Flint and Steel 5K Trail Race at New Life Ranch

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The Chapel at New Life Ranch

About a week ago my racing friend Paula messaged me asking if I was going to run the Flint and Steel Trail Run. I had never heard of it but thanks to my buddy Mr. Google I found out that it was a fund raiser for New Life Ranch, a summer camp 80 miles east of Tulsa in Ozarks. So I signed up for the 5K race and Saturday made my way over there.

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The Awards

The temp was 33 degrees as I left Tulsa and kept getting colder and colder until I got to the camp down in the Flint Valley where it was a brisk 27F. I was a little underdressed but as the sun came up, the wind quit and although the temperature didn’t change much it felt a lot warmer.

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The medals.

So I ran with Paula, and her friend Misti, and her husband. When I say run, well I guess we walked. Sorry, I walk most of my races these days. Hope I didn’t burst your bubble.

There were two other races going on, which is typical for trail runs. A 10K and 25K with staggered starts and we run on each others courses quite a bit so you have to pay attention to the ribbon colors. We managed to stay on the right trail, which is an accomplishment for me given that I got off course on two races this year.

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Some of the many horses at New Life who ignored me.

And we took lots of photos.

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Beautiful Flint Creek

Flint Creek, an incredibly beautiful, clear running creek runs through the property. I had no idea that Oklahoma had such a pretty creek. The water quality in the area is under threat because of “chicken houses” put up by farmers in the area where they raise hundreds of thousands of chickens and the associated runoff and odors. After seeing the creek I can understand why area residents are concerned. The state has a very muddled response, meaning that they are doing nothing.

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I love reflections

A good time was had by all. A great course, great shirt, and medal, a nice grilled chicken sandwich lunch afterwards. So I give this race five stars out of five. I was also first in my age group of the race. It be very rude to ask me how many were in my age group, because I would have to report that I was the only one that showed up, just think of the hundreds of thousands that could have raced but did not.

I’ll be back!

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Skywatch Friday – Visions of the Wolf River

Wolf River Trail

During my recent stay in the Memphis area I went on a walk along the Wolf River. I loved the scene above even though it is kind of ordinary. I think I loved it for the possibilities.

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I fired up my Topaz Glow app. It is always good for looking at possibility. This is the “Dizzy” filter back off a lot. It kind of gives an otherworldly feel. Something that makes me think something is not right.

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So I fired up some other filters, This is a full on 100% Neon Sign filter. Something is definitely not right here but I love it.

Come join the fun at Skywatch Friday!

A Thankful Thanksgiving

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Thanksgiving 2019 is going to be a little different. I’ve been blessed my whole life that Thanksgiving has always been special. Sometimes it has been with lots of people and happy noises and other times quiet. In recent years it has been on the smaller side of things.

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These two, the world’s greatest MIL and my wife get all the food going. Except I smoke the chicken, turkey, ribs or whatever. That’s a hard job. The hardest part is to not drink so much beer that you forget what you are doing.

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And Logan, the brains of the bunch, or so he says.

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This lady, my partner in life. The one who keeps me going. Heather is the uber networker. She knows everybody, if she doesn’t know the right person, she knows who to call. She can gather information and resources like nobody’s business.

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This year, brother Bob has fallen ill. Runner of 26 marathons and numerous lesser distances and probably the toughest person I know, by far, has a serious illness where he can’t walk a foot without support. I think he is going to be okay but it is going to take some time. My sister and I are trying to figure it out all out. Bob has been a part of our Thanksgiving for years. He loves good food and we are the place for that.

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So this year Bob and I are having a branch Thanksgiving at his hospital in Memphis. Don’t feel sorry for me, yes I will miss everybody but I am thankful that I have my brother. I am thankful for all the hospitals, nurses, nurses aides, cleaning people, food service techs, and doctors who have a part in getting him to where he is now. Many of those people will be working on Thanksgiving, away from their families, ministering to people like my brother. He’s had a lot of tough therapy and despite his losses and despite the hard therapy, he never complains, he just takes it as it comes.

