Outside Adventures!

Weekend in Glenwood Springs

I’ve lived in Colorado for a little over 2 years now (moved here in April 2019) and the geologic beauty of this state never ceases to amaze.

A couple of weeks ago, between installments of out of town visitors (3 sets so far and more coming!), we visited Glenwood Springs, Colorado.

image credit: Visit Glenwood Springs

Glenwood Springs is famous for its natural mineral hot springs and this was the primary reason we visited – so I could experience a mineral hot springs for the first time, as well as see the beauty of this region.

The drive was gorgeous, especially when we got to Glenwood Canyon which is before you get to Glenwood Springs. We stopped at a park/rest stop in Glenwood Canyon along the river and wow:

I did not want to leave the park/rest stop area, just wanted to pitch a tent by the water and relax!

Here is a little video I took that I uploaded to YouTube (unfortunately I did not think to film it landscape):

Once we got into Glenwood Springs, we checked into the Hotel Colorado which is one of Colorado’s historic hotels (there is another historic hotel nearby, The Hotel Denver, and these are the famous hotels in Glenwood Springs).

I appreciated that there was a framed quilt inside the hotel!

There was a bridge from the Hotel Colorado side of the town to the shopping/downtown area, which provided a nice view of the area:

Do you see the train tracks in the image above? Well keeps those in mind for what I will mention at the end of this post.

Once we got into downtown, we wandered about – there are lots of shops, eateries and pubs. We stopped at a wonderful brewery tasting room and had pierogis for lunch from the food truck across the street.

After lunch we browed a used bookstore which also had a quilt:

We also visited the famous Glenwood Springs Hot Springs at the Glenwood Hot Springs Resort, and it was an interesting experience.

The hot springs mineral water felt great but it was like taking a bath with a hundred or so other people! We all had our bathing suits on but it still felt a little strange with all those people surrounding us while we soaked in the hot springs!

It was a very fun weekend and I appreciate all the post vaccine travel we are able to do now.

Okay, so I asked you to remember the image earlier in this post with the train tracks. Well in the near future I will be riding on those train tracks! My sister is coming to visit and I am taking her to Glenwood Springs for the weekend via the Amtrak train from Denver to Glenwood Springs.

I am hoping it is as scenic as it looked when we drove to Glenwood Springs and saw the train tracks along the way.

image credit Trainweb.org

I haven’t traveled by Amtrak train in many years and I am pretty excited about the 5+ hour train ride from Union Station in downtown Denver to Glenwood Springs. My sister and plan to bring a picnic to eat on the train, relax, read and of course catch up.

I did find this article online titled: Prepare to be Blown Away on the Best Train Ride in Colorado! That’s a good sign!

Bags Bags Bags

Ready for the Poker Tournament

My partner John enjoys playing poker (Texas Hold’em) with his friends (and he is pretty good at it); and in addition to their monthly poker nights, once a year they have a huge three-day poker tournament.

For the annual poker three-day tournament in May this year, I decided to make John a special playing card/poker themed tote bag for him to take to the tournament:

It was quite the hit at the tournament and several of his poker buddies wanted to buy one (one lady wanted to order 3 of them!). Unfortunately the fabric is difficult to find and I have to order more online).

The tote bag was so popular that one of the poker league coordinators asked if I could make one as a raffle prize for their upcoming fundraiser poker night for one of their league members who is battling cancer. I am going to work on that this weekend as I was able to find some quick card themed fabric on Spoonflower.

The tote bags I’ve been making are pretty popular (see previous post Tote, Tote, Tote Bags) and here is one I made my friend Kathy a couple months ago that I do not think is on that post:

I found a great deal on drop cloth (used to make the handles, base and lining) on the Home Depot website a couple months ago, and I plan to make a whole bunch of tote bags “production” style. I have some awesome canvas and quilting cotton fabrics picked out to use for the outside of the bags and the pockets.


Postscript

The weather has turned quite lovely in the Denver metro area (for a while I thought we were becoming the Pacific NW with all the rain we were getting) and we are again enjoying our evening “cocktail” dog walks on the green space behind our home. We started the evening cocktail walks (not always alcoholic beverages!) last summer during the pandemic when everything was closed and you could not go to a pub or restaurant.

