Monday, February 29, 2016

A Week of Mushbrain

Art imitating life

It is only because I keep a personal journal that I know I did not sleep through this past week.  All I really remember is going through about 3 men's size cotton handkerchiefs a day, plus a lot of kleenex, and drinking HOT herbal tea at all hours, often while all I know and love were fast asleep in their beds. 

A violent cold virus swept through the Brown Bungalow, hitting Beloved first, and then almost a week-to- the-minute later bringing me down as well. 

I don't know who shared their germs with us but I suspect it was two of my texting buddies who live in Texas and Arizona. No, we haven't been with them face-to-face for many months, but these gals and their husbands had what sounds to be the exact same illness shortly after the Christmas holidays, so I feel certain we must have caught it from them, via text messaging!!

wall hanging of tulip blocks I made about 14 years ago

A friend in my Sunday School class has begun a new quilting group  at church. I had so hoped to begin working on our assigned project this past week -- quilting is so dear to my heart. But no, the basement was entirely too cold for a person in my state of illness-wracked body.

Roasted Butternut Squash

My long-time readers know that (like my daughter) I am an avid heath-food advocate, so I felt that if I cooked just the right produce I might magically be made well from the virus that was gripping my body more thoroughly with each passing day.

Coloring quietly with a cup of tea nearby

When that seemed to effect little for me, I resorted to an adult-version of a kindergarten activity: coloring at the kitchen table. By then I was becoming so sleep-deprived that my mind could handle little else.

Coloring with Dr. Charles Stanley

Then I got a brain flash that I could be enriching my spirit while filling in the designs with colored pencils. Listening to sermon podcasts on my laptop was a very enjoyable activity.

from our daughter
Notes from well-wishers were much appreciated, via snail mail, email, text messaging, and Face Book.

metal work design from Hobby Lobby in my guest bathroom

They say a cold lasts a week or seven days. Well, I dunno about that, but the symptoms are finally weakening. Now the trick is to not re-enter the normal routines too quickly lest there be a re-lapse. My personal medical history has at least two episodes of pneumonia that developed from doing too much too soon. I don't relish repeating that.

Here's to a better week!

Saturday, February 27, 2016

What to Look for in a Candidate

shared with permission from Little Birdie Blessings

So many of us are disappointed and distressed over the show of anger and disrespect by some  of our Republican presidential candidates in this past Thursday night's televised debate. 

I use the word "disappointed," but in reality we are coming to expect these demonstrations lacking in civility. 

The word "distressed" is appropriate. We have every right to expect those contending for the position of our nation's highest and most respected leader would behave themselves with decorum and restraint. We are not seeing that in some of them. If this is the way they present themselves in our own country, how will they handle their emotions when dealing with threatening leaders of other nations?

But with that said, we  thank the Lord for allowing us to see the true character of these people when under pressure. Before we head to the polls, we need to know how our potential leader responds to stress, strain, and opposition. We are getting insights from these debates that are more than opinions on vital issues. 

Character. Look for it. O that God's people (the "evangelical vote") would prioritize character over rhetoric.

Pray. Pray for your candidate. Pray he will be a man of prayer and God's Word. Pray he will choose his words carefully and be a man of godly grace when under fire. 

This matter will be with us for a long time. Keep the faith. 

Friday, February 26, 2016

Sensible Advice

sign in my laundry room;
purchased at Kirklands about a year ago

Just a word to the wise during this season of colds and flu...

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Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Taming the Kitchen Drawers

when a person blogs about their kitchen drawers, does that mean they are running out of interesting material?

the silverware drawer

So yes, I am blogging about the drawers in my kitchen. 

First of all, I want to say that out of the many houses we have had over 45 years of marriage, I think this house has the most kitchen drawers of any of them. I love that. 

3 Velveeta cheese boxes on the right; and a
Christmas card box lower center

While I've been organizing the boxes in my basement over the last month, Denise has been rearranging the contents of her kitchen cabinets.  We had lunch one day and I told her that one of my biggest helps over the years has been to save Velveeta cheese boxes to use as dividers in my kitchen drawers. Do any of you do that?

