Winter is Finally Here!

Snow on Main St

We’ve had so little snow this winter season that most days felt like fall.  Finally, I’ve cleared  my sidewalk twice this week.  It’s not much but it’s a start!  The mountains have been getting hit hard too.  Perfect time to think about planning a ski trip!

Winter Adventure in the Rockies



Goat Rope’n

I always thought the term “goat roper” referred to a type of dress/mentality/interests in life.  My youngest referred to himself as a goat roper when he was in high school.  I guess because he wore cowboy boots, drove a pickup, preferred “Mudd’n” to sports.  Last week I found out that there is actually an event at National Western Stock Show 2018 that is called “Goat Rope’n”.    Who knew?!?

Actually, it is an event sponsored by the Denver Chamber of Commerce which raises $30,000 to $35,000 which provides the funds for the Chamber to bid on a steer at NWSS 2018 which is part of the scholarship program.  I really didn’t know what to expect when I was assigned the photography assignment but it was immensely enjoyable and entertaining!

Goats kind of do what they want, not what the goat wrangler wants!  The event does involve more than goats however.  There are several events that a teams of four participate in and earn a cumulative score for their team.  Anything goes most of the time!  Beer guzzling, barrel (or cone) racers on stick horses were timed and the fastest relay team earned points for their team.  Same goes with pig wrestling and the cow patty toss.

Just a few pictures from the event:

Next year I may decide to put my own team together!

Thanksgiving Trivia

Before we steamroll into Christmas, this is certainly the time to reflect on the things that are most important of all.  I’m sure for most US Americans (as this is only an American holiday), myself included, at the top of that list is family.  I know a lot of people feel they are obligated to spend time with their “dysfunctional” family.  I’m fortunate to have raised a gaggle of funny, smart, crazy children, in a highly functioning family which I enjoy spending time with.  Missing this year will be my youngest Marine son, Kade, who is stationed in North Carolina, but the rest of us will be together for a late Thanksgiving dinner, Logan (the son in law) and Paige (the only grandchild) included.

After spending hours in the kitchen, and then hours cleaning up, I instituted a new holiday tradition once my kids were old enough to stand in front of a stove, which continues today.  I create the menu for the day, print recipes and assign a dish or menu item to each member.  We get to spend time together cooking, and of course laughing together, and the burden of providing a big elaborate meal is lifted from mom’s shoulders.  One of favorite ways to cook a turkey is deep fry!  Yum!  We set up the fryer in the shop and everyone hangs out there while it cooks.   Oh, the smell is mouth-watering!

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Another holiday tradition that we look forward to is gathering at our big dirt pile/shooting range for target practice.  The neighbors wisely keep their kids inside!

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As the title implies, here is my Thanksgiving Trivia, oh, and Happy Thanksgiving!

  1. Wild turkeys can run 20 miles per hour when scared.  Domestic turkeys are heavier and can’t run as fast (which is why we see the on our dinner table!).
  2. Benjamin Franklin wanted the turkey to be the national bird, not the eagle (I’m glad someone shot that idea down!).
  3. Americans eat 46 million turkeys each Thanksgiving with Californians consuming the most.
  4. Neil Armstrong and Buss Aldrin’s first meal in space after walking on the moon was foil packets with roasted turkey.
  5. The heaviest turkey on record according to the Guinness Book of Records weighs 86 pounds.
  6. Female turkeys (called hens) do not gobble.
  7. The average Turkey for Thanksgiving meal weighs in at 15 pounds.
  8. Campbell’s Soup created the green bean casserole for the annual cookbook 50 years ago.  It now sells $20 million worth of cream of mushroom soup.

Enjoy your family or friends, your meal, and most of all, your day!

Horseback Riding at Twin Lakes in November?!?

The weather was cooperating and the horses were frisky yesterday.  It didn’t take us long to load them into a trailer and just go.  Since it was hunting season, and we didn’t relish the thought of being mistaken for deer or elk, our destination was the Colorado Trail at Twin Lakes.  It is a heavily used trail year round, and I have never seen evidence of either deer or elk, so it was a safe bet that there would not be any hunters in the area.

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Twin Lakes

Our horses still have shoes on so we were hoping for only a little snow on the ground.  As it turned out, there was about half an inch but because the trail is used so often, there were bare spots too.  We didn’t see signs of any deer or elk, but we did see bike tracks in the snow, lots of footprints and even dog tracks.   What a wonderful way to spend a Sunday afternoon in November!

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Horseback Riding with a Unicorn!

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All you need to be a real cowgirl are boots, a hat, and when it’s chilly, a pair of chaps!

Is the World Safe Anymore?

When my oldest daughter was in elementary school, I applied my lifelong love of sports to coaching softball, volleyball and basketball for the City of Colorado Springs.  As I was attending coach related classes, there was a theme that was running through each of these classes that caused me concern. We were instructed to not keep score and they wanted us to tell our athletes that we are “all winners”.  What a disturbing thought, because guess what?!?  We are not all winners.    Who is teaching these kids life lessons such as winning gracefully, or even more important, how to lose gracefully??  In an effort to spare the feelings of the losers, they were in essence taking away the ability for these children to live and work in the real adult world.

I took this question back to the parents of the children I was coaching.  They all agreed, we would keep score even if it was only for our own use.  My daughter has never played any sport without knowing the score, and guess what, she is and was a commodity to any employer she has ever worked for.  She has the ability to make her fellow co-workers “look bad or lazy” because she understands the drive and incentive to be the best she can be and to accept gracefully her short-comings.     When she doesn’t perform up to the task, she is also willing to accept that she didn’t achieve what she should have set out to do  We are now seeing the effect of telling our children that they are all winners.  We’ve created a generation of fragile egos; adults who can’t function in an adult world.

Click on the link below as it is well written and pertinent to life in 2017.  How do we change this?  How do we give our kids the opportunity to develop their own identity and to become brave and willing to explore the world and their option?  How do we teach them to win gracefully and even more important, how to lose gracefully?

Fragile Children

Identity Theft

I’ve not kept up with the whole Equifax fiasco/security breach so I am not up to date on everything that happened, however I have been concerned that someone might help themselves to my information which I’ve head is a nightmare to clean up.  I had heard that Equifax was providing a year subscription for theft but I wasn’t sure how to go about signing up for it.  It’s possible that if you sign up for the identity protection, you will not be able to sue Equifax should there be a class action lawsuit in the future.

By most estimates, 1/2 of the population was affected by the security breach.  To determine if you are included in those numbers, go to their website to check:

Equifax Security Breach 2017

Scroll to the bottom and click on “Read More”

Scroll to the bottom and click on “Potential Impact”

Fill in your last name and the last 6 digits of your SS#.

Weather your information was part of the security breach or not, you can still sign up for a free one-year subscription to their identity protection program called Trusted ID.  The last day to sign up is November 21, 207.

Sex Sells

The Madams of Central Colorado arrived in Buena Vista last night for the opening sold-out show of the 2017 summer season.  This show, in its 11th year, was written by cast member Kathi Perry as an educational and historical theatrical production.  Each character is based upon a true life painted lady who lived and worked in the Upper Arkansas Valley at a time when there was a shortage of women.

Belle Brown, portrayed by Carrie Carey, had one of the most popular parlour houses in Buena Vista early in its history.  She bottled her own beer and sold it to her patrons at 500% her cost.  She would dress up her girls in their finery and take a buggy ride down the middle of street, as a form of advertisement, of course.  Belle’s business declined and she left town soon after she staged the brawl that damaged Cockeyed Liz’s eye.

