Monday, July 31, 2017


These two.

Julie flipped through old photo albums this weekend during her fiery swath through Connecticut, and we couldn't help notice a theme developing . . .

These two.

 Mom and Dad.

There were many photos, there were many meals -- oh, the meals -- there were many drinkie-poos, there were home movies and a visit to the Old Homestead but that is a topic for another day . . . and there were many, many photos of our Mom and Dad.

They had a Thing, these two.

A Thing for the Ages.

Irish? And Lebanese?

Bring it on.

The mixture of those ethnicities and their love and strength and warmth and humor and passion and intelligence and joie de vivre just worked. Really well. For decades and decades.

We were less than a full contingent this weekend -- we desperately missed our #s 2 and 6 -- but we were a quorum, and had enough members to study the results of this Irish and Lebanese lovefest our parents built over nearly 60 years . . .

I'd call it a smashing success.

Friday, July 28, 2017

on the horizon

This is a particular time of year. My workplace is closed for two full weeks, offering true freedom from the responsibility of checking in on things even while on vacation. I set the calendar for when this built in vacation will fall each summer (and Christmas), and usually take advantage of the fact that it's in the middle of everyone else's free summer to book travel and see my faraway family. The traditional summer visit goes way back, and carried the lightweight feelings of nostalgia and adventure until 2010 when the end of July took a hard turn toward grief. Since then, we've recaptured the easy appeal of a summer visit and maintained the practice as annually as a complicated life could allow. 

The summer of 2016 was another turning point for me, and although I'm in a much better place a year later, my current unique living situation has, much to my chagrin, really messed up the timing for the possibility of a summer visit. I was in a funk about this as plans formed around two quick but tempting opportunities arose in which I could hang out with my sisters and my mom this summer, and the realization dawned that it was highly unlikely that I'd be able to go on either trip. It's not all woe is me, there's a big, fat, huge, shiny silver lining that runs along the western sky, but still, it's a bummer. 

On a recent stupid day when I was feeling specifically bummed about all manor of things, I took myself down to the edge for some much needed horizon therapy. As Ellie said so well: 
"It's true. Something about changing the shift of your vision, I sincerely believe. That endless horizon is just good for your brain to look at sometimes. Well, your brain, using its eyeballs."

It's true! It helps. Maybe it has something to do with this:

It sucks to not be with my peeps this weekend, but by next week I'll be able to show you my only little (temporary) slice of that silver lining.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017


A little more of Telluride...

Top four natural beauty photos:

Top four totally unatural filter photos:

Monday, July 24, 2017

The Flowers and The Flowers and The Flowers

This Field of ours?

It's blooming.

Everywhere you look . . .

. . . something is coming alive.

Little tiny flowers behind giant weeds . . .

. . . delicate and lovely . . .

. . . and big bold blossoms . . .

. . . fierce and bold and lovely.

The zuccini is thriving . . .

. . . even in technicolor.

Oh, wait, we've already seen these . . .

. . . but, I mean, look at them . . . .

It's helpful to have a nature photogrophist on hand . . .

. . .  who also does the watering.

From these guys . . . 

. . . to our old friends . . .  

From Rosie . . . 

To the orchid . . .

Wave hello to Renee and Orion, Orchie!

It has been absolutely amazing around these parts.

And the pièce de résistance?

Just look at the weekend our old friend Cacti Corey has had herself:

Did we give her a spa treatment for all her hard work being awesome?

Oh yes we did.

Was she happy about her pampering?

Oh you better believe it.

Friday, July 21, 2017


I really do love food, as evidenced by my current state of impressive girth. One of the things I like most about food is to eat it,  but I also love all the other parts. Planning, shopping, prepping, cooking, and most of all, sitting down at a pretty table with my people. Savoring it.

I've written about my goal to make less food, and I have done really well toward this goal. Some nights, there is nary a bite left over. We call those clean plate meals.

For example:

chicken tikka masala comes from heaven, and comes together in 15 minutes with Trader Joe's simmer sauce

I love a meal that goes into one bowl
Another family favorite is slow cooker carnitas. We can't clean plate that one without reinforcements. I didn't get a photo of the lovely table, but this is what was left over:

I need to bite it
I could have sworn I had a photo of the summer grill table full of marinated chicken, spicy sausage, corn and salad but I can't find it so you'll have to use your imagination. 

After all of this deliciousness, it came to pass that I found myself with a fridge full of really good leftovers one night, and I was determined to use them. I requested a vote to decide which of the yumminesses would fulfill its destiny on that fine night, but that resulted in a tie that I didn't want to break. I had the time and the inclination, so I made both. 

Please forgive my ridiculously poor and random photographs. 

On the left, frying up some rice with savory veg. On the right, I scrambled eggs with diced green chiles & carnitas
What mess? Check out the towering tupperware

Summer grill surplus was made big bite sized while I added some veggie stock and seasonings to the rice dish

Jambalaya! Machaca!
The jambalaya wasn't that good. I think some things really are better with Zatarain's.

The machaca, though?

Heaven in a flour tortilla.
Once we'd eaten our way through those pesky lefties, I took inspiration from Jane and tried my hand at slow cooked ribs for another clean plate special:

Jane, the crock pot works really, really well but you can really only fit one rack. I finished them on the grill

I just noticed that there are no humans in any of these photos, and that we eat a shit ton of meat. But hey, we run anemic 'round these parts, and it's all grass fed and preservative free* and surrounded by bountiful veggie sides. 

*Except the ribs, they were full of nitrates and woe.