Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Mansfield Hollow State Park

This was a perfect spot to sketch, write or have a picnic.
January has been a productive month and it's not even over.  Three manila envelopes went out the door, all different.  The picture book I started in December is probably the most creative project I've ever done.  It was a lot of fun to write.  I look back on what I had in mind and what I ended up with.  They are a world apart.  I had some questions during our critique session in hopes of not leaving any stones unturned on this one.

Food that cooks itself while I'm busy writing...

I always order the Carnitas De Puerco at Puerto Vallarta because they're excellent.  So, I tried to create a similar recipe.  This is really good, but I still think theirs is tops.  It makes a ton, but the meat can be frozen.  

Crock-Pot Pork Carnitas 
Pork shoulder - trim fat
1 Corona beer
1/4 - 1/2 cup lime juice
garlic - 1 clove
fresh cilantro
flour tortillas
fixings:   tomatoes - sliced thin, onions - chopped, avocado, sour cream

1. Cook pork, beer, lime juice and garlic for 8 hours in crock-pot.
2. Add chopped cilantro
3. Shred pork.
4. Put pork on a tortilla and add the fixings.  Serve with rice or refried beans.

This past Sunday we hiked around Mansfield Hollow State Park and boy what a hike that was!   On the map, we started out on the yellow trail circling the upper reservoir.  I wanted to check out the 2.28 mile long blue route on the lower right portion of the map.  That was a beautiful piece of trail!  My first thought was to go out and back the same way.  Then I thought we'd follow the black and white levee route to the parking lot.  When we got to the end of the blue trail, it occurred to me that the levee ends and we couldn't go back that way.

Walt thought it would be too dark to head back in the woods, so he suggested that there must be another way across that river.  LOL!  The area was not shown on the map.  I was apprehensive, but I was also up for an adventure. Turns out divided highway #6 was the first bridge across the Natchaug River.  As you can see from this map (drag it up a little bit) it was quite a ways away.  We must have looked ridiculous, walking fast and running with a dog along the side of the highway.  On Route 195, we walked several miles in darkness with cars whizzing by.  In all, we must have hiked 12 plus miles.  My New Year's resolution was to exercise every day.  Check!
Moral of story: Hiking around the lower lake is possible, but it's dangerous, illegal and a LOT of work! 

Friday, January 10, 2014

Sun dog --> woof woof!
The first of the year is always a busy writing time.  This year is no different.  Things have been flying in all directions.  I wrote a little blurb for the local paper.  They put someones opinion right on the front page.  The writer thought it was absolutely hysterical about the ship getting caught in Antarctic ice--which happens all the time.  It was mocking the whole subject of climate change.  Ignorance is bliss.
While my brother was driving, he pointed out this sun dog in the sky.  I didn't think the photograph was that impressive, so I wasn't planning to post it.  Yesterday, I noticed an Emory University blog post about sun dogs and changed my mind.

"Sun dogs are atmospheric phenomenon caused by the refraction of light from hexagonal ice crystals, called diamond dust, that drift in the air at low levels. They may appear as a colored patch of light on one side of the sun, and can also include a luminous halo or arc."