Saturday, May 30, 2015

Food for the Soul May 30 and 31

the Guggenheim Building 

During the walk Beloved and I took on the campus of his alma mater on Memorial Day, we came to the Guggenheim Building, which during his college years, was the base for the Home Economics degree. As we approached it, I was reminded of this verse:

Then our sons in their youth
will be like well-nurtured plants,
and our daughters will be like
pillars carved to adorn a palace.

Psalm 144:12 NIV

Was it a coincidence that a structure devoted to the study of the womanly art of home making would have beautiful tall pillars on the front, complimenting this Bible verse?

Old buildings and houses are a fascination to me. On that day of our visit to the campus of Colorado State University I was entranced with the detail and fine, unhurried craftsmanship in so many of the structures. 

the main entrance hall

Most of the buildings were locked due to the holiday, so I pressed my cell phone camera onto the glass of the front doors to snap this picture of the main entrance hall. At the landing above the stairs was a beautiful stained glass window, which did not come out in this picture. It was a floral design and had words of dedication to a name I could not quite make out from my perspective.

Seeing those beautiful columns outside the building and remembering the Bible verse made me want to stand tall and be the best I can. 

Thursday, May 28, 2015

A Day Trip of Memories

downtown Denver as seen from Interstate 25
On Memorial Day we woke to sunshine and a pleasant temperature. We've had so much rain over the past many weeks that we decided to scoop up the opportunity to take a road trip, just for the day, so we could enjoy the weather.

the "cash register building" on the far right
We decided to go north on Interstate 25, which took us past downtown Denver, Elitch Gardens (the "Disneyland" of Colorado), and our football stadium.

approaching Sports Authority Field at Mile High -- home of the Denver Broncos
Maybe I can show you a better picture of the stadium later, when we are approaching it from a different direction.

I-25 heading north, past I-70
We came to the place where one has to decide which big university campus to visit. We have been to Boulder many times in recent years, since it is significantly closer to our home. This time we would visit Fort Collins.

Colorado's Front Range mountains

It's tricky getting a good shot of the snow-covered mountains when the white clouds are hugging the peaks. If you look closely on the far left and far right of this picture above, you can see white snow. We never tire of views like this.

an old house on College Avenue
Fort Collins is about an hour's drive north of Denver, west of I-25, and sprawls out toward the foothills. It is the home of Colorado State University, alma mater to my husband and one of our sons. It is also where we made our first home as a young married couple.

No, we did not live in this house (I wish we had!), but I wanted to show you some of the charm that is found in abundance in Fort Collins. 

Beloved outside the dorm from his sophomore year
One of the reasons we came to Fort Collins was to see where the campus intends to build their new football stadium. For many years it has been a couple of miles off-campus. Now they are clearing the land on-campus to begin construction.

Beloved outside his ground-floor door room; a vacant room
While Beloved was busy with college life, I was in Denver, studying to be a secretary and then putting those skills to use. But many, many love letters made the trip between us -- long before cell phones, email, and text messaging were available.

the crossroads in the center of the university Oval -- that's me waving at you

While Beloved did not propose marriage to me on campus, one of our sons chose this very spot, where the sidewalks intersect, to ask the hand of the love of his life.

bricks in the center of the Oval
We were interested to see these inlaid bricks in the center of the Oval representing contributions of $1 million or more. It's been a few years since we last visited this spot. We don't remember seeing this before. (and no, we haven't had an extra $1 million laying around -- you won't see our names here)

As you can see, the trees in the Oval are huge. On the left you can see smaller trees that have been
planted in-between the older ones -- planting for the future!

Trees like this are abundant in the older parts of the campus. Our heavy rains have made the grass look like emerald velvet.

Beloved outside the building that created his Bachelor's degree
Yes, I'll just go ahead and say it.  I married a real smartie! He graduated in four years with a grade point average of 4.0 and a Bachelor of Science degree in Statistics. 

