Thayers in Colorado, Part 1

June 27, 2010 at 6:26 pm

For summer vacation this year, Mom, Dad, Kevin and Andrew drove the RV out to Colorado for two fun weeks of camping, fishing and exploring. Mark and I were able to meet up with them twice: Once at Estes Park for the weekend, and then in Pagosa Springs for the long 4th of July holiday weekend.

Long Lake is surrounded by high, beautiful peaks

In Estes Park, we spent two nights camping at Mary’s Lake campground. We watched the US v. Ghana world cup game at Ed’s on Saturday, and then spent the afternoon Sunday hiking near Brainard Lake in the Indian Peaks Wilderness.

Mark, Kev and Andrew heading into the mountains

The hike from Brainard Lake up to Long Lake was a good one for us. Not too long to make the pregnant lady or flatlanders too tired, but we were treated to amazing views of the surrounding peaks the whole time. We ate lunch next to the alpine lake, and watched Liv roll around in the deep summer snow drifts.

View of Brainard Lake

Also, there was a Tesla in the parking area. We never figured out who it belonged to.

A Tesla in the parking lot!

Pregnancy Gratitude List

June 21, 2010 at 10:40 pm

Pregnant Climbing

“Gratitude, that very specific feeling of thankfulness in your heart, allows you to see and absorb all you have, forgetting for a moment all you may lack. It connects your brain with your heart, and gives you the ground to be more giving, effective, loving human. Being grateful allows generosity to flow. And many believe it also makes us more receptive—as in, the more you love what you have, the more you get what you want.” by Valerie Reiss at

I’ve found adjusting to being pregnant a little bit difficult. While some girls seem to just love every minute of the experience, I’ve found it hard to make such drastic changes in my life. I’ve spent so much time complaining to people, that I thought I should take a minute to list out some of the fun and actually enjoyable aspects of pregnancy. They do exist!

1. Bigger boobs!
2. Eating ice cream – lots of it. (Hey, if I’m going to get fat anyway… !)
3. An excuse to take long afternoon naps.
4. Wonderful pampering from Mark.
5. Spending a little less time on work, a little more on massages.
6. A chance to feel sick so I can really appreciate feeling healthy.
7. Appreciating smaller victories (like climbing a 5.8 on toprope) instead of stressing over insane goals.
8. Learning about patience.
9. Incredible sense of smell and taste – food is a whole new adventure.
10. Making my whole family deliriously happy.
11. Feeling my baby wiggle around and imagining what kind of person he/she will be.
12. Crossing one more thing off of my “to do before I die” list (have a baby!)
13. Clear, pretty skin for the first time in years.
14. Learning about acceptance and giving up my usual attempts to white-knuckle control every aspect of my life.
15. Complements and smiles from so many people.
16. Starting out on a whole new adventure, one we’ve never attempted anything like before!

Kate’s Free Desktop Image 16 and 17!

June 18, 2010 at 5:13 pm

It’s been a long time since I put up a photo for a background image. My computer at work still has snow-covered pine trees! So, here’s a couple spring or summer-time offerings for your desktop pleasure.

As usual, I’ve saved the image as a few different sizes for the most common screen resolutions. Feel free to down load the one that works for you by clicking on the link to the correct size below each shot! These files can be a bit large, so be a little patient as your computer downloads them.

Blue Flax in the Morning
Fields of Blue
1024 x 768, 1280 x 1024, 1440 x 900, 1600 x 1200, 1680 x 1050, 2560 x 1600

Longtail and Thailand Sunset
Sunset from Railay
1024 x 768, 1280 x 1024, 1440 x 900, 1600 x 1200, 1680 x 1050, 2560 x 1600

Spring-ish Garden Update

June 6, 2010 at 8:38 am

Plumeria (Kauai plant) in bloom!

Yes, I know, mid-June is hardly “spring” any more, especially in places outside of Colorado. Around here, we just turned off our furnaces a couple weekends ago, and the world is green and lush! I’m sure summer will be hitting us soon, any day now.

This spring, gardening got a bit of a sideline due to morning sickness, but it was the first activity I turned to when I could get off the couch. Mark has really chipped in more than his share as well, and we’ve managed to pull together a good looking set-up this year.

Early summer container garden

Subtle Changes

Another reason I managed to pull together a garden between bouts of yaking is that I have manged to build up a good infrastructure for containers, a raised bed, and watering in the last few years. Based on my experiences from last year, though, we made a few little changes.

Lots of little oranges on the orange tree

First of all, we wanted a tomatillo, but didn’t want it crawling all over the lawn this year. I’ve stuck it in a container hoping that will help restrain its growth slightly. We had discussed putting a tomatillo in an up-side-down grower of some sort, but Mark felt that if the plant wasn’t anchored to the earth, it might get free and run around the neighborhood, making “RAWR” noises and wearing it’s little green topsy-turvey hat.

We moved the big mountain tomato to a container as well, as I didn’t like my tomatoes hanging into the basement window-well last year. This left plenty of space for our pepper plants in the raised bed. They fit very nicely, but haven’t seemed perfectly happy this year. They got some hail damage over Memorial Day, and may be wanting more sun than that east-bed gets.

Peppers, lettuce, cilantro and peas in the raised bed

Lots of strawberries this year

Little Successes

One of my proudest moments as a container gardener came last week when we decided to crack open the compost bin. I’ve had this homemade compost bin behind the garage for two years now. We made it out of a small black trash can, covered in holes and lined with window screens. I’ve spent two years filling it with leftover veggies from the CSA, egg shells, coffee grounds and other random greenness. And finally, it has all paid off. Under a layer of dry leaves, sat some of the prettiest, lovely dark compost I could have hoped for. I grew dirt! WOW!

Homemade Dirt!

We pulled about a cubic meter of the lovely dark organic matter out of there, and used it to fill in a new tomato container. Those two years of composting have now officially saved us $5 in bought soil!

If everything works out, we should be looking at a big load of crops this year. Tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, strawberries, pumpkins, sugar and snow peas, bush and pole beans, lettuce, carrots, onions, cilantro, basil, and lavender!