1–10 of 19 entries from the month of: February 2011

Sarah + John (+ baby Colby)

February 28th

Sarah + John's wedding

Sarah + John's wedding

Sarah’s dad walking her down the aisle, holding her son (his grandson) brought tears to many eyes. The personal vows they recited, the windy and crisp weather, the large fountain babbling in the courtyard, the tiny lights on the trees, the fun cast of characters in the bridal party and the flower kids — it was a ceremony to remember. It was all simply perfect.

Sarah + John's wedding

Sarah + John's wedding

Sarah + John's wedding

Sarah + John's wedding

Sarah + John's wedding

Sarah + John's wedding

Sarah + John's wedding

Sarah + John's wedding

Sarah + John's wedding

So many people I love, in one room. And yes, there was a bit of dancing too.

Sarah + John's wedding

I cried too much, ate too little and laughed just enough. And there might have been a little wine.

It was such a fun evening and really, I could think of a better way to celebrate this new family.

~K

Posted in
Celebrate!
Comments (7)

Brown

February 26th

Hiking in South Mountain this weekend with a friend, there was little color. The desert is on the cusp of blossoming, but isn’t quite there yet. We had to find hue where we could:

South Mountain

South Mountain!

South Mountain

South Mountain

I am going to miss my desert, especially the smell after a hard rain, the saguaro blooms in May and the cactus wrens. It is such a harsh, strong, gorgeous landscape.

~K

Posted in
Arizona, Photography
Comments (2)

Green

February 25th

Do you ever wonder who are those people who get talked into infomercials? Or, say, the cute guy selling super blenders at Costco?

IMG_0263

Well.

IMG_0264

IMG_0278

IMG_0282

IMG_0280

Smoothies today, skinny tomorrow. It’s already working for my wallet.

~K

Posted in
Journal, Kitchen Talk
Comments (9)

Yellow

February 23rd

Sunflower seed harvest

“Hey! Maybe you’ll wake up with a bit of bravery tucked in your pocket tomorrow.”

Before brushing away to find the seeds

I spoke those words this week. Bravery doesn’t come easily.

I recently failed at being courageous when I woke up in the middle of the night in Malawi to an animal being attacked nearby. My heart raced as I lay under the mosquito net, the piercing cries of the house cat echoing in the otherwise quiet night. Was it a snake? A rabid dog? I thought the noise was coming from the veranda — pitch black in the African night. I threw back the net, and raced in my pajamas to help. Adrenaline fueled, I threw open the bedroom door to alert someone — Matt, his family, anyone asleep on the other side of the house — when I realized, in fact, the attack was not happening outside, but in the room I just entered.

The dark room.

The dark room with a very peculiar smell and an eeriness that made every inch of my body lurch. I spun back into my bedroom, slamming the door behind me. As soon as I was safely back within the light, with the door closed, the fight continued. The poor cat was fighting for her life in the adjoining dining room — but I didn’t know where the light switch was or how to get anyone’s attention on the other side of the house.

How did the attacker get into the dining room? Could it get in my bedroom?

And I knew one thing for certain — I was not brave enough to go into that dark room and save the cat.

Gorgeous blooms

I tucked my yellow belly back into bed,  shaking with fear and nerves — my terror of snakes running rampant. By the time the sun rose, I’d fallen back to sleep. I’d meant to stay awake until the moment I could rush to the other side of the house for help, but I crashed. By the time I got up and found Matt’s mom — she was entirely confused at my worry. She’d woken to an open kitchen window and a couple animal “accidents” on the dining room floor, but no blood.

And no cat.

It took a while for the house kitty to return, but she did. With tufts of her fur matted, she sauntered back into the living room one afternoon. I nearly cried with relief. I was convinced she’d gone into the jungle to die after I’d failed to save her from the mysterious boogieman. The little warrior had survived again, more than likely an attack from a village cat that had climbed in the kitchen window looking for a snack. Once I realized she was fine, it was me who left the room with my tail between my legs.

I always eye dare devils with suspicion, wondering if they actually like life. It must be easier to take sweeping risks when what you have isn’t so precious. My move to Colorado in April is about as brave as I’ve been in the last 10 years. It isn’t like moving to Cameroon to live in a village hut, but it is fully challenging my routine and comfort. I hope becoming a bit braver is just the first of many great changes.

