Sunday, October 19, 2014


I can't help but notice that my new red car matches the beautiful autumn reds we're enjoying here in Boulder this year.

Friday, October 17, 2014

The Silver Lining

The silver lining about the accident on Wednesday is that the repair bill on the damage my Honda Accord took when it was hit from the rear was $2700 and since the car is worth less than $5000 we've decided it is finally time to get rid of it.  

It has had twelve years of hard use, and after taking the brunt of the transporting Paul and his friends around from age two till now is beat up and dirty, both inside and out.   I almost replaced it a couple of years ago when I got a case of "new car fever" and we also thought seriously of selling it last spring rather than drive it across country for the move to Boulder.  In the end, we decided to hang on to it, but this accident has tipped the scales.  

The good thing is that I had no problem deciding what to buy.  In my "new car fever" stage I  had test driven a VW Golf and absolutely loved its zippy ride, upscale interior, and "just right" size.   Our friend Susan bought one last week and I enjoyed being one of her first passengers.  

So yesterday I headed off to the VW dealer and within a few hours had found a diesel stick shift that I'll be picking up today.    I'm pretty excited!   

It's "Tornado Red."  Finally, I'll be able to spot my car in a crowded parking lot!   

Wednesday, October 15, 2014


As much as we love living here in Boulder, I do have to say that driving here is a challenge.  There are a lot of cars on densely populated streets, along with skateboarders, bicyclists, and pedestrians.  You have to pay attention!  And even if you are paying attention, everyone else may not be.  

When Ben and John came out to visit last spring, Ben was rear-ended.  And today I was whacked, again from the rear.   The funny thing is that I was sitting in a line of cars stopped to check out an amazing fender bender in the other lane; the hitting car was smashed but the car it hit was unaffected, which was very strange.   Apparently the college-age driver behind me was watching that wreck as well and forgot to look ahead until she smashed right into me. So now there were two accidents, one in each lane!  

My poor old car!  It's actually worse than it looks, since the trunk is affected.   

We'll see if this leads to "new car" fever.  My car is twelve years old, has plenty of scratches, and will never be clean inside again, but I like it because of that; you always worry about messing up a new car while in an old car you just shrug things off.   But a friend just bought a VW Golf TDI Diesel, which is pretty sweet, and a new car has its charms, like iPod connectivity and the screens that tell you what songs are playing.  That would make it worth the fuss of trying to keep a new car new. 

We'll see.  One thing I know for sure:  I will never ever buy a silver car again.   I'm so tired of looking through all the silver colored cars in the parking lot to find mine.   My next car has to be red or yellow or orange or something I can spot easily.  Gotta have some color!


Monday, October 13, 2014

The Weekend

My sister, Jean, was supposed to visit us this weekend but had to delay her trip when her AFib reoccurred a few weeks ago.   On top of that disappointment there was rain off and on the past few days.  But even so we managed to enjoy the weekend.

Our friends Ray and Paula and Gus showed us the lovely Homestead hike with it's beautiful patches of fall-red sumac.

You can never get enough views of the Flatirons.  The hike was south of our house, so this view is facing north.  

Paul spent Saturday afternoon helping organize and judge a "practice tournament" for younger kids at his karate studio.  He is thrilled to be part of the Leadership Team.  

Ben cooked two amazing dinners, including a new recipe,  Pasta Alla Norma, from the New York Times, which we really liked.

Ben's apron advertises the Artist's Open Studio, which was in its second weekend.  Lotus and I went around to see a couple of artists and I bought two pieces which I'll give as Christmas presents.  Did you know that there are only 72 days until Christmas? 

When he wasn't cooking or rock climbing, Ben was working on painting the deck.  It may look like Ben has painted himself into a corner, but he didn't1 

Spikey was quite energetic all weekend, climbing up anything he could find and being very entertaining.

