Thursday, March 22, 2018

Spring 2018

It’s Spring time in the Rockies and in true form we’ve gone from 6 inches of snow this past Monday morning, now we’re looking at the 70’s for tomorrow.  This time last year, everything was in upheaval and there were months more upheaval to come. 

These days when everything seems calm, it still feels like nothing will ever be okay again.  The “New Normal” is what we’re led to believe we must get used to.   Not there yet.

Found a new TV show on Netflix that I love.  It’s called “Big Dreams, Small Spaces”.  It’s a show from the UK/BBC and of course the accents alone appeal to me.  Have you noticed that there are almost NO gardening shows left on HGTV – HOME AND GARDEN TV.  All HOME, no GARDEN.  Why is that?  So…………a famous Brit Gardener, Monty Don, comes and helps people who have small gardens to redo and overhaul them.

So now I am inspired, and anxious to get out in My Tiny Garden and take a fresh look at what we’ve done, and what we can do to take it all to the next level. I bought a Garden Journal on Amazon, something I didn’t even know existed.  Sure wish I’d had started it when we first moved in.  It helps you keep track of what you planted, and how each plant did.  It’s also a place to keep record of when things bloom, etc.

The birds are making their way back.  Heard, (didn’t see) a robin.  The Husband saw a Kestrel on the roof next door, but I missed it.  Saw a GIANT Horned Owl this morning, flying behind the house, down what we call “The Bird Highway”.  Flock of Magpies descended on the hill behind the house this week, and I saw my first Mourning Dove while walking Tucker this week.

None of this is interesting to just about anybody.  But Dad will appreciate it.  Thanks Dad, for being my only loyal reader.

Tuesday, January 30, 2018


I keep trying to get back to writing here.  I like to, and I know it does good things for me.  Even if no one in the world reads it.

Random thoughts pop in my head almost daily.  But somehow by the time I get home each night, cook dinner, clean the kitchen, spend a few rare moments with The Husband...........the energy and will to write are gone.

I've been struggling for quite some time now.  Losing a job unexpectedly nearly three years ago, didn't just change where I went 5 days a week............but changed how I felt about myself.  About my abilities.  Prior to that event,  I had a clear picture of who I am.  Of what I know, of what I'm good at, and clearly what I'm not good at.  I felt comfortable in my own skin.  And maybe I even liked myself..........

Then I had to start over at 55 years old.  Daunting and intimidating.  Seemed no one really understood how deeply I was hurt, and though I don't even like to admit it, much less write it.........


So for all the days since, I've bounced back and forth.  From embarrassment, to anger, to sadness, and from time to time, relief.  Mostly that I found a new job.  And though I took a 60% cut in pay, at least I had a job...............and then I would feel grateful.

But something has been gnawing at me all this time, biting hard some days, and then "it" would go quietly into the corner and sleep for a few weeks.  And I'd only notice it in passing.  This afternoon one of those bites came, knocked me to the ground and drew blood.  But then..........

Then I had one of those moments of epiphany.

And this is the song that popped into my head.

I've loved this song since the first time I heard it, but it grew more important over time.  Because especially, "I've proven who I am so many times.................the magnetic strip's worn thin........."

Every time a new youth pastor started at our church, every time a new music pastor started, I had to prove who I was.  And trust me, in just those two categories alone.....there were DOZENS.  And maybe that's just the way it goes in your 20's and your 30's.

But in my late 50''s what it comes down to.

I am weary of the ....................DISRESPECT.

Its not a good feeling to realize that your ideas, your opinions, and especially your Experience is not valued, not respected.  And when that sunk it's teeth in to me today.  I saw it for what is. DISRESPECT.

I was raised by parents who taught me the importance of respecting people.  And I know what it feels like to be be sought out for my experience and my opinions.  

Now its up to me...........where do I go from here?

Friday, December 01, 2017

He Made Me Chicken Soup

It's been six years since Denver heard the sad news of Noel's passing.  And the sting of his loss is still felt by literally thousands of people.  I felt I should post this again, after checking in on his wife Tammy's Facebook page, where so many have left their love for her, and Noel still.........

From all over the city, from all over the state, we gathered.  We filled a large cathedral.  Every seat taken, and many of us filled the aisles, down the middle, down the sides and in the foyer.  Each straining to hear, most not able to even see.  We stood for nearly three hours.

As I looked around me, I saw the mighty.  Senators and Mayors and Governors.  Business Leaders and Socialites.  But also like me, the common people.  The everyday people touched by a man who also inspired us that we could do great things, because he did. 

And all around me, the look of the grief stricken.  Still stunned, still struggling to make sense of things that make no sense.

Our former Governor gave the Eulogy.  One of the best I have ever heard given, and I've been to more than my fair share of funerals.  We all laughed, with tears glistening in our eyes, as we thought of the man whose life we gathered to celebrate.  And then I wept, along with men and women all around me.  I'm so happy that the Denver Post published the eulogy in its' entirety.  Take a few moments and read it.  Noel's Eulogy

Anyone reading this................please say a prayer for his lovely wife Tammy, and the rest of the family.

As our Governor mentioned, everyone there today has a Noel story...............and so do I.

I met Noel when I was asked to come to his restaurant and talk with him about a large charitable event he was putting on.  I, like most, was drawn in, and ended up working with him on the event.  The event was complicated and difficult to pull off, two days of set up prior to a Sunday event, outdoors.  By the time the day of the event came, I was run down physically and though I didn't really feel too bad, I had lost my voice.  All day long at the event, Noel kept asking what he could do for me, how I was feeling.  He wouldn't stop enquiring.  He insisted I come along back to the restaurant after the long day, where many from the committee gathered, and he fed us all at a big table on the patio.  He insisted that nothing on the menu was good enough for The Husband, so he disappeared into the kitchen and cooked a steak for him.

Early the next morning, my cell phone rang.  It was Noel.  He asked how I was feeling and told me it was very important that I come down to the restaurant.  I asked what was wrong, he wouldn't answer, just insisted I come down.  Thinking something had gone wrong, I arrived just before 11, and asked for him at the hostess stand.  The hostess came back and told me to have a seat at the bar, Noel would be right with me.  I nervously sat, thinking somehow I had let down this man I had already come to love.  Around the corner he came, blue eyes twinkling with a large bowl in his hands. "Here's your lunch.".  He sat in front of me the best bowl of chicken soup I've ever had, because it was made by him, with love.  He kissed my cheek, and ran back into the restaurant.  I'll never forget the bartender, saying.............."You're the one.  He was here early this morning, chopping vegetables.  He made it himself."  And when I left, he sent the "leftovers" home with me.  Enough to feed me for days.

I was hooked.  And never told him no when he called.

MY FRIEND Noel was that kind of man.  And thousands have a story just like that.

Friday, September 29, 2017

What Are Men to Rocks and Mountains?

"What are men to rocks and mountains?" - Jane Austen

The Gunnison  River Valley, which in past years has been my least favorite part of the trip to Ouray, seemed different today.  Time of year or maybe the clouds or the light?  Not sure but it seemed each direction we turned there were shades of blue, and light bouncing off the arid landscape.

After many years of driving past, and not taking the short detour, today we went north off Highway 50, and climbed up the switchbacks to Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park.  My last visit was as a preteen.  Many summers I spent exploring the back roads of Colorado with my Aunt Kathleen and Uncle Al.  They have certainly improved the accessibility to the park, which made for some easy walks to breath taking overlooks into the canyon.

And then back through Montrose, where we found a great Brewpub for lunch.  Then the short trip south, where you can see the San Juans long before you arrive.

And now after strolling up and down Main Street a few times, we're safely tucked away in the Captain's Quarters of the China Clipper Inn.  Sometimes you want to go, where everybody knows your name.................okay not everyone, but enough people to make you feel like you're in a second home.

You know the only thing that's hard?  Leaving our Tucker behind.

But he's being spoiled by our neighbor and his namesake (middle name) my stepson.


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