Friday, December 31, 2021

Bury your poverty, dig up your wealth 2021-2022

 It's New Year's Eve 2021!! It's time to Bury your Poverty and Dig up your wealth! 

I stole this concept from Chris Wallbruch and I tried it in 2013 and it was an OK year overall.

I tried it again in 2014 and while it was a rough year - this DID work for me. 

I did this in 2015 and while the end of the year was not what I expected - it was a very good year overall - I still had income after I had been let go from a job and I was very glad to not be homeless. 

2016 was just a bitch and while I had no great windfall I have always had the funds to pay what needed to be paid. 

2017 I managed to get a little more than I needed, but again no windfall. 

2018 I have had a very good year - no windfall- but all the bills paid and I actually have $10 in my savings account (This is saying something considering I have had a $0 balance for a while). 

2019 brought a lot of change in aspects of my life and while again no windfall, I have managed to pay my bills (a little late sometimes) but again I have money in savings and a money market now! 

2020 was a suck year with the Coronavirus, the East Troublesome Fire Thompson zone, Cameron Peak Fire and so much more - but I was given a gift of money to get a new rental home, pay my bills - all on time, help with my evacuation and pay for the things that I wanted and needed and overtime at work. I have to say that I have been helped this year more than any other and I am so very grateful. 

2021 has been the most generous and not so generous year to me. I struggled still from the Coronavirus issues like the rest of the world. I busted my butt at a job that did not appreciate me, I traveled, paid my bills and in October, lost my step-dad. I then proceeded to get a job that actually makes me feel appreciated and pays me well. It feels unbelievable, but I am SO grateful! This year, my cup hath runneth over. It may not be a windfall, but it is a wage and environment that is positive and good for me and that's better than the largest lottery win. 

It is time to bury your poverty!

For those of you who are unfamiliar with this tradition, what you do is bury a dollar (or any amount above a dollar that you want) in the soil on New Year's Eve. This can be in a houseplant if the ground is frozen or inaccessible, but I like to go outside, dig a hole, and drop my dollar in. (I put it in a plastic bag). As you bury said dollar, say out loud, "I am burying my poverty!" TIP - if you do this outside, make sure you place some sort of marker where you bury your buck so that you can find it again!

On New Year's Day, dig UP the dollar, and as you do so, say out loud, "I am unburying my wealth!"

You can't spend the money- you can either keep it or give it away to charity. Giving it away is the best so you are less likely to spend it. For me, each year I have given the $1 to a local Estes Park charity. This year I hope to be able to bury more than $1 and give the local EP Charity more $$ when I dig it up.  

This tradition is supposed to give you an unexpected windfall of money during the year.

I have had money come to me the 9 years I have done this and I have always had money that helped me out of tough times so I am NOT complaining.

It is a tradition I plan on keeping every year and I thank Chris for pointing me to it!! Go bury that poverty and dig up your wealth! 

Dig up your wealth!

Bridle Tree Barn Raising Challenge 2021


See the rules HERE. My goal for this challenge is to paint and build my stablemate barn and fenced pasture.

This is the barn I was modeling it after: 

So I was able to start the barn around the 4th of December. 

I did a second round of primer on the 11th. 

Then I put base brown paint on it. 

Then the weather turned and since I could not use my wood spray in the house - my barn as just sat in pieces. 

And it is still not finished - it will have to wait until warmer weather for me to get it done - but this was further than I expected to get! 

Sunday, December 26, 2021

Estes Park Police Department Blue Santa

Every holiday season, the Blue Santa Program collects non-perishable food, gifts and hygiene products for disabled, shut-in and elderly community members who need a little extra cheer during the holiday season. Blue Santa is sponsored by the Estes Park Police Auxiliary.

From 2019 Tree Lighting.

The Estes Park Police Department and the Estes Park Police Auxiliary handle the event annually. They do canned food donation drives across the Estes Valley, as well as monetary donations. Local businesses set up donation boxes or jars and the Auxiliary handles the pick up, sorting, and delivery (along with EPPD members) to those on the list of being in need for the holiday season. 

