Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Air Dog

I've gotten crafty about the air vents in the floors. Since hot air rises and we're in a colder climate, it makes sense to have the vents low for a good part of the year. But in July, it's another story. So this June on the handful of days we've run the air, I've been closing up ones that don't cool essential parts of the house and arranging furniture to keep from blocking the crucial ones.

My bed is now 6 inches way from the wall, which doesn't help the pillows toppling over the edge, but it does allow the one bedroom vent plenty of circulation. The cat who spends a large part of the day under there can still enjoy the coolness, but he has to share.

During the workday, if the AC is on, I am right by one of the two vents in the room, so you'd think my feet would stay nice and chilled on that cold metal.

Not so much.

You see, Evan has also discovered how nice and cool those vents gets in the heat of the afternoon. He got up and moved positions when I rolled back to snap this picture yesterday, but then snuggled right back over the vent as soon as I started back to work.

So instead of cold air, I have warm dog on my toes. Happy Summer :)

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Morning Moon

There's a fine balance in the summer months in the house. You have to watch the temps carefully, close the windows and drapes to create the cool cave effect in the afternoons, and know when you're whipped and get the AC on early enough on those days when nothing else is going to keep you from sweating and sticking to the furniture.

Yesterday I was off balance. The house had stayed deceptively cool enough in the early afternoon that I thought we would be okay, but by 5:00 I was cranky and hot. By then, it's no use starting up the AC unless you want to use all of your Xcel "summer tier 1" points in one go. (Xcel's "average" is ridiculously low and you will quickly find yourself paying double for your energy each month.) The little air conditioning unit here is nothing like the house-sized Trane I left behind in Texas and it can't cool down nearly as well as it can just keep the temp the same.

But every morning is made new. The coolness of the mornings is incomparable. I headed off the gym this morning but noticed I was rushing through my circuit just so I could get back home and get the dogs out on the trails. We did about two miles (hills included) today in the glorious morning sunshine, with the moon sticking around to enjoy it too.

I normally would have stepped around the water marker to get it out of my shot, but this robin appeared and decided she wanted her picture taken, too.

The birds must feed on things down in the tall grasses, because all sorts of pretty colored little birds were swooping and diving up and down, in and out, of the fields this morning.

And always, my patient pups wait for me.

It's mornings like these I get the urge to just keep walking forever.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Marci Weekend

After an evening of mexican food Friday night for Marci's 40th, we watched Stranger than Fiction and called in a night. One of the goals of this weekend was relaxation and NO WORK for Marci, who tends toward workaholia.

So Saturday was sleeping in and then a drive down to Colorado Springs. First order of business, lunch at Rudy's (where else?). Sammi and I pose with the "T" above our table.

Then, a trip to local candy shop Patsy's

A drive up Lower Gold Camp road.

Helen Hunt Falls

Below the falls, a favorite place to wade.

Our feet are numb by this point. Man, was that creek cold!

Sammi found a rock where she could keep her feet out of the water.

And my pink feet don't quite match the polish when I have to get out.

We drove around Garden of the Gods in the rain and then shopped at the Trading Post.

Outside the gallery is a great old oven.

We headed back for Denver with a gift from Pap: homegrown Texas tomatoes their recent visiting friends brought with them. Nick's eyes are closed in bliss.

And Indian Clay Oven for dinner, Marci's pick.

That night, her pick of movies, America's Sweethearts and off to bed. Sunday morning she met up with another friend for church and breakfast. We scrapped out out of town plans and just took it easy, including a walk to the off-leash dog park with Evan and Katy. Marci worked with them on slowing up and showing me the commands to get them from pulling me along.

Loaded baked potatoes, t.v. time, lots of chatting, and the Truman Show before calling it a weekend. Monday morning? 8:00 a.m. conference call, another one in the car, and she was back at it and away. I kept her away from work more than 50 hours, though, which may be a record. . .

one walk this week

The Texan Visiting season is wonderful. I get to catch up with old friends and take them to scenic spots and share my love for Colorado with them. I'm behind on blogging our wanderings from last week and am heading out again today for Colorado Springs with Marci. So things will get a little out of order as I find time to upload pictures in between visits.

What I do have a few minutes for this morning is my one bloom hunting walk of the week on Wednesday. Evan and Katy are feeling terribly left out, so we had to squeeze at least one walk around the neighborhood in.

The colors are still coming. Lots of roses and vines in bloom now that weren't last week.

These poppies are glorious in the afternoon sunlight, but always look a little exhausted in the morning shade. I still wanted a picture for my collection, though.

This vine is in its heyday. They are everywhere and gorgeous. I keep seeing huge nests of them driving around, but these are right along a fence on the block behind us.

But don't forget to appreciate the daisies. There's just something summer about them.

Marci's 40th

Last night Marci arrived, on her 40th birthday no less, and we celebrated at Los Dos. Marci and I met when we landed on the same marching band squad in summer band before our 10th grade year. Something about sweating in the insane August sun in Texas for hours every day bonds people together, similar to death camps, I would imagine.

