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Tammi’s latest book, Cattail Moonshine & Milkweed Medicine, is the winner of 2 book awards…The 2016 Silver Nautilus Award and the 2017 International Herb Society Thomas Debaggio Book of the Year Award.

Homegrown Herbs has been on the National Bestseller list for many years now and continues to be very popular!

If you love wildlife and you love to grow herbs, vegetables and fruit, this is a great book for your personal library!!

October 20, 2018     Pueblo Barnes & Nobel Bookshop hosts Tammi for a Book-Signing event

Tammi Hartung will be visiting with Barnes & Nobel bookstore customers about plants and signing books for all three of her book titles, including Homegrown Herbs, Cattail Moonshine & MIlkweed Medicine, & The Wildlife-Friendly Vegetable Gardener. Please stop in and say hello if you are near the bookshop on this Saturday and during these times. She will love to see you!

This is a great opportunity to get a signed copy of one of Tammi’s books to treat yourself or to begin some of your holiday gift shopping

Time: 11:00am to 3:00 pm

Location: Barnes & Nobel Bookshop in Pueblo, CO at 4300 N. Freeway in Eagleridge Shopping Center

 

 

 

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The garden is providing us with so much abundance right now and it tastes delicious! These are Striped Cavern tomatoes, which are pillowed on the outside and mostly hollow inside with only a few seeds. They are one of my favorite tomatoes to grow because they taste so good and they are beautiful with orange and red stripes on the outside. We have a bumper crop of them, so last week we mixed mushrooms, pesto and mozzarella cheese together, filled the inside of the tomatoes, put them in the oven at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes and enjoyed a scrupulous meal!

Today, I’m  going to fill them with Italian sausage, mushrooms, ricotta cheese and pesto and that will be a yummy meal for Chris and I. If you are growing tomatoes that are good for stuffing, experiment with all different types of fillings. It makes for an easy and nutritious, delicious meal.

I also have an over abundance of different kinds of peppers right now. Italian pepperoncini, Mosca pueblo, Cuban sweet heirloom and so many more. I’ve been running the dehydrator 24/7 lately drying all these extra peppers for future use.

Once they are dried, I crush them up coarsely and store them in a glass canning jars. Hot chilies go in one jar and sweet peppers go in another jar. I keep a pepper grinding mill filled with coarsely crushed peppers and we can then grind and sprinkle our plate with peppers whenever we want to add some extra zip to our meal. Dehydrated peppers work well for me and I cook with with them all year-long. They take up a fraction of the space to store than canned pickled peppers would until I’m ready to use them  I also freeze them, which is super easy, just putting the fresh peppers in a freezer container and then pulling out however many I want to cook with in the moment all through the year. No fuss and easy as can be! Of course, right now, we have plenty of fresh peppers to eat and cook with.

For many years we have been getting together a couple of times a year with other small growers in this region. It is a chance for us to “talk shop”, sharing ideas, commiserating over challenges, getting excited about successes, and just enjoying the company of good friends who happen to do the same kind of work Chris and I do.

This time we gathered at Peter and Elaine’s place in the mountains. Everyone brought food to share and we ate a gourmet meal. The weather was a perfect fall day.

Thank you Peter and Elaine, Jeff, Bill, Merrilee and Diana for being an amazing group of friends and sharing ideas, hopes and frustrations with us. You are always a wonderful inspiration to Chris and I!

This past week has been extra nice for us. We hiked the Cottonwood Creek trail in the Sangres last Sunday and it was an incredible autumn day. Much of the color up high is finished, but lower down on the trail the aspens gave us quite a lovely show. We had lunch in a big meadow up in the basin. It was a great day.

And this week, Chris and I celebrated our 24th wedding anniversary! We took the day off from work, and packed a picnic, and went to Lion’s Canyon for a beautiful hike. Chris and Shrek told me to stop messing around taking pictures and get moving ;-}

I did take a lot of pictures and I’m enjoying every one of them. Even Chris took some of Shrek and I, which was fun.

When we got home, everyone was ready for a nap. Willow has decided he wants to share Shrek’s bed with him. Shrek is a good big brother and very patient, but in truth, he would probably prefer to have his bed to himself. I’m not sure Willow is listening to that message, though, because he keeps curling up with Shrek every chance he gets. Pretty sweet.

 

 

Happy Autumn Everyone!

The season has officially changed and there are some hints of it here in Canon City, but it’s still unseasonably hot and dry. This week the forecasters think it will cool down and there is a small chance of rain, so we are hoping all that happens.

