Thursday, July 31, 2014

July 31, 2014---Michelle’s in Loveland, Colorado

No rain today.  It was a clear blue sky day, with a high temp of 80°, maybe.  Certainly not typical July weather.

Brent wanted to drive around a different area today so we went to Windsor, northeast of Loveland.  It isn’t much of a town, as towns go, but there are a lot of houses, both old and new.  Not much shopping that we could see, though.

We ate lunch at a Thai restaurant.  Lori and I had Tom-Kha.  It is a soup that Lori often makes.  Sara and Brent had salad.  Sara didn’t care for the dressing, so Lori and I helped her finish it.  My lunch special was a cashew tofu dish with lots of vegetables.  It was very good.  I think we all liked what we ordered.  We all agreed it would be a good place to go back to.

And, of course, I had a nap when we got back home.

Tonight, everyone but Bill, went to Fort Collins to have dinner at HuHot Express.  It is a Mongolian grill type restaurant.  The food was good, as always, but the company was the best.  I could’ve and should’ve skipped the meal all together, but it was nice being with our family.  We will soon be going our separate ways...California, Mississippi, and the “geezers” to Oregon.  (Insert a sigh here.)

When I got back home, I cleaned and rearranged my half of the closet and my two shelves in our wardrobe.  Tomorrow, I  hope to take donations to Habitat.

Brent is our "problem child" when it comes to having his
picture taken.  He says he does it because he is in the
witness protection, but don't believe it.  He's just in his
usual uncooperative picture taking mode.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

July 30, 2014---Michelle’s in Loveland, Colorado

We had rain all day long.  It was very good for the grass.  Some areas close to us had flooding, but it was okay here.

The drippy weather didn’t keep Lori, Sara, and me from shopping, however.  We went to Centerra Mall.  After going into several stores, we met at Coldwater Creek.  Their stores, nationwide, are closing, which was news to me.  

Today was their last day to be open.  Everything was 95% off...or as they say in Mexico, “Almost free.”  I bought four cardigan sweaters, for $2.00 or $3.00 each.  I am usually cold, so these will be a nice addition to my meager wardrobe.  I also bought two or three other things.  When I got home I told Bill I purchased $346.00 worth of clothes.  I didn’t fool him for one minute.  He knows I wouldn’t ever spend that much on “glad rags.”  Actually I spent a total of $19.  Lori did even better than I did and Sara also bought two or three things.  All in all, it was a great shopping trip.

On our way home, we stopped at Arby’s for a late lunch.  On our way in a couple leaving gave us some coupons which saved us several dollars on our total bill.  Rats!  We could have bought another sweater or two!

I was tired from all that shopping, so a nap was what I needed.  

It was still cold and raining at dinner time.  Michelle made potato soup and chicken noodle soup.  They were both really good, especially on a cold night.

Our picnic place on Sunday gave us a view of a regatta on Grand Lake.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

July 29, 2014---Michelle’s in Loveland, Colorado

July 29, 2014---Michelle’s in Loveland, Colorado

Lori, Natalia, and I went to Cracker Barrel for breakfast this morning.  That was on Natalia's list of things to do while she's in Colorado.  Then at noon, Brent, Meredith, Sara, and I went to Fort Collins for lunch, finally deciding on Blue Agave, mainly Mexican food, including really good sopapillas.  Lora and Natalia met us there.  Since the weather was cool and rainy by mid afternoon, Meredith made Carne En Su Jugo, a Mexican soup, for dinner...Yes!  As usual, the Danes are chowing down.

I'm cutting today's narrative short so I can send some pictures of our reunion.  I hope you will enjoy them!

Our pot of gold at the end of the rainbow was our family.
Rocky Mountain National Park
Old Tex holding up an aspen tree?

Lori, Michelle, Natalia, Joshua, Matthew, Sara, Rosy, JP, Bill, Connor, and Meredith
The Magnificent Eleven

Sara's horse had a mind of its own.

Meredith, Connor, and Sara

Natalia looks like a "natural"
Old Tex rides again

As you can see, I am still not very good when it comes to sending pictures.  I'll ask Sara for more help.  As other pictures come my way, I will send them.

Monday, July 28, 2014

July 28, 2014---Elk Creek Campground, Grand Lake, Colorado

We got up early this morning to finishing packing all the camping gear, etc.  

Harolene and Jon left very early yesterday because of health concerns.  JP and Rosy left later yesterday morning.  They had an afternoon flight back to California.  Lori and Michael left for Denver in the evening.  Michael’s flight, also to California, left early this morning.  To avoid Monday morning traffic, they drove into Denver for the night.  Ron had to work today, so he drove back to Loveland last night.  Matthew had gotten a cold, so he went with his dad.

Seven were going on a six hour river rafting trip and left the campground at 7:45 to make the 8:30 departure time in the Granby area.

Michelle’s van was loaded, leaving room only for Meredith and three of the dogs, Joey, Hapa, and Max.  Bill and I, with the motorhome loaded just about to full capacity, drove back to Loveland with Willie and Tucker on the floor between us.

Nineteen people and five dogs were with us for our gathering in Grand Lake.  We had a blast!  It was a great reunion.  Lots of laughter, good food, and love spread around.  

After getting the MH parked at Michelle’s and unloaded, Bill and I took naps.  Meredith and Michelle spent time getting their things pit away at their houses.   All five dogs crashed.  They were tired pups.

Michelle made spaghetti for dinner.  It was a nice evening to sit outside and eat, but everyone went home early.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

July 27, 2014---Elk Creek Campground, Grand Lake, Colorado

Jon and Harolene came early to say they were heading for home.  Harolene was very hoarse and had a scratchy throat when they got to Grand Lake, but it had gotten worse and she began having trouble breathing.  We were disappointed to see them leave early, but understood their concern. 

Breakfast this morning was pancakes, cooked by Natalia, and bacon and sausage.  We ate at the picnic table by the teepee.  The day started cool, but soon warmed up.

We packed a picnic lunch and drove to the lakefront park that Brent, Coleson, and I discovered yesterday.  We got a picnic table for our feast and sat chairs around so we could enjoy the view of Grand Lake. 

The water was cold so just about the only ones who swam were Joey, Hapa, and Willie.  Joey is an excellent swimmer and would go quite far out onto the lake to retrieve a tennis ball thrown by Dwaine.  Sometimes, he would have to search because the waves made it difficult to see.  He was always successful.  Willie is a good swimmer, too, as long as he has a stick in his mouth.  Hapa likes to get in the water, get out, and roll in the dirt.  By the time we left, her thick fur had some odd things sticking out of it.

Part of the group went for a hike to Adams Falls.  They reported that it was very beautiful, but the trail to it was rather rugged.  Therefore, I will not attempt to see the falls at this particular time.

We ate lunch when the group was all back together again.  We watched a regatta of small sailboats across the lake.  After a few activities, they came to our side of the lake.   One of the boats turned over and it was interesting to watch the two man crew right it.

Brent discovered a better place to go into the water, so he took several of the kids over there to swim.  And, of course, Willie went, also.

When everyone was back, all the picnic gear was loaded into the cars and we went downtown for ice cream.  Afterwards, back home, I took a nap.  I don’t know what everyone else did, but I was really tired and took advantage of the time.

Dinner, was hamburgers, French fries, corn, and baked beans.  Yes, once again our tummies were very happy!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

July 26, 2014---Elk Creek Campground, Grand Lake, Colorado

We started the day with a ranch breakfast...steak and eggs, fried potatoes, and "camping toast" rolls.  Some of the group was going horseback riding, so after they left, Brent and I cleaned the "kitchen."

I really, really wanted to go with them, but felt I might be dangerous on a horse.  Or maybe I should say, in danger on a horse.  It wasn't a trail ride where one horse follows another. They rode through aspen groves, and over meadows.  Up hills and down.  It was a really good thing I didn't ride.

Brent, Coleson, and I went in to town in search of lunch.  We walked several blocks down the main street and back again, but didn't find anything that sounded good.  Walking on the board sidewalk was difficult so we drove to the Dairy King, and had hamburgers, corndogs and fries.

We drove around the south side of Grand Lake to a picnic area.  I sat at a table and watched activity on the lake while Brent and Coleson walked on some of the trails.  Before returning to the campground we stopped for ice and a few groceries.

Jon and Harolene were at the motorhome when I got back. We had a nice visit.  After their departure, I started sorting some of the clutter on my desk.  I've been so busy with all of our activities, I've really gotten behind...the story of my life.

At 5:30, we drove to Frazer, about 35 miles from Grand Lake.  They were having a Chuck Wagon Barbecue and a rodeo.  When we looked at the menu, Meredith and I decided to share the rodeo special...The Cow Pie.  It was a bread bowl filled with baked beans, pulled pork and topped with slaw.  It was good, but I wonder why it wasn’t called The Pig Pie!

The rodeo was well attended.  It was a lot of fun, but I don’t think any of our group wanted to get on a horse and ride around.  When they got to the barrel racing event, we thought we might enter Sara.  Brent said he would be the barrel.  When one of the riders knocked a barrel, Brent said he changed his mind.

After about two hours, rain began to sprinkle down.  We decided to cut the event short for us and drove back to the campground.  It had been a busy day.

Friday, July 25, 2014

July 25, 2014---Elk Creek Campground, Grand Lake, Colorado

We left for Grand Lake at 7:30.  Super Driver was at the wheel and Natalia was riding shotgun.  Tucker sat on her lap between Loveland and Estes Park.  I was on the bed with Willie.  That part of the road was very twisty and curvy through the canyon of the Big Thompson River.  It was very unsettling for both dogs.  Once we were in Rocky Mountain National Park, the road wasn't as traumatic and the dogs settled down in the front of the coach. The last half of the drive over, Tucker was as close to Bill as he could be.  I took a nap most of the trip.

Natalia reported that there was very little traffic.  I'll take her word for it.  I was asleep.  The trip took just a little over two hours.  That was much quicker than we thought it would take.   6.2 MPG, in case you're wondering.  The mountain driving really sucked the "go juice."

The others in the group left at various times.  Some came directly over.  Others planned to stop along the way for photo opts.

At a little after 12:00 we were parked in our camping place at Elk Creek Campground.  The rest of the day was spent getting supplies unloaded and cabins organized.  We had reserved one RV site, four cabins, and a large teepee.

Bill’s sister and brother-in-law, Harolene and Jon, drove in from Houston in time to join us for dinner.  Brent was the designated cook.  We had steak and chicken, potatoes, corn salad, and a green salad.

While Brent was cooking under a canopy with a picnic table for his supplies, rain started to fall.  Just as it was time to eat, we had lightening and thunder, so we moved chairs into the teepee.

After we had all finished dinner, we had a surprise 80th birthday party for Bill.  He received an Indian head dress with 80 feathers, 80 playing cards, 80 Grandpa chips (aka Doritos), 80 bite sized Snickers, 80 malted milk balls, 80 new pennies, 80 pieces of Dr. Pepper bubble gum, an 80 question quiz about Western movies, 80 small gift wrapped boxes with nothing in them, 80 snickrdoodles, 80 glass globs with names of places Bill and I have traveled to, a mouse trap with a mouse in it and 79 pecans to make a total of 80 mice, ingredients to make a peanut butter sandwich and 79 ziploc bags, and a Little Black Book with 80 names in it, starting with Mother Nature.  It was a really fun time.

And then our kids presented me with a very special gift.  It was a reprint of the cookbook I wrote for our four children in 1988.  Along with the recipes were family pictures from over the years.  I was so surprised and touched by such a special gift from my four extra special children.

The rain stopped and we ended the day with a campfire!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

July 24, 2014---Michelle’s in Loveland, Colorado

One important event I forgot to report on yesterday was the presence of a critter.  There was a big raccoon in a tree at the edge of Meredith and Dwaine's lower yard.  The dogs were really excited about it.  So were some of the younger adults.

This morning, before the temperature got too warm, people went several ways, getting things ready for our departure tomorrow morning.  Some took the time for walking the dogs at Boyd Lake. There were also trips to Sam's Club and King Sooper.  Fort Collins and Habitat were on the list, also.

Bill went early to a laundromat to wash sleeping bags.  He hung them over Michelle's fence to dry.   We spent the rest of the day finishing projects.

At 5:30, some of us drove to the small town of Mead, south of Loveland.  We were going there to eat at Brickyard BBQ.  We have eaten there before and the food was very good.

After finishing our meals, including Rocky Mountain oysters (which everyone ate), we walked two blocks to a place called ScooterHinge.  It is billed as a nostalgic rental hall.  There were three rooms filled with antiques.  Everything from old motorcycles, to pedal cars, to old saddles and tack, to an old British telephone booth.  The owner, Stan, opened up all the rooms for us to tour. He had one side room that housed mostly antique dolls, over 1,000 of them.

On the way home, we stopped at Jax, a nice sporting goods store.  Natalia wanted to buy Mario a present.

We hadn’t been home for very long before Natalia said, “Who wants to go to Sonic for milkshakes?”  That was on her “To Do” list for Colorado.  Six of us went!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

July 23, 2014---Michelle’s in Loveland, Colorado

Lori and Michael were visiting his friends in Longmont, so we took Tucker and Max to Meredith's to play.  All the dogs were together outside for a while.  Then Willie and Tucker decided they wanted to stay inside.

In the meantime Sara was helping me with a computer problem.  We worked for several minutes trying to decide the best way for me to use Photos in my journal.  She's a smart little cookie.  Brent said if I needed computer help to ask a kid.  He was correct.  He has two kids that are good on computers.  Sara was my main "expert" with Coleson as backup.

We were successful.  Now, will I be able to do it on my own?  That will be the true test.

We had a very big surprise this morning.  Michelle was gone ("on an errand" according to Meredith) when we left the motorhome to go to Meredith's.  When Michelle came, she had Natalia with her. She had been to the airport to pick Natalia up.  Bill and I were so surprised and very, very happy.
Abuela, Natalia, and Grandpa

We went back to the MH to wait for Lori and Michael to get back from Longmont.  Lori was in for a big surprise, too.  She didn’t Natalia was coming.  It was an exciting time.

After PNB sandwiches for lunch, we went to Walmart...Lori, Natalia, and yours truly!  It was a race through and around shoppers, but we probably set a shopping record.  Our basket filled up quickly.

Meredith was at Michelle's when we got back home.  We sat on the patio and made some final plans for our camping trip/family reunion.  JP and Rosy fly into Denver tomorrow and will meet us in Grand Lake on Friday.  The whole family will be together.

Meredith and Brent fixed barbecue ribs for dinner, with mashed potatoes, baked beans, salad, and hot French bread.  They are a good team.  The food was delicious.

We ended the evening sitting around the fire pit!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

July 22, 2014---Michelle’s in Loveland, Colorado

Today turned into a very busy day, from the "get go."  Brent called to see if I wanted to go to "Awful Waffle" (aka Waffle House) for breakfast.  Of course, I did.  Their biscuits and gravy were especially good.  We all went away with happy tummies.

After going back home, Michelle and I went to Walmart.  It was a fairly quick trip.  Before going back to the MH, we went on two more errands.

At 1:30, Bill and I headed for the airport in Denver.  Lori and boyfriend, Michael, were flying in from California today.  Tucker is coming, also.  It will be great to see all three of them.

The first place Lori wanted to go was to Sonic.  She had even used her iPhone to locate one on the way home.  It was an “adventure” getting there, but it was worth the effort.  And it gave Tucker a potty break.

We talked and played with the pup all the way back to Loveland. We hadn't seen Lori and the Tuckster since last September, and we just met Michael today, so we had a lot to talk about.

Tucker sat in the back seat between Lori and me.  I was patting him on the back. When I would move my hand to the seat, Tucker would put his nose under my hand and lift it up.  He wanted me to pet him some more.  We went through this routine several times.  It was a very special time for me!

Brent and Sara brought pizzas to Michelle’s for dinner.  We kind of ate in shifts.  Some ate early and went to track practice.  Meredith and Dwaine came late because she stayed at the office longer than usual.  The rest of us ate in between.

Meredith had a problem with her Mimi Cooper.  It was a group effort to try to diagnosis the trouble.  They will probably do some serious checking on it tomorrow.

For part of the evening, we had five “Dane Dogs” at Michelle’s.  I tried to send pictures, but wasn’t successful.  Tomorrow, I will ask Sara for help.

Monday, July 21, 2014

July 21, 2014---Michelle’s in Loveland, Colorado

Michelle was sick today and spent a lot of the time resting.  I wasn’t sick, but I rested most of the day, too.

It was very warm today...99°.  Ugh!  Bill likes to blame things on the altitude here.  Now he’s adding the heat to that, also.

Brent fixed dinner tonight...some kind of roast cooked with lots of seasoning and onions.  He also made mashed potatoes and salad.  It was all very good.  The meat was so tender.  There was ice cream for dessert.  We ate in Meredith and Dwaine’s dining room.  It was too warm to eat outside.

We can squeeze a lot of people around the table.  To add to the merriment, there are usually two dogs under the table...sometimes three!  Things are never dull around here.  We sat around after eating, talking about movies made in Astoria.  There were several made there over the years.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

July 20, 2014---Michelle’s in Loveland, Colorado

Bill and I left home at 8:00 this morning.  Our first stop was at McDonald’s for breakfast to take with us.  The second stop was at Walmart to get some new mosquito repellant things.

From there we drove to Fort Collins, turned left toward the mountains and made our way up to Horsetooth Reservoir.  We planned a family picnic for today and Bill and I were going early to get a table.

We went to the County Park area.  There is a section designated for swimming.  Dogs have to be out of that area, but not far away  from the swimming area.  We got a table with a cover and set our things out.  Soon after we got there, all the tables were filled up.  We were certainly glad we had gotten off to an early start.

Bill and I sat and watched activity on the Reservoir.  Lots of boats and water skiers were out early.  And kayaks, scuba divers and paddle boards, also.  By the time the rest of our group arrived,  the parking lot was nearly full and people were putting down towels, chairs, etc., anywhere they could find.  It was very crowded on the bank, but people spread out onto the lake so the activity area was okay.

Coleson was the first to take the plunge.  He reported the water was cold, but he went right back in and stayed longer.  The rest of the family found a great place to get in with the dogs.  We could see them from our picnic table.  

After lunch, most of the group went into the water again.  Coleson and Connor were the last to get out...except Willie.  They had all gone for a short hike, when Willie decided to take a swim.  He saw some girls out in the lake and decided to join them.  No amount of coaxing could get him back on shore until his visit was finished!

By mid afternoon, we were all back home taking naps!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

July 19, 2014---Michelle’s in Loveland, Colorado

We went out to find garage sales this morning.  A couple of them were fairly good.  Several of them didn’t look enticing enough to even stop at, and then there were some in the middle.  We had a good time, even if we didn’t purchase very much.

We went to lunch at the same place where we celebrated Willie’s birthday.  This time there were no dogs present, just people.  It was a warm day, but we sat outside under the shade of an umbrella.

I spent the afternoon with Meredith and Sara, working on a project.  Brent even helped for a little bit.  When Meredith left to help get dinner ready, Sara and I kept working.  She is a really great helper.  We had a good time working together.

Dinner was salmon cakes, broiled shrimp some of which was wrapped with bacon, hot wings, French fries, fried pickles, and rolls.  We sat around the fire pit and ate.  Dessert was s’mores.  Yum, yum!

Bill, Joshua, and Michelle are very good at roasting marshmallows.  They are done to perfection.  Matthew, on the other hand, cremates his.
Matthew torches his marshmallow...Grandpa gets it right.

Friday, July 18, 2014

July 18, 2014---Michelle’s in Loveland, Colorado

Several of us planned to go in search of garage sales this morning.  There weren’t too many available today.  On our way to Berthoud we were able to make several stops.  Only Brent and Meredith made any purchases.  Brent found an antique brass fire extinguisher and Meredith bought a tiny Bronco (old logo) mug.

We went to the Habitat Thrift Store in Berthoud.  That was our main destination.  All of us found something we “just couldn’t live without.”  Our favorite thrift store is still the Habitat store in Loveland.  It is much larger and the prices are better.

After a stop at King Sooper we headed back to Loveland.  It had started to rain, but by the time we got back to the area of Hobby Lobby, the weather had improved.  Michelle and I went in for a quick look while Meredith, Sara, and Brent went to Starbucks.

Once back at home, I took a long nap.  I was so tired from all the fun running around.

For dinner, Brent made a meat and potato casserole.  He brought it Michelle’s, and along with salad and hot rolls, we had a feast.  Dessert was root beer floats.  Some of us, who aren’t purest, made Pepsi floats.  There’s just no accounting for taste!

Joshua mowed the yard today so people could play bocce ball.  As you can see from the picture below, Sara had lots of help from three furry friends.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

July 17, 2014---Michelle’s in Loveland, Colorado

This morning at 10:00, I had an ultrasound.  I probably won’t get the results until Monday.  I am anxious to see if anything amiss showed up.

I wasn’t allowed to eat or drink anything after midnight, so when Meredith picked me up after the test, I was rather hungry.  We collected Dwaine, Brent, Sara, and Coleson and went to Cracker Barrel.  Everyone else had lunch, but I had breakfast...pancakes.  They were very good, as usual.

There was a cache hidden at the corner of the building, but Dwaine, Coleson, and I couldn’t find it after about 20 minutes of looking.  We will try to return later and hunt some more.

Brent, Sara, and I took Willie to the vet today.  He had a sore place on one of his legs.  The vet gave Brent some ointment to apply.  It didn’t appear to be anything too serious, but Willie kept licking it and making it worse.  He may have to wear the “cone of shame” if he won’t leave it alone.

Today was Willie’s sixth birthday, so we took all four dogs for ice cream this afternoon.  It was quite a party!  He was very excited, as he usually is when something different happens.  Hapa didn’t eat all of her ice cream, so Joey polished it off for her.  He’s such a good “big brother.”

Meredith grilled salmon, chicken, and flank steak for dinner.  We sat out in their lower yard, by the canal, to eat.  There was lots of talking and laughing going on around the table.

Dwaine put up the net in the backyard and we had several good games of badminton during the evening.  The only problem occurred when Max would grab the birdie and run off with it.  The players would have to chase him and retrieve the shuttlecock before the game could continue.  A good time was had by all!

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

July 16, 2014---Michelle’s in Loveland, Colorado

Bill took me to Meredith’s this morning.  We sat in their backyard, with a view of the lake, watching the three dogs play.  The weather was cool, but sunny.  It was a very pleasant time.

When Brent, Coleson, and Sara were up and about, and Brent had washed his car, we set off for some fun.  As the Mississippi group drove into Loveland, they saw a Chipotle Mexican Grill.  They had heard of them, but hadn’t had the opportunity to eat at one.

When we got in line and to the ordering place, I ask if I could order a kids meal.  Yes, I could, so I had a plate with a cheese quesadilla, black beans, rice, and a soda.  Meredith thought I might ask for apple juice, but Brent voted I would probably go for chocolate milk.  They were having a hilarious time at my expense.  And to think, I raised those two.  Where did I go wrong?!!!!!!

We went to a pet store for dog treats and to King Sooper for people treats, before going back to Meredith and Dwaine’s house.  We had rain, off and on from noon until supper time.  The dog’s were able to be in the yard for a while, but the rest of us stayed inside.

We had planned to go to Michelle’s for dinner, but because there were so many of us, it was decided some of the food and the people would come to Meredith’s.  Brent and Sara went to Michelle’s to help assemble lasagna.  They came back with two pans of the good stuff to be baked, and served with salad and hot bread.  It was all very good.

After dinner, everyone (except Bill and me) went to walk the dogs on the trail.  They called to say there were elk headed our way.  Meredith and Dwaine have a nice backyard.  Beyond the fence, Dwaine has altered the area to make more yard.  A wire fence divides the yard from a canal.  The elk were just on the other side of the canal.  We couldn’t have been closer and been safe.  It was quite a show!

Look closely at the picture.  Brent and Willie are walking on the trail.
Brent, the wire fence, the canal, and the elk.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

July 15, 2014---Michelle’s in Loveland, Colorado

Brent called this morning to say he was having some problem with his right foot and needed help driving.  Dwaine and Joshua took our Honda and met them in the Lamar, Colorado.  It was a fairly quick trip for that distance.  They got back to Loveland just as we were finishing a cook out at Michelle’s

In the meantime,  Bill caught Jerry #11.

And I spent most of the day making a curtain for the spare bedroom in Michelle’s basement.  I also had enough fabric left to make a cover for the bed.  Michelle and I found a remnant at Habitat Thrift Store.  It was a big roll of blue material for $5.  We didn’t realize how much fabric there was until it was unrolled.  The room is painted blue, and it all looked very nice with the dark brown wood of the bed.

Meredith came to get me after she finished work this afternoon.  I had been working on a project at her house this weekend and I needed to spend some more time on it.

We went back for the cookout and lots of visiting.  It was so good to see Brent, Coleson, and Sara.  And, of course, Willie.  He was so excited he couldn’t decided who to run to.  He ended up running in circles to make sure everyone knew he was there.  And, of course, he would be hard to miss because he’s so big.

Monday, July 14, 2014

July 14, 2014---Michelle’s in Loveland, Colorado

Today, I have double big time news.  

Brent and his tribe are on their way from Mississippi to Loveland.  They left this morning.  Sara sent a text at noon showing them eating at an In-N-Out in the Dallas area.  I thought it was kind of mean of that sweet little girl to torture me like that!  I ask for a #3 without onions, but I don’t think there is much chance of it happening.  But it was good to know the progress they were making in their journey.

They made it to Wichita Falls, Texas, before stopping for the night.  Brent predicts he will be here tomorrow.  That’s the best news yet.

But the other news for the day was that The King caught Jerry #10.  I guess I celebrated too soon.  Actually, the other “yahooing” was just practice.  That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

In anticipation of more critters, Bill used a new trap tonight.  For several days the pieces of Snickers were gone.  We’ll see if the Great Trapper is successful yet again.

We had a ferocious storm at about 8:00 tonight...heavy rain, lots of lightening, and winds rocking the motorhome.  It lasted for about 30 minutes.  Part of the city was under flash flooding alert, but that part of it didn’t apply to us where we are.  If Michelle’s area ever floods, we’d better look in the distance to see if there is an Ark coming our way!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

July 13, 2014---Michelle’s in Loveland, Colorado

Happy 20th birthday, Natalia.

Michelle and I made an early morning run to Target.  Michelle needed a lot of things for the house.  I bought a set of sheets for the MH bed.  We were glad we had gone early.  Check out went quickly and as we were leaving the store, shoppers were pouring in.

Soon after we got back home, Meredith came.  The three of us went to Fort Collins.  At Sam’s Club, we filled two shopping carts.  That makes it sound as if we bought many, many things, but bed pillows and rolls of paper towels take up a lot of room.

We ate lunch at Sam’s before going on to Sprouts.  They have good fruit at good prices.  That is all I bought...cherries, pears, nectarines, and a cantaloupe.  Michelle bought a little more than I did.  We had shared a basket.  Meredith filled her basket to the brim.

Meredith’s car was bulging at the seams by the time we headed for home.

As soon as Michelle and I unloaded our purchases, I took a long nap.  I was worn out from all that shopping.  It seems like I always say the same thing.  I did, however, have energy for a short walk after dinner.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

July 12, 2014---Michelle’s in Loveland, Colorado

Meredith came this morning to take Michelle and me to the donut shop.  It was a bribe to assure that we would help clean Michelle’s newly redecorated kitchen.  And it worked.  While M & M did a thorough on the refrigerator I attacked the microwave.

Our next chore will be to get everyone to take their possessions off the breakfast bar.  Then things will be in tip top shape.  

It was fun to see the project take shape.  It really looks nice and much lighter and brighter in the kitchen.

Meredith went home to revive.  After resting for about 30 minutes, Michelle and I went to Habitat For Humanity Thrift Store.  We had a lot of items to donate and also some serious shopping to do.  We got fabric for curtains and pillows in the spare bedroom.  We also went shoe shopping.  Michelle got a pair of red Western boots and I found some new Teva sandals.

Our last stop for the afternoon was at Walmart.  While we were in the store, a rainstorm had passed through.  By the time we were ready to head for the car the storm had moved north.

Meredith and Dwaine came for supper.  We were able to eat outside...until it started to sprinkle.  Unfortunately, the only good it did was to drive us indoors.

Our friend, Todd, had to have a pacemaker implanted last week.  Bill was wondering if that would make Todd eligible for the new reality show, Bionic Geezers!

Friday, July 11, 2014

July 11, 2014---Michelle’s in Loveland, Colorado

Chef Bill prepared a great breakfast this morning.  He had made an early morning trip to Walmart and he must of been inspired to come home and cook.  I didn’t try to talk him out of it!

Michelle needed to get some office supplies this morning so I tagged along with her.  I needed to pick up some medical forms at the doctor’s office so we went there before going to Office Depot.  After a couple of other stops, she took me to Meredith’s to spend the day.

Hapa, Joey and I had some catching up to do.  I hadn’t seen them for a day or two.  The day started out with very nice weather.  Hapa spent quite some time out in the yard, sleeping in the shade of a tree.  She loves to be outside.

I was working at the dining room table and Joey was there, napping on one of the air conditioner vents.  That guy really knows how to stay cool.  If I rustled papers he was instantly alert to see if he was missing something.  I had several things in shopping bags and he thoroughly explored each of them...more than once, in case he missed something the first time.

Michelle’s kitchen cabinets are nearly all put back together and look great.  She cleaned some of the construction mess and then cooked a very good pasta dinner.  Ron and Bill sat at the table for a long and talked about traveling.

It had started raining when Bill came to fetch me from Meredith and Dwaine’s.  We had a lot of lightening and some rain, but not nearly enough.  By the time we got back to the motorhome after dinner, the rain had stopped.  We could use a good soaker!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

July 10, 2014---Michelle’s in Loveland, Colorado

Bill continued to paint this morning while I did things at our house.  I washed dishes.  I balanced our checkbook and did a few other chores.  As our friend, Karen T. in Walnut Creek says, “Work, work, work, work, work!”

At 12:30, I went to my general doctor.  Among other things, she heard a “swishing” in the artery leading to my heart.  I’m to have a sonogram as soon as it can be scheduled.  Other than that, my dizziness may be caused by a new medication the Urologist put me on.  We’ll keep checking it as my system gets use to it.

Late this afternoon, Michelle, Joshua, and I went to Walmart.  Michelle had something to return, and it was heavy.  Except not to Joshua.  He hoisted it onto his shoulder and away he went!

On the way home, we went by Taco Bell for a take home dinner.  The kitchen is still “upside down.”  Bill thinks he will be able to get the cabinet doors on tomorrow.  It will be good to have some sign of normalcy again.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

July 9, 2014---Michelle’s in Loveland, Colorado

Bill and I spent time this morning painting Michelle’s kitchen cabinets.  The main color is a very soft green.  Each door or drawer has a grooved design in it.  I used a bit darker green paint to paint down in the grooves on the drawers.  It is going to be very effective.  It was a job I could do sitting down.

After lunch and some time to rest, we went back in to do some more painting.  I spent about an hour and a half, standing on the concrete garage floor, painting on the cabinet doors.  Bill had set up some saw horses and it was a good height for me to work. 

I didn’t realize how tired I was until I tried to go up the two steps to get into the kitchen.  I couldn’t climb the stairs.  Joshua had to help me up.  And when I tried to go up into the motorhome, Bill practically had to shove me up the steps.

I took Tylenol and rested for about an hour.  When I got up, I felt much better and had no trouble on the stairs.  Tomorrow, I go to my regular doctor.  It will be interesting to see what she has to say about my difficulties.

Bill and I went to Panda Express to get dinner.  I didn’t want Michelle to have to cook tonight.  The kitchen was in chaos.  And it was a good time to “bring home the bacon.”  Michelle went to Meredith’s after they both finished working and she stayed several hours.  Thanks to Panda Express, we didn’t go hungry!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

July 8, 2014---Michelle’s in Loveland, Colorado

Michelle gave us some fresh baked bread, so we had French toast for breakfast.  Yummy for our tummies!  We both like it for our morning meal, but hadn’t had it in a long time.  We don’t know why!

I spent the morning cleaning out one of the cabinets over the bed.    It was a big job and one that has needed to be done for several  months, at least.  I liked marking that one of my list.

I also cleaned out the back of the Honda.  Now if we need to carry luggage belonging to someone flying in from California, we will have a place for it.

Usually, not long after lunch, I run out of steam.  Today was no different.  I rested and read for a while and then went to sleep.  I felt better when I woke up, but still not completely back to par...whatever that is these days.

We had a geocache meeting tonight.  Meredith went with us.  Dwaine came when he got out of class.  It was at a Mexican restaurant.  The food was so-so.  I doubt if we will go back there again.  The chips brought out with salsa were extremely salty.  We only ate a few and those we wiped as much salt off as we could.  Bill ordered chili.  He said it was the worst he has ever had.  But we enjoyed the company.  

Several days ago, I reported that the Great Mouse Hunt seemed to be over.  So I thought it only fitting to send a picture, drawn on the kitchen chalkboard by Connor, paying tribute to the King!

Monday, July 7, 2014

July 7, 2014---Michelle’s in Loveland, Colorado

After lunch, Bill and I took a whole bunch of things to Habitat for Humanity.  We also went into the store to shop.

From there, we went to Dollar Tree.  Michelle needed some cleaning supplies and Dollar Tree is the best place to find that kind of thing at a good price.

Bill decided it was time for ice cream, so we went to Dairy Queen.  It has been a long time since we have gone there for a treat.

Michelle's Bronco creation
Several weeks ago, Michelle and I took a class in which we made bowls from strips of glass.  Today, we were able to pick up the project that had been fired in a kiln twice.  Michelle’s chose Bronco colors for her creation.  Mine was lime green and aqua.  Neither one of them turned out like we had envisioned they would look, but we were pleased with the final results.  I told Michelle that anything that looked odd or out of place was just the result of our creativity.  That is another way of saying “oops!”  And we are together in that!

My lime green and aqua creation

Sunday, July 6, 2014

July 6, 2014---Michelle’s in Loveland, Colorado

At 8:00, Bill and I rounded up Meredith and Dwaine, left the pups at home, and went to Fort Collins.  Our first stop was at the Egg and I for breakfast.  We sat on the patio and had a leisurely morning meal.

From there, we set out to geocache.  Our first two tries turned into DNFs.  That was discouraging.  We had grown “rusty” during our absence from the sport.  It has been over a month since we had logged a find.

We were successful with the next five caches.  They were all in an older part of Fort Collins, near the University.  It is a beautiful area of well maintained homes.  All five caches were very creative...challenges, but fun.  We met a local cacher at the last place and had a nice visit with him.  All part of the fun!

As soon as Bill and I got back home, I took a long nap.  I certainly get tired easily these days.  Michelle and I made a quick trip to Walmart at 3:00.  While we were in the store, there was a very loud clap of thunder.  We thought we would encounter rain when we got outside, but it was not to be.

Michelle made calzones for dinner.  They were so good.  Meredith and Dwaine came to join us and we all ate out at the picnic table.  It was a pleasant way to end a rather hot day.  The high today was 91°.  That’s warmer than any of us like.

I read for about an hour after dinner.  Now I’ll need to make a trip to the library to return the book...a Stephanie Plum mystery.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

July 5, 2014---Michelle’s in Loveland, Colorado

At the Monet Pool 

At 7:15 this morning, Meredith and I were driving south on I-25.  We were on our way to the Denver Botanic Gardens.  Of special interest there were the displays of blown glass creations by Dale Chihuly.  He is known worldwide for his artistic endeavors and now we know why.  They were wonderful to visit...absolutely amazing!  

The gardens themselves were beautiful.  We spent quite a lot of time in the Tropical Conservatory.  Meredith and I share an interest and fondness where orchids are concerned.  They had many beautiful varieties.

By the time we left, we were just about on sensory overload.  We spent four hours at the Garden and hope to return before the glass display moves to another location.

After driving back home, I took a long nap.  I was really tired.  Bill woke me in time to go to Meredith and Dwaine’s for dinner.  I needed some special help from Dwaine.

Several months ago, Lori showed me how to put pictures in my blog, but every time I got to the very last part, I would mess it up.  Tonight, Dwaine gave me a refresher course and showed me how to move pictures around, etc.  Thanks to both of you for helping the “old gray haired lady” add interest to her creative efforts.

Friday, July 4, 2014

July 4, 2014---Michelle’s in Loveland, Colorado

Happy Fourth of July!

Tonight, we are planning to go to Meredith’s for a holiday buffet.  One of the things we are taking is deviled eggs.  We wondered why they were named that when they are so good. So I did a little research and discovered they are sometime called angel eggs, eggs mimosa, Russian eggs, dressed eggs, or picnic eggs.  I don’t know what we will call them when we make them again, but I am almost certain we will make them again.

Michelle and I spent the morning in the basement, straightening one of the storage areas.  A lot of my craft supplies were stored there.  Now they are “community” property.  I have some things in the motorhome that I plan to transfer down there.  Several things Lori may want with her in California.  This is known as the “Great Craft Supply Shuffle,” the first of its kind east of the Pacific Ocean and west of the “Sippi” River...maybe!

After all that cleaning and sorting, Michelle and I went to lunch at Wendy’s.  From there, while she went into Ross’s and Old Navy, I stayed in the car and read a book.  We both went into Joanne’s, but when we got to Lowe’s, I decided to stay in the car again.  I was really getting tired.

We had a wonderful buffet and watched a movie, The In-Laws.  The wind blew very hard and we had rain.  Some of the group had planned to go to the fire works display at by the High School, but everyone decided the weather looked too ‘Iffy.”

Thursday, July 3, 2014

July 3, 2014---Michelle’s in Loveland, Colorado

Today was another busy day.  At noon, Michelle and I went to US Bank and then across the street to McDonald’s for a bit of lunch.  On the way home, she and I worked on a list of food we will take to Meredith and Dwaine’s for the 4th of July supper.

When we got home, I told Bill I needed to go some more places.  We went to make a doctor’s appointment with my GP.  Then Bill needed to stop at Ace Hardware before taking me to Hobby Lobby.  I hurried as fast as I could and made it the shortest shopping trip ever to one of my favorite stores.  We went to Habitat for Humanity Thrift Store for a very few minutes, and then it was on to Walmart for groceries we needed in order to prepare for tomorrow’s festivities.

I talked to our friend, Sheila, today.  Bill and I introduced them to Geocaching about a month after we discovered the sport.  That was 2004.  We now have over 6000 caches on our “found” list.  Guess what?  Dwight and Sheila have over 30,000.  They really put us to shame!  After our errands were finished this afternoon, we were going to see if we could find a few caches, but I hadn’t loaded any of them into our GPSs.  I must get busy!  We have a lot of catching up to do.  (Insert smiley face, please!)

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

July 2, 2014---Michelle’s in Loveland, Colorado

We went to Walmart this morning for a few groceries, which Bill took home.  I stayed at Wally World for more things like an Rx, Kleenex, a notebook, and thread.  After I checked out, I went for a pedicure.

It is hard for anyone to give me a pedicure because my feet are really, really jumpy.  Tim, the Vietnamese man who is usually unlucky enough to get me for a customer, knows my feet won’t stay still.  We laugh about it a lot.  He’s good natured and doesn’t ever threaten me or anything like that!

Because of my “affliction,” it takes longer to do a pedicure for me.  Bill came back to Walmart in search of me.  I don’t know why he thought I might have vanished.  He had the keys!

I was super tired when we got home and took a long nap after a late lunch.  Not long after I got up, Meredith and the pups came for a visit.  We sat in the backyard with Michelle and Max and watched the dogs.  When Meredith, Joey, and Hapa went home, Max just couldn’t believe they were leaving without him.  He was one very sad puppy!

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

July 1, 2014---Michelle’s in Loveland, Colorado

I had an early morning doctor’s appointment with the urologist.  I am on a new medication and he wanted to see how it was doing for me.  He also checked me for a UTI.  Dr. Strom is a very nice doctor, but I hope I don’t have to see him for UTIs very often.

What a way to start a new month, eh?

I spent most of the rest of the morning and the afternoon working on a sewing project  Lori decorated a tote bag for me.  It is beautiful, but when I put things from my purse into it, I had a hard time finding things.  Everything shifted to the bottom.  One day my phone was ringing and I couldn’t find it.

So today I made a lining with pockets for some of my major items of importance...cell phone, wallet, coin purse, sun glasses, etc.  I finished with the machine work in time to go with Michelle and Max to get his toenails cut.  He didn’t like it, but it was long overdue.

Meredith, Joey, and Hapa came for a visit.  It was a nice day, so while the dogs played in the backyard, the people sat and watched the fun.  And, of course, Hapa wants to be in charge of things so she was trying to herd the other two dogs.  Wait until Willie and Tucker get here.  She will be really busy then!

A neighbor offered Michelle some iris plants, so after dinner, we walked down the block to get them.  Bill took Michelle’s garden wagon to haul the “loot” and it was completely full when he headed home.  Michelle and I stayed and visited with Jean and Karl for awhile.