Friday, May 30, 2008

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Wonder #3 My Columbine

When you hear the word "Columbine" there's one thing that pops into your head. The word has come to mean a terrible, tragic event. It was.

Just about everyone who lives here was touched in some deep way by that awful April day. I'm no exception. I can tell you exactly where I was that day when the news came on the radio that something bad was happening.

But long before that day, the word was a lovely thing. Our state's flower. A Columbine was an exciting find in a mountain meadow when you were out on a hike. Now I have four varieties growing in My Tiny Garden. They're tough, the first plant to push their way through the snow and frozen ground. I consider them a wonder. While the flowers fade in the heat of late summer, they bring me great joy in the spring. It's Columbine season around here.

Monday, May 26, 2008

In Memorium

Cloudy, grey day here. Not too condusive to BBQ's and fun, but maybe a little more fitting for the actual reason for the holiday.
I was honored to shake the hand of a World War II veteran yesterday at the grocery store. They're there each Memorial Day, taking donations and handing out these little hand made poppies for remembrance.
For all of those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country, and the families who mourn them. God Bless America.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Wonder #2 My Bluff

This is my Bluff. Technically, its really called a Ridge. And, of course, technically, its not MY Bluff. But I think of it as mine. When we were waiting for our house to be built, we drove to see the house every Sunday afternoon. As we headed down the highway, I knew we were getting close when I could see My Bluff.

Because of the terrain, and changing elevations, once you pull into our development, you can't see My Bluff anymore. But the first time we spent the night in our new house, when I woke up that morning, lo and behold, I could see My Bluff. The only window you can see My Bluff from is one I can only see from my side of the bed. It's really weird. If I had a better zoom on my camera, I could show you what I mean.

So why do I love My Bluff? I'm kind of a Colorado history buff. I've studied the history of this area. We still have a lot of open space here. And The Husband and I take every chance we can to head up to the "hills". When you're in the Rockies or in open places like this, it's easy to imagine what it all looked like before we got here. So in my minds eye, every time I look at My Bluff I see a Cheyenne warrior, sitting on his horse and looking over the valley. This was buffalo country. There were deer, and coyotes, and prairie grasses blowing in the Colorado breeze. I'm overly sentimental about those days, I know, but I look at my bluff each morning when I wake up, and most mornings I take a moment, think about where I am, and love the place I live.

Oh, by the way, if you drive south, to the spot where I took this photo from, there are cows grazing. I heard them mooing when I was in my backyard this morning.

I think cows are a Wonder too.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Tornado Response in Windsor

In the midst of all the destruction, it's heartening to see the quick response and help being deployed for the folks in Windsor and other surrounding towns. If you head north of Denver on I-25 about an hour, you hit highway 34. If you head west it takes you through Loveland (where I have lots of family) and eventually into Rocky Mountain National Park. If you turn east instead, you're in the lovely little town of Windsor. The eastern plains of Colorado are dotted with these little farming communities. There was an amazing amount of destruction, but only one fatality. The reports this morning saying he was a man at a campground who tried to outrun the storm in his RV.

Local news are asking people not to drive up to Windsor to help, they are overwhelmed with resources from all the surrounding areas.

More on the Chapmans

It seems that many many people were haunted and touched by the tragedy that befell Steven Curtis Chapman and his family. Michelle Malkin writes a beautiful post.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Overwhelming Sadness

I just can't shake the feeling of sadness on hearing the news last night, of the death of Steven Curtis Chapman's youngest daughter Maria Sue. As I laid in bed last night trying to get to sleep I kept thinking about Steven and Mary Beth, his lovely wife. The thought of what they are facing as a family is unfathomable. I spent a number of years involved in the Christian music industry. I met a lot of great people. But I've always said that Steven Curtis Chapman was just one of the nicest people I've ever met.

For those of you who don't know, the Chapman's adopted three little girls from China including Maria Sue, their youngest, only five years old.

Words fail me.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Dancing With The Stars Results

Justice won!!!!

Kristi and Mark Won

Final Dance

Kristi & Mark:

Superior, Olympic, Classy (The Husband Says Amazing)

Jason & Edyta:

WickedGraceful, Mr.Posture, Charming (The Husband Says Graceful)

Dancing With the Stars Reunion

Kind of cool they are having eliminated couples do a dance. Did they do this before?

My three word comments:

Teller: Flat, Footed, Funny (The Husband Says Sasquatch)

Monica: Stiff, Awkward, Brave, (The Husband Says Boring)

Gutenberg: Enthusiastic, Perky, Adorable (The Husband Says Gentleman)

Adam: Silly, Reckless, SuperSilly (The Husband Says Funny)

Priscilla: Elegant, Graceful, FreakinMarriedToElvis (The Husband, (not impressed) Says Old)

Marlee: Amazing, Inspiring, Hot (The Husband Says Determined)

Shannon: CradleRobber, Leggy, Improved, (The Husband Says Gangly)

Mario: Smiley, Youthful, Funky (The Husband Says Energetic)

Marrisa: Bubbly, Cute, RockStar (The Husband Says Happy)

Cristian: Courageous, Caliente, Ripped (The Husband Says Friendly)

Now it's down to the two.

