Sunday, July 31, 2016

It was a delightful morning in the Party Pool. I was lucky enough to score a floatie so I didn't even miss the one I sent home with Tom. And Steve offered me the use of a reclining lounger (he even took it up to the swimming pool for me today) after there was a shortage of lounges yesterday (and my little green chair had gone home in the truck with Tom.)

Jay was taking a well-deserved soak; he was wiped out after giving 6 tours over the course of the week, but I know Tom really enjoyed his expertise.  Like most folks here Jay wants to do what he can to help out Neil and Terry.  When the discussion drifted to how long I was going to stay and help out, I mentioned the upcoming shortage of beds when Terry's family arrives August 7 - and he offered the second bedroom in the cabin he rents from Doug. When he asked me how I'm getting home now that Tom has left, I told him I'd most likely fly - at which point he offered to drive me to the airport (almost 3 hours away.) Just another example of how people here help each other.

My sarong again came in handy for one of the guys soaking (Ken?) whose shoulders and back were getting a tad pink. Like everyone who has tried it, he loved how lightweight yet effective it is.

Too many funny conversations to mention, but it was a very congenial group, and we certainly got each other going. I ended up staying about an hour later than usual, yet just as I was leaving, Jessica and the kids were arriving - which happened most days, no matter what time I headed back to the house.

After lunch, while Terry continued mucking out the basement (with 2 beds down there it'll serve as another bedroom) I kept an eye on Neil and also did a few domestic chores: some dishes and laundry, then swept and spot-mopped the floors.

Will be much quieter at dinner tonight since Tom left yesterday, and Katrina and Jake left this morning. Terry and I will probably watch Spotlight afterward (though I've already seen it I wouldn't mind watching it again) while Steve hikes up to the bats again.  Rumor has it that freshly-baked cookies are also on the evening's agenda.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Tom did make it all the way home today, just as I expected. Of course it helps that he didn't have to make any stops to feed me... or let me pee!  Everything seems to fine at the house, though no doubt there's lots of yardwork to be done.

Last year I had admired one of Terry's plants, a shamrock, so this past year she had transplanted some into another pot for me.  It's a beautiful, healthy plant, and we were supposed to send it home with Tom today... except we both forgot. Bummer!

He did stop at the quilt store in Del Norte (it hadn't yet opened for the day when we came through a month ago) to pick up the Row By Row pattern for me. Apparently they don't get too many husbands doing that - he got "great hubby accolades".

Tonight Terry and I started the next cribbage tournament.  Not only did we have chocolate cookies fresh from the oven, but I won the first game. Luck of the deal!

Quote for the day: Overheard a kid (about 8) say today, "This is better than Disneyland!" 

When Tom went over to the Visitor Center this morning to drop off his arrowhead donation for the Party Weekend auction, Rosie wasn't at work yet. But Amy, Noah's wife, was. Turns out her mother (who has passed away) was a lifelong collector of arrowheads. So Amy issued an invite for Tom to view her collection next time he's here. (Of course if he'd turned in the arrowhead when I reminded him a few weeks ago, he might have gotten a chance to view it this summer...)

After Tom left I sat out back chatting with Terry for a bit, and a fearless bunny sat right behind her, just a few feet away, nibbling on the grass for a long time.  Later, as I was walking up the the Party Pool, I could see a couple of does browsing. Wasn't until they eventually wandered off that small meadow that the twin fawns (who had been "hiding" in the trees), joined Mama. Several folks commented on how cute and small they were, though after seeing the newborn one this morning they didn't look quite so small to me.   A bit later a couple of squirrels came down by the edge of the pool, and the little one started nibbling on a (used) bandaid one of the soakers was going to take with her when she got out. Even though that couldn't have tasted too good, the squirrel kept at it until we distracted it with a piece of real food. We know not to feed the wildlife - but this was for a good cause.

Wore one of Terry's hats today, and stayed pretty covered up with either my sarong or my shirt. Enjoyed talking with Julie and Kim, and when I was heading back I loaned Julie my sarong so she could stay in longer. The ladies loved my sun shirt (which I did offer to loan them also) so of course I 'had' to tell them the story of Tom's shirt from Thailand - which cracked them up.

Science Camp (for kids) was this past week, and it was a roaring success. Everyone raved about the quality of the various instructors - which was no real surprise.  However I was somewhat surprised to discover that there is no charge (other than the usual fee for the parents to be here) for the camp itself. Parents, of course, were welcome to attend any/all sessions with their kids, but plenty of kidless adults wished they could have participated in many of the activities.

One of the perks of getting up early is seeing more wildlife. There was a doe right outside the house here with a tiny fawn.  That's tiny as in the smallest Terry has ever seen, and of course living here almost 40 years she's seen more than her share; she thinks this one was just a day or two old.

Jake and Katrina went up to see the bats last night, and it was a good fly-out.  He did say it was 'a bit chilly' walking back down (and when folks from Minnesota say that I have to wonder just how cold it really was...) Though I was quite warm walking back to the house last night because I'd waited to leave until there was a song with a swing beat to dance to, and actually took off my hoodie and was more comfortable in just my tank top!

Tom is saying his final goodbyes and getting ready to hit the road. He isn't planning on making the whole drive in one day, but I know him; he could be home by 9:00 tonight because once he gets to Flagstaff he'll feel like he's almost home and 'might as well' just continue (especially since he won't have a tired wife in the car whose back is kvetching from sitting all day and who just wants to stop and stretch out on a bed.)

Friday, July 29, 2016

Elinor looks good, though of course is moving very slowly and carefully.  She finally got to hear the story of the mystery shirt from Thailand, which of course she enjoyed. Starting Monday I'm going to "babysit" her while Richard goes to work. On the way home from there we saw the most spectacular clouds against the mountain - though sadly I did not have my camera with me.

After dinner, Terry and Tom and I played our last game of cribbage. I took an early (and commanding) lead when I got a crib with 20 points (personal best for me) and later a hand with 14. But Tom soon managed to close the gap, and in the end I was left sitting in the last hole (!) when he pegged out. That gave him the 7th win, so he won the on-going tournament.

We swung by the Pavillion (where I consoled myself by toasting a couple of marshmallows) and then over to Oak House, where there was a large crowd for the evening concert with John and Mark. We stayed and sang along until after 10, when Tom suggested we head back; he'd like to get on the road tomorrow at a reasonable time.
Tom and I soaked at the Apple Pool this morning, where he (finally) inaugurated the celebrated shirt from Thailand. Michael took some photos of us together (the first since we've been here) so now I can prove we were here.  Since Tom's heading back to Phoenix tomorrow for all his upcoming appointments it was our last photo op. I, however, am getting to remain in the beautiful Sangre de Christo Mountains of Colorado and enjoy the weather, the hot springs, Terry's cooking, etc. Terry told me yesterday that "after serious consideration" she's going to take me up on my offer to stay on (certainly NO hardship!) and continue to help out with Neil.  And after that, she talked with Elinor who is worried about being alone (and possibly falling) when Richard goes to work, so I can also help out over there. 

