Monday, April 30, 2012

Quote of the Week: 4/30/2012

The godly give good advice to their friends; the wicked lead them astray.
Proverbs 12:26

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Kathi here.

I have heard it said many times that it's the little things that count. I'm not sure I totally agree with that statement, but I do know that the little things make a big difference.

My Jim does big and little things for me all the time.

I work in a tax office on the weekends during tax season. Our favorite garden center, O'Toole's, was having a nice giveaway on the last weekend of the season. I wasn't able to go because I was working, BUT my sweet husband went for me.

O'Toole's was giving away a free flat of pansies to anyone who came to their event dressed for "flower power." Jim put on his tie-dyed shirt, sunglasses, sandals, and headband and went to the event. It was not warm and the wind was chilly, and he stood there waiting for the giveaway to begin.

Thanks to my sweet man, I have pansies planted in two large round planters and one really big rectangular planter. I did not know how many pansies there would be! They look really nice and I love how hardy they are in our unpredictable spring weather.

This picture shows what he kinda looked like on the day he got my flowers.

Thank you, Jim. You are the BEST!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Quote of the Week: 4/23/2012

Gardening is cheaper than therapy and you get tomatoes.
~Author Unknown

Thursday, April 19, 2012


I might be opening a can of worms here. But what the heck. Sometimes worms come in handy.

We have a nine year old boy who stood up to his bully here in Denver. Both boys have been suspended. I say HOORAY for that kid. He followed the rules, and had told teachers about the bullying. Nothing was really done. His parents also knew. They told him that if he needed to defend himself, to do so.

The bullies had been beating on this kid. He was kicked in the back and groin, and hit in the face. The bullying had been going on for quite some time. He finally had enough and punched his tormentor in the face.

I, as a child, was also bullied. I took crap off of them for years. It started in first grade and went on until seventh grade when I had finally had enough. I struck back. And yes, it felt good.

There were others who thought they could bully me also. I got my butt kicked several times, but I tried to give as much as I got. After each fight, the bullies would leave me alone. I got their respect one way or another. I never went looking for a fight, and I never bullied others.

Back then, a lot of us had access to firearms. As kids, we grew up around them because our parents hunted or were into shooting for sport. Never once, in all of those years, did any of us take a firearm to school or have the intention of causing harm. If we had a problem with some one, we settled it with fists.

Nowadays, you get arrested if you defend yourself on the playground -- or if you defend yourself anywhere. I have a special needs child. He is now in his 20's. When he was a child, he was picked on by a school bully. It had been going on through several grades. His mom, my ex, DID NOT want him to be fighting. His stepdad and I also didn't want him to be fighting, but we both DID want him to protect himself.

One day at school, during recess, the bully started in on my son. Bryan, my son, had brought to school that day, his baseball glove and bat. Bryan carried the glove in one hand and had the bat over his shoulder. The bully stood right in front of Bryan, called him several names, and then punched Bryan in the stomach.

Bryan never dropped his baseball glove. He still had the bat over his shoulder, and he took the bat from his shoulder to the kid's head. A swing, if you can call it that, of about a foot or less. Not a lot of power behind it. But enough to bring tears to the bully's eyes. Bryan, upon seeing the tears in the bully's eyes, dropped the bat and glove and, with tears in his own eyes, went and told on himself to the playground teacher.

Bryan's mom was not too happy. She was upset, which I can understand. We all had a talk with Bryan. As Bryan's mom turned her back to Bryan's stepdad and I, he and I gave each other a thumbs up sign. We were glad that Bryan had stood up for himself. Bryan never had another fight.

And the bully? Well he and Bryan became friends. Kids of all ages are going to have a bully sometime in their life. Heck, I know a few adults who have a bully to this day.

I think that we have taken the rules too far. Kids will be kids. But, now it seems that they all think they are entitled to everything. Parents buy cars for their kids now. When I was old enough to drive, I worked to save money to buy a car. Are parents now just trying to buy their kids' affection? I would say it is something to at least think about.

There are way too many spoiled and undisciplined brats running around. And just think: one day they will be running this country. In charge, when we are old.

Scary thought.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012


Time to check your fishing gear. Fishing pole with new line. Maybe some new fishing lures. Dig out your tackle box and dust it off. Check inside of tackle box. Might be time to get rid of some of them jars of fish eggs or power bait. They don't work well when there is mold on your salmon eggs. Plus the smell will drop you like a ton of bricks.

Hooks! Got to have lots of hooks. All of mine end up in snags or tree branches. Bobbers, just about every size you can get. (A lot of them end up with my hooks.) Waders -- patch them holes from last year. (Mine have patches on the patches.) Fishing vest? Maybe wash it to get stinky fish smell out from last year. (Didn't wash my last vest. Hung it on a branch and a bear took off with it.) Sinkers, make sure you have enough. (With all the sinkers I have, it must have added about 10 or so pounds to my tackle box. And at least five to my vest.)

Extra fishing line. You never know when you will mess up your reel. And have about 20 feet or so of knotted and twisted line. Or tangle it in the prop of your boat.

Speaking of your boat. . .don't forget to place the drain plug back in. (I had to whittle a plug once.) And make sure that you have the motor well secured before starting it. (The water is cold and deep, and it is a pain trying to get back in the boat after diving for said motor.) And don't forget the oars. (Try paddling to shore with just your hands!) Dry clothes! ALWAYS bring extra clothes. Nothing worse than fishing in wet clothes.

By the time you're done fishing in your wet clothes and get home uou may be dry, but you will have the worse case of wrinkle-butt you have ever seen. Not to mention the dye from your shorts has stained your skin. (Explain that to your friends at the gym.)

Maybe the most important thing to remember to take fishing with you is money or a credit card.

If the fishing sucks, run to the store on your way home and buy a few nice fish. Then drop them in the dirt before placing them in your cooler. No one will ever know. Unless they see you at the store. (Or the guy behind the meat counter sees your wife the next day and asks how the fish was.)

Yep, I love fishing.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Quote of the Week: 4/16/2012

“Blaming guns for killing people is like blaming pencils for bad spelling.”

--Larry the Cable Guy

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


Everyone makes mistakes. Some of us more than others. I fall into that category.

It's not that I do it on purpose. The mistakes just seem to happen. And, I admit, I've had more than my fair share. Is it because my brain disconnects? Something more sinister?

I hope that this does not offend anyone. I don't mean for it to. This really did happen and it really was just a mistake. And I felt really bad when I found out I had made the mistake. . . though, it IS funny.

Anyway, this happened years and years ago. I and my girlfriend, who is Catholic, were invited to go to a Christmas Eve midnight mass by my best friend. Since I had never been to one, I thought it would be neat to see one. Kathi went, too. As we walked through the parking lot, my friend and I were smoking. He finished before I did, and flicked the butt out in front of us then stepped on it to put it out.

I, on the other hand, was still smoking as we went through the parking lot. As we approached the doors, I was almost finished with my cigarette. As we came up the steps, I saw what I thought were ashtrays mounted to the walls by the doors. I put my cigarette out in one, and it made a hiss. I asked, "Who put water in the ash trays?!!!"

From the reaction I got, you would have thought that I had shot the pope or something! I was told that they are NOT ashtrays, they are holy water. Well, Kathi (who is not Catholic) laughed. She was the only one. . .

Geez, how was I suppose to know!?

Well, after getting reamed out by my best friend and my date, things kinda went downhill from there. My friend and my date would not let me and Kathi set next to each other, 'cause Kathi kept on giggling.

During the service, an alter boy accidentally set one of the poinsettia's on fire with the thingy he was supposed to light candles with. Then the incense stuff they burned made me have a sneezing fit. And it smelled like old rags to me. And what was up with this stand-up-set-down-stand-up-kneel-down-set-down-stand-up thing. It could be an Olympic event! Going to Catholic church can be a real work out.

