Saturday, October 14, 2017

A long day's journey.........

Before we flew west again and right on schedule, the leaves started to turn.   With memories of our 30+ years witnessing this stunning show, I was thrilled that we got to enjoy it one more time.   

 And late one afternoon, Jon took us for a scenic boat ride on Lake Zoar.    We had a boat on Lake Lillinonah, separated from Zoar by a dam, so this was reminiscent of our many many years of boating.    Jon keeps his in a town boat slip but we had to trailer ours in and out.    I never ever learned to back up with a boat trailer.

 This is the time of year when the pool boy gets a good workout.   As I was looking from an upper deck I noticed two rambunctious chipmunks chasing each other in circles.    Suddenly, they both circled themselves into the pool!   Fortunately, they can swim.   Unfortunately, they can't climb out.    I raced down,  grabbed the net and eventually caught the tiny exhausted things.   One dashed off but the other just sat there..... I left him alone and after about 30 min, he was gone.   They have had creatures in there before but I doubt I would have been so heroic had it been a snake.

It was so good to get back to be with the boys and to be in familiar places once again.     Andy and the Newtown HS Marching Band took top honors in NJ over 19 other bands.   Their next big event will be in Nov at the Met Life stadium.   I would love to cheer them on !!    And, in other big news, Mason, the 7th grader, was selected to be in the Jazz Band.   He plays sax and is very good.......guess he got my sax playing genes as well as my blue eyes.   ( I suddenly lost interest in band in my junior  year when I concentrated on a certain cute quarterback).    

We headed back to Colorado on the 6:30 am flight out of LGA.    (That means getting up really early).   We stopped briefly in Denver to have bagels with Jenna and Alex and Becca and then kept going.   Normally, it is 5+ hour drive with just brief stops.    This day there was an accident and then a long wait as they closed lanes in Glenwood canyon for rock slide remediation.    Glenwood Canyon is one of the most beautiful rides.    But, it was always a bottleneck with just a two lane road on a major cross country route ( I-70 ).    In an engineering feat, they managed to preserve the beauty and majesty despite weaving an interstate highway thru the canyon.   The Colorado River carved out the path and the railroad also shares this route.     They also put in a bike path and rest areas and kept the access to the challenging Hanging Lake trail (We did it about 20+ years ago and I THINK I could do it again but much slower ).    The colors were brilliant but its just very hard to capture in a car.  

Entering the canyon....note the color reflections on the hood. 

Views of the bike path and the river.  

And then it was time for a long cat nap..........

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Grandkids are the best.............

It was a rainy morning when we made the trek from West to East.     The aspen really haven't turned in our part of the world but we did see some color around Vail.    Uneventful drive altho the backs do not appreciate that many hours in the Jeep.  

Nicholas and Kelsey came home for a few days from Oklahoma.    How good to see them and hear  of their busy lives.    Becca and Alex were home as well......we missed Lizzie and even tho she's nearby at UNC, her schedule was too busy to join us.   The memories are so fresh of their younger days and even their births....where does the time go ???

We hoped a plane the next day and got reintroduced to NYC traffic.   Jon picked us up at LGA and the usual  75 min drive took 3 hours !    

On Sunday we headed south through  the boroughs of NYC, across the George Washington bridge, down the NJ Turnpike, past Wilmington and Baltimore and into Washington DC.  

  We came to say a formal good by to our friend and Paul's colleague  Dean.   Air Force, Eastern and North American pilots were well represented on a beautiful fall morning at Arlington National Cemetery.    It's hard to describe the majesty of this hallowed ground.    If you haven't been there, please go and take in the reverence and solemnity and beauty. 

And then we headed north once again and managed to avoid the dreaded rush hour traffic.   

Andy, at 14, is now a member of the Newtown HS Marching Band.   It is an award-winning group with a long history of success.    He plays the trumpet.    On Saturday night, they hosted a competition of area bands.    How impressive and complex the routines have become.   I do not understand how they manage to play and maneuver the intricate patterns.    Andy said that the first year they don't have to play unless they are comfortable but should  concentrate on their feet first.   

I was in band, oh so many years ago, but still remember just trying to march in a parade and on the football field......nothing like what these talented kids do.     This weekend he goes on a 3 day trip to NJ and Philadelphia for competition.

New England in the fall is stunning but we are too early.      Wandering the back country scenic roads in NW Connecticut was still a trip down memory lane.    The colonial homes and estates are kept quite pristine and the history of Colonial days is everywhere.    We stopped at Kent Falls to climb the trail to the top.    Now there are granite stairs where there used to be just a steep path.    And signs warn of no climbing on the rocks or swimming in the pools.....that was always the fun part.    Water levels were pretty low and in two weeks, the leaves should be brilliant.  