2 more Velveeta cheese boxes on the right

I mean, they are so sturdy and such a handy size that I hated to throw them away!

can't stack the measuring cups too much or the drawer won't close
Clutter, disorder (and noise) make me crazy, so it stands to reason my kitchen drawers need to be in order or I can't cook!

Utensils that don't get as much use are in the lower drawers. There was a time when I had utensils in crocks on either side of the stove top, but in an effort to have less to pick up and put back down when wiping down the counters, those things were relocated to drawers.

the very bottom drawer (and the toes of my shoes!)

Last week I asked Beloved to cut some wood blocks from his scraps of lumber to wedge at the back of the drawers. Even with all the fancy Velveeta boxes and store-bought containers for clutter control, often things don't fit snugly. As a result, things shift every time the drawer is opened and closed. I don't like that.

So he obliged me and now the sections of the drawers stay put all the time.  Love it!

the messy drawer

This (above)  is what I consider to be my messiest drawer. It really isn't, but those blue and white containers with the holes -- they look untidy to me. They are pieces of a plastic basket that I didn't like so I took them apart and used them as dividers.  I need to replace them with something else -- more Christmas card boxes, probably.

But now, if you want to see a REALLY organized drawer, look at this:

Keurig K-cups
There is one area of the kitchen that is pretty much Beloved's territory. It's a short stretch of counter where he keeps his Keurig coffee maker, his collection of K-cups (the coffee), and his coffee mugs, his travel mug, his Bronco cups, and his collection of chips, pretzels and caramel candies. 

He, too, is a man of orderliness (we were made for each other!!) with all of those things -- I am so blessed with this man.

Anyway, he's got one of those twirly countertop stands that holds the K-cups, but since he drinks 3 cups of coffee a day in 3 flavors, that stand doesn't begin to hold enough or keep the flavors organized the way he likes. He has the rest of his stash in a drawer reserved for that. 

Organization -- it's a beautiful thing!

Do you have special methods of organizing your kitchen that you would like to share?

P.S. Now that I'm gluten- and dairy-free, we never buy Velveeta cheese any more. Some of these boxes are 10-15 years old -- I kid you not!

Monday, February 22, 2016

The Food of Childhood

my mother's potato salad
Please note: this recipe does not conform to my food allergy restrictions, but I do like to make it for those who can enjoy it.

Potato Salad. There are a ka-jillion ways to make it. I grew up on the yellow mustard kind: pretty much mashed potatoes served cold, made yellow with French's mustard and some Miracle Whip blended in to  make it smooth. I liked it a lot.

But when I grew  up and had my own kitchen, I discovered many more potato salad recipes, including the ones with bacon and vinegar and served hot. Yum! 

For the Super Bowl dinner with friends a couple of weeks ago, I tried yet another potato salad recipe. It turned out to be one of those that tastes better leftover. But I served it the day it was made....

After that, Beloved asked wistfully if I remembered how to make the yellow potato salad from my mother's kitchen.  

Well, no, I didn't. All I could recall was that the amounts of the various ingredients were always, well, ambiguous.

So I emailed both my mother and my sister to ask if they would jog my memory. They both replied promptly. 

This is my mother's wording. I think the way she phrased it is charming.  This is often the way old family recipes are remembered. 

I'm glad [Sister] had that recipe because I haven't seen it in a long time. I remembered it as something you just made from experience or memory. The first line is exactly right: "Peel the number of potatoes necessary to make the amount of salad you want." Why don't you choose the bowl you want to serve it in and fill it with uncooked potatoes to see how many you need. About six potatoes seems like a good amount to work with. If that isn't enough, make some more.

The recipe goes on to require Miracle Whip salad dressing, French's Yellow Mustard, chopped onions and sweet pickles, some sugar to taste but not too much, and at the very end, diced hard boiled eggs. She also suggests adding some of the liquid from the pickle jar if the potato mixture is too stiff. 

