Saturday, October 3, 2015


Everything is upside down and backwards. More senseless horrifying shootings in a quiet town in Oregon, the East Coast is being hammered once again w/ a slow moving, flood bearing hurricane. It is October 3, and Autumn has arrived w/ a fury. My nieces turn 27 today...where has the time gone? I pray. I walk, I swim, I bike, I cook, I sew, I garden, I harvest, I take pics, I pray. 

We had an opportunity to visit w/ some Friends who live in Golden. Yes, there is a city/town named Golden! Golden lies along Clear Creek at the base of the Front Range of the Rockies. It is less that an hour due West of us. The challenge, if you will, was are we 'okay enough' to go to a higher elevation. We doubled up on our Advocare O2Gold supplements, we added extra coconut water to our fluids which have electrolytes. We put Mom's portable oxygen in the car, just in case. The ride headed toward to Rockies is beautiful. I have to pinch myself sometimes that we are living in a place of such beauty. Once we finally found their house, we stayed a while enjoying the views we have heard so much about, listened to their many stories of moose, deer, elk, which are normal daily sightings for them. They have bird feeders all around their deck which is colored, still, w/ their Summer annuals. They were itching to take us to Lookout Mountain. It turns out that Golden is not as high as I thought. It sits @ around 5600 feet in elevation. Centennial, where we live sits @ around 5300 feet. Colorado Springs, which almost did me in completely, is @ 7000 feet in elevation @ its highest point.  This is where we lived. Well, Lookout Mountain, I discovered is almost @ 7400 feet in the sky. Everyone was feeling fine, so off we went. The Autumn foliage is always a big draw across the country, and it is certainly no different here. I think I took over 100 pics by the time the day was over. This is their place, their park, their stomping grounds, so every rock and tree is familiar to them. For me, w/ my trustee little camera in tow, this was yet another playground, another deep feast for the eyes, quiet moments to soak in this new vista, God's mighty handiwork @ play once again. They loved pointing out some of the special places they have found along the way. There is a 5 mile trail which they are totally blessed to have traversed, and, often. We walked a much shorter distance, (they didn't want anybody to keel over...) but the beauty, the majesty, the big skies, the foliage just starting to say 'Autumn', such a gift. As it turns out, I was totally fine by the time the day was over. Lo and behold! But, Jimmy was definitely feeling the effects of the higher altitude. We kissed our Friends good-bye, and left the lovely place called Golden and Lookout Mountain, feeling well fed on every level, grateful, knowing we could go up to a higher elevation (and come back down) w/out being plagued w/ altitude sickness. Baby steps.

With this world still spinning on its axis, even w/ the madness we all see on a daily basis, I/we remain grateful beyond words that we can find quiet moments. I pray. I walk, I swim, I bike, I cook, I sew, I garden, I harvest, I take pics. I pray.

We are greeted up on Lookout Mountain..
More, 'hello's'...Jimmy and Edward, tiny, tiny blending in w/ the trees...
The Aspens, looking up...
A 'lean-to', hidden away in the thicket...
Some riders along the way...
Father and Son...
Driving down from Lookout Mountain, taken from the car...
A moment captured...if I had wings!!!

'You shall call upon me, and you shall go: and you shall pray to me, and I will hear you. You shall seek me, and shall find me, when you shall seek me with all your heart.'
                                                      Jeremiah 29:12-14

Friday, September 25, 2015

New Wheels, Old School, Very...

So, the outdoor pool @ Lifetime Fitness closed on Labor Day. I got a migraine. It was just too soon as it is still so hot here. A gifted reprieve arrived when our little community extended the pool closing until September 20th. I felt better, I could swim and then 'end' the swimming more on my own terms. I am positive that I will not swim during the winter. The indoor lap lanes are in a dark spot, it is very uninviting. I have been eyeing this bicycle. My thought is, I am not racing anywhere, I am not wearing a helmet, I am not putting on a biking 'outfit'. I truly admire the people who do all these things, especially after my virgin voyage today. That said, I am going enjoy the Autumn on my new wheels, I am going to enjoy the walking/bike path from this new vantage point, I am probably going to squish grasshoppers, much to my chagrin. The bike is a Huffy, 26", no gears except, 'pedal' from me. When we picked it up @ the store it was mis-marked @ a lower price, so we had to wait to get everything straightened out, in my favor. It immediately became a conversation piece, as it is really, very pretty. My days of riding my 10 speed, early Sunday mornings from the Village up to Central Park are long behind me, but I do love to pedal. 

As I mentioned, it has been hotter than 'normal' for this time of year and these past few days have been crystal clear, barely a cloud in the sky. I waited until about 2:30. I had my perfect outfit picked out, very important. It worked. I packed the little basket w/ the essentials, fluids, cheese and crackers, Himalayan salt crystals, camera, iPhone, flip flops (in case I made it to the lake), a small towel. I started out thinking what I thought after kayaking, I might be paralyzed tomorrow. I was very aware of all the insects  on the walking/bike path who did not stand a chance of living and was just hoping I didn't hurt myself trying to avoid them. There is very little shade in the middle of the day and my breath was short. As well as I did w/ the laps all Summer, this is different. I found myself stopping, looking for a small patch of shade wherever I could, breathless, but in a good way. I never felt lightheaded, which 'up here', is really good. People were very kind along the way. Did I have a flat tire, nope, I said, virgin voyage. Was everything okay, yup, virgin voyage. Need some help, from one guy, nope, virgin voyage. But he came back with, good for you, keep it up, a little at a time, you'll get there. Well hallelujah. This is great, this is going to work!! I did not make it to the lake today. But, I was out for about an hour and 1/2. I met some horses, some very nice concerned bikers, smiled @ the walkers, I think I clipped the tail of a small blue snake I saw, rested on our favorite bench, before heading back home. Very very happy w/ my new wheels, old school...very...

I found this web site, 'Scriptures to Ponder While Pedaling.' Who knew???
'In his hand are the depths of the earth;
    the heights of the mountains are his also.
 The sea is his, for he made it,
    and his hands formed the dry land'
                                            Psalm 95:4-5

Sunday, September 20, 2015


During this time of Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur (Days of Awe) quiet reflecting into one's heart is an attitude which, prayerfully is carried on throughout the year. This had me thinking and I was able to digitally alter some of my recent images into a very literal group of pics, which are 'Reflections'. As if I were taking the pics of sunrise and sunset from a very beautiful body of water, a lake, a river, a very quiet ocean, this continues to be a very blessed time of reflection...may the coming year bear much good fruit!

'Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise;
    his greatness no one can fathom.
 One generation commends your works to another;
    they tell of your mighty acts.
They speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty
    and I will meditate on your wonderful works.
 They tell of the power of your awesome works
    and I will proclaim your great deeds.
They celebrate your abundant goodness
    and joyfully sing of your righteousness...'

                                                                    Psalm 145:3-7

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Feast of Trumpets

Rosh Hashanah (Hebrew: רֹאשׁ הַשָּׁנָה‎, literally "head of the year") is the Jewish New Year. The Biblical name for this holiday is Yom Teruah, which means shouting/raising a noise, or the Feast of Trumpets. It is the first of the High Holy Days or, Days of Awe, which usually occur in the early autumn of the Northern Hemisphere. Rosh Hashanah is a two-day celebration, which begins on the first day of Tishrei. Rosh Hashanah customs include sounding the shofar (a hollowed-out ram's horn) and eating symbolic foods such as apples dipped in honey to evoke a "sweet new year".

The central observance of Rosh Hashanah is the sounding of the shofar, the ram’s horn, which also represents the trumpet blast of a people’s coronation of their King. The cry of the shofar is also a call to repentance, for Rosh Hashanah is also the anniversary of man's first sin and his repentance, and serves as the first of the “Ten Days of Repentance” which culminate in Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement. Another significance of the shofar is to recall the Binding of Isaac which also occurred on Rosh Hashanah, in which a ram took Isaac’s place as an offering to God; we evoke Abraham’s readiness to sacrifice his son, and plead that the merit of his deed should stand by us as we pray for a year of life, health and prosperity. Altogether, we listen to one hundred shofar blasts over the course of the Rosh Hashanah services.

 L'shanah tovah, a sweet and healthy New Year!
(Tonight @ sundown, 5776)

Post script: although I posted the same words last year, the Feast of Trumpets is the same from generation to generation, hence, it is not necessary to change a thing from this post!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

The Red Ride...

I thought for sure I would be paralyzed after kayaking for most of the day on Friday, the 28th. As it turns out, I was not. It seems that all the swimming, all the many many laps I have clocked in this summer have paid off. Friday marked the 3rd year of Mom's passing. I have done allot of work this year to 'be okay', to deal w/ the grief of losing her and proceed forward. Friday was a gorgeous day. I thought the best way to honor her, and that would be every single day for the rest of my life, is to live. So, I did something I have wanted to do since I laid eyes on the Cherry Creek Lake/Reservoir, almost a year ago. I rented a kayak for the day, and off I went. The lake measures 850 acres!! I mastered my rowing skills @ camp, and grateful I was, because you need to have a clue on how to navigate the waters. It was choppy, not like a sheet of glass, as the jet-skiers, motor boats and a few sail boats were making their fair share of wake waves, and it was windy enough to effect the water. (There is plenty of room for everyone, but the ripple effect travels far and wide). I stayed on the perimeter for the first couple of hours, just wanting to catch a glimpse of the park from the waterside. I took my time, I wanted to take my time. I only pulled onto the beach once for a short rest-bit. I knew exactly where I was from the many many times we have walked on the trails by the water. I saw the dense, swampy foliage as I navigated my way around the lake. There were some huge fallen trees w/ the root side facing me. I tried to get some pics, but the kayak kept on moving, the sun was too bright, etc. Their complicated weave of roots made for amazing sculptures, none of which I would have ever seen had I not been on the water. I kept going and at some point I was hoping to find a spot where I could just stay w/out drifting, like putting down an anchor. Well, I have to thank the pelicans for leading me to just the right spot. I was sort of, kind of following a group of pelicans. If I could just get close enough, the sun was behind me, and they were still enough, this could be a good pic, I thought. Well, sure enough, they 'allowed' me to do all that; get close enough, and take a few pics. Once they were done w/ me, one by one by one, they made a line and swam in the other direction. It was quite a sight! And then, lo and behold, I paddled out just far enough and I stopped moving. There was no drifting, I didn't use the paddle to keep the kayak steady. I just sat, and took it all in. Again, time was not an issue, and I savored every moment in that great red ride I had for the day. As it turns out, I was the very last one into the Marina, so whew!!! For any Rhoda Girls reading this, you know in my head I could hear Dede hollering, 'All Rhoda boats in!' Mom would have been really really happy for me for having such a great day...

#grateful #veryverygrateful
The red ride...
Resting, taking it all in...
Short stop on the beach..
The pelicans...thank you pelicans...
'There is a time for everything,
    and a season for every activity under the heavens:
     a time to be born and a time to die,
    a time to plant and a time to uproot,
     a time to kill and a time to heal,
    a time to tear down and a time to build,
     a time to weep and a time to laugh,
    a time to mourn and a time to dance....'
Ecclesiastes 3: 1-4

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

The Haze...

I never would have understood what a monster they are fighting out West w/ the wildfires, had we not lived through 2 of them here in Colorado. We were here for only 6 months when the Waldo Canyon fire occurred in 2012. I can tell you that when the fires literally exploded over the canyon and took out close to 350 homes in one fell swoop, not to mention the automated phone call we received from Medtronic, the supplier of Edwards' diabetic supplies, reminding us what to take if we needed to evacuate, it was horrifying. Forest fires create their own weather. What they are battling out West has been going on for weeks now, almost 1 month. It is hard to imagine. I am not sure why I was surprised when the wind changed and blew the smoke from the fires East, that we would be so effected here in Colorado. The air has been heavy, the haze so thick and unbelievably so, we could smell the fire. Also, most unexpected, have been the sunsets since the weekend. As a New Yorker, an orange sunset during the hot dog days of summer was not an unusual sight. Here, however, not so much. My camera literally would not register the color orange, and as a result, I got some interesting shots. Last night the wind was so strong I was almost bowled over, and thankfully, I am catching a glimpse of the Rockies this morning. Please, keep the firefighters and the good people out West in your prayers. I have included 1 pic from the Black Forest fire which was taken from Edward's room, literally 1 hour after the fire happened. 

Life marches on, we continue w/ our daily routines. I have been savoring these last days of the outdoor pool being open, and broke my record of 70 laps, to a big, 72 laps yesterday, which is a little over 1 mile!!!

As a post script to last weeks post about the Corpse Flower, 'Stinky' as it was known here, has keeled over and died. No picture necessary!

Saturday, 8/22
Sunday, 8/23
Monday, 8/24, setting...
Monday, 8/24 setting..
Monday, 8/24 setting..
Last night, 8/25..
From Edward's room, literally 1 hour after the Black Forrest fire began, 2013...

'For every beast of the forest is mine,
the cattle on a thousand hills.
 I know all the birds of the hills,
and all that moves in the field is mine.'
 Psalm 50:10-11

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Lily Pads/Lilleypad, Etc.

I named my first Etsy shop, 'Lilleypad'. It helps to come up w/ something relatable, and hopefully, a bit clever. Needless to say, I have a true affinity for the Lily Pad flower. We have had the Botanic Gardens in Denver in the front of our brain, as it has been all over the news here. The infamous 'Corpse Flower', which they have in the gi-normous greenhouse was getting ready to bloom. Interestingly, a relative of the 'Lily Family', the Corpse Flower blooms once every 10 years, for about 2 days, and gives off the odor of a decomposing mammal. Gross, very very very gross. However, yesterday was cool, by Augusts' standards, and we decided that it would be a perfect way to seize the moment by going to the Botanic Gardens. I had a field day taking a boat load of pics, from Queen Anne's Lace, to the Sunflowers, the many many Lily Pads, the gorgeous Solarium (I want to live there!), and of course, the Koi Fish. As it turns out, I read today, that just a few hours after we left the Corpse Flower began to bloom. This was not something I wanted to experience, ever. But, we did see it, and I took some pics, which, somehow, not surprisingly, did not come out. But, I have to thank that strange creation for getting us to the Botanic Garden. What a gift, smack in the middle of Denver!

