Our Story About The High Chinook Winds

Chinook Chinook Winds Foothills
Photo by Katie Barrett of Unsplash
chinook winds in the rockies

It was January 9,  2017, and the Chinook Winds took us by surprise.  We live in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, and that day the volatile Chinook Winds blew with brute force.  It was very scary.  We are so fortunate our manufactured home withstood such magnetic wind speeds.  Later, I read in the N.O.R.A.D News the winds gusted up to 101 mph.

That day 

The day started out fairly quiet, and around 2 p.m. the winds suddenly increased at a substantial rate.  Our wood fence around our home was swaying, conforming, and buckling to every wind gust and turn.  Our windows and doors were shaking powerfully, ready to explode inward at any moment.  Large, strong trees were literally bending at 90 degree angles. 

Winds Chinook Winds Dogs Joe Dolly
Photo by Julie Zbornik
Our Dogs

Joe and Dolly, our poor dogs were terrified of the noise.  We tried our best to keep them safe in a room with less windows, and less commotion.  As we kept watch from the inside, debris was continuously flying past us.  Pieces of skirting from people’s homes.  Garbage cans.  All sorts of trash.  Small lumber parts.  Ornaments left from X-mas time. 

Neighbors roof

Next thing you know,  our neighbor’s roof had peeled back,  and rose up in the air.  It was still attached, but the winds force was so mighty the peeled back section was standing in upright position.  My boyfriend helped the neighbors pull the roof back down and temporarily nail it to the side of their home.   It was horrifying to witness.  That particular roof is made of sharp tin.  I watched, terrified that one of their heads might be sliced right off.  I thanked God nothing like that happened and they were all alright.

Power outage

Then the power went out……for three full days.  No heat, 30 degrees,  fridge filled with spoiled food.  Of course, these three days, we were very grateful for canned, non-perishable food, and warm clothing.  We heard through the grapevine semi-trailers and high profile vehicles were tipped and scattered everywhere on the roads.  

When you face these conditions it can be challenging and scary to say the least.  Now,  I really feel terrible for all the people who endured the recent catastrophic hurricanes in the south.  They have suffered tremendously and therefore, I commend them highly for their continuous courage.  

You can read the news coverage about this January 9, 2017 wind event in Colorado, by clicking the link here.

Finally, until next time,  have a joyous and beautiful day!


10 Things To Know Before Moving To Colorado Springs

Colorado Colorful Mountains Views Outdoors
Photo by Julie Zbornik

If you are a reader of my posts,  you know I am from the Midwest and moved to Colorado Springs a few years ago.  Everyone knows it’s home to the grandiose Pike’s Peak.  But, these are the many other things I’ve learned about the city, since then.  

10 Things I Didn’t know about colorado springs

1.  Unless you are driving in the mountains themselves,  there’s really no need for a GPS.  You know your directions just by where the mountains are.  Look at the mountains and you’re looking west.  Turn left, you’re going south.  Facing right is the north.  However,  I faced major issues on the days when it is very foggy outside.   There ARE no mountains on these days!

2.  Colorado itself has very forward thinkers

A.)  As most people are aware,  Colorado was one of the first states to legalize recreational use of marijuana.  Yeah!!  Apparently people love this new law, since the state of CO has made billions of dollars in revenue from it.  As a result the entire state is more relaxed and non-combative now!   

B.)  The people here are constantly coming up with new ideas to help others feel better and be more efficient.  They are in the process of developing the Hyperloop reaching from Fort Collins all the way to Pueblo, CO.

Colorado Food Expensive
Photo by Leonie Wise of Unsplash
3.  The food is more expensive

One of the downsides to living here, is the cost of food.  In the Midwest the major grocery chains are HyVee, Fareway and Aldi Stores.  Here,  the 3 major stores for food are Walmart,  Safeway, and King Soopers.  I have found that food prices over all are quite a bit higher compared to the Midwest.

