Conflicted…

RVingI have been faced with some challenges lately.  I find myself conflicted between responsibilities, obligations, doing the ‘right’ thing, or doing what I want.  As a wife, mother, daughter, and friend, I quite often put myself last – AFTER everyone else.  I think it’s a common thread among most women.

As I ride this emotional rollercoaster, hubby maintains a cautious distance assessing whether it’s Jekyll or Hyde he’s dealing with.  Feeling somewhat safe, hubby finally comments, “When is it your turn, Ingrid?  Don’t you think it’s time to think about yourself?  Time to put YOU first?”

Ah,but the guilt.  However, the events of this past year have worn me down….taken a tole on me mentally and physically.  I need to recharge……reboot.

We all deal with life’s challenges differently.  Some people pray or perhaps meditate.  Some folks turn to food, drink, exercise, or any number of other vices.  For me, it’s a combination.  I never did quite get the meditation thing down, but I have been known to pray.  A Betty Crockergood hike followed by a large helping of chocolate works better for me than any bottle filled with Zoloft or Wellbutrin.

So that being said, I went for a hike alone this morning in the State Park.  Just me and a lone coyote strolling while soaking in the warm sun and gorgeous blue sky.  I left the camera and headphones behind.  I needed to think and perhaps have a good cry.

I returned home after my stroll in the State Park and whipped up a batch of brownies.  After devouring half of these decadent treats ….clarity.  The clarity I was seeking.  Clarity without guilt (guilt after eating these brownies is another story).   A weight was lifted (although physical weight was added due to over indulgence of calories).   I’m not sure if it was the fresh air, the serotonin laced chocolate, the spent tears or the combination, but it did wonders for my mood.  Hubby has even removed that special vest he’s been wearing.

I now know what I have to do and what I want to do…clarity….no longer conflicted  🙂RVing

What’s Not to Love?

It’s Fall !!!  Colorado has already received snow at the higher elevations, but those of us at lower elevations are enjoying gorgeous weather and beautiful colors.  Hubby and I managed to get in a hike yesterday in the State Park.

Pikes Peak
A view of Pikes Peak from Pueblo State Park

As we enjoy the warm sun and blue skies my mind wonders.  Thoughts of Fall, thoughts of apple pie, freshly pressed apple cider,  and the smell of cinnamon conjures up memories….memories of growing up in the midwest.  I used to love visiting an apple orchard in the Fall.  Ah, and caramel apples…..love’em!Colorado

It feels good to be out hiking again.  Now I have to think about eating better.  After weeks of travel, I succumbed to a regular diet of fast food and soda.  I definitely feel the effects….not good!  Time to get back to fresh veggies, fruits, and lean proteins.   Apples … yes… apples are fruit and good for me.

As Al and I continue on our hike in silence (rare, I might add) and deep in our own personal thoughts, I dream of apple pie.  Apple pie?  Not exactly on the “healthy” list but perhaps I can make it so it’s not sooo bad.apple pie

apple pieWhat I came up with was Apple Pie without the crust.  I make the crumb topping first…

  • Crumb topping
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter softened (or a bit more if you’re a Paula Dean fan)

Sift together the flour and sugar, cut in the butter with a fork until crumbly.  Set aside.

  • Slice 3 granny smith apples  (plan one to one and a half apples per person)
  • Arrange slices in an oven safe dish
  • mix 1 teaspoon of cinnamon into 1/4 cup sugar (use less sugar to save on calories or if you don’t like things too sweet)
  • Pour sugar/cinnamon mixture over sliced apples

Top apples with the crumb mixture and place in a 400 degree preheated oven.  Bake for 20 minutes then set oven on broil.  Broil until crumb topping is lightly browned.  Voile!  Apple Pie without the crust.

Okay, so maybe it’s not exactly a “healthy”, weight loosing desert, but it’s less bad then the real deal….apple pie.  It satisfies by dreams and cravings.  I’ll eat better tomorrow…promise!

Fall colors and apple pie….what’s not to love !!!

Fall colors

RVing

Pikes Peak

Golden, Colorado

Prairie Dog
Hey, where do you think you’re going?

