Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Just hours left...

Can you believe that 2008 is just about over? There are just a few precious hours left! Where did the year go? It's all such a blur to me...

This week between the holidays has been long hours working at my job with little time for my family, scrapping or anything else. I'm hoping that will all get better after this weekend. A normal 40 hour work week would be great!!!

My hopes for January are to spend more time skiing, work on my London scrapbook and spend more time with my family! I hope my wishes come true! As for a New Year's Resolution... I don't believe! Do you?

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas!

After working almost a full day on Christmas Eve (yippee - I left an hour earlier than normal!) we headed down to Colorado Springs to spend the evening with the in-laws! I hadn't seen my DD since Saturday and was very happy to give her a big hug! Poor kid, she got the flu while she was there! We had a wonderful Polish dinner and stuffed ourselves to the gills! We even got some leftovers to take home! Breakfast!!

We opened a few gifts - no many since we decided only to buy for the kids this year. And then we headed home to crash! We forced Dan to open one gift so he could enjoy it in the morning - tea from London! He was thrilled to get that! Then we went off to la-la land!

Melanie was so thoughtful - she waited until 8 a.m. to get me out of bed! Then we bounced downstairs and opened our gifts in our jammies! It's the only time of year that I do that - I usually always shower first! But it's Christmas! Melanie loved everything that she got and so did Dan. I got a few sweaters, a few cute stamps and cards from Toni and a lot of smiles!!

The rest of our day will be hanging out and cooking a nice ham dinner for all of us to enjoy!

Hope you have a very wonderful Christmas Day!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

"Twas the Night Before, the Night Before Christmas...

and all through my house, not a creature was stirring, well except for me of course!!!

All the presents are bought and FINALLY wrapped with just a few hours to spare!! A few last minute gifts for the co-workers still need to be finished tonight before I can rest - candy bar snowmen (compliments of Toni) still need noses! Once that is done, I think I'm as done as they will come!

Just wanted to wish everyone a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Stayed home to work

What a busy week that was! I pulled a few 13 hour days last week between the office and home trying to get all of our employees enrolled in benefits. There were a lot of hiccups along the way and despite the fact that Friday was the deadline, we have several clients who are still enrolling through next week. By Friday I was absolutely exhausted! I'm trying to catch up on some things today.

Yesterday we did a little bit of last minute Christmas shopping, got haircuts, cleaned up around the house and worked on some of the last minute projects I had to finish. I got some done, but not enough. We were suppose to go skiing today at Beaver Creek, but I opted to stay home to try and get it finished. I'm not so sure that will happen, but I can definitely try! So Dan and a bunch of friends are off having fun on the slopes (although probably freezing their butts off!) and Melanie is at her cousins house having fun! And here I am.....

These are some of the cards I made up for Marcy, my Dad's girlfriend for Christmas. The pictures aren't that great, but at least you can see what I was working on these past few weeks. I hope she'll like them!

Christmas is just 4 days away! On Christmas Eve we will join Dan's family down in Colorado Springs for the traditional Polish dinner of pierogi and stuffed cabbage (can't spell the Polish word)! That's our favorite meal of the year! Then on Christmas day, we'll stay home in our jammies, open presents and just hang out together! I can't wait for a day like that!!

How will you spend your holidays?! Hope they are happy and bright!!!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Busy as ever

I love Christmas time, but it all seems to fly by in such a blur! Right now I am feverishly trying to finish a stack of cards that I'm giving away to my Dad's lady friend! This card was one I made... I love Riley the moose... thanks to all the stamped images I made while at Toni's house last weekend! I think this image is so cute, I even asked Dan to get it for me for Christmas! I hope that he gets all the ones I asked for!
Yesterday we went to Breckenridge to ski! I had a great day, putting in at least a dozen runs! I felt really good until the end! The weather was snowy, but there were no crowds, so it was perfect! We skied with friends from Golder and a long time friend from Dan's ski club - Tom! Tom is moving out here to see if he can make a life here! We are very excited to have him and can't wait until he stays with us next month for a few days! What a great guy!
Today I did chores around the house and did some Christmas shopping! I made a dent, but I still have more to do. I'm hoping to get to the mall (ugh, I hate the mall) one night this week with Moira! Hopefully I can get it all done then!!!
Have a great week everyone!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Stamping Class a HUGE success!

I'm going to apologize first for not writing much lately and until the end of the year, it will be probably far and few between as well. Things are rough at work and I'm putting in a lot of extra hours after I get home at night. I just don't have much free time right now... so please understand!

I had a fun weekend so far! On Friday night after work I took the bus up to Conifer and spent the night at Toni's house! She hosted a FABULOUS card stamping class on Saturday at her new studio in her house! She has 6 other women show up, most of them mothers from the school where she works. It was a fundraiser for the school and she raked in a bucket load to share with them! Everyone had such a great time, they all hope she will do it again! As she drove me down into Denver to meet back up with Dan, we talked about all the ideas that she can do in the future! I think she'll be able to get a nice little following going up there! I can't wait to see what her next class has in store! Here is one of the cards that we made this weekend! This is actually Toni's! Mine still isn't colored yet! (Sorry it is sideways - I didn't take the picture that way and every time I try to upload it, it turns it that way. I don't have time right now to figure out why - I've tried 4 times! Sorry.)

The rest of my day will be spent with family celebrating my SIL's bday! It will be nice, but I sure would like some time to work on my Christmas presents instead!!! Have a great Sunday everyone!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Sunday - My Final Thanks for November

I was very thankful on Sunday for the Condo that we had stayed in all weekend up in the mountains. Here's the story...

We left Breckenridge at 2 p.m. on Sunday afternoon headed for home after a good weekend of skiing. It had been snowing most of the 4 day weekend and was very windy as well on Sunday. We headed into Frisco to get on I-70 to head "down the mountain", hopefully before the Sunday afternoon crowds! No such luck! As we got about 1-1.5 miles from the highway, the traffic stopped. We could see up ahead it was gridlock on the highway. We tried to get around on the surface roads, but the Damn Road was closed (yes, that's the real name)! There isn't much to do in Frisco, so we waited our turn and got on the highway, headed for Dillon a few miles up the road. We figured we could hang out there until the traffic broke later in the evening. Well, 1.5 hours later we finally got off the highway and went shopping and to dinner in Dillon. While we were eating we realized that the highway was now closed. After a few phone calls to friends back home, it was confirmed. We were stuck! Thankfully we were warm and safe for the time being.

Not knowing how long the highway was to be closed, we came up with plan B - spend the night in Dillon. We called the condo owner and got permission to get back in - but we had to pick up the extra keys at the clubhouse since we had left our set on the counter as requested. When we went there to pick them up - the condo key was missing - there was only the front door key! A few phone calls later and we were calling a locksmith to rescue us with the owners permission! He charged us $90 for less than 5 minutes worth of work! What a racket!!! But at least we had a warm, dry place to stay!

The highway did eventually open back up around 9 p.m. and we heard that if you got on there right away, it was fine, but as soon as everyone heard the news, I'm sure it was packed. We eventually got up on Monday morning and drove back home - it still took us 2.5 hours. Ugh... one of our worst but best trips up skiing!!!

I think we made the right decision to play it safe! And I was very thankful for Rex and his condo!!!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Saturday - hmmmmm

That's TODAY! I'm finally caught up! And I just have 1 more day to express my thanks on the blog... I must admit this was at times difficult. My life sometimes gets so busy that I had a hard time sitting down to write. I always managed to think of them and had them in my head, said them during my dinner prayers but didn't make the time to type them out. It was a good lesson and one I will continue to work on as I get older.

So what am I thankful for today... having time finally to type them out! It's kind of ironic though. I didn't go skiing with the family today so that I could stay back, rest the knee and work. I've been sitting here at the clubhouse for 4 hours now and most of it has been waiting for things to upload. It's taking forever. So I'm taking that time to multi-task and catch up on my blog! I'd rather be eating lunch right now... I'm starving!! But with any luck, I'[ll be done soon!!!

Friday - SNOW, SNOW and more SNOW!

