Monday, September 29, 2014

Sanitized History

A conservative school board in a suburb of Denver has recently proposed new text books in all their schools. These text books would promote "positive aspects of United States history and heritage and avoid material that would condone or encourage civil disobedience, social strife or disregard of the law."

These new text books would only cover the positive in American history.  I don't see how that can happen, considering this country was founded by the civil disobedience of the Colonists! 
Protests and Walk-outs by students and teachers alike were staged. Closing many schools. And these protests were organized by the students themselves!
The school board has decided to delay the decision on the use of these new text books until community opinions can be heard.

((I could rant on and on about this! A nation's history should NOT be sanitized! We need to hear both the good and the bad so that we might learn from our past mistakes and applaud those moments of valor and bravery. Our Children should not be taught a one-sided version of anything, but be allowed to make their own informed judgments and opinions. ))

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Monday, September 22, 2014

Autumn's Altar

“I’ve often thought of the forest as a living cathedral, but this might diminish what it truly is. If I have understood Koyukon teachings, the forest is not merely an expression or representation of sacredness, nor a place to invoke the sacred; the forest is sacredness itself. Nature is not merely created by God; nature is God. Whoever moves within the forest can partake directly of sacredness, experience sacredness with his entire body, breathe sacredness and contain it within himself, drink the sacred water as a living communion, bury his feet in sacredness, touch the living branch and feel the sacredness, open his eyes and witness the burning beauty of sacredness”  Richard Nelson 1989

I recently read a post written by Aine at Bones and Sky blog on Altars. She began her post with the above quote. 
I loved the quote and had to share! And well, her post got me thinking.....
When I first began exploring the path less followed many moons ago, everything I read said I needed an altar with all my sacred tools in order to follow the path. And the altar needed to look like "XYZ". Somehow not only did the thought of formal rituals but the thought of a formal altar did not sit well with me. It was at that point that I began to realize that I could follow the path less traveled and not have the "necessary" formal items. 
But still, try as I might, I could not seem to put together this altar that I would read about - an altar that had sacred tools or pictures of the ancestors, or images or tributes to specific gods or goddesses. As I aged, I began to look at places in my house through a different eye. I then realized that I had altars. Only these altars were a bit different. They contained items from Nature. Branches from a Sweetgum Tree. Acorns gathered during a full moon. A pretty rock found on an afternoon's hike. A potted herb on a windowsill. Occasionally the altar might include an item that belonged to someone who has begun their Spirit Walk. But the items were all things which resonated with me.

Altars are a personal thing. There is no right or wrong way to put one together. They can be elaborate or simple. Large or small. The only rule one should follow when making an altar is to go with what feels right. 

Mother Nature sets forth an altar. It is in clear view in every park, every wild area, every yard and garden. And it changes with the Seasons. Autumn's altar is a colorful one. A carpet of red and gold interwoven with green. The bounty of the season's crops is laid out in every field and orchard. The large harvest moon lights up the night with its warm glow. Mother Nature is showing her appreciation to those who should only look. So as we welcome Autumn, let us look upon Mother Nature's altar and give thanks for not only the blessings we have, but also the blessings which have been shared with us.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Random Photos

Denny's in Woodland Park, Colorado
Horses tied up outside the local bar - the Thunderbird Inn, Florissant, CO
hhhhmmm.....maybe I should've made Henry get out of the car a month ago.....
Hot Air Balloons from the Colorado Balloon Classic as they rise overhead 
- as seen from our driveway

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Perspectives of Civilization

Living in the city for the past few years has been an experience in human behavior - mine as well as everyone else.
City life has never been a favorite of mine. I much prefer the wide open spaces of Nature. And the 'people' who live there.
We spent a recent long weekend at our property - the Whyspering Woodes. On the first night we heard coyotes yipping quite close by. So close, I expected to see one pop into the firelight at any moment. But we had our dogs with us and they didn't seem concerned by any of it. So neither were we. Some of our kids were with us for the camping trip. Our youngest and his family had come up for the day. As Hubby walked them to their car for the return trip home that night, Youngest ask if Hubby had protection for his short trek back to camp. Youngest was a bit concerned because we had discovered who our bird feeder raiders were.
Hubby wasn't that concerned and neither was I. Even though the 'people' who live in our neck of the woods are considered wild and unpredictable, they are more predictable and civilized than the people who I see and encounter in the 'civilized' area called a city.
In our city, we see people with little to no patience yelling and acting poorly, people who are frustrated with where their lives and who have no idea how to improve it (or maybe lack the gumption), and utter disregard for each other or for Mother Earth. I offered the use of my recycling container to my neighbor once and the response was, "Why? Our trash can works just fine."
Now don't get me wrong. I don't live in a necessarily bad area, even though there are a lot of sirens heard here on a regular basis. The neighbors all know each other and people get out of their houses and socialize. The kids have fun playing in our little cul-de-sac. There isn't the 'keep up with the Jones' mentality here like there is in more upscale areas. And, for the most part, neighbors help each other out. I have discovered, when comparing our neighborhood here to the Denver one we lived in, that the social interaction of a group of people is directly related to income. The more money which is made, the more reclusive the people are in their homes.  
People become used to certain things and when those things become familiar, they are no longer perceived as a danger but as a way of life. For those who live in the city, bad behavior is part of the norm. For those who live in the wilds, learning to co-exist with nature's people is the norm. Life is all a matter of perspective.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Breathless Life

***Be sure to read the article in the second link to see how these amazing images are created!***

Monday, September 8, 2014

Grabbin' Ass!

Sheesh! I can't take my Hubby anywhere!
I caught him grabbin' ass not once but twice this weekend! 

looking southwest over the town of Victor, Colorado
It happened over the weekend in the small mining town of Victor, Colorado (elevation 9,780 ft). 
It was a spur-of-the-moment trip. We were in Cripple Creek early to deliver a faux bois bench to the gift shop, Shops at the Silver Mine, and decided we didn't want to go straight back home. So off down the road we went to the neighboring town of Victor. We stopped at a scenic overlook that looked over a beautiful valley and a hiking trail with a few people - and their burros! - walking towards Victor. 

After watching the hikers for a bit, hubby & I wandered off to look at the various mining equipment displays. Not long into my absorption of history, I heard someone yelling, I looked around and saw a woman running down a nearby hill. Far ahead of her was her burro! I got Hubby's attention and he headed towards the main trail. I headed over to the trail spur which led to the parking lot. 

The runaway burro wasn't going any further! Fortunately the burro headed towards Hubby where she was promptly caught and led back to her owner. 

Back on the road we laughed about the "ass grabbin" and wondered what the race was about. As we wondered through town, we decided to stop and eat at a small cafe that looked out onto main street where the finish line was.  

We watched the racers come down the street as we enjoyed the best green chili I've had in awhile! After lunch we went out to mingle with the racers. 

There was one burro that took a liking to me, his name was Elrod. Hubby had to keep intercepting him. I don't have a fondness for horses or burros. 

The race was a 'Haulin Ass Up The Pass' race sanctioned by the Western Pack Burro Ass-ociation. Burros were an integral part of Colorado's mining history. Burros supplied the labor to pull the heavy ore carts in the mines. They were the transportation to get the gold ore out of the mountains. Burros were the prospector's best friend. Today's races are an acknowledgement of the part the Burro played in the search for Colorado's riches. Each burro in the race, regardless of size, had to carry a shovel, a pick, a gold pan. The full size donkeys also had to carry 33lbs of weight. 

miniature donkey
How can anyone be mad when the Ass is as cute as the one in the picture above?

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Elm Tree's Revenge

image source
A couple of Life's crazy stories .....

Wait, What??????     I was at the grocery store walking down the pet food aisle. There was another person, a man, at the other end of the aisle. As I made my way down the aisle towards the bird seed, I glanced at the man who made eye contact with me and smiled. I briefly smiled back - I always try to smile at people I see or meet in public. There just aren't enough smiles in this world! I decided on a 25lb bag of sunflower seeds and bent over to lift the bag into my cart. The man appeared behind me and offered to help me with the bag. I replied, "Thanks. But I got it. I frequently lift 45lb sacks of cement." The guy gave me a funny look and walked off. Later, when I told Hubby about it, he pointed out that the guy was hitting on me. Sheesh! And I missed it!

Pony Possessed     After having various grandkids visit over the summer, the bathroom has had an assortment of little ponies, dinosaurs and barbies cohabitating. Most of them have found their way back to the toy box. But one single pony has stayed behind standing guard on a low shelf in the tub area. One evening Hubby comes out of the bathroom after showering and tells me that the pony in the shower is possessed. He said that it had been watching him in the shower. That the pony had 'those eyes'. You know, the kind of eyes that follow you around the room......  Hhhhmmmm....maybe I need to 'exorcise' the bathroom.

Revenge of the Elm Tree     I have a wonderful neighbor who has a passion for gardening. She wants to turn her whole yard into a garden so she can feed her family off the garden's bounty for a good part of the winter. The only glitch in that plan is that her back yard is shaded by two elm trees which live in the backyard of her neighbor behind her. My neighbor told me that she has often stood in her back yard, stared at the elm trees and pondered how to get rid of them. About a month after she told me this, our internet went out unexpectedly. A cable tech came out. Upon digging up the ground - in my gardening neighbor's backyard - where the problem was detected, the cable tech discovered that an elm tree root had severed the cable which provided both our houses with internet. Never underestimate the ability of a living being from understanding the spoken (or unspoken!) word.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Trail Cam Anomaly Inquiry/Response

This post is in response to a comment on the original post, Trail Cam Anomaly? 
PickledAliens ask me to post the sequence of photos from the time the unknown glowing orb enters the camera's range to the time it exits. I would also like to give info on the trail cam which we use.
The trail camera is a Simmons Whitetail Trail Camera with Night Vision . "The motion-activated sensor has a range of up to 30 feet, and after dark images are captured from up to 40 feet, with infrared night vision LEDs that are virtually invisible to game. It doesn't flash, but the LEDs light up red when the motion sensor is activated, but it's not like a bright flash."
The date/time stamp will appear on the bottom of the photo and the moon phase also appears at the bottom of the photo. I have included the photo before and the photo after the three odd night time shots.
We recently spent a few nights at the property and I tried to pay attention to what night time flying critters were around. I saw only a few small moths, about half the size of a dime. And since the camera doesn't flash (per se) whatever the orb is I would guess must reflect the light like the deer's eyes. (?) Unless it is self-illuminating.