The view from our front window.
Thursday, November 26, 2015
What is truth? Diogenes spent his life looking for a truthful man. The definition of truth says: The quality or state of being true, That which is true or in accordance with fact or reality. A fact or belief that is accepted as true. Who or what do you believe now days as being truthful? The media? Those who have an agenda and are good at spinning a yarn or telling half truths and not the whole truth? I think finding the truth today is much harder than in the past. Social media people can spin a story that makes them look good. It used to be that only lawyers could or would come up with some twisted yarn and try to convince others of its validly but now ordinary people have learned how to tell half truths or no truths and make it sound convincing.
Where does our personal responsibility come in if we are truly seeking the truth? I would say first of all that our responsibility is to tell the truth ourselves. Not as what we perceive is true but what is based on fact or reality. When someone tells us something that doesn't have that ring of truth to it or raises our suspicions we should check it out ourselves. If it involves or is about another person we should contact that person for their version. If there were others present we should seek their version or observations. If it is important enough we should spend the time to check it out. With all the electronic ability we have now days it is easy to verify versions if we but just take the time or make the effort.
It is easy to listen to only one version but what if you listened to the wrong version. You should never repeat what you have heard if you only have one version and it doesn't make sense to you. If you actually consider all facts you just might be inclined to take the other side. If you accepted a friend's version and find out they did not tell you the truth you could lose a friend but just how valuable is that friend if they will lie to you in the first place? Telling a lie or distortion will, when found out, damage the credibility of that friend and will undermine the trust that may have built up over the years.
When you tell the truth you don't have to be concerned with having to remember what version you may have told others. When you don't tell the truth you lose credibility with family, friends or acquaintances. Once credibility is lost people will question everything you say after you have been caught in a lie or distortion.
So how valuable is truth in the scheme of things today? Being a truthful person is a virtue that defines just who and what you are. I believe it is very important and being known as someone who is truthful always reflects favorably on your character. To NOT tell the truth will catch up with you sooner or later and when it does the damage to your character can be devastating. Just being tagged with being less than truthful is embarrassing and can be devastating to your credibility not to mention your own self worth.
I remember when I was a member of the SAC Elite Guard and a fellow guard seemed like an interesting fellow who had led a very interesting life. After a while his stories became more self aggrandizing and more hard to believe. Another guard member did what the rest of us should have done and he checked out his increasingly hard to believe stories. The result was that he was a habitual liar and when discovered he was promptly dishonorably discharged from the service. Our jobs were highly sensitive and we had to be 100% truthful because of the authority and responsibility we were given and if you couldn't tell the truth all the time you were a security liability. We all carried the highest security clearance to the most sensitive areas and we had to be truthful to be relied on. His lies cost him any career opportunities that he may have desired. Being truthful is a way of life that enhances your character and if you are less than truthful your reputation, credibility and character will suffer because of it.
Truth is the bedrock of your character and most other virtues are built on truth. Truth is a virtue that reputations are built upon. I have met those who choose to lie and be deceitful when telling the truth would be the proper choice. They have lost the ability to tell the difference between truth and lying so they automatically revert to what comes easy for them and that is lying. If you value your reputation and character you should hold being truthful as the most important virtue on your list of virtues. Being truthful should be right ahead of integrity. That is this old mountain man's random thoughts and opinion.
Tuesday, November 24, 2015
Integrity: "The quality of being honest and having strong moral principles: Moral uprightness. The state of being whole and undivided". Or as C.S. Lewis says above - Doing the right thing. Even when no one is watching. Integrity is something that can take a lifetime to establish and only takes a moment to destroy. Integrity is something that you need to be consistent with or you can lose respect from family, friends and acquaintances. I believe that we are all born with a moral compass of right and wrong but it needs cultivating or it dies if unused. Parents need to instill and reinforce it when we are young or it will never develop fully. Giving a child a start on integrity is much more rewarding than giving them a video game.
Integrity defines who you are and what your character represents to others. It is something that requires a long term effort and while it embraces your true self it must be constantly sought after because it defines you. Desiring your own way or not conducting yourself with honor/honesty rarely goes unnoticed. When you do not treat others with respect, fairness or honor them it is usually found out and can undermine your credibility with others. Some people seem to put a low value on integrity but when they finally realize how valuable it is the time may already be past in obtaining it.