OK, we didn't quite get dumped on, but we did get a few more inches of fresh powder! And since I skied so sensibly on Thursday, was feeling so great, I figured a few turns wouldn't hurt! We drove to Breckenridge and found more terrain and LOTS more people! That's to be expected on Black Friday! Who wants to fight the malls where there is FRESH POWDER??

Once again, I skied sensibly taking only 6 runs, but with less rest in between. I did quit early but that was in part due to the long lines of people. I just didn't feel like standing in line for 45 minutes for a run! My knee did really well - I'm very happy for that! And I do have to brag that I didn't fall on Thursday or Friday!

And the best part after skiing is a warm, hot meal of chili! That was waiting for us at the condo and I was very happy for that!!!

As for the snow totals - 4 inches yesterday in Breckenridge! And can you believe, Loveland Ski Area at the Eisenhower Tunnel got 14"? That's amazing!


Ah, finally the day we celebrate as Thanksgiving!!! I had a lot to be thankful for this month and especially that day!!!

I'm sure everyone is waiting to hear if I actually skied... well DAH!!! Despite the horrible conditions, we headed over to Keystone and went to the top on the new gondola! I exited at the top, strapped on the ski's and pushed off - yeah I was skiing!!! I took a green, then a blue and then I was EXHAUSTED! (The Therapist was right, I need to work on that endurance!!) I then took a 2 hour rest! Well, it wasn't intentional... I was resting while Dan and Melanie went back to the car to get lunch. Then we got stuck talking to this couple and we were way too nice to break the conversation. Finally we got back out there - I took 2 more blues and was exhausted again! Geez... another break! This one lasted an hour... Dan was suppose to take 1 run, he ended up taking 2 and picking up a Texan who wasn't ready for the conditions. FINALLY I took my 5th run and ended it at the bottom - better safe than sorry, right??

So on Thursday I was thankful for...

  • My husband and daughter
  • Getting back on the ski slopes
  • Good health
  • My family
  • All of my dear friends
  • Having a job
  • A great Turkey dinner I didn't have to cook or clean up!

Wednesday - RTD, Clear Skies and 4 days off!

Yes, Wednesday was a bear at work - I have to admit! Melanie joined me for the day since she was off of school. She managed to help with a scanning project and I really appreciated that. Unfortunately most of day was spent in meetings, so I didn't even see much of her. We did get to leave early and there is where RTD came in...

RTD helped me get to Lakewood so that we could meet Dan. It cut out 1+ hours of our commute!

Clear skies abound so that the drive up to the mountains was a breeze.

4 days off... can you believe it? Me neither! That is why on Saturday I've been sitting in the clubhouse at the condo for the past 3 hours working! If the Internet and this computer weren't so darn slow, I'd be done already! Drats!

Tuesday - Washing Machine

Well, you must admit, washing clothes in the river, beating them against a rock isn't much fun!!! We had lots and lots of laundry to get washed this week before we left for our Mountain Weekend! Thankfully our washing machine was up for the task and with my DD's help we managed to get it all done and still have time to pack for the trip! It's those little things in life that most people forget about!

Monday - being employed

OK, I have to admit I didn't get to blogging this week... I was overwhelmed with things to do and unfortunately blogging wasn't at the top of the list. I did write down and keep my list of things I was thankful for, so I'm going to go ahead and submit those today.

On Monday, despite my overwhelming workload, I felt it was necessary to be thankful that I had a job. The unemployment rate is so high right now that even I can appreciate the work and income that I receive. The hours right now aren't so great, but this too shall pass! Dan and I have been laid off before, so we'll keep praying for now that our jobs are still safe!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Christmas is coming!!!

Today I had a great helper in putting up the Christmas tree! I am thankful that Melanie was so into decorating the tree this year - it gave me time to get some of the other decorations up! I didn't get everything up yet, but at least the tree is done! I know, I know it's only November 23rd, but we're not going to be around too much over hte next few weeks, so it's good to get it done! Besides, this is my favorite holiday and I love to watch the twinkling lights in the dark!!! Sorry it''s a daylight picture, but if I don't post now, I probably won't get to it later in the evening!!!

Saturday was declared a day of rest

We slept in late, took a nap and relaxed! After the week I had, I was thankful to have the time to rest! I know everyone needs a day like that, but then afterwards I always feel guilty for all the things I didn't do!

Friday, November 21, 2008


OK, so I don't drink beer, but I'm really thankful for the Smirnoff Ice that I'm drinking after a LOOOOOONG rough week of work!!! Pretty bad when you're thankful for a stiff drink!!!

I have a relaxing but busy weekend ahead! Here is my to-do list!

1. Put up Christmas tree - OK, I know it's kind of early, however we will not be here next weekend, so it's just right!!
2. Cleaners - get my winter coat cleaned
3. Decorate the advent calendar - oh, that one sounds like lots of fun!
4. Complete lots of pages for the London scrapbook - my days are dwindling fast to have it done and shipped for Christmas...
5. Work - from the office :(

I hope whatever you have planned, you have lots of fun this weekend!!!

Thursday - positive attitude

I thought and thought all day as to what I was truly thankful for on this dreary cold day. I had a rough day at work that continued on at home that night until after 10 p.m. With my assistant leaving things are just going to be tougher for the next few weeks. So in the end I think I was most thankful for just how hard I tried to keep the positive attitude going... it's no fun working with a grouch!!!

Wednesday - a ride home

Tonight I was thankful for my friend Moira who offered me a ride home from work! It couldn't have come at a better time! Dan was meeting an ex-co-worker after work for dinner and I was on my own to get home. It was perfect! I got home in 1/2 the time! Thanks Moira for the ride!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Green Light!!!

Today I am thankful for the GREEN light that my therapist has given me! It means that I can SKI next week! He said I'm between 85-90% back to normal and with continued exercise I will continue to improve as well! I have to concentrate on endurance - something I've never been very good at! I guess that will be my new goal in the gym! Not more weight, but more repetition! I'm going to take it NICE and EASY that first day (and second and so on) and take each run with caution! He even said moguls were in my future this season!!! I can't wait to get up on the slopes!!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Thankful to be HOME!!!!

Colorado is home and I couldn't have been happier to get off the plane this morning and see the SUNSHINE!!!! I am so thankful for that! I love my family, my friends and the food in Chicago, but Colorado is definitely my HOME!!! I was so happy to see the mountains, I had to take a picture from the bus stop at the airport!!! In just 9 days I'll be up there in my beloved mountains, skiing and showshoeing and just enjoying the beauty!

Sunday - Thankful for DAD!

I am thankful today for my Dad! Sunday was his birthday - he is 74 and in fantastic shape! I am thankful Dad that you are still with us and hope that there will be many, many more years to celebrate ahead!!!

Sunday Ed and I headed up to Wisconsin so that I could see his "lake house"in Williams Bay! On the way we stopped in Bohners Lake where our family had a "cottage" for many decades! Our cottage was official named "Jarger Manor". This was the first time I'd seen our old cottage since we sold it about 15 years ago. It didn't look anything like our house. Even the hill out back looked smaller. I took lots of pictures and can't wait to compare them to see what might NOT have changed! There were lots of memories made there! After checking out the lake and the store where we bought our fudgesicles as kids we headed to Lake Geneva and Williams Bay where the new "Jarger Manor" lies! I got a tour of the house and the lake before Dad and Marcy showed up. We took a little trip to Yerkes Observatory, but it was closed on Sunday's. After lunch and a Dairy Queen stop, we headed back into Lake Geneva for some casual shopping! There we met back up with Kathy for a bit. When we closed the town down, we headed back to Chi-town and Dad, Marcy and I celebrated his birthday at his favorite restaurant!

It was an awesome way to spend my weekend and I'm very happy that I got a chance to do it! Next time maybe I'll actually go when the weather is nicer!

Saturday - My shopping partner in crime

There were many things to be thankful for on Saturday, including my great day with my very dear, life long friend Snot! She is the BEST shopping buddy around! It's a darn good thing we don't live closer - I'd be broke all the time!!! We hit our first scrapbook store just after 10 a.m. - Craft Fancy. It was the first time we'd been there and it was a really cute store! They had a great class list and I think she's going to try a few of them out! I wish I could go too!!! Then we headed over to Hobby Lobby before settling in for a nice Mexican lunch at her favorite restaurant! After that it was to Arch's where I finally found that advent calendar I was looking for! And our last stop was to TJ Maxx where I bought another suitcase to carry all my crap home! OK, I didn't use both, I just transferred it all into the new one (which was bigger)!!! We had so much fun... as usual!!!

Then Marlene drove me to Olive Garden for the real reason I went to Chicago in the middle of November! (It definitely wasn't for the weather!) I went to surprise my Father for his birthday! He turned 74 on Sunday and the family was celebrating on Saturday night! My brother and his family knew of my plans, but no one else! The first to arrive was Dad and Marcy and boy was he shocked! I wish I had a picture of his face! At least it didn't throw him into another heart attack!!! It was a GOOD surprise!! Then my sister and the kids showed up and they were quite surprised as well! Dinner and the company were great!

After dinner I bid Dad farewell and we headed back to Ed's house for a rest before we went out to Mike's bar to party some more! We only stayed out until 2:45 a.m. this time!!! We were good - I promise!!! It was fun to chat with Sarah, Mike and Kathy and of course Ed. I'm glad I don't do that often... I'm way too old for staying up so late at a bar!!!

Friday - First Snow!!!

Believe it or not, on Friday I was thankful for our first SNOW in Denver!!! Yep, we are a bit late in receiving it this year and although it wasn't much, it was great! Here I am at the bus stop enjoying the flakes!!! Believe it or not it was gone by lunchtime - how typical in Denver!

On Friday afternoon I got on a "jet plane" and headed to my old haunts... Chi--town! Marles and her hubby picked me up at the airport and took me back to their house! Along the way we picked up gyros from Wally's (pre-ordered of course - there's no waiting for anything in Chicago)!!!! It was absolutely YUMMY!!! I couldn't even come close to finishing all that food! Then we stayed up until 2 a.m. talking! Girls!!! What a great start to the weekend!!!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Thankful I finished this card!

I am thankful today for this card... first off I made it for my Father who turns 74 this Sunday. I am happy I got it finished so quickly because I'm running out of time. (I have to send it off tomorrow!) Secondly, I am thankful because this card allows me to play in the TCP Weekly Challenge - I used this weeks color pallet! That was really fun - I liked this one! And lastly I also got to play in the MFT Sketch Challenge! Wow - a triple dose of thanks!!!
I am off for a few days... enjoying some fun with friends! I'll tell you all about how much fun I had, and what I was thankful for when I return on Monday!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Working from home...

Today I was fortunate to have the opportunity to work from home and I am most thankful... although it was not planned! I woke up in a panic attack this morning knowing that I could never finish what I needed to do at the office, so I decided to work from home. What a great move - I got it accomplished in 10.5 hours. A long day, but at least it was spent in my comfy office!

Here are a few more of my 101 list...

  • Attend my 25 year HS reunion that someone else has organized
  • Hike in the shadow of the Matterhorn hut to hut
  • Learn how to cross country ski
  • Learn how to use a sewing machine
  • Go on a scrapbook retreat to Manitou Springs with Toni
  • Take another surfing lesson
  • Get my mother’s wedding ring
  • Cruise around Alaska’s Glaciers
  • Go whale watching
  • Complete a clear scrapbook album

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Big Blue Bus and more from my 101 list...

Today I am very thankful for the Big Blue Bus and it's driver - my dear husband Dan! Without him, my commute to work gets even uglier! My normal commute to work (about 25 miles away) starts at 6:25 a.m. when we pull out of the garage in the Big Blue Bus! He drops me at the Outlet Mall (about 2.5 miles from home) at 6:35 a.m. where I catch the FREX (Front Range Express) bus to Denver. About 7:00 a.m. I get off the FREX and wait another 7-8 minutes for the Denver RTD bus that takes me the remaining 1.75 miles to my office. I get there about 7:25 a.m. Then I do the reverse on the way back home, but that takes me even longer, leaving at 4:30 p.m. and arriving home at about 6 p.m.! When Dan is away and I don't have a Big Blue Bus to rely on, I have to wait for the little Castle Rock shuttle... unfortunately that doesn't pick up at my house until 7:25 a.m. and I don't get to work until almost 9 a.m.! Oh the joys of not having a license! Please don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining... I'm thankful I have him to assist me!!! Just consider yourself lucky if you can drive!

Here are another 10 items from my 101 list...
  1. Repaint the inside of my house something other than white
  2. Celebrate another 20 years of marriage with Dan
  3. Replace the loft furniture with a sectional
  4. Get a dresser for my bedroom (haven’t had one in 20 years)
  5. Replace the carpet throughout the house
  6. Have my windows cleaned
  7. Have my daughter cook 2x per week
  8. Use cloth bags for grocery’s and go green! DONE (and we love it!)
  9. Re-landscape my front and back yards
  10. Meet Marlene out of state for a girl’s weekend

Monday, November 10, 2008

Monday is OVER!!!

Today I am simply thankful that Monday is OVER! The next few weeks will be long and challenging at work and I'll just be happy as each one ends!

Here are another 10 from my 101 list...

  1. Become a DT
  2. Have a reunion with all my HS friends
  3. Organize my scrapbook space
  4. Get a complete set of Prismacolor markers (DONE)
  5. Scrap my Australia trip
  6. Scrap my London trip
  7. Scrap my Cancun trip
  8. Eliminate the pain in my left knee (DONE)
  9. Maintain my weight around 135 lbs
  10. Meet the members of the Seasoned Survivor CJ Group (DONE)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Thanks - I got mail!

Today I am thankful for all the cards that I received this week from my friends! I don't collect the mail often (usually 1 or 2 times per week) and when I did finally today, I opened 4 very special cards! The first was a great Hi/Get Well card from Debbie! That was so sweet of you to think of me! I love the little chick! Then I opened a thank you card from Nattie (Toni's daughter)! At first I had no clue who Natalie was... couldn't read the rest of the post mark! I think she's growing up fast Toni when she uses her full name!!! The next card was a great Halloween card from Patti! What a great Spooky Greeting! Then lastly I opened my "November" friends card from Marles (aka Snot)! She tried another Zindorf technique and I think it's fantastic!

Tonight I am working on my London book. I need to finish it by Christmas as I'm giving one copy as a gift to Dad. Yes, Patti I know I have a lot of other trips lined up to do as well! And yes, they are on my 101 list! How long is yours??!! Here are my first 10...

  1. Walk the ruins at Machu Picchu
  2. Ride in a helicopter
  3. Stand next to an active volcano
  4. Learn to scuba dive
  5. Walk on the Great Wall of China
  6. Ski in South America
  7. Climb all 53 – 14ers in Colorado
  8. Ride in a submarine
  9. Reframe my mother’s chalk picture of our cottage
  10. Finish scrapping my Switzerland pictures

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Melanie's Laughter

Today I am thankful for Melanie and the laughter that she brings to my life! This morning she crawled into bed with me and we spent our first minutes of the day in laughter! Then later today her cousin Betsy arrived for a sleepover and they have been laughing and giggling ever since! Melanie informed me that "laughter keeps you young"! I admire the wisdom she has at her age and hope she is correct in her statement!

I had a fun day creating a Thanksgiving scrapbook with a gal from work! It was amazing at how much you can do when you're not as anal as I am!! It turned out great for her first project! Maybe this will help inspire me to get my London book created by Christmas!!!

Friday, November 7, 2008


Today I am most thankful for the trainers at 24HourFitness who have helped me find several routines for my skiing rehab! Without watching all of them, I would be lost and probably would have quit by now!

I still struggle on the balance balls, but I am getting better! I know that Mike will be testing me on these, so I have to keep trying them! So between balance and jumping, I will be ready for that sports test!

My weekend plans include a day of scrapbooking with a friend from work. That should be fun. She is brand new to this hobby and I hope I don't overwhelm her on the first day! In addition, we have to pick up the ski boots we picked out for Melanie. They have been holding them for us so that we could use our coupon and save almost $50! Beyond that, not sure what else the weekend holds! What are your plans?

