summer soul session

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“We cannot think of being acceptable to others until we have first proven acceptable to ourselves.” 

― Malcolm X

i am just returning from a short hiatus to park county. it was so good to get away. i flew out highway 285 with a coupla friends, got turned around on the gravel road needed to get to the cabin, and arrived about 10p, just as the twilight faded to starlight.
we stayed at the home of my dear friends just past fairplay. and although i say cabin it is really much bigger than that. it has 3 bedrooms, a game room, 2 baths and is on 15 acres. the only real drawback i can think of is that the water has a very odiferous and silty sulphur content which makes showers and tap water really a chore. there were deer, jackalopes, horses, cattle, hawks, and a multitude of other creatures great and small.
we spent the 4th at the salida indendence day festival. salida is a small bohemian art community nestled in farm country just south of buena vista colorado. salida has become one of my favorite tours to entertain friends and visitors. there are sweet galleries and vintage shop, cafes and organic food venues dolloped like fleurettes on a wedding cake. the oh-so small town american celebration was quaint, colloquial, and actually felt refreshing. there were festivities, rafts, paddleboats and canoes along the arkansas river which flows along a mountain shoulder. cherry ginger basil lemonade, kids on bikes and with balloons, vets, and pets on leashes all intermingled with the usual suspects to create a sense of patriotism and summer fun. and that fun permeated our adventure.

my friend tommie and i were taking a walk on the ranches on the evening of the 4th. its a gravel road and there were wildflowers everywhere- orange, purple, yellow and white. the ranch parcels are seated just north of 285 and are delineated into sections of 18-36 acres. as we meandered along the gravel road, we were yakking about some things we hadn’t discussed much recently. she got married in november and although we have seen each other at birthdays and holidays, we haven’t had the time or opportunity to just share our thoughts about what’s been and what’s next so we were taking this chance to fill this space.  tommie had stopped (as she often does) to make a point when we heard the distinctive lawn-mowerish hum of a dirt bike coming up from behind us on the path. we scooched over and the driver came to a complete stop to my direct left, parked his feet onto the gravel, turned off the engine, turned me and stuck out his hand saying “i’m john meyer” with sunglasses in place and a lonely spooky smile. i shook his hand and mentioned that we were friends of his neighbors which he followed with a smarmy and additionally chilling “i’m so glad you came. would you like to feed the llamas?” i looked to tommie hoping she would pass, but since she is an animal rights activist i didn’t really have to wonder if her next words would include yes. as seemed to be his fairly greasy way, he offered us two options- to ride on the buggy or to walk to his property and meet him with the nutritional concoction he used for his 4 furry creatures. 
as we entered the meyers property, the llamas – especially the brown one became extremely territorial, coming to the edge of their fence to see just who the hell we were -even looking at us with a mistrustful and “go ahead- make my day” look in their eyes. we trekked beyond the llama pen  along a drive which curved around through the middle of two large aspen groves with an additional curve up to his house on the right. the 4 wheeler parked next to the house like it hadn’t been running in days. there was a 5 ft.american flag hanging from the 2nd floor balcony, and a trailer and a fishing boat were parked up behind the driveway. it was very much like a scene from chainsaw massacre.. we knocked on the door twice and there was nary an answer. as we were now completely spooked, we headed back down the drive to get out to the main gravel road with a quick stop to chat quickly to the over alert llamas. we headed back to our cabin and had dinner which i made in the city and brought down- roasted salmon with cucumber dill, jicama confetti salad, quinoa and black bean salad, and a lemon frosted yellow cake (the last 2 purchased not made).  i have to admit here that i woke up several times that night with the worry of slasher dreams- probably a result of the “criminal minds” marathon i had been enjoying earlier in the week. the tales of john meyer began on the 4th of july. they have already been told several times, been embellished, tailored, quoted, and compared. it has been suggested that john is a relative of michael meyers.
the 36 hours in the high country seemed to add a few months to my life. i got back to denver with ready to have a couple more days away from work. the real estate on the front side of our units has become one of my therapy projects. i clipped and watered and mulched quite a bit last night when the heat of the sun had flown. 

