Saturday, July 1, 2017

Come along.......

Yesterday, 9 of us went on a phenomenal jeep ride high into the San Juan's.    A crystal blue sky and mind boggling views made for a wonderful day with family.    

 Using a biking app, Jon was able to make this view of our ride....enjoy.  (Click on the lower right to make it full screen)

 Andy and Mason, on their trip from CT to western CO,  first stopped at Mike and Jenna's and met Aspen and Tellie...both showing off their skills at sitting on a box.   Beautiful and lively dogs.

 After a few days with Grandma Rae and the rest of the family in Grand Junction, everyone headed south to Cobble Creek.   Jon and Mary Beth took Aunt Romayne's 1972 beetle for a ride..... It used to live at Mike's but came over to be garaged for the winter and hasn't left yet.   It's very cute and brings back memories of our first car in 1965.   Mary Beth also had a '65 in her youth.

And then we headed further south on Thursday to explore Corkscrew and Hurricane Pass trails.   Jon rented two jeeps (it's a very popular thing in Ouray but they aren't cheap and need to be returned CLEAN ).    We had our trusty Wrangler and we headed up....

 Chris and Susan (Mary Beth's brother and wife) joined us....

 Mary Beth determined to get a picture of a columbine .... later we found acres of them in more accessible locations.    The wildflowers are getting ready for their stunning display.   Note a partial view of Red Mountain in the mirror.

 We stopped for a picnic in Animas on to enlarge.

Hurricane Pass had only been cleared a few days before......

Must have been "take your llama to work" day......

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Addendum to previous post.....

Apparently our offspring demand accuracy...... I stand corrected that Jeff's truck was RED, not white.

And there is also proof that we rented a red Jeep.   This trail doesn't look familiar except that it is deep in the San Juan Mountains.   
Thanks Jon !!

Saturday, June 10, 2017


We are finally seeing some progress on the remodel of the patio........

We headed over to Ouray on Friday with 3 other Jeeps.    Cascade Falls was full and noisy from the spring melt.

The tourists have arrived both in town and in the mountains.   I had hoped we would beat the season rush.   

Some 29ish years ago, we enjoyed our first visit to Ouray.    Jenna was very pregnant with Nicholas and Mike had a broken foot.   Jeff brought his white Toyota truck and Jon brought his friend Chris (Jenna's brother).    We rented a Jeep, rode horses and took scary roads over the passes.   I said that I wanted to live here someday.    ( never actually believing my words).      This rock overhang on the way to Yankee Boy Basin was the scariest thing of all.    The road was MUCH narrower all along this shelf and I was terrified.   Today, it is much improved as there is an active silver mine beyond it and big trucks use the road.   But it's still not for the faint of heart and is one car at a time.  

 The trail is only partially open as the snow has been late and heavy this year.   We passed several snow slide areas....this one was quite massive and took out a long stand of Aspen.

 After climbing up to 11,000 ft on a rutted, rough, wet, washed out trail with required stream crossings, we came to the end of the cleared road.   There was quite a parking lot.    We saw several skiers/snowboarders who hike up the mountain and ride down.   They said the snow was too hard and they were waiting for a bit of warming to soften it up.   At that elevation, they are all young and tan and male and energetic.

 Not many places to pass....uphill has the right of way....and  on hiking trails as well.

Once you get to Yankee Boy Basin, there are several options ..... one is Governor Basin which climbs and winds it's way steadily upwards to an old mine and breathtaking views.    The other is a favorite, Imogene Pass which goes over to Telluride the hard way.   It is long and rough but worth it.   Both trails are snowed in, probably until early July.     So we had to go back the way we came ....Ouray is down there in the valley.  

 Along the way, the waterfalls are plentiful.........

Today, the Montrose Botanical Gardens held their annual Garden tour of 5 homes.    Everything was in bloom but my favorite is always the poppies.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

If it's June..... must be Pickleball tournament time.    Montrose Rec Dept hosts a popular event each year with players of all levels and ages.   And it's surprising how far some will drive to compete.    These two guys came really close to capturing the Gold in their division and proudly wear their Silver 2nd place medals.    The next day, he played in mixed doubles with Bev and did well but came home medal-less.    A fun two days, especially for me proudly cheering from the sidelines.   

Meanwhile, back at the homesite , the cement truck finally pulled up and discharged a patio sized amount of pebbly concrete.  After it partially dried, the guys washed it to reveal a textured dark grey surface.   

 At least we can  have chairs out and enjoy the evening sunsets.    I'm hoping the remainder of the project will be finished soonly.....but not holding my breath.  

It's been fun to see what pops up in the spring yard these days.     I'm not a gardener so don't always recognize a plant until it blooms.   The previous owners did a good job of keeping me surprised and happy.      We have a small lilac, many day lilies and other interesting colors of lilies.    The peonies are in full glory and I have given many bunches away.   And now the  many roses are in full bud and I can't wait to be awed.  

