Tuesday, October 6, 2015

An Autumn Hike

 It's raining here right now but yesterday was sunny and a tad cool, just right for a hike in the foothills to see if the sumac had turned red yet.

I've always loved the golden colors of autumn in Boulder.  As we visited here over the years we often came around the Columbus Day holiday when the weather was usually perfect and the colors were autumnal.  

At the start of our hike yesterday Ben and I walked through lovely golden grasses.

We both had cameras.  Ben likes to take pictures of me!

The leaves on some of the bushes were turning.  I loved this coppery color and asked Ben to take a photo with his good camera.

Near the end of the hike the trail is lined with sumac, with leaves that turn a fiery red around this time of year.  They weren't quite at their peak, but they were still putting on an amazing display.  


Even the back sides of the leaves were beautiful.

Ben even likes taking pictures of me taking pictures!  

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Disney Photographs

I was startled when Jean and I were greeted at the entrance to the Magic Kingdom with a big orange Mickey Mouse wreath last Thursday.   Orlando was so hot and so humid that the Autumn and Halloween decorations in the Magic Kingdom seemed very out of place.   I arrived back in Boulder on Friday afternoon where the temperatures were in the high 60's and the humidity in the low 20's and the crisp cool air declared that autumn was arriving.  

One of the things I needed to do this weekend was the photo challenge for my online photograph class.  Since the weekend itself was pretty busy I looked to the photos I had taken at Disney and used a couple of them to experiment with the challenge rather than shooting new images.  The challenge was to use a "Dreamscape BW-Color" technique in PhotoShop.   Using it, this photo....

 ...turned into this.  Cool!

It was fun to review photos from my trip.  I especially liked this one of flamingos in Animal Kingdom....

...and this one, taken on a boat on the lake at sunset our last night. 

The professional photographers on the grounds near the big sites at Disney were very gracious about taking our picture with our cell phone cameras.  That's how we got this one of me and Jean by Cinderella's Castle, a nice momento of our wonderful time together.   

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Having Fun in Disneyworld

It rained most of the morning yesterday when Jean and I were in Animal Kingdom, which has mostly outdoor rides and attractions.  We thought about changing our plans and going to a park with inside attractions but then read online that the animals on the Safari ride are livelier and thus more interesting to see in the rain and that the rain would keep many visitors away so the lines would be much shorter.   This is exactly what happened.

With no wait for the Safari ride we rode it twice.  The first time we saw three lions on Pride Rock and one of them was roaring.  This is very unusual and made the driver cry out "Now there's a family portrait for you!"   Can you spot them in the photo?  It was the female on the bottom rock who had been roaring.  

On the second ride the elephants were on the move, walking along the river in a leisurely and majestic way which was beautiful to see.

After Animal Kingdom we went to Hollywood Studios where I summoned up the courage to ride the Rocking Roller Coaster.  It is fast, accelerating from 0 to 57 mph miles in 2.8 seconds!  After the first five seconds I realized I was still alive, told myself to keep breathing, and actually enjoyed the rest of the ride.  I felt so brave that I went with Jean on her favorite ride, The Tower of Terror.  It has big drops which scare me but I decided to go anyway.  The woman seated on my left was also nervous and as the ride started I impulsively grabbed her hand and we hung on tight together.  I grabbed Jean on my other side and made it through the first drop! I knew there were at least three drops but the number can  change depending on the ride.  We had five drops and by the last one I had gotten used to my stomach lurching and was actually enjoying myself. 

In the evening we went to Epcot and enjoyed the Food and Wine Festival.

Today we made memories of another type, taking a fishing excursion together out on the lake by the Wilderness Lodge.   We caught a lot of fish and had a lot of fun while Dave from "Let's Go Fishing" took care of such things like driving the boat, hooking the bait, getting bait off the boat canopy (don't ask how it got there!) and unhooking a baby alligator from a fishing line (again, don't ask!)

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Gone Fishing

I'm writing this while on vacation with my wonderful sister, Jean;  can you guess where?

This is the view from our window at the Wildwrness Lodge in Disneyworld.  It's raining and thunderstorms are predicted to rain all morning. But we're heading out to Animal Kingdom anyway in the hopes that the safari will be open and the animals more lively in the rain.

The news from the homefront is that the pendant lights were installed over the sink yesterday....

...and the glass was put in the cabinet doors.

The coffee maker has been moved into the kitchen and that is good.

Well, Jean and I are off to see what fun we can have in the rain today.  Jean says that in all her trips to Disneyworld ---15! (And still not enough, she says) -- it's never rained very long.  So we have some hope.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Spikey Shows Off the New Countertops

I'm busy this morning getting ready for a sew day with a local Quilts of Valor group, so I'll let Spikey show you around the new countertops.  He seems to like them.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Big Changes

Look at this beautiful big book case which was installed in my studio yesterday!  It was ordered for the kitchen, to serve as a pantry next to the fridge.  But when the fellows went to put it in place the other day they found it was slightly damaged and declared it not perfect enough for the kitchen.  The company said it would send a new one and we should keep the old one so I immediately claimed the damaged one.  

Luckily for me, the damaged part fit up against the corner and isn't noticeable in the new location.  

I am thrilled to have it.  Lately I've been wanting to separate the sewing part of my studio from the office part, so once the new shelves were in I rearranged my work tables so I now have the sewing area on the left and the office on the right, conveniently adjacent to the shelves, some of which hold the files and supplies I need when I'm working at my computer. 

Here's a picture of older arrangements so you can see the difference. 

Today is a big day in the kitchen.  The counter tops are being installed, which means the sink can go in, and then all the appliances can be reinstalled.  By the weekend we should have a working kitchen again.  Yeah!  Of course, there will be lots of details to finish but at least we can cook again.

We're putting in granite, white and gray for all the regular height counters and a black leathered piece for the raised counter between the kitchen and dining room.  Here's how things looked this morning.  Watch this spot to see what happens!


Oh, and did I mention that the roofers are here?  Yes, on top of all this kitchen work we're putting a new roof on the house.  Might as well get it all over with at once!

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Never Say Never

On Friday night I was at the Boulder High football game, which I'm fairly sure is the first football game that I've ever attended.  Back in the late 60's when I was in high school football wasn't cool, at least with my art/drama/music crowd.  No one attended the games; it just wasn't done.   And forget football in college.  If I had any interest in school sports it would have been basketball, but again, sports wasn't where it was at for me.  Ditto for Ben, who ended up at the Friday night game with me.  Our lack of interest in team sports was one of the things we had in common when we met in the 70's.  

So why were we spending a beautiful evening at a football game?  To support this fellow, who is not only in the Wind Ensemble this year but in Pep Band, which plays at the home football games.   Here he is eating a slice of pizza before the game, all dressed up in the school colors of purple and gold.

The band and orchestra parents run the home game concession stands, earning about $5000 a year that goes directly to the school music program.  So Ben and I volunteered to help at last night's game.     Ben was put in charge of pizza and nachos while I tended the hot dogs and made coffee and hot chocolate.  We could hear the band from where we were and I thought they sounded pretty good.  (This photo doesn't show the whole band, but you can see Paul in the middle.)  

We didn't get to see much of the game, but it was kind of fun to be there.   It was Homecoming on a pretty early fall evening, Boulder had a big win, and there were fireworks after the game.

As we left the stadium I couldn't help thinking that I never thought I'd be at a football game.  You never know where parenting will take you!