oh hello.

i haven't been a very good blogger in the past couple weeks, but all sorts of crazy, interesting, exciting and strange things have happened! i will do a quick update right now and then write more soon...
  • the aspen have glowed & the leaves have dropped... we had our first snowfall and i survived my first extremely icy drive to work.
  • i have had quite a few people interested in buying my car, but no offers.
  • i continued my quest to find a hairdresser in steamboat, and had a successful cut at a place called "hair on earth." i think this is the shortest it has been since college!
  • brett & i took care of a young alpaca that was choking/vomiting. many of you know how poorly i handle people puke, so i was impressed with my ability to handle this...
  • brett was attacked by a dog at the animal shelter- he is fine but has a couple painful bites and is pretty angry.
  • i am planning an east coast trip for the first week of february. my grandmother is turning 90 on cape cod on the 7th of february, and i am trying to build a week-long trip around that. so far it looks like i will be flying into nyc the weekend of jan 30, possibly scooting up to VC, seeing grandmommy in hartford, and being on the cape for gran's big party before flying back to colorado! it should be a bit of a whirlwind, but if anyone can find a spot to insert themselves into that week, i would love to see you!
  • and last but definitely not least, I SAW BARACK OBAMA!!! i will post about the full story soon (with photos!), but it involved an early morning drive to denver, benefitting from kat's connections, a texas visitor, a lot of standing, a vassar grad connection, and a speech by barack obama. it was an empowering, exhausting, and exciting day.

more soon.


a very special day...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MY LONGEST FRIEND! i wanted to send my biggest birthday wishes over to new york city for jenna's birthday. she is 25 on the 25th! jenna and i have been friends since our mommas were carrying us in our bellies, and we've been sisters ever since. here is to many years of long walks, cookie baking, movie watching, cuddling, skiing, adventuring, hiking, biking, sailing, and cooking! i wish i could be there for your birthday today (i did look into tickets to surprise you!), but i know your parents, alex, and awesome friends will take good care to help you celebrate. eat some delicious cake today for me. love ya!


i just wanted to send a little HAPPY BIRTHDAY shoutout to my dear friends liz & rach! their birthdays were on friday and saturday, and they spent the weekend in boston at the head of the charles regatta cheering on our former rowing team. i wish i could have been there to celebrate with you girls and watch the boats speed by. how about next year? hope you had a great weekend. i love you! (and hi to annie, the fourth face in the photo too!)

the yurt.

i spent most of the day today up at the yurt helping ken & carol and their friend jan put some more layers on the interior wall. it was amazing! the yurt is made of straw bales, and coated with a cob mixture (sand, clay, straw). ken & carol have been meaning to finish the layers, but with the house on the market they weren't putting as much time and effort into it. now that it looks like they may be sticking around for a while, they decided to try to finish it up. their friend jan does this sort of stuff for a living, and helped carol build their house as well. yes- the house we live in is straw bale!

so ken called me up and asked me to come up and sift sand. the sand got mixed in with clay, water, and cottontails! ken and i got elbow deep mixing it while jan gave us guidance on texture and thickness. carol and jan worked on smoothing a layer of the mixture onto the wall of the yurt. the interior used to be a smooth plaster but with a lot of hay showing through, so the layers we put on today cover the hay. eventually jan invited me to try smoothing on the plaster- i wasn't sure if carol would trust me to mess with her walls, but she did! it was so cool. my section wasn't quite as smooth as jan (the expert)'s or carol's, but i would say i did pretty well. we did a lot of spreading, and then ken and i mixed up some thinner clay for the final coat.

brett had checked out some books on cob cottages, straw bale, and other organic & natural structure systems from the library, so i had some background info on what exactly we were doing... and i've learned a lot also from ken just talking about their home & their philosophy on straw bale homes. it was very empowering to be a part of the experience today & also made me think a lot about home construction. a straw bale home is very green & natural, and can be made with local products. it requires less energy and is naturally well insulated. the ingredients are cheap! the experience of building it literally with your hands is so special- you are building your home out of love (and hay, and manure, and sand....).

