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.

Thursday, July 6, 2023

And it's off to Rocky we go - yay!

 We had been watching the weather for our little northeastern corner of Colorado since the end of May and it was pretty consistently cold, chilly and quite rainy, so the decision was made to wait for fairer weather. Finally, by the 3rd week of June it looked like it was coming around for us. The Boss was fairly chomping at the bit by this time, so after making a last minute push to finalize things at home, we headed out.

Applying an old strategy we hadn't used in a long while, we sourced a large Omaha Steaks Styrofoam cooler from a neighbor and loaded it up with some of our frozen meats and ready-made meals. This not only helped clear out the freezers but also ensured we wouldn't have to shop immediately upon arrival, and would have a few easy "heat-n-eat" meals on tap. On the way out of town we stopped to pick up 2 slabs of dry ice, 10x10x2", loaded everything up, (it was full!), and duct taped it shut. It either would or would not last the whole trip - I was sure praying it would! 🙏🥺️ (PS. It made it with a little dry ice left!!)

Driving through Georgia we saw plenty of very green & healthy-looking pecan orchards. Some were large, old, established trees and some were young trees, but they were all very healthy looking. So pretty, wonder who owns them.. Bill Gates? the Chinese? Who knows.

A young Pecan Orchard in Georgia

We stopped for the night in Gadsden, AL, right by the Coosa river, and had a small stroll along the waterfront and a take-out bite for dinner.

I'm lagging behind with my torn meniscus but what a pretty evening.

After crossing the Mississippi @ Dyersburg, we headed further north and stopped in New Madrid, MO, a place the Boss has always wondered about. Sleepy little town on the Mississippi river now, but before the railroad came along it was hopping with river traffic and even carried some of the Native Americans westward on the Trail of Tears. It's main claim to fame is the New Madrid Tectonic Fault Line which in 1811-12 produced 4 of the largest earthquakes ever recorded in North America, along with hundreds of smaller aftershock quakes that year. We stopped at their museum and spent an hour or so there.  They had a couple of short movie clips describing the town at the time and how the earthquakes changed things including the course of the river, they had to move the town back more than once. Very interesting little museum with locally dug artifacts from early Mississippian Culture (600CE to 1600CE), the Civil War, WWI/WWII, plus an authentic 1800's kitchen - fascinating. I should have taken more pics.

Early American Kitchen with all the goodies,
you should have seen that woodstove!

The Mississippi looked low with quite a few sandbars in evidence, and I'm sure making navigation treacherous. 

Sandbars along the edges of the Mighty Mississippi

Traveling a bit further north we stopped in Sikeston, MO for the night and picked up a pizza for dinner.  

The next day we headed further north so as to catch I-80 westward, then stopped just west of Nebraska City, NE @ Lied Lodge, a stately lodge on 260 beautiful acres. This is the birthplace of Arbor Day, and they have all kinds of activities on the property. Maybe we'll stop for a more leisurely stay on the way home. We had a great dinner at Timbers, their fancy restaurant.

Entryway of Lied Lodge
(pronounced LEED) 

From there we travelled through some lush-looking farmland before coming into hills then mountains. Almost there.

Tidy looking farm

Rocky here we come!

One of the tasks the owners of the park were planning to handle in the off season was to replace the existing transformer with a bigger one. The intention being, so that when the RVers all run their A/C's at the same time Forth of July weekend it doesn't trip the circuit. Well, I guess it was a long, cold winter into spring and things just weren't conducive until the week we got here, lol.

The bucket truck in the foreground is handling the transformer
stuff while the guy in the background  behind the fence
is going to pull the old power pole straight up & out.

Whew! All's well that ends well. Here's a shot of the Boss in his happy place, here at Rocky, with his newly washed Explorer.

Well, that's about it for this first report from our summer abode. I'll close with a couple of shots of some columbines in bloom here in the neighborhood.

Thanks for dropping by and sticking with a rather long entry. Comments are great! Comments are welcome! 😄

Monday, July 3, 2023

Long overdue & wrap-up post

This post should have been written about 10 days ago but somehow I never got around to it. In between pulling weeds, working with food to not only use up or give to my neighbors, but also to freeze for our trip out west, plus the normal daily chores, I got really busy working on trivets. It was so much fun. I had to sew quite a few "tubies" with the new fabrics I bought, so that I would have a good stockpile to choose from while out at Rocky. I also got creative and gen'ed-up some trivets to add to my collection.  One of my neighbors wanted to buy a few to give as unique gifts, yay! So, in addition to the 19(!) I already had "in stock", I made 4 more and enjoyed the process very much.  Here are the new ones.

 The crepe myrtles were in full bloom and boy, are they showy. When it's a good year they are bursting with blooms, and it sure seems like a good year.

And this is one in a shopping center parking lot,
you know it's not getting a lot of love.

On the cooking front I baked a banana bread to have something sweet to go along with our evening hot tea, and froze half of it to take with us.

Finally, I made pizza using the store-bought dough I had in the freezer, so easy and so good!

Before baking, and it's enough for dinner for 2 and lunch for 2.

Thanks for reading along, that's all I've got for you, but the next post will be from Colorado.