13 September 2013

Follow Up Friday

Follow Up Friday: one month in...


We've been in Colorado living, as opposed to visiting from Texas, for a little over one month now.

It has exceeded my expectations in many, many ways and also been much harder than I expected in many ways.

The really wonderful positives:

My two girls started high school in a new tiny school and love it. They have been fairly well accepted and have found their niche with the cheer leading squad. This still amazes me as cheer leading is not something that has ever been on their horizon.

 Belle and ...

...Bunny in action. 
(and it only took 8 minutes for these two pictures to upload)

It's gorgeous here. I am astounded every morning by my view out the front window. There are wild animals around every corner. Mama and baby deer in the front yard, wild turkeys in the field, a little fox running down my drive.

 The view out my front door. 
Every day it is astounding.

People are friendly and helpful. I have had people go out of their way to include me, neighbors go out of their way to help me and delivery people go out of their way to get my packages to me (When was the last time your Fed Ex driver left their cell number on the "Sorry we missed you notice" with a note to call them so as to arrange pick up. Never? That's what I thought but it happened here yesterday.)

No traffic, no crowds, no hustle and bustle. I have been stopped for turkey jams but not traffic jams.

Wild turkeys fattening themselves up for Thanksgiving.
This morning I probably saw 50 of them at once- dappling the field and dawdling across the road.


And the down sides:

THE INTERNET:
Never in my life have I had such a month of frustration. We have satellite internet which requires a direct line of sight from the dish on my roof to the tiny mine wayyyyy across the river. If the wind blows, the trees sway or we actually try to USE the internet, it doesn't work.
It is slower than Christmas.
I can try to upload a photo onto this blog and two minutes later I am still watching the "loading" line
s l o w l y progress.
Next week we are supposed to be getting DSL which may or may not be better and may or may not actually be available in my area. They promised me it is available but I won't believe it until it is up and running. And it still may not be an improvement. But pray that it is.
(And it only required ONE HOUR AND TWO MINUTES of my time on the phone to order it.)

Expectations:
My expectations are still big city but I now live in a tiny rural area.

It just doesn't occur to me that I can't get something 24/7 or that things can't be purchased in the immediate area. I come from the land of shopping. I come from the land of EVERYTHING being available within a 15 mile radius.

Case in point: Belle had her birthday and she specifically requested a cheetah print birthday cake. She hasn't had a store bought pretty cake in a gazillion years. Since she is away from many of her friends and I wasn't sure how her birthday would play out- I really wanted to make her 18th birthday special.

On Sunday before her Wednesday birthday I went to the one grocery store to order a cake. Turns out they don't actually decorate cakes in that store. All the cakes come from Denver. I needed to order it a few days earlier to make the shipment. There's a Wal-Mart but they don't decorate cakes either. Closest store that decorate cakes is in Buena Vista, 45 minutes away.

I called on Monday and they assured me they could have a cheetah print cake ready by noon on Wednesday.  I asked for it to have "Happy Birthday Belle" on it and mentioned she liked sparkles and bling. In my mind I envisioned some little pearlized balls around the edge or possibly some glitter sugar sprinkled around the spots.

Here is kinda what I expected:


Something along these lines.
Simple, pink and brown. MAYBE a little pearl edge to it. 
There are a million cheetah cake images online.


Here is what I got:


Names have been blurred to protect the innocent.
But the color combination cannot be blurred.
And I love the blue "bling".

This is exactly what I asked for. Unfortunately, coming from an area where cake stores are on every corner and there is competition to decorate the hippest, most adorable cakes possible, it was not what I expected. The cake was yummy and it gave us a good giggle- but my expectations and reality did not meet.

Shopping:
We have travelled many, many miles in search of Homecoming dresses.  Part of the problem is that Homecoming here is next week- mid September- and there are no party dresses in the stores.  Girls from here know that and buy their dresses the year before or when they see them. They don't wait until September.
We took a trip to Colorado Springs and when we found nothing there we went to Castle Rock- further north. Nada.  A week later we went to Denver and went into every store in Cherry Creek Mall.  Then we went to the discount stores. Nice salespeople shook their heads and mumbled "too early", "nope", "sorry".

The hubs wanted Elle to have a Slackline for her birthday. She had seen one this summer and mentioned wanting it. Slacklines are right up her alley. Unfortunately they are "past season", "out of stock" and ummm.... not available in the one store that usually sells them here.

This is a Slackline. 
(Not our Slackline- we haven't set ours up because it's been raining.)
It's a bit like a tightrope.

Thank goodness for online shopping which seems to have solved the Homecoming dress issue and the Slackline issue.
Except.
Online shopping requires INTERNET.
Full circle.
Do you see where I'm going?


On the bright side I have become quite friendly with the UPS drivers, Lori the Fed Ex driver and all the  US Post Office personnel.

Phone Service:
Really?  Alexander Graham Bell came up with the telephone back in 1876.
Why am I having trouble making a phone call in 2013?

We have Verizon cell phones. They do not work anywhere in the tiny city that we live in. To use my cell phone I have to drive twenty minutes.


Pretty and sleek and won't make a peep at this house.

We do have a landline in our cabin. We have been on a plan that allows 100 unlimited long distance minutes a month. That has always been wayyyy more than we needed. Until now.
Now I need to call the dealership to check on the H3 that was hit by lightning and STILL is not fixed.
I have sweet parents that are upwards of 89 and they need checking on.
The hubs would like it if I called him occasionally.
All of these calls are long distance.

In order to minimize the long distance calls from the cabin, I make a list and try to accomplish all calls when I go into town. This requires planning because I might need notes or phone numbers or paperwork.  And about half the time I get into town and don't have what I need. Or I do have everything but feel like an idiot sitting in the park making phone calls.

*image
My office away from home. 


After pursuing a few possibilities I discovered that my current landline company has a new plan with unlimited long distance. Again it only took a million phone calls, stops at AT&T and all of my patience. And one hour and two minutes on one phone call.

Cross your fingers.

If I can solve the slow internet problem and alleviate the phone service issue, my life will be much easier. And the longer I am here, I am sure my expectations will lessen. I will know that things can't be done last minute. I will realize that shopping won't be accomplished by a quick run to the mall. The mall is two hours away. Hopefully the girls will also learn.

And we will be free to enjoy the mountains and the wildlife and the lovely people, all stress free.


(Two hours from start to finish to get all these photos downloaded...I realllllly hope the new internet is an improvement.)





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