Think about this ... "be kinder than necessary because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle"

Sunday, October 31, 2010







Thursday, October 28, 2010

Run Chadly Run

This mommy wonders how on earth this little boy

Grew up to be this wonderful man who is running his first marathon on Sunday

And that marathon has to do with this little boy.

who grew up to be this wonderful man (and the two little boys who turned into fine men have become wonderful friends to each other!!!  Something I often thought I'd never see during those years of punches, kicks, heads bashed into door frames and thrown forks in the middle of the night!)

And the marathon is in Washington DC and is the Marine Corps Marathon and the fine Marine below will be there watching his brother and cheering him on.

I wish we could all be there supporting all the runners, but since we can't we can follow  them on the Marine Corps Marathon website (linked above) and CSN will be reporting live as well (as described below).

Marine Corps Marathon - Official Page Check out the Comcast SportsNet pre-MCM coverage online NOW with new stories added all week:

Don't forget to have friends and supporters tune in race morning when CSN is live from the start from 7-8:30am and then hosting finish line videos on their website.

Good luck Chad, who oh by the way will be having another knee surgery next month!

Monday, October 25, 2010

There is no perfect, but

We've been in two different parts of New Mexico for the last week or so.  This post is about the last campground we were at.  I've always been a firm believer that there is nothing "perfect" in this world - there are things that come darn close to a 10 and this campground is a case in point.  I was so sad to leave here - it's nearly everything I want in a campground, but we couldn't have campfires.  It was quiet, no foolish security lights at night so you can't see the stars and there was wildlife everywhere!

The first morning we were there these guys were walking in the site next to ours when I took Sir out for his/our morning walk.

The morning we were leaving all these antelope were grazing in the meadow just beyond our site.  This is one of the meadows where the deer and the antelope play!

Not only was there a plethora of wildlife, we were surrounded by these beautiful mountains.

Some of which had New England like colors!

Not to mention an outstanding sunset as Sir and I walked to the dumpster one evening!

So where is this loveliness?  It was in Raton, NM (Raton is the northern most town on I 25, just south of Colorado).  We've been staying at a lot of lodges lately, and there was one in Raton but they had no rv parking space or facilities.  Usually when I choose a campground I first decide on a destination somewhere between 150 and 200 miles from where we are leaving (unless there is an area we want to go to for a specific reason).  Then I go to an outstanding website that I swear by. The site is reviews of campgrounds by real honest "campers" - no advertising, no campground owner reviews ~ I rely on  Well the campground I found in the Raton area (and there weren't a lot of choices) was the Whittington Center.  

Strangely enough the Whittington Center is affiliated with the NRA - there are many many shooting ranges on the 33,000 acre property.  Hard to believe with all the deer and the antelope that there are shooting ranges.  I must admit, I was a bit concerned about the noise and just the environment of an NRA facility - it was so huge and spread out that I truly didn't realize the affiliation.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Gather 'round, it's story time

"Let me tell you a story 'bout a man named Jed, Poor mountaineer barely kept his..."   Oh no sorry, that's not the story.

Here's the story of a lovely lady, who was bringing up three very lovely girls..."  Oh darn, that's not the story either.

So here is the long, very detailed, version of what could be a short story, but won't be.

Rick has been wearing his very heavy New England Patriots sweatshirt lately since we've been in areas where it's been below 70 degrees (seems that's when Rick brings out the heavy wear,  but rest assured he is still not wearing socks ~ heck it could be 20 below and he just won't wear them, like when we were in New Hampshire in February 2009 and it's snowing and freezing ~ nope, no socks).  I told you this won't be the short version of the story.

So, wearing Patriots sweatshirts, off we went to Carrabbas (yet another of our favorite restaurants) last week when we were in Colorado Springs.  Rick got up at one point and as he was returning one of the waitstaff (Justin) stopped him and asked him if he was from Boston or something (not sure, cause I wasn't there at that moment, and Rick can't remember the exact conversation).  Rick and Justin continued to converse for a couple minutes and Justin told Rick about a local restaurant that has a Patriots fan club (with 300+ members), where they meet to watch the games etc.

We had originally planned on leaving Colorado Springs last Friday, but when we heard about this group we decided to hang around for a few more days.  It's often an "issue" for us to find places that have the NFL package where we can see the game if we can't get it on our satellite tv ('cause we just can't seem to justify adding the NFL package to our service, to the tune of a few additional hundred dollars a year!)

It's a "standing joke" with Rick and me that more often than not he seems to "find" people along our way who grew up in Weymouth (where he did) ~ Patrick and I love to give him grief about this Weymouth thing.  I just don't get it, Weymouth natives have this sense that there is NO place as wonderful in the world as Weymouth.  Also, when they talk with one another every place they mention is defined by a "square" ~ Jackson Square, Columbian Square or by churches ~ St. Albert's, Immaculate Conception, Sacred Heart or St. whomever.  Naturally when we were leaving the coach to go to meet up with the fan club Rick said, "I bet I'll run into someone from Weymouth".  Well heck, we were at a game in St. Augustine, FL and he runs into someone he went to school with, so it makes "sense" that he'd make that statement.

We get to the restaurant and Justin is arriving just as we are so he points the way for us and we get into the room the fan club has every Sunday.  As soon as we get in there he spots the "president" of said club and introduces us.  The official members (as opposed to us visitors) have name badges that list their hometown, as well as their name.  Well guess what?  Yup, Anne is from Weymouth!  Seriously, I can't make this stuff up you know!  So of course they go through the street lists, the squares and the parishes not to mention do you know this person and that person!!!  I left Rick in his Weymouth world and went off to buy raffle tickets for a game shirt (unbeknownst to me, the drawing isn't for weeks so I ended up giving the tickets to Justin - sure hope he wins that shirt).

Game starts, we make very small talk with the people right behind us .... game continues ~ oh my word what a great game.  Have a few cocktails, a pizza and himself has a few beers..... yadda yadda yadda.

Eventually we start chatting with the people in front of us - the usual "where are you from" etc. and we tell them briefly our story and they tell us theirs.  They tell us they are from Greenfield, MA.  I tell them parents lived in Greenfield and Leyden (a teeny town about 10 miles north or Greenfield and that my Dad grew up in Shelburne - about eight miles from Greenfield.  Come to find out they are really from Shelburne but no one knows Shelburne so it's simpler to just claim Greenfield (as we claim Boston initially in a conversation). We continue talking and I mention that I was just back there as my aunt had just passed away and they mention they'd just returned from the area as well as the gentleman's mother had passed away.  Continue the conversation - they wonder where my aunt had lived ~ come to find out they are very familiar with the house as her (Erika) parents live on the same road and his (Denny) family owns apple orchards further down on the road.  I proceed to tell them that my Grandfather owned apple orchards on the same road as well as orchards in Leyden.

Okay, so now it's my turn and this is a better story than any Weymouth story.  Come to find out Denny and I are related (by marriage).  His Grandmother was the sister of my Grandmother.  He was referring to my Grandfather as "Uncle Roger" (which sounded so so strange to me, and to my Grandmother as Aunt Rose (another weird ism).  

So it's like this ~ my Dad's mom passed away when she was 40 (ish) and my Grandfather remarried Rose.  Gramma Rose was the only paternal grandmother I ever knew hence she was always referred to as our Grandmother.  Too weird this whole things was - I still can't believe it.

Below is a picture Erika took of Denny and Rick and me!  Erika is a professional photographer and with that and the excitement of the day I posed - something I rarely do these days since I've put on all this weight, photo shoots are not enjoyable to say the least!

Rick took the photo below of Erika, Denny, me and Anne (fan club president).

Seriously, top this with a Weymouth story!  Oops, it's gonna happen, I just know he will!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Things around the springs

This post was started Sunday (10/17) morning .... some things take time time time ... 

Colorado Springs that is.  We've been here for just over a week and think (???) we're leaving tomorrow morning (we shall see).  I can't seem to get my bearings here - the city is quite large, larger than most we've been in lately and I just can not seem to get grounded and figure out where and what direction things are from where we are at.  It's been a role reversal of sorts ~ Rick seems to have gotten direction squared away in his head.   

Rick headed off to the Air Force Academy the other day.  Not sure how much of it he saw, he did say it is very spread out.  I'm not even sure how much of it is open to the public.  I know the chapel is considered a "must see" there.  The photo above is the outside of said chapel, below is obviously, the inside.

A random view of the grounds below.

Earlier last week we went to the "Garden of the Gods" ~ another must see.

I think this was another missed opportunity - seems we did not see this beautiful park to its fullest.  Nor did we see the visitor center at all - other than when I went in to get a map.  Sir and Rick waited in the car and it was rather warm that day, so leaving Sir in the car while we toured the center wasn't an option!    I also thought while we were in the area we'd head into Denver (35 or so miles north) - I had wanted to do a tour of the mint - never happened ... not sure at all why this stop just seemed to not even come close to our exploring it to the "fullest", but we failed miserably on this one.

With that said we ARE leaving in the morning - headed to very northern New Mexico - Raton to be precise.  

Stay tuned, however for a couple posts of other things we did do while here in Colorado Springs, including "running into" a very distant cousin of mine (by marriage) yesterday at a local establishment where we watched the Patriots play a great game.  Hopefully I will get to that (or those) post(s) within the next couple days.  I know I've been a bad slacker again - Rick pointed it out to me the other day ... seems that posting has really become a "chore" and obligation lately ~ a mind set I certainly need to get beyond.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Way, way up high where the birdies won't fly ...

Last Friday (October 8) we left Grand Junction (a bit sadly for me - I could have been comfortable there for another couple weeks I think). 

We were traveling along I 70 across the Rockies, so we weren't sure where we'd end up for the night.   I fully expected it would be a rest area along the way ~ something I HATE, because I take Sir out in the morning and I am always concerned about a "safe" location in the "early" hours.  If we didn't have Sir I wouldn't care at all where we spent the night but since we do, I'm a scaredy cat, chicken, whimp!

Along the way we kept passing these cement "buildings" with solar panels on top (photo above) as well as a few of these large buildings with huge fans outside (photo below).  Well since there was no indication along the road what the heck they were I decided to see if our map had any indication what this was all about, and surprisingly there was a notation that this was the Naval Oil Shale Reserve ~ which meant next to nothing to me, but King Richard tried his very best to explain it to me - still not sure I understand getting oil from rocks (sort of like getting blood or money from a stone??) so I guess I will read the link I posted here huh!!!

Another thing we kept passing along the way for miles and miles and miles, were these funny ramp looking things along the way - every 1/2 mile or so on both sides of the road.  The one shown below was along a river/creek, but they were also abutting fields, fences, dirt roads ~ it didn't seem to matter what they abutted.  Any ideas??

Continuing along, chug chug chug, push push push  up the mountains we went, I was surprised and delighted that "Bessie" just went along, a bit slower than normal, up those mountains!

Off in the distance we saw these snow covered mountains, beyond the golden aspen hillsides.  I did say to Rick at one point, "look over there, we are going into a snow storm".

It's probably best that I don't go into details regarding how I think my comments are received ~ it's the male/female thing, you know someones from Venus, someones from Mars!!  Yada yada yada ...

Well son of a gun .... there we were at 10,000+ feet and guess what!

nastiness!  Nothing major but a snow storm complete with wind and blowing snow and cold cold cold!  Just like we remembered from days gone by!  But yup, we got through this one too.

Eventually we came upon Dillon Lake, outstandingly beautiful Dillon Lake.  What a marvelous place for the State of Colorado to put a scenic view stop!

Eventually we came to the "high point" (pun certainly intended) of that days travel - the Eisenhower (west bound) and Johnson (east bound) tunnels.  They're only at an elevation of 11, 158 feet, seriously, what's the big deal!

On we went for a total of 310 miles that day to end up at the Elks Lodge in Colorado Springs, loving the view of Pikes Peak and its 14,000 foot elevation.  We'll be here for a week at least, talking about trying to get tickets to a Broncos game on Sunday ~ we shall see.  In the meantime we've come up with a plan for where we're headed.  Stay tuned ..

Sunday, October 10, 2010

oh happy day....

When my sister was born

My older sister, who knows (in spite of what our Dad told us) that in fact life IS a circus ~ thankfully, she knows it!

Happy birthday Candy 

Friday, October 8, 2010

no no no

words needed ... stay tuned for details of our journey (all 310 miles to an elevation of 11,815) today, himself the King is rather worn out, himself Sir is chewing on a baseball and herself (hmmm why don't I have a "title" oh never mind, I dont want one) yeah herself is doing a brief post - few words needed.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Such a Grand Day

Seriously, we were at the top of the world weren't we?  It sure as heck felt it!  No we weren't hiking you silly readers, but for those into hiking this would have been an awesome area for such an activity (Kim and John you two would love love love it here - hiking and kayaking on quiet lakes etc.)

A peaceful lake in the "middle of nowhere" somewhere in the Grand Mesa National Forest

On Tuesday (I think) we headed out to see Grand Mesa and the  Grand Mesa National Forest.  Several people in the area recommended we see it so with a lot of time on our hands (we've been waiting for our mail to arrive from our "wonderful" mail forwarding service) so we decided to "just do it".  So off we headed, bottles of water, Trader Joe "everything crackers" (oh how I miss Trader Joe's, not to mention TJ two buck Chuck ~ hmmmm that could be a topic of a post - the things (stores) I miss while traveling the country, trust me there are a few) 

seriously, wouldn't you just love to stay in one of those cabins on the distant shore?

the mandatory shot of Sir Arlo in a body of water with a tennis ball, wishing his best pal Casey was there to play with him!

So many peaceful water spots along the way.  The little water fall was part of an entire hill side with water falling down it and of course there were several pictures of Sir Arlo taken while laying in the water but I've spared you and narrowed it down to one photo of Sir and water and a tennis ball!

Aren't these aspens beautiful.  The hills (mountains) are just golden with them, but I do believe, as gorgeous as these Colorado mountains are, New England is gorgeouser (!!), more colorful ~ New England has reds, greens and yellows ~ not such elevations as here in Colorado, but much more color!

Am I a total nut case, or are the shadows of the clouds on these mountainsides just outstanding?

The higher the elevation the less aspen trees there were, it just seemed to be evergreens (not a bad thing, just an observation) and way way off in the distance of the photo below are the Rocky Mountains (not sure the photo can be enlarged enough to see them, but stay tuned, there will be closer photos)

The final photo today is what I thought was the most gorgeous aspen grove in full bloom.  I just wanted to walk and shuffle along in the leaves, even rake them up and jump in the pile and pretend I was a child back in Bennington, VT enjoying a fall day.  I did make apple crisp the other night, but it's just a bit too warm in these parts for it to really "fit".  

With all that said, we are leaving here tomorrow (much to my dismay) and headed east towards, but perhaps not right into, Denver.  Rick searched out the weather where we're headed (which he always does, just because..) and it is going to be in the low 60's upper 50's during the day and as low as 32 at night ... on top of that, I have no clue where we are going to be - ummmm the rest area between exit 180 and 200?!?!?!   There are NO campgrounds along I70 where we'll be traveling and I guess there was an issue staying at the Elks Lodge in Silverthorne where Rick called today.  Could be an interesting couple days!