Something on your mind? ? ? :-)

If you would like to leave a comment to tell me what you like or if you would like to share an experience you have had, have suggestions for new adventures, or would just like to share what's on your mind, please feel free to do so! I would really, really love to hear any feedback you would care to offer!

When you click on the comments link at the bottom of the post, you will be presented with choices for logins, if you do not already have one of the accounts listed, or you do not choose to login with that account, you can always choose the anonymous option, in which case your name would come up as Anonymous! If you choose to use one of the other log in options, your name would appear as the public name you list for that account. For example, mine would appear as Willow's Quiet Corner, and, of course, your email would not show!

Thanks! And, again, thanks for stopping by! I really hope to hear from you and to see you again soon! Let me know how you think I am doing! :-)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Garden Bounty

Yummy, yummy, yummy I got my garden in my tummy, and it's really making me smile!

This was the first year that I had a garden that consisted of more than tomatoes, basil and asparagus.  I tried last year and the year before that, but didn't have a lot of luck with some of the things I tried.  But, this time, I got lucky.  

My patty pans and zucchini did well (aside from the powdery mildew I fought all season).  I took them out today.  I have had my fill of them for the year!  My asparagus is getting a good start.  I'm not sure what's going to happen with the rhubarb.  It started out gangbusters and looked great, but then it just suddenly up and died.  I hope it comes back next spring, but . . we'll see!  I'm afraid I've seen the last of it. :(

But, this was the first time I've ever tried to grow watermelon and cantaloupe.  And, oh . . . did I ever get lucky! ! !  I planted Moon and Stars watermelon.  I think I should have planted a couple of them to hopefully increase fertilization, so I get more fruit next time.  It's having another flush of blooms, so . . . maybe I'll get another one, but I think they need warmer weather to get sweet . . .

I only got one watermelon from the vine, but it was a nice-sized 10 pounder!  It was ready to harvest last weekend and man, oh, man was it good!  Super, super sweet and oh, so juicy!   Mmmmm-mmmmmm-good! 

And I believe the Charentais (French heirloom cantaloupe) melons do live up to their hype!  The first one, the bugs got.  The second one, my neighbor got because it ripened up while I was on vacation.  The third one, the bugs got again . . . dog-gone roly-polys!  But, the fourth one was mine, ALLLLL mine!  Mwaha ha ha haa  . . .  oh, sorry . . .  ;)  I can attest that they are the sweetest, most flavorful melons I have ever tasted.  They are on the small side, about 6"-7" diameter, but very big on taste! I may have to camp out in my garden with my knife and fork waiting for the next one to ripen up . . .  I.  CANT.   WAIT! ! !  *drool* :)  I wish you could reach into the screen and just help yourself to a piece . . you should grow it . . . really, it's that good!  I am in raptures!  I've got about 10 more in various stages of development . . . but, it is going to be a few more weeks before any of them ripen up.  I normally like to share, but I might be a little selfish with these!  :)

Looking at these photos, it looks like summer is still here!  

But, autumn is creeping in!  So, this will be my little transitional post between summer and fall.  As you can see here, I also had some luck with the pumpkins I planted.  I just got two of the white lumina pumpkins and about a dozen of these cute little Sugar Pie pumpkins.  I plan on using the luminas to decorate for Halloween.  They have been sitting around here for more than a month!  I planted a couple of months too early, though, so next time I need to make sure I wait a bit before I plant them!

The little Sugar Pies are just so cute you want to pinch their little cheeks!  These are my last two, and the smaller one has actually seen better days now!  I am hoping the other is still going to be good enough to eat!  :-)   Speaking of eating, my sister sent me home with some of her squash and sweet potatoes and they were soooooo good, I have been craving more!  They are going to be planted here next year also! I still have one of the Sweet Dumpling squash she gave me and when I get ready to fix it, I will be sure to save some of the seed for next year.  VERY good stuff!  And, she said she would send me another sweet potato for me to use to get a start for next year.  I don't remember what variety they were, but they were absolutely THE best sweet potatoes I have ever had!  Thanks, Jules!  

Oh, my, I just ate and this is making me hungry again!  :)  Can't wait for next spring!  So, there you have it!  I sure hope you enjoyed my little recent harvest!  I know I sure did!  :)  Stop back by again sometime soon!  See ya!  

Friday, October 21, 2011

Beautiful Critters

This will be my final trip post.  I saved all the pretty little critters I came across for last.  

