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Hey all! Will you take a look at this mahvelously organized laundry room?! After having “a mad as hell (*not technically) and I’m not going to take it anymore” moment at the sheer mess of it, Greg and I spent four hours the other weekend, taking everything off of every shelf, wiping the dust and debris, purging necessary items, and then putting it all back together.

I am also including what it looks like with actual laundry. Because, let’s get real, there’s nearly always something hanging up. We are definitely not the go-getters who take everything down and fold it neatly the moment it dries. More often, it is an I’m out of something, so I better get to it occasion.

Also, if you would like to have the crazy-awesome hanging racks (at left) that also can be placed flat against the wall when not in use, you are out of luck. IKEA discontinued them, much to the chagrin of many a shopper. As a result, whenever the magic moment arrives for us to move to Taos, we are taking them with us. Indeed.

  1. Joy at having a tidy laundry room in my super, extra-puffy coat.
  2. Fur is faux.
  3. Glasses help prevent migraines from crazy-bright light.
  4. Peace out…

Hello Dear Reader! Happy 2024!

It is full winter: ice and frost and snow. The most beautiful time of the season. The birds and animals flit cheerily about before being chased of by the clap of our hands – a dog interaction is imminent! Save yourselves! Then Juniper joyfully romps and gathers every scent she can muster into her sniffer catalog. A fine howdy-do!

We’ve been treated to many frosty Pike’s Peak days, as beautiful as ever.

This little hawk, fluffed against the cold, was none too pleased with me disturbing his or her breakfast lookabout. Humans…

Greg took a few days off for Christmas and New Year’s, making each a gloriously long weekend. This was New Year’s lunch, with a decidedly happy hubster getting one of his most favorite treats: DUCK! It was wonderful and delicious and I got to use Grandpa’s jazzy metal dishes for serving, which always makes my heart happy.

In between our holidays, my cousin Stephanie came for a wee visit, which was lots of fun. We ate at one of our favorite downtown places and puzzled, too – a very difficult painting of very cool cars. No photo of her, as she hates having it taken, or the puzzle. It’s all good.

I made pizza for Christmas, but the picture is on Greg’s phone, and I am too lazy to get it at the moment. Fear not! Imagine a most symmetrical pizza, kind of like a kaleidoscope of mushrooms dancing about in a circle, and you’ve got it! It was also delicious.

Perfectly balanced.

Of course, there was puzzling, this one a dandy from Galison, and jewelry from New Mexico, which pleased me so.

Oatmeal scone and a nearly scalding latte. I decided I don’t care about latte art because I can’t make my coffee hot enough with it. So, boring tan foam it is.

Also, Katie, are you there? I bought the mug with you from the man whose adobe house you helped build. Dancing about on it are horses and space ships. I still LOVE it!

Our final puzzle of 2023. So very tall and fun from Genuine Fred (temporarily sold out, methinks). We have been to every place on it! Where have you been? Here or there or anywhere? Hopefully on happy journeys with those you love, especially as of late. A very merry new year to you and yours. Thank you for stopping by…

I simply cannot resist the beauty of a perfect burger, grilled by the G-Man, of course. I am grateful he took up the mantle. I bake, broil, braise, and saute with the best of them indoors, but do not enjoy outdoor cooking AT ALL. Number 1,460,000 we are a match made in heaven.

In an effort to use a plethora of petals and keep our high desert skin as dewy as possible, I found a recipe for easy hydrosols and made a batch of rose. It left behind this gorgeous pink rosewater, and, as you well know, I hate waste, so I whipped it into a lemonade. It was delicious, a singular flavor I fail to find the words to exactly describe.

Blueberry Lemonade Cookies, the perfect summer treat, even though we are almost full on Fall, eek! I used the Cloudy Kitchen Funfetti recipe, substituting 3/4 cup dried blueberries for the sprinkles, one tablespoon lemon juice for the vanilla, and the zest of one large lemon. Highly addictive, they are delightfully tart with a crispy edge and soft middle. Even Greg, mister chocolate, loves them.

It is canteloupe season! This year has been especially flavorful.

You know how sometimes you forget the resources you actually own and look for the new? In one such fit for salad recipes, I was scouring the interwebs before remembering a Williams-Sonoma cookbook sitting right on the living room shelf. This is my riff on their Caesar Style with Poblano Chiles (page 23). I didn’t have poblano but a plethora of diced green chiles and Costco shredded rotisserie breast, so here we are. It was most delicious! In true Southwest style, I paired it with a glass of fizzy prickly pear lemonade. Yum-yum.

