Pints Pub for lunch and a visit to the Denver Police Museum

looking at historic maps at the main Denver public library

We had a quick donut stop yesterday, then on to our 11:00 tour of the Police Museum. Brian had discovered this museum a few weeks ago and we decided to give it a try, which I’m  glad we did. It’s still in it’s formation stage, the completed museum will take a couple of years and will be out at the new complex where the Stock Show takes place. In the meantime, however, there was plenty to see and touch and experience, including some  historic police cars,  many photos of police from back into the early 1900s, and mannequins in full uniform. The guys were interested in much of it, and the tour was personalized just for us.

The attached photo of L makes me smile  to look at this evening, I remember him of course (retired police officer) appreciating all we were seeing, but also enjoying the camaraderie of everyone and joking around a bit on the tour, but then when I asked him to pose for a picture he immediately got his very serious look on his face, and sort of stood at attention. He’s proud of his profession and this was a good experience, both for him and the whole gang.
​The picture of A also is making me smile. At the end of lunch he took it upon himself to gather up all our hats and jackets, then I noticed he had put all of them on! He posed with a rather serious look as well, but he was being quite goofy. He laughed hard many times yesterday, what a joyful man.​
We did a fair amount of walking. Brian and I deliberately parked a ways from the museum so we’d have to walk a few blocks to get there and to lunch. After lunch (Pint’s Pub, a regular and very friendly spot for us) we had about a 1/2 hour left and planned to walk in the park a bit, but the wind picked up so we detoured into the Denver Public Library and looked around. J is pictured here showing the guys some historic maps he discovered; there is really quite a bit to see there.
Good day! Brian and I enjoy it every single week.

Leanin Tree Art Gallery in Boulder

Another lovely Ladies Day! We first me  at Cafe Ole.  W​hen we met there last week we were treated to  samples of South American hot chocolate…this week we all had a cup.  We had a great table in the corner to watch people, look at the local art on the walls, share an empanada or two, and talk. We had a wonderful talk about the Inauguration, respect for the Office, and the ceremony.

 

From there we headed to the Leanin Tree Museum of Western Art.  I cant tell you how fun and interesting it was to watch and listen to each one of the women comment on various pieces. Because it was a smaller group today, it was easy to track who was attracted to various styles, colors, and moods in the paintings.  One painting titled ​”​Chigger Pants​”​made us laugh, another depicting ice blocks being carved from a frozen river started a conversations between E and J and their experiences with ice chest​s​ when they were young. E was struck by a sculpture of a little girl in western wear feeding an apple to a horse…it reminde​d ​her of her daughters.  J was drawn to the big colorful sunset painting, she looked at it for some time. S commented on motion and emotion in many paintings, one in particular of “the bad guys, probably robbing a train”.  S read the description of a scene in a painting out loud and both E and J said, almost simultaneously, “Oh, I see it”!​

 We didn’t make to the second floor of the gallery because I knew it was sunny and warm enough to spend time in the outdoor sculpture garden.  Snoticed that many of the bronzes were cast at foundry’s in Montana. One piece drew us all in. The sculpture of a horse made of scrap metal, created by a woman from Alaska who’s previous career was a bush pilot….we are all sure that she must be quite a woman!

 

Lunch was at the Celestial Seasonings Factory Cafe.  It is a bright colorful spot where we enjoyed soups, salads, and sandwiches! The first thing that caught E’s eye on the menu were the prices.  She cracked me up, she must have commented 3 time on how reasonably price​d​everything was ! HA !   When I explained that the cafe/cafeteria was on the back side of the factory, they all wanted know if we were taking the tour.  Next time!

On the way home we were in some pretty heavy traffic and E  said that​”​all these people were going to be late for dinner!​”​  J, always so quick, quipped “Especially if you​’​r​e​ the cook!”  It was a good day  See you all next week!

A walk in City Park and the Denver Museum of Nature and Science IMAX film

walking in City Park Denver

 

Hi Everyone,
What a nice day we had. While we had fun at the movie and the museum, today was all about the interactions. Our new friend E was nice enough to allow us to start our day at their house.  It was a great way for the guys to get to know E better, and E was happy to show them around. E is a big hockey fan and B ​brought an appropriate ​  gift for E​ – ​He had a puck from the NHL all star game and graciously gave it to him.

