Hint of Fall Is In The Air

Day 4 – #100HappyDay Challenge

Stepping outside this morning to take the trash to the curb, a crisp autumn breeze greeted me. It caught me by surprise. Instead of the normal Houston heat I’ve grown use to, a cool 60 degree early morning dawned. I paused, inhaling deeply, savoring the crisp air, goosebumps rising along my bare arms. I smiled knowing that this quiet happiness was a wonderful gift to start my day. And that it wouldn’t last long, according to the native Houstonians, cool days are rare jewels in a long string of hot.

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Cooking With A Friend

Day 2 –

#100happyday challenge

There is nothing better than puttering in the kitchen. Unless it’s cooking with a friend and sharing the creation of a yummy, delicious meal taught at Sur La Table.

Cheers!

❤️

Do You Believe?

I believe. Do you?

Magic is everywhere. Sometimes it’s hidden behind the everyday pile of laundry, discovering that single sock missing it’s other half. But if you look hard enough and, believe with all your heart, you just might see that ordinary life is a beautiful fairytale – missing socks and all.

Cheers!

❤️

Lightning Strikes Tonight

Rain pelts my window in a torrent of sound, my room flashes and dims with the lightening. I lay curled against a pillow while the rumble of thunder shakes the house around me like a freight train.

Welcome to Texas.

Hurricane Harvey arrived last night South of us, hitting Corpus and the surrounding area. My prayers go out to all those folks hard hit. And those same prayers follow those of us left in the residual fall out. Being as this is my first full fledge hurricane, I probably didn’t prepare like I should have. Listening to the locals express little concern and not to worry about it too much, my phone’s constant tornado warnings are mocking me as I lay in the dark listening to the storm rage outside. I should have picked up ice just in case, but by the time I’d thought about it the stores were sold out. Next time… let’s hope next time is very far in the future.

This new house is being tested. At least we will know how well it was built when it’s all said and done. After the tornado warnings, my biggest concern is the flash floods. There goes my phone again, only this time it’s a flash flood warning. I’m not in a flood area, per say. The neighborhood just sits in the middle of a square of designed drainage areas that just happens to flood the roads. Since I’ve lived here a whopping six weeks, my neighborhood, which I fondly refer to as Armageddon, has been surrounded by water on all four sides, leaving us cut off from going anywhere for a day. I imagine we’re in for the same, but maybe for a few more days.

I did stock up on groceries and water. I figure I’ll bake through the storm and as long as power and Netflix holds out we will have a movie marathon or something like that. Maybe I’ll even get back to writing. This move has shaken me up a bit. It’s small things like hurricanes and big things like self adjusting to a new world of heat, crazy drivers and a crush of meanness that has zapped me, leaving me with little energy to do much except drag myself through the days.

But I’m learning to navigate. I’m finding ways around the discomfort. It helps that I’m in my new home, a sanctuary of calm that centers me from the outside crazy. I’ve always been this way though, I have an insatiable need to have my home life settled and sorted, before I’m much good for anything else. And it’s almost there. Almost.

Send a few prayers to Texas if you have a mind to. There’s a whole lot of people that needs them about now.

Cheers!

💕

Reconnecting In Monument 

Basking in the morning sun with glimpses of the Colorado mountain from the patio, I’m sorry to see the weekend nearing its end. Do you have a group of friends, that no matter the distance or how long apart it’s been, that once you are together it’s like no time has passed? I’m so blessed to have this in my life.  These ladies remind me who I truly am.  And that’s worth more than gold. 

This weekend was no exception. Our phenomenal hosts made the weekend even better than ever.  Thank you, M and J,  for opening your home and hearts! These flashes of reconnection are far too short. But, boy, do we know how to pack a lot of unadulterated adventure into a very short amount of time. 

Let me start by telling you a little bit about Monument, Colorado which sits a little over an hour from the airport. Monument is north of Colorado Springs and the United States Air Force Academy, and east of the Rampart Range, which is the eastern front range of the Rocky Mountains. It began as a settlement along the Rio Grande Railroad in 1872 and just happens to be a few miles from where J grew up, left, and returned a few years ago bringing M with him. A perfect spot for a Girlfriends reunion! 

Reunited and I’m So Excited 

Friday morning arrived with three of us arriving at the Denver airport. If you havent been to the Denver airport be aware that it sits out in the middle of nowhere and takes a bit to go wherever your going. The good news is that there are shuttles, for a fee, which will take you where you want to go. Just reserve one in advance and try to be on time. We missed the 10am shuttle by nine minutes. That just meant we had a few hours to kill over Bloody Mary’s at the Red Rock. 

Tip: If you are running a few minutes late call the shuttle service. They will often wait if you are running a few minutes late. Any more than that I highly recommend the Bloody Mary’s. 

After M picked us up from the Park and Ride we headed to her home to await the last member joining our party later. I know I mentioned how hard it is for everyone to get together before, and this time was no exception. Not everyone could manage the trip (you know who you are) and the group was a little smaller than in the past. But everyone was there in spirit… and a few of their stories as well. 

When B arrived, we kicked off the weekend gathering around the patio table to catch up. It was a beautiful Colorado evening made better by pizza, adult beverages and lots of smack talking over past adventures of which I’m sworn to secrecy. 

Local Farmer’s Market

The local Farmer’s Market called to us as we lingered over coffee and pastries, that J had graciously ran out to get, just for the ovarian vortex that had descended upon his quiet home with gads of giggles and  estrogen. M is so lucky to have him. 

If you get to Monument go to the Farmer’s Market. From fresh produce, local honey to fancy, long lasting lipstick you can find it here. 


Across the street from the Market is an eclectic shoppers paradise of shabby chic meet Colorado hip decor and wearables. For the shopper’s wingman there are comfortable rocking chairs beneath a shaded back porch.   Take advantage of those rockers, relaxing in the cool shadows. 

From there we headed to Bella Casa just around the corner. On a mission,  we all picked up a seasoning mix for yummy coated crackers that we had been snacking on since we had arrived. I’m going to call this mix crack-cracker-mix. Just saying it’s beyond delicious and you will want to grab lots of this mix to make at home. 


If I had a way of packing more home with me I could have done serious damage to my pocket book here.  Every nook seemed to hold something my heart desired. I’m addicted to housewheres and this little shop did not disappoint my addiction. 

Palmer Lake 

Palmer Lake sits a few miles from Monument. It’s J’s  home town plus it’s home to the worlds best ice cream at the Rock House.  Did someone say lunch!?! 

We piled out of the SUV and headed into The Rock House.  This small business hosts a case full of ice cream in an assortment of flavors, all especially made for the Rock  House, as well as some favorite lunch specials. Stop in, grab a BLT and indulge in a chocolate waffle cone with your favorite flavor of ice cream. Afterwards take a minute to find a trinket from the curio ship in back made by local artists. 

For those visiting the Tri-Lake area swing by Palmer Lake. It’s worth the stop. Visitors can enjoy a coffee, bakery, antique shopping, boutiques, and art galleries… and don’t forget the ice cream! Take a drive along Lovers Lane and if you have time get out for a hike. 

Celebration

Unbeknownst to me, my girlfriends surprised me with a birthday dinner. Not just any birthday, but the BIG 50.  Happy early Birthday to me! 

Dressed, and ready for cocktails, we headed to the Bistro on 2nd in Monument. This little Bistro has an amazing fresh take on fine dining in an upbeat, fun atmosphere. Thank goodness for that because we aren’t exactly prim and proper – quite the opposite. And the staff was ready to take us on, all good natured fun. 


From cocktails, appetizers, dinner to dessert the service was impeccable. Taylor took our high spirits in stride and played along while delivering impeccable service. 


I can’t speak highly enough of the service. And the menu is amazing! I think I could take a bath in the chocolate mousse. 


Not eager to call the evening over after dinner, we took the party outside to  the fire pit. Rick Velliquette, owner/operator/host-extraordinaire, made us right at home with a kick-ass platter filled with all the fixings for s’mores. I even indulged in a snow cone lemon drop martini – you have to try it! It was a beautiful evening, filled with good natured  fun, a few new misadventures shared, and discovering a fantastic Bistro in Monument. Too bad it’s so far away from Houston. 


Wow – what a fantastic birthday celebration – one I won’t foget. Thank you, Ladies, for loving  me and sharing my big milestone. It was a blast. 

Back to Houston

Before heading in different directions we talked about the next potential reunion. Vegas, baby! Can you feel it? I think I’ll bring my boots. 

Cheers!

❤️

Another Adventure Comes to A Close – Des Moines, Iowa


I must get my hormones in check! The waterworks turned on hugging my son goodbye this morning. Poor guy! 

Heading back to Anchorage, I already miss the guys and our easy going days. To be honest, this trip has flown by too quickly, making me wish for more time. Unfortunately time is something we never get back once it’s spent. 

The guys spoiled me with a beautiful room decorated just for me. It was like stepping into a hotel room. A robe and slippers laid on a scrumptious bed piled high with beautiful bedding. I absolutely loved waking up and falling asleep in in my nest surrounded in dark purple walls contrasted  in white trim. They could rent it out on Air B&B! 


I met Mr. Abraham for the first time. It took a little bit for him to warm to me but by the end of my stay I’d say he will miss me. 

Breakfast at La Mie Bakery Thursday morning was a treat. Go for the pastries! Ignore your diet. This is a lovely spot to indulge your sweet tooth. The place was bustling and tables were filled with happy customers.  I’d personally pass on breakfast although they have a very nice menu. The noise level was over the top competing against the pop music playing. But if shouting over breakfast is your cup of tea eat in. I’d recommend filling a box up with your favorite pastries and heading outside to really enjoy your treat. 

It’s time to board. This flight will take me to Chicago, then to Seattle and on to Anchorage.  I’ll post more as time allows. 

Cheers!

Wrong Bus


“Honey, never forget you’re awesome… you’re just sitting in the wrong seat, on the wrong bus,” my girlfriend said,  consoling me. 

Wrong bus.

I’m banging on the door, begging the bus driver to stop so I don’t miss my stop. He ignores me and keeps driving. The more I beg to get off, the faster he drives. Stop after stop flies by. Thoughts of jumping flashes through my brain but just as quickly ugly images of bloody gashes and broken bones flashes through my mind, keeping me frozen in my seat.

Fear. An ugly companion.

The bus turns a corner. Slows. My heart leaps. Was now my chance? Can I get off now? Would he let me go now?

A new bus driver steps onboard, sits down and the bus races on ignoring my request to let me get off at my stop. Instead, her hooded eyes sternly staring at me from the rear windshield mirror, tells me I’m on the wrong bus (like I didn’t already know that -ugg). Her words harsh as stones, fire at me, reminding me I don’t belong in the seat assigned and there is no place for me on her bus and there are no stops for the likes of me.

The bus stops.

The doors open – to an empty dirt road.

I get off the bus. It drives away.

Fear greets me.

Sigh.

I look closer. Behind Fear sits Potential.

Stepping around Fear I embrace my Potential.

 Thank you, D., for reminding me that there is always another bus on its way.