Saturday, June 30, 2007
Sunset behind Fremont Peak, North of Florence, on way to Canon City.
Here are photos I took this evening of the sunset and then the brilliant full moon. What a way to end June and get ready for the second half of this year (which is racing by so fast I can barely see it before it is gone.)
Full moon over prairie north of Florence on way back from Canon City. That tiny white spot on the left side is a light on the horizon. I could still see the dim prairie but my camera could not pick it up.
[I wish Blogspot had WISIWIG for our creation of our blogs. Sometimes I am horribly surprised about how it shows up on the blog once it is posted, and have to quickly go back and edit it with fingers crossed! Are you listening out there? Please!!!]
Tuesday, June 26, 2007
The ceremony was held on a haywagon decorated with hay bales and sunflowers and the groom, groomsmen, and ushers wore their western clothes and black straw cowboy hats and entered the arena in an old wagon drawn by two lovely mules. [I can't help it, I adore mules. I think I took more photos of them than the bridal party.] The bride, and her attendants were in more traditional wedding apparel except that they wore white flipflops, instead of high heel slippers for walking in the arena dirt and up the metal steps to the bed of the wagon. Guests had been instructed to come in casual apparel, with denim and western style clothing, comfortable for a hot sunny day outside, the choice of most.
Dee, Mother of the Groom being ushered into the grandstand.
Dusty is the son of Joe's stepdaughter, Dee, whose mother passed away when she was in high school and she and her youonger sisters, Heather and Laura, were left with Joe, until their father, who lived in LA, and didn't want to raise them himself, gave custody of the girls to another family to get out from under child support payments. At this time, Dee was old enough to make the decision of where she wanted to live and she chose to stay with Joe and me, after we had married. She told us that any man could be a father but it took someone special to be a dad. We love Dee, her husband Dennis, Dusty and daughter, Tyler, very much. We consider
ourselves blessed to have our blended family of my son and 3 daughters; Joe's 3 sons and daughter; and Dee.
It seems like just the other day that Dee brought 3 year old Dusty to visit us and we rode the miniature train that toured the top of the Royal Gorge. "Sunrise, Sunset, Sunrise, Sunset. Swiftly fly the days."
The reception with a barbeque style dinner and country dance were held next door in the fair Events Center which was decorated with cowboy decor and more sunflowers. The biggest hit of the evening was a chocolate fountain with strawberries and marshmallows; the many children in attendance had a great time at that table.
It was such a joy to see Heather again after all these years. This was the first time we got to meet her family; she and her husband have 3 cute sons and an adorable daughter and are currently living in Norway. His work as a manager with Pratt & Whitney has taken them all over the US and the world, including several years in Singapore. She says she is amazed that a little girl from Deer Trail could be living such a life.
Saturday, June 23, 2007
Finally, it is done! I've struggled with this concept for 2 months and was afraid at times that it would be stillborn. Using paper mockups of the flower photos I tried many arrangements and was never happy until I thought of thinking outside the square.
[Please click the photos to see the details and read the poem.]
Thursday, June 21, 2007
The third photo is an old gnarled Juniper.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
Saturday, June 16, 2007
much so while checking out Deb H's blog I found a link to a great photo manipulation website and "ol debbil made me do it."
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
Deer Trail is a very small town about 52 miles east of Denver on I-70 where Joe and I spent the first 3 years of our marriage operating the Deer Trail Auto Parts & Hardware Store. We lived upstairs in the back of the building. After commuting for 5 years from Boulder to my job with the City of Englewood, it was nice only having to go down the stairs to work. It was also a cataclysmic culture shock moving from cosmopolitan Boulder to boondocks Deer Trail.
At the time we were there the town was dying on the vine because everyone could work and shop in the Denver metro area, commuting easily on the Interstate highway. Our store, the Jolly Grocery next door, an artist studio on the other side, a bar just a couple of lots east and 2 antique stores were the only occupied commercial building along Main Street, which pre Interstate was US Highway 40, the major route from coast to coast through Colorado.
Frequent I-70 travelers know this area of Colorado as where you are apt to be stranded by a blizzard in the winter. This is also Colorado's thunderstorm and tornado alley. I always told Joe that nature did not like people out there on the plains.
Before the 1965 flood of the East Bijou Creek, at the same time as the major Platte River flood in Denver, Deer Trail was a thriving town serving the surrounding ranches and wheat farms (think in the terms of sections instead of acres when considering the size of these farms) with several grocery stores and banks as well as any other shopping you could need to do. Denver was a lot further away in those days and the locals didn't just run over there casually.
Deer Trail began life as a stage stop and trading post for those heading to Denver in the 1859 "Pikes Peak or Bust" Gold Rush operated by an old mountain man and scout who was a friend of Kit Carson's. It didn't take long for some of the Gold Rushers to decide that the same grass that fed so many buffalo could also nourish cattle which were so desparately needed to feed the prospectors and miners. Soon after the Civil War cattlemen began driving cattle up from Texas and founded some large ranches in the area.
Deer Trail's claim to fame is as the home of the first official rodeo in the United States, held on July 4th, 1869, and documented at the Colorado Springs Rodeo Cowboys Hall of Fame. There is still an active rodeo ground in Deer Trail and next weekend it will be the site of a Little Britches Rodeo. This first rodeo is even listed as one of the 3 interesting things about Colorado on the Woman Challenge website this year.
When we lived in Deer Trail some of the old ranchers were still hosting a Fourth of July Chuck Wagon Dinner each year, using an authentic wagon that had been used during roundups at one of the local ranches. As well as the local residents many rodeo cowboys and clowns and Baxter Black, a nationally known cowboy poet, would attend. I have posted some of my old photos of one of these dinners on July 4, 1987 to show what it looked like. I don't know if the dinners are still being done since so many of the old ranchers have passed on; there just aren't very many cowboys who took part in the old roundups still around to supervise and teach how it was done.
We were sorry to see on our visit that none of the stores are still operating and even the bar has closed. Main Street is just a long line of empty commercial buildings. One of the old store buildings, that Joe used to store stuff in, has collapsed; probably because of the heavy snows this past winter. The only operating businesses are a couple of service stations and a small ice cream shop close to the I-70 interchange. We were surprised to find a new single street subdivision with several new houses on the west side of town. Deer Trail is now mostly a bedroom community for the Denver metro area.
I've never regretted moving here from Deer Trail, (I was a fish out of water there) but I do love the history and cowboy culture, and found, while living there, that the plains do have their own kind of beauty; and some of the people, such as Dutch Venter, the Editor and Publisher of the local newspaper, are fascinating to talk to.
Ralph Stuchlik, husband of one of Joe's paternal cousins, at 91, was the oldest man in attendance who was born within 50 miles of Deer Trail. This photo was taken by his daughter a few years ago before he was required to use a wheelchair.
Wednesday, June 6, 2007
I am taking part in The Woman Challenge as a member of the Lounge Quilters team. We each set our own exercise goals for this 8 week challenge and earn points toward our walk across America by meeting our goals and posting some exercise each day. Yesterday I did my walking on the Arkansas Riverwalk instead of just around my neighborhood. 15 years ago I was walking the MacKenzie Boulevard to Raynolds Avenue section (1 mile each way) almost every day. [That was before I was K Oed by the chronic illnesses I now live with.] In addition to being great exercise, it was also my meditation and re-creation time. Since I've been increasing my daily steps each week, I decided the time had come to return to the Riverwalk.