Sunday, December 23, 2007

A Holiday Treat

I have a dear friend who creates awesomely entertaining pictorials with her dolls...I have created several web pages for her. I think you will find them quite enjoyable! You can find them all at the Juniper Snowpea page on the Emberwilde web site, but here is a listing of the Christmas pages (be sure to have your sound turned on for several of these):

Ginger-pon Recipe
Will Santa Pass Juniper Snowpea By?
The Twelve Days of Christmas
Snowpea the Snowgirl
I'm Gettin' Nuttin' for Christmas
Trouble With Santa

And for something a little more, um, glamorous, check out this one:
Santa Baby

*Happy Holidays!*

Monday, December 17, 2007

One Eagle Is Still Flying....

Danny Woodhead just keeps on goin'.... He won the Harlon Hill trophy for the second year in a row, and was welcomed back to Chadron big time at a reception in his honor where his number (3) was retired and he was told he would be playing in the Hula Bowl on January 12. It's great to see him keep on shinin'!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007


This is the absolute BEST time of the year, if you ask me. Holiday lights, decorations, lots of giving, lots of loving, and lots of believing....

Many different religions and non-religions celebrate miracles this time of year....the winter solstice leading to the return of the sun and longer days, the sacred oil in a temple that somehow lasted for 8 nights, the birth of a babe that would lead the world in a new way, a jolly old man and his elves in a sleigh driven by 8 flying reindeer winging around the world to bring toys to all the children....all miracles. And miracles are for anyone who believes.

Tis the season, little ones, to BELIEVE!

Monday, December 03, 2007

The Eagle Has Landed....

Well, it was one heck of an awesome season, but it ended on Saturday, Dec. 1, in the quarterfinals of the NCAA Div. II playoffs when the Northwest Missouri State Bearcats defeated the Chadron State College Eagles 26-13. It was a miserable day for football...snowing, north winds, windchill of 7 degrees...and while the Eagles gave it their all, it just wasn't enough.

But the Eagles can hold their heads high...they had a stellar season, and I know they will be back in fine form next year. We will deeply miss the winged feet of Danny Woodhead next year, but there are several very qualified young men just waiting to dazzle us next season. We will always consider Danny to be "one of us" and will watch his future career with great interest, support, and enthusiasm. Good luck in the future, Danny, and thank you for the joy you have brought us these past four years!

Go Eagles!

Friday, November 30, 2007


I watched this bluejay work and work to chip away the ice in my birdbath, hoping to find some water underneath. His efforts were for naught, as it was completely frozen. Guess it's time to buy a heater for the birdbath....

I think there's a moral here, little ones - sometimes no matter how hard you try, you just wind up beating your head against a brick wall (or a bunch of ice).

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Those Eagles Just Keep Flying!

They did it was one heck of a high-scoring nail-biter, but the CSC Eagles managed to beat the Abliene Christian University Wildcats 76-73 in triple overtime in the second round of Division II playoffs in Chadron this afternoon. Can't say as I've ever seen anything like it was at times frustrating, disheartening, thrilling, exciting, and astounding....all in all, damn fine football!

And if I understood one of the announcers correctly, Danny Woodhead tied another record today - something about most points scored or most touchdowns made in a college career....I keep tellin' ya, little ones, that young man is GOLD! And the junior quarterback, Joe McLain, sure as heck ain't nothin' to sneeze at either!

The Eagles will continue their high flying ways next week with a third round game against Northwest Missouri State in Chadron at Saturday at noon. GO EAGLES!!!!!!!!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Eagles Are Still Flying High

For those of you who follow such things, the CSC Eagles - ranked No. 2 in the nation in Division II football - got a bye in the first round of the playoffs and will host a game at home on Saturday, Nov. 24. Oh yea, I'll be there with bells on!

In the final game of the regular season (Nov. 10), they beat Adams State 58-0 and the fleet-of-foot Danny Woodhead played a full half (after missing 3 games due to a foot injury), and brought his career total rushing yards to 7,684. I do believe Danny has done more CSC football, and CSC in general, than any other player in the history of the is because of him that Chadron, Nebraska, and Chadron State College are both in the news, and folks know where and what they are.

