Thursday, October 6, 2022


Jon upgraded to Captain and we were privileged to share the moment.   Very proud of him as he follows in his father's footsteps.     In a couple months, if you're on a United 737 flight, say Hi and I promise, he'll give you a smooth ride.  

While we were at the training center, he gave us the ten cent tour..... saw the mock ups and simulators and 
even the life rafts...( much bigger than I ever imagined).   Glad I saw them in a static display vs. an actual event !

Later that weekend, we headed to Boulder with Mike and Jenna.     We wandered Pearl Street and my favorite Book store, ate excellent pizza at Pizzeria Locale and the best desert ever !      Well fortified, we went to a concert at Chattaqua.     Rodrigo y Gabriela are a guitar duo.     That doesn't begin to describe their talent and it was a very enjoyable evening.     As I sat there with 1000 other fans, I wondered if I should be wearing a mask.   We are almost 3 months out from our bout with Covid and I wasn't very comfortable.    I had no mask with me and I'm not good at holding my breath but we seemed to have avoided it.    Just read where there are new variants being tracked in Europe that are different enough that our vax won't be very's always something.     

It snowed on the mountains.   This is a view on my morning walk and it is much more dramatic with the snow.    We've had a lot of rain which is just so great....and now the snows necessary for the mighty Colorado to keep flowing.

And then we went for a walk.     Crystal Lake is in a beautiful setting among the mountains.    The aspen are at their peak and it was a crisp day  with a Colorado blue sky.

Today we are dealing with reactions to our boosters which we got yesterday.    It was a long night with chills and aches and today is lazy.   

    I'm taking a 5 week botany course and yes, it's about as exciting as it sounds.    No drawing but some dissecting (of flowers, not frogs) and a reference book so I don't have to remember it all.  

And, because we were in Boulder, I got a pair of Birkenstocks.    Yes, they are very comfortable, once broken in, and yes, they are rather unattractive.  


Thursday, September 8, 2022

It's that time of year again.....

And then we flew East.....

Blogger is not allowing these pics to be placed in order..... The Labor Day parade in Newtown is a very old tradition  and we wonder who will carry on the family tradition now that Mason is a Senior.   He is in the forefront (note that his grandfather, grandmother and mother are on the sidelines.)...Good job photographer (also known as Jon).   

   The West Point Labor Day concert is a favorite.   We've been going for many years and the concert, the outdoor venue and the fireworks are memorable.  

We did our favorite walks.....Murphy and I did the paved  trails in town while Paul and Jon flew overhead in a plane smaller than I'm comfortable with.    I know it's something they really enjoy and Jon's membership in a Flying Club allows them the use of several planes.    

And then we did the forest trails......rocky, hilly, shady and humid.    But not too buggy altho Murphy did get stung by something when he stuck his nose in a burrow.   

 It was a great weekend and somedays I really miss the New England vibe but then we come back to the mountains and  feel  blessed to be able  enjoy both.  

Tuesday, July 26, 2022

We were not immune......(despite boosters and caution)

Hello again !    Yes, time flies and life goes on  and I feel like nothing much is happening (which, at this age, is a good thing) and I neglect to check in.     BUT, I do have to say that many of my fellow bloggers are as productive as I am.     

Jeff came up from AZ and managed to capture some stunning images with the drone.    The top is our view across the golf course and the bottom view is of our house..... we're in the lower center next to the empty lot.     

I've revived my interest in taking more art classes.    I thoroughly enjoy the fine details of botanical illustration and I'm taking zoom classes through Denver Botanic Gardens.    It's been a learning curve to be sure..... some instructors are great, others not so much.    But since I've taken these same classes many many years ago, I have managed to keep up just fine and look forward to the more advanced work after the prerequisites.   Here is my finished project for Pencil I, the first required course.  (our state flower, the Columbine).

Then I moved on to Colored Pencil basics and the workload seriously and leaf and assorted other organic subjects.    I do enjoy the process of layering many many is a slow 

process.  I'm now finishing up another course on Light / Form  and drawing a carrot....exciting things ....
 but I draw what I know.    

