Wednesday, October 20, 2021

The Windmill

Hello! Gee I don’t know why, but ever since returning to Texas I seem to be caught up in a whirlwind! There just aren’t enough hours in the day. For a retired person I am way too busy… Today was the kind of busy I like. Spent the morning with my Art Special Interest Group. We had an escorted tour of the art installations at a high end shopping area.

The shops at Clearfork are built on what was The Edwards Ranch a large cattle ranch that was here before Ft. Worth was. Actually Ft. Worth grew up around the ranch. So to decorate the shopping area with art…

what would be more appropriate than a working windmill? In order to make a windmill a work of art it was covered with colorful plexiglass.There is a interesting story connected with it’s installation.

You see Neiman Marcus was the first store to open in the center. It is legendary in Texas…a very very high end store. They did not want construction in front of their store, which was already busy catering to their wealthy clientele. So, they came to an agreement that they would only work installing the windmill at night. The artist Tom Fruin, two workers, the art curator who was our tour guide today and her father worked three dark cold February nights installing the windmill. She said they were freezing and her Dad said he had not been this uncomfortable even when he was a soldier in Vietnam! All of this gave me a new respect for this colorful piece of art.   The sculptor Tom Fruin has many SCULPTURES YOU MAY have seen the one near the Brooklyn Bridge in NYC. To read more about him go HERE

Friday, October 15, 2021

A Day At The Spa



Aww, a day at the spa. A full day of being pampered. I have written about this before on this  page. It was the last time I was gifted a full day at a spa here in Ft. Worth. Why this subject? Well I am developing  a Christmas list, mainly for my hubby who is always at a loss as what to buy me.

Although I don’t think I will list this particular gift. For some reason these places intimidate me, which is not how you are supposed to feel when you are supposedly being pampered. Maybe it stems from 
my very first spa visit over thirty years ago. It was such a catastrophe that it was almost funny.

You see my husband gifted me a day at the most exclusive spa in Houston (where we lived at the time). A full day that started out with a facial…Things we’re going great until the the lady started drilling me on what products I used on my face. She then tried to sell me every expensive  product she was using.

 Next was the pedicure. Since I am a chatty person I started visiting with the lady working in my toes. It was difficult to get her to engage. She finally snapped at me and said “ most of the ladies sleep when I do this”. I felt like that was my cue to shut up. I think that  lunch followed. No memories of that.

Time for the manicure. The nail lady had hardly started  when she cut my finger. A bad enough cut that it was bleeding. …and wouldn’t stop. She seemed perturbed and finally said “I can’t do your nails unless you stop bleeding”. Hmm shame on me for doing that. She suggested I go on to get my hair done and return afterwards.


Time to get my hair cut and styled. I guess the hairdresser was good at what she does, because the customer before me was some local celebrity. She couldn’t stop talking how honored she felt to do so in so’s hair. The whole time she worked on me she was talking about said celebrity to the hairdresser at the next station. I am not sure she ever looked at me, and I was getting nervous how she could cut my hair with her face turned in the other direction.

Well my glamour day was finally over. Wait, wasn’t I supposed to go back for the manicure. No way, I headed for the door and never looked back..

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Conversations With Alexa

 

Do you see her? She is innocently sitting on the table beside my favorite chair. It’s an Amazon Alexa. She was a Christmas gift a few years ago from one our daughters. I feel sure that most everyone is familiar with her (it?).. If not she is a virtual assistant. Some people prefer the Google Assistants and others just rely on Siri. I do use Siri for directions. I have navigation as one of the accessories in my car, but find it much easier to hold the home button on my phone and say “Siri take me to said address”  and she gives me clear verbal directions every time. …but back to the subject…Alexa. 
For the longest time she sat in a box in the closet, until I decided we  needed to fire her up. We have so enjoyed giving her commands like play “James Taylor.”or Tom’s favorite use for her which has to do with sports. You get an instant verbal answer to questions like  “who is leading in the US. Open or what was the final score of the TCU football game?” She  (Alexa) has so many more capabilities but we just don’t use them…or to be honest don’t know how to.

Oh my this is getting long. My intent was to ask if you have a virtual assistant and if you do are you concerned that she or it is invading your privacy by listening to you all of the time? The virtual assistants are only supposed to activate if you preface your question or command with their name like “Alexa or Hey Goggle. The whole purpose of this post was to tell you about how crazy my Alexa has become…or how she is acting out…but if  you are still with me  I’ll address that in another post…..
Have a wonderful day..Janey

Friday, October 8, 2021

Should I Have?

 When I think back on the many summers we spent in Colorado I think of a verse from the song  My Way  by Frank Sinatra. The one that goes “regrets, I’ve had a few” One of those regrets was not going here:

Click on picture to enlarge
The Crystal Mill perched on the rocky banks the Crystal River since 1892
is undoubtedly the most coveted photograph in all of Colorado.

 This  fabulous picture was taken (recently) by the very the talented photographer Michael Underwood. Michael has a gallery in Lake City, CO a place not to be missed if you are ever there.

So why on our many outings did I not go there? Well with all of it’s incredible beauty it is also incredibly difficult to get to. Hidden away just fives miles east of the small town of Marble,CO  it’s only reached by a treacherous, rough, narrow one lane road where even with a 4x4 vehicle you are advised to also have high clearance. If you know me at all you know that I shy away from such roads….
So here I am also reminded of another song this one written Beverly Knight .

“Woulda Shoulda Coulda”
but  didn’t…and wish I had.

*You can follow Michael on his FaceBook Page
Michael Underwood Photography


Thursday, October 7, 2021

A Before and After

 My daughter who lives in North Carolina bought a condo a couple of years ago. She has two small daughters so she would have preferred a place with a backyard..

I
This was the only “backyard”the condo had.. but she didn’t let that be a deal breaker. 
The small front yards are cared for by the homeowners association, but not the back patio which would be her responsibility.. Oh dear what should a busy professional, who is also a single Mom do? She considered her options, and realized that if she put in new grass…she would have to care for it. So she pulled the sad looking bushes out of the flowerbed,
 
and had fake grass installed in one whole end of the patio.
With the addition of a comfy outdoor sofa, rug 


and  an umbrella which not only provides shade but lights at night, it became a win win!
Great job Stacy!

Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Copycat?

 Hi there. I know, I have been absent lately…..Trying to get settled back in Texas….

We have been continuing our morning walks, although we have to go really early to beat the heat. I am wondering where Fall is? Seriously these ninety degree days are beginning to frustrate me!



We did walk past this pretty pot on someone’s walkway, and I snapped this somewhat lousy picture.

So, I hear imitation is the sincerest form of flattery…..right?

This is my attempt. My garden center didn’t have any English Ivey so I just bought a plant that trails over the edge. Don’t worry, the neighbor I copied is not nearby. We have been walking three miles every morning…


So if you know where Fall is will you inform it that I am more than ready! Thanks!

Maybe the heat I’d affecting my font. It changes size randomly…it’s not me.

Wednesday, September 29, 2021

South, West or Somewhere In Between?

 Hello friends, I have been absent for awhile. We have been busy getting settled back in Texas.

We are happy to be home but I feel sure we will miss our Colorado house, especially along about June of next year.


I haven’t been out taking any photos..but this caught my eye when I walked by. Southern Living is my favorite magazine. I do enjoy reading the articles but look forward mainly to the recipes. It got me to thinking…Is Texas considered a “southern state”? Yes geographically we definitely are, but Texans don’t like being  grouped with the southern states and there are those that don’t even like being grouped with the western states!…They want Texas referred to as The Lone Star State.something like this: There are the southern states, the western states and the lone star state. Sort of silly isn’t it?

Monday, September 20, 2021

A Welcome Home

 We have made it back to Texas…and wouldn’t you know it…it will be 100 degrees today! Whew!

On Saturday morning though..before it got too hot, my sister Polly  had a beautiful brunch to celebrate me on a milestone birthday.

She served honey salmon on bagels, quiche, fruit etc, etc.

and to be safe we ate outside

in  her very pretty backyard. Several of my friends and neighbors were invited,
and I was delighted that all four of my sisters were able to attend.
Such a special welcome home…thank you Polly


Monday, September 13, 2021

Twenty Five Percent Chance of Rain

 We were chased home yesterday morning (from our walk) by a sudden rain. I was hoping to take some pictures of the changing leaves.


 There was only a twenty five per cent chance of showers….let me tell you it was quite a shower!

Turned into a whole day of occasional downpours.

So I took a picture out the window thinking it would show the changing color of the Aspen trees…not sure that worked though. The flowers are  for the  new  owners who are arriving Wednesday about noon. We 
are departing early morning, so I guess we will pass on the road.We sold the house furnished…which made them very happy, and much easier for us.



We had gone back to the mundane chore of packing when our new neighbors down the hill stopped by to say goodbye and brought us a loaf of sourdough bread. Not only was I pleased by the visit and the bread…but I was astonished that she has already learned to bake at this high altitude (nearly 9,000 feet)!  I love when people feel comfortable enough to just drop by, and gosh we had a nice visit.

Later I glanced out and saw clearing skies and a pretty sunset…not a bad day after all, and maybe this morning we  can finish that walk.

Friday, September 10, 2021

Going in a Circle

 Yesterday morning, we decided that we had grown weary of packing so we headed out for a long drive.

.

Starting at the bottom of the map, we headed north
on  Hwy 149, turning west on hwy 50 at the Blue Mesa Reservoir,


before heading north again on 92 along the north rim of the Black Canyon (a National Park).


