11–20 of 937 entries in the category: Journal

The Magic of Travel

September 4th

Missoula, MT

Ever visit a place and have it remind you of something you value, but have neglected? Like blowing dust off an old, rare book — travel often reminds me of places within that have been hidden by the cobwebs of life.

Wrapped in self doubt, laziness — bright and shiny distractions.

Spending time in Missoula with Finny and Digs reminded me of why these dusty books are worth unpacking, revisiting, cleaning off. There is a way of life I observed that is beautiful in its simplicity. Digs’ family eats out of the garden. They raise chickens for eggs. This is a life of happy, barefoot children, scruffy dogs, a pantry full of Ball jars in shimmering jewel tones, a local museum full of great art, a downtown full of local shops supported even at the higher costs, and cars that are dirty and will remain dirty because, really, why bother?

Finny spends her days in California in a greenhouse or at home in the garden, talking to her bees, the dog and the kumquat tree. Her arms are strong, her shoulders brown. She’s never looked happier.

Missoula, MT

I am struggling trying to figure out how to incorporate this way of life in my new reality — city living and a full time desk job. (I job I love, but nonetheless, not not one I can do from home while watering the basil and waiting for the bread to rise.) We will make this place a homestead yet. With no land to garden, we’ll have a couple terraces of pots full of herbs and peppers and tomatoes. We’ll juice the local winter harvest of citrus and send boxes of the whole fruit to loved ones far away — including to that happy family in Missoula. I’ll grow bushes of basil in the temperate fall and winter, freezing pesto in ice cube trays for year-round dinner parties.

And I will continue to walk Nelson through our new neighborhood, eyeing properties with irrigation and big backyards perfect for bean poles, fruit trees, forests of tomatoes, a poultry run, and porch for a swing and cobalt blue pots full of ruby red geraniums.

This simple life is in my heart. I am so thankful for travel for reminding me.

~K

 

 

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Journal, Travel
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Often, All That Remains

September 2nd

Missoula, MT

On our recent trip to Montana, we toured the Missoula Art Museum. Jane Waggoner Deschner’s exhibit, called, “Often, All That Remains,” was the rare experience that left me weak in the knees — powerful, transformative art.

Quietly, we walked the small room, examining “found” photos Deschner embroidered with famous quotes. Sometimes the quotes were ironic, others funny. Some made me want to cry.

Missoula, MT

Missoula, MT

Missoula, MT

Her exhibit takes two forms of art I love — photography and embroidery — and throws them together in a provocative way. I could have spent all my museum time with just this show.

Missoula, MT

Missoula, MT

Missoula, MT

Missoula, MT

Deschner writes, “The idea for stitching into photographs came from remembering the sewing cards from my childhood. I discovered only a few other artists (mostly European) who embroider into photos, so I have developed my technique through trail and error. What I have come to love are the connections I create with needle and thread, typography and design, and generations of unknown people, both ordinary and famous.”

Missoula, MT

Missoula, MT

Deschner is from Billings, MT. If you get a chance to see her work, do so!

 

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Journal, Travel
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On the Road Again…

April 30th

I wish I could quote more Willie Nelson songs, but this one is most appropriate. Nelson and I hit the road tomorrow for Nebraska, then Chicago, and finally on to the East Coast. I have cried buckets this week,  (saying goodbye to my brother? You have to be kidding me.) but I am also so very excited to be moving on to the next part of life.

So, while we are out exploring the Midwest, a few more photos from crazy days in Texas last weekend:

Fiesta!

Pristine gardens in the King William section of San Antonio

Fiesta!

The dude abides. Even in street fair art.

Fiesta!

Nacho Libre as a dog. BEEEEG KISS. (and cheeeeps for the orphans.)

Fiesta!

Confetti dog. Adorbs.

Fiesta!

This woman is a self described “hostess with the mostess.”

Fiesta!

And these are her Twinkies.

Fiesta!

How pretty is this little boy?

Fiesta!

Almost as pretty as this horse.

Fiesta!

And a random parade participant dressed as butter. Who did not explain, but kinda didn’t have to in San Antonio. Folks are big, and happy and love good food in this town.

More to come. Happy trails, friends!

~K

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Journal, Travel
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Leap

April 23rd

D

We dated for a handful of months, keeping things quiet because we worked together. The first week of February, he was transferred to the East Coast and we broke up. I was distraught. I didn’t eat or sleep for the better part of seven weeks. Easter weekend in NYC brought us back together, at a crossroad: we could move to Arizona, where I had an excellent job opportunity. He could move to Denver, where I also had a couple job opportunities. Or I could move to the East Coast and find something new – knowing he already had a great job. While it took a while to agree on a zip code, we were certain we wanted to be together.

If there was ever a man meant to live in a big city, he’s the one. He grew up in Europe and still travels there frequently, is more at ease in a three-piece suit than shorts and a T-shirt. He LOVES New York, a quick train ride away. If I was willing to come east, he’d care for us. (Nelson included, of course.)

