Happy Labor Day!

I celebrate Labor Day by laboring – 😀

Today was the Labor Day celebration and our local town’s Celebrate Our Community Day.

Organizations, local vendors, businesses, crafters and non-profits set up stalls at the park.

The local Volunteer Fire Department provided lunch of a hamburger, chips and drink, with the only cash register in site, a wooden “Donation Box”.

Cornhole tournament ran by the Library and a book sale (donations only!) by the Friends of the Library .

A Jr. Firefighter Obstacle course provided for the kids by the fire department, as well as opportunities to sit in a life saving Helicopter or interact with the first responders, pilots, EMTs Nurses and volunteers that answer the call for help 24/7, courtesy Flight for Life and Life Line Crews who worked today, too.

Out here? Sometimes, the most beautiful sound in the world, is hearing the chopper blades making their way to you and your loved one, who is in crisis.

Not as big of a turn out this year, as in 2019 celebration- for a myriad of reasons, which we all know the reasons why…. And yet….

New folks to meet, old friends to see.

A day of hope and nostalgia for me.

So many lost due to age, illness or COVID the past two years, that I always got a chance to ‘catch up with’ at Labor Day festivities..once the harvests in, fair over and summer frenzy of guests or travels winded down…

Some weren’t there today…. and I missed seeing them, even though I knew I wouldn’t.

The day had some ‘gaping holes’ in it for me..

On the other hand, a young aspiring author I waited on often, back when I worked at the Library?

Ta-Da! She is now published and our community has another local author!

The Craft Vendor store that opened in fall of 2019? And managed to do home delivery to serve customers throughout COVID shutdowns? Survived?

Still open, getting more vendors and are open more hours a week than they were in 2019.

Many of their vendors were manning stalls at the park while sending folks down to the main craft store (a 2 blocks away!) to promote the abundance of products made by the creative and artistic folks that are my neighbors.

Caught up with those I haven’t seen for oh-so-long.

Met some new folks and oohed and ahhed at the photos on cellphones eagerly thrust into my hands of new babies born, new puppies added to households and homestead infrastructure additions.

I took pictures of new emergency equipment purchased through grant funds to provide higher level of care to those in need who call 911.

Machines that do chest compressions at the right depth and rate, and never wears out, when CPR is needed and available volunteer crew just got slammed with multiple calls and are scrambling to meet every need/call with the staff they have available.

Took notes down regarding the revamp of the town brush pile that is open once more to residents for clearing out deadwood from their place, that is expanded and graded clean to get rid of tire-flattners – (i.e. nails/etc.) – with promise from our new Public Works Director he’ll send me a picture to post when someone thinks it’s a place to get rid of their trash for free …(sigh…newcomers or outliers…sigh….)

Met one of the board trustees for my town I hadn’t yet met.

Learned my local mechanic has retired & sold his automotive shop to….a new young man, who posed for the local paper, proudly standing by his wife and young children for the business announcement picture.

So here I sit, taking a break from resizing/optimizing/sorting pictures for my various website customers who spent today and months BEFORE today, to make today’s event, actually happen.

Mourning those gone, and yet full of hope for the younger ones coming up to fill the holes left in our community.

And, once more, very, very grateful for the blessing of living where I do.

No matter what Mother Nature delivers, or what national news says, or what challenges come – to me?

I live in rural America, and so, overall, I’ve got it better than 90% of the population – dare I say 99%??

And once more think,

We may be small in numbers, but we are mighty in community and strength.

We, too, walk through all the challenges faced on various fronts as others do, and yet, under a clear Colorado blue sky, not yet hazy with the next wave of fire smoke that is estimated to reach us by Wednesday, not too hot, not too cold, not to windy, we gathered together to celebrate being alive, our community, to connect and share memories of those who weren’t there this year.

Here’s hoping this Labor Day finds you and yours safe, warm and in the community you love to be a part of.

The Prairie

*This post inspired by Teacher As Transformer post I read today

I needed passion, beauty, and ‘idling’ while I pretended to learn new things, today.

