Day 38 in my “Leaving Loveland” challenge.

This is my favorite thing about Loveland today.


My parents are here! Just got in this evening for a three-day visit. Our house is one happy place tonight 🙂


Front Porch Perch

Day 37 in my “Leaving Loveland” challenge.

I have always loved front porches. Our big old Victorian house in Owatonna had one, and I spent many afternoons out there reading or writing – a good bit of my work on Frankenchurch was done there. And plenty of not-working too.

Here in Loveland, our smaller house has a smaller front porch, but it still has one, and I’ve taken full advantage of it, often with my faithful doggy companion Cody.


I’m hoping my front porch luck will hold as we look for a house in Minnesota!

Day 36 in my “Leaving Loveland” challenge.


This place is amazing. Used/salvaged building supplies galore! We’ve bought and sold and donated more than a few things here since we bought our house three years ago. Fancier stuff is kept in the building at the front, and out back are sheds and sheds of materials – each one filled with similar items (all the storm doors are together, all the gutters, all the countertops, etc. etc.).


And between the sheds, even more stuff that can handle sitting outside without a roof over it.



Today we were looking for metal roofing for our garage, but didn’t find enough to do the whole roof.


We did donate a couple extra cabinet doors we had been storing in our basement though. And got to say hi to the huge loveable dog who often greets us there. And spied an outhouse for $300 on our way out. But passed it up.


We also spotted this vehicle, which is often parked downtown on school mornings, with the big dog sitting in the back. Silas and I always enjoy seeing it on our walks to school.


Stone Age Fair

Day 35 in my “Leaving Loveland” challenge.



One Saturday morning a year ago or maybe two, we happened to be walking downtown as a family when we saw a sign reading “Stone Age Fair” with an arrow pointing towards the Pulliam Community Building. We were curious so we followed the arrows which led us to the basement of this interesting old building, a 1930s-era WPA project that has been neglected in recent years but still hosts events occasionally.

What we found was a basement full of tables filled with artifacts and arrowheads and archaeologists, amateur and accomplished alike. Enthusiasts had come from all over the country to share their finds and meet and greet one another and the public. And my kids dove into a huge box of artifacts they could take for free, which they added to their rock collection pictured above. Silas remembers that he filled his pockets so full his pants were falling down on the walk home!

The Stone Age Fair is free and open to the public and has been happening since 1934. In its second year, it was attended by 10,000 people! There weren’t nearly that many in the basement of the Pulliam Building, but it was a fun time nevertheless.

Monkey Business

Day 34 in my “Leaving Loveland” challenge.


Here’s another sculpture just around the corner from our house. This one stands facing the studio of its sculptor, Mark Lundeen. The kids like to stop and look in the cup for loose coins (there are sculpted ones in it already), or sometimes they’ll put coins in it. It’s a pretty elaborate “take a penny leave a penny” container!

Day 33 in my “Leaving Loveland” challenge.

Once again, a planned camping weekend at Great Sand Dunes National Park did not materialize for us. We got a late start heading out on Friday and then took one look at the slow-crawling traffic as we approached the freeway and summarily ditched our plans.

Instead we went home, unpacked the camping gear, ate our picnic dinner in our own yard, called up some friends who came over and sat around a backyard bonfire and we talked and laughed and swapped stories until nearly midnight.

Then on Saturday we “hiked” at Button Rock Preserve, about an hour’s drive away through Longmont and Lyons. Quote marks because this was our second time there, and just like last time, we didn’t get more than a half-mile away from the parking lot. The kids have a favorite spot where there are small rapids and piles of driftwood, and they find boat-like driftwood pieces and launch them through the rapids. (Or, as Luthien did in the very last photo below, lash sticks together with jointed grass to make a raft.)

Nathan and Luthien also climbed Tigers in Lipstick, a small but challenging route Nathan had his eye on last time we were there. And Silas had fun taking lots of pictures while they were climbing and he and I and Cody the dog were lounging at the base of the rock.


Gone Camping

Finally! A beautiful weekend with nothing else scheduled. We’re heading out to Great Sand Dunes National Park, so I’m skipping my usual posts in my “Leaving Loveland” challenge today and tomorrow.

Although, let me say, one thing I do love about this part of Colorado is all the national forest that’s available for free camping. We’re off to find a good spot!