Saturday, September 26, 2009

hear that bass beating?


Music from basement warms my heart.

Both Dani and Jake are home for the weekend, so this is one happy momma.

Whenever Jake comes home, his band gets together for a jam session. In fact, that's usually the main reason he comes home. But I don't care of the reason because the bottom line is that he's home for some period.

As I sat and listened to the music coming up from the basement, I was reminded how much I miss hearing it. It used to be every Saturday that the boys would come over. I wasn't always happy about it because, well, let's face it... it's loud. Just as it is with other things in life, some times you don't realize how much you like something until it's gone. That's the way I'm feeling now.

And not only am I enjoying the music, but the boys themselves. I love when they come up for lunch (Don barbecued hot dogs), sit around my table, and talk about their lives with each other. Some times I join in the conversation, some times I just listen to theirs. I've watched these boys for the last 4+ years and it's been a joy to watch them grow up into the young men they have become.

I sit here content and happy.

Six Word Saturday is hosted by at Cate at Show My Face.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

my three wishes

Last weekend, Don and I went up into the mountains to enjoy the scenery and wildlife. I had two wishes as we planned the trip. Those two wishes were to enjoy viewing the colors that were changing from the greens of Summer to the golds of Fall, and to hang out at dusk so we could watch the mating rituals of the elk and hear the bull elk bugle. I added one more wish to my wish list on our way up and that was to see a moose, which I have never done here in Colorado (only in Alaska).

We spent most of our time in Rocky Mountain National Park and here's how I did on those wishes...

The change in colors hadn't hit their peak yet so there weren't the vibrant colors I had hoped for, but there were still obvious color change. I realized that my amber sunglasses made the colors even better.

I did see a moose. In fact, I saw four moose. This cow, in the above picture, was spotted late afternoon and then a young bull was spotted about an hour later. We got ourselves out the door the next morning very early and went back to where we saw the first moose. We weren't disappointed. There was a fairly big bull there in the field. While I was elsewhere, photographing some elk eating grass on the side of the road, Don saw a baby moose. Later, when he was in the car, I saw an even larger bull. So we each saw four, but not the same five between the two of us. I never expected to see even one so it was a real treat for us.

But the real treat was watching the elk herds during their mating period. It's quite an interesting show. The bull elks are on a quest to collect cows for their harem (yes, that's what it's called). Of course, there's competition between the males and clashing of antlers ensue. But most of the time it's a spectacle of watching the bulls trying to keep their gals in a tight circle and from running off.

And then there's the bugling. If you've never heard an elk bugle, you're missing quite the treat. Bugling is an almost indescribable sound that communicates strength, size and vigor. They use their remarkable vocal skills to attract cows and intimidate rivals.

The show starts at dusk and goes until you can barely see them any more due to the darkness. The second evening, we were entertained by this ritual at a VERY close range. So close, that the ranger had to continually make all the spectators move back, for our own safety. It was a thrilling show!

We also took a short hike to a waterfall, walked through the town of Grand Lake, threw a stick out into the lake over and over again for our dog, found comfy places to sit and read, and drove around in areas we hadn't visited before. It was a great weekend.

Monday, September 21, 2009

too close for comfort

I know a lot of people don't listen to or read the news anymore. I can't really blame them. It can all be very negative and overwhelming. But there's a major story being reported right now about a man who is accused of being a ringleader to a terrorist group, plotting to plant explosives on transit lines here in the states.

Najibullah Zazi was born in Afghanistan, lived for some time in Pakistan and has been a U.S. resident for the past 10 years. I won't go into all the details here, but you can read more about him and what has been reported in the news here and here.

You may have heard or noticed that this man's questioning and arrest has taken place here in Denver. To be more exact, here in Aurora (where I live). To be even more precise, this accused terrorist lives right down the street from me. I mean, RIGHT DOWN THE STREET.

I drive by the apartments where he resides on a nearly daily basis. The day they searched his apartment (which took the whole day), they didn't release the kids from the local middle school, at the end of their day, because they didn't want the students to go home to that apartment complex. This was the same school I worked at last year. I know some of these students.

I find all of this disturbing; a little too close for comfort. I find any report on terrorism disturbing and scary. It makes it even scarier that this guy lives in my neighborhood, that he may shop in the same grocery store as I, that he may eat in the same restaurants or spend time in my beloved plaza. I continue to watch the news, wishing it wasn't happening in my backyard, but it is. It makes me realize that this kind of thing can happen anywhere. And it is... here!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

it's a glorious time of year


Golds, Yellows, Reds...
I'm in heaven

Don and I are off to spend the weekend up at Grand Lake, located in our beautiful Rocky Mountains. I'm hoping to get some good pictures of the leaves turning colors. This is one of my favorite times of the year and one of the biggest reasons is the vibrant colors found in the mountains. We usually take a day or weekend each year to travel to where we think the colors will be the best.

Trying to capture the colors is some times difficult, but at the very least, I will be able to enjoy myself by personally viewing the beauty all around me.


And to answer my own question from Wednesday's post (Wordless Wednesday), I would much rather shoot pictures with my camera. I don't really enjoy shooting guns or being around them. Don has always had rifles and hand guns and whenever we go camping at that one particular campground, he brings the guns and we (the family) spends a good amount of time over at the shooting range. I guess it's good that I know how to use a gun, but I'll take my camera over a gun any day.

Six Word Saturday is hosted Cate at Show My Face.

Friday, September 18, 2009

soap operas


In yesterday's post I wrote my thoughts on the current state of soap operas as well as saying farewell to the longest running soap (72 years), Guiding Light.

This week's Aloha Friday question is...

Do you watch any soap opera(s)? If so, which one(s)?

My first two soaps were Guiding Light and then, As the World Turns. Through the years, I have stuck with As the World Turns and on average, watch it twice a week, just to keep up with the characters and story lines. I also watch Young and the Restless with about the same frequency.

Aloha Friday is hosted each week by Kailani of An Island Life.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

a sign of the times

Tomorrow marks the end of an era. Tomorrow will be the final episode of the soap opera, Guiding Light.

I have watched my fair share of soap operas since I was a teenager and still do, occasionally, tune in to watch an episode or two. But Guiding Light was my first. I can't tell you what year it was or how old I was, but I remember watching it because my mom watched it. She taught me how to iron and I would iron pillowcases in front of the TV while watching the tangled web weaved by the Bauers and the Spauldings.

I'm guessing that this was somewhere in the late '60s. Soap Operas were a lot different back then. Sex was only inferred and the raciest storyline might have been about alcoholism. I often wonder if it was watching first, Guiding Light, and then, As The World Turns (which I still catch now and then), that started my love for stories. Or maybe it was my love for stories that attracted me to soap operas. Either way, they have been a part of my life for most of my life.

Soap operas are a dying breed. Women used to stay at home all day and a half hour soap (originally on the radio) was a nice distraction to most of their time spent doing the cooking and housework. Over time, women started working outside the home more, and viewership suffered.

Then TV programming started to change. The options of what to watch became greater. And because of those choices, soaps had to drastically change their story lines to compete with the more exciting game, talk, and reality shows. The story lines became more scandalous and ridiculous, and the typical viewer of soaps changed. It became a younger crowd.

All this is what has caused the slow and final death of Guiding Light, as well as previously canceled soaps. I stopped watching Guiding Light back when I was a teenager, but I still find it sad to see it go permanently. Good bye old friend. Thanks for the memories.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

the plaza

I go to the plaza;
it's become a need.
Under clear blue skies,
to sit and read.

In the Winter, an ice skating rink is erected. Skaters skate as onlookers watch. Norman Rockwell decorations hang from poles and Christmas music fills the chilled air. Even a light snow can't keep people away.

Once Spring blows in, vibrant colored flowers fill the space. More people come out to play, to shop, to eat, to enjoy the winter thaw. Heavy coats give way to lighter ones and hot chocolates are replaced with ice cream cones.

The theater stands at one end flanked by restaurants and shops. Outside dining is crowded because who doesn't want to sit outside, enjoying a good meal, and people watch. Friends meet, couples stroll, families play.

The plaza is the busiest during the Summer. Where once the ice skating rink stood, there is now fountains revealed. Streams of water shoot high in the air in a rhythmic pattern. Children come and play, to escape the heat of the day. Screams of laughter fill the air.

The fountains are turned off one evening a week so blankets and chairs can be set up in front of the makeshift bandstand. The summer concerts are always a big hit and the plaza is wall to wall people, moving to the beats of the music and singing along to familiar lyrics.

Fall is my favorite time at the plaza. No fountains, no laughing children, no sounds of metal on ice, and no crowds. The weather is perfect - not hot and not cold. Wispy white clouds crossing a deep blue sky. Quiet. Peaceful. Relaxing.

I go to the plaza;
it's become a need.
Under clear blue skies,
to sit and read.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

six word saturday

I wish I was still camping.

As I sit here, snuggled underneath a blanket because the Fall weather has blown in, and going through photos from last weekend's camping trip, I can't help but wish I was back up in the mountains camping. Last weekend was a great time spent surrounded by God's beautiful creation and in the company of our wonderful church family.

Six Word Saturday is hosted by Show My Face.

Friday, September 11, 2009



I'm sure everyone knows that today is the 8th anniversary of that tragic day known as 9-11 (2001). I encourage you to take a moment to reflect and honor those who lost their lives that fateful day.

One of the ways citizens have chosen to honor that day and it's victims is to find a way to volunteer in some way. I think the hope is that a great number of people will volunteer on September 11th, but I think if you choose to volunteer, any day is a good day to volunteer.

My Aloha Friday question today is...

Do you volunteer anywhere? If so, where?, or what do you do?

I presently volunteer at my church. In fact, my youth ministry position was all volunteer. Since retiring from youth ministry, Don and I have taken on smaller volunteer opportunities such as teaching a Bible study or taking on a specific responsibility for our upcoming harvest festival.

When the kids were younger, I spent a lot of time volunteering in their schools; working in the school store or in the library, or in such ways as bringing in cupcakes for a party or helping sort first day packets.

One of the reasons I ask this question is because I'm looking for a place outside my church where I might enjoy volunteering this next year. Maybe you good people will give me some good ideas and inspire me to volunteer in a way I haven't thought of before. So inspire away.

Thank you Kailani for hosting Aloha Friday each week.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

stuffed bears, tigers, and dogs

Did you know that yesterday, September 9th, was National Teddy Bear Day? No? I would guess not too many marked that day on their calendar. The only reason I know this is because I read it on a blog. It made me curious so I googled 'National Days" and found that there is a purported official list of National Days. Crazy. Some of them are quite humorous.

*side note: I love google. I can't imagine life without it.

Then I started thinking about teddy bears. Specifically, teddy bears from my childhood past. I'm sure I had many because a normal childhood would be full of teddy bears. In my mind, I can see each of my children's teddy bears. I know Danielle still has hers. She probably has every stuffed animal she has ever owned. She loves stuffed toys and can't part with them. She's 21 and I have to talk her out of buying them.

Sorry, I've become sidetracked. Back to the subject at hand... my teddy bears....

Either my childhood wasn't normal or my memory is getting worse (which it is). The only teddy bear I remember having was one that one of my grandmothers either crocheted or knitted. I liked that teddy bear but it wasn't a special childhood friend like a child's teddy bear is supposed to be.

I do remember having a couple of special stuffed animals. One was a tiger. I remember having him in second grade and I took him everywhere. His pose was him laying on his side and I would pretend he was my pet tiger. I wonder what ever happened to him.

The second plush toy I loved was a Snoopy Dog (from the Peanuts collection). My best friend in 6th grade had one and I just had to have one, too. The four of us had many fun sleepovers together. I may still have this toy. I'll have to look in my cedar chest.

How about you? Do you remember having a favorite stuffed toy? Was it a teddy bear?

Thursday, September 3, 2009

sitting here in my pajamas

For Today...

Outside my window... I can see the house across the way is being painted. There are men and ladders everywhere.

I am thinking... about all I need to do today to be ready to leave this afternoon for four glorious days of camping.

I am thankful for... life, love, and laughter.

From the kitchen... nothing is cooking or baking. Camping gear has been collecting on the counter.

I am wearing... pajamas.

I am reading... Shadow of the Wind. I'm only a third of the way through it but it's such a good read.

I am hearing... Ladders being extended and moving along a house. Men talking. And my dog's constant bark because he doesn't like those men and ladders across the way.

I am hoping... Jake will be able to join us for a day up in the mountains. It's a good thing he got a job, but it means his plans for the weekend changed.

I am creating... a newsletter for our church. I pitched the idea to the Pastor this last week and he thought it was a great idea. I haven't worked on a newsletter in a long time but always enjoy doing them.

I am going... to miss the Bible study group that met at my house each Wednesday night. I lead a 6 week study on Esther which ended last night. Good study, great fellowship, and some amazing women.

I am praying... for a lot. A couple of friends who are going through hard times. The fires in California and all they are impacting. For Dani and Jake as they have both started a semester of difficult classes. I could go on...

Around the house... there are signs that we're going camping - supplies, necessities, and bags. Besides that, the house is very clean and picked up since the kids have now left and I had a group of women over last night.

One of my favorite things... is this campground we're going to. We went to this campground every year on Labor Day weekend from 1991 through 2002 (it's a church campground). Then came back to it last year. Part of it is the actual grounds and the other part is camping with your church family.

A few plans for the rest of the week... next week... making some travel plans and working on a newsletter. Beyond that, I don't know. I haven't thought much beyond this weekend.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...

I came across this photo and was instantly in awe of it. You can click on it to enlarge it if you need to. Check out the hiker out on that ledge of snow that looks like it could give way at any time. Amazing!

Isn't that us at times? Skipping along, not giving a second thought to our safety and security, but unaware of how it could all give away without any forewarning. For me, I know my God is there at the bottom ready to catch me not if I fall, but when I fall.

The Simple Woman's Daybook originated at The Simple Woman.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

incredibly unbelievable

My heart is very heavy after reading THIS. (click for link)

I just don't get it; a pastor who preaches from his pulpit that he wants President Obama to die, and to go to hell. He doesn't just make that statement, but gives examples in which manner he wishes President Obama to die. All because he's pro-life. Evidently, he also wanted President Bush to die because he didn't believe in the Iraq war.

Obviously, this man is misguided. What gets me is that he is a pastor - someone who should have learned of God's love in great detail and who should then turn around and preach, teach, and model that love. He gives Christianity a black eye. He makes all Christians look like hypocrites. He makes a mockery of Jesus and His teachings. It makes me so sad.

I don't care what your politics are. If you call yourself a Christian, you should want to follow Christ and His teachings, which is all based on love, not hate. Jesus didn't pray for the death of Herod or any other political leader. Jesus wanted everyone to be saved from hell. I don't understand how this guy can call himself a Christian, let alone a pastor.