Monday, July 30, 2018

Stampede Lite

After the shit show that was our journey to Mayberry (still not ready to laugh about it), Queen B and I enjoyed a few days of downtime, which, was exactly what I've been needing.

Despite the Stampede festivities going on around me, I mostly kept to the house with Mom, baking the cupcakes that we will be serving at the Rodeo Princess's bridal shower in a couple of weeks (lemon and vanilla bean, both to die for, according to Queen B, who licked the batter bowls).

Once the cupcakes were in the freezer, we turned our attention to visiting with the numerous people who traditionally stop by Mom's house during the Stampede weekend, including family friends, among them, one of Queen B's favorite babysitters when she was a toddler.

She's still one of Queen B's favorite people, and, not just because she immediately offered to massage Queen B's head to help with her hangover headache (Queen B did partake of the Stampede dances).

That babysitter now has a toddler of her own, and we got to snuggle with her during the parade on Saturday.

Speaking of the parade on Saturday; the only pictures I took the entire weekend were taken during the parade. I would say that I am slacking, but, as I mentioned before, I was in super down-low mode, so I get a pass.

Anyhoodle, the parade featured the usual suspects:

American flags...

Kids on (and off) horseback...

Waving spectators...

The high school band...

And, kids scrambling for candy thrown from the floats...

...including Queen B, who didn't so much scramble as sit patiently, waiting for candy to be thrown directly into her lap...

A new addition to the parade this year was a giant inflatable tooth with a somewhat menacing expression on it's face.

The tooth was so large, we actually held our breaths as it approached the power lines over the street.

It cleared the lines by fractions of an inch, not even kidding.

After the parade, we attempted the rodeo, but, a storm rolled in right as it started, bringing rain and chilly temperatures unusual for this time of year in the Valley. So, we ditched out early and went back to Mom's for coffee with Baileys. And, that would be the extent of my wild shenanigans at Stampede this year, Baileys with coffee. True story.

Today, I am back home, following an uneventful (thank you Lord Jesus!) trip back. I've got the day off from Day Job and am catching up on laundry, gardening, and housework, which, is also about as exciting as it gets.

Aren't you totes jealous?

Saturday, July 28, 2018

We Have Snacks, What Could Go Wrong?

Soooo, that road trip I was expounding on in the last post? The one wherein my daughter and I were going to put the top down and hit the open road, you know, metaphorically speaking since I don't own a convertible? Yes, well, in my mind that played out like:

Gas up, grab snacks, cruise the Starbucks drive-through, snap a quick selfie, enjoy the beautiful majesty of the scenery that one can only find in Colorado, entertain one another with witty stories, dial in a good music station, let the cool mountain breeze blow in through the sunroof (because, sunroof, I got), and, bond in a way that only a mother and daughter can before arriving at our destination, relaxed and ready to take on the world...well, I got it mostly right...

...and, then,

WHOMP, WHOMP...insert sad trombone music, here.

Have you ever had a dream where, you're trying, desperately, to get somewhere and you are running and running but you just can't make any forward motion? Yeah, that was my day yesterday; I'll have to tell you allll about it, sometime.

Queen B assures me that, someday, we will look back on this and we will laugh and laugh. Today, however, is not that day.

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Happy Bonus Friday!

What's that? Today isn't your bonus Friday? I'm so sorry! It's totally mine! In fact, I am off for the next FOUR days!! Well, technically that isn't true, I mean, small business ownership means that, despite being able to step away from Day Job for Thursday, Friday, and Monday, I will still be required to provide my services at the hardware store today, tomorrow, and Monday. Phooey!

On the bright side, with the exception of Monday, my services will be required for only a short time. So! The rest of today will be spent tidying up the house, preparing for-and hosting-a Porch Night/Hamburger fry (Mama Jill is finally back in town following a month-long assignment at the fire dispatch center on the Front Range and we are hosting her and the rest of her familia! Can't wait!), and packing for the epic road trip that Queen B and I will be departing on tomorrow morning (after I complete my duties at the hardware store, as mentioned above).

I'm so excited!

Also, being away from Day Job for even a few days goes a long way in recharging my compassion batteries, which will make me a better advocate upon my return.

Speaking of Day Job, yesterday my office participated in our quarterly Fun Club activity; a trip to the mini golf course! My participation in Fun Club activities has been hit-or-miss lately, due to my case load and appointment schedule, but, I was totally free yesterday and was able to join the festivities.

I should note that I am a horrible mini golfer. Horrible. In fact, despite hitting a hole-in-one (Yes! I totally did!), I still managed to come in dead last (Yes! I totally did). Dead. Last.

I would be embarrassed, but, given the jovial nature of the event...not so much. It was a great way to spend my last day in the office before my mini-vacay. And, I should note, we are still participating in the Summer Dress Challenge, so, we all totally rocked the mini golf course in our dresses, making the attire on the golf course far more feminine than the vocabulary (I am a creative curser when I am losing).

I would also like to mention that the repairs to my Tahoe were completed yesterday afternoon, freeing me to return Stuart Little's car to the rental agency. I am back in my full-on gas-guzzling, road-hogging glory and I could not be happier.

To the weekend!!

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

What's Up Wednesday

Once again, I am linking up with Sheaffer, Mel, and Shay!

What I'm Eating

It's the time of year when local produce is going bonkers, including the vegetables in my own garden, so, we've been making good use of it all. The other night, I made garlic zoodles with the yellow zucchini from my garden and it was quite tasty. We've also been grilling a lot, with surf 'n' turf on the menu often enough to please Hugh and the kids. Of course, my love affair with cherries continues, although, local pickings are getting slim.

What I'm Reminiscing About

It's Stampede time in Mayberry and I am reminiscing about all the years that my Dad was on the Stampede committee. My sisters and I were treated to all the perks that went along with his membership and we took full advantage of them all. Three days of parades, three nights of dances, a concert, two rodeos, a carnival, and tons of time spent with friends and relatives. I miss my Dad and I miss the way Stampede used to be, but, alas, all good things must come to an end, and, while Stampede has changed, it's still an enjoyable way to spend one of the last dwindling weekends of summer.

What I'm Loving

The hummingbirds are back at my feeders, and, they put on quite an enjoyable show; I like to grab a glass of wine and watch from the porch.

What I've Been Up To

Gardening. Did I mention I have a garden? Yeah, that, exercise, work, and general housekeeping are about the extent of what I have been up to. It's all fun and excitement over here, folks.

What I'm Dreading

The Man-Cub goes back to school in less than a month. Enough said.

What I'm Working On

I'm still preparing for the Rodeo Princess's bridal shower. I searched far and wide for old crates that I could use on the refreshment table and came up empty, so, I purchased some inexpensive crates at the Hellmouth and aged and distressed them, myself. They turned out great and it was a cheap way to get what I was after. I also went ahead and used the leftover stain to age several old wine crates that Hugh had left over from when we used to put together gift baskets for our contractors. They also turned out great.

What I'm Excited About

Fall is right around the corner! I know, I know, don't rush the seasons; I say that to people all the time. But, come on! Fall, people!

What I'm Watching/Reading

This should be more what I'm NOT watching. I tried, people, I really tried, but, Big Brother just could not hold my attention this season and I tapped out quite early. Maybe next year. I also tried to get on the Game of Thrones boat, following prodding from friends and co-workers, and, honestly, I just could not get into it, so, count me among the few who could not give the slightest rip if Jon Snow lives or dies (he dies, right? I think I heard that somewhere). Anyway, the time I haven't spent watching TV, I have been reading, and, so far, this book is holding my attention just fine, thank you.

What I'm Listening To

Lately, about the only thing I've been listening to are conference calls, which, is no way to spend a beautiful summer day. Bleh.

What I'm Wearing

One of my co-workers and I recently decided to challenge our co-workers to wear dresses for the majority of what's left of the summer. We have a pretty casual dress code at Day Job, but, we thought it might be fun to shake it up a bit, and, I've certainly enjoyed pulling dresses out of my closet that I haven't worn in quite a while (in years, in some cases). It's also been fun to see our effort grow among the office staff.

What I'm Doing This Weekend

Road trip with Queen B! We are heading to Mayberry to spend some time with Mom and to enjoy the Stampede doings. I can hardly wait; I don't get to spend nearly as much time with Queen B as I would like.

What I'm Looking Forward to Next Month

This is going to sound strange but, I'm really looking forward to the monsoon rains that August typically brings to our area. Our state has been hard hit with fires this summer and it would really be nice to see some relief. Fingers crossed. I'm also looking forward to it cooling down just enough for me to get back to walks in the local park; treadmills and air conditioning are great and all, but, nothing beats a walk in nature.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018


Our insurance company finally got around to sending us a check for the repairs to my Tahoe following last month's Unfortunate Incident on the Highway. So, I dropped the Tahoe off at the auto body place for a few days to have the new bumper installed, which, meant that I needed a rental car in order to get back and forth to work.

Apparently, when I requested a model similar in size and style to my Tahoe, the car rental agency actually heard "please give me a car that is similar in size to that of the car that belonged to Stuart Little".

They nailed it.

So, now, every time I attempt to get either in- or out -of the car, I bang my head on the roof. I've also lost the damn thing in three separate parking lots, and, I literally had to sit on my knees to reach the drawer in the bank's drive through lane when making the daily hardware store deposit.

To say that I am looking forward to the return of my Tahoe would be a vast understatement.

On the bright side, I guess Hugh never has to worry about footing the bill for my mid-life crisis sports car.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

I Think My Garden May Be Trying to Kill Me

Remember how the how purpose of the garden was to provide therapeutic relaxation and a zen-like quality to my life?

Yeahhh....about that.

The last few times I have left the garden, I didn't just leave with produce. Instead, I have carried rashes, bites, and, in one case, a swollen hand that could be traced back to neither a bite nor a rash. It was...disturbing...

...the swelling started Friday morning and lasted until just this morning, when I was finally able to look at my hand without being reminded of Minnie Mouse, and, I still have no earthly idea what caused it.

(As an aside, when did my hands start looking like those of an eighty-year-old woman? Fuck sake, friends, this is embarassing.)

Anyhoodle, I am now on the hunt for a full-on hazmat suit to wear while working in the garden. I am also buying stock in this spray...

It's a damn good thing that I am able to enjoy the fruits of my labors, otherwise I might just lock the garden gate and scratch my way to a new summer hobby.

In the event that you don't hear from me for awhile, you might want to suggest to Hugh that he look for my body in the garden.

Just sayin'.

Friday, July 20, 2018

Friday Favorites: The Usual Suspects

It would appear that I am becoming a two-post-a week blogger. I wish I could say that is due to all the fun we are having this summer, but, not so much. We have yet to get the boat on the lake, I haven't had a chance to travel, and, I'm becoming concerned that my garden may be trying to kill me, but; that's a post for another day (hey, maybe it will be one-of the-two that I post next week! Kidding. I think).

Anyhoodle, I do have some things that are making me happy that I can talk about, so, without further adieu...

...summer produce! This afternoon, I harvested a few yellow zucchinis, a handful of Roma tomatoes, the last of my beets, two red chili peppers, and a lone cucumber.

The rest of the garden is coming along, and, I haven't seen a single squash bug in almost a week, now. Neem oil for the win!

Speaking of gardening, my oriental lilies have also started to bloom. The plants have doubled every year since I planted them, and, this year, they spread from the top flowerbed to the flowerbed below it; they grow like weeds but are far prettier to look at. They also smell amazing, and, if my Dad were still alive, he would be impressed.

Speaking of my Dad, look what my Mom found while cleaning out her garage...

...that would be Dad's old 8 Track player and a good part of his 8 Track tape collection. I grew up dancing across Mom's shag carpeting to the vocal talents of Sonny and Cher, Donny and Marie, and Dolly Parton (my parents had eclectic taste in music, I mean, obviously) on that machine, and I cannot believe that Dad kept it. Mom has it set up in her dining room now, and, I will be transported back to my childhood every time I see it.

I know I mentioned this in my last post, but, the fact that the hummingbirds are back at my feeders is a favorite for sure.

And that about wraps up this edition. Now you see how boring my life has become; pulling together the content for two posts a week is like a minor miracle.