Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Therapy Night

I usually write in my journal in the morning when Milo and I return from our walk. This post is in the evening. 


First, something positive.  Things are coming together for New Year Eve's Progressive dinner / party.  The cocktails, as I mentioned, begin at 6PM at our house.  We have the bar that will handle the whole neighborhood.  Our house is 5500 square feet, which is large enough to hold two separate parties.

For several years, we had the New Years Party at the school house.  The last one we had there was 1999-2000.  What a great location to bring in the new millennium.  There is one small, tiny issue to be dealt with at the school house.  The only bathrooms are the two out-houses up the hill, behind the building.  Did I say, small, tiny issue? 

I'm not worried about people drinking and driving.  Our Sunshine neighbors are not in the habit of doing something that stupid.  Besides, the next house is close enough to walk. (Unless you are afraid of the mountain lion.  Chris, the mayor, will handle it.  He told me he found his rifle. See the November 22 entry.)

My real concern - - - I'm worried about my Mother-in-Law (MIL).  If you have been reading my journal, you have picked up that she has cancer.  She has undergone 5 Chemo treatments and has dealt quite well with them.  That is until this last one.  It breaks my heart to see someone go through what she is going through.  We talked to her about having the neighbors over and she encouraged us to do so.  Tomorrow she goes in for a CT scan to see what the Chemo has done to the cancer.  I hope and pray (and I've been doing a lot of that) that she is showing improvement.  I can not tell you how much I pray for her.  I am the one who is home all day, every day, trying my best to make sure she is comfortable.   The house is big enough for her to go to her room and not know there is another soul in the house.  She wants us to entertain.  I want her to be comfortable.

OK, thanks for reading. (((Hug your love ones))), be thankful for each day and pray.

2 Timothy 2:15  It's one of my favorites.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Dog Breath hehe


Milo, as a 6 week old puppy and his sisters.

A friend of mine and I were discussing one of life's little mysteries - Where does a dog keep finding rancid fish to eat every day?  That is the only way I can imagine that his breath smells as bad as it does.  He provided us with some entertainment the other day.  My youngest son, Michael put one of his peanut butter sandwiches on the coffee table.  Milo helped himself.  I can not describe what the poor dog went through.  It must have taken him 20 minutes to rid himself of the peanut butter on the roof of his mouth, AND his tail wagged the whole time.  Milo is a real lover and is friendly to all.  He lets us know when the bear is near.  He does like to chase rabbits, squirrels and foxes, although he has never caught one. He knows the deer are off limits. I hope he never finds a skunk.

Since I retired, I have been doing a lot of reading.  In fact when I'm not fishing, skiing, drinking wine with the neighbors or walking with Milo,  I read.  My brother gave me David McCullough's 1776 and Michael gave me Ron Chernow's Alexander Hamilton for Christmas.  I've already started 1776.  I really enjoy history.



Monday, December 26, 2005

A Sunshine New Year Party


A Sunshine Progressive Dinner Party

Saturday, December 31, 2005

6:00 - 9:00 Cocktails & Hor' d'oeuvre's at David and Janice's (the bar's open)

9:00 - 11:00 Dinner at Steve & Dee's

11:00 - 1:00 Desserts and Champagne at Steve and Lisa's. (the hot tub is open, suits optional)

The festivities start at 6PM.  The first driveway past the schoolhouse. 



As always in the past, you are welcome to bring your favorite drink, snacks, side dish and a dessert.


Thursday, December 22, 2005

Holiday greetings to some friends


I imagine this will be winding down here in J-Land for a few days.  I wanted to wish all of my new friends a very Merry Christmas.  I wish I could give everyone an individual Christmas message but it's impossible to speak what is in my heart to all.  There are some I would like to say a special "Hello" to that I know read my journal.

Deb, Thank you for "bringing me out of the woodwork", as Jackie put it.  I pray for your healing.  Your Turtle card has been ordered.  Sometimes it takes them a while.  AYAT?

Jackie, for your kind words, thank you.  I hope you don't have to work in the ER on Christmas eve.

Dad, we have so much in common.  I've worked in a grocery store the early part of my life and I love horticulture.  With my Tennessee roots, who knows, we might be related.  Without you, I would have never started my journal.  A web search in early Sept. for "gardens" took me to your site.

To my Maryland friends. We have a lot of history between us.  Although time passes, friendships stay.  Remember "never criticize, condemn or complain"?  We learned it together.

To my special friend, somewhere in Louisiana.  You showed me how to laugh at my boss.  A lesson I will never forget.  You became one of my closest friends.  I miss our daily phone calls and our joke of the day.  Your garden is beautiful.

Dr. Shields in Oxford.  You are missed in Sunshine.  I write about what we are doing, hoping you will return for a visit.  Someday soon, God willing, I will make it to England to visit your University.  Every glass of wine I drink, I share with you.  There is a LOT of snow in Steamboat Springs waiting for us.

Sharon, I hope your cable Internet is up soon.  I look for your missive every day.

Betty, Stay warm in Billings.  Thanks for visiting my journal and leaving comments.

Kara, My oldest son was born in Tucson.  I think of Arizona every winter, in fact, all winter!  Enjoy this time of life.  The children grow up so fast.  I often wonder, "where are my little boys?"

Darla, thanks for leaving your comments.  As with all the journal authors, I enjoy your post.

Best Holiday wishes to all!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

NASA and Santa



I just received this from Bruce Buckingham at NASA.

Your Tax dollars at work!


NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida has come to an agreement with the North Pole to permit Santa Claus and his reindeer exclusive use of the Shuttle Landing Facility on Christmas Eve.

