Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Christmas Wrap

What a lovely Christmas.  The only thing missing was the snow..............but I guess that got delivered to the east coast, and filled our mountains with snow...............but nothing at 6200 feet, except the snow that fell on my village.

It was a rare treat to have The Husband home on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  We joined with our next door friends on Christmas Eve and had Christmas brunch at mom and dad's Christmas morning.  Things were quiet and simple...............a blessing to be with family and friends as we celebrated Jesus birth. 

Sunday brought a surprise birthday party for another of our neighbors who turned 40 on Christmas day.  This year for sure he didn't get his birthday ignored, just because it falls on Christmas. A wonderful time was had by all.

So now we stand outside the door or 2011.  A new decade begins.  Always a time of reflections and new beginnings.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Beautiful Christmas Lights

One of the best I've seen.  Don't watch it here................click the link and see it full size.............


Tuesday, December 21, 2010


By the way, I forgot to mention that we got NO SNOW.  Okay a "dusting".  Doesn't count.

If you're elsewhere, you may have the impression that we're buried..............but it's all in the mountains.........NOTHING here.

Bah Humbug!! No White Christmas.

Me & Patrick Stewart

Since by now, I've watched just about every Christmas movie THREE times this year.......I was excited to get to spend the evening with Patrick Stewart for the first time this season.

The Husband had to work late which left us girls (Bessy and I) home alone.

I think this is just the best movie version of A Christmas Carol............good sets, visual effects, costumes......and of course.  Patrick.

Am I wrong to be fascinated with the robe he's wearing???

I will admit to being fascinated with all things Victorian.  My Dad always said I was born in the wrong century.  All the costuming was amazing in this version but that robe..............where can I get one?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

It's Coming..........Finally

It's been more than a hundred years since we've had this little snow..................1.5 inches so far.


DENVER - Snow and cold temperatures will return to the metro area after a warm spell that included a record high of 70 degrees at DIA on Tuesday. The Colorado weather forecast calls for 2 to 7 inches of snow for the metro area starting Wednesday evening.

9NEWS Meteorologist Ashton Altieri says Denver International Airport recorded a record high of 70 degrees at 2:44 p.m. Tuesday, breaking the old record of 69 degrees set in 1924.

A powerful Pacific cold front is racing toward Colorado Wednesday morning. This same storm produced a rare tornado in Oregon earlier on Tuesday and heavy flooding rainfall across Washington state.

Winter weather and travel advisories have been posted for the Colorado mountains through Thursday afternoon.
Ashton says after temperatures reach 50 degrees in the metro area on Wednesday, things will cool down and a few light rain showers are possible Wednesday afternoon. The rain may mix with snow by the evening commute and continue overnight into the morning drive Thursday.

Monday, December 13, 2010

My Christmas Decor

I told lil' bro I'd send some shots of Christmas at Casa Rancho.

Here we go.................The Tree

Tiny Santas..............

My Tree Collection

The Mantel

And last but not least, Christmas in the City......................

It all looks better in person and at night lit up...........but it's very Christmasy around here.  It makes me happy.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

More Christmas Music

I'm a nut for Christmas music.

I'm a nut for Christmas.

Why?  My parents are responsible.

My parents achieved the perfect balance between the wonder of Santa Claus,  reindeers on the rooftop,  stockings full of treats......................and the birth of Jesus.  We read "Twas the Night Before Christmas" but the focus was Luke, chapter 2.  "And it came to pass in those days.......there went out a decree, from Caeser Augustus"......

We went to communion service at church on Christmas Eve, and then nestled in our beds, waiting for Santa to come.  On Christmas morning, Dad would get out the video camera and lil' bro and I would comb our hair,  wash our face and come down the stairs.  We squinted at the camera lights and walked to the Christmas Tree for the proverbial pose..............and the gift opening would begin.

Somehow, we never lost sight of the meaning of the Season.  We knew "the reason for the season".  There was a balance.

I'm never conflicted about Christmas.  My memories of Christmas' past are all pleasant.  Even the many years as a single person, when I insisted on going home alone, rather than spending the night at my parent's house..............I knew that the Real meaning of Christmas would see me through those nights alone.............because there are many layers to the meaning of Christmas.

Therefore, the "commercialization of Christmas" doesn't faze me...........I love it all. 

Lights, Santa, Rudolph, Trees, Candy Canes, Cookies, Reindeer,...........all good.  Christmas dinner at Grandma's......crammed together around her dining room table.  Even better.  The Hallelujah chorus, sung by the choir, carols sung by the whole congregation.............those moments I spent all alone, thanking God for my many blessings..............all of this is Christmas to me.

I love the traditional carols.  But there are some newer Christmas songs that move me.

This is one...............

I really love Harry Connick.  And I've listened to this one many times............ 

Endure the commerical...........and listen.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Monday Night with Brenda Lee and the Boys

A few weeks of The Closer on the schedule.  Nice to be hanging out with the gang again.

And Now..............the Good Stuff

As far as I know, this is the only Christmas song Rich Mullins ever recorded.  Leave it to Rich to capture how Christmas FEELS to a child.  Glad someone made a You Tube video for it, but listening to the words is great.

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Sappy Christmas #2

Here's another on my IPod playlist.  No one does this song any better.   Just the sound of his voice makes you long for a hot toddy!

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

All My Favorite Sappy Christmas Music

I am completely sappy when it comes to Christmas music, so I felt the urge to share that with all of you blog readers.

Here's a great way to start us off...............

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Belated Thankgiving

As promised and only because lil' bro remembered to snap a photo....................

Friday, November 26, 2010

Back in the Saddle

Been hiding out for a few weeks.