Integrity when taught at a young age, if followed, will serve a person an entire lifetime. Integrity can not be bought but instead it must be slowly earned. Integrity is not about quantity but quality. It is not a about a few acts of random kindness and then cheating or taking advantage of others when you think no one is watching because almost always someone will be watching you and your conscience will know as well.
Integrity is more valuable than gold and as allusive to some as trying to push back the tide. A person with integrity will have honest and true relationships whereas someone lacking integrity will never feel fulfilled and will be lacking something they can't put their finger on. Those who lack integrity often strongly resent those who have it. It is a reminder to them of their shortcomings and what they should be.
We need to instill these values in our children if we want them to be successful in life and reinforce it throughout their lives, even through adulthood. In spite of our best efforts though some will not embrace it and then ultimately find it too late to develop. The more you make decisions in life that are not moral decisions the more your moral compass is skewed. It is not always easy to take the moral path but in the end it is the most rewarding.
Many people; especially in their later years are concerned about their legacy. They want to be known as having integrity but sadly lack it. I would hope when I am gone that those who know me well would say he was one tough guy but he had integrity and you could always count on him when needed. His moral compass was spot on.These are some of the random thoughts of a mountain man who has worked his entire life trying to be honest and maintain strong moral values. Looking back it was the easier road to travel and now I can see how it has enriched my life.
Monday, November 23, 2015
When you achieve my age you have lived a lot of life and throughout that life you have gained insight and experience. It seems a shame to keep all these mistakes and learning experiences to myself. It is also very hard to sit down and write brief but comprehensive comments on subjects and experience so I plan to insert one occasionally over time.
The topics will include subjects on friendship, marriage, honor, integrity, honesty, children, love, truth, nature, pets, simplicity, true to self, faith, money, success, thanks, forgiveness, security, hate and wise sayings. I hope to start on the first one 'integrity' and hope to post it soon.
It seems to me (I could be wrong) that today adults don't talk to youngsters like in 'the day' and most of children's learning which used to be passed down is now learned off a smart phone or tablet. Hence the aspects that help build a child's character are obtained via the internet. The values they learn may not be the same that those who love them might impart to them. Those on the internet may not have the same values that would benefit a child and help them develop good character. Hence I plan to prepare the 20 topics like I were speaking to one of my own children for their growth. So watch out for future episodes.
Tuesday, November 17, 2015
Some of Hat Racks friends moved off several feet and did the same thing and in the above photo is their contribution. I mounted their antlers on a piece of aromatic cedar that I obtained from a gulch a few miles from here. Then I installed it in the kitchen for Carol to hang the kitchen towels on. True story and no one will ever convince me that deer don't understand. That is clear evidence that they do and I have a hat rack and towel holder to memorialize the occasion.
Junior was very intelligent but Hat Rack was equally so. One year I was doing cowboy breakfast and here comes Hat Rack walking up to about 6-8 feet from me. I greeted him and we communicated a little and I told him I had not seen Junior and hunting season was only about a week away and I was getting concerned for his and Juniors safety out there with the hunters. I told him I'd appreciate it if he would go find Junior and bring him back here where he would be safe. He abruptly turned and walked away.
Three days later I happen to look out the side window and here coming through the woods was Hat Rack in the lead with Junior and Junior's brother single file coming right behind him. I went down to get him something to eat and true to his nature Junior stayed around our house where it was safe until I told him hunting season was over which was his annual ritual. While this may sound made up it is absolutely true and I couldn't be more proud of the deer we had that used our home as a base of operations and safe haven.
Somewhere deep within us is a likeness to others that really defies the most drastic differences we believe exists. If it wasn’t so we would be a people of no compassion, incapable of loving, caring and not understanding the needs of our fellow human beings. It is true in many ways we are very different. Perhaps you can’t stand me and what I am or who I am, I might not like some of what you represent either. BUT I know from experience that changes when we get to know each other. Sometimes people aren’t what we think they are and vice versa because time has taught us to protect our own vulnerability and prejudices. But there is a spark of humanity and spirit in each of us that can penetrate the protection and it helps us to reach out to another human being and say to the most unlikely people, "You poor person. I like you any way". When we do this do we realize we are actually talking to ourselves?
