Mountain Life in Colorado

Thursday, November 8, 2012

All By Myself

The first day on skis for the season is always so cool.  I went skiing yesterday.  The weather was spring like but the conditions were hard, meaning the snow was not slushy or spring like.  It was in the 50's and I chose not to wear my helmet (stupid, I know).  It was beautiful.  Sitting on the chair, swinging my skis, the sun on my face, listening to the hoots and hollers from the riders and skiers was great. 
I had to reschedule my tire appointment because last week when they were suppose to be mounted they never showed up on the truck.  I was to bring my car in a 2pm, pick up the kid at 3:30 from the bus, go to the ski meeting at 5:30 and pick up the other kid at 7:30 from play practice.  So, I decided to go skiing before all of that. 
I skied for a bit and had to be down at my car changing for my tire appointment.   I got to the car, changed, and when I got in the car the phone rang and it was the tire shop telling me the tires didn't arrive.  Bummer.  Now I had 2 hours to burn.  I'm a pro at that. 
I had remembered that the Nation's Capital's Christmas tree, which had been chopped down in Meeker, was to be travelling through Dillon so I drove to Dillon to check out the festivities.  They had the road blocked off for the tree, a band, food, hayrides and it was festive alright.  Mostly, it was the elementary schools with all the little kiddos for a cool field trip.  I got there just in time. 
The Christmas tree truck was just pulling away for their ginormous trek to the White House so I started snapping pictures of the truck hauling the Christmas tree and it's huge caravan following it.  I was as happy and giddy as one of those little first graders.  And, I was all by myself, which cracked one of my BFF's up. 
After the caravan left and everyone was waving, me front and center, the hay ride pulled up with an entire school on the wagon and as they were unloading, grownups were lining up for the trip around the streets of downtown Dillon.  I had to join them.  I loaded up and looked around to see if there was anyone in the sparse crowd that I knew so I could rally them too.  I did know some but no one wanted to ride.  Off we went. 
The horses whinnied and there I was, on a wagon, being pulled by two huge Percheron's, with 2 couples in their 80's from Oklahoma, next to me.    I soon became bff's with the Okie next to me and asked my typical questions we always ask tourists.  It was so much fun and I'm talking and snapping pictures and having a ball.  All by myself. 
The ride went around the block and came to an end.  I unloaded, said goodbuy to my bff from Oklahoma, and walked away to my car.  It was so much fun.  I called my friend Deb to tell her of my day, knowing that she would appreciate it so much, which she did.  She kept saying, "You went skiing all by yourself??"  "You were at the tree sighting all by yourself??"   "Yes!"  I said and I was tempted to go have a Bloody Mary, all by myself.  I didn't. 
I still had some time to spare so I walked around Target and then Walgreens, two of my favorite walking around stores. 
I decided to drive to the Middle school to pick up my daughter and she got in the car, asked me what I did for the day and I told her my story.  Her comment was, "All by yourself?  Mom, you are so cute."  Now, you know you're old when your kids say you're cute.  Old people are cute. 
I consider myself to be a very independent person but obviously 2 people in my life are flabbergasted that I could have so much fun all by myself.  Do they not know me?  Do they not know how I can just crack myself up over and over and over? 
Well, the rest of the evening was not spent all by myself and I attended our meeting and burned another hour later waiting for my other kid to get out of play practice. 
We got home at our standard 8pm and did our nightly things.  Starting the fire, picking up a little, loving on the dog and cat and getting ready for bed.  Only, I didn't get ready for bed.  I poured myself a glass of wine, got into my fat clothes and curled up on the couch with the TV on. 
All by myself.
                                                                                       This picture is taken 1/4 mile from our house as we were driving home after school.   
                                                                                 










Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Victory

"We are living in an entirely different country."
"Republicans are a Mad Men party in a Modern Family world."  -Matthew Dowd

WOW!  That's pretty profound. 

Last night our country made history. 

  • Barack Obama became the first president since Franklin Roosevelt to win a second term when unemployment was so high and voters so uneasy about the nation's future.
  • Barack Obama, the first president ever to support equality was re-elected.
  • Colorado's Amendment 64 wins.  Colorado says yes to the regulation of Marijuana, as did Washington.
  • Maine, Maryland and Washington passed marriage equality and Minnesota passed same sex marriage, a vote not to change constitution to define marriage as only between man/woman.
  • Tammy Baldwin became the first openly gay politician, and first Wisconsin woman, elected to the U.S. Senate.
These are just a few things that come to mind. 
Pretty amazing. 

