Hot Sulphur Springs

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Yesterday was my 51st birthday. 51. Wow, I remember thinking when my parents were 51 they were OLD. Of course, with age comes perspective, and my persecutive of 51 years has changed as well.

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When there kids were younger, we brought them to Winter Park to ski a few times. They were old enough to be on their own for the day and Tom wasn’t skiing at the time, so we would drive around and see check out area while they were skiing. One day, we happened on Hot Sulphur Springs. A little town about 22 miles beyond Winter Park. Its a darling town with old cabins and buildings that look like they should be in an old western movie. There is a small “resort” along the river that houses 21 pools of hot mineral rich water. Before we knew it, we were soaking away our aches and rejuvenating our souls. One of the pools there has a small waterfall of hot water that you can stand under…oh, my – it is SOOO wonderful! I think I kind of hogged the position from the other people in the pool. Just call me the waterfall hog…   Since that day, we’ve talked about going back, but never seemed to make it. The kids grew up – could drive themselves – so we didn’t have occasion to return. I’ve thought about that waterfall A LOT in the meantime. Like, every time I take a shower! So,  when the subject of what to do for my birthday came up a few weeks ago, I told Tom that I wanted to return to the waterfall, where I could once again occupy “my spot” . It was a beautiful day – so great to spend it just with my guy!

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Chandelier Project

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Last year Tom and I inherited some beautiful flagstone pieces from our next door neighbors. So began our “repurposed backyard project. In future posts, I’ll show you what we’ve done so far.

This year, we’re starting off (and I say that because I hope there are more projects to come!) with designing a chandelier for our outdoor dining tent. I’ve seen some cool repurposed fixtures on the web – mostly on Etsy. Tom had some old wagon wheel rims at the farm.  We’re starting with that.

The inspiration for the project

This will be the base for the lights, which will be made out of antique insulators. I guess Tom and his sisters collected them off of old telephone poles long ago. I’m sure they didn’t realize what a fabulous and valuable treasure they were gathering at the time!

I marked 8 places to drill holes in the rim.  We’ll be attaching the insulators here eventually. Take note of my super high tech measuring tool…a paper towel! Hey – you’ve gotta use what you’ve got at hand, and it was a lot easier than dealing with a big old tape measure. Next, Tom used the drill press and a diamond hole cutter to make a hole in the top of the insulator. And viola! A clean little hole to run the socket through!

We stopped for the day. Tomorrow is supposed to include a trip to the welding shop to talk about some other issues we might have. As long as I had my camera, I figured I might as well snap a couple of photos along the Greenway.

And then of course, one of my man…. he sure is a fun one!

Monday Mention

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I’ll be sharing a quote each Monday.  Something that has meaning to me.  For some reason, quotes have played a big role for me…I am usually struck by the simplicity of a great quote – it proves that you don’t typically need a ton of words to make an effective statement.

Thursday Therapy

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Welcome to the weekly feature on life.  My life – other’s lives….lessons learned……bridges burned….what am I , a songwriter?  Not really, folks.  However on Thursdays I’ll try to share something about life that is worth sharing.

Last summer, my baby girl went away to Jackson Hole, Wyoming to work.  Her first summer away – and although I was excited for her, I found it hard to let her go.  After she drove away, I came in and wrote my thoughts.

She went away today….my baby.

As many mothers do, I had some tears.  There is something gut wrenchingly symbolic about your baby driving away and waving goodbye to you in the rear view mirror. “Don’t leave!”  I wanted to yell. “Just forget all of this silly leaving home business and stay here and work for daddy this summer!”  But I came to my senses and realized that would only serve to cripple her budding independence.

Last night she slept in my bed since Tom is away.  I wanted to spend every minute I could with her before she left.  Even if we were just sleeping.  We clasped hands – our fingers entwined like the roots of a beautiful perennial. I welled up looking at her as she fell asleep.  When did that little baby with no hair grow up to be such a beautiful young woman with locks to die for?  It brought back memories of sleep (and interrupted sleep) since she was a baby.  I’m really glad she stopped slapping  me in the middle of the night.  Makes for a much better night’s sleep.  Now, she just has conversations and grinds her teeth.  Of course my snoring never bothers her….what a pair!

I didn’t turn the TV on like I normally would have when we got up.  I wanted to enjoy every last sound of her being in the house.   The I-pod blaring, the sound of the flat iron clapping together as she coiffed her beautiful hair. The sound of the makeup containers opening and closing and the brushes clinking on the bathroom counter.   The never ending ”spritzing” of hairspray.  Did you know that the extra hairspray that falls to the floor actually forms a layer a little like shellac on the floor?

I bit my lip and pinched my nose several times as I made her favorite breakfast of pancakes in her great grandmother’s skillet. A few tears are the special ingredient in the going away meal a mother makes for her child.  They add a little wisdom, mounds of love, and hope for all things good.  They turned out pretty good, considering pancakes are usually Tom’s department.  I tend to have a penchant for burning and overcooking things.

I wish I could have sent her away with some money.  Unfortunately, I had only ten $1 bills left in my wallet upon returning from a week long trip last night. Loser mom. I wish I could have sent her with enough money to get her through the summer.  But that would defeat the point of her striking out on her own.

At this point, I feel like I want to wind this up with a perfect quote or paragraph I’ve fetched from the internet.  I’m really good at that.  But then the words wouldn’t be my own.  So here goes…

“Fly, little bird!  Strike out on your OWN, do all of the things that you dream about doing!  Be who you need to be.  Momma bird loves you!”

Antique Shopping

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Last week, my friend Jodee took me antiqueing.  Its been a long time since I spent a whole day perusing the stores for something specific.  I’ve already got too much stuff, so unless I’m looking for that “special something”, I’m not inclined to shop.  This day, I was looking specifically for some old columns for our yard.  We built a new flagstone patio in the back yard this summer and I have a vision to make it an “outdoor room” complete with columns and window panes.  We found some columns…and a whole lot of other stuff!  It was inspirational for my shabby chic backyard style.

I thought this was the cutest idea!  I’ve been wondering what to do with that old lampshade….

We lunched at a darling bistro in old town Ft. Collins.  Every time I go up there, I think of how much I enjoyed living there in my college years.  It is the epitome of Northern Colorado in my mind.  JoDee had a beautiful taco salad.  Doesn’t it look yummy?

I had the fanciest wedge salad I’ve ever had.   AND it was dee-licioso!

New Hairdo

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Well, not really NEW, but back to the old.  My summer hair is too long and as far as I can tell right now its about three different colors.  Last time I got it done, I thought I wanted to maybe let it go natural. Now that I have lived with this possibility for a couple of months, I’ve decided I’m running like hell back to color.  ALL OVER.  ESPECIALLY AT THE ROOTS!  So what if my family has to eat macaroni and tuna because all of our money is invested in my locks?  Bottom line – I’m not ready to live with grey being part of my daily existence.  So, I’m going back to a cut and color I had last winter that was easy and cute. (at least I thought it was). Lots of people complimented me on it.  Or were they really complimenting me?  You know – that kind of “compliment “. When it looks so bad you have to say SOMETHING – so you say, “I Love your hair!”  and actually  mean, “Holy cow, that looks ridiculous!”   I’m gonna put my blinders on and trust that my friends were truthful.  No laughing behind my back, please.

So – here are the before and after shots:

A little shapeless, don't you think?

Kind of LOVING it!

Howdy!

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Well, I’m trying to figure out this whole blog thing. I’ve been dilly dallying around the idea for a long time. I figure if I try to learn something new about it every day, I may have something I want to show to people in a couple of months. Fingers crossed!

My fabulous sister in law called me last week and asked if I wanted to go see Kenny Chesney At Red Rocks.  Me?  Hell yes, I did!  She had tried to get tickets when they went on sale last winter.  No luck.  oh, well…..but she couldn’t quite let go of the idea of going….(me neither!) So, we looked on Stubhub and got some sweet seats in the 11th row!  Will write about the details in the days to come!