Monday, December 25, 2017

20 years of Christmas

Oh dear neglected blog...I promise I'll visit you later...yeah right...but know that I treasure the stories I shared here through the years, even if these days I don't take the time to continue this tradition.

Thursday, November 02, 2017

Right Now October 2017

I'm listening to the hum of the furnace kicking in.   We are in the back-n-forth season, some mornings it's not too cold and other mornings it's a bit brisk.   While typically I find more comfort in the predictable, I must say I enjoy the swings in the weather that occur this time of year.   For it is this ever changing weather that brings forth some pretty impressive sunrises (and sunsets too).
Photo credit:  Hubby
I'm loving so much that if I listed it all, you'd call me a sap?   How's that for a non-answer...but seriously, the new job is going really good,
 I mean seriously...what's not to love...not only do I get paid to go to the zoo...but we get Fall Break!

As for Fall Break, yes, both myself and Thing 2 get a week off from school.  However,  since I switched school districts, my break was a week before his.   But even that worked out just fine.   

 Hubby and I spent my time off exploring the Black Hills area of South Dakota.  

 Granted, I'd been before:   First as a kid growing up and again when the boys were about 6 &8.

  But this trip seemed the most memorable...with great weather, next to no crowds and plenty of wildlife.    

Did I mention wildlife?  Yeah, it's a whole new experience from the side car....
Thing 2 spent his break taking a motorcycle training class earning his motorcycle endorsement.
A little bit of foreshadowing...

and working (volunteering actually) at a music venue in the city.   He's learning all about sound engineering and concert promotion.  
He noted afterwards that it's a lot of work serving as the lead on a project, so seemed rather content to be back to just being an attendee at a Halloween night concert...

As for the Hubby and Thing 1:  No Fall break for, school, just seem to be hanging in there, avoiding my picture taking madness.

I'm needing to start working on some to-do lists.   If September and October were any example, then Thanksgiving will arrive before I've had a chance to clean the house and prep for hosting Thanksgiving Dinner and house guests.  

I'm feeling like:   There really is no need to sweat the little things, for in the end it all works out.  

 I'm not always in this mindset, but some recent events have reminded me just how important it is to celebrate the little events in life, with less worry about having everything timed just perfectly. 

 Call that friend for a quick walk through the neighborhood, meet an old neighbor for brunch when you just can't seem to connect for dinner due to ongoing scheduling conflicts, and grab that camera and go when you kid tells you at the last minute "Hey, we're taking pictures for Homecoming right now if you want to join us".  
 for it is in these impromptu moments, one sees glimpses of life's memorable moments...unfolding right before our eyes..
from the serious 
to the silly...
The secret of having it all is knowing you already do..unknown author

Tuesday, October 03, 2017

Right Now: September 2017

Right now

I'm listening to podcasts.   Or at least I was on my way into work this morning.   My new commute is about 20 minutes long.  Not terrible, but long enough that I need something to occupy my thoughts.  I'm not really a fan of the radio, nor am I a connoisseur of music, so podcasts have become my "go to thing".   Everything from NPR to pop culture can be found on a podcast...and the best part?  Free!
I'm loving that:   we've turned the corner from summer to Fall.  
Photo credit:  Hubby, somewhere near Ouray CO

 The furnace has been turned on, the mountains have had their first dusting of snow and we are clearly headed into a new season.  Oh sure, I'll be weary of this season soon enough, but I do love the change that comes in the weather and the mindset.  

However, before I go into total winter hibernation, I love that I spent a little time this past month with friends and the hubby.  

First up was a quick camping adventure to Canon City.   

And a chance to catch the sunset on the impressive "Skyline Drive"

  Another objective of this little get away trip was to explore the options for "boondocking".   For those not into the RV/Camping lingo, boondocking references when you camp somewhere that is in cost but also free of the usual comforts such as electric hook up, water, and facilities.   There are many options here in Colorado, especially on national forest land and BLM land.  However, in this setting, those options were either off on a rugged road that was not appropriate for the RV to traverse or in a canyon where cell coverage was non existent. 

So instead, it was a night spent at the KOA, with running water, electricity and wifi! 

This past weekend, I gathered with a group of dear friends (the Vegas ladies) to celebrate some birthdays.   As is our tradition, when someone has a birthday, we all wear sombreros to celebrate.

   It proves for a very festive and fun outing, and I'm always impressed with how friendly and curious others are as we sit there with our giant hats, laughing and chatting...
I'm needing to wrap this up.    Soon the students will arrive and my day will begin.   But what a treasure this new job is, that I have a chance each morning, to savor that cup of coffee, check in with colleagues and in this case, update the neglected blog.   

I'm feeling like:  I shall embrace the words shared by a friend this morning.   In the wake of the horrific tragedy in Las Vegas Sunday night, fear, hatred and anger can become the prevailing emotions.  However my friend remarked that intentional kindness is one thing that can combat those negative emotions circling our world right now.    

"In a world where we can be anything, be kind!"

