Sunday, September 30, 2012

Elk Festival and Hiking in the Meadows

  Day 3 started out with our return to RMNP for some hiking in Beaver Meadows.  Being a city girl I guess I never questioned exactly what a meadow was but Clay quickly gave me a topical geography lesson and I felt like I was Laura Ingalls for the rest of the morning, roaming through the meadows.  We hiked across the meadow and back into the trees which proved to be a good work out!  Lunch was a picnic at a beautiful little spot.   Time to check into our cabin and take a rest.  The Rustic River Cabins is actually in the Roosevelt National Park and has an interesting story.  The owners have only been in Colorado for 8 weeks.  They left their jobs in Houston, Texas (interesting huh?) and purchased the 16 acres and 8 little cabins that make up Rustic River Cabins.   I asked him why?  He said it was a life long dream to do this.  The little hideaway was on a river.  Complete with a hot tub that sat out by the river, individual grills and sitting areas, and a community fire pit.  I quickly decided that I needed to come back - with family.

After an afternoon nap we headed in to Estes for the Elk Fest!  This was comprised of tepees and tents filled with art work, jewelry, story tellers, Indian traditions, etc.  Also had our favorite fresh squeezed lemonade and funnel cakes - which we both refrained from indulging in.  Headed on down the streets of Estes with one goal in mind.  Wanted to find an elk to take home and sit on the book shelf.  The elk kind of represented our trip we felt.  Everywhere we went - elk went.  Or vice versa maybe?  

Ended our last day in the mountains with a trip to the hot tub, coffee by the river and a fire in the fireplace.  Oh and did I mention - my kind of rustic cabin had a great 32 inch flat screen TV with dish network!!  Blessing in day #3 had to go to the meadows and mountains again - God's amazing work.  I asked Clay, "How were mountains created, wasn't it two of the earth's plates shifting and bumping into each other, causing the ground to push up  creating the mountains?" and Clay said simply, "God created mountains."    And it was good.

View from "my front porch"
Rustic River Cabins 

Saturday, September 29, 2012

There's no room at the Inn...

That was the theme for Day #2 - I wonder if Joseph enjoyed looking around Bethlehem for a place to stay?  Clay certainly did not find that fun in Estes Park.    Arrived in Estes mid-morning and took off for the Rocky Mountain National Park.  Spent the morning seeing beautiful scenery of snow-topped mountains in grey and white and gorgeous orange, red and yellow trees!   This was our first visit to the RMNP and one thing I quickly learned (doy) is that you don't find motels or cabins tucked away in the national parks.  After a nice drive up into the mountains - a few short walks around - and a lunch-served out of the back of the Edge - we headed back down to Estes.

(Sidebar:  Everywhere we go with our Boston Terrier we meet people who have Boston Terriers.  Today we found two.  The first man was on his 9th dog, had always had Bostons since he was a little boy.   Lost them all to cancer.   The second man had adopted his "Stubby" from Pet Finder.   He was on his second Boston.  Of course we shared that Dodger and Pepper were our Bostons.  And we share the same funny stories.)

This is when the search for THE INN began.  
We drove in and out of many little cabins along the Fall River and were greeted with a flashing NO VACANCY sign or a polite "We don't allow pets".  This went on for two hours.  Clay was not having fun. We learned it was the Estes Park Elk Festival.  No wonder!  We prayed for any place along the river that we could afford and God blessed us with Discovery Lodge.  It was not on the river but it had a mountain view from the back deck and was located near Lake Estes.  So we unpacked and headed for a walk around the lake - THE LOOP.  The loop turned out to be 3.75 miles around.  We kept moving and as my sister Tami says, sometimes you go far enough that to turn around and go back is no easier than just continuing on.  So we trekked on, with thinner air than we are used to and a doggie who is not very well leash trained, we finished our walk.  We calculated with the extra walk back to the lodge we had gone 4.75 miles.  We had another picnic supper in our room, showered, and headed to bed.  Vacation was wearing us out!  But in a good way!  Blessing for day #2 besides finding an INN was to find ELK on our lake walk.  Elk were everywhere, scattered all over the golf course.  What were they doing here?  Were they here for the Elk Festival??  Clay was thrilled to see them and it made his day!  We have a room reservation for tomorrow - we are getting smarter.

Friday, September 28, 2012

“I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I intended to be.”

This is going to be a different kind of post for Henningsen Happenings - a post as we go, if you will:

Husband and I decided to do something totally new to us - and that is take a little weekend trip to the mountains, unplanned, no reservations, no itinerary, no organization other than being certain we are packed with our necessities and the car is ready to go.  Oh yes - and money in the bank - cash in the pocket.

