Monday, August 23, 2010

A Peachy Surprise

I am doing the dance of joy. It's Palisade peaches time in Colorado. I love peaches. Love, love, love 'em. And it just so happens that Palisade peaches are highly prized. People drive for hundreds of miles to load up on this fabulous Grand Valley fruit. And why not? They are absolutely scrumptious. Sweet, juicy. Eat them out of your hand, in a pie, cobbler, shortcake or smoothie. Cut up on your cereal, made into jam or fruit salsa. So many ways to enjoy them. There's only about 60 calories in a medium peach, no fat and 3 grams of fiber. (Hey, is this starting to sound like an ad for the Peach Council?)

Just the other day I cut up a peach to eat with low-fat vanilla yogurt when I stopped and thought, "Wait a minute. What would happen if I warmed up the sliced peach in the microwave and then topped it with the yogurt?" So I placed the bowl of fruit in the micro. After about 45 seconds on high I pulled it out. It smelled wonderful. I added a few dollops of vanilla yogurt and tried it. Mm-mmm. But wait! What if I then added chopped walnuts to the peaches and yogurt? How would that taste? I sprinkled walnut pieces over the top of the yogurt, dipped my spoon into the beautiful concoction and brought it up to my watering mouth. My lips pulled the delicacy onto my tongue. I chewed. I swallowed. The heavens burst open and the Hallelujah Chorus reverberated across the Estes Valley. It was a guiltless culinary success. Sort of like peach cobbler without the crust. Is it a dessert? Breakfast? Snack? I don't know, but I'm calling it "Nutty Peach Surprise". I just made a Nutty Peach Surprise for this photo, and then ate it. I know, I know. The sacrifices I make for those who take the time to read Joyful Altitude. 

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Easy Does It

This has been an exciting week for our family. Two grandchildren enjoyed milestone events.

Six year-old Oliver lost his first baby tooth. Despite the fact that Dennis and I were miles away when this monumental happening took place, we did witness it (albeit second hand) through the wonder of modern technology. Keri, Ollie's mom, caught it on her iPhone.  A video triumph.

I love the last comment Ollie makes before the movie ends, "It was easy." 

Oh to be six again, when losing teeth is no big deal. Why worry if you temporarily resemble an NHL player? In a few months larger chompers will fill the gaps. Besides, there's that whole monetary reward system that kicks in when your deciduous teeth fall out.  The tooth fairy makes multiple nocturnal visits, exchanges your absent ivories for various sums, and your piggy bank is all the richer. It doesn't get any better than that.

Oh sure, I could tell Oliver that dental hygiene won't always be a walk in the park. I could tell him that one day he'll be shelling out mega moola to some dentist to keep his adult teeth from falling out. But I'm not going to. He'll find out soon enough the cold, hard facts. For now let him bask in the knowledge that "it was easy."

Oliver's sister Emma celebrated her ninth birthday on Saturday.

We were there for pizza on the grill, birthday cake and presents. A bittersweet time. Our little girl is growing up. Wasn't it just yesterday that she was in awe of the Wiggles?

Happy birthday, again, Sweet Pea. Don't grow up too fast, ok?

Love to both of my grandchildren from their Nana.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Technology - Ain't it Grand

After working on a fix for the problem with the Mountain Manna - Rocky Mountain Devotionals page, I finally threw in the techno towel and opted for a second blog site to house the devotionals.  As it turns out, this will be a better vehicle for posting daily.  I love writing and photographing God's wonderful creation. If you aren't already a regular reader of Mountain Manna, I hope you will become one. Not for my glory, but for the Lord's. It's all because of Him that I am able to do what I do. May He always be honored in my work.

Here's the link:

God bless,

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Blogger Trouble

So sorry, but I've run into a snag editing my Mountain Manna page.  Looks like I'll have to reinvent it.  More devotionals to come.  Stay tuned.  

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Starbucks, The Stitchin' Den and Small Town Life

Yesterday morning my wonderful husband called me from Starbucks and asked if  I would like a mocha. Me, turn down a mocha?  Not on your life. The sight of that Starbucks cup brought a big smile to my face. Oh sure, the coffee with chocolate gave reason to cheer, but just look at that greeting written on the side of the cup. Now I ask you, where you gonna get that kind of personal service in a big city? (Thanks, Keely, you are a joy giver, for sure.)

We may have a Starbucks here in Estes Park, but it's still a small town. I know this to be true because recently I tried to find a store that sells eyebrow pencils. I may as well have been on a quest for the Holy Grail. Several women had this to say about that, "If you can't find it at True Value or Safeway, you gotta go down the hill".  "Down the hill" means to Loveland or Boulder. A 45-minute drive for an eyebrow pencil?  I don't think so. Avon to the rescue with a 2 for 1 sale. My advise to any small town woman who use cosmetics -- get yourself an Avon Lady. It beats going down the hill.

Just another word about small town living and then I'll sign off. Dennis and I were recruited for an ad for The Stitchin' Den. We had just come home from hiking when Susan, the owner, hailed us and asked if we'd sit and chat for the cameraman in exchange for a cup of coffee. "Heck, yes," we said, "we can do that." We had a good time, as you'll see from this You Tube video.  Feel the joy!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Beary Interesting

House hunting is fun.  Dennis and I have been at it for a couple of months now.  We never know what we're going to find when we tour properties. Like this bear paw print on the gate, for instance.

Mr. Bear didn't manage to get inside the garden, but the resident of the house did tell us that the critter sat on the fence at the back of the house, watching the Estes Park vacationers go by. As I understand it, this is the time of year when the bears come into town looking for food. I guess they must be out of porridge back at the homestead. This morning I posted this photo on Facebook and told my friends I feel like Goldilocks. I wonder if she lived in Estes Park at the time the story was written. Maybe she came from Columbus, ex-city girl like me. At any rate, no matter how tired or hungry I might become, I have no plans to try out the sleeping rooms and cereal at Three Bear's Bed and Breakfast. No siree.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Finding Joy in Quacks and Slacks

Dennis and I left the homestead early this morning and headed to Mc D's for coffee and food.  While we were waiting in the drive-thru line a mother duck and her three babies made an appearance.  They were headed for the little stream that runs through the Stanley Village shopping center in Estes Park.  I managed to get a couple of shots of the little family just before they reached the water. 

Here the little guys were trotting along the curb that mom had already crossed.  They appeared a bit boggled by the prospect of jumping up over the curb. 

After a foot or so, the lead duckling made a mad leap up onto the sidewalk and the other two followed.
They were too fast for my camera to catch them in the act, but I did nab them after the fact.  No doubt the leader is the oldest of the three and the control freak.  You gotta love the birth order.

After purchasing our breakfast, we drove up to Rocky Mountain National Park for our morning scripture reading and prayer (we're currently studying 1 Samuel and Proverbs).  We found a quiet, scenic place to park.  A young couple walked by that we earlier had passed while driving to our destination.  When we first saw them we were intrigued with the young man's beautiful pants of many colors and mentioned that it would be fun to snap a photo of the unique slacks for my blog.  Given a second chance at a possible photo op, Dennis couldn't resist asking them if they would pose for me.  They graciously agreed. Here's a big "thank you" to Ben and Ali, a very cool couple from Texas, for allowing me the privilege of photographing them, along with Ben's fabulous Peruvian pants.