Today was a glorious day. I slept through the night without having to “bend my knees”, if you will, or having Miss Boo, the Queen of Cats, doing the two-step across my lower extremities. Why do cats do that do you suppose? Knead and circle, circle and knead. For Boo it is an absolute ritual which involves serious deliberation as to choice of location, available heat source, and close proximity to her humans lest chance contact with strokes beneath the chin or behind the ears might be overlooked. Waking up around seven I opened the blinds to find myself having to blink after a week of gloom, allowing me the extreme pleasure of enjoying my first cup of coffee on the deck overlooking the lake.
I love being outdoors, and winter, although comforting in its own way with warm crackling fires and flickering candles, doesn’t allow me enough time to enjoy it. As a kid winter sports were what is was all about for me. This was not much of a stretch in Nova Scotia, because summer was brief and often the sunny days were interspersed with rainy days and overcast skies. Moving to California when I was nine this mindset quickly shifted. Always a water baby, the first time I stuck a toe in Southern California waves, I was hooked.
Don’t misunderstand me, I love the beach period, exclamation point. From the more windswept beaches prevalent on the northeastern shores, to the lush white sandy beaches of the south, or the coarse black sand beaches encircling the big island in Hawaii. Can’t get enough. The cooler temperature of the water in Nova Scotia, as with most children, didn’t hold me back one bit from flinging my body into the waves whenever the opportunity arose.
Like a divining rod I seem to find my way to water. Our lake is man-made in that before the dam was built the river that feeds it did not reside in the gully below our house. Instead, the basin was loosely populated with rural homes and scruffy brush which still remain like the bones of the Titanic buried beneath the water. The river itself winds through and around the outskirts of the city that lends its name to our postmark. Our house is actually located in what is referred to as the “unincorporated areas” of the county. If you’re confused at this point, please raise your hands during the question and answer period.
Although I have been swimming in the lake on numerous occasions, as up until a few years ago we paid a boat payment every month, I have never taken the opportunity to hike the trails winding along the river where it flows inside the city limits. It seemed to me this was something I needed to explore lest we leave before the chance is lost. Today was the day, yea!
My two teenage charges who had wanted to join me were still getting their beauty sleep at 10:30 when I sounded the bullhorn encouraging them to get up and dressed. Last night this had sounded like a good idea I’m sure, and was still working for me, but I believe somewhat less so for the girls. They needed to come willingly or dragged behind the vehicle (now you know I’m just kidding here, and even if I did I would ease up on the accelerator), because our sleepover girl needed a ride home and Susie was keeper of the keys.
To my surprise, extensions in place, nine layers of mascara applied they showed up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and excited about taking pictures and seeing the river. Sigh. You just never know what’s around the next bend (sorry my puns are like Tourette’s).
After sustaining themselves with a Taco Bell infusion, we wound down by the salmon hatchery and parked. The prospect of getting some fresh air and some fabulous pictures had me pumped and ready to get going.
As a bit of a twist on my blog I thought I would take you on our walk with us and show you some of our town and the beauty here. Also, I’m sharing the pulled pork that we had last night for dinner. It was totally finger licking delicious. As an aside, I use Kaiser rolls or artisan bread as soft buns or bread tend to absorb the juices and get soggy.
So this was my day of the river. Each day offers up the chance to find something new in our world. It was fun to share it with young eyes even if sometimes they lingered on a keyboard. Sigh.
Slow Cooked Pulled Pork with Barbecue Sauce
1 tsp. vegetable oil
1 4 lb. pork butt roast
1 large onion, sliced thin
1 cup barbecue sauce
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup dark brown sugar
1 Tbsp. yellow mustard (prepared)
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 tsp. Cajun seasoning
1 Tbsp. chili powder
8 Kaiser rolls or crusty rolls
Coleslaw (search my site or choose your own) (optional)
Place oil in bottom of 6 quart slow cooker. Place meat on top of oil and onions on top of meat. Mix together all remaining ingredients and pour over all. Cook on low for 12 hrs. Remove meat from sauce, reserving sauce. Shred meat with forks and discard any fatty parts. Return to sauce and cook an additional hour on low.
Serve on hard rolls with cole slaw (of desired). I crisp the rolls under the broiler and dip lightly in sauce before topping with meat. Yummy.
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