Colorado Trip – Day 4 – Mesa Verde

When Mom suggested the trip, and offered to ‘hire’ me as chauffeur, and before I had a website job to pay my portion of the trip, I overcame a lifetime habit of not asking for what I want, because I thought it asking too much –

“Can we please go to Mesa Verde?  I’ve never been able to get there, what with one thing and another.   And is it possible for us to do the 700 years guided tour?  I think if you do the tour, you get to go to some places that are no longer open to general foot traffic.”

A gracious yes was received, from a surprised traveling companion who has been to Mesa Verde and didn’t realize I had never gotten to actually go – and so, we set out early Monday morning to arrive at the Far View Terrace Visitor Center to board the bus and partake in a journey during which our guides hit the highlights of 700 years of Mesa Verde history…

We left Durango early, fortified by a fast-food breakfast, because again, leaving too early for the locally run/locally sourced cafes to be open – (durnit – remind me to post the links of all the wonderful food establishments in the area that our itinerary just didn’t make possible to visit….)

Follows are highlights – I have added to my “Bucket List” the line -

“Book 6 month stay at Far View Terrace Lodge – ask Everett, the tour guide, if he’ll give me 3 hours a week to just walk along behind him, soaking up all he knows – earn enough money to pay for both…”

Before the pics, I have to share some of the highlights of what I discovered – both about Mesa Verde and about myself:

  • Our guide was Everett and our driver was Leonard – they were fine with us calling them Pancho and Cisco – :)
  • Everett said you don’t get a degree in archaeology – you actually study Botany, Geology, Linguistics, Anthropology and about 14 gazillion other subjects- then, when you’ve learned all that – you can go be an archeologist – – :)  (that’s not a quote from him, it’s my way of admitting I don’t remember all the subjects he listed that you need to study)
  • Everett knew the name, use, poisonous parts etc., of every plant I asked about – whether it was along our trail or I showed him a picture I had snapped 1/2 a state away AND when I bemoaned the lack of native plant availability at my local nurseries, (because don’t ya know, Mesa Verde elevation is only 120 ft higher than where I live – if it grows there, hopefully, it will grow here) he said to me: “Get a BLM permit, schedule a time and bring your pots – they will help you find the plants you want and you can harvest some transplants.”  Really?!?   AWESOME!
  • Our Ranger for the Cliff Palace guide was of Puebloan descent – he kindly corrected misconceptions still believed by those who only learned early 20th century history of the location – and while other people squirmed, I was thinking, “You tell ‘em” when he related how much food was grown in the area on less water than people use to keep their lawn looking nice….  A guy after my own heart!
  • Everett is not only one smart cookie, whose recall of details and facts matches my Dad’s ability, but he was also a medic in Afghanistan and Iraq – he doesn’t just know his history/culture  here – he can cross-refer you to Mesopotamian, Greek, Roman and Egyptian eras/history, just to name a few – – I was startled to find there are still some men around that are as smart as my Dad was  – with as good a sense of humor – and willing to answer numerous questions with patience and a smile -
  • I could spend a lifetime at Mesa Verde and not see/learn it all – What I learned/visited was just the tip of the iceberg and can’t wait to spend more time in the area.
  • The area has been ravaged by various fires over many years – it was intriguing to see the different spots and how Mother Nature heals her scars over time, though sad to know what havoc had been wreaked…
  • I’m more afraid of heights when I’m driving than when I’m hiking…hmm… interesting….

 **********

When people hear Mesa Verde, they often think of this:

The Cliff Dwelling period represents only 1/6th of the history of the the Puebloan inhabitants discovered so far.

The Cliff Dwelling period represents only 1/6th of the history of the the Puebloan inhabitants discovered so far.

When in actuality, Cliff Palace and other dwellings carved out of the sheer cliff sides really represents only a small portion of the inhabitant’s history….

We arrived as the early morning sun began to light the area – we stopped at the main entrance and marveled at the 20 foot, 2 inch bronze sculpture by Edward J. Fraughton, titled, “The Ancient Ones” – after viewing this marvelous recreation of how the area inhabitants managed to get up/down to their cliff dwellings, I gave a silent prayer of thanks that I would be allowed to walk stairs/ladders during my visit today…

Welcome to Mesa Verde, home of the fearless

Welcome to Mesa Verde, home of the fearless – Mom graciously poses to give you a hint of the size of this fantabulous sculpture.

