Peaches Prattlings

Apparently I got enough sleep last night because I was up about 6am, so I settled in to work, I had some playing to do too!

I think I told you I made some reservations at some resorts so I can ski while I’m here and today’s reservation is Breckenridge. I worked until about 1230p, got dressed, loaded up the car, and headed out the door. I have to thank AM and NM for letting me stay here, it’s been so great to be in a house, be able to keep my stuff in the house and just walk into the garage to load up, instead of having to gather everything and head out of the hotel. Being in the hotel isn’t that bad, honest, this is just really nice. There is a closet right inside the house from the garage, I don’t have to lug everything from the room, down the stairs, out the door, find the car in the parking lot, just nice.

It’s also nice staying about 30 minutes from the resort, and when you stay so close, you don’t worry about how long you’re going to be there, even when I stay in Golden, I don’t mind the 1.5 hour drive. And I think I told you, since I have the pass, I don’t feel like I have to stay all day, and I’m at that age as well, I can go for a few hours and I’m good.

The drive to the resort was nice, it was a crisp, clear day, good visibility and always fabulously scenic. So much better than my drive here Wednesday night/Thursday morning. I got to the resort, found a decent spot in the usual lot not far from the gondola, paid for parking, walked to the shuttle and away we went. I got on the gondola and headed up the mountain to the lifts.

All the Vail Resorts are doing their best to abide by social distancing, there are mandatory mask signs everywhere, the gondolas and chair lifts have seating suggestions, people even putting their own stickers on things and for the lifts, I didn’t realize, but if you stand with your skis touching someone else’s skis, that’s about 6 feet, I hadn’t thought about that, well, unless it’s a kid, then it’s a little shorter!

The lift lines were a little long, but they moved and when you talked to people on line, it moves faster. It’s fun to look at what people are wearing, the kids and their colorful and fun ski or snowboard outfits, the helmet covers, and then…the group of 8 in front of me, all wearing different furry ski/snowboard outfits. Let’s see, there was an elephant, crocodile, engaged couple, both unicorns, hers said ‘Future Mrs. Somebody’ and his said ‘FiancĂ©’, they were quite the gathering.

Up, up, up, and away we went. As I said, the day was clear and crisp, the slopes, as always, never crowded, and there was fresh powder from the Wednesday/Thursday snowstorm, it was wonderful! There was swishing, swooshing, and more swishing. I lost track of the number of runs I did, I just went until I was a bit peckish, I grabbed a chai latte and a fabulous piece of coffee cake, it was heavenly!


One more run for me. Up I went and swished and swooshed my way down and realized I was done, so I wrapped up my skis and headed for the gondola line and oh my word, the line for the gondola was ridiculous! They even came up to move us into a more formal line, helping up avoid getting hit by any skiers, happy for that! It didn’t wrap around like that when I headed up for my last run. It is what it is.

As I was waiting on the line, a woman and her daughter walked by and I asked if they wanted to stand in line with me, mom was ever so thankful, she was done, and she was carrying her skis, boots, and her daughter’s skis. Very nice people, mom and I got on really well, it turns out we had a lot in common, and her daughter was a five year old cutie! At one point, I offered to help her and carry something and her daughter told me I could carry her skis, thanks! Bottom line, it made the line move faster and that’s what matters.

I got to the bottom, headed for the shuttle, got to the car, took off my boots, ahhh, back to the house, shower, a little more work to round out the week, dinner, and chill. Sounds like a pretty good day to me! Looking forward to tomorrow!


{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!

PSM kicked me out of the house…to Colorado to go ski! He’s so harsh! Ha Ha! He knows what it means to me and with my new job, I can do it, serious work/life balance. Besides, sometime in the next few months, he’s going to do the same to me, take off work and disappear to parts unknown. Works for me.

I packed up the car with my ski gear, it all fits in the car! and cleared out the fridge and freezer of al the things I knew PSM wouldn’t eat, I didn’t want it to go bad, besides, this helps me not eat out every meal, win-win. Even had the leftover ovo-vegan lasagna from Thanksgiving, it’s been in the freezer, and it’s still good! Here we go!

