Started off the week with dinner at a friend's house. Salumi and schnitzel from hogs raised by friends and cured/butchered by our host as well as Moroccan goat eggrolls, also raised/butchered by our host. I am beyond grateful to have such good friends who raise, butcher, and cure their own meat. Well over half the meat I consume comes from local businesses like this!
|Home grown and home cured pork, homemade mustard, and some crispy brussels with more home raised/cured bacon pieces|
|Moroccan seasons goat egg roll|
|Schnitzel (pork loin) frying in lard|
|Home grown collards with homemade capers and lemon juice on schnitzel. YUM.|
I worked my final days on ski patrol over the long weekend and Monday. Yes, my final days. No, the resort hasn't closed. I quit a job for the first time in my life! For a lot of reasons, but suffice to say it was well merited. I look forward to getting back on a different mountain next winter.
|An accidental selfie when I was trying to capture the below photo, but the look on my face sums up my feelings about so much with ski patrol this year that I had to share it lol!|
|The paraglide launch and gorgeous view from behind the patrol shack on top of the mountain. Nearest ridgetop center and right of center is where I live!|
And speaking of that different mountain... I also enjoyed a super fantastic ride with the mountain's new GM's wife while on staycation. She has a horse training facility where she currently lives in Lexington, KY and was up helping with some of the mountain renovation last week.
We were introduced back in December because we were both "horse people". Which, y'all know how that usually goes. Sarah and I both looked at each other with polite expressions on our faces like, "Oh, okay. Sure. Probably won't be my kind of horse person, but hi." Except when we started talking... Yeah. We didn't stop. And our husbands rolled their eyes and wandered quietly away as we geeked out about hay analyses, her 5* and Olympian neighbors in Lexington that she routinely works with, and discussed the mare she's planning to take PSG this summer if she stays in KY and doesn't move to WV.
|Was laughing too much to take any photos of our ride, but I did capture this awesome sunset as we gabbed afterwards|
I opted to let her ride Griffin, knowing his exuberance wouldn't bother her. Upon their introduction (in the barn) she promptly dubbed him "Sparky" for his excited-yet-polite in-your-pocket wants-to-be-helpful temperament. They were pretty fast friends despite Grif being LIT. He was so lit, in fact, that I opted to throw in a few short uphill gallops to let him get his willies out. Grif thanked us for that decision by calming down a few degrees immediately after. Sarah spent the rest of the ride laughing at his vibrant personality as he expressed his opinions about not being the lead horse for the ride.
We ended up riding for 1½ hours, covering 6 miles and climbing over 1500 feet. While Sarah was a bit skeptical about the rugged footing conditions in places, she was praising the hell out of my "mountain horses" by the end of the ride and joking about how Lexington's primo horse country has skewed her perspective a bit. It was so wonderful to get all three of my horses out (another local girlfriend joined us) and to spend so much time nerding out over horses.
A really huge to-do I knocked off my list during my staycation was to find more hay to get me through until July. I reached out to the facehive to get some recs and was impressed with the number of options presented to me! After striking out with immediate local options, the first cold call I made resulted in finding another 300 bales. SCORE.
I had a little bobble with my truck that morning, but was fortunately able to borrow a friend's work truck and trailer. I've still got another 200 bales to pick up this weekend (hopefully with help?!), but it feels really good to have 100 bales put up already. It feels doubly good to know that it is stacked well this time and not as haphazardly as it was this summer!
|My uncertain face with regard to driving the ridiculous borrowed truck|
|It was a manual and the gears made NO SENSE. That little map was merely a suggestion. By the end of the trip I felt a bit more comfortable, but I was still MFing the damn thing.|
|This guy was wonderful emotional support though!|
I ended my staycation with a trip to Hevetia (hel-visha), a little Swiss German village (pop'n ~40?) hidden in the Appalachian mountains about 90 minutes from Canaan. The reason for our visit was 1. a friend lives there and 2. it was Fasnacht, a prelenten celebration where an effigy of Old Man Winter is burned.
The house we stayed in, a former inn, was absolutely incredible. Built in the early-mid 1870s, there was a wealth of history contained within it. I questioned our friend, who lives there, for nearly an hour on the various things throughout the house. What an amazing history lesson!
I drank and ate and made merry visiting with friends new and old. We ended up missing the parade and skipping the dance (these events are what all the tourists drive in for) in favor of attending several house parties. While the tourist attractions are great, I felt I enjoyed a much more authentic experience getting to spend time with the descendants of the families who founded the town.
|The house we stayed in. There is a whole other wing of it blocked from view.|
|Our room. That wallpaper has peacocks all over it...|
|The informal dining room|
|Prickly Ash Bitters|
|I got a kick out of this|
|Friends new and old playing hammer dulcimer and fiddle in the "music room" it was such a treat!|
|How ornate is this piece?! I love the Asian figurines, too.|
|The old sink in the bathroom upstairs|
|"Warner's Safe Kidney and Liver Cure - Rochester, NY"|
|Former sign that was on the front of the home/inn|
|Yet another one of the wood stoves behind me...|
|On the wall in our bedroom...|
|I have no idea how old these things are....|
|But this was super cool.|
|And surprisingly sharp!|
|Dave adding to the old time music|
|One of the horse masks the fiddle player's brother crafted for them.|
|Remind anyone of Emma's Isabel? Just me? lol|
|Another mask (there were hundreds) we saw at one of the house parties|
|The horses en route to the parade!|
|My mask that we threw together with gorilla tape and turkey feathers lol!|
|Dave playing the hammer dulcimer - I had a turn, too! SO COOL|
|Breakfast the next morning.|
|Serving up food in the kitchen|
Fasnacht was a wonderful way to end my staycation. The whole week was so relaxing and I feel remarkably rejuvenated as a result. With the time change coming in short order + my office move happening next week (helloooo 7 minute vs 40 minute commute!), I'm looking forward to many more hours available for horses and otherwise. I've got so many exciting mini projects planned that I am eager to implement with my new available hours. With any luck, I may have my own mini XC course by summer! Stay tuned...