Hummingbird visit

Hi Honey,

Been missing you. I’m in Las Vegas this week. It’s surprisingly colder than I thought it would be. This is the desert, after all, but it maybe got to 45 today! Sunny, though, so beautiful. The mountains around the city got new snow the night before last and were so beautiful yesterday morning. This morning, too, but it was fresh, yesterday morning!!

I keep thinking about when you and I came here together, just the 2 of us. We stayed at Planet Hollywood and played the blackjack and poker machines in that one area! Using the card you bought so we’d know what to hold on and what to trade in. (I don’t think that’s the term… Haha!!) That’s my most precious memory of that trip! Using that dumb card to know what to do! Still lost money, but not much, so that’s OK. We walked miles and miles up and down the strip. Ate. I think we saw a show, but I don’t remember which one. It was way more fun to do Vegas with you than it was with your Dad a few years later. He doesn’t much participate in any of this, so while he was happy to follow along where I wanted to go, that’s not usually the point.

I’ve been catching myself being crabby again, so remembered that I needed to connect with you to let you know about the good things in life. The things I’m thankful for.

Yesterday, I had a pretty good break, so left to get some lunch and then came back to work, but sat in the car to read in some quiet for a little bit. It was nice enough to have a window open, so I enjoyed the fresh air. As I was reading a collection of Maeve Binchy’s short stories, I got buzzed by a hummingbird!! Hi Mama! I always, always think of your Marno when I see a hummer! She didn’t hang around long, and thankfully didn’t come in the window, but it was lovely to get a Marno drive by!hummingbird

I’m also thankful for sweet thoughts of you and your friends, today. On Monday, your girls represented you to Sigma Kappa in advance of their campus wide Bone Marrow Donor Drive at Colorado School of Mines. I heard they did great and were really able to make you real to the younger sisters presently active in the sorority. 90 girls!! I can’t wait to hear how well they do with their donor recruiting.

This week I’m thankful for happy Grand Opening energy, for too much circus at that self same GO! I’m thankful for time to do some stretching, some yoga, some reading. I’m thankful for a fellow Trainer to have dinner with. I’m thankful for beautiful snow on the mountains in the distance, and a fly-by from my Mama that buzzed my hair. I’m thankful to have lots of people this week that I know and like to work with. That’s always so nice. I’m thankful to get to talk to your brother each day as he’s getting his apartment all put together, including seeking advice from your Auntie. Fun to watch him make a home.

I love you, Sweetheart. I thought about you last week, too, as your sweet hubby called. He’s interviewing to pursue the ministry. I can hardly believe it. Feels strange and yet not otherworldly, for him. I think his sweet bride is really stretched, as she is supporting his searching and seeking and bouncing from idea to idea. Though, she is an idea bouncer, too, so I guess that works for them! I get to hug his little sister, soon, as she and her hubs are heading to Colorado for a vacation in May!! Can’t wait and feel so honored that she has sought out to connect with us on their limited time off. I love that girl!

Took a pause in my chatting with you to finish the work week and get home. The dogs were so happy to have me come home, late though it was. Your Mia girl is my sweet heart and so happy. Sophie rolled in me for a long time. I love how she just ducks her head and rolls into me. She’s going to get her touch in, even if I’m not participating. Mocha, the moose, is happy with her whole body and slamming into me is her way of making a happy greeting. Lacey Jane is beside herself with love as she waits her turn to touch. She looks like a little porcupine as she approaches in submission and love. She drops her head and pulls her back end into and almost under her body. And with her full winter coat, she looks just like a little black porcupine. Which always reminds me of the porcupine you and your Dad ate dinner with when you 2 were camping all those years ago. <3!!

So today, I’m thankful for a good work week. I’m thankful for meaningful work, where I can make a difference. I’m thankful for competent people to work with, and a process that gets everything done. I’m thankful for hummingbirds and porcupines and puppies. I’m thankful for deserts and mountains and fresh air. I’m thankful for the Bone Marrow Donor Registry and Mines’ stem cells and Sigma Kappa sorority sisters and lifelong friends of my girl. I’m thankful for you and the impact you continue to have on the world.

I’m thankful for today!!


Sparkly snow

Hi Girl!

You can’t see the rainbows in the frost in this picture but it was there. Sparkly snow! My favorite! Your sweet Mia wanted out front, first thing, like always. She loves the front yard, she always has! Ever since we trained her for you, she loved the front yard. The back, in that house, had a giant stair to the grass, so we always let her out the front. It’s like she’s come home, every time. I think it’s really just because she likes to poop in the front! Haha!

Today was sit through meetings day. ALL DAY! But so much discussed and sorted and meetings are where the decisions are made.

I also finished a note your Honey asked for. He wanted opinions. I gave them to him. Don’t ask if you don’t want to know… He and his bride are making a life but boy, it’s a struggle! They remind me of baby birds struggling to free themselves from the egg shell they’re surrounded in. Whacking away, not realizing that perhaps all they need to do is stretch their wings a little and go back to the basics. But that boy of yours! He’s certainly wired for struggle! 

