Thursday, July 30, 2009

UFL may be the only hope

Another team turned down the opportunity to sign reinstated NFL quarterback Michael Vick.

Washington Redskins coach Jim Zorn told the media his team wouldn't sign Vick "at this juncture."

Zorn says he wishes Vick the best and is sure the former Atlanta Falcons quarterback will return to the NFL.

The Redskins join a long list of teams — including the New York Giants, Jets and Dallas Cowboys — that have said they don't want Vick after he served 18 months in federal prison for running a dogfighting ring.

This may be how it goes for him. Teams quietly passing because they are "staffed up". I'm not so sure I agree with Zorn that Vick will return to the NFL. He may have to go to the UFL. I only hope that he keeps his commitment to work with the Humane Society regardless of where he lands his next paycheck.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


I'm in a reflective mood today. Twenty years ago today was my wedding. Thirteen years ago today my husband said he was leaving. It has taken this long to figure out that I felt that I was cast adrift then and I didn't find a safe harbor until now. I was looking in all the wrong places: Other relationships, work, exercise, over-eating, drinking for years on end...surprise! None of them ever worked. How many times has this story been told before? Hundreds of millions, and I find I am again simply one of the masses who has survived abandonment and all that follows: Searching, turmoil, loss of self-esteem, feelings of betrayal, falling into addiction to mask the pain, and on and on, spinning out of control. The addiction was my ultimate downfall. I let everyone down, especially myself, and now I start from the beginning again, because I lost absolutely everything. I heard once that your life is a do-over. I can feel that now. I have set up my safe camp in this safe harbor and nested myself into a feeling of security (maybe false, but it works for me) that helps me move out into the world and explore this new life on my own. The good news about a do-over is that I have the wisdom of years and experience behind me, so that I have the ability to do it over better this time. But it will never be how I envisioned my life from the beginning, and that makes me incredibly sad on days like today. There will likely never be another relationship, there will certainly be no children. There are friends and there is work and those keep me going. I write and it helps me feel as if I have some purpose, I just don't know what yet. I am considering a career path that will give me something to do in the meantime and help me feel like I am more than wasted space on this planet. Ultimately, I feel safe in myself now. I have two years sobriety and trust myself again and know that I can count on myself again to make good choices regarding who to trust, who to keep at arms length, and mostly how to feel something besides anger and self-loathing. In looking at my life, there was never anything that caught my attention and held it as much as the thought of building a life with someone. I looked so forward to it, and then it failed. I do like living alone, I can do whatever I want. But I miss the experience of having someone to share life with. It would have been fun.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Frank McCourt

NEW YORK - Frank McCourt, the beloved raconteur and former public school teacher who enjoyed post-retirement fame as the author of "Angela's Ashes," the Pulitzer Prize-winning epic of woe about his impoverished Irish childhood, died Sunday of cancer at age 78.

I read Teacher Man about a month ago. All his years of teaching creative writing in New York City the end, only one student challenged him to write a book. The last line of Teacher Man:

"Maybe I will."

I'm glad he did.

Saturday, July 18, 2009


The sweet corn harvest began in Olathe on Wednesday, which means one of the Western Slope's sweetest delicacies will soon be in farmers markets and grocery vegetable bins in Colorado, and in markets as far away as Alaska, Arizona, Georgia, Texas and Washington.

This year's harvest is sizing up to about 550,000 cases of corn that each contain 48 ears, said John Harold, owner of the 1,300-acre Tuxedo Corn Co. farm. He has been been growing corn for 28 years.

He said this year's quirky weather moved the harvest up two days earlier than last year.

Hard to believe how fast the summer has gone. People mark their calenders for the time we can relish Olathe sweet corn. Yummo! Of course it is cause for celebration, however, as a store manager, I am aware that we must be very careful. Customers have been known to pummel each other for the privilege of being first to pick their corn :-)!!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Mt. Garfield

This is a dust cloud created by a rock slide on Mt. Garfield this morning. Callie and I went hiking later in the day and didn't notice any difference on Garfield, but I wasn't looking for it. The county isn't saying it was an Earthquake, so it was probably some wild mustangs or mountain goats frolicking in the cool morning air...sure.

One by one they will fall (I hope)

(CNN) -- An investigation into dogfighting across five states has resulted in federal charges against 19 people, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Wednesday.

More than 350 dogs were seized after an investigation into dogfighting across five states.

Indictments unsealed in Missouri, Illinois and Texas detailed gambling rings in which owners bred and trained dogs to fight, then killed them if the animals were badly wounded or failed to perform as desired, according to separate Justice Department statements issued in Missouri and Illinois.

Some of the suspects allegedly served as referees for fights, while others were accused of being "sponge-men" who wiped off blood and cooled down dogs during matches, one of the statements said.

More than 350 dogs, primarily pit bull terriers, were seized in a series of coordinated raids on various dogfighting venues, it said.