Not that I haven't thought about many things to post...........but somehow, when I spend 80% of every work day looking at a computer screen.........the last thing I want to do is spend the evening looking at a computer screen. 

So I write a cool post in my head, but never seem to make the time to do it when I get home.

So here's the laundry list of some of the random things floating around in my head.

  • If you watch only the national news weather forecasts...............you would assume we are buried in snow.  Those national maps show little digital snowflakes falling all over us.........The truth is, we  haven't seen snow in more than a week........we're in some sort of a weird weather inversion thing.  The Rockies actually shield us from the snow at times. Shhhhh.............don't tell folks thinking of moving here that the Front Range doesn't see that much snow.  The snow hits the "hills" and then we drink that run off next spring, and use it to water our lawns.
  • The Husband works in law enforcement...........and therefore, I am used to spending some holidays alone.  But I've learned that holidays are merely a day on the calendar.......but the "thought" can be celebrated whenever you decide.  So Thanksgiving is tomorrow around here.  Parents and the lil' bro will join us tomorrow and we'll have our turkey, etc.
  • By the calendar, Thursday was turkey day..........but I spent the day, mostly in my jammies.........watching movies.....one of my favorite things to do.  I needed the quiet.  I would have preferred The Husband was home..............but it was a good day.
  • Speaking of movies..............the best 3 Thanksgiving "ish" movies are:  Home for the Holidays, Planes Trains and Automobiles, and the oddly entertaining...........Pieces of April.  On another day, I'd be a good blogger and give you the links...........but go find them On Demand or on IMDB or Netflix.
  • I am reading "Wicked" and it's one of the weirdest books I've ever read.  More to come.
  • Our neighborhood has been strangely quiet for the last few days.........everyone must be somewhere else.  I have a feeling the quiet will not last.  I think that is a "good thing".
  • I want to take pictures of my Thanksgiving table, but I always forget.  Dad, remind me if you read this.
  • Thanksgiving was also my Dad's birthday, and tomorrow is my parents 52nd wedding anniversary.  My mom and lil bro's birthday was earlier this month.  We get them all done in November. 
  • We are busy at work.  And that is also "a good thing".  Business is up.  Good sign all around.
  • Thanksgiving came late this year.............Sunday morning, (or maybe Saturday night) will bring the beginning of Christmas decorations.............and I have a LOT to say about that.
  • I love Christmas.
Thanks to all of my loyal readers...............not just my family, but friends, in person and virtual. 

I am Thankful for all of you!!!!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Thank You For Your Service

To the Veterans I know, and to the many I don't.  Thanks for your service.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

No!! I Don't Do These............

Okay........I get these memes/questionnaires/thingies all the time............and seldom respond.  But I thought this one was more interesting than most..........and I'm happy to link you back to the Dame...........

So below is my answers to these thought provoking questions.

What fictional person, place or thing would you make real, were it in your power?

Hard to chose one here........but the first thing that popped into my head.........I would like the Wardrobe from the Chronicles of Narnia to be real.  Not just for the adventures to be had in Narnia, but because when you return to the real world..............very little time has past.  Like putting the breaks on time while you live out other lives..............magic.

What do you find comforting?

Nature. The sights, sounds, and smells of God's creation soothe me.  Every time.

What makes you almost hold your breath in excitement?

Music performed live.  Nothing better.

What offends you?

People treating others with disrespect or cruelty.

What always makes you smile?


How are you in a crisis?

Tough.  Calm.  Fall apart later.

What is your most unusual or rare quality?

My ability to see situations from every angle, every perspective.  Should have been a diplomat.

What woman has had the strongest impact on your life?

My Mother.  She survived heartbreaks, poverty, racial prejudice, amazing adversity, and physical challenges.

What fictional character did you love most or identify most closely with as a child?

No snickering..............Jan Brady.

What's the strangest job you ever had?

Substitute day care teacher at a 24 hour day care facility.  Took care of toddlers overnight for parents who worked the graveyard shift.  No............they weren't sleeping........they stayed on the same schedule as their parents..................sad, really.

What's the hardest job you ever had?

Answering the late night phone call as a youth pastor, that one of your kids attempted suicide............. However............he is now a university professor, and father of five.  He is one of the joys of my life.

If you could relive any moment in your life, which would it be?

Looking out the window of the airplane at the blue lights of  Ben-Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv as a 17 year old.

Who was your first crush on?

Bobby Sherman

What song makes your heart sing?

Impossible to pick one!  Okay if I must..................."Moondance" Van Morrison.

What book do you never tire of?

Everything by CS Lewis, but especially "The Great Divorce".

If you could live in a book, which book would it be?

Any Jane Austen novel.

What film have you watched the most times?

Dances With Wolves

What film do you quote most often?
(Actually quote, not wish you were clever enough to quote regularly and INTEND to quote. What do you ACTUALLY quote?)

Steel Magnolias. 

What film's dialog do you love most?

The Big Chill.

What poem or line of poetry resonates with you most strongly?

"Two roads...........diverged in a wood......."

What famous quote do you repeat or refer to most frequently?

See above.

If you could (or had to) freeze your physical self at one age, what would it be?


What view would you choose if you could have any view from your bedroom window?

The San Juans.

What one thing would you give to everyone you know if you could?

The "peace that passes all understanding."

If you could be a tremendous success at any one thing, what would it be?

Movie Director

What, if anything, do you hesitate to do for fear of looking silly or being laughed at?

Anything requiring eye hand coordination. I have none.

Who would you choose if you could talk to anyone who is no longer alive for an hour?

My Grandpa.

If you wrote your will, who would you leave your most prized possession to?

Sell it all..............give the money to charity.

