11–19 of 19 entries from the month of: July 2011


July 19th


So, apparently I’m the only woman who doesn’t own a dirndl. In all fairness, I didn’t even know the word dirndl until last week, when I happened to mention to my friend Sheila (who is German) that Finny (who is not German)  loves a trip around the world to wear a costume and drink beer from a 1/2 gallon glass.

the boot!

German Fest

Finny is in town this weekend? WELL! It is the German beer fest weekend!

Commence a flurry of coordination of tight, Bavarian bodices and that brings us to Saturday afternoon where my friends wore the most amazing clothing to a rather fun gathering of folks who love to polka.

Sweet German couple

Sheila + R, dancing!

and eat:

German fest

German fest food

German fest

German fest


I’m not sure what is better: a festival focused on delicious carbs and goofy dancing, or having two girlfriends who were giddy at the thought of throwing on a costume to attend.

Winner winner, brats for dinner.



Posted in
Celebrate!, Colorado
Comments (4)

The Finny!

July 18th

Finny’s visit was all things good: company, adventure, relaxation, laughter, food and plenty of nonsense. There are so few friendships that leave me as fulfilled. I couldn’t be luckier to have this girl, and all of her profane hilarity and tendencies toward shenanigans, in my life.




It was a weekend of nonstop activity + costumes: drinks at Linger, with the best view of the city’s skyline; long walks with the dogs and a hike in El Dorado state park; a baseball game in which the Rockies lost after a valiant effort; a German beer festival where Finny and Sheila both wore dirndls (post to come); a tour of a friend’s garden and bee hives (when Finny wore the crazy suit) and nonstop chatter. We could talk the paint off walls.

I’ve got several posts on deck to honor the sheer mass of photos taken; in the meantime, time to prep for another wave of great friends arriving this week. Someone must have let the secret out of the bag. Denver? Well it’s kinda heaven in the summer.


Posted in
Colorado, Happy Hippie, Heirloom Homestead, Hostess
Comments (4)

It’s On

July 15th

I have gin and tonic sitting on my guest bed, which can only mean one thing: Finny’s coming for a visit. It is once again time for the Finny/Donk annual weekend of hijinks and cocktails. (Year 5!)

And if history has anything to say about it:


on the gorge

Santa Fe

SDonk and Fin take on Portland


Girls at Old Faithful


The Fin and the Donk

Sun Valley

Dorks, hiking

Jessica and Shell ham it up

Andy + Jess

The Finny

These fit

It’s going to be a weekend to remember.



Posted in
Arizona, Colorado
Comments (7)

Community: Food and Social Justice

July 13th

{Part of an on-going series on Community. Read more here.}

Chocolate baking scones

Community is a buzz word. Get a liberal in the White House and everyone starts talking about how “it takes a village.” I know, I know. You’ll be shocked to hear my all-loving liberal heart agrees.

Have you spent time with a child lately? Like a really little, totally needy child? A village doesn’t adequately describe the help needed to keep our young alive. Think of the farmer who grows the veggies, or the checker who rings up those veggies, or the pediatrician who makes sure that child doesn’t die of some weird carrot flu. Now, get more practical: the nurse who helped deliver the kid. The community health worker who put together the lactation campaign that taught the mom how to breast feed. The $8 an hour child care worker who eventually will watch the kid take his first step and nurture him to keep going when the second step lands him flat on his butt. “It takes a village” isn’t liberal commie code for “We are socialists! We should raise our babies together in yurts!” It means community is important to our fundamental well-being.

I’d say it takes a village to create a well-rounded adult, not just a child. (An example otherwise.)

Ginger cake

Community for me often involves food. Perhaps it is my United Methodist roots — those which run deep in casserole-to-celebrate-everything-soil — or that I’ve been able to travel just enough to be truly bothered by hunger. For me, being in community with someone often includes breaking of bread.

