Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Summertime, Oh How I Love Summer...

Today I thought to myself, what if I just sat down and wrote without a focus. Long ago, I would just stand at an easel and paint. I didn't know what I was going to paint, I just pushed the paint around created something with out preconception. Maybe I'm writing on a whim, I've got some posts mulling around in my head, but they aren't quite ready to be written. 

Maybe this whimsical feeling can be blamed on summer's arrival. The days have been passing so quickly, my daughter has been out of a school for a month already. For once we aren't overbooked. We spend our days mainly hanging out around the house, creating craft projects, watering plants, gardening, swinging, building sandcastles, playing jump rope, and of the last two days swimming in the pool. I've been trying to keep on top of housework considering we are here all day long, but playing is more fun. The housework just has to wait sometimes. Not sure if I should be proud of that or just cringe inside, maybe a bit of both.

Today for example, I made friendship bracelets for my girls. Sj helped me, but she isn't quite old enough for the finger weaving style of bracelet making that I know. For fun we put the easel up out back and the girls painted outside, under the shade of the cottonwood tree. We put ice in our drinks, sipping them on the porch, ice just seems to make the day more special. Isn't that what summer is about? No where to run to, no stress, just us hanging out. After lunch we went swimming. Now I use the term swimming loosely as we don't actually swim, more like wade around the three feet deep vinyl water vessel in the backyard. It's a quick dip because the water isn't exactly warm, but it's getting there.

Summertime, oh how I love summer.

Later tonight we took Sj to her new school after dinner to play on the playground. My heart just swelled with joy as I watched her running around laughing and bouncing from swings to teeter totter to playstructure. The view from the playground is amazing, as the Flatirons are just off in the distance. The grounds are filled with beautiful gardens and blooming flowers. There's a part of me that still can't believe she really got into this school. I feel so lucky. Lucky enough I played the lottery last week. It's amazing to stand in the presence of a dream finally realized.

Maybe tomorrow I will finally get to the grocery store, which I've been meaning to do since Sunday evening. Or maybe I won't. Maybe I'll just lounge around enjoying the girls playing with one another, getting head to toe messy and dirty, doing crafts, singing songs, and making a game of doing dishes (just add lots of bubbles, it works everytime).

Summertime, oh how I love summer.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Where Colorado Locals Go: Lunch at Cherry Cricket & Denver Art Museum

While my husband took a few days off, we decided to do a little local exploration. We live less then 15 miles outside of Denver, so literally it's a hop, skip, and a jump away. The first destination on our staycation, the Cherry Cricket in the swanky Cherry Creek neighborhood. After finding a parking spot, you may chuckle as across the street are high end design stores and fancy schmancy boutiques. Now the Cherry Cricket I can guarantee is a step back through time, a feeling which overcomes you as soon as you enter the door. The lighting is dim, the paneling is heavy dark wood, and the place generally has an well established feel to it.

As you can imagine, the food is good in a place that's been around since the 1950's. The menu is classic for this type of restaurant (bar food) burgers, wings, appetizers, sandwiches, and a few mexican inspired dishes. I ordered the Philly steak sandwich and my hubby ordered of course, the classic 1/2 pound cricket burger. The meat was super tender and delicious in my sandwich and my hubby was happy to offer me a bite before his burger disappeared. For us the experience is more about the history, the lure, the story and the bonus was a great meal. Yes, we took our girls. They have kids menus, a fish tank, cricket hand stamps, and super friendly staff. Definitely a recommendation to escape the hum dum chain restaurant burger experience, a little piece of food culture in Denver.

Then off to the Denver Art Museum for an afternoon of exploring! Over the last five years the Museum has undergone some major transformation, with the addition of the Frederic C. Hamilton Building, the architectural design captures your attention and lures you in with excitement. One of the best things about taking our children to the Denver Art Museum is all the family friendly activities that they offer to enhance your experience in the Museum. For a simple trade of an identification card, you can pick up a back pack or two that contain hands on art activities that accompany particular exhibits in the museum. The backpack we chose had fun magnets to recreate a totem pole from the exhibit and different materials in the pouch for the girls to feel like a piece of copper and bark, in addition to a craft. There are also marked spots through out the galleries and exhibits that have kid friendly stations. Although J and I were rushed through the exhibits at a pace we weren't accustomed to, the girls had a fabulous time. This particular exhibit Fox Games by Sandy Skoglund allowed the girls an opportunity to walk through the installation feeling like they were a part of the art. To top off the North Building has a Family Center with more activities for children to participate in. Dress up, drawing, matching shell game, sculptures to climb on, books, funny mirrors, blocks to build whatever your imagination desires. We had so much fun, it might just be time for a membership, the cost to enter was free for the girls (5 and under), $10 Colorado Adult, $8 Colorado Student. For the four of us it was $18, money well spent. 

