Try it Thursday: Christmas in July

I know, I know. It’s too early to start thinking about Christmas. Evidently, Michaels and Walmart thought so too. Hobby Lobby had my number though, they realize it takes crafters more than just a week or two to craft items. B was not at all happy about this, so he just dropped me off and went to the hardware store, it’s easier on us both if he doesn’t craft shop with me.
My shopping list:
Styrofoam/floral styrofoam cones (I got different sizes)
Glue (just plain old white glue, I did opt for the clear though)
Spray Glue
Decorations
Glue gun/sticks
What I didn’t have on the list, but needed:
Yarn
Embroidery thread
saran wrap
Starch (I used what I had on hand for ironing)
Christmas Trees 
I found these instructions when I was madly pinning one night, so I tucked them in one of my boards, at the time, I just glanced over them. You will find, I do this a lot and sometimes, not always, it comes back to bite me in the rear. This time, I went back to the ones I had saved on my Pinterest boards and they were all in Spanish. Don’t worry, I studied the pictures, however, that may have lost something in translation, but it’s all I had to go on.
The instructions had pictures of both with either yarn or embroidery thread. I liked the thread idea as it wasn’t as bulking as the yarn, did I make a good choice? Stay tuned. Mom and I have stashes of both the thread and the yarn, so there was no need to purchase anymore as we have our own little craft shop in the closets…hiding… Next was to decide, thread or yarn, or both! I chose both. I had two forms, let’s try them out at the same time.
I found the colors closest to Christmas (soon found this would be great for any holiday really). What was in my arsenal were reds, blues, greens, whites and greys; so I choose greys and white for the first tree of thread and in my yarn stash, I chose light green and white.
I set up my table with my forms (I chose two sizes) newspaper, my choices of thread, a small Tupperware bowl and my glue.
Step 1: Untangle the thread, put it in the bowl, then poured glue on top of it. Remember when you were a kid and you put glue on your hands and peeled it off? Best thing EVER! You will get to do that again!
I didn’t remove the plastic wrap on the forms as it’s in experimental stages right now, I’m trying everything. If you wanted to, this would be when you would wrap your form in plastic.
Step 2a: Take the end of the thread (I didn’t separate the thread, it’s your choice if you want the fuller or skinnier effect), make sure it has plenty of school glue on it then stick it to the lowest part of the form. Wrap the thread around a few times to make sure it has a sturdy support system, then wrap the thread up and around the form, making sure you always have plenty of glue on the thread. I did two skeins of the lighter grey and two skeins of the white.  Once I had it all wrapped like I wanted, I had to find my fingers in all the glue, so a quick trip to the sink to wash off my hands.
Step 2b: I did the same thing on the larger form, except, I used the spray glue. I lightly sprayed the form still in the plastic wrap, then wrapped some of the yarn up the form, making sure I had a nice foundation on the bottom of the forms so it would be able to stand. When I got about half way up the form, I lightly sprayed the already wrapped yarn and repeated wrapping and spraying until I had the coverage how I wanted.
***Note: you should do this outside for better ventilation. Also, I held the form as I sprayed it, it may have worked better if I had it sitting on some newspaper. Why? I glued my feet to the porch from the falling glue. Just sayin…
Part 3: Patience is a virtue~ Let the form set overnight or at least a couple of hours just to make sure it’s good and dry.
Part 4: Now, it’s time to remove them.
With the regular school glue, I went around the form and kind of squeezed it lightly and twisted to loosen it from the plastic wrap. Just another note, if you use the plastic wrap on the form, take off the sticker of identification, the glue loves to stick to that and I ended up with a weak area where the sticker was. Took some time to get it loose, but I also didn’t want to compromise it’s structural integrity, after all I was building a forest.   Time was not my friend on this one, after a few hours,  it started to droop a bit, so I went and found the starch and I sprayed that on the starch the tree. I did just a little bit at a time just to make sure it was evenly coated and because I didn’t want it too stiff, but no longer sagging.
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Thread tree
The form with the spray glue and yarn didn’t work out so well. It wanted to stick to that plastic and forget about getting it off of the sticker. I ended up cutting off the plastic wrap and removing the form that way, instead of just sliding it like I had done with the thread. After I removed the yarn from the plastic wrap (it was very sticky, but still usable), I used yarn and thread to make a new one, I did the school glue method again and I wrapped first with thread and then with yarn.
Adding decorations:
 
