Sunday, July 26, 2009

A Taste of Next Week......

Our corn season has arrived!! Next week is our annual corn festival....yippee! Joe, Jen and the kids are coming down to join us for the festival next week, as well as Joe's sister (Dusty's daughter!!), Lori from Denver! It's going to be a real family affair this year! We're going to have so much fun!

Clint Black is the headliner at the concert on Saturday night and we're all looking forward to that!!! We were driving the streets of Grand Junction yesterday and I saw this billboad....I had to take a picture, as I'd never seen a billboad for the Corn Festival before! WOW! We've hit the big time!! LOL You have to remember that it's the one day of the year when our little town of 1,100 people swells to tens of thousands! Pretty exciting stuff for us, though we're also pretty glad when things go back to normal!!

For about two weeks now, I've been seeing the trucks full of corn, coming down out of the fields on their way to the packing plant, across the highway! It's always exciting to see, as it's the area's major crop and income! Jen had asked us to bring them a case of corn (which is 48 ears, for those who don't know!), so that she could freeze it for the winter. We stopped yesterday morning on our way up to their house, at the packing plant to pick up the case of corn....picked just the day before! Yummy!!!

Here is a stack of the plastic trays of corn that they bring down from the fields. And that's a giant mountain of ice in the background! They produce ice 24/7 to keep up with the demands of packing the corn for shipping. They pack the 48 ears of corn in each case with a generous amount of crushed ice to keep it cold in transit. From this packing plant, they ship OUR corn to grocery stores, all over the country! WOW!

I took a picture of James standing in front of the ice mountain, so that you can see how huge it really is.......

Dinosaurs......OH MY!!!!

Yesterday we made the hour drive up to Grand Junction, to Joe and Jen's new home! Then we took all the kids to the Dinosaur museum called "Dinosaur Journey". What fun time we all had. It's a great interactive museum for kids, though the adults enjoyed it too!! It was a hot, humid day and it was nice to find an indoor activity to do for a few hours!

Here are all the kids out in front of the sign!

There were many replicas thoughout the museum....these are my two favorite pictures! The second one was a bit gory, but realistic nonetheless, I suppose!!

James, Juliana and JT posing with the skeleton of one of the dinosaurs....

They were doing "tatoos" for all the kids! James had one on both arms by the end of our stay!!!

Even Baby Jack, at 6 months old, took it all in! He was so cute, all wide-eyed!! Here he is with his Mama, Jen!

And James with a mean looking dinosaur!!:)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Recorder Music, Sunsets and Mustaches

James really enjoys his sessions with the school's music teacher, Mr. Chenivert. He has been able to experience all sorts of wonderful and fun musical things through this man in the last 3 years. Then this June, when James found out that Mr. Chenivert was teaching the recorder as part of the summer camp, he was THERE!! James has learned quickly and well, practicing often at home.

Mr. Chenivert called and said that he performs at the Coffee Trader (a locally, privately owned coffee house in Montrose) on Thursday and Friday evenings and he was inviting some of his students to join him to perform on Fridays! They have a lovely patio area and he sets up there. So we went on Friday evening for James' first performance!

He did very well dealing with the "butterflies"....Mom and Dad knew they were there because we've heard him play these songs flawlessly many times at home, but that wasn't to be at performance time. Nonetheless, he got up there and performed and now knows what it feels like to be in front of an audience!

This is Mr. Chenivert and James setting up the stage before they all started performing......

James, rehearsing beforehand. He's always so serious when he plays!

I'm looking forward to his being able to start an instument in the 4th grade. We're already discussing which instruments he might be intersted in.....will it be the clarinet, the french horn, the sax??

And here he is playing "When the Saints Come Marching In"! We were so proud of him and I love the look on Mr. Chenivert's face! He obivously was quite proud too!

On our way home, we were treated to a specatular sunset!! There have been fires in our area the last week and no doubt they were contributing factors to the beauty of the sunset! Here are two pictures that I took when Dusty pulled off into the cemetary (which sits up on a hill) just as the sun was setting.

And then, when I woke up yesterday morning, I was greeted by a mustache-less husband!! Never in the 12 1/2 years I've known him, have I seen him without his mustache!! The beard comes and goes, depending on the season, but the mustache is ALWAYS there. When I asked him what happened, he said, "It fell off!" Something about the trimmer! LOL I don't suppose it'll last long, and so I grabbed the camera to document the "moment"!!

This Sunday afternoon finds us being lazy around the house, as we head into another week. This Thursday evening, I'll be performing with the band, in downtown Montrose. That should be fun and I'm looking forward to it. We've already got plans for next weekend and I can promise that many pictures will be taken. So stay tuned for another posting soon! I hope that in the mean time, you'll have a terrific week!!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A Weekend in the Mountains

This last weekend we went camping! We went to one of our favorite places....a campground up above Telluride at a place called Woods Lake! It's amazingly gorgeous up there! At about 9,500 feet above sea level, we were up in the aspen forest! Woods Lake sits in a "bowl" surrounded by high alpine mountains, several above tree-line. The views and scenery are spectacular, and reminds me of why people say Colorado is "God's Country"!! And we are lucky enough to live only an hour and a half drive from this beautiful place!!

I have many pictures to share with you from the weekend. I took so many pictures and choosing which to post here has been difficult. I'm glad I don't feel like I have to hold back too much when I comes to posting pictures here! LOL I hope you'll enjoy seeing these. As we were camping and I was taking pictures, I was thinking how cool it would be to have you all there with us!! Well, this is the best I can do!!

