Tuesday, December 24, 2013

An Abundance of Riches

I am surrounded by snowy mountains, winter wildlife, and the peace that only a full heart can bring. This holiday season is filled with such joy for me...I am finally, gratefully, happily home in the western mountains of Wyoming after all too many years away. I have no need of material gifts...I am given wondrous gifts every moment of every day here in this mountain paradise.

The first four photos were taken from our deck looking east. The last 3 photos were taken in the south end of the Snake River Canyon.









In this season of joy and wonderment, little ones, find the gifts that surround you...for those are the ones that give always and forever. May your holidays be filled with such gifts....

Friday, November 22, 2013

History Matters

50 years ago today all party labels were stripped from us, as we became one...a nation in shock and mourning. For a few short days we cried, prayed, thought, wrote, discussed, and came together to honor and mourn a young, charismatic leader whose flame burned too bright for too short a time.

President Kennedy said and did many things in his short life that remain with us today. Of course everyone knows the the most famous quote from his inaugural speech, "Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country." A most noble idea that I fear has been completely lost in today's morass of politics, parties, infighting, and "me and mine" culture.

I truly believe one of the most important things he ever said was:


and it's damn well time we started doing just that. So on this most somber and important anniversary, little ones, make a vow to seek the right answers, to not seek to fix the blame for the past, and to accept our responsibility for the future. For the betterment of all, and to honor that which was once Camelot.....

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Expand Your Horizons

Before moving to the part of Wyoming I live in now (western side, about 50 miles south of Jackson), I had never been here. Sure, I'd been to the Jackson area a lot, and the Idaho side of the Tetons (which is beyond gorgeous, by the way), but I'd never been here...in the area of Wyoming known as the Star Valley, which runs from Alpine south to Afton.

It is a gorgeous area...a long, high, lush valley between the Salt Mountains of Wyoming and the Black Mountains of Idaho. The weather (so far) is pretty temperate, the skies are mostly blue, the days decent, the nights a bit cool and clear as a bell (and oh my heavens, the stars!!!).

And the people...well, the people are the most friendly, the most welcoming, of any place we've ever lived. We have been welcomed "home" and made to feel "a part of" already. I cannot honestly say that even after 14 years there, I ever fully felt "a part of" northwestern Nebraska. I felt like an outsider from day 1 to day 5100. I did make some wonderful, live-long friends there, but still...I never fully felt "home." But here, I feel like I belong and I am treated as such by everyone.

Living on the western side of Wyoming was never in my plans, though getting back to Wyoming was always in my dreams. Toss it out to the cosmos and be open to how it plays out, little ones. Dream your dreams, plan your plans, and be willing to expand your horizons. For your dreams may well come true, just not exactly how you'd expect, and maybe, just maybe, you'll get to your "home."

Copyright ~DKBB~


Friday, September 27, 2013

SNOW!

Irving Berlin's song "Snow" keeps playing in my head. It has snowed here, off and on, for the past two days. Unfortunately, none of that snow has been sticking around down here, but it has sure been sticking around in the higher elevations:

The view from my deck (9/26/2013)
I love snow, so I'm happy. Today those snowy mountains are completely socked in and we've had three different, short, episodes of snow. All that's missing for me is a fire in the fireplace and/or the wood stove...but we don't have any wood laid in, so that can't happen just yet.

This place is proving to be my zen garden...a place of rest, rejuvenation, joy, inspiration....perfection. I hope I can say that after my first full winter here. ;)

"Snow, oh, to see a mountain covered with a quilt of snow!" Irving Berlin knew just how I feel about SNOW!

Monday, September 23, 2013

Fall in the Pretty

I now live in a truly gorgeous part of the country. Every morning and every evening, I look out the windows in my livingroom, past my deck, at a view that takes my breath away. And this fall, the colors being painted on the landscapes around here are outstanding. If you want to see some awesome fall colors in a gorgeous location, head south from Jackson to Alpine...we've got some very serious Pretty around here!


Always take the time, little ones, to fall into the pretty...wherever you find it.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Navigating the Maze

Our moving adventure has been a chaotic whirlwind and more than a bit of a suckin' nightmare. Our offer on a home just outside of Alpine was accepted, we met with the VP of a local Jackson bank to begin the loan process. We got an offer on our home in Chadron. And then the paper-filled bureaucratic nightmare began.....