I’ve spent too long on the ‘work I learned long ago how to do/improve upon’ in databases, websites, clean-up of outdated data…… compilation of reports, checklists, etc., to aide my partners in ‘creating’ in ‘simple lists to work’ each year/reminder sheets to hang over their desk….

All things, that, while necessary, tend to, at some point…. after marathons of ‘aye…yup! This needs a thorough clean-up!’ activities…. rather…..

Dulls my mind and soul….

Even WHEN I take short breaks to stand in awe, gazing upon, ‘the world immediately outside my front door’ throughout the day and night… 🙂

And so, while trying to get better at ‘sharing’ a compilation of images AND quotes/prose/poetry – (via tutorials and ‘trying yet again, to put into practice what I’ve supposedly ‘learned’ – :D. )

I played in software tools today, applying tips/tricks learned from I really can’t tell ya, how many years of free tutorials….

I’m not an artist – thus, feels like 1,000 years…..

TA-DA (for now..)!

Just in case you thought the only thing I ever talk or think about regarding Prairies are the challenges….

Nope – and perhaps, it was high time I shared more than just the ‘purdy flowers’ in areas that take a lot of ‘work’ from me to ‘make it so’ –

Instead of Challenges Let Me Focus Upon….

The Beauty .

I am sharing with you via photos and words, the Prairie I know and love, that is always there, in all its’ rampant beauty’.

Without me doing a single thing, but gazing upon it, snapping a photo, and finding the ‘perfect photo’ of my own loves, to go with a ‘new to me quote/poem/prose’ I stumbled across while going off on a ‘tangent of surfing the net’, that I’m prone to do when I’m struggling with burnout….

(I did share one quote with a photo taken by a client who lives here, works on the prairie – and are my fave, three generations of family folks to ‘walk the pasture with’ – :D.

And I got permission to do so…..(trust is important, doncha know?)

You can learn more about these fine folks at Third River Ranch.com)

Enjoy!

P.S.

You didn’t really think I’d write less than 500 words, did you?

DID YOU???? 😀

PERISH the thought!

Just saying – the WordPress.org framework I work with for ‘biz’ and the one I get here, WordPress.com, in free blog land?

Two horses of different colors and….

I had some thoughts on the matter, while posting this blog entry, (the cursing has been removed, paraphrased for simple info….)

“fine! I’ll upgrade! JUST because I wouldn’t have to work this hard if I self-hosted my own site with the WordPress framework. But my bloggy pals are here and I am building a separate Biz website and Lord Knows, WordPress.com, you’ve hounded me long enough about getting some ‘in the next 48 hours savings’ if only I would just UPGRADE my free blog…”

I get it – Server space doesn’t come free – nor does R&D for providing ‘have your free blogging voice’ operations AND keeping those options rather updated, as cyberland changes – –

I get it – Any tech company that provides something to me for ‘free’ is making their money elsewhere (adds, information, etc.) OR They will DIE out because they just can’t keep the bills paid on what they thought, long ago, would be wonderful and give ‘voice’ to all us everyday folks!!!

I argued a few days ago with a long ago friend, I recently reconnected with – he was assuring me ‘They say there is no free lunch, but this is a free offer to you…”

And I, being me, and because he is male and long, long ago, we were once engaged for about 3 months… I replied,

“Ahh… now….seriously! You KNOW better! There is never, ever, a Free Lunch – there is grace, unexpected blessings and gifts, but there is, in the end, no free lunch….”

Me – being cynical and dashing the hopes/dreams of others.

so, once again, while I was trying to POST this??

I am not certain how it will look, to you, or is viewable by you – or readable – but I must get ‘back to work’ and don’t have time to do a full blog redesign via free theme(s), just now –

And in the end – if I’m going to ‘practice something’ might as well practice it on myself…. 😀

500 Words or less… instead of Pictures?

From heat wave, dry days to cool, cloudy, got some rain without hail, massive damaging wind or tornadoes, here at Bally Bin, I’ve been working as I can outside on various areas, and inside on the computer for long hours and well –

Just now? The thunder that start rolling in the distance has moved closer and I no longer have to step outside to ‘confirm’ what that rumble is….

