Sunday, October 9, 2016

Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta 2016

With our new exchange student, Rune, from Denmark, and joined by one of our daughters and her family, we enjoyed Balloon Fiesta 2016 recently. As much fun as it was, I was, however, glad to be back home, on the patio that evening, reading and relaxing with our golden retriever Max.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

My Wife and I: our own Family Reunion!

We have had fun being together in Salt Lake City as our little family joined for Days of 47 Pioneer Celebrations. Brittany, Roger, and their family hosted. Kip brought his Golden Retriever, Max, and the kids have had a great time with him. Fireworks in the street as neighbors joined together was fun, and the day at Herriman Beach today, a great man made beach in the Western foothills of this Valley, was likewise a lot of fun. It's been a great weekend! Be well. Do good.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

The Last of the Artisian Wells

An "Artisian Aquifer" is a confined aquifer containing groundwater under positive pressure. This causes the water level to rise, resulting in cold, pure, free flowing springs. When I was a kid, growing up, it seemed that anywhere we drove in the valley, Dad knew where a road side artisian well could be found. On a hot, dry summer day, we would pull over, lean down, and parch our thirst with the purest, coldest water. In my adult years, I knew of only 3 remaining, - now only 2 as one near me has been capped and sealed forever. Dad showed me black and white photos of Artisian Wells that ran year around in an area he grew up called Nortonville. These photos showed free spouting wells that would rise 6 or 7 feet, then winter freeze them in place, but continued water pressure would rise through these frozen obelisks, freeze more, etc., so that by February some of them were looking like frozen Old Faithful spouts: ice that extended upwards of 20 feet or more. I never saw that, this was before my time. But having these few remaining wells here - remind me of time before large pivot circle sprinkler systems put in by nearby farmers took down the lever and pressure of these free flowing wells. Some Springtimes, they simply do not come back, so low is the underground aquifers now. Some Springtimes, they do. This photo is one between home, LaJara, and Alamosa. It came back this Spring. It will dry up soon. So I stop, take a drink of water, often when I pass it. Because.... not all good things last forever. Be Well. Do Good. By word of side note: as a small child, riding home from Alamosa with my Aunt Doris and her daughter, my cousin LaNae, it was discovered that the gas tank of the car was near empty. I must have been only 4 or 5, but I remember the urgency and worry: here this woman was with 2 small children, the weather was horrid, and risk of running out of gas. Aunt Doris pulled over here, told us to close our eyes and bow our heads, and that she would offer a prayer to ask for sufficient fuel to drive the remaining 10 miles home. We did. She did. We arrived home, coasting into the front yard. I've never forgotten that first lesson in exercising faith. She was a wonderful woman, she taught me to read and to love reading. She was too good for this world, hence, she was taken early: in her mid 40's. I still miss her. Be Well. Do Good.

From Lighthouse Keeper to Beekeeper

7,600 feet above sea level. It's difficult to get things to grow here: short, cold growing season. But after many years I have apple, pear, apricot, and sour cherry trees. I've 2 new ones now as well: Persimmon and Zone 3 Peach Trees. They blossom.... but with a shortage of bees, they don't get pollinated well. So I get a few fruits, but not much. Hence, my entry into the world of Beekeeping. The goal is that these girls, here in a very private, isolated part of our yard, will not merely make honey, but more especially pollinate these fruit trees, berry bushes, and veggie garden. I learned about them 2 years ago in a great Bee Workshop at Colonial Williamsburg. Since then I've read a lot, attended classes, etc., but I still know very, very little about them. Hand's on now, I hope to learn more. Colony Collapse Disorder is a worldwide problem. Without these pollinators, life as we know it is in jeopardy. Be Well. Do Good.

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Spring Botanical Gardens Race

Spring Botanical Gardens Race: Great Fun! I've liked botanical gardens for as long as I can remember. I've traveled great distances, here and abroad, to stroll thru them. But run a race thru one? Yep! Now I have. A course that passes water falls, winds under blooming wisteria covered pergolas, stone walls with blooming crocus in the cracks, running over bridges covering paths that I had just ran under, and a myriad of tulips, daffodils, and spring flowering trees. It was the most fragrant race I've ever ran. Come along, enjoy parts of the course with me. CLICK ON EACH PHOTO TO ENLARGE IT, to get a better view. Then decide if you want to come with me next year and run it yourself. We can start a month earlier in fact, by running the Tyler (Texas) Azalea 10K just to get into shape. I'm gonna do it too. (Hey, and if you like amazing gardens, go back on this blog a bit further 'till you come to the Annual Taos Garden Tours blogs. It's coming up, always the 1st Saturday in August. For 20 bucks, you get free access to homes and gardens in and around Taos. Won't you consider going this year? Mark your calendar) Be Well. Do Good.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Easter Traditions

As a kid growing up Easter didn't mean a great deal to me. But when I went on my mission to Wisconsin as a young single adult, I understood, for the first time, it's meaning. In large part, this was because of the strong German Lutheran influence of those I was meeting in Milwaukee. I had never seen an Easter Tree, never knew what decorative beaded & meticulously hand-painted Ukranian Eggs were, had never had the elaborate Easter meal that Miriam Goetsch served, (complete with Jello eggs of different colors and flavors molded from real egg shells, drained by blowing into a pin hole at one end, the contents streaming out through a pin hole in the opposite then, thereafter, rinsed with water, then filled with a straw with liquid jello.) Ham, scalloped potatoes, homemade butter rolls, amazing desserts, 24 hour salad, etc., etc. And a Good Friday trip to Holy Hill to take in the Stations of the Cross. This year, Good Friday was marked by the funeral of our 4th grandchild, so yet again, the Easter season and the promise of the resurrection become ever more significant. I came to like the entire feeling of how these people celebrated Easter. Since that time, it has become my favorite holiday. So too, Spring has become my favorite season of the year. Long harsh Lake Michigan humidity winters came to an abrupt end when seemingly over-night, trees budded out, and yards and boulevards were adorned with tulips and daffodils. I had never seen crocus nor hyacinth plants, so again, the newness of it all set a memory. Since then, we have done our own versions of these Milwaukee Easters. Here are some shots of the interior of our home. Be Well. Do Good.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Baby Holland, our Granddaughter so Sweet!

We knew for several months that the child our eldest daughter, Brittany, was carrying, had some things wrong with her brain. Early on a name was given, Holland Rae Bartholomew, and from that point on I began to love this unknown-to-me child in a tender way. So when she was born about 5 to 6 weeks early, and then only lived for a very few short hours, we feel a keen sense of loss. And as difficult as it was to bury a grandchild, it was so much more difficult to watch our daughter and son-in-law go about doing those things that needed to be done. They did them with such finesse and grace that I am in awe of them. This little angel was given every dignity and respect that could have been given. During the viewing, when Brittany and Roger were preparing the baby, (with her soft lamb baby rattler, homemade blanket sewn just the day before by her mother, bracelet, necklace with tiny tulips as her namesake, and letters parents, sisters, and grandparents had written to be placed next to her)for the lid to the casket to be placed, and while Roger carried that casket into the Chapel for the funeral, later again, out to the vehicle and again at the cemetery, I wanted to yell out, "Stop this. This is wrong. No young parents should have to buy a casket, buy cemetery plots, dress a dead baby, prepare the funeral, carry it out, and then carry on." I could not yell this. Nor could I do anything to change the circumstances. We miss Holland. But Brittany and Roger's faith, their abiding faith, their courage and testimonies, their ability to cope, etc., give us strength. This has been, and is still, a difficult thing. But we've once again learned to be thankful for one another, our family. We appreciated being together again. Be Well. Do Good.