Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The Dormant Season

Winter is rough. For a lot of people, these dark, cold months bring lack of energy at best and seasonal depression at worst. I am no exception.

Hiking has brought relief to me through many winters here in Colorado. This winter has been so bitter that my escapes onto the trail have been minimal. I can feel the season creeping into my bones and settling in, making me bundle up in heavier and heavier clothing even while I work in my well-heated house. The urge to take a trip to Taos and soak in some New Mexico sun is overwhelming. But even as I call the B&B and make sure my favorite room is available, the realization that La Veta pass is treacherous to drive right now and the joys of being outdoors in Taos cannot be experienced as well in winter keeps me from spending the money.

I read books by Julia Cameron almost as a religious act, to reconnect to myself and Spirit -- she has a way with words that reaches me deeply. She refers to winter as the dormant months, the months in which we should take advantage of the stillness and settle down just a bit. Of course, she also recognizes that those of us with restless natures find this as difficult as walking on water. She suggests small daily bouts of creative work to keep us moving. And following her advice, for the most part I do something creative every day. I write here or in my journals, I sketch, or I pick up my knitting needles.

But the deeper we get into winter, the more of a struggle even those small tasks become. Then I must supplement creative work with tasks that support creative work. Today I called and left a message with the woman who runs the local A.R.T.S. Anonymous group. The day before that I put the next Boulder Art Association meeting on my calendar for next week as an incentive to get out and connect with my community. These tasks seem minuscule alongside the notion of writing a book or completing a painting -- but they are essential in maintaining my sanity through this season of dormancy.

I know my nature well enough to know that as the ice on the trails begins to crack and melt, my creative energy and motivation will once again return. I go through this every year, like clockwork. I just have to hang on and keep up the little daily tasks that maintain my sanity.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Adventures in Modeling Clay

Jeremy made the bear gargoyle and I made the bear paw. Yeah, in this medium my husband totally kicks my ass.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Christmas 2009 and New Artwork

Wednesday we went to Jeremy's parents' house to spend time with his family for the holidays. We had a great meal together -- Janet made sandwiches on her panini-maker, and Jeremy made fried pickles. We spent some quality time with the nieces and spoiled the twin nephews rotten. What's great about two babies is you don't have to take turns. But what's exhausting about two babies is you can't take turns. LOL

The drive back to Lafayette was harrowing Wednesday night. The Springs hardly got any snow, and the highway between the Springs and Denver was pretty well plowed. But once you got into Denver, the plows stopped. You'd think it would be the other way around, right? It was scary, and I'm glad Jeremy was driving. He's the best driver I've ever known, and there isn't anyone else I would trust on those roads.

Thursday, Christmas Eve, we went and saw Avatar at the theater in the afternoon. A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. Go see it. Now. So well done, so completely engrossing. Later on that night we went to a Christmas Eve contemplative service at the local Unitarian Universalist Fellowship. I've been wanting to check them out, and this was a great opportunity. The people were SO nice and welcoming, and the service was beautiful. I believe I'll be going back next Sunday for the regular service. I love how they include and incorporate all spiritual beliefs. That kind of open-heartedness is so lacking in the world anymore. Finding it is always refreshing.

After the service, we drove around and looked at Christmas lights. Not too many people had lights up in this area, and I was pretty surprised at that. We watched It's a Wonderful Life when we got home -- neither of us had ever seen it before.

Christmas day was absolute heaven. This was our first -- and probably last -- holiday just the two of us. We took full advantage. Jeremy brought me breakfast in bed, which was just the best gift ever! Then we lounged around in sweats, watched holiday movies, and Jeremy experimented in the kitchen. His brown sugar apples were to die for.

Today we went out and spent some of our gift certificates. I had my Meininger's art store card burned out in 15 minutes, but I got some acrylic and watercolor paints I've been needing, some modeling clay and tools, some texture gel (for texturizing canvases), and pre-cut art cards. OMG. When I started doing ATCs (artist trading cards), I was cutting all of my own board and it was SUCH a pain in the butt. Meininger's carries pre-cut cards made of illustration board, watercolor paper, you name it. I was so happy to find that! One thing I wanted to get that I didn't have money for this time was a big set of Prismacolor pencils. Next time, though! I also got an electric fireplace from Lowe's today. My studio downstairs tends to be on the cool side because it's at garden level and it's got a big north-facing window. But this little bad boy not only looks awesome, but heats the entire room in under 3 minutes.




Tonight my college dorm-mate, Erin, and her husband Shane came over. They were in town visiting her parents in Broomfield for Christmas. I was so excited, because I haven't seen Erin in literally years! They came over and we gave them a quick tour of the house, then we went to Efrain's for dinner. Jeremy and I had never been there before -- and we won't be going back again. The service was awful, and the food wasn't good enough to make up for it. But catching up with Erin and Shane was so fun. I miss them terribly, and I need to get my lazy butt out to Kansas to visit them soon.

After they left, I shut myself in my studio and worked on this double-layer painting I started a week ago. I had already laid down the frisket, so today I painted over everything in cobalt violet and then spattered it with phthalo blue. Note to self: spatter goes way farther than you think it will. I now have a phthalo-blue-spattered lamp and paintbrush cup. I'm letting the paint dry overnight, then I'll pull up the masking and see how it turned out. I also got a plywood board from Meininger's today, and I put a couple of layers of gesso on it tonight. It needs several more layers before it's workable -- and I'm not sure what I'm painting on it yet. But I can tell you I will be using a texturizing gel on the board before I do any detailed painting.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Family Time

My parents and brothers came up to visit us in Lafayette on Saturday. This was our holiday family time, since Jeremy and I are having Christmas by ourselves this year. Jeremy made fried pickles and I made a Mexican casserole and banana bread -- all of which was a hit. We watched a movie, played games, cranked out some Sing Star, and exchanged gifts. It was a really wonderful day.

My family has always moved around a lot. When my brothers and I were kids and now when we're all adults, we don't last more than a few years in any location. We've all moved apart, but only recently have we all moved close together again. I know it won't last long -- it never does -- so these times I get with my whole family together are incredibly special to me.

Here are a few pics from the day:







Thursday, December 17, 2009

Art Baby Steps

I am trying to get back to my art. Not just painting, but writing, drawing, music, all of it. I have been struggling for many reasons, but my biggest hurdle has been the overwhelming desire to get back to where I was.

Before all the drama of this summer, I was painting all the time, picking at the piano, writing every day. I got up at 6:30 in the morning and journaled while the sun peeked into the living room where I sat. My paintings were the best they'd ever been. I was constantly inspired and didn't have to fight my work. Well, this is the way I remember it, at least. I suppose my memory could be embellishing itself a bit. But that brings me to my struggle today. I don't want to start from scratch. I don't want baby steps. I was THERE. I just want to go back.

But that's not how art works. Once you get out of the habit or practice, you have to start back a few steps. It's like returning to the gym after a long absence. Your creativity and habits need to work their way back to full strength.

So as much as it pains me, I'm taking baby steps. I'm working on a new type of painting using two layers of paint buffered with masking fluid. I'll post pictures once I have it done. And my writing... well, that's still an itch that hasn't been scratched. I let NaNoWriMo slide by this year without so much as a nod.

I will be writing more here after the new year. And no, it's not some kind of new year's resolution. I just can't talk about things as much here as I'd like until certain things have had time to ripen. But soon, dear readers, I won't be posting just once a week anymore!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Happy Tail and Hoopla

As if Loki wasn't enough of a pain in the @$$, she's got yet another quirk that's going to cost us in sanity and possibly money. The vet calls it "happy tail", but there's nothing happy about it. When Loki gets excited and wags her tail, she smacks it so hard into walls, chair legs, people legs, whatever, that she actually breaks her own tail open. Our house looked like a crime scene on a particularly brutal episode of CSI tonight. I'm talking blood splatter on EVERY POSSIBLE SURFACE OF THIS HOUSE. But not only is it extremely annoying when she does this, it can also cause her to get an infection in her tail. And guess what -- canine antibiotics don't come cheap.

We're getting desperate. We duct-taped a sock around her tail the last few times this happened, but it never stayed on long. We're going to talk to the vet about amputation, but we're pretty sure it's not going to be an option at her age. Frankly, her tail is a danger to small children. And I'm not being a smartass about that. If you've ever felt the crack of a pit bull's tail, you understand what I mean when I say a child could easily lose an eye. So for everyone reading this post, take heed -- if you get a breed with a particularly strong tail (pit bulls and Great Danes are two breeds prone to "happy tail"), GET IT CROPPED WHEN THEY ARE PUPPIES!!! I used to think it was cruel, but now I understand why it is necessary.

On that happy note, my weekend. Saturday I went down to the Springs for a hair appointment. Cheryl met me for lunch at the Ritz, and we caught up for a bit. Then I stopped at my parents' house on my way back north. Uneventful, really, but nice to see loved ones. When I got home, Jeremy went out and rented Accidental Husband for us to watch. Don't bother, folks. Then I caught up on my reading (finished Secondhand Spirits and started Casting Spells) and did some knitting.

Sunday was all about Christmas shopping. We don't have a lot of money this year, so it's not as much fun shopping. Usually we use this time of year to spoil our loved ones. It's fun picking out the perfect gift for someone. But this year we're having to be a bit more frugal. Boo to that.

I sent out my holiday cards yesterday. You know, I grew up with my parents getting holiday cards from their friends and family with letters and pictures and such tucked in, and they in turn sent out holiday cards with our family photo and a letter of what we had all been up to that year. So when I sent out my first set of holiday cards last year, I followed in that tradition and wrote a letter to go with the cards. Although none of the holiday cards Jeremy and I had been receiving had included letters or pictures (though my friend Jennifer always sends a picture of her dog in a funny hat, which I so love to see every year), it never crossed my mind not to write a holiday letter to go with the cards. Call it childhood brainwashing, I dunno. But I was pretty shocked at the reaction. People were OVERJOYED to get a letter. They talked about it at family gatherings, chatted me up about it when I saw them, and generally freaked out (in a happy way). Of course, that means I'm going to do that every year, now, because you know I love a good hoopla.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Holiday Pics

A couple of pictures to share. First, me and Della at the Holiday Tea with our li'l trees:



The tea was so fun! They had plates of cookies and pastries, all the tea you could drink, and the most amazing storyteller. This woman was the type of storyteller that got really into the story, doing the different voices and such -- I haven't gotten to enjoy something like that since I was a kid! She told probably a dozen stories over the hour she was up on stage -- stories of the season, stories of the solstice, a few little kid stories, even a Robert Frost poem sang to the tune of "Green Sleeves" -- and it really got me in the holiday spirit.

The second picture I want to share is the tree Jeremy and I put up last night:

Saturday, December 05, 2009

Elf Hunt

Jeremy got home from Kansas City (not St. Louis -- I am correcting my last post) last night. Our new house is only about 20 minutes from DIA, so his drive was easy. I had Chinese food waiting when he walked in the door.

Matt, Katie and Kenzie came up to visit us today. There was a holiday festival going on in downtown Lafayette. There were live reindeer and a lot of the businesses were having open houses with cookies and cider and such. First stop was the reindeer. They were really docile as people hovered around their pen. Here's a pic:




Then we walked up to Mojo's to check out their fair trade sale and grab a drink. There we learned about the elf hunt. Oh yes, there's an elf hunt in Lafayette! Participating downtown businesses have elves hiding in their stores. You can pick up a booklet at any of the shops that has a list of the businesses participating, a picture of each elf, and a little rhyme with clues as to their locations. Then you go into each store and look for the elf. When you find it, you get a stamp in your book. Kenzie LOVED this. She got several stamps as we walked around today.

We went to The Huckleberry for dinner. The last time Jeremy and I went there, the waiter told us the veggie burgers were the best in the world -- so this time I had to try it. OMG. Homemade with beans, nuts, veggies and tempeh, that veggie burger was insanely good! We got slices of blackberry pie, German chocolate cake and lemon curd cake to go, too. The blackberry pie was the closest thing to my mother's recipe that I've ever tasted. We brought the treats back to our house and ate them while watching Four Christmases. It was a really funny movie, but I think we all laughed more because we could totally relate to the family holiday craziness!

Tomorrow Della and I are going to the Holiday Tea at the Lafayette library. I have no idea what to expect, but it sounded like fun. We'll see! I will definitely be wearing long johns under my dress, though... it's FREEZING out there!

Thursday, December 03, 2009

LOL Cats New Moon

Jeremy is in St. Louis until tomorrow. I'm bored. So bored, in fact, that this made my night -- so thanks to Cheryl for sharing...

LOL Cats New Moon

Oh, and on another note, it's so freaking cold and icy outside I want to drink hot chocolate and stay in bed all day tomorrow.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Picture of My Ring

As promised in the last post...


Holidays Schmolidaze

I need a vacation after the holiday.

Wednesday night we headed down to the Springs. Jeremy had to pick up one last shipment of comics from his old shop, so instead of making two trips down there, we just took the dogs with us and stayed the night at his parents' house. When we got there, we all headed to Senor Manuel's for dinner. Before heading back to the Mehrings' for the night, we stopped by Frank's flag football game. Holy CRAP it was cold. Jeremy and I were bundled up and still huddled under a big blanket for warmth. The temperature changes in Colorado never cease to amaze me, even after all these years.

Thursday was a busy day. The whole family went over to Jennifer's house for Thanksgiving dinner (I brought a Mexican casserole). After we stuffed ourselves silly, we all took turns taking care of the twins so poor exhausted Emily could have a little rest. We brought our dogs with us, and Tyr got along fine with Jennifer's dog Chewy, but Loki was not a happy camper. She's having to wear a muzzle while she learns not to use her mouth when she gets scared, and she just sat frozen like a statue in the back yard the whole time we were there.

We left the Springs in the late afternoon and headed up to my parents' house in Castle Pines for dessert and a movie. We ate apple pie and cheesecake and drank smoothies (courtesy of my creative brother Drew) while we watched Angels & Demons. Again Tyr did fine with the other two dogs that were there, but Loki had a hissy fit. I'm sick of her being so freaking SCARED all the time. She's a pit bull! She shouldn't be scared of anything!

Friday Jeremy and I took the bus into Boulder for the first time to see the CU/Nebraska game. Boulder County has an amazing public transportation system, and we were curious to see how convenient it was for us. The bus stop is just around the corner from our house, and to catch a ride on the Dash it only costs $2. So for both of us round trip it's $8, and it drops us off right on campus (or Pearl Street, should we keep going on it). Now compare that to the $20 we would have had to pay in parking, and it was more than worth it.

So we went to the CU/Nebraska game. Yeah. Well, going to a college football game is fun. Watching Ralphie run is fun. Being out in the sunshine and watching your spouse root for your team is fun. What is not fun is watching your team lose in a really painful way. CU's defense was good -- our offense STANK. It was just sad. But we had a great time anyway, and Jeremy is talking about wanting to go every season (but next time he wants to get some CU regalia to wear to the game -- too cute!).

Friday night I went out to dinner with Sophie, Della and Della's father-in-law (who I have known for years and just adore). Jeremy wasn't feeling well, so he skipped out. I love my husband, but it was nice to have some interaction with some different people.

Saturday we swore we wouldn't get out of bed. By noon we were sick of bed and moved to the couch. By 6pm we were stir crazy. So first we took the dogs on a walk around the neighborhood, then we went to the mall. Jeremy and I decided for Christmas this year we would each get a new ring. I wanted a sapphire ring (it's my birthstone) and he wanted a tungsten ring to replace his scuffed up titanium wedding band. After turning away from dozens of pretty rings over the last few weeks (though Jeremy tried to convince me to get nearly all of them), I finally found "the one". It's a beauty -- I'll post pictures at some point.

