Tuesday, September 30, 2008

List of restaurants and stores within 5 miles of our house that have closed.

This is the most staggering show of how the economy is doing a nose-dive in our area. It's quite amazing, I have been shocked at the number of businesses closing down. Not just little local places either. National chains have closed stores in our area. It's just so weird.

Black Eyed Pea
Village Inn
Pasta Bella (less than a year old)
Lighthouse Cafe (less than 6 months old)
Brother's BBQ (a little over a year old)
Big D's BBQ (less than a year old)
La Shish (only like 3 months old)
Linen's & Things
Gift shop on Main Street
First Tier Bank (about a year old)
House That Brews (less than a year old)

Even more amazing than the amount of businesses that have closed is how our Town is handling it. THEY JUST KEEP BUILDING!!!!!

There are oodles of empty store fronts right now, it's insane. There's half of the old Target, an entire former grocery store and numerous strip malls with empty stores. Off-hand I can think of 3 brand new strip malls, one of which has been finished for an entire year and hasn't had one tenant. It's insane!! There are multiple others going up.

Parker is really a fairly small town. The population is approx. 47,000. The majority of people who live here are commuters, most jobs available within the town are retail sales, there is very little professional opportunity here. This is essentially a bedroom community. We are very close to many large shopping areas. I do not know what the town is thinking by allowing so much expansion of retail and restaurants when it is clear that the town is not supporting these businesses. It's sad to drive around town and see so many places gone or never occupied to begin with.

To be fair, we did just get a Cosco. (Which is never busy, it's amazing!! I've been to a few different Cosco's and this one is totally dead compared to others.) Sadly they build their own new monstrosity of a building though, instead of using one of the few large vacant buildings. And the old Albertson's has a Sprout's moving in. A couple of the small restaurants have been filled with new ones, but all the chain buildings are sitting empty. I'll be interested to see how the new small resturants do, most of them seem to be failing in less than a year.

Does it look like this everywhere in the country? It's obvious when you drive through my area that the economy is in the crapper. Is it like this where you live too? I'm wondering if Parker is just doing a lousy job of handling growth or if it's businesses across the country that are dying.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

A job that pays

I have been gainfully employed for a couple weeks now. I have been doing birthday parties and events for the Fun Bus. Believe it or not I am training to learn how to DRIVE the bus tomorrow. Yes, I am going to drive the big green party bus. You have been forewarned.

It hasn't been enough hours though, only 2-3 a weekend actually, so I am adding in a second weekend job. I will be working for Guest Services at Invesco Field for the remaining home Broncos games. Doesn't that sound cool? I'm pretty excited. I've never even been to a Broncos game and now I get to go to 6 this year!!! And they will pay me to be there. Score!!!!! Of course, I might not be so excited in December when it's butt cold out and I still have to do my job but I'm trying to not think too far ahead.

Yay for making money!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Walkin' on Broken Glass

It's been a morning.

Maggie was out of food, as were the cats, so a run to the pet spa (yes, we buy our food at a doggie bakery and pet spa, roll your eyes if you must) was in order. I knew the dogs would be hungry but I didn't want to feed Kirby until I fed Maggie. This would prove to be a bad decision.

I crated Maggie and put the cats in the bathroom with their pan and left Kirby lose since I've done it before (3 hours yesterday) and he was fine. This would prove to be another bad decision.

We were gone 30 minutes, tops.

I got home and was in a rush to feed the dogs so I let Maggie out, collected doggie bowls, opened Maggie's food, scooped up Kirby's food, filled the bowls with a little bit of water and then cracked a can of wet food to mix a little in. Yes, they are spoiled. I set the dog bowls down and turned around. Then I gasped.

My huge hand-painted-by-me pasta bowl was in eleventybillion pieces on the floor.

The amazing part of this whole scenario is that somehow I didn't see my huge pasta bowl broken all over my kitchen floor. I guess I am so use to there being crap (ie, toys) all over my floors that it didn't even register, even when I stood at the sink, directly next to it. Or I am completely myopic. I'll let you be the judge.

