Native Getaways: Boyd Lake State Park

Boyd_Lake_121Native getaways are the best!  They are vacations taken within a person’s town, city, state, or country.  It’s where local people blend in with the tourist and become vacationers.  It’s where excitement over seeing something new and wonderful is displayed.  It’s when good and interesting conversations are born and sometimes lasting friendships are made.  It’s where people learn something new about their surroundings and appreciate things close to home. Native getaways are when people discover life outside of what they know! Have you ever had a native getaway?  If not, you must try it sometime.

— My Vacation Experience —

This week my family and I went camping at Boyd Lake State Park for five days. The campsite was $20 per night with a daily $8 vehicle pass fee.  However, it is more cost-effective to buy the $70 annual pass if you camp regularly at Colorado State Parks.  The cost seems a bit steep but it will save you money over the camping season; especially if you and or your family like to camp often at Colorado State Parks.

The day scheduled for camping started stressful.  And by the time we arrived at the campsite we discovered the trailer had major issues.  The toilet was leaking, the gray water valve was leaking, and the air conditioner wasn’t cooling off the trailer.

With all that was going on with the trailer my family and I could not attend the Greeley Stampede.  Major disappointment!  Major!  It would have been the first for us to attend the event.  But my hubby and I had to stay behind and try to fix some of our trailer problems.

We could not fix the toilet because the RV parts store was closed, but we went to a localFamily Travel Trailer Wal-Mart and purchased a small storage tub.  We placed the tub under the leak and called the situation good!  The air conditioner started working better on its own!  Thank!  God!

And by the time things started turning around I was in tears!  I was so disappointed!  Each year we use our Jayco trailer I am in tears of regret.  Another story I will share somewhere down the road is how to buy a recreational vehicle.

But to make our situation worse I left the battery chargers for all of our cameras sitting on the kitchen counter.  After discovering I had left the batteries I had a poor attitude!  And as I saw things then:  to make matters worse I even forgot to pack SD cards.  Laughter!

Let’s just say I wasn’t ready for the trip as much as I would have loved to have been.  But the most important thing is we got a chance to have a mini-vacation within the state we live.  Colorado!

While staying at Boyd Lake we took advantage of sightseeing some of the neighboring tourist attractions.  We went to Rocky Mountain National Park, Estes Park, and shopped at one of Colorado Cherry Company country stores.

Well by the end of our vacation I was okay with what all had gone wrong.

November 2013 Black Friday Deals Were Great!

Photo Taken From:  MoveToColo.com
Photo Taken From: MoveToColo.com

Thursday, November 28, 2013, was on and popping at 6:00 pm in the small town of Longmont, Colorado!  For me shopping was at its best!  And some people were at their worse!  But the ill temperament of others did not stop me from having a great time.  Let’s just say, I had way too much fun for a woman on a shoestring budget.

I tell you.  My friend Debbie and I began planning our shopping strategy as soon as the stores released their ads.  Actually it was more Debbie than I that made our shopping preparations.  She is methodical.  She is awesome!  And I didn’t have a problem following her lead.  And this year she had an extraordinary shopping game plan.  Talk about divide and conquer!  She had each side of Wal-Mart covered with shoppers.  With Debbie’s strategic planning we were able to get everything everyone wanted [and then some].  What happened on Thursday, November 28, 2013, should go down in the records as the day shopping for Annette and Debbie was at its’ best.

What makes my friend amazing is that each year she plans and prepares a lavish dinner for a crowd.  In addition to cooking a big meal for her family, she bakes pies and cookies for her local school holiday bake-sale, as she works 40 hours a week, drives an hour to work and an hour home every day.  Once she gets home she cooks dinner!  I know!  She is superwoman!  I don’t understand how she finds the energy to pull a 24 hour nonstop shopping spree on Black Friday.  But her fondness of family makes her determine to buy gifts for her loved ones.  And if she doesn’t buy them a gift she hand makes them a special gift.  She is incredible.  Me, I’m a wuss.  I go home after 6 hours of grueling shopping and if I didn’t get someone a gift I just say, “Oh, well.”  Just joking!

It’s amazing how Debbie and I become Black Friday shopping buddies.  Because honestly I had stopped shopping on Black Friday’s mainly since I shop for a living.  And when I am shopping for business I usually buy items for my loved ones for Christmas.  So really there is no need for me to be out in the Black Friday crowd.  But something happened.  Debbie’s best friend who was her mother died in 2012.