Sunday we went into Boulder to do some hiking and shopping. I think I'm out of practice with the hiking, because for some reason I thought I could leave my pack at home and be okay. In late November in Colorado. Yeah, I don't know what I was thinking. We got about 100ft on the trail and it was all ice -- and my dang yacktrax and cleats were in my pack at home. Grr. So we tried another trail in Chataqua park, but it was too steep and Jeremy couldn't handle it. So overall we didn't do much hiking. We did, however, get some shopping done at Home Depot, so all was not lost.

I've got cabin fever. Bad. My new job has much longer and odder hours than my old one, so I haven't been able to get into a regular workout routine. Plus I haven't joined any groups up here yet. So I'm kinda itching for some social interaction. I'll probably start looking for a knitting group here pretty quick, I think. Della expressed some interest in that. Maybe I can convince her to join me. This is probably the hardest thing about moving -- meeting new people. I'm a social creature. As much as I like my independence, I need interaction to stay sane. It takes about a year to develop a decent community, I've found.

Okay, people, when are you going to start visiting? We've got a beautiful guest room ready and waiting, and you are all being lazy.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Visit from Jeremy's Family

Jeremy's family came up to visit us on Saturday. It was great to see them! We gave the whole mob a tour of our new house, hung out and visited until the twins were awake and fed, then we went to Beau Jo's for dinner. We wanted to take everyone to Pearl Street and do some walking afterward, but the kids hadn't brought their jackets and they couldn't fit the stroller for the twins in the packed car, so they all took off right after dinner. Jeremy and I headed to Pearl Street by ourselves. We did some window shopping, got some Starbucks, and watched the holiday lighting ceremony at the courthouse.

Sunday we slept in, then I went to a yoga class. When I got back, we watched the new Star Trek movie, which was pretty awesome. That was pretty much the extent of what we did all day! I would love to have more days like that... but honestly I get too antsy when I'm not being productive.

We've decided to spend time with our families over Thanksgiving this year, but to do Christmas by ourselves. It's important for us to start developing our own family traditions. But with the events of this summer, we both felt it would be good for us to have some time with our families over Thanksgiving. So we're heading down to the Springs for Thanksgiving dinner with Jeremy's family, then up to Castle Rock for dessert and a movie with my family. I'm really looking forward to it!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Breathing and Beaujo's

I'm trying to breathe through the stress. Like when I feel like I will explode if I get one more email in my inbox, or one more person tries to justify their job by putting yet another meeting on my calendar -- I am just trying to breathe. I look at the mountains outside my window and take a deep breath.

Sometimes it helps.

Sometimes I hyperventilate.

Jeremy went to the theater with me to see New Moon at midnight last night. The movie was fantastic. I admit that the vampire parts could have been paced better -- but the wolf parts were just perfectly done. I fell in love with Jacob and Edward all over again. I am absolutely dying for Eclipse next year -- it's my favorite book in the series.

Jeremy's family is coming up to visit tomorrow. They finally get to see our new home. We're really looking forward to it! And Jeremy can't stop talking about Beaujo's Pizza, where we are all going to dinner. Apparently they used to have one in the Springs, and it was a family favorite, but they closed down. I've only been to Beaujo's once and that was in Evergreen. There is one down the road from us here in Boulder, though, so that's where everyone wants to go.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

New Job

I never thought I'd look forward to meetings to break up my day and give me a chance to breathe. But here I am.

My new job is a lot less tech stuff and a lot more chasing people down for information. It's been a challenging transition. The good news is I'm really good at chasing people down. The bad news is it's a lot more stressful than doing the behind-the-scenes tech work I'm used to doing.

But, as always, I'll settle in, find a rhythm, and nail down more efficient processes. Cuz that's how I roll.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Restaurants, Loaded Questions and Boots

Cheryl sent me some restaurant coupons along with the most amazing necklace for my birthday (yes, that's how long we've been playing tag trying to get together). So Jeremy and I used one of the coupons for a date at the Canopy Grill on Wednesday night. It was unbelievably good.

Thursday Jeremy went to the Springs to do a sleep study. Yes, finally, after all these years of snoring like a jackhammer, he's doing something about it. He told me that they woke him up in the middle of the night and put him on oxygen because his breathing was so labored. That's scary! We haven't gotten a diagnosis yet, but most likely it's sleep apnea -- which his last doctor said he DIDN'T have because he took one of those home tests and it came up negative. He might have to sleep with oxygen from now on -- but he's looking forward to actually getting some quality sleep. And so am I!

I've been working crazy hours this week, trying to transition out of my old job and into my new one. So this weekend Jeremy and I took the opportunity to relax a little and not just do house stuff. Friday night we watched Trick 'r Treat -- which was really gross. We started to watch Management, but I had been fighting a migraine all day and took some meds that made me pass out about 20 minutes into it. Okay, I'm pretty sure that it wasn't the meds, but how BORING the movie was that actually put me to sleep.

Saturday we went into Boulder and went for a walk along the Bobolink Trail. Then we hit Barnes and Noble for a few books and some hot apple cider. Perfect winter day!

Della and her neighbors were having a girls' game night, so I went to that on Saturday night. We played Loaded Questions and ate fondue. It had snowed like crazy while I was there, so when I drove home I was thankful it's less than a mile between our houses.

Jeremy and I are taking turns planning dates. Sunday was my turn. He'd been expressing interest in trying yoga (mainly because I give him a hard time about how tense his muscles always are) -- so I took him to a Yum Yoga class in Louisville. It's an extremely gentle yoga class focused on stretching and relaxation, so I thought it would be perfect for his first class. He didn't hate it. I don't know if he LIKED it, but he didn't hate it.

Afterward we went to The Huckleberry for brunch. Oh wow. Another restaurant to go in our top ten up here.

Tonight I got the art bug. I decided I wanted to create a cartoon character. Introducing Boots the Cat:

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Rush Hour, Pinnochio's and a Surprise Party

A week? It's been a week since I wrote? Where did the time go? Oh yeah, it went to an INSANELY BUSY SCHEDULE.

Jeremy and I fought morning traffic to go down to Colorado Springs last Thursday morning. I had a few appointments and he had some things to wrap up at the old house, so I worked from the office. After my last appointment of the day, I walked over to Pikes Perk to wait for Jeremy to pick me up. Walking through downtown Colorado Springs, I was once again struck by what potential it had. The layout is great, the shops and restaurants are great and the parking isn't too terrible. And the culture in the Springs IS changing. The arts are becoming more prominent, and I see fewer and fewer Focus on the Family advertisements every year. It's becoming more balanced, and the Springs is starting to break out of its box a little.

We finally got an appointment for both Tyr and Loki with Loki's trainer. We needed help with the issues those two have been having. It seems that Tyr has lost all patience with Loki -- he just doesn't want to put up with her anymore. Unfortunately, because of Loki's volatile personality, this is the cause of a lot of the fights. The trainer gave us a bunch of tips on how to correct that problem, and how to address a few others that have come up since we've moved. So far, so good. It's not easy training 4-yr-old dogs. They are very set in their ways. But we're working on it.

Saturday morning Jeremy and I went to the last farmers market of the year in Boulder. We got some tasty stuff! Local cheese, spinach, butternut squash, honey, and a chocolate balsamic vinaigrette. Yummmm.

My parents came down Saturday afternoon to see our new house and take us to a late lunch. We ate at Pinnochio's, which was very down-home Italian. Awesome alfredo. Then we grabbed coffee at Mojo's and went for a walk around Waneka Lake. It was a good day all around.

Della and I went to a Yum Yoga class at Yoga Elements in Louisville on Sunday morning. I somehow managed to keep my mouth shut about the surprise birthday party planned for her later that day. LOL. The class, as always, was wonderful. It's the perfect addition to a regular yoga practice because the focus is complete relaxation and unwinding. It's not an athletic class. You walk out of there feeling like you just got a massage. That afternoon Jeremy and I gathered with about 20 other people for Della's surprise party. And boy was she surprised!