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Free Avalanche tickets

I am thankful tonight for the "free" tickets we got from one of Dan's vendors for a Colorado Avalanche hockey game! They had their own box, with free food! The only cost was the $8 foam finger we had to get for Melanie since she couldn't come with us! A small price to pay for a "date" night to an Av's game! Unfortunately they lost the game...

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Thankful for CHANGE!!!

Today I am thankful for CHANGE! I don't discuss my political views often, however today it is what I have to be thankful for, so please understand. I don't care who you voted for, I just hope you used your right as an American to get out and voice your opinion, as many of my fellow blogging friends urged you to do yesterday!

As for my opinion, I am pleased that Obama won and I am hopeful that he will fulfill his promise to work for ALL the people in turning this Country back around! We have made history electing a non-white man into the most powerful position in this country and maybe the world! I think the world is ready for this change and I am happy to be alive to witness it!!! I actually was sad I coundn't be in Grant Park to feel the heppiness that Chicago is experiencing!!!

Enough politics, have a great day everyone!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

What a beautiful sunrise!

How can you not take a look at this picture and be thankful for the start of a beautiful day! Isn't it wonderful!!!

The other good news was my therapy appointment this afternoon. Mike said that he can perform my "sports test" in 2 weeks and he projects that I should pass without any problem. He gave me several new jumping exercises that I will be doing faithfully over the next 2 weeks to make sure that I am ready to go! With that said, if I can pass, I can ski over Thanksgiving Weekend! Maybe not all 4 days, but I'll take 1 or 2! Back to the gym tomorrow!!!

Monday, November 3, 2008


No, not just any tissue - PUFFS PLUS! That is what I am most thankful for today! The last few days I have done a lot of blowing of the old nose and if it wasn't for that lotion in the Puffs, I'd have a big red nose today!!! I will be happy when I can breathe again!

And don't forget everyone - get out and vote tomorrow! We voted early and are glad we did with a 4 page ballot! We need a change!!!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Thankful for TIME!

Day 2 - Today I am thankful for TIME! Early this morning we switched back from daylight savings time to mountain standard time and gained an hour! I spent my extra hour SLEEPING!!! It was great since I have this cold!!!

What did you do with your extra hour?

Saturday, November 1, 2008

A Month of Thanks!

I am challenging myself this month to reflect each day on something I am thankful for. The list will be in no order of importance, just in order of what I am thankful for that particular day. I plan to record these items with a picture as well and when I am done create a 2-page layout to display my month of thanks! This is a big challenge for me - I haven't blogged every day EVER! So here we go...

Day 1 - I am thankful for a BEAUTIFUL day! It was in the low 70's on November 1st - you got to LOVE Colorado!!! We spent an hour playing miniature golf today!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!!!

Sorry I have been MIA for a few days! This time of year always gets crazy for me at work and then when I get home it seems like there is help with homework, making dinner, and watching a presidential campaign, that I just don't seem to have the time (or honestly) the desire to blog. I haven't even been keeping up on reading others blogs. I know, shame on me. I'm sorry... I'm trying to turn over a new leaf in November!!

What's even more pathetic is that this beautiful card wasn't even made by me! The card was sent by my dear friend Marlene! She did her first Zindorf look alike and I think she did an AWESOME job! So much so I asked her if I could show it to you, since she is too LAZY to blog herself!!! Love you Snot!
I'm off to bed... catch you all tomorrow!!!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Awesome lunch...

The highlight of my day today was having lunch with Toni and Linda! Thanks ladies for coming all the way up to Denver to have lunch with me! It was so wonderful to finally meet Linda! And of course, Toni and I always have a great time! Too bad I had to cut it short and go back to work for a meeting. :( It would have been way better if I could have played hookie the rest of the afternoon! Next time!

And thanks Toni for all the great stamps you shared with us! That was such a wonderful gesture! Now I definitely have to make some cards this weekend to share with you!!!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Will I be skiing in 5 weeks?

That is definitely my goal! I went to the doctor today for a 6 month follow up. He said that it looks great! I have to agree, these past few days have been pretty good! It still aches when I sit for too long and get up, but it's feeling better! As for skiing in 5 weeks - he said maybe! He actually said in 6 weeks, but I reminded him that Thanksgiving is 5 weeks from tomorrow and I'm going up to Summit County no matter what! He said said that I have to take a Sports Test in 4 weeks and if I can pass that, he can give me the green light to ski! I promised I'd take it easy!!! No jumping off the back bowls at Vail on my first day out (but maybe my 2nd!) So back to the therapist next Tuesday for a plan to get me ready for that test and skiing by November 27th!

If you read Toni's blog you'll find that she got 4" of snow last night up in the foothills!!! We weren't quite that lucky - just a light dusting! But looking West from the office window we could see the white mountains! I'm getting excited to finally have cooler days and ski season!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Cancun in review

We've been home for a few days and this is the first chance I've had to actually sit down and reflect on our fun and fast adventure to Cancun!

We arrived in Mexico a week ago this past Friday. The first thing we noticed when we got off the plane was the HUMIDITY! Not something we experience much in Colorado! The trip through customs was a piece of cake and before we knew it we were in the van and on our way to the hotel! Our accommodations were nothing to brag about but we did have a room looking out into the ocean! Too bad the cabanas were in the view! We took a nice stroll down the main street of town and had dinner on the lagoon at Senor Frogs! After dinner we had our first trip into the "Flea Market"! It was more like a comical video game! We had never experienced the adventure of these vendors trying to lure us into their shops! Each one invited us in claiming they had what we wanted, or their stuff was better than the last! We felt triumphant when we got all the way through without buying a thing!!

Our Monday schedule was all about relaxing! We started at the pool and eventually moved down to the beach where we had a blast swimming in the gentle waves! After a few hours at the water, we set out to see what else there was in the area. It was extremely hot and humid as we strolled around looking at the shops and hunting down some lunch. Later in the afternoon was more pool time, but this time the kids played water volleyball! We had dinner at Carlos and Charlies where we were serenaded by the staff! After the mean, there was another opportunity to go through the "flea market". Did I mention it was quite fun entertainment as long as you had a slight buzz! We spent more relaxing time just people watching at a close by mall! What a great day!

We woke up on Sunday with excitement - it was dolphin day!!! After a nice (sweaty) stroll up the hotel zone to the pier we boarded a boat to Isle Mujeres. We were treated to a wonderful buffet breakfast before we set sail to the island! Te trip across the water was beautiful and we were thrilled to finally land on the island! Instantly we were whisked away to meet our new friends the dolphins! After a training video, it was down into the natural tank to meet Shelly and Marina! We each got an opportunity to kiss a dolphin, shake their fins, hug them and be pulled through the water with them on each side! The best part was when we each got to fly through the water as they pushed us by our feet! It was so absolutely awesome! When our time was up, I wanted to change careers and be a dolphin trainer!!! It was an experience of a lifetime! To end this experience we purchased a copy of the video and pictures that were taken during our time in the pool!

Much of the time for the rest of the day on the island was spent snorkeling in a tank with sting rays, close by sharks and in the ocean near the coral reef. There were storms coming in, so the water was rough, but it was great to see the fishes! The last highlight was riding the zip line (3 times) across the ocean! That was a LOT of fun! Just as we set sail back to Cancun the rain began and didn't let up for the rest of the night! At least we got a full day of fun in and it was the highlight of the trip!

On Monday we set out for a day of snorkeling south of Cancun. It was recommended to us by a travel agent as being the best place close by to snorkel. Six of us loaded onto a very small boat and cruised just a few minutes away from the shore before jumping into the water! The other group that came with was scared and didn't spend much time in the water, but for us, it was like our second home! We cruised around spotting many kinds of fish and coral, including a lobster, sting ray, sea cucumber and yes, even barracuda! We had 2 dives and almost 2 hours in the water! It wasn't as great as Australia, but it was definitely a lot of fun!!! We are all hooked and can't wait for our next snorkel experience! The evening was spent at the Hard Rock and once again people watching at the mall! Oh and who could forget another trip through the "Flea Market"!

Tuesday was our final day in Cancun and we wanted to spend it once again at the water! We started in the pool, but quickly moved to the rolling waves on the beach! It was SOOOOOO much fun that I didn't want to leave! But we had to leave the beach behind and check out by lunchtime and head back to the airport. The flight home was very uneventful and before we knew it we were back in Colorado enjoying the cool temperatures and dry air!!