Even though the craft store had it’s Christmas crafting goodies out, they didn’t have any tiny decorations I was looking for, so I improvised. I purchased some of the berry sticks from the floral department and then snipped them off the branch to use. I used the glue gun, please remember, they can be a HOT glue gun and the glue does get HOT!
The white one is the thread one. I think if I had used more thread, it may have stood up better. And yes, the white one is leaning.
If one takes pride in one’s craft, you won’t let a good thing die. Risking it through not pushing hard enough is not a humility.
Paul Keating
DK
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Colorado Scenic Byway: Grand Mesa

Part 1: Driving the Loop
I first experienced the Grand Mesa Loop a few years ago when mom and I had gone on a drive to check out the fall leaves. The colors on the Mesa are simply amazing, so I wanted to go back to see what the summer had in store for us. We wanted to make it up there before the snow flies and the road closes, this is Colorado though and there is still some snow on the tops of the mountains. B and I jumped in the ride with Max and headed east.  This trip through the Grand Mesa National Forest will be, what is called “the loop.” Starting in Grand Junction we head east on I70 to State Highway 65, over the mesa and through Cedaredge and Delta,  then to US Highway 50 west, back to Grand Junction. Of course, you can take the loop either way.
Fall on the Mesa
October 2014
Let’s start with what the Grand Mesa is:
It is a National Forest
It is 11,000 ft above sea level, which makes it the largest mesa in the world!
It is home to Powder Horn Ski Resort
It has over 300 lakes, many trails for hiking, fishing, climbing, hunting and more
It also have cabins, lodging and camping areas
Cooler packed, sunscreen and bug spray applied, dog in harness and away we go! Once you get off of I70, you will be able to turn off your AC as the temperature cools as you climb. One of the most wonderful things about Colorado is the greatest summer sport out there, seems no matter where you go, you will be able to watch teams of men and women baking in the sun on the hot asphalt while waving the magical sign, STOP/SLOW. Welcome to road construction season. Our first wait at the STOP sign was about 20 minutes long, while the sport may contain many hard moves or daring feats, this one happened to be boring.  There was, however,  a nice stream I could have gotten out of the ride to see and take pictures of, but I chose to stay in the car and work on my window suntan. Once the pilot vehicle drops off its parade of following traffic we get the go ahead to take our turn following him. I have to say, if I HAD to choose a job in road construction, that would be the one I choose, being a pilot vehicle.
The road wasn’t crowded at all, but the campgrounds and trail heads looked like they had quite a few people in them. It was a nice cool, drizzly drive up the north side of the Mesa. There are many pull offs along the way to grab pictures of the awesome views! If only we knew what the mountain ranges are in the picture, something we are working on. We found lots of flowers, a few chipmunks, a hawk with dinner mid air and the Forest Service out looking for some kind of wild life (truck and trailer), but no Moose, Cattle or Snow Mobiles.
We didn’t get to go down to the Land’s End Observatory, but it is for sure on the next trip.  The road to the observatory is about 12 miles of dirt. Along the way, you will see the historic Raber Cow Camp, which is an example of camps used when the ranchers moved cattle up the mesa in the summer. The observatory is the original visitor center built in 1936-1937 and the access road was primarily built by 200 WW1 veterans between 1933-1934. Once you reach the observatory, you will be able to see Utah’s La Sal Mountains, the edge of the Grand Mesa, beautiful wildflowers and over the Gunnison Canyon. The views of the sunset from here are said to be exquisite, so pack your blanket and camera and head up there for some amazing photos, that’s what I plan on doing. Want more fun? Just past the observatory is a nail biting hairpin – turn road which makes a 6,000 foot decent into the valley below. Pretty sure you shouldn’t drive and take photos while on the way down, unless you have a copilot.
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Heading down the other side of the mesa, you will find more lakes and trails, lots of wildflowers and the visitor center. Something to remember, whether a day trip, a drive through the loop or camping, there are no waste bins so you must pack out your trash and such. That’s a friendly reminder from Max. The visitor center was small, but growing and this Saturday (July 29th, 2017) there is a moose walk, should you find yourself in the area! I finally found the pocket guides I had been looking for. I only purchased five, but it was like I had found the Holy Grail! I will be back for more, unless I find them on another trip.
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You will pass Island Lake, can’t miss it, it’s HUGE! While we were there, just catching some sun and pictures of wildflowers, we also spotted a lot of fish jumping. Seems the lake is stocked with trout, and also has a fish known as a splake. Splake? Looking it up now. One of the pocket guides I didn’t get…fish.
Splake:  a hybrid of two fish species; a male brook trout and a female lake trout. And you didn’t think you would learn anything.
Continuing down the mesa, you will notice the temperature rise. It was a difference of 20* from the top of the mesa to the entrance to Cedaredge, that’s when the AC came back on. A nice drive through Cedaredge also known as the Gateway to the Grand Mesa and is a Historic Pioneer Town. Guess what’s on the to do list now? We jumped on State Highway 50 and headed west towards home. It was a beautiful drive, however, going back to tackle the outdoor recreation will be a process of more than six months and with the snow coming, it may take longer. Don’t worry though, we will share the experiences along the way.
We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.
T. S. Eliot