From visitor's Center early in the morning

Gazing East from visitor’s Center early in the morning

We begin at topside, where the Puebloans spent so much of their time in the area

We begin at topside, where the Puebloans spent so much of their time in the area

Understanding their Architecture

Understanding their Architecture

Built to last - and last - how old is your home?

Built to last – and last – how old is your home?

We've come nearly 650 years from the Pit House

We’ve come nearly 650 years from the Pit House

Sun Temple Site Looking Out

Sun Temple Site Looking Out

Sun Temple - Looking In

Sun Temple – Looking In

Interestingly, the No Climbing on Walls signs has less to do with erosion of site and more to do with a pregnant woman who fell off and twisted her ankle - why take precious funds away from research to pay lawsuits?

Interestingly, the No Climbing on Walls signs has less to do with erosion of site and more to do with a pregnant woman who fell off and twisted her ankle – why take precious funds away from research to pay lawsuits?

Wave to the neighbor's across the canyon.

Wave to the neighbor’s across the canyon.

From the overlook - a snapshot of where we will be soon

From the overlook – a snapshot of where we will be soon

Canyon View

Canyon View

Cliff Palace - the iconic place folks think of when they hear Mesa Verde - but only one of over 4,700 sites thus far found and many more awaiting exploration

Cliff Palace – the iconic place folks think of when they hear Mesa Verde – but only one of over 4,700 sites thus far found and many more awaiting exploration

Yup - they may need to airlift me out, but I'm going to do it, anyways!

Yup – they may need to airlift me out, but I’m going to do it, anyways!

The road that must be traveled to Cliff Palace

The road that must be traveled to Cliff Palace

Part way down the stairs

Part way down the stairs

And finally reached the bottom!

And finally reached the bottom!

Our awesome Guide, Venancio explaining how much food was grown on less water than most people use on their lawn each year - not pictured, folks in the tour squirming and feeling guilty....

Our awesome Guide, Venancio explaining how much food was grown on less water than most people use on their lawn each year – not pictured, folks in the tour squirming and feeling guilty….

The permanence of their structures, even after decades of vandalism/looting (aka early archaeology)  astounds me

The permanence of their structures, even after decades of vandalism/looting (aka early archaeology) astounds me

Our Puebloan Guide, Venancio Aragon - Make sure you get on his tour! :)

Our Puebloan Guide, Venancio Aragon – Make sure you get on his tour! :)

View from end of tour

View from end of tour

Climbing the ladder out - no, I wasn't the one holding up the line.... :)

Climbing the ladder out – no, I wasn’t the one holding up the line…. :)

Couldn't get a good snapshot of the ladder from the bottom - Here's what it looks like from the top

Couldn’t get a good snapshot of the ladder from the bottom – Here’s what it looks like from the top

Back on top after not falling off the ladder.

Back on top after not falling off the ladder.

A stop of the bus along the way revealed so many more niches than just Cliff Palace

A stop of the bus along the way revealed so many more niches than just Cliff Palace

 I could never hope to adequately describe my love of this place – I leave you with pictures of drive out, on our way to our next stop, Dolores, Colorad0 – home to the best burger Mom and I have had in a long, long time and the Anasazi Heritage Center and Museum.

Leaving Mesa Verde - I will be back.... soon....

Leaving Mesa Verde – I will be back…. soon….

As far as the eye can see

As far as the eye can see

The expanse of the plains makes me feel safe and hopeful

The expanse of the plains makes me feel safe and hopeful

Vista from drive out

Vista from drive out

Another Vista View

Another Vista View

The Cowboy’s Prayer

Tonight I was reminded of a framed print a former boss gave to me that is still in storage -

(I like to live somewhere for at least 3 years before actually hanging art on the walls)

I’m not a big fan of organized religion – I’ve seen too many people get hurt when they put their faith in another’s description of how the Universe works – But tonight, I was thinking of my former boss who resigned his job to care for his wife when she was diagnosed with M.S. – – the boss who didn’t tell anyone until his last day — the boss who drove up to the new job I had started when he was unable to talk me into staying and playing the politics game – -

The boss that brought in the picture and said, “I want you to have this, because you always read it whenever you came to my office and had to wait.”

