1–10 of 13 entries from the month of: June 2014

This Week

June 27th

Arizona Living

Arizona Living

Arizona Living

Arizona Living

Arizona Living

Prickly pear ripening — jam to be made in August; more ball band cotton washcloths on the sticks; peanut butter cookies for a colleague’s birthday; the last of the tomatoes — it was a great season; Mason jars full of flowers around the house, because it is summer and hot and miserable and flowers make me happy.

~K

Posted in
Arizona, Heirloom Hacienda
Comments (4)

Home

June 25th

Arizona Living

Arizona Living

Arizona Living

Arizona Living

Arizona Living

Arizona Living

There is something about the Hayden Mill that gives me the same sense of comfort as smelling the Thanksgiving turkey roasting, or seeing a stocking full of goodies Christmas morning.

Home, sweet home.

~K

Posted in
Arizona, Community
Comments (2)

Bows

June 24th

Key lime pie cupcakes

Key lime pie cupcakes

Key lime pie cupcakes

More summer baby gifts for the trio of girls born this spring.

~K

Posted in
CAOK, Domestic Art
Comments (2)

Tart

June 23rd

Key lime pie cupcakes

Key lime pie cupcakes

Key lime pie cupcakes

Key lime pie cupcakes

Key lime pie cupcakes

IMG_9639

I whipped up a batch of key lime pie cupcakes this weekend, with a graham cracker crust — using a variation of this recipe. We were headed to a BBQ; I wanted bite-sized treats the little ones could eat by the pool, and the adults could eat with dinner without feeling gluttonous. Of course, with the perils of a new recipe — I only had enough filling for one tin, after I’d baked the crusts. So, I used Trader Joe’s dark chocolate peanut butter cups as a quick solution for the others. These melted generously over the crusts and were also enjoyed.

I wish I’d remembered to take a photo of the final product. Just imagine two dozen tiny tart treats stacked on tiered cake stands, lots of happy little wet feet running back and forth from the pool, adults clinking glasses and charcoal smoke hanging over us all.

~K

Posted in
Arizona, Celebrate!, Domestic Art
Comments (0)

Heirloom Hacienda

June 18th

June 2014

June 2014

June 2014

Blair mentioned the other day how buttery the light can be in Arizona this time of year. It is easy to feel drunk — dizzy even — on the full assault of brightness and heat. But the afternoons are buttery. When it is hot and dry enough, the clouds become wispy — like a spider’s web pulled across the blue sky.

A few years away and I’m slowly readjusting to waking up at 4:45 to morning.  The morning heat will soon arrive at our doorstep, the concrete island too warm to cool with just 6 hours of darkness.

And so, we drink everyone on the rocks. We hold on tight to our memories of October. We lather on the sunscreen, grab the biggest hat and stay in the pool as long as possible.

Movie theaters and libraries are even more of my best friends this time of year. The air conditioning leaves your bones cold.

Carry on, Desert Dwellers. We will weather this together.

~K

 

Posted in
Arizona, Heirloom Hacienda
Comments (3)

Salsa

June 16th

June 2014

June 2014

June 2014

June 2014

Someone remind me next year to stagger the tomato plants a bit. I’ve had a dozen plants come in at once. Salsa, tomato sauce, pizza sauce and even a simple plate drizzled with olive oil and sea salt:

June 2014

So, so good.

So, Phoenix area readers — how many of you want help planting a bumper crop of tomatoes next year? Who would read/enjoy a tutorial with my tips and tricks for how to make this work in our soil?

~K

Posted in
Arizona, Community, Domestic Art, Flora and Fauna
Comments (3)

Papi

June 13th

Dad

This is my dad, Rex.

He is my hero, and my brother’s hero. He is my mother’s best friend. He is kind to animals and strangers and loves nothing more at this point in life than playing in his men’s club at the golf course with a bunch of guys who have 20 years on him. Or hunting with his son and brothers.

He also likes to talk about the weather, water the lawn while sipping a beer, or and chase those noisy raccoon out of the church attic; those golf geezers might be wearing off a bit.

This week a DJ was asking radio callers, “What is the one skill you use most that your father taught you?”

Immediately, I knew. Kindness.

Sure, he taught me to ride a bike, throw a ball, take care of a car, stick with goals, and a handful of other skills. But sincerely, he (and my mom) taught us kindness. I vividly remember him telling us when we started elementary school that our jobs as Donleys were to find the kids on the playground no one else wanted to play with, and to be their friends and protectors. No matter what, we were to be kind to everyone.

Granted, I still fail at this — but I remember the pep talk when I’m walking into difficult conversations at work, or dealing with the exhausted and rude postal service clerk. Kindness goes a long way. And my father is one of the most generous, kindest people you’ll ever meet. As a result, my life is rich with friends far and wide, interesting people I know in person and from this blog. I’m really lucky to have had the examples in my parents that being kind and creating friendships makes life much sweeter.

Thank you, Papi. You really are the very best dad in the entire world, and you are beloved.

xo,

K

 

Posted in
Blessings
Comments (5)

The Garden Spoils

June 9th

Garden spoils

Garden spoils

Garden spoils

Garden spoils

We are eating a lot of: walnut pesto with basil from the garden*, roasted tomatoes with garlic, olive oil and lavender sea salt, rotisserie chickens — which are later transformed into the liquid gold of homemade stock.

Sadly, this is the last week for the tomatoes. The leaves have curled and browned with the last week of excessive heat, and the birds have found a new game in pecking tiny holes in any fruit they can find. I’ll cook the rest this week. It’s been a great harvest; I’ve had the chance to share them with a dozen friends and family, and cook steadily for the last six weeks with tomatoes in nearly every recipe.

Next year, more varieties and I will can too. Also — soil amelioration at the get go to prevent blossom end rot, and maybe a sun shade to keep unwanted birds and sunburn at bay.

~K

*If you live in the Phoenix area, Trader Joe’s has giant basil plants for sale this week for $3. You cannot find a better deal. And they make your kitchen smell heavenly!

Posted in
Arizona, Domestic Art, Flora and Fauna, Heirloom Hacienda
Comments (2)

Transformative

June 7th

House to home

 

I’ve been sorting through my things during the last few months, trying to figure out what to keep, display and give away. Moving back into this house has come with a familiarity and warmth I wasn’t expecting. It feels like home — as I suppose it should since I’ve most of my adult life living within these walls.

There is some grace, too, in feeling so comforted here. I moved during a time of duress, fleeing an increasingly unhappy relationship. I unpacked boxes, watching as Nelson glared through French doors at a concrete patio. Where was the yard? He began to nervously lick his paws raw, unhappy about yet another change.

So, there isn’t land. Instead, we have found walking around the nearby lake and parks to be part of our daily routine. There still aren’t squirrels, but he’s found a neighborhood cat to chase up a tree or two. The kitchen holds memories of countless meals with friends. The garden was quickly planted and is producing bountifully. (We now pick half a bucket of tomatoes each morning, and more in the afternoon too, to keep the birds away.) The walls were repainted and new carpets made the space feel fresh.

We’ve adjusted.

Last weekend I spent hours working outside on that concrete patio — weeding the tiny strip of land, trimming the bougainvillea, fertilizing the squash, planting flowers by the front door and keeping the tiny ficus tree in check, it’s limbs always growing akimbo. The pantry is unpacked and tidy, my Mason jar collection steadily increasing with varied jars of jewel toned dry goods. The guest room is happily hosting a long-term guest — Kent — who graciously lives without complaint among the room’s bookshelves and sewing supplies. And I’m hanging art, making this space fully my own yet again.

 

House to home

 

The cathedral photo is from an area where I used to work in Nicaragua. The top black and white photograph is of my parents in high school and was taken in a photo booth. The bottom photo is of three friends in Colorado, laughing like maniacs. It is one of my all time favorites. The metal cross was purchased in Mexico and the gold D was painted last weekend as a nod to my family’s name.

Those two small frame that remain without photos: they are intentionally empty for now — reminders that the future is uncertain, but will more than likely be happier than I could have imagined. I have a summer of plans scheduled, including trips and dinners and parties. There will be plenty of photo opportunities. Laughter. Love.

In the meantime, I rock back on my heels, happier than I may have ever been. A job I love, a delightful and surprising new relationship, a dog who is no longer snacking on the baseboards, a full garden, a home with room for guests.

I am so thankful to be here.

~K

 

 

Posted in
Heirloom Hacienda
Comments (19)

Good Karma Doll

June 6th

A coworker asked me for a “Good Karma Doll,” which is essentially a voodoo doll with pins you push with good intentions.

(I didn’t ask a lot of questions. She needed a doll, and I knew I could make something that would work.)

Good Karma Doll*

Good Karma Doll

Good Karma Doll

Good Karma Doll

Good Karma Doll

Good Karma Doll

Good Karma Doll

Not exactly a Hillary Lang doll, but it made her very happy. I have one more of these to make, and then I think I might just try my hand at one of those Wee Wonders.

~K

*Also, jeez louise I need to do a better job with lighting and photography. Sorry!

Posted in
Domestic Art
Comments (1)