Friday, December 31, 2010

New Years passing Now an Old Year


A year is going into the history book, twisted, distorted and tortured, depending on how one perceives life.  There are many realities that do not jive with the facts yet people want to take the squared pegs and push them into round spots.  No matter the struggle they insist that the square peg be to their liking.  I look at at those struggles and ponder what really is important in life.

This past year has brought many turns, some led to joy others to sorrow.  There has been new additions to the family, new unions and celebrations.  There have been the loos of friends but the toughest was the loos of my daughter this past summer.  There is a small void that will always be there but life moves on.

I have not been for want of food, clothing or shelter.   I see so many who live in cardboard boxes, under bridges or the  street.  It is their choice, yes I do feel for them and they are provided a hot meal and clothes but they walk back out to the life in the ditch.  Life has it’s many faces, it is a face I can do very little with but I accept it as life.

The pages turn and it appears as a déjà vu, the repeat is there.  Life’s book has many chapters.  I tread softly through the words and look at the next chapter.  Where will it lead, what is in store, can I have any effect, where will I go.

Questions travel forth and there are no answers so I reflect and wonder why I pondered them in the first place.  I must a mind that inquires even if an answer does spring forth I still ponder.

Yet I am so thankful for so many things.  All my basic needs are met and I have a little bit left over for some desires.  I would not make a good materialist or over indulgent consumer.  I have found a contentment in the basic needs of life.



Went to the big city of Denver this week and the magnet at the RR Museum in golden grabbed a hold of my jalopy and drug me into the parking lot.  I didn’t expect much at the museum but the lot was almost full and people were wandering through the the displays.  The Garden Railway Society had trains running on their pike and it was a rather festive day watching the people walk around talking among themselves.

The museum is nice in that people can interact with most displays, climb on things or touch.  Unlike most museums that have ropes or cases restricting interaction, there are very few displays that cannot be handled.  Kids were having a good time, parents were tagging along and grandparents were talking about the day………….

I took a bunch of pictures and will be posting some later next week or the following week.


This being the last day of the year, it will also be my last post of the year.  THEREFORE……


Have a Happy and Prosperous New Year……


Because I said So.


Happy 2011

Sunday, December 26, 2010

On to the Next Year

The feast and gifts of the year are becoming but a memory. Gifts returned, exchanged or broken, all part of year's end celebration. For the Christian it is a year long celebration. The gift of Christ will always be there.

Next is the celebration that the bottlers of spirits love. Orgy of alcohol consumption, excuse to be boneheaded or just be crazy.

Wonder how the Muslims are dealing with all of this. they are on a different calendar or sorts and see Christ as a prophet. Just have a hard time seeing a Christmas tree in a Muslim home.

The New Year celebrations around the world. If one loves fireworks this has got to be an all time favorite celebration. The pyrotechnic displays are awesome. One of the few things I am thankful, to the Chinese for. Colorful explosions, now to figure how to get conflicts settled by colorful explosions and no guns allowed.

Will have a glass of wine and toast the incoming New Year. No resolutions allowed in the household, go out and live life to the fullest and live with others.

Still in the dry dust bowl, no snow, only frost in the morn. Everybody else has gotten rained on or snowed in and I'm looking at brown dust spots.

As the week begins, have a good one and may God be your companion through the week.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas Prayer

Christmas Prayer

2 And all these blessings shall come upon you and sovertake you, if you obey the voice of the Lord your God. 3 Blessed shall you be in the city, and tblessed shall you be in the field. [1]

6 Blessed shall you be wwhen you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out. [2]

Deut. 28:2-4,6

Hear Me oh Lord for I seek you out

I thank you for the greatest gift

You send Your Son for all to see

He walked among us

A walk to witness the truth

A light to follow in foot steps

A bright star on far heavens

Leading all to a new light

Be with all who look to Your Light

Bless them and keep them

May your countenance shine

Leading them in Your Grace

Merry Christmas

May God be with you throughout the New Year

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Other Times

Intently the little boy stared in the window. Dad stood nearby watching the crowd move past on the sidewalk. A few would pause and look, most passed. Another boy paused by the first little boy and they just watched. Behind the second boy was an older gentleman, appeared to be a grandfather. The two men glanced at each other and smiled as the boys just stood there looking.

Soon the father of the first boy touched the cap and said, “We have to be moving on.” The boy slowly turned and grasped his father’s hand as they moved on with the hustling crowd. Grandpa and the other little boy remained.

Down the street the father and his boy walked. They passed an open door to a store. In front stood a man dressed in a red and white coat with a green cap. He was ringing a bell next to a small pot mounted on a stand. Dad paused and reached in his pocket and pulled out some bills, taking one and folding it up he told his son to place it in the pot. The little boy did and the man with the bell and funny suit, leaned over and told the boy, “Thank You.” The little boy looked up and smiled back and replied, “Your Welcome.”

Weaving through the people moving along the sidewalk the father and his boy continued walking. They had to dodge packages and bundles being carried by on walkers. In front of the big store window they paused because of the size of the crowd. Singing could be heard and music floated out of the speakers overhead. To get around the crowd they had to step out on the edge of the street. On down the walk they continued, the music fading in the distance.

Ahead was another store and people were milling around the window. Here they stopped for a look. The little boy’s eyes lit up as he got a glance in the window. Squeezing through the bigger people he got up next to the window. There were flashing lights, lighting up the display. Like a merry-go round the display changed as toys moved through the tunnel of lights. There were fire engines, big trucks, tractors, delivery trucks and semi trucks. All rolled by on the table as it went round and round, in the middle were tricycles and wagons with lights flashing off them.

The little boy stepped back from the window and when he had his dad’s attention he pointed to the side of the window. There was a small train set going round and round under a Christmas tree. There were buildings, homes, stores, stations and a train depot. On the sidewalks people were walking and there were cars on the street. Round and round went the little train. The little boy wiggled his way back to the window and pressed his face to the window to watch the train.

Shortly he felt a tug on his shoulder. Looking up he could see dad motioning to him. “We have to be going,” dad said. The little boy glanced back in the window, then turned to dad and took his hand as they walked on down the street.

