Why the title?

"Pioneers take the arrows"

Oh, wait. I should be upbeat and taking arrows doesn't sound like an upbeat thing to say.

So, let me amend that statement.

It was courage and vision that led the pioneers to leave behind a comfortable, settled life and trek West to begin a new life in a new place. Many of those from the East that went West found a strength within themselves that they didn't see while they were in their old life. Instead of being one of those that just kind of went along with the others in the old life, they became leaders and visionaries in their new lives.

The sentiments of that last paragraph come from a favorite author, Louis L'Amour, in many of his books. So, I can't really say that it is an original thought from me. However, what he said is truthful.

Welcome to being a pioneer. Look ahead and ignore the "barking dogs" that give you negative opinions and comments. Louis L'Amour also spoke of the barking dogs.

In some of his stories, it was usually a father or older man telling a young boy how it was that when the Westward bound Conestoga wagons rolled through towns, the dogs came out to bark at them. His character then told the young listener that the barking didn't stop the wagons from going on to their destinations.

Following the advice of the Louis L'Amour characters, may we all forge ahead with our plans, after carefully considering all consequences and leave the "barkers" behind.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Good Month for Me….Bad Month for the Blog

Prior to this entry, the blog has only had 2 entries for this month of October 2011. That is because the first week of the month was pretty much involved with preparations for our vacation(s).

Then from October 7 through October 14, we were traveling to, driving around and traveling from the Canon City/Colorado Springs area. Mixed in with all of that, we visited a lot with Jo’s sister and her husband there in Canon City.

On our return from Colorado to Oklahoma City, we basically had Saturday and Sunday to catch up with getting groceries, doing laundry, and preparing the Mobile Suites for the trip to the SOITC Central Region rally at Grove, Oklahoma. That was held at the Cedar Oaks RV Park on the north edges of Grove.

Along with the visiting and other social events of the rally, I was coming down with something. While I’ve had issues in the past with Upper Respiratory Infections, I didn’t really think that my health issues were URI. All week, I dealt with a raspy throat, sore throat, cough, and sniffles.

In addition to that, I stopped in the Walmart at Grove and used their blood pressure tester because I hadn’t checked my blood pressure for several months. Normally, my pressure is never high. On one other occasion, when the doctor’s visit showed a higher than normal pressure, he had me monitor it at least once weekly and write down the date and the results of the blood pressure test.

However, on Saturday when I checked it, it was quite a bit higher than normal. Roughly 150/92 was what it read. Jo wondered whether that machine might be malfunctioning. After coming back home with our Mobile Suites and setting back up at home, we went to Walmart for some groceries and I checked it again. It was still in roughly the same area.

Since I had already booked an appointment with the doctor for the ailing throat and coughing, I knew they would check it as well. Sure enough, it was 152/84 in his office. However, since I don’t have a history of high blood pressure, he advised me to monitor it again at least once a week and write down the results. Then, after two months, he wants to check with me again to see if I need to go on blood pressure medicine.

Needless to say, for someone who doesn’t like taking prescription medicines, I really don’t want to start a regimen of those medicines. It was bad enough that he found some congestion in my lungs and prescribed a shot and a round of antibiotics for my ailment.

For all those reasons, this month will not see a lot of activity here. In fact, I only felt like writing this one to explain as to why there are a very limited number of posts this month. Shoot, I’ve still go to download all my Colorado and rally pictures onto my computer. Then, I need to send a lot of those photos to the SOITC folks so they can put some on their Facebook page. Plus, there is a document explaining the re-stringing process for RV shades that they want me to post on the forums for SOITC.

So, sickly I may be, but I still wanted to explain things.

I will thus bid you all good night and try to go to bed early tonight.  At least you all know that for the most part, this month was good, all except for a little blip on the health chart.

Funny Fuzzy

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Vacation Update

The vacation to Colorado started on Friday, October 7 with us leaving Oklahoma City at roughly 9:00pm and arriving at Canon City, Colorado at about 10:00am the next morning. Yep, it was an all-nighter with only about a 1 hour stop for a short nap. Our son, Eric, and I switched off on driving.

While we were actually about a week late for the best autumn colors, they still weren’t bad, and some of the trees at the lower elevations were actually at a good stage. Roxie, Jo’s sister, spoke of the description of mountains in fall where it appears that they are on fire. That is because many aspens will turn colors with the leaves at the tops of the trees being red and the lower leaves being yellow. When they are “blanketed” across the mountain’s sides, the leaves seem to give the effect of fire.