We migrated up the the Party Pool for the rest of the morning, where the flies were especially nasty today.  We've had a lot of them in the house the past day or so, so I'm assuming there was a recent hatch.  At least they only live for a few days so soon we should be rid of them - but they sure are obnoxious.

Later this afternoon Tom and I plan to head over to visit Elinor (his only chance to see her this summer.)

Thursday, July 28, 2016

After a "righteous" breakfast of granola with homemade yogurt and diced fresh peaches I had a brownie for dessert. At least I skipped the ice cream and chocolate syrup... Lol

When I arrived at the Party Pool, Keb said he'd been looking for me yesterday. Obviously he didn't get there until after I'd left for lunch. Apparently he'd enjoyed Tuesday's rendition of The Cremation of Sam McGee so much he wanted to hear it again - and so did the others in the pool (only one of whom was familiar with it.) Again, it was well received, and one guy told me I reminded him of his favorite teacher.

Enjoyed my time with Donovan and Artie. He had noticed my lumpectomy scar and asked if I'd had breast cancer; turned out she had also, around the same time I did.  They also had lived in Maryland for 8 years. Another woman, Leslie, overheard us; turns out she graduated from a high school near Northwood the year after I did. Small world.

Tom and I stayed up at the pool about an hour later than I usually do, so it was handy to have my sarong, and then my light-weight shirt, to cover up from the sun and not have to squeeze into the sliver of shade. 

Just as we got home Terry and Neil arrived back. They'd gotten no farther than the restaurant in Saguache when things fell apart. She was able to get him out of the car and into the restaurant, but he wouldn't sit down (and was flailing his cane around) so they just came home. Can't say I'm surprised after our experience a few weeks ago having dinner in Alamosa with their son Michael.

Since yesterday was pool-cleaning day I didn't get in my laps, but instead soaked/read in The Party Pool in the morning. In the afternoon I did a little laundry before another stint as sous chef. Tuesday's (large batch) garlic bread was easily devoured on that night, but Terry thought I might have put a tad too much garlic in the potatoes last night (can you really have too much garlic?) though there didn't seem to be any complaints!  We all pigged out on the grilled salmon dinner , but (somehow) saved room for her made-from-scratch brownies (with ice cream, of course.)

Elinor did not get released from rehab yesterday in time to make her 11:00 post-op visit with the surgeon, so that was rescheduled for 1:45 - though she didn't actually see the doc until 4:00. So much for making it home from Denver yesterday. Terry called around for her, looking for a handicapped room in Frisco (between here and there) and made a reservation for them. But when Elinor and Richard arrived, the "handicapped" room had no grab bars in the bathroom; apparently the motel people called anything on the first floor a handicapped room. Of course they turned down the room - and since they had not cancelled 24 hours ahead (hard to do when you've just made the reservation a few hours earlier...) the motel wanted to charge them!

Today Neil & Terry and Kristina & Jake are going for a drive to look for wildflowers. Tom and Steve were out that way a week or so ago when they went grubbing, and said the flowers were lovely; hope everything is still blooming and happy.

My plans for today include (drumroll) soaking and relaxing. And maybe a little house-cleaning while Neil is not underfoot.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Terry and I didn't quite get the early start we wanted, but we did get a lot done. First we stopped to take care of the kitty (and pick up Elinor and Richard's recycling) before heading into town. We accomplished a multitude of errands in record time - and I even got to see the library.  We surprised the kitty with a second visit when we dropped off groceries and bright cheery sunflowers in preparation for Elinor's return home tomorrow.

The weather certainly was threatening all day, with dark skies and wind - but still no rain.  Due to the chilly weather Tom and I are all bundled up, eliciting smiles from the arriving Minnesotans (Neil's niece Katrina and her husband Jake) dressed in shorts and t-shirts.

Monday, July 25, 2016

When I went to swim my laps this morning (Slim and I had the pool to ourselves) I noticed that my floatie was missing.  There was always the possibility that it had blown away (I kept tucking it behind my chair, but people kept 'borrowing' it without returning it to its safe spot.) But afterward, when I got up to the Party Pool, there it was. 

Relaxing morning with a mellow crowd. When Martin told about his bear encounter in the Yukon, I mentioned Sam McGee. Surprisingly none of the dozen folks there were acquainted with him, so I remedied that - and the crowd was effusive in their appreciation.

After lunch (outstanding leftovers: the grilled chicken and homemade potato salad from last night) I deviled the eggs to take with us to book club tonight.  From the kitchen I watched a beautiful swallowtail butterfly at the hummingbird feeder (I've never seen a butterfly at our feeders at home) though it wasn't terribly cooperative when Terry was taking its picture. 

We also looked into flights, since the current plan is for me to stay on when Tom leaves this coming weekend.  (Amazing that after having us as house-guests for a month she's still lobbying hard to get me to stay longer!) Not only will I be able to help with Elinor when she's released from the hospital, but I'll also get to see her mom (Hilda) and sister Karen and BIL Mark.  It's probably been 20 years since our visits last coincided, and Terry was bummed that we planned to leave before connecting again.  

Sunday, July 24, 2016

This morning, as usual, I took the frozen water bottle out of the freezer and filled it the rest of the way with cold water... but the 'hoodie' holder was MIA. I figured I'd left it at the Party Pool yesterday, and I was right. Sam arrived there the same time I did, and realized he'd forgotten to fill his water bottle before heading up. So he was quite pleased to have The Universe provide him with what he needed at the moment, my 'leftover' water from yesterday.

This afternoon we had lots of wind and thunder, and it definitely cooled down so much I had to change into warmer clothes. But it was merely "sound and fury, signifying nothing."  I worked on my needlework, and then took a nap.

More cribbage tonight, and it was a close game all along. While I still lost, at least I didn't get skunked. AND there were more freshly baked cookies. :)

Saturday, July 23, 2016

I got skunked at cribbage last night, but since the game 'came with' freshly-baked cookies warm from the oven I was somehow able to deal with the disappointment. Never made it up to the astronomy hut last night, though Steve says they did get a few good views between the clouds.  IF I can stay awake long enough (sounds like a job for caffeine?) this evening I'd like to wander over and check it out.

This morning our little mouse friend was hanging out in the bathroom, but when we brought Shadow in to deal with it he took one look and then walked out.  Reminds me of the "you had one job" cat pix floating around FB. Terry got some gloves, captured it, and let it loose outside - where it will (no doubt) be much happier.

