Sunday, May 05, 2013

A New Chapter for Roo and Dreams Come True

Sorry I have been such an absent blogger lately.  So much has been happening and really I should have been recording it all here...but I haven't.  So now I get to tell you the long crazy story all in one long post. Get a cup of coffee, relax and enjoy the read. :)

It all started in January when I was just coming off of a year of working so hard and feeling super fried.  I knew something had to be done to help preserve what little of my sanity was still left...but I didn't quite know what that was. Well, that's a lie.  I knew exactly what that was but was afraid to ask for it or even say it out loud.  First I would like to say I absolutely love my job.  I honestly feel it is exactly what I was put on this earth to do and it is the only thing that takes full advantage of all of the talents I have been blessed with.  For the most part it comes easy to me and I really do have fun at work.  But, it does require extremely long hours, LOTS of brain power and I have found it very easy to get completely lost in a problem at work and ignore ME for weeks at a time. Sometimes this is fun, other times it is completely draining.

As you know, I have MS. Stress is the number one trigger for me.  I decided in January as I was headed straight for another relapse that something needed to be done. I didn't wan't to have to burn out and leave my job for health reasons.  So I needed to find a balance. Well, I knew what I wanted...what my heart was yearning for...I just need to find the courage to ask for it. It seemed so wasteful, but the more I checked in and explored what would feed my soul and settle my spirit, this was it.

Thankfully, as part of my regime for treating my MS and keeping it at bay I see an acupuncture regularly   I have for years and am positive that she is the reason my MS is not worse. Of course MS is a very individualized disease and it really is all about finding that magic combination that works for you and your disease. Acupuncture is one of the tools that has worked for me.  It may not work for everyone.

But, I digress.  During one of my sessions after months of going to see her and crying...being exhausted and seeing my energy levels drop lower and lower until my body finally said enough.  She had the courage to ask the question I haven't had the courage to ask. She asked, "what is your heart asking for? What would feed you and make you feel like this was all more manageable?"  I thought for a second and said, A house in the mountains...a get a way. A sanctuary.  A place I could escape to and know that it will always be there for me to recharge, refuel and if I got to a spot I could no longer do my job....We could live there and just be.

Her response put the dream into reality and started a 6 month (and counting) adventure.  She said, so why do you find that? Start looking, try it on...feel what it would be like to OWN that sanctuary for you. If it doesn't feel right you don't have to follow through.  But, explore it for a while and see.  You never might be exactly what you need.

I just looked at her, listening.  But, I was no longer in that room. I was picturing myself in that mountain home  soaking in the sun and far away views. Listening to the birds and just being. Nothing more...nothing else. My heart sang. I was very happy.

I went home and talked to my husband about this crazy idea. To my surprise he didn't laugh, discourage me or even ask why.  He just looked at me and said, okay. Do you want me to call a Realtor?  Do you want to go look at areas this weekend?

And so our journey began..........

I won't bore you with everything that has transpired regarding our search over the last many months.  But, in hindsight I do feel like a higher power (whatever that may look like for you) has been guiding us all along the way. When I think back to the starts and stops and everything that has gone wrong. At the time it looked like this who adventure was a mistake and it wasn't meant to be.  We even gave up several times but in the end we found the absolute perfect home for us.  It has every single thing on my list and things I didn't even know I wanted.  It is in every sense of the word, my dream home.

I can tell you that when we first wanted to make an offer on an "okay" home, we were denied financing. It turned out to be a mistake, but it forced us to really look at everything and reconfirm this is exactly what we wanted.  We then found another home that was better, but when we decided to make an offer it was already under contract. We looked at probably 30 homes over the last 5 months and I seriously stalked all of the home listing sites. I was more educated on the real estate market than our Realtor was. I really think, he was a little scared of me. ;o) It's okay, I'm used to it. When I decide I want something, I dedicate 100% of my time to it.

The day we found *THE* home....

