Saturday, January 29, 2011

Birds and movies

Mark communing with the birds
So why when you have the birds calling, the surf crashing or waves gently swishing onto the sand, do people wear earphones? On my beach walk I've noticed about 1/3 of the people do this, and I just don't get it. I mean, they sell soundtracks of the ocean noises - meditative and all that.  Anyway, no earphones for me...

Caught this heron trying to catch fish at the water's edge. They are shy though and flew away...

Be warned: you're probably going to see many movie reviews from me. It's a nice activity when we're kicked out of the house for a showing.  Just saw The King's Speech. Very, very good and not surprising that it's up for tons of awards. I'm, as you know, a anglophile extraordinare, so no surprise I liked it, but Mark really enjoyed it too (and he's not an anglophile in any sense of the word).Open house tomorrow so we bought tickets to see The Fighter. My review will follow!
Finished book #4  - number 6 in the series - The Lost Art of Gratitude by Alexander McCall Smith. Great series set in modern day Scotland.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Cooking sauce, pools, and art

Sunrise at the beach
Meyer lemon sauce from William Sonoma is really great stuff - and popular, they're out of it a lot. Mark used it to make osso bucco the other night - yum. It's good on other things too,chicken for one. Pick some up! And yes, you need to actually have a Williams-Sonoma near you for this to work - which I do currently, but of course do not in Gunnison.

So the house is on the market, and of course after fixing, painting, etc. something else breaks. Naturally. This time it's the pool timer. This Florida lifestyle of every house with a pool means fun but also maintenance. Our pool light had gone out as well (not as crucial but nice) so the repairman fixed both. Did you know the lights are in waterproof housings so you don't have to drain the pool (which we briefly thought would happen).I don't think he was having fun, but it was fun for me to watch..

I'm posting a still life assignment for art class. Not my normal forte, but I enjoyed it. At least it's a happy thing with color...

Finished book #3 Wait for Me, the latest memoirs of Deborah Mitford, Duchess of Devonshire. Wow,that's a mouthful. She's 90, still very active, and the book was full of great stories. It made me want to go see her home - Chatsworth, now in the national trust owned by the British government. It has 497 rooms!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Fog, windows, and for sale signs

Amazing fog this morning at the beach. That's the sun trying to blast through... We're a mile away, but the weather can be substantially different there versus the house.

Saw our first dolphins in three months yesterday. And - there is no picture.  I have a bunch of serene blue water ones sans fins. It may be more difficult than I thought to catch them on film...

Anybody seen True Grit? - yes, we're suckers for westerns (something to do with Star Mt., no doubt). It's a great movie and if you're old enough to have seen the original, it's so different you're not dealing with the remake issue. Recommend it highly... Our super deluxe movie theater doesn't hurt either - oversize leather seats which you can reserve online...
And the house is officially on the market. Whoo hoo - all comers are welcome, hmmm, let me qualify that - all serious comers, I mean. We finished all the little projects, including removal of the old, cloudy,incorrectly placed(put outside not inside, at some point by our previous owners) hurricane film on our windows. I hasten to add we did not remove it, our handyman did. Nasty job involving sharp blades... For those of you not in a hurricane zone, the film is supposed to keep the windows from shattering in the event of a true hurricane. Not so much, according to my online research - it appears to be one big fat scam, for people who don't want to spend the large chunk of money it takes to put on hurricane shutters. Anyway, clear clean windows are what we have now.

Monday, January 17, 2011

People, cars, and zoom, zoom

Life here is now moving fast - it's season! Here, that means crowded restaurants, foreign languages wafting in the air, lots of traffic and crazy acting traffic at that, and ridiculous things -seeing Bentleys & Rolls Royces every day, designer clothes on people who really should not be wearing them - too old, too heavy, too whatever... I'm convinced those clothes only look good on 6ft tall, skinny, 20 year's a good thing since I can't afford them anyway...

And then there are the houses - no, neither one of these is mine, not even close.  The top one on the beach is worth $10 million -wow, that's a lot of zeros. Gotta love it - the Naples scene.

Enjoying my Tai Chi class. It's a very centering, meditative art - quite the opposite of our modern world. We're learning postures very slowly (yes, my impatience is showing) it's a discipline, but all good for the body & mind. I will keep going - there are 37 postures to learn and we're only on number 2!

Bathroom remodel done - hurray! Now the house goes on the market this weekend. Not so much hurray - I have to gear myself up for the onslaught. I keep telling myself: no people, no sale...

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Leaks, watercolor paint, and reading

The DIY project continues - mirror out, old vanity out, new one purchased and brought back home. Small hiccup, mystery small leak has been evidently happening behind the old vanity - our handyman is trying to determine origin as we speak. The bathroom looks very sad right now...

I am posting some more paintings I've been working on in the last few weeks. I start a new session of classes with the art teacher that I'm so enthusiastic about this afternoon. Can't wait -

Finished, kind of, book number #2 for 2011. Okay, I didn't like it at all, made it half way and gave up. It had highly recommended on a reading blog I peruse from time to time. Not my kind of thing... Secret Eleanor by Cecelia Holland. Historical romance genre I believe now. Lusty, heaving bosoms etc. - about Elinor of Aquitane of all things...

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Paint in my hair and Meyer lemons in my frig

On to fun projects for 2011 - hmmm, maybe not so much. The DIY concept is good and money saving, but hard on my back and neck... You know how one thing leads to another. I thought all we had to do was replace the falling apart vanity. It turned into ripping old wallpaper down, texturing, painting, scheduling the mirror man to come take away the old mirror (it won't fit with the new vanity) and measure for the new one, scheduling the removal of the vanity, and having to buy & pickup the new vanity. Only the walls have been done so far and that was a bit of work - we have 10 foot ceilings everywhere.
And we're putting the house back on the market. It's prime time for real estate sales here, so I'm trying to gear up for the onslaught of people. Last season we had mobs of people but sadly only bargain shoppers. Could be that way again - cross your fingers for us. We're ready for the year round Star Mountain experience. Mark certainly is - he must look at the webcams of Crested Butte 3 times a day - every day.

Went to the farmers market in town. Oh yes the people are here! I'm elated to be able to buy local produce and people watch. And Meyer lemons are back - hurray. Oh, and isn't that car cute? I want one - would be lots of fun.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Family pictures, upside down pockets, and on with January

Why is it that time goes by waaay too fast when you're doing things you love?  Our family visit is done (everyone left Monday) and I am still a little sad. Boohoo - but as the girls would point out, we are the ones who moved away.

We had a great group dinner the last night at Bistro 821 which is downtown on 5th (really a downtown, but that's what everyone calls it). Walked a little on 5th after dinner to find live music and massive Xmas lights still up. Fun!
I forced the family to clean up and tidy up for family pictures - something that makes people grit their teeth and groan. In fact, I hear the groaning now as you read this. However, the last family photo was 3 years ago - so time. And, I will report - went quickly, smoothly and nice pictures if I do say so...

Jay, Heather, Mark, me, Chris & Tiffany

The girls
 I am back to a single daily walk to the beach after the double walks with Heather. Whew! So when walking early with hardly any people around, I wear whatever and have the additional fashion statement of a fanny pack (for my chunkier camera). Oooh yes. When walking middle of the day where I'm seen, I nix the fanny pack and take my phone instead (not for talking - for the magic photo I might miss otherwise). Having started a tai chi class yesterday, (which I like so far) had to walk later with the people, so out I went sans fanny pack, to discover that the skort I was wearing had a pocket, but upside down. Okay, didn't know my own wardrobe apparently, but that particular skort is a tennis skort. Having played tennis years ago, brilliantly realized this wasn't a manufacturer mistake. For those who don't play tennis, the pocket is designed that way to hold a tennis ball, so you can whip it out for say a killer serve... Had to hold my phone - poor me- and not a picture worthy scene in sight, and for the record, I do realize that no one cares at all what I'm wearing or not, it's an absurdity of mine...

Finished first book of 2011 - and a great one. Pat Conroy's My Reading Life. He's the Prince of Tides, Great Santini, etc. author and I've read every single thing he's written. It is autobiographical and funny, sad, and enlightening. Highly recommend it.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Happy New Year!

And herrrreee is 2011. How did we get to the new year so fast? Anyway, hope everyone's Jan 1 was a good one.  So happy that we have the family here visiting. Main goal was to relax and just enjoy the weather. Hmmm - Tiffany & Chris came down first and out we went to the beach. Instead of gorgeous blue sky & sun, we had wind and clouds, albeit sort of warm temps (73). You'll see we toughed it out with a lot of other people anyway- oh poor us...

New Year's Eve day and New Year's Day brought better weather. Heather & Jay made it down and sun galore  with 80 degrees was happening. We ate outside because we could. Fun!

Lots of physical activity happening. Have done two walks a day (3 and 4 miles each) for the last two days and a gym workout visit because - I'm a glutton for punishment. Clearly I felt I must join Heather in all things... She had instructions from my old trainer (and Heather's current one) to make sure I was using all the equipment I should be, and in the right way. Wow, that's a dedicated trainer (Donna's fabulous and also a friend). I had the audacity to move away - miss her...

Have seen one movie (Little Fockers - silly entertainment but in our very nice new theatre with oversized plush leather reserved seating) with Tiffany & Chris, and heated card games went on New Year's Eve with Chris, Heather & Jay. What next, don't know but sure it will be fun...