Monday, October 5, 2015

Tizer Botanical Gardens Apple Day

I love Tizer Botanic Gardens.  I mean love as in I would move into the cabin for awhile.  I have assisted in getting the grounds ready for the opening in late spring now for a couple of years.  I had planned on trying to get Savvy out there for High Tea this summer, but between her work and buying the house and moving, it didn't work out.  Texter, Lady K and I managed a couple of events during the summer, but no Savvy. So when I saw they were having an "Apple Day" I knew we had to go.

Unfortunately, as the week came closer and closer to Sunday, it looked like it was going to not only be cold, but rainy, and maybe a bit snowy.  I had resigned myself to not going.  We couldn't risk any of us coming down with colds.  But Sunday dawned dry, but cold.  Texter and I decided to go and rousted Savvy out of her warm bed.

If a successful day is measured by the great food purchased, then we had an overwhelming success.  While Lady K ran rampant (only 2 screaming fits because we wanted her to go where she didn't want to go), the rest of us ate.  Savvy quickly snatched up a pottery bowl filled with apple dumplings and found a fork.  We warmed up a bit by the fire they had going to knock the chill off visitors.

In all, we bought the apple dumplings (in a lovely pottery dish), 2 apple pralines (little mini-cakes), 4 caramel or chocolate covered apples, a big bag of fresh Montana apples, an apple pie and a mini loaf of banana bread for Texter as she can't do cinnamon.  These were all baked by wonderful volunteers who added to the day.  They were all gracious and more than happy to talk about the different apple items. And we sampled the fresh pressed apple cider. I wish Lady K had allowed us more time to see if they were going to sell any of it.

We showed Savvy some of our favorite spots in the gardens, like the Buddha garden.

The garden area, where I usually work, is still lovely despite having a few freezing nights.

I love the abandon of the plants at the end of the season.  There was still plenty of color and lots of interest while strolling the paths.  Spring and summer are only a part of the allure of Tizer.  Autumn has it's own appeal.  

There was an area for kids where they could color a drawing of an apple using stamps made from apples.  They could make an apple book and had a tree hunt and leaf rubbing.  Unfortunately, that meant slowing down for Lady K which wasn't in her mode for the day.  I know they were planning on some lectures on different types of apples suited for Montana and how to espalier an apple tree, something I was a bit interested in with our small yard and a chain length fence to hide.  Maybe next year, being a year older, we will get some cooperation from Lady K.

The only downside to the day was on the way there, Lady K had a terrible nosebleed.  Luckily, we were on the service road and were able to pull over and get her all cleaned up.  Once we got home, she ate a bit of lunch and was napping at 3pm.  And slept pretty much all the way through the night with a couple of restless periods.  Guess an hour of constant running tired her out!

Hopefully, this will be the first of many Apple Days at Tizer.  It was a great way to say good-bye to summer and hello to fall/winter.  Now, for another slice of apple pie.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Fashion Walk or Rather Food Walk

Last Thursday, the Downtown Helena merchants had a "Fashion Night'.  The premise was to walk the downtown area and see what new fashions the merchants had on hand.  Some of the non-clothing merchants were also open late.  The big draw for me - "Free Food and Drinks!"  (There was also the opportunity for more steps and to get Texter and Lady K out of the house for a bit of exercise.)

The Holter Museum had a spread and they also had teens walking around the area with cotton candy.

The Herb and Garden Shop, which I love.  I bought a small container of Sturdy Girl All-Purpose Cream.  I love the lavender/sage smell.  It's really heavy duty and I can tell I will be going back to get more (in a larger container).

Poppyseed Boutique had mini-cupcakes and hot chocolate.  However, they were out of the hot chocolate by the time we got there!  But they have lots of interesting items, especially accessories.  I will be hitting them up for gifts in the future.

The Dancing Lotus Center had a more 'healthy' spread.  Texter is interested in some of the classes they offer.  As we get settled into a school/work/study routine we are going to try and fit some of these classes in, especially when the weather is not favorable to being outside.

  The cotton candy being handed out by the teens from the Holter Museum.  We ate more than our fair share and took some home to Savvy (who had to work - bummer).

Aizada Imports offered margaritas!  They also have a woven hammock I want for our front porch for next year when the weather starts getting nice.

Birds and Beasleys got in on the action too.  Birds are always in fashion as far as I'm concerned.  But coconut macaroons!

A fun consignment shop, Frayed Sew is a handmade item shop.  Tons of gift ideas and every time I go in, I find myself going, "I want this, and that, and this..."  They have some handmade journals I have my eye on for myself.  And red and white wine!

But my favorite stop of the night had to be The Panhandler.  They were demonstrating this 'grill' which was cute and amazing.  You can see it to the left in the background.  But the grill raises up and you can broil items on these little 'shovels' underneath.  Texter and I toasted bread (from Park Avenue Bakery).  One had herb butter with gruyere cheese and the other prosciutto and gouda.  Then the crepe had diced peaches which I warmed on the grill on top.  We could have stayed there all night.  Panhandler is another shop I have to stay out of.  It's dangerous to my purse. 

All in all, it was a great couple of hours spent wandering downtown.  There are a couple of shops I didn't know existed which I will be returning to in the near future.  I can't wait until Savvy has a day off and we can repeat the walk, minus the 4-5 glasses of wine and plates of food I had.  An evening such as this makes it easy to plan 'shopping local' rather than hitting online or chain stores.