A Month’s Worth Of Posts In One…..

 So this morning I decided I wanted to put some of my most recent posts from Facebook in one place (some of the posts have references to photos that aren’t listed here and that’s why).  I didn’t know the best way to play this, so I just listed them from the first of the writing stream to the current date.  And I did this for me, for my recording efforts, so I can look back and read from the “beginning” (or our latest “beginning”; this new adventure) to where we are today, half way through April.  In my next post, I’ll address some of the themes or references in this collection……so IF anyone reads this blog (if a writer writes and no one reads it, is it still writing?) you might want to be familiar with this stuff before reading the next entries…….

(Wed. March 14)  Things I’ve noticed so far on our Back To The Rockies journey: I’m just a little too happy that gas is “only” $3.59 here (and sadly I have now joined the ranks of my parents who can, and do, smoothly work in the price of gas into EVERY conversation). 47 degrees felt good last night after being in a car for two straight days, but the 36 degrees that greeted me when I let out the dogs this morning was a little startling, as my body doesn’t recognize temps under 62 degrees. Also there was a thin crystallized film over the dogs’ water this morning. Fortunately Shalom always travels with her ice-fishing pole. Our new little berg is a thriving metropolis of 58,566 people covering 38.22 sq miles. I’m used to 58k people at Costco with me, all with their carts parked in the middle of the aisles while they sample every little morsel they can while chatting up the sample lady. Also, there is no Costco. Or Yogurtland. And I dare say that my days of to-die-for-Pad Thai, melt-in-your-mouth Sag Paneer from Ocean Tava, and fresh-baked-this-morning pita bread from my corner market are over……or maybe just going on a vacay for awhile.               

                                                       Scenes from the journey……….


(Thurs. March 15)  What I’ve noticed so far today in our new life: I hung up a pair of sweatpants, a pair of pajamas, one of Hayden’s sweatshirts, and a pair of DP’s skate shoes to dry in the laundry room last night. This morning three of the items were completely dry and the others were just slightly damp. Note to self: you’ve increased your water intake by about a liter/day, but you’ll need to add another liter/day to keep up with what the ambient air is draining out of you.

I took the Big Girl out walking this morning (about the distance from the Esplanade to the Redondo Pier and back) and only saw two or three other people. And they weren’t on skateboards or scooters or longboards. Something tells me Chronic Taco is NOT in my immediate future.

There is at least a 30 degree temperature swing between the low in the morning and the high in the afternoon and no one seems to notice. It doesn’t even make the news. What could be more alarming than the weather deviating from the standard norm of Sunny & 74F?


(Thurs. March 15) Thursday’s Thoughts: The local police had a sting operation set up today to ticket drivers who were going over 30mph and for those tail-gating on a couple of main thoroughfares through Our Town. They don’t HAVE enough jails in L.A.! I didn’t touch the car keys all day.

Earlier in the day I asked Jeff to go to Trader Joe’s to get more milk for Hayden. He gave me a funny look. Hmmmm, I was sure there was a Trader Joe’s in the sales pitch.

Filed under the heading of “Things Aspies Say”, DP went up to Jeff today and said, “Don’t be offended, but you look older than Grammy”. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! No, I wasn’t offended AT ALL my little Sweet Potato, but Daddy’s ego is down for the COUNT!!

Going to Uncle Danny’s with Grammy to see the chickens and get fresh eggs is a pretty cool field trip. Later those eggs turned into pretty amazing cupcake size quiches for dinner. YUMMMM

DP rode her bike around the col d’sac a few times this afternoon and no kids came out to tease her or ridicule her. Nice change

We had to drive ALL THE WAY downtown to get a new string for the girl-child’s violin. It took 1.5 minutes. But then from there, we drove OVER a mile to find a restaurant (there were of course other eateries in between, but not the one the hubs was thinking of). I think we crossed two bridges and the mighty Colorado River. I told him we were too far from home and we’d have to find a room for the night.

Better than all the toys we could have unearthed for her from the 498 boxes packed away in a storage unit, was the treasure trove of goodies Grammy found in Auntie Jill’s old desk from her bedroom where DP is sleeping…..kept her entertained most of the afternoon!

(Mon. March 19, 2012)  Monday’s Musings:

Good news peeps!! Theres a SONIC in Our Town! Hope abounds for when it’s 135 degrees in the summer. How do you spell relief? Cherry Limemade!!

I’m sewing on my GirlScout Adventurer Badge after walking in the freezing blustery wind this afternoon with The Big Girl (yes I’m repeating myself–I’m allowed, it’s my wall and I can repeat if I want to)

Found a new knitting group. Not the same as my beloved Knitting Brain Trust, but I learned a few new things on my first night there, proving that knitters everywhere are happy to share their knowledge and experience with anyone who wants to learn.

Left alone with her Granddad’s piano for a few minutes, the girl-child taught herself the main theme to Star Wars this afternoon.

Hayden, proving once again that he is an exact replica if his father, refused to eat any of his black bean soup until I buttered a slice of bread and put the beans on top of the bread. Then all was right with the world.

My father in law is LIVID over the Peyton Manning acquisition. By the rather heated “discussion” he was having with Jeff after dinner, I would guess this solidifies in his mind why John Elway has never been worth anything. Good thing Biff’s # is unlisted.

(Thurs. March 22) Thoughts From Thursday:

I think I need to hire a lotion consultant

The Man needs to start carrying an extra pen with him for all the autographs he’s signing around town……. It’s like being with Roy Hobbs the way people are reacting when they see him

My in-laws both get Fearless Epicurean badges for continuing to show up to the dinner table despite the fact they’ve never heard of most of the dishes they’re eating.

(Sat. March 24)  Saturdays need to seriously take a chill pill and stop going by at the speed of light. Things that made me go, “hmmmm ” today:
SPF 4000 applied-check. Five liters of water packed-check. Mt.Everest approved sunglasses-check. Ready to bike two blocks to the park at 11 this morning. I’m pretty sure the entire state of CO has moved a few hundred miles closer to the sun since we left the first time.

We’ve gone from high school and collegiate surf teams to bicycle teams. Went to my first criterium today, in downtown Our Town—-Wooohooo. A very chill and laid back event, unless you were on a Cannondale, then probably not so much.

H gives the local library a big thumbs-up, as it is WELL stocked with YoGabbaGabba & Signing Time DVD’s

Girl-child is getting lots more exercise; she’s riding her bike around the court a lot, taking The Big Girl out on multiple walks everyday, and today she made friends with the two boys across the street who own a Great Pyrennes, and then ended up riding scooters with them around the neighborhood park. So far no reports of teasing, taunting or ridiculing (of DP), which is a good (and new) thing

Mimi, the wonder cat, was just down in the basement playing the piano. It’s a circus over here, never a dull moment

(Sun. April 1)Sunday’s are for driving’ so that’s what we did today…..we figured the kids hadn’t driven each other completely over the edge on yesterday’s excursion through the peach orchards, so today we just gave them an extra nudge……besides Jeff and I wanted to hear more Star Wars music…….

So, just a mere few minutes outside of Our Town is this ginormous collection of canyons contained in one national park. It’s a little over 26 miles across and it’s favorite ride for people who feel the need to peddle their thighs to the consistency of hamburger. In November there’s an annual marathon…..time to start training!!!! And of course there are a gazillion trails where you can get to know Colorado’s snakes, lizards and mountain lions up close and personal without the possibility of medical care for days and days. Sign me up!

Enjoy the photos…….none of Hayden though because getting a picture of him would require him to get out of the vehicle, which apparently was NOT in the cards today (we asked)…….until we locked him IN the car, walked 50 feet away to a viewing point and then he decided he would get out. Fortunately the alarm went off because he was trying to get out after the alarm had been activated…..so we completely interrupted the serenity of nature with a blaring alarm, but Hayden didn’t get run down in the middle of a gigantic canyon, so it was all good. And he didn’t try to get out again, because Jeff re-engaged the child locks on the back doors…….whew…….Just another day at the office……..



(Mon. April 2) Monday’s Musings: it was cold today in Our Town. “How cold?”, you ask…….it was so cold that Hayden actually wore sweat pants and a long sleeve shirt and DP wore socks (of course she was wearing shorts—that’ll never change since she can stand pants if any kind). Apparently the half of Utah that blew in with yesterday’s wind storm also brought with it actual Spring time cooler temps.

Tonight at knitting the jr high guy (yes, he’s a guy–and he’s about a gazillion feet tall) was crocheting a fake horse hair tail cover. No, the horse hair is real (and pretty creepy if you ask me), but it’s in a fake pony tail thing that you add to the horse’s real tail when they’re showing….. That’s right, to make the horse’s tail seem fuller and thicker!! (I knew my L.A. friends would catch on to this concept right away–like they can’t spot a fake horse tail from a mile away—puleeeze). And of course every 4H’er worth his/her salt knows that you have to keep the fake horse tail in a protective sleeve when it’s not in use, and since you can’t just be buyin those things off the rack, you have to make your own. It’s black and white…. The sleeve thing I mean. I have no idea what color the horse is, and not do I care. I mean, what’s next, fake eye lash extensions? Rump implants? This is NOT the 4H that my father in law grew up with I’m tellin ya.

Speaking of horsey things (hope I don’t lose anyone with that technical ranch-speak), I saw a lady walking around with cowboy boots ( not surprising as they give a pair when you cross the state line, I said I had already bought some at the office) that had actual spurs on them…..and she looked like she knew what do with those spurs too.

Jeff found our DVD player and hooked it up to an unused tv in the basement so H could main-line YoGabbaGabba like the DJLance junkie that he is and H was so excited he wore his hearing aids all afternoon……

 (Wed. April 4) Wow, It’s Wednesday!! Seriously don’t even know how THAT happened! Turning out to be a lovely week overall:

We found a new person to cut Hayden’s hair…..who shall henceforth be referred to as “Saint Linda”, or “SL” for short. Really just went in to see if she had the right temperament to handle Mr. Oh-No-You-Won’t-Get-THOSE-Scissors-Near-Me, and to see if we could get a little trim, but as the photo shows, we went for broke and Mr. Octopus Hands was thwarted in almost all his evil efforts (it might have helped that he hadn’t been in the chair more than two minutes (and fully in rebellion-mode) when I decided that a quick refresher course in the organizational management of his life might be in order, so off to the bathroom in the back we went). SL remained calm, cool and most important of all, super quick with those scissors and within minutes we found a handsome teenage boy under that mop!

CO weather is PERFECT for those with ADD because it changes literally EVERY five minutes!! Sunday and Monday most of Utah’s top soil blew into the Grand Valley, yesterday it was partly cloudy and cool, and today it was a brilliantly crystal-clear-blue sky kind of day. If the temp never went beyond today’s 70, I’d be in heaven…….but I know better!

We are LOVING the library in our town and H is now walkin’ in like he owns the place: through the front doors, veering to the right into the kid’s section and with laser-like focus he finds the YoGabbaGabba DVD’s and starts shopping. Life is good! No need for a complicated and lengthy seminar from Mom or Dad on how to operate the tv/DVD player downstairs. H just gives us this look of: “Just give me the DVD’s please and be on your way Parental Units….I’ve got this covered…….ta ta,”. And off we go……In the meantime, DP has found the section in the library about The Bermuda Triangle and has checked out most of the books on that subject.

Granddad gave DP a rope to help her climb trees (hopefully JUST trees, but I don’t know that we’ve spelled out that she can’t climb houses or buildings with it, or use it to wrap around the back bumper of some unsuspecting cowboy’s truck to get a free tow on her skateboard…..) and she’s a kid on a mission. Last night she led a tree climbing seminar at the park for a couple of kids and she and her dad are headed back there right now.

Seriously hard to believe that Easter is THIS Sunday. Seems like Ash Wednesday was about 15 minutes ago. Six weeks ago seems like a lifetime ago. I must have been in the Your-Life-Is-Going-To-Be-One-Freakish-Adventure-After-Another line. Easter is DEF the BEST holiday of all and the one with all the hope and power. Staying focused on the future and appreciating the present. Life on life’s terms.



(Tues. April 10)  Tuesday in Our Town:

Went to a high school baseball game with Mr. Our Town and found out that a couple his friends/former teammates (I think one guy he actually used to play against but they’ve always been friends through various teams and leagues they did play on together–who knows, can’t keep up w/ all the teams through all the years)….Anyway, at least two of them actually played major league ball. Wow. The son of one of the guys who was in our wedding plays shortstop for their high school team. Ya, that REALLY messes with my Master’s Degree in Denial Math.

As of today it looks like the Little Lachlan’s have been signed to play on a local team. The girl-child wasn’t too excited, reminding us that she had already turned down a contract to play in Manhattan Beach right before we had left town, but we’re trying to talk her into participating so she can be an encouragement to her brother. Hmmm, have NO idea if that tactic will fly, but the uniforms are green, which may help because her soccer uniform from The Burg By The Sea was green and she ended up actually liking the color green as a result……

While playing Rummikub with The Man the other night (beating him soundly actually, but who keeps score?) with front door open I clearly heard gunshots (I DID live in L.A. afterall so I know what these things sound like……okay, so it wasn’t exactly SouthCentral….I watched A LOT of “Law & Order” from the base of Mt. Crumpet, so sue me). I was like, “was that gunfire???” Mr. Man, “Uh, ya……shotgun I think” “WHAT??? What’s THAT about??” In the meantime, Shalom, The Dog Who Vigilantly Holds Down The Floor, was on FULL alert barking her massive head off and shaking like a 120 pound leaf….and Mr. Man says, “Ya, you need to get used to this because people shoot guns all the time in rural areas”………Uh, YA, this is me getting used to the sound of guns going off for NO freakin’ reason. No sirens, nothing. No front page story in the paper the next day. Oh….speaking of which, TRUE STORY: the national story of the guy who accidentally shot a girl with a mohawk a couple of weeks ago…..from Our Town. Thought she was a bird and he was in his house with a gun/rifle/bazooka or something….I dunno. Anyway, dude lives right here….somewhere. Yikes

In other news: Little Man’s language is EXPLODING in this rarified lack-of-oxygen valley. Since we’ve been here, everyday he’s now walking around the house saying “No TV….” with a very somber and melancholy voice. Very funny. And what’s funny is that he totally knows how to start the DVD player and get himself hooked up with his Main Man, DJ Lance, so I guess when he’s walking around saying “No TV….” it means he’s deciding to come up for air. He’s also yelling at the table while we’re having a conversation during a meal and you look at him to reproach him and he puts his index finger to his lips and says, “shhhh”……HILARIOUS. Yes Dude, please be quiet. Please feel free to talk to us, but not shout. The Dude is trippin. All afternoon today before going to the baseball game he was signing Granddad and baseball…..every five seconds. Yes, Dude, we’re taking Granddad to the baseball game. Life was good

The girl child is busy building a not-so-secret hideout behind the shed in the backyard (think Sheldon being able to keep a secret), complete with furniture and spy gear. Great, another possible location for a private conversation out the window. We all watched her second favorite movie tonight after dinner: “Joseph & The Technicolor Dreamcoat”……….What a fun show-I always see something new whenever we watch it (I think we’re up to 25 times now……). Her first favorite? “The Music Man”. Hmmm, I think I’m going to stick with Donnie-My-First-True-Love-Osmond, as Joseph and call it a night…………

(Wed. April 11, 2012)

What kind of day was it? It was the kind of day when, even though your daughter is playing games on your phone in the backseat, and therefor you can’t use your “notes” app, you grab the back of an envelope to jot things down, because…..well you can’t risk forgetting some of the hilariousness you see…….

In no particular order:

*North Street in Our Town runs east and west. West Street goes north and south. I could only take so much of that and went back to my Mrs. Pollifax book

*We were out on a family trek for most of the morning taking a tour of Our Town in search of a place that would take our recyclables. We even stopped to buy gas at one point. Ya, I get the irony. I think we passed some of the homes from which the gunshots originate. After driving for over an hour (or ALL DAY if you believe the reports from the backseat) we found the ONE place in town that would take our variety of plastics and glass……and it was a whopping half mile from the house.

*Suburbans are compact vehicles here…..for reals.

*Clouds here MEAN something. I went to Never Never Land for quite awhile when I could just gaze up at the sky and say, “oooh, it looks a monkey” or “Isn’t that just cute”…..No people, we are in SERIOUS weather country and you have to study, analyze and figure out what these clouds are SAYING TO YOU right this minute, because they’re saying somethin’, mark my words! Today’s interesting clouds brought 60mph gusts and black-ish/blue-ish scary-ness that swirled all around the valley all afternoon, but did they bring the much needed rain that everyone so desperately wants? Not so much…..

*.25 buys you two and a half hours of parking on prime downtown real estate.

*Saw my first Asian food store on our search-for-recycling adventure named “Carol’s Oriental Foods”. I’m not making this up and I don’t care what it’s called as long I can find a decent selection of nori, peppers, and dals………my poor in-laws don’t know what they’re in for……….

(Thurs.p.m. April 12)  Just went to a public policy mtng in Our Town (public policy as it effects people w/ disabilities), where the person leading it, a major player in state-level systems change, disparaged and impugned social media, saying she has plenty of friends in real life and she doesn’t need to look for new ones here on FB. Turns out she’s active here in FB land and had more than 350 “friends” (wonder how many are “real”). Dear Systems Change Lady, It doesn’t matter what you think about it, social media IS an unprecedented phenomenon that has repeatedly proven itself to be a major player on the WORLD stage and lives HAVE been changed and SAVED. In the world of disability, social media is helping forge authentic and intimate friendships and it is creating dynamic mentoring relationships in which our children’s lives are enriched and on really good days, our sanity as parents is restored. Thank you. That is all.

(Sat.a.m.  April 14)Overnight here….busy, very busy (think the guy in the UPS spot: “Busy!!….I’m BUSY!!” as he calls out from his empty cubicle)

At some point I get up to use the bathroom:

Me: Shalom, move please, you’re standing in front of the door

Shalom: Yes, I’m guarding it

Me: Well I need to get out of the door, please move

Shalom: No, the monster might be there

Me: There is no monster on the other side of the door

Shalom: You don’t know that and if my GINORMOUS body weren’t squished right up against the door, he would probably already be in here gobbling all of us up like Easter’s ham……hey, which reminds me, why is it we only have dead pig here at Grammy & Granddad’s house? I could really go for some ham right about……..

Me: Move now! I’m about to wee my pants!

Shalom: Whatever happens, it’s on you now Hee, hee, get it: “it’s on YOU now??” hahahaha! I am SO funny in the middle of the night-who knew?

Me: OW!! Your standing on my foot!

Shalom: You told me to move, so I did. You didn’t specify to where you wanted me to move.

……Then, what seemed like 15 minutes later:

Hayden: Oh THIS is SO hilarious!! Mom, Dad, have you heard the one where the……..

Me: Hayden, what time is it? It’s 5 in the morning! On a SATURDAY!! Trust me this is NO time for jokes

Hayden: HAHAHAHAHA!! This one is SO funny I can’t stop laughing and throwing myself on my pillow…..PLEASE, you’ve gotta listen to this…….So the bear, the priest and the rabbi walk into a……

Me: PLEASE Hayden, save it for your set at the Comedy Club in Manhattan Beach……I’ll send you there ONE WAY…..you can stay with Bronwyn Shields or Carrie Wetsch…..I’m sure they’d LOVE to have you for a few days or a week……Just please let me SLEEEEP on a Saturday morning!!!

Hayden: You mean Ryder & Tyler? Those two dudes are HILARIOUS! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA, I just can’t stop laughing even thinking about them!! Watch out pillow, I’m going to attack you!! HAHAHAHAHA!! GOTCHA!!

……In the meantime, on the other side of the bed:

Jeff McLaughlin: SNORE, gurgle, cough, SNORE, SNORE, SNORE


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