We left our home town at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday with the car loaded - including a cooler of sandwich makings and our little dog Dodger.    My usual plan in the car is to sleep - but I skipped a couple of nighttime pills that make me drowsy and so I had a fairly easy time of staying awake to enjoy the trip with husband, Clay.  Great ride and in no time we found ourselves in Boulder, CO.  It was Clay's suggestion that we get there and find a place to stay. Travel on to Estes the next day.

Sometimes things happen and you just think - how could something this nice happen to me??  I grabbed a magazine at a quick stop and found Boulder Mountain Lodge in the magazine.  Looked just like what we had in mind (or at least what I had in mind and had never really even voiced) and so I called them - got a room - and in the misting rain we arrived at the most quaint, beautiful little mountain hideaway.  There were flowers in the window sills - a book shelf of books in the office, and a Reading Room where the continental breakfast would be served on an old fashioned - just like mom used to have - buffet table.   We quickly unpacked - grabbed the dog and took off on foot for a mountain trail walk.  After two miles uphill and down - we were tired - headed to our little riverside retreat - fixed a supper of ham sandwiches and fruit with yogurt and cookies for dessert - showered - and headed to bed.  Oh - it was 8:30 mountain time!   End of Day #1 - Blessings found in a God who gives us the desires of our heart.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Pin It/Do It in October!

What a fun challenge!  I am signing up as a Timid Pinner.   Trish, of  Love, Laughter and a Touch of Insanity  is sponsoring the "Pin It/Do It Challenge" during the month of October.   If you love Pinterest you will love this!  The concept is pretty basic - make or do some of the things you have pinned; give/receive encouragement from other pinners, and maybe get some ideas for future projects. If you want to give it a try, visit Trish's blog to sign up (link above).

 Crafts and sewing don't come easy to me.  I do love to make the fleece tie blankets and will plan to make one of those.   When I first learned how I made 30+ that year!  If you were my friend - you got a blanket!  My youngest granddaughter still drags around the one that we made her 10 years ago.  I have yet to make "myself" one!  So maybe I will do that!   But since I do have a sewing machine now - I have decided to try a simple sewing project.  I have choosen a colorful pillowcase as my new Pin It/Do It project.

Pinned Image

This is a different way to tie my original favs - so I will be learning something new.  I like the look!

Happy Pinning!  Hopefully Happy Doing!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

A Dog's Life ...

As I have shared, our recent move to Beloit was met with several challenges, mostly just the frustration of buying and selling homes at the same time and ultimately with much waiting on an ill-prepared, unorganized out of state bank to do their thing.  That was then . . . and we have moved on . . . I wondered well they always say that you learn patience and grace and wisdom during a time of waiting . . . I did not.  So I asked my husband - what was the blessing in all of this wait?  There was none.  Now that being said, don't get me wrong . . . we are very thrilled to be living here and as my previous "moving themed" blogs shared, I found many blessings in being here!  I thank God for His goodness to us.

Tonight as I went out to walk the big dog Roy and he walked or lumbered by my side at a nice comfortable pace just looking so happy and so healthy, I thought THIS is the blessing and THIS makes it all worth the wait . . . To have provided a better life for both of our boys (dogs) :).

The big dog was destined to be in his pen most all of his time - we did not have a fenced in yard and although we did use a 20 foot cable for him to roam - - - he was never content.  We had talked of finding a farm for him and it never seemed to be the right answer.  After all he loves us best.  He is so gentle in a strong and clumsy way.  It broke my heart that we didn't have more time to spend with him and a place for him to be free!

The little dog, Dodger, of course has had the life of Riley since day one and doesn't know any better - but he too has benefited greatly from being able to run in the back yard that is now fenced in to protect him. (He has not proven to be the smartest dog - very accident prone - so safety is rule #1 for him.)

Now as sappy as this may sound - - - and I've only been a crazy dog lover for the last 10 years - but I can put all of my frustration and anger of the past few months behind me as I stroll along with my newly trained and calmer dog and as I play fetch with them both in the back yard.  Watching then chase each other - Mutt and Jeff - does my heart such good.

God is good.  All the time.  This was all worth the wait . . .

Mom we love our big back yard but can't we come inside?

Monday, September 17, 2012

My Royalty . . .

"If you ever start feeling like you have the goofiest, craziest, most dysfunctional family in the world, all you have to do is go to a state fair. Because five minutes at the fair, you'll be going, 'you know, we're alright. We are dang near royalty.'"
                                                 Jeff Foxworthy

Kansas State Fair Time is here again!  My husband and I have started a new tradition?  Last year after Clay got a new prosthetic leg and was a new man who golfed again and walked again, we decided to head to the State Fair.  We had a great time!  This year we wanted to ask our daughter Casey and our son-in-law Tracy to go with us.  Too late in the game to find a motel in Hutchinson, KS so we checked into a Holiday Inn Express in McPherson, KS.  If you have never stayed in one - this one was awesome.  I'm not sure what the "express" part was because we surely had all of the amenities!