I don’t know where he is or what he is doing now – It’s been nearly 20 years since last I saw him – I still do not know why I was given such a beautiful piece of art – but I think of it often and always wonder just what I did to deserve such a gift

We often impact others in profound ways that we are unaware of – And I guess, tonight, I’m thinking of the folks who have made such a difference in my life and wonder, do they know?  Would they be surprised if I drove for an hour to give them a picture I owned,  that they had admired?

**********

The Cowboy’s Prayer

Oh Lord, I’ve never lived where churches grow.
I love creation better as it stood
That day You finished it so long ago
And looked upon Your work and called it good.

I know that others find You in the light
That’s sifted down through tinted window panes,
And yet I seem to feel You near tonight
In this dim, quiet starlight on the plains.

I thank You, Lord, that I am placed so well,
That You have made my freedom so complete;
That I’m no slave of whistle, clock or bell,
Nor weak-eyed prisoner of wall and street.

Just let me live my life as I’ve begun
And give me work that’s open to the sky;
Make me a pardner of the wind and sun,
And I won’t ask a life that’s soft or high.

Let me be easy on the man that’s down;
Let me be square and generous with all.
I’m careless sometimes, Lord, when I’m in town,
But never let ‘em say I’m mean or small!

Make me as big and open as the plains,
As honest as the hawse between my knees,
Clean as the wind that blows behind the rains,
Free as the hawk that circles down the breeze!

Forgive me, Lord, if sometimes I forget.
You know about the reasons that are hid.
You understand the things that gall and fret;
You know me better than my mother did.

Just keep an eye on all that’s done and said
And right me, sometimes, when I turn aside,
And guide me on the long, dim, trail ahead
That stretches upward toward the Great Divide.

-Badger Clark

Thanks – But No Thanks

It appears that suddenly, there is a dearth of single women where I live – – because, all the sudden, there are several folks who think it appropriate to come to where I work and ask me out – – -

I know!   Seriously, if they knew me half as well as you do, they’d run for the hills before asking me that – but alas, they do not….

My boss at my two-hour a day job has offered to be the Knight in Shining Armor to block me, the fainting princess, from such vicious onslaughts -

I, the Princess Who Hunts, have declined – they are just lonely – – we here are a community gathering place – we serve those who are feeling lonely and disenfranchised -

It’s Okay -

I can handle it – -

***********

But I’m starting to think, maybe I can’t -

Here’s my answers over the past week in response to queries – let me know if I’m not being clear enough…

(I think I am, but we all know how good we are at lying to ourselves – – )

“So, are you single?”

“Yes, I’m divorced.”

“Are you dating?”

“Good Lord, Are you KIDDING?!?  Couldn’t get me back out in that game for a million bucks.”

“I started dating again and I managed to find the most dysfunctional souls on the planet my first 3 dates.”

“Well – good luck with that – I admire your optimism and moxie – I wouldn’t even try.”

“So, you want to go out to dinner?”

“Did you not just hear what I said?  I’m not interested in dating…”

“Why Not?”

“Because…

  • My ex hurt me so bad, I’ll make any other man pay for his mistakes ad nauseum until I figure out how to forgive him – why purposely do that to someone else?
  • At this moment, given my experience, I can be lonely, broke and stressed out all by myself, don’t need to be in a relationship for that, so why bother?
  • I’m in a bitter and resentful place in my life over the hand I’ve been dealt and I’d LOVE, just LOVE, to take it all out on someone else instead of suppressing my feelings and being a ‘good person’ by not instantly killing the next person who screws me over
  • Right now, Prince Charming could walk through the door and I could come up with a million reasons why he’s a fraud …..”

“Oh, c’mon, it can’t be that bad….”

“I Just Told You It IS that bad – – Are you listening!?! ARGGHHHHH!”

And then there is the guy that’s looking for a good mom for his 5 children – can I help that his youngest is the cutest thing in the world and I love her to death?  Do Men not understand that I’m all for KIDS and not the personages that actually help bring the Kids into being? (Unfortunately, for me, the other kids are teeny-boppers – another of my favorites – if only you could have kids without the male involvement – yes! I know you can, just saying….)

(That’s how I ended up married the first time – I loved his kids and they decided I was okay – little did I know that loving another’s kids doesn’t mean they’ll appreciate you or think they should somehow be grateful that you love their kids more than you love them….funny how few people put the well-being of their kids first….)

************

I’ve started to believe that people are so very rarely point-blank honest, that folks don’t realize the truth when it’s thrown in their face – -

I’d rather believe, because I’m in a not-so-nice-place regarding my thoughts on men –  the male of the species is so handicapped by his own obliviousness, that he can’t fathom the truth when hit between the eyes with it – – -

Regardless of what is going on, I’ve been thrust, against my will, back into the world of flirting and and all this other hogwash,  when it’s the last thing in the world I want to deal with – -

C’mon guys – give me some pointers – I try to be kind without being flirtatious – I’m happy to visit about subjects I’m interested in, but that doesn’t mean I’m looking for a date, boyfriend or husband – – I understand lonely- I’m just not willing to rush headlong into another mistake to keep myself entertained for a second or two….sorry guys, sure that was an ouch – I know it is possible to last for 8 seconds or longer – I’ve been to the rodeo – :)

I do not believe it to be a kind thing to just ignore someone – but I’m getting ready to do so – -

My last ditch efforts to try to be clear as to my intent are as follows:

“I think I made it pretty clear last week I’m not interested – but you keep coming back asking – in that case, I need a cat to kick to rid me of my anger – – since I don’t own a cat, you will do just as well – – you sure you want to sign up for that? Are you a glutton for punishment?” – This statement is greeted with a laugh -

And today,

“No, you’re right, I no longer smile or laugh or chat with you – I’ve tried to be honest and you’re not listening – -I’ve made it clear I’m not interested and you keep pursuing – in order to not give you false signals, I’ve decided to not be as friendly, because, honestly, I’ve been as mean as I can and you still keep trying when I’ve made it clear I don’t wish for you to.  What is it going to take for you to believe what I’m telling you? “

And Mr.-I’m-Sure-I’m-Lovable just laughs and leaves the place I work with a promise to come back – – Seriously, this guy pretends to speak English, but I’m sure, by now, he is faking it…

I’ve thought about saying the following:

“I’d love to know that someone loves me for who I am – who understands my coping mechanisms and is gentle with my shell-shocked personality – since you obviously have not heard how gun shy I am, I’m convinced you haven’t taken time to listen to the part of me I’ve shared with you – because if you did care AND did listen, you wouldn’t continue engaging in this behavior – “

And, that’s the crux of the matter – both of my marriages ended because of the “If you loved me, you wouldn’t….”

Drop kick me across the living room ….

Gamble away our home….

Etc., etc.,

I’m baring my soul here – just as I have to any man who has indicated an interest in taking me to dinner – I’m damaged goods – I’m hurt and am still hurting and still wondering what I did or why I sign up for this kind of punishment  – and until I figure out how to be healthy and ready for a fresh start and clean slate, I’m not willing to take another soul on board my Crazy Train – – it really is in their own best interest, but do I get credit for “Know Thyself?”

Nope….

So, Here’s the poll, and please, guys, if it sounds like I need to speak Martian instead of Venutian, please leave in comments what I can say to ensure my message is being heard and understood (anyone whose comment includes “baseball bat” or “.357″ gets extra points, as long as you don’t testify at my trial….   LOL)

……….

Okay then, tried adding a Poll and the screen goes dark and doesn’t let a single thing work – does my theme need an upgrade?

Ah well – Here’s your choices and feel free to comment on your chosen #:

1. I think it’s clear what you said – Is the guy deaf or an idiot?

2. By continuing to engage in conversation, he thinks it’s a fun game of “Playing Hard to Get” – Your own fault – Be More Hateful

3. Really? You’re complaining about potential dates just showing up at your workplace, with no need to pay eHarmony? What are you griping about?