Sunday, November 15, 2015
Once the snow starts to fall it these multiple tasks will be done and not covered with snow for months. As we work to have these all done there is sometimes a gap between when everything is done and when the first snow arrives that will be significant. That is the awkward moment when we rack our brain to see if we missed something and realize that all is done and there is nothing to do now but wait. It is a void where we are satisfied we have finally caught up but then there must be something that we missed... That is where we find ourselves presently. There is forecast a storm for tomorrow that could give us 2" or 2' depending on which weather forecaster we believe. All we can conclude is that the computer models are conflicted so we will prepare for the 2' and if we get 2" we will continue to wait for the big one.
Friday, November 13, 2015
This blog is about our lives and experiences both in the past and here in the mountains, It is about lessons we have learned, survival in the mountains, and what we consider other things of interest to those who read the blog.
My spam box is getting larger each day from people who want to advertise and submit comments with a web site embedded in the comment. Everything from sexual enhancements, to products that seem to me to be scam material. We do not post blogs in foreign languages like the one deleted today that said "What would Jesus Post"? Within it was dozens of links and web sites. It appeared to be in Russian language. It was deleted as are all those who try to take command of our blog for unethical pursuits.
Scammers and spammers be advised that if your comment is relative to the topic it may be posted but even if it pertains to the topic and has a link or web site in it - it will be deleted. Two clicks and you are gone so you are wasting time trying to insert yourself in our blog site.
Monday, November 9, 2015
We all handle and make hundreds of decisions a day. But few decisions are more important than this one, what words we choose to use with those who are around us.The main thing we have to remember is to keep life, love and living in a good way at the top of the list. It will make us happier and others also.
Sunday, November 8, 2015
I sometimes wonder how sincere those platitudes really are that say "Thanks for your service", Do they really understand that many someone's were out in the mud, rain, heat, cold, wind and other miserable conditions day after day and some who gave their very lives and died for people like us who they did not even know but sacrificed and gave their lives for so we could live free. Are these thanks just said by rote or do they really feel thankful in their hearts? Do they realize that they live side by side, work with, worship with, socialize with, circulate with veterans whom they really do not acknowledge or greet. Is "Thanks for your service", real and heart felt or is it just a common comment? At least when I served my 8 years during Viet Nam they spit on us, called us names and blamed us for a war we did not choose but their feelings were heartfelt. They believed the war was wrong and acted with sincerity and took it out on us who chose to serve or were called to duty. We took our fellow Americans abuse and just kept on serving our country realizing not all were of that persuasion.
To sum this up, if you really are thankful for a veteran who gave their all for your freedom and way of life do something to 'show' how much you appreciate what they have done. When you see a veteran or homeless veteran do or say something to make them feel better. Tell them you know your freedom was founded on what they did and what their fellow men and women did and that you are grateful. But most of all be sincere in your thanks and don't just repeat a standard clause 'thanks for your service'. The vet will appreciate it and you will make a difference in your life and their life. You will know who they are because when the National Anthem is played they will stand - take their hats off - face the flag - stand as straight as their old broken bodies will allow and show honor to the flag of our country by putting their hand over their heart or saluting the flag. They will stand proud and just a little taller. They are reciting in silence and in their mind those who gave their lives and can't be there to honor the flag so that we all could live free and enjoy all the freedoms our country provides. They will remember and everyone needs to remember too. Truly honor a veteran!!!
Wednesday, November 4, 2015
Friday, October 30, 2015
When the two cubs grew up and were on their own they still traveled together and came back to visit us several times. A few years ago Carol was walking our past dog Gypsy on her leash which we always do and she was down on the road in front of our house and myself and Bozwell were on the deck. Bozwell who never barks suddenly started to bark. Carol yelled up what was he barking at. I then told her it was the bear right next to her. Neither she nor Gypsy had seen the bear grazing along the edge of the road and I had not seen it either but Bozwell who is always vigilant saw it and barked a warning. Before I could blink Carol and Gypsy were on the deck huffing and puffing. She was 6-8' from the bear and then she was on the deck. The bear never stopped eating and ignored her and Gypsy.
I just submitted a bear blog to Mother Earth News that should be published early next week. It will be under the heading "Nature and Environment".
Thursday, October 29, 2015
With all the talk now days about "black lives matter" I find it very ironic that it was a black regiment that subdued the Ute's. Black lives mattered back in the 1870's and so did Ute lives matter. To me it represents the fact that "all lives matter".