What sentence did you never say to someone, but wish you had?

Too private.

What do you most like getting the opportunity to say?

Thank you for marrying me.  I say it all the time.

When have you laughed the longest or the most?

Monty Python movies.............watching my Dad laugh at Monty Python movies.

Whose face is your favorite face?

All the faces of people watching music live.............never seen such joy. (best viewed from backstage, looking out at the audience)

Where do you feel safest?


When do you feel most yourself?

Sitting on a bench in Ouray, Colorado.

What makes you nostalgic?

70's rock n roll.

What is the best lesson you have learned in life?

To be content.


Yes, I am happy today.  I love the first snow..........it's possible only my Mom loves it as much as me.

Warm this morning, but mid afternoon...........it started raining, then sleeting, then as I headed home, big fluffy flakes.........lots of moisture which we needed so badly.

The first snow of the season.

Happy Colorado Girl today.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Living Blue

Maybe if we had better signs..............................

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Alice in the Bristol Fan Club

Sentences you really could never imagine hearing...................like.................ever.

Alice Cooper:  "Bristol Palin is really a breath of fresh air."

Monday, October 25, 2010


When I woke up this morning the local news said the temperature was 61 degrees.

As I headed northwest towards work, black ominous clouds hung over the Rockies, and the winds were picking up.

The winds brought a wave of fallen leaves heading east, tumbling along the road, as if they were all running away from something.

About a mile away, the rains began and followed me all the way to work.  I love the rain.

At lunch time, the sun had come back out, the winds died down.

But at work day's end, I COULD NOT BELIEVE how cold it was..............wind back too.

I fired up the seat warmers, but still shivered all the way home.

Big bowl of yummy husband-made chili......and now...............

I love days like this.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Tuesday Grab Bag

Like the one we get each year at Christmas from my Mom.............full of random things.

Here, let me find a good spot to lay down.  Maybe in the grass and mulch, under the birdbath, a little sun..............and these comfy rocks as a pillow.

Ahhhhhhhhh, a Dog's Life.

Why is there a toddler eating blueberry toast in his dinosaur pajamas at my kitchen table?

Because I can't say no when someone asks me to babysit.  8:30 AM Sunday morning........we were invaded.  He's a sweet boy but didn't take to the breakfast in bed idea.  He likes to sit on the big boy stools in the kitchen.

I did it.

I voted for a someone who didn't have an "R" after their name.  For the second time ever.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Watching Chilean Miners

Happy to watch happy news.

Sat on pins and needles last night as the first Chilean Miner, Florencio Avalos came up out of the mine.  Amazing to see the footage of the brave rescuer who went DOWN with the capsule.  The tension, followed by joy of the wife and kids was riveting to watch.  Made me think of watching Apollo footage as a kid, hoping and praying for the best.  I saw footage of miner number nine, who fell to his knees, and said a prayer.

Watched the first three come up last night, before I fell asleep.  When we turned the TV on first thing this morning, ten had been rescued...............no problems so far. 

I'm sure I'll be watching all day.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Please Sir, May I Have Some More?

Hallelujah, it's raining.  Drizzling most of the day...............now it's pouring.

This is such a good thing!!!  It's been so dry for so long.  Wildfires popping up all over.  High temps making it worse. 

It really feels like fall..............finally. 

Our girl Bessy got groomed today and is all ready for Halloween.  She likes the cool weather too....

She's all clean and fluffy.  Holding onto her rawhide bone she got from the groomer.  Sitting in front of the outdoor speaker listening to good jazz music.

She is a spoiled dog..........and it's all my fault.


A post for no reason at all except for the fact that it's 10.10.10.  Posted at 10:10 AM.

I think this makes math geeks happy.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

NEW Santana

Carlos Santana has a new album out.  Downloaded it to ITunes.  It's full of cover tunes for many great guitar classics.  Great to hear his interpretation of these songs...............there's always a Santana edge to the guitar work.  The songs are great..............here's a sample..........I picked this one because I had the original on a 45 record............in the same collection of 45's with Donny Osmond and The Partridge Family. Always did have eclectic taste in music.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

UN Me Movie

I heard the person who made this movie on Dennis Miller's radio show.  I hesititate to endorse a movie I haven't seen.  But I'm a sucker for documentaries..............I love this trailer.........for now, take a look and let's see.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Bad Blogger No Posting

I have been bad about blogging............."things" get in the way.

Here is an incomplete list of my lame excuses.

"I'm Melting..............."  This is not the September of my dreams.  It has been one of the hottest on record according to the weather folks.  This time last year, we had already had snow. Dry, hot, and everything is so crispy..........well, let's just say, we've been watering the hill behind our house (though it's not our property) just in case.  I started the month with ideas of all my wonderful September blog posts............full of cool crisp days.  It is a little chilly overnight, but this is not the September I had been looking forward to.  Maybe we will have September in October, which means the end is in sight.

I have been buried at work.  Whenever I go on vacation, I am left with a mountain of things to work through and fix upon my return.  Down to the bottom of the pile, but I am exhausted when I get home at night.

Banking woes.  Upon our return from vacation I received a call from our wonderful credit union, there were "suspicious" transactions on our account, or more specifically, from our debit card.  "No", I told the man on the phone, we were not currently at a Walmart in Mississippi.  "Yes, please", decline the transaction.  Hooray for a credit union, that is diligent in looking out for us.  In the end, no money lost, new cards issued on the spot.......I love my credit union..................thanks, Dad, for the referral.

