Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Tuesday Night Dinner Out

Finally, things are starting to turn green here. Some trees are starting to show their summer finery. The mornings aren't quite so frigid as they were a week ago, although another cold front is headed through tonight. It's been warming up to the 70's during the day. I need to do some updated photos to show off the new color.

Yesterday was a pretty low-key day here. I got caught up with blog reading. Some blogs and forums have had notes recently about napping. Jim is a good napper. The dogs are experts, but I never really got the hang of it. So yesterday I gave it a little try. It worked out ok, but I think I need more practice!

We were invited to have dinner at Chris & Karen's house yesterday evening. They've been friends for years. Karen and I were walking buddies, can you believe we actually got up and walked nearly every morning at 5 a.m.?? Hard to imagine doing that, but we did, for years. Karen had invited some other friends of theirs whom we had not yet met. She thought we'd enjoy visiting with them, since they have a travel trailer. Bob and Kathy just came back from Arizona. In our visiting, we realized we were nearly neighbors! They stayed at a campground in Tucson Mountain Park called Gilbert Ray. We were only a couple of miles (as the crow flies) across the desert at Doc Justin's Diamond J. It was fun comparing notes on our different styles of rving. Of course, we started pretty much the same way, tent to pop-up, to trailer. They are just about to trade in their trailer for a 5th wheel. They were interested in our lifestyle, but enjoy having their house to come back to.
This is Chris and Bob heading to the table for dinner.
Kathy is pouring the water while Karen puts a dish on the table.

We had a very enjoyable evening of conversation and a delicious dinner. Karen needed a little help with a computer issue, so she serenaded Kathy and me on her flute while I worked on the computer. We rejoined the men and had more discussion over dessert and coffee.

Today we are going to enjoy more company! Friends from our days in the power plant are coming for lunch. With the unpredictable weather, we decided to fix a roast in the crockpot instead of trying to grill. I think that was a good decision, since the wind is already blowing and will only get stronger as the day goes on.

And so the days roll by in our wonderful life!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Watching Birds & Enjoying Friends

Yesterday was house-cleaning day. As I took a break, I noticed Jim had filled the bird feeder again. The birds empty it almost as fast as we can fill it. The dogs don't take much notice, generally. However, I guess a movement caught Mr. BoJangles' eye and he jumped up on the couch next to me to see what it was. Of course, Jasmine had to follow along and see what the excitement was about.

Later in the afternoon, a friend we both worked with at the Utilities stopped by for a short visit. It was nice to see Mike!

Our friends, Louis and Marie, were coming for dinner. We haven't seen them since Jim's retirement party in 2006. I worked with Louis when we were installing new software at the Utilities. He is very sharp -- both in wit and intelligence. Marie is originally from Sweeden. Although she is soft-spoken, her wit and intelligence are every bit as sharp as Louis. We were happy to see them and spend time getting caught up. Louis is very interested in this rv-ing lifestyle. Marie is a little more hesitant, but after seeing our coach, she may be a little more interested in exploring the possibilities.

Here they are with the dogs.

After a great evening of conversation, laughs and recollections, they said good night, with tentative plans for us to visit their home in a week or so.

Every week, I get a little report from Sitemeter, providing me with all kinds of statistics about who's reading my blog. I've noticed the number of readers has gone down slightly the past two weeks. Maybe since we're not traveling and having great adventures on the road, we've become boring - all this sitting still, cleaning house and visiting! We'll try to step up the adventure quotient! Or, maybe people are getting out in the spring weather and enjoying their own adventures.