DK

Me Monday: My Dream Job

When you were a little kid what was your dream job?
What did you want to be when you grew up?
Did you want to be an Astronaut? A doctor? Lawyer?
Did you want to be a mommy or daddy? A teacher?
Did you make that dream come true or did you find yourself on a different plan?
I was in jr. high school when I realized I loved baking and my great plan was to go to Paris to learn the art of baking. However, I found myself on a totally different path when I hit high school. The wonderful thing about my new path; it would bring me the joy of my life, my son! I have never looked back on what I may have I missed, but each day, I know I am blessed with what he has given me.
I’ve had several jobs in my 33 years since the day of high school graduation and I admit, they haven’t all been easy. However, we were never really told this was going to be an easy life. We were promised, though, it would be worth it. So, I still tend to dream about my dream job and how wonderful I will be at it.
So what is my now, new dream job?
If money, education and language barriers were no object: I would love to be a blogger traveling the world, taking photos of churches, cathedrals, skies, water…just about everything! I love seeing new places where I love to take pictures. Heck, I love to take pictures at home. Not so much of me, but of everything else around. Except bugs, don’t like bugs. When I look through the lens of a camera and look beyond the initial scene and really see into what is there, I have the best feeling in the world. Whether it be a rainbow, a man catching a fish or a baby being born, there is always more than one side to look at things.
Just what is a photograph?
 the Free Dictionary defines it as:

“pho·to·graph

(fō′tə-grăf′)

n.

An image, especially a positive print, recorded by exposing a photosensitive surface to light, especially in a camera.
v. pho·to·graphed, pho·to·graph·ing, pho·to·graphs”
 