We were fast friends and best friends from then on. She left band for the Lariette Drill Team the next year and I stuck with band (for the most part). In between our different interests, though, was one of those friendships that picks up right where it leaves off every time we get back together.

Nights at each others houses, Marci patiently trying to teach me dances in her room, swimming in my pool, sharing boyfriend stories, defending each other from the wrongs of other high school girls . . .

yeah, things have changed just a bit over the intervening decades.

We were laughing at our perception of 40 when we were 16 and had our whole lives ahead of us.

40 was over-the-hill and through the woods and winding down.

Last night, we decided 100 was the real over-the-hill number, and we've still got our whole lives ahead of us.

And when we're sipping margaritas through straws at the nursing home, conveniently forgetting how many we've already had, and celebrating her 100th (cause she'll always be older -- ha!) we might just move that back another 20 years and see how it goes.

Happy Birthday Marci. I love you.

My 2 Minute Rainbow

Got up this Saturday morning at 6:00 to see Bob off for his weekend in Baltimore. When I let the dogs out I was admiring the contrast of the dark rain clouds against the blue morning sky to the west. After I waved goodbyes and closed the garage door, I went back to the deck to let them back in and this rainbow had appeared in the minutes before.

I grabbed the little camera that stays in my purse (also right by the back door) and snapped a couple of photos. You can already tell it's beginning to fade in the minute or so I shot these.

Then I went upstairs to get my Canon and by the time I was back down, it was completely gone. I'm now sitting in my favorite spot, cup of coffee beside me, listening to the light rain that's started to fall outside the open windows, and the chirping of the birds, with the rest of the house still asleep, feeling very blessed. I'm going to take my 2 minute rainbow as a sign to keep my eyes open for the little miracles that are in the here and now so briefly I can only smile at their passing.
Friday, June 25, 2010

GS 6/25

Ahhhh, this is the way to do garage sales. I had the day off because Marci is coming in for the weekend. But her flight wasn't until this afternoon, so the morning was all mine. I puttered around the house ( I love to putter) and then made my way around the neighborhood garage sales one at a time to my heart's content. What you see above is most of the haul: two Van Gogh prints, two mirrors, a magazine rack, a paper towel holder, a Snoopy, a new purse (not to carry Snoopy) and. . . a PENGUIN! I also hit the goodwill after that and came home completely shopped out. Then... A NAP!!!! What a great morning.
Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Cjo Unhike Days

So after the great outdoors the past two days, we took it easy on Sunday, sleeping in and going to see Toy Story 3 in 3D IMAX, as you can see from our rockin' shades.

After lunch and naps, we drove over to Mile High Comics. There was a gathering of guys at the back and I suggested we (the only chicks in the place) ask if we could get a group picture, but Cjo and Sammi declined.

Monday we headed for Corner Bakery for breakfast. Coffee!!

And yummy panninis.

Then we set out for the Mineral Station to catch the light rail. Good thing we decided to check the C train schedule after we let the first D train go. Turns out the C wasn't coming for another three hours. The next D train and a transfer it was!

Yay public transportation!

And easy as that, we arrived at Union Station in about 20 minutes.

First stop, the Tattered Cover, where Cjo could use their WiFi to check in on her Southwest flight at the 24 hour mark.

Sammi would've happily stayed right here all day.

Or here.

But we did finally get going down 16th Street Mall, where the only motor vehicles you have to worry about is the mall shuttle bus for those who've had enough of walking.

Looking down Market Street:

Courtney points out for Nathan the 300 days of sunshine a year in hopes this will convince him to one day move here.

Through the summer the Art Pianos are scattered about the mall for passersby to play. We tried to get a picture of each one as we found them.

We chose Rock Bottom Brewery for lunch. Good choice.

I had the Twisted Mango Margarita.

Cjo tried a couple tasters, the raspberry wheat and the Molly Brown, which is was a really dark chocolate brew. She went with the lighter one for lunch.

The big soft pretzels and spinach cheese dip were wonderful!

And Sammi and Cjo split a chicken mac and cheese, although Cjo got both the salads.

Then it was on up the Mall to find more pianos.

We popped into Hard Rock along the way.

Where I snap this fun shot of Cjo's smile in the mirrored drums next to Hunter S. Thompson's typewriter.

Cjo points out the butterfly on the next piano.

Dancing sculpture in front of the Sheraton.

And on down to the end of the shuttle route where we caught the bus back up the street.

There's the golden domed Capital from the back.

We hopped off early at Champa because we'd spotted Mermaids Bakery House. Cjo has a thing for mermaids and they had PIE, so it was a perfect fit.

That is, it would have been if we'd noticed the sign says breakfast and lunch. They'd already closed for the day :(

So we kept walking back toward Union Station in search of an afternoon snack.

We ended up settling for gelato at Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, which, well, just wasn't pie.

But Sammi dived into her Chocolate Chip nevertheless.

Full circle

And Sammi dives into her book for the ride back.

A cool spot at the Auraria campus stop.

And some interesting art outside the Englewood Civic Center from the train.

We collapsed once we got back home and spent the rest of the evening relaxing and Cjo packed.

The next morning was one last coffee on the deck before the airport. Let's not wait another 2 years to do this again, k?