A busy day

We were up by 6:15 and out the door of our hotel by 8:20. Ten minutes later we were in the mall exchanging a few items and getting Dixie’s watch sized. A few hours after that we were at lunch with her at a 50’s style diner which turned out not to be very good. In any case, we had a nice visit.

Then around 1, we headed for home. It was 17 degrees when we left Denver and 40 at home in Vail! We dropped the boys in town to meet up with Warner and then headed home to unload all the stuff by ourselves. Once I had everything inside, I was off to get Mojo.

By 4 pm  I was helping Lori put things away and then we hit the tree. 90 minutes later, we had “de-Christmased” the house as we always do on the 26th. We like to get a jump on the New Year, plus with both of us working, we need to get things cleaned up as soon as possible. It’s sort of our tradition to put things away the day after.

Finally around 7 after 4 or 5 loads of laundry, we sat down to watch a movie. At 9:30 I headed into town to get the boys who had went to the new Star Wars movie after ice skating and hanging out in town. This morning Lori and I are headed to the gym and back on our program after 36 hours of eating whatever we wanted.

Lori will then work half a day and so will I before heading back down to Denver to have dinner with Dixie who leaves tomorrow. After much discussion, it looks like she’ll stay in California at least for the time being. The altitude here is not good for her plus she has a better support system there. We’ll see what happens.

It’s 6:05 now so time to get ready for the gym. We’re with our trainer this morning who is pretty tough. Both boys undoubtedly will be sleeping when we get home a bit after 8. Hope everyone had a great Christmas and that you received all that you hoped for. Tom and Ali probably still have presents to open. That’s how they roll, ha.

Take care, have a great day and get ready for 2018, God Bless!

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The day after

Yesterday we were up early and on our way by 10 am. By noon we picked up Grandma and headed to Tom and Ali’s. Soon after we arrived Shelly made it and then their friend John. For the next few hours we did our best to have a family Christmas that for the first time, was not at Moms. In the end I gave Tommy a hug and told him Mom would have been proud. We all had fun opening presents, laughing, and hanging out together. Still though, of course, it just wasn’t the same. I remembered though, as Mom always said, you do what you have to do, and so we did.

Lori, Grandma, the boys and I left about 4:30 and headed for the Marriott in Cherry Creek. I booked a couple of rooms so we could spend the night. We made it down by about 5 and checked in and then went to dinner downstairs. The food was so so but we visited and then Lori and I took Dixie back to Greg and Jae’s.

By 8 pm we were back in our room and soon after in bed. The boys were tired and we ordered them some more food and left them on their own.

We woke at 6 and headed up to the Concierge Floor (I’m a Gold Marriott guy, ha) for some coffee and breakfast. The stores open at 8 so we’ll head over across the street to the mall and exchange a few things. Then we’ll go see Grandma before heading up the hill.

It was a nice Christmas although sad with Mom gone. There’s nothing that can replace Mom, so I/m trying to just have her “live on” in spirit and in my memory. It must have been a dozen times yesterday I thought of her. Somebody would say something or sit a certain way or a song would come on the radio, that would make me think of her. We all miss her so much and wish she was here but of course she’s not. I’m sure it’ll take time but life will never be the same. The one thing I’ve come to realize is how precious life is and how one absolutely must take the time to cherish each day, spend time with family, don’t sweat the small stuff and tell those you love, that you love them. Not much else matters.

Have a great day, rest up for New Years, and remember, my birthday is on the 29th, ha. God Bless and we love you all.

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Merry Christmas!

It’s here! Christmas morning! Lori is up and showered while Jag and I are sitting by the tree watching the movie the Christmas Story. Lori just went upstairs to get Ty. We have lots of snow outside but should be fine to get down in a few hours. The boys are anxious to get into the plethora of presents that have surrounded our tree. Now in our defense, many were brought by Santa Claus!

Last night we had our annual Christmas Eve dinner at our favorite French restaurant, Vintage. We ate too much and spent the hour following moaning and groaning due to our indulgence. We know the sommelier who makes sure we are always well taken care of. We went early and were done by 7 and then dropped some wine and presents at our friends hotel as they were arriving later that evening from Washington D.C. They used to live here (remember Warner and Harmond) and are here for the holidays.

