Wednesday, July 23, 2008

WFMW - My First EVER!

Shannon at Rocks In My Dryer has this great feature called "works-for-me-Wednesday" when all her cool blogging friends post all these cool tips about just about everything. This is my first, so here goes:

If you are ever frustrated, as I was, by having your aluminum foil, plastic wrap or press-n-seal rolls come tumbling out of the box as you pull the stuff off the roll, look at the square ends of the box. At each end there is a little press in tab with directions that read something like, "press in to secure," or "push to lock roll." Every single roll of stuff I have has some similar little tabs. They've probably been there for decades, but I just now discovered them. They work GREAT! And if you already know about them, don't tell me you think I'm slow--just be glad for me that I finally caught up with you! Now go over to Rocks In My Dryer and check it out!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Potty - Al Fresco'!

Well...the good new is that State Farm insurance RAWKS! We went from "this has never happened before, not sure if you're covered" (because this wasn't a swamp cooler leak folks--it's from a refrigerated air conditioner!--more on that in another post for my Midwestern friends) on Tuesday to getting the check in the mail yesterday. And oh yeah, "go ahead and purchase whatever school supplies got ruined, too--we'll reimburse you for that. "

Now, the bad news. There are 6 people living in this small, 1600' house. And this is one of our two bathrooms (view from the dining room):Yep, folks--that's the toilet, the stool, the crapper, the porcelain potty, the chamber pot that you are seeing, from my dining room. That is one of only 2 showers in my house. I have 3 and 1/2 teens and 2 adults. You do the math....

Even lovelier, here's what you get to look at if you are brave enough to sit on the toilet and gaze out.....Or from the shower, if you choose.....

I am blessed to be married to a truly wonderful, heroic man who can fix absolutely anything. AND fix it right. AND put up with my comments and suggestions. AND paint it whatever color my little heart desires. So right now, I'm considering eggplant for the bathroom and fig leaf for the dining room. And busily and happily and recklessly choosing a vanity, sink and linen cabinet for the "new" bath. You can tell I like strong colors. My living room is red (Ralph Lauren Long John Red) with very pale green (RL Allium) accents. I'm considering some sort of a contest for ideas for the bath. And OH YEAH!!! While Amy and Tanner were out of town, Ted put down laminate flooring in a very pretty maple pattern in our bedroom. It's beautiful. I'll post pics of that later, too.
So until this little project is completed (and I'm thinking later rather than sooner because Ted goes back to work full time as vacation is over Monday), please pray for our sanity and for soft hearts towards those who may have big business to do in our one working bathroom.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Magical Mystery Tour

The Magical Mystery Tour, 2008

We had an unbelievable fabulous time on our vacation. I am a bit of a control freak, if you will. Usually I have our vacations planned out to the minute. Where we're staying, how much it's going to cost, where we're eating, how long this will take.....yada, yada. One of my spiritual gifts (at least I see it that way) is event planning. I'm known for my color-coded tabbed notebooks that I fill out for the annual retreat @ our church that I'm responsible for planning. This trip was different. We knew we were starting out going to spend the 4th with family, and then going up thru Colorado to points north. We knew we had to return to ABQ by the following Friday. Other than that, our schedule, our plans and our minds were footloose and fancy-free. IT was a HUGE s-t-r-e-t-c-h for me and the kind of a vacation that's both relaxing and scary for someone like me who wants to know things in advance, if nothing else just for the sake of knowing them. God blessed us so richly on this trip, I can't even begin to recount.... Here's a short (well, as short as I get anyway) recap:

We started out on the 4th and went to Pagosa Springs to visit family. On the way up we stopped at Echo Canyon near Chama, NM. The kids climbed (more than likely where they weren't supposed to) a bit and we hollered and listened to the echoes. It was so beautiful! We arrived in Pagosa just in time for the fireworks show. I tell you, NO ONE does the 4th of July up like a little town. It was great! I think everyone in the whole county and 2 surrounding ones were there...we sat on the football field @ the high school and watched. Everyone who knows me knows I'm like a little kid whe it comes to fireworks. On my personal "bucket list" is attending a BIG HUGE fireworks show in DC or NYC or somewhere either Independence Day or New Year's or whatever.....we hit Disneyland the day before the 4th last year and it was pretty good, but Pagosa Springs gave them a run for their money.....

