Sunday, December 30, 2007

Wayne's space

One of Wayne's favorite things to do this time of year. And you can't get it done better than with several good hounds. Here's to Wayne and the Pastor and the three hounds that had a good day of rabbit hunting last week. Wayne has fond memories of past times with great friends and good beagles. What a life - a man and a couple good huntin' dogs!

I often thought Wayne was such a deprived little boy, hardly knowing any "fairy tale" stories. But, one he knew quite well was Fox and the Hound. I almost fell off my chair one day when he started singing the words to "I'd rather have a dog than a dollar". That's my man!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

17 years today!

It was the summer of 1989. I was preparing for GBS. I would be leaving in several weeks and on my list of things to do was the "breaking up" with my boyfriend. We had been friends forever and had went "steady" for the last 6 months or so. And now the obligation befell me to release "him" since we would have to endure a long distance relationship and that would be fair to neither of us. His response was short and simple - "but, I love you". So, I said are you sure and he never said anything that he wasn't already sure about and we stuck it out. Him making the trip to Cincinnati almost every weekend of the school year to pick me up and make his presence just in case anyone had any doubt about me having a boyfriend :o)
Senior trip to Gatlinburg in May of '90 was quite a trip especially after my Wayne shows up with Randy (my best friend's beau). We happened to be horseback riding at the time. I'll never forget coming out of the woods to the clearing to see Wayne and that Monte Carlo SS in the parking lot. Needless to say - I did almost fall off that horse.

That weekend we managed a short drive by ourselves. Wayne drove me to a park, parked the car, turned in his seat and with a voice that wasn't quite as confident as usual popped the question. I will tell you I was immediately in shock. All I could think of was - I was still in high school! And my life begin to pass before my eyes. And after it stopped rolling - I knew he was for me. He would love me forever. And I said.......yes. Wayne said that was a long pause.

We planned to have a Spring wedding which turned into a Winter one due to exam schedule (I was in college), but hey, that shortened the engagement by several months and that was good. Living the lifestyle we chose to live - long engagements are not a good idea.

We went back to Gatlinburg on our honeymoon. Two kids with aspiration and determination, enough love for the whole world and enough energy to run there if we had to. We had about $300 to our name, no reservations and too young and in love to know any better.

Seventeen years later here is what I know -

You can still be in love after being together 17 yrs

You don't exactly feel "in love" everyone of those days

It's not all about getting but a lot about giving and at the end of the day you realize that while giving you end up receiving much more than you could have even asked for

There is great reward in making a strong, loving marriage - it doesn't just happen it takes work and sometimes hard work, it has been well worth the effort

I may not have seen my worst days, but may be I haven't seen my best days either.

I love you, Wayne. I thank God for you. I'd say - "yes" all over again. And, maybe this time I wouldn't pause :o) Thank you for 17 wonderful years. Now, on to the next 57! Meet ya in the hay, 12:00 sharp!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Catching up -- again

I have had my share of computer / online trouble lately. The USB modem being the latest of the issues. Oh, well, it's not like I have had a whole lot of extra time anyway. But... I do have one very important announcement! My little miracle baby that I referenced in the last post, is now 8 years old!! She was born Dec. 9, 1999. My due date for her was Jan. 1, 2000. Yes, I was projected to have the "millenium baby". I can remember one maternity shirt I had said "a baby like this comes along once in a millenium". Not only did my dates point to exactly Jan. 1, but so did ultrasound after ultrasound. In my mind I just thought it was God's way of letting me know every thing was going to be ok - giving me such a significant due date. Although everyone else thought that is was just so cool - a hospital was one of the last places I wanted to be on the much anticipated "Y2K". Mariah Carey's "All I want for Christmas is You" was my theme song. And guess what.... After working a 3-11 shift I woke up around 6 a.m. the next morning and was greeted with that wet feeling that you only hope and pray doesn't happen on Sunday morning while sitting in church. (That was always my fear.) My hubby kicked it into high gear while I meandered into the shower. We arrived at the hospital around 8 ish and she was born at 7:46 that night. Three weeks early, 7 lbs 4oz ,and a ton of reddish hair. Wow, I knew I wanted to be a mom, but I just didn't have any idea.... The amazement of looking into my children's faces and seeing bits of me and Wayne looking back is beyond words. I cannot even begin to describe the love I felt for her that day. Somewhere deep in my heart she reached. Awakening a love that had never been felt. It now consumes me and I will never be the same. Just before I left our house for the hospital, I was standing in the hallway heading out to the garage. I can remember having this monumental thought as if it were yesterday. I stopped and looked around. It hit me. This oversized house that Wayne and I had shared alone was never going to be the same. Our life as we knew it was never going to be the same. It was a blessed change. I will always know and understand "a mama's love".