In the meantime, I want to introduce you to the newest duck to join the farm family. Meet Rosie (she is the one in the middle with the most dark markings). Rosie came from the neighbor to visit Hannah and Gretel and she is going to stay permanently with us. So now we have three duck hens in our pond and they are helping us with bug hunting on the farm. Such fun!!

This is our mesquite bush and it has been growing in the ground here for the past three years. This coming winter will be its forth, so I feel safe to say it is hardy at least for gardeners in this area of Colorado. This plant was gifted to us about 15 years ago by my parents, who brought it to us from Apache Junction, Arizona. For many years I grew it in a clay pot, putting it outdoors in the summer, but bringing it indoors for the cold months. Then three Autumn seasons ago I decided to plant it in the garden rather than bringing it back indoors for the cold months. It has come back every year so far. It’s never going to grow into a mesquite tree like it would have done in southern Arizona, but it is an attractive bush and my hope is that it will produce some mesquite pods at some point. Mesquite pods are delicious! They can be dried and ground into flour to use in baking muffins or cookies or you can make a really wonderful beverage from them that is sweet and delicious.

For those of you that are interested in growing mesquite in your gardens, we plan to have some young mesquite plants for sale in the Farm Stand store next spring. They have sprouted and are getting true leaves and looking very promising.

And this beauty is a hardy fig plant. You can see that it is loaded with little figs. This plant is also growing in my garden and it has been very hardy for us, coming back each year. This is the first year it has produced figs outdoors.

I also grow a hardy fig indoors so that I can pick fresh figs to eat all winter and spring. They are easy to grow indoors or outdoors, preferring bright indirect light and a once-a-month meal of organic fertilizer for the plants that are being grown in a pot rather than in the garden soil.  We will have 2 varieties of hardy figs for sale both retail in the Farm Stand store and wholesale to our garden center customers next spring.

If you have never eaten a fresh fig, you should try them! They are so delicious! I’m not really a fan of dried figs, but fresh figs are hard to get enough of. I pick and eat them as soon as they get ripe.

Last Sunday we hiked with Brad and Jan to Stout Lakes. It was a beautiful day and we saw just the beginning signs of fall color in the high country.

A perfect way to spend a Sunday!

It is hunting season, though, so Shrek was wearing a bright orange ribbon tied to his color so that no one would mistake him for wildlife.

Have a great week!

 

 

This is the view from my desk and as I was working on book-keeping last week, mama doe and her twins were looking under the pear tree to see if the birds dropped any sunflower seeds (which of course the birds would never do). The fawn that has its rump towards the window had just whirled around that way from looking inside my window at me with its nose on the window glass. I think it could probably hear the piano music I had playing while I was working.

It really is a delight to have wildlife all around us all of the time!

Chicken guacamole tacos for lunch with freshly harvested cilantro and tomatoes from the garden and the greenhouse. Doesn’t get much better than that.

Tomorrow will be our annual organic renewal inspection. The inspector comes out several times a year for different reasons. We get inspected for our nursery and greenhouse license, for our Japanese beetle certification, we have a retail nursery inspection and the most important inspection is our annual organic inspection. It’s also possible that we can be inspected, and we have been, for our compliance with EPA requirements, which even organic growers much do, even though we only use OMRI (Organic Materials Review Institute) certified imputs like neem oil or soap spray.

When the inspector arrives, we will walk all of the farm for her to check on everything that happens here, both in the flower seed crop field and in all the greenhouses and gardens and our heirloom orchard. She will check our equipment shed and our supply barn and will inspect our record-keeping documents (which we have to keep for 7 years). We even have to keep every single empty seed packet we use for 7 years and have them available when the inspector comes. She looks in our seed fridges where we store our seeds until we are ready to plant them. She will be looking to see what type of weeds and insects (good and bad) we have here and how many we have, and how we manage them. She will check on our buffer zones between us and our neighbors and the local streets. You name it…it’s all up for inspection. She’ll be here the better part of the day.

Everyone who is certified organic must have this annual inspection, in addition to many other requirements in the course of being certified. Once the inspection is completed, she will write a report and turn it in to the certifying agent (in our case this is the Colorado Dept of Agriculture acting for USDA) for a complete review. If there are any concerns, they will let us know and we will have to remedy them satisfactorily. If there are no concerns or if we have fixed any concerns they might have had, then we will be granted our certification renewal for another year.

