1. My backyard is nothing but wide open space with trees and tall grass (and Claire’s bum to keep it intersting).
2. Army Men for Girls (found here) because I have a feeling I will have to replace the kids’ toys as I have no idea where they are in the sea of boxes towering floor to ceiling in the garage.
3. Ultimate Prop for a Photoshoot (found here) …
4. Getting a lot of teasing about needing a grille on the front of the SUV to ward off impact of wild animals, when in reality, what I really need is THIS to truly embrace country living.
5. Last night Dad swung by for dinner (I probably should share the recipe. Perfect for Fall.) and had a beer while we talked about his upcoming retirement, their plans for a warm weather getaway, and about the renters who are renting my house in Denver (he got an earful as it hasn’t been as smooth as I was hoping it would be). We sat at the kitchen island, because we are casual like that. And because I cannot cook without making a GIANT mess, he gave the kids a bath and had Caeden read to him while I cleaned it all up. And the entire time the house was loud and busy and smelled good and I loved it.
And it made me grateful to have moved here.
Because it was hard to do.
6. The other day I got an email from a dear friend who told me of the recent upheavals her family has had to endure. She said that her husband was setting the tone for how to handle things, keeping her grounded and worrying a LITTLE LESS. And within this story, she told me if she had been me, as soon as Wayne had died, she would have packed a couple of suitcases and RAN as fast as she could to be with family. Because in the end, in the middle, in good and in bad, it’s family and close friends that help you heal. And it was time I had figured that out.
(Time as a healer is important, but it can be over rated, I think. No, I’ve learned.)
7. Yesterday was a really hard day for me. Cade brought home a “Dad’s For Donuts” flyer that his school is sponsoring, and for whatever reason (probably because I wasn’t expecting it), I fell apart. I spent most of the day crying and popping Excedrin to get rid of the headache that wouldn’t leave as the cycle just kept repeating. (I am tired of crying. Tired, I tell you.)
What did I need to cry for? Caeden was excited that Grandpa was going to eat donuts with him. Didn’t even skip a beat.
And I wonder who is setting the tone in my family? My six year old? It’s humbling but I am paying attention.
8. Deer with suicidal tendencies is something to be warned about, but even then, country living fits me well.
Except for the 20 minute drive into town. Don’t get me started.
And a friend I had coffee with yesterday morning promised to hold my hand and redirect me from cowgirl living (But … just wait until she sees the pink tractor.)
And another friend stopped by last night — just to talk and reassure me that Rapid City was ready for me. And I for it.
All this to say, a silly little donut flyer is no match for what is happening here.
Love. Support. And LAUGHTER will trump a few tears any day.
What to Make for Dinner:
Peel and chop:
Butternut squash, a couple of sweet potatoes, a red onion, a yellow onion, a head of garlic (leave cloves intact, just peeled – they will get soft and sweet), and top with fresh sprigs of thyme. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and a drizzle of olive oil. Bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes.
On another pan, halve brussel sprouts. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Bake along side the other. Take out after 30 minutes and toss with balsamic vinegar. Add to other veggies when they come out of the oven.
Chop boneless, skinless chicken breasts and saute in a skillet until cooked through. Season as you desire. Toss with all the other veggies.
I served with with a salad that I ate at Jess Press’ house (I MISS YOU!):
Arugula, diced honey crisp apple, green onions, Parmesan cheese, toasted pecans.
(dressing: apricot jam, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and a little dijon mustard).