After you have your fill of Thanksgiving turkey and the after-Thanksgiving Division I college football games, come on up to Chadron and spent an afternoon watching the best damn football you'll see for a while. GO EAGLES!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

It's not work if it's done with love...

I spent a few days away from home last week helping a dear friend with her new store opening. We worked hard (she worked much harder than me), but we had a great time. She has done such a wonderful job with her store...the refurbishing of the building, the merchandise and crafts (wonderful treasures, really). We worked hard getting it all ready for the grand opening, and we fell into bed each night exhausted (her more so than me, I'm sure). It was a wonderfully successful opening, and I *know* her store will be a big hit for a very long time.

What I came away with was a wonderful sense of accomplishment and joy. Nothing is "work" if it's done with love. Anything we do out of love is a gift - to ourselves and to others - and never a burden, never "work."

I had the best time helping out...and I hope to go back and help out again in the future....just so I can experience the joy of that kind of "work" again.

So, little ones, you must find a way to do something you love and make it your life's "work," and you might just have a shot at one heck of a great future. As I always say, "find your bliss!"

Oh, and if you're ever in Belle Fourche, SD, be sure to check out Blue Stem Studios (a gift store like no other) and The Tri-State Bakery Studio (fabric store extraordinaire)...I know you'll love 'em!

Saturday, October 06, 2007

I Tell Ya, The Kid's An Incarnation Of Mercury

The winged fleet feet of Chadron State College Eagle senior running back Danny Woodhead flew into history today, surpassing the all-time, all-division NCAA rushing record. Way to go, Mr. Woodhead!!!

The Eagles won (as usual), and Danny ended the game with 7,441 rushing yards (the record, previously set by R.J. Bowers of Div. III Grove City College from 1997-2000, was 7,353 yards). There is no doubt that the record at the end of this season will be much higher and danged hard for the next up-and-comer to surpass.

Congratulations go out to Danny Woodhead and the CSC Eagles! Keep on flyin'!!!!!

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

The Best Rusher...hell, the Best College Football Today

Danny Woodhead, of the Chadron State College Eagles (the best little team in Division II)

Video from

ESPN Feature on Woodhead to Air During 'College Game Day'
By: Nick Jakusz Posted on at: 10/04/2007 06:25 PM:

ESPN interviewed Danny Woodhead, Coach Bill O'Boyle, Joe McLain and Mark Haag on the Chadron State campus Wednesday. The piece on Woodhead's pursuit of the rushing record should air on ESPN College Gameday Saturday morning around 9:10-9:20 a.m. (Mountain Time) along with some discussion on him. This time is subject to change, but it will be in the 8-10 a.m. College Gameday format, and as of now it is scheduled in that time slot.
So, little ones, watch ESPN's College Game Day on Saturday! And, on Thursday, Oct. 18, watch ESPN2 when they broadcast the CSC vs. UN-Kearney football game from Kearney, Nebraska, and see just what all the fuss is about. Go CSC Eagles!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sunday, September 23, 2007

On the Wings of Eagles, Part 2

Our CSC Eagles kept the winning streak alive yesterday with a 35-7 win over Colorado School of Mines. And our winged-footed running back, Danny Woodhead, added to his career total rushing yards, setting the Division II all-time record...only 288 yards to go to set the all-division all-time record (and you just KNOW it's gonna happen soon).

Nebraska used to be known far and wide for the Cornhuskers...the Big Red. Well, that team hasn't been too terribly stellar for the past 8+ years (but all the hardcore Big Red fans always hold out hope for a change in fortune). The Nebraska college team to watch is our Division II CSC Eagles. They are good, they play with a passion for the game, and they continue to be a total joy to watch.

Next weekend is CSC's Homecoming...if you're in the neighborhood, stop by Don Beebe Stadium for the game and see some hella good college football. GO EAGLES!

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Pet Peeve: Use your blinkers, dammit!

The American driving public's seeming lack of knowledge of the blinker mechanism in their automobiles drives me crazy! Why is it that folks in their automobiles are unable to use their blinkers to give the other drivers on the road a "heads up" as to their intentions to turn? I hit the brakes eight times this week to avoid either getting hit by or hitting someone who turned in front of me but did not feel the need to signal their intentions with their blinkers. The auto manufacturers have included working blinkers on their products for decades now....don'tcha think it's about time y'all learned how to use the damn things?!?!

So, little ones, my new rule of the road is: If you aren't smart enough to use the blinkers in your automobile, then you are not smart enough to drive at start walkin'.

Monday, September 03, 2007

Painting Bliss...

It should come as no surprise to any regular visitor here that I love nature, especially the mountains. I also love taking pictures, especially landscapes and flowers, and I dearly love paintings of landscapes and flowers. While I am a quasi-decent amateur photographer, I am not in any way, shape, or form a painter. But I am a collector....

I own a lot of various and sundry prints of landscape and wildlife scenes, most by what could be termed "western artists" - Frank McCarthy, Reid Christie, Mary Hunt, and many others. But I only own originals by a few artists...Mary Hunt, whose detail painting beading and birds is amazing; Julie Orient, who paints the some of the most gorgeous watercolor skies and landscapes I've ever seen; and - my favorite by far - the incomparable Ty Barhaug, who paints breathtaking, awe-inspiring landscapes in oils. I grew up best buds with Ty's big sister and have known Ty for what seems like forever; he was a heck of an artist when he was a kid, and now he's amazing. He comes from deeply artistic stock; both his mother and father are accomplished artists, and his siblings all have artistic talents. His father is one of the best portraiture artists I have ever encountered.

I started my collection by commissioning a piece from Ty...I asked him to paint something from the Sunlight Basin area north of Cody, Wyoming. It was always one of my favorite places to "be" when I was growing up in Cody, and it holds many, many happy memories. I gave Ty carte blanche to paint whatever inspired him in Sunlight, and he blessed me with the most gorgeous painting. It is the centerpiece of the many paintings and prints covering the walls of my home.

I honestly don't know what Ty calls this piece, but to me it is "Sunlight Bliss" and every time I look at it, I'm transported to a place and a state of mind that are unequaled.

We all need such beauty in our lives, little ones, be it in paintings, photographs, books, video images, or best of all memories. Take the time to create such picturesque memories, little ones, and you will never be far from a moment of pure bliss....

If you would like to learn more about Ty's work, please visit his web site.

Saturday, September 01, 2007

On The Wings of Eagles

We have a small state college in my little backwater burg here in the northern panhandle of Nebraska. It's a quite decent little school with an *awesome* Ag & Rangeland Management program and a totally kick-ass football team. The Chadron State College Eagles had a *stellar* year last year, ending the season as 2006 Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference and Southwest Region Champions. And this year is looking to be just as good (well, as much as you can tell from just 2 games...34-24 vs. Washburn and 55-14 vs. Wayne State).

While the team is filled to the rafters with talented, hard-working, totally dedicated players from all across Nebraska and from several surrounding states, there is one hell of a standout...Danny Woodhead, from North Platte, NE. He is a running back with wings on his feet and the eyes of an eagle. Google his name and you'll find all the stats...the records he holds, the records he stands to break, his 2006 Harlon Hill trophy (and previous nominations).... But what you won't find anywhere online is the joy he shows when he plays, and the joy and admiration he instills in those who sit in the stands and watch him. He loves to play, he loves to run, and we all love to watch him. But don't think he's a "star"...there are no stars here, just a lot of damned hard-working kids who love to play football.

I know Nebraska is known nationwide for our Big Red Nebraska Huskers football team. And while I admit to being a teeny bit of a Big Red fan, I much prefer to fly on the wings of Eagles.

You just watch, little ones...this is gonna be another banner year for the CSC Eagles and for the kid that loves to run, Danny Woodhead.

Go Eagles!!!!!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Introspection...and anticipation

Our one and only child will officially start his college career on Monday, his 19th birthday. It's hard for me to grasp that 19 years have flown by. Life has tossed a heck of a lot of things his way this summer, but he has risen to the challenge (as have we, I think) and is trekking into the unknown of his future with optimism and excitement.

The coming year will bring so many things into his life, and, marriage to a truly magnificent young woman, a new little baby. So many joys on the road ahead await!

Nineteen years ago I would have never imagined where we'd all be on our journeys today. But now, I look forward to the adventures ahead! Hang on, little ones, it's gonna be one hell of an exciting ride!!!!

