The leaves have all dropped in a drab and wildly skittering heap, but oh, how lovely in their jeweled glory days. And the frost, too, magic swirls painted into a dazzling hood ornament. Nature is the first and best artist in the land.

On to Thanksgiving, our usual quiet duo doing the cook up a storm kitchen dance. We speak little and accomplish volumes. Zucchini-parsnip eggy bake, with just a touch of cheese, for the green bit; sweet potatoes, mashed; dressing, which I always call stuffing, though it never sees the dark interior of a bird; Pillsbury crescent rolls; a very fibrous cranberry sauce mistakenly purchased thinking it was jellied and two sad faces joyously rectified upon our next trip to the grocery; hot smoked chicken, not turkey; a little fizzy rose; oh, and puppy dog tails and pecan pie with crazy-good crust, of course, always, with coffee – piping hot, and cinnamon tea. Yes, that is how we do it.

I ate so very much and used days and days of points but will be back on track with the morrow. Oh, my distended belly!

At the moment, Greg plays a game on his computer while I type and photo shop, and Todd Rundgren sings cheerfully in the background. All this in between puzzle bouts, where we are working our way through a world map according to the Empire of the British, date unknown. It does not match the picture. Extra bits stamped on, vintage style, a lesson of the world is not as it seems order. Still fun, though. Again, yes.

And now, for some recommendations! This is so not in my wheelhouse, so forgive me if it feels a bit clunky. I should also note that I get nothing , save my own pleasure from this. No one is paying me. I only want to share my excitement about talented makers and kindly people aiming to do right by the world.

First off – if you like the Frida Kahlo mug up yonder, I bought that on our trip to North Carolina, in 2019, I think? Anyway, Liz Kelly made it and may still make the very same. She changes it up a bit. I’ve bought Prince & Beastie Boys mugs for my favorite fans, a Daddy mug for my very own Daddy, and a super neat tray with cacti on it. They are lovely, tank-like sturdy, and made with ever so much love.

The kindly Kelly Hsiao of Block Island Organics Sunscreen has a 25% off promo code good until November 29th: BFCM21. Use it on select products and make your beautiful skin glad!

More wonderful products for your skin and lips, made with wild harvested plants and heady with the scent of New Mexico, can be found at Dryland Wilds. I love everything they make, truly!

ABLE, out of Nashville, fashions jewelry and rather stylish clothes and shoes around the world. The best part? They work to empower women and help overcome generational poverty by giving workers a living wage and a share in the profits. Everything is 25% off right now!

If you’d like to keep it local to Colorado Springs (or buy online and ship anywhere!), head over to Yobel. They also have ethically made clothing and accessories for men and women, and some of the nicest people, too.

I’d also be remiss if I didn’t recommend Erica Bello, Fox and the Fawn, Jonesing for Jewelry, Ahlazua and Quench Metalworks. Each is run by a lovely and very talented metalworking woman, making beauty of every stripe to adorn some lucky person, you or maybe someone you know?

For a little bit of everything, also made with love and curated with an expert’s eye for the delightful, head to The Artisan’s Bench.

Happy Saturday! Happy day! Happy life to you!

Our Truth

We are volcanoes. When we women offer our experience as our truth, as human truth, all the maps change. There are new mountains.

Ursula LeGuin

For All Women

Each time a woman stands up for herself, without knowing it possibly, without claiming it, she stands up for all women.

Maya Angelou

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Goal!

Well, friends, I did it! I reached my Weight Watchers goal and then some. I am down 16.2 pounds, to be very precise, and feel positively wonderful.

The photo at the left was taken in Ness City, Kansas on the final day of our summer vacation. I had been thinking about Weight Watchers on and off since January: my belching and digestion were pretty awful, clothes were fitting tighter, and I really didn’t want to go up a size. I also wanted to establish healthier eating habits. With my MTHFR issues (heterozygous for the C677T mutation), my liver function on it’s best day is at 70% of normal. As a result, I had all kinds of digestive woes, depression, anxiety, and possibly a million other annoyances that may or may not be related. It depends on who you ask.

When I uploaded our vacation photos and saw myself, I didn’t think I looked bad. To toot my own horn, I thought my hair looked especially great! I did, however, think I looked a little chunky for my frame. Combined with the above, I told Greg I wanted a change and asked if he wanted to join me. As you well know, the hubster is the best life partner I could conjure with a wand, and we went forward together. Next week will mark three months and countless ways of improving our life.

First, and most obvious – I think I look swell! My face isn’t so puffy, my clothes are looser, and my muscles are tighter. My body is so much stronger, too!! Weights I never imagined using on the regular are part of my routine. And my emotions! They are far more steady and largely void of the depression and anxiety that often plagued me.

Most exciting is my overall health. I had been in the necessary habit of taking a daily slew of supplements to manage my MTHFR. Liquid Glutathione, Gallbladder Nutrients, Ox Bile, Digestive Enzymes, B Vitamins, B-12 on its own, Selenium drops! So very many. With my change in diet (MORE vegetables!) and subsequent weight loss, I was able to drop the selenium, gallbladder nutrients, and B-12. I also reduced the others overall dosage pretty dramatically AND to just three days a week. I only take the digestive enzymes when I eat something rich or especially beany, as I am NOT fond of farting. The last time my digestion was this good, I was a newlywed. That is twenty-eight years ago, dear peeps. A hearty hoot and holler!

Not surprisingly, I believe there are two messages here. First, it is always the right time to improve. Second, which is really a two-parter, tracking habits and being accountable for behavior leads to change. I knew my eating wasn’t perfect, but once I really paid attention and learned the point value of everything I was gobbling down, it became easier to choose healthier options and take the best care of my one marvelous body.

p.s. How about this crazy weather? I am wearing shorts and a t-shirt in the middle of November and am not at all cold. It is supposed to be 73 today!

p.p.s. Juniper, as always, is so adorable!!

Boiled

She didn’t read books, so she didn’t know that she was the world and the heavens boiled down to a drop.

Zora Neale Hurston

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