Tuesday, October 14, 2014


We just took a little vacation up to the great state of Wyoming. And as we made our way up through Utah and then Jackson and even Yellowstone...I decided that I didn't really like Wyoming. It was so...desert-y, and sage-y, and dusty, and dry. I am not really a desert person, and I was so surprised to find out that Wyoming is pretty much a desert state. Who knew?? (Well, probably everyone but me!)

But then we came to Cody, and something in me changed. Cody felt different. After we had been there for a few days I realized that I had completely fallen in love with that little town. With the community and the landscape and the mom-and-pop-ness of it. With the wildness and the western-ness and culture of it.

It made me feel small and safe and free all at the same time.

The sky was so very big, and even the clouds looked to be as big as a whole cities. There was a great vastness to the open space...it made me feel very small. Like a mere speck on this grand creation we call Earth.

The mountains were big and rolling and many, and they surrounded the town on all sides like a fortress. The legend of William F Cody was alive and well, and it seemed to pour out of everywhere. And it made me feel safe... to be inside a fortress guarded by the world-renowned marksman known as Buffalo Bill.

The sunshine was brilliant. The fresh air seemed to be without limit and the wildness lay just beyond view. And I felt as free as I have ever felt.

It all made me feel closer to God, and I am not sure why.

But on our last day there, we visited the Buffalo Bill Center of the West. A movie about Bill Cody was played somewhere along the way and I was surprised to hear him say the same thing...closer to God.
He said it like this...

The moment [my] show closes, I hike out to the mountains. I like to get close to nature. That’s the only real way to live, after all. The [city dweller] doesn’t know what a true man is like. He hasn’t any chance to know. He never takes a full, deep breath; he never gets his lungs full of air. He can’t do it in [his] low altitude. When I get back in the mountains, in those grand temples that God built, I feel like another being, and I say, as I draw in a full breath of life, “I’m certainly a man!”
I believe that a man gets closer to God out there in the big, free West. It gives him a chance to expand, to know himself, to think.
* Charles Darnton, “’Buffalo Bill’ Cody at Close Range,” unidentified newspaper, April 27, 1907

...and I couldn't agree more.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Sunshine and Shadow

Wrapping up the day.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Inspired by Martha

You know how sometimes you get a magazine in the mail and it's a dud? Nothing inside the cover that speaks to you? Always a bummer.

Or how about those times when you get a magazine in the mail and it has a few lovely little things that you can't wait to try? Always a plus!

But how about those rare times you get a magazine in the mail and it appears to have been hand written JUST FOR YOU? That just happened to me. It was this one...

And I will probably NEVER let it go.
What's so great about this "To Rana, Love Martha" issue?

Well how about this great collection of magnifying glasses:

All things apples:

I am pretty sure this laundry basket would make doing the laundry less of a chore:

Pretty no-carve pumpkins:

FABULOUS popcorn on the cob:

I am hoping this salad will turn my guy into a broccoli lover (instead of the hateful hater that he is):

And speaking of good food, how about roasted carrots with chimichurri:

Or escarole and bean soup:

Chicken Chile Stew:

For the nature lover in me, there is this "virtually fool-proof" watercolor inspiration:

A branch for the coat closet...brilliant!

How about a fabulous gray kitchen (and I don't even like gray!)

Kitschy light bulbs:

Organized drawers:

Pumpkins to greet your guests (and yourself):

And last but not least, this great firewood containment system:

Now, in an effort to be a doer and not just an admirer...

I have assembled some watercolor supplies (I even have a few leaf tracings inside):

I picked up my first magnifying glass:

I have apples just waiting to be cooked up:

I have friends in mind to invite over for chicken chile stew (Theresa and Laura, this means you!).

I have also broached the subject of a gray kitchen and a branch for the closet with my guy. It seems that at this point in time these things are completely "impossible"....and I may have heard him utter the words "stupid Martha Stewart"...which I take to mean I should hide this treasured issue before it mysteriously disappears...maybe I should start a Pinterest board too, just in case...

All of these images, of course, are from the October 2014 issue of Martha Stewart Living.