Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Right Now: Winter 2016

I'm Listening:   Not really so much listening  as watching the movie War Horse.   I figured it would be a good movie to watch while I sift through photos from 2016, hoping to get a handle on the annual photo book I create through Shutterfly.    

After the huge task of crafting an album with all of our UK-Ireland pictures this fall, it's taken me awhile to get over my digital scrapbooking burn out.    Now that it's Spring Break and we are almost  a quarter of the way through 2017, I figured I'd best get going.  It's not going to get any easier to do the more time that passes. 

As I work on this project, I've found that last year's monthly blog  recaps are a huge help.   So while I've not really felt the blog-fever of late, I realize now that it does help me remember the stories  and create some order to the chaos of the pictures I take throughout the year.   That little inner voice is saying "Just do it" and I'm finally listening to said inner voice.     

I'm loving:    that when company comes to visit, we get a chance to be tourists in our own back yard. This past week Hubby's friends, J &K W.were in town visiting their daughter who is attending grad school in Denver.
The weather cooperated for 2 days of day-trip fun where we were able to show our friends the beauty that is our state.  
A trip to Loveland Pass, with lunch in Georgetown,
 For our 2nd day trip, we'd head south...
4 Army veterans check out how the Air Force Academy does things...
 *Photo credit goes to Hubby, with the good eye and the good camera!
*and as luck would have it, we visited this historic chapel before it's closed for major renovations, expected to last upwards of 4 years!  
Time to eat! 
 at The Edelweiss restaurant in the Springs...
Good German food with a trip down memory lane for the Ws and Dom
 as not only did these 3 go to college together, but they were all stationed in Germany around the same time!  
Sadly, that was i. the "pre-me" stage...

One last stop at the "Garden"...

 before heading back to the House of Chang...
where J and Dom geeked out ...
and I of course had the camera phone handy to capture the magic!  
 
I'm needing:   to recall what else has happened since I last updated the blog. Oh yes, Mr. EHS was last month.   How could I possibly forget THAT evening?   
What is Mr. EHS you ask?   It is part of the local high school's winter spirit week, this event is  a combination of a beauty/talent/comedy show featuring a few brave young men, willing to put themselves out there for the amusement of their 2500+ classmates.   
And yep, Thing 2 raised his hand and "auditioned".    We're still not sure how he found the courage to do so, but I must admit, there is a certain amount of pride that comes with being a "dance mom".     
 
 Thing 2 had no shortage of "groupies" eager to cheer him on. 
And he even managed to  include his two pals to help him with his talent portion...
 A special thanks to our Ms. Bose who coordinates the entire event ...
I"m feeling:  Better.    
Thanks, Tim L for the photo!
Not only does it feel good to get the blog updated (and the photos sorted), but the days are lighter, the weather a little warmer and Spring is surely on its' way.   
 Since late January, I've been working only part time.   After 7+ years as a full timer, the part time life is proving  to be a pretty good fit.    
Instead of spending the weekends "catching up" with household chores, I spend the time catching up with friends
 Hanging with my husband
 
 and taking our RV out for some fresh mountain air
where we even had some special breakfast visitors


 Happiness is indeed much like the mountain summit, sometimes it may be hidden by the clouds but we know it is still there!

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

A get away with a purpose

Last Saturday,  my cousin called to update me on my uncle's health.  The news was not good.  On a whim, I checked to see what airfare would be to make an impromptu trip out to AZ.   "Too good to be true", "less than a tank of gas", however you choose to describe it, I took it all as a sign that I should indeed take off for another snow-bird in training adventure.  

It was a  week filled with a variety of views...
From the serious...

To the silly...

Taking in the Sunrise 
(OK, who am I kidding, I'm a snow-bird in training, no need to get up as early as the sun...this will have to do...)
And I paused to enjoy the various sunsets...
 From the view from my dad's condo...
To the full moon outside my cousin's neighborhood...

 And of course, the infamous pink-purple magic of a desert sunset...

While the primary purpose was to check in on my uncle, and support my cousin as he transitioned into Hospice care, I took advantage of this trip to spend some time with my dad...who has been a snow birder for the past 18 years (give or take a couple seasons)
My dad's "just right" condo in Sun City...
Be it running into a friend outside his favorite  thrift shop 
or checking his email...
Sipping a cocktail with Man's Best Friend 
(in this case, Jack, my uncle's dog who was lonely for his master)
to taking in a post-dinner snooze...
My dad indeed has perfected the lifestyle of a snowbird...