Let's hope there's no shocker.

The Finals

Final night for this go round of Dancing With the Stars. I think anything other than Kristi winning would be a shocker. She's the best of the three dancer's left but what would have happened if Cristian hadn't been injured? He has improved so dramatically. And that Jason Taylor sure seems like a class act. Been a fun we go!

Wonder #1 Birdland

I only begain "birding" recently. For years I lived in apartments with no outside space to call my own. Now as a homeowner, I take great pleasure in watching the birds. I have a feeder, birdbath and a birdhouse. With field guide and binoculars in hand, I find it soothing to sit very still and wait for the birds to show up. They grab a few seeds or a drink of water, and off they go. We live in a new development area, and there's not a lot of trees, but as the landscapes have matured, we have a wider variety that show up.

Yes, not quite up there with the glamours of NYC or Washington DC, but I like my little bird land, and the Bluebird of Happiness has twice shown up while we were sitting there. That's a moment of Wonder that takes your breath away.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The 7 Wonders of My World

Good Morning America, my morning show of choice, has been doing a series called The 7 Wonders of America. Their list includes some amazing places. However, being a little partial to my native state, I was a little disappointed that no place in Colorado was listed. I know, I know there ARE great places outside the Centennial State, but still.

So I decided to create my own personal version. The 7 Wonders of My World.

wonder (n.)
O.E. wundor "marvelous thing, marvel, the object of astonishment,"

I'm certain this will prove that I'm easily amused. Or that my world is very small. Or maybe it's that stopping to smell the roses thing.

None the less, I will be posting over the next few days the things around me that I consider a "wonder".

Stay tuned.

Stunning Development

I can't believe this happened.

I know something Dennis Miller DOESN'T know. Yes, stunning and hard to believe.

I occasionally catch the first few minutes of Dennis Miller's talk show as I roll into the office. Love the show, although he often sends me scrambling to Wikipedia to look up some obscure reference he uses.

This morning he and his sidekick Sal were talking about President Bush's trip to the Middle East. That somehow led to Dennis asking Sal to explain why the Wailing Wall was called the Wailing Wall.

Wow. I know something Dennis Miller doesn't know.

That will never happen again.

Monday, May 12, 2008

THE Voice

I heard the news as I drove to work this morning. Gus Mircos died yesterday at age 70. For just about anyone who reads this, you won't know the name. Even if you grew up in the Denver area you may not recognize the name, but you've probably heard his voice.

Gus was a legend in Denver radio. He had one of those great, deep, warm, rumble-ly voices, that used to be a requirement to be on air. I can hear his voice now if I stop and think. This morning I listened to Peter Boyles and others telling stories about Gus and the glory days in radio and how much it's changed. I was very saddened by the news of Gus' passing. I met him briefly one day, I heard his voice before I saw him, it's always a weird moment to put a face to the voice.

I guess this prompts me to come clean about my anonymous, online name, since a few of you have asked. I spent about 3 1/2 years working in radio and it was the most fun I've ever had. The GM at the first radio station I worked at (who talked me into the industry) told me that if radio gets in your blood, it's like a curse. He told me that if I "took to it", for the rest of my life, no matter what I was doing for a living, I would miss radio.

He was right. I worked first at little radio station that had very small listenership. At the second station I was a producer and did 3 different shows on the air, and loved every minute of it. Okay, that's a lie. That first job, getting up before dark every day to do a morning show for a year was brutal. But that was eclipsed by the amazing interviews we did. Like the one we did with Brushy Brush, the singing toothbrush. Stuff like that really makes up for driving in your car, in the dark, in the cold, with wet hair at 4:30 AM. That station was so small we had an audience of about, ummmm, 10 people, if you don't count my family. But being involved in the "Theater of the Mind" sucked me in.

Hearing the news this morning brought back how much I miss it. I haven't worked in radio for nearly 13 years, and yes, I still miss it every day. Thanks BT, for cursing me.

I use the name Chick Voice because at one point, a friend actually asked me to be on a show he was starting, and wanted me to do it because they needed, you guessed it, a "Chick Voice". I thought it was funny way to ask me, but I could never say no to a radio gig.

I was happy to be "The Chick Voice" and one of these days, maybe.......................

Friday, May 09, 2008

What Goes Around Comes Around

I've noticed a disturbing trend of late.

I went to high school in the (hold your breath) "70's". Graduated in 1977 to be exact. It's quite a common thing for fashion trends to come and go, and then for some reason, the fashion industry feels inclined to bring the trends around AGAIN.