Lauryn Alexis - you were the one that gave "mama" meaning to me. I love you so much. Thank you for all the happy moments. You are truly our gift from God. Always walk with Him. You are a wonderful daughter and great big sister. Happy Birthday, my big girl!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Late night ramblings

I sauntered out to the barn tonight. Hands shoved deep in my pockets, head down I really wasn't in to this. This wasn't the moment for an evening walk especially to the barn. I had managed to avoid the barn since Saturday and when my sick husband informed me he hadn't fed the animals tonight - right after I had dressed for bed - I wasn't feeling the love. But truly feeling sorry for his miserable state I didn't put up a fuss. I did ,however, put it off for awhile and then I headed out. I opened the door of the darkened barn and immediately headed for the hay. It was just out of habit as I have done for the past 7 yrs., but I stopped short as the sick feeling hit me -- He's gone. No whiny. No clomp clomp as I would usually hear when you knew someone opened the barn door or no loud clang as you leaned against the stall door. My barn is dead without you Luck. I knew this would be difficult, but I kept telling myself it was just the thing to do. I have so much to do and so little time I didn't want you to be neglected. But even when I couldn't ride - you were there to remind me that dreams do come true and the site of you kicking up your hooves, rolling around or just standing there in all your black beauty was good for my soul. I know you are in good, loving care and I can visit whenever I want, but I miss you.

The Story of "Luck"

Eight years ago I was in the depths and despair of infertility. Six years of infertility. Three surgeries, months of drugs, appointments, tests and a host of baby showers to attend left me at times pretty discouraged to say the least. I will interject that I never hated attending the baby showers - I really was happy for the parents. It was just emotionally draining. I was just so hoping that one day it would happen for me. It was early 1999 and I was recovering from my latest laparoscopy. The time frame for which the Dr. had given for conception to occur after the surgery had come and gone. I wasn't pregnant.

For as long as I can remember I have loved horses. I was the girl that had 101 horses in my room.- all shapes and sizes. Calendars. Pillows. Notebooks. Breyers. Whatever is was is was better if it had a horse on it. The dreams I would have.... The several times I went riding as a kid linger in my mind as if it were yesterday. My mom subscribed to Country magazine. I would eagerly take it upon arrival and look at every picture from front to back - transposing myself there - with my horse and barn.

So, I decided. I'm not going to have children - I'm going to buy a horse. I found an ad of interest. It read "registered Quarter Horse" - what I wanted. I went to see him. I fell in love with his eyes. There was just something about the eyes - I could see his heart through his eyes. I rode him and all went well and we decided it would be best if we built the barn first. The owners did tell me that someone else was interested as well, but me being me knew that if it was supposed to be he'd be mine. The next month when the paper came out I hurriedly searched the ads to see if he was still listed. To my grave disappointment he was not and I was heartsick. The following month I had a twinge of hope as I just thought I'd look and he was there! I convinced my doubting husband it was definitely a sign and wanted to go see him again. This time I took my horse savvy friend - Rena. I wanted to make sure it wasn't infatuation and get a second opinion. OK - long story somewhat shorter. I bought "Pastor's Lucky Kid" - "Lucky" aka "Luck" (Lucky is after all a puppy with black spots). We boarded him until our barn was done. I was having the time of my life - me and my dream - come - true. After one month of ownership of my dear "Luck" I found out I was pregnant with my miracle baby - Lauryn Alexis. Dreams do come true! I don't believe in luck - just in case you are wondering, but I do believe God's timing and plan are perfect. So, think what you will, but I know that God gave me Luck from a lady named Hope and just when I thought I couldn't be happier - He sent me a miracle from Heaven - and I was.