The next day, some of our extended family, including my 73 year old mil and soon to be 76 year old fil, went whitewater rafting on the San Juan in Pagosa. I've always wanted to do it. There were 16 of us all together in 3 rafts. Wet, wild and a total blast! We hit some Class III's, but most of the time were in Class I's. We didn't lose anyone off our boat, but the boat behind us lost a little kid about 7 years old. Tanner got so wet everyone thought he fell out....I was so proud of Ted's mom and dad...especially Bonnie. It's out of character for her, but I could tell she had the time of her life. It's a memory we'll treasure always. Totally not planned for. TOTAL fun!

We left Pagosa and headed up to the Great Sand Dunes in CO. We didn't get photos because we were afraid all the sand would ruin our camera. It was a little windy and perfectly cloudy. Not too hot. We were told the temp of the sand could reach 110F in the summer on the surface, so we were grateful. I don't know if I could describe it, even. It was reminiscent of the desert in Lawrence of Arabia, but surrounded by huge mountains. About 6500 ft elevation, so flatlanders had some trouble with altitude. Luckily since ABQ is about a mile high, it wasn't too bad for us. I highly recommend it...but make sure you wear sandals and take water bottles....

The next day we drove up through Leadville. It's an old mining town, mostly silver. Elevation is around 9900 feet, so we even had a few breathless times. We viewed the old Tabor Opera House, went to the Matchless Mine that Baby Doe Tabor worked as a hermit for the last 35+ years of her life and met a delightful one-toothed guide at the mine. Caleb couldn't believe that we'd paid for it. But again--it's a memory we will never, ever forget.

We stopped that evening at Silverthorne and hit the outlet mall (with a huge creek--river?) running right through it, complete with whitewater rafters and fly fishermen in hip-boots. Shopping-Pam-Amy-Tyler...yee haw! Ted, Caleb and Tanner were ok with it, but liked the river/creek the best. That evening we stayed in a pretty condo right on Dillon Lake, in Dillon. The next morning, I got up and went to a laundro-mat to do some wash. Between the sand dunes and the rain and mud in Leadville, not to mention rafting, we were running low on clothes. I'm just going to say right here that I remember why I love my washer and dryer and don't love laundro-mats. And that I was glad when we left the laudro-teria, with all it's lack of toilet paper and many different characters from all walks of life sharing their folding tables with me....

The next day we toured a working Gold Mine at Idaho Springs and panned for gold in the river. They said we found you think maybe we can send it in to that place that advertises on late night tv that "buys your gold?" Seriously, I have a problem with enclosed places. We went UNDERGROUND about 700 ft. It was cold and damp. And some of the beams that were holding up the mine tunnels were bent at a 45 degree angle. We didn't get hard hats, even. God stretched me here, too. The panning thing was fun. And our gold mine guide looked kind of like this:

Well, except, he had a nose the size of a tennis ball, with pustules on it about the same color, his teeth were brownish, he had on holey Sean Jean sweat pants that were too small for him and boots with no socks. His dog, Josie, was part dingo and part Australian Shepherd. "Ya don't want to go and pet her, now." Ya think?!?

Finally, after leaving Idaho Springs we motored into Denver during the height of rush hour. Found a FABULOUS deal on the hotel ($179, and it included admission for 4 to Elitch Gardens, which would have cost us $30 each anyway, so the hotel cost us, bottom line, $59. I love how I can pinch a penny!)! Then, wonder of wonders, be still my heart, on the way to dinner, Amy and I with our ever-alert eagle eyes spotted a mall with a GASP! Steve and Barry's. If you haven't ever been to a Steve and Barry's, ya gotta do it!