Colorado Mosquitos Dry Air
Photo by Manlake Gabriel of Unsplash
4.  The air is very dry

Mosquitoes are rare here.  Living in the Midwest, my boyfriend and I had to leave our barbeque and park we visited.  There was a dark cloud of mosquitoes attacking us in swarms.  We had to get away or our bodies would have resembled two large blown up pimples.  Out here in Colorado Springs,  the air is dry and humidity is low.  The only little creatures you need to think about are the spiders and the moths in the fall time.

Colorado Dogs Dog Parks Parks Play
Photo by Mitchell Orr of Unsplash
5.  Serious dog and animal lovers

Colorado Springs has a serious love for animals, especially dogs.  Every single person or family out here owns one or several rescue dogs.  And The Springs is notorious for dog parks for dogs to play and run in free of leashes.  Bear Creek Regional Park,  Cheyenne Meadows Dog Park and many others.

6.  Weather is very unpredictable

That’s the saying out here. “Wait for 5 minutes and the weather will change.”  It’s very true.  One morning we could have a raging ice/storm and by the afternoons everything is melted and warm.  The temps can change by 40 degrees from one day to the next.  It could be 65 degrees one day in December, and the next could have a high of only 30 degrees.  And in the foothills, many times there are very high winds called Chinook Winds.    We experienced the 100 mph gusts of these winds in January 2017.  Needless to say, we had to repair our entire roof. 

Colorado Traffic Housing
Photo by Johannes Andersson of Unsplash
7.  Traffic and Housing

For the past four years there has been a major influx of people moving to Colorado Springs.  Therefore, traffic has increased dramatically, causing many more accidents.  Also, housing prices are at an all time high, and people are finding it difficult to rent or buy. 

Colorado Jeep Ford Nissan
Photo by Neonbrand of Unsplash
8.  4-Wheel Drives

Jeeps,  Ford F150s, and Nissan Xterras own these streets out here.  They are everywhere you look.  I suppose this just comes with living near the mountains.  These vehicles must be in high demand in mountain living communities. 

Colorado Training Olympic Center
Photo by Charles Deluvio of Unsplash
9.  Home of the U.S. olympic training center

It’s no wonder that a high percentage of people in Colorado Springs are fit, healthy, and active.  You can never drive anywhere without seeing a runner or a biker in professional attire.  They are constantly moving, and practicing the art of their particular sport.

Colorado Hiking Trails
Photo by Julie Zbornik
10.  Hiking, biking, rock climbing and more

The photo above is one of tons of trails we’ve taken out here.  In future posts I hope to explain some of the experiences we’ve had on different trails.  There are about 500 miles of trails in Colorado Springs.  Some trails are for hikers and dogs.  Many allow horse back riding, and tons of trails for mountain bikers.  They range anywhere from level, easy, slow walking trails to very steep, difficult and dangerous trails.  

In conclusion:

Except for the higher cost of food,  heavier traffic and high housing costs, Colorado Springs is a beautiful place.  It’s colorful, mountainous, and has spectacular scenery and wildlife.  The trails are simply amazing and they give you the opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors.Colorado John Muir Hiking MountainsHope you all have a great day and see you next time!!!  



Is It Appropriate or Inappropriate?

appropriate elevator
Photo by Tomasz Rynkiewicz of Unsplash

Is It Appropriate or Inappropriate?

Number one:  Should you fart in an elevator and not own up to it?

I’m pretty sure we’ve all done it at one point or another in our lives.  One time I got on an elevator with a woman and her Corgi dog.  The woman clearly farted and then leaned down, and said, “Shame on you, Pebbles.”  I was like, “What?”  She blamed the poor doggy on her brutal, public, rancid air attack.  Meanwhile, the dog looked at me like,  “And I have to live with this on a daily basis!”  Meanwhile,  I just rubbed my nose like I had sinus issues, and ran out of the elevator.    Appropriate?  Please……we all beg you to try to at least hold it in, til you get to the hallway.

appropriate chocolate desserts
Photo by Brenda Godinez of Unsplash
Number two:  Should you eat all the free desserts at every restaurant for your B-day?