It was 59 degrees out, you know what that means! Yup, sweatshirt on, butt warmers on, drop the top! It was gorgeous! Eventually the top had to go up as the temperature dropped, which was alright, I could hear people on phone if they called and eventually it would be too cold for the top down. It was a good thing too, NM told me there was a snowstorm coming to Denver, it wasn’t predicted earlier in the week, I checked the weather. Ok… we could do it. I don’t know if you remember me telling you that we, Annie II and I, drove through the a bit of a snowstorm a few weeks ago coming back from Denver. Now…we’re getting on going to Denver, oh joy!

Annie II is a beast! I had her when I lived in Colorado years ago and she drove through the snow all the time, she even had to do some snow and ice driving in Atlanta when I lived there. So the snow started somewhere in Kansas, it is a very big state! I know it was after Topeka, but I couldn’t tell you where I was, only that it was Kansas.

It started as just snow coming at the car, then it progressively got stronger, slicker, and started to build up on the ground. I was able to keep driving in my Chucks for a long time, there was cover at the gas stations, and I would have to start kicking some of the snow from the wheel wells. Eventually, as I was driving through Denver, people were starting to skid out, the work trucks and snow plows were out in force. I had a few moments of “don’t use the break”, “go with the skid” nothing major, but I remembered my experiences while I was growing up in New York, driving, even learning to rock a car out of a snow bank, driving in Western New York, learning what to do when you start to skid. The skid warning light or traction control indicator came on a few times, but we were fine, just go with it.

One of the last time I stopped to get gas, I had to put on my wonderful, furry, winter boots, love them! I got out and got A LOT of snow from the wheel wells, that’s the only thing I worry about, it builds up so quickly and can mess with your driving abilities. As I was getting back on the highway, we spun a little, slowly, but we spun, not sure if it was lucky, but the snow was thick and soft, we righted and got back on the highway.

By now, the roads had cleared and it was just me, Annie II and the work trucks and snow plows, that was kind of interesting. Eventually, we got to Dillon, we made it to the house and into the garage, safe and sound. The trip took a little longer than it should, 13 hours turned into 15, but…

My car, my little beetle bug convertible, a car that is not known for driving in the snow, conquering the skids, mounds of snow, and slippery roads, but…Annie II is a champ and seems to love it, so…don’t tell her she doesn’t have 4-wheel drive, why crush her dreams!

Ok, so….I have to correct myself…sort of…I just looked up Beetles driving in the snow, and I had forgotten all about this and now I la la la love my car even more and know why she is a champ! She has front-wheel-drive, this gives her a natural advantage for dealing with snow and ice, it’s the weight distribution. Go Annie II! Oh yeah! Could I love this car any more?!

{February 22, 2021}   Yoga…Love…Love…Yoga

As you know, PSM and I have been taking yoga together for almost two months, well, you may not have known how long, but you knew we were taking it together.

People ask me how I like yoga…I’m getting there.

My favorite question and answer:

“How do you like hot yoga?”

PSM LOVES hot yoga.


{February 21, 2021}   It was almost like Spring!

For about an hour…

We went to yoga a little later today, there weren’t any early morning hot yoga classes, so we took the 11am hot yoga class with a powerful instructor. She changes her routine, goes a little faster than some instructors, and makes us sweat…wow! The thing I like is that she is doing most of the poses and moves with us, which made her sweat…a lot!

When we went to yoga it was about 35 outside, we only wore sweat shirts over our yoga clothes, as opposed to our big winter parkas, and I wore a pair of chucks, no socks, yeah! The snow is starting to melt, it should be gone by the end of the week. Do I hear a vroom-vroom of a motorcycle?

Oh! I forgot to tell you that yesterday, I was running errands, it was about 35 out and I put on my winter coat and hat and…dropped the top! Oh boy, Annie II was so happy, and so was I! I cranked up the heat, turned up the butt warmers and away we went. It actually wasn’t too cold, so I turned the heat down and just enjoyed the sunshine and the crisp, fresh air. Something people don’t realize about convertibles is that if you have the windows up and you’re going at a good clip, you don’t feel the cold or even the rain, if you happen to get caught in it, it’s marvelous!

But, back to my post! After hot yoga, we changed clothes, walked outside and I never put my sweatshirt on, just jeans and a t-shirt, and it was fabulous! We couldn’t believe it! Is it Spring already?! Yes, it was 47, and while to some, who live in much warmer climates, 47 may sound like chill fest, when it’s been in the single digits, 47 is a heat wave!

We went to brunch, which too much longer than it should have! [Possibly like some of my posts! ha ha ha] Apparently the restaurant had a rush of people…anyway…I was very excited about the drive home, I was going to drop the top and enjoy the sunshine. Let’s just say…in the almost 2 hours we were at the restaurant, I know, I know…the clouds came out to play and the sun said…buh bye…so we drove home, top up.

So…it was almost like Spring…for about an hour… But…it gives me hope, I know it’s coming! Wait, does that mean…Hope Springs Eternal? MUWAHAHAHA

February of last year, 2020, in case you were hoping you just skipped it! a restaurant opened near us, and oh boy was I excited! Vegan and Indian food! What?! Bombay Food Junkies started as a 100% vegan food truck in St Louis! What are the odds? And lucky for me, a brick and mortar store…right near us!

We have ordered take out from them a few times, the dining room was closed, just like so many places, and the food was good. Tonight, we got to eat in! Wah to the hoo! It’s been great the way the counties and cities are opening back up, social distancing, of course and Bombay Food Junkies was no different.

I’ve told you this before, the things I love about eating at a vegan restaurant is never having to ask if something has dairy in it or where it’s cooked! The only things I need to ask…What do you recommend? And is it spicy? The first is easy, people who work at or own the restaurant have opinions. Sometimes they haven’t eaten everything, so they can’t always tell me, but I can usually get a good idea of what to order. The second, not so easy, we’ve talked about this before, when people say it’s not too spicy, that usually means no good for me. Indian food is really tricky, a food known for its fragrant spices and I do mean spices! Well, I should say spicy! And, because it’s Indian food, when I ask…well, you can imagine. I am always hopeful! There was an Indian restaurant in Atlanta that really listened and understood!

Tonight, what we ordered was delicious, even though everything had a kick, good thing they left a full bottle of water on the table! We’ve tried different things every time, this time we ordered falafel with a small hummus sauce, yum, fried cauliflower bites with a creamy mint sauce, veg manchurian with a soy-ginger glaze, and butter chick’n bowl with fried rice and garlic naan. [All these links are for other sites/recipes and by the looks of it, I may be trying some of these out, but…that won’t stop me from ordering from Bombay Food Junkies!]

The food was tasty and not too much! Three appetizers and one main dish that we shared, perfect! I will say that I went through about two bottles of water, but very much worth it! I keep checking things off the list to try, what’s next? I haven’t quite made it to dessert yet!

{February 1, 2021}   A new adventure starts today!

Today I started a new job and that means a new adventure! And what a day to start! And what starts! A new month, first day of the new month, and the first day of the week of the new month. What are the odds. What a way to start!

I had been looking for a new opportunity, something different from what I had been doing for the past several years. Now, by different, I mean the products and media that I use to create, not a different career path. I was on the lookout for an Instructional Designer and/or Software Trainer, two roles I am incredibly proud of. As a Software Trainer, I absolutely love explaining how a product or application works. I always say that an application is an application is an application, and by that, I mean it doesn’t matter to me what it is, I want and can learn it and turn around and teach it to you. I don’t even need to understand it completely to teach it, I have to understand it and be able to help you understand how to use it in your day to day job. As I teach, I learn, meaning that no matter how many times or how many years I teach something I learn something new every time I teach!

I didn’t know for a long time that being a good trainer was not as easy as I thought it was. I found out, years ago, that I have the ability to learn an application in a short amount of time and be able to turn around and teach it. I’ve been brought on projects and put in front of a class in a week or less. I would prefer to have more time to prep, but I am always up for the challenge. I really do live for it, I have the best time in front of a class, could be in part, not only my love of teaching, but my gift of gab, which I had way before I kissed the Blarney Stone! I have said in the past, I get a runner’s high when I teach, I do! When it’s a good or great class, I thrive and float, my feet sometimes don’t touch the ground for a few hours after I am done! I absolutely love seeing the look on someone’s face when they get it! I can see the proverbial ‘lightbulb over their heads’!

I will also take the time to explain something to someone until they get it, I want them to understand. I am also very honest that when I teach, I have the patience of a saint, but personally…I have the patience of a gnat! No patience, none, if a website hasn’t started in 3 seconds, I’ve started over! It’s true! Ask anyone who knows me! But for you, in my class, I have all the time in the world! Let’s dance! I am, after all, the product of two amazing and gifted teachers!

On the opposite side, when it comes to writing, I’ve always been a good writer, at least that’s what I have been told! ha ha! It must be true, for some reason you keep coming back to see what I have to say! I didn’t enjoy writing as a kid, I could write a book report, but I’m not sure it gave me the joy I get now. Now, reading, that I enjoyed, and I could tell a story, just didn’t feel much like writing it down. Later, in college, I got high marks on my stories, very descriptive and inviting. I remember writing a paper about my grandmother’s house and my professor said they could see it clearly in their mind and wanted to go and visit.

I started blogging, as you know, and that seems to be going well, ha ha. I’ve updated or written resumes for people, hopefully it has helped. I’ve written dating profiles, those I really enjoy! I even wrote one for a guy I was dating at the time! It helped him meet his current wife, go figure! And…four people have gotten married from the profiles I’ve written! I’ve even written them for people I didn’t know, my favorite was someone I met on a train. It was pretty good, if I do say so myself!

When I got into writing professionally, it was really the same way I fell into training. It started with “We got this new application, teach us how to use it” huh? Ok…then I was in one position and I knew I was going to be out of the office for a bit, so I wrote instructions on how to do my job and when I got back, the person who was filling in had no questions and was able to follow everything as if I was walking them through it step by step. Then I started getting jobs as a writer, sometimes updating existing training materials, sometimes building new materials and then one job or project led to another and here we are.

When I write training materials, I really get into what I’m doing, when I know how to start. Sometimes, I have to sit and look, and look, and think, and look, and think before my brain clicks and I think…oh yeah, this is the way we’re going and we’re off and running! If you know me, you know I don’t turn something in until I am proud of it, I’ll work through the night, hence the 80-120 hours I got in trouble for submitting sometimes! I love testing a product every which way to see how it works, if I click this, what happens? If I click that, where does it take me. Can I break it? How do I explain this so it flows just so. How can I write this so the trainer can teach it, even if it’s not me, and the student can understand it. Where do I add a screenshot? Oh man, I do love a screenshot! I’m being serious! How much is too much information? How many details derail the point or the materials? On my last project, I built a lot of the materials I was teaching, based on the data given to me, and some of the materials I had updated what was given to me. As I was teaching, I realized that some things just didn’t flow right and I rearranged things, moved things around, made them flow better and I have to tell you, when I was done, I was so very proud. And that was at 4 o’clock in the morning, I’m not kidding, I was driven and I was going to turn in something I was happy with. And…I’ve heard that others were happy with it, it made more sense, and that to me was everything!

So…as I mentioned, I was looking for something different, not in the role, but in the software, I had been writing and teaching the same product for the last five years and it was time for a change. And that’s where we are today! Today I started with a new company and it’s a whole new ballgame! I am going to be updating some existing materials and building brand new content, I am so ready to jump in and get started. What I really love about writing assignments is that each client has different mediums they want to use. Some use Word, at this point, I’m an expert for building training materials! some use PowerPoint [PPT], I have since become quite the PPT aficionado, it doesn’t intimidate me anymore!, some Adobe Captivate, I’ve dabbled, some Articulate, I’ve experimented, RoboHelp, it’s been a while, and now, with this new job, I’m getting to use two new mediums, Skilljar and Genially, and from what I’ve seen when I investigated them, I’m excited!

As I get more into what I’m doing I’ll definitely share! I know you know that! For now, Monday, February 1st, new adventure! Liferay, here I come!

et cetera