Monday, September 24, 2012

Our Saturday Adventure

The last two weekends in September are considered "peak" weekends in Colorado to see the beautiful fall show that Mother Nature puts on for us every year.  I had to put the kabosh on Bill's Saturday tee time.  Nope.  Not golfing.  Going hiking.

We got a late start to the mountains (we always matter how hard we try).  I had mapped out one of several "best Colorado hikes to see the fall Aspen trees" and off we went.  When the trail directions say that 2-wheel drive cars should park here at the fork, they are not kidding.  Not us.  We have a truck.
We parked at the next parking spot available...just outside the Hessie Townsite, but still a hike to the trail head.  We were indeed greeted by some beautiful scenery.

Just 30-40 minutes into the hike, we stumbled upon a beautiful waterfall/stream that we just had to check out.  Over the years, the tumbling, rushing water has worn the rock surface smooth as glass.  Didn't stop us.  Huh uh.  Bill had Gracie and was leaping over the water and rock formations to the edge to get the eagle's eye view.  Well, I can do that.  Sure, I'm not 6' tall, but I can follow his every move. 

I did not make it over the first water cascade.  I slipped and in I went...ass-end first into the cold mountain water rushing over me shoulder to shoes!  By the time Bill had turned around to pose for the picture he was sure I was setting up, he noticed me in the water.  He rushed back to help me out as I couldn't find any place to plant my feet or hands to get out.  Underneath the beauty of rushing water lies slippery, slimy moss-covered rocks! 

(This photo
and that photo
have been
removed by
the author.)

The very first words out of Bill's mouth were, "Oh my god, you've ruined your iphone!"  Really?  Did you want to know if I'm okay? 

After the shock and the embarrassment had subsided, I began to take inventory of my water soaked hiking gear.
  • iphone wet & ruined.  Check. 
  • Camera & case soaked.  Check.  Ruined?  Not sure.  
  • Pack, shorts, undergarments, hiking shoes & socks wet? Check. Check. Check. Check. Check.
Thank goodness I'm a tough broad and have experience in Camp Fire Girls (lol).  Thank goodness it was a hot, beautiful day.  Thank goodness I'm a scrapbooker and a storyteller.  Onward.

When we got to the lake to set up for picnic lunch, I finally had to undress, air out, and dry off.  Off came just about everything (without getting charged with indecent exposure, that is).  Plus, there was so many people there.  It was like a highway in the hills!  Seems we weren't the only ones wanting to hike and see the leaves.
Nobody enjoys the day more than Gracie!

I did not ever dry completely.  I did have to hike down with damp clothing.  Let me just say that wet hiking shoes & socks are the worst...lots of chafing and wrinkled skin.

The payoff:
Lost Lake
As we were unloading our packs and getting ready to leave, I spotted a huge animal coming towards the truck.  Holy cow!  I thought it was an elk.  The first thing I noticed was its antlers.  Didn't take me long to realize it was a moose.  The biggest...darn...moose...I've...ever...seen.  Just 20' from me.  He was grunting and grazing through the meadow.

I had to google that beard-thingy.  It was so long
it grazed the ground.
Now I know it's called a dewlap or bell.
Oh yes.  Massive payoff.  Majestic really.

At the end of the day...big smiles.

I'll do it again.  And again.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

9-19-12 Sketch

In case I forgot to mention, the third Wednesday of the month is always "card-sketch-day" @ Let's Scrap.  Today's sketch:'s my take on it:

I started with the idea that the background could really be chevrons and off I went! After cutting the card/pattern on my Silhouette, I decided to back it with a fall colored patterned paper.  Then, I coordinated some matching cardstock and backed just one of the chevrons with gold.  The wheat stalks were also cut on the Silhouette.  The wheat were (painstakingly) layered on top of one another and tied with baker's twine and then mounted with a pop dot.  The rings on the sketch lent themselves well to a three-layered scalloped circle (cut with Lifestyle Crafts Nesting Scallops via the Epic Six).  Well, after all that...there was no room for the sentiment!  I was too far along to re-invent, so the sentiment was stamped at the bottom (glad there was room!).
Products used:
  • White 90# index weight cardstock for the card base
  • All paper and coordinating cardstock were from my stash ('s a stashbuster!)
  • Baker's Twine:  Martha Stewart
  • Clear stamps:  Stampendous
  • Ink:  CTMH Cocoa
  • Pop Dots:  Creative Memories

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Scrapbooking. What It's Not

It’s Not About the Paper!

Scrapbooking is not about the paper.
It’s not about the camera.
It’s not about the ribbon.
It’s not about the brads.
It’s not about the buttons.
It’s not about the stamps.
It’s not about the die-cut machine(s).
It’s not about the products.
It’s not about the kits.
It’s not about the punches.
It’s not about the craft.
It’s not about the tags.
It’s not about the flowers.
It’s not about my handwriting (or lack thereof). 
It's not about artistry.
It's not about perfection.

It’s about



It's for MY CHILDREN and THEIR CHILDREN (and so on and so on).

I sometimes forget.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Twenty-One Years Ago...

So, how was your Labor Day holiday?  Mine was fantastic!  It also happens to be our anniversary.  Even though it is not a wedding anniversary, I still call it an anniversary.  An anniversary of a union.  An anniversary of our couple-dom.  An anniversary of my second chance at love.  An anniversary of a great love affair.