While we saw aspens with red tops, they were not blanketing an area, so we didn’t have the same effect as Roxie saw the week before. However, as I mentioned, we still got to see some great colors in the trees as well as quite a bit of snow at higher elevations and sheltered places.

On our first day there at Canon City, as far as sight-seeing, we only went out of town a ways to the Royal Gorge. This is a sight that Eric has never seen. There was also another sight that we saw that even I have never seen. How is this for an RV?


In addition to the mention of snow, in all the years that we have traveled to the Colorado areas, we’ve never been there this late in the year. Thus, we have never seen the Spanish Peaks in SW Colorado with snow on them. So it was a real treat to view this image between Trinidad and Walsenburg, Colorado. Needless to say, even without seeing the autumn colors yet, I was getting excited.


After that first day of arrival on the 8th, our week had four days of driving around different areas of Colorado taking pictures and seeing the sights. We have always had the good fortune of having relatives that love to take us around to see all the sights. So, I must offer my sincere thanks to our hosts, Roxie and Richard, with special thanks to Richard for doing all the driving and stopping when we wished.

Since it is fairly late right now, having had a busy day of preparing the Mobile Suites for our trip on Monday to the SOITC Central Region rally in Grove, Oklahoma, I will not write much, but I will promise more to come in the days to come as I give “reviews” of what it was we got to see.

So, until I have the time to really do any writing, all I can do is tease with a photo or two. Since I took over 2500 photos in the last week, all you will get to see are a few of them anyway. I just hope I pick some good ones to show you.

So, here is a bit of color:


And, a critter or two:


So, until I have better opportunities to write, I’ll just have to tease.  I’m still trying to decide whether to write entries for each day, of for each excursion area where we went.  Likely, it will be the latter as it will be easier to cover what we did and saw.

So, please stay tuned, and I really hope it is worth the wait.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Autumn Anticipation

Considering I am distinctly anticipating our vacation in Colorado this month, mostly because of the possibilities of some good autumn colors, I thought I would start October off with some more photos of my mother’s paintings. This group will be the last ones that I have images of, and I won’t have others until I happen to visit my sister and have an opportunity to take photos of some more of them.

Coincidentally, some of these paintings are of autumn scenes as well. That should help to get me to REALLY anticipating our trip.

First, to the western theme and one of the more rare paintings that she did with figures in them, this is one that includes a cowboy on a horse. It is also blessed with a good vista as a background.


Next is one that has the autumn colors in a portrait format instead of the more normal landscape type painting of mother’s. I would like to think that the trees are Aspens, again anticipating the Colorado trip, but I really think these are Birch trees. But, since I could be wrong, I’ll leave the possibility that they are odd Aspens.


I think this next one was painted for an old friend who passed away before Mother, but I can’t be sure. I do know that he liked the sight of western windmills because he grew up in the Oklahoma Panhandle and windmills were a staple of the ranches of that time. Kenny was “Cowboy to the Core.” (I will have to explain that sometime in another post. That may give you something to anticipate.)


Autumn colors once again are present in this next painting. If I remember correctly, this one was a smaller version of one that Mother had painted for Jo’s parents to put over their fireplace. I liked it so much that she painted a smaller “copy” for Jo and me. If nothing else, Mother was generous and accommodating.


This next one is not necessarily a favorite of mine because it doesn’t seem to have quite the defined detail that a lot of Mother’s paintings had. If you recall an earlier post (if you have even read it), she used to “dab” her brush against the canvas to create the leaves on trees. That “dabbing” technique tended to put just a wee bit of a third dimension to her paintings.


This next one is also a favorite, plus I think it is one that my online friend, Richard, might appreciate, considering that he is part Native American. And, since he and his wife have recently sold their home in Santa Fe, they will likely become nomadic like the subjects of this painting.


Until I get the opportunity to photograph more of Mother’s paintings, any I show in the near future will have been done by others who were students of Mother, including Jo. Jo doesn’t seem to appreciate her paintings as much as I do, so those will probably be shown in the next posting about paintings.

Along the same theme of the American Indian culture, here is a photo I took at Mesa Verde near Cortex, Colorado.  We spent the whole day touring that park, so I got a lot of photos, all of which will not be able to be included in an upcoming review of a vacation.  I normally don’t like to get such photos with people in them, but considering the popularity of Mesa Verde, especially in good weather, they cannot be avoided.