We're still having a great time in this life!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Visiting Our Stuff, Nordic Walking and Bathing Dogs

That about sums up the weekend. Yesterday, we made the trip across town to check out our storage unit. Like many fulltimers, we had things that we didn't want to sell or get rid of when we sold our house. Some of the things have been in the family for ages, like quilts my grandmother made, a trunk that belonged to my great grandmother, pictures and other odds and ends. Other stuff we thought we might want "when" we decided to come off the road and get another sticks & bricks residence. That includes a few pieces of furniture, dishes, a treadmill, tools, and so on and so forth. Then there were things we just didn't want to part with. I'm not sure now what that list includes. We rented a rather large storage unit, I think it's about the size of a one car garage. We've talked about either letting go of the storage unit entirely, or at least downsizing it considerably. I don't think either one of us really remembered how much stuff we had in there! When we opened the door and saw that room filled, we both just groaned. We'd hoped the kids had taken the items they were supposed to, but no, all that was still in there. We definitely have some work ahead of us. I don't think either of us is too excited to begin - it seems like we'll never finish moving!

A few days ago, Jim read an article in the paper about Nordic Walking and decided he would be interested in doing that. We had a Nordic Track many years ago and got a lot of use from it. More information about this style of walking can be found at . There are several sporting goods stores in the area, and we thought we could find the walking poles we wanted here in town. After stopping at 3 different stores, we decided we could order them online and get exactly what we wanted. The poles we ordered are at The model is the Traveller. They should be delivered by the end of the week. Stay tuned for progress reports!

Today I washed dog bedding and gave both dogs baths. I also swapped out Jasmine's crate. We kept both of their crates from the house in storage, and brought hers back to the motor home yesterday. The ones we brought on the road with us were the soft-side collapsable type. Mr. Bo Jangles tore his when we were in Texas so we needed to buy a new one for him then. We got the hard side at that time. We decided to use the hard side type for both dogs, as they are much easier to handle and clean.

I've been wanting to eat at Culver's, a chain that opened a store here awhile back. They have frozen custard, which I'd never eaten. So today was the day. We went in the middle of the afternoon, thinking it wouldn't be very busy. Ha! The place was packed and stayed that way the entire time we were there. I guess it's pretty popular. I think I like frozen custard, but I'm sure it's not low calorie!

The weather settled down after an extremely windy day yesterday. It got so bad that we pulled in both slides on the north side of the rig for most of the afternoon. Today has been chilly, but calm and clear.

A great weekend!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Honoring Ann

Growing up, my sister, Ann always wanted to be a teacher. When our older brother brought home a girlfriend who was blind, Ann's future was set. We got to know Judy, our brother's girlfriend, very well as she spent time with our family. Ann was so impressed with all that Judy could do, and her attitude, she realized she would be a teacher of the blind. Over the years, her life took some twists and turns, as all of our lives do. Her dream was delayed, but in 1965 she began teaching visually impaired students in a local school district. Her career has taken her to public schools, the Colorado School for the Deaf and the Blind (CSDB) as a teacher, then as the principal of the school for the Blind. Eventually she "retired" and took a position as the Director of the Oregon School for the Blind.

When she "retired" from that position, she and her husband, Bob, became fulltime RV'ers for about 2 years. They decided to park the motor home and bought a house, only 3 blocks from a house they'd lived in for many years, here in the Colorado Springs area. Ann went back to work at the CSDB, as the Director of Instructional Materials for the state of Colorado.

Throughout her career she has been an amazing contributor to the community of educators of the visually impaired. From preschool to high school students, her outlook has been one of practical logic, unending optimism about what these kids can do, and a tremendous belief that they can succeed. She's about to "retire" again (her 4th attempt), but she's already planning what she'll do to remain active in the educational community. As a matter of fact, she is currently taking classes to become certified to teach preschool, so she can substitute at the school where her daughter is a director.

Last night we went to Denver to attend an awards ceremony, held by the Association for Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired (AER). This is an international association dedicated to providing support and assistance to the professionals who work in all phases of education and rehabilitation of blind and visually impaired children and adults. Ann was honored as the recepient of the 2008 Colorado Lifetime Achievement Award, a very high honor indeed!

Ann, as she is honored.

The ceremony was held at the Anchor Center for Blind Children in Denver. The center, a not-for profit organization dedicated to providing early intervention/education to blind and visually impaired children throughout the state of Colorado, has recently moved into a new building that has many specialized rooms. We had a great time wandering around looking at all the wonderful equipment designed to help visually impaired children reach their potential.

