Stationary Life Archives

April 21, 2008

Wildland Blaze in Boulder

Yesterday, Tim and I stood in our yard and watched 1-2 acres burn, as over 100 firefighters fought a blaze for several hours. A slurry bomber dropped fire retardant.



A crew was left there overnight to make sure the fire stayed contained. Several homes were threatened (not ours) but thankfully, there was no loss of life (or property).

They suspect a hiker dropped a cigarette, easily igniting the fire because it's been so dry and yesterday was so windy. How can it be considered dry when it just snowed? (See my last post.) Apparently (according to Tim), the few inches of snow we got was equivalent to "just a spit" of rain.

We used to live in the mountains where we were very aware of the fire danger. The fire yesterday was closer to town than anyone can remember. Several home owners got reverse 911 calls (we did not) but I still found myself wondering, "What would I take if I had only 5 minutes to evacuate?"

The answer was very different from what it would have been before we did "the bus thing." Then, I might have tried to salvage clothes, shoes, art work, etc. Now, it would only be pictures - our wedding album and my computer (because of the digital photos it stores).

As I learned on our bus year after the fire and armed robbery: Everything is replaceable.

What would you take if you only had 5 minutes? (Besides pets and children, which are a given, right?)

April 27, 2008

My Least Favorite Pair of Shoes


Ah, the "great" outdoors.

Tim took me on a hike today. Well, that's what happens when you get older, you forget stuff, ya know? Like what happened the last time he took me on a hike (which would have been on Sitka, AK during our bus year. Suffice it to say, that expedition shall forever be known as The Great Alaskan Death March.)

(Miles and me on Sitka. We're beaming because my whining just induced Tim to agree to turn back. I know what you're all thinking: "But, you've never looked so happy!" Well, yeah. I said this was taken at the precise moment we stopped. And, by the way: my editor agreed with you, because that's my author photo.)

As Tim gets even older, I suppose he'll be immune to my pleas, what with being able to turn off his hearing aide and all. If a princess whines in the wilderness and her consort can't hear her... did she even agree to go on the damn hike in the first place?

In this royal's case, not so much.

What did possess me to go? I do try to grace Tim with my presence on these things at least once a year just to remind us both why I don't go more often. And, truth be told, I did make the mistake of complaining that I was getting bored with my usual workout; daily treadmill in front of TV. Yes, I do "interval training" where I jack up the speed every few minutes just to fool my body into thinking I'm actually exerting myself. But, still. Ugly Betty has been on hiatus, The Bachelor's current crop of contestants are the most vapid in years (vapid's usually highly entertaining, but this season proves even vapidity has its limits). And, American Idol, well, don't get me started. Oh, all right. I think it's a measure of the show's lack of impact this season that it was only when I watched it yesterday while working out I discovered Carly'd been booted off. Where is Rock Star when you need it?

So, I agreed to the hike. After clearing out the cobwebs from my hiking boots, figuring out the best outfit (D: But, you said to layer! T - I didn't mean a sweater set) we were off.

Well, not quite. This particular hike usually takes Tim an hour when he's solo, so he never bothers to bring anything. For this auspicious occasion, he found it necessary to inform me (with considerable glee I might add) what he was carrying in his pack: Moleskin ("in case you blister your feet"), a space blanket ("in case you injure yourself and I have to keep you warm so you don't go into shock"), waterproof matches ("in case I have to build a signal fire for the rescuers to find you when I have to go get help when you injure yourself ").

You get the idea.

He continued his helpful commentary on the first steep slope.

"Wow. You're doing much better than I thought you would." I informed him that I should hope so, since part of my treadmill routine included 10 minutes of 3.5 mph walking on the steepest incline. He was impressed, if a tad disappointed, as in, "Gee. I thought this was going to be more entertaining." Then, a couple ambled toward us with Styrofoam coffee cups in their hands. Tim couldn't resist stopping them to ask, "Hey! How far is it to the Starbucks at the top?" The couple laughed uproariously. I didn't get the joke. There's a Starbucks everywhere, isn't there? You don't suppose...

It was just then I remembered actually doing this very hike with him some years ago with Miles. I still recalled how I balked when I saw that very steep incline, as Tim raced ahead with the poodle. After a few steps, Miles turned around and waited for me. I reminded Tim of this, saying, "He and I were looking at each other like, 'Are you going? I'm not going if you're not going. Let's just wait for the crazy man, here.'" Tim had a slightly different take on the incident.

"Miles assumed you'd come up lame and wanted to stay with you."

What does my husband want from me, anyway?

When we did reach the top (no establishments for refreshment of any kind, I might add), several cars were parked at the overlook. Tim pointed out a woman sitting in the passenger seat of one of them, while her husband ventured out for a peek.

"Look! She likes interacting with the outdoors the same way you do."

Yeah, there were nice views. But I think doing this more than every couple of weeks would get even more boring than my treadmill routine.

At least I can change the channel.

Seriously, for the outdoors inclined amongst you, can anyone explain to me? What's so "great" about the "great outdoors"?

May 21, 2008

My Fabulous Book Group

Last night my very own, fabulous book group (the one I've been in for over a decade) did QUEEN OF THE ROAD off galley copies. Thanks, ladies!

Of course, they were very complimentary. (What else were they going to say? They knew my onion rings would have made great projectiles.) And, for once, everyone finished the book! (Ditto - well, at least they said they did.) But, I was particularly gratified that in addition to the humor, they also "got" the underlying themes:

Don't wait - live your dreams NOW.

Keep challenging and stretching yourself.

The most important thing is to spend time with the people you love.

So, without further ado, here's my fabulous book group:


(Photo taken by our knights in shining armour, Peter Gail and his friend Michael, who had a camera in his cell phone, and saved the day when my camera refused to work.)
Jane Ann Hebert, Dina Horwedel, Sheryl Allen, me, Robbie Barr, Susan Wientzen at the Dark Horse, whose sister restaurant, The Bum Steer is mentioned in QUEEN OF THE ROAD as the place Tim and I had our first date. (He tricked me into going - the name couldn't be more appropriate.)

A few of the women are mentioned in the book:

Jane Ann has worked with Tim. Last night, she had to answer the question: "Is he really as great as Doreen portrays him?" (Hmmm. Wait'll I do that next edition.) Answer: "Yes." (There's that whole onion ring thing, again.) But then, she added, "And, what's really great, is you can tell how much he loves Doreen." Made even my cold, shrivelled heart melt. Thanks, Jane Ann.

Susan got some ribbing because in the book, I call her, "the most gorgeous woman I know." So, of course, she had to point out that I've had PRK - twice. (Maybe that explains my blinking in the picture.)

Sheryl, I term my "insane" friend, because her dream is to hike the Appalachian trail - 'nough said.

Robbie is mentioned in the acknowledgements as one of my beta readers, because I very much appreciated her judgment. (She's a judge - get it?)

Dina, who has had a fascinating life, providing aid in destitute, war-torn areas around the globe, had been in our group years before, then left to do her good work. She came back only recently and we're selfishly thrilled to have her with us, again.

Acknowledged, but not present, are Eileen GIlday and Deborah Ramirez who couldn't be there last night. We missed you, ladies! See you next time! (Geez. I hope it's not something I wrote.)

