Friday, October 28, 2011


After three nights in Tahoe, we left for Yosemite. We took a very scenic route...which meant a very windy, crazy road that left me white-knuckled for most of the drive. But when we arrived in Yosemite and I saw the famous "tunnel view" for the first time, it was all worth it!

We stayed in Yosemite Valley and our first meal there was a yummy pizza - and strawberry margaritas!

About two weeks prior to our arrival, they had snow, which meant the previously dried up waterfalls came to life with melting snow! Above is Yosemite Falls.

My crazy drives were not over yet. On our full day in Yosemite, we drove up to Glacier Point. The hairpin turns were definitely worth this view of Half Dome!

This meadow was across from where we stayed. We came here one night to stargaze and it was amazing. The Milky Way was spread out above us with more stars than we'd ever seen!

When we left Yosemite, we took a different scenic route out of the park (which meant more white-knuckled driving fun!). We stopped (still in the park) at Olmsted Point and did some hiking. The views were stunning!

It was a great trip and there's still more to come! After the hectic days in South Lake Tahoe and the time exploring Yosemite, we headed to the west shore of Lake Tahoe for some peace and quiet before heading home. I'll show you those pics next week!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Lake Tahoe in October

Our destination last week: Lake Tahoe and Yosemite National Park! Talk about seeing some spectacular sights!! We flew into Reno and headed southwest to Lake Tahoe, taking the scenic route through the mountains and Mt. Rose. Above, our first stop on the eastern shore.

Lake Tahoe is the largest alpine lake in the United States. It is host to all kinds of outdoor sports from canoeing to skiing!

We stayed in South Lake Tahoe for three days. (Some of you may remember that I spent a Christmas here about three years ago.) This is the commercial, bustling side of the lake. However, on our first morning there, we went for a walk along the lake and were able to find some peace and quiet.

This was our first view of the lake from the north shore near Alpine Village. Gorgeous!!

More pictures to come!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Back Home

I'm back from vacation, which was absolutely wonderful! I'll have more pictures and details soon, but for now, here's a teaser photo!

Friday, October 14, 2011

See you next week!

The time has finally - FINALLY! - come for vacation!

It was with great perplexity that Mr. Higgins and I realized yesterday that we hadn't been on a trip since our honeymoon - 5.5 months ago!! That is too long to have to sit at work without a break, especially when we had to endure the hottest Texas summer on record.

And so we're off on Saturday for a much-needed break and diversion from normalcy. I'm really looking forward to exploring new places and re-visiting old ones. It promises to be a great trip. I'll let you know where we're going once we get back - and I'll have pictures, as always!!

On a reading note, I'm 1/4 of the way into a memoir, Infidel, by Ayaan Hirsi Ali. In my opinion, this should be required reading for everyone. Yes, everyone!!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Revolutionary Mistress

I finished a great book the other day: Mistress of the Revolution by Catherine Delors. I couldn't put this one down! Here's what I wrote on Goodreads....

This book is the definition of great historical fiction. A fictional character lives through historic events and meets historic figures. Delors deftly navigated the intricacies of the French Revolution all the while telling us the story of an extremely brave young woman.

I could not put this book down. Gabrielle's story made me laugh and cry; it angered me beyond words but touched me very deeply. She survived terrorizing times to the best of her ability...and she did it all with grace. I was horrified by the way she was treated - at times like a harlot but always like a mindless child. She as abused and disrespected by every man in her life...yet she still managed to love most of them.

Gabrielle is sold into a marriage against her will, though the man she loves - a commoner - has asked for her hand. Her husband is dreadful and before long she finds herself a penniless widow. She goes to Paris and there, tries to survive during one of the most turbulent times in history - the French Revolution.

I loved this book!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Fall Yarn Wreath

A few months ago, I ran across yarn wreaths on Etsy. I thought they were adorable! I sent the idea to my very crafty mother-in-law. She made a few that turned out really well....which inspired me even more.

Last week, I decided to do my own. It was so much fun!! I found some little pumpkins and berries at Joann's and, together with the felt rosettes, I think it turned out really well. Mr. Higgins had never heard of a yarn wreath and was skeptical but I think it's growing on him.

My only advice, should you try to make own on your own, is to use bulky yarn. It's a bit more expensive than the Red Heart but it makes wrapping the yarn go so much quicker.

I want to make many, many more - one (or two!) for each season!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Do ALL the Crafts!

Stay tuned for some crafty stuff (and pictures!) on Monday...

Meanwhile, I'm itching to do all things crafty: cards, scrapbooking, knitting, and more! I have no idea where this enthusiasm came from...except maybe Etsy. That is one dangerous place to browse!

In a week, Mr. Higgins and I leave for my birthday trip, to a place with cooler temperatures in a higher altitude. I'll get to visit one of my favorite yarn stores where I'll inevitably buy more sock yarn. (I've also been itching to knit more socks.) Amazingly, Mr. Higgins asked me to knit him a pair of socks! That just about made my jaw drop! He's never asked for anything and has turned down my offers for a scarf or hat ("I don't wear those," he says). I may have to knit another basic pair before I feel confident enough to start a pair of manly socks. We'll see.

Sunday morning will see our house guests depart. We'll then have a week to prepare the house for vacation.

Oh, and did I mention I'm turning 30 in two weeks? EEK!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

R.I.P. Steve Jobs

Like so many around the world, I'm extremely saddened by the death of Steve Jobs. Despite knowing he was sick, his death came as a shock. It seemed unbelievable that such a genius and visionary could die so soon.

Driving into work this morning, I passed our local Apple store. I glanced over as I often do. Instead of a line of people outside, waiting to get the latest gadget, there were bouquets of flowers on the sidewalk.

Thousands - MILLIONS - of people were affected by Steve Jobs' inventions. For me, the iPod was the most influential. iTunes became the way I organized and kept up with music. The iPod was the way I stored and listened to that music in many different locations. My MacBook Pro is the best computer I've ever owned. One day, I'll probably own an iPad.... Mr. Higgins' iPhone wakes us up every morning...with an MP3.

It is tragic when such a brilliant mind is lost forever. Apple will never be the same but hopefully Jobs' spirit and idea will live on...

Monday, October 3, 2011

Family Fun

The weekend was crazy busy with family - and more family - coming to the house.

I made the yummy pulled BBQ pork again, along with corn muffins and other sides. It was a very tasty Saturday. Combined with my dad's delicious birthday cake, I consumed way too many calories! But, most importantly, I think my dad had a very good birthday. It was a big one for him and we were able to surprise him a bit and surround him with family and good food. What more could he want?!

The cats have been a big hit with the family. Everyone loves little Dooku. Sidious is more reserved, preferring the exclusive affection of Mr. Higgins, but manages to be cute while untouchable.

With all the excitement going on, I was exhausted by yesterday afternoon. But it was a good weekend!