Thursday, August 28, 2008

Historic Day

Today, Sen. Barack Obama will give his democratic presidential-candidate acceptance speech in Mile High Stadium in Denver. Could we have imagined this event, 45 years ago today, when Dr. Martin Luther King gave his "I Have a Dream" speech at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC.

Some of my favorite lines from Dr. King's speech:
We cannot walk alone. And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back.

And so even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal."

I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia, the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today!
I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of 'interposition' and 'nullification' -- one day right there in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.
I have a dream today!

And this will be the day -- this will be the day when all of God's children will be able to sing with new meaning:
My country 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing.

And when this happens, when we allow freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old Negro spiritual:

Free at last! Free at last!

Thank God Almighty, we are free at last!

Oh heck, just listen for yourself:

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

I Did It!

Well, I finally did it! I achieved my summer goal of riding my bike from Glenwood Springs to Aspen along the Rio Grande Trail. I started out about 7:30 am while the air was still a bit nippy and the sun hadn’t quite poked up over the mountains.

Only forty miles to go.

I soon began to wonder where the bathrooms were. I found the Carbondale Rec Center which is just off the trail and the desk ladies clued me in to those places near the trail you could use if needed, including their own beautiful facility. This was going to be a great day.

Here’s where the Trail crosses over Hwy 82. A little spot called Wingo Junction. Gotta love a place called Wingo Junction!

Loved this mural along the path. Yes, indeed, when pigs fly! But why is everyone on the trail going in the opposite direction from me?

My next surprise was two train cars which appear to be homes. One had a lovely deck built at one end and the other had a satellite tv hookup. The Rio Grande Trail is built on the old Rio Grande railway corridor and I suspect these cars just never made it off the track.

Then came a very welcome sight : the Aspen slopes. Wow, I was getting close.

These folks rafting in the Roaring Fork River looked like they were having a lot more fun than I!

Now for the MOST WELCOME SIGHT OF ALL: The end of the trail and dear husband with a picnic lunch. Under five hours -- four hours and twenty minutes of actual pedaling, I had finished the Rio Grande Trail.

Finished. I love my bike which I bought almost ten years ago to do a triathlon, but I think I need a new, softer seat! And now I know why everyone else on the Trail was going the other way. It may only be an average of 2% grade but downhill (Aspen to Glenwood Springs) is probably a whole lot easier. Nonetheless, I can say that I rode the Rio Grande Trail the hard way! And for me, that's quite an accomplishment.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Grasshopper Wrangling

Tom is taking this cowboy stuff too seriously. He thinks something is eating our lilac bushes and is determined to find out just what it is. He saw a grasshopper a couple days ago -- in the vicinity of the bushes. Yesterday he decided to stand inside at the kitchen window that overlooks the lilacs and just wait for the nasty little critter.

He stands there remaining vigilant for quite awhile when all of a sudden he sees the enemy. Of course, by the time he gets out of the kitchen and through the back door the critter has moved and Tom needs to find him again. He spots him...

reaches out to make the capture................

Caught him! He's quite the grasshopper wrangler.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Fr. Terry has a fanclub!

Many of you who visit BeingBellaSophia because you know me also know Fr. Terry Ryan. For those of you who don't, Fr. Terry is a Paulist priest who married us so long ago, and who baptized two of our daughters. He is responsible for inviting us to take a more active part in our church community, challenging us to learn more about our faith and to act on our beliefs. He encouraged us to be more than Sunday Catholics, to really live the Gospels and the commandments. And to him we are truly grateful.

What we didn't know was that he is far more famous than we'd imagined! Just this morning at mass at the Snowmass Monastery we met one of his real fans. Apparently there is a whole club of Fr. Terry Ryan fans and they have T-shirts! Incredible! I want one!!

Friday, August 8, 2008


I decided to title this post "Achtung" because it is the German word meaning "Attention" AND it has the German word for "eight" (acht) in it AND today is 08-08-08 AND I'm the oldest of eight AND I have a fascination with numbers -- probably because I was born on 01-01 and one of my brothers was born on 09-09 AND 9-1=8 AND my dad was born on 03-03 and he turned three years old on 03-03-33 AND if you put a reverse 3 next to a 3 it becomes an 8. Enough numbers for now.

In honor of 08-08-08, here are eight photos of flowers and one photo of some Farmers Market produce that we --- ATE!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Garfield County Fair

Last night we headed out to see the Kid’s Rodeo at the Garfield County Fair in Rifle, an appropriately named city for a western county fair. There was a lot to see (and smell) and we had about an hour to look around at the exhibits before the rodeo began. As soon as we started to look at the chickens that were closest to the entrance door a sweet little girl approached us and began telling us all about the animals around us. She became our official tour guide of the fair and shared all kinds of information with us. So, for your enjoyment, a collage of sights – and some sounds—of the Garfield County Fair:

First up – some Fair Faces:

Here is Miss Bethany, our self-appointed Fair Guide

This is Bethany's horse, Ginger.

