It seemed as if summer would never end this year. As I write I’m looking out at a winter wonderland and a taste of what is to come.
This time of year was traditionally a time for rest, introspection, and contemplation. As we enter the winter months take a moment to detach. Walk a labyrinth, take a yoga or meditation class, plant some fall bulbs for the promise of spring. What changes would you like to see in your life? Let go of that long “should” list that clutters our days. Sit in front of the fire with a cup of cocoa and a journal and allow yourself to dream.
The holiday season is here and the barrage of buy! buy! buy! begins in earnest. Resist! Consider a weekend getaway, concert tickets, a meal out with friends, or a contribution to a cause. There are many ways to give. Check out Volunteers of America, Food Bank of the Rockies, or Adopt a Family to give a gift that matters. Covid, the economy, and natural disasters have hit so many, so hard. How many of those past Christmas presents ever made the slightest impact on our lives? It feels great to give to something that will make a difference as opposed to providing a momentary jump in serotonin levels.
Yes, it does make a difference. Fill out your ballot and drop it off. Our democracy is in an ever more perilous state. It is past time to do something about all the hate, divisiveness, ignorance, and conspiracy theories that have permeated our republic. Vote for your children’s benefit, your grandchildren, your world. “The world will not be destroyed by those who do evil, but by those who watch them without doing anything.” – Albert Einstein
Fun Things to Do!
Reserve early for holiday events as reservations will sell out. Check out the Nutcracker, holiday lights at the Zoo or Botanic Gardens, or a holiday show.
Dias de las Muertas Festival, Saturday, November 5, Denver Botanic Gardens, market, altar, kid activities, and entertainment.
Denver Arts Week – November 4 – 12.
Christkindl Market, Civic Center Park – November 18 thru December 23. Outdoor European Christmas market.
Blossoms of Light, November 18 - January 7, and Trail of Lights, November 25 - January 1,
Denver Botanic Gardens downtown and at Chatfield. Gorgeous outdoor light displays. I always do both. Reserve early, they will sell out.
Estes Park Christmas Parade and Celebration – November 25. A holiday kick-off in the mountains. https://www.
Frisco Wassail Days - November 26 – December 4. Tree lighting, wassail drinking, sleigh rides, and more.
For more ideas visit https://www.colorado.
Night at the Museum, Saturday, November 5, 5-10 pm. Go explore those museums you always meant to get to for free. https://www.denver.org/
Denver Art Museum, Sat, November 5, and Tuesday, November 8.
Check out https://scfd.org/find-
Just a few inches out there today but already there are highway closures due to fatal accidents up in the mountains. Get your winter emergency pack in the car, new windshield wipers, a good ice scraper, (I always like a broom for those big dumps,) and some decent snow tires. Don’t wait, the slip-and-slide season is fast approaching.
Herb of the Month – Mushrooms
Ok, a fungi, not really an herb but getting a lot of attention these days for their many healing qualities. Not only a delicious addition to your meals but great for boosting your health. From decreasing your risk of cancer, lowering cholesterol, giving your brain a boost, and improving your resilience and immunity, this mycelium provides major benefits. I would recommend cooking all your edible mushrooms to avoid stomach upset.
My favorite edible mushroom is shitake, which is great for your immune and cardiovascular system and quite tasty sauteed with butter and garlic.
Check out this article from UCLA for a brief overview. https://connect.uclahealth.org/2022/01/24/7-health-benefits-of-mushrooms/
Consider getting Master Herbalist Christopher Hobb’s book, Medicinal Mushrooms, The Essential Guide, for an in-depth view.
Check out a fascinating Ted talk, discussing how mushrooms can save the world, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XI5frPV58tY.
There is also a beautiful film, Fantastic Fungi, available on Netflix, Amazon Prime, and Apple TV.
You can get edible mushrooms at grocers and farmer’s markets and get the medicinal ones in powders and drink formulations on the web. Consider taking mushroom foraging walks with an expert in the warmer months for wild collecting.
What I’m Watching
In my resolve to eat mainly vegetarian, I watch documentaries to provide motivation. I will probably never be 100% vegetarian, but I am determined to get to 80 to 90%. Just watched Eating Our Way to Extinction, narrated by Kate Winslet, a powerful film and persuader. You can watch it on Netflix or Amazon Prime. I loved The Woman King. Begs the question, what would happen if women ruled the world? Had the whole movie theater to myself at a noon matinee. Lovely.