December 3, 2007

Winter is Here. And so am I.

I've been a little quiet lately.

Actually, I have started several posts, but spread myself too thin and haven't managed to finish any of them. I have decided that Val's Ventures needn't be solely about my adventures in the wild, my travels abroad, or my insatiable wanderlust. It is time, as a testament to my newfound lifestyle, to let this blog be about my everyday life. Which, upon examination is every bit as exciting as skydiving in Mexico or watching for forest fires in the wilderness.

Just in a different way. As I sit and watch the pouring rain melt off the 20" of snow that fell over the past week (welcome to winter in the Cascades), and procrastinate going to work, I get downright teary eyed when I think of all that I have done over the past few months. Months of domestic productivity, unprecedented thus far in my seasonal lifestyle. I've cooked and baked, almost frenetically, never tiring of it--surely making up for lost time. Pear tarts, apple pies, Mega Lemon cakes; summer salads with Hippie Dust viniagrette, chile enchiladas, and Thai-grilled chicken breasts. I've gardened and pruned and landscaped. Built porches and fences and outdoor sleeping/yoga platforms. I've painted and redecorated, organized and revamped. In the middle, I've mountain biked like a fiend, taught yoga and practiced yoga religiously. I've even snuck in some dreaded runs in awful weather, just to get out of the house. And, we camped nearly every weekend all summer long. I've written, written, and written, recording it all, in Ride Logs, journals, and stories I would love to publish.

I've cared for pets--2 dogs and a cat--despite allergies and slight aversion to the messes they make. I've nurtured and nourished the boy, my soulmate and dear love of my life, whom is responsible for all of this lovely domestication. Who is the reason I live in the most darling little cabin in the shadow of Mount Hood, and is the man who finally reigned me in enough to settle me down a little. Dear Ryan, you are the love of my life.

And so it is.
Winter is here, and so am I.

I'm cooking and baking, still feverishly. It's walking downstairs to print something, then suddenly finding myself in the kitchen baking a cake instead. Now it's cross-country skiing, epic style. Some mountain biking. Knitting and lots and lots of yoga. It's shoveling snow and making wreaths. And a cranberry popcorn garland for my tiny potted pine tree. It's Spanish coffees with my dear neighbor and best of the best Anna. It's getting stuck in the driveway for several days, with nowhere to go anyway. It's interior design instead of landscaping.

These are the adventures that sustain my soul, kindle my spirit and nurture my mind. Yes, travelling is wonderful and I will never shake the wanderlust that has led me down so many perfect paths. But it is the everyday doings that really speak to me, that inspire and guide me to live each day as fully as I can. Always busy, always inspired. And always creating.

To December, lovely December, with all of it's projects, parties, and delicious food!

Photos, top to bottom: Dinner Party + Lassie; French Onion Soup; Chimney Cleaning; Eggplant Parmesan; Cross Country Skiing; Pork Tenderloin with apples and cornbread stuffing, action shot.


Ryan said...

I love you too Val!

Rachel said...

ah, val. i miss you girly. and happy to read that you're mountain biking. i want to tooooo. let's play sometime soon.

Spot Mountain Karla said...

Hola chica bella!
Sorry I missed your call the other day/week/year?! I was in Arizona for a great Grand Canyon adventure, celebrating the holidays with family and friends. Though I had a fabulous pork tenderloin with dried cherry-pistachio sauce served next to asparagus flan (yes, a marvelous, savory flan!) at Phantom Ranch (at the bottom of the Canyon) I have to say none of the other meals even come close to rivaling even the DESCRIPTIONS of the delicacies you pumped out of your kitchen. Here's to the kitchen leg of the adventure! Lots of love and luck to you in 2008!