Thursday Thoughts

Speed of Light
If you read my blog, you probably remember that I told you about the “other woman” in Bill’s life – namely, Goggle Home. Thus far, she’s worked out fairly well. She’s not terribly cooperative about music yet; for example, she won’t play a particular song when requested. Instead, if you ask her to play Fight Song (as did Dagny on a recent morning), she will fix you up with what she calls a “Fight Song playlist,”which is a play list that includes many songs, but apparently doesn’t include Fight Song. She’s a bit contrary that way. But let me tell you about the funniest thing she has done thus far. Every morning when Bill comes downstairs, the first thing he does is say, “Hey Google, what’s my day like?” She then commences to say something like this: Good morning, William. The temperature in Denver right now is 26 degrees. The high today will be 48. You have an appointment with Joe Blow at 11:30. However, inexplicably, the other morning after he asked her that question, she did her spiel, but at the end of it, she added Your commute time this morning will be approximately 28 minutes. Hmmm. Now that’s interesting, because he is mostly retired, and even when he did work, for all of the years we’ve been married, and many years prior to that, he’s worked out of his house. Bill and I looked at each other, and I said, “I wonder where she thinks you work?” The next morning, he asked her the daily question, and she did her regular spiel. And this time at the end, she added Your commute time this morning will be approximately 18 minutes. Somehow his commute to wherever she thinks he works was 10 minutes shorter. So it got us to thinking….and led Bill to subsequently ask her this question: “Hey Google, where do I work?” She immediately responded, You work at 9109 E. Elmwood St. in Mesa, AZ. Bill did the math and figured out that to get from Denver to the job she thinks he has in AZ in 18 minutes, he must travel at a speed of somewhere in the neighborhood of 3000 mph. As my sister Bec put it when I told her the story, “Apparently Bill is an astronaut.”

My grandmother crocheted and knitted. All of her grandchildren were on the receiving end of all sorts of her handicrafts – afghans, bedsocks, vests, booties, sweaters, and so forth. One of the things she often made was stocking caps, and every single stocking cap she made had a pom-pom on the top. Without fail. Always, always the pom-pom. Except she never called it a pom-pom. She called it a boobly. As in what color boobly do you want on your stocking cap? So that is, of course, what all of her grandkids call, well, booblies. In fact, my brother pointed out during winter NFL football last year that all of the professional football players at a particularly cold game were wearing imgresstocking caps with booblies. “I wonder if Peyton Manning is comfortable wearing a stocking cap with a boobly?” I remember my brother asking me. I was channeling my grandmother yesterday afternoon as I was finishing up some of my Christmas gifts, two of which involve a boobly. I am not too proud to admit that I had a HELL of a time making that boobly. First I didn’t use enough yarn. Then I had trouble tying the yarn together by myself. Once I had my yarn cut and tied, the final step is to trim it up so that it looks full and perky. My friends, I had yarn EVERYWHERE. I don’t even want to think about how much yarn I inhaled. One boobly – ONE SINGLE BOOBLY – took me something like an hour to make, and remake, and remake once again. As I finally tied the boobly on the last hat, I looked to the heavens and recalled that Grammie used to crank out these booblies like nobody’s business. One more thing to admire about the woman.

They Say It’s Your Birthday
Yesterday was my 63rd birthday, and I don’t know how in the hell THAT happened. But I am banking on the fact that you are only as old as you feel, and I feel pretty darn good. My birthday started with breakfast with Dagny and Magnolia and the celebration will conclude on Saturday when Court and the kids come for dinner and make me a birthday cake. Bill took me out for dinner at one of my favorite restaurants, a neighborhood Italian restaurant called Farro’s. That restaurant has one of my favorite things to eat – a dish they call Seafood Farro, but which is basically cioppino.


Oh, yum.  And it was as good last night as always. They offer a special deal where when it’s your birthday, you get the percentage that equals your age off of your meal. Smokin’ deal. I asked the server what was the largest percentage they’ve ever had to honor. She told me it was for a woman who was 99 years old.


Falling for Fall in the Mountains



My sister Jen says it’s one of her favorite sounds in the world. I must admit, it’s right up there – somewhere between a really good choir singing Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus and the sounds of my grandkids’ voices.

What am I talking about? The sound of elk bugling in Rocky Mountain National Park in the fall.

That’s why Jen and I make it a point every year to trek up to Estes Park to spend at least one evening with the bull elk as they woo their girlfriends in their fascinating mating ritual. This year Bec joined us, and I think our annual tradition will become hers as well.

As dusk approaches and it begins to get darker, you start hearing the eerie sound of the bulls – a sound that begins low and increases in pitch until it echoes against the mountains. It is beautiful, and apparently the female elk agree. They can’t resist. Who could? We read that in preparation for the evening’s activities, the bulls urinate and then roll in the wet mud. What female could turn their noses up at such sex appeal?

Each year it seems we get a better show, and this year was no exception. We saw two Elk bugling 2015 (2)big bulls fighting for their territory. They lowered their heads and charged each other. They stomped their feet and charged again. Suddenly (or at least it seemed sudden to us), the fight was over. We couldn’t tell who won. The two just turned around and walked off in opposite directions. We never figured out the rules, though we tried.

We watched an interesting display that included three bull elks – one of which was injured and walked with a decided limp. He must have lost a fight. The other two played some sort of elk waiting game. Suddenly, one of the bulls walked over to the other bull’s herd and lured one of the cows to come with him. She seemed undecided, but the big bull elk helped her make the decision as he began to chase her over to his herd. We couldn’t quite figure out whether she was happy or not. At the end of the day, it really doesn’t matter because it’s the males that make the decision.

It was a glorious weekend. The first night we cooked steaks on the grill and ate them atsteaks estes park a table on our balcony at the Deer Crest Resort. It was a lovely warm fall night, and the grounds of this resort are beautiful. I promise I’m not being paid by the hotel to recommend this accommodation. The resort and the owners are both delightful. I can’t recommend it enough. The owner joined us that evening at the fire pit, shortly after the three of us drank our Fireball whiskey shots. Now that’s a sentence I never thought I would write. But, well, yum.

We spent much time sitting by the Fall River, listening to the sounds of nature.

We spent much time sitting by the Fall River, listening to the sounds of nature.

The second night, after the amazing elk show, we ate dinner at the Dunraven Inn, which provided us another grand experience. Jen ate mussels, and Bec and I each had cioppino. If I wasn’t such a lady, I would have licked my bowl. Yum again……

cioppino dunraven

We had a wonderful weekend, which unfortunately concluded with the car incident about which I wrote yesterday. But what the heck! Even that provided us with a great story to tell.

Bill will be home today, and it is my sincerest hope that he will NOT have rolled in mud.