Welcome to my blog!

This is my blog, Just Chipper. You would think it's going to be chalk-full of pictures and stories about the love of my life, my Lhasa Apso, Chipper. Oh, it will, mind you. But, dig deeper, and you'll discover all that makes me smile, and cry, and laugh, and sigh, because this blog is reintroducing creativity into my life. Something I once treasured, but somehow lost. I lost my dad to cancer in May 2007. Somehow, that's when I lost my creativity. I still think about him every single day. Well, minute really. My dad lived life to its fullest. He was "Just Chipper" when asked how he was doing. This blog is my tribute to him and the family that I love and hold dearest to my heart.

Friday, November 7, 2014


Wow, it has been a very long time since I have posted an actual blog.  Hate the fact that it always comes so few and far between these days.  But, this morning, I was struck.  Words started hitting me left and right, and I found myself writing this blog in my head.  So here I am slapping those words down on paper.  Well, digital paper.  

I feel like an actual writer / author, for I'm sitting here in my 2 Queen Bed hotel room in Copper Mountain typing words on my MacBook Pro.  No music playing.  Just the sounds of the snowmaker from outside, as today is opening day of ski season.  I only wish I had a typewriter, for the words are coming fast thru me, and I so want to be able to push the knobbly thingy to the side as though I have just finished a masterpiece.

Or rather, a master peace.

I'm here in Copper Mountain for work.  Yes, work.  Behind-the-scences shooting members of the USA Ski Team.  I just feel so blessed.  I have a beautiful home.  I just married my best friend a month ago.  I can't get enough of my dog - he is just going to have to live forever.  And I'm here in Copper Mountain for work.  Life is good.

The reason I titled this post Peace... is because I actually feel as though I achieved a little bit this morning.  I still awoke at my normal 5:30am.   Fixed myself some coffee and watched my obligatory first 15 minutes of the TODAY show.  I then set off for a morning walk/run.  Hmmm, what to listen to while out on a solo run in the mountains, I pondered.  Well, John Denver, of course.  And yes, I have to admit it, I brought out the JD Christmas tunes.  Not the most ideal running music, by any means, but when you're in the mountains, you listen to John Denver.  Anyway, I digress.  Yes...Peace...  I found myself able to run longer than usual.  I found myself wanting to go farther than usual.  I found myself crying...  Not out of sadness, but from the sense of peace that was wrapping around me.  I was engulfed in the mountains, some (not much, mind you) snow on the ground, and the sun just coming up over the hills.  And John Denver's 'Oh Holy Night' started playing.  And I cried.  I felt him.  There, beside me, and all around me, I felt him.  My dad.

It's very rare that I ever let myself think about my dad for too long of a time, and even more rare that I allow myself to cry from his absence.  It used to be that once I started crying about him, it was very difficult for me to stop.  So, I learned to push it all down, somewhere deep inside me.  Call it numbness or a facade, but it proved to help me.  But this morning, the mountains, John Denver, and the sun shining on my face, made me feel my dad's presence.  And I cried.  And I smiled.  And for the briefest of moments, I felt at peace...

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Spice Em Up (Pecans, that is....)

These pecans have a bite, but are addicting.  Whether in a salad or just to pop a few in your mouth, they will leave you feeling warm all over....  Enjoy!

2 Egg Whites
1 1/2 teaspoons Salt
3/4 cup Sugar
2 teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce
2 tablespoons Hungarian Paprika (I used just plain ole' Paprika)
1 1/2 teaspoons Cayenne Pepper
4 1/2 cups Pecan Halves
6 tablespoons Unsalted Butter, melted and cooled

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Beat egg whites w/ salt until foamy.  Add sugar, Worcestershire sauce, paprika, and cayenne.  Spread pecans evenly on a baking sheet.  Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes; cool.  Store in an airtight container.  Pecans will keep for quite a while (unless you're like me and sneak a few handfuls here and there~)

colorado classique cookbook, 2009

Sunday, November 18, 2012

On the Verge of Explosion

Wow, I wrote this nearly ten years ago...  Perhaps I was desperate for love.  Or to love. 
Hmmm... Was?  Perhaps that want (need) never really goes away.  In my eyes, there is always room for more explosions...