The jolly fellow plans to use the runway as a rest stop on his global gift-delivery run. Since Kennedy employees have never seen Santa during his past visits, they'll closely watch the runway in hopes of catching a glimpse of him this year.

This is not the first time the agency has opened one of its most recognizable facilities for outside use. Kennedy recently agreed to allow two civilian businesses to use the shuttle's runway and its facilities, as part of a pilot program to expand runway access for non-NASA activities.

During Santa's brief stop at Kennedy on Christmas Eve, he hopes to take an up-close look at the facilities that will help return humans back to the moon and eventually on to Mars.

"Santa has often said he envies NASA's beyond-Earth-orbit journeys,"

said Ima Elf, lead engineer in Santa's workshop. "He prefers traveling with his reindeer, but Santa has great interest in NASA's space vehicles. He can't wait for humans to be stationed on the moon so he can make his first legitimate visit there. He has his own Vision for Space Exploration and hopes to have an annex shop on the lunar North Pole in the future."

For more information about NASA and agency programs on the Web, visit:


Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Winter Solstice


Milo and I were greeted with this sunrise as we left for our walk this morning.  It is looking southeast (Duh).  The cold, cold weather has broken and it is nice enough to walk for a half an hour without freezing!  Bob stopped the school bus and handed Milo a treat.  I handed Bob a bag of cookies.  (You will never guess where I acquired them!)  All the kids in the school bus waved as they drove off.  You could sense the excitement of the upcoming Christmas vacation.

I have been waiting for this day for months.  The days finally start getting longer.  Sounds like a good reason for a party.  Wouldn't you know it, one of the Sunshine neighbors will be hosting a Solstice party tomorrow evening.  David owns a company that makes Mead, a honey beer.  He is from the same community I lived in when I lived in Maryland.  Let's hear it for Owings Mills, Maryland! Sounds like another good excuse for a party!


Monday, December 19, 2005

Milos Christmas gift to you


While Milo and I were out on our morning walk, I asked him what he wanted to give all of the J-land buddies for Christmas.  We decided this picture of the Sunshine School house would be nice.  It was a cold 11 degrees.  Milo sends his Christmas Greetings to all!

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Christmas 1953...The first time I saw the real Santa


This is the picture my father put on our family Christmas card 1953.  I remember waking up hearing the sound of sleigh bells.  My mother knitted the Christmas stockings for the three boys.  Mom kept them until she died.  I still hang mine by the chimney, in her memory.

The house is full of the smell of Christmas cookies.  This afternoon the Sunshine ladies are meeting for their annual cookie exchange.  The guys are NOT invited.  That's OK because a huge plate of mixed cookies will return home!  Mary is hosting the party this year.  2PM, mountain time.  The cookies will be home about 5.   Yum, Yum!

Deb's birthday party was a lot of fun.  Atrie played the piano and we sang Christmas carols.  3 of the 5 band (Blowtorch Hillbillys) members were there and expected to harmonize.  Now that was something to see.  hehehehe  There must have been at least 50 people in attendance.

CBS Sunday Morning had an interesting segment by Ben Stein.  It touched on the "Happy Holiday, Merry Christmas" issue.  Way to go Ben! 

Saturday, December 17, 2005

More things going on in Sunshine


Holiday Greetings once more.  Tonight is Deb's 50th birthday party.  It looks like the whole neighborhood will be there.  Deb isn't letting the fact that the big five-o has arrived bother her.  She ran in the Chicago marathon and will take on the Boston marathon next. 

It's 9 degrees and snowing.  I'm thankful that we haven't had too much snow.  I sometimes have to deal with the snow plow driving by and blocking my driveway with a pile of snow.  That event always happens just after I have cleared the driveway (One of Murphy's laws).

Last night's wine tasting was quite a bit of fun.  There were about twenty of the neighbors in attendance.   Melissa had a table set up with three Pinot's in bags.  One was from California, one from Oregon and one from Burgundy.  We were to try to guess which one was from the respective country.  Only three people made the correct choice.  The dining room table had ten other Pinot's for us to taste.  One of the wines my uncle sent me was chosen as the best.  Oh yes, I'm glad we live close enough to walk home.

Keep smiling and "alway look on the bright side of life."

Friday, December 16, 2005

Caroling through J-Land


Hey, this is fun!  I love meeting new friends (J-Land buddies)  Thanks for stopping by.  I'll let Milo know you were here.

 My favorite Christmas song is "Caroling, Caroling" by Nat King Cole.


To participate: 

1) Make an entry titled "Caroling Through J-Land" with these same instructions so others can play along.

2) Visit as many journals as you can and look for their entry titled "Caroling Through J-Land". Leave the title of your favorite carol, along with your name and link to your journal for other carolers.

3) Spread the word so we all can meet new friends and spread some Christmas cheer!

4) Caroling ends this Sunday night at midnight to give everyone plenty of time to make the rounds.

Happy Caroling and Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Morning walk


It's far to cold to go for our walk this morning.  The cold isn't to bad but the wind chased me inside to the treadmill.  Milo doesn't mind.  He follows me anywhere I go.

Tomorrow (Friday) I will be attending a wine tasting party.  Jan and I have joined four other couples for a once a month wine tasting.  We started last summer and have tasted only whites.  Tomorrow we are going to do Pinot Noir and cheese.  My uncle owns a wine shop in Portland, OR and has been kind enough to send me three bottles of Oregon wine.  I can't wait!  If you note, I said "I" am attending.  Jan has her staff party tomorrow evening.  Hopefully she will be finished in time to join us.  When I told my band buddy, Steve, that I was going alone he responded, Ah ha.....Stag....time for some Hai Karate and bling, bling!  Had me laughing!



Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Tagged by Sharon



Sharon was nice enough to tag me.

Name 10 things that make you happy and want to dance (in no particular order)  Then you have to tag 5 people to do the same.

1.  My Wife

2. My boys (both of them)

3. A working car with a full tank of gas.

4.  Hot apple pie with a scoop of vanilla ice cream dripping down the side.

5.  Good music of any genre.

6.  Giving a smile and receiving one in return.

7.  Skiing in the spring.

8. Walking Milo, our dog.

9. Conversing with a long lost friend.

10. Fishing in Wyoming.

You are tagged: 






Sorry if you have been tagged before.  My known number of J-buddies is small.



Sunday, December 11, 2005

Sunday Morning


Yesterday was Don and Marty's Christmas tree cutting party.  They always have a big turn out and still have plenty of trees left over.

I love quiet Sunday mornings.  I'm usually the first one out of bed, fix myself a hot cup of English Breakfast tea and nestle in to watch "CBS Sunday Morning".  I've watched it almost without interruption since it's inception in the early 80's  It's not an hour and a half of bad news.  They cover many very interesting topics.  By the time the show is over, I hear others stirring around the house.  I put on some quiet jazz and move into the kitchen and start a pot of coffee. 

After breakfast, Milo and I head off for our morning walk.  I don't usually stop and put the flag up on the weekend.  Exceptions would be any national holidays that would fall on a Saturday or Sunday.  I usually have to grab Milo's lease on the weekends.  Because we are walking later in the day, there are several other walking.  One group (there are usually 4-6) has their dogs with them.  Milo is not a mean dog but he is still very young (21months) and loves to "play".  He is also very large.  I don't want to cause any hard feeling with the neighbors so the lease go on if there are others around. "Others"....sounds like "LOST' doesn't it.

A group of us are talking about holding our church services at the school house.

Just a quick not on Audie.  She finished her fourth chemo session on Thursday and is feeling much better today.  We are still waiting for all of her hair to fall out. We will have no idea what the cancer is doing until sometime in January.  Thanks for all of your prayers.

Congratulations to Deb.  I hope to have the process of receiving her "Turtle" card in the mail this week.

Thursday, December 8, 2005

Are you a Turtle?



The Turtle Creed

Turtles are bright eyed, bushy tailed, fearless and unafraid folk with a fighter pilot attitude.  They think clean, have fun a lot, and recognize the fact that you never get any place in life without you stick your neck out.

The "Turtles" are indeed an illustrious group and include in their membership ranks some of the country's foremost leaders in the fields of government, finance, entertainment, aerospace and all other areas where aggressiveness, a feeling of fair play, clean thoughts and a sense of humor are keys to success.

So.......Are you a Turtle?

There is really only one correct answer to that question.  Might I suggest you visit for a hint.

Also is the homepage.

Wednesday, December 7, 2005

Coldest day of the far


WOW.....It's cold in Sunshine.  Minus eight (-8) by my outdoor thermometer (low was -18.4).  When it snows, I make sure that I get up early.  I have plenty of tasks to get the family out the door and on their way to school and work.  I usually sweep or shovel the walk out to the cars, start the car(s) and then sweep the snow from the top of them.  Sometimes I have to scrape the frost off the windows.   Oh..... to have a garage again.

It's cold outside. cold is it?

The snow "crunches" when you walk on it (it actually squeaked today).

My ski jacket sounded like Christmas wrapping paper when it moved.

The dogs only stayed outside ten minutes

The sun rose over the eastern horizon with a red glow telling Milo, Malcom and I that, although cold, it is still a beautiful day.  I like to say that "everyday is a good day, some are just better than others".  As Dad Says, SMILE!

Monday, December 5, 2005

Burrr No Morning walk today


A gracious good day to you.  It is SIX degrees outside with wind gusts of sixty miles an hour.  The wood burning stove is working very well and we are warm and cozy inside.  Milo doesn't seem to care about the outdoor tempature.  When I opened the door, he did his usually romp, looking for someone to play with.  He stayed outside for half an hour before he wanted to come in and eat breakfast.

Yesterday afternoon we dug out all of the Christmas decorations.  It was a great day for any task that can be complete indoors.  We put on the Christmas music and heated up the hot chocolate.  My wife, Janice and I had single adult lives before we were married.  We each brought our own Christmas decorations into the marriage.  The decorations have merged nicely but Janice likes to decorate the tree.  So do I.  So while sharing a bottle of wine, we decorate two trees, one upstairs and one downstairs.  It works out well.  I have the lights on both trees on a timer.  Usually one of the boys turns the lights on for the first time.  The boys are getting older and this year, the job of lighting the tree was mine.  The house is very festive.  Somehow, a couple of presents have magically appeared under the upstairs tree.

Stay warm, smile and, as we say in the fire department, BE SAFE!

Sunday, December 4, 2005

A smile

I know these have been around awhile.  My friend, Terrell sent them to me this morning and I thought I'd share.  I thought of Dad when I saw the word SMILE.  I need a smile today.  It' noon, 19 degrees, windy and snowing!  A good day to stay inside next to the wood burning stove and read a good book.  Today it is "Doc Susie, MD"  a story about a woman doctor in the early 1900's in the Colorado Rockies.

You can't read this and stay in a bad mood!

Have a nice day!

1. How Do You Catch a Unique Rabbit?
Unique Up On It.

2. How Do You Catch a Tame Rabbit?
Tame Way, Unique Up On It.

3. How Do Crazy People Go Through The Forest?
They Take The Psycho Path.

4. How Do You Get Holy Water?
You Boil The Hell Out Of It.

5. What Do Fish Say When They Hit a Concrete Wall?

6. What Do Eskimos Get From Sitting On The Ice too Long?

7. What Do You Call a Boomerang That Doesn't work?
A Stick.

8. What Do You Call Cheese That Isn't Yours?
Nacho Cheese.

9. What Do You Call Santa's Helpers?
Subordinate Clauses.

10. What Do You Call Four Bullfighters In Quicksand?
Quattro Sinko.

11. What Do You Get From a Pampered Cow?
Spoiled Milk.

12. What Do You Get When You Cross a Snowman With a Vampire?

13.. What Lies At The Bottom Of The Ocean And Twitches?
A Nervous Wreck.

14. What's The Difference Between Roast Beef And Pea Soup?
Anyone Can Roast Beef.

15. Where Do You Find a Dog With No Legs?
Right Where You Left Him.

16. Why Do Gorillas Have Big Nostrils?
Because They Have Big Fingers.

17. Why Don't Blind People Like To Sky Dive?
Because It Scares The Dog.

18. What Kind Of Coffee Was Served On The Titanic?

19. Why Did Pilgrims' Pants Always Fall Down?
Because They Wore Their Belt Buckle On Their Hat.

20. What's The Difference Between a Bad Golfer And a Bad Skydiver?
A Bad Golfer Goes Whack, Dang!
A Bad Skydiver Goes Dang! Whack.

Now, admit it. At least one of these made you smile

Saturday, December 3, 2005

Morning walk

I call this my morning walk because I usually write it in the morning, after Milo and I return from our walk.  This morning my wife joined us!  Aren't Saturdays wonderful!

The neighborhood party at Frank and Madeline's was a huge success.  They had it catered with appetizers, cocktails, beer, wine, soda, PRIME RIB and deserts. The hillbillies played and had a few neighborhood members stand in with the band. There were about 60 people in attendance.  Our new neighbors from Ireland were there.  Frank and Madeline's house is nestled back in the woods with a beautiful lighted flagstone walk leading up to their front door.  As the party was ending and folks were starting to leave, it started to snow.  It was a beautiful ending to an otherwise perfect evening.

The next organized Sunshine event will be the News Years Eve party.

We moved the two smallest fire trucks into the new firehouse.  We are going to wait for the new pavement to "cure" a little more before we move the new fire truck full of water.  There is a picture of the beautiful new truck on my Sept 19th entry.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Morning walk

Good Morning!  Milo and I started down the drive way this morning, facing the rising sun. It was a cool 28 degrees with only a slight breeze.  When we arrived at the school house to raise the flag I was looking at something I had never seen before.  A snow shower was moving over the foothills to the west.  The red sun was shining on the oncoming snow.  The sky was RED!  The whole sky.  It was absolutely beautiful.  An old friend once told me a sailors quote "Red sky at night, Sailors delight, Red sky in the morning, Sailors warning".  How true.  It snowed on Milo and I for the remainder of our 25 minute walk.  By the time we arrived home there was an inch of snow on the ground.

OK, lets talk about the band (playing Friday night at Frank and Madeline's).  They are called the Blowtorch Hillbillies. OK, we.....I'm the drummer.  We play old school rock (60's and 70's).  We are talking about changing our name.  I like the Sunshine Canyon Band---Wild Mountain Rock.  We have come up with about 20 different names.  The worst one was "Bunko Bachlors" because all of our wife's play bunko together.  What do you think?  Do you have any good names for an over 50 rock group?

Monday, November 28, 2005

Sunshine activity

As promised when I began my blog, I am to mention things going on in Sunshine.  Friday night there will be a holiday party at Frank and Madeline's.  I guess it's OK to mention the event as it was published in the Sunshine Fire Protection District's newsletter.  There WILL BE LIVE MUSIC at the event.  Our local Sunshine Canyon Band the "Blowtorch Hillbillies" will be supplying the melodious tunes.  More on that later......

Speaking of the firehouse, they paved the apron and the parking area around the new firehouse.  Hopefully we will be able to use the facility soon!

Sunday, November 27, 2005

Not bothering a soul.

Cheyenne was built along the Union Pacific Railroad tracks.  As the state of Wyoming grew, Cheyenne became the capitol.  Capitol Ave., one of the main streets, has the Union Pacific station on the south end and the state capitol building on the north end.  Adjacent to the station (west) are the stock yards where livestock is kept before loading them onto a train.  North of the station and across the street is a hotel with a bar on the street level.

When I was in college I use to hang out in the bar.  One night I had a little too much to drink and decided to sleep a little.  I walked around the corner and down a block and laid down in the gutter just across from the stock yard.  A short time later, a pig who must have broken loose from the stock yard, wandered by and lay down in the gutter next to me. 

We (the pig and I) were just laying there, not bothering a soul.  Well, this high-tone lady who was staying in the hotel, took a wrong turn and wondered down the street past us.  I woke up just in time to hear her say "You can tell someone who boozes by the company he chooses" and you know, the pig got up and walked away!

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Our Morning walk

It was a very quiet walk this morning.  It seems that most of our neighbors are either gone or sleeping in.  Milo and I had to walk off our Thanksgiving dinner this morning.  I was telling Milo (like he really understands) about my Thanksgiving dinners as a child.  I was born and raised in Cheyenne, Wyoming so cold and snow has almost always been associated with the holiday.  My grandparents moved to Cheyenne in the early 1920's.  They had two children, my aunt Pant and my father.  The family would always gather for a turkey feast. What I remember most is the adults at one table and the seven kids at another.  My uncle Bud would have a football game on the black and white TV set.  Only two of the grandchildren remain in Cheyenne today.  Everyone is creating their own memories for their children and grandchildren

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Morning walk with the mayor

Milo and I ran into Chris in front of the school house this morning.  Chris has lived in sunshine almost forever.  Although Sunshine is not incorporated any more, Chris is known as the Mayor.  He was telling me about an event that happened just the other evening.  Some of the neighbor hood dogs were barking.  That is nothing unusual, as they bark at the bears an other wild animals.  The other night, the barks sounded different.  He couldn't put his finger on it, just different.

Since the dogs were keeping him awake, he decided to go out into the woods and investigate.  He grabbed his high power flashlight and his rifle and started walking.  He walked back into the woods, not following any known path. There he found the dogs.  They were at the base of a tree, barking.  He raised his flashlight to see what was in the tree above him.  Looking down on him was a mountain lion.

The next morning Chris went looking for his rifle and flashlight.  He said they weren't to hard to find.  He just looked for the place where the smell took him.  Right there at the base of a tree, where he messed his pants!

Monday, November 21, 2005

Morning walk

Saturday we took a drive to Colorado Springs to see Mark.  Mark is leaving the 1st of December for Iraq and has been training at Fort Carson.  We had lunch in the Springs and then headed up the canyon and around to the west side of Pikes peak.  We spent the afternoon at Cripple Creek.  We all  had a great time.  We ask for all your prayers for marks safety.  He will be returning in July.

It is a beautiful morning for a walk.  The temperature is in the mid forties and the sky is a clear blue with only the jet con-trails above.  Milo seems to be feeling better.  He is still injured, but is showing signs of improvement.  Although he can't see out of one eye he romps and jumps and stays by my side while we walk.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Morning walk

Milo stayed home this morning.  He's not feeling well and I thought it best he stay home.  It is a cool morning, 24 degrees and the winds are calm.  I raised the flag to the top and then down to half staff.  Last Friday the Gov. declared that in honor of all of the fallen veterans, the flag would fly at half staff through Sunday,  Nov. 20.  Bob drove by in the school bus and wondered about Milo.

I met Dr. Paul in front of the school.  He had his two dogs, Twa and Silka.  He joined me.  I think all the dogs were out this morning.  Plato, Maui and Bear greeted us with tails a wagging.  Berta (black lab) wanted us to play with a ball and Nuka wanted a treat.

We talked about personal interactions.  So often it is easy to become "comfortable " in a relationship.  It is also human nature to slide into a situation where one will complain instead of give complements.  Why is it so many people spend all day complaining? Cause and effect is a law of nature.  If I wake up in the morning and say "It's going to be a bad day, it will be! I've already made up my mind.  Dr. Paul and I discussed how important it is to remember the love in a relationship.  We both find ourselves associating with individuals who have a positive, expectant attitude.  We associate with people who expect good things to happen.  And remember to smile.

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Morning Walk

Milo and I started down the driveway and decided to return and use the treadmill this morning.  The sky was a beautiful blue.  The temperature was a cool 23 degrees.  The thing that changed our mind was the wind.  Unfortunately, on windy days, I do not raise the flag at the school house.  The flags last longer that way.  I am on my third flag since I started my flag raising in late March.

Here is a columbine from my garden.  I'm glad they bloom in the spring.  The deer leave them alone with so much other food around.

WOW, I just noticed AOL has added a spell checker!  What a country!

Monday, November 14, 2005

Non-Morning Walk

A Gracious Good Day!  Janice is in Arizona until Tuesday night so the boys and I are bachelors.  Jan usually takes Mike to school on her way to work.  That task is on my shoulders today and tomorrow.  That would usually be "no big deal" but I've been working in the home office since March.  I've gone for three weeks without getting behind the wheel of the car.  My former commute was 40 miles of bumper to bumper traffic so this morning drive should not be an issue.  The trip this morning left me with mixed feelings.  Glad to get out of the house, happy to return.

Plans are being made for the Sunshine New Years Eve.  For many years we had a party at the Sunshine School House.  The last three year we participated in a progressive dinner.  We start out with cocktails at our house, dinner at Steve and Dee's and then desert at Lisa and Steve's.  Lisa and Steve have a very nice hot tub but with the tempature in the teens and the wind blowing, only the hardiest have partaken.

Snow in the forcast for this afternoon and evening.  High in the 40's, low in the teens.

Here's a picture of a spring snow from the archives.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Veterns Day

Milo and I had a quiet walk this morning.  Once more he sat at attention as I raised the American Flag at the Sunshine School House.  It was a mild 50 degrees. the weatherman is calling for rain and snow (above 9000 feet).  We'll see about that!

This is my personal salute to my family members who served in the U.S.Military.

Lt. John Wheeler was there at Lexington.  He went on to serve at Dorchester Heights, Ticonderoga and Crown Point under Ethan Allen

Isreal McBee who served at the Battle of Kings Mountain (Revolutionary War)

Johnathon Branch (Civil War - Tennessee)

C.O. Wheeler (1st World War)

COL D.J.Wheeler (WW2, Korea, VietNam)

I prefer not to mention my personal service (six years1965-1971).  All I will say is I am proud of the boys and men serving today.  They can walk and hold their heads high.  They are applauded as they walk through airports.  Unlike, as my neighbor Wayne and I have experienced, the treatment we received.  We didn't wear our uniforms in public in fear of being spit upon.