Luck is currently being leased out to my cousin Ashley - who dearly loves horses. Hopefully I'm helping a dream come true. I know they will have wonderful days together and someday I think he will come back home, but for now I'm just a little sad. I feel better for getting it all out -- thank you for letting me cry all over the keyboard.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Weekend Getaway

We headed to Tennessee after Wayne finished a busy morning at work Friday. I was - again- packed and ready to go when he pulled in the drive. Way to go - me! I may be improving, but so far from ultra-organized.

We took this trip to spend some time with my family before my cousin, Steve, leaves for Kuwait. He's in the Army and is being deployed in January. His family, parents, my family and mom all went to Pigeon Forge, Tn and stayed in a beautiful cabin. I was amazed at all the Fall color. And leaving this morning it was a balmy 62 degrees. It was a great weekend. I love this time of year. I know I have friends that I'll be sending their Christmas card to Gulf Blvd one of these days, but one of the best Christmas' was spent in the Smoky Mountains. Upon waking Christmas morning the snow was drifting down transforming the cabin and mountain to a winter wonderland! I'll take my "tender Tennessee Christmas" (and Thanksgiving) any day. I just love it here and am so glad we got to spend this Fall weekend before Thanksgiving here.

We went on a Trolley Tour of the Christmas Lights. Pancake Pantry was visited. Laser tag was enjoyed by Wayne, Lauryn and Steve. A lot of fun was had at the Track. Nightly games at the cabin were fun and Paul and June's cabin breakfast Sunday morning was a big hit. I love ya family - thanks for the memorable weekend. Steve you will stay close to our hearts while you are away.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Life after death

The death was the computer - the life that goes on is ours. Stunted as it may be we have recovered. I will be bold enough to say that it was one less thing to distract me and I could probably manage without one, but it wouldn't be a preferred method of existance. I, after entering the Blog world, have experienced a renewed and in some cases all new closeness to friends I would otherwise not be in contact with. I bank online and would hate not having that so handy. And then there is the abundant resources - shopping, research, etc. available at your fingertips. So, we have a new computer and I have returned. I am among the living, although, there are those that would consider it not living without their computer :o)

OK - I saw this email the other day about the Bible in 50 words and it is probably how I should go about letting you know what's been going on around here. We'll see how it goes - you know how wordy I like to be.

Ghost and Goblin run - fun. Lauryn's first 5k!

Fall party. Thank you Brian and Janella! We had a great time.

My "M&M" bobbing for apples.

My little pink Poodle.

Wayne shot a deer bowhunting. Way to go Wayne!

Do you see those antlers?? Well, he couldn't and what he thought was a doe ended up being a 6 pt. So now -- what you're supposed to say is -- "that's going to be some good eatin'!" :o)

Weekend trip to Pennsylvania with my mom. Enjoyable. Great Fall weather and color.

Soccer awards. Good job Lauryn!

Family in to visit - yeah!

I am so in love - just look at that face. You are a cutie - Carson!

Dog breeding. What a challenge! Meet the "stud" - Teal. He's a gentle giant.

Work. Work. Work.

School. School. School.

Monday, October 22, 2007

A Great Thought for a Monday

I was sitting at my piano (I think this is where some of my best devotions take place) and came across this ~

The cross that He gave may be heavy, But it ne'er out-weighs His grace;

The storm that I feared may surround me, But it ne'er excludes His face.

