rosh hashanah + changing colors


i read something recently that has resonated with me so very much; it is the perfect idea to think on as rosh hashana begins this evening (see previous posts marking this special holiday here), and to start the practice of during the ten days of awe (hopefully leading to a full-fledged every day commitment).

the idea was this: “if you don’t have an opinion, you don’t have an obligation.”

at the heart of many an issue is a strong opinion. it is so easy to judge, to find fault, to have-a-very-definite-opinion-about-everything. about how something should be done, how so and so is doing it wrong or right or not enough or too much and we, the opinionated, suffer the most because is there anything more frustrating than giving your (this is going to help you! just listen! and do it!) opinion and it going completely on deaf ears. oy.

i read this statement and thought wow – this is the secret of non-judgement. take away the opinion and you take away the obligation, which takes away all of the angst when the other person doesn’t jump to attention upon hearing your sage advice. more important than the opinions you voice are the ones you don’t. how full are our minds of unvoiced, but toxic opinions. if there was ever anything as easy as having an opinion on every single thing passing in front of our eyes, i wish it was something like exercise. but no, nothing comes so easily as thoughts of how everything should be.

if during the ten days of awe leading to yom kippur we can reflect on what went wrong this past year, what we’d like to make amends for, and what we would like to change in the upcoming days and months and year, unloading the obligation of opinion seems like a great place to start. it’s a step up the ladder on acceptance (tolerance when we can’t quite muster true acceptance), and getting out of our own way by not making everything our business to change.

we painted. we have beautiful blue beetle wood ceilings throughout our house but the master bath needed a coat of color with all of that marble. marble floors are a pita bytheway. the things we learn in hindsight. the color is another historic charleston pick, high battery. the lantern, true brass, and heavy, was a thrift store find. three dollars i think. and the (normally) super pricey, oversized medallion, another thrift store find for 99cents. both helping to make up for the fact that good paint is $$$.

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buffalo bill, a glacier, a birthday, + friends


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mr blue eyes had a birthday and it was a really good one! the day started with sleeping in a little, lots of surprise presents, breakfast served, then off to lookout mountain (alleged resting spot of buffalo bill) which has non-stop views of denver, golden, and we could even see edgewater (well, the lake); then a glacier hike, tommyknockers, a winery, and cooking out with the best of friends. a good day right?

we hiked st. mary’s glacier for the first time and it is amazing!! close to home, a little bit of a workout getting to the lake and glacier, but a short hike so reward comes quickly, and so unbelievably gorgeous. it was the end of june and people were ice-pick climbing, skiing, and snowboarding the glacier, so cool. i’m not sure it will ever seem like just another day when you can go from hot and 90’s to ice-pick climbing. one of our favorite hikes so far.

birthday surprises included a raised fire-pit cooking grate and vegetable/popcorn grill baskets (popcorn over the fire!!). when we traveled full-time (in the airstream) some of our favorite nights included cooking on an open fire; in san diego we/he cooked on the campfire grill every single night for a month. those california nights were my birthday inspiration, and i am happy to say this surprise has been a big success already. we celebrated with the best of friends, who gave the perfect gift, a mini ax/hatchet. he loves it, immediate use (on firewood only). it’s amazing how cooking outdoors with friends, the extra time it takes, the involvement of many instead of one, how that makes for the best evening.

my husband has given me the world, i am so so lucky to be able to celebrate with him each and every year. thanks for all that you do and for the being the man that you are. my cute birthday boy. i love you.

p.s. if you want to try outdoor popcorn popping here’s our baskets from surlatable | and a few extras : best summer body wash ever! smells just like fresh squeezed lemonade and it’s from method! | i started using one of these and it actually makes you look like you had a salon blow-out (does not curl my hair though) | this has completely changed my life | liberty! | this book | hot tomatillo and green chile | leopard love!! | happy 4th of july everyone! we’ll be celebrating america + our 16th wedding anniversary!

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i was so much older then, i’m younger than that now. (bob dylan)

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if you were seated at your birthday party sometime in the far future, 85th, 97th, 100!, maybe even sooner than those numbers, but far away still, and everyone in the room were taking turns saying the three things they think of when they think of you, what would you hope those three things would be? would it be that you were the best blogger they ever met? the hardest worker? the fittest? the funniest? best parent? friend? most generous? figure out those three things, the ones you want most in the world, and then figure out how much time you spend becoming more and more of each and whether your actions and your list line up. it’s a big jump start to recognizing whether the time you’re spending on all things day-to-day add up to what you’ll want to hear at that birthday party. then, feel lucky (if they don’t match), that the chosen date is far, far away, and starting now you can turn it all around. there is still time.

don’t you love the sun being up from early morning till just a little before bedtime? our doors are open wide and warm summer air blows through all day long. we’ve enjoyed really good company, baseball games and backyard bonfires. we’re revving up for birthdays and anniversaries, making plans for the future, loving this little house of ours, ignoring the long list of things to be done still, cooking new recipes and watching summer movies. our american flag is flying, the yard flamingos are out, we’ve celebrated the wedding of our neighbors, planted moon flowers, made a summer to-do list, went to the very best concert ever, mr. lionel richie. amazing doesn’t even begin to tell it. and mostly, we just hope that this summer, time stands still.