It was a great trip - a little too short, but I don't think I would have wanted to spend too much more time there. Maybe if we had been at a nicer resort, I would have stayed much longer! All in all, we had a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

I was tagged last week by my blogging friend Toni to reveal six secrets (or perhaps things you simply might not know) about me. Here goes :)
  • I used to play Charlie's Angels with my friends... I was usually Sabrina!
  • I wanted to be a computer programmer when I graduated from HS! One class, only D ever and I changed my major!
  • I am a supporter of Obama and that's a big deal for me to share as I don't usually talk politics!
  • My first pregnancy was a miscarriage.
  • In HS I drove my dad's car into an empty parking lot that was full of mud, got stuck and we had to get a tow truck to get it out.
  • I still dream that I missed too many classes my last semester of college and failed to graduate! Thankfully it's just a dream!

Now I need to tag some friends to share their secrets....I'm tagging Kate, Linda and Lisa. Have fun, ladies!

I was tagged!

Sorry - it's too late to blog tonight after the debate, but I'll be back tomorrow to tell all about Cancun!!!

TAG - YOU'RE IT! (OK, OK, I’m playing!)

If you read it, you have to do it (it only takes a couple minutes - I
Then, send it back to the person who sent it to you and to the rest of your friends!

Five names you go by:
Susie Q

Three things you are wearing right now:

Two things you want very badly at the moment:
To find a new job
To have more time to scrap

Name people who will probably fill this out:
Everyone already has!!!

Two things you did last night:
Flew home from Cancun
Called the credit card company to dispute the fraud that occurred during our trip

Two things you ate today:
WW Ice Cream Sandwich

Two people you last talked to on the phone:
My Dad

Two things you are going to do tomorrow:
Go to work
Sleep on the bus ride to work

Longest car rides:
Chicago to LA

Favorite drink:
Water w/lemon

Where are you now?
In my scraproom/office

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

2 or 20?

Well let's see... that's 20 years ago today that I said "I DO"! What was I thinking? I was just a baby! I thought I'd married my best friend FOREVER! Yep, that's right, that's exactly what I did! And after 20 short years, we are still happily together!! Starting my countdown of the next 20 years!

And 2... well that's the number of days left until we go to Cancun! Finally the honeymoon I never had! Well, sort of... Melanie is coming with too! Three is definitely not a crowd when our precious is with us! Spoiled rotten brat!! :) Love you kiddo! So on Friday we'll be off to Mexico and on Sunday we'll be swimming with the dolphins! Just a few more things to do... wash clothes, pack, etc. and I'll be ready! I'm a seasoned traveler, who has to pack early?!

So while you're all enjoying your weekend, I know I'll be enjoying mine! Toni, I hope the snowflakes don't stick!!!!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Just 6 more....

days to Cancun that is!!! We have a busy weekend of errands and household chores planned - boo hoo! :( Let's see...

1. Dry Cleaners
2. Bank - exchange for Peso's
3. Shop for swimsuit
4. Family haircuts
5. Hair color for me!
6. Cut grass (Dan)
7. Fix bricks on house (Dan)
8. Water plants
9. Laundry
10. Workout
11. Pack
12. Sleep in late

I suppose that's enough for now... off to collapse on the couch for the rest of the night!!! Happy Weekend!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Last camping trip of the year...

We spent our final camping weekend with Moira and her girls at Mueller State Park in Divide, just west of Pike's Peak! It was an absolutely beautiful weekend - perfect weather and wonderful fall color! We decided to stay in the park to hike - giving our driver a much needed rest! The trails in the park are all moderate and are perfect for families. The payoff was the wonderful patches of bright yellow aspen trees, with hints of orange and red instead of 365 degree panoramic views, waterfalls, or natural lakes. It was a wonderful change not to be pushing ourselves up a mountainside but rather relaxing as we strolled the trails!

Today we cleaned up the trailer and packed it away for winter. It's always sad to put out the last fire and eat the last s'more of the season, but we are looking forward to our next season of adventures - dah, skiing of course!!! Loveland is making snow already and hopes to open in 12 days - with weather like today, they are dreaming big!!! But you never know what Colorado weather will bring tomorrow!!! Keystone and Breck plan to open in 43 days - now that's more realistic!

My knee is getting better - I've been going to the gym 3-4 times a week!! I'm going to the therapist this week and hope to hear everything is good! With the right work, I think I will be skiing by Thanksgiving!

12 days to Cancun!!!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

16 days... and getting to know me!!!

Most importantly, it's 16 days until Cancun!!! The other night I booked our day on Isla Mujeres, where we will swim with the dolphins, ride the zip line across the beach, ride bicycles around the island and snorkel in a beautiful reef along the island! I can't wait! Please pray for no hurricanes!!!

I found this on Toni's blog and thought I'd play too! Feel free to join me by copying and pasting it on your blog with your answers so that I can learn more about you! Enjoy!

1. What time did you get up this morning? 5:30am (long before the sun!)
2. Diamonds or pearls? Diamonds are my birthstone, but I do like pearls!
3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? Whatever it was, it was so good, I don't remember!
4. What is your favorite TV show? Don't have a favorite
5. What do you usually have for breakfast? Yogurt
6. What is your middle name? Lynn
7. What food do you dislike? Brussel sprouts
8. What is your favorite CD at moment? Anything by Green Day
9. What kind of car do you drive? I don't
10.Favorite sandwich? Ham and Swiss cheese
11.What characteristic do you despise? Arrogance
12.Favorite item of clothing? big sweatshirt
13.If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation, where would you go? This month - Cancun! Next time - New Zealand!
14.Favorite brand of clothing? Don't look at tags!
15.Where would you retire to? A first class airline seat traveling around the world!
16.What was your most recent memorable birthday? Too many to remember! :(
17.Favorite sport to watch? Not much into sport watching... but baseball at the park, not on TV.
18.Farthermost place you are sending this? Hopefully Korea!
19.Person you expect to send it back first? No idea!
20.When is your birthday? April 10
21.Are you a morning person or a night person? I prefer nights, but I get up early so I don't have to work so late!
22.What is your shoe size? 8.5
23.Pets? Nope - too busy!
24.Any new and exciting news you'd like to share with us? I joined the gym and have been working out to strengthen my knee for ski season!
25.What did you want to be when you were little? A teacher, a nurse, a HR professional - NOT!
26.How are you today? Overall in good health, except for this rehabbing knee!
27.What is your favorite candy? Anything made with dark chocolate
28.What is your favorite flower? Lily of the Valley
29.What is a day on the calendar you are looking forward to? October 8 - my 20th anniversary and then October 10 - we go to Cancun!
30.What are you listening to right now? The hum of my computer
31.What was the last thing you ate? Cookie dough
32.Do you wish on stars? No
33.If you were a crayon, what color would you be? today - RED
34.How is the weather right now? Pleasant but dark
35.The first person you spoke to on the phone today? Tosha at work
36.Favorite soft drink? Peach Crystal Light
37.Favorite restaurant? Edwardo's Pizza in Chicago
38.Real hair color? Who knows, haven't seen it in 7 years
39.What was your favorite toy as a child? Barbie dolls
40.Summer or winter? both for different reasons
41.Hugs or kisses? hugs
42.Chocolate or Vanilla? need you ask? Chocolate!
43.Coffee or tea? NEITHER
44.Do you want your friends to email you back? Sure - blog friends play along!
45.When was the last time you cried? about a week ago
46.What is under your bed? the carpet
47.What did you do last night? Watched TV
48.What are you afraid of? Dying before 56
49.Salty or sweet? BOTH
50.How many keys on your key ring? 2 - house and mailbox keys
51.How many years at your current job? almost 5 years
52.Favorite day of the week? Saturday :)
53.How many towns have you lived in? 6
54.Do you make friends easily? Usually

Now play along people!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

New markers, Riley Stamps, and 19 days!