Free babysitting at your service...............since her adoption as a newborn, I have been one of the designated babysitters for my boss' daughter.  I volunteered for the duty, and have watched her for an evening, or overnight many times.  As an amazingly tall 8 year old, she is a joy to have around, and never poses a problem.  Both her mom and dad were busy this past weekend, so I picked her up on Friday night, and she stayed with us for the whole weekend, till mom picked her up late Sunday night.  She's a big hit in our neighborhood...........the 5 and 7 year old boys next door were competing for her attention.  She joined the weekend kickball games, and there was much roasting of marshmallows, both in our back yard, and the neighbors.  I think we exhausted her completely, but surprise............The Husband and I were wiped out too.

As September winds down, things will calm down (somewhat).  I will then be able to get down electronically, all the things rattling around in my brain.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Fall At Last

Yes at exactly 9:09 PM MDT, it becomes fall.  And none too soon.  Today it felt like fall.  Chilly in the morning.  Finally got some rain last night and tonight.  I'm so over the hot.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Ouray Reviews and Recomendations

So here's the wrap up on our trip to Ouray.

First of all...........it's so great to hang out with Scootergirl and The Marine.

We adore them.......sad that they are in another state.........but glad that they are in our life.........and will stay so for many years to come.  It's an easy and  comfortable friendship...........the best kind.

As always, I feel like going to Ouray is like taking a mild sedative............a Valium that lasts for a few months.

It's an "At Altitude",  high places, Colorado mountains, kinda thing.........

Thank you, God, for creating such a place.

The China Clipper is our home away from home.  Hans and Ingrid (the owners) make it a place of peace and solice.  Like staying at home...........which is the point.

Vacations serve two purposes............excitement, adventure, discovery................AND peace, relaxation and rejuvination.  Our annual Ouray vacation is all about the second.  Peace, calm, quiet, and most importantly..........the majesty of God's creation.  God's creation is displayed in all it's splendor in Ouray.

We visited the old, and checked out the new.

So if you are a random visitor to this blog, reading about Ouray...............here is my list of observations........

Stay at the China Clipper.............more money????  Yes.............worth it?????  Yes.

Go see Hutch.............at the Ouray Ale House.  If you don't like beer...........AT ALL.........maybe not.

But Hutch and the Ouray Ale House is a unique experience............the BEST of Colorado mountain towns........gotta do it............

New place in town..........Ouray Brewery.............shiny........clean..........new...........but not so good.  They MAY get better, but our first experience was not stellar.  Beer???????  Passable............food?????????? Not so good.  Pass it up, go get a pizza and take it to Hutch's............. you'll get MUCH better beer there.

The rest of Ouray seems to be the same as it ever was.........except for.............the VARIETY STORE IS CLOSING.  Are you serious?  This is a store beyond description really.  If you have  been to Ouray more than once, you know that you no longer need to worry if you forgot to pack something because they sell ONE OF EVERYTHING IN THIS STORE..............SERIOUSLY.

Alas...........nothing really stays the same

I love Ouray.  I would live there tomorrow if I could.  The property costs are too high.............wages too low.  So it will be our home away from home.............once a year.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

More Photos From Ouray

Two Marines Hanging Out in Front of City Hall

View From Below Camp Bird Mine

Aspen Grove Near Camp Bird Mine

Grand Staircase of Beaumont Hotel

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Photos from Ouray

The Dillon Pinnacles at Blue Mesa

Above Ouray, near the amphitheater.

More will follow later..............the wirless connection here takes about 10 minutes per picutre to upload.

We're off and running (sort of). Taking the I-70 route home. More tonight.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Full Day Here

I woke up too early. Always hard to sleep away from home.

If Ouray were only a little closer to home.

Breakfast by Hans and Ingrid. Breakfast conversation with lots of runners who ran a race yesterday to the top of Imogene Pass. Silly me, I thought riding a Jeep to the top was difficult.

We wandered around town, on foot and in the Wrangler..............seems like everywhere is uphill here...hung out TOO long at Bien Tempo........Scootergirl is a social butterfly and made friends wherever we went.
We did Billy Goat Gruff takeout (who knew?).......for dinner and then hot tubs and and conversation.

Early to bed again.........

Now for the guest blogger.....

"Arose with a new sense of purpose, to rediscover what I knew was there. As I looked upon the San Juans...it renewed a feeling of comfort and balance that I somehow miss in my everyday life. Now I'm stuck. I want to be here all the time."

In other words, we are sleepy..........time for sleep.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

The Best of September

I am sitting on my bed.........in a beautiful room. Outside our door, the aspen trees surround the hot tub, in the beautiful courtyard of the China Clipper Inn.

The drive from Denver, which started with a trip to DIA to pick up ScooterGirl and The Marine, was free of construction zones.....a first for us.

There is literally no where I would rather be than where I am. How blessed am I?

We made the trek, down 285, and the trip seemed shorter with our friends from Texas joining us. The B&B is lovely, (pictures to follow) and after dinner and a visit to see Hutch at the OurayAle House, we are settling for an early night.

for this trip we have a guest blogger...........The Husband.........who wants to say:

"We had a wonderful journey with our friends, to the perfect destination. When we arrived in Ouray, we were greeted with the visual splendor of the San Juan mountains. Every time we are here, I am taken aback, by how beautiful this land is. As we enjoy our first evening in Ouray, it is made even better because our special friends are with us. I look forward to the adventures we will all share in our time here..............I will have more to say tomorrow."

The Husband talks good, huh?

Never Forget

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

September Update

I love traditions.

Celebrating things on an annual basis.


I love the change of the seasons, and I tie those rituals, traditions and celebrations to changing seasons.

