28 January 2015

Throw Back Thursday

Throw Back Thursday


Here's one of the best things about this blog.

It has gotten me out of my comfort zone and made me more determined to see friends old and new. My Fortieth HS reunion was great fun and I loved reconnecting with people I hadn't seen or talked to in ages.  After being overwhelmed at the Thirtieth, I really had not planned to go to the Fortieth, but I'm so glad I did.

One of the people I chatted with was Caren, a friend from elementary school. Somehow we grew apart in Junior High (that's what it was called back in the day, none of this "middle school" nonsense).  She was cooler than I.
And I'm crushed because there is a wonderful photo of the two of us on her horses at her farm from elementary days...except it is safely tucked away on my desk in Texas.


Liddy, Susan, Me

When I posted last week about my going to breakfast with Liddy and Susan, Caren sent me some pics of us from elementary school.

Yay for Girl Scouts.
Sadly I still have basically the same haircut now as I did in Girl Scouts. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Don't have all the names but I know that's 
Caren, Maria,  ?, Me, Liddy, and Sandy
(And O! The smirk on Liddy's face. I know it well. Love.)

And then this one is not quite so clear...but here I am with Susan and friends.

Caren, Lida, Kathy,?, Susan in the red, Ann, ?, Me in the hat, Sandy,?, and ?

I am absolutely so fortunate that fifty plus years later I am still friends with, in touch with, connected to these fun people. 

And my how we have grown!!

So here's the take-away.

Relationships have seasons and sometimes they wax and wane. Some will end.
But I think that the connections you make with people that you grow up with are strong.  It's a great backbone. There's a shared history. Doesn't mean you have to chat daily or even yearly. And time smooths over a lot of things. Differences that may have seemed huge when you were younger seem less as time goes on.

That's a good thing.

So, if you  have ever thought of getting in touch with an old friend, do it. The internet is wonderful for that.
Ok, you may realize there's a reason you don't speak.
But maybe, just maybe, you'll expand your circles.

And that also is a good thing.

(Thanks a billion Caren for these photos!)

26 January 2015

Baking at High Longitude or...

Baking at High Longitude or...
More Adventures in Living in the Middle of Nowhere

Friend Diane just came back from Steamboat and she had this little story to tell.

While riding up the elevator one night, two very inebriated young ladies got on with her.

Tipsy #1 commented that she was "so drunk" and she just had no idea how she got that way, she didn't think she had THAT much to drink.

Tipsy #2 reassured her that she didn't drink that much, it's just that "at this longitude, the alcohol hits you harder."

From here on out I am going to stick to the theory that I live at 8000 feet longitude and it makes it difficult for me to assimilate any alcohol.

If you don't get what's funny about this story, I'm not going to help you.


Bunny turned seventeen on Monday and she requested an Angel Food cake for her birthday.

I will refer you back to September a year ago when I made the mistake of ordering a birthday cake for Belle rather than making her one. I thought by ordering and paying for a cake I would be spared the embarrassment that would accompany an ugly cake. I'd never baked at 8000 feet and knew it could be tricky.

Here was her cake:

Here is what she expected:

Belle wanted something elegant and maybe with a little bling, but definitely cheetah printed.   Apparently I did not convey that clearly.

Now September a year ago we had just moved up to this high "longitude".  Since then I have done quite a bit of baking and pretty much figured out some of the alterations required to make baking successful.


I have also heard that Angel Food cakes are a little harder to master than some of the other baked goods.

So I started a day early and planned to just make an Angel Food cake from a box mix.

I neglected to actually read the high "longitude" instructions on the box. Usually it requires more water or higher temps, nothing out of the ordinary.

Ha! This time the high "longitude" instructions required corn starch, something that wasn't in the pantry. And the grocery store is about 18 miles/30 minutes away.

Thinking I could figure this out, I went on the internet and found a different brand cake mix that just required some extra flour. Ok, that should work. I had a Betty Crocker mix, that was for Duncan Hines but seriously, how different could they be??

Apparently quite a bit.

Here's what I ended up with:

 Cake #1.

I've always heard of cakes "falling" but I've never experienced it. Until now.

So, off to the store again anyway. One hour round trip.
Another cake mix and this time I got some corn starch,too.

And here is cake number two:

 Cake #2.

While it may not look much better, it actually rose very high, overflowed and then settled back down to a manageable shape.

Flipped over and drizzled with pink icing, it didn't look too awful.

Bunny turns 17!
And it tasted just fine.

So happy happy birthday Baby Bunny.  


And two weeks ago, while I was in Texas, the Big Guy also had a birthday.
It was a busy, crazy week and there was very little time for baking, celebrating, anything-ing. 
The Big Guy was very understanding.