“Definition of photograph

  1. :  a picture or likeness obtained by photography
noun
  • A picture made using a camera, in which an image is focused on to light-sensitive material and then made visible and permanent by chemical treatment, or stored digitally.”
Many definitions for a simple word. Except the simple word becomes complex when you add; light, human, animal, event, history, celebrations, emotions or challenges. What I might see and feel can be totally different from what you see and feel and yet, we are looking at the same thing. When I look at a photo of an ancient ruin it brings questions to my mind; How was that made, destroyed, used? Who lived or worked there? Are the halls full of hate or happiness? Present day cathedrals bring to me a feeling of awe, so much so, I remain quiet. Can you hear the choir or the sermon? How did the architecture come about? What do these walls want you to know?
When I was in Alaska, I took pictures of the sky, the ocean and the glaciers. I tried to take the photos I wanted to remember, but not just to look at, but to hear the sound, feel the mist or the sun rays, feel the rain or hear the quietness.  My photo of the glaciers remind me of how powerless and small I am. How nature rules and how history can come to life. The photo silences me every time I look at it and remember the peace of the ocean, the sound of the waves, the crash of the glacier calving and the stillness of the air. Can I convey to you, how I felt and bring you into the picture with me, I hope so. I know, in my dream job, I can.
Margerie Glacier
When I look at this, I can still feel the motion. The sound of the waves. The beauty of nature.
Traveling also brings food and drink. I love to take food porn, nothing x rated, just beautiful (and sometimes, not so beautiful) photos of what you ordered hoping to have the best experience of your life or just to eat your most favorite food ever or even, discover what a certain food may look like.
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Have you ever eaten a dessert and you know you may never find or replicate it again? Do you remember which emotion it brought to you when you tasted the first bite? I have photos from a vacation I took, where I was able to taste foods I will probably never see again. I remember the taste of the chocolate cake and remember how incredibly chocolate it was without being too sweet or bitter and happy it made me. The photos may never do the original product justice, but the words attached can truly illicit thoughts, tastes, smells, memories you may have had some place some time you didn’t remember and now it’s right in front of you.
So, where would I go on my adventures. I would totally go back to Alaska and see more of the land, not just the sea. I would love to cross off every state in the US off my bucket list and I would love to photograph my husband experiencing every baseball park in America and Canada. The look of a kid, the joy of the game and his happy place showing in his eyes. It’s nothing I would want to forget.
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The top world trips on my list are:
Paris – The Eiffel Tower – Arc de Triumph – The Louvre – The Catacombs
Italy – St. Peters Bassilica – Valley of the Temples – Rome – Lake Como – Pompeii – Colosseum
Germany – Heidelberg Castle – Mannheim Residential Palace – The Berlin Wall – The Rhine – The Holocaust Memorial – The Black Forest
Each country must also include any castles, cathedrals, palaces or churches.
So when you remember what you wanted to do when you grew up doesn’t go quite the way you planned, remember, just yell PLOT TWIST and hang on. Never stop dreaming, even if it’s just for one day you get to experience your dream job, one day may be more than you ever expected.
“God’s plan for your life is happening right now. It doesn’t begin when you get married or when you get your dream job or when everything feels perfect. You are IN the plan. –
Tara Leigh Cobble

Me Monday: Pet Peeves

We all have them. Pet Peeves. 
Do the things that peeve us most, make us feel more superior than the other person? Does it make us look at people differently by the peeve that peeves us the most? Do you say anything? Do you grin and bear it? What do you do?
Here is my list of five of my pet peeves. Just for the record, I usually don’t say anything about them to anyone. Why? I am sure I peeve people off too!
Chewing with your mouth open/talking with your mouth full.  
I must admit, since starting this blog, I have learned so much and this is just an example of that.
There is a condition called Misophonia: A condition when a person reacts extremely negative to certain sounds most people take little or no notice of.
The chewing, smacking, popping, crunching, slurping can make one extremely agitated; I am not quite to that point. I know when I was younger my mom and dad taught me it was impolite to chew with your mouth open, talk with your mouth full and yet, it seems like many young people today did not get that same memo. Or, if they did… They may possibly believe this can make them seem more powerful and powerful people do not need to follow rules or the rules don’t pertain to them.
I seen…
What in the world is I seen?
There is “I saw” or “I have seen”.
Let’s take a look at this:
SAW is the PAST TENSE of the verb SEE
Seen is the PAST PARTICIPLE of the VERB see. What the heck is a past participle?
Since I have no idea what a past participle is, I headed over to Merriam-Webster.com
and this is what I found.
Definition of past participle:
  a participle which typically expresses a completed action, that is traditionally one of the principal parts of the verb, and that is traditionally used in English in the formation of perfect tenses in the active voice and of all tenses in the passive voice.
So, in other words, SEEN needs a partner to complete the past action.
 For example “raised” in lots of hands were raised or I have seen.
OR 
Generally, seen is partnered with have, has, had, was or were in a sentence and then, they make COMPOUND VERBS.
Now we are just getting carried away with fancy grammar words.
But seriously, when someone uses I seen, it just grates on my nerves like fingernails on the chalk board
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Misspelled words 
When my kids were in high school, I would look over their reports and attempt to correct the spelling. The response I received every single time was, “the teachers don’t care about spelling.”
There goes the sound of fingernails on the chalk board again.
Why?
I had spelling tests almost all of my school years. If the words were misspelled on a report, it was marked incorrect. So, why does the younger generations get by with not learning to spell properly? Have the schools become that complacent with just letting people get by? Heck, they don’t even teach cursive anymore. This is part of the old time system called reading, writing and arithmetic, which has evidently gone away and no one cares about it any more.
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Customer Service
This can go so many ways. My biggest peeve is the drive through employee.
Place your order, total given, drive to first window. The blank stare at you, the popping of the gum and no Hello! Your total is…and let’s not forget the ability to count change back. I know most of us use credit/debit cards now a days, however, when I give the cashier $10.01 for a $6.51 bill, I usually get the penny back with a strange look of confusion.
Drive to the next window, your bag is hanging outside the window, no acknowledgment of any kind and please don’t ever expect a thank you!
I have worked in retail/customer service for 95% of my life. There is no harm in saying Hi! two hamburgers, medium fry and large Coke comes to $6.51. Thank you! Have a nice day.
Nope, just a have a good one, IF you get anything. I do have to exclude Chick Fil-A from this however, they rock at customer service. Why? They are TAUGHT and EXPECTED to adhere to the policies and guidelines.
People who can’t pronounce my name correctly.
I know I have a strange name. I’ve had it for 50+ years. I’ve heard it all.
Deni (DeeKnee) that’s it. Nothing more. NO, it’s not Demi, Denny or Deny. I am used to correcting people on my name, I get that. However, I am talking about people I introduce myself to: Doctors, nurses, teachers, etc. HI! My name is DeeKnee…. Nice to meet you Denny… Did you NOT just hear me tell you how to pronounce my name. Going back to customer service. You are on the phone with someone, they ask for Denny, this is DEEKNEE. Denny, my name is so and so. It’s me. It’s who I am. If you can’t take the time to respect my name, then why should I take the time to hang with you?
The chalk board again!
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All that said, I am not perfect, I am one of those who will have their cell phone out most of the time. I don’t talk on the phone when I am ordering food, picking up a package, checking in someplace and I am really trying to break the cell phone habit altogether. So, if you are reading this and you are one of these people, I will maintain my silence while I am quietly correcting your manners, grammar and spelling. I will say THANK YOU, even when you won’t. I hope you will at least try on your end.
 My pet peeve is hearing a knock on the bathroom door followed by the familiar words, ‘What are you doing in there?
Karen Scalf Linamen 
DK

