Sunday, December 30, 2012

Searching for a Home Church

I just signed up for a Beth Moore Bible Study, "Believing God." Mike and I have decided we need to get back to church where we can feel spiritually fed. We are going to try out Fort Collins Faith Evangelical Free next week. It's a pretty big church and I don't know if we will fit in there, but we have to start somewhere and they have women and men's ministries as well as small groups. I'm looking forward to it.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Weight Watchers and Me

I have had a love-hate relationship with my body all my life. My mom hounded  me about  my weight, and the more she said the more I ate.  Looking back I realize that 155 lbs on a 5'9" medium frame is not  obese and I wish I would have realized that sooner. By the way, my mom may have started the problem, but I realize that I'm responsible for what I do to my body.  I really began to pack  on the pounds after I got married and had my kids and exercise was something to be hated.

I've been a member of Weight Watchers for many years and I've taken off as much as 40lbs but then something would get in the way and I would always return to my old eating  habits and lack of exercise. I don't intend to make this blog all about losing weight but I am asking for some support from people that read this blog. I've decided to try to write something everyday this year on my blog and will check in every Saturday, after I weigh in to let you know how my weight loss journey is going. I have about 75 lbs to lose but I'm going to focus on small goals of 1 lb a week. The year 2013 is the year I get rid of this weight forever. The Weight Watchers 360 program is going to help me change the way I think about food  as well as how I eat.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Our First Colorado Christmas

Our first Christmas in Colorado was  wonderful. Our daughter, Kim, son-in-love, Mike and our two grandchildren, Princess and Bubba, came over early on Christmas Eve day and spent the whole  day with us. I made Peaches and Cream French Toast for breakfast and then we opened presents with them. Our grandson was so funny. He had been asking for a game called Bop It Smash for a month. We got him the game and wrapped it up in an old Crock Pot Box. When he opened it and say the Crock Pot he had a very puzzled look on his face. We explained to him that since he was taking a cooking class in school we thought he might like a Crock Pot for Christmas. (Just what every 9 year old dreams of, right?) When he opened the box he was so excited about that game!

Our granddaughter was pretty happy with a book we bought her. It's the next book in a series she has been reading and she was excited.

We had a very laid back Christmas dinner of ham, hash brown casserole, corn and apple pie for dessert.

Monday, October 08, 2012

Tennessee Grandkids

We're in Tennessee right now visiting our oldest daughter and her family. We hadn't seen them for over two years, so we were due for a visit. We are so happy to live closer now and we're hoping to visit more often.we took care of the kids yesterday so their mom and dad could have a day out at the races in Taledega.
We got up early and took them to breakfast and then went over to the Opryland Hotel to walk around and take pictures. It's really a beautiful spot.
After that we took them to see Hotel Transylvania. We all enjoyed the movie. Next it was a late lunch at Claim Jumper and then home for some wii and tv before bed. What a wonderful day!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Elk Fest in Estes Park, Colorado

Yesterday we took our daughter, Kim and our grandkids, Princess and Bubba to Estes Park for the annual Elk Fest. I was really excited about going to this because we got to take a bus tour with a naturalist on board to take us to actually see some elk. The elk bulls are in rut right now so they bellow and make all kinds of noise collecting the cows for their harem and scaring off or fighting off the other bulls. The video above shows what you can expect to see at Elk Fest. They had the usual things at the festival. Vendors selling yummy festival food, such as barbecue, kettle corn, grilled corn on the cob, apple strudel with rum sauce and  
funnel cakes to name a few. They also had a Native American telling stories and playing the flute and mountain man exhibits. Fort Collins Raptor Rescue was there and I got this picture:

This is a red tailed hawk they rescued with two broken wings. They are rehabilitating him and hope to release him back into the wild.
We took our bus tour which was the highlight of our day and these are the pictures I took. Some are taken from the safety of the bus, some are taken outside the bus with my 70-300 mm telephoto lens.
We almost got to experience two bulls fighting, when a younger bull I was taking pictures of, decided to amble across the street where an older bull with his harem was grazing. The older bull charged over and stopped short of fighting but let out a bellow and the younger one took his hide back across the street. By the way, these elk were in a neighborhood of houses and the people that live there coexist with the elk for the most part.