* * * * *

When Beloved and I were dating, he told me all about his mother's fried peach pies. She originally hailed from Alabama, so this was one of her specialties --  along with biscuits from no recipe whatsoever. Beloved likes to say that she got a big bag of flour and kept experimenting until she got the biscuits the way she liked. After that, her biscuits were always perfect.

I am so impressed. Cooking like that is chemistry. It's not as easy as putting together a green salad. With biscuits the ingredients need to cooperate with each other or else you end up with hockey pucks.

Not long into our marriage, my mother-in-law passed away. I didn't think to ask her how she made those peach pies that made such an indelible imprint on my husband's memory. I have since come across recipes, but strongly doubt they would be exactly as she made them. Nobody can make our favorites quite like our mom, right?
Please note: for those who are interested in gluten- and dairy-free recipes on my blog, Miracle Whip does not claim to be gluten-free and it does contain the ambiguous "natural flavors," which, in the gluten-free world, is something to be avoided since we have no idea exactly what that is. I made this salad for my husband but did not get to eat it myself due to several food allergies developed later in life.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

A Brief Post

Pikes Peak as seen from the visitor's center at Garden of the Gods

Beloved and I were not feeling well over the weekend with colds and a bothersome cough, but the weather was gorgeous and we wanted to get out. On Saturday we decided to drive to Colorado Springs, which is some forty miles south of us. 

Keeping our germs to ourselves by not interacting with anybody else, we enjoyed the scenic drive and a pleasant escape from being indoors. We arrived home from this short jaunt pretty tired and  still coughing quite a bit. It was decided we would not share our germs with the church crowd on Sunday.

We snapped just a couple of pictures from the visitor's center at the Garden of the Gods. It is a treat to be able to make short drives like this to see such fantastic scenery. We love living in Colorado.

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Friday, February 19, 2016

In Celebration of Friends

You'll never guess who snapped this picture of us;
read on to find out!
Once upon a time I ran with a wild bunch of gals. We met at church and all through our years of frivolity and foolishness we continued to be faithfully involved in that holy place.

I was not a troublemaker as a child, or as a teen, or even in my college years. Yes, there were times of the usual immaturity and a sprinkling of poor choices, but compared to most, I was pretty much a "goody two shoes."  As a matter of fact, I was accused of that with those very words by my pastor's daughter in my teen years.

So with that in mind, maybe by the time I hit the end of my fifth decade, it was time to loosen up a bit. And even at that, I think of myself as the stodgy one of the four other girls who made up our little group of friends. 

As I said, we met at church, initially all in my husband's Sunday School class. Two of us were married, two were widowed, and one was divorced. Three of us had children, two did not. One was crazy for dogs, one had a crazy boss, one was a kindergarten teacher who had morphed into a professional nanny, and one was a transplant from Texas who could make me laugh so hard that ice tea threatened to come out my nose.

Somehow we all figured out at that stage of our lives that we needed each other. We filled shoes in each other's lives that nobody else could. 

I guess it first started to gel when I invited them to my home on a Saturday morning for a tea party brunch to celebrate a birthday, complete with my mother-in-law's pretty china, a pink table cloth, stemware for our orange juice and dainty lady-food.

That was well and fine; we had a good time. But then Easter came a few weeks later and four of us discovered that Peter Rabbit had left a basket of goodies on our front door steps. Then somebody else found her car had been decorated overnight in celebration of her birthday. 

It went on from there. 

The most memorable celebration was when somebody turned 65 and we were invited to a small apartment to have birthday lunch. The food was lovely, the decorations festive, and when we completed the meal, the assumption was that it was time to head to our cars.

But oh no! Our hostess from the Long Horn State was nowhere near ready to let us depart. And there was the doorbell.  Would somebody go answer it? 

Thinking it was just a salesman or something like that, the rest of us just stood around while our hostess ushered in, of all people, Elvis! 

YES!!! He was dressed in white with the pompadour hairstyle and an embarrassing roll of fat that peeked out from between his shirt and pants.

