Monday, May 29, 2017

Friday, May 26, 2017

Summertime



I don't have kids in school anymore, but my life still keeps pace with school holidays and breaks, which I kind of like. I always loved school, both the experience of being in a classroom and the rhythm of the school year. If I had my way, I would still be enrolled somewhere and often am, online or taking classes in the community.  At work, I'm always aware of school schedules, as I schedule kids for appointments and moms seem to breathe a sigh of relief as summer rolls around and their schedules are easier to work around.

Our house is located just down the street from the local high school and middle school. At this time of year, the street is quiet as I work at my desk and look out the window.  No kids walking to school, or cars driving by on the way to classes.

All this to say that summer is unofficially here, as marked by the Memorial Day weekend and the hanging of flags on our town's main street. Every year, the flags come out Memorial Day weekend and remain up until the town festival after Labor Day.

We're going to welcome summer this weekend with a barbeque and a baseball game. The barbeque will be on Sunday with hamburgers, potato salad, deviled eggs and baked beans. On Monday, Dan and I are going to see the Rockies play. Who, by the way, are having the best season ever! Fingers crossed, it's only May, but can't help but be excited!

Dan got the bikes out last week and pumped up the tires. I have the schedule for our town's outdoor concert series clipped out and on the fridge. They are held on Wednesday nights at the amphitheater by the pond.  We walk and carry lawn chairs, or ride bikes and take a blanket.

We need to get some fresh sand for the grandkids' turtle sandbox in the backyard, and I'm going to look for a small watering can for Brooklynn, because she sure loved helping me water the flowers last night with her little teapot.

The gardens are set, with the exception of parsley. I'm looking for flat-leafed and all I can find is the curly leaf which is a bit tough for my liking.  And I want to put one more flower pot on the front porch, in the container that my friend gifted me last year.

Summer! Bring it on!


 

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

In the garden

Last fall, we added a couple more raised garden beds in the backyard.  I've been itching to get something planted in them ever since. Between the snowfall last week, and thunderstorms expected later this week, we had a couple of sunny days to get some gardening done.  On Sunday, Dan helped me plant some rosebushes, meaning he dug the holes and I supervised the placement.

Then on Monday, I worked on the herb and vegetable gardens.  One of the raised beds is an herb garden.  


So far, we have some freshly planted oregano. . . 


Rosemary. . .


Chives that were hastily transplanted from another garden last fall. . . they are hearty and withstood the winter.


Sage. . .


And, some lemon verbena which smells delicious and is irresistible to butterflies!


I also planted an assortment of squash -- butternut, acorn and spaghetti -- along with some cucumbers and a variety of peppers.  Then, as dark clouds loomed overhead, I mowed the lawn, front and back -- after which, I came inside, fell into a chair, and didn't move for two hours.

It was a good day.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Taos

We spent the third night of our trip in Taos.  The drive there from Santa Fe was fabulous.  The scenery is mostly flat, wide open country that goes on as far as the eye can see with snow covered mountains in the distance. It is spectacular and I wish I had photos to share, but I was just taking it all in.  

I also didn't take many pictures of Taos itself. It is very much like Santa Fe, but smaller and more rustic.  There are lots of art galleries, a nice city park where all kinds of festivals are held spring through fall, and plenty of historic spots.  My favorite was the Kit Carson museum.  He was such an interesting person, and his life story reflects much of the history of the west and the southwestern United States.  

One of the things that you see a lot of in Santa Fe and Taos, besides adobe, is the fencing on the left in this picture.  It's called a coyote fence. Apparently, the odor of the junipers and the construction of the fencing is supposed to keep coyotes out.  I'm not sure if it's entirely true, but it does explain why there is so much of this style fencing in the southwest. 


We had a marvelous dinner at Lambert's of Taos, right off the plaza.  Most of my food pictures didn't turn out -- and there was plenty of photo worthy food on this trip -- but I wanted to share this soup.  I'm not a huge fan of chilled soups, but this was fabulous.  Coconut-Mango soup with pickled shrimp and an herbed sorbet.  To die for.


We found a wonderful little book store tucked in among all the usual clothing and art and souvenir stores.  I like to support independent booksellers, and op.cit. books was a great find.  We didn't even make it up to the second floor, and I walked away with three books.


This is the courtyard at the Kit Carson Museum, which was the home of Carson and his wife Josefa Jaramillo for over 25 years.  I'm a big history buff, and of late have been reading a lot about the family, so it was really exciting to see their home.  There are many family artifacts and photos. There's also a movie about Carson, with his great-grandson playing the role of Kit. An accomplished horseman, he's the spitting image of his great-grandfather.



I don't have any interior pictures of the house.  And I'm not sure what this wood basin is, maybe a sink of some kind?


I should mention that we stayed at the El Pueblo Lodge which is a refurbished motel that was built as a small ranch in 1912.  It is near restaurants and the city park, very nicely kept, and has a great staff.
Most of the rooms are ground level in the style of old motels, so parking is right outside the door. I have to admit, I have a new appreciation for Dan who is the person who hauls in the luggage whenever we travel! A parking space right outside the door was sweet!

The morning we started for home was another beautiful, cloudless day.  Even though we were only gone a few days, the experience of Santa Fe is like another time and place, so it felt like a lot longer, in a very good way.  Nevertheless, it is always good to see the mountains of my home state.


I hope you enjoyed the trip!

