2016: A Year in Review

Happy New Year!!  It’s almost been a year to the day (January 11, 2016) that I have written a blog post.  The horror!  You have seen posts from me, but they weren’t live, they were Memorex (for those of you old enough to remember the commercials) – set up well over a year ago as #TBT’s.

This past year was pretty eventful for us.  I’ll tell you about everything from a new puppy, to eye surgery, to heart procedures, to turning 50, and to my photography business!

The first one being my dual cataract surgeries in January of 2016.  The image below was the day before my first surgery.  I would never be able to look at things close up like that again:



Boy was I sick after that first one.  They had given me a narcordic to ease my nerves a bit.  I was highly allergic to it!  Since I had the surgery an hour away from home, we had to wait around the area for four hours until me post-op appt.  I literally slept in the pick-up truck for three hours before we went to eat.


We ran out of the nurses tape, so my husband made due!

I went from seeing 20/400 WITH my contact in my right eye, to seeing 20/70 UNcorrected.  With my new glasses for distance, I can see 20/50 in that eye!  My left eye was 20/30 with my contacts, and now it is 20/25 UNcorrected!  If I would have been told that I would have cataract surgery when I was older (49 in my case), I wouldn’t have cried every time I was told that I wasn’t a candidate for lasik surgery!

Also in January, my husband got frostbite on his feet.

AND in January, we adopted a Sammy.  Yes, I say a Sammy.  We adopted him when he was 6 mos old.  He’s a Russian Great Dane that was actually born in Russia.  He was, and still is, SUCH a puppy!  These images are from around the time when we first got him last January.

He had (has) NO idea how big he was (is)!  His head is like dead weight, he knocked the furniture over (although we now have it against the wall), my legs and arms looked like they’d been through a war zone over the Summer from him pawing them (I bruise easily).  He’s gotten much better.  But isn’t he cute?

Let’s see, OHHH, the main reason why I haven’t blogged – I started my photography business back up since having the big “illness”.  I have 10 Senior Reps from the Class of 2017 who are still representing me until they graduate!


They are an amazing group of individuals from surrounding schools!  This image was taken in May during our first get together as a team.  I’ve also done a couple of commercial projects along with many other clients.  I’m hoping to double my team this year!  To check out client images and behind the scenes videos, head over to my Facebook page.

My Mom has been back and forth from Florida a few times, and is in the process of trying to sell her condo to move here to Colorado.

My eldest son who is a Fireman, got his EMT license and now works for a local ambulance service tied to a large hospital.

In August I TURNED 50 !!!


My boys took me out hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park for the day and to a nice lunch in Estes Park!

In October my husband was in an accident.  A pick-up truck collided in to his semi. Although there weren’t really any bad injuries (a sore hand and elbow), his truck had a lot of damage to the front driver side.  They did vitals at the scene and found an irregular heartbeat – Bejeminy .  They kept him in the hospital for 5 days for a cardiac work-up where they performed a heart cath (through the groin) and found one of his arteries completely blocked.  He went back a couple of weeks later and had three stents placed via both groins. Immediately afterwards, he said that he couldn’t believe how much better he already felt!  It’s a miracle when one thing leads to another!

I’ve only hiked three times this past year and went on two small off-roading trips. In 2017, I’m going to manage my time better, blog more, hike more, and off-road more!  I’m glad to be back!



A Day of Fishing

So, when my mom was in town, we helped her cross a few things off her bucket list – NOT!  That was our joke with her.  We took her shooting, and then we took her fishing.  It was not her cup of tea, but she was just happy to be with us.

An Instagram friend of mine recommended a location a couple of towns away.  We decided to make a day of it, so we packed a picnic lunch.  Our party consisted of my mom, one of my sons and his girlfriend, and my niece.

We met up at Riverbend Ponds in Fort Collins, Colorado.  Even though it was a little warm, it was a beautiful October day.  We girls found a small patch of shade to sit and eat.


My mom and I took a little walk to check out a few of the ponds, while the others in the group fished.  These are just a few fun cell pics taken from the natural area.




Me and mom.






At first my son fished from the shore.  He wasn’t getting great results, so he figured that his boots were waterproof, so he waded in.  Yep.  He went a little too deep.

Between he and my niece, he caught 6 fish and she caught one.  It’s the time together that matters, not the size or amount.



And then we called it a day.


A fun time was had by all!  I’m confident that 2016 will bring many more family outings.

p.s.  Restrooms are located near the parking area!  🙂


Denver – Part II: Byers-Evans House

Wow!  Happy New Year to all!  I haven’t blogged in so long, I forgot where I left off.  The pics you see on Tues and Thurs are scheduled.  🙂

This is the same day as the Colorado State Capitol Tour.  My mom and I decided to walk everywhere, so we left my car parked in the paid parking lot.  We walked about a block to a restaurant that we had wanted to try on our last trip to town, but my brother won out on that trip.  And remember, I brought my long lens, so all images are taken with my cell phone.


YUM is all I can say!  We like to try different things, and boy did we ever!




After lunch, we had one more tour to do for the day.   We walked about a mile.  I had NEVER really walked around a city before, besides Chicago once.  Glad I had someone with me!  I know it’s stereotypical, but I would have been very nervous walking around by myself.  Cut me some slack though – remember, I’m a scardy cat.









Cool art work.




We arrived at the Byers-Evans House a few minutes before the last tour was starting.  They have a nice little gift shop that you can browse (or buy items).  What’s pretty neat is that the Evans part of the house is where we live – named after the owners father.  If you saw my previous post about the capitol, you may remember seeing a stained glass image of him.


Another AMAZING coincidence is that someone in the tour group was from the town where I grew up – in Illinois!  She went to my high school, but was several years younger.


The house was built in 1883 by the Byers.  One of Evans daughters lived in the house until her death in 1981.
























Interesting mirrors on the closet doors.













It’s funny that the images show up in a photograph, but in the actual room it was so dark you couldn’t see them – no flash!  My phone rocks!



I think this is pure copper. You’ll have to go on the tour to have it confirmed!




Old greeting cards.






It was the end of the tour, and I didn’t have time for the room to clear.  I wanted to make sure we had time to walk back to the car and drive back home before dark.



This was a fantastic tour!  Well worth the $ which was maybe $6.00 as of this post.

Mom is still in town (which was in October), so there will be a few more excursions before this series is over.

Denver – Part I: Colorado State Capitol

This is a Part I, and believe it or not, Mom is still “here” (Well, after my hike at Monarch Lake, we returned home and she was still in town – that was October.).  We had several more outings before she returned home towards the end of October.

The day after we returned from our 3-day getaway, we had a big family picnic at Gateway Natural Area.  Bushed was not the word for it!  I’d been gone from home for 5 days in all!

A couple days later I was trying to figure out where to take mom.  I decided on Denver.  I’d never been to the Colorado State Capitol, so we planned our day around that.

If you ever go, street parking is only an hour.  If you plan on going on the tour like we did, you will be SOL.  The man at the information desk recommended that I park across the street in a day parking lot.  He let me go out a back door and I ran to move my vehicle.  No pressure – the tour was starting in 10 minutes!  I grabbed my camera bag and approached the first pay box that I came to.  It was out-of-order.  Thankfully the second one worked!  Shortness of breath and all, I ran back to the building and had to go through security again.  I got back exactly when the tour was starting!

I went to grab my camera out of my bag.  Guess what?  I had my long lens with me!  I never got a chance to put my cameras into their “normal” bags after our 3-day trip. Camera photos it was!  The Samsung Galaxy Note 4 has excellent resolution!



The free tour was two hours long.  It was well worth it.


Downstairs in the basement where we used the restrooms.






They actually depleted the supply of all of the Colorado Rose Onyx when constructing the Capitol.






General Assembly Room?



My husband and my brother used to refinish metal. It’s a hard job!

The House and the Senate were both getting restored, so we were unable to go inside.


House of Representatives


Taken from the anterior of the Senate Chambers.


Taken from an interior stairwell.



We’re heading to the dome!




We got to step outside to check out the view from up above.



Grass/greenery on the roof?




The Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception



Our guide, who just happened to be the Sergeant-At-Arms for the House of Representatives.



I live in the town of Evans. Our town was named after this man. After lunch, we ended up going to tour his sons house.



This is the only place that we were not allowed to go – UP – to the very top exterior.

After the tour, we decided to walk around downtown to find a place to eat and to decide on another place to tour.  Stay tuned for Part II

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