Admiring

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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!

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 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 ! !

Fulfillment

Love is never a fulfillment. Life is never a thing of continuous bliss. There is no paradise. Fight and laugh and feel bitter and feel bliss: and fight again. Fight, fight. That is life.

D.H. Lawrence

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Isn’t fascinating how stripping an image of its color reveals the essence? The soul? A secret springs forth, a wrinkle, a knoll.

I read once that a person can see a dog running away for three days in New Mexico. The views are so long. Look for it now. It’s there for you to see.

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pasque flower
service berry
golden currant
choke cherry

Hello gentle reader. As I write, a bluster of wind sails snow beyond the window, the outlook for our afternoon dog walk very grim. My belly is brimful with curried cauliflower soup, a rainbow sprinkle sugar cookie, and Irish breakfast tea. Satisfied.

I enjoyed a long stretch of time when I thought not one bit about COVID-19. Thirty minutes of bliss.

We’ve spent much of the last weeks sunny weather clipping away last year’s growth, with monster piles of beyond parched plants in tidy compostable heaps, ripe seeds sprinkled delicately, eager for birds and dewy soil. The best moments, however, coming afterward, in the bath, when my skin, heady with dust and sweat, disperses sweetly into the air. What is the word for it? Not quite petrichor but just as intoxicating.

We made fine use of mushrooms with protein noodles and an omelette. I also tried my hand at no-knead donuts which were baked not fried because I don’t care for the hassle. I am known to cut sugar from just about every recipe I make, but these I followed exactly and found them seriously wanting. Darn cute, though! The hummus and pita continue to be a hit, but nothing in comparison to the Dutch baby. I used half blue corn flour for the usual all purpose and was positively delighted. The hubster, too.

Basically chugging along, with every hope for better days. How about you?

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