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Lizzie Spurgeon, also known as Cockeyed Liz and portrayed by Kathi Perry, arrived in town in her silk & satin and everyone knew who she was when she stepped off of the train.  She opened her house, The Palace of Joy, and enjoyed a successful career in the profession until she married one of her customers.  She was married for over 30 years and when she passed away, no church in town would hold her service so her beloved Alphonse held her service under the tree in the front yard of the Palace.

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Laura Evens, as portrayed by Renee Graner, arrived in Denver with her one year old daughter Lucille after fleeing an unhappy marriage.  She soon realized that she didn’t know the first thing about taking care of a baby and with no money, job or skills, she chose to “turn out” to pay for her daughter’s care & upbringing.  Laura moved on to Leadville before settling in Salida where she opened her own parlour house.  Ms. Laura had the longest running house in Colorado and finally shut her doors in 1950.

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Lillian Powers, as portrayed by Bonnie Schwam, was a good friend of Ms. Laura.  Ms. Laura had asked Lillian to work in her parlour house, however, Lillian was a crib girl and wished to remain in Ms. Laura’s cribs.    Lillian eventually moved to Florence and opened her own house where she was soon Florence’s most famous madam.  Lillian chose the life of a fallen angel rather than remain in her first profession as a school teacher.

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Silverheels Jessie, as portrayed by Morgan Mahala, worked in Ms. Laura’s parlour house in Salida.  Jessie had the highest regard for Ms. Laura and the way she ran her house.  At one point, during the influenza epidemic, Ms. Laura closed her house down and sent her girls out into the community to act as nurses.  Silverheels Jessie ended up at the home of a local baptist minister who had tried for years to close Ms. Laura down.  After she nursed his wife back to health he offered her a job as his wife’s companion.  Silverheels Jessie turned him down and returned back to the parlour house to continue her life as a bride of the multitude.

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Laverne, as portrayed by Whitney Tidwell, was also a parlour house girl in Ms. Laura’s house.   Not a lot is known about Laverne before or after her life as a soiled dove, but she too enjoyed and loved working for Ms. Laura.  She and Silverheels Jessie enjoyed a competitive rivalry for both Ms. Laura’s attention as well as those of their “friends”.  She likes to tell the audience what it was really like living and working in a parlour house, without offending those with tender sensibilities.

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The Professor, as portrayed by Teresa Roorda, pleases and entertains the crowd with her musical skills.  Cockeyed Liz was progressive for her time and employed The Professor, a woman, as musical entertainment for her gentlemen callers.  It was well known to the madams that music could hasten the turnover of clients.

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If you missed last night’s show, (July 8, 2017) the ladies will be back in Buena Vista on August 12th, as well as September 9th.  They will then be off to Pueblo to perform for the Medal of Honor Recipients before taking the “cat wagon” to Lamar to set up their tent at the historical encampment.

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When Was The Last Time You Visited With A Madam?

The Madam show is back!  Madams of Central Colorado, a production for the benefit of Buena Vista Heritage Museum, will open on Saturday evening at 7 p.m. sharp.  This show features the lives of 6 women who lived and worked this valley from circa 1880 to 1950.  No lie!  The stories they share are based on actual events.  You can either purchase tickets beforehand at the Buena Vista Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center for $15….or if you are feeling really lucky, you can purchase them at the door of the Museum.

Read the following article for all the dirt and details.  Thank you Ark Magazine for keeping our notoriety alive!

Madams of Central Colorado



The Princeton Retreat: Welcome Home

We have inched into July, which is peak season for Buena Vista.  Anyone in a tourist community can understand the intensity of peak season!  I try to carve out a little time during the week for Paige, but then that means that other things are neglected.  Blog writing is probably the first thing to go.  So, in lieu of writing my own blog, I am going to share a blog by Emily and Hudson Crider, travel bloggers, who stayed with us last May at the Princeton Retreat.  Their blog was really all-encompassing about Colorado, but they do spend a little time talking about Buena Vista and their fabulous stay here:

The Princeton Retreat: Welcome Home