PS - Mom. I know you're going to be royally P.O.'d as only a Queen Mother can, that all these ladies have read the book and you have not. But, I wanted you to read the real book (you know, not a typo-filled, mistake-ridden, no blurbs yet galley copy) and I only got those last week. Yes, I know, I haven't sent you one of those, either. And, yes, I know in desperation, you ended up ordering one on Amazon.

I'll be happy to sign it for you.

June 26, 2008

Sir Celestial's Ultra-Fabulous Contest!

Living in Boulder, you kind of have to believe in Karma. It's in our city charter. And, since I refuse to do yoga - also in the charter (what's the point in putting that much effort into doing something just to think about nothing, when I'm already so adept at thinking about nothing without making any effort at all? I mean, if my mind were any clearer, I'd be dead.) I sort of have to go along with the Karma thing: Boulder's not likely to let that slide, too. (At the farmer’s market, Tim swears he once saw the result of what occurs when Boulder’s penchant for political correctness collides with its extremist attitude toward health: eggs labeled “vegetarian fed, cage free and voluntary.”)

When Tim and I were in wintering in "lovely" Modesto late last year, Karma intervened (no, not when we got stuck in the mud. What I'm talking about was a good thing that happened. Geez.) Since I thought we'd only be gone twelve weeks (yes, wishful thinking on my part) and I really and truly (really and truly) drink gallons of Celestial Seasonings various delectible flavors of Green Teas at home, I thought I'd brought enough with me. Not so much for five months away. Since we don't live far from their store in Boulder, I usually go there about twice a year (roughly equivalent to how often I'd leave the house) to buy the teas in bulk. When I ran out of tea in Modesto, I went on the Celestial Seasonings website for the first time and discovered... they have a book club! In partnership with my publisher! Well... what else could I do but ask if they would consider a local author. The rest is queenly history.

But, Celestial Seasonings has done so much more than simply select QUEEN OF THE ROAD for its Adventure At Every Turn Book Club, which would certainly have been wonderful in and of itself. However, Celestial is doing some incredibly additional things for this local author of theirs:

Wednesday, July 2nd, Celestial Seasonings is having me over in the a.m. (and you know how I must feel about them to get up so early) to discuss and sign copies of QUEEN OF THE ROAD for their employees. (Obviously, this is a company that treats its employees well.) Then, between 2-:3:30 pm, I'll be in their ultra-fabulous gift shop in Boulder (it really is. I love going there, not just for the wonderful teas and smells, but the creams, lotions, apparel, treats and books - and I don't even mean mine - gifts, etc) to sign copies of QUEEN OF THE ROAD for customers. Sir Tim shall park the Bus (With a Will of Its Own) in Celestial's parking lot to give tours of the Royal Rig to anyone who would like one. (I think next to actually driving it, that's his favorite thing in the world to do.)

But, wait! There's more: Since every chapter of QUEEN OF THE ROAD begins with an original martini recipe commemorating one the many disasters on our trip, Celestial Seasonings, in its infinite wisdom, asked me to come up with a tea-tini recipe which they are promoting on their website and through their book clubs! I had a lot of fun concocting it - what I remember of the process, at least (peach schnapps was involved). Furthermore, forthwith and foresure, Celestial Seasonings has also launched a contest for anyone to develop his or her own QUEEN OF THE ROAD iced-tea drink recipe for fabulous prizes. (Grand prize is a $500 American Express gift card, a signed copy of QUEEN OF THE ROAD and a $100 gift basket straight from the Celestial Seasonings shop!) I wonder if I can enter? But more importantly, can I knight an entire company? I'll have to do some research on that and get back to you.

Wait a minute. I'm Queen of the Road. I can do whatever the heck I please.

Celestial Seasonings, I dub thee... Sir Celestial! You have the eternal and undying thanks of this Sovereign. (Cheers and thanks to my royal publisher, House of Random, as well!)

August 31, 2008

Queen for a Fortnight

I'm 49 today. (Really.) Big Whoop.

Actually, that's what I'm sure Tim thinks, as my poor Royal Consort has to put up with much more than just my birthday: I use my queenly powers (self)-bestowed at birth to declare an entire Royal Birthday Week. Watch and learn, Ladies-In-Waiting....

Especially since this year, as my birthday falls on a Sunday, We wondered just when the week should begin. Sunday you say? Silly commoners. Shant We celebrate prior in Royal Anticipation? Ah, but if We start the Sunday before, what about the post celebratory festivities? Quite correct. This year (and every year when Our - and by "Our," We mean mine and only mine - not to include Sir Tim) birthday falls on a Sunday, We hath hereby decreed a Birthday Fortnight. Herewith, some highlights:

Last week, had hair done with Tonya Auville, the Royal Coiffer at Salon Bellissimo. Tonya is also known as the Curl Whisperer. She had me over to her book group a few weeks back to discuss... me:

(That's Tonya sitting behind me.)

Saw Willie Nelson (and his biodiesel bus) at Red Rocks.

Had lunch with good bud, Susan. Suffice it to say, we had a delish dish (thinking of you, Katie). I mentioned in QUEEN OF THE ROAD, that Susan was my most gorgeous friend. (She tried to get me to go to a yoga class, and I figured, if it works for her... Unfortunately, didn't do much for me.) She's the type of woman who just gets even more gorgeous with age. I'm going to have to rethink our friendship.

Had my memoir called, "Brilliant" by Jerry Wexler on his blog and he didn't even know it's my birthday fortnight.

Last night, my lovely neighbor and friend, Lauren, had her former book group, the "Bad Girls" of Longmont (only "former" since Lauren moved to Boulder) over for a fabulous Queenly party to discuss QUEEN OF THE ROAD and just have fun. She didn't know it's my birthday, either. (Well, at least beforehand.) This was the second book group Lauren arranged for this QUEEN. The first was one we went to in nearby Firestone, hosted by one of her clients, Tara:


Aren't we all resplendent in our tiaras? That's Tara in front and Lauren behind me in the pink scarf. (Looks like there are several friendships I'm going to have to rethink.) Unbeknowest to me, this club read both QUEEN OF THE ROAD as well as my first book, I KNOW YOU REALLY LOVE ME. Since IKYRLM was published 11 years ago, I felt rather court jester-ish, as it was far easier to answer questions about QotR. I mean, I am 49, people.

Lauren is an ultra-fabulous hair stylist in her own right (nearly all of the dozen or so women last night get coiffed by her) as well as an amazing photographer. Unfortunately, I forgot to take pictures last night for you to judge the former, but as for the latter, take a gander at these she did for my website.

Today, the Big Day itself, I slept in (that's what the rest of the world calls staying in bed until 10:30 am, right?) And, finally (well, only finally for this blog post, not my birthday fortnight), Sir Tim and I strode down (where's the liveried help when you need them?) to the Boulder Creek Hometown Fair...

... where we had Royal box (as in crated) seats for the Zucchini Races:



Attended a Royal Joust:


as well as The Theatre:


Sir Tim is now resting up in the Royal Chambers prior to resuming his driverly duties to take Us to dinner tonight.

To all who have already wished me a happy birthday: Thank you! To all who have not... yeah, yeah. What do I want from you?

September 4, 2008

More on Our Birthday Fortnight (If You Don't Like It - Get Your Own Blog)

On the Actual Day (Sunday), we headed to Prospect for dinner (not in our bus, but in my convertable Saab, which Tim is ashamed to be seen in, let alone drive - isn't Our Royal Birthday fabulous?) Prospect, just outside of Longmont (yeah, I know that clarifies it for you), is billed as Colorado's first New Urbanist community. Whatever. I thought it was kinda cute in a Prisoner-meets-Deadwood kinda way. (Ah, dating myself with the former - how apropos during my bday fortnight.) We half-expected to see a giant white ball bouncing down the streets before it was deflated by a shotgun blast. (Patrick McGoohan, are you taking notes? If not, "Be seeing you." Oh, don't say it. I'm pathetic.)

What do you think?


Now, here's a street I could live on:


After dinner, we returned to the castle, where We changed into Our usual attire...


Other Royally celebratory activities this week include:

As if they haven't already done enough for this Royal, Celestial Seasonings has posted the QUEEN OF THE ROAD webcast We did at their fabulous tour center a few weeks ago. Even if you don't want to see it, go on over to get the winning entries to their QUEEN OF THE ROAD tea-tini contest. (They look quite delectable - can't wait for Sir Tim to make them.) This is what it looked like when we recorded it:


That's Bob Kennedy with the camera.

Do check out and sign up for the Celestial Seasonings Adventure At Every Turn Book Club. Obviously, they take great care in their selections!

Finally, Jerry WAXLER (sorry, Sir Jer), posted yet another glowing tribute (is there any other kind?) to Your Queen's missive on his blog.

The Queen Father (is that what they're called?) also had a birthday this week, as will the Queen Cousin (now, I know something's wrong in this case with that one), Doug, in 2 weeks. So, happy birthday Dad and happy birthday-to-be Doug! Enjoy these 19 days a year in which we are the exact same age. You're turning 50, right? Meow.

September 24, 2008

Tim's Demented Aunt and Jim's Unit

Tim was gone most of last week, visiting his buddy Jim at some God-forsaken cabin Jim's sister and her husband are building in Westcliff, Colorado. It's not even actually in Westcliff. That would probably be too civilized for them.

Linda and Joe are truly off-the-grind kinda people. They work when they have to (as engineers at a major tech firm), just so they don't have to work - like, terribly much. That's why they're building this thing (and I do mean they are building it) as a summer home in that God-forsaken place.

When Jim first invited Tim down for a visit, I called his wife, Lisa, who happens to be a close friend of mine, as well.

"Lisa! Let's also meet there. It'll be great to see you!" I exclaimed.

"Uh... Doreen," she stammered. "I-I don't think you realize what this place is like." She went on to explain that it's beyond rustic. So much so, that she's never even been there. Like, they just got indoor plumbing. They use solar power, so essentially freeze at night - well, there is the wood-burning stove for the entire thing. They're so far from anywhere, in fact, they only go to the supermarket once a month.

"OK, Lisa. I really want to see you - but not that much," I conceded.

"Me, too."

Jim takes his RV to the cabin when he drives from their home in Prescott, Arizona to visit Linda and Joe. He calls his rig his "unit."


He and Tim slept in it.


This is why they didn't sleep in the cabin:




The morning Tim left me at home, he said good-bye with a concerned look on his face.

"OK, Sweetie. I did the laundry, so you should have clean underwear. The dishes in the dishwasher are also clean - I just ran it last night. I gassed up your car, so you've got a full tank. There's - "

"You know, it's not like you're leaving your demented aunt alone for the week." He shot me a dubious look.

"Fine." I continued. "So how come you didn't hire a sitter?" His face lit up.

"You think there's still time?"


When Tim got home, the first thing he noticed was that the electric blanket was on the bed.

"You used the electric blanket?" You would think he knows me well enough after nearly 20 years not be incredulous about my inability to maintain any modicum of body heat - even while it was still officially summer.

"The bed just wouldn't warm up without you in it." He shook his head and gave me a look of despair.

"That's because you have no soul."

Very nice.

The second thing he noticed is that I was in my PJs. It was 4 pm. (Those of you who know me know it was most definitely not because I had gotten ready for bed early.)

But, something was amiss.

“Sweetie, is your nightgown inside out?” I looked down.

“Yeah. I guess it is,” I shrugged.

“Sweetie, PLEASE take it off and turn it right. It’s bad enough if people see you in it all day, but if it’s inside out, they’ll start offering to help me toilet and feed you.”

Very, very nice.

Finally, that night, we saw on TV it was something called "National Stay at Home Week." They pay someone to think up this stuff? I proudly proclaimed, "See? I'm ahead of my time." Tim, recalling that the gas gauge on my car still indicated, "full" upon his return, rolled his eyes.

''Only a week? Amateurs."

September 30, 2008

An Evening with a New York Times Bestselling Author

Sadly, I don't mean me.

John Robison, author of LOOK ME IN THE EYE, came to town to do a signing and talk at the Boulder Bookstore. He, his fabulo media escort, Beth Vagle, Tim and I met for dinner at local fish haunt, Jax.


(When Beth handed me her card, she said, "It just has my contact info, but not my job title." I wanted to know why. She obliged: "I don't want it to say, 'escort'". Good point, Beth!)

If you're not following John's blog, you should. He's a "free range Aspergian" and recently, has been undergoing a TMS experimental procedure at Harvard. (Which reminds me: One of my best friends from teen years at summer camp at Cejwin went to Hofstra University on Long Island. Whenever people asked her where she went to school, she'd say, "Hah hah." She said they'd figure she was answering, "Harvard," but was being shy and modest. Little did they know.)

Anyway. John and I first "met" on Absolute Write, but then actually met in real life when the hardcover of LOOK ME IN THE EYE came out last year. Since then, he's been involved with the TMS research. His take on the differences he's noticed is fascinating. I have to say (and did, to John), that there was a certain warmth I hadn't seen on our last visit. It's as if he's become more emotionally intuitive, along with his considerable and long-standing mechanical intuition.

He's just a very sweet man, who wrote a very important book. Read it.

October 21, 2008

There Goes The Neighborhood

Can you blame us for high-tailin' it out of Boulder for the winter? This is what we have to put up with:

Congested traffic...



Guess Who's Coming to Dinner?


Peeping Chip (or Dale).

Really, can you blame us?

Next, Why I sent my husband to prison (this time).

April 23, 2009

Buff Boys

Yeah, I know that got your attention.

Ever hear of Buffalo Exchange? If not, you don't know what you're missing. And, maybe that's a good thing. Buy, Sell, Trade can get awfully addicting.

Most of those 200 shoes I tried to stuff in the bus were from The Buff. I discovered the store during my starving student residency while living in Buff Ground Zero - Tucson, AZ. When we moved to Boulder, even though I was gainfully employed and could actually afford new clothes, I went through Buff Withdrawal. (Look, my people don't pay retail.) So, I called the Tucson headquarters several times to badger.... er, ask, "When are you opening up a store here?" Finally, they told me they had sold the franchise rights in CO.

"Well, if they want a partner, have them call me." I joked.

Yep. Tim and I are part owners of the CO Buffalo Exchanges (in Denver and Boulder).

It's a really hard job - quality control, merchandise testing and of course, annual meetings of the Buff Board:


L to R: Justin, me, Tim, Todd and Victor.

Fav Buff story: While still in Tucson, I picked up (well not really - I wasn't an owner yet, so did pay for them) the cutest little black and white cowboy boots you ever saw. I wore them one night when Tim and I went out to a comedy club there to see Paula Poundstone. She starting asking people in the audience questions, spotted my boots and wanted to know where I got them.

