Monday, August 25, 2008
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
One day, Andy talked me into going for a walk to the pond. It is about a mile from the house and once we got there, it was quite lovely and a perfect place for rock throwing. My rock skipping skills are pretty rusty. The walk back was entirely UPHILL. I had taken a wagon just in case some little legs got tired but never imagined that pulling 2 in a clunky big plastic wagon up a steep hill would be so daunting. So I made them walk. And half way up , they declared the need to rest. At which point the mother of these able-bodied children called to see how we were doing and then drove down and picked them up. The wagon and I continued our now peaceful journey uphill.
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
is the highest incorporated city in the US and boasts the highest golf course. It sits at 10,430 ft and back in its heyday during the silver mining boom, it had a population of over 30,000. Today, it is a quaint , seen better days, type of place but headquarters for exploring the beautiful mountain areas and camping.
Despite being in the minority, Lizzie held her own among the guys and became the videographer and photographer on the trails.
Here are Paul and Alex in downtown Leadville. In the background is the Golden Burro cafe, a favorite stopping point on our trips over the pass many years ago. They had huge, warm, fresh cinnamon rolls.
Camping was not entirely rustic. Mike originally planned on using the tent but with Paul going, they opted for more style. And they weren't alone. There were many many RV's dry camping as well.
Helping someone over a rough spot.
The area is dotted with the remnants of mining buildings. I remember that some of the more remote areas had entire towns still standing but very vacant and ghostly.
And you thought your roads were bad !
At over 11,000 feet on the Continental Divide. Mike, P, and Alex.
Saturday, August 9, 2008
Still no pictures of the Rocky Mountain Jeepers. Mike did send an email with the pictures embedded in it but I couldn't get them separated out. They are back down in Denver, just in time for torrential rain last night. I'm not sure when Paul will head east or where his destination will be. I am going back up to Ct to enjoy the little ones while their parents earn enough money to pay for the big house. I also plan to visit with long time friends from the area. Should make for a fun time.
Last night I was torn between watching the Opening of the Olympics and the John Edwards debacle.... For awhile, the slimy story won. One of the commentators was very harsh, calling him a slick and sleezy lawyer among other things. Obviously, we've been down this road before with politicians but they usually don't have a smart, talented wife with terminal cancer. Another commentator was so befuddled as to why he continued running for President with this in his history. He said he knew of very capable and excellent men who have chosen not to run because of background issues, including illegitimate children. Wouldn't we just love to know who that is?? It is just sad that men and power results in stupifying egomania.
But, on the other channel was the opening spectacle of the Olympics. I really had no intention of watching it but finally turned it on and was speechless ......the tens of thousands, the costumes, the coordination , the color, the symbolism. Wow !! But for a different take on all of this, go to one of my favorite bloggers and read her thoughts. http://www.tommythematerialgirl.blogspot.com/ . She also belongs to and writes about her Six Hole Golf League.........yup, they just play 6 holes and then adjourn for lunch and plan the various social events during the season.
The tedious job of decorating is losing its charm quickly. I did find a table and chairs and have been looking at fabric samples for some recliners that don't look like recliners but the enthusiasm is waning and I think that maybe boxes for end tables isn't so bad after all.
Sunday, August 3, 2008
Paul and Mike and Lizzie and Alex have taken this vehicle, minus the snow coverings, up to the mountains for a week of 4 wheeling....check out this site for details (I forgot how to use the hyperlink feature) www.mhjc.org/2008A4Fhome.htm They are also roughing it at the campground in the motorhome. I was certainly invited but preferred to keep my head at sea level. Many many years ago, 20 to be exact, when Jenna was very pregnant with Nicholas and Michael had a broken leg, the family spent a week 4 wheeling around the Ouray/Telluride area http://www.ouraylovers.com/ The area is breathtaking but terrifying when you are on a narrow trail high above nothing but air. We have often talked of returning, for a more sedate viewing , but have yet to make it.
Mike and Jenna went on one of these events last year in Moab and loved it. I'm hoping there will pictures to post this week. They have good cell coverage and I'm assuming Mike will be able to send pics out on his phone.
Meanwhile it is quiet here at the homestead. I'm determined to get this place settled and with that goal in mind, I'm heading to Orlando tomorrow with Ann and Jane , my nice friends and neighbors and golfing partners, to shop for STUFF.....but important stuff like maybe a chair or two or accessory pieces. My shopping enthusiasm just isn't what it used to be so I'll have to FORCE myself to keep going.
I went out looking on Saturday and think I might like these chairs. I'm going to get a round dining table and will be able to fit 8-10 chairs around it. I thought of getting 4 of these sea grass ones and 4 of something else. I don't like the matched look.
And here is a look at the area rug that we have in the living area. It is from Pottery Barn and has great colors in it. I just ordered another for the dining area. I had ordered a different one for under the table but it just didn't work. So my floors will certainly be bright. But the rest of the house is so beige, with walls and floors being neutral that this gives it a real spark. Both carpets are 9x12.
I would show you a pic of the new desk area and cabinetry and island, but it isn't done. One of the doors needs to be replaced and the shelving isn't in. I really am enjoying the space and organization capabilities. Plus, the cherry is just plain beautiful. Now I need to tackle the lighting overhead. Just too much to think about....................
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
It was great being in Ct and seeing the little ones and Becca but I do love coming home. This morning I played golf with my Wed group. It was a very early tee time and nearly dark driving over but I played really really well so I'm not ready to give up the game this week......and then Paul played also and just came home and beat my score by 2.....not fair I say.
Driving certainly was not the cheap way to go. Mostly we paid about $3.80 give or take a few pennies for gas. But in Ct, it was highway robbery. I found the cheapest I could find and it was $4.21 but most places were over $4.25. Now I realize that this might be cheaper than California but for the east coast, this was exorbitant. If I lived there again, I think I would have to revolt. My own Newtown Gas Party, akin to you know, the Boston one in 1700 something. It's all about the taxes they stick on the price but what do you get for that?.....are the roads any better than NJ, where they not only have really cheap gas, but it's a law that they pump it for you.
Oh, well, maybe I'll pick another battle. After I take a nap.
Saturday, July 26, 2008
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
A few of the neighbors gathered for an impromptu dinner at the Lopez Country Club last night. It was the Surf and Turf special and was actually very good. However, the risotto appetizer, described very exotically, tasted and looked like rice and peas minus the flavor. Paul tried the special drink of the night, a coffee flavored martini. It could be dangerous if it weren't so expensive. The club is decorated very feminine with galleries of Nancy Lopez tributes, trophies and family pictures. She has a home here also and shows up now and then.
We played 9 holes yesterday and it was HOT. No clouds, no breeze and covered in greasy sunscreen. And just why would we do this you might ask.? ..............because we can and because "golf is free in The Villages" and don't we all like a freebie with sunstroke on the side.?
This morning, a nice young man named Mike is installing our new desk and cabinetry in the kitchen nook.
Pictures to follow........
Friday, July 18, 2008
Then Tiger came along and Greg got older and more involved in course design and rarely played. So I have watched Tiger, even from his early days as an amateur. And I have other favorites as well.
But imagine my surprise when I gathered my knitting and my favorite chair and sat down to watch 7, yes SEVEN hours of golf yesterday and who is playing and playing very well???........yep, The Shark himself. Looking as fit and gorgeous as ever,( no doubt buoyed up by the fact that he is a newly -wed.) He and his wife both shed themselves of the old spouses and became a power couple. The cameras have focused on Chris Everett following him around the course. The TV coverage for the British Open is more than any other major tournament and I don't know that I am up for that much golf in 4 days.....or that much knitting. But this morning at 7 am when coverage started, I was able to see the man himself IN THE LEAD !!! at age 53 with all those young guns in the hunt. So, altho I won't watch much today as he has completed his round, you'll know where to find me on Sat and Sun. And if not in live time, it will be recording for future watching and posterity.
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
Today I went for my mammogram and a bone density scan. As usual, The Villages medical systems are a model of efficiency and customer satisfaction. Besides being in a gorgeous building, the staff are attentive and personable, I did not have to wait despite an obvious full schedule (the tech said they do 80-90 mammograms a day) and the Dr read the films and then gave me the report........I had everything done in an hour. And they made me an appt for next July. ....... and everything looked fine.
Thursday, July 3, 2008
Ahhh, the memory thing. I remember when I used to say that the thing I missed the most with aging was my eyes.......fortunately, when you have a life long partner, at least one of you can fill that gap or find that word or put a name to a face. Sorta like between the two of us, we manage to have one brain.
The moving process for Aunt Romayne went smoother than we ever could have hoped. Even the flying part was flawless, smooth, on time and we got all of our luggage. However, there might be a glitch coming up. Today we drove her over to see the faciltiy that we chose for her to live in. It is run by the same company as the one she lived in for 3 yrs in Colorado Springs. That one was very large, new and very
active. This one is older and much smaller in every way. From a friend who grew up in Ocala, we know that it is "the best" in the area. She had a spacious 2 bedroom 2 bath apt and now we are looking at a much smaller one bedroom. Much of her things will need to go into storage. The silence after the tour was palpable and we had a long talk. She said she will 'cogitate' on it overnight. The moving van will be arriving on Monday so we need to make a decision.........I'm not sure what our alternatives are. But she seems to be thriving here with us and in good spirits so far. And no, I don't think that is an option.....
While we were gone, the area went from a parched brown crunchy landscape to brilliant green abundant grass. It looks so pretty everywhere and the flowers are radiant. The weeds haven't devoured the yard but we do need to do some tidying. According to my plant sitter (neighbor Sue) it has rained almost everyday. The ponds are full again and the golf courses look luxurious. It thundered yesterday and we saw some significant lightening but no rain so far.
We've been catching up with friends and mail and laundry. A new golf group is forming but it is on my art studio day and I am really in a quandry. Golf, art.....golf, art.....golf, art..............maybe I can do both if I play early (just 9 holes).....90 min and I'm done in time for the 10 am art group.....might work.
We were gone almost a month and we had a wonderful trip. We were left wanting more which is always a good thing, but home sure feels good. Thanks to all of you who made the days special.
There are no fireworks in The Villages on the 4th. My neighbor said that they used to have them but they scared the old people so they stopped..........they also end any event by 9 pm......even New Year's Eve.!!! I think this place is pretty lively and there's an awful lot of aerobic activity going on so this 9 pm turn-off-the -lights plan is pretty lame. The boomers are starting to take over and no doubt they will have an affect on TV just like they affect everything else. For one, they can start with the radio station music. After awhile, oldies but goodies gets really really hard to take.
Wave your flag and have a wonderful holiday.....!
Monday, June 30, 2008
We began with a first course of edamame. For the uninitiated, these are soy bean pods, very warm with salt. You just eat the beans out and leave the shells. Very tasty and very healthy......well, maybe not the salt part. Jenna says you can buy these at Costco in a pouch and just pop them in the microwave to heat. They are really good and sort of like eating potato chips in that you can't eat just one. Next up for the brave souls was sushi. These are left to right, tuna roll, yellow tail, and a spicy tuna with avocado. I think I could eat the vegetable ones but I don't like cucumber or avocado and I'm not partial to raw fish. But most everyone else tried it. (It's certainly not cheap)Then the main attraction started with the flames to get our attention. Between the knife tricks, the egg twirling (for the fried rice) and tossing broccoli at us to catch in our mouths, it was quite a show. The food was spectacular. I had the filet mignon with lobster tail....cooked to perfection. Paul had the salmon and the kids tried chicken, shrimp and beef dishes.
After dinner , Lizzie received her ice cream with a candle and a hug from Kelsey, Nicholas' girlfriend. To change the subject quite a bit. Mike and Jenna have started on an immense project, a salt water fish tank. This is the tank, and it is huge.....210 gallons. They have another smaller tank that they have set up in order to learn the ins and outs of this major hobby. So far, they have kept an original anemone and he has even split in two but have lost a few fish. They are pretty close to putting fish in the large one. The entire thing is so complex and requires extensive plumbing , analysis and monitoring. Once it is established and stable, it will have stunning corals and colorful fish and creatures that just don't look real.
Monday and Tuesday will be moving day with a lot to be accomplished and on Wed, we fly to Orlando and home. This trip has been beyond our expectations and we are reluctant to end it. Funny how that is......I was not anxious to leave a couple weeks ago and not I'm not anxious to return. Well, I am anxious to get home but I will miss all that we have seen and done and all the good times we have had. Guess we'll just have to do it again. See you in Florida in a couple of days. Thanks for stopping by.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
We are playing lazy today and just cleaning and running errands and paperwork. The weather right now has potential for a summer storm so we are inside. Josh, in the middle, is my great nephew...my niece's son. He is spending 2 weeks in Colorado. He is learning to adjust from being an only child to a house of 4 kids. And 3 dogs and 3 birds and assorted fish. There used to be cats but Casey lived over 21 years and there are no more.
The drive down from Wyoming, on the right road this time, was busy with RV'ers. We have noticed from Minnesota on that they are out in full force. The KOA in Wyoming was almost full and the State Park is full for the weekend. People do make comments at gas stations but mostly its just curiosity and not derogatory. We have decided to leave it in storage here in Denver and hopefully, come out before fall to do some more traveling and then maybe drive it to Florida.
On Monday, we are packing up Aunt Romayne for her move to Florida. At almost 97, she is spry and sharp and excited about the move. She has outlived all her friends and her husband. She has lived most of her life in Colorado Springs and she and Pat are well known for their service in the community. She drove a 1968 standard shift black VW Beetle and just gave it up 3 years ago. She was the principal of the elementary school at the Air Force Academy and after her retirement, she volunteered in local schools until her late 80's. We have admired them for many years for their energy , vitality and generosity. We will enjoy having her near.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
We had intended to spend a leisurely afternoon in a campground in Hot Springs SD, south of Mt Rushmore but due to our lack of attention (one of us was dozing.....) we took the wrong road and ended up in WYOMING!! So we slogged on with less enthusiasm and finally arrived at this nice KOA with free WiFi.
Haven't decided our itinerary for tomorrow but we are closing in on Denver. We're a bit ahead of schedule so may have to find the scenic route.
Sunday, June 22, 2008
The next morning, we ventured out for a tour of the lakes. Some ingenious person invented this contraption to get boats from one lake to the other. The boat is eased up in front of this structure and the attendant on the land raises a raft that is under the boat and guides it over by cable and lowers it on the other side. Guy deftly positioned it perfectly for the carry-over. Here are the cables and tracks to guide the raft over. A crowd gathered to watch the operation.
After traversing the first obstacle, we had to cross under a highway. This tunnel was very low and Guy learned last year the hard way when he tried to go thru with the canopy up.... But this time , we ducked low as we went thru and came out on the large Detroit Lake.That evening we tagged along to a cocktail party. Altho we grew up in ND, we did not stay long so it has been years and years and years since we have listened to that midwestern twang. And heard the names of towns and places once so familiar. We welcomed the simple surnames of Johnson, Peterson, Olson and appreciated the beauty of the Scandanavian blondes. We ended the evening with a dinner of walleyed pike and skipped the popular whitefish livers.
And finally.....it's been too long since we've had the gratuitous grandchild picture...at least 3 days. Jon and Marybeth had a moving sale and among other things, sold this Little Tykes large plastic play set. Here is Mason watching it go away...I hope he understood.
We head for Denver today and a couple long days of driving.