Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Notes From The Country - A Very Bright Day

 When I woke up yesterday morning I had a difficult time looking outside without tearing up. Literally. Fortunately, even though we get snow here we don't get a lot of days without sunshine in some form. So on post snow days when the sun shines, it can be very bright. Yesterday was such a day. It was a wear-your-sunglasses-even-when-looking-out-the-back-window kind of a day. The sky was a brilliant blue and the snow from the storm the day before was a blinding bright white.

Not complaining. It's better than brown.

The red rosehips on my Rosa Alba seemed to be more colorful as well.

It was one of those mornings where little ice crystal snowflakes drift softly through the air. It was very, very cold. 

Except for this one spot on the hot tub. Nice and cozy in there. Steam was rising.

I was going to sew but my daughter called and wanted me to meet her for lunch in between her classes. How could I refuse? We had minestrone soup and a caesar salad at our favorite Italian restaurant. Driving home, I snapped some pictures because it was so pretty out.

Everyone's house and property looks magical with a new blanket of white. And, because we get so much sun here, these days oftentimes don't last, so I appreciate them while they are here. 

I turned off the main road to drive the back way to our house. This little brick Church sits on the corner of the highway where we turn off. 

We are surrounded by small reservoirs and right now many have frozen edges and top layer and are covered in snow.

The road and reservoir closest to our home

 Near the reservoir. If there was smoke curling up from the little chimney it would be perfect. 

These are the big ditches that run along some of the roads out here. They carry the water in the summer that feed into the individual ditches of the farmers' crop lands.

There's our road up ahead on the left

Turning onto our road. Cornfield on the right.

P.S. Here was the cornfield last September. From this post.

And here is the same view now. Aah. The contrast. Love it.

Headed up our road. 

The little horse ranch on our road. With the big Champion Palaminos.

And there's home sweet home - next house on the left.

I guess this is one of the major reasons I originally dreamed of living here. A bit of land. A dirt road. Farm animals. And nature's inspiration - the four seasons. 

Friday, January 24, 2014

Rooms I Love - Friday Daydreaming

Happy Friday. Just doing a bit of daydreaming. I think with all the winter/grey/brown talk from the last post I needed some color. I happened upon a decorating website and it kind of went downhill from there. Today's color is blue. Blue is quite impressive. It describes a color. It depicts a mood. It distinguishes a music style. There are so many beautiful shades of blue. One of my favorites is turquoise. It is my birthstone. Depending on the amount of blue and green, there are many shades of turquoise as well. I found these blue-green photos of kitchens. I never tire of looking at kitchen photos. And I was trying to match my aprons - just for fun.

 Just when I decide I want to go modern I see a kitchen like this and I think I could happily live the rest of my life in there.

Then I see white rooms and am undone thinking of the possibilities of colors to mix and match.

And the subtlety of off-white with just enough color to tease.

Then I see the coolness and simplicity of white and pastels and a really, really beautiful stove and - well- I can just see myself in this kitchen everyday.

Whatever kitchen - flowers will make it better.

Of course even with blues and greens I need a little black.

 Then there's the whole blue/green wall color. Don't get me started.

Wait how did these get in here. So my day dreams go beyond kitchens. ;)

Going with the color scheme, and it being Friday's a bluish - greenish cocktail. Absinthe. Le fee. Green fusion. The green devil. It is an experience. It has a long and varied history (from a French doctor in the late 18th century). It is medicinal (made from herbs - namely wormwood). It is inspirational (said to induce alertness and creativity, new thoughts and ideas) . It is transforming (not only the ritual of pouring water drip by drip over a sugar cube and slotted spoon to diffuse and disperse the absinthe, but in what the resulting drink will  yield. See inspirational above.) It can be dangerous. (Don't drink too much and don't chug it) It has been a drink favored by famous poets and artists throughout history - Hemmingway, Oscar Wilde, Paul Gaugin, and Vincent Van Gogh. Wait didn't Van Gogh go crazy and eventually commit suicide? I'm sure it wasn't the absinthe....)
I tried Absinthe at my brothers a couple of years ago. He performed the sugar cube/ water ritual and...hmmm...I'm trying to remember how it tasted and what my reaction was. For the life of me I can't remember. That's disturbing.

Speaking of blue. (I know I'm reaching now) I prematurely made fun of the dance show we were going to see on Wednesday night because of the whole Bee Gees thing. I take it back. I knew not of what I spoke. The group was the Odyssey Dance Theater and words cannot describe how utterly beautiful and versatile these dancers were. Even the whole Saturday Night Fever segment. I can now safely let John Travolta reside in the past because I have an entirely new vision of disco. 

