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JOURNAL ENTRIES Jan. 30  Jan. 27  Jan. 25  Jan. 24   Jan. 23  Jan. 22  Jan. 21   Jan. 20  Jan. 18  Jan. 17  Jan. 16  Jan. 13  Jan. 11   Jan. 10  Jan.9  Jan. 8  Jan. 7  Jan. 6   Jan. 5   Jan. 4   Jan. 2    Jan. 3

JANUARY 2008

Jan. 31

I can't remember if it is true, or one of those bits of information  collected  over the years that somehow gets incorporated into ones own history...but it seems to me my grandpa on my dad's side was an old man when he fell off a ladder in an apple orchard and died of injuries...one thing I know for certain, I definitely remember seeing a photograph of him standing on a high ladder with all of his children and grand children in an apple orchard near Alamosa, Colorado--in fact where he is buried.

Why I bring this up is once again I fell off a ladder...something I have done on a recurrent basis throughout my life. Most of the times I only came out with bumps and bruises but one time broke my wrist in twenty some pieces. The doctor said the x-ray looked like a box of cornflakes and suggested I may never use my right hand again in a normal way. He was wrong. It healed back to about 98%.

But all the same, me falling off ladders seems almost like a family trait I picked up, and sometimes I wonder if my final demise will be this odd habit I have.

I did it again a couple of days ago. Luckily I only fell 3 or 4 feet, but as I was going down I thought, THIS IS GOING TO HURT.  It did, but once again, only bruises. I thought I maybe broke a rib, because it hurt to laugh...

It was just a bang, nothing so bad, but it slowed me considerably yesterday.

It is a riddle for all of us, you know, when, where and how we finally croak. Mostly I don't think about it, but this winter several people I have known well have left the planet, and so it has been a heavy reminder of mortality.

The last person I knew well just died a few days ago, but in a way it is a miracle he lived as long as he did. He tried his best to end his existence in 1976, but failed in a most spectacular way.

He had been a very successful business man, then his life came unraveled. For what ever reason he had, it seemed the best way to escape the failures around him was to blow his own head off with a twelve gage shot gun. He put the butt on the ground, the barrel in his mouth and with his big toe pulled the trigger.

I  don't know how some one can miss under such circumstances, but failure obviously was a talent that would not give up. He succeeded in blowing away half of his face and giving himself an acute lobotomy.

The last time I saw him, he was a slobbering but very kind simpleton wondering the streets of Edinburgh.  He came up to me and said hello to my little girl, and told me what a wonderful child she was.  Half of his face looked like Santa Clause, and the other half a bubbly burned look of a dozen failed plastic surgeries. His family basically took care of him and kept him food in and housing the rest of his life.

All I can come to about this story of mortality is that we die when we are supposed to die...

Well, on that cheery note, I am going back outside to finish some construction on my ladder and hope I have another day.

Jan. 30

The light in New Mexico is always special, but some times, some moments it is magical. The desert  does not appeal to everybody simply because it is so severe. To me, seeing the bare ground and rocks is like looking at the soul of the earth.

We are very lucky where we live because of the clear view of the hills and village to the north. No one will ever build in front of it...at least for a quarter of a mile to the river. It is our land.

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1. The view from our porch.   2. The bridge we own. 3. Cerrillos Village across the river. 4. Sacred hill. Sacred Hill glowing.

Jan.. 28

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1. Ruth tells me I am becoming a "cat" person. 2. No, the cats are "people" persons.

It rained incredibly hard last night. So far the roof over the extension seems to be leak proof, as long as the wet comes from the top. Next I have to enclose the sides, which hopefully will happen this week.

Other than that, I am looking forward to an old friend from 30 years ago arriving this week end. Obviously a lot of water under the bridge for both of us and years behind to talk about. The last time I saw him and his wife was in Scotland in 1983.

Jan. 27

11:48 AM Ruth does not have a sales agent in her MOSTLY MADRID shop today, so I get to fill in the vacancy. I have offered to do it before but she only accepts when she is desperate because as she said, "You're a lousy sales man." I agree. I find it very awkward to babble to strangers  about my own artwork, and even more so about stuff that is not my category...

So...if you are ever in Madrid, drop in and I will demonstrate sales incompetence. You may be lucky and get a discount.

It is the dead of winter and Sunday morning with my head full of a hundred possibilities. So to avoid boring you altogether, here is the latest internet buzz-mail...

A thief in Paris

planned to steal some paintings

from the Louvre. 

After careful planning, he got past security,

stole the paintings and made it safely to  his van. 

However, he was captured only two blocks away when his van ran out of gas. 

When asked how he could mastermind such a crime,

and the make such an obvious error,

he replied "Monsieur that is the reason I stole the paintings".

I had no  Monet to buy Degas to make the  Van Gogh ...

(boom boom budee boom)

I deleted the finale as it was overkill

Jan.  25

Sangre de Christo's covered in snow like I have never seen before...

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1. Going into Santa Fe on Cerrillos Road. 2. Big Bad Shiloh and his cat buddy Turn-up.

And just for the sake of seriousness...from my friend Glen...

During these serious times, people of all faiths should remember these four religious truths:

 
  1. 1. Muslims do not recognize Jews as God's chosen people.
  2. 2. Jews do not recognize Jesus as the Messiah.
  3. 3. Protestants do not recognize the Pope as the leader of the Christian    world.
  4. 4. Baptists do not recognize each other at Hooters.

Jan. 24

I know Ruth loves me, but some time I catch her in bed with her real loves...

Jan. 23

9:36 AM   Another moment to contemplate.  I get up usually at 7:30  make coffee, get the wood stove active, stumble to the computer read emails and morning online local paper, stumble back to bed with brewed coffee in hand for Ruth and me then watch who is killing who in this wicked wonderful world on CNN...that is the routine.

Suddenly it is two hours later and the day has not even started until I go back to my study, rattle out whatever notes I hold in mind on the blog page and then I get on with what priority the day demands.

Today is to haul some heavy-assed wood paneling up to Ruth's Walk-in Closet and try to fit it to the walls.

Before I got out of bed this morning I was fixated with the certain probability I will not live forever. When I read the online news I find out the young Brokeback Mountain movie star, found out that certainty before me. He was only 28. That means I have had the bonus of 35 years to worry abouit dying more than him.

The longer I live, the more I believe there is no rhyme or reason why some of us go on and on while others barely get started before they are plucked off the the merry-go-round by the reverse sucking ring.

Jan. 22

Anorexic punk angel...I don't know what it means...I just followed the wood.

Jan. 21

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1. Shiloh playing dead. 2. Shiloh Dancing. 3. Shiloh Rolling Over. 4. Angel One  5. Angel Two

It is a slow day, so above is the pet lovers insanity of cute tricks and a couple of anorexic punk angels hot in the art world.....

Jan. 20

Finally the weather is turning back to a warmer number---getting up all the way to 40 today. After working in the shade and 20 degrees for the last week it will be like hot...

What I have been doing is putting up a carved tile plywood ceiling running the full length of the 30 by 10 foot extension. Looking at it reminds me of the time I was getting out of the army.

I was in a ward of the Presidio in San Francisco, surrounded by traumatized medics who had just been shipped back from bloody battle fields in Vietnam. All of us had therapeutic art classes together. I decided to make my self a pair of sandals out of carving leather. When I carved the souls of the sandals that would be covered by my feet, the nurse asked me why I was making such beautiful designs that would not be seen. I answered, "I want to feel the soul in my soles when I first get to walk back into real life."

A few weeks later, I was allowed off the base and walked the five miles into the center of San Francisco, Union Square. Those damn sandals hurt my feet every step, but all I could think was how good it was to be free and alive with all four limbs.

I am now 63 years old and Vietnam almost seems like a story that someone made up to scare little children. The truth for me is I was never in Vietnam, but less than 12 hours away from it when I chose to stop being in the army.

After the last victorious battle with my first sergeant  in Germany, after he was dismissed by the colonel who had threatened to bust him to a private, after I had seen him storm off to the orderly room, after I smiled in triumph. only seconds later it occurred to me the First Sergeant was going directly to his desk, pick up the telephone and call Division Headquarters and say to his old buddy, the transfer Sergeant Major, "I  have a boy here that wants 1049'd  and is just dying to show his bravery in a frontline deep jungle outfit."

 I nearly crapped my pants, because that is what they do in the army. Privates such as myself, do not mess with First Sergeants and expect to win. The old phrase, "my ass was grass and the First Sergeant was a lawn mower," could not been more true.

That night I lay on my cot and looked a light bulb hanging down from the ceiling. I knew at roll call in the morning I would be called out of formation and report to transport. I would be on my way to Vietnam and I was a medic---someone the Cong loved to pick off as soon as they flashed their red crossed helmets in the open---the saying goes it demoralized the fuck out of the rest of the troops to see their doctor blown away.