The statement named seven suspects from Missouri, Nebraska and Iowa who will face a variety of charges including conspiracy, illegal gambling and bookmaking. Each of the five counts in the indictment carries a maximum sentence of five years imprisonment without parole and a maximum fine of $250,000, the statement said.

"The indictment alleges that the defendants denied the dogs adequate and humane medical treatment of wounds and injuries suffered as a result of the dogfights," the statement said. "The defendants routinely and inhumanely destroyed dogs that became severely injured as a result of a fight, the indictment says, by shooting the dogs in the head, then throwing the carcasses into the river or burning them in a barrel."

According to the statement, one of the accused works for a state school for the handicapped, another is a registered nurse at a Missouri community hospital and a third works for a school district.

Another Justice Department statement identified five East St. Louis, Illinois, residents who were charged with one count each of conspiracy to commit unlawful activities of dogfighting.

What these people have done makes my blood boil. While I appreciate the work of law enforcement who has worked so hard to take these organizations down, I feel these people don't deserve to be on this planet. It takes a seriously sick individual to conduct this type of "business". Before I get judged, how would you like to be a gladiator for your own life and then lose it because you aren't strong enough? And just because this has gone on for centuries doesn't make it right and doesn't mean that it shouldn't be brought to an end. Thank goodness George W. had the strength to sign a bill that made the laws harder on these individuals.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

We Had Him

I watched the Michael Jackson memorial this morning since I had to work yesterday and missed it. I found it truly moving. No one will know the truth about the controversy in Michael's personal life except the people who were there, but plenty of people feel compelled to express a negative opinion simply in an attempt to lower him to their level, only making themselves look ignorant in the process. I believe he was innocent, but a victim of his kindness and naivety and desire to help others. And he did help others.

One thing I didn't know about him is that he holds a record in the Guinness Book of World Records for most charitable donations. I believe through his music and in his life he cared deeply about humanity and there were times it worked against him. Songs like "We Are the World" and "Man in the Mirror" don't come from self-serving, egotistical maniacs. Those songs come from a deep, compassionate and a caring soul, who I do hope we celebrate as Congress has promised to debate declaring June 25th Michael Jackson day.

Finally, I don't think he meant to kill himself. I think life had become overwhelming to him when charged with child molestation and he never recovered. I remember him saying in an interview after being acquitted that he would leave Neverland, that it was no longer a home for him. I remember the profound sadness in his eyes and voice; and thus he was cast adrift in this world seeking a safe harbor. He seems to have never found that safe place, but felt the financial pressure encircling him and needed to do something. I believe what the nutritionist nurse said that he just wanted to sleep; he was so tired. I understand that kind of exhaustion. Clearly, I've never felt pressure at his level, but I know not being able to sleep and medicating it inappropriately until the world collapses around me and I feel like I can't get up. There were days I didn't want to get up and had wished I was dead. I doubt he was ready to go, but Stevie Wonder was right, God needs him more. I hope in remembering him, we can remember to be kinder to each other and remember we are in this together.

I love Maya Angelou's poem about Michael Jackson (below). She has expressed so well (some parts omitted by me) I believe, what people feel. I do hope we remember him in a positive light. He gave so much, was such a genius, and a true gift from God to us.

Beloveds, now we know that we know nothing, now that our bright and shining star can slip away from our fingertips like a puff of summer wind.

Without notice, our dear love can escape our doting embrace. Sing our songs among the stars and walk our dances across the face of the moon.

In the instant that Michael is gone, we know nothing. No clocks can tell time. No oceans can rush our tides with the abrupt absence of our treasure.

Only when we confess our confusion can we remember that he was a gift to us and we did have him.

He thrived with passion and compassion, humor and style. We had him whether we know who he was or did not know, he was ours and we were his.

But we do know we had him, and we are the world.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Rough Canyon

In our constant meandering, Callie and I headed to Bangs Canyon again today and tried the Rough Canyon trail. Very quickly we discovered it is appropriately named. I explored for a while, but think I'll wait to explore further until I have another human companion with me who can dial a phone if we get in trouble. It was beautiful. There is no end to the beauty in that area. I love it more and more every time I go and see something new. I put new batteries in my camera and got some pretty decent pictures. Callie observing her kingdom is my favorite. It's really hard to get pictures of her because she moves so fast and so often. I frequently show pictures to my friends and say, "Callie was just in that spot when I took the picture!" She is a fun hiking buddy and seems to be thrilled every time we go someplace new. The wind was rustling the leaves a little today and she didn't quite know what to make of the noise, so she hid behind me now and then, and then when I determined all was well, she bounded off to check out the road ahead.

Queen Callie observing her kingdom.

The trail mostly winds through a dry river bed. There was occasional water for cooling off as we pondered the trail ahead.

I liked that rock to the left. It was near the trail head.

An overlook of Bangs Canyon from the road. I think it is simply spectacular.