When I was a kid, when we went to church, people talked to one another, until it was time to start the service. In the Catholic church, it is really quiet. This was a learning experience for me. And the church was really beautiful. I did enjoy the service. But, I still caught all kinds of grief after the service.

I was never invited to go to another service.

Then again, maybe it had something to do with my rubbing ash off of my girlfriend's forehead one time. She hollered something about Ash Wednesday or something like that, as she stormed out of the Denny's restaurant.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Quote of the Week: 4/9/12 and. . .

"A goal without a plan is just a wish."

Antoine de Saint Exupery
French writer and aviator

Also, I hope that all of you had a nice Easter.

Friday, April 6, 2012


Why to they call them dandelions? They sure are NOT dandy (nor lions). They are a pain in the butt. They sneak into your yard, sprout them yellow flowers, then turn puffy, and let little seed things go everywhere.

You spray, they die, and more show up. It's almost like trying to take out zombies. (If you don't know what I mean, watch the TV show The Living Dead.) The guy who lives behind us lets the damn things grow without even trying to do something about them.

Now, I know that some people like to eat dandelions. And I don't hold that against them. I've tried them, but didn't like them. Even as wine.

Besides, I wouldn't eat the ones in my yard even if they hadn't been sprayed, 'cause, I'm sure our dog has sprayed them lots! Now, if you maybe had acres of them, then maybe they'd be okay.

But they are still like zombies.

If the world were to end, there would still be roaches and dandelions, I'll bet. And maybe mutant flying bunnies that lay mutant Easter eggs.

Who knows. . . it could happen!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


Some years ago I was out fishing with my brother-in-law. It was just a day trip. We were up around Conifer, here in Colorado, fishing along the head waters of the Platte River. We had hiked in about a mile. We had both caught a few really nice trout. My brother in-law, Robert, moved further downstream from where I fishing.

I had found me a honey hole! I had pulled out three nice rainbow trout. And since I had forgotten my stringer, I had taken a willow branch to make one. I had the three fish from the honey hole and two others from further up stream. I set my stick of fish on the bank and moved off about 10 yards or so. I threw my line in and watched as my grasshopper slowly went in circles at the end of this honey hole.

All of a sudden, my grasshopper disappeared, my pole bent down, and the fight was on!

I set the hook, reeled in a bit, pulled back on the rod, and then reeled some more. I was now at the edge of the bank trying to land this fish. Then he jumped! Man, he was huge! Maybe two pounds, the biggest yet.

Well, I fought that bugger for what seemed like half an hour (but it was probably just a few minutes). I landed the fish and took him off my hook. I walked back to where my stick of fish were.

The stick was not there!

I looked high and low for my fish. I couldn't find them anywhere. I paced up and down the bank of the river from where I had caught the big one to where I thought I had left the others on the stick.

About that time, Robert showed up with his fish and a big old grin on his face.

That didn't help things at all, the braggart. Now I would have to hear ALL about how he caught his fish. I couldn't swap stories with him, 'cause I had no fish to show for it. I told him about the big fish I had, but I couldn't find my stringer of the other fish. He asked if I maybe hadn't gone far enough up river. Maybe he was right. I told him I was going to go look.

Now, along our side of the river, the grass was about three feet tall. You could see where you walked through it. As I walked away from Robert and a little around the bend, I saw where someone else had walked, and then off our path and behind some bushes.

I'm thinking that some other fisherman found my fish and walked off with them. So now I'm ready to chew someone's butt for taking my fish!

I followed the pushed down grass, went further around the bend of the river, and saw that the new trail went around this big willow bush. I went storming around that bush, ready to get my fish.

There sat this BIG FAT old bear. He was setting on his butt and he had my fish. He was eating them fish like we eat corn on the cob. He was smacking his lips and looking at me like, "What are ya going to do? You want a piece of me, or what?" Well, I pulled up real short and quick.

I looked at the bear. He was looking at me, half of a fish in his mouth.

The last thing I remember seeing as I turned to run was that fat old bear with the stick in his mouth like a toothpick. And, I swear, he was smacking his lips as he got off his fat old butt. I never knew that I had wings on my feet, 'til was running on top of the grass -- not through it, but on top of it! I let out a holler that would have made a southern rebel proud. Or scared the crap out of him. I think I hollered something about a bear.

I saw Robert in front of me. He was making pretty good time through the grass also. I passed Robert and he let out this funny little sound. I guess he figured that was it -- he was bear food. That must have given him a jolt. He passed me like I was setting still! (He cheated. . . he has longer legs than I do.)

For every step he took, I was beating feet like three steps to his one, and he was pulling ahead.

I swear that I could feel that old bear breathing down the back of my neck. Robert was now almost over the hill. I was way behind. I still had my fishing pole in my hand. I figured that was how they would identify what was left of my body. And, boy, was I ever going to haunt Robert's butt after this!

I made it to the top of the hill. Robert had at least stopped. I think it was just to see if the bear got me so he could direct the rangers to where he last saw me.

I passed his butt. He hollered at me to wait. No way! But I did slow down enough to look behind me. That old bear had come out from behind that bush and maybe made three strides. I had dropped my prize fish, and that damn bear, I swear, waved at us and ate my big fish, just like he didn't have a care in the world. I don't remember if Robert still had his fish or not. I didn't care. I was wondering about how to clean my shorts.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012


The other day, while Kathi was at work, I was in our garage. I was attempting to make extra room for some things that Mom gave us after the yard sale. As I moved things around and found space for other things, I came across the old G.I. pack that my Dad had given me when I was about 10 or so. It is still useable. It's ratty, tattered in spots, stained, and faded. It has been just about everywhere here in Colorado.

When I picked it up, it felt a bit heavy. I haven't used it in about 20 some years. I opened it up and it was still loaded up with some of my hunting, camping, and fishing gear. It even had a pair of my old jeans, socks, and spare shirt. 'Course, the pants are WAY too small now, as is the shirt. As I dug deeper, I came across the old Western hunting knife that my Dad had given me when he gave me the pack. The pack also had my old mess kit, with silverware, and my old skillet.

There were other things in the pack also. A old fishing creel, some fishing line, still on the spool. Some fish hooks and sinkers. Other things that one might need while out and about. As I looked at all of these things -- and I don't really know why -- it made me think back to a trip I made many years ago. It was 1976 or '77. I was living with my grandparents then.

I had decided to make a trip up into the mountains, but wanted to see some new country. So I decided to head towards Glenwood Springs, find a back road, and see where it would take me. I loaded up my old Blazer with gear, threw in my backpack and my dog Jessie, and away we went.

After making it through Glenwood Canyon, I found a road that went up and over the top. We ended up above the town of Glenwood Springs. So we pushed on further into the back country.

After several hours, we found a real good spot to camp. We set up the tent and made the camp comfy. Jessie was having a ball, running, jumping, and scoping out all the different smells, when all of a sudden she took off after a rabbit. It didn't take her long before she had the rabbit and brought it back to camp. The rabbit was dead, 'cause she had broken its back. She did this quite often on our little trips. She was also pretty good at getting fish also. I cleaned the rabbit, and we had him for supper that evening.

The next day, we were up bright and early. The sun was just barely coming over the top of the mountain. It was not really cold out, but it was one of them mornings where you can see your breath. It was just cool enough that you'd want a jacket, but you know that as soon as the sun gets up past the top of the mountain that it is going to warm up pretty fast. We ate a quick breakfast of cereal and a few dog biscuits and we were off. We walked and took our time. We found a nice stream to fish on and we would do that later on that day.

We came across a old road, if you can call it that. You could see that it had not been used in a lot of years. Trees had grown along the road. The trees on the outside of the road were taller than the trees in the road. We followed the little road for a long ways when we broke out into this clearing.

Setting at the top of this hill in the clearing was a little church. The front was still there, with the steeple and cross on top. The roof was long gone, and the back wall and a side wall had toppled over.

There didn't seem to be any other buildings around. The clearing was alive with wild flowers, green grass and you could hear some bees hard at work. As we got up to the old church, I turned around and then I could see where the other buildings had been. It looked like it had had about six or seven other buildings at one time or another. The doors to the church were long gone. As we stepped into that church, there were the most beautiful purple flowers where the floor should have been. They were all taller than the flowers out side of the church. Jessie laid down at the doorway and wouldn't go further into the church. I also just stood there.

I had never seen anything like it before and I have not seen anything like it since. It seemed that the sun was shinning more brightly in the church, that it was outside of it. It was so quiet and peaceful. Jessie and I sat there in the doorway of that church for what seemed like hours. The light smell of the flowers surrounded us. I wondered why just the church remained and the other buildings were gone.

After what seemed like a big chunk of the day had passed, we got up to head back to our camp. As we were getting off the porch of the church, I decided to pick some of the flowers on our way back. All of a sudden Jessie started to bark. She ran towards the backside of the church. I hollered at her and followed her around back. I was stunned to see an old graveyard about 30 yards back.

It was surrounded by fence, and where the gate should of been was wide open. I don't know how many graves there were. One stood out from the rest. It had roses . Bright red roses, mixed in with all of these other wildflowers of blue, white, yellow, orange, and purple. I don't know how, but there they were. I tried to read the marker, but it was too worn. The only name I could figure out was John.

We stood there for a bit. I was wishing that I had a camera. It seems that whenever I think to bring one, I never have anything to take a picture of. And when I don't have a camera, I always have something that I wish that I could take some pictures of! (Soon after this trip I had a Kodak Disc camera. I wore it out.)

Jessie and I left, and made our way back to camp. I fished. We sat around camp and made a few more treks around the area. It was soon time to head back home.

I told my grandparents all about our camping trip and how I had even stopped in Glenwood to see if I could find out anything about the little church. Nobody seemed to know, until I stopped to get gas for the return trip home. The guy running the station, was quite a bit older than the other people I had been talking to. I asked him about the little church. He smiled and said that his Dad had been a logger, and that there had been a permanent saw mill camp up there so many years ago that they decided that they needed a church.

The camp ran for about 10 years or so, or until all the available timber was gone for several miles around. They closed up shop, moved the saw mill. Just a few people stayed there over the years. It finally became a "ghost town" back in the 1940's. The grave with the roses was from the last person there, who passed from freezing one winter. The roses are believed to be from a family member who planted them there.

The years have come and gone. It took me about 15 years before I could get back up to that little church on the hill. The trees have grown over what was once the remains of the road. The hill is still covered by all of those colorful wild flowers. And now a few pine trees are growing there. The last time I was there without Jessie, who had passed on herself by then, the remains of the little church were gone. The little graveyard fence is still there, but the markers are gone. The only thing that I could find was a dead rose bush.

A lot of years have passed since that trip. I'm going to use that old pack again this summer. I can't go to a lot of the places where I used to hike, hunt, fish, and camp. They no longer exist or are now owned by some city slicker. And I just can't hoof them hills like I used too. Plus, I'm not all that great at sleeping on the ground any more.

I've done a lot of living in the mountains. As far as hunting, camping, fishing and being on my aunt's and uncle's ranch as a child, I've seen and learned all kinds of things. I wish now, more than ever, that I would have had a camera. There hasn't been a time that Kathi and I have been on a trip up in the hills that I haven't told her a story of being there or doing something in the area we are in.

How many campfires can you have in a lifetime? And how many little churches are there still on the hill?

Monday, April 2, 2012

Quote of the Week: 4/2/12

"It was as true ..... as taxes is. And nothing's truer than them."

Charles Dickens
English novelist, from "David Copperfield"