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torches, books, classes and the eternal lullaby

2015 February 3
by Rachel Turiel

few things

Pinyon sap and cotton-rag torch, to be lit in Col’s favorite cave this weekend.

It’s bedtime, kids nestled in bunk beds, and I’m singing the same lullaby I’ve been warbling out for the past eight years, the one that’s branded so indelibly on my mind it seems I should be able to press a button somewhere behind my ear to play the recording.

This is the lullaby that ends another day together, that offers amnesty to all our daily regrets, and disarms the charge of my own parenting doubts, signaling to all of us to lay down our mental weapons and let it be.

Rose whispers to me from the top bunk, as she often does, not quite willing to actually let it all be until every question, thought and observation has been wiped clean.

“Mama, I just thought of something funny. You know how Col is ten now and you’ve been singing us this lullaby for so long? What if when we were all grown up we called you every night so you could still sing us this lullaby?”

And I picture Rose picturing herself: pulling on the unicorn pajamas, brushing her teeth and then climbing into some twin bed somewhere with an iphone to call her mom.

No problem, little one, I’ll be waiting for that call.

Some things I want you to know:

1) Turns out Col is skilled in the polishing arts, and is happy to paint your nails (pink or purple, non toxic) at the Oh la la Salon. He’ll charge you 50 cents, which Rose provides, though asks him for a cut back because she bought the nail polish.

few things4

2) Elk ribs in peach bbq sauce. (Worth carrying out an extra 40 pounds of mostly bone on your back, if you’re Dan anyway). “Mmmmm, it’s so gamey,” Col says, praisingly.

few things2

3) I recently finished two excellent books. Animal Dialogues by Craig Childs, about his experiences with wild animals,—each short chapter a new animal—is so engaging and beautifully written, my hair is still prickled from the mountain lion chapter. (This is a great book to read to kids).

My Accidental Jihad, is a stunning memoir written by Krista Bremer, an American woman who falls in love with a Libyan-born Muslim. After Bremer’s husband spends the month of Ramadan fasting, praying, renouncing pleasures and connecting with God, he kindly asks his wife, “Now, tell me about your holidays. What is the meaning behind Christmas?” She panics, while the word presents runs shamefully through her mind. I loved this book so much I bought it, as a reference guide to writing memoir.

4) Thank you for your kind and caring words on this post about our 7-year old friend, Chloe, who is experiencing leukemia. (She is doing great, thank you for your prayers and donations). Chloe’s father, Craig, and brother, Jordan, are back in Durango and every workday morning we get to be with Jordan until his preschool ride arrives. Rose has appointed herself Household Ambassador to Jordan’s Care and Comfort. She removes his hat and mittens, feeds him breakfast (he’s five and quite capable, but you try and stop Rose from nurturing), and leads him through handstands, art and the principles of rat-care.


One great thing that has transpired from Chloe’s diagnosis is all the hugging! Dan and Craig hug at least twice every time they see each other.

5) Fermentation Class. I am teaching a fermentation class at Durango Natural Foods on Tuesday, Feb 24th at 6pm. We’ll be talking about the art and history of fermentation, we’ll sample some ferments (beet kvass! gingered carrots! something I haven’t decided on yet!) and make our own kimchi in class to take home. Space is limited. Details, and to register, go here.

6) Yoga/Writing Retreat returns: THREE SPOTS LEFT

Friday, Feb 27th 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Saturday, February 28th 9am – 1pm
Sunday, March 1st, 9am – 1pm
A few things about this retreat:
* The pairing of this discipline with yoga allows our hearts and bodies to join with the mind, releasing the inner critic and encouraging your unique expression of creativity. The yoga works on the self-consciousness, the perfectionist, the fear, so that the writing may come through more fully.
* The retreat is a chance to let us nurture you, feed you and provide a container for your creativity.
* Joy and I love teaching this retreat and would love to have you join us!
* More details HERE.


Happy February. May there be snow! And if you’re sick of snow, may it come to Durango.



6 Responses leave one →
  1. Michelle Ellis permalink
    February 3, 2015

    Rachel, if you haven’t already …….There is a book that Rose and Col would love called “Love You Forever” by Robert Munsch. My mother gave it to me with photos from all different times of my childhood glued on the inside flap.

  2. February 3, 2015

    LOVE IT!
    i know Joy is STOKED for your 2nd Yoga and Writing Retreat…soooo wish i could make it!
    okay…well, just feelin’ the Love..thank you…head bowed, spirit vowed, feeble ilg of the ilg clan

  3. February 4, 2015

    I have thanked you many times already for the peach bbq sauce, but one more time won’t hurt. Love that stuff. It’s top of our must do list for peaches every summer.

    I have two lullabies that I sing every night (one for each of my girls), and I wonder if/when they will want we me to stop. No where near that yet (I think/I hope).

    Would love to be at your yoga/writing class.

  4. Andrea permalink
    February 4, 2015

    Col paints nails too?? That kid has many talents.

  5. Michelle P. permalink
    February 5, 2015

    Thank you for the book references. Love good books!

  6. February 5, 2015

    Dear Rachel, I enjoyed this post so much. It’s always so nice when boys get to live outside the box and paint nails. Please let Col know that when I come visit Durango one day I definitely want to be on his schedule for a pedicure. His pinion sap torch is amazing and will probably provide light for 3 nights! Rose is darling and how utterly touching to see her feeding breakfast to such a big, lucky boy. It reminds me of the years when I was a little girl and wanted to be a nurse like Florence Nightingale. All love to your family, and I hope to see you sometime this year as I have many things I need to get from my warehouse before they disintegrate. Love, Sharon

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