I did go to the kids' favorite breakfast burrito place for burritos to bring back to Colorado. Big Guy asked if I would bring him some, too. 

Voila!  A Breakfast Burrito Birthday "Cake".  Candles stuck between the burritos, the Happy Birthday song sung and my oldest officially turned 23. 


Really there are candles between those burritos. 
Just hard to see. 

21 January 2015

No.60: Hit Five Restaurants in Houston That I Have Never Been To

No. 60: Hit five restaurants in Houston that I have never been to...
done for real now.

I realize that I have already counted No. 60 as being done. Since I had not been in Houston much, I counted a Denver restaurant that was new to me as the fifth restaurant.

But while I was in Texas last week I managed to sneak away for breakfast with two long time friends.

Liddy had come to stay with me when she heard that my mom was having surgery. Liddy and I have been friends forever, a friendship cemented in San Miguel de Allende, as so many of my friendships have been.  Sure, we knew each other before, but it wasn't until we traveled to Mexico together when we were 13 (14?) that we became truly close. She introduced me to some of the local boys. I've been indebted to her ever since.

Anyway, Liddy lost both of her parents this last year so she knows how important a little extra support can be when it comes to those aging parents.

I was very grateful to have her company and appreciative that she drove down from her home near Dallas to stay. It's not like she lives right around the corner.

Another friend, Susan, has been living in Wyoming. But now she's got a new grand baby in Houston, so she has also gotten herself a little apartment there. I guess after many many years enduring Wyoming winters, any excuse is a good excuse to get a place down south. But a baby girl grand baby is an extra special good excuse.

Anyway, Liddy and Susan have been friends longer than I have known either one of them. But we all go back to elementary school. And while my brother was in charge of the parents, Liddy and I dashed into town to meet Susan for breakfast.

 Liddy, Susan, Me

We met at Tiny Boxwoods. And this place was one of those wonderfully trendy, precious restaurants that is just so perfect you want to gag.

The door to breakfast and perfection.

I could have moved into the place and lived there. The interior is my dream style. Iron casement windows. A sort of French feel. Zinc topped tables.
Beautiful gardens with - duh!- boxwoods surrounding the charming brick building.
The menu in beautiful chalk calligraphy upon the requisite oversized blackboard, described the barest of choices.
"Morning Porridge" "Simple Breakfast" "Morning Cheese and Bread Board"
It was all just too, too.
Pressed linen napkins. Simple white dishes. Perfect.

And the three of us spent a lovely morning chatting and catching up.

No. 60 is truly and positively done. For real. No cheating.

19 January 2015

No. 33: Send flowers to a friend that needs them

No. 33: Send flowers to a friend that needs them....

Well, this seemed like an easy one.

But then I realized, EVERYONE needs flowers. Seriously.

Flowers get sent for funerals and births and ailments and weddings.

They get sent for birthdays and new houses and anniversaries.

So those are the expected reasons to send flowers.

The unexpected?

For a divorce.  Because it's been a bad day. Someone is feeling overwhelmed?

Lots of reasons to send flowers so to figure out who to send flowers to just because they "needed" them. Well, that wasn't so clear cut.

But last week I was in Texas and I made the most of it.

I started off with dinner at a friend's new apartment.  Recently separated, new high rise apartment and she was fixing me dinner.   Sounds to me like she deserved flowers if not needed them.

So a quick stop at Whole Foods Market and an orchid accompanied me to my dinner.

A little orchid.
The perfect flower. 
No care required. 

My mom had a heart valve replacement which was the reason for my Texas trip.  Amazing what doctors can do now through laparoscopy. Surgery was on Monday, she came home on Thursday. Seriously she did not look or act like she had been operated on in the last month, much less the last week. 

Did she need flowers?  Probably not.  But she certainly deserved them.  And I know she and my dad both love having flowers in the house.   So I picked up some flowers for my dad to give her.

Grocery store flowers.

And finally on Wednesday night I went to my Bunko group.

The hostess definitely needed flowers. And deserved them.

So I sent them.

Proflowers arrangement. 
Looked a bit better online 
than in person, unfortunately.
But they were still nice.

And I think they were really appreciated. 

Which was the whole point. 

No. 33 is done. 

13 January 2015


Absence makes the heart grow fonder so the saying goes. 

Hope so because I am absent again. Or at least barely here. 

Back in Texas while my mommy has surgery. So far so good. Mom is sporting a new cow heart valve which, along with dad's pig valve he got about 7 years ago, makes for a veritable barnyard at the peep's house. 

Busy busy week and I hate trying to post on the iPad. 