Two thumbs up Denver Art Museum, we had a blast. Can't wait to return!

***FYI, this is just a glimpse into a day off with our girls. I was not asked to visit or write about either location for my blog, we happily paid for our experiences at both places.***

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

My First and LAST $24 Starbucks Iced Caffe Mocha

The story I am about to tell comes with a bit of hesitation, but it's also funny. Potentially making someone laugh wins out over my sheer embarrassment. Let me first start with a simple statement, I am a tea drinker. I've never really had a thing for coffee, but go through phases of convincing myself that it's time to grow up and become a coffee drinker. Typically I prefer an iced coffee heavy on the milk and a touch of vanilla syrup. Plus, I am cheap and my eyes bulge out of my head whenever I see the price of a chai latte compared to the price of a coffee. Seriously how do coffee shops get away with charging so much for a tea concentrate with some milk?

Anyway, back to the embarrassing story.

I went to sign up my daughter for a few summer camps, it was early in the afternoon and there just so happens to be a drive thru Starbucks right next door to the summer camp spot! Bonus location for camp, may I add. I thought I'll just pop in and pick up an iced coffee for a little pick me up to get me through my to do list when I returned home. When I pulled into the drive thru I was lured in by a picture on a sign above the menu of a Venti Iced Caffe Mocha. Ooh, delightful. I think chocolate and coffee, will do.


From this moment on may I always remember espresso is NOT the same thing as coffee, no matter how damn luring the picture on the board is! Can I just add a simple reminder here that I am normally a tea drinker, I dabble in coffee a few times a month. That evening, around bedtime and about 6 hours after I consumed my overly caffeinated beverage I needed to go the bathroom frequently. Like every 45 minutes or so.

I got up in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom.

In the morning the peeing marathon continued. At this point my thoughts turned to a UTI (urinary tract infection). So guess what I started doing, drinking lots of water to flush my system. Now I am continually visiting the bathroom and I become confused as to if I am feeling a UTI coming on or if my situation is due to the upped intake of water. Quite frankly a bit of anxiety set in, which I am sure contributed to everything that was going on with my body.

I call the doctor to get an appointment to be checked for a UTI because I was leaving on a roadtrip in less then two days. I thought I better get checked and on medication if I do have one, so my roadtrip wouldn't be ruined. How fun, driving 500 miles and having to stop every 45 minutes to go to the bathroom. I don't know if you've ever traveled i-80 in Nebraska, but skipping the restrooms when possible is the best idea.

My doctor visit, co-pay $20. Diagnosis, my urine was clean. But my pulse was sure elevated. The doctor wrote me a script in case more traditional symptoms appear on my getaway. Guess what, they didn't. About 24 hours after this doctor visit, I had a realization. Caffeine is a diuretic. My body couldn't handle the dose of caffeine I put in it. Boy that stuff is wild when your body isn't use to it. Then I visited the informative Starbucks website and found out some very interesting information.

Grande Iced Coffee has 120 mg of caffeine.
Venti Green Tea Latte has 80 mg of caffeine.
Venti Iced Caffe Mocha has 265mg of caffeine.

The drink I casually ordered had close to three times the amount of caffeine my body is accustomed to taking in. At the very least double the caffeine. Boy did it do a number on myself. I feel so foolish that I went to the doctor with Caffe Mocha induced tinkling. What an idiot. $4 for my drink and $20 doctor co-pay for no reason equals a $24 Iced Caffe Mocha.

Never again. I don't know how you espresso fanatics do it.

Monday, June 22, 2009

I'm Here, But I'm Not...