I am having an election hangover taking everything all in.  Last night watching Romney take state after state I have to admit, I was a little worried.  Even though I thought there was no way he would win it did look iffy for a minute.  Then, it all came together very quickly.  And quick is was.  Who would've thunk?  I thought for sure we would see a bit of a wait before a winner was announced.
I'm a happy voter and I am very excited to see what the next 4 years will bring.  I hope the Republicans, Democrats, Independents, Libertarians and everyone who lives in the United States of America can move forward and work together. 
Reading some of the negative comments this morning on Facebook from my Republican friends really annoyed me.  I made a promise to myself that if Romney won I would post a positive comment and not have a negative reaction.  After all, it is life and we can only work to make this the best outcome for everyone. 
Let's move forward people.  It's time to put our differences behind us and work together.
 
I know, easier said then done. 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

A Quick Update

Here's an update on the happenings of mountain life in Colorado.

     I'm on week 2 of a 5 week break from my job.  Loving it.
     My daughters had great grades for their first quarter. 
     H didn't get hurt once during her rugby season.
     J is swimming and was cast in the school musical, "Annie"
     J also got her driver's permit.  Scary, scary and scary. 
     Teller, our beloved dog, has been diagnosed with bone cancer.  Tears big time. 
     We have snow and Arapahoe Basin and Loveland are open.  Keystone opens Nov 2. 
     My car needed $1100 worth of work.  Feel free to make a donation. 
     We have a wood stove now in the kitchen and we have a warm kitchen for the first time ever. 
     I finally saw my first moose this fall after everyone was seeing them all summer. 
     We have our wood split and stacked.  A chore that I truly like doing. 
     I'm pregnant.  Just kidding.  I just wanted to see if I could get a reaction.  Did I? 

Still to come:  J's driving, Rugby, dog cancer, pictures of the moose. 
    

Monday, September 3, 2012

The Verbal Tip

Oh the proverbial verbal tip (say that 5 times fast).  "This was the greatest night out we've had in years.  We are so impressed with everything and you were so attentive all evening.  Thank you so much for your service.  We have enjoyed you so much.  
What the?
  Don't tell me what a great time you had and what excellent service you received and then leave an under 15% tip.  However,  I'll take a bad tip any day then icky, angry, picky guests.  They were nice and enjoyed their night and I had a part in that.  It still makes me happy that guests walk out having just had a great dining experience so I'm not that bitter.  I look forward to having them back actually because they drink very nice wine and know how to dine.  It's a good combo and some people just don't feel tipping appropriately is necessary.  So be it.
So, give me the verbal tip.  But, tip 20% if you know you have received great service.  Just sayin'. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Our New Lowe's

It has arrived. 
LOWE'S!


Yes, Silverthorne now has a Lowe's which opened on August 16, 2012. 
I went there the other day for the first time expecting, I don't know, Lowe's?  First of all I'm one of those weird tomboy's that really enjoy home improvement stores, all of them.  I love walking in True Value and looking around.  I love Home Depot, but not the customer service, and walking around even if I don't need anything.  I like walking into Bighorn and getting something just to charge in on my husband's contractors account.  I get a little smug about that.  I'll admit it.  I especially love hardware stores in small towns.  Those are the best.  They carry EVERYTHING!  And, usually, the owner is super nice and knows everything about everything. 
So, the other day I actually made a list of things I need and didn't have Lowe's on the brain because I totally forgot that we now have one up here. 
I got in my car, drove to the thrift store to drop off my gently used items, got gas, went to the library and checked out my book, and remembered to look at my list of things to do and on my list was
-ax
-shovel
-pail. because we now have a wood burning stove and we need to chop wood.  
I remembered Lowe's and drove straight there.  I parked and looked at the beautiful view that our new Lowe's was given and walked in.  I walked pass the grills outside and thought I need a new grill but not today.  The doors slid open and a blast of Lowe's wind gently blew my hair back and cooled me off because I was having a hot flash.  I was blasted with the sweet smell of LUMBER.  I love that smell. 
There was no greeter which I like because I don't like to be greeted at stores.  I'm unsociable that way.  Who knew?
Instantly I started looking around with my pursed lips thinking that it would be a mini Lowe's because, it was up here, and to my surprise it was a normal Lowe's.  I'm not even sure they make mini Lowe's but that is what was going through my mind.  I walked in, straight to the garden center because that is where I am most comfortable.  Plus, I needed an ax and figured they were there.  I was right and walked straight to the rakes, shovels, garden tools and axes.  I was in ax heaven and they had axes without wooden handles, which my husband expressed would be his pick.  So, I took the ax off the wall and now was looking for my pail.  I started walking towards the center of the store because I wanted to peruse the area and the looks I received carrying my huge ax were very judgemental.  I kept walking because I needed a pail.  I axed a guy,  haha I mean asked (LOL), where I could find a metal bucket and he sent me back to the garden center.  Now I had to walk the entire store back to the garden center to find a guy to ask him if he has a metal bucket.  I found him and he looked at my ax and said, "What do you need it for?"  Now, I was getting a little paranoid and I knew what it looked like.  I smirked and he didn't smirk back and I said, "Ash". 
He looked relieve and said, "Oh, a PAIL!".  like I  was saying it all wrong.  Bucket, pail, what the F ever, just take me to the isle.  He walked me straight there and got my pail down for me and I was on my merry way.  Now, I still had to get my little shovel so I'm walking around our knew Lowe's with my ax and my metal bucket/pail and I walk straight to the fireplace isle where they sell those little shovels and went to check out.  I kept hoping I would run into one of our many builder friends because I know that would have gotten a good laugh.  Didn't happen which is strange because when you don't want to run into someone you know while you are doing errands you always do and have to chit chat. 
I walked out to my car cracking myself up at my purchase. 
Ironically, my husband left for a bachelor trip the same day, river rafting.  I know I shouldn't make jokes about it but I have been watching "Snapped" lately and I couldn't help thinking that if he didn't make if off the river I'm sure I would be spending life in  prison for just shopping at our new Lowe's. 
I have been chopping wood, and our new fireplace is nice and clean because of my shovel and metal bucket/pail. 
Lowe's, we are going to have a serious relationship.  

