26 February 2015

Thursday on a Friday... Again.


Thursday on a Friday again.


No real reason except I've worked more this week (at the paying job) and I made a little commissioned quilt and we have had snow which somehow takes up time.
How does snow take up time? Well, you have to brush the snow off the cars before you can even get into them to start them. Then the car likes a good 10 minutes to warm up and help melt the ice off. The decks need shoveling. The walk needs shoveling. Driving is slower and my 7 minute drive to work takes 15 minutes. Stuff like that.

The cars have looked like this all week.

Anyway, so I'm a day late. Not the end of the world. 

And because I have been doing these other things, I totally have come to a standstill on my 60 by 60 challenges. That will change, but not in the next few weeks. 

In the meantime, I did order some calligraphy supplies and am anxious to get to work practicing some letters.

New toys. Yay!

And work has been a blast. Who knew that I would love making coffee?
I barely drink coffee myself!
And maybe it isn't the actual coffee making but the people I'm making it for that I enjoy so much. 

On Wednesday I had a nice looking gentleman, maybe 65ish, come in. He was a true cowboy, originally from Wyoming. Chatty as so many people that come in are. (Or is it that I'm chatty and we just engage? Not sure.) I've never before worked at a place where people come in and introduce themselves.
"Hi! I'm So and So. You a local?" 

Anyway Mr. Cowboy ordered a latte plus some ice cream for himself. Then he also ordered a kid's cup of ice cream for his Golden Retriever who was cooling his heels out in the truck. Mr. Cowboy had Butter Pecan in a cone. Sutter, the Golden, stuck with Vanilla.

Now it just happened that I had read the Pioneer Woman's blog Wednesday morning about how happy she is to be married to a cowboy. How cowboys are helpful and resourceful and if you have a flat tire, one will be there to change it-no complaining, no matter the time of day or night.
Which reminded me of Bunny saying how nice it was the guys in our little area of Colorado were so resourceful. These guys know how to change tires, jump start cars, build fires, shoot guns...things that are not so common for the boys back in our part of Texas.  Texas has plenty of cowboys but not necessarily where we live.  So this is a new concept for my girlies.

Pioneer Woman's cowboys. 
Photo by Ree Drummond.

As I was scooping the ice cream , I relayed to Mr. Cowboy Bunny's thoughts on the local guys versus the Texas big city guys and he perked up. Asked my daughter's age and when I mentioned I had two of them, he really got bright eyed. 

Turns out Mr. Cowboy has a neighbor who is also a cowboy, 21 years old, and owns outright 60 head of cattle.  Sells the calves and invests the money. Doing quite well for himself. But they live in a really rural area and "it's slim pickin's for girls" where they live. Maybe my older daughter would be interested? 

I had to break it to Mr. Cowboy that both of my girls have friend boys already. 

Not pimping those girls out yet. 

Then, because it was quiet in the store, I went out and met Sutter who was the sweetest most gigantic Golden Retriever I'd seen in a while.

One of my favorite pics of our Golden Retriever, Jake, with Bunny.
Bone cancer took his back right leg but he never seemed to notice. 
Then bone cancer took his life. We noticed. 

And I get paid for this. 

Life is good. 

23 February 2015



We have had a bit of snow recently. Quite a bit.

Eighteen inches in about 34 hours.

That's the most snow I've ever seen here at one time. And I've never seen it snow non-stop like that.

Today was even a snow day for Bunny. School was cancelled. Apparently the last time that happened at Salida High School was 10 or 11 years ago.   Even my work was cancelled. So this was serious snow.

And it was soooo pretty.

 Cozy and warm cabin in the woods.

And there was soooo much of it.

Thank goodness for silly neighbors that love to move snow. We managed to buy a house across from a former CDOT snow plow driver. He's retired but still plows the road and our drive. Bless his little heart.

I've learned there is an art to plowing roads. Do it wrong and there will be piles of snow in the wrong places.   And that snow has to go somewhere. Better plan ahead for that.

Because those cars were pretty well socked in. Not to mention the silly Hummer had a dead battery. Again. Every time it gets really cold or doesn't get started for a few days- kaput.  And yes, it's a new battery. 

I never got this little Hummingbird feeder put away last fall. I had to get the ladder out to reach it, and I didn't.  That's okay. I've learned the Hummingbirds will fly off anyway. And come back.

 We reupholstered the patio furniture...

...with snow seat cushions.

Snow table cloths, too.  Look at that pile of snow on the little table!

The snow went inside my knee high boots. It was that deep.

Carlos apparently was in Heaven. Or trying to signal the aliens. Look at those paths.

Silly dog.

By 3pm, the snow had been cleared, the sun was shining and the neighbor was back for a visit on the front porch. The temp went up to the mid 40s. Glorious day.

And tonight there was even snow at the Texas house. Definitely not as much as here in Colorado, but probably more exciting.

That groundhog must have known what he was talking about.

I see my weather forecast includes snow pretty much the rest of the week.

Happy winter everyone.

18 February 2015


Prerogative- my right to change my mind

"It's a women's prerogative to change her mind."

A little over two years ago when I came up with my  60x60 list, I gave myself the leeway to change my mind on some of the challenges.

As I'm entering the last year of my challenges, some of them just don't appeal like they did when I first came up with them. 

So I am changing one of them. Maybe more, but just one for right now.

So Number 5 and Number 7 are combining to become Number 5.  Sort of. It's an  either/or/and option.  And Number 7 is becoming "Learn calligraphy".

It's an art form in ink. 

magical handwriting!

While my handwriting can be pretty good, it's not consistent, and I want it to be amazing. 

At least amazing on command. 

Actually I would love to have my handwriting analyzed. 
My handwriting changes all the time. Sometimes it's upright, sometimes slanted, sometimes huge and loopy, sometimes narrow. I'm not sure which sample of handwriting would be the "correct" one to have analyzed.  

So maybe if I learn calligraphy, I will stabilize my handwriting and therefore my personality. 

Or not. That's probably expecting too much.

But Number 7 is now Calligraphy.

I have a loooonnnnggg ways to go.

16 February 2015



 I used to say this to my kids all the time. Garbage In, Garbage Out. 

 A steady diet of SpongeBob can turn your brain to mush.

My brain, somedays....

But somewhere along the way, the kids grew up and I've pretty much given up on trying to monitor what they watch/read/etc. I mean, 2 out of 3 of them are legally adults and the third one certainly thinks she  is an adult.  There is just so much  monitoring I can do. 

And maybe I've let my own habits slide.   Seems recently I have been overdosing on Hallmark movies. First a solid month of Christmas movies, followed by another month of Valentine's movies. Mindless nirvana

And my reading habits, while being voracious, have centered around "cozy mysteries" and basic "chick lit". 

What I'm getting at is none of this challenges me.

So one of my favorite bloggers, Hollywood Housewife, has challenged herself  and her readers to read some classics this year. I've made a deal with myself. For every cozy mystery I read, I get to read a classic. 

Here's HH's list of classics that she will be reading and discussing this year.

(1813) PRIDE & PREJUDICE by Jane Austen (279 pages)
(1818) FRANKENSTEIN by Mary Shelley (273 pages)
(1847) JANE EYRE by Charlotte Bronte (500 pages)
(1864) NOTES FROM THE UNDERGROUND by Fyodor Dostoevsky (138 pages)
(1899) THE AWAKENING by Kate Chopin (195 pages)
(1937) THEIR EYES WERE WATCHING GOD by Zora Neale Hurston (256 pages)
(1939) THE GRAPES OF WRATH by John Steinbeck (496 pages)
(1954) LORD OF THE FLIES by William Golding (182 pages)
(1957) ON THE ROAD by Jack Kerouac (307 pages)
(1960) TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD by Harper Lee (324 pages)

I just read Pride and Prejudice a couple of years ago along with Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, so I felt like I had covered that classic sufficiently. Skip.

Many of these books are available on your Kindle for free or at least less than $5.00.  I downloaded the entire list.

And I've started on Frankenstein, the second book on her reading list.

I read it when I was much younger (a teenager!?). When I started it today I was surprised. I don't remember it starting this way. And yes, it challenges me. I can't just zip along. I have to actually read and think. And that's the point. 

 A little less garbage in. 

Join me? 

12 February 2015


Passion ( Happy Valentine's Day)

I've talked before about passion, passion for your work or life.

Today I'm thinking about passion and love.

I mean it is going to be Valentine's day and, of course, 50 Shades of Grey is coming out in theaters.  I believe there's some passion in that movie.

Do you marry your passion? Or is passion so intense that it can only be in small doses?

Does passion for something or someone make your life easier? Or harder?

I found this quote and while it intrigues me I also think "Ah! This relationship would be work."
But worth it? Probably.

I want a trouble maker for a lover,
blood spiller, blood drinker, a heart of flame,
who quarrels with the sky
and fights with fate,
who burns like fire on the rushing sea.

Or maybe we should look at Trollope's view of passionate love.

Passionate love, I take it, rarely lasts long and is very troublesome while it does last. 
Mutual esteem is very much more valuable.
-Anthony Trollope

Hmmm. He may be right but it sure sounds boring.

How about

Unless it's mad, passionate, extraordinary love, it's a waste of your time. 
There are too many mediocre things in life.
Love shouldn't be one of them.
-Dreams for an Insomniac

I like that one.

I don't have any answers. Not sure what's right. But I like to think about it.

the sun loved the moon so much 
he died every night 
to let her breathe

09 February 2015



Who in the world would have thunk it?

I know I promised no more photos,  but look!

Look what was out my window!


I had to post them.

Possibly I was feeling lazy and had nothing else to post. But I didn't want to disappoint.
Or possibly I did have an elk and a bear and a mountain lion all in my front yard, dancing in tutus.
Hard to say.
Happy Tuesday.)

04 February 2015



More pictures.

I wasn't going to but then I downloaded the ones from my camera and I couldn't help myself.

Also, I went out to take more pics of the eagles but couldn't find them. On my way home I saw elk instead! Soooo exciting.  First time I have ever seen them so close to the house. Only the second time I have seen them in this area.  And I had my camera with me. Happy day.

I was showing the elk pictures to my neighbor, explaining how they were all together so I couldn't really get a good shot. In fact, the little herd was all "women and children" and they were moving in this big field like a very tight school of fish. One would turn and they all would turn.
Neighbor patiently explained to me that they were running from something.
Now I could kick myself for not hanging around. I imagine if I had been patient, there would have been a mountain lion, too. Definitely made absolute sense when he said it as that is exactly how the elk appeared. Frightened, hyper alert, one unit.

 Look at their eyes. On the alert.
Exit, Stage Right.

And more Twin Sisters pics. Sorry. The sky has just been too, too.

 More snow and clouds.

I think these Sisters are drama queens. 
Look at that sky.

And not the Twin Sisters, but the mountains out the back door.  

I love the way the sun was just on the mountain top.

And of course, our yard ornaments.  They are so cute. And so unafraid.

 There are tiny green shoots coming up under this dead grass.

 The deer have been having a field day with the new growth.  Yum.

 Even the baby knows where to look.

Snowing. Settled in until it stops.

Next week I promise no more mountain or animal pics. Unless Carlos does something amazing.
Or elk and mountain lions show up dancing in tutus in my front yard. 

Have a great weekend.

02 February 2015

Everything is Beautiful

Everything is Beautiful...Really

I live in the land of beauty. "America, the Beautiful"
(The song was written about the Pike's Peak area, a mere 100 miles away.)

I would love to say I'm an amazing photographer but reality is, I'm not.
I have a very good camera and a decent telephoto lens.
But truthfully here all that is required to take a GORGEOUS outdoor photo is a phone, a throw away camera, a Polaroid. ANYTHING will work. Not even sure eyesight is required. Just point and shoot and pretty much anywhere the camera eye lands will be a good pic.

Today I  thought I would share a few pics with you.
(So you can be jealous.)

First the Twin Sisters. This is the view out my front door.  It is also the view driving up the main road to the house. And the view from across the river at the dump.
Located in the Sangre de Cristo Mountain range, they have an elevation of a little over 13,000 feet. And they seem like they are literally right outside my front door. But they aren't.
My neighbor calls them the "Twisted Sisters" because a lot of our snow and wild weather comes straight across the top of them.
I call them Belle and Bunny.

I could take a picture every single day and they would all be gorgeous and all be different.

 At dusk.

 As the sun rises.

 Covered in snow.

 Covered in clouds and snow.


Good morning.

And from across the river, they are still amazing.

Or driving up the main road.  I stop probably once a week just to marvel at this view. Still.

See? Look at that sky. Those mountains.
And this was taken from inside my car with my iPhone. 
While driving.

Then there is the sky. It will stop you in your tracks.

Really. These are the colors. Not edited, filtered, nothing.
Just nature.

And the wild life. The deer are fat, happy and unafraid. 

 Isn't this baby adorable? 

This one, too.

I love this little deer train. 
Four of them? Five?
And this is what I mean. Great photo taken by the game camera.
No human involvement required.

There are American Bald Eagles that live on the river near where Carlos and I go walk.  Usually they are too far away to get a good picture, UNLESS I don't have my camera. One day they were in a tree right above me but I had no cell phone and no camera. That will never happen again.

These birds are enormous.

Once you know where to look, they are very easy to find. 
I was so excited the first time I spotted one.

And these two guys live near the dump. They wander the acreage there and while unbroken, they are obviously not too wild. I spoke to their owner (who owns the dump) and they are descendants of horses that his great grandfather owned, one of which was a U.S. Cavalry horse. Pretty cool, huh? 

"Got anything to eat in there?"

"I'm not getting out of the way until you come up with food."

There's beauty out there. I am beyond lucky to live where I do. But look around. It's everywhere.
Where do you find your beauty?


O wait!!!!

I forgot my own personal wildlife.