Try It Thursday: Peach Pie

So
The reasoning behind the name  “You Said There Would Be Pie” is I like to relate it to life. Life can be a piece of pie. It can be a pizza pie. Even a mathematical equation. Every piece of pie is different. You can make the pies square or round or whatever you would like. Think outside the box!
This weeks pie is all about Peach Pie.
I don’t like to make pies, I struggle with the crust making, even if it’s store bought. Nevertheless, if you live in Grand Junction or really anywhere in Colorado, you know Palisade Peaches are the best. They are sweet and jam packed with juice which runs down your chin and gets all over your face, clothes and hands. Palisade or even the Grand Valley for that matter, have hot days and cool nights which are perfect for bringing out the natural sugars in the peaches. California peaches, by comparison seem dry, mealy and tart because they are picked green for shipping and once you pick them, the sugars no longer develop. There are two kinds of peaches you can find in the local stands and farmer’s markets: early season cling peaches and freestones. The names “cling” and “freestone” refer to the peach pits. A “cling” peach will stick to the pit (which is the variety I bought today) and a “freestone” is not securely attached to the pit, even when they are fully ripe. Freestones are larger, juicier, sweeter and easier to work with and had I known that, I may have waited for them to ripen. But, it’s all a learning process.
Therefore, Peach Pie it is!
So I searched Pinterest for the “best and easiest” pie, remember, I am terrible at making pies. So I found a recipe called EASY PEACH PIE, well great! I like EASY!! So we gathered the ingredients at the store and we even went picking lavender, so I purchased a cute bottle of Sprigs & Sprouts of Western Colorado; Culinary Lavender “Ms. Katherine”. I thought just a touch would do, something different.
I dug into slicing the peaches, not quite as easy as I had planned for that, but again, a learning experience. Peaches cut, I mixed the crumble mixture next. All Purpose Flour (Check), white sugar (check), brown sugar (check), cold butter (check), cornstarch...uh oh, I kid you not, we used the very last drop of cornstarch last night and I didn’t realize I would need any for today, so…Google, what is a substitution for cornstarch? Google gave us quite a list: flour, rice flour, after which I stopped listening and started thinking…oats? Mom said that wouldn’t be so good! I saw a box of unflavored gelatin, thought, worse comes to worse I could use this, but I decided on the flour. So for the 1 tablespoon of cornstarch needed, I substituted 3 tablespoons of AP flour.

