Friday, December 12, 2014

New roads; New Journeys

I love getting in the car and going for a ride; a memory I cherish from my childhood.  We would stop by the store, grab a soda and a snack (usually peanuts and put it in my soda), and would often hear "not sure where this road goes, but guess we will find out". 

Well on this day in 2006 my dad got into the driver seat and headed down a familiar road, but yet unfamiliar all at the same time.  Something seemed so different this time; he asked God to guide him and lead him to surrender his need for another drink. Along the way he found much more then he could ever dream to be possible - a happier man, husband, and dad.  A gift I will cherish for a lifetime!!!
Then this past February (February 22, 2014) he turned down another road with a leap of faith - an all new road, yet to be paved.  Turned out to be much rougher and challenging, but can see the end in sight.  I've seen the struggles, his determination, and know he will complete this challenge and  journey as well --- and be smoke-free until the end.

Dad, I could not be more proud of you for all you've been able to accomplish after so many years of struggling!

In celebration stop by the store, grab that soda and peanuts on your way to Lewisville to get a new star added to your Zippo.  For the ones who's not in the know; my mom and I wanted something special he could carry with him as a reminder of his accomplishments.  After given serious thought we chose a Zippo lighter (something he had been wanting), had a message engraved on it, and each year of accomplishment a star gets engraved on it.  Wish I had a picture of the lighter, but this is the message... 

 "Surrender is not being weak and giving up, it's simply coming over to the winning side using a power greater than yourself to continue the journey"

I've had my share of drunk fest and took up smoking (not once, but twice).  I seldom have an adult beverage these days and have been smoke-free since April 1997.  I'm very thankful everyday for choosing a different road.  This saying has always driven me... you either go with it or you go totally against it - I prefer "against it".  But, it's so easy to get pulled into either of these diseases, especially if your have the gene or addictive personality; something to keep in mind - doesn't matter of rich or poor. 
With love, be safe ~D.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Veteran's Day 2014

“A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself. “
—Joseph Campbell

Veteran's Day is an opportunity to salute our military heroes. It is a special day when we step out of the whirlwind of our daily lives and take time to thank those who have united in an effort to protect our most sacred freedoms.

We believe our courageous men and women deserve our gratitude each and every day. Even when public attention loses focus, we must not forget the men and women who continue to put their relationships on hold and their lives in jeopardy to protect America's sacred pledge of freedom and democracy. Vowed to never forget!

Please take a moment to pay tribute to all of those who are currently serving, those who have served, and especially those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice. Also lets don't forget our four-legged solider who served beside the brave men and women of our military.

"This will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave." ~Elmer Davis

This says it all...

“The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave.” —Patrick Henry

The late Andy Rooney, a World War II vet, suggested Veterans Day be renamed "No War Day," because that "would be worth celebrating".

Jerry being a Vietnam Veteran feels that most who have seen the devastation that war brings would be celebrating. His thoughts go out for everyone in uniform and to the day we can celebrate no combat troops active in any war.

We salute each of our veteran men and women today and everyday for your bravery and sacrifice to protect us.  Hugs!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Clowning Around at the Chainsaw House

Halloween is about family, fun, and enjoying sharing a little “Trick or Treat” with the community.  It started with the matriarch of the family years ago, until it was taken over by the younger generation and landed in Shawnee, Oklahoma.  It takes some long days and about 3-4 weeks to get it all setup for many to enjoy.  

This year was a bit hard for us all, as we missed the beautiful matriarch clown handing out the candy to all the kids.  Even some of the regulars asked about her and/or took a moment to look at the “Loving Memories” memorial we had behind us.  Memommie you will always be with the crew, all the fond memories to enjoy for a lifetime!

If you happen to be in the Shawnee area on Halloween, it’s worth stopping by Osage Street to see what all the hoopla is all about at the “chainsaw house”.
Nothing scared our Little Lincoln

Few little ones got scared by the chainsaw
Lincoln with her daddy

Brothers Clowning Around

Deb hanging with the clowns of the family

Three Generations

Great job gang...hope I'm lucky enough to be around next year to enough in the fun once again.  Maybe I'll even have time to join in with the proper outfit. 

10/31/14 ~D

Monday, October 20, 2014

House on Fire

I had heard and read several blog posts about this ruin called “House on Fire” for several years, however we never had gotten into the Cedar Mesa area.  While visiting the South Eastern part of Utah, it was high on my list of attractions this time.  If you happen to be in the Cedar Mesa area, Mule Canyon to be exact then you will not want to miss this ruin. 
Mule Canyon dwellings were built and occupied by the Anasazi Indians and had outstanding scenery around them.  You have already seen some of the surrounding scenery here and here, but this was our first ruin to visit.  The understanding is these ruins are over eight hundred years old; have never been excavated or restored in any fashion.  What a precious treasure to get to visit these ruins in their nature environment without supervision, so please cherish them with care while viewing them. They are sacred sites and it is a privilege and honor for us to get to enjoy them – please show respect!  Take photos and leave no trace…only footprints in the dirt.

House on Fire - actual photo, not enhanced

Petroglyph: not sure of their authenticity

The hike to House on Fire is about 1.5 miles (one way) with a few dips to cross the wash and back up the other side, however it’s a pretty easy trail.  If you would like to continue down the trail approximately another 2.5 miles (one way) there are seven other ruins. 

Blooms along the trail

Photo Op…We saw no glorious illusion during our time there (arrived around 9:30 and left around 11:30 a.m.), however after viewing the shoots on the computer the camera caught more dramatic affects then we saw visually.  Maybe in the spring or summer time you might see the more dramatic affects visually, but not in the fall when we visited.

Directions:  The trailhead for House on Fire is located on Co. Rd 263 which is about halfway between Blanding, UT and Natural Bridges N. M. near mile marker 102 on the north side of the highway.  If you’re coming from the west it’s very easy to find- you will see a sign for ‘Mule Canyon Ruins‘- this is NOT where House on Fire is located, this is a developed site with a kiva with interpretive signing, paved parking lot, and a pit toilet.  As soon as you pass this, the turn for House on Fire will be your next left.  If you’re coming from the east, it’s the next right after mile marker 102.

Turn north onto 263 continue down the road approximately .2 miles and you will see a small turnout for parking on the right-hand side and the trailhead marker on the left.  At the trailhead and you will see a kiosk- this is where you can pay for your backcountry permit to hike to House on Fire.  Backcountry permit fees (as of 4/2012) are $2/person, or if you will be spending some time hiking in the area, you can also purchase a week permit for $5/person. (Please visit the Monticello BLM Cedar Mesa Backcountry Permits page for updated information)

10/16/14 ~D