Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Fire Houses



Sunshine Fire Station #2 at dusk.  Yes, that is snow on the ground.

Milo and I took our usual morning walk.  It was a beautiful spring morning.  We raised the colors and honored our soldiers, vets and families.  This morning Milo was joined by Plato and Maui.....all sitting at attention.  It's spring break so there was no school bus.  This morning Milo left my side and wandered up to the shell of the burnt out fire house. (For some reason, as serious as the fire was,  I still chuckle when I think about a fire department losing it's fire house).  I told him I should make a few entries in the ole' journal and follow the re-construction of Station no. 1.


Station #1 The mess is all cleaned up.  We'll just have to watch as it is rebuild.

I don't think I have posted any pictures of the new firehouse since the doors were installed.  It was finished just in the nick of time.  The original plans were to house one of the four trucks in station #1 and the other three in station #2.  All four are in station #2 and it's a little crowded.


Station #2 at dusk.

I know it's just a fire house, but the fire department is part of the community.  Almost everyone in Sunshine has either been a member, or supported the organization in some way.

Enough for now. Watch for upcoming posts.  Things to be covered are mountain volleyball and the summer solstice ya-ya sister, (whatever it's called) get together at Hog Hollow.

Smiles, David

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Einstein and Mom


Einstein and his Mom

Several years ago we were suffering from a severe drought.  My neighbor, Bob, felt that the bears were starving and starting feeding them.  There were stories about the bears breaking into peoples houses and raiding the refrigerators at all times of the day and night.

  There are several things you can do to keep the bears away.  The first is not to leave trash outside.  Bears have a great sense of smell and will travel a great distance to dig through someone's trash.  Bears also love bird feeders.  So...no bird feeders.  We have one but it's two stories up and hanging out over the lawn.  We had a bear try to visit the bird feeder once.  I think he hurt himself when he fell....he's never been back!

The second thing is to have a couple of good barking dogs.  I should say a couple of good barking dogs that don't sleep when a bear does visit.

It's also a good idea not to leave the kitchen door open when you go to bed.  The bears won't come into the yard if there are people around.  They are more afraid of us, then we are of them.  But leave the kitchen door open with all of that good smelling, juicy food in the refrigerator....Mummmm, Mummm.  You know, they will even push the thing over to get into it.  What a mess that makes on the floor!

Well, back to Bob.  I think all of the Sunshine neighbors will agree that the bears were starving.  When Bob started feeding them, the visits to our homes diminished.  Winter came and the bears hibernated.  The next spring the bears returned.  Fortunately there was plenty of food, but they don't forget an easy meal.  One of the bears brought her new cub with her.  Bob's wife, Ruby named it Einstein.

The Sheriff visited Bob and could not prove he was feeding the bears.  He warned him and gave him a good lecture about what might happen.  By this time the bears were back to eating their native foods, all except Einstein.  Unfortunately Bob passed away and is buriedin the Sunshine Cemetery.  Ruby still sees Einstein.  He is like a pet that comes and goes as he pleases.  She knows the dangers and does not feed him.

I drove by her house late last fall and she was out on her porch, broom in hand, swatting a bear on the butt.  I stopped to see if she was all right (yeah, like I was going to chase a bear).  As the bear ran away, she turned and laughed. The bear was blocking the door and she was just clearing the path. 

She has taken several pictures and sells them, in nice frames, at the school house art show.


Ruby and Coco

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Spring Golf

Milo and I headed down the driveway for our morning walk at 7:15 this morning.  It has been snowing since Saturday night.  That is three days of snow.  The storm has moved on.  The sky is showing blue through the breaking clouds.  We raised the flag and honored the soldiers.  Bob approached just as we were finished posting the colors.  He stopped just long enough to give Milo a treat.  We continued on to the fork.  This morning we saw Ruby.  She waved.  We took a moment to talk about the bears.  She is going to send me some photos of Einstein and his mom.  She just had to name the bears.  I will share them after I receive them.

My FIL and MIL are heading to Arizona for a couple of months.  They are leaving this weekend.  I'm going to fly to Phoenix next week to help them settle in and I'll return after a couple of days.  My FIL wants me to play a round of golf with him while I am down there.  I think it would be a good idea to practice before I leave.  I stopped this morning after walking at the Sunshine Meadows Golf Club to squeeze in 9 holes.  I don't want to look like a fool when I play.


This is the tee box for the 9th hole.  Don't ask me about the color of my GOLF balls!

Sunday, March 19, 2006

New books


I had a car in the driveway, some place I'm sure!

I don't believe I have posted two journal entries in one day before.  Here is a first!

Thursday evening, my phone rang....it was my neighbor, Pavel.  He was very excited.  The son and granddaughter of General Jimmy Doolittle had been on KOA radio talking about the General and the raid on Japan in 1942.  They were being joined by two of the surviving members; R.E. Cole (Doolittle's co-pilot) and Bill Bower (pilot of crew 12 and resident of Boulder).  They were giving a presentation at the church at the mouth of our canyon.  Pavel asked me if I would like to go with him, and being a veteran and history buff, I said yes.  It was an honor to be in the same room with them.  At the end of the presentation, there was a book signing.  So now I have two more books to read, "Calculated Risk, the extraordinary life of Jimmy Doolittle - Aviation pioneer and World War II hero" and "I Could Never Be So Lucky Again, the Autobiography of General James H. 'Jimmy' Doolittle".

This evening, at Jack and Donna's, my friend and neighbor, Gene Tidball gave me another book.  He wrote a book about his relative, Gen. John Tidball, U.S. Army, who graduated from West Point and saw action at Chancellorsville, Yorktown, Williamsburg, Gettysburg, Antietam and Petersburg.  It will be an honor to read; "The Life of John C. Tidball 'No disgrace to My Country'"

Speaking of Jack and Donna....We had a great time at their appreciation party for the Fire Department.  It was a fund raiser and it was very successful.  Our band played and if I may boast, we sounded pretty good.  One thing about living in a close-nit neighborhood.  Most of us have had something to do with the volunteer fire department, so when we get together, it is usually a pretty good party.  My MIL and FIL purchased a couple of cases of champagne to give to the volunteers.  We have a five or six bottles left over.  Do you have any ideas what we could do with them?

Time to bring in more firewood.  It looks like the storm is going tobe a good one.

Be safe and smile.



Please visit Emily

Today's a busy day in sunshine.  We received 6" of heavy, wet snow last night.  Looks like a foot or more coming in this evening.  There is a pleasent break between storms.  Jut in time for our community gathering at Jack and Donna's honoring the volunteers in our local fire dept.

I logged on this morning to read my mail.  I need to start moving the drum set to the car.  I really don't have a lot of time today, but one post caught my eye and I have to comment.  Please visit Emily's Journal. Emily's Purple Pages.  Her husband is serving in Iraq.  I am mentioning Tony's name at our daily flag ceremony.  There is a letter about a boy from Colorado who is receiving very little, if any mail.  I have been the boy who didn't receive any mail.

I have more to post but it will have to wait till tomorrow.  Be safe.


Wednesday, March 15, 2006

The weather man



South Boulder, The Sawtooth range and the continental divide in the winter.  Deb (Frosty Thoughts) has to look at this everyday.

Milo and I took our usual morning walk today.  We stopped at the school house and raised the US flag.  When we were finished with the flag raising, we remembered our friends and relatives.  Thanks to all of our J-land friends for the names.  We continued past fire station #1.  There has been a crew cleaning up the mess left by the fire.  The building is now just three cinder block walls and a concrete floor.  We walked to the fork and stopped for a treat.  Milo gets a reward for being a good dog.  As we approached the corner we could hear the school bus.  Milo's tail started wagging.  Bob stopped the bus just long enough to give Milo a treat.

We have been in a good weather pattern for several years.  We use to get heavy spring snow storms followed by warm, almost hot, days of melting.  For the past few years, it has been small storms followed by pleasant days.  The good ol' weather man is forecasting  heavy moisture for the next 6 weeks.  Back to the days of heavy, wet snows for the foothills, rain on the plains.  He said there is a good chance for a heavy spring blizzard this year. No wonder people throw soda pop at him (You had to see the movie).  I just hope a pray the roof doesn't cave in!.

I mention this because the first storm is going to hit this weekend.  Just in time for the fund raising party on Sunday at Jack and Donna's.  When I talked to Donna today, she said, "That's OK, we're hearty mountain folks!"  I would have to agree with her. (I hope)  It could easily snow several feet.

Audie (MIL)finished her 10th Chemo therapy session today.  It's time for a vacation.  We'll send Harry and Audie off to Arizona for a couple of months.  Thank you for all of your prayers.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Sunshine community announcement


The flag pole across the road from the school house.  Shilo (Milo's mom), Plato and Maui are at the base.

I have a brief community announcement for our neighbors in Sunshine.  Jack and Donna are hosting a fundraising event at their house next Sunday at 3PM.  We need to raise some funds to rebuild Fire Station Number 1.  It was destroyed by fire on February 10th.  We are also going to show our appreciation to the current fire fighters.

There will be food and beverage.  The local band, The Blowtorch Hillbillies, AKA Star Route (this week) will be playing.

Friday, March 10, 2006

It's been a cold winter in Nederland


Springtime in the Rockies.....At least the birds are happy!

Milo and I took our morning walk in the snow this morning.  We have about 8" of fresh snow today.  We walked to the school house and raised the American Flag.  This morning we honored the following:

Mark, Chester, DJ, Emily's Father, Tony, Don Trickey and our brothers in arms: All of the British troops currently servng in Iraq and the families of those who have died.

We continued our walk with the puppies, Maui and Plato.  Bob approached in the school bus and had treats for all the dogs.  He reminded me of an annual event that happens in Nederland, Colorado.  Here is a press clipping:

  Officially, springtime is not far away but Colorado winter fun is still in full force.  If you've never been to "FROZEN DEAD GUY DAYS",  hit the road for Nederland this weekend (March 10-12).   This winter festival celebrates the town's cryogenically frozen resident, Bredo Marstoe, with activities including pancake breakfasts, snow sculpting, a coffin race and lots more.  Get info at www.nederlandchamber.org.  


It's been a cold winter in Nederland.  For all of our friends who have moved out of Sunshine and are familiar with the event,  you know Frozen Dead Guy Days means Spring is just around the corner.  Keep smiling.  David

Thursday, March 9, 2006

Thursday Morning walk

Sunshine Schoolhouse flag at half-staff, Sept, 2005

Milo and I started our walk in the snow this morning.  We received about 4" of the white stuff yesterday.  I like to call this kind of snow a Spring snow.  It is a very wet , heavy snow, unlike the light, dry snow we receive when it is really cold outside.  When we arrived at the flag pole, I had a thought.  I am raising the American flag for the community.  I am also doing it to honor those who have served, and are currently serving in the armed forces.  My wife's brother is currently serving in Iraq.  I am also remembering a couple of others.  My thought was, why not remember friends and relatives of my J-land friends who are serving or who have served.  So.... If you have someone you would like me to mention as Milo and I raise the flag, please send me an email:  dwhee70041@aol.com or please leave a comment.  It can be for anybody who has served.  Milo and I would feel honored. 

Milo and I continued our walk.  The birds are very vocal.  Bob, the school bus driver, waved and passed Milo a treat.  We hurried home.  There is more snow on it's way.

We have a new neighbor in Sunshine.  Tim and Dr. Tracy had a baby girl.  Their daughters name is "Lola Sunshine _______".  They live in the Gunn house.  Isn't it funny how you remember houses by the families who lived in them.  Although the Gunn's don't live here any more, their name does.  Congratulations to Tim and Tracy.

Tonight is Bunko night.  16 of the neighborhood women will be converging on our house to play Bunko.  I have NO clue what Bunko is, other than cards are involved and I have to clean the house.  Men are NOT ALLOWED.  Sounds like a good evening to go to Home Depot.  (Later entry:  I feel so lucky....I got to stay around enough to see they use dice instead of cards)

Keep smiling... David

Tuesday, March 7, 2006

Morning walk


    Thinking of Spring.....my tulip garden and St Francis.  1998

   Milo and I started our day as usual this morning.  We had another “Sunrise Alert”.  That is a phrase we use when there is a beautiful sunrise.  The sky was ablaze with red, orange and yellow.  We performed our morning task and raised the flag.  As usual, Milo sat at attention.  I almost wish he would learn to play the bugle.

Just then a brand new white Ford extended cab, Ranger approached us and came to a stop.  I did not recognize who was inside until the power window rolled down.  Behind the wheel sat Randy.  I don’t usually talk about people’s characteristics because it’s not polite and my parents raised me better than that.  (Also, you never know who’s going to read your journal.)  But in Randy’s case, you have to know a little about him to appreciate his new pick-up truck.

            Randy has lived in Sunshine for a number of years.  He stays mostly to himself.  He’s a bachelor in his mid 30’s.  Up until today he has been driving an old red Chevy truck.  He wears a brown felt “well loved” cowboy hat, Wrangler jeans and a pocket t-shirt (various colors).  I did see him on a Saturday evening last summer wearing a “snappy” cowboy shirt.  He must have had a date.  His cowboy boots are well worn.  It’s hard to tell what kind of animal gave up its life for those fine boots. I think he purchased them during Cheyenne Frontier Days.

            I believe he fancies himself as a cowboy.  I know he sure loves Country and Western music (not that there is anything wrong with that, I do too).  I hear it every time he drives by.  I used to think he was from Nebraska because of his red truck.  Other times I was sure he was from Texas.  He will often wear his pants inside his boots.  I even remember him saying “all-ya-all” at last year’s community fest.  I know he’s not from Wyoming.  Unlike myself, he does not get that “far away look” when we talk about sheep.

            Personally, I’ve never seen him take a drink, but rumor has it, he can hold his own with the best of ‘em.  I’m not sure what he does for a living.  He leaves every morning while Milo and I are walking.  He returns when we are lowering the flag in the evening.  As he passes, he gives us a two finger wave.

            I thought it strange that he would stop this morning.  He rolled down the window and called me over to his brand new truck.  I looked in the window and noticed the gun rack in the rear window.  He wanted to show me his “toys’.  There, mounted where the back seat should have been, was a microwave, refrigerator and coffee pot.  Mounted to the ceiling was a color TV / DVD combination.  Randy must be a cowboy from Wyoming.  They are awfully proud of their pickup trucks in Wyoming.

            Milo and I wished him a safe journey and continued our walk.  We saw half a dozen robins today.  5" to 8" of snow is predicted for tomorrow.


Monday, March 6, 2006

Morning Walk



The Continential Divide and Sugarloaf from Sunshine

Greetings!  We had a sunrise alert this morning.  High clouds to the east gave us a gorgeous sunrise.  Milo and I headed down the driveway and onto the main road toward the school house.  As we rounded the bend and approached the flag pole, Maui and Plato greeted us.  The puppies are getting so big.  All three dogs sat at attention as I raised the flag.  Milo and I continued on our walk.  Maui and Plato stayed at their home.  Milo and I are hearing more birds chirping as we walk.  That is one more sign that spring is just around the corner.

On our return, Bob stopped the school bus and threw Milo a treat.  Bob and I talked about the fire danger.  We (Boulder County) have had three fires in the last three weeks.  Two of them have been in the Sunshine fire district.  The second fire had a certain amount of irony to it.  Our neighbor Rob had just finished mitigating the area around his house.  He thinned out the Ponderosa pines.  He continued by eliminating any branches under five feet.  He gathered all of the cut branches and put them in a "slash" pile.  On a safe burning day (one with moisture on the ground, high humidity, and very little wind) he burnt the slash pile.  Ten days later, the slash pile ignited and started a wild fire.  Because he had mitigated, there was no major damage (other than our phone line). Only the dead grass was burnt and that will be green in a month or so. The irony is that the fire started in the slash pile.

My BIL is returning from Alaska with Milo's mom.  I can not understand why he spends the winter in Alaska and the summer in the lower 48.  Oh well......

A big THANK YOU to Sharon for including me as a pick in her Guest Editors Entry.

While in town on Saturday, I saw a saying I'dlike to share.  "Shoot for the moon, If you miss, you'll still land with thestars."

Smile, David