On Saturday, Melanie and I took the bus into town and did a little bit of shopping. My first stop was at Michael's, where I used my 50% off coupon this week to FINALLY buy my Prismacolor markers! (Thankfully I stopped at the mailbox first, where I found the coupon!!!) The 48 count markers retail for $189, but I got them for half ($95)! And then I used 2 gift cards I had for $75, so in the end it only cost me $20 plus tax! You can't beat that! And now I can color my images or at least attempt to anyway! I am so excited!
And now that I have these wonderful markers, I can finally color my Riley stamps!!! I used this cute little one with the tent as a birthday card for my nephew Phil who likes to camp with his family. I hope he likes it as much as I do! I can't wait to do more!

And with that, it's 19 days and counting to Cancun! I'm making my reservations to swim with the dolphins tonight! How much fun that wll be!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Mental block or just mental?

So I've been staring at the same page layout all week just trying to decide if I like what I have. I finally took out some pictures and tried to create this week. For some reason ALL of my pictures are outside - hiking, skiing, mountains! LOL! Dah, that's all I take pictures of anymore! I am really sick of green, blue and brown layouts! Don't get me wrong, I love those colors, but you can't scrap the "big hike" on PINK paper! Or can you? I'm testing the waters this time with maroon. I'm not quite sold. Maybe a few more days of staring at the page and I'll make my move!!!

But tonight I had to put it to the side and create a special card for a friend to give away. Tosha at work asked me to make a card for Cris' Mom who is battling with cancer. I told her that would be no problem as it is the least I could do for Cris and her Mom. Wow, I struggled all night to come up with a nice card. I am happy with the end result. It is the same design as the one above, but the colors were green, blue and peach. I used a big flower in the corner instead of the ladybug, and it turned out very calm and beautiful! I decided to give this card pictured here away to another co-worker who had a birthday this week. I hope she likes it since it is one of my favorites!

Dan is in CA this weekend on business. Melanie and I plan to get our nails done on Saturday, do a bit of shopping and watch movies! It should be a nice weekend for us! Too bad Dan has to work!

Just 3 more weeks until we leave for Cancun!!! I can't wait to be back on the beach, snorkeling with the fishes!!! And best of all, I get to swim with the dolphins! That's one of my 101 things to do Lisa!!! How lucky am I?

Sunday, September 14, 2008

New cards

I've spent some of the weekend working on cards! It's been fun, but it's now time to turn to scrapbook pages! I have had such a block there, maybe my recent surge in cards will help!!! Here is a card I made for my nephew for his upcoming birthday. Michael will be 26 this year and is still waiting for the city of Chicago to call him up for the fire department! Maybe this will be his year finally!

As for volleyball pictures, I was a bad Mom and didn't bring the camera to any of her games... bad Mom! The team did manage a 6-0 season - congrats to Melanie!!! Mel will be going to a v-ball camp next month, maybe I'll be able to remember the camera then?!!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Volleyball, Skiing and Creative Juices???

Melanie has been playing on the volleyball team again this year with much greater success! She is on a "C" team, but they are probably as good as the A & B teams! They are undefeated (5-0) with one more match to go tomorrow! Dan and I both got an opportunity to see her play today and she did AWESOME!!! She had 2 streaks within the match where she served at least 8 times before they turned it over! She was HOT! They won 25-8 and 25-6!!! I hope she continues with the sport because I know she really enjoys it!

I went to the therapist last week for my knee and he told me that I could more than likely ski by November, but I will need to strengthen my knee more and that includes weights! Ugh! The doctor confirmed this on Monday! That means I have to join a gym because the machine in the basement can do some of the exercises but not all. (At least I can do some I suppose!) I'm going to try to go to 24 Hour Fitness at lunch by my office. I printed a free pass for a week. Maybe if I'm lucky, I'll love it!!! Wish me luck!!

I haven't had much creative energy lately. I'm hoping with the arrival of some Hanna Stamps maybe my juices will flow again?! One can only hope!!! My brain has lots of plans, but it doesn't seem to connect to the parts of my body that do the work!!!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Labor Day Weekend

This past Labor Day weekend we spent up at Rocky Mountain NP with our friends Moira, Caitlin, Mary, Nestor and Tammy! We had a fantastic time and a great end to summer!

On Saturday we started out at the Alluvial Fan Falls - a spot we had never gotten up close and personal with prior to this trip! It was a neat place to climb around on the rocks and get our feet wet! We then headed up Old Fall River road, the original road that went up to the top of the pass overlooking the Never Summer Range. It was a long, painful trip following a very slow woman driver who refused to let us pass! The only bonus was the napping elk we spotted along the way! At the top, we took newbies to the park Nestor and Tammi up to the top to catch the best views! That was the warmest I had ever seen it up that high! It was beautiful as usual. A quick trip down the pass and into town for ice cream was the last thing on our agenda for Saturday! What a pleasant day!

On Sunday Nestor, Tammy, Melanie, Dan and I set up the trail to climb Flat Top Mountain! It stands at 12,234' and has a HUGE flat top (thus the name!!) The hike started out at Bear Lake and gradually climbed over 2,800' in 4.4 miles. There were 2 really nice overlooks along the way - one of Dream Lake and the other of Emerald Lake. Both lakes have been visited by us in both winter and summer, so it was fun to see them in a different way! What a great place for Tammy to celebrate her birthday - on the top of the world!!! We got up after the sun hid behind the clouds but before it sprinkled. And we got off before the weather turned and worse!!! This is my family at the top with the lakes behind and below.

After the hike we all crashed! On Monday before we left we took a really short hike to Alberta Falls! It was beautiful as usual! What a fun weekend!!!!

New card and land lines...

I spent my spare time this week making some male birthday cards! Here is one of the results. I used a bunch of scraps and a sketch from one of my favorite blogs. Frances from down under is amazing. She never seems to run out of ideas! I wish I had just an ounce of her talent (and time)!!

I also spent some time shopping for stamps this week! I can't wait to get them and try them out! We'll see if I have any talent hidden somewhere!!! And for time, well I'm not sure where that is hiding either!

Now, about that land line... how many of you have abandoned yours? We are seriously thinking of saving that expense since we all have cell phones. Do you think it's worth it? I'm looking for the negatives and positives of this PLEASE!!!

Tomorrow we are going to the Rockies game! What are your plans?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Time flies when you're old!

Why do the weeks go faster when you get older? That is a question I am always trying to answer and yet I can never seem to come up with a good answer! Another week has passed since I last blogged. Let's see, what did I do? The sad part is I can't remember and/or it was so pathetic, it's not worth mentioning!!! But I'll give it a try...

Ah yes, I remember now... last weekend we went camping up by Buffalo Creek! We had never stayed at that campground before (Buffalo) but Dan assured me we had been there before. It was about 15 years ago and the slope surrounding the campground was in "rebirth" after a fire. If that is true, then in 15 years, trees do grow fast!! It was very quiet there and a perfect place to retreat and relax. Yes, I said relax! We actually took a nap in the afternoon while a t-storm dumped rain on us! We talked by the campfire and ate s'mores (or the fixings separately)! It was rather enjoyable. We took a new route home that went along the South Platte River and it was beautiful! I think Dan will go back there and fish one of these days!

I have been busy this week at work with my assistant gone. I'm not getting much of my own stuff accomplished, but rather cleaning up some of hers. At least I only have 2 days left and Friday is bound to be easy before the holiday!

I haven't felt much like blogging or crafting in the evening this week. I think I'm in a little "funk" because yesterday was the anniversary of my mother's death. It's been 17 years and it almost seems like yesterday. Especially because 1 co-worker lost her mother yesterday and another's is very ill with cancer. All that brings back the memories of that dreaded weekend when we lost Mom. I was going to blog about it yesterday, but couldn't bring myself to it. Maybe later I will...

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

TCP Tuesday

This week's TCP Tuesday challenge was a color challenge - Blue and Orange posted by Toni! I've played a few times over the past few months, BUT never in time to add to the contest! I'm excited because this time I finished on the 1st day!!!

I used pattern paper scraps from Scenic Route I believe... Sprinkle of course, some dotted ribbon, flowers and of course some rhinestones for her collar! The sketch for this card was lifted from Frances. She does some amazing work! I'm always in awe of her stuff!!! Maybe because she's from "down under"?

Have a great day!