So I was lying on my cot looking at the bare light bulb, when I remembered my old Zen friend in Phoenix who used to concentrate on looking at a light until it went black. Suddenly much to my surprise the light bulb went out and the whole room was black for a moment. Maybe the electricity went off, I don't know, but I had an amazing revelation.

 It was this: THE ONLY REASON I AM IN THE ARMY IS BECAUSE I THINK I AM IN THE ARMY, THEREFORE IF I THINK I AM NOT IN THE ARMY, I AM NOT IN THE ARMY.  

 In the morning I did not report to formation but went directly to my commanding officer and informed him I quit the army.

This is a long story for no other reason than the ceiling I am installing very few people will ever see, but it makes my soul feel free.

Jan. 18

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1. A portrait by Ruth.
2. The roof of "Ruth's Walk-In Closet" continues.

3. The blue section stacked.

4. Blue section again.

5. The red section laid out.

6. Red section again.

7. The roof of walk-in closet today.

Jan. 17

 Depression is merely anger without Enthusiasm

I am going overboard with the "Word Art" format but it is something to do as I knock around ideas with my web site.

My friend Harry from Las Cruces sent another list worth noting.

1. A day without sunshine is like night.

2. On the other hand, you have different fingers.

3. 42.7 percent of all statistics are made up on the spot.

4. 99 percent of lawyers give the rest a bad name.

5. Remember, half the people you know are below average.

6. He who laughs last thinks slowest.

7. Depression is merely anger without enthusiasm.

8. The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese in the trap.

9. Support bacteria. That's the only culture some people have.

10. A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.

11. Change is inevitable, except from vending machines.

12. If you think nobody cares, try missing a couple of payments.

13. How many of you believe in psycho-kinesis? Raise my hand.

14. OK, so what's the speed of dark?

15. When everything is coming your way, you're in the wrong lane.

16. Hard work pays off in the future. Laziness pays off now.

17. How much deeper would the ocean be without sponges?

18. Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines. (That's True)

19. What happens if you get scared half to death, twice?

20. Why do psychics have to ask you for your name?

21. Inside every older person is a younger person wondering, "What the heck happened?"

22. Just remember -- if the world didn't suck, we would all fall off.

23. Light travels faster than sound. That's why some people appear bright until you hear them speak.

24. Life isn't like a box of chocolates. It's more like a jar of jalapenos. What you do today, might burn your butt tomorrow. 

Jan. 16

Skiing In Santa Fe

For years my daughter Rowan and I have celebrated her birthday, and New Year by going up to Santa Fe Ski basin and seeing if we can get through the whole day without falling down, getting in as many runs as possible, and just plain enjoy each others company, talking about life and our dreams as we go up the lift. It was a perfect day for good weather and great snow. Neither of us fell down even once, but after 20 runs we called it quits. It is good to know when to stop.

By the way, Rowan turned 30 this year. Hard to believe my little girl is all grown up wonderful.

1. Going up.

2. On the lift.

3. 20 trips on the lift.

4. A good day, in fact perfect.

5. On the top of Old Baldy.

6. Dad and daughter.

7. It was cold.

8. Warm hearts don't fall down.

Jan. 13

 What a week! What a life! A few pictures suggest only part of this time.

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1.Greg and Ann. Photo by Doug Stern, CGI by Doug Wesley. Our friends departed this life December 28, 2007. Friday, the 11th of January there was a memorial for Greg and Ann. Over two hundred people came and grieved and celebrated the lives of two wonderful people. The photo is how we all remember them-- two people in love.

2. Ceiling of the extension happens slowly.

3. View of construction.

4. Close-up of panels on ceiling.

5. A photo-shoot at nearby recording studio.

6. Hero worship at photo-shoot.

7. Jim at the Mine shaft..

8. Mike at the Mine Shaft..

Jan. 11

I have had this web program (FrontPage) for several years.

It is a basic program designed for user-friendly stuff, meaning a chimpanzee could handle it. But even so, I have been rather lazy learning some of the tricks one can employ on the page, so you may notice from time to time, doo-dads and weird  gizmos appearing for no apparent reason.

Other than that I am back to walk-in closet construction and all proceeds at a moderate pace.

