1–10 of 14 entries from the month of: February 2013

CAOK: Handmade Week Wrap Up

February 28th

A few more CAOK gifts heading out the door this week:

CAOK #9

CAOK #10

CAOK #11

Left for this week: a chunky, drop stich scarf for a friend in London.

If I really get myself in gear, I’ll finish that sweater I started some 14 months ago. I should have never stopped working on that pattern. Any other knitters feel this pain? I need a tutorial session to figure out where I’m at and how to proceed. Thank goodness for Fancy Tiger. 

~K

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CAOK
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Relleno’d

February 27th

Heirloom Homestead Cooking

Heirloom Homestead Cooking

Heirloom Homestead Cooking

For every negative, there is a positive. Isn’t that some fancy law of physics?

(Let me tell you what I remember from high school physics: My teacher Mr. Barrett telling me, “You really aren’t the smartest, but you work the hardest.” Gee. Thanks. In turn, I “borrowed” his favorite classroom item, held it hostage for a couple months, providing a series of photos and ransom notes, and eventually got him to agree in the return of Mr. Penguin that I was not just smart, I was clever. Crafty, even. Hey Mr. Barrett, if you are reading this, good news: I’m doing just fine, and for the most part,* I’ve stopped holding things ransom.)

Heirloom Homestead Cooking

Heirloom Homestead Cooking

Heirloom Homestead Cooking

So, for every bad there is a good. Like my friends swooping in to cheer me up lately. It’s been pretty fantastic. Our dinner table has been full most nights with friends who just want a meal and conversation; they know nothing makes me happier. Having grown up in a family where nightly dinners without TV or telephone were mandatory — having people around my table gives such a sense of comfort.

Heirloom Homestead Cooking

I’ve had gobs of time to read cookbooks lately, and am up to date on my cooking magazines. Lots of exciting new recipes have crossed my path, and these hungry friends are happy test subjects.

Earlier this week: chile rellenos and black bean and honey cornbread casserole. Guacamole, chips, rotisserie chicken (such an easy cheat) and lots of time to catch up while wearing an apron. Bliss.

Heirloom Homestead Cooking

Heirloom Homestead Cooking

Heirloom Homestead Cooking

Heirloom Homestead Cooking

Later this week, I’ve got a handful of friends visiting. We’re doing a cookout, and I anticipate even more slightly blurry bokeh photos.

I know. I know. You can’t wait. Especially you, Mr. Barrett.

~K

*I might have borrowed a lawn gnome before leaving Arizona who occasionally sends his updates to the owner from his adventures around the United States. He will eventually make his way home.

 

Posted in
Colorado, Community, Kitchen Talk
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Sisters in Spirit: Why Lent?

February 27th

Sisters in Spirit is a series of essays by a group of women who felt a spiritual perspective lacking from the steady stream of daily news.  They each agreed to carve space monthly on their blogs for a spiritual conversation.  The topic this month is: why is Lent important?

sun filled cross

Lent, the 40 days prior to Easter, is a spiritually significant time for Christians. This period symbolizes the 40 days Jesus spent wandering the desert, fasting, prior to his crucifixion. The devil came to Jesus at this time and offered Him everything if He would give up on God. But of course, Jesus wouldn’t budge.

Jesus would later scream to from the cross, while writhing in pain, wondering why God had forsaken and forgotten Him. Where was His father during His time of great need?

That part can be a little confusing. If He knew this was a part of God’s plan, and He would rise again in three days (Easter), why would He cry out from the cross, wondering where God had gone?

I certainly don’t have any answers, other than I cannot imagine how scared Jesus was. I find Lent important because it provides a specific time frame to be focused on God, and to wander my own metaphoric desert. It’s less “what am I giving up for Lent” and more “what can I do differently during this time that will make my spiritual life richer.”

I know I’m called to be kind, to try to understand others, and to relinquish any idea that I can understand God’s plan. During the last few months, I’ve felt forsaken. This empty feeling, when your convinced your prayers are unanswered and you are being punished, creates the darkest of days.

What is there to do when you feel God has abandoned you?

I can’t imagine Jesus’ pain, or confusion when wandering the desert. How sad he must have been to have felt forgotten. How tempting the devil’s offer was. And yet, he pushed forward. We are called to do the same.

I’m thankful for Lent. It gives me time to reconcile those aspects of my life that aren’t in order with God’s word and to work at being closer to Him. I am hopeful that by Easter, this unhappy time is behind me.

Feb 26: Proverbs 10:17 “He who needs discipline shows the way to life, but whoever ignores correction leads others astray.” 

-K

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:

 

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
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CAOK: Handmade Week

February 26th

This week’s Calculated Acts of Kindness theme is all that is bespoken. First: long promised beard hats for my friends Sagar and Mark.

CAOK #4

They asked me to make these for them several years ago; it’s taken too long for this project to get to the top of the queue. (In all fairness, when I did start working on these, I had to knit the beanies four times because these two have rather small noggins. Amazing, considering the brillance contained in such a small space.)

CAOK #5

CAOK #5

CAOK #5

Of course, their favorite part was, “Dude. We can drink through the mustache holes!”

Dude. Bro. Bra.

~K

 

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CAOK
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CAOK: Handmade Week

February 24th

I’ve mentioned before I’m newly enamored with sewing tree patterns. (I can’t explain it any more than my passing obsession with backyard chickens. What? I’m weird. It’s okay.) When visiting a friend in California recently who mentioned she too loves all things tree — I came up with a plan. I’d modify that potholder pattern from John Q. Adam’s quilting book and make it a table runner, personalized for their family.

CAOK #6

Easy peasy. Right?

Right.

