Thursday, October 9, 2014

Autumn in the Rockies

Most every summer I wait and wait, anticipating the first hint of autumn in the Rockies. It's a beautiful sight. Aspens aglow, quaking in the breeze. It literally looks like gold with a background of azure skies. Our front yard is surrounded by aspens and we have often remarked that we feel as if we are encased in a cocoon of ore right out of the gold mines of Cripple Creek and Victor.

Autumn holds for me memories of a childhood spent raking leaves then running and falling into them, laughing so hard I could scarcely catch my breath. Back in the day, we were still allowed to burn our leaves and I can still, if I concentrate hard enough, smell the aroma of burning leaves on a crisp fall day.

When I was little and my big sisters were in high school, there were sometimes bonfires on an empty lot on the main drag of L.A. (what is commonly known to everyone else in Arkansas as Lonoke). These were, if I remember correctly, the night before a big football match against such rivals as Carlisle or Cabot or England High Schools in surrounding towns of our small farming county. 

My grandparents lived on 88 acres on Mount Carmel Road just outside Cabot and I spend many fall afternoons wandering through the woods, getting lost in nature, but never far from home. My childhood memories are not unlike the memories of many other folks who grew up in Farmland U.S.A.  The crops might not all be the same: our farmers grew soybeans, rice and cotton and our town claimed the largest minnow farm in the world (can you imagine?). I also joked that Arkansas had another crop that most people didn't know about. We grew the biggest cotton-mouthed moccasin snakes known to man. I swear they must have been given steroids. I've seen my sister chase them around on her riding lawnmower, but that's a story for another day, which will give everyone a new opinion of the demure Southern woman.

One of the things I always gravitate to in autumn is apples. Here in Colorado we are blessed with lots of orchards, many of them close by. This autumn I have spent many hours canning apples. I've made such delectable goodies as apple butter and applesauce. And then there's apple bread, apple pie, stewed apples, chopped apples in salad. (I'm beginning to sound a little like Bubba Gump, so I'll stop now.)

I will reiterate how much I love autumn. I wait all year for that small window of time when the leaves reach their peak in anticipation of the first snowfall...which sometimes comes at about the same time in our neck of the woods.
Hopefully, you can dip into your memory bank and make a withdrawal of your favorite childhood (or adult) memories. Time has a way of slipping from our fingers...don't let the memories go with them.

Happy Autumn, All!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

We're Having Substantial Weather

The weather across America this Spring has been substantial, as an old friend of mine would say. Everywhere tornadoes or the threat of tornadoes, rain, hail. My home state of Arkansas, particularly the area I called my stomping grounds as a young adult, was devastated by killer tornadoes in April. My heart aches for the folks back there. But Arkansans are proud and strong. They will endure, rebuild, and be stronger for the trial.

Here in Colorado, we just had a springtime snow storm. In Florissant, where my hubby and I live, we measured eleven inches over a two day period of nonstop heavy snow. Living in the age of social media, I shared pictures and comments on Facebook about the snow and the poor hummingbird(s) that sought shelter on our front porch during the snow. I've had varying comments about the snow with "yuck", "is this normal" and "better days are ahead" being my favorites. My answers? "Yuck indeed!", "Yes, this is normal" and "I'm counting the days til summer in the Rockies".

Just when I thought the snow was over and it begun to melt, another "mini" snowstorm struck last night. My poor cats! You could also read the disappointment in their eyes. One in particular, Ricky, a seven-month-old Maine coon, would go to the door and wait for me to open it. (My cats are trained to potty outdoors. What a wonderful thing!) I opened the door, then the storm door and he looked out, looked up at me as if to say "What the.......", then turned and fled to the food bowl. Just like us humans, cats sometime soothe their woes in a good plate of comfort food (in this case, kibble for kitties).

Today is lovely. It is warming up nicely. Sunday, however, was a Mother's Day for the books. While we were snowed in, enjoying a day of solitude, movies and a Currier and Ives picture out our windows, my friends and family in Arkansas enjoyed a 90 degree day.