i went for a walk later this afternoon and walked past two other houses that are currently being built in the extended neighborhood. one of them has gone up just in the past couple weeks. the digging and foundation happened in about a week,and then the frame of the house went up in the following week. the walls have come in pre-cut and pre-constructed pieces that so it has popped up quickly. i'm sure they are trying to get it all up before the snow comes in force, but it feels a little unnatural for it to pop up so quickly! this house is right on my drive, so i see the progress daily.

the other house is on the next street over. one day i went for a walk and noticed that they had flattened out a field. apparently i haven't been walking enough recently, because today there was an entire house sitting in the space! i'm not sure if it was a prefab house that came in on a trailer or if they just built it insanely quickly. it is a simple ranch house, but it seems very fast.

both of these homes feel a bit unnatural both in their construction and timing. i value the sturdiness, slowness, and organic aspects of the straw bale house. if and when i find myself considering builingd a home, i will certainly consider straw bale.

in the meantime... my arms are so tired! it certainly felt productive and exciting to see my progress, but now i am totally exhausted. i have been lying on the couch reading ever since i got back from my walk. i suppose it's time to cook some dinner!


a taste of heaven.

when i was in college, my dear friend and roommate liz let me in on one of the tastiest pleasures in this life. she had discovered the levain bakery, a tiny bakery on the upper west side of manhattan that makes the most delicious cookies i have ever tasted! her parents sent us some as a gift, and we savored those cookies for a week!

since then, i have passed on the delectable delights to jenna. i went with her to the bakery when i visited her in nyc a couple years ago and then she brought me a big bag of them when she came to visit last year! brett now loves the monstrous cookies almost as much as i do.

last week my co-worker lisa headed off to new york for a conference for our cooperating collection. she had not been to nyc in nearly 20 years and coming from small town steamboat was a bit nervous to say the least. i did my best to prep her with directions, activity suggestions, and a map. needless to say, i marked levain bakery on the map and told her to go eat the best cookie of her life.

today she returned from the big apple with a little white bag in her hand for me! she brought me two cookies- a dark chocolate choc-chip cookie and a dark chocolate pb-chip cookie. she knew the pb chip was my fave. it was the most wonderful and delicious treat.

and so while my mouth and mind is filled with this piece of chocolaty heaven, i wanted to share the secret of levain bakery with all of you! the website is www.levainbakery.com and it can be located at 167 west 74th street in manhattan. i highly recommend a journey to this spot to any of you visiting or living in the city.

each cookie weighs six ounces and there are four flavors:
chocolate chip walnut
oatmeal raisin
dark chocolate pb chip
dark chocolate choc chip



"Our falling places are many: we tumble feetlast into disaster, stumble upon random blessings, sink into pessimism, slip into love, and sometimes even let our knees buckle under us in laughter. I like the last one best. Enjoy."
-Edie Carey

flattops wilderness area

several weekends ago we hiked the devil's causeway trail. the foliage was peaking on the drive up to the hike, and it the trail was beautiful as well. we had been wanting to explore the flattops area for a while, and this is a very famous hike in colorado. it was wonderful!

technical difficulties.

can any of you bloggers out there teach me how to post text? i am trying to cut and paste text into my blog entry and it doesn't seem to show up when i publish it. kat? mush? a little assistance to a newcomer, please....


oh hi.

so i've decided that it's time to invite my good friends to be readers of my blog.  i waited a bit to see if it seemed like something i might actually use, and i've chosen to keep on trying it out.  i haven't become an incredibly active blogger in these past couple weeks since i started it, but i still like the idea!  i'll try to share news, recipes, book & movie & music recommendations, and photos on here, so check back soon. 

welcome, my friends!  thanks for stopping in & i hope you enjoy.

love to all.


fallen flurries.

the first snowflakes fell at my house this morning. right as we were getting into the car to drive to work, i noticed some white speckles hitting the windshield. winter is definitely coming. last night the frost was so strong that it even killed my everlasting cilantro "trees." they had lasted through the first several frosts, but this one really knocked them over.

the ski area also got their first snowfall over the weekend. check out the front page photo of today's paper on the left...