Category Archives: Ephemera


It had come time to do my civic duty, and report to the courthouse to potentially serve on a jury.   Fortunately in Colorado it’s one day or one trial, so you don’t have to show up all week like in some places.

So this is the new and improved courthouse, the vintage courthouse can be seen in the reflection.   The table out front had volunteers who were ready to pray with you, in case you had doubts about the efficacy of your attorney.  😉

I was reminded of something Liam said after he spent time drawing another courthouse “The rich get justice, the poor get the law”.

After filling out paperwork designed to elicit our views without actually asking (what does “where were you born or what radio station do you listen to” have any bearing on being a juror?)  we were marched off in line to the courtroom.   Perhaps on seeing our motley crew, the attorneys decided that they had better settle the case and not depend on us for a verdict (I was already in favor of hanging). 😉

So we were free to go having discharged our duty for the year.   There is such a lovely view from the courthouse that I decided to take a few snaps.  (No cameras are allowed in the courtroom).

The view to the north.

The mountain.

The southern mountain.  And notice the empty street.

And because I was already downtown, and had a place to park in the juror’s lot, I walked over to where they were having a major bicycle race.   The streets were blocked off, and these courageous cyclists were racing through our potholed  and pitted roads.  We cheered for them as they whizzed past, then I was off in search of a way out of the blocked streets.


Back before the digital age, photographs were not ubiquitous things. One had to compose the scene in the view finder, fiddle with the various camera settings, take the picture, send it off to be developed and hope for the best.  My friend GA had a post recently about a person who collects vintage dog photographs.

She has selected some of her vast collection of pictures into books, and so I got several of these (I know that I said I wasn’t going to buy any more books, I guess I was lying).

And these books really are quite charming.   Back when photographs were expensive and difficult to make, people went to the trouble to immortalize their dogs, because dogs are important.   As I thought about it I realized that I have jillions of photos of my dogs.   They are mostly of interest to me, but I keep them because they remind me of the love of my dogs.

This was the first dog I had as an adult.  We got him in Louisiana, and he moved with us to North Dakota before coming here.   He was laying in bed when I snapped this picture.

This picture of my next dog hangs on the refrigerator.   I took it here at the house as he was resting on the landing looking cute.   He was sure that his duty was to protect the house, and he did this faithfully.

I paid to have this photo of Miss P taken by a professional photographer, and it hangs in the dining room.  She is wearing her floral collar that we bought for her in Hawaii’i.

This is my tiny vintage dog photo.  It was taken sometime in the 1930’s, and is a bit crumpled with age.   This was Joe, and that is my grandfather holding him.   My mom kept this photograph, and because she liked it I have kept it too.  Because I am the keeper of memories in my family and I remember these dogs.


My friend GA lives in a village that was absorbed by the larger city centuries ago.   Because he loves the village, he is forever fighting the destructive encroachment of the city.   The forces of commerce continually seek to destroy the existing fabric of the village, and replace it with the shining bauble of the moment, while pretending that nothing has really changed.   To find the unchanging (or rather the slow changing), one need only look in a small village, like this one.

I know that I have taken pictures of this very truck for the past two years.  I doubt if the truck is in working order so there it sits, only the light changes.  It is quite near C’s house, built in about 1895 and a mobile home, which was put on the spot 10 years or so ago.

From the front porch one sees the vacant lot (vacant for at least 40 years) and M and N’s house on the right.  The large tree is in the yard where Grandma lived, next to a vacant lot (also vacant for at least 40 years), then a house with a crumbling prostitute’s  shack in the back (probably unused for a century or more) , and some family homes.

The view across to the mesa seems unchanged.

Until you consider the constantly changing effects of the light and sky.   Like Monet with his multiple renditions of the same scene, one could look at this view every day and find something new about it.