a few tidbits: this vegan ranch recipe is it | we bought a yogurt maker and with a little help from this lady, got that whole thing figured out (it rocks! good, simple ingredients, instead of loaded with sugar and who knows what in those tiny cups of crazy | we’ve been catching up on this with double shot wednesday night episodes, so if you aren’t watching, set the tivo people! | thinking about building one of these for the backyard | putting one of these in the bedroom because.. wouldn’t that make you laugh every.single.time? and isn’t that alone worth it?! | and for my ladies who like to shop, a little of this & that: perfect red tee for the fourth (wish list!) | boho inspired awesomeness | thesethese, and these | the beach | oxford stripes | puff sleeves, say no more.

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great sand dunes national park


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when i think about miracles and wonders of the world, without question this place is both. even in fiction i could not have imagined being in the middle of mountainous colorado, landlocked from every direction, standing on and in and around the tallest sand dunes in north america. seven hundred and fifty feet tall. those specks you see in the above photos are people, some not even that far from where i stood, that is how insanely big these dunes are. walking to the base of them is long and stretched out and filled with water in the summers. people ski and tube and sled, how cool is it that this united states has a place that holds the tallest of snow capped mountains and the tallest of sandy dunes right next to each other. amazing.

it was beyond windy while we were there, but unlike when it’s windy at the beach and sand blows in your eyes and hair and sandblasts your skin away, no sand whirled around here, still though, it was bracing enough not to want to lollygag too much. once again, a place miles from anywhere of substance. i drove down a long straight road with vastness in every direction for miles and miles, then turned down a barely marked road that shot straight out into the plains with not a single thing for twenty more miles, and then we curved closer and closer and boom, there it is.

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monument valley


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back when john wayne was traversing monument valley on horseback, think if this idea had been proposed: “can you imagine 20 years ago, congress proposing a law saying every citizen had to wear a radio transponder around his neck, all day and all night, so the government could track him wherever he went? can you imagine the outrage? but instead the citizens went right ahead and did it to themselves, in their purses, pockets, not around their necks, but the outcome is the same.” cell phones.

it’s such an absurd statement that when i read it i thought no one would ever ever, and yet, everyone has, it’s kind of unbelievable when you think about it this way! i was chatting with some girlfriends about smart phones and how being a person that is always-with-phone creates a loss of i was out, i missed your call/email/text and can create a gulf  between sender and receiver when those texts/emails/calls are long-to-never responded to like an often ignored rsvp. we all know the person got it, we know because anytime we’re with said person they always have their phone with them, and are never not checking it (at least a little bit). do you feel a sense of responsibility when you know that you are never without your phone but then don’t respond? i know i would, i’d feel guilty not responding!

i don’t have a smartphone and unless they are the only phones left on earth don’t foresee myself ever having one at this point. i have total freedom from emails while i am out and about, and being the rare lady who isn’t big on talking on the phone, i don’t even pick mine up half the time. unless i am venturing out alone i don’t usually carry it with me, and if i do, i leave it in the car as i go in and out of places, something about shopping and talking on the phone at the same time, not my speed! i know the upside to technology at your fingertips can be great, and my one girlfriend receives work info via her phone, so i realize that no smartphone is a no go for lots of folks, but still, the above statement definitely makes you stop and think doesn’t it?! (just call me the dinosaur that is way behind on technology, i mean both mr blue eyes and i were like the very last people to get any kind of cell phone, i had one that was the size of a brick loooong after everyone had moved on to brighter and better, people would actually laugh when they saw it. so what i do i know anyway?!)  (:

anyhoo, husband and i are big time movie lovers and gosh, monument valley is huge when you think megastar backdrops. lone ranger, back to the future 3, mission impossible 2, forrest gump, national lampoons vacation, so many!! forrest gump had the famous scene where he’s running and m.valley is in the background (like the first photo above). i was so so excited to get pictures from that angle! we drove in early and were so lucky to have light traffic, light enough that we could wait until cars (and tons of semi’s) were out of view. i cannot imagine ever getting photos without cars and people in high tourist season.

it’s in the middle of nowhere on the way to a lot of other amazing places and well worth the visit if you can make it. we drove a 17 mile loop through the park that will rattle your brain from start to finish but wow, i’ll never see it in a movie and not remember being right there.

(quote:lee child)

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36° 59′ 56.3″ N, 109° 2′ 42.6″ W


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the middle of nowhere, yet four states at once. the only place where so many states come together at one point and there isn’t a thing but desert around for miles and miles. pretty cool though, we stood like giants!

and for tgif, a few things that grabbed my eye on the big wide web: one fish, two fish, three fish, blue fish | or these, french fancy | who knew keds had grown up so much! red, white, & blue | this looks really fun (although i am a major sucker for blackened marshmallows) | cheeky | for summertime | my favorite mascara ever, and it’s under $10! | this set of 8 bar glasses, perfect for pool or lakeside | possibly the cutest bunny ears ever.. | have a great weekend!

