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weekending: formative years

October 16, 2011

All weekend people have been talking about October. Everyone’s full of superlatives, shaking their heads in disbelief, having conversations that sound like this:

“Can you believe October?”

“It’s just insane.”



“The aspens?”

“The blue sky?”


“I know.”

We picked apples, and sliced apples, and sauced apples, and froze, canned and dried apples all day Saturday (thank you, Geygans!). It was a sticky, lusty celebration of the bounty of free local food with a little chopper’s carpal tunnel and apple-gazing neck-crick thrown in. Afterwards, I told Dan I was done, happily done, but unequivocally done. And then, Saturday night after coming home from dinner with friends, my friend Melanie called to tell me the tree at her father-in-law’s was full of big delicious macintoshes up for grabs. Maybe just a few more boxes.

~this is my friend Kati, the apple-fairy, the harvest goddess, the saves-my-ass-every-week-girlfriend, because she comes over and helps me process food, makes me laugh, and doesn’t blink when Rose climbs on her lap and inspects her bellybutton~ 

~last week: tomatillo salsa! You can tell what time of day it is by whether we’re drinking coffee or beer~

We spent Sunday in the mountains, just poking around. Dan’s getting focused on his upcoming deer hunt, spending a lot of time behind his binoculars and running through potential hunting scenarios with me. ‘Round these parts we say he’s got buck fever. “I have princess fever, and pony fever and jewelry fever,” Rose says. Col claims to have “snuggling fever.” Yum.

~Rose fell in love with a calculator this weekend (I think she thinks it’s an iphone). She says, “how many creeks did we cross? Three. Right. Let me type that in.”~

On Friday the whole family stayed up way past bedtime at a party out in the country. Col scamped around outside, relocating firewood, crossing ditches and playing with baby turkeys and dogs and goats. Rose danced for an hour with various 20-somethings under a disco ball. Then in an unfortunate mid-party incident, a dog killed the host’s 2 goats. In a flash a butchering station was set up in the tall grass, with none other than Col eagerly wielding a headlamp and volunteering to hold the organs (pumping and filtering and shunting just minutes earlier) as they came free from the goats’ body cavities.

When we finally dragged kids off the dance floor and butchering arena, respectively, to drive home under a big bright moon, Dan said, “Kids, these are your formative years.” Indeed. Indeed.

ps: locals, I have a book review in the Durango Telegraph this week.

also, linking with Amanda, who is funny this week.

20 Comments leave one →
  1. October 16, 2011 10:40 pm

    Gorgeous, amazing October. The *aspens*. Yeah, us too.

    Deer season is over here. Elk season now. I hunted antelope 7 months pregnant, but will forego elk at 8 months, thanks.

    Happy harvesting!

  2. October 16, 2011 11:32 pm

    Absolutely gorgeous. I love the photo of your daughter with the calculator, what a cutie.

  3. October 16, 2011 11:54 pm

    Gorgeous! Magnificent! Delicious as a slice of apple pie! Yep, it was that kind of fall weekend here, too.

    ps..I think it’s pure genius that you put a card table outside to get work done. I’ll be stealing that idea. ;)

  4. October 17, 2011 4:56 am

    Beating organs! Eek. I am such a wimp. I do, however, have pony fever, just like Rose.

  5. October 17, 2011 7:03 am

    Yep! It’s been raining apples at my house too. My daughter came home and we sliced and sauced and pied. I don’t think I like anything more than apples and golden aspens. This truly has been the most lovely autumn! So glad Rose is keeping score of it in her calculator!

  6. Nana Judy permalink
    October 17, 2011 7:05 am

    Apple harvest heaven!

    Ooh that bad dog. Now THAT was drama at the picnic/party/dance that no one will forget! How lucky for them to have guests who can dress out the prey.

    • 6512 and growing permalink*
      October 17, 2011 9:55 am

      Yes. As sad and startling as it was, there was barely any lag time between the discovery and the sharpening of knives. And I know that every part of those goats will be used.

  7. October 17, 2011 9:01 am

    Amazing photos! Thank you for sharing!

  8. Ellen permalink
    October 17, 2011 10:04 am

    What a wonderful weekend…and such fortunate formative years. And its certainly wise of Rosie to keep track of how many creeks you crossed. You never know when that information will be useful.

  9. Nana Judy permalink
    October 17, 2011 10:39 am

    Looking back at these formative years, these childhood memories, Col & Rose at some later time will probably matter-of-fact-ly describe the time they went on a picnic and a dog killed two goats & they butchered them on the dance floor (so to speak) – as though this happened to every kid…

    With Col’s & Rose’s imaginations, one could guess there’d be – already are – elaborations…

  10. October 17, 2011 11:43 am

    I love that Col helped to hold the organs, although I love even more the fact that as parents you didn’t even bat an eyelash that he’s involved in the slaughtering. How awesome!

  11. October 17, 2011 2:30 pm

    i think you need to send kati my way for a visit. my kids are fab belly button inspectors and have no problem sticking their fingers in ears or mouths either ;-)

  12. Kristen permalink
    October 17, 2011 10:18 pm

    Rachel, I read your book review and have been eager to read that book for some time now.

  13. October 18, 2011 9:18 am

    Please tell me you have one of those Starfrit apple peeling machines. if not, get one. seriously. worth every cent. xoxo

    • 6512 and growing permalink*
      October 18, 2011 9:48 am

      I do! I do!

  14. October 18, 2011 1:51 pm

    dan sums it up well. :)

  15. October 18, 2011 10:47 pm

    girlfriend – i wouldn’t give up weekly food-puttin’-away with you for NOTHIN. xoxo

  16. October 19, 2011 8:02 am

    Absolutely beautiful! Love your blog!

  17. October 19, 2011 11:55 am

    We are so living those formative years, LOL!

    Just in a flatter Canadian landscape!

  18. Dan permalink
    October 19, 2011 4:31 pm

    Love this one and love you….I got the snuggly fever toooooo, for youoooooooo! Love, Dan

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