I was looking forward to a cool, sunshiny day as we have had a heat wave of a summer, but we were blessed with a cool, overcast, and cloudy day instead.  Still perfect!  We soon began to look at and dream over the campers, four-wheelers, boats, cross-overs, tractors, and of course food.  I did remain basically true to my healthy eating plan (basically).  

The main event of the day was our surprise to the kids that we had tickets for the Jake Owen and Billy Currington concert.  It was a fantastic concert!  Renewed my love for country music, especially when they sang some of our favorite "Alabama songs"!!  

We had a great day hanging out with our "royalty" as Jeff Foxworthy talks about in the above quote.  We felt truly blessed!  Having adult children who are your best friends is a God-given gift.

And on that note . . . I am planning our next trip to the tip of Texas to spend some time with the other half of our "royal family"!

Blessings from the Kansas State Fair - - - Enjoy YOUR royalty!

Saturday, September 15, 2012


A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is braver five minutes longer.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) U.S. poet, essayist and lecturer

Six word Saturday:  My Sister Has Been My Hero

Had to take a moment to share a blessing I have.  All of my followers (Tami) will know that I have been on a quest to lose weight and exercise daily.  I have had success.  I have learned some very good nutritional information.  I have learned some new life skills.  I have become disciplined in areas of my life that desperately needed it.  NO MORE late night meals.  Exercise Exercise Exercise.
Last week I shared an episode where I ended up in tears trying to do sit-ups.  This week I battled with myself on a treadmill - wanting to quit - mad because I had to work so hard.  Depressed knowing that this is how I need to live the last half of my life - being healthy and active.   

Then . . . as has happened so many times in the last few months . . . My sister and cohort in "It's Your Life - get it in shape" lifted me up and encouraged me to keep going.  Tami has lost 50 pounds PLUS.  Tami is the sister I used to harp on about blood pressure, cholesterol, mammograms, and exercise.  She wanted nothing to do with any of them.  Her transformation has been awesome to watch.  I saw her struggle through the awful hours on the treadmill.  She has been to the doctor and has excellent health results as well - nearly off of blood pressure medicine.  She is being proactive in her health care with regular check-ups.  AND she is hitting the road for long walks and the treadmill for power walks.  She is hiking, doing sit-ups. jumping rope, lifting weights and oh my gosh - running.  

The best part - the blessing - is to know that I would NOT be blogging this morning with a 26.8 pound weight loss myself if it were not for my sister hero's support.  Always there with a challenge, an encouraging word, a weight loss discovery, new recipe, or sharing with our new smaller clothes purchases - Tami has spurred me along at just the right moment I needed it!  She has also helped me to see that we are all individuals and lose at different rates and exercise at different speeds.  

Thanks Tami for being my hero!  My life is all the better for having you as my sister and bff!

Love you,   Teri

Monday, September 10, 2012

Where never is heard - a discouraging word

  "If you've invested enough effort and energy to get discouraged, you're well on your way to success. Discouragement is a certain weigh station on the road to any worthwhile achievement.
   If you know and care enough to be discouraged, you've made considerable progress. Learn what the discouragement has to teach you and then continue moving forward. It may seem as though you'll never make it, but in reality you're already there. Discouragement tempers and hardens you; it does not stop you.
   Reflect on your discouragement and you'll discover that it is a result of your commitment. You've already invested your time, your effort, your life. Soon, you'll reap the full reward of that investment. Let discouragement spur you on."

Walking is easy.  Weight machines fun.  Bicycling is awesome.  Eating right is even pretty much attainable.  Sounds like I have this weight loss/exercise thing pretty under control huh?  Then there's abs.  ABS.  Just one muscle group out of many that make up the human anatomy.  But not your easiest group to master!  I have yet to find even one exercise that I would consider fun or easy at all when it comes to tightening up the very lax stomach muscles!!  Experts will say that a good walking program will eliminate belly fat - and it's true - but when the body hits the magical 50+ years - - - those muscles have forgotten how to work and can be very well hidden behind some rather stubborn tummy well let's say it like it is - - - tummy fat.  After babies, poor posture, overeating, desk jobs, and scars from surgery - - - the above mentioned area gets very lax.  

As I mentioned in previous blogs - my sister and I continue on in our quest for a healthy lifestyle.  Getting a later start on the program,  I have found myself following in my sister's footsteps and learning from her.  It has been one of the best things we have ever done together!  She has worked hard to shed 50 pounds and I sit tonight here at 26 pounds that I never intend to see again.   

