Saturday, January 20, 2018

1200 miles / 4 days........

........found us traveling to and from  Colorado to honor and celebrate Rae's life.    The large gathering was a testimony to the live's she touched.  
The drive is mostly through tribal lands of the Navajo, Hopi and Ute.     It is barren and bleak.   But every so often, the landscape is quite dramatic.  

 The snow is sparse this year.    We scurried back yesterday to avoid an expected snow storm in the San Juans but only a dusting at our house.

Before we left, we enjoyed meeting Jeff and Jen's friends at a party to celebrate her birthday.   Pretty views at their Club altho I missed a chance to capture the sunset.

It's always fun to hang out with the young and the beautiful.....

 Did you know there is a Cupcake ATM ?    We picked up some for the party and they were large and impressive.

And now, we are back at site 562 ......    

 I'm challenging my aging brain cells and making a foray into pottery.   I have never had any interest but was encouraged by our neighbors to try it.     Interesting process  and about 2-3 weeks for a finished item.    This is my 2nd effort, a tray done in a class.     It will go to be fired today and then glazed and refired next week.      Unless it breaks.....

Monday, January 15, 2018

Rae Marie, Grandmother extraordinaire.......

I was honored to know this wonderful woman.   She slipped out of her battered body yesterday and left us much too soon.     She leaves behind two saddened grandsons who will carry her presence in everything they do.   Always a teacher, she instilled in them the love of books and nature and the joy of cats.   She encouraged them in  finding adventures  and absorbing knowledge.   Andy and Mason were the joy in her life.......   She will not be just a memory, she will be an inspiration to them and to us.  

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Onward to 2018 .....

We miss these cute kids.....even the big ones!    It was a relaxing fun family time and went by in a flash.    Not sure why this pic is fuzzy but maybe it's the image gods deciding that aging grandma's 
need a little help.  

We always bring a souvenir home with us despite  observing all my nursing techniques to avoid germs.     I do have to admit that there might have been some kissing and hugging with those cute faces.  (not that I"m blaming them but Andy was a bit feverish and ended up with a ruptured eardrum )  I seem to be on the mend and we are still on plan to launch for parts south in a couple of days.  

 I gave my golf bag it's annual cleaning.    Interesting what odd things I find in the various pockets....but not much $$.    My driver head cover was in need of a serious soaking....almost too real looking in the bubbles.     Laddie was a good dog and it's hard to forget those 17 years he kept us safe (from chipmunks), guarded the entries diligently and tried to herd all those grandkids that passed through his life.     He lives on in various forms.     This one came at Christmas and sits in the space that was meant for him.   (Maybe I'll even fill him with cookies).     Note that he is guarding the ibuprophen and Zicam.  

The house is a mess as we gather up too much stuff to carry with us to the land of the sun.   I know they have bookstores and yarn shops and even Costco down there but I want my stuff around me.     Our neighbors at Palm Creek are texting and waiting for us to show at the nightly happy hours around the fire pit.    We're getting close.

Meanwhile, I love the happy color to brighten these grey days.............

And 75 years never looked so good !!!!!

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

A White Christmas in Connecticut

Before we headed east, we joined in the festivities at the Christmas party at the Club house.    Good to see everyone in their red and green.   More end of year gatherings filled our days and then we packed our bags.

 First thing on the VIP list  was Mason's Jazz band concert.    They were impressive.!   Great sound, impressive solos and all from 7th and 8th graders.     He even mastered the tying of  his own green tie !

The adults headed out one cold day and were awed by the NY Botanical Garden's train display.   All exhibits were made of natural products and the Haupt Conservatory is always breathtaking.   They have the best gift shop but I was relatively restrained and left the blooming flowers and perfect potted plants to live a life elsewhere.   I attended a few years of classes at the Garden and it made me want to get out my pencils and spend the day in studies.  


 We baked a few cookies....

And decorated a few.....

And right on schedule, it snowed............

 Not too much, just enough..........

 On Christmas Eve, we continued the tradition of going to see the latest Star Wars.   I really enjoyed it and believe that I am understanding more of the nuances.   Of course, the discussions were animated as we debated various plot lines and genealogy over dinner at Franco's, a lovely Italian family's restaurant that welcomes us each year.    I fell off the wagon and had my favorite indulgence, a meatball grinder.....oh the goodness !    I had them put just a smidgen of the meatball on it so didn't feel too guilty....Once a year it's a good thing !

Andy and Mason have the largest collection of Legos in the world.    This year, their choices were from the SW movie and after many many hours, they completed these highly detailed pieces.
So far, Andy has not changed clothes since Christmas morning when he received his hat and robe.    He has a cold so has no interest in venturing out and about.    I think he looks about perfect.

And in case you're wondering....that is a TV pretending to be a if it only put out heat !

I'm not necessarily ready to head home.     It's been a relaxing and cozy holiday, great food, good friends, the best family  and perfect days.    And when we get back, we need to gear up for our trip to AZ.    This time, packing up the RV is going to be a challenge in the cold.    

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Thanks is given...

The bird was delicious by all accounts.......all I know is that the trimmings were perfect.  

 The grand girls did some serious relaxing over the holiday and it was fun having Lizzie home from her busy college life.     (That's an aquarium behind them which didn't show up well)

We avoided most of the shopping hoards but had to search out any bargains over bagels.   I got my mall (maul) fix but didn't find much that I had to have.   Is that a sign of old age or just that fashion has passed me by ?     Even Nordstrom's couldn't take my $$.    

 The sunsets captured the end of good days............

 On the way back home, we managed to catch up with those busy CT kids who seem to be everywhere, doing everything.     Here they are posing in front of the many sculptures in downtown Grand Junction.      They made their Grandma Rae very happy and spent time with their Great grandma Mary as well.
And back at the home front, we wandered about the other day to check on the snow in the mountains....there isn't much and the ski areas are either closed or using very few trails.  The temps are warm and quite lovely.     We played 11 holes of golf yesterday and actually peeled jackets off.   And we  played well.....of course, we can't post our scores to improve our handicap since our course is considered seasonal and officially closed by the Colorado Golf Association.  


 We drove over to Ouray for breakfast and were welcomed into town by a committee of 3.   This buck was watching his harem of 2 and never moved an eyelash as we stopped the car next to him.   He did have a pair of antlers but wouldn't move so I could get a better view.     The cattle and sheep are down from the high pastures and fill up much of the open space along the roads.    The yak are growing longer coats and the local deer are wandering about our yards at night looking for snacks and foliage to destroy.     We've never been here this late and find the social scene to be busy as ever and the weather is great.

AND, we celebrated 54 years of our official pairing !!    

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Thoughts on a Saturday........

A touch of the white stuff last night and now a crispy 22 degrees.    The sky is Colorado blue and the mountains have a fresh cover of snow.     

But last week, it was in the 60's and I actually played some golf. ... twice .     

There was an enthusiastic crowd on the 11th fairway.     The views from the back 9 are always inspiring.  

Newtown HS Marching Band accomplished a 1st in the school history.    They captured FIRST PLACE in their division in the National competition at Met Life stadium in NJ.   There were 55 bands total and 16 in their division.    They came in 4th overall.     We really wanted to be there but we settled  for frequent updates from the support team.    Can you tell it was really cold that night.?

I wonder if the school trophy case is big enough.    The kids worked incredibly hard and we are so proud of Andy.    Can't wait to see what they accomplish next year.

Speaking of accomplishments....... this kinda sums up the Bronco's year!

So many books....... I have such a long list of books I can't wait to read.   But, I also like to knit a lot so I finally gave in and got once again.   In the past, I have listened to a couple books while I walk.    It really makes the time pass quickly.    It's not cheap, $14+ /month with one book included.   But it really is an addictive way to get involved in a book.   

I've wanted to read this one for awhile.   Reviews are very mixed but it has garnered several major awards and the critics loved it.    I think the audio version works really well  for this book as there are  so many voices and they add a real richness to the dialogue that would be lost in print.    I recognize some of the voices as well known actors.    It's not an easy listen and I could use a guide but it is one I will not soon forget.  

 At the same time, I'm reading all about this amazing Renaissance Man ( I had to ask Siri how to spell that...I'm so easily wowed by technology)...   Anyhow, this is a read to be savored.    I was hesitant to put it on the Kindle, afraid I would lose something in the included illustrations.    But, just the opposite as I can enlarge to get a better view of his drawings and paintings and sculptures.  