Interesting discussions at the Party Pool this morning (politics and religion) with Alek and Sam.


Terry had her sewing machine out this afternoon (she deepened the pockets in her pants, using fabric she bought yesterday at the quilt store) so I was able to fix the torn seam in my yellow sundress.  Also got a lot done on my cross-stitch while waiting 'my turn' on the machine.

The "coffee" I drank around 1:00 did the trick; after dinner I dressed warmly and (after a quick stop at the Pavillion for a s'more) I enjoyed the telescopes at the astronomy hut. Mark had two going so there was never a long wait.  Got to see Jupiter (with 3 of its moons lined up), Saturn (with its rings, of course, and a couple of moons), Mars, a double star (one blue, one yellow), and assorted star clusters, etc. The clouds had cooperated by clearing up around dark, and the dark skies here presented us with a spectacular number of stars. Around 10:00 the clouds started interfering with the views, but by then I was ready to head back.

Friday, July 22, 2016

This afternoon I went into town with Terry - and Shadow, who was overdue for his shots at the vet. Of course he was not a happy camper, meowing the whole 45-minute drive. But the visit itself went well, and soon we were off on our other errands. 

While Terry popped into Walmart I stayed in the car and made some phone calls while I had service. I was able to speak with the Terry who is taking care of our irrigation, and he reports that all is going well. My main concern was whether he could continue to deal with it if we return home later than originally planned, and luckily he says he can. If he'd been heading out on vacation it could have been a problem. 

Then I spoke with Mom. (I was expecting to get her machine because I'd forgotten we'd lost an hour when we crossed into Colorado; thought it was later there than it actually was and figured she'd already be at dinner.) Neither one of us had much news, but always nice to check in and chat.

The quilt store did carry some DMC thread, so I was able to find some that will work for the missing colors. Which is good, because I was pretty much done with everything else but now can get back to work.

Last stop was the grocery store and then we headed home. Shadow was a much happier traveler going in that direction, and once he was let out of his crate he returned to his usual wanderings.  This morning Terry found him sitting in the hallway upstairs, just watching a mouse.
Last night we introduced Terry to Mystery Science Theater 3000 with an episode that was rated #6 by fans: Werewolf. She was obviously entertained, judging by her laughter. 

I've been enjoying the stunning cloud formations that have been building daily, but last night was the first time we (finally) got a storm out of them, complete with howing winds, lightning, and thunder.  This morning the sky is bright blue again and it's another beautiful day in the neighborhood!  

We've been watching the birdhouse just outside the kitchen window where some violet-green swallows have been bringing food to their babies.  We've only seen two peeking their little heads out the 'door', though of course we have no way of knowing if it's always the same two. The parents also seemed to be encouraging the little ones to fledge, though hopefully last evening was not the night they were ultimately successful, or those little ones would be quite soggy today.

I woke up early but went back to sleep this morning - hoping my good night's rest will enable me to check out the heavens tonight with Cosmic Mark over at the astronomy hut.  It's still light-ish here at 9:00, so planet and star-gazing means a late night <g> for me.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

I had a wonderful night's sleep; it was one of those rare nights when I didn't wake up for a bathroom run (at least not until until 5:00 am - and then went back to sleep until after 7:30!)  I did have some bizarre dreams (verging on nightmares) so I was relieved to awake and find them to be mere figments of my imagination... whew! 

It was surprising to find Neil and Terry asleep when I came downstairs, though assumed he'd had a bad night and they'd gone back to sleep. But apparently they both slept through the night, a first since our arrival here 3 weeks ago.

It was a lazy morning - I fired off a bunch of e-mails, and lingered over my breakfast of Terry's homemade yogurt with fresh peaches/strawberries/blueberries before making it up to the pools around 10:30.  My sarong came in handy this morning to loan to a couple of women who were quite pale (and without sunscreen) since shade by that time was at a bare minimum.

When it was time to retreat from the sun I was reading in the shade by the swimming pool when Camp Host Michael stopped by. He showed me the picture on his phone of the wheelchair sling they rigged up to get Janet up to see the bats the other night, and my camera got a decent shot of it. 

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

The full moon last night was beautiful, and I had a great view of it rising through my bedroom window as I read. It sounds like the trek up to the bat cave with Janet went well, and I hope to see pictures. The guys had worked up a sling and pole contraption to carry her in her wheelchair. Between the full moon, the out-pouring of bats from the old mine, and her heart-felt appreciation, it was a roaring success. 

This morning I met some more Renaissance folks (one is a jeweler, another a potter) in the Apple Pool, and then spent the rest of the morning up at the Party Pool.  There was a baby up there, 9-month-old Aiden, but he was wearing a swim diaper - unlike a little girl who was in the swimming pool. That pool had to be drained/cleaned yesterday, and the day before, because of a 'serial pooper'.  Amazingly my rock towers from yesterday were still standing, and today's masterpiece finished with the top rock balanced on a teeny tiny point. 

Lunch turned out to be one of the decadent chocolate pastries Terry brought me back from Denver (because I can't eat chocolate at night) and then I "helped" her install a couple of wall sconce lights this afternoon.  Of course there were the usual Murphy's Law issues, but 2 of the 3 are now done.  She's (wisely) decided to leave the rest of the fun for another day.

Tomorrow will mark 3 weeks that we've been here, and we were planning on leaving Tuesday (after book club on Monday evening) since we really don't want to wear out our welcome. But Terry has twisted our arms <lol> to stay longer, so it looks like we'll be "forced" <g> to enjoy the hot springs and her gourmet cooking a while longer.  Elinor should be coming home in a week, and may need Terry's help, so we can continue to help out here with Neil.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Tom cooked a delicious roast for dinner, along with mashers and broccoli - and ice cream with sliced mangoes for dessert. Terry made it back from Denver in time for dinner, and brought all sorts of goodies back with her.  We definitely will not starve!

Tom and I took an evening walk, first stopping at the astronomy hut (some of the roof went on today) and then continuing around the camping loop.  We surprised three deer, and a baby bull snake. There was another doe munching on a tree right off the path by the house as we returned, and though she took a break from eating to watch us warily (from about ten feet away) she did not flee.
Another relaxing morning soaking, chatting, and taking photos.  A couple of the pretty blue damsel flies were kind enough to pose for me when I had my camera handy, and I also got a faux-arch completed this morning. There have been a lot of dogs here lately, most of them very well-behaved, and this morning there was a service dog (he alerts his owner before her seizures) who of course was very obedient.

When I got back to the house, Tom and Steve were in the final phases of installing the new light fixture over the dining room table as a surprise for Terry, so I fixed Neil his lunch. (He doesn't complain about my 'cooking'...) I've sent the guys up for a well-deserved after-lunch swim (of course the installation turned out to be more complicated than expected) and am doing some laundry while I hang out here with Neil. 

