Thursday, April 29, 2010

Thursday Thoughts

This is what the mountains look like when the clouds finally lift - glorious beauty!

This is what it looks like when Grandpa and the big girls walk to church and the littles ride in the stroller - then the littles want to ride home in the van and the big girls decide to ride home with Grandpa --

Did anybody spot the bed on the top of this building in the previous post? I didn't see it until about the 20th time I looked at this picture --

This is how the mind of my Care Bear, my second grade grandgirl, works - she created this acrostic about Jesus, God, Savior, and Great God - some of it is a bit out there, but most of it amazes and thrills me -- double click to read it more easily.

This is how I think I felt when I got my first library card.

This is what happens when you leave two little two year olds alone downstairs for a few minutes too long. They got into the old checks, etc. I discovered that the checks go back over 10 years, so I think it's high time we did some serious shredding.

Last Friday afternoon, right after school, Care Bear was scheduled to jump in the church van with the other Bible quizzers from our church to head to Colorado Springs. Unfortunately, it was a bad weather day and there is one particularly bad spot in the highway between here and there called Monument Hill, which becomes treacherous whenever there is any ice at all. Besides that, many of the quizzers were coming from the western slope, which meant traversing mountain passes. So they postponed it until this week-end. Care Bear was so disappointed. I love it that she's in quizzing, but I have to say that I suspect the stay in the motel with a pool had a lot to do with her devastation. They're heading out tomorrow afternoon, providing we don't get a repeat of last week-end's storms.

Have you read any good books lately? I don't buy books any more, but rather put them on hold at the library. Often I'll have 9-10 books on order, and it seems that they all come in at once. I am very excited to read Jennifer Chiaverini's latest, and just finished Ann B. Ross' newest story about Miss Julia. Have you read them? Miss Julia is a "proper southern lady" who finds herself getting into a big mess in every book - of course, or else there wouldn't be a book! But they are getting a bit sillier every book, so I don't know how much longer I'll keep reading them. That is the same reason I've dropped Joanne Fluke and Janet Evanovich from my "must read" list.

Right now I'm reading Not MY Daughter by Barbara Delinsky. I have not heard of her before, but she has written several novels before this one. I saw this reviewed in a magazine, so thought I'd give it a try. It's about 4 high school girls who made a pact to get pregnant, one of whom is the daughter of the high school principal. It is well written and I'm hoping for a good ending.

Well, that's enough rambling for now. Have a great week-end!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Springtime in the Rockies Craziness

I have lived in Colorado for many years now. I don't know why I'm surprised when spring is such a mess. It starts with snow off and on in March, April, sometimes into May. The flowers finally poke their heads out of the dirt, only to get slammed with snow. Fortunately, so far this year, they haven't been snowed on. But we've had really cold, windy days, and two days of a lovely rain.

We usually have one really nice day each week, giving us hope. Yesterday it was very cold and windy until about 3:00 in the afternoon when suddenly, the wind blew all the clouds away, probably to Nebraska, or maybe up to South Dakota, where it's snowing today. Wherever it went, the later afternoon was beautiful. We went to Greeley, a few miles east, for a birthday party, and the trip back to Loveland was beautiful as the snowy peaks showed their faces for the first time in days.

Springtime always brings lots of work for DC, as he gets the yard ready for the summer. One constant, every year, is some sort of problem with the sprinkling system. This year as he prepared to start the system, he discovered some leaks. As he dug and searched, he found this going on --

This tree is probably 30 years old this year - it was probably 4 inches in diameter when we planted it. It is huge --

---as are the roots --

As he dug to find the problem, he found this ---

These roots were entwined with the black sprinkler hose, causing leaks in these two lines --

The sod is sitting in the yard in a wheel barrow, waiting for sunshine, or at least no rain or snow, so that he can get back to the job.

We had company last week-end - a friend of DC's from his youth in Wisconsin. This man became a friend of mine through CaringBridge, when his wife was dealing with lung cancer (non-smoker's) last year. He wrote beautifully about the journey, and I wrote comments often. He wanted to come and visit us (and DC's sister as well). Last week-end the opportunity presented itself in an unusual form. He offered to make the trip out here with a friend whose mom had died of cancer, who needed his support.

We had hoped to show off our beautiful state and enjoy a day trip. We did enjoy the trip, the weather certainly did not cooperate. I wish I had counted how many time DC said, as he drove through the canyons, "Now if the sun were shining, you could see . . . " It got to be humorous.

We went through the Boulder Canyon up to a ghost town called Gold Hill. It's not technically a ghost town any more, because some hardy souls have decided it would be a good place to live and are repopulating it in the last few years. This caught our eye right away when we parked and got out of the car ---

Needless to say, there were no birds in the cage!

There are several buildings that are on the National Registry - it would be fun to eat here sometime.

Interesting old building - antique Sinclair gas sign.

Just a view of "Main Street"

The old fire engine --

On occasion, as we tooled around that day, you could spot a peak above the clouds. It was beautiful, no matter.

We took the Peak-to-Peak Highway over to Estes Park, where we had lunch at our favorite little restaurant, The Big Horn Restaurant (formerly Cafe - came up in the world, I guess)

Believe it or not, all these years I've lived in Colorado, I have driven by the Stanley Hotel hundreds of times, but never gone in to have a look. We remedied that situation after lunch. The Stanley Hotel was built by the creator of the Stanley Steamer.

It is a beautiful hotel with amazing views. I would love to stay there sometime - I want one of those rooms with the balcony.

The hotel has been open since 1909. It is a very popular wedding/reception destination. I love this beautiful piano, and this "Music Room."

The stairways are lovely -

One of the rooms was being cleaned, so I grabbed the chance to take a couple of pictures.

If you're a Stephen King fan, which I'm not, you probably know that his book The Shining was based on this hotel. It seems that there are many ghost stories connected with the history. The mini-series (which I didn't watch) was filmed here, and this mock-up of the hotel was used for the outdoor views, in my understanding. The second picture gives you a bit of perspective of the size.

As we were getting ready to leave, one of those wonderful serendipitous moments occurred - Kristen's favorite elementary teacher ever (5th grade) walked in with her family - they were scouting out wedding sites. What fun to see her again.

Our last photo op was a few minutes besides the fireplace on this cold and gloomy day -

Thanks for going along on our little day trip - I know it's too long, Grammy!

Have a wonderful week!