Why can’t I love?
How hard is it to reach out my hands and place them gently on you,
Letting you know that my affections are true?
In my mind’s eye, I caress and love you.
I lean in close to you and feel your warm breath mix with mine,
And we remain wrapped in each other’s grip.
With hour bleeding into hours, we truly love.
Then I blink, and my mind’s eye slowly fades to blindness,
Making my reality sink in even further . . .
I will never love.
Fatally flawed and destined to be alone.
No, I demand! No!
Only when I learn to leave the eyes open
That my mind and heart truly desire to witness will I ever begin to love.
Then, watch out.
For a love that has been bottled up for over 26 years only has room to explode.


Friday, November 9, 2012

Chili, of the Pumpkin Kind

We just tried this in the crockpot the other day, and found it to be scrumptious!  So, I thought I would share the recipe.   It's perfect for gameday, or just a cold and wintry afternoon.  Enjoy...

1 Tablespoon Canola Oil  (or olive oil)
1 Yellow Onion, diced
1 Bell Pepper (any color), diced
2 Cloves Garlic
1 Pound 93% lean ground beef or turkey
   (we used 2 Pounds - one of each)
2 (14.5 oz.) Cans Fire Roasted Tomatoes (we used 1 can and 1 can Tomatoes w/ Chilis)
2 (4 oz.) Cans Diced Green Chilis
1 (15 oz.) Can Pumpkin
3 Cups Low Sodium Chicken or Beef Stock
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
1 Tablespoon Chili Powder
1 Teaspoon Cumin
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
1/4 Teaspoon Black Pepper

Crockpot Directions:
Brown the meat until fully cooked.  Drain.  Combine all ingredients in crockpot.  Cook on low for 8 hours.

Stockpot Directions:
Heat larg skillet over medium heat.  Add meat and brown until fully cooked.  Drain grease and set aside.  In a large saucepan, heat oil over medium heat.  Add onion and bell pepper; cook until crisp tender.  Add garlic and cook one more minute.  Add meat and remaining ingredients.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for at least 30 minutes.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

The Timeline of Letting Go...

This poem of mine makes me laugh for some reason...  It was written many, many moons ago, when I was trying to "get over someone."  Funny how time allows you to do just that...

The Time Line of Letting Go...

Unto You this day shall appear,
A great new friendship and loved one to fear.
He’ll tell you he loves you and make your heart flutter,
Then turn to you ‘morrow--throw your heart in the gutter.

With rosy cheeks and a grin that knows no next,
You swear this man must be written out of some text.
But texts are turned pages of history that never seem to appear,
And making this man one of those pages is the most important decision of your year.

After one month, you’ll yearn for more candy.
The tempting sugar of his still makes you randy.
Then two months will pass and things may seem odd--
You’re beginning to forget his face and he seems to be a fraud.

Nearly six months will fly and your heart will be peaced,
For that nobody you loved is now figuratively deceased.
Love the ones you love--no doubt it’s going to happen.
But, above all, love the YOU that loves,
And discover you’ll always be a’laughin!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Warmth of My Loneliness

His words, caught in the web of my nights.
His smile impounded on my brain.
His laugh keeps me awake for hours,
But I don’t mind.
For his laugh makes me yearn for more.
My nights can get so desolate
In the cold darkness surrounding my room.
But his words, smile, and laugh are there
Keeping me warm in my loneliness.


Friday, October 26, 2012

Waiting for Discovery...

You don’t know me.
How can you think you know me when I don’t even know myself?
I don’t know who I am from one day to the next, one minute to the next, one second . . .
I can fly so high at times, like a diamond that radiates a million different hues in the sun’s glow.
And it’s so beautiful.
Oh, but those colors can fade, as all colors do.
And my high comes crashing to the ground in the blink of my eye, and it hurts to blink.
I don’t know what makes me me. 
And you don’t either.
But I’m here, alive and willing to learn.
And oh how sweet and comforting it is to know that you’re forever willing and waiting to take that risk with me.