We did some bike rides with Mike and Jenna..... 

We saw big horn sheep up on Mt Evans.

We did a beautiful ride in Waterton Canyon , south of Denver.   That is a woman fly fisher person.   

Jeff came up from AZ...... and promptly tested positive for Covid.....  Three days later, we succumbed.

It wasn't critical symptoms  but it certainly wasn't like the common cold and we were all sick ..... we did seek out the Dr's advice and did not take the anti viral by choice.    Codeine cough syrup made all the difference.     Two weeks later, we are still feeling some effects and we continued to test positive for 10 days.     I'm slowly getting back to walking and hope to get on the bike soon.  

Thank you to Mary Oliver....


Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Monthly check in.....

The Grands, Lizzie and Becca ( and BF Michael,) came to visit over the long weekend.     How great to have them.    This was taken right before  we hiked the Oak Leaf Loop at Black Canyon NP.    It's not an easy walk and I'm glad I had my walking poles.....lots of elevation changes and rocky narrow trails....But I managed to keep up with the younger generation.    I wore that shirt in case I needed to be rescued and the helicopter could find me after I'd tumbled down the cliffs.   

Mason, marching in the heat of the day in the Memorial Day parade in Washington DC.    Very proud of the Newtown, CT High School Marching Band.   

It was live streamed so we were able to watch it !

We've had serious winds all spring.    We are already in drought conditions so this doesn't help.   And since I'm a fair weather golfer and bike rider, it does limit me.    I still manage my morning walks before the winds start.      Otherwise, all is good.    I'm taking an art class via Zoom and it has been an experience.   But I appreciate that it's even available.   

We took advantage of youth and strength and the kids moved furniture and helped us put the new area rug down.   I'm very pleased with my choice since I ordered it online and wasn't confident that the colors would work.   Pillows might need changing out.   

And now, we head into summer.    No specific plans.....


Monday, April 18, 2022

Almost time to head home.....

Yes, still in AZ.    This is later than we usually stay but it has finally gotten warm and pleasant compared to the last 3 months.    We are 2000 ft higher than Phoenix and surrounds and it makes a big difference.    This rental has a beautiful yard with pool, hot tub, firepit, lounge with fireplace and TV and large dining area with kitchen.    We have used very little of it due to chilly days and wind.    The past week or so has been very nice and I'm sitting outside writing this.   My watch says it is 92 and breezy and I wouldn't want to be in the hot sun but here in the shade it is quite lovely and comfortable.   Plus I am listening to music from Queen, interspersed with a little Bach.... ( a bit schizophrenic ).    

These pictures aren't in any particular order so just bear with me.     My sisters and brother came for a visit.  Of course it was cold.    But we caught up and reminisced and that was good.   And, I took no pictures of the group.      The above was a gathering one day with lunch at the Club overlooking the golf course.    My sister, me, Jan, a HS classmate of my sister and her husband Jim who was our classmate and Paul.    Again, reliving old memories is always fun.   

Then Andy came for spring break from Clarkson U and brought his dad.    Pickleball and golf dominated and I didn't win at  either of them.    

And this is baby Rachel, now 6 months old and our 2nd great grand..... love the red hair.  

Jon came back with Mason for his spring break and I guess all the activities of more pickleball and golf wore him out on the fun Par 3 course.   The first 3 holes are a tease and a lot of fun and then the water carries show up for 3 holes and it gets expensive when the golf balls go swimming and are not retrievable.   

And then it was Easter and we went to Jeff and Jen's for too much food and drink.   And we always love having grandson Alex near.     Fun times.    

The panorama iPhone shot always distorts but you get the idea.   

And now, we are turning our thoughts to heading home later in the week.    The desert is in bloom and is quite stunning.    I'm still taking clippings of flowers and branches and plant parts to draw in  my journal.   

