Tuesday, October 16, 2018

October Daybook

For Today. . . Tuesday, October 16th

Outside my window. . . I'm surrounded by the beauty of the mountains. I'm on a retreat for a few days with 20 other writers. It's been such a peaceful and productive time. The cabin has a great room with windows on three sides and a big rock fireplace with lots of seating, and plenty of tables for spreading out laptops and writing materials.

I am thinking. . . that the problem isn't that I don't usually have days at a time to devote to just writing. There are few things I can do 24/7. But, the gift of these few days is that I can write for a couple of hours, and then have some time to just breathe. Take a walk, read a book, take a nap. And then step back into writing whenever I want. It's the 'white space' that is the gift.

I am thankful . . . for the woman who organized the retreat. She is doing all of the meal prep (we all chipped in to supply food and pre-made soups, salads, casseroles) and clean up.

In the kitchen. . . Homemade bread, soup, sandwiches, salads with homemade dressings for lunch. Dinner, tacos one night and spaghetti with meatballs and garlic bread the next. Breakfast is a big buffet with homemade quiche, and this morning one of the men in the group made everyone eggs benedict. Lots of wine, tea and coffee to feed the creative juices, too:)

I am wearing . . . jeans, flannel shirt, thick socks, and slippers.

I am creating . . . a new chapter for a novel. 

One of my favorite things. . . this mug.

I am going. . . to miss not being in the snow when I go home tomorrow.

I am learning. . . so much from other writers.

I am wondering. . . if I will ever finish this book in my lifetime;)

I am pondering . . . that it really is about enjoying what you're doing and letting the end product be what it may.

A favorite quote for today. . . 

Patience is the calm acceptance that things can happen in a different order than you have in mind. ~~ David C. Allen

The Simple Woman's Daybook is hosted by Peggy. If you would like to join in, here's the link.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Fall Favorites

I'm happy to be back with the Friday Fave Five crowd, looking at the week and finding moments of grace. It's one of the things I miss doing when I'm not blogging. Writing has a way of helping me focus on the details, bringing color to the bigger picture. So, here goes. . .

Getting back to blogging ~~  I didn't intend to stay away for a month, but it happens. It's that way with a lot of things, resisting and avoiding, and before you know it you lose any kind of momentum. So, this week I just decided to jump in feet first. Like riding a bicycle, it all comes back quickly. Writing helps me make sense of things and pay attention to the details, especially looking for the blessings at the end of each week.

Dr. Becker ~~ I had some minor surgery last week, called Moh's surgery, for a spot of basal cell carcinoma on my face. It's not uncommon here in Colorado, where the higher altitude puts us closer to the sun. Incidents of skin cancer tend to be higher than in other parts of the country. My surgeon, Dr. Becker, is exceptionally gifted, and there is hardly any evidence of incision. In addition, he was kind and warm, so the experience was a positive one overall.

Brooklynn and Bentley and hugs galore ~~ We saw two of our grandkids on Tuesday. It had been a few weeks, and they're just 2 and 3, so I sometimes wonder if they'll fell a little strange when they haven't seen us in a while. No worries! They ran to us with open arms. We went out to eat -- fast food chicken sandwiches where there is a playground for them to run. After we had our sandwiches, I was going to buy a milkshake for them to share, but Brooklynn explained, "I like 'trawberry. Bubba likes chocolate." She held up her fingers -- "Get 2." I don't blame her, I don't like to share my ice cream either.

Pumpkins and Mums ~~ I can't resist the displays at the grocery store with bins filled with pumpkins and orange, yellow and purple mums.

Soup and sandwiches ~~ It's been cold and wet this week, and we even had a sprinkling of snow yesterday. Time to break out the traditional soup and sandwich supper. Dan made clam chowder and grilled cheese on Wednesday. Always a treat to have someone else 'cook!'

How was your week?

Tuesday, October 9, 2018


Hello, hello! It's me! I had no intention of taking such a long break, but life got in the way! We've been celebrating some family birthdays, catching up with friends, and taking in the last of Indian summer. It's been a busy few weeks that jumped quickly from summer to a cold, wet day today that feels more like winter on its way. This post is going to be a bit discombobulated, but I fear that if I don't just go ahead and write it, I'll never get back to blogging.

A quick recap of what's been going on.  In September, we went to New Jersey for five days. We saw family, visited the shore, and attended a beautiful wedding for our godson and his lovely new wife. It was wonderful being at the shore in September. So quiet, and unhurried, and the ocean was rough and wild.

We visited some of my cousins whom I haven't seen in years. It was such a lovely day, hanging out on the beach, remembering old times and enjoying sharing news of the present.

And watching my cousin Laurie's husband, Kevin, fishing. 

The next day, we visited my Aunt Sheila and Uncle Dick, which was much too short.

Joe and Sam arrived a few days later to join us for the wedding. And, I don't have a single picture of the wedding! I can't believe that happened, but I have to say, I enjoyed just taking it all in and not watching parts of it through the lens of my phone!