Since we are not in Jackson (but the bank is), and we are not even both in the same location (I've been in Cody for a month, while my hubby remains in Chadron...but come the end of this week, I'll be back in Chadron and he'll be in Jackson/Alpine), we have had to do a lot of the loan work via computers and snail mail. The bank we are using is firmly ensconced in the early 20th century so they are not computer savvy at all, so that's been more than a little bit of a challenge. And with the tighter regulations on home loans, we've had to jump through more hoops to get a loan...I'm just waiting for the request for blood or a live sacrifice at this point.....

If everything goes according to plan between now and early June, we will officially close on the Alpine home on June 5 and that part of the nightmare will be over. Then it's just a matter of getting the Chadron home officially closed (which *should* happen by the last week of June) and getting our crap moved to Alpine.

Once we are finally, officially, in Alpine, I might be able to relax just a tiny bit....but we will have thousands of boxes to unpack, so I guess we won't be officially relaxing until fall.... ;)

Spending time in Wyoming now is reinforcing the rightness of our choice to move back to our home state. Yesterday we took a drive into the Beartooth Mountains, and there was a glorious hillside of Indian Paintbrush in bloom...made my heart happy.


A home buying/selling lesson for you, little ones:  Sell your current home well before you buy your next one....it'll save you a ton of hassle and nightmares, and a lot of lost sleep. And, should you find yourself in the middle of the maze, take a moment to stop and smell the flowers.....


Sunday, April 07, 2013

Excitement and a Bit of Terror...the Perfect Mix


Over Easter weekend we made a quick trip to the Alpine/Jackson area to look for a house, meet with our future employers, and celebrate our 29th anniversary. We had a marathon house-viewing day that Saturday.

We saw a lot of too-big homes in unsafe forest areas...what genius thinks wood siding and cedar shakes are the necessary items for a home smack @ss in the forest?! Really?! Given the fires we've had in our area in the past 6 years, we are hyper aware of homes in the forest that are firewise, and homes that are not. I don't think our Realtors, or those that had some of the homes listed, appreciated our concern. They kept saying, "Fires don't happen here." Yea, right...fires haven't happened there...yet. They will...at some point in time, they will.

On Monday we revisited the possibles, and upon finding out there's a highway expansion project in the future for the area the list of possibles shrunk to one. Luckily, it was the one perfect one...off the highway, views to die for, no future development planned for the area, more bedrooms and bathrooms than we'll likely use, a pretty danged kick@ss kitchen. I actually think we may have found our best house yet.

So much for the excitement...now comes the terror. Loan applications, getting blood from a stone, signing away our lives, selling our home in Chadron, and the ultimate terror...packing. 

Wish me luck, little ones...the terror of packing is just beginning.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

It's All About The Journey

One of my many mantras is "it's the journey, not the destination...."  But sometimes, I must admit, the destination kinda matters a bit.

I've lived in Nebraska 25 years, and every one of those 25 years I've dreamed of the time I would move back to what I consider gods' country...western Wyoming. Well, little ones, I'm living proof that dreams do come true. This summer this life's journey will take me back to the land I love when my husband and I move to Alpine, WY, to begin our new jobs with a consulting company in Jackson.

I've lived away from the mountains much longer than I lived in them. When I was 21, I left Wyoming for graduate school and, unbeknownst to me then, left the mountains for the next 3 decades. I am over the moon to be going back to the mountains to live.

The only downside to this move, as far as I can tell, is the bit that involves packing up a house that's been lived in for 14 years. One accumulates a LOT of crap in 14 years. There is probably going to be a monster garage sale before we move, and a huge amount of items will be donated locally as well. But even with the move looming over me, I'm still nothing but smiles about this, because I finally get to move back where I belong...in the mountains.

And the best part of this all, little ones, is that I get to continue on the journey....