The cool season grasses in areas not mowed, trimmed or cut back to ‘make it look like I care more about nice/neat than I do about soil health/drought’ are in seed, and turning from green-gold, to gold.

Areas of bindweed still left to (racklefrackle $#@!) rip out. Feels like a never ending process as I TRY hard to now focus on the areas with the distinctive white blossoms, and rip those (foul-filth-flairn-suckers) out, as deep into the roots as I can, instead of hoping I can keep up with every green head poking itself out of the ground (as I try to do in spring)

The Wild Mustard (purple, water suckin hog, stinkweed) wasn’t too bad this year – Hopefully I ripped a lot of those areas out BEFORE it had chance to set seed for next year/millennium.

My poor, poor poplars and some Siberian Elm trees – – they suffered mightily during the 2019-20 drought growing year and winter moisture – and last year, I was informed by the local conservation district to NOT prune back what ‘looked dead” IF there were still seedlings coming up from the base.

Alas, much of the main growths HAVE died and I have so much pruning/cut back to do what appeared dead (but was still ‘springy’ to touch), last year, is, in fact dead (breaks off at slightest pressure).

And yet – – in some places, for some trees I find new baby trees & seedlings have pushed forth in hope and promise.

Thus, such ‘nursery areas’, must be weeded around, protected by barrier to avoid mowing/weed whipping activities by ‘oops!’ by those who help me on the place and said areas mulched heavily, in hopes, I do my part in ‘caring for them’

So much STILL to do this year – just to try and ‘catch up’, ‘build for future’, seed for future, try to be a good neighbor BUT also build a Garden of Eden oasis in my little ‘area of land in my charge.

And so, that’s my update – as I prepare to hit the ‘publish button’, the pitter patter of rain plays it’s own, unique tune on my roof/windows. And I think, once more, how grateful I am for no tornadoes, hail etc., right here, this year. Around me by not many miles? Yup. But not here – or I slept through it –

And I’m very, very grateful for the blessings and the ‘let us train TamrahJo to expect better!’ grace I’ve been gifted by Mother Nature, this June!

Happy Spring!

No matter what the calendar/astronomy/astrology or the cosmos says, I rarely ‘celebrate spring’ just when I’m ‘supposed to’.

Spring is Heralded at Bally Bin when….

The rhubarb and irises poke their heads out to do their ‘own’ thing.

Easter and Mother’s Day are heralded by the lilac bush putting on buds, and/or getting nipped in the bud – at which point, I cry and think…’maybe next year!’

Tomorrow?

I’ll be outside walking the place and looking carefully at mulched areas and eagerly hoping for any SMALL sign from perennial plants that Spring as actually arrived –

For today?

After seeing so many other posts sharing Spring Heralds, Well Wishes and Celebrations of Spring – well – I just had to post what dreams I have and remember, as I yearn for spring.

Some years, the dreams show up – some years, I miss the moment they arrived and others? I spend Spring and Summer, hoping my neglect in supplemental watering or keeping bindweed at bay in some areas, hasn’t ‘killed the dream’ of what could be.

Below then, are past photos of spring and summer.

A reminder to myself of what Spring flora so often deliver on, all while, overall, my memory of them in my heart and brain, keeps m ‘dreaming, yearning, hoping’ year round.

No matter what the calendar, temperature, forecast says or when it says so, for my locale – the beauty of past springs and summers whispers to me to “Remember!” –

To lose my faith even those times when both my internal and external worlds, feel ‘stuck’ in the perpetual dormancy of winter.

Hope this finds you and yours well.

Ode to Sue

Ragged and Raw I read The Last Post?

Even Though….I knew and have known….

this or another tomorrow

Might bring this news

I have walked this path before,

Thus, I should not be caught unawares

And should have finished an Ode worthy of Sue

I have tried to write the right words…

While my throat choked

And my heart broke in two

And edit, perfect it, put it in poetry form

Or short haiku

Perhaps a 20,000 word short-short-novella?