"Buffalo Exchange," I answered. While all the women in the audience applauded, Paula could only wonder, "What kind of town is Tucson? You exchange clothes for large, angry mammals?"

May 26, 2009

Little Foxes

The neighborhood slut strikes again.

Every year our resident fox has her kits. This year, she outdid herself. Six - count 'em, six.

Before our year-long, QUEEN OF THE ROAD trip, Tim and I lived in the mountains above Boulder, in the front range of the Rockies. We never saw this much wildlife. Who knew living in the city would be this Mutual of Omaha?

The kits come out from under our deck to play early in the a.m. (so I'm told) and after 3 p.m. So, without further ado, here are some kit pics:



Once they realized I would be staying inside, behind the window (which is how I prefer seeing nature, anyway)...


... it's party time!




No wonder mom needs a rest.


Hopefully, Tim didn't have plans for that glove.




Someone's as fascinated by me as I am by him:




Someone else, not so much:


Sorry toots, you're the one trespassing in my yard:


I had been calling them "pups" until my father-in-law (who lives in rural Arkansas, so I'll take his word for it) told me they're "kits." Makes sense - they actually behave alot more like kittens than puppies. One was getting into something it shouldn't right below our bedroom window, so I knocked on the pane. The kit immediately ran away, but then quickly returned, peering right in at me. It even jumped up on the ledge to get a better look (and promptly fell off. Haven't quite gotten the balance thing worked out, yet.)




I should be writing, I should be getting the house ready to put on the market. I should be doing a lot of things. Instead, I've been spending an inordinate amount of time observing these fox kits. Tim can't quite understand it: For someone with as much antipathy to the outdoors as I... But, with such incredible cuteness literally (and litterally) mere feet from our windows, I can't seem to get enough.

And they say Twitter 's a time-suck.

Update: I may just have been cured. One of them killed a squirrel and brought it back to their den. Yeah, I know, the whole Circle of Life thing. Fine, but I don't want to witness it. Isn't that why we have deli counters?

June 30, 2009

Burly Men

I think I'll start a new series (to be continued until we put the house on the market), called, What Could Possibly Go Wrong?

Here's the first installment:


That's Tim and his bud, Samson (who, by the way is afraid of heights), hanging the chandelier* in the hallway.

I accompanied them on their lunch break (that's about all the pitching in I'm willing to do on Project Nerd's project days) and speaking of shoes, discovered something I did not know about Samson: He has a women's shoe fetish. Actually, it's more of an anti-fetish. While eating at Half-Fast Subs (just had to give them a plug, both because I love the name, and because the sandwiches are devine), several women in sandals strolled in. Samson became fixated on their feet. He told me what he hates most is to see a lovely lady, all dolled up in a lovely outfit, only to be ruined by shoddy shoes. Who knew? I thought us gals were the only ones who cared about what we wore on our tootsies.

Apparently not.

Samson went on to say that what he particularly finds offensive is when a woman's toe peeps through. He's just not that into toes. (He's not the only one who takes offense at exposed toes.) He then proceeded to tell me about seeing a picture of Paris Hilton.

"She has the most disgusting feet. She was wearing these sandals and her toes hung over the front," he shuddered.

At that moment, I was extremely thankful to be wearing sneakers.

He then listed what are for him, the grossest feet in movie history. I shall spare you the list in its entirety, but rather, shall only let you in on #1: Uma Thurman in Kill Bill - the part where she just got out of the coma and is getting into the car. Apparently, her toenails are rather long and gnarly. (Does anyone else remember this?) Samson was only mildly placated when I commented they were probably using a stunt foot.

Ladies, shoes are apparently not just for us. Such a discovery! Did anyone else know this? And if so, why didn't you tell me?

(Any of you with gorgeous feet out there - Sam is a honey. Sweetest guy you'll ever know. And, single.)

In the next installment of "What Could Possibly Go Wrong?" Tim tackles large mirror removal in small bathroom. A mallet and duct tape are involved.

* No husbands, helpers or elk were harmed in the making of this blog post. Sheesh. The antler chandelier is from shed antlers.

July 11, 2009

Newport Newcomers

This was a new one on me: One of the members of a book club I'd recently called into, Marylin, asked me to call into another book club of hers. (Marylin is apparently one well-read lady.)

This book club calls itself the "Newport Newcomers." It's a way for newcomers to Newport, CA to meet and make new friends. (I probably didn't have to explain that to you, did I?) The ladies assured me they were gorgeous and would make a fabulous picture for this blog.


I'd have to agree.

One of the questions they asked was if we've gotten back to our usual routine at home. I'll tell you (as I told them), it's not easy. But, I'm pretty proud of how well we've done overall in keeping up some of our bus traditions, especially making dinner time about us - no distractions. Just great food (cooked by Tim), great drink (I have to contribute somehow) and scintillating conversation. (OK. You got me, there. But, isn't great good and drink enough for you people? What do you want from me?)

I was also asked what tips I had for couples to get along if they do an RV trip like we did.

Well, it just so happens that Tim and I wrote the Married Shrinks' Guide to Not Killing Each Other On Vacation. And, if you have any suggestions of your own to add, stick 'em in the comments.

Meanwhile, thanks so much to the Newport Newcomers! (Made me want to bus on over to Newport. Hope you have some long driveways there.)

August 13, 2009

What Would You Say?

I finally went clothes shopping (those of you in book clubs I've called into know I haven't for some time) at my (formerly favorite) used clothing store. A salesgirl asked, "Are you finding everything OK?" I told her that no, actually, when I first started shopping there 20 years ago, I could find appropriate clothes, but I hadn't been there in a while since everything seemed a bit young for me and that still seemed to be the case. Her response?

"Really? I find stuff here for my mom all the time."


I suppose it was bound to happen, but I must admit, with only 2+ weeks left until I turn 50, I had not given this much thought. As a result, I uncharacteristically had no retort. Since I suppose I have to start getting used to this... any suggestions? I don't want anything too snarky (for once), because she really can't help being a silly twit, now can she?

Of course, if anyone offers a snarky suggestion, that doesn't mean we can't enjoy it. (But truly, nonsnark appreciated as well.)

September 21, 2009

Lion (Not Tigers or Bears, but still - Oh, My!)

I saw a mountain lion in our backyard last night.

I wish I had taken a picture, but I was too busy slamming the door shut (only the screen was closed). I was lion (sorry, couldn't resist) in bed with my laptop (yeah, I know, what else is new?) and something caught my eye through the window. It was only 6:30pm, so still light out. I figured it was one of the foxes (and yes, more pictures are forthcoming soon) but... no.

We live adjacent to open space, and the beast apparently jumped the fence and sauntered on over into our yard. I leapt out of bed (yeah - the fastest I've moved in quite a while. What do you want from me?) to close the door, because the lion was only about 10 feet from it. The motion/noise startled the thing and it ran off.

I called 911 to ask if I should report this somewhere. The operator took the report, and sent two officers out to the house. I didn't know they were coming or I would have (not baked a cake! Geez!) gotten dressed. Yep, I was in my PJs - and rather ratty ones, at that (even for me), since Tim isn't home. (He's out doing a camping trip with a buddy - more on that later this week.)