For the last eight years, The Husband and I have made an annual tradition of heading to Ouray, Colorado for a vacation. What a blessing, that he loves it as much as I do. I told some people at a business meeting today about my trip to Ouray. There are literally thousands of people living in Colorado, many who've lived here for years, and yet they've never seen the San Juans. Yes, Vail and Aspen are beautiful. Pikes Peak, the Collegiate Peaks, are breathtaking. But if you have never driven on the Million Dollar Highway, or sat in the Hot Springs pool in Ouray, you have never seen the best of Colorado. You simply must go.

If magic wands were at my disposal, I would have an updated Victorian 2 blocks off of Main Street in Ouray. The Husband votes for a log cabin off the golf course in Ridgeway, just 10 minutes north. In either case, we would live everyday with the San Juans out our window, and the splendor of God's creation around us, in us, filling us with awe.

Saturday morning will find us heading southwest, through South Park, the Gunnison Valley, past Blue Mesa reservoir to Montrose.

Yes, there is a joy in the journey.

From Montrose just a short trip south, with the San Juans in your front window all the way. Past the jerky stands, and the elk ranch, and the "log cabins for sale" lots.

Then come the red rock formations, which let you know you are getting close, and just around the bend.....just past the cemetery.........you see the visitor center, and the ball field.

Ouray, Colorado.

The cherry on the top of the whipped cream, on top of the sundae, is that ScooterGirl and The Marine, our beloved friends from Texas will be in our Wrangler with us.

Ain't Fall grand?????

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Welcome to Heaven on Earth

Welcome to Heaven on Earth. Otherwise known as

September in Colorado.




Let's celebrate.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Tunesday - Dotsero - Our Hometown Guys

One summer night, in 1990 or 1991, I wandered into a place on Colfax and York with my friend John. We were looking for a late night snack and we saw a sax player through the windows as we drove past. When we got in the place (the York Street Cafe), the band was on a break. But when they started up again it began a 20 year relationship with me and a local jazz group called Dotsero. I drug my parents and lil bro to see them at the York Street a few days later.

I've seen them so many times, in so many places, I've lost count. They've had some personnel changes over the years, but the Watts brothers, Steve on sax, Dave on guitar have maintained a sound that sets them apart. Seeing them live is really the only way to get the full effect, but the 4 CD's I have can do the trick.

Find them at Dotsero. You can download them on ITunes,and if you're ever in Denver, they have their own club, Jazz@Jack's. Cool club.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Volunteer Sunflowers

About a month ago, I almost pulled a weed out of a rock border in my tiny garden. But the leaf looked familiar, so I let it grow.

Now it's turned into a giant sunflower tree. My grandmother called perennials flowers that "come up volunteer".

It's about 5 feet tall now.

This is not interesting to anyone but me........and maybe my Dad.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Tunesday - REAL Western Music - Don Edwards

For a number of years, I attended Michael Martin Murphy's WestFest in Copper Mountain with my parents. It was an amazing gathering. Michael started moving the festival around to other places, and it wasn't the same.

But those years introduced me to a number of musical artists I doubt I would have found otherwise.

With a trip to Ouray looming on my horizon..........it brought to mind some good old cowboy music.....(not Country).

Meet for the first time, or say hello again to Don Edwards......with a traditional cowboy song.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Okay, I'm Done

No more 90's...........80's okay. 70's okay too.

Ready for fall.

There, I said it..........

Thursday, August 19, 2010

We Remember

Heard the audio of this video on Hugh Hewitt's show. Watch it, pass it around, put it on YOUR blog.
(Sorry it doesn't fit well on my blog design. Double click to see if full screen on you tube)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Kindred Spirits on the Web

A good friend of mine sent me a link to a blog. I doubt I would have found it on my own..........so thanks, D.

The first time I went there I knew I had found a kindred spirit. We even have the same bird feeder! So if you like my blog, you will love hers.......

Please go say hello at Baby Bloomr .

Her latest post on B&B's is great.

She also happens to be married to one of my favorite singers ever....but I'll let you figure that out for yourself.

GDazz in Texas.......you're going to love it!

Fall is Coming

It's still summer...........mid-August........high nineties today.

But my trees and shrubs know better. They're already turning.

My tiny cherry tree.......

My burning bushes are starting to "burn".

Fall is on the way.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Just When My Husband Thought He Was Safe - New Fiesta Color

It's here......................

Don't know exactly how I'm going to get my hands on a set.........last new color took months and months to hit Colorado. I ain't waiting that long this time.

I need my new Fiesta color...........PAPRIKA!!!!

Looks more like caramel to me, but I'll go with whatever Homer Laughlin tells me to call it.............they keep my habit going.

Yes, I know...........I have too many different colors now.........I could feed an entire football team, both sides, offense and defense with settings I already own. (and I don't have black or white or the revered lilac).

I will reorganize the kitchen cabinet.......photos to follow. I can make room, because I rotate the colors seasonally anyway............


Obsessed. See for yourself...........click here.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Of Movies and Drive Ins and Great Writing

Big fan of Big Hollywood.

A blog I read almost everyday. I relish the movie reviews, being a cinema fan down to my DNA. But this post at Big Hollywood, moved me not only for the spot-on description of Drive-In Movies, but also because I wish I could write this well. Like the sap that I am........I teared up at the beautifully crafted description of seeing a movie at a drive-in.........and the flashback to those movies of 1989.

Please click the link and read it........and then my personal comments will pale by comparison, but I think you'll like it............BRAVO John Nolte..........you are my new hero.

The greatest movie summer of my life.

There are two drive-in movie theaters embedded in my brain. The first is the North Star, just blocks from where I spent the carefree days of my early childhood.

