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!

❤️

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Fire 🔥 Word of the Year 

“You’re fired,” is that a period or an exclamation point? In my head, I hear a very loud exclamation point. I never sought out to watch the Apprentice years ago, but back then, you could hardly turn around without seeing clips of the infamous “you’re fired” being spouted by Donald Trump. 


I never imagined that one of the first reality television moguls, now turned President of the United States of America, would be spouting those same words to members of his staff in the Whitehouse. I wonder if our political system has turned into some warped reality television series leaving the viewers sitting on the edge of their seats wondering WTF? The news continues to rehash the American drama on prime time. Why not? I’m sure the ratings are climbing. 

Under fire…” this morning’s breaking news described gunshots being fired at a Virginia baseball field on the Republican congressional baseball team. Seriously!?!  Has the world lost its collective mind? It’s a ballfield. Its summertime. It’s a place of play not a damn warzone! I hear the exclamation clearly this time. 


A London tower emblazed in fire burns so swiftly accounts of children being thrown from the building is utterly heart wrenching. What desperation those poor souls must have felt in a moment of pure terror? I don’t even pretend to understand that crisis moment. My gut twists just thinking about the loss and devastation. 
And its only Wednesday. It’s only June, mid-year. It’s the year of the Fire Rooster. But does that mean that it’s ok to burn the world down around us? 

Fire.

It’s a harsh reality. But like the phoenix rising from ashes, may we too, as a collective, rise from this horrific onslaught to become a better, stronger society, turning away from violence to embrace peace – happiness – tranquility. This is my prayer for all of us.
 

 

Flower 🌺 Power

“A flower does not bloom for itself, but for the world; do likewise.”
– Matshona Dhliwayo


Happy Monday, Friends!

On Sunday’s, I’ve developed a little HAPPINESS habit, I drive to Trader Joe’s and buy myself flowers (they have an awesome assortment). This week I selected a bouquet 💐 of beautiful pink and white roses. 

I place the bouquet next to my bedside lamp, letting their soft fragrance lift my spirits in the sterile hotel room that has been my home for 6 weeks now. 

What makes you happy?

Cheers!

❤️

By the way, go check out Cees Showcase of Photography for more inspiration! 

Revelations Aren’t Always Easy

And when it happens, it can be sometimes hard to swallow. Like learning little things about yourself that is a bit uncomfortable. Now it doesn’t have to be the drama-life-altering-kind of revelation. Oh no.  In my opinion, it’s all the teeny, tiny revelations that can pile up into one big aha moment. 


I took myself out to a country bar in Katy, TX , called MO’s Place. It’s a little early, only 9pm. But if I stayed in the hotel room any longer I would have just crawled into bed and called it a night. Which I tend to do – a lot. But sometimes I think it’s important to remember I’m single and it’s Saturday night and I need to get out once in awhile. 
But it’s tougher here since I don’t have any going-out-kinda-friends and I’m not exactly  comfortable walking into a bar in Houston on my own. I know – the revelation has me confused too. 

I’m a seasoned traveler. I’ve stepped into foreign pubs, Vegas night clubs, and hole in the wall gems without much thought. And here I am triple thinking my decision to come out to listen to some live music and watch dancers circle the floor at a popular country bar. 

There’s something different from visiting a place to knowing that I now live here. I’m a little more cautious. It’s as if I’m skirting around the edges of the city, dipping a toe into its waters, uncertain which way the tide is flowing. Is it safe? Am I doing the right thing? It’s a dangerous city (don’t watch the news here!). I’m alone. I’m always alone. 

But the night is young. I step into the cavernous dance hall, pay the cover and find a seat at the end of the bar near the stage. I’m sipping a club soda, watching the place fill up with pretty young things in sparkling jeans and preening young men in cowboy hats.  The mating rituals have begun. It makes me smile. I feel extremely ancient. 

I can do this.  The knot in my stomach won’t relax. 

The band is about to start. An hour. I’ll give myself an hour.  

A man asks me to dance. It’s a simple two step. 

It’s time to adult. 

Let’s do this. 

Cheers

❤️
Daily Prompt Instructions: Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt. Not sure how to participate? Follow the link

 

Breathe In. Breathe Out. Repeat. 

The violence we do to ourselves is unforgivable. Remember we are made of God Stuff.


There are moments, okay, sometimes days that morph into weeks that turn into years that are so challenging to navigate. They weigh heavy as a long winter night that I don’t know if I can lift my eyes to face another wallop. And then smack down! 

But I’m made of sterner stuff – God stuff. And I breathe in. I breathe out. And I pray. And then I do it all over again. 


Does it get easier? No. Yes. I honestly don’t know. I tell myself that life isn’t that hard. We make it hard. But we don’t have to. This is what I tell myself. This is what I’m telling you. 


But what if everyone would just grow the duck up? Just be responsible? Make their life the best life possible? Look forward. Don’t look back. Make this moment happy. The best moment possible. It’s just a heart beat.  It’s a smile even in the darkest of darkest night. 


Breathe. Breathe again. And again.  

Cheers!

❤️

Restless Nights Make for Bumpy Mornings 

“Morning is an important time of day, because how you spend your morning can often tell you what kind of day you are going to have.”
Lemony Snicket, The Blank Book (A Series of Unfortunate Events)


Driving over 60mph on the on ramp to I10, due to a demanding vehicle behind me, wasn’t good enough. Nope. Not here in Houston. The impatient person revved their engine and flew around me, barely keeping it on the road…then breaked suddenly due to the heavy merging traffic! I slowed down amazed at the antics here, trying to not blast the driver with negative thoughts. 

Breathe…. just Breathe…


Good morning, Houston. 
With the time zone change I fielded late night, early morning phone calls from Alaska. Let’s just say that this move is rough on everyone. A little sad, a little frustrated, I finally rolled out of bed and got a very early start praying for everyone, including myself! 


Have you ever had days that make your eye twitch the very first thing? I’ve tried patiently to muddle through things but right now I’m just going to admit to everyone right here, right now, that life is rough at the moment. 

Pray. Breathe through it. Pray some more. 

Stepping onto the 28th floor way too early for most folks, I was greeted by the vultures perched just outside of my cube’s window. It’s time to start the day, the scary vulture eyes watch me. I’m going to name him Moe. 

I ignore Moe and say another prayer. 

Good morning, Houston! 


Cheers!

❤️