Sunday, January 31, 2010

Canine Photo Shoot

R & I were trying to get some photos of the The Girls, Dora and Bella, to keep along with their immunization records when we travel with of many tips we've read this winter about RV life. I took about 50 shots to get these...

Rich was holding treats to get Bella to sit here with Dora.

Dora poses like a model...sits, stands, looks right at the camera, etc.

Bella is a different story though. As soon as Rich put the treats away and went to work on his computer, she hid by his feet and would not budge for me.

This camera shy behavior seems at odds though with the Bella we see daily. She knows when there is any animal, even a rabbit, anywhere near our house. Since we live on a golf course, animal traffic is not rare. Bella barks and runs from window to door to window (Dora simply follows behind her...seemingly clueless) until we come see what she is trying to show us. The past two evenings, about 5:15, she got unusually excited and when we all went outside...there was a coyote in our yard. We frequently hear them yipping at night...because Bella wakes us up with her barking so we don't miss out on it...haha  A friend down the street had mentioned that one would come through our back yards nearly every evening.

When this happened on Friday evening, I had let the girls out on the deck before I knew what was out there. They raced out with Bella barking like crazy; when the coyote came from the left into my view I wondered with some alarm what in the world would happen. No need to worry though, the coyote just stopped and turned to look at us on the deck before ambling off. Last evening, I had my camera handy just in case. Sure enough, it came again at about the same time of evening. We went onto the deck and this time I got a few great shots...

...even the coyote posed for the camera better than Bella does...teehee

Thursday, January 28, 2010

This Week's Favorite Blog Postings

I've always read as much for the thrill of discovering brilliant writing, sentences that I read several times just because they are perfectly awesome, as for the story being told. I am particularly fond of blogs written by talented writers...and they are in abundance. Some explore deep thoughts, some are funny, some pithy, some let their amazing photos speak, some teach skills, and all are sharing themselves, their families, their lives with a seemingly endless variety of great storytelling that brings me back to these blogs again and again.

From time to time I'll share some of my favorite blogs here. This week Katherine Center's writing has been especially meaningful to me. The link below will hopefully take you to her January 27th post about I miss mine, which is why her words had such special meaning for me.

And then today, she posted her essay about mothers/daughters which scored high points with me again...

WHAT I WOULD TELL HER: (If I knew what to say.)

You are a miracle.

And I have to love you this fiercely: So that you can feel it even after you leave for school, or even while you are asleep, or even after your childhood becomes a memory.

You’ll forget all this when you grow up. But it’s okay.

Being a mother means having your heart broken.

And it means loving and losing and falling apart and coming back together.

And it’s the best there is. And also, sometimes, the worst.

Sometimes you won’t have anyone to talk to.

Sometimes you’ll wonder if you’ve forgotten who you are.

But you must remember this: What you’re doing matters.

And you have to be brave with your life so that others can be brave with theirs.

The truth is, being a woman is a gift. Tenderness is a gift. Intimacy is a gift. And nurturing the good in this world is a nothing short of a privilege.

That’s why I have to love you this way. So I can give what I have to you. So that you can carry it in your body and pass it on.

I have watched you sleep. I’ve kissed you a million times. And I know something that you don’t, yet:

You are writing the story of your only life every single minute of every day.

And my greatest hope for you, sweet child, is that I can teach you how to write a good one.

Perhaps from these shared snippets of blogs I follow, you too will discover a new source of entertainment and enlightenment!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Trip Down Home

Obviously there is much to be learned about blogging. I know that some of you have e-mailed that you tried to comment but couldn't for some unknown reason and others have said that they tried to join as followers but remain lurkers since they can't seem to hit the right combination (?) to join. My niece just started a blog last week and on some computers the background is pitch black with gray letters, nearly impossible to read. Her blog is perfect on my home computer but black on Mom's computer and on my computer at work...oops...I mean I think it would be black if I ever did something personal like logon to her blog while at work...which I would never do...teehee  Just pokin' around got me this far and I'm hoping that Amber will gain and share vastly more knowledge but, if not, after I retire I'll try to learn much more about this whole process.

Some of you know that Pauline, my kids' paternal grandma with whom R and I have continued our very close relationship all these many years, fell two weeks ago yesterday and broke her hip. She was 97 years old last October, lives in her own apartment, and was fixing a hamburger for lunch when she went down. They determined that she had two breaks and one fracture in her left hip so she had surgery a day later. Our first stop on our trip down home this past weekend was to visit her in the Transitional Care Unit at the local hospital where she is receiving therapy. She is walking short distances with a walker and as always has a very positive attitude about the future which just shines through in her beautiful smile.

Our next stop was at Mom's to celebrate her 83rd birthday on Saturday! She is so lucky to live in an apartment in the Independent/Assisted Living Center in our hometown. She still drives but hasn't for weeks due to the hard winter we're having so R started her car and took it for a drive while we were there. My brother, sister-in-law, R, and I took her to dinner at a great little local restaurant where one of her all-time favorite dinners was one of the specials...whole fried catfish...we all love our catfish! They also had blueberry pie and brought a slice to her with a candle on it so we all sang Happy Birthday. All in all it was a special birthday dinner for her. After we got back to her place, I took this photo of her, her flowers, her cake, the cupcake from the staff, and the Payday bars my SIL made...oh yeah! I'm still experimenting with the film speed or ISO or whatever it is that allows me to take photos without using flash. The colors are usually more true but the shots I took at Mom's without flash are much to learn...

Before we left Mom's on Sunday, I put shortcuts to Amber's and my blogs on her computer desktop...Hi Mom! Hopefully she will enjoy following us on our blogs...if we can figure out how to fix that black screen on Amber's...any ideas?