Now the pubs and restaurants are all open (at least those that survived the pandemic), seating at full capacity (in most counties), but we discovered we really like this little tradition we started.

Here are a couple photos my partner John took of the sunset the other evening while we walked Mike the Miniature Schnauzer, and had our cocktails in our portable cups:

Audiobooks and Podcasts, From the Archives

From the Archives: Las Vegas and the “Ghost Children”

Since I am in my 8th year of blogging, throughout this year I will occasionally and randomly share posts from my 7 years of archives.

Here is a post from September 2018 I stumbled upon when randomly looking up something on my blog today. What is bittersweet is that the lines in the song by the group Train that I quote in this September 2018 ended up being so true when I unexpectedly lost my partner in life a couple months later (December 2018).

Here’s to the time we have, here’s to the lines we crossed, here’s to the ones we’re waiting on, and the ones we lost.

Here’s to the time we have, thank God for what we got.

Here’s to the one’s we’re waiting on, and the ones we lost, and found, the ones who stick around.

Lost and found, the ones who stick around.

– “Lost and Found” written by Patrick Monahan and William Wiik Larsen

Las Vegas and the “Ghost Children”

September 6, 2018

Have you ever wondered why suddenly you are upset or struggling with something and you do not understand why? Well it could be the “Ghost Children“…

Throughout 2018, nearly non-stop, I’ve been listening to non-fiction audiobooks (with a couple science fiction audiobooks peppered in). (Please see the original post Las Vegas and the “Ghost Children” if you’d like to see the list of non-fiction/self improvement audiobooks )

Between my daily walks (3 – 4+ miles a day), road trips, cross country plane rides, and sewing marathons, I’ve knocked off a lot of audiobooks so far in 2018.

Most of these audiobooks were highly engaging, filled with many useful ideas, tips, and inspirations; however one audiobook really stood out: Geneen Roth’s This Messy Magnificent Life: A Field Guide.

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image credit: amazon.com

While listening to this audiobook, read by the author, I was introduced to the concept of “Ghost Children“. According to Geneen Roth, “Ghost Children” are the stories we repeatedly tell ourselves based on an unhealed/hurt part of us that believes things such as we’re not good enough, we are unlovable, we are not worthy – because at some point in our life, many times in childhood, we had unmet needs or a hurt which are still seeking to get comfort from.

Geneen Roth has done a lot of work with women who emotionally overeat (she holds workshops and has written books focused on this topic) and she ties the “Ghost Children” concept to why people emotionally overeat to comfort their hurting “Ghost Children” but I clearly saw a connection to other behaviors.

This connection helped me during a difficult time on a recent business trip attending a conference in Las Vegas, Nevada.

“Ghost Children” Appear

I work in the healthcare industry and I attended a healthcare industry software related conference in late July/early August held at the Aria Hotel’s Conference Center in Las Vegas, NV.

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Las Vegas Boulevard

The healthcare software company sponsoring the conference was very generous to its attendees to include providing a private Train concert on one of the conference evenings, at the Brooklyn Bowl. I was very excited about this concert as I’ve like the band Train (Drops of Jupiter, Meet Virginia, Calling All Angels) since they first came out with their song Drops of Jupiter in 2001.

Terry the Quilting Husband (TTQH) accompanied me on the trip to Las Vegas and I confirmed with someone at the conference registration desk that he could also attend the conference. He is also a long time fan of the band Train, so I was excited to share this private concert with him which also included an open bar and food (as I said the sponsoring software conference company was very generous).

So the evening came for the concert and TTQH headed to the tour bus set up for conference attendees to be transported to the Brooklyn Bowl for the concert. While on line to load the bus, we discovered that only conference attendees with conference badges could get on the bus and attend the conference. TTQH was not able to attend with me.

We were in shock and incredibly disappointed as I had verified with the conference registration desk that he could attend, only to find out that the staff at the registration desk very misinformed. I was torn – on one hand I wanted to go to the concert on the other hand I did not want to just leave TTQH behind at the hotel with this sudden disappointment. 

