Monday, August 20, 2018

Summer Retrospective


I've heard it said that "summer should receive a speeding ticket"!  Isn't that true? It seems as soon as summer arrives in the blink of an eye it is almost over. Like fruit ready to be harvested, our last days of summer were sweet, ripe, and juicy in enjoyment. (All photos and photo collages will enlarge if clicked on)


We took many hikes in our area and enjoyed the beauty of Colorado's Front Range


We spent lots of time with grandchildren, enjoying community playgrounds, parks, and pools.


We visited nearby scenic Red Rocks Amphitheatre to attend a concert by cello virtuoso, Yo-Yo Ma
If you'd like to listen to a few minutes of Yo-Yo Ma playing Bach at the concert --click here--to go to a video on my Mille Fiori Favoriti facebook page.


Watching twin fawns growing up, after their birth in our next door neighbor's yard in June, was very enjoyable! We've also been fortunate to see much other wildlife this summer--click here-- to read about that. One thing I really love about summer is its very long daylight hours and beautiful sunrises and sunsets. Although we never seem to have enough rain in Colorado, we were finally blessed this August with some good showers (and some hail!)


We've also attended two exciting Broncos football exhibition games this August, that were held at Mile High Stadium in Denver! 
 More about that in a future post.


And as surely as August approaches its end, and the field grasses grow long and go to seed......


... it was "back to school" time in Colorado this past week, and also back to sports and school-related activities for our grandchildren.


Like the flight of a beautiful butterfly, the summer of 2018 has fluttered into its last few days and moments to savor. 


Autumn comes early to Colorado's high elevations and the aspen trees will soon be turning glorious shades of gold. Autumn is my favorite season and I'm looking forward to cooler weather and fall activities.  Are you looking forward to the same? What was your favorite memory of the summer of 2018?

You can also find me on 


I'm linking this post to the following blog events:


Bookmark and Share

Monday, August 13, 2018

The Byers Evans House Museum, Denver, Colorado


The Byers Evans House Museumlocated at 1310 Bannock Street, is a Denver landmark that reflects the character of two early and important Colorado pioneer families. It was built in 1883, by William Byers, the founder of the Rocky Mountain Newsthe first newspaper printed in Colorado; from 1859 until it ceased publication in  2009.  Its first issue of the newspaper was printed on a printing press from Omaha, Nebraska, that Byers had hauled by oxcart during the start of the Colorado Gold Rush. ( All photos will enlarge if clicked on)


Postcard of the house in the gift shop

The house was sold to William Gray Evans, the oldest son of Colorado's second territorial governor, John Evans. in 1889, who had several additions made to it over the years. William Evans lived in the home with his wife Cornelia Lunt Gray and their four children, John, Josephine, Margaret, and Katharine. William's mother, Margaret Patten Gray Evans, former first lady of Colorado, moved into the home in 1900 with her unmarried daughter, Anne Evans. Members of the Evans family continued to live in the home until 1981 when it was donated to the Colorado Historical Society. along with the entire contents of the house. 


The house has been restored to the 1912–1924 period and includes approximately 90% of the original furniture, glassware, china, and other household items belonging to the Evans family.


All visits to the Byers Evans House Museum are by a guided tour, but one is able to walk into each room and examine closely all its contents, while the tour guide recounts the history of the house and its former occupants.  It is a visit back in time as you see the polished antique furniture, large book collection, ornate fireplace mantels, patterned wallpapers and period artwork and early period electronics such as a record player and radio.


Family crystal, silver, and fine china on display.


Memorabilia was displayed as if it were perfectly frozen in time.


The Evans daughters were skilled in leather tooling and also did weaving, needlepoint, and painting.


Anne Evans devoted her life to the founding and support of some of Colorado's largest cultural institutions, including the Denver Art Museum, the Central City Opera, and the Denver Public Library

Anne collected Native American, Puebloan Art, and Spanish Colonial Art and in 1925 she donated a large portion of her collection to the Denver Museum of Art, making it one of the first art museums in the nation to collect this genre of artwork.


The Center for Colorado's Women's History is also located at the Byers Evans House Museum


World War I era women's uniforms.

A collage of the various informational posters on display. The Center sponsors programs which include talks, workshops, book clubs, and tea times, to encourage conversation for guests to discuss women’s issues, both in the Rocky Mountain states and worldwide.


Inspirational World War I posters

The Byers Evans House Museum is definitely an interesting place to tour, as it is full of interesting history and memorabilia. Enjoy a visit, and take a walk back in time!


You can also find me on 


I'm linking this post to the following blog events:

Amaze Me MondayMosaic MondayAll SeasonsBlue Monday,  Through My Lens MondayInspiration Monday, Blogging GrandmothersYou Are the Star Blog HopGood Random FunNature NotesGrand SocialTravel Photos, Photo Tunes, Happiness Is HomemadeTuesday TreasuresPictorial TuesdayOur World TuesdayRuby TuesdayTuesdays With A TwistParty in Your PJ'sWordless WednesdayOh My Heartsie Girl's Wonderful WednesdayOutdoor Wednesday, Whimsical WednesdayWednesday Around the WorldWonderful Wednesday,  Share Your CupLittle Things Thursday Travel Photo Thursday, Thankful ThursdayThursday Favorite ThingsFriendship FridaysFriday Photo JournalSkywatch FridaySweet InspirationWeekend Travel InspirationPink SaturdayOver the MoonHappiness Is Homemade

Bookmark and Share

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Colorado Renaissance Festival


My husband and I, along with friends, attended the Colorado Renaissance Festival in Larkspur this weekend.  The festival was in its 42nd year and runs eight weekends, from June through the first weekend in August.  Every weekend the festival takes on a different theme, influencing many of the performances, costumes, food, drink, art, shops, contests, and games throughout the festival grounds. We had attended the New York Renaissance Faire ten years ago, held in upstate Tuxedo, New York--click here-- to read that blog post--and we were curious to see how they would compare. (All photos and photo collage in this post will enlarge if clicked on)

The permanent buildings of the festival are based on a 16th-century Tudor village and the grounds are fairly extensive. 
Click here to see the festival grounds map.

There were a multitude of costumed performers at the festival which really added to the festivity and made one feel as if you were really transported back in time!



A parade of performers passed through the grounds--photos above, and in this video from my Mille Fiori Favoriti facebook page.  Click here to go directly to the video on my facebook page if you can not see the video here.

There were many opportunities to rent or buy a period costume and we were impressed with the variety and the authentic intricacy of many of them!

 In fact, I enjoyed seeing the creative costumes of the performers and festival guests...

...most of all!

In addition to costumes, there were over 200 craft vendors selling many different period products both practical. decorative and fun. Click here to see this year's artisan's marketplace list.


There were plenty of different rides for children to enjoy at the festival...


..as well as games of skill to play,,,


...and lots of good food!

 These two gents were enjoying the delicious large turkey legs. Click here to see the extensive menu of foods available at the festival.

The entertainment was top notch and lots of fun! From jousting matches, juggling, acrobats, comedy skits, fire eaters, dancing, and so on.  Click here to see a full list of entertainment performances.


All in all, we had a wonderful time at the Colorado Renaissance Festival and we're looking forward to going again next summer!

You can also find me on 


I'm linking this post to the following blog events:

Amaze Me MondayMosaic MondayAll SeasonsBlue Monday,  Through My Lens MondayInspiration Monday, Blogging GrandmothersYou Are the Star Blog HopGood Random FunNature NotesGrand SocialTravel Photos, Photo Tunes, Happiness Is HomemadeTuesday TreasuresPictorial TuesdayOur World TuesdayRuby TuesdayTuesdays With A TwistParty in Your PJ'sWordless WednesdayOh My Heartsie Girl's Wonderful WednesdayOutdoor Wednesday, Whimsical WednesdayWednesday Around the WorldWonderful Wednesday,  Share Your CupLittle Things Thursday Travel Photo Thursday, Thankful ThursdayThursday Favorite ThingsFriendship FridaysFriday Photo JournalSkywatch FridaySweet InspirationWeekend Travel InspirationPink SaturdayOver the MoonHappiness Is Homemade

Bookmark and Share

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Little Bear Saloon in Evergreen, Colorado


Doesn't everyone enjoy live music? My husband and I, and a couple of good friends drove up to the mountain town of Evergreen to visit the Little Bear Saloon on Saturday, where two friends, Mike and Nick, were performing live music during the lunchtime hours. (All photos will enlarge when clicked on)


