Friday, June 29, 2018

Summer of Fun Week 5


Yep, no time shall be wasted on an amusing comic to serve as an's time to dive in and recap this past week.  

Well, a quick glance at the calendar and I see that we are at the mid-point of summer break.   In some ways, that makes me sad...but then reality returns and I think "girl, quit your fussing, you get plenty of time off compared to others around you".

   You could say "I've seen the light"...
Or in this case the beautiful glass work of Chuhilly...

And I've also seen furry friends..
Sharing my morning walk with this deer friend...

A smiling spouse
Ok, capturing the sunset is more easily accomplished than catching him smile.

And a Happy Thing...
 Ok, this is more of a happy mama, 
happy to have a kid willing to do the touristy things with her...
Ah yes, there he is smiling with man's best friends...

As you can clearly see, we continue to enjoy this Great Escape...
The silence of the the plains...

He is his father's son...enjoying the quiet...

The rush of running water  be it from a Bavarian fountain in the Cascade mountains of central WA 

Saturday, June 23, 2018

Summer of Fun Week 4

Well, let's get this party started...but first a look back on the past week.


I saw the first part of this week as a chance to catch up on critical tasks that needed to be done before leaving town for a month.

  Mind you, "critical" is a term that means something different to each individual.   For me, that translated to dinner and or coffee with my friends, catching  a movie (Ocean's 8:   A fun movie to at least catch when it comes out on video)and a "therapy appointment".   Ok, for me, that means "chair" or hair therapy...getting the hair cut and colored because well, this gray old lady prefers to be blond as long as there is $ to make it so.

Helping Ms. TZ embrace a new decade...
SB ensures the coffee board stays current

The anticipation and excitement of both Things as we prepared for our travels.

For Thing 2, he will be staying close to home.  Can you imagine being "home alone" at age 18, with the parents and brother gone for 2 weeks?  Yeah, so  can we, so we've got a plan for some spot checks by neighbors and some video cameras discreetly placed in the garage.

  For Thing 1, he has decided to join hubby and I on the first leg of our adventure, which I have called "Changs Great Escape" or CGE.   And well, 2 days in, he really does seem to be enjoying the ride.
Father-son moments coupled with a  a siesta as we cruised along the highway

We did manage to leave home as planned on Wednesday.

With the first reserved stop not until Friday, we are taking our time get there.   The first night (Wednesday) found us at the Vedauwoo Campground in the Pole Mountain region of Medicine Bow National Forest.

 We stayed at what is called "dry camping" spot, for a small fee of $10/night, you get a paved pull out spot that easily fits the RV, with a picnic table and fire pit should you want to build a camp fire.

 I enjoyed taking a trip down memory lane, as I recalled spending weekends up amongst the rocks rappelling wth my ROTC unit.   Some 32 years later, the details are for sure foggy as is the thought that "how the heck did I get up there, much less have the courage to come down harnessed to a rope?".   Oh the things we could do when our bodies and minds weren't so fixed and rigid.

Thursday was mostly a driving day, passing through the rugged landscape that is south central Wyoming.   We made a long pit stop and toured the Wyoming Frontier Prison in Rawlins, Wyoming.   Not to be confused with the Territorial Prison outside of Laramie, which is where prisoners were held while the Rawlins facility was being built.

Honestly...I was grimacing not grinning..

Housing inmates from 1901 to 1980s, the facility now offers a small museum and a very nicely presented tour of the grounds.   Seeing the conditions of the cell blocks, is surely enough to motivate me to remain a law abiding citizen.

We would reach Lander late in the afternoon and after harsh words spoken to Waze (she tried to take us down a bike path) we found the City Park.   For free, we are camping along the Popo Aggie river.   

Thank you kind citizens of Lander, Wyoming!

Until next time...

Friday, June 15, 2018

Summer of Fun Week 3

Sad...but oh so accurate...
Saw:  This week I saw myself falling into that pattern of thinking "let's put that off until tomorrow" that occurs when the calendar is wide open up enough to facilitate complete procrastination.  But alas, a few events were scheduled so let's take a look at what did occur this past week.

Last Friday, Dom and I joined our friends the Ws to watch their youngest daughter receive her Master's degree from DU.  If the venue looks familiar it is because it's held on the same campus where the Things had their graduation. 

And I tried my hand at taking pictures...J style.   For years, Hubby has teased his college buddy about the type of pictures he shares on-line.  J is all about the candid shot...even if blurry or off center, why not, that's sometimes how life unfolds, right?
And look, I almost captured the elusive concept of Hubby smiling....
Ah, who am I kidding...this is more my way of taking a picture: while the lighting is not ideal, but it tells the story of proud  mama K, the graduate and her two older sisters who had flown out from WA to celebrate her sister's accomplishments.  

Thank you Ws for letting us join you in your family celebrations!

 The talented young kids in the cast of the traveling Broadway production of School of Rock.  Alas, no photos are allowed but this past Sunday, I joined a couple friends for this show.  What a sweet story with an incredibly talented group of young artists.
I love how my friends are always up for a new adventure...
DID:  speaking of which, this week we did something new, and maybe slightly out of our comfort zone...with a visit to the local gun club for "ladies night".  

It has easily been 25 years since I've been to the range, and while not completely like riding a bike, the skill set came back after a few rounds.  Something different for sure, and yes, something we will likely try again.

