A traveler’s notebook is a small, blank book that measures 4.25 inches wide by 8.5 inches high. They are just plain notebooks in which you can journal, bullet journal (list-making), sketch, watercolor or scrapbook. I’ve been wanting to try making a mini-scrapbook out of one for a while but couldn’t come up with a theme or topic. I’ve been leery of just diving in and using these little notebooks to replace my journals or larger scrapbooks.
Then I finally found a subject that’s the perfect size for a TN—a recap of my first
13 years in Colorado! I had a BLAST making this album and it came together VERY quickly. I might be bitten by the TN bug and now I need to figure out what my next TN project will be…
Until then, enjoy!
JC bought this house in 2004, 1 year before we met and 2 years before I moved out west to join him. It’s just the right size for us and on a corner lot with the mailboxes.
Shortly after crashing the bachelor pad, I began suggesting PAINTING. The whole house was BEIGE! And that won’t do. Room by room we changed them all. Colors were picked somewhat randomly, based off décor, room size or just because we hadn’t done that color family yet. We’re not afraid of dark—like the navy master bedroom—and making each room different and fun just like us!
The Living Room has changed a lot. New furniture, come and gone tables, and curio cabinets that the cats loved to jump on. So we did this: Our CUSTOM CATHOUSE is one of the best things we ever did! Made of Container Store elfa parts, MDF, 2×4’s and carpet remnants, it’s the girls’ sanctuary. Of course we pimped it out over time with veritical posts, framed-in beds and heated mats. Yes, spoiled. As for the “blood of our enemies” color, that took 6 days of painting: 2 coats of Pepto Bismol pink and 5 coats of red. I LOVE it but will never do that again!
Let’s be Crafty. Seriously, who needs a dining room? The dining room sat unused until I got into scrapbooking and needed a crafty space. This was the obvious room to take over because of the natural light, wood floor and earshot of the TV. Now it’s organized and very functional.
The Spare Bedroom is the room transitioned the most. First it was JC’s Japanese room, then it turned lavender as my MK office…it stunk up as our hockey gear storage and game room…until Lionbridge shut down our Boulder office and I needed an office at home. We had to repaint to a calm blue, too. When I quit my job in 2015, JC and I switched rooms so he had a WFH office with a door to close. He has since made himself at home!
The two-toned grey paint came with me from VA. The space invaders are too fun. The shelves are packed with books I’ll probably never read and souvenirs from my life. I have the huge desk set up with work and home PCs and I’m cozy surrounded by memories. Our décor is certainly not normal. It’s a mix of travel souvenirs and oddities we like with a little childhood mixed in!
From espresso to painting minis, from scrapbooking to soap-making, we have lots of random hobbies!
This was my first garden in 2011. Each year our efforts have gotten larger and more diverse and our backyard has gone through multiple arrangements of pots and plants. Flowers went deadly datura and changed to veggies. Cherry tomatoes that were soo good! Our raspberries and grape vines went viral. We also had clematis climbing up our deck, foiled blueberries, wildflowers for the bees and wasps and of course, tons of catnip. We’ve tried all of these veggies and have had pretty good success. Who knew we’d be gardeners!?
At one point we tried an outdoor greenhouse but it blew down. Now JC has a grow tent and lights in the basement for sprouting and winter! Some of our 2018 crop: yellow squash, kale, chard, radishes and crystal apple cucumber. My salads were awesome! We lost the peach tree to frost and the apple to bugs, but our gorgeous autumn blaze maple is simply stunning!
For many years we had bird feeders and both the cats and us loved seeing the variety of birdies that arrived. We’ve also had a host of other creatures, including a huge bee swarm in June 2014! A beekeeper came and took the whole swarm! (Top right) A huge amount of butterflies appeared in 2018! (Middle right) Doves built a nest in our tree in the front yard and had babies once! (Bottom right) A northern flicker would show up every now and then!
(Left) There are a lot of hawks in the neighborhood…we *might* have fed them a few times…oops! The squirrels were quite persistent. They ate peanuts, bird seed by climbing up feeder hooks and even our veggies, grr! (They’re cute tho!) (Right) The bunnies love our backyard and enjoy spreading out on the shady lawn. Lilly likes watching “BTV” too! We only saw this majestic grey horned owl once or twice. So pretty!
Here’s the thing: I don’t want to. I think gnomes are ugly. Always have. But Noel got us one one Christmas, so I put it out. Then one showed up. And another. And more. We can only account for one third of the collection. The rest just appeared…mostly while we’re on vacation. So I’m doubly creeped out. One culprit is our former neighbor, Mark, who we caught in the act once. But the rest remain a very annoying mystery. When a new one appears, I swear in frustration! (Pink box) These two showed up two days after I took the photos. @!#?%
Who knew translation companies were in the Wild West!? Six months after moving here, I got a loc. engineering job with Lionbridge in Boulder. I was there 8.5 years on the same account, but I saw people come and go, my job change radically and the office being closed. When things begin unraveling, I was scared to leave, fearing I’d not find anything better. But rage-quitting, looking for 6 months and landing at Moravia in the Solutions dept. was the best thing ever!
