Monday, July 27, 2009

Wordy Wednesday..

Uh oh...I've neglected the blog. Quick, I better update it before the neighborhood posse realizes how much slacking I've been guilty of and start with the nagging.

So, here it goes...what's been going on since we came back from Vacation...
Let's see...first we had Grandpa show up for Thing Two's first installment of "Grandpa's Fishing School". You see, when Hubby and I made the decision to pull the plug on scouts this past Spring, one thing that had the younger Thing most upset was "well, how will I learn to fish if I quit
scouts?". I told him "I betcha your grandpa would teach you". Enthusiastically, he replied
with "Really, he knows how to fish? COOL!".

As I retold this story to my dad, Grandpa perked right up and immediately made plans for teaching this very eager grandson all about the art of fishing. Plan A was to involve us going there for a 4 day session. But, the continued economic uncertainty led us to go for the staycation this summer instead of a trip back to WI. Plan B was put into place when Grandpa generously
offered to come here for Fishing Lessons.
(thanks Dad, he apparently occasionally lurks on the blog)

Next up was Party in the Park. This is our neighborhood's BIG event of the year...we had over 900 people RSVP.
And I found myself in the thick of most of the planning. Busy? Yeah...just a tad. And since we've had the wettest summer on record, it was no real surprise (but still a disappointment) when our party got rained on.
We still managed to have a good time (helps that we live in a neighborhood with a lot of good hearted people) and I think I'll stick with the social it really is a fun group of women to hang with (hint hint to my other PV pals on the fence about whether they'd like to serve with us!).

Toss in a birthday (mine) and another round of company (motorcycle buddy went riding with hubby) and an interview (mine, to enroll in community college, you have to be interviewed and chosen...another sign of the times I suspect)...well...we've indeed had a busy week.

Oh yeah, and this concept we call "year round school" meant that the younger Thing had to head back to school yesterday. Meanwhile, the older Thing hangs out with his momma as he's moving on to the middle school. Confused? Yeah, me too...two kids, same district, totally different school schedules. Gotta love it...but haven't found what part to love quite yet.
So on that cranky I go....

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Home Sweet Home

Our week of goofing off and relaxing has come to an end.
We're home now...and accepting guests assuming they come willing and able to help fold laundry, clean house and mow the lawn?

No takers? Gee...well, ok, give us a day or two to dig out and we'll be back and running with our regularly scheduled lives.

The trip home was interesting. On and off for the first 3 hrs, the car smelled "hot". Like an overheating engine or riding the brakes. I wasn't guilty of riding the brakes and it wasn't anyone else's vehicle because I pretty much had Hwy 285 to myself.

As we head into Fairplay, my service engine soon light popped up. R'uh Rho...what to do, what to do? (mind you, Hubby had already left for Denver the day before so I was traveling alone in areas with spotty cell phone coverage).

So, I quickly pulled into Fairplay's auto repair shop and played the role of the pathetic woman traveling alone with the kids (Thing One was still in his jammies at that point, adding to the sympathy vote). I explained the concerns about the odor and the new light just popping on.

The nice man came out and looked over the Mystery Van. He used his little diagnostic gizmo. The first time he used his "baby" sized gizmo and when that didn't work, he went got his bigger diagnostic gizmo.

Silent pause while we waited to learn that the engine light was a misfire on the system and that in his assessment, I could safely make it to Denver.

Meanwhile, while we were waiting for the car to be checked out, Thing Two asked to use the restroom. He was gone for a few minutes and finally came out, proudly announcing he felt "much better" and described the magnitude of his work.

Now here is where it gets interesting. After that "pit stop", I no longer smelled that stinky engine odor.

Please Dear God, don't tell me that my son was bustin grumpies and I thought it was a burning engine? That one, I'd never live down....

Road trips...never a story-less adventure that is for sure!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Taking one for the team...

The Things asked if we could please go back to that cool place with all the thermal tubs and the cool river to play in.

Ah...if I must...yes, let me grab my suit, my library book, sunscreen and we'll get going...

Really the things we do for the sake of the kids...sometimes it is embarrassingly easy to say "sure!"

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Wordless Wednesday: I spy....the Colorado Edition

Rocky Mountain Splendor
Babbling Brooks
Reflections of the past

Traveling Train

Wildflower Wonders

Gold Diggers

History in action
Family Time

Easily Entertained

Horsin' Around

All while taking time to smell the flowers!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A Day at the Spa

Going to a spa is a bit different when you have your two Things in tow...but a fun experience just the same.

And while the place boasts some 18 assorted thermal tubs, you get one guess where the Things insisted on heading first. Yep, that blasted river!
And that is where they opted to hang out for the majority of our stay. Playing in the mud, splashing in the water that was warmed by the thermal springs. They were kind enough to visit the spas so I could take their photos.

But then...back to the mud pile they went.
Boys will be boys indeed!