This is a very big deal and we are pleased to say we have always done well in our inspections.

A couple of weeks ago I told you that I thought the scarecrows we had from Open Farm Days were getting a bit weary. This week one of them got a bit of refreshing. She is now a gathering woman, taking a rest break from picking pine cones.

I still have two more scarecrows to refresh, but I haven’t decided how they will be re-invented just yet.

The Winter Red Flesh apples are ready to eat now. When you cut into these apples they are reddish-pink inside! They are tartly yummy and make the most tasty applesauce. I think I’ll also dehydrate quite a few of these, sprinkled with a bit of cinnamon. They will make perfect trail snacks when we are hiking or they can be added to hot cereal this winter to make it gourmet.

Have a great autumn week and I’ll be back again soon.

The seed harvest has begun now in earnest! There is a lot of seed to pick each day and many different varieties of plants have the seed ripening in our flower seed crop field. It’s pretty much all hands on deck, Chris, Beki, Susan, Nicolle, Lizz and myself, but by far, Chris does the lion’s share of the seed harvesting.

Above are the pretty berries that contain the seed of Leopard Flower {Belamcanda chinensis}. Below, Chris is raking the seed off the Pennisetum orientalis grass. When this grass is in peak flower, the stocks are pink in color and when the seed is ripe and ready to rake, the seed is light tan in color.

One of my favorite flowers is Mojave Sage {Salvia pachyphilla}. It is incredibly aromatic and the flowers are purple turning to pinkish mauve just before the seed is ripe to pick. That is what Chris is picking below.

For many years we have been growing Helichrysum italicum, sometimes called by the common name of curry plant, although it is not curry the spice blend that people cook with. It does smell exactly like the curry spice blend. All the Helichrysum species are strongly medicinal for their antimicrobial properties. All of them have that delicious curry spice fragrance.

The seed on the Helichrysum is super tiny and has equally small little seed hairs that make it easy for the slightest breeze to carry the seed off into the world before we can harvest it. The only way to deal with that challenge is to harvest it every single afternoon before the afternoon breezes come along. Many years ago, our friend Steve from New Zealand was visiting us, and told us that on seed crops of this type he had created a vacuum from a leaf blower. He told Chris how to do this and it is extremely helpful and effective for harvesting the Helichrysum seed every afternoon. Chris sucks the seed up with the seed vacuum and because the seed is so tiny it doesn’t get chopped up in the fan blades inside the machine. Works like a charm for this crop, but it can’t be used on the other seed crops, which we pick by hand.

As we walk through the flower field there are still many seed crops that are only blooming at this point, They are covered in pollinators of so many kinds. The bumblebees, an orange beetle that I can’t name, honeybees, sweat bees and so many others. A new seed crop for this year is Fragrant Garlic {Allium ramosum}. This variety of Allium is like a garlic chives, only much bigger, much nicer and better flavored for cooking! The pollinator on these flowers is a Twisted Waist Wasp. Wasps of all kinds are good pollinators for white, cream and yellow to yellowish-green flowers. The wasp in this picture is about actual size and they are just the coolest creatures to watch. Don’t worry, they aren’t interested in stinging you….rather they have flowers to pollinate and that is pretty much all they are interested in.

This is our seed room and as the seed is harvested, it is put into these large paper leaf bags, which look like gigantic paper grocery bags. We have enough of the bags filled at this point, that the room was nearly over-flowing, so we put up the silver racks to double-decker the seed bags on. In late fall, after all the seed is picked in the flower field, we will box up the seed in big boxes and send it all off to Germany to Jelitto Perennial Seed Company.

All the seed we grow on this farm is contract grown for Jelitto, except the seed we pick here for our own planting needs for potted plant sales in our retail Farm Stand store and wholesale to independent garden centers in Colorado and northern New Mexico. I’ll keep you posted as the seed crop harvest continues throughout the fall season. We will be picking seed now non-stop until mid to end of November.

There were some other happenings this week. An exciting and fun one is that I discovered very late, but better than never, that my book Cattail Moonshine & Milkweed Medicine won another book award! Oh my goodness….I’m thrilled!

The crazy thing is that this happened just as the book was released in 2016 and I was only told about it this week. Things can slip through the cracks in this life, and this was a big crack, but I’m so glad to know about this award now. The award was for the 2016 Silver Nautilus Book Award for Animals & Nature. This is a really important book award and I am so honored and happy! So now Cattail Moonshine & Milkweed Medicine is the honored recipient of the 2016 Silver Nautilus Book Award and the 2017 International Herb Society’s Thomas DeBaggio Book of the Year Award.