Early morning dad walked into the living room with a cup of coffee, mom was behind him. They stopped for there on the stair way landing sat their little boy. Still in his pajamas, hands folded on his chin, resting on his knees. Mesmerized, he looked down the stairs. Below was a Christmas tree all lit up and underneath circled a tiny train.

Friday, December 17, 2010

To Determine for Self


Went a another model train show this past weekend and it was tied in with a gem and mineral show.  Nice browsing and change of pace looking at what the rock hounds had to offer.  Also met some friends I had not seen in a few years.  Made a rather long round trip going and returning as I checked out some other places.


VLUU L200  / Samsung L200

Met a friend there and we were going to have lunch together there.  We went our ways, talking and looking.  I wanted a cup of coffee so I went to the vendor and got a cup.  There were picnic style tables so I asked a couple sitting at one of them if I could join them.  Sure they said.  So I sat down.  The guy was a kidder  and got to talking about some of the things going on.  One thing led to another and soon he was telling me about some of his life.

He said he emancipated himself when he was 16, today that means running away he noted.  His parents had been in a little town in New Mexico, called White Oaks.  those of you that have seen some of the Billy the Kid movies should recognize the town.  He left and traveled to another little town in northern Colorado of Grover, close to the Wyoming border.  He asked a few questions about railroads and other things in the white Oaks area and I had no answer for him so we talked about some of his life.

He said when he got to Grover he went to work on a ranch but he also went back to school and graduated from HS.  From there he went on to college and got a teaching degree and became a teacher.  I asked him where he had taught and he said, the Republic of Boulder.  There was a little distaste in his voice and after talking some more he expressed his disgust with lots of the people that live in Boulder and their attitude.

This distaste did not surprise me as I have heard from others.  Yet that is my alma mater and I never gave the arrogant attitude of some in Boulder much thought having worked and went to school with a few of them.  Mixed in with the elite snobs of Boulder are few humble people.

Anyway the conversation shifted to politics and he became very animated about lots of things the government is doing and the imposing attitude of a few people.  I was not taken aback for I have been these types of conversations before.  This time I did a little more pondering.

Ran across a comment other day, self determining man.  Man that determines how to live his life and is self reliant.  I looked at that then I reflected on the conversation I had.  It was becoming clear why he was angry at some of the Boulderites.  The elites have the notion they can tell people how to live their lives.  Well trying to impose their will on this guy did not set very well.

Here was a man who had raised himself, made his life and probably received very little government help.  Yet here were these peole telling him how to live his life.  that kind of attitude does not set very well with many people.  After hearing his story I could understand his anger.  A man who live quite well independently yet he was bothered by others saying no you should live this way.

Boulder is full of various environmental type groups and they have passed various types of laws on how to live …etc.  For some these do not set well, for others it is indifference and for some that is how it is.

One of the fascinating things about these elitists is they want others to live the way they do and there are those who wish to live another.  There are those who wish to live with very little government and there are those want to use the government to impose their values on others.  Both left and right use the government for their agenda.  then there are people like the guy I talked with, wants to live a life with little flourish, not bother others or be bothered much by others.

When I look at my conversation I see two things, either a major conflict or an acceptance of the lifestyles of others.  Accepting others has been verbalized but not practiced. 

In a truly free society a variety of lifestyles can exist but the right and left of it appear to be blind to that.

Even in my hobbies I see these types of conflicts.  There is such a lack of tolerance and or accepting the little niche.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Tuesday Poetry

I was asked, what happened to Tuesday Poetry.  There were various things why I discontinued but first I should go back and explain why it was started.




When windows Live Spaces was a viable place a GI came on and asked to be my friend.  I will never turn down a GI, having been one my self.  His site was poetry, not much.  the site had only been up a few weeks.  He would post mostly verse but occasionally he would blog about himself.

I would read these posts but not say much.  After a couple of months of reading along he made a post about some of his past.  He had just returned from the Middle East with a head injury.  The therapist that was working with him recommended writing and poetry being one of those things.

His verse was very somber and dark at times.  A tormented person could be seen in the words he put down. 

Later he wrote that he was 51 and was divorced and had done more then one tour in the Middle East.  It came across that he had lots of conflicts in his life.

Remembering that the therapist told him to write more poetry I started encouraging him in my comments on his posts.  I had a few poems I had written and there a couple of others in the network who would post verse.  So I decided to start what I called Tuesday Poetry.  I began posting a different poem on Tuesdays and the GI started to do the same as did a few others.

So in hopes that he would be encouraged to write more I continued to post verse.  For a couple of months it went pretty good.  Then he didn’t post anything for sometime.  Nothing new, I would post but nothing on his site.  After a month there was nothing new on his site.

What happened to him I have no idea but I hope it was nothing bad for some of his verse was twisted.  Yet I had hopes.

I continued for a few months more but I ran out of poems and did not feel up to writing any more.  So Tuesday Poetry came to an end.


I look back at this and there are times I want to scream….. scream at the politicians, what the hell are ya doing.  The country gets into a conflict and has no clear objective and young people are getting killed….. for what purpose?

Oh it will stop terrorism…. really.  Am I any safer today then I was a decade ago.

It was an attempt to reach out, instead it has fueled some anger at DC.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Season’s Greetings

There is a small bit of tension the air this time of year.  Some of it has to do the greeting of the season and there is the expectations placed on heads.  There is depression, anger and envy, a pretty potent measure of misdirected emotions.

The end of the year used to be a calm time because of the cold snowy weather.  Cabin fever was growing and the cheer of the holidays helped to alleviate the fever, a moment of coolness.

Then there are the grinches.  If things are not their way, they will whine and cry about things and say things are offensive or some other remark that comes off hateful.

So what is the greeting of the season.

What does Happy Holiday’s mean.

I used to get upset at the people who termed the word of Christmas as being offensive to them.  Then I stepped back and asked my self, how are remarks like this serving God’s purpose.  I was surprised, for these people are bringing a spotlight to bear on the Season of Christmas.

Further I dug into self and began watching the discourse and the stronger the celebration of Christmas became.  For what is the greeting of the season……. of course, Merry Christmas.  So when some says season’s greetings, I respond, I hope you have a Merry Christmas also.

Then there is holiday greetings.  that came across numerous ways to me.  First was, it is easier to say that then say Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.  It is also for the non-offensive people but once again they are acknowledging Christ. 

For the holiday is a birthday celebration, Christ’s birthday.  New Year is also recognition of Christ, for this year it will be two thousand-eleven years since the death of Christ.  Our calendar is around the life of Christ.  BC, is before Christ and AD is after Christ’s death.  So no matter how ones says it, they are acknowledging Christ.

The holiday, the season are based on Christ.  So if one is offended it may because they do not realize what they are doing for in their remarks they are talking about Christ.


It is amazing how God works.

     So everybody….. Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

From the Past..... Christmas

There are many memories accumulated over the years from Christmas. I have have very few about the presents I received. My biggest and memories are of the family get together's. The stories, games, seeing relatives hadn't seen in some time and the food and the conversation. Even when I went from a youngster to an old buzzard. It was the family gathering.

There was the tree, special treats and decorations. The presents were part of the decoration and most are forgotten. There was the joy of the little twerps heading for the tree in the morning and I was one. There were the services at church, the Christmas Carols and the warmth of the people there.

Memories become a part of life, a tradition that lives on no matter where. A foundation the cling to, arms wrapped around, joy echoes forth and from within a voice talks.

The following is a story I assembled from stories I have heard from other people. In my wanderings I come in contact with lots of elderly people, in their 80's an 90's. They have memories and most are good. A few have put their memories into books or collections.


Around the corner Mary scurried as the wind whipped her scarf out in front of her, coat fluttering to the gusting wind. Hurriedly into the store entrance she ducked. Getting out the wind and a brief moment to gather herself up and straighten out. The wind had knife blades in it, howling from the north, clouds building overhead blocking the sun.

Cold winds of the north had swept over the town making for a miserable time as Mary had to go shopping to get ready. Standing in the entry Mary looked up and down the street, seeing only a couple people out like her. The shop she had ducked into was closed but in the window was a display for the holidays. Mary stood there taking in the display.

A tree was decorated for an old fashioned Christmas, a homemade chain of red and green loops curled around the tree, cut out snowflakes dangled from the branches, pieces of tinsel scattered around and there were candles strung around the tree. The electric candles glittered reflecting off the tinsel, lighting the snowflakes. It was a simple but festive little tree. Mary stood there mesmerized by the scene. Below the tree were some presents and tucked on the edge was a rag doll. Mary stood frozen in time. Oblivious to the howling wind whipping cold waves into her nook Mary stood there.

Time was drifting back, memories flooded over her. Her mother had just walked in the door from outside. Asked Mary if she was ready, Mary nodded yes. She was wrapped up a heavy coat and hood with gloves and overshoes. Mary’s mom picked up the sack and out the door they went. It was cold that evening and as they walked over the snow it crunched and crackled. Ahead could be seen the yellow glow of the church entrance. Hurriedly they entered the church and walked to the tree and set down the sack they were carrying. Mom helped Mary take off her coat and cap.

Into the sack Mary dived, bringing out a string of colored paper that had been made in to a chain to be strung on to the tree. Next she pulled out a strand of popcorn. Mom helped her put up the decorations they had made the past week. Other people had been in there doing the same and soon the tree was covered with decorations and topped with a star.

Sitting in a pew with her mother they waited till the pastor came out and the people stood up and began singing carols. It was a joyous evening, the people singing. The candles were lit on the tree and lights in the church were extinguished. Mary stood on the pew, eyes wide at the scene of the tree.

Standing in the doorway, Mary shivered as another gust of wind knifed through the street. Looking at the tree brought out a love of a distant time. As a little girl her evenings had been spent making the decorations for the tree. Nothing but the candles were bought from the store and the gifts under the tree had been made by her mother. There in the window was the rag doll, just like the one her mother had made for her. A tear strolled down the cheek, a bitter sting of warmth. Slowly Mary walked out onto the sidewalk into the cold air, heading for the shops.

What Are Your Memories

Friday, December 3, 2010

Why live here…… WHY?

Me pondering the aspects of a world I grasp not.  Reflections on my own life, why did I live there. 

Well for starters, that’s where mommy n daddy lived.  Then that’s where the job was or where the company transferred.  There are green pastures over there, well I thought so…. now I don’t know.

Where is the anchor, the roots, what is the connections.  The family is there, grew up there, climate or the scenery is great.



Seeing this view set off the weakest of grey matter to contemplate why people live where they do.

This is a great view of the snow capped rockies out across the prairie.  Very appealing until one realizes this picture would be much clearer if it was not for the crud in the air.  One of the problems living ion a basin, dirty air collects in the valley.  Then when the wind comes up it cleans the air.  Another problem, the air screams over the mountains, sometimes as fast as 150mph.  Lots of things get rearranged.

Yet millions of people live in the area.  Aren’t there pretty scenes around with less crud and violent weather. 

I dealt with the weather because I loved going to the mountains.  There was hiking, jeeping, hunting, skiing and fishing.  Today it is no longer appealing.  what used to be wheat fields is now growing 2X6’s.  the crud comes from to many people wanting to be in the same area at the same time.

So I now live where I do not rub elbows with the crud of life.  I can still hike, fish, the mountains are over there and the deer sleep next door.

So why do people live where they do?  Sounds like I am back at Go and boardwalk has been passed.  Where would be an ideal Place to live?  Easy year around mild weather, no storms….. hummmm what else?


enjoy your weekend

Sunday, November 28, 2010



Went to the big city for a couple of days.  Helter skelter life of the city reminds me why I like living in the boonies.  The noise, dirt, trash and other assorted junk floating about.  I look at my self and say, “This is where you used to live.”  My answer is…. ***************, deleted.  Guess I need to do better with self conversations so I won’t expletive deleted blank spots.

It was nice though.  A model train show, meet some new people, see some old ones and become reacquainted.  Check out some of the new gadgets on the market and pass lots of hot air.  Then that’s why I like going, the conversations and camaraderie.

Then when I get back home it takes some time going through the e-mail and blog readers.  Catching up on another facet of life, the people of cyber space.  There is a connection in cyber space that I never imagined.  So many share their lives, the ups…. the downs, struggles and joys.  The everyday life they lead.

One part that caught me off guard was the passing of some of the people I have met on here.  There was a tug of the heart, a sadness and a want of some way to reach out to the families that posted the notes of their loss.

There was one such notice posted when I got back on the net.  It had been an ongoing struggle.  I could sense the pain they were going through.  Then the post of life passing on.

There were a couple of ladies who had written about the travail they had been going through with their husbands.  Both became widows this past month. 

As I read these short posts a tear would trickle down the corner of the eye, a sense of loss was there.  Friends had changed, a void had opened up.

It is part of life though and time goes on.  I make some adjustments but the skin doesn’t get any tougher.




Hope everybody had a good Thanksgiving and now time for Christmas.  Watched the plate and did not overload it.  Want to keep the slim trim boyish figure of years past.  Watched some of the shopping craziness on the TV news.  Kind of scary that material possessions are so important that their fellow man gets trampled on.  One more reason why I avoid those kind of deals.

Take down the fall decorations later today and then next week start getting ready for Christmas.

Have a good week and a great day.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving


This being the week of Thanks I will not post any more until after Thanksgiving.  No I do not go shopping that day.

I hope everybody has a great week and that their celebration be festive.

The little town I live in used to have turkey farms galore, it was a major business until the mass growers undercut them.


SDC14002 turkey hse

The low building in the background was the processing house for the turkeys, next door to the grain elevator.  It was torn down a year ago, after sitting empty for many years.

SDC14143 turkeys


Guess the turkeys now feel safe as they roam the village.  This hen collection was cackling up a storm in a neighbors yard beneath the trees.

This time of year through spring they wander the yards seeking out food and I would guess a few end up on a table.


May God Bless you and yours this holiday.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Thanksgiving Musings


I am one of those people that does not get into the feel of Christmas until after turkey day.  Then I want at least a week break before I begin Christmas.  For me it the beginning of giving thanks for all my blessings from God and culminates with the Ultimate blessing, celebration of Christ’s birth.

For me it is truly a season of thanks, for I have been blessed with a nice home, good food, nice clothes, good friends and nice surroundings.  God truly supplies all my needs and I have a few left overs for some self indulgence/entertainment.


I found the neatest little shop in a neighboring town and I got permission to take some pictures in the store.  I would like to share some thanksgiving decorations that were in the store.


Some are very simple but create a very festive air.






The store was loaded with all kinds of little items to decorate with.


As the seasons change I change my decorations but I will not put up Christmas before Thanksgiving is over.

Now to go find me a turkey, heard one gobbling down main street last week…. gotta go check it out.  The turkeys have been sparse around here this year.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

IS IT????

Social Security an Entitlement?

I have seen posted in more than one story referring to Social Security as being an entitlement program. Not sure how it got that label for Social Security is not a tax. It is a deduction from one’s pay, plus the employer has funds added to the deduction. These funds are then sent to the government to be held in trust for when one retires.

When the program was started there was only one’s savings for old age pension. There were no retirement programs. When the depression hit lots of people were left without funds and had to rely on hand outs from the government. So the government started a program called Social Security. A contract was made between the people and the government. The government said if you send me some of your money, it will hold the money in trust until you reach a certain age and at that time I will return your money to you in monthly payments.

It was a good sounding program and the people accepted it and the Social Security Act was passed by congress. Most everybody pays into this fund, there are a few exceptions and contrary to popular belief, members of congress pay into Social Security.

Over the years congress has violated this contract. Laws have been passed to spend this money on other social welfare programs; IE, medicare, disability, among others. Congress has also borrowed from the fund. What started out as a noble idea has been corrupted congress over the years.

Now it is being referred to as an entitlement program, not hardly. That is my money, I sent it to the government and expected to get it back. Right now I feel I am looking down the barrel of a gun and behind it is a mugger.

If Social Security had stayed in its original context, a person could get a nice retirement check, about twice what it is now.

My question is: If you are paying into Social Security and or drawing, are you going to let congress get away with calling it an entitlement program and cutting your money out? Are you going to let the politicians put the shaft to ya?

I plan on sending this to the local representatives and Senators and probably others around the country. I am getting mad and madder at what congress is doing to me. I will not bend over and spread em.

I would love to find a blood sucking attorney that would be willing to fight the government on the malpractice of office or dereliction of office. It is my money and I feel they should live up to the contract they drew up.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Some thoughts for a journal

I enjoy going through the museums of small towns and poking around and talking with some the people volunteering there.  There are lots of things from pioneer days of homesteading on the plains.  It helps me to appreciate how easy my life is.  Yet when I pause I wonder what kind of life people will have in 50 years, hundred years or more.  Will the life of the Jetson’s become a reality.

There are a few who lament for the simpler times of the past.  Homes are decorated to give it an early day look.  Discussions on homemade breads and foods, how to preserve and can foods, preparing foods and in general trying to live like great granma n granpa lived over a century ago.  Granny n gramps had to work hard and put in long hours those days if they wanted food, clothing and shelter.  There was no plumbing back then or electricity, central heat was the wood stove and no air conditioning. 

So when I hear people talking about the good ole days I wonder what they are talking about.  A myth arises from dreaming and the mind creates an ideal dream to strive for but is it possible.  There are bloggers on here and other spots that post blogs about doing things the old way.  There was one that found the Foxfire books from the hippie days.  Some city slicker college kids went to Appalachia and interviewed some the hill people on how they lived off the land.  Many people gobbled up this idea.  Upon closer reading and some aging of self, the leg pulling starts becoming evident.  There are some helpful things but lots of it is fiction.

Yet people dream of this life.  To live off the land requires lots of work and it is very time consuming.  Day break to sunset was a typical day.  No union insisting on breaks or a wage scale.  If one wanted a garden they had to work it, have animals for food, chickens, cow, goats or sheep for wool.  Raise cotton to spin and weave clothes.  Make needles and thread for sewing clothes.  There were no big stores back then to go buy things in.  Like the nursery rhyme said; the butcher, baker and candlestick ,maker..

The big business of farming and ranching has created a convenience beyond measure that gives most a generous life of leisure.  One can into a store, buy clothes, ready made or material, food ready made or easy to prepare and look at all of the gadgets to do all the home style fixins. 




This is a bread box, here the loaves of bread were stored, along with the flour and other ingredients.  The counter is just a few inches deep and maybe two feet long.  Yet on here the bread, pies and pastries were prepared.  There were no large counters and cabinets to work from instead small side boards and the table.  No refrigerator, the sink was a small tub, water came from a cistern that was also a cool room for storing a few items.  The stove was wood fired, no gauges, a wet finger on the lid.

           Would I want to live like that, I don’t think so.  So when I hear people talking about living off the land I kind of chuckle.  I wander how many could make do without the modern conveniences of today.  Look at the machine I am using to put this together.  What a gadget.

      I have a garden but not to supply all my food.  It is nice to have fresh garden produce in the summer and I freeze some.  I also like squash and they keep in a cool spot.  Without the conveniences of today I would struggle to keep my self up fed.  I marvel at what my grandparents did and how they progressed but I do not want to live like that.  I wouldn’t have the foggiest notion on how to make material let alone sew a pair of britches.  If the world stopped producing electricity, I would be lost.

     Longing for the good ole days….. hah…. forget it….. simpler times…. that would be nice.

Anybody out there know how to butcher a steer?

Ya’ll Have a Good Weekend.

God bless you.







Monday, November 8, 2010

Looking Back

A few months ago I was hoofing over the fields looking for nature’s first signs of spring.  On a barren wind swept knob I found this clump of flowers in bloom this past April.


Tenaciously the flowers hang on, the wind blows cold, snow is gone, earth is dry and cracking yet is harshness the spring flower blooms.  With a bit of warmth from Ole Sol, petals spring forth.  Not an abundance but just enough to sustain life.  There may be a lesson in that.

Today the blossoms of summer have faded.  Vibrant colors are gone, the leaves of fall covering the warmth of summer.  Dormant is this time of year.  The life moves to warmer climes or curls up for the howling winds of winter.  Seeds are scattered on the corners of the breeze.  Under the white mantel they will settle into the ground and nature’s scene of spring returns.

In all our technology  we struggle to imitate nature, tame it, direct it and or abuse it.  With all our might straining at the forces, nature’s cycles continue on.  So finite mankind becomes, mighty trucks, big guns, explosions on hillside, battles in trees, rocks tumbling and dust rolls over.  Man becomes a tiny blip in nature’s burp.SDC15433

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Tumbling Tumbleweeds


The rolling pain of the bottom side, weeds and in particular, tumble weeds.  Was visiting a blog that was talking about using available materials for decorating the home.  There  was a wide assortment of plants and various weeds.  No tumble weeds, so I made the comment; that it was nice decor but lacking, there was no tumble weed embellished in any of the nooks.  Not sure how the comment was received but I have seen some people get the nasty little weed fixed up and looking pretty good, even a few with christmas lights.


They collect on the fence rows and at times are so plentiful the fence is buried.  This is a larger one, about 3 feet across and couple feet high.  Big and bulky but light weight, the wind can gather them up and hurl them for miles if there is no obstructions.  Slightest spark sets it a blazing and soon the grasslands is charcoal.  A spot of barren ground and it grows to break free in the fall and follow the course of the wind, spreading its seed over the prairie.


They are stickery yet animals will eat them, not much nutrition.  Horses will tilt down over the fence and munch on them.  Other critters will store them up for winter or use for a nest.  A multipurpose worthless plant that invaded the US from Russia.

When the immigrants to the US came over they brought with them their means of livelihood.  Coming from the Volga area of Russia was the red hard winter wheat they brought with them.  Mixed in with the grains of wheat were the seeds of the Tumble weed, also known as the Russian thistle.  It has flourished in the heartland of the plains.  songs have been written about it, it has been cursed among other things.  There are probably seeds still mixed in with the grain today and ends up in the cereals and breads we heat.

I like the romance of the songs and the creativity of some to use them for decorations and if I can find a few I will have to capture a few megapixels of them.


The white specs in the picture are tumbleweeds and when the wind blows it will break them off and across the fields they will tumble, scattering to and fro, getting captured by snags or fences.  They pile into corners waiting for the wind to change direction and then blow off the neighbors over there.

Something to amuse self with….. maybe someday put it to verse.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Sixty Five Degrees and Snow

One of the fun parts of Colorado living is in the winter.  It can be sun burn day and short sleeves out on the flatlands and in the mountains the boarders n skiers are celebrating.


This was taken north of Denver and the mountains are about 40 miles west.  The Front Range mountains dominate the metro-plex of Denver.  The snow capped peaks are the Indian Peaks and Long’s Peak is the far right one, over 14,000 feet in elevation.  The Indian Peaks range from 11,000 to 13,000 feet.  It is why so many people travel to the Rocky Mountains.  They are slowly being loved to death.

There was a foot of snow in the mountains the day before and the following day, clear blue sky and mid 60’s temperature.



There were a few red leaves on the vine as it stretched over the arbor.  Behind are the few green leaves of a different vine.  Each cling to their climbing lattice, growing their direction, becoming intertwined.

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Life Line, A Spot of Water

Water Water everywhere, goes the line from an ancient poem, but not a drop to drink.  Without water, life as we know it would perish.  The water in the poem is the home of sea life.  The sea a fascination many have had with the swells of water as they travel the waters of the world.  Water in its many forms carries a love hate relationship.  The torrential rains that flood the land, destroying things in its path and cleaning the debris away.  The snow howls across frozen land taking lives, piling up drifts for tomorrows ponds.

The cycle of water and how the rhythm of life dances with it.  A gentle babble to a deafening roar, walls tumbling over everything in its way, freshening drops caressing cheeks on a moonlit night.

For centuries the muse has given birth to life from water.  Walk along a bubbling brook, hand in hand with lover, riding the high waves in search of prey,  seeking shelter in wind driven rivets, water is a metaphor for life in its many guises.

The small pond nearby, the ocean with no end in sight, each has a magnet that pulls.


Eternity springs forth from the dew drop, its journey to the sea, a timeless passage from somewhere to everywhere.  To exist, I drink in the coolness of moisture as it flows over lips, replenishing.

I marvel at the battles man wages with nature, wanting to control, direct it. Water is always there on the battle front.  It is the carrier of life, the remover of death and ultimate recycler.

Walking beside still waters, a breeze curls by ruffling the calm mirror.  A small man made pond has opened doors for new life, lives that would of not existed without the hand of man.  A small intermittent stream is fed with treated sewage water.  Plants flourish on the edges, fish swim in schools feeding on the insect life that thrives on the waste.  Birds nest in the rushes, animals raise families on the edges, waterfowl float on the current. Turtles coast on the surface, herons wade the shallows and high overhead floats the hunters.

This is man at work with nature, being a conservationist and helping nature thrive.  It is not a preservationist idea of hands off.  It is a hands on helping hand of using leftovers to nourish life where there was none before.  A symbiosis, where man’s byproducts are used to aid wildlife.


Here one can watch the lives change and stay the same in maturation.  From a tepid cesspool is a rose of caring new life.  In this cycle one can learn how nature cares for itself and how it regenerates.  Man but steps back and gives nature a chance and it becomes self healing.

Without man, there would be no ducks floating along on a sunny day.  No fishing hole, a shore line to stroll on, a place to watch wildlife.  Here at this little spot is man at work with nature.  Near by are fields farmers have planted, a feeding place.



Friday, October 22, 2010

Decline of Autumn


One of the markers for Fall is the corn harvest.  :Last year there were late rains and lots of the fields were to wet to get in and harvest.  This year it has been very dry and the harvest is rolling along.  A yellow ski hill of corn on the prairies.  That mound of corn will be covered with a plastic cover and sit until the contract date of delivery. 

Man does that look corny…… yeeee …. hhhhaaaaawwww.

In the morning I set and drink my coffee, out the window is the street.  A block down the way is a small cottonwood.  In the morning it would catch the morning rays and have a warm golden glow.  No longer, it is now brown and there were thunderstorms today.  Can you believe that, thunder and lightening today.  The small cottonwood is surrounded by huge elms that are now starting to show some yellow.  Unlike the cottonwood they don’t have a warm color.  Gently we are traveling into winter and the elm may make it to full yellow.

The scene out my window is changing for morning coffee.  Soon the turkeys will be parading down the street and the deer will be bedding down next door.  The cats will prowl around stalking the birds that flutter to my feeder.  Hopefully they catch more mice then they do birds. 

Yes it is a change of seasons and hopefully the politics will settle down.  I took my ballot to the courthouse today.  I am now an official voter.

What stinks is what the DC creeps are doing to the grey beards.  No Living adjustment for Social Security people.  For many in their 70’s an 80’s that is their only income.  Talk about keeping people poor and it is money that was given to the government in a trust fund.  People on welfare get more then they do.  The policy of the government is slowly creating a class warfare that will erupt unless something is really changed, not just lip service.

Fall is time for me to pause and reflect on my blessings and prepare for the advent season. 

My garden fed the grasshoppers and they are still hopping all over the yard looking for more green stuff to consume.  Gonna have to garden different next year or I will set a buffet for the ravenous little hoppers.  Got some more grass in the courtyard and the flowers were great.  They have enjoyed the gentle autumn and are in their greatest blossoms of the year.  When frost shows up their beauty will be but a memory and next year a spring ritual, plant some more.

VLUU L200  / Samsung L200

I’ll fiddle with pictures at times to see what I can come up with.  I do not have photoshop, so I use what I have.  I used to have a darkroom and B&W is all I did.  Taking the color out of a digital does not have the snap of a good B&W.  It does create a nice effect though.

VLUU L200  / Samsung L200

One of my forth coming projects is to start through my photographs and move them to memory sticks.  A few I will upload to my web sites.  I have one with photobucket and the picasa for railroad pics and blog shots.

I’m surprised by the number of hits I’ve gotten at photobucket,  None of the shots are great, just good snap shots.  Yet there are those who go browsing pictures.  Actually a good way to be an armchair tourist.


Hope this finds all in good spirits and had a good week.  Have a great weekend and may God bless your activities throughout the next days.

Monday, October 18, 2010

A Sand Crick Is……..

On my last post I was asked about a sand crick.  Being from another part of the world that has lots of moisture I can understand.  Sand Creeks and Arroyos are unique to the western US.  Most of the time they are dry streams loaded with sand, hence the name sand creek.  Most of them do carry water but one has to dig into the sand to find it or be able to read where the pot holes of water are.


This is the sand creek that I live next to, it is lined with trees but no water.  A broad avenue of sand going off to the horizon.  The cottonwoods that line the creek consume lots of water.  I believe as much as 200 gallons of water per day.  being next to the crick they have a ready supply of water.  Most of the sand cricks do not have an abundance of trees for they carry little water plus the tillage and wells for water today have changed the water flow off the plains.


There are places along the crick where there are springs and small ponds have been carved out.  Follow this stream a few yards down the hill and it is dry.  The moisture has sunk into the sand and has the appearance of being dry.

Pools like this were keys to the early explorers crossing the great desert of the plains.  The Indians knew where these pot holes were and would lead the explorers to them.  Later they would be stops on the trails and stage coach routes.  The life blood of the prairie.

No longer do the cricks roar after a rain like they used to.  Water would roll off the grasslands in sheets, pouring into the gully's, filling up the cricks and dumping into rivers further downstream.  Walls of water would fly downhill ripping up vegetation and trees, churning up mud and carving out banks.


This site is much further down stream and has had no major flooding in years.  The crick bed is now covered with grass and trees grow in it.  This is one of those sore spots in american history.  Here Indians were massacred in an ambush, mostly women and children.


this shows how to spot the water holes,  In the center is a darker brown and green area.  That is the reeds from the water pool there.  It was this area where about 700 Indians were living when they were slaughtered.  The high crick banks provide protection, there is water and game is plentiful.

Buffalo roamed the area, the primary meat source.  There are wild berries and roots that grow here.

Today the buffalo is gone, there are still antelope roaming around and the woods along the crick are good habitat for deer and turkeys.

A sand crick is a lifeline across a semi-arid land but they are not benign.  Massive amounts of water can roll down the crick after a heavy rain.  the bank overlooking the crick is about 20 feet high and about 1/2 mile across, it has been full of water, bank to bank and overflowing.


There will be a test tomorrow after yesterday.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

What A View

Sometimes when I take pictures I do it just for the pleasure of it and some practice.  Most turn out pretty decent but there are little things that keep them from being great.  I don’t use photo shop just the limited processing of the existing programs in the puter.  Every once in a while I’ll be going through them and say wow.  This time it is not the picture but what it revealed, a view.


This abandoned house sits on the side of the hill overlooking the crick and when I took the picture I wanted to show the colors of the cottonwoods along the crick and the old house would make a nice foreground element.  After I downloaded the images and was browsing through I stopped and said to myself, what a view.  Out across the valley, other ranch homes dot the horizon that rolls in the distance.  The railroad tracks out in front and the highway just below the front yard.  The crick bends here and curls off to the left and town is off to the right about a mile away.

It has been so dry here there is lots of dust in the air creating a haze, cutting down on the sharpness of the photo and changing the color saturation.  What a pastoral over look.  One could sit on the front porch in the evening, watch the sun set, the occasional animal in the woods pass by and relax.

Originally I was train chasing and i hit a couple of roadblocks so I went looking for other things.  If it had not been for road construction I probably would of ended up in Kansas chasing the circus train.


The circus had finished up in the big city and was headed to the next big city.  It came through town and I loaded up the train chasing jalopy and caught up to it just east of town when I was stopped by a one lane detour.  This is a picture of it going away from me.  i sat dead for a half hour then took off after it.  Got behind big rigs and just cruised along then there was another road block, so I surrendered.

The circus train is over a mile long and i was hoping to get a full picture of it from a couple of overlooks on a big curve.  All the performers, animals, vehicles, roustabouts and support people are on board.  Pretty impressive train.  There is a red train and a blue one.  this is the blue train.  The troupe lives on board for about 9 months out of the year.  True traveling life.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

This time of year the hope of spring time has dwindled down to a few hopes. The boys of spring are now the boys of autumn. The hot sweltering days of summer have given way to cool fall air. Long sleeve jerseys adorn the players now as they trot out on the diamond. the crack of the bat stings a bit more in the icy air of fall, no longer does the sweat roll off the brow and gallons of water are not consumed in buckets.

The playoffs are in full swing, bars roll to the swing of the bat, moans grumble out the door at the ball is caught and epitaphs swirl in the air as the bat slices through empty space. It is so much fun to toss the hard horsehide around, smack it with a bat, chase it across the field and hurl it to first base.

Baseball the all american sport that anybody can play and has been played in sand lots, asphalt jungles and pastures. The roar of the ball slicing over stretched arms to bounce off a tin can or roll through a cow patty.

It is amazing where ball fields have been built. The one in the corn filed is probably one of the more famous ones. Out across america one is liable to find a ball field in no where, which is where I found this grandstand.

The nearest town is that way over 10 miles and that away 50 miles and over there it is another 40 miles. Baseball was so popular that the pioneers/settlers built a ball park in a cow pasture by a sand creek. Lumber and materials was hauled by wagon but it was built and has stood for about a century.

Today it is not much more then a monument to man's determination to celebrate. Celebrate they did, There were holiday picnics and other games played until the start of the baseball game. Neighbors would bring their families and the visit would begin. children playing in the woods of the creek, people sitting in the grand stand visiting, men lounging under trees talking and teenagers getting antsy for the ball game.

It was a spectacle for the old settlers and their families. there was no television to watch the fall festivities back east someplace and electricity was in town so no radios. The telephone had just gotten off the drawing board and news traveled by singing wires or newspaper.

Here in the pasture there were no bright lights, no big money deals, just a few people getting together to celebrate life as it was dealt to then.

Today it is used for special occasions and there some people who look after it. Mostly it sits on the plains listening to the winds of time whistle through the rafters.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

John's Moment

Had a doctor's appointment the other day at a nearby town. On the way home I took my time looking at things and taking a few pictures. There is a small lake that I stopped at for a brief moment. On the prairie water holes are few and far between so I took advantage of this one.

It was a quiet mid day and the breeze was light, ruffling the water slightly in the small cove. I had my fishing stuff with me so I trotted out to the shore. Tackle was rigged, hooks baited and chair positioned. Into the water went the rig, pole is set in a branch and me carcass settled into the chair.

Breezes swirl over the water, leaves float to the ground or into the water, birds flit in the tree branches, frogs hop in the water and the fish make small circles. It was a great day to be by the water. Sitting there enjoying God's creation. A brief moment where I am still and can listen to the silence, feel the breath of creation envelope me.

If I catch a fish, okay, sitting there and watching the day pass was a recharging. The dogs sniffed around then lay by the chair, butterflies float past, ducks bob on the water and a falcon circles high overhead searching. I dig out the MP-3 and turn on some music, contentment rolls over my soul, here is a moment I can but try to recreate. A moment the grey matter will store, the memories will be another reality but this moment I savor.

The days journey took me other places along the back roads of the countryside. There are small towns dwindling into obscurity, giant wind farms setting idle, farmers harvesting and drilling and people traveling about in their daily life.

I expected to see the windmills turning but with a low breeze they were but monuments to dreams. Without wind they are worthless and when there is wind they have to have a demand for the electricity. Right now the price of wind electricity is to high and the utility companies will buy their power from the cheapest source. The windmills are good ideas but are very expensive and are probably ahead of their time.

The country roads were dusty. One could see the vehicles from miles because the cloud of dust raised. We haven't had much rain since July, less then an inch. Fine powdery dust floats in the air creating a haze. A the farmer rolls across his fields the dust floats into the air. A reminder of how delicate our balance on the prairie is.

The dust bowl combined with the depression dealt a death blow to many small towns. Some cling to a thin straw but many are on the last throes of demise. There are many old building that set vacant and are falling apart. they make for some great pictures and views of back to the past. There are old machines and rusting hulks of metal.

Speaking of pictures, Google has what they call Picasa web albums. I have been using Picasa for some time to post some of my train pictures and grain elevators. When I began blogging on blogger another album was opened for my blog pictures on here. I went and viewed them and the hit counter in some instances has been higher then for my blogs. So why are people checking out my pictures more then my blogs..... a question I have no answer for.

I also have some pictures on Photobucket and they had been stagnant for some time and all of sudden I am getting bunches of hits. Life has its quirks.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Travels Along The Rails


When Evan and Vern rode off looking for the ox, the rest of the wagons continued westward. The two miners from Pennsylvania were in the lead with their unusual wagon, a wagon and a half. They said the machine they had in the little cart was a steam pump and they were going to blast the gold out of the mountains with water. In to the morning mist they went. Ruts from previous travelers were very clear, one of the miners was walking in front of the team leading them and the other was walking beside the wagon. Behind came Louise and her family. The gold seekers brought up the rear. The gold seekers had just arrived in the new country from Ireland. They had heard the reports of people becoming rich in the gold mines found in the colonies.