Debbie is Caucasian [not that it should matter].  But it seems to me white people grieve differently than black people.  Yet, despite the differences in grieving I knew my friend would feel the loss of not having her faithful shopping partner.  Therefore, something within me was compelled to go shopping with my friend for 2012 Black Friday.

Wal-Mart 2013 Black Friday Ad
Wal-Mart 2013 Black Friday Ad

That year words weren’t spoken.  But it was clear to see she was lost without her mom.  And her loss and I with no need for a deal kept us out of sync.  It is safe to write, we didn’t feel like a team because we had no reason to be a team.  However, we did manage to enjoy each other’s company while standing in line.  But this year was amazing!  We were on one-accord.  And!  Oh!  My!  God!  I was out of control!  I was on a shopping high!  It was as if the deals had an aroma of savings [something every penny-pincher likes].  Everything smelt financially sweet.  Even the fifty inch and the thirty-two inch televisions I purchased.  Laughter.  And the funny thing is, I have no need for neither television; but, I am now the owner of two new flat screen TV’s because the deals were too good to pass up.

I purchased many other items but I must write the televisions were my best deals.

Did I meet hostility?  You bet ya!

A woman was standing in line for a GPS system when she overheard Debbie giving me instructions to get some Sony DSLR Cameras and full HD Camcorders memory cards.  First of all I was panicking.  I had just gotten back from a run from the other side of the store.   Worse, I was pressed for time and I was having a hard time locating the item Debbie wanted.  Debbie kept pointing in the direction she thought the memory cards would be.  I kept returning to her with a puzzled look.  Finally the woman said, “There down there somewhere.”  I thought to myself, “Down there where?!!!”  Frustration was setting in so when I found some memory cards I stood next to them.

The minute 7:00 pm rolled around hands began gabbing.  I was gabbing with the best of them.  This woman that had her basket in front of the display was the recipient of a lot of memory cards she didn’t want.  They were dropping into her basket as people were grabbing.  Laughter.  The funny thing about this story is:  this little old woman put her basket in the line of fire thinking it would give her an edge.  Her plan was successful in away.  People were respectful of her senior status, but it didn’t stop the shoppers from reaching over her and grabbing items.  As a matter of fact she didn’t have to grab memory cards for the camera she was waiting in line for; because, again, they were falling in her basket.  All she needed to get was the camera.  Talk about having good fortune!  Yet, the downfall to her plan was that she had to wait till everyone got what they wanted from the display before she could leave.  And because she couldn’t leave her maneuver with putting her basket in front of the display kept her in the midst of flying hands that were determine to get items of desire.  As I am reflecting on the moment, it was clear to see she had never been to Black Friday, therefore, she didn’t know what to expect [mixed emotions].  Any-who-how . . .

sony 16 gbAfter grabbing the wrong memory cards I notice the memory cards Debbie wanted minutes later for $9.99.  So I rushed over to the display and grabbed the remaining.  I was proud of myself.  Sometime later the same women that pointed me in the direction of the cards gets in my face and moderately yelled, “I went to get some of those memory cards and they were all gone.”  She looks down into my basket and then mouthed, “I guess you took all of them?”  From her opposed words to her warlike body language I knew the situation could get ugly if I made an unfavorable move.  And so I was inwardly willing to give her all the cards but I politely smiled and said, “Mam, how many do you want?”  She looked puzzled.  Her friend looked puzzled.  She said, “I would like to have two.”  I reached in my buggy, grabbed two memory cards and gave them to her.  She smiled.  Her friend began to give me compliments for having the spirit of sharing.  I smiled at both the women.  When I left the area I felt less intimidated by a person that feels like life has robbed her or withheld from her the things she wants or wanted.

Sincerely, I was glad I was able to diffuse an encounter that could have gone wrong on so many levels.  And now that I am older, I realize that I have learned nothing is worth fighting for unless it is your life you are saving.  Outside of that, I guess knowing and living by the proverb “If at first you don’t succeed try, try again!”  And on that note, I hope everyone enjoyed Black Friday as much as my friend Debbie and I.  And if you didn’t get what you wanted in 2013 on Black Friday it was not meant to be for the moment.  But keep trying for the prize because it is worth striving for.

The Prayers of Black Women: Can You Please Help My Friend

4213264-261659-vector-illustration-of-a-breast-cancer-pink-ribbon-treeLord, I went to sleep way too early yesterday evening.  And when I woke I was at a lost.  I wasn’t sure what to do with my time.  So I began to search for a young man who was on my heart.  When I could not find him I decided to read post on my Facebook account.  And then Lord I came across the below post of a friend that is fighting cancer:

Sometimes I wish I could just close my eyes & disappear….

