Monday, November 11, 2019

Stepping Out

Our family doesn't have a military background. My father wanted to join the Navy during WW II, but due childhood eye injury, he didn't qualify for naval service, nor would the Army accept him. Instead he worked in a munitions plant in DesMoines, Iowa, where he met my mother. I think he carried that stigma of not being fit for duty for a life time. He never spoke about not serving; instead, he told stories about working in Iowa and other jobs that he had as a chemical engineer. He was smart man with a degree from the University of Denver, a private university. He never understood that he did contribute to the war effort in his own way. He was never really specific about what his job was, but I am sure that with his degree he developed and tested munitions.

Even more since dad didn't go off to war as all of his friends and even his brother did, I respect, appreciate, and honor the men and women who did and do serve our country. That's one reason that I joined Daughters of the American Revolution. Along with it being a service organization, I appreciate the patriotism and honor of country that I was taught as a child. This last week, then, was devoted to honoring our veterans.

I spent several days making cards for the patients at the VA hospital in Cheyenne, Wyoming, only 35 miles north of us. While it was meant to be a group project, others were not able to help, so I spent quality time with myself making cards. I've always made my own greeting cards, so using my Circuit to out the stars and the other tools that I have collected over the years to do scrapbooks, too, I was able to make variety of cards. Making the cards for the veterans certainly was a labor of love.

Monday, my daughter Jennifer and sister-in-law Karen drove to the VA where we met, 
Sam, a representative who introduced us to Taylor, a sweet young woman who is the nursing home's recreational therapist. We gave her 20 packets of Christmas cards that I shared with you in my last post and another 50 cards thanking the veterans for their service. Our guide then took us through the nursing home, including the new addition that is modern, bright, and cheerful. I wish had taken more photos. He talked to us about the VA's services and their future plans. It is a very small facility compared to others across the country, such as one in Denver that just opened and is a multimillion dollar project.

Most notably and astonishing are the demographics of the patients who range in age from 20 to 100 years old, with the younger soldiers the majority of the population, all suffering from various war injuries and illnesses. 

Making and delivering a few cards to show the veterans that they are not forgotten is a very small but honorable pleasure. 

 Since card making and  blogging require much too much sitting, I've been trying to get in  more steps. While I am not a slave to my FitBit, the little device does keep me moving and lets me know if I need to move more. The best way to get my steps in certainly requires longer walks besides going from my chair to get a drink or doing other minimal duties.

I like walking in the fog the best, probably because we don't  have many foggy mornings here.

The Garden Spot takes on a mystical, magical aura with the frost covered landscape.

While we enjoy the fog, we are glad that we don't have to drive in it.

 I knew that morning as I was taking photos that I didn't need many, but the landscape was so ethereal and mystical, I had to take more.

Fall has been messy this year. The trees still have their leaves, now dead and dry, desperately clinging to the branches as if in hopes that life might return. I am hoping that I can convince the Head Garden to put the Christmas lights on the trees this year. It's not one of his favorite chores.

Even dry and dead, summer's blooms bring a certain beauty to the garden.

On another day, the sky was clear, the air was crisp and the wind brutally cold. I hurried that afternoon and finished my walk sooner than planned.

From the guest room window, this morning's landscape with a dusting of snow and 12 degrees.

 If I am not making cards or piddling with a dollhouse, I am working on this afghan for my friend. I am safe to show you because she doesn't follow the blog. I'm working with four colors and doing twenty rows for a more bold look. I wish now that I would have made each band a full skein because I will have yarn left over. Hats and mittens, perhaps.

And finally a grand celebration, Elinore's birthday. Can you believe that she if 13? Her color this year is lime green, so Hank, her horse,  got some nice lime green accessories for show. Can't wait to see him in his green leg wraps and boots with a lime green show halter. 

Instead of buying or even making their girls' birthday cards, I am making them photo album pages. They love the photos that I take of them and the photos don't do much good hiding on my lap top. 

Thank you for joining me today.

I'll be linking with Angie for Mosaic Monday

Thank You to Our Veterans for Their Service and Sacrifices

God Bless America

Sunday, October 27, 2019

A Dusting of Snow

The joy in being a grandmother comes from watching my daughters raise their children with the same values that they were raised with, and sometimes I find my daughters are even more rigorous than we were with them. The other benefit of being the grandmother allows watch by the sidelines and cheer the children on as they pursue their interests.

Such was yesterday as I sat with the other grandmother and watched the girls compete in the last horse show of the season, a fun show that began the Halloween costume competitions. Now, I have to admit that as a mom I was horrible at creating costumes for the girls, so they ended up in the Target plastic ensemble: Big Bird and Strawberry Short Cake.

My daughters do a much better job. Not only did Jen have to dress her daughters yesterday, but three horses too. It was so much fun to watch.

Elinore and Hank were a dragon and a princess. 

Lucy and Mariah were a pirate.

 Lily and Bubba were a rainbow unicorn and were voted the Most Magical.

Hank wore a horse bonnet, designed to keep flies out of the ears, but his were dragon's ears with sparkles.

Lucy and her friend had their own interpretations of a pirate.

