 4th, 2012 by Tonia No Comments

Our dear friends Jenn and Trevor got married this past Saturday under an old apple tree in the field behind their yurt with 40 family members and close friends in attendance.

It was a magical moment, listening to them read their vows to each other while their beloved dog Coal pounced on field-mice behind them in the long grass and the evening sun warmed our backs and glinted off the tears on our cheeks.

Mike and I took photos for them as a wedding gift. It was pretty easy to come away with good shots, considering the setting and the subjects were so beautiful! I’d love to share some photos of the reception once we’re done editing them. Jenn put so much work into all the little handmade details- everything looked so beautiful.

We could not be happier for these two- they’re soul-mates and their love and partnership is an inspiration. We’re so blessed to have them in our lives, and I look forward to many many years of memories and merriment together. Congratulations, J&T!