The dreaded pie crust was next. I was going to attempt to make it from scratch but decided I didn’t need that kind of pressure today and I already had store bought crusts so…Score! Bottom goes in, mind you the crust design is not at all pretty and I’m OK with it.

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Next up, dressing the peaches. Cinnamon (check), nutmeg (not a fan, didn’t use), fruit fresh (Wait…what????). I had NO Fruit fresh, so, I subbed that with juice from 1/2 of a lemon and nutmeg was subbed with just a small pinch of the lavender. I didn’t know how it would taste, so I started small. Peaches dressed, 1/2 of the mixture into the pie crust. 1/2 of the crumble mix. then the other 1/2 of the peaches and then topped with the last part of the crumbles. Top of the pie was to be lattice, so I think I did that pretty good, for a first time. Egg washed and then into the 450* oven for 15 minutes. Then 350* for 30 minutes. THEN turn the oven off and let set for 90 minutes. OK, it said easy, didn’t say it was quick.
2 1/2 HOURS later, the pie came out looking like a gem! And yes, I used the wrong sized pie pan.
Test came when B and mom were ready for their piece. The pie sliced nicely, didn’t run (figured with no cornstarch it would), it held up in the cutting process and topped it off with some frozen whipped cream. It was delish!!! I kid you not, everyone loved it. I don’t really know about the lavender, I’m still on the fence with that.
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Here’s my rendition of the pie recipe:
Ingredients
  • 1 tsp Fruit, fresh
  • 2 1/2 lbs Peaches, fresh pitted and sliced
  • 1/3 cup All-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup Brown sugar, packed
  • 1/4 cup Butter
  • 1/2 tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 heaping tbsp Cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp Nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp Sugar
  • 1/2 cup White sugar
  • 1 double 9″ pie crust

Instructions

 

~Mix together flour, sugars, cornstarch and butter until it is at the crumb stage.
            If you don’t have cornstarch, you can use 3 T of AP flour and add that into the crumb stage.
~Combine peaches with cinnamon, nutmeg and fruit fresh.
             I used 2 T of lemon juice instead of fruit fresh
             And just a pinch of lavender (I’m sure you could also use lavender sugar too)
~Place one crust in the bottom of a 9 inch pie plate.
~Add half the peach mixture and then half the crumb mixture on top. Next add the last of the peaches, then the last of the crumb mixture. Lightly tap on the counter to settle the peaches.
~Roll the remaining crust into an 11-inch circle. Cut into 1-inch strips. Lay 6 strips over the top of the pie filling. Weave the remaining 5 strips to form a lattice top. Using a pairing knife cut off the                 excess dough. Press the ends to the bottom crust and crimp with a fork.
~Using only the whites of an egg brush across the lattice top.
            I evidently messed this part up too, I used the whole egg and then sprinkled the sugar on top
~Place on a lined cookie sheet to catch the drippings. Bake at 450 degrees F for 15 minutes. Drop the temperature to 350 degrees F for 30 minutes. Turn off the oven and leave the pie there for about 90 minutes or until fully cooled and set.
~Top with whipped cream (frozen or not) or ice cream
If I had to change anything (besides the lavender), I would add a bit of sugar and more cinnamon to the peaches. I have included the recipe for the original pie in the hyperlink above with the name of the pie.
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Don’t miss the 2017 Palisade Peach Festival! I’ll be there, will YOU?
Life is better than death, I believe, if only because it is less boring, and because it has fresh peaches in it.
Alice Walker

 