We stopped in the tiny town of Crawford for a cup of coffee (which  isn’t on the map ).
It is located just  south of Hotchkiss and only has about 400 residents.


It appears to me that they have consolidated their whole downtown!


We took a shortcut from Crawford up to Paonia a town full of apple and peach orchards, and even a few vineyards.
We had originally planned to head to Redstone,  but  decided to turn east on Kebler Pass and head back…actually going in a circle. Kebler Pass is a dirt road but one worth taking. The views are spectacular,




 with a lot of Aspen trees which are a favorite of mine.



Oops..what is this? Excuse me, we need to get by! Around here you just patiently wait until livestock decides to move over. Kind of an unwritten law that they always have the right of way.



That horse actually belonged to a Sheperd  ..Yes they also graze sheep along Kebler Pass.

Kebler Pass ends at the cute ski town of Crested Butte. From there  hwy 135 will take you south to Gunnison (where we go weekly in the summer for groceries).
If you have followed the map we have circled around and will take Hwy 149 south back to Lake City….where we really do need to get back to packing!

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Oops!

 A big part of the appeal of this area of Colorado is it is a great area for going 4wheeling. That is traveling  around the mountains in a vehicle that has 4wheel drive.

 The area highlighted in blue on the map is called The Alpine Loop. This is a very rugged dirt road through the mountains with one lane traffic in places, and no guardrail. Notice Lake City in the top right hand corner.

It is not for the faint of heart….meaning me. People are getting in and out of their cars constantly to take pictures. . So the local FaceBook page usually has items people have found along the way like sunglasses, wallets, cameras.etc



Yesterday someone found a Border Collie  wandering around up there  alone. So, like a Good Samaritan he brought it down and posted a picture hoping to find its owner.


What he didn’t know is since most of the Alpine Loop is public land it is used by ranchers as summer grazing land for their sheep.


Yep…the dog belonged to the sheep herder and was supposed to be guarding the sheep not  hitching a ride down  the mountain with a stranger.

Oh well…doggie made it back up the mountain and all is well.

Monday, September 6, 2021

Ice Festival

 I have spent a lot of time explaining and showing you what goes on in this little mountain town in the summer. ….but what goes on in the winter? Well there are hundreds of miles of groomed snowmobile trails, a small but fun downhill ski hill, Phil keeps the movie theater open, there are game nights for the locals and the restaurants take turns being open.


Well…what is this?
Yes they even have an Ice Climbing Festival the first week of February.

Cross over that little bridge on the right,



and you will be facing a shear wall of a cliff  on the other side of Henson Creek.


They turn on water faucets at the top 
of the Cliff…flooding it to form ice and the competition  begins!

Climbers wear shoes similar to this,

and using a pick like this, up they go, hopefully with a safety harness.


Surely they don’t do this at night…
Although I did locate this neat picture!
Have you ever done ice climbing?  Maybe it would be fun to be a spectator….not sure..

Friday, September 3, 2021

Ever Seen A Yak?

 First of all I want to thank everyone for the kind remarks on my previous blog…I have decided to keep blogging. It….and most of you have been a bit part of my life for the last ten plus years đź’• So it is difficult to give it up.

Okay back to Yaks. For years we have been driving past a pasture full of Yaks just as we arrive in Gunnison, CO., which is a trip we make almost weekly to the grocery store. I was hoping some of them would be near the road when we passed today,

but they weren’t. 

So this is what they look like.



Meet the Tooles. They own the Bar T Ranch just west of Gunnison, CO.
Seems they don’t mind tourists  stopping by to see their Yaks  ….Now I find this out!
So if you would like to know more about why they have been raising Yaks for seven years now go HERE

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Shocked!

 


That is the reaction we get from family and friends alike when we tell them we have sold our beautiful log home in idyllic Lake City Colorado.
I know, I know, I have spent a lot of energy conveying to you what a wonderful place this little town is….and that hasn’t changed. It is all  of those things…and more.

It would be impossible to list all of the events that have taken place over the thirty plus summers that we have been coming here, but the Fourth of July events would be right near the top.

as would the special events,
 fundraisers,




and yes taking part in the community theater. Tom played the role of the town drunk.


 
Playing host and hostess. Here to a traveling car show.


Speaking of host and hostess…ten wonderful years of being on The Back in Thyme Tea team.

Outdoor events will long be remembered like 4wheeling to the top of the mountain,

and hiking there as well.
Our favorite roles though have been the welcoming committee to hundreds of guests…. friends
and family alike. I simply can’t post all of those wonderful pictures.

So then, why are we doing this? It wasn’t and easy decision. No, neither of us is ill. It is simply time to simplify. Two homes are a huge responsibility.Yes we plan to return on occasion…leasing a place to stay.
I have also questioned If I should continue this blog. My life may not be as eventful as it has been…Although I love sharing my life with my blogging friends❤️….so we will see…With love, Janey