Post script: People were waiting as long as 3 hours to experience the 'Corpse Flower', and in some cases, were handed barf bags...things that make you go hmmmmmm.....
Koi fish...
Lily pads....
They come in all shapes and sizes!!
The Solarium, I want to live here!
The bees are alive and well in Denver!!
Queen Anne's Lace, more bees!
From the gift shop!
The Corpse flowering plant...eeeeew
(not my pic)

'The Lord will guide you always;
    he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
    and will strengthen your frame.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
    like a spring whose waters never fail.'   
                                                            Isaiah 58:11

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

So, There Was This Funnel Cloud... and Then Some Pesto!

We were driving back from Denver around 3:30ish yesterday, the storm clouds were most definitely getting ready to spill. I looked to my right, and I said to Jimmy, 'Is that, could it be, holy ****, really?????, ****, ****, ***'. I had my iPhone and camera w/ me, as I do @ all times. The thing is, seeing a funnel cloud, which you can literally see change second by second, is really scary!! It is hard to explain, like the wild fires here in Colorado. Having never experienced living through 1 wild fire, let alone 2 (#listentosmokeythebear), and having never seen a funnel cloud, in person (thankfully), until yesterday, all I can say is, it is almost like a shock to your system, and you immediately, and I mean immediately, go straight in to survival mode. We saw that we had some wiggle room to get home. Had some errands we were running and we were very close to the house. We made it to our last stop and heard one of the security men saying to a customer, 'We will hear from the National Weather Service if we need to evacuate!' The skies on either side of us were seriously questionable, at best. People were pulling over to take pics. Not us!!! We stayed in the car and made a b-line for home as I was snapping away. The tornado warning sirens were blaring over the entire metro-Denver area. Denver International Airport was emptied to lower levels for shelter. Apparently, they train for this, because the Gal @ the airport who was being interviewed was very very calm, which was a good thing. We made it home without issue and I knew the best thing for me would be to cook, or make something to stay busy. We just finished our last batch of pesto from last summers' haul, and I have been stocking up on pistachios and parm, prepping for this years harvest. Again, there was time to go out on the deck and pluck a bunch of basil, also in the hope that we would not lose power. You just never know. So, in time, the funnel dissipated, the first batch of (to die for) pesto was made. A huge sigh of relief all around. The skies cleared, and, well enough for us to have a gorgeous sunset!! Today, a beautiful day, bright, sunny. Never a dull moment....
To our left...
The funnel to our right...oy
The basil, so gorgeous..
Amy's famous pesto...
Summer sunset after the storm...

'Out of the south comes the whirlwind, and cold out of the north..' Job 37:9

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Light, Space & Time, On-Line Art Gallery

I received an email a couple of weeks ago from my friend Suzie. She thought that I might be interested in entering an on-line nature, photo contest from the Light, Space and Time On-Line Art Gallery. Light Space & Time conducts monthly themed online art competitions.  The winning artwork is promoted through the gallery to over 39,000 visitors and receives over 66,000 Page views each month.   News of each winning artist’s participation is also emailed to the over 7,000 thousand gallery owners, corporate art representatives and decision makers in the fine arts field, who subscribe to their bulletins. I enter 'challenges' all the time through Twenty20. I find these challenges to be very subjective, but it is great exposure, and on occasion, one of my pics will wind up in the top 20, which is always fun. I see the most beautiful pics every single day from all over the world on Instagram, and on Twenty20. There are over 300 million users on Instagram alone. The only other time I have heard 300 million used in a sentence, was in reference to the age of the rocks in Garden of the Gods National Park! There are around 45 million users on Twenty20. So, recognition in this day and age is a moment to rejoice! Very hard to choose, I thought, but I narrowed it down to 2 pics. The gallery received 660 entries from 22 different countries from around the world, including Australia, Barbados, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal,  Qatar, Saint Maarten, Singapore, Spain,  Thailand, and the United Kingdom.  In addition, the gallery received entries from 36 different states.  Well, lo and behold, I received notice that one of my photos received a 'Special Recognition' nod, in the photography category. The 2nd pic was recently nominated to be included in the 'Signature Collection', on Twenty20, and was accepted!
"Pending Storm', Centennial, Co., Special Recognition
'Mother and Child', NYC, Signature Collection, Twenty20

'Give thanks to the LORD with the lyre; Sing praises to Him with a harp of ten strings. Sing to Him a new song; Play skillfully with a shout of joy.'    Psalm 33:2-3