To my father, who I miss very much, I salute you.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Malcom, my protector

I decided to seperate the pictures of Milo and Malcom.  It's time to meet Malcom.  She is a mix of black lab and german shepard.  She has the lab personality and makes friends with everyone.  She loves to play "fetch" and and owns a box of "Squeeky" toys.  She's twelve.

Late last summer she and I were out on our morning walk.  As we neared the old firehouse she started barking and  took off running in a dead run.  She turned and ran up hill about 15 feet. She stopped about 15 feet for a black bear.  That puts the bear facing me with about 30 feet between us. The bear turned and Malcom retreated to be next to me.  We kept walking.  As we drew closer to the fire house, I turned to check on the bear.  It was walking over the hill.  All I could see was the tail end, the best end to see.

Milo and Malcom hang together.  They play and romp.  They sleep together.  The other morning they were both outside my office window, barking.  I rose to see what was happening and there was a bear crossing the creek. I'm glad they stay close to the house.  There wouldn'd be much of a contest.  I'm afraid the 400 pound bear would be the winner.

A Mouse Story

One of my Sunshine neighbors, Maggie, works in one of the high-rise buildings in downtown Denver.  She leaves Sunshine around 6:30 in the morning, Monday thru Friday.  She drives down Sunshine Canyon Drive, thru Boulder and onto US 36, the Boulder Turnpike.  It’s still called the turnpike even though the toll booths were removed many years ago.  Her drive continues onto Interstate 25 and then on Spear Boulevard into Downtown Denver.  It is a 35 mile drive that takes about 55 minutes on a good day.

            Her office is on the 48th floor.  There are 35 people sharing the small space, crammed into small cubicles.  There is a large open space where all of the workers share three FAX machines and two copiers.  There is also a large bank of filing cabinets.  Maggie told me a story about an incident involving a mouse last week.  One of the file clerks opened a filing cabinet drawer and saw a mouse.  She jumped, uttered the appropriate shriek and slammed the drawer.  She immediately ran to her desk and called the building maintenance department to report the incident.

            Fifteen minutes later a maintenance worker appeared.  He checked every filing cabinet, inside and out.  He could not find the mouse.  The mouse was probably just as frightened as the clerk and left soon after the drawer slamming.  With other jobs to do, the maintenance worker asked the clerk to sign the work order “completed”.  The clerk refused, saying she wouldn’t sign until she saw him remove the mouse.  The maintenance worker said “Listen lady, the work order says ‘chase mouse’ not ‘produce mouse’ and I did that”.  The file clerk thought about it for a minute and then signed the work order.  The mouse hasn’t been seen since.


It's a beautiful warm morning in Sunshine.  It was 50 degrees when Milo and I took our walk.  We stopped at the school house and raised the American flag.  Milo sat at attention and then was rewarded with a treat.  Once more, Bob , the school bus driver stopped and threw a treat out the bus window to a waiting Milo.  We are looking for a high of 70, very rare for a November in the Colorado rockies.

Sunday, November 6, 2005

Milo, The wonder dog

I guess it is time to introduce Milo.  He is my constant companion.  My brother-in-law and his dog were staying with us for a few months.  His dog lived outside all year long.  She became pregnant and had her six puppies outside in the winter.  One was still born and the rest lived.  We fell in love with the little brown and white male.  My youngest son, Michael promised he would take care of the puppy so we kept him. He is 18 months old. 

His mother left with my brother-in-law and I don't know if Milo ever missed her.  He has bonded with the family and is a very lovable part of the family.  I have been asked why I call him my wonder dog.  If you look at his ears, one stands up and the other flops down.  I wonder why.  One of my sunshine neighbors has told us that the ones who made him forgot to put the wire in his ear.

He has a very keen sense of smell.  I have seen him pick up the sent of a bear long before I could see it.  I have another dog, Malcom.  I'll share some thoughts on her in a later blog.

Thursday, November 3, 2005

"Morning Walk Oct3

It is a blustery morning in Sunshine today. The winds are blowing down from the continental divide.  Milo, the wonder dog  and I decided to take our walk on the treadmill today.  I know he misses the school bus when we stay indoors.  Bob, the school bus driver usually has a treat for Milo.  Milo even stops walking, sits and waits for the bus when he hears it coming.

I haven't seen any bears in some time now.  I would like to think they are hibernating but Milo lets me know otherwise.

For my friends who would like to know how my mother-in-law is doing, she is in good spirits.  I made a CD of her favorite country classics for her yesterday.  Before dinner we were all singing to David Frizzel, "I'm Going to Hire Me A Wino to Decorate My House".  She is undergoing her second Chemo treatment today.

My thoughts and prayers are with The Zwonitzer Family in Cheyenne, Wyoming today.  Chester was 88 when he passed away.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Saturday's walk in the park

Saturday, just after noon, I found myself in the park behind Boulder High School.  The Maple trees were holding onto their yellow, orange and red colors.  It was cool and overcast with a chance of rain in the forecast.  Walking on the creek path, going in the opposite direction, was my Sunshine neighbor, Jane.  She was wearing a light jacket and had her brunette hair tied back in a pony tail.  She had a rather strange look on her face.

            I asked her what she had been up to lately.  She said she had been fighting the computer system at the State Department of Transportation.  She had recently applied for a new driver’s license that had to be mailed to her.  When it arrived she looked at it for a quick review.  Jane told me that the giant electronic wizard, the know-it-all IBM master computer; the savior of the massive amounts of data that the state holds on us made a small mistake.  Her license had her date of birth correct, had her hair and eye color correct; even her weight and height correct.  Everything was correct except her name.  Her license called her John instead of Jane.

She immediately called the Department of Transportation and informed them of the mistake.  The person on the other end of the phone said she had the correct form to deal with the issue and would promptly mail it to Jane.  It arrived the next day.  Jane completed the form and returned it.  Two days later an envelope arrived.  Enclosed was a sticker to be attached to the back of thedriver’s license.  It states that, in the eyes of the state, her name has officially been changed from John to Joan.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Oktoberfest October 15

Today Wayne and Hildegard hosted Oktoberfest.  It is only fitting that they hosted as Hildegard is a native of Germany.  The local band, The Blowtorch Hillbillies played well into dark.  There was food and beer, more food and beer and yes, food and beer.


The next neighborhood event will be the Halloween party at the school house.  The event usually starts with a children’s party.  There are various stations with games for the children to participate in.  There has always been a haunted hayride up to the Sunshine Cemetery and back.  Two year in a row there was a play that the adults participated in reliving some old and factious Sunshine history.  For many years the children’s party was followed up by a pot-luck dinner and then an adult party.  This year, we are going to have an open microphone stage and adult party.  No talent is required to participate.

Monday, October 10, 2005

First snow of the season, 2005

5" of snow at first light this morning.  Needless to say, Milo and I took our walk on the treadmill.  The road has a tendancy to get rather muddy on days like this.  The TV news people make such a BIG DEAL over the first snow.  It's kind of funny to watch.  5" of snow in January will not be much of a story.  Oh well..........  It is a pretty sight.

Tuesday, October 4, 2005

Sunshine October 4 Morning walk

It was chilly this morning as Milo and I took our walk.  A cold front has moved in from the northeast.  Fingers of fog quietly moved up the foothills until it overcame the town of Sunshine.

I found a couple of interesting sites about Sunshine.

Colorado ghost towns:

Sunshine Fire Protection District:

Monday, October 3, 2005

October 3 Morning walk

Spring and fall are short seasons at 7200’.   Today we are in the mid 80’s.  They are calling for a chance of snow on Wednesday.  The aspens and cottonwoods are all a bright yellow.  They add a splash of color to the green pine and spruce trees.  We usually have a pretty good cold snap and then move into a beautiful Indian summer.


Last year we completed the community volleyball court.  There is a small picnic area next to the court. We will be adding a horseshoe pit next year.  I don’t think we kept score at any of this year’s games.  We play for fun.  Mountain volleyball adds a new dimension to the game.  If anyone hits the ball out of play it could cause someone to chase the ball down the mountain.  That is usually one of the kids who is wearing shoes.  While the ball is being retrieved, most of the game participants leave the court and find their beverages.  We will be taking the net down in the next couple of weeks.


If you look real hard at the picture, you can see my buddy, Milo, the wonder dog.  He still can’t hold the flag while I fold it but he does keep the bears away.


The volleyball court is behind the new fire station and below the cemetery.  Speaking of the fire station, they installed the doors last week.  Hopefully we will be ready to occupy the building soon.


The next planned event is the Halloween party at the school house.  It will take place on October 29th.  More on that later.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Sept 28

Today is cool and damp.  The air is calm.  Milo and I had a great walk. Bob had a treat for Milo as he drove by in the School Bus.

The craft fair at the school house went very well.  There were shoppers there on both Saturday and Sunday.  There was pottery, paintings, blown glass, jewelry, Fresh Honey, Christmas decorations and much, much more.  This year vendors even set up outside the school house.

Our neighbor, Paul, is the Director of the American HomeBrewers Association ( ).  Pauls organization puts on the Beer Fest every year.  It is a national event, with beers from all over the country.  This year 380 breweries and 1,669 beers will be there.  Many Sunshine residents will be attending the annual Beer Fest at the Denver Convention Center.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Morning Walk Sept 22

Have you ever gone camping in the forest or walked through the woods after it rained?  It rained last night and my walk had that “clean and alive” smell.  Half way through the walk the school bus passed.  Bob threw Milo a biscuit and all the kids waved.  The sky was clear blue and the waning moon shown brightly overhead.


Gold was found in Sunshine in 1873.  In 1876 there were 1,200 residents and the population of Sunshine was greater than Boulder (a statistic that did not last long).  By the beginning of the First World War, the mining had played out and most of the residents of Sunshine had moved on.  Although most of the people were gone the mine tunnels and shafts were still here.  At that time there were no requirements that the land be reclaimed.

When I first visited my wife’s family in Sunshine, Janice’s father wanted to show me around.  Harry took Janice, David Bashford, his dog, Benny and I on a tour.  We come upon one of the open mine holes above the house.  It looked to be about 50 feet deep.  We were all standing around talking about the dangers of the mine holes when Benny came running up the hill.  He didn’t see the hole in time and took a leap into the air.  I’ll never forget the look on his face. It was the “Oh Sh--, what have I done” look.  He made a 180 degree turn and started pawing as he slid down the edge of the hole.  Fortunately there was a ledge about 20 feet down and he stopped there.  Harry ran down to the house and grabbed a long rope.  He repelled down the side and brought Benny back up to safety.  Since that day, we have called that the “Dog Hole”.

The Bureau of Mines has started a program of capping all of the old mine shafts.  Most of the holes and shafts in Sunshine have been capped (including the "Dog Hole").  We are still careful of anything that looks like a prospect hole, especially if it is covered with wood.  It’s a bad idea to walk across one.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Morning Walk Sept 19

I'm afraid the warm morning walks over until next summer.  There is no school today so the walk was rather quiet.  The only thing of interest was the fog on the plains.  Looking down on it, the fog looks like a blanket of cotton is lying on top of the plains.

Sunday, September 18, 2005

September 18

Yesterday afternoon we held our annual Community Fest at the fire department.  It is an annual fund raising event to help the fire department.  Our fire department is an all volunteer department.  I served on the committee for three years.  In that time, we purchased a new fire engine and started to build a new firehouse.  We kind of put the horse in front of the cart.  We purchased the engine before we had a place to put it.  The existing firehouse is way too small for the existing three trucks, let along a new engine.  Any way, that is another story.........back to the community fest.  I don't have the exact figures, but I would say around 150 people attended.  the event started at 2PM and ended around 6.  There was a pot luck dinner with three different types of chili.  There was iced tea supplied by Steve, Beer supplied by Danny, soda pop and water.  There were several new families in attendance.  It is a great opportunity to meet the neighbors.  Janice, Dee and Beth headed up the auction.  The auction raised around $8200 dollars, far short of last years record.  There was a record bid of $1000 for one of Hildegards pies!

Next week is the annual craft show at the Sunshine School House.  Many of the artisans in the Sunshine community participate.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

September 13

WOW, chilly this morning. 44 degrees when Milo and I returned from our walk.  This Saturday, Sept 17, The Sunshine Fire Protection District will be holding its annual Community Fest.  This is an annual fund raising project the community stages for the fire department.  Community members donate merchandise and baked goods that are auctioned off or given as door prizes.  The cost has been $20 per family.  There is a pot luck meal and plenty of drink to go around.  The fun part is the auction.  People actually bid $200 - $300 for a pie!  It is a tax-deductable donation and the money goes to support activites that benefit the entire community.

The 9-11 flag ceremony went well.  Linda and Tony supplied the coffee, tea, juice and snacks.  We rang the bell at 6:46 (I'm sure a segment of the neighborhood wondered why) and again at 7:02.  I raised the flag shortly ofter the first bell ringing.  We sang the National Anthem and said the Pledge of Allegiance.

Audie and her husband, Harry, are off for Nebraska to visit her sister.   She will probably start Kemo when she returns.


Friday, September 9, 2005

Morning walk Sept 9

What a beautiful morning in Sunshine!  64 degrees, wind calm, scattered clouds in an otherwise clear blue sky! What a joy to be alive!  Milo, my wonder dog, and I started our walk just after 7am.  Once more, we raised the flag at the school house to full staff, then half staff.  I did not realize how many of the neighbors watched the flag daily.  I received several calls last night as to why the flag was at half staff.  As I folded the flag last night I was thinking.....I need to teach wonder dog how to hold one end of the flag while I fold it.

Just past the old fire house, Milo stopped in the middle of the road and refused to move.  Just in front of me about 50 Black-Billed Magpies took flight.  I watched for something to move, always being vigilant of bears.  Nothing moved except me.  We continued to the fork in the road and paused for a doggie treat.  I looked east toward the horizon.  There were two hot air ballons high above Boulder.  This has to be one of the few places you can look down to see balloons in flight.  On the return trip, Bob had a treat for Milo.

We have a fun neighborhood.  Every friday, someplace, it always changes, someone hosts a Friday Afternoon Club (FAC). At least, that is what I call it.   Some just call it Friday Happy Hour. Last week it was at Steve and Lisa's house.  Tonight Madoka and David are hosting.  The whole neighborhood is invited and the turnout is usually very good.

I guess I should explain that Sunshine is a mountain community, about 16 square miles with around 230 houses.  We have multimillion dollar houses and old miner shacks. We sit high above the city of Boulder, Colorado.  Almost every night you can see the Milky Way.

Audie stayed out late last night.  The Sunshine Babes played bunko until around 10PM.  The theme was 60's - 70's hippies.  I would like to have seen that, but they won't let the men anywhere near.  Audie is feeling well this morning.

Did you ever wonder why, if you fly 1st class, your luggage is not unloaded 1st?

Thursday, September 8, 2005

Sept 8 morning walk

Milo (My mixed breed mutt) and I started our morning walk around 7AM.  The morning sky was still pink, following a spectular sunrise. After waving good-bye to the wife and son, we walked down the long driveway onto the main road.  We stop at the Sunshine school house every morning and raise the American flag.  The School house was built in 1900 and is no longer used as a school, but as a community gathering place.  This morning the flag went up to full staff and then down to half-staff in memory of Chief Justice William Rehnquist.  This will continue until Sunset, Tuesday, Sept 13th.  Milo was rewarded with a doggy bisquit and we marched on.  We passed the spot where we were greeted by a black bear a few weeks before and walked to the fork.  On the way back, the school bus passed us.  Bob, the driver, usually has a treat for Milo, but not this morning.  He just waved and kept going.  Milo usually sits when he hears the school bus coming. He knows there is going to be a treat.  This morning, I gave him one out of my own pocket.

My mother and father in-law live with us in the summer.  They are "snow-birds" and move to Arizona in the late fall, and return in May.  My mother-in-law, Audie, was just diognosed with Cancer.  She is in good spirits.

Sunday morning the community is gathering at the school house at 6:30 AM.  We will ring the bell and raise the flag, all in rememberance of 9-11.  The bell will ring once at 6:45 and then again at 7:03, the times the planes hit the world trade center.