I love the architecture on this old campus!
Many of the buildings, but especially those that surround the Oval, hold history from long ago. 

clockwise from bottom left: mountains easily visible from campus, the Lory Student Center,
Colorado Blue Spruce tree, me in front of Lilac bushes
Beloved outside the ROTC building
This is another building where Beloved spent a great deal of time. I would be remiss if I didn't tell you that the government gave my husband a scholarship that set our finances so we could get married during Christmas break of his junior year.

a lot of time was spent here
Of course, with a scholarship like that, there were strings attached. But fulfilling that commitment held many more significant blessings for us.

blooming Iris were on the campus and all over town
Colorado State University was founded in 1870 and opened its door to students in 1879. It was originally the Agricultural College of Colorado, so it is no surprise to see beauty like this in the flower beds.

perhaps only Coloradoans can fully appreciate this

As we walked among the classrooms, we came across this favorite statue with a nameplate to make us smile:

The Sculpture that goes with a poem by the same title. 

Due to copyright law I cannot reprint the poem but it's fun and can be found at this website:

Of course, there is much more I could tell you about the campus but we were getting hungry and our feet were tired.

old downtown Fort Collins
College Avenue and the surrounding area in downtown was our stomping ground after we were married in December of Beloved's junior year. We lived just two or three blocks from this street and I walked to work at a major bank in the town. 

one of several eateries in old downtown 
A major overhaul is in progress right now. We were delighted to see how big and well-developed the area is. There were lots of sidewalk cafe' options, quaint shops, and a kitchen store, The Cupboard, where I could easily have lost myself for several hours if somebody wasn't waiting for me outside with a cup of ice cream.

one of two statues like this in old downtown
Of course, as you would expect in a college town, there was a lot of artsy stuff.

The Crown Pub
We decided to lunch at The Crown Pub because it was cute and our feet were too tired to walk any farther! I had a scrumptious salad and Beloved tried out their burger. Neither of us was disappointed.

Our first apartment as newlyweds was on this street
Eventually we had to bid goodbye to Fort Collins, although there was more we wanted to see. The late afternoon holiday traffic would be heavy through Denver.

Denver's Sports Authority Field at Mile High
I promised you a better snapshot of where our Denver Broncos play their home games.

back to the real world ...
It was a day full of memories and sweetness but now we are back to the normal routines of work-a-day life. I hope you enjoyed our little day trip!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Hodgepodge Wednesday May 27, 2015

Our spring rains have made everything beautiful!!
It's Hodgepodge Wednesday, Volume 222. Joyce asks the questions and any blogger who wants to link in and participate is welcome to do so. At the end of my responses, you can click on a link to see how others have replied.

1.  Did you do anything 'memorable' this past weekend?

To make ourselves more aware of what our military people face, we watched the movie American Sniper.  We heard a stirring sermon at church about our need as individuals and as a nation to repent and draw close to God. We took a day trip to the town of my husband's undergraduate alma mater. We had a wonderful time visiting his campus and talking about memories. 

One of my dear friends is preparing to move to the Lone Star State, and not all of her household gets to go with her. On Sunday she turned them over to me, so I've been finding a place for them in my house. 

the newcomers shortly after their arrival

2. Ronald Reagan is quoted as saying-

"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same."  

Your thoughts? Do you somehow acknowledge and appreciate the freedoms you enjoy? Did your upbringing contribute to that sense of appreciation? If you're a parent, are there specific things you do to pass on this sense of responsibility and appreciation to your own children in regard to the freedoms they enjoy?

our flag on Memorial Day 2015

We proudly display our American flag on patriotic holidays, we vote in elections, and we respond to political phone surveys. We respect military people greatly and our children were a part of all those things during their childhood years in our home.

3. Loudest noise you've ever heard?

One Saturday morning many years ago when we were living on the Pacific Coast, we were enjoying a quiet breakfast when a test missile or rocket was launched that was very loud and shook our entire apartment. It was both exciting and terrifying. Had we known ahead of time that was going to happen, maybe it would not have shook us up so much. 

4. What was the last thing you ate that might be considered 'junk food'? Did you enjoy it?

I am happy to be able to say that since I was diagnosed with gluten-intolerance and began eating gluten-free and mostly raw vegan in November 2013,  junk food is no longer a part of my life. I have lost weight (and kept it off), went from a size 12 to size  6 jeans, and I feel great!!

5. When was the last time you were somewhere the crowd felt 'packed in like sardines'?

That is a feeling I avoid if at all possible. The last time I felt that way was at a very popular Christian women's conference several years ago. It was held at a huge convention center. During a break time  I was trying to get around the mezzanine to the rest room and to visit some of the book tables. People were smashed up against me on all sides. Making a purchase at any of the tables was completely out of the question.

Even though it was a Christian women's event, I kept my purse pressed to my chest and worried about pickpockets and getting trampled upon. (Being short of stature did not help the situation) I had never  before experienced anything like that and hope I never do again.

As a result, I do not attend those conferences any more.  The conferences themselves are excellent, but I am very uncomfortable with that kind of circumstance. 

6. Are you organized when it comes to packing for a trip? Do you make a list weeks in advance or toss items in last minute? Are you a carry-on only sort of packer or do you need an entire suitcase for your shoes?

I'm very organized when I travel. Especially when I travel by air, I stay with a limited color scheme so my clothes can mix-and-match very easily and I don't have to pack a big bag. 

Due to my shoulder replacement and a disability that has permanently affected my range of motion (due to the severity of my accident), I check in nearly everything at the airport ticket counter so I don't have to carry much more than my purse with my prescriptions and something to read. That relinquishment of "all of my stuff" is a true act of faith on my part but I have no choice.

7. What was the last sporting event you attended in person? Did your team win? Did you care?

Sports Authority Field at Mile High --
where our Denver Broncos play their home games

The last sporting event I attended was the Super Bowl while sitting in my recliner at home. I don't really care much about sports but I do like to see the Denver Broncos win.

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

We are in desperate times and need to be spending serious time in prayer, confession, repentance, and Bible study. 

Christ-followers yearn for our Lord's return, but we must be busy while there is still time and opportunity, sharing the Gospel message with those who don't know.

In June our Supreme Court will make serious rulings about vital issues that will affect our freedom of speech and religious liberties, among other things. We must pray earnestly that their decisions are in line with the Holy Bible.  

To see how other bloggers have responded to these questions, click here:

Monday, May 25, 2015

What to Feed the Crowd


We went to church this past Sunday with plans to enjoy lunch afterward with some good friends and then come home to take our usual Sabbath naps and maybe watch a movie on TV -- nothing out of the ordinary, but understand, that was fine with me. It was my day of rest (and it should be for everybody, by the way).

Business at Grammys Place Bed and Breakfast has been slow for months. Ever since The Greedy Arms Hotel opened up just outside of Whistlestop, people have been stopping there before before they could get up the mountain to my quaint cabin resort, and as a result my profits have been down and we have had time on our hands.

Mandy Sue and Lily
As we approached our place we could see a large tour bus parked in our circular driveway and I have to admit my heart skipped a beat. Money! (oh wait. I mean, "guests!")

Both Mandy Sue and Lily, my trusted assistants, met me at the door. Although they had greeted the busload of guests with their most welcoming smiles and a cheerful attitude, when they saw me they were vastly relieved. Not a one of these guests had made a reservation ahead of time, so we were going to be scrambling to get them all accommodated!

the group from the tour bus

Since the rooms for that many guests were not prepared, the girls had sent them all to the dining room to sit and await my arrival.  There certainly wasn't enough seating for all of them in the fireside room!

Grandad Bear considers our options
I nodded a smile in the direction of our guests as I hurried to the office where I could catch my breath and gather my thoughts. The girls followed me.

My impulse was to wring my hands and worry, but Grandad calmed me (as he always does) and instructed Mandy Sue and Lily to go freshen up our guest rooms. Then he told me to go to the front desk and start up the computer.  It would take a few minutes for that to get warmed up while the girls busied themselves in the guest rooms.

me signing in Mrs. Hattie Hare
Blessedly, as it turned out, we did have enough rooms and beds for all. Some of our guests were adamant that they could not be separated from each other, and were even willing to sleep on the floor if need be. 

I was grateful for that. With this being a mountain location and the warmth of summer nearly upon us, I felt sure our supply of quilts would be sufficient.

After they had all been given their room assignments and it was just Grandad Bear and me,  I collapsed in a chair and said with worry in my tone, "This is all well and fine, but what shall we feed them?"

With a bit of a smirk in his smile, my dear one looked over the top of his glasses and said, "Oh, don't worry about that. They're stuffed!"  

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Taking Time to Understand and Be Grateful

altar flowers at church on Memorial weekend

On this Memorial Holiday weekend, Beloved and I chose to watch the movie, American Sniper, so we would have a better idea of what it is our military men and women are facing, as well as their families. 

This film, which came to theaters this past December, is  a true story and was directed by Clint Eastwood. I have not wanted to see it. It is not a pleasant movie and with an R rating, the language is obscene, the violence disturbing. We rented the film, as opposed to buying it,  because we were pretty sure seeing it once would be enough. 

I watched it with a warm blanket wrapped around my shoulders, needing that psychological feeling of security while seeing the intense danger our service people face.  I also cringed to see the pain the loved ones at home had to endure.  

As we enjoy our barbecues and the sales at the mall on this holiday weekend, it is appropriate to also take time out to focus on what our freedom fighters do to preserve our liberties. 

We must never take for granted their service for all of us. Gratitude to God and to our military is essential.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Food for the Soul

the guest room

As my regular blog readers know, I am delightfully fascinated with sunlight filtering through the windows of my home.  This Spring we have had a surprising number of cloudy days weeks with hard rain.

When the sunshine does come out, such scenes as this one in my home thrill me and bring to mind a verse of Scripture. This time ...

The entrance of thy words giveth light;
it giveth understanding unto the simple.

Psalm 119:30 KJV

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Hodgepodge on a Rainy Day

our new porch puppy

Another Hodgepodge Wednesday has rolled around, but once again it's found us with our umbrellas handy and low visibility due to fog and rain. It's a fun type of weather when one can stay inside, sip hot tea and sew on a quilt. Outdoors, not so much...

my current quilting project on the design wall

This is Volume 221 and our questions are designed by Joyce at her blog, From This Side of the Pond.

1.  Did you make someone laugh yesterday? Was it intentional?

I probably did but I don’t remember what it was. I say a lot of silly stuff and my friends are good about humoring me.

2. What's a simple question with a complicated answer?

I am drawing an absolute blank on this one. I have laundry to do, so I will skip this one and go on....

3. Rhododendrons or have to choose. Are either currently blooming in your yard?

Unfortunately, neither one is growing in my yard. Colorado climate is not friendly to these beautiful flowering bushes. But we did have “Rhodies” in our yard in Seattle, many years ago, and Azaleas in our Virginia yard, also years ago.

one of our young Lilac bushes this year
We do, however, have Lilac bushes, and some day they will make a more dramatic photo than what I can post today.

4. May 21st is National Waitstaff Day. Have you ever worked as a waiter/waitress? How would you rate the experience? What was the best/worst part of the job?

The last time I quit a waitress job, I promised myself I would not do that ever again. I was 18 years old at the time and thankfully was able to move on to a job that provided me with a chair, a typewriter, and a beautiful wardrobe that included a lot of shoes (I was the executive secretary to the president of a shoe company). But with that said, serving as a waitress was a good maturing experience.

5. What fashion trend for women should be outlawed? How about one for men? 

The hemlines of skirts that are mid-thigh and above are truly not flattering to anyone, no matter how shapely the legs, and especially when combined with a high "baby doll" waist.    

As for men, closely-trimmed beards are nice, but anything longer than that is an unattractive distraction as it bobs while the jaw moves.

6. Name a writer who inspires tell us why.

Anne Graham Lotz (one of the daughters of Billy Graham) always inspires me to spend more time in God’s Word and in prayer.

7. What well known quote or saying sums up your plans for today or this week?

“There is always something for which to be thankful.” Charles Dickens 

8.  Insert your own random thought here.

I'm a little behind in posting my Hodgepodge this week. The last few days have been especially fun with visiting a dear friend who came to my house from her current home west of the Rockies. 

Friendships are such a blessing. To quote Barbra Streisand, "People who need people are the luckiest people in all the world." 

A graying brunette among the blondes.
(l-r) Denise, me, Diana
To see how other bloggers have responded to these same questions, click here: