Sunday, December 27, 2015

Happy New Year! Be Back Soon!

We had a beautiful Christmas! On both Christmas Eve and Day, there was a light snowfall, which made everything look so pretty and festive. On Christmas Day, my husband and I were enjoying s a cup of coffee in our kitchen when we noticed a big, handsome mule deer buck enter our backyard.  I opened the door and stepped outside to take a video of him, which you can see on my facebook link here.  The deer saw me and actually walked right over to me and stood in front of me, just about three feet away!  I took another video of him for a few more seconds, which you can watch on this facebook link, and then I stepped back inside. It was a very special encounter with this beautiful animal, and one I will never forget! (All photos will enlarge for easier viewing if clicked on)

We had a wonderful feast on Christmas Eve with my family.  I made both fish and meat for dinner, as some of my guests prefer one over the other, and dessert was Christmas cookies as well as a trifle.  We ate and ate and laughed and had a good time

Our grandchildren enjoyed opening their gifts ....both at our house on the eve and theirs on the day.

They are the light of our lives and bring us so much joy!

I will be taking a short blog break again, as I will be having eye surgery this week. Please keep me in your prayers for a good outcome and a complication-free recovery. If you missed my posts about the surgeries I will be having, you can catch up here and here. As soon as I am able to see my computer screen again I'll let you know how everything went.  In the meantime, have a very Happy and Healthy New Year! May 2016 bring only wonderful blessings to your life, and peace to our world. I look forward to "seeing" you all again in the new year.

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Sunday, December 20, 2015

Comfort and Joy for a Merry Christmas!

We have had many dreamy white snowy days in the month of December in our area of Colorado this year.  We are guaranteed to have a "white Christmas" this year as more snow is predicted for Christmas Eve. (All photos in this post will enlarge if clicked on)

One snowfall was almost 15 inches accumulation, which broke a record for snowfall in the Denver area for that date.

Even our local deer had a hard time navigating through that snowfall!

This snowy season was the perfect weather to stay inside and be cozy. I was able to do some decorating for Christmas, although I've had some ups and downs post op after eye surgery in early December.  It has been a challenge, as I was not able to bend or lift anything heavy, but my husband and I managed to put up a lovely Fraser Fir tree and bake some traditional cookies together. I did not want to disappoint my grandchildren who look forward to enjoying a part of the holiday with us!

I made a visit to the annual Denver Christkindl German Market on opening day to enjoy the food, music and to shop at the vendors. This has also become an annual tradition for me. Although I am not of German descent, I enjoy the festivities very much. You can click here and here and here to read past blog posts I wrote about the market.

Ms. Lily Goetz was this year Christkindl --she represents the Christ child who in German tradition brings gifts to the children on Christmas Day in Germany. The large heated tent on the grounds of the market was full of happy revelers who enjoyed the free entertainment, music, and dancing.

As always, there were many wonderful vendors at the market that had many gifts, decorations, and food available for purchase.  I always find something charming to buy!

I was also able to make my annual visit to the Colorado Governor's Residence at the Boettcher Mansion. You can see past years visits here and here.  Every year there is a new theme and a new group of designers who decorate the mansion.  This year's theme was "Colorful Colorado."

The drawing room was done in "5280 Shades of Blue."  5280 measures in feet of being a mile high and that is what Denver's altitude is. The team of Eva Puterbaugh and Lynn Williamson decorated the room using blue ornaments on the trees, bluestocking hung on the fireplace mantel, all embroidered with the names of a few of Colorado's 54 total 14,000 + foot mountains. As a touch of humor, a big blue stuffed bear sat on the Steinway piano bench--an obvious reference to the big blue bear statue that peeks into Denver's Convention Center.

The library's theme, designed by Colleen Heldt, was "Powder Days" and was decorated in cozy white throws and pillows and white ornaments on the tree

The main dining room was decorated as "Purple Mountain Majesty" by Carol Moore. The fireplace in the room was wrapped in purple lights and the dining table had many touches of purple. As a bit of whimsy, a portrait of Queen Elizabeth was hung in the room as another example of "majesty" beside the paintings of Colorado mountains and waterfalls.

The large and sunny palm room was decorated with the theme "Golden Waves of Grain" by Julie Kass and Michelle Alleman. There were paintings of the golden plains filled with growing grains, white lights and golden reindeer, bunches of grain sheaves in vases, and ornaments made of wheat

Another portion of the large Palm room contains an ancient well imported from Italy and was decorated in the theme "Ever Green" by Annie Huston and Stephanie Tardiff with extra greenery and ornaments.

Finally, the mansion parlor and bar area were decorated with the theme "Red on the Rocks" by David J Rote. There were musical instruments on display and the tree was decorated with red ribbon and framed portraits of jazz legends.

Every year I like to point out the magnificent Waterford crystal chandelier that hangs in the Colorado Governor's residence drawing room that once hung in the White House ballroom during President Grant's administration in 1876. It was a gift for Colorado's entrance into statehood that year.  We were told on the tour that recently the first lady Michele Obama asked for its return to the White House, as did First Lady Jackie Kennedy, years ago.  Both times Colorado declined to surrender the chandelier, as it has become a treasured memento.

Click on to enlarge this photo collage to see more beautiful holiday decorations in the mansion.

All in all, I have been enjoying this joyous season.  The beautiful "Trail of Lights" at the Chatfield division of the Denver Botanic Garden, visiting Santa Claus with the grandchildren, seeing the holidays lights and decorations in Denver, seeing Santa Claus arrive in Littleton.

Of course, the real reason for this season of joy is the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.  May all who believe allow His love and peace to enter our hearts and homes this Christmas.

