Monday, November 26, 2012

Favorite Christmas Gifts

Above is Blaze the Rocking Horse, circa 1960.  He was the Roping Dummy's favorite Christmas gift when he was about five.  You rock on him and his legs move like he's galloping.  Coool...
This is the happy face of the three-faced doll which was a gift to me when I was about five.  I loved this doll.  You could switch her face to be happy, sad, or sleeping.  She even mad crying sounds and laughing sounds with the appropriate turn of the face.  In retrospect, she sounds creepy, sort of like Linda Blair's character in The Exorcist-:).

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Two Princess Parties in One Day

I love my job at the tea room.  Really.  But those birthday parties can really kick my butt!  I'm running around trying to get the talent (Ariel or the Face Painter) all set up and trying to make the guests happy.  Basically, it's difficult for me to be "on" that long.  I'm not that happy of a person, people!

But the little girls all loved the party and while I'm about to fall into bed and snooze, in the end it was a success.


Saturday, October 13, 2012

Two jobs can get in the way of stuff

If only the office looked like that and I had those clothes!
I'll have to quit if Margo makes me wear one of those hats-:)
While neither of these pics is an exact representation:  My boss at the day job isn't a meanie like the Meryl Streep character in DevilWears Prada, but the subtleties needed to manage some of the high profile people we deal with remind me of this job.  And my sister is a MUCH better cook than Lucy (thank god we don't do chocolates), sometimes our days seem a little Ethel and Lucyesque.
However you look at it, I'm working two jobs for a bit.  My former boss needed a fill-in for my old position (the woman hired to replace me is gone - long story).  I love my old boss who is actually my friend, so of course, I agreed. 
I usually leave one place to go to the other, so I'm busy seven days a week for now.  I imagine I'll wrap up the old job in another month, just in time for the Christmas season at the tea room.
I miss posting on here, but I have been so darn busy and it's all I can do to do the stuff that needs to happen to keep life going.  And did I mention, our Cub Scout treasurer went AWOL and I'm now doing that too???? 
I'll be back soon.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic

I love the Will Rogers State Park.  It was one of my favorite places to go when I lived in L.A.  Will Rogers has a house on the property that is my dream home, actually.  Not all that big but just perfect and comfortable. 
He had two really neat features in the house.  One was the outside fireplace which had a ramada over it - perfect for entertaining.  The other was his upstairs office.  It had a private set of stairs leading out to the barn and he could escape if he didn't want to visit with whoever came calling.  He could see the stables from its second floor window.
Picture of Will's horse, Soapsuds, tied up at the house.  Just above him is the office window.
The fireplace outside.  Sigh..
The Stables are pretty impressive.  I could live in them-:).
All of the structures are beautiful but the land around them is simply fantastic.  Giant Eucalyptis trees line the trails and the ocean is just a ways down the road.
One day I'm going to the VC Polo Classic.  Mainly because I want the t-shirt and you can't buy it online.  An awfully expensive t-shirt-:).  But seriously, the game will be top notch and fast.  Now dealing with some of the spectators would be horrid (half of them don't even watch the match), but I'd do it for a chance to see those horses galloping at 35 mph, racing to the ball and scoring.  The Argentine Polo Players aren't bad to look at either.
With that, I leave you a photo of the Poster Child of Polo, Nacho Figueras.
He plays for Ralph Lauren's Black Watch Team

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Tea Give Away Winner at DTR's blog

A bridal shower setting at DTR

Hey Ladies,
One of my blog friends won!  So go over to DTR's blog and see (then send me your address via private email-:)).

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Need your opinion on books!!

Please go to The Denver Tea Room blog and give me some ideas for books for our Book Lovers Tea Salon.  You might even win some yummy tea and I'll love you forever.  Well, I already love you forever-:).


