Friday, November 8, 2019

Friday Feelings

On this beautiful Friday morning I'm feeling....

... proud of Paul.  His band, The Fists of the Proletariat, opened for Policulture at the Fox Theater here in Boulder last night.   It was great fun to hear them and be part of the scene.  The band has been together for a couple of years now and I've so enjoyed watching them develop as musicians and evolve as a group.

... physically tired.  Earlier this week we worked hard to clean up the house after the recent snowstorms.  I vacuumed and washed the wood floors and Ben tackled the cars.  Snow, salt, and mud make a big mess, and it felt good to be clean again.  

Then I decided it was high time we got a tall bookcase for the corner of the TV/guest room, so in a spurt of energy Wednesday we picked one up from Office Depot, put it together, and got it into place.  Then, while Ben decluttered the garage and made a run to CHARM (Boulder's Center for Hard to Recycle Materials) to drop off broken small appliances, Styrofoam, plastic bags, cardboard boxes, and other miscellaneous things filling up the garage, I figured out what to move out of my studio and into the new bookcase.  In the process I ran across stuff that simply needed to get out of the house, like old gift wrap, silk fabric scraps, and clothes that I'll never wear.  Processing all that "stuff" takes energy!  But it sure feels good to have it all out of here and my studio space liberated.  

... relieved that Turbo is now four months old, the magic age where he's finally had all his vaccines and is free to get out and explore his world without fear of getting the dreaded Parvovirus.  Yesterday he took his first walk up at Chautauqua park, which was a real milestone.  

It also means that he can now safely meet other dogs and go to Puppy classes for formal training.  It all tires a pup out!  

... feeling thankful for being able to live in beautiful Boulder and to appreciate the large and small wonders of nature here. 

Wednesday, October 30, 2019


We had two snowstorms in three days, leaving us in a beautiful winter wonderland.  The first was Sunday afternoon into Monday morning, which gave us eight inches.  We had a break Monday afternoon and evening, but then it snowed all day yesterday and left another five inches.  Along with the snow came some very low temperatures.

When I took Turbo out at 6:45 a.m. today it was 7 degrees.  It's been a snowy and bitter cold few days.

Here's a photo I took mid-day yesterday, during a break in the snowfall.  It snowed enough since then that this morning Turbo didn't want to go down the steps to do his business, and it was cold and dark enough that I wasn't inclined to pick up the snow shovel.   We ended up going down the front walk which Ben had shoveled as he left to go to the climbing gym even earlier this morning.

Here's the little fellow yesterday.  This was his first time walking while snow was falling, and he took it all in stride.  So many things are still brand new to him, and having cold white stuff come down from the sky on him was just another new thing to wonder at.   

Here's a few photos taken at various times during the past few days.  The snow sure is pretty, isn't it? 

We spotted this Halloween dragon while we were out delivering Meals on Wheels on Monday and thought he was pretty cool. 

Speaking of Halloween, these two photos were taken Monday morning.  Now these pumpkins are buried under the snow.  

The schools were open with a two hour delay on Monday, but they had a full day yesterday, though CU closed its campus at noon and the city closed its offices at 2:00.  There's another two hour delay today, probably more about the temperature than the snow.  I see that it's now 6 degrees; how did we lose a degree in the last hour? 

Living with an energetic puppy during three days of cold and nasty weather has been a challenge.    Anytime Turbo went outside he ended up in our tiled bathroom where he was toweled off and dried with the hair dryer, so instead of playing outside we spent a lot of time in the house.  Turbo's favorite indoor activities currently include chewing the rug and and practicing his "counter surfing."   To keep him busy we played fetch, gave him a variety of chew toys,  and did a lot of training.  This photo was taken when That Handsome Dog Gus came over and Paul ran through the basic commands of sit, down, shake, and Paul's favorite which is "Circus Dog" (both front paws hooked over Paul's arms).   I love how they are watching Paul so intently.

Still, it's a good thing Turbo is so darn cute because he has to be supervised constantly.  We often end up crating or leashing him up for short periods so we can get other things done.

I was able to find time to get the two holiday runners and the wall hanging basted together and even started quilting them.   I also did some design work on a wall hanging I have underway showing a European hillside town by a lake.  That really made me feel good!

Recently I found this quote from Willie Nelson:  I think I need to keep being creative, not to prove anything but because it makes me happy just to do it."  Sure rang true to me.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Five Things That Made Me Smile

 1. We've had a stretch of lovely days, crisp but sunny, with lots of autumn color.   Today was fairly unscheduled for me, which I always enjoy.  Ben came back from his early morning visit to the climbing gym with some friends and we all visited over a casual breakfast, I had a long phone chat with my friend LeeAnna, did some errands, and had a late lunch at a sub shop with Ben.  All very pleasant, and the evening promises a short training session with Turbo, a good home-cooked meal here and some reading by the fire. 

2.  The forecast is for a snowfall tonight of three to seven inches, which is one reason why I'm looking forward to a cozy night at home.  (These pleasant evenings are known in our friends Ray and Paula's house as "fuzzy slipper evenings," which I think is cute and descriptive.)  There's something about a forecast for snow that always makes me excited!  This afternoon while we were out, we spotted the snow clouds coming in over the Flatirons. 

3.  Whenever it snows we try to have a special treat for breakfast, so at the market today I picked up a thick slice of zucchini bread and two pistachio biscotti to have with our coffee in the morning.  Hmm..good.  And thinking about winter weather comfort food reminds me how I made Guinness Pie last weekend on a blustery evening when we had some friends over for dinner.  It's basically a beef stew made with two bottles of Guinness beer and topped with a rich pastry.  Delicious and well worth the effort to make.  You can find the recipe here.  Don't fret about the crust, just make it. You can see from the photos that mine didn't look anything as pretty as the one in the NYTimes, but we all snarfed it down anyway.   

courtesy New York Times

4.  Both Turbo and Sheba and doing well, and that brings me happiness! Mind you, I didn't say that they were doing well together.  They mostly ignore each other.  But each are thriving and very fun to have around. 

