Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A little catch up

Hello again,

Hope everyone had as nice a weekend as I did... of course having Rich home for a three day weekend spoils me...

We went on a spectacular bike ride Sunday night, just the two of us. It was sort of spur-of-the-moment and so I didn't have a camera with me, but we are going back there for sure! I am including a photo from another site to give you an idea of the view as you ride there... it was 12.4 miles all told (about 19 km!) and it was hard but exhilarating! We saw some bighorn sheep up on the mountain on our way to the dam and some deer (even a little spotted fawn!) on the way back down. Awesome!

Here, finally, is the photo we had taken at the Renaissance Festival. Slowly but surely we are getting all of this technology to work! LOL

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Very cool delivery

I have to tell you what was waiting on my front porch yesterday morning: our milk delivery!

A number of our neighbors get milk delivery and we were curious. The dairy will bring you a half gallon of milk to sample, so we had them bring us one. We all thought it was fresh and yummy, so we are giving it a try!

Our standing order is for a couple gallons of milk, a couple of pounds of butter, some half & half, and a dozen eggs. We will see how that works out.

All of these products are from local farmers and are guaranteed to be at your door less than 48 hours after the cow is milked! Many of us are now buying organic products whenever we can, and so this is very appealing. The products are not organic, but the cows are grass-fed and not given routine antibiotics, everything is natural.

We are very excited! Fresh dairy products delivered to your door each week. I feel like I have stepped back in time...

Oh- as an afterthought, I realized that I didn't post a photo of my new glasses... it has been interesting getting used to them- they are set up for long distance, computer work, and reading. Rich laughs at me because I am still adjusting a little... lol

All the kids are planning to sleep in this morning so it is off to wash floors for me!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Feel the burn!

And not in a good way, either.

Well, yesterday was a true food adventure, and not anything like I was expecting.

The girls and I did the grocery shopping to make the dinner I had planned and were back mid-morning.

I started on the corn ice cream and the cheesecake right away, and got those things done. By the way, the corn ice cream was very unusual but good. It made a LOT!

Then I thought I would finish the dinner prep before I did my vacuuming and such. So I chopped veggies for the tacos and cleaned out 24 jalapeno peppers to make the poppers. I have never bought or eaten jalapeno peppers, but I didn't think they were that hot. I was so wrong.

As I was cleaning up, I made the mistake of touching my mouth and HOLY COW! It burned so bad all of a sudden I saw stars. I remembered that drinking milk was supposed to help and it did after a bit. Thankfully I was wearing my glasses and didn't touch my eyes. My nose was burning too, and it did for a good couple of hours.

You would think that was the end of it, but you would be wrong. My hands started burning- intensely- about an hour after I finished cleaning the peppers, around 1:30 or so. I looked up help on the internet. I tried milk, I tried peanut butter, I tried soap meant for removing grease, and all of it only gave me temporary relief. I took some Advil and that did take the edge off.

But when it came time to cook the meat for the tacos, I couldn't stand the heat of the pan, it made my hands burn so badly I couldn't hold on to the wooden spoon. Zach finished cooking it for me. By dinnertime, the pain was making me so antsy I couldn't sit still.

I obviously don't know much about peppers, but I am wondering if they weren't mixed up in the grocery store with something else, because some of them were edible and very tasty, and some were so hot that not even Rich or Zach could eat them. And that is saying something!

The pain continued right into the evening. I took more Advil and it did help a bit. Believe it or not, my hands still hurt this morning, though nothing like yesterday thank goodness. They still burn when I am near heat (like the toaster, coffee maker or hot water) and when I bend my fingers. That capsaicin is powerful stuff, I would say my skin actually was burned by it.

IF and that is a big IF, I ever work with any kind of peppers again, I will make sure to use gloves. I would have done that yesterday had I known that those peppers were that hot! Well, live and learn as they always say... lol

On a good note, the cheesecake was yummy and as I mentioned, the corn ice cream was interesting. I really like the ice cream maker we have and will be making use of it again soon.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A bit of this and a bit of that

Another beautiful morning in Colorado. It has finally cooled down some, though we are supposed to get really hot again today. I love the mornings!

I have posted some new photos in a couple of my Webshots albums, the "wonderful things about" album, and the "summer of 2008" album. I figure posting online albums is better than clogging up inboxes- plus then you can look at as few or as many photos as you like.

I tried my hand at hedge-trimming yesterday and though it wasn't perfect, I think with some practice, I could be alright at it.

I went to a quilt store yesterday and it felt good to be back in one! It is smaller than Taylors and though they have a nice selection of fabric, there isn't much in the way of notions or threads. We went to Denver Fabrics on the weekend and it is HUGE! I can get anything I need there, but it doesn't have that homey quilt shop feel to it.

There is a Shop Hop here the first weekend of August and nine stores are participating. I am tempted to go- they have a bus for the Friday and Saturday for $80, which includes lunch and the driver tip. It would save me fretting about getting lost around here. (Even though I have GPS, I still seem to get turned around sometimes... lol) I don't know- two days and nine stores... you can only see one block of the quilt in each store ahead of time, they won't hang the quilt until the day of the Shop Hop. The block I saw WAS cute, a kitty cat with a ball of yarn...hmmmm. Decisions, decisions!

Today after my housework is done, I am going to the supermarket for some items I need for dinner. Rich got me a subscription to Gourmet magazine and we keep finding recipes we want to try. On the menu for tonight:
homemade Jalapeno poppers
Cheesecake with minted Blackberries
Corn ice cream

I know. Corn ice cream. After you get past the intitial "ewwww" factor, there is something intriguing about it. Since there is an ice cream maker here, we are going to give it a whirl! Literally! lol

Here is a recent photo of Rich and I, taken last week when he took me out to Frasca for their Monday tasting menu. That place is mouth-wateringly yummy! I dream about their food!

Time to clean!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Monday musings

So, it's the beginning of another week, and my Baby is off to work again. I get spoiled by these three day weekends!

Friday, Rich, Chloe and I went into the city to get a ceiling fan for our bedroom, and we found a lamp for the desk as well. We got the ceiling fan installed in a relatively short time and it looks great. The desk lamp is also beautiful, I love it.

We had lunch at the Kokoro Bowl and it was yummy!

Saturday we went to the Farmer's Market and got some fresh things for the week. I also got some chocolate & orange dried pasta... I was so intrigued, I had to buy some! Apparently the dessert recipe for it is on the web site and I think I will give it a whirl today- I will have to let you know how that turns out.

We also started some plant shopping. We got a nice big plant for the bedroom for the wall between the door and my armoir, and a nice big one for the sitting room. We also got a small assortment of cacti in different colours; I am going to do a little cactus garden for Rich's dresser. Plants certainly lend a homeyness to a room, don't they?

We have been here almost a month now, and it feels like I have always been here. At first it felt a little like I was playing house, I was almost afraid to believe that this is really my life now. But it isn't a dream, it IS my reality. Wow.

I love our home, and I love doing things in it and for it to make it look nice. I remember reading a passage in the Anne of Green Gables series about how she loved her home and felt as though it was an actual part of the family, how she loved making it look nice and doing things in it and for it. She said she could feel that that house wanted to be loved. It used to sound like flowery literature. Now I understand completely!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Chloe's last adventure at Rockin' Horse Ranch

The catch-up news wouldn't be complete without mentioning a little about Chloe's last riding lesson in Canada.

She and Keira went on the last morning of school. Keira's mom and I decided it would be okay if the girls went to riding first thing in the morning and attended the last day of school after that, since Chloe really wanted one last lesson before moving.

Well, it was an adventure! Holly and Ben went with us. Chloe was allowed to ride Zippy, her favourite horse at the ranch, and was pretty thrilled about it. She and Keira just got the horses tied up in the indoor arena for tacking up when a couple of mares out back of there kept running by the open door and whinnying, getting Porky and Zippy all riled up.