The golf game has improved dramatically altho the scores haven't.    Frustrating.   But I'm pleased and I'll keep at it.    We play Couple's golf on Monday night and that is a casual fun way to meet other Cobble Creeker's.   I play in a Lady's league on Tues and P plays with the guys on Thurs.   I also head out once or twice a week with   my neighbors.  

 Spring also brings out the baby ducks on the course.    There are a few geese and one couple have 4 goslings....cute as babies but not so much as adults.     The mallards are plentiful and I was surprised by this momma and her EIGHT little ones enjoying the view of the 1st green from their little rock in the Creek.    The picture is a bit blurred but you get the idea.     We have a great blue heron on our pond but not sure he has a mate.  

I had to get a new hummingbird feeder.    The bees completely took over the other one.    I got the saucer type of feeder and now everyone is happy except the bees.   This one is bee-proof.   I might have to get a 2nd as the little hummers are very territorial and aerial dog fights are frequent.

We've been pretty lazy and haven't been out on any of the twice a week hikes with the Club.    But, we did make the annual dinner and signed up for a couple hiking get-aways planned in the fall and next spring.     I'm sure it would be better for me to do a 5 miles hike than a walk/ride around the golf course.    According to my iWatch, I do about 3 miles when I play 18 holes.    If I could hit the ball farther, I wouldn't have to walk so much.  

Thursday, May 18, 2017

AHH, Spring in the Mountains.....

This is the beautiful view this morning.....    We had hoped there would be the pouring of the cement on the extended patio  today..😕

On a brighter note....this gorgeous box of succulents appeared on my doorstep from Jeff and arrived in perfect condition with lovely yellow and white flowers and mosses and my favorite succulents.    I think I can handle the care and feeding as it says, one cup of water once a month !    It came from a site called Urban Succulents and apparently, this is a favorite for wedding bouquets and such.  

 So, before the grounds were covered in snow, I was playing a lot of golf.    Not well, but thoroughly enjoying being outside for 4+ hours surrounded by gorgeous scenery and  having fun with friends.   The game has moments of brilliance followed quickly by deep frustration.....   I actually got a point in league play on Tuesday.....I think they are used in the Pro Shop when you get enough.   
Meanwhile, the Pickleball player is on the courts every day and gearing up for a tournament in early June.   Plus, he's signed up for golf with the guys so we will both be in great shape to take on Couple's Golf next month.    

 The snow started while I was at Mah Jongg.....we play upstairs in the Clubhouse with a wall of windows facing the mountains....I should have taken a picture as the  big flakes started.     The little hummers are quite amazing and they were feeding well into near darkness.  

As the wet sticky stuff accumulated , it settled on the satellite dish......My handyman figured out that  a hose was the best snow shovel.    I had to repeat the process this morning.

The house is coming together....and hopefully, the patio  will get back on track once the weather improves.    I have everything ready to put flowers in their pots but glad I looked at the forecast.  

Saturday, April 29, 2017

Well, darn........

I do believe it is the end of April but it looks like January around here.......

Most of Colorado has been covered in the white stuff with Denver expecting up to 12 inches.   I'm 

 not sure how the peonies feel about this fluffy coating of their flower buds.    I'm wondering if they will flower.   The weather is to warm up and be actually hot by the end of the week.

 So yesterday, when it was 40 degrees and windy and cloudy, I dragged out the bread maker and made this cute loaf of plain white bread.    I remember trying to make bread years ago at this altitude and it was a total failure.   I followed some hints for high altitude baking and it turned out OK.   I would like to make whole wheat next and pizza dough.     And so, for lunch we had TLT's.   Fresh bread, Just Mayo (egg and dairy free...really good), fresh plump tomatoes, lettuce/spinach and tempeh "bacon".     Tempeh is soy and brown rice and spices and it is made into strips.   Heat it in a pan until it's a bit crispy and it tastes and looks very close to bacon.  (minus all the bad fat)   We don't use substitutes very often, mostly sticking to just plain whole foods.    But the fresh bread and tomatoes insisted we have sandwiches.  

Thursday, April 27, 2017


We picked the perfect day to fly home.    Since we have the privilege of flying stand-by, we (meaning him ), follow the bookings very closely for days.    Flights can appear to have plenty of seats and few stand-bys and then the seats disappear and the stand-bys multiply.   It can be a nerve racking process if you have to be somewhere.  As parents of the employee, we have a low priority.  I really think that management should reconsider that policy.   After all, if we had not done such an outstanding job of parenting and paying for all those shoes and cars and tuition, they wouldn't have this outstanding employee..... but, I digress......   We usually buy a refundable ticket on Southwest (the cheaper Senior fares) and then, if we get on the flight, we cancel the SW ticket and bank the funds for another day.   It really reduces the stress of flying.    Yesterday, there were about 120!!! available seats on the flight from Denver and the next one to Montrose was about half full.   We each had our own row!  We had planned on staying a few more days but those numbers made it a no brainer to head home earlier.   

Arriving in Denver.........

We got home about 1 pm.    A long half day, considering we left CT at 2 am MST.        We left in rain and arrived in rain.    And snow is expected by the weekend.     I need spring, not winter.

