Monday, October 24, 2011

Why I love him.

Because Elvis Costello singing "Red Two" with Elmo and Cookie Monster makes him smile...and hum...and spontaneously giggle...and suddenly sing-song "Red Two...." when I think he is sleeping.

I gotta admit - it's way cute.  Cowabunga!

And he's pretty cute too.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Ever Get Excited by a Pile of Dirt?

I do!

Nine years ago (December 2002), Hubby and I purchased the Yellow Cottage.  The previous owners, dear friends of ours, insisted on giving us a run-down of every wart and potential disaster on the property.  Full disclosure was NOT a problem here.  One of the major projects they swore should be the next on our list was a complete re-do of the driveway.  Knowing they were right we eliminated any care and feeding of the current cracked, pitted, and shredded driveway.   But then...we never did the big project.

Until now!
Big pile o' dirt!

Grading to avoid any stormwater draining into house.

Leveling and tearing out of old railroad tie retaining wall (to be replace by natural rock wall)

Shovel, shovel.  And finally that old rusty b-ball hoop coming down!

Looking better already.  Luckily they haven't destroyed my overhanging trees...yet.

And what is the best part about this project?  Well...I suppose...that I'm out of town while it is underway.  I'll be joining the pain of parking a block away soon however since it will be 2-3 weeks before it is complete.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Colorado Springs

Information is a powerful thing.  Especially when you've been searching for information for a long, long, time.  My mom was looking for one of her college friends for many years...and finally, one day, her name and contact info popped up in the alumni information.  We made contact, for the first time in over 35 years, and contact led to travel, and a wonderful weekend in Colorado Springs.

We were greeted with warmth and generosity and it was as familiar as our last memories with Linda so long ago.  We immediately jumped into chatting and catching up and I watched with pleasure as Linda immediately fell into calling mom M.L. like she did long ago and they laughed and laughed. 

Linda is THE best hostess.  She greeted us with a printed itinerary but also promises to change anything that was planned.  It totally eliminated that "well, what would you like to do now?" and "I don't know" ugly cycle.Our first day - Friday - was all about home and comfort and incredible food prepared by our hostess.  Jet lag caught up with us and we went to bed early, looking forward to the next day's itinerary.

And then.....

...we awoke to the first snow of the season in Colorado Springs!

We stayed in for a while, watching the snow fly and started a little craft project Linda had cooked up.

But by afternoon, we were at Garden of the Gods and enjoying glorious blue skies. A visit to the trading post, drooling over gorgeous turquoise jewelry was almost as much fun as taking in the incredibly beautiful scenery with Pike's Peak in the background.

Then we got our cowboy on at the Flying W Ranch with some real cowboy waiters, cooks, and entertainment.  Linda (right), mom (center), and Linda's husband Stan....wanted for what?

Mom and me!

We didn't know until we arrived it was dinner AND a show.  Our waiters became the entertainment and man could those guys sing and play.

Stan was on the formal itinerary as well...showing us how beautiful woodworking is done.

But we were just as happy to sit, talk, sip, and watch the wildlife outside.

Thanks Stan and Linda for a glorious weekend of laughter, love, and fun.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Bedroom inspirations

I've been trying for some time to get inspired about our master bedroom.  Yesterday, while shopping with T I was trying to figure out what to do with the room again.... We now have a painting we love over the bed, a coverlet I picked up at a tag sale in a gorgeous teal blue that picks up some of the tones of the painting.  And that's it.  That's all I've got.  We stood in Penney's and then in Target, and I was paralyzed.  What to do?  What decision to make?  Eventually we reasoned our way into two choices to take home.

And I was happy.

And then I put them on the bed.

And I was UNhappy.

As Hubby said, "Neither of them Wow me."  
And that was it exactly.  

So today, I do what I never do.  I went shopping for a 2nd consecutive day on my heavily protected homebound weekends. 

And as I walked toward the door with my awkwardly repacked bedding to return, I saw the hydrangeas.  And I thought how happy they make me and how beautiful they are and how they actually have many of the same tones we love in the painting....


So I returned the bedding and stopped in to Pier One, TJ Maxx, Christmas Tree Store, and finally Bed Bath and Beyond.  I did my usually indecisive shopping dance.  Circulating through the bedding department in some crazy patterned zig-zag.  Picking things up and putting them down repeatedly.  I stumbled upon a similar quilted matelasse coverlet to the one I had bought at the tag sale and it had shams available to I picked those up and decided I would get those at least. Making this decision was a big deal....because I truly do find this stuff paralyzing.

