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Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Report on the weekend

I am going to be a big old show-off in this post.  But what a weekend I had.  I was able to forget totally how depressed I've been.  For those of you who want to listen to me show off, here goes:

First, I don't know much about golf, but the "cottage" I stayed in was right on the golf course:
Friday night was a demonstration by a bird rescue group called Hawk Quest.  It was supposed to be outdoors, but it was raining so we went into a corridor of the golf club.  Each bird had a handler.  Most of the birds that are in this rescue group get there by getting hit by a car or being orphaned.  Some are able to be rehabbed and then released and some can never live in the wild so they live their lives in this rescue facility.  For instance, the bald eagle that they brought was blind in one eye and would not be able to hunt in the wild.  Here are some photos -- this was SO interesting.

The handlers lined up with their birds.

The eagle and his handler:

Me and the eagle:

One of the owls with his handler:

I forget what kind of owl this is, but isn't he different?

The handler is able to do a little maneuver that makes the owl flap his wings:

This is a screech owl -- weighs 4 ounces:

This is a spectacled owl:

After the demonstration of the birds, we had a great dinner in the golf club.

On Saturday I went up to the Bartlits' house around 5PM and after signing in I looked at all the dogs up for adoption.  Came close to adopting one, but most of them were puppies and I am just not ready for a puppy.  But I got to play with them.

The setup for this function is absolutely huge and holds about 500 people.

Then they had a live auction to raise money for the Dumb Friends League (we learned later that they raised over a million dollars -- great news!!)  During the auction someone recognized Larry The Cable Guy in the audience.  So Fred got up and started revving the audience up to get out their checkbooks and he said something like "Git 'R Done -- right, Larry?"  So Larry the Cable Guy, who was in the back of the tent, grabbed the microphone from one of the auctioneers and and said he would donate his voice to the auction.  He said that for the highest bidder he would call that bidder's child and use his "Mater" voice from the movie CARS to wish that child happy birthday.  I couldn't tell what that bidding got up to but I know it was quite large.  Here's Larry the Cable Guy pointing to the audience and telling them to "Git 'R Done and get out the checkbooks."

And here's Larry the Cable Guy with my boss's grandson (sorry for the quality, the lighting wasn't the greatest):

Fred and Jana enjoying the entertainment:

The entertainer was Diana Ross:

After the concert I was given the opportunity to go back stage and meet Ms. Ross and get my picture taken with her.  It was done by a professional photographer and I won't have that photo for a few weeks.  That was so special.  She is a very tiny lady -- I had to look down to talk to her.

So as you can tell, I HAD A STUPENDOUS TIME!!

Friday, August 19, 2016

Fun weekend

First of all, it appears that my house sale is progressing nicely.  The inspection has been done and they only came up with one item they want me to deal with (getting the septic inspected) and I certainly don't blame them.  So everything is looking good.

I am spending this weekend in a "cottage" on the golf course at the Castle Pines Golf Club.  I don't know how they can call this a cottage, it is bigger than any house I've ever had, but it is so idyllic and calming.

I am attending the annual fundraiser that the Bartlits have for the Denver Dumb Friends League (animal rescue).  This will be my first year attending this without Marshall and it just points out many more things that I counted on him for.  He always did the driving and I never paid any attention, so I had trouble navigating through the golf course to find the check-in for the cottages.  Sheesh....  But I'm here and it is gorgeous as usual.  And I have to start learning to live without Marshall...

Tonight there will be a relatively small dinner at the Golf Club and before dinner there will be a demonstration put on by a group that rescues large birds (Eagles, owls, Hawks, etc.).  For those of you who have seen Marshall's favorite photo of himself with the eagle on his shoulder, that photo was taken at this function several years ago when they featured Eagles.  This year I think is going to focus on owls.

Then tomorrow night is the huge fundraiser with silent auctions and live auctions and then dinner.  The entertainment after dinner will be Diana Ross.  Every year they raise a very large sum of money to help animals, a cause near and dear to my heart.

More later.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

Back Home

I spent yesterday afternoon and evening in Westcliffe walking around the house remembering the 13 years Marshall and I spent there.  We sure enjoyed that house and that wonderfully remote location.  Then I sat on the deck and looked at the magnificent views.

My last days in this house ....




Views to die for -- off the back deck:



Then last night around 1:00AM I heard a bunch of noises outside and I didn't have the nerve to go outside and see what it was.  It's funny that when Marshall was there, even though he couldn't even get out of bed, I felt safe and it didn't bother me at all to go outside to check on a noise.  But all by myself???  Can't do it.  I know the bears are everywhere trying to get fattened up and ready for hibernation, so it was probably a bear.  But I'll never know.  So I turned all the lights on and sat up until I couldn't keep my eyes open any more.  So even though in broad daylight I look around and don't want to leave this beautiful place, when night-time comes I know I can't live here by myself.

This morning I got all packed and ready to leave Westcliffe and head back to Thornton.  A friend of mine came over to help me go through the garage and try to dispose of some of the stuff that's left.  While he was there we had an altercation (yes, another one) with my neighbor.  Another reason to get out of this place.  That guy creeps me out.

So I got home (to Thornton) today around 4:00 and hugged my boys.  Very glad to be here.  The Westcliffe house was inspected yesterday so now I wait to get the results of the inspection.  Wait-wait-wait....  As we all know, just because I have a contract doesn't mean it's all sewed up....

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Update

When I got back from Ohio I bought a fairly expensive, large and heavy ramp to help me get the motorcycle out of the garage without dragging the low-sitting pipes at the curb.  The ramp arrived and even though it weighs 100 pounds I was able to use a dolly to get the ramp out to the curb and set it in place.  Then I was able to back the motorcycle out of the garage and over the ramp successfully.  I even took it for a very short ride and then was able to get it back into the garage and get the ramp up on the dolly and back in the garage.

I'm not sure this is I something I will want to keep doing but I will give it a year.  Making decisions about that bike will be very very difficult.  I can't even conceive of selling it because it is so very personal to Marshall and his Vietnam service and the unit he was in.  And if I did sell it, how could I be sure that the new owner would respect it the way Marshall intended.  Lots of food for thought.

I have been in Westcliffe all this week handling some of the paperwork for the sale of my house.  And getting the house ready for the inspection.  I spent Monday and Tuesday cleaning all the appliances and making sure they all work (running the washer and dryer and dishwasher, checking the refrigerator, little odds and ends).  Today I left the house early because they didn't want me here for the inspection.  Went to breakfast with friends and then more paperwork at the courthouse and then lunch with friends and then back home.  I'm not sure when I will get the inspector's report.

It is so bittersweet being here at the house Marshall and I loved so much.  I am drinking in all of the magnificent views out here because I won't have access to them much longer.  Funny how you take things for granted until they are going away.  I see Marshall everywhere I turn and I keep having these little crying spells.  Hard to believe in a few short weeks I won't ever see this house again and it's even harder -- still -- to believe Marshall is gone.

Some neighbors stopped by to tell me that a family (mama and 2 babies) of mountain lions are living not too far behind my garage.  The neighbors are holding these mountain lions responsible for the disappearance of quite a few pets lately.  One of the neighbors saw the mama and babies but the others mostly just saw footprints.  I'm sure glad I don't have a dog right now, it would make me a little nervous.  I guess that's why my game camera showed a mountain lion in front of my house -- it's home to them this season.

And I had a little learning experience today.  I brought my iPhone, my iPad and my laptop with me. I was pretty sure they would all be useless back here in the mountains.  Well, it turned out that the 4G is all of a sudden working back here so I was able to use the iPad and iPhone.  My laptop doesn't have 4G so I couldn't get online with it.

However, I played around a little and saw something on the iPad settings called HotSpot.  I had always wondered what that was.  Well, guess what!  I enabled HotSpot on the iPad and was then able to use it as a Wi-Fi connection for the laptop.  Incredible.  I think that's the best little learning experience I have had in a very long time.

Tomorrow I head back up to Denver.  Hopefully whatever the inspection report shows won't require that I turn around and come right back.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

The house sold!

My counter proposal was accepted and I have a contract on my house.  Now we just have to get through the inspection phase.  I will probably go down to Westcliffe for a few days next week to clean out the rest of my stuff.

Things are moving along nicely.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Home again

On Saturday morning I headed to Indianapolis and spent the night again at my old high school buddy's (John's) house.  He got out his yearbooks and we spent hours laughing and reminiscing.  So much fun.

On Sunday John and I met my cousin Amy (and her husband Roger) for lunch on Butler Campus.  Amy grew up in the same town John and I did so there was a lot of reminiscing at lunch, too.

Amy and Roger:

 John and me

After lunch, I hit the road heading home.  I was going to stop in St. Louis but changed my mind and decided to keep going towards Colorado.  I made it to Topeka and one of those Kansas tornado-like storms came along so I found a Best Western Hotel and stopped and got a room (it was about midnight).  I got in the room and got ready for bed -- I propped up some pillows and was going to check emails before going to sleep -- and two HUGE bugs crawled across the pillow.  I am scared to death of bugs, especially HUGE ones, so I started screaming and you've never seen anyone gather their things and vacate a room as fast as I did.  The hotel clerk kept saying, "It's just beetles," and I told her the only beetle I wanted in my bed was Paul McCartney!  She did not think that was funny.

So I made it back out to my car and the storm was still raging so I didn't dare try to drive anywhere.  I decided to just sleep in the car.  Ugh.  I decided to check emails and had an email from my real estate agent telling me there's been an offer on my house.  Exciting news.

Monday morning around 6AM I got back on the road heading home.  One of my favorite places to stop is Colby, Kansas because (1) it has a Starbucks; and (2) it has a tropical look:

I got home around 2:30 in the afternoon, hugged my boys and called the real estate agent.  The offer was really low so we sent back a counter-offer and I'm waiting for a response.  And getting a lot of sleep.  Glad to be home.


Friday, July 22, 2016

Kevin's Photos

Kevin just sent me his photos:

Boots at the 50-yard Line:


Marilyn scattering ashes at the McGuire house:


Boots at the corner of where the old high school was.  It's hard to tell, but the initials "NB" are in the rocks (for North Baltimore).  We scattered ashes both in the rocks and in the grass around this area.