JC had been in IT at CU Boulder for over a decade when I moved in. We drove to Boulder together and when I began skating, we’d have subs for dinner in Lafayette, then rec skate at the Y. But, craving new challenges, he left after 17 years and had a string of short, random corporate jobs as he roamed with his “Party Posse” to bigger and better things. During this journey, he’s converted to working at home too, met new friends, gone to Singapore and became a certified security architect. Oh, and tripled his salary! It’s been a strange trip but now at Infor he is keeping work-life balance, learning and branching out.
Erie began in the 1860s as a settler stop for farmers and merchants. Briggs Mine brought more people, as did the railroad, but the big boom is occurring right now.
(Left) This old, gorgeous building starts the 2 blocks of “action” on Briggs Street in old town Erie. I love the old ads painted on the side. After a few failed businesses, the Old Mine Cidery is a keeper! This is my doctor’s office. I love that it’s a creaky small home. My doctor, Dr. Gloria, is an aging holistic hippie and she’s been a big help. (Right) The adorable little State Farm office that is of our insurance agent, Jeannie. I first met her at a startup BNI group (that met at the Old Mine building!) and we soon ported all our insurance and financial assets over to her. We see Jeannie as a friend, and often have lunch together to catch up. She loves to hear of our adventures too.
When I Moved to Erie… 1. Vista Ridge wasn’t finished 2. There were no traffic lights 3. Little kids were everywhere 4. There were no restaurants 5. The post office closed for lunch 6. The trees were fledgelings 7. There was 1 block of business 8. Both landfills were open 9. There were lots of farms 10. No one knew where Erie was Now? New housing developments are popping up everywhere As a result, the traffic is getting worse and worse Our neighbors’ kids are teenagers (but still annoying) We can walk to a huge, awesome grocery store The Erie Rec Center is close by and wonderful Breweries, restaurants and fast food are plenty We’ve already repainted, reroofed and redecked the house There are 3 schools and a Sonic IN our neighborhood I still love it here!
On trash road, there is one business. This junkyard has been here for decades—JC and Nick used to drove *all the way* out here to get car parts (there was nothing but landfills, farms, a shooting range and this). The guy’s artistic side just fascinates me, from the beetle-hood umbrellas to the license plates! (Right) Goes back to 1881, Mount Pleasant is a mix of rough, old stones and newer graves strewn about.
(Left) La Casona del Mariachi: a newer Mexican eatery near old town that has really good food and a loud mariachi band—though they aren’t my favorite as you’ll soon see… The Erie Rec Center has been here for 10 years and I’ve gotten hooked on water aerobics classes with the old ladies! (Right) This quaint Rose Café has the BEST tuna melt ever. It’s my go-to meeting spot for lunch with friends! I still have no idea what this is! It always looks vacant and dilapidated. Love the sign!
FAVE. FOOD. EVER. I’m not sure when Sí Señor came into the new plaza on Hgwy 7 but they have THE BEST Mexican food I’ve ever had. Gustavo the manager is excellent and funny. All the food is SO so good. And the margs are the largest ever and quite strong!
On Highway 7, there used to be a horse-boarding facility and a buffalo ranch next door. They were too cute when they’d stand in their hay feeding pen!
What other little town do you know of that does a big balloon launch during their town fair!? I love watching the launch and seeing balloons go right over our house! (Right) Get up early and go to the golf course to see the teams fill up the balloons and launch into the air! Then watch them land across the street!
Summers in CO are hot and dry, Falls are pleasant and mild, but January through May can be a wild and crazy ride!
(Left) Kids aside, our neighborhood is pretty great. I still can’t get over that an 18-hole golf course runs through it! The views are stunning as a result. I enjoy taking daily walks on several different routes to see the variety of houses, plants and trees everyone has. A last souvenir of the farms once here. (Right) Our HOA organizes a lot of activities and maintains 2 pools and a community center. Our favorite event are the summertime food trucks that we can walk to. Despite Erie continuing to grow, Vista Ridge still feels like its own little community yet still close to the big cities.
Our neighbor Mark puts on epic handmade displays!
(Left) I love taking my daily walks around the ‘hood because of this pond. Every day there is different wildlife in it. Mostly ducks, and often paired up, but now and then gaggles of geese share the space, too. I love watching them glide into the water together! (Right) I never thought I’d be playing hockey, but JC’s goalie stint at the Lafayette Y got me thinking. I had a blast playing D with the DWHL for several years and got 2 penalties, 1 goal and a few championships. Gotta love CO! The End!