Tuesday, December 31, 2019

31,536,000 seconds

Last day of 2019, what?  As is customary, I thought I would summarize the past year with a few pics from 2019 blog posts.  If nothing else, it reminds me of how much I've already forgotten.  So, in somewhat chronological order...

We acquired Penny.  I look at her now, and she's still such a small dog by our historical standards, but she was so tiny back then.

More good times with my P.E.O. sisters.  *sniff*, I miss 'em

We had that bomb cyclone back in March

I remember it well because it coincided with an announcement that one of my teeth was not happy and the subsequent education in endodontia.

Penny was so much fun, we got her a sibling, Merlin

That was soon followed by another big storm that spared my teeth, but took out several trees

In addition to our two new pooches, I realize I did a fair amount of dog sitting with Chaco's

and my sis-in-law's

It's still hard to believe that Tiffany, so young and unexpectedly, left us

Magnum and I took up mountain biking (a.k.a. getting lost in the boonies)

We got Meego situated for another year of college.  Go Rams!

2019 was my third attempt and first success at completing Inktober

My first "big sis" passed away

My surgery to fix the bum tooth was a fail.  I don't miss the tooth, and I managed to not blow my nose for a month

I made it slipping and sliding through another Turkey Trot finish

And, in early December, we moved to Fort Collins.  The cat didn't have a say in the matter

SO.  Another year of highs and lows.  I'm glad to have this blog and be able to look back.  Before blogging was a thing, I was not a journal keeper.  Never had a "Dear Diary".

Of course the best part of blogging is the new connections we make, and I'm grateful for the friends I've met.  I started blogging when we first moved to Colorado Springs, and I didn't know anyone.  Now, we're freshly moved again, I don't know anyone here, and y'all keep me entertained and connected with your postings!

Keep 'em coming, happy new year!

Monday, December 30, 2019

don't be afraid of who you are

Magnum, Meego, and I saw Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker over the weekend.  I liked it.  It wasn't epic, it wasn't awful.  It was entertaining and told a good enough story.

Wait, what?

I found it pretty predictable, and there were parts where I think the creators tried to elicit gasps and/or cheers from the audience that had a rather ho-hum effect.  But it's Star Wars, and honestly, I didn't have high expectations.  I do have some slightly nitpicky thoughts regarding the ending but don't want to give away any spoilers, so they'll have to fester within.

Christmas week was rather low key for us.  We managed to gather with all the "chillen" on Christmas Eve.  Each of them brought something to contribute to our meal, so I wasn't solely responsible for the outcome.  Our rental house we've been in for less than a month was noticeably unfestive - no tree.  And I was reluctant to put up any lights that would require tape or hardware of some kind, so, no lights either.

Still, it was a nice day for us all to be together.  Through a certain chain of events, Chaco and Wolfgang had passes to go skiing on Christmas day.  And from that chain, Meego ended up with some passes for the season too.  I hear the snow in the mountains is good.  Sheesh, I haven't been downhill skiing in forever.

Since we celebrated Christmas a day early, I felt one day ahead for the remainder of the week.  Thank goodness it's Monday so I can recalibrate.

Speaking of recalibrating, a new year is upon us.  Got any resolutions?

Personally, I'm ready to hang up the tutoring biz.  It's served me well while we had kids at home and doing their extracurriculars, but I wouldn't say it's a passion.  I hung onto it for the past couple of years because we were planning on moving.  Right now, I have a grand total of 3 students I meet with regularly, and I'm not scheduling any more.  Not gonna lie, as a 50-something job seeker with a big gap in employment, offers aren't exactly piling up. But I feel that a change is past due.   

So there's that and other small details including selling a house and finding another.

You?  Any resolutions/goals to share?

Friday, December 27, 2019

I'm crying over here

I'm having a bit of a fashion crisis/ dilemma.  Isn't the need for corrective lenses a b*tch?

I'm nearsighted.  Fine.  I've needed vision correction since my mid-20's. Years ago, I wore contacts, but eventually decided to do away with the cleaning and storing, and I've just worn eyeglasses ever since. A couple of years ago, I joined team bifocal.

The dilemma arises when riding my bicycle in cold temperatures - say, anything below about 35F.  Riding in the cold makes my eyes water, which decreases my vision as well as being annoying.  Way back when I first got on the bicycle commuter bandwagon, I forked over for a pair of nice face-hugging prescription glasses that performed nicely.

Well, those specs died of old age about a year ago or so, and I've just been doing without, not necessarily in a rush to fork over again for a replacement pair of Rx specs.

And I'm crying again.

And trying alternatives.

Alternative 1:
Ski goggles seem to be the general eyewear of choice among other commuters.  On the pro side, they cover  up a good portion of face so are warmer in addition to preventing the crying.

As far as cons, they can be a bit uncomfortable because of their face-hugging quality acts to smoosh the eyeglasses into the nose bridge, etc.  Plus, the bug look...

Alternative 2:
Over-the-eyeglasses safety goggles seem to fall a distant second for the visually challenged cold weather commuters.  On the plus side, they are more comfortable, as far as face-smooshing goes, than the ski goggles.  They also provide better peripheral vision.
On the minus side, true, they're not as bug-like as the ski goggles, but rather geeky looking.  See?

Alternative 3 would be to just get another pair of prescription cycling glasses.  But then what would I do with the bug-like ski goggles and the geeky safety goggles?

Alternative 4:  Ride blind.  Not happening.

Alternative 5:  wear contacts again plus non-prescription no-cry glasses.  How do contacts work if I currently wear bifocals?

Alternative 6:  Do nothing.  Keep crying.

Have you ever happily sacrificed fashion for functionality?

Wednesday, December 25, 2019

I won't even wish for snow

I hope your wishes come true!  Say what you will about Mariah Carey, but her "All I Want for Christmas is You" articulates my feelings of Christmas.

And ever since I came upon this video a while back, it's the only way I "see" this song.  It's that time of year again.  Crank the volume.


Meet me under the bridge?

Friday, December 20, 2019


I was at the dentist a few weeks ago.  Our (now ex) dentist is quite chatty.  He was asking about what each of our kids is doing these days, knowing that we are a family of nerds/engineers with Meego being the latest to pursue a nerd degree.

He commented, "engineering is one of those majors where you can get a good job with just a bachelor's degree".  Then he went on to say,

"there wasn't a whole lot I could do with my bachelor's in zoology"

With that, the assistant perked up.

"You have a bachelor's in ZOOLOGY??"

Dentist immediately responded, "okay, what do you think that is?"  He had obviously had similar reactions before.

"Uhm...", the assistant replied, "Zoo... keeper?"

"No", he went on to humorously explain for what seemed the umpteenth time, "zoology is biology without the plants".

It's a very common pre-med/dentistry major, but people assume he really wanted to be a zookeeper.

I'm thinking of it now because I felt like a bit of a zookeeper this past week, helping our animals adjust to their new surroundings. 

We're having a new dog run delivered today - any minute in fact.  That will be nice for the dogs as we don't like to just let them out to run willy nilly around the backyard without one of us out there with them.  With that and the cold temperatures, they've been indoors more than they're used to.

Penny was due for a checkup and shots, so I found us a new vet and took her there on Wednesday.  She's such a drama queen.

When we got back, Merlin seemed sad that we'd had some sort of adventure without him.  I got out his harness and put it on him, and that seemed to make him feel better even though we didn't go anywhere.  He's so easy to please.

The cat, on the other hand, is chomping to go outside.  We weren't planning on letting him out for a good while since we moved, but in the meantime, we've learned that cats aren't allowed to EVER go outside within these city limits.  Well, unless he's contained within the yard (fat chance).  I think one of the main reasons he goes out is to get out and explore beyond his own yard.  Cat leash?  HA!

But he seems to be dealing with it, mixing it up with the dogs when he feels like a good scrap.

In the middle of all this change, Christmas is next week?!?!  

I haven't done a whole lot in that regard. I don't think we'll get a tree since we're in a rental, but I feel I should throw up some lights, something.  And gifts?  Is it too late to shop?  How about the old candle standby?


Thursday, December 12, 2019


I'm realizing that I'm quite comfortable with change, actually often crave it.  Moving has been a nice experience in that regard.  I'm liking the smaller house in the smaller city and exploring new places, and it's good to get out of old ruts and see things with fresh eyes.

It's got me considering some things that make me uncomfortable, though.  In  no particular order...

Loud people
I had to go to a UPS store to return our old internet modem/ router.  One of the customer service people was so LOUD.  He was a young guy - early 20s I'd say - and just filled the whole place with his loudness.  Why?  I don't know.  He was friendly and competent, but my god.  On a similar note,

Long Stories
Don't get me wrong, I love to read anecdotes - on blogs or memoirs or wherever.  Listening to them, though?  Not so much.  You ever have someone just go on and on with some narrative, including irrelevant details,  without coming up for air?  I even get uncomfortable when I see someone else being subjected to another just droning on.   Also similarly,

Giving lots of details
I guess since I don't like listening to people's long drawn out tales, I'm typically very succinct when speaking.  I wonder if it's typical of people who blog to not be overly chatty?   A conversation should not be a monologue, and I like listening to responses and wait to be asked for more detail.
Also, as a tutor, I've been trained that, "the student should do 75% or more of the talking", so I ask a lot of questions while tuting.  Students learn to not expect a lecture.  On that note,

Well I think guilt, by definition, is uncomfortable, but it's something I've been thinking of recently.  One thing about moving is that Magnum's sister is the sole point of contact in Colorado Springs for her and Magnum's mom and stepdad.  They're in their 80s and living in a senior living community with their needs quite well taken care of, but they do need assistance once in a while.  SIL and her husband already do a lot for them, and I was feeling like we should shoulder more of that load... and then we moved.  Times like this, I could stand to speak up  more (see above).

It's not news here that I dislike clutter.  Moving is great for getting rid of clutter, but also a great way to expose it all.  Downsizing just makes it seem even bigger.  My anxiety has been triggered this past month 😱.  Seriously, I've had no desire to watch Marie Kondo's Netflix show, although I'm a fan.  Just watching the trailer with the "befores" gave me the shakes.  But on the contrary,

I don't like loud or incessant talking, but a little background chatter is nice.  I'm typing this at the public library because I'm not good at being a homebody.  And lastly,

Forgetting to get confirmation
I took my commuter bicycle to a nearby shop yesterday for a tune-up.  The shop gets great reviews, is close to where we live, and the staff person was very friendly.  So I dropped the bike off after giving my name and contact info, then left with no copy of any work order or anything.  He typed stuff into the shop computer and said it should be ready today or tomorrow, but I've got nuthin' to show for it or prove that it's my bicycle.  The shop is smaller and much less busy than the one I was used to, not surprisingly.  I always got a copy of any work orders at the last place, and didn't really think of it this time.  Hopefully, Ariel and I will be reunited.  Fingers crossed.

What's something that makes you uncomfortable?  I'm listening.

Linking up this week with Mama Kat for the prompt:
5. List 7 things that make you uncomfortable

Monday, December 9, 2019

15 minutes, mostly flat

No, that title is not a description of my sex life... or at least it's not intended to be *ahem*

As mentioned, we've moved.  We're in a smaller house in a smaller town and liking it.  Everything seems so much closer and easier to get to - shopping, dining, entertainment, recreation, etc.  Also, as I'd noted during our previous visits, Fort Collins is super duper bicycle commuter friendly with miles and miles of designated trails, buffered bike paths, and the like. 

Looking on google maps for bike routes to various places yields the same result nearly every time:  "15 minutes, mostly flat"

That big snow from Thanksgiving week, however, has thrown a bit of a wrench in the bike commuting.  There are still lots of snow drifts and icy patches about, and my bike hasn't budged since it was unloaded from the moving truck.  I've seen a few die-hards out and about, though.

Most of our stuff is unpacked and arranged, and we feel like mostly civilized people again.  So what's in all the other boxes??

I guess I could open them and find out?  Give me strength, Marie Kondo.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

here for a quickie

Okay, we are in the midst of moving.  Today. 

Magnum texted me that the truck with all our worldly possessions has left the old house and is on its way to the new.  Napolion the cat and I drove up yesterday.  Napolion whined the whole way, but mostly when an Ed Sheeran song came on the radio.  And if you listen to pop radio, you know that happens a lot. 

Napolion, wondering what the hell happened

We came up a day ahead to get some things lined up and assure that someone would be here when the truck arrives.  Magnum is following with the pooches.  I'd hoped to get our internet hooked up by last night, but do things ever go so smoothly? 

There is a community college campus about a mile from our new place, so that's where I am right now - feeding two of my addictions:  caffeine and internet.

Anyway, here's the summary:

  • We've moved to Fort Collins, CO
  • We have a 6-month lease on a rental house
  • Our house in Colorado Springs will go on the market in a coupla weeks.  Want it?
  • We'll start shopping for a house after we sell
We first visited Fort Collins when we helped Wolfgang move here about 2 years ago.  He really likes the place.  Then Meego decided to attend the university here, so we have subsequently visited a few more times, and we like the feel here.  Colorado Springs has gotten so sprawled out.

We were planning to downsize anyway, thinking we'd get a smaller house in Colorado Springs, but Magnum was able to arrange to work remotely at his job, so that opened things up for us.  Most of my tuting is online already. 

Anyhoo, here we are, about 100 miles north of where we used to live, fingers crossed that our internet gets humming soon.  I have tutee appointments next week, but more importantly, I've got blogs to read and shows to stream!

I mean, I was fine in a sleeping bag on a pad on the floor with the cat last night, but no internet? 


Monday, December 2, 2019

augers at dawn

The good news is, our fence is in the process of being fixed / replaced.  The bad news is that it came down in the first place.

In our housing development, we all have these crappy wooden fences, as seen in the background of this recent pic from Thanksgiving day:

The fences or portions of them need replacing quite regularly.  We had a big old wind storm on Friday night. Max gusts of about 80 mph.  The entire north length of our fence - the one in the pic - didn't survive.

We share that side of fence with the neighbors to our north.  I went out Saturday morning to assess the carnage and found the neighbor and one of his adolescent kids out there taking down measurements and looking very industrious.

By the end of the day on Saturday, neighbor man and two boys had popped in 4 new posts, and by Sunday, they had a couple more posts and several slats replaced.   It seems they saw the downed fence as a wonderful bonding opportunity.  Well, I'm certainly not one to interfere with a bonding opportunity!  We did provide some cement for the posts, but other than that, they've literally done all the heavy lifting and provided all materials.  We'll cover a good portion of the moolah.

In the meantime, I've been putting up a few fresh coats of paint inside our house, and today, some guys came and installed new carpeting in three bedrooms. 

Paint fumes + new carpet fumes = I'm probably high right now.