Thursday, July 15, 2021

Gone Fishing - Small Stone - 15

This will be my last stone for July. The latter part of the month is filled with too many family/friend obligations to spend time on the computer. Air quality was better this morning, but the smoke index is up again this afternoon. These photos were taken last weekend along the Blue River where our son and granddaughter spent a couple hours fishing. They catch and release but didn't even have a nibble, so I don't think I'll depend on them to provide dinner. 

Wherever you are in the world, I hope you're safe and enjoying time with people you love.
Thank you for your visits.

small stone
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Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Cabin Fever - Small Stone - 14

a storm with drenching rain
washes the sky for hours

but when the sun begins to set
the smoky haze remains 

inside looking out
I'm getting cabin fever

small stone
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Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Where There's Smoke, There's Fire - Small Stone - 13

Tenmile Range

Our normally bright blue sky is hazed by smoke.

Imperial Peak

In town, I wear a mask so I won't breath too much smoke on the way to the dentist.
My eyes itch and burn from particulates in the air.

along the Blue River

The fires are north and west of us, but prevailing winds are bringing smoke into our county.
I'm very allergic to formaldehyde which is in wood smoke.
Fire is a constant threat in dry western states.
I'm housebound until the smoke clears.

small stone
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Monday, July 12, 2021

The Thinker - Small Stone - 12


I watch Angelo from my kitchen window
sitting amid the Forget-Me-Nots
always serious, always thinking
staying mindful

small stone
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Sunday, July 11, 2021

Bloom - Small Stone - 11

in harsh conditions, the Columbine adapts
to bloom anew every summer

small stone
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Saturday, July 10, 2021

Summer's Dance - Small Stone - 10

 wildflowers sway and bob to the stream's music
I do a little dance, too

small stone
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Friday, July 9, 2021

Stay Present - Small Stone - 9


the future is unknown
the path reveals itself
one step at a time
stay present

small stone
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Thursday, July 8, 2021

Sunset - Small Stone - 8

the magic show of twilight
darkness overtaking light
day into night

At 10,000' above sea level there is little artificial light.
Sun, moon, and stars guide the natural world.
The sky heralds beginnings and endings.

I'm reminded that darkness is necessary to appreciate light. 

small stone
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Wednesday, July 7, 2021

Chiming Bells - Small Stone - 7


deep in the forest
dripping with raindrops
Chiming Bells toll their summer song

small stone
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Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Is There a Silver Lining - Small Stone - 6

clouds with silver linings

 I've had a series of upsets over the past couple days. It started on July 4th when a tourist across the street allowed a dog to run loose through the neighborhood. The dog loved whizzing through our gardens and playing in our water feature. I finally went onto the front deck and spoke to the man watching the dog on its path of destruction. I asked him politely to please put the dog on a leash. I told him the dog was destroying the flower beds, and I didn't want it on my property. I mentioned that Breckenridge has a leash law. The man obviously had no control over the dog because calling him only led to frustration. Finally, he swore (either at me or the dog) and walked toward his rental. The dog finally followed. 

About 15 minutes later a woman came outside, again with the dog running wild. I went onto the deck and asked politely if she would leash the dog because it was destroying my flower beds. NO she would NOT! She felt the dog had a right to run. I mentioned that Breckenridge has a leash law. She cared not at all. After she called me a "dickwad" and some other choice words, I came inside and called the rental complaint hotline. I had to call them 3 times that day, July 4th, because the dog continued to run. On the morning of July 5th, the dog tried to attack my neighbor who was out early walking her dog (on leash). The neighbor yelled for the woman to control her dog, but the woman obviously had no control. Luckily, my neighbor carries pepper spray and used it to drive the dog off. 

My neighbor called the hot line when she got home, and she also contacted me. I called the hotline for the 4th time and was assured that (finally) an officer would be dispatched. By the time the police woman arrived, the people with the dog had left the rental to go home. The officer talked to the people still in the house explaining the leash law. She got the number of the dog owners and was going to also call them. Basically, my neighbor plus Bob and I were just happy to be rid of the threat and the fiasco of these entitled dog owners.

So! Later today I'll do my Loving Kindness Prayer. As usual, I'll think of ways I hope to improve myself and ask for guidance. I'll insert the names of family and friends to whom I want to send lovingkindness. And lastly, I'll include the dog and its owners, asking for lovingkindness to guide them on future encounters (hopefully not with me...). 

I try to look for good - for the silver lining.
On some occasions, it's harder than others to find it.

I looked "dickwad" up in the dictionary.
It's a noun meaning a contemptible person; a fool.
I had a feeling it wasn't complimentary!

Sorry this is such a long small stone!

small stone
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Monday, July 5, 2021

Pansies Make Me Cry - Small Stone - 5

pansies raise their sweet faces toward sunset's glow
thinking of my mother who loved pansies
passing from this life on a July evening
her pansies still blooming

I remember her in the comforting twilight
as tears fall

small stone
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Sunday, July 4, 2021

Red, White, and Blue - Small Stone - 4

Hiking this morning, I thought about choice. Town is packed with people this Independence Day. 
I choose to celebrate in solitude. All of us are individuals - so many differing choices.
Freedom of choice - I appreciate it.
life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness
don't take it for granted

Happy Birthday America!

small stone
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Saturday, July 3, 2021

Play for Me - Small Stone - 3

 on a cloudy day after rain
strumming on the deck
singing for his supper
songs of love and loss

small stone
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Friday, July 2, 2021

Hail - Small Stone - 2

Sometimes, even in summer, storms bring white.
Temperature drops as hail plummets from the sky.
Inside, we light a fire to keep warm.
Outside, Waldo smiles, as usual.