These sculptures are part of the sensory garden, where there are many opportunities for children to experience the outdoors.

Most of the rooms in the center are dedicated to families and organizations who contributed to the building. This room was one of my favorites -- notice the table is in the shape of a football? This is the Denver Broncos room. The machines on the table are braille writers.

I'm not sure how well this will show up, but can you see the little bumps on the paper? That's braille.

This is a painting on a wall in the Broncos room. There is a climb-up room within the room, where kids can climb up into a padded loft and read or just have some quiet time. Some of the kids who attend this center are totally blind, others have some level of sight.

In another room, this easel has "fuzzy" faces to teach the children about facial expressions and emotions.

I've just touched on the highlights of my sister's career and her accomplishments. Trust me, there's a lot more. But I just want my readers to know how proud I am to be her sister, she's a bright light in my life!

Congratulations, Ann, we love you!

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Caches and Cows

Boys day out and girls day out. .. Jim got up at dark-thirty this morning to go with his friend down to Pueblo to help out another friend with his cows. These guys have been friends just about forever. They get together as often as they can while we're in town. Today, Jim brought back proof that they were working with the cows -- at least part of the day!

Mama is concerned about what's happening to her baby!

These girls had a territorial dispute. Jim said they back up and come at each other, butting heads until one gives up. In this case, the brown cow won.

The Pronghorn (Antelope) was mildly curious about what was happening.

While Jim was out with the boys, my friend, Karen, came out for a geocaching adventure. There are at least 4 caches very near here, so I picked out the two closest.

Here's a little pond in Fountain Creej Regional Park, where we started our geocaching walk. This park is just across Fountain Creek from the KOA that we're staying at. There are many very nice walking trails here. I think we'll revisit this pretty area again while we're here.

Karen is a natural - she found the first cache very quickly! This was big enough for me to drop my California Rooster Travel Bug in, so he's once again on his way. I hope he travels far and sees much.

The cache was hidden in this huge, old cottonwood tree that had fallen.

We found one more cache before we called it good. Karen brought fixin's to make Pannini's, so we came back and had lunch and visited until she needed to go back home to meet the student she's tutoring today.
Karen and I both worked for a local school district at one time. She was a teacher, I was a secretary. We got in the habit of walking together early in the morning. For at least 6 years or more, until we both retired, we walked nearly every morning.

Wait, how did this picture get in here? This is the Ray D. Nixon Power Plant. I was the first woman to work in a power plant in Colorado Springs, and started at this plant back in 1980. Jim worked here as a Control Room Operator for several years before his retirement. Yes, we first met when we were both operators back in the early 80's.

It's been another fine day!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

What Can I Say?

When was the last time I went on a rant about our health insurance rules, you know, the ones that end up costing time, money, and sometimes a lot more than that? Sheesh. I take one prescription medication, for high cholesterol that runs in my family. My family is kind of like the one you see in that commercial where they make Aunt Edna look like a plate of fried eggs. Anyway, I need to keep up with my blood tests to make sure the medication I take doesn't turn my liver into fried eggs. I had my blood tested in February. I thought I'd be good to go for another six months on the meds. Wrong. The insurance wouldn't allow my doctor to renew my prescription until I actually went to her office. Now, I understand the importance of healthy habits and regular check-ups and all that. But to go to the doctor when I don't need to is a waste of insurance money and the doctor's time. Not to mention my time and the gas it took getting there. That's my opinion and I'm sticking to it. Oh well, I had a nice visit with the doc and I'm fine, thank you.

Another small frustration today involved us thinking about finding a less costly rv park for the last 3 weeks we'll be here. This KOA is going to their "summer" rates and we will pay quite a bit more for the last three weeks of our stay in the Springs than we did for the first month, even by paying their monthly rate. We did some research and I went to look at another park today. All I can say is, yuk. We'll just pay up and shut up and stay here. I wish there was a decent, affordable alternative here, but Colorado Springs is just very proud of itself in the summer. The nicer parks are very pricey, and the two we stayed at last year were also very crowded with the sites very close together. Yes, there are state parks in the area, but not close enough for us to keep up with our appointments here without spending more than we'd save, buying the gas to drive into town as often as we'll need to. We'll eventually make up what we spend now by staying COE and state parks as often as possible down the road.
Since we decided we like this KOA, here are a couple more pictures. The first one is the small miniature golf course, and the lower one is the other playground down in the lower section.

If you read comments I've posted, you'll notice that we get a lot of comments from a gentleman who is known as "Speedy". I talk to him nearly every evening in the RV-Dreams chatroom. He and his wife are nearly fulltimers. We will meet them in person in June at the RV-Dreams rally in Branson. He left a comment on yesterday's entry that said he was also born in Childress, Texas. Jim would have been born there too, except that his mom didn't like the doctor in town, so she went to a doctor down the road in Quanah. That's where Jim was born, but he lived in Childress for many years. What a small world! Speedy, we'll have to talk about that tonight in chat!
Even a couple of frustrating events can't take away from this beautiful day. We had warm temperatures and light wind, and a beautiful blue sky!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Happy Birthday, Jacob!

Our grandson, Jacob, turned the big 1-0 today! We celebrated with him and his mom, Robin, by joining them for dinner at Red Robin. The day he was born, 10 years ago, Robin lived in Childress, Texas. We were flying home from a conference in Scottsdale, Arizona. Now, they live here in Colorado Springs, and there are no more work conferences on our schedule.

Jim wrapped Jacob's present, a basketball, in one dollar bills. Here they are, unwrapping and counting!

I took the camera on our walk this morning. I keep talking about what we see, but haven't posted any pictures.

Do you see this squirrel laughing? Mr. BoJangles' all-time favorite activity is chasing squirrels. I know this one knows that the dogs are on leash, and it's so enjoying knowing that!

Here's one of the geese that keeps me company every morning. There are about 4 or 6 of them that hang around this area. This morning, I only saw this one, getting a nice bath in the creek.

I don't think anyone lives in this nest, but I see it every day, and it just looks so inviting!

This is one of the dozen or so rabbits that live in the campground. It decided to hunker down and not move when we came by this morning, so I was able to get a fairly decent picture of it.

Jim took this of Pikes Peak as we were out and about today. I don't mind the snow up there, as long as it stays there, not down here.

Jasmine went to the veterinarian today for a check up and a shot. Mr. BJ will go on Monday.

We went to lunch at our favorite Chinese Restaurant and did some shopping later this afternoon. Shopping is a whole different experience these days. Back in the Sticks & Bricks days, I would have gone home with several bags of "stuff" from an outing like today. But now, I mainly just look. I did buy 2 paperback books, a scrub brush and 2 little tubes of lotion. Jim bought one paperback book. Once we've read these books, they will get passed along to someone else!

It's been another wonderful day!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Peace and Quiet

The "to-do" list had a few items on it for today, and my side of it could be done from here. I need to have a regular check-up with my doc, so I got that appointment set up. The dogs' records need to be updated at the vet's, and Jas needs a shot, so I got that appointment set up.

I got in m morning walk and got a few extra steps in. Below is the area where I walk -- wide open and no rigs. Although this morning there was another woman with two big dogs down there, so I stayed at the opposite side of the loop and zig-zagged through the empty sites.

I think this KOA has more Kamping Kabins than any other one we've ever stayed at. I think there are at least 25 or more. Here are the ones on the edge of the upper level.

Jim went to do shopping for our grandson, Jacob's, birthday tomorrow. While he was out, he decided to do our laundry at a laundromat he'd seen near the shopping center. I puttered around the house, worked on some knitting and watched the birds at the bird feeder while he was gone.

Here's a view of the upper level of the campground, just across from where we are.

This is one of the play grounds. I'm sure the train is in honor of all the trains in this area!

We've got at least three finch families using our bird feeder. I can differentiate all three males. A male and female will stay at the feeder together, but not two males. They fight each other off, just like hummingbirds do. This afternoon I noted a new bird there - a little house sparrow. It's very entertaining to watch the activity!

Today has been one of my favorite kinds of days. Not too much going on, a quiet and peaceful day!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Still Going, and Meeting New Friends

I got a good walk in yesterday morning. The lower level of the campground is still empty, so it's nice to be able to walk the whole area. I can zig-zag through empty sites or walk all around the perimeter. I did cut one loop short because there were two Canadian Geese in the area and I didn't want to disturb them, so we cut out part of that loop. I did two laps, so my endurance is increasing. It's a peaceful time around 7:30 or 8:00 in the morning. There are a lot of birds around, and a few squirrels and rabbits as well. The critters provide lots of entertainment for the dogs!

When I got back from the walk, it was time to do my morning chores and straighten the place up a bit for our company - daughter Robin and grandson Jacob were coming for hamburgers at lunchtime. While I was doing that, Bob called to see if we wanted to go to their house for dinner and a few games of cards that evening. We love to play cards with them, so of course that was a yes. Their daughter and granddaughters wanted to come see our new home, so we made arrangements for them to stop by sometime during the day.

Another little activity I wanted to follow up with yesterday was the delivery of our replacement Directv receiver. When we were in Tucson, the service folks at LaMesa told us one of our problems with the tv was being caused by the receiver and we needed to replace it. We'd called Directv and had them send us a new one. It was supposed to have been delivered Friday. When I checked the FedEx web site, there was a note that they'd attempted delivery, but the business was closed. That pretty much set me off, since the business was definitely not closed. I made a phone call and spoke with a manager. The end result was that the "owner" of this route went and picked up our receiver and brought it out to the campground himself.

We got that set up and working after Robin and Jacob left. Then it was time to go to Ann & Bob's for dinner and cards. Dinner was good, but the guys won the card games. We play three different games - cribbage, canasta, and spades. The women partner against the men in cribbage and canasta. Even though we lost, we had a good time.

Yesterday, we also set up the window bird feeder we bought from Linda Payne of RV-Dreams. The last time we had it out was in Tucson, and we didn't have any birds visit us there. Almost as soon as we hung it and came inside, the house finches were at it.

This morning was another great walk morning, even though the wind was already up. The geese were still there too, but they'd moved a little further down, so I didn't cut out much of the loop. I got two loops in again. It's about time to increase my distance again!

Today was a special day because we were expecting Ginger and Jesse Hamon, of Pueblo, Colorado, to visit. They've been reading our blog for awhile now and contacted us when they knew we'd be in town. They've also met Howard and Linda of RV-Dreams. Retirement is coming up for both of them on May 23 and they plan to be on the road right afterwards. They are still trying to sell their house in Pueblo West so they can become fulltimers. I fixed a couple of snacks and they got here around 2:00 this afternoon. We visited all afternoon, comparing notes and stories and having a great time. They've just started a blog, called RV Travels in Kram-a-lottinn. We piled in their SUV and headed over to the local Applebees this evening for a nice dinner before they needed to head back home.

We thoroughly enjoyed meeting them and hope to spend some more time with them while we're here. They'll also be at the RV-Dreams rally in June, so we'll spend more time with them then.

Here are Jesse and Ginger:

We're still keeping busy and having a great time!

Friday, April 18, 2008


We have been here a week tomorrow. During that time we've been pretty much on the go most of the time. We did take part of yesterday to chill out, much needed time! Of course, the weather helped us along on that quest! This is what we woke up to.

The tree right outside our door:

Our car:

Wednesday night, Ann & Bob (Sister & Brother in law) and friends, Karen and Chris, came for dinner. Here's the dinner buffet. Chris is seated on the couch, Karen and Bob are standing:

Today turned out to be a good day in several ways. We were scheduled to go to Camping World to have our Even Brake system completely replaced. When we left Tucson, the Motor Home Monitor was completely dead. We weren't getting any signal at all. We contacted the Colorado Springs CW and they called Roadmaster. Turns out the system was still under warranty. Because it's changed so much in the 2 years since we bought it, they needed to replace all components - at no charge to us.