Or baking of ginger cakes and orange chocolate scones. Or hosting a community dinner. Or swapping recipes with your neighbor over the back fence. It seems no two people have the exact same view on faith, life, money, sex or politics. But food? We all love food. Perhaps not the same foods — but we can agree that eating a couple times of day? Well, it’s a nice thing to do.

Ginger cake

I listened to this podcast this weekend, as I do most weekends, walking around a lake with Nelson. I wasn’t just shocked by the story of children living in poverty in America. I was hurt. I am hurt. All the patriotic baloney I’ve swallowed over the years sat in the back of my throat as I listened to kids talk about how living in a sketchy motel is “better than the car. Anything is better than living in the car.”

Kids living in cars? I’m not so far removed from the daily grind to think this isn’t happening in America. But 25% of kids are living in poverty? One fourth of our children must miss at least one meal a day because of scarcity?

Aren’t we the nation of Neil Armstrong and Lance Armstrong? We put men on the moon. We cure cancer. We can’t feed our own people? What is going on here, America?

I don’t have any answers. But! I do have a couple of ideas and boundless optimism. To create community is to share with each other. It’s to give, sometimes until it hurts, and to be willing to listen to the same degree. It’s to gather up those around you — in your neighborhood, or say, on your blog — and suggest we have some serious sharing, listening and learning to do. Our country is fractured. We have the choice to sit around and complain about the current state of affairs, or pour our hearts into something that could wrap that break and help it heal to become even stronger.

Chocolate orange scones

Nutrition, hunger and community health are my public health passions. Putting these to work in my new community will involve:

  • finding a food bank where I can volunteer
  • understanding the local gleaning system and see how I can get involved
  • talking about hunger with my friends and family
  • and perhaps more practically, creating a bag of snacks I can give to the growing number of unemployed I see on our city corners

This is what you can do:

  • Define community. What does this word mean to you?
  • Where do you see hunger in your community?
  • What are you passionate about?
  • Listen to this podcast

The greatest social movements start with a few boneheaded, optimistic loud mouths willing to give and listen until it hurts. I don’t want to live in a country where so many of our children are hungry from lack of adequate community building. (Because let’s face it, this isn’t about a shortage of food in America. It’s about power.) Wielding my tiny power and my loud mouth — I’m in. Are you?


Posted in
Colorado, Community, Public Health
Comments (9)

Babies, Babies, BABIES!

July 13th

Baby blankets

New Orleans baby

Baby L



Falling back to my classic baby gifts: minky backed blankets and personalized onesies. Easy to create, fun to sew and a pleasure to send to new parents.


Posted in
Celebrate!, handmade, Happy Hippie, Heirloom Homestead
Comments (3)


July 11th

First bath

The great mystery of why the hardwood floors are always gritty was solved when I put Mr. Nelson in the tub this weekend for his first bath.

He doesn’t shed. And rumor has it that he’s hypoallergenic. Both awesome. He’s also, apparently, secretly a Swiffer. The boy had dirt hidden on him like a prisoner at Shawshank.

Happy dog

I have a feeling this boy will love to swim when given the chance. He loved the water.


Posted in
Comments (15)


July 5th


Stepping away for a bit.

Be well, friends.


Posted in
Heirloom Homestead
Comments (11)

Beet the Heat

July 5th

Bubbly sangria

table view

I had dinner at Salt in Boulder on Saturday. The food was excellent — but again, truly the experience was made by the service. The bartenders in the downstairs cellar bar were hilariously sweet. The waitress at our patio dinner table was exceptional. The food was pretty good.


High: chilled yellow beet soup


Low: bone marrow. Two words: NEVER AGAIN. I would love to describe exactly what this mouthful of gelatinous goo tasted like, but I’ll let you imagine. I can’t believe for all the culinary hype this  — THIS — is what marrow tastes like.

The soup was actually so good, we tried to recreate it at home the next night, along with a fancy salt encrusted roasted rainbow trout. (A gift from my lovely neighbor/fisherman Clyde.)