Seeing the studios of so many artists these past two weekends made me focus a bit on my own workspace.  I went home and tried to make my studio less cluttered and more serene.  Originally I had put the sewing table perpendicular to the door, which blocked the flow of the room:   

But this weekend I rearranged it so the sewing table is in front of the window, making the room seem more open:  

I ruthlessly culled out books, picture frames, and electronic equipment so I could make order out of the chaos that had been in the wall closet.   I think I can find things in there now.

After all that work, it was just fun to actually sew in the newly organized space.  I'm working on the little piece on the cutting table.  It was almost done when it decided it wanted to be bigger --honestly, you never know what these pieces will tell you -- so now I'm adding a graphic black and gold border. 

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Then and Now

Back in Maryland if we needed our kitchen knives sharpened the task loomed large.  First you had to figure out where to take them --hardware store?  knife kiosk at the mall? -- then you had to drive there which meant dealing with traffic, and once you got there the interaction with the clerk would probably be fairly impersonal.  

Here in Boulder we simply walked down to the Farmer's Market, turned our knives over to the Johnson's after a pleasant "good morning" chat,  strolled the market with a cup of coffee from one of the coffee vendors, and then returned to the Johnson's booth, paid the fee, and walked back home in the beautiful fall weather.  Mission accomplished by 9:30 in the morning, along with a good walk and some community sociability.  


We had a good life in Maryland, but this is better.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Scenes from a Hike

On Sunday Ben and I and our friend Lotus hiked together up to Crown Rocks on Flagstaff Mountain. I hadn't hiked this high up Flagstaff and the views were beautiful.

While Lotus and Ben checked out the climbing at Crown Rocks, I tried my hand at taking closeups of the rocks.  I found it much harder than I expected!  It's not so easy to find a focal point.  Maybe that's why so many close-up photos of rocks include some lichen or a bug or something on which to focus the eye. 

I thought this type of shot turned out better.

You might have deduced from the gorgeous skies that we are still in the middle of a stretch of great weather.  Clear skies, 70+ degree days, cool nights; it's perfect!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Getting Ready

We have been busy getting ready for winter.  The weather here has been beautiful but our cold mornings let us know what is coming.  

Ben sanded and primed the part of the deck that isn't under a roof and therefore gets a lot of weather.  

He'll paint it this week, and I guess we will have to lock up Fetcher when he does!

I have been going through the things we stuffed into drawers as we unpacked this summer.  Scarves, mittens, linens, quilts, china's all being hauled out and "edited" and better organized.  Some of it is going up on the walls so the rooms will feel more homelike and cozy.  I was glad to get the blue flow platter hung up in the dining room.... 

....and very happy to get some of my Quimper collection up so we can enjoy seeing it.

When I visited a neighbor's house and saw how she had hung her collection of old copper pots, I was inspired to do the same, especially since they go so nicely with the copper cups Ben uses when he makes Moscow Mule cocktails.  (We are still fine-tuning the placement of the copper pots, but the idea of hanging them here is a good one.)  

Did you notice the artwork hung above the radio?  It's a watercolor I bought at the Artist's Open Studio tour yesterday.  

It was done by a Boulder area artist named Ann Luce, who also did this oil painting...

...which we hung in the living room.  This is the first oil painting I've ever bought and I'm quite thrilled with it.  (Ben likes it, too!)

I had quite a busy week making decorating decisions.  We decided to move the too-small living room rug into the TV room and picked out a new living room rug that has a modern vibe to it.   The old chair in the TV room that no one wants to sit in is going to be replaced with a new barrel shaped swivel chair done in this cute green leather.  And we finally decided on a chair for our bedroom, so we are almost done with making furniture/design decisions!  I find it fun but tiring to deal with all this, but it will be nice to have everything in place for the winter and enjoy it for all the years to come.  

 It was a great week with lots of hikes and visiting with friends and other fun mingled with the work we got done.   I have to show you this funny photo Paul took of me; I know it isn't flattering but I think it's a hoot.

I guess I should be glad he didn't make me wear a funny hat, like he did Fetcher!  That is one tolerant cat.