Monday, November 30, 2009

Just Swingin'

The Swinger represented this past weekend. It was a fine host to our Thanksgiving festivities with M&D and three dogs. Who knew a 35-foot motor home would provide such entertainment and good times? Okay - D knew (and perhaps the dogs). He made the experience as seamless and easy for me as possible. Right down to the extra blankets on our bed and the Tahitian Vanilla 3-wick candle he bought to provide mood lighting. Admittedly, I was weary at the outset but it turned out pretty well.

We cooked the turkey as we drove up to Red Feather Lakes and were surprised to find it was done by the time we parked (something about that seems more novel than anything else the entire weekend). The sides were pulled together in the quaint kitchen and the table was set up front by the drivers seat. We sat and toasted the success of arriving and having a lovely meal to top it off.

The weekend was one of pure relaxation: We ate and drank A LOT. We shuffled on the ice covered lake and lolly-gagged around it, taking photos at every turn. We watched movies. We celebrated Ds birthday. We curiously theorized about the ice fishers and had cocktail hour outside in our camping chairs. There was a gorgeous sunrise I caught from the comfort of our bed Saturday morning. And did I mention the unbelievable Pecan Pie M picked up from d bar Desserts?

Thanks to M and D for some of the photos and a fun weekend! Thanks to D for another great adventure!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

This is the Key

Did I mention I know a woman who makes a mean key lime pie? That's right, she grew up in Key West and introduced me to it a few years back, when all I knew was cheap Safeway substitutes and synthetic samples. It was Christmas and she had me help her make the key lime pie; her family recipe. I rolled and squeezed the tiny special-delivery limes and watched as the acidity worked it's magic cooking the filling. I never had an interest in it before and it turned out to be one of my favorites. That and the powder-sugared key lime cookies she had in a tin. My taste for key lime would never be the same.

This year, as we celebrated Thanksgiving early, I found myself catching a sliver of the key lime pie she concocted. It was fantastic. I mean look at that the meringue.

Wherever you are this Thanksgiving, I hope you enjoy the flavors and the friends.


To say I'm excited would be an understatement. My sister had a baby yesterday and seeing this person I have grown up with give birth really hit home. She's the one I used to share my bedroom with as a kid. We slept in bunk beds and she never got up when I rolled out of the top bunk on to the wood floor; or she created earthquake-like experiences raising the rafters from down below to upset me. She also showed me how to do so many things. She's hung posters of Don Johnson on the wall of our room and patiently accepted my wind up Alvin (and the Chipmunks) figurine for Christmas one year, eventhough it was a blatant gift for myself (she in turn got me the coolest round yellow sled). She recommended I play volleyball and do yearbook in high school if for no other reason than to meet friends. She's also supported my pursuit of a yoga practice and my "year of being funny". She shared a place with me in Denver when we were both still single and was the first friend I told about the guy who would later become my husband. To this day, she supports my dreams and makes me laugh every time we talk.

In any case, seeing her round with the promise of a baby boy was more emotional than I anticipated. I left her Friday afternoon, after a long walk at Wash Park, telling her I loved her and that I knew she would be really good at this mom business. I found myself crying though I'm not one to cry. The next time I saw her was at 7:15 am Monday morning, sitting like a Buddha in a birthing room at Rose, breathing through a contraction. I just wanted to stop and check in before work. I was her (self-proclaimed) Paula AbDOULA. But when it came down to it, I just faked tennis strokes to the sound of the heart beat monitor and asked if twists would help HRR move in to the right position.

I've had the distinct honor of watching two births in my lifetime. Though I didn't see HRR officially come in to this world, I was happy to share the moments of anticipation and the following joy that came with the sheer presence of him. It really is awesome and lovely. Congrats to N & E. You both do nice work!
WELCOME HRR. I'm so glad you made it! You are now part of the clan and have five great cousins to share this life with - Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

30 Days

It began with a case of the Mondays. I woke up late, the ground was covered with snow and ice, and my car had to be warmed up and scraped (inside and out). I spotted a woman steps from missing the lightrail and thought, “I’m having that kind of day", even though I was on the train.

Work was slow until T presented J and I with two cold, frothy glass bottles of chocolate milk from Rocky Mountain Meats. I forgot about his promise on Friday to bring us in "samples". He assured us it would be unbelievable and made us commit to only drink straight from the bottle, as the action intensified the experience. He was right. The bottle felt so unfamiliar and old school in my hands. It was heavy and substantial. I vaguely felt rebellious drinking straight from the container; but then again I’ve never been a milk carton drinker (ew, swarmy build up on the edges!). There was pure joy in the flavor and taste of natural, non-chemical dairy and of course the chocolateyness. I told T that he changed my entire day. Right then. It was 8:45 am and that was the turning point. It was nothing major, nothing over the top; just something special that made the day seem a little better.