As somewhat of an organization freak, I enjoy me a well tidied shelf and drawer. I had a hodge-podge of bottles, jars, and zip-top bags here, and it honestly made my head hurt. I found some snazzy jars with bees on them at Sierra (since they were closeouts and could run out at any moment, I am not including the link), bought a boat load, and got to work. I also have a slightly embarrassing number of washi tape rolls and made the most of a cute polka dot pattern. How wonderful to easily find what we are looking for!

Sunflowers, sunflowers, sunflowers!

The horsetail milkweed blossoms are so tiny in comparison to the bees but no less favored for their sweet nectar!

My mom gave me some old seed packets she had lying around, and this zinnia is one of the few that sprouted! It grew into an amazingly large bloom in a fuscia hue.

This plant-filled stock tank hides our unsightly gas meter and is looking its very best. Also, how cute is the volunteer marigold?!

In an effort to save birds from an untimely death by flying into our sliding door when we first moved in, I bought a roll of polka-dotted film that prevented the glass from reflecting. It worked quite well until this summer when it started to flake and peel. I found the rainbow reflecting adhesives (“sticking” with water!), and Greg and I did the not-so-fun job of removing the old and replacing it with the new. How about that beautiful rainbow in the morning light?!

The World War II Aviation Museum here in Colorado Springs flew these planes over the weekend. The first is a North American B-25 Mitchell, and the second is a Grumman TBM Avenger. Pretty cool! I love how they have the ability to keep this history alive.

I think Juniper knows, even in sleep, what the sound of a lens cap being removed means. Mama, are you trying to take my picture???

More garden shots for you. The desert willow has hundreds of blooms and a near constant stream of bees, hummingbirds, and hummingbird moths. I often sit mesmerized at the living room window watching the spectacle.

I can’t believe the robins and squirrels haven’t gobbled all of the choke cherries, but here we are with an intact bunch.

Aspen leaves quaking in the breeze. With an abundance of rain this season, this tree, transplanted from a sprout in the front garden, has grown an astounding three feet this year to make it about 10 feet tall. Fingers crossed it makes it through winter!

Our reddest sunflower. Have a wonderful week…

Labor Day Weekend Ritual:

Rise alongside the sun, dress and wash-up quick, lace shoes, harness dog, top head with straw hat. Walk, grateful for the cool before the heat. Ascend on mud soft ground to the pinnacle of the shortest double hill and wait in the low wind. Eyes south to witness the rise of balloon after balloon to crowd the sky. Our aging eyes wonder at the non-standard shapes: pig in coveralls, fish, unicorn, frog, smiling blue horned creature, Darth Vader, Yoda!! Quiet save our sighs and a single engine splitting the sky above.

Then the descent, peppered with flowers and our commentary on this small luxury. Nothing and everything before eight a.m.

Hello from my first Low Rider show. Holy Guacamole, peeps! If you know me at all, then you well know I was a hot mess of thrills and wonder. I was the gringo lady asking all the questions, excitedly taking photos, and getting all sweaty with overwhelming emotions. So many beautiful cars! Next level artistry! My vocabulary is wholly inadequate for what these magician mechanics and painters have done. Truly extraordinary.

We went with our nephew Jett and his friend David – that’s them admiring the El Camino, and I do believe we all left impressed beyond measure.

Oh, and bikes, too. A Smurf bike! My little girl self squeed with delight!

No shortage of these cool cars, either! Maybe you have to make some magic on this scale before moving into the truly mind blowing actual car work. Literal baby steps…

1958 Chevrolet Impala – Not sure why, exactly, but the Impala was THE car of choice. Such representation! And to show how next level the dedication is, people have mirrors on the floor to highlight the undercarriage work. What?!!

Another Impala, maybe a 1965? The photos do it no justice. The bumpers and various and sundry metalwork were akin to tooled leather, which was entirely hand done. Each car must have thousands upon thousands of hours to achieve the look.

Oldsmobile – the first Low Rider I ever saw looked similar to this.

This bad boy pays homage to Breaking Bad and WAR. Never seen the show (drugs and violence are so not my jam) but LOVE the song.

1965 Chevy Station Wagon. Coolest E V E R.

This 1955 Chevy was my favorite from the show. All the things. A L L of them…

Truck of a million angles, with matching mini car and bike. Mechanical wizardry!

1950 Cadillac – my Grandpa Herbie drove one of these beauties!

1952 Chevrolet – My Dad’s first car was a 1951 in light green, so cool!

Note the round tubes on the passenger side windows. These were some sort of early air conditioners, aptly named Car Coolers. I learned a lot, my friends.

An LTD like Grandpa’s! I wanted to stick my nose in the window and check for his scent: cologne and pipe tobacco. The owners were right there, and I was already the nutty lady squealing at the sight of it, so, yeah, it didn’t happen.

And nearly best for last, the Monte Carlos! The middle one looked most like the style of our family car growing up (only in sky blue), but the stunning green was my favorite of the three. That lavender though…

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