Thursday, December 8, 2016

Making progress.....

My neighbor became  a new grandmother and I had picked up several of these kits awhile ago.   I knit one up quickly, amid packing boxes and found it to be just the cutest thing.    I made the small for a little tiny boy, Caleb.   I will probably donate the others when I finish them.   Great fun knit.  

 A view of the emptying home as it waited to be loaded on the van.   We tried to be organized but that wasn't always successful.     We look forward to the day when we are all reunited in one place.

And for those of you who have never visited, yes, that is a giraffe.   My dad carved carousel animals and all of his children and grandchildren each have at least one.    They are a wonderful heirloom and a conversation piece.   The movers pondered and measured and wrapped and wrapped and found a safe place for both the horse and the giraffe in the van.  

It took a full day to load everything.    The next day we cleaned  the house and loaded the RV.    We had planned a dinner out with friends but this old couple just plain wore out and ran out of time.    We moved the RV to a nearby RV park where we could plug it in to keep the refrigerator and freezer cold.   ( I had cooked up a boatload of food for our trip west).    Early Saturday morning, we caught a flight to Denver.    
We always enjoy our time in the big city with Mike and Jenna.    Alex was the only 'grand' at home but the dogs and birds filled in.  
On Monday, we headed west to Montrose.    There were chain restrictions in effect on I-70 for the truckers which meant snow and ice so we opted to head a bit south to 285/50.   I'm always in awe of the beauty of Colorado.    The fresh snows made it a Kodak moment everywhere we looked.

The house looked good and warmed up quickly .    The fireplace is a magical thing with a remote for all the different settings.   I'm used to just flicking a switch on the wall.  

The movers said they would be here on Fri or Sat at the latest.    I think they were  overly optimistic
 as we can track them on their website and they are not even close.   Maybe Monday ?   I was hoping for the maximum days to unpack before we leave again on the 20th.

It's cold here but pretty.    We had a nice coating of fresh snow and the man of the house was able to use a broom to clear the driveway ( no shovel in the garage yet ).    The air is so dry that we really don't get the snowman/snowball sticky snows.    Today we are taking a break and heading over to the iconic Victorian mountain town of Ouray for lunch and some wandering about.    With all their snow and Christmas decorations, it will look like a postcard.      Pictures soon..........

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Done and done.......

I see a bit of snow at the end of the tunnel......and we're heading right into it.    Remind me again why we decided to move from summer to winter !  

Movers arrive in a day.   I will be very happy to see them cart all these boxes away.   Currently, every room has large boxes, a disarray of furniture,  a lack of livability and an occasional gecko running amok in it all.   (we've had the doors open and I've spotted 2 of them inside ).   They usually just dehydrate fairly quickly and end up a mere shell of their former creepy selves.)

The most daunting part of this is that I have to UNPACK it all in very short order.    We've thinned the detris quite a bit but also decided to take things to donate to Habitat resale store in Montrose.    Yes, we are PAYING to ship stuff so we can give it away.     We have donated some things here but the local  places don't need it as badly as our new community.

We've been saying our goodbye's and hoping we can encourage them to come for a visit and see why we left  "America's Friendliest Hometown"  .    We wined and dined on Thanksgiving with a very delicious traditional dinner prepared by Nina and Bob.    And then, the next day, after a mediocre round of golf, we went back and finished off some of the open wines and tasty leftovers.       And yes, we did eat it all, including the turkey......and our arteries didn't clog up and our stomachs behaved.  But we're back on the wagon and more comfortable.

In between it all, I have been reading....." The Underground Railroad" is unsettling and unforgettable and I highly recommend it.  "News of the World" was an easy, if rather violent read about returning a 10 yr old white child to family after living with an Indian tribe for 6 years.   Haunting and sad.  

We do have a contract on the house.....seems like it was a bit too easy.    A neighbor stopped by while walking her dog and inquired about the house.    They are new to TV and have decided they want a bigger house but want to stay in this neighborhood.    We close on the 16th or sooner depending on when they come back from the north.(we will be long gone)     So, no realtor again, no FSBO and not much angst.   We did have to pay mightily to have a pool part fixed but at least no new roof or sinkholes lurking .

It's been a fun time these last 8 years but it's time to downsize from the two house thing.    We'll look forward to doing some exploring in the winter months  and having all the 'stuff' in one place.

See you down the road  in a bit..........

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Moving right along......

 We finally have new neighbors...... This lovely couple seem to have moved in and enjoy daily lunches in the back yard.     Sand hill cranes mate for life and I suspect there will be a little one in the spring.    When they are small, they look like yellow chicks with short necks.

We have been back 5 weeks and have yet to hit a golf ball. !    That seems very wrong.    Our new sport involves packing and packing and more packing.    We won't talk about whether we have sold this house (don't count your chickens and all that )  but we are headed west very soon.     Movers will be here in 2 weeks and  the month is full of changes.    

We really really look forward to getting settled once and for all.   We've been in a state of upheaval for months and it's time to put our feet up and enjoy the view.       Selling two homes, buying another and all the upheaval and stress that accompanies it is not for the faint of heart.    One of us has a steady hand and smart, well thought out approaches to make our plans a reality.    The other is good at whining but can declutter and donate with abandon  and lift heavy boxes.    We make a good pair and will celebrate 53 years of happily ever after soon.        We are very proud of the life we have made together and even prouder of the amazing family that surrounds us.  

Sunday, October 16, 2016

We're getting good at moving.........

We've been back a week and we've hit the ground running.    The 'to do' list is massive and overwhelming if we look too closely at it.    First up was the semi-annual cleaning of the lanai.   It is really unusable until the dirt and black mold is excoriated from every inch.   It took me two days to clean .   It's always a challenge to remove the debris and avoid washing it into the pool or spa.....altho it sure is tempting.      The drains have small holes and it is tedious to force the dirty water in that direction.     I was doing well until I accidentally hit a dying jade plant with the powerful water spray and dirt and dying jade went everywhere......on the screen, the furniture and in the pool.     What a mess.    We tried to get some of it out but the pool girl had to work extra hard this week and she did a good job cleaning up after us.     With the semi annual cleaning, we also have the gecko round up.    They are disgustingly dirty with their droppings (like mice) and I become obsessed with their demise.   There weren't as many this year and between the wet-vac and the washer, I probably removed about 10 from the reproductive cycle.    One year I got over 30.    

 The weather was coolish and overcast for much of the week and that helped a lot with P's efforts power washing the outside of the house.    ( coolish is 80's, breezy and less humidity).  

We met with the realtor and she assured me that we don't
 have to paint which was a big relief.   But we will have the driveway and walk's a thing down here and gives a good first impression but it's never interested us.    After all, it's just a driveway.       And no change in the landscaping needed altho I'm of the opinion that it could use a bit of a refresh.    We can't list it until the driveway is done in 10 days so in the meantime, we are decluttering and packing.

Not sure why there is such a rosy glow to this pic but since this view yesterday, I have packed 8 large boxes.   Movers will do the dishes and pictures and mirrors and such but I'm on a roll now.     I think half of what I come across will go to the Habitat resale store.

Meanwhile, in the midst of our chaos, Jenna drove here with Becca from Denver to get her situated in an apt and new job in St Petersburg.     She will take some of the furniture and linens and such but I'm sure much of her grandparent's stuff is not what a 25 yr old considers usable.   We are excited for her and believe she is more than ready to begin her new life.    But sometimes, it feels like we should shelve our plans to leave and stick around.....just in case a grandmother is needed !

Enough of this boring chatter.....mostly, this is just a note to let me know where we were when I check back in a year or so.         We're tentatively pulling up stakes in about 6 weeks and time is flying by............

Friday, October 7, 2016

Holding in Place.......

We are currently in Gaffney SC.    It's in the western part of the state, near Greenville/Spartanburg.    We have the annual RV maintenance done here each year on our trek to FL.    We had hoped to leave here tomorrow and be back in TV by Sunday.     But based on the initial forecasts, we will probably avoid the mess farther south and enjoy the parking lot of this place for a couple of days.    Once we learn that the roads are open and winds/rain are long gone, we will tiptoe our way south.....we'll probably have to head west again, towards Atlanta instead of Savannah.
We left our new unfinished home on Sat, as scheduled.  It was hard to leave.   I have a lot of plans for it and am anxious to get settled.    Of course, the weather was just perfect but the day after we left, the chilly jeans and sweater weather settled in.
The drive thru the mountains was gorgeous with the changing aspens and dustings of snow on the peaks.     We had a relaxing weekend with the kids in Denver and ate lots of good Mexican food.

Since then, it's been long days  across the plains.    The weather has been good, even tho we had to drive a bit longer one day to leave some tornado watches behind us.      We usually schedule a day off along the way but this year, its 400-500 mile days with no breaks.    Last night we stopped to enjoy Nina and Lillie in Lexington (great nieces, 2 and 5 and so good to be around the young ones again).   Then it was dinner at the unique Windy Corner Market..... highly recommend it !   Plus, the drive down country horse lanes with impressive estates is a treat.

So, now it is Friday morning and we are stuffed after oatmeal at Cracker Barrel.   Of course, I had to have part of a pancake as well....they are fluffy and served with real maple syrup.... yummy!     There's not much to explore around here, plus it's raining.    So, we sit in the waiting room with CNN blaring every detail of the weather in the background and hoping the MH will be done in a few hours.    No problems, just annual   ( expensive) stuff.  

Talk soon..........

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Counting down.......

Time is fleeting and we're down to just a few days  before we head east and back into the heat and humidity.   Of course, the weather here is picture perfect and it is hard to leave this beautiful fall.       But, the selling season is beginning in earnest in TV and we hope it is the buying season for someone as well.  

 Meanwhile, around here, the dust has been flying.    We opted to have the stone on the fireplace continued up to the top....the mantle was too high and there were some other modifications needed.    Lloyd, the talented mason, spent 5 days on that very high scaffolding.   He was an interesting sort, a Montrose native who is not what he appears.    He is well educated and very smart and very talented.....but his truck, covered in camouflage and his slow drawl, laid-back persona and wayward hair were an interesting picture.     I learned all about elk hunting with a bow as that was his goal once the fireplace was finished.    He also talked about the massive homes and stone work that he has done in Telluride and in the surrounding ranches.      We are very pleased with the final product but

 the amount of fine stone dust that permeated every surface was staggering.   We covered what we could and closed doors but it took 2 days of wet dusting and mopping repeatedly to get rid of it.

We're still waiting for painters (note sample colors on the wall) but that may happen while we're gone.  The current color is a grey with lavender tones in certain light.  

 Just a bit of color ..... my neighbors coleus in her entry which are quite massive and beautiful.

Altho it is not peak aspen color, we needed a mountain fix.... we headed up Last Dollar Road....the back way to Telluride.

There are many aspen stands along this road and when the sun shines thru the gold shimmering leaves, it is a goal of photographers to try and capture the color.   

 If you take the paved road to Telluride, you follow that canyon in the foreground.  Altho very pretty, we prefer the high road.

We'll talk soon, either on the road or from the tropics.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Change is in the air......

My two favorite guys.    

 We've totally moved in to the new digs.   It's spacious and comfortable but needs a few tweaks.   The front door needs painting, the fireplace is getting a facelift, the grey lavender wall color will be replaced with a warm beige ..... and the list goes on.  

Mike and Jenna drove over and helped tremendously.    This house was wired for a state of the art sound, TV, electronic system, circa 2008.    The equipment even has it's own little room.    The previous owner loved toys and we think he invested A LOT in this extremely complex system, requiring frequent house calls by the company.     The wife said she couldn't figure it out and had to rely on him to turn on the TV or change a channel....they left 5 TV's attached to walls.     Since it is all Microsoft equip, our first born and talented Microsoft employee spent many hours with his able assistant attempting to understand and make the system operable.    They succeeded and the learning curve is becoming less daunting.   I suspect that in today's world, all those X Boxes and cables would be replaced with one computer.  

 Friends of Mike and Jenna's were in the area so we all met up for some time in the hills.    Here, we are airing-down the tires before heading out.    This makes a big difference in the comfort level....from a jarring jangling ride to a bouncy rolling climb.    

Up above Red Mountain and down the other side  to have lunch in Silverton.  

The aspen are changing rapidly  and full color will be showing up before we leave.     We'll get out once more time to capture the wonder of it all.  

Plans, as of today, will be to leave on the !st and head to Florida.    We'll stop in SC for the annual RV maintenance and then hit the ground running to get the house ready FOR SALE.   We'll let the realtors handle it this time.
Meanwhile, we're putting on our boots and hats and heading to a barn dance tonight....yee haw !!

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

August happenings....and a bit of September.......

Since last we talked.............. The Connecticut Crew arrived and I can now look up to Andy.    What a good looking kid with a mop of curly hair.    Mason is all about baseball and wears his Newtown team hat proudly.    They spent a day rafting on the Colorado ( I shopped in Glenwood Springs).

For some reason (probably operator error) I could not get pictures to go here....see them at the bottom.

Mary Beth and Jon hiked the iconic Hanging Lake trail (we did it years ago and might consider the challenge again).

The National Park service offers a scenic trip down Gunnison Canyon ...... in the late 1800's, an attempt was made to build a railroad thru this canyon but it was short lived.

This was the symbol for that railroad.....Note the peak in the distance and the one on the sign...same view.    The rail bed is now submerged but the Ranger talk of history, geology and ecology was interesting.    Some people resist this adventure because of the 232 steps down to the river and back UP.   Of course, Andy and Mason were first down and up!    But the old folks weren't that far behind.  

We've had busy busy weeks since their leaving.      Last week, we took a break from the house stuff and headed over to Mt Princeton Hot Springs Lodge.     We spent 3 days exploring the Collegiate Peaks from on high with 2 other Jeeps.   It was a perfect get-a-way.

After we came back to earth, we closed on the new house.     This is the great room with views of the golf course and the San Juan Mountains.
This kitchen needs a party!

Hanging Lake

 The FSBO on this house was successful with a hopeful closing the end of the month.....altho nothing is for sure until the paperwork is done.  
This is the best time of year.....well, spring and summer aren't bad either.....  fall is in the air and the leaves are turning.   Plan a trip west ( or east )....we have plenty of room !

Saturday, August 13, 2016

Summer Synopsis

It's been a busy summer.    Golf ( Couples and Ladies), Pickleball ( in the Cobble Creek groupings and with Montrose Rec Dept ( a beautiful new Rec Center will be ready in winter...yea !!  ),  Hiking with our Hiking Club friends in the stunning beauty of the mountains and Jeeping into the thin air of the mountain passes to revel in the carpets of amazing wildflowers and the unparalleled vistas.

That would be huge herds of sheep.....and if you get up close, they are smelly and dirty and really mess up the place.......


That's the shelf road down to room for passing....

Meanwhile, when we are having down time, we are enjoying the high-speed antics of the hummers at the feeder.  We have about 6 that are feeding all day and they do not always play nice.    They can be very aggressive and defend their habitats and feeders.    I think they are black chinned hummingbirds.   I can stand up close and personal and they seem to not even notice....but I do wear glasses to avoid a run in with that beak.  


And the BIG consuming summer activity has been the buying and selling of houses. ( altho the house seems to be a bit crooked, I think it was the photographer who was not quite awake )    We've been thinking of making some changes for awhile and have considered any number of options.    After all of the angst and pondering and hand wringing and a bit of wine,  we are in process......   We are selling this house and will sell the FL house (going back in Oct to get it listed) and we are going to combine all of our 'stuff' into one larger house just a few doors down the street here in Cobble Creek.     We are excited about staying in this wonderful part of the world but a bit stressed by all the changes and commotion that needs to happen.   We just feel like this is where we belong, surrounded by great neighbors and friends and nature at its best.   We will miss our Florida friends and neighbors and warm winters but  we probably won't spend too many snowy days here and look forward to exploring Arizona or Mexico or .......  

Sunday, July 3, 2016

When last we talked...............

.......we had just returned for the summer.   It was a bit chilly and breezy and we were happy to be back.     Fast forward a few weeks.....its now hot and sunny and dry and the wildflowers are ready to burst forth. 
    These are claret flowers on a small mounded cactus. 

Our first hike of the season was a nearby canyon.    It's been a challenge to find hikes as it is too hot at lower altitudes but the deep snow this year is keeping us out of the high country.  

 In the past two weeks, we've been able to get up into the mountains.    The snow is melting and those amazing  snow plow drivers have cleared the narrow roads.    The iron ore has colored the stream beds but the water runs crystal clear.  

On top of California Pass, we found the perfect place for our lunch with Gisela and Randy.    In the far far off distance, you can see the valley and Grand Mesa.

The miners were the real intrepid adventurers and most of the roads and trails are following in the footsteps of mules and men trying to make their fortunes.   

A week later, we headed to the thin air once again with friend Matt and Matt Jr who was escaping the soggy Houston air.    The snow had melted considerably and the ATV's , rental jeeps and dirt bikes with the tourists were out.
 Note the snow flow near the center of the picture.   We headed for the old mining town of Gladstone, then up and back into Velocity Basin for a picnic.  And up close and personal with that snow flow.

 Lake Como is coming out of it's winter hibernation and soon, the turquoise waters will reflect the towering mountains.   It is always a breathtaking sight.  

After the 4th holiday, we hope to try the other passes which are recently cleared.    There is NOTHING like being in the mountains.  

Except, maybe having success with a new driver.......NO...... I only tried it out.   And it worked wonderfully.    It is very light and the ball soared  higher than usual and farther as well.  (actually, I've never hit a ball and watched it soar but it did stay  above the grass )   I plan to start a GoFundMe site and  know you'll want to contribute to my happiness.!!

On a sadder note .... last month, a 17 yr old with his 17 yr old very pregnant gf, decided to breeze thru a stop sign and an intersection and meet me in the middle.  (no injuries thankfully).     Of course, he had no insurance....and of course , we have very good insurance.    Anyhow, initial estimates said $3-4000 to fix it.    And then they looked underneath at the bent rails and ended up TOTALING it.   We are not happy.   We liked that car.    We didn't name him Brad  but we really liked it.      And of course, being a low mileage 2011 with all the bells and whistles and driven by a little old lady,  they didn't even consider anything but what the book says and so we are out a bucket of coins if we want to replace with new.    For now, the Jeep is fine and we don't need two cars.....but it's not comfortable for longer rides and we'll have to consider a more permanent solution. 

Life is good out here in the southwest...... come visit !