Monday, January 18, 2010

MLK, Jr Holiday

Man is man because he is free to operate within the framework of his destiny. He is free to deliberate, to make decisions, and to choose between alternatives. ~ Martin Luther King, Jr., The Measures of Man

Tomorrow I will deliver my Notice of Retirement letter at work. We arrived at this decision after much deliberation and while choosing between the alternatives. The timing is so appropriate since today we are celebrating the life of a great leader whose quote above resonates with me at this time. I'll be free from my current employment on April to pursue the next phase of my destiny...yippee! Does that make today my last paid holiday ever or does it mean that from now on all holidays are paid? Is that a chicken or egg kind of question?

Yesterday morning we awoke to a most beautiful sight...hoarfrost coated all of the trees, shrubs, deck railings, and most other exterior surfaces. We drove around to take some photos so I could share this amazing feat of nature with all of you.

I really love this almost appears to be a bokeh shot which is something I strive for but is difficult to achieve unless you have a DSLR camera, which I don't.

Those of you who are following this blog, even anonymously, have my deepest gratitude. It is such a fun thing for me to do and such a great outlet for our Meandering...

Later yesterday R's sister went Meandering... from store to store with us while: we tried out Zero Gravity chairs at an outdoor living store to see if we want a pair of them for the decision; researched the options and pricing on tables at a furniture decision; and, went to Penneys on the outside chance that they would have a table and BINGO...exactly what we were looking for at a fraction of the furniture store price and they would sell the table without the chairs...decision quickly made. It should be delivered to the store on Wednesday. While there we also checked out area rugs and lamps but did not find anything. To reward Mar for her patience during this shopping trip we stopped for dinner at Lone Star (just for her of know that we never indulge in a big restaurant meal...haha).

We had already picked up a couple of small round tables for the rearranged front room at Costco. Even though we only needed one, they came two in a know...Costco. R assembled them yesterday and one is perfect between those two big chairs; the other is now serving as a nightstand in the guest room. We'll continue Meandering... in our search for an area rug and new lamps next. This is so much fun; R and I love decorating together and I really enjoyed reading the comments from those of you who sent them. Thanks!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Our 24th Wedding Anniversary

Today is our anniversary! On this day 24 years ago, after a beautiful day on the slopes, R & I were married in Aspen, Colorado. Our best friends stood up with us and then were also married by the same judge. We have enjoyed an unbelievably happy life together making me the luckiest woman I know! I love you darlin' and hope we have at least 24 more years together! HAPPY ANNIVERSARY MOAO!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Our Front Room

Those of you who have been to our home know that we have two arm chairs and a drum table in the bay window of the living room we added on to the front of our house six years ago. As it is, we rarely use that room except when we have company. It is mostly used to build a fort out of the sectional, chairs, and every cushion that can be found in the house when the grands are here...which is actually our favorite use for that room! A couple of days ago it occurred to me that I might enjoy sitting there with my coffee reading the morning news and watching all the activity on the street...what little activity there is in our peaceful neighborhood. I have often thought that those two chairs were too far away from the sectional, leaving a very large open area in the center of the room.

Yesterday afternoon R & I pulled the two large chairs into the center of the room at the edge of the area rug, opened the gateleg table, placed it in the bay window, and set two straight back chairs at the table to see how it looks and if we would enjoy sitting there. The gateleg table would not work on a permanent basis for the same reason it has not worked out very well for playing cards...two people are forced to straddle that wide gateleg. So today we started a search for a small drop leaf table that would work. Since we are not emotionally locked into this arragement yet, I wanted to find out what some of you think, thus the two photos of our front room as it looks right now.

What do you think? Does this make a more cozy conversation area with the two arm chairs placed closer to the sectional or does it close in and clutter up the room too much? We really don't want to buy a drop leaf table plus a small table to replace that big drum table between the two arm chairs until we're sure this is the right move. The two tables are what we think we would need to replace to make this work...does that seem right? I do think we would bring our notebook computers and coffee in there while we read the news and blog in the mornings.

We would really love to hear your opinions/ideas!!!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Snowy Day

This is the view from our back door just a few minutes ago...beautifully serene.

Not feeling the best this morning so called in to work. After finally getting up at 9:00 I've been drinking coffee, reading blogs, doing laundry, and enjoying the gentle snowfall. R is working from home and has spent several hours on conference calls. Bella was feeling neglected and leaped up for hugs from R. Dora likes playing in the snow on the deck.

I could enjoy spending a lot of days like this one, now that I'm feeling fine!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

25 Years Ago

On this date 25 years ago, R & I met in Denver and traveled by bus to Aspen for our first ski vacation together. He was a beautifully experienced skier and I had never been on skis. After checking in our hotel, we walked to a ski shop to rent skis, boots, & poles for me.

On the way, I searched for a pay phone (remember this was 25 years ago) so that I could use my calling card (again, 25 years ago) to call home to see if I was an aunt yet...had my sister given birth? YES, my nephew was born on that day as I traveled west. HAPPY 25th BIRTHDAY RY!!!

What a momentous day that very many firsts!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Christmas Blocks

The beautiful Happy New Year blocks pictured in the header were a Christmas gift from our grands and their mom and dad. We love them! Photos of them in various configurations may make occasional appearances on this blog.

Later today our daughter-in-law's parents, sister, uncle & aunt, and cousin are coming for a chili dinner...oh yeah, G & J will be here too. It was below zero here this morning when we got up so a big pot of chili sounds yummy to me!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

My First Post

This is the first post of what I hope will become THE place to share our family fun, travels, recipes, thoughts, experiences, and other snippets of our daily lives as we Meander Along into retirement...IMAGINE!