Search Results for: never lived alone

weekend away.

Good news! Scott and I have survived our first full week as empty nesters!   C’mon, you have to admit, it’s kind of funny that we are in our 40’s and that we have never lived alone.  Until now.

of course there’s fenway too, but I’m starting to think that she thinks I’m boring without any kids to pick on 😉


but seriously now, I saw a billboard over the summer that boasted ” Snowmass Balloon Festival”  It showed all sorts of beautiful balloons effortlessly floating amongst the back drop of Autumn tinted mountains.  When I looked up the dates, and the rates of the hotel rooms and found that it was actually affordable, we did it. we booked our first weekend away.

And it was kind of a cluster.

for starters, we had planned on getting up early, going to the DMV ( for the 4th time) to try to get CO plates for the jeeps.  So there we were, bright and early, only 30 in line.  WE got to the desk and the lady informed us that we were missing a document.

Lovely. Um, by the way, that is NOT listed on the CO website..

And for the other jeep, documentation that I had been on the phone with MA registry the week before ( after begin on hold 26 minutes) and after the MA guy ASSURED me would be accepted, would not be.

again, lovely.

We headed home and found said paperwork, dropped Fenway off at the kennel and set back to the DMV. time #5. And 50th in line.

2 hours later, we have Co plates. Scott got the basic green & white mountains and I picked the in memory of Columbine plate. I often think of those victims ( even though that was years ) before Colorado would become part of our lives, and having the plate on Zola makes me feel like I’ve done something to show that.

So a total of 8 complete hours wasted at the DMV. you can buy pot on every street corner here, but you need to hand over your firstborn for plates.  ( my first born was not injured during this ordeal 😉

perhaps you are supposed to stop and smoke the weed before going to the registry?

Of course I am joking, and also have never smoked at all, so that part doesn’t interest me.

But spending 8 hours trying to get plates? that irked me.

Especially when on visit # 5, the lady that helped us told us that the paperwork that we went home to get that lady #4 told us we needed, lady # 5 told us we didn’t.

it’s all good. history now.

buuuut, it took us so long that we got on the road late. And with all of the devistating floods that have happened around us, we had a very long drive … about 2 hours longer than it should have taken us.

By dinner we arrived in Snowmass Village, it’s just outside of Aspen. We scored a great slope side room with a balcony ( free upgrade ) and the balloons were set to set up Sat night on the slopes ( sans snow)

We checked into our room and went to dinner at the hotel. we were the only ones there. It was weird. Even the waiter joked about how it was like the Shining around there. Apparently it is their off season from the end of August- Mid November. ( thus the great rate on the room )

I was kind of bummed, because I love to people watch, and the only people were us. We actually watched

while waiting for our food ( which was fantastic, over priced, but fantastic)

We went to bed early since the first of the balloon shows was early in the am.

So up early on Saturday and this is what we saw


and of course that was followed by lots of rain. And guess who didn’t think to bring raincoats?

oops.  Since we were up and ready for the day, we drove into Aspen just to see it.


just as we had expected it was a quaint  mountain- surrounded town



I can only imagine how beautiful this must be in the winter….

We stopped for breakfast, tried to drive around to take pictures, then headed back to Snowmass, where we got coffee and sat inside looking out at the incredible rain.

After a while it let up a bit, so we walked around


this was a giant chair.. I’m not sure why I didn’t take a pic of the whole thing.


the outdoor ‘mall’ at snowmass. Again, how much fun would this be in the winter with snow? ( you can ski right into the resort and mall)

IMG_6090about his point, we both realized what we had feared, that we are incredibly boring people.

we went shopping in the mall area ( everything was on sale) but bought nothing because nothing fit me 😦

instead, we bought a deck of cards, went back to the room ( with intentions of going to the main lobby where the big fireplace was) but instead, I fell asleep.

I know, exciting, eh?

when I woke, it looked like the sun was peeking through, so we put on our hiking boots and went for a hike.  My weight loss has to start somewhere and nature calls to me.

I didn’t bring my camera or my phone, because I was convinced that The skies would open up on us. ( which they did not)

I think I saw bear poop. I mentally took note of it then looked it up when I got back. TMI? perhaps. but I was curious

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it here or not, but I have an injured leg that has developed into nerve issues. Although I have been cleared by the doctor for physical activity, certain thing just suck. Like any sort of incline at all.  So this hike, although not intense, was really hard for me. And discouraging. But it’s a start. and since this came in today



( our season ski passes.. do I ski? lol.. we will find out! )


I need to build my leg strength up starting somewhere.

After the hike ( which Scott later informed me that we had in fact barely gained any altitude ;( ) we went to the Mexican restaurant overlooking the slope for happy hour. $5 fresh juice margaritas? yes, please.

we also ordered a bunch of happy hour snacks for dinner ( making up for the over priced meal the night before) and then something cool happened


the weather cleared! ( at least where we were)  and a band set up on the slope


and one by one the balloons started to arrived and set up!



and people too!   I was finally able to people watch!

Notice everyone’s winter coats? guess what else we didn’t bring….







we went back to our room ( warmth) and listened to the band play out from our awesome free- upgraded balcony ( which made it even sweeter)

We had every intention of getting up early Sunday to go see the balloons go off again, but in the middle of the night, I got the WORST headache that I’ve had in years. It actually woke me up.

I went to take ibuprophen and guess what? it was with the rain coats and winter coats.

