- October's End -


Golden stalks of fire
Nestle beneath phantom breaths
On a crisp morning.

The Keeper of Light


Damp sand from a misty sea foam squishes between my toes. I roll my fingers through the gaps in my toes and grip onto the soles of my feet. The warm crackle of the fire roasts my face and any exposed skin I have. Behind the wall of warmth, the glow of the flames it is black and cold. A frost bitten wind nips at my back and the waves in front crash closer. The tide is coming in and with it the covering of rocks in the shallows. The white spire of a lighthouse lingers above me, calling me back to work. Back home. Everything is black, but for our little world of dancing lights. I rest my head on my knees and look across the flying ashes toward an effigy of man.

His name stolen from the pages of a book, my driftwood Carson leans back against the short wall of sandy grass. The lines of his face carved deep, but smoothed by years at sea.

"What shall we do now, darling?" I ponder the question out loud.

"Rest here, for me. For you, another quiet night up there." I see his head nod upward toward my glass prison where a bright bulb casts light across the lonely ocean.

"So you won't join me then?"

"You know I must remain. It is the bargain we agreed to some nights ago. This was never meant to last, my love."

"Maybe I've changed my mind. Maybe I don't want you to go..." 

"It is not a choice for either of us to make. The decision was made by the moon." His honesty is cold, stony. 

The sea was his greatest love affair; ours was but an intermission between curtains. I knew this. He had called to me for rest and I to him for salvation. Alone on an island warning those who dared come too close to my beaches, it was a lonely life. And when he came I was inspired. I cursed the moon and her twinkling neighbors. The sun, her cousin, would bring mourning at dawn. My eyes clasp shut against the passing of time.

"If you must go, then I will leave you now. Better on my terms than hers." A glance upward to a blank sky, muddied with black clouds. 

"As you please. I will be here waiting if you change your mind."

I scoff and snuff out the fire. Tiny droplets of rain spatter against his unloving face. He'll wait in the cold, the dark, the endless night until he can be with his lover once more. Her icy fingers will lap at the wood of his feet. It will shock him at first, but as she rises higher she will rock him gently until he finally commits to her embrace wholly. One final glance over my shoulder seals my fortitude. He didn't even watch me leave, his eyes remained forward searching the sea.

"I hope you drown." It was only a whisper, but my heart spoke truth. 

Each step up the narrow metal spiral brought me closer to light and an ocean's churning tumult. Out there they were breathing. Alive and scared. The pulsing orb will illuminate their way and show their fruitless struggles. Fight all they wish against the thrashing of waves, the bolts of a summer storm. But soon, they too, will join his lover rolling along at the bottom of dark waters.

And alone I will watch, fulfilling my duty as the keeper of light.


- Unknown Places -


She walks on life's edge
Always looking for something;
Restless to explore.

- Scuttle -


Humble in his size
He strikes out on grand missions;
A large role played small.

The Haunted Underwear

I offer to you, in all its blazing glory, a story from a third grade version of me. The assignment in my third grade class was to produce a scary Halloween story, and so here is mine. 

Beware the Haunted Underwear!

















Happy Halloween everyone!

- Earthly Remnants -


From gray dust comes life,
Once vibrant now faded gold,
To dust it returns.

- Lonely Hearts -


My wandering cowboy;
His spurs cut the mourning
Of coyote's song.

Review: The Big Over Easy


My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall...

Humpty Dumpty had a great fall...
But was it an accident? Suicide? Or was it murder?


Jasper Fforde takes us into the extraordinary town of Reading where Nursery Crimes are prevalent, but irrelevant to the upper bosses of the police force. Saddled with a new partner, Sergeant Mary Mary (who can be quite contrary), DCI Jack Spratt must navigate the murky waters of political diplomacy, investigating the crime of a giant playboy egg, and fatherhood all while struggling to make it into the Detectives Guild - a high ranking honor which would nab him some of the best cases and some much needed good publicity! That is, if he could stop killing giants long enough to balance it all. Oh, did I mention there is an alien named Ashley who works for the Nursery Crime Division? His native tongue is binary.



