Sunday, January 22, 2012

31 Days of Adventures ~ Week in Review

For more information about 31 Days of Adventure please visit or Expand Outdoors and WanderLydia.

Day 14 

What do you know?

Today's adventure is about learning. And sharing. And gaining knowledge. But it's really about sharing that new knowledge with others.

Choose a topic you know nothing about (maybe you've been curious about this topic for awhile) and find information or an article about it. Read it. Then tell someone what you learned.

It may seem a bit like a cop-out to talk about food again, but I have been on a two-fold mission this year. First, to simplify my life via eating simple, whole foods and second, to declutter and save money by using what I already have in my house...this includes food in the pantry.

Well, it just so happens I not only have kasha (buckwheat groats) but millet as well. I suppose that somewhere along the way I came across recipes requiring these items but my lack of organization has left me with unopened packages and no notes on what on earth I was going to prepare.

Now, about the only thing I know about kasha is that it's really not wheat. At one time it was the largest crop in Russia and popular in Polish food, and after finding out recently about my Prussian heritage I feel 'at home' trying this out. It's also being studied for treating Type II diabetes (ahem, may a new Paula Deen recipe in the making??) and binds with cholesterol, which would be good for my hubby!

And now I present to you the recipe I'll be making for breakfasts this week:

Mixed Whole-Grain Breakfast (W/Gluten Free Option)

Thanks Yummly!
P.S. It was delicious...added a little maple syrup and Almond milk...very yummy!

Day 15 

Embrace the elements

From Kim Kircher of Strength From the Top of the Mountain:
"Feel the weather on your face today. Whether it's snow, rain, sun or wind, go outside and expose your cheeks to whatever the day brings. in the winter, it's easy to bundle up and bury our chins in scarves.

"But today, at least for a few minutes, wake up your soul and your skin by basking in the day's weather. Be present to the weather today and pay attention. There's nothing like a little weather to keep you in the moment."

I don't know if we've been blessed or cursed with the weather here in Northern California. Like much of the nation (excluding Alaska) it's been dry and unseasonably warm. If you've read the blog from last month you know that we went to Tahoe to get married and celebrate Christmas & New Years all with the idea of skiing and playing in the snow. But, there was no snow (ok, maybe a couple of piles of man-made stuff but not enough to justify $100+ per lift ticket). 

Tahoe in December...note the lack of snow but abundance of sunshine.
The good thing about this weather is it allowed me some time to get outside when I normally would have been stuck on the treadmill, staring at the walls. During one of my afternoon walks I really took the time to feel the sunshine on my face. Pushing my sleeves up a bit I allowed my body to soak in some much needed natural Vitamin D.

It may look sparse but allows for ultimate sunshine absorption! 
This time of year it is interesting to observe the sun's pattern and how quickly it moves across the sky. I think that the 5 years I spent in Alaska really opened my eyes to such things. Being so aware of the sun's position I could feel the imbalance on my body, like an side bathed in glorious sunshine and the other in shadows. Fortunately, I chose an out-and-back route allowing the other side to get nice and toasty once I turned back.

Day 16

Witness the painting of the sky

Good morning!
Today's adventure is in three steps:
1. Today: Scout out a nice spot to see the sunrise.

2. Tonight: Before you go to sleep, set your alarm clock extra early.

3. Tomorrow morning: Get to your spot before the sun does.

Watch the sun rise.
Where did you choose to go? What colors do you see? If this was a familiar place, was it different than usual? In what way? If it was new, what did you love about it? Why did you choose it?

Sunset from my backyard.
Okay, so I DID find out that sun rises here at 7:21am...however, I have not yet gone anywhere to capture the sunrise. But I compromised and snapped this beautiful sunset in from my backyard. I absolutely love the colors in the California sunsets. I am still going to catch the sunrise and I promise to post pictures!

Day 17 

The birds and the bees and the flowers and the trees

Today's adventure takes us outside (sensing a theme yet?): Find a nearby trail to hike and notice the nature/wildlife.

Can you identify the trees? Which ones still have leaves on them? What's growing on the ground? Are the nests in any of the trees?

As my lunch break approached I was faced with a dilemma, stick to my normal routine of going to Peet's Coffee or Starbucks in order to take advantage of their free wi-fi (all social networking sites are blocked at work), or head out for a little hike on what might be the last nice day of winter. Since my walking shoes had been stashed under my desk all year (I used to take lunchtime walks at a nearby park), I decided to head out to tackle a monstrous hill near my job.

For the past few weeks I've watched walkers and runners going up and down this hill, vowing the "one day" I'd hike up it to take in the view (and to say "I did it"). Finally, 'one day' arrived and I headed out of the parking lot towards my destination.

This area is actually part of Open Spaces, public land set aside as a greenbelt, perfect for enjoying nature, fresh air and conservation. 

Although this Open Space area looked quite sparse I was so excited to find a very confused plant had bloomed, thanks to our crazy spring like weather.

The lack of trees made for great views of the surrounding mountains but the sunshine certain made the only 2 trees in the area look stunning...even if they were 'naked'.

Day 18 

Throw away the directions

So you think you know your neighborhood? Today we invite you to explore your hometown (and beyond).

Take a drive (or a bike ride) without a map. If you're with someone, take turns choosing which direction to go when you reach an intersection.

Bonus: Park when the feeling is right and go explore on foot.

Extra bonus: For a different kind of adventure, try this on a trail. (Just remember to bring a map and compass!)
Somehow, donkeys in a field can erase the stress from a bad workday almost instantly. And even faster when the little guys are hanging out with a draft horse to boot!
While driving home from work, I decided to continue on the little country lane I was on rather then turning to go home. I really enjoy my back roads commute and all of the little surprises it brings so I was eager to see what else was out there.

Secret finds...
Of course it was beautiful...however, I managed to get a little lost (not so much so that I couldn't just turn around though). I do plan on going back in the spring. There is an Iris Farm out there that would be a great place to picnic and photograph.


  1. Beautiful thoughts and observations. Congrats to a wonderful week of adventure! :)


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