Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Black Smoke for Halloween to make it eerie...right? Not quite...

I have a pumpkin cheesecake in the oven. I found a tip that you won't have a cracked cheesecake if you put a couple teaspoons of cornstarch in it. So that is what I did (but it didn't work - at least not for me). I usually do the normal water bath for it - which is also suppose to prevent cracking but I found it doesn't always work either. So I am on the phone with Michael and then I realize the house is filling up with smoke....I look in cheesecake is fine but there was a little leaking that spill was burning something terrible. I have all the windows open...and exhaust fan going too. I haven't "noticed" my pan leak when it was in the bath.

I am not sure why I didn't think about that in the first place. I mean it is a cheesecake pan obviously how the thing fits together and all the years I have had can't be perfectly sealed still so why I didn't put at least a pan under it....I am not sure. But there is one there now...of course as I am waving black smoke towards the open windows!

(going to post a picture and recipe of the pumpkin cheesecake on cooking blog in a few days)

Friday, October 26, 2007

Friday Gratitude

5 Good Things in my Life...
1. Time spent last week with my parents, Frank, JoAnne and Michael...for my birthday!
2. Birthday cards from friends
3. Halloween plates & napkins that make smile and feel festive
4. Incense that makes the house smell warm and spicy!
5. Birthday presents!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Thy feet rarely touch the ground...

Here it is - nearing the end of the third week of October and I'm left scratching the top of my head wondering exactly where did the summer and fall go. It seems like we were just gearing up for a major project in Golden, Colorado -- and then I blinked somewhere -- and we're almost ready for Halloween! Yikes!

Ever since I left the PD's office, I've completely lost track of the days of the week, and even lost track of what month it is. I've been trying to get down some normalcy of a schedule, but as I found out this week: it constantly changes. No matter if I have the entire week mapped out in terms of what to do Monday, where to go Tuesday and who to contact Wednesday -- nothing ever seems to go according to plan. There's always a few last minute snafu type snags just eventually wreck the over all list of things to do.

...and I firmly believe this is how I've effectively lost track of time...

But - I will say that we've had a very nice time over the last few months. Starting back in the summer when we made the long road trip to Minneapolis for Bob & Sandi's 40th anniversary, to even making an errand run to the post office a couple of days ago. You'd think that we'd get sick of each other - me spending what is now a permanent, full-time schedule from home -- but it hasn't been like that. I'm sure it's different for other couples, but we really enjoy the time we share together. Granted, a great deal of that time is spent when I'm in my office working and Darby is in her studio getting creative -- but we see each other, we can walk next door to see what the other is doing -- and when my errands take me out of the house, we usually go together so that we can enjoy the Colorado scenery together.

So when I look back on the past year - I can honestly say: it's been wonderful!! :)

Now if I can just address that "feet not touching the ground" part...

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


I have been quiet because when we come home I crash. And then we have had work to do so been busy with that.

Today we went grocery shopping. This afternoon I made a few loaves of herbed french bread and sour cream cookies. Michael has a meeting tomorrow night that he is bringing snacks to so I am making a taco dip and then some french bread pizza. I felt like I smelled like basil all afternoon because the basil in the bread was so strong.

Tomorrow and Friday I am steam cleaning carpets as it will be in the 70's so I can keep the windows open while the carpet dries.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Birthday Recap

This is a long long entry capturing my birthday and days surrounding it with my parents, Frank, JoAnne and photos from the art museum.

Wednesday - Our trip over the mountains was okay but not perfect we had snow, rain, wind, sleet and sunshine too. My parents got into Denver and had a bit to eat by the time we got there. After we checked them into their hotel, we went shopping! My parents had said they would just get me what I wanted when they were here for my birthday. I had decided I wanted new shoes. It is something I don't spend much money on - instead getting cheap shoes that will hurt my feet or be worn out after one season of wearing them - I knew I should get some good shoes for the winter. My favorite pair of mary janes are scuffed. And then my other pair is just not that attractive.

