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Last Day of Winter

18 Mar

Denny just informed me that tomorrow is the first day of spring. Mmmmmm…We are leaving a day early from La Veta due to snow coming in. Snow is always a good thing in our area.

This spring is very dramatic for La Vetians. Statistics show that the whole downtown and surrounding homes will flood this year. They have equipment in the rivers going to satellites to read water depth. There is now a siren in town that will go off and you will have 15 minutes to evacuate. We’ve already been contacted to be a safe place for friends since we are in a higher elevation. For months several groups have been working on gathering teams, equipment and food preparers to begin the mitigation process of clearing out the Cuchara River of debris. They began clearing out the river last Friday. It is remarkable what this little town is capable of doing. Especially since many of the volunteers are in their 60’s, 70’s and 80’s!!. Of course I immediately felt guilty not helping this weekend but we were only here for a couple of days. Right now the goal is to have the work done by mid-April preparing for the heavy wet snows and snowmelt. They are working 4 hour shifts 7 days a week in groups of 10. It’s been so organized and we are totally impressed. A little bit of information I learned today is that the wildfire was soooooo hot that it burned all the roots of the trees and the ground is very hard so any rain will just run down the mountains.

I have been on my narcolepsy medication for 5 days now. Don’t feel a lot of difference but less drowsy. Next thing to do is limit my caffeine to maybe two drinks a day. We shall see. The medication should help me focus better and help me with the drowsy driving issue. I really really hope it will work.

Something happening in my life is what is going on with the Methodist Church. It is becoming very divided due to the gay issues. We have a lesbian bishop in our state. She is in danger of losing her job. Gay people are welcome to the church but they are not allowed to marry in the church or become clergy. I have thought about this for a long time and I don’t think I can belong to a church that feels this way. I love being a Methodist and I love our pastor and church, but I feel like a hypocrite. How can I be friends with my gay friends and belong to a church who believe they don’t deserve to be in our church. I am a very simple person when it comes to controversy. I believe in God and I know for a fact that prayers have healed me and others. I believe God loves everyone, even sinners which includes me. I will decide a new step in the next few weeks. I believe non-denominational will be the way to go. I like going to church and I want it to be part of my life.

Being a member of Team Brownsville has been such a wonderful experience for Denny and I. I really love that we are doing it together. It will be hard to leave Brownsville and the asylum seekers. I hope everyone realizes that we are helping asylum seekers, not illegal immigrants Did you know that even some of those who choose to cross the river and come into the U.S. are not doing so illegal but they are choosing not wait on the bridge. Many of them turn themselves in to the Border Patrol who then take them Immigration. They are escaping atrocities of their countries. I don’t know as many personal stories because I don’t speak their language but I hear the stories from the other volunteers. Murder, beatings, extortion, corruption, rapes. A Cuban man was drug from his house and thrown into jail because of something he wrote. A young girl was raped and her family’s home burned down. The Anglophones of Cameroon Africa and the gays of Africa are escaping death. The stories go on and on. We are doing what I can by donating time, food, love. I have an overwhelming feeling of love and hope as I cross the Matamoros bridge back home. Michael, who is one of the men who started Team Brownsville said that all of this bridge situation could stop immediately if just one un-corrupt politician would step up.

That’s it for now. I plan on writing more in Jbirdworld because I can always print out what I’ve said. When I do videos I may lose them all eventually.


Trying to set up a business online

7 Nov

It has been an exciting week setting up Just J on Facebook. I am now trying to use my blog site as a place to show items to sell and also be able to pay by credit card.  We’ll see what happens with that idea.

I have several orders already but not really from my Just J site. Mainly friends coming by and friends who know what I do. Hopefully something will begin happening through FB but I can be patient and see which direction I really need to go. I think there is different way to approach the Facebook direction.

The one great thing about having the business is it keeps me focused to get my items sewn and done. I have had to order many fabrics online which adds to my time waiting for them to arrive and also my mistakes of not paying attention to what the fabric is made of and I have received 2 orders of fleece totally not needed. I cancelled one order and they still sent it. Another company cancelled my order so it gets confusing. We’ll see if that will even out. The down side of living where the need to order online is necessary.

