Friday, December 26, 2008


Yes, I've finally posted some pics of Vegas. However if you want to see London and Paris you're going to have to see them here because my files are so huge!!! I just don't have time to resize them all. However I think these are a good representation of the trip! It's been crazy since I returned and I haven't had a lot of time to reflect on the trip other than it was great, I enjoyed London immensely and would love to go back - it was such a cool city with so much to see and do - and that I think I fell in love with Paris...unfortunately not IN love IN Paris *sigh* oh

But here's Las Vegas! I really enjoyed the city. I wasn't sure what I expected, but it wasn't the class I saw. The town is well put together and is quite beautiful! I could have stared all day at the architecture and attention to detail in each casino and hotel. The art alone was awesome and on top of it all everything was decorated for Christmas!!!

Christmas was wonderful and I actually ended the night at the theatre with a boy (totally random and unexpected 'date') and playing Wii bowling with him and fam until 1am. It was fun!!! Hope everyone enjoyed their Christmas! Right now it's sleeting out which has ruined my breakfast plans with a good girlfriend of mine, but we're going to try for lunch instead. Tonight's the Motor City Bowl!!! Go Central!!! I'll fly back to CO tomorrow so I hope everyone has a great New Year's!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Red Wings 4; Blues 1

Have I ever explained how much I love the Wings? Ever? I LOVE them! I'm not sure if it has to do growing up surrounded by hockey, or practically living on the ice since I was 5, or a combination, but I just LOVE them! Actually I really love Hockey and the Wings embody everything I love about it.

Anywho - Lesley and I met up with Kim, Yeimy and Jenni for dinner at the Brewery and then headed to the game against the St. Loius Blues. It was a great game, with early scoring and pretty decent opposition despite the other team having quite a few injuries. We then headed back to Royal Oak to meet a few more people at O'Tooles. Sometimes I wish I lived a lot closer for nights like last night. I do miss my friends and the social aspects of living close to them.

Michigan DOES need to the get that no smoking bit in effect. I SO DO NOT miss the smell of smoke on my clothes after a night at the bar.

Merry Christmas everyone! I hope everyone has a blessed few days with their family!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Hola From Detroit

I'm in town! I'm only here until the afternoon of the 27th and I have a lot of plans with my family, but I'd love to get together for lunch or whatever with people! Give me a call!

I think the plans tonight are to go to Royal Oak after the Wing's game too. This will probably be my one night out since I'm going to the Bowl game Friday night.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Check out the Toffee link I have above! I'm in love with toffee and brought home tons with me from London! This stuff rocks!

Garden Gnomes 5 / Me 0

I would write about Vegas (and Europe) but my 'gremlins' have struck again. If I could stop dealing with all their crap I might be able to detail my trips.

While in Vegas my furnace pilot light blew out and nobody could get in light for a day and a half. Now: no problem. Huh?

The faucet on the shower in the spare bathroom cracked and was running when I got home yesterday resulting in having to turn off the water to the house. No shower for me before school today. No problems with the pipes or fittings. Just the random faucet in a bathroom I've never used.

All my houseplants died. They were alive when I left and black and gooeyish when I got home. WTF? What the hell causes that? I've had them FOREVER. I'm trying to re-start them from the roots. Very strange. Actually downright worrisome.

The hose to the water tanks were left running (purposely) because running water doesn't freeze. It did last night and it wasn't THAT cold. Again, something I've never had happen before...

Vegas recap: I LOVED IT. For starters I was expecting fake and fancy. It was class. I loved the architecture and attention to details in the different hotels and casinos. I could have walked around all day looking at the different places. I loved seeing my friends and I think I've convinced Bolte to 'cross-over to the other side'. 'Cause afterall, everything's more fun with a little country in it!

It's a very expensive town however, and I wish I could have enjoyed a bit more of the's just all so pricey. I don't live on that kind of budget...ever.

The HOTEL was cool, but I think a bit over-rated and expensive overall compaired to other places. I did enjoy the HUGE bathtub that you could practically swim in!

What can I say about the NFR? It rocked? It was awesome? It was inspiring? It was SO COOL seeing the best of the best in person? All of the above? I may need to try and do this yearly it was so great to see!

OK - more details to come. I'll slide show both Europe and Vegas and give more details. Let me just get a grip on the Gnome problem...

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Snow Day!

We're having a snow day today, though I'm not really too sure why. It snowed all of about 4 inches and the roads were cleared by midnight last night. Hmmmm...Oh well. I'm in school anyway getting a bunch of grading done before I leave for Vegas. Might as well even though it's a beautiful day and I should have gone skiing...except I don't have money for that sort of stuff anymore.

Ok - the haunting bit:

I really didn't buy a whole lot in London since I'm broke. I was really conservative and spent more money on gifts than anything. One of those gifts was a few bottles of really good Scottish Blend Whiskey. Small bottles...the stuff was extremely expensive. My bag only weighed 16 kg when checking in in Denver. My rooms were on the TOP floor of the hotel with no lift. So I lugged that puppy up 5 flights of stairs. When leaving I could barely lift the stupid thing. All I had added was the 2 bottles of Whiskey. So I took them out and still could barely lift it. This is when the jokes of 'having brought SOMETHING back from the English countryside' began. Whatever it was was stowing away in my bags...
After hauling the bag back down I re-packed the bottles and didn't think much of it again. I lugged in onto the train at Kings Cross station, set it up on a rack and then couldn't get it down when we got to Paris!!! So my stowaway got friends in the station I guess...because the stupid thing weighed 23 kg (almost 16 pounds more!) than when I came home. Those two bottles only weighed about 4 pounds together. What the hell was in my bags!!!

