Monday, December 14, 2015

Remember me ??

I'm the one who had a blog......actually, it wasn't a very reliable blog.    And it won't keep my loyal followers  following loyally unless I actually write the blog.   A blog needs dynamic content and thoughtful prose and blog worthy photos.      Mine lacks all of that but it does provide us with a memory jog when we can't remember what we did and when we did it and where we did it.    But, we welcome any and all who have a bit of a voyouristic tendency and want to look in on the daily  monthly activities of the elderly.      

So, lets talk about food.     Tis the season after all.   


 We opted to enjoy our own Thanksgiving dinner, homemade to our specifications.     I finally found the best gravy recipe.   No animals were harmed but we did damage to a lot of mushrooms and onions.    It tastes EXACTLY like the real thing but has NO OIL as well.  

 We added it to the usual fare.....baked potatoes instead of mashed and altho the beans look pretty naked,  by the time you mix it all up, we didn't miss the turkey and fat and sugar at all.......

 Yes, I'm rather smug and righteous about the whole effort...........   We eat really well in our own way and don't feel deprived.  Panera has great fresh items that we enjoy and now one of our favorite Club restaurants has two delicious veggie options......  If you invite us to dinner, we'll eat anything you make....well, not the slab of ribs or the rare bleeding meat but otherwise, we'll play nice and be good guests.

The holidays are in full swing and I am right on schedule.....that is, I'm about 2 weeks behind.     I have a lovely wreath on the front door.    We bought a 6 foot lighted snowman for the yard but it's still in the box and I suspect that it will be returned.        Our neighborhood (about 100 homes) has monthly gatherings.      Bob Evan's restaurant catered a Christmas dinner at a nearby Rec center.     I offered my elves as decor since mostly they just sit in their boxes.       I have 10 of them and collected them over the years, mostly highly marked down after Christmas.    They are "The Elves Themselves" made by Zims out of Salt Lake City.   I don't know if they are still made.  

Unfortunately, Eunice, my favorite elf,  isn't able to help me with this project.  

We are getting out in the sun and trying to resurrect our golf games.    This one, Pelican, is a beautiful course but very challenging with the large oaks, water, natural swampy areas and Spanish moss that grabs your perfect tee shot and sends it to a hidden place.

Yes, I play from the forward tees and proud of it !!

Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas with those you love !!    

Saturday, November 21, 2015

One week back.............

According to Mark and Annette, it's been NINE days since I updated the blog !!!   It's very nice to know that I have a couple of loyal followers and that there were concerns that we were stuck in SC with a sick RV.    But truth be told, the hiatus had no such drama, just one very lazy author and one week of nothing too exciting to share.    We have been here exactly one week, almost to the hour.   
It was good to finally land but then it's the unloading and the finding room for the "stuff" that we haul back and forth.    That part of it still isn't done altho the closet has been purged and the kitchen is organized but the outlying areas are looking a bit unsettled .    
Houses need care and attention and 6 months of Florida's unrelenting heat and humidity and rains were not kind to the exterior surfaces.    The power washer went into overtime for 2+days and now everything is sparkling again.    The Annual Gecko War is still ongoing but at least the only thing we found inside was a  desiccated one.     We'll repeat this entire process again in the spring.   

One more Colorado picture, a beautiful sunset the night before we left. (zoomed in....they are really not that close)   And Bronco man standing tall and proud  before he came east.     Sheri wanted her picture taken with him..... she's recovering well from major back surgery.      

 And so, the day after we arrived, Bronco Man stood tall and proud prior to the game ......part way thru, I checked on him and he wasn't doing so well.........a perfect metaphor for the game...

 And this is how we all felt......very deflated and discouraged and wondering what tomorrow will bring when Peyton isn't even getting on the plane !  

 The golf game is getting another chance to shape up......Pickleball is again a daily affair for the other half..... there are 164 PB courts here in TV.....with 12 more being built.    Largest number IN THE WORLD!!

And so the settling in keeps going is hot and humid and the morning walks are an exercise in wiping sweat.    It's good to back among friends and the familiar but the mountains are always calling my name............

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Thoughts while rolling downhill..........

We're almost there............I could say that we're almost home but then I could also say that we're almost NOT home.....where is home ??       Maybe I'll just say that we're getting closer to the rest of our STUFF.

Before we left the mountains, we had a gathering of friends and neighbors at our house.  Great people, good times.       Then we headed East.

Our departure was based on weather and leaving Montrose in the sun for the beautiful drive over the mountain passes was a smart move.  

Time spent in Denver with family is always a highlight but seeing "Lion King" on stage was over the top.