This memorial is just down the road from the old fort which is now a museum for visitors. I wonder how many people walk past that tribute to the fighting prowess of the Ute's and the Buffalo Soldiers and never even look at it or stop to read it. Both the Ute's and the brave Buffalo Soldiers deserve to be favorably remembered and not just a stone and bronze memorial to be walked around. Those who live freely in the San Luis valley now days (both settler and Ute) owe a debt of gratitude to these soldiers for making it a safe place to live. Sadly it is a rare occasion that I see anyone reading or even looking at that tribute.
Monday, October 26, 2015
Sunday, October 25, 2015
Friday, October 23, 2015
Thursday, October 22, 2015
Tuesday, October 20, 2015
Monday, October 12, 2015
I have observed over the years that some people are just like these little magnetized dogs. Some people simply do not like others for no apparent reason. It is like their poles repel each other. Of course some may not like others because of what they have heard from others whom they may assume they can trust without making their own opinion hence exclude others from their lives, who may have greatly enriched their lives. Aristotle said some friendships are convenient friendships where the two "friends" share a common interest or goal and when that interest or goal is reached or falls away they no longer are friends. These are transient friendships based on some circumstance or factor that is not lasting leaving those who rely on such friendships always seeking that one true friend and not finding them. Some people go through their entire lives without forming a lasting friendship and hence usually can be observed in their elder years as somewhat bitter and resentful.
The little Scotch dogs if placed nose to tail would lock together and short of significant force they would not separate. Some people are like that and will for what ever reason follow someone who they think is special only to find out that person is on a destructive path or has their own agenda in life and is leading them to their own destruction. They follow blindly not being able to see or anticipate what lies ahead only to their own peril. Blind followers following blind people who seem to have it all together and appear at least to them of achieving some level of success. They may be wealthy, hold a responsible position, have a big home or car or any other envious status that the follower considers important. The leader may lack good judgement or purpose and regretfully by the time the follower figures that out it is usually too late to avoid getting burned by the same fire.
Then if you would move the little magnetic dogs around real fast they would repel each other and attract at the same time. Many people are like that just moving around without purpose and they seem busy but are really just burning energy and making foolish motions. They seem to be accomplishing something but in reality are just making needless movement and getting no where.
One thing all these people seem to have in common is judging others. They quickly will judge others on assumptions and partial acts without taking the time to get the full picture and making a valued decision. It is easier to listen to one version of the person even if that is the wrong version. If they considered all the facts they might just be tempted to take the other side or see the value in the other person that their myopic vision shut out previously. It requires less effort to jump to conclusions or take sides, right or wrong, where sympathies lie. But one fact is crystal clear and that is to gather all the facts and not half facts before making a judgement.
I have seen this over the years and it ultimately leads that person to skepticism, disillusionment and bitterness and generally unhappiness with life in general. If you doubt that look around and see how many happy people you can find and identify. It seems some people have been handed one bad turn after another and still they are happy and content. Yet others seem to have all the good things of life and seem very unhappy and lack joy. Perhaps the reader is one or the other and wonders why. It could all boil down to those tricky dogs and how you have adapted to life.
Sunday, October 11, 2015
We really need to take the time occasionally to clear our minds. There is so much information that is presented to us on a daily basis that is just plain trash dressed up as something someone thinks is important for us to know. We don’t need to know everything and having learned some of this trash, when we find out later is untrue or simply doesn’t apply to us, we then need to unlearn it. We really need to be very careful and judge selectively what information we are going to take in and spend serious time, energy maybe even finances on. We then need to let it go if the information is not good or necessary.
Tuesday, October 6, 2015
After letting the dogs out to do their business I came back inside as it was pretty chilly outside at 40 degrees. I figured as long as I was up I'd get a fire started in the wood stove and brew a pot of coffee. The dogs all found a bed and went back to sleep. As I sat in my recliner I realized this was a special morning as follows.
The fire in the wood stove was crackling and I could feel the warmth of the stove in my recliner. The dogs were all laying in bed sleeping and breathing deeply with Sarah gently snoring. As I looked out the triangle window the stars were bright in the night sky and they seemed endless. I had a cup of hot coffee at hand and my morning bible study materials all laid out.
As I sat there doing my prayers and bible study it occurred to me in the quiet of morning that this was one of those special moments in time that I should just relax and enjoy. The silence, the dogs all sleeping peacefully without a care in the world, the wood stove crackling and radiating heat, the stars twinkling and a moment to simply reflect on the days coming activity and be thankful.