Heading to Houston tomorrow for the AQS Houston Quilt Show. Excited to be there and be with my friend Alicia. She is the greatest buddy because we will talk about a trip of some kind and the next thing you know we will do it. Love buddies like that. It’s a quick trip so Sunday I will be busy getting back to work.

That’s it for now.


Exciting news!!!!

1 Nov

Many of you know that I have wanted to go back into business with many different directions. Some involve sewing, some involve painting, some involve travel and some involve just connecting with me and also some tips on different things that happen in our lives. My tips are from personal observations only because I am not a Doctor, nurse, therapist, nail tech :), or anything else that requires a college education. My information is from personal travels, personal triumphs, personal failures, personal painful and sad situations. I love blogging and sharing and connecting. Jbird65 of 2018 has been an eyeopening year for me. I’m braver, less over reacting, have let go of past issues that have plagued me and I can talk about how I have achieved these goal. When I turned 65 and I decided I know longer wanted to let personal emotions stop me from being the person I want to be. It is possible for all of us and I am here to tell you that I have inner happiness that I don’t believe I have ever had in my life.  I’ve attended workshops, retreats and pastoral conversations. Much of my happiness are from my friendships with all of you and how much you all mean to me. My business will be located here and also on Facebook called “Just J”. I will be sending invitations asking you to join the page on FB so don’t think that it is a hack please. Look forward to this new adventure.



15 Oct

Today was a busy day in Pueblo. Shopped for some feet for an upcoming foot stool that Denny and I are making. Then meeting with Financial Advisor. Love having a financial advisor!! We are using Edward Jones in Pueblo and Tina White is our person. Then to the Sleep Doctor. How frustrating that my blood work or my last sleep study was not there yet. I get so sick of all the snafus that happen everytime there is an apppointment . He is ordering me a CPAP machine which I may start in about a week and a half when whoever delivers it here. I’m okay using one and it may really help with squirmy legs. Bad news  is now we have to delay our trip to Brownsville even longer now because I have to see him in person after 30 days. UGH!!! Denny is being patient but between this and my surgery life is getting a little complicated but all will be fine. We always like to drive through Ice and Snow anyway. Will now leave for BVille after Dec. 17th.

Still feeling energetic and getting many things done. Just finished booking a flight to Orlando where 6 of us high school girlfriends are going to invade our friend Judi! It really has been fun reconnecting and how easy it has been to become friends again. She moved from KC to Orlando this summer.

I’m pretty wound up about Hurrican Michael. One of our friend’s, Marilyn lost her home in the Spring Fire and lived in the area that was hit by the hurricane. That is tooo much. I told Pastor Janine that I am not letting this disaster go by without helping. Marilyn’s husband Bob helped so many and we can do a trip in his honor.  I hope she can keep us informed on when that can happen. It looks horrific. Trip may happen in the spring but we will work through UMCOR and they can tell us the best time to go.

Enjoying doing my training for becoming a travel agent!  Right now I am learning the Royal Caribbean information. They have these courses and as you pass them you move up. Trying to spend an hour each day training. Will go to Topeka and train on booking trips etc. in November. I really have some fun ideas for other kinds of trips too. Cruise Holidays does it all-Cruises, River Cruises, Trains, Busses.

I am going back on CBD oils. My friend Linda was over the other day and replenished me. Hopefully it will get me through my discomfort these few weeks before my surgery. I’m anxious to find out the details regarding the surgery on the 24th.

Wednesday we leave for Amarillo for a couple of days so my quilting instructor friend Cindy can guide me through a paper piecing quilt I started 2 years ago! Should be able to get the top done hopefully. We’ll also get to see their ranch which will be fun. Puppies can go too because La Quinta lets them stay for free.

Time to study.  Peace



Back in Business

11 Oct

As I have mentioned before, our trip to Europe really inspired me and all my creative energy is racing around in my brain.

Tonight was a really fun painting class of a barn. There were about 20 of us at the Funky Monkey. What was cool about the class was the technique of using painted dots of several colors and then just using a brush and painting downward. It was fun to see friends I haven’t seen for years. It’s one of those wine and paint classes. To begin the class everyone clinked their glasses to say cheers. I had my Pepsi bottle and managed to spill it all over the table during the cheers. What a sticky mess but it was funny.