Of course one pays for the unchanging nature of this place with inertia.   There is no real estate jackpot to be made in selling the family home (unlike the tourist city that is further south), there are no jobs to be had, travelers do not stop here, there is no nearby market to shop for things (although one can still buy booze and crisps here).  But life goes on in a steady tempo, at least some families will always be here, I hope.



Multiplying, no Subtraction

I know that I often speak of downsizing, getting rid of my possessions.   But things keep following me home and I am powerless to resist (well perhaps I don’t try to resist all that hard).   I love rabbits, they are so adorable and who could possibly have too many rabbits (probably me).

Besides having the outdoor rabbits I now have these cuties (yes I am aware that I didn’t really need them, but).

These ones are small enough to fit in my pocket, and they were left over from our most recent garage sale, so I decided to give them a good home.

And books continue to be a weakness as well.   And these were free, but I did promise myself that they will join the great cosmic pile of stuff out there, somewhere, at a later date.

These will join them too.

But for now I have had to find places and spaces for this stuff to reside.  I do notice that the ceilings are rather bare.   Hmm.



Downtown Sunday

I really can’t resist street festivals and the like, so this Sunday found me in our tiny downtown area.  So I started off in the park, at the Farmer’s Market, with the families, couples and sleeping homeless people.

In summer, the Uncle Wilbur fountain provides a place for children to frolic and get drenched (this is what it looks like at it’s apogee when it is hardly spraying).  Usually Uncle Wilbur is hiding under the dome, but he comes out once an hour or so.  (The fountain is named after an early resident who liked to play the tuba to “entertain” people).

This stand is named after one of the famous crops grown in our fair state, although it does not contain any actual dope, I hope.

And there was a band in the park, playing in the bandstand, singing soft rock songs about peace and love.  But over on the next street there was a festival of a different sort.

They had a band playing covers of hard rock music, to a crowd of black leather wearing, tattooed biker types.

It was all about the motorcycles: preferably loud, decked out Harley Davidsons, but there were other sorts of bikes there too .  This young woman  and her similarly dressed cohort were there to flog Indian motorcycles.  She looks quite knowledgeable about the product, I’m sure the guy was asking about technical specs.

As with last week there were all the elements of a successful festival:  music, food on sticks and beer, as well as this fellow wearing a furry helmet as a bonus.



I love local festivals and I try to attend as many as I can.   They are pretty much all the same, (stuff for sale, food on a stick, music and beer) perhaps that is why I like them.  So I was at a Celtic Festival on a fine Father’s Day afternoon, and I noticed that even among the ‘Celts’ there seemed to be a number of different tribes (and not just a difference in the tartans!).

There were the organized groups.   They were neatly dressed in well pressed kilts, a very formal group.  (Don’t know if the bagpipes had to match.)

There were the re-enactors, striving for authenticity, or what passes for authenticity.  I expect they have battles and such as they seemed to possess rather a lot of arms.

Then there were the Celtic dandies.  Not content with just wearing the kilt, they added a jacket or vest and a swag of tartan draped over their bodies.  It is a rather fetching outfit.

I saw a lot of young men going for a ‘Braveheart’ sort of vibe.  One has to have a lot of tattoos and to wear one’s kilt with a certain swagger.  (In answer to the question “what does one wear under a kilt?”  I did see a pair of bicycle shorts).  😉

Perhaps the most unique of the clans was ‘Clan Santa Claus’.   They were definitely going for a different take on the whole Scots thing.  I suppose we all belong to one clan or another, but on this day folks were openly proclaiming their allegiance to a country and an ideal that the ancestors left far behind.

Pomp and Circumstance

One of my nieces graduated from college this past weekend, so I ended up going to her graduation for some inexplicable reason.  (It is inexplicable because I did not even go to my own graduation 😉 .  The students were in the standard medieval garb of black gowns and mortar boards, but I fell in love with the outfits that the faculty had to wear, and I will admit to being a little jealous of these splendid robes.

I do realize that the colors of the robes somehow reflect the disciplines of the professors, whatever that might be.

