Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas

I was standing at the front window of the store a couple of days ago conversing with a customer.  We both look up and commented on the beautiful sunset.  So I quickly ran to the back and grabbed my camera.

We have had some nasty weather.....short snow storms that lead to icy roads.  On the way home the other night there were 6 accidents.  The worst was a lady and her two daughters in a ditch in the canyon.  They got out safely and the car was not damaged to badly.  As I turned to drive down the road, I spotted a lone figure in my headlights.  I recognized our mayor, Chris, so I stopped.  He was out for his evening walk.  12 degrees, dark and snowy and he is taking his evening walk.  I thought that is why they made treadmills.  Chris and I chatted for just a moment.  As I started to drive off, he left me with this thought.  "Marriage is a wonderful institution, at least for those who like to be institutionalized".

The good Lord left us with a wonderful Christmas gift last evening.  For those who noticed, the planet Mars rose with the full moon.  It was quite a sight.  I snapped this picture.  It does not even come close to the beauty that was experienced nor is the detail there to see Mars.....I guess you had to be there.

Milo and I pass on our warmest Christmas greetings.


Sunday, December 9, 2007

Sunday morning sunrise on our front yard

Milo and I took our walk on a very cold (7 degrees) morning.  As we returned home the sun crept above the horizon.  There was a layer of fog covering the plains below.  The clouds were breaking around us as yesterday storm moved east.  Milo told me to hurry home and grab the camera.  It was a great photo opportunity.  I agreed.

We ran into the girls later in the morning.  The were gathering for a hike down the Highline road.  They all had on their snow shoes and very, very warm clothing.  It looked like they were ready for an exciting morning.

I ordered a Christmas present for my FIL from Vicky.  I can't say what it is because my FIL has been know to read my journal.  I know it will be great.  Go check out Vicky's site.

Work is going well.  I forgot how much I enjoy working retail.  The map store is open 10-6 so I am not working any 12 hour days.

The band played for Janice's Christmas party last Friday night.  It was a lot of fun.  It's easy to play for a group when people start dancing on the third song.

I hope everybody is enjoying the holiday season.  Milo says "Woof, Woof", meaning Merry Christmas to all.

Best wishes to all,


Thursday, November 29, 2007

Snow Rainbow

Snow Rainbow at 7:15 in the morning

For the first time in my life, this morning I saw a snow rainbow.  We often have times when it snows in the mountains and the sky is clear over the plains.  With the sun rising in the clear, eastern sky, the light shines on the falling snow in the mountains.  The result is a rainbow created by the light reflecting on the ice crystals in the snow.  I just had to share. 

The holidays were very enjoyable.  Janice had the week off.  While I was working on Saturday, she drug out the indoor Christmas decorations and dressed the house in holiday fair.  We had Thanksgiving dinner at Janice's cousin's house.  This is an annual event that has been going on for many, many years.  Her cousin, Richard, is a Mason.  He serves as a speaker at funerals when a fellow Mason passes on.  He is asked to represent that organization several times a week.  Richard told us that he is notified of the funerals by the secretary and very seldom hears from the head of the group.  Last week the secretary was out of town and the head of the local organization had to call and notify him of a funeral.  Richard was not available to take the call, which required him to place a return call.  When he called, a very surprised woman answered the phone.  She said her husband's caller ID did not say "Richard" said "Someone died".  They had a good chuckle over that one.

Sunday morning we took a walk.  We met up with some of the neighborhood girls.

Have a good week.

God bless you all.



Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving

Greetings to all.  Milo and I would like to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving.  We hope all of our friends take a moment and say thanks for all the blessings that surround us each and every day.

Work has resumed on the Sunshine Fire Station #1.  After sitting near completion since early spring, Boulder County has decided to allow construction to continue.  The issue was the size of the pipe leading from the bathroom to the septic tank.  When originally build, a 2" pipe was used.  The new code requires a 3" pipe.  They also required the construction of a leach field.  All of this for a building that is actually used for about 48 hours a year.  They have to dig a trench from the fire house, across the road and into a new septic tank.  The funny thing is, now it is near the end of November, the ground is frozen.  The county couldn't make this decision while it was easy to dig and refill the ground around the building.  Anyway, here are a couple of photos.

We are hoping the building can be completed by the 1st of the year.


We have been experiencing the 2nd warmest November in Colorado History.  That event has come to a screeching halt tonight.  It was in the 60's during the Bronco's football game on Monday night.  Tonight it is 23 degrees and snowing.  Thank you Lord for the moisture.

Remember what Robert Benchley said.  A dog teaches a boy fidelity, perseverance, and to turn around three times before lying down.

Be of good cheer,


Monday, November 12, 2007

It's been a month?

Milo and I took our morning walk in the dark this morning.  The sun had not yet shown it's self as we started down the driveway.  We made it to the fork and as we turned around the eastern horizon was ablaze with a layer of clouds.  We stopped at the flag pole and raised the flag.  We read the names on our list and paused to honor all of our fellow veterans.  I told Milo that I needed to post another entry.  He agreed.

It was a rather quiet Halloween in Sunshine.  The children's party went well, even though the road was wet and muddy.  The children enjoyed the games in the Sunshine school house and the hay ride through the Sunshine cemetery.  There had been a lot of talk about an adult party but it didn't happen this year.

I lost a good friend this last month.  My girlfriend, Chili died.  Chili was my neighbors gray horse.  She was 28.  I have been taking care of Chile when her owner, Holly went out of town.  She would trot down to see me when I drove up next to the corral.  I would climb the fence and walk across the corral to her stable.  As I did, she would walk behind me and press her nose up against my back, giving me a love tap.  Holly said I was the only man she would show any affection.  I will miss her.


I have been lucky enough to work out of my home office for the last three years.  On June 1st, my contract ended and I found myself unemployed for the first time in a long, long time.  I had forgotten what it was like to look for a job.  I has been hard on this ol' guy.  Nobody wanted to even interview an old fart with gray hair.  I applied at as many places as I could and frankly,it was really getting me down.  I found myself getting very depressed, feeling like I was worth more dead (life insurance) than alive.  I even ended a couple of relationships with some people I really cared about.  One evening I started thinking about someone who had carried me before when I was down.  I prayed.

Three weeks ago I started my new job.  I was hired to manage the Boulder Map Gallery.  It is a quaint store in downtown Boulder, not far from Mork and Mindy's house and the old New York Deli.  I love the job.  Here is the view outside the front of the store:

There is a small park with Boulder Creek running through it across the street.  It seems to be the meeting place for some of Boulder's unique characters.

Thanks for checking in.  I hope all is well in your neighborhood. 

Remember, There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face.  - Ben Williams.

Smiles, David

Monday, October 15, 2007

Snow, Snow and more Snow

Well, it wasn't a lot of snow but it was measurerable.  I guess we could call it the first official snowfall of the year, at least one where the snow stayed on the ground.  The snow stayed on the ground for about 4 hours.  It won't be long until it stays for 4 months! 



Monday, October 8, 2007

First snow flakes


Sunshine School house, 2007, 107 years old.

Milo and I started down the driveway a little late this morning.  It was very cool and crisp, the sky was a very bright blue without a cloud to be seen.  We missed seeing Bob, the school bus driver, and waving to all of the Sunshine kids on the bus.  We stopped at the Sunshine School house and raised the American flag.  Today we raised the flag to honor one of our neighbors who recently passed away.  Long time neighbor Bebe left this world on Saturday.  She had lived in Sunshine a long time before she and her husband, Bob, moved to Moab, Utah.  We spent time with them at our SCSSYYSR (Sunshine Canyon Summer Solstice YaYa Sisterhood Reunion) in June.  Bebe was very active and will be missed by all of her family and friends.

We experienced our first snow fall yesterday.  It wasn't much, just a few flakes but a reminder that it won't be long........  Oh I just can't wait!  LOL

Milo noticed that I had dug out my HAM radio (Portable) and was wearing it on my belt this morning.  He pushed his nose up under the bottom as if to ask me "what's up with that?"  I explainedthat I wanted to keep it close, just in case any bears wanted to bother us.  I have been an amateur radio operator for 15 years.  HAM operators have the ability to communicate with other HAM operators anywhere in the world.  Shortly after receiving my license I was involved in a conversation that was "out of this world".

One of the high schools in Fort Collins, Colorado has a program in the study of space travel.  They even have a mock space shuttle set up in the classroom.  NASA has a public relations program called SAREX, allowing the astronauts to communicate with HAM operators on the ground (little know fact  - most of the astronauts have a HAM license).  Our amateur radio club, working with the high school, contacted NASA and arranged a private contact with the shuttle.

NASA agreed, a time and frequency were agreed upon and we went to work.  A HAM station was set up at the high school, including a transceiver, antenna with a rotor and recording equipment.  The idea was to to be able to point the radio station antenna at the shuttle while it passed from horizon to the other.  The maximum window is 8 minutes. 

As the appointed day drew closer, we became more excited.  Club members were assigned different tasks (mine was to record the entire event).  On contact day the entire club joined the students.  At the agreed time we started to call the shuttle.."W5NAS, this is WK3S......W5NAS, this is WK3S" (call signs have been changed for this post)...we repeated this three times.  With anticipation, we heard what we were listing for...."WK3S, this is W5NAS".  It was the voice of Dr. Marty Fettman, astronaut and veterinarian (from Colorado State University) aboard the space shuttle Columbia, mission STS-58.  We passed the microphone around, allowing the students to talk while we held the contact.  We held the contact the entire 8 minutes and then it was over.

Three months later, the high school held an assembly.  The guest was Dr. Fettman.  For me, the fun part came just before the assembly began.  Dr. Fettman met with those of us who participated.  He gave each of us an autographed photo, a mission patch and a hearty "thank you" for making the entire event a success.  



Thursday, October 4, 2007

My connection continued

There is an old saying that in Wyoming, you are only one person away from knowing everyone in the whole state.  This brings me to my brief story about my connection with the old west.  There was a gentleman by the name of Tom Horn.  Tom was the last man hung in Wyoming in 1903.

Tom Horn

Tom was a cowboy, US Army scout, and a stock detective.  There have been many books written about him (Blood On the Moon by Chip Carlson is one of the most recent).  There have also been two different movies with Steve McQueen and David Carradine playing the part of Tom.


Tom, according to his autobiography, Life of Tom Horn, government scout & interpreter Written by himself, University of Oklahoma Press, ISBN: 0-8061-1044-9, was the man who convinced Geronimo to surrender to the US Army.  To the day he died, he felt Geronimo was a great man.  Tom stopped the cattle rustling in Wyoming.  It is rumored that he was on the search party that chased Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid as depicted in the movie of the same name.  Tom was hung for the murder of young Willie Nickell.  To this day people will argue over his guilt.  One thing is for sure, justice was done.

