Leanin Tree Museum of Western Art in Boulder

Leanin Tree in Boulder

Nice day with the two amigos! We had to be in Boulder early for an 11:00 tour, so D and I picked up coffee and donuts for the drive on the way to pick up B. As we pulled up to B’s, he was waiting outside for us. He saw us, locked the door, and jumped in the car. We broke out the donuts and coffee and headed for Boulder. It was a beautiful day driving west. The wind yesterday had blown everything out, and the sky was a pretty deep blue, with great clarity. We could see a snowy Longs peak, and Mt Evans looked awesome with the sun and the snow. We were going to the Leanin Tree facility on the outskirts of Boulder. It is a western themed greeting card company. The founder is an aficionado of western art and has amassed quite a collection, which he displays in his personal art museum.

Before we could get to the art we had a tour of the factory which makes the greeting cards. They were in the process of year end inventory, so it was a quieter tour than usual. We watched a short film on the history of the company, the owner and his family. Besides all the cool machines, we learned some facts, and we saw how glitter and ribbons and trim are added to the greeting cards, as well as their envelope folding machine.

After the tour we spent a fair amount of time looking at the art collection. Both of the guys enjoyed the artwork, and we had good discussion on some of the works. Outside is a sculpture garden of bronze animals, Indians, cowboys, and even a saddle. It was in the sun which made for a nice walk.

After that we drove into Boulder proper for lunch. It was packed! I thought there may be some excitement about the Buffs first bowl in many years, but no. We didn’t see folks decked out in CU colors or even any acknowledgement of the game. We ate at the west end of the Pearl Street Mall. Food was good, and the people watching was great. D had his bison burger, while B had a shrimp po boy. I had to chuckle when the waitress asked B if he wanted fries, without missing a beat he said “no I think they’re unhealthy, can I have a salad?”! We enjoyed our lunch and worked our way back into town. We came up the back way through Golden and really enjoyed the drive.

a few hours together, starting at LaMars for donuts and coffee in Highlands Ranch

Ah, good to have the gang together. I’ve always enjoyed my time with these two. It’s more about just being together and socializing. I picked up L and we headed down to Castle Rock to get M. In the car we talked about their dogs, and holiday plans, cars, and those miles’ long coal trains that run along Sante Fe. We then went out for coffee at Lamar’s in  Highlands Ranch. Our ” clubhouse”!

L brought up how pretty it is up deer creek canyon, and so we took a nice drive up the hills, and just enjoyed the scenery.  We spotted a few deer, but that was about it.  Made for some good reminiscing, and conversation. We compared East and Western mountains, mountains then and now, and how we all don’t get up there enough.
As Loand I were dropping M off, M went to shake L’s hand. L said something along the lines of the heck with that, and gave M a huge bear hug. I think M was a bit perplexed, but he went with it. As I watched I thought about how a  hug is a sign of friendship and shared experiences. That’s what this one was. It was cool to see. I enjoy my time together with these two guys, I hope we can do it again soon.

Happy Hollidays

2016 end of year fundraiser a success

Thank you!

Our goal was to raise $5,000 in five weeks, to provide direct relief to  families impacted by Alzheimer’s Disease

and (drum roll please)…WE DID IT!


Donations are always welcome – checks can be mailed to the following address.




Thank you from me, Mary Archer,  founder of Out and About Colorado, and from the many families we serve and love.

TAX DEDUCTIBLE DONATIONS CAN BE MAILED TO:  The Montgomery Fund   9457 South University Blvd  #733  Highlands Ranch CO  80126



5.5 million Americans have Alzheimer’s Disease

5% of them are considered “Young Onset”