Finally a little after 9, Lori and I went to bed. The boys were up until about midnight hanging out together. It’s snowing and blowing out but we’ll hit the road in a few hours after the sun comes up. Right now the tunnel is closed but it should open after the plows get to it. We plan to get to Grandma by about 11:30 and Tom and Ali’s by 1. We’re packing a bag in case we can’t get back up!

So, Merry Christmas, we wish you all health, happiness and joy on this holy day. It’s a day of celebration but also one of sadness as Mom is not here to celebrate with us. We all miss her so much and she always told me that the holidays are the toughest to get through when a loved one is gone. Of course, as usual, she was right, ha. I wonder what Christmas is like in heaven, I’m sure it’s glorious with everything just perfect. Well, I know she’s watching us all and with each of us in spirit.

May God Bless you and your family and may you have a Merry Christmas. We wish we could be together with all of you and love you all very much! Remember, Believe!


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Christmas Eve

Well, it’s here, Christmas Eve, a holy day in its own right. Today is like pre-game for Christmas. Time to make sure the stockings are hung “with care” (ha ha) and that all the presents are wrapped and under the tree and that you have all the things you need for your evening and morning feasts. We of course are headed down to Denver tomorrow to celebrate with Grandma Dix, Shelly, Tom and Ali. Listening to the news, we could run in to a little weather as we’re supposed to get upwards of 16 inches of snow tomorrow and they’re already warning up here that the pass could be closed. We’re exploring options including going down today and checking into a hotel but that’s not cheap or very practical. I think we’re just going to get up super early and take our chances.

It’s cold up here this morning with temperatures well below zero. The sky is blue and the sun is out and it appears to be the calm before the storm. We’re planning on going to church this afternoon at 2 but that could change if we need to leave today. In any case, we don’t think we’ll get back up tomorrow and could be in Denver until Tuesday. Church is out in a huge heated tent at 4 Eagles Ranch between Wolcott and Steamboat and is known as Cowboy Christmas. Hundreds of people show up and there’s a great cowboy band playing Christmas carols and Pastor Tommy gives a great sermon that fits the season. Robi and Robert would love it as they’re sort of honorary Colorado cowboys, ha.

Thankfully my truck has a block engine heater that’s plugged in to keep it warm. Lori’s poor car though is probably frozen. Tom and Ali gave us some windshield covers a couple years ago which are one of the best presents I ever received. They’re basically windshield blankets and are on both cars now and every time I expect snow. It sure helps when we get a bunch of snow.

We have a lot of cleaning to do and want to hit the gym so time to get moving. Hope everyone is prepared. Don’t know about you all but in our house, We Believe!

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and God Bless.

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Still busy

Today we still have a lot to do. Yesterday after spending the whole day in Denver we made it home a bit after 8. Everyone was pretty tired and Lori’s back was sore from the drive. Lori and her Mom checked out a couple assisted living homes, with one near Belmar that Dixie liked better than the other. She might rent a unit for a couple weeks to see what she thinks.

The snow is supposed to start up here in a couple hours and keep going well into the night. We have a lot of things to wrap today and then I’m going to speed clean the house. Lori left her antibiotics at work and we need to get them as she’s still trying to kick her cold. Before that I think we’re headed to the gym. I still can’t believe I haven’t caught her cold, knock on wood.

Both boys are enjoying no school. They bought Mom a really nice present yesterday with a little help from me. They both agreed to do some work around here to help make up the difference in the cost from what they had. Mojo is in doggie daycare as we didn’t want to leave him home all day yesterday or over the next few days. He actually likes it and sprints up the stairs when we drop him off. I might go get him today though and take him back tomorrow, we’ll see how our day goes.

This will be a special Christmas with Mom gone so I’m glad that Shelly is coming over and that Grandma Dixie is here. Tom and Ali called yesterday to say they invited their friend who is all alone to come over too. We don’t really know him but no one should be alone on Christmas and it’s their house so their call. We laughed as Shelly said this guy was hitting on her at Mom’s service. Should be interesting. That’s it, time to go, hope all’s well, 48 hours until Christmas morning, whoo hoo, take care and God Bless.

