Quickly

Time moves slowly, but passes quickly.

Alice Walker

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Hello reader! How about that sky? I always appreciate nature’s gifts when I am feeling a little down. Like a lot of people, I am reeling over the Supreme Court Decision about Roe v. Wade. I actually find abortion abhorrent, on the whole, but absolutely wish to keep it legal and safe because I find the following (taken from research by Lisa B. Haddad and Nawal M. Nour) unacceptable:

Every year, worldwide, about 42 million women with unintended pregnancies choose abortion, and nearly half of these procedures, 20 million, are unsafe. Some 68,000 women die of unsafe abortion annually, making it one of the leading causes of maternal mortality (13%). Of the women who survive unsafe abortion, 5 million will suffer long-term health complications. Unsafe abortion is thus a pressing issue. Both of the primary methods for preventing unsafe abortion—less restrictive abortion laws and greater contraceptive use—face social, religious, and political obstacles, particularly in developing nations, where most unsafe abortions (97%) occur. Even where these obstacles are overcome, women and health care providers need to be educated about contraception and the availability of legal and safe abortion, and women need better access to safe abortion and post abortion services. Otherwise, desperate women, facing the financial burdens and social stigma of unintended pregnancy and believing they have no other option, will continue to risk their lives by undergoing unsafe abortions.

Having someone very dear to me as a child of adoption, knowing women who were quite cavalier about their multiple abortions, as well as knowing women who badly wanted children that did not live more than days beyond birth has given me a front row seat to the nuances of choice.

Before I was married, and ages before I knew my body was wholly inhospitable to fertility and pregnancy, I had two “scares” where my period was very late. Having known I did not ever want children from a young age, I was terrified at the prospect of becoming a mother. Yet, both times, I never considered abortion. My first instinct was adoption. This inclination has obviously never changed. As this has been unfolding these last days, I wondered why more women don’t consider it. Most who choose abortion, find the thought of terminating a pregnancy more palatable than giving a stranger their baby. Only about 1% choose adoption. The remainder find themselves attached to the child and become single moms.

I don’t really know where I am going with this, besides to say life is so complex. I want all women to feel agency over their lives. I want all babies to be wanted and cherished. To thrive! I want families not to struggle financially to raise their children. I personally won’t be helping any woman receive an abortion for reasons of my own morality (save in cases of rape, incest, mother or infant mortality), but I will absolutely support families by continuing to contribute to food banks, affordable housing agencies and initiatives, and Save the Children. Additionally, candidates who believe in choice will get my vote, since that is the only remaining option, governmentally speaking. It will not help people over the short term, sadly, but if the people will it to be, choice will come for every woman again.

And now, for something completely different! We had a most amazing cool and rainy day yesterday. I took full advantage by making what would normally be a sweltering day a most hospitable experience. The windows were open, the kitchen abuzz. I made: strawberry rhubarb jam, with our own rhubarb, of course; sweet-tart jelly/almost jams of roasted bell pepper and chipotle; and green chiles – Hatch, poblano, and jalapeno. We test drove them over today’s lunch of smoked chicken, and all the thumbs are up, dear peeps!

Then there was soap. From the top: a goat milk and oat made spicy with cinnamon, clove, and ginger; and my favorite shampoo bar combo of essential oils of rosemary and mint, fresh mint leaves – also home grown; and nourishing herbs of calendula, marshmallow, horsetail, nettle, and burdock (I make a tea and add the lye to it), with rhassoul clay. Hair luxury in a bar!

I used to fuss over getting the soap to a thick pudding stage before putting it in molds and creating swirls and flourishes on top. Now, after everything is thoroughly combined, I dump the mixes straight in and smooth the top, deciding the initially pretty crests and valleys only attracted dirt from our grubby hands when washing. Gross. I also pop the molds in the oven at 160 degrees for about an hour to ensure each loaf gels. I got tired of partial gels with that weird oval at the center and decided this was easiest. Working smarter and not harder, batch by batch. I do what I can, at least.

Ridiculous

Nothing is worth more than laughter. It is strength to laugh and to abandon oneself, to be light. Tragedy is the most ridiculous thing.

Frida Kahlo

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Greetings from yesterday’s hike at Castlewood Canyon! We met a former coworker of Greg’s, along with his wife and two adorable pooches. The wind was wild and woolly up top, but down in the canyon, it was cooler and only mildly breezy, thank goodness. With gratitude to recent rain and snow, it’s looking quite verdant for these parts. The babble of water was a pleasant addition to the tree breezes and dart of hummingbird sound track.

I haven’t a clue what these tiny flowers are, but there was a profusion of them dotting the trail, smelling rather exquisite.

Pike’s Peak! How I love seeing it from different angles and distances. In Arvada, atop the hill on Wadsworth, some seventy miles as the crow flies, it looks equally lovely, and a reminder of home while visiting my parents. It’s funny how I have no memory of it as a young person on my every day route to high school. How curious what grabs our attention at different ages.

Alan gives Seurat a view above the oaks. It was very much appreciated!

Emily and Alan were our most stellar company! They also endeared themselves to me by loving the green chile (updated recipe here) and prickly pear margaritas (scroll for recipe here) I made for our picnic lunch. Woot!

The hike was the cherry on top of an action packed four days. On Friday, my Aunt Mari and cousins (Stephanie and Stella) came for a visit before a trip to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo (recently voted #3 in the nation, I think). I am not a zoo person, but am happy to fill people with food on their way. We shared a fun meal of mac and cheese and fine conversation.

Saturday brought Michael and Mary for one of our epic sleepovers. We indulged with pizza (the wood-fired oven is doing swell!), a nectarine and rhubarb cream pie (no photo, wah!), a riff on a famous Chimayo Cocktail, puzzling (a 500 and a 1000!), jewelry making (three bracelets by myself and Mary), dog walking, espresso sipping, and of course, the lovely company of two of our besties!

They also spoiled us with a new pan for the wood fired oven, a cool homemade smock for yours truly, and a very fine loaf of homemade rye bread, which we are still enjoying, slice by glorious slice.

We are full up on love, excellent company, and wonderful food. Yes, ma’am!

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Always excited to see each other, even just to share our morning coffee. Truth.

That time I bought a hammock-y bed for Juniper, so she didn’t have to be so hot and bothered on the cement of the porch, and she trembled in fear when sitting on it. No Mommy, you cannot make me like it or use it!

Latest jewelry creations. I am pleased as punch with how they turned out. That being said, the turquoise at left and silver & brass at right are examples of multiple failures finally gotten right. Each is probably the fourth iteration of the same or similar combination of beads not looking right for literally years. I’d string them, think they looked good, bring them home and decide otherwise. The message is to keep at it. Edit, edit, edit. Try, try, try.

The garden is off to the races, ladies and gents!

These are two of about one hundred nectarines! If they aren’t ravaged by birds, squirrels, raccoons, or hail by the time they ripen, it’s going to be one heck of a harvest!

Jeff came for a visit! We celebrated my birthday with a nice morning hike; pizza in our wood fired oven – that’s a Thai style, with my peanut sauce, chicken, peanuts and green onion up yonder; homemade ice cream – peanut butter with Reese’s cups and banana cheesecake with walnut polvorones, both STELLAR; AND, last but not least, a very fun evening of Terraforming Mars. Always the best of times. ALWAYS.

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