The current slate of clothing available in the store for women is some weird 60's/70's blend with Pucci prints, and color combinations from hell. IMHO The actual styles, well don't get me going. It's been a year since Rachel posted this and things are no better. I'm relieved to find I'm not the only one that thinks so. Tried to find a simple shirt lately, with buttons down the front and a COLLAR?

The most disturbing part of the whole thing for me is the hairstyles on young guys. Any other 70's gals out there who've noticed the hair stylists have clearly unearthed our yearbooks and used them as a reference guide? I swear I saw my boyfriend from 1978 at the cash register today. Now realistically, the 70's haircuts, WERE NOT REALLY A GOOD LOOK. Kind of, "I don't own a comb and occasionally cut my own hair with a knife without looking in a mirror" Like this.

Anyway, I'm tired of having flashbacks while walking through malls and stores.

And I didn't even do any of the good drugs.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008


I always get a kick out of my father-in-law. Herbert (not his real name) is one of those old guys who takes things very slow . He and my mother in law live in a small, eastern Colorado town.

When The Husband and I make the long trek up north to see them, it's always the same. We sit in the living room and talk for hours. Like taking a trip back in time. It's kind of cool. The TV is never on. It's always quiet there. The pace is always very slow . On one visit, Herbert got up and said he was going to get the newspaper. About 20 minutes later, I realized he wasn't back. I asked if we should go check on him. I thought he might have fallen on the driveway.

"No I'm sure he's fine. He'll be back soon." Just then I heard their car pull up. He parked the car and walked in the front door, carrying the paper. Seeing the confusion on my face, my mother in law explained. "He hated where the paper boy threw the paper. He called and complained but he still didn't like where the paper was thrown. So he called the newspaper and asked them not to deliver the paper anymore." Herbert drove to the newspaper's office every day and picked up the paper himself. Yes, it's that small of a town.

Herbert has been in ill health lately. Heart and other problems have left him with less ability to get around at all. I guess that means it's a good thing he likes that s l o w pace. He likes to look out the window and keep track of how many construction trucks go by. He loved it when the neighbor with an open pasture put cows and horses in it. Then he could pass the time watching the the livestock.

Last week he had a pacemaker put in, and we all held our breath.

He's fine. We knew he was on the mend when 5 days after the surgery he asked if they could drive to the outskirts of town to see the big semi that turned over on the highway.

They went.

Celebrities That Show Up At Our House 2

Last night's dream was so jumbled I can't remember what it was even about. But it may win an award for original casting. IN THE SAME DREAM there were appearances by Dustin Hoffman..........AND..............Florence Henderson.

What exactly goes on in my brain?

It remains a mystery.

Friday, May 02, 2008

A Decade

Monday is Cinco De Mayo. Relatively big deal in this town. Great excuse to make Mexican food and drink margaritas.

But for me, the 5th of May is the anniversary of the day I started my current job. This year is a real milestone because I've been there TEN years. TEN years, wow! That's the longest I've stayed at a job by a long shot. (last record was 6 1/2 years). As far as jobs go, I have a lot of autonomy. I come and go as I please (within reason). It's an interesting industry and every day is a little different. Some days I hate it, but most days are okay. I work for the typical type A entrepreneur. He makes me crazy about 60% of the time, but a lot of that is really about me. I always like things to be "just so".

What do I do? I'm a Fixer, a Grouter and a Mediator. What industry I'm in doesn't really matter. But those are the three most important things I do. I think I do okay.

I Fix systems, and policies, and procedures. I Fix situations, relationships gone bad, and occasionally I help fix people's lives.

I'm a Grouter. I find my way into all the little areas that aren't quite right and fill in the gaps.

Most importantly to me, I Mediate. Between our company and clients, between our company and vendors, between coworkers, and between my boss and whoever. This is the part of my job that gives me the most satisfaction. I like taking people and situations that seem impossible and finding the common ground, creating a mutually agreeable solution.

I like fixing, and filling in, and helping people get along.

Sure it's not the greatest job. I'm not a famous Hollywood film director. I'm not directing a play on Broadway. I haven't written the Great American Novel, or any of the other more creative things I dreamed of doing when I was in my 20's.

Years ago some friends gave me one of those cheesy Hallmark plaques you hang on the wall and I've always remembered one line.

"Leave each situation better than you found it."

I guess after ten years of fixing and filling and mediating that means I'm blessed.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

It's All My Fault

Now I didn't actually put my turtlenecks IN the plastic tub. But I put them in a pile in the guest bedroom. "They" said we might wake up to rain. But this is the view out my car window on the way to work this morning. The good news? It's very wet snow, so green, green lawns are sure to follow. Oh, by the way, it was 80 yesterday. Seriously.


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