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Enough for a Day

Well, the geezers turned out to be pretty nice.  They were still staying at the lodge last night and when they all congregated on the patio they were having a mellow night.  I'm sure there were some hangovers in the group.  Needless to say everyone was super nice and stayed sober.  It happens.  People come up to the altitude and think they can drink like they usually do and blammo.   They get hit in the face with a mixture of high altitude and alcohol (I blame the altitude every time).
That said, we had another night of weirdness though and thank God, I have a day off today.  I don't think I could handle another night. 
I had a very busy night.  It was one of those nights where I should have just sailed right through it but it wasn't.  Every time I went to a table someone needed more butter, lavash, bread, a fork because they dropped theirs, more water because you are now up at altitude and can't get enough, to hear the history of the place, water with no ice, a straw.  It went on and on and totally threw me in the weeds. 
I had my last table sit down at around 8 or so and they were in their late 20's early 30's.  I approached them and it was instant deer in headlights and I knew I was in trouble.  They didn't know what half of the items were on the menu and wanted nothing but water and were clearly uncomfortable sitting in our dining room.  I took their order and went about my business.  It got more and more uncomfortable every course I served.  They were totally out of their element.  So, to fit in they were acting like idiots.  I'd go to the table and the guy would be grabbing the girls boob trying to be all coy.  He was bossing her around and the other guy around and trying to be very macho.  He wasn't.  It got worse throughout the night and I finally just had to stop trying to please them because it was clear they were not comfortable.  I  gave them silent service which always works when you are at your wits end with a table. 
Needless to say I was emotionally and physically drained when I got home last night and happy to not have to think of work for today. 
It's Sunday and I love Sunday's off.  Sunday's are voodoo night at the restaurant. 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Work Weirdness

