One year ago: The Big Island

Last April, I was drinking Mai Tais on the Big Island of Hawaii. How’s that for bliss? Every year, there’s a Bianchi Family Vacation on the books. I’m pretty sure it’s my parents way getting us to spend time all together, now that we’re spread out in a couple of different states (my brother and his wife live near Denver). They bribe us with trips we can’t refuse: the destination has been Hawaii more than once. Smart folks! Last year’s island of []

Daffodils and chocolate chips.

Today feels a little bit like Christmas Eve. My best friend, Amanda, is coming to visit tomorrow! We’ve been BFFs since the 4th grade (count ’em- that’s 27 years). We call each other ‘sister’. People say we’re so alike, we must share the same brain. From braces to big hair, from sixth grade graduation to prom night, from weddings to babies, from California to Colorado to Utah… we’ve been through a lot together. No one knows me in the same way that Amanda []

The queen of the house.

It seems odd that I introduced Betty before the most important member of the family. This is Cholula. She’s part German Shepherd and part Chocolate Lab. Here’s the photo that accompanied the classified ad online. She’s the one on the left, with her brother sitting next to her. They were the last two puppies left from a litter of 7. It’s a good thing the woman didn’t bring Cholula’s brother along when when we were introduced. I think it’s a safe bet []

Whiskey and donuts.

An impromptu date night on Monday at High West Distillery. Whiskey lemonade. Pulled pork over heirloom tomatoes. Chicken schnitzel with pancetta. A perfectly medium-rare burger. Wine on tap. And grilled Krispy Kreme donuts. (We took ours home to eat with ice cream and cinnamon and vino.) Well done, Monday. Well done.

Travel bug.

Meet Betty. She joined the family almost a year ago. But let’s back up a bit and recall the events that led up to that. Last Memorial Day weekend, John and I had taken a camping trip to Boulder and Escalante in Southern Utah. If you want to see a truly ‘painted’ desert or experience ‘cowboy’ country, go there in May. The burning reds of both the canyon cliffs and the sunsets are unforgettable, and you expect Paul Newman and Robert Redford []

A tale of two Sundays.

One week ago, my stroll through Durango on Easter morning was spring at its finest. The warm weather had the flowers soaking in the sunshine and there was a low hum of busy, buzzing bees in the apricot trees. Kids were hula-hooping in their yards, and pelotons of bikers outnumbered cars on the roads. A man wearing Vans with dreadlocks sped past on his skateboard, coffee in hand. (He was probably 45 years old. I love this town.) I happened upon a []

Saturday smiles.

Yesterday was a relatively uneventful Saturday- the perfect day to notice the little things that make life fabulous. On a gray, rainy morning, I slept late and savored every minute. (Side: Allowing the teeny tiny puppy on the bed 5 months ago may have been a mistake.) I woke up to a clean kitchen (it wasn’t that way when I went to bed!). Two thumbs up so far! First thing on the agenda- coffee and a stack of magazines and catalogs, my []

A confession.

John wasn’t the only one with a wandering eye this week. I’ll just say it. I cheated on Park City with Durango. This isn’t a one-time thing, either. Durango and I have had a long, tumultuous and passionate love affair, spanning (counting fingers) 19 years. My love for Park City is new, but Durango and I go way back. Sure, there are similarities between my new town and my old town- I guess I have a ‘type’.  I shouldn’t keep visiting my []

True bliss.

I’ve got the Mama Gene. Kids love me, and the feeling is mutual. John calls me The Baby Whisperer. I worked in a preschool for many years, and it was my best job. When I was asked what I wanted to be when I grew up, my answer was always, “A mommy.” I am a caretaker by nature, and have looked forward to being a mother for a long, long time. Well, life doesn’t always go as expected. Three years ago, my []

The other woman.

I came home from my trip to Durango (more on that later) to discover that John wasn’t exactly alone while I was gone…and potentially didn’t even miss me. Meet my competition. This is Sky. Apparently, she’s quite rare. Her sound is unique. She certainly has some killer curves. I have to admit- she’s a looker. This isn’t the first time John’s become enamored like this. He has a harem of lovely ladies in the music room- Pearl, Rose, Smokey, Slash- all waiting []