CAOK #6

CAOK #6

{Remind me, world, that I never superseded anyone’s expectations in math — skills that are so critically necessary to a design project of this nature. Thank God even dummies can do this equation: bad at math + love of sewing = you’d better have a seam ripper and a lot of patience.}

CAOK #6

CAOK #6

And oh, patience I did have because if you haven’t heard from my incessant tweeting: I just survived my first blizzard. Well, my first non-Health Bar blizzard. Denver got piles of snow this weekend, leaving me with a calendar full of canceled social gatherings and gobs of time to tinker.

CAOK #6

CAOK #6

CAOK #6

CAOK #6

I drew up a plan and got to town. Six episodes of “House of Cards” later, and the binding was completed. It isn’t perfect, but I’m happy. And proud I took a leap of faith with the herringbone quilting. I’ve never tried anything quite so complicated, as simple as those straight angles look. My housemate BJ suggested I embroider the trunks with each family member’s initial. He was spot on; the detail was just what the project needed.

CAOK #6

CAOK #6

CAOK #6

Best yet — in part because I couldn’t leave the house, I was forced to use what I have. The only thing new for the completion of this project was the bias tape.

CAOK #6

CAOK #6

CAOK #6

It’s off in the mail tomorrow as the latest CAOK gift. How are you participating? Drop your photos and ideas here. 

~K

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CAOK
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Sit down, Warm up

February 21st

A friend’s husband showed up unexpectedly at my doorstep yesterday afternoon. He’d been up canyon on his bike when it had begun to snow. By the time he reached my house, going some 40 miles an hour down Clear Creek, he was blue. His hands were frozen and the inner linings of his eyes were swollen to an alarming shade of red.

Spanish chorizo + lentil soup

Spanish chorizo + lentil soup

Spanish chorizo + lentil soup

Could he sit down for a second and warm up?

I shooed him in the door, got the dogs off the couch and plugged in the electric blanket. Soon, the kettle was singing and his hands warmed around a mug of tea. Dinner was already on the stove — Spanish chorizo and lentils from this month’s Cooks Illustrated. I had pans of salted caramel upside down pineapple cakes on the oven waiting to go in next.

Spanish chorizo + lentil soup

Spanish chorizo + lentil soup

He warmed up slowly, and stayed for hours, telling how he realized he was in trouble when he couldn’t keep both hands on the bike. Navigating down the canyon with two hands is terrifying, doing so with one hand tucked under your other arm for warmth is suicide. Thankfully, he made it. I promised him he wouldn’t have to ride any farther today; we’d find a way for he and his bike to get home.

Spanish chorizo + lentil soup

Soon, BJ joined us around the dinner table, swapping stories of our day and sipping soup. The snow began to fall in thick flakes. By the time dessert was served, inches of fluffy powder rested on the roofs of cars, the patio table, the greenhouse light fixtures, and everything in between. The mountains, so near, were out of sight for more than 14 hours as the snow continued to dance downward.

Salted Caramel Pineapple Cakes

Salted Caramel Pineapple Cakes

The soup was even better as leftovers today for lunch, enjoyed from the small kitchen table with a view of a golden sun, ringed by the brightest, clearest blue skies.

Time to walk the dogs,  plan the next meal and push forward. Visitors are always welcome.

~K

 

 

Posted in
Colorado, Heirloom Homestead, Kitchen Talk
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CAOK: Head Out of Ass

February 19th

Life has been a little rough lately. And while I’d like to close down this blog and never see the Internet again when I’m hurting — there is important work to be done. CAOK is just that to me. So, I’m coming out of hiding. And we’ll leave it at that.

CAOK #5

This week, I’m focusing CAOK on love on animals. Even Finny is on board. Granted, she uses swears while writing about, and likely performing, her acts of kindness — it still counts. In fact, it makes my heart happy to think pedestrians in northern California are benefiting because of this little campaign. Finny, G+Ts on me next time we get a chance to hang. Love you, lady!

CAOK #5

I visited the Foothills Animal Shelter when looking for Nelson. (I found him two shelters later.) The folks who run this joint are kind and compassionate. They make the world better every day. And they have a specific list of needs. Leashes, toys, cleaning supplies and puppy/kitten food. They need help ASAP.

CAOK #5

Shelters in Phoenix (and your community) do too. If you can’t give food, volunteer. There is little in life that makes me happier than being pulled along by a team of hyper, happy pound pups on a much needed walk.

Pulling my sorry and sad head out of my ass this week and getting back to doing good in the world. There is no time to waste.

~K

P.S. Willie Nelson Mandela approves this message:

Yeah, I'm smiling

 

 

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CAOK
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Hiatus

February 14th

Friends — taking a bit of a break from social media and blogging. Time to focus on finishing that second novel, and hiking new trails.

Be well,

~K

Posted in
Good to Great
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I’m Skippito Frittito…

February 13th

CAOK #5

CAOK #5

CAOK taggie blankets for a few little friends of mine, paired with one of my favorite line of children’s books. Who couldn’t love a siamese cat who thinks he is a chihuahua? 

CAOK #5

CAOK #5

Chihuahuas and chicken blankies. That’s how we roll.

~k

 

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CAOK
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Teppanyaki Debauchery

February 12th

BJ's birthday

BJ turned 21 again. We celebrated with some teppanyaki and hilarity — all of which I recorded with my bokeh lens. (How’s that for a weird sentence?)

BJ's birthday

BJ's birthday

BJ's birthday

BJ's birthday

BJ's birthday

BJ's birthday

BJ's birthday

BJ's birthday

BJ's birthday

Just another Monday night in Denver, one that ended with a certain someone (Adam) singing Salt N Peppa at karaoke.

I love my friends.

~K

Posted in
Colorado, Community
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