Work lately has been very weird.  By that I mean twilight zone weird.  We had a large group for dinner celebrating grandma's 90th Birthday.  Cute huh?  You'd think.  Grandma was pretty cute and she flitted for the bill for the food.  Everything else was pay separately.  I can see why she did that.  Half the men in the group, who were geezers, were hammered.  Drunk beyond belief.  So drunk we had to cut the entire group off from getting anymore alcohol.  They couldn't walk a straight line, hence the large tray of glassware getting broken nor could they talk.  It was bizarre watching this group of geezers and they were all family and it was perfectly natural to them.  The women weren't pissed, embarrassed or put off.  The one guy, who walked a crooked line into the tray of glassware, couldn't talk a sentence and everyone just seemed to go along with him like he was talking intelligently.  They all gathered around grandma while she opened up here presents and it was as if the geezers were having a lovely tea party only they were HAMMERED.  It was actually fun to watch. 
Usually when we have to cut someone off they are mad as hell.  These guys took it in stride and went to the living room for the present opening and took up the entire living room with their family and when I went in to ask if anyone wanted water or coffee hands went up like I was bringing a round of whiskey shots.  Everyone ordered water. 
Same night only earlier.  
We have this dishwasher who started a couple of months ago.  Every night at 4:00 before our shift the kitchen crew makes us dinner, e-meal as we call it.  It's always great.  A huge salad bowl, some sort of meat or fish or chicken usually something for the vegetarians in the group, a starch and veggies and sometimes dessert.  Our dish guy, his first week, says he's gluten free and a vegetarian and can't have lactose.  So, the chef tries to accommodate him with something.  Usually there is something he can eat like the salad.  They don't have to make us dinner they just do.  Dishdog is now walking in 5 minutes late, checking out the spread and saying he's going elsewhere for his dinner. 
WHAT????   GOING WHERE?    He's on the clock.  Then he comes back a half hour later and takes breaks every half hour to smoke.  One day I saw him slip a piece of meat into his system.  Vegetarian my arse.  Yesterday he shows up  5 minutes late, as usual, and goes to the dish pit and fills up a bucket with soapy water, carries it outside and proceeds to wash the inside of his car.  Chef goes out and is bewildered and asks him what he's doing and dishdog says he's washing his car, like that's normal, and carries on.  Chef tells him to leave and dishdog is looking at him like deer in headlights and says to chef he can't understand what is wrong!.   It was just plain bazaar. 
I had a lovely table, however, of 6 people who ran up a dinner tab of $900 and didn't even flinch.  I'm sure they are used to that which I find weird.  Who the hell has that kind of money?  I also waited on 3 super nice people who decided that the young couple sitting behind them were so adorable that they picked up the entire tab for the young couple.  Adorable young couple's tab was a mere $165.  What an incredibly generous thing to do, I thought. 
See what I mean about work weirdness.  Some bad but the lady that picked up the tab for young couple absolutely blew my mind.  What a wonderful thing that was. 
The next time I go to dinner with my husband do you think we can be that adorable so someone we don't even know buys us dinner?   I don't think so either.  However, I will do that for someone, only it'll have to be at McDonald's or the Walmart snack bar. 
Wouldn't that be weird? 

Summer Over??

It's been a great summer for us up here.  Just when the fires were coming too close to us it started to rain.  It never stopped.  It's soggy and wet and we just keep getting rain.  The weird thing about this summer is that since it started so early my flowers are super confused and all of my Columbine have gone to seed.  Usually I am cutting them back when they get snowed on.  In October.   It's nice to see every flower in my garden have a chance to bloom.  Fully bloom.  Especially my Delphinium and my Veronica which I'm surprised even grows up this high.  I shouldn't even have planted it years ago but I did and I refuse to pull it out of the ground.  Poor thing.  But not this summer.  It's happy and in full bloom. 
  
The kids are back at school and I feel like summer is now over.  They went back on Monday.  This was the first summer in the 27 years I've been w/ Jack that we didn't go camping.  I'm still going to try to get out before the snow falls so I can keep the tradition going.  I've never not camped and it's just not right.  The teen thing and being w/ Mom and Dad camping.   Not so much.  Nuff said about that.  

I did go to MN for my 30 year class reunion last month.  I had a blast.  I connected with friends from high school that I haven't seen since high school.  In fact, a good friend from high school and his wife actually called me because they came to Colorado and dropped their son off at college and made the trip to the mountains for a weekend and we got to spend some time together.  It was awesome and it turns out that he is an expert with a CNC machine so he and Jack really got to do some talking and it was a huge help to Jack.  Nobody from high school has come to visit with the exception of my friend Lisa and her family who came out last summer and are coming back next June.  Can't wait. 
The highlight of the reunion was hanging out w/ Lisa and Jan on Lisa's boat in Stillwater and we never even left the slip.  I could get used to that.  Thanks girly girls for making that sooooooo much fun. 
The after hours party after the reunion was a blast too.  Don't get me wrong, the reunion was fun and the venue was perfect.  Nice and casual.  Formal does not work for me. 
So, I got back to the Mountains and was home again.  I haven't done anything but work since. 
I guess that's life.  It sound so humdrum and then my friend came to visit and seeing he and his wife's eyes and their awe at the mountains really made me happy.  I so need those reality checks and when I hear how blown away people are at the beauty of it up here I have to have a come to Jesus meeting with myself and remember that I moved here for a reason.  BECAUSE IT'S SO BEAUTIFUL!!!!!!
It truly is.  I haven't been getting enough of the outdoors or exercise so I get all funked out. 