The cross is not greater than His grace, The storm cannot

hide His blessed face; I am satisfied to know

that with Jesus here below, I can conquer every foe.

Coming out of a very busy work week and non-stop weekend I needed these words. Some days circumstances, people, obligations are heavy on our shoulders. It is such a relief to know His grace is greater.

Wish I had time for more but I've got a ton of stuff to catch up on. I hope you have a great Monday.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

John Deere Green

A group of men were standing outside of the church house one lovely Sunday morning when one commented to my husband - Oooh, I like your belt. Were did you get it? He replied with - "the only place I shop, Tractor Supply". And that is not far from the truth. I just love my Wrangler wearin' , TSC-shoppin', Hoochie Mama man! So, I got home from work tonight and found that my man went shoppin'. There's nothin' like John Deere Green. We're from the country and we like it like that :o)

Our neighbors had their Fall Party last night and we were invited. We enjoyed some great Bluegrass music from Rum River Blend, a hay ride, and bon fire. We're from the country and we like it like that. We had a good time.

I have a new hat. I found it in my truck. I like it, but if the rightful owner comes forth I will give it back..... maybe. Does it look familiar to anyone? I'll bring it to the camp out tomorrow night. Hey! Did you notice my new shirt??

That's all for now folks~

Monday, October 15, 2007

Weekend Getaway

What a great weekend! We are so blessed to have so many wonderful, close friends. And can you believe 24 of us spent the weekend together in a big house in Gatlinburg?! The house is still standing and I believe the friendships stronger. I drove away from the "big house" thinking - wow! - that was so great - to have such friends that make you proud of the way you believe and live, to know that they are traveling the same path and reaching for the same goal.

My favorite part was the feeling I have just being with good friends - hiking, biking, eating, gaming, horseback riding, devotions and laughing. I loved it all. God gave us a beautiful, safe weekend. He blessed us with protection and returned us safely home to our children. Thank you grandparents for taking such good care of the kiddos. You all are the best. Thank you, my friends, for a memorable time. May God bless us all, keep us strong and shall we always be undefeated examples of grace.

Now can we pause a moment to have devotions? Yes, devotions. Take just a minute if you haven't already. I need to unburden my soul. Lest someone think I'm neglecting my duty I need to share my devotional. We - my husband and I - were assigned Sunday. The couples left at different times of the day and were not in the same place at the same time - unlike the other days. So, for our friends that missed it Sunday morning (and anyone else that is interested ) here is the second session. And by the way - Janella and Michele your devotions are worth repeating. You blessed me by your reminders of the promises of God. Post them.

Two thoughts kept pounding in my head. #1 The power of my friends. #2 The power of choice. So, not being able to get away from either thought I wanted to share them both and hope they come out in some organized fashion.

I want to let you know the fellowship we share means so much. I can't tell you how blessed I feel to have friends that are taking the same road as I. This is where I feel at home. I want to fellowship with you, I want my kids growing up being friends with your kids. I want to pray for you. I want you to pray for me. I have confidence in you. I realize that not everyone has this blessing of so many close friends and I just want you to know I am so thankful. I know I have a responsibility to you and I don't want to fail you in this area.

Romans 15:1,5

We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves.

Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus.

We are to lift one another up. When one is weak or has a burden - lift a hand and a prayer. It is humanly easy to find fault with each other. To think and presume the worst is what often happens. "Oh, she didn't even speak to me!" "Did you see that look she gave me?" We girls are so often to blame for such thought - it is just the woman thing to do. Which leads me to thought #2 - The power of choice. We can choose to think the best of each other. What if that look is one of burden and hurt?? Think good - the best of others. Bear the infirmities of the weak. The God of patience..... We have the power of choice. We can choose to be a blessing to each other or we can choose to hurt and tear apart. The choice we make will take us closer to our destination. Where are we going? We can choose which way to go. The paths are very different with the end results as drastic. One choice can make such a difference. This is so true in our every day life with our spouses as well as our friends. I will leave you with some words by one of my favorite writers - Debi Pearl. This thought changed my life. I hope you are in a place where it can have the same effect on you. I have proven that you can choose to be happy. Debi is writing about her 35 yr. successful marriage.