No lions, or tigers or bears (oh, my!), but there were plenty of ground squirrels,

and squirrels.  This little guy was a real ham - when I first tried to get his pic, the batteries in my camera had to be changed.  When I set my stuff down to get the batteries out, he must have thought I was getting ready to feed him, so he came running over and started trying to chew on my stuff.  But, once I got my new batteries in, he obligingly ran back to his post for his close up, but since he didn't get a treat, kept his back to me at first.  It took a while for him to kind of forgive me and sort of turn back again.  You can see he still looks a little bit grumpy with me.

There were mountain goats out for their daily stroll along the highway.  There were 3 or 4 of them in the road, but it was causing a bit of a traffic jam, so I was trying to get a picture as I was trying to keep moving . . . I didn't want someone to start getting impatient and honking their horns and scare the goats! She looks like she is smiling for her close up!  Don't you think?  A little Mona Lisa smile?

I went where the deer,

and the antelope play . . .

And I saw even more antelope,

and elk . . .

and more and more elk.  As I mentioned in one of my previous posts here, at one of the stops in the mountains, you could hear the elk calls echoing through the peaks.  It was really quite nice.  Wish I had them on tape!  Sure beats the constant calls from the freeway I hear around here!  ;)

There were some friendly ravens . . .

and wild cats . . . . oh, wait!  How in the world did Moosie get in there? ? ?    ;)

Well, that's it from my trip!  I've got a little garden update planned for next time!  I hope you'll stop back by and have a little taste with me!  ;)  See ya later!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Beautiful Places Part 6

I ended up needing to extend my vacation by a day.  I spent a little too much time at Arches and although I had already planned that I would get back very late, with the extra time there, miles and miles of unexpected road work narrowing down the interstate to just one lane, the rain, etc, it was all adding up to making for a very, very late (or a very, very early the next morning) arrival home.

As I was getting tired, I decided I'd better get a room for the night instead of trying to push through.  So, I stopped for the night before I left Utah.  It was raining when I stopped.

The next morning I looked out the window to see what the weather was like to help me decide what to wear and was delighted to see it was snowing!  Big, fat fluffy flakes drifting silently down.  The ground was covered in about an inch or so of snow!  I was so excited!  I'm not sure I'm ready to move back to somewhere that gets snow.  I'm so used to being able to just visit it now and then if I need a snow fix, but I do miss being in the snow while it is snowing.  It is so beautiful and quiet when it snows.  It is such a treat now as it is a bit difficult to time visits to coincide with a good snowfall.  :)

But, by the time I got around and got out there, it had almost stopped.  This was my car with it's new white sweater!  It didn't last long and I drove out of it pretty quickly, but before I did, there was a brief time when it was starting to come down again and I was able to get a little video of it.  (Sorry about the noise from the interstate!)

Monday, October 17, 2011

Beautiful Places Part 5

Moving on from the highway following the Colorado River, here are a few shots from Arches National Park.  I didn't get to spend much time there, pretty much just a quick drive through and grabbing shots of things close to the road.  Still not much sun, but it was still gorgeous!  

It seems a lot of the formations were in groups of threes.  I think this one looks like a group of bystanders, huddled together waiting for the parade to begin, with the lizard king there on the right keeping watch for the first entry in the procession.  :)

I would love to go back when the sun is shining and take a few of the short hikes back to some of the other arches you can't see from your car.

There is still a lot you can see even on a rushed tour through like I did.

I think this looks like an elephant!  :)

This reminds me of the Three Wise Men, except these three look like they would be more at home in Chalmun's Cantina on Tatooine (from Star Wars fame).   And, instead of frankincense and myrrh,  the one on the left is bringing a stuffed elephant.  And, instead of lambs and cows milling about around the manger there's a lion sleeping on a stack of pancakes.  (See his cute little tail hanging down the side?)  Hmmmm . . hope there aren't any psychoanalysts reading this post . . .  ;)

This is their "signature" arch, the one they use on all their promotional materials.

And, through the miracle of Photoshop, a bit more of a close up of said arch!

I did have to hike a teeny way to get this one!  You have to shimmy through a narrow passageway through the rocks, and then trek a little way through dunes of really fine red sand.  I finally ended up taking my shoes off to walk through it and it felt simply delightful!  Cool, silky sand between the toes . .  oh, boy!  (But, I did find quite a pile of it in my shoes when I got home!  I didn't mean to steal anything from the park, but . . . I was glad to find it!  I was wishing I had taken some, it was so pretty!  I think I may have to start a little collection of sand from places I visit!  I'll have to stay on the lookout for some pretty way to display it!)

There is a campground allllll the way at the end of the park.  I think it would be absolutely fantastic to be able to stay there sometime and explore more of the park at a more leisurely pace.  It is within walking distance of several of the arches, some I didn't have time to hike back to!  Maybe one of these days!