Me Monday: Dear Younger Me

Dear younger me,
I know right now you are thinking the world is a wonderful place. Mom and Dad have hung the moon and stars for you and they have. You might not always know it or like it, but they have reasons for rules, chores and doing things you don’t want to do. Please remember your times you spend with grandma & papa, great grandma and & papa, papa & nanny and your cousins. Our grandparents won’t always be around, so make sure you tell them you love them and listen to their stories. Please take better notes than I did, as we will really like to find out about where we came from and who we are later in life. Everyone will grow up and grow away and that’s OK. Gone will be the days of lip syncing and dancing to Run Joey Run and The Night Chicago Died, those nights will be forever embedded in our mind and we will look back with fond memories. However, it’s probably the reason we never sang or danced anywhere else, as we see ourselves as an awkward little girl.
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One of the best things in our childhood is where we grew up. Yes, it took 45 minutes to get to school and home each day. Yes, there are no conveniences (stores or restaurants of any kind) anywhere within a ten mile radius, but we did learn to make the best of what we have. Don’t worry when we, our sister and her friends decide to ride to Monument during Spring Break and it starts to snow, we will get a ride for a deputy sheriff, the neighbors will talk about him delivering us to the house, but we were OK and sister didn’t freeze. This will also be the onset of one of the career paths we choose. Law Enforcement, although we won’t realize it for quite awhile.
Teen years are a bit more difficult, just because there are still no conveniences around. We will get our first job at the skating rink and that will be the onset of several rougher years. We will find our first boyfriend is not only an alcoholic but also a small time drug dealer. The other side of that is that we stay with him for ten years and have our amazing son, things won’t be easy, but they won’t be hard either. Don’t worry when he gets arrested for urinating in public, it will be just a ticket and yet another look into our future. Even though we get divorced and have a really rough few years dealing with depression, domestic violence, drinking and co dependency, we also get to go back to school for culinary arts and we do very well, but get bored and lose interest. School leads us on another path to what we want to do when we grow up. We do get a great job (or what we think is a great job) at a 5-Star hotel where we start as a “dishwasher” and end up the pastry girl of Colorado’s only Forbes 5 Star, AAA 5 Diamond restaurants, for a short time.
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We meet our hubby there in one of the kitchens during service. He was totally unexpected and knew we weren’t ready to settle down, or so we thought. He will move Heaven and Earth for us and our son. He will raise our son as his own and you would never know he isn’t the natural dad. Don’t worry when the kiddo calls us and let’s us know his father had beat him, we will get custody of him and he will never bother us again. You will be scared, at first, of being a step mom (since we haven’t done such a great job thus far with our own), the kids will try you, but they will also trust you. Things will get a bit crazy when we decide to build a house. We will find our stepson will be a father at 16 years old and at the same time, we will lose our third baby. Baby K was totally a mystery, it will come as a surprise since there were no pregnancy tell tales. Just know, we do a great job with the children we do have and when we get grand kids, they are our entire world.
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We finally get that job in law enforcement, we did a great job on the civilian side of our job. When we go through the academy, the entire world will change. Terrorists will fly airplanes through the Twin Towers in New York City. Thousands will be killed and it will take quite awhile for the shock to wear off of the world. But, it’s OK  it’s just made us stronger. We do graduate the academy and we do spend just four weeks as a deputy. Seems God had a different plan for us, so don’t get too upset, things work out great!
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Also, when you get the call from the kiddo that he’s “sick”, just remember, you always told him to tell the truth even if he knows what he did is wrong. We will make promises to the kids there will never be any punishment for stupid things kids do, and it’s tough to uphold that rule when it happens. BUT!!! We do get a great laugh out of it, he is OK (and learned the hard way) and turns out better than we do!! The kids growing up were the hardest thing we had to deal with in a while. Kiddo moves to Arizona, son gets into the wrong crowds and made choices which affected the whole family. Daughter gets married to a wonderful guy and they now have two little boys. So, we do go through so sad and frustrating times, but it’s all a learning experience and we are better for it. We also realize our first dream job (well, kinda), we open an in home cakery and we are very good at it. We do very well for quite awhile and then we start to get sick and we will have to give it up and again, it’s OK! You may think the world is ending, but it’s not, it’s just beginning, again.
I look back on the things we went through and realize, they were never really bad as we thought they were. The sun still rose in the east and the morning and the moon always sets in the west and at night. Everything is working out, maybe not how WE want it to, but the way it’s supposed to be, so remember when you get frustrated because someone hurts your feelings or makes you mad, this too shall pass. I also say, enjoy the ride!
“Be the kind of person who dares to face life’s challenges and overcome them rather than dodging them.”
― Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart