What an Evening, or How I spent the last 24 hours

     After I dropped the kids off at the house last night, I went back to the office at 520. I knew that Dan and Karen were out with the Qwest guy doing work on the T-1 install and so wasn’t too worried about them not being back.  Knowing them, they’d go have a meal and then come home.

Well, dusk rolled around and they weren’t back. In fact, my radar was pinging off the wall. I tried calling them, and got no answer. Granted, that isn’t unusual, as cell phone coverage is rather spotty around here at the best of times.  At 6pm, Daniel called looking for Karen. I let him know that they weren’t back yet and then tried to call them again. No answer.
By this time, I am really beginning to fret. At 7 I started some tea and a few burritos, as I was hungry. Just as the microwave went off, the phone rang. It was Karen. They were on foot as the truck had gotten stuck in a snow bank up in Black Hawk Ranch. Shit! Black Hawk Ranch is a lovely area, but when the roads are bad, there is no going in or out. Heaven help you if you go off the road.
So, I grabbed my coat, phone and tea and headed out the door to drive to Pryor exit, which is the last point where you can get cell phone coverage. After a few moments, I got Dan on the phone. They were on 4 mile canyon road. I knew where that was, and said I’d come to them, but Dan was afraid that the road was too rough for my little car. Plus, he and Karen figured that they’d find a house to call from and that would be easier than trying to find them in the dark. (HA!) I tried to convince him that I’d just head up the road, but he didn’t want me out of cell phone range. I understood why, but it didn’t make it easier to wait.

This was very frustrating as I:

  1.   Knew the road, and understood that there were very few houses to call from. Most don’t have phones.
  2.  That the minute they moved off the ridge, that they’d be out of cell phone range and wouldn’t be able to call.
  3. It was getting very cold.

However, I waited. Drove up at one point to see if I could find a spot with cell phone coverage. No luck. Drove back and sat until nearly 9:30pm. Dan called and told me to meet them at the T intersection on the road. The same one I had mentioned meeting them at 2 hours earlier. grrrr….. They had the laptop with GPS, and had only just figured out where they were WITH cell phone coverage to call. So, I drove up and met them about a quarter of a mile past the intersection. Had I not listened, I would have picked them up much earlier. I understand why he wanted me to wait where I had phone coverage, but… Oh well.  Men.
So, they had walked 5.16 miles in the dark. Karen and Dan were exhausted because of the cold. I dropped her off at home to deal with the puppies and then brought Dan home. Got warm clothes for him and some dinner. Then stuffed him in bed and headed for bed myself.

This morning I got up and tried to get Dan to get an early start… He was so sore and stiff that it took forever to get him moving. And of course, the temps were up in the 60’s today. I wanted us to get there before the road he was on turned to a muddy slush puddle. Plus, our sewer at 203 was clogging and we needed to get to La Veta so we could rent the sewer snake.

So, we went down to the local AAA provider and got the big truck to go pull us out of the snow. Or so we thought. We got to within 1/2 a mile of the truck when the guy stopped. “It’s too muddy. I can’t go down there. I’ll get stuck.” grrrr…. So, we walked down in the slush and mud and could not convince the guy to try it. Drove back, got some lunch and then went to the “edgier” tow company. Father and sons grease monkeys. Dan and the one boy headed out to try again. This time with a 4W drive Bronco.
They got there and it was muddier and slushier, but they were able to get to the truck. Right as they were getting ready to pull the little truck out, the big one died. Dan and the boy (ok, 20 something) started to check the engine. They finally figured out that it was the fuel pump. A big rip in the diaphragm. Dan did an emergency repair on that and got the truck started. The battery on the little truck was dead, so they towed it to the highway exit. Karen hobbled to her car and brought them a battery charger to fix that. She is sore and trying to deal with the fact that she walked so far at altitude after living in New Orleans most of her life.
So, the truck is home and we will fix the sewer at my house tomorrow. It is after 5 and Dan has only been home about 20 minutes.


    Now I know how my dear friend Laume felt when her children brought her home a puppy for her birthday.

I was asleep when I heard the door open. I figured it was Dan back with the kids. No, it was Daniel with a puppy. The same puppy he has been trying to get me to take for the last month. The same puppy I’ve been saying NO about for the last month. sigh…

So, here I am, half asleep and next thing I know, there is this fuzz ball licking my fingers. Oh, and Daniel smiling down on me talking 90 miles an hour about how he’ll take care of it and how it is staying here, etc…  I kept saying NO.