Accept what I can't change - I'm always learning from Waldo.
small stone 

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Thursday, July 1, 2021

Octopus Tree - Small Stone - 1

I started this blog in 2011 to participate in an international Small Stone writing challenge. A Small Stone is a brief, mindful observation that may take the form of poetry or journaling. Some of the blog friends I made through the years of writing Stones still use the practice to encourage daily introspection and creativity. 
For the month of July, I begin once again writing Small Stones. 
As is my practice, I often use a photo along with the stone.

A tree with octopus limbs has been my friend for the past 30 years. It's a landmark in the forest telling me I'm soon home. The state forest service begins a clearcut soon in the National Forest behind my house. The cut is necessary for wildfire prevention. My Octopus tree and most of the old growth trees in the 115 acres targeted are part of the planned cut. 

Do you know as I hug you goodbye that your long life of standing sentinel is soon ending?
Will your spirit remain as a guide on the trail?
I'll miss you dear Octopus Tree.
I know you'll remain in my heart.

Thank you for your guidance all these years.

small stone
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Saturday, June 12, 2021

Let Your Spirit Bloom

Spring is an elusive season at high altitude.

do bees have knees?

I've planted some deck boxes with pansies which tolerate cold.
Other more delicate annuals must wait a bit longer.

We live just above 10,000' (3,000m).
Days in June remain pleasantly cool, and nights are still chilly.
Hiking in the early morning, especially when gaining elevation, requires a jacket.
I'm alert while climbing through the forest, but so far in June haven't encountered a bear or moose.

Pausing at this skeletal tree, I send positive and healing thoughts to family and friends.
I entreat myself to extend kindness, stay calm, show tolerance. 
I believe that we all put powerful signals into the Universe.
May mine be free of anger and judgement.


Wildflowers are blooming in boggy areas of the forest.

Marsh Marigolds

Globeflowers and Marsh Marigolds raise their fresh faces toward the sun.


light shining through delicate petals

They are both fragile and tenacious.
(Perhaps like you....)

There is a pervading quiet on winding trails through old growth forest.
Rustling of small forest creatures and songs of birds accompany me.
The burbling of Lehman Creek permeates the silence.

I'm thankful for wilderness that heals the spirit.
Hiking through springtime wild places is my one good thing today.

Thank you for spending time with me.
I hope you've enjoyed your visit.

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Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Snow Melt

As of June 1, every scrap of snow in our yard is melted.
We've begun hiking on the forest trails.

The forest smells juicy with dampness from melting snow.
Wildflowers and grasses are poking green out of the ground.
Trees and bushes are budding.

However, the higher we climb, the more snow remains.
Mountain streams are singing and dancing.

Unfortunately, because of low snowpack, they aren't as energetic as some years.

The high peaks still glisten white in the sunshine.
Some snow will remain up high all summer.

The Continental Divide glows in the distance.

The octopus tree basks in the sunshine.

Welcome spring - my one good thing today!

I'm having issues with Blogger. As you might have noticed after my last post, I tried changing the Header, and it shrank so small it was hard to read the title. I've fooled with the HTML, but now the photo is slightly blurry. Be careful at this point if you want to change your Header - I've read on the forum that many are having this same problem. (Sigh....)

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Saturday, May 15, 2021

Celebrate Life

It's been a month since I posted.

Sometimes, a break from the computer is necessary.
I welcome quiet into my mind and heart.
I change my focus.

There is still snow around my mountain home.
However, as temperatures rise, I begin dreaming of blooms.

Just down the street, daffodils raise their bright faces.

We took a  day trip across Vail Pass into Pitkin County.
In two hours, we said hello to spring.

At home, flakes continue falling.
I can't hike in the forest until more snow melts.

But, each morning, as usual, I rise to greet the dawn.
Finally, for a few weeks, there are less tourists visiting.
So, I walk 5 miles through quiet neighborhoods.
I appreciate the stillness.

"Hi Barb!"

I say hello to fox and moose.
I'm watchful for bears, but so far I haven't seen any.

Three of my grandchildren graduate from high school in May.
They'll fly away toward their own special interests.
I'm proud of them.

On May 9, I celebrated both Mother's Day and my 77th birthday.
I think double 7's might be lucky for me.
We make our own luck, of course.
I told Bob I'm going to continue celebrating for awhile.

I give thanks for life, for love, and for all of my blessings.

A little girl in my neighborhood paints rocks and places them for others to find.
I appreciate this message.
I hope you do, too!

Thank you for your visit.

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Tuesday, April 13, 2021

As Time Passes

Last week I visited downtown Main Street in Breckenridge for the first time in a year. I went to the optometrist for a long-overdue eye exam.  Next door to his office, a black cat snoozed on the stoop. My mother was very superstitious. Luckily, this kitty only dosed and didn't cross my path to give me immediate bad luck. My mother would go out of her way to avoid black cats. I tell myself I'm not superstitious, but I did think of my mother when I spotted the cat.

 Most of the snow in town is melted. However, at our house and in the forest, we still have plenty of white. When snow blows through sunbeams, the filtered light is ethereal.

We had a snow storm overnight when our son visited. After breakfast, he and I went out to play in it. Luckily, he broke trail in his snowshoes so I could glide easily behind him on my skis. We spoke of the joy we felt surrounded by such natural beauty.

We prepared a special dinner for Gregg, and the gift of snow the next morning was a bonus. The visit left us all with smiles on our faces. Seeing someone you love after such a long isolation feels like a celebration.

 Time passes - we are expecting more snow over the next several days.  The push/pull of the seasons continues as it normally does at high altitude this time of year.  Bob and I are planning a day trip as soon as we see that the weather forecast doesn't predict snow for a few days.

Memories of time spent with family are my good thing today.
I hope you're feeling well.
Thank you for visiting.

Bob's latest blood test was excellent.
Gratitude fills my heart.

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