Even though I promised to return to a regular schedule, it's not happening this week.

NEXT week. I promise. 

07 January 2015

No. 31: A Winter Solstice Party

No. 31: Have a Solstice Party 

When I realized that we would be arriving back in Texas the same weekend as the winter solstice, I knew this was my chance to knock out No. 31:Have a winter solstice party.

With just a week before the solstice I frantically created an evite and sent it out, truthfully not knowing if ANYONE would be able to come.

My plan was to light up the house with candles to brighten up the one day of the year with the tiniest amount of daylight. O! And I also wanted to see my bunko group friends and others from the neighborhood. A very tiny little party that started out with 6 yeses, 6 maybes, and 6 nos with a few non responders.


and more candles.

We flew into Texas on Friday night late, stuffed ourselves with Tex Mex and called it a day.
Saturday was spent doing last minute kid Christmas shopping, decorating a tree and eating more Tex Mex.

Our pitiful little tree. 
Lights not working, only about a third of the ornaments on it.
But definitely better than last year's non-tree.

So Sunday I realized maybe I needed to get some wine and cheese for this wine and cheese solstice  party. A quick trip to the store got me fixed up.

Happily I had about 14 friends show along with a good group of Bunny's pals. 

There were candles and wine and champagne and candles and it was lovely. Just enough people to visit briefly with everyone. 

We did not dance around a solstice bush (is there even such a thing?), celebrate the longer days to come, mourn the short days just passed or anything of that nature.

Ok, possibly a little bowing to the Sun Gods. 
Or maybe the Wine gods...

Still. It was a party on the solstice and I'm counting it!!

An up close pic of the tree-
looks a little more festive. 
I'm big on icicles, snowflakes and not much else.

Christmas in Texas was great. Got to visit with tons of people, see the nieces and the grand nieces and grand nephews along with my brother and SIL and nephew Andrew. Breakfast on Christmas morning with my MIL, a day spent visiting with my parents. Had a great dinner with some high school girlfriends

Many thanks to Ellen for hosting all these 
beautiful women for dinner. 
Forty years after High School!

I'll be back in Texas next week when my mom has a bit of surgery. 

But now Bunny and I are back in Colorado where winter has decided to arrive with a purpose.
There's snow and cold! 

05 January 2015

Deja Vu all Over Again/Welcome 2015

Deju Vu All Over Again  and Welcome 2015

I'm baaaccckkk!!

Seems like forever since I've written a post. I just know I've been terribly missed.

First a little Christmas holiday recap and then some thoughts for the coming year.

The holidays started out pretty much like last year.

Last year before we left town , we found this on our game camera:

Mountain Lion 2013

And exactly one year later, look who was on the game camera again.

Mountain Lion 2014

This picture isn't as clear, but that is probably the same mountain lion, staring into my yard,  less than 100 feet from my front door.

The more alarming part is that Bunny went outside the morning this was taken to get something out of her car. Out the door, over the raised deck and into her car, then back into the house. She came in shaking her head and said "Something growled at me. Twice."  She wasn't concerned because she thought it was Carlos, UNTIL she saw that Carlos was sitting right next to me. Nowhere near the back door.
I found a paw print under the deck.
Fortunately Bunny was NOT anyone's breakfast.

I also managed to maim myself 24 hours prior to arriving in Texas. Again. Nothing broken this time, just slammed my finger in the door of the Hummer. Hard. Three weeks later it still has a BandAid and it still hurts. Another Christmas on pain killers.

Last year.

There was a hospital visit, just like last year. This year it was my mom in for a test.  Last year it was me for a cast.

There was the flu rearing its ugly head again. Last year Bunny and I BOTH got the flu. This year it was Belle.

No Christmas decorations up at the Texas house but I expected that. At least the house was clean.

But Christmas was lovely and we had a great trip there and back. (Unlike last year.)

We returned to SNOW!!!  And Carlos, who had been in the kennel for TEN days.
Look how happy he is to be sitting in Belle's lap for the ride home from the kennel.

Carlos and Belle

And look at the fun snow we got to drive through for the last two hours of our trip!

 Beautiful snow covered mountain drive. 

And this is what we woke up to the next morning. 

Lots of snow!

So the New Year's portion of our holiday was pretty much spent doing this:

Christmas puzzles.

So... Christmas and New Years. Done.

On to 2015.

That means I have less than a year to finish my 60 by 60 list.  Yikes.

I did get No. 31 done. I'll post about that soon.

And while I don't have any resolutions, I do have some thoughts about the new year.  I'll post about that soon, too.

In the meantime, onward to the new year.

01 January 2015