Ludlow Memorial Service

94 years ago, on April 20th, in the Ludlow tent colony, life changed forever. Between 1913 and 1914, the coal mines of Colorado were immersed in a war. The Great Coal Fields War. Miners were on strike for better conditions and the right to unionize. The owners of the coal companies wanted the miners put down. Pinkerton men, milita and miners and union men clashed.  The tent colony of Ludlow was at the center. Gatling guns fired across the colony, tents were burned. Men, women and children died. It became known as the Ludlow Massacre. It forever changed how unions and strikers were seen in the eyes of the world. To read more about it, follow this link.

For me, Ludlow is part of my family history. My great grandparents were coalminers in the camps. Grandpa Sudar remembers being put on a train car with other women and children and sent out to stay away from the camps for 4 days until it was safe. They were evacuated with many people from Ludlow.

Today, John and I went to the memorial service held by the UMW. Senator George McGovern was the Keynote Speaker.  It was a very interesting two hours. Part church service, union rally, history lesson and political rally. Fine if you were democratic or open minded. John of course is a republican, and at one point, Buffy McFadden made a joke about the crowd being good Democrats, with maybe one or two Republicans out there and John felt like he suddenly had a neon hand pointing straight at his head. 🙂

When the train full of coal cars went by on it’s way to some power plant to the north, there wasn’t a person in the crowd with a dry eye. It reminded us all of the sacrifices made by those miners and their families 94 years ago. It was a very emotional event.

Ludlow Memorial

The memorial.

Brian and Senator McGovern

Brian Orr (L) and Senator McGovern (R) before the service.

Senator McGovern speaking to the crowd.

Senator McGovern wrote a book entitled The Great Coalfield War. It is one of the definitive works on the massacre.

Afterwards, there was a luncheon. We didn’t stay for it though as there was shopping to do in Pueblo. Sigh… there are days I just don’t want to go all the way to Pueblo to shop. Oh well. It was a good trip. Had lunch at SouperSalad and dinner at Taco Bell. We also had fun at Petsmart shopping for Daniel’s puppy.

It was so weird to buy puppy food for a dog that small. We also got him some toys. A chew toy and some tiny tennis balls. It was funny!

Off to bed now. Have to get up early and cut John’s hair and trim up his beard. He’s going back to his goatee for the summer. Afterwards, it’s off to work at the DA’s.

A not so lazy Saturday

I did manage to sleep in, but after a week of late nights, an extra hour or so isn’t much. Ah well. Went to sleep last night with Daniel’s new puppy in my arms. He was out being a boy and the puppy needed company. Somewhere around 2am, Daniel came in and got the puppy. I really wish he’d hurry up and rename him. I don’t like the name Fatty for a dog. I’d rather call him Baby for the rest of his life. Oh well.

I showered, dressed, hauled laundry off the clothesline with Morgan’s help and threw more in the wash. Then I headed over to 520 to get some stuff done. Mostly clean up. In a bit, I’ll be moving desks around. I am loosing my office with a corner view. Needed to happen so that we can lift the porch up and make it level. It has about a 5 degree cant which means that I always feel like I am sliding down hill. Ah well. I get the next spot in the living room, just across from the door. Not a great view, but it will have to do for now. We have to do something fast as the front door doesn’t want to latch correctly. The house is built on a hill that use to be riverbank a few million years ago, so it constantly shifts…. Downhill!

Once I get all the stuff moved, Dan will have to do some rewiring. sigh… He only just got it straightened out from removing the office stull. I’ll have to be very sweet to him since I’m making extra work for him.

I’m still a bit of a wreck from the events of the week. I’ll be just fine and then something will remind me of Tirion and the tears well up. It probably seems sort of silly for someone that I only knew through lists, email and chat, but… it isn’t.

Combine that with not getting the job at the D.A.’s full time and my stress meter is just about pegged. Sort of hard to qualify what bugged me about it, but Dan just about hit the nail on the head. It isn’t that I couldn’t do the job or didn’t do it right, but that I did above and beyond expectations, improved the office and did do an excellent job of it. However, for the woman choosing the new secretary, it wasn’t enough. Nothing I could have done would have been enough. That’s what hurts. She was condesending, and didn’t even want to tell me that I didn’t get the job. Pattie had to force her to do her job! Oh well. Dan also said that if they didn’t choose me, they screwed up. I guess we will see. Now I have to wait and see if I get the Housing Authority job or if I call Marge Durham.

I guess I’ve played around on the computer long enough. I need to get these desks moved. It’s either that or curl up in a ball and cry.

Catch up!

I had planned to tell all about the adventures of my parents being here and other bits of last weekend, and all that went to hell in a handbasket. Dan and Beth told Matt and Morgan about Tirion last night. They had an imprompto Samhain/wake for Tirion. Told stories and remembered things until nearly midnight.  By the time I got organized, I was too tired.

So, let’s try this again.

My parents who had originally planned to come in on the 17th, rescheduled their trip because my dad discovered he has a very small treatable cancer in his bladder. At the time, he didn’t have the go ahead to travel. However, on the 16th, he did get permission as he was going to start medical treatment some time after the 23rd. So, they packed up the car and headed to Walsenburg. They got here on Thursday, which was the beginning of the fast action house attack. Just how much can you get done in four days?

Friday, Dan went to La Veta and rented the sewer snake. He got home late, and the evening thunderstorm had rolled in. Water, lightning, sewer…. Nope! Not going there.

We attacked Mom and Dad’s sewer on Saturday morning. Well, he did. Mom and I ran away to the Black Diamond Jubilee. Not the best town based festival this year. However, I did find some treasures at the FOL booksale. After I picked up Dan, the trash, and the sewer snake, we went over and cleaned out 203’s sewer. That of course meant cleaning up 205’s as well since they are linked. Daniel helped Dan out. Loaded the snake up a second time and headed to 520. Now, keep in mind that this damned thing weighs nearly 60 pounds if not more. It’s a two person lift most days. Dan of couse had been hefting it himself. stupid!!!

When we got to 520, the thunderstorms hit again. This put the sewer swiping to Sunday. Poor Dan. This was the bad one. He used two gallons of bleach to kill all the nasties. It also took nearly three hours to fix it. There was a broken toy and a rock clogging the sewer. We didn’t get the snake back until Monday, which means that I owe an arm and a leg for the damned thing, but… we did four houses!

Between the muck, bleach and allergies, Dan came down ill. Fever, sneezing and a gallon of snot. Ewww! Wrenched his arm and back lifting the snake too. Our neighbor across the street who watches everything that goes on even chided him about not being a young kid! Dan had to agree with him. I know that Erin and Karen were peeved that he was sick and not able to go off on whatever adventures they wanted him for, but… too bad. He only gets paid by the job and there was no way he could do anything safely feeling like he did. Here it is Friday and he still feels rough!

We also planned out all the repairs that need done on 520 and started a roster of what order they need done. Bewtween time and money, I figure it will take at least a year. Maybe less, but a year is my estimate. Our first project is to fix the front porch.

Monday I also went to hopefully the last Strategic Planning Committee meeting for RE-1. It’s been going on for nearly four months. Now to see if the District Accountability committee approves of it and then the school board. gads!

Today has been busy. Slow at work, as no one is here, not even Pattie. I did get a job application for the Housing Authority. Dan took it in for me this morning. Not sure when I will get an interview or even if I will get one. If not, I’ll keep looking and call around. My luck, Pattie will quit, the new person will take her job and then this position will be open again. sigh…

I’m watching the Nelson Mandela Birthday concert while I’m typing. He is 90 this year on July 18th. To me Mandela is a hero.  I remember watching his release on the BBC. What a moment in history.  John shares the birth date with him.

Probably aught to go do something. Anything… Sitting here waiting for the phones to ring is mind numbing! Only two more hours to go.


Yesterday, we got news that a dear friend of ours had died of a heart attack. Tirion- Sir Starhelm, Michael Boelter.  He was driving his truck when it happened. His wife managed to stop it without further incident, and call 911.