My husband took four days off, with the weekend smack dab in the middle. We haven't gone away, but we've been playing LOCALLY! I'll be back Wednesday when he's back to work. Some of you were wondering about me. Let me confirm, I'm here, but I'm not...

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

I Miss You My Dear Friend, 15 Years Later....

Years ago my husband (boyfriend at the time) and I lived in Saranac Lake, which is a small town nestled in the Adirondack Mountains of New York. We were young and carefree, going to college, living life on our own for the first time. I still remember how strange it was moving to a new place and knowing no one else. It was a hard transition moving from my childhood home and my family, but eventually we made friends and settled into Adirondack life.

One of the dearest people I've ever met in my life, I met in Saranac Lake. My friend had a spirit and joy about her that was rare and special, her personality drew me in making me feel like I had been a friend for life. But after our first year in Saranac Lake, she moved away to Colorado to attend Naropa Institute in Boulder. I remember my eyes filling up with tears the day her rental house was packed. We said goodbye, but I knew we'd be seeing each other sooner than later.

We kept in touch, making phone calls and sending letters. Believe it or not this was before email was the main source of communication. That alone blows my mind. J and I made a trip out to Boulder the summer of 1993 for an extended visit to stay with our dear friend from Saranac Lake. We fell in love with Boulder and it was pretty much over from that point, we knew in our hearts Colorado would become our home. We came back to Boulder the following Spring to visit once again and settled on moving to Colorado in August of 1994.

My memory doesn't allow me to recall the actual day, but I am assuming at the end of May our friend surprised us unexpectedly in Saranac Lake the day we were moving back home with our families to work for the summer. It's sort of a strange turn of events, but the short of it was we were delayed pulling out of town because I shattered the back window of my hatch back. Having to deal with the mess just delayed what time we pulled out of Saranac Lake for good.

I can still remember her face after I opened our apartment door to an unexpected knock. I big hug followed her surprise visit. We sat for a while chatting. I remember feeling anxious about getting out of town. She invited us to spend the night at her mother's cabin, but we declined. I'll regret that decision for the rest of my life. That day was the last time I saw my friend, I can still hear her voice in my head, how she would draw out letters with her Philly accent and always put a smile on my face.

My friend sadly passed away in an automobile accident fifteen years ago. Two months before my hubby and I relocated to Colorado. She was our rock here, she was the tie that connected us to so many people here in Colorado, some of which are still our friends.

Fifteen years have passed so quickly, but there aren't many days that go by that I don't still think about her at some point through out my day. I catch a glimpse of the one photo of her and I sitting on my bookshelf. I see an antique tobacco cabinet in my dining room that was given to me, that was passed down in her family and remember how she once stored phone books in it. Now it houses my daughters' drawings and art supplies. I often wonder what she would be doing today and daydream about how she'd be an auntie to my girls. I know my girls would adore spending time with her.

Sometimes I feel a deep void where her beautiful spirit once filled, but other times I feel so grateful that she came into my life and I knew her, even if she was out of my life too soon. I know she brought J and I to Colorado, I don't know where we would have settled down if we didn't meet our friend. My life would not be what it is today if we didn't meet her, I can say that with most certainty.

Especially today, it holds such meaning, fifteen years later, I miss my dear friend. She'll always be in my heart, gosh I miss her...

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Coldplay Live In Omaha: Beautiful Music, Surprises, Chris Martin's Sweat, and A Smile Beyond Compare...

Following a five hundred mile seven hour drive, there was a whirlwind check in at the Hilton Omaha, a quick pop into a close by pub for some appetizers and a Stella Artois or two, then off to the Omaha Qwest Center to see Coldplay. Of course my heart started pumping on the walk over to the Qwest Center as it appeared before us. I just wanted to be inside, I just wanted Coldplay on stage.

My nerves were a bit on edge in line for security as I had a couple of cameras, but quickly enough I was relieved to be following a concrete block maze through a door that said Main Floor. Then it hit me, Main Floor. When I saw Coldplay in Denver, we had decent seats but we were on the opposite side of the venue. It still changed me, that night across the arena. Tonight was going to be different, it was going to be main floor intimate.

