Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Sweet Dreams

Goodnight moon!
There’s an old weather saying: ring around the moon means rain soon. Actually scientists call them halos.  There’s truth to the saying, because high cirrus clouds often come before a storm and these clouds contain millions of tiny ice crystals and can result in this halo effect. The halos are caused by both refraction, or splitting of light, and also by reflection, or glints of light from these ice crystals. The crystals have to be oriented and positioned just so with respect to your eye, in order for the halo to appear.

Afternoon Pick Me Up

Afternoon yoga stretches. Have you noticed how calm, focused, limber, and at peace cats seem to be? ;)

Lunch Break

Quattro Stagioni. It means four seasons in Italian. The pizza is divided into four topping sections. Traditionally, ham, artichoke hearts, mushrooms, and olives. I added arugula, shaved parmigiano and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar to the top.
instructions for dough et al from

Morning Wake Up Call

Good Wednesday Morning! Blueberry pancakes, anyone?

Friday, May 24, 2013

Random Thoughts - Friday Stuff and Happenings

Butt wait!

Is it me or do they all do this on purpose? "Bottom" line is I'll never be an animal photographer.

Now that the silliness is out of the way -  I'll be getting some new items up in my shop next week, so I'm going to go work on that. My newly graduated daughter is back from her road trip - well half of it was a road trip. The driver lost the car keys somewhere in San Francisco, so my daughter had to fly home in order for her to start her internship. With two days under her belt she's ready for a break and wants to see a movie and go out for cocktails and jazz. (The movie is called "Not Today" and  involves the tragic, despicable issue of human trafficking. We'll be ready for a lighter note after that I imagine.) And I was going to skip happy hour this Friday and work into the wee hours tonight. Not.

Happy Friday. Here's a lovely Friday song for you from Pink. Have a great Weekend.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Notes From The Country - City?

This past weekend was college graduation for our university town. In other words, it was craaazzy crowded. We didn't realize of course, because our daughter just graduated the weekend before down the road in Boulder, and we assumed the University graduations here were at the same time. So we found ourselves downtown on Sunday amidst wandering, shell shocked parents clearly from other parts of the Country. We passed one meandering pair pausing on a street corner taking it all in commenting, "It really has a big city feel to it". I just grabbed on to my husband and laughed. Remember, I'm from San Francisco - love big cities - feel at home in big cities - and it always gives me a chuckle to hear other people refer to a town as city-ish  or too crowded. It reminds me that everyone has their own perception of reality. Technically we are a city.... we are "an incorporated municipality, governed by a mayor" ...I refer to us as a town. Tomatoes, tomahtoes...Come with me on a walk. Armed with my new Mother's Day 8 megapixel Iphone, I learned to appreciate my town in a new way... 

First stop was sustenance. In the form of a steak sandwich, salad, and local beer. Sometimes I've just gotta have beef.

We then headed out of the little hub of downtown restaurant, people, and shop activity, and headed through the residential zones. What I love about our town are the multitudes of alleys. Quiet, picturesque, charming, dirt road alleys. Here you can find quirky, old carriage houses from the late 1800's early 1900's, large backyards with wandering chickens, bountiful kitchen gardens. It's like peaking behind the scenes on a movie set.

This little gem has been empty for years and I want it!!

Heading North out of town, we are fortunate to have walking trails and a river.

It's called Cache La Poudre, or Poudre River. Obviously French, it means hide the powder. The name originated with some French traders, a snow storm and some gun powder in the 1800's. Us locals call it the pooter. It flows from the Rockies and heads out East to eventually go where all good rivers go....

We are good with our snow pack this Spring - look at all my snow blog posts from May, we're doing great! with our snow pack, so in another month this baby should be raging!

It's just a pleasant, usually quiet walk aside an ever rushing river

In some places a little more rushing than others. I can almost taste the trout.

Dorothy, we need a scarecrow!

Always something obvious yet magical to observe

There are horses that frequent the path as well. If you don't actually see them, you see the evidence they leave behind. I don't mind.
A little dam slows everything down.
Another thing I love about our town - we still have trains come through - daily. And yes, they hold up traffic, but hey, leave a little early and you won't be stressed. Roll down the window and enjoy the rumbling of the box cars. (note to self)

Sometimes when the river is raging a little too much this path is under water.

Emerging from the serene river walk there are still some fun things to admire. Like old grain mills

And picturesque little feed stores

And wait...we have a Christmas store??? When did that happen??? I just may have to stay here

The town has also been prettying up our alleys in Old Town. They're actually really cool, and many have brightly hand painted pianos that you can just have a sit at and practice your Beethoven's 5th concerto - or chopsticks, whatever you're up for.

This used to be the main post office and now presides over modern art exhibits and a square filled with fountains, families, and music.

After our excruciating long ( ok, it's probably only  2 and half miles at best) walk along the river and round about walk, we ended up back in the center of town at one of our favorite sidewalk cafĂ© restaurants relishing a glass of white wine and listening to a sidewalk band.
Surprisingly great bands with amazing harmonies

...singing over the comforting splash of the Old Town Square fountain

A Colorado cloud on a beautiful temperate Spring day

I have to confess by this time it was mid to late afternoon and I talked my husband into a little shopping - hey I try to support our local businesses! And by then, it was happy hour at our fav place. So after a long above ground outdoorsy day, we descended to a refuge of cool, dim elegance, some new experimental cocktails from Ray and some smart jazz. A perfect way to end a pleasant day admiring the blessings of our surroundings. Welcome to our town.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Notes From The City - Friday Afternoon Tea

One of my favorite, comforting places to have tea in San Francisco is the Japanese tea garden. It is tucked away in Golden Gate Park, and it has been a part of me since childhood. We were fortunate to live within walking distance and my Mother took advantage of all the park has to offer. The aquarium, museums, Exploratorium, music concourse, playgrounds, conservatory, lakes, walking paths, meadows were all familiar destinations. None were so quietly special as the tea garden. We would walk the paths, traverse the traditional Japanese bridge, sit and enjoy the bonsai and all the flowers in bloom, then we would take a break and sit in the tea house, where kimono - laden women would bring us Jasmine tea, rice crackers and sesame, almond, and fortune cookies. We would enjoy this simple tea while overlooking the pond and gardens.

Not only is the tea house still there, but throughout the years they have upgraded their menu. I thoroughly enjoyed not only my Jasmine tea and crackers and cookies this past Spring, I was able to get miso soup and tea sandwiches! I love when things change for the better. :)

We still sit at the little bar overlooking the pond and gardens, and every time I visit now, I feel fortunate to be able to share similar peaceful moments with my daughters as I once did with my Mother.

And I still trekked over the bridge. And no - you don't want to see the picture of me doing it...

Depending on the time of year it can be freezing cold and foggy, or hot. Most likely it will fall somewhere in between. I always try to remember to bring a jacket.

Of course Spring is a perfect time of year to go because many of the trees are showing off their blossoms.

It can get crowded with tourists. I always hear so many accents and languages from around the world. It's funny though, when people enter I think they feel the calming environment and respect that.

There are always some benches and private places to sit and enjoy and just be.

And there are always koi to stare at...

There are also some temples, a gift shop, and other little hidden gems to look at while wandering. Simply a lovely way to spend and hour or two if you're in this part of the world. I highly recommend it.

Happy Friday everyone. Now I think I there's a Bourbon Sidecar and some goat cheese fondue with my name on it. Until next week.