1–10 of 17 entries from the month of: August 2012

Ounces and Pounds and Booyahs

August 30th

Finny recommends buying a good kitchen scale to see just exactly what you are getting out of your garden vs. the money you put in.

Kitchen scale

Of course this system doesn’t equate time spent tilling, weeding, watering and even praying bees have an orgy in your garden — but hey. It does give you some solid numbers on what you are “producing.”

Kitchen scale

The girl has figured this stuff out to a science. Why not add one more fun kitchen tool to the mix? I’ll give my end of summer numbers when the first frost hits. Otherwise, I’m on the hunt for some Fall seeds before it gets too cold. I’m thinking onions, cabbage, broccoli, beets, carrots and maybe even some rhubarb. I’m definitely learning a ton this year on how gardens work in Colorado — and how they don’t. I’m excited to have a greenhouse to put to use this winter. We’ll see if my winter crops make it to the new scale.

Kitchen scale

In the meantime, there is a dentist office in town with a giant crab apple tree over flowing. I’ve become a wee bit obsessed with harvesting free fruit and putting it to use. I made the French apple cake out of the September/October 2012 Cooks Illustrated this weekend, and topped it with stewed brandied apples.

French Apple Cake

It was fantastic. I can’t wait to make it again. (Although I had a really hard time getting it out of the pan, so it doesn’t look as pretty as it tasted. Don’t you hate it when that happens?) I think I’ll add some of those peach preserves next time.

A win for local eating, and my belly.

~K

Posted in
Flora and Fauna, Heirloom Homestead, June Cleaver, Kitchen Talk
Comments (5)

Sisters in Spirit: All Aboard the Love Train

August 28th

Sisters in Spirit is a series of blog posts by a group of women who felt that a spiritual perspective was lacking from the steady stream of news and information that flowed through their daily lives.  They each agreed to carve out a space on their blogs on a monthly basis for a spiritual conversation. 

The topic this month is: the Christian community.

community dinner april 084

 Oh, Christians. We need a new marketing/PR team. Our worst examples are getting the most attention, and what a fool they make of all of us.

You won’t read in the news of the team of Christian volunteers in downtown Denver who work their fingers to the bone every day, packing as many food boxes for the hungry as they can. The line wraps around the block most mornings.

We are too busy defining rape.

You won’t see a Time feature on the Christian nonprofit in Colorado whose mission is to repurpose used medical equipment that would otherwise be destroyed. They see these instruments are delivered to hospitals in need worldwide.  They save lives, not by evangelizing, but by doing good deeds.

We are too busy debating our own needs.

There likely won’t be a documentary on the team of Christian women in the US who’ve decided to make it their priority to adopt children with HIV. Because someone needs to be the advocate for the least of these – and at the expense of their own great heartbreak, they’ve taken on the task.

We are too busy being violent.

Tools of the trade

My community in Christ isn’t an exclusive club. There are no monthly fees or restrictions. I take my direction from the top:

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another.  By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” — John 13:34-35

As long as our community of faith continues to act superior and exclusive, we will fail the ultimate commandment — be loving. And while on this soap box, this means be loving to homosexuals. To felons. To the cranky neighbor who plays his music too loudly. To the uncle who makes you question your genes.  To Dick Cheney. (God obviously has a sense of humor.) To modern day literal and figurative prostitutes, lepers and widows. To your personal Pharisees.

{And to be clear, Jesus didn’t say be tolerant or condescending. He said be LOVING. Shake it up. We all have groups we aren’t so loving to. You’ve got the internal tools to follow this commandment. Now is the time to get on the love train. Yeah. Even Akin, who I’d like to legitimately punch in the face with some love this week.}

God is love. This is my faith. The world is my community. There is a lot of work to do.