Tomorrow, I go for a run and look around at the beauty of it all, right out my back door. 
Summer is NOT over even though I've hinted at that.  We always get snow on Halloween so we still have a ways to go.
 I'm not throwing in the towel yet. 

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Summer in Montezuma

This is a great photo of the kids in the backyard.  It reminds me of my own memories, at the lake, growing up. 
Hopefully they'll look back on this with fond memories. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Nowthen

I went for a run today up Webster pass.  I made it to the top without getting rained on even though it was threatening all around me.  There were hardly any moterheads up there and it was peaceful and quiet.  Nothing against moter heads. 
I was running down and I got to treeline and there was this guy on an ATV stopped and looking in the bushes by the stream.  I said hello and he said hello and that he was looking for frogs.  I told him there weren't any up here but maybe I'm wrong and he'll see one.  He had on a Green Bay Packers coat so I asked him where he was from in Wisconsin.  He said he lives in MN.  NW of Mpls.  I told him I grew up NW of Mpls and he said he lives in a little town called Nowthen.  He teaches at Champlain High School.  I've never heard of Nowthen so I googled it and it's pretty close to where I grew up.  I'm going to have to take a little drive when I get home next and see Nowthen. 
Small world when you're in the middle of the mountains.  We chatted for a bit and he had a very thick MN accent which I thought was great.  Nice guy.
I told him to have a great day and continued my run.  I'm sure if I would have stayed and chatted longer we would have had some mutual friends. 
Now then, haha.  Such a MN thing to say.  My Mom used to say it all the time.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

No Bugs

Being from MN I grew up with bugs.  Lots of mosquitos in the summer, gnats, June bugs, and so many more.  I mostly remember those pesky mosquitos and how bad they could get.  They get so bad that you can't even enjoy the outdoors.  Sitting on the patio or deck was not happening. 
Just the other day I was saying to my husband how spoiled we are here because we don't have much of that.  Especially this summer with the dryness.  Well, I spoke too soon and I got bit by something on my forehead. 
I was out doing stuff around the yard and the biting flies were out.  I remember swooshing something away from my head and I really didn't feel a bite but in about 1/2 hour my head above my right eye started swelling up.  I went in for some water and looked in the mirror and I had this huge goose egg above my eye.  In about another 1/2 hour the swelling started moving down to my eye and my eye was swelling up.  By the time afternoon came my right side of my upper face looked like I had been beaten.  My eye was just a slit and I couldn't see out of it.  I took some Benedryl which didn't help.  It only made me want to sleep, which I did.  My family couldn't believe it and Hannah was worried. 
Little Hannah, she's so cute. 
Anyway, let me back up a minute. 
I had worked the night before and got home at around 10 or so.  I poured myself a glass of wine and got into my pajamas and turned on the news.  I had fallen asleep pretty much right away on the couch, wine untouched, and woke up at 2 am.  I was a bit disoriented and turned the tv off, grabbed my glass of wine and walked to the bathroom to brush my teeth and throw out my wine in the sink.  I got to the bathroom and next thing I knew I was laying on the bathroom floor with broken glass everywhere, blood on the floor because I was bleeding from my hand, head and foot.  I was so confused and couldn't figure out what had happened.  Well, I fainted that's what happened.
Funny thing about that day was that I had to go to the Keystone health fair to get checked out and I checked out extremely healthy.  I have very low blood pressure which has always been the case. 
I must have just blacked out once I hit the bathroom and never knew what hit me.  Jack did the same thing about 6 months ago and we almost called 911. 
Once I got myself bandaged up and the bathroom cleaned up I went to bed totally freaked out about my spell. 
So, I got out of bed the next morning a bit weirded out by the previous nights fainting spell and I was sore.  I went outside to do my yardwork and drink some coffee and that's when I got bit. 
So, not only was I sore and bruised and cut, with a good gash on my forehead, I now am all puffy from a bug bite and it's only getting worse.  Good thing this was day 1 of my 2 days off. 
The night got worse and the swelling kept travelling down my face and when I went to bed early that night I thought I'd wake up all back to normal. 
Not!
I woke up the same so I went to the Dr. and she gave me prednazone but it didn't go away quickly. 
I have never reacted to a bug bite so badly before and given the fact that I was banged up already didn't make it any better.  I was a mess and we sure did get a good chuckle out of it. 
Jack had tought me that from now on when I sit up I need to make sure I'm not seeing stars and that I'm fully awake before I stand up. 
I'm going to have a scar on my head for life now but it could have been worse.
It was definitely a weird 2 days off.