The entry into the main floor was from the back, we kept walking further and further up front. I thought it was time to stop, but I was still ten rows behind our seats. Row 15, absolutely incredible. We arrived at our seats during Snow Patrol's set. Nice chaps. My only thought, okay boys wrap it up. Did you catch the five hundred mile drive part of my story, I was there for Coldplay. Someday I'll give Snow Patrol the attention they deserve. I did enjoy their Irish accents, always delightful an accent in my book. Before I knew it the band was off, we were moving from our seats so some crew members could climb up a rope ladder to take care of some business high above our heads. A black screen appeared in front of the stage, about thirty crew members all dressed in black took to their jobs.

I managed to chat up an official looking Coldplay Tour guy, an older gentleman with a distinctive black hat on. I was asking him where Anchorman or Roadie#42 were (both update for the band on Twitter), he wasn't having it. He told me it wouldn't be much fun if I knew, but I really wanted to see them with my own two eyes. Who knows maybe he WAS one of them. Dry British humor. Aww, shucks. He slipped back into the darkness of the stage.

Music started to play loudly. The anticipation began to build. Enter adrenaline.

A crew member was walking around sweeping the stage. He was lingering on the platform that came off of the main stage to about five feet in front of me. Coldplay has two runways on each side of the stage off the main stage, which they use to mingle into the crowd. Then before our very own eyes, the crew member started dancing. He was quite the delight, his moves were fabulous. He was the hook that gave the audience the energy it needed to will the band out. Turns out the crew member has been dubbed "Dancing Wayne" and is a part of the show segway/opener. If you are seeing the band this tour, make sure to not be in the bathroom or beer line for Wayne, he's awesome.

The black screen was still down in front of the stage. Behind it we could see the band come bounding in, holding sparklers. Anticipation began to build even more. It was a big tease, there they were but they were concealed partially by the screen.

Finally the screen was lifted, my eyes focus taking it all in.

Jonny, Chris, Will, and Guy all adorned in their personally designed touring outfits appeared. Black jackets and trousers a bit tattered and worn, bright colors, and an energy that's not quite comparable to any other band i've seen. Life In Technicolor is played, luring the audience in for the start of an unforgettable evening. Everyone knows a Coldplay song, everyone has their opinion it seems, to have a true love for the band or a less then favorable opinion. But when I say, don't judge Coldplay until you see them live, I really mean it.

Chris Martin appears less than five feet away from me on the catwalk. I can't quite process my proximity to him or the band for that matter. Coldplay fills an arena like Ben Harper fills a club. Their energy makes you feel like your watching an intimate production with 11,000 of your closest friends. How in the world they do that, I haven't a clue. Maybe it's magic. Or maybe it's talent and love for music.

Through out the entire show, Coldplay has a myriad of surprises in store for the audience. First the sparklers and the screen, followed by large balls which drop from the ceiling that amazingly project the band in action. You catch a glimpse of them from the corner of your eye and before you know it, you're lured in watching a projection on a round ball. During Yellow huge yellow balloons appear and begin to bounce off the fingertips of audience members on the main floor. The balloons elicit a happiness like no other, live music takes over my body the drums and guitar, Chris' voice belting out the lyrics that have become forever imprinted in my mind, I feel a glimpse of my youth as I reach to tap the balloon up into the sky. Chris asks for a balloon to be sent his way at the songs end, he pops it like a rockstar would with his guitar. Confetti flies from the popped balloon and applause turns into a roar from the adoring fans. Magic.

Moments pass, songs, and video projections. Chris Martin dances around from end to end of the stage with such fluidity and rhythm. He doesn't give the performance just his musical talent, his heart seems to ooze with each arm swinging and leg kicking move. He throws himself on the ground a few times right in front of me. I see his body on the ground and imagine so many things. He bounces up when the audience starts to respond to him, he drops down again wanting more of a reaction. The crowd pulls through, he's up again bounding off to the piano. A few times through out the show, he arches his back and bends in a yoga perfect inversion to get off his piano stool. Incredible. Chris is constantly joking with the crowd, engaging the audience with his humor and wit. I keep thinking can this guy be any more likable and he manages to top whatever previously lured me in.