Not that this was working. sigh… We even made jokes about the whole bullshit level rising high enough to need a snorkle. Of course, I finally gave in and cuddled the puppy. She is a German Shepard mix. Mostly golden brown with black highlights.  Even black eyeliner. Gads… She is very pretty and very sweet.

Dan even said that the owner wouldn’t let Daniel have the puppy. So, Daniel called Stefan and Stefan said yes. So much for that ploy. Oh well…

So, Karen has taken the puppy to housebreak her. We should get her back in a week or so. sigh…

Monday morning blahs…

    Yesterday was our payday trip to Pueblo. I went with John and we headed out around noon. We had to be back fairly rapidly as I was suppose to have a teleconference in the evening. So, we did our usual shopping bits. Some of it was lessened as Mom and I did some of the shopping last week when she was here. We also stopped at Payless Shoes. They had a sale on, so John got new sneakers and sandals and I got some “croc” copies for little Morgan and myself. Mine are bright red.

At Target, we got socks with bells on them for Morgan and two teeshirts for Matt. I also got new undies. (wheee…. lol!) They have the cat and dog from Mutts on them. Silly. :>  We stopped at Taco Bell on the way home. Yumm…

We got home around 6pm and unloaded the car rather quickly. Not as many groceries made things go quickly. I dumped laundry in the dryer and the washer and then headed over to the office. Karen sent over some supper too. She wanted to make sure Dan and I ate. :> Went to bed early with cramps. Uggh…

Still feel a bit rough this morning so Dan took the kids to school. I still have to see if Daniel needs to go to Trinidad. argh…

Enough whinging for now… I think I’ll go crawl in bed.

What a week!

    Oh my what a week! Here it is Saturday, and this is the first time I have had time to write.  Monday was busy with business. Tuesday my parents came in to town to work on their house on Cedar.

Wednesday was a full day. Took the kids to school and stopped by the office for a few minutes. Then off to Pueblo with my mom to do some shopping. We got curtain rods and bits and bobs for my house. Socks for Matt and Morgan, some groceries and then had a nice lunch at Applebee’s. Drove home in time to drop Mom off and then went to go pick up the kids.

After I got the kids, we went to Andy’s for dinner as the Science fair was on at 5pm. In the mean time, Dan had driven Beth to Denver so that she could take a plane to Vermont. I was a bit peeved, because I wasn’t sure he would get  back in time for the science fair. However, he drove like a speed demon, and got there in time to see the kids, their projects and enjoy the company of some of the parents. We headed home and then got some stuff done around the office.

Thursday, I got some work done at the office, and then my Mom, Daniel and I headed to Trinidad. Daniel had to go to his college class and Mom and I went shopping. We had lunch at Mission at the Bell first. Oh yummm! We got the stuff at Walmart and then picked up Daniel. Luckily, I didn’t have to pick up the kids, because they had a spelling bee and were dropped off in town. For dinner, we had a working meeting at Alys’. Dan treated us this time. Lovely lamb! Oh, and the fig upside down cake was heavenly.

Friday, We worked in the office and my parents headed home to the Grand Canyon. I had a headache, and got stuffed in bed for most of the afternoon. Today we were suppose to have builders come and finish up the door at 520. So far, they are 4 hours late, and we don’t feel that they will show at all. Oh well… Not that I am too concerned as it looks like it is going to snow. Dan got an ax and chopped up some of the deadfall from the wind storm last month.  The rest of the day, we are going to work on tiding up the office. aieeee!!!

Where I’m From

A blog thing I got from Diana! She found it here:


So, here’s my attempt!

I am from the book shelves looking out on the mountains, from Fig Newtons and endless cups of tea.

I am from the house on the hill with crazy gardens of stones, twisted paths and fragrant herbs warming in the sun.

I am from the junipers swaying in the wind, the mountains covered in snow.

I am from adventurers and hard working strong women, from Grandma Pauline Sudar, and Grandma Ruth Lee, and Nanny Ridge.

I am from the bunch who can’t wait to see what’s over the next ridge and enjoy the beauty of the mountains we live in.

From “Can’t you get out of the puddles, there’s Lightning!” and “Don’t forget how to get back to camp for dinner!”.

I am from a family that believes in G.O.D. Which means the Great Out Doors, and I do love the mountains that I live near, loving the beauty they sing in my heart.

I’m from Denver, Colorado, a mix of Croatian, Swede, English, Irish, Scots Welsh and German. Yet green chile and home made tortillas are my comfort foods!

