Horseshoeing offers many lessons

I was asked by the author of Confessions of a Horseshoer* if he could use one of my quotes in his book. I agreed. He sent me a copy. The quote he used was "It's not that horseshoeing is so hard, it's just the dread of doing it." My first confession: it was not original; […]

Don’t forget to hang up when you’re done

Have you ever left a voice mail and then forgot to hang up the phone? It happened to me the other day. I was working on a bicycle at my bike shop when The Lady of the House came in angrily waving a paper over her head. "They've done it again!" she said. She was […]

In search of ponies: Tunes may be tortuous

It's a beautiful day so you decide to spend time with the pooch. He eagerly bounds into the car, settles in the seat beside you, and off you go — windows down, radio cranked. Bouncing down the road, head keeping time to your favorite tune, you have a broad smile on your face. It's perfect. […]

Live every day with wisdom, understanding, purpose

Today is the time to live, love, laugh and praise God. Today is the day to leave a good memory, to say, "I love you," to forgive a wrong, to mend a broken relationship. Today is the day to give your appreciation to someone you have long admired. It means more now than all the […]

A good book sounds an important warning

I don't know how long it took Eugene Peterson to actually write his book "The Pastor_, but though he's written around thirty others, it took him almost eighty years to be able to write this one. An amazing book (Peterson doesn't write any other kind), what he says for pastors and churches (and Christ's church […]

State creates made-up problems

It amuses me how many problems that have a government-mandated "solution" are caused by previous government mandates that came about as misguided solutions for previously manufactured problems. And, because the majority of "The People" have become convinced that the earlier mandates are "The Way it's Always Been Done" (rather than a relatively recent "gum, tape, […]

My turn: Beauty of spring wildflowers unrivaled

The Easter daisies are blooming. You may not know this unobtrusive, ground-hugging wildflower with creamy-white petals that close each evening to reveal a blush of pink. They are one of the earliest blossoms to appear each spring on the High Plains. Every year, for as long as he was able, my father picked the first […]

Service members earned low fees

A House subcommittee expected to vote soon on whether to recommend raising retiree TRICARE fees sharply over the next five years heard some compelling testimony against the move last week. Retired Air Force Col. Steve Strobridge, co-chair of The Military Coalition, a consortium of 34 military associations and veterans groups, traded debate points with Dr. […]

Ridicule can shed light on truth

PHILADELPHIA — As they find their friend's life cut short weeks away from his dream boxing match, answers don't appear forthcoming for friends of Robert Balboa. Family and friends of the 29-year-old amateur boxer, who insisted on being called, "Rocky," are outraged over what they perceive as a lack of concern from the local authorities […]

My turn: Silence sounds good

Ah … the sound of silence. I cherish it. I've just spent some time on my front porch enjoying the silence of the morning. And in that silence I heard such a grand variety of birds singing. I heard a child in my neighborhood playing with her dog. There was another dog barking somewhere off […]

My turn: Agitation comes easily

It is hard to admit, but I may be a psychopath. I have never been violent — except against vending machines — but I seldom feel genuine empathy. Oh, I'm good at pretending. I can look others in the eye and nod empathetically with the best of them — but, as soon I realize that […]

Defense of Marriage Act illegal

Last week, Speaker of the House John Boehner pledged to continue defending the federal Defense of Marriage Act in court — this time against a challenge brought by members of the U.S. armed forces who claim that the law unconstitutionally denies them access to more than 100 family benefits that are otherwise offered to all […]

Close encounters of the presidential kind

The president of the United States came to New Mexico this past week. He went to Carlsbad though, he didn't stop to visit us here on the High Plains. It's not the first time someone from the White House has been nearby and didn't drop by to see us. In 2004 President Bush came to […]

Mother Nature always repackaging creatures

Traipsing through dense plants while swatting at exotic blood-sucking insects and side-stepping vipers, some guy in a floppy hat stops to flip over a chunk of rotting wood and BINGO! A new species is added to the list. In the daily grind of alarm clock-drive-work-drive-chores-dinner-TV-lights out-alarm clock, it's easy to believe everything is all figured […]

Religion column: God will see you through

Life is not always easy, but I love it. If you never wanted to be hurt you would have to move to a desert island and be a hermit. Think of the loneliness. You would never know the joy and ecstasy of loving someone. You would never know the sacrifice love takes and most of […]

My turn: Breaking out bowling shoes

Wednesday night was a productive girls' night at my house with pizza and wine. Just how a girls' night should be. On Thursday, I got to put some faces with names for some local New Mexico state representatives when I attended the chamber of commerce's quarterly luncheon. I also got to hear some interesting views […]

My turn: Fortunate to have friends

My epic St. Patty's Day weekend didn't look like the movies "Project X" or "The Hangover" but it was fun. I think that was based on the company I keep. Since I've only been living in the area for about three months, I guess you can consider most of my friends new but I already […]

My turn: Spring is revitalizing

My rose garden was really in bad shape. Last year's drought, coming on the heels of that fantastically cold winter, certainly took its toll. So I found myself on a sunny March day, pruning shears in hand, tackling the first gardening of the season … trying to get the roses shaped up. As I cut […]

Frumpy Middle-Aged Mom: You know there are teenagers in the house when…

Marla Jo Fisher I have a friend whose children are old enough now to strike fear into the hearts of their mother, as she dreads the coming transformation from adorable kid to hulking, hairy creature from the black lagoon. Since my kids are already well into this transition, Barb views our family like a big, […]

Child Sense: Smoothing out the highs and lows of back-to-school time

Priscilla J. Dunstan Back to school – a time both loved and dreaded by children and parents alike. Being back at school will bring out the extremes in your children. Tactile children will need more physical contact and cuddles, visual children will be more particular about how things look, auditory children will chatter more, and […]