So we went to DSW and my Mom ended up buying me 3 pairs of shoes. My favorite pair is a pair of Born's which feel oh so good on my feet. I wore them Thursday and Friday and they didn't hurt and I am sure helped me be able to do all the walking we did those days. I can't find a picture of them online but they had a buckled like this one and then they had the top stitching like this one and are in black. I was looking for this pair - we went to 2 DSW's hoping to find them in my size but no go so I got the clogs instead.

I also got a pair of ballerina style tennis shoes that are the same as these in style but colors are different. Mine are blue almost a denim blue and then brownish tan. I have 2 jeans skirts I wear often so they will look really cute with those. And the other pair is Naturalizers that are similar to these - but not quite. Mine are brown suede with just one strap coming across instead of the crisscross straps. These are so comfy too but still not as comfy as the Born's.

After shopping we went to dinner and I had such a good potato soup. Yummy I miss potato soup - Michael isn't fond of cream based soups.

Thursday - We got up and met Michael's parents at my favorite breakfast place with my parents. They hit it off instantly! My Dad and Michael's Dad worked in the same field at one point and so they talked and talked and talked about that all weekend. My Dad isn't much of a chatterbox but he really did chat it up with Frank. So I am thankful that went so smoothly. We had a very good breakfast and then my parents, Michael and I went to the Denver Art Museum. They added a new building to it since we had went last time. And so it was really nice to go through it. I really enjoyed it. There were a lot of little extra features that I enjoyed - there was a postcard station to make your own postcard, there were lots of kid activities that we ended up doing too, lots of booklets to explain more about the pieces, a lot of coffee table art books and sitting areas throughout and just interesting ways to view some of the art. I like museums so it was a nice way to spend my birthday. There is a big sculpture in the front of a broom, dust pan and stuff being swept into it so Michael told my Mom and I to pose like we were being swept up too. It didn't quite work like he wanted but it was fun!

After we got all the way through, Michael wanted me to pick out some things in the gift shop to remember our time there. I got a box of note cards (modern and contemporary works), bookmarker (Ophelia by Arthur Hughes), and 2 magnets one that lists the eightfolds of Buddhism and then an Andy Warhol soup can magnet.

When we left the art museum Michael took us on a little tour of Denver. My Dad worked in Denver a lot so he remembered lot of places he had spent time at eating and working. And then we headed to Frank and JoAnne's where I opened presents. My sisters being such loving sisters decided to remind me it was my 40th birthday (something I avoided the whole weekend) by giving me 40 presents! Yes 40 presents including: the next ornament in the series I collect, socks, recipe cards, art supplies, notepads, hot cocoa mix, scented lotion, 40 dimes and much much more! Michael gave me DVD's - the new Serenity with the extra special features (it has a really cool dvd cover), Sound of Music (which I sing all the time around the house), Cinderella plus the early birthday gifts of Beauty and the Beast dvd and Belle doll! And then a very sexy loving card that was very touching. Frank and JoAnne gave me a gift card for Kohl's...which is a place I really like to shop. We just got one in Grand Junction last October.

Friday - We decided would be a good day for a day trip. My parents haven't been here in the fall so they could see some colors (that what is left at least) and the beautiful mountain scenery. So we went to Evergreen for breakfast and then headed to Central City for to gamble. Michael and I each won $50 so that was nice. My Mom won $80 and everyone else lost. From there we went to Silver Plume which looks pretty much like a ghost town. But there is a good bakery there and lots of photography opportunities. So we got a loaf of Asiago Herb bread and then went and photographed some old buildings. From there we went and had pizza at the place I mentioned a while back. I knew my parents would like it. And they did.

Saturday - We met up for breakfast. Michael had a meeting so while he went to his meeting Mom, Dad and I went shopping. I picked up some Christmas cookie cutters. I have some but I am getting sick of doing the same shapes every Christmas so now I have some new shapes. We went to Archivers too and I picked up several cute things there. After Michael's meeting, he met up with us and we all had Cold Stones before my parents headed to the airport and Michael and I headed to his parents to load up and head home.