So while it's a few more years until I can embrace this lifestyle full time
  *the down side of being a late bloomer on the parenting adventure
 I sure did enjoy this snow-bird in training adventure...
























Tuesday, January 03, 2017

Deep in the Heart of Texas Recap

The stars at night, are big and bright....


However, on our first night in TX, we quickly realized that the canyon was  deep, and dark, with no pull through sites and more importantly no cell phone coverage.    While one could argue that the views were worth it,  and part of the concept of camping/glamping is to unplug from the trappings of technology,  I hadn't really thought it through (a common theme on this adventure I fear) and so I felt very guilty that we hadn't checked in with the Things before we descended into the base of Palo Duro Canyon for the night.     Yep, Mama Guilt was alive and well that first night of our trip.

The prairie sky is wide and high...
Not just the sky, but it seems the  entire state is wide, and we'd spend Day 2 on the road...passing Abilene and other lesser known towns, where the final destination was Austin.    We'd be chasing daylight, hoping to reach our destination before we lost daylight (another common theme of this trip).  

The Sage in Bloom, is like perfume...
While the sage didn't seem to be in bloom,there was plenty of  cedar pine pollen that had hubby and I reaching for the Flonase.  
 However, the purpose of this adventure wasn't really to experience the beauty of TX but instead, to reconnect with friends from our past.    And yes, that indeed turned out to be the sweetness of this road trip...

First up, was lunch in Brenham TX where we met my childhood friend, H.   We met way back in the mid '70s,  when my family had moved from GA back "home" to Wisconsin and H. lived in our neighborhood.   

These days, H. and her family call the Houston area home, where her hubby, J, works as a rocket scientist (seriously, he is!). It was good to meet both her boys and spend time catching up.

Next up, was dinner with a classmate from my Nurse Practitioner Days, A.
 In 1990, the Army saw fit to send me to  Fort Ord, CA where I would meet A. during my NP training.  This assignment was a time filled with lots of studying ( we crammed what usually takes 18 months to cover in just 6 short months), a fair amount of uncertainty (for it was just days into our studies when Iraq invaded Kuwait and the Army would start to send friends and colleagues over to the Gulf, there was a constant concern that instruction would be postponed and we too would deploy overseas.), and a forever friendship was formed.

Reminds me of, the one I love...
Our last visit would be with J and L.   J. and I met when she arrived at Ft. Bragg in the summer of 1988.   With us both being single nurses, we formed a fast friendship.   
I introduced J. to my neighbor, L.   Yep, you know where this story is going....After a few years of dating, J and L. got married in 1991.   Score one for Martha as the match maker!

 But that story doesn't end there.  It is now February 1994, and J and L were visiting me in MD, when L. asked if I minded if he invited his friend, Captain Chang over to a party I was having.  
 And well....the rest is history.   
Without a doubt, their friendship, does remind me of the one I love...

The Coyotes wail along the trail...

It wasn't a coyote wailing, but instead, Scarlett started to make an odd thumping sound as we returned from a day of sight-seeing.   With less than a mile to go to reach the safety of the campground, the thumping ceased and the engine seized.   

The cowboys cry Ki-yippee-yii..

Oh sure, there was probably a URAL dealer in TX that could assist with the assessment and repair of the troubled Scarlett.   But, we decided to cut our losses, and head home, having visited some of the friends we had hoped to see, and knowing that the other friends on the itinerary would understand the need to take the motorcycle back to our trusted mechanic at Unique Rides in Ft. Collins.

As the sun set on 2016, we realized that there are many more adventures for us to take in the coming year.  

As for this trip, yes, it was good to get away, and reconnect with some friends.   We took in a little bit of history, visiting both the birthplace of the TX republic and the birthplace of Admiral Nimitz in Fredricksburg, TX.  

 Anytime that Hubby and I have together is time well spent, but we both agreed, that camping/glamping in an urban setting just didn't feel right.
Too much traffic to navigate and we never experienced  that feeling of relaxation that we've enjoyed on our other adventures.

As we crossed over Raton Pass (little wind and dry roads, oh thank-heavens!), we spotted our Colorado Mountains, 

And we realized, East or West, Home is always Best!
Until next time....May you always remember to get out there and EXPLORE....