Wishing you all a very Merry and Blessed Christmas! 

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Monday, December 14, 2015

A Merry and Bright Birthday!

I hope everyone is having a very joyful holiday season! I am very behind on all my usual Christmas preparations, because of recovering from eye surgery, but our Colorado weather makes me feel as if I am living in a virtual Christmas card! Our neighborhood has received a few inches of snow on and off for the past two weeks and everything looks so beautiful. (All photos will enlarge if clicked on)

My oldest grandson was turning seven this past weekend, so to celebrate we all went to White Fence Farm -- a family style restaurant 

I took these photos last summer of the beautiful grounds and animals on the restaurant's grounds.

The placemats show a map of all the White Fence Farm features--please click on to enlarge. You can also see the map and more photos of the farm online at this link.

They serve unlimited appetizers with their dinner menu of hot corn fritters, pickled red beets, creamy coleslaw, red kidney bean salad, and a special blend cottage cheese. They have a full dinner menu but are famous for their fried chicken..  It's very unique and very mid-western!

There are many charming places and displays inside the buildings. My granddaughter enjoyed the play farm house and the talking chickens...

...while my grandsons enjoyed the "pig chute" indoor slide 

Every nook and cranny of White Fence Farm was beautifully decorated for Christmas!

It was fun to see all the fun and festive touches. I even took my Christmas card photo of our grandchildren in one section.

The restaurant gift shop had many beautiful Christmas items for sale.

There is even a room that has year round decorations that are for sale called the "Colorado Christmas Room. "

We gathered early so the children could play but it was now time for dinner and we entered the main dining room.

As we were checking our menus Santa Claus came to our table and surprised us all!

Santa sat down and spent quite a nice time talking to all the grandchildren. They were thrilled!

After dinner my grandson was surprised again with an ice cream sundae brought by the wait staff, who were also singing "Happy Birthday" to him!

It was a very Merry and Bright 7th Birthday celebration for our dear grandson "L"!  He brings a lot of love and joy to our lives.....he's a wonderful big brother, soccer player, karate champ, cub scout and future scientist!

I hope you are also having a Merry and Bright day!\

I also wanted to thank my friend, Linda, of the blog Chow Ciao Linda, for surprising me with a tin of her home made anginetti cookies. You can get the  recipe for these light and flavorful cookies on her blog here.  Everything Linda makes is so delicious!  She really brightened my day while I was recovering from the first phase of my eye surgery. Thank you all for your prayers and good wishes!

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

Thank you to all the blog hosts!

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Thursday, December 10, 2015

True Colors After Eye Surgery

Hello!  I'm back online for a few weeks!  Thank you all very kindly for your prayers and well wishes on round #1 of my glaucoma and cataract eye surgery. ( If you missed that blog post click here to read)

All went well during surgery on my right eye, and I am now looking forward to having the same surgery on my left eye at the end of the month. I'll admit my vision is a little confused right now.  I am still healing from surgery and remain on physical restrictions, such as no lifting or bending. So far the vision in my corrected right eye is 20/40--better than I expected!  I had to take the lens out of my glasses on the right side, otherwise my old prescription would be overwhelming.  So for now, one eye is corrected by an external glass lens and the other internally by a new lens inserted in my eye to replace the cataract affected lens. It can be a challenge focusing, because of the differences in perception I have presently.   I find I have to close my eyes often, and rest them.   I will also eventually have to be fitted for reading glasses, as my corrected lenses will be corrected for distance vision only.

To correct my glaucoma condition,  the surgeon did a trabeculectomy -- which means he made a small "bleb" on the top of my sclera which allows the extra fluid build up in my eye to seep out inside and be absorbed by my body.  I do not feel any discomfort from this and I'm totally unaware of any drainage. My eye pressure went down drastically to a normal reading post op, so my doctor is very pleased. I was not responding to pressure lowering glaucoma medication any longer so this surgery was really imperative for me to have.  My doctor told me that in 25% of cases the bleb will scar over and stop working, however, so future surgery might be needed.  I am hoping and praying that I'll be in the other 75% category!

One dramatic difference I've noticed after surgery is that I see colors brighter and more natural.  My left untreated eye sees things with a yellowish brown cast and the post op right eye sees bright whites and blues--all colors in general are true colors.  It really is amazing! You can read about cataracts, and why this occurs, on this link. My major symptom pre-op was glare and loss of visual detail. I did not even know I wasn't seeing colors correctly any longer.  It was hard to see individual leaves on trees, for instance. I would see more of a blur of leaves.  When my other eye is corrected I am going to enjoy seeing detail and true colors again!

What a miracle it is to come out of the fog and to see more clearly!

My husband has been wonderful, helping me this past week by doing all chores that require lifting or bending, and reminding me of when to use my antibiotic and steroid eyes drops that I'll need to use for a short while post op.  We have a good laugh every morning as he helps me to put on socks.

We bought a smaller Christmas tree this week, so that he could carry into the house unaided, and we are slowly decorating the house for Christmas. I will probably cut back this year on all my usual preparations, but that's OK--it is nice not feeling pressured.  My grand daughter, that we babysit for most days, has been a little confused why "Pop Pop," as she calls her grandfather, has to do all my lifting and bending, but we are still able to have fun together.  She was very excited to see she was taller than our Santa Claus decoration this year!

I hope to get back to a regular blog schedule until my next eye surgery at the end of December.  At that time I will again be unable to use a computer, read or watch TV for five days post op, so I will be taking another break for a week at that time.   

Please keep me in your prayers, as I continue on this journey towards better vision.  I truly appreciate all your encouragement and I hope my experiences will help others facing the same surgery one day.

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