Lord, I responded with:  “If you could do that then I would miss you; and the world would be minus a remarkable woman. Sending you a hug from the beautiful state of Colorado.”

Lord, I don’t know the ramifications of her health challenge but you do.  I don’t know how strong her emotional and mental support system is, but you do.  And, Lord, I don’t know how supportive her medical team is, but you do.  But I do know Lord, her illness and concerns are bigger than she and I can handle, therefore, I am bringing them to you.

Please Lord, give her your courage.  I’m asking that peace be still in her life.  I’m praying that joy won’t wait to visit but that it will stop by today and continue to visit everyday.  I’m asking Lord that you give her body the strength to fight for wellness.  I’m praying Lord that you will put a joyful song in her heart; and give her unmovable faith in your abilities.  I’m praying for her medical team.  I’m asking Lord that she has the best doctor’s in her state, city, or town giving her medical attention.  I’m asking Lord that she has favor with each medical staff that comes across her path.  I’m asking for emotional blessings for her family, friends, and loved ones.  I’m asking Lord that you please hold her hand and let her know you are walking with her on this journey.  And most of all I’m asking that she no longer wants to close her eyes and disappear.

Love,
Annette

P.S.

Lord, I sharing one of my favorite songs with those that need to hear something spiritually uplifting.

 

Inspirational Fridays: Aging With and Without Regrets

As my sister celebrated her birthday this year she was and is unquestionably delighted to turn 50. I on the other hand did not look forwards to turning another year older.  Yet my 52 birthday was creeping closely and did manage to arrive on scheduled.   My birthday is never late!   Honestly, I really wish after I had turned 30 my birthday would come around once every 10 years.

It appears my regretful and wounded soul continues to look for the life that was lost so long ago.

My person questions all of life’s ambitions, my life’s ambitions, to a point where I’m silently asking the following:  What makes the aging graceful and ready to grow older and old?  What makes the aging mean and bitter as they do grow older and old?  And what will I become as I age and my physical beauty continues to fade?  Will I be a sweet old woman that has few regrets?  Or will I become an old bag of bitter bones that is mean because I failed to live my life to its fullest?

Truthfully, I would say at this point I am becoming by default ‘an old bag of bitter bones that is mean because I failed to live my life to its fullest.’

Are you shocked at my brutal conclusion of my self awareness examination?  Are you shocked that I can be as truthful about what I inwardly harbor?  Don’t be shocked because there are other’s just like me.  Perhaps you are like me.  Maybe you are worse than me.  But it is never too late for us to change the course of our lives as long as we continue to breathe hope.

At this moment my beloved Colorado is under flood watch.  Because of flooding many of the smaller cities and towns have been force to evacuate. Lives are being uprooted by force of nature and people have to take shelter of safety in unfamiliar places.  Uncertainty about the course of their lives looms over the evacuees’ heads as they wait for the storm to subside.

After carefully watching video footage of flooding areas in Colorado I have come to the conclusion, it is the amount of life’s storms and their surges that determines if we will age gracefully or bitter.

And regrettably sometimes our personal lives from beginning to end are under flood watch or in the eye of the storm.

At least my life is consistently under storm watch; and often my poor choices continue to place me in the midst of raging floods.  And, since, I didn’t know how to swim to safety I have found myself spiritually and emotionally drowning over and over again.  As a result, I regret a few things I have done, moreover, my biggest regrets are the things I failed and continue to fail to do; therefore, for me aging is a big reminder how I wasted my talents and my life.

With remorse I must write, my life [outside of my children] was squandered on people and things that could not validate my existence.  In a nutshell, I confess, I spent the majority of my life looking for validation from people who had never been validated themselves.   So when I turned 50 I felt life was over for me.  I felt nothing about me depicted a life of success and that included the children I dearly love.

But as I continue on this journey we call life, every day I am reminded people age 50 and over that are living wonderful lives with little to no regrets.  And Lillie McCloud is one of those people.  She is an amazing singer.  She has an amazing outlook about her life.  She does not regret putting her singing career on hold to raise her children.  At the age of 54 she feels now is her time to fulfill her dream.  I just love her confidence during her X Factor audition.  She selected the right song. She wore the right outfit. Her persona said what she stated “I’m here to win” as she sang Cece Winans’ song “Alabaster Box.” Everything about Lillie says age 50 is where it’s at!  Check her out: