Archive for May, 2011

a vacation in Ouray, Colorado (post #2)

Ouray, Colorado

poolside view

Saturday dawned cloudy, but void of rain and snow. So we sat by the pool, we read, and  I wrote.

Like I’ve said, we’ve been to Ouray several times, but we never ventured far from the Goldbelt for our meals. Other less than enjoyable experiences have rendered us leery. We are also two people who get stuck in a certain way of doing things. This time I was ready to venture out (thankfully the hubby agreed with me). When I noticed the Goldbelt was open for lunch, I still decided to brave the unknown and eat at Backstreet Bistro. The locals were in and out of there like birds on our feeder, so we knew it had to be good.

It was so scrumptious that we ate lunch there twice. Their bread and bagels were perfect, we wondered if they were baked down the street at the Artisan bakery.

The signage for Backstreet Bistro isn’t very visible from the street. Justin decided to make a comment about it to the young man taking our order. He looked at my husband and said, “We mostly rely on word of mouth. That’s how we like to do it.”

That’s a great way to look at it, but not when you are trying to survive in a tourist town. A major highway slides through Ouray, and many people are passing through. They look out from their vehicles and wonder where they should stop. Signs help. But, it’s their business, and if they want to survive on the locals, all the power to them.

After lunch we were off to find gifts for the kids. A favorite gift shop we like to stop at is Mountain Fever, they seem to stock everything from mountain decor, clothing, and mugs, to collectibles, and jewelry. I recognized the sales woman from our last shopping excursion.

We would love to move to the Ouray area, so I decided to ask if she lived in town (some travel from larger cities). She said yes. I asked if she liked living there, and she responded, “Yes, but it’s pretty desolate in the winter.”

The locals we ran into were ecstatic that it wasn’t snowing, the temperature was comfortable, and the sun was occasionally peeking through the clouds. I would imagine winter makes for a beautiful, but lonely place.

Ouray’s Main Street offers diverse choices for visitors. The east side of the street seems to have more specified stores – bookstore, glassworks, antiques, jewelry, and an upper scale clothing store. While the west side offers shops for the tourist looking for the usual  gift for a family member or friend.

our adventures to be continued…


May 31, 2011 at 10:19 am Leave a comment

Ouray, Colorado (post #1)

Ouray, Colorado

Ouray, Colorado – the definition of majestic beauty, and known as the Switzerland of America.

Ouray, Colorado

My husband and I traveled there once again for our anniversary. We can’t help it, this quaint town nestled among the towering peaks of the San Juan Mountains draws us.

On our way, I was hoping to find the perfect little deli for lunch. To my surprise the town of Delta didn’t let me down. We found a charming eatery that boasted bagels, sandwiches, and coffee.

Even if my bagel was rock hard, and the cookies didn’t come out much better, it was still the perfect beginning to a wonderful weekend.

Ouray is only one hour (fifteen minutes if you go back-country) from the popular town of Telluride, Colorado. Although, the two are drastically different. I have only been to Telluride on a few occasions. Reason being, it’s not usually the atmosphere I’m looking for. Telluride is a bustling ski town. Pedestrians, shops, and vehicles are crammed together in a small valley. Noise, expensive food, purses, clothes, and jewelry avail themselves at every crack in the sidewalk, and the city charges you to park in the dirt. I admit that I do not own a Louie Vuitton hand bag, nor do I don Robert Marc sunglasses, and never will, therefore, the shops don’t appeal to me. Yes, the surrounding mountains lend their slopes to skiing and snowboarding enthusiasts, but I can find complete packages that attract me more than this town. Breckenridge for example. Now that I think of it, each town gives off it’s own aura.

be sure to watch out for falling rocks (Cascade Falls on another trip)

Ouray’s is calm, inviting, and peaceful. It says, grab your favorite cup of tea or coffee, and sit a while. Take a deep breath and gaze upon the awe-inspiring mountains. When you feel you’ve relaxed enough, take a hike to Cascade Falls, or one of the many hiking trails Ouray has to offer.

Our goal for the weekend was simple. Relaxation. We were a little concerned when our first afternoon closed with a downpour and small snowstorm. Hanging out and reading in our room brought some much needed rest, but it wasn’t quite what we had imagined.

