Category Archives: Friendship

To the Top!

Wednesday marked the day of my real reason for making the trip back to Colorado.  That was the day I planned to beat The Incline.

The months leading up to my trip, I worked diligently to strengthen my legs and my stamina, knowing I’d have to overcome the altitude and lack of oxygen.  I was also determined not to slow down Abby, who I know is an Incline expert, and who agreed to make the trek up with me.  Heck, she went just the week before to test it out for us and beat her best time.  So yeah, I was bound and determined to not look like a sloth.


The trail started out relatively flat, but got steep pretty quick.  I was breathin’ heavy right away, but soon fell into a groove.

There wasn’t much talking going on, as I was saving my breath, but I managed to sputter out a few words.  “What kind of time are we lookin’ at?”  And “Ugh, I thought THAT was the top.”

Every once in a while, I picked my head up to look around and admire the view, but mostly, my head was down and I trudged along.

At times, the people in front of me would “pull over” for a drink and a rest.  I just kept on going.  I basked in the glory of passing someone, even though it seemed to take a great deal more effort.  Abby would say good morning to each person we went by.  I barely managed a grunt.  Hopefully she was polite enough for the both of us.

As I took my last step, I turned to face Abby only a few steps behind me.  34:05 she stated with a smile and a high 5.

34:05!  WAY better than the 50 minutes I had set as a reasonable goal for a flat lander.  And only two minutes slower than her best time.  My chest swelled, and not just from trying to suck in the thin air.  I was proud of myself.

imageWe wandered around the top of the incline a while.  Abby pointed out the guys who were lifting a barbell over their heads.  We questioned how they got it up there, but then got our answer when they took it apart, split up the pieces, and ran down the mountain.  We just stood out of the way.  Best to let them go first.  They were making me look bad anyway.

We made our way down the 3 mile trail, occasionally having to get out of the way of runners.  I could barely keep from skidding while walking.  No way was I gonna run.  Besides, I remember how painful it is to run down a steep hill.   And I t was nice chattin’ with Abby.  I didn’t want to ruin it by panting through it all.

By the time we got down, I was starving.   We went to a place known for their big portions, and they didn’t disappoint.  I’m ashamed to admit I couldn’t finish it all, but I gave it a great effort.


We went our separate ways for a little while to shower and rest up for our next set of stairs at Seven Falls.


Here’s where I was proud of Abby.  She’s afraid of heights, and I know from watching my Hubby, that fear can be paralyzing.  But she pushed her fears aside and climbed up the steep “ladder” where we were awarded with beautiful views.












I went first on the way back down, hoping to block her view.  It’s really is a steep drop, and this is only from halfway up….


It was a great day.  Everything I dreamed it would be and more.  Abby, thanks for sharing the day with me.  And get ready!  I’ll be back for bigger and better things…..




Posted by on August 20, 2016 in Friendship, Health and Fitness, Vacation


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The Fun Just Got Funner

Our first day in Colorado merely whet our appetite for outdoors adventure.

After we caught our breath from the climb at Red Rocks Ampitheater, we grabbed some lunch at the Airplane Restaurant and headed off to Garden of the Gods.


Probably one of Amp’s favorite places.  Lots of rocks to climb.


The following morning, we met up with Abby for another tour of Red Rock Open Space.  She gave us the tour last time we were out, and. Amp was so impressed he wanted to go back.  This time there was water, which made it even more beautiful.





Chip, seeing Colorado for the first time.

Amp, begrudgingly allowing a selfie for the sake of the blog.





Shadow and Abby.


We said so long to Abby, and then moved on to Palmer Trail and Helen Hunt Falls.  The longer we went, the more we realized we were flat landers trying to keep up with the natives.



But boy was it beautiful.


We wanted to hit one more trail, but storms were brewing.  We got to see first hand the hail and flash floods Abby often describes on her blog.  Luckily we were safe in a car and not stranded on a mountain.

Our day may have ended abruptly, but to me the best was yet to come…….


Posted by on August 18, 2016 in Family, Friendship, Vacation


Be still my heart

Look what greeted me as I walked out the door Saturday morning.


See the single bright star? Just beautiful.

This stunning sight means a couple of things.

1.  The sun was coming up which means I had slept past 3AM.

2.  The sun was coming up at 6 (!) which means the days are getting longer!

3.  The sun was coming up AND I was heading OUTSIDE for a long run.

4.  The sun was coming up AND it was Saturday.  AND I was NOT. AT. WORK!

I mean, I love work, but I always work Saturdays.  Not this time though!  And it was awesome!  Other than the fact that hubby was gone on a business trip.  And Mario was away on a ski trip.  And Amp was away at a friend’s house….

