Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Catching Up!

the Big Thompson River in Estes Park, Colorado

My blogging has been sporadic of late. Like the Big Thompson River that flows from Rocky Mountain National Park, through Estes Park, and out onto the plains of Colorado, it seems like my days rush by, sometimes leaving little time to just sit and write. I thought I'd bring you up-to-date with mostly pictures from my iPhone.

one of many interesting shops in Estes Park

A week ago we visited the garage sale of friends and then impulsively drove up to Estes Park (about a 2-hour drive from our house) for lunch. We never made it up there last summer and in the fall Colorado had a lot of very serious flooding from rain clouds that camped over our state for a couple of weeks. Our sump pump ran often, for good reason, and served us well.  

But mountain communities like Estes Park were flooded -- seriously.  During our recent trip up there, we saw the shop owners still had their sand bags at the ready for any emergencies. 

street scene on the west end of the main street in Estes Park

On the day we were visiting, there was no rain and strolling through the shops and finding lunch along the river walk was a delightful excursion.

taffy machine

We saw at least 3 different shops with taffy-pulling machines in the window.  They were fascinating to watch, but I could just about feel the fillings in my teeth getting loose!  

my pantry door

Back at home, I've been busy with making a few changes in the house, both for decor and practicality.  One of my pet peeves with our new house is the placement of the kitchen pantry door in front of the double wall ovens.  For about 6 months I had the door removed, with a quilted valance-style curtain at the top of the doorway to give it a country pantry look.  But as time went on I decided that style does not fit the design of this house, so over Father's Day weekend I had the boys put the door back up for me. 

Now I use the inside of the door to hang a poster that, along with sticky notes, helps me to plan our menus. It looks messy when the door is open, but when it's closed, it's all as neat as a pin!

By the way, I have not distorted the picture.  With the exception of the door to the basement, all of the doors in this house are 8 feet tall!! (and neither Beloved nor I reach 6 feet)

family room fireplace

We also added a frame to the art work over the fireplace, doing a better job of centering it in the process. I'm looking for something dark and artsy to put underneath the landscape.... a copper sculpture or something.  Maybe something with a western feel.  Hobby Lobby may have what I have in mind.

our kids and grandchildren

In our last house we had a huge wall on the second floor landing where I hung pictures of all of our family, including great grandparents, which made for a lot of holes.  When we moved into that house we had no grandchildren and only one of our children was married (recently, at that).  By the time we sold the house, we had 2 more in-law children and 9 grandchildren.  

You could say I've simplified my exhibition of family pictures in this new house.  One frame says it all! I just update the pictures as new grandchildren are born and as they all get older.

The Vistas at Park Meadows mall -- the outdoor portion of "Colorado's only shopping resort", as they call it

Of course, with home decor there is usually some shopping involved. Although we didn't buy anything at the mall, we did take advantage of some photo opportunities...

this picture was Beloved's idea

When you get to be our age, we know our prettiest days are behind us, so we just take funny pictures and laugh at ourselves!

IKEA's light shop

We enjoyed the leisurely stroll through the mouse-maze of IKEA and found the kitchen stools we wanted.

a flowering Yucca plant

Lest  you think the only walking I do is while shopping, I must show you some pictures of Denise and me hiking this past weekend.

Spruce Mountain Open Space, near Larkspur, Colorado

We left my house shortly after 7am on our hiking day, wanting to get the hike out of the way before the heat and crowds became oppressive.  We met our goals and got 5.5 miles of hiking in before we collapsed back at the car.  The views, especially from Windy Point, were amazing.  Do I need to explain to anyone why I love living in Colorado?!!

one of my sewing machines

Of course, when I'm not hiking, shopping, sleeping or cooking, I can often be found at my sewing machine. This summer I'm making two baby quilts for new family members who are expected to be born in September.

Oldest son's quilt

This quilt is not one of those. It's a lap quilt that I finished this past March for the birthday of one of my sons.  I couldn't show it on the blog until after his birthday.  I have made quilted items for all of my children, grandchildren, and even my sister's grandchildren -- except for this particular son of mine.  He lives in a very warm climate, so the last thing he needs for a summertime birthday is a quilt.  However,  I feared that when I die and the kids are standing beside my coffin (no cremation for me, please) and they are comparing notes, I don't want this particular son to realize I never made a quilted [anything] for him, so, for his 41st birthday last week, he got this blue-and-white cover.  Maybe he'll get the sniffles some time and need a warm blankie while he watches TV from his recliner ...

from Face Book

My transition to mostly raw vegan, all gluten-free and dairy-free cooking continues.  To date, I've lost 15 pounds since last November 1st (a very gradual weight loss) and I feel like a million bucks!!  

This pancake recipe was on Face Book recently and so we gave it a try.  It's not Beloved's idea of yummy pancakes, but it worked okay for me.  

what I'm reading 

There are times when I just have to sit down to rest my feet, so I like to have a good book within arm's reach.  This is my current read and I'm loving it. Years ago my friend Sue got me into reading books by this husband-and-wife Christian writing team, Brock and Bodie Thoene.  At the time it was The Zion Chronicles, historical fiction about World War II in Germany.  

Now I'm reading the first in their Jerusalem Chronicles series.  It's about Lazarus (the one Jesus brought back from the dead).  I won't spoil it for you.  It's captivating and I'm enjoying it.

church this past Sunday

My readers, many of whom I have met in church over the years, will not be at all surprised to read that we spend every Sunday morning in church.  This is where we were last weekend.

And that brings me to remind you to be praying with Anne Graham Lotz for our nation, especially July 1-7.  She has a special prayer written up for each one of those days with a focus on personal revival and intercession for the United States of America.  To read what that is all about, click on this link:


So that brings you up-to-date on what I've been up to. I'd like to say I'll be blogging more regularly after this, but probably not.  It all depends on inspiration and free time.  

Thanks for stopping by!

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