Tina ended up doing the tacking up AND having to lunge both horses to tire them out a bit. Shortly after that, the lesson started in the outdoor arena.

At some point, some movement caught my eye- there were horses out loose! All of the kids got off their horses and stood while the rest of us spread out to herald the runaways in the right direction. Holly somehow stood on the outside of the gate and one of the horses kept running right up to her- finally she had a minute to get on the OTHER side of the fence, where I am sure she felt a little safer... lol

The horses were put away and the lesson resumed. I have to say, I am always amazed at how well my youngest, smallest daughter can handle so much horse! She may be tiny, but she is mighty, that girl!

Her love for horses is apparent and her confidence grows every time she rides. Hopefully we can find a stable here that she loves as much as Rockin' Horse Ranch.

Heidi's Grade 8 Grad

Since I only just started this blog a week or so ago, I haven't caught everyone up to speed on how Heidi made out at her graduation just before we moved.

What a girl!!! She had been chosen as the female valedictorian for the graduating class ahead of time, so that she and the boy who was chosen could plan their speech. Heidi says she has wanted to be valedictorian since third grade- so you can imagine how thrilled she was.

The only award she was really hoping for was the English award, as Heidi loves to read and write stories. The one I was hoping she would get was the all-around proficiency award, which she assured me she likely wasn't a candidate for, as there were many very smart kids in her class.

Well, in addition to the Valedictorian award, Heidi won the English award, the French award, the all-around Proficiency award, AND the Principal's award for leadership. The principal nearly cried when describing Heidi and her efforts and accomplishments.

You couldn't have found a more proud mom that night, I have to tell you! Heidi had her own cheering section there, with myself, Holly, Ben, and Chloe, plus Brenda and Jessica from Oshawa, and my sister Sandy, Nick, Ghassan and Maya from Ottawa. You can imagine the noise we made every time Heidi got called up to the stage... lol

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


I am sitting here in the quiet of the morning, wondering how I got so lucky. I have so much in my life now, that it is hard to believe my life was once so different.

Though we all deserve to have love and joy in our lives, it doesn't just appear by itself. We have to be willing to work for it and to be open to it. Sometimes it doesn't come in the form we expect it to.

I was just thinking of the day ahead, how wonderful it is to have the luxury of time to clean my beautiful home, to make things nice for my loving husband and the kids.

Time is truly a luxury, and though I think I knew that before, I didn't fully appreciate it until I moved here. Even though we have been keeping extremely busy unpacking and settling in, we still have time to do things we love, like sharing coffee out on the patio before Rich goes to work, like taking bike rides after dinner, like reading together in the evenings, like just being together when we want, talking or not talking.

Life careens along at such a speed! I am very thankful to be able to see it slow down some here, to fully enjoy every day.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

More Garden stuff!

We had a lovely dinner out at Frasca in Boulder last night. We have been there a couple of times before, on my trips here. But I have never been there in the summer, and never experienced their tasting menu. I can't even describe the food there, it is just so sublime. It makes me feel that my cooking is seriously lacking- but then inspires me to try to cook with more fresh herbs and to make more things from scratch.

On the weekend, I made homemade pasta along with homemade bread and a fresh caesar salad, and it actually turned out pretty well. Lots of work, but worth it.

The front garden is doing well, the roses are starting to bloom! We have been watering faithfully twice a day as directed by the garden centre. It is a pure pleasure to see things take root and bloom, and to have my very own rose garden. Another dream come true!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Renaissance Festival

Well, another busy weekend!

Saturday, Rich and I went up to Loveland to get meat, and checked out the big town BBQ as well- Loveland Loves Barbeque, a part of the Summerfest in the Rockies.

Yesterday the five of us spent the day at the Colorado Renaissance Festival in Larkspur, Colorado. What a day! lol

We got a portrait done in costume at the beginning of the day, hopefully I can post a photo of it here tomorrow.