The officers said when they got to the house, they saw a flash of an animal running, so figured it was the lion, but searched the property, anyway. I told them they could have seen a fox or deer, as we have plenty of them (and yes, we do live in the city). One of the officers said with a smile, "Probably not so many, now."

I asked if mountain lions come through screen doors (it was hot and I wanted to keep it open). The officers responded, "Not usually."

Not usually? Guess who was sweating all night.

A Division of Wildlife officer called me later to follow up. He asked if the lion had a collar (it didn't - so it wasn't one they've been tracking). When I told him how it ran away, he said, "You're lucky. A lot of them aren't afraid of people."

Of course, I called my neighbors to warn them... well, at least the ones we like. As for the ones we hate? Let's just say there was a steak in the fridge that, if only my pitching arm were better and their fence wasn't so high...

I also called Tim. He was quite jealous. It's funny that such an outdoorsy guy, who is always hiking, camping and in the yard doing... well, yard stuff, has never seen a moutain lion, but fresh air-challenged me has now seen two since we've lived in Boulder. (The other was about 10 years ago when we lived in the mountains.)

When I told Tim which PJs I'd been in to greet the officers, he asked, "When they left, did they tell you they hope you feel better?"

September 28, 2009

My Man's Annual

We women have ours, why shouldn't they have theirs? In this case, my man's annual is his camping trip with buddy Jim.

I think I'll stick with my gynecological exam, thank you very much.

Once again, Tim met Jim at Jim's sister's terribly rustic cabin in Westcliffe, CO. After a couple of days there, the two friends took Jim's "unit" (oh, stop! That's what he calls his RV)


and went off to camp in some God-forsaken place in Gunnison, near the Continnental Divide.

As I mentioned in my post last year about this trip, Jim's sister and brother-in-law are not normal. They built the cabin themselves, she chops wood, etc. They live there completely off the grid (I'm talkin' solar panels and batteries). When they built the thing over a summer, they spent 12 hour days 6 days a week doing it, while camping (and I mean camping, like a tent and stuff). Once a week, they'd make the long trek into town for a proper shower. Need I say more? Told ya: Not normal.

Here's Tim with Jim's dogs and Linda's dogs:

(Actually, the one thing I was jealous about re his trip was that he got to be around so many pets. That's Roberto the DILF facing Tim.)


Tim says, "What defines the Continnental Divide is that rivers that start on the east side of it flow to the eastern US and rivers that start on the west of it flow to the western US." Is he pulling my leg? Then again, I just found out that the thing about toilets in Australia flushing the opposite way is true. Who knew? (Fine, you did. What do you want from me?)


Linda and her husband (I guess Jim knows me well enough by now) asked Tim what I was going to do at home, by myself, while he was away. He told me that after he answered, "She's going to go to her favorite take-out place and get enough food to last while I'm gone so she doesn't have to leave the house, again," much hilarity ensued.

He says they didn't believe him.

One thing I did do while Tim was gone was watch all the chick flicks I'd Tivo'd that I know Tim would never want to see. As you can imagine, I hate going out to movies, although you may be surprised to learn, the least of it is the going out part. I don't like being around people talking, coughing, etc. while I'm trying to hear what's going on. I like to eat my own snacks. Most of all, at my age, I like to be able to pause to go to the bathroom. What really did it was the last movie I saw.

It was Munich. In 2005. (Told you I hate going to movies.) I loved that movie, but at 3.5 hours, there was no way I could hold it that long, so missed a few minutes going to the bathroom. It wasn't just me: I went with a friend who is about 20 years younger than me, and her bladder also couldn't last that long. There's a reason Gone With The Wind included an intermission. So, we took turns and filled each other in. But, still.

Here's what I saw while Tim was gone (and I enjoyed all of them): Something New, Dreamgirls (yes, I only just saw it. Told ya), and Friends With Money.

Here's what I ate.

And, finally: Here's what I looked like after Tim's return.

(Ah... nevermind.)

October 24, 2009

Bear 1, Project Nerd 1 (Talk About Fatal Attraction!)

Dear Cindy Bear,

As Yogi's girlfriend, you were always so prim and proper. What happened? Fine. I suppose I shouldn't have told you and yours to "bring it on," after the tear-the-shed-door-off-its-hinges incident. For that, I am truly sorry.

When Tim and I heard a rustling outside our bedroom last night, little did we know you and your two cubs (they're Yogi's, right? They look just like him) were trying to get into the garage.


Tim says this is going to be much harder to fix than the shed door, because of all the raking and chewing you did. How about just knocking next time?

I'm also very sorry we scared you when we opened the bedroom door, screaming and banging, trying to get you to stop. We won't bother you, again. The noise you made very clearly illustrated how much you value your privacy.

That's why we were surprised when you returned 30 minutes later.

Tim, deciding you're no average bear, said we should store our garbage in the furnace room in the basement, but I was afraid you'd take that as an invitation to enter the house. No offense, but after what happened between Yogi and me, I just don't trust you around my husband. So, I did some research and feel it's only fair to warn you that we're placing ammonia-soaked pick-a-nick baskets in some of your favorite spots this evening. Please don't get mad, again. It's just that... we kinda like our doors. Seems you do, too. (Did you know our neighbors have even nicer, tastier ones? Promise! I wouldn't lie to my all-time, absolute favorite cartoon character.)

Speaking of Yogi, this isn't a jealousy thing, is it Cindy? Look, I know while at Jellystone, I slipped away from Tim whenever I could, so Yogi and I could be together...


But, Yogi loves YOU. It was just a fling. I don't mean anything to him. Tim's gotten over it. Why can't you? What do you want from me, already? (In addition to my doors.) I'm also sorry I posted this:


I didn't mean to rub your impressive nose in my muzzling in on your den. I'll make a deal with you: I'll destroy the picture, if you leave me, mine and our doors alone. I'll just have the memories. (And, what memories they are!)

If it makes you feel better, you should know that back then, I was two-timing Yogi with my own beast at the park:


On the bright side, this entire episode finally provided an answer to something that's been puzzling me: Why we're seeing so many more critters of every stripe and spot this year than we ever have before. Well, after researching how to disuade you from coming around, I realized that this is the first fall we've spent at the house since Miles died two years ago. He used to pee all over the yard. Ammonia. Who knew he was a working dog?

Or, that you'd be afraid of poodle pee.

Wishing you a restful - and long - hibernation,

PS - You carry those extra pounds you're having to pack on this time of year quite well.

November 17, 2009

Cook It or Kill It?

When Tim came home last night from grocery shopping (yes, he does that, too), I unpacked this:


I reached for my phaser and set it to "kill." (If you doubt I always have it at the ready nowadays, you haven't read the recent entries about the wild, ferocious animals traipsing through our backyard.)

Fortunately, Tim told me to "stand down." "Fortunately," because he had other plans for this mutant mushroom that I still maintain could have sucked out our brains while we slept:


Good thing I'm not responsible for our sustenance (or much of anything else, I know you're thinking) around here.

November 29, 2009

How I Spent My Thanksgiving Vacation

Those of you who are regular readers of this blog (thank you!) or have read the book (and if not... must I keep asking why not?) know that I always make my usual for the holidays - reservations. So, I thought I'd show you where exactly those reservations have usually been made since we moved to Boulder 16 years ago: The Hotel Boulderado, which celebrates its centennial this year.

As their website states:

The Hotel Boulderado has been a downtown Boulder landmark since it opened on New Year's Day, 1909. Back in 1905, when Boulder, a city of 8,000 was not growing quickly enough, the only way that city council members felt they could improve their lot was to provide the "comfort of a first class hotel." Stock was advertised at $100 a share to raise the necessary funds. A spokesperson for the Commercial Association (forerunner to the Chamber of Commerce) said, "We have invested our money in the enterprise because it represents Boulder's greatest need. We shall be glad of returns, but shall be infinitely gladder if we secure a hotel of such beauty of proportions and architectural design that it will stand as a monument to her permanency and pride in her enterprises. Let it be the Hotel Beautiful."

It was named for the words "Boulder" and "Colorado" so that no guest would forget where he had stayed. To provide its guests with every human comfort, all bedrooms were fitted with light fixtures that ran on both natural gas and electricity. Unseen men were busy 24 hours a day stoking the huge coal furnace to provide hot water and to keep the hotel evenly heated, and telephones were installed in most of the 75 rooms. Rooms varied in price from $1.00 to $2.50 per day.

Famous guests included Helen Keller, Douglas Fairbanks, Ethel Barrymore, and Louis Armstrong.

Guess that means I'm the only royal to ever visit. Sniff.

Anyway, we've always loved the hotel. If you want a peek at its combination of Italian Renaissance and Spanish Revival architecture, do see the website.

Have no fear, however, for those of you too lazy to click on that link (I knew there was a reason we got along so well), I took this interior picture:


Note the "the original cantilevered cherrywood staircase, extending from the basement all the way to the fifth floor." Also note the stained glass canopy ceiling. Normally, there's a huge Christmas tree in the center of the lobby, which stretches all the way up to that ceiling. This year, it hadn't been delivered yet, so I'll have to go back sometime and take a picture of it for you. (Quite the hardship, I know.)

Tim and I have made Thanksgiving dinner at Q's (the hotel's restaurant) a holiday tradition, whenever we're in town.


A lot of families seem to do the same. As a result, we enjoy being in a family atmosphere for the holiday, without actually having to be around family. Can you blame me? The Queen Mother spent Thanksgiving with my extremely religious, ultra-orthodox cousins who brought kosher Chinese food from their favorite place, Cho-Sen (get it?), as no one wanted turkey. (I, personally, want turkey on Thanksgiving. And, turkey is what we got, along with beet salad and chocolate pecan burbon pie. Yum!)

My relatives are apparently so far removed from secular life, they don't even know that Jews are supposed to eat Chinese food on Xmas, not Thanksgiving.


On Black Friday, my darling husband insisted we go to the mall "for the spectacle of it." We hadn't been to a mall in a long time and each only made out with one item from the Nordstrom Rack.

Frankly, that was enough.

Tim got a drastically reduced sweater and I got these fabulo gloves (which I later saw at Dillards for almost double the price):


Tim took that picture the next night just before we walked downtown for dinner. The gloves are thinsulate, and since my hands are always cold when I wear the gloves I already owned, I hoped these would do the trick. They did. And no, I'm not sporting some new, weird, Princess Leia hairstyle. Those are ear muffs. Tim says they make me "look like a simp," but I don't care. They keep my ears warm. Now, if I could just find some animal print ones....

Happy holidays, everyone!

December 23, 2009


No, this isn't a late Halloween post. (I know you think I'm lazy, but really.)

Our neighbor sent us this Christmas card this year featuring her adorable Beagle, Boo:


Boo is short for.... ???

Oh, come on. Remember we live in Boulder....

Alrighty then: Boo is short for Buddha.

Boo frequently leaves her yard and comes into ours. I'll know, because I hear her barking at some squirrel or fox. Haven't ever seen her catch anything, though. Whenever Tim and I walk to town past her yard, she'll start with the barking, run right up to Tim and flop down on her back, exposing her belly for him to rub.

In other words, Boo's a slut.

Back to another Boulder puzzle for you: There is a significant Jewish population here. We recently even got an eruv. (Oh, come on. Click on it and impress your friends with Jewish trivia at your next holiday party.) There is also a significant number of Jews here who have converted to Buddhism and Hinduism.

Know what they called themselves? No more hints this time....

BuJews and HuJews.

And, on that note, Merry Christmas, everyone.

January 27, 2010

I Love Nerds!

Well, OK. One Nerd in particular. But, the other day, I had the following, thoroughly entertaining interaction with a gaggle of 'em, and then total confirmation (through the Nerd of my own) of why they're so darn fabulous.

Tim was in line at the food court in the mall (we were there for my annual, January, slippy sock discount trek at the Nordstrom Rack) while I tried to grab a table. The place was packed, but I finally saw a group of four, 30ish year-old young men, all in white shirts and pocket protectors, starting to clean up their lunch. I ran over.

Me: Are you leaving? May I grab this table? (Contrary to what you all might think, I tend to be polite.)

Nerd: (And, if you're objecting to my stereotypically identifying these young lads as "nerds," or even using that term, what do you want from me? Just read on.)
Very good! We've noticed it takes an average of 8 seconds for someone to get a table after it's vacated. (See? Told ya. Nerds.)

Me: Well, I've always been an overachiever. (And, yes, they laughed.)

So, here's why I love nerds - especially mine: What is the smartest thing a husband could possibly say when told this story?

Tim: They were probably just trying to hit on you.


February 11, 2010

Saab Story

I'm not the most mechanical gal in the world. (Not news to you, I know.) So yesterday, when I got an undeniable, irresistable craving for Sushi for lunch, even though there was still some ice on the road, I had to go.

Fortunately, the Sushi place is only 5 minutes from our house (15 minutes if you walk - I guess) and the roads were largely clear.

Unfortunately, that didn't stop my little, old, '99 Saab from becoming possessed.

When I parked at the restaurant, I took the key out, but the radio stayed on. Huh? Same thing happened when I got home. I'm so unobservent, concrete (and after all, did take physics for non-majors) I just assumed "Hey! Look at that! Car radios stay on, even without any juice! I wonder why I never noticed before!"

When Tim came home hours later, I told him of my wonderous discovery. He promptly ran out the door. (No, I hadn't left the radio on. Even I know not to do that.)

PN explained that since the Saab's ignition was on a column on the floor, sometimes when it's cold outside, the act of pushing down the key to start it, acutally keeps the button down, so even when the key is removed, the thingy itself is still down, electricity still flowing, battery still draining.

Or, something like that.

Anyway, thought that might be useful information for any of you living in cold weather with a similar set up in your cars. Consider this a Public Service Announcement: Your car is not possessed! And, radios don't stay on on their own. (But, wouldn't it be cool if they did?)

March 7, 2010

Julie & Julia & Tim

Poor Tim. He not only had to sit through Julie & Julia with me last week, but then, had to make her Boeuf Bourguignon.

'Twas divine.

He said that when he went to our local liquor store to get the Burgundy needed for the recipe, all he could find were expensive bottles.

Tim (to clerk): Do you have any inexpensive bottles of Burgundy I can use in a recipe?

Clerk (snorting): Boeuf Bourguingnon?

Tim (sheepishly): Yeah. My wife just rented that movie.

Clerk: Follow me. I'll show you what I use.

Tim and Clerk (in unison, complete with eye rolls): Women.