Each year the Auxiliary and PD deliver between 75 and 100 boxes of food and gifts in the Estes Valley. It is done around the 1-2nd Saturday of December. 

From 2019 Delivery.
To nominate a disabled, shut-in or elderly community member in need, please contact Captain Corey Pass at the Estes Park Police Department, at 970-577-3828 or go online to at the Blue Santa website

Saturday, December 4, 2021

International Customizing Equine Event 2021


The idea of this event is to motivate artists and non-artists if all skill levels to challenge themselves in a supportive community to customize a model in 2 months, October AND November (61 days).

This is to tie in with Jennifer Bray Buxton’s NaMoPaiMo (National Model Painting Month), so that all customizing and prepping has been completed by February 1 and then continue on to  National Tack Month (April) for a Triple Crown in modeling.

Project model must be 50% or more horse "body". Completed model is to be equine, other Equids (mule, donkey, zebra, etc.) or equine-like (unicorn, pegasus, hippocampus, seahorse, centaur and other mythical or fantasy horse-like creature).

Only 3-D models will be included in the project model category.

However, ICEE encourages participants to also complete any number of 2-D and non-equine projects for the "I Also Made This!" category they wish within the 2 month period of the Event.

For 2021, I decided to do one of my favorite Stablemate molds as a horse from the Star Wars the Rise of Skywalker movies - an Orbak!! 

This requires me to do a TON of sculpting!! Then Paint it for NAMOPAIMO in February 2022 and make the tack for it in April 2022!! 

Right after I joined the ICEE for 2021, my step dad passed away, I spent a few days with my mom and then I came home, worked a ton of hours at my old job and I interviewed about a new job, got that job and have been in training since 11/1/21. 

Finally, in November, I I was able to start working on this fellow. 

Well, it's November 28, 2021 and I haven't gotten any farther on my sculpting - I was ill and in the hospital and I have been working a ton of hours. I am just exhausted and not artistic at the moment. This is not a failure, just a set back. I still hope to complete him before the end of they year. 

Sunday, November 14, 2021

Estes Park Police Auxiliary

The mission of the Estes Park Police Department Auxiliary Unit is to enhance the individual and collective safety of the community by assisting the Estes Park Police Department. The Auxiliary Unit exists to provide increased police visibility and to further the goal of a positive police-community relationship for the Town of Estes Park.

Criteria for application to the Estes Park Police Auxiliary Unit - The candidate must:
  • Be at least 21 years old 
  • Be friendly, outgoing, and enjoy working with people.
  • Complete the EPPD Citizen’s Police Academy
  • Be capable of standing or walking for up to four hours
  • Consent to a criminal and driving record background check, meeting requirements of both 
  • Have no felony convictions
  • Have no outstanding warrants
  • Have an acceptable record as it relates to overall criminal and community involvement that would promote acceptance by the community 
  • Successfully complete the Auxiliary Unit admission interview and be chosen to serve by the panel

Who Are the Auxiliary and What are their Function?

They are civic-minded, individuals who volunteer to assist the Town of Estes Park Police Department by performing uniformed, unarmed patrol in their community. Auxiliary members are recruited, trained and equipped by the Police Department. They come from many diverse backgrounds and a myriad of occupations throughout the town, such as retirees, bankers, merchants, nurses, security guards, students, etc. The Auxiliary Police Officers are volunteers and do not receive salaries.

Auxiliary Police provide extra “eyes and ears” for the Police Department. They serve as  ambassadors for the department and assist in bridging the gap that often exists between community and police. Auxiliary serve as essential manpower during special events and large scale incidents or investigations. Auxiliary receive training specific to their interests and are given options as to how they would most like to serve the department. There is a 96 hour, per year, requirement for all members to fulfill though the way in which those hours are filled are optional.  

History of The Auxiliary

The Estes Park Auxiliary Unit was officially created on March 22, 2001, and was originally formed as the “Estes Park Police Department Volunteer Unit”.

