Wednesday, July 13, 2011

An Abrupt Ending

Crawfordville, FL

Just want to do a quick wrap up on the trip. Yes, we are still supposed to be on the road but family matters intervened and we had to make a beeline for home.

On Tuesday, July 5, Shelley's Dad had a tumble at home and by Thursday July 7 he was in so much pain he could not get out of bed so he was off to the hospital. We were still in Colorado but luckily Shelley's brother Tom was in Florida so he immediately headed for Tallahassee to be with Dad.

We hit the road Thursday mid-morning and arrived home on Saturday. As it turned out Dad's pain was caused by gout that was totally out of control but the fall caused him to break his elbow. So – Dad was in the hospital until Monday, July 11 and is now spending a few days in a rehab hospital. His spirits are great and his pain is under control and we think he will get the splint off of his arm on Friday and start rehab on it then.

The very worse thing about coming home has been the humidity – unbearable. Actually the worst thing is the fact that all the flower beds are overflowing with waist high weeds (I cannot even see the azalea bushes) and I have to go out and work in the humidity. For example – as I write this – sitting INSIDE in the nice air conditioned house – it is 94 degrees outside but with the humidity the heat index is 111. Yesterday while pulling weeds I saw a snake – black snake I think – I hope... That was the end of weed pulling for a day or 2. Maybe with the dogs back (we have our 2 and Dad's 2) the snake will leave.

Until next time – Happy Trails

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Independence Day, 2011

Cañon City, Colorado
We are “camped” in the driveway of Shelley's Aunt Ann. Aunt Ann is Shelley's Dad's older sister. We had a wonderful Independence Day cookout attended by: from Cañon City: Aunt Ann, her daughter Deanna, Deanna's partner Bill (the grill master) and their daughter Katie; Aunt Ann's daughter Candice and her daughter Darlene. Aunt Ann's son Art, his wife Honey and their daughters Ciara and Savanna. From Oklahoma City: Aunt Ann's niece DeAnn and her friend Becky. From Bellevue, WA: Aunt Ann's Daughter Cheryl and her granddaughter Michaela; From Crawfordville, FL: Shelley, Monte, Chief and Casey. And if I've left anyone out – my apologies.

We laughed, ate, laughed, drank, laughed some more and in general had a wonderful time.

Life is Very Good Indeed!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Colorado Week 2

More Time With Friends and Family

What a great (almost) week. Except for one incident this was a fun week. On Monday we moved from Greeley to the driveway of Barbie and Chris Hallstrom's home in Centennial, CO. Shelley and Barbie have known each other since childhood – actually infanthood back in Oklahoma City.

On Tuesday Barbie and Chris' air conditioner was on on the blink so while Monte stayed at the house to be Chris' assistant in helping to fix the A/C – Shelley went to downtown Denver to meet nephew James for lunch. James is the son of Shelley's brother Tom. James works for IPCommerce in the heart of downtown Denver. James claimed to know of a very good BBQ place within walking distance of his office and since we are both lovers of Q, that is where we went for lunch. I was very skeptical that BBQ in downtown Denver in a restaurant that is below ground level could be good but much to my delight – the pulled pork sandwiches topped with coleslaw were excellent – great smoked flavor. We had a short but great visit and it was nice to see that James is doing so well. Unfortunately, I forgot to drag out the here is a slightly dated photo of he and I.

Remember last week when we were in Greeley with Art Richardson? Well, his oldest daughter Heather lives in Denver and has an 18 month old yellow lab whose name is Oly. Heather is Shelley's first cousin once removed. So, later that same afternoon while Chris and Monte labored on the A/C and Barbie was hard at work in her basement office, Shelley and Chief (no, Casey did not get to go) headed off to the dog park to meet Heather and Oly. We had a great time. The dogs got to know each other and a bunch of other dogs and Heather introduced me to her friend Ricky. The highlight was when a great dane drooled all over Oly who immediately rolled in the dirt and then ran under the picnic table to wipe the slime and dirt all over me. Dogs – gotta love 'em. By the way – Oly is named for Heather's favorite camera an Olympus. And if you are ever in need of a photographer in the Denver area please check this link: Heather Richardson Photography

Next up was Wednesday morning – bright and early – like 6:15 early Barbie and Shelley were off to the airport to pick up Barbie's mom, Jerry. Jerry was Shelley's Mom's best buddy for many many many metric years and it is always a joy to get to spend time with her. The rest of Wednesday was pretty quiet. Barbie and Shelley ran to Best Buy and Barbie bought a Roku Box so Shelley spent some time hooking that up and then while everyone else worked, Shelley and Jerry watched the series The State Within on Netflix. If you have never seen it – I highly recommend it.
Thursday was our day to really play. And by play I mean gamble. We headed west to Black Hawk, CO where there are many many casinos. Barbie and Jerry played blackjack while Monte and Shelley played the penny slots. Shelley was the only loser on the day and Barbie was the big winner. We all had fun – just some had more fun than others...

Friday morning rolled around and when Shelley went in the house for coffee she noticed that Jeremy's (Barbie's son) car door was ajar. So when Jeremy came in for coffee she told him and he checked the car and said everything was okay. Shelley figured that he just had not shut it hard enough the night before. A little while later Jerry wanted to make a quick run to the outlet mall so Shelley went out to her car to set up the GPS and – you guessed it – the car door was not shut tight. Items missing were the Tomtom GPS with its cords and mount, the iPhone charging cords and in inverter. The one night we forget to lock the car and – some crappy little thief has to target the neighborhood. Live and learn!  Maybe I should be happy that the car was unlocked therefore the window was not smashed in.

Other than the sniveling, thieving, criminals in Colorado – we are still having a great time and are headed for Canon City, CO for more family time. (Canon is pronounced Canyon but I don't know how to put a ~ over the n).