Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Albuquerque Weekend

I headed south this past weekend for a quick visit to Albuquerque. My youngest sister lives there. I also attended a Stampin Up Regional Convention, to learn, stamp, and meet some other SU folks.

I stayed with my sister and was thoroughly licked from head to toe by Duke who has grown to a long-legged, gangly horse! He likes to lick and has a tongue like a lizard. Mollie is very happy to have an energetic buddy.

Friday night, Sara and Aaron took me to O'Neill's Pub on Central for dinner. It was burgers and sandwiches but pretty good. I had a BLT. Albuquerque still has smoking in some restaurants and this was one. It's amazing after Denver went smoke-free how I've lost any immunity to it.

Saturday, after a graburrito at the Flying Star Cafe (also on Central), I headed to the convention center. The event was very informative and fun. I got many new ideas. Afterwards, I headed back to the house where Aaron made his award-winning tortelloni and a spinach-pear salad. We spent the evening in and watched Thank You For Smoking. The movie was really funny (but I think Aaron was disappointed you couldn't see Katie's boobs).

Sunday, Sara had a baby shower to attend, so we all headed to Einstein's Bagels for a quick breakfast. Aaron and I headed to the furniture auction. I've been wanting to get some new (old) stuff for my house and the auction has some great finds. I found a couple of Mission style bookshelves and cabinets, but was overly outbid for what I wanted (they overpaid). I did find a large wooden cat that stands about 3 feet tall, and another of three wooden cats (see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil) that stands about a foot tall.

After the auction, we headed back to Nob Hill to meet Sara and do some shopping. We had lunch at Il Vicino. I had a very yummy Tacchino Paladine (like a crispy flatbread panini). I bought some coconut masks at Masks y Mas, a silk purse at Peacecraft, some blue topaz earrings at Ooh Ahh, and some fun trinkets at Beeps. For dinner we headed to Thai Orchid. I had the Green Curry Shrimp (which was good but not as good as my Tuk Tuk back home). Then back to the house for an early evening after a busy weekend. Sara dropped me back at the airport early Monday am and it was back to reality.

The weather was warm and the best thing: there was no snow anywhere! It was nice to walk without slipping on ice. The cats were too heavy to bring back on the plane so will plan to drive back down later to retrieve them and hopefully get back to the auction for some wins!

Friday, January 26, 2007

Dream job

I think ideally everyone's dream job would be making money on something that you wouldn't define as a job or have to work hard. I often thought my dream would be a large plot of land and lots of pups and kits. I saw a story about a ranch in Montana, Rolling Dog Ranch Animal Sanctuary, that gives a dream home to animals with disabilities, who would otherwise be put down. I think this would be a dream job. These animals have a lot of life and excitement in them and a lot of love. Although I think it would be tough to have that many animals, as their lifespan is so short. But then again, watching the doggie smiles and hearing the kitties purring, you know it would be worth it.

If I were ever to come into a lot of money, I would set something up like this myself. In the meantime, I will support the Rolling Dog however way I can! Kudos to them.

Monday, January 22, 2007

15 places I would like to visit

One of my favorite magazines (Real Simple), suggested some alternative New Year's resolution type lists. One was to make a list of 15 places you would like to visit.

So here are mine:

  1. Egypt (pyramids, sphynx, Nile)
  2. Australia
  3. New Zealand
  4. Jordan (specifically the cliff carvings from Indian Jones)
  5. Glacier National Park, Montana
  6. Moab and Arches National Park, Utah
  7. Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
  8. Paris
  9. Aruba
  10. Coastal Mexico (Cabo San Lucas, Cozumel, Isle Mujeres, Tulum)
  11. Molokai, Hawaii
  12. Belize
  13. Brazil
  14. Croatia
  15. The Florida Keys

Sunday, January 21, 2007

The secret life of books

I've been slowly moving a large bookshelf from my old office to my new office. Along with that, I've been I've been rediscovering old favorite books, books I haven't read, and college textbooks I wonder why I still have.