I do love fall, it's probably my favorite season, and I've been trying to soak it all up because it is so fleeting. I put together a fall package for Siefer and Sawyer (and Miranda and Luke, too) including some fall decorations, baking cups and cake mix and fall sprinkles, and some treats for each one. It was fun to do, and I think they enjoyed receiving it.

I've managed to get in some reading, too.  I read The Japanese Lover by Isabel Arende, on the plane and it was excellent! And The Lake House by Kate Morton kept me up much too late, two nights in a row!

I made some pumpkin muffins last week, intending to freeze some, but they didn't make it that far:)

 And, on Saturday, I made a big pot of spaghetti sauce with meatballs for a retreat I'm going on this weekend. It was a chilly, wet weekend, and the house smelled so good, and we ladled out some of that sauce over penne pasta for supper on Sunday. Man, was it good.

Other than cheering on the Rockies in the post season, and helping my aunt pack up to move from her upstairs condo to a ground level unit in the same complex (it doesn't seem to matter if you're moving a thousand miles or 200 yards, the effort is still all consuming) it has been business as usual around here.  Well, aside from a minor surgery for a small spot of basal cell carcinoma on my face, and the once-a-decade colonoscopy. It's always somethin'.

There. I did it.

Happy Tuesday to all!

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Hello, September!

What a treat to kick off my favorite month with a three day weekend! I think Mother Nature was celebrating, too, because the temperatures dipped into the 70s, even though they will get warm again at the end of the week.

We had a mostly stay-at-home weekend, which was just lovely. Dan got the doors built on his workshop, and I did laundry, some cleaning and lots of organizing, and put away my summer decorations and took out fall decor. We have a busy month ahead, so it feels really good to be caught up and have everything in order.

I don't decorate for the seasons nearly as much as I used to. In fact, I had really cut back for a while, but I'm finding that I enjoy it again. That table back there is waiting for a dried flower arrangement;)

I had planned to work out in the garden this weekend, but just didn't get there. Truthfully, I'm a little, well a lot disappointed in how the gardens turned out this year. My roses are suffering from some sort of mite infestation, which explains why I lost two at the beginning of the summer. I'm going to have to pull several more out this fall. And the veggie garden just didn't produce like it usually does, except for the cucumbers. I think it's time to amend the soil out there, so that's another project for fall.

Looking ahead, we are going to a wedding later this month, which I'm so excited for! And the other big news is that my aunt is moving from her upstairs condo to one down below in the same complex. Even though it's a short distance, it still requires the same effort as moving a long distance. I'm so excited for her and it will be fun helping her settle into her new place.

In between, I have scheduled a couple of medical appointments for me -- nothing serious, just upkeep! -- and I need to get Lilly in for her shots. And the car for an oil change. And I've signed up for a online writer's workshop which promises to be a good one, and will help me get some projects organized. If you're interested, the link is here

And, I guess I still have to work, which is where I'm heading off to in a few minutes.  

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, August 27, 2018

Monday, Monday

It was a quiet weekend for us, the first in a long time when we didn't have much on the calendar. I love weekends like this. Dan worked on the dozen projects he always seems to have going, which is a happy thing for him. He loves to putter, with an occasional trip to Home Depot.

I decided to tackle the piles of photos on my craft table in the basement.  It was nice and cool down there, out of the 90 degree heat. I broke the project down into several steps so as not to get overwhelmed. I promised my son-in-law a collage of pictures of the kids, so I worked on that first. Then, I updated our photo album, the one I keep for me and Dan. I have little albums for each of the grandkids, and I tuck in any extra photos for each of those. They are nothing fancy.  I enjoy doing albums, adding some stickers here and there. I hope they enjoy having their own picture albums some day. Maybe it is the advent of smart phones, where everyone can carry their pictures with them, but neither my daughter or daughter-in-law do photos albums. In a way I envy them, as they can be a pain in the butt to keep up with. 

The final step was to sort through all the remaining pictures and toss most of them. Not just the blurry pictures and the duds, but the ones of scenery that didn't turn out nearly as spectacular as the real thing, or the stack I had from a wedding where the couple divorced a year later. Or the ones of dogs that are now dead.  Not even my dogs. I tend to get a bit snap happy with my camera.

This morning, as I type this, the street outside my window is bustling with activity, as it is the first full week of school. Students walking in groups past my house, a school bus passes by, parents driving their kids, and teens driving themselves. Added to all is an occasional garbage truck that squeezes in between two big cement trucks that are parked in front of the neighbor's house. The neighbor warned us yesterday that the activity would start bright and early. They are having a new patio and firepit put in, and they've promised drinks around the firepit so we can all see it!