We decided to celebrate for the whole weekend.  Just like 100,000+ other Denver-ites we headed to the mountains for a long, glorious, three-day mini-vacay.  A mere 4.5 hours later (think mass exodus traffic), we landed in Glenwood Springs, home of the world's largest hot springs pool & spa (the thermal spring produces 3,500,000 million gallons of hot water every day).  We love this pool. We love this town. This destination also happens to be the very first place Bill and I ever went away to together.  Yup, 21 years ago on a motorcycle (definitely a tale for another time).  It holds special memories for us.  There is also a quaint little italian restaurant that is very special as well.  We eat here every time we visit.

So.  I'm at the pool...thinking I could still be a swimmer...tried to swim some laps in the very warm water.  Oh my goodness, I'm old.  I could hardly get through 10.  Took a break.  Tried 10 more.  That's it.  Got out the floaty-chair-thingy and did my fair share of people watching.  We do love to soak in the 104 degree therapeutic pool.  Did ya know that natural hot springs have a sulphuric smell? stinks!  Bill calls it the human stew pot, (I know...bad image), but it really is good for the joints and relaxation!

A moonlight stroll by the pool after dinner.
On Sunday, we played the Lakota Ridge Golf Course.  Ranked as the #3 public golf course in the state of Colorado.  Just beautiful.  It is known for its elevated tee boxes, and I was surprised to find an old cemetary on the top of one of the mountains.  I got out of the golf cart and was in photography-heaven (until it was my turn).  Who would have known there was this treasured space up here?

On Monday, we drove to Aspen to hike (and see) the world famous Maroon Bells.  They are the most photographed mountain range in America.  They are spectacular.  I was a bit surprised to find out that one cannot just drive to them anymore.  The City of Aspen has shut off the road and you must ride (and pay) the bus to the trailhead.  Bummer.  But, the trip is so worth it.  I don't recall ever being here.  It is not to be missed.

We lunched in Aspen.

...they are beary friendly there. 

Hoping to avoid the dreaded I-70 (highway) traffic jam home, we drove home over scenic Independence Pass.  The aspen trees are already turning their brilliant golden color (thanks to cooler temperatures and a drought) they are very early this year. 

We've been to some fabulous places all over the world and seen some great things, but let me tell you Colorado has some of the most beautiful mountains and scenic byways...we vow to stop taking our own backyard for granted.

A super end to a super weekend.  Love ya, my man.  Here's to another 21.  Yes...I think it will last.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

9-5-12 Sketch

Today @ Let's Scrap, we have a sketch from the very talented Becky Fleck (her two Page Maps books are used often and are two of my very favorite idea books!).

Here's today's sketch:

And, here's my take on it:

This layout was my dear daughter, April's 28th birthday (last year, and yes, I am still playing catch-up).  Oh my heck, I can't believe I have such an "old" daughter!

The sketch was followed exactly, except that I had to switch the two photo sizes on the rh side to better tell the story.  Here are some close-up details:

Products & techniques:
  • scalloped circle was cut with my Creative Memories (CM) cutting system and the 12" scalloped pattern.  The circle was then hand "stitched" with a white Sakura Souffle Puffy Ink Pen.
  • Patterned paper, title & coordinating birthday stickers:  CI David Walker Birthday Bash
  • Cardstock:  CM
  • Pink twine/bows:  Queen & Co.
  • Pink heart scallops:  Doodlebug Paper Frills-Cupcake (each flower strip was cut in half down the middle)
  • Folder punch:  McGill Craftivity
  • Brads: unknown
  • #'s 2 and 8:  Basic Grey Kioshi
  • Computer journaling cut into strips
There you have it.  Happy "belated" birthday to April!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Colorado Peaches

Summer just isn't summer until we sink our teeth into these.

As big as a baseball!

There is nothing in this world better than a Colorado peach.

Every year, Bill's Rotary club has a fundraiser whereby they bring a truckload of peaches over from the Western Slope and sell them (for big $$).  I always think they are kind of expensive, are they worth it!  We love eating them one by one, but they ripen fairly quickly, and then I'm scratching my head wondering..."what am I gonna do with all these peaches?"

Over the years, I've made just about every kind of cobbler.  This year, I came up the following (I actually combined two different recipes).

I call it:
Peach Oatmeal Crisp with Walnut Topping

1 pouch Betty Crocker Oatmeal Cookie Mix
3/4 C butter
1 C chopped walnuts
4 1/2 C sliced peaches (I remove the peel too)
1/3 C sugar
1 T cornstarch
1/2 t cinnamon
Whipped Topping, if desired

Heat oven to 350.  Spray the bottom of a 13" x 9" glass dish with cooking spray.  In a large mixing bowl, cut the butter into the cookie mix using a pastry blender (or the old-fashioned-mom-way-of-pulling-two-knives-in-opposite-directions) until well mixed and particles are about the size of peas.  Remove 1 C mixture and set aside.  Press the remaining crumbs into the bottom of the glass dish. 

In another bowl, mix the peaches, sugar, cornstarch and cinnamon.  (Inhale...this smells divine.) Spoon onto the crumb layer.

Add walnuts to the reserved crumb mixture.  Stir and sprinkle evenly over the peaches.  Bake 40 to 50 minutes or until topping is golden brown and edges are bubbly.  Cool.  Serve warm with whipped topping (of course, vanilla ice cream would be yummy as well).

We're down to just a handful of these golden-taste-of-summer fruits.  I have frozen them and they will become breakfast smoothies...for the rest of the week.

I'm linking up here: