Because Your love is better than life, my lips will glorify You.
Psalm 63:3

Thursday, May 9, 2013

rocky mountain high

Can we agree that I have a couple of cutie friends? Especially compared to my flat-faced, big-headed, squinty-eyed self? And I didn't bring my big camera, just my

Let's all just look at the beautiful mountains, shall we?

After talking and planning for 2 years, penciling it into our calendars at least 3 times, HC made it happen! About a month ago, my sweet high school besties and I spent 3 days in Estes Park, Colorado walking, shopping, talking, eating, and drinking. KK found great plane tickets and so we flew out of Dayton early Friday morning to Denver. HC, who has been a Rocky Mountain resident since 1992, picked us up. After quick passenger pick-up hugs, we hopped in her truck and drove an hour or so up into the mountains.

HC found a perfect little hotel that was a good walk outside of town which led to a wonderful, relaxing stay. What a sweet little town with funky gift boutiques, sweet shops, and plenty of good eats.

Each day we found a reason to stop here, the hotel that inspired the writing of The Shining.

KK could not get enough wildlife sightings to satisfy her, so we drove through Rocky Mountain National Park in the snow to spy elk or big-horn sheep or mule deer. Ironically, we saw more animals outside the park on the edge of town. We'd stop the car, get out, and carefully walk closer, all the while listening to KK's voice rise into her "animal stalking" mode.

The mountains were what took my breath away.

Here we are enjoying a little 'bucks along the Big Thompson creek.

{ are the sweetest thing evah but you know I'm a little scared of you. I posted these pics anyway.}

Sunday afternoon, we bid farewell to Estes Park and drove to Pearl St. in Boulder. I could have stayed there longer, too...families and hipsters and buskers and those just plain down on their luck...moving in and out of shops and crowds. Perfect people watching.

But let's be real: the company was what I really came to see. There's nothing better than sitting down, yummy drink in hand, sharing silly stories and dreams together. Thank you, sweet friends...see you in Austin, 2015!

Friday, May 3, 2013

the bird dog and the birds

Life is worth writing about...always. Sorry I haven't for a while.

I chuckle now as I assumed our days would slow down once we moved to Dayton. Less social stuff, less running around. Maybe the winter days were slow at first, but with the sun shining and all the creatures around me needing something at any moment, I am routinely swept off my feet. Kids and chickens (7) and now a puppy have accelerated the rhythm of our home. And increased the joy! I do have my moments - in fact, I had to just step away and scoot everyone back inside to shut the craziness down. We'll go back outside soon.

The chicks came home with us one Sunday about 4 weeks ago. We've talked about chickens for years and enjoy the pets of friends when we visit. Our new yard has room for them. Compulsively, we stopped at the farm store during "Chick Days" and fell for the marketing - hook, line, and sinker. Fuzzy chicks and the necessary equipment neatly boxed and priced so close by. Irresistable! I kept thinking, "this will be so good for the kids as they have to help with these little fuzzies!" And they do. But the girls are big now...and we're still not ready for them. They're living in a box, down by the furnace! (Chris Farley, anyone?) Sweet Man will be finished building a tractor for them today and we have grand plans for a coop installed in the corner of the garage. Didn't plan ahead on that. And still haven't figured out how to leave them overnight or for a couple of days.

Lily, our new-to-us golden retriever puppy is a riot. A visit to the vet confirmed that she is a healthy six-ish month old. And we allayed any fears that Lily would not be able to remain with us as the vet tech scanned her and found no chip. She's ours forever!

Her temperament is delightful...calm for the most part. After 2 weeks, she knows her name and its variations. She knows "sit" and "come." We're working on her manners because she jumps up as she meets new people. We can anticipate her bouts of puppy energy and let her zoom and run her figure eights in the yard. She stays close to us unless her attention is distracted by something terribly interesting, like another dog or a squirrel...understandable. We're all helping with housebreaking her...announcing "she just ate - be on alert!" A charming, but naughty, habit is for her to hop up in bed with one of the kids or me once Sweet Man has left the house. I usually scoot her back out of the bed.

Our biggest issue is leaving her home alone. Our lower level has a very functional but utilitarian bathroom...big with a good solid linoleum floor. We've closed her in that room with water, her bed, and toys...mainly to contain the inevitable clean-up. But the first time, we didn't strip the room of everything. She shredded a roll of toilet paper, punctured the hand soap dispenser, chewed on the plunger, and even turned on a faucet. Big mess! We've left her 2 times since and while we've removed the toilet paper, she still whines and barks and makes a mess. Is is separation anxiety? I fear that now that she's been unhappy in the room that forever and always she'll be unhappy in that room. What to do?

Better catch you up on other news ~ Sweet Man celebrated his 40th birthday last week. The kids had their last spring tennis lesson last Wednesday. They are both playing Upward soccer and Sweet Man has found himself in the position of Assistant Coach. Yup, I warned him...keep your trap shut or Coach Drew will ask you to help.

He is my hero as he works crazy hours but still comes home and completes a project (blue bathroom tub/shower is functional as of Sunday - hurrah!!!) or shuffles the kids off to soccer practice. Or builds a chicken tractor. My partner, my sweet.

I've found a Zumba class I love - it's the little things, you know. I could go 6 days a week, but I'm trying to do 2 and walk my other days.

Tomorrow we will attend an Open House for a pool with a swim team. Our neighbors told us about it. I had a chance to walk around the property by myself last weekend. It's in the middle of woods and spring-fed...sound familiar? Very functional, but a little rough around the edges...just like me. I've heard their swim team is really good which scares me a little - we're not so good. We shall see. I'd love to settle on a place to hang out this summer.

Piano lessons have been tremendous and Bug and Bean both practice every day without much reminding. Usually, it just happens after breakfast as the piano is close to the table and they just slide over and get 'er done. Bug is zooming through his books and Bean is close behind.

Tonight we celebrate the End of Year with our CC community! We've been living outside this week so we must get all shined up and smell good to showcase what we've learned this year. Opa and Anne are joining us, too! I am thankful to God every day for Classical Conversations and my job with the organization is keeping me hopping.

We are enjoying our church and have attended a small group two times.

I miss you all. I talked with a friend yesterday, who also moved away. We lamented the things we would have looked forward to doing in the old place - music and lunch in the Works courtyard on Fridays, bike rides on familiar routes, knowing people at the pool.... It will be okay. I need to find new fun things here. But I confess I'm counting the months until Sweet Man can post for another gypsy soul wants to come home.