Unpacking is coming along. We've still got a lot of work to do, but the big stuff is all taken care of. I'm trying to remember right now why I always liked moving so much... but it's hard to think with the PILES OF CRAP EVERYWHERE.

And don't even get me started on work. My job is changing. My whole team is shifting around and taking on different responsibilities. So I'm training the person who's taking over my work (And I'm sooo happy about who they chose to take over for me! She's a longtime friend and a trusted coworker.), and at the same time trying to learn my new job. The transition is supposed to be complete on Dec 1. Can you say stressful?

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Shopping, Snow and Steam

The new house is slowly coming together. Still a bajillion boxes to unpack, but now it's mostly my books. I teased Jeremy mercilessly about his huge collection of comics that we had to move, but in reality my books are way more of a pain in the butt.

So catching up a little. Last Wednesday and Thursday I was housebound with the crazy snowstorm that we had. We got about 2 1/2 feet here at the house in Lafayette. Tyr was having a blast jumping in the snowdrifts. Thursday, after an email conversation with one of my aunts in Santa Cruz where she talked about taking a walk in the beautiful weather, I couldn't stand to be cooped up any more. I put on my hiking boots, bundled up, and headed out into the freezing cold to go on a walk around Waneka Lake. It was totally worth the frostbite on my nose. So beautiful. There were a bunch of kids sledding down one of the hills near the lake, and it made me nostalgic.

Friday night Jeremy came up with Loki to Lafayette after finishing work in the Springs. Loki brings an element of chaos wherever she goes. She's as sweet a dog as they come, and as long as we continuously use the methods we learned in the Sit Means Sit program with her, she listens very well -- but her energy is just chaotic. Tyr doesn't have much patience for her. I'm sure that's why they've been fighting more lately. Tyr's like the cranky old grampa, and Loki's like the little kid who's had too much candy.

Jeremy and I spent all of Saturday buying necessities for the house with money we don't have. But hey, fresh start, new stuff, right? We found the most incredible antique store on Baseline and Public Rd and I found a hutch for the dining room that I couldn't live without. We'd been looking for some kind of buffet -- something we could use to store both liquor and table linens -- and we found some cheaply made stuff at several stores. But this gorgeous hutch was not only well-made and in perfect condition, but it cost less than anything else we'd seen of comparable size. Oh yes, I will be a frequent customer of Geri's Antiques.

Sunday Jeremy went back down to the Springs and he and Matt loaded up the rest of the stuff from the house onto the box truck. Then they drove it all up here and unloaded it at the new house. Poor Jeremy is soooo ready to be up here with me. Thankfully that will finally happen tomorrow night! Yes, Wednesday night Jeremy will officially be living up in Lafayette with me. Yay!

It's November, which means the National Novel Writing Month challenge. And even though I'm completely exhausted from moving and still have a million things to do to get settled in, I'm attempting it. I've got just over 1400 words written of my new novel, The Last Heist. Only 48,600 to go...

I attempted to go to a pilates class today at lunch. But since I hadn't been to this gym before, I had a hard time finding it. Five minutes after the class was supposed to start, I gave up and drove home. When I called them for better directions, it turns out they were just one block east of where I had been looking for them.

Comcast sent a contractor out to our house to bury a cable today. He about lost his life. I specifically requested that they notify me when they were coming out, because 1) I've got dogs, and 2) I work from home. Well not only did this guy NOT call, he came to the house when I was in the freaking shower. I answered the door in my robe, trying to wrangle the dogs at the same time. When I told him he was supposed to call first, he looked at me blankly. He didn't speak English very well, apparently. Greeeeaatttt. To top that off, he disconnected the cable without telling me. I went out back to talk to him and he said it would be down for 20 minutes. I said "I work from home. You really should have told me before you did that." Anyway, by the end of the afternoon you could probably see steam coming out of my ears.

I finally made it to a pilates class in Boulder this evening. I've never seen so many people in a pilates class! Or any class, for that matter. Luckily the room was huge and it wasn't too tight for all of us to fit in there -- but wow. That was a stark reminder of why I try to go to classes during my lunch hour instead of after work. Anyway, it was a fantastic class. It's been several weeks since I've been to a pilates class, but this girl's still got it. And it felt sooooo good to stretch these sore muscles. I've been moving boxes and furniture for two weeks now, and my muscles are so tight!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Attempting to un-bury my truck.

Bad Things, Good Husband

One bad thing after another. First not being able to get our move done in one load. Second, our Jeep dying. Last night when I was checking one of our bank accounts online, I realized someone stole my debit card and ran up a charge at Bed, Bath and Beyond. Luckily our bank rocks, they canceled my card and they will refund the money. Now, today, there is 2 feet of snow and it keeps coming down. I was supposed to drive down to the Springs tonight because I have an appointment tomorrow evening. SO not going to happen.

But I'm not going to complain. Why? Because this many bad things happening all at once can only mean one thing. BIG GOOD THINGS are to come. Maybe I'll win the lottery. :)

And it's hard to complain about things like that when you've got a husband who drives an hour and a half in a snowstorm to bring you flowers, a movie and a microwave. Oh yes, Jeremy rocks. Once we set up the microwave in the kitchen, we made some popcorn and curled up on the couch to watch Land of the Lost (which sucked, btw). Then he helped me move some of the heavier furniture into place in the living room (I finally got enough boxes cleared out that there was room to do that!). This morning he got up and shoveled the driveway, then did some unpacking downstairs before heading back to the Springs. If he's not a keeper, I don't know who is.

"Mama, why won't you let me out in that white stuff?"

Snow on our bistro table with my hand for scale.

It just keeps piling up!

A World of White

Monday, October 26, 2009

Adventures and Mishaps

The chaos continues.

Before I launch into the boring details of our move this weekend, let me tell you about my day. I woke up this morning alone in our new house, and as I reached over to turn off my alarm, I heard the faint sounds of drums. I wondered if one of our new neighbors had a band, and I was immediately irritated at the thought of a garage band practicing at 7:30am. I threw on my robe and opened up the doors to the front balcony -- and that's when I realized what the sound was. It was a school marching band! It wasn't loud at all -- just loud enough I could barely make it out -- but for some reason the noise made me smile. It was comforting in some strange way.

I booted up my work computer and dug around in some boxes in the kitchen, looking for my coffee pot. I quickly realized that the box it was in was back in the Springs. Being the coffee junkie I am, I about cried. I made it to 11am before I just couldn't take it anymore. I grabbed the paperwork for our property manager and went out to the Jeep to drive over and drop it off. The damn Jeep wouldn't start. Luckily I hadn't parked it behind my truck, so I just jumped in the truck to run my errands. I drove over to downtown Louisville and dropped off the paperwork, picked up some coffee at Vick's on Main Street, then headed back to the house. Halfway there, I realized I'd forgotten to pick up some more paperwork from the property manager. So back I went.

Della and Mike live about a quarter mile from our new house, so I called Della when I got home and asked her if she had jumper cables. Being that she's one of the coolest chicks on the planet, she said she did and she would be over after Sophie took her nap. They showed up at 5:30 and we tried to jump the Jeep using my truck. The Jeep still wouldn't start, although it was making noises like it was trying. So Della drove me over to AutoZone and I bought a new battery. Then she spent an hour in the dark putting it in my Jeep. Have I mentioned that she's a cool chick? So after the new battery was in, the Jeep started up... but the dome light would not turn off. At this point, my neighbor had come over to help and Della had to take Sophie home. So my neighbor and I were messing around with the Jeep trying to figure out how to get the dome light to turn off. Then his son came over to help us too. The three of us tried EVERYTHING, and I was getting desperate because I didn't want my new battery to die with that dome light staying on. The neighbor's son had an idea and disappeared behind the Jeep... and shut the tailgate. Yeah, the freaking tailgate was slightly ajar! And I guarantee that's what drained the old battery.

To end a stressful day, I unpacked the kitchen. One room down, a house-full to go.

