Welcome! Grab a cup of tea, and enjoy browsing some of the photos and stories. As the 'teawife,' it is my duty to watch and listen and be a supportive friend, and a loving mum and wife. I should post more often, but sticking my nose into everyone's business keeps me busy! Kathy the teawife

Monday, March 26, 2012

Back in Colorado!

It's another Easter break at our home-away-from-home in Loveland, Colorado! Sunshine is in abundance, and the temperature this week feels more summer than early spring. But the tiny buds on trees and lack of leaves are true season indicators. Everything is very dry and the only colors come from the few narcissus growing in my neighbor's front garden.

We left our England home at a point when the bulb plants were coming into full bloom -- many daffodils, narcissus, tulips and other plants were happily soaking up the English spring. I always hate missing the floral show and the busy nesting birds that are flitting to and from feeders, but we are still slaves our son Branduff's education schedule.

He especially feels enslaved at the moment, as he's busy revising for mid-May exams in Math, Chemistry, Biology and Physics. The good thing is he has a change of scenery from his tiny little box room he uses as a study in our England home. In our Colorado home, he has run of the finished basement, and has managed to spread out all of his notes, as you can see in the photo.

This afternoon, we pulled Branduff away from his books and notes to head up to the Wapiti Pub and Restaurant, located at the Mariana Butte Golf Club. He was able to sink his teeth into a real American burger, this one with a Southwestern twist of barbecue sauce and bacon!  In fact, we've already managed to have Mexican food, Texas barbecue, and American pub food in the space of three short days! I must say that I am loving my freedom from the kitchen and cooking, which are my masters at home in England. Restaurants are scarce and expensive in England, and I find that I have few breaks from my routine as chef and dishwasher. So yes, I am celebrating!

We've had a quiet start to our Easter holidays as we overcome jet lag, and we hope to begin exploring and adventuring out soon. The trip over was, as usual, a literal pain in the backside. I think that things went pretty smoothly, but I will never ever love travel days. They are a necessary evil of getting us to our destination. The entire process of taxi to airport, checking in at the arrivals desk, passing through security, waiting for the flight, boarding the plane, sitting uncomfortably in a rigid airplane seat for 10 hours, standing in lines at immigration, watching the luggage carousel go round and round, arranging the rental car, and driving to our home all takes about 20 hours. Okay. So that's not even a full day. It's manageable. The rewards are wonderful. But I like travel days about as much as I like going to the dentist.

As usual, I seem to have some kind of sign that says, "Kick me." Why am I always the one "randomly" selected for an extra security check and pat down? Why? The three of us were within eye shot of the plane when they pulled me aside, away from my family. Here I am . . . a fat, middle-aged lady of 52, wearing glasses, and sporting a cast on my hand to protect my arthritic hand. Oh yeah. I look like I need to have extra scrutiny and a pat down. Random screening accomplishes nothing. Let's face it. Let's speak the truth about politically correct random checks that cost us all tax money and accomplish nothing, but supposedly give someone (who?) the illusion that we are safer. Really?

Okay, moaning over . . . we are in lovely Loveland right now, and that requires rejoicing! We have been greeted by the Canadian geese that eat our grass near the lake and simultaneously enrich the soil with their natural fertilizer. We also discovered that our robin mates have returned to their nest under our balcony.

The neighborhood is so quiet, and I have to adjust to sleeping in total quiet. I am used to the constant hum of traffic outside my English home. Occasionally, the quiet of our Colorado Rockies home is punctuated by a honking goose or brisk gust of wind. It is all quite blissful, and I hope to keep up with blog posting and write more later.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

A February visit to Wisley Gardens

My friend Judi and I had a lovely late February trip to the Royal Horticultural Society Wisley Gardens, which is located just up the road from our Hillside home.

There was a butterfly exhibit in Wisley's big Glass House, but I found that the warm humidity caused my camera lens to fog over. However, just outside the butterfly area, the orchids were in full and impressive bloom.

In addition, I took a few photos of the snowdrops and crocus growing on the extensive grounds of Wisley.

What a great day we had!














Early February Snow


We had a dash of snow in early February after a very mild winter. Branduff is pictured waiting for the school bus outside our Hillside house.

The snow caught the daffodils and crocus by surprise, as some of them had already begun to pop out of the ground and bloom. In fact, a scattering of purple crocus in our lawn were happily drinking in the sunshine only two days before the snow came!


Above is a familiar winter visitor, a robin, having a nibble of sunflower seeds and suet pellets.

Here is a picture of our very own snow dog Sophie. It was bitterly cold outside, yet she was happily lounging in the snow!

Along with the snow, we had below freezing temperatures for about a week. We had to dust off the fireplace and use some of the firewood that had been stocked up in the shed.