As a writer, I am blown away by Fforde's creativity and ability to lace together such a thick, entertaining plot involving nursery rhymes most commonly remembered in Great Britain. Perhaps, as an American, I was at a disadvantage for this fact, but I was readily willing to trust that what I didn't understand, the references which didn't connect with me, were regional for his neck of the woods and so fit along with the story.



It's a hard book to put down and a series (The Fourth Bear is the follow up) which I am eagerly awaiting the third installment. Fforde has much on his plate, though, with the Thursday Next series, Shades of Grey, and the Last Dragonslayer so I won't be holding my breath too long for a novel about the Tortoise and the Hare - the rigged race! However, I'm a loyal reader, hook - line - and sinker - so I imagine I'll be picking up another series of his soon. With titles such as: The Woman Who Died A lotFirst Among Sequels, and The Well of Lost Plots, how can you not be intrigued?!



Perhaps I'll start with The Eyre Affair.



- His Majesty -


Eight years on the street
Enforcing his alpha rule:
A Tom Cat retired.

- Faerie Dance -


Frost crystal dresses
Shimmer beneath a half moon
To night's symphony.

- White Washed -


Dreaming white shadows;
Awake, they follow me still,
Lighting a bright path.

Ambient Embers


Through my window branches clash together in a violent wind. The drizzled mist of rain spatters the glass and sodden leaves roll across the grass. The day is greeted with a dark, tumultuous sky. An extension of night. I wrap the blanket tighter around me. Its healing embrace warming my body. A tight crocheted pattern lets my fevered body breathe. 

Steam rises from the lip of my mug, maroon tea swirls, an aroma released into my aching lungs. My body curled into itself, huddled in for warmth against the tufted grey lounge. Only a lamp to light the pages of my journal; the house quite, still under a restless night's slumber. At my feet, the bundle of a cat. Her brown and grey fur pulsing to her breath, the shocks of orange dancing, her white feet kneading. And in her eyes reflected the dying embers of a fire, the smoke stained glass encasing white flames, black soot, ashes, and coals. 

A restful reproach after a night spent in fog, a night balanced in the upheaval of loyalties. Shots rang out across the docks, buffeted against steel hulls, thumping in the dense air. The smoke of his cigarette trailing to the ground, the curse in his eyes. He saw me and he knew. It was the end to his kingdom, this rise of my career. My canvas coat wrapped tightly around my waist, my hands on my hips I stood triumphant over the conclusion to this story. My father, his daughter; destroyed in the name of justice. 

This marked the beginning although it marked his end. The men in their woolly blues cheered, a single tear dropped, and then I walked away. It is time to forget the man he was and begin to build the woman I am to become. 

My first headline: 

Top Popped: Giuseppe the Bottleneck


Read More: Chicago's Vice

- The End -


Their mountains shattered.
No mercy for the valley
He turned the skies black.

The Scarecrow Village

When I was growing up I was lucky enough to land in an elementary school that favored the arts. We spent much of our time reading, crafting, and writing. They had their own binding system which, at the time, seemed like the pinnacle of technology, and when you finished writing a story, your nook was sent off to the "publishers" where it was laminated and bound. In my office sits a collection of stories I wrote in second, third, and fourth grade - classics. With Fall in full swing, here is:

The Scarecrow Village

By: Beaux Cooper
Grade: Third
Teacher: Ms. Baker






Happy Harvest everyone!!


- Forests of Color -


Quiet canine dreams
Chasing rabbits through fresh streams
While birds sing their schemes.

- Aerial Tributaries -


Branches bloom outward
Forging deltas in the sky
Rippling in the wind.

Twelve Hours Sober


Twelve faces urge me to make a change. A mother's tears, my father's letter. Brave children who love me with devotion. They're right and I know it, but I scowl in defiance. I have control or at least I used to. Now it seems the control controls me. A barrier is breaking. My wife, so tender, takes my hand and kisses me. There is pain in her eyes and forgiveness in her heart. She wants to be strong, but I can see she has been so for too long and is crumbling. And then he says, "Daddy?" and maybe for the first time I hear him.

Twelve tears collide with the bottle in my lap and his tiny hand pulls it away. The barrier has turned rubble. My neck is hot, sweat gathers on my nose and it drips. There is shame somewhere deep that is rumbling upward with vigor and with it the boiling waters of guilt. I shake out the tears. I bring him into my chest and I hold him. He releases the bottle and hugs me right back. "I love you, daddy." He tells me.

Twelve miles between me and group and the eyes who watch me enter. Anonymous is a fallacy, they all know why I'm there. A community so watchful as a man enters a church at just the right time and just the right place. They haven't seen me before, I'm not part of their Sunday parish, and so they watch. Their eyes burning into the back of my jacket; a gauntlet of judgement.

Twelve steps from the car to the church doors. Heavy and wooden, cast iron laden. They creak when they open. An informal announcement. Bodies gathered in a circle don't shift to greet me so I stand in the shadows holding onto his picture. There is an empty chair waiting for me I need only to claim it and yet, like molten lead, my shoes have been welded to the ground. 

Twelve thoughts of doubt crowding in my mind. Pride lingers the hallways a bully to courage and fear guides them. But the people are sitting there waiting and the chair it waits for me, too. So I remember his face and I take a deep breath. For him it is worth it. To be the father he deserves and the man they all need. And I take in more air to puff up my chest. Pride can find victory in conquering itself. The seat is cold and the floor nondescript. A hand pats my shoulder and the meeting begins.

Twelve members to hear my story. And not a trace of disappointment among them. My chest is constricted, my breathing not normal. I push on through the bad parts, those I can remember, and I know they can hear me. The waver in my voice as I recount what brought me there and with each word a weight lifted and each nod an acceptance.

Twelve minutes at a time. I take it all in twelve minutes at a time. For him I can do it. For her I must. One day I'll remember to do it for me, but all journeys need maps to keep your path straight. And for now they are mine.

Twelve steps in a program that maybe I can subscribe to. Twelve breaths a reminder of the people who love me. Twelve heart beats bring life back into this body. Twelve apologies I owe. Twelve mistakes that I've made. Twelve lessons to come. 

Twelve hours sober; twelve more to go.

- Cat Tails -


Lapping waves rock me
Along a dark lake's waters;
Coast to coast I roam.

- Bitten Smitten -


Behind these windows
Lurks sinister deeds of man:
Love. Betrayal. Death.

Five Lessons I've Learned About Writing

I suppose, as a writer, this blog was eventually going to land on the subject so we might as well break that seal with something light and informative. Here are five things I've learned over the years about writing.


1.) "Words matter: Write to learn what you know." - Mary Anne Radmacher   I was introduced to this quote by my 7th and 8th grade humanities teacher, Sarah Harding. It has burrowed into my mind, set up camp, and echoed through the empty halls of my brain – hallways waiting to be filled with unwritten masterpieces. In this class we journaled a lot, created stories, wrote and performed speeches, and practiced free writing. The art of the free-write would seem easy, but in a world today where we are so outcome obsessed the free-write is quickly becoming a lost practice. This is my encouragement to you, as Ms. Harding was to me, to let it flow out of your brain and onto paper. Don’t worry about grammar or spelling. It isn’t the point of the exercise and so doesn’t need to be on your mind. Find an object in the room and write about it - see where the letters take you and find out what is hiding in your mind about the lamp at the other end of the room.