Now about our move... Jeremy took the day off on Friday and went up to Lafayette to wait for the cable guy at our new house. Per usual, getting our cable and Internet turned on was not a simple task. The technician had to rewire everything because there was satellite here before and the cables were jacked. Jeremy didn't get to leave Lafayette to drive back down to the Springs until late afternoon, so the poor guy hit rush hour traffic in Denver. That night I finished some last-minute preparation for our move.

Saturday morning I headed down to Jeremy's family's tire yard and helped Jeremy clean out his dad's box truck. Jeremy drove the truck up to our house in the Springs and we loaded it up with boxes and smaller things that we didn't need help to move. Then Jeremy drove the box truck and I drove my pickup up to Lafayette, where we spent the rest of the day unloading boxes. We made it home around 9pm, absolutely exhausted.

Sunday we did it all again. Matt came over early in the morning and he and Jeremy loaded the furniture onto the box truck while I worked on packing some of the stuff that hadn't made it into boxes yet. We fit what we could in the truck, then headed up to Denver to stop at my parents' house and my brother's apartment for the rest of my belongings (remember, I've been staying with family since mid-July). My brothers followed us from there, and we all made it up to Lafayette in the late afternoon and spent the rest of the day and night unloading the truck. We've got one more small load to bring up from the Springs, then we'll be all moved in. How in the world do two people have so much crap??? I feel like I'm pretty good about not keeping things I don't use, but every time I move I wonder how in the world I ended up with so much stuff.

So last night, Sunday night, was my first night in the new house. Jeremy went back down to the Springs in the box truck last night. He has about two more weeks of work to do before he can move up here with me. I miss him already. This house feels very safe to me -- especially with Tyr and Cairo here. Two of the neighbors have already come over and introduced themselves, and they are so nice. I'm exploring the area, finding where the groceries and pharmacies are. But all this time I've been wishing Jeremy was doing all of this with me. I can't wait until he can be up here with me permanently.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

DAY FROM HELL

No, you're not dreaming. I really am posting twice in one day!

I am naming October 22, 2009 THE DAY FROM HELL.

To start with, I found out my friend's wife, who is my age, has breast cancer. She's going into surgery today, so my positive energy is all going in that direction.

Then, Jeremy and I found something fishy on one of our credit reports.

Then, Loki jumped the fence.

Then, Tyr's head wound (from a fight he got into with Loki on Sunday) was so severely infected, I had to take him to the vet. The vet shaved part of Tyr's head, cleaned out the wound, and also found he had an ear infection. About $125 later, I took him home with FIVE medications to administer THREE TIMES A DAY.

This dog is now a quarter bald:


Wine and a movie are on my list of must-haves for tonight. After I finish work, that is, because thanks to the little jaunt to the vet, I've got to work late to catch up.

Moving to Lafayette

It's been ten days since my last post. A lot can happen in ten days, apparently.

Jeremy and I have made it through the storm. Things aren't perfect, of course, but they're a hell of a lot better than they were. We're committed to working through the issues that are left. This week we saw each other's families for the first time since The Explosion. It was awkward for both of us, but neither of our families gave us a hard time.

So, that said, here's the big news: we're moving. We leased a house in Lafayette, on the east side of Boulder. It's a perfect size for us, with a big backyard and a garden (yeah, that means I'm going to have to learn how to garden), and the location couldn't be better. It's one block from Waneka Lake and there are walking trails and open spaces all through the area. It's near shopping and restaurants, and it's a quick drive to Flatirons Mall and all the shops in that area. But best of all, it's right down the road from Boulder. All the benefits of living in Boulder, and none of the price. We couldn't be happier!

When I married Jeremy, I resigned myself to the fact that he was rooted to Colorado Springs. I thought he'd never want to leave. But after everything we went through in our marriage and losing his job, he's as ready for a fresh start as I am -- and we are both absolutely in love with Boulder. There are more job postings up north than there are in the Springs, so we have high hopes that he will find a job up there quickly. But in the meantime, it will be nice having him home to help me take care of things during the day.

So this is my last week here. I will be living in Lafayette starting this weekend. Jeremy will follow me up about two weeks later (he's got some work to do for his dad before we can complete the move). Once we are both settled up there, our plan is to focus on each other, the way we should have from the start.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Relationship Progress and Open Studios

Holy crap. It's been almost a week since I wrote? What's wrong with me? You guys must have thought I stopped threatening to do it and actually DID run off to Fiji.

Last week was a stark reminder of how crazy the weather in Colorado can be. Wednesday I was wearing flipflops, and Thursday I headed down to the Springs amidst snow and rain. I stayed down in the Springs Thursday and Friday night.

Thursday night Jeremy and I went over to Emily's house and I finally got to meet our new twin nephews. They are so precious! Anthony had the hiccups and it was about the cutest thing I ever heard -- he sounded like a squeaky toy. LOL

So I think Jeremy and I are finally over the last of the big hurdles. We learned a lot in marriage counseling -- not just about how to handle our bad situation, but about each other. We learned that his personality type is "The Challenger", while mine is a 50/50 split (no joke -- came out that way in EVERY test) of "The Perfectionist" and "The Giver". So we're at the point where we have to implement what we've learned. And really, the last hurdle was all mine. I was having a really hard time with my "perfectionist" side. I was finally able to let go just enough to wrap my head around the fact that nothing and no one is perfect, and sometimes understanding and patience are more important than seeking perfection.

With that said, Jeremy and I have been looking for rentals in Boulder. We spent this weekend up there to look at houses, and also to do the Open Studios tour. Open Studios happens two weekends every fall, and it is a singular experience. About 130 artists opened their doors to us looky-loos, and we get to see where they work, talk to them and ask questions, and see some of their art. We saw every medium you can think of, and I learned so much about different techniques. I wanted to run home and paint! (And I admit it, I loooove looking at other people's houses. I blame my parents for that -- we did a LOT of house-hunting when I was a kid, so now I'm obsessed with seeing how other people live. LOL.) I also got to experience firsthand the wonderful art community of Boulder. The artists there are so warm and friendly. I can't wait to get involved!

Monday, October 05, 2009

From High Art to Another Low Point

Friday Jeremy and I went to the First Friday Art Walk in Old Colorado City. The air was brisk, but not too cold, and orange and yellow leaves dotted the sidewalk in front of the art galleries. We saw some fantastic photography, paintings and sculpture -- including some sculptured silk pieces from Marilyn Kirkman that blew me away. We also stopped in at All That Glitters and admired the fantastic original jewelry.

Saturday Jeremy was once again in the mood to walk around and window shop, so we went to Manitou Springs. After we walked the circuit there, we took a drive up into the mountains. Most of the leaves have done their changing and the aspens were getting bare, but it was still a pretty drive. We spent the evening watching episodes of Castle on DVD. It was nice to just hang out without any drama.

Of course then there was Sunday. Maybe it was the full moon, but the day just started out bad. My back was killing me (not sure if it was the mattress or a pinched nerve) and I woke up feeling very unsure of everything. I tried to shake it off and headed to Starbucks to get us some coffee. To start out that nightmare , three out of the four entrances into/out of the neighborhood were blocked off by construction. Then when I finally made it to Starbucks, the barista was pushy about getting me to do this stupid taste test thing that I was so not in the mood for, then the guy making my coffee sloshed it all over the counter and walked away. When I asked for a paper towel, he half-assed the cleanup. When I was driving down Hollow Road, a car that was parked on the side pulled out in front of me and I nearly hit it. So by the time I got back to the house I was having a meltdown. I talked to Jeremy about how I was feeling, and he was understanding... at first. After about an hour, though, everything we had recently learned about how to communicate effectively went out the window. It's amazing how heightened emotions can get the better of your rational mind. I could have reigned everything in at any point -- but dammit, that's what I always do. This time I refused to be the "designated driver" and I just let everything fly. Well, everything flew alright.

Jeremy has told me (as have other people) that I can't get mad about always being the responsible one when I CHOOSE to be responsible. Frankly when someone says that to me I want to scream "Yeah, well only a lazy person could say that!" Because people like me are what keep this damn world turning. People like me, who see that something is not being taken care of and TAKE CARE OF IT, might be stressed-out responsibility-Nazis, but we get sh*t done. So I'm pretty sick of being told I don't have to be responsible for everything -- because someone has to be. That is my rant for today. Hope you enjoyed it.