To the shock of many, I started packing. Here’s why:

  1. I love this man. And I am a complete and total sucker for love. He makes me better. My life is happier when we are together. We make sense.
  2. A fresh start. Although I’d just done this with a move to Colorado two years prior, it all sounded so very nice. I didn’t need all of this stuff. I didn’t need to stay in a job I hadn’t enjoyed for a long time — even if my clients were fantastic. I was being given a chance to free myself of both.
  3. I’ve never lived on the East Coast. And while I am a western girl at heart, it will be fun to discover a new place. I’m looking forward to upstate New York this summer, and road trips to states I’ve only ever seen on maps. Ben and Jerry’s in Vermont! Screaming, “live free or die!” in New Hampshire. Lobster in Maine, etc. {I am writing this from a Starbucks in New Jersey, wearing chunky turquoise, a jean jacket, and dirty white chucks. I’m surrounded by folks wearing black, puffy Burberry coats with plaid at the cuffs, or pressed Brooks Brothers with flashy links. Toto, we aren’t in Golden anymore.}
  4. A new career. I’ve got time and a bit of savings. I can plan this next job without that sense of, “holy Moses, I just got laid off twice in four months” urgency that led to the last. I have time to think about how I want to spend my time, in addition to finishing my novel.
  5. Maybe I’m just dreaming, but being closer to the capital of publishing gives me more hope for finding the right agent and editor for future novels.
  6. It isn’t permanent. We have dreams of living abroad and raising a family in the West. I want my closest friends and family nearby. My life is richer with community.
  7. Did I mention I love him? He is a good man. Plus, it is kinda fun to be spontaneous for the first time in my otherwise very planned life.

Thank you for all of the well wishes. Change of address cards hitting the post next week — as Nelson and I hit the open road, bound for New Jersey.

~K

P.S. Yeah, I moved to Africa when I was 20. But Jersey? THIS IS SCARY.

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Journal, NJ + NYC
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This Week

April 17th

Baby hat

Knitting: cotton newborn hats for girlfriends

Sewing: Nothing — everything is packed

Listening: Imagine Dragons and Florence and the Machines, acoustic on repeat

Watching: I just finished Season 5 of Mad Men and am hoping to find a television to catch up with the current season soon. Some of the twists and turns of season five made me sick to my stomach. In particular, Joan’s storyline. I really wish the plot hadn’t gone that direction.

Reading: Just finished Shantaram. Review to come. Currently enjoying Paris Wife. Next up: Peace Like a River.

Planning: a move across the country, a new home and a new career. I am dreaming of this hutch, and this dining room table and chairs. The wall of creative storage is pretty fantastic. And we will need some creative clothing storage options in lieu of the fantastic walk-in closets in Arizona, but New Yorkers call a nice apartment.

Traveling: East. Avoiding a bit of this crazy weather in Denver. Looking forward to spending some time with my honey.

Hope your week is going well!

~K

 

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Journal
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The Ottoman Empire

April 8th

My house is a complete catastrophe; I’m moving again. The sweet house I’ve been renting must be returned to her owner. As such, I’ve been sorting through piles and piles and more piles of stuff.

How did this happen?

Moving, again

Once upon a time, I prided my ability to move everything I ever wanted within my trusty Civic. And for many years, that was easy enough to adhere to. I made very little, spent most of it on travel, and was happy to get hand-me-down furniture from family.

Ah, my 20s. Such an adventurous, frugal, high-and-mighty decade.

Oh, how the idealistic fall. Specifically, I fell into a house full of things I’ve come to love. A comfy bed. A couch. An ottoman. Slowly, I’ve built a tiny shabby chic home. African masks, handmade quilts, pottery my brother threw, photography from travels, a closet full of board games and a kitchen bursting with every gadget Williams and Sonoma could think of. My bookshelves are full, and my dining room table is often crammed with hungry friends. Most of the furniture still is either hand-me-down, or came in a box with 1,000 pieces and directions in “Ikea,” but it was all paid for with my work.

Moving, again

I’m moving in part to create a new home with a man I love. A man who loves me despite my hippie, thrifty tendencies. A man who dreams of living in one of those Architectural Digest houses made of glass and steel. You know this feature spread. There is but one couch in the middle of the living room, and no art on the walls. It includes the stick thin couple standing on a patio holding Manhattans, grinning with perfect teeth and shiny hair, while a best-in-show dog rests at their feet, patiently waiting their next command.

Moving, again

I have Nelson. Have you met Nelson? He is a $50 pound puppy who barks at every car that goes down his street and is the sweetest, cuddliest, most unruly dog on the planet. His favorite food is pizza, when he can’t find/reach the tortilla chips. He often sneaks upstairs early to stake out his spot on the end of my bed, meaning most mornings I have to shake dirt and muddy squeaker toys off the sheets. I don’t like Manhattans (although the city itself is growing on me) and the idea of living in a glass and steel house gives me nightmares of being stuck in a dentist’s chair.

Moving, again

I’m sorting through all of this stuff — platters, frames, old linens, dusty copies of books I was supposed to read in college and have now moved (still unread) five times, bikes, shoes, shoes, handbags, tennis racquets and more shoes. It is liberating to get rid of all of this nonsense. I will not be owned my by things. I can walk away from it all, especially if it means walking toward the right person. A fresh start.