It’s yet another hundred degree day in southern Colorado.  This summer has been extremely hot and dry.  Al and I haven’t been hiking since our trip to Crested Butte.  Even then, our hiking was minimal due to Bear’s limitations.

Last summer we enjoyed a hike or bike ride along the Arkansas River almost every morning.  Al and I were feeling pretty good and even lost a few pounds (needed and planned).  We’re fortunate to live next door to a State Park, as well as able to travel.  Thus, no excuses for our lack of activity or weight gain  😦    Ah, well sh*t happens!

We decide it’s time to escape, or at least try to escape this summer heat and in the process visit with daughter.  Our destination Golden, Colorado.  Daughter lives about 20 minutes away allowing us to visit as much as her schedule will allow.  We stay at the Dakota Ridge RV Park.  It’s a bit on the pricey side but offers all hook-ups and plenty of amenities, but most importantly a fabulous location.  And very dog friendly.

Golden Colorado
Dakota Ridge RV Park – spaced a bit closer than we like – hill in background provided some great exercise for Al, me, and Bear
Golden Colorado
the trail around the “mountain”

We get settled in.  Not as much real estate as we like – a little more room between rigs would have been nice, but we’ve got exploring to do so we won’t be spending that much time hanging around.  The hill in the background provided some great exercise opportunity for the three of us.  Bear surprised us with his ability to climb and walk around the “mountain”.  Yes, it’s merely a hill, but to fourteen year old Bear, it’s a “fourteener” and he was eager to rise to the challenge each morning.Golden Colorado

Not only is it normally 5 to 10 degrees cooler in the Denver area than the Pueblo area, a mild cold front has come through bringing in some lovely 78 degree temperatures….just what Al and I were searching for.  Now that we’re all set up at the RV Park, it’s time to take a drive and get a quick overview of the town of Golden.  Since this trip was done on a whim without much planning, we’ll assess the area and gather info and then we can plan our stay and activities for the next few days……….

Golden Colorado
Dakota Ridge RV Park, Golden, Colorado – can you spot my rig?

Winter Doldrums…

As I sit in my RV admiring the desert sunrise, I reflect on the happenings or lack there of over the past twelve days.  Friday, February 3, brought plenty of snow to Colorado’s front range.  Fortunately, Al and I had loaded the Rig with essentials the day before…i.e. tools, battery charger, ladder, outdoor chairs, coffee, second container of coffee, you know the important stuff you don’t want to forget.  We target Tuesday the 7th to get on the road.

Pueblo Reservoir

Friday’s snow storm brought about four to six inches to the Pueblo area and about 2 feet to the Denver area.  Our daughter, in Fort Collins, had snow up to her knees.  By Saturday afternoon, the snow is already starting to melt, but I’m suffering from some serious winter doldrums.  I decide to head to the State Park to admire the beauty of the season.  Not much activity at the Park.  Could it be because it’s only 17 degrees?  I go to my favorite Prairie Dog village to see if the little guys are active.  A little FYI for folks out there with four-legged children.  Prairie Dogs have flees that are known to occasionally carry the Bubonic Plague.  You never want to allow your pets anywhere near a Prairie Dog Colony.  The plague can be very harmful to pets and elderly adults.  Once the Prairie Dogs get infested with these fleas, it can wipe out the entire colony.

Well after running around the Pueblo State Park and taking some photos, I head home to warm up.  I didn’t even see another vehicle out and about.  I question my logic.

Al and I review the plans for the trip and make a list of items we still need to load up.  I have discovered there is a down side to having too much time to pack and prepare.  I decide there’s more clothes and shoes I need to bring because you just never know.  I find another five books to bring along.  One of which is my three-inch thick Webster’s dictionary, published in 1981.  Out of curiosity, I look up the word internet.  Um, not in there.  Guess I won’t find google either 🙂

By Monday the 6th, the snow has finally melted enough for Al to hook up the Rig, turn it around, and pack last-minute items.   However…….we thought we could head out Tuesday morning, but realized another snow storm was on its way.  Oh well, we’ll play it by ear.