A yellow caution tape gets rolled out next to my body as I stand on the very end of Row 15, seat 38. The aisle is next to me and I know what is coming up. After Lost, the entire band starts heading towards the side stage where I am just feet from the platform. Big security guards appear. The band jumps down off the platform and I seize the moment. The moment to touch every member of the band. In my mind, I envision high fives, eye contact, and exchanges of smiles. My chance doesn't quite transpire the way my mind wanted, but I would never utter a word of complaint. Jonny Buckland actually high fived me like the nice gentlemen he is, then Will and Guy passed so quickly I barely caught a glimpse of them for my eyes were on the emerging Chris Martin. I reached out hoping for a high five, but no luck. So I reached a bit further and simply stole a touch. My hand was covered in Chris Martin's sweat, I looked down on it and had thoughts which I will not share. I touched Chris Martin, Jonny Buckland embraced my hand. I would never be the same. Incredible. Yes it was captured below:

The band proceeded to play a few songs in the back of the venue, like the generous musicians they are. They ended with a wonderful crowd bonding experience, the Mexican Cell Phone Wave. Fun and cheerful, just another reason to adore Coldplay and what they give to their fans.

Next surprise up, butterflies blow out of the side stage, up high into the air, reaching the ceiling. Thousands of colorful butterflies appear during Lovers in Japan. Butterflies raining on me. Butterflies making me smile so much that I can feel my cheeks hurting. I don't think I've wiped the smile off my face the entire show, from first seeing the lettering on the Arena. The reality of being in the presence of Coldplay is sometimes too much too handle. But the butterflies keep coming and I am in heaven. Now the butterflies I collected will be turned into a mobile to decorate my daughters' bedroom.

Chris takes to the stage alone to play a few songs on the opposite side catwalk. He plays Hardest Part straight into Postcards From Far Away, my favorite piano instrumental. The song brings tears to my eyes, it's beautiful. It's playing live, once again my ears, eyes, senses all try to process what's going on. My brain is on euphoric overload.

I brought a camera with me and a small Sony Webbie to capture some of the evening. The problem I run into is that I am too mesmerized watching the band, taking everything in to be distracted by the technology and recording the show. It's hard work holding the camera still enough through a song. And who wants to see Coldplay on a two inch LCD when they are a few yards in front of you. I didn't, I wanted to take in the moment, every beautiful minute I had in the presence of the band playing live. I take photos, they look blurry. Some moments I can't be bothered. I created a little video of some of my snippets, they were great. Now I wish they were longer. I recorded three songs total out of twenty six. Mesmerized I tell you. Mesmerized enough to not want to take my eyes off the stage for a minute.

Twenty six songs. A night to remember. I joined a group on Facebook after seeing the Denver show called All I Need Is Coldplay. After this evening it might just be true. That is the Coldplay live experience.

My YouTube channel can be found here EatplayloveCO, it's got the four videos I am in the process of uploading. If they aren't all there, they will be soon. The clips, The Hardest Part, 42, and The Scientist.

I must end with gratitude, a special thanks to the stranger that sold my 15th row tickets cheaper then face value on StubHub, a special thanks to my friend KDV who graciously volunteered to take the journey with me even though she wasn't a big fan (that has changed), a special thanks to a couple of guys that were seated behind us that helped me stay grounded in the beauty that is Coldplay invoking pure happiness, and a very special thanks to Coldplay for making music into a magical experience. I'll never be the same...

Friday, June 12, 2009

There's a Pot Of Gold At The End Of The Rainbow, British Blonde Gold...

One month ago, I posted on my Facebook page that I was looking for some adventurous friends to road trip with me to see a concert. Well not just any concert, a Coldplay concert. I found some takers and the adventure was born.

Tomorrow, I am off to Omaha to see Coldplay.

Mind you, it's a bit of a drive. So there will be snacks, sing-a-longs, potty breaks, and lots of conversation. Oh and corn, this is Nebraska. Wide open fields of corn.

Followed by live music. Did I mention, we have awesome seats. And that the band comes off stage to play in the back of the venue for a few songs, meaning I have a 90% chance of a high five. Which means hand on hand contact. I'm just hoping I'll let go of their hands...(I have a thing for hands, if you didn't know).

Stay tuned on Monday for the full story. I have a new camera to try out as well, fingers crossed the stars will align and I will capture some magic, also known as Coldplay live in concert!