Sunday, September 03, 2017

Right Now: August 2017

Right Now

I'm listening: to my guilty conscience.    I'd rather go back to reading my latest library read, but I realize  that we are already 3 days into the next month and I've not uploaded August pics to "the cloud", nor have I tackled any of the tasks I'd promise myself I'd work on during this 3 day Labor Day weekend.   So, here we go, a quick wrap up from the Chang Gang...

I'm loving that:   the changes we've all experienced this past month seem to be working out well.

For starters, I've started a new chapter in my work career, heading to a district just north of where I've worked the past 7 years.

Overall first impressions are good and I"m optimistic that I've landed right where I belong.

 Still a nurse, still in a school, just working in a  district with different challenges, and assigned to a  school with way fewer students but with each student having more significant needs.

 Thing 2 is starting the final chapter to his K12 education...
 Surrounded by friends he's had since elementary school...
and Feeling pretty confident it's gonna be a great year..
He's also changed jobs...but so far, I've missed THE TARGET (hint-hint) in terms of snapping an on-the-job photo of the newest red-shirted cashier..

Thing 1 is also starting off on a new adventure...
As he starts classes at the local community college.  *Camera shy, this photo is courtesy of google images.

And let's not forget hubby.  While he didn't have any  back-to-school adventures, he did get to experience one of those once in a lifetime experiences when he traveled to Nebraska to witness the much anticipated total eclipse
...his pictures were pretty impressive and I have to say,  helped me appreciate that while we had 93% eclipse here, 7% really does make a big difference when it comes to the sun.

I'm needing to:   lace up the shoes and head out for a walk...just so that the next time I agree to do a 5K with my neighbor friends, I won't be so sore the day after. 

  Yep, you read that right, last weekend the ladies and I did a fun 5k called the Color Run.   

No running was involved, but we had a blast getting doused with colored powder, walking the streets of Denver and just celebrating our recent victories with getting to a healthier state of being!  

 I'm feeling like:   Time is flying by way too fast.   Especially when I realize we've gone from these little Things...
 To the almost all  grown up edition in just 18 short years...
Yep, Thing 2 had a birthday this month and by all accounts, it was a good one. 
Complete with Cash (and a PINTEREST success!)
And  hanging with friends cool enough to sport stylish party hats...
He and one of his besties are both August they decided to have a joint party..
Oh wait, this is Colorado...maybe I should be more specific...a combined party..
at least we hope that's all that was held with minimal parental supervision
And that's a wrap on August...just a few days late...until next time...

Sunday, July 30, 2017

Right Now: July 2017

I'm listening to:    an audio book.

And in fact this past month, I've found myself listening to a couple audio books and pod casts.   Be it walking, camping, or playing in my craft room, listening to an audio read helps pass the time.

Speaking of time passing, holy smokes, how'd we get to the end of July so quickly?  It feels like just last week we celebrated the fourth with a neighborhood BBQ

I'm loving:  the balance in my life right now.
We took just one camping trip this month, however it was the longest of all our summer adventures..
 I've spent a few fabulous evenings in the company of friends.
 celebrating the 2nd anniversary of my 50th birthday...
to enjoying the ultimate
 Tupperware Show..hosted by Dixie Longate...
complete with adult drinks in sippy cups..

   I've done a wee bit of crafting and cleaned out said craft room, paving the way for hopefully more crafting in the months to come.  *No pictures, but plenty of planned projects pinned on Pinterest.

 I've joined back with Weight Watchers, and with the companionship of 7 (YES SEVEN) of my neighbor friends, I'm enjoying a fair degree of success in my first month back on program.
I used guilt as a motivator for Thing 1 to agree to a decent hair cut..

*Yeah, I have some mad parenting skills when it comes to guilt tripping..

as I also scored chocolate, new steak knives and a sassy card from my children.   Friends also pitched in with gifts of wine and flowers, while Hubby gifted me with an RV or new car...I can take my pick, both gifts received this past year...

Oh, and yes, we visited a college with Thing 2...
 Tivoli Center...once a brewery dating back to the 1860s..
now serves as the student union for UC-Denver and 2 other schools that share the campus space..
I am needing to:  Accept the reality that change is about to happen for all of us.  

 Tomorrow, I start a new chapter of my career, changing districts but remaining a school nurse.  The new district will be different, both in the demographics of the students I will serve to the culture of the district. 

 Same with the change about to happen for Thing 1.   After taking a gap year, he's slated to start classes in August at the community college.   I'm not quite sure he's as eager to embrace this change, he's a bit too comfortable in his current state of being.  All the more reason for him to start, for as cliche as it is, change does indeed help us all grow.  

As for Thing 2, that boy is more than ready for college and all the opportunities that await.  

Hubby, well, I can't speak for him, I'm guessing he's eager for the weather to change so he can get back to riding and RV exploring.   July has proven too hot and unseasonably humid for pleasure to be had with either of these happy pursuits.  

I'm feeling:   Ready to explore and embrace the changes that the second half of 2017 will bring to our family!