Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry WHITE Christmas!

Hope everyone is having a very Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

First day of Winter

Even though today is the first official day of Winter, it feels as if we've been in the season for weeks now! So far, so good. The shovel, walk, ski, cook & repeat mode is suiting us just fine.

We are also enjoying the wonders of nature. Yesterday morning, a herd of elk came for a visit just up the street from our house on the moutnain ledge. It was truly a spectacular site!

In unrelated news, our granddaughter Roxanne turned one this past Friday, and her daddy Justin turns 27 tomorrow. Happy Birthday to two true sweethearts!

I am off to scour online recipes to come up for a special Christmas menu for Jim. There's no "Honey Baked Ham" store here, so it's a good thing I love to cook!

Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Just not translating

Trying to snap some shots to show everything snow. But I don't think the beauty and the sheer volume is translating in any of the shots I've taken! You can't see the mountains, let alone more than 15 yards in front of you, and the powder is fresh, dry and everywhere It will be even prettier when the sun comes out and you can see the snow in the mountains. I'll have to get some more shots then.

It's actually not that cold if you are bundled for it, though skiing in this is challenging for us intermediate skiers. Just such a different existence from what we been used to all of our lives!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

A Snowstorm of EPIC proportions!

So it can always be hit or miss with these forecasted snowstorms and winter storm warnings, but this seems like the real deal... The National Weather Service has issued a Winter Storm Warning for Telluride with predictions of 1 to 3 FEET of snow between now and Sunday night. Then there's a Winter Storm Watch for Monday and Tuesday with predictions of another 1 to 2 feet of snow.

We will be shoveling fools and then hopefully ski in some serious powder next week. Not planning on venturing out Sunday as the high is in the teens and the low is -3 degrees, and it's 100% chance of heavy snow! Believe it or not, we still have more than 300 days of sunshine a year here in sweet Telluride. And not to worry, we are laughing through all of this. We have chili, books, beer & wine, and a ton of food. It's all good!

Monday, December 8, 2008

No photo, but digitized in my brain

Just returned from a harrowing drive from Grand Junction: 3 1/2 hours, blinding-white-out-crazy-ass snow storm on top of nearly a foot of snow that had already fallen. Ridiculous way to break in us Southerners to this driving in the snow business. Our wiper blades were already malfunctioning. Add to that that they were collecting ice, so visibility was zero, seriously, zero for about 2 hours. We could not pull over for a number of reasons -- a) we could not see, b) we did not know what we were pulling over into, and c) we just couldn't do it! Going 20mph felt too fast, but also made for a long, trechorous drive.

We certainly expect to drive in snow living in Colorado, but this particular storm, with malfunctioning wiper blades, at night, truly stunk, to put it mildly.

Jim is my hero as I am sitting here alive typing this blog thanks to his safe driving.

Friday, December 5, 2008

A Wonderful Visit!

Jim and I just returned from a really nice two week visit to Atlanta to visit our families. Lots of laughs, hugs and kisses, and a ton of food! We left with great memories and lots of great photos to remember them. Above is our granddaughter Mary Ansley, who recently turned 3 years old. She loves to swing, play dolls and watch cartoons.

Below is Jim with daughter Kaitlin (19) and Mary Ansley. Kaitlin is in her sophomore year at GA Perimeter College and hopes to transfer to Georgia State next fall.

Our other little babydoll granddaughter is Roxanne, who turns one in two weeks. Below, is Jim's son Justin, his wife Adriane, and Roxanne. She is simply precious and full of personality!

Roxanne thinks Grandpa's nose is a toy.

We stayed with my family at the house I grew up in. Always a pleasure to have family get togethers at Mom & Dad's. They are even more special now that we live so far away.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

We are off to an early start to our Thanksgiving holiday. We leave tomorrow for the ATL to have a two week visit with our families. Can't wait. Not likely to post a blog unless so inspired to do so at the same time I happen to have access to a computer!

We wish everyone the best for safe travels, happy family time, and certainly the best, big, fat, juicy and yummy TURKEY ever!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The 3am Barking Dog

So last night we were both sound asleep when at a little past 3am, we were awakened by a dog barking up the street. The dog seemed to be in distress, like it wanted to get inside his house. What a strange sound he made -- like a combo bark and yelp all in one.

Jim and I laid in bed discussing our options. It was 20 degrees outside and the poor pup needed help. Certainly one of the neighbors would recognize the bark and help the dog. Thirty more minutes of non-stop barking. We can't exactly bring the dog into our house with our two dogs. Twenty more minutes of non-stop barking. Should we call the Marshall's office? Well that required one of us to go downstairs and look the number up in the phone book. And someone who lives closer to the dog surely has or would call.

The barking finally stopped a little after 4am.

This morning after our hike I ran into one of our neighbors. I asked him if he heard that poor dog last night. He laughed and said, "Oh, you mean the COYOTE?!!!"

Yup it was a coyote out here in the wild, wild West!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

First real snow storm of the year!

Photo above was taken this morning around 10am, across the street from our house on the river trail. It was about 15 degrees ("feels like" 5 degrees). Another foot of snow would fall before dark.

This photo is of a very happy Jim, and even happier dogs. If I were more tech savy and motivated, I would have taken and posted video of them sprinting, skidding and frolicking in the snow.

Tired pups after a four mile hike in the snow!
So Jim was a real trooper and shoveled this morning, but you know, you can't tell anymore. We got a real dumping. Even the long time locals were talking about what a big first storm we were having. But we perservered -- hiked, did errands and then we reflected on the incredible wonders of nature and the true beauty of these mountains. A really great, beautiful day.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Celebrating OBAMA and this historical moment!

Election Night SNOW

Our backyard at 7pm MT, 9pm ET -- snowing like a madman. Weather forecast showing a minimum of 6 inches and as much as 12 inches from this front. "Feels like" not supposed to go past 13 degrees tomorrow. Hmmmm.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Happy Birthday Dad!

My dad and best PAL EVER turned 7* today. He said he didn't do anything "special" for his birthday, but trust me, he's one of the most "special" men in the world.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

A really BIG hike

Today Jim and I hiked from our house to Tomboy Mine, a long 3,300 foot elevation gain UP. Now we forgot our camera, so I've attached a photo Jim took last week when he did this same hike with a friend. It was snowing during his hike, but when we went today, that snow was nearly all melted.

Tomboy, a once robust mining community in the late 1890s, still has a lot of mining and housing ruins left, and you can almost feel at least some of the energy that was once there. It took us two hours to get there, all up hill. My almonds tasted really, really good at the top.

The weather was incredible, and really has been all of October (with the exception of one day!). Perfect sunny skies, no humidity, and cool, crisp air. We are still able to hike in shorts as long as we leave around 10am after the sun has had a chance to warm things up.

So back to our hike. After we started to head back down, the laces on my fancy Salomon shoes busted, so it was nearly two hours walking 5 plus miles down in what felt like a slipper. Not good, as my step-son Justin likes to say.

But it was a great accomplishment -- a nearly four hour hike, longer than any hike I've done in more than two years. Of course Jim regularly hikes this distance, but it kind of kicked his butt, too.

Oh, and my PBJ tasted really, really good when I was done.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

SNOW Part 2

We officially got snow here at the house (as opposed to just at the higher elevations) for the first time this season. It's a mere dusting, but would be enough to close the schools down back in Charlotte or Atlanta! It was actually a big storm that started yesterday -- a ton of rain and ice with very strong winds and thunder. Overnight the wind was so strong it felt like a tornado was moving through! Anyway, it's now sunny and 28 degrees, and I'm sure the dusting will be gone shortly, though we're expecting more snow later today and over the next couple of days before it warms back up. We'll be heading out shortly for a long walk with the dogs. They absolutely love this weather. It somehow energizes them to play and run even harder.

On an unrelated note, we had a very productive trip to Grand Junction this past week. We did some major grocery shopping and have filled both of our refrigerators and freezers and have an assortment of all kinds of stuff neatly stored in the basement. It looks like Costco in here, really. But you know we are really going through some food. We hardly ever eat out, so with three meals a day, everyday, we're cranking through the stuff. It's different from when we lived in Charlotte with Jim working and eating out more. Fortunately, I an enjoying cooking and Jim enjoys eating, so "it's all good!"

Sunday, October 5, 2008


We did in fact get snow, but it was at higher elevations than our house. It made this morning's hike so different than what I am used to from the summer months. On the way back down the mountain, it started raining with little bits of ice and snow. The dogs were wet and muddy but happy. I was cold and couldn't stop thinking about a warm shower! Much of the day there was cold rain, which will show up again as snow in the surrounding mountains, but a little while ago it turned super sunny and gorgeous.

Friday, October 3, 2008

This is a test, this is only a test

Over the next three days we are expecting some interesting weather. Highs only in the upper 30s/low 40s and lows in the 20s with wintry mix of rain and snow all weekend. This ought to test our ability to walk the dogs and continue our enthusiasm around not driving the car unless truly necessary. But at last, it's only a test since after this front, we are expecting the beautiful Fall weather to return with lots of sun and the highs back in the 50s!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Ah, Facebook

Well I'm on, and I'm hooked. I'm embarrassed to say I spent nearly 5 hours "chatting" with more than a dozen old pals from my CNN days. Folks have moved, married, had kids, started a business, and more. We were all a bunch of kids when we started together in the 80s, and we grew up together at that place. It took me back, way back. Seems like a different life.

Anyway, you can now find me on Facebook (under my name), and I must admit, it's a little more fun than blogging.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Bear Creek Basin

I don't know how much longer until the leaves fall, so I snapped this photo of Bear Creek from the river trail across the street from our house. I think I'll snap the same view as the seasons change; it'll be something when we get hit hard with the snow!

If you look in the middle of the photo where the mountains meet, that's Bear Creek, and behind the falls, Bear Creek Basin. Tuesday we hiked up to the Nellie Mine (historic remnants of mining efforts from the late 1800s) into the basin. Two hours uphill was quite an effort, but well worth it. It's hard to believe what kind of conditions the miners worked in and the physical labor they endured. Here are some photos from Nellie Mine.

We've been hiking everyday now for awhile, and I think I am enjoying it more than ever. But still not as much as Boomer and Riley.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Last day of Summer

It doesn't make much sense that Fall is just starting tomorrow. It's been Fall-like here for over a month now, and the leaves started changing last week. The color on the mountains is amazing and should only get even more colorful before the leaves fall. 

This morning Jim and I went on a long walk out the river trail with the dogs. When we started, I was in four layers, the last being a rain jacket since it was sort of drizzling and very threatening when we left. Over the next two hours, I was in every combination of those layers since the weather seemed to change oh, about every 10-15 minutes. At the end of the walk, it was just a t-shirt and shorts, and a lot to carry. 

We are in the process of digging out the winter clothes and putting up the summer wear. Each of us has a few must haves for winter, but all-in-all not a lot of winter clothes. We'll have to live through the season here to know what we're missing rather than just guess. We've already had some snowfall up in the mountains, and the dusting on the peaks is quite beautiful. I am not, however, ready for it to really snows here on E. Colorado Ave.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A GREAT week!

It's the last day of our week-long visit with my folks here in Telluride. Not only did they survive staying in the Igloo, but (they claim) they were comfortable and slept well. We all had a lot of fun together hiking, enjoying great meals, watching sports, and enjoying each others company.

The photo above is David and Ronnie at the start of a hike we did through Wilson Meadows, a beautiful area about a 20 minute drive from our house. I think I must have good genes because these guys are strong hikers! In fact this morning, my dad hiked up Bear Creek in a little over an hour, which is more like the time of a person 20-30 years younger. 

Tonight we will enjoy one last dinner out after a string of fun dinners at home. We're going to Cosmo's which is the favorite to all of us. Then tomorrow we'll be off to Montrose to drop them off at the airport, stock up on some groceries and then it's back to the ranch. 

I am working Thursday and Friday at this cute little pet store called Mountain Tails up the street. My friend Jen owns it, and she just lost some of her help and wants to be able to go on a planned vacation. It'll be fun, and I'll earn some extra cash, which is always nice, especially these days.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Igloo

Tomorrow my parents (Ronnie & David) arrive from Atlanta for a weeklong visit. I am fortunate that Jim really gets along with them and is actually excited about them coming. It would be a bit difficult to spend a week with the Rents/In-laws in this little house if we weren't all cool with each other! 

Now I must confess that they are staying down in our basement, some may call it a dungeon --  or as we affectionately call it, "The Igloo." You see a year or so ago our dear friends Melanie and Bill found themselves temporary residents of our basement while their new house was under construction. It was so darn cold down there, even though it was summer, that Bill started calling it the Igloo -- and then just "The Gloo." That sounded better than "the basement," or "dungeon," especially for house guests, so it stuck. 

We've made a few improvements down there over the years, but it's still quite "campy." The bed consists of a queen mattress (no boxspring since we can't physically move it down there) sitting on top of a wood platform a few inches off the floor. When we first got the house 8 years ago, that platform was suspended by chains a short distance from the ceiling thus making the climb in and out of bed a bit of a challenge. Ronnie and David politely suggested cutting the chains, and we did. 

My dad is crazy enough that he likes to sleep in freezing temps, and I do mean freezing. We think Mom may make her way out of the Gloo and onto the sofa at some point. It's that or a hotel.  

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Could be a football widow

As many of you know, I really enjoy watching football. College football (especially the SEC) and the NFL, I just love the game. The thing is, Jim loves football much more. And now that we are on Mountain Time, this makes all day and evening viewing a lot easier. No staying up until midnight for that last game. In fact, all the pre-game action starts around 10am, so we conceivably can do a 12-hour deal for two days straight. This evening we are watching our third NFL game. Not sure how many Sundays I will have interest in doing this, especially since Tom Brady is injured. Like I said, there's a good chance I could become a football widow. 

Friday, September 5, 2008

On a roll

Can't even count how many days in a row it's been just downright gorgeous weather here in Telluride... highs in the upper 60s, not a cloud in the sky, cool, crisp air and just enough wind to cool us off while we hike.  The lows are getting down to in the 30s at night, so first thing in the morning it's a bit nippy, but we are still able to hike in shorts and a t-shirt.

Jim and I just finished doing our door to door voter registration effort on behalf of the Obama campaign. It went pretty well; we hit nearly 70 homes, got to meet some of our neighbors, and never ran into a McCain supporter. A good afternoon, indeed.

Earlier today I had a meeting with a couple of new acquaintances with whom I am going to be producing a documentary film about how (when & why) people found and stayed in Telluride. We plan on getting grants and sponsors from the community such as the Telluride Museum. Fortunately, my co-producer has experience in this area, as she is a former Mayor of Telluride.  
I'm not exactly sure how it is that I've become so busy and entrenched in the community here, but it sure is nice. 

Hope you all enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Volunteer Fever

We've been recruited, and tomorrow (Thursday) Jim and I begin volunteering for the Obama campaign. If you can believe it, there's actually a campaign office here in Telluride and, less hard to believe,  quite a few volunteers. We've both been asked to staff the office in addition to going door to door to get folks registered to vote.  While we intend to keep this blog free of political rants, by virtue of us volunteering for Obama, you at least know a bit more about where we stand this election year. 

Our next volunteer event will be this Saturday when a few hundred crazies run this insane 17 mile mountain challenge called the Imogene Pass Run. We figured we can hang at the finish line, hand out gatorade and cheer rather than do any heavy breathing just getting to the start of the race. 

This will be Jim's first two volunteer efforts since moving to Telluride. He may get the fever like me. 

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Here goes nothing

So I just finished talking with my college pal Sheri who suggested I start a blog. I'm thinking you will be the ones to decide if I have enough to say and it's entertaining enough to sustain. For now though, welcome, and I hope you at least get a mild chuckle from time to time. 

Most of you know that Jim and I are now living in Telluride full-time after years of careful planning and a ton of chutzpah. Our home here is less than one-third the size of our previous homes, no garage, and well, it's not exactly in the greatest shape. But no violins necessary, as we are in heaven. The air is pure, the mountains abundant, the people are wonderful, and life is, well, good. 

Jim left his law firm after 23 years of practice and couldn't be happier. He spends his time hiking, reading, socializing,  even helping me with household chores. I just finished working a volunteer staff position with the Telluride Film Festival which was lots of fun. The energy in town was amazing, and I got to meet a lot of interesting people. Then of course there were the celebrity sightings... Salmon Rushdie, Leonard Maltin (sorry to even mention them in the same sentence), Greg Kinnear and a slew of noteworthy producers and directors (such as David Fincher -- Fight Club and the upcoming The Curious Case of Benjamin Button). 

Then of course there are our dogs -- Boomer and Riley are two of the happiest dogs ever. They hike 2-6 hours a day, chase wildlife all over the mountains, and still get to hang out on the sofa whenever they want. You can expect to see future blog entries from them as we have learned from overhearing them talk that they have been maintaining an underground blog for some time now, which we have convinced them to merge with this blog. 

SO thanks for joining us, and please feel free to post your comments. We would love to hear from you. More From the Lillypad soon.