( how dis I managed to travel without it? oh yeah, 8 hours at the DMV)

I ended up having to put cold washcloths on my forehead, It was intense.

I’ve had 2 migranes in my life, and it’s been 20 years since I’ve has one.  This ended up going away after breakfast on it’s own, so I don’t think it was, but it was pretty darn close.

So when the alarm went off for us to go watch the launch, there was no way 😦

a few hours later when we were ready to check out, we did get these pics from our balcony


I felt badly that we didn’t go down there, but I think it;s good that we didn’t because It gave me a chance to rest my head.

( btw, this had nothing to do with the margaritas, this was a whole ‘nother beast entirely)

So we headed out through Aspen, stopping for coffee for him and tea for me, then we drove home through Independence pass, part of the ‘ top of the Rockies roadway’.

We stopped at a ghost town



the pictures do not do this justice.. the whole area was simply breathtaking

IMG_6280this is an actual archealogical site, so there was all sorts of old glass and nails around with signs that warned against touching… but pictures were ok 🙂

we slowly made our way home, and it felt nice to curl up and watch ( well, Scott watch, me try to understand) the football game.

Sorry this post was so long, I like to share things like this for our family members who are so far away, so that they feel a little closer to us 🙂


Tonight I’m headed to a quilting guild. I still haven’t met a soul here, and that is getting a little disheartening.. more on that later.

I’ve been adjusting to cooking for 2, thus the lack of food posts, but they will be back, I promise. I’ve been spending lots of time walking ( strengthening leg, entertaining Fenway) and quilting.

I’d love to show you what I’m making, but it’s for someone who is reading, so I want to surprise. As soon as it’s received, I’ll post it.

pinky promise

meanwhile, I’m sending tons of prayers to all those affected by the recent floods. The Denver Post called it a Biblical storm.  It’s just been crazy.  If this had been snow it would have been 80 inches!  So many people have lost so much. I just cannot imagine.

until next time…


creamy roasted tomato and garlic soup.. and a story


Many of you know by now, and if not, then I am here to tell ya, that later this year, when our youngest graduates from high school  Scott , Fenway and I will be re- locating to Colorado. In fact, he is already there and has been since last June.

When I went full- force  (more forceful, rather) with this blog it was because I knew that this was in our future, and I wanted to set this up to be able to share my experiences with my family and friends.  I couldn’t tell you all that back then, but I can now 😉

This will be a huge adventure for us on many different levels.

1~ we’ve never lived out of New England

2~ Our entire families are back here in Massachusetts

3~ Our children Ryan, Alison, Jason and Amanda will be in 3 separate corners of the country, with Scott Fen and I in the center.  We have always been a pretty tight family as far as families go, so this will take some adjusting.

4~ Scott and I have never lived alone! We had Jason so early in life that we were a ready -made family right from the start..

Jay and Shel wedding day Scott and jay wedding day




So we will be empty nesters at the ripe ages of 42&43 in a completely new part of the country for us!

so after knowing all of this, I have now shared it with you….  the next few months will most likely be the craziest of my life ( and TRUST me, I’ve had crazy times) but it will also be fun. I intend to MAKE it fun 🙂 And share much of our adventure ( including a cross-country drive with Fen in my jeep)


In the meantime, I have a recipe for you. I developed this by using my favorite way of cooking. Look at what I have in house and try to be creative.

Last week cherry tomatos were buy one get one free at my grocery store. When you can get free maters in the dead of winter, you take  get them.  And if you are like me you hide them, especially if you have someone ( no names) who might possibly eat that whole container at once…… And then if you are really like me, then you forget that  you hid them… and when you find them, well, they look less than desirable.

THAT is how I came up with this recipe.  ( the tomatoes weren’t rotten or anything, just starting to shrivel… feel free to use perfectly plump tomatoes in the recipe if you want to skip the dumb blonde** step of forgetting that you hid them)


creamy roasted tomato and garlic soup


2 pints of cherry tomatoes
1 head of garlic
1 large onion
1 TBSP olive oil
1/2 cup cooked cannelloni beans
2 cups low sodium chicken broth ( use veg broth to make vegetarian/ vegan)
salt, pepper. dried thyme


Preheat oven to 375.

rinse tomatoes and pat dry. pu them on a non-stick cookie sheet. Cut up onion and toss with the tomatoes.
Cut the head off of the garlic and place in a small piece of aluminum foil.

Spilt the olive oil between the garlic head and the tomato -onion mixture. Close up the top of the aluminum foil and squeeze tightly. Place garlic in in center of tomato onion- mixture and sprinkle with salt, peper and dried thyme.

Roast veggies for about 20-25 minutes. Remoce garlic from foil ( carefully, it will be hot) and squeeze all of the cloves ( now delisciously sweet) into a blender.

Add all veggies and any bits that may have accumulated on the pan.
Add the beans, and broth and blend on low for 2 minute, then increase speed to high for 2 minutes

( if you use hot broth, then make sure you take the little glass insert out of the top of the blender and cover with a kitchen towel to prevent hot splattering liquid… I used the broth cold as well as the beans and just reheated the soup once it was done)
Once soup is blended, test for seasonings and adjust salt & pepper as needed.

enjoy! I promise you you will never know that there is not any cream in it!

I served mine with a dollop of Non fat Greek Yogurt


serves 3

190 calories per serving

5 grams of fat per serving








roasted tomato and garlic soup



enjoy!  and thanks for coming along for the ride !


**dumb blonde comment…. someone is no longer blonde 😉



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