​Mary brought coffee and donuts for us, which we ate while sitting around E’s kitchen table, great way to start the day. T made us laugh when he was teasing E about being so tall..”You can see more things then we can!” And B, who is certainly tall himself, said,  “I guess we’re just a bunch of Smurfs”​

 It was a really cool dynamic today, Mary and I noticed several times that the guys would kind of break off into little conversational groups. One of the more challenging aspects of ​caring for people with dementia, is ​keeping conversation going and keeping everyone engaged. Today,
​it seemed like ​the guys did everything on their own​!​ There were a few times I almost felt like I was intruding. The conversations were all over the place, from sports, to weather, ​to D’s time working at the mint, to T’s early years in Greeley, and ​to the inescapable goose poop at ​City Park. ​

 

When we ​arrived at the Museum of Nature and Science, we thought we would try to sneak a walk in before it got too cold and windy. We got in a short ​but decent ​one, but the wind was really starting to bite, so we headed in for lunch at the museum​’​s restaurant. Good day to go to the museum, all the kids are back in school and it is too soon after the break for field trips. We were able to push together a couple of tables in the back and settled in.  Mary and I just kind of sat back and let the guys do all the talking. Moods were bright and there was a lot of laughter. Someone brought up the Three Stooges and we had fun with that for a while. B was  trying to figure out ​who ​was going to be Moe, Curly, and Larry. We men take our Three Stooges pretty seriously.

 
 After lunch we headed upstairs for an Imax on the National Park System. It was in 3 ​D​and I wish you could have seen us all sitting there in our funny glasses.
 
After the movie it was time to start heading home!? Time flies they say. On the way home we were all in Mary’s van, and the conversations kept going. D and I were busy in the back, Mary and E were chattering away in the front, and T and B were deep in conversation. It was great to see the guys interacting like that. It shows me that they feel comfortable and safe with each other.

Red Rocks Grill Morrison + Jiminy Wicket in the morning

I am really happy with the croquet program we participate in. While we have our slow paced coffee/chat/laugh/banter…time in the morning we also have that mid-morning activity which every single one of them approach with at least a degree of seriousness and competitiveness. Every one of them.

Really each of them give it a darn good try. When we first arrived today they were in need of a foursome right away, and all six of the guys were ready and willing to jump right in. At the end, as always, help is needed for cleanup and the guys jump right in that as well, rolling up the rugs and carrying them outdoors to a storage shed, then moving tables and chairs back into place.

Off to lunch. Today in Morrison at the Red Rocks Grill, where Brian had requested the “back room” for us, which I had never been in, but it was so good for us. Nice to have the extra space and lack of noise and a more intimate feel. A couple of times it was too intimate however, since it was also where the bathroom was for all the other customers – but of course that led to further jokes which I will save you from hearing.

There were more serious talks today of course too, as well as all the laughter. Talk about our children’s careers, R and I in the car – he identified Otis Redding as the singer on the radio and had stories about him – L’s upcoming trip, many of them mention how much they care about their dogs, etc…

And that was about it today, I wish we could have had a walk or more time outdoors but the wind made that impossible. At least we were up and moving for more than an hour when we were at croquet, though I know that’s not much.

My favorite line of the day goes to M. Though this isn’t the funniest line – it wasn’t intended to be – but I thought is was important and it impressed me. My carpool was heading home and things had quieted down, it was sort of the winding down mellow time in our day. Out of the blue I heard him ask T: “your hands are large. I bet that helped you when you threw”. (meaning during his football days) As you know, those connections are important to me – that M remembered T’s personal history, and that he cared enough to ask…and then the conversations keep  on going…

Four Mile House Denver and lunch at Syrup

Four Mile House Denver

walk in the snow, Four Mile House grounds

When I planned the day, I was concerned the cold temperatures were going to be quite a challenge, but it really was fine. You will see here the picture of us at Four Mile Park, the grounds looked SO pretty in the snow. We had a 1:30 tour there yesterday. It was just our little group with the guide, and he did a good job for each of us.

In the morning we the group had  their coffee at the massive “Bass Pro Shop Outdoor World”.  They loved it! It has an aquarium and many stuffed, life sized forest animals and the ladies  all got a kick out of it. We had  lunch later in Cherry Creek  and they all had stories to share about it. Brian takes the guys there sometimes, on other days, but we’ll have to remember how the ladies like it too. Lunch was  at “Syrup” in Cherry Creek  before our afternoon tour at the Historic Four Mile Park.