Substantial weather indeed!
Poor little hummingbird outside my window Sunday afternoon, Mother's Day.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Accidents Will Happen

Accidents happen everyday, so the old saying goes. And I am a living testimony to the fact that they do and that there is a clumsy gene that can be passed from generation to generation. There's a whole bunch of us clumsy folks in our family tree.

On January 24 I slipped on black ice on our driveway as I was attempting to get into the car. Whoosh, bam, bang...and what the heck just happened!!! Before I knew it, I was laid out on the drive, staring down at my right leg that had become contorted into a position I couldn't have imagined assuming if I had tried. The wind was knocked out of me, I was dizzy and faint, and the pain in my right hip was reminiscent of pain that only comes with a fracture. HOLY COW! A HIP FRACTURE! Now, I am a SENIOR, but not ancient...and never really thought this would happen (the fracture....not getting old). I cried out to my husband, Don, who I can only imagine was stunned and thinking "oh my goodness, what just happened here!!!" He came running to me and stooped down asking what he should do. Me, in all of my mind-boggling brilliance said something like "I don't know. Just let me sit here in the ice and snow and get numb for a minute." I honestly didn't know what to do next, but the cold of the snow and ice felt good on my hip and did, in fact, numb it just a bit. After a little while I asked him to help me into the car, which he did with great hesitation amid his suggestions at calling for an ambulance. 

I shall save you all from the whining and moaning and under my breath swearing that ensued and get down to brass tacks. He drove me to St. Thomas More Hospital in Canon City, Colorado, which for us is just as close as Colorado Springs. And must say, it must have been by divine appointment because I have never received such fine care in all my days. And believe me, with all my bone and joint problems, I've received LOTS OF TREATMENT.

I did feel sorry for the xray folks at the hospital because they received the brunt of my crying and screaming (yes, screaming) and whining as they positioned and repositioned me for different views of the hip. I clearing recall repeatedly crying out in pain then following it with "I'm sorry for being such a baby." There was a student there that day from a local radiology school. I would almost bet if she lived through that experience with me as her patient...well, she will receive an extra star in her crown when she meets her Maker one day. Bless her we Southerners say. To the xray folks I extend my profound apologies for screaming and crying and...well, you get the picture. 

I was in the hospital for over a week. From the surgeon, Eric Carlson, M.D., to the nurses, nurses' aides, OT and PT...I humbly thank them all for the outstanding care I received. The folks from the administrative side who visited me regarding insurance, etc. were kind and considerate and mindful of the situation. Everyone was amazing. (And the drugs were outstanding!)

I have to laugh. Whenever the nurses listened to my breathing they always said it was nice to listen to clear lungs. Also they were also amazed at someone my age who had a hip fracture. With that in mind, let me say this: ladies, we are all at risk for osteoporosis. Lots of risk factors: lack of calcium, too much caffeine, not enough exercise, bad diet, certain medications for different things such as autoimmune problems. Please take good care to do whatever necessary to avoid osteoporosis. I have severe osteoporosis because of the meds I've had to take for RA all these years. I urge you to do whatever you must do to avoid what I am living right now...the aftermath and recovery of a severely fractured right hip.

Bless my heart!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

The Train to Christmas Town

All of my life I've wanted to take a ride on a train. Not a subway, not a light or monorail, but a real passenger train. I even put it on my bucket list. When my husband, Don, entered a drawing a couple of weeks back for a trip on Alamosa, Colorado's Christmas train, I never dreamed he'd win...but win he did. And yesterday was the big day.

I didn't know what to expect, but as it turns out, the train is an original from way back when the railroads were making their mark in Colorado. The Rio Grande Scenic Railroad is kind of a big to do and it was our pleasure last night to take a ride on one of their trains.  Our tickets were in the observation car with tables and beautiful windows, that if we had been traveling in the light of day, would have yielded magnificent view of the beautiful Rocky Mountains that surround the San Luis Valley.

As we boarded the train, a light snow began to fall. Everything about this reminded me of a scene from White Christmas. Remember when the group sat up in the car and drank coffee and malteds and sang "Snow, Snow, Snow, Snow", but there was no snow?  It was like that except we had snickerdoodles, the best hot cocoa ever and SNOW!