Friday, June 29, 2012

This is a First

In the 22 years that we have owned this house we have seen some wild life. 
Bears in our mudroom and on our deck. 
Racoons clinging to the side of our house.
Deer and elk in the yard.
Plenty of fox and porcupines up close and personal.  Ask our old dog Buck.  He loved porcupines.  To the tune of around $1500 total. 
The neighborhood dogs daily coming by to say hello.
A pack rat ON ME IN OUR BED at 3:00 in the morning. 
Hundreds of mice.
2 weasels in my livingroom.
A mountain lion in our driveway.

This morning, last week, Jack started yelling that there were goats in the yard.   I shot out of bed thinking that he was joking and he wasn't.  There, in the yard, were 5 mountain goats. 
It was beautiful.  And a first. 
video


Thursday, June 28, 2012

Mountain Life, This Summer, in Colorado

What a slacker I've been.  I love to blog and haven't been writing and I really miss it.  Time to change my ways. 

Mountain life in Colorado sure has been interesting since school has ended.  Especially now with all of the wild fires we are experiencing throughout our beautiful state.  It's absolutely heartbreaking to watch the devistation going on around us knowing that one lightning strike up here or stupid camper with a roaring fire could torch our forest.  It's super scary.  Our family made plans and we have started putting things together for a "quick grab" just in case.  
Pets first, laptop, albums and the girls have their own bags of stuff that they definetely do not want to leave behind.  Crazy to be preparing but we feel we need to.  It's getting too close for comfort. 

We had a huge rain/hail storm today which made me want to dance in the rain and I did.  It was cold but I was so incredibly happy to see some water and my flowers and yard were drinking like there was no tomorrow.  Such a great smell.  Even the cat and dog could tell this was good.  It was great.  Living in the mountains, right now, I'm curled up under a blanket.  We are always curled up under a blanket even though it's record temps in Denver.  It is still cool here and I love summers.  I'm happy. 

We just closed all the windows and our house smells like summer rain and I'm so thankful that we aren't experiencing an evacuation.  Everyone is talking fires in Colorado and it's amazing to think of the firefighters doing their job right now and how exhausted they all must be.  My cousin's son, Jake, is a working as a paramedic at the High Park fire as we speak so we are all keeping him in our thoughts and prayers.  He's one incredible kid and we are all so extremely proud of him.  I am anxious to hear of his experience.  I'm sure he has a story to tell. 

Mountain life, this summer so far, has been weird.  Watching the fires, no rain, it's just been weird. 

I love our beautiful state.


Two of the hundreds of totally destroyed homes are seen in the aftermath of the Waldo Canyon fire in Colorado Springs, Colorado June 28, 2012. Cooler temperatures and lighter winds helped firefighters on Thursday in the battle against the fire, which has destroyed hundreds of homes and forced more than 35,000 people to flee. (Rick Wilking/Reuters)

