Monday, June 2, 2014

Notes From The Country - May Showers brings some changes, new discoveries, and a lot of water

It was a week of flooring installation but more than three of packing things in boxes and stashing them in other parts of the house and moving furniture into the garage (with the help of very nice neighbors), but we finally did it. Out with the old carpet.

And in with new wide plank pine flooring. I've always loved wide plank flooring and I think it fits our rustic country style, early American decor and dirt road living. Now when the cats throw up I can just wipe it away...

The flow of the main floor feels so different without the carpet to floor borders between rooms. Although there is a good deal more echo echo echo.

The animals have been traumatized for over a month now. The cats do not like disruption in their lives. Apparently we don't either. We had some grand ideas and switched furniture about in different rooms and attempted to de-clutter. We lived with it for a week and I couldn't take it any more. Everything went back to it's original position and the furniture we were going to give away is going to come back in as well. Sometimes change is best done in baby steps.

I love this picture of her getting ready before the big day. The remnants of childhood merging with the grown up she is becoming.

No this adorably cute little guy is not mine! But he is new to the family. My youngest, who volunteers at the humane society fell in love with him and my oldest happened to be in the market for a cat now that she is on her own in her own apartment

So Ollie came to visit for the weekend. He'd only been in his new home for a week before having to make a car ride up here to a big house with other cats so he was a bit grumpy. But we kept them separated for the most part and by the third day he was curiously exploring his home away from home.

The weather has been volatile - with snow on Mother's Day, then turning hot soon after. We've also had a good amount of rain lately. I love late spring and summer skies. They are so vibrant and three dimensional and volatile.

The afternoons have seen a good deal of thunderstorms and some hail the past two weeks. You can always see right where it is raining.

Which has been wonderful for the pastures, lawns, flowers, and, unfortunately the weeds which have been winning out.
Although at present lilacs, eggs (the ones from the chickens not the ones that grow in the ground ), and chamomile on the back patio are fairly prolific now as well.

Numerous clumps of purple and blue iris'

And our big snowball viburnum shrub by the road. 
Can't even avoid snowballs here in June!

We've also spent some time out and about town in between storms. The weather has  been conducive to long, leisurely walks, patio dining and trying fresh, new places. Although when the sky looks like this you better make sure there is somewhere close to take cover.

Here for example! We are getting an influx of cider houses in town. There's some room left in between numerous local breweries, and burgeoning distilleries. We do have a good many apple growers on the Western slope of Colorado and people are finding new uses for them for sure. I have to say I'm discovering I'm not a huge fan of cider. It just tastes too light and - unfinished to me. I would rather drink beer or a glass of white or sparkling wine or if I'm in a juice kind of mood, some good, fresh apple juice. But that's me.  The place above, Compass Cider,  is fairly new in town, and it has a nice feel with walk in walk out open sides so you feel like you're almost dining outside. That seems to be the new thing here and I kind of like it. In the summertime of course. We had a flight of ciders - mostly Colorado local. Some were quite nice and refreshing, others just too bland or sour or too herby (coriander) for my taste. It was nice to try though.

It seems our public pianos are getting makeovers this spring. The past two weekends artists were in Old Town Square repainting. I'm sensing an historical theme. This one depicts sugar beet crops, which have always been a significant part of the agricultural history in this area, and the most recent one looked like some antique log cabins which we have at our library museum which were some of the original homestead cabins here in Fort Collins.

We also branched out to two new restaurants recently (we must be feeling bold with all the change going on).
The Blind Pig was a Sunday Brunch choice. The owners were originally from Texas and spent time in New Orleans. The menu definitely reflects this. I had to try this heavy duty feast of pulled pork over breakfast potatoes topped with over medium eggs and a sausage gravy over all. Uh huh. Of course I ate about a quarter of it, but it was so delicious and satisfying (especially with beer) in a I-need-a-nap-I'm-going-into-a-food-coma kind of way.

We also finally made our way one afternoon after a long walk to the new Blue Agave Grill - my new favorite restaurant!! Oh my, the food here was so deliciously unique and complex, light yet so flavorful. Even the chips and salsa were outstanding. I had coconut shrimp with grilled pineapple, an arugula salad, surrounded by an adobe sauce. Every bite was heavenly.
 Because the main courses were so good we had to try dessert. A stuffed sopapilla with strawberry sauce and ice cream. I need to go back here. Soon.

Our walks lately have also included river paths - those we could get to. We ran into this van

And this jolly fellow from Denver taking pictures of the Poudre River. While not quite like last year so far

The lower paths are entirely submerged

Although the picture above is from last year, and the picture on the right is from yesterday. Hmm.

But with 150 percent snow pack this past winter, sudden very hot temps and a good deal of rain, well, it just turns into so. much. water.

It's hard to realize, even when standing close, how powerful and violent and deadly this much flowing water can be.

It was surreal seeing this goose manage to swim sideways to shore while at the same time a 14 year old boy and his uncle up near the canyon tragically did not make it to shore.

Hopefully the rains will calm and the temperatures will even out a bit giving the rivers' flows around here a chance to catch up. 

Sometimes I just need to pause and take a breath and be grateful than even in the seeming constant changes and sometimes turmoil in life there is beauty to be found in transition and peaceful moments to be embraced.

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