So I cleaned up the glass. Bye-bye beautiful bowl.

Then suddenly it occurs to me that there was food in the bowl. I used it as a fruit, bread, whatever else is on my counter and needs containing bowl (when I make a replacement bowl I will not write the word Pasta in it so that I don't need to constantly feel conflicted as to whether my bowl is properly serving it's purpose in life). It contained pumpkin bread that James baked 2 days ago and chocholate chip cookies that I baked last night.


So I sent out a search party and it was quickly reported to me that there were cookie remains and ripped bags on the stairs.

Apparently Kirby likes fresh baked goods. Lesson learned. Boy gets to stay in his crate when we leave the house from now on.

So, the mess is cleaned up and I start emptying the dishwasher. In the process of emptying I was passing my awesome 2 cup Pyrex measuring cup from one hand to the other and I somehow missed. The cup flew accross the kitchen and smashed into the fridge and then to the floor.

Eleventybillion pieces of glass on the floor, take two.

Both the kids are all over it, unbelieveably impressed that we had two such incidents in less than an hours time. I tried to kick them out of the kitchen, they were barefoot because they had been outside in the sandbox. They were both carrying drinks I had poured right before this all happened. Ian was walking towards the livingroom with his cup and apparently he stepped on a small piece of something. He screams, lifts his foot and pours milk all over the dishwasher door, which is open, and contains all my clean silverware.

You know, sometimes I think my life is boring and then I realize this is the stuff that they put in comedy's to make the audience laugh, so maybe I have a really interesting life, maybe I even have a cool life!!

Or maybe I just have spilled milk on the clean silverware.

Monday, September 15, 2008

This is Kirby

There is no denying his beauty.

And his beauty isn't just skin deep either. He has a beautiful soul. Really. I know it sounds weird to say such a thing about a dog but it's true. He just wants to be loved. He follows me everywhere and just wants to put his head on my knee and look at me adoringly. He's only been here for 4 days and he's fit in so perfectly it's amazing.

I think I may be in love.

This is the trouble with fostering. It's business as usual and then WHAM. Beautiful doggie with perfect disposition comes in and I'm suppose to be content just caring for him and passing him on to someone else.

Completing an adoption for him will require a huge box of tissues and a large bottle of tequila.

I'm not sure I can do it.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

They make me laugh so darn hard (when I'm not trying to crawl under something to hide).

This morning in the car Ian started yelling that he had a boogie, which was no shocker since we have all been sick around here. I told him he would have to wait a minute and he was quiet. Then he says.

"I got it"

"You got what, did you wipe the boogie off?"

"Nope, I ate it."


A few minutes later he starts saying he has a boogie on his finger again. I told him just to wait and he says

"It's otay mama. I like dem. Boogies are my friends."

*me laughing* "They're your friends, eh?"

"Yes, dey my buddies."

"Well, that's fine then. Just don't eat your buddies, ok."

"Otay mama."

"Thanks bud."

"Your welpome mama"

Then we get to the store. I was on the hunt for a pair of tennis shoes and an air pump. I get to the sporting goods section and I'm mumbling to myself about which pump to get, the hand pump, the foot pump, the pump that looks like a pogo stick. Too many choices. So I say

"I'll just get this one, it's the cheap one."

and to my horror and embarrassment Ian starts screaming "NO MAMA, NO GET THE CHEAP ONE, I HATE THE CHEAP ONE, NO GET THE CHEAP ONE!!!"

and Gracie pipes in "It's ok Ian, mama always gets the cheap one. Mama likes cheap stuff. Mama's cheap."

So there you have it.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Kids on pot.

I guess it's more accurately kids in the pots, but whatever!!!

Dragging out the pots and pans has become a regular occurrence lately. It can be so loud, but they love it. They are their own little Blue Man group at times!!

Happy Birthday Singa!!!

Singa the kitty is one year old today. She's 8 pounds of cuteness now and she and Gracie will always be the best of friends. Happy birthday Singa, we love you!!!

Saturday, September 06, 2008

I turned 34.

We celebrated in style!