Saturday, December 15, 2012

Before and After

We have done a few projects in the condo.  Of course, it will never end.  But it does feel good to get these few things done. 

 This screen door going from porch to patio.  It was a pain.  Opened to the patio and if anyone was sitting there it would be difficult to get around them to get into the door.  Also hard if you were coming out with drinks or food.  Always using my elbow to open that darn door.
 This is from the inside of porch looking out onto patio.  Did not like the bars going across that door either.
 And here is the after.  We got retractable screen doors. Retractable means that the screens disappear into the housing on either side.  Part of the wall was taken out so it is more open.  This picture shows one screen closed and one open.
 Both screens opened and disappeared  It is so nice to be able to just walk in and out without struggling with the stupid door.
 Both screens closed.  We will have to be careful not to walk through them because they are hard to see when closed.
 Old microwave.  I am sure it is original to the condo which was built in 1992.  Still worked but it sure did moan and groan. 
And it got replaced with a white, new one. 

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Parade -- December 6, 2012

Want to get this posted before this computer decides to act up again. 

Community Parade was held here at Sunland Village East.  Used to be called the Golf Cart Parade but the organizers felt that limited it.  They wanted to see walkers, bikers, floats, etc...  I still call it the Golf Cart Parade.

This is the third year that I have participated.  Tape Dance group (The Sunsationals) decorate golf carts with pink which is our signature color.  I think we make quite a showing because we all wear pink sweatshirts and pink Santa hats.  It is really a lot of fun.  Pudge is a spectator and sets up camp with neighbors and friends in our driveway as the parade goes right by.  Chairs and tables are brought out along with the fire pot.  Hot toddies are made and even though I am not there it sure looks like fun.  Wish I would have gotten a picture of it.   Hard to do though when I am driving the golf cart and waving and keeping track of my passengers as they are hopping on and off greeting people they know.  The problem with being in the parade is you do not get to see the parade.

I thought it was bigger this year than last.  More golf carts, a couple of floats, a high school marching band.

Here's Minnie (my golf cart) in the lineup for the parade.  Notice the hood ornament- pink bear with tap shoes. 
 Linda and Darlene waiting for dark.  I may have said this before but I'm going to say it again.  It amazes me how punctual everyone is around here.  We were told to be at this meeting place at 4:45 pm.  I got there at 4:45 pm and was absolutely the last one to arrive. 
 Jan in her new golf cart.
 Glenda and Mary Lynn
 Nancy, Vicki and Mary Jean.  Vickie borrowed this cart from her neighbors.
 Gloria and Jim.  They got a new golf cart this year and participated in the parade with their street.  I wish I would have gotten a picture of their golf cart.  Jim looks like he belongs in the Appalachian Mountains.  This is about as crazy as I have seen Gloria get.
 The parade takes a little less than an hour and then there is a program in auditorium.  They wanted us to do a dance but there was no way we could.  We are just working so very hard on the revue that will be in March that we had to refuse.  However, we did do an activity that involved getting the audience to sing the 12 Days of Christmas.  We had to make posters to prompt them.  It was a contest at who could get their group to sing the loudest.  I had 7 Swans a'Swimmin.  My group did not do too well.  Although at one time the tuba players joined in which sounded really good.  It was fun.  This is Darlene and Linda with their posters.  Linda's is a work of art.  Mine looked pitiful next to hers.
 High school band that marched in parade and then performed a few songs in the auditorium.
 Here we are holding our posters.  Too bad that 11 and 12 got cut out.
 Minnie in all her glory. 
 Me and Minnie
 Mary Jean's cart all lit up.  Parade started at 5:30.  It was just starting to get dusk.  Once the sun starts going down it doesn't take long.  The evening was gorgeous.  Almost too warm for the sweatshirts and hats we had on.  We didn't dare take hats off.  Hat hair is not becoming.
It is a tradition that before the parade starts we toast with a blackberry brandy.  Ick--it tastes like Nyquil.  I made a thermos of peppermint patties and that is what I drank. 

It was a great experience.  The streets were lined with people who seemed thrilled to see us.  It was so much fun to be able to wish every one a Merry Christmas. 

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Part Two Of Our Journey - Oct. 2012

I was relieved to get at the bottom of Pikes Peak.  Although, coming down did not seem as bad.  We drove just a few miles and came across "The North Pole"  Big sign displayed that anyone over 60 was free.  I talked Pudge into going in.  It was an amusement park and I thought it was really fun.  And I might add just what I needed after the harrowing ride.  We spent about an hour there.  
 We rode the little train around the theme park.  It was fun.
 Elmer the Elf.  He was adorable and sang a really cute song.
 Merry Go Round had reindeer. 
 I cannot tell you how pretty the aspen trees were.  They had both of us gasping.  So brilliant and gorgeous and so many.  I had to get a few branches.  Enjoyed them for about a week before they started falling apart.  Pictures cannot capture their beauty. 
 After taking off from "The North Pole" we found ourselves on this rustic road.  It was not paved.  It was 23 miles and took us 2 1/2 hours.  But it was so very picturesque.  No high mountains but a few canyons that were awesome.  The day was gorgeous making everything so much more spectacular. 
 Tried to get the beauty of these trees but pictures do not do it justice.  We are on our way to Cripple Creek, Colorado.  When we got to that town it was all casinos.  We got $10.00 worth of quarters to put in the slots.  And guess what!!!!  We walked out with $50.00.  That made it fun.
 After going through many mining towns we found ourselves in Florence, Colorado where we got a motel.  Found out they were having a "Kick Butt Barbecue Festival."  We decided to go there for our dinner.  It was different and fun.  There were chili and rib contests.  Different vendors selling their famous Barbecue whatever.  I had brisket and Pudge had rib eye. 

 Then we sat down at a picnic table and listened to the live music.
 This is in Taos, New Mexico.  Tried to find a picnic grounds to have lunch.  No success so we pulled over and fixed up the back with our picnic.  After we were done we went down the road toward the town and there was a beautiful picnic grounds.  Oh well--I didn't mind our tail gating.
 Taos, New Mexico.  Really liked this town.  Very artsy and unique.  The streets were so charming.  The shops were unusual and very neat.  After sightseeing around the town we went to Taos Pueblo.  This is where the Indians still live in very primitive conditions.  No pictures were allowed unless you paid an extra $6.00.  I wish I would have done that but I didn't.  The natives were selling some of their jewelry or other things.  Women were selling bread that they made in their ovens.  No electricity or plumbing.  It was fascinating.  I would recommend this to anyone. 

 Love the hanging chili peppers.  You can buy these and use them.  
 Albuquerque, New Mexico.  Known for their hot air balloons.  We saw about 14 in the air.  We went to the field and saw a few of them land.
 Hot air balloon museum.  This was fascinating.  And this was free because we were there at 9 am on Sunday. 
 Pudge in the basket of a balloon.
 Vendors on the sidewalk in Old Town, Albuquerque.  They spread their blankets with all their goods.
This picture is out of sequence.  Not sure how that happened.  This was "North Pole."  We rode this sky ride.  You can see the train down below. 

On Sunday evening we got a motel in Show Low, AZ. which is about 2 1/2 hours from Mesa.  It made for a short trip the next day.  We got to the condo about 10:30 which was perfect.  Unpacked and started in getting ourselves settled.  It was so good to see our neighbors, the blue sky, the warm sunshine, the airplanes flying over, our friends, Minnie (golf cart)  and many other things.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

On The Way To Our Winter Home-Oct. 2012

First thing--Pudge's finger is healing very well.  You can tell he lost part of it.  It sure was ugly before and after the surgery. 

I should have done this earlier when I could remember more of the details.  I wanted to but it just never worked out.  Now I am struggling to remember some of the stuff.  I will do my best.  I could get out receipts and literature that I gathered about the places we visited but I not going to.  I am just going to try my best. 

We tend to stay off freeways.  Makes for traveling so much more interesting.  I think out of the whole trip we were only on a freeway for about 100 miles of the approx. 2000 that we traveled.

 This is southern Minnesota.  I love pumpkin patches.  I was amazed at how big this one was. 
 Crazy Horse Monument.  Not completed.  They said that it will take about 30 more years.  We went into the museum, watched a film and then took a van to get very close to it.  It was cold and windy.  I did enjoy this very much.  The wind was so bad going through the Black Hills and Custer that when you opened a door it about went right off its hinges.  Could hardly breathe when you were walking into it.  It was incredible.
 Our view out our motel window.  This was in Estes Park, Colorado.  Really like this town.  It is right at the entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park.  We were able to go into the park just a little way because they close it down early Oct. and it does not open again until May.  Elk were wandering around on the golf course in the town.  We really did a good job exploring this town and the outskirts.  It was a lovely fall day so it made everything very enjoyable.
 Late afternoon was when we went into the park.  A herd of elk came out of the woods and walked right in front and along side of us for awhile.  It was really neat.  I found it fascinating that it was about 17 females and 1 male.  I understand that they have harems during breeding season.  There was a younger male that tried to join but the bigger one would always run him off by charging at him.  It was really neat to watch this.
 This was a cliff dwelling on the way to Pikes Peak.  Cannot remember the name.  We had explored cliff dwellings in Mesa Verde Park last spring on our way back to MN.  These were similar but not quite as elaborate.  I could not help but think -- "how did they keep their toddlers out of danger living on these cliffs." 
 Have to climb ladders to get to some of the dwellings.  I liked this.  Something different.  This one wasn't nearly as good as Mesa Verde.  I am really intrigued by this and how they lived.  The museum would go into it but everything is really just a theory.  They do not know for sure.  They can only make an educated guess. 
 Here are the cliff dwellings from the parking lot. 
 At the top of Pikes Peak.  This is a plaque with the song "America the Beautiful."  This is what inspired the composer to write it.  Now I need to say that I am glad I went to the top but I have no desire to do it again.  It was so darn scary.  I had white knuckles and tears in my eyes as we climbed.  I was leaning very much away from the edge.  So frightened was I that I started to hyperventilate.  Then when you get to the top it was so windy and cold that you could not even walk around.  We did the gift shop and looked out the windows.  Both of us were light headed and could sure feel it.  It did not seem all that pretty to me.  I have seen a lot more awesome sights than this.  My thoughts then and now--"Why would anyone want to mountain climb?'  I read Into Thin Air.  Nothing about that sport is appealing.  And I just got a very small taste of it.  I thought what I did was grueling, frightening, and did not feel good.  I know I will never understand why people would want to do that.  BTW-the drive up there did not bother Pudge at all.  He likes mountain driving.  Not me.  On little slip of our tire on those edges and we would have been history.  I can still feel it as I write this.
This is the train that people can take to get to the top.  I considered taking it down.  It was not nearly as scary going down as it was going up. 

Okay--this documenting of our journey will have to be continued in another blog. 

Friday, October 12, 2012

Beginning of Summer, 2012

Once again I am giving this way too much thought and just need to stop thinking and blog.  I am going to try to put pictures in some kind of order but cannot guarantee this program will do it so this could be all over. 

 Fathers Day at Bryan's house.  Pudge with the 4 grandchildren--Travis, Anna, Abby and Jamie.
 Bryan with his beloved dog, Casey.  She is a very crabby, needy dog but she loves Bryan and he loves her (most of the time,)  She does not like me.  She will tolerate me when there is no one else around.  Casey is getting old (14) and has had some serious issues.  Not sure how much longer she will be around.
 Kitchen in Mom's basement is done.  The only thing that is not here is the microwave.  We have since gotten one and installed it over the stove.  I really like this kitchen. We bit the bullet and got granite counters and I am not sorry one bit. The cupboard to the left was Mom's.  I am going to use it for a pantry.  Fits perfect in the niche.  Looks very different from the before kitchen.  The basement apartment is 97% done.  We will be moving in there once house is sold.  There is very little furniture because we want to move our stuff down there.  I do need to take some pictures of the rest of it.  I think I have some during the "fix up."  Maybe someday I will get those posted.
 In June I spent 9 days at Kari and Charlie's watching the kids.  K & C went to the Olympic track trials.  Jamie and Travis building a sand castle.   
 Jamie making a Welcome Home sign for her parents.
 We also went to the Minnesota Zoo.  Bears were really active.  The whole time I was there the weather was hot and their air conditioning was not working properly.  Made for an interesting time there.  Especially at night with the bedrooms being upstairs.  But we managed.
 End of June--Suzette Heinz came from Illinois to visit.  She was a dear friend of my mom's and one of the things she wanted to do was go to the cemetery.  We picked up Gemma and bought some wine.  We are here at the grave toasting mom with a glass of wine while Gemma sang one of Mom's favorite tunes "A Jug 'A Punch."  It was memorable.  Mom would have loved it.

 Beginning of June--Anna's dance recital.  Here I am with my two beautiful granddaughters--Anna and Abby.  These two look so much alike that I have to do a double take to try to determine who is who.  Usually Anna's wears her hair just like Abby's.   Both of these girls make me so proud and happy.  Anybody who is a grandma knows what a thrill it is.  Just in case anybody is wondering Anna is 14 and Abby is 16.  Not sure how that happened.  Seems like day before yesterday they were playing with my American Girl dolls and having tea parties with me.
 Bryan, Jane, Anna, and Abby
 One of our civic duties for the summer.  Neighbor kids and I painted fire hydrants around Willernie.  Leekie, Amber, MyMy, Zoey and Aaron.
 KOA (Keep Old Active) club met at Judy's farm.  We had sand pail lunches that Judy put together.  It is always so much fun with these people.
And Mom's stone is finally in place.  We picked it out shortly after we returned from AZ.  I wanted to do it before we left but that did not happen. Kind of struggled picking it out.  At first I thought I wanted it to match Dad's.  But then it looked so masculine.  So we decided on this realizing that it didn't matter if it didn't match.  And besides anyone that knew my parents knew that they were two very different people.  So it was fitting in my eyes.  And I do like the humming birds because she so enjoyed them in AZ.