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!  

Thursday, July 20, 2017

Summer of Fun: Chapter 4

Utah in mid-July?   Seriously, what were we thinking?   
But fear not, there was a method to our madness.  

The BMW Motorcycle owners were having their annual rally in Salt Lake City.    While Hubby no longer considers this a "must attend" event, our friends would be in the area  and we consider spending time with them worthy of suffering through the off we went...Utah in Mid-July!

Day 1:  Saturday, 7.8
First stop was to say "Welcome Home" to our former babysitter and her lovely family.

 * Bad blogger:   didn't get a good picture of Dr. Caitlin, instead just the hubby and the daughter....and her Oma (who is our neighbor back home, how funny is that...we have to travel 150 miles to catch up with the neighbor friend?)
  For as long as I've known Caitlin, she was determined to become a pediatrician.   And so she did just that, attending med school in VA and residency in PA, she is now back home and both she and her husband will be joining the pediatric practice in Glenwood Springs.  

Way to go, Dr. Caitlin...we're proud of you and what a great example you are showing to those Things you once babysat for...set the goal, chart the course and off you go!
 How's that for a "starter" home?!   
Little Lainey announcing to Hubby "READY READY"...

In our quest to visit as many Colorado State Parks as possible, we spent our first night at James M. Robb Colorado River State Park.   While cell coverage was weak,  and natural shade wasn't as plentiful as one would like (yet, more trees than one expects given the surrounding terrain), it was very close to the interstate, affordable cost and we found this to be a good fit for our needs. 

Day 2-4:   July 9-11 
With the rally not scheduled to start  start until later in the week,  we decided to stay in the Provo area.   The original plan was to try out Utah Lake State Park but we opted instead for a privately owned RV campground near the lake.  

  Reviews of the state park included limited shade, buggy and there would be no wifi options.   Lakeside RV park turned out to be the answer to all of these worries.    The large tree provided much appreciated shade as local temps would start to climb to the mid 90s with little evening cooling off like we enjoy back home.    Bugs weren't bad since we were further away from the water.   And wifi was adequate.   

While in Provo, we  did what seems to  be a pattern to our usual activities when camping:   I spent a little time poolside, reading a book, 
and Hubby managed to capture a few good sunsets.  
When work was done we managed to take a motorcycle ride...
 In search of cooler temps

Majestic views...
and waterfalls...
Success was clearly found on all objectives!  
  I had been told that a certain Provo school has a creamery with really good ice cream.    

And yes, said information was fact, I'd say that was the best scoop of ice cream I've had in a long time.   *Opinion is likely influenced by the hot weather and all the walking I did in search of said ice cream treat.
Day 5:  July 12

It's often been said  that Army friends never say good-bye and instead, it's more of a "see you later"...such was the case with our next stop.  Hubby's Army buddy,  El Guapo (now retired from his job in the Chicago area) and his wife  had recently decided to move closer to their youngest daughter and her two cute little ones.

Yeah, you can see what a hardship it is being closer to these little darlings...
We bartered "driveway camping"  
for side car rides...
 Seems like a pretty fair exchange, right? 
Day 6-8 7.13-7.15  Salt Lake City!
Welcome BMW Motorcycle Owners...
And Hello, Richard...
And Bridget...

Being strangers to the city, without a car, I asked Bridget if she wanted to join me on a city tour..
Expecting a regular bus, it was pretty fun to see this pull up for our trip...
On the tour we enjoyed several landmark SLC sights
From the train station that inspired
 a man named Walt to build a replica at his park in Anaheim...
To a park oddly named "This is the Place" 
where a man named Brigham upon seeing the views, 
declared to the Mormon pioneers that their journey would end in the valley below...

But the real treat of the evening was hearing a choir rehearse...
With a full orchestra in a hall that seats some 20k visitors...
I'm pretty sure had my own mom been offered a spot in the choir, she'd have converted?!

And before we knew it...our friends were back on the road...
and we tried to find cooler air...with another ride into the nearby 
Wasatch Mountains..
Wild Flowers were in bloom...
 Tourists were out in full force...
 and yes, slightly cooler temps...
Day 9, 7.16 Headed Home...
Almost last night of camping at Boyd Lake State Park...where bug spray is key to surviving being so close to the lake...

All in all, it was a wonderful time spent in the company of good people that we just don't see often enough...
Until next time...See You on the Road....

Sunday, July 02, 2017

Right Now: June 2017

I'm listening to:    well, more like watching the movie, Me Before You.

I really enjoyed the book and am finding the movie to be a pretty close adaptation of the book, complete with pulling on the old heart strings and causing the tears to form just a bit.    As I watched the movie, I found myself thinking of a colleague, KS.   This past week, her husband passed away suddenly at the age of 41.   Both the movie and this real life event of sudden loss has me listening a little closer, reflecting on the reality that we all get just one life, it is imperative that we don't settle and wait for life to happen.

 I'm loving:   the lazy days of summer!

 No major travel was planned, no big house projects, just  plenty of time for rest and relaxation.   Even the Things seem to be enjoying the summertime season...
Summer is the perfect time to grill,and I've found that the more food I have on hand, the more often we see Thing 2.

As for Thing 1, silly boy was happy as a clam the day we had to move the furniture into the kitchen so the carpets could be cleaned.     He also proved to be very helpful when it came time to moving furniture.   Collecting carts has helped build some upper body strength!
While I doubt he'll ever outgrow his love for nesting, he did spread his wings just a bit this past month, and tackled the driver's permit test.  Passed the test and conquered a fear along the way, I'd have to say that's cause for celebration for sure!  

 Our RV adventures have been so much fun, as I really enjoy heading out during the week, crowds are less and there seems to be the right balance between go and stay.

I'm needing:  to make sure I don't fritter away what is left of summer vacation.   I report to my new job on 31 July and I still have a couple books I want to read, a trip to take (another short one, although we will wander a bit further this time) and some crafting to do.  Yeah, I suppose I should also figure out how to get back in the routine of exercise.   That would be a good goal for this month. 

I'm feeling:   relaxed and ready.   So off I go, to see what today hold's in store!