Monday, January 31, 2011

Tabloid Weather Or Not???

Around our house we refer to much of what the weather forecasters predict as Tabloid Weather Reporting. They are most often extremely exaggerated ~ but one can only know that with the perfect vision of hindsight.

Today the news is "Life Threatening Blizzard on Its Way to Chicago" ~ "Top Ten Winter Storm in History" ~ "Chicago Prepares for the Worst" ~ "Up to Two Feet of Snow and Fifty Mile Per Hour Winds" ~ hmmmm, time will soon tell.

I predict five inches of snow with moderate winds using a forecasting model pulled right outa my ear...teehee!

Still, we have prepared. I had errands and shopping to do today; I freely admit to laying in extra groceries in case the weather reports are on target this time. And I was certainly not alone.

Both grocery stores I shopped at were crowded with shoppers. Surprisingly, everyone seemed to be in a jolly mood, much like the holidays. Even though the aisles were crowded and the shelves laid bare in places, shoppers were happily chatting with their companions and with their fellow shoppers. The number one topic...the impending blizzard, of course. I loved it!

I do wonder if the 5:00 p.m. and after crowd will be quite as jovial though. I suspect most of them will be concerned about how they're going to get to work and back this week. For the first time since leaving L.A. I don't have to worry about commuting in winter storms.

Lovin' Life ~~ And Retiree Shopping Hours

Friday, January 28, 2011

Bad Parents ~ Dora's Birthday

This is so embarrassing but, since I'm always completely honest with all of you, a confession is due. *deep breath*  Okay, here goes.

We, the both of us, forgot Dora's birthday.

Yep, we deserve "twenty lashes with a wet noodle"...who among you remembers what famous person used to say/write that? Hint, you would have read it in a newspaper. Remember those? News, sports, finance, politics, opinions, fashions, ads, trends, etc. etc. written and printed on paper. At one time, years ago, I subscribed to four of them...two dailies and two weeklies. I loved reading newspapers and continue to love the same things about reading books...real books printed on paper with covers. I love the paper, I love the print, I love the cover, I love holding the tangible treasure that encapsulates such promise and most frequently delivers on that promise. Rarely do I read a book that delivers nothing...very rarely. I am certainly not a Luddite and have owned a Kindle since it was introduced but reading it does not impart the satisfaction derived from holding a book or a newspaper.

Have I succeeded in my goal of distracting you from the topic of my confession? No? Okay then.

Here she is, just moments ago...our 'birthday-plus-3-days' girl, our sweet sweet Dora. She was born January 25, 2004 and joined our family on April 10th when she was nearly eleven weeks old. We adopted Bella on the same day so they have only known life together for almost all of their seven years. I can't imagine our days without them.

Here's a little trip down memory lane. Both of these photos of Dora were taken April 28, 2004. The second one brings back such fun memories because, as a tiny pup, Dora was afraid of those steps on our deck so would only stay on the top "talking" to Bella who was taunting her from below. We chuckle at those "conversations" between the two of them that, to this day, they still have on a daily basis.

How we missed Dora's birthday is a mystery. Rich bathed both girls that day; we had brought them into bed with us that morning, I made them eggs for breakfast...wouldn't you think something would have registered?
Lovin' Life ~~ With "The Girls"

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Ski Movies & A Surprise Gift

I debated on whether or not to post these two movies now that we've been back home from Aspen for a week and a half but I really don't have anything else I'd rather blog about today.

This is a six-person high-speed chairlift at Snowmass. Bill had some trouble with his lift pass so he's on the chair behind Rich and is waving at Deanne & me in the movie.

I started filming as they skied down Blue Grouse towards us but they stopped to decide where they were going next before skiing over to where Deanne & I were standing...bummer. I'm only showing this short second piece because in the first one they are a bit too far away for you to pick them out.

Yesterday Rich received the coolest surprise ever in the mail. It is a mouse pad with a photo of him skiing at Buttermilk on the last day. There are SharpShooter Imaging photographers stationed at a couple of points on each of the mountains. This is one of three shots they took of him that Thursday. After Bill & Deanne got back home, they logged on to the photo site and ordered this for Rich. When Bill called today he told me that this photo illustrated why Rich was always way ahead of them...he was skiing in great form!