Probably not.  I did that one time prior to becoming vegan and never again.  I went to 6 different restaurants offering free desserts for your b-day.  I ate a large bowl of ice-cream.  Consumed a huge chunk of chocolate cake.  Drank a large milk-shake.  Stuffed down a large turtle dessert.  Had a caramel fudge brownie.  And finally,  scarfed down a piece of chocolate cream pie.  I was on a massive sugar high man….  I drove faster, walked faster, and talked faster.  I got all the stuff done in one day, that would normally take me a week.  Whew!!!!!  And boy, did I later crash….and slept for hours!

Nodding Talking Listening Appropriate
Photo by Rawpixel of Unsplash
Number three:  Should you Nod at someone even though you don’t know what the hell they are talking about?

This happened a while back.  A stranger was rambling on about some sort of technical computer stuff.  I just listened and nodded for about 20 minutes.  Finally, he said,  “You don’t know what I’m talking about, do you?”  I said,  “You’re right.  Not one word.”  We both laughed.

fat pregnant pregnancy overweight
Photo by Freestocks of Unsplash
Number four:  should you say congratulations to a stranger who looks like they are pregnant?

The answer here is a definite NO!  I did this one time at the check out line of a grocery store.  I thought she was pregnant, so I stated happily, “Congrats on expecting a new baby in your life!”  She looked at me like I was satan, and said flatly, and forcefully,  “I am NOT pregnant.”  So……leave those ladies alone!  They are simply just blissful they finished a Supersize meal and a whole bucket of ice-cream.  Don’t guess…..just smile.

airport socks clean socks security
Photo by Chuttersnap of Unsplash
Number five:  Should you wear clean socks to the airport?

Well……..as you can guess…….I didn’t.  I was in a huge rush when I had to get to the airport one time.  I forgot to change my socks.  Got to security, and they ask everyone to take off their shoes.  I looked around horrified, knowing my own socks were stinky and dirty.  I was praying no one would notice, but as it turns out, they did.  Even the security guard looked at my feet, then at me, and gave me that “winced” look.  From now on, I will ALWAYS have a clean pair of socks ready to put on.

shopping pennies
Photo by Mike Petrucci of Unsplash
Number six:  should you pay for your entire purchase with pennies?

I’ve done this before.  There were a couple times I was so broke I had to resort to my penny savings jar.  Needless to say,  everyone in line behind me was whispering stuff like,  “What the hell is she doing?”  And  “OMG….she’s so broke she has to pay with pennies?”  And,  “How in the heck did I get in line behind her?”  And then, the cashier looked at me like I was an alien with some sort of strange, unknown currency.  So, no…..I wouldn’t suggest it.

co-worker workers office
Photo by Alex Kotliarskyi of Unsplash
Number seven:  Should you tell a co-worker the new arrival looks like a Nasty prostitute?

I actually overheard this one time at one of my former jobs.  A new lady was walking towards the work building.  Two co-workers of mine  were looking at her.  Then one guy said to the other guy.  “Wow,  that one there looks like a nasty prostitute, with a messed up face, right?”  The other guy said,  “That’s my wife.”  Talk about tension in the workplace.

public restroom toilet stalls
Photo by Mike Wilson of Unsplash
Number eight:  Should you take a doo in a public restroom?

Should you drop a huge, thunderous bomb in the tank when the echo factor inside a public stall is astronomical?  Instead of being silent, shouldn’t we sing if we are going to attempt this?  Please…….just.try.not.to.  Thank you!  Also, it will save you from a wet butt splash too!

water slide bikini water
Photo by Iker Urteaga of Unsplash
Number nine:  should you wear a bikini or a full one-piece swimsuit when water-sliding?

Take it from me……wear a one-piecer.  Just believe me.  It’s rare if your bikini top doesn’t come off.  Others, of course will truly enjoy your naked boob experience.  So, if you are an exhibitionist, feel free to wear a bikini. 

bar club drinks
Photo by Eaters Collective of Unsplash
Number ten:  Should you tell your boss they have a white line of dust under their nostril?

