Sunday, March 27, 2011

A Fairy Good Day

Our favorite garden nursery held one of its great events: A Fair Festival. My daughter invited me to join her and the little girls to the festival. In sad economic times and with stiff competition in the gardening market, nurseries have to be creative to bring in customers during a still slow part the year. It worked. I bought my gladiola bulbs, and the green house was teeming with children and parents, all excited and happy, indulging in whimsy and fantasy.


Elinore 4 and Lucy 2 and half look for their favorite things.



Mom creates fairy wands for the girls

And we ended the day with a drive to Denver to celebrate our oldest daughter's birthday with a surprise family dinner at Olive Garden. A Fairy Good Day.


Friday, March 25, 2011

Pancakes, Maple Syrup, and a Road Trip



It has been a busy week after having a week off for spring break. We took a short trip last week-end to Glenwood Springs, a mountain resort in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. More about the weekend in a moment.

Wednesday night we had pancakes for dinner. Sometimes breakfast for dinner tastes pretty good, but this time the pancakes were especially good. Judy at  Daily Yarns 'n More  has been writing about her and her husband's sap gathering and making maple syrup in Wisconson. I have always been facinated with tapping trees to get real maple syrup, so I followed their process as Judy shared each step of tapping the trees to the syrup making. I commented and I asked what she was going to do with all of that syrup. She replied that they would sell it a local farmers markets, and she asked if I would like to buy some. I emailed back asking if she shipped to Colorado and indeed she did. The syrup came this week and we had pancakes for supper. While Mrs. Butterworth's has been a mainstay on our breakfast table, Gentle Heart Farm is absolutely  wonderful. Move over Mrs. Butterworth's, there's a new syrup in town. I've hidden it behind the ketchup and mustard in the fridge; it will be judicioulsy used on special Sunday mornings for breakfast. Thank You Judy for your kindness and generosity.


We drove over to Glenwood Springs to attend a banquet; it was a pretty quick trip over and back, and I wasn't really inspired to take pictures in town. Besides we were busy and didn't leave the hotel to sight- see. Click on the title to read about the historic Colorado Hotel where we stayed. On the way home, however, as we traveled through Glenwood Canyon I was struck by the enginering of I-70 as it winds its way through the canyon. I took out my little Olympus and took a few photos through the windshield of the truck. I thought you might enjoy a bit of a road trip through the Colorado Rocky Mountains and Colorado ski Country.

Interstate 70 East following the Colorado River.  (actually the river flows to the west) West bound traffic travels on the upper level. Building this highway was quite controversial. Folk singer John Denver bitterly fought the expansion of the highway. While it was probably necessary to improve the two lane highway that wound its way through the canyon of the Colorado River, drivers are a bit tense because the canyon walls are not always stable and falling rocks are an ever present danger. It's a scenic drive, especially during the summer.
Vail, Colorado: Condos and more Condos with the ski slopes in the background.


There is still plenty of snow in the Colorado Rockies. One day it melts a bit and the next day it snows again. Some say that the skiing may last until June this year.

Inside Johnson tunnel that burrows through a mountain, another engineering feat. The east bound portal is named after a Colorado governor, while the west bound portal is name for President Eisenhower. The tunnel is at 11, 158 ft. elevation.


Headed down out of the mountains. The highway is steep, a 5%-6% steep grade. Traffic is always heavy. Denver looms in the distance. From Denver, Glenwood is a 3 hour drive.


Now headed north toward home on the Colorado plains. Urban sprawl encroaches on the farmlands where corn and wheat are still grown. Traffic was light that day.

Hope you have a good weekend. Tomorrow I am meeting the little granddaughter (ages 2 and 4) and their mother at the local garden nursery to attend its Fairy Garden event. The little girls are into fairies--so is grandma! 

Friday, March 18, 2011

Desperate for Daffodils

So desperate for spring and the daffodils, I am driven to making paper flowers. I am amazed at the cheer that even that spot of yellow paper brings to the room. In the garden tender shoots here are beginning to poke through the soil. We planted another 50 bulbs last fall, so it will be exciting to see them bloom.


