Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Ribbon

I have had an intensely lazy day today. The first in several months that I can remember. Chaos entered my life a few months ago...sadly, at my invitation. It had to be evicted, and it has been painful, but I believe very necessary to my well-being. It has been incredibly refreshing to have a day like today, with no worries of the past, and looking forward to a better future. I started the day with a meeting, then snagged my friend Dana and we wandered up to Bang's Canyon for a hike on what is known as the Ribbon trail. I forgot the camera in the car, so I don't have any pictures of the insane beauty of that hike. We will be going again, and I will be sure to take my camera on that round. At the top of the hike there is a ginormous rock formation that looks from a distance like a wine glass. The trail goes right through the middle of the rock. I was amazed! We got out onto it and it is so big, you can't see from one end to the other or from one side to the other. Amazing! And the views...indescribable. I will say that you can see the entire Grand Valley from Delta to Mack and the mountains and Book cliffs behind them. All of this fifteen minutes from my house!

After we got done with the hike, Callie and I came home and she had a bath and then I sat down to read. I read all day long. I haven't done that in...I really don't know how long. I moved around, from the front yard to the back yard, to my bed, to my chair. I can't believe how great that was! On a Wednesday...when everyone else is working! I will pay for it. I have to go back to work tomorrow and I work seven days straight before I get another day off. It will be worth it. I'll be going to Gunnison then. Another beautiful day in Colorado!

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Springtime in the Rockies

I love springtime in the Rockies. It is Memorial weekend and ever since I can remember, it has rained on this weekend...all weekend. Everyone rushes out of town to camp in the mountains in the rain...together. I hope they're having fun! I am here because I have to work, and I go to Gunnison in a couple of weeks...when it will be sunny and bright and beautiful. Because I stayed in town, here is what the rain has brought me to see in my very own yard: The roses are starting to bloom and are just as beautiful this year as last year; I just watched two butterflies fly past my front window as I type this; when Callie and I were out for our walk, we watched Robin's eating worms, a snail crawl across the street, and a hummingbird fly overhead...all in my own yard! I just love Colorado more and more each day!

Friday, May 22, 2009

It's stories like this that can help change perceptions

OKLAHOMA CITY -- D-boy, an Oklahoma City family's pit bull, received a special honor for bravely saving his family from an intruder.

D-boy suffered injuries in December after the intruder shot him three times. Oklahoma City residents came to the support of the heroic dog, helping the Shoemaker family with D-boy's medical expenses.

The Humane Society of United States held an online poll. After more than 6,000 people voted, the Dog of Valor, People's Hero Award was given to D-Boy.

It was just six months ago, D-boy was recovering after an intruder shot him three times. The dog scared the man out of his family's house and kept the Shoemakers safe.

"If he wouldn't have distracted the guy, the guy probably would've shot me," said Roberta Shoemaker. "I didn't know what to do he told me to get down on the ground, and I was so scared, I couldn't move."

D-boy saved the lives of everyone there on that fateful day.

"If he wasn't there and wouldn't have done what he did, I could've came home to no family," Angelic Shoemaker said.

The family knows how special D-Boy is and now the rest of the country is showing its love for a dog who went beyond the call of duty. Out of 15 finalists, D-Boy walked away with the Humane Society of the United States' Dog of Valor award.

I wish the media would print more stories like this one. Between these types of stories and through the work of organizations such as Bad Rap, maybe the witch hunt can come to an end.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Great article - Couldn't have said it better

Detroit Free Press

We're a forgiving people, just not a forgetful one.

There will never be a clean slate for Michael Vick, nor should there be. His apologists equate his release from federal prison sometime today as washing away the stains of his heinous transgressions. Punitive debt paid, he's somehow owed the opportunity to continue his high life before the feds exposed his sordid sub-life.

Think again.

Vick doesn't walk out of prison a football player. He's a convicted felon.

Vick has a right to make a living, but playing in the NFL remains a special privilege dutifully earned. Vick has the right to prove that he's reformed, that he's grown from his mistakes. But the NFL isn't constitutionally bound to provide him with that platform.

Immediately reinstating Vick to the NFL upon completion of his two-month house arrest in July would be an ill-advised business move for the league.

Is Vick truly appreciative of all he's lost? Prove it now that he's out of jail. Have him spend another year as an average layman earning modest wages trying to make ends meet. Test his tenacity in maintaining his football conditioning while working a regular 9-to-5 job. Give him a real taste of what second chances at redemption are for the rest of us who don't run a 40-yard dash in 4.3 seconds or rifle a football 70 yards. Perhaps the additional humility wipes away the last vestige of celebrity entitlement and Vick emerges as a truly repentant individual.

His problem is that he will never shake the loathsome portrait conveyed in the federal government's case, chronicling how he and his associates choked, hung and even electrocuted pit bulls because they weren't mean enough to win dogfights.

The issue isn't the value of a human life compared to an animal. The issue is strictly criminal intent.

NFL defensive end Leonard Little got drunk following a birthday party, got behind the wheel of a car and tragically took the life of an innocent woman in another car in 1998. Little pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter. He served 90 days in jail and resumed his professional career.

Why should Little get another chance in the NFL while Vick forever sits since Vick "only killed dogs?"

But it wasn't Little's intention to deliberately take another life when he took the wheel that night.

If it was, prosecutors could've charged him with first-degree murder and, if convicted, he'd remain in prison to this day.

You cannot look at Vick's situation through Little's legal prism.

You cannot escape the premeditated viciousness of Vick torturing and killing animals for a number of years under the guise of an underground business enterprise. It was no accident, no instance of criminally poor judgment. It was a savagely calculated plan.

You cannot forget that. Ever.

But the onus for turning the page rests predominantly on those still outraged over Vick's deeds. They should just "get over it." Let the man live his new life. Let him play NFL football.

But the latter two points are mutually exclusive.

If Vick and his cadre of sycophants still only measure his self-worth as strictly a football player at the outset of his new life, then he's learned nothing from the last two years. There will be no genuine remorse for his actions, only a perceived victim's contempt for his persecutors.

Vick will have every opportunity to show all that he's a new person possessing a new moral compass, but that has absolutely nothing to do with him taking another NFL snap.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Fruita Reservoir

Callie and Dana and her brother, Michael and I went up to Fruita Reservoir today for a mountain hike. It was still a little chilly and windy, but we had fun getting lost and then finding our way back and enjoying each other's company. One of the pictures is Michael taking a picture of me while I'm taking one back. Fruita Reservoir is sort of a misnomer. It actually sits above Glade Park and there are three reservoirs. One thing I like, though, is that it is a half hour trip by car and up in mountains where the weather is cooler and a great escape from the heat. I do love the mountains. We didn't really hike too much because I took a wrong turn and got lost, so we had to back track, but once we where in the right place, it was terrific! I love having people to do this stuff with and who will so willingly go exploring with me. Callie always has a great time too. The greens I took a picture of we don't know what they are, but they are everywhere and just gorgeous to look at.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Hawaii Writers Conference

The featured presenters this year include:

Mitch Albom - New York Times bestselling author - Tuesday's with Morrie and The Five People You Meet in Heaven
Ron Powers - Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, novelist and non-fiction writer - Flags of Our Fathers
Bobby Moresco - Oscar winning co-writer/producer for Crash - co-producer of Academy Award winning Million Dollar Baby
Gregory Maguire - author of the bestselling novel Wicked - now a Tony Award winning Musical
Michael Arndt - Academy Award winner for best original screenplay - Little Miss Sunshine
Diana Ossana - Academy Award for best writing (adapted screenplay) and Golden Globe Award winner - Brokeback Mountain
William Bernhardt - New York Times bestselling author of Capitol Conspiracy, Murder One, and Double Jeopardy
Joe Finder - bestselling author of The Moscow Club and Vanished thrillersKristin Hannah - New York Times bestselling author - Firefly Lane, Angel Falls, and On Mystic Lake
Jacquelyn Mitchard - New York Times bestselling author - Deep End of the Ocean

I have kept setting a goal to attend this conference in a year and have never made that goal. Given my current situation, I think I'll set a goal to attend in five years, by then some things will have changed surely. Although this would be a good year to attend, every year this conference draws the biggest and the best writers in the United States.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009


Callie and I went out to the canyon again and had a nice, healing hike. She played in the water and I cried a bit. I made a decision last week that was difficult, but I know in my heart was the right decision. I find such solice out there in the middle of the high desert. There is something about walking in this world, taking a minute to be completely present in the moment, and appreciate what the universe has created that I get to enjoy anytime I want. I find myself more centered, more grateful and creativity flows in the middle of nowhere. We have had some spring rains that make the greens and browns more vivid and alive and the rocks become simply more impressive. I always feel so much better when I take the time to walk and reflect and let myself heal all of the pain of the past and the present and become aware that this world I live in is so special and I am one lucky woman.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Quick neighborhood rescue

My neighbors own a small pit bull type dog named Tallulah. She is an incredibly well behaved dog. I took Callie out for a walk this morning and noticed that Tallulah was out by herself, which never happens. There is always someone around. I didn't know what to do because even though she is well behaved, I don't know her. And even having owned Callie for a while, I am still leery of strong breed dogs that I don't know personally. She came into my yard and I told her to go home, which she promptly did. But I don't think anyone was home and I didn't want to approach her door without knowing her. Anyway, a neighbor came along who does know her and says the guy who owns her has worked with her quite a bit and she wouldn't run off, which is good news, but I talked the neighbor into trying to get Tallulah back into her own back yard, which is fenced (have him get bit rather than me :)) He got her into her yard without incident. Glad I could save the neighbor dog. I hate it when they get out and wander and get hit by a car or picked up by animal control. I'd rather try to be a good neighbor and get them home safely. I don't particularly care for my neighbors and their loud drinking parties, but I have to say, they have certainly appeared to be really good dog owners. Guess you can't judge people by outward appearances.

Sunday, May 3, 2009


I just read on article on Yahoo! about how people spend their days during this recession. It is scary. I see customers at the store looking at prices more closely and passing up higher priced items that they used to buy without a blink. The oil and gas companies have laid off, many companies aren't cutting back, but they aren't hiring either. I know that I am a little nervous. I have some built in protections against the worst of the worst, but the worst of the worst can happen and then what? I've often thought that if I lost my job, I'd put everything in storage and pack up the dog and cat and do some traveling. I still think that. Rather than panic, if there is some money around, why not take some time and see what I've been missing while working my butt off? I think it's a great idea. I'm not trying to put it out into the universe, because often if I wish for something to happen, it does. However, I have learned in my sobriety to keep something tucked away and take advantages of opportunities that present themselves.

Saturday, May 2, 2009

I've decided to twelve step my weight problem

I've gained fifty pounds since I got sober. Most of it in the first six months of sobriety. I've had no issues maintaining my high weight level since then. :-) I've been thinking about it for a couple of days and I know I have tried diets, exercise, all the fun stuff that goes with being skinny. When I quit drinking, I replaced the sugar in alcohol with the sugar in brownies, cookies and candy bars. I can't get enough sweets into my really is quite disgusting. So I sat down this morning and took the twelve steps of AA and tailored them to my weight and health issues. Step one, I am powerless over food and my weight has become unmanageable.

I can say that I am tired most of the time, I'm cranky, I have no patience for anyone or anything, I avoid any activity I don't have to do...hmmmm....sounds like me when I was drinking. I also have excuses galore for all of it, like I did while drinking. Well... I quit drinking, so I'm eating, I'm cutting myself some slack...along with another piece of cake! I figure, at best, I have another forty years in this life, and I want it to be healthy and active and full of life and love, not brownies and bigger pants. I want to go to Glenwood and not be embarrassed to get into my swimming suit. I don't want my legs to jiggle or rub together when I walk. I give myself credit: I have made tremendous progress in my emotional life since I've quit drinking, but I find I still eat out of boredom, anger, loneliness...all of the things I drank over. I know twelve step programs work for me, and I believe it can work in any area of my life I apply it to, so I'll try it here and see if I can't light another fire under myself and get healthy.