~Kelli

 

I hope you continue this conversation by reading and commenting other perspectives on Christianity with my other Sisters in Spirit. Become part of the conversation:

Rebekah is a blogger, amateur photographer, and missions volunteer with Adventures in Missions. A lifetime of being a pastor’s kid, attending church regularly, and a private Christian school education gave her a lot of knowledge about the nuances of theology without a lot of faith. Now she’s trying to figure out how faith and theology applies to her relationships and daily life. You can find her online at www.honeysucklelife.com

Sarah is municipal attorney, mom to a toddler boy, and United Methodist’s pastor’s wife.  (She does not play the organ.)  She is a life-long Missouri girl with a heart for hospitality and social justice.  Sarah enjoys cooking, running, knitting and embroidery, reading, and playing in the sprinkler.  Sarah blogs at www.beautyschooldropout.net 

Bianca is a newlywed Navy wife from the great state of Texas (where she coincidentally currently resides), and she and her husband are expecting their first child in late summer. She has a passion for serving others, asking hard questions and sharing The Gospel with both her words and actions. Bianca loves Jesus, her hubs, authentic friendships, traveling, making lists of all kinds, and trying new recipes which she blogs about on BecomingBianca.com.  

 

Posted in
Faith, Journal
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More Cowbell, Baby

August 27th

USA Pro Cycling Challenge

I tweeted last week that I wish I’d been excited about the “GIANT AMAZING BIKE RIDE COMING THROUGH GOLDEN!” Snooze. I just didn’t care. There had been signs up for weeks notifying residents of street closures and my small town was prepping heavily for an onslaught of visitors. Bands played in the parks. Shops downtown were lined with bike-related t-shirts and other touristy finds. The few open streets were full of drivers making haphazard u-turns.

I shook my fist at the sky. Go home, tourists! Go home!

(Who am I? An 80 year old man?)

USA Pro Cycling Challenge

I’m not a cyclist. I own bikes. I occasionally ride them. I often guilt trip myself for not being on them more. And oh, I fall off of them too. (Surprise, surprise.) But with guests in town* and most of the streets closed, it made sense to at least wander to the end of my street to see the dudes in spandex fly by. My friend Sheila invited many of the neighbors over for breakfast. With champagne in hand, we wandered down to watch the race.

USA Pro Cycling Challenge

Sheila, of course, was on fire. She’s a rabid cycling fan, to say the least, and a former national competitor. She was, one might say, all too pleased/smug when at the first flash of neon jerseys I had a huge smile on my face.

USA Pro Cycling Challenge

While our view of this stage was over in a moment, it was really fun to watch. She was right. And I’m not sure there is a better example of extreme athleticism than dudes who climb 10,000 feet mountains on bikes, when frankly it makes most of us light headed to do so in cars.

Yet another incredible Colorado experience!

~K

USA Pro Cycling Challenge

USA Pro Cycling Challenge

*It was pretty fantastic to have the Tuckers in town with such entertainment. We sat on my patio Saturday night having dinner and watched unexpectedly as a huge firework show happened in downtown Golden. I was like, “See? Do you see the lengths I go to for my guests?!” We all giggled. Love that family. Very thankful they decided to spend their vacation with me. It was all too hilarious to hear their adorable son Liam walk around the house parroting, “Nelson, No!”

Posted in
Colorado, Community
Comments (3)

Late Summer Surprise

August 24th

 

Hannah

Hannah

Stacey

Stacey

Stacey

Envelope clutch with fabric from the stash :: late summer surprises for Hannah and Stacey

~K

Posted in
CAOK, Handmade goods, Happy Hippie
Comments (4)

We be Jammin’

August 23rd

Palisade peaches are in season. Last September, during a visit my Dad said, “That is the best piece of fruit I’ve ever eaten!” He’s mentioned it several times since.

Peaches, people. My quiet father is still talking about peaches nearly a year later.

I’ve watched all summer as people stand in line at the local farmer’s market to pay $40 for a box of these golden beauties. My dad knows his fruit.

