Exploring

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Back when we lived in Portland, on some random channel I could never remember, I would watch Burns & Allen. I do remember that it was always in the hush of late evening, and that Gracie Allen was simply THE BEST of the whole darn show. She dazzled! This past weekend, I had the pleasure of seeing a rare and wonderful incarnation of her. Greg and I, after nearly four years in Colorado Springs, finally made it to the Millibo Art Theater, to see Yule Be Naughty. It’s a fun mix of silliness, cabaret, amazing aerials and acrobatics (seriously, wow!), and some pretty stellar Gracie Allen style story telling. If you are local and in need of an adult activity this weekend, go and be glad!

Before that, on Thursday, to be exact (thank you flexible work at home hours!!), we headed to our local castle, Glen Eyrie, for their Yule Tea. Greg made friends with a knight before the pair of us enjoyed every bite and sip.

The Big Horned Sheep was part of a herd grazing and relaxing on the lawn. Pretty cool!

dreaming of snow….

I am one of those people for whom it isn’t a complete holiday season without certain foods or events. On the event side, we must listen to Alice’s Restaurant, preferably on Thanksgiving, but, as was the case this year, the following day, despite talking about it and even queuing it up prior to dinner. The tamales, apparently, were just too exciting. We also must read Truman Capote’s A Christmas Memory, laughing and crying and delightedly sighing. That we did on Sunday, and loved it as much as ever.

As for the food and beverage side of the equation, I must have, in no particular order: stuffing with cranberries and celery, perfectly sliced canned cranberry sauce, egg nog (preferably with brandy, but whisky or rum will do), biscochitos (only my recipe will do – snob), fudge, and peppermint ice cream.

This summer, I learned the most amazing and delicious basic ice cream recipe. 8 oz heavy cream whipped to soft peaks & one can sweetened condensed milk – mixed gently together & frozen in a loaf pan. I made it with the addition of vanilla, a few tablespoons of my homemade peach & strawberry jam, chunky peanut butter & their delightful cups. Each was shockingly good considering the ease with which they were made. Seriously top shelf. And no churning or worrying! So, when it came time for the annual stroll down peppermint lane, the choice to make it myself was obvious. I added a half teaspoon of vanilla and five hammered to bits starlight mints. Divine.

Another lovely snow. It came in the smallest possible flakes, that fell and fell and fell. Champagne powder and Juniper’s dream come true!

We spent a wonderful, laughter-filled evening with the cousins Wednesday, at the super fun downtown Holiday Stroll. We love our time together!

We also love Colorado Springs! It’s a little weird, but it’s beautiful and full of heart. There were stands with free hot chocolate and cookies, while Santa (no photo, sadly), carolers, and a brass quartet strolled along with us.

We even got lucky a second time at Jack Quinn’s, scoring one of the special booths for a delicious dinner beforehand. I got my favorite Blarney Stone, and Greg is showing his goofball side with dessert. I love him so much!

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It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas, as the song goes. I collected fallen limbs out walking, bought a few decorations (the cute trees are from Target!), and pulled out favorite treasures, so the house is nicely decked out and smelling lovely!

I also did a massive day of holiday sweet baking and making, with Biscochitos, Mexican Wedding Cookies, peanut butter yo-yos (which Daddy calls little burgers), pinon & rosemary caramels, amaretto & walnut fudges, cream cheese mints, and peppermint marshmallows. We’ve eaten and quite enjoyed a lot, but thankfully shared the majority to avoid sugar comas.

This past weekend, we enjoyed a little road trip to Denver to spend time with some of our favorite people. It was quite the whirlwind of tasty food, killer cocktails (Bananas & Bourbon!), games, and lovely company. As is often the norm at this time of year, it was frigid and sunny, with the bustle of humanity as jolly as the skies. We also had an easy drive both ways, which is always nice.

Just because they are so darn cute. Hope you are enjoying the holiday season!

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Hello from Jack Quinn’s, our favorite Irish Pub! This was last Saturday, and we were lucky to arrive at a sleepy enough hour to snag one of the very special booths, each cozy and enclosed, what an office cubicle dreams to be. The kind eyed with envy from passersby (been there!) and what I imagine would be taken by gangster types in days of yore.

It was a grand outing downtown, with an early dinner of Guinness for Greg, a Blarney Stone for me (Jameson, bitches!), and a shared feast of pretzels with beer cheese dip (the height!), amazing mussels, and a pork belly boxty. Oh, and a beautiful baked apple. Sooo much deliciousness and kindly service. Always.

We followed our perfect meal with JoJo Rabbit at Kimball’s Peak 3, our favorite theater that’s just around the corner. After loving Taika Waititi’s work in Boy, What We Do in the Shadows, and Eagle vs. Shark, we had rather high hopes. Sadly, it didn’t live up to our expectations, despite the fabulous Sam Rockwell and the scene stealing from he adorably funny Archie Yates. We’ll likely do a similar repeat this coming weekend to see A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood. More high hopes…

A few weeks back, strolling a craft fair with my dear friend Bebe, I became smitten with a cache of felted wool acorns. Itching to recreate them, I collected acorn tops from neighborhood streets and bought all the makings – wool roving in 100(!) colors, felting needles, and a sturdy pad for all the stabbing. With my attention diverted by three books of every manner of cuteness checked out from the library, I have yet to complete an acorn (ha!), but I have made the cute peach and the wee mushroom and mouse scene. What I will do with them, I am not quite sure, but who cares! They are adorable.

Kissing Camels

A sweet rain turned snowy Wednesday evening, bringing the usual welcome hush. The blanket wrapped us like wee babes and sent us into the deepest of sleeps. We awoke shockingly late on Thursday, got our daily workout in, and walked our sweet lover of snow dog. How she can be so fond of it, joyfully rooting and spinning and romping, yet do everything in her power to avoid a single drop from a sprinkler shall always be a curiosity.

As if the magnificent morning wasn’t enough, we went for broke with lunch, venturing to the Garden of the Gods, winding and winding through glorious snow capped views. Goodness, the name of the park never leans towards hyperbole. How crazy privileged we are, for flexible work at home hours and to have such wild wonder nearby. Lunch was green chile topped buffalo burgers, wedges of fudge (amaretto swirl (a tad too sweet!) and walnut), and boiling hot coffee. Natives living like tourists, delightedly so. I also bought a painting, a winter scene much like today, of the park.

I have been reading a bit, with The Wonder and The Strangler Vine the best of the recent lot. Oh, and my dearest reliable friend The Shell Seekers, for about the 25th time (no kidding!), tearing up at all the usual places, and feeling immense gratitude for the now departed (February 6th) – Rosamunde Pilcher.

I’ve turned out quite a few lovely pieces of jewelry, too, some of which I ought to photograph. Perhaps soon. I’ve also got movies to talk about, probably next post, a raft of gorgeous heart breakers and side splitters. And maybe a Seventies playlist, as we dove gaily headlong into it recently, with memories of barefooted endless summers, dancing in my room to Steve Winwood in his various incarnations, and Todd Rundgren and Bread and on and on. My word, that decade!

 

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