Lovin' Life ~~ And Surprises in the Mail

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Beautiful Spring Flowers

can you feel it?
Originally uploaded by Ike06~

This photo is one of tens of thousands of photos posted to PW's Flickr group this week. It is so colorful, bright, and spring-like that I thought your day might be brightened just by seeing was mine.

Lovin' Life ~~ And Access to Perfect Photos

Mom's 84th Birthday

Good morning! I am back again after going to visit my mom to celebrate her 84th Birthday which was Sunday. WOW, I had missed a year somewhere, thinking all through this past year that she was 82. Our sister sent her this pot of plant bulbs which will bloom over the next few weeks bringing spring flowers to brighten her snowy days. Thanks to all who sent her cards. She loves getting mail anytime.

On Sunday, my bro, SIL, & I joined her for "dinner" in the dining room where she lives.

It snowed nearly all day on Sunday and I wish you could have seen it through the large, magnificent dining room windows. It was such a treat to sit there watching the snowfall.
There were gifts to open...

And...strictly in fairness to my bro & SIL, who do not appreciate all the camera action when I'm around, I'll post this photo of Mom and me that my brother took.
It was nearly noon when I started driving home yesterday so the roads were cleared of icy patches by then. Rich had been very sick with the flu so had to stay home, but just east of C'ville I took this photo for him of a BNSF freight train rolling through the snow covered countryside.

As one would correctly assume from this photo, the train was passing across the highway I was driving on. Yet, the man driving the pickup truck that pulled up behind me was clearly agitated that I stopped short of the crossing and stepped out to take photos. So much so that he attempted to "pass" me...WhatTheHeck? I cannot imagine (thank goodness my head doesn't work that way) what he thought he would accomplish by that. We both had to continue to stay there for many more minutes while this long freight moved on past us. To maintain sanity, you can only be fascinated by the weird actions of strangers and hope to never actually think the same way they do.

Lovin' Life ~~ While Observing Strange Strangers

Friday, January 21, 2011

Our Room ~ Hotel Jerome

Tours of hotels and hotel rooms are not a rarity on blogs I've followed but I suspect that, for the most part, the blogger is compensated in some manner. Not here! I'm just so thrilled to have stayed at this magnificent hotel that I'm happy to share a few photos with all of you. Today finally, the long-awaited *teehee* post with photos of our room.

As you enter the room, there is a wall of floor length mirrored doors on your right and the door to the bathroom compartments on the left. We get our first view of this beautiful wallpaper! Behind those mirrored doors are very large closets.

The bathroom was walled with marble and the floors were tiled. There was a spacious walk-in shower and a long, deep soaking tub. All the fixtures were fabulous.

We did not purchase even one of these $150 robes...can you imagine?

Moving on into the room, the desk where I uploaded photos and wrote my blog is on the right. Next to it is a long cabinet containing the in-room bar and with the flat screen TV sitting on it.

Spanning nearly the entire width of the room are these three windows that nearly reach the floor. The pattern and fabric of the drapes were a perfect complement to the magnificent wallpaper, which I loved looking at so very much.

From these windows we looked out at snow covered tree branches and the Black Billed Magpies. Rich took this amazing photo of one.

Rich is relaxing here, reading Aspen magazine, on our sumptuously dressed bed...I've never before slept on linens like these.

I spent more than a few hours on the comfy chair and ottoman reading, admiring the beautiful pattern and colors of the wallpaper, or gazing out the windows.

Most evenings the four of us played Farkle and Pinochle at this little table in our room.

I can't imagine accommodations that would be any more perfect for a week's stay than this room at the Hotel Jerome. I loved everything about it...have I mentioned how much I loved the wallpaper? Have you ever read the classic short story The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman that was first published in January 1892? Hmmm...perhaps I should not aspire to spending much more time in this room...haha!

Lovin' Life ~~ Reveling in Luxury

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Hotel Jerome

While we were there, I mentioned that we were staying in a historic hotel that opened Thanksgiving Eve in 1889. Yes, we stayed at the Hotel Jerome while in Aspen this time. It underwent a massive restoration in 1985 that kept all the original details. In this post, you will see a few areas of this magnificent hotel.

