Missing the Ranch and Keeping My Spirits Up

It’s really weird to have not been at the ranch the entire month of November, especially since that’s usually a great month to be there (good weather, frisky pets, lots of time for walking). It didn’t help at all that I spent a good bit of time wandering around the area on Google Maps trying to figure out where those two people drowned. I think I got it located a bit further away from our property than I’d feared, but still adjacent. It makes me so sad.

In happier news, my one orchid that didn’t succumb to some evil scale has rewarded us with many blossoms.

I listened to a news report that said the victims had fallen out of their boat and got caught up in pond weeds. That’s exactly what I had feared. Even if you can swim, that stuff can get you. One guy had a young family and one was just 22, so young. They’re having a football game to raise money for their families. Traion Smith was just an amazing athlete in high school, and a nice young man. The news report showed the former Cameron coach breaking into tears at the thought of losing him. Life sure has its twists and turns.

Anyway, I ended up looking at what great quality the Google Maps images of our property are. I really liked how you could see each cow and all the cattle paths in the bottom pasture next to our house.

All the cows are at upper right, and you can see where they walk. The image can even get closer in! That’s Walker’s Creek and one of the streams that meets up with it.

I was disappointed that I could not see Apache or Fiona, nor the chickens. I guess the photo was taken just before we got the chicken house. So, you’re spared those images.

Sunset looking out by neighbor Ruth’s house. I love how the oak leaves are shining.

While I do miss the ranch (and its occupants, including my poor lonely quarantined husband!), I’m enjoying some time in Austin. We got to take a walk with our neighbor, Ruth, who regaled us with tales of trying to buy groceries at the H-E-B (we went a bit later ’cause I had to fill my prescription, and it wasn’t so bad). She went to the Randall’s store full of “old people” and it wasn’t crowded. That store is always full of old people! And, if you don’t live in Texas, we realize H-E-B is a weird name, but since it’s named after Mr. Butts, you can understand the choice.

Roses in my flower arrangement. They help me feel better.

And since I’m in Austin, we can have my son’s little family unit to eat out on the deck, to minimize germs and all, like we keep being told to do. It will be very small, but good.

Giant mum about to explode. This arrangement had such great autumn colors.

We will get through these challenging times. Sometimes it’s easier than other times, but I feel like all this practice of empathy, compassion, and forgiveness that’s come out of the pandemic, the election, and the personal issues of those around me will benefit me the rest of my life.

I don’t know what this flower is, but I love the way only part of it is in focus.

I hope you enjoy the photos of the flowers I got at the store and our sunset. I saw no sunsets in Utah, because the mountains were to the west. That’s okay, mountains are pretty, too. Share what’s keeping you happy and in the moment, if you want to!

A Close Call after a Close Call

This morning, they announced the winner if the US Presidential election. You probably heard that. It was a close call, for sure.

Anita and I had already planned to go shopping before it snowed. We made a pact to keep our mouths shut and not act all jovial. Half the people are sad and half are happy, after all.

But the second we got into our Uber car the guy started talking about feeling hopeful, so we had to tell him. Then his friends called him. Everyone was so happy. I honestly haven’t seen groups of happy people in so long…

A little rain didn’t dampen our spirits, just our jackets.

So, we went to have lunch at a nice brew pub. I went to scan the online menu, and uh oh. My phone was not there. Shoot. It’s my lifeline.

The server came up to take our order, and we asked for some time so I could look for my phone. It wasn’t in the store we went to before. The only other possibility was the Uber car. I got all worried, as one would.

Nuria! Also the shirt refers to a beer.

Rather than go fetch water, Nuria stayed and helped me try to find my phone using my watch and Anita’s phone. It was so frustrating to try to log onto Uber using another phone. I kept getting things sent to my phone, which didn’t help.

I’m sure Nuria spent 20 minutes to a half hour helping me. And she was so patient, kind, and funny. Eventually we called my phone from Anita’s and the Uber driver picked it up. Hooray for Adam the Uber guy! He quickly brought my phone back and we all elbow bumped. That was another close call, for sure! Whew.

Statue near the public restrooms.

The rest of the day was so much fun. We visited fun stores, got a couple of Christmas gifts, and interacted with some wonderful store clerks. In one place, we had a great discussion, followed by some subdued jumping up and down. The women were so happy to share their relief.

Happy scenery.

The same happened at a couple other places. And we found a new hemp store full of such cute women it almost seemed impossible. More crying and laughing happened there, and we had a good talk about hemp. We all shared how much less pain and anxiety we have (it’s true). I ended up with sore cheeks from smiling.

Anita is exhausted from fun.

That’s rare. Smiling and less stress. Now, we all know the same problems we had before are still here. But maybe people will be kind, civil, and caring with each other. I hope all of our interests will be heard and count. Everyone.

Venturing into Town

If you’re reading this, it means we’re both still alive and kicking! Woo hoo! After a night of little sleep, I woke up feeling pretty good. And I worked really hard, other than a half-hour walk in which I found the liquor store.

You will be relieved to know I have not gone through the wine and Gentleman Jack I bought for the condo. I’m quite proud of my moderation, though I have been drinking alone, all by myself.

After work I took the hotel shuttle into the actual town of Park City (I am in Canyon Village or something like that). I visited the quaint and pricey Main Street district, thanks to the resort shuttle. I was relieved to see very few shoppers, but enough to keep the stores open.

Quaint.

I found more fur coats, dreamy sheepskin coats, and down coats over two thousand dollars. While I need a coat, I don’t need those. In fact, one store was so fancy I felt like a fraud looking there. There were some incredibly well made clothes and dishes and such there. But not for me.

Really cool bar.

I liked all the art galleries, but there was one with amazing horse paintings and prints. I’ll have to share some. The same artist also had luminous depictions of trees in snow. No way I could get a print, but they do have postcards! I can’t wait to show Anita.

New stuff trying to look quaint.

I did get a new coat at Athleta, on sale. It has a rose print. It was less than $200 and uses recycled material. It will keep me as warm as one of the amazing fancy coats.

The jacket matches my rose-theme clothes. Hopefully this will last years!

I wandered more and more, and found a small candle, which was my goal other than a coat. I do like candles. But then, I wandered into one of the actually old shops, one with nice clothes but not stiff for the mega-rich Park City folks. I tried to just look, but love at first sight occurred.

My beloved cardigan.

I initially was drawn to the pattern. Then I saw the trim on the zipper. Next I found out it’s cotton, so it won’t be too hot for Texas like many jacquard knits in wool are. Then, the sales person told me it’s from a company in Serbia. Sure enough, even made there!

Not made in a sweatshop!

So I tried it on and boom, I realized the inside is as pretty as the outside. That means if I hang it on my chair, the inside that shows will look good. Sold.

Pretty inside!

My little shopping trip was fun and cheered me up. But, I better stick to hiking from now on, or at least until I have a shopping companion. Nature is FREE!

Mr. Moose says have a peaceful evening.

Shopping Spree

One of the reasons I had so much fun yesterday is that I got to order a lot of the things for my new office. I also got a lot of news about the renovation, so that made my day fun to get through.

I believe we are getting the one at top center. Kathleen wanted it to be very rustic. This is easy to install and waterproof, too.

The renovation team has decided that the floors in my future office are not salvageable. I am not surprised. This room seems to have gotten the most abuse during the years, and the floors looked practically worn through in some areas. Others had been badly repaired. So, I reluctantly agreed to have the same vinyl planks put in there that Kathleen will have in her office. I’ll cover it up with the giant and inexpensive rug I bought (that I can’t find a picture of, so it will be a surprise).

But, that’s okay, because when I look up I will see this symphony of rustic beauty! It is nice and big, which I need for the size of the room and its ceiling height, and it was not too costly (but not “cheap” – just right). You may have noticed it does not have one bit of bling on it.

A most beautiful, yet rustic, light fixture. With many bulbs.
Bling.

Don’t worry! I found a place to buy chandelier crystals online, and they weren’t too expensive. Eighteen of those will be coming in the mail very soon, and I’ll just add them to the lamp. I’m creative. I will also order some replacements for ones that got knocked off my very similar chandelier at the ranch. I must know what I like.

It just screams “Suna,” doesn’t it!

Now, we certainly don’t want my office to be boring, with all that brick and wood, right? Of course not! So, I have selected extra shiny tile to go under my fake woodstove and on the floor in the tiny bathroom. I will smile at it every single day, and it fits my office decor colors of red, orange, and pink. You know, because those are my favorite hair colors…

Shiny!

AND we were told that we could not repair the ceiling in the entry hallway of the Pope Residence, because it would look too patchy (thanks, dumb stairway). So, we’re going to put up a lovely copper-colored metal ceiling in there. We will put it in the bathrooms, too, since they don’t have the cool wood ceilings that are in the rest of the house.

I have to admit, making these selections is why I loved my real estate redevelopment work so much. I’m glad to have another opportunity to select quality materials that will enhance a beautiful building.

Mother Nature Had the Sniffles

Yesterday’s big plans got thwarted, because it kept threatening to rain all day. Mostly it just drizzled, which made me think Nature has the same thing so many of my friends have that makes them all sniffly. It never rained hard until the evening, when we were sitting in the hot tub talking to random fellow guests.

What this meant is that we had to cancel our boat outing around the Pinkney Island preserve. But, we talked to Scott the Boat Guy, and are going to try to do it later this morning. It appears dry outside.

All the moisture makes decay happen quickly and beautifully.

We did manage a quick outing to the Audubon Preserve, where last year I saw a zillion birds, but had no binoculars. This year, yes to binoculars, but no to birds.

The pond was beautiful, even in the drizzle.

I really do appreciate the efforts the group has made to label so many of the plants. They have a very nice brochure that talks about all the different mini-ecosystems in the park and what grows there. It’s also where I learned about the original topography of the area, with high ups and downs of boggy spaces and higher land with trees. It’s not like that where all the houses are now.

This pitcher plant was hiding behind its label.
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