When I look back to the events of this day, I can't help but think this home was meant to be our home. It was a really, really bad day.  I was really starting to feel like we would never find that perfect home for us. I even told my husband that maybe we should just buy land and build our own house. OUR home wasn't out there. See, I had VERY specific things I was looking for and one of the most important was it had to be a certain price point so we could easily pay it off in 10 to 15 years (hopefully less) so we could retire here...or worst case scenario we could escape there and not worry about having to pay a mortgage. In our price range, there was really hardly anything "livable" on the market. Which was fine, we were comfortable with a fixer upper or a foreclosure.  But, even looking at those none felt right.  We had decided to give up.  But, there was a pit in my stomach, it didn't feel right. So I asked my husband if we could go up and look at one more listing that had just showed up. It was a long shot, but you never know.  On the way, we decided to call our Realtor and let him know we were taking a break and were pretty confident that we weren't going to find what we were looking for and would start looking for land to build on.

We looked at the new listing and just like so many before it, it was no private and was on easily accessible. it was clearly not right for us. For some reason (and I've never done this before) I decided to check the listing again from my phone on our way back and saw "THE" home.  I said to my husband, one just showed up.  It looks really cute. Can we just drive by it? It's pretty cute. It's a long shot.  But since we're here.....

He being one of the most patient men I know. Said, "Sure.....since we're here.  What's the address"

We drove by it and we both said, "wow" at the same time. It literally took everything I had not to jump out of the truck and beg the current occupants to let me in to look at it right then. But, I showed some self control and called our Realtor instead. :o)  He was happy to hear from us and I asked if we could schedule a showing of this home.  I remember I told him on the phone, I really think this might be it.

2 days later we had an appointment to see it up close and inside. I was so convinced at we were going to be making an offer right after seeing the inside I even wrote a letter to the homeowners asking that they please accept our offer. I realize this is a bit psycho...but it worked. When we went to look at the house there was someone already there looking at it with us.  Plus, the listing agent said that they had 6 showings that day.  We submitted our offer at 11 AM and by the time they accepted our offer they already had three offers on the home. But, they accepted our and they said it was for the most part because the the below letter I wrote to them:

Dear Current Caretakers of Haus Edelweiss, 

My husband and I have been looking for just the perfect home in the mountains and surrounding areas for over 8 months.  We have visited often and absolutely fell in love with the area.  We plan to retire to this area in about 20 years but would like to get a head start now. Since we plan to own, cherish and live in this home for many years we have been VERY picky.  

Friday afternoon we decided to take a drive to the mountains and just happened to see your listing.  We drove by the house and immediately fell in love. The house is exactly what we were looking for without even knowing.  We LOVED the hand painted flowers and were transported back to our cherished vacation in the Austrian Alps last year.  My husband, myself and his parents were lucky enough to travel the Alps last year for a vacation of a lifetime.  There isn't a month that goes by that we don't reminisce about that trip, it was truly life changing.  So many amazing people, sights and of course architecture.  We never in a million years would have thought we could own a home here in CO that would take us back to that special time, every time we came home. 

I tell you all of this to ask you to please consider our offer and to know that we will promise to cherish and love your home just as much as you have over the years, if we are lucky enough. 

Thank you for your time and consideration. 

The hopeful future caretakers of Haus Edelweiss

So a little bit more about this house.  It was built in 1965 and had been lovingly updated over the years.   The original occupants are from Austria and it has been updated with hand painted shutters, eaves and doors. There is an Austrian blessing engraved above the door and of course there are hand painted flowers, ivy and hearts all over the home.  When the home inspector was looking over the home he came in and looked at us and said, "this is a really nice home.  A LOT of love has really been put into this home"  To be honest the home exudes love. Plus, it has a huge wrap around porch with views a far as you can see. It really is stunning. Tons of tongue and groove wood ceilings, floors and wainscoting.  Every corner of this home is beautiful and lovingly maintained. I feel  like we are no only blessed but so lucky to have found it and hopefully once we close own and occupy it. Below is the view from the porch.