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“stay is a charming word in a friends vocabulary.” (amos bronson alcott)

i can’t say for sure, not being the guest but rather the host, but i’m pretty sure our friends feel a strong sense of being welcome. if you happen by us on a warm afternoon and blink, we’ll have you in a chair with a cold one and you’ll wonder what happened hours later. this definitely happens at our house. and for having a one bedroom, teeny tiny house, we’re often full to the brim. have you ever noticed that small houses seem to teem with people and large rambling ones have only their regular occupants with room to spare.

to feel welcome is one of the best feelings in the world. someone wanting you around. to visit. to linger.
to stay. no matter what is going on (not for lack of a busy schedule but despite one). the person that makes you feel truly welcome regardless of what life is throwing their way, oh i love that person.. that friend. do you ever go (or maybe even just ask to go) to a friends house and they hem and haw and say how much they have going on but sure come on over or well, yes, come, but… the dreaded but! among other things, having a friend that lights up with even the idea of you visiting, could there be much better?

we enjoyed every minute of our time in arches, it’s mesmerizing. husband conquered a hike that seemed undoable last year, there’s a bit of height involved and it was windy as all get out last time we tried it, wind and height, not so much for him. this year, we made it! best hike in the park for us, we savored every second; well, except for climbing down a crazy steep side of a rock with no real footholds. think walking a crack and if you slip it’s not going to end pretty, i didn’t love it, but i made it, and he made it, and we felt victorious!!

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you know what i don’t understand, huge neon roadsigns flashing – warning! watch for animals on road! danger! – uh, yeah. well it’s pitch black in the middle of the mountains (this was our drive to glenwood springs after seeing gaffigan in beaver creek), no ambient light to speak of, nothing but inky darkness on either side of the car, so what exactly are we supposed to do in precaution? we’re going the speed limit, we’re in no way needing continuous danger signs to freak us out, it’s not like you can see the animals coming until they are right in front of your headlight beams, it’s kind of like those – watch for falling rocks signs – really? they might as well just say.. good luck.

anyhoo, a few pics from our drive to moab and some meanderings in arches on our first day, 45mph winds be damned! and just because, a few bobbles from around the web! enjoy your weekend!!

if you’re going to give me wine, please give it to me in this | does it get any more preppy? | some goodness from where else? jcrew delivers.. clip, black & white, neon citrus, weekday love,  and more stripes | royals for happy hour | limoncello please | gazelle’s a leaping. awesome. here & here | zebras!!! | and a little bit old school, streamlined. |

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vail + gaffigan + change


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hello, hello. we survived a long long winter, are safe and sound in edgewater, oh to be home again! we’ve been recouping, working on minor home projects, and… that sweet husband of mine surprised me with gaffigan tickets for valentines day (thanks honey!) in beaver creek no less. perfect excuse for a road trip, which we turned into a loop’d’loo tour of the west. vail is just the beginning.

to all of those thinking of making a change, i have heard and lived this. embracing change comes in threes, three days for some, three weeks for others, and the long stretch of three years for even bigger things, beyond that, who knows. i have always lived by the philosophy that if you make a change for all of the right reasons, to be better, to do better, to stretch and reach for more, to risk everything for the hope that you/we/i can become more than what we’ve known, a life that has possibly been quite comfortable, that this courage, to go and risk it all, will be rewarded.

when i first watched eat, pray, love i heard the echo of this belief in the final quote of the movie; “if you’re brave enough to leave behind everything familiar and comforting, which can be anything from your house to bitter, old resentments, and set out on a truth-seeking journey, either externally or internally, and if you are truly willing to regard everything that happens to you on that journey as a clue and if you accept everyone you meet along the way as a teacher and if you are prepared, most of all, to face and forgive some very difficult realities about yourself, then the truth will not be withheld from you.” (elizabeth gilbert)

moving west was exhilarating and exhausting for me. i might as well have been living upside down. heartache, tears, frustration, bewilderment, strange land, strange people, stress, renovation, snow.
i never wavered that leaving north carolina was the thing to have done, starting over either, never wavered on whether buying our house and pouring everything into it was crazy. i did question if i could truly feel at home here, out of the south, one of my true loves and the only thing i really know. i didn’t worry that mistakes had been made in the getting-here because i really believe(d) that we were doing everything for all of the right reasons. three years later, reward.

i came back to colorado and felt wow! it’s really good to be home. a lightness and happiness about this place, the one that has been shadowed by the most tumultuous up and down adapting over the past three years. it’s home and i’m happy here, we’re happy here. we’re truly feeling like we made it! we can see the light! of course a million other things (that i still hold to the same wisdom) have yet to be sorted into place, but that we are right where we are supposed to be, what a good feeling. change is good.

this trip, that i have much more of to share, it was sort of our first real salute to this part of the country that we now call home, our first time as both travelers of this western land and locals. it’s good to be back.

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well, said pooh, what i like best, and then he had to stop and think. because although eating honey was a very good thing to do, there was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than when you were, but he didn’t know what it was called. (a.a.milne, winnie-the-pooh)

isn’t that what travel is all about? the wonderful anticipation of it all. the new and old sites to see, the dearest of friends to meet with, chicago was just the best. and now, it’s time to work.

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