Our delight in each other did not happen because he is the perfect man, or because he "loves me as Christ loves the church," of because he is "sensitive to all my needs." It didn't happen because he takes the trash out, or cleans up after himself, or has always made a good living, providing me with all the things most women take for granted. It didn't happen because he is a strong spiritual leader and always does the right thing. It happened and continues to happen because of the choices I make every day. I never have a chip on my shoulder, no matter how offended I have a right to be -- and I do have reasons to be offended regularly. Every day, I remember to view myself as the woman God gave this man. Live with thanksgiving, forgiveness, and joy, and enjoy all moments as if they were your last. Someday, soon enough, they will be.

Choose to be a good friend. Choose to be happy!

Love, wl.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Chaplain, Naughty Nurse and a Monte Carlo

Chapter 2

Wow! At this rate I will never finish this book. OK -- This is going to be the condensed version. Stick with me and I'll go fast. I'm the nurse. Parking at our hospital is a major problem right now. A parking garage is under construction. Many employees are parked off site and are shuttled in - it's that bad. It is nothing for me to spend 10 minutes just looking for a place. Now those of you that know me realize this must have been an exception to my standard but I was running it close (to clocking in on time). The morning air was crisp, the birds were chirping cheerfully and I was ready to ram some BMW with my big truck and just make a place where there wasn't one. I didn't. But......what I did do brings my head down between my knees and color to my cheeks. The chaplains parking place was empty! I thought ..... she must not be coming in today...... I'll come back and move my truck after I go in and see how busy things are..... I'll be the chaplain today..... I'll minister to my patients and after all the chaplain will show a Christ-like attitude and not key my truck for parking in her spot. I took it. Made it into work and we were so busy! At my late lunch I ran out, moved the truck and found a place a mile away! Sitting down to inhale my lunch - who should come into the lunch room -- the Chaplain!! She sat down across from me. I immediately turned as red as Bob the tomato and probably sounded much like my 2 yr when she's been caught with her hand in the toilet. She calmly asked -- Do you have something to tell me?? With a grin on her face and a twinkle in her eye, I was no less embarrassed. She said I didn't believe it. When they said it was you -- I said there must be another one by that name. And then I thought - you must have been in some pinch. I told her my lame excuses. Promised her chocolate. Confirmed that the truck had been moved. And still felt so bad and even more after she told me she was going on vacation and I could have her parking spot during that time and she would inform security. I have known her for years and she is a very cool person, but this was a sentence of guilt. Enough of that -- you get the picture.

Coming back from parking my truck - legally this time - a blue Monte Carlo S.S. pulled in front of me. I took note immediately for it looked so much like the car of my dating years with my man - so many moons ago. Yes, it is the moonlit nights that I remember in that car....... I digress. I yell, "Hey"! The lady - somewhat shocked and amused at a nurse flagging her down in the parking lot - stops. There is a "For Sale" sign in the window. Short ending to a long, long ( the least of which not being the woman crying so hard at the bank upon signing over the car that my husband tried to talk her out of it) story -- we are once again the owners of a blue, 1984 Chevy Monte Carlo S.S. I feel 17 again! We've looked for one of these for several years. Was sin committed here? Was it meant to be? I'm sorry Mrs. Chaplain, but I'm really glad we found the car.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday to the best mom and grammy in the world!

We can't even begin to tell what you mean to us. We thank you for all you do. You are the meaning of love and sacrifice. We hope you have a wonderful day (and many more throughout the year). Hugs and kisses! We love you! You are the best!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Where to begin....