Monday, April 01, 2013

A planter for my Bike! Found on Etsy

If you've been reading this blog for a while then you know that I LOVE flowers.  I really do.  All things floral.  I also love bikes.  I even went so far as to buy a bike with flower painted all over it. To some, it is horrid  to me pure loveliness.   Tonight as I was perusing Etsy (as I do most's the best place to window shop, seriously and get great ideas for art projects). I stumbled upon this amazing bike planter.  This artist is amazing, what a fabulous idea!!

The Seller's Etsy store can be found here!
What a brilliant and fun idea!! I just might have to get one for my bike!! Since, really....all of my bikes should have flowers on them...on just that one special one.

Oh, and if you're looking for more lovely Etsy finds, you can check them out here: Something for Everyone! Etsy celebrates spring!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Winter Park Adventure!

Hello everyone! Greetings from Fraser/Winter Park, CO.  A super awesome friend of ours has been so kind as to lend his condo to us for the weekend.  Since we don't have kids and aren't really religious Easter weekend doesn't really hold any significance for us.  But, I am a holiday loving girl.  So, we HAVE to so something special on Easter weekend.  Even if it's a slow key as chillin' in the mountains for the weekend.

This is a view from our window and it's just so lovely to watch storms come in from the mountains.  The trees are so tall and thin that they always sway in the wind first before the snow comes.  I like to think they're dancing with excitement about the arrival of the snow.  I know I love to see it...I'm sure they do too. ;o)

Gunner is really enjoying watching the kids sled down the hill behind us outside.  He is also on the lookout for any wildlife that should happen to walk by.  So far he's been disappointed, but ya never know the weekend isn't over yet!

Happy Easter everyone, however you choose to celebrate this weekend!

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Went to a craft fair...and found a bike!

It's a small bike and not ride-able, but I think it's absolutely adorable!! 

Okay, so this story really starts back in November. I volunteered as a greeter and guide for the local historic home tour here in town which made money for a local bike advocacy group.  As part of the historic home tour they also had local artists displaying and selling their wares.   In the house I was volunteering at there was an artist selling adorable terrariums.  There were so many adorable ones to choose from that I suffered from a sever case of indecision.  I decided to grab her card think more about my choices and give her a call when I was ready to decide on one.    Unfortunately, I forgot about her card in my jeans and washed them....destroying the card and not having any way to get a hold of her.

Fast forward to February and I haven't been able to stop thinking about her cute terrariums and really wanting one. I even had the perfect spot picked out in my house for it.   After I broke my ankle and had lots of free time on my hands, I started to see if I could find her.  After a minor search on Facebook, I found her! I messaged her and asked if she had any terrariums for sale and told her I was still interested.  She said that she was going to be at a local craft fair on the 16th and I could come and shop for a terrarium then or she would custom make one for me, depending on what I would prefer.  I told her I would just come on the 16th and shop for terrariums with the rest of the community. :o)  She asked which one I was interested in, so she could be sure to have exactly what I wanted (which was so sweet, BTW) and I told her it was one with an arch and miniature climbing ivy. Very Victorian garden looking, and adorable.

So, today was the day.  My friend and I woke up early, grabbed some coffee and headed out to shop.  When I got to her table I saw the terrarium I thought I wanted with the arch and the ivy.  It was as beautiful as I remembered.  But then, I looked and saw a super cute rusted red bike laying in a garden with cute red bumpers and rusty front basket.  Laying there like someone had loved it, and layed it down to explore. I immediately fell in love.  She didn't even know my love for all things cycling and yet I felt like she made this terrarium with me in mind (which is silly) but it was just so perfect.

I thanked her profusely and with a HUGE smile on my face I headed for home with my brand new bike in it's own perfect garden.

