Monday, September 26, 2016

A September Daybook

For Today . . . September 25, 2016

Looking out my window . . . at a beautiful fall day and these roses along the fence.

I am listening to. . . Van Morrison, Days Like This.

I am thinking . . . about my Uncle Bill.  Today would be his birthday.  

I am thankful . . . for my dentist! He redid a couple of fillings for me this afternoon. I don't love going to the dentist, but I'm glad that we have insurance to cover the cost and very glad to be able to take care of my teeth.

Some of my favorite things . . . pumpkin bread, watching Blue Bloods and Hawaii Five5-0, and videos of my grandkids from my son.

I am creating . . . order out of chaos around the house.  Cleaning out closets, organizing and purging.

I am wearing . . . yoga pants, tank top, sandals.  It's still fairly warm outside.

I am reading . . . Last Bus to Wisdom by Ivan Doig.

I am hoping . . . that we soon catch the little mouse that has taken up residence in our house!  He's a crafty little guy, stealing food from the traps.  I'm sure he's off in a corner somewhere, sleeping off the peanut butter and cheese we served him last night.

I am learning . . . more about spirituality in the second half of life by reading this book.  Richard Rohr has long been one of my favorite teachers.  There is so much wisdom in what he writes.

In my kitchen . . . taco soup with tortilla chips for supper.
Raspberry Jalapeno jelly in the making.

In my garden . . .

Shared Quote
"Am I trying to reinforce the outcome or am I trying to reinforce the love in this relationship?" Kathi Lipp

A moment from my day. . . I wish I knew what they were both thinking!

The Simple Woman's Daybook is hosted each month by Peggy.  You can find the link here.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016


September is my favorite month here in Colorado.  The heat of the summer magically lifts on the very first day, and the sky is blue and colors so clear.  The air is cool and we always anticipate our town's annual celebration.  There have been very few times when the weather hasn't cooperated.  

The month began with my nephew's wedding.  RJ and Jenni were married in a beautiful outdoor ceremony, followed by a rousing reception where we all danced well into the night! I can't bring myself to post the pictures, but let's just say that my nephew had a lesson he'll never forget in how to disco, from his mom and three aunts. Saturday Night Fever lives on.

The following weekend my sister-in-law Jenny and I took a road trip to see my niece in Albuquerque. It was a beautiful weekend, driving through the southern part of our state along the Sangre de Cristo range and into New Mexico.  Elsa is on staff for the UNM volleyball program, so we watched some great volleyball games, went for a hike one day and ended up at an amazing bloody Mary bar!  Love this girl.

Dan and I are finishing up a few garden projects.  He built a fence and an archway that leads to the raised bed gardens.  My nephew Tommy came over one day to help.

The morning glories are just beginning to bloom. Next year, I picture them all along our new fence.

Last Saturday, we went to our town's annual festival.  Dan likes the car show and I help our local economy along by shopping the craft booths.  Here is a snapshot from the parade with our godchild Stephanie and her friend, walking with their school.

Miranda texts me the sweetest pictures of the kids.  Love this one of Siefer with Luke.  It makes the distance seem not so far.

 On Sunday, Dan and I spent a few hours in downtown Golden with Joe.  That white spot up on the mountain is the M for the Colorado School of Mines, Dan's alma mater and Sam's current school.  Joe started at CU this fall, so both the guys are super busy!

Yesterday, I got to spend the whole day with this sweetie!  Bentley is six months old already!  We went for a long, long stroll. And then came home and took a long, long nap! Both of us;) 

The best part about September is that it's the month we celebrate this boy's birthday.  (Joe, not George!)

For 27 years, he has been stealing my heart!

Love you, Joey! Happy Birthday!

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Guacamole and a team record

Yesterday, our friends Pam and Rick came over for burgers before we all went to the Rockies game. (Where Jon Gray pitched 16 strikeouts for a new team record. It was so exciting to be there for that!)