 Did you know that he wrote everything in mirror image, from right to left ?   Both Jenna and I can do that as well.....I've been doing it since grade school and can write about as fast backwards as I can the normal way .   I can only do cursive, not print.     Jenna may be descended from daVinci, considering her many creative talents, but I certainly am not.!

We're really looking forward to being with family this Thanksgiving.    Living in Florida, we never made the trip on  that busy holiday.    So we will head East, over the mountains and thru the woods to be with favorite people once again.      And then head back home to see some more favorite people.....stay tuned .

Friday, November 3, 2017

No news is good when you're this old........

I enjoy the morning's still a surprise that it comes so late and I find that the day is getting on before I realize it.    I am highly synced to sunrise and sunset.     The leaves are gone, there is fresh snow on the mountains and we are thoroughly enjoying the fall weather.   This is the latest we have ever been here and I'm liking the wearing of the jeans and sweaters.    It's still quite warm in the afternoons.   

Speaking of sweaters......this has been a project for about 10 months.   But it mostly sat in its basket as I pondered some of the harder aspects.    But, I'm wanting to look at new projects so trying to finish up those floundering along the way.    This is made of Lopi wool  which is what Icelandic sweaters are made out of.   It is quite coarse and I"m hoping it will soften after a nice soak and take on a finished look.   I made this in the round and then actually cut it down the middle.    This is a very intimidating thing for knitters but so far, it is behaving as the youtube knitters said it would. 


The other day, a friend and I went" shopping in Delta"......that sounds like an oxymoron I realize.   Delta is about 30 min north and is reminiscent of towns from the '50's.   We pass thru regularly coming and going to Grand Junction.    Many stores are empty but those that are open seem prosperous.   There is a nice shop that many go to for good brands of clothing and accessories.   We also had a great lunch at one of two Mexican restaurants on Main.   Note that Colorado blue sky !  

Montrose has some very nice shopping on Main as well.    And surprisingly, a very high end boutique.....cashmere and beautiful boots and leather wearables.   Altho it looks like just a stoplight on the way to somewhere else (Telluride), there are some impressive homes and ranches out there in the hills.  

And I've been remiss in tooting my horn !!    While we were away in CT, the last luncheon of the Ladie's Golf League was held.    And guess who won Most Improved Golfer for 9 Holes ????   I was stunned.    On League days I usually play 9 holes but not always so guess they thought that's where I fit in for this award.    I didn't get a big check or $$$ to spend in the Pro Shop but I'll take my name on a plaque anytime.    Now I just have to prove that I deserve it.    

And on a happier note.........  This book seems to be the rage of late on the many blogs that I read.

I think we've been doing this for awhile now.....

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Day 1 Hiking in Utah

Our Cobble Creek Hiking Club is large and active.   I'm in awe of these seniors that trek around the outdoors with unabashed enthusiasm.   Wearing sturdy shoes, ugly hats and backpacks with granola and water systems, they conquer the highs and lows of this beautiful country.    We have been lax this year in joining them on the Wednesday and Saturday hikes and I always feel guilty when I head to the golf course instead.      But this week, we joined in and headed with about 15 couples over to Utah.    Above is the view as we drove through Capitol Reef NP.    We were there about 3 years ago so just passed by.    
We took the MH and camped at a SP in Escalante.   A small town supported by tourism, it is in the heart of the Grand Staircase.    ( A huge geological area that I do not understand fully but our government apparently feels that it should be plundered and assaulted.....and that's all I'll say about that for now......)

The next morning, we headed out to hike Lower Calf Creek Falls.     Considered 'easy' in some guide descriptions, it follows the creek for 3+ miles.     

The trail is rocky and requires careful footfalls and hiking poles to maneuver the serious ups and downs.   On the levels, it is sandy, much like a fluffy beach without the ocean.   It was hard work.   Some turned back, concerned about the return trip.  

 Across the canyon were these pictographs.....a bit below center and above the shadow are 3 figures.   I tried to zoom in closer but then it got blurry.   The Fremont culture lived in this canyon 900 years ago.     I can understand why with it's water, open space for crops and safe from invaders.

Our destination was the beautiful falls.   It was very cool and peaceful and a good place to contemplate our lunch and our tired feet.

It took us 5 hours for the 6+ mile walk and altho we probably wouldn't do it again, we highly recommend it.     And I would rate it 'easy/moderate'.
I've divided this trip into 3 blog posts in order to get the pictures in the right keep reading.