December 2017

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Human beings who leave behind them no great achievements, but only a sequence of small kindnesses, have not wasted lives.

Charlotte Gray


If you, like me, happen to be suffering from the throbbing pain of a bunionectomy or just need some quality toes-up time to binge watch, have I got some recommendations for you! Let’s begin…

Seymour: An Introduction – Seymour Bernstein was a revered concert pianist who left the stage without telling a soul. He found his joy in teaching and immersing himself in the solitude of his craft. How wonderful that he and Ethan Hawke were brought together so his touching story, marvelous philosophy of life, and most especially, his music, could be shared with a broader audience.

Tim’s Vermeer – With enough money, time, and patience, even the non-artist among us can create a pretty fine imitation of a masterpiece. Follow Tim as he conceives of and executes, down to the last detail, Vermeer’s Music Lesson. Fascinating!

Thunder Soul – With the right teacher, just about anything is possible. This is the inspiring story of the class-act Kashmere Stage Band – Houston high schoolers that sound like the tightest, most bad ass funk band of the 70s – and their inspiring teacher as they reunite some 35 years later to pay tribute to the man who led the way. Oh, and DO buy the music, if you can. We absolutely love it!

Godless – This cliche-filled Western is worth the hype. A bad, bad man searches for the gunfighter who left his gang. Mayhem ensues. I love how it explores the strength and independence of women and the notion of family. Blood or not, the one we create is most important.

Under an Arctic Sky – a small band of surfers go after epic waves in w i n t e r in I c e l a n d. Crazy insane blizzards and the coldest of water under the aurora borealis. Eeek!

Jouney to Greenland – More cold. More snow. A pair of friends named Thomas take a trip to Kullorsuaq, Greenland to visit one of their fathers. They live among the inuit, hunting, eating as the locals do, experiencing the perils of middle of nowhere internet, and facing the truths of life.

My Happy Family – Manana leaves the apartment shared by her husband, children, and parents to live on her own. Though it is a great shame in her community, she does not waiver, her motivations revealed incrementally, as the film progresses. Also, the first Georgian (the country not the state) film I think I’ve ever seen – a fine window into a community I do not know, yet so much like home.

Tangerine – A transgender sex worker learns from her best friend that her boyfriend/pimp cheated on her while she was in jail. A taxi driver who leads a double life goes home for Christmas Eve dinner. An unvarnished glimpse into the sex trade and the cruelties and complications of being transgender, all while tackling the everyday complexities of relationships – the tenderness, the betrayals.



Last night’s annual tradition, cuddling together, though this year in front of the most Christmas-y scented tree(!), and reading Truman Capote’s A Christmas Memory. I read aloud until emotion overwhelms and Greg must finish the story. It never disappoints.

I started the cinnamon rolls last night, a fine use of time, if ever there was, the spicy-buttery scent that filled the house this morning almost as delicious as the taste on my tongue. Later, I will make a southern-leaning feast of ham, cranberries, apple coleslaw, and cornbread.

This is Christmas for us, being alone together, two almost-hermits. We have a wealth of friends and family, engaging, lively, thoughtful, who surround themselves with well-populated groups. I find my person so different and overwhelmed in these spaces. My comfort is to find quiet, alone in observation, or to focus on a single thread or voice.

On Christmas, it is Greg’s, my favorite, without pretense or demand, guilt or obligation. These fine days punctuated by dog sighs and licks. We listen to soul-stirring music. We wear pajamas all day and glide about like the oldest of dance partners, each anticipating the other’s movement and responding in kind – cooking, baking, conversing, cleaning.

This is the great privilege of being grown. Choosing, as much as we can, how life unfolds, filled with the joys of the finest people and places, sights and sounds. It is the best life I know.

Here’s hoping for the best life you know – today and in the year to come.

My nephew was in the neighborhood to check out a car that turned out to be a lemon, but we ALL reaped the benefits! We ate, put up our first Christmas tree in twenty years, and as always, enjoyed one another’s fine company.

During our last days with my Grandpa, my adorable little cousin, who normally keeps to herself, came to visit and was positively smitten with our sweet pup. Juniper was an angel doggy, letting her pet and hug and squeeze. Good girl!

I went a little crazy (at least for me) in the holiday sweets arena – making candied orange peels, biscochitos (but you already knew that, didn’t you?), walnut fudge, salted pine nut brittle, and my peppermint yo-yos. Egads, so good!

Love that face…

Art Fix

It’s Not About the Numbers, by James Surles

Wendy Mike and De Lane Bredvick

Mother’s Desk (typewriter and desk made of cast glass!!), by Steven Durow

Judy Crook – animation, by Jennifer Steinkamp

Greg watches A Very Long Line –  a film that traverses the length of the United States border with Mexico. Dizzying…

Reminiscent of the temporal works of Andy Goldsworthy, Raven Chacon’s evocative film captures stunning images painted on icebergs.

John Wayne sculpture, by Marisol & Portrait of Gerald Marr, by Peter Hurd

San Jose, Arroyo Hondo Sculptor

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I got a much needed art fix with the full cooperation of the the hubster one afternoon a few weekends ago. The Colorado College Fine Arts Center has an exquisite and very well-curated collection in a Goldilocks, just-right space. We got up close and personal with all of the pieces without being overwhelmed by the sheer number. So used to hearing only whispers or the creak of shoes on a wooden floor, I was pleasantly surprised by all of the works that featured sound. Additionally, the FAC has a tactile gallery where everyone is encouraged to touch the art. Super-cool! Glad to have it in the neighborhood, and sorry I took so long to get there.

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