4. What a b1&^h! Cut the poor lonely guy some slack

5. Shoot him next time he walks in – he’ll figure that out!

6. Please Seek counseling instead of ranting on your blog….

 

:)

 

Party at My House – Get Ready to Dance

A month of Accidents -

(Plans other people make and don’t tell you about)

Poor Planning -

(I did your proposal in April – you want it in how many days, now that it’s September?)

Broken Heart

(Oh, didn’t realize I wasn’t quite ready for that news…)

has all resulted in Party at My House!

You’re Invited -

The evening starts with a red wine – not too sweet, cuz I don’t want a sugar headache – then, we must simply put on some uplifting tunes to dance and/or sing to -

In case you can’t be here in person, I’ve recreated the evening of “Quick Fixes For:_____), just for you – It’s best to start one video, stand up and shake your arse off while singing at the top of your lungs – whether you think you sound good or not – then wipe the sweat from your brow, take a swig of your beverage of choice, start the next video and let loose again…

(Forewarnings – Your singing and gyrating may frighten your dog, but once they understand you haven’t come unhinged, they will dance around the room with you.  I did my best to find you the songs w/lyrics, cuz what’s music without the story to go behind it? but couldn’t find ‘em all  AND the last video has some graphic scenes, but if you keep in contact with the world at all, you already know this is going on….)

When Life Throws You Curves – Be sure to not hesitate on the Sh -

And You Need to Dust Yourself Off and Try Again -

And You’re haunted by the Demons of Yesterday – those dreams you let go or the actions you regret -

But You’re Thinking about following your own star, no matter who says What -

And thinking you need to just go with the flow – -record this to later play in car when you can actually do the hand wave out the car window - -

Even though, you remember how good it used to be – – and even laugh when you remember parachute pants – -

And when the weekend actually meant fun, instead of work – – even if you dressed funky and disco was trying to take over – -

But you realize you need to get back into your groove, go kick some arse and take some names – -and your Dad thought pretty-boys were worthless, too….

And you need powerful music to get you revved up – -best to stride around conducting a philharmonic orchestra for this one - -

And after all this singing and dancing and conducting the invisible orchestra in your living room, you realize there’s still just one song you want played at your funeral, as a message to those who outlive you – -

Thank you for coming to my party – I feel much better – how about you?

King Midget – I’d better hear about you tearing a tendon while dancing or singing yourself hoarse – – :)

Why Writers Rarely Prosper

I’m on break -

From those activities  that  earn a living today -

Dragged kicking and screaming back to Facebook,

Because a customer wanted a page maintained by me,

I do what is necessary, and log out -

And over to  WordPress -

To see what I’ve missed,

As I’ve still not recovered from the shock of a new phone,

And have yet to install the WP App -

What if someone was nice and visited?

Once here,

Do I catch up on my friend’s doings?

No – -

I clicked to view an old post,

To reply sensibly to a recent comment because -

Just what, pray tell, did I think and say, back then?

Has my perspective changed?

Has knowledge then, been refuted now?

No – I can reply easily – it was just my opinion -

And from that old post, duty done, I clicked back through my own related posts -

For two seconds, I’m going to see if what I wrote then has any meaning now -

And relive my recent life through my words -

Time travel, you could say -

The me from a year ago,

3 months ago,

3 years ago

I find myself nostalgic for the days when I woke up

And safely nestled in my jammies -

Seated myself in front of my screen -

And strung words together for hours at a time – -

When manuscripts were dutifully organized and revised and saved -

Characters renamed, because really, Ureenia is so close to Urine…

The time when the secret treasure of words, if  held on long enough,

Would turn to gold.

I ache to earn my living from writing, instead of that which I do now -

So much easier!

So much more in tune with who I am…

And yet,

The voice within whispers, “It’s not ready yet…”

And I close my Scrivener window,

Arguing with myself -

Will I ever heal enough to publish this?

Will  my masterpiece ever be pronounced, “Finished”?

And dutifully, I open my time tracker,

To tick-tock while I write content for someone else’s website that goes live next week,

And wonder -

When? When will my heart’s desire be good enough to bill for next week?

:)

AGHHH!

What a busy week! No wait, a busy month! No wait…when was the last time I didn’t feel overloaded?    Ahhh, yes, back when I prayed for work – – – Haven’t forgotten my duties to finish the Trip to Southwestern Colorado post marathon – but life has intervened and just needed some down time for a minute tonight before plowing back into work – – Did the following to keep myself in good humour AND now you know why I’ve also crossed “Graphic Artist Extraordinaire” off my list  – but the quote is mine, all mine!   LOL

I'm not outta shape - I'm just so far behind my butt is in front of me

Signs #…. I’ve Lost Count

I’ve written about ‘signs’ many times before – the funny thing is, a ‘sign’ was sent to me via my mom – who is not a big believer in signs – She’s often thought I have a bad week because I expect one to go with the full moon – I’ve just as often told her that’s simply not true – what actually happens, is…

I go through a few days that are so whackadoo, I finally look at the calendar, slap my forehead and exclaim with gusto:

“But of course!  It all makes sense now! It’s the full moon and all I have to do is wait for it to pass”

“Waiting for it to pass” is my favorite way of dealing with things & people I have no control over….

This past week has been like a full moon on steroids – really, the past month – I came home from vacation to news of another’s choice which once again has blindsided me, confused me and left me feeling bereft and… well… flapping in the wind once more -

And I’ve spent a lot of time trying to answer “Why?” – Why would they do the things they do in the manner they do?  Why do I allow their picadilloes to affect me so much?

Oh…I was going to tell you about “The Sign”….

**********

Mom stops by after running her errands – I have a load of wash to hang-up and she joins me at the clothes line.  We visit and share news and just as we’re finishing up, she says,

“You know those signs you look up?   What does Hawk mean?”

“I don’t know – I don’t have them memorized – we’ll look it up when we go in.  Why are you asking?”

“This morning, there was a huge Hawk sitting on my wood stack – you know, the one I can see from my east window.  He was magnificent.  I wanted to take a picture, but figured he’d either be gone by the time I got my camera or the glare from the sun on the window would ruin the picture.  But maybe I don’t want to know what it means – what if it’s something bad?”

“I tell you, it’s never bad – – You could sit down and read that book clean through and it has good advice on how to deal with things – and sometimes, non of it makes sense until later, when you’ve had some time to see how things unfold and realize the upheaval had to happen in order for the other pieces to fall in place.”

Yes – I’m a hypocrite – I often forget my own advice – -

The wash hung on the line, we go into the house where I find my Animal Spirit Guides by Dr. Steven Farmer, look up Hawk and start reading…..

***********

As I read the portion titled, “If HAWK shows up, it means:” I realize I’m not seeing any message  for mom, but it sure rings true for me…

Then, I press on to the portion titled, “Call on HAWK when:”

  • You’ve been caught up in an emotional turmoil and have lost your perspective
  • Your plans haven’t gone as you’d expected , they’re taking a lot of twists and turns, and you’re having difficulty accepting this.
  • You’re in the midst of an intense project that requires vigilance and focus for extended periods of time.
  • You’re being harshly criticized or psychically assaulted and need to defend yourself.
  • You’re feeling depressed and rather helpless and want to lift your spirits.
  • There are distinct messages from your environment and you want to discern their meaning.

I quit reading…  Looked at mom and said, “I don’t think the message was for you – I think it was for me.” and the goosebumps lit up my entire body (which in case I haven’t mentioned, goosebumps are my never-fail, inner-truth, detection device )

“Don’t you see how perfect this is?  I’ve struggled for weeks – I’m busy trying to get all these websites done and just why would the Universe trap that beautiful Hawk in my messy house, so I could see it?  Isn’t it easier to send Hawk to you, to bring the message to me?

I’m certain it’s true, because if someone had told me yesterday you would ask me, “What does this sign mean?” I would have laughed and told them you’d never ask that in a million years, because you don’t believe in them.

But perhaps, you do…now…”

:)

I dove back into work with a greater measure of peace – – I’ve Focused on the tasks at hand and let the emotional hurt and anger go play somewhere else than right in front of me – complacent in my certainty Brother Hawk will take care of what I know-not-what-to-do-with.

This morning,  here I sit, taking a short break from website work to share with you, the Card I placed in front of my desk – so I can see it every time I look up….

Oops!  Eliminate Distractions - Back to work I go - Happy Labor Day!

Oops! Eliminate Distractions – Back to work I go – Happy Labor Day!