It gets better though. Strange things are happening at the new house. My packed international phone with it's battery out rings in the box. My phone is moved during the night to the kitchen counter and the ringer set to silent. My alarm is set but doesn't go off. My alarm goes off while I'm in the bathroom and puts itself on snooze...I can't find the hammer I just used and find it outside on the hammer work going on out there...I light candles and watch as match after match seems to be 'blown' out as I try to light the wick. Huh? The dogs bark at nothing. The cats stare at things that move that I can't see...

And no, I don't sleep walk. I already thought of that. As long it's not scary and just mischievous...I can't find answers it's just too strange...

My guess is Garden Gnomes. Sort of fits but maybe I need to read my Harry Potter again...

Monday, December 08, 2008

Installment 5

So I've been warned to watch out for the 'parent's' "friends" supposedly because they're SOOOO influential. Kiss my patootie. I'm looking at this all in a good light - namely this is going to make a lot more parents PAY ATTENTION to what their child is doing in my class..."oh parents, yes, have you noticed that my grading policy and classroom management is posted on my web well as a blog of WHAT YOUR CHILD IS DOING IN MY CLASS WEEKLY?"

Also - my house is haunted suddenly...or I brought something back from England. I think whatever it is hitched a ride from King's Crossing (really is a train station in London) when I left for Paris...the 9 3/4 platform DOES exist. Really. I'll give more detail later and actually write about the trip too.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Installment 4

Granted these last two posts have been off the original beaten track...however if some ignorant people want to attack me, the war is on. AND I WON! I'm here to teach. Not argue whether someone should or should not be playing ball. Honestly, I think that should be left up to the coach. Maybe there should actaully be some standards?

The child in question was considered ineligible to play at the tournament this weekend. This was after his father told the coach last night, "see, I said I'd take care of her..." huh? Then why isn't your son eligible to play yet? I truly feel for his wife. I could see it on her face through it all. I think there was a bit of embarrassment going on.

I love it. Though he now does actually have a passing grade in my class (which he squarely, fairly earned...kudos kiddo), our AD reviewed the grades and said he still wasn't eligible from previously. THANK YOU! I love when somebody has my back. Why weren't they worried about his grades BEFORE b-ball started? He was held oout of a scrimmage and now he can play. So he learned a lesson. And he's been bringing his grade up on his own.

This has done some damage to my self-esteem. I was very verbally abused, but I guess what goes around, comes around. I kept my cool, was professional and stayed above it all...and have a note from the administration commending me on how I handled the situation.

I still feel it sets me up for future abuse...and makes me question everything I do for ounces of truth in what they said...but perhaps that is what makes me a good teacher...anal retentiveness.

No, my sense of humor hasn't improved. I've crossed over into slight insanity through this all.

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Installment 3

Heard it through the grapevine...

Sole reason your child couldn't play ball last week? Maybe you shouldn't have voiced how you were going to take care of that "McLeod" teacher to the world...or complained that I gave your son a 50% on his paper and then admit your wife wrote it. How stupid can you get? Just shows money can't buy brains.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Installment 2

Alright, lets start with 8pm November 11th as I sit in front of the woodstove grading papers and chatting with my landlord. Out of the blue he tells me I must find a new place to live as he is bringing in calves daily to be branded and shipped out and needs a full time worker. I'm not enough since I have to 'go to work' as he puts it. He's moving in somebody new that weekend. I don't have to move quite yet but it will be crowded for awhile. I'm dumbfounded, and then later hysterical.

Fast forward to the next evening after staying up all night compiling a list of people to e-mail, call and any other contacts I may need. I have a key in hand to look at a house only a mile from the ranch where I can keep horses. If nothing else I can work through a crisis and am efficient.

I can't afford a rent as I have not budgeted for it. I am a wreak, but bite the bullet and sign a lease as it's a good deal, great location and I'm not finding anything else. I take two and a half days off school in total. Just want I want to waste my vacation time on. By Friday night my house is completely moved. By Sunday evening all the horses, dogs and chickens have new homes and fences (with me at the new house).

The reality of the situation still has not sunk in as I have a house full of boxes thrown together in my haste to move before the trip to Europe. And this all on top of everything else in my life; namely people I thought I could count on are still confused by the concept of integrity.

I have lost 15 pounds in the last month. My skin is a wreck. I don't sleep a night through. I'm freaked out about money. I'm considering selling my truck despite having only 9 more payments on it, and selling the horses. I feel like everything I have worked hard for is going to disappear. I'm 30 and don't have an ounce of security.

Turns out the rumors are my former landlord is most likely going under, he's shipping off hundreds of calves a week to pay his note at the auctions and he mortgaged his home in Pagosa without letting his wife know. Maybe this is safer deal for me, but why did he have to go about doing it like this? Why not just be honest and give me some breathing room? It makes me look bad and it makes me feel like I did something wrong despite his apologies for the whole situation.

This whole thing on top of everything else has been almost too much. I'm really not sure what keeps me going from day to day. Europe was surreal and though I enjoyed it, everything was overlayed with this horrible feeling of panic.

On top of it all to start off school this week I was accused of being the sole reason why a child was ineligible to play basketball by his parents. Excuse me, why is this my problem? Why can't anyone actually take responsibility for themselves? Try doing your work you little jerk and maybe you'd actually have a passing grade.

I will write about the trip though soon. Just give me time to find the rest of my life buried in some strange house I now call 'home'.

Installment 1

I will eventually get to what passes as life right now. But first, let me set the stage:

Thursday, November 27, 2008


I'm in Paris! All the girls are certain the men here are MUCH more attractive than the British chaps we saw. I believe it may be a draw...however we've only been here one day, and were in England for 7....soooooo...maybe not!