Golden beets

Roast the beets

Roasted beets ready for blender

Chilled Beet Soup:

5-6 golden beets

2 tablespoons olive oil

dash of tumeric

dash of garlic salt

dash of pepper

Cup of chicken stock

Cup of cream or full fat plain yogurt

sprig of dill for garnish

Dice beets (and peel! We did not do this and the soup was bitter.), drizzle with oil. Roast at 350 for 60 minutes. Place in blender with stock. Pulse until smooth. Mix in desired amount of cream and top with dill. Chill until ready to be served.

cold beet soup

Salt Encrusted Rainbow Trout:

Rainbow trout ready for prep

salt encrusted trout

salt encrusted trout

salt encrusted trout

One trout, cleaned

3 cups kosher salt, mixed with 3 egg whites

Stuff cavity of fish with desired spices (we used thyme and dill). Lather fish with salt/egg mixture. (More on that method here.) Roast at 400 for 30 minutes. Salt layer will crack off leaving a delightfully moist fish.

roasted trout

A delightfully earthy and cool dinner to sip and enjoy on the patio on a warm, summer night.* (Nelson loved the fish most.)


*to be noted, 5-6 beets makes a LOT of soup and this isn’t so good the next day. If cooking for 2, use 3 beets and cut the time back to 30 minutes of roasting.

** also to be noted, gardens love macerated fish heads and guts if you can bring yourself to run them through the blender with some warm water. This might attract other animals, however.


Posted in
Colorado, Kitchen Talk
Comments (3)


July 2nd

Julia Blackbird's

My friends in Phoenix are melting. And, surprise, surprise, nary a soul is happy to hear I’m blogging from my patio, in the shade, sipping a milkshake with the world’s cutest dog at my feet. I’m a wee bit smug pleased this is the first summer I can say I intentionally wanted to be out of the heat at made it happen. Although as far as the weather karma goes, I’m keenly aware this also means I’m going to be begging for Scottsdale guest rooms come winter. White stuff is rumored to fall from the sky, stick and make doing all the incredibly fun things I’ve been doing fairly difficult. I’m considering becoming a nomad.

Julia Blackbird's

I honestly am spending 90% of time my time outside this summer, without a sunburn, outside of a pool and even on occasion wearing jeans and scarves. Together. In the summer. JEANS AND SCARVES.

Julia Blackbird's

A bit of my leathery tanned Arizona heart leapt just reading that.

In other news, I’ve visited some great restaurants in the area lately with friends in town. Julia Blackbird’s is New Mexican cuisine in the Highlands neighborhood. The green chile is fantastic and the patio is delightful. Lots of shade, flowers and of course, the guacamole and tequila aren’t too bad either. It is reasonably priced, quality food with a relaxing and pretty environment.

Julia Blackbird's

Delite is a retro bar off Broadway and the perfect place to grab a pre-dinner drink. Next door to Beatrice + Woodsley, we people watched and enjoyed reading the creative list of cocktails. Be wary; the bartender is far too generous. By the time we took our seats at B+W, I needed food. Pronto.


Woah Nelly

Thankfully, I’d come to the right place. Beatrice + Woodsley is like walking into a fairytale. The wine is served with Alice and Wonderland inspired tags. There are giant aspen trees inside, with gauzy mosquito netting between tables glowing from hurricane lamps and candles. It is romantic and a bit dreamy.

Alice and Wonderland wine

Purple potatoes and turnips

peach pork

guinea fowl

The food was a wash. Some plates were excellent, others were simply not. It’s a little pricey for such inconsistency; next time I’ll likely have an appetizer and skip the rest.

Today I had lunch at Zoka’s in Pine, Colorado. If you are visiting me this summer — we are going here for lunch. The drive from Denver is about an hour into the mountains and couldn’t be lovelier. Zoka’s has a huge porch, with dog tie up stations at each table and the waiter gladly brought a bowl of water. The food was great, the scenery was unbelievably gorgeous and the outing was the perfect time away from the city.

Lucky, spoiled and happy to be living without an air conditioner,


Posted in
Colorado, Journal, Kitchen Talk
Comments (6)