Hello. My name is ..... I used to blog. And now I'm suffering Blogger withdraw. I know no other way to combat this debilitating disease than to BLOG. So, I'm here to tell of moments of fame and misfortune, wonder and surprise. Whatever.... Here's what's up.
You know those little exercise balls for hamsters - well I've been stuck in one. Without a laptop I might add. My little ball is off the stand so I actually go places - spinning and at high rates of speed.
I might have to divide this book up into chapters. I only get several breaks from my "ball" and then I have to get back in and spin.
Chapter 1
We went to a financial seminar the wknd after getting back from Colorado. It was held at our church camp. My spending conscience is definitely fine tuned now. Mr. F. did a great job. We consider him a good mentor. Oh, and by the way, Janella we broke into your room. The room we were to stay in was not unlocked. So, we went down the row of rooms until we found one open. Your hospitality was unbeatable. Thank you!
So, between my dear friends that are followers of Dave, the financial seminar, and the words of the financial advisor that I share a bed with - my racing bike is so on hold. That will be covered in another chapter.

Monday, September 24, 2007

I'm Tagged

OK -- 7 things about me.
1. I was married at the mature age of 18 yrs.
2. I'm still in love with that man I married really... he still makes my belly do flip flops.
3. I would rather clean a horse stall than do inside house work.
4. Most days I'd rather play a game of softball, tennis, basketball, volleyball, etc. than shop.
5. I would rather clean a toilet than go shopping with my offspring. That may be a slight exaggeration, but some days is the absolute truth.
6. I love good friends, family, and food - especially together.
7. You have no idea how long it took me to come up with this.
I'm tagging - Kim S., Heather L., Martha G., Martha C., Candy, Sis E., LaDonna. Go girls - you're it!

Sunday, September 9, 2007

The Ultimate Souvenir

When we were in Colorado the girls and I had quite a bit of free time. We were invited one day over to Jodi's house to put up some of that infamous Olathe Sweet corn. I was hoping to get to go over, but due to the guys coming home for lunch and church that evening didn't get over to her place. I was so disappointed thinking about how nice it would have been to have some of that great tasting corn from my mountain country in the middle of the winter -- I went out and bought a case of it. Lauryn, Brooklyn and I managed to get it all done that evening. The next night I bought another case. We did ~ 8 dozen. We had fun doing it and it was so good this afternoon for lunch! Yum, yum! (This afternoon happens to be two Sundays ago! I wrote this but didn't have the pictures uploaded. I'm tryin' to catch up. You thought I had headed back to Colorado didn't you?)

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Home at last

I'm sorry for the abrupt stop to the updates. Somehow, somewhere I was overtaken by the mountain way of life. I turned into a backwoods mountain woman who knows nothing of blogging, cell phones or modern life in general. I became a naturalist, a mountain woman keeping house and cooking for her man when he returns from the woods after a hard days hunt. Carin' for my children and taking them on hikes to cool streams for relief on hot days and then showin' them how to put up food for the winter and then observing them become little mountain kids themselves -- gathering eggs and tending to the farm while the men were away.

The short version (non wordy - makes my editor happy).
We are home.
The big elk still roams the mountain.

Long version (wordy - makes me happy and gives me a sense of relief).
We had a great time, although my husband went into some post hunting anticlimactic withdrawal from which I think he recovered as soon as he set feet on his own property and slept in his own bed - away from the lure of the mountains and the beast that resides there.
The hunters were able to call in several elk throughout the week with his handy dandy elk call - better known as the Hoochie Mama (see earlier post Elk Hunting 101). The big bull decided there were hotter cows in the forest and gave up my man for them. If you can believe that - I found it incomprehensible. They saw four bear during the week - I am thankful the bear gave up my man for tastier fare.
We left the Western Slope Friday and went to Jason and Joanna's (Jason is Wayne's cousin). They live in Wetmore, Colorado in the backyard of San Isabel Mountains -- absolutely beautiful. It was so nice to visit with them. We had a great time as they took us to Bishop Castle, the surrounding mountains, a lake and hangin' out with them around their house. The "mile high pizza" Joanna fixed and the campfire dinner Jason served was true mountain hospitality. It is so nice to get to spend time with family we don't get to see often enough. Jason, Joanna, Jessie, Josh, and Juniper -- we'll miss you and your mountains.

So, we left our family Sunday morning and drove and drove and drove and listened to Bro. Stroup at Franklin Bible Methodist Church as we drove and drove and drove. We reached Columbia, Missouri around 11:30 and bedded down for the night in a comfy, clean room with hot, running water! Monday we drove and drove and drove and reached Horseshoe Bend Rd. @ 6:30 p.m. I love my house. I love my bed. I miss my mountains.

I get this feeling in the pit of my stomach as we head toward the Kansas line in eastern Colorado. It feels as if I might get sick. I crane my neck looking out the back window staring at the great mountains until they flatten into the horizon only to be sketches in my memory until next year when I eagerly await their reappearance in living color as we head back to my wild West.
(Camo-wearin', Hoochie Mama-laden, beast hunter at my side. Rocky Mountain Elk - WE'll BE BACK)

Monday, August 27, 2007

My Shot

I am the only one that has shot something so far. I was driving back to the house when I saw these two deer neer the road. Being from whitetail country I realized a small mule deer could look big to me, but I kept thinking that rack was really big. When I showed the pic to the guys they couldn't believe it -- they thought it was pretty big, too. Guess I'm the one that should have had the bow. No, I think I'll stick to the camera -- less mess.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Sunday in the Wild West

OK maybe I don't get out enough, but I'm bettin' you didn't see this at your church today.

A gun-slingin', Bible-carryin', church-goin' cowboy. And yes, I did ask him if I could take his picture. (After I asked some of the church people if they thought he'd mind -- after all he did have a gun!) He said - humbly - "I don't know who would want a picture of me" -- little did he know... I thought it was just so cool. I told him we had some guys back in our church that would appreciate it. I was thinking of you Merl and Shane :0) Go buy a holster and come out west! Check out their church. Thought it was pretty cool too. A log church!

Oh, and by the way we did attend our church via the www. I am just so proud of our people. As we were naming you all off to Mike I realized how much I would miss you all if we ever followed this hankerin' we sometimes feel.

A family from the church invited us to lunch. I went to high school with Jodi. Thank you for a wonderful meal! You went to too much trouble! We really enjoyed your hospitality.

After lunch Mike took us to the Black Canyon of the Gunnison. This is not far from the church. These pictures will not give justice to the canyon. You will only have to imagine the _____ I cannot even think of a word. ______ I'm having trouble. What about reverence? In all honesty you cannot help but feel reverence for its beauty and vastness. This canyon is in the middle of flat meadow areas. You have no idea its there. And then the earth just opens up. Jagged rock walls cradling a roaring stream. The stream is only a mere 2000 ft. below. You are left standing in awe at God's handiwork. How great Thou art -- when I in awesome wonder consider all the works Thy hands have done!

Wayne is very aware of the reality of 2000 ft. I on the other hand figure what is the difference. If I fall from 2 stories vs. 2000 ft. -- they both would probably kill me. He was a little unnerved by the whole view concerning the girls. He didn't want Brooklyn even on the lookout area. That thought made us both sick to our stomachs. There were open areas that didn't have railing -- dropping straight down!

Mike did this just for Wayne -- who was incidentally in the truck with Brooklyn at the time. He said he had seen enough. Mike climbed out on this narrow rock to pose. When we got back to the truck and showed him he just shook his head and said "He's crazy!" I told Mike he better not fall -- there was no way I was calling Kim up and telling her. He didn't!

Here may be the reason why Wayne hasn't gotten the big elk. Maybe they are as smart as the deer. Hiding behind the no hunting signs! Colorado deer are pretty clever. Love this picture.

Friday, August 24, 2007

We made it!

The motel we stayed at last night had some cool wild west memorabilia used in there landscaping.

It was in the 50's this morning when we headed out. To say the least we were in shock. Although none of us resorted to sweatshirts. I guess the steamy 93 degrees that we had endured the day before had left a lasting impression.