Hope you're all following the blog. I'll post more of my thoughts on the trip later. All in all it's gone well. Love the French so far. They appreciate luxury; no matter how small the hotel, we have DEEP tubs and FANTASTIC linens and I enjoyed a great soak after a long day tonight with liberal use of some great items I got from LUSH... Let's just say Bath @nd Body Works have NOTHING on this European store.

ciao for now

Friday, November 21, 2008

Comments Here!

I'm in London! Follow the blog and I'll post other stuff here once I get home!!! Leave your comments here as I have comments blocked on the school sites!

Friday, November 14, 2008

I'm in the middle of a crisis. Moving. I'm not in Europe yet...not 'til next week. That's why I'm not around.

We leave the 20th. So follow my blog between the 20th and the 29th.

I'll explain the rest of what happened later. I just don't have time now. This was as unexpected to me as anything ever could be. It's not boy trouble either. That's a whole different story.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I won't be around for awhile. Hopefully sooner than later, but I don't know. I'm responsible for the trip to London and Paris so I will have to post to that site for my student's parents. Maybe I'll have an explaination about everything else by then.

Somebody please keep their fingers crossed for me.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Your Thoughts On:

Do things really happen for a reason? And I mean a good reason. Really truly really? I'm struggling with this concept right now...I just want to know your stories...

Monday, November 10, 2008


Got into the burn barrel:



Nice eh? He's all like, "Whaaaaaat? Whaaaaaaat?" As if the soot didn't give him away...

Friday, November 07, 2008

Lack Thereof...

HOT!!! It was -1 this morning, but my frickin' classroom is like a sauna. The heat wave literally hit me as I unlocked my door. And it hasn't turned off. Ah, the wonder's of pre-WWI structures.

It's like Mexico, without the beach and booze. And I'm wearing a wool sweater. Doesn't a Margarita sound good?!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Raising a Bunch of Pussies...

We're behind the rest of the world in mathematics and science. Our college student's cannot string two sentences together. We are dependent on immigrant labor to harvest our crops each year. Etc...etc...etc...

Let me tell you what I see in the schools and you can decide if you don't think this is contributing to America's major problems:

1) A student is asked to complete an assignment. After each and every problem they are asking if it is being done correctly. No patience to wait until the class reviews. They need instant gratification.

2) A class is assigned a project. As the teacher is going through the directions students are asking questions that the teacher has yet to get to.

3) Directions are written on the board and nobody reads them

4) A due date is given and nobody writes it down.

5) A student is failing for turning in nothing - and instead of telling the child to get their act together, they have conferences asking the child what more can the teacher's do to help them.

They want, want, want, now, now now but without having to lift a finger to get what it is they want. Instead of intervening and telling the child they are in dire straights and may not graduate, they pass them onto the next grade without having to make up the failed credit. These kids have been given everything they want, when they want it - and because of it they think they are owed Including grades.

I'm worried.

WHAT is going on???

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Wish Me Luck

Goodness I hate how dark it is this early! I'll take a dark morning anyday over this! I feel like I should go to bed!

Well, I applied for a raise. In my school they have this jacked up system that doesn't reward you for experience, but the application for the raise. Don't ask. The new administration doesn't like it either so maybe it'll day.

So I've started the process of jumping through the hoops. Namely filling out a bunch of paperwork and having super formal observations. Tomorrow is my pre-ops, Tuesday in the classroom. Yeah. I'm confident about my work though, I'm just overwhelmed with so much more I just don't want to do ONE MORE THING. Wish me luck.

Here's part of the crew trying to help. Yup, that's Kahlua, the black cat I've had since my Sophomore year of college. She's what? 11 now? Which reminds me; total blast from the past.: I got this cat from a litter DJ's cat had. Remember good 'ol DJ? Well, he disappeared on my 24th birthday, never to be heard from again. Strange in and of itself after spending 5 years with someone. Not to say we weren't already starting to go our own ways, but it was a bit surprising to say the least. ANYWAY, someone asked me about him the other day. I mean, it's been 6 years but I was curious and looked him up on MySpace. OUCH! WOW, can people really change that much!? For starters he has never moved from his hometown, never finished college, and, well, I'm not sure how describe it, but he looks like a punk rocker right out of the '80's. Mohawk and everything. Really. He was this total country boy. Not so much anymore. So maybe it's a good thing we didn't keep in touch 'cause it looks like there have been some majorly strange influences at work...which probably started when he left way back when...explains some strange behavior I witnessed at least... one word: Bizarre

Friday, October 31, 2008


What is going on with organized religion? OMG I have students who can't carve pumpkins this year because their church said it was witchcraft. WTF? But they can dress up and go trick-or-treating. WTF? I wish they would just let these kids be kids and have fun while they're still young.

Also - since when did Halloween give a license for these girls to look like hookers? I think they did their shopping out of Freddie's.

Being a kid seems to be getting harder and harder to do...

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

OMG one of my students just told me they no longer hate Shakespeare! Yeah! I have done something right! My year is made....

October Interview

Q. What have you days been consisting of?
School has been busy. There is a new administration in and I feel we've all been jumping through some major hoops for them. We are considered one of the best school's in the area and rank high within the State as well. We don't need to be reformed, however everyone does agree there is always room for improvement. I just feel that every time I turn around I have one more problem to deal with and honestly? I'm feeling overwhelmed. When teacher's who have been here 20+ years are telling me they feel they same way I don't feel so bad, but really, it's playing on my self-esteem, like if I feel behind, I must be. The good news is I really am keeping on top of everything, just feel like I must be superwoman to do so and it's very tiring.