We were instructed to sit on the couch, which we all dutifully did in a straight row, not knowing just exactly how to act or what to say. I mean, he was LARGER THAN LIFE and just standing on the opposite side of the coffee table from us. I was sort of thrilled and sort of suffocating all at the same time.

He put on a good show for us, crooning as only he can and making us feel much younger and unattached than we were -- it was embarrassing and thrilling all at the same time. 

And then, did you know Elvis was adept at making twisted balloon sculptures? Oh yes. He made a bouquet for each of us out of long skinny balloons in many colors. He was amazing.

Before he left, we asked him to take a snapshot of the five of us, which he did at no additional charge. 

A couple of hours later as we stumbled out to our respective cars, I shook my head and wondered how I would explain all of that to my husband. I had done not a thing wrong, and yet I knew I had been to probably the wildest party of my life and it felt strange.

In the years that followed, we continued to have many happy times as well as some deep, deep personal losses that brought us together to cry and share casserole dishes.

The last time the five of us were together, we sat in the dusky light on one's patio, sharing our personal current events. Little did we know that our times together were nearly at an end. 

Just a couple of weeks later, one of the girls was oddly silent for a couple of days. A family member asked us to accompany her to investigate. I chose to not go, fearful of what would be found. 

Those who went saw that she was sitting quietly in a chair, had been for a day or two. Her body that is. She was not there. She had been called Home to be with Jesus. Quietly and peacefully. We had no doubt whatsoever that she was in that better place with our Lord.

We all sat together at the memorial service and held no tears back. It was sad and it was cleansing all at the same time.

Shortly after that our Texas friend felt the call to return from whence she had come.  Then a couple of years after that the Nanny decided it was time to retire and move to the Land of Lincoln to be closer to family.

Two of us remain here in Colorado and we always celebrate our birthdays together, along with special lunches at Christmas. We hike and shop and eat and do our best to keep in touch with those of our group who live faraway. The crazy days appear to be done now and we have settled into a more serious rhythm with our lives.

But today is special. It's a decorate-her-car-in-the-pre-dawn-light kind of day. It's the Nanny's birthday. Although she is so very far away in miles, she is really only an email or a Face Book post away. We see her pretty photos from time to time and remember her generous contributions to a most enriching circle of friendship. 

Happy Birthday, Nanny! You look just wonderful and you have a most beautiful heart!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016


view from a recent walk in my neighborhood

Along Colorado's Front Range (the eastern side of the Rocky Mountains), this is the time of year when we see a lot of brown. When it's not storming, the landscape is that earthy color punctuated here and there with evergreen trees and patches of old snow. 

Sometimes our daylight temperatures sneak up near 70 degrees, which helps me to be forgiving of all the brown. But winter is seldom done with us in February. March is historically our snowiest month. While some of you will get the "April showers that bring May flowers," we will be shoveling the white stuff. That is what high altitude does for us.


It's time for the Wednesday Hodgepodge where Joyce comes  up with the questions, bloggers answer them, and then we link up at From This Side of the Pond.

1. February 17th is National Random Acts of Kindness Day. It lands on the calendar one day after National Do Something for a Grouch Day (February 16) which somehow feels related. Perhaps the 16th inspired the 17th?

Tell about a time you performed a random act of kindness or were the recipient of one. Will you make an effort to perform a random act of kindness on the 17th? Share details if you're so inclined, and if you have something specific in mind.

I have a pet peeve about grocery shopping carts. Many years ago an unattended cart in a parking lot was blown by a very strongest of  wind and it slammed into the driver's door of my car. Insurance doesn't pay for minor things like that but it left a BIG dent.

Ever since then, I have done my best to usher lonely carts in parking lots to the cart corral. I am pretty hard over about it. It's one small contribution I habitually make to better my community.

2. What's the most uplifting or encouraging thing you see happening in the world right now? You may have to dig deep for this one.

In spite of the news we hear daily, there are good things happening all over the world. I am especially heartened when I see/hear/read about the work of Samaritan's Purse, headed up by Franklin Graham, one of evangelist Billy Graham's sons. 

