Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Colorado Summer Trip ~ Day 3

Over the pass to find Little Baldy.
We studied the maps and had a hazy idea of the way we took 7 years ago...
...and we made it! To the top!
Certainly not the trail straight up we used years ago.
And certainly not the quickest route.
But we explored some new-to-us terrain, and gave Granny a chance to drive all morning.

Along the way we snagged our fishing lines and spent some time untangling.

We found some more beautiful wild roses.

And a forest field of lavender loveliness growing beneath the tall tall Pines and Aspens.

Ahhh, here we are exploring the tip-top and morning's destination. Eating another picnic in the clouds.

I think they're enjoying life, don't you?

Next stop, Wanita Hot Springs Reservoir. (That's what we called it anyway.)

We used our repaired lines to fish, but only caught a lot of nibbles and 1 trout. (Plus a funny photo expression!)

Oh, and many more flowers! 
Bouquets for Mamaw. Bouquets for the Ranger. Bouquets for the cabin.
(Yep, Colorado 4-wheeling has a different flair with 6 ladies along.)

What was intended to be a short day, lasted all day. 
However, we still managed to enjoy the grilled chicken supper, creek fishing, father/son jaunt to Tarpaper Shack, replenishing firewood, a warm woodstove fire, hummingbird entertainment, and s'mores with service.

Vacation is good.
God is Great!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Colorado Summer Trip ~ Days 1 & 2

The Arkansas River drive from Canon City to Salida  proved for beautiful mountain sights of white water rafting and trains, etc.

The little girls barely took a nap during the 10 hour drive, so once we arrived at the cabin in White Pine, they complained that they were sick, then promptly fell asleep before supper was ready.

It was chilly in the Rockies for us prairie folks that had driven away from 100 degree weather. Hence the blanket and winter hat.

The first morning, some slept in, and some took a walk. We found a crudely built shack with a couple of swings, and enjoyed the woods opening up to a creek in the valley.

On the trail!
The 4-wheeler navigated over the rocks much more smoothly than the 4-seater ranger. 
Bumpety-bump, roll, sway. 

Just above tree-line it started to rain, so we all tucked in under the tarp to wait it out.
Thankfully it didn't last long!

Then we took a photo op. 
Grandparents' 1st time on the trail, 2nd time in Colorado.
Our family's 2nd time on this trail, 5th time in Colorado.

Around the bend, coming down from the top of Tomichi Pass were a couple of patches of snow that some of us hiked up to. Daddy tried to throw a snowball way down to those resting in the ranger. Little girls followed suit.

Mmmm. Snowballs in July!

Our picnic lunch on Alpine Tunnel trail was interrupted by rain and sleet balls, so we all cozied up in the ranger again to finish eating. This time it did not let up, so we drove into Pitkin wet and cold hanging onto the tarp in the biting wind. 


We sipped coffee and hot chocolate at the gas station until the sky cleared and headed on to the cabin.

Apparently it hadn't rained at the cabin. 
We busied ourselves with building fires inside the wood stove and outside in the fire ring, sipping more hot drinks, and playing outside in the crisp mountain air.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

June Garden

In early June the Contender green beans were growing and filling in their planting area.

Later on, we picked about 12 pounds... and they're still blooming!

The many tomato plants are also growing with a few blooming. I have to keep reminding myself they are heirloom and will not produce as quickly nor as fast as hybrid varieties. sigh.

Fancy pumpkin leaves!

I planted and replanted okra in a new extended section of our back garden. The plants are still a bit scattered on the west end, but the east part of the 3 rows are flourishing. 

Below: Our son planted the rest of his sweet corn seed left from last year and is hopeful it will not get eaten by worms this time. (However the tiller was broken down at the prime weeding time and his watering has produced lovely tall weeds in between the rows.)

The rather large pea trellis/gate was overkill for the 3 piddly plants that made it to the top. It is going to be perfect for the many cucumber plants that are rapidly growing though.


Our family of 7 has quickly eaten spinach, lettuce, greens, chard, kale, basil, cilantro, parsley, and green beans out of the garden so far!

Produce harvested in June: 22 pounds
Produce harvested in May: 1 pound

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Tacos, Salads, Pizza, Soup (New Recipes of the Week ~9)

Black Bean Chicken Tacos

Hot Pineapple Beef Salad

6 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp sugar
2 Tbsp sesame oil (or seeds)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound boneless beef sirloin steak (or venison)
4 large lettuce leaves
2 pounds pineapple, peeled and cored
1/3 c thinly sliced green onions (or diced onion)

Mix soy sauce, sugar, sesame oil, and garlic. Cut steak into 1/8" thick slices and coat with marinade. Place lettuce leaf on each plate, or on platter. Arrange pineapple on lettuce. Stir fry meat (and onion, if using regular) until browned, 3-5 minutes. Spoon equally over lettuce leaves. Sprinkle with green onions. Serve immediately

Quick and easy; simple and sweet. We all liked the pineapple and beef especially!

Thick-n-Chewy Pizza

Baking Day
Soft Pretzel sticks, Sourdough Mulberry muffins, and Pumpkin scones.

Kielbasa Bean Soup 

Tuna Pasta Salad

Those are the new recipes we've tried lately...only one keeper of the bunch, 
besides the baking day goodies!