Friday, November 06, 2015

Home Season Moments

Out of the clear blue sky it became winter. Summer. Summer. Summer, then winter. No fall. No autumn. Halloween day it hit 81 degrees Fahrenheit! November 1st? It was as hot as July, and we've become so accustomed to it, unfortunately, that we just carry on, in flip flops and shorts, with only pumpkin-flavored-everything to remind us that this is mid-autumn! But two nights ago a storm blew in, something for us like a Polar Express, chilling cold, with lightning and thunder, and everyone in my FB feed was posting about socks! Cold weather, at last!

And at last we have an excuse to cook, to bake, to wear clothes, to light a fire, to hold hands, and hug friends, to wear our socks {with flip flops and shorts, naturally.} At last, home season is here! I love this time of year, when all things cozy are appealing, like a quilt on the sofa, and hot soup for dinner, like reading aloud by the fire, planning for Thanksgiving, thinking of Christmas, anticipating making special recipes, like Bourbon Pecan Cakes, tamales.

Speaking of special recipes, I am so happy to be baking Dutch Oven Bread, again! I always start it the night before, because it doesn't require kneading, but long hours of rising. One loaf is nice. Two loves is a good start. Three loaves and you can have friends over!

And while it's baking, the house fills up with just about one of the coziest aromas there is.

William was reading aloud, Alex researching for a commission he's working on. Max was nearly done with homework, while I added another crocheted square to my stash, and Geoff was about to walk in the door... and that bread was cooling on the porch. Home season! What else could we add? Lightning and thunder, and big downpours? Yes, please!

I don't even use the Dutch Oven anymore. The recipe works just fine on a cookie sheet.

Alex and I ran errands yesterday, and when we were in the home building store I lost my sense of proportion and order, and actually admitted I'd love to jump in, drink the koolaid and decorate for Christmas! Crazy. I know. But... it's all so pretty, uplifting, sentimental, homey, comforting, shiny, twinkly, sparkly... stop me.

Sorry. It is too soon.

Just for the record: I am on board with all of the love and joy, lights and glitter, home and hearth, loved ones, and daydreaming hopes of this season. And I am on board with goats and chickens, blue skies and fluffy clouds, rotted pumpkins, rain quenched gardens, friends calling, all the sights, sounds, and blessings of home.

Thursday, November 05, 2015

First Year of Happily Ever After

Happy Anniversary, Kellie & Michal~

And happy celebrating for all of us, when Kellie, Michal and Adam invited everyone to their home for a Happily Ever After party! Their new outdoor entertaining area is complete. Kellie's mom made fabulous landscaping choices, and the kitchen and seating areas were very inviting... so was the delicious food from two caterers!

It was nice to see friends we haven't seen in a while. Hello, Julie!

It was nice to enjoy the happiness of Kellie and Michal, with their friends and family.

It was nice to see some of our very own familia, too! Hello, Vicky!

Carne asada? Beans, rice, grilled veggies, all the fixings? Michal approves!

There is a fire ring {a square, actually} and I imagine in the evenings, when it's lit, this is a fantastic place to be. In the day, we were loving the views. It's so inviting, all of it, and Kellie and Michal!

Neighbors and friends... we have it so good.

William and Michael {I'm wishing I could use emoticons here... a happy face, blowing a kiss, my wordless affection for how happy this picture makes me feel.}

Michael, how would you feel about being in our family Christmas card this year?

Kellie arranged to have an activity area for the children... there was supervision, crafts, face painting, tattoos. Super idea.

Maria loved that she could see Nikita, again. {Cheez wiz, my blog is too big... where is the post from when Michal and Kellie celebrated Holi, and we played with colors? That's the last time Maria and Nikita played together. I cannot complain... we simply have loads and loads of happy celebrations and reasons to post.}

It's Ido and Bex! More friends and neighbors! And have we have been partying!

I am calling this our Album Cover. We aren't sure what genre of music we play, but there's no doubt that it's happy.

More group shots. Is it too late to add a New Year's resolution to my list? From now on, I am going to get more pictures with friends and family. Ido, thank you for taking this one!

And then... then I remembered that I had just polished off two three street tacos, and I became mortified thinking:
I probably have gobs of cilantro in my teeth! And the embarrassment of this realization led to this...

Cilantro check, por favor!

{Yeah, you can dress me up, but you can't take me out.}

After Kellie and Michal thanked everyone for coming, and presented their beautiful cake, we dashed back to our home so Maria could get ready for dancing in a Ballet Folklorico performance for Día de los Muertos. And that was awesome... and then we came back to Kellie and Michal's...

Because we really needed some tattoos! Just kidding. But. Yeah... we totally got tattoos!

Adam got to hit against a pro, his uncle.

I tried to get a good shot of Adam at bat, for Kellie... I think it was her first chance to eat all day! Isn't that the way when you are hosting?

He's ready...

Can you see it? About center, above the full pine tree?

Now headed towards the barn! Good hit, Adam! Just like our weekend... a grand slam!

Kellie and Michal, congratulations! You've found love, made room for change and a new life, opened your hearts to wonderful new possibilities. Everyone is delighted for your happily ever after.

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

Día de Muertos y Ballet Folklorico

Maria hasn't been in a dance performance since July, when they danced for a wedding! But she has been rehearsing every week, and learning a new dance, too. Las Alazanas. New dance... new dress!

And here we go! We had to leave Kellie and Michal's lovely anniversary celebration, to get to the community center on time. We were really squeezing in a lot of good stuff last weekend! We managed to return to the party for more celebrating of our friend's first year of happily ever after!

Our first Día de los Muertos festival, and what a fun place to begin! Outside were show cars and low riders, and altars in remembrance of departed loved ones. Also marvelous aromas from the food trucks, and many artists at work. Inside we found craft activities, live music, and happy revelers. We got Maria backstage, and found a place where we could take in the sights.

Mariachi Divinas... such a treat. Que padre.

Elegant and artful, the catrines were out and about.

Las Alazanas :: Maria is in front, to the right, with the white rebozo around her waist.

Los Machetes... the same they performed in June, at the Fair.
Maria is on the right, leading the line to the center.
{Sometimes we wish we brought the good camera... sometimes it's enough just to get there and enjoy the show!}

Emma and Maria, dear cousins, dear friends. And back outside in the bright, bright November sun.

Maria and the catrina... and one more exciting event in a very full weekend!