Until the butterflies rain down on me...

Thursday, June 11, 2009

The Phone Call I NEVER Expected...

Where we live in Colorado, there is Open Enrollment in our school district. Which basically means, if you don't want your children to attend your neighborhood school, you can apply via a lottery system to other schools in the district. Some of the schools are exclusively Open Enrollment schools because they are charter or magnet schools. Even if you live next door to the school you aren't guaranteed a spot in an OE school.

Last year we were shut out of Open Enrollment for Kindergarten. Whine, whine, sob, sob details here.

I will be the first to admit, I was disenchanted by the entire Open Enrollment process, having been shut out last year. On one hand I thought why even bother applying for First Grade, where there will be a tenth of the spots there were for Kindergarten. But I applied anyway, thinking it was worth a shot.

Well, the story goes this year, we received a first round letter stating we did not get a spot in any of my FOUR school choices. Then a letter came in mid April stating what our waitlist positions were.

1st Choice School- 21
2nd Choice School- 7
3rd Choice School- 18
4th Choice School- 2

Which basically meant to me, heck maybe my fourth choice will happen. And when I say fourth choice, it really means I would waiver to remove her from her current school to this school because they basically operate on the same philosophy but in neighboring School Districts.

This morning my phone rang. I noticed the School District number on my caller id.


I never, ever, ever expected to get a call. I was offered a spot in our Second Choice school. If you only could have heard the conversation between me and the Open Enrollment Coordinator. I spelled her last name to her before we hung up, she chuckled saying "You've got my number, huh?".


This is incredible and changes so many things, now we will be a commuting family. Double Holy Shit. The school Sj currently attends is a five minute drive away. She'll be entering a multi-age classroom with first to third graders. I am beyond floored and thrilled. It's a perfect age for her to transition because Kindergarten in the school is separated with the pre-school side. Everything worked out. I am amazed.

Time to do the happy dance and buy a lottery ticket. What a wonderful day!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Summer Travel, Is Now Summer Dreaming...

My husband and I are both from Upstate New York. Our families live less then ten miles apart. A bonus for traveling to visit our family, considering we live 1,800 miles away. We haven't been back to New York to visit since I was pregnant with my youngest, whom is now 2.5. If you do the math, yes it's been way too long.

I sit here thinking of all the people that haven't even met my youngest daughter. A grandparent, a couple of uncles, numerous cousins, plus friends from home that are also family to us. It seems kind of strange to me to think that my children don't know their relatives, but as with life, it's complicated. Obviously location makes the issue, but now we are facing a new dilemma.

Purchasing FOUR plane tickets.

The current going rate for four plane tickets to upstate New York is around $1,800. Gulp. Completely ridiculous and heartbreaking, rolled into one big scenario.

As I sit here and type about New York, I really should be in New York. My mother had vacation time scheduled. We had plans to take a road trip and visit friends and even a beach. But instead, we are home. My husband is off to the west coast, getting work done when we should be on vacation. Multiple times I day, I check and re-check airfares. Hoping to happen upon some glitch and hit a decently priced airfare so we can have one big family reunion. No luck. Now, we are missing our window of opportunity. My hubby can only travel certain weeks and the end of summer is hands down the most stressful and busiest time for his job. He tells me, Fall will be better.

But I can't stop thinking about how we should be there now. Relaxing and enjoying time with family...

Monday, June 8, 2009

Time to Address The Neglected Backyard: Shady Plants Between Walkway & House

If I could describe my backyard in one word, monstrosity. If I had two words, disappointing monstrosity. My yard is a hodge podge of so many different areas, most of them containing rock. What a nightmare to remove rock that has been compacted with soil, hidden under landscaping plastic AND fabric, and topped with mulch that has been breaking down over the last few years.

For some odd reason, today I thought I would address this area of our yard. A spot that gets full sun in the morning, but shade or partial sun the rest of the day. I believe years ago it was a flower bed, but recently it looked like this (photo will enlarge if you click on it):
The area between the crushed stone walkway we built last summer and our house has always been home to landscaping fabric and mulch. Have I ever mentioned my disdain for mulch? Well it is one notch above rock because thankfully mulch does break down after a while, where as rock has to be dug out.

