Used to be a ‘new’ Jersey Girl   : now A Colorado Girl

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Not sure

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Early morning shadows.

As in not sure what I am going to blog about. I feel like I should post something. But I can’t seem to drag myself out of my malaise.

Is it because Sam is really sick and not going to get any better and I’ve been playing caregiver to him?

Is it because this is normally the time of year we head off to the cabin? We went in late May/early June this year and yet it seems like we didn’t go at all. Like we are missing out.

Or is it just because. I honestly don’t know. So I have a feeling this will be a random dumping of things going around in my head this morning.

I mowed the yards yesterday and in doing so picked up a lot of leaves that have fallen. It was a beautiful afternoon so it wasn’t really a chore riding Johnny around and around. I am hoping the grass is just about done with its growth cycle. Then it will be leaves, and oh boy, do we have a ton of leaves!

Last night it got down to 46 degrees F. BRRRRR! The pool is not going to like that. We did manage to swim on Saturday for ten lengths of the pool but little five-minute rain showers kept drifting by that weren’t helping anything. We thought we had broken a record by having the latest swim ever, but in my archives the other day a post popped up about the Ren Faire from September 10, 2007 and I talked about how we had gotten so hot while at the Faire we came home and jumped in the extremely cold pool to cool off. So, we didn’t break a record after all. Almost. The pool is scheduled for closing next week.

Good thing too. Every morning when I go out to put chlorine in there is a little frog on the solar cover. I can’t catch him, so obviously there is not enough chlorine in the water! The fallen acorns were covering the pool deck the other day and we swept them off. A few days later you can’t tell we did anything. Even sitting in the house you can hear them hit the pool cover with a resounding thwack! nearly as loud a gun shot. After not bearing any nuts at all last year our oaks are making up for it. I have a plan for the little acorn hats. If it works out I’ll show you.

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We walked the dogs after dinner last night. The days are getting so short that dusk fell pretty quickly from the time we set out to the time we were walking back up our road. Good thing the dogs were leashed because there at the edge of the woods stood a deer frozen to the spot. The dogs all saw it and it saw them. We were getting closer and closer and still the deer just stood there, so finally I yelled SHOO! and it took off. Next thing we knew another deer broke cover from the opposite side of the road and crossed in front of us. The dogs were going crazy but stayed under control, thank god. I’ve had enough dog-related injuries to last a lifetime. But that’s a subject for a different blog post.

My sister and her husband arrive tomorrow afternoon for a brief overnight stay on their way to vacation in New York City. Rick has a seminar in the city, so he’ll be departing to NYC as they arrive here! Since Rick will be traveling by train and my sister is coming via the train, I should be busy shuttling to and from the train station tomorrow. Maybe I can take Rick around the same time as my sister arrives. Otherwise, Skylands is in the middle between the house and the train station so I just might amuse myself there!

So, see? Random thoughts!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Catching up

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Sunflowers at the Warwick Farmer’s Market on Sunday.

My sister left on Saturday. We had a good visit and I think we did everything she was hoping to do. Time went by so quickly that her visit was over before we knew it!

Cirque in the city was wonderful! Such skilled performers. Death-defying acts! Lightning fast set changes! Non-stop entertainment! If you’ve never seen Cirque perform I highly recommend them to anyone. This is the third one I have seen. On Las Vegas trips I’ve seen Mystere and LOVE (the Beatle one). All of them well worth the price of a seat.

On Saturday after dropping my sister at the train station we took the dogs for a walk before it got too hot. Poor things have been inside with no exercise because of the heat. We did a little grocery shopping, then took Mia for a short drive around Greenwood Lake. We ate lunch at the Emerald Point restaurant (which I always refer to as the biker place because all the motorcycle folks hang out here). We sat outside in the shade with a view of the lake and had a cool beer and a sandwich. It was nice.

When we got home we pooled it for a few hours. And then again after dinner. I did about 30 laps or so of the side-stroke and it felt good to get the exercise.

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Outside house lights reflecting in the pool.

We are having a marvelous pool year this year with very consistent temperatures in the low 80’s and clear sparkling water. Sheer heaven with all the hot weather and humidity we’ve been having.

The cicadas are slowly starting up. I hope they reach symphonic heights this year as I love to hear them singing away. We have a few fireflies left but I think they are a different species than the ones earlier in the summer. These fly high amongst the tree tops with a different light pattern. The other day there was a bug inside on the sliding glass door. I grabbed it, opened the door and tossed it outside and as it flew off it lit up! It didn’t look like a firefly to me, jut another beetle. And we’ve had some strange beetles around this year.

The bee balm is nearly spent. The hummingbirds enjoy it now (must be the concentration of nectar?) but it’s not as pretty.

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I got a surprise when I looked closer at the garden. The bee balm that I got when I traded with Maggie was blooming! Last year it did not come up, but this year even with the lack of rain it’s making a strong showing. I LOVE the color!! Maggie, did mine bloom in your garden??

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On Sunday we made a new recipe: Tomatillo Gazpacho. It was perfect on a hot and humid day.
Tomatillos, cucumbers, green pepper, jalapeños, and avocado all blended, then topped with a cucumber/avocado/shrimp/green olive salsa. It was delicious!

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Hopefully I am back into the swing of blogging again instead of the hit (and mostly miss) of the past week!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Still here!

Just in case you were wondering! With my sister visiting this week my time for blogging and taking photos has been pretty much nil. But that’s okay. That’s the way it should be.

Tonight we are going in to the city to see Cirque du Soleil’s Zarkana at Radio City Music Hall. Should be fun! It’s always so hard to find a place to eat in the city when you don’t know the area well, so we’ll take the stress out of finding a place to eat and stop at Bobby Flay’s Burger Palace in Paramus.

We finally got a little rain last night when we least expected it. It was not predicted by our fair weather people. It poured and when it was over it had dropped 1/4 inch. Not bad considering we haven’t seen any rain at all for a couple of weeks. A welcome sight and sound indeed!

I’ve got some thoughts running around in my head and when I get the time to sit down and sort through them I’ll be sharing them here.

In the meantime, have a great week!

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Wednesday, May 23, 2012


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For those of you who might be new to the blog, I am going to fill you in a little on our cabin in Colorado since for the next two weeks+ I’ll be blogging from there. For everyone else who already is familiar with the cabin, well, ho-hum for you! But why not read on anyway and you might learn something you didn’t know about it, okay?

We first bought the land in 1988 right before we moved to Holland. Seventy acres (or thereabout) of high sage covered prairie, deep gullies with mixed forests of aspen and pine, a beaver pond (which then had a beaver), a little creek that runs in the spring with snow runoff, and an absolutely perfect meadow for a cabin.

Rick standing by one of our property markers high above the cabin. The trees you see in front of him are on our land.

We didn’t get to enjoy it much before we moved, but while living in Europe for five years we always made a point when we were back on home leave to at least picnic on the property.

After our return in the summer of 1993 at first we camped on our land (tent style). A few years later we camped in the RV. We visited at all times of the year to take note of where the snow lay deepest and what parts were accessible in the winter and which were not so we were sure we were putting the cabin in the right spot. Sometimes in the winter we could make it in and sometimes the roads were drifted over and impassable.

We finally built the cabin in 2000. Rick kept a journal of it’s “birth” and if you’re interested you can read about it here. We had originally thought we would harvest the wood from our own lodgepole pines on the land and build it log by log ourselves, but thank goodness we came to our senses and tossed that romantic notion out.

After the cabin was built we spent every available weekend there. It was a two hour drive from our house in Ft. Collins. We also spent a full week in spring and one week again in the fall. Our spring week was always when my mom was visiting. She loved the cabin so! Here we are in 2004 with Sailor and puppy Hailey. (I personally love this pic!)


Our land lies just shy of the border between northern Colorado and southern Wyoming. The closest city (town) is Laramie. From Laramie it’s about a 45 minute drive on dirt roads which are sometimes not in the best of shape, depending upon when they were last graded. There is a cattle guard at the border and from that point on the roads are not plowed by the state of Colorado. Beyond here there be dragons. Travel at your own risk!


We are off the grid, providing our own services. The cabin is mainly powered by batteries that store energy from our solar panels on the roof. We have a propane tank for the furnace and propane fridge and stove. We also have a big wind turbine that has been left dismantled in our absence but when it’s in operation we get most of our electricity from the wind.

The wind blows here. A lot. When it snows the roads drift over. Even when it’s not snowing you can encounter white-out conditions due to the dry top layer of snow being whipped by the wind. We’ve been in one of these and trust me, it was not fun.

The year that stands out in my memory was when we had our neighbor down the road (about two miles) plow a path in the road to our cabin. One morning he called us and asked us how the weather was at our place. Our cabin is so sheltered by trees that we had no idea a white-out was happening. He was coming to get us. We packed up quickly and thought to meet him outside our driveway. The snow was about three feet deep. When we started out we could not tell where it had been plowed at all. We also got stuck up to our bumper. We were sitting ducks until our savior, Larry, could be seen in his big John Deere with the huge snowblower attachment blowing snow like crazy. He blew us a path to follow him out on while behind us the snow filled in almost immediately like some hungry monster gobbling up the space. It took forever to make that trip and it was terrifying to see the sheer brutality of winter up there.

Several people now live up here year round and it causes some problems. One person likes to plow his way out, thereby causing the roads to drift over worse than they would have if left alone because he doesn’t plow them correctly. The secret is to go over the snow instead of through it so most people have an all terrain vehicle with tracks and park their cars over the border at a friend’s house.

What people don’t realize is that this land is untamable. Wild. It’s always been that way. It lets you know, albeit subtly, that it is in charge; not you. You need to live with the land up here and not against it’s natural flow.

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Some people are trying to tame it and make it more like a subdivision in town. We’re hoping the land takes charge and it never happens.

There’s a very good book that’s been written about the land surrounding our cabin. It’s called “The Meadow” and is written by a man whose family homesteaded here. It was a rough life and a good read. It’s still available at Amazon.


One of the old homesteads along the road (but not the one featured in the book!).


There is just something about the whole area that gets in your blood. I can’t explain it. It’s just there.

On and off we’ve toyed with the idea of selling it since we are so far away and unable to get there more than once a year, but we just can’t quite bring ourselves to do it. It is still Rick’s dream to live there for one entire year, winter and all, and I have agreed to see how it goes. Until then I can’t see us giving up our 70 acres of paradise.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Bee Happy

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Bee on something sweet smelling on my street. Honeysuckle? Taken today.

I have my husband home tonight after one week of having been gone from us. His body is here but his mind is not. He had a hard week. I’m glad to have him home again.

Alex was the most excited of us all and gave him what I like to call his cry-baby greeting. It was so sweet. I was glad to see him too but I think Alex’s greeting was the best.

I don’t get that when I come home, but then again, I am never away from home anymore unless Rick is with me. After all, I’m just Mom who is always here. Mom feeds. She scoops dog stuff and cat stuff and cleans up after us when we make a mess.

Maybe that needs to be fixed.

When my Mom was alive I at least got to break away for a night when I went up to get her to bring her down to New Jersey and Rick got to deal with dogs/cats/feeding/scooping/at home things while I was gone for a short time. Since her death I really have nowhere to go. sniff, sniff. (insert really feeling sorry for myself here.)

I could get on an airplane, but that costs money. And lots of planning. And not my most favorite thing in the world. And, really, where would I go? I want to be taken care of, not take care of someone else if I go somewhere. I have enough of that at home. Is that selfish? Yes. Completely.

There is no clear answer to my dilemma. So, here I am, and here I will stay.

Feeding, scooping, letting dogs in and out, etc.

I know I have so many things to be thankful for, and I am. I am thankful for everything I have in my life, but sometimes the daily routine just gets tiresome and I would love a break. Not really complaining; not really. Well, maybe just a little…



Welcome, I'm Lynne. You know me better as a 'new' Jersey Girl. But now I've moved back to my 'home' state and I am living in NoCo (Northern Colorado).This blog will be about my thoughts, good food, and of course, dogs.

© 2006-2018 Lynne Robinson All photography and text on this blog is copyright. For use or reproduction please ask me first.

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