We had a delightful time with Andy and Mason.   Such a privilege to see them grow and develop their personalities.    We arrived a bit under the weather with our respiratory bugs that kept hanging on.    Luckily, they are not toddlers and were pretty self sufficient.
They are both extremely bright (aren't all our grandchildren ? ) and I so enjoyed their wit and enthusiasm.    Today's kids are so much smarter than we were at that age.   Now, if they would eat vegetables, they would be perfect.

We stayed pretty housebound, not wanting to scare anyone with our ugly coughs.    Reading and knitting was the activity of the day.    I'm late to the game, but just discovered Mary Oliver and her poetry and essays.     I bought them in hard copy so I can return again and again to her imagery of nature and the natural.

Lots of activities going on here at the homestead and lots of projects still needing to be done.     Little by little...............      

Monday, April 24, 2017

Spring ............

 I checked the hummingbird migration map and reports and found  that there were sightings  in Grand Junction.   The old feeder was pretty sad so I got a new one.   I'm thinking I preferred the old one but maybe the hummers will like new and bright.     I put it near a window.    I'm hoping the food will last for a week because the next morning....

.....we hopped a  jet and flew East.    This is  sunrise over Blue Mesa Reservoir as we were climbing. 


And this is the contrasting view as we dropped into LaGuardia a few hours later.

It's good to be back in Newtown again.    I enjoy driving the winding hilly roads that became so familiar after 30+ years of living here.     Connecticut springs are fickle at best.    The trees are still bare but the daffodils and forsythia are happy  splashes of color and the flowering fruit trees are everywhere.   Its a perfect time to be here.

   And spring means its my birthday.    Growing up in North Dakota, I always wanted a picnic birthday party.   Of course, it snowed most years and I didn't get my wish.   It  rained this year so we skipped the picnic again.    It was a perfect day anyhow.

Mason started baseball and we loved watching this age show off their skills.   We were impressed.

The parents come back tomorrow and we will head West once again.    These boys are a delight to be around and I don't think we spoiled them too much!     Luckily, they didn't need help with math homework.

I think it would have been easier to pack for a beach somewhere but they flew west until they found 

good snow......Whistler, BC.   

Meanwhile,  spring is here and their pool is  a nippy 55 degrees.

Wednesday, April 12, 2017


.....I'll become a blogger again now that I have the latest and greatest equipment to work with.   

 When we were in Scottsdale last week, we had another visit with my cousin Diane and her daughter Sandy.    Since we have such fond memories of our grandmother, I decided to make and take them her version of the iconic rice krispie treats.    I've never seen this recipe elsewhere but I doubt she holds the patent.  These are a staple in our family and school bake sales always sold out of them immediately.    Now of course, I look at the corn syrup and sugar and cringe....
She came to visit us in the early 70's and wrote the recipe in my cookbook.   I love her distinctive British script.    If you have a craving for these delicacies , send me a note so I can give you better directions.   If you follow this exactly, you won't be impressed.  

 The stairs are in process and they are lovely.   I'm so happy we opted to change out the dark and distracting metal.    The color matches all the other wood trim in the house.   Initially, we were going to go with metal pickets, kinda bronzy in color but I was afraid that what I saw in my head wasn't going to be the same in  reality.   In a house of my own design and in the last few we have lived in, we've always had white trim.    I've not been fond of the wood look but for this house, it works and the new almond paint color was a good choice.  The risers are waiting for paint.

When we got back on Friday, I thought I was dealing with allergies to the spring pollens.   Well, not to be.   I have a full blown respiratory bug.   Seems like I just went thru this in January.    We don't have a Dr here (waiting for our preferred group to start taking new patients once again ) so I dragged my sad self over to the Urgent Care.     Have I reached old age ??

Guess who we found?   Andy and Mason flew in to spend their break with their distant families.    They are spending most of the time up in Grand Junction with Grandma Rae as we get to see them next week when we fly to CT.    The parents are taking a much needed break and we will look forward to spring popping up out there.    It would be nice if the dogwoods would bloom but it might be too early.

Weather is so nice here....low 70's and the golfers are making me very jealous.     Wish I were monitoring the greening and blooming from my morning walk..... Maybe in a few days.

I spent a lot of idle time in AZ knitting and reading.     I especially liked "Americanah",  a young Nigerian woman comes to American but leaves her love behind.    Also have been reading the Louise Penny series of Detective Gamache solving murders in the picturesque Canadian village of Three Pines.   I think I'm on #4.       I've just started "Lillian Boxfish takes a Walk"....It's too early to form an opinion but has been described as witty, poignant and sparkling.      Our book club  is very popular  and with all the retired educators living here,   the discussions are lively and intelligent.

Time to do more purging of the clothes.    There is a lot of storage and closets but for some odd reason, the master closets are small. Although traipsing up and down the stairs every time I need clothes is good exercise, it's not my choice most days, so I am being quite brutal and realistic.    Shoes are next..........