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Our nephew Tyler, that’s him up yonder, has a deep knowledge of and fascination with mines and mining, well at least of the hard rock underground variety. An open pit or the environmental calamity of blasting a mountain top off are definitely not his jam. If I recall correctly, it all started with the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and their underground lair. Pretty cool, when you think about it – there’s a whole world under there.

So, logic follows that we would some day visit the Western Museum of Mining and Industry here in Colorado Springs together. It’s located a short distance from I-25, with excellent signage, but it still took us eight years to get there! But, hey, we did it. It was a next level experience to wander about in the presence of an expert and to watch Tyler’s face light up. Like when he saw a diorama of the Comstock in California and named it before even looking at the signage. Or his astonishment at having equipment he’d only previously read about or seen rusted and decaying in some out of the way mining town in the high country looking quite regal and fully operational.

If you have any interest in mining, and especially if you know someone who does, I highly recommend a visit. You might even spy a hawk in the parking lot! The museum does an exceptional job of creating experiences that mimic the look and feel of going underground, which offered an excellent connection to my Grandpa George, who was a coal miner in Springfield, Illinois, from the late 1800s until his death (from Black Lung) in 1945. They also have some really cool displays and videos of past and present mining technology. The rocks, like the fluorescents above, were a nice surprise, too. What a meaningful day for us!



Hello, and happy last Saturday! Greg and I went to James Turrell’s Skyspace, a permanent art exhibit in Green Mountain Falls that celebrates light in a wildly clever exploration of contrasts.

The giant box is made almost entirely of local materials and perched high above the town. If you are not strong of lungs or legs and would like to visit, I highly recommend the ATV escort to the top. Greg and I walked and were quite out of breath by the time we reached the space. I also recommend warm clothes in winter, as it is unheated.

Skyspace is essentially a large box open to the sky, note the faint clouds in the last photo above, where different LED lights are projected, creating wild color combinations. In fine weather, which we had, it remains open to the elements, a flurry of leaves, a bird on the wing, all part of the experience. In poor weather, the roof is retracted, and there is an LED show that closely mimics the wide open.

Part of the “miracle” of the experience is the precision with which the square is made. It makes the viewer’s eye believe it is a flat, seamless, plane, not a box, open to the sky.

The seating is perfectly sloped, so the eyes may gaze upward uninhibited.

This, and the photos before it, represent two light changes before the show started. Taking photos during the experience is firmly frowned upon, but let me assure you, it is quite exhilarating and unexpected.

The show begins at sunset, and if the weather is fine, last about 45 minutes, 20 minutes when poor. These are the visible stars upon the conclusion.

And this, the interior as viewed from the exterior, a portal to an amazing world!

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Hello! After some strange glitch in photo sizing that ultimately deleted half of the post, I am starting from scratch. Apologies to those on the mail list for multiple notifications.

A day trip to Victor! We were too early for any leaf peeping, but right on time for a fun day of Steam Punk regalia.

Her socks!

Many of the costumes we saw that day were handmade, like the lovely leaf cape, and all just spectacularly wonderful. Steam Punk is very easy on the eyes!

Also easy on the eyes were the fabulous assortment of tattoos. I shall never tire of the individuality and artistry on display. Kudos to have a vision and meeting the right person to make it come to fruition.

We had a fun wander, gawping at costumes, jewelry, and art, even buying a couple as gifts. We also enjoyed a hearty lunch at the Side Door and kettle corn from a street vendor. Our bellies were full and our hearts happy on such a spectacularly beautiful day!

Southwest to the Wet Mountains and the Sangre de Christos

West to the Collegiate Peaks

Pike’s Peak – the dot on top is the new visitor’s center

Also Pike’s Peak – the mountain of many guises!

Now for some good news and bad news. First the bad, that way we end sweetly. On the day of our Victor ramble, I got a scratchy throat. Greg had been experiencing a tender tummy for a few days. The following day, I got a fever. Since we had COVID tests on hand, we took them. It was a resounding yes. The shock. The horror. After all our good care and vaccinations. Boo.

I am also pretty astonished by the very different responses our bodies have had to the virus. My fever only lasted a day, but I’ve had a horrible headache and insomnia ever since, any night with more than four hours rest is a triumph. Greg had a fever for five days and has been coughing so very much, but blessedly, he’s like one of those baby dolls who immediate falls asleep when given a gentle lie down. It’s been nine days, and honestly, there seems to be no end in sight. Say a little prayer for us.

Now for the good news. My surgical incisions are healing nicely, and the very ugly bruises are all gone. While I will not be able to do a proper stretch, weight lift, or normal exercise routine for another few weeks, I am no longer in any pain. Where my back was plagued by my lazy gallbladder is flesh without discomfort. It had been so very long. I can also eat like a normal person without worry – after 4 p.m., even fatty foods. Hooray!


Happy Wednesday dear reader! How are you? Are you feeling refreshed this new year? Greg and I are knee-deep in our diet reset and feeling quite good.

The first three photos are evidence of our year-end dietary wonders. First is a seafood lasagna, recipe from Inspired by Charm (Hello Pittsburgh!), which served as our fabulous Christmas dinner. We swapped the noodles with thin sliced butternut squash, and it still felt quite indulgent. It also made for spectacular leftovers! I hadn’t made pumpkin bread for ages and did a fine job of it. Pizza on a very cold day when the indoor oven would not stifle the house was the tops. Absolutely!

The weather is winter-still, icy cold. Dog walks are bundled in the thin warmth of afternoon or not at all, poor Juniper. Though she minds less when we are prompt with morning and afternoon snacks. Our girl remains food motivated.

The dazzle of moonlight was New Year’s Eve. 100 years of AdAmAn meant our sleepy souls didn’t have to wait until midnight for Pike’s Peak fireworks, but got a little preview at nine p.m. Yay! It was a bit too cloudy for much of a show, but we enjoyed a neighborly chat with a woman and her grandchildren in the church lot while we watched and waited. Hooray for childhood and human connection.

Good Monday to you, dear reader, and Happy 2023! What plans have you for the year ahead? We are, as is our usual, doing a little eating reset for the month of January, which means NO: sugar, dairy, alcohol, or wheat, and limited grains. It is so easy to go bananas with fun foods at the end of the year, and by the time January arrives, I am quite ready to change it up.

The winter geese have arrived from Canada! Why is it, when there is sun and much greater warmth elsewhere, do they circle and honk in our neck of the woods?

We had our second snow in a week, delight of delights. Juniper Beulah, no surprise, has been reveling in the cold-soft wonder.

We are forging ahead with our Taos build, now in the process of choosing an architect to bring my design to life. Out of a strong desire to minimize the environmental footprint, we have already decided on a passive style, pre-fab house for a couple reasons. First, to keep building waste to a minimum, as pre-fab construction generally creates 80% less waste. Astonishing. Second, passive style houses also use minimal inputs for heating and cooling since the walls are super substantial and densely insulated. For us, this will probably mean 16″ thick. Imagine the bonus quiet, too!! We’ll have a wood burning stove for winter heat and fans for summer cooling. The best description I ever read is you pay for the majority of your needs for comfort in advance, by creating a tight envelope and orienting structures toward the sun. Speaking of sun, we will have solar panels and residential sized wind turbines, as we work to be as off-grid as possible. We will also collect all of our rooftop water and hope to use our well only in emergencies. It’s a plan, peeps, most definitely.

As you can imagine, I am often kept up at night, adrift in a sea of ideas: grey water irrigation, flooring, color, furniture, tile, light fixtures, counter tops, plumbing, plants, trees, oh my!

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