It’s odd when someone dies that you know in common with others. The stories that come out, or the things you remember. I met Tirion online in an email group for pagans. One where you had to be more than just a newbie. We’d all been chatting when one day, he emailed me a joke. it was the beginning of a lovely ongoing chat. What was interesting is that I had known him for some time before the Harpers moved in with us. I didn’t know that they knew him, and visa-versa. It was so funny when I came out one day laughing to share a joke, and Dan or Beth realized I was talking about the dear friend they knew as Starhelm. I have the feeling that Tirion had known for a while and thought it a good joke on us.

Tirion was also some one I could talk to and bare some of my deepest hurts to, knowing that he’d listen, and give me an answer if he could. If nothing else, he’d tell me a joke to lighten my mood or share some article on chain mail or and esoteric theory. He’d be gone for months at a time and then one afternoon, my email or chat client would be bursting at the seams with him. I didn’t realize at first that the absences were due to him going overseas with the military. When he realized I was an ex-military wife, we chatted about the military too.

I will miss my dear friend. Tirion, I hope you find a place amongst the knights that have gone before you. The world is a poorer place without you.

Deep breath….

It has also been a hard week at work. I tried so hard to do all the right things to get the job at the DA’s office. However, I learned this morning that the job is going to someone else. My last day will be sometime before the 15th of July. sigh….

So, I am applying to some other places that want secretaries and hope that I land a job. If not, I’ll call Marge Durham, the Doggy Daycare rescue lady. She needs a home help person and part time dog helper. We will see.

Lawyers and paperwork and dogs Oh My!

Here it is Saturday, and I finally have more than a few minutes to read my email and GASP!!! , write in my journal. I have been at the D.A.’s office for a week now. Technically, I don’t have a contract any more, but that is fine by me. Don’t like to sign contracts during Mercury in Retrograde. Lee, the D.A., said I’m to come to work on Tuesday, so that is fine by me. I guess that I will work the whole week and then find out if I have the full time job.

Everyone at the office thinks that Linda, the “HR person” is daft to hire me for a couple of weeks and then let me go. Stupid to re-train a totally new person. However, no one ever said she was intelligent. I like the job. There are some daft things about it though.

I know I was thrown in at the deep end of things, but I have managed to cope with it all. I know that there are still some bits of the job I’m a tad shaky on, but not surprising all considered. I’ve learned some crazy facts about this county. They’d probably be true of any small town…

  • 75-80% of the crimes are committed by 4 or 5 families. The same names keep popping up. Sometimes the same last name, other times the same exact name. Some of these people have 6-7 files all at the same time! Some people never learn!
  • Not all lawyers are as portrayed on TV…. (duh!) One of them plays solitaire instead of working. Another needs his ‘mommy’ to dress him! Came in with an unironed shirt on! All I could think of was no wonder things screw up in court if these are the people responsible for interpreting the law! I know that there have to be good ones out there, but OMHGS! One of them is also missing a can and the plastic ringy thing to hold the sixpack together!
  • Paperwork will eat you alive! I think in a week I personally went through 4 reams of paper. I probably handled 16 or 18 reams of paper. It’s everywhere and multiplies in the dark!
  • There are NO SECRETS IN SMALL TOWNS!!! I was trying to be polite and not mention names when talking about people when the other secretary said “oh yeah, you mean…..” and then filled me in on all the other bits I hadn’t known about that particular person. Gossip, thy name is the D.A. office and dispatch center!
  • Keystone cops don’t exist just in movies! We had cops trying to pull a suspect out from under a car, and couldn’t figure out why he wouldn’t move! That’s when they discovered that two different cops had two different limbs and were pulling from two different sides of the car!
  • I have a very strong stomach. My fellow office mates were worried that I would be upset by pictures of dead bodies, dead animals or sexual case photos. I had to assure them that they don’t bother me. (which is true) I also learned that neither of them can cope with pictures of dead animals. sigh…. I guess I will be handling all the road kill pictures.

