Tuesday, February 26, 2008

playing in the snow

Ok... so I kind of went crazy taking pictures this morning. We got just a dusting of snow last night, and it was exactly the right amount and consistency (not too slushy) to preserve the tracks of the wildlife we share our land with. As I headed out to the barn this morning to feed, I was totally distracted by these perfect little bird tracks on our front steps.


 They were so crisp and clear I just had to run back inside to get the camera to take a picture. (Leaving the goats and Chance... our "foster horse"... yelling for breakfast!) 

 Well... one thing kind of led to another, and R and I ended up spending at least half the morning tramping around looking for tracks before the snow melted. We found quite a few... These are the smallest we found.


 I don't know what made them (mice?) but whatever it is, they appear to be living under our front porch and using the landscaping timber as a sidewalk.


 Funny little bird tracks... It looks like he was dancing!


 More bird tracks near the barn...


 ....and R checking them out.


 Can you guess what made this funny step/drag track?


 My little lame sheltie, Quin! He has one back leg that doesn't work well, it gives him a very distictive track


 We moved further and further from the house looking for tracks, and up near the road we found these. 

I'm guessing they're rabbit tracks...


 Mule deer tracks... If you look closely you can see the split hoof.


 We decided to try and find coyote tracks, so we went down into the gully and looked into the thicket where they like to hang out (while eating the neighbor's chickens!). 

We could see tracks....


 ...but it was just more bird tracks.


 The snow was starting to melt by then, but we kept looking. R was fascinated by all the holes, leading to warm little burrows in the snow, that she found in the gully. 


 Finally, we found this... It looks canine, and our dogs couldn't have made it, but I'm not sure if it's a coyote track or not. Whatever it is, we had fun searching for it...


 No tracks here, I just thought the stripes of light and dark in the garden looked cool.


 The snow is almost all gone now, but luckily it lasted long enough to give us a whole morning's worth of fun!


There has been a song playing on the radio lately that, when I really listen to it, brings tears to my eyes... 

It's called "I Danced with Cinderella" and it's about a little girl growing up, and a father being wise enough to recognize that children grow up fast and you need to take time for the little things now... before they are grown and gone. In the song the daughter, as she is growing up, asks her Daddy to dance with her... first, as a little girl, to practice for dancing with the Prince at the Ball, then as a teenager to practice for a real dance, and finally to practice for her wedding dance. 

 Here's the refrain: So I will dance with Cinderella While she is here in my arms 'Cause I know something the prince never knew Oh I will dance with Cinderella I don't want to miss even one song 'Cause all too soon the clock will strike midnight And she'll be gone 

 I guess since all three of my older daughters were dancers, and all three are approaching milestones in adulthood, this song really touches me. Since I almost never post about my big girls (it's funny... they really like their privacy!) I thought I'd give quick updates on what they are up to these days...


 E is dd#1, and she recently became engaged (no date set yet). Her fiancee is the father of her kids (yeah, she did things a little backwards... or bass ackwards as my mom used to say!). She and J (future son in law) have bought a new house and are just getting moved in. She quit her job to stay home with the kids, something she's wanted to do for a long time, and seems very happy.


 B is DD#2. She is 24 and a political science major. If all goes as planned she'll graduate in December. She is very excited about a job she's been interviewing for because it's actually in her field! She'll be driving down to Denver soon for a third interview for this job, if she gets it she'll be helping to manage some Democratic campaigns. The job will involve some travel (which she is excited about) AND attending the Democratic National Convention... something she is wildly excited about! Her long term plans are law school, then politics.


 K (snuggling in the picture with R and one of the grandkids) is DD#3, and she's 20. She'll be graduating in just a couple of months with a Bachelors degree in Psychology. She's planning on taking a year or so off after graduation to work in her field, and then start applying to graduate schools. Her goal is to be a clinical psychologist. (LOL, that's just what we need in this family! B can get us out of trouble, then K can analyze us!) She's working for an organization that provides shelter, counseling and support for victims of domestic abuse. After doing office work for the past several months, she's recently starting working more with clients and will start running her own "group" shortly. The other night she went on her "ride along" with the police, which is part of her training. Sigh... she seems so young for this. During the ride along a call came in from a woman who had found her elderly father (husband?) dead. K and the officer she was with were the first ones there. Very heavy stuff for a kid just out of her teens... She seems happy though and excited about the work she's doing... 

 So, that's what my big girls are up to. They are all grown, on their own, and doing what makes them happy... 

I'm so happy for them, but where did the years go?!


 I love this picture... it was taken on Easter 1995 (we didn't have R yet)

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Special Olympics

My kids have been participating in Special Olympics for a little over a year now. They (we) are part of a wonderful S.O. team and they've bowled, swam, played softball, and now they are playing basketball. It has been such a wonderful experience for them! 

 Yesterday we went to a Special Olympics basketball clinic with the Denver Nuggets. I really should have made R sit out, it hasn't been a full two weeks since her concussion... But I stayed close and watched carefully, ready to pull her out if any of the activities looked like there was a possibility of her getting hit in the head. It was very well organized though, not chaotic at all, and she was able to stay in for the whole clinic. (Yay!) 

 Here are some pictures... They started the whole thing with some demonstrations by the cheerleaders. We couldn't believe some of the stuff they were doing!


 Both kids temporarily formed new career plans after watching them. R wants to be a cheerleader, and M wants to be one of the guys who throws them up in the air. :)


 Then they got down to business. All of the really tall guys in these pictures are Denver Nugget basketball players, unfortunately I NEVER watch basketball so I know who none of them are... 

 Check out R's feet in this picture... She was really trying to make that basket!


 It was a fun afternoon, the kids had a great time... We stopped outside the Pepsi Center for one last picture before heading home...

Monday, February 18, 2008

snow showers

We're having very weird weather here today... 

 When I woke up the wind was blowing a gale and by the time I got back inside from feeding the goats, it was snowing... tiny hard little flakes, driven so hard by the wind that you could almost hear them hitting the north side of the house. 

Then it stopped.... No snow, no wind. 

 Now we are having snow showers. It snows, sometimes heavily... beautiful, big, fat flakes drifting down... and then it suddenly just stops. And then it snows, and then it stops.  

It goes from this:


 to this:


 ...in a matter of seconds. It's like there's an on/off switch up in the sky for the snow, and someone keeps turning it off and on. 

 In other news (or what passes for news out here...), Dh is making good progress in the bathroom remodel. This was the project he was going to work on while we were visiting my sister last month. We didn't get to go, but he started the project anyway... and it's almost done! 

 None of our bathrooms had been updated since the 70's when the house was built. I was getting extremely tired of the 70's linoleum (which was starting to peel) the 70's style swag lights and the old (falling apart) vanities. 

I don't have a good "before" picture of the bathroom we're working on, just the picture we took just before we moved in.


 It really doesn't look too bad here... They had a rug over the peeling linoleum and you can't see that the toilet is superglued together (really!). 

 Here's what it looked like after Dh gutted it, put the new floor down and was just starting to install the new vanity.


 I like this picture because you can see the lovely swag lights... 

Anybody want a nice "retro" light? I have one to give away!!


 The vanity, toilet and storage cupboard are in. The new light fixture is up too... you just can't see it in this picture. The only big things left to install are the mirror and the shower doors.


 It's very close to being done now. I'm still waiting for DH to install the shower doors, and I need to get a rug for the floor. But, unless you want to take a shower, it's usable!


 Here's from a different angle... I really like how it turned out! (The machine on the storage cupboard is what I use to check M's blood pressure and pulse.)


 What do you think?

Sunday, February 17, 2008

It feels like things are finally getting back to normal here. 

R is doing great, no more headaches, back, or neck pain... her shoulder is healing quickly (she can use the arm a little with no problems although if she overdoes it, it gets sore again) and her face is also healing well... she's looking more like herself again. 

 Incredibly, we've pretty much kept to the daily schedule I started a couple of weeks ago. Getting M to accept those changes in routine was so tough that I wasn't willing to let him slip back into old habits and then have to start all over again with the schedule. So I modified it a bit for R (very easy school days during the early part of the week!) but kept the same general routine. 

I think it's a good schedule, and it seems to help M to have the extra structure built into the day. 

Unfortunately, he's still really difficult in the late afternoon... R seems to enjoy the "reading time" right before dinner, but M has been edgy and uncooperative. I'm not sure what I'm going to do... force the issue, or tweak things a little. 

 We're still working on changing M's meds. I can't tell you how tired I am of it. Unfortunately, we're only a couple of months into a 7 month long process. We're adjusting two medications each week, and I'm having to keep close track of his vital signs (his blood pressure could take a sudden drop, and his heart rate is already too fast) and keep up with the blood draws (reminder to self... draw blood today, you're two days late!). 

But the hard part is he's so unpredictable right now... I never quite know what I'm going to be dealing with each day. Luckily we have been able to replace a full 25% of the haldol so far... so I think it looks good for probably being able to stop it completely at some point. 

 We went to a wonderful party for our Special Olympics team a couple of weeks ago (yeah, I'm a little behind). It was at the Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum and we had so much fun! Our team had the whole museum to ourselves, several great restaurants catered dinner, they had a photographer there taking family pictures, and after dinner the DJ cranked up the music for some dancing! It was such a fun evening... 

 Here are a few pics:

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Beam my up Scotty...

Ok, ok, ok... I guess it's been so long since I've posted that people are starting to wonder what's up. 

 It's tempting to say that we were abducted by aliens and after six harrowing, yet interesting days (of which I have no memory of, of course), we have just now been returned to our simple, yet peaceful, existence here on Earth. 

 I also considered spreading the rumor that we'd won the lottery, donated the house, dogs, goats, and rats to a needy family, and were currently basking on a sun-washed and secluded beach... one with no internet access. 

 Unfortunately, neither of those things are true... and like old George (Washington, not W) I cannot tell a lie. We're still here... just hibernating. 

 M has had a pretty rough week, both medically and psychiatrically, and ended up in the ER (for physical, not psychiatric reasons), R's sick with a nasty cold, and I was down for two days with a stomach bug. It hasn't been a good week. I'm worn out, disappointed that I had to cancel the trip I'd been looking forward to for months, extremely tired of doctors, making decisions, and thinking in general, and decided a little hibernation might be just the thing to recharge my batteries a bit. 

 I'll be back once the green "fully-charged" light is back on.