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The River

I got a hall pass for 9 days.
 I was invited on a river trip by some friends of mine who I work with and they had a permit for the Green River in Utah through Desolation and Gray canyons.  I went.
Back in the day, before kids, we used to raft a lot.  We never owned our own boat but we did get life jackets, some dry bags and ammo cans and we went on many trips with friends.  The longest being 11 days.  So, needless to say I was a bit nervous to go on a river trip, without my family, without communication with my family and I would also be one of the oldest women on this trip and not one of those young girls has kids.  After many phone calls to meet up with who was driving all was set.  I was committed. 
I left my house at 8 a.m. and drove to the house where we were all meeting.  Slowly came the cars that we were caravanning with.  I forgot how much gear is involved.  The truck I was in was pulling a trailer with 2 boats, the oars, coolers, frames and all of our gear.  We couldn't have fit anything else in.  We drove for almost 8 hours to the put-in up in Vernal Utah.  It was warm and the mood was exceptional.  Our friends, who we were meeting up with to raft this stretch of the river, had just come off of another 10 day trip so they were already tan and in river mode.  RELAXED!
Beers were cracked, cocktails were made and tents were set up.  I decided to sleep on the boat since it was offered.  It was a beautiful night under the stars in my sleeping bag.
After rigging up our 9 boats the next morning all 20 of us were off.  We had 9 boats, one duckie, a kayak and a shredder.  We floated the river all day, almost 20 miles.  Our camp was beautiful and we all de-rigged and the kitchen was set up and we all picked our spot for the night and in an hour we had our home for the night.  What a process it is but so cool.  These people raft together a lot so they are like a well oiled machine. 
The dinner crew got dinner going and hand washing stations set up.  We established a fire area and set up the fire pans and chairs.  There was a horse shoe game in progress and everyone was having a blast.  We didn't stay up too late and I slept like a baby in my awesome North Face tent that I've had forever. 
The next morning was paradise.  The coffee was already made by the morning kitchen crew and breakfast was out.  This particular morning it was bagels, cream cheese, granola, yogurt.  It was perfect.  We took down camp and cleaned up and were on the river again by 10:30.  Not bad considering there were 20 of us to rally. 
This day on the river was the same.  Sunny, hot and fun. We swam in the cold water and hopped from boat to boat and laughed and laughed.  We pulled over and took a hike up to some petroglyphs that were super cool.  We saw the moonshiners cabin which is this old cabin from the early 1900's from a guy who basically carved out the side of the canyon and built a cabin.  He planted an orchard, peaches I think, and made moonshine, illegally, of course.  The cabin is cool.  His boots are still there, his overalls still hanging up,  the wood stove, bed and many other things.   Hard to imagine this guy lived so remote and made moonshine. 
Back on the boats for more.  Every camp was sandy.  Sand like you'd see in Florida.  Huge sandy beaches and you didn't need to pitch a tent.  It was warm, not very buggy and being on the river felt great. 
One day after about 10 miles we got to our camp and de-rigged.  We were having a lay-over here, meaning we would camp 2 nights instead of one.  It was a great beach.  There were rapids right in front of the camp so we could watch the other boaters run the rapids.  Down the beach there was what was dubbed naked beach so, you guessed it.  We got naked.  Just the ladies but it was the greatest feeling laying outside next to a river with new friends BUCK NAKED!  Nobody cared, nobody looked and nobody judged. 
That next night we had dress up night.  We all knew this before the trip so everyone brought an outfit of some kind.  We all slowly wondered to the kitchen/fire area all dressed up and it was hysterical.  There were old prom dresses, wigs, 60's outfits.  Everyone had something different and we were laughing so hard and taking pictures. 
I have to say one thing about rafting.  It's a rich mans sport.  Even though we poop on a groover, which is basically this big ammo can that we set a toilet seat on and pee in the river and bathe in the river and hair washing is in the river, it costs a lot of money to get set up and get the gear.  There is so much gear and the more you see something cool that someone else has the more you want to go get it.  It's a lot of work too.  Pulling permits, getting a group who you thing are going to be compatible, rigging, de-rigging, it's all a lot of work.  Fun work though. 
Unfortunately, I lost my camera on day 8 of the trip and never found it so my memories are in my mind.  I'm sick about it but there is nothing I can do.  I am trying to gather pictures from the other friends on the trip but that is taking some time. 
The Grand Canyon is on my bucket list.  Everyone on this trip had multiple trips down the Grand and I hope one day to have that under my belt. 
If you ever get a chance to do a river trip, I would highly recommend it. 

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Confirmation

Today was a very special day for our youngest daughter and our family.  She was confirmed.  She finished her 2 year program through our church which confirms to me that, again, my baby is growing up.  We couldn't have been more proud of her.  She was beautiful.  She was mature, happy and at ease in front of the congregation doing her duty.  The fun thing is that she had her best friend with her who was getting confirmed as well.  They had a ball and I think she'll miss the Wednesday nights that we were committed to.  I, on the other hand, am sort of glad it is one less thing we need to drive to and wait for.  Selfish?  Definitely. 
Our Pastor really puts some time into this and he and his volunteers went above and beyond with all they did for the 3 Confirmands and we felt it was special.  Last night we had a wonderful dinner with the 3 kids and all of our families.  Pastor Joe put together a cute slide show if pictures of the kids from birth to today and he does a kind of "roast" for them.  It's fun, funny and very entertaining.  I can't remember my confirmation being so much fun but that was a LONG time ago. 
Hannah is lucky to have had such a kind and caring community of people who took the time to get to know her and guide her along in her faith journey.  I'm confident she'll grow to be the amazing person she is becoming and the good people who surround her in her daily life will help her though her journey. 
I am very grateful. 