For the last 3 days I have been in pj’s all day working in the studio. I have made some prototypes of items to sell. I’m really excited about personalizing pieces by embroidering family names, etc. I made a table runner and a wine bottle holder. The special thing about the wine bag is that you can put the grommets around the top of the bottle and pour without taking the bottle out of the bag. I can also embroider names, cute wine sayings etc.  Great for gifts. I am taking orders so just contact me with your ideas and we’ll get them done. I’ll be making other items also and will show them as I go. I’m looking forward to having 2 sewing buddies coming over this week. Deb on Friday and Linda on Saturday. I now have a space set up for company so it works out well.

Tomorrow is a big Mahjong day. My first tournament being held in Pueblo. I have to get up early  to be there by 8:30. It will be fun but serious. Fifteen minutes per game and we play 4 games in an hour. No talking or taking too long when it is your turn. Should be interesting and looking forward to playing. We had horrible fog, mist, snow and cold today so I hope it isn’t that bad tomorrow. Hopefully it won’t be a drowsy drive.

Speaking of drowsy drive, I am doing another sleep study on Friday night with a CPAP machine. Even though I’m not crazy about the machine, I hear enough good things about them that it will be interesting if my brain and energy does feel better.

More exciting news. I’m beginning training to be an Independent consultant for Cruise Holidays of Topeka. I did my first lesson today. I’m looking forward to doing this and hopefully I can help travelers locally and also try putting together some trips. Wish me luck. It’s a 2 month or so training program so won’t in business til after January.

That’s it for now.  Peace





8 Oct

I love a rainy, cold day to spend the day in the studio. Debbie came over and we spent several hours working on projects.  Fun fun

Struggling with health care in our area. Our doctor resigned last month with no warning. I’ve had 2 times I have needed to see the doctor, one because of a rash and the other because of injured elbow. The rash I had to go to ER. The elbow I begged to see doctor and it worked out. Now I’m trying to get prescription refilled but it is under the resigned doctor’s name. I’m also trying to make sure I have everything in place for my upcoming surgery. I called the clinic and did I get a call back?  NO. I’m so aggravated. I’ll give them one more day and then I will go in person to get everything back in order. Rural health care in our area is going downhill quickly. What is really sad is we had the same PA since 2000 and we didn’t even get a notice that she resigned.

Regarding surgery. I had some internal injuries from my accidental splits last April. The symptoms have continued to get more painful. My physical therapist suggested that my pain was from my pelvic floor. She was right on. She also recommended a gynecologist in Trinidad who I love! It’s a female doctor and she was able to discover all sorts of issues going and that she will be able to do surgery and fix it all up for me. It will be a several week recovery but I will be comfortable once again. My biggest pain? Sitting. Extremely uncomfortable.

Still reveling in memories of our European trip. I ordered some real Italian 00 flour for pizzas and pasta. Did you know that a real Neapolitan pizza crust takes 2 days to make!!  Will have to try when I have 2 full days to make.

Feeling a little relieved to have some extra time before we head to Texas. I will be able to get some major work done in the studio and some painting, I am going back into business selling my items again. I will be doing it by way of FB and should have some items to show in 2 days. Just in time for the holidays!!

Claire and Carleigh were here for Oktoberfest last weekend. Claire had another great day of sales. So proud of her and how talented she has become making her silver items.

Thursday I play in my first Mahjong tournament. Looking forward to it but a little nervous about only 15 minutes for each game. I think I can do it.

Cannot believe Kavanaugh was approved.

Had a terrific dinner at Aly’s tonight as guests of Blake and Becky, owners of Circle the Wagons. They are such a great couple and so happy they bought the park. Alys spoils me rotten because she makes bread pudding when she knows I am coming for dinner.

Still trying to get some money back from our cancelled flight in Paris. Not sure if I am involved in a scam, I hope not but hopefully we’ll find out something soon.

Snowing in Cuchara today. Can’t wait to see the mountains after the clouds clear. There was a meeting this week describing the real possibility of major flash flooding in the spring. Apparently after major fires, the ground is unable to absorb water because it becomes like cement. I’m glad we are up high but many of our friends will have to have flood insurance now.