When Tom was hung, he was allowed to have a person of his choice stand next to him.  He chose T. Joe Cahill, the Laramie County clerk, a young manin his 20's.  The last words spoken by Tom were to T.Joe.

As a young stock boy, clerk and delivery boy, working at Hoy's Drug and Dairy in Cheyenne, I had an opportunity to meet most of the customers.  I even delivered prescriptions to people who were not able to get to the store.  I also delivered groceries.  I will never forget the elderly gentleman that everybody loved.  That friendly man was T. Joe.  T.Joe Cahill died in Cheyenne, Wyoming in 1968.

Tom is buried next to his brother in the Columbine Cemetery here in Boulder.  Twice a year I put flowers on his grave.  Every Memorial Day and every Veterans Day there is a small American flag next to his head stone.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

My connection

The Grand Teton, Jackson Hole Wyoming, just north of Burnt Lake.

Man has always been a social animal.  Early man first lived a hunters/gathers.  Early in mans history, we lived in family groups known as clan or tribes.  As the population in Europe grew, people began to live in towns and cities.  The occupations of the inhabitants became more specialized.  In what is now the US, the inhabitants remained as hunter/gathers and continued to live in tribes.  When the Europeans started to spread to the new world, they brought with them disease and technology (and their attitudes about owning the land).  They tried to live in harmony with the natives.  When the Europeans found themselves in need of more land, it was inenvitable that the two groups would collide.  When two societies collide, the one with the most technical weapons is usually the victor, sometimes totally eliminating the losing society. It should also be noted that more American natives died of the diseases spread by the Europeans than anything else.  How could this affect our mother earth?

I have over the years developed an attitude.  An attitude about the way we are treating our mother, the very planet that gives us all we need to sustain life.  I have compared my thoughts and ideas with that of many native Americans and you know what?  I agree with them.  We belong to the earth, it does not belong to us.  I attribute my beliefs to my personal history and the education I continue to obtain.

I am a rare breed, I was born and raised in Wyoming.  I didn't realize how rare I was until I had a good friend attend the FBI academy.  He pointed out to me that in the big picture, hardly anybody lives in Wyoming, something he learned in the academy.  I was lucky enough to be exposed to much of the American west before industry and people began to pollute the area.

As a very young man, I would go camping and fishing in the mountains of central Wyoming with my father.  We would go into areas that were only accessible by 4 wheel drive vehicles.  These were areas that showed no sign that man had ever been there before us. (although we knew was expected that we left no trace that we had been there ourselves)  I have been fishing on a lake that had water so clear, youcould see the bottom, 30' below us. We could go out for a week and take only the required pans, a little cooking oil, and some corn meal or flour and have enough native fish to sustain us.

I have stood on the prairie, once populated by the Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians, the buffalo and the eagle, with the wind in my face, the smell of the sage brush filling the air, listening to the leaves of the Cottonwood  and the Meadowlark sing.  One cold winter night in the 1960's, I found myself standing on the frozen prairie.  The temperature was below zero, there was 6" to 8" of snow on the ground and the air was perfectly still.  I looked into the sky and saw a million stars.  I felt so small, but yet a part of the universe.  There was nothing around me that I could buy, but yet I felt as if I owned it all, or it owned me.

Just a few years earlier, as I lay in my sleeping bag in our backyard in Cheyenne, I was nine years old.  I watched the stars above.  One of them moved.  just weeks before, the USSR had launched Sputnik.  It was the only moving object in the heavens.  Now there are so many, they pass over, one every 3-5 minutes.  I often wonder what the few remaining tribes think of the moving stars.

Man and our over population are "killing Mother Earth".  Our skies are so polluted that many people can only see a few stars on a clear night.  Roads have been built and the  once clean lakes are cloudy and surrounded by litter.  I have a friend who works at NCAR/UCAR.  She sends me information, almost daily, on the research on global warming.  I have seen the numbers.  We are heating up the earth.  We need to wake up and take care of the problem.

I often reflect on a drive I took just after my father died.  I was driving south on I-25 from the Wyoming/Colorado border.  As I looked at the front range of the Rockies, I thought "Those beautiful mountains were here a long time before me, my father and his father.  They are owned only by God"

I have but one solace...When I start feeling that my world is becoming over populated, I take a drive back to Wyoming.  There are still more Pronghorn Antelope than people.  I just wish the State of Wyoming had not improved the road back to Burnt Lake, where I use to camp and fish with my father.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Busy weekend in Sunshine

The garage sale

Merchandise for the garage sale

We had a very busy weekend in Sunshine.  On Saturday there were two events going on.  Saturday was the community wide garage sale.  So many people helped.  Mary organized and was in charge of the event.  Beth and MaryAnn worked for three + days on the event.  Their expertise was very valuable.  The room was well organized and MaryAnn should get an award for add-on sales.  If an item was marked a dollar, she would charge 75 cents and send you back to find an item that sold for 25 cents.  She moved a bunch of stuff!  We set up the garage sale in Station #1.  Although the rebuild after the fire is not yet complete, we were able to use the structure. 

stuff, stuff and more stuff

Merchandise was brought in Thursdaynight and all day Friday.  The sale began just before 9AM Saturday morning.  I started the day by purchasing a shot glass for my collection.  Things wound down by 4PM.  We raised about 1/5th the amount we need for the electrical hook-up.


The Arts and Craft Fair

Inside the school house

The Annual Sunshine Arts and Craft Fair was also very successful.  This is an annual event used to raise money for the upkeep of the school house and cemetery.  the event runs for two days, usually the 3rd weekend in September.  There were people in attendance the whole time the doors were open.  June was there, selling her book, Stories of Sunshine, a great book about the history of our little community.  We had other vendors selling jewelry, stationary, Christmas ornaments, soap, artwork, gold ore samples (from a local mine) and, of course, cakes and cookies.  We shut down around 4PM on Sunday.  Each year the sales increase.  This was our 14th year.


June selling her book about Sunshine, Colorado



I guess I should explain what happened and why we are trying to raise money for the electrical hook-up.  Although separate, the fire department and the school house / cemetery association have always worked closely together.  The School was build in 1900.  It originally had a wood burning stove but no electricity.  Sometime in the recent past, some neighbors ran an electrical connection from the firehouse (station #1) to the school house.  Lights and an outlet were installed.  Although not up to code (the cable was attached to live trees) it worked well.  That is until the heater in station #1 caught on fire and burnt the building to the ground.  the power company, when responding to the fire, disconnecting the hook-up to both the fire station and the school house.  We would like to re-connect the electrical hook up and have it be to code.

Without the electrical hook-up, we have heat but no lights in the school house.  With this configuration, the school house can only be used during day light hours.  In the past, the Halloween party, new Years celebration and other event have been held there, many at night.  We are now relying on private homes instead of our community center.  For the craft fair, we ran a rather long extension cord from the contractors hook-up to the school house.  It worked but I don't know how safe it was.

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Community Fest 2007

Food, Food, Food!!!

The Community Fest fund raiser for the fire department was very successful.  The weather was beautiful.

Silent auction items

We began serving Food, Beer and soft drinks around 2PM.  There was a silent auction with lots of great items on display.  The live auction was rather interesting.  It usually includes cakes and pies baked by local neighbors.  There are usually a couple of "odd" items.  This year the "odd" items were a truck load of firewood, and a 1969 Ford Mustang convertibleHildegard still holds the record for the cake that brought in the highest bid, $1000 two years ago.  This year, although it didn't bring in quite as much, she still baked the winner. 

Next on the Sunshine agenda is the garage sale at firehouse #1 next Saturday and the annual Sunshine Arts & Craft fair at the schoolhouse.

I have been struggling with my desire to write any more.  I've shared most of my stories and quite frankly, don't have much more I want to say.  I have only one story about my connection to the old west but I have hesitated writing it.  It's about Tom Horn, Geronimo and my association with the man that stood next to Tom when he was hung, T Joe Cahill (the last hanging in Cheyenne in 1903).  I hesitate because I am very sensitive to the manner in which the American natives were murdered and forced to surrender to the army.  To this day, I believe man belongs to the land, the land does not belong to man.  I don't want to offend any of those who still read my entries by telling the story. 

I want to thank you for hanging in there with me.  I'm sure I will add a few more entries as the mood strikes for now Milo and I will continue to walk everyday (as long as I am able), wave to Bob the bus driver and raise the flag.  (I hope some will continue to raise the flag after I'm gone)  I will try to add items that pertain to Sunshine and the things going on in the community.  I still want to keep our neighbors that have left up to date on "things going on in sunshine".

Please give your family all the love you can and watch out for the bears.



Thursday, August 30, 2007

Home again


Measuring the Empire State Building

I would have never guessed that this cowboy would ever find himself looking across the Hudson River at New York City, but I did.  Our gig ended earlier than I had expected.  Don, my co-worker, winged his way to California as I flew back to Denver.  It was an experience, to say the least.  We were working for AT & T, auditing their overhead fiber optic cable.  That required us to measure the height above the ground at all streets, roads, railroad crossings and commercial driveways.  We also had to inspect the cable for any anomalies.  Our walks took us through Newark, Harrison, Rutherford, North Bergen, W. NewYork, Weehawken, Hoboken and Jersey City, New Jersey.

Just before I left, I finished a book about Alexander Hamilton.  The Hamilton - Burr dual took place on the river bank, just below the cliffs at Weehawken.  Little did I know that I would be soon standing in that very spot.

We were only stopped twice by security guards, asking us what we were doing.  One was at MSNBC and the other was at the Lincoln tunnel.  I guess we looked official as 20+ police officers passed us and did not stop.  One even stopped traffic as we took our measurement in the middle of a very busy intersection.  We did have an occasion to chat with some fire fighters in Jersey City.  I felt right at home.  I connected with Dawn via email but we did not get a chance to meet in person.

While Milo and I were walking this morning, we ran into our neighbors, Pam and Fred.  Fred told me he was from East Orange, NJ.  I mentioned that I was surprised what a nice neighborhood  Hoboken seemed to be.  Most of the area around it was mostly Spanish speaking and Hoboken was all English.  Fred reminded me that the Ferry goes across the Hudson to Manhattan there and that it is a yuppie neighborhood.

An observation from this ol' cowboy.  I was reminded that you have to keep your guard up and not to be too nice.  Being nice is often seen as a weakness.  Once you have stood your ground and shown that you have some nastiness in you, niceness has a chance to set in.  I lived around Baltimore for 11 years and found it true that you have to have a little "nastiness" in you to survive.  Little wonder I left and came home.  In Wyoming, a handshake and a look in the eye is often the only contract a man needs.  You don't cross a cowboy, he may leave you stuck in a spring blizzard, tied to a fence pole.  (I want to insert that I have met some really wonderful people from the city.  My old room mate, Doug lives in Queens.  Ellen, Marina and Vicky are included in that group of wonderful people).  It was also a little different passing people on the street.  Heads would turn away without any acknowledgement.  I missed that little eye contact and a nod of the head, saying "hello" that is common in the west.  I also forgot what it was like to have rain for more than 20 minutes at a time.  It rained for 2 days and kept us from working.  It may snow in Sunshine for days, but never rain.  I also missed seeing the stars, the millions of stars at night.

Which one of those wires is ours????


Lower Manhattan, across from the World Trade Center site.

Now that I am back, I need to get back into the swing of things here in Sunshine.  School has started and many of our summer residents have left.  Mike, Jennie and the kids have returned to Chicago.  Eva and Katrina are flying back to Germany as I write this; Jack will follow at the end of next month.  We will miss them.

The community is getting geared up for the Community Fest to be held on the 8th of September.  It is the annual fund raiserfor the fire department.  There will be a silent auction, a verbal auction, food and drink.  I always enjoy the verbal auction.  It's fun watching people bid $100 - $1000 for one of Hildegards cakes or pies.

The annual craft fair will be held on the 22nd of September at the Sunshine School house.  In conjunction, their will be a garage sell at fire house #1.  We are trying to raise enough money to get an electrical connection to the school house.  We lost our hook-up when fire house #1 burnt to the ground.

There will be no Team Sunshine meeting this month.  The next meeting will be on October the 25th.

The last meeting of the season of the Sunshine Garden Club will be held at Mary Ann's house (date to be announced).  We are planning on having a plant exchange.  By the way Mary Ann, are you a turtle?  (Mary Ann does not have an AOL account so I expect and answer via e-mail)

Remember, The reason a dog has so many friends is that he wags his tail instead of his tongue.



Tuesday, August 21, 2007

In New Jersey

Greetings from rainy New Jersey.  My 1st thought is that I hope my ol' note book holds up long enough to finish this post.  My 1st week has been very busy and exciting for this old cowboy from Wyoming.  Many years ago I was on a flight from Washington DC to Boston.  We flew over NewYork City and I could see the shadows of the tall buildings.  Now I can say I have seen them from ground level.  Our work has taken us through Jersey City.  Looking across the Hudson river was NYC.  Maybe I'll get a chance to cross the river and say I've been in NYC!

Our work has also taken us to the Meadowlands, home of Giants Stadium and MSNBC.  As we were taking measurements on the fiber optic cable in front of MSNBC, a security guard hustled out of the building and approached us.  He wanted to know what we were doing, who we were and how long we would be there.  We gave him our drivers licenses and explained the details. He took our licenses inside to photo copy.  Meanwhile, we completed our tasks and waited for the guard to return.  He returned after several minutes and gave us our drivers licenses.  Demanding to know how long we would be, we smiled, thanked him for doing his job, turned and left.

Be safe, give your loved ones a hug and a kiss.

Janice, give Milo a big hug for me.

Until next time,



Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Taking a leave

Yellowstone, 1951

Greeting to all,

I wish I could say I was going on an extended fishing trip to Yellowstone but I can't.  I will be away until the end of October, working in New Jersey.  With that in mind, I need to post all of the events happening in Sunshine until the 1st of November.

Team Sunshine will hold it's August meeting at Mary's house on August 23, 7:30PM.  The September meeting will be held on the 27th and the October meeting will be on the 25th, locations to be announced at the previous months meeting.

September will be, as always, a very active month.  The community fest will be held at the firehouse on September 8th.  There will be a fire mitigation meeting on the 16th, breakfast will be served.  The Sunshine craft fair will be on the 22nd at the Sunshine School house.  Although I won't be able to participate, Star Route, our local band will be performing at the Outlook Hotel in Boulder on the evening of the 14th.  Don't forget "Talk Like A Pirate Day" on September 19th.

The Great American Beer Fest will be held in Denver on the weekend of the 13th of October. Although this event is not held in Sunshine, it is sponsored by a Sunshine resident and almost everyone in Sunshine attends.

During the predawn hours of August 13, make time to step outside and cast your eyes heavenward.  The Perseid Meteor Shower should be at its peak.  At an average of 60 mph (meteors per hour), you'll be sure to catch a flash across the sky every minute or so, weather permitting.

Remember, there's two theories to arguin' with a woman.  Neither one works.

Smiles to all,


Sunrise over Sunshine

Monday, July 23, 2007

Greetings from Sunshine

Wow, I can not believe how fast the summer is passing us by in Sunshine.  The Pot Luck dinner  on the 13th was a success.  We filled up the school house with many of our neighbors.  We even met some of the new neighbors that will be moving in next month.   It's always nice to see new faces.  The Homebrew Hoedown at the Spread Eagle Lodge went well.  All of the bands sounded great.  It was quite a mixture of music.  There was a wonderful jazz quartet, our band (geezer rock) and several blue grass groups.  Oh, oh... and the homebrew was very tasty.

Sunshine events this week include the Team Sunshine meeting, Thursday evening (7:30) at our house and the Sunshine Garden club, which will be meeting at Stephanie's house, Saturday, at 4:30.  A few of us are going to try to head up to Cheyenne for the Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo.  If you have a hankering to see the old west, it's a great place for the whole family.  I was born and raised in Cheyenne, and I can tell you, it's quite an experience.

I was happy to see our mayor, Chris at the Homebrew Hoedown.  I usually see Chris 3 to 4 times during the week but his gray beard and smiling face has been missing for several weeks.  I knew he was home for all of his friends, (foxes, deer, birds, chipmunks and squirrels, not to mention a bear or two) have been hanging around his house.  Every now and then I would notice his front door open but did not see his friendly grin.  I pulled him aside and we chatted over a pint of honey mead.  Chris told me that he had not been feeling at all well.  He went to the doctor and has some tests done.  It was determined he had a food allergy.  I should have known better than to fall for this one.  I asked him what he was allergic to....his cake.  We had a good laugh over that one.

Remember, If you find yourself in a hole the first thing to do is stop diggin'.

Smiles, David


Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Busy week ahead in Sunshine

Hiding in this picture are the three new bear cubs.  Look for their little brown noses.  Thank you Ruby for the pictures.

There are several up coming events in Sunshine.

Friday, July 13th at 6PM will be the community Pot Luck Supper.  It will be held at the old Sunshine School house.  Please bring your own table setting, drinks and a plate to share.

Saturday, July 14th, starting at 2PM will be the Spread Eagle Home Brew Hoe Down.  It will be held at the Spread Eagle lodge, 281 County Road 83 (John and Kat's house).  There will be a home brew tasting contest and four bands (Including Sunshine's own Star Route).  People are encouraged to bring camping gear and not to drink and drive.  Please be careful of the bears.

The new bear cubs mother.

Please have a safe and happy 4th of July.

Remember, It don't take a genius to spot a goat in a flock of sheep.


Monday, June 25, 2007

Moab, Utah

Canyon Lands near Moab, UT

Milo was so excited as we started our walk this morning.  It has been 5 days since we took our morning walk together.  Milo was so excited he "bounced" down the driveway.  After we raised the flag and started toward the fork in the road, he told me he wanted to hear about the trip to Moab, UtahMoab is a special place for us.  It seems to have a connection to Boulder.  Moab is surrounded by things that we love to do.  There is rafting down the Colorado or Green rivers, cycling, hiking and camping.  It is also a great place to take some fantastic photos.  Moab is also the home of our friends, Bob and Bebe.  People from Boulder are always going to Moab, a short six hours to the west.

300 million years ago, much of what is now the great American west was under an inland ocean and was located near the equator.  Over time, the mountains pushed up and the plates shifted causing the ocean to dry.  These events caused the ocean floor tobe exposed, leaving the now visible sedimentary rock.  Wind and rain have eroded the rock giving us the beautiful views we have today.

We usually spend the summer solstice with Bob and Bebe's daughter, Terry and her husband, Dale at Hog Hollow in the northern Colorado Rockies.  This year, Hog Hollow is under major reconstruction so our Sunshine Canyon Summer Solstice YaYa Sisterhood Reunion took place in Moab.  We usually camp out so we were lucky we could participate in the Great American Backyard Campout at the same time.  The tempature was around 100 each day but it cooled off at night.  Sleeping under the stars was great.  We watched the International Space Station and the Space Shuttle fly over in the evening, and counted satellites as we watched the stars. We had about 18 people attend.

The drive west on Interstate 70 took us through the Eisenhower Tunnel, which is the continental divide and down past Dillon, Colorado, and continued to Vail.  We stopped in Glenwood Springs, Colorado for lunch and the drove on to Moab.  Each community is a vacation destination on it's own.


Lake Dillon

Be safe and remember, never kick a fresh cow chip on a hot day.



Sunday, June 17, 2007



Boulder Creek

I'm sitting here on this beautiful late spring evening listening to my son's radio program.  He is the DJ for a classical music show on the CU radio station (AM 1190), "Standard Notation".  It was a hot day in Sunshine.  The temperature reached 93 degrees today.  One really nice thing about living in the mountains is that no matter how hot it gets during the day, it cools off at night.  We had a very nice fathers day.  I feel very lucky that I have two wonderful sons and that our family is filled with so much love.  The Lord has certainly blessed us.



It's that time of year again when we celebrate the summer solstice.  A group of our neighbors gather for the weekend and celebrate our friendship.  We call it the Sunshine Canyon Summer Solstice YaYa Sisterhood Reunion (SCSSYYSR).   I made a post last year explaining our multi-family get together.  Unfortunately we did not get to participate.  My MIL, who was dying of cancer had a turn for the worse and we did not leave the house until she passed.  This year we are all gathering in Moab, UtahMoab is the home of Bob and Bebe.  They will be celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary.  It looks like there will be 17 or 18 of us.  I am really looking forward to a trip to Moab.  I promise some pictures.  Moab is a beautiful part of our country.  We will be camping out under the stars.  It should be fun.  We are participating with The Great American Backyard Camp out.

I hope you are all well.

Remember, never smack a man who's chewin' tobacco.



Sunday, June 10, 2007

Morning walk with Milo


The continental divide, just west of Sunshine

Milo, Malcom and I all went on our daily morning walk.  I was a little late getting ready and Milo let me know.  Every time I would try to close a door, he would stick his nose into it and push it back open.  He kept looking at me with that "lets go dad" look. He gets so excited when I put on my hat and grab his leash.

We raised the large garrison flag today.  Milo and I usually fly it on weekends and holidays.  Milo sat at attention while I raised the flag.  I read the names of the veterans we honor everyday and than gave him a treat.  I really don't think Milo sits at attention for the flag.  I think it has more to do with the impending treat!

As we neared the fork in the road and began our return trip, we saw a white pickup truck approaching.  Milo knew it was our mayor, Chris.  His tail started wagging rather rapidly.  Chris always has a treat in his pocket.  As usual, Chris stopped for a brief conversation.  He noticed that some our neighbors had left for another vacation trip.  They drive to Denver International Airport and leave their car in the parking lot.  Chris admitted that he has only been to DIA once and that was just before it opened. Obviously Chris doesn't fly but he still has a keen interest in airplanes.  To celebrate the new airport, the City of Denver held an air show with all kinds of airplanes, vintage and new.  The US Air Force had brought in a stealth bomber.  Chris was describing one of the things he noticed on the fighter airplanes.  Some of the WWII planes had marks under the cockpit for the number of "kills" the pilot had achieved.  Some had small trains, some had the Japanese flag and some had swastikas for the German planes.  The new stealth bomber had four camels.  We had a good laugh then Chris drove on down the road.

For those interested in the Sunshine Garden Club, I have started a journal about landscaping.  I have 23 or 24 entries planned and have posted the 1st two.  My son, Michael, wanted me to teach him something about landscaping and gardening.  This will be my attempt to organize my thoughts.

The Flapjack fling was a huge success.  We raised enough money to pay for the tables and chairs and had plenty left over to add to the fire department treasury.  Thank you to all of the Sunshine residents who read my journal.  Pictures

Keep smiling and remember......... Never drop your gun to hug a grizzly (unless it Chris' dog).


Thursday, May 31, 2007

Family Tradition


Milo and I headed down the driveway shortly after 7 this morning.  The air was cool and crisp but at least it wasn't snowing.  As we neared the fork I noticed 2 hot air balloons in the sky below.  Yes, this is one of the places you can look down to see something flying in the air.  Milo has informed me that the bears are out and about.  He is running with his nose to the ground, stopping and sniffing more than usual.  Bob passed us in the school bus and the kids all waved. 

 On the return trip, just out in front of fire station #1, we met the mayor, Chris.  He was telling me a story that I would never repeat in a public forum when he abruptly stopped and announced that Lori was driving up behind me.  "Watch, she'll flip me off" said Chris.  I turned around just in time to see her lower her hand with a big smile on her face.  As she drove by, it looked like she was hiding a little chuckle.  "She does that to me every time she sees me on the road" Chris said.  "Her dad did that before he died, just a friendly salute between friends I guess.  Lori doesn't mean anything bad by the gesture.  She's just carrying on a family tradition".  With that we parted.

The annual Flap Jack Fling will be held this Sunday at Fire Station #2.  We'll start serving around 10.  The price went up a dollar this year.  Even with the price increase, it's a bargain.  That will give folks a chance to catch early church services and then join us.

Be safe and watch out for the bears.



Thursday, May 24, 2007

Lake Norman


4th hole, par 3 Lake Norman Country Club

Milo, Malcom and I took our daily morning walk on this cool, crisp spring day.  It snowed last evening.  I wasn't very happy about seeing the white stuff but I do live at 7,000 feet above sea level.  Janice and I had tickets to see Celtic Woman at Red Rocks Amphitheater last night.  It was raining when we left.  It was still raining when we arrived just in time for them to close the gates, keeping anyone for driving into the parking lot.  The show has been postponed until June 28th or a 2nd added show on June 29th.

Milo was a little miffed at me last week.  I left him again for a trip to North Carolina.  I was invited to spend my birthday with my best friend, Chris.  Our birthdays are close (His is today 5/24) and we try to celebrate them together.  We had a great time together.  I was lucky enough to meet a fellow j-lander.  Sharon, from Golf and Other Stuff, drove up from South Carolina and spend a day with Chris, his wife and myself.  We all loaded onto Chris's boat and spent the day on Lake Norman.  Sharon is a lot of fun to be around and kept us laughing. (even though she thinks I am 10-47).  The day ended  way to soon.

I hope everyone has a fun and safe Memorial Day weekend.


Sunday, May 13, 2007

All in a day!


I tried to squeeze in all of my obligations yesterday and seemed to accomplish everything I wanted to do.  I woke up in the Marriott hotel in Kansas City at 2:30 in the morning.  Arriving at the airport at 4:30 gave me plenty of time to catch my flight to Denver.  I arrived in Denver just before 7AM and by 9:30 my lovely wife and I were enjoying breakfast.  We then went shopping for a new dress for her.  She wanted to look beautiful for the afternoon wedding...I'll get to that in a moment.

I left our house just after noon.  At 2:00 our Boy Scout troop began our Eagle Scout ceremony.  One of our Scouts, David T. was presented with his Eagle Scout award.  He worked very hard to accomplish this and I am very proud of him.  For the leaders, there is very little recognition for the time and effort involved.  the recognition comes when a young man walks forward to receive his award.  We all hold our chests out a little farther.  The ceremony was over at 3:30 and I left to join Janice at the wedding.

Boulder is situated at a unique place on the North American continent.  The Great Plains meet the majestic Rocky Mountains in our front yard.  The snow capped mountains give birth to many small streams that grow into rivers.  These small streams run down canyons and then flow out onto the plains, merging to become the mighty Mississippi River.  A few people are lucky enough to build their homes on the banks of these streams.  The native cottonwood trees line the streams and often frame an absolutely beautiful view of the foothills and mountains in the distance.

Yesterday, our fire chief Steve, and his beautiful bride, Wanda, exchanged their wedding vows on the bank South Boulder Creek, the stream that emerges from Eldorado Canyon.  It was a warm spring afternoon with scattered white clouds above the mountains.  The huge lawn was partially covered with a large white canopy tent.  There was a portable dance floor in the middle of the covered area.  Dining tables were set all around the dance floor with the buffet and bar at one end.  A beautiful flower garden of poppies, hyacinths, and other spring flowers surrounded the lawn.  Over 150 people attended.  Many of us ate and danced until the music stopped around 7PM.  As the guests left, a small group of our Sunshine neighbors gathered on the deck above the creek.  We continued to enjoy several bottles of wine and conversation as we watched the sun set.  Tired but still enjoying the evening, we left for home around 9:30.  Photos

May I wish "Happy Mothers Day" to all the mothers out there in j-land.  A special wish to my own, wherever you are.  I know the good Lord is taking good care of you and my father.   I love you and miss you very much. 

Smiles to all,


Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Sunshine Garden Club


Our Sunshine neighbor, Dr. Tracy (PhD) and I found ourselves on the topic of mountain gardening last summer.  Just after she and her husband, Tim, moved into their new home, I had offered her a Columbine (Aquilegia ) for her garden as a house warming gift.  That gift has sparked many a great conversation.  Tracy is originally from Virginia and is use to having plants galore.  I have 5 years of horticulture training;  I taught a class in home landscaping and authored a publication on gardening in the high altitudes of Wyoming.  Between us, we could talk for hours.

Sunshine has a very short growing season. Our last frost is usually around the 1st of June and the 1st frost is around the middle of September. We are in the USDA hardiness zone 3.  Besides having a very short growing season, we have other things that make gardening in Sunshine a challenge.  Critters!  The deer, squirrels, chipmunks and rabbits love our flowers and vegetables.  These challenges have brought the mountain gardeners together. Tracy thought it would be a good idea for all of us frustrated gardeners to join together and form a garden club.  We are still in the talking stage and I'm sure it won't be long until we are organized. 

Gardening tip from our friend Deb  Do you know that if you sprinkle blood meal around the plants the deer won't eat it

My youngest son, Michael, has asked me to write a book about gardening and home landscaping for him.  He wants something he will be able to pass on the his children. 

 Before I take on that task, I wanted to put together a few thoughts for our mountain gardener friends in Sunshine.  If you are outside the Sunshine area, please remember that these thoughts and ideas are designed for our particular area.  It may seem strange to most flat landers that we do not plant our annuals until late May or early June.  Gosh, we had 3" of snow on the 24th of April this year.

Gardening tip:  I like to watch the weather forecast in the spring.  I have found the perfect time to put down fertilizer is just before a spring snow storm hits.  When the snow melts, it gently soaks the fertilizer into the ground.  I have always liked to add 20-10-5 (NPK) to the soil in our climate.  NPK stands for Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Potassium.  In this case the fertilizer would be 20% nitrogen, 10% phosphorus and 5% Potassium.  The nitrogen promotes shoot growth, the phosphorus promotes root growth and the potassium helps keep the plant healthy.

I have spent the last two months dreaming and drooling as I pondered over seed catalogs.  I have drawn out plans on how I want to lay out my vegetables.  I have made a list of the annuals I would like to see growing in my few flower beds.   I can tell when the ground is no longer frozen by watching the rhubarb (genus Rheum).  This subterranean prelude always gives me hope that the snow will soon be ending and spring is near.  When the little red nubs start showing, the ground is no longer frozen and it's time to start preparing the soil.

Our soil is basic in nature.  I like to add peat moss.  Even though it is generally very damp in the spring, July and August can be very dry. The peat moss, although lacking in nutrients, helps the growth of the plant by holding the much needed moisture.  For nutrients, I pay a visit to my girlfriend,Chili.  If you live in Sunshine or have followed my journal, you know Chili is my neighbor Holly's horse.  Years and years of mucking out the corral have left a rather large pile of aged horse manure.  Although not as good as cow manure, it is an excellent source of nutrients.  My BIL Mike, does not use it in his vegetables, fearing any nasty germs it might carry.  I found the flower beds love it!

Pruning, why do we do it?  There are three basic reasons we prune:

1) To cleanout dead, dying, diseased and broken wood.

2) To eliminate over crowding.

3) To thin out, shape and train the plants growth pattern.


 The broad leaf trees and shrubs have not yet leafed out.  Now is the perfect time to prune all but the flowering trees and shrubs.  The flowering trees and shrubs get pruned while they are still dormant.

To fully understand the process of pruning, I must first jump into a little botany.  I promise to keep it simple.  There is no need to cover the botanical term for Red algae in this forum.  (In case you are wondering, it is Rhodophycophyta.)

The stem growth takes place at the apical meristem.  This is is located at the buds and the nodes.  The nodes do not usually become active unless the bud is destroyed.  In the diagram above, if you want the branch to grow up, you would prune just above the node on the lateral stem pointing up.  In this case, the stem would continue to grow, causing the new branch to grow in an upwardly direction.


This is an example of a 3 year growth pattern showing the proper place to prune a small, flowering tree.

If I waited to purchase my favorite annuals at the proper time to put them into the ground, I wouldn't haven't many choices left.  The folks in Boulder can plant a full two weeks before I can.  The early shoppers pretty well pick over the choice plants before I am ready to plant.  I have built a cold frame.  This allows me to purchase the plants and keep the healthy until it is time to plant them. A heat tape keeps the plants warm on those early spring nights when the temperature drops below freezing.  During the day, I open the top doors, allowing the plants to acclimate to the outdoor temperatures. 

Tulips and St. Francis in my Sunshine garden.