Eating

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Drumroll please…..We went for a walk on Wednesday! Our first together since December 14th. How cute are my walking companions, by the way? The hubster looking handsome in a new coat (his old one so well loved that it ripped right apart), and Juniper Beaulah – eyes closed to the warmth of the sun. As for me, I am not quite footloose and fancy free, but I did make it all the way around the block, so footloose-ish. With a bit of luck and continued healing, I may just be able to walk without a gimp and in an actual shoe after January 24th. Fingers crossed!

Also, my apologies if you came here thinking I was going to have photos of Kevin Bacon in one of my least favorite movies OF ALL TIME. Ugh. Sorry 80s fans. You can’t win ’em all.

This beautiful sight was my reward. A rain storm rolling on in, which is kind of wacky for Colorado in January and made me totally nostalgic for Portland. I do miss me some winter rain. Quite a lot, actually.

Rain soaked streets on our way to a fabulous dinner with friends at Pho Brothers. Good grief, do I love that place!

Happy Friday!

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…

Perfectly painted skies for the beginnings of our Thanksgiving adventure. West to Buena Vista!

Breakfast, mmmmm…bacon.

We followed Cottonwood Creek on foot and by car to its namesake lake; dancing sun pennies, enveloping ice, ruby red rose hips, and the silence of near solitude every bit worth the effort.

Forgoing the hullabaloo of large family gatherings to enjoy a Thanksgiving for two (+ one beloved pup) in a wee cabin in the woods. Stuffing in progress in my favorite cast iron pan: apple, celery, cranberry, minus the onion I left at home. It doesn’t have to be perfect to be wonderful. True that. The pie, however, was both, my best yet.

Feeling nostalgic for the wooden cabins of my youth – humble dwellings of strong character, flanked by massive tanks of propane.

More humble dwellings and every manner of delight at Cottonwood Hot Springs – fish jumping, lily pads floating, creek rushing, crows soaring. We soaked for hours and hours, sunrise to the waxing crescent of moon and sky thick with a ribbon of Milky Way stars. My love for this life and this place ever-expanding, like the universe itself.

St. Elmo – slipping, not only from the Buena Vista temperatures of spring-like warmth, but more than a century in the past. Sneakers sliding on full winter ice while gawping at Mountain Lion tracks – the wonder of a single day.

Playing with darkness, eager to do some book and youtube learning to capture the wonders of night. How crazy is that green?!

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winter

For reasons unknown, Miss Juniper Beulah no longer enjoys lounging on the couch with us come evening. She jumps up, lies down for a minute, looks nervously about, and promptly dashes to other territory. She WILL, however, quite happily, lie on the bed all the live-long day if given the opportunity. So, on book reading and software writing nights when we are keen on her company, we forgo the living room and hop into bed for family cuddles. I tackle my giant pile of magazines, which, frugal gal that I am, are nearly all from the library – my favorite Womankind and Sunset the fine exceptions; Juniper licks, wiggles, and farts; and the hubster type, type, types like a fat little pigeon (Cows!). It is very, very nice.

They taste like apples! Teeny-tiny apples.

spring

summer

Jeffie, my brother from another mother and game for practically anything pal. We ate waaaaay more delicious food than we ought (this is at The Warehouse – I had the pork belly. WOW!!). We also volunteered at GameCon (FUN!), talked our throats sore, hiked, walked, geocached, played with Juni B., watched a movie, and generally basked in each other’s company. Here’s to twenty-eight years of good times. Huzzah!

We also drove to Denver where my parents watched Juniper while we saw our dear friend’s daughter perform in Mary Poppins at the Northglenn Community Center (You can still buy tickets). The costumes! The voices! Especially Mary Poppins, hers was divine. And the weather – winter.fall.spring.summer – what a week!

Hey there, and happy Friday! This early thanks brought to you by sentimental, comfort craving Colleen – because I can eat Thanksgiving all-year-long. Uh-huh. I am the not-at-all ashamed woman wiggling to unstick hot-shorted legs from the naugahyde booth of a chain of comfort food restaurants in high summer. Joyfully proclaiming, “I will have the turkey dinner. Please and thank you.” Only this wasn’t turkey, but chicken. Turkeys are too big and make too many leftovers. For if you know me at all, you also know that I don’t care much for them either, save a few exceptions: lasagna, sesame chicken,  the best sweets. The hubster likes this just fine. Reason No. 1037 our marriage is a match made in H E A V E N. Yes.

And now for the sentimental bits – the napkins are a shade my of my favorite turquoise. The boozy drink is a moscato made absolutely stellar with the addition of Atapino and Wheeler’s Gin, two of Santa Fe Spirits magical infusions of the landscape of my soul. Delicious. Jellied cranberry because childhood and perfect slices. The stuffing serving dish (with snazzy lid that is not pictured) is from my Grandpa, who got it as a prize way back in the 1950s. The little brown jug was my Grandma’s. We used it to pour the gravy with a heavy hand.

And now, for the thanks:

Thankful for my Grandparents, whose treasures litter, in the best possible way, my home. Thankful for how long I had the privilege of knowing my Grandma. Thankful that I know my Grandpa still, that we play, laugh long and hard, and give the best and most tender of hugs. Grateful for my parents. Grateful for their health and caring. Grateful to live in this house in this beautiful city. Grateful for friends near and far. Grateful for the best parts of my family, showing me how to be generous, loving, resilient. Grateful for our favorite four-legger, her joy and tenderness. Grateful for the hubster, his every kindness and sweet love. Grateful for this breath and the one after that. Always.

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