~k

Posted in
Africa, Arizona, Good to Great, Journal
Comments (14)

White

February 21st

White February in AZ

Winter snow

Spring flowers

Summer clouds

Fall moon

The pieces of a big dream are carefully being placed. Drawers emptied. Purchased halted. Boxes taped. Newspapers saved. Zip codes researched. A fresh start.

It is going to be a very exciting week.

~K

Posted in
Journal
Comments (17)

Leeks Are Just Giant Fancy Green Onions, Right?

February 18th

BBQ Chicken Pizza w/ leeks

BBQ Chicken Pizza w/ leeks

BBQ Chicken Pizza w/ leeks

BBQ Chicken Pizza w/ leeks

BBQ Chicken Pizza w/ leeks

And that is how with one quick run to Costco, you “cook” BBQ chicken pizza at home. I probably could have ordered one from the local pizza shop and it would have been healthier, but wowza — this was good. Without green onions, I browned leeks, onions and garlic. With shredded rotisserie chicken and a bit of bbq sauce — heaven.

The crowd was pleased.

I’m looking forward to spending time in the sun this afternoon with the leftovers and a good book.

Winner, winner, BBQ chicken dinner.

~K

Posted in
Homebody, Kitchen Talk
Comments (5)

Books of 2011

February 17th

Bookcase at Cape MacLear

I’ve been reading like a machine lately. Too bad I can’t play jeopardy like a machine. I might be able to turn it into a side gig. The latest books to add to the 2011 list:

The Delta by Tony Park. This is a suspense military drama set in south western Africa. It starts with a failed assassination attempt in Zimbabwe that bleeds into drama on the Okavango Delta of Botswana and into Namibia. It was an easy, fun read that I particularly enjoyed because of the setting. Also, one of the main characters is American while the other is African. Their view points and conversations  — down to word choice — so often mimic the gaps between my Arizonan English vs. that of Matt’s Malawi. Calling me a “nugget” may be a term of endearment in Africa, but in the suburbs of Tempe it sounds a bit angry.

Other examples — a woman’s chassis is not located solely on her car. The greeting “happening” means “how is it going?” Coincidentally, “Howzit” also means “how is it going.”

It is a fun read, especially for anyone who is interested in Africa. Three out of five stars absoloodle.

The second book was a bit harder to muddle through, although it has received rave reviews. On Love by Alain de Botton is a creative approach at a fictional tale of a couple falling into and out of love. It is the full, sweet, insightful, and painful cycle of a relationship. Some of de Botton’s writing caught my breath — it was simply so spot on:

“To be loved by someone is to realize how much they share the same needs that lie at the heart of our own attraction to them. Albert Camus suggested that we fall in love with people because, from the outside, they look so whole, physically whole and emotionally “together,” when subjectively we feel dispersed and confused. We would not love itf there were no lack within us, but we are offended by the discovery of a similar lack in the other. Expecting to find the answer, we find only the duplicate of our own problem.”

Absoloodle. Three out of five stars.

Next up: Kavalier and Clay.

~K

Posted in
2011 Books, Media
Comments (2)

The Bambi Principle

February 16th

Sweet Colorado

I’m a bit fired up this morning on two unrelated topics:

1. Don’t mess with my friends, especially girls I love like family. You’ll regret it, and because I’ll lose sleep thinking of ways to make you regret it. (Most of which I’ll be too chicken to actually do, granted. All of which make me a much more interesting novelist. Revenge: making novels and suburban life more interesting since forever.)

2. Crazy lunatics are blaming Lara Logan for being sexually assaulted while working as a CBS reporter in Egypt. Seriously.

I am unsure why CBS reported she’d been assaulted. This alone goes against all journalism ethics of protecting the victim. And the idea that Logan should have known better makes me so furious I could spit nails. She was doing her job. A job that requires more courage than 99% of humanity has ever had to summon. Yes, she did so with blond hair and a pretty smile and intelligence and bravado. We — as a news hungry society — asked her to be there. To suggest anything otherwise is simply wrong and shameful.

