Monday, March 31, 2014

Celestial Seasonings Tea Factory

Our sight-seeing expedition on Saturday took us to Boulder to the Celestial Seasonings Tea factory. This is something I had wanted to do at various times we had been in or through Colorado on vacation. Since Boulder's a little off the beaten path we never had worked it in.

The tour starts in the "tasting room" where we were given our "tea kits" (tickets) in the form a 3-bag sampler pack of tea to take home, along with a little cup for sipping samples of various teas while we waited for the tour to start.
Photos weren't allowed inside the factory, so I have no pictures to show you. The first thing we noticed when we went in was the strong fragrance of tea and herbs. It was so interesting to see the huge bales of dried tea and other botanicals and see how it was processed. The Mint Room was the most impressive part of the tour. We came to a garage-style door painted with red-and-white stripes. The tour guide raised the door and invited us to step inside. There really wasn't much to see, but oh, the smell! Dozens of wrapped bales stacked high above our heads isolated into a vault-like room concentrated the fragrance of mint into an intense experience. The Mint Room is where they store peppermint, spearmint, and catnip.
 The tour guide told us that Celestial Seasonings' best-selling tea is Sleepytime. (So of course, one of their photo props was the Sleepytime bear.) Chamomile is the second best-selling, with peppermint being third. Peppermint has always been my favorite herbal tea, though I do enjoy others as well. We were also told that most of their peppermint comes from Washington and Oregon. There were peppermint fields near where we lived in Idaho, as well. I always enjoyed driving past them at harvest time. Mmmm!
 I think my family wasn't too sure about going on a tea factory tour when I first suggested it, but they admitted that it was more interesting than they expected it to be. And of course, we had to bring home a few "new" teas to try.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Spring Break Staycation

This past week was my dad's spring break (as a school bus driver) so he and Mother brought Rebecca home and spent the week with us. Regrettably, I had to work most of the time they were here so we didn't have time to do a lot of sight-seeing during the week. Mostly we just enjoyed visiting in the evenings. They headed back home on Friday morning.
As it turns out, Lyle and I both had Friday and Saturday off, and the weather was beautiful, so we decided to do a little sight-seeing with the kids. On Friday we decided to visit the Garden of the Gods outside Colorado Springs.
It was a beautiful, sunny day but the breeze was a little chilly so this turned out to be a good choice, as we could see a lot from the car.
We stopped at several pull-outs to take pictures.
We did go on one short hike. 
The rest of the family even climbed on some of the rocks for a better view. I was content to stay on the trail and snap pictures.
We are thoroughly enjoying exploring our new home area. We have a long list of things we'd still like to see and do, and as the weather warms up I'm sure we'll manage to fit in a few more.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Sunshine Tag # 2

It's been a busy week! But then... they all are, aren't they?

As we've been getting settled it's been fun to explore our new home area, and discover neat new-to-us places. Somebody Lyle works with had recommended a restaurant at a nearby municipal airport, so Lyle took me there for breakfast last Saturday.
I think that may be my favorite breakfast date so far! Our table was by the window overlooking the boarding area with the runway beyond... and the Rocky Mountains off in the distance beyond that. Being a municipal airport, it was all private jets and small planes, but several took off and landed while we had breakfast. It was really fun to watch.
My homeschool convention started this past weekend in Loveland, Colorado. This was my fifth year to do this event, but this time it was "local" for me. I drove back and forth each day and spent the night at home.
Rush-hour traffic coming home on Friday evening through downtown Denver was a bear! Made me re-think the wisdom of not spending the night in Loveland. But I made it! And then Lyle did the driving for me yesterday. I will miss having him be my driver/loader for my other events this spring, as I will be flying.

I had hoped to post more often than weekly, but for now, I guess it will have to do. So to wrap up this week's post, here are my answers to Laura's questions on the "Sunshine Award" blog tag game:
  1. Favorite thing to do on Friday night? Hang out with Lyle.
  2. What is your favorite movie line? "I like people who make me like them. Saves me so much trouble forcing myself to like them." --from Anne of Green Gables.
  3. Android or Apple IOS? Android. I've never owned an Apple product.
  4. Favorite game? Phase 10.
  5. Do you like coconut popcorn? Yes. But I like plain buttered popcorn best.
  6. Favorite blog? Through My Eyes. ;-)
  7. Favorite candy? toffee
  8. What kind of car do you drive? Volkswagen Jetta and Ford Excursion
  9. Favorite place to live? Wherever Lyle lives.
  10. If someone wrote a book about your life, what would they title it? I'm pretty sure that would be Ramblin' Roads, dontcha think:?

Monday, March 10, 2014

Daylight Saving Sunrise

Taken from the office this morning. (Littleton, Colorado). Gorgeous, huh?

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Sunshine Tag # 1

I was feeling a little down earlier this week. Nothing specific, just still processing all the major changes that are going on in my life right now. I told Lyle, "Ya know, I think I just need to get back online with my social networking and blogging again." He agreed. It's been nearly 3 months since my world turned topsy-turvy... I think it's past time for things to "get back" to normal. Not that things will ever be "back" to normal, but maybe things are beginning to settle into the "new" normal. Does that even make sense?

In any case, when I came in from work today Laura told me I had been tagged twice for the "Sunshine Blog Award"... which is really not an award at all, but rather a tag quiz, which is always fun. It started (at least in our circles) with Laura's BFF, Rachel @ Idaho Inspirations, who tagged Laura @ Through My Eyes and Jan @ Butterflies and Rainbows (among others), who both tagged me. That sounds like a nice, easy way to get back into regular blogging, don't you think?

So the "rules" are:
  • Start a new blog post. 
  • Upload an image of your choice. 
  • Answer my 10 questions. 
  • Then make up 10 new questions. 
  • Nominate some bloggers.
In the interest of not boring you with all 20 questions in one post... (not to mention, being able to stretch this out for two posts!)... I'll start with Jan's questions and then do Laura's questions another day.

First, though, the "image." I snapped this on my phone on my way to work yesterday. By lunch time, it was sunny and warm, so I ate my lunch outside at the picnic table!

And now, Jan's questions:
  1. What is one of your most embarrassing moments? I'm too embarrassed to say!
  2. What figure in history do you most look up to? Outside of Jesus or another Bible character (see question #8)... goodness! I don't know! How about Susanna Wesley, mother of John and Charles Wesley (and several other children)? I've heard the story of how she used to pull the skirt of her apron up over her head to find a "secret place" to pray.
  3. What actor or actress do you most resemble (not physical characteristics) in regard to character or part played? Okay, so you're looking for a character in a movie or TV show, huh? Hmm... Maybe Olivia Walton on The Waltons
  4. What is your favorite animal? The Cookie Dog, of course!
  5. What is your biggest pet peeve? Misplaced apostrophes.
  6. What is your favorite comfort food? Is popcorn a comfort food? Made in a pan on the stove top with real butter and plenty of salt.
  7. What is the most important lesson God has taught you? "But he knoweth the way that I take: when he hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold." (Job 23:10.)
  8. Who is your favorite Biblical character? Jesus, of course. Second favorite, maybe Martha.
  9. What was the scariest thing you have ever experienced? There surely have been scarier experiences than driving up the road to Pikes Peak (sheer drop-offs, no guard rails) but I can't think of them at the moment. And actually, I wasn't driving. Lyle was. I was taking pictures by holding the camera up to the window and snapping with my eyes closed. Lyle laughed at me. That was the summer of 2008.
  10. What is one thing you hope to accomplish in 2014? Make progress on my novel.
Since I was tagged twice, I think I'm going to tweak the rules a bit. Rather than making up 10 new questions, I'm going to let Jan's questions be my questions for this round. And I'm going to nominate whoever wants to play along. So if you've already answered a different set of 10 questions in this go-round, feel free to grab these and post your answers to your own blog. And I'll do Laura's questions in a day or two the same way. Will that be okay?

Let me know in the comments if you decide to play along... because I'd like to read your answers! And if you tag me for a different set of questions, you'll need to let me know, because I'm not yet back in the groove of reading all my favorite blogs yet. (Sorry! Soon, I hope!)

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

49 Years

Happy Anniversary
to my wonderful parents!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Upcoming Travels

This past week was our annual training conference at Sonlight. It's a time when the convention consultants get together to learn about any changes for the new catalog and prepare for the upcoming convention season. It's something I look forward to every year, but it's always an intense week.

This year was a little different since I now go into work at Sonlight every day. It was still a lot of fun, though. I learned a lot and enjoyed the fellowship, as usual.
I'm very excited about all the traveling I will be doing this year. Last year I flew to two of my events. This year I will be flying to all of them except one... and I will be going to a total of 9 within 3 months' time!

Here's what my schedule looks like:

  • March 14-15. Loveland, Colorado. 
  • April 11-12. Duluth, Minnesota. 
  • April 16. Soldotna, Alaska. 
  • April 17-18. Anchorage, Alaska. 
  • April 21-22. Fairbanks, Alaska. 
  • April 24-26. Redmond, Washington. 
  • May 15-17. Des Moines, Iowa. 
  • June 5-7. Richmond, Virginia. 
  • June 12-14. Puyallup, Washington.
I would love to drive to all these events. Well, actually, I would love for Lyle to drive to all these events, and I would be the enthusiastic passenger and picture-taker-along-the-way... but that's not the way it will work out this year. Flying in doesn't allow time for much sight-seeing or visiting friends, but in spite of that, I am still looking forward to it.

Life is always an adventure!