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Archive for October, 2009

SNOW STORM – yay!

Okay this is getting a bit better…still not as much white stuff as I was hoping for, but certainly enough to play in!
next morn

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Snowy days

Pushing through the last week of work *yay!* but wanted to share this pic from yesterday morning…

Monday morning

And this pic from tonight…dippin dots snow

I think it kinda looks like dippin’ dots snow!  They say we might get up to 2′ or 3′ of snow over the next couple days…snow angels and sledding will surely ensue!

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stuff 004

We like to use “wet wipes” in our household.  We use ‘em in the car when we can’t wash our hands (and we do a lot of traveling AND commuting), for our pups when they need a little “cleaning up” after going outside and for our own use for “sensitive spots.”  Although we don’t have kids, they are also very common in households with babies.  They are really quite handy and we’ve always used the natural ones devoid of heavy chemicals but the cost adds up and the Do-It-Yourself gene in me thought, “why don’t I learn to make ‘em myself?”  So I did just that and voila…works like a charm and much less expensive since I already had many of the ingredients handy.

  • 1 tbsp. Castile soap
  • 1 tbsp. Oil (like Olive, Jojoba, Almond)
  • 1 tbsp. aloe gel (or liquid)
  • 3 drops lavender, 3 drops tea tree oil (you can go fragrance free, but these essential oils also have antiseptic properties to help with cleansing and keeping solution from spoiling)
  • enough water to fill a quart-size Mason jar (about 4 cups)

This will be enough liquid for at least an entire roll of paper towels (I find Viva are the best for a cloth-like consistency, but you can certainly use cloths if you want to take a more environmental approach).  I like the Viva brand because they also come in 1/2 sized perforated pieces.  I just tear the pieces, fold into a glass container (you can reuse a plastic container too), give the solution a good shake, pour in a cup of solution at a time to ensure pieces have soaked up the solution but aren’t soaking either.  Keep and label your jar of solution – it should last you a month or so (if you use the above essential oils).

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Quick update

Hi all…thanks for the calls, texts, emails…David is doing well.  Still incredibly sore but doing okay relatively speaking.  We’re just hanging out all weekend, watching scary movies in time for Halloween and taking it easy.

Thank you all for your kind thoughts.  We’re doing just fine over here!

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Where’s Murphy?

‘Cuz I oughta kick his ass.  You know him…as in “Murphy’s Law?”  Yeah, he’s a big jerk that likes to laugh at life’s unpleasant, seemingly serendipitous moments.

So as I posted last week, I put in my notice, we’re transitioning down to one income, have become debt free, and David just sent his LAST truck payment from the past 5 years just 3 days ago…

And then this happens:

 

Truck 1

You’ll notice in the picture that David’s truck is facing the same direction as the traffic on the other side of the highway?  That’s because when he hit black ice this morning on his way home from work he first hit a bridge barrier, spun around and slammed into the concrete Jersey style barrier leaving the truck inoperable and facing the wrong direction.

Okay, here’s where I transition to gratitude.  David is okay.  Definitely hurtin’ but overall okay.  All I could think is “thank goodness, it could have been so much worse!”  He also wasn’t involved with any other cars which could have also been really bad.

We struggled to get health care for him all day and finally had to drive out of our way to go to a good urgent care “down the hill” who took him in promptly, gave him an IV push of morphine, valium and a muscle relaxer…it was beddie-bye after that point.  He’s been in and out of awareness ever since, so I’m keeping a close eye on him.  I’m so thankful he wasn’t seriously hurt.

David on Morphine

We had talked about transitioning to one car once I left my job since we wouldn’t really need 2 cars (we both grew up with parents that shared 1 vehicle), not to mention that him working nights means that the vehicle would be available during the day for me, so it was kinda silly to have and pay for the expenses associated with two cars if I was going to be home most of the time.  However, we always thought my 10 year old, 140,000 mile, somewhat unreliable Volvo would kick the bucket first and we could rely on his truck, which although it too has over 100K miles, is only 5 years old,  has never spent a day in the shop and has been the easiest, most cost-effective and reliable vehicle either of us has owned. 

Ah well, the universe sometimes has a funny way of answering the thoughts you put out there, getting you to the outcome you’ve been thinking about, though sometimes using a different way of getting there.  Like I said, I’m so fortunate that he’s okay.  Just gonna check on him every 4 hours, make sure he knows who I am, what year it is and who the Prez is (all questions suggested to me by my nurse sis since he’s on heavy narcotics and took quite a hit) and give him lots of love and attention.   Healing prayers/karma/thoughts for a speedy recovery sent his way are appreciated!

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Check out this cute little guy that came to visit us:

fox[1]

And this one:

deer

 

These two showed up within minutes of each other.  Ah…wilderness TV.  Enjoy the show.

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I have to admit that I’ve really come to rely on resealable (i.e. Ziploc) bags.  For someone like me who cooks a lot, they’ve become invaluable.  I don’t keep “tupperware” type containers but choose instead to have a slew of Pyrex glass dishes with plastic tops so that I can heat my food without worrying about the effects of the plastic leaching, but I find that there are times where a glass container just won’t do.  That’s where these “Ziploc” bags come in.  However, the environmental gene in my body feels guilty using so much of them only to toss, causing pollution for the manufacture of and adding more plastic to the landfill because of these handy bags.

However, there is an alternative: cleaning and reusing them.  Now hear me out…I know it’s not the easy way, but being green requires a bit more effort at times.  And not only are you acting green, but saving green too!

In the past, I’ve saved bags when they’ve contained something dry, like bread, cookies, etc.  However anything wet, just went into the trash because frankly washing them required work and also was difficult to keep open in order to dry out.  I once remember seeing a Ziploc drying contraption in a health food store for at least $20 or $30 dollars.  It kinda looked like a retrofitted toothbrush holder.  I remember thinking “I could make that and for free” and that’s exactly what I did.

What you need:

  • Soup can, rinsed out and label removed
  • Decorative cover (I used the kraft paper grocery bag from Whole Foods left from a recent visit from a friend – it looked the part) but you can easily use wrapping paper, pictures from magazines, stickers, etc. (you get points for re-using materials or “upcycling” thereby giving a 2nd life to an item that’s already been used for its original purpose)
  • chopsticks, sticks or any other long rod-like items to hang bags from
  • cover for top of can to hold sticks in place (I used foil, but you can apply tape in a criss-cross pattern and place the sticks in the holes;  if you have a berry container hanging around (the green criss-crossed ones), you can also cut to size and affix to top)

Here’s what mine looks like to give you a better idea:

Ziploc holder 1Ziploc holder 2

So while this won’t necessarily simplify your life and this may not be worthwhile for people with incredibly hectic lives, it’s an option for those that are struggling with throwing out so many bags.

Please share with me your environmental tips!

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OMG…

Sorry I haven’t posted much…sign of my week…

But….

I have very exciting news…

Looks like I’m actually transitioning to the slower paced life after all…

PUT IN MY NOTICE!!!!   :)

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Wow.

I mean wow.

I’ve lived in Colorado for over 5 years and have ALWAYS wanted to go to Maroon Bells State Park in Aspen…it’s a quintessential mountain peak shot and in fact is said to be the most photographed peak in all of North America.

Yesterday snowed all day and we decided to just stay in town at Crested Butte, hang out at the coffee shop/book stores, play board games in our hotel room and nap with full views of the falling snow.  It was a perfect day for relaxation (hence no pictures).  However, we knew that today would be the one bright sunny day of our long weekend.  Since it was our last day of vacation and we were *relatively* close to Maroon Bells, we decided that we would spring for it.  I say relatively close because while the peaks are only 24 miles away from Crested Butte “as the crow flies” it actually takes a 3+ hour drive in a far out path due to the numerous mountain ranges that surround this place – one usually has to drive way out of the way to get where they need to in order to get around all the mountains.

We got up at 3:30 a.m., packed up and got to the park around 7 a.m.  It was a bitter 19 degrees outside and the sun was just hitting the edges of the peaks. 

web - MB tips

There were about 10 other photographers with tripods set up around the lake which I was thankful for.  It allowed me to move around, shoot from different angles and find the right spot.  Part of the allure of the peaks is getting the reflection of them in the lake below, which was difficult at first as the lake was mostly frozen and where it wasn’t, the wind was rippling the water.  While we waited for the sun to rise more and light up the scene, I took some pics of nearby scenes:

web -moon mtn

web - red rocks

web - blue green trees 2

We stayed for 3 1/2 hours and the traffic ebbed and flowed.  At one point we were all by ourselves and I asked aloud “why aren’t more people here to take in this beauty?!”  People would come and go, usually for a quick pic, but were ushered back to their cars just as quick as they came because of the cold.  I may have looked like a puffy balloon since I had many layers on under my coat, but I stayed warm, for the most part and when the winds kicked up and my feet went numb, David and I did silly stand-in-place exercises to get our blood going again and it worked every time.

I took approximately 200 shots, but alas, here are my two favorites:

web - MB money shot

Here is the quintessential Maroon Bells shot

Here's with more light lighting up the background, as well as the foreground, hence the more browns and less blues, but still a good shot.

Here's with more light lighting up the background, as well as the foreground, hence the more browns and less blues, but still a good shot.

Which one do you like best?  I can’t decide…but I’m so very happy I was finally able to capture this little slice of heaven.

Here’s a goofy one of me trying to play with my remote to get a picture of David and I but of course I walked in front just as the camera clicked *giggle*

web - MB goofy

I tell you what, once that sun came up, it instantly warmed up, but with the sun came the crowds including loud teenagers that were throwing rocks into the water “uh, hello, can you NOT see that we’re all trying to get that perfect ripple-free shot?!!”  Alas, we headed back to our car and made the trip back home. 

During the 3 1/2 ride back to our home, we took Independence Pass, which was luckily still open, and offered further stunning views:

web - Independence Pass

web - twin lakes

As an amateur photography, I’m always elated if I can get one good shot in a day.  I feel blessed to have many today.  Life is good and I am indebted to Mother Nature.

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Photo essay…

Here’s how today went:

web - kebler pass

web - aspen grovesweb - BW ayers

web - alpine cows

web - kebler pass 2web - alpine cows 2web -kiss

Okay, so that last one isn’t really scenic and some might call cheesy, but it is exemplary of our time here.  A pretty damn good time if I do say so myself!

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