If you're wondering how come I'm just getting around to this movie now, I explained in a previous post why I don't go to movies. Let's just say it's been awhile.

And, by the way, I did take a picture of this fabulous dish while it was still in the pot, but after an inordinate amount of time on the phone with tech support (there are no four-year-olds in the neighborhood to ask), I apparently need a new thingy to put in the doohickey of my camera before I can post any pictures.

Glad that's all cleared up.

April 25, 2010

Why I Love My Treadmill

I've worked out nearly daily for the last 30 years or so. Since I've always been keen on energy conservation (ie being as sedentary as possible), I knew from way back when, that I needed to add working out to my day. Now, working out in the morning is as automatic as washing my face. (Well, OK. You know me. Working out is probably even more automatic.)

I didn't start working out for the health benefits (although with an HDL of 104, in part due to all this exercise, it does kind of reinforce itself. Yeah, I'm bragging. What do you want from me?) I did it so that I could eat what I wanted (within reason). Still, I hate it.

I mean, I hate working out. And, that's why I love my treadmill.

Over the years, I've done a bunch of different workouts, from running (in college and medical school) to stairmaster (in residency), to NordicTrack (until it broke and I couldn't find a replacement part), to jumping on a mini-trampoline (while living on the bus), to jump roping (ditto). In the last few years, since we've been stationary again, we got a treadmill. Here's why I love it:

1) It means exercising indoors. (You know I prefer my nature through a window.)
2) It doesn't allow me to cheat. I can't slow down/stop because I've programmed in the speeds/time. It's sort of an antidote to my inner sloth.
3) I can do it in front of the TV, thus giving me permission to watch all the crappy realty shows I really wouldn't feel good about just sitting down and watching. (This "exercise pairing" stuff really works: if you can pair something you hate - exercise - with something you love - crappy TV - it becomes its own incentive.)

I mean, what could be bad?

Well... this, I guess: Because I can use the treadmill in the privacy of my own home, I see no need to get dressed to do it. You all know my aversion to getting dressed. Part of the perks of working at home is getting to stay in PJs all day. (Unless you're my husband, in which case, that's just not something "decent people" do.) So, why in the world do I have to get dressed to work out?

Sure, I have to wear a bra with my new-found DDDs. If I didn't, I could put an eye out. Sneakers are a must, as well. But why wear anything else when it's just going to get all sweaty and have to go right into the laundry bin? Even though Tim's the one who does the laundry, let's just say he's not exactly on board with the semi-naked workout thing. Ironic, huh, since he's the one who insisted we go to a nudist RV park.

When he works out, even at home, he puts on full work out regalia. I don't get it. And, I certainly don't get why Mr. Energy Conservation doesn't approve of the power/water savings in laundry I'm providing.

You just can't please some people.

Since the treadmill is near a window that workmen have to pass to get to our yard, if one is coming over (like he did last week), Tim will warn me, and beg me to put on shorts and a t-shirt.

"It wouldn't kill you," he says.

I wouldn't be so sure, if I were him. But, I do - put them on, that is. Largely because I don't want to be responsible for that workman's therapy bill the rest of his life.

Back to treadmills. This post was inspired by a reader of this blog who told me about her site, It has treadmill reviews, workouts and a special section for running tips. I've been perusing it and getting some good ideas. Unfortunately for Tim, none of them include the need to be clothed.

May 2, 2010

Fox News Update

As the weather improves, I started wondering when we might see our fox family again. Looking through all my pictures from last year, I realized I'd meant to post these, too.

So, without further ado:












We were eating outside one evening, and guess who thought he was coming to dinner?



Maybe he mistook me for his adoptive leopard mom.

We had just gotten new carpet and the installers left the remnant rolled up right outside our bedroom. One night, I awakened to thump, thump... scatter, scatter. Thump, thump, thump... scatter, scatter, scatter. I got up to investigate and this is what I saw:



They were chasing each other into and through the rolled up carpet.

Tim and I have been debating about the whole ammonia thing. The bears are ending their hibernation and coming down from their caves in the mountain. It was a real chore to get our garage door fixed, so I thought we should put the ammonia soaked rags on top of our garaged garbage bins, again. Tim says since it's been so wet, there'll be plenty of berries around for them and they won't need to break into anything. But, wouldn't it be nice not to have piles of bear scat in our driveway? He had to concede I had a point. So sorry, Yogi. Ammonia it is.

But, what about the fox in the backyard? Tim's the one (what do you want from me?) who has to clean all their poop. We could put some ammonia under the deck to dissuade them from using it as a den again. On that decision therefore, I deferred to my husband who said, "Oh, but we enjoy them so much. What's a little poop?"

I guess we'll see if momma fox thought the accommodations at our humble abode were good enough for her. Judging by how she seemed to take ownership, I'm thinking, yeah.


This was taken after Tim and I walked home from downtown. It was eerie indeed to come up to our driveway at dusk and see her, pretending she's queen of all she surveys, on our garage.

There can only be one queen of this road, toots.

Taking the "Fox Xing" sign a neighbor put up, literally:


At least she's looking both ways before she crosses.

If last year is any indication, the little ones should arrive in about two weeks. I've seen a couple of adults in the yard (neither of whom looked preggers), but since it only takes two...

Yes, I know this is wild speculation, but that's what we do here on the Fox News Update. We report, you decide.

July 4, 2010

Happy 4th of July!

Tim and I decided on a "wholesome" July 4th. Normally, as you can imagine, "wholesome" is not really my thing, but we had fun today in Georgetown, a small, historic town about an hour west of Boulder.

Of course, it started with a parade:



If I had known it was possible to drive a marching band, I might have gone for the French Horn while I was in High School like my friend, Nancy.


See? What did I tell ya? Wholesome.

Then, the bucket brigade races:


And, although this was the Fire Department's team, they didn't win. Nope. The one that beat them, in fact, was the only one that put a woman up on the very top. I'll stop now, before I get even less wholesome. Well, OK. Maybe not.

The Police Chief had decreed that anyone "horribly, obviously intoxicated" would be disqualified. I think he must have missed the guy on one team, who after his team finished, dove right into that shallow pool, cutting his head open. Of course, the next team refused to compete with blood in the pool, so it had to be emptied and refilled. Didn't make much sense, but that's what they did.

My favorite team called themselves the "Wet Spots." Not so wholesome, I know. I liked hearing the Fire Chief announce them over the loudspeaker. What do you want from me?

And, what small town would be complete without its eccentric?


We're home now, waiting for the fireworks to start, listening to John Philip Sousa while Tim barbeques lotsa meat (all that wholesomeness sure ignites the appetite).

So, I'll end with some Boulder fireworks pics I took a few years ago:



Happy July 4th, everyone!

July 30, 2010

Chase N The Dream


Tim and I have found another band to stalk.

During the Las Vegas part of our Queenly trip, it was the Motown cover band, Sho-Tyme. We saw them three times during the week we were there. (I recently tried to look them up, as we'll be in Las Vegas in the Fall, but no luck. Look what happens without Royal support!)

Now, it's Chase N The Dream, another funk-filled band (so, I love Motown - what do you want from me?), conveniently playing at several venues near us.

We first saw them at the beginning of the summer at a free concert at the Boulder Bandshell during the Boulder Creek Festival. I thought they were great, but then they did an Earth, Wind and Fire medley and I was hooked!

