Saturday, April 29, 2006

Empty Nest

My youngest daughter graduated from college a couple of weeks ago. She and her son live with me. Empty nest emotions are setting in as I listen to her adventures of finding her "dream career". Her dream job will surely take here away from where we live. I'm not sad. I'm not a brooder. I've already started my list of "things to do".

I have a million things I have thought of doing when I "could just do them". I'll just have to methodically start working through it. This time of my life has been referred to in the past as "the golden years". I think it has always been thought of in the vein of sunsets, closure, downhill, aging. Me? I'm thinking "gold" as in "precious" and will work toward the goal of "platinum" as in "I'm not going to waste a single opportunity".

Here's to both of us.

Viva Las Vegas

My oldest daughter and I headed south to Las Vegas this week.....about 12 hours after I landed from my Dayton trip. Las Vegas was a road trip in the Miata. WHAT A BLAST!

I've been to Vegas nearly a dozen times. Each trip offered its own unique purpose and created its own history. A few trips have been work related and have either minimal signifigance or allowed me to stay at a notable casino. I recalled trips with significant others - each with its own adventure and place in my heart. Despite the numbers of visits this one took on its own uniqueness and place in history.

It was Heather's first visit to Sin City. She had places she wanted to see and I had places I wanted to show her. A perfect balance. We found the Klondike. This was where Robert and I stayed when we rolled into town with no forethought during spring break in March of 1986. We'd decided to get married and just went about doing it - with no reservations (nice play on words Teri). I had no idea where we had really ended up.

I was able to share the Golden Gate with her - the secret world Craig introduced me to. We dined on shrimp and beer. We kidded around with Bob Long, the Golden Gate's pianist. Heather got the Fremont Experience.

I did some of my famous "gee I hope I can find that thing I didn't buy last time I was here and wished I had" shopping. I did some of my "there's a Sephora here" shopping. And I introduced Heather to Chad....sure to be my dearest Las Vegas friend. Chad runs the Metropolitan Interiors store - at Sahara/Paradise Roads. I adore him, I can't visit Vegas without visiting his store and can't leave without buying something from him. He dotes on me during my visits and is just "so cute". It works out well because I just have to eat at India Oven which is in the same shopping center.

And of course the trip wouldn't have been at all if it weren't for my icon Barry Manilow. We did the April 26 show, 2nd row. AWESOME as always. I've created two Barry fans this Mother-in-law Joanne and Heather. Yes, it is a very fine year.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Dayton, Ohio

This week's trip is to lovely, downtown Dayton, Ohio.

Friday evening my little happy feet found the river walk, a great coffee shop with wonderful chocolate candy (my substitute for a real man I've been told). I located the Catholic Church and a Peace Museum:

Saturday was warm and sunny. I wandered around downtown all day, basked in the spring sun at the river, visited and shopped at the Peace Museum (why oh why when I'm traveling must I buy things like figurines?), revisited the coffee shop and bought more candy, and went to Mass. The church was so beautiful inside. They had a brochure on the parish's history that explained all the decor. Beautiful!

My customer took me on a 90 mile tour of the region Friday. It was interesting because this is where my family came from. I recognized many of the township's names. I wish I had a car - I'd be out in the country cemetery in no time flat.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Mt. Timpanogos

This is the mountain that Teri hiked.

Late last summer we did "the trek" and took the Aspen Grove trail to attempt to get to the top of Mount Timpanogos. We tuckered out about a mile from the top - that would be a little more over that way, some more up there and some back that way.

It was a beautiful hike, all 14 or so miles of it and a very long day. We saw snow caves, a glacier, Columbine, even a moose (not the one shown below). Will we make it to the top next year? Damn right we will!

Saturday, April 15, 2006


From - coun·ter·cul·ture (koun'tar-kŭl'ch'r) n. A culture, especially of young people, with values or lifestyles in opposition to those of the established culture.

In Utah one definition might also read "e.g. Wine Tasting Club". Without explaining the pairing dynamics of the core part of this group, I was invited to a friend's house for a wine tasting party. Supposedly there were supposed to be one or two other couples, the host/hostess (friends/co-workers) and Pat and myself (pair, not couple).

A flyer about the club/event had been posted in the common area of the group's homes and it had been "removed". The paragraph that had been submitted in the local newsletter had been trimmed to a sentence. But a crowd showed up! A few other "prospects" were later identified as possible "drinkers".

The cross-section of occupations, religions and backgrounds was so refreshing (as was tasting the different kinds of wines). We all commented on how somewhat rebellious and how very liberated we all felt.

There was another emotion from the evening that I personally experienced and that had to do with coming of age and "me". This is the type of life I've been seeking for decades. I've found myself (even though I would have never, in a million years, thought that that ephiphany could even remotely have a chance to occur in Utah).

Could it be, perhaps. that without contrast one cannot fully appreciate the image?


I worked with Jules a few months before I got to know her. We became friends 17 years ago today. I remember the date because I left my Income Tax forms at home and had to drive back during my lunch hour so I could mail them. Jules offered to keep me company on the drive. I'm really glad she did.

Over the 17 years we've collected a few stories ("hey sailor") , logged a few miles (Seattle to Denver to Key West), fought a few battles (Go Broncos!) and cried a few tears. I'm so happy we've maintained our friendship despite geography changes - my life would have been quite dull without having known her.

I'm so happy for her too - after taking the l-o-n-g road, she and her high school sweetheart got back together and got married. And now after a whole lot of practice they have:

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Coon Rapids

Yes, it is true, I was in Coon Rapids, Minnesota.

Here's a bit of trivia for you....Did you know that Minnesota is known for the highest annual production of CHOPSTICKS? This I heard over dinner. I had to see if I could substantiate the statement beyond local yore. Sure enough I found this on the Internet (and that makes it REAL - right?!?) "There is a company in Hibbing, MN which is expected to produce about 7 million chopsticks daily".........and it goes on to say "In the case of the plant in Minnesota the question remains as to whether converting trees into chopsticks is a responsible use of timber. "

I can see the headlines if this gets out: Chopstick Manufacturing Threatens Timber Levels in Northern Central U.S.

The shuttle driver who took me to the airport won my admiration - I teased him about stopping at a Starbucks for me. HE DID! And offered up some fabulous stores. Jennifer Aniston thanks you Danny from the bottom of my paper cup!

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Retire the Groundhog!

I've come to believe there is only one sure way to determine that Spring has officially arrived. The top goes down on the Miata. Folks, Spring has sprung, the grass has riz, I can tell you exactly where Teri is.

Bye bye!

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Magnificent Magnolias

This picture was taken on my very first trip to Georgia. Magnolias are huge (bigger than a Frisbee) and smell exquisite. I wanted to drown in the essence.

Sweet tea, sweet potato pie, Sonny's BBQ.

Southern drawls, rocking chairs on verandas, humidity - I love it all.

Sunday, April 02, 2006


I'm home this weekend. The weather's lovely. I'm not inundated with work. So...
I did Spring cleaning, laid on the hammock with Baby Kitty and thus became a human magnet for Baby Kitty's departing winter fur. I walked, I pulled weeds. We changed lightbulbs. I had the snow tires removed, watched a movie. Basically lived a life.

We had a robin hopping across the back fence and across the yard. The two quail that had a race around the front had us laughing hysterically.

It feels so good and looks so nice! Welcome spring!