P.S. We did get snow Wednesday night as you can see. (I don't really need to point out the blue snow stick do I?) 

Speaking of blue - color and mood ....Say Something. Sorry in advance. 

pps.  kitchen images via of House of Turquoise on Facebook.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Notes From The Country - A Couple of Weeks in Winter

 Just reflecting on winter and the volatile weather conditions and winter health conditions and such.
If you're not familiar with Colorado weather, it can change - literally- at the drop of a hat. In the past two weeks, we've seen snow on the ground, freight train winds, balmy sunny days, and, in the last 2 hours, the frigid cold of impending snow in the air. As I'm saying this, my friends back in San Francisco are starting a group where we all get together at the same time every day and focus our energy on rain for that area. 
Anywhoo, pesky-hanging-on-till-summer-screwing-with-my-everyday-life-and-enjoyment-bronchial-infection aside, it's been a quiet, reflective, yet productive few weeks. I've been trying to find small moments of winter joy. I've once again been observing the colors outside. They're a pale reflection of their spring fresh coloring, and their full, vibrant, summer coloring - and, of course their last hurrah, fiery coloring of fall. 

After the extreme, persistent winds died down, and I retrieved the garbage and recycling cans, errant garbage, and righted deck chairs and garden ornaments, there were a few calm, warm days, so I let the alpacas out to stretch their legs. 

The new neighbors were a tad hesitant and bolted for safety beyond the bare Cottonwoods. So brown and grey and muted and dormant and....waiting.

Not much to eat out there right now. 

One morning whilst feeding the animals, I took my time through the forest. It's coming along nicely. Every year more and more pine needles fall and are making a nice blanket for the forest floor. I was just noticing little things amidst the brownish-greyish (again) feathers (hawk?)

Pine cones. Duh.

Not something you naturally find in a forest, however, we have neighbors through the back pastures who have always engaged in golf practice? I thought the boys were grown and gone by now, but these keep showing up. We used to walk around our pasture and pick up stray balls and drop them in a little pile on the other side of the fence for them to collect. Every now and then I find one in the forest or in the corral area. I don't see people out there during the day. Is night golf a sport?

Bare winter Aspen

On the first pleasant day this past week I let the chickens out as well. They were happy.

It was so warm on Sunday, that as I sat on the deck in the morning trying to absorb some winter vitamin D, the chickens were surrounding me sunning and preening. Clingy little things.

You can't tell from this picture that he's dragging his legs and progressively getting worse. He was just happy to be out in the pale sunshine playing with a stick.

Have been doing a bit of baking and soup making. Cornbread

And some hearty chicken, spinach, mushroom and wild rice soup

 Also a few special breakfasts to jump start my day. Coffee in my new inspirational mug from my sister-in-law, and sustenance - with nutella. 

Yes, I do wear an apron every time I cook! And they get dirty!!

I've also been sewing. Adding to my shop and selling items! And working on new designs for all. 
The skies have been abundant with geese lately.

With a nearby reservoir, they have a home base for the winter and they sound so - powerful - in numbers when they take flight. I just have to try not to run inside when I hear the gunshots that accompany their takeoff. ugh. 

                                                                        The neighbors have been visiting recently as well. hmmm. 

And all the animals have been following the sun spots during the morning.

There have been happy hours. Yes, especially during the winter

And even a night or two of happy hour out - with jazz. Sigh.  

But no more snow.

As I was walking past a storefront one night, I had to stop. First of all because of the couch. But then because of the garlands. Can you tell what they're made of?   Marshmallows! I thought this was too cute. Like oversized eatable snowflakes.

A good deal of football lately too. My two teams. One's moving on and well one's moving on. One on to the superbowl and one out of it's awesome city. harumph. 

 And now I have to get ready for a show. We have season tickets. Not a broadway show tonight. It's a dance show. And my husband just informed me they have a number where they are doing an ode to the Bee Gees.  I have no words. 

So. Winter. Still have a long way to go. I know people right now who are not having a particularly spectacular winter. In fact, they're having anything but a warm, safe, cozy, healthy winter. I'm trying to take my cues from nature. It's dormant time. Hunker down time. Feel the grey, live in the brown, but know that the vibrant colors are coming. I guess that's called hope. Or faith. Snow and bitter cold are in the forecast tonight. But there's sun coming. I know it.The thing is, the sun is out of our control. We know it's coming. We just don't know when. 

 To me this is about the dark before the dawn, not the dark before the end. That's crucial. Radioactive