Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Meet the Parents

Molly and Tommy sitting in a tree

First comes love

Then comes marriage

Then comes Gracie in a ba-by carriage!

Monday, December 27, 2010

May I Introduce...

GRACIE!'s true.  We have a new baby.  Well, more like a 10-week-old furball.  Santa was very kind to me this year.  He knew this special, one-of-a-kind gift would help mend the hole in my heart.

After a phone inquiry to the one-and-only-mini-doodle ad in last Sunday's Denver post, we found ourselves waking on Christmas Eve to a 5:00 a.m. alarm.  A three-hour road trip to Ogallala, Nebraska, for an 8:30 a.m. rendevous with the breeder is just what every crazy-dog-lover needs to experience just once in their lives (even if you do have to wait until you're 50 years old).  It's pure joy.  Pure Christmas joy.

She is a new designer breed called a Mini Goldendoodle.  Her dad is an 11# Miniature Poodle and her mom is a Golden Retriever.  What?  "How-do-they-do-that" you say?  Yes, it's done "artificially," but the result is a very smart, non-shedding, very cute bundle of happiness!

Stay tuned for puppy tales...

Friday, December 17, 2010

Blue Man Group

Going downtown to the theatre is always a wonderful night out for us. This is just one of the little (big?) splurges that are such a treat to ourselves.  We started out the evening @ Lime on Larimer Square for dinner.  A trip to Larimer Square should be on every Denverite's Christmas event list.  It's really beautiful.

Then, we had an 8:00 p.m. date with these guys.
We should've known something was amiss when we arrived to our usual seats to find them covered with a black seat covering and a nicely folded rain poncho/slicker placed over the back of the chair.  What the hell?

Fashionable, aren't they?
Needless to say, there was a lot of "stuff" (goo, paint, jello, and some kind of sludge) that flys off that stage as the mute Blue Men go about their unique brand of entertainment.

Midway through the show, the orange jello mold gets a lot of play in the show.  Somehow (I'm not sure I caught the method of launch as it happened so quickly) it flys off the stage in a little arc and lands squarely in Bill's lap.  Well, that was a hoot.  Nice catch.  Those of us in the first four rows prompty make sure we are thoroughly covered under our free ponchos.  Well...not everyone.

The next bit has the Blue Men eating twinkies with their lovely assistant from the audience.  Near the end of the skit, the Blue Men regurgitate some kind of yellow sludge that shoots like a canon (a good 25' to 30') from the stage via some kind of an apparatus in their chest.  The audience moans very loudly.  Everyone ducks.  Well...not everyone.

Bill gets a nice shot of goo directly to the forehead.  Slimy, runny, goo.  Turns out its...mashed bananas.  Still, it's enough to trigger a gag reflex.

Notice the "sludge shooter" on Blue's chest?
Asking for a "blue" autograph...nice blue fingerprint across the front of my tickets.  How long will it stay wet?
Geez, shouldn't we get some kind of a refund if Bill is part of the show?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

2010 Candlelight Dinner

Don we now our gay apparel
Fa la la, la la la, la la la!

We love this particular holiday event!  Our country club is lit with thousands of twinkling white lights and luminaries.  Diners eat by candlelight.  There are also several Christmas trees, wreaths, mantel decor and Christmas finery.  Truly, the club is decked out for this special occasion - it is just beautiful.  We've enjoyed this particular holiday event as long as I can remember it being offered.  It also gives us a chance to dress up and don our favorite holiday apparel (check out Bill's new Jerry Garcia attire).

Troll the ancient Yule tide carol,
Fa la la la la, la la la la.

The dinner is a four-course plated meal and the entertainment is always a local high school choir.  Christmas carols never sound so good!

We thought it might be a great way to celebrate some Christmas cheer with my sister and brother-in-law as it just gets harder and harder to get together during the holidays.  Maybe we've started a new tradition?

Tis the season to be jolly,
Fa la la la la, la la la la.

Thursday, December 9, 2010


I am officially a member of the "Juddheads."

What a great night, with my bestie, Deb.  We've planned for months.  All of the details have been covered (and then some).  Afterall, this Girls Night Out would be our Christmas gift to each other.

Let me just say...that Wynonna Judd can wail.  Forty-six years old or not.  What a voice!

They sing with great emotion. There is laughter. There are tears (and, a whole lot of red hair!) It's apparent that their relationship has changed. They're in a much better place after 25 years.

We had a blast, great seats on the floor, and we have another fond memory to add to the pile.

Monday, December 6, 2010

The Halls are Decked

Whew...what a weekend.  Seems like all I did was work.  Climb stairs. Squat. Lift. Bend. Descend Stairs. Repeat 1,000 times.

Sunday morning.  Wake up.  Pull a muscle in your back and still repeat the above 1,000 times (but WAY slower and moan EVERY SINGLE TIME).

The older I get, the harder this gets and the longer it takes! It was a lot of work, but I am glad that it is all done in one weekend.  I can sit and admire my handiwork for the next 19 days.  Seriously, only 19 days?  Seems like a lot of work for only 19 days!

I really do enjoy our holiday decorations.  Some belonged to my mom and some I can remember from our Christmas trees when I was little.  I've collected ornaments for a long time ever since I had my own Christmas tree in my very own apartment.  Each of them holds a very special, very dear memory.  Which explains why I was so weepy this weekend.  Starting with Hershey's peronalized stocking out of the box, every ornament evoked some kind of response from me. Truth is, I am simply not over losing her yet.  All of her ornaments, her stocking, and her Christmas apparel were just waiting to be unboxed and enjoyed again this year.  Well, that started the waterworks, and I was teary eyed all day and let me tell you, Bill got a rolling charge out of that!  I felt hormonal.  Bill assured me that was NOT the case.

Our Family Tree
The Kitchen Tree
Thanks to Nate Berkus, we took a trip to a Christmas tree lot/nursery.  There's nothing like a fresh Christmas tree lot to get you in the holiday spirit.  The smell alone can make the grinch happy.  Upon entering, we were served hot apple cider. I shopped and Bill pestered every single one of the ladies of the nursery. Poor ladies.

How cute is this place?

My first "fresh" floral design
My newest creation is some fresh pine grenery and a beautifull hallway arrangement (if I do say so myself).  Thank you Nate!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Remembering Ronnie Thomas

I've been thinking about my dad all day today on what would have been his 76th birthday.  I can hardly wrap my brain around that fact.  Truth is, he was taken from me way too soon, and I did not get a chance to know him as an "old man" and my kids never got to know their grandpa.  However, I have had 50 years, 6 months, and 17 days of great love and admiration for this man.  He was a great dad.  Miss you.

Circa 1978 - Yellowstone National Park

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Another Contest?

This time I thought I'd enter an idea for a scrapbook layout/sketch.  This is for a great website I stumbled upon called Let's Scrap! -- a great place to look for inspiration when you need an idea or two.  All of the layouts in the gallery are based solely on their corresponding sketch.

Here's the layout:
Christmas 2007 - A White One!
And, here's my hand at making the corresponding sketch:

How's that?  Winners announced 12/16.  Wish me luck!

Visit when you have some time to browse around.  You'll love the sketches!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Hard Day's Work

I had a very productive, hard day's work at a 12-hour crop this past Saturday @ Archiver's.  Arrived about 10:20 a.m. and stayed until 11:00 p.m. (sharing the day with two great friends).  With 12 hours of uninterrupted cropping time and a fully stocked store (and with a little preparedness), I was able to complete 26 layouts. 

26 (13, 2-sided) completed layouts!
Not bad for a day's work.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Can hardly wait!!  I'll be rushing home Friday night to see what exactly Oprah has in store for the biggest Favorite Things Ever.  Oh...and I'm definitely making a list.

I usually have very mixed feelings over these shows.  Why oh why can't I be in that audience?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Pumpkin Graveyard and the arrival of Winter?

Where do all of the jack-o-lanterns go after their their guiding light has died?  Well....this year, our grand ghourds hung around and kept our scarecrow company for the past week, but it was time to say goodbye to the cuties.  I very lovingly delivered them to the Pumpkin Graveyard! There, they will add their orangeness to the rich, fertile compost that Whole Foods so caringly cultivates for the good of our communities.

I couldn't resist taking a photo, and I'm reminded of the wonderful 70+ degree weather the last few days as I watch winter arrive outside my office window.  I very much loved the beautiful fall weather we had this year, but it had to end sometime...or did it?

Friday, November 5, 2010

Holiday Cards

Well...this is a first for me!  I've ventured out into the graphic design world and designed my very own photo template holiday cards AND entered them in the Becky Higgins contest.  What??

Even if nothing comes out of this little contest, boy have I learned a lot designing these!  I may very well design my own cards this year!

I'll keep you posted...

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Let me introduce you to Wordle!

I fell in love with this little "word-art-generator" when I first stumbled across it in 2008.  I actually used it to wrap up our "Year of the Skunk" and generated a customized signature block for our Christmas cards.

Today, I simply ran my blog address though the generator, and drum-roll generated the following image:

How cool is that?

Make your own word cloud here.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Judy & Jack's Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

You know all those goopy, sticky, stringy pumpkin guts that you have to deal with to create a perfect jack-o-lantern?  Well...we save ours (just the seeds -- not the goop).  Truth is, Bill LOVES roasted pumpkin seeds.  And, I must say that I've perfected the recipe over the years.

Turns out the kids like them too!  We had a little tussle over the seeds last Saturday night.  The kids wanted to save their own seeds and take them home to roast their own as Bill has been known to be rather stingy when it comes to sharing.

So, this year I've had a little bit of fun with the seeds.  I promised that the kids would all get a taste and some of their own.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Great Ghouls of Fire!

We had such a great time with the kids Saturday night.  Our annual pumpkin carving bash just gets better and better. 

We definitely had the best Jack-o-lanterns on the block!  Where exactly was the Neighborhood Prize Patrol?

Friday, October 29, 2010

I'm in LOVE with the Fall harvest!

I used to only know how to make zucchini recipes.  I used to grow zucchini, and I've literally "zucchini-ized" every dish under the sun.

This fall, we've been out to this wonderful little farmer's market in Brighton twice.  I just LOVE the place!  I've bought butternut, spaghetti, and acorn squash this year (yes, and a few zucchini).  Last night, I cut open the acorn squash and tried this recipe.  We LOVED it.  (Watch out Martha)

2 T spoon butter
1 Medium Acorn Squash
2 T brown sugar
Coarse grown salt and pepper


1. Preheat oven to 425°.

2. Halve the acorn squash crosswise. Scoop out seeds; discard. Slice a small piece off bottom of each squash half just enough to level.

3. Set squash halves, scooped sides down, on prepared sheet. Bake until golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Turn squash; prick insides all over with a fork. Divide 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons light-brown sugar among halves; season with coarse salt and ground pepper. Continue to bake until flesh is easily pierced with the tip of a paring knife, 25 to 30 minutes. Serve warm and enjoy!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

At the Patch

The garden is fading; its work is nearly done
Vegetables become sparse, except for the orange globes basking in the sun

It's been a good year for pumpkins, they've grown quite large and round
Deep orange or mixed with green, they lay scattered on the ground

Sometimes pumpkins make me think of pumpkin pie
Right now they are just beautiful... as the autumn days pass by

As I wander the field, images and designs jump into my head
Happy jack-o-lanterns, or goblins, with eyes of crimson red

Can’t be too tall, too round, or wobble just a little
He should be perfect, as I am very artful

As for my new friend, Jack
Well, his new home is here on our cul-de-sac

His belly will glow and burn boldly bright
to guide youngsters to our door this Sunday night.

Poem by yours truly.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Beautiful Fall!

What a beautiful fall we are having!  Getting to experience all four of mother nature's seasons is just one of the reasons I love living in Colorful Colorado!

We took advantage of the gorgeous fall weather to play some golf.  We walked 9 holes on Saturday (we played with our good friends, the Kisters) and another 9 on Sunday.  Saturday's score was pretty good for me (I guess it pays to take a break from the game).  Sunday's score is another story! 