This is the young bull challenging

This is the old bull defending. I took the picture of the young bull outside the bus but as you can see, when he started crossing the road I wisely beat feet back in the bus, so sorry about the reflection in the window.
We really had a good time on this bus tour and I can't wait to go back again.
I just love how beautiful it is here. The fall colors are coming in and I even got some pictures of snow in the mountains.
Here's a picture of the famous Stanley Hotel. this is where "The Shining" was filmed with Jack Nicholson.
Stanley Hotel

Fall colors

Shadow from the clouds

the sun came out so the snow shows up better

Creek near the visitors center

my darling family

Friday, September 28, 2012

Blogging on my iPhone

When I got my iPhone about 18 months ago, I really wondered why I was getting one. I never imagined that I would soon become addicted to all the things I can do with all the apps that are available. I take pictures, upload them to an app, edit them and post them. I can do my banking, make appointments, add them to my calendar, set an alert so I won't forget the appointment and basically do everything I do on my desktop computer.
If I leave my phone at home, I feel naked. I do try not to be one of those people that hold loud conversations on their phone in public places and I always shut it off at the movie theatre.
I'm writing this entry on my phone right now because I just downloaded the Blogger app. Just one more thing I can add to my list!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Fort Collins Food Scene and Home Cooking

We moved to Fort Collins about three weeks ago and have been exploring the food scene here. I've been told Fort Collins has more restaurants per capita than any where in the United States. I can believe it. We've seen just about every ethnic kind of restaurant you could ever want. There are the standard chain restaurants, like Perkins, Village Inn, The Egg and I, and so on. They all have good food at reasonable prices. Then there   are the more upscale places like Beau Jo's Pizza, Choice City Butcher and Deli, Bluebird Cafe, and La Creperie. 
Here are some pictures of some of the meals we've had since we got here:

This was the best burger I have ever had. It is actually a buffalo burger with cheese and bacon ground into the meat and topped with Balsamic grilled onions and what tasted like Thousand Island Dressing. The cup of French Onion soup was a side and was very tasty, too. We got this at Choice City Butcher and Deli.

Fried Pickles at Texas Roadhouse

Best Grilled Corn at Loveland Loves Barbecue
Oops forgot to take the picture until it was gone!
Funnel Cake at Loveland Loves Barbecue

I'm afraid we have been seduced by all the food choices here in Fort Collins, so today I decided to cook at home. We are finally getting settled in our new home and I think I've finally found all my kitchen gadgets. I made a Chicken and Leek Pot Pie from a recipe I found in Cooking Light Magazine. It was real comfort food with no presevatives and everything fresh. Since I haven't been cooking much lately, I think I had lost some of my cooking confidence. Tonight's dinner makes me see that I can have a healthy, homey dinner on the table in no time at all. Here's a picture or two:

Friday, July 13, 2012

Quilt Colorado and Loveland Loves Barbecue

My daughter and I went to Quilt Colorado this morning and saw the most amazing quilts. This first one won Best In Show and for good reason. This was a huge quilt and the quilting on the back was as beautiful as the quilting on the front.

This was the center of the quilt and the whole thing was breathtaking.

I also loved this Celtic Knot quilt. 

We spent about two hours at this quilt show and really enjoyed each quilt. They also had an Alzheimer's wall of quilts that made me think of my grandfather and made me cry. It was very moving. They wouldn't allow pictures of those quilts so I have none to show you, but if you ever hear of it coming to your town, I would recommend you go see it.

After we left the quilt show, we went back to my daughter's house and picked up the grand kids and my darling hubby and went to Loveland Loves Barbecue. We purchased tokens and then walked around to the booths trying samples and finally settled on a barbecued chicken sandwich for hubby, pulled pork sandwich for granddaughter, a rib for the grandson and my daughter and I had the best grilled corn I've ever tasted.
Sorry, I forgot to take a picture before I took my first bite, and then who cared about pictures!
Here's my daughter and her dad enjoying the funnel cake and deep fried snickers bar.

We had a great time and we're looking forward to more fun times with the family.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The Hardest Part of Retirement is...

...dealing with health insurance issues. When we decided to move to Colorado, we checked with our health provider, Kaiser, and we were told we would be able to stay with Kaiser if it was offered in Colorado. We have been jumping through hoops ever since.