A Must See: Mesa Verde

Yesterday we traveled about 2 hrs west of here to Mesa Verde National Park. Hubby, always the multitasker, had to leave us at the park for a couple hours while he went in search of a cell phone signal so he could join in on an important conference call (or at least bill enough hours to finance this adventure.) Before he left, he challenged the Things to learn three facts and report back to him.Here's what Thing Two told his dad:

"Dad, I learned that the Nanasazi tribe had been pneumatic tribe and then they became farmers. They used Yakima to make things and built homes called...oh gee I forgot"

Which is just as well that he ran out of steam, because we were rolling with laughter...

nAAAnasazi-Anasazis, Nomads-pneumads, Yakima-Yucca....I suppose when you are 9 it is all the same to you.But all laughing aside, Mesa Verde was a pretty amazing place to visit. I complain when the cable goes out for less than a day. I can't imagine a day without a shower. And here these resourceful native Americans figured out ways to live in this very rugged terrain...and they not just survived, they were able to create a community that has withstood the tortures of time. It really does boggle the mind to think of what their life must have been like.I highly encourage everyone to put this on their list of thing's to do sometime in their life. This National Park is the only one dedicated to the preservation of a culture and tells the story of these people.
Oh, and to be politically correct, we no longer call them the Anasazi people (or the NanAsazi people if you ask Thing Two). Instead, they are the Ancestral Puebloans. Regardless of what you call them...learning more about their way of life is well worth the effort spent to get there.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

12 on the 12th: A tale of two rivers

Yesterday, we explored the town of Pagosa Springs. The boys were fascinated with the gentle flowing water that flowed in front of the Pagosa Hot Springs and begged to try tubing "tomorrow" I promised "maybe Dad will take you".

river looked kind and gentle. Floating down the river sounded like a fun way to spend a Sunday morning.

So, today rolls around and we load up the family van...Auntie Terri (my BFF from college, and more family than friend) is visiting so the plan was for us to send the guys down the river while us ladies went to the Pagosa Springs Spa.

Note: this was the plan... and well, it didn't really pan out that way.
Here, in 12 pictures with short explanations, are the highlights of the day:

First Stop: the tube rental place. Oh my, look at the fun bus. They take you up to the starting point and you float down the river in your inner tube. The dashboard of the bus had a plethora of rubber duckies and they even encouraged you to use a sharpie and write your name on the back of the seats. Sounding pretty kid-tested, mother approved, right?

So, not wanting to miss the photo op of my guys floating peacefully down the river, laughing all the way, Terri and I wait in the park for the boys to make their first pass through.
Oh my, the interesting things you see in the park on a Sunday morning. First up, these ladies rehearsing for next weekend's Renaissance Festival. Belly dancing harem ladies? Um, OK I suppose they do things differently here in the mountains than down in the city.
While waiting, I send Terri back to the car for lunch supplies. It seems to be taking the guys a long time to float down stream. Should I start to worry?
Still waiting, another kid proudly displays the fish he found. Not caught, just found. Uh no thanks, as I passed on his offer to take this fish home
That calm river we played in yesterday? Was most definitely flowing faster today...such that this lady fly fisherman came by and started to try her hand at catching some lunch
Ah, finally, here they come...
And the happy family united together....and below the guys ready to wrap it up and call it a day

So, how here we are back at the condo...where Auntie Terri enjoys a good book
Thing One takes a well deserved afternoon siesta
And Thing Two discovers that there is just as much fun to be had here at the condo hot tub.

What didn't get captured in pictures was the fact that this river is a bit deceiving compared to where we played yesterday. OK, significantly more deceiving than yesterday's calm and gentle waters.

Missing is the picture where my big handsome hubby got tossed twice from his tube, lost his hat and almost his glasses. He now sports a big old bump on the back of his head.

We also opted not to photograph the river rescue involving Thing One and his run away raft. Thank you kind stranger who caught him and walked him over to calmer waters.

Nor did we catch me, the look of guilt and remorse in my face when I realized that my guys aren't as water savvy as I thought they were. Nor were the conditions as calm and easy as the rental people led us to believe. Lady, we're tourists, city folks, we don't know these things....

At times Hubby said the boys looked down right scared....lacking the bulk to slow down their speed and lacking the agility to control where they went floating to. The river depth varied greatly from waist high (as measured by my waist when I waded in fully clothed, trying to help drag Thing One back to shore) to no depth (as measured by the bruised buttocks that all three guys now sport)

So, us gals never did make it to the Hot Springs...and really, that's OK...because right now I'm just grateful to have my 3 most treasured gifts home safe with me...battered, bruised but safe just the same.

Friday, July 10, 2009

On the road: Day 1

This morning I loaded up the Things and we headed south. Our destination: Pagosa Springs for a week of hanging set schedule other than to spend a week away.

We've not taken a road trip in quite awhile (opting to fly instead) so it was interesting to listen to what the boys had to say when they would occasionally come up for air from their assorted electronic babysitters.
  • "Hey, Mom, that one looks like a pair of butt cheeks, see?" (when Thing One noticed a rock formation in the distance. And well, yes, it did look like a pair of nicely shaped buttocks that even a president might take notice of)
(the rocks below are not "Butt Mountain" but rather "Lumpy Butt as christened by Thing Two)
  • "Um, I think I prefer the smell of the city" (when again Thing One became aware of his surroundings as we passed through the heavily agricultural area of the San Luis Valley)
  • "Dude, quit Bustin' a Grumpy" (this remark made by Thing Two...and yes, his brother was filling our van with odors not much different than the smell of cattle we'd experienced earlier in the trip)
  • "WOW" (when Thing Two looked up from his electronics and realized we were crossing over Wolf Creek Pass. He said it again when we stopped at the scenic turn off)
So, here we are at the Wyndham Pagosa...our home for a week.
And as you can see, even the view from the parking lot is worth soaking in...