Weird dream last night; I was trying to pack for a raft trip, but could not find any of the things I needed. The other night I dreamed about my horse (old grey mare) from my time in Supai in the 70s, and when I got up to the pools a conversation about horses was underway - so maybe I will hear about some raft trips today?

Started out rather overcast this morning but now I see the sun peeking through, trying to burn off the clouds.  Should be another great day in paradise! We have no TV reception here, but from what I've been able to glean (from FB postings) about the RNC circus currently underway that's probably a very good thing.

I certainly plan to enjoy MY day.

Monday, July 18, 2016

When Steve got back from town (where, amazingly, a bag of Hershey Kisses did just 'happen' to fall into his shopping cart) I went back up to the water. I started out at the swimming pool (where Tom was sitting in the shade reading) bobbing around  in my float, but with the overcast skies the water was too cool for me. I moved to the Apple Pool, where I again lasted about ten minutes, because that water   was too warm. But the Party Pool was just right! Sounds like a good plot for a fairy tale...

In the swimming pool, I had listened to a mom playing 20 questions with her daughter. I was very intrigued by the questions/answers, but had left before mom figured it out.  So when they appeared later at the Party Pool, I had to ask what it was. And now I have a GREAT one for the next time I play: a rainbow!

When the hiking group from Austin descended upon the Party Pool it was definitely time to head back down to the house. After dinner we watched another "classic" movie: First Spaceship on Venus. I do not recommend it... Lol 
We wanted to send Elinor purple flowers to aid in her recovery. Here's the pic Terry just e-mailed me.

Last night we watched one of Tom's Science Mystery Theater 3000 DVDs: Teenagers From Outer Space. I thought Steve was going to fall off the couch from laughing so hard, and Neil was mesmerized and so engrossed in it he stayed glued in the chair rather than walking around aimlessly.

During the night the wind had blown one of the doors open, and the cold woke up Steve. There was also a bat flying around (reminds me of the night a 'bird' was flying around in my bedroom, and every time I went to get Dad he was convinced I was dreaming - until on his third trip in to check a bat flew across the room) which Shadow eventually caught and left as a present for me in his usual spot in the bathroom. Since I'd been awake during the night and finally took something to help get back to sleep, it was a late morning for me; Nancy was already here for her weekly time with Neil.

There was an e-mail from Terry waiting for me this morning, saying that Elinor is doing very well (so much better than on her last trip) though it's highly doubtful she'll be ready to leave rehab by Tuesday.

No kids up at the Party Pool this morning, so as I was leaving after a couple of hours up there I was 'forced' to throw the treasure rocks (mostly agates) into the water myself. We did have a deer come down to graze by the pool, though she moved off a little when I got out to grab my camera and shoot her.  And of course I'd already put my camera back away when the squirrel came to nibble the foliage along the edge of the pool. Also met a number of new dogs today, and Lucas was more than willing to have his picture taken.

Before heading back to the house I walked over to check out the new astronomy hut. I'd seen it under construction below the visitor center, and wanted to check it out now that it's in place. Cosmic Mark has some very impressive telescopes, and now that they'll have protection he'll be able to leave them here rather than schlepping them back and forth.  I remember viewing the heavens through them over 30 years ago, and he had an impressive set-up then. Can only imagine what it's like now with the technology upgrades. Tom got to take a peek at Saturn, Mars, the Moon, a double star cluster, etc. the other night, and maybe I'll be able to stay up late enough this weekend to see for myself. Unfortunately it stays light so late here that I'm ready for bed by the time it finally gets dark.

I also got to see the inside of the red van up by the Pavillion since they were packing up at the time. As expected, it was pretty trick inside.

Back at the house for lunch Slim and Tom are hard at it hanging the door, and Nancy has just called from the kitchen to come and get it - I think today's batch of cookies is ready!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Good news regarding Elinor: she did so well at OT/PT yesterday that the word is she may be able to return home before the 'usual' week to ten days! Terry headed up to Denver this morning, and there's a (slim) chance that she could be bringing Elinor with her when she returns on Tuesday!  Richard came home yesterday, after being gone all this time, to get some work done this week (the kitty was VERY happy to see him, and is apparently not letting Richard out of his sight.)  If Elinor was able to come home before he planned to return to Denver next weekend I don't think he would complain at all...<g>

I liked the cap Mark was wearing last night (Be There For Your Kids) and when he appeared at the Apple Pool I told him so. At which point he took it off and offered it to me, but I told him he needed to wear it to protect his head.  However when I arrived back at the house at lunchtime it turned out that he'd dropped it off for me on his way out this morning.

I'd spent most of the morning at the Party Pool, enjoying more time with Eileen & Dave (from Basalt) and then again with Jessica, Dave, Elias & Lucia (from Albuquerque.) Dave constructed some wonderful rock structures, including an arch, and I think I got some good pix.  As we were all leaving Dave mentioned the lack of cold drinking water, and they were all thrilled to have some of my ice-cold water poured into their mouths.  I, of course, have an endless supply; I've been rotating my two water bottles into the freezer, half full, then adding cold water to the ice.  So I always have cold water with me.

Now I'm on Neil Duty for the afternoon, and plan to work on my cross-stitch and watch 11:14 again (certainly enjoyed it last year, and it's the kind of movie you 'need' to watch more than once.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Fun concert at the Oak House tonight, with Mark on guitar, John on piano, and the crowd singing along. The music didn't start until 8:30, and despite dancing some (my foot is holding up well) I was soon yawning - so I bailed a little before 10 while everything was still in high gear. The evening made me remember how much Lisa enjoyed those nights here. 
Swam some laps this morning (easier than it has been despite my break of several days) and then soaked.  I actually had the Party Pool to myself for a while, and took a bunch of pix.  Later when people joined me I got some cute shots of a little guy with his parents before they had to leave. The doe with twin fawns wandered across the meadow, and it's always fun to see the little ones frolicking - though we all agree there just aren't as many deer as usual this summer.

We got Neil up to the Pavillion for the luncheon without too much difficulty, and he did great. With me there to help Terry was actually able to enjoy her meal, and also 'sneak' back down to the house to check on the latest batch of yogurt she's making (so I won't be in danger of running out while she leaves for Denver in the morning.)
When I was getting ready for bed last night I heard a chain saw fire up, and it ran for quite a while. Turns out that a large tree had co e crashing down down, not only blocking a trail, but flattening someone's tent. Luckily (!!!) no one was in the tent at the time.  

