Sunday, December 15, 2019

Remembering the Fallen

With a pot of beef soup on the stove and a very large batch of gingerbread dough chilling, I finally have a moment to write.

Winter will mark its official presence in just a few days with an already very good start to the season. If we don't have another storm, there will still be snow on the ground for a bit of a white Christmas. Still, it is cold, even with the sun shining. We barreled through a heavy storm yesterday as we made our way home from a day in town, which I'd like to share with you because it was a most worthy day.

Wreathes Across America

I first heard about Wreaths Across American on the evening news a couple of years ago.  Worcester Wreath Company, formed in 1992, ended the season with an excess of wreaths. As the story goes, not wanting the wreaths to go to waste, the owner decided to adorn the graves at Arlington Cemetery with the left over inventory. Now, a national organization, Wreaths Across America places wreaths on as many military graves as possible across the country. You can read more about the how program to supply the wreaths began:

Saturday morning, December 14, I dressed in my winter clothing and enlisted my husband to go with me to Grandview Cemetery in Ft. Collins, CO, to help place wreaths on 1,100 graves of fallen soldiers. Today's mosaic shows the event of the morning which began with singing the National Anthem and listening to our speaker for the ceremony giving a message on the importance of remembering the fallen heroes. The local ROTC raised the American flag and the flag honoring the POWs and MIAs. A local Boy Scout troop presented the flags of the five branches of the military. Near the end of the ceremony, ROTC bag pipers played "Amazing Grace" and the ceremony ended with a Veteran playing "Taps." Then it was time to place over a thousand wreaths. The small crowd that had come to participate were finished placing wreaths in a matter of minutes.

Each grave that would receive a wreath was marked with a purple flag. When the wreaths were all placed over 2,000 purple flags were left marking graves that did not receives wreaths. Next year's goal is to provide an additional 2550 wreaths to grace every soldier's grave.

Our Daughters of the American Revolution sold 160 wreaths and some of us were there to place them. The mosaic shows Julie Beckman, a new member to our chapter who also coordinates the Wreaths Across America project for the cemetery and my sister-in-law, chapter regent. 

Dozens of boxes fill with wreaths had already been distributed and waited to be empty.

We are a small chapter with some members who live out of state, some who live out of town, and some who are not able to venture out in the cold. So here we are: Carol Sue, Jennifer, Sue, Julie, Karen, and me. 

The wreaths can be ordered year round just by going to the website and placing your order. Local organizations as members of WAA will earn $5. back on each wreath that they sell, making the project a nice fundraising project. 

It was a worthwhile morning and I didn't even really feel the cold.

Here are home the decorations are up, yet the house is still disorganized. I just can't seem to get into full gear this year. I debated on which tree to decorate: my less than traditional pink one or the tree that has all of the vintage ornaments, representing the family though the generations. I decided on the pink tree, only this year it is not pink since my two strands of pink light failed. I bought the new warm LEDS, only to realize that they are more yellow than warm. I still love my pink tree, especially at night.

Outside it looks seasonal.

I wanted the trees lit this year, but that probably won't happen now the weather has turned bad. In years past, the weather was mild so we could wait to put up the lights until around the 1st of December. This year it's been cold since before Thanksgiving, so no lit trees. I'll enjoy the neighbors.

My dear neighbor works at a local landscape nursery. In the summer she plants the baby poinsettias and just before Christmas she delivers some to her friends and neighbors. I was astonished when she said to pick three from the back of her loaded SUV. Thank you, Carol. I love them.

Well, it is time to make gingerbread men and moose and maybe a horse or two for the girls. 

What will you be baking?

I'll be linking with Angie for Mosaic Monday. See you there.

Thanks so much for visiting.

Monday, December 2, 2019

Big Boy 4014

Not much happens in our little town located at crossroads that carry travelers north from Denver to Wyoming or east from Ft. Collins, CO to Nebraska. With a population of--I'm guessing--around 1,500 and with farming the major business here, we refer to Ault as a Unique Little Town with a reputation as a bedroom community, where residents sleep  and work elsewhere, commuting as  my husband and I did for years. There's not much here anymore. Our grocery store is now a place of worship and the most exciting store in town is Blooms and Heirlooms, my favorite antique store and my other favorite store,  Jen's Antique Mall, so when a rare train comes hooting and a hollering through town, we go down to the tracks to see it.

A small crowd gathered between the highway and the railroad track on one of our coldest days of the season  to greet this mammoth 1940s steam engine as chugged through town on its way home to Cheyenne Wyoming. Aptly named, Big Boy weighs 1.2 million tons, is 137 feet long, and boasts a massive 6,000 horsepower. This particular engine was used to push other trains over the steep Sherman Pass in Wyoming. It was restored to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the first transcontinental railroad. This day it was nearing the end of its journey.  You can read more about this train of the past and if you are in Cheyenne, Wyoming, you can go visit it. In fact there are four such engines in other cities, perhaps one near you.

Want more information on Big Boy 4014's trip? Visit this link: You can also read more about the engine by visiting this Union Pacific link:

I really didn't get very good photos of the train because the camera was slow to focus and the train sped through town.

 Look closely in this photo and you see the entourage of train chasers that probably followed the train across the prairie clear into Wyoming, about a 35 mile drive.

Pure Massive Power

The first major storm of the season left plenty of snow behind which was whipped by the wind and redeposited it in other spots, leaving some bare. We stayed home that Saturday because the ground blizzard had made travel dangerous impossible. 

We indeed did have a white Thanksgiving. Even the little water garden in the front courtyard looked like a winter wonderland sculpture.

 Inside, I keep myself occupied. This is my current project that I will finish tonight, a sweet beanie in patriotic colors that I will donate to our DAR chapter's silent auction to raise funds for the two Native American schools that we support.

When I need a break from chores and crocheting, I've been putting up Christmas decorations in one of the dollhouses, my Texas Farmhouse. I haven't done a thing in real life yet. Have you?

Packages are arriving. I don't think the family that lives here is too worried about porch pirates. 

The outside lights aren't up yet. Look closely and you will the tangled mess on the ladder.

 Thanks for stopping by. I always enjoy your comments.

I hope you join us there.

The Last Hollyhock

(Note: if the font in Safari is too small: press option command + keys to zoom your Safari screen.)  Here in Northern Colorado, we are all f...