And I finally committed to taking classes at Denver Botanic Gardens once again.   I took several before but they seem to think it was too long ago so I will need to repeat them.    I don't really mind except for the $$ as I thoroughly enjoy classes but it will be interesting to take art classes online.    

I'm signed on with my coach for pickleball lessons.    I played years ago but prefer golf.    I was never any good.    So now we go out in the evenings and do drills and I might be improving.    A ladies only group is forming at home so that is my motivation.     

Mostly I love my morning walks on the hilly paths around here.    The scenery never gets old and I feel like it's very important to my physical and mental health.... I do 3-4 miles at a  good pace so I think that's pretty good, considering old age and all.      We did ride bikes yesterday on the hilly roads for about 10 miles....a good workout but that sun is intense.  

See you soon in beautiful Colorado !




Wednesday, February 23, 2022

No blog news makes for boring blogs....

We are fine..... waiting for warmer weather to appear sometime.    It's good weather for walking and this is a view of the path that we walk UP.    This view just doesn't do it justice as it is a long strenuous climb up this path.    But it is good for us and altho I have been tempted to stop and try and catch my breath, I slog on, wondering if I this is the indicator that the day I take a rest is the day I'm officially old.    

Once we get to the top, we can cross the road and walk on the meandering path among the saguaros and desert plantings.    We both do about 3.5 mi and are convinced that hill will help us live to be 100.    

Somedays, we are forced to hibernate.    If you look really really close, you can see snowflakes.    The roofs became white and the hills were obscured.   How ridiculous it all was when it really should be sunny and warm.      So I spent my day knitting seemed appropriate.   

But soon, we will have family coming and that is better than anything.   


Sunday, January 9, 2022

Back and forth.....

And so, we came home.     Although Montrose is about 20,000 people...probably more cows and horses....the airport is busy busy  with major airlines parked at the gates.   More and more are seeking the outdoor life and the area is exploding.    

But it was good to get home and the snow arrived to make everything beautiful. 

 And then we did the long drive back to AZ and sunshine and chilly days.    There was quite a bit of frost damage on the plants and flowers.    The lemon tree looks particularly stressed.  

In my spare time.... between knitting and walking  and reading.... I draw and paint.   I like to try and capture plants and natural things.    This is a cholla (choy-a ) and they grow in various forms.   I'm always picking up things from the ground to draw or study and I came across this teddy bear cholla with it's little puff balls scattered about.    Knowing they are prickly, I carefully put one in my jacket pocket.   As I continued my walk and felt the sharp pricks through the jacket, it dawned on me that this probably wasn't a good idea.......

Once I got home, I put on some leather gloves and began the retrieval process.   You can guess the result.   The spines have barbs on them so they stick ferociously.    Then there are the tiny hair like projections that are invisible and cling to everything.    Days later, I was still removing spines and those tiny hairs from my jacket....and I kept feeling teeny tiny irritations on my skin and using a magnifier to find the offender.     I'm not sure what inspired me to pick up the puff ball....I'm very aware of the warnings and pictures of golfers who tried to retrieve an errant ball......I  blame it  on the creative side of my brain, not the smarter side.  

Meanwhile, my mana-tea infuser was in my Christmas stocking and makes me smile every time.    And it works.    

I am so proud of Becca.    She set goals, worked hard,  and yesterday, she reached that goal at her happy place, Disney World.   😘    

Sunday, December 26, 2021

Christmas in Connecticut

And then, after thoughtful pondering and double masking, we flew east.    First we drove home from AZ and hopped on a flight to EWR.   Yes, we know that there are flights from PHX to EWR but we wanted to drop off and pick up some stuff at home.   And altho it is almost a 10 hour drive, we're kind of used to it and audio books help.   Currently listening to "Project Hail Mary".   

It's been a long long time since I've hiked in the Connecticut woods.    Jon, Murphy and I did a 3+ miles wander in the woods....lots of rocky up and downs and slippery leaves covering the trail and roots and rocks   on the way to the waterfall.    We've seen it from the boat, but earning this view is worth it.  


