Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Like Nat Geo

A bird takes a ride on a bison.
Buffalo eyes
Mountain blue bird
Ol' Grizz
Bruins just before the chase
And they're off
She's a young moose. Will she make it?
Big bull moose
Rack of velvet
A friendly marmot followed behind us on the trail

Bambi was no more than a foot long, as she followed mama on wobbly legs. Just days old?

Could this be a baby magpie? I'm not sure what kind of bird it is. Maybe Laurie would know?
Hope you get the chance to see some wildlife, wherever you are!


Saturday, June 22, 2013

Beat Cancer Like A Drum!

There he is again. My brother. The rock star.
You've met him before. Remember? He's the drummer for Eddie Money. Wailing on the cans, thrashing the cymbals, pounding his Chuck Taylor's on the kick drum, and laughing out loud!
My beautiful brother has cancer. And it pisses me off.
Today, his band mates, his musician friends from around the globe, his loyal high school pals from way back when, and folks he doesn't even know, are coming together for a huge concert event. All the bands donating their time and talent, are doing it to help Glenn out with his soaring medical bills. Eddie $ started it. He's been Glenn's boss for almost 30 years, and he does not want to see any other drummer behind him, pounding to the song Shakin'. And so, a rock festival was in order. The Eddie Money Band wanted to do something to help their brother out in a time of need. Then other musicians and bands jumped on board.
Spokane, WA. will be Rockin' and a Rollin' like there's no tomorrow. Songs will be sung, guitars will be strummed, drumsticks will fly and a mixture of tears and laughter will be shared. I just know it.
But, I can't be there. I'll be there in spirit though! I'm always with him. That's for sure.
Instead, I'm with C on a business trip to Grand Teton National Park today. I know, I know. Who does that?? He's teaching a class there on environmental sociology in the fall, and he's meeting with his peeps to set it all up. Being the wife of a professor has it's perks. Hehe.
Oh, and I almost forgot! It's our 12 year anniversary. I can't wait to celebrate with campfire coffee and moose snorts. I cant wait to hear my coyote pack yip and yowl in the middle of the night, alternating with the long song of the wolves. I can't wait to wake up early in a tent, poke my head out and see the breath of a bison and stare into the eyes of a raven.
I've gotten off track. This story is about my brother. And don't you forget it, my friends.
I'm including an article that was in the Spokeman Review a couple of days ago. It's about the benefit concert for Glenn that takes place in just a few hours.
Read it. Will you do that for me, my little birds of a feather?
Hey Glenny!! We're all with you today! Wings spread wide, soaring and swooping down on you, with raptor kisses and love!
THE BEAT GOES ON...oh, yes.
The 1973 graduate should have been returning to his hometown for his 40th class reunion this summer, but instead, he’ll return for a performance that will help pay for cancer treatments. He was diagnosed with high-grade bladder cancer in April.

“That means it’s moving out of the bladder into the muscle area,” he said. “If it does hit that muscle, they say the only option is to remove the bladder. That scares the hell out of me.”

While he’s been steadily employed as a musician, Glenn doesn’t have health insurance and is facing huge medical bills.

What he does have are friends and fans who are reaching out, donating what they can.“I’ve got a wonderful network of friends who are stretching their arms out full of love to me. I am blown away by the support that I’ve been given,” Symmonds said.

One of those friends is Eddie Money, the man behind the hits “Two Tickets to Paradise,” “Take Me Home Tonight,” “Shakin’ ” and “Baby Hold On.”

“We just gotta get out there and see what we can do about kicking this cancer in the ass for this poor boy,” Money said. “It would be devastating to turn around and not see him back there on the cans, you know.”

Money will be giving two performances Sunday at the Roadhouse, 20 N. Raymond Road in Spokane Valley, along with local acts Sammy Eubanks, The Nerve and Skiveez.

Peter Rivera of Rare Earth will also perform. All the musicians are donating their time; the proceeds will benefit Symmonds.

“It’s really just a beautiful brotherhood of musicians and also a lot of other cancer survivors,” Symmonds said. He said many musicians he knows don’t have medical insurance and often turn to one another for help when something happens.

“This has gotten bigger than me and bigger than anything I can imagine,” Symmonds said of the help he’s been receiving.

Symmonds said he’s staying positive and keeping busy with work while he undergoes treatment. He said he performs mostly on weekends, which keeps his mind off being sick.

“When I’m on the road with the band, they cut me a little bit of slack because I have cancer,” he said. “But not too much. They treat me like the normal Glenn that I am. I like it.”