"It's the journey, not the destination, that matters!" ~DKBB~

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Words To Live By #6: There are no accidents....

"I don't believe in accidents. I know for sure that everything in life happens to help us live." ~Oprah Winfrey

My mother always told me "everything happens for a reason." I think she and Oprah are on to something with this philosophy....

Don't ask 'why' or 'why me,' little ones....just know that everything - good, bad, and inbetween - happens to help us live.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

What a difference a year makes....

A year ago my little corner of the world was in Hell...surrounded by forest fires, the town itself was harrowing, terrifying, and life-changing. Many of you, little ones, sent your prayers for rain and safety my way and I *know* they had a positive impact.

We all survived and over time green grass appeared to cover the scorched earth; insects, birds, and animals moved back into the forest; new construction is happening to replace the three lost homes; and we have grown used to the sight of dead, burned trees. Life goes on, right?

Last Saturday the local radio station dedicated a beautiful stone marker in commemoration of the 2006 fires. The inscription reads as follows:

July 26-August 3, 2006
Wildfires caused by lightning burned 68,000 acres in Dawes and Sioux counties.
This marker is dedicated to the firefighters and volunteers from seven states and the people
of the communities that fought the fires. Three homes were destroyed. No lives were lost.
The Spotted Tail Fire burned to this point.

Now, a year removed from the flames, new life abounds around us - in so many places, in so many forms - and we are filled with anticipation and optimism for a bright, wonderful, challenging, adventurous future.

Dear little ones, you cannot begin to know the difference a year makes....

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Screw Subtlety

I'm not known for subtlety...never have been. When I was in high school (back in the dark ages) I was the head of a large club of girls; I was usually yelling at them to get off their duffs and get work done and my mother would always say, “You shouldn’t yell so much. You should be nice to everyone. You’ll catch more flies with honey than with vinegar, you know.” My response to that was always, “Mom, I don’t wanna catch any damn flies!” Nope, not a subtle bone in this body. You’ve been warned....

Thursday, July 12, 2007

The best laid plans....

Mapping out one’s life, while a laudable goal, is not in the least necessary nor it is very wise. For as soon as you start planning and mapping, something will inevitably happen to cause a detour. Perhaps that fork in the road you didn’t anticipate will lead to something bright and new for you, and if you adhere too closely to the map you’ll miss it.

Where some may see obstacles in the road, it would be wise, little ones, to see opportunities. Sometimes the opportunities are not at all what you were expecting, but they may lead to journeys so wondrous you will never regret the detour. Be open to tossing the map out the window. Maps are a good starting point and they can come in handy when you do lose your way, but sometimes the unmapped route will lead you to precious treasures and adventures.

Don’t plan too much...always keep in mind it’s not the destination, it’s the journey. Be open to the journeys, for that is where you will learn and live life to the fullest...on the journeys. We all ultimately reach the same destination at the end of our lives on this earth. But oh the many and varied journeys we take to get there.

May all your journeys be filled with adventures and challenges, and may you all lose the maps now and again....

Monday, July 09, 2007

No, it’s not the end of the world…but it can be the beginning....

Sometimes, when you are totally knocked for a loop by news you thought you never wanted to hear, it’s wise to stop...take a deep breath...drop every expectation or preconceived notion you have...and just go with it. Step blindly into the abyss, arms open wide, face to the sun....

I guess it’s a matter of faith (and this is coming from one of most unreligious, though spiritual, souls around). Have faith that whatever is to be will be, and just go with it. Have faith that the best is yet to come. Have faith that you and all the loved ones in your life can tackle ANYTHING together. Have faith that this indeed is not the end of the world, but the beginning of a whole new world. Have faith, little ones, have faith....

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Maybe it's your turn to learn....

"Didn’t you learn anything?" "Don’t you know any better?" "We thought we taught you better!" "You should have known this would happen!" "How could you let this happen?!" ...all phrases a parent has said to a child since the beginning of time. But just this once stop for a moment and think...perhaps the one that needs to learn is you. Perhaps, just perhaps, this lesson is for you to learn, dear parent. So sit up straight, pay attention, open your mind and your heart, and learn....

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Are We Done Yet?!?

Last summer it was fire...this summer it was hail.

As I documented last summer, my area of the country was rather ravaged by fire. Now, 11 months later, we have recovered for the most part. The landscape around us has been changed forever, but green grass did reappear, the animals moved back into the burned forest, and things seem to be progressing as they should.

Then, just last Friday, Mother Nature did it to us again...only this time it was a hail storm. No huge losses, but lots and lots of roofs damaged, automobiles dimpled, and gardens and flowers wiped out. Nothing we can't recover from, but geesh! Give us a break already!

Maybe she's trying to tell us something...make us listen to her warnings before it's too late for her Earth. Yes, I do believe in the Greenhouse Effect, and yes I am trying to live a greener and less polluting life. I'm just one little tiny cog in the wheel, but I am trying...

So please, Mother Nature, give us a break...move on from us and enact your fury elsewhere for a while, if you must...we've had enough to last us a lifetime. Are we done yet?!?

UPDATE (7/10/07): Nope, not done yet at all....the Pine Ridge Reservation (northeast of where I live) suffered a 23,000 acre wildfire on Sunday. The Hot Springs, SD, area (50ish miles north of where I live) is experiencing their own personal Mother Nature hell. They have been plagued with a forest fire since Sunday...30 homes lost...2 firefighters injured...and, worst of all, one life lost. The fire, as of this morning, is almost 9,000 acres. Mother Nature is apparently still pissed....

Friday, June 22, 2007

All Hail Mother Nature

She's a very powerful one, that Mother Nature; if she thinks you aren't paying attention, she whops you upside the head! And boy howdy did we get whopped tonight when she sent a toad-stranglin' hail storm our way.

Broken Beauties

The Storm Moves On

More photos can be found in my "All Hail Mother Nature" photo album online.

Pay attention to our dear Mother Nature, little ones, or you might well be the one whopped upside the head next time....

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Happy Father's Day!

You are the master of all you survey - at least for today....

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Sky Painting

I love it when the gods start tossing their colors around, don't you?! May you all have the presence of mind to stop and enjoy the colors now and again, little ones....

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

The Wedding Party

"The Radiant Bride"
"The Groom Wore Black"
"The Maid of Honor Was a Peach"
"The Dapper Groomsmen"
All photos copyrighted 2007 by ~DKBB~

Monday, May 28, 2007

Random Photos of Breathtaking Beauty #10

More iris opened up this morning!

"Black As Night, Part I"
"Black As Night, Part II"

"R U Bi?"

"Screaming Yellow Zonkers"

"Brown Can Be Pretty"

"Star Lilly"

All photos copyrighted 2007 by ~DKBB~

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Random Photos of Breathtaking Beauty #9

It's the wonderful time of year when the peonies, columbine, and iris are in bloom around my yard. I thought I'd share some beauty with you, little ones:

"A Splash of Sunlight"
"I Love Purple!"

"Go Seminoles!"

"A Promise of Things to Come"

"Sunlight and Shadows"

"My Favorite"


(All photos copyrighted 2007 by ~DKBB~)

Words To Live By #5: It's Never Too Late...

"It's never too late - in fiction or in life - to revise." --Nancy Thayer

It's that just a great philosophy?! It's never too revise. When things are not going the way you'd planned, when life is kickin' ya in the tukus, it's never too late to rethink the direction you're headed in and make necessary revisions to aid you in your journey.

Say your job is not at all what you'd anticipated. Hard as it may be, you DO have the power to change it. You can talk to your supervisor about changes you wish to make, you can start looking for another job, you can take that ever-so-scary leap of faith and create your OWN job by starting your own business or pursuing that pie-in-the-sky dream you've had for years. Revise!

The relationship that was all hearts and flowers a while back is dancing quickly toward rotten vegetables and rocks. Stop, right now, and revise! You can both find your way to a new world of hearts and flowers if you both commit. And if it's just not happening, you can move on. Revise!

I really like the thought of you a way to attack any problem, any situation, anything, really, in your life. If it's just not working, little ones, REVISE!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

It was wonderful and memorable, but.....

Graduation is chapter closed and a new one is now being written. It was wonderful in that we had most of our family and lots of friends in attendance, our son's speech was great, he won the "Math Scholar" honor, the weather held out, and a good time was had by all.