The Facts: My husband is 65 and I am 60. He had to sign up for Medicare Part A as soon as he turned 65 or pay a penalty. He did that. He was covered under my employer until July 31, 2012 and could not sign up for Medicare Part B until that insurance ran out. We also found out after we moved here that the house we moved to is in the wrong zip code to stay with Kaiser! So now he has to sign up for Part B and also get a supplemental policy to pay for what Medicare won't pay for and once he has a provider, sign up with Medicare Part D for prescription drugs. The awful thing about this is Social Security doesn't know what Medicare is doing, Medicare doesn't know what Social Security is doing, and nobody is giving us straight answers to our questions. I've had to sign up with a health care PPO that is going to cover me for a mere $469.00 a month and it doesn't cover much. Thank you Lord that I'm healthy.

The one good part about this is we are learning our way around Fort Collins pretty fast because you have to go to a different place to do anything. Yesterday we spent 1 1/2 hours at the Department of Revenue to get our drivers licences, then we had to drive across town to the County Court House to get our car registered with the Larimer County Clerks office. Today we were at the Federal Building for Social Security and then a security guard sent us on a wild goose chase, by telling us we had to go to Poudre Valley Hospital to get signed up for Medicare Part D.

I'm taking a deep breath through my nose and blowing it out my mouth. Sighhhhh!

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Colorado Rocky Mountain High

Well we did it. We took the plunge and moved from California to Colorado. Our timing wasn't perfect since Colorado is having one of the worst fire seasons in recent history and our new place in Fort Collins has been inundated with smoke, but we love it here. We've found a good church to go to and great people at the church. We have actually found the people of Colorado to be very nice and helpful.

Some of the people from the church, including our minister, came over early on Saturday and moved all of our belongings out of our moving truck and into our new home in three and a half hours. It was amazing. My daughter and her family were helping, too. After everyone left, my daughter and son-in-law helped us unpack boxes and came back the next day to help set up my sewing room and clean and organize the garage so we can actually park a car in there.

Needless to say, I'm still unpacking boxes and putting things away but we should have everything taken care off in the next couple of weeks. We are trying to get used to the altitude and it's been pretty hot here the last few days. Add to that, our air conditioner went out and we had a pretty miserable night last night. The air conditioner was fixed today so we should get a decent nights sleep.

I'm looking forward in the next week or so to joining the senior center, finding a square dance group, bowling with the grand kids, maybe going to Frontier Days in Cheyenne, Wyoming, a quilt show with my daughter, an amazing race in Denver, and sewing again. Phew! It's going to be an exciting retirement!

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

{TWD/BWJ} White Loaves

I joined Tuesdays With Dorie so I could bake along with a zillion other people out of the Baking With Julia cookbook. This cookbook was written by Dorie Greenspan and was the companion book for the PBS series, Baking with Julia. I think this is going to be great fun and I'm looking forward to meeting other bakers and sharing baking tips and secrets.
Our first recipe is White Loaves. This was the easiest bread recipe I've ever made and the bread was delicious.

My bread came out much better than my food photography but I will be working on that, too! The only problem I had with this recipe is that I couldn't stop eating it! Check out the other links on Tuesdays with Dorie to see how all the other cooks did it.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Powers Mansion Inn Tea Room

Yesterday I was able to go with my good friend Donna, to tea at Powers Mansion Inn in Auburn. We had a really wonderful time. The drive up there is about an hour and 15 minutes and we just had a blast talking and laughing. We both enjoy going to tea because it's all about getting together and just relaxing through a meal and reconnecting. We both love to take pictures and so we tried to document everything we did yesterday.

We ended up getting to Auburn about 45 minutes before our tea reservation, so we drove around Auburn taking pictures of the historical sites. Auburn was a gold mining town and it was so interesting. I took pictures of a giant miner and Chinese laborer.

1st course
Sweet Potato Soup
Artichoke and Red Pepper Quiche


Tea Tray
Manderin Orange Scones
Chicken Salad Sandwich
Red Pepper Spread on dark Bread
Cucumber Sandwich
Flourless Peanut Butter Cookie
Brownie Square
Pumpkin cake

Manderin Orange Scones
Creme Brulee Tea

We had a great time and after our tea we went to the Bernhard Museum.
More about that to come!

Peanut Butter Cheesecake

I saw this recipe on Flourchild's blog. You can find it by following the link on my blog list. I decided to make it because her pictures were beautiful and I love peanut butter. I don't make cheesecake very often because my hubby hates it. After all my hard work on this he wouldn't even taste it. It was wonderful. I ate a piece and then gave some to one of my friends and then let darling daughter #4 take it to her apartment to share with her friends. That way I felt sufficiently appreciated. Here's a couple of pictures of the finished product.