Last night, they were at The Village (The Prisoner, anyone? The original, not the recent, esoteric-to-the-point-of-who-cares AMC version, please!) at Flatirons Mall for another free concert (so, I love free concerts, what do you want from me?). Tons o' fun. People brought their dogs who also seemed to be groovin'.

I wish I had taken a picture of Willie, the Lassa-Poodle (never heard of this before), for you. He looked like a furry Yoda, perched in his owner's arms, surveying the scene.

(Although Tim took this picture of a llama he encountered on a recent hike:)


Since we were in the neighborhood anyway, we stopped into the Nordstrom Rack. What's up with women's clothes these days? It's all so... blech. I mean super-blech to the feh-squared!

Stacy and Clinton need to do an intervention.

Some of the stuff was just hideous, the rest, completely uninteresting. But... there was this pair of to-die-for designer shoes at half price.


Six inch stilleto heels. What do they want from me? These Stuart Weiztman's are called "Acrobatic." Right. You need to be an acrobat to wear them and not kill yourself. And believe me, those weren't nearly the worst. Maybe when my arches were embryos ...

So, while I was in the Rack I had a good kvetch over the state of women's fashion these days. Everyone needs one - a kvetch that is - once in awhile. Anyone else notice this about women's clothing lately (at least for those of us who by off-the-rack/Rack)? What gives?

Fortunately, we then chilled with Chase N The Dream. I just hope the band doesn't start getting the same terrified look in their eyes I remember Sho-Tyme developing whenever they saw us.

August 25, 2010


Now, aren't you glad you subscribe to this blog? (Aw, c'mon. It could be worse: I could have included pictures.)

Since I'm still 50 - albeit barely - I knew I had to schedule my screening colonoscopy. (If you have no risk factors, you're supposed to get it at age 50.) I'll turn 51 next week so it still counts as on time. What do you want from me?

Everyone always says the prep is the worst part - mainly drinking all that vile-tasting stuff that supposedly tastes less vile the colder it is. Tim did his screening colonoscopy a few months ago (a year-and-a-half late, which for him and medical stuff is really quite good and therefore a testament to my nagging skills. Believe me.) It seemed the worst part for him was the chills from drinking a gallon of cold liquid in a very short time. Always one to find any easier way, I wondered how I was going to pull that one out of my butt (sorry, couldn't resist), but I needn't have worried. The answer was already there: pills.

Fortunately, a friend who has to have a colonoscopy every year since he was 40, happened to mention that for the last few years, his gastroenterologist gave him a pill prep. Yep, no vile-tasting stuff. Just a bunch of pills (oral laxatives) + half the liquid = same results. I went on the internet and read a study that showed 90% of people who'd had both preps said they'd rather do the pills. I was sold. Unfortunately, my gasterenterologist was not.

When I called to make the appointment and asked for the pills, his scheduler said he doesn't have his patients do them. I never tell people I'm a doctor - I don't want the hassles. ("What should I do for this pain, here?" "I"m a psychiatrist, just the neck up, please." "Oh, in that case... " Shesh.) But now, I felt the need to confess (or pull rank - whichever you prefer).

"I'm a physician, so if you can explain why he doesn't want patients to do the pills, I'll understand."

"Oh, you're a doctor? In that case, I'm sure it's fine if you do the pills." Yes! It's times like these the whole medical school things seems almost worth it.

Apparently, he doesn't like patients to do the pills because they seem to think doing them equates to being able to eat with abandon, ie not do any clear liquids. Really? So, let me make it perfectly clear (like the liquids you'll be drinking most of the day before): What you ingest nourishment-wise is exactly the same, no matter which prep you choose.

Now, some helpful tips:

1) Do the pills (Osmoprep). The only disadvantage is that you have to do the prep twice: once the night before, and once a few hours before the procedure (although the second time is fewer pills and less liquid). Since you can't have anything at all by mouth for about 3 hours before the procedure, this means for an 8 am colonoscopy, you'd have to start your morning prep at 4:30 am (the morning prep is done over a 1/2 hour). If I had to get up at 4:30 am, I wouldn't have been able to sleep for weeks beforehand, anticipating that nightmare. Instead...

2) Schedule the procedure for late morning. Mine was at 11 am, so I started the second set of pills at 6 (I could have started as late as 7:30, but wanted to make sure I was... done by the time I had to get into the car) - still terribly early for me, but no 4 am.

3) Keep reading material by the toilet and once the prep starts working, just plan to stay awhile. What can I say? I'm the Queen of Multitasking. Tim was amazed - as always - that I could sit for that long. He said his legs would go numb. That brings me to another hint: put your feet up on a small ottoman or your legs will go numb. (I really am an expert at inertia, ain't I?) If you don't want to sit that long (what's wrong with you, anyway?) at least stay near the toilet. I started having... results... about an hour after taking the last of the pills the first time and after 45 minutes the second. The night before, it was largely over in about 4 hours. The morning of, about two hours. Disclaimer: I have a Jewish colon and results may vary. But, I can definitely promise this: If I didn't have cramps, you won't either.

4) It's better to start with the baby wipes than end up feeling like you're wiping your butt with a lit road flare.

The procedure itself is nothing. Easy for me to say, I don't remember much of it. (Bowing to the Versed God, here.)

I'm sure you know that colorectal cancer is about the only cancer that can be prevented by regular screening and if your doc finds a polyp, he can take it out right then. If diagnosed early, it's 90% curable. Once you have symptoms, it's likely already at an advanced stage. What I didn't know, is that colorectal cancer kills more women every year than ovarian and cervical cancers combined. Hopefully, you wouldn't dream of skipping your annual, so if you're 50 - do this.

The drugs are great, too. (According to Tim, the first thing I said when I woke up was, "This is nice.") I asked for light sedatation, as I wanted to watch on the screen. I guess I'm really not over my TV addiction.

I don't have to have another colonoscopy for 10 years. By then, who knows? Remember Fantastic Voyage? Maybe gastroenterologists will miniaturize themselves, surfing through our colons, searching for anomolies.

I can just hear the Jewish ones, now: Oy, not so fantastic, but it's a living!

The only advantage to getting up early - and one I don't plan on repeating any time soon.

September 7, 2010

Boulder Fire

Thanks, everyone for emailing to see if we're OK. We are. No danger at all at our house. We live at the city limits, and there's no indication the city is going to do any evacuations. We're lucky: we just have to keep our windows shut because of the smoke and ash. A slight inconvenience that's nothing compared to what so many are going through.

The house we built, lived in for years, got married in and moved from a few years ago, was in the area of mandatory evacuation yesterday afternoon. Reports are that the fire was in that neighborhood. It's a great community of people and fortunately, there are no reports of injuries at this time. (Although I heard on the Boulder County Sherrif radio scanner this morning that some moronic reporter dressed up as a fireman to get close. I hope they taze, then arrest, then fire him.)

Here are some pictures taken from our house yesterday when there was not a cloud in the sky. All of this is smoke from the fire:







This is the same view as the first picture, but it was taken this morning. There's smoke over the whole town.

As I took it, I heard a loud buzzing near my head, turned around and saw this hummingbird taking a rest:



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About Stationary Life

This page contains an archive of all entries posted to What Do You Want From Me? by Doreen Orion in the Stationary Life category. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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