Sunday, July 31, 2016

Shrine of St. Anne Annual Bazaar

July 29, 30, and 31 of 2016, were the dates of the church bazaar under white tents. I have gone to most of the thirty-two bazaars held at St. Anne's school grounds. This year I went on Saturday and met some friends at the fun-filled bazaar.  Booths with games, food, drinks, pickles, ice-cream and cake walks were scattered under the tents. There may have been other booths but these were the ones I noticed. A "garage sale" was held in the gym and rides for the children were along the blocked-off street. People milled around holding fry bread with sugar and cinnamon, sausage sandwiches, burritos, hot dogs, hamburgers or beer, pop, and water. Tables were arranged in three separate places for those wanting to sit and eat their goodies or just sit and chat with friends. Bingo had it's own tent where people tried winning prizes!

My first stop was to buy tickets to be used as money. Five tickets for a sausage sandwich and one ticket for a bottle of water. For dessert I purchased a fry bread loaded with cinnamon and sugar for two tickets. It is sad to say that half of the sugar ended up on my breast and lap!

A friend from my past happened to be sitting across from me and I recognized her voice. We had a nice reunion and recalled our many escapades.  We remembered how we had started a singles group
at St. Anne's in the 1980's and how I had named the group, PALS (Praying and Living Singly). Or as some of us like to call it, Preying and Living Singly. PALS purchased a Juke Box and we would have monthly dances in the school gym. We recalled how much fun the group had been before everyone went their separate ways and the club dismantled.

At the Country Store booth I put down $2.00 for three numbers to see if I could win a prize. I did not win anything that first spin. Then I put down another $2.00 and my ticket had the numbers 13, 23, and 43 and the spinning board stopped at number 13. It was exciting to win a large chunk of mozzarella cheese!

I also purchased six tickets for $25 for a chance to win the $5000 grand prize but I would have been happy to win the 2nd or 3rd prizes!  I do not mind spending money at the bazaar because I know it is a fund raiser for the church/school.  It is now eleven o'clock and no one called me to tell me I had won any of the amounts on the raffle tickets. So be it!

Saturday, July 30, 2016

Out of My Element

Today turned out to be an interesting and frustrating day. Home Depot is not my kind of store. I have been in the store but only with some gentleman friend who knew what he needed in the store. Today I entered the store alone. I asked where the saws were located. I was told, "Go to the tool section." I went up and down the aisles in the tool area and could not find a hand-held saw. I did see some electrical saws but that was not the kind I wanted.

Finally I asked a worker in an orange apron and he said, "Here, let me show you." Sure enough, I had passed the saws two or three times and never saw them! All the tools at my house had been sold at a garage sale because I didn't think I would ever need a saw, but I now needed one to get rid of low branches and tiny trees growing near the house.

I did notice that the majority of shoppers were men and they seemed to know exactly what nail, screw, piece of wood, or tool they needed. The few women looked out of place in the hardware store, yet, I am sure women are also handy and can fix what ever needs fixing. I do not fit into that category!

My next project was to find a garden hose. What a surprise to see that there are different sizes from 25' to 125' long. There were yellow, black, green and orange colored hoses. I purchased a green hose that was 100' long. There were many sprinklers ranging from $59 to $2.87. I have tried some of them and none work well so I opted on the round, green sprinkler for $2.87. Maybe I am a creature of habit but the cheap sprinkler works well for me.

There are too many choices at Home Depot. If one knows exactly what one needs, then maybe it is easier to shop in the store. I did not have a clue but had an idea of what I needed. My hope is that what I purchased will work for me!
Image result for Women handy girls

Friday, July 29, 2016

First Day of School

When the doors to the school opened, a slew of elementary school children entered; all equal because they were new to the system. It did not take long for groups to be formed; little burros and baby elephants. When it came time to pick a class "president" the battle began. A blonde boy with unruly hair was picked to run for the baby elephants. A sort of quiet girl who seemed smart, was picked for the little burritos.

The teacher let the class know that since it was a democracy the person with the most votes would be the leader. "Remember to keep in mind our manners and do not forget that we are all equal in the eyes of God."

The girl had an advantage on running the race because she had been student council president in Kindergarten. He had no experience in leading his classmates.

The boy said, "I will be a good leader, because I am strong and will fight anyone who gets in my way." Some rowdy boys cheered. The girl said, "I want peace and no fighting in the playground."

The boy leered and called her a sissy. His nickname for her became Silly Sissy. Some in the class agreed and chanted her new nick name. One thing heard on the playground and in the classroom was "stupid girls."

This may have hurt the young girl's feelings but she knew she had a job to do in keeping peace in the classroom and the school.

Pulling out money from his pocket, for he was a rich boy, he bought many of his cronies candy and they stood by his side. All she had were words and actions. She picked a quiet little boy to help her.
"Why would you pick him, he never says a word in class," she was asked. Her response was that she had watched him and noticed that he defended himself when he was picked on. "He may be small, but he has guts." .

The two battled hard to win the election and when the blonde boy with the unruly hair began to worry he went to someone in the fourth grade. This action was not fair because the election was for his class only.  "You have got to help me," he told the older boy, "I know I can do a better job than that girl." The older child began to terrorize the younger children. They were afraid. The girl hoping to win the election, exclaimed, "We are in tough times but times will only get worse if we let him win."

The election process continued and the blonde boy with the unruly hair tried everything he could thing of: Making fun of those who were different, threatening, mimicking, and showing his anger
with threats.

The quiet girl did not know if she would win. She only knew the boy would not be good for the class.
She spoke about equality and about keeping the class room safe for all. 

The day of the election was an exciting day. The children wrote the name of whom they wanted to be the leader of the class and put their papers into a box. The following day they would have their answer of who would lead the classroom.

If you ever have to vote
be sure and vote for the
right one!
Ok, so you
think you are voting for
the right one but
are you?

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Beware Of A Substitute Place

A Garage Door in Lafayette
Today my granddaughter and I decided to have lunch. I like to take her to places she has never been before and today I thought Efrain's in Lafayette would be a good place to eat. They have won the Boulder County People's Choice award for six years and I like their food because it reminds me of how my mother made her chile. The drive to Lafayette was pleasant as we chatted about different things. Arriving at Efrain's there was a large sign in the window: CLOSED.

Another sign informed us to go to Senor Gomez Mexican Restaurant a few blocks away. Thinking that Efrain's was closed for good and that maybe Senor Gomez was part of the family, we drove to the recommended restaurant. I found out that Efrain's closes every Tuesday.

We entered a large room, wooden floors, booths along three walls and table and chairs in the middle of the big room. Nothing fancy and not a welcoming or homey place. Since all the booths were taken, we sat at a table. The menu was tattered looking and I wondered if we should get up and leave. "You can't judge a book by its cover," came to mind so we stayed and ordered: Enchilada plate for me and a meat burrito for her. She ordered tea and after one sip she said it tasted awful so she switched to a coke.

The food was mediocre without a good flavor. Beans, rice, cheese and corn tortillas, yet not a tasty dish. Very blah. I poured the red sauce that we had for the chips over my enchiladas to give it more flavor.  I asked my granddaughter how she liked her dish and she held out her hand and rocked it back and forth. To me that meant, so-so.

We left the restaurant and before reaching 80th and Wadsworth I had terrible cramps and an immediate feeling to get to a bathroom. I hope it wasn't the food we had eaten but I do wonder what caused those sharp cramps and a queasy feeling in my stomach.

I would not recommend Senor Gomez in Lafayette to anyone but I do know that there are "different strokes for different folks." Maybe some people like the food!

The food did not spoil the nice time I spent with my granddaughter! I did promise to return to Lafayette with her so she could taste the food at Efrain's since it is ranked as one of the top Mexican food places in the area.

Live and Learn

Today I learned what FLOTUS means. I heard it for the first time yesterday during the Democratic Convention and had no idea what it meant. After looking it up on the internet, I felt sort of stupid. All it means is First Lady of the United States. Here I thought it meant some trade agreement or an acronym for some government policy. Live and learn!

Later, I saw POTUS and figured it out all by myself! Again, I say live and learn!

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Another Day in the Mountains

Not knowing the ins and outs of visitors at the "cabin,"  I got up the next morning and got myself dressed and ready for the day. Everyone else stayed in their pajamas and had their cup of coffee. We sat around in the living room and talked about different subjects. Even though I thought I knew the women, I got a feeling that I was learning more about them. And I suppose they were learning more about me.

Every one fixed their own breakfast, while still in their pajamas, and I had a yogurt, toast and juice.
There were English muffins, turkey slices, banana bread,  cream cheese spreads, toast, fruit and juice. A free-for-all breakfast!  Around eleven, after cleanup with everyone pitching in, we drove to Columbine Lake. The lake is near the house and I was told that to walk around it is a mile. The play area, children swimming and the boats on racks give it a touristy feeling. A few fishermen were on the lake in their boats. All I kept thinking that the area was absolutely beautiful! I also liked the garage door on one of the homes.

Our next stop was to drive to the town of Grand Lake to see the large lake. The area was crowded with tourists and we tried to hire a boat but there was a conflict with times and weather. It seems that in early afternoon the clouds appear and it rains almost daily and we did not want to be out on a boat if there was going to be thunder and lighting! On the lake I could see paddle boats, speed boats and pontoon boats with happy people or they seemed happy because they all had pleasant expression of their faces!

Lunch was our next option and what a surprise I got when I found out that the Colorado River runs through Grand Lake. We had lunch at the Rapids Restaurant and we ate in a gazebo right next to the river. Is there anything nicer than sitting by a rushing river, flowers blooming in pots, good food, (elk meat for some), friends and seeing a wild deer?

After lunch some went to get, what I am told, homemade ice-cream of unusual flavors and one dip costs $5.00. Others returned to the house where tables were set up for a game of pinochle. I, who am not a card player, learned a new game called "The Dumb Game." I also played dominoes but was happy when we called it quits!

Three of us said our good-byes to the four engrossed in their card game and we started down the mountain in the cloudy and rainy afternoon. We did see a moose, lots of fog, a rainbow, and more rain until we got over Berthoud Pass. We thanked God for getting us home safely and now I have memories of a fun time at Grand Lake!

Saturday, July 23, 2016

A "Virgin" In the Group

For the past three years I have heard of a group of women who go to Grand Lake, Colorado to spend  time in a beautiful area surrounded by lakes, evergreen trees, and wild life. When I received a phone call asking me if I would like to "come up to the cabin," and join the group, I was delighted!

On the drive to the cabin the scenery was green, the mountains outstanding and the driver took the curves with excellent aplomb. We arrived at the cabin around eleven o'clock in the morning. My mouth flew open when I saw the "cabin." It was a palatial, attractive house with lots of glass. Why they called it a cabin I will never know.

We unloaded our stuff and gathered around the kitchen when I heard someone say, "I'm making Bloody Mary's, who wants one." I usually do not drink, but since everyone was having one, I also drank the delicious vodka and tomato juice drink with a celery tossed in. Everyone had taken something up to eat and the counter soon filled up with cookies, peanut butter bars, cherries, watermelon, nuts, strawberries, chocolates and M&M's.

Since I was the only one who had never had the pleasure of visiting the mountain get away, I was given a tour of the house. Each room looked like a show room. Walls with decorative, attractive items, beds with puffy pillows, photograph taken by the family in frames all over the house, and everything in its place. One bedroom had a huge bear skin hanging on the wall and I was told it was shot by someone in the family.  It  surprised me to see most of the bedrooms with a private bathroom. The large garage had fishing equipment, antlers on the wall, and looking very much like a man cave!  I know I have never seen such a clean garage; a place for everything and the floor immaculate! Someone said, "Your garage floor is so clean you could eat off of it!" I told the hostess that she could work as an interior decorator because her home was perfect; like a furniture store show room!

Lunch of lasagna, garlic bread, and salad was served and then the games began. All the people in attendance are card players or enjoy dominoes. Since I do not play cards I sat in a large, comfortable chair and read. After reading for about half an hour, I began to get sleepy so I knew I had better move around. I joined the ladies in the driveway where they sat underneath a blue canopy and watched them play a card game. I noticed they were playing for nickels!

Our hostess had an agenda all planned out. Around five we went to Grand Lake City Park and listened to Peggy Mann as she sang country and western songs. Lightning and rain had us scramble for cover but the singer continued to entertain. We then went to see Rock of Ages at the Rocky Mountain Repertory Theater. Music from different rock groups of the 70's and 80's left the group lost as to what was happening with all the long haired hippy types on stage. By the time the second act came on, we either were desensitized and we understood the humor, vulgar actions, songs, and what was going on or the play mellowed out. At the beginning we were not sure we liked the play and we wondered if it was the  generation gap between us and them! I took a picture with the actress that played the Madame in the play.


Arriving back at the house some drank Margarita's and everyone else snacked on goodies. Our conversations centered around body parts and if laughter is the best medicine then we were very healthy that evening listening and laughing! The last thing we did was to find our comfortable beds in the spacious bedrooms and we were off to happy dreams until the next day.

Friday, July 22, 2016

A Bear, a Deer and a Moose

Does the title of this blog sound as if I am getting ready to tell a joke about wildlife? I'm not. These are three animals I caught a glimpse of on a recent visit to Grand Lake, Colorado. In front of a cabin, there were humming bird stands that were bent almost to the ground. I was told that a bear had come by, bent the metal holders, got the humming bird feeder and broke into the feeders. "That bear just
pulled apart the cylinders to get to the sweet stuff and bent the stands."  On the window there was a round smudge and that happened to be the nose of the bear, probably as he sniffed the glass as he tried to figure out how to get into the cabin!

In the morning, I heard someone yell, "There's a bear outside!" I rushed to the window in time to see a bushy, reddish dog-like creature. He moved fast as he went around the cabin and I ran to a back bedroom window. All I could see was a round rear as he sauntered off into the woods. As you can
see, in the picture I took it is difficult to see the bear. I can't even see it in the picture and I know where the elusive bear was as he headed into the green trees and bushes. If I look closely, I can see it as he ran away. Look at the second line on the left of the window screen toward the bottom. That is the bear, believe it or not!

On another day I saw a graceful deer trotting along a path right next to the Colorado River. Some dogs began barking and spooked the deer before I could get my camera to take a  picture.

As I started home, I noticed many cars parked along the side of the road and people pointing cameras into the marshes. "What is it?" I asked. "It's a moose," I was told. I joined everyone along the side of the road and before long I could see an antlered head. Slowly, it ate the greenery and did not appear to even be aware of the people taking photos. It was raining but that did not deter me, or others, as we waited until he was almost out in the open. I have traveled to Canada, Yellowstone National Park and Alaska to see a moose but it seems the only place I am able to spot one is in the Grand Lake area.
I also saw some chipmunks yet they moved too fast for me to take a picture. This picture came from the internet.
Least Chipmunk on a rock
There is something exciting when wild life is spotted and a picture can be taken.

"The continued existence of
wildlife and wilderness
is important to the quality
of life in humans."
Jim Fowler

Monday, July 18, 2016

What Does One Do When Family Leaves

After my family leaves Colorado and returns to California, I have to get into my normal routine. The day after their departure I paid bills, did errands, grocery shopped, straightened the house, did laundry, and did everything I did not do while they were here.

The second day of facing an empty house, a friend and I went to the library and enjoyed looking through the movies. Standley Lake has a huge selection of movies! We went to Costco and Target checking out lap tops and then to Jack 'n Grill for lunch. It amazes me how the time flies and before we know it the afternoon is gone! Any sadness I may have been experiencing at the loss of my visitors soon dissipated as we laughed and talked about different subjects. Mostly our conversation centered around books that we have read or movies we have seen.

Another friend called and we decided to go to Our Lady of Visitation annual bazaar. The bands that play at the bazaar are the highlight of the evening. What wonderful old-time music. The dancers are older but I could picture them as young people dancing the night away! Some were good dancers while some tried to keep up with the music. It was fun watching them all dance on the huge  cement floor. The music brought back many memories of when I used to do my share of dancing!

Pickles is an easy game to cards, rip off tabs, see if you have five of a kind, and if you do, you return for more "pickle cards."  I was lucky and won a dollar out of the $15 dollars worth of pickle cards! The sale of Mexican food had a long line, the Bingo tables were empty, the dessert tables had many delicious looking desserts, religious articles were being sold,  and it was nice running in to other people I know.

Even though I miss my family, friends help ease the empty spot in my heart after they leave. By Sunday I was back to normal and after mass a friend and I went out for breakfast. I am finding out that having friends is important to my well-being!

"The human touch is that little snippet
of physical affection that brings comfort,
support and kindness. It doesn't take much
from one who gives it, but can make a huge
difference in the one who receives it."
Mya Roberts

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

All Good Things Must Come To An End

Today, Southwest Airlines is flying away with my California visitors. I enjoyed the time spent with my granddaughter, followed by a visit with my daughter and son-in law. Today was sort of a wind-down day; breakfast, spending time with her father, lunch at Silvies and goodbye!

The interesting phenomenon is that with cell phones we can stay connected and partings are not as they used to be in the past. Already, even though my granddaughter is not in my house, I have spoken with her via texts and also with my daughter as they wait for their flight at the airport!

I have taken many pictures but the last picture I took today was on my front porch, in the hot sun, as they squinted into the bright sun. They were kind enough to comply with my wishes but I could tell they would rather get into the air-conditioned car instead of standing in the heat. Now when I want to see my family, I can look in my blog.

"Parting is such sweet sorrow
that I shall say goodnight till
it be tomorrow"

William Shakespeare

But, I do have memories floating around in my head!

Monday, July 11, 2016

Golden Is A Fun Place To Visit

With no granddaughters in sight, I can now devote my attention to my daughter and son-in-law.
Today one of his bucket list items was to visit Coors Brewery.

"Who ever drinks beer,
he is quick to sleep;
whoever sleeps long,
does not sin;
whoever does not sin
enters heaven!
Thus, let us drink beer!"
Martin Luther

While they went on the tour I spent the time wandering through the stores on Washington Avenue. So many things to see; musicians on the sidewalk, tree stump bears, shops with vintage clothing, people playing on the edge of a flowing green river and a park with many young people (20 maybe) on their cell phones. Strange to see each person in his or her world and no contact with any other person; just their phone.

After walking around and seeing the neat sculptures I sat by the river and read my book. The weather was perfect! I people watched as they came down the river on fancy inner tubes, soaked their feet, splashed water at each other and some tired swimming but the current was too strong so they scrambled on to the stone ledge. I went to Starbuck's and got some tea and enjoyed the day while I waited for my family.

I had one regret after spending time in Golden. I should have brought my granddaughters to Golden because I am sure they would have enjoyed the interesting town.