My mom — like I’m guessing countless other American mothers — told us as kids “Remember in Bambi? Remember? What did they teach us?” To which we’d chime, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” This should be adapted for current day to read, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it. Unless it is giving you an ulcer. Then say it to friends at happy hour and laugh it out and feel better. And also, don’t steal. Lip gloss, boyfriends, content. Do not steal. Ever.”

This is the new Bambi Principle. NPR gets it. Don’t be a jerk. Don’t steal.

Simple, really.

~K

Posted in
Journal
Comments (11)

Baby Steps + Focus = Superwoman

February 15th

I promised a friend recently that I would do a month-long “cleanse.” This included eliminating caffeine, alcohol, dairy and wheat from my diet for a month. Why I even bother to say I will try to do these sorts of things is beyond me. Is it that am so delusional, I think I’m going to wake up with Superwoman discipline and will power?

I made it a day. And then “one splurge” turned into “one bad day” turned into “aw, hell. Forget it. ” One day. As in 27 days short of the challenge. (She even picked a short month.)

I’m a creature of habit and as much as I’d like to have the body of an Athleta model, it isn’t happening this week. Although I continue to kill myself at the gym and with my running group, and make small changes here and there.  Typically, when craving Mexican food — I round up a few willing bodies and head to Gallo Blanco or Macayo’s for a $40 sodium feast. Guacamole, margaritas, chips, salsa, huevos rancheros. Zero guilt. I had a hard day. I earned that meal. I deserved it.

Never mind I’d wake up the next morning sick to my stomach, bloated and grumpy for my run. Like clockwork. If this were food math: night of splurging on Mexican food + margaritas = discomfort/bloating/misery. If this were my reasoning math: just because it happened the last 50 times  ≠ tomorrow I’ll feel gross.

Not surprisingly, math was never my strong subject. But fueled by a broken promise and a bit of shame,  I’m making compromises. Such as veggie tostadas on toasted flatbread with a glass of wine. Portion control, fresh veggies in lieu of chips, no salted rims. Still zero guilt. I still deserved it. And no stomach ache or regret the next day. (Who knew?)

This recipe is so yummy, simple and easy — you just need to the photos to follow along:

Healthy Veggie Tostadas

Healthy Veggie Tostadas

Healthy Veggie Tostadas

Healthy Veggie Tostadas

Healthy Veggie Tostadas

Healthy Veggie Tostadas

Healthy Veggie Tostadas

Healthy Veggie Tostadas

Healthy Veggie Tostadas

Healthy Veggie Tostadas

Ole!

~K

Posted in
Domestic Art, Homebody, Kitchen Talk
Comments (10)

Be Loved, Beloved

February 14th

{Entry 7: A week of love.}

Valentine's Mix

Cardamom Brownies

Those brownies were made it bitter chocolate. Not bitter sweet. Come on. It’s funny.

I rarely think so much before posting, but here is a little glimpse into the other side of my brain. The side that doesn’t always want to celebrate others. The side that is selfish and pathetic and 100% human.

I have a friend who regularly signs her email, “know you are beloved.” Fundamentally, I do know I’m beloved. My God, parents and many, many friends hold me close to their hearts. I love many in return.

But I’ve got to tell you — for all of my baking, CD-mixing and licking of Valentine envelopes — for the countless times I’ve defended this holiday to the masses as a time to rejoice with candy hearts — I’m over it.

I’m over being the third wheel. I’m certainly over hearing people saying things like “I worry about you being the old lady who will be all alone.” (Seriously.) Or, with the best of intentions, “You won’t be alone. I’ll help you kidnap some kids.”  Oh, the things people say. I will never be the kidnapping cat lady, but thanks.

It’s funny and it’s painful. Most days, I am the first to poke at myself with incredibly self-deprecating humor about my horrible luck in dating. But today, I’m simply glad tomorrow is February 15th. Because love? You lift me up, fill my sails with hope and vigor, and then vanish just as quickly.

And really, babies with bows and arrows is a pretty dumb idea anyway.

Happy Valentine’s Day, friends. May you see the sweet side of this day!

~K

Posted in
Journal
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