Tuesday, January 05, 2021

2020- The Year that it was....

A New year....a time to say goodbye and a time to say Hello...

This past year we seemed to have a lot of good-byes to process- not just the earthly passing of several family members and friends but the more figurative good-byes as the restrictions of COVID continue way beyond that initial "stay home-flatten the curve" situation we started with back in March.

But there were plenty of HELLOs to be savored during this past year....

Hello Family-    It's been a bumpy year at times for our family unit- navigating new courses both academically (both Things are hitting pause on their post-secondary education- as online learning is just not their thing), and socially.   Yet at the end of the day (or rather year in this case) we are stronger as a unit than ever before.
Thing 2-and Hubby checking out the new ride..
Cuddly things- with the hit Christmas gift of snuggle-sacks...
Excuse me while I past myself on the back...
It's been a few years since Mama Bear has totally hit the mark on present purchases
Hello Hubby- November marked 25 years as husband and wife.   November anniversaries have always translated to "we'll celebrate later"...dating way back to a delayed honeymoon in April of the following year.    We did treat ourselves to a new furnace- if treat is the right word- since the old one ceased to work.    Fingers crossed that some day- we can resume our favorite activity as a couple- traveling the world.   But for now- we are content with the small excursions we managed to take while "socially distancing" from those not in our pod.  



Hello Friends-there is an old quote that friendship isn't necessarily about who you've known the longest (although I will say I have a couple friends that I've known a long time that still match this definition) but rather who walked into your life and said "I'm here for you" and proved it.     This past year- time and time again, the friends proved to be that rock that helped me navigate new paths, find comfort in new norms and well just have fun with.  Granted, how we gathered saw some  changes ..from in-person coffee chats to zoom calls, group texts and exchanging of funny memes.  But they were still there and that's the important part!
The six-pack, minus a few and with a substitution-took in the lights at the Botanical Gardens 12.30.20
A surprise visit from a long time friend- he was in town to buy a plane?!
Mountain shenanigans- COVID be damned (Oct 2020)
When the restaurants are deemed not safe, you bring the chef to you!  Rocky Mtn. Raclette (10/2020)

Hello Solitude- a lot of people found themselves home alone way more than they prefer.  However, for me, I've really enjoyed all the "excuses" to stay home due to the Pandemic.   I managed to read over 60 books, take countless walks (the better the audio-book, the longer the walk), I've even found myself finding time to play in the craft room from time to time (no epic projects just some puttering around.     

Using up my  stash and actually make some cards like I planned to when I bought the stuff..
perfecting the art of the charcuterie ..otherwise known as lunchables-for-grown-ups.
Mastering the art of mix-master...with supervision courtesy of Owen
A spot of tea?   Sounds lovely...
A river walk- at the tale end of the Fall colors (Avon, CO October 2020)
Working from home during December- meant I had the time and inclination to pull out the holiday dishes
Hello Owen   I've always enjoyed my friends' pets but just couldn't be bothered with having a pet of my own.   And technically- I still don't have a pet- the kitten belongs to Thing 2...but seriously- who's believing that statement?   Owen is 100% a family pet- he enjoys snoozing with any of us, any of our feet are fair game, and you'd best hold on tight to your cocktail as he's quite the little sip-and-spill master if you don't watch yourself.  



So while some have referred to 2020 as a dumpster fire (or other equally colorful descriptive terms) for us it was fine...just like we shared in the Christmas card
..It's fine, we're fine...everything really is fine...
really it is...I promise!


Until next time....









Sunday, September 13, 2020

15 years later...

I woke up this morning ready to tackle a couple projects that have been on my "to-do" list for way too long.   One of which was- Update the blog.
And so here I sit- staring at the keyboard- wondering where do I begin.
I haven't blogged in months.     Why is that I ask myself? 
Surely- these are curious times we are experiencing both as a nation and as a family. 
  Wouldn't the blog be the place to record the stories lest I never forget.  
  Maybe-maybe not.
15 years ago....to the day- I kid you not...I wrote my first post. 
In my introduction- I mentioned the blog craze, my intention of using the blog as a way to stay in touch with family and friends and I introduce you to my children as Thing 1 and Thing 2- choosing not to use their actual names so as to give them some degree of privacy.  
I'm so grateful I have such a collection of stories recorded here on the internet.  
 I even had a book printed from the earlier posts- when the entries were usually short and contained a funny that one thing or another had said.   These short stories are treasures to me- as my own memory of those earlier days start to blur.   
So-do I continue on....that's the question I've pondered.
And honestly, I'm not really feeling it any more.
The Things aren't kids any more....
at 21
and 23- 
Their stories are theirs to tell-when and how they see fit.
Not that they've ever minded or complained- but now as they take on adult adventures- 
I really don't feel it is my place to write their narrative.   
I'm proud of the adults they are growing up to be
Yet, I  don't feel that the internet is the place for me to express that pride.
So- that leaves my narrative.  
I have a rich life- filled with ups, downs, laughter, and love...
not to mention the occasional flight of fine wine...  

