Sunday, October 28, 2012

On The Way To Our Winter Home-Oct. 2012

First thing--Pudge's finger is healing very well.  You can tell he lost part of it.  It sure was ugly before and after the surgery. 

I should have done this earlier when I could remember more of the details.  I wanted to but it just never worked out.  Now I am struggling to remember some of the stuff.  I will do my best.  I could get out receipts and literature that I gathered about the places we visited but I not going to.  I am just going to try my best. 

We tend to stay off freeways.  Makes for traveling so much more interesting.  I think out of the whole trip we were only on a freeway for about 100 miles of the approx. 2000 that we traveled.

 This is southern Minnesota.  I love pumpkin patches.  I was amazed at how big this one was. 
 Crazy Horse Monument.  Not completed.  They said that it will take about 30 more years.  We went into the museum, watched a film and then took a van to get very close to it.  It was cold and windy.  I did enjoy this very much.  The wind was so bad going through the Black Hills and Custer that when you opened a door it about went right off its hinges.  Could hardly breathe when you were walking into it.  It was incredible.
 Our view out our motel window.  This was in Estes Park, Colorado.  Really like this town.  It is right at the entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park.  We were able to go into the park just a little way because they close it down early Oct. and it does not open again until May.  Elk were wandering around on the golf course in the town.  We really did a good job exploring this town and the outskirts.  It was a lovely fall day so it made everything very enjoyable.
 Late afternoon was when we went into the park.  A herd of elk came out of the woods and walked right in front and along side of us for awhile.  It was really neat.  I found it fascinating that it was about 17 females and 1 male.  I understand that they have harems during breeding season.  There was a younger male that tried to join but the bigger one would always run him off by charging at him.  It was really neat to watch this.
 This was a cliff dwelling on the way to Pikes Peak.  Cannot remember the name.  We had explored cliff dwellings in Mesa Verde Park last spring on our way back to MN.  These were similar but not quite as elaborate.  I could not help but think -- "how did they keep their toddlers out of danger living on these cliffs." 
 Have to climb ladders to get to some of the dwellings.  I liked this.  Something different.  This one wasn't nearly as good as Mesa Verde.  I am really intrigued by this and how they lived.  The museum would go into it but everything is really just a theory.  They do not know for sure.  They can only make an educated guess. 
 Here are the cliff dwellings from the parking lot. 
 At the top of Pikes Peak.  This is a plaque with the song "America the Beautiful."  This is what inspired the composer to write it.  Now I need to say that I am glad I went to the top but I have no desire to do it again.  It was so darn scary.  I had white knuckles and tears in my eyes as we climbed.  I was leaning very much away from the edge.  So frightened was I that I started to hyperventilate.  Then when you get to the top it was so windy and cold that you could not even walk around.  We did the gift shop and looked out the windows.  Both of us were light headed and could sure feel it.  It did not seem all that pretty to me.  I have seen a lot more awesome sights than this.  My thoughts then and now--"Why would anyone want to mountain climb?'  I read Into Thin Air.  Nothing about that sport is appealing.  And I just got a very small taste of it.  I thought what I did was grueling, frightening, and did not feel good.  I know I will never understand why people would want to do that.  BTW-the drive up there did not bother Pudge at all.  He likes mountain driving.  Not me.  On little slip of our tire on those edges and we would have been history.  I can still feel it as I write this.
This is the train that people can take to get to the top.  I considered taking it down.  It was not nearly as scary going down as it was going up. 

Okay--this documenting of our journey will have to be continued in another blog. 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Beginning of Summer, 2012

Once again I am giving this way too much thought and just need to stop thinking and blog.  I am going to try to put pictures in some kind of order but cannot guarantee this program will do it so this could be all over. 

 Fathers Day at Bryan's house.  Pudge with the 4 grandchildren--Travis, Anna, Abby and Jamie.
 Bryan with his beloved dog, Casey.  She is a very crabby, needy dog but she loves Bryan and he loves her (most of the time,)  She does not like me.  She will tolerate me when there is no one else around.  Casey is getting old (14) and has had some serious issues.  Not sure how much longer she will be around.
 Kitchen in Mom's basement is done.  The only thing that is not here is the microwave.  We have since gotten one and installed it over the stove.  I really like this kitchen. We bit the bullet and got granite counters and I am not sorry one bit. The cupboard to the left was Mom's.  I am going to use it for a pantry.  Fits perfect in the niche.  Looks very different from the before kitchen.  The basement apartment is 97% done.  We will be moving in there once house is sold.  There is very little furniture because we want to move our stuff down there.  I do need to take some pictures of the rest of it.  I think I have some during the "fix up."  Maybe someday I will get those posted.
 In June I spent 9 days at Kari and Charlie's watching the kids.  K & C went to the Olympic track trials.  Jamie and Travis building a sand castle.   
 Jamie making a Welcome Home sign for her parents.
 We also went to the Minnesota Zoo.  Bears were really active.  The whole time I was there the weather was hot and their air conditioning was not working properly.  Made for an interesting time there.  Especially at night with the bedrooms being upstairs.  But we managed.
 End of June--Suzette Heinz came from Illinois to visit.  She was a dear friend of my mom's and one of the things she wanted to do was go to the cemetery.  We picked up Gemma and bought some wine.  We are here at the grave toasting mom with a glass of wine while Gemma sang one of Mom's favorite tunes "A Jug 'A Punch."  It was memorable.  Mom would have loved it.

 Beginning of June--Anna's dance recital.  Here I am with my two beautiful granddaughters--Anna and Abby.  These two look so much alike that I have to do a double take to try to determine who is who.  Usually Anna's wears her hair just like Abby's.   Both of these girls make me so proud and happy.  Anybody who is a grandma knows what a thrill it is.  Just in case anybody is wondering Anna is 14 and Abby is 16.  Not sure how that happened.  Seems like day before yesterday they were playing with my American Girl dolls and having tea parties with me.
 Bryan, Jane, Anna, and Abby
 One of our civic duties for the summer.  Neighbor kids and I painted fire hydrants around Willernie.  Leekie, Amber, MyMy, Zoey and Aaron.
 KOA (Keep Old Active) club met at Judy's farm.  We had sand pail lunches that Judy put together.  It is always so much fun with these people.
And Mom's stone is finally in place.  We picked it out shortly after we returned from AZ.  I wanted to do it before we left but that did not happen. Kind of struggled picking it out.  At first I thought I wanted it to match Dad's.  But then it looked so masculine.  So we decided on this realizing that it didn't matter if it didn't match.  And besides anyone that knew my parents knew that they were two very different people.  So it was fitting in my eyes.  And I do like the humming birds because she so enjoyed them in AZ.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

More of My Life

Got to keep posting if I want to get things documented about my life.

September 14, 2012 (Friday)  -- Spent this day in Osceola, Wisconsin with Steve and Cynthia.  Steve is our postmaster here in Willernie so Pudge sees hime every day when he gets the mail.  He invited Pudge to be in a golf tournament with him.  Cynthia & I are big garage sale people so while they were golfing we went to the sales.  But first there was a tour of their big, beautiful home that is out in the woods.  That was great.  What else that was impressive to me was the amount of canning that Cynthia had done.  OH MY GOODNESS!!  Beautiful jars of tomatoes, salsa, spaghetti sauce, pickles.  Now I know how much work that is.  It is very tedious.  She seemed to enjoy doing it.  Their garage is full of equipment and shelves for all of this.  She gets most of her produce from farms close to her and she has a big garden at one of her relatives.  Also there were baskets of pears which were really delicious and apples.  They were waiting to be canned into pie fillings.   Need to mention that she also taps her maple trees in the spring and makes syrup.  Reminds me of Ma Ingalls.

The sales were so much fun.  She is really fun to go with because she is really into garage sales  And the day was beautiful.  I did not get too much. 

Later in the afternoon we hooked up with the guys and had dinner at the golf course.  Then we paid a visit to one of the farms.  I was so impressed and it was so much fun.  The owners were gone and she was given permission to help herself with apples, pears, and tomatoes. 

 This is only a very small part of her canned goods.  I think there is something very pretty about home canning in jars. 
 At the farm--Cynthia is gathering apples in her skirt.
 Loved the pumpkin patch.
 Steve getting apples.
 This farm had so many quaint vignettes that I really liked.  Behind the red building there was a bunch of chickens fenced in.
 Had to have a shot of this huge pumpkin.  I was eating one of the delicious, juicy pears that we had just picked.
I really liked this branch that was laden with apples.  I thought it was so pretty.

Went home that evening with buckets of apples, pears, tomatillos, some tomatoes, beautiful jars of canned goods, and a wonderful loaf of banana bread.