From the cold snowy April fields of the Ludlow Massacre where a young family hid next to the “Dinosaur” for four days in the cold, the girl who rode her bicycle out to Rattlesnake Buttes to find fossils and wasn’t afraid of the snakes, and the man who went from nearly being swept away down the Orinoco River to being a park ranger at the Grand Canyon.

I am from the cedar chest filled with memories, the hard drives full of photos and stores, the envelopes with pictures in grainy gray and black. From the men and women willing to take risks in the new world and from the earth which gave them such beauty to look at.

I am from my family that loves me, my travels around the earth and my soul that soars with the love and beauty of those around me.


Masses and Weddings and toasts! Oh My! (irreverant humor warning!)

    Yesterday was interesting. John’s boss Monica got married. It was a Catholic marriage with the whole nuptial mass. Oh, and you have to add in that all of us, (John, Dan, Beth, little Morgan and I) are PAGAN! So, it was going to be interesting no matter what.

Did I mention that Monica is in her 50’s and George the groom in his 60’s? Or that Dan still smells like his underhouse guest, the skunk?

I got up and started running around trying to get ready about 8am. At 10am, I came over to 520 in order to trim up Dan’s beard. He was in the midst of writing the tech savvy article for the Huerfano Journal, so I didn’t get that done until nearly 11:30am. I got back to the house at noon, dived into the shower and then struggled to get tights over damp legs and to dry my sweater which hadn’t. I wore my new brown skirt, green and brown tweedy sweater and my lovely English black hat. I even left the pin with the witch on a broomstick on it! I wore my pentacle and amber too! Yes, I was being a brat. However, I’m the only one who has been in that church out of all of us. Been there for lots of funerals and a few weddings.

The wedding was at 1pm, and it was nearly 12:45pm before we started out the door. It was snowing too!

We got to St. Mary’s Church in decent time. Sat in the back and hoped that Dan didn’t offend everyone in sight/smell. Beth had little Morgan sitting next to her in hopes of explaining all the odd bits of catholicism. I was sitting between John who was trying to be solemn and respectful and Dan who was switching from giggling to rapt curiosity.    Of course there were all sorts of people in there I hadn’t seen forever, and had to catch them up in 30 seconds or less on everything that has happened since I saw them last.

Things got started and that is when hilarity began to ensue. First off was the catholic aerobics… the whole up and down bit. I have always joked it was to keep people awake.  Little Morgan began to give the adults the “What???” look. Then there was the priest. He is from Africa. English was not his first language, and he had a very heavy accent.  This of course sent both Dan and John atwitter. I leaned over towards Dan and he whispered that all he could hear was Peter Cook from the Princess Bride saying “Mar-wage”. Snicker…. Then I leaned towards John… and he said all he could think of was Rowan Atkins in Four Weddings and a Funeral saying: “The Father, the Son and the Holy Spigot”. I had to bite my lip not to laugh.  The priest’s diction and pronunciation had us giggling all through the mass.

Trying to behave, I went back to looking around the church when we weren’t bobbing up and down in our seats.  (every time we did, Dan wafted skunk) St. Mary’s is a Very Marionite Church. The arch inside the church over the main altar is very Yonic. And it doesn’t help that at the very top of the arch there is an ornamental carved piece of wood in the shape of an acorn or ball. And yes, it is in exactly the right spot to be a clit. There is also a fringed dome behind the arch… very womb-ish. All I could think was that if you superimposed a picture of the female anatomy over the altar, it would match! Dan noticed this as well.  The church is also odd in that it’s main door faces North. In church doctrine, that is the “witches door”, or the door that all of those out of favour are suppose to enter when they come to church.  As this is an old church, it isn’t like they couldn’t have put the door facing east. However, there is a very heavy Converso element in the Spanish Catholics that was here when the church was founded. All of those Conversos would have come through the North door… (conversos… jewish converts to catholicism to avoid the inquisition) So, all of us Pagans came in the right door!

The mass itself was typical. Lots of bits about how god created marriage because a man should not be alone, that a good marriage is supported by going to church on Sunday, etc. The only part they really left out was the whole ‘fruitful’ bit. Considering the age of the wedding couple, it was a good thing! It also reminded me just how far from a Christian mindset I am. That whole “obey” and “until Death do you part” just doesn’t work for me. Never did.

There was a soloist who was very nice. Good thing I knew enough Spanish to know what he was singing. He sang at the reception too. Folkloric guitar and NO MIC NEEDED . Oh gods he had volume. But back to the wedding…

When they got to the actual vows, George was being a bit of a cut up. I was so proud of him. He normally isn’t a solemn guy, and to sit that long must have been a trial. They did the ring thing and then it was time for the sharing of the body of Christ.  The priest brought out the host and I started giggling. It was a plate sized disk, and all I could think of was “Oh my gods! It’s the Holy Tortilla!” It didn’t help when he broke it up in wedges and Dan leaned over to whisper, “look! it’s a holy quesadilla!” I just shook with laughter.  They actually did use the big disk broken into pieces for everyone. Norma Lou, one of the older ladies who is on the library board was helping with the cup part of things and when everyone is done, she drank the last of it. This of course prompted comments about her real reasons to help out, etc. Dan and I were also making snarky remarks about cups of sharing and cakes and ale etc. We were being very quiet, but John started glaring at us because we weren’t being “respectful enough”. When it came to the Peace unto Others fellowship bit, we stood, and shook hands with those around us. That’s when I realized that not only were we the “pagan” section, but the whole two rows behind us were too! All of our pagan/alternative faith friends were together. Dan apologized for his ‘scent’, and one guy laughed as he thought he had smelled skunk, but wasn’t sure.

After the wedding, we went to Alys’ Cafe for the reception. Daniel was working there and I got lots of hugs from my friends who work there.  I got lots of compliments on my hat. :> There was heavenly food. Shrimp, caviar, barbecue chicken on skewers, hummus, fresh fruit, chocolate and carrot cake, and lovely wines, beer, etc. Alys makes everything from scratch. Yummmm…… (and that is why I loved working there!)

Once again, I had to catch up everyone I hadn’t seen in a while on life in our family. I also got stuck talking to an “art broker”. Strange lady! Ah well…. We ate tons, visited and then went to say goodbye to Monica and George. George noticed the witch pin on my hat and asked what that was… I said it was a witch on a broom, and he looked at me a bit strange. (no, he doesn’t know I’m pagan!) I said it was on my hat and I hadn’t taken it of. He sort of smiled and then I said that “at least I didn’t go up in flames when I went into the church” with a smile and he laughed. John about choked. I waited until we were outside to laugh!

After the wedding, I went out to see Damon and Pauline. I visited with them for about 2 hours and then headed home and to bed! What a day!

Calm before the storm

    We have lovely clear weather at the moment with just a bit of wind. However, we are suppose to wake up to about 6 or more inches of snow by morning. Maybe even 9 inches by Friday morning. Wheeee…… Can you tell I’m tired of cold weather?

This week has been fairly calm business wise. We are working on the T-1 cable settings for the Budget Host hotel. Dan has had router issues, but we think he has them settled. What we really need though is for him to get it all up and running so that we can start making some profit. Plus, Karen has finally made the last trip up from Louisiana and is moving into her house on Colorado Street. Dan is helping her unpack this afternoon.

Last night I went to the Peakview Open House and Dedication. They finished the 4 thru6 grade section of the school which means we now have PreK thru 12 on one big campus.  I was invited because I was on the school board when we started this project oh so  many years ago. As a thank you gift, all of the past and present boardmembers got a water colour painting of the Spanish Peaks that can be seen from the big stairwell windows of the new school.

Spanish Peaks

Today I am catching up on paperwork from about six different directions. Some of it I know what to do with, others… I’ll wait until I can corral Dan or Karen. Wheee….. I think I like tax paperwork almost as much as snow. Or, headaches. I’ve had one for most of the last 36 hours and am fed up with them.

On with the paperwork…

Heat, glorious HEAT!

    Ok, I know it is only about 53 degrees outside, but it feels like a heatwave. It is 65 in my office and that is without a heater! Even the snow is melting!

It is such a nice change. Albeit a short one no doubt. We will see. Yesterday was fairly nice too. After a late start, Dan and I headed to Pueblo to do the shopping. We had to stop at Sam’s Club first and get the tires rotated and balanced. Somewhere along the way I had thrown a tire weight.  It made for very wobbly driving at certain speeds.

After Sam’s, we had dinner at the Texas Roadhouse. Yummmm! Then it was off to Petco, Staples, Target and Walmart. We would have gone to Vitamin Cottage, but they closed earlier than I expected.  As it was, we didn’t get home until nearly midnight. Long day! I didn’t finish unloading groceries until nearly 1am.   Oscar whined outside the door the whole time, because “mama” was locked in! sigh…

Once we got done, I curled up in bed.  I had to get the dogs off of it and out of the room. Of course this morning Oscar had to help me get dressed. Checked the skirt, the tights and the shoes out to make sure “mama” was ok. It was a riot of dog noses and dog hugs.

Today I have tried to get some of the paperwork caught up, but my mind wasn’t on it. Much more entertained by Youtube videos and silly emails. Ah well…


Monday morning we woke to about 2 inches of snow. Most of it melted rather quickly, and it was a fairly nice day.

Later, we got a storm warning, but there was nothing but blue sky. I ran some errands, made a heavenly pork roast, rice and black beans with green chiles. Then it was off to a District accountability meeting. At the meeting, I got talked into being part of a new committee for designing a strategic plan for the district. Ah well,… I was involved with the one planned 12-14 years ago, so why not.

I came home, had dinner since I didn’t get to eat before the meeting and sat down to talk with Dan about his afternoon. He’d gone out to a client and then stopped at the Amato truck stop on the way home. While he was there, the Army group headed for Pinon Canyon Exercise grounds pulled in. In talking to a Lieutenant, he made the realization that all 1200 men were headed into the canyon just ahead of a severe winter storm warning, and that they had no clue. Most of them were fresh from Iraq or leave, and had no clue of what Southern Colorado could do to them in a snow storm.

To say that he was a little irate over the whole thing was an understatement. So, he talked to the Lt. and the Major in charge. Dan let them know the kinds of things that they were in for, and what they could do. From what Dan said, these guys were equipped for sunny weather, and not below zero temps. He gave them some advice, and they actually pulled some of the other officers in to listen. Talked about all sorts of things. Then Dan headed home, and worried.

He told me all of this and it only reinforced some thoughts I’d had earlier in the week. That the military was trying to force the hand of Congress to expand Pinon Canyon by hook or by crook. If there was a disaster out there at this time of year, no one would think twice about allowing the expansion, because it would be to “protect our troops”. grrr….. So, I wrote my congressmen. Told them what I thought of the whole thing. I am still waiting to see what becomes of that.

However, in the meantime, it SNOWED! We have a good foot of the stuff. In fact, it started snowing around 9pm last night and didn’t stop till nearly noon today. I chickened out and didn’t take the kids to school. No way I was going to drive all the way to Gardner and back twice in this weather. Didn’t matter either that Gardner has maybe a 10th of the snow. I wasn’t going to drive in my little light Neon in the snow. Guess I’d better get Dan to fix Blue. (the pick-um-up truck)

Snow on front porch

Snowy tree

We reorganized the work we needed to do for the day, and Dan didn’t go out until about 15 minutes ago. He had to dig the truck out! Dan digs out the truck!

The sun is trying to shine, which means that the clouds are breaking up. If it does clear off, it will be bitterly cold tonight. Not looking forward to that. Nor, the trip to the school bus in the morning.

Oh, we also got an email from the Lt. They’d survived the night in spite of the storm. Even got some supplies dropped to them via a buddy. (Mwahahaha!) Now here’s hoping that they go home in one piece soon!


Ah, only 6 more weeks of winter, and I will be so glad when it is over! It is a delirious 57 degrees in my office at the moment. And that’s with the heater going.

It has been a busy few weeks. Karen was here and got her house as well as did some work on it. Then she had to go down to New Orleans to finish up things there. In the meantime, we all worked as hard as we could between being cold and sick.

Plus, the kids have been whingy or fighting. I had the urge to knock their heads together, but realized that would probably just knock the one brain cell they were sharing out of their wee heads. Not really, but it seems like it at the moment. Matt is 14 and Morgan 11. Too many hormones! Oh, and add in Daniel at nearly 18.

Dan is off today to test and get his FCC license. It will be my turn soon, but I can wait a bit. Can’t get enthused about it. Too much else on my plate to be honest. HTML, CSS, office stuff, tech stuff and wanting to knit and write. Oh, and don’t forget the genealogy!

I also have my taxes to do. Should have done them today, but to be honest, I’m tired. Tired enough that I don’t want to make a mistake and totally mess up our return. So, I’ll do it tomorrow or Monday.

Plus, today is Imbolc. I changed over my two private altars and have yet to do the one in the living room. Logan is such a pest that I am nervous about putting nice things out at a height he can reach.

Dan and I celebrated the cross quarter day which was nice although it turned out to be a very busy day. We had a job down at the Walsenburg Housing Authority. Originally a wiring job, but it became a wireless setup and Network revamp. Funny bit was when we went in, Dan went first and I followed with some of the stuff. Dave, the manager there pulled Dan aside and whispered to him that “it looks like you have an elf following you about… But don’t tell her that!” Dave meant me, and Dan laughed. Dave and I were on the School Board together. It cracked me up.

One thing I am glad of is that we are finally getting over the series of colds/flu/sinus crud that has been plaguing both the office and home. Huzzah!!!