I continue to make the super easy berry margaritas! You can, too. Fill a pint or quart jar with berries, this was quartered strawberries, top off with your favorite tequila, let sit in the fridge for a week, strain, and enjoy in your preferred recipe. Mine, perhaps?

Homemade red chile, possibly my best batch ever, topped a deliciously rare flank steak, with perfect pintos and homemade tortillas, too. We do alright.

I am a big fan of Korea (the Southern part, anyway) and their wonderfully tasty food and bought a super cookbook by Aaron Huh called Simply Korean. This salad is topped with a close riff on his beef bulgogi patties and my own gochujang dressing. I’ve also made them into some freaking fantastic Korean burgers. Highly recommend.

This is what happens when you mix lye and prickly pear juice (home grown and made) to make soap. It will all eventually be the golden color at the bottom but still feel pretty luxurious on the skin. Chemistry!

Saving the most beautiful until the last, with the sweetest scents of the season for the moment. It has been a slow unfolding here, with us late to clear the gardens of their fall and winter accumulations, unearthing green and ruby shoots aplenty. While I clipped and piled and raked, Greg spread compost from our massive pile, the not-so-magical alchemy of debris and time that makes our garden thrive.

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Hello! How are you this not-so-fine, at least in Colorado, weather afternoon? Spring time in the Rockies – a real crap shoot, I tell ya.

But chocolate cake is nearly always a win! I hadn’t made any in ages, got the itch, and got it done. Greg was delighted. I was, too! I saw a recipe somewhere that had salted caramel frosting, which added a jar of caramel to buttercream, but that seemed like a lot, so I caramelized a little sugar in the cutest tiny pot from Grandma Tess, added some vanilla paste and a little water, and voila! Fabulous chocolate cake.

Bebe, my first and best beading pal! We’ve been friends for thirty years (I am nearly the age she was when we met) and making jewelry together for six. She is my sister from another mister and positively lights up my life.

And now, for a little presto-change-o! The Sundance Catalog had a ridiculously good sale on their outlet items (Thank you, Robert Redford!), and I had been eyeing these chairs for a while, so I went for it! For the original price of one chair, I bought two, a very cool shirt, and a gold necklace. I mean, seriously.

We were saving the rug for Taos, but those plans, as construction materials are still crazy expensive, is on the back burner. But this is looking more and more like our living room once the house is built, which makes my heart so happy. Plus, that chair model! More, please.

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Footprints

Society, as we have constituted it, will have no place for me, has none to offer; but Nature, whose sweet rains fall on unjust and just alike, will have clefts in the rocks where I may hide, and secret valleys in whose silence I may weep undisturbed. She will hang the night with stars so that I may walk abroad in the darkness without stumbling, and send the wind over my footprints so that none may track me to my hurt: she will cleanse me in great waters, and with bitter herbs make me whole.

Oscar Wilde

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A couple weeks ago, we got the most snowfall since moving back to Colorado, and the greatest in my personal memory since the Blizzard of ’82. It started sweetly, with the quiet magic of a snow globe, and it kept falling for a good 48 hours.

Up top is how it looked on the first day, which was about 8-10″ and some of the heaviest snow these arms have ever shoveled. Juniper could happily frolic, in her usual blissful ignorance that snow is actually her arch nemesis water, fluffed up and beautiful. By the end, and captured in the final photo, are two feet of slightly less heavy, but uncomfortably above her chest depths in the back garden. Greg (a.k.a. Pops) was her champion and created a series of paths for her to run and play and get business done.

But, gosh, how lovely and magical…

Our nephew Tyler, that’s him up yonder, has a deep knowledge of and fascination with mines and mining, well at least of the hard rock underground variety. An open pit or the environmental calamity of blasting a mountain top off are definitely not his jam. If I recall correctly, it all started with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and their underground lair. Pretty cool, when you think about it – there’s a whole world under there.

So, logic follows that we would some day visit the Western Museum of Mining and Industry here in Colorado Springs together. It’s located a short distance from I-25, with excellent signage, but it still took us eight years to get there! But, hey, we did it. It was a next level experience to wander about in the presence of an expert and to watch Tyler’s face light up. Like when he saw a diorama of the Comstock in California and named it before even looking at the signage. Or his astonishment at having equipment he’d only previously read about or seen rusted and decaying in some out of the way mining town in the high country looking quite regal and fully operational.

If you have any interest in mining, and especially if you know someone who does, I highly recommend a visit. You might even spy a hawk in the parking lot! The museum does an exceptional job of creating experiences that mimic the look and feel of going underground, which offered an excellent connection to my Grandpa George, who was a coal miner in Springfield, Illinois, from the late 1800s until his death (from Black Lung) in 1945. They also have some really cool displays and videos of past and present mining technology. The rocks, like the fluorescents above, were a nice surprise, too. What a meaningful day for us!

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