So why then did I find myself crying on my exercise mat while trying to do sit-ups???  My sister coach said she can do them by tucking her feet under the sofa or having her husband sit or stand on them for support.  So always up for a challenge I prepare to impress myself.  Nothing.  Not one inch could I move myself to sit up.    I could swing with both arms and manage to sit up - while grasping my left leg in pain.  But with the appropriate stance - hands behind head - - - Nothing.  Not one inch.  So the tears started.   I said to myself while hiding my face from my husband who was watching - - - "that's it - I'm done - I can't do this."     Discouragement big time!

Two days later with  a day off to rest - while at my daughters house I tried again and to my surprise found it just a little bit easier.   I thought to myself - I think I can do this slowly a few sit-ups at a time.    

I found a blessing in discouragement when I read the opening quote above.  I cared enough to sit on my mat and cry - - - and that tells me that I have worked hard!   It shows progress in my goals.  When you give up and walk away easily from a hard thing it means you weren't committed in the first place.      Break down the word dis....courage....meaning difficulty in having courage.  Being discouraged is a tool of measurement to use when you are trying to do something hard and very worthwhile, you have already put time and effort into it, and it is going to take time and patience.  So have courage always and pat yourself on the back for the hard work you have done  - - - and "be strong and take courage" Joshua 1:9.


Consider the postage stamp; its usefulness consists in the ability to stick to one thing until it gets there." Josh Billings

Friday, September 7, 2012

How Can This Be a Blessing???

At 53 and a half years of age I only remember three times in my life that I have regularly exercised.  Once when I had a small toddler and we rode bikes with him excitedly perched behind me in a bike seat;  secondly back in 2009 when some friends and I did our version of "Biggest Loser" and I took off 16 pounds that summer while riding my bike the equivalent of "Biking Across Kansas" mileage; and the present attempt that I am making.    My sister and author of Just One More Thing blog started a quest for weight loss in January of 2012 and I quickly joined in February.  The first few months for me were spent learning a little more about smart carbs and lean protein and cherishing a late night dessert with hot tea!  And the weight began to come off.  Somewhere along the way we added that wonderfully needed but oh so hated item - exercise!  

I'm not athletic.  But CAN walk.  Began with going back to the gym and walking on the treadmill.  I also really enjoy water aerobics.  Added weights again with 8-9 machines for arms and legs.  To really kick it up we decided to have our own Sister Olympics during the Summer Olympics.  We created our own list of events and we were off!  This was really fun to me and I was enthused to do some different kinds of activities such as jump roping, biking, playing catch, hiking, walking fast, walking long distance, dancing, golfing, etc.

This is the blessing in exercise!  It is not something to add to your to do list - although you had better - - - but it is a way of living - being an active person!  If I don't lose another pound I certainly have better quality of life by being adventurous and active!  I've even started golfing with my husband!  I can walk along, ride on cart, do hand weights between holes, sun tan, read a book, and yes even play a few holes of golf!  It has been fun to turn what was something my husband loved to do - but I stayed behind on - into something we can do together!

I see my next 25 years being spent living an active lifestyle and I get excited thinking about what opportunities are out there for me to try . . . here are a few of the things I want to try in my quest to become healthy!!

         Walk in a 5 K walk in public!
         Hike a trail!
         Bicycle 25 miles in one day.
         Walk a 15 minute mile.            
         Hit a baseball.
         Bench Press 50 pounds 25 reps!

I better get busy . . .

Monday, September 3, 2012


Everything is coming up Roses!!!

If you read along with me - you know that the purpose of my blog is to share my blessings.  I don't think the intention is to inspire others - I think the goal is for me to be aware every moment that I do have many things to be thankful for and blessings abound.

We recently bought a new home and moved to a new town.  Frustrations abounded with some of that - and still at this point are not all resolved.  I will share more about that in later posts.  But what a great God we serve.  All my life I have tried to raise roses - - - all kinds - and it was always a total disaster.  My roses never even made it through summer to see if they could be successfully "wintered" in Kansas.  I gave up.

Lo and behold, here at our new place - there are roses!  I figured they would not last.  The previous owner told us they bloom all summer, and I was hopeful in hearing that as he was a bachelor guy and I didn't think he did much gardening!  My husband says "you just have to water them and they will bloom".  So - - - in the middle of this midwestern drought - we watered the roses a little and fed them just a little Miracle Grow.    One by one they have bloomed.   First the red roses, then the yellow, and then the white!!  I love them!!  Then as I continued to water and feed - - - even the little dried up plants - we soon had another variety of red roses blooming and then a beautiful salmon colored - peach like!  And finally  - this morning I looked out and there all by itself stands a tiny tiny pink rose bud!   I have roses!!  I have to say it again - I have roses!

God remembers and cares about the things we desire - sometimes long after we have given up!  Roses are a blessing to me -