My family is  in a very good spot-
I am proud of the way, especially this summer, 
we have come together to support each others decisions-and-declarations.  
Hubby, as a happy retiree, is finding some peace and  joy while exploring alone in the wilderness- While I miss him when he's gone- I also love the happy-content person he becomes when he's camping.  It's a more than fair trade off in my opinion.  
My circle of friends is incredible!
Our time together is filled with a lots of laughter, an occasional  bit of tough love-and reality checks- and yeah, a fair amount of liquor.   Just what your tribe should include.
Bonus points- when the Tribe includes wonderful spouses with useful skills like being a plumber!
My work life is complete-
 I find the work I do to be rewarding and of value to the population I serve.   
So- I feel like I've come to the perfect spot to pause this 15 year stretch of story telling. 
The first photo shared- shall be the last
THE END

EPILOGUE....
Maybe a few more stories may emerge from time to time.
I mean- I am the proud kitty-grandma to Owen- 
Newest member and reigning 
KING OF THE HOUSE OF CHANG...
who clearly embraces the family culture of...
A Sunday nap
Quality time curled up with a good book
A tasty cocktail or sometimes
A cold brew
and of course- holding still while Martha takes ANOTHER picture...

Until next time...take note of what another Martha had to say...









Friday, June 26, 2020

Summer of Fun-Halfway there

6.7.2020-6.26.2020
SAW

Yikes- so much for me doing a consistent update!  Oh well, a quick glance and I  realize we are at the halfway point of this summer's break.    Time for a little recap I suppose.

We are starting to see COVID restrictions easing up.   Restaurants are opening up, and at least for me, I am starting to venture out a little more each day.      Yes, the concern of COVID remains, and I continue to mask up when running errands, wash my hands often, limit where I go and why, but for my own mental health-it's been good to be back out and about and step out from the fog of fear.
HEARD
Those mountains continue to call out to me- and during this interval, I managed to sneak away for 2 quick camping adventures.  
DID
 For the first excursion, Thing 1 and I met up with Hubby back in the Leadville area.   Our arrival was pushed back due to some weather systems that resulted in this lovely surprise for hubby:
Photo courtesy of Hubby
In the interest of full disclosure, he had seen the forecast and wasn't really surprised but still- June and snow are two images you don't typically associate as being an appropriate pairing (well, unless one lives in the southern hemisphere)

I think we missed the window to get the Things hooked on camping-but I guess that's OK- the RV does get pretty crowded when you add in another adult.  Things go from cozy to crowded rather quickly.   However, Thing 1 is our homebody-and it's good that he sometimes takes a chance and tries something outside of his comfort zone.  With a stretch of days off we convinced him to tag along for a quick mountain adventure.
The genuine smiles suggest he didn't just tolerate this trip, he may have actually enjoyed it?!
On the way home, I pushed my luck in asking him to take a quick little hike with me
 and checking out my favorite spot for retail therapy
Breckenridge- as mountain towns go- isn't necessarily as charming as others- but as I am my mother's daughter, I do enjoy wandering through the gift shops and usually find a little something that just calls out to me-this time it was a sign of the times- a sassy face mask.

The town decided to close down the main drag of the town.  I have to say it was a lot nicer having it be free from cars.   Fingers crossed they continue this even after the fear of COVID subsides.

For the next camping adventure, Hubby and I headed out to an area less than an hour from the house. 
 
Rampart Range is popular with ATV/Dirt bike crowds but has some free dispersed camping that we decided to check out.  
We ended up switching campsites when a larger, flatter, further from the trail spot opened up.   We discovered this twig lean to near the fire pit, and I of course had to add in a 2020 marker.   I'd be curious to see what else gets added to site #14?

This impromptu camping adventure proved to be another peaceful escape from the daily routine here at home.   The butterflies were playing tag during my daily walk (I'm on an 11 day stretch of getting at least 10k steps in-not an easy feat given how hilly this area was) and a few flowers were in bloom (maybe they are weeds, but if so, they sure were pretty)
And the blue skies seemed to stretch forever...

And now that I am home-what next I wonder.   Hoping for some more family moments-and shared laughter-maybe even catch Thing 2 and share a photo of him (he's been busy working doing lawn care, and hanging out with his friends)

Until next time...