Other than that the weather, despite being cold at night, has been decent during the day so I've been trying to enjoy the nice weather before it turns to winter.

Q. What major problems have you been faced with?
I'd say the school issue I already mentioned is right up there, but things are rough on the homefront. I can't speculate. I'm not sure where I stand with anything, even myself right now.

Q. If you could change anything right now, what would it be?
My proximity to friends and family. I can't move back to MI. It is not something I can even consider financially. I cannot own my own home, I cannot get the mortgage for it. I love it here, it's just lonely. I just things would be easier for me if I had a little support. I go to work, I go home, I talk to nobody except my students and a few colleagues all day. Nobody knows me here. Really know who I am. Sometimes I don't think anyone does.

Q. If you had one wish what would it be?
That I was married and had a family started. It's not something that I think should be rushed into, hence why I didn't 'jump' with some past relationships...that would have been disastrous. But I'm not avoiding it. Sometimes I just don't think I'm lovable. Everyone's best friend, but not marriageable material.

Q. What do you think the next 5 years will bring you?
I don't even know anymore. I feel like I'm standing still with everything but work. I know what I want, but when I want it doesn't work. So I just go with the flow and do the best I can. Isn't that all we can do in life? I guess somethings come easier to others. I'm not saying I'm not proactive with making things happen; I do the best I can. It's not like I'm just sitting here some bump on the log or anything.

Q. Looking forward to anything?
Of course. This isn't a pity party, poor me, look at how lonely I am... I'm not buried under the blankets day after day; I'm incredibly active - it just isn't bringing anything new or any change into my life. I'm putting the final touches on our trip to London and Paris in 3 weeks. It's a great group and my buddy Kelly is planning on meeting me in Paris on Thanksgiving until we leave. Also my Vegas trip is two weeks after that and I'm super excited.

There are great things in my life. I just am not so sure about a lot of things anymore. That and I feel like I'm living that same as I did 10 years ago. I haven't moved forward and it hasn't been for lack of trying. Those of you who really know - there have been major steps forward in my life, like having a home and family, but unforeseen circumstances have pulled me back more than once. I just wonder how many times I have to repeat this cycle. It's not an easy thing to live through once, much less multiple times. I guess I just ask 'why?' a lot, and I can't find an answer.

I'm sorry I can't just straight up say exactly what has been happening, and only express how I feel about things, but I don't know how to explain things. I also just don't want to drag people involved into it over the internet.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Paulding Light

So with Halloween coming up all the haunted, unexplained stories come out of the woodworks, but this was the first time I've seen the Paulding Light on anything. For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, the Paulding Light is in Paulding, MI - heading out of the UP into Wisconsin. I had the chance to see this once while coming back from a Wolf Study in Ely, Minn. with some classmates. We decided to stop and see it. The story goes that a railroad man was killed along the tracks and he haunts the old line with a lanturn and that's what the light is.

Having seen it, at first I thought it looked like far away headlights and taillights, except no road is running along the old rail-road grade, just a sevice line for the electric company. Not too mention it's blocked off by the Forest Service to Public Access. The television series, Unsolved Mysteries, took a look at it back in the 90's but couldn't get it figured out either. The scientific belief is that there is a natural phenomenon causing headlights and taillights to be seen from a strange angle - a reflection, curvature of the earth, optical illusion, etc...but they couldn't get it figured out either how it was happening, plus they couldn't get a timing on vehicles on any of the roads around there to correspond to the light sightings.

So while I was there, being adventurous with my friends (and no, it may have been college, but we were not indulging in anything), we decided to hang out and see this thing. I swear to God it light everything up, enough I could see the features of the person next to me in the pitch black and cast shadows on the trees. Still not being convinced, we decided to walk towards it. We hiked a good ways in the dark along the service road and got up on a high spot. And never saw it out there...but when we got back to other people who had come out to witness the phenomenon, they said it had never let up. It was very strange, and it definitely made the hair on the back of my neck stand up. Anyway - check out the uTube video:

It's not creepy, just strange. But if you want creepy look up stuff on the SkinWalker Ranch in Utah. That is creepy and totally freaks me out. I won't even post info about it - it bothers me that much.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Online Shopaholic

I think etsy is dangerous. Anyone else feel the same way? I could easily spend an entire paycheck on there in a very short period of time. On the other hand, it is a great place to do some holiday shopping since I am craft starved in this valley. If only I didn't find so many things I wanted as well...

Friday, October 17, 2008

Who Cares?

Ok- Halloween is coming. I don't live where kids can come to the door, I have no friends to party with, I don't live in Michigan so I can go to my brother's kick-ass annual party, but I still love Halloween and I can't wait until maybe one day I can celebrate it as it was meant to be celebrated. So in anticipation please bear with my ghosts and bats. They are keeping me company...

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Really Lonely

Guys - I'm really lonely out here. I was real close to getting on plane today and leaving it all behind. I know I've got it alright and a job and MI doesn't exactly have the best economy right now, but I think I could walk away from it all 'cause anything would be better than not having anyone to talk to. Yes, I know I can always pick up the phone, but it's the creature comforts I'm lacking enough in to believe it's making me crazy. I think I'm becoming an introvert for fear of getting too close to anyone. My dogs and horses are the most contact I have with anything alive.

Yes, I stay fairly busy and am involved, but I haven't met real great people out here to be friends with. It seems there are a lot of backstabbers and cheats, and well, let's just say that even though Shane's around daily...I'm not sure I've ever truly had his attention or ever will. It's been sort of a self-esteem destructor; I believe is the best way to describe it all...I'll be fair though and say that my attitude probably hadn't helped things very much in the past.

I can't walk away from my responsibilities though, but the next 7 months may see me planning on how to out from many of them, as heartbreaking as it may all end up being for me. I guess I just ask a lot of 'why's' lately. Like how I never pictured myself still single and alone, and why I've had the hardships I've had in the past that have lead me here, and why can't I get ahead with certain things in life, and why, why, why....I know that the things I've gone through have shaped who I am, but enough already because what I'm becoming is bitter. And quite honestly, I have a really hard time believing anything anyone says to me anymore or trusting anyone. I'm not confident like I used to be and I question a lot of what I do on the basis of what if it's me causing things to be the way they are? I don't feel like me anymore...

Thursday, October 09, 2008

What I've Been Up To...

October is always a crazy month. 1st Quarter in school ends, Parent/Teacher conferences, grade books have to be up to date for report cards....ALL the cattle are coming down from the mountains and I start getting my winter jobs.

Other than school I've been spending a lot of time on the weekends moving cattle and riding horses. Yesterday I got a job 'legging-up' a race horse for the winter season. I'm very excited about this even though I'm going to have to put in some long hours after work each day. Legging-up is a term we use to build up the muscles in a horses legs, and overall tone and condition the horse. Because this area has a LOT of sand I ride the horses through our empty canals when the water has emptied out. Remember how tiring walking through sand can be?

This weekend we brought in cattle in Pagosa Spring. This has to be one of the most beautiful areas in the state.Where we brought cattle in...yes, it has snowed already!

Behind the ranch house in the valley

Our Neighbors

Wrigley is growing! He's best friend with Al, Izzy's one surviving kitten from her c-section this spring. He's a spoiled brat and get's away with everything and goes everywhere with me!

Friday, October 03, 2008

Wrigley's Famous!

Well not so much, but I did send in a picture of him pretending to look happy in his new carrier for a contest!

He's just so darn cute!

If anybody is looking for a carrier like this for a smallish dog...I somehow ended up with two of them and the pet store I purchased it from is SWEARING they did not ship me two. I have been on the phone with them multiple times. I refused to pay shipping costs back, so now I have two. I'm selling one on eBay for A LOT LESS than what it costs from the original company ($115) and A LOT LESS than what I purchased my original for through a pet store:

Pet Fly's Lucky Horseshoe Airline Approved Carrier

They only come in three sizes: tiny, small and super. Mine's a small. I'll relist it if it doesn't sell the first time. What am I going to do with two of them? NO! I'm not getting another dog.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

This Week's Addition of Why I Love Living in the San Luis Valley


Once the grains have been harvested and the fields have been baled and plowed, the sheepherders bring their flocks down from the mountains to graze. The sheep both clean up a lot of the grasses that have grown back up from fallen grains and fertilize the ground. They spend a few weeks here moving from farm to farm until it's time to bring them back in for fattening and shearing. Sometimes I think I would love to do this one summer and fall. It seems to be so peaceful spending the day with the horses and dogs...
Driving into work each morning I see the herders with their horses and dogs watching the flocks and keeping them from moving into the roads.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Idle Afternoons

I wouldn't say I'm COMPLETELY idle today. I cleaned house and sat down to eat something with the computer on. This is what happens when my girly side kicks in and I'm on eBay:

Kathy Van Zeeland's Montana Scoop Shopper

Yes, I have impulse buys I shouldn't...occasionally. Oh well...but isn't it cute?!!

Friday, September 19, 2008

Vegas Baby!

Ok - I really am going. I feel guilty, but I think maybe that's because it been a REALLY LONG time since I've done something for myself. Even my trip to Europe is with 18 students and scheduled around educational experiences. Cool? Yes! Stressful? Most-Likely!

This trip is for pure fun and excitement!

Plans so far: Arriving in Vegas on Thursday, Dec 11th at 8am. Since I live fairly close to Vegas I'll probably be the first one in town since it only takes about 45 minutes for me to fly there.

The Hotel: Mandalay Bay

The Venue: The Thomas and Mack Center - There are still plenty of seats left. Not sure which night/s we will be attending, but sure to be a great time!

I feel like I've gone out a limb here. I'm such a planner and whereas I do enjoy spur of the moment things, it's usually like a short road trip or something where I don't get too far from home. This is like HUGE for me. I'm sort of nervous!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

That's IT! I'm CELEBRATING MY BIRTHDAY!!! With or Without you!

Lousy B-day's all in a row...and what am I going to do about it? Celebrate! Finally!

LAS VEGAS: I've never been and am going to attempt to go in December to the National Finals Rodeo for the last weekend (Dec. 11 - 14th). A good guy friend of mine is going and I would love to see any (OR ALL) of you! The NFR isn't a must for anybody. I just want to go see it and there's plenty more to do other than that I'm sure!

Ladies - my friend is single and you would like...really...

Like I said, it's still tentative. But I need some fun and this sounds like fun!

If you're in, let me know and let's make this a 'for sure thang'!!!

Andrea - I think you need to get a babysitter and bring Mr. Cowboy!

Monday, September 15, 2008


So I was feeding the dogs and sat down to keep the peace when...yup...I looked up and there was a spider in the window above the washing machine. A big black one...which turned out to be a Black Widow. I wasn't sure at first since there was a red stripe down her back, but there was definitely an hourglass on her belly. I looked it up. A juvenile often has coloring on the back until it molts. Thank God it's probably not old enough to have laid eggs anywhere!

I totally have the creeps now. This is coming after killing a small scorpion in the house last week. Those at least are not poisonous...but still!