We had burgers and limp sweet potato fries (ha!) and some guac and chips. I decided to take advantage of the fact that Rick was sitting at our kitchen island and had him teach me how to make Guac ala Rick.

Here's the recipe. The amounts are very much estimates because I didn't measure anything. It was me pouring stuff in and Rick saying, "a little more, a little more . . . there, that's good."

Guac ala Rick

3 ripe avocados
1/4 cup Salsa (I used Mild Picante)
teaspoon garlic salt
1/4 cup chopped red onion
sprinkle with lime juice

Put all the ingredients in a bowl and mash with potato masher.  Serve with tortilla chips. If you want to spice it up more, use a medium or hot salsa sauce.



Tuesday, September 13, 2016

OTBF Update

Hello friends,

Once again, I've fallen off the wagon in posting regularly on my blog. Life has been full, in a good way. Since my last post, we've had a family wedding, celebrated Labor Day with a family barbeque, and I took a trip with my sister-in-law Jenny to see my niece in Albuquerque.  It's hard to believe that September is almost half over already.

Once again, I've decided to change things up a bit here at the Backyard Fence.  I don't want to give up my blog, but I've decided I'm going to post less frequently and not try to stick with a schedule.  I've been slowly pulling out of social media such as Facebook and even Goodreads.  I find that as much as I love keeping up with friends and family on FB, and even though Goodreads is a great format for keeping up on books to read and those I've read, -- for me, along with trying to keep a 'regular' format for blogging -- these things are a bit like going on vacation with a really good camera.  It's great to take notes and record all the highlights, but after a while I'm finding it hard to just live in the moment. I see everything with an eye for how to record it or write about it on my social media accounts.

So, I've gone back to keeping track of the books that I read in my little spiral notebook, and I'm getting better about texting and calling family and friends to keep in touch.  And I hope to focus more on some of projects that came out of the writing seminar I attended a couple of weeks ago.

I'll still be dropping by to visit the blogs on my Feedly list, and I'll see where this new plan of mine takes me as far as blogging here.

Just trying to roll with the punches and fit everything in!

Hugs to all,


Friday, September 2, 2016

Welcoming September and other favorites

Yay, it's time for Friday's Fave Five.  I missed doing this little exercise last week.  It's always good to look back and find the blessings in my week, big and small.  Linking up with the FFF crew here.

1. The past two mornings have been overcast and foggy. A bit cooler, so the colors outside are deeper and more vivid. It's a teaser for fall, as I know we'll get some hot weather soon. But, it has been nice to sip hot coffee in the morning and put on a sweater, even for just a little while.

 2. We had two of our grandkids here on Tuesday evening, so their mom and dad could have an evening out. It's been a while since we've had both and it was an adventure. When I arrived home from work, Dan had been going solo with them for about an hour. Baby in arms with burp rag on the shoulder. Toys strewn and the toddler running around. It was just like old times -- with a big difference. We're old now.  In a couple of hours we were both exhausted. Dan gets up so early in the morning, so I told him if we could get one of them to sleep, I would take over until mom and dad got home.  We willed that little guy to sleep and Dan shuffled off to bed!

3.  My nephew just got his first cell phone, so we have been texting each other.  I love that he tells me about his day.  We only live a few blocks from one another, but he's a busy kid with school, sports and piano, so I don't see him as often as I'd like.  One of the benefits of technology is being able to keep in touch with  my nieces and nephews.

4.  Pumpkins in the garden! I threw in a pumpkin plant along the back fence and said a prayer that it might provide us with a couple of decent pumpkins this year.  We have two already ripe and gorgeous and four more that are shaping up nicely.  I love seeing those splashes of orange when I look out the kitchen window.

5.  Tonight my nephew, RJ, is getting married -- the first big wedding in our family:)  I'm excited to get to be with all my brothers and their wives, as it doesn't happen all that often these days.  Excited to celebrate RJ and his beautiful bride.  Happy to be looking forward to this evening and staying overnight at the venue and having breakfast as a family tomorrow.  Photos to come!

