The Wide Hearth

20180206_073304As you head south from Colorado Springs and enter into the valley of Southern Colorado the weather changes sharply.  Pueblo gets far less snow than our northern brethren and the temperatures don’t hover at below zero like places we have lived.  This morning we woke to snow.  It is still too cold for us though and one day we shall live somewhere without snow.  Our dog did look rather shocked when he went outside this morning!  He, for one, does not mind snow a bit.  (Though he is currently sleeping on a giant pillow in the living room right now.)

Colonial Kitchen

It is this type of weather that makes me dream of one of my favorite architectural elements, the wide, walk-in fireplace.  The hearth that sustained generations over the years has seemingly disappeared in favor of furnaces.  There is just something so comforting about a fire in hearth, a cast iron pot hanging from a hook with supper cooking away ready for any visitor to pour a ladle of something hot and nourishing into a bowl to warm themselves.  There is something lovely and rustic about a family pulled up to the warmth on a snowy winter’s eve with knitting or books or fiddle.

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I love my little house with the cast iron wood stove.  It creates such beauty and warmth to our living space.  If I ever build my own house I shall make the counters four inches higher, remove the ceiling fans, make everything in the bathroom higher (houses weren’t made for tall people!), create an open living plan, and put in a walk-in, large fireplace to warm our home on…ahem…rainy days.  Enjoy the snow!

It’s Halloween!

costume

I walked to the mailbox and found inside a letter.  It was from my dear friend, Pat, who sent us a Halloween greeting.  I love her poems and wanted to share it with you!

It’s Halloween

It’s Halloween!  It’s Halloween!

The moon is full and bright

and we shall see what can’t be seen

on any other night.

 

Skeletons and ghosts and ghouls

Grinning goblins fighting duels

Werewolves rising from their tombs

Witches on their magic brooms.

 

In masks and gowns

We haunt the streets

and knock on doors

for trick or treats.

 

Tonight we are

the King and Queen

for oh tonight

It’s Halloween!

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The Milk Maid

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Third Eye Blind

Tonight we will light a fire in the wood stove and add a few chairs for wandering souls.  Make a warm meal and pour a pumpkin beer.  We will fill a bowl with chocolates for the neighborhood ghouls.  And enjoy Halloween in our new home.

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Shimmer the Genie

Wishing you all a fun filled Halloween, a sweet Samhain, and a happy New Year.

New Year’s Project Day 1

Five days until the new year begins.  Just another day, but still in my heart the dawn will shine bright and this year will be but a whisper in time.

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We will be starting a new tradition this year.  At Pat and Rodney’s house, after Pat and I make a delicious celebratory dinner and before we sing karaoke until the new year, we will write on slips of paper.  Write.  Each bad happening.  Each disappointment.  Each bad habit we want to change.  One by one they will slip into the roaring fire of New Year’s Eve and dissipate.  Then we will write each thing we want to manifest.  Send it the universe in a prayer of smoke.  A symbolic resolution.

I will be glad to see 2016’s hopeful face.

And for the next few days leading up to the New Year I will lead you through an exercise.  Not necessarily writing down that you promise to go to the gym six days a week and drink green smoothies for the entire year but really big things.  We are all going to manifest what we want.  Document.  Detail.  Release what we need to release.  Heal broken hearts.  And start whirling into motion exactly what we want.

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Doug and I bought a calendar last night.  Of baby goats.  Let the manifesting begin.  Start thinking about what you are ready to release and manifest.  It’s going to be a good year.

Simple Pleasures and Tragic Fires

fire

The fires rage on.  The town seven miles south of us is evacuated.  So many of our friends have evacuated.  My friend pulled up to the shop to get a bottle of Furry Friends Anxiety from us, her car filled with two exchange students and nine cats on their way to a hotel.  Hundreds of animals; llamas, alpacas, cows, horses, unclaimed dogs, goats; along with human evacuees are crowded into the fairgrounds just beyond our back yard.  Doug and I took our daily walk through there so that Maryjane could see the animals.  One man, worried look on his face, resembling a sad Santa Claus scratched a yak behind a temporary fence.  All of his animals there, no home to go to, the Sheriff told us.

I shutter to think how many fellow farms will be not be at the farmers market tomorrow.  How many people will be missing.  We did not go to the market today as it is a mere mile from the evacuation site on the other side.  The smoke here hangs like fog.  Our eyes are dry, our hearts are sad for those around us.  We are safe here.  But it doesn’t take long for Mother Nature to decide otherwise for any of us.  So we focus our efforts on helping those we can, being thankful for what is here and now, and not worrying about all the small stuff that plagues our days.  We focus on the simple pleasures in life.

Ready for Market!

Holding a child’s hand.

The sweet taste of real honey. (Not the packaged stuff at the fast food joint!)

The hummingbird that visits each morning.

For Maryjane’s smile.

For all the jars of pickles and tomatoes in the kitchen waiting to be moved to the root cellar.

For baby chicks and their antics.

For the sound of Grandma and Grandpa’s voices.

For the first lilac.

For light rain on a sweltering day.

For time with friends.

For good wine.

For good folk music, mandolins, guitars, fiddle….

I told Emily as we walked home, “We have to stop worrying about everything in our lives.  We can’t be attached to material items.  Today, we are okay, and that is all we need to know.”

What are simple pleasures for you?