I jetted away for the weekend to the Rockies for some downtime with my beloved friends Sheila and Charlie. They have the uncanny ability of reminding me that my life priorities and values are spot on. We enjoyed hours outside on the porch reading, staring at the mountains, playing with the dogs, listening to the birds and predicting by the wind when the next storm would roll in.
We also ventured to a farmer’s market that included a hilarious puppet show. One man with a penchant for creole — Le Chock! — and fine German puppets. He plays hilarious music and attracts children in droves to watch his creatures dance and play. The market was full of all that I love about being in Colorado — healthy, happy people. Nearly every couple or stroller had a dog in tow. Fresh fruit stacked high on tables ready to be enjoyed warm from the mid-day sun. Crazy puppets, as a sign of the creativity and quirkiness that flourishes in such content communities.
And of course, amazing food. You can take a girl out of Arizona, but you can’t take the appetite out of the girl. We found a stand selling homemade Colombian tamales — wrapped in banana leaves. They were ohsogood.
Thankfully, I also had a chance to meet up with my grizzlyman of a brother for a quick meal on the way back to the airport. He has a smart, sweet and sarcastic new girlfriend who I really like. Once again I find myself examining my life in Arizona, the life I’ve always known, with the possibilities of moving and starting fresh. I wish I had all of this family in my life on a weekly basis, not annual. I go back and forth on moving. There are so many things I love about the desert (including my current job) and yet there is a big world of opportunity waiting elsewhere.
One thing is certain: the best way to survive Phoenix in the summer is to escape.
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I am not exactly a cat lover. In fact, I’ve been known to say that the best cat is one deep fried. My mom was bitten by a cat on her face as a child; her own litter grew up hating the feline world in solidarity.
Come to find out, that is really dumb. There are some very sweet kitties in this world and Woody and Yogi are at the top of the list.
I know. Woody says it is going to take a little more time to believe such news. I no longer hate cats.
Yogi is also a skeptic.
Abby, however, is such a cuddler and purrs like an engine when you rub her belly.
We’ve spent quite a bit of time hanging out by the fire for the last two unseasonably cold days in Golden. I’m not saying I’m ever going to own a cat, but I can see why they are sweet to have around.
Bruno, on the other hand, is coming home in my luggage. Love this little guy!
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- Happy Hippie, Homebody
Wandering in the Rockies yesterday on a lengthy hike with a friend, I stopped to admire the forest floor. The soft crunch underfoot was a quilt of characters — dark black compost covered with bright splotches of lime green moss, rust orange lichen, fading brittle pine needles, musty and moist pine cones, aging golden leaves and the occasional ivory mushroom. Each element is interesting alone, but together they create a fascinating array of color, scent and texture.
This is much like life. Faith, family, friends, community, pets, art, music, great food, love — all wonderful on their own, but thrown together, the patchwork of an incredibly fulfilling life.
“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience.” — Bumpersticker in Denver
- colorado, Travel
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- Happy Hippie, Journal, Travel
We ate so much food during our Christmas break, by the time the official meal rolled around, we weren’t that hungry. The main culprit? Carmines on Penn. So, so good. Like it makes me wish I lived in Denver so I could have dates take me there regularly kind of good. I think we would have stayed to continue eating there if we could have. We extended our one meal there to left-overs for two days. Four star recommendation for you Denver folk.
So when we sat down for a last meal before I flew home, our plates were less teaming than the usual fair. Also, because we were celebrating at my brother’s house — none of the traditional Christmas dinner foods made an appearance: sweet potato casserole, creamed corn, green beans, butter rolls, pie, etc.
But there was ham. Ew.
Thankfully I talked Cody into grilling me a steak instead. Elk steak, to be precise, with a sweet potato on the side. The one benefit of having an outdoorsy brother is an endless supply of game. These steaks were so incredibly good. He marinated them and then stood in the snow to grill. I was pretty fond of the antelope spicy sausage too.
And in lieu of pie, there was a nice fruit salad. It was a great meal. I like that we put tradition on hold for a year, although I tried cooking up a new family routine. After we finished our stockings Christmas morning, I put in my dad’s new copy of Nacho Libre.
While Cody did in fact like the stretchy pants I made him for Christmas (Amy Butler wide leg lounge pants):
Camo fleece, no less
Raja seems entranced. “Where did my dad’s legs go?”
Alas, he was not a fan of the movie. He watched the first five minutes before storming off alone.
My parents, however, have good taste and thought it was hilarious.
“I am worried about your salvation and stuff…”
“Don’t judge me because I believe in the science!”
We said these lines about a dozen times, laughing our butts off. A new Christmas tradition is formed, stretchy pants and all!
- Christmas, colorado, family
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- Celebrate!, Journal