The snow quickly subsided and leant the evening to clear skies and cool temperatures. What to do for dinner…? Our favorite restaurant, the Goldbelt Bar & Grill, was closed. The Goldbelt has a great family friendly atmosphere and delicious food. If you decide the weather isn’t to your liking, they have large comfortable booths lining a tall wall of windows which face the surrounding mountains. If you are a fan of the outdoors, they offer numerous tables and chairs on their expansive deck.

Being that we are habitual people, and we had found something we liked, we were sad the Goldbelt Bar & Grill was closed. We thought the restaurant was closed permanently, because last year we heard it was for sale. To our delight it did open the next day for lunch.

We still needed a place to eat dinner. On one side of the street a restaurant (on the shabby side, and not one we wanted to return to) boasted, “Best burgers in town.” On the other, the Silver Nugget restaurant boasted, “Actual best burgers in town.” Since my husband loves burgers, I decided to let him have his pick. That, and it was half his anniversary too. The Silver Nugget it was.

I think Justin liked his burger, and my chef salad was good, but a miniature version of the real thing. It also lacked eggs. When I asked for some eggs, the man who was making a minimal effort at waiting tables came back about three times. First time, “I don’t know if we have any.” Second time, “They’re checking on the eggs. There was a large demand for them earlier today.” I finally decided to forego one of my favorite parts of a chef salad and dove in when he returned, “I’m still trying to decide which came first, the chicken, or the egg.” My eggs finally made it to the table. Scrambled. Yum.

our adventures to be continued…..

May 30, 2011 at 1:26 am Leave a comment

gender. what’s to decide?

Did you ever think of keeping your child’s sex a secret because you wanted them to have freedom of choice? Maybe you’ve heard of the Canadian couple who did. I saw it on the MSN homepage and had to check it out.
On, Rachel Elbaum writes, “They got the idea to raise a genderless child from a book they found in the library, and told the (Toronto Star) the secrecy is about giving their children freedom.” The family also said they, “Noticed that parents make so many choices for their children. It’s obnoxious.” The couple allows their other two sons free reign when it comes to choosing hair styles and clothing, making a preference for neither gender.

Parents have gone overboard when it comes to letting children make their own decisions. Many give them choices for everything. I don’t mind giving choices once in a while, but there are times in life when there isn’t more than one option. They will grow up and be forced to live in a world where they have to obey laws. Laws don’t give us choices. You may choose to use your blinker, or you can choose to swerve into the other lane without giving notice. I just don’t think the police officer who pulls this person over is going to understand that they were simply making a choice.

Except for the small percentage of the population born without definite sexual parts, most of us come into the world with either male or female genitalia. There’s no question which one we are. Sure, some may struggle with preferences, such as, boys may play with dolls, girls may love running trucks through the mud. Many times this is just a predilection, not inferring anything else.

When I heard about these parents letting a child decide (its) gender, I was shocked. He is what he is. She is what she is. This has nothing to do with decisions or feelings a person has in regards to their sexual inclinations. That will come later, not when they are an infant, or even two or three. In my opinion they are setting this child up for confusion, but I’m sure this isn’t the only area where this is happening.

May 26, 2011 at 3:23 am Leave a comment

a tornado and the end of the world

Those living in Joplin, Missouri may have thought Judgement Day had arrived one day late. We all passed through Saturday, May 21, without any mass hysteria or Apocalypse. But imagine how those who live in and around Joplin felt on Sunday when the most devastating tornado since 1899 ripped through the area. The first reports were that it was the deadliest twister since the 1950s, but that number was recently changed to 1899. Seeing or hearing something so massive tear through your backyard must bring visions of the end. Sadly, for some it did.

People around the world are relieved they made it through the predicted Judgement Day, others wish it had come so they could be swept up to heaven, leaving this earthly life. And yet, many looked with apathy at the prophecy, thinking it ridiculous. Meanwhile those in Missouri are wondering. What were they thinking in their last moments? What went through their minds as they heard the sound of a train blowing by their homes or businesses? They were not relieved.

May 23, 2011 at 11:28 pm Leave a comment

a wish to build a dream on

Writer’s have something they want to share with the world, and this author is going for it with all she has. Michelle Hoover, author of The Quickening, will be taking a year off from her career to write. She lives on a single income, and this is why I find this idea so inspiring. You can read her interview with Sharon Bially here:

I wonder what it would be like to take a year and focus on writing. For me it would be quite impossible as I have toddlers, whom I am mommy to full time. Then I begin thinking of my attention span (or lack thereof). It’s really barely holding on by a thread.

One example of this being last night, while my dear husband and I were relishing a quiet house (interspursed with the pitter-patter and meowing of kittens). I recently finished reading The Devil in the White City, and had shared each interesting fact with my oh so patient husband. He was now taking a rare, and well deserved hour to peruse this amazing work of nonfiction. I was finally reading Water for Elephants, which I find entertaining. Even while enjoying my book, I continually looked over at him and shared what was on my mind. “What have you read about so far?” “Don’t forget, tomorrow…” “Oh, and I was thinking…”

Later, I made the comment about how much he had read in such a short amount of time. In kind, he said, “If you would actually read…” So true. If I didn’t chatter, get up hundreds of times to to the bathroom, get a drink of water, write something on a sticky note so I wouldn’t forget it later, check on twitter to see how my platform is growing (or dissolving), I would get a lot more read. Or written.

I get distracted easily, I lack anything resembling an attention span. So when I think of taking a “sabbatical”to write (even though it’s virtually impossible), I have this deep seated feeling it might not work very well.

May 21, 2011 at 9:59 pm Leave a comment

a lesson in encouragement 101

Miss Bliss (whose name I have changed for her privacy) needs to attend Encouragement 101. Really, she needs to begin with #1. Way back at the beginning.

I attend a writer’s group once a month, and this woman, Miss Bliss, comes to share her wealth of information. Or, so she thinks. During the gathering of the last group, the leader announced that I had sent my short story off for a competition. Embarrassed, I waited as the others began to applaud my meager attempts at becoming a writer.

Miss Bliss threw her arms up in the air in excitement. “I submitted a story to (said) competition and received eighth place out of thirty-two entries.” She went on to tell the others of her submission, and something else, but I was no longer listening. Sorry, I have a short attention span.

The group’s leader interjected (now I am listening again because my ears perk up when someone interrupts another who is speaking). “It’s always great to submit your work,” she smiled and looked my way.

But Miss Bliss wasn’t finished, she never is. “Oh yes, submitting opens yourself to rejection.” Obviously she wasn’t talking of herself here, because she had received eighth place. I felt like she was directing her comment towards me. Even if she wasn’t, it just wasn’t the right timing in my opinion.

Miss Bliss hasn’t read my manuscript. Many others in the room had, and at our previous get together, I had heard their critiques. Some positive, and some gave advice for changes which needed to be made. If it hadn’t been for the others in the group I think my spirits would have been crushed. I am wondering if her words were meant to be encouraging…

May 19, 2011 at 11:21 pm Leave a comment

devil in the white city

I’m not a big fan of nonfiction, but in Erik Larson’s book The Devil in the White City, he took events which happened in the 1890s and composed a stellar masterpiece.

The San Francisco Chronicle says of The Devil in the White City, “As absorbing a piece of popular history as one will ever hope to find. Readers will soon forget that Larson’s work is nonfiction and, instead, imagine that they are holding fictional page-turner.” I agree wholeheartedly, I hated setting it down.

What stood out to me most was the multiple historical figures who are mentioned among it’s pages. Not only do people such as, Walt Disney’s father (he worked on buildings at the Fair), Annie Oakley, Buffalo Bill, Susan B. Anthony, and Mark Twain make appearances at the Fair, there are numerous inventions revealed at the Exposition. They include, but aren’t limited to the Ferris Wheel, Shredded Wheat, spray paint, and the belly dance.

The way that Erik Larson weaved this book of murder, personal growth (and demise), and imagery is truly an amazing feat.

Yes, I am aware that this book was released in 2003. Remember that I am not a big fan of nonfiction. If I do have the time to read, I would love to get lost in another world. Surprisingly this book did just that.

May 18, 2011 at 8:37 pm Leave a comment

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