July 2013


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On July 20th, 2013 Kara summited her first 14’er (14,278 feet elevation). After the 8 years living in CO it was time.  The goal was to train all summer and climb in Aug or September, but the opportunity came earlier than expected.  We camped overnight Friday near Keystone and explored some local mines, creeks, and waterfalls. Then on Saturday we met up with Nick’s hiking buddies (Matt & Ben) to ascend Gray’s Peak . . . Crazy hike as we took the least traveled western route. . .

IMG_0184The song Kara had going through her head while hiking:

Climb every mountain,
Ford every stream,
Follow every rainbow,
Till you find your dream.

She can’t say whether she found her dream or not, but she did love the view from the top. . . hopefully you too can enjoy the view in the following video! http://vimeo.com/71463771

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My garden continues to produce an abundance of yummy vegetables . . . I planned ahead and did plant a larger variety this year than last, so we are enjoying not just zucchini, but getting tomatoes, cucumbers, green beans, a few peas still, hot peppers,spinach, broccoli, lettuce, beets, onions and garlic.  Things are taking off and really growing.  I try to use principles of companion gardening, however this year my garden did some things naturally. For example my green beans are vining up the sunflowers.  I love it and because of that is why I enjoy not planting in little rows . . .   🙂

 

I'm bringing about double or triple this amount every other day when I visit to water and weed.

I’m bringing about double or triple this amount every other day when I visit to water and weed.

 

Full garden salad!!! yummy

Full garden salad!!! yummy

 

zucchini

zucchini

 

Jalapeno pepper. so far enough to can 1 jar of pickled peppers.

Jalapeno pepper. so far enough to can 1 jar of pickled peppers.

 

beets . . . love them for the tops and bottoms

beets . . . love them for the tops and bottoms

 

Potato plant

 

First of many tomatoes

First of many tomatoes

Love all the sunflowers

Love all the sunflowers

 

winter squashes

winter squashes

 

Do you see the green beans on the vine attached to the sunflower stem?

Do you see the green beans on the vine attached to the sunflower stem?

Today's batch of refrigerator pickles and pickled green beans and hot peppers.

Today’s batch of refrigerator pickles and pickled green beans and hot peppers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This year for the 4th of July weekend we enjoyed the time with Nick’s family.  The Coates clan, who live out in Buena Vista, CO hosted us for the 4th for BV’s parade and family fun. We enjoyed hanging out with the girls and sleeping by the sound of the creek. Fireworks were banned again this year, so the kids enjoyed glow sticks.  I enjoyed working on a puzzle that had been started.

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Nick’s Grandpa Hostetler’s side was gathering for a family reunion in CO Springs for the weekend, so Friday we got up and headed to do some off-roading before going to the reunion.  We went up from St. Elmo to Hancock Pass then back down to Highway 50.

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We didn’t plan well and ended up missing the gathering Friday evening. We found a forest road and set up tent for the night then headed back to hang out with the family Saturday.  We went on a walk around the Garden of the Gods then got lunch at a local Greek Restaurant. Nick’s sister, Abby and Jason and Alexa joined in the fun at this point of the day.  We then went back to the hotel and jumped in the pool with the twins while the younger girls took a nap. Saturday afternoon was an auction for raising money for the next reunion.  Someone had taken some old photos of the family and the homestead and turned them into puzzles for the auction. While we were waiting I enjoyed assembling one of them and chatting with whoever else sat down to work on it.  We then all met up a the Memorial park for pictures and a picnic and getting to know others. We headed home after the park, overall it was a good weekend.

Video of the weekend – https://vimeo.com/70368676

I have enjoyed experimenting with making my own lotions, scrubs and other cosmetics.  Last year I tried having selling parties, which did not go over very well. This winter I got the idea of trying a make and take party. I sent out an email asking if there would be interest based on a few friends.  I received positive feedback, so decided to go ahead and plan it.  I organized the party so that people could make lotion and sugar scrub to take home based on their smell and texture preferences.  I had the recipe that if they wanted could take to  be able to make it at home with basic ingredients.  Many of my friends have babies, so we had to structure in a way that kidos could come and play and moms took turns making and watching.  It turned out great and I had a blast.  Next time  lip balm!

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Wax and butters melting on the stove.  Water boiling for sterilizing and for tea/water.

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Coconut oil

IMG_4243Recipe and ingredients with samples to try as well

IMG_4242variety of smells, flavors, and extracts

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