My old favorites include those in my blog profile, such as the classic To Kill A Mockingbird. I actually have two copies of that – a very worn, missing cover one from my original reading at Cache La Poudre Junior High School. It was so worn, it was destined for the waste basket. I asked the librarian (was it Mrs. Neth?) to let me keep it. A few years ago, I thought I should buy a new copy of it for my collection and pass on the old one. Yet when I went to register and release it, I found I couldn't part with the worn one. Its well-loved condition would probably not be as revered as it is in my bookshelf. So it stays.

Every book has a story behind it. Desert Solitaire (Edward Abbey) was recommended by someone once, probably a guy I had a crush on (though who it was, I don't recall now). It really appealed to my tree-hugging side. I have yet to visit the places in the book (Moab and Arches) but it's on my list. (Another blog around the corner).

Marley and Me (John Grogan) was a gift from my sister Annie for my birthday. Its the true story of "life and love with the world's worst dog." As a human to two of the world's worst (but getting better) dogs, I laughed and cried my way through this book. This one shows how dog lovers can truly appreciate their pups, in spite of and in love with all they do.

I have a couple of signed books. One of my most favorite authors is Maya Angelou. I've been lucky to see her speak several times. One of those times even luckier to meet her. She signed my copy of Even the Stars Look Lonesome. More recently, I've become enamoured with Sue Monk Kidd's books, especially The Secret Life of Bees. This past Fall, a fellow GABster (bookclub) and I heard her speak and she signed my copy of Bees.

Now as I put all these books back in my shelves, I realize I'm not only a packrat but a bookaholic. I'm addicted to the 3-for-2 at Borders and the clearance tables there and at Barnes and Nobel, and used books on Amazon.com. I'm very protective of my books too. As a kid, I used to play librarian forcing my sister, parents and anyone else who ventured by to check out books. Recently I've discovered Bookcrossing. It's a place online to register your books with a unique number and then "release them into the wild." The idea is the finder writes a journal entry about their find, reads it and passes it on, with the website as a virtual travel journal for the book.

But moving the books has also given me a chance to edit. Do I really need all my women's studies books from college? The Journalism textbooks? No, probably not. If I edit, then there's more room on the shelf for the new books.

Currently reading: Sick Puppy by Carl Hiaasen

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Ladies do tea

The book club gang met at the Brown Palace a couple of weeks ago for afternoon tea. We read Murder at the Brown Palace, which wasn't as exciting as I hoped (the story is interesting but the book was backwards -- telling the best part first). The tea was very fantastic. It was fun to dress up and have cucumber sandwiches and lots of sugary treats.
Afterwards, Pam, Nichelle and I wandered into the Ship Tavern to check out the bullet holes in the bar.
I need to write up a life list. I don't have one really, but it I did, tea at the Brown Palace would be something to cross off.

Saturday, January 06, 2007


You know how you get a tune stuck in your head? It's called an earworm and unfortunately it's never the whole song, just an annoying snippit over and over and over and ...

This happens to me all the time. I always wake up with a song in my head. This is odd because I don't wake to an alarm clock. As a freelancer, I have the ability to wake up when my body tells me so. So it's not a song I catch from the clock radio jarring me out of slumberland. Sometimes I can figure out where it comes from -- sometimes I think it's an old tooth filling picking up random radio stations.

Today it's "Paperback Writer." Just that part. "Paperback Writer" over and over. But then my mind likes to change it up a bit -- usually something to the dogs or cats. So now it becomes "Puppydog barker".


Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Happy New Year!

Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit.

Happy New Year! Why is it that we start each year with resolutions? Apparently the tradition of resolutions dates back to the early Babylonians. Today most popular resolutions are to quit smoking, lose weight, get out of debt, spend more time with family, and get organized. The most popular resolution for the early Babylonians was to return borrowed farm equipment.

So here it is January 1st once again, and I wonder what the heck happened to the last January 1st. Each one brings the realization of the passage of time, and the fact we're all a bunch of procrastinators. How many people can look back at last year's resolutions and say that they were successful?

But tradition for tradition's sake, here goes:

1. Visit at least one new national park.
2. Get my health under control (this seems to be an ongoing thing given I have this blasted PCOS that waxes and wains. I am too young for this!)
3. Put a stamp on my Passport. (See I got one from last year.)
4. work less
5. Organize and edit (I can't believe it's even worse since I decided to remodel and move my home office).
6. I am having a blank on the rest – but will add more as I think of some.

Here's to the first day of the rest of the year!