Off to swim/soak this morning, then help out up at the Pavillion; today is the OLT Board Meeting. Everyone is invited to sit in (probably not a whole lot of interest in that) and then share in the lunch. I told Rosie I'd help out on the dish-washing end, which thrilled her no end.  Of course I hope to save some energy so I can stay awake long enough to enjoy the concert at the Oak House tonight. After yesterday's late afternoon massage I was too jello-ed out to even think about heading over to see if music was happening.

Friday, July 15, 2016

Cynthia stopped by this afternoon. We've been trying to connect to set up a massage before she heads out of town, and she had an opening this afternoon. It was a wonderful massage, and I expect to sleep very well tonight.
Terry was planning to go to Salida today to pick up some groceries to tide us over until her trip to Denver, and I was going to go with her. But then Tom reminded us that he was going to Salida today to visit a friend of ours (another Steve) so he's going to make the grocery run. Nice for Terry since Neil did not have a good night, and she got very little sleep.

Dan left this morning after his "16-hour vacation" so I stripped that bed and did some laundry for Terry. Every year he invites us to swing by Taos on our way home, though it's not really on the way.  Depends on when we leave here, and how anxious we are to return to the Furnace, but we would love to see his place, especially his garden.

With a late start I couldn't stay too long in the hot Apple Pool, though before we all bailed we discussed the political situation and (no surprise) were all appalled with Trump.  I spent most of the morning at the Party Pool, where I continued to rescue downed dragonflies. Most made rapid recoveries, though one took so long to perk up that I thought I might have been too late.  Did get to admire the beautiful markings on his wings, and watch him 'wash his face' like a cat - and he did eventually fly off.

Musician Mark was there, and it turns out he's also a talented masseur. Though my foot seems a little better this morning, it sure enjoyed the deep massage.  Mark also offered to take a picture with me in it when I had my camera out - so now I have 'proof' that I was here.  He and John will be playing at the Oak House tomorrow night (and possibly tonight) and I always enjoy listening to them.

As I was passing the swimming pool on the way back to the house Steve had just finished laying more dirt/gravel to further level out the wheelchair path from the handicapped parking.  When he offered me a ride down to the house in the truck, my foot happily accepted.

When I arrived Terry was heating up some of the outrageously scrumptious leftovers from last night, so lunch was even yummier than usual.  She'd spoken with Elinor this morning, and the great news is that she's being moved from the hospital to the rehab facility today!  The 'usual' stay there is a week to ten days, so depending on her recovery it's possible that Elinor could make it home before we leave. That would be wonderful news for all concerned.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Delightful dinner party tonight, with 7 of us around the table. Dan arrived from Taos, and Lisa (psych prof at IU in Bloomington) is 'home' for the summer. We know both of them from previous visits, and enjoyed their company this evening. Of course it didn't hurt that Terry certainly outdid herself with the menu! 
This morning I took some more treasure rocks up to the Party Pool. There were two little girls, Reina and Selilah (both 3 1/2) who were more than willing to help me toss them into the water.  After I built another 'architectural wonder' (lol) 8 rocks tall I got a cute picture of Reina sitting next to it, and I offered to e-mail a copy of it to her dad. Let me digress for a moment and mention that I have been working diligently to be less critical and judgmental - but when her dad turned around and I saw the large tattoos on his back I definitely failed today's 'test'. Covering his back were two huge swastikas (though no doubt I would have found them just as obscene and disturbing if they had been a 'tasteful' size) so that was the end of wanting to have any further contact with him. In my 35 years of coming here, that's my first experience like this; the overwhelming majority of folks who frequent the hot springs are the kind of people I admire and enjoy being around.

This morning I woke up to some foot issues with my 'good' left foot that feels reminiscent of the pain from the stress fracture I experienced last year with my right foot. I don't remember doing anything yesterday to hurt it, though of course I have been wearing flip-flops up to the pools these past two weeks after giving them up last year.  So I will stay off of it as much as possible and hope that it's happier tomorrow.

Slim was here today doing doing some more work on the door frame, and after seeing some of Tom's work brought down a portfolio of his woodwork to show us. Impressive!  He's invited us to come visit his house, and I am looking forward to seeing some of his work 'up close and personal'.

I watched a Cat Ballou this afternoon with the goal of having Neil watch with me so Terry could cook uninterrupted. While he never did sit, he did stay in the room with me which was a help to her. I got some needlework done, but am missing a few crucial colors that would be a big help in keeping me lined up for the next section.  Maybe I can find them next time we go to town.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

This was posted on Thursday, even though it shows as Wednesday.

Another blast-from-the-past Wednesday morning at the Party Pool, when Marna showed up. She works the Colorado Renaissance Festival on summer weekends, and spends some of her off time here, though our paths haven't crossed in years. Her younger daughter Zaine is Lisa's age, and years ago the girls would hang out together here - and once each winter when we'd attend the Arizona Renaissance Festival where Marna also worked.

We took two cars into Alamosa. Tom and Steve 'needed' to stop at the liquor store, and then they made a stop at the book store where Tom found the sci-fi book Terry had recommended, while we needed (notice no quote marks necessary here) to hit the quilt store for my RBR pattern. We had also planned a quickie at the grocery store, but the wait at the construction zone caused enough of a delay that we 86ed that idea so we could be on time to dinner...  which Tom and Stever were not.  Dinner at the Greek restaurant where Loretta works was okay (though neither Tom, Terry, nor I were very impressed) but it was good to see Michael, and of course Elijah. Afterward we swung by his place to see the new greenhouse, which was very nice, especially considering how little he had to spend on materials.  

We couldn't see any smoke from here yesterday, but once we got down Road GG a bit toward the highway we were far enough back from the ridge for a view of the still-impressive plumes. And the entire San Luis Valley sure had a haze hanging over it.  I wasn't able to find any news up-dates last night newer than 24 hours, so no idea how many acres have been consume by now, or what the containment figures are.  But it's obviously still seriously burning. 

Since Tom will be on Dinner Duty for a couple of nights when Terry returns to Denver to give Richard a break with Elinor (as a contractor he needs to come home and check in on some houses he's building) Tom and Steve made the grocery run for us.  Our drive home was somewhat stressful because Neil was ready to get out of the car (not usually a good idea at 60mph.) 

This morning Neil is in a really grumpy mood after a particularly restless night, no doubt in part caused by the break in his routine yesterday. I had hoped to be able to drag Terry up to soak today for some much-needed R & R (she hasn't been up in the two weeks we've been here, saying it's just not the same without Neil) except that Dan and Lisa will be here for dinner, so she's got lots of "fun cooking" (HER words, not mine, since I would never put those words together in any sentence) to do to get ready for that.

Everyone was glad to see Terry return yesterday late afternoon, though Neil did reasonably well in her absence.  I had another custom S'more delivered to me (life is good!) as a bed-time snack, and one of these nights may actually make it up to the Pavillion and do one myself.  