On the drive home E and J were discussing how “in those days”, the homesteading days, people didn’t live long. E: “I mean if you were 50 you were an old lady. They all died young.” J agreed with her but then said, “Well, they’re all dead now!” Ha! She surprises me sometimes with her wit.

I love how these women interact all day long, it’s a joy to be part of their “Ladies Day”. They are thoughtful of each other and appreciate of our day out.

Drive through Daniels Park and lunch at “A Taste of Mexico”

turkeys in castle pines

Driving with B has reminded ​me ​what an impact music has. I have found that alternating between the 50’s and the 60’s station​s ​on the radio is perfect. When he recognizes a song he starts laughing and singing many of the lyric​s ​perfectly. Last time we were together it was the Mamas and Papas. This morning it was two songs​ – ​Chantilly Lace and a song I had was not familiar with but he knew very well, Waterloo by Stonewall Jackson. Both songs made him laugh out loud as he sang along. It was a great way to start the morning.

 

​After we picked up R, we drove through 5 Points and Downtown Denver.  Because today is “Observed New Years Day” downtown was deserted! It was kind of nice to be able to putter around down there, not be in anyone’s way, and actually take a look up and down the streets.  R and I talked about the revitalization or gentrification of the Five ​Po​ints, the good and bad of it,​and some of the clubs that used to be down there.

 

We met up with the rest of the crew at Lamar’s in Highlands Ranch for coffee and doughnuts. It was good to see everyone ​in our group ​and listen to their chatter.

 

Because of the observed holiday and the chilly wind we didn’t have a lot of options for activity today.  We drove to Daniels Park

​as planned, however, ​and stopped to take in those views​,​ but the winds were just to​o​ strong and cold. We were out of the car for maybe 10 minutes, said “oh is that pretty” and ​then ​ran back to the car.  It actually is a beautiful big view out there and everyone did appreciate it. I enjoy watching and talking with L in these situations.  He seems to want to take a few minutes to soak it all in, and today wasn’t any different even with the wind.

 

Lunch was at “A Taste of Mexico” in ​Castle Pines. ​It was quiet there too, which is was nice.  We had a big round table in the sun, had a great lunch, and a lot more chatter. 
After lunch we took ​our ​carpools on a  “Scenic Drive”. We pulled over when we saw a group of wild turkeys.  We tried our turkey calls with little luck. There were several comments about how lucky we are to live where we do,​  some said “​​want ​to bring my wife here” …I know we were in the car quite a bit today, but they all  seemed to be relaxed and enjoyed being in the country and driving through the woods the latter part of the day.
 

New Years Day with my friends

Starbucks snacking today!

I didn’t realize that New Year’s Day was such a holiday, or I guess I hadn’t given that enough attention in advance of today. But everywhere we went for lunch was closed! The one spot I found that would be appropriate for us had a one hour wait, so we skipped that of course and ended up actually quite comfortable at a quiet  Starbucks in Littleton. I was able to get S and L some decent snack type foods to make a meal, a  “protein pack” and a yogart and a sausage sandwich etc. It was perfectly fine in the end.
It was entertaining for me because there were non-stop reminders in the Starbucks that New Year’s Eve was last night. I’ve never seen so many people out in public in their pajamas! Many customers had sunglasses on and really everyone in there today looked like they’d had a rough night.
S and L were on a par when it came to their energy today, both were a bit lethargic but content. They had their usual one-line observations which mean so much to me. Driving through an upscale nieghorhood S said, “expensive housing”, or L stopping in her tracks to say hello to  the small children running circles in the parking lot with their shoes lighting up. We talked about how nice the weather was for January, S was whistling Old Lang Syne on and off all day, and both of them – this was so funny – as I was driving up Broadway realizing that all my attempts at finding a restaurant were failing I decided to drive through McDonalds to at least get them a coffee to hold them over. I had asked for one ice cube in each cup but their coffees were therefore  a not very pleasant room temp and S and L’s grimaces and criticisms were hysterical. They were very disapproving!  S literally said, “I’d give this a B+”
We brought S home in the afternoon, then Louise and I went to the Rec Center, as has become our routine. We went up to the track and got in a good 20 minutes of steady walking, her energy improving as we went. Good good day with my friends.