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


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


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

Sunday, September 11, 2016

In Honor and Remembrance

Growing up I remember studying about Pearl Harbor and President Franklin D. Roosevelt's address to Congress.  His speech that day would become one of the most iconic in American history.  The famous line was "Yesterday, December 7, 1941--a date which will live in infamy--the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan."

I never really understood what President Roosevelt meant when he said "a date which will live in infamy" until Tuesday, September 11, 2001.

Fifteen years later, I remember where I was and what was happening around me.  I was at the Houston Intercontinental  Airport.  I was flying to Laredo, Texas for the day to work with the consultants at the Elizabeth Arden Counter at Dillard's.  I can remember waiting for the airplane to arrive and watching the Continental attendants talking to each other at the gate.  I saw one of the attendants begin to cry and I knew something had happened, but I wasn't for sure what it was.  I thought a plane had crashed.  All of sudden over the loud speaker, a man stated that all flights were being cancelled and everyone needed to leave the airport.

No one knew exactly all that had happened, except it was not good.  I got back to my car and turned on the radio and began to hear the news reporters talking about the various incidents.  It wasn't until I got home and turned on the television that I began to understand exactly what the impact was.  There were four terrorist attacks by the Islamic terrorist group al-Qaeda on the United States.

September 11th will always be "a date of infamy".  Today marks the 15th anniversary of terrorist attacks that killed 2,977 people in New York, the Pentagon and in a field in rural Pennsylvania.

Today as I reflect on that day and everything that has happened since that time, I am thankful for my country and the men/women who continue to stand up and protect the freedom that I have.   May we "never forget"!

Saturday, September 10, 2016


I realize that the official date for autumn is September 22nd, but today felt like fall.  This morning when I woke up the temperature was 45 degrees.  I slept with the windows open and during the night I had to get up and add a blanket to the bed.

As I walked this morning, I noticed there was not a single cloud in the sky and the sky was so blue that it reminded me of the water surrounding the Hawaiian Islands.

With the cooler nights and warm days, the trees and bushes are beginning to change colors.  On my walk, I noticed this beautiful tree that the leaves have already turned red.

The days are becoming shorter and the nights longer.  The first light in the mornings is now around 6 a.m. compared to 5 a.m. during the summer months.

As I transition from summer to winter, I will enjoy the fall months.  Fall reminds me of football, school in session, pumpkin lattes from Starbucks, yellow and orange mums, Halloween and Thanksgiving.  I will enjoy this season as I enjoy the various seasons of my own life.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Cleveland Airport

Yesterday morning I was awake at 4:45 a.m. and on the shuttle to the Cleveland airport at 5:20 a.m. The Cleveland airport is very busy at 6 a.m.  It is amazing, how many people are flying somewhere. That early in the morning,everybody is walking around like zombies.  A glaze over their eyes, shuffling their feet and not saying much.  I made it through security and then took my time to get to the gate.   I had an hour before my plane would take off to Chicago. In Chicago, I would change planes for Denver.

Every airport is different with their set-up as well as their themes.  Cleveland airport is all about "Rock n'Roll Hall of Fame & Museum".  I have not been there.  On my next trip to Cleveland, this is on my bucket list of places to visit.  I have heard that you can spend all day there seeing all the exhibits.  I have attached some of the displays that promoted the Hall of Fame at the airport.

Rock n'Roll Hall of Fame was established in 1983 by the Atlantic Records founder and chairman to recognize and archive the history of the most influential artists and producers who have had some major influence on the development of rock and roll.

Artists are inducted into the Hall of Fame at an annual induction ceremony.  Some of the well known artists that have been inducted are Elvis Presley, James Brown, Ray Charles, Everly Brothers, Ricky Nelson, The Beatles, The Beach Boys, The Four Seasons, Johnny Cash, and the list goes on and on and on.

Next time you are in an airport, look around and see what the theme is!

See you at the Rock n'Roll Hall of Fame!

Monday, September 5, 2016

A Peaceful Labor Day

Today was a peaceful day.  Not much happened around the house or the neighborhood.  I do believe that everyday was enjoying the Labor Day holiday and just taking it easy.

My day consisted of getting in my 10,000 steps and packing for tomorrow's trip to Cleveland.

I have enjoyed Labor Day for many years, but I really wasn't for sure how this holiday came about. I love "google".

Labor Day is a National holiday in the United States and it is always the first Monday in September. It honors the American labor movement and the contribution that workers have made for the country. In 1882, Matthew Maguire, a machinist, first proposed the holiday while as secretary of the Central Labor Union of New York.  In 1887, Oregon was the first state of the United States to make it an official holiday.  In June 1894, Congress passed an act making the first Monday in September a legal holiday for all states and territories.

Even though today is a holiday for labors, millions must work to keep the economy running!

Happy Labor Day!

Sunday, September 4, 2016

How Majestic!

 "The Lord's unfailing love and mercy still continue.  Fresh as the morning, as sure as the sunrise.  The Lord is all I have and so in him I put my hope."  Lamentations 3:22-24

This is the verse that came to mind as I stepped out into the cool, crisp morning and saw this beautiful, spectacular sunrise.

I could see God painting this impressive image of the soft pink clouds and the sun peeking over the horizon.  The light blue background made me feel calm and confident.  This panoramic site prepared me for understanding this verse from Lamentations.

The prophet, Jeremiah, knew about God's faithfulness.  He told the people of Israel that there would be punishment due to their wicked ways.  Which there was.  But God also promised restoration and blessings.  Trusting in God's faithfulness gives us confident in the future.

When I see a sunrise such as this, I know that God is majestic!

Saturday, September 3, 2016


Welcome to September!  When I think of September, I always think about Labor Day, football games, new school year and the weather is beginning to change.  September is the ninth month of the year. The birth flowers are forget-me-not, morning glory and aster.  The birthstone for September is the sapphire which means clear thinking.

But did you know that September use to be the seventh of ten months on the oldest Roman calendar with March being the first month of the year?  Interesting!

It has been a productive day at my house.  Paying my bills, doing my my expense report, writing notes, booking flights and everything else that I need to do to make sure that September goes as smoothly as it can.

I love new months.  With it being a new month, it reminds it is also a time of new beginnings.  I don't have to wait until January to have a new start.  I can start each month with a clean plate. I can do something different that I didn't do last month; contact friend(s) that I haven't contacted in a while; try a new restaurant; have a massage and just enjoy the beauty around me.

May September be a month that you do something new!

Friday, September 2, 2016

New Horizons

Thank goodness it is Friday!  I was excited this morning when I woke up in my own home.  The past ten days I have been in two states, Minnesota and Michigan and in two different time zones(central and eastern).  I am now back in Colorado, mountain time!

Living in different hotels and sleeping in different beds does get tiring.  I am thankful to be where I am at in life.  A year ago, I was not working and was still adjusting moving to Colorado from New York City.

About 11 months ago, I was given the opportunity to do some contract training with the cosmetic company that I had worked with for almost 20 years.  I had been an account executive during that time.  Training was going to be a new adventure for me.  This was going to open up a new career for me.

It has been a wonderful adventure.  It is as if the past years have been preparing me for a time such as this.  Traveling to different cities throughout the United States, training beauty consultants and working with other account executives, has been very rewarding.  I have had opportunities to encourage and mentor others.

One is never too old to learn and to take on new responsibilities.  I want to challenge others to not give up or feel that you are too old to do something different.

Your time is now!  God does have a plan for your life.  It is your time to take on "new horizons"!