In order to get to the waterfall, we had to traverse this looooonnnng log.   It had been smoothed at the top and covered with a mesh but the sides were slippery and it was very narrow.   It got even more narrow as I viewed it from the starting point.    I crept across, mindful that a fall would do some serious damage to my bones on the sharp mossy rocks.    I had a 'found' walking stick (a sturdy branch) which helped with the balance issue.     On the return from the waterfall viewing, I realized that I did NOT want to cross again.     It seemed much more daunting.    I had Mary Beth's old sneakers on (to keep my shoes from the mud)....Hiking boots with serious grids would have been wiser.   I took a few steps across and the stick slipped on the side and I wobbled.    And then I froze.   I literally could not move and was convinced I was headed for the icy water.    Of course, I survived and managed to put one foot in front of the other and made it across just fine but it awakened in me the thought that balance and confidence diminish with age. 

But it also told me that I'm still pretty agile and capable of adventure and I need to keep doing this.......    It has snowed since this walkabout so not sure if I'll get another chance to walk in the woods....I have NO plans of crossing log bridges.   

We have come to CT for Christmas for many many years.    The boys are the youngest grands and it's been fun to share in their excitement.   Missing last year only reinforced our determination to join them this year, despite the upside down world we live in.   

Dinner was a delicious combo of the old and new traditions.   A standing rib and vegan dishes.... homemade rolls and too many cookies.    

We've played board games most evenings.    We are terrible at Trivial Pursuit, (it was the 90's version and who remembers anything from that decade?), we suffered through Cranium, some wanted to play Catan while others preferred Scrabble.     Murphy demolishes every toy in minutes and eyed the new slippers under the tree.   

Santa brought the Ember mug.    It keeps your hot tea at a temperature you choose for 90 minutes , or several hours if it's on the charging base.    I  reheat my tea many times before I empty the cup.    I think it's going to be a favorite.   Plus, it keeps your hands warm while you hold the cup.   

 We're avoiding stores and crowds and meeting up with old friends.    And, altho there were tickets for "To Kill a Mockingbird" on Broadway, they were refundable and we made the decision to try another time.   

Wishing everyone a healthy and safe New Year.    

Saturday, December 11, 2021

Arizona return....

We've been here about 10 days.    We're back in Wickenburg Ranch and it feels familiar and welcoming.   We really lucked out with our rental.    We started inquiries last June on Nextdoor Neighbor and considered 2 options.    We chose this one as it was bigger altho the other had better views.    As you can see, it has a pool and hot tub.    It also has a large outdoor kitchen, a lounge with fireplace and large TV and on the other end of the pool is a large firepit.   The owners started construction of the back patio in June and it has been a slow frustrating process for them with  delays and backorders and repairs even before it was finished.    But it is not our headache, thankfully, and we will enjoy it.    


But my favorite thing of all are the walking trails.    As you can see on the bottom left of the picture, the trail meanders about and offers a vigorous workout with the hills.....and the views are a plus.     I start out with a long climb up a hill and I feel so smug when I get to the top without stopping.    The altitude here is about 2500 so I don't have that  to contend with that like at home.   The other day, I began to cross the main road when a Jeep came flying around a rotary and I managed to scurry back to the side of the road.   I motioned him to slow down ....... and then, the car stopped and the driver APOLOGIZED to me.    He admitted to speeding and said he had a lot on his mind and was distracted.    I was shaken by the close call and still amazed by his response.      

My next favorite thing is this Par 3, 9 hole golf course.    There are speakers on every tee box blasting out great music.    Everywhere else I've played, there is quiet while your partners tee off.     Paul is teeing off on the 5th  to a green straight below that drop off in the foreground.   It's only 88 yards to the green but it is way down there.   The top of the white flag is barely visible in this pic.    I birdied it today..... and then we tackled  the next 4 holes and managed to lose 4 balls in the water.    But that's golf.   

 Weather has cooled off and fleece feels good.    But we don't miss the snow coming down at home.