Soon I would be into the day doing my chores and going through the daily routine but this was one of those special moments that has been set aside to experience the peace and calm and bask in it. Now as I sit here watching the sun come up over the horizon it makes the moment complete and I feel fresh and ready to start a hectic and strenuous day. Having this special moment in time in a world that is crazy and hectic gives a good start to any day.
As the sun now comes up and the dogs get up and shake and stretch and as Carol remains asleep under her new blanket this day has gotten off to a good start. A quiet time to pray, reflect and plan the days activities and enjoy the quiet, crackling wood stove, warmth and peace is a good start to any day. My wish for all readers is that your day may start as peaceful and calm as mine has started.
Sunday, October 4, 2015
Friday, October 2, 2015
From my experience I have found the greatest proof of spirituality based living in people’s lives is not how far or fully a person can analyze their beliefs, but how far in practice they will exemplify their actions and living on that belief. Once again I am not speaking about religion, but living a spiritually based lifestyle and the results of that lifestyle in the way it affects all of our relatives, people, animals. the birds, trees, plants, creation. Everything. smile emoticon
Tuesday, September 29, 2015
If you click on the photo and enlarge it you will see what I mean.
Sunday, September 27, 2015
We just ordered a driveway sensor unit so no one will sneak up on us again. Yesterday I was sitting here working on my computer and listening to 50's music playing softly. I caught some movement out of the corner of my eye and there was a total stranger coming up on the deck. When the dogs heard what turned out to be two strangers come onto the deck they all raced to the door barking. I put my computer aside and went to see who was out there. I was trying to pull the dogs back when the woman opened the door to talk to me and all four dogs charged outside. It turned into pandemonium as the husband of the woman had the gate open also coming onto the deck and there were more people gathered at the end of the driveway. The woman said "don't let your dogs out as my dog is in the car". She had opened the storm door to talk to me in the first place letting the dogs out before I could pull them back.
It turned out to be a landowner who had brought people from the charity in Alamosa to check out the firewood I was holding for them. She had let them through the entrance gate into the community. The charity called a few days ago and told me that they would get our firewood next week but apparently she decided they needed to come by our house anyway. They ended up taking our firewood and then went to her lot to cut more firewood.
I can't believe anyone would walk up to your door unannounced and then when they saw four German Shepherds agitated from their sudden presence on what is their deck then open the storm door and let them out and then say don't let them loose because her dog was in the car parked next to our house.
Therefore we are buying a driveway sensor so no one will suddenly appear out of no where again and stir our dogs up. Fortunately no one was injured on our narrow deck with four large dogs checking everyone out. We are not used to having unannounced visitors and in the past 18 years have only had a handful of them. It won't happen again....
Friday, September 25, 2015
Wednesday, September 23, 2015
Tuesday, September 22, 2015
Friday, September 18, 2015
This trip to TX went okay but when she went to return they charged her $40 for her carry on. The same airlines didn't charge her extra to carry on to go to Texas and they told her they were giving her a break as they normally charge $60. for carry on's. The guy behind her in line told her they always charge $40. and they clerk was lying to her.
Flying anymore is becoming a real hassle and very costly yet they claim they are making record profits. Me thinks that they need more regulation. I just hope she makes it home and doesn't end up at some remote airport where they don't speak English. Flying anymore is not as reliable as it used to be.
The above photo of Southwest is the only airlines Carol says she will ever fly again. No problem, no price gouging.
Sunday, September 13, 2015
I remember standing there with the pole sticking out of my hand thinking to myself that was a dumb move. I went ahead and pulled the pole out of my hand and went downstairs to show Carol and then on to have it checked out by medical personnel. It turned out to be a minor wound and not painful at all but it could have been more serious if the pole had not been tapered like it was. It only takes a moment of carelessness, inattention or a bad decision and you can be seriously injured. I was fortunate in that it was not painful, did no permanent damage and no infection set in. All I have is a little piece of scar tissue at the heel of my hand which is a long time reminder of how easily these accidents can happen which is why I'm now posting this.
When I got back home I was a little smarter because I took the basket out to the deck and placed the tiny hole over a crack between boards and drove the pole through the hole that way. They went in easy that way. Who knew.......