Turbo is now 13 weeks old, is learning some puppy manners, and thinks everyone he meets is his new best friend.  Which they seem to be, as they instinctively respond to how cute and (usually) calm he is.  Paul suggested that we find him a fall bandanna and I couldn't resist a new orange Halloween toy. 

Sheba still loves her hideaway in the basement where no dogs go, and sneaks up to our bedroom every afternoon to snuggle into our deep covers.  She parks herself there for the night, silently gliding out and back down to the basement every so often to visit her litter box, and then slipping back up, usually without Turbo spotting her.  

She loves to sleep on Ben's chest and while he was away on a climbing trip recently tried without success to sleep on my head and face; not something I can handle since I am allergic to cats.  She was really glad when he came back home, and so was I!  

5.  Supervising and enjoying a puppy has made it hard for me to concentrate on making original fiber pieces, but it has given me the time to work on several traditional works.  At the area Quilt-a-Fair in September couldn't resist a "kit" to make a Christmas wall hanging.  Kits are one-stop shopping, complete with a photo, detailed instructions and all the fabric needed to make a particular quilt.  Although kits are extremely popular with quilters, I've only bought one other before this one.   I generally like to figure out my own designs and pick my own fabrics.  But I fell in love with this one and I've been having a lot of fun with it.  It's been easy and very satisfying to find small segments of time while dog-watching and make a unit here and there.  So easy that I not only made the wall hanging but used the scraps and extra coordinating fabric that I bought at the same time to design and make two table runners.  I can't show you those since one is going to be a holiday present for my sister, but here is a photo of the wall hanging.   

Pattern and fabrics designed by Bonnie Sullivan, Maywood Studios

One of my goals today is to get all three prepped for quilting.  That requires cutting the backing and batting to the correct sizes and basting the three layers together.   This may not happen today since it's already 5:00 but who knows-- maybe we'll get the full seven inches of snow tonight and have a good excuse to hunker down and quilt tomorrow.   I can always dream, can't I?

Linking to my friend LeeAnna's "I Like Thursdays" at Not Afraid of Color

Monday, October 14, 2019

A Puppy's Life

Our new puppy, Turbo, is now three months old and the world is beginning to open up to him.  On our little walk yesterday he stopped short as the wind suddenly picked up and lifted the autumn leaves up from the ground into a swirling whirlwind.  As we watched I realized that this was the first time he had seen swirling leaves.

It's a world of discovery out there if we take the time to notice and appreciate it.

We had our first snowfall last Thursday and it was exciting for all of us.     

Ben was away and I was on snow removal duty so I didn't have much time to take photos or videos, but I did manage this cute one. 

The snow was preceded by a 70 degree drop in temperature, from a high of 83 degrees on Wednesday afternoon to a record breaking low of 13 degrees late Wednesday night.  As you can imagine, this wrecked havoc on our plants.  A freezing rain coated most plants with ice, after which we received three and a half inches of snow.

Knowing what was coming I took some last photos of our lovely blossoms.

But the the frozen leaves had a beauty of their own.

The raised railroad tie beds in our backyard had just been replaced with stone ones and the yard was still quite messy with new sod and loose soil.  As Turbo played in it, he got quite dirty and a bath was clearly in order.

Days of such adventure result in a happily tired dog!

Linking to Mosaic Monday at Letting Go of the Bay Leaf. 

Monday, October 7, 2019

On the Fowler Trail

There are many wonderful trails here in the Boulder, Colorado area and it's easy to overlook one of the most pleasant, the Fowler Trail in Eldorado Canyon State Park.  A short drive out of town, it contains a couple of challenging hikes, world-class rock climbing, a beautiful mountain stream, and the short, easy, and very scenic Fowler Trail which offers spectacular views of the canyon's amazing rock walls.

What more could you ask on a beautiful fall day when time is short but the call of the outdoors is strong?

After driving quite a way into the canyon and finding a parking space, we set out on the gentle incline which gradually took us up above the canyon floor.  We passed the junction for the difficult Rattlesnake Trail and continued on our way.

Soon we were treated to views of the great walls of the canyon and we stopped to look for teams of rock climbers.  Can you spot them?    Look for the red t-shirt in the right photo.

Ben has climbed on some of these walls over the years and we enjoy spotting and commenting on the climbing. 

Since the path runs right by the canyon, some caution is advised, even for hikers.

In addition to wall climbing Eldorado has good "bouldering," where climbers attempt to scale a large boulder without ropes.  When they fall or jump down, they land on thick pads that they've hauled to the boulder, earning them the nickname "Pad People.'

Once we walked by the beautiful canyon walls we headed down a pretty path to the end of the park.  I love the stroll through this lovely little area almost as much through the canyon.  

The stone walls are particularly impressive.   Ben's trail maintenance work has given us a renewed respect for what it takes to build and maintain such improvements.  

There was a small stand of sumac in this area and other interesting plants to admire.

At the park boundary we stopped to read the signs.  

When we reached the park boundaries we turned back towards the car, again passing through the breathtaking canyon.

Here's the view towards the eastern plains.  Can you see the person high up on the buttress, apparently strolling around without a rope?   I sure hope Ben never does that.  Well, what happens in climbing stays in climbing, and there are some things I'd rather not know!

Linking to Mosaic Monday at Letting Go of the Bay Leaf.