Inspiring

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Hi from me to you! It’s a mighty cold day in our parts. So much so that the heat, at 12:26 p.m. is still droning on in an initial attempt to get the house to 68 degrees. Additionally, we have yet to walk the dog because we’d like it to be over 15 degrees outside when we do. How people in truly cold climes ever leave the house is a wonder. But there is a lovely powdered sugar sprinkle of snow out and the birds are singing, so there’s a bit of joy. Always true. Always.

Above is a sweet box of fun sent to some dear friends in Maine! They’ve already received it, so the surprise is not being spoiled. They got bars of my latest soaps, along with home made lip and hand balms, and, of course, some cute acorns! The oaks are still giving, so I am too. I did not make the sage smudger, however. I may try, but really cannot do it all.

And Beth (one of my Maine friends), I finally watched the GoGo’s documentary you recommended. I hope I didn’t already tell you. It was super and rockin’ and sad and brought me fondly back to Denice Romero’s house in 7th grade. Sweet sigh. We are also about two-thirds finished with Twin Peaks 2.0 from 2017. I wish I could find the circa 2000 (I think?) picture I took of Beth standing in front of the RR Cafe, very sad faced, because it had recently been a victim of arson and we could not partake of neither pie nor coffee.

Anyhoo, we are rather enjoying the series in it’s ultimate David Lynch-ness. The absurdity, wit, and wisdom. I highly recommend it to anyone even further behind the what’s-new-in-the-world curve. Better late than never, eh?

Home made almond milk. A bit of a painstaking process to get the skins off, but worth treating our tender tummies right.

Dutch baby, oh! Made with the remaining almond meal after making milk. Embracing the nose-to-tail ethos of the nut world.

I learned a new game! Star Realms is relatively quick and easy, yet still challenges my brain.

Pizza (and cola!) was the first meal after our January reset. Delicious. Dessert was chocolate chip cookies, which were shared with neighbors and otherwise gobbled down, pronto.

We’ve had freezing fog twice over the past week. How beautiful to wake up to it! How my face hurt from the cold!

These bits of gorgeousness are a spicy coleslaw, corn bread (with more almond meal!), and a jalapeno and hot honey glazed smoked pork chop made in celebration of…..

THIRTY YEARS together! Yup. This past Tuesday marked the big 3-0 since our first date at the Old Chicago in Fort Collins. Which, after consulting the map, is nowhere near where we ate on College Avenue way back when. Times change, peeps.

Even our love has changed. We’ve grown up, moved house three times, traveled thousands upon thousands of miles; shed what was holding us back from even greater love; laughed, hugged, and cuddled. And goll-ee, that’s just a wee scratch on the surface of our everything together. I will absolutely not say it has been easy, though mostly so, only because we laid such strong foundations way back when – forged of honesty, patience, and ever so much kindness. So when the wind and earthquakes and wretchedness have shook us, we’ve come out largely unscathed. Together.

Y A Y U S ! !

My Grandfather, Wilfred Herbert Sohn
24th Pursuit Group
My Grandfather is fourth from the left in the back row.

Wilfred Herbert Sohn (my Grandfather) enlisted in the Army Air Corps in 1939 and was stationed at Nichols Field in the Philippines when war broke out. He was a member of the infamous Bataan Death March. He made his escape back to Mindanao Island only to be recaptured when his plane was shot down at sea. At the time of the cessation of hostilities, his father was notified of his hospitalization at Mukden Manchuria (after four years in prison camp) and was released in 1945.

Sohn was cited for a Silver Star in General Orders 166 issued by General MacArthur on May 1st, 1946, and reads as follows:

Staff Sargeant Wilfred H. Sohn, Air Corps, United States Army. For gallantry in action in the Southwest Pacific Area, on 8 December 1941.

When two flights of twin engined enemy bombers attacked Clark Field, Luzon, Philippine Islands, Sgt. Sohn, Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron, 24th Pursuit Group, and two comrades, took cover in a hangar. One of the soldiers was struck in the back with a fragment. Sgt. Sohn removed the missile. Then, noticing a fire in some mail bags, swiftly extinguished the flames. When bombs from the second hostile flight began to explode, he dashed to a bomb shelter and drew in another comrade who had been hit in the back and legs by flying fragments. While the attack continued in unabated fury, he proceeded to his quarters and obtained sheets which he could bandage the wounds of the stricken soldier, and although he was knocked down by a concussion of a bomb blast, he made his way back to the shelter, where he applied a tourniquet and bandaged the wounds and then carried the wounded man to cover.