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Santa Fe

A week ago I was in Santa Fe with my Aunt Ann.  We drove down on Friday, taking the scenic route through the Rocky Mountains in Colorado.  It took a little longer, but it really is a pretty drive along the Sawatch Range and then the Sangro de Cristo Range. Road trips are the best. We stopped for coffee, stopped to take photos, and then at the very southern most part of the state, we stopped in Conejos to see the oldest church in Colorado.  This is somewhat disputed, because the original building  burned down and was reconstructed in 1926.  However, the parish has been in existence since 1858, and Our Lady of Guadalupe Church is beautiful in its simplicity.  The acoustics are perfect, and a softly whispered "Amen" as you enter can be heard throughout the church. (This I learned from another visitor).






We stayed the first two nights of our trip at the Hotel St. Francis in Santa Fe.  It is a block off of the Plaza, the heart of the historic district.  The hotel has a big, beautiful front porch that is the perfect place to people watch and enjoy the beautiful Santa Fe air.


Secreto's, the hotel restaurant serves the most delicious and exquisite food.  But, what brought us back for the second night was the margaritas! Unfortunately, Secreto's Smoked Sage Margaritas have spoiled me for good. I'll never be quite satisfied with a regular old margarita again.  They blend the finest tequila with Brazilian Orange Liqueur and lime juice. Then, a sage leaf is smoked and infused into the margarita.  It has the most delicious flavor.

In the morning, we took a wonderful tour  and saw highlights of the city. After that, we walked to the areas that interested us most. The first place, not knowing what to expect, was the Georgia O'Keefe Museum.  I'm no art connoisseur, however, I think the $13 spent for my ticket could have been better spent elsewhere. (Perhaps on another margarita!)

The surrounding galleries and architecture were beautiful.  This origami horse is made of steel, but doesn't it look like folded paper?


Rock, paper, scissors. . .


I loved all the adobe buildings and the turquoise blue trim.  There's a story that blue doors and windows keep away evil spirits. As for the adobe, apparently the rule in Santa Fe is that your house can be any color you like -- as long as it matches the color of earth it sits on;)



This sculpturist was working on several projects.  I'm sure you can tell who the bust is. . .


He was also working on a smaller version of this Indian maiden.


Beautiful architecture and pretty blue skies all around.


I loved this! He took me by surprise, he looks so real!


This is part of a much larger, life-sized sculpture honoring all of those who traveled the Santa Fe Trail. It was exciting to see the area where the wagons all finally arrived.


St. Francis is the patron saint of Santa Fe.  This is his likeness in front of the Cathedral Basilica named for him.



These are the doors to the Cathedral, followed by a close-up of one of the panels, and a photo of the inside. The whole city is just a work of art.






Tomorrow, I'll share some more pictures of our day in Taos.


 

Friday, May 19, 2017

Finding favorites

Happy Friday, everyone. I'm still going to post about the Santa Fe trip, but I'm linking up to Living to Tell the Story and Friday's Fave Five in the meantime. It has been a busy, shorter week following my trip, but still nice to look back at moments that blessed me.

1.  It snowed this week! We got about 6" in our town, some of the mountain areas got upward of 3 feet.  That's quite a spring storm.  Spring snowstorms aren't my favorite thing, but it's a good feeling to know that at this time of year it will melt very quickly and I'll be out in the garden again this weekend.

2.  Yesterday, I was driving home from the rec center where I met my walking partner, and it was snowing those big, beautiful fluffy flakes.  Overhead flew a small flock of pelicans! It was such a beautiful sight to see.  I commented about the pelicans in our area in an earlier post, and several people were surprised that we have pelicans in Colorado. They do seem out of place here, but they arrive every spring to breed on the shallow lakes here on the plains. In the winter, they head for the Pacific coast.

This is a picture that I took several years ago, on my cell phone so not the best quality, but it's one of my favorites of the pelicans. The rubber ducky on the pond still cracks me up.


3.  We had a small gathering for our Book Club on Wednesday night, just four of us, and we met at a favorite restaurant.  I got to choose the book this month. It was Father Melancholy's Daughter, by Gail Godwin.  It's one of my favorites and I was happy to get to re-read it and discuss it with friends.

4.  Between my travels last weekend and some evening meetings for Dan, it has been over a week since we've sat down to dinner together.  He was supposed to be gone this weekend (trip got cancelled), so yesterday I took off from work a little early and went to the grocery store to pick up some items for dinner.  Then I made one of his favorite suppers, and we got to enjoy it just the two of us.  We've had a full house lately, with kids and grandkids popping over.

5.  Phone calls with my boys. Yesterday, I talked to Joey for a while, and he told me about the project he's working on for summer semester.  Then Luke called and we Facetimed, just the two of us. Usually we talk in the evening and there are at least four or five of us all trying to get in on the conversation, which is hilarious. It was nice to have some one-on-one.

How was your week?  Think about some favorite moments, even if you don't write them down. It does wonders for the soul!

Happy Friday!

 

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Fresh blooms

I have some pictures to post from the weekend, but I hit the floor running when we got home yesterday. So, until I get my thoughts and photos organized, here are a few pictures of what bloomed in the garden while I was gone.

Last fall, my friend Diane gave me some Columbine from her garden.  This yellow one is very small and dainty, and rich in color.


Winnipeg Parks is a pretty cherry pink rose that is hearty and blooms all summer long.


Not a very good picture of the one and only poppy so far.  It's really a much deeper orange than this, but I'm excited because I put the plant in last fall and it appears to be healthy and happy;)


And Lily of the Valley! Success at last!



  Emily and Marcus and the babies brought this miniature rose bush over yesterday for Mother's Day. You can be sure I will find the perfect spot for it:)


I think the lovely rain this weekend pushed all of the plants forward a bit. Believe it or not, we might get some snow later this week.  Keeping my fingers crossed that it won't do any damage.