For what is but a short time,

and yet, feels-like-so-long now….

Instead, I chose to read and comment…

And thrilled each time the Notification ‘ting’

Showed your name…

Just one more time –

Today….you felt well enough to ‘do you’ and your passion

One more time!

Oh… how I have spent so many moments in ‘pre-grieving’

Being sternly with myself ‘realistic’ and wondering…

Can my heart take one more loss in this way?

Can I show up as I need to for her, while being me?

And being me means mourning for me, too?

In the daily ‘real’ loss of her?

All while I also tried to put to mere words,

What you, your words, your thoughts, your emails

Your pen-pal friendship,

Have meant to the joyful parts in the tapestry of my life.

I tried a poem – it didn’t rhyme…

I tried a novella – ran out of ‘time’

In my patience with me and my wandering tangents world –

And instead….I did what I have always done –

When faced with impending loss

I get the gift of knowing may be looming sooner than I wished

Of one who is part of ‘the making of me’ that goes ever on….

I waited to see what you said…

And went where your spirit led…

Be angry? Heck Ya! I can do that with you!

Be grateful? YES! I am grateful for having met you

Some regrets here and there? YES! can do!

Cuz, I really thought ‘someday’

I would scoot around your beloved countryside,

All on the ‘wrong side of the road’ to my American eyes.

With you at the wheel and us laughing like loons.

That you would understand when I stood stock still…

in some field, and whispered,

“Do you feel that? what is it do you suppose?”

Trusting you would understand when I said,

“Please, can I just sit by this rock for awhile longer?

Really, after all, what time does the pub close?”

And yet – for me –

All while I grieve in my mind and realize

The end of my ‘someday’ dreams draws near

My heart says, “But, she is not gone!”

She lives on in your dreams

Who you can be –

What you may do –

How you may skip, trip, dance along –

The path that lies before you.

All because, for whatever lifetime on this plane…

Still lies before me…

I KNOW, I can engage with the world about me,

And close my eyes and say, “Hey, Sue? Did you SEE THAT!??

Isn’t it wonderful?”

And I know and trust

the warm brush of air, containing the you who are you

Will wash over me in answer.

How do I know this?

Because, you have never laughed at me

Or called me a fool,

When I said to you –

“Sue – check this out….isn’t it wonderful/terrible/what it is?”

And yet, through all of my brain memories of you –

My inner-soul-me, will continue to tool around your country,

In your car, knowing a daring redhead is at the wheel.

And I am safe.

All while I hold on as we turn quickly into this stop or that –

A pub or a field

Your son’s house to clean and tend the garden

A walk with Ani

Dancing through bluebells

Or scrubbing floors

Pehaps throwing a slobber ball, one more time…

As we sit in the backyard at sunset, with a glass of wine….

Still –

I’m really sad I”ll not make it over to build a back yard wine cellar for you

And have fun ‘trying out the one month country wine brew’ recipe…

I’ve been testing out

With us doing daily taste testing to figure out if it is ‘bubbly soda’ or ‘smooth dinner wine’ yet

Or smelling it and, “Crap that turned into snatch ya bald Hooch – maybe use it to remove paint?”

And the giggles over each option come – whether we drank it or not…

The Last post or one more last post or telekinetic posts and comments back and forth?

I believe, for

While I grieve some losses, I also wish to bid you fond farewell until once more we meet.

For I must or did I leave it too late?

To me…

You’ll never be truly gone…

for whenever I gaze upon the beauty around me…

I’ll think

“Hey, Sue! Checking in to share this ‘magical’ moment with you…

I miss you ‘out there’, but in my heart?

You live forever.

Bon Voyage dearheart, whenever that said ship puts out to sea.

You and your perspective, live on in so many ways.

But I’m grateful the spirit of you, was shared with me.

(Hey Sue! Check that out! This ramble DOES rhyme here and there!)

❤ ❤ ❤