Next up . . . will be just a quick post . . . I sure hope you'll stop back by to check it out!  More of the trip!  And after that, the final installation of this series will be of the critters I ran into along the way! 

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Beautiful Places Part 4

Hello, again!  I'm back with a few more pics from my trip.  I last left you in Colorado and I am picking up from there to continue on my journey.  There were some sprinkles up there that made their way onto the windshield as I was driving through.  

I kept hoping the sun would win the game of hide-and-seek with the clouds, but no such luck.  I got a little sun, but not a lot.

The clouds followed me to Utah.  The closer I got to Arches National Park, the more overcast it got.  But, I did have a little sun off and on while wending my way through the backroads along the Colorado River.

Can you just imagine the color that would appear here if the sun were to suddenly burst forth and bathe these cliffs in it's warm golden glow?  Since there had been rain recently, there was a lot of green against all that red rock.

The Le Sal mountains far off in the background were covered with snow, which I suspect was a recent happening!

The rock formations were just gorgeous and so varied and intricate.  It almost looks more like a painted backdrop than reality.  It would be such a treat to spend a year watching how the light and shadow play on them throughout the year!  From dawn to dusk!  Just grab a nice glass of wine and commune with the lizards and cottontails while watching the clouds drift by.

Is it just me?  But, this formation reminds me of a ship.  The bow lifting just slightly up out of the water.  Perhaps I just have traveling and cruises on my mind . . .  Can you see the ship?

This seems to me the iconic representation of all the deadwood that you see everywhere out in the canyonlands.  A sculptural masterpiece in its own right.  I still have more vacation pics to share, which I hope to be able to do in a couple of days!  I also have several pics of some of the wildlife I came across, for which I will create a separate post later, so stay tuned!  Hope to see you back here soon!  TTFN my little BFF!  ;)

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Beautiful Places Part 3

**Update 11-21-12 --  Before you travel to Colorado, please check out my posts here and here.**

Well, I got my internet back!  They actually delivered my new modem Saturday!  Yay!  So, anyway, I have been trying to catch up but am still about 2 weeks behind right now! 

I took way too many pics to post them all here, but will be sharing a little at a time for a couple more posts!  

Here's another batch for now!  The very first pic at the top of this post is a gazebo or picnic pavilion in a park in my hometown in the midwest.  The rest are all from the Colorado leg of the trip.

I had great weather on the way to the midwest and during my stay there, but on the way home I had clouds, rain and snow!

My nephew's wedding was very nice and everyone had a great time.  Even with the wedding, we still managed to squeeze in a little time for visiting, raking leaves and the obligatory leaf fight afterwards.

This was a very scenic trip.  Made me wish I could spend all my time traveling and exploring . . .  But, I sure would like to let Colorado know their traffic circles are very difficult to navigate when they are so small you don't have time to read all the signs to know where you need to be and at the same time, to be able to watch for the merging traffic!  I had to go through many of them a couple of times to get where I needed to go!  AND, why, why, oh why do they hide their gas stations?  The freeway signs would indicate gas at the next exit, but good luck trying to actually find the station!  After about 4 exits and 45 minutes I finally found a road worker who was able to tell me how to find a gas station!  "Go down this road about 3 miles and then look down over the left side - there is a big drop off, so it is easy to miss it.  Look for a restaurant, the gas station is part of the restaurant and it is easier to find the restaurant than the gas station."  She was right.  If I hadn't known to look for the restaurant, I would not have found the gas station.  And this was right off one of the main freeways!  You would have thought since so many people travel through there they would mark things better!

While, unfortunately, I can't spend all my time traveling, I am going to try to make more of an effort to take a few more long weekend trips to start making a dent in the very long list of places I want to visit.  Some places are so beautiful, I want to go back many times to see them in all seasons at all times of the day.

I just wish I could spend a lot more time at some of these places and really take the time to explore them more in depth.  Or maybe, just live in a house like the one below in a place like this!  Ok, I know the place is a church, but when I drove by, I just thought it would be a great place to live and the view was wonderful!  All it needed was a lake!

Anyway, this is just a sampling of the Colorado portion of my trip.  I wish the light would have been better, but I enjoyed the clouds over the mountains and the little spells of sprinkles I got.  I just wish I had an audio clip of the elk calls that echoed through the mountains on one of my photo stops.  I will be sharing pics of the critters I encountered on this trip in a future post also!

Next up will be some of the pics I snapped in Utah!  I hope you'll enjoy them!  Utah has sooooo many gorgeous spots to visit, it is hard to decide which spot is the most picturesque!  Since I still haven't seen all of them, I'll have to reserve judgement for now!  

Well, I hope you'll stop back by to see the rest of the trip!  See you later!