Along with the good exercise benefits, the beautiful green golf course against the blue sky with the scattered golds, oranges, and browns was definitley a treat for the soul.

No, Bill doesn't shave on the weekends!

Monday, October 18, 2010

A Successful Retreat?

I've finally finished unpacking.  Everything is put away and in its place.  I can once again walk through my scrapbook room and enjoy my creative space.  Part I of the Paris album is complete.

Although this isn't my record for finished layouts at a scrapbook retreat (which stands at 54), I do think that this retreat was a success as I was able to finish 43 layouts for my Paris/50th Birthday album.

This is my new tradition.  I photograph all of my completed layouts for the weekend.  It makes me feel productive.  It makes me feel happy.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Getting Ready....I Need A Retreat!

Thought I would share this photo.  I found it to be quite comical.  I don't know if it's Bill's bad photography skills or the fact that I look really unorganized.  Truth is, I was quite organized.  I just needed a whole lot of room to get my power layouts ready for retreat.  I had already used every square inch of space and just had to move to the floor.  That's all.

Thursday, October 7, 2010


It's a good thing I look good in pink. I like pink.

I like it even more now that I am four years past my diagnosis.  I like that I am #4392 in a sea of 50,000+ racers and walkers for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure Denver on a wonderfully crisp, beautiful fall morning with my very small family beside me. 

I can't tell you how emotional this day is for me.  The emotion sits just on the brink the entire way and threatens to bubble over several times during the walk.  It really gets to me as we arrive in the Survivor area.  I personally thank each of my "team mates" with my wavering voice.  This is personal.

Oh, yes. Pink is definitely my color!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Can I have the Check Please?

I can't take the credit for this idea, but do love it!  I saw this in the most recent issue of Creating Keepsakes magazine and knew it would be perfect for my Paris scrapbook (which, BTW, I'm off to begin creating on my retreat coming up October 8th - and I can hardly wait.  But, I digress, back to the idea!).  I call it Can-I-Have-the-Check-Please journaling.  Perfect for any scrapbook page about eating, restaurants, cooking, food, drink, etc.  You get the idea!

I did this in MS Publisher.  Simply insert the .jpg and create a text box over it.  I created the text box with a 50% white fill to make the journaling "pop" just a bit.

The article goes on to say to stop by your favorite office supply store and pick up the real-deal forms.  I've found a perfect Guest Check on line and created my own printable forms.  Click here to download the .jpg version or here to download and print a .pdf and you can handwrite your journaling just like a real "order-taker"!

What do you think?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Hanging Lake...BREATHTAKING!

On the way home from our relaxing weekend in Glenwood Springs, our plans included a hike up to Hanging Lake (just outside of Glenwood Springs).  While the lake itself is breathtaking and a feast for the eyes, the rest of the body gets more of a burn.  Burn in the feet, burn in the legs, burn in the butt, and burn in the chest.  Just burn!  Although the experts have determined the hike to be a short one, just 1.2 miles, it is virtually straight up and most of the trail is littered with boulders.  The final turn before the reward is travertine rock stairs cut into a shear cliff complete with hand rails.

Mother Nature does not disappoint.  The lake itself is probably 20' deep and crystal clear.  You can see the moss and the rocks at the bottom of the lake. 

I've been here twice now.  The first time about 19 years ago.  A lot has changed in 19 years (most notably: I now have to haul a 50-year-old body up the hill), and I'm thankful for the improvements built at the lake. It still blows my mind how people cannot read the signs and respect the fragile ecosystem that has taken Mother Nature thousands of years to create.  This is truly a paradise for the senses only...respect it!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Big Winner!

Talking to the Captain @ 92.5fm

Ya'll know how much I like country music? And country radio? Well, I switched over to The Wolf on 92.5 fm recently and entered our big fat Xcel bill in the "Pay Your Bill's" contest...and I won today @ 2:00! Did anyone hear me on the radio? Got our Xcel bill of $375.18 paid by the radio station! Now, I'm in qualifications to get our entire mortgage bill paid for a year...keep your fingers crossed!

It's a good day, indeed!