Ms. Harding was a light in my life at a time I was most impressionable. I have always loved to write, but for some reason I lost my passion briefly during 6th grade. This disinterest or insecurity could have continued onward had it not been for Ms. Harding and her love of reading and writing. She allowed me to be creative and expressive in my writing and she pushed us all to write about anything, even if it was nothing. (No, really, she made a student write about “nothing” when he complained he had nothing to write about. I remember this 16 years later.) It’s why she stands out in my memory as a teacher; one I hold dear to my heart and one I will never forget. I look forward to sharing my writing with her soon.

Wyoming Writers, Inc Conference: June, 2015

2.) Going to writer’s conferences is important and fruitful. Go to mingle, to meet like-minds. Go to step outside of your comfort zone. And participate in everything! This last summer I went to Cheyenne for my very first writer’s conference hosted by Wyoming Writers, Inc. and I’m absolutely hooked. Not only did I make some lasting connections with other writers from all over the state, but I also met and became comfortable with editors and publishing house representatives. It took away the pedestal I had placed authors and publishers on and brought them down to earth with little ol’ me. We had an absolute blast over meals and open sessions. The seminars were educational (see number three), timely, and manuscript shattering. There was an open-mic night where we were able to share our work with others and critique tables where I earned valuable advice on a project I’m working on. In the beginning I was timid and scared, by the end I was proud and surrounded by friends. It was just wonderful.


3.) Close your eyes and put yourself in your character for a moment. Turn on all your senses – what do you see, smell, hear, feel? How is the wind blowing your hair? Are there ants at your feet? Now, take your reader there. Pull from all five of your senses when describing a scene rather than focusing on one. It creates a fully developed picture of the world your character is in and relays information to your reader that pulls them into your world and away from their reality. I learned this at the writer’s conference during a seminar with Laura Pritchett. I’ve sorted through my current manuscript and found places where I’ve neglected my senses and my novel I will be so much richer for it.


4.) Write every day! It doesn’t matter if it is just a word or a phrase or a poem or a novella. Bring your day to a stop for just a moment to jot down some words. And don’t worry about the end product or how you can use it; it doesn’t matter. The act of writing, creating, and flexing your creative muscles is enough to keep your writing skills sharp. I work a full time job, am remodeling a house, editing a novel, a furbaby mama, wife, and member of AAUW. So needless to say, sometimes writing isn’t at the top of my priority list no matter how badly I want it to be; and I know you are busy, too! But I take a brief minute or five out of the day and I write. I write for this blog or haikus for my Instagram account. I write little blips of nothingness that won’t ever see a reader’s eyes and I don’t care. Just write.


5.) Get outside and experience life. Begin viewing life through a writer’s eyes and see that there is a story in absolutely everything. In the penny on the ground, in the leaf of a tree. Challenge yourself to build the history by asking yourself why it is there or where it will go from here. When you start to view everything with a backstory or a future you begin to find inspiration in things that were once insignificant. And the things you experience? Find a way to throw it into a book or poem or some sort of something. This pulls back into number one – writing to learn what you know.  

These are my top five and I try to implement them daily. The exploration, number five, is a priority for me and, I find, I do my best writing when I am outdoors. 


Let me know what lessons you've learned in the comments below!

- Autumnal Love -


We walk hand in hand
Like aged lovers at sunset;
You fart and I laugh.

How Divorce Saved My Marriage

or At Least Bought It Time



As a product of divorce I grew up with the solemn vow that once I was married I would stay married. I said things like:

I'm only going to be married once.
Divorce is not an option.
The only reason to get a divorce is if it's an abusive relationship.
... or he cheats.
I'm going to get it right the first time.

Over the course of 29 years I have built up marriage to a burdensome task - a weight that has felt heavier and heavier as I struggle to navigate the youth of our marriage. With every fight my thoughts drifted to the defeated opinion of "this is my life now." I've even wondered if I'd made a mistake in choosing my partner. These thoughts grow from tiny wonders into tireless beasts which consume even the happy times when we get along. 