And here she is giving us the low-down on pigs

And now for a bit of Fair Fashion:

A fancy goat-coat


Bare, sunburned pig. Hmmm........seems they should put shirts on pigs, not goats and sheep!

A sheep ashamed of the shirt he's wearing

A bootless-from-Boulder cowboy

Sparkle shirt and cowboy hats

A little helmet-wearing cowboy, prepared for a dangerous stick horse ride

Finally, some Fair Action:

Pole-bending and barrel-racing were done on stick horses, so not a lot of action but plenty of cute.

Waiting for pole-bending

Then there was the mutton-bustin' . Before you bust mutton, you must mount mutton

This little one needed LOTS of encouragement. But he finally got bustin'

Then there was the boot scramble.

That was WAY TOO EXCITING so we decided to call it a night. As did the nearby pigs ---

Gotta love a pig who sleeps cuddled with his food bowl.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

What is Basalt?

Basalt is a common mafic extrusive volcanic rock. It is usually gray to black and fine-grained due to rapid cooling of lava at the surface of a planet. It may be porphyritic containing larger crystals in a fine matrix, or vesicular, or frothy scoria. Unweathered basalt is black or gray.


Basalt is a quaint mountain community located at the confluence of two gold medal trout streams, the Fryingpan and the Roaring Fork Rivers. We are a vibrant and diverse community offering a wealth of recreational opportunities both in Basalt and in the surrounding communities of Aspen, Snowmass Village, and Glenwood Springs.

Once again we spent Sunday in Basalt, first attending mass at St. Vincent where Fr. Terry Ryan was presiding. We arrived early, as usual, and took our little walk along the river. This time we spotted an intriguing store. Guess we’ll have to come back on Tuesday afternoon to see about getting one of those antique halos. I hope to find one that was used by someone who acted justly, loved tenderly, and walked humbly. What a treasure!

We spotted this little squirrel sitting on a squirrel-proofed bird feeder, enjoying the banquet at his feet – and hands!

After mass we ended up in our favorite spot, the back garden of the TownCenter Booksellers. We read the New York Times, and remembered to set aside the sports section for Fr. Terry. This little garden is shaded and quiet – a perfect little spot for reading and having a cup of coffee on a Sunday morning.

Headed back to St. Vincent to pick up Fr. Terry but he wasn’t quite finished. There was to be a baptism during mass but the family arrived late (ah, yes, I remember how difficult it was to get everyone out the door when the girls were babies) so………the baptism was celebrated after mass. Baptism and Fr. Terry go hand-in-hand for us and we learned so much from him when we helped him with the baptism program at our church in Boulder. Those were definitely the good old days!

On our way out of Basalt we noticed a pair of fancy gold slippers at the base of a tree. This is exactly how we found them. We looked up but saw no one. Hmmmm…………

Saturday, August 2, 2008

To Land's End and Back with Some Critters Thrown In

Because we've both lived in Colorado and have never been to the Grand Mesa, we decided that today was as good a day as any. So we headed out on our adventure about 9:45 am with what we soon learned was a road map published in 1975 -- the year we met! Seems we must have moved that map from one new car to the next, not realizing how old it actually was. Apparently a part of I-70 that we would travel on didn't even exist back then so surely many of the smaller roads might not be on the map either. This would take some figuring out.

While Tom checked out the map I decided to check out what he thought was a rock on the hillside. It wasn't a rock. I played dentist and removed one of her teeth to take home with me. She certainly wouldn't be needing it any longer.

Tom figured out which way to go
and once again we were on the road.

We found a nice little restaurant with a big fancy name: Cattleman's Grill. The burgers were delicious and the waitress, and her baby, were quite nice. On the table is a little map that a nice lady drew for us to help us get to the Grand Mesa.

Now for the critters. I'm such a city girl that anytime I see animals in the wild, be they dead or alive, I get so excited. I guess this is weird because when I told youngest daughter about the above dead cow encounter she said, "Oh my gosh. I'm related to you. That's scary!" Some of the other animals we saw on this trip were an osprey, lots of LIVE cows, elk with HUGE antlers, and several yellow-bellied marmots. One was standing alongside the road and Tom thought it was a log. I made him back up because I was sure it was a marmot and indeed, it was! He just stood there on the side of the road looking as if he was ready to salute us.

We finally made it up to the top -- Land's End! It was truly spectacular and I think Tom finally enjoyed it after he stopped hyperventilating. He's not terribly fond of high places and this spot is at 11,000 feet, with the valley a mile below. Oh, the beauty!

The Grand Mesa is the largest flattop mountain in the world and has over 300 lakes! Here are a couple.

We made it back to Glenwood Springs about 6PM and had driven a bit over 200 miles. Even with gas costing $4.50 a gallon up here, it was still less expensive than a dinner out!
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