Instead of planting my tomatoes, I decided to remedy my ill feelings for this little patch of backyard. This is how it turned out (click to enlarge):
I will admit, I almost abandoned my vision for the area after I found some rock in the planting bed. Luckily it was contained to one spot, I think the former owners had stock in a quarry company. Why would someone love rock so much, seriously it's hidden in so many spots in my yard!

I will check in around August with an update as to how the plants have faired in this spot, with my clay soil. I did use a CLAY BUSTER and COMPOST when I dug the holes for the plants. I know the clay is super hard to penetrate, so I made sure to dig my holes extra large and fill with softer material to ensure plant success (fingers crossed). If you would like to know what plants I chose for the area, here is a little key to their names. Below the photo (click to enlarge) I will link to a nursery website with more plant information.

Salvia Microphylla 'hot lips' meadow sage- info here.
A. HOSTA- wide brim- info here.
B. ASTILBE- info here.
C. VIOLA- 'Baby Franjo'- info here.
D. VIOLA-Rubra- info here.

Now I'm off to take a bath. It's still very much spring around here in Colorado, cloudy mornings, afternoon thundershowers, mild temperatures, with some nice sunshine breaking through every day around noon. Oh and I almost forgot to mention, a tornado touched down in my town today as I was gardening. Or shall I say, as I was retreating inside a tad bit scared by the storm that rolled in really fast. But the skies were blue before I knew it and I was out back to work.

Tomorrow's to do list, finish up my vegetable garden....

Friday, June 5, 2009

The Dress, The Feeling...

When I walked into the dressing room with my arms full of dresses on Wednesday, I had no idea how many of the dresses would actually fit me. I picked out a huge range of dresses from ones I wasn't naturally drawn to, some short, some longer, low back, buttoned up, one with a plunging neckline, and wrap-arounds. It was fun and tiring, rolled into one big experience.

I probably returned three times to the fitting room. My last time in I told the sales woman, don't let me back in here again.

I started emailing my photo in various dresses to a dear friend in New York City (whom I later found out was out with a client, oops) and my hubby. The problem I was having, I couldn't pick a dress. They all fit me. Now when I say they all fit me, I don't mean they all looked great for my body type, but every dress I put on fit me, like zipper went up with having to suck in my belly. Or there weren't any maxed out seams going over my head or hips for that matter. They fit. (Maybe this going to the gym thing has paid off.)

That was weird.

I left the store with four dresses. Just for the heck of it, I posted my dilemma on Facebook and Twitter to get some cyber advice. I stopped by a friend's house at 9pm and had a fashion show over a glass of wine.

And boy did the opinions roll in. But the dress that won out, did for a few reasons. One, I was going to keep the dress even if I didn't wear it to the wedding because it fit so well. Secondly, I had accessories to go with it. The other dresses I didn't have a good cover up (outside wedding, unpredictable weather) and they were sleeveless. Plus I needed to buy shoes to go with them as well. So being practical, I wore the black dress, had all the accessories and a pair of great shoes. The dress I think that would have been the most fun to wear was the pink one.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading everyone's opinions, thank you for taking the time to comment. It made me smile when I was getting dressed for the wedding. Here's a shot of me on the balcony, with the beautiful Rocky Mountains in the background:

Now, I have a little black dress ready and waiting in my closet for another fun night out!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

HELP Me Pick A Dress...

I just left Nordstroms with FOUR dresses! Help me choose which one I should wear to a wedding tomorrow! I am desperate and need help. I really can't decide. I've never gone into a dressing room and had ELEVEN dresses actually fit me, this is what I narrowed it down to.

The wedding is in Colorado, outside, late afternoon, on Thursday. Colorado is always casual, but I thought it would be fun to dress it up a bit.





Wordless Wednesday: Apparently Sleeping Positions Are Genetic

No doubting these two are related! On our trip, the girls slept in the same bed. I couldn't help capture some of the moments when they were sleeping...

Monday, June 1, 2009

Road Trip: Beautiful Rocky Mountain HIGHway

This weekend, we took a little break and headed west to Utah. Park City, Utah in fact. During our seven hour drive, I was amazed by the view out my window. Have you ever been on a road trip out west?

Please stop by and read what I saw, click here to continue reading...