There were loads of gorgeous outfits, but they were marching down the aisle right smartly and did not give us time to admire the get-ups.

Of course the best outfit was this magnificent pink cape and mitre Biretta worn by the Archbishop of Atlanta (he got an honorary degree, so he needed to look nice).

The president of the college (the one wearing the medallion) had spent three hours the night before, smiling in pictures for the students and family members.  It’s all part of the job.  The ceremony was outdoors and lasted for over two hours and as the temperature was in the high 80’s F (about 30 C), I must admit I admire the fortitude of these distinguished academics.   Perhaps I don’t want a robe after all.  Or

I could have dressed like this spectator, she was getting some wear out of what had surely been purchased as a bridesmaid’s dress.

In print

Years ago when I first started to quilt, and I first started to read quilt magazines, I thought “I could do that too”.   But the sort of women who get ribbons at shows and who get into quilt magazines are mostly insane and obsessive about quilting, and that is not me.  My work for others has appeared in magazines, but I couldn’t find where I had squirreled them away, so I can’t show them today.   But my work has appeared years ago in two books, and here they are.

I met Ann at a class she taught, this was my class sample.  She lived in Denver at the time and we became friends.  She even talked me in to wearing this at a fashion show at the quilt expo in Houston.

And I still have the jacket.

I also met the other author when I took a class from her, and we would run into each other back when I went to quilting conferences.  I sent her a picture of this little quilt and she chose it for her second book.

This is a detail of the quilt.   I’m not sure why I stopped quilting, but my life changed and I got busy with other things.  But perhaps I will pick it up again when I am old (I am already old, so I had better make that ‘when I am much, much older.) 😉


Spring snow

I much prefer Spring snow to Winter snow.  You know that the ground is warm, every day is getting a little longer, and this snow will quickly melt, rather than sticking around outstaying it’s welcome.  It does slow down the pace of life, especially for me as I am afraid to drive when the weather is mucky.   But I had to drive across town this morning, and I must admit it was a rather lovely day.

I was walking down the street when I stopped to admire the icicles forming on this imposing roofline (click on the picture for details).

The snow changes the landscape and morphs it into the sort of place where one might see a fairy hiding away from the cold.

The main street runs down the horizontal bit of town, the rest of it slopes sharply upward and I always wonder ‘how do they get their groceries in?’.

The Little Engine that Could graces the nearby park.   Built in the late 1880’s this engine powered a cog railway to carry tourists up to admire the view.   On a day such as today they would not have been able to see much besides softly falling snow.

The scene today is peaceful and almost pastoral, I saw a few hardy souls out walking their dogs.   But there was very little traffic, it was mostly just me and my thoughts, admiring the quiet.

Space Case

A few weeks back, the annual space symposium was in town.   It’s a sort of trade show for persons working for the military and civilian spaceflight industry (I know, who even knew there was such a thing!).  Some companies are there to flog their products and others are just there to show they exist (and could sell you something).   But we already had our own version of a rocket here in town.

It’s not going anywhere, this sculpture is by famous local artist Concrete Couch.   I made a tiny tile for a project he is doing at a local school, and that is the name he goes by.  It guards the county building where I went to pay my car tax.

Another place to see rockets is in the ceiling at the local public library that is devoted to technology.   Although is is somewhat enigmatic to have rockets stuck in the ceiling, I’m sure that there is a reason for this (besides human error).

This is the real rocket that was in town to promote ordinary (extremely wealthy) people going into outer space.   Owned by the Amazon guy, this rocket can carry one into outer space and back again.  I must say I was rather surprised to see it when I was driving down the street to the pub.  The rocket company brags that the windows on the space capsule are much nicer that the ones NASA uses, so one gets a better view.

But I’m afraid that this is actually more my speed.   It’s a candy shop that specializes in vintage candy of the sort we old people had while growing up.  And if one is too young to have nostalgia for this, one can still enjoy the candy, because who doesn’t like candy?