Monday: This year’s excursions

I am so excited about the upcoming year and You Said There Would be Pie’s journeys this year.
January brings a rare astronomical event. January has two full moons, not too rare, but that’s called a blue moon. You know, Once in a Blue Moon? Well, it happens this month. BUT!! I admit I am so very excited about the second blue moon:
The Blue Blood Supermoon Eclipse! 
This is a total lunar eclipse, starting in EARLY  morning of January 31, 2018, it will also be BOTH a super & a blue moon. Man, I hope those skies are clear and my camera and I get along; for those of us West of Denver the eclipse will start at 3:51 a.m. MST, with the umbra reaching the moon’s edge at 4:48 a.m. Sometimes I’m happy I am a night owl!
blue moon
Here’s what’s on the planner for the rest of the year:
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Oh so many places to visit!
Join us this year!
“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”
― Marcel Proust
DK
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What in the World Wednesday: Winter Storm Grayson

Let me start off by saying :
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With that said, what in the world is going on in the eastern part of the US? We are sitting here in Colorado with snow pack at about 48% of the normal and need just a mere 135% more to reach the peak for our snow pack totals; meanwhile, in Florida, it’s snowing. It may be just .02″ but, they haven’t seen that much snow since 1989!
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Winter Storm Grayson (when did we start naming snow storms?) and now, there is something else called a “Bomb Cyclone”, not a name I would have chosen, but, then again, I am no meteorologist.
I do have to admit, I am really jealous of these snow storms, B of course, is just fine with the 50* and sunny weather we are having here. I am worried for all my eastern US friends and family though. They are looking at -25* temperatures and record setting lows,  damaging ice storms, states of emergencies, snow totals from 5″ – 1′, wind gusts of more than 50 mph, city closures, school closures and heating issues.
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If you are one of those preparing for the worst, please make sure you check on your neighbors, careful with alternate heating, don’t go out unless it’s absolutely necessary and if you do have to, please be prepared for the worst.
So snuggle up with a warm blanket, board games, homemade soup and hot cocoa.
Chicken & Wild Rice Soup Homemade Hot Cocoa Mix
Be safe out there

“A year of snow, a year of plenty.” — French proverb

Merry Monday: The Countdown Begins

December 18…just 7 days until Christmas
What’s left on your to do list?
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Already checked off:
MOST of the shopping
    just a few more little gifts
Sweets made
    no sugarplums dancing in my head though
Packages mailed
    That in itself is a feat!
Gifts wrapped
    I love wrapping gifts!
Cards mailed out
    I love mailing out Christmas cards, a tradition many people don’t do anymore
Tree put up and decorated
    Outside lights hung
What’s left?
Find those stockings
    and a chimney to hang them on
Hang lighting in the bedroom
    My tradition on Christmas Eve is to leave all the Christmas lights on all night
    Watch Polar Express
Have fun!!
This year I am far away from my kiddos and grandbabies, I miss them dearly, but know I am where I need to be right now. I will see them soon and I will hug them dearly!
 “I have always thought of Christmas time, when it has come round, as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys.”
Charles Dickens
DK
**these photos and recipes are not all mine, no copy write infringement meant**

Where in the World Wednesday: Cripple Creek, CO

Gold Mining town Cripple Creek Colorado
History
Cripple Creek has such a rich history: In the late 1890’s one of the largest gold strikes in history was discovered by a rancher/prospector Bob Womack and the last great Gold Rush began! Thousands of would be miners rushed to the area and soon after, Winfield Scott Stratton discovered the famous Independence Lode Mine which claims to have been one of the largest gold strikes in history!  Within three years the small town had added more than ten thousand people and mined over $500 million in gold. Sadly, in 1909 Bob Womack died without a penny to his name.
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Bob Womack
In April of 1896 disaster strikes the small town: the first of two fires claim half of the town and just four days later, the second destroyed the rest of the town; however, the town was rebuilt in a matter of months. Many of those buildings still stand and are home to many casino’s for those hoping to strike it rich one again in Cripple Creek. (And yes, many of them are rumored to be haunted)
Check out the Western History and Genealogy Department’s Cripple Creek Fires, 1896 gallery, which includes images taken during and after the fires.
In the early 1900’s there were over 500 mines established in both Cripple Creek and Victor (a neighboring town) gold was at a cool $18 million and producing 22.4 MILLION ounces of gold: making many millionaires in the great Gold Rush; Winfield Scott Stratton who discovered the the Independence Mine in 1901 and sold it for a comforting $11 million. Spencer Penrose, mine C.O.D. provided the capitol to purchase the Broadmoor Hotel, in Colorado Springs.
The gold continued to be produced in the 1900’s, topping one million ounces in 1916. In 1961 Cripple Creek became National Historical Landmark. Historic buildings stood empty for many years, drawing people to the “Ghost Town” however, town was never without visitors or residents. For those who are still trying to find the “Motherlode”, you can spend time in Cripple Creek, thanks to legalized gambling was passed in 1991. Bringing life back to the the town, casinos now occupy the abandoned buildings of yesteryear!
Mining still exists in Cripple Creek and Victor and you can even tour one of the mines from the gold rush age. The Mollie Kathleen: equal to the height of the Empire State Building; Mary Catherine Gortner staked her claim and built the mine in 1891 and was producing gold until 1961, only missing time during WWII. More than 40,000 people take the elevator down and tour the mine (something I just can’t bring myself to do)
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Going down Cripple Creek, going in a run
Going down Cripple Creek to have some fun

DK

**these photos are not all mine, no copy write infringement meant**

Me Monday: Anniversary, Pokemon and the Kiddo

I have to say, this past weekend was one of the best I have had in awhile. See, it was my anniversary; hubby and I have been married for 22 years. Which, when you look back on our years, it’s kind of amazing he has stuck with me. Between the illnesses, the stress of working three jobs and me just being a complete pain, he has truly honored the wedding vows; in sickness and in health, for worse or for better. Don’t get me wrong, he’s been a handful too! He has one of those faces, when he is listening to you, he looks like he’s about to explode: but he is the best father and grandfather and would move mountains for anyone in the family or friends.
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My son also came to visit!!! Whooo!!! There is something about a mother’s bond with her son(s), that’s truly amazing. He and I have been through a lot too and I am pleased to say, he turned out awesome! He has a great career (sometimes, I think he takes too much on himself), he is respectful, wears his heart on his sleeve and has really never given me a bad day! (OK, there was that one…two times)
Friday night we all (B, A and I) went out downtown and did some Pokemon Hunting. I know, it’s so last year (at least that’s what my niece tells me), but it gets me out of the house and A is one who will make me get out and walk. We have to battle and take over the gyms. Catch the little fellows and he is trying to teach me what he knows in just three days. I have battled and taken over more gyms this weekend and I know I can battle without him, but it’s the time spent with him that makes my heart full! B and Max went with us Friday night too and poor little Max hasn’t had one of the long walks in quite a few months, so after walking eight blocks he was one pooped pup! I was right there with him. EXhausted!
Saturday, we took A up to the Grand Mesa and out to Lands End. It was a balmy 45° and the wind was blowing around 10-15 mph; so, it was COLD! But the view from Lands End over the Grand Valley was awesome; while most of the Aspens have turned and lost their colors, the Scrub Oaks were beautiful! The lower part of the Mesa was filled with brilliant oranges and reds on both the Aspens and Scrub Oaks which made for a great time! I did see some wildlife this time and I did get a photo of them. Blue Jays and of course there were chipmunks too! A few couples were already up there and feeding them, so they were in hog heaven!
We stopped at a small shop called the AppleShed, in Cedaredge: they produce their own hard ciders and I have been told, the Carmel Apple is fantastic. Must be so, since they no longer had any in stock! So, the boys got to do a tasting and we walked out with some fantastic hard ciders. I don’t drink, but I did get some apple juice and man oh man, that is some smooth apple juice!! YUMMO!
Sunday was a day for just A and I and Pokies! We were out for four hours catching, battling and spinning (if you have no idea what Pokemon Go is, here is the link to check it out). Another two miles walked, out in the sunshine, and just taking in the cool fall air. Lunch was with family at Olive Garden. I love that place, but think their prices are just a smidge high!
And then…Game 5 of the World Series. No, I didn’t watch it. But B, A and Momma did! I listened and I have to say. GO ASTROS!
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My perfect weekend is going for a walk with my family in the park. I don’t think there’s anything better.
Anne Wojcicki

DK

Me Monday: My Favorite Pictures

Last year I decided I wanted to start taking pictures: you know, something other than just the phone kind?
Now, not knowing ANYTHING about Digital cameras, I sort of did some research on the different ones and decided I like the Nikon Coolpix l340. I wanted a point and shoot, this would do it. Once I started taking pictures, I wanted to take more of the sky, the moon and the stars, my little camera wouldn’t work for that. For my birthday, my son took me to the store and we “upgraded”, wanting just a bit more, but still within budget, I stayed with the Coolpix and choose the D500, in purple. Now, the kiddo wasn’t happy with the color choice, but I reminded him, it was my camera. So off we went.
Still isn’t exactly what I want; would love to have a DSLR, I really want to take pictures of the stars! For now, I totally love my little purple camera and it suits me just fine. I love it’s so compact, easy to use, not too heavy and takes great pictures.
I have found there are times I want to take pictures and I don’t have my camera with me. What to do, what to do? I use my camera on my phone; takes GREAT pictures (for a phone), always with me and compact.
Here are some of my very favorite pictures.
Moon Shots
 Moon shots are my favorite. It’s a mystery, it’s a force, it stays the same, but is always different.  The moon has been accused of causing craziness on a full moon; but did you also know it’s been blamed to increase ER visits (humans, cats and dogs), sexual activity, auto accidents, murder and suicide. While those may be myth or fact, I love the moon! It’s a calming force within me.

Sunsets and sunrises are the most beautiful time of the day. I see way more sunsets than sunrises, nothing like the sky saying Good Morning or Good Night!

Storm Clouds

These are all taken with my phone camera. The dark black one with the extreme white ones are my most funniest (and probably not such a smart idea). The black is like two seconds before the WHITE of the lightening. I could feel the electricity, see the lightening bolt and where it hit, just across the street to the left of the frame. I jumped and ran back into the house and into my hubby’s arms, where we both just laughed. It was AWESOME!

Flowers and Travel

I love taking photos of flowers, just as much as I do of the moon. This year I didn’t get as many rose photos as I usually do.

“Taking an image, freezing a moment, reveals how rich reality truly is.” …
— Ansel Adams

Where in the World Wednesday: Cedaredge, CO

If you haven’t figured it out by now (as it’s taken me like 20 years to figure it all out), the western slope of Colorado, also known as the Grand Valley, is chock full of agriculture and recreation opportunities.
Olathe, CO: 
 Just an hour drive from Grand Junction on Hwy 50
 Named after Olathe, KS, the town is just outside the Grand Valley, still on the western slope.
 Home to the Olathe Sweet Sweet Corn
    Each August there is a HUGE festival honoring the veggie. The Olathe Sweet Corn Festival. Let me tell you, this corn is worth the wait, the drive and for some of us, the pain  of the eat (many conditions such as Crohn’s, Colitis, Gastroparesis shouldn’t partake in this wonderful veggie). I have yet to go to this festival, from what I hear, it’s a big fun time!
 Home to the Olathe BMX
Palisade, CO:
  A short hop of 20 minutes from Grand Junction, gets you to the home of The Peach Capitol of Colorado and many vineyards and wineries
  Apples, cherries and pears are also in grand supply!
    Another August festival started in the late 1880’s; is the Palisade Peach Festival
       Lots of vendors, wines, peaches, rides for kiddos and food is spread out over three days.
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The junction where the Gunnison and the Colorado Rivers meet
  great for rafting, fishing, kayaking and stand up paddle boarding
crops of apples, peaches, cherries and honey are in great supply
Home to the Colorado National Monument and the Book Cliffs
Country Jam is four days of live country music, held just outside of Grand Junction in Mack
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Fruita, CO:
Just 21 minutes from Grand Junction on Hwy 50
Originally a farming community, it has since become known for its outdoor recreation
   mountain biking, hiking and rafting
Late September brings the three day Fruita Fall Festival
  As with all festivals, it includes: vendors, food and a carnival.
  It also includes; a parade, a talent show, a golf tournament, cooking contests, and even a night street dance
Cedaredge is one of the entrances to the Grand Mesa on CO – 65
a small agricultural town producing, of course, apples, peaches, and beef from cattle.
Home of the Little Britches Rodeo and Parade (the Western Slope chapter)
Don’t miss the Pioneer Town museum and village. Travel back in time to the early 20th century and visit the saloon, the marshall’s office, a bank, jail and much more! You can even hold your wedding there or see a summer concert there.
Out of the Grand Valley and just an hour down Hwy 50 is a great time in Cedaredge where we spent last weekend and their Apple Fest. I have been to the Canon City Apple Blossom festival, Old Colorado City’s Territory Days, Palisade Peach Festival and the Fruita Fall Festival and I have to say, the only thing that comes close to the Apple Fest is Territory Days and Apple Blossom.  The Apple Fest is a four day fest filled with such things as a chili cook off (my aunt says this is a huge event! They always run out of chili and all donations go to the fire department), pancake breakfasts, 5K run, music, arts and tons more! There were so many people, vendors, food and apples, it was impossible to see everything. We HAD to get some apples, one just doesn’t go to a fruit festival and not get the fruit. We started with an apple fritter…YUMMO! at the same booth were apples: I had heard someone in the crowd say, “we need to go to Red Mountain Ranch for our apples.” I looked at the sign on the tent and that’s exactly where we were. The people working the tent were (according to my intel/aunt) were 2-3 generations apple growers. They were very pleasant, friendly and the tent was very clean! I had a taste of the Honey Crisp and it was aMAZING, so we purchased just three.
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I don’t like big crowds and this was one of those, but we were able to look around at the vendor booths and saw so many creative people showing off their arts! Even got to see what happens when something gets stuck in a power line. Crowds at the festival are about 15,000,  I have to say, I think there were 15,000 just on the day we were there (although the pictures don’t really reflect that). There were cars parked in every parkable place for miles! I was very impressed with the whole experience and the best thing about it was, it’s FREE; unlike the Palisade Peach Festival or the Olathe Corn Festival!!
Thank you for traveling the Western Slope with me this past summer, we have a long list of ideas for next summer. Let’s see where winter takes us.
It is only the farmer who faithfully plants seeds in the Spring, who reaps a harvest in the Autumn. B. C. Forbes
DK