The rustic Little Bear Saloon is exactly what you would imagine an old-time western saloon to look like, with its all wooden facade, swinging double door entrance, brass cash register, wooden bar stools booths and tables carved graffiti of names and dates, and forty years worth of legendary music. Little Bear was formerly a church, a drugstore, the Red Ram Saloon and the Round-Up Dance Hall. During the 60's and 70's, the saloon was known as the Red Ram, and Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Buddy Rich, Woody Herman, the Glenn Miller Band all performed here. Around the middle 70's the name had changed to Little Bear, and the music changed to the sounds of  Bo Diddley, Rita Coolidge, George Thoroughgood and many others, including Willie Nelson who had a house in Evergreen at the time and used to come down to Little Bear to jam with other musicians.


We ordered a pitcher of beer to share and enjoyed some really tasty and juicy hamburgers from their menu selections and sat back to enjoy a wonderful few hours of R Michael Rhodes performing, accompanied by Nick. On his website, Mike describes his music as: "...lighthearted, 'easy listening' feel and with storytelling lyrics that give it an incredibly nostalgic quality that is hard not to like." Mike was influenced in his music by James Taylor, John Denver, The Eagles, and Garth Brooks and he often plays cover songs of their hits, as well as songs he has written--click here-- to learn more on his website and to listen to his original songs.



We loved Mike's beautiful rendition of John Denver's "Rocky Mountain High," as I've always a big John Denver fan--click here to see my blog post about the John Denver Sanctuary in Aspen, Colorado. You can watch a few minutes of the song in the video above from my Mille Fiori Facebook page.  Click here to listen to it on my facebook page if you can not see the video. I think you'll agree that Mike has a wonderfully soothing and melodic voice and that he and Nick are superb guitar players.  The Little Bear house was packed for his performance and everyone had a wonderful time!

Some more views of the wonderful old honky tonk Little Bear Saloon. People have sent in many car license plates from all over the world to adorn their walls, including one that was near our table that was from America Samoa!
There were also signed dollar bills on the walls, photos of past bands, music memorabilia, and yes, even women's bras hanging down from on the rafters over the stage. Sagging old wooden steps lead upstairs to both a viewing gallery and pool tables, and almost every inch of wood in the saloon had carvings from countless past customers to view.  The Little Bear was a colorful place full of nostalgia and with music history in every corner! It is definitely worth a visit!

Little Bear is located at 28075 Highway 74 in Evergreen, Colorado, and continues its over forty years tradition of live music. You can check its upcoming schedule at this link.


Evergreen is a beautiful town to visit, and a walk around Evergreen Lake on a 1.3-mile loop trail is another wonderful thing to do during the day, in addition to visiting all the shops and restaurants of the downtown area. Boats and paddleboards and other equipment can be rented to enjoy the lake on the water, and in winter the lake becomes a popular ice skating rink.


Evergreen is just 30 to 45 minutes west of Denver in the beautiful foothills of Jefferson County. The drive along CO 74, which includes Bear Creek Canyon Scenic Mountain Drive, is famous for its awe-inspiring granite cliffs, diverse vegetation, wildflowers, and meandering Bear Creek.

We really enjoyed our day out in Evergreen and the historic Little Bear Saloon, and we wish Mike continued success in living his dream of pursuing music as his second career!

 You can also find me on 


I'm linking this post to the following blog events:

Amaze Me MondayMosaic MondayAll SeasonsBlue Monday,  Through My Lens MondayInspiration Monday, Blogging GrandmothersYou Are the Star Blog HopGood Random FunNature NotesGrand SocialTravel Photos, Photo Tunes, Happiness Is HomemadeTuesday TreasuresPictorial TuesdayOur World TuesdayRuby TuesdayTuesdays With A TwistParty in Your PJ'sWordless WednesdayOh My Heartsie Girl's Wonderful WednesdayOutdoor Wednesday, Whimsical WednesdayWednesday Around the WorldWonderful Wednesday,  Share Your CupLittle Things Thursday Travel Photo Thursday, Thankful ThursdayThursday Favorite ThingsFriendship FridaysFriday Photo JournalSkywatch FridaySweet InspirationWeekend Travel InspirationPink SaturdayOver the MoonHappiness Is Homemade


Bookmark and Share




Monday, July 23, 2018

Lavender Festival at the Denver Botanic Gardens at Chatfield Farms


About five miles from where I live is a wonderful extension of the Denver Botanic Garden at the Denver Botanic Garden Chatfield Farm Chatfield Farm is a 700-acre native plant refuge and a native farm located along the banks of Deer Creek in Littleton, Colorado, at 8500 W. Deer Creek Canyon Road. Facilities include the Earl J. Sinnamon Visitor Center, the historical Hildebrand Ranch, a restored 1918 dairy barn and silo, the 1874 Deer Creek Schoolhouse, 2.5 miles of nature trails, the Deer Creek Discovery children’s play area and numerous wildflower gardens.  Every mid-July it holds a Lavender Festival. The festival includes lavender demonstrations, live music, craft and food vendors, farm tours and activities for children. (All photos will enlarge if clicked on)


Since 2015,  Denver Botanic Garden horticulturists have planted thousands of lavender plants at Chatfield Farms. Fourteen different varieties of lavender range from purple to blue to pink to white in color.


As this sign states, Lavender is a new commercial cash crop for the state of Colorado, especially on the Western Slope of Colorado. Lavender is traditionally grown in the mountainous regions of the Mediterranean and in Northern Africa, as it prefers a hot and dry climate with plenty of sunshine. It also does well in Colorado, as we get over 300 sunny days a year and certain areas have the sandy, well-draining soil that lavender loves to grow in.


It was wonderful to walk among the rows of lavender and smell their soothing scent!


Lavandula (common name lavender) is a genus of 47 known species of flowering plants in the mint family, Lamiaceae. If you would like to see a Botanic Garden PDF of the varieties and descriptions of the lavender planted at Chatfield Farms click this link.


Lavender has many uses--click on the photos above to read how it has been used throughout the ages and where the name lavender originated.  I grow lavender in my garden and have used the dry buds for culinary uses in cookies and cakes, I also use the buds to make lavender scented sachets for my linen.
We also enjoyed listening to a bluegrass band, browsing the crafts and lavender products booths and enjoying some food at the festival  
Lavender bouquets were very popular items for sale, as well as products made with lavender such as essential oils, soaps, lotions, candles, and honey. There were also jewelry, clothing, pottery, artwork and other items for sale. We purchased some locally sourced lavender honey. 

We also visited the working farm to see what crops were growing. Produce is sold as part of the Chatfield Farms CSA. The Community Supporting Agriculture program (CSA) is the cornerstone of the Gardens' Urban Food Initiatives, growing seven acres of vegetables, flowers, and fruit for subscribers (shareholders) and farm stands.
We also enjoyed seeing the many beautiful flower gardens throughout Chatfield Farms, including one section where specific flowers were grown to use to dye cloth and threads.


There were also quite a few "plein air" artists painting the lavender fields and plants
Beautiful lavender...


...beautiful scenery. 

It was the perfect way to spend a day enjoying the Lavender Festival


 Judging from all the brand new lavender plants that were planted this year, it looks like the Denver Botanic Gardens Chatfield Farms Lavender Festival will continue to grow through the coming years!


Do you like lavender? Do you grow it in your garden? 
If so, what is your favorite way to use your lavender?

You can also find me on  Instagram Twitter Facebook Pinterest

I'm linking this post to the following blog events:

Amaze Me MondayMosaic MondayAll SeasonsBlue Monday,  Through My Lens MondayInspiration Monday, Blogging GrandmothersYou Are the Star Blog HopGood Random FunNature NotesGrand Social, Travel Photos, Photo Tunes, Happiness Is HomemadeTuesday TreasuresPictorial TuesdayOur World TuesdayRuby TuesdayTuesdays With A TwistParty in Your PJ'sWordless WednesdayOh My Heartsie Girl's Wonderful WednesdayOutdoor Wednesday, Whimsical WednesdayWednesday Around the WorldWonderful Wednesday,  Share Your CupLittle Things Thursday Travel Photo Thursday, Thankful ThursdayThursday Favorite ThingsFriendship FridaysFriday Photo JournalSkywatch FridaySweet InspirationWeekend Travel InspirationPink SaturdayOver the MoonHappiness Is Homemade

Bookmark and Share