A portico covers the entrance to the hotel lobby; on the left is the renowned J-Bar and on the right is the Library, both of which are Aspen gathering spots and parts of the hotel.

Rich checking in and the entrance to the lobby. Just look at that antique S-Shaped Loveseat!

The fireplace and enormous Christmas Tree in the lobby on our arrival.

This is a large conference room that is located just off the Century Room, where the four of us played cards a couple of evenings when the room was not otherwise occupied. The chandeliers throughout the hotel were historically ornate and in scale with the massive spaces.

In this next photo, I am standing in front of Carl's Pharmacy, that favorite shopping place of ours. The Victorian purple building houses the Aspen Times and past it you see a glimpse of the red brick building that is the Hotel Jerome. Those are the only three buildings in this block on Main Street in Aspen.

The following photos show some of the interior spaces of the Hotel Jerome after all the holiday decorations had been taken down.

A perfectly positioned chaise lounge in front of the lobby fireplace.

A large floral display, staircase, original tile, and antique carpets.

Another view of the period furnishings and the beautiful wood framing that draws the eye up to the glass roof of the lobby atrium.

A hallway at the rear of the ground floor that leads to a ballroom.

At the far end of this photo is the breakfast dining room and the hall leading to the lobby; to the right through the full length glass doors is the pool area; and behind me as I took this photo were the elevators to our floor so we traversed this lovely area many times last week.

This sitting area was located on our floor as you stepped out of the elevator.

A left turn took you to this hall and our room located midway on the right. Soon I'll post photos of our room.

Lovin' Life ~~ And the Hotel Jerome

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Still Celebrating ~ After 25 Years

Even though we celebrated our Silver Anniversary
     on that special date
          in that special town
               with those special friends,
we have been treated to two more celebrations this week!

Last evening our next-door BFFs, Vic & Sandee, treated us to dinner and then we returned to their house to play cards (I refuse to report the outcome!) and have dessert. For dessert they served a brightly decorated cake that said, "Happy 25th Bev & Rich." Knowing that we had a non-traditional wedding, Sandee suggested that we feed each other the first bite of fun!?!?!

They also gave us this...

The "When We Were Married" book contains pages and pages of facts, events, awards, sports, trends, etc from 1986; summaries of all that for various milestone anniversaries; the meaning of our names; 1986 advertisements, movie posters, and record album covers; and pages for us to write our own memories. It is such a treasure of memories!

Monday evening, Marianne came and we opened this anniversary gift from her...

I had never seen a vase like this. The crystal rose and the leaves are 3-D and attached to the vase which is more easily seen in this closeup. It is simply gorgeous!

We are thrilled to have received such amazing, thoughtful, beautiful gifts in celebration of our Silver Wedding Anniversary!

Lovin' Life ~~ And Special Folks

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Our Flight Home on Saturday

Ah yes, we traveled safely home from Aspen on Saturday and the days since have been a blur of unpacking, laundry, gathering and storing Christmas decorations, know, the day-to-day busyness of life. So today, I may do a series of short posts since the contents are unrelated.

First I want to share some photos from our flight on Saturday. Only a few minutes into it we were treated to this magnificent sight...
This is the Snowmass Ski Area. If Rich was standing next to you right now, he could point to most of the ski runs you see so clearly here and tell you their names. He would also tell you that there is no better place to ski anywhere than Snowmass. Seeing this and being able to photograph it so clearly from my window on the plane was very exciting for us.

We enjoyed more views of the Rockies before ascending above the clouds.

As we dropped through the clouds at the beginning of our descent, we saw fields and woods lightly covered with snow and, as we progressed eastward, the density of the populated areas increased. 

Finally, we were able to identify landmarks below, such as Fermilab in Batavia...

...Chicago's O'Hare Airport...

...and the skyline of downtown Chicago...oops weren't we supposed to land back at O'Hare?

Oh, okay, whew...we turned westward to approach O'Hare...

...and were treated to this glorious sunset.

As we angled down toward our runway we flew right over a rail yard which is always an exciting sight to Rich.

And then we taxied to our gate. Marianne was waiting to bring us home after we collected our luggage...Thanks Marianne!

Lovin' Life ~~ And Uneventful Flights