I may become an Independent Travel Consultant for Cruise Holidays of Topeka. I will keep you posted!!! It is a job I can do from home. I will be doing some training soon. Hope my brain will be able to absorb all the information that is required.

Have bought some Ginger Beer and trying to drink just a shot of it after dinner at night to help with digestion. I drank a whole bottle of it a couple of nights ago and that was a HUGE mistake if you get my drift. I definitely digested but it was not a fun night. It’s non alcoholic.

Finally I will be seeing “A Star is Born” on Sunday. I can’t wait. I get all emotional just watching the commercials.

Hopefully Mitzi and I can go see “Halloween” sometime this month. I purchased this little spider costume that velcros on a dog to put on Bendi or Jumper for Halloween.  I hope they will let me put it on them because it is so funny to see dogs in the costume.

Purchased an antique Elgin Sewing machine in Eskridge, KS last week. Circa 1890.  It is in such great shape I may actually be able to sew on it. The designs on it are stunning. Will have to once again move my studio around in order to display it. Also purchased a Nelcro which I don’t know have much info on yet. It’s probably a 1960’s model.

I’m happy because Paradise Coffee makes my café macchiato just like they did in Italy. Just trying to do a shot a day. Probably saves me at least 1 Pepsi. Grazia Sharon and Greg.

That’s it for tidbits for now. I have purchased several notebooks so I can start printing out my blog which will take weeks. Goes all the way back to 2011. My blog actually began in 2006 but I’ve had to change websites 3 times. I have those already printed out and they will be my notes for a possible book one day.


Jbird’s travel tips for Italy

29 Sep

This was our first time to Italy. I’ve always heard friends say how much they loved Italy. Now I know why. Last year I was in California and met a lady named Alecia and we became friends. She’s fascinating and talented and told me all about her AIRBB in Guardia Sanfranmondi, Italy.  It sounded sooo cool. We had already booked the river cruise so we added Italy to the trip.

We arrived in Naples at 9:15 pm. Alecia and her driver Pasquale picked us up and off we went on a new adventure. As we left the airport we drove down this one highway and on each side of the road were prostitutes. Naked or just in sexy underwear. Not by hotels, just along the side of the road. I feel bad that at first I laughed but then you think about how vulnerable they were. Very sad and dangerous. We did find out later that the mafia is involved in all that area.

First stop was Del Monicos where there were cases and cases of pastries and fresh pizza. I now know that Italian pizza is the best in the world and I need to learn how to make that soft juicy crust that you fold over and eat like a taco. We also enjoyed rum soaked cake and my very first ever espresso.  Soooo fun. We had a rather nervous drive to Guardia, curvy roads, fast driver, but we made it to our place safely. We fell into bed about midnight and Alecia said “just sleep in and then we’ll get together at a café”. At 7:30 there was a loud BOOOOOOOOOOOM  followed by fireworks and then several church bells. We slept with our window open so it was very loud. OMG, we didn’t know what was happening but maybe we were being welcomed to the town. It was actually a celebration for St. Antonio and it was a day long event. Needless to say we were up early and off we went with Alecia to our first café visit and getting organized for the week. Cafe’s were also the only place to use internet. (They would ring bells at 7:30 am every morning and it would sound like an alarm clock and it was to wake everyone up!

It was fun because Alecia knows everyone and she was greeted everywhere and we were introduced to many locals. Alecia is from California but lives in Italy 8 months and speaks fluent Italian. She told us there are many dialects and sometimes what she says may come out wrong.  Our days consisted of walks from our 900 year old apartment to the main street and we would hang at different cafes, walk, a little shopping, and lots of visiting. We could have visited Pompei, Capri, Roma,….but it was so cool just hanging in Guardia that we just did that. Locals became friends and we were treated to special dinners, private tours of the castle and a fabulous art museum. The museum became an archaeological digs. They came across Roman artifacts which many were displayed. Sooo exciting. Denny would get up early and walk to a cafe and explore the town and then I would get up at 8:30, head to the cafe and our day would begin with walking, talking, napping, walking, talking eating and then bed. The shops would close down from 1-5 for siesta. What a way of life. We learned how to make pasta. I was able to do several little paintings. Denny read 3 or 4 books.

