31 March 2015


A Wonderful Happy Birthday ....

to my mom.

She's 91 today.  (I hope she doesn't mind my telling her age but I'm thinking if you are lucky enough to make it to 90 or beyond, then you might want to shout it from the rooftops! I certainly would.)

And she is still as beautiful and intelligent as ever.

I know this because I spent last week with her and my dad.

They also celebrated their 66th wedding anniversary last week, a number that completely blows my mind.

Recently ...

41 years ago on their 25th

 and 66 years ago.

Pics of just me and my mom are few and far between. I could only find this one.
I took a selfie with her last week, but because I really want to stay in her good graces, I won't post it. She didn't "have her face on" and really didn't want me to take it.  But this one from 2008 is a pretty good one. At least we both look decent.  

And I think I need to work on getting another picture with her. One every 8 or 9 years? Not enough.

Happy Birthday JeanMom!!!

25 March 2015

Birds of a Different Feather

Birds of a Different Feather Entirely...

Just happened to walk outside and look!

Last week I posted about all the birdies on the back deck that are eating the seed put out to entertain Carlos.

I also posted last year about all the birds that pass through at the beginning of Spring. They flock around the bird feeder for a couple of weeks and then pass on. (I think it is significant that these birds all came through last May. Spring seems to be starting MUCH earlier this year. I'm ok with that.)

But these guys live around here year round. Lots of people feed them but they are definitely wild birds.

I only wish their camouflage wasn't so wonderful. It makes it hard to take a picture of them in dappled light.

Wild Turkeys
 Altogether there were about 13 or 14 outside.

I don't usually see them this time of year. 
Most of the time I see them in November.
(How appropriate!)

They are sort of prehistoric looking, aren't they? 

Happy Spring.
Don't be a turkey.

23 March 2015

A Halloween Follow Up

A Follow Up on the Scary Halloween Story:

Last Halloween I wrote about a real life horror story that happened just around the corner. 
Click here for my Halloween post.

The neighbor who was charged with animal cruelty has  finally been to trial.

He was convicted of 57 counts of animal cruelty.

He will be sentenced in May.

Until then he is out on his recognizance.

The newspaper article here.

It's still a sad story. 

But I guess justice has been done.

18 March 2015

CBS: Carlos Broadcasting System

Doggy TV:CBS
The Carlos Broadcasting System

One of Carlos's favorite spots to hang out during the day is at the end of my bed, staring out the window.

(This is breaking one of my cardinal rules that I have always had about no dogs on the furniture
But rules are made to be broken and as my neighbor says "They aren't really rules, just suggestions." I'm trying to take that to heart more.)

Just waiting for some entertainment.

Occasionally a squirrel will dash past and he will leap at the window and bark.

Even more exciting are the deer. Then he will leap at the window, make a mess of it, bark AND whine to go out.   Although one time he chased the deer and instead of running, they turned on him and chased back.  I almost had one dog hightailing it into the front door with three bucks hot on his tail. Fortunately those bucks saw me and turned off at the last minute.

Anyway, it dawned on me that watching the window just waiting for something to happen might be pretty boring for Mr. Carlos. I have had such success with the bird feeder in the front yard that there are birds everywhere.  Maybe put some bird feed on the back deck? A spot where the birds would be up close and personal?

Good idea, mom.

Well, that idea was very well received by all concerned.

 Birds everywhere. 
I love the one on the right that is coming in for a landing.

I'm pretty sure both of these guys (gals?)are finches.

 There's a lot of singing going on outside the back door...

Occasionally they are joined by these plump little juncos.


 Love his little crest...
 LOVE that you can see the sunflower seed in his mouth.

 The little yellow one has a crest, also.

 These Steller's Jays are soooo flighty. 

 Most of my pics of the jays turned out like this...

One happy dog. 
So much more to look at.

If you'd like to see the winged visitors we had last spring, click here. 
Spring has a lot of birds flying through that we don't see the rest of the summer. 

I'm hoping all of these little visitors are harbingers of spring. It sure has seemed like it recently.

Cross your fingers. 

16 March 2015

Spring Break

Spring Breakin'

I've been MIA for  a good reason. (Did ya miss me?)

Spring Break is happening in different parts of our universe and we have had visitors.

First off some friends of the kids came to visit even knowing that my kids would not be around.  That made me feel pretty special for sure.   These are kids that practically lived at our house throughout elementary, middle and high school.  Now they are out of school but were visiting Colorado with the rest of their family.  They took an afternoon out of family time to come to the cabin.   And, as it turned out, they spent the night after making a wrong turn and taking twice as long to get here as they thought it would.

This is how long I've known these kids:

Bunny, Belle and Friend

The Big Guy and Friend

That was then and this is now:


You know what really struck me about having these kids come visit? How grown up they are!
They are adult-ish. I mean, they drove to see me. They were polite, lovely houseguests and when we got home from dinner we all had cocktails together. Because they are old enough to do that. And we talked about their plans for their futures and they were super interesting
How lucky am I? 

And after they left, Belle arrived.  Fortunately one of her friends picked her up in Denver and brought her to me. That round trip drive to Denver in one day can be grueling. I know because I did it on Sunday, returning Belle to the airport.

Anyway, I loved having my girls together even if it was only for a few days.

 Me with Belle. 
She's not a giant, I was just relaxed. 
Or slumped....

Bunny and Belle

On Saturday night the girls had their friend boys over for dinner and it hit me again.
Adults. Almost. Even with an age range of 17 to 21, these kids seemed so grown.

The guys, who have known each other practically from birth, were sharing stories and laughing and eating (and it was a pretty awful main course, I hate to say) and then they helped clear the table and were just FUN. 

So this is the pay-off for all those terrible two tantrums and late nights and constant supervision? Fun kids that grow up to be fun adults and are semi-responsible, etc? 


Next week is Spring Break for Bunny and she will be heading to Florida to stay with Belle. They will go to Disney BY THEMSELVES! No adult supervision required! 

I will go to Texas to check on the parents who are "vacationing" at assisted living for a month or so.

So posting will be infrequent (i.e. non existent) for the upcoming week. 
Bear with me. 

I'll be back on track eventually. I have to be. I'm running out of time to finish my list!

10 March 2015

What I've Been Doing...

What I've been doing....


Right outside my back door.

And trenches.

Moving the water....

And no, it's not fun.

Boots stuck in mud. Ugh. 

I've always wanted a "mud room" and when we got this cabin, lo and behold! It had a mud room. Ha! If I had known that a mud room was a requirement because there would be MUD, I wouldn't have been so anxious for one.

Carlos modeling in our mud room.
Prior to the arrival of actual mud.
See all those rubber boots? 
They get worn a lot.

In February there was about 30" of snow over a ten day period. Now we are warming up with days in the 50s and sun. So guess what? 

All of that snow is melting. And I have a dirt drive. A dirt drive that slopes from the lane down to my back door. 

 The steps right out the back door. 


It feels like the entire mountain of snow is melting and running down my drive.

This picture doesn't really really show how steep the drive is.
But it's all uphill from here.

The neighbor has taught me how to make little trenches to move the water.  That does help with drying things out. But as soon as I move some water, more comes. You can actually hear it burbling away as I dig my little trenches. 

My shovel is my friend.

Some days I'm needing the Hummer with "for real" four wheel drive just to get out of the drive and down the lane. 

The lane has a really low spot also. More mud. Washing the cars is just a joke. 

But this week there is nothing but sun forecast.  Crossing my fingers that the drive will dry. 

And praying that we don't get another 30" of snow. 

Shoes are covered in mud.
The deck is covered in mud.
I am covered in mud.

Pray for sun.

(Since I totally grew up in a city with concrete driveways and paved roads, this is all new to me. And new to Bunny. She told me the other day that if most of her friends from Texas actually saw where we live now, they wouldn't believe it. Too foreign. Too primitive.   That's okay. It's also
too beautiful and too fun*. But don't tell.)

*Except mud season, or when it's dumping snow. But most of the time, pretty marvelous.

04 March 2015

Another New Adventure...

Another new adventure in town.

Drive past the Aquatic Center almost every day but have NEVER set foot in the place before today. But neighbor Sue is in town, we both wanted to try it out, so off we went. 
It was dumping snow at the cabin and we were worried we might not be able to make the drive. Figured the highway had to be icy.  
But no.
As soon as we got off the dirt road, there was NO snow. Beautiful sunny day, dry clear roads.  You just never know. 

The Salida Hot Springs public pool is the largest indoor hot springs in the country!
Imagine that.
Hot water is piped from an underground spring eight miles away into the pools. There's a large lap pool, a smaller soaking pool and even a beach entry kid pool. There are also small private soaking pools if you want to get away from the masses. Pool water temps range from 84° in the lap pool to 100° in the soaking and kid's area. 

We soaked, we swam, we relaxed. The water was lovely. 

And then on the way out, Sue snapped a picture. 

Hot Springs in the Heart of the Rockies!

Would you believe it was entirely coincidental that it looks like I'm balancing that heart? 

Another fun day for the books. Or blog. 

02 March 2015


Definitona way of regarding, understanding, or interpreting something; a mental impression.

I am so fascinated by how minds work.

Unless you have been under a rock, you saw this picture last week:

Some of you saw it as a blue and black dress, some of you saw it as a white and gold dress. 

I've heard different explanations but the one that seems most prevalent and fact based is top-down processing, where we see what our brain expects. 

Get that?   We see what we expect to see.  That's what we perceive.

And then my friend Libby shared an article on the color blue and how it wasn't seen as a distinct color because people had no concept for that color.   The color was there, but people didn't distinguish it from greens or other dark colors.  They didn't have a name for it.  For some reason, blue was the last color to have a word for it in almost all cultures.  (The exception being the Egyptians, and that was probably because they were the only culture to produce blue dye way back when.)

Since it didn't have a name, people didn't see it. They weren't expecting it.  They couldn't perceive it!

So doesn't that make you wonder. What IS real?   

We think we know what we see is real.  Except what happens when what we see isn't the same as what others see? Is it less real? Nope.  Just perceptions are different.

Which somehow brings me to ISIS. 

(Maybe it's only my mind that can reasonably connect these three articles. But it does.)

Another friend, Alex, shared this article from The Atlantic on ISIS.

I'm not posting the actual article because it is very long.  But I really think it is worth clicking through to read. 

This article gives a pretty good theory/explanation of what ISIS is all about. Read it. 

And the main thing that I brought away from this article is that to most American citizens, we KNOW ISIS to be bad. Actually I think it is safe to say that we perceive ISIS followers to be batsh*t crazy.

But to the people devoted to ISIS, it is their religion and they KNOW it is good. That is their perception.  They are just following the will of their god.

Can be totally warped.

Until we as a world realize that our perceptions are based as much on what we are exposed to as what is tangible, we'll never understand where the other is coming from. The arrogance of insisting we are right and the other is wrong will never win anyone over or change perceptions.   

(Could you convince anyone that saw the dress differently otherwise? No matter how much you insisted?)

And while I have zero desire to understand ISIS, I know that if we as a nation/world want to defeat them, we have to know their reality first. 

(And that dress is blue and black.) 

(Edited from the first publication. Accidentally posted last night before summing up. )