These photos show Chloe bungee jumping and the bell show before the jousting. We had a great day!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Before and After

The girls and I spent all day yesterday carefully choosing and then planting our front garden.
I have always dreamed of having a rose garden of my own and now I have one! You can see in the before and after photos, that though the new plants/bushes are spaced far apart, it fills the garden with more colour. And more JOY!!! YAY!!!

We now have six full sized rose bushes and two gallon size ones. Some of the names of our new beauties are: Scentimental (Heidi's red & white striped one), Heaven on earth (Chloe's light orangey-pink ones), Sheer Bliss, a pinkish white one, two Canadian-bred bush varieties, Winnipeg which is bright pink, and John Cabot which is cherry red. I forget the other names offhand, but the last full size bush has gorgeous yellow/orange/red flowers. I can't wait until they are all in bloom!

We got about a dozen perennials too, daisies, lavendar and the like. The lady at the garden center said about perennials: the first year they sleep (feed the roots well), the second year they creep, and the third year they leap. In other words, don't be in a hurry to put too much in all at once till you see how they are going to spread! lol

I also went and applied for my new driver's license, and hopefully that will arrive soon.

Today we got the new plates for my car, and we got our phones. Heidi is thrilled to now have a cell phone. What a spoiled brat, eh? lol Chloe had fun setting mine up for me and is quite adept at figuring it all out. SHE even used the manual that came with the phone to figure stuff out, unlike the others... lol

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Bike Trails

Well, we do have the most gorgeous places to go biking, there is no doubt about THAT.
We went along the Platte River trail again last night, in the other direction this time, and stopped to take a couple of beautiful photos. We JUST got back on our bikes again when I heard a crash behind me.

There were the girls, both tangled up in their bikes. Chloe got up and for a moment I thought Heidi's leg might be broken as it seemed trapped at a weird angle in her bike frame. Thankfully neither of them was really hurt. We headed for home.

Chloe is covered with bumps and bruises and cuts and Heidi has some bruises too, but some chocolate cake for dessert heals many, many hurts... lol

Check out my new wheels!!! It's a SWEET ride, let me tell you! When the girls and I are out in it, we open the moon roof, turn on the iPod, and go exploring!

I LOVE my life.

Oh. I have posted some new photo albums on my Webshots page- the link is on the right of this page, if you want to have a browse.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The next stage

Another quiet morning, waiting for the plumber to arrive. I get up at 6 am with Rich but the kids all sleep in, and so I have a few quiet hours every morning to write online, to get some work around the house done, to ponder what to do with my day. I love it.

I need to plan my front garden! I really want some rose bushes and perennials with lots of colour out there, I just can't seem to narrow it down! lol But I will, I would like to get stuff planted and growing as soon as possible.

We were at the eye doctor's yesterday. Both Heidi and Chloe needed glasses; Chloe got reading glasses, and Heidi needs them for school in general, she doesn't see far away very well. They actually got the glasses yesterday, and you can see here how adorable they look!

Both Rich's and my prescriptions changed some so we are also getting new glasses, only ours won't be ready for a couple of weeks.

I have entered the next stage in adulthood: bifocals. *sigh*
I don't actually care, I just want to be able to see without straining, as I do read a lot and spend a fair amount of time on the computer too.

Chloe has a new friend who lives just two houses down from us. She is also going into Grade 6, so hopefully they will be in the same class. Maybe I can ask...

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Getting Settled

Are we really here, or am I dreaming?

Nope, we are really here, and it is the closest thing to heaven I could ever imagine!

Where to begin? The house is gorgeous, I love it. The back yard is spacious, quiet and private. My new car is awesome. Last but certainly not least, being able to be with Rich full-time is pure bliss!

Guess what I did yesterday? I picked cherries out of our very own tree and made Rich a homemade cherry pie- crust and all! Is that cool or what?!

We have been bike-riding all over the place and it is a blast! Some of the trails are simply breathtaking! Now that I have a way to carry my camera along with me, I will be bringing it everywhere.

Hopefully if I have some time today, I will put some new albums on my Webshots page. I still need to take a few pictures...

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