There is something about cement trucks that I find intriguing. They remind me of big, lumbering elephants. I'm fascinated by all the wheels and spinning. When we had a section of our driveway poured a few years ago, I felt like a six-year-old, I was so excited to see the cement truck come and watch the guys work around this huge beast. I think I missed my calling. I would love to be the one who drives a truck like that. Everyone was waiting in anticipation when it pulled up, and our contractor and the driver both watch intently as the barrel rolled around and the mud came pouring out, judging the consistency.  Wouldn't it be cool to drive something that big, be king of the road? And then the feeling of importance when you arrive and everyone is waiting for you with their boots and rakes and wheelbarrows and shovels, ready to go to work. 

These are my thoughts on a Monday morning. Back to reality. It's another beautiful morning, still pretty warm, but there's the slightest hint of fall in the air. A slight breeze ruffles the leaves in the maple tree which is slowly showing signs of color. The sky is a deeper blue today, as much of the haze from the fires in the mountains has cleared. 

One more cup of coffee and I'll start my day.

Friday, August 24, 2018

Catching up

It's been a few weeks since I've been here, so I thought I'd do a bit of catching up.  Where did August go? Off the top of my head, I can't say, so I'm going to peek at my calendar and the pictures on my phone.

The highlight of the month was a trip to Wisconsin for our friends' wedding. We stayed in Egg Harbor for a couple of days, and this was the view from a reception the night before the wedding. I took this with my camera phone and I like the way the sky is kind of fuzzy and washed, like a watercolor painting.

The wedding took place the next evening, and it was so beautiful. Our friends, Mary and Gary, reunited after meeting 40 years ago in college!

While we were in Wisconsin, we got to see Luke and Miranda and the kids. It was a very short visit -- just one day -- but we packed a lot in!  We went to see Luke's new work place, visited a beautiful park near their house, had supper at a new brew pub, and that evening Siefer and I baked a batch of cookies. It was a lot to do, but we had to tide ourselves over until they come to our house for a week in November.


Oh, and Dan got in a game of catch with  Sawyer.

Other than our trip, my calendar is highlighted with appointments -- hair, pedi, dermatologist -- and dates with friends! My friend Pamela was in town, and she is the kind of friend who gladly gave up our lunch date to help me run errands for a family member who was in the hospital for a while this month. It doesn't matter what we do together, we always have fun and get in plenty of gabbing.

We've had backyard bbq's and pool parties and sandbox time with these two!  They are big helpers in the garden, too, hauling watering cans and drenching everything in sight.

And, Dan and I have been filling up our passports this month!  His is a "pint passport" to microbrews in the area. (He goes with his friend Rick, and Pam and I often tag along for a meal and/or shopping!) Mine is the "parks and rec passport" to our local hiking trails.

This morning, I'm off to find a new trail!

Happy Friday to all!

Monday, July 30, 2018

A July Daybook

Before July ends, I'm going to squeeze in a Daybook for the month.  Thank you to Peggy for hosting! If you would like to link up, you can find all the information here.

For Today. . . Monday, July 30, 2018

Looking out my window. . . the shrub roses in the front yard are thick and hearty, and pushing through the split rail fence. We're having unusually cool weather today, and there's a lovely breeze.

I am thinking . . . of my friend's father who passed away yesterday. He was my religious education teacher when I was in junior high school, and has taught me much in the years since then. Just last week, I sat with him and he showed me how to be gracious and comforting, even in his final days. It reminds me to be aware that I am always teaching younger people lessons, though I may not know it.

I am thankful . . . for the love of books instilled in me by my parents. I just started another of Sandra Dallas's The Last Midwife. It's an older one, I believe, as I don't read them in any particular order.

One of my favorite things . . . Mondays. I don't work, so it's my day to catch up and get ready for the week ahead.

I am creating . . . nothing special right now. Summer is a time to put my craft stuff away, but I'm looking forward to having some time to do projects in the fall.

I am wearing . . . A scowl because the teenager across the street is trying to get his car started and it's ruining my peaceful moment.

I am watching . . .  very little t.v. these days, but Dan and I have caught on to the new series Yellowstone with Kevin Costner.  It's goo-o-o-d!

I am hoping . . . I can keep the appointment with the dermatologist that I just rescheduled for the second time!

I am learning . . . to go with the flow.

In my kitchen . . . I made Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas this weekend, a family favorite.

In my garden . . . the perennials are going to town, especially the hostas, which pleases me to no end. For some reason my roses are just not putting forth much effort this year, and I'm not sure why. I've been messaging with a nice lady at the Denver Rose Society and she suggested having the soil tested by our local university's soil lab. It's a good idea, but first I'm going to try some changes in food and watering, and see what happens.

Shared Quote . . . "I can't change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails to always reach my destination." (Jimmy Dean)

A moment from my day . . . at the ballpark yesterday. Heaven in a dish.

Closing Notes . . . We have a house guest this week. Our granddog George is staying with us while renovations are being done at his house. He is a delight and the only four-legged person Lilly tolerates!

Happy Monday, everyone!