Peaches Prattlings

Just another typical Saturday, not much happening…except…

Up early…hot yoga…without PSM! What?! Yeah, on Thursday, we took hot yoga together and he told the instructor he wouldn’t be there, but I would…to represent us. What?! So…set the alarm for 645am and hot yoga, here I come. It was in the high 30s when I left the house…brrr, but about 45 when I came out of yoga, and I was sweating, so…top down on the car, ahhh…smoothie on the way home, what could be better?!

Got home, added a thin sweatshirt under my favorite heavy Keystone sweatshirt, got the pups out of the crate and to the park we went. It’s Spring, the flowers are blooming and people are going outdoors, nice! The park wasn’t too crowded, we did a few doggie greetings, and a kid even stopped us and asked if he could pet the dogs, especially Bee, beagles are his favorite dog breed. At the park, we walked through a Bald Eagle breeding ground, someone we passed told me there was a nest and there were 2 eagles in a tree, I couldn’t find them, bummer. There was even a sign “Bald Eagle Breeding Site, Don’t Linger and Be Quiet”. I really wanted to see them, maybe next time!

Back home, breakfast for all and to relax! While we dined, I watched the first episode of season 7 of Brokenwood, a mystery series based in New Zealand I’ll tell you about another time. It was great, I called my dad right after to talk about it since he had watched it the other day and was waiting for me to talk about it.

I showerd, got dressed, threw in a load of laundry, and loaded the pups in the car, top down, we were going to the bank, problem was…bank was closed, oh well. Drove around for a bit with the dogs then headed home. Ruby was happy to be out and in the car, Bee just didn’t want to get left behind! She’s up and happy and looking out the window when we’re stopped, but while the car is in motion, she is hunkered so far down into the seat, I think she’s hoping it will swallow her up! ha ha

We got home and the guy is doing amazing things fixing up our yard was there, we caught up for a bit, talked about Spring Break, plants, yards, forsythia, which he calls forcynthia, which I love! and then, into the crate with the pups, into my new black suede Indian Motorcycle jacket, I had to take it for a spin! It was about 75 degrees out at this point and even though it was warm, it was still a little windy, so I was very happy to have the jacket on.

I rode out to Castlewood State Park, not a far ride, rode through the park, there was a road that you can normally drive on, but it was closed, so I drove out of the park, down this fabulous winding and winding road, ended up on a main drag and kept going, it was great. I eventually turned around and headed back towards home, stopping at a Starbucks to enjoy a tasty beverage and a break, then headed home again.

Pups out of the crate, walk around the neighborhood, dinner for them, dinner for me. I tried something new, I roasted an artichoke and wow! It was fabulous! I can still smell the garlic in the house! y u m! I will be making that again! Then it was relaxing time! I finished an episode of Endeavour, I’ve been trying to finish the episode for about 3 weeks! It was good! Then it was RuPaul’s Drag Race and after the pups went to bed…I headed to the basement and made some really good progress with the stuff I brought back from Colorado. Grabbed the laundry and headed upstairs.

And now…I sit here talking to you, I moved the laundry basket to the floor so I can’t see it, I’ll take care of it tomorrow! So…there you have it, typical Saturday, not much happening, ha ha!

{March 6, 2021}   I’m comin’ home!

Mama, I’m comin’ home, by Ozzy Osborne is one of my favorite songs. I just wanted to throw that in there! Today, I am home! Back with PSM and the girls, Ruby and Bee, right where I belong.

I had the best time while I was in Colorado! I was with the dogs in the backyard and chatting with a neighbor, when I told them where I had been, they asked why I wasn’t still there…I missed my family! I will admit, it was tough to leave, but I wanted to be home, if they were with me, I would have stayed all month! Yesterday was really tough, I didn’t ski! I worked in the morning, then headed out. It was so tempting to go to Keystone when the lifts opened, for just an hour or two, then work for a few hours, then start driving. I was good…sigh…I worked until about noon, then took off.

NM and AM left earlier for the mountain to go riding, I finished working, packed up, let the dogs out, let the dogs in, loaded up the car and away we went. Annie II and I, that is. The roads were clear, what a change from my drive in and every day I was there! As I was on the highway heading away from Dillon, I was so glad not to be heading in the other direction, the line of cars was crazy! O M G! I’m sure it was going to take people about 2-3 hours to go 20 miles, no thanks!

I drove about half way, I was in Kansas at this point, sometimes with the top down, fabulous! Got some food and a hotel, settled in, talked to CWB, then crashed, it was nice. Today, got up, made some breakfast, then…I was on the road again, that was exactly the text I sent, by the fabulous Willie Nelson! Made me laugh. The temperature began to climb and it was 60 in no time, and you know what that means…top down on the car the entire drive home! The only drawback…I just realized I think I got a bit of a sunburn!

I got home, played with the pups, they seemed to have missed me! PSM had been out on his bike, came home, I dressed for the weather, jumped on the bikes and headed out to dinner, an impromptu date night! It was nice, we went somewhere new, talked, laughed, caught up, laughed, got goofy, perfect date night for us.

Now…we’re snuggled up, the pups are in the crate, and to quote the most famous Kansan said “there’s no place like home…there’s no place like home…there’s no place like home.”

{March 4, 2021}   Outlook on the weather

Or, maybe attitude towards the weather. Today was my last official in Colorado for this trip, heading home to PSM and the pups tomorrow, I have seen them in over a week, very much looking forward to that!

Since today was my last day here that I could ski, I made a reservation at Keystone, mostly because it’s a 12 minute drive from the house! What?! Awesome! I had a few meetings in the afternoon, so I decided to do first run of the day, spend a few hours, come back and work. I know, you’re thinking, what does this have to do with the weather JJ? I’m getting there.

It started snowing, see…sometime last night and went on for most of the day, actually, I don’t know if it stopped yet, I know it was still going about 730 tonight, it will be an interesting drive tomorrow…but it’s been close to 60 in St Louis, so there’s hope.

When I pulled out of the driveway to head to Keystone, I said to NM, “if this was happening in St Louis, I would be saying…again? seriously?” but…since we’re in the mountains and I’m heading out to ski and they’re going to snowboard, I was quite excited about the prospect!

Isn’t it interesting how we think about things, perspective is situational, and from today’s perspective, oh yeah. Tomorrow, I might be like, oh joy, dripping with sarcasm, because…if you recall, last Wednesday evening/Thursday very early morning, the snow was not exactly a welcome site.

That’s about it! I’ll keep you posted on my drive tomorrow!

Today started like any other, up early, on the pc, writing, work call, writing, then…skiing…then friends! I love my life!

I worked until about 12:30p, I’m really enjoying this new job, I’m finally catching my groove. I don’t know if I’ve told you this, but when I write, it can take me a minute sometimes to figure out which direction I’m going, or want to go in. I have to look at everything I’m trying to put together, get a feel for the flow and then I am off and running to the races. And that is finally happening, I’m getting into the groove with this one item I am working on. And when that happens, I love it, and sometimes I can’t step away.

Today was a day that I was really in the groove and I didn’t want to walk away, just a few more minutes, just a few more minutes, but I know what that means…I won’t get to step away and why am I in Colorado? To ski, of course! I’ll be back home on Monday working and I can hammer away at it all I want.

When I finally came up for air, I got dressed and headed out the door. Beauty…Breckenridge is only a 30 minute drive, wah to the hoo! I got there, almost all the lots were open and I found a spot second row from the gondola! What?! And…even better…parking was only $7! Normally it’s $17, but today, I think because it was the afternoon, it was only $7, I’ll take it!

I knew I had about 2 hours to ski, let’s not waste time! Got the boots on, paid for parking and just like that, I’m on the gondola! Up, up, up…there were almost no lines for the lift, I may have waited 5 minutes, not like the weekend, where it’s sometimes 15-20 minutes, I’m good with that!

I lost track of how many runs I did, it was awesome! and today, I stuck to all blues, which was great. It was funny, I went to Keystone yesterday and as I’m coming down towards the lift, I felt like I was higher up the slope than normal, and I was…I realized that I came out in a different spot from where I usually end up and that was great! Today, there was almost no one on the slopes, some of the runs I was the only one, so I could swish, swish, swoosh to my hearts content and I knew I wouldn’t run into anyone. I looked up the slope from time to time, nope, no one.

I took runs I haven’t done in a long time, sometimes you get into a pattern and that’s it. This time, I went left instead of right and it was great! Another thing I noticed, as they say, practice makes perfect, well, there was no perfection going on, but…there was comfort. When I haven’t skied in a while, I might hesitate at the top of a run, not today or the last few days, it was just, let’s go! I only had to stop in the middle when my feet or knees told me to, but other than that, it was wheeeeeeee!

The weirdest part of my day was when I was about to get on the lift and I looked at my right hand and there was blood on it! Pooling between my thumb and pointer. What?! I was already on the lift line, just about to get on the chair, my hand didn’t hurt, so up I went. The people on the chair with me didn’t have a tissue, so when I got to the top, I found some snow, washed it off and went into the restaurant to ask for a Band-Aid. When I finally got it cleaned up, I think I figured out what happened. When I picked up my skis, I think I slid my hand down the edge of the ski and they are super sharp, so…I’m looking at it right now, doesn’t hurt and it’s scabbed over, all in a days skiing!

It was getting close to 3:45, I was done, so I headed down to the gondola, then the car, dropped the top, it was 41 degrees! and headed to the house. Got in, showered and sat down to work for a bit, and then NM and her daughter, AM, came in with the two dogs, Sylvester and Zooey, two doll babies! I don’t know if you remember me telling you when I was here in January, I had dinner from City O’ City with AM and their daughter AM. So, now, I get mother and daughter!

I haven’t seen NM since last year, so this is such a treat! They are up here for a few days riding, that’s snowboarding for those of you not in the know, and we were lucky enough that our plans overlapped so I get to spend a few days with them!

We caught up, laughed, they settled in, I heard all about AM’s projects and what’s happening in school, friends, fun, the usual. We caught up some more, told stories, laughed, and laughed, and laughed some more, had dinner, then hung out and continued all of it! We reminisced about the time we all went to Keystone and they were riding and I was skiing and AM was so young she was telling us where to go, it was great! I was telling NM last week on the phone that it’s been such a long time since she and I have had one-on-one chats, just the two of us. I love spending time with AM and the family, but girl time is something precious and she and I just don’t get that much of it, felt great!

After a few hours of catching up, stories, laughter, and Sylvester getting up and coming over every time she told a story about a dog and said ‘no’ and ‘bad dog’, that was hysterical! then it was time to pack it in, there is skiing, riding, work, and more fun to be had tomorrow! Last day on the mountains for me, it’s been amazing! And I get one more day to spend with family, how lucky am I!

I was excited today, going to a new resort, Beaver Creek. I think I mentioned the other day one of the things I like about having to make reservations to ski is the opportunity to explore other mountains. I was thinking about it, I think the reason I only go to Breckenridge and Keystone when I visit Colorado is that I’m usually only here for a few days, so I think I stuck to what I knew. In addition, Beaver Creek is about an hour from Dillon and Vail is 30 minutes, which is not bad, while I stay here, but if I am staying in Golden, which I usually do, that adds almost 2 hours each way and while I don’t mind driving an hour and 20 each way, the longer trips don’t always seem worth it, especially if I’m only going for a few hours. Driving 2 hours there isn’t bad, but driving back, after skiing a few hours, exhausting. Well, that makes sense to my swiss-cheese brain!

I must be getting comfortable with the altitude and time difference, I have been getting up a little earlier every day! 530am is too early, but it is what it is! Even though I was up, didn’t mean I had to get out of bed! I leisurely lounged, watched some Netflix, and made it a lazy Saturday morning, sounds good to me. Eventually, I got up, motivated, dressed, made some breakfast, and looked outside…snow…and lots of it. I’m in the mountains of Colorado, what did I expect?! Let’s get the car packed and go!

I left the house, the streets had a new layer of snow on them, made it almost to the highway and almost couldn’t see the cars in front of me, hmmm…do I still want to go? I called PSM and we looked at the weather together, well, he looked, he’s much better at it than me!

We already know Annie II can do it! Not worried about her at all, and she proved that she can drive in the snow and we made it to Beaver Creek. Let’s just say it was a little crowded, all but one of the parking lots was full and when I finally got to the parking lot that was open, it was closed, huh? As I’m driving back down the hill I asked someone and he let me park on the side of the road, with everyone else in the same boat, which was great because we were pretty close to the lift!

I walked up to the lift, put my skis on and headed up the mountain. I really enjoyed Beaver Creek, just like all the Vail Resorts I have been to, the slopes are wide open and manageable. I find that when I haven’t been to a mountain before I tend to stay on the green circles, which are the easiest, for the first few runs, then I venture into some of the blue squares, more difficult. I haven’t reached the point this year that I want to ski the black diamonds or double blacks, most difficult. I used to, I just don’t these days and I’m ok with that!

I think I mentioned the snow that started sometime in the morning, continued on the drive and…most of the day, there were times you couldn’t see too far ahead of you, the snow kept coming, and the wind picked up, there were even a few snow swells and swirls, not quite snownados, but looked like it! If you look at my pics, it looks like of black and white, doesn’t it?!

Despite the view, or lack there of it, there was still much swishing and swooshing, and smiling while doing it! All that snow made for nice fresh powder in a lot of places. I had a few very nice companions on the chair lifts who gave me some advice on runs to do and they were spot on, thank you!