Money and Symmonds met in Berkeley in the early 1970s. Money said the music scene was just blowing up creatively at the time: along with Money, there was Huey Lewis and the News and Tower of Power. Symmonds was playing with a reggae band called the Untouchables.Money said he’s looking forward to performing in Spokane again. The band played here last year.

“They gave me the key to the city of Spokane about 20 years ago,” Money said. “I still have the key to the city of Spokane. I’m going to bring it with me.”

Both Symmonds and Money promise a good time for concertgoers.

“Come on down and do some shakin’ with the Money Man,” Money said. “You know, I’ve got two tickets, but I’m taking everybody, don’t forget.”


Thursday, June 13, 2013

Red Walls And Babbling Brooks

The last of the snow had melted and it was spring green. So it begins. Our first camping trip of the summer.

Three weeks ago, C and I explored new territory in our Great Plains state. We've covered a lot of ground over the years, but the map always offers one more blue dotted line we've yet to follow.

A tiny, dusty railroad town, where horses roam freely, led the way to mountains and canyons the color of cinnamon. On the dirt road we climbed higher and higher, and with every turn, all I kept saying was 'wow'. The landscape looked untouched and still, yet thriving with wildlife and wildflowers and sweet sage. Antelope with their big brown eyes were everywhere. They grazed together in groups, unafraid. Bucks sparring and playing along the side of the road or sitting alone like statues in the prairie grasses.

Next to a clear running creek, under a canopy of spruce, we pitched our tent. We toasted with cranberry juice and laced up our hiking boots without saying a word. We've been through this ritual a hundred times before, just in a different time, a different place.

We hiked along an animal trail that eventually followed a stream. The water was flowing steady and sparkling except for one stagnant pool that we came upon. In it was a brook trout. Stranded. We looked at each other, then in both directions of the creek. You must save the fish.

It's not the first time C has come to the rescue of a fish, or an animal or a human. In time of need, he's always there. Like my father says, it's his nature, to save things.

C uses his Tshirt as a net and scoops the little guy up, runs like a deer downstream and within a few seconds the brookie is revived in a deep and swiftly running part of the stream. We smile and cheer as we watch him swim away.

As the sun goes down we head back to camp. We spot five elk making their way up the mountain, in all their strength and graceful strides, they disappear like that, up and over the other side.

We've got the small campground to ourselves, except for a pair of red tail hawks that are doing some tree hopping and squawking. It looks as if they're trying out the view from the tallest spruce trees. Or maybe testing which one would make the sturdier nest. Whatever they are doing, the communication between them is back and forth, vocal and persistent. They soar and land and cock their heads. We crane our necks and squint and smile.


I'm going to make a suggestion here. Before you take off on a long dirt road to your camping destination, grab a coffee to go from Starbucks or wherever you like to get your 'road joe'. Just make sure you take a cup of something on your trip. Otherwise, you might get to camp, and find out you've forgotten to pack your blue enamel camp cup. This paper cup that held your dark roast this morning will serve as your every beverage cup for the remainder of the trip. You can use it multiple times (fingers crossed). I used this cup for lots of cranberry juice, water, hot tea x 4, and two cups of coffee with honey. That last hot beverage, before we left camp the next day, I had to drink quickly, as the paper was starting to leak a little and the cup turned into a soggy wad in my hand.



Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Buddha And The Silver Moonbeam

I needed a good meditation, so I went to seek refuge in Buddha, at the Shambhala Mountain Center.

It is said that those who gaze at The Great Stupa of Dharmakaya see the body of the Buddha. When their thoughts are stopped by its power and beauty, they experience the mind of the Buddha. That moment of direct insight, no matter how brief, is the gateway to enlightenment.

Up high in the Rocky mountains of northern Colorado, the retreat center sits among wildflower meadows, ponderosa pine trees and aspen groves. Butterflies, bees and hummingbirds flutter and fly along side you as you walk the path to the Great Stupa, like they're leading the way.

Once inside the room, I sit and stare at the statue for a long time. I do some sitting yoga moves.

I breathe. I meditate. I pray.


My mind has been heavy these days, but when I left that room, I felt a calmness, clarity and compassion. I asked for that. I was enlightened. You can ask the Great Stupa to be wish fulfilling. May it be the antidote to all the sicknesses in the world such as disease and cancer.

And take care of all the animals.


My trailer was cozy, nestled in the aspens. Every time I step inside, it's the same scent. A sweet vintage and old wood smell. It makes me smile and hum. This shiny old trailer had the typical name, Silver Bullet. But, after spending the afternoon at the Shambhala, I really felt it deserved a better name. After all, I don't want my dwelling to have any reference to guns or Coors beer.

Welcome to the Silver Moonbeam.