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..........

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Home Sweet Home

Does this look different?     No ???     Well, this blog is being produced on a brand new computer and it's a big deal to me.       This is a MacBook Air.   My 9 yr old MacBook Pro was on it's last leg.   We'd replaced a few of it's parts but it still only had 20 min of battery time, got too hot to hold when charging and the mouse pad was failing.   When we were in Scottsdale, the Apple store was calling and we answered.     I'm still in a bit of a learning curve but I love all the additional features.

 We are home !    But far from settled.     The stairs are still missing most of their railings and some touch up painting is needed and the patio hasn't been started.    But our stuff is all here and this is where we'll finally hang our hats.    

Before we headed north, we settled into Jeff and Jen's guest room and their beautiful home in North Scottsdale.    We shopped and ate and had the RV worked on.   The pool was too chilly but still nice to lounge around.   

Guinness also lives there.   He is a tad suspicious and does not like to have his picture taken.   Every time I raised my phone, he quickly retreated.    I finally tried the dog bone bribe but his wary look says he still didn't trust me.   He's a great little gentle dog.   

 A couple weeks ago, we joined Jen and Jeff at their Club for 9 holes.    I meant to take a lot of pics of this scenic course. I only managed to capture one of Jen before I forgot about photography and had to concentrate on staying out of the desert.    There were snake (rattlesnake to be specific) warnings and I gave up a ball to the cactus field instead of risking my life.

Another day, we headed down to Tucson to the Pima Air Museum.   We'd been there years ago but it has changed significantly.     This is the trainer that P learned to fly in when he was just a kid and 

beginning Navy flight training.   

 And this is the same kid at the hanger dedicated to the Vietnam conflict.   Still very cute and young at heart.

Jon had a short layover in Phoenix and we were able to meet for breakfast.    Jeff is now a manager at the GM Autonomous Vehicle site and he gave us a grand tour.    Very interesting to learn how they are developing an autonomous driving car and partnering with Lyft to get into that market.

Jeff, Jon, the matriarch and patriarch and Jennifer....... a mighty fine looking bunch I think.

The weather is warm here on the western slope but very very windy.   Lots of snow on the peaks and the trees are leafing out.    We will get back in the golf and pickle ball scene once the winds calm down.    Until then, there are still boxes to unpack, pictures to hang and friends to catch up with........