talking to the moon

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image credit…
i feel as if i have just finished a really long novel such as “war and peace”, “the stand”, or “illness as metaphor”. i guess i could just as easily say i feel spent. this past week has been a whirlwind of activity and emotion. i have watched breakdowns, several crises, a firing of a co-worker, the amazingly heart-breaking quality of an addicted person utterly lying unabashedly with complete disregard for my disbelief, an increased level of social activity, 
perhaps it is my ancient cellular memory, but i attribute the recent spike in mayhem to that big planet we call “the moon”. and this solstice finds it nearing us even more and i believe that action demands a reaction. 
i really don’t mind any of this. as a matter of fact, it instills a sense of reassurance that the universe is bigger than my life and that whatever spiritual program i ascribe to, i better lean on it a little more right now. and so i do. 
despite the recent fireworks, there is quite a bit of hope and excitement in my life. changes keep rolling into my life just as the tides do- also, btw, very influenced by the moon i am told. the solstice signals change to the extreme. the days begin to shorten. the temps begin to climb. most crops begin to bear fruit. and the planet positions seem to shift as the axis of the earth dances with the sun.
my work in all this moon and solstice madness is to remember that today and its emotion and its mood are only notes and stanzas not the entire symphony. i get so caught up in the swell of it all that i forget what has gone and what’s to come. so i am gonna try this weekend to really remember what a gift it all is really. the craggy parts as well as the smooth ones. and i hope i get the chance to imagine flicking the supermoon with my fingers as the skullcrushers might. 
and here’s the cooking fun this weekend… 
Ginger, Green Apple, Sweet Onion and Coconut Salad

© John Kernick

Ginger, Green Apple, Sweet Onion and Coconut Salad

  1. 2 Granny Smith apples (about 1 pound)—quartered lengthwise, cored and thinly sliced crosswise
  2. 1 small sweet onion, such as Vidalia, quartered lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise
  3. One 3-inch piece of ginger, peeled and cut into 1/8-by-2-inch matchsticks
  4. 1/2 cup finely grated peeled fresh coconut
  5. 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  6. 2 tablespoons finely shredded basil
  7. Salt and freshly ground pepper
  8. Lemon Verbena Oil
  1. Toss the apples with the onion, ginger, coconut, lemon juice and basil. Season with salt and pepper. Add 3 tablespoons of Lemon Verbena Oil and toss; serve.
NOTES To grate your own coconut, start by preheating the oven to 350°. Twist a screwdriver into 2 of the eyes (small indentations) at one end of the coconut, and drain the liquid inside. Bake the coconut for 20 minutes to help the flesh pull away from the sides. Wrap the coconut in a towel, place it on a hard surface and crack it open with a hammer. Pull apart the pieces, and use the screwdriver to snap the white flesh away from the shell. Peel off the skin with a vegetable peeler, then grate the flesh on a box grater.

summer remix

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there is a weekend festival in denver known as “people’s fair” which has traditionally been the kick-off for summer. i went one of the 1st years i lived here. i found then that my aversion to turkey legs was reality. i have since realized that although many outdoor festivals can be fun and innocent, there are many that seem to be a reason to over-indulge for some. and i can’t think of any more reasons not to attend.

i certainly do believe that summer is worth heralding in. i have planted some geraniums in pots outside my door as well as some supertunias on my little patio. i have splashes of bright color acting as sentry at both my front and back doors. and those little beefeaters (as it were) bring a smile to my face every day.

speaking of making me smile, this vintage modern romance tune does the trick. check out the hairstyles and the joie de vivre that oozes out of the totp performance. all those “new romantics” getups. and then the 2nd vid really illustrates the power of a remix. from that goofy outdoor festival sound of the 1st version to the slick, hip, and underground 2nd version. thank heaven for the remix