This organization not only takes Christmas shoe boxes to needy children all over the world every year, but when there are disasters, they are one of many Christian relief organizations that quickly and generously responds with just exactly what is needed. 

3. Black olives, black currants, black grapes, black beans, blackberries, Oreo... your favorite food the color of night? Your least favorite on the list?

My least favorite on this list is the Oreos since they are the least nutritional although they do serve to lift a sorry spirit when served with a glass of cold milk. My favorite would be blackberries, fresh ones. I had some just last week and they were wonderful.

4. A while back I read (here) a list of 12 things you should do before you turn 50. They were --

travel when you have the chance, take care of your skin, learn a foreign language, make exercise a habit, leave a toxic situation, stop caring what others think about you, stop worrying, volunteer, sped time with your grandparents, pledge to work less, learn to cook an amazing dish, and seize an opportunity as it arises.

What do you think of the list? What would you add or remove and why? If you're over 50, have you done all 12? If you're not yet 50, have you done any at all? What's on the list that you haven't done, but would like to do?

That's a lot to answer, but I'll do my best with one concise paragraph.....  I am well past 50 and yes, I've done most of those 12 things.  Exercising like I should and worrying about the opinions of others are my 2 weak areas on this list. Since I went gluten- and dairy-free 27 months ago, I've learned to make some pretty awesome green salads, which is my response to learning to cook an amazing dish.

5. Besides the classic Christmas flicks, what's your favorite film where winter plays a part in the setting?

I liked Sean Connery in The Hunt for Red October. A quote I remember was by Russian 2nd Rank Vasily Borodin (as he is dying), "I would like to have seen Montana."

Vasily Borodin

6. When did you last feel helpless, and what did you do about it? 

This is a very personal question, so I'll reply by telling you when was the last time I felt THE MOST helpless. That was a little over 7 years ago when I took a terrible fall in my kitchen, and fought to not lose consciousness while waiting for the ambulance. What did I do about it? I prayed, tried to breathe deeply and asked for a wet wash cloth to chew on for the cotton-mouth feeling I had. (a cup of water would have been a sure ticket to barf!!)

7. Share a favorite proverb.

My guess is that many of my blogging friends will choose this same piece of counsel found in Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
and lean not on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him [God]
And He will direct your path.

8. Share your own random thought here.

My blogging friend, Terri at Your Friend From Florida, has had to do some hard waiting in the past week or so when her husband became seriously ill. She posted several graphics that really spoke to me. Here are two of them:

Thanks for the inspiration, Terri!


Saturday, February 13, 2016

Starting the Celebration Early


Yes, we celebrate Valentine's Day in this marriage, and when it falls on a weekend, we stretch out the fun. Here is how it all began for us on Friday. 

When Beloved got off work, he told me he had errands to run and was out the door before I could ask if he wanted me to tag along. (apparently not!)

But that was okay because I had my own "to do list" and got busy with it! I dipped strawberries and a banana in chocolate. Beloved's berries were dipped in regular semi-sweet chocolate chips (melted in the microwave) while I used non-dairy chips for mine, hence the line of demarkation on the cookie sheet as they cooled and solidified.

This is what I used for dipping my strawberries. I find it at Sprouts. You can probably find this or something similar at Natural Grocers/Vitamin Cottage and also Whole Foods.  

When I melted the chocolate in the microwave, I first added some olive oil, which made them a really nice creamy-smooth texture for dipping.

As it turned out, Beloved was gone for quite some time, so I set the table with our metallic-threaded beige placemats and special red dishes (from Pier One, purchased years and years ago).  

When Beloved came home he had a dozen red roses in hand. Hmmm!

For dinner we had a pasta dish that tasted great but didn't photograph all that well....

We cleaned up the kitchen and settled onto the couch for a movie Beloved bought at Walmart while out running his errands. "Dinner and a movie" has always been one of our favorite dates, whether out at a restaurant and theater or at home.

I had never heard of this movie before but it was good! It was romantic and had a wonderful story of faith. I highly recommend it.