Your brother is finally back in his own apt after being gone for a month, starting the day after he moved! You know him, he needs everything in place but it’s not there, yet, and he’s beginning to get crazy! Today, he struggled with injustice. The designer he is working with lit out after his assistant. He feels the wrong in that so acutely. He is so conscientious and kind that those kinds of things really hurt his heart, his sense of justice.

Today I’m thankful for frost and sparkles and Mia and her front yard penchant. I’m thankful for your brother’s heart and ways. I’m thankful your hubs has a wife who is willing to see his heart through the charm, because we both know his charm is just the icing. I’m thankful for people who work hard to keep our business moving forward. I’m thankful for you, my Angel Baby!

I’m thankful for today!!

Busy Weekend

Hi Sweetness,

What a busy weekend, full of fun things. Cirque du Soleil, Stock Show. I so enjoyed the different sights and thoughts of the weekend. I really need differing stimuli, on a regular basis.

The egg is Ovo! I never did really figure out the point of the egg…They never opened it, and really didn’t refer to it much. But wow, those performers. Acrobats and gymnasts and aerialist. So amazing. I marvel at the strength and the flexibility, and the strength and flexibility combined!! I get flexible, I get strong, but the combination of the 2 is mind boggling and beautiful. I’m thankful for the laughter, the awe, the visual beauty. The climbing wall was amazing; hanging, crawling, sideways, upside down, mesmerizing!


Then the stock show. The National Western Stock Show, no less. As a kid, we went every year. Marno loved the horse show and also the Mexican rodeo. Her Grandfather used to come into town from Gunnison and trade here. We would go and wander the barns, looking at the cows and horses, sheep and goats. The bunnies and chicks were in the children’s section, where the petting zoo always was. And the trade show, with things a city girl never saw, in day to day life. So interesting. I found a picture of the Coliseum grounds from 1952. Before my time, before I-70. They always have so many things going at once, rodeos, wild west shows, circus food, animal barns. And it was fun to eat a turkey leg with roasted corn, while walking in the snow, because it’s not the stock show if it’s not cold and snowing!


I’m thankful for different sights and sounds and smells. I’m thankful for great nephews to watch enjoy those sights and sounds and smells.I’m thankful for elders able to participate, including sitting time. I’m thankful for circus food and circus people and horsemen and women, doing marvelous things.

I’m thankful for today!!

Friends and dinner

Hi Sweetie,

Working this week, the first road trip of the year, I’m finding myself sliding into the complaining, in my head and out loud, that I really started to notice last fall, as I was constantly traveling and just over dealing with people. Most people don’t believe me when it comes up that I am not a people person, but I know you understand this. You, too, would get to the point of just being done with people, though I think for you it was more about needing quiet time with yourself, for me, it’s about feeling assaulted by people’s attitudes and energy and anxieties.

So I’m reigning that in and sharing the happy in my day. I got to have dinner with long time friends! Friends I haven’t seen in several years. Their little boy is 5 going on 6 and other than a quick hug at our yearly conference, I haven’t gotten to sit down and share in their life since their little guy was around 1. We had Mexican food at a place in the middle between where they live and where I am working. A 45 min trip took me about 75 min! When I got to the restaurant, she asked me if I was crazy with the traffic. My reply, not really. I’m so thankful that traffic just doesn’t really get to me. I can plan and be diligent, and then, it’s not up to me! Can’t change it, can’t fight it, so I don’t. And I’m so grateful for that! These friends have work in common, though not in the way they did when I first was getting to know them. It’s fun to hear how his business is growing and how the crazy woman started teaching high school math. What the…?!?! Brave woman! Not me!! It was fun to get to see them interact with their little boy; tender and clear and timely and truthful and consistent and…just sweet.

This dear woman and I have a deep connection. As we would meet on the road, years ago, her doing her work, me doing mine, we did our best to sit down for a few minutes and catch up. We shared deep things with each other. Sometimes it’s almost easier to share with a compassionate heart that doesn’t reside in your day to day world. That’s the relationship she and I have. She always asks me about you. Her question today, “How did Jen show up for you today?” What a PERFECT question! She must not have seen the gorgeous sunset as I entered the restaurant, or she wouldn’t have needed to ask that question! She always asks about your little brother, too, and celebrates with me, as I love my kids out loud. Thank you, Sweet Friend, companion of my heart. She shared with me how she is missing her Dad. He was a safe place for her, as she was an adult. A consistent encourager to her and someone who always had time for her, always had space for her, someone she could receive from. As a fellow giver, I connect with that. Needing someone to receive from; receive encouragement, receive space, receive forgiveness, receive a hug in the form of words, receive lack of demand, receive grace. I hope she has that again, if even for a moment. I would be that for her, in time of need, as I know she would be that for me.

Today, I am thankful for safe travels in bumper to bumper traffic, Shipley’s Donuts, chips and queso. I’m thankful for friends who are easy, and who go out of their way to connect with me. Such a gift. I’m thankful for someone who cares enough to ask how you are in my day, today. I HAVE to remember that question. It’s appropriate for so many people so many times! I’m thankful for the weird end of day congregations of mockingbirds in Houston. Randomly (to me, probably not actually randomly), at close of day, giant flocks of these birds gather together to commune before calling it a night. I have no idea why they do it, why they choose to congregate where they do, or what is really going on in their heads, but it’s interesting to me, that they do congregate. And interesting is happy making, for me. Oh, and they’re a little bit creepy in these giant flocks, which also peaks my interest!!

As I mark the 1/2 way point of this work week, I’m thankful that today, I was reminded to be thankful.

I am thankful for today!!

Flying geese

(Photo credit Tim Laman)
Hi Lover-Girl,

That sweet endearment just came to mind. My Daddy, your Pops, used it with me and I just assimilated it into my heart.

Today, I start my travel for the year. It’s going to be another busy one, I think. I love the adventure of frequent travel. It’s been about a month since my last work trip, which is long for me. New clothes means I had to try on pants last night to make sure I didn’t need to hem anything. Not that I would have hemmed anything last night! Packing my suitcase takes about 10 minutes as long as laundry is put away and I’ve filled anything that needed filling after I got home from the last trip, which I’m pretty good about. Really don’t like running out of Tylenol, tho running to the store for more isn’t a big deal.

We haven’t even left the gate and already had a medical emergency. I hope he’s OK. I always wonder about those kind of things. Was he already sick and just thought he could muscle through, did something happen suddenly. Hope he’s OK. Thankful he received attention here on the ground before getting into the air! A delay is just not the end of the world, ever!

I went to the Container Store today. I LOVE that place. I know you did, too. I remember you organizing your Stampin’Up stuff. You were so excited to score the standing drawer thing in the clearance section!! Since then, I always check out the clearance corner, just in case… Elfa is on sale! I could Elfa the world! Well, if I had unlimited funds, I could Elfa the world! That stuff is SOOOO expensive. But I did get a couple of things for my closet. Score!

Today is so much warmer than it’s been the rest of the week. I love watching the water run in the gullies in the street as the snow all melts. Miniature waves, coursing around miniature obstacles. Your Grandpa should be happy about the little bit warmer weather. He’s jealous I’m headed to Houston where it will be in the upper 70s!

Honey, I’ve thought of you so much in the last couple of days, the geese are BUSY. Not sure which direction they’re flying, but great groups of them. You always were so excited when the geese started flying south, confirmation for you that summer was wrapping up and winter was coming. I don’t remember you being as excited about their turn north. You preferred the winter to the heat of the summer.

Today I’m thankful for medical personnel available to assist, aisle seats when the plane has to sit on the ground for awhile, easy packing, new pants that didn’t need to be hemmed, geese and they’re travels, the robins that have been hanging around, waves from Marno, I think, as she loved the robins. Antibiotics when necessary, since your brother has either pneumonia or bronchitis. That boy!

I’m thankful for storage solutions, cool ideas, some disposable income to buy something I really don’t need. Blessings abound.

I am thankful for today!!

Folding a flag 

Hi Honey,

Today I got to go to a memorial service. One of your fellow Angel’s Grandpa, though I think they called him Papa, which I love, because that is what we called Marno’s Dad, Papa. And yes, got to go is the right term. Nobody likes to go to funerals or memorial services, but they are worth attending, and it often helps me understand those left behind, in a way I haven’t been able to see before. (BTW, I looked up the difference between funeral and memorial, are you surprised? It’s called a funeral if the body is on sight, a memorial service if there is no body. This would also include cremains.)

Anyway, this oldster served in the military. Part of the service was “full military honors”. I had to look that up, too, and here is what I found.

The bugler was very good and I found it interesting that he controlled the volume beautifully, keeping it at a level that was appropriate to the size of the venue and the occasion. So amazing since everyone thinks it’s only music if it’s loud! The other cool thing was they folded and presented the flag to this man’s son. The flag was already folded and on the table near some pictures and the urn, holding his ashes. But they went through the ritual of carefully unfolding and the refolding the flag. With reverence and grace. Beautiful stillness while everyone watched. Like a meditation.

After the service, I chatted with another Angel’s Mom. I wish nobody knew what it was like to lose their adult child, but since this is Earth, not Heaven, and it’s not perfect here, I’m thankful I have these women to connect with, who understand without explanation and tears leaking from my eyes doesn’t signal a change in topic!

And tonight, because life is crazy variety, we are going to a hockey game. I’m thankful for fleece leggings, season tickets, anticipating pizza for dinner and probably a JD w Diet Coke!


I’m thankful for funerals and memorials and Angel Moms and folded flags and fleece leggings.

I’m thankful for today!!