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!

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Sunday musings

We woke to fog and chilly temperatures this morning. The fog is slowly lifting, but it's still hazy and the light is perfect for taking pictures in the garden.

Yesterday, I scored when I found potted zinnias for buy one, get one free, at the grocery store. The assorted flowers in the pot on my front porch had seen better days, so I replaced them with this brightly colored arrangement.

I love zinnias, and butterflies love them, too!

Turning the page on my weekly calendar this morning, I see August is just around the corner. For those whose schedule follows the school calendar, summer is drawing to a close. I resist being pulled into that way of thinking, fortunately I have that luxury, and instead concentrate on another six weeks of gardening, summer menus, pool time and outdoor activities. 

My summer bucket list has a couple of unchecked items -- a visit to an antique shop that has piqued my interest, is one of them. We still need to take a picnic supper at the local water park with the grandkids, and I have yet to finish my reading list for the library reading program. There are a couple of barbecues on the calendar and a day to check out some microbreweries in a neighboring town. Lots of summer left!

Dan and I are taking the bus downtown for a Rockies game this afternoon. Shhh, don't tell anyone, but it looks like the Rockies could be making a comeback.😉

I'll add one more photo from the garden. . . 

And another, just to keep to keep it real. . . 

Where the magic happens, haha!  Happy new week!

Friday, July 27, 2018

Friday's Fave Five

Once again, I'm joining the Friday Fave Five group in counting the blessings from the past week. This simple exercise that Susanne leads us through each week helps foster a sense of gratitude for all the grace that comes into my life, even during those weeks when I feel like I'm slogging through mud! I finally have my feet back on the ground, after returning from a trip to California (I wrote about it here).

Cone flowers ~ are one of my absolute favorites. They are in full bloom and I love taking closeups of them.

Celebrating with girlfriends ~ My friend Mary (on the right) is getting married in a couple of weeks! She and her fiance Gary have a beautiful love story. College friends, they re-connected after 40 years and fell in love:) Renee (in pink) arranged for a small group of us to go to a high tea. Heidi is on the left. The four of us did a Bible study group together a few years back, and still get together when we can.

More time with friends ~ I am incredible blessed by lifelong friendships. I spent an afternoon on Tuesday with my friend Kathy and her dad. I've written about Kathy lots of times, but we met in junior high, and our parents knew each other through our church. It's the kind of friendship where we blended into each others families. So many memories and so many years together. 

Brooklynn and Ben ~ I can't believe I didn't take any pictures of these two when we saw them one evening this week. Emily made tacos for supper, and the two kids were so stinkin' cute! They love tacos, they are both talking now (ages 3 and 2). Sometime I like to just put the camera away and watch and listen. I wish I could remember more clearly my own kids at this age.

Long, heartfelt talks ~ are my favorites. I had a nice, long phone conversation with my cousin this week. There's a comfort level that I have with her that reminds me of the way our mothers used to talk with one another, and I think of them often as Jackie and I chat so easily together. If I had a younger sister, I think that's how it would feel.

Wow, looking at my five this week, they are mostly about wonderful people in my life. I'm blessed, indeed.

Happy weekend!

Thursday, July 26, 2018

In the kitchen. . .

Another recipe to share! This is a recipe that is different every time I make it, because it just depends on what I have in the fridge. But, it was really good with the chunks of pear, so I'll have to remember that for next time.

Sauteed Brussels Sprouts


About a half pound of Brussels sprouts
tablespoon olive oil
balsamic vinegar dressing
one clove garlic, minced
dried cranberries
pear, cut in chunks
1/4 cup feta cheese

Directions: Slice Brussels sprouts very thin and saute with garlic in a skillet over medium high heat.  Add about a tablespoon or so of balsamic vinegar dressing, and let cook until the sprouts are bright green. Add cranberries and pears, and cook a couple more minutes until the cranberries are softt, and the pear starts to brown a little bit.  Remove from heat and sprinkle with feta crumbles.

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Bom Vinho! (Good wine!)

I went to California for five days last week to see my sister-in-law Carol and her spouse Sonia. They have a vineyard and winery, and just added an AirBnB to the mix. So, my friend Michelle and I went out to see them. (We spent some time discussing what Michelle and my official relationship is. We are our kids' mothers-in-law, but instead of trying to come up with a geneological relationship, I call her friend, which is what she has become).

This is sunset at Bom Vinho!Vineyard, in the heart of El Dorado County, which is located in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains. The area has so much to offer, beyond the boutique vineyards that dot the region. Sonia and Carol are new to Fair Play, but not to wine making! Sonia is an award winning vintner. They moved here a few years ago to fulfill their dream of running their own winery.

This is the view from the front porch at Whistler Cottage. It sits on an acre of land in a quiet wooded area not far from Bom Vinho! Vineyards.

We shared the space with a doe and her twin fawns, some wild turkeys and a variety of birds.

And there was so much to do besides drink wine, although that would have been enough!  About an hour away is Lake Tahoe. Unfortunately the air was pretty hazy because of all the forest fires in the region, so we didn't get the spectacular mountain views that the lake is known for. However, it didn't stop us from kayaking!

Carol and Sonia, and Michelle took the lead.