The first members of the Volunteer Unit were those citizens already volunteering their time with the Police Department as well as several individuals who attended the newly created Citizen’s Police Academy.

The members of the new Volunteer Unit assisted the Police Department with many tasks. They not only worked inside the Department, but, on May 12, 2001, the Volunteer Unit worked it‘s first official event, the Estes Park Bike Rodeo. During its’ first year, the volunteer unit assisted with such special events as the Big Horn Race, the June Rodeos, the Rooftop Rodeo, Scottish-Irish Festival, Catch the Glow Parade, as well as several other community activities.

As the duties and responsibilities of the Volunteer Unit increased, the Unit was officially changed to the Police Auxiliary Unit on Sept. 30, 2003. The uniform changed to the current gray shirt with “Estes Park Police” patches, Auxiliary badge and Navy Blue pants.

September 30, 2003 also saw the creation of Auxiliary Supervisors and a commitment to increase the professional status of the Auxiliary Unit by creating an Auxiliary Unit Operations Manual.

The Auxiliary Academy was added, and a patrol vehicle was procured as the Auxiliary continues  to evolve and grow.

Blue Santa

Every holiday season, the Blue Santa Program collects non-perishable food, gifts and hygiene products for disabled, shut-in and elderly community members who need a little extra cheer during the holiday season. Blue Santa is sponsored by the Estes Park Police Auxiliary. 

To learn more about the Estes Park Police Auxiliary - please contact Captain Corey Pass at the Estes Park Police Department, at 970-577-3828 or cpass @ (without the spaces). 

Friday, September 17, 2021

Wilderness First Responder Training


Date & Time
Wed, Sep 8, 7:30 AM - Fri, Sep 17, 5:00 PM MDT

YMCA of the Rockies - Estes Park, CO 80511

A step up from Wilderness First Aid, our Wilderness First Responder course is designed for outdoor professionals and people who spend extended periods of time in remote settings. The 80-hour course includes standards for urban and extended care situations. This course represents the medical training standard for aspiring guides, outdoor leaders, and anyone seeking to step up their ability to act in an emergency. Adult CPR is included.


On May 30, 2021 I applied for an Estes Park Health Foundation Scholarship Program to complete the above listed Wilderness First Responder Course. On June 9, 2021 I was told I had received the scholarship! 

This is the second hardest, out of my comfort zone thing I have done in 2021. To go back to school, even if it was a 10 day course, when I am out of shape and feeling really down on myself. 

One of my nurses had taken the Medical Professionals (RN, EMT, DR, etc) version and gave me some helpful pointers to not feel so stressed about it. 

I was worried that with the crazy work schedules from the hospital that I would not be able to attend, but as I type this, it is September 6, 2021 and I am full on to go on Wednesday! 

Wednesday, September 8, 2021, was the one of the hardest days of the year for me. A dear Longmire Days friend passed away and it was my first day of class - I failed at my first patient assessment, because I just froze up and couldn't even remember my name. I couldn't work through my notes and it was hot, I was tired and hungry because it was a very physical day learning how to assess the patient and getting up and down constantly in the heat.

I came home and cried. It's that simple. All of my learned knowledge from working in the ER as registration and asking questions was actually a hinderance to me learning. 

It is fun to play the patient - they even make it look so real (the above bruise is just makeup)! 

Thursday, September 9, 2021, was a better day. I had slept well and I felt better about myself. I rolled patients, carried litters with a team, took vitals, and while I still suck at the assessment part, I feel much better.

Friday, September 10, 2021, was our long day. We started at 8 am with Spine assessments, head injuries, then lunch, athletic injuries, fracture management, pain management in the wilderness, dinner, then we had dislocations. I find I do better working in large teams because I can bounce ideas off people and they help me to focus on things more. 

Saturday, September 11, 2021, saw me have a melt down again. While taking this course, I have had a dear friend pass away suddenly, another friend's grandson pass away, I have been worried about paying bills and having food to eat, because my job was messing with my PTO while I was doing this, worrying about the fact I am 50 and way out of shape, my book is missing sections of reading so I can't read what I need too (and they are trying to get myself and 4-5 others new books) and I am just TIRED with only 4 hours sleep after the night work course, because my body thought I was back on night shifts and that I shouldn't be falling asleep at night.