Dad and Mom would pack up the Little Bro and I (in our jammies, no less), and pop a big grocery sack full of popcorn........hop in the car and off to the drive-in movies. Every once in a while we'd get to visit the playground in front of the screen, but usually we arrived just in time for the previews and cheesy animated commercials enticing you to the concession stand. The back seat of the Buick Skylark was plenty comfy for movie watching, as well as sleeping during the second feature (yes, they ran two movies). I seem to recall that the first movie was always "family friendly" as we would say now, but the second feature was less so, so Mom would have us lay down and go to sleep. I did my best to stay awake, though my eyes were closed, and to try and hear, whatever it was that I wasn't supposed to experience. Sleep won, and I fell asleep with no new knowledge.

The second drive-in attachment for me was the Havana Drive-In, which fell within the boundaries of my high school haunts. ( I couldn't find a picture of it). Close to Buckingham Square ( a mall we hung out at) the best part of the Havana Drive-In was what we called the "Free Movies". Just like a scene from the movie, Dazed and Confused, we'd be out with friends, see someone we knew, they'd roll up in their car, and people would say......let's go to the "Free Movies".

If you knew where to go, behind the King Soopers, there was a dirt path you could drive into, and find yourself behind the back fence of the Havana Drive-In. If you were lucky the back rows of the drive-in were empty, you could see the movie (at a distance) and hear the sound from the unused speakers still hanging on their stands. Free movie, friends in cars.....everything was great till the Aurora Police showed up and told us to "move along".

Lest you think we always partook of the free movie variety, we did pay to get in on a regular basis. Vintage pickups were popular with guys at my high school, they backed them into the spaces and put lawn chairs in the bed. Havana Drive-In made us pay per person on the weekends, and yes there was frequent trunk smuggling and fence jumping. I personally never did these things, but yes, I was involved. (Sorry, Dad).

The whole experience was invigorating. Flickering images, fresh air, tinny speakers, surrrounded by distractions.

Movie magic.

Best 10 Minutes of Your Week

Okay after the THIRD person sent this to me on Facebook.........I'm sharing it with all you non-Facebook types (and you know who you are).

This WILL be the best 10 minutes of your day........maybe your week. But get a box of Kleenex...........thanks for the link, ScooterGirl.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

If I Stand - Rich Mullins

Life throws us curve balls. No one knows this more than I do.

Today's Tunesday is sent out to a dear friend of mine, who is facing some tough times right now. (You know who you are).

In times of sorrow, in times of stress, in times of sadness, I have often turned to the music of Rich Mullins. Laying on my living room floor, with my headphones on, the tears running into my ears.........I would listen to some songs over and over, letting the words get down deep into my spirit.

This is one of those songs...........

Even if you are not in a bad place......this is a wonderful song.

I've included the lyrics below.

Take a listen.

There's more that rises in the morning
Than the sun
And more that shines in the night
Than just the moon
It's more than just this fire here
That keeps me warm
In a shelter that is larger
Than this room

And there's a loyalty that's deeper
Than mere sentiments
And a music higher than the songs
That I can sing
The stuff of Earth competes
For the allegiance
I owe only to the Giver
Of all good things

So if I stand let me stand on the promise
That You will pull me through
And if I can't, let me fall on the grace
That first brought me to You
And if I sing let me sing for the joy
That has born in me these songs
And if I weep let it be as a man
Who is longing for his home

There's more that dances on the prairies
Than the wind
More that pulses in the ocean
Than the tide
There's a love that is fiercer
Than the love between friends
More gentle than a mother's
When her baby's at her side

And there's a loyalty that's deeper
Than mere sentiments
And a music higher than the songs
That I can sing
The stuff of Earth competes
For the allegence
I owe only to the Giver
Of all good things

So if I stand let me stand on the promise
That you will pull me through
And if I can't let me fall on the grace
That first brought me to You
And if I sing let me sing for the joy
That has born in me these songs
And if I weep let it be as a man
Who is longing for his home

And if I stand let me stand on the promise
That you will pull me through
And if I can't let me fall on the grace
That first brought me to You
And if I sing let me sing for the joy
That has born in me these songs
And if I weep let it be as a man
Who is longing for his home

And if I weep let it be as a man
Who is longing for his home

Monday, August 09, 2010

Green Bug Invasion

We see butterflies all the time, so it only stands to reason that they have to come from somewhere.............who knew it was our Virginia Creeper plant? This is actually the second caterpiller we saw, but I didn't get a picture of the first one. It looked just like this........only a kind of pinkish rust color. Been googling around and trying to figure out what kind of butterfly this will turn into, but don't know for sure yet.

Good fun to freak the neighbor boys out with this bug too.........

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Riots in Birdland

There's a bird riot in my backyard every morning. It starts about 6AM. We sleep with the window open whenever possible, so it surprisingly loud. The variety of birds we attract is surprising and makes for good bird watching, being the nerd that I am.

This morning the clatter was louder than usual. I looked out the window to find some sort of bird lineup on the neighbor's roof.

Couldn't zoom in enough to figure out what kind of bird they were.

Then, in a flash, they all left. Except for the one who doesn't "flock together".

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

George Winston - Nature Set To Music

Back in the eighties, a friend and sound guy I knew introduced me to the music of George Winston. "New Age" music was a new genre in the record stores....CD's were the latest and greatest new format. The first George Winston album I bought was Autumn.
Hard to even guess how many times I listened to this album..........and all the others of Winston I bought. Perfect dinner music when friends are over.......great background to read a book to..........perfect for weekend mornings while you read the paper and drink coffee.

Sadly for me too, it was the music of my insomnia. For most of the nineties, I suffered with insomnia so bad some weeks I barely got by. I'd put in George Winston albums and hit the replay button. It was a bad night when the album started for the third time and I was still awake. Thank God I was working in the music industry for a good part of that decade, and I seldom had to get up early.

