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summer wrap up

2018 August 21
by Rachel Turiel

The kids are folding laundry, a chore I’ve asked them to complete before I bribe them to walk downtown together with ice cream money so I can work uninterrupted. “This is not a bribe,” I tell them, and they nod cooperatively, allowing me to think I am upholding my values. While they’re folding two loads worth of laundry, Col stops, holds up some of his clothes and asks Rose, “do you think this is a good outfit for the first day of school?”

Rose answers him as if this is not a monumentous moment in the history of their sibling relationship*, a moment in which Col is publicly acknowledging that his little sister has wisdom and experience that he doesn’t, that he is interested in her knowledge, and furthermore, that he considers her judgment valuable.

“I think you might be a bit hot,” she replies.

A few more things:

We just returned from a fantastic six-day trip in Colorado and New Mexico, in which we camped on eclectic farms. We saw adult pigs devour marijuana trimmings, and played fierce games of doubles ping-pong in the farm community building. More on that soon.

Col and Rose found the hummingbird vortex on the Lake Fork of the Conejos River.

We came home to a bursting garden.

Why do garden tomatoes make me feel so wealthy?

Oh snap, this is not a college fund.

Also, this is BIG. I discovered that you can make this recipe for roasted tomato sauce, omit the olive oil and water-bath can it. And then you add the olive oil when you open the jar. It is just as tasty and it’s better not to heat olive oil too high anyway. BIG news, right?

Rose says this photo is called ‘green’:

Latest odd home project: Noyaux Liqueur (apricot kernel liqueur – why not? Just make sure you disable the cyanide first. Should work with peach pits too).

A sign that bowhunting season is coming:

Dan’s new “elk ears” he made of actual hide and hair. Questions welcome.

We always have a book we read on trips. It coalesces us around something, brings us together, gives a shape to our evenings around the campfire. On this trip we read the most fantastic book by Carl Hiaasen. I think it would be appropriate for ages 10 – 14. It’s sort of a mystery, full of absurd though fully believable suspense and the unlikely hero makes it all worth it. He’s a former Florida governor, presumed dead, a rough outlaw who is also champion of animals and other voiceless and vulnerable beings. Plus, it takes place in Florida and is full of gators and sea turtles and huge, deep rivers.

I think that’s it for now. Oh, wait – have I told you how much I appreciate you all coming back here, reading my stories, commenting, sticking with this space as my kids become teenagers? Well, I do. So much.

* later I asked Rose what it was like to have Col seek her fashion advice. “I was so surprised,” she said. “But I knew just to act like it was normal.” Attagirl.



14 Responses leave one →
  1. nancy t permalink
    August 21, 2018

    I can’t get enough! My kids are grown with kids of their own but you always bring me back!

  2. Jan permalink
    August 21, 2018

    The advice-getting! And Rose’s response to you! So many kinds of growth there!

    • Rachel Turiel permalink
      August 21, 2018

      Thank you, Jan, for acknowledging this. I was touched by Rose’s awareness and wisdom.

  3. August 21, 2018

    whoa, that farm trip sounds amazing. col and rose sound amazing (way to play it cool, rose!). lots of love from oregon, where i finally managed to bloom hollyhocks from some of the seeds you sent me years ago. the first blossoms are a dainty lemon yellow. still trying to formulate my question about the elk ears. you guys are great.

    • Rachel Turiel permalink
      August 21, 2018

      Dainty lemon yellow. I love those! xo

  4. Sally Harris permalink
    August 21, 2018

    I love reading your blog! Since I (sort of ) know Col and Rose – at least have been seeing them simce they were babies, I especially enjoy reading about them. Rose’s reply about Col asking her advice about what to wear to school was priceless and very mature! Also enjoy your food comments…

  5. Lindsey permalink
    August 22, 2018

    That is BIG news – and I will be trying that tomato sauce soon! Thanks for the recipe, and for the entertaining read.

  6. August 22, 2018

    Water bath canning for life. Basically if I can’t water bath can it, it goes in the freezer. Which doesn’t work this time of year because we have a quarter cow in there, so recipes like this are AWESOME. Thanks for sharing.

  7. Pamela Marshall permalink
    August 22, 2018

    Your writing (and the family material) never disappoint. And your photos! Absolutely gorgeous garden. Keep it up – all of it!

  8. August 23, 2018

    I haven’t been here for a while (and no longer get email updates, so I should re-subscribe!), and it was good to hear your updates and read your writing again today. :)

    • Rachel Turiel permalink
      August 23, 2018

      I just looked at your blog and realized you may love this book if you haven’t already read it. Laurie Frankel’s amazing book “This is How it Always Is.”

  9. Elizabeth permalink
    August 25, 2018

    oh the * was my favorite!!!

    Glad to be reading up over here on the mysterious land of teenagers (in Dutch, we say ‘pubers’ stemming from the Latin word of ‘pubescere’, which means ‘growing body hair’), a territory I have been scared of since the day I found out I was pregnant. You make camping out there sound a lot more possible and even enjoyable!

  10. Janae Roithmayr permalink
    August 25, 2018

    Thank you so much! I love your post about chokecherries, we used to pick them with my grandmother. Would love to take my kids, do you know where any bushes are around the Durango area?

    • Rachel Turiel permalink
      August 25, 2018

      Janae, take a look around the test tracks, Junction Creek…they like creeks but also grow amongst oaks, pinyon and juniper on dry slopes. Now is the time!

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