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Off to Denver

Today we’re all off, sort of. Lori has the day off from work and the boys are off school, yet we’re up at 5:30 to get ready to go to Denver. Today Lori and her Mom have a couple assisted living places they’re checking out while Ty has a dermatologist appointment and then both boys are getting haircuts. Mojo goes to doggie daycare at 8 this morning and then we need to drop Jag’s birth certificate and copies of Lori’s and my passport at school for his China Visa. They sprung this on us yesterday, ugh.

Last night our friend Lisa who has two little girls and lives in the middle of nowhere east of Pueblo on a cattle ranch with her husband Eddie, called to say our package arrived. The Fed Ex man left it at the door when they were all out feeding the cattle. Lisa said they always put their presents out on Christmas Eve after the kids have gone to sleep, so when they arrived home and opened the Fed Ex box of wrapped presents, the girls started jumping up and down screaming “did Santa come” How cute is that? They have zero money and are the epitome of a hard working American family that our Country was built on. They’re great people and never complain about anything, so we decided to send them all gifts that they could never afford or if they could, would never buy for themselves. Hope they like them!

Today we get a break from the snow but not the cold. Tomorrow we’re planning on going back down to Denver but if the weatherman is right, that’ll never happen. Yesterday afternoon the boys and I met up with Jag’s basketball coach to give him some wine for Christmas. We met him at Battle Mountain which is Jag’s old school for about 3 weeks earlier this year where his coach is a physics teacher. When he came out to the car to meet us he said that he and the biology teacher, who had Jag for those short three weeks, were talking about Jag for the past 20 minutes. He said that Jag reminded them both of a student from last year who went on to MIT. He said they know Jag is so smart and has this gifted way of thinking  just like the kid they both taught last year. Jag was in the car hearing this and just said thanks, but this was quite the compliment.

Both boys were playing together on some game downstairs when Lori and I fell asleep. Hope it won’t be too hard to get them up, ha. The news just said Loveland Pass is closed meaning they have 20 minute stops at the tunnel at the top of every hour so we’ll need to time it just right so we’re not sitting at 12,000 feet on the highway waiting to get through.

It’s 6:32 now and we need to leave in exactly one hour and 8 minutes so time to go. Have a great day, only a couple of days to go until Christmas! Enjoy these last 72 hours and God Bless.

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Grandma Dixie’s coming to town!

Tonight around 7 pm Grandma Dixie arrives! The snow up here is not very bad and it looks actually a little worse in the city. We’re not sure how much is on the pass but tomorrow is the one day we’re not supposed to get much snow, so traveling down to Denver should be ok. We still have shopping to do, can you believe it? We’ve sent out boxes and boxes across the Country to friends and family. This year we picked a few friends who are less fortunate than us and bought presents for them and their kids as a surprise. Hope they like their presents!

Today is Ty’s last day of school and Jag has one more final at 12:30 and then he’s done. I think he’s going to skip tomorrow so we can all head down to Denver. He’ll miss the gift exchange and the last basketball practice of the year, but that’s ok.

Lori is off tomorrow, so she (meaning me) needs to take in some wine or get some gifts today for the girls. We’re way behind as a family as you can probably tell. I do have all the shopping done for Lori and the boys though.

As I said, not much snow here, only an inch or two which is nice as it’ll take next to nothing to clean off the cars. We need to wrap a bunch of presents today and see if we can squeeze Mojo into doggie daycare for a couple of days so he’s not alone in the house all day tomorrow. Lori just came down so time to go so we can plan out the next few days. Not long until Christmas!

Hooray for the tax bill! Did you see that companies from AT&T to Comcast to Boeing and more pledged to give employees raises and bonuses and invest billions of dollars into the economy because the tax bill passed? Wonder how the dems will spin that? Even Trumps staunchest critics are being forced to admit he’s done some good things and the economy is booming due to his leadership. The dems and the media must just hate that, wow. Now I’m not a big fan of his uncontrollable tweets but if you actually look objectively at what he has accomplished in year one, it’s pretty darn amazing and good for our Country.

Time to go, have a great day and Merry Christmas and God Bless you and your loved ones. Here’s a fun fact about today in history!

On December 21, 1620, William Bradford and the Mayflower Pilgrims landed on what is now known as Plymouth Rock in Plymouth, Massachusetts.


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Here it comes

Tonight the cold and snow will arrive, so they say. Not sure how much snow we’ll get, (they say 5 to 10 inches) but I’m pretty confident we’ll see temperatures in the single digits and ultimately below zero. I have an engine block heater on my truck I didn’t know about that the dealer told me about yesterday. It’s like an extension cord I plug into an outlet to keep the engine warm, nice. After I get home from Aspen I’m making chicken soup which is always good when it’s cold out.

I had a successful meeting in Denver yesterday and was back up in time to pick up Jag at 3 from his finals. Ty stayed after school to make up a science test.

Looks like the tax bill will pass! No matter what the dems and talking heads on tv tell you, this is really great news! Starting in February we will all see less taxes (actual money!) taken out from our checks, and our overall tax bill that we file each year, will be lower too. The U.S. has the highest corporate rate in the industrial World, by far. This will not only help all Americans but also spur growth for our Country. Do not listen to the democrats who voted of course, all by party lines, as all they want to do is make sure Trump has no success. I’m so sick of this shit, excuse my language. For what it’s worth, I DID personally read all 1097 pages of the tax bill! (yes it was boring at times but I’m a pretty good speed reader) I wonder how many of these people who make these blatantly false statements to us Americans can say the same. I’d suspect not many as I don’t think (hope) if they did, they could stand up there with a straight face and say what they say. Think about it, both sides can’t be telling the truth, so I decided to read it for myself and I can tell you, the democrats are flat out lying, period. They’re “wordsmithing” by picking out pieces and using those out of context to manipulate the truth to try to tell us this is no good for us. Don’t fall for this shit. Anyhow, as they say, the proof is in the pudding so if you don’t believe me,  just wait 90 days and then we’ll see.

Lori is off to the gym. I can’t believe I didn’t catch her cold yet, knock on wood. Robi, a box of wine is on the way for Friday am delivery at your office for you to take to Auntie Dee’s. I’ll send another one next week for you or you can split this one with her.

I need to get moving as I need to take Jagger’s Visa application for China to school this morning. Ty has late start and Jag doesn’t need to show up until 12:30 but he’s going to have to go around 9 or 9:30 as we both need to be at work and are unable to take him later. His China trip is coming up fast, in like 6 weeks, wow! Ty’s last day is tomorrow while Jag has a Mandarin final today and a Coding final (computer programming) tomorrow and then is pretty much done. Jag does have basketball practice from 4:30 until 6 tonight and again on Friday from 12:30 until I think 2.

So (Mom always told me I say “so” a lot, ha) lot’s going on! We still have more shopping to do too, ugh. Have a great day and God Bless and Merry Christmas!


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Happy Birthday Tommy!

Today is my “little” brothers birthday. When we’re together, people always say, “your little brother?” as he’s taller than I am. Anyhow today is his day. Both of us, and dad, always were sort of cheated as our birthdays are all 10 days apart in December. Dad’s was the 9th, Tom’s today (the 19th) and mine is on the 29th. In any case, we wish him a great birthday. Not to get to personal, but Tom’s one of those really good guys. He’s honest, kind and cares about others and was always there for Mom and Dad, basically taking care of any need they might have had for decades. We should all be so lucky to have others say the same of us. While we’re all set in our ways and have our own lives, there’s not anything I can think of that he wouldn’t do for any of us. I’m proud to call him my brother.

Now back to the week. Jag’s two finals went pretty well, so he thinks. Today he has Algebra II/ Trig and English. These are pretty tough too but he seems at ease and prepared. He told Mom just now he didn’t sleep much. Hope they go well. All finals are in the gym at tables set up with large screens on each side of the individual desk so no one can see anyone’s work. The gym is also always cold so Jag wore a hoodie. He said he thinks they do that on purpose to help keep the kids awake.

Ty has a makeup test in science and then is pretty much done, except for one small quiz in another subject today. He’s done a good job in getting all his grades to B’s or higher. Science is currently at a C+ but after the test he plans on it raising to at least a B.

I have a meeting at the distributor at 10 this morning an appointment at 11:30 at the dermatologist and then at 12:30 to get a haircut. Then I should be headed up the hill just in time to get the boys. We need to fill out a Visa application for Jag to go to China and get it turned in. We went to get his pictures yesterday after school. It’s coming up fast as two months from yesterday, they’ll be home!

The cold weather is coming, and it’s going to be really cold, even for Colorado. In two days it’ll be at or below zero in Denver for the lows and in the teens for the highs. Up here, I think on Friday or Saturday, it’s supposed to be 15 or 20 below! Lori is supposed to go down and look at assisted living places with her Mom but they say snow is here Thursday, Friday and Saturday. It’s fine to drive in the cold but if the pass is closed, nothing you can do about that. In any case, we need the snow and are glad it’s coming. Both boys and I love the cold too, Lori, not so much, ha. I did buy her an early Christmas present at Costco yesterday, an electric blanket! She loves it and is snuggled in bed fast asleep.

Time to get moving, I did make it to Fed Ex yesterday so Robins box will arrive tomorrow and Tasha’s on Thursday. Be watching for them. We still have some shopping to do which means we’ll be one of those that will still be shopping on December 23rd. That’s it, have a great day and again, Happy Birthday Tom! God Bless you all.

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Today Jagger’s finals start. He has AP World History and Science. Hope all goes well. I have a conference call and need to continue getting in about $2 Million worth of purchase orders and also run down to Fed Ex to mail some packages. Tomorrow I’m in Denver and Wednesday in Aspen. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday and for the foreseeable future, it’s supposed to be in the single digits up here and well below zero at night. Denver will be really cold too. Looks like there will be a white Christmas. Mom would have liked that.

Tomorrow is Tom’s birthday. I think he’ll be 57. He’s so young, ha. I’m trying not to get Lori’s cold but have had a headache for the past 24 hours. She still seems pretty sick but hopefully is getting better. Ty needs to be at school early and so does Jag.

He had a nice birthday but studied all day long. Lori and I did drive down to Denver for some more shopping and we’re still not done, but are much closer. Mojo ate a blue ink pen yesterday (chewed it up), while we were gone, but thankfully ink didn’t get everywhere. After seeing the pen I though he’d have a blue mustache! He’s been chewing stuff up lately, hope he doesn’t get into our presents.

One week until Christmas. Deb Rubin emailed yesterday and her daughter Taylor is getting engaged in January and she has a single solitaire diamond Mom gave her years ago that she wants to use in her engagement ring. She asked her Mom if she thought Aunt Lois would be ok with that and Deb said of course she would. Her email said the diamond had incredible clarity, just like Mom. I know Mom would be touched and this would make her happy. Things are starting to pop up or happen that make me think of Mom. It’s natural that this happens more during the holidays but when you think of it, it’s so sad she’s not here. My only consolation is that I know she’s at peace and watching our every move from heaven. Keep that in mind people, especially Tom, Robi and Shelly, Mom is watching you, (and me), ha!

Take time to stop and think about Christmas, this year and especially in years past, and remember when you were a kid. I told Lori it’s much more fun these days to “give than get”. I guess you are old when that happens. We (Lori and I) don’t feel old but when we’re honest about it, there’s no denying we are, it’s hard to say, “old”. Life is so precious and each day should be cherished. Please don’t dwell on the negative or petty little things that in the grand scheme of things, don’t really matter. Daily I catch myself starting to make an issue out of something that doesn’t matter. At least now I recognize it and let it go. Lori is great at helping here as she seems to be pretty level headed most of the time. A dirty room or dishes, or a coat on the floor, is nothing to get upset about. Christmas is the one holiday most of us remember that we can look back on and reflect on our own childhood and pretty much see a chronology of our life through the years. Lori and I both remember most years pretty vividly and the boys, well they remember better than us. Of course they have less years to remember, ha. I told her yesterday, let’s make it a really fun week and really celebrate the spirit of Christmas as in a few days, it’ll all be gone for 2017, and never return. So, Merry Christmas (I say that to everyone, people in stores, waiters, anyone I talk to) and enjoy the season. God Bless you and Merry Christmas!

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