I Wandered Lonely As A Cloud
by William Wordsworth

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Outdid the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such jocund company:
I gazed--and gazed--but the little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude:
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils

From: A Portable Anthology 2n ed.
Gardner, Lawn, Ridl, and Schakel




Video by my iPod Touch--amazing.

Peep Update: They are a week old now with wing feathers. They all seem to be getting along. Four more come  home tonight, giving us an even dozen. The coop is nearly done. The head Chicken Herder finished the roost and the poop deck yesterday. Now we need to secure the dog run in the ground and make it predator proof. Nesting boxes will come later.  They will remain in the house under the heat lamp for another two or three weeks. I am growing accustomed to their little peeps and cheeps and will miss their soft conversations in the background.
Max inspects the roost and poop deck. He seems to approve

Max is quite comfortable in the coop, for it used to be his dog house.
He much prefers the Lazy Boy Reclined these days.

Spring break is almost over. (Prolonged sigh). I've done a dumb thing, joined a health club, so I am off for a swim this morning and probably some tread mill, if the swim doesn't do me in.   Hope everyone has a good week-end.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Two More Peeps Arrive

Jacob holds one of the two newest chicks that arrived today, a Golden Campine

Mo finally discovers the brooder with only moderate curiosity--thankfully.


For Fer @http://www.mygardeninjapan.com/

We must keep our blogging friend Fer at <http://www.mygardeninjapan.com/> in our thoughts. He lives in Tokyo where, as we should now all be aware of, has had a 8.9 earthquake. We pray for his well-being.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Chickens Have Come Home to Roost

Hubby purchased the chicks at Northern Colorado Feeders Supply in Ft. Collins, CO. They are a day old and already have had a busy life: shipped from a hatchery in New Mexico to Ft. Collins, CO, then
traveled to the Garden Spot. He had ordered 10, but not all them arrived, so we have six: two silver laced wyandottes, two brown leghorns, one brown leghorn, and one unplanned choice,  the little white americauna. The other four will be in next week. For now they will live in their little Rubber Maid Brooder in the dining room underneath a heat lamp. So far the 3 cats are pretty much ignoring them. Max, the bird dog, was bit excited when something new came into the house, but the chicks no longer hold interest. Our little grandsons will be here tomorrow night. They will be thrilled. 


Six Little Peeps. Baby chicks are just so cute.


White Americauna

Brown Americauna

Brown Leghorn
Silver Laced Wynandotte

They have settled in nicely, eating, drinking, sleeping--and peeping.







Saturday, March 5, 2011

Saturday

Saturday dawned sunny and bright but ended dull, gray, and cold. The weather forecast calls for 6 inches of snow Monday. In Colorado March is our wettest month, snow or rain. Our oldest daughter was born on the heals of the worst blizzard in 3 decades, March 27, 1975. We desperately need the moisture. March did come in like a lamb, meaning without wind. The saying goes in like a lamb with no wind  and out like a lion with fierce winds, or vice a versa. Regardless, March is our windy month too. I hate the wind.

The Peeps Have Arrived

The Easter Basket peeps, that is. I found the instructions to make these little pom-pom chicks in Martha Stewart's Living Magazine and made the first ones in 2007 as I recovered from a badly broken ankle. Here is this year's edition. You can find the instructions on Martha Stewart.com. They are fun and the kids will love them in their Easter baskets. 




The materials are very simple: a skein of yarn, glass beads for the eyes, a bit of felt for the beak, pipe cleaners for the legs, feathers, and Elmer's. I bought a pom-pom maker at Hobby Lobby. 

The real peeps will be in next week. Can't wait.


Sundance Gets a Pedicure

He stands nice and relaxed, given that he is easily spooked.


Glamor Shot



Hope everyone has good week. Cheers. Ann 

PS My dear friend has appreciated the kind words and sympathies of those who left comments for her mother, Virginia. Thank you for taking a moment to leave kind thoughts.