Everything is $8.98 or less and it's FAB.U.LOUS.

The next day we went to Elitch Gardens, forgetting our camera. We're kind of lame that way. This is an outrageous combo theme park/water park and tons and tons of fun. Ted almost blacked out on one of the roller coasters. Or was it when he was gazing at all the sweet young things at the water park in their bikinis? I forget, now. Good times!

The next day, exhausted, we came home. No stops, except for gas. I did almost get killed when a tire was thrown into our rental van's windshield by a tractor that was mowing. Gotta love that glass! Other than that, the trip home was pretty uneventful. Oh yeah---I forgot to tell you: when we were up around Salida (I think that's the night we went to the Sand Dunes) our neighbors who were watching the big dogs called us to tell us our dining room ceiling was on our dining room table. It was a pretty big mess and the damage has been found to extend into the bathroom that backs up against our dining room. A line from our a/c burst in the attic sometime over the winter and when the a/c cycled on it spilled about 1/2 a cup of water every 30 minutes or so. Eventually, this caused the ceiling and wall to collapse. Kind of like the big beam in the gold mine....Ted, who is kind of a sick individual, is actually kind of enjoying doing work on his own house for a change. The insurance guy is coming tomorrow. We have a big piece of plastic covering the dining room ceiling and a piece of plywood that hides the view of the toilet from the dining room. Nice, huh?

Anyway, thus was our Magical Mystery Tour. I HIGHLY recommend trying a seat-of-your-pants, no plans was a LOT of fun.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Froggy Went a Courtin'

and he did pee, Uh HUH--Uh HUH...except Froggy was really a TOAD

Guess who followed Tyler inside tonight?

He seemed perfectly serene. Just here for a little visit, thank you very much....

But then...he wasn't the most polite house guest...
He (or she) peed more than Claire does when someone yells at her. Notice Tyler's expression. I wanted him to give Clyde a little smooch to see if Clyde was really an Agatha and would turn into a princess, but then the pee thing happened, so....we will never know...
I tend to think it was a "he." I say was because Baggie just caught him. We release Clyde into the front yard after Tyler got peed all over. Oh...nevermind. Baggie didn't get Clyde. Baggie got the mama bird that's nesting on our front porch. Clyde, in case you didn't figure this out, is the toad. I don't know why I feel compelled to name every creature that crosses my path. I guess I have such a strong need to be identified, that I impose that on critters and stuffed toys and even troll dolls and automobiles. The names that are bestowed upon these creatures and inanimate objects aren't necessarily imaginative or clever (here I would point to bigredtruck as an example). But it drives me to distraction until I appoint a name to them.
Apparently, this is just a really random post. I was sitting here thinking that I should post SOMETHING before we leave town for a week when Clyde came to call. And gave me blog fodder. But I really should be packing. So, on that note, we're off to Colorado for a week or so.
And I'd like to leave you with this little ditty:
Oh Tom the Toad, Oh Tom the Toad Why are you lying in the road?
Oh Tom the Toad, Oh Tom the Toad Why are you lying in the road?
You did not see that car ahead
And you were flattened by the tread.
Oh Tom the Toad, Oh Tom the Toad Why are you lying in the road?
(note that this should be sung to the tune of O Christmas Tree)

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Inlow Update

Been meaning to post this email that I received late Thursday evening:

6/26/08 Fire Update: A public meeting was held today, and Andy Donalson, a member of the Inlow Camp board, reported to the Baptist New Mexican that the bulk of the fire burned to the property line of Inlow Camp and then went around the camp. There are firefighters positioned inside Inlow to protect the structures. They are using Inlow as a staging point. The New Mexico Baptist Disaster Relief feeding unit is stationed at the Torreon Command Center. The feeding unit is supporting the firefighters, law enforcement, evacuees and Red Cross volunteers. Please continue to pray for the safety of Inlow Camp and those fighting the fire.

As of today according to this, mop up operations have begun. Thank you all for your prayers.