Everything you see here is both gluten-free and dairy-free

Half-way through the movie we put it on 'pause' so we could dish up dessert. In addition to the strawberries and bananas, we also had  a cookie bar I had made the night before: No Bake Peanut Butter Brownie Bars (from Chocolate Covered Katie, recipe here). 

photo from Chocolate Covered Katie
Note: mine look a little different from hers. I used almond butter instead of peanut butter, and I accidentally rearranged the order of ingredients while preparing them. But the end result tastes the same and they were a hit with us.

Romance is fun, it never gets old, and now that our nest is empty, we can enjoy it even more, Valentine's Day weekend, included!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

A Story for Valentine's Weekend

The day of hearts and flowers (and chocolate!) is nearly upon us.

While there is a huge emphasis on romantic boy-girl love with this holiday, my local Christian radio station has been focusing on love beyond that. They encouraged listeners to write a short story (or even just a couple of paragraphs) of an experience of love from their life and send it to the station, where they've been reading them on the air this week. Some of the stories were romantic and others told of kind, meaningful things people had done for others.

I never did submit a story, but I had one in mind that has left an impression on me for decades. I'll share it with you. 

My story is not riveting or all that special to read, but it's something that means a lot to me.  It helped me to grow up a little bit more when I was "young and dumb," as I like to phrase it, and taught me to be aware of others at vulnerable times.

Beloved and I were planning to be married a week before Christmas at our home church in Denver, where he grew up and we had met in the youth group.

My family had moved to Denver only two and a half years before, but by the time our wedding was drawing near, my father had taken a new job back East. He, my mother, and my sister would be coming back to Denver for the wedding, arriving just a few days before the ceremony. 

After they moved away, I moved up to the college town of my fiancĂ© because I was lonely and needed to find a job before we got married. 

Thanksgiving rolled around, and I assumed we would be spending that day together. However, my soon-to-be in-laws wanted to have one last holiday with their son, sans me.  I was tempted to have hurt feelings about that, but at the same time, I was busy sewing some clothes for our honeymoon and decided the quiet time by myself could be well-spent with needle and thread. That was practical, brave and valiant, I suppose.

But on Thanksgiving morning, I awoke to the realization it was the absolute first major holiday of my life that I was to spend entirely by myself. I was raised in a home where holidays were celebrated with lots of delicious food, seasonal decorations, and sometimes guests, too. Clearly, that was not to going to happen on this particular holiday. I was sad.

Thankfully, sometime that morning a lady from our college-town church called. She knew me a little better than most of the other ladies because for a time her son had dated my sister, until my family moved away.

She said she was preparing a big dinner and had hardly anybody to enjoy it with her. Her husband was on a construction job out of town and could not get home for the day. One son was away at college, and so that left just her high school-aged son.  Would I like to come over for dinner?

I had no way to get there because I had no car.  She offered to come get me and my day brightened instantly.  We had a wonderful time. I ate to my heart's content and dutifully helped with the dishes, as my mother had taught me to do. 

By late afternoon I was back at my quiet apartment again, but that was okay. Generosity, hospitality, and love had been given to me. I have never forgot that act of thoughtful kindness.

As we think about Valentines, let's remember that love comes in many forms from many people.  We have much for which to be thankful.

What can we do to show love and consideration to someone else this weekend?
I am receiving some thoughtful comments, which I appreciate, however I have decided to close further comments.  This story, in the opinions of some,  tends to cast a negative light on my in-laws.  That was not my intent. 

Although they both have passed away long ago, I want to speak on their behalf by saying they were losing their last child to marriage and were embarking on their own new chapter of life. 

In retrospect, I should have made plans for that day after realizing I would not be spending it with them. I, too, had a lot to learn and believe I am wiser for the experience. 

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Loving the Hodgepodge

the "Kissing Statue" in San Diego

If Beloved had all the time and money in the world, I'd love to see this statue in San Diego on Valentine's Day...

Today is Hodgepodge Wednesday. I've been really busy this week, so my time to respond to this week's questions from Joyce over at From This Side of the Pond will be short and sweet.