However, the way the gym was set up for the ceremonies sucked, the acoustics were rather poor, and it was entirely too hot in that gym! I would strongly suggest to the school administration that they go back to the "old" way of setting up the gym, roll a couple of the big fans I *know* they keep in Armstrong into the gym before ceremonies and get some air movement going, and maybe next year show a little more "give a damn," please.

I have felt since Honors night that the end-of-year events have been afterthoughts at best. Nothing has been done all that well (except baccalaureate, which the kids did themselves and it was *awesome*). In fact, some things wouldn't have been done at all if it were not for the kids themselves. And while the student honors were very nice at graduation ceremonies, it would have been nicer if the certificates had at least been signed...and it would have been very nice to have the class flower accurate (what, was it too hard to actually "tip" the roses?!). Sometimes the details matter....

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


My valedictorian will graduate from high school this Sunday. I have spent a lot of time this week putting a memory book together for him - just a page or two for each year of his life up to now. It's bittersweet looking back over these past 18 years - remembering the many, many highs...and the few lows...realizing that the vast majority of our work as parents is done. The foundation has been laid, and from here on out we have to trust that he is strong enough to weather whatever life tosses at him.

I know that the view toward his future right now is a bit like looking through frosted glass. He can see the general outline and probably begin to map his course, but it's rather blurry at the moment. As he moves forward, the future will slowly start coming in to focus. The view will change as his circumstances change, I know. But as long as he falls back on his strong foundation and has faith in his own abilities, the journey into that future will always be true, and hopefully, full of adventure.

May you all find that you have strong foundations, little ones...and even when the view is fuzzy, may all your journeys in this life be filled with adventure....

Saturday, May 05, 2007

The Years Fly By

My one and only child will graduate from high school in a mere two weeks. Where did those 18 years go? You turn around twice and nearly two decades pass....

I will likely wax poetic on this topic more than a few times in the upcoming days, but for now I will leave it at this: We have done a dang good job of raising a truly wonderful young man. We are proud of ourselves, but more proud of our wonderful young man as he stands on the verge of an unknown, but hopefully adventurous, future. Way to go, bud! We love you!

Friday, April 27, 2007

Knock, knock! Who's there?

I hate door-to-door solicitation. Don't get me wrong, I love to buy the magazines, candy bars, and cookies from the kids that are raising money for whatever purpose for school/sports/clubs. But I quite dislike adults that go door-to-door to (1) tell me all about their religious beliefs or (2) offer to provide me a "free" service of some sort so they can demonstrate the wonderful product they are selling.

I really don't understand why someone would feel compelled to go door-to-door to tell others about their personal religious beliefs. It just seems wrong, and rather invasive, to me. You have every right, of course, to believe what you want. But what in the world gives you the right to come uninvited to my home and share your personal beliefs with me?! I must have missed the memo that gave blanket permission for that....

And if you come to my door trying to offer me a "free" service - such as vacuuming or shampooing my carpet - don't be the least bit surprised if I say "No thank you." And don't have the audacity to tell me I'm being rude to you. You're the one that came, uninvited, to my front door and tried to come into my home for your own financial benefit. I didn't ask you to come to my door, and I sure as heck didn't ask you into my home. We do have "green river" ordinances in my small town - if you want to sell something door-to-door (even if it's a "free" service), you must be bonded and have a license to do so. And even if you are bonded and do have a license, I still have the right to say "No thank you." And I also have the right to expect you to leave my doorstep at that point and not argue with me or try to guilt me in to letting you - a complete and total stranger - into my home.

During political season, candidates and their supporters are wont to wander about from house to house selling, well, themselves or the candidate they support. Again, I don't greatly appreciate the uninvited visit, but I will take any literature you have to share, and if I have questions for/about the candidate, I will happily engage in a conversation with you on the doorstep. But I most likely won't ask you into my home, unless I know you well and want to pursue an extended conversation about the candidate.

So, little ones, it's best that you not come knocking at my door uninvited unless you are under the age of 18 and are working to raise money for your sports team/club/school. If you're an adult looking to sell me your religion or "free" services, I'm just not interested...I don't want you in my home...and I don't really care if you think that's rude.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Random Photos of Breathtaking Beauty #8

Methinks we need more beauty to help erase the ugly we seem to be drowning in here lately, so here's some more photos from my Taos trip:

Rio Grande River

Sangre De Cristo Mountains

The Raven

Mountains East of Taos

New Mexico Skies (talk about BLUE!)

Hidden in every moment is beauty, little ones....sometimes you just have a dig a little to find it.

Monday, April 16, 2007

We Need Something Beautiful....

so I finally took some time to get a few of my Taos pictures together for you, little ones. The week before Easter, I went to Taos, New Mexico, with my dear friend. She and I do a "girls vacation" every other year - just the two of us venture forth to discover some beautiful part of this country where we can hike, take lots o' pictures, eat too much and too good, and have a wonderful, relaxing time. Taos proved to be a lovely little jewel of a town in a gorgeous part of our great country. The drive south from I-25 to Taos was beautiful high plains/mountains vistas. I heartily recommend Taos as a vacation destination any time of the year. There's great skiing and winter sports in the cold months; gorgeous drives, hikes, and river rafting in the warm months; fabulous shopping and restaurants year-round....all in all, it's a wonderful location! I will do my best to share my photos over the next week or so.

These three photos are shots of the Rio Grande River Gorge, just a few miles west of Taos, taken in the evening as the sun was nearing the western horizon (thus the VERY obvious dichotomy of light):

And this photo is from the same location, but looking east back toward the mountains that frame the east side of Taos.

Open your hearts, little ones, to the beauty around you. Even when it feels like there's nothin' but a whole lot o' ugly, the beauty is shining within....

My Heart is Heavy....

and my loving thoughts go out to those in pain tonight in Virginia, and elsewhere, who have been affected by this disastrous turn of events. I just don't understand...what the h*ll happened to the basic tenant of love one another?!? Life is such a precious gift...why would one choose to squander it? And what EVER gives anyone the right to make that choice for another breathing human being?!? We are all in this together, little ones; sometimes the road gets damned rough, but that doesn't give ANYONE the right to erase the travelers.

Love your family and friends, tell them "I love you" every damn chance you get...the really sad thing is, you never know when you'll have the chance to tell 'em again.

Go softly into this good night, little ones, go softly....

Friday, April 06, 2007

Happy Easter!

I'm having a blast in Taos, NM, on a "girls vacation" this week, but I couldn't forget to toss out good wishes to y'all for this holiday season. Whatever your beliefs, this time of year is a glorious renewal.

Have a glorious Easter/Passover/Spring/whateveryouchoosetocelebrate, little ones!

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Something Wicked This Way Comes....

We had a spring thunderstorm system blow through this afternoon and evening, bringing our first severe thunderstorm warning and tornado watch of the season. I took these pictures around 6pm:

Proofread and spell check, would you please?!

This past week saw a great deal of controversy in my little town concerning several different law-related issues, and lots and lots of folks posted their thoughts about things on the local radio station's guestbook.

It's wonderful that we have the Internet to engage in dialogue on any number of issues. And it's also wonderful that so very many of us feel compelled to do just that - join the dialogue. However, is it too much to ask to have the authors of Internet postings proofread and spell check before they hit "submit"?

I know I'm a picky beast, but reading through multiple postings that are rife with misspellings, misuse of words, and/or poor grammar, always makes me take the authors much less seriously, and usually miffs me off a bit. We are, by and large, an educated society. I would venture a guess that the majority of us have actually even graduated from some level of formal education. So how about we put that education to use when we begin or join in a written dialogue?

I was reading the guestbook of my hometown's local newspaper today, and some poster kept going on and on about how the "government must have something to hid from us." The poster repeated that statement multiple times. I'm sorry, but if you can't even use correct wording, I'm just not going to take you seriously.

Things like "y'all" and "gonna" - slang, if you will - are fine. But when it comes to correct word usage, overall spelling, and grammar, well, I'm going to expect you to be on top of it all if you want me to read your online posting and take anything you write seriously. Or else I might think you are trying to "hid" something from me.

Now, little ones, get out there and join in the dialogue...but proofread and spell check before you click "submit" please.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Important Parenting Tip #3: Did You Dent the Sidewalk?!

It's been quite a while since I shared any of my parenting insight with you, little ones, and I'm sure you've been missing my wisdom, right? Well, even if you haven't, you're gonna get some more now!

When kids are little, they are clumsy as all get out. They fall, they trip, they bump, they roll. And while it may be your first instinct to suck in your breath and freak when your child, say, falls off the trike and bonks his/her head on the sidewalk, don't. Your reaction will tell your child how to react, so if you freak out, your child will freak out.

I honestly can't tell you how many times I said, "Well, did you dent the sidewalk (or floor, or table, or whatever)?" when my son was a clumsy little one. I learned early on that moving the emphasis from his injury to the condition of whatever-the-heck-he-careened-into kept him (and me) from over-reacting in the moment. Many times I had to hold myself together, keep from freaking out, and deal with whatever the injury was at the time, but it taught both him and me not to over-react. And it was a handy skill to have while he was playin' soccer and football all those years when he was older, I tell ya.

There were many times I would lose it that night in the shower, with the water running to cover up my shaking and tears. But by keeping the focus away from the incident and on the condition of the sidewalk (so to speak), he and I both learned to weather the owies with little drama.

So, the next time your own little one falls off the top of the steps or topples off his/her bike, just pick 'em, dust 'em off, and ask "Well, did you dent the sidewalk?"

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Welcome, Spring!

Yea! It's finally Spring! After the long, cold, and sometimes snowy winter, I'm ready for things to green up and start growin'! This kind of weather just makes me itch to get out and start workin' in the flower beds, the garden....but I've lived here long enough to know better. We'll likely have at least two more significant cold snaps and at least one more heavy, wet snow, so I'll behave myself, for now....

Happy Spring, little ones!

Friday, March 16, 2007

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

This time of year there's a little "Irish" in all of us, isn't there?!? Have a fun and safe St. Paddy's Day, little ones!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Prexy's Pasture

Prexy’s Pasture is a big, open greenspace in the middle of the University of Wyoming campus. It is cross-crossed with sidewalks that have come into being based on the walking paths created by students, faculty, and staff as they move from one building or part of campus to the next on their journeys through this landscape of higher education.

Twenty-seven years ago, when I was on this campus on my own journey through higher education, Prexy’s Pasture was a green lawn with just a few sidewalks criss-crossing it, a lot of paths worn into the grass, and few flower beds. In the fall, spring, and summer there were always people scattered on the grass – studying, talking, sleeping, playing frisbee, catchin’ some rays….

Today – on a cool, clear early spring day – I see a Prexy’s Pasture with a few more amenities (a beautiful sculpture in the center, surrounded by benches; more benches scattered at each end, and more sidewalks criss-crossing it...lots more sidewalks), but the spirit remains the same. It is a little oasis, a place to pause, reflect, catch your breath before you move on to the next class, the next task.

Take a cue from Prexy's Pasture, little ones...every now and then, find a spot - your own little oasis - to pause, reflect, catch your breath before you move on the to next task....

Sunday, March 04, 2007

March-ing, Part 1

Every month of every year is filled with traditions...universal, cultural, and (mostly) personal traditions. March is traditionally our "beef" month. Every other year, one weekend during the month of March we trek to the central part of the state and spend a day cutting up and packaging a half a beef, to fill our freezer for another 2 years. We've been doing this for at least the last 10 years...driving to the center of the state, spending the night in a small hotel in Broken Bow, then driving out to our friends' ranch early in the morning and spending the day there, cutting, packaging, visiting, eating a fabulous meal, then driving back home with a truck full of beef-filled coolers.

It's hard work, but it's worth it - for the beef, but more so for the friendship. The ranch we head to is 95 years old this year and has been held by the same family through multiple generations all these years. The owners and their extended family and friends are hard workers, and fantastic people.

This year our "March" to the center of the state brought us to an unexpected gift. As we drove east and south through the Sandhills region of the state on Saturday evening, we were treated to a breathtaking view of the lunar eclipse. I didn't get the best pictures (I have got to remember to pack my tripod!), but at least I did get pictures.

As I always say, little ones, be open to the gifts that come your way....however and wherever they may come.