This last Saturday morning The Husband went to work unusually early, I spent most of the morning sitting in the back yard........drinking coffee, watching the birds and butterflies flit around. And listening to George Winston.

His music no longer spells insomnia for me (although I still fight it) but now his music is my enhancement to enjoying nature. His music sounds like nature. This song sounds like the wind blowing through aspen trees.


Monday, August 02, 2010

The Help - A Must Read


I recently joined a book club that my next door neighbor invited me to. I read so much and so often, that it's great to have people to discuss the books with. At the first meeting they mentioned the title of the book for the next month. I promptly downloaded it onto my Kindle while I sat there. The following week, as I began to read the book, I kept thinking to myself. "WHO picked this book?" "Why are we reading this book?". The plot involved some cell phone addicted New York guy who goes to Europe to help a childhood friend who's opening up a hotel in an old castle. There's some weird old lady in a tower watching them...........a big fountain full of pond scum and a terrible smell.........there's something creepy going on..........and then it goes downhill form there. Being new to the book club, I thought I'd just sit quietly at the next meeting and try to figure out why they picked "The Keep". Then Nicole (my neighbor) asked me how I was liking the book........I paused.........she said "I think The Help is good."

The Help??? Wait.........hold on a sec..........arrrrrrrg. I'm reading the wrong book.

The Help is one of best books I've read in a long time. It drew me in right from the first pages. The Help is set in the early Sixties in Jackson, Mississippi (don't I know someone from Jackson, Mississippi?). Each chapter is written from the perspective of one of three women. Two are black maids/nannies who work for white families. The third is Miss Skeeter, a young, unmarried white woman who's finding her way in life. She's friends with young married women who have kids and employ these black maids. The way the three come together is unexpected and in the end, triumphant. I hear this is Kathryn Stockett's first novel.........what a first effort. Junior Leagues, bridge clubs, and sandwiches with ice tea, she captured life in a southern town with vivid detail. I can't imagine this NOT being made into a movie. The thing I liked the best was the way Kathryn captured the dialect of the black maids in the chapters voiced by them.

"So I took that pink screaming baby in my arms. Bounced her on my hip to get the gas moving and it didn't take two minutes fore Baby Girl stopped her crying, got to smiling up at me like she do. But Miss Lefolt, she don't pick up her baby for the rest a the day. I seen plenty a womens get the baby blues after they done birthing. I reckon I thought that's what it was."

I strongly recommend this book, look forward to her next novel, and wait to see who they cast in the movie.

UPDATE: h/t to Tennessippi Dave.......they're filming this summer. The Help Movie

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Here We Go

I've put it off for days now...........must decide and mail.

With no enthusiasm whatsoever............

Friday, July 23, 2010

Woodland Dog

Our Bessy is a Colorado dog. We could tell by how much she loves the snow. She leaps and bounds around whenever it snows. The deeper the snow the better.

Now in the heat of July, she's found her own private hiding place. Back in the corner, behind the aspen trees, down in the cool mulch.

Sometimes, we can't figure out where she is at all because she blends in so well. She stays quiet and still..............and peeks out at us.

I need a place just like this for myself.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Discouraged Republican

Yes......I'm a discouraged Republican.

This is not a new sensation for me..........it's just particularly bad right now.

Where have all the Ronald Reagans gone?

When, really, was the last time a Republican made me jump to my feet?

The situation is particularly bad here in Colorado. We Republicans were recently run out of town, no.......run out of the state. For nearly 4 years now, there was nary a Republican to be found. Things were looking up for us, however, come this fall. Chances to gain the governor's office......maybe a senate seat.

Then we collapsed from within.

For the sake of out of town readers, and since there are other bloggers out there doing it better anyway....I won't go into the details.

We've turned on each other..........the primary battle has turned nasty and riddled with scandals. Apparently the candidates have decided to give the Dems all the fuel they need to run against us in the fall. Not that anyone in the races got me fired up to begin with. I attended a debate amongst the senate candidates near my house...........

The only person whose answers I liked is no longer in the race.

Jane Norton vs Ken Buck?
Scott McInnis vs Dan Maes?

Could we have some choices we actually like, please.............?????

Somewhere, out there is a young, sharp, Republican....(maybe a woman?)who can sound like something other than a used car salesman, or a high school debate team president with a rehearsed speech.

I have a feeling my mail-in ballot is sitting in my mailbox and I hate to say it, but I don't have the slightest idea who I'm going to vote for.

And I swear if I hear another Jane Norton commercial telling me Ken Buck isn't "man enough".................ARRRRRG.

What is a Reagan Republican to do in Colorado?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

North Platte Canteen

With a Hat/Tip to ScooterGirl in Texas, get out your hankie and take 7 minutes of your day to watch this amazing video. I have never heard about this, but it makes me proud to think of the sacrifices of the Greatest Generation.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Matt Dusk - Another Great LastFM Find

Yet another LastFM find.

Singing a Bono song no less..........

Think Sinatra, born in 1978.......how old does THAT make you feel?

Monday, July 12, 2010

Mondays Are Happy Again

Makes Mondays not so tough. Great to spend Monday night with Deputy Chief Brenda Lee Johnson and her big box of candy............

Sunday, July 11, 2010

TV, Movies and Pop Culture

I don't watch a lot of television programs. But I do probably watch too much TV.

How can this be? I only watch a handful of TV programs............but when I'm the one with the remote in my hand..........I watch movies.

This is a genetic trait. I grew up with movie obsessed parents. As much as I watch movies, I'm sure I could never watch as many movies as they have seen. But I have this weird habit of watching the same movies over and over again. For a variety of reasons.

