Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Update on Life

I am finally getting around to my personal blog. I haven't written in a long time! I don't have much to say right now, so I thought I would share photos from the fall. The first few are from a recent trip to Estes Park:

 This next picture is of Rene after Mary's 65th Tiki birthday party!
And this is Rene under a new blanket I bought for the both of us to endure the cold winter days and nights….
 Finally, my neighborhood and all the color to be found just out my front door!

Saturday, February 18, 2017

Day Tripper

Last week was a busy one for me. My birthday was Saturday and then the whole week I was eating out with friends, running errands for the gallery where I am volunteering, and working on boxes for the little shop I have them in. I decided today, after reading a recent fortune I got from one of my eating out excursions, that Rene and I needed a little road trip. I wanted to get away from the traffic and crowd so I decided to take us to Fort Morgan. It is a sweet little town east on I-76 about an hour from Denver. The drive is serene and there isn't a whole lot besides cows and brush. We wandered around the main street, visited Riverside Park that runs along the South Platte, and found a few "quilts" hanging on various houses and barns through the Morgan County Barn Quilt project.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Kicking the Winter Blues

Each February I enjoy going to the Denver Botanic Gardens to look at the orchids, walk the tropical garden, and enjoy the vibrant colors and warmth. Today I went with Mom and Dad and it the weather was warm enough for us to drink coffee on the restaurant's patio!

Monday, January 23, 2017

An Energizing Weekend!

I haven't felt this energized about social and political issues in quite a while. This weekend, that of the inauguration of President Trump, helped to bring out that fire in me. Friday, my friend and neighbor Rosa went to a woman's home in the Lowry neighborhood to stuff bags with toiletries and snacks for the homeless. I saw it posted on Nextdoor and thought it would be a great way to commemorate Obama leaving office and Trump stepping in. We weren't sure what we were getting into…it could have been a group cheering on the inauguration or it could have been an act of defiance by not watching the inauguration. Lucky for us, it was the latter. Over 25 women-and a few men-met in this woman's home and we stuffed over 300 bags of donated items-toiletries, food, grocery gift cards, socks,  etc. to be given to two homeless shelters and handed out at Civic Center Park for the men who don't go into the shelter system. These women were mostly over the age of 50, with their own fiery stance on social justice and human rights, many of them having been a part of the social and political movements of the 1960's. We got to work, and stuffed bags, filled cars, drove them to where they needed to be. Rosa and I took all the recycling as our part since we have the big bins at our condo.

Friday night Wayne, Rosa and Mary came over to make our marching signs and eat dinner. Mary decided to join us last minute, and we had fun thinking of all the slogans. We wanted to keep things upbeat and positive, so we came up with some good signs that represented how we all were feeling. We ate a potluck style dinner and talked up until 10pm. We listened to Joan Baez and other musicians who sang revolutionary music back in the 60's. The next morning, we met early and took an extremely crowded bus, full of marchers, to Civic Center Park. It was a massive crowd of people, and it was hard to know where to go, but just being a part of it all was worth the two hours of standing or walking very slowly. We ended the day with coffee at the library and took the bus back home. So many people I knew attended it felt good to be a part of something that felt like it really mattered, despite what the naysayers are prone to think!

Friday, January 20, 2017

Never Lose Hope

2008 was an important year for my late husband Mike and me. That is the year we caucused for Obama and were alternates at the Democratic National Convention in Denver. It was the year we went to Paris. The year we hosted Thanksgiving for the first time in our home. And it was the year right before the worst year of our lives, 2009, when cancer came ravaging back and took no mercy on Mike’s being, no matter how much hope we had that it was just another bump along the cancer road.

I think about hope a lot. I wrote about it recently for Soulful Transitions. I believe in hope, although I have found myself after Mike died facing numerous times of wanting to give up. The hope that was instilled in me came from believing in a President who has class, cared about all people, held himself with dignity and yet had silly charm. He could play a game of pick up basketball, could admit he smoked a cigarette or two, and graciously took questions from the media even when they made him uncomfortable. His family showed hope to millions, that people could see themselves reflected in the color of their skin and in the values they hold as a family.

I also was instilled with hope when seeing my husband fight with all the will he had to live. He engaged in procedures that would make the rest of us squirm. I told him one day I probably wouldn’t be as brave as he was doing half the procedures and taking half the medications he was doing and taking. He said, “yes you would. You would want to live. You would do it for me, if nothing else.” Having him say that to me made me take pause and appreciate the possibilities hope can provide.

To those of you out there who continue to say that those of us against the new Administration are a bunch of cry babies, I would like to disagree. Those of us who have hope for the kind of better world we have hope in...civil and human rights of all people, peace rather than war, dialogue rather than demagogue, communities that respect all people no matter our differences, the right for women to be in charge of their own health care, etc....we didn’t come to these desires because we are babies and like to whine. We came to them because we have seen discrimination; have had our own female health experiences; have fought against an unyielding health care system; have seen our friends and neighbors, and have experienced ourselves, misogyny, hate incidents and discrimination. Yet we wake up every day. And we get to what needs to be getting done. That isn’t the work of whiners....it is the work of people with strength, character, good intentions, love and...yes...hope.

Today I ushered in the Trump Administration with my friend Rosa by spending it with around 20 women who donated their time, money, toiletries, food, water, socks, chapsticks, kleenex etc. to put together over 200 bags to give to the homeless on the streets, to the Comitis Center shelter and to Gateway Women’s Shelter. We methodically stuffed baggies, broke down boxes, filled up cars and drove these donations to their respected places. I wouldn’t have had expected to be a part of this peaceful transfer of power in any other way except in a beautiful and accepting community. Tomorrow I will march in the Women’s March on Denver, not because I am whining but because I have hope. I have hope that despite the ideological differences our country can be united. I have hope that people can see the intrinsic value in each face they come across. I have hope that I can sit down with someone who doesn’t agree with me and have a civil conversation to discover what we can agree upon. I have hope that each of us become positive examples of civility, care and community to a President who chooses to dismiss people who disagree with him. So, no, my friends. I am not whining. I am actually pretty clear, confident, and ready to be who I am in this world to make positive, accessible and inspiring change-not restrictive, inaccessible and defense driven change. Who do you choose to be during this time?

Sunday, January 15, 2017

New Year, 2017!

It is hard to believe the holidays are behind us and we are inching forward in a New Year. I post a lot on Facebook but haven't posted recently to this blog. So, some photo updates!

The National Western Stock Show had a free day on Tuesday. I got there at opening and it was not crowded at all. Parking was a breeze, and I got to meander and watch corralling events and just take it all in. The Coors Western Art Exhibit was really great, too. It was a nice day just to relax and enjoy!

I continue to take photos of my girl…sleeping, mostly! But occasionally going out and about. Today we had the monthly greyhound walk. She loves that event and then she just passes out the rest of the day!