**If you're in Colorado and are looking for a terrarium, let me know and I will put you touch with her. She doesn't have a website or Etsy site yet...but when she does I will be sure to update this post with her contact info. :o)

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Sugar is My Enemy.....Seriously.

Hello Everyone,

So a change of pace.  My ankle is doing great and healing quite nicely.  So back to our regularly scheduled program. Whatever that is. :o)  I guess whatever is occupying my mind at the moment...which is sugar.

Let me explain, I'll try to keep it I think I mentioned in a previous post that my waistline has gotten a little out of control since I've been "taking a break" from cycling and working way too much over the last year. Which is why I was really looking forward to getting back on the bike and getting in shape.  See, not only is cycling great for my spirit, it does amazing things for my waistline and desire to not eat crap!

But, since my gracefulness  (or lack there of) has gotten in the way of that plan. I decided to lay around, eat more and worse and mope for a while, generally feeling sorry for myself.  But, after I got that out of my system I decided that there is something I can do to get in better cycling condition.  I was thinking if only I could do something to lose weight and get some of this poor poor pitiful me weight off, then when I was able to get back onto the bike I could get up to speed much faster (ha, pun intended).  To start I decided to look at how I felt after I ate certain foods.  refined sugar and starches were definitely the worst.  I have known this for a while, but have gotten pretty great at ignoring it. Until now.

So I made a promise to myself.  Cut out sugar and starches for a while and see how I felt. Not to mention I was bound to benefit from some weight loss as well. Win, Win! It was hard at first, I mean I did manage to cut out all of my most favorite foods in one quick decision, chocolate, candy, cake...and anything else confectionery along with pasta, bread, rice...and did I mention bread? Yep! Crazy right? Yeah, I excel at crazy. :o)

Oh, I wanted to add that I am allowing myself to eat fruits and veggies that contain sugar.  I am trying to stay away from white potatoes for now, but fruit will help me to still get that sweetness but in an all natural sort of way, instead of the processed way. :o) Plus, the sugar in fruit doesn't have the same negative effect on me.  So I figured it was okay and good.

It is now a week later since I've had my last piece of over processed food (I remember it well, it was the last milk chocolate truffle Valentines Day candy from my husband) and I have to say, I feel pretty good.  Granted, I have had moments of weakness where I daydreamed about selling my puppy for a piece of bread, but that moment has passed. :o) I still own a puppy and have not given into the bread craving.  As time goes on it has gotten easier and I do feel much better.  More emotionally and physically balanced.  Really, just happier.  I fell so much more in control.  It's weird, I know.

I truly believe sugar is a drug for me, just as addictive as alcohol or narcotics to someone else. It is just as unhealthy for me as well.  While I crave it and think it is what I "need" it does not do anything for me and only make me want more. which starts a cycle of frustration and negative self talk about my complete lack of willpower and overall worth.

So, I am deciding to be strong, give it a month and see how I feel take good notes on what is going on inside me and more importantly how my body reacts to the complete lack of sugar. So far so good.  I will keep checking in to let you know how it's going.  Hopefully I will keep reporting positive things, but I also know it's unrealistic to think I won't ever slip up.  Fall off the wagon so to speak.  But, the important thing is to make sure I'm being honest with myself and make sure I continue to do what is best for me.

Which I think I least for now. :o)

Sunday, March 03, 2013

An Ankle Update

Hello Lovely Blogosphere!

I hope you are enjoying this lovely Sunday and getting to do at least one thing that you love or feeds your soul in preparation for the week ahead.  Did you know it's only 17 days until spring? I can feel it. Can you? I'm looking forward to the smell of fresh cut grass and my the fragrant smell of my trusty Lilacs letting me know that Spring has arrived. I can't wait!