Some I watch for a specific moment, some for the cinematography, some for the soundtrack, some for the dialogue, some for an actress or actor that I particularly like.

If there's a movie that I've never seen, and I want to see it, I won't watch it unless I can see it from the beginning. But if it's a movie I love I'll just jump in anywhere and fall back into rhythm of the movie.

So here follows the first of many posts about movies I always watch if they're on the guide, because I can't help myself. Hard to know where to start, so I'll begin with specific actors.

Let's talk Val Kilmer.

Tonight "The Doors" was on Palladia channel. (It's a HD music channel). Their music became popular when I was too young to understand, but over the years I have grown to love their music. The movie is a clear example of the way Val Kilmer DISAPPEARS into a role. Sure he had a head start because he resembles Jim Morrison.......but once you're a few minutes into this movie you forget that he ISN'T Jim Morrison. Oliver Stone (I know, I know........) did amazing things with this movie and the cast is full of people in small roles adding layers to the movie that amaze me. The story of Jim Morrison and The Doors rise to fame is completely on the mark to anyone who's spent any time in the music industry. The drugs, decedance, and excesses of the Sixties is well potrayed. This ain't a movie for the kiddies. The entire thing seems like an extended MTV music video. But better. The Ed Sullivan show appearance in the movie just kills me everytime I see it. If you've seen it, you know what I mean.

I love it. I own it on DVD........I find it compelling, tranfixxing........and in the end disturbing..............

What would have happened had Jim not died? How did Val go this far into the role?

What a movie!!!

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Guilty Summer Pleasures

Oh, for the days of summer vacation. Day after day with nothing to do but figure out what kind of fun you're going to have.

I grew up in a neighborhood jammed packed full of families with kids. We were just a few feet from a playground (a really good one), swimming pool, clubhouse, and a basketball court. Summer was filled with games of Marco Polo in the pool, Red Light Green Light, Red Rover, Swing The Statue, and a goofy game I think some kid made up, called Fernando's Hideaway. We rode our bikes through the fields down to a pond everyone called Augie's. We caught crawdads and put them in used Cool Whip containers in the backyard till they died and started to smell.

We swam till our skin wrinkled, stayed out till it got too dark to see, and hung out with friends everyday. When I was sure my parents weren't watching out the window, I rode on the back of Kevin Brassfield's Honda Mini-Bike. We thought it was really cool to walk up to the Kmart and eat at the lunch counter. We ordered french fries and poured our own drinks at the fountain. At Kmart we also bought 45's (my collection included both Donny Osmond AND Deep Purple). You could get the latest Tiger Beat and 16 Magazine too........Before we left we bought those pistachios that were dyed bright red, from the spinning, heated nut counter.

Life was good.

They say that youth is wasted on the young, but I actually think I had more than an inkling that life would not always be this way......I loved going back to school in the fall, but I knew summer was a special time.....that would never, ever be the same when you were an adult.

Fast forward several decades and summer just ain't what it used to be.......

So I look out for some silly, childish distractions.

My guilty pleasures:

Big Brother - Yep, watch this ridiculous show every summer. I like the senseless fun of watching a group of people go stir crazy locked in a house together........After the first episode tonight, my guess for Saboteur......Swim Coach Dude. Three nights a week, I'm watching BB,.........voyeurism at it's best.

Ice Cream - Not a big fan of desserts in general, but I love ice cream. DQ, Baskin Robbins......I'm there. In our neighborhood, the Ice Cream Truck comes through every Saturday and Sunday. Still feel silly running out there, so I listen to the music and watch him from the window.

Watermelon - These days you can get it year round, but as a kid it was a summer only treat. Could eat it every meal, every day.

Convertible/Rock N Roll - Top down on my car.........music blaring. Summer is all about music. One of the best summer songs recently..........the oddly compelling Kid Rock hit it out of the park with "All Summer Long". "Smooth" by Santana should be officially sanctioned as the anthem for summer.

Taking A Break - Junk drawer needs cleaning out? Not gonna happen. Basement needs reorganizing? No way. In general, if it doesn't involve dirt and landscaping, extra projects just aren't going to happen. The trick to this guilty pleasure is to actually not feel guilty. There will be cold blustery days to come when you can't sit outside and watch the butterflies flutter by.

Meanwhile..............be a kid. Eat some ice cream, crank the tunes, let the wind blow your hair around.

Play, enjoy, and day dream some days away.

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

New Find From Last FM - Peter Cincotti

New artist (to me anyway). Great song. Great voice.

LastFM is just a great way to find new music.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Dog Days of Summer

Miss Bessy likes our new patio furniture...............

And she likes to watch the firepot too...........

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Latest Celebrity Sighting

My regular readers may remember that I have some strange dreams. Don't always post about them all, because I have so many.

But the celebrity cameos are always amusing.

I recently dreamed that I was on my way to Paris with a group of friends. One of those friends happened to be Liam Neeson. This was a first appearance for Mr. Neeson in my dreams. So nice of him to stop by.

We landed in Paris at night and went straight to check into our hotel. Then we decided to go out for dinner. (We're in Paris right?) So we found a great African restaurant (????) where they were serving some sort of braised beef ribs. There was a lot of noise coming from a back room. I got up to investigate and found Shirley MacLaine hosting a dinner. So good to see her, you know?

I have NO idea why my subconcious strings things together like this, but it's good for a laugh. This one wasn't as fun as the one a few weeks back...........where I was having dinner with John Elway, and we ran into Robert De Niro. I literally woke up laughing.

I do have people I actually know in my dreams...........some more than others but those dreams are not as funny.....

Now you know.


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