Now I'm going to have the creepy-crawlies and not be able to sleep tonight. I'd rather a snake slithered through the crack under the door. That I can handle.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

My Day...

The Whole Internet Truth

Need I say more?

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Wrigley's High Flyin' Fashion Statement

I plan on taking Wrigley with me when I travel within the US. So I had to make sure he'd be stylin'. This is what he's recieved as 'puppy luggage':

Monday, September 08, 2008

Boycott FedEx

Why? Because they suck. I may live in the boondocks, but it's very easy to find addresses due to the fact EVERY street runs either N and S or E and W and is labeled with Numbers N and S or E and W. It's also easy to tell which direction you are headed due to the fact it is WIDE open and there are major landmarks you can see from 40 miles away...called mountains.

To start, Fedex will not deliver in my town. They drop everything off a the post office and expect them to tell the people who are expecting things to pick it up. Why? Because they are to lazy to drive down the street, can't count, etc...whatever.

So my newest adventure? I ordered my phone a week ago. It was supposed to be delivered Wednesday. I decided to have it delivered to the school due to the problems we have in town with Fedex. By Friday I still hadn't recieved it so I called. They said the address didn't exist and I need to come to the facility to pick it up. I told them that wasn't possible as it was 3 hours away and the package was supposed to be here 2 days ago. They were going to deliver it. We confirmed the address...they said it would be on the way. 2 hours later I get a phone call from them saying I need to call them because there is a problem with address. I call them back and ask if they knew I had just gotten off the phone with them 2 hours ago. No response. I ask if they log their customer coorespondance and complaints. She has no record. I let her know the situation, she says I should contact verizon. I call Verizon. They are all over it and tell me they have fixed the problem after a considerable hold and, I'll have my phone first thing Monday morning. I call Fedex this morning. There is no phone. It has not shipped. Guess what? My address doesn't exist. I get mad, ask why their driver can't notice a GIGANTIC SCHOOL BUILDING IN THE MIDDLE OF A BUNCH OF HAY FIELDS THAT THEY REGULARLY DELIVER TOO! They are quiet. I am put on hold. I am told I never said it was a school. WHAT THE $$#%@^*%??? I tell her we've already gone through this and I am cut off. I call back. I give them my number to call when the driver next gets lost. I hang up and call Verizon. Verizon is sorry. They put me on hold. They tell me I will have it by tomorrow afternoon.

When it doesn't show tomorrow I call Verizon and tell them they are losing me as a customer if they can't get their delivery service together. I know that technically it isn't their fault, but they did choose Fedex as their delivery service. I just want my phone.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Living in the SLV

There's a lot I like about living in the San Luis Valley, and a lot I don't like, namely how lonely it is, but I'm a busy girl and enjoy the things I do like teaching (most of the time!), working cattle, baling hay and straw, and training horses...and the little things too like collecting my eggs and being able to sell them to people for "egg money" (i.e. vacation savings), walking my dogs, seeing beautiful sunrises and sunsets, and the most recent, watching the crop dusters!

I don't know what it is about crop dusters, but I love to watch them 'dust' the fields...especially in such a beautiful setting surrounded by the mountains. As I was driving into school this morning they were dusting one of the fields I drive by so I pulled over to take a pic!

Also, some people have been asking...the ticker on top for London and Paris? I'm taking about 18 students to London and Paris over Thanksgiving. If you'd like to see details about it (or any of the other classes I teach or sponsor) just click on the link to the right under "More Than I Can Chew?"

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

What Gives?

Alright...random rant that's been a long time coming...

I have a career, am a hardworker, am interesting, honest, and sincere. I am not a bum, or lazy...can cook, clean and take responsibility for myself (and occasionally my 80 or so students on any given day). I'm old enough to be stable and know what I want and I also am cultured. Oh yeah - I don't think I look half bad either on a good day.

According to the world I must be the worst candidate for a wife and mother there possibly is.

Why? Every lazy, ambitionless, good-for-nothing drug user I know has children. Every jobless, welfare bum driving a brand new vehicle in their mortgage free house I know is married. Every skanky little mini-skirt I know is taken in to be "taken care" of by some well-off business man who feels bad for her (was Pretty Woman THAT much of an influence on this generation?!).


I need to take up my hems, buy some stilettos, lose my job and spend a few hundred bucks on cheap makeup I guess. Maybe fighting over a corner would work also...

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Casio Boulder

It's official. Today was the day and I just went for it. It's the Boulder. I just couldn't justify the others knowing I'll probably kill it within weeks and be looking for a replacement. I'll just play it safe for now!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


I need to find a new phone. My contract is being renewed with in the next month (if I get around to it) but I am in desperate need of a new phone as my second Razor is getting ready to die...Have I ever mentioned how much I hate that thing?

So I have a few choices...and seriously I've been blown away by all the new technology. Some things that are important:
  • NOT GOING TO FALL APART (need I say more?)
  • Can put in my front pocket without it dialing EVERYBODY
  • Can handle being dropped every now and then?
  • User friendly ( I just don't have time to get too complicated. If it has lots of features, but is still easy to use...that's fine)
  • If I sit on it (not jump on it) won't quite working
  • Has good service (why do some models work better than others?)
Some things I find cool but know nothing about, therefore don't know if it's worth my while (and no, I cannot get to a store to look. Our stores pretty much order everything in anyway)
  • Touch screen (worth it or a hassel?)
  • PDA - Useful? Does it cost more for service? If I don't get the service is it just another phone?
  • PDA - Planner capabilities...easy to use?
  • Blackberry - Yes, no? Heard both great and horrid things...
I really don't want to pay more per month for a phone. Right now I just have a basic plan since I almost never talk on it, but if internet is only $5/month that doesn't exactly break the bank. I use my calander on my phone regularly, so is planner capabilities THAT much more fantastic?

Cost of phone doesn't play into it so much as I'm on a school plan and get a wicked discount (namely free). What's a good phone that won't die either? All I know is I haven't been happy with a Motorola.
So any comments are appreciated and vote to the RIGHT! If you have more than one choice please include all your choices! Thanks all!

What I've seen and am interested:

Verizon Wireless Blitz: Slides up to a keyboard, plus is touch screen. About as large as a post-it-note pad. Kinda neat.

Samsung Glyde -Touch screen only. No keyboard...but I don't really text much anyway. Sort of looks user friendly.

LG Voyager - Touch screen PDA

LG Dare - thought it looked cool

Palm Smartphone

Blackberry Pearl

Casio Boulder - made tough for the military. Thought it looked cool. Flip need to worry about locking key pads. If PDA's and touch screens aren't that big of a deal this is what I'm going with

Monday, August 25, 2008

My Gals

I'm not sure how to title this I'll wait until I finish it up. So my last post was titled "Life and Loss"...and here's the loss. This has taken me awhile to try and put together. Shane's grandfather passed, my aunt unexpectedly died and I feel I should get home but I literally can't and I feel so lost because of I don't belong anywhere anymore. Things aren't really so hot here on the homefront either and that's something I don't even know how to begin to explain. And there has been some devastating conditions to just make things worse...

I lost both Sedona and Sabrina this summer. I may want a simple life and stay home, cook, raise children and horses, but it isn't my animals are like my kids. They are my kids.

I can't explain it all. With Sabrina it was a really hard choice after finding what must have been a tumor in her neck. What I don't feel is right it that by now I should have had the means to do whatever it was to make things right with her...She was the first horse that was ever mine...just mine and nobody else's. I let her down by being a broke bum due to past decisions. Everyone said that putting her down was the right thing due to how much weight she was losing, but I should have been able to make it right.

Sedona's just gone. And that's something I still can't even fathom...It's like none of this happened as I've been so busy. On top of everything else that has been happening I just don't know why I can't catch a break...ever.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Life and Loss

Sorry it's been so long. Between the 12 hour days, fire details and the Internet going down due to surges I just haven't had the energy or the heart to sit and write. It's been an incredibly fast summer and I'm dreading starting school again next week as I just haven't had a chance to breath since we got out. Whereas the whole summer wasn't a loss: I love the new office I'm working out of and the foresters and fire crews I work with rock, but fire didn't pan out like it should have money-wise and on the homefront? Well, let's just say there's been a lot of loss since the death of Shane's grandfather and I just can't go into it right now...

As said, my crews rock. I had some engine detail, local stuff and was dispatched to CO fire since we already had a crew in CA (I couldn't go with them...they yanked us around, I had doctor's appointments, was over the 4th of July and I had to make a judgement call...unfortunately I missed the boat). What was bad about the situation was that due to Nationwide overdispatching and holding crews on reserve my crew was shorted time and that ended up working out to be about a $4,000 difference for me. Sort of a big deal, especially as I was still working almost just as many hours....just not with Hazard pay and overtime added together.

Also...let me explain how much Human Resource Departments SUCK!!! Forest Circus (I mean Service) employees are payed out of Albequerque (starting this year). I never had ONE paycheck all summer that was not messed up in some way. First I wasn't payed for the first 6 weeks because my info, that they's had for 6 months, STILL hadn't been entered into the system. Coincidentally that just messed up everything else all summer. Caused mucho stress for me and every time I talked to an HR person? Right...not their fault. I finally told them what wasn't realistic (after being told it wasn't realistic to solve the problem in one day) was that I hadn't had one pay check correct as of yet. NOT REALISTIC...NOR ACCEPTABLE! AHHHHHHHH!

One thing that was cool about the whole summer: I was able to pack into the wilderness areas for work with my own horses. These are areas that no motorized vehicles are allowed in, so either you have to carry everything yourself, or pack in on animals. It was a very neat experience.

I think I've commented before about having purchased a new horse late last spring? Charlie? Well I finished my payments on him and sent in his papers. He is a wonderful horse and I took him up to the mountains with my Mustang, Maggie. Both did wonderful despite some precarious trail situations. I also have another new addition to the household: Wrigley. Wrigley is a 9 week old, smooth-coat, chocolate dappled mini - daschund. He is my stud dog as he is well bred, carries the traits for dapple, piebald, chocolate and tan, isabella (light blue coloring) and dilute, as well as long-hair. Quite a package in about 8 oz of energy right now! He is very tiny, but thinks he's huge! and has taken on both Maverick and Dixie now...though they think he's a joke.

I tried to download some pics, but for some reason they wouldn't take so I just made a quick slide show of the events I enjoyed this summer.

Friday, June 27, 2008

All At Once...

Okay, I'm going to update a bunch ALL AT ONCE....simply because I'm a pain in the rear-end. Actually, my fire crew is supposed to hit the board Monday, meaning we may go out Tuesday, and if that happens I'll never get around to it all. What I will promise is to make a slide show of both the wedding and fire season, but for now its just previews...

First: We have been doing controlled burns. Very cool by the way to learn about fire behavior and what happens when forests aren't allowed to burn naturally...Especially in high wind conditions when the weather has changed very quickly:

What the forest looked like BEFORE we set it on fire...

And as we were lighting it up...

As the weather begins to change....

This is when it sort of got a little out of control. However it was well within our burn area so all is well. Imagine if this had burned unsupervised?

Okay, Now the weekend of the wedding. First I'd like, no LOVE, to thank both Eric and Heather for coming out Thursday night for a few drinks! It was great seeing you both! For everyone else...I KNOW it was a work night and I'd love to try and catch up with everyone again maybe this winter if i make it back. It's so nice to be able to hang out with old friends. I don't hang out with anyone here!

The weekend was a whirlwind of activity. The rehearsal was at 2pm Friday, Dinner, then discovering my strapless bra had 'disappeared' from my bag en route to I had to find one at Meijers at 11pm. It didn't fit. Better than nothing though. Saturday I moaned at 9am about paying $65 for a hairdo I really didn't like. The woman told me I wasn't getting what I wanted. I told her for $65 I should be able to get whatever I wanted. She then used my head as a bobby pin cushion. Now that's a Bizatch.

The wedding was perfect. I really don't know how else to explain it. I somehow managed to look very cranky in every impromptu picture taken of me, but really I wasn't. I was very happy. I have some pics from my Aunt. I'll get mine eventually.

The bride and groom. I adore her. She is awesome. I don't know why she married my brother. He is VERY lucky. But seriously they are a great couple.

The brother and sister of the Bride and Groom. maybe I was being stabbed by a hair pin? But the dress is pretty!
Me and my Aunt Barb. She taught me EVERYTHING about horses. I love her. See, I was too happy!
Ok, that should be reasonable for now. Remember, it's summer. I am not around my own computer very often!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008


Will be in the Detroit area Thursday - Sunday for the brother's "Wedding of the Century". Join me for fun...preferably Thursday night. I e-mailed.

Been busy but hope to catch up in person with many of you maybe? Will also post pics of some prescribed burns we've been working on here soon.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Selfish Bizatch

That's me I suppose. I can't really justify how I'm feeling right now about turning 30. First off, I really don't think I'm old or anything seeing as I'm in better shape than most of my students, but it is a milestone and I just thought I'd have more things accomplished. Such as? Well, being married and having children were at the top of the list by the time I was 30, so was actually owning assets. I don't own anything really. I beat up old horse trailer doesn't much count...though I suppose I could live in it in a pinch...

Right now what is bothering me more than anything is that I'm due a birthday bash. I planned on turning 30 with a bang if I couldn't have everything else and have some fun for a change. That isn't going to happen once again. I actually had fun planned, and it's being waylayed as usual. It's the only weekend I'm home so there is no rescheduling this one. My birthdays spell D-I-S-A-S-T-E-R for some reason. Let me give you a run down:

21 - the last enjoyable birthday. Worked all day but got to shoot some pool and legally drink in the bar a bit since I had to work the next day.

22 - Working a horse show for my Nazi boss. DJ showed up to say hi...with another girl.

23 - Ice cream and pizza in front of a movie on my couch.

24 - Work up and told DJ he needed to be gone by the end of the week, something we had been discussing for quite some time. I was tired of him freeloading off me and supporting his sorry @ss. I left and when I returned he was gone. Never saw nor heard from him again. Sorry state after spending almost 5 years with somebody.

25 - Corey left for work in the morning, was drunk by noon and never came home. I called on a place to rent and moved in the next day before he came back from his "business trip".

26 - Had a Margarita with a friend from work. Went home alone.

27 - Worked all day. Went to bed early.

28 - Last day of my trip to Greece. Was separated from my students and group at the ship yard terminal and fought down anxiety for almost an hour until they appeared. Wanted to have a nice dinner and walk the Old District, but nobody would go with me so I went to bed early since we had to fly out at 5 am.

29 - Begged Shane to hold to his word that I was working a bull-riding with him. Went and worked hard, enjoyed the crowd and was treated to a nice dinner the following day. Unfortunately everything was a bit overshadowed by the fact that the Texas Troll had been discovered a week previous cheating with my boyfriend and I was demoted to "friend" after 6 months...and went into a pathetic, self-wallowing pity instead of telling him exactly where to stick it. I did however do this a few months later after re-gaining my self-confidence, and we are working on re-building trust still. Having worked through such a situation has been trying, but I feel it has been worth the effort on both our parts. It just sucked it had to be my birthday.

30 - Monday, June 9th 2008. The funeral of Shane's grandfather. I have to spend the day with his feuding family.

I would like to start the "Send Danielle to RIO Make Up For All Her Lousy Birthdays". I just need the plane fare and maybe some cash for cocktails. I will sleep on the beach.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Bring it HOME!

Stanley Cup Championship; Game 6
Penguins 2
RED WINGS 3!!!!!
I'm jumping up and down in front of the TV by myself!!!

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Sorry, Seriously NOT usual

This is summer. I'm up at 5am, in the office by 7am, not home until 6:30 pm (earliest), and not in the house until 9 pm. I've been having problems finding time to turn a computer on.

How 'bout those Wings eh? Why didn't they win last night? I'd kill for a plane ticket and ANY seats to the next game.

Fire Season is starting for me. So if I REALLY disappear I'm on a fire somewhere.

Horses good, ducks good, geese good, cows good, chickens good, dogs good, cats good, I think I'm alright...

Lost Shaner's grandpa this afternoon. It's been very long and drawn out and I'm happy he's in a better place. Shane's taking it pretty good thoughts this way. I'm just glad it happened while he was home and he was able to spend the last 48 hours with him and was with him when he passed. This would have been tough for him if he'd been on the road. I feel so bad for him and his grandma. I don't anyone can ever be truly prepared.

Will catch up with everyone eventually.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Detroit Rock City

Saturday Night Baby!

Friday, May 16, 2008