So a quick update on the broken Fibula.  I went to another surgeon last week for a second opinion.  To be honest I really did not like the first surgeons more than brisk bedside manor and (my perceived) lack of care for my well being.   The second surgeon was MUCH better.  So, even though the conclusion and diagnosis were just about the same.  I feel better. I am happy to report that the second surgeon did a stress test on my ankle (gravity did all of the work and it was not painful) basically he let my ankle rest at the end of a block allow it to drop off the end.  He then took and x-ray and reviewed the x-ray for distance between each bone in my ankle.  There was a slight distance (indicating a severe sprain) but not a huge distance (which would indicate a torn ligament).  He said he was actually surprised about the results because typically with my type of break, it is usually cause by the Tibia ligament (I can't remember the exact name) tearing and causing the fibula to break as a result.

But, I am lucky.  He said there is no evidence of any further damage than a broken bone and the break is extremely stable.  He expects me to be off of crutches in 4 weeks and be completely healed in 6.  He actually said if I wanted I could put weight on it now if I could stand the pain and wouldn't risk doing any further damage. Wow! So of course my next question was, so when I can ride.

He said, well you could strap a clip on your boot now and ride if you wanted.  (think he started to regret saying that...seeing that I lit up and completely took him seriously and started to strategize with him).  He then said, wait, wait.  Slow down. Why don't we work on getting you walking first before you dust off your trainer or worse yet, head outside with on a bike with a broken ankle.  I said, but! I could just be really careful.  I'll only ride inside.  He said again, let's work on getting you walking first and go from there. Okay, so I must walk before I can ride.

But, really in all seriousness I am so happy that 1. I will not need surgery and 2. I will be able to salvage some of this riding season, even if it is for smaller rides and not the century's I wanted.

There's always next year....right?

Last but not least, I had debated on putting these on here...but I think it's an interesting history of what my ankle has done in the last couple of weeks. If you are at all sqeamish (don't want to look at a bruised leg...I suggest you not scroll down).  Me personally  I think things like this are cool...but I will be the first to admit I am weird. :o)  The main reason I thought there was ligament damage is because of all of the bruising on the opposite or good side of my ankle.  Plus, the swelling has been almost as bad as the broken side.  But, the doctors have assured me that even with a bad sprain, an ankle can look like this:

Below is a photo journey of my broken foot (intro courtesy of Dr. Seuss):

Here is a picture of my fancy footwear for the next couple of weeks:

This was my ankle hours after I broke it in the emergency room, mostly swollen the bruising hadn't shown up yet:

These next pictures were taken about a week after I broke it.  The bruising had definitely shown up and my poor foot was starting to show what it's been through this past week: 

This is the broken side: 

And the opposite side (good side): 

These last pictures were taken a week after the last pictures or two and a half weeks after the injury (yesterday). There seems to be even more bruising. But, some of the bruises are starting to yellow and heal, thank goodness. The swelling is still pretty  bad, but is getting better. 

This is the broken side:

And the opposite side (good side):

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Snowglobe Sunday! I am in heaven :o)

Happy Sunday everyone!

Well, the "storm" that the weather people have been saying would hit overnight and leave trace amounts of snow has turned into a full blown blizzard on track to leave a foot of snow by the times it has passed along with 30 MPH winds.  So, the town...and most of the state from Denver to Wyoming has shut down.  Yay! snowglobe Sunday.  Below are some pictures from our balcony and our dog, Gunner enjoying the snow.

Ha! The snow is almost too deep on the railing for him to look out! 

Lucky for me I have a stash of yarn I have been "meaning" to turn into a project....and today is that day.  I decided to knit a scarf for my assistant at work, who has been awesome lately picking up my slack and doing more than her fair share while I have been out of the office. She loves hot pink, so I picked this hot pink Italian silk yarn mixed with some variegated gray/black yarn.  Below is a not so great picture, but you get the idea. :o)  I have a feeling when this is over, I will have knitted scarves for the whole office, thank goodness they're very  "in" right now. :)

If you're in Colorado, please be safe today and enjoy the snow!! If you're where the sun is shining, get out and enjoy it! I am only slightly envious, but envious all the same. o)