When I was a bartender many years ago,  this happened to me.  I was serving my boss her usual cranberry and vodka juice.  She went to the bathroom and sat back down.  I’m pretty sure it wasn’t powdered sugar she was inhaling.  I let her be that way for about 10 minutes and then decided it was the right thing to do.  I went up to her, nodded my head and scratched my nose.  She got the drift, and went to the bathroom to clean it off.  Hopefully, by now she’s tanked that addiction.  

Hope you all enjoyed today’s post and I’ll see you next time.  Until then,  have a great time.




Why Mountain Delivery Driving Is Always Exciting

Mountain Delivery Driving
Delivery Mountain Mountains Driving
Original photo by Julie Zbornik
Delivery driving

Delivery driving is always exciting.  Any person who has ever delivered anything can tell you that.  If you always look at it as a positive thing, many good things can come out of it.  For instance, if you love to drive, hey, deliveries got you covered.  You are constantly meeting new people.  As a delivery person, you are forever getting to go to new places.  And, there are things that always keep you on your toes.  I would like to share some of my personal and somewhat scary mountain delivery accounts with you.

Here are my stories……..

Account number 1:  1000 abandonedville Lane

For obvious reasons, of course I will not post people’s real addresses.  My first encounter was during the daylight hours.  The delivery was near Woodland Park, CO., also known as the city above the clouds.  Back in the middle of a thick forest, a home was tucked.  A dirt road to the place was about 1 mile long and extremely steep.  I couldn’t tell you what grade it was, but it was similar to the slope of a kid’s mile-long slide.

When I finally reached the top, and knocked at the door, the place appeared abandoned.  It was so hauntingly quiet, you could have heard an ant snore.  I looked inside the windows and the home was trashed.  There were torn mattresses, bedding, stuffed deer heads, broken ax , and empty beer bottles.  I saw a statue of a buck on the rear steps.  Something rustled, and suddenly the statue jumped off the porch.  I jumped back and hollered “holy crap!”  It was a live animal!  I heard a gunshot and knew it was time to take a hike and split the scene.

Account #2:  1000 Boondocks Road

As delivery drivers we all rely on our GPS system.  But, what if it crashes on you?  H.E.L.P.  That’s all I can say.  This route was also near Woodland Park, CO., but this time at night.  My GPS crashed.  The phone number of the recipient on my ticket was “dead.”  I was on an extremely dark, narrow, gravel mountain road.  The only thing I could see was my car headlights.  Rolling my window down,  I could hear a heavy stream of water somewhere a distance below me.  I, very carefully, did a 4-point turn around.  Inching the car backward and forward until I was facing the other direction.  I finally saw a faint light beaming through the evergreens.  I drove very cautiously towards that dim light to knock on the door of a complete stranger.

This person was not the recipient of the package.  How would they react to an unknown vehicle and person knocking on their door at night?  Now I was hearing animal noises.  All I could think of was bears, mountain lions and coyotes.  This was their prime time to be out and stalking.  A deer ran across the road.  Where there’s deer, there are mountain lions.  As it happens, I got lucky.  A nice couple lived there, knew who the recipient was, and directed me to the correct home.  Made it out alive……lol….but a bit shaken up.

Account #3:  1000 middleofnowhere drive

This time was somewhere on the far west side of Woodland Park in the daytime.  This path started as a 6 mile paved, curvy road.  There were no homes in sight the entire drive. Of course the road led to a higher, curvy gravel road.  GPS said I was 3 minutes to my destination, but there was only one way to go.  Up a very steep, curvy dirt road, that showed signs of major wash-out.  It began to rain.  “Holy Moses!” I declared, shaking in my boots.  “Face your fears now,”  I told myself.  Put the Xterra in first gear, and slowly crept up the side of the mountain, carefully dodging the washed out areas.

All I saw were 6 old, rusted out, broken down vehicles.  Four large dogs were barking at the top of their lungs at me.  A man appeared in his front door wearing very soiled, expired clothing.  He wasn’t smiling.  I rolled my window down slightly and asked if he could come grab the delivery for him.  He sauntered out towards me and said,  “I din’t know they let the ladies drive by themsels deez dayz.”  His hands were stuffed inside his dungaree pockets.  His cheeks were dripping with tobacco chew juice, as he rocked from heel to toe.

I launched into survival mode.  I slipped the ticket through the tiny window slot for him to sign.  Got on my knees, and unlocked the back door of the car.  I quickly opened the door and set his delivery on the ground, and immediately re-locked the doors.

I was sweating like an aerobics trainer.  I was very grateful to slowly edge my way down the steep drive and high tail it out of there, in the rain.

So, have any of you encountered any similar situations?  I would love to hear about them.  Whether or not you are driving deliveries in the mountains, they are always exciting in one way or another.  This is the reason why I, personally, admire all delivery personnel who arrive at my front door.  Believe me,  they go through a lot to get you your packages.

Hope you enjoyed the stories and have an incredible day!!!


Ever Diagnosed With An Autoimmune Disease?

Autoimmune Disease Hashimoto's Thyroiditis
Photo by Gautier Salles of Unsplash
autoimmune Disease

Has anyone else experienced an autoimmune disease?  It is interesting to note that there are over 100 of them, and you can find the list here.  They range anywhere from fibromyalgia to rheumatoid arthritis, celiac disease and a host of many more.  It’s important to know I am not a medical professional and everything in this post is my own opinion.  Or from personal experience.

My own experience

Many years ago I was continuously fatigued and could never get enough sleep.  I walked around like a zombie constantly.  My normal weight should have been around 170 pounds, but I was 240 pounds.  Wish I could show you some photos, but I was so disgusted with my body, I threw them all out.  I can’t tell you what year I was diagnosed, simply because my brain was in such a fog.  But here’s how it all happened.  

I felt horrible every single day.  It was extremely difficult to get out of bed each morning to go to work.  I could never get warm enough.  My hands and feet were always numb and tingly.  My periods lasted for up to 2 weeks long in some instances and just drained me.  (Literally.)   I had a puffy face, and was losing my hair at a fast pace.  I had severe constipation which eventually led to surgery for a chronic anal fissure.  (That’s a whole other story.  But if any of you ever had one, you know how horrifically painful they are, right?) 

My wake up call 

Then my wake up call came.  It was a very cold and wet November afternoon.  I caught the bus home from work that day.  The bus stop was 1/2 block from where I lived.  I made it as far as my front steps.  I was so exhausted,  I literally laid down on the icy sidewalk in front of my house and fell asleep.  One of my neighbors eventually came along and helped me into my residence.  The very next day I went to the doctor and was diagnosed with hypothyroidism.  I was also diagnosed with Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis.  HT is a chronic inflammatory autoimmune thyroid disease.  It’s the disease where the immune system attacks and destroys the thyroid gland.  

If you are a regular reader of mine, you know that I am now vegan.  And it’s because I don’t want to relive those horrible symptoms again.  I saw an inspiring video by Dr. Terry Wahls from Iowa that you can find here.  I truly believe most of my sickness came from the foods I was eating.  I am still taking pills to this day, but hopefully on my new journey, I will be able to stop.  

In conclusion,  I can say this with confidence from personal experience. I know many of the things you are going through, and I feel for you.  I know the pain and suffering you are experiencing.   Once you begin eating more plant based food, even once a week, you’ll slowly start feeling better.  Therefore, this……I promise you.  

Hope everyone has a safe and healthy week!

10 Important People We Sometimes Forget To Thank

Thank Thank You Thank You notes
Photo by Aaron Burden of Unsplash

In this time of high technology it’s so easy to email or call someone.  But doesn’t it feel great when you receive a genuine hand written thank you note?  It feels good to write them too.