Friday, August 15, 2008

It's raining, it's pouring...

this little old lady wishes she was snoring!!!

We had t-storms last night that woke me up at 3:30 a.m. which included hail! The gray skies and misty rain has continued all day long too! What a beautiful day to stay inside while the brown lawns turn green again!!! I am SO HAPPY that Ed came last weekend - this weekend would have been a complete bust! It's SNOWING up in the mountians today!! Moira called from the Eisenhower tunnel at lunchtime and it was closed due to an accident in the snow! Hopefully she made it, settled into her campsite and is keeping warm!

Tomorrow we have errands to run and then Melanie's b-day party. We are taking her and 3 friends to Dave & Busters for the evening. It's a very managable group of kids and will be lots of fun! Then the girls will spend the night! I wonder if they'll get any sleep! Sunday is Melanie's actual birthday. She will be 13! Can you believe that? Where have the years gone? They went by fast, that's for sure! It just means I'm getting OLDER too!! By her next birthday I'm sure she will be taller than me too! She's almost there!!

Have a great weekend everyone!!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Really, this is the top!!!

What a fun weekend I had with my big brother!!! Of course, I usually have a great time with him, so I wasn't surprised!

Dan and Ed arrived at the same time from Chicago on 2 different planes on Thursday night. They swung by Castle Rock, picked Melanie and I up and we headed for the mountains arriving before midnight!

On Friday we went out for breakfast and decided on a hike to a ghost town outside of Frisco. The town turned out to be less than a mile up the hill and when we got there, we were all anxious to keep going! So we continued up the path towards Mt. Royal. I have looked at this area of rocky ledges every time we cruise over to Vail County and have often wondered how you get up there. Now I know! The views from up there were cool and Ed really enjoyed sitting on the rocky outcroppings! The sky's were mostly cloudy but we didn't have any rain, so it was a great hike! All in all we walked about 5 miles - a great warm up for Ed with our elevation!

After the hike, we headed to Vail for lunch and a walk around the Village. We ducked in lots of shops but didn't buy a thing - besides the jelly bellies Ed got! Then at 4 p.m. we waited in the line to take the gondola up the mountain - for free!! It was so weird to look at the mountain without snow on it and remember how you ski down it! We got a fair view of Mount of the Holy Cross (a 14er) before heading back down the gondola. A good dinner and an early night were the end of our day!

On Saturday we got up early and had clouds again. But we hoped for the best as we traveled South to Alma where the trailhead for Mt. Democrat, Mt. Bross and Mt. Lincoln lie. No such luck. We were surrounded once again! We set out anyway towards Mt. Democrat. The hike went slow but steady and we all got used to the lack of oxygen - some faster than others! When we reached the saddle between Mt. Democrat and Mt. Cameron we could see a little bit down the other side but not fantastic. Thankfully we all had adequate clothing on, including gloves because it was a bit chilly! As we left the saddle and headed up to Democrat we first reached a false peak and then another... finally getting to the top! It wasn't exactly easy to find because it was int he clouds!! (Thus why that picture is not very clear!) Hurray! We made it! And I let (YES LET) my older brother summit first!!! Isn't that nice of me?! He's a typical flatlander too - making phone calls back home from the top of the mountain!!

On our decent back to the saddle, we had a few brief glimpses of the valley below! Quick take a picture because it was gone quicker than it came! We also noticed the clouds beginning to grow and turn darker. The weather reports called for T-storms in the p.m. and it was just about noon. We knew we had a bad chance of getting caught, so we opted to climb Mt. Bross and Mt. Lincoln another time and headed back to the car. It was an amazing hike in the clouds! I'm so glad that I got to share that with my brother!! He did an awesome job and I know he'll be back to conquer a few more in the future!

On Sunday we slept in a bit before packing up and heading for breakfast. While waiting to be seated we called and made reservations to go on an ATV tour that afternoon! Unfortunately when we go to the place it was pouring rain. Not a very comfortable way to ATV! So we decided to bag it and headed to Leadville and tour the town. More disappointment... the Opera House was closed. But we did look through some of our favorite antique stores before heading back home. The trip home we opted for a 4-wheel drive road called Weston Pass. It was a nice drive and a great end to a fun weekend!

Ed headed home BEFORE the crack of dawn on Monday morning and the reality of back to work was upon us again! I'm so glad I got to share this time with him! Thanks bro!!!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Butterfly Card

Over last weekend I finally got around to buying shelves for my office/scrap room! I settled on wire shelves that are 16" deep. They are deeper than I would have originally preferred, however the space between the rungs is closer, which I thought would work better! And to my happiness, Dan even installed them the same day for me! Now I'm trying to organize and fill them up! That is a tough project for me because every time I see something I forgot about, I want to stop and start a new project!!! Thus, the butterfly card! Found these butterflies laying on my desk. I've had them FOREVER! They are from Target. I started with a design from Taylored Expressions and then I rummaged through my old scrap paper and found some that matched fairly well. I changed her sketch to fit my butterflies and my mood and came up with a card I really like! I think it's the colors that attract me most! Wish they showed up better here!! Well needless to say, it's Wednesday and I'm still not finished organizing my stuff! I doubt I'll ever be finished!!!

My brother arrives tomorrow, along with my husband! Ed is coming to visit us and we are going to climb our first 14er together!!! He climbed Long's Peak many moon's ago! I hope he's not too disappointed that I ruled that one out this summer, but I wasn't prepared for a 16 mile technical hike quite yet! Instead we are going to try a trio of mountains - Lincoln, Bross and Democrat! There is actually a 4th one there that doesn't always count - depends on what book you read! We'll see if we can conquer all of them or not! I'm really excited to see my brother!

Dad is doing great! He's out and about and feeling as though this never happened! We'll know next week when his next operation will be. Then I'll probably go visit him!

Oh and before I forget, after 20 years of marriage, I'm finally getting a honeymoon!!! A trip to Cancun in October! I'll tell more another day....

Monday, August 4, 2008

A new card finally!

I got inspired late last night to make this card from one I saw on Taylored Expressions blog. I've had these vellum stickers FOREVER! Bought them on a trip to the Paper Source a few years ago with my BFF Marlene! The minute I saw this card on her blog, I knew what to use for my card! I gave this to a friend at work for her wedding shower. I thought it was quite fitting! I have 3 more stickers and I'll be using the same sketch! What? If I find a good sketch, why not use it over and over??!!

I'm all alone tonight. Dan went to Chicago for a few days. That lucky bastard, he's eating my favorite Mexican food tonight. So I'm eating Nacho's too, but they are no where near as good as at El Buritto Loco! And he's going to get stuffed pizza too - I sure hope he brings one back for me!! It's the biggest thing (after the family) that we miss from Chicago - PIZZA! I won't trade my mountains in for it though!!! And Melanie is in the Springs with Betsy tonight. I'll be happy when she comes home tomorrow!! So tonight, it's me and my computer!!! How fun!

Brillante Weblog award!

Thanks to Benita for giving me the Brillante Weblog award! I'm honored that she selected me. I am not going to pass it along however, because everyone I blog with regularly has either gotten it or the last one I posted this past weekend and I just can't do it to them again!!! I either need more blogging friends... or in reality more time to blog!!!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

I've won the BFF Blogging Award!!!!

Thank you to Toni for sharing the "Blogging Friends Forever" award with me! Can you believe it's my first Gold Card!!! (JK!) Now I get to pass this along too!
The rules for the "Blogging Friends Forever" award are:
Only five people allowed
Four have to be dedicated followers of your blog
One has to be someone new or recently new to your blog or live in another part of the world.
You must link back to whoever gave you the award.The winner can put the logo on his/her blog.
Here's my list for the "Blogging Friends Forever" award:
3. Lisa
5. And Benita!!!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

And the good news today is..

Dad was released from the hospital and went home in great spirits! On top of getting his "get out of jail" card finally, he was also told that the open heart surgery was not necessary!! The results of the most recent ultrasound showed that the valve was not as bad as originally thought and that the remaining blockage could be fixed with angioplasty and another stint. He will see the doctors again next week and schedule the surgery following that! Given this news, I don't think I will be traveling into Chicago at this point. Maybe I will make a long weekend trip in September or October once he is recovering.