Last but not least, the person that hired me lost my application for the full time job. So, I frantically had to reassemble everything and fill out a new form for application on Wednesday during my lunch hour, because the Assistant D.A. was holding interviews that afternoon. In the middle of all of this, Daniel called and wanted me to be home at 5pm on the dot to meet his girlfriend’s mom. I told him I’d try, but that I was rather busy.

I had my interview, which I think went well, and made it home in time to find Daniel and Breanna waiting for me outside with her mom. Oh, and a very SMALL puppy. Breanna was sad that Daniel lost Oscar, and wanted to give him one of the puppies that her dog had had about 7 weeks ago. This puppy is a chihuahua miniture bulldog mix. Probably weighs 2 pounds. Which is really funny, because there has been a 7 week old puppy running around the sheriff’s office all week that we have been playing with. His name is Mongo. He weighs 25 pounds, is 7 weeks old and is a mastiff great dane mix.  Mongo’s head is bigger than the other puppy.

Of course, in light of Breanna wanting to give Daniel a puppy, I didn’t have the heart to say no. So, Daniel is now the proud “parent” of a dog named Fatty. He was the fattest in the litter. (omhgs!) John fumed, but gave in.

Today, I did sleep in a bit! Huzzah! Working 8 to 5 has been a challenge, as my system was set to non-school time! However, my parents came into town on Thursday and we are cleaning the sewers for 408, 520 and 203 today. Dan and I will be stinky!! ewwwww…..

Is it really Thursday?

Gads! The last two days have been a blurr. Lots of files and papers dancing in my headspace. It has been an interesting two days at the DA’s office. Wednesday was hectic and yet I did very well. Cleared a huge backlog of files. I thought that it was about a week’s worth only to find that it was nearly three weeks of work! OMG!

The phone still gives me the fits. Not surprised. However, I think I’ll get it. Not only did I clear up all that filing, I diagnosed the computer problem, and ferreted out the computer service company and got the part ordered. Oh, and I almost got blown away in the wind! It was fierce on Wednesday. I had to run over to the Court House twice. Once to be introduced to everyone and once to take files for the assistant DA who grabbed the wrong pile of files! He seems nice, but sort of daft too. We shall see.

Today, I did some more filing, cleaned up the “dead file” where they keep closed files for six months and then move them to storage. I also learned how to make files. Wheee…. There have got to be easier ways to do it. Oh, and I fixed the computer. The part came in and I had it up in a minute. Hardest part was running all of the virus scans and cleaning all of the previous secretary’s junk out of it. OMHG’s!!! Tons of personal stuff. Sorry, but that doesn’t belong on an office computer. She should have cleaned it up before she left, but…. oh well. If I’d been on a service call, that would have been bout $75 to $100 billable.

Tomorrow I will attack the felony file cases. What a mess!!! And, I’ve decided that should they not desire to keep me on, I will put an application in at the Housing Authority which is advertising for help. The apps deadline is June 27th, and I should know by then or just before then if the DA’s office will keep me.

A hot Tuesday afternoon

And what may be my last quiet day for a while. On Monday I went to an interview at the D.A.’s office. I was hoping to have a full time job there. However, it seems that there are other candidates with more clerical experience than me. Therefore I was interviewed for the part time job. I was suppose to go meet the D.A. tomorrow and see if he “liked” me. However, the woman I interviewed with called me this afternoon and asked if I could start tomorrow. I said yes! Granted, it is part time. 8 to 5, M-F for at least 3 weeks, or until such time as the full time person is ready/in place/etc. $8 an hour too. After that, they’ll decide if I will be kept on part time or what. I’m hoping that they find I’m just what they need. Fingers crossed!!