I took time yesterday to go in town, buy some material and have lunch with daughter Rowan

Jan. 10

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1. Madrid Welcoming Committee2. Dad and Daughter

Jan.9

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1. Me wearing a festival hat to take down Christmas lights in Madrid.

2. At the last light pole loading decorations.

3. Sgt. Pepper and me celebrating the end.

4. Is this really the end of Christmas?

5. Changing hats.

6. Rick was the one who climbed trees and poles to get the lights up.

7. 3 Stooges were the Christmas crew.

8. The 3 Stooges again.

9. One stooge and his boss.

10. Visitors came from far parts to see the end.

Jan. 8

Just  for fun...a  theme on how time flies sent by a friend...

Listening to a wonderful CD ( Dislocation Blues) by one of my favorite musicians, Chris Whitley, of which I am sorry to know like many musical stars before him, has died reportedly of too much of everything...who knows why or what reason really...maybe like our friends Greg and Ann it was just his time, as it will be for me and you as well some day.

Not today though, right?

We all have too much to do, for ourselves, for our children, for what ever.

So what I have to do today is try to repair the leaking roof of the extension (Ruth's walk-in closet) so water does not pour down the walls of the space we live in...good luck I say to myself, because  I am neither a construction expert or a roofer.

I do the best I can on the money and time I have.

But it is a beautiful day in January and life is good.

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1. A beautiful day in New Mexico. 2. The roof is up. 3. Walls are stacked and ready. 4. A construction site yet. 5. How it is now.

Jan. 7

We woke to what looked like a  major snow storm, but it fizzled out in a couple of hours. The main result  being the leaking of our roof  because of my building activity and a lot of mud and slush around the house. This is the kind of high format material one comes to in pumping out a daily journal/blog/diary that makes me wonder why people bother to open this page.

What was good about the day is Ruth and I have each other and are glad of it and there is still a bottle of champagne left from the New Year celebrations. That and the hot tub is getting hot again and the stars are shining some hope for tomorrow.

Jan. 6

5:00 PM

This  morning I put together  www.incahootsmadridnm.com

There is some new stuff--below a few examples.

4:48 PM

What an odd kind day it has been. For one, it is raining. 

That is not  odd in Seattle. It is odd in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

It is not so odd in Cerrillos where I have come to accept what ever comes, and ,most often it comes.

Some people say it sucks.

I prefer to think it comes.

But that is not what is odd about today, it is odd because I feel out of joint. If you were in the 60's then you know what it is.

I ask you, what is it?

I mean why does the eternal  world continue to piss me off just when I am feeling Sartorial ?

Hmmm...I think I will have to stop and think about it...

11:00 AM

Ruth and I had weird dreams last night. She dreamt about zombies in a super market and I dreamt of riding horses with my brother Tommy and my lost dog Flat Tire down into a valley that could be described as the wasteland of the apocalypse.

Ruth and I woke up about the same time, 2:30 to 3:00 AM--probably the dreams, but as I lay there, I heard Shiloh, Ruth's big Ikita mutt barking off in the distance. I soon realized he was down by the river, as he had done the night before, when coyotes were howling and chasing their dinner.

I got up and went out on the porch to call Shiloh home. He is a big dog, but  five or six coyotes could pull him down. Eventually he came back to the house, and as he got to the porch, I heard a lone coyote just at the bottom of the driveway to the river, call out a luring call. Yep, they had ideas of putting dog meat on the menu. We put Shiloh in our bedroom for the rest of the night.

Jan. 5

My friend Harry down in Las Cruces sends me stuff on a regular basis that cracks me up. I don't know how he gets any work done.

Extracted from actual Military Manual

"Any ship can be a minesweeper. Once." - Unknown

------------------------------------------------

"If the Enemy is in range, so are you." - Infantry 

Journal

---------------------------------

"It is generally inadvisable to eject over the area 

you just bombed"

- U.S. Air Force Manual

----------------------------- --------------------

"Aim towards the Enemy" - Instructions printed on 

U.S.Rocket Launcher

----------------------------- --------------------

"When the pin is pulled, Mr. Grenade is not our 

friend." - U.S. Marine Corps

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"Cluster bombing from B-52s is very, very accurate. 

The bombs are

guaranteed always to hit the ground." - USAF Ammo 

Troop

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"Whoever said the pen is mightier then the sword 

obviously never

encountered automatic weapons." - General MacArthur

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"Try to look unimportant; they may be low on 

ammo." - Infantry Journal

--------------------------------------------------
 

"You, you, and you. Panic. The rest of you come 

with me." - U.S.