Who are the people to Thank
Thank Mom Dad Parents
Photo by Alberto Casetta of Unsplash
#1.  Mom And Dad

Thank the parents who raised you before it’s too late.  These are the people who you pretty much put through hell, at least for 18 years.  They fed you, provided a roof over your head, changed your smelly diapers, and paid for any extracurricular activities.  They sewed or provided clothing and warm coats.  They got you out of trouble a gazillion times, and comforted you when needed.  The best part about parents, is they are always giving and they never ask for anything in return.  

Thank Mail Carrier Mailman Postman Mail Woman
Photo by Pope Moisa of Unsplash
#2.  Mail carrier

Just think about what crazy weather conditions these people have to endure in order for you to get mail.  In the winter, it’s icy, slick and dangerous.  In the summer, many times they are in hot, humid, unbearable heat conditions.  I once saw a mail carrier drive through flooded streets, in order to get someone their mail.  Thank them.  They deserve it.

Thank Classroom Teachers Teacher Education Educators
Photo by JJ Thompson of Unsplash
#3.  Teachers

Thank any educators who have taught you anything of value in your life.  Your music teacher.  Your sports director.  Your art instructor.  Your mentor.  Your favorite grade school and high school teachers.  These are some of the very people who got you where you are in this life.  Thank them for bringing you knowledge.

Thank Waiter Waitress Bartender Server
Photo by Steven Cleghorn of Unsplash
#4.  Waiters, Waitresses, DrinkTenders

These people are on their feet all shift long.  They work endlessly to serve you exactly what you want to eat or drink.  They smile for you even when they may be having an awful day or off night.  Respect them and thank them for providing you an excellent service.  After all, you’re there because you didn’t feel like cooking, or just wanting to be served a drink. 

House Cleaner Maid Home Cleaner
By Gregs Mojo – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0  Click on photo for photo attribute
#5.  House Cleaner

If you are people that are lucky enough to have someone else clean your home, please write them a thank you note.  They work hard to make your house sparkly clean and a nice place to live.  They do a lot behind the scenes before they even get there.  Constantly buying new products,  unloading and reloading the car with many products, and often spend quite a lot on gas just going to and from.  They deserve some thanks.

Babysitter Nanny Petsitter
Photo by Alex Pasarelu of Unsplash
#6.  Babysitter or Petsitter

These people should get a world of thanks.  They make sure your baby and/or your pets are always there for you when you return home.  They provide you the ability to be away from home and know that your loved ones will be cared for.  They deserve some major appreciation.

veterinarian pets cats dogs vets animals horses
Photo by Krista Mangulsone of Unsplash
#7.  Veterinarian

These people are miracle workers.  They provide your pet with all the pertinent shots they need to maintain a healthy life.  They are care givers and many times save the lives of dying pets.  They are our pet heroes so we can live a happy life along side our furries.

Grocery Clerk Check out line Store clerk
Photo by Neon Brand of Unsplash
#8.  Grocery clerk/Grocery baggers

These people are also on their feet every day or night.  They smile and ring up your groceries.  Clerks and baggers have many duties that customers can’t see, and are always busy.  These workers must have very strong arms to lift groceries all day long and place them in bags for you.  Let them know they are appreciated.

Hairdresser Barber Hair Stylist Hair Cut
Photo by Hai Phung of Unsplash
#9.  Hair stylist or Barber

These people provide a way to help you make yourself look great.  They also stand for much of their time in the salon or barber shop.  You can walk out of their establishment feeling like a brand new person.  They studied hard at what they learned and should be thanked for improving our lives.

Electric Volts Electrician Wires
Photo by Thomas Kelley of Unsplash
#10.  Electricians

And finally, electricians should be thanked.  This is truly from a personal experience.  The power went out in one of the rooms in our home recently.  We called our electricians (husband & wife team) and so happy we did.  They replaced four outlets and said if we hadn’t changed them, it was an electric fire waiting to happen.  We are so grateful to them for potentially saving our lives.  Our dogs lives.  Our home and perhaps even our neighbors lives. 

In conclusion, this list is by no means exhaustive.  Just simply thank the people you are grateful to for making your life easier.