TTQH is a very enlightened and well-adjusted person (one of us has to be in the marriage – ha!) and he quickly recovered from the disappointment and strongly insisted that I just attend alone and have a great time. (Something I did not mention the first time I posted this post in September 2018 – for $200 I could have bought TTQH access to the special events of the conference like the Train concert. Oh how in retrospect I wish I had even if he said it was “ok”. I wish I had the memory of attending the concert with him.)

So I got back in line and then got on the tour bus. The tour bus was filling up quickly and people were filling every available seat. Except in my row. No one sat with me. (This was likely because I had a very sad look on my face as I was so disappointed I could not share the concert experience with TTQH). The last person got on the bus and sat with the last seat available besides the one next to me.

So the entire bus was filled, except for the seat next to me.  Before I knew it I was quietly sobbing to myself on the bus ride to the Brooklyn Bowl and did not know why.

But – I remembered the audiobook I had recently finished, This Messy Magnificent Life: A Field Guide , and realized one of my “Ghost Children” had popped up!

When I was around 10 years old my parents had a major disagreement with other parents in the neighborhood and, unknown to me at the time, the other neighborhood parents had told their children not to play with me. For a couple weeks, none of my regular friends in the neighborhood, who I played with everyday after school, would play with me. They all ignored me.

I did not understand why and as you could imagine this was fairly traumatic for a 10 year old who was used to playing with most of the kids on my block for many years. Finally one of the children was kind enough to pull me aside and tell me what happened. It was a very upsetting and frustrating experience as I was being punished for something I did not do and I was now an outsider/outcast from my long-time playmates. It is one of those feelings you never forget and I guess it eventually became one of my “Ghost Children”.

Realizing where my sudden painful feelings were coming from as I sat alone on the bus (no one wanting to sit with me), helped me pull myself together. I decided: “yes I am attending this concert alone, but I am going to have a fun time and find a group of people to hang out with during the concert”. There is so much power in awareness of where an emotion/reaction is coming from – it gives you options on how you react.

And this is exactly what I did. Upon arrival, I asked a group of women if I could hang with them for the evening and eventually ended up in another group and had a wonderful time – a “Ghost Children” free evening!

The Train concert was incredible (I sat close to the stage in an elevated area of the bar to the right of the stage) and got to connect with some wonderful people before the concert and during. I learned some new trivia about some of their songs from another concert attendee: the lead singer, Pat Monahan wrote Drops of Jupiter about the death of his mother (now some of the lyrics I never understood make sense).

Here is a little excerpt from the concert (which was only open to concert attendees) – Train performing Lost and Found (I finally learned how to upload videos to YouTube):

I love the lyrics in this song (excerpt from Google):

My Dad said son, one
Day we’ll have a drink together
You’re young
You got to take your time
Just trust
Let me raise you right, and later
We can raise a glass to life, and say
 
Here’s to the time we have
Here’s to the lines we crossed
Here’s to the ones we’re waiting on
And the ones we lost
Here’s to the time we have
Thank God for what we got
Here’s to the ones we’re waiting on, and the ones we lost
And found, the ones who stick around
Lost and found, the ones who stick around
 

“Ghost Children” Free

I feel like writing Geneen Roth, the author of This Messy Magnificent Life: A Field Guide, and thanking her for introducing me to the “Ghost Children” concept. Thanks to what I learned from her book I was able to reset a moment and turn it around.

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Taking a break from the conference and relaxing at the Bellagio hotel, “Ghost Children” free

You are not a mistake. You are not a problem to be solved. It’s possible to treat yourself with outrageous kindness beginning today. ― Geneen Roth


Postscript

During the conference I got to attend my first TED Talks/TED Salon and that was a very cool experience.

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Dr. Andrew Bastawrous at TED Salon: Catalyst at the Aria Las Vegas

The TED Talks were focused on the future of health care. It was amazing after years of watching TED Talks online to see how formally TED Talks are filmed. There are hosts that coach the audience on etiquette for the Talk once filming starts.

The six speakers who talks about moving health care forward were amazing and here is a post on the TED Blog I found about the event:

Moving healthcare forward: The talks of TED Salon: Catalyst

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A slide from one of the speaker’s presentation