Making

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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.

When we visited Santa Fe last year, I bought a Dryland Wilds Sagebrush Plantwater, so I could mist my face with one of my very favorite scents on the daily. After using it a short while, I wondered what other wonders I was missing. To my great luck, the lovely Robin Moore and Cebastien Rose make much more than plantwaters. They are high desert wild crafters, sustainably foraging native and invasive flowers, leaves, and resins, and harvest plants that would otherwise be discarded to make the most exquisitely intoxicating scents of New Mexico.

It’s no surprise I became a huge fan. In addition to the sagebrush, I purchased pinon plantwater, luxurious soaps, evening primrose and copper mallow lip balms, and beauty oils infused with willow and loosestrife, sagebrush and snakeweed, rosehip and thistle. Each is evocative, efficient, and positively uplifting!

Imagine my delight upon learning they offer a perfume making class. And what great luck to have the date correspond with our anniversary! So we planned our trip to Albuquerque around a Sunday afternoon. Cebastien is a fantastic teacher, educating about the various perfume notes, and encouraging us, via scent combining exercises, to try what would normally make us run for the hills. It culminates in the exciting creation of our own scented oil.

I call mine High Desert Morning. An infusion of ruby red grapefruit, balsam fir, honey mesquite, and labdanum. Initially, it only contained the first three, as I imagined peeling a grapefruit to the rhythm of the rising sun. It was lovely but lacking. So I pondered Cebastien’s teaching and decided to go for a run-for-the-hills essential oil. I tried the labdanum, and that drop on my perfume card made it all come together, for the missing element was Greg. Labdanum is on the musky side and reminiscent of his sweet bearded cheek. Crazy fantastic!

So if you need a reason to head to Albuquerque besides fabulous food and turquoise, treat yourself to a class. If you are less adventurous, try a soap, beauty oil, or plantwater, and inhale the magic of the high desert.

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Oh, gosh! How many times I have crested this little hill and seen the light of the rising sun. There is always something magical about the anticipation of what will come next: a bird soaring, a hot air balloon, a glimpse of the Spanish Peaks some 140 miles distant.

The tallest biscuits I’ve EVER baked. A towering 3 inches! The secret? I made my own baking powder! Two teaspoons cream of tartar to one teaspoon baking soda. I was positively giddy watching them rising higher and higher through the oven door. And the flavor, the height of biscuit goodness. We topped them with the surprisingly delicious cranberry banana jam and the remains of our last jar of homemade peach until the season rolls round again.

The best and most handsome sleeper I know.

I had a hard time wrangling my tripod into action, so it was all over the place on the night of the blood moon, but I really can’t complain because this shot is rather fun. It also got me wondering, what would it be like to have more than one moon? What of the ocean tides? More fierce? Less? How bright the night sky?

In other skyward musings, have you risen early enough to see Venus and Jupiter in the East lately? Venus is a revelation, gleaming low and bright in the sky, and the quiet darkness so lovely and worth every moment I stand shivering and barefoot in my nightgown.

 

Orange Horned Poppy

Hummingbird Moth

Moon Carrot

Wabbit

This and the one above – Apache Plume

Colorado Springs – home of my dreams…

Well, we did it! We hosted our cousin’s birthday party Saturday (and took not one photo of the actual festivities, only the frosting, which was Y U M) and yesterday, a little afternoon garden party for our ever curious neighbors (What on earth are you doing??). What fun! And what a great relief, too, to have all that work behind us and everyone enjoying the beautiful fruits of our labor. There was much laughter, lots and lots of cake, and hummingbirds zooming about. WooT!

To treat ourselves, we’ve pulled not one weed, nor put one plant in the ground (though there are three echinacea waiting). This weekend maybe, but for now we are enjoying long walks to breakfast with the girl (thank you Good Neighbors!), book reading, game playing, and home improvement show watching, because that, my friends, is our JAM.

Happy Wednesday!

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Look at that little river flow!!

Homemade kombucha in the house! That’s what’s happening to-day. Way back in our Portland days (we’ve been gone three and a half years! WOW!), we made heaps and tons of kombucha. As we didn’t feel like schlepping a SCOBY or two or three across the country to Pennsylvania, we left all means of production behind. Curiously enough, when we had our pre-move garage sale, the people who bought all the gear were getting ready to start their own brew operation. Great minds think alike, eh?

This time around, we are adding flavors, upping our game a bit. Or so I hope. I made these this morning and thusly have no clue if they will actually be worth drinking. Fingers crossed! Since my memory isn’t what it used to be, AND I bought a cool chalk board pen, I made my notes right on the bottle.

Also what’s happening – much, much planting! Over the past week, we’ve put in five trees, two shrubs, and thirty-eight plants, with about fifty more to go. I kid you not. Most of the labor done by yours truly because the hubster has been earning our bread AND busting up a hideous monstrosity of a patio, sledge hammer chain-gang style, while I dig, dig, dig. “What we have here is a failure to communicate…” Not really. We are ace communicators, the two of us, mind readers even. I just think of Cool Hand Luke at times of day-long outdoor labor is all.

Anyhoo, hopefully all will flourish and our yard won’t look so very, very brown.

Happy Friday!

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