Valentine’s Day = an excuse to give a gift to someone you love, without having to explain “Why?”

Ergo Robin now has a brand-new bottle of a beloved perfume that’s hard to find, and I now own a re-imagining of the hoodie that somehow manages to creation the illusion that I am a stylish person.

We took the 35 mile drive to Ouray for a Valentine’s Day lunch at a Thai restaurant that is a favorite of ours, and found the town nice and sleepy. Ouray has no ski hills, so winters are quiet enough that when you visit during that time of year you have only about a fifth of the usual dining places to choose from, and there is no competition for parking spaces.

But it was a lovely outing, in fifty-degree sunshine. We stopped at Pa-Co-Chu-Puk state park on the way home, to check out the Uncompahgre River and watch a fly fisherman in full graceful mode. Some fishing ponds at the park were still frozen over, and a mental note was made to check back in a couple of weeks.


At “PaCo” there are two types of fishing. The river is a prized body of water, where only artificial lures are allowed, and only catch-and-release is allowed. A few yards away from the river are two large ponds where anything but dynamiting is allowed, and you can keep almost as many trout as you could possibly want.

Purist vs. put-something-on-the-table fisherman. On any given day, I might be both within the span of a couple of hours.


I am indebted to daughter Maja for this link. They are actual one-star ratings of national parks. A graphic artist has created a delightful poster for each one. Below is one example, there are many others to see. Just click.


We are contemplating building a shed in the back yard, to store items that the extremes of hot and cold weather will not harm. At present we have a two-car garage which of course is really a one-car garage due to encroachment by the racks and stacks of treasures no sane person would ever part with.

We also have rented another storage space located two miles from our home, which is just as convenient as it sounds. In theory, a shed in the yard would replace that off-campus enclosure and allow us to visit our hoard more often.

Did I say we were building a shed? Let me correct that. I would have it built, rather than constructing it myself. I don’t even want to think about what a building that I put up on my own would look like. Something out of Alice In Wonderland, I’ll wager.

No, Mother Nature did not gift me with the skillset of a carpenter, as she did my father and grandfather before me. Instead I was given impatience and a poor eye for detail.

Perhaps a vignette from high school will be enlightening. In wood shop we were expected to complete a few simple projects during the course of a year. I chose to build a small jewelry box out of some beautiful walnut. Seemed easy enough. Only six sides, two hinges and a hasp.

My downfall was the six sides. No matter what I did, they never meshed together. And each correction that I made, which meant cutting a bit off here and there, meant that the box grew smaller.

Finally, in despair, I had to throw away those pretty pieces of wood and abandon the entire enterprise. At that point, even if by some miracle everything suddenly came together, there would be room for very little jewelry … perhaps one earring and a bangle and that would be that.

But at least the little box would cause no serious harm if it fell on a passer-by. Not like a shed at all in that regard.


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