1. Create an acrostic using the word LOVE. If you're unsure what an acrostic is, click here. Well, this was a real toughie for me, and especially because I'm running low on brain cells, responding to this shortly before heading for bed ...


2. Does love really conquer all? Why or why not?
Ideally, love should solve all problems; however, it doesn't always work out that way if the other person is determined to not cooperate. 

3. Tell us about a time recently, where you really put your heart into something. 
I tend to throw myself into everything I do (it's just the way I am), so nothing in particular really stands out right now.

4. What's your favorite fictional love story?
The movie Sense and Sensibility.

5. Do you generally wear your heart on your sleeve, or keep your cards close to the vest?
I try to rein myself in, and like to think that as I age, I'm a little more successful at that. 

6. What food says love to you? Why?
Grilled salmon with a baked sweet potato and a side salad -- all from The Texas Roadhouse.  Beloved and I often go to this restaurant, and we almost always order the same things. It's just something we greatly enjoy doing. He gets his steak and I get my salmon and we love the time spent together.

7. When were you last 'tickled pink' over something? Explain.
Just yesterday I was tickled pink to see snapshots from the first birthday of Granddaughter #5:

G#5 reading her card, wearing a crown, with
her new baby doll close at hand
8. Insert your own random thought here:

Today I am linking up with Joyce at her blog, 
From This Side of the Pond

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Thankful for a Super Bowl Win

our table is set with Bronco team colors
The Super Bowl is behind us now except for the celebrations that are in progress now in both California and Denver. It's an emotional time for the fans. We've been through wins and losses in the past, so we are well acquainted with how it feels in both circumstances. I am glad it's behind us now, with a win!

We enjoyed the company of Alan and Denise to help us cheer on the hometown team. Our dinner menu during Halftime was grilled hot dogs, baked beans, potato salad, a fruit salad, chips and dips and brownies for dessert.

I've got a few snapshots to share and then I'm done with the Super Bowl for this year. Although the game was well-played, and I'm proud of our team, the commercials were a sore disappointment for the most part, the Halftime show was nothing that I could appreciate, and once again the singing of the National Anthem was, well, I won't even put that into words. 

I did enjoy the military choir at the very beginning, dressed very respectably in their uniforms for the music they performed, the flyover by the Navy's Blue Angels is always thrilling, and it is always refreshing to see the football players sharing the glory with their fellow teammates during the TV interviews. It was also very interesting to see the presentation of the men awarded Most Valuable Players over the last 50 Super Bowls

Beloved with his Super Bowl 50 shirt

me with my Bronco infinity scarf

Our guests and Beloved watching the game

Beloved's hat lights up whenever the Broncos score

Peyton Manning interviewed by Jim Nantz 

Castle Rock Supports the Team!

photo by via Face Book

We have a wonderful photographer in town, Nick Lucey, who often posts his work on Face Book. He captures the best of Castle Rock, Colorado through his camera lens. This week he captured our landmark star sporting Bronco team colors. 

This is the star that remains year 'round atop the huge, castle-like rock beside Interstate 25 that can be seen for miles around in every direction. 

Just as an aside here, when I emailed one of these pictures to my family, Sister replied with comments that the top of our rock looks like the landscape of the moon. Yes, there is some similarity!

Every year our town kicks off the Christmas season with special festivities that culminate with the lighting of the star. 

This past Christmas the star was all white lights. The previous year the lights alternated between red and green.

So with that kind of historical tradition, it was easy for some of the firemen to climb the rock and  change out the lights to honor our football team as they play in this year's Super Bowl.

Beloved and I  will be dressed for the occasion as we watch from home this evening. Sure hope they win...

By the way, some of you may be wondering how we can be happy living in a place where there is a dearth of trees and an awful lot of rock formations. Well, this is the wild, wild west with cowboys, rattle snakes, wily coyotes, and huge rocks that look like castles -- a special kind of beauty that we have come to love! (although I could do without the snakes)

If you are interested in seeing more of Nick Lucey's photographs of Castle Rock (the town and surrounding countryside), click on this link for a great slide show: