Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Killing Time During COVID


My birthday lunch .. always love being near the water!

After arriving home towards the end of August, 2020 from our camping trip to Colorado, we wanted to remain cautious with COVID so we got busy with projects to make our house our home. One of the first things we did was added a covered patio out back. With loving the outdoors and also living in a small house, an extra living space outside really makes a difference!

Adding a covered patio was no easy task! Ken and I rented a sod cutter to remove grass from where the patio was going to be located, then we had a load of clay/sand mix delivered to our house to spread around. Ken wasn't home when the load was delivered, and my heart sank when the dump truck left a huge load with large chunks of clay & sticks .. that didn't look right. Ken confirmed my fears, but whatcha gonna do with a large pile of clay/sand mix? So, after about 10 long & hot days of sifting through the mix and moving it with a wheelbarrow, we finally got rid of the pile. I really wish I would have taken a picture of the pile .. it was huge. I love exercise, and I sure got it! 

We then had a form built and hired some concrete guys to finish the slab.

If you notice in the picture above, there's sod all around the slab. We had a pile of sod that we wanted to reuse, so we kept it watered then placed it around the slab to fill in the area. Those pieces of sod were heavy .. more exercise! Once the slab cured, we hired someone to add the aluminum patio cover. We had enough with moving sod and dirt! By this time, we were already in November and planning to spend Thanksgiving at home due to COVID. As luck would have it, the patio cover was installed the day before Thanksgiving. The cover instantly gave the feel of an outdoor living area, and Ken spent Thanksgiving working off a big turkey meal by installing a ceiling fan. A fan is a must in Southern Louisiana! Although Thanksgiving was unusual, our new patio made it pretty good. We hung out there all evening while "Facetiming" our kids on the computer. You'll also see that I started a flower bed along our garage. I love working in the yard!

Once the patio project was complete, Ken started building shelves next to our fireplace in our den. He's so talented in construction, and he did an awesome job! He spent a lot of time sanding and staining the shelves, which were complete just in time for Christmas. I couldn't have asked for a better gift from Ken! We built this house about four years earlier, knowing that someday it would be our home. It was a lotta fun buying furniture & decorating our house. It now feels like it's home, and I love our tiny space.

With Christmas on our heels, we made a few videos for our grandson during the holidays since we couldn't visit him. One of the videos was us making chocolate chip cookies, and another was us making fudge. These two desserts are a Christmas tradition, so it was fun making the videos and showing our grandson us making them & packaging them to put in the mail. He loved the videos and it meant something to him when he received his care package from us. We made the best of things, and technology made it enjoyable instead of heartbreaking.

We also enjoyed our new outdoor patio while spending so much time at home. With some music, an outdoor rug, patio furniture, LED lights (with clips) and a firepit that doubles as a table we could spend hours out there!

Before we knew it, the year was over and it had been six months since we sold Nirvana. While we missed the water & COVID sucked, we'd been so busy that we really couldn't complain. It helped that we could decorate our house with new stuff and also enjoy the perks of hot water, a shower, a spacious kitchen with a dishwasher .. I could go on.

We were happy to ring in the new year, and say good riddance to COVID. Ignorance is bliss isn't it?! As we all know, it's now August 2021 and the virus is still going strong. But, we feel lucky that we haven't lost any loved ones and that we're now vaccinated. After getting vaccinated in April, we headed to Colorado again. But, that's for another time.

Hasta luego .. until then. Mid-Life Cruising!

Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Distracted in Colorado!

Priceless times with our grandson in Colorado!

After camping on our road trip to Colorado, we made it to our daughter's home in Fort Collins. Our daughter was due to have her second child any day, so she decided we should all go for a hike in hopes it would bring her baby girl sooner. I LOVE hiking, so that sounded like a great idea. Just minutes from their house we found great hiking. Even our 2 1/2 year old grandson loved it!

It's hard to tell in the photo, but our daughter was definitely ready to have her baby!

The next day we figured we'd give our daughter & son-in-law a break and take our grandson to a nearby town for a ride on an old steam train. He is obsessed with trains and he was so excited .. we were too. He even had a special train outfit for the day! 

We had a blast on the train, and little did we know that it would be the last day for the "family of three". By the time we got back from the train ride, the kids were already headed to the hospital. We didn't tell our grandson that he was about to have a baby sister. We wanted his parents to be able to surprise him, and we didn't know how long they'd be. The next night, we put our grandson to bed, and the proud parents arrived home later that night with their perfectly healthy little baby girl! When the baby cried early that morning, our grandson perked up & ran into his parent's bedroom ... so cute! He was introduced to his baby sister, and he immediately became a very sweet & loving big brother. We already had forgotten how tiny these little treasures are when first born. Ken & I were nervous holding her at first, but we finally got comfortable with such a tiny, precious lil person!

To give the new parents some quiet, we took our grandson on another hike. There are so many trails near Fort Collins, and we enjoyed every one that we chose. You really can't go wrong! The first picture in this post is from that hike .. I love that photo! I had to get a picture with our grandson too...

After a couple of days, our son-in-law went back to work & our daughter was ready to get out of the house. So we packed up everyone, stopped for lunch, then went on a beautiful walk in Rocky Mountain National Park. The trail was paved and perfect for a mom & newborn.

I love this picture!

So much beauty everywhere ...

After helping the kids for about two weeks, we headed back towards home. Visiting our family in Colorado was exactly what we needed. After selling the boat & being extra cautious with COVID, it was a great distraction! Since March of 2020, Ken and I hadn't been inside a restaurant or anyone's home .. not even family. We'd take turns going grocery shopping, and constantly washed our hands. When we were invited to help the kids in Colorado, we were nervous at first, and so were our kids. They didn't wanna get us sick, and we didn't want to get them sick! Even though all of us were relatively young & healthy, we all respected the virus and had been very cautious until now. But, we really wanted to help our kids and life is full of educated risks. Ken & I figured we'd been safe, were healthy, and were going to be isolated for at least a week while camping on our way to Colorado. It was so nice to kind of forget about the bad stuff for a while!

Once we got back to our house, it was time to turn it into our home. But, that's for another day.

Hasta luego .. until then. Mid-Life Cruising!

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