Kansas is flat and I  visualized the tribes of the plains roaming free.    The prairie grasses are being restored in the middle lands and it is a good thing to see.

Long days through the heartland but we were ahead of the weather all the way.  

Lexington is always a beautiful stop ..... rolling hills with miles of fencing to contain the magnificent horses and spending time with family once again.     Watching a baby navigate upright is always a time of wonder and smiles.

The view through the windshield from Knoxville to Asheville is worthy of repeating in all seasons.   Following the white water rivers, it is a roller coaster ride thru the Tennessee mountains.   And rather white knuckle if you're driving a moving house.....

Time in SC while the rolling house gets its yearly maintenance is a much needed break.  

And then it's southward towards the sun and palm trees and good friends.    

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Out where we belong..............

I am now a woman of leisure.    Thanks to the arrival of this clever Roomba, I no longer have to worry about dust bunnies under the beds and crumbs in the kitchen.     I had my doubts and couldn't get too serious about thinking that this was worthy of my $$$$ but I might be a convert.    I have no idea how it works.   The cleaning  seems totally random with no logical pattern.   It slows down when it comes near an obstacle, goes over area rugs (not our shaggy ones), maneuvers over most cords, sweeps up stuff in corners ( I deliberately put stuff down) and then goes back to it's dock when its done or low on battery.     It is a bit noisy so I close doors or run it when we are gone.    I can see how it would totally freak out a dog or cat.    It was a total extravagance and it wasn't MY idea !!!    (The best thing is the under the bed cleaning!)

Because we have so much extra time on our hands ..... well it's not that I actually spent a lot of time vacuuming, but you get the drift .....    we headed to the mountains.      Snow has come to the high country and we needed to be up close and personal. 

This is the gate to the Ralph Lauren ranch, 17000 acres of prime cattle country.    Last Dollar Road is a scenic unpaved backroad over to Telluride.  

 We passed by the iconic ranch barn featured in "True Grit".

Around 9000 ft we found snow and bare aspen and snow laden pines....and a muddy road.

 The snow became deeper ....  (and more blurry)...

 ....and then our plans had to change !    Where's  that chain saw when we really need it ??

 The aspen stands were worthy of remembering even without color..........

Cows by Lauren

We are watching the weather closely and preparing for departure.    I think we've shifted our leaving to a few days earlier due to predicted snows on the passes on the way to Denver.    We are, if nothing else, very flexible and not foolish about driving the house in snow and ice.     Time to get organized............

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Four letter words..........

FALL,    KIDS,   JEEP,    VIEW,    GOLF.....   maybe I should have chosen longer words to describe our week.....

Becca and Lizzie drove over the mountains and through the woods to grandmother's house this week.....Lizzie, still on a high from getting excepted into her first and only choice college (Northern State Colorado) AND a scholarship,  (obviously Grandmother genes ), spent part of her fall break driving the 5 hours from the Front Range to our Western Slope.    Aside from catching up and enjoying these special girls, we took the Jeep road to Telluride.    Color is fading but still worth the views to get out in this beautiful back country.   

Dogs are welcome most places but when their not, there's always a fence or post to let them wait by.

We saw political signs around touting the reasons why you should vote for "Glider Bob" but not all thought this was a good idea.   

A 'must do' when in Telluride is to ride the free gondola from the valley up to Mountain Village.    It's like taking the bus and saves on congestion, parking, gas and pollution by connecting the villages, the ski areas and Telluride.    It accepts bikes, ski's snowboards, strollers, dogs and old people.   It is smooth and quiet and each gondola will hold about 6-8 seated.    

This is the only picture I took of Becca and Lizzie....we thought about having a group pic taken while eating on the patio of the TomBoy (best vegan burger ever) but I failed at that as well.    
This is the view descending into Telluride...

They made the long drive back home the next day but we'll see them again soonly in Denver.

I actually played golf this week.....not well, not pretty but so good to get back out again.    The weather has been just glorious,   Colorado blue skies, near 80 and snow on the mountains for that added amazing touch to our favorite mountains.      But, all good things change and yesterday, the real fall weather showed up.     Snow in the high country and rainy predictions for the week ahead.