Then I wandered into the duvet section and started tossing different items down on the floor with my teal coverlet.  Some interesting things started happening but I still wasn't sure.  

So, as is my habit, I put them all back.

Then I walked to the front of the store.  And suddenly I stopped.  Hell.  I have to try something.

So I headed back with an empty cart and I filled it to the brim with duvet cover, sheet set, some accent pillows (from different bedding set...not all matchy matchy).  On the way back I stopped in the decorative pillow aisle...seeing nothing...but as I turned to leave I caught the sight of something amazing.

Pillows with hydrangea patterns in exactly the blue/green/purple hues I love.


When I rang out I winced at the total, but if my search is over, it may all be worth it.

I came home and stripped the bed...put on the new sheets (I know, I didn't wash them but who has the patience for that now really??) added shams, stuffed my old comforter in the duvet coverlet and made up the bed.  I pulled out pillow after pillow from the bags (I think I bought like 7!) and stacked and layered.  I took two more of the hydrangea patterned pillow( these with more bright tones) and threw them on the window seat and stepped back.  

Holy crap. This might just work.

After some pillow editing with hubby's help, I'll be reducing our total outlay to a semi-reasonable amount.

Now on to picking out window treatments, flooring, paint, lamps, and new furniture....this could take a while.

50/50 was almost a disaster

Spoiler alert.  If you plan to see 50-50, don't read this until you do.

So Saturday was distraction duty day for my dear friend T.  I sent her an email with three options earlier in the week.

1.       Ambitious, exciting, cultural – very distracting
2.       Fun, girlie, entertaining – distracting, but lower key
3.       Soft, easy, couch-potato-esque – distracting, but VERY chill

We decided, the middle one was juuuuust right.  So I took her off for lunch, a movie, and some shopping.  We hit the movie theater first to figure out showings and times.  Neither of us were up on current movie titles so we actually had to go old school and check out the binder with movie synopses to make a choice.  We narrowed it to three and then T abdicated.  I did a little eeny-meeny-minie-mo-ing at the ticket machine, and we were on for 50/50.  

Then we hit my favorite mall restaurant - Stir Crazy - cause it has fresh yummy Thai fusion food and is right next to the movie theatre.  And it is the perfect accompaniment to drama discussions.  And drama was the discussion of the day, hers, and to mix it up, we added some about others too.  Quite literally there was discussion of attempted suicides, murders, and other very serious mayhem.

Sometimes I'm really happy I lead a fairly boring life.

We hit the candy counter after all that yummy fresh Thai food so T could get something sticky for the movie.  Normally I'm on board with that, but I was pretty full of Thai, so I opted for a small (which equates to half six-pack size) soda.  Praying I wouldn't have to leave the movie 3 times to pee, we snuggled in for 25 minutes of previews....which all looked good, but also suspiciously looked like real Christmas tear jerkers.  

Hmmmmm.  Usually the previews are thematically linked to the movie you are seeing to catch the right demographic and movie tastes....

As the movie progressed, I thought - it's Seth Rogan, it can't be anything but cute funny right?  Ummmm.  Diagnosis.  Broken hearts.  Dysfunctional mother relationships.  Alzheimer father.  Shit. Shit. Shit.  Have I actually brought my highly stressed out friend to view a family horror show with possible death of the main cute character at the ripe old age of 28?  Shit. Shit. Shit.  Are we both gonna walk out of here even more distraught and depressed?  

I kept tearing up throughout the movie and watching my friend out of the corner of my eye.  Wipe the eyes, drink soda, wipe the nose, drink soda, wipe the eyes again, drink soda.  

Then the Doctor announces.  The chemo, which has killed one of your cancer buddies and is killing another, has done nothing to help you.  So we have to go take this ENORMOUS tumor from your spine now and you might not survive the surgery.  Alzheimer dad stares off into space.  Cheating girlfriend is gone.  Crazy therapist he yelled at is out of picture.  Nutty mom is smothering him.  Shit. Shit. Shit.

It gets even more dramatic and I don't know if I'm more worried about the main character or my friend slowly munching her candy next to me. resolves.  He lives.  He thrives.  He finds love with crazy therapist.

As the lights come up.  I turn to my friend and before I can speak she says, "Thank God he lived.  If he had died I might have totally lost it."  And we look at each other and start laughing hysterically as I proclaim, "My God...I was thinking the exact same thought.  We sit through most of the credits laughing. 

And as we continued on with our day I thought: That was good.  That one moment of connection and laughing was the perfect thing we BOTH needed.  

Oh.  That and the shoes.  Cuz nothing says girl day of fun like new shoes.