Our appointment was set for 10:30, but of course, Jim was eager to get there early, so we were ready to pull out by 9:30. Guess what! I got to drive the rig - by myself -- from the campground to Camping World! I stopped at the propane filling station on the way out of the campground, and then drove the half mile or so to CW. Jim led the way in the Saturn. I was so excited - and a little bit nervous. I'd driven this rig on the test drive, but the salesman and Jim were right there with me. I'm determined to be able to handle this rig on my own, so every chance I get to practice is good. I did great! At least I didn't scrape any signs or trees, and got us out of the campground, through an intersection (with construction going on), down the road and into the Camping World parking lot.

We got the system replaced and were on our way in a couple of hours. Jim took over the driving, and I brought the Saturn back to the campground. He went on to the truck stop down the highway to fill up with diesel and have the rig washed. The diesel set us back about $230 for just over half a tank, but the wash was only $63!

I took a walk around the campground to get some pictures.

This is the office building:

On the lower level, there are some really nice tent sites:

Last night in the RV-Dreams chat room, Dee was asking about the proportion of 5th wheels to motor homes. Here's a picture of our row. Our motor home is first on the right, and the next several rigs are 5th wheels.

We've spotted several critters today. Rabbits (I tried last evening to get pictures of them playing, but they didn't turn out), Canadian Geese, 2 coyotes, 3 mule deer, and an assortment of birds. I heard a meadow lark, but couldn't spot it.
We went out to eat Linner at On the Border, then walked across the parking lot to Borders Books so Jim could see about the latest copy of Chili Pepper magazine.
A very nice Friday!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Going About Our Business

The dental appointment was our highest priority on tax day. Good thing we didn't have to worry about taxes on dental day!

Jim went in bravely, came out a little worse for the wear, but doing pretty well considering 6 teeth had been yanked. He has temporaries for the next few weeks. Once his gums have healed up sufficiently and he's been fitted for the permament teeth, he'll go back and have them glued in. He said this first round was the hard part and is confident all will go much easier from here on.

Wind was howling by about 10 a.m. Unfortunately, it was also extremely dry, and a small wildfire directly west of us flared up into a major fire. The wind was blowing hard from the west. All day, the smoke got worse and worse. Finally, late in the afternoon, we were starting to feel the effects of it, and decided to get out for awhile and find some fresh air. We drove north on I-25 to the north side of the Air Force Academy, probably 20 miles or so from the campground. When we left last year, there was major construction being done to the interstate. They've finished most of it, and it's not a bad drive at all now.

Then we meandered around and ended up going west on Garden of the Gods Road which took us to 30th street, where the Garden of the Gods park is. We drove through the park and then down through Manitou Springs. We stopped at Sonic drive in to have a Java Chiller -- Jim's medication was wearing off a little, and the ice cream felt good. I had one too, just to keep him company!
Jim was the photographer for the day, even though he was under the effects of his pain medication. Here's a shot of some of the rocks in the Garden of the Gods. If you look closely, you can see the smoke from the fire in the background.
I liked the silhouette effect in this picture, showing the rocks, then the foothills, then the north flank of Pikes Peak.
The famous Kissing Camels from a slightly different angle than usually pictured.
Not all of the rocks in the Garden of the Gods are red. This is a white limestone rock.
On the way back home, we had a good view of the smoke from the fire, although we were not close enough to see the flames. Here is a theater with the smoke in the background.
Another shot of the smoke. If you could see it, our campground would be to the far left, right in the middle of the cloud of smoke.

While we were out, we had calls from friends and relatives who were concerned for us, knowing that we were in the path of the smoke from the wildfire. They offered us rooms, beds, a place to park if we wanted to move. It's nice to know they are concerned! We thanked them for their generosity and assured them that if we couldn't handle being at our place, we'd take them up on their offers.

