Sunday, September 25, 2016

Pumpkin Patch

Fall is here and it is time to go to a "pumpkin patch".  Farmers are now enjoying opening up their farms to the public, so that adults and children can enjoy walking through the pumpkin patches, as well as buy fresh produce, take hay rides and just enjoy the changing of the seasons.

Who doesn't love pumpkin?  I enjoy my pumpkin lattes as well as pumpkin pie.

Are you aware that a pumpkin is really a squash?  It is a member of the Cucurbita family which includes squash and cucumbers.

Also, did you know that there are a variety of pumpkins?  There are Cinderella pumpkins, Aladdin pumpkins, Jack-Be-Little Pumpkins and at least 30 other more different pumpkins.

Cinderella pumpkins are a unique French heirloom whose correct name is "Rouge vif D.Etampes". The source of their nickname is that it resembles the pumpkin that Cinderella's fairy godmother transformed into a carriage.

Discover a "pumpkin patch" close to your home and get into the fall season!






Saturday, September 24, 2016

At The End of the Day

This morning I woke up to 43 degrees weather.  The windows were open and I was snuggled under the blankets to keep me warm.  After my morning coffee, Bob, Deb and I took off to Horsetooth Reservoir to hike to the Horsetooth Falls.

By the time, we get to the reservoir, the temperature is in the 60's.  The trail will take us to the falls which are dried up until next spring when the snow begins to melt.  Hard to believe that in two months, we could have snow on the ground.

Along the 2 1/2 mile round trip, we encountered the beautiful fall foliage along the trail.  People were walking the trails with their dogs and their children.  Everyone is enjoying the last few days of nice, sunny weather before the temperature begins to get colder.

After the hike, we drove home to do some chores and get ready for company for dinner.

The day ended sitting outside and enjoying the cooler temperatures, as well as sitting around the fire
pit admiring the beautiful sunset and listening to the chimes as the wind made them sing.



The beautiful flowers along the trail.


Ladybug on this yellowish flower.



Friday, September 23, 2016

Aspens

With the weather changing and company in town, it was a great day to drive to Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park.

Estes Park is at an elevation of 7,522 feet.  With the elevation and cooler temperatures, the aspen's leaves are changing colors.  The vibrant gold color of the leaves stand out in the middle of the green forest.

Aspen trees are medium sized and are normally 20 to 80 feet tall.  The bark is a smooth white color with thin, round leaves.  In the wind or gentle breeze, the leaves shake like fluttering butterfly wings.


As we drove through the Aspens, we came upon a bull elk bugling.  Such a unique sound to hear. The bugle sound is communicating that the bull is in the area with his harem.


It was a beautiful day to experience God's magnificent creations!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

New Belgium Brewing

Today was a fun day!  A day of entertaining my brother and sister-in-law from Oklahoma City.

Since my brother-in-law enjoys drinking different beers, I decided to take them on a 90 minute tour of the New Belgium Brewery in Ft. Collins. I am not a beer drinking, but I enjoy this tour.  Every time that I take this tour, I walk away knowing that people are still living the "American Dream" of owning their own business.

In 1988, a young man named Jeff, who was an electrical engineer, took a business trip to Germany. While he was in Germany, he decided to take a few personal days and ride his mountain bike through the different villages and enjoy the various beers throughout the country.

He came back to Ft. Collins with different recipes and ingredients to create his own beers.  Jeff began brewing beer in his basement.  His first two well known beers were Abbey and Fat Tire.

Jeff's wife, Kim, who was a social worker by day, began marketing the beers.  Their neighbor who was an artist created the first Fat Tire label.  In 1996, a Belgian Brewmaster helped influence the love of sour beers.

Jeff is no longer involved with the company, but Kim who was the CEO until about a year ago now serves on the board.  In December 2012, the Employee Stock Ownership Program purchased the balance of company shares, making it 100% employee-owned.

New Belgium is the fourth largest brewer of craft beer in the nation and the eighth-largest brewery in the Unites States.

As you tour this brewery and talk with the various employees, you feel the excitement and joy that these employees have in working for this company.  The company currently has about 780 employees in two locations, Ft. Collins, Colorado and Asheville, North Carolina.  After one year of employment, the employee receives a limited release Fat Tire Cruiser bike and after five years of employment, the employee receives a one week trip to Belgium to expand their knowledge and culture of Belgium.



New Belgium Brewing's purpose statement is "to manifest our love and talent by crafting our customers' favorite brands and proving business can be a force for good".

If you are ever in Ft. Collins or Asheville, you need to  arrange a tour of the New Belgium Brewing Company.  You will discover that people's dreams do come true!






Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Wedding Cakes

One of the most beautiful sights is seeing a bride walk down the aisle of a church with her father. That special music is playing for the bride's entrance into the church. There are such emotions among the bride and the father.  There are tears of joy and beautiful smiles of happiness.

The bride is looking towards the front of the church where the groom stands.  To see the smile on the groom as he sees his bride, brings such a warmness to my heart.  She only has eyes for him and he only has eyes for her.

Every bride is beautiful.  She has a radiance and a glow to her face; a twinkle in her eyes and a natural color that just shines with happiness.

Within the past forty-five days, I have attended 2 weddings.  This must be the year of weddings as I have already received at least five wedding announcements.  I love weddings because of the joy that radiates among everyone, as well as the tasting of the wedding cakes(bride & grooms).

There is an art to the wedding cakes.  They are all different from the flavors, texture, color, toppers and overall decoration of the cake.

Believe it or not, there is history of how wedding cakes came about.  Instead of being eaten, wedding cakes were thrown at the bride as a symbol of fertility.  The ritual of the wedding cake in Britain can be traced back to medieval times, when it would have been made of wheat and they were thrown at the bride as a symbol of fertility.

In the 1600's, a French chef used sawn off broom handles to assist in stacking the cakes.

In the 17th century, "bride pie" became popular.  These pies were sweet breads, mince pies and even mutton pies.

It was the marriage of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in 1840 that set the fashion for weddings. Sugar was cheaper and it was easier for working class families to imitate the weddings of the rich.

It was during World War II that the wedding cakes became smaller again due to the rationing of sugar and flour.

Here we are in the year 2016 and there are now themes for the wedding cakes.  The picture below shows the theme of stacked flowers with a delicious buttercream frosting.

The other photo is the picture of the groom's cake,  It was all about "Yeti".  The chocolate cake with the white icing and the beers on top was definitely the "topic of conversation".

Next time you are at wedding you will be able to ask the trivia question "what is the history behind the wedding cake?"  It will be interesting to see, how many people actually know the answer?





Sunday, September 18, 2016

Amazing Grace

This morning the sermon was about "grace".  It is such a powerful word.  Webster's dictionary says that grace is "an unmerited divine assistance given humans for their regeneration or sanctification; a virtue coming from God".

The pastor stated "grace isn't about having a second chance; grace is having so many chances that we could use them throughout our lives and never come up empty.  It is forgiveness to the unforgivable and love to the unlovable."

I am not perfect and I do fail.  As I fail and sin, I will experience God's grace.

"Amazing grace!  How sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me!  I once was lost, but now am found, was blind, but now I see."

As I reflect on these words, I know that an exciting week is before me.  May I enjoy each day that God brings before me!

Have a great week!


Saturday, September 17, 2016

Nashville

This past week has been a long week.  I flew out on Monday to Chicago to do a presentation on Tuesday.  On Wednesday, I flew to Nashville, to do a presentation on Thursday.  And I flew back to Colorado on Friday.  The presentations went well.

I was able to get some time off on Wednesday afternoon to enjoy Nashville.  I have never been there before and I read about Nashville all the time.  I got all of my work done early on Wednesday and I took a shuttle into Downtown Nashville.  I only had a few hours, but I took advantage of my time.

I went by the Hatch Show Print. This was established in 1879 and reflects the history of American advertising and entertainment.  It is one of the oldest letterpress print shops in America.    The posters that are created here are very unique.  Each are individually handcrafted and inked onto paper in a technique that dates back several centuries.  Musicians and entertainers from around the world have Hatch Show Print design and print their posters.

From there I proceeded northwest to the Tennessee State Capitol. On the way, I walked through the Music City Walk of Fame Park.  Four blocks later, I arrived at the capitol and walked the grounds to see the monuments.  The monuments included statues of two presidents, Andrew Jackson and James Polk.  They were both from Tennessee.  The Capitol first opened in 1859, and it is one of only twelve state capitols that does not have a dome.

After walking the grounds of the capitol, I headed southeast to the George Jones Museum and Rooftop Bar.

From the Rooftop, you can see the stadium where the Tennessee Titans play and the John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge on the Cumberland River.  The bridge is one of the longest pedestrian bridges in the world at almost 1 mile.  The Cumberland River is a major waterway of Nashville, Tennessee and Kentucky.


The reflection of the bridge off the water was spectacular as well as the soft pink clouds against the baby blue sky.  With the warm weather and no wind, the sunset was breathtaking.

After listening to several young ladies perform, I then headed to Broadway to view the lights and hear the various bands as I passed the restaurants along this busy street.  

It was getting dark and I needed to get back to the hotel. I walked pass the Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum and  then across the street to the Music City Center where the shuttle would pick me up.  

I seized the opportunity to enjoy another city in our great country!


Tennessee State Capitol