Monday, August 18, 2014

August 18: Guest Blogger

Today I am so pleased to have as my guest blogger, Dawn, my wonderful sister-in-law, who has traveled all the way from Virginia  to spend the week with us, along with her two boys, John and Michael,  and her husband, John. 
 No sooner had Dawn arrived than she made very good friends with Spikey. 
  Spikey loved her so much in return that he wanted to eat her up!  

Here is her story:

Dawn:  {Giggle}.  Spikey was running around on the floor enjoying raspberries given to him by Mary. She was finished giving him raspberries when all of a sudden he turned and made a beeline for my toes, which were painted the same color as the raspberries!  He made several attempts to eat my toes!   I laughed and laughed while Mary took photos.  I am happy to say I still have all my toes.  Spikey is one cool dude. 

Dawn: Today we went to Golden to see the historic town only to find that all the museums were closed.  No matter, we had a good time anyway.  We walked near Clear Creek but it was too cold to go tubing.  My twin boys, the loves of my life, sat down by the rocks and water and enjoyed the scenery.   Colorado sure is beautiful! 

Thank you, Dawn!  We hope to hear from you again!  

Saturday, August 16, 2014

The Weekend

Ben's brother's family is flying in today!  Besides just having an enjoyable visit with us, they are checking Boulder out as a possible place to move to when Dawn retires in five or six years.  We are looking forward to showing them around.

But first I'm heading over to the Lafayette Peach Festival to pick up a box of the famous peaches grown in Palisade, Colorado.  Might not say no to a peach cobbler while I'm there.  We've gotten a few of these delicious peaches from the local farmer's market and can see why there is a whole festival built around them.

My knee and hip were finally feeling decent yesterday so I made my first hike up into Chautauqua, ending up on the Bluebell Shelter trail.  I was so happy to be back up there!  

While on the trail I shot this photo with my iPhone.  I took my Canon S120 on vacation but never used it and haven't found it since I've gotten back.  Photos like this make me wonder if I should even replace it; maybe the iPhone camera is good enough for most of my photography?

This afternoon is the karate studio annual picnic.  Paul's volunteer work in the day camps has landed him a spot of the Leadership Team, so not only is he part of the karate demonstration that will be part of the picnic, but he gets to wear this special uniform which has his name embroidered on the front.  He is rightly excited and we are rightly proud of him.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Around Here

Around here.....

.... Paul's high school had freshmen "check-in" today.  Paul received his locker and his student ID card, though his first day isn't until next Thursday.  

...We are sobered by the news of Robin Williams' suicide and its reminder that mental illness can trump even amazing talent and the love of family and friends.  We drove by the house filmed in Mork & Mindy here in Boulder yesterday and saw this scene.   

...The doctor confirmed that there was no injury to my knee apart from the arthritis I've known about for a few years.  Good news as it means that pain is a result of the muscle tear in my hip which I got snorkeling back in April, and it should continue to improve over the next six months.   Moving seems to help it the most, so I'm trying to pick up my hiking and walking, which, thankfully, is easy and fun to do around here.

...I'm loving these wide open spaces!  So liberating after being in the lush green of the east coast.

...The finishing touches are being put on the new stairway.  I hope it will be finished later this week so I can show you detailed photos.

...We're getting ready for some important company; the arrival of Ben's brother's family on Saturday.  Art is being hung, shelves are being cleared, and plans to have fun are being made.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Post-birthday Ramblings

My birthday dinner of Maine lobsters was a great success.  

Ben really outdid himself, ordering the live lobsters to be flown in from Maine, cooking all ten of them, inviting a fun group of friends and neighbors (well, hey, I guess those neighbors have now turned into friends!), and arranging for the requisite drinks, side dishes, and dessert; in short, planning and pulling off an evening which we all enjoyed.  Thank you, Ben! 

Raymond served as the bartender, making Mai Tai's for everyone and an extra one for me, since I was the birthday girl.  So good and so appreciated.

I feel so fortunate to have received birthday cards from all three of my siblings.  It is such a great thing that we all like each other and stay in touch.  And what a pleasure to receive various texts and Facebook messages throughout the day from friends back east.  Thanks, everyone!

When I went out for my hike this morning it was cool enough to wear a T shirt with  3/4 length sleeves.  The temperature has fallen throughout the day and now, at 4:00 PM, it is 70 degrees.  People walking by our house are wearing sweatshirt jackets and I've switched into long pants.

This may be the first wave of cooler temperatures that we're told hits about mid-August.  I hope so since Ben's brother and his family are coming to visit starting August 16 and are used to having air conditioning.  We were too, but have done fine without it since the summer night air here is usually so clean and cool.   I'm hoping we won't get a rogue hot spell just as they arrive!

Tuesday will mark four months since I tore my hip muscle snorkeling in St. John's.  It is definitely healing, though some days, like yesterday and today, it makes itself known in a big way.  Tuesday I go see a knee doctor to be sure that the knee pain I still have is actually related to the torn muscle and not some other problem that needs attention.   The good news is that when my hip or knee hurts, a walk usually helps.  Still, I'm looking forward to actually being healed!

Friday, August 8, 2014

Happy Birthday to Me!

I'm so happy to be back home for my birthday! 

 I had a great vacation but I haven't been away from Ben for more than a few days for a long time --or maybe even never!-- and I missed him.

And I really missed being in Boulder.  Funny how I came to think of it as home after being here just six weeks.  When it was time to head back east I thought "But I just got here!"   

Still, I was glad to make the trip back and had a great time with my friends and with Paul's friends. 

My sweetie has planned a fun lobster dinner for tonight.  He had lobsters flown in from Maine to share with some friends and we just realized that they are alive!  Other times they've arrived cooked and chilled.  I can't tell what Ben expected but my job is to have fun and enjoy myself, and I plan to do just that, which means leaving the cooking to Ben, don't you think?  

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Trip Report

We've been enjoying a great trip to Busch Gardens and Water Country; an easy and uneventful ride down, perfect weather, and happy companionship.  Yesterday the boys ticked the big slides in Water Country and today we will be back in Busch Gardens for a final round of coasters.  Both parks are well managed and lovely and relatively uncrowded.

What more could you ask? Well, a birthday cake would be nice!  Paul's recent birthday was one of the reasons for the trip, but Robbie's birthday is Sunday, Alex's is in September, Tommy just had his and no one got to see Bryan in January when he turned fourteen.  So we decided to have an ice cream cake and candles for all the boys last night.

Happy Birthday, guys!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Busch Gardens/ Water Country Road Trip

I'm now in the part of the vacation that isn't about me.  Four blissful days in Cape May were about me having fun with my friends; the next few days are about Paul having fun with his friends.  So I've put on my "good Mommy" hat, rented a fabulous red minivan, packed it with Paul's east coast friends Alex, Bryan, Robbie, and Tommy, and driven down to Williamsburg for a few fun filled days in Busch Gardens and Water Country. 

Luckily for me Alex and Tommy's mother, Lorraine, has come with us. She loves amusement parks, rides all the rollar coasters ( I do not), can read a park map and walk at the same time, and is great to talk with on long car rides.  In short, the perfect companion for such an outing.

Do you recognize The Griffon rollar coaster in the top photo?  The cars hang at the top on the drop for several seconds before swooping down; I thought I'd be sick just watching it.

See my cute rental car? The guys are pretty cute, too.