As I said, we were up in the aspen forest. I've always thought that the aspens have a different "feel" than being in a pine forest. The aspens tend to be "lighter" in feel, with there light colored bark and light green leaves. Dusty took this picture, near our campsite, and I really like the way it came out!!

I took many pictures of the wildflowers that were blooming. This is one wildflower that I really like. It's so delicate looking. I believe it's called "Queen Anne's Lace". If you know differently, please let me know as my wildflower education is lacking!!!

I took this one of the aspen trees above where we had set up our tent.

Here is our "home away from home" we'd LOVE a camper of some kind!! Maybe someday!! But for now the tent is fine....all four of us fit in it just fine (yes, Lacey too!!).

And our newest purchase....a screened canopy! When it rains (which it often does in the mountains in the summer!), it's nice to have a place to escape that's not the tent!! The tent tends to get very hot and humid during the day! This gives us another option! While the screen part is supposed to keep the bugs out, we found it did the opposite! As we use it in the future, we'll perfect HOW to use it, but it was nice to have!!

And before too many people complain that I never post pictures of myself, here I am! I didn't do a very good job of getting in front of the lens this trip. I was enjoying being behind it too much!!

And a great close up of James....the "camping kid!"

And one (the only one!) of James and me that was taken this weekend!!

And a close up of now you've seen real current pics of all three of us!!

Here's James concentrating on Dad teaching him to tie a fishing knot!

On Saturday afternoon, even though it was raining on and off, the boys decided to go fishing up at the lake. I stayed back, reading and resting a bit in the tent, listening to the rain! When Dusty and James came back about 2 hours later, there was great excitement.....for the first time James had "out-fished" Dad!! (Of course, Dad's busy helping James and not fishing himself, but that didn't count!! LOL) James had caught 4 nice brook trout, and kept two of them, bringing them back to camp for dinner. Here is the proud guy with his catch!!

And sitting down to enjoy the "fruit of his labor"! Ahhh, the sweet taste of success!!!

On Sunday, after we packed up our camp, we headed back to the lake for some more fishing. While no fish were caught, it was so great to see that James is truly becoming a lover of fishing, just like his Dad! It's so much fun for me to stand back and watch my boys do something together that they love so much!! James really listened to the pointers that Dusty had for him this weekend, and it showed! He's well on his way to being a great fisherman, just like Dusty!!

Here are some pictures that I took while we were at the lake....

I don't know how you can concentrate on fishing when you are surrounded by this beautiful scenery!!

There they are....the two fishing Ryans!

Some pictures of James fishing. I love the concentration he showed....he was really into it!!

I thought the reflections, of the clouds and mountain across the lake, in the water were amazing!!

And I leave you with a picture of our State Flower....the Colorado columbine!!

Monday, July 6, 2009

WHEW!! What a LONG day!!!!!

July 4th was a LONG, but fun-filled day for us!! We started out at 8am, as we headed up to Telluride, so that I could perform with the band in the Telluride 4th of July parade!! It's about an hour and half drive from our home in the valley.

Telluride is an old, historic mining town which in the last 20+ years has been transformed into a playground for the rich and famous. Way up in the San Juan mountains, the scenery is spectacular and the land has become quite pricey, to say the least. There is a beautiful ski resort there, that attracts people in the winter from far and wide. People like Oprah Winfrey, Tom Cruise and many others have built "trophy homes" in the area. They may visit and stay in their multi-million dollar havens a couple times a year!! (These are the houses that we fit with plumbing supplies as they are being built, at the plumbing wholesaler where I work.....our "bread and butter"!) That area provides much of the employment for our valley, both construction jobs and hotel/tourist positions.

It is gorgeous all year round! Here is a sample of the mountain beauty!

Here are the crowds assembling, before the parade, which was down the main street of the town....

Dusty and James were in the crowd, with the camera, as the band went by! Being a concert band, we don't march! So they loaded us on the back of a flat bed truck and away we went!! It was a good thing that only 20 of us showed up (of the band's almost 40!), as 21 would never have fit on that truck with the chairs, music stands, instruments and people!! We had fun though, once we where settled in! We played "Washington Post March" and "The Liberty Bell", several times down the parade route!

We had been invited to perform for the parade and we were so warmly received! They also paid for lunch for all the band members after the parade! The local fire department put on a wonderful BBQ!!

After lunch, we headed back down the mountain, stopping at the grocery to pick up dinner fixings before going home for showers and naps!! At 7pm, we headed out again, this time 10 miles north of us, to the town of Delta for their fireworks display at Confluence Lake! We enjoyed our picnic dinner of fried chicken as we waited for the festivities to start. Vonnie and her family, along with Stella (Dusty and Vonnie's Mom) joined us and we all enjoyed the show. Here are some more pictures from the evening!!!!

James playing in the lake around sunset. He loves to look for crawdads!!

My hubby!! :)

I love this picture of the ducks on the lake! Kind of reminds me of "On Golden Pond"!

My attempt at a patriotic photo! LOL

James setting off a "Confetti Popper"....if you look real hard you can see the confetti way above him, as it's coming down!!

Vonnie and Katie, having fun with sparklers!

James enjoying the 4th!!

Happy Independence Day to one and all!!!!