How was your week?


Monday, August 29, 2016

Checking in

I've been AWOL from this blog for over a week.  It seems the past 10 days have flown by, and I even missed Friday Fave Five last week.  I always miss it when I don't join in with the FFF group, as it has become a great exercise in gratitude for me.  However early Friday morning I was happily driving up to the mountains for a few days to participate in a writer's seminar.

The seminar was hosted by Alissa Johnson (Writing Strides), a fabulous writing coach and lovely young woman.  I've participated in a couple of Alissa's webinars and, though we've spoken on the phone numerous times, this was my first opportunity to meet her in person.

Along with eight other women, we spent the day getting focused on our writing projects and sharing ideas.  Most of us were of the same generation, which made for immediate camaraderie.  While our projects are as different as each individual (from memoir to fiction to history to spiritual erotica), we shared so many common threads in the desire to express our creativity.  For the entire day, we were able to 'think out loud' without fear of judgement, and focus on how to get our projects started and keep them moving, and have some quiet moments to write.

I had the luxury of going up the day before and staying for two nights, which gave me lots of time to enjoy the beautiful mountains and the gorgeous cool weather.

Then, yesterday, I picked up a book that has been packed away along with so many of my books since we moved a couple of years ago.  It is Adriana Trigiani's Don't Sing at the Table; Life Lessons from My Grandmothers.  It's a quick read and I finished it this morning.  I've enjoyed several of Trigiani's novels, and this book, a memoir, was exceptional.  It's about her grandmothers, who both played a tremendous influence in her life and in her writing.  What I loved about the book is that one of her grandmothers was a seamstress.  The work ethic that she had in her sewing business influenced Ms. Trigiani's methods in writing.  Having been a seamstress and also loving to write, I really enjoyed the parallels that she drew between the two.

Don't Sing at the Table was a wonderful way to cap off the weekend.

So, I'm back and ready to take on a busy week, which will end with another little jaunt out of town for my nephew's wedding.

Hope your week is off to a wonderful start!


Friday, August 19, 2016

Friday Fave Five

Another week of good stuff to share with Susanne and the Friday Fave Five crowd. Link up here, if you would like to join in and celebrate the blessings in your week.

1.  Music, music, music!  First, I should say that I'm not the musician in the family, that Dan is and my sons both have an appreciation for and talent for it, too.  However, like most people, I have my favorite songs and genres, though I just don't have much of an ear for quality and tone.  Dan does! and so we finally bit the bullet and bought a sound system for our home.  I love that we can sit on the back porch and listen to our favorite playlists, or have it playing in different areas of the house. (Listening to Kenny Chesney right now;)

2.  A good, rockin' thunderstorm.  Earlier this week, a good downpour cooled everything off and we slept with the windows open for the first time in weeks.  It's cooler again today and our flowers and plants are very happy.

3. Not as bad as it could've been.  I went downstairs to throw in some laundry earlier this week, and as I stepped into the laundry room, stepped into a HUGE puddle of water.  We're still not positive what the source was -- which is hugely disconcerting -- but, it was clean water and nothing was damaged. Hard to see this as a blessing, but we have had worse!

4. Learning some stuff.  Classes started this week through an online learning program that our library is connected with.  As patrons, we can choose form over two thousand classes and take them for FREE!  I'm taking Intro to Microsoft Word -- I use Word all the time, but there are parts of it that are still a mystery to me -- and a Travel Writing class, because I just can't seem to get enough:)

5. Morning walks. My walking partner, Joan, and I are getting back to our normal routine, walking at the open space a couple mornings a week.  We go way back -- we were neighbors when Dan and I bought our first house right after we were married.  Joan was a stay-at-home-mom with five kids, and I was a workin' girl.  I wanted to be her and she wanted to be me, haha! Then, I was the SAHM and she went into Real Estate, and helped us find our next three homes.  Now, we're both grandmas and empty nesters, and good friends:)  I love how life happens.

How was your week?