Journey to a new destination

Last week it was time to say farewell to my life as a teacher assistant and get back to my life as mama and student. I made little gifts for the 14 1st graders I worked with by getting them a ball of yarn each to do finger knitting over the summer. And for the kinder kids I made them a kumihimo loom with some extra thread to practice counting and to get crafty.

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The staff at Ventana sent me off with this lovely book as a farewell gift, it was sad to say goodbye to all the lovely people who work there. This dinner is a beyond meat sausage with porcini mushrooms and fennel over a bed of brown rice noodles.

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This amigurumi koala was made for our sitter and friend L who looked after the kids while I was working. I was so lucky to find her to take the kids to their after-school classes and the like and take care of my kids as if they were her own, they will really miss her too!

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Saturday I was ready for some me time so I got on my bike and rode the trail on a cloudy morning. I found this little guy moving fast as ever on the trail.

Saturday we headed on over to Spring Lake Regional Park in Santa Rosa for a group camping with our school. It was a great weekend away and perfect timing to get away. We stopped off at Petaluma for some delicious pie for lunch both savory and sweet. For dinner it was a potluck and I made a mexican inspired black bean salad which disappeared quickly.

As the group site was booked up when we decided to go we stayed at this beautiful cabin for $98 a night (including reservation fees) – in the pics you can see the interior with a bunk bed and a double bed so it fit the 4 or us perfectly. Friends of ours joined in the fun and camped next door, so a total of 8 people can stay at this spot. There were super cool details, with solar lights on the balcony, a little broom cupboard, a table for your goods plus a seat for your bags so it was super spacious inside. We sat out on the balcony in the morning and enjoyed a mug of oatmeal with mixed nuts and maple syrup watching the hawk hanging out in the tree.

Before we left we went on down to the lake for a swim as it was a hot day and met an evil swan guarding the canoes, kayaks and SUP boards. The kids enjoyed the cool water and if you were there all day you can hang out at the water park for $10.

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We are now back in our regular routine of feeding the chickens and doing the chores each week, it was so good to see the little ladies out and about dust bathing in the sunshine.

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Back to mama time and time in the kitchen I made this delicious crumble with coconut whipped cream and nuts. It feels so good to be free with my time and I am thankful for the time I had with my work but I really appreciated to be a master of my own time now.

 

A piece a Week – Thanksgiving Camping at Little Basin State Park

Finally a week to relax and chill out – I mean literally! It was a two day week of school which was just lovely and the hubby and I got to go and see The Hunger Games – Mockingjay part 2 which I loved! As it the trilogy was my favorite read over the summer. With the kids out from school from Wednesday it was time to just catch up on stuff and get ready for our visit to our friends place in Oakland for Thanksgiving. I made yummy key lime pies for dessert and we had a veggie feast of Quorn and amazing sides including a sweet potato mash bake with candied pecans – yum! 
After our feast we had the leftovers ready for our weekend getaway of camping at Little Basin State Park – I booked the cabins in summer when we visited over June this year when it was nice and warm and I thought from our thanksgiving weekend at Napa last year with the rain it would be full of banana slugs. Unfortunately, this year we were like frozen popsicles due to super cold temperatures – the cabins are heated but with a heater that sits atop the ceiling it is quite inefficient!! As it turns out you can talk to the front office about getting a space heater for your cabin as they know! 
On our arrival the kids found the naturalist from the WOLF (Web of Life Field) School and we went searching for newts, slugs and fish in the creek – there was nothing to be found, the creek was dry and the weather was super cold! Not even a banana slug in sight, though we did find a lot of cool looking fungi. 
The kids with Sunshine the Naturalist from the WOLF school
The dark of night arrived just after 5pm and the weather was super cold by then and we had to get that extra layer of warmth on – meaning put on the thermals and add that extra knitted layer of cashmere plus another wool layer to keep the cold out. The fire was amazing but as soon as we hit the cabin it was a night of chills even in our sleeping bag and underneath a blanket – oh that space heater would have been amazing!!
Kids enjoying the fire at night after their one pot mac and cheese straight out of the Annie’s box

The next day after thawing out by the fire and having a very long breakfast and sleep in due to the super cold morning. Everyone stayed tucked away in our sleeping bags until one of the boys started a fire for breakfast. It was so icy cold and after breakfast we were ready for a short hike through the forest to get the blood flowing and some exercise.

From little trees big trees grow!

Playing with the equipment before the hike

Little berries on moss found on the hike

The morning we were leaving the overnight low was around -1 degrees C (30F) and the kids had found some frost on the ground which was so beautiful and very difficult to capture with a camera.

Their first discovery of frost on the weeds

A frosty stick 

Frosty stars in the grass

A frosty clover

Heading back for my breakfast of eggs in holes hot off a iron skillet on the fire I found some beautiful redwoods and acorns on the way back to the cabin. I always appreciate the view of the sunshine beaming through a grove of redwood trees.

Beautiful sunshine keep me warm!

An acorn family

Our cabin number 9 was a perfect hideaway

Thanks to some neighbors leaving on the Saturday who donated us some big logs of wood for our fire we were warm as toast for Saturday evening and Sunday morning it was pancakes on the grill by request of the kids.

Pancakes on the iron skillets – perfect!

Close up of the warmth of the fire, just toasty

Finally it was time to check out of camping and boy we were ready to head on home to our cozy houses and have a shower!

The gang outside our cabin ready to head on home!!