In addition to this, I spent the week with the usual summer pursuits..had dinner with a couple friends, read a book (or two) and while hard to imagine, I did actually spend a little time on some decluttering tasks in my craft room.  It's proving to be a bigger challenge than maybe I'm up for, but as I shared with a friend, I'm starting to feel like a "hoarder in training" so it's time I let go of the stuff that I know I have no desire to use, even if there was a time when I used the stuff and found joy in the crafting process. 

Final note, as a practice run, I'm completing this entry using just my IPad.  Next week we head out for several weeks on the road.  There is no need to bring a laptop, which means I need to practice how to use Blogger on the I-pad.  Formatting isn't as easy so patience and forgiveness is greatly appreciated.

Until next time...

Friday, June 08, 2018

Summer of Fun: Week 2

*Disclaimer:   Not a teacher, but as a school nurse "close enough"

SAW:  This week, I continued to see the gifts that come from living in the same community for 20+ years.   We continued to celebrate the graduates with one last party at the Brown House. 
 4/5 graduated this year, AG graduated with Thing 1
 While all the parties were lovely, and I admit I'm likely a  bit biased (HELLO, Qdoba bar and giant cookie instead of cake?), this was a favorite party. 
The boys met back in early elementary school and have built a slow and steady friendship where these days, it's pretty safe to say they are forever friends. 

 And along the way, both families have become close friends.   Trust me, it's made parenting these two little devils a little less stressful being able to compare curfews and stories when something seems amiss.  

Gathering with more of the "coven"
 I love how the older they get, they still stay in touch (AG and SC graduated 2 years ago)

HEARD:   I heard all the latest news at coffee club.   Many years ago, a couple of us moms met for coffee at a local coffee shop on Wednesdays after dropping the kids off at school.   Pretty much all of us have now returned to the work force but we still try to get together whenever our schedules lighten up.   The big news of the week was admiring SG's new hair cut.  

 She's just radiating happiness...maybe the hair cut but maybe because she too works a school schedule and is enjoying some much deserved time off.

DID:   A tad bit of crafting.   This winter I upgraded my cricut to one that allows me to take advantage of more  of the features being offered.   With a slightly steep learning curve involved, I hadn't really dedicated much time to mastering it.   So this week, I set the goal of making a few of the projects I'd "saved for summer vacation". 
Disclaimer:  Yes, several sheets of vinyl were sacrificed to make this project happen
And I must say, they turned out pretty cool.    What did we do before You-tube tutorials?!  
Ok, maybe not $92...but the ROI isn't quite there yet...

Until next week...

Friday, June 01, 2018

Summer of Fun: Week 1

Ok, so I'm not a teacher, but as a school nurse, I can totally relate to this type  of statement.   This past year, my assignment provided me with a decent workload but I still found myself going straight into blob mode the minute I left the office and headed home.

I've come to appreciate summer will always be the time I reset and this summer will prove no exception.  

With many fun adventures on the immediate horizon, I'm going to try and do a weekly blog entry, if just to help me remember and organize these memories.

Each week I shall reflect on the week using these three prompts.   Lets see if I can keep this up all summer long

Saw:   Well,  that's an easy one.  

 This past week we all gathered as a family (small as it may be) to help this young Thing celebrate his graduation. 
  I won't lie:  While,  I'm very relieved to have both boys finished with high school and on the road to new adventures, it's been a little hard letting go of the known and setting off into the unknown territory of parenting young adult men.   I get a little teary thinking this is the end of an era, but as friends and even a favorite TV character  (Mike from the Middle, calming down his tearful wife, Frankie)..pointed out "That's the way it's supposed to be".    

We are so fortunate that we reached this milestone with both of our boys, rather unscathed given all the paths they could have taken during their high school years.   

Heard:   Ok, this is likely going to be the tricky one of the three.   
This past week, and continuing into this week, I heard the laughter of good friends as we gathered  to celebrate various graduations.   Over the course of a week, I will have attended 5 graduation parties, celebrating 9 graduates.   For a homebody on WW, this will prove challenging on many levels but I think I'm up for it all.  And come on, that's some serious blessings we've accumulated in the friends-who-are-like-family category!  

Did:   Another easy one.  This past week, my sister was in town for a few days to help celebrate the graduate.  

And yes, she brought the "family heirloom" glasses with her, continuing the tradition of all 3 grandsons wearing the cheesy glasses that their grandpa bought on a whim.

For the record, cheesy glasses went back to MI, to be used for the college graduation of my nephew next May.

 After the graduation, my sister and I took off our mom/auntie hats and went on to play tourist in Boulder

At a small museum in "Old Main", we found not only this awesome Lego creation, but we discovered some interesting historical facts about the University.  Being a hometown tourist is fun!
 Sipping Tea at Celestial Seasonings World HQ.
We giggled at this sewing machine, used in 1969 by the first employees to stitch up the herbal bags of tea.  No, we weren't giggling about it being the 60s, or about the fact that this was Boulder so who knows what assorted herbs could have gone into those early infusions.   Nope, we were laughing as back home in WI, our mama had the identical sewing machine, down to almost an identical storage cabinet and I can guarantee you with 100% she wasn't using her machine to stitch up bags of herbs...but imagine the possibilities if she had?  (insert giggle and smirk...)

 What a fun treat it was to spend time with the one who has known me longer than anyone (except my dad of course).   This was the first (at least in a very long time), and hopefully not the last time, we spent time together without the responsibilities of being mothers or daughters...just two happy sisters having some quality sister-time.  Already I can see some perks to this new era that awaits us.

I also was able to carve out some reading time, some walking time with the neighbor ladies, happy hour with a couple other friends and a doctor's appointment.   All in all a pretty productive start to my summer vacation!  

Until next week....