Colorado Springs

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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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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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In typical Colorado fashion, Wednesday was a gloriously warm 79 degrees. By bedtime, the wind was wicked with bluster, hurling leaves and branches about, disturbing my sleep the whole of the night. It was a ridiculously frigid twenty-something degrees when I darted from bed Thursday, and our girl had to wear her fleece under this huddle of blanket to keep from shivering.

But the snow came in lovely light-hearted flakes, the early best kind that squeak underfoot.

So we got out in it, of course, the delightful first of the season, enjoying snow capped blossoms, fruits, and leaves.

To warm up, and the fact the zucchini would rot soon if I didn’t, I baked bread, not-too-sweet and heady with ginger and cinnamon. Oh, happy fall!

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For two years running, we have attempted the Labor Day Lift Off Balloon Glow. And for two years running, we have missed. Last year, it was rain and lightning. This year, we made it to the park, but the wind kept the launch from happening. The saving grace, an exhibit of full fuel burns among a sea of thousands. It was really quite something to feel the temperature spike 20 degrees as every balloonist let loose.

We made up for my disappointment by watching a few tricks at the park.

I followed it with a little camera mess around on the way home. Isn’t light a marvel?

Cut to the morning, an early walk to watch the launch from afar. It was much more our speed, frankly, the three of us (and a flock of birds!) on a hill, with one hot air balloon after another rising and rising.

All you need is love…

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With all their favorite flowers in full blossom, our hummingbird friends are in a frenzy, with Rufous, Calliope, and Broad Tails zooming for garden domination!

New mushroom sculptures – aren’t they sweet?

Breakfast delights: biscuits, jam, sausage gravy, and, of course, coffee!

To riff on the famous Jaws line, I think we’re going to need a bigger table…

a hungry fritillary (I think) on the orange echinacea

We’ve also been hosting swallowtails, monarchs, admirals, mourning cloaks, sulphurs, cabbages, and just as many moths that I don’t know what to call. If only they weren’t so camera shy.

My favorite companions in one of my favorite places!

Gooseberries! These are from the neighbors, as our bush is just getting its legs. I made jam, of course. So good!

 

 

 

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