Monday, August 6, 2012

Book Love - Up at the Villa, Time and Chance

Finished Up at the Villa a couple of night ago.  I like Maugham and had not read this one.  I liked it very much.  Some people don't care for his writing style as it seems to sit back and watch the characters.  But I really enjoy him.  I'm about halfway through his biography, given to me at Christmas, by my sister.

I'm working my way through this one (500 pages), and I'm really enjoying it.  It is the second in a trilogy by Sharon Kay Penman about Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitane.  Lots of political plots and personal vendettas.  If it were only that, I shouldn't like it.  But she writes her characters so well and they do come to life for the reader.

On deck for reading in the near future:  The House Next Door by Anne River Siddons (an old one I've always wanted to read), and Sea Change by Karen White (new release).

I've had a very busy and noisy two weeks.  When I wanted silence, I retreated to my office and curled up with my book.  I don't know what I would do if I couldn't read. 

What are you reading?

Friday, August 3, 2012

Handwriting from a ghost

Today at the tea room, I was straightening up the countertop and came across a recipe scribbled on a notepad.  I had to stop and do a double take and wonder when my mother had written out the recipe.  Turns out the handwriting belongs to my sister.

Her penmanship, while lamentable and illegible, looks so much like my late mother's.  And then to add to that, the recipe was on a notepad decorated with roses.  My mother always used stationery with roses on it.

For a split second, my heart hurt.  And then I smiled because my mother managed to pass down a little bit of herself through her daughter.  It was a nice thought.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Just blogging

This would be the way I would choose to start my day.  Lucky dog!  As it is, I usually have about an hour of quiet before the CO Boy gets up and begins talking.  You see, once he starts talking for the day, it never ends-:).  I drink my coffee check emails and make a mental list of tasks I need to take care of for the day.  Gershwin and Mercer snuggle on the couch with me and grab a few more winks while all this goes on.

Been missing the ocean lately so this pic seemed perfect.  I wasn't one to take a swim, but I miss the smell and the general sound of it. 

You know how I resisted Facebook for years?  Well, you should always follow your gut instinct. 

I like to blog.

I like the blogging format better than the quick posting of FB. As I mentioned in one of my first FB posts, I finally acquiesced and got a FB page because I wanted to get on Pinterest.  And then I was happy to connect with some of my old friends so that worked out.  But I just am not fired up about using it for anything else, really. 

So you will see me blog and I'll post the blog link on FB with a very very occasional fly-by FB post.  I don't think you'll mind-:). 

I do have to wonder if I'm getting to that point where one just decides they no longer want to advance with technology.  You know how someone always has the aunt or grandmother who just won't work a cellphone, or the internet and then everyone gets irritated with her?  Well, I completely understand.  These poor folks have followed technology up to a point and have now said, "Nope.  Not doing it.", to anything else.

I'm there.

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Lament of the demise of the handwritten letter

Elegy for the Personal Letter

by Allison Joseph

I miss the rumpled corners of correspondence,
the ink blots and crossouts that show
someone lives on the other end, a person
whose hands make errors, leave traces.
I miss fine stationary, its raised elegant
lettering prominent on creamy shades of ivory
or pearl grey. I even miss hasty notes
dashed off on notebook paper, edges
ragged as their scribbled messages—
can't much write now—thinking of you.
When letters come now, they are formatted
by some distant computer, addressed
to Occupant or To the family living at
meager greetings at best,
salutations made by committee.
Among the glossy catalogs
and one time only offers
the bills and invoices,
letters arrive so rarely now that I drop
all other mail to the floor when
an envelope arrives and the handwriting
is actual handwriting, the return address
somewhere I can locate on any map.
So seldom is it that letters come
That I stop everything else
to identify the scrawl that has come this far—
the twist and the whirl of the letters,
the loops of the numerals. I open
those envelopes first, forgetting
the claim of any other mail,
hoping for news I could not read
in any other way but this.

"Elegy for the Personal Letter" by Allison Joseph, from My Father's Kites. © Steel Toe Books, 2010.

I just started a Meetup Group called the Denver Letter Writers.  The purpose is to share in the act of letter writing.  I love paper, sealing wax, words, stamps, you name it.  And I plan to keep the post office in business all by myself.  We are actually doing a little Salon Tea at DTR in July where we'll kick off this Meetup Group.  I'm so excited - I have 6 other folks like me who want to attend!!

The poem above was shared with by one of the Meetup members.  I just love how you can "see" it.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Bottles of thanks to you

I was going to post a photo of a pretty bouquet to give you flowers as thanks for letting me whine in the last two posts. 

But instead, you get a bottle tree.  I love these trees.

So, many bottles of thanks for letting me whine!

Thank you for the solid advice.  I'm trying to put some of it into play and still a little scattered at the moment.  But it's nice to hear from you!!

And this poem, below, has nothing to do with whining or bottle trees, but I like it.  Reminds me of the things I say to the CO Boy when he asks about school.  Part of me thinks he should learn this stuff and part of me thinks, not really.

To David About His Education
by Howard Nemerov

The world is full of mostly invisible things,
And there is no way but putting the mind’s eye,
Or its nose, in a book, to find them out,
Things like the square root of Everest
Or how many times Byron goes into Texas,
Or whether the law of the excluded middle
Applies west of the Rockies. For these
And the like reasons, you have to go to school
And study books and listen to what you are told,
And sometimes try to remember. Though I don’t know
What you will do with the mean annual rainfall
On Plato’s Republic, or the calorie content
Of the Diet of Worms, such things are said to be
Good for you, and you will have to learn them
In order to become one of the grown-ups
Who sees invisible things neither steadily nor whole,
But keeps gravely the grand confusion of the world
Under his hat, which is where it belongs,
And teaches small children to do this in their turn.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Someone, kick me, please.

I like this.

It's true, you know, but oh so hard to do.  While I'm trying to live the life I'm capable of, I have to do laundry, get kids to horse camp and work.  Now I love all of that - except maybe not the laundry- but it's difficult for me to juggle.

This post and the one before sound so whiny and I just hate that.  But it's where I am right now and I guess I need to deal with it, because truly, I do hate whiners.

I've been taken over by laziness.  I simply can't manage to do anything but the necessary items required on the "to do" list.  I should change my "to do" list to include items that are important to my soul, but dang, who will wash the dishes, ya know??

Someone please yell at me so I can get out of this funk!!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Let's Reflect..

I am out of sorts and have been for awhile.  Bit of a funk.  Lots going on with home, family, work, etc.  Long story short - I need to change some things.  I want to be happy and I have lots to be happy about.  Lord knows, others have a much larger plate of challenges, so I should just make it all right.  Some times, it can be difficult to do that.

I'm worn down with the needs of others.  I love those I serve.  But I'm sort of over it at the moment.  I'd like to be served, or at the very least, left alone.  Now that won't happen for a long time, I imagine, so I need to figure out how to get what I want out of my life, all the while taking care of others.  This post must make me sound like a mean ol' bat, but I normally don't whine about it, so I'll just do so for now.  Just this time.  Just this post.

I want. 

I keep starting my sentences with, "I want," and I'm sure someone somewhere will tell me it's a sin of some kind-:), and it probably isn't a good way to live anyway.  But I do want.

(It would be nice to be sedated-:))

I want some peace.  I am the biggest worrier on the planet and if I had a gazillion dollars, I'd still worry that I wouldn't be able to afford things.  Guess that comes from growing up poor and sitting at the kitchen table with my mom, counting her tips from waitressing.  Always a measure of anxiety over money.  I want it to go away.

(Snoopy's real, I keep tellin' ya.)

I want time to create.  I feel guilty when I try to create anymore.  Someone or something always needs to be taken care of so in my mind, that is the priority, not my writing or my drawing.
(NOT my closet, but oh how I wish...)

I want order.  My life is totally messy right now.  My house, my car, the list can go on.  As I've heard it said, if one part of your world is out of order, chances are, other parts are a mess too.  That'd be me.

Beautiful - must draw him one day.

I want to be around horses again.  You'd think I would, with the RD and CO Boy always riding.  But I'm usually at work when they do that.  Besides, I'm already spending a minor fortune on the CO Boy's riding.  I don't need to ride all the time.  I just want to be around the animals.

(Never looked like this, but at least I knew where my waist was)

I want to not be fat.  This spare tire disgusts me to no end.  It is the single biggest reminder of how I have let myself down.  And it saddens me that there are some folks in my life who feel satisfaction over seeing it.  (Sidenote:  I was cheering for Maria Menounos on DWTS - bummed she was kicked off.  Also, I miss dancing, but that's another post!)

All of these wants can be fulfilled.  But I am at a point where inertia has just taken over.  Rather overwhelming, but there you have it.

Okay.  I'm finished.  I will figure it out.

Thanks for listening.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Hunt and Peck

One word..
Think, think, think...
Another word...
More thinking...

The Colorado Boy now has an email account.  He reads the emails sent to him from his aunts and is delighted.  He insists on replying nightly.  But I'm about to poke my eyes out waiting for him to type in the words.  He doesn't yet know how to "type" and so every.single.word. is excruciatingly time consuming.  Of course he has to do this with supervision so I'm doing everything in my power not to push him aside and just type the damn emails myself.  I've never been patient...

Now I'm off to research the best keyboarding software for kids.  Saw a Sponge Bob program and wondered if it was any good.  Suggestions from anyone??

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Yves St. Laurent and Madeline Albright in one day

Bug pin from Madeline Albright's collection

Auntie is here for the weekend and generally when she is here, we don't venture too far from home.  Eat, nap, go to Target or JoAnn Fabrics, maybe HomeDepot if we're feeling wild.  But today the Roping Dummy suggested we go to the art museum.  We took in the Yves St. Laurent exhibit as well as the Madeline Albright, "Read My Pin" exhibit.

The St. Laurent show was just beautiful.  I'll be going back a few more times.  I promised to take one of my sisters and I'll have to go back with my sketch book just for the sheer joy of it all. 

The Albright show was also amazing.  She has a gazillion pins.  She points out that most are not expensive but the value is where they are from or when she wore them, etc.  For instance, the bug pin, pictured above, was worn when she met with Russian officials and she had recently learned they had bugged a State Dept. conference room.  Heh.  Got a sense of humor, that Madeline.

It was nice of the RD to suggest an art museum trip.  I've about had it up to here with boy stuff lately.  Just wanted something that didn't involve horses, cows, or learning to tie square knots.  He and the CO Boy kinda forget I'm a girl sometimes-:).

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter at our place


Today was a beautiful day here!  We spent the morning at the stables and then came home for a lazy afternoon.  I put the final (please oh please...) coat of paint on my office desk and I'm ready for the top coat tomorrow.  It'll be nice to get it upstairs and actually have a place to write.

Had a rare occasion to just browse Netflix and watch an old movie.  We watched, The Ghost and Mrs. Muir.  Do you remember that one??  Rex Harrison and Gene Tierney.  He was so handsome.  See, look:

He was way better than the guy who was in the TV series in the 70s (I think it was the 70s).

Finally, Mercer and Gershwin and I took a little nap curled up on the couch.  So rare to do that.

Hope your day was enjoyable however you chose to spend it.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

More dogs

Black and Tan Coonhound

The RD wants a coonhound.  To be fair, he didn't just come home one day and say, "Honey, I want a coonhound!"  Our neighbors are foster care folks for a hound rescue organization.  They are fostering a 3 year old boy who is the sweetest thing.  Only howls if he hears an ambulance.  He came over to visit with Gershwin and Mercer and they all did very well.  Of course Gershwin, the 13 pound alpha tried to show him his place.  Sigh.

We lost our sweet Ella in January and I had decided I would stick with my two boys and not add a third dog.  However, if the Colorado Boy and his dad have their way, I could be a proud mother of a black and tan coonhound.  The battle is ongoing, but I'm losing.

Been here before

CO High Plains

This photograph could have been taken in Eastern New Mexico where I grew up.  Instead, it's in my current neighborhood.  I ask myself once again, how did this happen?  Some times I really mean it and other times I laugh about it. 

Last night we attended a birthday party for my sister.  It was located on the other side of Denver and the scenery is vastly different.  Lots of pine trees, hills, etc.  While it was beautiful I told the Roping Dummy I preferred our side of the state and it's flat land with the grown tree here and there.

I didn't really appreciate the high plains of my childhood.  I was too busy wanting to leave.  But I really appreciate my surroundings now.  Some times when I'm riding on the back road from the Sonic, drinking a cherry limeade with the windows rolled down and the Colorado Boy beside me, I think of a happy moment from my youth.

Now to be honest, if someone gave me a little house on Catalina Island, I wouldn't think twice and I'd haul all of us back to CA.  But for now, we will ride down the back road and drink our cherry limeades.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

More Poirot and Chai Tea

This picture is apropos of nothing I have to say today, but I like it.  It's a drawing of Babe Paley.

We watched yet several more Poirot episodes this weekend.  I am laughing at how much the CO Boy is enjoying them!  I think he only gets a sliver of what is going on but he has a great deal of fun figuring out who did it. 

A medium-ish day at the tea room.  Had a princess party (bunch of 5yr. olds) and then grown up party going on at the same time in two different rooms.  I was tired because of the time change.  I think all three of us were a bit out of sorts and not quite on our game today.  Thank goodness it wasn't an extremely busy day.

The CO Boy and the Roping Dummy went to the Horse Expo.  RD worked the booth for the riding camp he helps with in the summer and the CO Boy made fast friends with some other little boy as they cleaned stalls and generally goofed around.  He announced today that he would really like his own horse.  Surprise. 

Tomorrow is my day off.  Tea room is closed on Mondays and I plan to put primer on my desk.  Remember the one I was sanding?  Well, after waiting for some decent weather, I was able to finish the sanding process and now I'll move on to the primer.  Yay.  I think it's going to be just lovely in the Lego Room.  I shall take more pictures of the process and post them.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Bobbins, Books, and Birthdays

Grammar Glamour (okay, so I must be stuck with alliteration in my brain-:)):  Do you prefer the serial comma or no?

I have been away from here for a bit.  Busy with work and it's been great fun even if I'm working a lot.  I really love working with my sister and The Prima.  But let's see.  What do I want to tell you?

I just had a birthday.  I turned 48, which is sort of uneventful.  But my sisters were wonderful; each giving me a present of a book. My TBR pile is growing but that makes me so happy!

And regarding bobbins, I've been tinkering with my sewing machine lately.  Nothing major but it is so fun to sew an apron out of my stash of fabrics.  You see, I go into fabric stores or thrift stores and pick up fabric and say to myself, "Oh I could make something out of this."  Because of course, I just have so much time and I'm an amazing seamstress - not.  I get the fabric-hoarding gene from my mother who never passed up a chance to buy some fabric if it was on sale.

Now I'm ready to go to work.  It is absolutely gorgeous here today and we're expecting a high in the sixties.  Woo hoo!

Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Evening with Hercule Poirot

David Suchet as Poirot

Last night I came home from the tea room and we had pizza and curled up to watch a Poirot mystery.  The Colorado Boy likes this particular series and that makes me very happy.  Sometimes we have to pause the movie (we watch through our Netflix stream) and explain something to the CO Boy but he enjoys the mystery just the same. 

Its cold today and I'm up early to go to the tea room.  Lots of guests and a catering order await.  It's all good.

Enjoy your day!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

I've been online, just not here

Best In Show (she's got nothin' on Gershwin-:))
Life is good!

I've been blogging, but over at The Denver Tea Room.  I've done some interviews with three wonderful romance writers who will be at our Book Lovers Salon Tea on February 26th.  Should be lots of fun as nothing is better than scones, tea and books.  It would be perfect if I could wear my pajamas, but alas, they expect clothing. 

In Don & The Roping Dummies news, we have a new date set for the CD release party.  So if you're in town on March 2nd, please join us at The Cool River Cafe for fun and music.

Been busy at the tea room.  Valentine's Day was unexpectedly busy.  When the day began we only had a few reservations but then the phone started ringing with some panicked voices and we helped them out! 

Today is all about Cub Scouts.  The Colorado Boy has his Blue & Gold Banquet tonight.  The boya receive specific achievements and eat lots of spaghetti and garlic bread.  Big time in downtown Brighton tonight!

Friday, February 3, 2012

No Party tonight after all.

Photo:  Tiffy the Yorkie, of Tiffy's World

Well, guess we're not having a CD release party tonight.  Waaaay too much snow, in fact the restaurant down south where the party was to take place, already had 12 inches at 10 am today.  So we're rescheduling.

We've used The Denver Tea Lady's husband's snow blower and The Roping Dummy cleared the sidewalks on both of our blocks and now we're snuggled in just watching more of the white stuff fall.

Snow Day

The biggest storm of the year, is what they're calling it.  20 inches expected down toward Colorado Springs and about 12 inches here on the plains. 
Regardless, we will trek down south this evening where we will have the CD release party for Don & The Roping Dummies.  So don't let a little snow put you off if you're in town and come on out!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Everybody needs a little Gershwin in their day

George Ira Gershwin.
His initials spell, "gig", which is a good thing for a family with a musician or two.  I love this pup.  He is a stinker and full of mischief which should make me send him away. I understand that is what happened with his first owner, but he prefers to move past that unfortunate time in his life.  He now happily causes havoc at the Miller household, along with his buddy, Mercer.
Everyone needs a little Gershwin.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Roping Dummies and Kate Morton (or how I spent my 15th wedding anniversary)

The Chief Roping Dummy and I have been married 15 years today.  While we could have gone out to celebrate, we opted to stay in (it's a school night, ya know).

The RD and band members were at the house running through sets for their CD release party.  And here it is!

to listen go here.

Meanwhile, the CO Boy and I snuggled upstairs with the pups.  I was at the ever so critical part of a book - you know, when you've got, say, two chapters left. 

Man.  The ending was great.  Loved it.  While The Distant Hours, is probably still my favorite of Kate Morton's, The House at Riverton, was quite good.  Didn't see the conclusion coming until I was almost upon it!

Next up:

This is a children's mystery series I've thoroughly enjoyed.  Enola ("alone" spelled backwards) is a much younger sister of Sherlock and Mycroft Holmes.  Raised by their Suffragist mother she lives in London, always dodging the brothers who try to get her to attend a proper girls school.  Great fun.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Desk for the Lego Room

Several months ago while still working the old job, I came across this desk in the alley way.  The alley was right up against a huge apartment building and furniture was routinely dumped, but most of the time it was of no interest.  But this time I scored.

I'm almost finished sanding it and then I'll paint it.  Here's a "before" or maybe a "during" picture.

The wood is nice and the construction is solid.  Note the drawers:

I THINK I'm going to keep the original hardware.  At first I didn't like it at all, but it might be growing on me.

What do you think?  Should I keep it or trade it out for something different??  Need to make a decision soon if I'm going to change it so I can put wood putty in the holes before I paint.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Blogging at DTR

Hi there,

location of The Denver Tea Room

I'm over at the tea room blog talking about walking tours, tea parties and haunted houses.  It's all good!