Above is a pretty idyllic scene with Hannah and Gretel, right? Well yes, they are very happy in their home here and I am totally in love with both of them. They live in one of our ponds here and they are friendly and whimsical and keep me and everyone else in smiles all day long.

In the picture above they are standing underneath a willow tree that years ago grew into the edge of the pond. Well, sadly that willow had to be removed this week, and even though it broke our hearts for Chris to cut it down, it really did need to happen. Willows drink a lot of water and this one had a constant supply in our irrigation pond, which holds our irrigation water shares when they are delivered to us until we use them in our drip irrigation system that waters the flower seed crops, the gardens, hedgerows. and trees on our farm. This year has been a bad drought year and we realized how much water we were loosing in the pond to this one willow tree, plus the pond is a lined pond (required when the water commissioner gave us permission nearly 23 years ago to put in the pond) and the roots of the willow were starting to put the pond lining at risk. The tree had to go, but it is still helping foster life as the cut branches have become wildlife habitat on another part of the farm and some of those branches will become stakes for tomatoes, hops, kiwis, thumbergias and morning glories, all sorts of plants that need support to climb up. Sadly, this was a favorite spot for Hannah and Gretel to hang out.

This is how that same place looks now. Yikes…it makes the pond look naked, even though it isn’t really as there is a lot of vegetation that grows on the banks of the pond. Still, we will miss the willow greatly, as will our duck ladies.

And all of that prompted us to get busy and build the duck island that we have been planning to build since July.

We use barley straw sandwiched between two big pieces of hog wire and put it into the pond each year to help combat algae and bacteria from becoming problematic in the pond water quality. Barley straw is strongly antimicrobial and so where there is barley straw in water, you have less trouble with the water quality becoming compromised. In July, we were going to refresh the barley straw wire sandwiches, tie floats onto the sandwich, and create a duck island for our girls. We’ve been so busy that we haven’t gotten to it, but when the willow tree was removed, we decided to make the duck island for our duck friends.

Because it is made from the barley straw, it will continue to benefit the water quality of the pond, but since it now floats instead of sinking into the water, the ducks can use it as a floating reprieve and also as a protected place against predators if they should ever need it. They are still getting used to it being in “their” pond, but they seem to be liking it.

Last night when I went to gather up the duck food pans, a blue heron was standing on the island and the ducks were swimming right next to the island, so the ducks had a house guest for a little while. When I showed up on the scene to pick up the pans, I startled the heron and off it flew.

Well, how about a cat update…Willow has decided that he wants to sleep on Shrek’s bed. He sprawls out right in the middle of the bed and Shrek lets him do it, laying down next to the bed on the hardwood floor. Shrek is clearly a very good big brother, aye.

Last Sunday’s hike was to Lakes of the Clouds with our friends Brad, Marc, and Jan. The guys were acting a bit on the goofy side and Jan and I couldn’t resist snapping a picture. It was a lovely day!

All for now.

With Green Thoughts, Tammi

 

 

We have three large peach trees in our back orchard here and a couple that are smaller in the new orchard. It’s peach harvesting season and we are hugely blessed this year with a great gigantic crop! I started picking peaches last Sunday (see that picking above) and today I picked three times that many more. There are at least two more big pickings coming up as more peaches ripen. I also picked Blue Parmain apples and Stanley plums last Sunday. Life is very very good! Tomorrow, I’m taking 50 lbs of peaches from today’s picking to the food bank so that they can enjoy them too.

One of my best friends forever, Janiece, was here visiting last week and we really enjoyed our time together. We talked and talked and talked and never even got close to finishing talking. It’s very special that someone you have been friends with since age 5 is still fully in your life and you enjoy being together at 57 years old just as much as you did at 5 years old.

Yahoo…Chris mounted the Give-Away Reading Library on a post at the edge of the Desert Garden and near to the road. He fixed the door latch to be stronger and I put the first arm full of books inside. Some have already found new homes as someone else will enjoy reading them. I’m so happy to have this little gifting library to share. If you are near to the farm, and you like to read, stop a moment and take a peek and see if there isn’t a book or magazine you might enjoy reading. If so…help yourself. Just close the door gently and securely when you leave so that weather doesn’t get inside.