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I am also thankful for his co-workers and friends. Bob is now a Navy civilian employee and most of his coworkers are ex-military as well. There is a fierce loyalty and concern there that I don’t think lifelong civilians can really know.

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And my sister, Ellen, fellow blogger, retired IT executive, seasonal Yellowstone Park Ranger, and all around great person who always seems to know what to do. She spent three weeks with Bob and left a few days ago to get some R&R and spend some with her family.

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So yes, Thanksgiving will be a little different this year but I think that I have more to be thankful for than ever.

I hope you and your families have a great Thanksgiving. Lets remember those who have to work or otherwise cannot spend their days with family.

I am linking with Skywatch Friday. Come check it out!!

Our World – Walking in Memphis

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I’m in Memphis this week, Sunday I went for a short walk. Memphis seems to have walking-biking-running-whatever trails everywhere. Nice ones with trees, and not very many hills.

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A beautiful sunny Sunday afternoon.

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Despite the signs warning not too, I kind of veered off the trails and bushwhacked for a short while.

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I was hunting a geocache and I found it. It was actually laying on the ground and I put it up where I thought it was supposed to be.

My thirty minute walk was nice. And I found a song for you. Memphis is a music city.

I’m linking with Our World Tuesday – come join in!

Skywatch Friday – Skies of Hope

We have a little hope. After a rocky period, we have a glimmer of hope for our brother Bob. He’s responding to therapy and so we are headed the right way. He’s a long distance runner with a bunch of marathons under his belt and he knows what hard work is.

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The last week or so, our sister Ellen has been with brother Bob at the rehab hospital. that was after a week with her at the first hospital while the medical staff tried to figure out what was wrong with our brother. She and I quizzed doctors and nurses, googled the info they gave us like crazy, waited long hours for the specialists to show up on their rounds.

Just keep us in your thoughts and prayers is all I ask.

I am linking with Skywatch Friday

Day of the Dead Altars

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I bet this person was either a farmer or John Deere Mechanic, and enjoyed drinking Coors and eating snacks. Note also the Mexican blanket, and marigolds. The different levels often symbolize heaven, earth, and purgatory.

I missed Tulsa’s Day of the Dead celebration at Living Arts Tulsa this year but luckily for me Living Arts keeps the Altars or Ofrendas on display almost up through Thanksgiving.

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Somebody after my own heart, Tanqueray Gin and Tonic is my favorite mixed drink (“tank and tonic”).

The Day of the Dead, known in Mexico as Día de los Muertos. Is on November first and second every year and is the days where deceased family members make their way home to spend with the living. The altars or Ofrandas are how the dead make their way home.

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A baseball and Budweiser fan.

The ofrendas follow a general pattern. Photographs, foods, flowers, religious items, all play a role. Check this link out for more information.

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Some people took great pride in their jobs.

The ofrendas at Living Arts are beautiful and they have meaning. They honor actual people who died and are put together by friends and family members.

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A fellow Dallas Cowboys fan. If somebody make an ofrenda for me in the future and they don’t include my photo of myself with a Dallas Cowboy Cheerleader in each arm, I’m going to be doing some haunting!

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It’s not just long lived grandfathers and grandmothers who have ofrendas. Many of the honored deceased were heartbreakingly young.

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I find the Day of the Dead very comforting. I love the idea of honoring deceased family members.

I am linking with Our World Tuesday

Memphis Sights

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While sitting with my sister while our brother was in the hospital in Memphis I would get up and walk around the area around the hospital and take photos.

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I am back in Tulsa now for a short while. My sister is still with our brother at a rehab facility.

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Cotton Field near where we are staying

I’ll be heading back in a few days.

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According to Google, cotton harvesting still goes on this late in Tennessee

So keep all three of us in your thoughts and prayers.
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Memphis Skies

November 2019

I am in Memphis this week with my sister helping out a family member so I haven’t been able to get out with my camera as usual. We are staying at a house out in the outskirts of town and I took the above photo in the back yard. Tennessee is just beautiful and the people are very nice. Everybody it seems everywhere says at least hello, or how are you doing in even the most casual encounters.

I hope everybody is doing well.

I am posting with Skywatch Friday