Marine Gunnery Sgt

---------------------------------------------------
 

"Tracers work both ways." - U.S. Army Ordnance

----------------------------------------------------

"Five second fuses only last three seconds" - 

Infantry Journal

---------------------------------------------------

"Don't ever be the first, don't ever be the last, 

and don't ever

volunteer to do anything." - U.S. Navy Swabbie

----------------------------------------------------

"Bravery is being the only one who knows you're 

afraid."

- David Hackworth

----------------------------------- -----------------

"If your attack is going too well, you're walking 

into an ambush."

-Infantry Journal

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"No combat-ready unit has ever passed inspection." -

Joe Gay

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"Never tell the Platoon Sergeant you have nothing 

to do."

- Unknown Marine Recruit

----------------------------------------------------

"Don't draw fire; it irritates the people around 

you."

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"If you see a bomb technician running, follow 

him." - USAF Ammo Troop

----------------------------------------------------

"You've never been lost until you've been lost at 

Mach 3." - Paul F.

Crickmore (SR-71 test pilot)

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"The only time you have too much fuel is when 

you're on fire ."

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"Blue water Navy truism: There are more planes in 

the ocean than submarines

in the sky." - From an old carrier sailor

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"If the wings are traveling faster than the 

fuselage, it's probably a

helicopter - and therefore, unsafe."

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"When one engine fails on a twin-engine airplane, 

you always have enough

power left to get you to the scene of the crash."

----------------------------- ----------------------

"Without ammunition, the USAF would be just another 

expensive flying club."

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"What is the similarity between air traffic 

controllers and pilots?

If a pilot screws up, the pilot dies; If ATC screws 

up.... The pilot dies."

----------------------------- ------- ---------------

"Never trade luck for skill."

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The three most common expressions (or famous last 

words) in aviation are:

"Why is it doing that?", "Where are we?" And "Oh 

S***!"

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"Weather forecasts are horoscopes with numbers."

----------------------------- ----------

"Airspeed, altitude and brains. Two are always 

needed to complete the

flight successfully."

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"Mankind has a perfect record in aviation; we never 

left one up there!"

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"Flashlights are tubular metal containers kept in a 

flight bag to store

dead batteries."

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"Flying the airplane is more important than 

radioing your plight to a

person on the ground who is incapable of 

understanding or doing anything

about it."

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"The Piper Cub is the safest airplane in the world; 

it can just barely kill

you." - Attributed to Max Stanley (Northrop test 

pilot)

----------------------------------------------------
 

"A pilot who doesn't have any fear probably isn't 

flying his plane to its

maximum." - Jon McBride, astronaut

----------------------------------------------------
 

"If you're faced with a forced landing, fly the 

thing as far into the crash

as possible."

- Bob Hoover (renowned aerobatic and test pilot )

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"A slipping gear could let your M203 grenade 

launcher fire when you least

expect it.

That would make you quite unpopular in what's left 

of your unit."

- Army's magazine of pre ventive maintenance.

----------------------------------------------------
 

"Never fly in the same cockpit with someone braver 

than you."

----------------------------- ----------------------
 

"There is no reason to fly through a thunderstorm 

in peacetime."

- Sign over squadron ops desk at Davis-Monthan AFB, 

AZ, 1970

----------------------------------------------------
 

"If something hasn't broken on your helicopter, 

it's about to."

----------------------------- ----------------------

Basic Flying Rules: "Try to stay in the middle of 

the air. Do not

go near the edges of it.

The edges of the air can be recognized by the 

appearance of ground,

buildings, sea, trees and interstellar space. It is 

much more

difficult to fly there."

----------------------------- ----------------------

"You know that your landing gear is up and locked 

when it takes full power

to taxi to the terminal."

----------------------- --------------------

Jan. 4

I wake up in the morning, every morning now, and I become conscious that my right hand is stiff---my fingers will only close about three quarters...hmmm, looks like old arthritis is setting in...then later in the day, after I have been swinging a hammer, or cutting wood, or screwing screws, I forget all about my rusted hinges.  So for an old goat, my physical problems are few.

It was the death of two of our community members just a few days ago, that makes me feel mortal and wonder what misadventure or random microscopic bug will pluck me from this ball of mud. Our friends who died were not that young, but they did not give any indication they were trotting toward their final sunset. In fact, it seems it was just rotten luck and their time was up.

I am not the only one in Cerrillos and Madrid who is puzzling the works of eternity---most  of our friends seem to have their lights dimmed just enough to notice that something is amiss--like they have a bad cold or a toothache--but it is obvious they are questioning the justice of this fickle life just like me and Ruth. Yup, it ain't fair what goes on sometimes.

But...and it is a big but, we are still here and have to deal with the consequences of continuation. Our friends problems are over and for all we know, the problems that are coming to this world may make many of us wish rotten luck would have taken us first.

It is the eternal question no body knows. What is next? We never really know until it is over, and then most often we can only draw vague conclusions to what we actually experienced, because everyone has a different point of view.

Well...I must have had an odd night to start the day with such pondering thoughts.

I once commented to my Scottish farmer land lord, as I saw her standing and gazing at the cow barn that had its roof blown off overnight, "Geez, it looks like the barn got wrecked." She didn't bother to turn and acknowledge my obvious dumb remark, but simply said, "Aye, this is it."

And so it is, This is always it.

Jan. 3

As best as I can remember, below is how I became an artist. It is one of the new stories in my Zen Cowboy series.

When I Became an artist.

The first art I remember is the a painting of a black stallion on a small board, that was propped up on the dining room table by my cousin Virginia Jackson. It was night time and there was a bare light bulb hanging down on a skinny cord from a high ceiling. She had her back to me, but looking over her shoulder I could see the horse, standing proud on a rocky mesa, the wind blowing its mane and tail, and in the distance were blue mountains. I felt like I could walk into the picture. Later when I went to school and the teacher gave me my turn to go to the drawing easel I drew the head of a horse just like the head of the stallion my cousin had done. After that, the teacher let me go to the easel most days, and every time I would draw some kind of horse. That was a big advancement of what I had been drawing before I saw my cousins painting. The first time I used a pencil, I felt like my eye was right on the tip of the lead, and I would fill page after page of very neat and regular loops all connected. I felt like I was on a motorcycle. All of the years afterward in school, all of my friends thought of me as the artist in their class. Only once did I have a rival, Johnny Fuentes. We made a game out of both being artists, and would challenge each other every day in drawing different scenes. I began to think I was an artist, because the teachers and all my class mates said I was. But I had other interests, mainly horses. That is, I wanted to be like my oldest brother, Red Cloud. I wanted to be a genuine buckaroo. A cowboy. Red Cloud had taught me everything I knew about horses. He put me on a young green bronco named Muskrat at the age of eleven. By the time I was 15, I had my own horse. I called him Wasco. He was caught as a mustang stud on the Warm Springs Indian reservation. I loved Wasco more than anything. I thought Wasco loved me the same until I was eighteen. Then that summer I went away for three months. When I returned the first thing I did was saddle up Wasco in the round corral and got on him very warily. Red Cloud warned me that sometimes when you didn't ride a mustang for a few months, they would revert to the wild. Not Wasco. It was like we had never been separated a day. The very next day I saddled him again and took him outside the corral before I got on him. When I climbed into the saddle Wasco suddenly exploded and threw me to the ground. I was more confused than hurt, but I took him back into the corral and got on again. I got bucked off again and again and again. On the seventh attempt, I was terrified but got on Wasco once more. Bam, I hit the ground, and Wasco stepped on my stomach. I remember exactly that moment, for in my mind, I heard this voice, "Forget being a cowboy Ken, because you are going to be an artist!"

Jan. 2

Back to more or less normal routine, which means a LAZY AND EASY MORNING, not getting out of bed before several cups of coffee and the ever depressing morning boob-tube-news, then feeding cats, dog, Ruthie, not necessarily in that order, and then on to my office after fire is going well in the wood stove...in the office  checking email, updating this page and generally looking out the window wondering how this life slips by so fast.

At the moment I have very little foreseen of the coming year, but only hope it is as good as the past  year...that would be a bonus---even though it was far from perfect, I would give it 8 out of 10, which is not too bad. Put it this way, money was lost, things got broke and some good people died, but overall nothing touched Ruth or I or the ones who are in our families...so we limp merrily along and count the blessings.

There is a very good possibility foreign travel is in store, for pleasure and business. Scotland looks promising and if at all possible a return to Corsica for the birthday of my pal Di, who will be a cheery 88 in May...but closer to that, Ruth is still determined to go to Mexico sometime in February. I have been checking an old haunt, which is the Playa de Cortez in Guaymas. I have been there many times and it has always been good.