Friday, October 18, 2013

2000+ vs 400+.........square feet

Ahhhh.....there's nothing like home.    

It's has unlimited water for showers, , it doesn't move, it has a comfortable couch for taking a nap on, it doesn't move, it has great neighbors,  there is a large closet full of clothes and shoes, it doesn't move, there's no angst when something won't work, AND, it doesn't move !! ....     It's good to be here....and I also noticed an interesting thing.    After being gone for 5 months and having senior moments now and then,  I've forgotten some of the things we have.  it's sort of like Christmas when you find something you'd forgotten about.    And, I had to relearn how to operate all the gadgets in  the car....and pay attention to where I was going.   I am delighted to enjoy my art books as if they were new and the pictures on the wall and the flowers and greenery outside.    Probably one of the few benefits of aging and memory .   
And, it seems we have had an explosion of squatters on the lanai....   We've always had the small and quick geckos, anoles, lizards or whatever you like to call them.    They don't really bother me except when the french doors are open and I wonder if they will consider hanging out in the A/C.     While soaking up the views and nice weather, I happened to think that there was some scurrying going on around me.    I started really looking and found them everywhere and in every size....from tiny ones to large..     I pondered my feelings about this and then pondered the kind ways of moving them out and then pondered the not-so-kind ways of moving them out.   Extermination won over my kind feelings.   My solution was to get the old vacuum with the long hose and to suck them up into the disposable bag.   The first attempt, I managed to eliminate 15 or so...I sort of lost count.  (the bag went in the trash)  Yesterday I managed to get only 4....I put a sandwich bag over the end, made it secure with a rubber band and left the death machine out where I can grab it in a minute.    Today I only saw one but decided to wait until I see more.    I know they will continue to come in and try and raise a family, safe from the birds, but I will be vigilant.     I learned that others use brooms, fly swatters and a spritz of alcohol in a spray bottle to stun them.   

We're back on the golf course.    We've played twice and I should have stopped with the first round.   But so far, the knee is cooperating altho I am not taking a full swing so I'm pretty wimpy out there.    He's back on the pickleball courts everyday and we're both sweating with the higher humidity.   Summer seems to have returned with a vengence.  

Today, on the 9th hole, our ladies foursome noticed a beautiful bald eagle circling above.   We were next to a pond and watched as it glided and swooped and dove .    It was a magnificent bird and so close that you could see details of the feathers and talons and beak.     And, I had no camera and the phone was in the golf cart.   I doubt I could have captured anything with the phone anyhow.   There are many  preserves here and the Audubon society recognizes their efforts for promoting open space and protecting the varied wildlife species.   

And now, I'm going to have a bit of wine in a stemmed  GLASS, not plastic..... because this house doesn't MOVE.  

Sunday, October 13, 2013

It's been a perfect summer.........

Early, early Wednesday morning, the crack balloon launch crew began the inflation of Flyer.   
 Lizzie knows her role and probably was dreaming of her Saturday launch on a 777, winging her way to Europe....with her parents.   She had a long list of "must sees".....

 Jenna flew this beautiful morning.....the crew is moving the balloon to a small you can see, there isn't an empty square foot during the Mass Ascension.
 It was a picture perfect morning.....
During the chilly sunrise, we were able to meet up with Pennsylvania and RV friends, Ron and Cay who were part of Adventure Caravans at the Fiesta.   We haven't seen them since Bryce Canyon NP even tho we've both been in Colorado.     Also, my favorite walking partner in The Villages and Newtown, was in ABQ visiting her friend Mary from school days in NY.    We had a good time catching up.    And I took no pictures of our gathering.

The weather forecast for Thursday and Friday was not optimistic for flying or driving a large MH as heavy rain and high winds were predicted.    So, we packed up the box and headed East, 2 days earlier than scheduled.      We had planned on a more leisurely drive but once we were headed downhill and the sun was shining.....we became rather intent on getting home.     We made it back this afternoon.....!!   On Friday we did 500 miles and yesterday, we drove 600+. This may not sound impressive if you were in a car, but going 60mph and being alert to other drivers trying to kill you,  in a MH, that is quite remarkable.   Plus, we both drive and split it pretty equally except thru busy large cities   We spent last night 125 miles from home and got up early to clean the moving house and organize all of our "stuff" for easy unloading.   We're getting pretty good at getting it all into the house in about an hour after arrival.    And then it's moved into storage because it  is a big impediment on our residential streets.  
It's really good to be home.     Freida and John greeted us and we can't wait to catch up with our summers.  
  We're both scheduled to play in our  golf groups on Friday so we'll be busy at the driving range and he will jump back into his pickleball group.    Weather is quite nice, mid 80's and humidity doesn't seem too bad.    It's a good time to visit if you have nothing better to do............
The blog may go a bit quiet now that I have no mountains and aspen and red rock and balloons to share.    But, IF and WHEN I get that hole-in-one, you'll be the first to know.  

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Balloon Shapes

I don't know how many balloons aren't round.....but the creativity seems to be endless.    A company in Brazil  does many of them.     Here are just a couple.    

 The hummingbird is new this year.....

 Several evenings they tether the balloons and have an "evening glow".    It is spectacular, especially if you walk among them.
 This was an accidental picture....I was taking a shot of Flyer off in the distance and managed to capture the baskets of two balloons as they passed overhead.  

It was Nicholas' turn to fly this morning.    If I had used a tripod, it might have been less fuzzy but I was surprised I even captured it from so far away.  
 And this is the awesome Miller chase crew........
 We don't have to go far.....grab some coffee and a front row seat for a view from the front window of the coach for those very early launches.  
Airabelle is probably one of the most popular shapes.    Owned by a local dairy, it is huge.   On all of the shapes, notice how small the gondolas are in comparison to the balloon....this gives you an idea of size.   Last year, she landed on a major road and tied up traffic for a bit.....

Monday, October 7, 2013

Balloon Fiesta , Year II

We left the western slopes of the beautiful San Juan Mountains just before they got a bit of snow and cold (about 6 inches worth) and headed East to the big city of Denver.   Ahhh,  shopping in the massive mall, familiar restaurants and more pickleball with the Parker Picklers.   And family !!   After 2 days among herds of mule deer in Cherry Creek SP (they fear nothing), we headed south on gusty I 25 to Santa Fe .   The next morning we were up early and off to Albuquerque for the a week of color.      
 Last year, before arrival, I suspected that we would see a lot of balloons.   They would go up and they would come down.   But I never had any idea of the splendor and breathtaking beauty of mass ascentions by 554 colorful and creative shapes that delicately float aloft and sometimes, indelicately, come down with a bump !   EVERYONE should see this at least once.  
 In the middle is Flyer with it's Colorado flag theme and piloted by Jon Schmitz and his Miller chase crew of many years.    All four of the grandkids have escaped from school, jobs and college to be here. It is a family tradition.    And we are delighted to be right in the middle of it all.
 The days start early, 5:30 with breakfast in the tents and then off for inflation at their appointed time.    After an hour or so floating along, the Flyer must come down .    It is getting harder and harder to find open space to land and on Sunday, Jon landed in a residential neighborhood where they were greeted with champagne and the delight of the families.   (The balloons are supposed to supply the champagne but this homeowner was happy to provide it !)  
We are "camped" in the Presidential Lot and overlook the gigantic field.   We have electric and water and the trucks come around daily to empty tanks as needed.   We have wonderful views out the front window.    Mike rents an RV and we are side by side.....they sleep in theirs and hang out in ours.   And we eat a lot, both here and in very good , and sometimes unique, dining spots in town.  
The internet is slow so I am only putting in a few pictures at a time.     This is Snow White and the 3 Bees.    She is new this year and the bee family is a  fan favorite.

Next issue will have the  evening glow and fireworks and more balloons.....!