Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Holyoke Home: Let's Start At The Very Beginning

I just LOVED the idea of this blog "The Holyoke Home" and it makes me want to start WAY too many home improvement projects. The photos alone are inspirational and definitely make me consider moving to Massachusetts someday.

Holyoke Home: Let's Start At The Very Beginning: "After many tours of many Holyoke row houses (basically every one that has come on the market in the past three years), we found the one. ..."

The Fam:

Onward to Revelry at the Colorado Renaissance Festival

We were eager to enjoy some merry-making, ale-drinking, and many 'huzzahs'. We are 'those' people. You know the ones that come fully dressed in garb and elaborate costumes festooned with accessories. We are willing to suffer for our art and we certainly did. Ninety degree weather in July will definitely make anyone irritable.  Now add several pounds of fabric, layered skirts, bodices, piraty-hats, swords, flint-lock pistols, leather boots and an array of other trinkets and, well,...you get the picture. It was HOT.

Regardless, we had a blast and with shows like the Washing Well Wenches to cool us down and keep us laughing till it hurt, we barely noticed the heat. One of the things I like best about this Faire is the array of yummy goodies too. There's something for everyone. It's no longer the place where one can only find turkey legs and beer. If you're a vegetarian they have delicious portabello mushroom sandwiches. If you're a more picky eater there's chicken chipotle empanadas among a feast of other goodies that the Faire has to offer.

And, the shows. Well, the shows really DO make the Faire. Yes, there are a ton of amazing vendors and colorful things to buy but the shows are what we come back for, year after year. New shows like Charming and Dashing, Hey, Nunnie, Nunnie,  and old favorites like The Ded Bob Show, The King's Piper Extraordinare, and Cast in Bronze, are what really make reinassance festivals so entertaining and worth coming back to every year.(Check it out: www.coloradorenaissance.com).

One more reason we're so excited to move to Houston is its proximity to one of the nation's largest Rein Faires: The Texas Renaissance Festival (for details: www.texrenfest.com). And, we will certainly be there too this year, all decked out in full pirate regalia. No, we were doing this LONG before stupid Jack Sparrow came on the scene (around 12 years). We take much pride in making our 'fleet' unique and avoiding as many Jack Sparrow wanna-be's as possible. If you happen to be there you can't miss us- we're the gi-normous band of pirates numbering around 60-70 pirates total that camp out every single year. Come by our camp, introduce yourself to Admiral Cricket and Firstmate Casey Longknickers (don't ask) and join in the fun!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Random Fun Facts: Colorado's Own Version of 'Jaynestown'

For all you "Firefly" fans that's a shout-out to you. If you're not familiar with the 'Jaynestown' episode, it's a humorous story of how a little one-horse town gets its name from a so-called 'hero' who turns out to have had less than honorable intentions at the time.

In my line of work I review all kinds of random information on local governments throughout Colorado and gleen what is important for financial analysis but, I digress. In my search for more facts on the Town of Swink I came across a random fact about how the Town got its name and couldn't help but laugh at the absurdity and simplicity of it. So enjoy:

On January 17, 1900, the people at Fairmont made an application for the establishment of a post office in their community. The reply from Washington came, and with it the information that they would have to change the name of their town as there were already too many Fairmonts in the country and another would complicate the distribution of mail.

The people called a meeting to decide a new name for their town. George Swink was late in arriving, and as he entered the room the idea of Swink for the name of their settlement swept the audience. The name was approved in Washington, and thus George W. Swink was honored as the leading benefactor of the town.

Now, imagine you're in the early 1900s. It's bitterly cold outside. You're a simple rancher and you're LATE to a Town Hall meeting when this is really the only important thing to do in town.  You walk in from the cold and all the heads of everyone you know turn in unison toward you, acknowledging how rude you are for being late and suddenly, someone calls out from the front...."THAT'S IT! We'll call ourselves SWINK!"

I can imagine the dumb-founded look on this poor guys face. He's thinking, man I hope they don't make a big fuss about me being late. And, suddenly you're now the Town hero?! And, the future Postmaster of the town?! Wow. I couldn't help but laugh. Some stories are just worth sharing. I wanna go to the town where I'm a hero!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Baby Steps

Besides our transition to 'short-timers' at work- which everyone loves to call us- and planning, getting bids on moving companies, and getting a new roof on our house we're slowly looking at our options in Houston. While I continue to reestablish my career in Houston and look at all the fun things we can do there (check out Houston CityPass, what an awesome deal) our little girl is deciding to be independent. On the exact day she turned 9 months old, she decided to crawl all the way into the kitchen and open a pantry door to my utter amazement and immediate mommy-horror. So, everything has been baby-proofed without going too crazy since we're having to live in a 'staged' house. By the way, living in a staged house with a baby and a dog is extremely difficult even if you're Martha Stewart. I wouldn't recommend it. And, just today, she's decided that she wants to try to walk. Whoa, whoa, whoa! Slow down, sweetie. I know where she gets this independence and stubborn streak from (ahem...chris. Well, okay, maaaaybe a little bit of it is from me as well). What happened to the days when I could plop her down and she'd stay in one place - just staring in amazement at all the things she could see. Not to mention the fact, that it didn't matter how homely I looked that day...to her, I was a ROCK STAR! Now, I'm just an exciting novelty to play with and move on to the next toy. Get out of the way mom. I gotta get to those building blocks. sigh. c'est la vie. 

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Houston or Bust.

You probably have already heard the news but if not, we are moving yet again. This time back to the Texas Gulf Coast.  It's a bittersweet moment. We've only been in our new home in Colorado for a little over a year.  We've put a considerable amount of 'sweat equity' into it and we hope that we will be able to afford another home in Houston.  Foreclosures are rampant here in Colorado, thus our first true home was a foreclosure as was the condo just before that.  But, we like it that way.  We love projects (yes, we're sick in that way).  What's so disheartening is that we're just beginning to see the fruits of our labor and the house really shines (even though it still needs some loving here and there) but now we won't be able to really enjoy it.  Thus, I've immersed myself in what to look forward to in Houston. 

I've never really lived in Houston, just the outskirts.  Chris and I did live close to NASA at one point in a run-down apartment building that was lovingly called Casa Bonita (though there was nothing bonita about our little casa).  We just liked the vague connection to a happy childhood memory of the famed Casa Bonita Restaurant in Colorado (termed by a local Austin writer as Casa-Oh My God, I'm in Valhalla- Bonita").  From there, we lived in Bulgaria for two years on the Black Sea Coast as Peace Corps Volunteers before returning to the States and eventually moving to Denver, Colorado.  Several of our friends are happy that we're moving closer to them and several are sad that we're leaving them.  I will miss the lovely mountain vistas and amazing sunsets over the Rockies.  I will miss cool summers (seriously, I'm wearing a turtleneck for Pete's sake and it's July) and gorgeous alpine flowers.  I'll miss the eclectic, hippy mountain towns filled with gentle mountain folk and excellent breweries.  Things I won't miss: income tax, dryness, cracked lips, blizzards, and nosebleeds.

And, so the adventure begins.  Our house is on the market and showings are already rolling in (which is a good sign but not a sure thing).  We're already looking at new homes in Houston and slowly saying goodbye to coworkers and friends and our lovely home.  My new goal: to find out all I can about every corner of Houston that I didn't know before.  First things first, Houston Theatre District, here I come! http://downtownhouston.org/district/theater/