Peach jam

Peach jam

Peach jam

Peach Jam

What’s the best way to send your father in Texas peaches from Colorado? Booyah.

Peach Jam

Adding to the pantry shelves:

  • 2 quarts halved peaches
  • 7 jars stewed peaches
  • 7 jars peach jam

It is fun to watch this little pantry grow, holding on to the flavors of summer. I am dreaming of putting together beautiful baskets for Christmas with a variety of jams, pickles and sauces I’ve put up from the garden and market. One of these days I’ll get jam to set up properly! These are still a bit liquid-y. (Finny says it takes a lot of patience and practice. Gah.)

 

~K

Posted in
Colorado, Happy Hippie, Heirloom Homestead, June Cleaver, Kitchen Talk
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Silver & Gold

August 22nd

Rebecca's visit

Rebecca came for a visit last week, and just in time. I sent an email several weeks ago to a handful of girlfriends saying I was struggling and the normal pick-me-ups (exercise, limited alcohol, prayer, time outside) weren’t doing the trick. My physician, rushed and unwilling to really talk, suggested I see a therapist.

Rebecca told me to hold my horses. She’d be there soon.

Rebecca's visit

She wasn’t off the plane 2 hours and we were laughing so hard, we were crying. Literally. The scene played a bit like this: warm summer day, patio at a new restaurant, young, very attractive waiter named “Dewey.” Rebecca orders the “Ron Burgundy” wine flight, which prompts my immediate response of, “San Diago, the German word for whale’s vagina.” 

Crickets could be heard two blocks away.

Dewey squirmed, rightfully uncomfortable at hearing the word “vagina” during an otherwise peaceful ad polite lunch shift. Rebecca stared at her lap, debating whether to kick me or just take a cab immediately back to the airport.

Once he scattered off, getting through the rest of our order, Rebecca through a bout of hysterical laughter and tears said, “Is this how it works for you?”

Rebecca's visit

Yeah. This is exactly how it works for me. To know me is to know I’m ridiculous. I buy doggles for my dog. I recite ridiculous movie lines. I can’t budget or lose weight to save my life, but I love to beat myself up publicly for it, setting loud, obnoxious goals I regularly miss.

I typically misbehave at weddings. 

I’ve long since passed the point in my life when I care if others think I’m odd. I AM ODD. I get it, accept it, and baby — I’m reveling in it.

Rebecca's visit

Also during this trip, we spent time with Rebecca’s niece and nephew, who are in elementary school. At one point in the afternoon, I convinced them my middle name was Beyonce, telling them it was the name I preferred to be called. Again, hysterics ensued. Imagine us walking into a pizzeria with two small children calling after me, “Beyonce! Can we have lunch now?” Forks dropped.

I’ve since taken to referring to myself (signing off on email) to this family as Beyonce. I’m not sure anything has made me laugh harder.

Rebecca's visit

As a girl scout, we sang the silver and gold friendship song. Truer words have never been sung (off tune, at a camp funded on the backs of cookie salesgirls.) Rebecca is one of those who has seen my ugliest, but is still willing to leave behind her young family for a weekend to shake me out of it. And she did. With long walks, cooking, movies and hours of celebrity gossip.

Our friendship is like a stack of waffles covered in peanut butter — I’m home.

I said to her 30 times during her visit how much better I felt since her arrival. This heavy tension between my shoulders fell away; I slept better (and more) than I have in weeks. And of course, the laughter didn’t hurt either.

Golden, this friendship.

~K

(aka: Beyonce)

(P.S. Dewey didn’t ask for my number. I know. You are shocked.)

Posted in
Colorado, Happy Hippie, Journal
Comments (9)

Fashionistas: Red

August 21st

Kara,

Well, I find it nothing short of hilarious I am posting after reading your monthly essay on fashion. And we pretty much did the exact same thing. After agreeing this month’s fashion post would focus on red, what did we both choose to feature?

Red jeans.

