Sunday, March 1, 2015

Monday Stuff On the Way to Other Stuff: March Is Roaring In

Well, we're up to our hips in snow around here in Colorado. Fortunately, the chickens and Charley have worn their own paths through the white. More snow's coming this week -- guess that it means by March "roaring in like a lion." Does that mean we have a fighting chance to see it go out like a lamb?
    This week will hopefully be my catch-up week: a lot of things to fold and put away, more to inventory. And a book I've been editing for years, a legacy for my uncle. 
     I want to get these DONE. Meanwhile:

A very expensive pearl dress worn to the Oscars -- then stolen. Here's the weird part: it was returned by the thief, who alleged the pearls were fake. Turns out he was right! (Now the designers are backpedaling: 'We never said it was real...') 

All you ever wanted to know about marble countertops. (From Apartment Therapy)

DIYs on painting concrete flooring. (From My Thrift Store Addiction)

Steady 10%-plus interest on an investment? Financial Samurai got it with P2P Lending. 

Ten strange still-unsolved mysteries from around the world. 

A 905-FOOT tunnel, found under an Arizona home and extending (where else) across into the Mexican border.  This may be the longest one yet. For smuggling, of course. 

Ten historic sites gone forever...due to stupid actions and decisions.

A stolen Picasso portrait turns up -- marked as a Christmas present.


Head transplants -- in less than two years?? Am I the only one wincing here? (Creepy.)

A NINE-FOOT-LONG catfish? Yes, caught by twin brothers in Italy. (They're saying this photo isn't doctored, either.)

A woman found frozen to ground, after two days. (She's still alive...amazing.)

Beautiful striped picture framesGold tape does it! (From Honey & Fitz)

A new Bigfoot Colorado report. This one's about an hour's drive from us.

And in honor of all the snow we've been getting --

Cat: An Immovable Force

Saturday, February 28, 2015

We'll Miss You, Mr. Spock

Leonard Nimoy dies at age 83.

We watched several episodes of Mission: Impossible tonight, as well, in his honor. What a brilliant, talented man. 

(from I Pick Up Pennies

Motherly Wisdom for the Ages

No, I've never said any of these. Especially #1.

 Add in the most-used Brick family phrase:
     "I am not your personal slave."

When Daughter #1 was in elementary school, her teacher asked the students to give their mom's favorite saying. While Daughter was telling me this, I hoped for "You're wonderful" or "I love you." Nicey mom stuff, right?
    Know what my most-used phrase was, according to Daughter #1?

    "Now you stop that."  

Friday, February 27, 2015

What's Next?

Come this spring, we will have been living in this house for more than 15 years -- and in Castle Rock for 27 years. Seven bedrooms. (No, I am not making that up.) Three full baths. Funny -- Zillow has us down as 3 bedrooms...
    Both daughters have been on their own now for about a decade. But the house really was too big for us back when they were living here, as well. A few things have kept us here:
     *The view is TERRIFIC -- about 50 miles in three different directions - and a rocky bluff in the fourth. Ask friends who've been here: it's a pleasure to sit out on the deck in the evening, and watch Life Going On.
     *The location couldn't be better, for a city person -- we're literally blocks from every sort of store you could wish from, from Home Depot to Sprouts (groceries) and Michael's. Etc. etc.
     *The downstairs half has been perfect for the Brickworks business. A separate entrance, a huge main room for teaching and lectures, side rooms with space for inventory...we could even put a kitchen in down there, if we needed to.

But we're feeling restless. 

The Brick's 60th birthday is a fond memory. Technically, he's got enough years in that he could retire tomorrow, if he wanted to. (He doesn't, not yet.) My work could go on forever, as long as I'm willing to travel and talk -- no pension to look forward though, like the Brick has to look forward to. And whatever income comes in on my side comes because I'm still working. (Besides, I don't want to retire either, not yet. I still have what we call Places to Go, People to See and Things to Do.)

We want to travel more. For longer periods.
We want to work on languages. Spanish, especially. (It's critical around here in the Denver area.)
We would like to visit family and friends for longer periods. Just a few days isn't cutting it anymore.

Then, of course, there's The Mama. Her health continues to be precarious. (And she refuses to consider moving from Michigan. I know. I brought the subject up again, this last visit.)

House sales are at a high here in Colorado. Demand is also at a high. But if we sell, where would we move that wouldn't entail spending extra $$?

Moving out of state is a possibility. We have strong family ties in Michigan, and they'd be thrilled. (But we both dislike Michigan's dreary gray skies and heavy humidity.)
    What if we went somewhere less populated? We both would like more land than what we live on now. Perhaps run some beef, or raise a pig -- meat prices are horrible. More room, more air...and Charley would love running on a bigger property.
    But moving would mean that the Brick would lose the work he enjoys so much. And what about contact with our girls, who both live in Colorado?

We've talked about an RV we'd park temporarily on friends' land. (The Brick did this for months as a teenager, while his parents built in North Carolina-- they ended up living in a barn that they converted eventually to a house. Never did actually build the house.) What about Brickworks inventory, then?

We've talked about a tiny house. (I am so intrigued by this concept.) Then again, what about Brickworks inventory? And what do I do about the business, meanwhile?

I've even considered living in a bus. (This girl sure makes it look like a possibility.)

Another possibility:  Living in two places. Somewhere warm (Florida or South America) for 6 months -- then coming back north to travel and see family/friends the rest of the year. We've scooted around the idea of Venice Beach, FL or Panama... Ecuador is currently on the Brick's horizon.

Neither of our families is particularly long-lived. (Heart trouble, mostly.) We have money saved. (Not a lot, but some.) And we're good at living frugally.

Do we go now -- or soon? 
Stay for a while? 
Sell now, while the market is good? 

So -- do we stay, or do we go?

The dilemma continues.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Guess What's Inside...

This 900+ year-old statue:

Read here, too.

Makes you wonder what other statues hold secrets, doesn't it...

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

I Know. This Is Awful.

But in honor of Daughter #1, who never met a pun she didn't like...

Sun's shining...and a good share of the snow has melted. 

The Mama flew home to Michigan this afternoon, into a waning storm there...and on the heels of the net storm here. Perfect timing.

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Monday Stuff On the Way to Other Stuff: Snow, Snow, Snow

Friday night, after the festivities ended, the snow began here in Colorado. And went on. And on. 
     As of late Sunday night, it was STILL snowing. So far, we've got 18+ inches. Who knows how much will be on the ground when it finally stops. 
    The nice part of it: the weather was so bad that church was cancelled -- which meant that instead of getting to Worship Team at 7:30 a.m., we got to sleep in, have a late breakfast, and lazily read the Sunday papers. I even got a few tasks done early, instead of later in the week. Ahhh. 
     The chickies also took the day off -- they haven't MOVED from their snug coop, in spite of all the usual inducements. Charley the dog loves all this white; he plows through the yard with all the glee of a circus clown...then lies down in it to cool off his hot belly. (Thick coat, warm heart.)
     What will today bring? School did get postponed for 1 1/2 hours. (And the Brick works for the local school system.) Other than that, though, it should be back to business. (Update: it was. See for yourself here.) This is what it looked like on Sunday:

the Brick and Abby -- exploring


The 2015 Oscar winners. If you didn't know, now you can find out.

A monument to Hachiko, a faithful dog who loved his owner dearly. You'll want to read this story.

12 secrets behind famous 'I Love Lucy' episodes. Did you know that Fred and Ethel secretly hated each other in real life? (Now you do.)

Ten recovered treasures that weren't worth the fuss and effort. Darn.

Dealing with snow. A lot of it. (From The Frugalwoods)

Velveeta Nacho Bake -- easy Mexican food from Frugal Upstate. I'd substitute regular cheese for Velveeta, but otherwise, this sounds tasty.

The real story behind the invention of Monopoly.

A beautiful DIY marble tray -- for a heck of a lot less than retail. (From Jen Woodhouse)

 Missing ships, planes, unsolved mysteries...this article is a bit too flippant about how they're all 'solved,' but interesting, anyways.

It all started with a stale box of cornflakes... (It's All Connected)

This designer stitches souvenir pieces of her travels.  

A coffee sack furniture table (from Stow and TellU)

Five elements of British home dec design. (From Apartment Therapy) I'd argue that most of these actually originated in America...but then, I'm probably one of those rascally Yanks the Brits are well rid of. (At least that's what my British friend David says.) The photos are particularly informative.

What to avoid in cruise ship cabins -- and what to ask for. 

The trick to edging flowerbeds with a sharp, clean profile. (From Funky Junk Interiors)

Some great workshop how-tos. Her furniture ideas are slick, but I learned more from the simple things -- printing images on tissue paper (so they adhere better for decoupaging) and hanging tape from a bungee cord! Simple and effective.  (From Scavenger Chic)

Animals play in the snow. (From All sorts of fauna, from tigers to puppies, frolic in the snowflakes.

Hey, life's short -- go out and play in some snow yourself! And have a great week.