Friday, July 5, 2019

A very hungry caterpillar

 I found this little guy munching away on one of the butterfly bushes in the backyard.


Do you remember the story The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle? It was one of my favorites to read with my kids, and now my grandkids love it, too.


This little guy will soon be wrapping up in a cocoon and resting up for bigger things. 

I'm going to take a little break as well. Lots to do in the backyard, so I won't be posting as often.

Til next time,

Karen

Sunday, June 23, 2019

Thoughts on a Sunday

This is the view this morning, looking out our bedroom window into the backyard. It's a cool 54 degrees outside, overcast with rain in the forecast for much of the day. A perfect day to work at my desk and bake some cookies later on. The rest of the week promises hot summer weather moving in. Maybe I'll get to the pool this week?


Things I love about summer ~~

~~ Coffee and journaling in the morning out on the back deck
~~ Dan's G&T's in the evenings
~~ the library reading program
~~ visiting museums where it's cool and air conditioned
~~ watching the grandkids play on the slip-n-slide in the backyard
~~ pedicures with bright colors
~~ the Boulder Farmer's Market
~~ seeing butterflies
~~ fresh herbs
~~ naps on the porch swing
~~ light, fruity, dry wines
~~ grilling and eating outdoors
~~ driving to the mountains to find cooler weather
~~ fires in the fire pit and s'mores
~~ longer days with more sunlight
~~ water aerobics
~~ baseball and golf

What do you love about summer?

Happy Sunday,

Karen

Thursday, June 20, 2019

A glimpse into my day

Outside . . . blue skies, hot, first day of summer
I'm listening to . . . What a Wonderful World (Louis Armstrong)
Feeling. . . creative

Thinkin' about . . . how precious and fleeting life is. I had a good conversation on the phone yesterday with my BFF. We talked about seizing this stage of our lives and finding purpose. After I hung up, another friend had texted that her sister just passed this morning, a poignant reminder that none of us really know the number of days we have left on this beautiful earth.


Loving. . .  homemade iced tea with fresh lemon.

On the nightstand . . . The Diplomat's Daughter  by Karin Tanabe, and a biography of Herbert Hoover.

Looking ahead . . . to dinner with friends this weekend and to seeing live TedTalks in Denver this Saturday.

Lessons learned/in progress . . . I can't change people, but I can "meet them where they are."

In the kitchen . . . keeping a special section in my recipe box for summer recipes. They are easy to prepare, and include a variety of side dishes for grilled meats and chicken and fish. It simplifies the menu planning process, which is what I look for in the summer, eliminating too many options.  

In the garden . . . herbs, roses, lupine, pansies, peonies, poppies in bloom. Next up: lilies and coneflowers.

Words to share . . .
"When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, "I used everything you gave me."
Erma Bombeck

Through my lens . . . thunderstorms last week made for some spectacular sunsets.



Sunday, June 16, 2019

Wisconsin trip, part 2

Before it becomes a distant memory, I want to share some photos of our trip home from Wisconsin.

I think every state in the union has something of beauty to see. When I hear people groan about driving through Kansas or Nebraska, my thought is that they just need to get off the interstate. Iowa is another state that often gets a bad rap, but it is filled with scenic byways and interesting history.

We hoped to follow the Great River Road along the Mississippi River and see some of the area's quaint old towns and scenic bluffs. However, due to all the flooding in the eastern and western parts of Iowa, there were a lot of road closures. So, instead we opted to wind our way through the central part, and it landed us at the Hoover Presidential Library and Museum.

One of the items on my "learn something new" bucket list is to visit all of the nation's Presidential Libraries. So far, we've been to three, including Eisenhower's and Truman's. It's so interesting to learn about the presidents in the their capacity as Commander in Chief and how they came to office and their mostly humble beginnings. And it's a great way to see what was happening in America during the time of their administration.

This is the two-bedroom home where Herbert C. Hoover was born, the second child of Quaker parents. He and his two siblings were orphaned when he was just nine-years-old. They were all farmed out to relatives, Herbert eventually ending up in Oregon with an uncle and aunt.


The grounds have been developed into a little street reminiscent of the West Branch, Iowa, at the time of "Bertie's" childhood, with original buildings that include his father's blacksmith shop.



The library and museum contain artifacts from his personal life with his wife, Lou Henry Hoover, and his administration.


Also on the grounds is the final resting place of the couple, nestled next to a prairie reserve.


From the grave site, there is a view of Hoover's childhood home. The library also houses the papers of Laura Ingalls Wilder and her daughter, Rose Wilder Lane. Lane and Hoover became close friends after she was commissioned to write a biography of his life.


Naturally, I came away with a book in hand, one that Dan is interested in reading, too. It's Kenneth Whyte's Hoover: An Extraordinary Life in Extraordinary Times, a fair-minded, easy to read epic story of a president who suffered failures and also achieved greatness during his life.

We haven't made plans yet for our next museum trip, but on my list is the LBJ library in Texas.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Friday Favorites

It's been a few weeks since I've joined the Friday's Fave Five crowd and it feels good to be back! It's been a crazy, full week after returning home from our 10-day trip to Wisconsin. So good to be home!

