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.