Nelson’s coming with. So are those quilts, and the pottery. And even some of the shoes.

This is an exciting, happy and very good place to be.

~K

 

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Journal
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The Sweet Things in Life

February 7th

Oh, hi. I’ve been a bit remiss in keeping up this week. Work has taken off — which is wonderful. I haven’t had much energy to cook, craft or write as a result. In lieu of another regretsy entry, a few current joys:

Champagne coupe

1. Great stemware, specifically champagne coups. How great is this glass? I was served a glass of bubbly at a girlfriend’s house this week and wanted to sneak this baby home with me.

I didn’t. I just thought about it.

#3 CAOK Birthday treats

2. Cupcakes. Specifically red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting and a surprise delivery for my dear friend BJ. He’s 21 again this year and doesn’t look a day (or decade) older.

CAOK 2013

3. Handing a friend a bottle of whiskey and reminding him heartache is temporary. And Colorado whiskey is always good — like love — in the right amount.

4. Weight lifting. I’m not kidding. I cannot believe it has taken me this long to fall head-over-endorphin-fueled-and-newly-toned-heels for pumping iron. I am on cloud nine for the rest of the day when I start with a good hour of heavy, sweaty gym time. This has saved me this winter. (I am so thankful the daylight is growing longer!)

CAOK 2013

5. Knitting and Netflix. It has been sparse the last few weeks, but finding a good movie and an hour to dig into a new project makes my week brighter.

Let's polka

6. Polka dot capris. Or wrap dresses. Cardigans. Socks. Just about anyway I can wear dots (or stripes) these days, I’m in. I love this style. (Even photographed from such an odd angle. Kinda hard to take a good capri photo by yourself.)

7. Mentors. I’ve got a team of people watching out for me these days, folks who really do not have to care. And yet, they do. They send email. They call. They set plans for long conversations. They keep me on track, and make me better.

It is a sweet life.

~K

 

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Journal
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Come on, Sweet February

February 4th

Schwanky

This weekend was my grandmother’s memorial in Tucson, and the first time I’ve been in the same room with that many family members. It was a great celebration of her life. I made it through the ceremony with limited public sobbing and was so thankful to have my parents on one side and my brother on the other. Friends from far and wide came to tell stories; it was an hour full of peace and grace. (And even some Beyonce lyrics, which is a hilarious story for another day.)

Our family is really lucky to have so many good people in our lives. My gram would have hated the attention, but I’m sure she was happy to see all but one grandchild in the same room, in a church no less, sharing how much we loved her.

Have you heard this song? For those who listen to Christian radio, it’s a regular. The lyrics haven’t rung true until the last month. (Chalk that up to a very gentle and loving life to date, for which I am so thankful.) 2013 has come in with a fury — but there are thick, gorgeous silver linings around these clouds. I’m hoping to have put all the sorrow and angst of the year behind me in the first month. Concentrated? Yes. But oh, so glad to be done with it.

I’m reading a book right now that is total fluff and a much needed break from literary book club selections. One character describes the source of inspiration for long, loving relationships (may they be with a sibling, parent, best friend or lover) that “forever” is created from daily choices. To say your are sorry. To ask for forgiveness. To trust.

The character says, “Life begins when you realize love is stronger than pain.”

If there is one thing I have from my grandmother, it’s this: love. Love God first, and everyone else as you want to be treated. Trying to keep this in mind as I navigate a new month, full of possibility.

~K

 

 

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Faith, Journal
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Of Note

February 1st

Painting

I saw this piece of art in a shop this week in Denver. It is a big piece — something that would be excellent over a buffet in a formal dining room. I love it, although I’m not sure I love it enough to fork over a full paycheck.

When I wasn’t out gallivanting and looking for art, I ran across these:

A great reminder list for those writing from Pixar. This isn’t new but it is brilliant, and I read it every few months to stay on track.

This tree table runner. The simplicity of design, the color of the leaves and the precision of that free-hand quilting that make this project A+. I am newly obsessed with sewing trees.

Speaking of sewing, Quilt Dad is rad. I just purchased one of his scrap quilting books (Hello cute tree pattern on the cover!), and dig his willingness to be a dude in a female-dominated hobby.

Smitten Kitchen’s new cookbook is a 5 out of 5 banana review. The photos, stories, and creativity in this cookbook are fresh. I’ve gone away from having a counter full of books in lieu of the photocopied Cooks Illustrated recipe, or more dangerously — recipes pulled up on my phone. But this cookbook will have a permanent place in my future kitchens. This week I whipped up her stuffed pasilla peppers as a side for a dinner party. Excellent!

And for those who love Africa, and need something to entertain them between Sunday’s viewing of Downton, may I recommend Wild at Heart? This British series about a family that moves to South Africa to run a game park is sweet, entertaining and animal lovers will delight in the variety of beasts featured. Plus, several seasons are on Netflix insta-stream.

~K

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Journal
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Walk with me

January 28th

Southern California

 

~K

Posted in
Journal, Travel
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