Today is pool-cleaning day (the reason I waited until yesterday to de-moss the Party Pool since it was highly likely some of the newly liberated moss would end up downstream in the swimming pool) so I've probably missed my chance to swim laps.  Too bad - so sad... not really <g>

This afternoon we're driving down to Alamosa to have dinner with Michael at the Greek restaurant where Loretta works.  Tom and Steve are looking forward to stocking up on beer, while I'm hoping to find the quilt store and pick up their Row By Row pattern.  Which means I may ride down with Terry and Neil instead of Tom and Steve.

Off to soak!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Talked with Terry last night, and Elinor had needed yet another surgery yesterday to try and control the bleeding - and just to add to the problem there were additional difficulties. No surprise that she is quite miserable. Would love to hear that everything is finally under control and she can actually get down to the business of recuperating!

This morning I borrowed a heavy-duty wire brush from Doug, and after soaking at the Apple Pool (such a perfect way to start off my morning) I went to work <g> on the metal steps at the Party Pool, removing the slippery moss build-up. Everyone is much happier with them now, though of course the moss will grow back.

Watched a woman painting with water colors by the pool (would love to see the finished picture) and also saw Warren and gave him my card so he can send me his artwork.  And I took some photographs this morning that could end up as artwork.  There's a thistle by the trail up to the Party Pool, and every time I pass by it there's usually a bumblebee collecting goodies from it - but this morning there were two, and neither one seemed to mind having its picture taken.  Haven't seen as many deer this summer, though yesterday a mama and fawn flitted across the little meadow by the Party Pool, and this morning there was a doe grazing between the swimming pool and Apple Pool, also creating photo ops.

Nancy made some yummy chocolate chip cookies today (prodding from Steve?) and depending on when Terry gets back from Denver today there could <g> still be some left for her.  I taste-tested one as an appetizer before lunch, and then (of course) had another one for dessert.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Not a very restful night. I woke up at midnight, then again at one, two, and three - and finally got out of bed at 4:30.  Helped Terry with Neil once they got up, and then sent her on her way. After Steve got up And took over I spent the morning soaking in the Apple and Party Pools, chatting with lots of interesting folks.  We were all amazed that this morning there was no sign of yesterday's fire!   By late morning I was pretty well pruned out and decided on a change of venue.  Right as I got down to the swimming pool, thinking about reading in the shade, Tom appeared - with chocolate!  

I came down to the house for lunch (and to take over Neil duty so Steve could have a break) and Steve helped me clean up my iPad; yesterday he'd helped Tom with his laptop. There was an e-mail from Terry, who'd made it to Pueblo without having to take a fire detour.  She'd also talked briefly to Elinor, who sounded good.  We're all quite worried about her, especially since she'd had to have additional (emergency) surgery yesterday to control the abdominal bleeding.  By now Terry should have made it to Denver, where hopefully she'll find her sister doing well!

When Steve went to Elinor and Richard's to take care of the cat he was able to see quite a bit of smoke from the fires, and this afternoon when the wind picked up some dramatic plumes were again visible here.  However the wind soon moved them out of sight behind the ridge.

Tom stayed with Neil for a while this afternoon and I spent some time floating in the swimming pool. Got to see Warren's art portfolio - and am going to buy one of his drawings.

While I was gone UPS delivered the louvers, and a bit later Slim came by to pick them up so he can build the door. It'll be at least a week before it's ready for installation (partly because the finishes will need to air out for several days) but at least the end is in sight.

Tom and I played some Acey-Deucy games this afternoon before dinner, and he walloped me each time.  I'm glad it's time for him to fix dinner so I can quit losing...

Sunday, July 10, 2016

More bad news this afternoon. The Coaldale Fire, by Hayden Pass, is quite visible here - and since it's in an unpopulated area there hasn't been much effort to contain it (since it started yesterday) because the equipment and manpower is busy at the Nederland Fire where there are houses threatened.  It's not likely to come up over the ridge and then down toward us, and it helps that the wind is blowing away from us (at least for the moment) but It's still sad to see all that smoke and know that some of the forest is being destroyed.

Terry had gone to town to meet a friend for lunch (Steve and I have been tag-teaming, watching Neil) and when she got back gave me the update on Elinor. Because Elinor had thrown a clot yesterday they had put her on blood thinners - but when she started bleeding in her abdomen today they took her off the blood thinners and have moved her into ICU to keep a closer eye on her for more clots. Obviously she will not be leaving the hospital tomorrow for rehab.

The update on Quinton is equally sad. After a bad day at work, and then an argument with his girlfriend, he hung himself.  Obviously devastating news to everyone.

Tomorrow Terry has a doc appointment in Pueblo (usually less than a 3-hour drive, though of course the fire may close the highway and send her a much longer route), and then plans to continue up to Denver to see Elinor in the hospital. The good news (and Terry could sure use some!) is that between Steve, Tom, and me, and Nancy (once-a-week helper, who will be here on Tuesday) she can stay in Denver for a while to be with Elinor.

Terry had some VERY sad news this morning - she got a phone call that Neil's 29yo nephew Quinton died in Chicago during the wee hours of the morning.  There are no details (yet) and since he was fine when she saw him at her MIL's funeral this spring we're guessing some sort of accident.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Another fitful night; up at midnight, 3, 5, and (for good) at 7. Plus my back was sore and stiff this morning, though happily that worked itself out in a bit.  I swam my laps before breakfast, and afterward enjoyed conversation, much of it about my experiences in Supai, in the Party Pool.  

Elinor called Terry this morning with good news. They had her out of bed in a chair (yesterday when they tried to get her up for some X-rays her blood pressure plummeted so they had to put that off) and an adjustment of her meds has made her pain more manageable.  

I stayed with Neil again this afternoon while Terry made her daily run to take care of things at Elinor and Richard's, and had some interesting 'comversations' with him.  Once she returned I joined Tom up at the pools for the afternoon. We did a little soaking at the Apple Pool but mostly hung out in the shade at the swimming pool, reading.

Lost at cribbage in the evening, but at least didn't get skunked.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

This shows as being posted on Thursday but was actually posted Friday.

Good news on Elinor's surgery. The doctor knew going in that he'd be doing the fusing/hardware on 4 vertebrae, though there was always the possibility (once he got In there) of needing to do more, maybe as many as 10.  Happily it turned out he only needed to do those pesky 4. However this morning we heard from Richard that she hadn't had a good night, and was still in considerable pain. We're hoping that they were able to adjust her meds today to remedy that!

I also didn't sleep well last night, so it was hard to get going this morning. By the time I eventually ambled up to the pool it was bumping 11:00, and too crowded for swimming laps. Instead I floated around for about an hour soaking up a few rays.  