Tomorrow is finally August! Well that is what Melanie is happy about - I'm not so sure I'm ready for the year to be 7 months over! Tomorrow we go register her for school and finally find out what classes she will have! Then school starts in 10 days! That really makes her happy! (And Mom too!) We will also go together and get our cholesterol checked! Oh joy!

It's really HOT here - today we set a record! It is the 19th day in a row that Denver has hit 90 degrees or more! I finally broke down and turned on the A/C since I'll be working from home tomorrow. And tonight... I'm freezing my buns off!!! I hate A/C!

Stay cool!

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

My week...

It's been a difficult week for me. On Sunday I received a call from my brother that Dad had suffered a heart attack that morning. He was at the hospital and doing fairly well. Unfortunately I felt absolutely helpless being so far away and not having much information. A few hours later I got a hold of my sister and got the same report. He was to have a stress test later the day but otherwise was doing fairly well. Finally later that night my brother filled me in further. Dad was going to have an angiogram and possibly angioplasty on Monday and Ed would be with him. And I finally got to talk to Dad for a short time before the doctors came in.

I didn't sleep well and definitely didn't feel well when I went to work. Finally around 9 a.m., Ed called to let me know they took him into surgery. About 2 hours later he was out. They placed a stint in an artery that was 99% blocked, but chose not to repair any of the others at this time. Instead they decided to close him up and schedule open heart surgery in a few weeks. I never got to talk to Dad that day but I did get the full report from my brother. In addition to the bypass surgery, he will also have his valve repaired or possibly replaced depending on the damage. This will be a very major surgery.

When I called Dad on Tuesday morning I learned he still had the tube in his groin and he was till flat on his back 22 hours after surgery. That poor man. He sounded really good though and was very positive. I wasn't sure if he really understood what lay ahead of him, but I knew he would eventually. I called him again that evening and he was in an even better mood! He had had the tube removed, had many visitors and was finally moved to a regular room! Now it was just a matter of time before he was released.

Tonight he was still in the hospital and chomping at the bit to get out of there. He told me he has walked up and down the halls many times to get exercise and see something other than the TV! The doctor will release him tomorrow after they have made sure he is strong enough to go home. He is more than ready!

As for the upcoming surgery, well he had lots of questions. He needs to see the cardiologist first and schedule the procedure. Not sure when that will be, but I've told him I will be there. I can't let something major go by with me 1000 miles away. I'm to anxious to get answers and don't want to wait for someone to call. Now, Ed, I know you have done a great job, but put yourself in my shoes!!! Besides, a few days off of work sounds great right now!!!

So, for now my roller coaster has stopped and I'm feeling much better knowing he is doing OK and ready to go home!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Here I am

I've been informed by my dear friend Marlene that I have been absent from my blog for too long!!! She should talk... she doesn't even have one, much less leave me notes on mine!!! (OK, I'll forgive her!)

Summer is just busy... it seems like if I'm not up to something with the family, I'm recovering! I've been really tired lately - I think it's just the heat. Not sure how many days in the 90's we've had, but I can tell you I wouldn't want to live someplace like AZ! Me and heat don't get along!

This past weekend I finally finished Patty's CJ book. Her journal was a clear album about color! I ended up using GREEN and decided on nature and "GO GREEN" as my inspiration. I took lots of outdoor pictures and when I finally uploaded them last week to Snapfish, my problems started. Snapfish never sent them to Walgreen's and after 2 tries, 2 trips to the stores and many phone calls, I finally through in the towel and went to Walmart. Unfortunately this delayed me by 4 more days. Finally over the weekend I pumped out the book and as a bonus, finished Kristi's Quote book as well! That makes me finished with this round! Yeah!!! In addition, I finally finished Toni's CJ from the other group and mailed that back yesterday! Hopefully it was waiting for her when she arrived home today!!!

My niece Betsy came on Sunday and left today! Her and Melanie had a lot of fun playing together! They went to the movies and the pool! Probably their last hurrah together before school starts. They will see each other over the next 2 weekends for family functions, but probably no more sleepovers! I'm glad they had fun!

Work is work... It is boring and exhausting because it's boring. That's about all anyone needs to hear!!!

I think I'll try to do some stamping tonight! Have a great one everyone!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Rockin' Brown's Canyon

Last weekend while camping in Buena Vista, we took the crew white-water rafting down the Arkansas River! Here is the crew just before we left for the boat launch! (Sue, Betsy, Dan, Melanie, Moira, Mary and Caitlin)

Dan and I have rafted this stretch of river at least 7 times now and this was the highest level we have ever experienced! It was ROCKIN' baby! The river was so high, we had to duck going under 2 different bridges - ones we couldn't even touch before!!! Oh and did I mention it was COLD?!!! About 40 degrees!!! (Thus the beautiful wet suits!!)

Our guide, Topper put Dan and I in the front (as we usually end up), Moira behind me and Melanie and Betsy behind Dan all paddling. The 2 other girls, Mary and Caitlin got to ride in the princess seats - although they did help us paddle at slower points! Because the water was running so fast and big, we hit rapids immediately!!! The class 2 ones were now class 3 and several of the class 3 rapids were either 3+ or 4! And once we hit the rapids, it was evidence that I was going to be WET the whole darn trip!!! :)

Through the Canyon Doors (Screen door and Storm door) all the way to the Wodow Maker and Seidel's Suck-hole we were moving fast and getting WET!!! The photographer took our picture on Zoom Flume, right after lunch. Too bad Moira fell into the boat just as we hit the rapid, becuase that is where she stayed for all 4 shots!!! I didn't bother to buy the picture, but she did!! Everyone in our boat had an awesome time and can't wait to go try that one again!!!

Next year we're running The Numbers section!!!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

#6 or #9 - Depends on how you count!!!

That is mountains climbed!!! I have climbed 9 mountains but three of them I have stood on top of more than once! So the number changes depending on who you ask - me or Dan!!! This 4th of July I knocked Mt. Yale off my list!!! And let me tell you... that was a butt-kicker!!

We had planned to hit the trail by 5 a.m., take 4 hours to reach the summit and 2 hours to get back down. It is 8 miles round trip with an elevation gain of 4,300 feet. This would be the toughest we had ever done. We tried it about 3 years ago and reached treeline but turned back when storm approached and we were not prepared to continue. This would be a great 4th of July if we could conquer it.

We woke at 5 a.m. when the alarm wasn't heard and rushed to hit the trail by 5:20 a mile up the road! Not bad! The hike through the forest was steady, especially with several flat areas, which just told us the elevation ahead was going to get worse. (We knew already that it was over 1,000 feet of elevation gain for every mile!) But our pace up to treeline would still get us to the top in 4 hours. Once we hit treeline though, things went from steady to slow!!!

The trail was dirt and loose gravel and just went straight UP! Not many switchbacks to alleviate the incline. I was lucky if I could go 50 paces at times, much less the 200 paces Dan challenged me to before I had to rest for a minute to get my breath. The knee was not the problem, it was my beating little heart!!! Many times I wasn't so sure I was going to make it. I had touches of altitude sickness along the way. Finally we reached the boulders towards the top and we collapsed for a rest! (pic 1)

We kept plugging along though and finally 5 hours and 20 minutes after we left the parking lot we reached the summit at 14,196 feet!!! Mountain #6, Summit #9 reached!!! What an awesome feeling! What a way to spend the 4th of July!!! From the top, you could see not only the mountains in the Collegiate Range where we were, but you could see all the way to Gunnison and Crested Butte to the West! So far this was the most beautiful summit I have made! Once rested, we felt great! Boy were we in for a wicked trip down....

Yep, that loose dirt and gravel going straight down were a killer on both of us! It took a lot longer for us to get down than ever expected - about 3 .5 hours. We had to go slow because I fell 4 times in the upper section and Dan fell 3 times in the lower section. It was scary. Neither of us brought much food (we expected to be back by lunchtime) and we were weak from hunger, dehydrated and tired. Thankfully neither of us got hurt badly but we were overall just exhausted. I think the only part of my body that didn't hurt was the knee that was operated on! It was barely swollen - thank heavens!!!

This by far is one of my favorite 4th of July's EVER!!!