Ivy Rose ~~ I miss her and her big sister and brother every day! She was born May 31st while Dan and I were driving up to see them. (I wrote all about our trip here.)  I "met" her for the first time on FaceTime and took a screen shot to save the moment!


Daily photos of Ivy and the kids ~~ Miranda sends us pictures every day. Oh, how I miss them! I'm already looking at flights for later in the summer. In fact, don't tell Dan, but I might even go tomorrow;)


Coming home to gorgeous weather ~~  Summer is late in arriving here, and that is okay with me. I'm not looking forward to the heat. We are due for some thunderstorms in the days ahead, so I'll have to be watchful for hailstorms and pull some of the potted flowers under the eaves if that's the case.

Rockies games and hot dogs ~~ summer doesn't get much better than that. Dan and I went to our first game of the season. The Cubbies beat our Rockies, but the day was gorgeous.


Spring golf ~~  I'm playing in a spring league. It's very casual, just a Par 3 league and most of us are beginners. I've met some of the nicest women of all ages.


Happy Friday to all,

Karen

Thursday, June 13, 2019

The Garden

I still plan to write a second post about our Wisconsin trip, in particular the ride home, but the weather has been so glorious this week, that I'm having a hard time staying indoors. Aside from the days at work which are longer than usual while I try to catch up, I've been out in the garden, playing golf and just doing some back porch sitting and reading.

According to house sitters Joe and Sam, we had a lot of rain here while Dan and I were gone, and there was proof of that in the garden. In just those 10 days it came to life! And the lawn needed to be mowed twice to get it down to size.


On Monday, between laundry and unpacking and getting the house in order (I said they were house sitters, not house keepers -- groan), I snuck away to the the garden shop to buy some more pansies. The pots I planted a few weeks ago are so full and gorgeous, so I added some more colors -- peach and deep orange and white.

Lupine is one of my favorites, and I plan to add more colors. These have been encroached upon by Sweet Woodruff, so I'll need to thin that out a bit first.


Blue Columbine is the Colorado state flower. I'm always so happy to see it return each year.


The herb garden is a bit of a mess, because the chives have taken to wandering. I keep culling them out, leaving just this huge plant that the bees just love.


A couple of years ago, one of our neighbors thinned out his iris beds. I think this will be the year that all six colors he gave me will bloom -- the buds are there. The peach was the first to blossom.


Poppies are such a wonder to me, so papery and translucent, I love the way they catch the light.


The peonies are just starting to open. There are just a couple of flowers, mostly those tight little buds.


When I took these photos a couple days ago, this was the only rose in bloom. Now, the bushes in the front are bursting with color.


I'm off to work another long day.

Happy Thursday everyone.

Karen



Tuesday, June 11, 2019

Wisconsin 2019

A couple of more photos, as promised. There must be an easier way to upload, I just need to spend some time with it. Sawyer was not in the mood for pictures, so we all humored him and this is the best shot!


Ivy is always very cooperative for photo sessions:)


A little about our travels . . . On Friday, we left Colorado and stopped for the requisite coffee to go. We decided to head north a bit to avoid some road closures due to flooding in Iowa. This resulted in heading east through some of Nebraska, then 'stair-stepping' up to the southeast corner of South Dakota. It's nice taking the back roads, seeing all the little towns and getting a feel for the country off the interstate.


We did encounter some flooding along the way which resulted in a 30-minute detour. 


We spent the night in Sioux Falls, but about an hour before we got there decided to have dinner in Yankton, South Dakota. It sits on the Missouri River and at one time was the leading port for riverboats servicing frontier villages, Indian agencies, and military forts. We had a light supper at a restaurant overlooking the river.

The next day, we drove the second half of the 1,100-mile trip to Wisconsin. On the way, I found a coffee shop in a little town in Minnesota that looked like it would be a fun place to stop. However, the town was having a parade and all the shops on Main Street closed to go see it! So, we watched for a little while, then headed off and found another coffee place down the road a bit.






As eager as we were to arrive, driving through Wisconsin is so relaxing and enjoyable. Spring is a beautiful season in most places, and here it means lots of babies -- calves, lambs and foals! The colts were plentiful, all leggy and sweetly nestled against their moms.




At last, we reached our destination. For the next seven days we were able to soak up Luke and Miranda and the kids. We went out a few times, but mainly stayed close to home. Luke used the time off and Dan's help to do a few things around the house. Siefer and I planted flowers. Luke grilled for supper several nights and we enjoyed time around the fire pit afterward. We saw one of Siefer's t-ball games, and we got to celebrate Miranda's birthday with her family. We all went out for Mexican food for lunch one day, and the older kids got a much-promised trip to their favorite pizza and game venue, where Dan and Luke got into a competition at the basketball hoops. Siefer and Sawyer got a slip-n-slide, and with a new puppy, there were plenty of things to entertain us.



The time went much too quickly, but we squeezed in trips for ice cream, favorite movies on t.v. and made lots of memories.

Dan and I took a different route home, which I'll write about in my next post.