Friendship

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Took a step back in time today, to visit Glen Eyrie Castle, the home of William Palmer, the founder of Colorado Springs. Though we all know my Native American ancestors had a bit of a jump on him! It was a rare treat, as every room of the castle was available for viewing, including each of the guest rooms. We had two stellar and knowledgeable tour guides, and oohed and aahed over details grand and small.

As you can tell, I was most intrigued by the views, imagining quiet moments wandering from gorgeous window to window, conjuring the supreme quiet of every season: a drift of snow, froth of new green, arc of azure sky and rock formations and evergreens at every turn.

We ended our tour with a very British high tea, with that pretty salad, wee sandwiches, biscuits, and scones and equally good conversation. Thank you, Cori (front and center), for the marvelous suggestion. Happy Birthday to you!

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Welcome to Monday and April (!). Tonight’s dinner was a pretty Thai salad with protein noodles made from wild Alaskan pollock. I am always trying to find ways to reduce carbs (so I can indulge my sweet tooth without having sugar overload), and these were a great surprise find at Costco.  The noodles were yummy and just right, but oooh-eee was the dressing spicy. Thai chilis are hot to trot!

Speaking of that sweet tooth, look at this killer caramel crunch corn flake brownie from a recipe by Cupcake Jemma. She makes all  kinds of awesome looking treats, and these were my first to try. Good gracious are they RICH! Greg and I brought them to D & D night with the cousins (My gnome Kittra is going strong!), and we struggled to finish one brownie each, which is saying A LOT. But, wow, wow, wow, are they tasty!

Handsome hubster in silhouette.

Look at those clouds, like some heavenly zen garden in progress, or, perhaps coming apart.

What?

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Spring is doing it’s best to tease us, with balmy 70 degree days followed by snow and below freezing temperatures.  I don’t particularly mind, as I have still been able to make progress out in the garden. The crocus have already passed and tulips and every other manner of bulb is peeking from the ground. I am eager for their sweet pops of color and hopeful Juniper doesn’t trample too many with her joyful romps in the yard.

Hoping life is lovely where you are!

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Greg and Juniper looking particularly relaxed and happy after a weekend chock full of activity.

Friday night we watched the cousin’s kidlets while they enjoyed a rare evening on the town. There was MUCH play – of the football catching, block building and demolishing, and video gaming variety. There was also Boss Baby (funny!) and pancakes and bedtime stories. Once we tucked the kiddos safely into bed, we binge watched some Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (lives up to its name!) and wished there was ONE single platform for ALL video streaming, as we have zero interest in paying a multitude of fees for our television. Sigh. Incentive for us to watch the kids more often, I suppose!

Up early Saturday morning for a long-awaited visit with some of our besties, Michael and Mary. They brought their dogs, Jesuscito and Lupita, and Juniper thought they were the cat’s pajamas. We can sniff and play all day, inside, outside, run, run, run. Only one thing – do NOT touch my food, okay? Okay. Good.

I made all kinds of goodness – a pork roast, salad, spinach and ricotta gnudi (the flecked with green rolls whose name translates to naked – a jacketless ravioli). The prettiest, hands down, was the delicious orange and fennel cake because, lucky me, blood oranges are still in season and gorgeous, gorgeous!

It was a sleep over, so there was more food adventure in the form of crumpets for breakfast (sore-ee no photo). I had never made them and wondered if I had it all wrong, but they looked right and tasted like WOW! I do believe they will be on a more frequent rotation. Yes, I do.

Did I, after years of swearing I would, remember to take a picture of the four of us? No, because I always get so caught up in the being and doing of fine friendship and cooking and baking that I forget. Even though the camera is close at hand, within eye shot, even. Not the worst to happen, really, so fully immersed in the joy of our togetherness. Yes. But dang, too. I’d like to have us rounded up for the ages. I really, really would.

Happy Tuesday!

As part of my day rave experience, I received Belong, a book written by Daybreaker co-founder Radha Agrawal. It’s all about creating communities where we feel valued and thrive. By completing a series of written and exploratory exercises, the reader creates the shape of her life by filling it with the people and activities that spark the most joy and connection.

I’d been plugging along with it when a friend texted to say she needed some girl time and really wanted us to hang out. Since I started doing the Belong work, I had some doubts about our relationship. She had a habit of not allowing space for me in conversation and making fun of me or Greg but had other qualities that I enjoyed, so I started to make plans, which sent a flag up for me.

This friend also had a habit of saying I was missed but never seemed to want to do the work of making the connection. It fell on me to choose the date, time, and activity. So, I wondered what would happen if she had the responsibility, offering ideas but leaving the execution to her. This was weeks ago, and I never heard back.

As I am wont to do, I fretted and found ways to make myself the bad actor. Then I looked back on one of the Belong exercises that asks what I do and don’t want in a relationship. I reread the qualities and was gobsmacked to realize she has ALL that I determined were deal breakers. And so I quit, not in an instant, see above(!), but over a few days, culminating by unfriending her on Facebook. I still feel a tad twitchy but know the relationships I am currently building are keepers, where positivity reigns and I am valued equally and treated respectfully.

Thank you, Radha, for helping me get to this place!

 

Bachelor buttons and much moving and shaking happening in our neck of the woods! The buttons are considered invasive much of the place, but so quaint and sweetly scented that I forgive them their trespasses. Over the past couple of weeks, we put more plants in the ground and purchased a passel more – I stopped counting at 100.  We also rid ourselves of the lawn out front and covered it with most of the 14 yards (!) of bark mulch purchased as of late. The word is transformative, though about 1.5 yards remains in a lump curbside. I’m too pooped to move it today, but sssssoooon! Our nephew Tyler helped us with some of the work, schlepping multiple loads from the landscaping place in his Ford F-150 and around the yard via shovel and wheelbarrow. The truck is nearly the same model we shared with our dear Portland neighbors Pat and Kelly, and made us ever so happy to reminisce about. Good times, brown skin, and sore bodies, my dear peeps! How much closer we are to the finish line now. WOOT!

We’ve also been busy socializing with family and friends, to-ing and fro-ing around town and up yonder to Littleton, walking Juniper less than we ought due to yard work fatigue, and eating poorly out of the same fatigue. That bit of nonsense stops now because I cannot stand a tender tummy one more day! Just as soon as I finish this bit of word-smithing I am heading to the grocery for a mess-o-greens and vegetables.

I had another two peonies bloom and one is on the ready, which makes my heart too happy for words. So, an embarrassment of riches, I suppose, as it usually is around here. I’ll get some before and after photos of the yard up sometime soon.

Here’s hoping you are well and enjoying this soon to be summer time…

 

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