One of my summer projects planned was to plant a hedgerow in front of our newest retail greenhouse building. This greenhouse is fondly called the Hygge House (which is Danish and means “to live simply and well”).  This is how the area I wanted to plant looked. It was a narrow band of pasture grass running in front of the fence that surrounds the nursery area.

I planted several cool things here, including a Manchurian Apricot tree, an Oak tree, a rose of Sharon and lilac bushes and two Nearly Wild red rose bushes. I also put in a couple of perennials to fill the space with color until the trees and bushes gain some size in a couple of years. This side of the Hygge House faces west and the greenhouse gets very hot from the sun beating on the south and west sides all day. Wind is also pretty intense coming in the end doors on the west end, so these trees and shrubs will eventually help to mitigate some of these challenges. They will offer wildlife habitat, giving food and shelter to the critters, and help make the front of this greenhouse more beautiful for the neighbors across the street from the farm. On the south side, I planted 2 mulberry trees and when they grow up, they will easily fill that space with shade. I’m pretty excited to have this project planted. I mulched the area  very deep with wood chips to help keep the grass from competing so much with the new shrubs and trees. Once they get a bit bigger they will be able to hold their own against the grass, but right now while they are small they need some help.

You can’t tell, but this pot holds a pomegranate tree and the one below is a hardy fig tree. This week some little fairy bunnies showed up in the pots and made themselves at home carrying carrots and sailing walnut shell boats. Pretty fun!

 

As many of you know who read this blog regularly, we have a big herd of deer that share this farm with us. The herd is 35+ deer and that doesn’t count the 8 little fawns that are part of the group born this spring.

They are here every morning and evening and often they are here all day long. The fawns rest in our hedgerows during the day and play in the flower seed crop field, which becomes a baby deer romping playground for them daily. We love having them here.

I understand that many people would be horrified by that many deer wandering through the crops, the gardens and the pastures, but in truth, they don’t do nearly the damage people think they will do. Interestingly, they love to eat bindweed! Bindweed is our worse weed here and we spend thousands of dollars each year on labor wages to hire a crew that spends most of their time pulling weeds, mainly bindweed. For a long time, we thought the deer were browsing on the actual seed crops, eating the flowers as they wandered through the field. They do browse on a few of the crops, and for those crops we have to protect them from the deer, but mostly what we noticed is that they are eating the bindweed in the pathways between the growing beds. Even the fawns learn quickly that they can satisfy their hunger eating bindweed as they are moving through and around the farm.

We’ll thank them any day for their help in managing the bindweed here. They are the least expensive weeding crew we have :-}

Our Russian Hawthorn tree is amazing right now! It is this beautiful every year, but this year we seem to be enjoying it all the more for some reason. The haws (also called berries) are crimson red and big. The tree is covered in them and they sparkle in the sunlight like ruby gems.

After we get a good hard frost this fall, I’ll harvest a basket full of the haws to make hawthorn berry honey, which I love, and it’s fantastic as a tonic for good heart health.

Enjoy your end of summer, friends. August is passing quickly. Soon the fall will be arriving in all her glory of colors. The autumn is always my most favorite time of the year. I just wish the days would slow down a little bit. I want to savor each one of them as long as possible and make this time of the year all the way through the fall season last.

It’s been nearly 2 weeks since I’ve taken the time to sit a spell at my computer and write a new blog post. My apologies for that long spell. There is a lot to share about what is happening around here these days, so let me tell you about it…

This past week we sadly sent our intern, Sarah, on her way back to Kansas so that she can get ready for another college school year. We have so enjoyed her help, and even more, her company this summer. Have a great school year Sarah!

We also welcomed Nicolle to the farm crew to finish out the seed season. She has been working all summer as a rafting guide and now she is helping us 4 mornings a week with the field work. She brings a cheerful smile to work each day and we are looking forward to getting to know her more as we all work together for the rest of the summer.

It is a good tree fruit year for us. Our young heirloom orchard is giving us a first crop for many of the small trees and we are delighted! The tree above is one of my favorite. It is a very large crab apple variety called Winter Red Flesh and the apples have nearly purple skin and the inside is bright pinkish-red. They are wonderful cooking apples and despite being a small apple in size (2-3″ in diameter) they are so tasty, they are well worth growing.

You can only see a few more apples left on this tree, which is a Gravenstein Apple. Tart and delicious! The apples are large and I picked a very big bowl-full. These lingering ones are not quite ripe yet, but I think by next week they will be ready to pick.