We eloped: April 20th, 2011
I started convincing myself of things I didn't need - such as being married to my best friend, having someone to travel the world with, children. I started thinking about all that he took away from me. I started comparing the man today to the boy I married and I felt lied to - like there was a bait and switch that slowly occurred over the course of these last four years. And before I knew it, my spirit was slowly being crushed by a marriage which felt oppressive and confining.

The fights grew worse. My heart ached because I knew that I was only going to be married once. Divorce wasn't an option for me. I was going to do better than my parents. I was going to get it right the first time.

The worst part of it all - my husband had no idea it was happening. I had chosen him to blame for my misery because it was easier than looking at myself and realizing I had given him all my power. I had whittled away at my spirit. I had projected expectations on an unwitting target. I had done these things. 

It's strange to sit across the restaurant table from your husband, picking at your salad, as you calmly discuss the option of divorce. It isn't a topic that should be calmly discussed, but there we were. No tears. No gut wrenching anxiety. But relief.

Once the pressure was released from our explosive relationship we started to see through the clutter of our past to the dreams of our future, and the truth in our situation. My husband has found a spiritual path in which I cannot follow. It has changed his life and, slowly, turned him into the most loving person I have ever known. Through his transformation he has discovered what true devotion to God, Self, and spouse really looks like. This love has been a gift in that I have never felt so loved in my entire life. He needs more, though. And that more is sending him toward a life of service and solitude - a devotion to spiritual study. To a place I don't belong.

My dreams, too, have shifted and grown. I was right to give up children, for now at least, and imagine what my future would look like without them. I've begun laying the foundation for that future and I'm more motivated and excited than I've ever been. That future requires me to stay where I am for some years to come and I cannot ask my husband to stay and wait for me. I love him too much to be so selfish.

I understand now that I have experienced the five stages of grief after I've spent years mourning our marriage. The anger stage lingered for longer than either of us would have liked and it still rears its ugly little head every once and a while, but I'm aware now. I understand the truth of the situation and I understand that because we love each other it might be best if we let the other person go. 

Neither of us are ready to do so just yet. The companionship, love, and respect we have for each other grows daily. It is something I cherish because I know that each moment with him could be the  first of the last moment I share with him as his wife. The first of the last time I get to look into his face and see the crows feet crowd his hazel eyes. The first of the last time I get to hold his hand or feel his warmth next to me. The first of the last time I get to listen to his heart beat.

And I miss him already.



*********************************


Before I end this I have an apology to formally make. I am sorry to my parents for judging their decisions. I am sorry to those of my generation whom I have looked down on. And I am sorry to those who have heard me sneer at the thought of divorce because I once believed I knew better.

To all their own doings and to me my own path. Let us all find contentment in our hearts and peace in our minds.

- Harmony -



A cat rests soundly
Under rays of filtered light
As a book's page turns.

- Rope -


Wood splinters and creaks;
He sways beneath the rafters
Feet lifted off the ground.

Inside Out


A key resting in a locked door has endless potential. 

The door is either holding me in or keeping me out. The key either belongs to me or it doesn't. At rest, this key is either a safe haven or prison guard. In motion it opens the world and sets me free. Or it lets the world in when I'm not looking.

But as I sit in this chair across the room reading I can hear the key turn. The lock click. The door open. And with a racing heart I can hear the footprints of a stranger walking closer. 

A key resting in a locked door has endless potential. It either keeps the warm in or brings in the cold. At rest, this key locks out the bad and safe guards the good. In motion it lets the world in when I'm not looking.

Over the pages of a book I see his feet, rain water dripping on his boots from an army green parka. 

It was just a key resting in a locked door. 


In motion it released it's potential.




- Lost -


Red granite captors,
Of an unforgiving land,
Harvesting her strength.

- Fortune Cookies -


Perhaps I'll travel
To the Sahara Desert
And dance with nomads.

Babaji, Bob Kindler

I suppose I should preface this post with notifying you that I am likely one of the last people who should be talking about what I'm about to write. I am merely here as an observer who has only scratched the surface and lacks any true, deep knowledge of the subject. I should also note that I am not a spiritual being, but I am able to appreciate and admire those who are. That being said, allow me to introduce you...


