Friday, September 25, 2009

Music - part 1

Music has always been and will always be a huge part of my life. I am a music lover and was once a singer (I still sing at home and in the car).

I know I will post many, many times about music and songs and the feelings and memories associated with them -- which is why this entry is titled "Music - part 1." I expect many more parts to follow.

I found this song online today, and I couldn't be more thrilled. C. and I first heard it on honeymoon. It was playing on the rental car radio as we drove all over the island of Maui. I listened and gazed out the window at the stunning and peaceful beauty of that place. I made a mental note to look it up when we got home, and I finally had the chance today to find it.

It is a beautiful (sad, but thankful) a cappella piece by Keali'i Reichel called "Wanting Memories." 

Memories, indeed. I will always have the memory of the pure love and joy I was feeling that day when I first heard the song. So in love with C., so in love with life and so ready for the next part of our journey that we had just begun together.

C., this one is for you. May we always have those Hawaiian memories and may we make new memories together every day. I love you.


Wanting Memories Lyrics


Monday, September 21, 2009

Yum, yum, yum

Part of my newlywed adventure has been sharing the company of two wonderful children -- my stepkids -- whom I'll call Jonah* (8) and Annie* (5).

I am not gonna lie. It has been an adjustment for sure. Not because they are bad kids -- they're great, actually -- but because I am new to sharing my house with anyone, let alone anyone smaller than four feet. (How, exactly, is it possible for so much volume and constant energy to emit from those two little bodies?)

Ok, so my dog is shorter than four feet, but she has been the easiest roommate on the planet. She and I still find sanity and comfort in each other amid the sometimes chaotic happenings of the new house.

Anyway, we are about two months in to our new marriage and new household, and I am starting to find my stride. The kids are with us every other weekend for three nights. It feels good to have a small victory now and then -- a moment that makes my heart swell with pride when I feel like I am truly part of the family now.

One of those occurred last night. I have been asking C. to let me do more of the cooking, because I have been needing to cook as an expression of myself in my new home (call it nesting).

I cooked for the four of us last night. It was just a simple casserole recipe with ground meat, canned tomatoes, corn, and onions topped with cornbread batter on top -- all baked in the oven. I was nervous that the kids wouldn't like it, but they gobbled it down. Annie even sat there saying, "yum, yum, yum, yum..." every few seconds. Jonah actually ATE the tomatoes. He never eats tomatoes.

A small victory for sure, but it is one of those hundreds of little things.

Last night's successful dinner -- combined with eliciting laughter from both kids AND C. as I read them a Buzz Lightyear story before bed -- helped create that warm glow I always imagined I would feel at the heart of family life. Something I dreamed of often as a single girl who lived alone.

With stepkids, a new marriage and much transition in life right now, it is so nice to stop and remember those glowing moments. I'd like to sit and savor this one for awhile.

*Names changed

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Lifetime learning

One of the things that C. and I both enjoy is continued learning, whether from reading or taking classes.

Last night, we shared in a new learning experience together - a sauce-making class at a local cooking school. We learned all the basic "mother" sauces: homemade mayonnaise (a hundred times better than jarred), pesto, hollandaise, vinaigrette, bechamel, veloute, demi glace, beurre blanc and creme anglaise.

The class of 20 people was divided into groups of three. C. and I worked with another gal to make the vinaigrette and creme anglaise, which we helped demo for the rest of the class. Each team then did a demo of their sauce. At the end, we sat down to enjoy various dishes (chicken, beef, asparagus, salad, strawberries, mac n cheese) with the sauces.

It was such a fun class - something I have been wanting to do for a long time. Mostly, it was fun to share something new like that with C. We both enjoy cooking and I hope moments like these inspire us to cook together more.

I will need to practice these sauces, I know. They are all about getting the timing right, and that is my biggest challenge when cooking.

I'll let you know when we make a few of these at home successfully. Hopefully we will add our personal twists to the base sauces.

Friday, September 11, 2009


I doubt I will ever have the words to express my feelings about September 11.

The words of a father on NPR's Story Corps this morning took me directly back to that day. He lost both of his sons that day - both emergency responders in New York. His is just one of many stories of profound loss from that day and from all senseless, man-made tragedies.

Always remember.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Road trip

C. (my husband) and I took advantage of the long weekend to take a little road trip to southwestern Colorado for a music festival in Pagosa Springs.

There is nothing like an open expanse of road for bonding with your partner. Five hours together in the car makes room for good conversation and comfortable silences. Sometimes, just sharing the view together brings you closer together.

(Note: The drive on Hwy. 285 takes you through South Park.)

My most favorite memories of childhood are the times my parents, two sisters and I spent piled in the Caprice Classic, driving cross-country, singing along with the radio (or 8-track) and stopping to see America along the way. It is something I am thrilled to share with C.

This weekend, we ate good junk food (which, as we later discovered, my body can only handle in small doses; onion rings and half a bag of Fritos resulted in C. needing to pull over to the side of the road for me - sigh). We enjoyed some fresh air. We savored our time together.

Saturday, we were at the folk festival from about noon to 10 p.m. where we heard several great bands -- many with a bluegrass bent. Nothing beats an outdoor festival with the Colorado mountains in the background. Excellent scenery, good food, great music and unmatched people watching.

The evening closed with the
Subdudes, always enjoyable, but our favorite by far was Darrell Scott. He has a poet's heart and a bluesman's soul.

Back to work today, unfortunately, but I am so thankful for those little road trips away from it all.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

One sound of autumn

My husband was up and at 'em already this morning and I was groggily making our bed. (I am NOT a morning person.) Truthfully, I was dreading my day ahead a bit -- work and I are at a bit of an impasse.

Then, I heard the vaguely melancholy sound of Canada geese honking as they flew above our house. Something about that sound has a distinct autumnal feel. I instantly picture yellowing leaves against crisp, pinkish sunsets when I hear geese.

I am ashamed to say I don't know enough about geese and their migration patterns to tell you if they are coming to Colorado or going to some distant shore in the fall. All I know is their sound means fall is on the way.

They helped start off my day with a smile, and I wish them well on their journey between the two nests they call home.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

A cup of coffee

A good cup of coffee has been one of my favorite little things since I was a senior in high school. We used to drive downtown to this funky coffee shop called Paris on the Platte and order a pitcher of Mexican coffee - heavy on the foam and cinnamon. Mmm, yum.

It wasn't just about the coffee, though - it never has been. Some of the best conversations of my angsty teenagehood happened over those pitchers of coffee (with the scent of Cloves cigarettes in the background -- I didn't smoke, but it was part of that cafe's signature atmosphere in the 90s).

There is just something about sitting down with a friend over a cup of coffee (or tea, or milk, or whatever drink strikes your fancy). It forces you to slow down, wrap your hands around the cup, and meet the eyes of the person across the table.

For me coffee = conversation. Even when I have a cup of coffee alone, it slows me down long enough to have a "conversation" with myself. It gives me five or 10 minutes to recenter and reconnect.

Since I got married a little over a month ago, my husband and I have started a nice morning tradition. He wakes up first and starts a pot of coffee. He checks e-mail or goes outside while I am getting ready upstairs, but he comes in and sits down with me at the table when I come into the kitchen.

Then, silently or with simple conversation, we share a cup of coffee. It is now the favorite part of my day.