We sat across the table from a young man and woman, Jeff and Darcey. Darcey lives and works in Alamosa and Jeff is currently living in Leadville. They were delightful and made the trip even more enjoyable with their tales of growing up in Colorado and giving up little tidbits of what their lives look like today. They were the perfect table-mates for us visitors from the other side of the state.

The Train to Christmas Town is a children's book that comes to life aboard the train with elves, woodland creatures and, in our case, an elfin Santa. He was a jolly old soul, slight in height, and perfect for the part. Even though this trip is specially made for children, this old lady and her hubby loved every minute of it.

If you ever get the chance, make the journey yourself. You won't regret it for a minute. It certainly made my holiday season and memorable one.
Meet Jeff and Darcey

Don and I had a blast!

Jeff and Darcey watching as Santa comes into our car!
Don gives Santa his Christmas wish

View of the front of the car from our seat

Don got a rise out of this kitty when he told him we'd just given away two litters!

Hot cocoa, anyone?

This guy's name is Bumblebee

Smile for the camera!

Friday, December 20, 2013

You Gotta See This Place!

On one of our many excursions to Canon City, Colorado, Don and I took a stroll through Historic Downtown. We came upon the Marketplace Shops and fell in love! We've done some shopping there and met a few of the vendors.. The shop is in fact 45 shops (at last count) under the same roof. Arts, crafts, antiques, vintage, cowboy furniture, cookware, books, tea, cookies, holiday items, name it! I LOVE THIS PLACE! Don even entered a drawing for a ride on the Alamosa Christmas Train and won! (And that will be a story we shall share soon as we take the trip tomorrow.)

If you find yourself in Canon City and want a unique shopping experience, or simply have a little time to kill, drop by the Marketplace Shops in beautiful Historic Downtown right on Main Street. (PHOTOS BELOW FROM GOOGLE IMAGES.)

Wednesday, December 18, 2013


Iron Fists In Satin Gloves: Book Two in the Miners' Cut Mystery Series
Authored by H. W. Peterson
List Price: $15.25
6" x 9" (15.24 x 22.86 cm)
Black & White Bleed on White paper
438 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1494722456 (CreateSpace-Assigned)
ISBN-10: 1494722453
BISAC: Fiction / Historical
Book Two in the continuing saga of three fictional families in Victorian age Ouray, Colorado. When local rancher, Simon Archer, fails to return from a business trip, the small community rallies in support of his wife, Susan. Unexpected news surfaces, which moves the search into the Arizona Territory.

Newcomers Washie and Alfred Somers, owners of The Miner's Cove Cafe, become involved as the town seeks understanding when all seems illogical and dangerous.
CreateSpace eStore: 

Monday, December 16, 2013

I Can't Believe It's Been So Long....

First and foremost, please forgive me for not posting in such a long time. It's been quite a ride since October. As most of you know, I had foot surgery the last week in July. Well, just as things were about to be "normal", I broke my foot again when I tripped over the hearth (and yes, it is big...and yes, I saw it....I'm just clumsy!!!). Then I went back in the boot (Yawn!) for a few weeks. I came out of the boot around Thanksgiving. About a week later I was scrounging around in the refrigerator and a pop can fell out and landed on one of my toes on the BAD FOOT (of course, it wouldn't be the other one) and broke it! I MEAN....SERIOUSLY!  Can I get a break/!?!?!?!? Obviously, I can! Over and over again! LOL!

The BOOK IS FINISHED...and will be out this week on I apologize for the lateness of it. I just haven't been able to get moving (LOL) (Another foot reference.) The book is entitled "Iron Fists in Satin Gloves" and is the continuing saga of "whatever happened to Simon Archer". You will meet some new characters, renew relationships with old ones and grow to love Reginald O'Keefe even more than you did in the first offering.

 I also have a short story that will be published as well.  It is entitled "The Christmas Chair of Remembrance" and is an offering to our Cherokee lineage, while maintaining the Wright family of the Miners' Cut Mystery series.

Thanks for your patience with me as I try to keep from breaking any more bones. getting old is a PAIN!