We headed back home, hoping the wind had died down or changed direction. It had done neither, but we shut up the motor home and turned on the air conditioner until it got too cold, and then just left everything closed up. We did ok, although I could smell the smoke and feel my eyes watering a little far into the night. The wind finally died down and changed direction, and I remember at some point in the night, waking up relieved to breathe fresh air.

This particular fire had not damaged any structures, but a small plane crashed, killing the pilot. A far worse situation developed in Ordway, Colorado, where a wildfire killed 2 people and damaged several homes. The entire town was evacuated. Ordway is south east of here.

Today the air is a little hazy, but since the wind is down and blowing from a different direction, we've had much less effect from the fire. A cold front is moving through as well, and may bring some much needed moisture!
Our friend, Gary, stopped by today to visit. We chatted for quite a while and then took him to a little local diner for lunch.
We put a roast and veggies in the crockpot to share with family and friends this evening, which means I will probably miss yet another night in the RV-Dreams chatroom. I'm thinking about you guys, and should be back tomorrow night!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Reflections on "Home"

We haven't been to Colorado Springs for 10 months. That's not a long time, but long enough for our daily recollections to fade a bit. It's interesting, mentally and emotionally, to be back in the area I called home for over half a century.

We've been inundated since we got here with visits and get-togethers with friends and relatives, which has been wonderful. Those hugs and catching up conversations have been good for our souls. The campground where we're staying wants visitors to stop at the office to get a visitor's pass before coming to our site. We've sure kept them busy handing those out to our visitors!
It's a plane! No, it's a bird -- no, it's a Kite -----

----Being handled by grandson, Jacob. We brought him this eagle kite from Bosque Del Apache.

Jacob's mom, daugher, Robin, with Jasmine:

Son, Josh, admiring the Castle.

Josh, Robin, and Me, out in the campgroud. Yes, that is Pikes Peak in the background.

Today, Jim went to his dental appointment, then to have a day out with a couple of his friends. I accepted an invitation to go to a favorite Chinese restaurant with my sister and best friend. When I got ready to leave, I suddenly stopped and thought -- how do I get there??? It's been a while since I drove here. I had to go through a little mental exercise to remember the route. Of course, once I got on the road, it became pretty automatic. After lunch, I needed to run by our bank's ATM to get some cash. Once again, I needed to remember the route I drove probably a thousand times in my past. And, once again, as soon as I started out, it was all just like I'd never left.

Me, my sister, Ann, and friend, Karen at the Dragon Gate Chinese restaurant.

The gate at Jim's friend's ranch, east of Pueblo, Colorado.

It's interesting to observe how I'm reacting to being back "Home". I'm sure in a few days it will all settle in, the wrinkles in my brain about this place certainly haven't disappeared in 10 months. But it's a little different after being gone this long. By the way, this is the longest period I've been away from this city in my entire life. My horizons are definitely broadening!

I don't have a picture of the bird, but this morning, when I was walking the dogs, I heard a very loud bird call. As we walked along, birds would fly up and away, but the call was still coming from the same direction. As I got closer to the sound, I saw the bird. I didn't have a camera or binoculars, so I had to get fairly close to get a good look. It was a Killdeer. She (or he, I'm not sure which) was in the grass, hopping towards us, instead of flying off. I figured out there must be a nest close by that the bird was protecting. I stopped, assured the little bird that I wouldn't hurt it or the nest, and we turned and walked back the way we'd come to avoid disturbing it any further. I checked my guide when I got back, and verified that it was a Killdeer. As long as I lived here, I never remember seeing this species. The first time I identified a Killdeer was last fall in Rockport, Texas. Another sign of my broadening horizons.

Jim's dental work will be pretty much as we expected. He will have several teeth pulled, and a bridge expanded and replaced. He starts the process tomorrow. I guess I'll be making soup and milkshakes for him for a few days!

The weather is better than we expected it to be, although the weatherman is promising some wind, rain, and maybe even some snow this week. Typical Springtime in the Rockies!