With slow sure footing the wagon collection ventured along the trail of ruts. With the rain and fog there wasn’t much dust rolling up and it was cool. The miners kept a steady pace as the rest followed along. The children were staying close and the cows were tied to a wagon. The two boys watched the pig and they had a small switch to keep him going in the right direction. They had fixed a leash of sorts and looped it around him and had a small piece of rope on it. One would tug the other would switch and the pig reluctantly went along.

Crossing over the ridge and descending there were patches of blue sky. The fog was rolling and in between the patches were openings. On the flats they continued. The fog was thinner and the sun was becoming brighter. It was now in and out of the fog, short distance in fog to a clearing. The sun was winning the battle the fog was thinning. Climbing the next slope they broke into clear sky... Here they could see patches of fog in the low spots but they were rolling on.

Ever on ward the group traveled. The miners were now walking beside each other talking about the storm they had just been in. The boys had taken the rope off of the pig and were herding it along. The sun was out and the storm was behind them. Now the thoughts of Louise were with her brother Evan. They were not going to make a full day’s journey today. This would give Evan and Vern time to catch up to them.

Spending time looking for the ox in the morning had delayed their start and now it was about noon. They were going down another slope into a slight depression. On the other side was a low bluff that offered some shade and a break. They decided to stop there for lunch. The miners pulled their wagon at an angle and set water out for the animals. The brothers put their wagons in a row and did the same. The gold seekers just kind of stopped in the middle. Soon sandwiches were being made or jerky was being chewed on. The wagons made a shady area and some stools were set up beside them.

Conversation quickly turned to the lost ox. There was hope it would be found, they were too valuable to be lost. It represented about a month’s pay. Most of all was having the extra ox to help get up the hills. The further west they went the longer the hills were and shorter the flat spots were.

Soon the wagons were rolling again. The procession marched around the hill to plain area. I was a long vast flat area. Here they could roll along real good. They could see a ridge in the distance and a couple of trees. Trees usually indicated a spring. Here they would stop for the night and wait for Evan and Vern.


The flat plain made for good traveling after all of the early struggles. The ridge began upward and it was a gentle climb. Just below the crest was a curl that would provide them a wind break and afford a good view over the area they had traveled. They lined up the wagons for the night and began preparing the evening meal. The gold seekers and brothers were helpful in the evening. They would help get the small stove off of the wagon and go out gathering buffalo chips for the fire.

Some coal and firewood were carried under the wagons for the cooking. It would get chilly at night but not cold enough to huddle around the fire. Soon the stove was set up, some small pieces of kindling started up and soon there was buffalo chips being stacked by the stove. Cooking over the stove was so much easier than an open fire. The fire could be banked to one side making for a lower heat on the other side.

Louise, Elizabeth and Rebecca hurried themselves getting the meal put together. Everybody in the party contributed to the evening meal. Soon the aroma was floating over the hillside. The children had gone with their uncles looking to see if they could find water by the trees.

There wasn’t a pool but there was wet sand and with some digging they had made a small pool. After setting the water cleared up and they could dip pails in and fill them up. Soon they were trudging up the hill with buckets of water. The little ones had half full pails and they would hand them up to be emptied into the water barrels. Back to the water hole they went to refill the buckets.

As the children and Uncle Joel were walking back to the stream they heard a yell. Looking back to camp Joel could see Louise waving her arms and pointing. Turning back to the other direction Joel could see some shadows moving across the plain. Buckets were dropped and Joel and the kids ran back to the camp. One of the gold seekers had a spyglass out and was looking.

It’s them, he shouted and they have the ox. Everybody started talking at once, shouting and waving. Ted jumped on a horse and was heading out to meet them.

Evan and Vern were slowly moving along. It had been a rough time getting the ox out and the ox was plodding real slow. Soon Ted reached them and took the lead on the ox from Vern. Nothing was said as they rode on towards camp.


Evan and Vern took care of their horses, watered them and staked them out away from the wagons. Wearily they walked into the camp. Sitting down they had some chow. Working on getting the ox out they hadn’t thought about stopping to eat. The focus had been on getting it out. Now was time to rest and catch themselves.

Tomorrow was Sunday, a day of rest and preparation. There would be washing, baking and cleaning. Get things together for another week on the trail.

The sun was low in the sky as evening began its descent. The stove was stoked with some lumps of coal to keep it going all night. Saturday they would make a kettle of beans that cooked all night and was used for the coming week. The gold seekers and brothers would go out and hunt for some game so they had fresh meat. It was a routine that had been worked out weeks back. Together the group worked easily among themselves.

After finishing their meal the brothers cleaned up and went to the water hole that had been dug to clean up some more. The hole had been dug out and was a small pond now and they could easily get water. The sun was just above the horizon turning a crimson orange as they trudged back up the hill to the wagons. The sun would be out early tomorrow.

The aroma of brewing coffee rolled over the wagons. Evan eased to one side and could see steam perking over the coffee pot, the sun was not on the horizon. There was a gray pinkish sky so a person could make out shapes. Evan slipped his boots on grabbed his shirt as he slid out the wagon. Louise was still sound asleep as were the kids. Trying to be quiet and not wake them up Evan shuffled to the stove. The aroma of the beans and coffee was tantalizing.

Evan found a coffee cup and filled it. Strolling around the wagons he was trying to see who was up and had started the coffee. Rounding the wagons Evan seen his brother Joel sitting on the grass looking out over the creek and below was a small herd of deer that had his attention. The deer were drinking out of the water pond they had dug.

Beside Joel laid his rifle. Evan kneeled down and sat beside him. Pretty long shot, Evan said. Yep, replied Joel, I’m hoping they will wander this direction some and get away from the creek. Fresh venison would be nice. Evan and Joel sat there, sipping on their coffee watching the deer.

Two of the deer wandered off to their left by the trees. Up the hill was a green patch of grass. A few more deer headed up the hill towards the green patch. Soon all were up in the area. Joel slowly turned, picked up his rifle. Put it to his shoulder.