In the summer of 2011, just before Josh (the hubs) and I moved from Tempe, Arizona to Roseburg, Oregon I took a Yoga Teacher Training intensive course to become a certified yoga instructor. This program was wonderful because it not only taught you the physical practice of yoga which has become so popular here in the United States, but also a piece of the philosophy and history of yoga. One of my assignments was a group project in which we were assigned a lineage of yoga to study and present to the class. Our group was given Sri Ramakrishna. At first, it was hard to come by information and history, but we did find it.... and what a rich, interesting history was there to be found!

Babaji Bob Kindler
Flash forward two years later, I've graduated from the class and been teaching physical yoga in a classroom setting for about as long. My classes at the community college and YMCA in Roseburg focused mostly on the physical practice, but also included homework journaling assignments on philosophy. Topics such as non-violence (ahimsa), truthfulness (satya), moderation (brahmacharya), non-stealing (asteya), non-coveting (aparigraha), contentment (santosha)... and so on. We meditated before and after class and discussed these principals. 

I was in no way a qualified teacher of yoga's philosophy, but it was a beginning and soft exposure for those who might become more interested. Through a friend from the college Josh began to learn about Advaita Vedanta with a focus on Sri Ramakrishna and grew curious about yoga beyond the mat. And that's how we met Babaji.

Over the last few years we have grown close to Babaji, a qualified spiritual teacher of Vedanta, who was an American born concert cellist before taking up the dharma in his early adulthood. Babaji is the Spiritual Director of the Sarada Ramakrishna Vivekananda (SRV) Association, named for the three illumined beings: Sarada Devi, Sri Ramakrishna, and Vivekananda.

Source

Although Babaji lives in Hawaii with his wife and oversees an ashram there, he comes to the mainland often for spiritual retreats, classes, and pujas in San Francisco and Portland. Babaji offers prison ministries while on the mainland and worship music is available online. Classes are free and the SRV Association exists off of donations from the community and sanga. We've both participated in classes and retreats learning a great deal about a piece of the world and faith not so commonly found in the west these days. The teachings are incredibly in depth and require many years of study and practice to fully understand, something I simply do not have. 

One of the teachings that resonates with me is that they include all faiths without requiring someone of a different faith to switch paths. I have heard Babaji say that Vedanta can help Catholics be better Catholics, Christians better Christians, Muslims better Muslims. It's a path which teaches compassion, love, and devotion. The idea that if God is in all beings, including ourselves, then to treat our fellow man with love and respect is to treat God with love and respect. This is such a minute sample of something so much deeper than I can explain. But I do know that Josh and I have both learned how to be better spouses for each other through patience and a kind of devotional love I never knew existed.



With all this in mind, Josh began working with the Community Education and Cultural departments at our college to see if we could have Babaji come out to tiny little Wyoming and give a presentation. Through the hard, diligent work of many people we were able to get grants and funding for travel, accommodation, and marketing for the event. And here we are!

On Sunday we picked up Babaji and SRV President, Annapurna, from the Denver International Airport. The last two days have been filled with them popping into classes on campus offering an introduction to what Vedanta is and the history behind it. So far, amazingly, it has been a warm welcome from students, instructors, and staff. Question and answer sessions have brought about fruitful discussions and participation. 

Overall, it has been a successful trip in that we've had the opportunity to expose a small community to a different culture they otherwise likely would have never heard of. Babaji has a formal presentation on Wednesday evening and Annapurna will be delivering a lunch time class focusing on Women in Vedanta. The experience is going by quickly, but I know it was worth the energy to make it happen. Josh and I are both lifelong-learners and like to encourage the people around us to explore different viewpoints in the world - not to take the viewpoints on as their own, but to earn a better understanding of the world around them. Through education we can destroy prejudice, fear, and barriers between us and "them," whoever "them" is.

