Wednesday, September 6, 2023

Glen Echo, sweet treats, needle nonsense & fall approaches

As the weather gets cooler (37° this morning) and the season draws to a close, I was thinking about how much we like Glen Echo on a lot of levels. We are pretty solitary people in general but have to admit it is pleasant to have "occasional" neighbors to visit with and also, to have the appeal of well-maintained seasonal yards. Many highly transient RV parks don't have nearly the curb appeal that a well run park has and I for one appreciate the effort my neighbors put into the grass and flowers in their sites. 

Some people might be bothered by the trailer park nature of this park but I have seen plenty of grubby, junky parks with zero appeal. In addition there are plenty of transient sites available so we get to see other people's rigs/toys as they come for a stay. Add to that propane refills on site, a great laundry facility, a store and both a restaurant and pub and it's a winner in our books. Here are a few shots of the neighborhood on a sunny morning. Sure makes for a pleasant walk in the mornings.

A few sites have built decks/patios

These people are investing in a beautiful selection
of cold hardy perennials to upgrade their yard. 

After spending 5 summers out here and thoroughly enjoying them, we will continue the pattern next year, God willing.

Onto other subjects, namely crapification - GRRRR! πŸ˜’Color me unamused - *sigh*

Way back in the mid to late 2010's I started making trivets while aboard Dreamtime. I purchased a pack of Dritz Cotton Darner needles and used them with gusto for many moons. Sewing through the many swirls of poly-filled tubies  requires putting some "english" on the needle and thread to get it through where I want it to go (I have to use needle nose pliers to help). So, some 10 trivets into this season out here (using the same needle I'd been using all winter at home), the needle's eye started to go and eventually was unusable. I considered it a worthy life's service from 1 needle, and not to worry, I had recently purchased another pack of the Dritz needles at Joann's - good to go so you'd think. Not!! After 2 trivets the new needle not only developed a burr on the tip but also a bend.

(excerpted from another blog)

"Are you familiar with the term crapification?  It refers to the gradual, inexorable reduction in quality of manufactured goods over the last few decades.  Remember the toaster oven you owned for twenty-five years and replaced with one made by the same company (or so it seemed) that lasted six months?  That's crapification."

Getting tired of crapification. The original needles were produced in the Czech Republic, the new ones in Malaysia. I guess I'll just have to treat them as semi-disposable now. Thanks for letting me rant! πŸ˜Š

Hey, on the food front, I tried a new way to cook ribs that is really easy - dry-rubbing them, saucing them up some, wrapping in foil then using the crockpot (on low for ~3 hours) to get them pre-cooked and tenderized, (be sure to put about 1 cup water in the bottom of the crockpot) and then, finally, saucing them up some more and putting them on the Ninja Grill for a bit of a broil/grill. They come out so good!

We work with a half rack at a time. Cut the half in half
and run with it. Save those juices in the foil to flavor
your next batch of pinto beans.

I also got busy and made a batch of our favorite sweet treats, coconut macaroons with chocolate chips and pecans. The Boss doesn't think they meet the definition of the name "cookies" since there is no flour involved, lol. They sure taste good. My oven rack only has one position so it doesn't necessarily cook evenly, hence the brown bottoms on some. Still excellent with a cup of hot tea after dinner.

Here we are mid-way through - got about 4-5 dozen.

And finally, for the fabric hounds out there, I picked up a few fabrics at Joann's, one pretty batik multi, 2 mottled basics for blending and a Christmas print.

The red & blue blend well with other more highly patterned fabrics

And a few new trivets for your enjoyment, followed by one of my pretty hanging baskets. Thanks for visiting and come back again sometime. Please feel free to leave a comment!

Pretty weird and pretty bright.

Awfully pretty petunias - so hardy and carefree maintenance

Thursday, August 31, 2023

Owl Canyon and the Farmstand at Grant Farm

The other day we headed out to investigate Owl Canyon (him) and the Farmstand at Grant Farm (me). It was a pretty day and the rock formations we call the Two Brothers looked very crisp.

The Two Brothers we call it.

The dirt roads are a blessing and a curse; the blessing, they keep traffic down some and look prettier than asphalt in a photo, the curse, they get dust all over everything including the inside of the car. This day the road crews had just water-sprayed the road and it was great. 

Unfortunately, Owl Canyon was a bit of a bust for our purposes. All the nearby drives/roads leading into the area were sternly labeled Private etc. so we parked in a pull-out off 287 and the Boss went off from there. He reported back that it seemed more like an arroyo with not much shade and not what he was looking for at all. Oh well. 

From there we headed just a few miles away to Grant Farm. Lots of lovely flowers (even though it is nearing the end of the season). 

Lots of locally grown fruits and vegetables to be seen. Jarred pickles, jams and the like were on shelving under the awning enclosure.

Navels, Palisade Peaches and more

Tables full of all kinds of melons, potatoes, peppers, raw milk for sale and it all made for a very nice browse. I got some super sweet Palisade Peaches and some beautiful green beans and peppers. From there we moseyed north up 287 and into Wyoming for our picnic lunch. I love those wide expanse views - take a deep breath and let it out slowly - so zen to my way of thinking.

Pretty soon it was time to turn around and head back to our cozy neck of the woods to lazy-away the rest of the day.

Thanks for dropping by, and have a great day.

Saturday, August 19, 2023

Dadd Gulch and Food Delights

 A new day and a new week. The Boss took off up to Dadd Gulch to have a nice hike while I stayed back to defrost the fridge/freezer in preparation for tomorrow's trip into town for a food shop - a win-win in my opinion.

The Dadd Gulch hike like most trail hikes, can be long and strenuous or it can be as short and meandering as you like. He chose long and strenuous to start with but later opted to switch it back to a pleasant meander back down as the temps rose higher and higher.  Here a few shots from his hike.

This gulch is not all that far off the road but is sandwiched
in between the sides of the gulch so it seems quite secluded.

A rather narrow walking path winds along the route

He took a flower shot for me, and I guess these are cone flowers(?)

There are a few nice rock features to observe too, and a great leg-stretcher on a beautiful day.

How about that tree growing on top

Later in the week, after succumbing to the lure of an eggplant during our shop, I used the Ninja Foodie to prepare Eggplant Parmigiana with Italian Sausage. I use the air fryer setting to get the eggplant slices "baked", then bring them back inside to assemble with the sauce. I usually do 2 stacks of 2 slices each. This gives us 2 meals for 2 people, as we split a stack and serve with a nice side of spaghetti.

Assembled and ready to bake.

The finished product, oooey-gooey and delicious - YUM!
So easy to make in the Ninja, no propane used and all the heat stays outside.

And finally, here's a couple of new trivets I made up while sitting out in the yard and enjoying the hummingbirds at the feeder.

They're a awful lot of fun to design and stitch up. It keeps my hands busy and that I like!

Thanks for dropping by, and see you the next time.

Friday, August 4, 2023

Picnic at Long Draw Reservoir, moose sightings and daily stuff

We have been really enjoying our fresh fruit in the mornings, either as an accompaniment to our egg breakfast or on top of our granola. I'd almost feel guilty gorging on these treats. Most days we have peaches, strawberries, plums, banana, and cherries - YUM! πŸ˜‹ During the winter months we eat quite a bit of citrus, but summertime is the time for the exotics, lol.

So thankful for such bounty.

A few days ago we packed up a lunch and headed west "up" the Poudre Canyon with the idea of turning south on Long Draw Road to check that out.  The first stop was up by the Chambers Lake Campground, it's a large area with several nooks and crannies and it's very popular. It was a nice leg-stretcher stop, and pretty as well.

Picnic area next door to Chambers Lake.

A couple of local fellows were talking and one was joking about the  Colorado paint job on his car, later I discreetly took this photo since I mentioned hail in the prior post.

Ouch! So sad, but the reality of weather mayhem.

Anyway, Long Draw Road is a fairly good dirt road, that ends up just past Long Draw Reservoir, at La Poudre Pass, which terminates quite near the Continental Divide, @ 10,200'. 

Shortly after starting out we passed by this rivulet and flowers that was just so pretty.

Lots of rain lately has made this one "fresh".

There's a lot of beetle kill around which is sad to see, but still some views where things look pretty special. We saw several moose browsing around. My neighbor reported someone seeing 14 on that road once!

With these 2 and 1 napping in the shade,
plus 3 down the road, it was a busy day for moose

We carried on and came to this view.

And then this view of the reservoir with the mountains in the background.

This was late in the week and the disbursed campers were coming out to find a spot. At this elevation the air is cool and downright brisk overnight, perfect for camping out comfortably.

Setup down the way for some fishing lakeside.

And further up the road the view started to open up into a valley - very nice!

Our car in the foreground - what a view!!

We ate our lunch just down the way at the sign marker for La Poudre Pass then headed back the way we came. The sign welcomes us to the northern edge of Rocky Mtn Natl Park and the nearby headwaters of the Colorado River. Just south east is Rocky Mtn Natl Park proper and Estes Park. What a beautiful drive.

Whew, what a fun journey. The trip took probably 5 hours. Lots of great viewing but tuckered out by the time we got home. Luckily we had chicken alfredo leftovers on tap so that made supper easy.

On our way back east through Poudre Canyon we stopped at one of my favorite roadside creeks (I believe it's the east fork of Roaring Creek) and it was really running.

A shot of the Chicken Alfredo supper to finish. More food and fabric fun in our next post, you've had enough for today. Thanks for riding along and we'll see you next time.

Monday, July 24, 2023

Cool mornings, picnics, flowers and fabrics

 We have no complaints about the weather here lately, sure, we've had a few HOT days that required some A/C but the mornings have typically been cool to chilly with low's in the high 40's to 50's. Aahhh. Many of our family, friends and neighbors are singing the summertime blues - hang in there guys.

We've taken some time to get the yard and flower garden fixed up but have also made it on 1 auto-touring picnic lunch up towards Dowdy Lake and some of the surrounding areas. When we leave the Resort, we turn right then immediately turn left onto route 69 which, while a dirt road, isn't too bad and goes through some pretty spots.

Overview looking south towards the Poudre Canyon

I'm always on the lookout for some pretty flowers and good photo ops. There is one variety of yellow flowers, very prolific I might add, that retain their color after being dried. I cut a small bunch from a roadside a few years back that still looks wonderful. BTW, I definitely don't make that a habit!

Found a patch, lol.

Here's how they look in situ - zillions of them around.

One of the places we passed by was the reflecting pond - I had a pic of it from a season or two ago and it's much fuller this year - lots of rain and snow melt.

The area is now being used for cattle grazing, they are just off camera, lol.

One limited picture doesn't always tell the story.

Lots of pretty rock outcroppings. Some are steep and tricky looking and some look so inviting for climbing.

A great place to wander - just watch out for snakes sunning themselves.

A small bit of snow left on the mountains near us, but I'll bet there's plenty more south of us in Rocky Mtn Natl Park.

I'm always on the lookout for horses, and spotted a small herd which included 3 foals - I made all the brrrrrpp noises/clicks to try to get their attention but they weren't interested in me.

A dramatic sky means the rain's falling somewhere - some of our neighbors who live in Ft. Collins or parts east have told us some horror stories about hail this spring. I mean like hail punching holes in the roof! Holy hail-bombs, Batman! Luckily only pea-sized up here so far.

Looks like a storm's brewing.

We made it up to the lakes area and stopped in for a gander.

Lunch in the car by Letitia Lake

Below is a shot of Bellaire Lake, just off 69 and a local favorite for fishing. They have a paved path around part of it for handicapped access and it seems quite popular.

Bellaire Lake Picnic Area

This bird (swallow?) made it's nest right over the door of a vault toilet, I'll spare you the shot of the door handle - haha.

On the cooking front, since fruit is so prolific right now, I made a small batch of strawberry/cherry jam. No pectin handy, and not a ton of sugar either (by choice), so it ended up being medium jell, in other words it could do passable duty as a syrup on french toast or pancakes. It's sure tasty though.

Strawberry/cherry jam. One jar for the freezer and one for the table.

I also have been taking the leftover bananas and peaches and making half batches of the banana bread recipe (on the Dreamtime website) in the Ninja Foodi on the bake setting. With it being handy on our outside table, I can use it and it doesn't heat up the RV. So far we've had banana/peach and peach/cherry - what's next I wonder? Meatloaf. It turned out I baked 2 mini meatloafs in it later in the week.

On the craft front, I've been doing some triveting (is that a word?) while watching the Tour de France. We love watching the Tour and have been for many, many years. Some really spectacular scenery over in Basque, France, & Switzerland and some amazing athletes getting out on that grueling course for 3 weeks! Kudos.

Thanks google

Here are the completed trivets, a couple of smaller ones and a larger one with flourishes.

Love the way the swirly one came out.

Well, that's about it for now, thanks for visiting.