Saturday, January 30, 2010

It's Called The Toughest Sport on Dirt

Something you don't know about me is that I'm a fan of Professional Bull Riding, better known as the PBR.
         Photo at 2007 Calgary Stampede by Chuck Szmurlo
I love rodeo and grew up going to the Grand National every year at the Cow Palace in San Francisco. I've always had a thing for cowboys. The same year I met my husband my best friends gave him a pair of chaps for my birthday!

Several years ago, my friend Trisha took us to a PBR event and we've been hooked ever since, heading up to Sacramento, Reno or Mollala, OR for events whenever possible. Someday we hope to make to the finals in Las Vegas.

The bulls and cowboys are well conditioned athletes who compete with grit, strength and wits to see who will prevail for 8 seconds. You're thinking that 8 seconds doesn't sound like much. However, if you're on the back of a 2,000 lb. bucking bull who is intent on planting you in the dirt like a lawn dart, you'll soon understand the true meaning of respect.

Fans love cowboys and bulls alike, we all have our favorites: Justin McBride, Chris Shivers and JB Mauney, great bulls like Little Yellow Jacket, Bones, Raindeer Dippin and Troubador. It could be called an extreme sport, but one of the reasons we love it is that it's also a family sport, a sport of generations bringing parents, children and grandparents together to cheer on their favorites.

From Cowboy Poet Baxter Black's Legacy of a Rodeo Man
"It's guts and love and glory, One mortal's chance at fame, His legacy is rodeo, And cowboy is his name"

One of the best things about going to a PBR event is Flint Rasmussen - He's the one who keeps it all moving for the fans. He is the consummate entertainer: singer, dancer, storyteller, comedian, clown and athlete. He's been captivating crowds at PBR events for years. You'll never see him on TV coverage of events, but he is absolutely worth the price of admission to a live PBR event.

Long Live Cowboys!
Long Live Rodeo!

You can find out more about the PBR at and

the one and only Flint Rasmussen at

Monday, January 25, 2010

The Wonder of Dragonflies

Emandal Farm October 2009

Metal sculpture by Bryan Tedrick
Photo by Shelley Macdonald

Dragonfly medicine is said to represent the elemental world of the spirits around us. Dragonfly is a bringer of change, deliverer of wisdom and enlightenment. In other cultures Dragonfly beckons you to seek out old habits that need change and to break down the illusions that keep you from action. They are often admired for their beauty and ability to adapt.

Dragonflies have always been magical to me. I have had them hover near my face and felt they were looking directly into my eyes. Almost 20 years ago, on camping trip at Napoleon Lake in Washington, one landed on my vest and there tooks it's last breath still standing on my shoulder. It was such an amazing moment for me there are still no words to describe the experience, he is still with me.

The magic I draw from Dragonfly is that I am grounded yet remain a dreamer and an eternal optimist. I find delight in the little things and strength in the challenges. I find light and joy, shades of grey and color where others only see only in black and white.
To celebrate these delightful creatures I have put together an Etsy spotlight called Dragonfly Magic at From their work you will see these talented artists have each found their own magic.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Saturday, January 9, 2010

An Upside to the Downside

Silver Linings
December 21, 2009 just north of Jenner, CA
Winter has definitely arrived in northern California, very little rain so far but endless cold and foggy days: perfect weather for working outside. My husband has been pruning the apple, pear and plum trees and I just finished cleaning out and rearranging my storage shed (a girl never has enough storage space). Found some good things to donate to our local Hospice store.
Last week I called the volunteer coordinator of one of our local non-profits, the Children's Village (mentioned in my December 29th blog) to let them know we'd like to volunteer some of our time. We chatted about our interests and found there are numerous areas where we can get involved: from building garden beds, to teaching house parents how to cook nutritious meals, to mentoring kids in transition, and helping in the office. We are arranging for a tour in the next few weeks.
The most interesting part of the conversation was the fact that even in this awful economy many local businesses and individuals are stepping up to donate materials, money and time to local non-profits. The reasons are no doubt different for everyone: paying it forward for some, finding there is more to life than working and consuming for others. What matters is that it's happening and elders, children and folks experiencing hard times are being taken care of through the generosity of friends, neighbors and businesses. There is much to be said for thinking locally as well as globally. Call a local non-profit and see how you might help, a little time and energy can go a long way.

Friday, January 1, 2010

The Call of the Wild

What is it about fire that carries us awayand allows us to drift in total contentment
on a river of warmth, visuals and thought?

The past twenty years we have been on the road for Christmas and New Years visiting family, but this year we got a chance to stay home for the holidays. No promises to keep for a change and we are making the best of it.
On New Years Eve it rained intermittently all day but it let up in the evening. We watched old movies until about 10pm and then went out on the back patio and built a fire. We pulled up a bench and sat with our arms around each other, both drawn into the radiating vortex, our thoughts unspoken for the longest time.
Then we wondered aloud if perhaps we were one of the keepers of the flame that our ancestors discovered so long ago. We could have as easily been sitting in front a primitive hut on the prairie or a log structure high in the mountains, maybe on an ocean beach or near a riverside cooking what we had gathered during the explorations of the day. The moon and stars still fascinating mysteries, and the sound of rivers and oceans a lullaby.
Are these remembered experiences or simply the creations of fertile minds? Who's to say and what does it matter? Those who came before us and those who follow will find the same fascination and ask the same questions. The important point is to enjoy the moment and celebrate your good fortune. Remember to Pay It Forward this year!
Please check out the accompanying spotlight created at entitled Call of the Wild featuring the artisans of Etsy.