But even that wasn’t all bad.  I can’t remember the last time I had the whole house to myself.  I mopped the floors. I finished the laundry.  I baked some more sea salt and cashew chocolate chip cookies.  (And didn’t burn them. They taste so much better that way.)

And if things couldn’t get better, the sun warmed us up to a beautiful 64 degrees with NO wind.  I couldn’t help myself.  I slipped on my Brooks for the second time that day, and strolled leisurely down the country road, taking in the sights and the sounds of the spring day teaser.  This winter has been tough, making me appreciate how beautiful the day was.   It should help me cope with a week of temps back into the 20s and 30s.  *sigh* But it won’t.  In fact, it’ll make it more difficult to deal with.

I won’t dwell on it now, anyway.  ‘Cause look what I received in the mail!


My very own, made specially for me, greeting card from Lotta Joy.


Her note inside stressed the importance of flexibility.  Funny it should come right after her affair with the crab legs.

A perfectly bright ending to a perfectly delightful day off.

Now.  Back to work.


Posted by on February 24, 2014 in Baking, Friendship, Running


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Happy 2014!

The New Year crept in quietly while I slept.  Heck, I’m so tired these days, it could have come in like a lion and I wouldn’t have stirred.

I greeted the New Year at 2:45 AM, when I groggily woke for work.  The hotel wasn’t as busy this year as years past, but we still had quite a few guests and families ringing in the New Year with us. Now that we’ve said goodbye to them, there is nobody left.  And nobody coming in for quite some time.  I think I’ll take advantage of the slowness and drag my hubby down to Florida.  I’m sure he won’t mind.

When I look back on 2013, I’m not sure if I’m happy to see it go or not.  The beginning of the year was definitely the hardest, with the passing of my father-in-law and shortly after, my mother-in-law.  I miss celebrating birthdays and holidays at their house, but we’re up for trying new things and making new traditions.

2013 was also the year of my first 1/2 marathon.  I look back on that with both pride and humiliation.  I most certainly want to run another.  October 2014 maybe? I need some sort of goal to get me back outside and running distances again.  The elliptical and intervals on the treadmill have been my go-to exercises this past month or so, what with the snow, ice, and freezing temps.

The biggest surprise of the year was saying goodbye to two of my kids.  I’d had myself convinced Mario, the youngest of the four, would be the first one to move out.  But a solo vacation to Florida for Chip, and the lure of some friends in Ohio for Link, and suddenly, those two are moving out.  Now to just keep them out….

And 2013 was by far my most successful at work.  I finally achieved the promotion I’ve been hoping for, along with some well earned respect.  And just recently, I got a raise out of the blue!  In this business, it definitely means a lot to be given more money just because.

So not a bad year, but I’m certainly looking forward to 2014.  I tend to shy away from making resolutions since I can be so hard on myself if I fail, but I have things I want to work on and improve.


Wishing you all a terrific new year!  Thanks for being the best blog friends a girl could ask for.





Posted by on January 2, 2014 in Family, Friendship, Holidays, The Hotel


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Sleep is overrated.

Last Friday was my only day off before Christmas.  So what did I do?


I baked for my coworker.


I’m NOT complaining.


I just made extra so the family could enjoy it too.


Sugar coated sugar cookies


Iced sugar cookies


Eggnog cupcakes

And when my commitment to her was fulfilled, I did this for another coworker:


You’re lookin’ at the funnest Secret Santa gift ever. No hot glue gone needed.


While it certainly was fun being creative, these tasks did nothing to prepare me for Christmas.

I still have all my presents to wrap.  Heck, I still have presents to buy. And I’m not too concerned about having an entirely clean house, but I’d at least like to have one clean bathroom for my two guests to use while they’re here.

Not to mention my Christmas pin board has a ton of recipes that I want to get to.  *sigh*

Today especially, I’m feeling the overwhelming stress of so many things to do and so little time.  So what do I do?

Sit on the couch with my computer and ice cream of course. And convince myself I’ll be able to squeeze it all in these next few days. I’ll only be gone from 8:30 AM to 7 PM Monday due to work, and Tuesday, well, I won’t leave til noon, but I have to squeeze breakfast with my dad in that morning, and I won’t get home til 11:30 Tuesday night.

Oh yeah….  I have plenty of time to finish things up.

ugh.  I need another scoop of ice cream.

Hope you all are faring much better!


Posted by on December 23, 2013 in Baking, Family, Friendship, Holidays


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Christmas Magic

We’re playing Secret Santa at work.  I know this because I got a slip in my box that says “You’re Milmo’s Secret Santa.  He likes homemade food, pizza, and he stops by Quick Trip every day for some Diet Dr Pepper before coming into work.”


And I have rules to follow.  Like I can only spend $5.  And it has to be creative.  And fun.  And turned in before Christmas.


I’m trying not to be a Scrooge.  It’s a nice idea.   A way for us to bring the Christmas spirit into our job.

It’s just that I’ve procrastinated so much, and now, one week before Christmas, a new person has been added to my list.  A person who loves going to Quick Trip. And the closest Quick Trip is not exactly a quick trip for me.

I forced myself to drive the 15 miles out of my way after work today.  I filled my tank, filled my coffee cup, and plopped the gift card on the counter.  The checkout guy asked “300 dollars?” with a grin.  I replied with an embarrassed smile.  “Um, maybe just $5.”   I didn’t bother to explain myself.

Since I was on a roll, I stopped by my favorite store for a six pack of Diet Dr. Peppers.  I plan to decorate them like reindeer, to cover the “fun” part of the gift. This is how I hope they’ll turn out.  But with soda bottles.

reindeer bottles

Or maybe not.  Mario just told me she ruined my hot glue gun.  “I wanted to see if it worked with crayons,” she explained.  “I was younger then.”


While wandering the aisles of the store, I found myself humming to the Christmas songs.  A smile forced it’s way out when “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas” came on.  Such a fun song!  In the baking aisle my heart melted when I walked past a young mom holding a toddler who was nestled comfortably on her shoulder.  She softly sang the songs to him as his eyes drooped sleepily.  For a moment, I was saddened that those magical days were long gone for me.

But then I hit the craft aisle, and I hear:  “Gracie NO.  You’re not getting it.  Put it back.  Charlie!  Gracie!  Look what you’re making Charlie do.  No Charlie!  Pick it up and put it back!  Gracie, if you bring that up to me one more time, you’re not getting the ribbon!  Charlie!  Get. Over. Here!”

Suddenly I was relieved that those “magical days” are long gone.

Now I’m hoping for a different kind of magic.  The kind that has me ready for Christmas in time.

I’ll let you know how it pans out….


Posted by on December 19, 2013 in Family, Friendship, Holidays, The Hotel


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Sleepless in St. Louis

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

Yeah.  That’s just a nice way of saying we got dumped on.

I have to admit the first snowfall is always a little fun.  Never good timing, but always exciting.

The Christmas spirit is slowly growing on me.  The halls are decked a little more than last year.  The stockings are hung with as much care as Mario could muster, and Christmas music has taken the place of Katy Perry, Lorde, and JT.

For the first time, I plan to take a few days off work just to stay home.  Link will come home Christmas Eve for a few days, and I want to spend some time as a family.  I’m enjoying planning activities for us to do, including a basement cleaning party.  Sounds like fun, right?  Right!?  Maybe I better call it a pizza party and hold it ransom until the basement is clean.

I had planned to do a bit more shopping today, but the snow and my Mustang don’t get along. I did have to take it to work early Friday morning though.  So I awoke at 2:20 AM to allow myself plenty of time.  And I definitely needed it.  It took me just as long to get home from work, and by that time I was SO sleepy!  I crashed for a couple of hours and then put on my holiday party clothes (for me that’s jeans and a sweater), and off we went for some house hopping fun.

It was 2:30 AM before I crawled into bed.  With the exception of my nap, I had been awake 24 hours.  To make matters worse, I had to get up at 7 to work.  And then 4 AM the next day.

I have been dragging butt for the last 4 days.

Speaking of butts… I landed on mine again.  At work again.

Only this time I didn’t have soup.  And I didn’t tell anyone.

Before you jump to conclusions, let me just say it wasn’t my fault.  My foot was unknowingly caught in a computer cord.  I turned to go to the back, but my foot couldn’t go with me.  I fell immediately, landing right on my arse. Thank gawd no one saw me.


So now I’m sleepy, and bruised, and starting to feel stressed.

Only 15 days left to shop.

Cash is starting to sound like a great gift.


Posted by on December 10, 2013 in Blunders, Friendship, Holidays, The Hotel


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