Met some Harley riders travelling from east Texas. Of coarse we had to stop and chat because even though we do not own one, close friends do and we just feel like we have a common thread. Here's for you Randy, Paul and Merl.

To get the full effect of these little west towns you must mingle with the people and go to locally owned eateries. For example - The Village Smithy in Carbondale. Jerry S. knows exactly where this town is. I love Mt. Sopris.

We reached Mike and Kim's around 3:00 p.m. (Ohio time). We miss Kim and the kids as she is away with her brother who is near the end of a fight with cancer.

We've been to eat and to the grocery. Wayne has his license to hunt the big elk. And, we are going to bed soon . Plans for tomorrow include Mike and Wayne awaking at 2am to head out to the mountain to get the big bull. Wayne passed up these today....pasturing in a neighbors field. I think he might have been drooling..... Wayne..... nothing gets to a man like a big rack!
The girls and I are taking it easy. We may get out and explore the little town of Paonia. Talk to you later. I'm going to bed. I am one tired pioneer.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Almost there

We came across this around 7:30 p.m.
And now three of us are sleeping soundly in our roomy accommodations located in Idaho Springs, Colorado. We are now surrounded by mountains. The air is cool and clean and I am feeling at home in a place that renews my spirit each time I visit. I have missed these mountains and this fresh air. It has been two years and I am ready to relish the tranquility and bask in the beauty. Oh beautiful -- the spacious sky and mountain peaks you greet me with the kiss of a long awaited sojourner. I have returned to the hills from wince cometh my strength!
We are 3 hours from our final destination - Paonia, Colorado. We'll be staying with friends, Mike and Kim, Katie and Hunter. We are almost there. Hang in there Brookie. I fear she is thinking her carseat will be fused to her rear end by the time we reach our destination. Time for me to hit the sack too. See ya tomorrow.

On the road again...

We stayed just outside of St. Louis last night. Not a bad first day on our way to the wild West. Not a problem with Indians, wild animals or our horses. On the contrary our "campsite" was equipped with two comfy beds, hot water and high speed Internet. Wow - can you imagine the look on Louis and Clarke's faces. We're such whimpy pioneers demanding another room if we found conditions to be beneath our expectations. Tragic and unbearable living conditions such as odors, small insects and peeling wall paper. Perspective and relativity...I guess.
Elk Hunting 101

Hoochie Mama : a cow call; a device used to mimic the call of a cow (female elk); or as Wayne put it -- the sound of love calling to the big bull (male elk). This is hand held and you simply depress it to get the desired sound of love. As opposed to the Hot Lips call that you actually keep in your mouth.

So, to put it all together. You're out in the mountains (because that is where elk live - you wouldn't want to try this in the backyard - although, Martha, you might scare the rooster to death ?? PRIMOS.COM) You depress the Hoochie Mama and the big bull hears it - comes running because he is looking for some hottie cow chick. He is extremely disappointed when the only thing he finds is some oddity that looks like a tree holding a Hoochie Mama and a big bow.

And that, is the purpose that drives us west. The "hunt". The instinct. The reason we are at the top of the food chain. We are the hunters not the hunted. As natural as nurturing is for we mothers is the "hunt" for most men. When the first hint of fall drifts through the air my man gets this far away look in his eyes. The bows and guns are ready. Practice has been made perfect. The lures, calls and attire are in order and the "hunter" emerges to take down his prey like some mighty warrior that is haled as provider and protector of his tribe.

You can have your soft-handed, fresh smellin' "Ralph Lauren" who buys his meat at Krogers and I'll take my camo -wearin', primitive man (who incidentally shops for clothes at Tractor Supply). I'll go with him (he who has been know to return from the woods smelling like doe urine) 3000 miles to hunt down that 800 lb. hairy mammal. Take it down with a bow and arrow and bring it home to his family. How can I not let him hang his trophies on the wall?