Tuesday, February 26, 2013

An Open Letter to Congress

As a United States citizen, I implore you to STOP playing politics with our economy, our future, and our lives. The economic mess this country is in is NOT just one administration’s fault. The stage was set during the Reagan administration, aided way too much during the George W. Bush administration, and we are now reaping the effects. Two unfunded wars, years and years of subsidies for big energy, multiple tax loopholes for the 1%, and too much spending by the Obama administration to try to dig out of the huge hole that’s been created have all been factors in our current economic morass.

We need spending cuts, yes, but we also need to stop subsidizing big energy and stop allowing the 1% to have a lower tax rate than any of the 99%! The fact that huge companies are able to post $1 billion+ profits and not pay a dime in taxes is unconscionable. The idea of fair taxes means that EVERYONE and EVERY CORPORATE ENTITY pays their fair share. If “corporations are people,” then they most certainly should be paying taxes just like most “people.”

President Obama’s plan to work on our country’s infrastructures while creating jobs is a good one. Heaven knows we need to improve our roads and bridges (did you learn NOTHING from the bridge collapse in Minneapolis?!). And our power grid is a conglomeration of bailing twine and bubblegum…we need to drag the entire country’s power grid into the dang 21st century.

But in addition to creating jobs while making our country better, we do need to cut spending. The Simpson Bowles plan was a good one; unfortunately, it was one that everyone in Congress chose to ignore and even vilify. It’s time to give that plan it’s full due and actually utilize at least SOME of the plan’s recommendations.

For once, could you just please put the COUNTRY and her CITIZENS first, rather than your party and your contributors first?! Set aside party affiliation, contributor pressure, and trying to be a part of the group….take a stand to put COUNTRY first and party dead last.

Thank you for your time.

A very frustrated, disappointed-in-Congress, part-of-the-99% constituent.
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Little ones, if you care, write/call/email your senators and representatives in Washington, D.C., now! Let them know your thoughts on this economic mess, and implore them to stop the bipartisanship and start putting COUNTRY first.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Choosing Ignorance

I am continually amazed by those who steadfastly choose the path of ignorance in their lives. We see it every day on television, hear it on the radio, read it in our newspapers and magazines, and view it on the Internet. It seems that Facebook is the venue where you can not only fly your freak flag (which I myself do on a regular basis), it is also the venue where you can show the world just how ignorant you are choosing to be.

For some reason I just cannot understand, the folks who have the strongest need to share their views on every subject under the sun, and comment on every post on Facebook, are the folks that have made the choice not to educate themselves on every subject under the sun. And they truly think if they repeat the same ignorance over and over again, that somehow makes it true or real.

The terrifying thing is that this modus operandi is leaching into our lives way too frequently. I see it happening every day in my local community and my state as well. Folks pick their story, make the conscious choice not the educate themselves on all aspects of that story, then repeat it over and over and over until they have convinced at least themselves (if not others) that it is true. Hell of a way to operate, if you ask me.

We are becoming a nation of emperors proudly parading around buck nekkid in our new clothes, choosing to ignore all the stares and shouts we are getting because we are SURE we look amazing!

We do not want to hear anyone else's views, we do not want to learn the actual facts, we do not want to face the actual realities. We want to draw lines in the sand and demand others meet us on our terms only and believe what we believe only. No wonder our government is so damn partisan. We have totally forgotten how to share, how to interact, how to learn from one another...how to behave like a civilized society. We have instead chosen ignorance....

Go against the grain, little ones....choose knowledge, choose civility, choose to listen to all sides, choose to educate yourselves on all aspects of the issues, whatever those issues may be....choose NOT to be ignorant.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Hearts Full of Love

Well, it's Valentine's Day once again...time for the card, flower, candy, jewelry, lingerie, and restaurant industries to swell their coffers. We are a bit of a materialistic society, aren't we?! ;)

It's also time for us to take a moment to tell those we love how very important they are to us...how they make our lives better just for being around. I know we don't need some "special" day to do that, but we are all guilty of not doing it often enough. And if it takes a "special" day to make us celebrate the ones we love, so be it.

Today I sent a container of homemade red velvet brownies to work with my husband for him to share with his coworkers, and tonight I am making him a special steak dinner...nothing real fancy, just something a little out of the ordinary for a typical Thursday night.

Grand gestures aren't necessary today, but words of love and caring are. Take the time today, little ones, to tell those that matter to you how much you care...spread the love!