Spice of life

There are certainly days it is harder to see the glass half full. Days I’m moving, ever more so. That said, how lucky am I to have a brother and best friend willing to pitch in? A house full of new (to me) furniture to arrange? A guest room ready for friends? A greenhouse? The potential for chickens and a summer full of warm-off-the-vine tomatoes with pesto?

Today the glass is more than half full.



Light My Way

A little light on the situation

I’m moving this week. Again. To a house I absolutely love, which is a lot closer to the trailheads and mountains.

If you care to throw some good juju my way: the Golden City Council will be deciding June 7th if certain areas of town (including my new little homestead) can keep chickens. Keep those claws crossed, will you?

Sunny side up,


Hope Over Fear

While packing, I ran across a set of newspaper front pages I’ve kept over the years.

What a sad, crazy time this has been for our country and world, with the occasional burst of local pride:












The Joy of Youth


Hannah and I met when we were working at a bakery together last summer. At just 18, boy did this girl have a lot to teach me. Our friendship bloomed over watching muffins rise and fall in a faulty oven, scrubbing public toilets and trying to find the humor our otherwise exhausting situation. Thankfully, handfuls of generous tourists — mostly foreign — kept us in stitches, between making lattes and sandwiches, with their stories and observations of American life.

Working at that bakery taught me a bucketful about humanity. And that I never want to have to clean public toilets for an hourly wage again. Ever.

Hannah wisely began college last fall at a prestigious university. We kept in touch via email, with the occasional dinner when possible. As an only child, her eyes were wide open to campus life.

As an oldest child and the first to head off to college, oh — how I could relate. What’s resulted is a sweet friendship, never mind the decade-plus in between. A friendship I simply cherish. I find myself leaving our dinners thinking about the wisdom she’s shared. Her world view. Her faith. Her smarts.

A new friendship I very much cherish. Lucky to have Hannah in my life.


Fashionistas: Sole Mates

Oh Kara,

When you suggested this month we cover our favorite summer footwear, I jumped with glee. As my mother can tell you, I have always had “a thing for shoes and bags.”

So, you know. I’m a woman.

Since moving to Colorado, I have a new appreciate for footwear. There is no need for the winter pedicure and peek-a-boo conservative flat. Instead, my tootsies are bundled up in wool socks and boots, or my Ugg slippers, for months at a time. Come just about now, it’s time to break out the sandals. The flats. The shoes that don’t require socks but do require a new razor to show some leg.

Say it with me: YAHOOOO!

A few of my now “summer” shoe faves:

Fashionistas: May

Fashionistas: May

Birk flip flops, Giza style. I LOVE these. You know I don’t mind a good heel, but dating a man who is my same height means I have a new appreciation for flats too. I’ve got these in a couple colors and wear them with skirts and jeans.

Fashionistas: May

Tarjay heels. Thank you, thank you Target buyers for selling size 11s. You have made my wardrobe and pocketbook so very happy.

Fashionistas: May

Clark heels that were new when I bought them at a local thrift for $8. And oh, more Tarjay shoes. I love wild flats. With bright tops, black pants and a bunch of silver jewelry. I also wear these with maxi dresses, or with a-line dresses for work. They are comfy and add just enough color to be sassy.

Fashionistas: May

And of course, my very favorite summer sandal. Still love these. Still wear them whenever I get a chance. Wedge + espadrille = my favorite. That said, I’m about 6 foot a billion in these.

Fashionistas: May

Fashionistas: May

And let’s be honest. These are the summer kicks that get the most wear. A good pair of trail runners for the summer ahead in Colorado and I’m set.

Now, what are you wearing? Favorite place to find shoes?


This is a real thing.

Boulder Mall Poet

This sweet man, named Bill, works on the Pearl Street mall in Boulder. His profession? Poet by hire, of course. For a donation of your choice, you can give Bill a word or idea and he’ll carefully hunt and peck on his tiny typewriter until he’s got something worthy of reading.

Of course, before the reading he will take a digital photo of the poem (“for the children”), light a cigarette, and throw back his hair and shoulders. He will the recite his work to great applause.

(Fine. There were two of us, but he got 100% support from this crowd.)

If you see Bill, say hi. His poetry is rambling, and you may need to stand a few feet away from him to avoid the smell of his other favorite hobby — but it is worth the time. He’s an old hippie and a sweetheart just looking to express himself.

I’d share the poem I commissioned, but it wouldn’t do the experience justice. Instead, add Bill to the offbeat tourism list next time you’re in Colorado.



My friend Tina and I have been studying the Bible together for several years. We started when we both lived in the Scottsdale-area and have continued via Skype from Colorado and Georgia. Our (mostly) weekly study is a regular reminder Christians of all denominations can come together to discuss scripture.


By contrast: Tina is a godly woman. A woman who is respectful, graceful, conservative and wise. She doesn’t drink. Or say swears. She’s what my mama would call “a lady.”

Deviled Eggs

I’m lucky if I don’t swear like a sailor in the presence of clergy or children. (Just this weekend I just spilled a glass of wine on a picnic table in front of friends. A glass I’d traipsed across a very busy Scottsdale restaurant wearing 4-inch wedge heels and had yet to MOTHER F-ING TASTE. It was approximately 1000 degrees outside, my hair was flat and sweaty and I’d worked a 10 hour day. That (*&(*&(*&&^%&% cold wine was all I wanted. I managed to say as much through gritted teeth at voce alto before seeing tiny toddler ears at the next table. Ooof.)


I’m of the ever-so-flawed-variety of Christian. You know. Human.

Thankfully, my klassy demeanor doesn’t keep Tina from wanting to be my friend, although I do occasionally catch her wincing at those thoughtless times I take the Lord’s name in vain, or blog about a night of debauchery. She’s a great influence in my life for many, many reasons — one of those friends who makes me want to sit up a bit straighter.

We are currently studying the book of Acts. While in Oklahoma recently, I picked up a Bible study that happened to include a devotional on Acts 4:1-33. The scripture focuses on the power and importance of prayer. This ends with, “And a great Grace was upon them all.”

Organic eggs

I’ve heard attending church is the equivalent of being a member of a spiritual country club — one wrought with the same exclusionary snobbery of a collars up dress code. What the book of Acts is reminding me is a simple religious principle: our daily acts add up. We are all cracked. We get the chance with the dawning of a new day to make better choices than the day before. There is no exclusion in the forgiveness of Christ — regardless of your church attendance, vocabulary, sexual persuasion or compulsive need to share your life via the Internet. This life is one big test to see how loving and kind you can be.

Sometimes, those acts won’t be so patient. One might even describe some behavior as petulant and shitty.  (Like, this one friend I have who occasionally has road rage and swerves like a maniac in traffic with her middle finger proudly flashing through the sunroof at those ridiculously slow drivers in the fast lane.)

These are part of life too.

Whole lotta eggs

Safe to say I could use more grace. (My mama would love the opportunity to one day call me a lady.) Until then, I’ll just keeping hoping today’s acts are a bit kinder than those of yesterday. And that I keep the finger holstered.


Worth it.

Last week, I caught a ridiculously early flight to Phoenix, jumped in a rental car the size of a shoe, and was in Tucson by lunch to surprise this lovely lady for her 82nd birthday:


My Grandmother Maxine is one of my favorite people. It was completely, and totally worth the nonsense it took to get to her in time. Plus, I got to see a bunch of my family and catch up with that glaring ball of gas in the sky that made me sweaty for 48 hours straight.

Seriously, Arizona. I do not miss your heat this time of year.



Oh, AND I got to be there the next day to surprise this one for her birthday too:

Min and Jason

Thanks to stealth planning on the part of her husband Jason, we surprised Mini silly.

Bec and Matt

The girls

Might have been one of the best and most memorable weekends ever.


Web Love

I know I’ve mentioned more than once that I’m super lucky and blessed for having connected with so many like-minded women via the interwebs. Right? I mean — Zarah came to hang out a couple times in Phoenix and I’ll see her again this summer in Colorado.

Sarah, rocking the baby blanket

“Are those cactus real?”

Tina is my cross-country Bible study partner. While we spent considerable time together when we were both in Arizona, the friendship started long before and thankfully continues today.


Colleen will once again celebrate her birthday at the newly relocated Golden-based Heirloom Homestead later next month.

Colleen's visit

I have dreams of spending far too much time sipping margaritas with Sue and her gorgeous boys in San Diego at some point this summer.

Sue + Tau

Plus — there is Rachele and Jemima, who Nelson is in love with. They are great dog park friends and she is an amazing high altitude gardner. I love having someone who schedules meals around restaurants we can take our dogs to.

I had dinner with Lisa and her super sweet husband Jack last month. Lisa and I have chatted online for more than 8 years before finally meeting. It was like old friends falling into place.

Colleen's visit

And there is Oregon Colleen, who is a fellow novelist. She recently visited from Portland and we found ourselves giggling over plates of carnitas.

Colleen's visit

I met with a new friend in Boulder last week who is also passionate about public health. She’s a recent Colorado transplant from Washington DC. Alison kept saying how nice it was to find a place where people were willing to meet up over a cup of coffee from a Twitter invite.

I’ve also been so very lucky to find such a community of strong, smart women open to these friendships.

My many thanks, amigas.