Slim came by this afternoon to build the framing to put in a door at the top of the basement steps.  That baby gate is better than nothing, but we will all worry less about Neil falling once the door is in.  The louvers for the door that Slim is going to construct were supposed to be delivered today, but weren't.  Now they're saying delivery on Monday.

Tom and Steve went off grubbing today (they didn't find anything, though saw some spectacular country) so I stayed with Neil while Terry made the daily run to take care of Q.

Another delicious dinner, and made-from-scratch apple crumble for dessert. Terry is really spoiling us!
I guess that steam burn the other night was worse than I thought. This morning I noticed that it actually scabbed over a bit, and with all the soaking is trying to slough off.  The good news is that within the first 24 hours it had more or less stopped hurting so I haven't really paid it much attention.

When I swam this morning I had planned to add more lengths, but the altitude (bumping 9000 feet) still seems to be an issue for me even after being here a week.  It was soon apparent that my original goal of adding 4 lengths each day might be a stretch, but had hoped to at least improve on yesterday's 8. But when I had to stop and rest after each round-trip I quit after 8 again today. Still 8 is better than none, right?

I rewarded myself with a pleasant soak afterward before cruising back down to the house for breakfast.  After fortifying myself it was up to the Party Pool with Tom.  I did try to construct some rock arches, though my attempts (which I did document with a photograph) were rather feeble compared to those I watched go up yesterday.  Sadly those had all been dismantled so I had nothing to guide me.

Most of the kids we encounter here are well-behaved (taking into account their age) but unfortunately that was not the case this  morning.  My first clue was when Dad arrived with his two boys in tow and (sensibly) wanted them to stash their towels, etc. together.  One son, who looked to be about 8 or 9, gave him a big argument, wanting to put his things on a bench on the other side of the pool.  Then a bit later I was hit in the back of the head with some rocks; turns out one of the boys was flinging them backwards over his head even after Tom had 'suggested' that was not a good idea. Dad, sadly, was at the other end of the pool and not paying attention at all.  So we decided it was time to exit the pond and go elsewhere.

I read In the shade by the swimming pool for a bit.  At the house I'm reading Maud's Line for bookclub the end of this month, but at the pool I'm reading a Michener paperback (The Novel) I picked up Cortez when Tom got his copy Michener's Space. 

Back at the house we got the first update on Elinor's surgery in Denver. The first part of the surgery, from the front, went well and 'only' took two hours, and they've flipped her and are now working on the back.  This was going to be the trickier part, and the surgeon wasn't going to know how many vertebrae would need rods until he actually got her opened up. 

After lunch Tom is heading down to The Row to visit Reggie, and I'll hang out here at the house with Neil while Terry goes to take care of Elinor & Richard's kitty "Q" (much sweeter and friendlier than their old cat.) Once Steve returns from Denver (tonight?) I might a company Terry on those daily trips.  No idea how when Elinor and Richard will return.  She will be in the hospital through the weekend, and then a decision will be made as to whether she can return home or need to go into rehab up there for a while.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Earlier in my visit I spent some time stacking randomly-shaped rocks on the edge of the Party Pool. It's a fun way to play, though I never got more than five or six high. Yesterday there was a guy with a lot more talent, building creative arches.  I watched his technique closely and will be trying some of my own today, so check back later for a progress report... <g>

We learned a "new" card game yesterday afternoon, Rook, though I didn't care for it (and not only because I lost Big Time) and would much rather have played Hearts. Last night we started watching the movie Joy, which is really a hoot.  I look forward to finishing it up tonight.

I got a wonderful night's sleep! Not only did I not wake up for a bathroom run during the night (VERY rare) but It was after 7:00 this morning before I first opened my eyes.  Considering we had the mega-cookies, with chocolate chips, for dessert last night (Tom brought them back from Saguache yesterday) and I didn't take any sleep aids, it's even more surprising.

I did make it up to the pool early enough to swim (actually had the pool entirely to myself) and got in my 8 lengths before the guy came to drain the pool.  Then I soaked in the Apple Pools until it was time for breakfast.  

Shadow had been busy; during the night he'd left a chipmunk on the floor by Neil's side of the bed, and then this morning (between the time I got up and Tom did) he deposited a headless bunny in 'his' spot in the bathroom.

Puttered around the house this morning, sweeping/mopping floors. I had considerable trouble wringing out Terry's mop and thought it was just me and my bum hand; turns out there is a ratchet function on it beyond the twisting motion.  As I keep telling her, "good help is hard to find"... But the floors look much better, and she didn't have to do it.  Since we're staying so long I feel much more comfortable whenever I can help out (and we all know that my cooking skills leave something to be desired!) While she insists that she finds cooking relaxing (!) I'm pretty sure <g> she can't say that about house-cleaning.

Since the pool area has the only really good shady spots - and it's closed for most of today for cleaning and then refilling - Tom has gone off grubbing.  I reminded him about sunscreen, but bet Terry that he'd come home with some sort of sun rash.  I'll probably head up to the party pool after lunch but will use sunscreen and cover up highly burnable spots with a sarong.
Last night's cribbage game was practically a photo finish. While I didn't win, I was quite happy that when it was my deal I was able to shuffle, albeit gingerly.  That's definitely progress for my thumb!

Forgot to mention that yesterday morning when I was taking stuff out to the car for the run to town there was a bull snake in the weeds behind the car.  Shadow was very interested it, and I hissed at him every time he started to sniff at it - at which point the snake started to 'rattle' back. My original plan was to pick it up and relocate it off to the side so it wouldn't get run over, but it seemed somewhat agitated at this point and I didn't want to get bitten. (That happened to me here one year when I was moving one of the king snakes out of the parking lot; so much for doing it a favor!) At that point Doug came by and he did the deed.

Today is pool draining/cleaning day, but these days that doesn't happen as early in the morning as when Neil and Terry were doing it so I may still be able to get in my laps this morning.  Heading up there now, and will see if I can swim today or just go straight to soaking.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

We got to see all five burrowing owlets and one parent near Elinor's house this morning, and lots and lots of antelope.  Our day in town was mostly productive (we accomplished a lot of errands in addition to Elinor's pedicure) but unfortunately the doc's office would not refill her Rx of pain meds "until tomorrow". She has been out since before the holiday weekend (the doctor had told her she could take more of them but of course that meant she'd use up the month's supply that much sooner) so she has not been getting much sleep and had hoped to remedy that today. 

I texted Alex when we were in town and I had service, and he called from the airport in Detroit (I think.) He's on his way to Nebraska to rejoin the Taste of Chaos tour, and not at all sorry to be leaving the Slipknot tour where he'd been filling in temporarily. The crew had off the 3rd and 4th, and had planned to spend it at someone's property by a river - but the bus broke down on the way there and their two days off were wasted. 

We had a delicious lunch at Fritz's, dining outside with a park across the street, and after a final stop at Safeway we headed back.  Close to Elinor's house sitting on a fence post right by the road was one of the burrowing owls, so I was able to get a very good close-up look at it.  They really are cute.

Tom and Neil had a good afternoon together, though I suspect they were both glad to see us return from town, around 5:30.  Now Terry's relaxing (!) by cooking dinner.  I just can't wrap my head around that one, but she swears it's true!
It was a mellow relaxing holiday here yesterday. In the morning, after opening cards and trying on the glasses I'd bought to help celebrate Tom's patriotic birthday (it was a surprise to me that they had lights in them) Tom and I did some soaking at the Apple Pools; he was actually able to get into the upper (and hotter) one for a bit.  It was empty enough that I was able to take a number of birthday shots.  We spent most of the afternoon by the oly-sized swimming pool where again it was empty enough for me to start my laps regimen.  I only swam 4 lengths (of course Tom had to comment on that low number, but it was 4 more than he swam) and like last year I plan to add 4 to that number each day. The rest of the day we spent hunkered in the shade reading.  It was sunny until mid-afternoon, but still much less crowded than we've ever seen it here on a holiday.  We haven't run into too many 'regulars' from the old days, though it seemed that most folks had their dogs with them so we made lots of new friends.

In the late afternoon the 3 of us played Cribbage, and as promised we 'let' Tom win. (Not the case after dinner, when Terry skunked both of us.) While there is a certain amount of luck in the cards I am dealt, I do feel like I'm getting a better handle on strategy and what to discard into the crib, and have actually won two of the games so far.

Dinner included steaks on the grill and the ubiquitous holiday corn-on-cob, when I got a steam burn on my hand reaching over the pot to turn off the stove.  (The aloe I brought with me was very soothing; while it's still pink the burn doesn't really hurt today, and the hot water did not give me any problems in the shower this morning.) For Tom's birthday 'cake' Terry had baked his favorite, a pecan pie.

Today Terry and I are picking up her sister Elinor and taking her to town for a pedicure, lunch, and a little shopping before she heads to Denver tomorrow for Thursday's major back surgery (expected to take 8-10 hours.) Elinor has had a rough year; she'd been dealing with the back issues for some time already when we visited last year, then this winter she had a hip replacement, and is currently healing from a broken ankle which was a result of the numbness in her feet caused by the back issues.  She's looking at a lengthy recuperation from the surgery (they are going in through the front first, then will flip her over and do the rest of the fix from the back) but the hope is that she will be pain-free and totally functional at some point in the not-too-distant future.

Since Neil's aide Steve is in Denver for several days Tom will be on Neil-duty for a bit until we get back because Nancy has to leave early this afternoon.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Another rainy afternoon, so I got more needlework done. Dinner once again was fabulous (grilled salmon, kale salad, and garlic roasted potatoes) and to top it off I beat Tom and Terry at cribbage in the evening. We're going to let Tom win tomorrow on his birthday <g> when rumor has it that the sun is going to shine.  It's been amazingly quiet here for a weekend (and of course it's a holiday weekend which made it even stranger) but no doubt the crappy weather forecast kept many folks away.
Party time for dinner last night, with seven of us around the table. Terry's spaghetti sauce (I helped) was scrumptious, and so was the 'whole clove garlic bread' we'd picked up in town on Friday - though we all agreed that we tasted more rosemary than garlic.  For dessert Terry made up some frosting for the chocolate cake and then she and I arranged 'stripes' of raspberries and 'stars' of blueberries for a pre-birthday cake for Tom.  (She has something else planned for his birthday dessert tomorrow.). Even though I was still stuffed from dinner (we all were) I "forced" myself <G> to have dessert. 

Between the chocolate cake (and the fact that it included some coffee as one of the ingredients) I'd decided I had better take something at bedtime to make sure I slept. So it was 7:30 when I opened my eyes this morning - and Tom was already awake and on his first cup of coffee.  Pretty rare that he beats me awake!

There are always entertaining bumper stickers on view in the parking areas, and on the way up to soak this morning I snapped a pic of one I had noticed earlier and especially liked.  Good thing, because when we came back down to the house for lunch it looked like she was packing up to leave.

After lunch we got into the cake again - it tasted just as good as last night- and it even looks like there will be plenty for dessert after dinner. Life is good!

Saturday, July 2, 2016

It's easy to sleep in on a cloudy/overcast day.  Each time I opened my eyes and checked the time I thought I'd be getting up... and then 'all of a sudden' it would be an hour later.  So it was definitely a lazy morning, getting out of bed at 7:30 - though I beat Tom up by several hours.  I had just finished my morning soak at the Apple Pool and was starting down to the house for lunch by the time he appeared. So he turned around and headed back with me.  We did get in a nice soak at the Party Pool in the early afternoon, but when the thunder started rumbling we called it quits.  House sure smelled yummy when we walked in; Terry had just finished baking something chocolatey for dessert tonight.

Started on my latest cross-stitch project this afternoon, and my thumb cooperated enough for me to work on it for about an hour.  I won't be able to work on it for long stretches, but it's not that complicated a piece so that shouldn't matter.

Lucia should be arriving for a visit (from Gunnison) shortly.  She got married the beginning of June and it will be nice to meet her husband Lucas.  When Terry told her we were visiting (it's been about 10 years since we last saw her, when all the kids were in high school) she got excited about that 'extra bonus' during a visit home.

Friday, July 1, 2016

We had a productive trip into town, completing all our errands in a timely fashion.  It turned out the bank was right across the street from the quilt store so I was able to pick up another RBR pattern while she was doing her banking.  It was nice that the rain held off until we were done with the grocery shopping and heading home. On the way back we stopped to see Elinor and Richard and drop off the items she had requested; I got to see some of the burrowing owls that live by them (cute little guys!)
We spent the remainder of the afternoon playing cribbage (I won! I won!) and then I helped Terry make gumbo for dinner, experiencing my first roux.

After a delicious dinner last night and a good sleep I was up at 5:30 this morning.  Surprisingly I wasn't at all chilly on my walk up to the Apple Pools this morning despite temps only in the 50s, and enjoyed a peaceful soak.  By the time I got back to the house Terry and Neil were awake and we had breakfast together.  Sure do enjoy Terry's homemade yogurt, and also had a slice of the cranberry bread Denise dropped off yesterday. Tom, of course, did not appear for coffee until considerably later.

We've already had a little rain this morning, and since the forecast is for rain most of the day this afternoon is slated for a run into Salida for groceries (and hopefully a wide-brimmed hat for Tom since his died last month.) We'll also stop in at the quilt store, of course, for their Row By Row pattern.