Babaji provides free classes in the Portland and San Francisco areas as well as on the Big Island, Hawaii. These classes are offered through a live stream online for those who are not in the area. A wonderful magazine is also available. If interested, or you have questions, contact srvinfo@srv.org.

Sunday Road Trippin'

We have a busy week ahead of us - family and spiritual company are visiting for a cultural exchange in the traditions of Eastern Philosophy at the college my husband teaches at, Eastern Wyoming College.

So our first step (after many steps of scrubbing and organizing our house from the top down and a day's worth of grocery shopping for five adults for five days) is to drive to Denver, Colorado to pick up our speaker and guests! 

We picked up our fleet vehicle from the college - and while this is no ad - holy heck! I want one. Whatever this is, I want one. So comfortable! 
                 


This is Wyoming. Bluffs and prairie - surprise!! 



I can't be the only one who does this on long drives. Shoes off, legs crossed... Show me the world! 

      
              

Oil rigs are sporadic on this stretch of highway, but they are out there.


Good music, loud singing, hubs and I are Brooks and Dunn in the car.

                             

Pit stop - bathroom and fuel.


Halfway there!! 


After picking up my mother-in-law at the airport we headed out for lunch while we waited for our speaker to arrive.


The Vine Street Pub and Brewery is delicious and the atmosphere is intimately lively. Great service, crafted food.


Oh look! Another pit stop. We don't have Starbucks in our little town so I tend to take advantage when I'm within proximity of one. I have Starbucks-radar.


Chatting up a storm and waiting for our second set of companions. It's been a year since I've seen my mother-in-law. Only a few months for my hubs. I'm looking forward to showing her a little of our world out here on the plaines. Bigger tasks are ahead though as we help our speaker with his presentations and day to day routine. There will be conversations potent with depth to come.


After taking some time to catch up (and for hubs to grade papers) we headed back out to the airport to pick up the rest of our troop.

                

And then stood around waiting... Some more. The Denver International Airport can appear chaotic and compartmentalized, but it's really rather easy to navigate. Godspeed in the parking garage though.

        

Located, collected, and ready to roll out! 
                

Downtown Denver passed by as we drove the interstate around on our way to dinner at City o City.


Babaji and Annapurna were travel weary, but ready for the week to come. They flew in to San Francisco from Hawaii last night and now to Denver. You'll read more about them on Tuesday.


Parallel parking is a gift, finding room enough for a giant SUV in downtown Denver takes an act of God, but we did it. This little quote made me giggle. Good people must live there.
                   

Just down the street from the Capitol building. 


I'm a sucker for murals. I can't help it! 


So first of all, here is the website that lured us to this restaurant: 


Super clean, crisp, seemingly low-key. The menu was vegan/vegetarian which is important to our group, and it looked delicious. So we went! 

Our first impression upon entering was something around "oh-my-gawd!" Loud music, dark lighting, cluttered walls and environment, the works. The only plus at first glance was the array of live plants scattered about.
               

We debated it, but eventually decided to give it a shot. My husband's face kind of says it all, while the waiter's face walking by is lost completely (also indicative of where we ate.) 

I couldn't stop laughing at the fact a waitress was walking around in ripped up jeans with half her butt hanging out. I mean it. Full cheek showing. 


Well, thankfully, the food was incredible. Prepared with respect to the craft and with taste in mind. It completely redeemed itself.

Then I went to the bathroom. 




I've concluded that I'm simply not urban and hip enough for this establishment. A girl shouldn't have to worry about contracting tetanus from a restroom. 

And then I started laughing - imagine it, if you will... You've taken your priest, your preacher, your bishop, guru... Someone very important to the spiritual community to a place like that. It's hilariously awful! I'll say it again, thank God the food was good.

After what seemed forever in a land of cosmopolitan chaos, we exited and walked back to the car. Fresh air and a bit of quiet.


And now we're headed home, in a sleeping, quiet car. 

Good night and have a great week, everyone!