$5,000 per year is the minimum a family spends on caregiving

$5,000 in 5 weeks – our 2016 end of the year fundraising goal

Family Sports Center in Centennial, to watch our Avalanche players at practice

Family Sports Center in Centennial

Family Sports Center in Centennial

Good day today, everything went very well. The three guys and I  began with “healthy” donuts and coffees at Whole Foods at  Southglenn, where we
 lingered and relaxed. It was very very nice. I was sitting with the three guys and about through our first cups when E and B walked in and it was a great feeling, really – to look up and see more friends walk in, us all greeting each other – just a nice way to begin our day.
They  had been batting around the idea of going out near the Centennial airport to the Sports Complex where the Avs practice, but they weren’t sure if the timing would work. Brian checked on his phone and yep, the timing was great, so we took a vote and decided to stick together the rest of the day and head out that direction. I am SO glad we did, it was just right for today. There were zero crowds, it’s a large place to explore and walk around in, we watched some young families playing down in the game area ( some  of the guys were wishing they could jump around down there too!), we watched some hockey and then meandered into the restaurant, which I had never been to, but Brian and E were very familiar with it. E seemed particularly proud to show us around and told us the food and service would be good, and we were not disappointed.
My favorite memory of today is when the six of us in the restaurant squashed into a booth built for four!, because we wanted to  sit there next to the window and watch the planes come in and out of the nearby airport. We gave it our best, but the waitress asked a few times, “are you sure?!” and we decided it was sort of  ridiculous after all,  so we moved to another table and stretched out. It was pretty comical.
I thoroughly enjoyed my day with the  group today, and I know everyone of them had a good day too. I am glad Brian and E hung out with us, it added that much more energy. Brian is excellent with these guys. Excellent. He is calm and subtle in the way he cares for them (quietly cutting a hamburger in half, reaching out an arm to help someone down the stairs, preparing a coffee exactly as he knows someone likes it, etc) without making anyone  feel dependent or needy. I believe they simply feel cared for and safe, not babied or mothered. He does it just right. Plus he laughs along at all the silliness and adds a great deal of that to the mix.
Looking  forward to next time.

lunch today at Pints Pub and a visit to the Emily Griffith exhibit which is quite good

Denver  Public Library

Denver Public Library

Croquet at Wash Park (“Jiminy Wicket”) was leisurely and fun. I brought donuts and fruit, we bought coffees and tea from Java Café, and enjoyed about an hour and a half with the rest of the participants. Then on to lunch, at “Pints Pub”. They have a separate room upstairs which works well for Out and About Colorado groups, as it’s adjacent to the restrooms (convenient!), and we don’t have interference from others in the restaurant nor too many distractions. The food and service is reliable and they are always kind to us.  In that separate room we can sit  comfortably and have some good conversations. Well, with this Monday group”conversations” is a stretch. Though we do have them, there is far more banter and playful chatter than anything of any depth!
After lunch we walked the block or two to the Denver Public Library and spent the majority of our time in the large room on the fifth floor

where there is currently an exhibit on Emily Griffith and her school, which is now 100 years old. I was very pleased with observing that our time there  must have felt to the guys like a combination of friends spending a day together, learning a thing or two about Denver history, joking around, being able to independently wander  at their own  pace, while feeling secure and warm indoors on a winter day. I think it worked quite well for everyone today.

Brian and Jennifer and I genuinely enjoy our time with these guys and thank you for letting us care for them on Mondays. I had an emotional day yesterday with my small Sunday group, just dementia-stuff, it was bumming me out.  I know that happens to you too.  But this morning when B and I were  singing “Here Comes Santa Claus” to a country music station playing in my car, … boy did I start feeling better.

Denver Art Museum visit and lunch at Park Meadows, a nice outing on a cold winter day

Denver Art Museum

Denver Art Museum

… quick recap of yesterday. When I arrived at 10:00  E was waiting and ready to go. Our first stop was meeting Mary and Jennifer and their “Ladies Day” group  for coffee at Lamars in Littleton. We joked around with the  ladies a bit then the two of us  went to the Denver Art Museum.  We spent most of our time in the  Native American area. We were quite taken by the  totem poles. E’s favorite piece  was a southwestern scene of an adobe shack in the middle of the desert.  As we discussed what we liked about the painting, we figured out that we liked the way the artist used light. After the museum it was off to lunch, we had burgers, talked a bunch about our Avalanche team and headed on back home. Good day, and I’m glad E is giving us a try, I’m sure he had fun.

The Ladies Group spent much of their day at Park Meadows Mall, lunching at Nordstroms Café and otherwise enjoying the holiday festivities, decorations and music in  the mall. I didn’t see them at this point in their day but wish I did, what an image –

the four ladies with Jennifer be-bopping around, laughing and enjoying being part of the group. Great indoor activity for a cold day, and I’m told it went very well.


Forney Museum today with the guys


At the Forney Museum, Denver

At  the Forney Museum, Denver

Chilly, but busy day. We had a fun group of guys today, everybody was eager and ready to head out to start our day. Since  we picked up D. last in Aurora, we were stuck without a closeby Lamar’s!  I may well be still going through withdrawal as I type this. Luckily when I was out in Castle Rock yesterday, we ran into the same problem and we ended up at a place called the Donut House, and I remember thinking we need one of these closer to us. Well, lo and behold, we are driving down Parker road and what do we see? A brand new Donut House. We stopped and went in for our morning ritual. Nice slow way to get the day started. There was a middle eastern gentleman running the store, as soon as he saw D’s USMC hat he ran around the counter to shake his hand and thank him for all he had done.

 From there  we took a drive to downtown and on to the Forney Museum. They have a special exhibit on Chevy Bel Airs from 1955-1957. Apparently all three of our guys have had Bel Airs in those years, so we had a lot to look at, and to talk about. We spent a lot of time looking at the Car/boat/airplanes that they have on display. D. was able to remember being a kid out fishing with his father when he saw one of the car/boats drive into Cherry Creek. I have heard him tell the story before, but he was pretty detailed and clear about it today, even saying he was pretty sure it was red. We also lingered over the motorcycles. B likes his Harley’s, D. likes his Triumphs, while D. is a Honda guy. Lucky for us there were plenty of the above to keep us busy.

After leaving Forney, we hopped on I70 and went to lunch at the Islamorada Fish Company. It is a really good restaurant that just happens to be located in the Bass Pro Shops at Northfield. They have a wall sized aquarium behind their bar that kept us entertained for quite awhile. They even had an albino shark that would swim by every so often. We had our usual selection of burgers and fish, and there were no to-go boxes, which is always a good thing. We had a  nice waiter, who was also quick to notice D’s hat and thank him for his service. The waiter told us about a coin that his father carried as a Marine, which the waiter now has. He took it out of his wallet and let us pass it around and ohh and ahh over it.  After lunch we wandered about the store looking at all the stuffed animals they have. They really do some amazing things, they have one high wall of  ledges with  stuffed mountain goats standing overhead, plus  moose, bears, beavers, and elk.

We had a really good day. All of the guys were engaged and interacting with one another, moods were bright and every one was pretty conversational. As we drove home we listened to a little Willie Nelson. Fun day, good company, cool cars, and taxidermied animals. Can’t beat it! Look forward to next time.

starting at LaMars in Highlands Ranch, then on to the Morrison Museum

 LaMars Donut Shop HIghlands Ranch

LaMars Donut Shop HIghlands Ranch


Hi Everyone,
Another rollicking, fun day. This group gets along so well, and has so much fun together, that it’s hard to know where to begin. So, I’ll start where most of our days start, at Lamar’s Donuts in  Highlands Ranch.  The place was empty and we couldn’t figure out if it was a slow Monday, or it was that we had chased all the other customers away. Either way we didn’t care as we settled in with coffee and snacks. There was lots of football talk as well as talk of the impending storm. There was also the usual repartee that this group excels at.

We then went on a drive throughout the Turkey Creek area and Willow Springs, were treated to a closeup view of a herd of deer, and then went on to Morrison for  a tour of their museum. Usual hysterical banter in our two cars; The conversation and ridiculousness in the car can sometimes be the highlight of the day. In Mary’s car, M started singing along to “I Got You Babe” and B jumped right in! L told us how he wasn’t allowed to sing in choir in school, then gave us a sample note or two which was a riot.
Morrision is a hotbed for  fossil and dinosaur remnants, which the natural history museum in Morrision focuses on. They have a T-Rex skull, a stegosaurus skull, and a tri-ceratops skull. They also took us back to the room in which they work on the fossils. In this room they have a piece of 150 million year old stone  (T –  “and I thought we were old”) which they have been dissecting for six years. They use air jets to take the sandstone away from the fossils, and all the guys took a turn on the air jet. Right as the tour started, we were joined by a mother and her 5 year old son. The son was so excited and so knowledgeable about dinosaurs, that when the tour guide would ask a question, we would all look to the child for the answer.
Did you know that T-rex’s are now thought to have been covered in feathers? It was an educational tour for sure. Our tour guide interacted well with our group, went at a pace that keep them engaged and happy and laughed along at all our corny jokes! She was terrific.

After that  it was off to Evergreen for lunch. We hadn’t bee to Beau Jo’s for a while, so this seemed like the perfect time. Between sandwiches and the all you can eat buffet, I don’t think anyone left hungry. As we lined up at the men’s room before we left,  Bill tried to get everyone to pay $25.00 for access!

Mary’s highlight of the day – M got in the car in the morning and she teased them about, “oh no, here we go again, another Monday.” to which M said, with a serious face, “you don’t mean that. You like these days. I do too. Mondays are my favorite day.” Awesome.

great tour today of the Mansion in Highlands Ranch, a wonderful day with our friends

tour of the Highlands Ranch Mansion

tour of the Highlands Ranch Mansion

december 6 highlands ranch mansion

Funny conversations at Lamar’s Donuts this morning, I am not coming up with any one liners in particular right now, but somehow we got on the subject of backseat driving and a lot of zingers were shot out!  We also covered the buffalo herd at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal Wildlife refuge, the clean up of the Rocky Flats and the opening of a Wildlife refuge there, the Lowery Air Force Base property and it’s missile silos.  That led to an observations that with there is a lot of stuff in the Denver area that could have blown up in recent history, and it  is kind of amazing that it hasn’t !

Our tour of the Highland Ranch Mansion was great.The mansion is decorated for Christmas and we had a terrific tour guide today by the name of Sharon.  The Mansion has a great history of owners and with each owner there were additions to the structure.  We were able to see the whole building and as B pointed out, “It just keeps getting bigger”.  The photographer of the day,(me) seems to have been taken with bathroom shots, but for good reason ! There are 11 of them !  Two bathrooms with showers that had 5 shower heads in them, a closet in the ladies bathroom with a “Bottom Washer” (bidet) in it, Jack and Jill bathrooms for children – with purple fixtures -and it goes on. The kitchen had an original nickel sink and a walk

in silver safe lined with velvet to store the silver table settings and linen. We learned that the Ranch House/Mansion and surrounding buildings were use in the filming of the miniseries “Centennial”. There are many details and stories in this house and as we were walking back to our cars we all commented that this is a great tour and we would all come back!

Active Minds talk today and lunch by a Christmas tree, got us in the holiday spirit

december 2 sharing coffee and snacksOur day started with a wonderful surprise. I had asked E’s family if I could bring paper goods and snacks and start our day at her house. When we arrived, she had set her dining room table so beautifully for us and had a pot of coffee waiting! It was really great. Some sweet pictures area attached.
After our lovely time at E’s, we went on a 20 minute drive into the Willow Springs area, connecting us to Hwy 8 by The Fort in Morrison. We stopped to watch some deer, and commented on the beautiful neighborhood tucked back there, and how the homes were each built to take advantage of the views.  D got C, S, and J  laughing in their car when she heard a song that she obviously likes, come on the radio.  It was maybe 15 seconds into the song when she asked J if she would turn it up then sang the chorus with sass….”Bad girls talking about the sad girls, Sad girls talking about the bad girl” !  It was disco car for about 3 1/2 minutes ! Lots of story telling and singing in our cars today.
We had lunch at Homestead Grill which generally is a fairly quiet place with a amazing views. Yesterday we had called ahead for a table and were warned it would be crowded, but it turned out the other crowds consisted of a rather large holiday luncheon and the windows were closed I guess to keep the room warm, so we weren’t able to enjoy the views! But there was a Christmas tree, and people all dressed up, and a fireplace, and the ladies  said afterwards that they understand, “things like that happen”, and the food and service were given high marks.
We then drove to the Bonnie Brae for our next adventure, an Active Minds talk on the history of holiday traditions.
 I personally thought it was amazing. My comment to the speaker afterwards  was,  “I like Christmas even more now.” He provided such a depth of knowledge but kept it moving. I was watching all our ladies during that hour, they seemed engaged to different degrees at different times, and I think it was overall a nice way to relax at the end of our day.
Back in my car as I was driving my carpool home I teasingly said, “Well E, it’s Friday, I guess you’ll be going to all the bars tonight for happy hour”. “Oh”, said the quick witted E, “I don’t wait for Fridays”