Then the gymkhana events began. Because Lily is under 9, her horse had to be led by an adult. Bubba belongs the college student, Katie, a CSU veterinary student who is a neighbor and allows the girls to use her arena. She is kind enough to let Lily ride him. He actually is more horse than what she should be riding, but she is only allowed to walk and trot and Bubba who is actually a trained barrel racer and used in roping events listens to her and with a watchful eye she is learning to ride. Katie got quite a work out yesterday running along side Bubba with his lead line. Thank you, Katie.

Lily was having so much fun.

It was good day.

And today Fall is acting up. The weather people have promised snow for the next four days. We have a dusting of snow here at the Garden Spot. The little water garden in the front entry has a bit of ice on the top. The gold fish are hardy little creatures. The Head Gardener will add a heater--soon, I hope.

The boys are out and about after their warm mash breakfast. 

Some are writing about their lovely fall decorations. Here I am keeping it simple, putting out my Halloween decorations because we've had some company. I purchased the table cloth a few years ago, along with the napkins and for the valance, I used another table cloth that I cut down and hemmed for the valence. 

Outside, the decorations are really simple, like something that wind won't blow away. I had festive autumn leaf wreath on the exterior wall, but the wind carried it away. We are back off the road, so much of fall decor doesn't show from the road. It's pretty much just for me.

Thank you for your kind comments on the cards that we have been working on. I know that the veterans will appreciate them.

Wishing a fine week.

I'll be joining Angie for Mosaic Monday.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Fall Surprises

October finally brought cooler days and a snow storm that blasted through last week along with a hard freeze that finished the garden off. The furnace officially was turned up to a comfortable 72 degrees and then turned down again and then up again. I still like to have the patio door open for fresh air and so that I don't have let the dog in and out.

These cooler mornings often require a quicker warm up, so the gas logs go on with a click of the remote control.

The dahlias took a very long time to come around, finally peaking just before the frost with plenty of blooms ready to open. Perhaps we should have planted them earlier. The Head Gardener gave me 25 for Mother's Day and we waited to plant the. We will dig the tubers and replant next spring, earlier, I hope. I do love them.

With out of state company, we took the customary drive to Estes Park that our guests enjoy so much. Good shopping, great food, and beautiful scenery. I know that some of my followers have been to Estes Park; it is a popular family vacation spot with all of Colorado's natural beauty and is the gate way to Rocky Mountain National Park.  

Along with slow gardens, everything else in nature was slow this year, even the turning of the colors in the mountains. The aspens can put on a real show, but it doesn't take much wind, rain, or snow to ruin them.

Do you see what is playing at the landmark theatre?

Hidden in amongst the trees just off the highway rest a herd of about twenty cow elk, peacefully chewing their cuds while the large herd bull and a smaller bull challenge each other by bulging out their insults. I didn't get very good photos of the elk, but here's one.
When you are photographing wildlife, a bad photo is better than no photo.

Actually the elk rule Estes Park. Perhaps you saw the news story of the woman who got in between two sparing bulls and was attacked. She wasn't injured, but rule #1 in Estes: Keep Away From the Elk, especially during rut when the bulls challenge each other as they round up their harems.

Most likely travelers will see the Rocky Mountain Big Horn sheep, too, along the side of the highway. Here is a small herd of ewes and lambs. They come down the mountain and cross the road to drink from the river below.

Just around the next curve right at the side of the road, lucky travelers will see the rams, taking their afternoon meal roadside. Calm, more concerned with munching grass and weeds than than how well they photograph. Still they are comfortable around people as long as they keep their distance. 

Back home there is garden work to do. At the edge of the newly laid sod, we planted 30 multicolored tulips. Can't wait to see them flourish in the spring.

The National Daughters of the American Revolution has declared October 11 a national day of service with chapters across the country doing good things for their communities. Our chapter decided to make holiday greeting cards for the wounded soldiers at the VA hospital in Cheyenne, WY. I offered my home along with my scrapbook stash to make holiday greeting cards. We assembled them in packets of three that contained on hand crafted card, one blank holiday note card, and one generic holiday card with a seasonal message. One card in each packet was stamped with the USPO's current commomerative stamp honoring military service dogs. We included a tag that read, "Made just for you by the Overland Trail Chapter, NSDAR and our address.

We made 30 cards, so we have 30 three-card packs to deliver to the VA hospital.

We signed the back side of the tag with, "Thank you for your service" and our name.

As we worked, we brainstormed mored ideas and decided that we should do Valentines for the troops. I've already started planning for our January card making party.

 Every now and then we have a visitor that takes a moment to relax in the shade of the apple tree: A typical mom supervising her fledglings as they learn their independence. 

The foundation for Elinore's rabbitery, now officially named White Rabbit Lane Rabbitery, grows with her first litter of babies

Her Grand Champion Hymlian female, Reign, finally gave birth to the sweetest tiny little babies. She's been taking photos of them each week. Here they are two weeks old. Tomorrow they will be three--I think--or is it four?

She handles each one every day, inspecting them to make sure that each of the three babies is eating, growing, and gaining weight.

And then one day there were four.

She is not quite sure how she missed #4, but there it is.

I think that catches you up on what's going on at the Garden Spot. I must share one more thing: Our grandson Jacob. You have watched him grow up here. He's now sixteen and has his first car and a job, at Village Inn as a host/dishwasher doing whatever he is told to do. Oh my where have the years gone?

Thanks so much for visiting.

Stepping Out

Our family doesn't have a military background. My father wanted to join the Navy during WW II, but due childhood eye injury, he didn...