I lost track of how many runs I did, but I took a break at one point at one of the lodges, hung out by the fire and was thinking it might be time to head out, I had been there a few hours, but when I asked someone how to get back to the gondola, their answer didn’t fill me with warm fuzzies, the other resorts I have been to had ways to get back to the bottom, wherever I needed to be from wherever I was. Thankfully at that, because half the time, and I know you won’t be surprised, but I don’t know where I am half the time! I was telling someone that I admired all the skiers and riders that knew the runs and what they were called and where the ended up. You laugh, but it’s true! I remember when I would stay at the Doubletree in Breckenridge, a fabulous ski in/ski out hotel and I would have to remember the run that would take me back to the ski in part!

Anyway, she told me that I would need to go back to the top and ski to where I needed to go. That’s a tough one when your mind has told you your done. You have to kind of trick yourself, ok, let’s do another run! Well, two more and then skip the last one! I went to the top where she told me and I couldn’t figure out where she was telling me to go, so I asked someone at the top and they said, no, go this way, which I did and whew, I ended up where I needed to be! When I got to the bottom of the hill, I was a little confused, but…I found the exit, it was actually a nice run to the bottom, the lift that I came up on! That was very cool, at some other mountains, you ski, then get on a gondola, or you’re at the bottom and you walk out, this was ski to the bottom to where the hotel entrance was, a very short walk to the car, that was fun!

I got to the car, it had stopped snowing at some point and the sun came out. I thought, ooh, I’ll go into Beaver Creek Village and look for something to eat. I should have kept my car there and taken the gondola into Beaver Creek Village. I was not paying $30 for parking for the very short time I was going to be there. I wanted to walk around, get a bite to eat and maybe a t-shirt and sticker for my helmet, not worth the money. So…I started back to the house.

The drive was sooo much better on the way back than coming up there! It was a breeze. I stopped at the grocery store and picked up some supplies, then back to the house. Into the house, and I told you how nice that was to be able to put my stuff up in the garage/house! I even memorized the codes for the garage and door! Go me! Shower, pizza, movies, and you. What could be better! Tomorrow, Vail, another mountain I haven’t been to and I’m so looking forward to it!

{February 25, 2021}   To ski or not to ski…not today!

As we talked about yesterday, I got to the house in Dillon, Co, early this morning. When I say early, it was 330am. I got in the house, unpacked the car, crawled into bed and couldn’t fall asleep right away, go figure!

I finally nodded off sometime after 4/430am and it was deep when I got there! I got up about 7am local time, which is 8am Central, yeah, it gets confusing! Imagine trying to keep all that, and other times zones, straight while you’re on the road! It was something.

I got up and got to work, played with the idea of going to Keystone to get in a few runs, kept working, toyed with the idea, after all, that’s why I’m here, to ski and work, work and ski, then ski some more. I got my Epic Local ski pass when I first moved to Colorado and I renew it each year, and I always think that if I can ski 6 or 7 days each season, the pass has paid for itself. I already skied three days last month, I’m here for about a week, let’s see what I can do.

That being said, since I’m going to be skiing a bunch while I’m here, do I really need to ski the day I arrive? After driving 15 hours and getting about 3 hours of sleep, nope, I’m good. I worked until about 630/7p, had some dinner, then sat on the couch and watched some tv, ok, I laid out on the couch and started watching tv. About 2 glorious hours later I got up and headed to bed, where I couldn’t sleep, go figure again! I love naps, but they kill what little sleep I get!

I’m happy I made the executive to skip skiing today, tomorrow is a new day and I made some reservations. No, I don’t have reservations about skiing, ha ha, I made reservations to ski! The interesting thing, I’ve gone to one or two other mountains that are included with the pass, but I’m usually only in Colorado a few days, so I tend to stick to Breck and Keystone. With Covid restrictions, you have to make reservations for the resort and that has forced me, so to speak, to look at other resorts based on availability. I’d say that’s a plus!

I’m going to Breckenridge tomorrow, Beaver Creek on Saturday, and Vail on Sunday, two resorts I’ve never been to, very excited about it! And you know I’ll tell you all about them after I go.

Gotta get some rest, work, then ski tomorrow, night!

I made the 12+ hour drive to Denver yesterday, stopped by AM’s house to pick up my skis and poles and headed up to my hotel, the Hampton Inn in Golden, Co. I’ll tell you about my drive in another post.

Today, I got up, made myself a sandwich, I decided I didn’t want to pay $15+ for a sandwich at the resort! The drive was beautiful, the first thing I saw when I left the hotel was the painted sky, the clouds look like brush strokes, amazing and breathtaking, it was hard to look away! Each of the resorts have put serious restrictions on their properties, to keep people safe, one of them is making reservations for days to ski. I chose Keystone for Thursday and Friday and it’s about an hour drive from the hotel. There wasn’t a lot of snow on the way up, even when I got through the tunnel, not a lot, but it was still beautiful. Can’t beat it!

On the drive, no matter where I am staying, I always stop at the Georgetown Gateway Visitor Center. I actually stop there on the way up and the way back, if there is traffic, it’s a nice opportunity to stretch my legs, there’s a restroom, and now it’s tradition or habit. They had some great signs for social distancing, made me laugh so I had to share!

I got to Keystone, and one of the things I love about skiing there is free parking!!! There is a lot more, but free parking is fabulous and when I park, all I have to do is walk from the car to the lift. Now…the thing I do not love about skiing, at all, is the boots, trying to clip the higher buckles. I covet snow boarder boots! Look at them! Slide your foot in, lace them up! Ski boots…wiggle and shove your foot in and get the buckles snapped, not an easy feat! I should not sweat before I start skiing! OMG! AM did give me a good tip, keep them buckled when I’m not using them and keep them by a heater before you put them on, it helped, but not enough, ugh! I would pay someone to get my boots buckled, seriously! I actually thought it would be a good side business, all you do is buckle and unbuckle a person’s ski boots!

Whew, boots buckled, it’s time to ski! I walked through the resort, it looks like a cute alpine village and an easy walk to the gondola, after a quick bio break. Up the mountain, I had a gondola to myself, and a chance to cool off! Turns out having a mask on with a hat and four layers on top can make you a bit toasty!

Got to the top, put my skis on, took a look at the view, breathtaking, pushed off and away we went! Another thing I love about skiing at Keystone is the slopes, they are wide and open and the powder is fabulous. All level of skiers go down these slopes, you’ll find newbies through experienced on the Easy Green Dots, Medium Blue Squares, as you can imagine. The more experienced or think they are experienced on the Black Diamond or Double Diamond.

None of the slopes are ever crowded, even when they don’t take reservations, you can ski freely, always just checking that there isn’t anyone right above you that you might cut off. There are even some slopes you might be skiing on your own, not another skier in sight, possibly for the entire run, until you get to the bottom.

The resort requires everyone to wear a mask and they have staff members checking and giving out masks if you aren’t wearing one. The only place we didn’t social distance were waiting on the lift lines, but the chairs themselves, they were only letting a certain number of people on at a time, I actually had every gondola and chair lift to myself, not complaining, mind you! Although, one of the things I’ve enjoyed in the past was chatting with folks about their day as we ride up. Oh well…this is what it is right now.

The runs were great, I got on the skis and it was like I hadn’t been off them! I did mostly greens and a few blues. One of the blues was great until I got to a middle section and looked down and psyched myself out! I started edging down the slope slowly, then said to myself, ‘grow a pair!’ and I did and away I went!

I got to the bottom and realized I was hungry, so I took a break, sat on a bench and had a sandwich. It was a nice feeling, sitting in the sun, while it’s cold out, just enjoying the moment. All of sudden, all of us that were sitting there together heard a noise and looked up and saw a row of skis and snowboards that were leaning up against a railing fall down. It was like one of those scenes in a movie when a domino effect happens, then I realized my skis were in there! Not to worry, it’s all good.

After sitting for a few more minutes, I realized I was done for the day, kind of tired and I don’t need to go back up there. The beauty of a ski pass is that you don’t have to spend the entire day skiing, you can ski a few hours and be done, and that was what I decided, I was done. I headed back to the car, took off my boots and ski pants, put on my fabulous furry winter boots and went back to walk around the resort for a bit, you never know what you might find.

Now, it’s time to head back to the hotel, I took a right and went through the Loveland Pass and oh my, is it beautiful! It was also 45 degrees and I decided to put the top down, and away I went! Just hoping it wouldn’t snow while the top was down. The drive was absolutely stunning! It was hard to keep my eyes on the road, only because I really wanted to marvel at my surroundings. The mountains, the snow, the ice, the beauty of it all, the absolute splendor.

The rest of the drive was normal, beautiful, but normal! I stopped at the Georgetown Gateway Visitor Center, of course! Then back to the hotel, a nice, uneventful drive!

Tomorrow…Keystone again! Who knows what will happen!

et cetera