Chili and Lopez Island

unnamed-2

Once upon a time, when women were birds, there was the simple understanding that to sing at dawn and to sing at dusk was to heal the world through joy. The birds still remember what we have forgotten, that the world is meant to be celebrated – Terry Tempest Williams.

It is hard to explain Lopez Island.

To some people, it’s just another beautiful place in the Pacific Northwest. A tiny speck in a state already decorated in shades of green and grey, awe inspiring no matter if you’ve lived here for 30 years or are exploring for the first time. This tiny speck is where a large portion of my heart belongs.

For the past five years my best friends and I regroup on this island. For a few days we forget that we are adults with big decisions and real responsibilities. When we are on Lopez, all that matters is what time we’re going to get our morning coffee. These ladies have lived in my soul for a span of 10-28 years… They get me.

Last year, their dreams were of houses and babies. They’ve figured out half of the equation, and they’re now imagining little feet and sticky hands leaving pint-sized prints everywhere they look. Not wanting little ones of my own, I have gladly volunteered to take the title of Aunty C. Someday I will steal my nephew for a summer and show him how to build a fire and make the perfect s’more.

So much can change in five years. The first year, our dreams were to graduate college and figure out what it meant to be a real adult. It has been a beautiful shift towards a greater sense of self and the stability we needed to settle our hearts. Through all the moves, broken hearts, new loves, and careers, these ladies have been the constant thread. They have been my touchstone and my sounding board. I have seen them fall in love, get married, question their life plans, and I have witnessed them settle into their beautiful skin and embrace it.

This year we found ourselves on the very southwest tip of the island. We sat at the edge, in a quiet grace and thankfulness for each other. Celebrating the fact that we will always have people in our lives that understand us. The world is meant to be celebrated, and I wouldn’t want to do it without them.

Until next year, Lopez. It’s-Finally-Raining Chili

It has been a very warm summer. The grass was brown before July 15th, which is shocking and somewhat scary for our forever green state. We woke up to rain the last day on the island, and I couldn’t wait to get home and make chili. I haven’t had the desire to make soup in months, and all I wanted to do was nest and spend time in my kitchen. This will stick to your ribs and is delicious with some tortilla chips or cornbread.

  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 can kidney beans
  • 1 can garbanzo beans
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 bunch kale, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup water

Warm one tbsp. of coconut oil on medium high heat. Add in chopped onions and sauté for 5 minutes. Add in minced garlic and sauté for another 3 minutes. Add in all the beans + spices and water. Mix everything together and bring to a boil. Once boiling, turn to low and let simmer for 5-10 minutes. Last but not least, add in the kale and let it wilt for another 3 minutes. Serve with some goat cheese and tortilla chips. Yum. Just all the goodness, perfect for a rainy summer day.

Advertisements

To My Future Quirkytogether

Staying on the kick of quirkyalone, I wrote a letter to the person who happens to steal my heart.

To my future Quirkyalone:

Sometimes I get grumpy. And when I say grumpy, I mean silent and kind of mean. And when I say kind of mean, I kind of turn into the sassiest mother fucker you’ve ever laid eyes on.

Sorry.

I also love my dog more then you.

Don’t take this personally. It is just that he has always been there. You haven’t. My dog and my family will probably trump you every time. I think that says something about my character. Some may call it selfishness. I call it loyalty.

I probably like musical theater too much. Don’t worry; you don’t have to like it. If you do, you get one million bonus points.

The holiday season means I want to hold your mittened hand while we get a Christmas tree. I want to drink soy nog (you can drink real eggnog I guess) and listen to Vince Guaraldi while decorating said tree. I will probably ask you to hang up the lights; I am not good at that.

I really like books. You can find me at a half price book store blowing a good portion of my paycheck. I am a firm believer in keeping books, which means I’m running out of shelf space. I imagine we will sit and read together a lot. I hope you like to read.

I am somewhat of a homebody. I have roots spread pretty wide and pretty deep into the Pacific Northwest soil. I thrive off of rainy days and endless green.

Yes, I sometimes wear flannel. Yes, I drink too much coffee. And yes, I consider hiking a favorite pastime.

I hope your home is where I am, and where I am is here.

Although I always know my home, I love to adventure.

My world is a bit brighter because I have seen places. As far north as Iceland, as far south as New Zealand—I leave behind tiny fragments of my self in each place. I hope to spread myself across the globe.

Maybe your pieces and my pieces can dance the tango in Spain.

I hope that when we end up tying the knot, we will say I Do at the top of a mountain. With hiking boots on–slightly sweaty and a bit too muddy. Our dog(s) will be there. And perhaps a banjo or two. We will keep things simple. A cooler full of beers and a few good friends.

Oh yes. Most importantly, I love my freckles—as should you.

Sincerely,

Me

Pinned Image