I sobbed through my first assessment this morning and my teammate and my patient (thankfully not a REAL one) were supportive. This was wilderness wound management. 

We got to play with steri-strips and 2nd skin.

After lunch was Heat/hydration, then hypothermia. For heat, I was a victim, and had leg cramping, stomach cramps and my two teammates had to assess if I was just dehydrated, heat exhausted or having heat stroke. 

Then came the most amazing senario! WOW! Myself and 4 others were to be patients. This was a MASS CASUALTY event. It was amazing to watch all of us acting and to see the teams work through all the traumas that each of us had. I was so blessed to be working with these people and to know them all. WOW. Amazing. 

As we hiked back to the classroom from our scenario area, one of my instructors noticed that I was trailing behind and away from people (I was feeling like that old horse that was just not going to get caught up to the herd). He walked with me and chatted and I explained some fears and frustrations - he was AMAZING, giving me encouragement and making me feel less like a loser and more like a winner. I am so grateful, even through all the tears for getting to take this class. 

Sunday, September 12,2021, was more training on all the things. We did another MASS CASUALTY scenario and I was a responder. Then we all went to THE SLAB in downtown Estes Park. 

We were given Monday, the 13th off and I so needed the break! 

Tuesday, September 14, 2021, was more training and scenarios that were to help us for Wednesday.

Wednesday, September 15, 2021, was a full on Night Scenario. I am just going to say it was amazing and this photo is just a practice AFTER we were all done. The main scenario was WOW. Again, I am so blessed to have worked with these people! 

Thursday, September 16, 2021, was our final day of training and we found out our team mate for our final practical. We worked with them and then said goodbye to our wonderful instructors. 

I went home, read my book (we finally got the book with all the pages today) and recopied my notes, hoping all of this information would fit. I slept, woke up and studied, went back to sleep, woke up and headed out for my written test then my practical. 

I was pretty certain that my written test was a bust. It was like I couldn't remember anything, but I did pass it with a totally better score than I was expecting. Then it was practical time. I just have to say SAM IS THE MAN. What an amazing teammate and wow, we rocked it. 

So officially, at 2 PM, Mountain Time, September 17, 2021, I became a "WOOFER" (aka Wilderness First Responder)

All of these people are amazing and I am so very happy to have met them all and been able to work with them!! It was worth all of the tears and stress and tired muscles. 

Monday, September 6, 2021

Longmire Days 9.5

Unlike 2020, the 2021 Longmire Days did have some live events, limited tickets, with masks required. None of the actors came, but Craig Johnson gave some talks and took it back to the roots of the first Longmire Days in 2011. This should have been the 10 year anniversary, but with Covid still in full swing, the Foundation was calling it LD 9.5!

My Truck's starting mileage

I had booked my hotel room when it was still under consideration that the whole thing would go on, and I decided to keep it, just shorten my stay, and go since I missed Buffalo and my friends there. 

There were many things that tried to change my mind on this from work related pressures to my old truck to having to travel alone to LD for the first time in 8 years. I did it though and I am so HAPPY that I did. 

I drove to Casper on Thursday. I don't come off my mountain very often and I hit shops and tourist traps that I wouldn't usually stop at when driving. 
Chugwater Wyoming

I stayed at the Rodeway Inn at Casper. It was nice and I had a King size bed and was just lazy! It was great.

Then on Friday, I drove from Casper to Buffalo. Buffalo has so many great murals! 

I went to Craig's Talk about his new book and his writing process. 

I stayed at the Mansion House Inn and had room 14 - 14 was a lucky number

I walked a LOT on Friday!!!!

This was much different than a "normal" Longmire Days, but I got to see a lot of people that chose to come up anyway, eat some good food and relax from the hectic life I have had for the last 18 months with COVID. 

I can't wait for 2022! It will be the 10 year anniversary!! WOOO HOOO!