Moving to a nearby machine gun pit, he found three wounded men, whom he placed in a staff car with the aid of another comrade. He applied a tourniquet on the wound of one of the casualties, and directed his assistant to close all windows, and then, while an enemy aircraft bombed and machine gunned the vehicle, he drove through a section of the road which was enveloped by flames from burning gasoline. Emerging from the holocaust, the car was again bombed and strafed. Sohn ran across a field, obtained another car, and returned with it, although again subjected to attack by hostile aircraft. The wounded were transferred to the second vehicle, which Sgt. Sohn drove under repeated attack to the post hospital.

There, while the furious assault continued, he assisted in unloading the casualties for treatment. Through his sustained gallantry and concern for the welfare of his comrades with complete disregard for his own safety, Sgt. Sohn upheld the finest traditions of the American Soldier.

Our very orchestrated Sunday supper. If you hadn’t noticed, I really love to cook, but I prefer a big bang for my buck in the kitchen. I don’t generally want to painstakingly create meals that will be gone in minutes.

That being said, I also like a little adventure and own cookbooks galore. Some of the recipes are of the painstaking, slow Sunday Supper ilk. I was feeling a strong pull toward my Teutonic roots and have a glorious German cookbook by Alfons Schuhbeck in need of a little mileage. So, I stuffed chicken breasts with ham and cheddar and topped them with a butter laden sherry wine sauce. The potato salad came from the same book, but it is sadly missing radishes because two grocers were out of them and dried tarragon! What the?

The bright colored salad is the closest I could get without the aforementioned tarragon to a carrot salad we rather enjoy at Uwe’s, one of our favorite local places.

And the cake, oh good grief! It is Christina Tosi’s Apple Pie Cake from Milk. Talk about laborious. So very many steps! Such deliciousness, though. My stars.

Our fab shed dolled up with icicles and wild bee house!
The light!

Hello, and happy Monday to you!

Friday afternoon, I had the very special pleasure of attending a Mandala dissolution ceremony honoring the Compassion Buddha. Monks from the Ngari Institute spent three days creating this exquisitely fine and intricate work of art. It was then swept into a pile, distributed among attendees (anyone who so desired), with the remains scattered into Monument Creek.

Why destroy something so beautiful, you may ask? To show the importance of sharing compassion with all beings and reflect the impermanence of life. It also encouraged everyone in attendance (and the world) to let, just as we do each breath that comes, every little thing, joyful, beautiful, sad, and angry, GO. To the winds. To the water. Let it ALL go.

Before the ceremony, I had the privilege to sit with one of the monks and ask about the mandala. It was quite fascinating! The mandala is a two dimensional representation of a three dimensional house or temple, with the Compassion Buddha at the center. Each of the four directions is represented, with food and flowers offered to the Buddha. The copper cups hold water, two of which for cleansing (the mouth and feet), the third, with an added flower, for perfuming the body. This is an offering of our best selves to the Compassion Buddha. The water also represented rain; as rain falls, it cleanses the body, not only of grime, but of unhealthy thoughts and patterns in the mind. The more it is cleansed, the more it benefits the individual and the world, spreading compassion to our minds and others. So wonderful!

Life is a bit claustrophobic with all the lying on the couch I am doing, every moment an attempt to keep my foot from throbbing with pain. My mind is a circus: what I have been able to do, what I can do now, what I will be able to do once fully healed. I watch a lot of television, movies mostly. I’m reading a little, more to come because I finally found a book I like – such a picky reader.

I am praying a lot, not for me, I am fine, I think. It might depend on who you ask, however, definitely. The prayers are for a friend, who is far younger than I and in critical condition. Scary to the point of tears: for her family, for her wee children. I have never spoken such fervent words to God, the universe, whatever and whomever is out there. Space aliens? I believe I am being heard. I pray the answer will be YES.

The new year is here. I have a resolution, of sorts, to eat as low carb and high veg as possible for the month of January, though if I can sustain it longer, I am not going to argue with my willpower. My sweets to protein to vegetable ratio the past month as far from ideal or tummy soothing as is mathematically possible, so it seems. Math, however, is not my strongest subject.

This is not a resolution, but I am happy to report that I’ve exercised every day since my surgery and continue to be amazed at what works my entire body without causing my left foot too much anguish. On that front, it is healing rather nicely! My surgically modified toes are rock-hard with swelling but better than before. My foot previously doing it’s best imitation of a Frankenstein stitched balloon. Not great.

And this before I go – Juniper’s shoes! They light up! To see her walk in them is positively chuckle inducing. I am super keen for the day we walk together in the snow, maybe in a month or so? Yes, please.

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