Friday, April 20, 2012

Time for a Change

Well, after bitching for pretty much the past few posts, and not posting much other than depressing stuff,  it's time for a change.  I'm spring cleaning myself. 
We still have snow on the ground but I can get in my car and drive 6 miles down the mountain where there is no more snow and the ground is dry.  I am taking advantage of that.  The other day I was running down by the lake and I was looking around at the mountains and the lake and I still get goosebumps with our view.  It's absolutely amazing. 
I am moving in the right directions with treatments for J and I have enlisted help from a new therapist who seems to know how to deal with adolescents.  It's his specialty.  I've realized that there is no support out there for parents dealing with this and trying to talk to friends and family is just frustrating.  Unless you are living with the difficult behavior you just really don't know what it's like. 
I've been seriously thinking of starting a support group of some sort because I know other parents are dealing with equally difficult situations.  I see it in the faces of the parents sitting across us in the waiting rooms.  Everyone tries to be all nonchalant but the pain is there. 
I feel positive and motivated and I am thankful for a break from work to focus on myself and do a little self maintenance. 
It's time. 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Oh, The Rage

It's 11 p.m. and Jordan is finally, I think, done (which actually she wasn't and just came out to carry on a bit more). 
I'm so exhausted with her and this raging I can't even begin to describe it.  Here, I'll try. 
6-7 nights/days a week she rages.  Google bipolar rage and read all about it.  I'm too tired to try to explain it.  Plenty of others are in my shoes. 
She rules this house. 
We have a new hole in one of our doors as of tonight.
It's crazy around here. 
She's crying right now trying to get to sleep.
Her rage lasted about 4 hours tonight. 
I'm crying right now trying to figure out what the hell to do.
We have called 911 3 times over her rages.  And to someone living with bipolar this is NOTHING!
The Dr. who medicates her has told us she is now in the hospitalization stage. 
WTF!!!
My family doesn't want to deal with it nor do they want to know anything about it.  It's between my husband, me and our daughters. 
Shhhhh.    Don't talk about it. 
It's a teenage thing, or so we've been told by those that don't want to educate themselves on BIPOLAR.
I now have a therapist, and I love his wisdom.  He helps me and directs me to ask the right questions and makes me feel like I have a purpose now.  That feeling was slowly slipping away. 
J, now has a new therapist too, and hopefully he can help her.
Her meds are clearly not working.
MN was a mistake to stay so long.  We definitely overstayed our stay. 
I'm sorry Dad.  We should have left a week earlier. 
I did go for a 4 mile run today and it felt soooooo great. 
While I was home I was out with a bunch of high school friends and one guy I went to HS with, whom I haven't seen in years, told me I looked tired. 
Well pal, I am fricken tired.  You try living in rage every waking hour of your life and trying your hardest to get it under control.
I have become the crazy, cranky person I don't want to be.
Oh the rage, I'm so fricken tired of it. 

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Starting Tomorrow

Raising a 15 year old daughter has exhausted me. 
Raising a 15 year old daughter with Bipolar has completely depleted me. 
I need to blog and vent and get some support. 

I will start tomorrow. 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Friday, March 16, 2012

I Love my Wine



Being a wine lover I certainly have a new appreciation for the drink.   I have my job, and our sommelier, to thank for that.  I have been consuming wine for EVER.  It goes way back to my teen days and drinking TJ Swan.  Not that TJ Swan is wine but I could get it in a jug for cheap.  My palette has grown exponentially since then. 
At work we have a huge wine list and we need to know those wines.  We are schooled once a month for about 3-4 hours in our wine tasting/class.  Not to mention the studying I need to do on a daily basis just to survive at work selling it.   I have broadened my horizons and opened my mind to new grapes and I have learned to pair wine with food.  It's amazing what you think you may not like or just do not like drinking alone but the minute you pair it with food what an amazing thing. 
I love the wine lovers, too.  It's a personal thing but also, I have realized, that people who are wine drinkers are funny people, especially when you are waiting on them. 
You get the "I hate Merlot" people probably because they watched the movie 'Sideways' which sealed the deal and made them make an opinion based on something silly like that movie. Merlot is a perfect pairing for many foods.  You get the "I won't EVER drink a Riesling" people because, like me, I thought at one time Riesling was only a sweet wine and I really don't drink sweet wines.  Except dessert wines and that is a whole new ballgame.  I was one of those anti Riesling wine drinkers until I tried some dry Rieslings and now I understand.  Riesling goes with just about everything. 
I will make an exception and White Zinfandel is one of those "Mom" wines.  I say that because it was the only wine my Mom ever drank, with ice, and it goes well on the patio on a hot summer day, if you're my Mom but not much good for anything else.  And that is just an opinion. 
I have learned and packed away an incredible amount of information about wine and I will continue to study it. 
I'm going to pour myself a glass and really taste it.  Old world, new world, acidic, tannic, fruity or earthy, soft, smooth, creamy, dry, not so dry, white, red, rose. 
Bottom line, do I like it?  Chances are, yes, I will. 
Unless it's corked.