Wednesday, July 30, 2014

2014 Epic Road Trip in a Blueberry!

We just got home last night from an epic road trip in a Nissan Versa nicknamed "the Blueberry" and stuffed to the ceiling with 5 people, luggage, souvenirs and various other sundries. Darling Hubby and I took one of our daughters and two of our grandchildren with us so we could drive hard in two days to Michigan from Colorado, spend a couple of days with my Dad and Mom after the reunion and then take our time  getting back to Colorado. We started out at 4 am on Thursday, July 17th. This was the first picture taken as we pulled out of the driveway.

On our way, we stopped at various places to find some letterboxes. If you don't know what letterboxing is, go to this website. It's fun and a good break from driving. I gave each of my grand kids a roll of quarters at the beginning of the trip and explained that if they were fighting, being disagreeable, or just crabby, they had to give me a quarter. I also told them they could earn their quarters back if I caught them being nice. Thanks for the tip, Janet! They were so good on this trip I only had to take a few quarters and by the end of the trip they had earned them back. We drove and drove through Nebraska. Nebraska is the never-ending state! We did get to stop at Fort Cody Trading Post. The kids loved it.

 We stopped in Des Moines, Iowa to spend the night at the Ramada Tropical Inn and Suites. We picked that particular motel because they had an indoor water park with two pools and a big water slide. Got to keep those grand kids happy. Kim took the kids to the pool while Mike and I rested in the room. When they got back, Ryan said," I've had a really good day!" That made this grandma very happy. I'm going to break this up into days because it would be a very long post if I didn't.

Saturday, July 05, 2014

Internet and Irritation

Darling Hubby and I have had major irritation going on for the last nine days. That's how long our internet has been down. We had a small hail storm on June 27th and our internet went kaput! I called Dish Network and to my horror, was told it would be July 5th before anyone could come out to fix it. They very nicely told me they would take it off my bill when it was fixed. I called them this morning to find out when they would be here and was told not until 5:55pm. I wonder where they got that.

A very surly technician showed up about 12:45 this afternoon and proceeded to check things out. (I think he might have been mad that he had to work on a four day weekend. Not my problem!) Mike went out to ask him if he needed to check the inside line while he was in our neighbors back yard checking something there. (WHAT!) He mumbled something at Mike and when we looked outside, his truck was gone and we still didn't have internet. Both of us nearly flipped out. Mike got on the phone to call Dish but I told him to wait a minute in case the technician had to go some place else to turn something back on. Fifteen minutes later the DSL was back on and the technician never came back. The bright side is, I called Dish and they refunded my account for 9 days of not internet.

During that time that the internet was down, I had to take my laptop to my daughter's house so I could pay my bills on time. I didn't get to read my newspaper because I only have an online subscription. I couldn't check my email or Facebook page. Waa, waa.... We forget how much we are attached to our computers, internet and cell phones. 

On the really bright side, I finished a 1000 page book and I'm about 30 % through another book. My house was cleaner,  meals were on time and I even got some much needed exercise. Boy, will I be glad to get back to normal.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Thunderstorms and Hail

When darling hubby and I retired in 2012, we made the decision to become renters instead of home owners. We want to use our spendable income to travel so that was an easy choice. We rented a house in north-east Fort Collins and started to settle in. For some reason, I didn't feel  entirely at home. It may have had to do with the property managers of that home. If anything went wrong, they were pretty slow to fix it and the property manager was a pill to say the least. I used to joke with my husband that I thought she hadn't taken her meds that day... As it turned out, I was right not to unpack everything, because the property owner decided to put the house up for sale. We found ourselves having to move after just one year. Ah, but God had a plan, even if we didn't.

We found Middel Realty in mid-town Fort Collins and decided to rent from them. A really good decision. They own all the houses that they rent and even offer two year leases. They are a Christian business and we have only had courteous, kind service for anything we need. They treat us with respect and we treat their property as if it was our own.

It was a good choice to move to mid-town because we are closer to our kids, closer to doctors, shopping, bus line and movies. I was really happy with our decision when we got a severe thunder/hail storm last night. We had some damage to screens on our windows and damage to some of the landscaping but our property owners are right on it and fix things as they come up, so we have no worries.

These pictures were taken seven hours after the storm. My lilies all had buds on them and were getting ready to bloom. The hail knocked all the buds off.

These were the piles of hail left.

This is the size hail I picked up after seven hours on the ground.

Rips in our screens. I was actually amazed that we didn't have any broken windows, because the hail was hitting the windows that hard.

It also ripped leaves off of the trees and bushes.
If you don't like the weather in Colorado, just wait a minute and you'll get something new!

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Random Thoughts and Writing Topics

Many times over the last several months, I've opened up the page to write a new post. I don't know what to write about. I don't want to write about my struggles with weight loss. I don't want to write about all the ills that my hubby and I have had to deal with in the last year. That's too old lady for me. I'd like to write about quilting, except I haven't done any in the past year. I'd like to write about my new hobby of pistol shooting but I don't have the energy to deal with people that don't like guns and think I'm weird if I enjoy it. Here is a list of topics I've come up with that I'm going to try and write about. Not necessarily in this order.

List of Topics to Write About

1. Pistol Shooting (I'm gonna do it anyway!)

2. What I'm Reading

3. Trips I've Taken

4. Recipes I've Tried

5. Weeds I've Pulled (Har Har)

6. Walks I've Taken

7. Times with the Grand kids

8. Wildlife in my backyard. Literally and figuratively

9. Writing for the simple joy of writing.

10. Music I love

11. Art I love

12. People I love

13. What I love about America.

14. Festivals in Colorado

15. The Max Bus

16. Long Trips in the Blueberry.

17. The Blueberry

18. Books I loved as a Child.

19. Classes I would like to take.

20. Photography

Saturday, March 01, 2014

It's Snowing...Again!

It's snowing. I am officially over snow! I can't wait until spring and to see green grass and flowers again. We've had lots of snow this year but with the exception of about two weeks, where we were below zero temps and two feet of snow that just wouldn't melt, we've had it pretty easy. The problem is that we get into the 40s or 50s and everything melts and you think it's going to be spring and then the next day you have more snow. It hangs around for a couple of days and then repeats the process. Snow makes me tired. I feel like a bear that just wants to hibernate. I don't even have enough energy to take pictures of the stuff anymore. When we moved into our house in July, we had this beautiful yard with two big trees, rose bushes and other landscape bushes around the yard. It was lovely. Now it looks brown and dead. I know when spring comes the landscape will blossom again and it will be beautiful. Renewed. When that happens, the snow will fade from my memory and along about November I'll  be wishing for that first magical snowfall and the beautiful lights in downtown Fort Collins. Darling Hubby says, "That's one of us."

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

Happy New Year!

Darling hubby and I are looking forward to a great new year. We are finally settling in to retirement after 18 months. In October we found the Newcomers Club here in Fort Collins and it is helping us to finally meet people and make friends. We have joined activities with the club such as, dinner out group, pinochle club, creative hands, a lunch group and volunteer activities with the food bank. When the weather gets better we hope to try some hiking and biking groups.

January 12th I will be starting square dance lessons again since I haven't been able to dance since I broke my arm last May. I'm ready to get out there again and learn so I can dance with my hubby.  Our son-in-law and grandson are taking lessons, too. It will be great fun to get out and dance again.

We wish everybody a happy and healthy new year.