I also picked all the Early Gold Apples and cooked them in the crock pot. They were delicious, but in truth, both Chris and I wished we had just eaten them fresh rather than cooking them, because they were sweet and yummy straight off the tree.

The Stanley plums are almost ready to pick and I’m hoping by the weekend we can be eating fresh plums!

We have 4 peach trees loaded with fruit and they are not yet ripe to harvest, but they are showing a blush of color now, so I put the bird flash tape in the trees this week to help detour the birds from eating the peaches before they are ripe enough to pick. This strategy has worked well for me over the years, so I expect it to work well again this year at protecting the fruit from being ravaged by the birds before it is ready to eat.

My mom and dad were by  two days ago and Mom took the opportunity to feed Hannah and Gretel and have a visit with them while they were eating. I think they all enjoyed that visit!

I finally got my windows washed! That is a full day’s job usually and the windows were in bad shape and needing a good cleaning. Saturday was the day.

Have you ever grown nantes or french paris carrots in containers? If not, you should consider it. We sell these carrot boxes in our Farm Stand store each spring, but I also grow my carrots for our eating like this all year-long. The boxes have been ready to harvest for a while now and I just haven’t been able to get to them, but yesterday while Shrek and I were enjoying some relaxing porch time, I pulled the carrots out of one of the boxes.

As soon as I pull the carrots out, I twist off the green tops and give those to the ducks. The carrots go in a large bowl to be washed.

One 15″ x 4″ box gave me half a large bowl full of sweet carrots to eat. This is a very easy way to grow carrots, green onions or bunching onions. The boxes can be grown indoors during the cold months of the year and out on a porch or patio during warm months of the year. Eating fresh grown carrots makes store-bought carrots look pretty second-class, as fresh grown carrots seem to be twice or maybe three times as sweet. Give it a try! There are varieties of carrots that only grow 2-6 inches long that are perfect for container growing. I like the round French Paris Market carrots and Chantenay Nantes carrots the best, but there are many choices.

For many years now I have been wanting to put up a Give-Away Reading Library at the front of the Farm driveway, but I’ve never gotten it accomplished. For even more years we have had a give-away reading basket inside our house that friends, family and farm crew could forage through whenever they came inside the house and help themselves to the books and magazines, audio books and such that we had finished with, but I always thought it would be nice to have a larger version of the reading basket outside that the whole community could take books from.

Finally, I have my Give-Away Reading Library almost ready to go. I still need to get a post from the lumber yard to mount it on and then once that is done, I’ll stock it with books and magazines that anyone can help themselves to if they enjoy reading. My hope is to have this little library out at the edge of the Farm front yard very soon, but I think I’m going to need to recruit Chris to help me set the post in place and attach the library to the post, so I’ll need to wait until he has a free moment from his own chores to help me. Soon, though, Soon!

I’ve decided that our Farm Greeting Scare Crows are needing retired. They have become pretty faded and weather worn and some wild critter is taking the straw out of this guy’s jeans. Now this scare crow hardly has a knee left! Oh my… I think I’ll just take them away soon and reuse the straw in the garden beds and then later this fall, perhaps I’ll make some new scarecrows to have around. I’m pretty attached to them, as they always make me smile. The current batch of scare crows were made by the greenhouse spring crew and they are great. So, keep your eye out this fall for new Farm Greeting Scare Crows.

Two Sundays ago we went hiking with new friends, Brad and Jan, who are also our neighbors. They are from the east coast and are now exploring the rocky mountains and living in the high mountain desert of Colorado. We are enjoying their company very much.

The highlight of our week was a visit from M’lissa and Luke with their kids, Gabe and Lyli. We love these kids (young and older) so much and we had a really nice day with them last Tuesday. We took Grandma and Grandpa with us to eat pizza in town for lunch and then we went to explore the new Dinosaur Experience Museum near the Royal Gorge. These young ones love dinosaurs, especially Gabe, and they know a whole LOT about them. We had a blast!

Now I’m going to get ready for the arrival of one of my dearest friends in the whole world. We started our friendship as kindergarteners and we really think of each other more as sisters and friends. Janiece will be arriving tomorrow for a visit this week. It’s been a few years since we have seen each other in person, although we keep in touch every week, and I can’t wait to give her a big hug!

My sunflowers next to the front porch have begun to bloom this week and they are so sassy and cheerful…they make me smile each time I walk past them.

I’ll try to do a better job of writing the next post in a more timely way.  Until then…have a great week.