Oh, mama. I love me these pants. I bought them last week for a pittance and I am going back to the same big box store to buy them in other colors (purple, olive.)* That said? These red pants make me feel stylishly funky. And they are so versatile! All women should have a flattering pair of red pants. Your random shoe collection will appreciate being flaunted too:

Sassy summer:

La Fashionista: Red

Sassy fall:

La Fashionista: Red

Sassy cowgirl:

La Fashionista: Red

Sassy hippie:

La Fashionista: Red

The other red item of my wardrobe I absolutely adore is this red coat. It cost a small fortune last year, but I waited for some holiday weekend sale and nabbed it 40% off. Love. I will be living in this thing come fall and winter:

La Fashionista: Red

Another reason red is one of my favorite colors? We are in the middle of a great tomato season at the Heirloom Homestead. Little ones, big ones, red ones, green ones. Salsa. Marinara. Bloody Mary’s. Pizza.

La Fashionista: Red

A few other shots of red from around la casita:

La Fashionista: Red

La Fashionista: Red

La Fashionista: Red

Yeah. That’s Nelson. Worst. Haircut. Ever. I was, wait for it, seeing red.

Next month’s theme?

Much love to you!

~K

*Yes. The red pair of pants that cost me $15 are my new favorites. This is the Murphy’s law of fashion. It’s the random cheap things you pick up that you fall in love with, while those expensive designer jeans that make your leg itch/ pair of designer heels that make you limp for days after/ handbag that cost a fortune but doesn’t have a single functional pocket? Yeah.

Posted in
Style
Comments (12)

Hugo

August 20th

My friend Hugo’s birthday was last week; he rides his bike to work and just about everywhere in Phoenix — even in August. In a tie. Because apparently he has super powers.

When I saw him at Christmas, he mentioned someone had stolen the panniers off of his ride a few weeks back. It took longer than expected, but I whipped up my pattern from this book:

Panniers

Panniers

to make a new set of panniers for mi amigo. 

Panniers

Panniers

Panniers

Panniers

Goofy, a bit of African fabric, and totally homemade — but hey. At least now he’s got a bit of help on his ride. (And it was only mildly fulfilling to successfully craft a gift for a man. Other than beanies, and sometimes even beanies, most gifts are well-intentioned flops.)

~K

Posted in
CAOK, Domestic Art, Happy Hippie, Heirloom Homestead
Comments (4)

How You Like Them Apples?

August 15th

Remember how I said the apple trees in the neighborhood were going crazy? Thanks to Roman law, I ended up with about 25 pounds of large crab apples last week.

I love me some free fruit.

Add about 5 hours of cooking, boiling and labeling, and voila: apple butter and curried apple chutney:

Canning

Canning

Canning

Canning

Canning

Canning

Things learned from this canning adventure:

1. The food mill featured above was worthless. I had to return it. So, the apple butter has some seeds in it. I suppose I’ll only hand it out to those who don’t mind a little extra fiber with their breakfast.

2. I could use a good food mill.

3. This curried apple chutney recipe from the traditional Ball canning guide makes a TON of food. I canned some 14 jars of chutney, and it made the house smell wonderful.

4. Apple butter in the Crockpot is a great idea, but be wise that it will burn overnight if you aren’t careful. Better to start it first thing in the morning and keep an eye on it during the day.

5. Cheese and rice, my pantry is now full of apple recipes. Considering one more round to clean up all the apples falling in the yard: apple sauce.

6. Who wants to come over for some apples?

~K

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Uncategorized
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Wrapped

August 15th

For a friend’s upcoming birthday, as a nudge to return to her love of painting:

An artist's gift

An artist's gift
IMG_4487

IMG_4488

IMG_4489

An artist's gift

And if the thing gets smudgy with paint? Just throw it in the wash. Got to love hand towels from Tarjay.

~K

Posted in
CAOK, Handmade goods, Happy Hippie, Heirloom Homestead
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