Later that night I was reading an article about giving, for the sheer joy of giving, for 30 days straight. Clearly it aligns with the holiday season but it got me thinking about how I lost site of paying attention to the cool little things that make every day fun. So in writing this I am starting my own 30 day project to recognize the good that's sent my way. I'll be back here on December 18th(ish) with a list.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Fabric Balls

Saturday I was on a mission to find new fabric for the dining room chairs. I got in the car, turned down the back windows for Gingy, and tuned to some jazz station. On my way to Denver Fabrics, I past a sign on Broadway reading "Fabric Sale 50% off". It was just the sign I was looking for, aka youaspeakamykindaspeak.

A lady was leaving as I entered the store. I took the stairs in front of me and found my way up into the fabric zone. As always, it was a little overwhelming and exciting. The colors and textures are so fun to peruse. I was wondering around when I heard a downstairs voice ask if someone was upstairs. In the sea of fabric, I didn’t respond; but then again the voice wasn’t asking me. I heard foot steps and a guy appeared.

He was dark-haired, olive-skinned Jersey. I liked that. He was the kind of guy I used to have a major crush on, though in this situation I was willing to put my money on the fact that he was probably gay (not to mention I am married). He asked what I was looking for and I told him I wanted to recover my kitchen table chairs with something funky and cool. He asked if I had a color in mind. I said I liked orange. I followed his lead and he took me directly to a fabric that was orange with some hints of pink. It had silvery white flourishes on top and had that durable coating suitable for table chairs. It really was a perfect hit and I said I would take it. He went downstairs to get some scissors and when he came back up, he asked if I was still with him? I said yes. He said, “Good. I’m glad someone has the balls to use this fabric.” I said, “Well, I guess I have the balls.”

We went over to the cutting table and he measured out three yards, giving it to me for the price of two because of a seam in the measurement. I thought about how I probably should not be spending money to change my chairs but also how funky and cool it would look AND how I was the only woman in this world with the balls to pull it off. He made the cut and folded it up. Always the commitment-phobe, a little buyers remorse snuck in right when the weight of the fabric was placed in my hands. I followed him to the stairs looking at the fabric wondering if I mistook funky for possibly offensive or old lady? I thought about coming home and D hating it, even though we both loved orange. He caught my non-verbal consideration and said to me, “He’ll love it.” At that point I knew he was gay ... and my crush grew three sizes that day.

Back at home my projected hour ordeal really turned into four on a Sunday afternoon. The fabric looks great with the wood of the table, but sometimes I look at it and wonder if it's skirting the edge of old lady-ville. I spent too much time with it - I got too close to the project. Still, you give me some orange and I am happy. The change is good and D loves it to.

Sunday, November 8, 2009


The other night we made our way over to First Friday in the RiNO District - "industrial turns soon to be hippest place in Denver"...if it isn't already. I have been wanting to visit Weilworks for about a year now to check out the fantastic digs and great art at K and T's house; yes, their house. Visiting was one of those things that makes me feel cooler for the experience. It is truly a gem of a home with great views of the city and creative use of materials and space. For all the fantastic art and furniture in the place, I want to mention the poetry I found in places like the bathroom and on the door to their bedroom. Really a treat to see words used as art and mixed in with the great antiques or colorful paintings. My photos don't do half as much justice as this link to his gallery shots, but I wanted to put a few out there.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

The World is a Playground

“The world is a playground. We knew that as a kid.
But somewhere along the line we forgot that.”

I watched Yes Man again the other night and this statement stuck in my head this time around. Perhaps it was because it was delivered by the uber-cute Zooey Deschanel (another Hollywood crush) or perhaps it's just that these days, I feel like life should/could be lived this way. Sure it's easy sentiment coming from a character with no need to address the realities of paying bills or getting car insurance but then again, maybe it IS that simple because lately I've found that things have a way of working out.

The playground wasn’t necessarily always a happy place: little girls cliqued, boys stole kisses, sometimes that red, rubber, four-square ball smacked you in the face. The dreaded jungle gym demanded courage to approach it. With sweaty palms, you would find yourself slipping off the monkey bars halfway through and then there were days when you made it across. The thing is no one killed themselves in the mix of it all, except that one kid who always forget his jacket, tore his pants, and kept wiping his runny nose on his shirt. Sure there were knee scraps, social drama, and cold days when clearly some Human Rights law was being violated; but for the most part, it was a lesson in letting go and having fun.

I forget that the most important thing that can be done is to find my bliss. Could it be that life will follow my lead? Twice this week I've found myself in situations where all I needed to do was ask for what I wanted. Where all I needed to do was just go for it. It might sound silly but that's a hard challenge for me. For some reason I get anxious about outcomes and choose to avoid conflict. Once I grabbed the bull by the horns and addressed the situations head on, I found it wasn't half as scary as I anticipated. Putting myself out there and letting the chips fall where they fall was quite interesting...and a bit fun. I mean really, what is there to loose? Something else always comes along - whether it's a lover or a job or another lunch date. This is all some strange silly game with structures to keep us occupied and challanged.