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Rocky Mountain High......

 It worked like a charm.    BUT, we deflated him after dark and then watched with angst as the Chargers came roaring back.   I was tempted to go out and prop him up but my team squeaked in a victory.    And LA Chargers just doesn't sound right.... Not sure about the woman announcer on ESPN...she's good but kinda hard to listen to.
My favorite sisters came to visit.    ( yes, I have just two but they are my favorite).    We did the tourist thing with trips to Ouray and a short jeep trail and Black Canyon National Park and of course, the ride on the Telluride gondola.    

And the patio was finished just in time to introduce them to our great neighbors.    We had a big gathering with lots of good food and drink.      There are still finishing details waiting and decorating tweaks but the Florida furniture fits perfectly and the fireplace is big and inviting on cool nights.   The upper balcony is a favorite place to view the world and the golfers.

Jeff and Jen flew up from Scottsdale and we played some bad golf....well, not them.    We played at The Bridges, another community here and the course is not fun.    Lots of water and marshes that grabs your new balls..... because I forget to use the old ones.     I had a couple pics but now they are lost somewhere in cyberspace.      But they are still a cute couple with great golf games.    We look forward to seeing them again this winter in AZ.

And then Mike and Jenna, not wanting to be left out, came up this past weekend.    Of course, we headed to Telluride.    The air has been uncomfortably smokey from wildfires everywhere but seemed a bit nicer up there.  

 On Sunday, we joined 496 other ticket holders and toured 7 homes on the Savor the San Juan tour.    Montrose looks like a sleepy western town but if you look around a bit, there are stunning ranch homes and unique Victorians and a gorgeous new Craftsman style along the Uncompaghre River that was 5000 ft of beauty.     Each home had a  chef preparing local farm foods.   Our chef from Creekside outdid himself and we decided he had the best offerings.  

On one of the last homes, Mike gave up and waited while we wandered the varied gardens.    This tree had a massive canopy and was the centerpiece of this sprawling yard.   

 Just finished this haunting book.   It's not for the faint of heart and many reviewers were offended by the language.    I found it an amazing read and will need to reread it soon.

I've had a lot of pain in my little finger from arthritis.   It is swollen and has limited mobility.   It's been that way for quite awhile but usually didn't hurt.     I've been knitting a lot and playing more golf and now it is really inflamed.   Plus, I developed tendonitis ( self diagnosed ) at the base of my left thumb.    I wrap it and take Advil but the pain still shoots up my arm when I swing a club.    I am sympathetic to anyone who has arthritis in any joint.....I take Tumeric and credit no meat or dairy in keeping inflammation at bay in other parts of my body.      I was whining to my neighbor and she said that she would loan me some of her marijuana cream! ( She's a very young 80 )   I hadn't even considered such a thought.   Fast forward to last weekend.   On our way to Telluride, we stopped at the shop in Ridgeway with the green signs and went shopping.

Entering the tidy shop, I was amazed at the clientele....all seniors !!    One lady said it was the only thing that helped the compression fractures in her back.     I bought a 1 oz container of ointment.... for $18 of course.       And, despite it's very herbal smell, it actually worked !!    My little finger gets relief in about 10 min and lasts about 2-3 hours.   It becomes more mobil and comfortable.    It also works on the tendonitis but haven't played golf since so not sure if it stops the radiating up the arm.      So, I'm a believer..... not sure if it is effective against serious pain but they had all sorts of ways to transport the CBD (the stuff that works on the pain).   It also has THC in it but he said it wouldn't make me high and I felt nothing ; (    

So, we've been busy having fun and catching up with everyone.      Great summer and we look forward to a very busy fall.  

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

A good weekend.

Yummy finger food....there was more on the plate but I was hungry.   Mixed a very spicy delicious hummus with guac for a perfect add to veggies and chips.    And always better sitting outside waiting for the main event.  

On Saturday, we wandered (well, it's kind of a long wander on an Interstate) east to Mike and Jenna's.   Aside from a grandmother fix ( only Alex this time ) and a Costco trip (always need 94 rolls of TP ), 
we had tickets to a Garrison Keillor show.     He started the show by addressing the dismaying  political and national/international  issues of the day, altho never mentioning anyone by name.    He received rousing support for  his timely and biting commentary and then led a singing of "God Bless America".     He walked the crowd several times and was well versed on the history and highlights of Denver and Colorado.    He sang a song about the many rivers of Colorado and I kept waiting for him to name our local and beautiful Uncompaghre River..... he didn't attempt that one....I guess it doesn't rhyme with much.      He told  touching stories and I was very surprised as he shared a very intimate (and I thought quite graphic) story of a first love.     And then, he  continued to  spill out  the story of attending the funeral this summer of this first love and meeting the daughter from that relationship that was given up at birth.   I was unclear if he knew of the child or if he acknowledged her and altho they talked briefly,  and it seemed as if they both knew the truth, he  did not indicate that either acknowledged their connection.   It was most interesting.   