We were worried about hitting a storm front over all the mountain passes but really we didn't have a problem until we hit Rifle which is only about 1 1/2 hours from home. Oh my...did we hit a storm. The winds were so bad people were driving with their 4-ways on - on the interstate. We decided to take back roads because some idiots were still driving speed limit. At one point we saw a big detour sign that had sand bags weighing it down lying in the middle of the road - but the thing about it the sign had been blown about 7 to 9 feet away from the sandbags. Michael had to have both hands on the wheel at all times to keep the car on the road. The rain was coming down in sheets at times and there was thunder and lightening. So it was fun...NOT! We were very very thankful to get home. When we got home, it wasn't raining but felt like it was going to start again soon so we had to unpack quickly. I had to break out thermals and wool socks last night it was so cold.

Overall - The weekend just hanging out with my parents was great. I enjoyed their company, seeing them and celebrating my birthday with them. I am thrilled michael's parents got along with my parents so well! And thankful for all they did this weekend to make it a special weekend for me.

I am always amazed by Michael....I think I see all he has in him and then he shows me something new. I mean I have seen his kindess and love before but it just always seems to go further. He made sure my birthday was so very special. He shows his love to me in so many ways....words and actions. We have a friend that always says she wishes Michael would give classes on creating a special occasion as he always tells her about how he celebrates my birthday and she is always envious. He does truly go out of his way to make it a celebration full of love and laughter. I am truly thankful for ALL he does for me not only for my birthday but always. Thank you Michael...thank you thank you for everything! I love you so very much!

Photos from the Denver Art Museum and one of Michael helping his Mom with some photography shots....

This is the outside of the old building. The new part is very angular and almost feels liek you are walking tilted when walking through it. But I got used to it and it was cool how the art could be displayed in some very unique ways.

Broom and Dust Pan

Andy Warhol Soup Cans

Close up of a soup can

Poppy painting with vase of poppies

Cool colored glass bar reflecting on the wall

And me...with a GIANT clothespin!

Michael & JoAnne in Silver Plume photographing an old church

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Good Birthday!

We are home (again)!

I want to thank everyone for the wonderful, touching, beautiful cards, emails and gifts. I am so very blessed to have such wonderful friends and family. Thank you all so much!

I had a wonderful birthday. We didn't celebrate it with cake and singing of Happy Birthday - which was my wish that we wouldn't. But we celebrated with just doing lots of fun things and seeing my parents. It was a wonderful wonderful weekend! I am very grateful to Michael for the words, the gifts, the time he created for my birthday. I am truly a lucky woman!

I hope my sister, April is having a VERY Happy Birthday!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Halloween Decorations

Last year I bought some napkins, towels and table runner at Kohl's after Halloween Sale. So this year I was exicted to decorate for Halloween.

Pumpkin basket I bought at Michael's not to long ago. It has Halloween napkins in it with a few silk leaves in fall colors in it and also under it.

The runner I got a Kohl's last year. Black with green, orange, white stitched strips and pumpkins on the end of it.

I have had this Pumpkin cutout stand FOREVER! It has a little Halloween tin with a candle in it that smells like licorce.

A little Pumpkin bag with a Halloween candle next to it.

Ceramic pumpkin and little stuffed ghost

Little pumpkin bells on silkcord attached to some of the cabinet handles

Little tissue fold out pumpkin and clay black cat

Another little pumpkin and then a pumpkin candle

Monday, October 15, 2007

where oh where is my hair....

You know when I walked in to get my haircut I knew I should have waited as my favorite girl wasn't there today. So instead getting the 4 to 5 inches I wanted off...the stylist took 7 to 8 inches off. It is just a smidge past my chin. After I dye it tomorrow I will take pictures. I showed her how much I wanted off and she started in the back so I didn't see how much she was actually taking off until it was too late. When she got to the front....I was quite a bit shorter then I told her. Sad thing is that if I would have known she was taking that much off I would have told her to take one more inch and save my hair so that it could have went to locks of love - I think that is what upsets the most. All that hair lying on the floor could have been donated had she asked to take that much off.

It was just hard looking at it this short though and she is lucky I didn't start crying right there. I know it is only hair. It will grow back but just not feeling very happy about it. I am sure it will "grow" on me. Michael likes it and says it is cute so that is good. I was worried it was too short for him too.


This is going to be post of randomness thus the bullet points as nothing connects. That kind of day you know.

  • We had dinner with friends last night. Michael made a retirement video for one of the friends and we weren't able to be a the party when the showed it as we were in Shreveport so got together last night. We watched the video last night with them and the friend got all teary watching it again. And he has watched it several times already but still affected by it. I know it makes Michael feel good that his work touches people. It is hard not to be touched by his videos. I know I feel the same way about my parents video.

    We all watched the Rockies win so that was fun and had great food. We had really good wine. One wine though I really liked even though I only had a sip as migraines still lingering but it had a grapefruit undertone that was very nice. Of course though I had to do something to make myself blush a million shades of red....I broke a spoon.

  • At Frank and JoAnne's last week we watched the first disk from Planet Earth. And that was so amazing! I loved it. But really what was the cutest is when the birds came on to their big screen high definition tv and Caesar immediately jumped from his slumber to go get them. He was reaching up touching the screen with his paw. He finally jumped up on the speaker next to the tv and sat on it reaching over to the tv to try to get the birds. We didn't get a picture because as soon as we would have moved he would have stopped. But it was SO cute!

  • Going to get my hair cut this morning. I will be having probably about 4 to 5 inches taken off - it is a length Michael really likes. Then tomorrow I will dye it black cherry. I have been trying to hold out in getting it cut because I wanted to donate to locks of love again. But I am just really getting frustrated with it - the tangles and it is just so dry. So I need to get some taken off. I want it couple inches past my shoulders.

  • Talked to my parents yesterday to get plans more firm for what we are doing and staying. We are going to the art museum Thursday. Friday we will probably take a little day trip. And then the rest of the time will be for shopping. I want new shoes - new mary janes to be exact. And there are DSW's in Denver so probably hit one of those.

  • Made Chili and cornbread on Saturday. And then yesterday I made a pie to bring to our friends - chocolate buttermilk. (links are to recipes over on my cooking blog)

  • We have a film shoot this afternoon. I am feeling really out of today though so I hope I can snap out of it before then.

  • Need to find my sister's birthday card to give to my parents....her birthday is on the 20th.
  • Saturday, October 13, 2007


    Okay so I mentioned that on the way out of Colorado on our trip to Shreveport we saw spiders. Not just tiny spiders - BIG HAIRY spiders as we were going 65 - 70 mph down the road. You could see them ahead on the road. We saw 20 in about a 50 mile stretch. I wanted a picture bad but our camera was buried and it isn't really a stretch that is easy to pull over.

    On the way back Michael had the camera out and the traffic wasn't busy so he pulled over when we saw them and took some photos. This time we only saw like 5 but at least we got some photos. When we got the closer look - I thought it looked like a tarantula. But we were surprised there were any in Colorado.

    As I mentioned that on our way through Colorado we stopped and met up with one of Michael's friends and on the way back we saw him outside his store so stopped. Michael asked about the spiders. And his friend said that they are indeed tarantulas. And this is their migration season and the pavement holds the heat so they criss cross over it on their journey. He said scorpions do the same thing but go in groups.

    I did find it odd when we got closer to populated areas - farms and ranches we didn't see the tarantulas as much. I guess that is good for the people that live out there!

    Friday, October 12, 2007

    Beautiful Building

    On our trip to Shreveport the AT&T building has murals on 2 sides of it. Michael got pictures of one side of it. It is a mural of the plight and triumphs of the people of Shreveport. I thought it was amazing.

    Here are a couple pictures of it...

    Thursday, October 11, 2007

    Birthday Blues

    I am a big person on birthdays. It is day to celebrate. And I try to celebrate my friends and family as I am truly happy that they are in the world! And even my own birthday I try to honor too but this year is REALLY hard. I will be turning 40 on the 18th and not looking forward to it at all. Only good thing is I do get to see my parents as they are flying in to spend it with me.

    But over all I am feeling a little blue about my 40th birthday. I did this on my 30th birthday too - got all depressed and sad. I know 40 shouldn't be a big deal. And I know plenty of people have told me their 40's were the best time of their life. I get that. I think I am just going through some depression in general and just not happy with myself.

    So that is where I am at...right now. In crying, moody, depressed mood. I should be asking for some cheese with my whine.

    Wednesday, October 10, 2007

    Home Again

    Home. So glad we are home. But I am feeling really drained it was a stressful drive home as the cats were not really calming down at all....acting freaked out really. So we were worried.

    We actually go back to Denver next week again as my parents are flying in for my birthday. We are just going to hang out there in Denver instead of them coming over to Grand Junction. We will leave next Wednesday(10/17) and be back Sunday (10/20).

    More later....

    Monday, October 08, 2007

    In Denver....

    We are in Denver right now. We got in last night. Our trip to Louisiana went well...did lots of work so really didn't get to explore the area as tourists but that is okay. We did good work and that is really what matters.

    I will post some pictures Michael took of a mural in Shreveport and somethings we encountered on our way there and back in Colorado when we get back to Grand Junction.

    Wednesday, October 03, 2007

    Live from Shreveport...

    We have been having a very productive time here in Louisiana. Things have went smoothly when setting up and taking down all the equipment. I needed to update a clients website so staying in the room while the rest of the crew is out with Michael filming so decided to do an update too.

    On Saturday we stopped in a town in Southeastern Colorado to see a friend of Michael's - Leo. He was so fun! I really liked chatting with him. And he just has so much respect and caring for Michael. His son looks just like a friends husband it was eerie how much they looked like each other. It was so great though meeting Leo!

    On our way out town heading towards the Colorado Oklahoma border....we saw spiders. Now when I say we saw spiders we were driving 65 to 70 miles per house down the highway and we could see them ahead of us on the road. That is how big they were. They looked like tarantulas from the vehicle. We didn't stop to check them out as there weren't really places to pull over on this road. But these things had thick legs and big bodies and we saw at least 20 of them in less then a 50 mile stretch.

    I am not scared of spiders normally but I think if we would have looked at these up close I might have developed a fear as they looked scary from the car.

    Sunday we arrived in Louisiana and as I said it has been going well. We are getting work done. What I am amazed by here is the poverty. We really haven't seen a lot of homeless but the homes people live in here are so worn and then neighborhoods have apartment complexes that are really run down with boarded up windows and it looks like people live in them. Plus they are surrounded by fences with barbwire and signs that say "no firearms permitted" and "id required at all times." This is apartment complexes - where families live. Most businesses don't have windows and if they do they have burglary bars. And then many businesses are also fenced with barbwire too. The schools are surrounded by fences with barbwire too. It is just a part of their life and that is hard for me to imagine. Filming this type of living condition is part of the project - maybe we are just being exposed to it more then we would if we were here to just visit/vacation. But it saddens me...that people suffer so much and live in such conditions.

    What else...

    Really we are just working hard so tired and just veg when we get back to the hotel room. I have been reading Outlander and I am LOVING it.

    The above was written this morning but the internet went down when I was going to post. This afternoon and evening was long. We did some filming then tried to get lunch but it wasn't an easy process. We went to one place and waited about 8 minutes to get seated and then waited another 10-12 minutes and walked out as we didn't get waited on. Next place we went in and again waiting to get seated no hostess/host in sight and ended up leaving as we were going to be in a time crunch if we waited much had to grab fast food.

    This evening we had 3 film shoots - and it takes so long for the lights to cool between them that it was a rush between each place. Tonight just grabbed subs on the way back to the hotel and ready to crash. We don't need to get up early tomorrow so that is so NICE!

    Going sign off and relax!