Reunited

This weekend I went to Durango for a reunion at the college I went to.

Because I always seem to, I got stuck in traffic.  Three times.  

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Luckily the longest stop (30 minutes!) was in a spot that I still had cell service so I wasn’t bored.  The third stop was on Red Mountain Pass which is equally beautiful and terrifying.  You should drive it at least once!

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I haven’t been back to Fort Lewis College since I finished school in 2009 and it has changed so much!  I worked as an RA for the housing department there from 1999-2003 and then came back as a Hall Director in 2006.  I loved, loved, loved living and working on campus so when the Alumni Association announced that they were hosting a reunion I knew I had to go.

dgo24We had people from the 1960s all the way up to the 2000s represented!

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It was wonderful to see people I had worked with and hear stories about other people’s experiences working in the same buildings where I lived more than 30 years later!

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A small group of us stayed in one of the residence halls and I’m so glad we did!  I had already forgotten how small our rooms (and those beds!) were!  (The room above is an RA room so it’s smaller than the rooms for residents.)

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The college is on a mesa above Durango and on Saturday morning I couldn’t resist walking out to the rim to see the clouds around the mountains.

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We spent Saturday walking around town and doing some shopping.  And I took tons of pictures of old things!

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My friend went into a bookstore and I followed her.  And I regretted it.

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The whole store was like that.  I was overwhelmed and immediately had to go back outside.

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The yarn store?  Amazing!  Beautifully organized and so colorful-just what I needed to recover from the bookstore!

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We ended Saturday wit a BBQ on campus, some storytelling and a gorgeous sunset.

On Sunday I met up with another friend, got a much needed pedicure and enjoyed catching up and relaxing!

I took this week off from work and since there was a Home Depot in Durango, I stopped by and picked up lumber for a couple of projects I have planned.

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Because you can take the girl out of her house but you can’t take the house out of the girl!

-A

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And Now For Something Completely Different

I’ve spent the last several months working away inside and now it’s finally time to move outside again!

I thought the first weekend of spring was an appropriate time to tackle two projects in the front of my house:

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I have a plan in my head that I think will solve two problems with my stairwell-there’s no lighting and it’s dangerous.  I’m determined to make it work, you know, so nobody gets hurt.

spring6Project #2 out front is to make another flower bed by my front stairs so I can plant

spring3this brand new little baby Clematis.  When I got it from Wal-Mart it was just a tiny white vine in dirt.  After a week in a pot in the window it’s now growing leaves (!) and turning green!

spring5The clematis to the left of my front door is doing great:

spring7And while I was checking out my Clematis I noticed this:

spring4I don’t know what kind of flower this is but it’s blooming!  This little planter is a success-everything came back from last year!

In other areas of my land (ha!) there is real grass growing in my backyard

spring10REAL GRASS!

spring1And my planters are ready for planting…now it just needs to stay above freezing at night so I can put these in the ground:

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It looks like I’m going to have a lot of squash, beans and basil, which I’m excited about!

So unless we start getting torrential down pours, I probably won’t be doing much inside over the next few months-get ready for planting, watering and, hopefully, growing!  Sure I’ll show you some more baseboards and crafts but I’m looking forward to sprucing up the outside so it’s not an eyesore anymore!

-A

60 Degrees and Sunny

After work today I went out to my yard to clean up dog poop.  I know, but such is the glamorous life of a single dog owner.

Anyways, don’t worry, this post isn’t about poop.

It’s about how the weather is gorgeous and I took this opportunity to go out and take care of, well, Henry’s business.

As I was raking I found this:

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Grass.  Growing.  In my back yard (finally!)

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Except it’s February.  In Colorado.

-A

Colorado National Monument

Despite living within driving distance of this place for most of my life, I made my first trip to the Colorado National Monument last week.  A friend was visiting from out of state and, I assume, everyone from outside of Colorado only comes to Colorado to see mountains.

I’m not very outdoorsy.  I know, a Colorado girl who doesn’t hike.  We drove the 23 mile road all the way around the park and stopped at various pull offs to take pictures.  Some of these spots required a little hiking but it wasn’t anything I couldn’t do in flip flops!

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The most amazing part of this park (I think) is that the road and tunnels were built almost entirely by hand.

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I love that tiny little lone tree up there.  Okay, it’s not tiny or little, it was really far away.

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We didn’t stop at the Visitor’s Center when we entered the park (we should have) so we didn’t know the names of the formations were were looking at.  As we were looking at this one I insisted that it looked like hands.  Turns out I was right, the name of this formation is, wait for it, Praying Hands.

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Balancing Rock

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Those cut outs!

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I fell in love with Junipers at this place!  It seemed like everywhere we went we came across at least one that was growing through a rock.

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We had a perfect Colorado Fall Day that was cool enough for jeans and a sweater but warm enough for flip flops!

Come visit me!  Now that I know my way around I’ll take you!

-A

 

One Month Without Rain Makes Things Dead

It’s bad you guys.  Like dead bad.  

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I just can’t water enough.  I go out every morning and soak it (I can’t water in the evenings because of my work schedule) but by the next morning it’s crispy and sad again.

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From what I’ve read, the grass is probably just dormant (as opposed to dead) and that when it cools off in, oh SEPTEMBER, it’ll green up again.  I’ve continued watering as usual but it’s just been so.freaking.hot.  

The kicker is, I have a sprinkler system but I have yet to try it out.  I bought my house as a foreclosure and so we just don’t know if the system was winterized when the house was empty.  My plan is to find a plumber to come out and run an outdoor spigot on the West side of my house (right now I have ONE for all the outside) and have him here when I turn the system on just in case my basement floods.  But, until then, I’m the girl with the dead lawn.  

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The roses aren’t faring so well either.  The leaves are still green but I think it’s just not wet enough for them to waste the energy growing flowers.  Again, hopefully, with the sprinklers next year these guys will be okay.

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Of course, the weeds in the backyard are growing like, well, weeds.

-A

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An Overwhelming Undertaking

A month ago I would have told you that my front yard was beautiful.  In fact, I think I did.

Now, not so beautiful.

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Sure, there are some patches that look good but overall, no.  Dirt spots and weeds are taking over!

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This is the flower bed in front of my living room window.  The tulips are pretty much done so I’m going to dig them up and relocate them.  Then I plan to dump more dirt in here and plant some flower seeds.  I just want it to look like it was planned rather than forgotten.

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Cutting off the lower branches in the front yard was the best decision I’ve made so far.  I’m going to rake up all those old needles and plant columbines underneath.

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Weeds were coming up in the front flower bed but so were flowers!  While not all 75 gladiolus bulbs have popped up yet I’m thrilled to see some of my hard work pay off!

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In the foreground you can see those peonies pinking up!  So far all 6 are thriving!  In the background you can also see the weeds that have overtaken the western side of my yard.  I weeded the front flower beds this morning and started in on the yard but I just didn’t have the energy to do the whole thing.  I started out pulling by hand and digging out the root but I quickly realized that there had to be a faster way to get the job done.  I also realized that the weeds had gotten so thick toward the front of the lawn that they hadn’t let any grass come up.  So, realizing that there was no grass to save I pulled out the shovel and started digging each plant up.  I filled three grocery bags and then made a pile on my front walk.  My trash can is 1/4 full (you’re welcome for not posting a picture of that!) and I barely made a dent.  My plan is to dig out the rest over the next few days and then smooth out the dirt.  I’d like to see how much grass will come up now that it has room to grow but I know I’m going to end up putting down more seed within the next few weeks.

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And then there’s the tree lawn.  I have no idea what to do down here.  I don’t want to do grass because this will be a difficult area to water.  Right now I’m thinking about clearing out the weeds (I kinda like the stumps!) and just putting out a wildflower mix.  Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

-A