Our hiking group met in Ridgeway yesterday and Bonnie, who has great connections to the movie "True Grit",  showed us the scenes from the movie that were filmed there back in 1968.   Many buildings, now repurposed, are still alive and well.     It was chilly, windy and drizzly so we skipped the walk around town after hearing all about the movie and it's making in the town park under the gazebo.    Then it was to the True Grit Cafe.   Built after the movie, it contains memorabilia
 from  many of the John Wayne movies and Dennis Weaver TV shows.    Weaver had a home nearby and generously donated a large area for a beautiful park with sculptures and trails along the Uncompaghre River ( say that 3 times fast and then spell it ).      Anyway, it is a popular watering hole and we ate our fill..............Then it was off to Bonnie and Bud's beautiful home overlooking the San Juan's for a viewing of the original movie.     Never having seen it, I had no idea it was so violent or that the horses seemed to suffer injuries and great falls.   JW won an Oscar for the movie but I really couldn't see why......, Jeremy Slade, Robert Duval, Glenn Campbell in their younger years also were in it.   John Wayne wanted Karen Carpenter to play the female lead after hearing her sing...??  We enjoyed calling out mountain peaks and familiar distant hiking  areas and roads.    It was filmed in Sept and Oct and they weren't very consistent with their choices of backgrounds.    Starting out in aspen groves with few leaves, the next scene showed them in fully green aspens and then back to falling leaves again.     Some scenes were also filmed in California.      A fun evening.  

We're off in a few days for our annual hiking trip to Capitol Reef in Utah.    Weather is looking iffy with rain and much cooler temps so we'll see how much hiking we do and how much Jeeping we opt for.    But always a good time with friends.   

Sunday, October 4, 2015

The Seasons change.......

 Before we left for California, we drove south of Ouray to get a quick look at the changing aspens.   They weren't fully at their peak but awe inspiring nevertheless.     Who would think that brilliant blue and golden yellow and shades of green could produce such wonder ?    It never gets old. I have gazillions of pictures of this same area but each fall there is a powerful draw to get out and see what nature's paintbrush has created once again.

Our drive back from California was uneventful.    We opted not to stop in Las Vegas.   We checked out the shows and there was no one of interest.     Elton John will be there later in the month and that is always tempting.   So we drove the long miles in 3 days.   The Nevada and Utah scenery is of endless open space and the wide and smooth highways make the driving  easy.

Fall definitely descended while we were gone and the mornings have a crisp and invigorating feel.   Saturday is hike day and the group plan was of a difficult and high altitude jaunt.    So, some of us opted for a visually breathtaking hike instead of just a breathtaking hike.     We headed south of Ouray again (the pictures above) and strolled along Crystal Lake.    Jessica decided we should get an early start (as we do all summer to avoid the hot sun and afternoon rain).    When we got to the trailhead it was 32 degrees and the sun had not come over the mountains .    We layered up and complained about frostbite but continued boldly forward.    Soon, we saw the suns rays beginning to appear and just as our fingers were about numb, it came over the mountain.    Red Mountain #1 and #2 ahead.

The lake was calm and mirrorlike.   Which way is UP ??     I actually rotated this picture and it's hard to see the difference.    The reflection is the one on top....

 The peak of color is over but still wondrous.   Most of the leaves can be seen by looking down.

The views aren't  too shabby out the back door either.   This large tree on the golf course shades our patio from the bright summer sun and is a noisy apartment for the birds.  

Monday, September 28, 2015

A family gathers.............

 On a beautiful day  in September, family and friends gathered to remember and celebrate the long life of Tom Haney.     Tom and Sandy built a wonderful home and family in the hills near Salinas/Monterey.    Tom was a master cabinet maker and avid car enthusiast and devoted Dad.

Sandy and Matthew and Patrick remembered Tom in laughter and tears. 

 The bagpiper was an uplifting finale to the Celebration.

 Patrick and Julie...........parents of Nathan and Justin.

 Sandy is known for her talents with flowers and design.

Maribel is a delightful Mother of 5.   She and Matthew live in Yuma.   
The siblings gather once again.....Tom, Moi, Sandy and Maureen.    Always filled with laughter and stories of long long ago.   

Sandy greeting Melanie.............

I have been writing this blog for eons it seems.....and I know pretty well which of our friends and family keep up with my chatter .....altho VERY FEW ever comment !!!     When I check my stats now and then, I'm always surprised at how many "hits" I get each day........often more than 50 and sometimes up to 70+.    I've often wondered how that can be and who is out there in the great cyberspace that is interested  in this chatter.....I figure it's mostly some sort of random search engine.       Well, imagine my surprise when Melanie came up and greeted Paul and I by name !!   She is a colleague of Sandy's and has followed us for several years.   It's really weird to talk with a stranger  who knows so much about us.    Thanks Melanie for joining us on our rambling brightened our day !!

And so, we board the bus and head back to our mountains............ we may stop along the way or we may not.   Stay tuned.................It was a perfect weekend and time with family is always so valued and so special.