It was good to get away and I always revel in the beauty of traveling thru the mountains.  

The patio is in the final stages of completion and the social calendar is full for this week and next.   The weather is perfect and the roses are stunning after a good feeding a couple weeks ago.   
Life is good out here in the West. 

Thursday, August 10, 2017

August already ?

My patience has reached the tipping point.    It's been 2 1/2 months and this is where it stands.   I was told the stucco would be completed 2 days ago......Not!    The stain guy and the railing guy can't finish up until the stucco is done.    I fired off a text this morning and feel kinda bad since I really like Joe and we've been invited to his 60th BD party next week and he is a friend but...... 

On a prettier note,  the monsoon's are winding down but every so often we are gifted with a beautiful rainbow.    This one was absolutely brilliant but obviously the iPhone camera didn't capture it.    I wanted to run over and tell the Dixon's that the pot of gold was in their back yard.  I didn't change anything on this pic but the colors are quite amazing regardless.  

I've been exploring new recipes lately.    This one was tofu, spinach, spices  rolled up with sauce.   I could have used vegan mozzarella cheese but it didn't need it.    We use the vegan cheeses sparingly but they add a nice flavor for pizza.    I'm following several Plant based FB pages and the rage of late is the air fryer.    I did a lot of research but didn't think I needed another appliance altho this did sound appealing.     I ordered a Vegan Air Fryer cookbook and became more interested.     And then, I got a notice from Sam's Club that they are having a one day sale and the air fryer was $89 for the large one (5+ qt).   So we made a trip north to Grand Junction and picked one up.    I have to say that I am a bit impressed.    I made crispy flavored tofu cubes last night and added them to a stir fry....excellent.   I could have made them in the oven but this took less than 20" and the oven takes much longer.   Not that I have a time issue, being retired and all ..... I also did hash browns with red peppers and onions and it will become a staple for a snack or to tuck in a burrito ( yes with spicy beans and salsa and lettuce, it is a hit ).     They are touted as making quick and easy no fat french fries and that will soon be on my list.        My other very very favorite appliances are the Instapot (pressure cooker) and Blendtec high speed blender .    Use them almost every day.

 We have busy weeks coming up....all good stuff.    Weather is perfect, the golf game not so much.   I tried a new demo driver and have to say that it lived up to the hype.....but at $500, it ain't going in my bag anytime soon.      Unless I start a GO FUND ME page....... it's a thought !

Addendum:    As I write this on Friday morning, the stucco is DONE !,..... the painter finished the front door and is starting the staining of the upper deck and the railing guys will arrive soon.    I am no longer a grumpy old lady.  

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Am I too busy or just lazy..............?

I'd gather that it's the latter.    Or maybe that there's just nothing blog worthy in our life.   
Weather is hot midday but refreshingly cool otherwise.    We are in the midst of a very active monsoon season with heavy storms in the afternoons and uncomfortable humidity most days.

Weather permitting, we head over to Ridgeway on Thursdays for the outstanding free concerts in the park.   The setting is perfect with the mountain views.    Two weeks ago, Willie Nelson's son, Lucas was the main event.    The place was wall to wall fans and many were hoping that Willie would show....he didn't but the music was great.  

We headed out for a wildflower fix last week.     Imogene Pass, from Ouray to Telluride, is a long rough ride.   This year we have had excessive snow and now rain so the waterfalls were impressive and the streams wild and full.

  When we're not jeeping or golfing or pickle balling, we're eating...... Olathe corn is now in season and it is very sweet and yummy.     Also enjoying TLT sandwiches with fresh tomatoes and bacon flavored tempeh ( a soy product with bacon flavors that cooks up crispy and delicious.....try it, you won't miss the bacon and the fat and the chemicals )       We use Just Mayo and find it tastes just like the real thing, minus the dairy and eggs.    ( This product has made a dent in the mayo industry and Helman's has sued to get them to take the Mayo out of their name....I don't think they won ).  

 The patio is sl-o-w-l-y coming together.   It is very frustrating but we are pleased with everything.  Hopefully in about 2 weeks we can call it done.

I now have a large room to call my own with my desks and storage and such.    IKEA provided the substance and it's been fun to fill up the spaces and have a place for everything.       And I have room for lots of yarn.   When I'm not knitting or drawing or organizing, I'm enjoying this colorful project.  I really don't want a crocheted throw but I couldn't resist the colors and the very reasonable kit from the UK.   And it arrived in a week via ordinary mail.  

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......