So I'm back in Lone Tree today, trying to recover.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Jeans

I splurged last night on a pair of Lucky jeans. I've always wanted a pair, there's a Lucky shop right here at Park Meadows Mall, and I'm sick of wearing the same clothes over and over. I didn't take many clothes with me when I came to Lone Tree -- and the same minimal wardrobe for months really wears thin. Anyway, these jeans live up to their reputation. They fit like a glove and I actually look like I have a butt! This may just be that mythical pair of "perfect" jeans. They are well-made, so I'm hoping they last forever. Would it be wrong to get 5 more pairs of them, just in case?

National Novel Writing Month is fast upon us. I'm still planning on doing the competition this year, even though I may be in the midst of a move. Writing a novel in a month is a challenge no matter how you slice it -- one additional hurdle is not going to stop me from trying. Now I've just got to come up with a brilliant plot idea.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Waterton Canyon and El Tesoro

I skipped yoga today during my lunch hour and instead headed over to Waterton Canyon for a hike. The wind was blowing pretty heavily this morning, but the skies were bright blue and there wasn't a cloud in sight. Sadly by the time I got a chance to take a lunch break, drove over to the canyon, parked and got to the trailhead, I didn't have much time to actually hike and there were patches of clouds in the sky. On a warm day like this, the clouds are usually a welcome break in the heat -- but today I wanted to take pictures of the fall foliage, so the patchy light was frustrating. I took several pictures, but not a darn one of them turned out well. Grr.

I had a doctor appointment in the Springs yesterday, so I was down for the day. After I got done working, Jeremy and I went to do the Jack Quinn's 5k weekly run. Of course, we didn't run it, we walked it, but still it was good exercise and it gave us a chance to talk. After the walk, we went to El Tesoro for dinner. Oh my GOSH. Everyone in Colorado Springs, you need to try this restaurant. It's a small venue with Santa Fe-style food (like Mexican fusion), and it's also an art gallery. I had quesadillas with green chiles and mangoes.

I miss my weekends. I miss hiking, taking classes, meeting girlfriends for dinner and drinks. I'm ready for this transition period in my life to be OVER. I know I did this to myself, and I know it won't go on much longer... I'm making the best of it, but my energy to get through is starting to run low. Which reminds me, it's time to go make a pot of coffee. Hasta luego.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

"Sundays at Tiffany's" -- SOOOO Good!



This is high on my list of favorite books I've read this year. Smooth read, uplifting and unique plot -- I couldn't put this down.

Monday, September 28, 2009

One of Those Days

I'm having one of those days where my brain struggles to function. It's like there's a disconnect between me and reality. Luckily I have a remedy at-hand: loads of coffee. You want to know why I'm so addicted to the stuff? This is it. It grounds me (pardon the pun). It brings me back to the world when my consciousness wants to drift away.

It's review time at work. Oddly enough this is an enjoyable part of the year for me. I feel like I've wrapped something up. And I do love writing glowing reviews of teammates that I'm very fond of. I am extremely lucky in that my immediate team is a group of individuals who I not only admire and respect, but truly enjoy working with.

Back and Forth

I indulged my creative side quite a bit this week. I created that Bluebird art card Tuesday night, and helped Drew pick out some new colors for one of his larger ink pieces. Wednesday I got my hair done and got my pink streaks back. After that I spent time with a girlfriend, going over painting techniques and watching old movies.

Jeremy and I are on a good path right now. I don't want to jinx it. So this is all I'm going to say about that.

I met Josey and Garrett at Fox Run park for a picnic lunch on Saturday. Every time I see Garrett, he's soooo much bigger! And his vocabulary has grown by leaps and bounds. He's such a fun, friendly little boy. Spending time with him is a joy.

After the picnic, I headed to the house to meet up with Jeremy. We are getting better about both enjoying each other's company and dealing with our issues at the same time. For a while there we could only manage one or the other. So we watched a couple of movies together (Ghosts of Girlfriends Past and I Love You, Man) and cooked dinner together. Sunday we went out to breakfast, did some window shopping at the mall, then went back to the house to work on packing. We're moving out of that house no matter what, so we're trying to get the packing done in preparation for the next step.

My family moved a lot when I was a kid. On average every 2-3 years. And as an adult I moved a lot too -- although the moves were more frequent, averaging every 1-2 years. I'm pretty good about not keeping useless stuff, and I get rid of a ton of stuff every time I move. And yet every time I move I am amazed at the amount of crap I have accumulated. The worst of it is always my books. I am a book hoarder, I admit it. Even if I know I'm never going to read a particular book again, I can't bring myself to get rid of it. So my collection is always growing.

I can't wait to be settled again. Living my life in two places is exhausting.

Going completely off-topic, here...

I sometimes feel like I'm two people. One person wants stability, comfort and routine -- the other wants freedom, excitement and change. I'm constantly flip-flopping. I've spoken to a few people about this recently and I've decided it's got something to do with my brain. See, I am one of those rare people that uses both sides of my brain readily. I'm both extremely analytical and extremely creative. When I was a kid I was much more able to mesh the two -- but as an adult I find the two sides of my brain refuse to play nicely. So it makes me feel like I'm two people a lot of the time. For a long time, I thought there was something wrong with me. But recently I've realized there's a couple of people in my life that share the same problem. So I'm not a freak (not so much, anyway). But I do need to develop, or rather redevelop, some coping skills. There's got to be a way to make these two sides of myself work in tandem. I manage at my job -- I can code for hours, then write advertising copy without missing a beat -- so there has to be a way I can make this work in my personal life as well.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Bluebird Art Card

New art card: Bluebird (pen and watercolor pencil). This was done on Strathmore Bristol smooth paper, and the background was brushed with water.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Birthday Week

Wow what a last few days!

Wednesday night my parents, brothers and I went to Las Brisas for dinner. The service was okay, but the food was fantastic. Afterward we all came back to the apartment to have Berry Delicious pie, which I had made the night before. Here's the recipe:



Ingredients:

1 (14oz) can Eagle Brand Sweetened Condensed Milk

1/2 cup lemon juice

1 1/2 to 2 cups assorted fresh berries (I actually used frozen berries and just nuked them for a minute)

1 (8oz) container frozen non-dairy whipped cream, thawed

1 (6oz) graham cracker crust



Instructions:
In large bowel, mix together condensed milk and lemon juice, combine well. Mix in berries. Fold in whipped topping. Spoon mixture into crust. Freeze 5 hours or until set. Let stand 30-40 minutes before serving.

Thursday I went down to the Springs super early for an 8am appointment, and I worked from the house for the rest of the day. It was a little strange to be back there -- but it wasn't bad. Josey took me to lunch at the Caspian Cafe, then Jeremy made me an amazing birthday dinner. He made THREE different types of salmon, cheesy mashed potatoes from scratch, and lima beans. He also bought a bottle of Santa Cruz, CA Riesling and a chocolate cake. After dinner he took me out to go to a photography exhibit -- but the Independent mis-reported the event and it was closed when we got there. So we headed back to the house and watched Dexter on DVD.

Friday after work Jeremy told me to dress up and we were going to start the night with a few drinks at Rhino's. When we got there, my brothers and a bunch of my friends were there! Jeremy had set up a surprise birthday gathering. Adrianne gave me the most amazing little sculpture. It was a woman in the yoga wheel pose, signed by the artist, Michael Patrick Garman (son of the famous Michael Garman). We all hung out there until around 10:30, drinking and chatting. It was so fun. Then my brothers, Brianna, Katy, Katie, Jeremy and I went back to the house and played Sing Star until 1am. It was such a riot!

Today Jeremy and I went to Manitou and walked around for a few hours. Then we went back to the house and started packing. Right now it looks like we're moving to Boulder. But no matter what, we're moving out of that house. We both need a fresh start, a clean slate. So the packing is just preparation at this point -- we don't have a plan in place.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Updated and Named



This one needed a little something more. And now I've named it "Brighter".