I brought up the rear:)

That night we had dinner at one of the local restaurants. California is a foodie's paradise. Oh, my gosh, thank goodness there is so much to draw you outdoors, because otherwise I would be eating all day long.  The next day, Michelle and I went to nearby Sly Park, where there are plenty of walking trails and beaches at Jenkinson Lake. We hiked around the lake, and enjoyed it so much that the next day we went back with beach chairs and a cooler and spent the morning.

Lots and lots of plants to identify, which I'm terrible at, but Michelle has an app on her phone that helped us name a few.

View from one of the trails.

Ahhh, I could have done this all day.

 Between sightseeing, visiting area wineries, cooking dinner for Carol and Sonia at the cottage, the days flew by. Soon it was time to head home. A glitch in travel arrangements, which is a long story I won't go into, had us flying out of San Jose, which is about a three hour drive. We made the best of it by leaving early that day, allowing a few hours to visit the coast. It was so worth the drive! Again, we were hit with limited views due to the haze, but the shoreline is so spectacular.

This is a closeup of the ground cover, a succulent of some kind, I think.

 We watched sea lions/seals? playing in the waves.

And then it was time to head to the airport. It was really hard to leave! but I have so many good memories of days spent with these awesome women.

I'm still getting my feet back on the ground, and will be around to catch up with my blogging friends soon!

Monday, July 16, 2018

Monday, Monday

Ba-da ba-da-da-da
Ba-da ba-da-da-da
Ba-da ba-da-da-da

Monday, Monday
So good to me . . .

Happy Monday.

Are you surprised to see another post from me? Three in four days. I doubt if I'll keep up this pace, but I'm feeling chatty.

I'm refreshed this morning after a good night's sleep! After the whole skunk episode Saturday night, yesterday was a day for taking it easy. With the house wide open, a nice breeze going all day, I felt energized to try a new recipe, and hang out in my study (my 'happy place'). In the afternoon, I sat down to watch a movie and promptly fell asleep.

When I woke up, it had started raining. Dan and I had tickets to an outdoor concert, but we had seats where it's covered, so we grabbed umbrellas and headed off at about 6:30.

I'm glad we did, because the weather cleared up and we had the nicest evening listening to The Denver Brass and an A Cappella group called the 17th Avenue Allstars. The concert was called Good Vibrations. They performed music from the Beach Boys, Chicago, Earth Wind and Fire, the Beatles, and more! Ah, the golden age of rock! 

So, this morning dawned nice and cool, although it's going to heat up again by afternoon. I am preparing for a trip to see my sister-in-law Carol and her wife Sonia.  I'm leaving tomorrow and will meet up with Joey's mother-in-law Michelle along the way. I'm so fortunate to have found a new friend in her!

I'll blog about our trip when I get back. 

Have a good week!

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Le Pew strikes

Yesterday, Dan and I started off with what we thought would be the perfect balance for a good day.  A little work, a little play, fall into bed exhausted.

In the morning, we worked in the yard until the heat drove us inside. Then, I got a lot accomplished at my desk and caught up with some work stuff. At about mid-afternoon we got ready to meet our friends Rick and Pam downtown for a bite to eat before going to the Rockies game. It was a hot day and the crowds at the stadium were thick, but a cool breeze made it enjoyable. By the time we got on the bus to go home, we were both pretty exhausted. We arrived home at 10:30, and since Lilly had been in the house for such a long period of time, I decided to sit on the back deck while she scouted around the yard.

Within a few minutes, she was behind the shed, barking like a crazy dog, and then she came bounding up to the porch, shaking her head, eyes watering with a look on her face that said, “What the . . . ?”

And the stench that came with her was unbearable.  She’d gone head to head with Pepe le Pew, the neighborhood skunk!

Before I could stop her, Lilly ran into the house. I followed, shrieking at her to “Get out!!!” and she ran straight for the bedroom where Dan was just dozing off. His nose began to twitch and he sat straight up in bed with the same look Lilly had when she came out behind the shed. Only he said it, “What the *%$@??!!!”

The two of us quick got her back outside. Dan turned on the fan and pointed it out the front door (closing up the back, because the backyard was filled with the stench), and I was Googling “dog, skunk, sprayed.”  We were both so tired, we were tempted to put her in the garage for the night, but according to the sources I found, the more quickly you target the odor, the better.

So Dan made a trip to the store for hydrogen peroxide, while I gathered baking soda, dish soap, a bucket, gloves and a rag. Then I set a pot of vinegar on the stove to boil.

By a stroke of good luck, Lilly didn’t brush up against anything in the house, or go rubbing her face all over the carpet as she is prone to do sometimes.  The offensive odor was airborne. But, it reeks  unbearably when you are THAT close – it's nothing like smelling a skunk from a distance.

Fortunately, today is a very cool day, with a constant breeze.  We have the house wide open, ceiling fans, floor fans are humming, and the smell has diminished considerably. Following the instructions on thisYoutube video, I have bowls of vinegar throughout the house, and it has really helped. The woman suggests doing this for a couple of days, then follow it up with bowls of ground coffee.  

The hydrogen peroxide/baking soda/dish soap remedy worked like a charm. Lilly is back to her sweet self sans the odor! I think we'll keep her.