That week healed my stomach. Many of you know I can have significant issues traveling. In Guardia we ate all fresh, non processed food, sparkly water, and exercise. Maybe the macchiato drinks helped too. I do believe the afternoon rests helped tremendously. I didn’t even have any Valium with me on the trip. There was no such thing as giant pop drinks, when you drank a macchiato they gave you a cup of water to drink immediately afterwards to keep you from being dehydrated. They also serve after dinner drinks called Digestives. Limincello was the most popular.  I have looked up digestive drinks and am going to try Ginger Beer non alcoholic, lime and ice and do that after dinner. Also herbal teas are suggested. We were also told to eat salads last instead of first. Interesting.

I would say that to be in Guardia you need to be able to go up and down hills and steps. There are B&Bs that aren’t as far away from town as we were though. There are also drivers available if you are unable to walk far but if walkers are needed it could be a little difficult with the narrow cobblestone sidewalks and streets. Of course there are no ADA codes. There is no air conditioning but we were used to that since we don’t have it here in Colorado. A guide is needed because no English is spoken at all there. Alecia was very good in communicating and even though we didn’t do any sight seeing, she is also able to plan day trips and will be your guide for those trips. Our trip was totally off the beaten path and if that sounds interesting to you, please let me know.

We spent out last day in Naples. We took the local bus who goes there daily and since we had 2 21″ suitcases, they were easy to be on the bus. Also only 6 euros instead of 100 to get to Naples. Once we arrived Alecia took us to her favorite places which was a pastry shop, a coffee shop and a restaurant. Naples was crowded, a lots of traffic but beautiful old palaces, buildings, churches, and the Mediterranean Sea full of sailboats and yachts. Many weddings were also taking place in the beauty of the city.  My favorite was the local outdoor market which was huge and went several blocks. It is not just a Saturday market, it is there everyday full of frest veggies, fruit, fish (live eels and octopusses). The locals shop there and so do the restaurants.

By 3 we were done and Alecia discussed cab fare with the driver and we dropped her off at the Metro and we went to the Capodichino Hotel. It is only a few blocks from the airport. We stayed in bed from 4 pm until 4 am when we left to head home. It was a great hotel. The downside was being charged 15 euros for a 2 minute drive to the airport.

Long flight tips: Pick an aisle seat if there are 3 seats or more. I was by the window 2 people had to have 2 had to move for me to get out.  That caused me a little anxiety a made me to pee more. Don’t sit by the engines because it was very loud and hard to even hear the movies that were provided. I’m definitely in love with neck pillows. I chose not to wear a bra traveling on the plane because I don’t like being all squished around my ribs. I also wore leggings, loose dresses. I  chose to travel only with dresses because I had put on a few pounds and all my clothes that needed zipped and buttoned were just too snug. I didn’t want to fret about weight while traveling and wearing loose clothing was not only comfortable but flattering. I saw a tip about having cheap slippers so you can take your shoes off while on the plane so if you go to the bathroom you are protected from the inevitable wet stuff on the floor. Bring your own earplugs to watch movies. The ones they gave out really hurt my ears. I would definitely download “Online Passport” or something like that on your phone. You totally will miss the waiting lines in customs.  I also had energy bars just in case the airline food was tooo weird to eat. International flights generally have pretty good meals. Don’t know what to say about jet lag. This trip’s jet lag wasn’t as bad as coming home from India but do be prepared that you will be out of whack for a few days and you will wake up a lot earlier than normal. Knitting was a great hobby to travel with. Knitting needles are allowed and knitting during long layovers or hanging in cafe’s was great fun.

That’s it for now. We all must take advantage of our time to follow our dreams whatever they may be. We have too many friends who are now not able to travel due to health problems, alzheimers, cancer, injuries, unhealthy. One doesn’t have to go to Europe or exotic places but experience something that you have dreamed about doing and DO IT.  Maybe a painting class, a quilt retreat, a train trip, see friends that you haven’t seen forever,….