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

New art card -- watercolor, ink and collage (unnamed)

The background is watercolor on paper and watercolor on tissue, the bird and the flower are pen and the lemon and butterfly are collage (magazine clippings).

Sunday, September 13, 2009

If You're a Twilight Fan and You Need to Raise Your Heart Rate...




Sigh... I will have good dreams tonight...

Art and Sushi

Wow. Another week gone. And I have no idea where it ran off to.

Drama in the apartment, for starters. Kim (Drew's girlfriend) moved out. So it's just him and me now. And actually it's been kinda nice. I don't think we've spent this kind of time together since we were kids. And as adults, we get along a heck of a lot better. Of course he's still evil. He made chocolate chip cookies last night. BIG, gooey chocolate chip cookies that I couldn't turn down.

So since I took no furniture with me from Colorado Springs, I've been borrowing Drew's old bed that was in my parents' basement-- Drew and Kim were using Kim's bed. I was working at home Weds afternoon when Kim and two guys walked into the apartment and scared the CRAP out of me. She said she had come for her stuff. I felt weird about the whole situation, so I called Chad to come over and Drew got off work early and came to the apartment as quick as he could. Luckily it didn't take her long to get her stuff out, so the awkwardness was short-lived. Anyway, when she left she took her bed with her, so Drew had no bed anymore. So I called my parents and asked them if they would buy me a bed for my birthday (which is next week). They agreed and we went out and they bought me a king-size memory foam mattress that night. Ooooh it's so nice. Of course it's on the floor right now, because I had to keep up the college-student look in my rented bedroom. LOL

As you can see from my last few posts, I've been playing around with my art again. I'm trying out artist trading cards this week. I got inspired from an article in the Oct 2009 Artist's Magazine. The small format lends itself to experimentation, and I'm really enjoying it.

My dear friend Kirby, the brilliant illustrator behind Kirby Ink, sent me some great information on what brands and styles of pens, pencils and paper that she prefers. Since Drew is the "real" artist in the family (I say that because while I have just been learning the basic skills over the last year, he has always had a natural talent that makes my work look like scribbles), he and I both went to the art store and got a bunch of supplies and have been experimenting. Hopefully he'll let me post some of his finished work here on my blog later.

Drew and I went for sushi at his favorite restaurant, Sonodas, Friday night. It's the second time I've been there and I just love it. The waiters treat you like family. And the sushi is INCREDIBLE. Then we came back to the apartment and watched Coraline. Interesting movie. Not much of a kids film, though. And the character Coraline was kinda irritating.

Saturday I met up with my parents and we went to the Castle Rock Art Festival. Honestly it was one of the best art festivals I've ever been to. Amazing artists -- and some were even doing demonstrations. It was inspiring, to say the least. I got a pair of sterling silver earrings that were in the shape of a crescent moon with a cat lounging in the lower part. Suuuuper cute.

Saturday afternoon Jeremy and I went to The Wildlife Experience together. We enjoyed it, but it was definitely geared toward kids. After that we drove up to Evergreen and walked around the galleries and shops. He bought me the most amazing necklace as an early birthday gift at a cool little boutique up there (see pic below). Then we went to Beau Jo's for dinner where I stuffed myself silly on margarita pizza with garlic cream sauce. I don't want to give a whole lot of detail on this blog about what he and I are going through, but feel free to email me and ask -- I'll share what I can.



Chad came over Saturday night and hung out with me and Drew for a while. That's when Drew made those evil chocolate chip cookies. It's nice that we are all living so close now. It won't last forever, though, so we're taking advantage. I think the last time all five of my family members lived closer than a two hour drive of each other was... hmm... 1998.

Today Cheryl and I spent the afternoon walking around the outlets in Castle Rock. I gotta say, shopping is good exercise. LOL. She had to get a baby gift for a friend, so we got to go into some of the kids clothing stores. Soooo cute! Shopping for babies is fun. And now I'm back at the apartment watching Monkeybone, answering emails and helping Drew pick out colors for his painting.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Sake it to me

I know, I know. My brother is way too cute to be single.


Random Thoughts from People in Their 20's

A friend posted this this morning and I had to pass it along because the truth of it cracked me up!

1. I wish Google Maps had an "Avoid Ghetto" routing option.

2. More often than not, when someone is telling me a story all I can think about is that I can't wait for them to finish so that I can tell my own story that's not only better, but also more directly involves me.

3. Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.

4. I don't understand the purpose of the line, "I don't need to drink to have fun." Great, no one does. But why start a fire with flint and sticks when they've invented the lighter?

5. Have you ever been walking down the street and realized that you're going in the complete opposite direction of where you are supposed to be going? But instead of just turning a 180 and walking back in the direction from which you came, you have to first do something like check your watch or phone or make a grand arm gesture and mutter to yourself to ensure that no one in the surrounding area thinks you're crazy by randomly switching directions on the sidewalk.

6. I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger.

7. The letters T and G are very close to each other on a keyboard. This recently became all too apparent to me and consequently I will never be ending a work email with the phrase "Regards" again.

8. Do you remember when you were a kid playing Nintendo and it wouldn't work? You take the cartridge out, blow in it and that would magically fix the problem. Every kid in America did that, but how did we all know how to fix the problem? There was no internet or message boards or FAQ's. We just figured it out. Today's kids are soft.

9. There is a great need for sarcasm font.

10. Sometimes, I'll watch a movie that I watched when I was younger and suddenly realize I had no idea what the hell was going on when I first saw it.

11. I think everyone has a movie that they love so much, it actually becomes stressful to watch it with other people. I'll end up wasting 90 minutes shiftily glancing around to confirm that everyone's laughing at the right parts, then making sure I laugh just a little bit harder (and a millisecond earlier) to prove that I'm still the only one who really, really gets it.

12. How the hell are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?

13. I would rather try to carry 10 plastic grocery bags in each hand than take 2 trips to bring my groceries in.

14. I think part of a best friend's job should be to immediately clear your computer history if you die.

15. The only time I look forward to a red light is when I'm trying to finish a text.

16. A recent study has shown that playing beer pong contributes to the spread of mono and the flu. Yeah, if you suck at it.

17. Was learning cursive really necessary?

18. Lol has gone from meaning, "laugh out loud" to "I have nothing else to say".

19. I have a hard time deciphering the fine line between boredom and hunger.

20. Answering the same letter three times or more in a row on a Scantron test is absolutely petrifying.

21. Whenever someone says "I'm not book smart, but I'm street smart", all I hear is "I'm not real smart, but I'm imaginary smart".

22. How many times is it appropriate to say "What?" before you just nod and smile because you still didn't hear what they said?

23. Every time I have to spell a word over the phone using 'as in' examples, I will undoubtedly draw a blank and sound like a complete idiot. Today I had to spell my boss's last name to an attorney and said "Yes that's G as in...(10 second lapse)...ummm...Goonies"

24. What would happen if I hired two private investigators to follow each other?

25. While driving yesterday I saw a banana peel in the road and instinctively swerved to avoid it...thanks Mario Kart.

26. MapQuest really needs to start their directions on #5. Pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.

27. Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died.

28. I find it hard to believe there are actually people who get in the shower first and THEN turn on the water.

29. Shirts get dirty. Underwear gets dirty. Pants? Pants never get dirty, and you can wear them forever.

30. I can't remember the last time I wasn't at least kind of tired.

31. Bad decisions make good stories

32. Whenever I'm Facebook stalking someone and I find out that their profile is public I feel like a kid on Christmas morning who just got the Red Ryder BB gun that I always wanted. 546 pictures? Don't mind if I do!

33. Is it just me or do high school kids get younger and younger every year?

34. If Carmen San Diego and Waldo ever got together, their offspring would probably just be completely invisible.

35. Why is it that during an ice-breaker, when the whole room has to go around and say their name and where they are from, I get so incredibly nervous? Like I know my name, I know where I'm from, this shouldn't be a problem....

36. You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you've made up your mind that you just aren't doing anything productive for the rest of the day.

37. Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after DVDs? I don't want to have to restart my collection.

38. There's no worse feeling than that millisecond you're sure you are going to fall after leaning your chair back a little too far.

39. I'm always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my ten page research paper that I swear I did not make any changes to.

40. I hate being the one with the remote in a room full of people watching TV. There's so much pressure. 'I love this show, but will they judge me if I keep it on? I bet everyone is wishing we weren't watching this. It's only a matter of time before they all get up and leave the room. Will we still be friends after this?'

41. I hate when I just miss a call by the last ring (Hello? Hello? Damnit!), but when I immediately call back, it rings nine times and goes to voicemail. What'd you do after I didn't answer? Drop the phone and run away?

42. I hate leaving my house confident and looking good and then not seeing anyone of importance the entire day. What a waste.

43. When I meet a new girl, I'm terrified of mentioning something she hasn't already told me but that I have learned from some light internet stalking.

44. I like all of the music in my iTunes, except when it's on shuffle, then I like about one in every fifteen songs in my iTunes.

45. Why is a school zone 20 mph? That seems like the optimal cruising speed for pedophiles...

46. As a driver I hate pedestrians, and as a pedestrian I hate drivers, but no matter what the mode of transportation, I always hate cyclists.

47. Sometimes I'll look down at my watch 3 consecutive times and still not know what time it is.

48. I keep some people's phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call.

49. I think that if, years down the road when I'm trying to have a kid, I find out that I'm sterile, most of my disappointment will stem from the fact that I was not aware of my condition in college.

50. Even if I knew your social security number, I wouldn't know what do to with it.

51. Even under ideal conditions people have trouble locating their car keys in a pocket, and Pinning the Tail on the Donkey - but I'd bet my ass everyone can find and push the Snooze button from 3 feet away, in about 1.7 seconds, eyes closed, first time every time...

52. It really pisses me off when I want to read a story on CNN.com and the link takes me to a video instead of text.

53. I wonder if cops ever get pissed off at the fact that everyone they drive behind obeys the speed limit.

54. I disagree with Kay Jewelers. I would bet on any given Friday or Saturday night more kisses begin with Miller Lites than with Kay.

55. The other night I ordered takeout, and when I looked in the bag, saw they had included four sets of plastic silverware. In other words, someone at the restaurant packed my order, took a second to think about it, and then estimated that there must be at least four people eating to require such a large amount of food. Too bad I was eating by myself. There's nothing like being made to feel like a fat bastard before dinner.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Labor Day Weekend

I wish I had more to report. My blog is getting boring. But I've been in a holding pattern, and that seems to be continuing.

A girlfriend came up to visit me on Saturday and we had dinner at Brio. It was yummy, as always. It's great to talk to someone in person, too, versus over email or on the phone. Being here away from my friends has made me much more aware of that. It's also nice to talk to someone who has been through something similar to what I'm going through -- and has seen both sides of the equation. Things start clicking, and realizations start emerging from our conversations.

Sunday I headed up to Lafayette in the morning and met up with Della. We headed over to Yoga Elements and took the Yum Yoga class. That class is such a great addition to my practice. I'd love to do it every week. It's 75 minutes of gentle active and passive stretches -- not the athletic/energetic yoga I do normally. If I could take Yum Yoga once a week, I think I would see a huge improvement in my more active practice. Not to mention, the peace of mind you walk out with is incomparable.

After yoga, we went back to Della's, packed up, and with Mike, Mike's dad and baby Sophie we headed over to the pre-game tailgating. We parked in front of the CU law school and tailgated with some of our old friends from college and some Australians one of our friends brought with her. Those Aussies were a riot with their silly hats and zinc-covered noses. One of them brought some Australian rum called Bundaberg. It was the best rum I've ever tasted! I didn't drink much because I knew I'd be sitting out in the sun during the game, but I had enough to relax and enjoy my time with everyone.

We packed up around 4 and headed over to Folsom Stadium. The entrance to the stadium was not handled well. There were few ticket-takers and thousands of drunk, sweating and rude (ahem CSU fans) people pushing to get in. It was like being stuck in a cattle chute. It took nearly 30 minutes, but we made it through. And Della only threatened the lives of two people in that time span, so that's not so bad. Getting to our seats was a little challenging, but we made it just after the game started. CSU was already up by one touchdown and a field goal. The game didn't improve much from there. CU pulled through a little in the second half... but it wasn't enough to make up for the rest of the disastrous performance.

And let me just say that I was disgusted by the totally rude behavior of the CSU fans at the game. I'm not talking about good-natured rivalry -- these guys were lewd and MEAN. Especially in our own house, it was uncalled for. I'm proud for how my fellow alum handled them, though. And I'm especially proud of Della for not punching anyone.

Today is Labor Day. It was uneventful. I slept in, relaxed this afternoon, then headed to my parents' house for a BBQ this evening. I picked up some swordfish from Whole Foods on my way -- it was delicious. And now I'm back home answering emails and getting ready to curl up with a book. Exciting, I know.

More Pics from CU Game

Tailgating:




Had to stop at the giant buffalo and pick up some face tattoos!




Game time. We're losing, but still have faith in our Buffs! (You can see a bit of Ralphie's pen in the lower left)




Folsom Stadium is a sight to behold.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

CU Regalia

Even though we lost today, I still love my Buffs.

More pics to come when friends send them to me.




Monday, August 31, 2009

Girls' Day Out

Since my last post was both vague and overly personal, I thought I'd follow it up with something a little more light-hearted.

I visited one of my best girlfriends from college yesterday. Della, 18-month-old Sophie and I spent the afternoon in Boulder. We went to The Med for lunch (such memories at that restaurant... it's where, during our last year of college, I convinced Della to date the guy who is now her husband). The food there is so unbelievably good, I can't even write about it because my words will never live up.

After lunch we wandered around Pearl Street. Sophie played in the rock fountain, and Della found some cute outfits for her in some of the boutique shops. Of course we had to stop into the kitchen and spice stores because Della is a brilliant chef, and we had to stop in the tea shop and a yoga store for me. Pearl Street is wicked on the pocketbook.

Sophie had finally run out of steam after a couple of hours and it was time to take her home. We went to Della's neighbor's house for dinner, then after Sophie went down for the night, Della and I stayed up talking and drinking green tea. The whole day was just what the doctor ordered.

Intuition Exhaustion

My intuition has always been extremely sharp. Like borderline-psychic sharp. No matter how tough life got, I knew what I had to do and what direction I had to head in. Even if I couldn't explain WHY, I just knew what I had to do. My gut was my guiding force, and it always led me right.

For the first time in my life, my intuition is not speaking to me. It's like I'm a caboose cut off from the train. I left Colorado Springs on July 17, thinking I would know what to do in a matter of days, if not weeks. But the days slipped by... and then the weeks... and now it's long past a month and I still have no guidance.

From day to day, hour to hour, the situation changes. I'm at the mercy of this constant ebbing and flowing, caused by other people and their decisions, their reactions -- and it's completely outside my ability to control. I'm just standing in the water being battered by the waves, concentrating as hard as I can on spotting some kind of life raft.

I'm reading a book right now about the energy human beings possess, radiate and absorb. It goes into detail about "empaths" (people who, like me, are very sensitive to energy, others' emotions and "vibes"). It mentioned that empathetic people often have a hard time being in relationships or even living with other people because the energy from other people is too stressful to them. And I completely understand what the book means by that. I don't think you have to be a psychic or a mind-reader in order to be overwhelmed by other peoples' energy. Simply being sensitive is enough to make it difficult to deal with.

Anyway, my point in that last paragraph is that while I feel like I've got my own emotions well under control and properly understood and directed, I am being battered by the emotions of others right now. I'm exhausted by it. Every instinct in me tells me to tuck tail and RUN. It takes every ounce of willpower I have in order to withstand the onslaught and trudge through with what little energy I have left in me.

I'm so tired.