Exploring

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Always excited to see each other, even just to share our morning coffee. Truth.

That time I bought a hammock-y bed for Juniper, so she didn’t have to be so hot and bothered on the cement of the porch, and she trembled in fear when sitting on it. No Mommy, you cannot make me like it or use it!

Latest jewelry creations. I am pleased as punch with how they turned out. That being said, the turquoise at left and silver & brass at right are examples of multiple failures finally gotten right. Each is probably the fourth iteration of the same or similar combination of beads not looking right for literally years. I’d string them, think they looked good, bring them home and decide otherwise. The message is to keep at it. Edit, edit, edit. Try, try, try.

The garden is off to the races, ladies and gents!

These are two of about one hundred nectarines! If they aren’t ravaged by birds, squirrels, raccoons, or hail by the time they ripen, it’s going to be one heck of a harvest!

Jeff came for a visit! We celebrated my birthday with a nice morning hike; pizza in our wood fired oven – that’s a Thai style, with my peanut sauce, chicken, peanuts and green onion up yonder; homemade ice cream – peanut butter with Reese’s cups and banana cheesecake with walnut polvorones, both STELLAR; AND, last but not least, a very fun evening of Terraforming Mars. Always the best of times. ALWAYS.

Ritual

I have been thinking about the word RITUAL a lot lately, especially in contrast to habit. I have many habits. Here are my dailies: One – Work out every morning Monday – Friday. Two – Walk Juniper every morning and most afternoons. Add an evening walk for most of summer-like weather. Three – Sauna upon return from first walk. Four – two lattes, very, very hot lattes. Homemade cashew or almond milk.

After coffee, I am literally all over the place. Some days, I eat right away, others no. Some days, I bathe; some days, I blog; some days, I read; some days, I watch a show (or a hundred). Some days, I eat very healthy, others definitely not. I should also add that since Weight Watchers, I weigh myself every Monday morning. I want to be within my healthy range. Before WW, my doctor told me I was five pounds from overweight for my size, which was not fun to hear. I consider myself to be maintaining if I am within two pounds of goal. It creeped up to five last Monday because, surprise (!), my eating habits are wildly unpredictable. I am inconsistent on the vegetable intake, love sweets and Cheeto-type snacks, and pizza, oh and not counting every calorie every day. It gets tedious.

So last week, as Greg is in a similar boat (go figure, since we share most meals!), we went back to counting calories (via Cronometer – which is awesome and I’m not being paid to say so!) and am down 2.2 pounds. I think this will be the way of it from here on out. Habitually weigh in on Monday, maintain the exercise schedule, sort of watch the weight until it gets to five pounds, then restrict. It feels reasonable. Doable.

Now for the ritual part. I have, for many years, craved ritual in a BIG way. I feel the empty space where it ought to be. As yet, I have not found anything that resonates. My Dad has read the bible every day of my life. I have tried. Greg has tried with me. It is simply not for us. I do not like the message or the language, especially how it is filled with negativity. A lot of people meditate, but again, I try (a couple times a week, at least) and find my mind wanders far too often about every. little. thing. I know letting go of this is the point, but it’s been years, and I clearly need something different. For me, I believe it needs to be an ACT. A movement, a drawing, a watching, a reading?

In Pittsburgh, we tried a “Not Church” group of secular humanists. It sounded so good on paper! Fun people gathering in community to further knowledge about themselves and the known universe! But, but, but, all they talked about was church and Christianity and how this was not that. What?! At least we tried.

So, HI! This is me searching for that Goldilocks THING. My mind remains open to possibilities.

Howdy from the Ogden Theater last Monday. Fontaines D.C. baby! Even though we loved live music and only lived ten blocks away in our early marriage days, this was our first time at the Ogden. In an old people with money to spare fashion, we paid in advance for nearby parking, arrived early enough to snag actual seats, and were utterly shameless in saving our hearing with neon green ear plugs. The lush life and a damn good time. Also happy to report there were plenty of other grey-haired attendees having fun in equal measure. Awesome, yup, yup.

I guess this is us openly admitting that we want the damn pandemic to be over. I am not in denial about numbers rising or the staggering number of people without a single shot, but we are thrice vaccinated and don’t want to live in a state of fear and anxiety. SO, when a favorite band announces a date in the area and all works in our favor to attend, we are doing it.

The show was fantastic – great crowd, great energy! We loved the opening band, Just Mustard, which is always such a fine gift. Grian and the gang were on top of their game, everyone doing their best at their given role, yours truly included – singing at top of voice, of course. They didn’t play Roy’s Tune, but did Jackie Down the Line, so it was all good in the end. Very, very good, actually.

We stayed with my parents, which kept us from being uber-fatigued drivers on the south bound 2-5 Monday night. We made a right deal out of it, packing the pizza oven for a tip-top luncheon, playing the usual games, watching movies and comedy (Nate Bargatze!) and such. Five out of five stars, peeps. F I V E .

After the resounding success of our 50th birthday espresso machine, we decided to do it again. We love my homemade pizza, but the stifling heat of a 550 degree oven, especially when a craving hits in the thick of summer, is not so fun. So when I saw this wood-fired oven, we jumped at the opportunity. We’ve used it once thus far and made four pizzas. The first saw the crust catch fire, the second was a little under-done, and the third and fourth were pretty spectacular. There’s definitely more finesse involved, but we’ll get it perfect in no time!

Herons

We took my nephew Tyler to visit the graves and homesteads of our Maes-Williams-Casias(Casillas) ancestors this past weekend, keeping just ahead of the storm. I never fail to marvel at how lucky they were to live in such an astoundingly beautiful location.

Rolling along Highway 50 and the Arkansas, gazing westward toward the Collegiate Peaks. With soaring granite walls and the steady rush of the river, this drive is one of our favorite excursions, putting Colorado’s full glory on display: sun, stone, water, sky!

In the awe of people doing what they truly love category: despite what I imagine to be rather frigid temperatures, we spied many a fisher in chest waders out on the water.

Wet Mountains

The sky put on quite the light show as we headed south!

The Mellow Moon was our cozy landing spot, an easy walk to delicious eats at Raisin’ Rye (cinnamon roll, jalapeno & sausage kolache, almond croissant!!), Three Barrel Brewing (Firecracker Pizza, honey kolsch!!), and Chavolos Mexican (carnitas, chile relleno!!). Oh, and a giant-wonderful jar of honey and a bar of bee pollen soap at Haefelis!

It was an equally easy amble from the Mellow Moon to the Rio Grande and all the small town charm. Some large beast, a deer or elk, we guessed, left ample evidence of a hearty roll in the snow. Juniper could not help but to follow suit!

Horizontal snow…

Our trip on Friday was a leisurely three hours, including a stop in Canon City for Indian food at Nirvana and another for marijuana treats in Salida. We are very infrequent flyers and found ourselves agog at the choices! Greg got some Bliss Drops to, as the kindly salesperson put it, have the the equivalent of “three glasses of wine without needing to pee!” I chose Wyld Peach gummies for my annoying migraines. As luck (???) would have it, I did get a migraine while in Del Norte. I could not have been happier. I suffered no headache pain. Woot!

Sunday started as a rather gorgeous, snow coated morning. We made no tracks to rush while still getting on the road at nine. After breakfast in Alamosa (nothing remarkable, sadly), the skies turned, and we inched along in whiteout conditions up and over La Veta Pass (La Veta Loca, as the hubster put it), adding two hours to our normal trip length. Luckily it was beautiful, and there was only one jerk on the road, so it was all good in the end. Life as it should be.

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