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?

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Meet me in St. Louis

We're headed West! Could I have every one's attention for just a moment I have a quite an announcement. For the first time in the history of our child rearing years of marriage I was ready and waiting for my husband to leave for vacation. This is quite an event. In fact, I was doing the Icky Shake in the driveway when he pulled in. Hooray for me and Lauryn - who was a big help. And, Brookie -- let's just say the juice poured down your outfit, the crayon to the stove and tidal wave in the tub this morning just confirms it really was a miracle that mom was ready to leave at the appointed time. She is appropriately sleeping at this point -- no wonder - she had quite the eventful morning.

We are making our way around Indianapolis at this point - 6:25 p.m. We left our house ~ 4 p.m.
and have already found our way through two traffic jams. We plan to stop in St. Louis tonight.
Every time we make this trip I am reminded of the pioneers that made this treacherous journey. And here I sit in a big ole Dodge Ram. Cool in spite of the 93 degrees outside -- BLOGGING as we clip along at 65 mph. We have it so easy. Hope you are staying cool. Talk to you later. Rocky Mountains -- here we come. Here Elkie, Elkie. Hoochie mama has your number.
The above pic was taken during last years elk hunt. Several hunters were making their way on horseback by the Lavy bros. campsite outside of Paonia, Co. What a way to go.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


I finished. I so wanted to do better than I did, but there has been a lesson learned and I still have a drive to do better next time.
It started off wrong. Some days you feel as if you can whip the world -- that day I felt as if the world had already whipped me (before I started). I just didn't have it. I was nervous. I can't wait until I can do one of these things and not feel as if my belly is going to take flight. I don't know why I get nervous, possibly due to the unknown -- I really don't know, but it takes some energy away that I really needed to conserve.
The grand entrance was my fall into the pool. Yes, I actually fell in! I went to gracefully jump and I slipped on the metal edge making my nervousness skyrocket. Next was - get my goggles in place. I reached for them and when I did not feel them - said "my goggles" only to be reminded by the lap counter - "they're on your head". I wanted to start all over, but there was no turning back. I plunged in and despite the awkward strokes, difficult breathing pattern and oblivion to my injury from the tumble, I made the 500 meters (~1/3 of a mile). The bike was long - 17 miles! Was posted to be only 12 miles! Bad joke. There was a big part of me that wanted to quit. And for those of you that know me well - know I don't quit. I went from the bike to the attempted run. And this is where I truly become frustrated. I know I audibly expressed it at one point when I just couldn't make my legs run. The muscles became so tight and heavy that I had to resort to a power walk. So power walk I did, interrupted by short runs that would end in frustrated gyrating until the last leg of the race. And then you dig deep and find any and all droplets of energy left - pull them together and attempt something more than a walk. You must run across the finish line. The race ended at a stadium. No it was not finished at the stadium. You had to take one lap in the stadium! I initially turned into the stadium and headed directly to the finish only to be rerouted to the long way around. That was a long lap, but I managed to stay in a forward motion that was little more than a walk. The finish line was still up. That was a plus. I thank God for the ability to put one foot in front of the other and the strength to finish this goal of mine. It really was a great feeling. I was disappointed that I didn't do it faster, but it hit me that if I would have kicked hiney that day I wouldn't appreciate the outcome as much as when I do! This is something that is not accomplished overnight or even in a few short months. These people are trained athletes that have a drive and passion much like mine, but have the hours and hours of disciplined training to show behind their success. So, back to the trench work... Thank you, my friends and family -- my roaring crowd -- you are the best. My Lauryn, Mom, Michele and Sarah thanks for your encouraging support. Thank you to my (self-appointed) trainer - husband - you let me have some time just for me. And Shane, Mark and Ken... Let's just say they hold a high standard for performance. They are remarkable athletes and thank you for letting me know that I did accomplish something great.
We are leaving for Colorado tomorrow. So hope you're ready for the trip -- I'm taking you with me. I should have plenty of time to blog - around 22 hours of driving (riding :o) I'm looking forward to just relaxing without alarms and obligations. Well, I've got to run. I have some packing to do. The day is blessed -- enjoy!

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Trying to catch up

Wow! This summer is almost gone. I can't believe it has gone by so fast. One of these days I'm going to plant my feet deep in the dirt, cross my arms and not move and just insist time slows down. So -- here's my feeble attempt to do some catching up.

My baby is now 2 yrs. old!

Where did the time go? You were just a little chubby baby. And, then "blink" -- you're running out the door to play, help daddy or go see the kitty. You are our busy girl -- always on a mission. You make us laugh. I love your dancing eyes and your endless energy. I see my love of life reflected in your eyes. I love you, Brookie.

The story of Brooklyn Elise to follow...

My Lauryn has a new favorite past time...

And just in case you're wondering -- yes, the enclosure is up. This was taken minutes after her and dad assembled it. I really liked it until I felt as if my insides were going to leave my body. I'm not sure which way they would have exited, but I'm fairly sure it would not have been pretty either way. Kinda reminded me that I'm not twelve anymore and that maybe birthing a nine pounder baby could have possibly left a mark! I guess I've just got to figure out how to work up to it or take the thing back. I can't have it just sitting there glaring the fact that I'm an old, debilitated woman! Any ideas let me know.

OK -- I apologize for the flight of thought, but 1:30 in the morning after working 12 hours may have something to do with it. Oh, by the way -- here I go -- we had a little girl come in tonight who had broken her arm on a trampoline. WTG -- pediatric nurse! Have I mentioned my kids ride 4 wheelers, too?! Not a popular subject to get on when I'm at work. I pray.... a lot.

Back to where I was going when.... You get the point. I have been swimming. Like so much I can see my arm and back muscles growing and my skin stays wrinkly and I now have gills. Not really, but yes, a lot of swimming. I have concluded that if I were supposed to breath and swim at the same time I should have been born with gills. Swimming long distances is strenuous. Strenuous means heavy breathing. And heavy breathing is hard to accomplish underwater!! I have cracked myself up. I have felt like kicking myself off the side of the pool, but the short version of the story is I can do it. It may not be smooth. It may not be pretty, but I can swim over 5oo meters without stopping more than a turn around. This is big for me and I beg the pardon of you that are saying big whoop right now.

Have you guessed it? Swim. Bike. Run. Yes. Triathlon. This wknd! I only hope to finish and finish strong. If I do I'll fill you in.

BTW -- I do not ride with my saddle on my bike. Wayne had taken the saddle out of the truck and flung it over the bike. I thought it was very clever. After all, my saddle beats the bike seat any day -- bottom down :o) I had to capture the image.

Goodnight for now -- Wait -- Good morning! Have a great day! We are so blessed! Enjoy the wknd.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

The breeze speaks relief, the surrounding sounds and smells comforting. I coast along enjoying it all. Then, it happens. Gradual but unrelenting. What once was a leisure now is a painful attempt to maintain forward motion. Scenery that was once floating by now halts as I appear to be handicapped by the steep incline barely inching forward -- but forward none the less. Refusing the whines and moans of aching muscles I force every ounce of energy from my neck, arms chest and abdomen down. Down to the screaming legs leaving my upper body free of strain. And then with all the borrowed strength the legs take over. Revolution after revolution they empower. Ignoring the pace of the scenery I look down and I see the small pebbles in the asphalt -- a blur-- confirming forward motion! I find new determination. Not looking at what is to come or how far I am from the top, I just focus on the blurry pebbles. One by one passing them -- I've got that much behind me. Pebble by pebble. Forward. Sweat. Pain. Forward. My last post I left you hangin' in the middle of my week. It was a day off at the hospital which means a day of work at home catching up on all that has been needing attention while you where away working. So with the laundry started and the house in a semi orderly state I indulged in some blog time. Who knew it would almost be two weeks before I entered "Blog Sweet Blog" again. Thursday I worked again and that evening went to the grocery store to stock up on some appropriate food for our Homebuilders group we would be hosting Friday night. Not that they wouldn't like grilled cheese sandwiches, but anyways....Friday morning it was a pebble by pebble pace as I looked around at all that needed to be done and how motionless I seemed. I ran to do the usual Friday morning house call to Wayne's grandparents. And returned home to tidy up the house (sounds so much better then major over haul) and prepare food. The evening was an enjoyable one and we find ourselves reminded how blessed we are with great friends. I am the oh, so casual hostess. I get on my last nerve especially knowing what efficient, fashion conscious hostesses and great cooks you all are. Guess if you ever get board with refinement you can pay me a visit. I'll put you at ease and reassure you how great you are with food, entertaining, and home decor. After all, I'm pretty sure I had a Christmas hand towel hanging in my downstairs bathroom that night. And that is so me. Guess I should have been worrying about that instead of blogging. So enough of the detail -- not much for that either. The rest of the wknd -- which was oh, Sat. and Sun., a family reunion - covered dish, birthday party - more food , the portrait studio, family over in the evening, church, over to in laws for dinner - covered dish -- too bad I didn't make mass quantities for the first one I did this wknd. then back to church. Forward. Focus. Enjoy. I look up. I'm at the top. I look back. YES! I made it. The coast is revitalizing. The wind in my face erases lines of worry, dread, and exhaustion. I look around and realize life is good. The blessings around us are out of site when our heads are down and we are only concerned with maintaining the forward motion. Push like there in no tomorrow. Dig down and find some energy, drive, something that will get you to the top. It is close and oh, the bliss and sweet relief. Enjoy the coast. And, get ready for the next climb. We're in this together and it helps knowing we're making it together. The analogy -- my bike ride a couple of days ago.

My "chief editor" told me this was a bit wordy (that is one reason it sat in the draft box for 4 days) -- so, I apologize to those of you that are board with the wordiness and exercise symbolism. That just happens to be where I am right now and that is what is inspiring me. I know some of you hear me and others can't imagine the motivation of sweat and pain. Try it -- you may like it :o)