Also this afternoon, Dan and I went to a meeting at the Huerfano Journal. Chere Cuz Gretchen and Hubby Brian’s newspaper. The other local paper is about to take a nose dive, and they are trying to get ready to pick up the slack. :> Dan writes the Tech Savvy articles for the paper and I went along because it’s family and I help on the tech articles every once in a while. During the discussion, other columns were brought up.  Some being the Moon Talk and Weirdness Beat. Of course, just previous to that I had mentioned that we needed a Huerfanology column to cover all the odd things that go on in the county. Of course, I said I’d help with the Moon Talk column, and then Gretchen asked who would like to do the Weirdness Beat and they all looked straight at ME! So, I get to write two columns!!! It will probably be once a month for both, but that doesn’t bother me a bit. teeheehee… I get to cover weird lights in the sky, tarantula and tortoise migrations and all things Weird. :>

We also talked about doing humorous columns about life in Huerfano County. I think I’ll submit the story about John being upset that I was related to everyone except the postman, only to have the postman walk up and say, “hello Cuz!”

Today I’m going to finish up various bits here at 520, like painting doors and then some laundry before I head off to bed. 6:45am is going to come very early. I’m going to baby my knee a but too. I tripped yesterday and bashed my right knee rather nastily. sigh….. I am such a klutz at times. Dan and Brandy both tried to help me up. Poor pup! She may not have thumbs, but she is loving.

All quiet on the emotional front

Or at least as quiet as I dare hope at this point. I got to sleep until nearly 9am which was a blessing.  After a bath and breakfast, we got some stuff cleaned up around the office at 520. It is taking a while to get things in order. Partially because there is so much empty space and partially because we keep changing our minds about where things go. Dan has moved his work desk at least three times.

About 2pm, Dan went to go pick up the futon mattress and I finally got a chance to read my email, make journal entries, etc. At 3pm, I started laundry. Where the hell did it all come from? I swear that I only had 3 loads in there on Thursday. Sheets, towels and a whites load. I still have two loads of sheets and a load of darks left to do. However, I did seven loads today!!! Good grief people! Luckily, the sun was hot today and there was enough of a breeze to dry everything quickly.

Daniel was calmer today. Thank goodness! John was still being a bit of a wreck. Understandable, but… Oh well. Things will settle down. I asked Matt and Morgan to quietly pick up Oscar’s toys and tidy up the back yard so that it wasn’t “in Daniel’s face” so much that Oscar was gone. The whole house was quieter.

We went down to see Pauline at the Silver Dollar Bar. She bought us a soda and we picked up her computer so that we could download her email. She doesn’t have a good connection at the house or out at Mike’s. Dan has her computer downloading the latest updates and her mail. She will pick it up later tonight or in the morning. Pauline is also going to see if Mike can fix my rocking chair.  YES!!!! I would be so happy if it was fixed.

Tomorrow we have a toilet to fix, cable to run, general housecleaning to do and some painting. I have to paint the fence and the front door. Wheee…. Maybe I’ll repaint the gates too. Hopefully, it won’t be too windy.

Horrid, horrid week.

The Queen had an annus horrilibus. This has been my horrid week. First the business. Then on Wednesday, Pauline came over and asked us to help her move out to the ranch. Daniel, Dan and I went out and helped pack up the pick-up truck, her car and a full sized school bus. Lots of heat, dust and hard work. By the time we finished, I had the headache from hell. I climbed in bed at 8pm, after a shower and slept for 12 hours.

Thursday morning while I was waiting for Dan to pick me up, I heard Oscar go after a cat. Didn’t know what cat, as I was too late to see that. All I saw was gray fur on the floor. That could have been Tweek, who I had brought in about 10 minutes earlier, or Bubbles. Dan picked me up and we went over to work on 520. We weren’t there even an hour when the kids called me. Tweek was ill on Matt’s bed. Dan and I went over and checked her out. She was the one that Oscar had attacked earlier. We picked her up and brought her over to 520, knowing that she would either pass or start to get better.

Tweek passed about three hours later. Still no idea of what exactly was broken. She had a long scratch and that was about it. Considering how quickly she died, nothing a vet could have done would have helped. We buried her in the back yard at 520.

Then I had to go over to 203 and let John and the rest of the family know what had happened. We also had to tell Daniel that Oscar had to go. This is the third cat he has killed. Plus, he has bitten 5 or 6 people. Nothing serious, but hard enough to draw blood. AT this point, my fear was that Logan would get bitten. So, Oscar had to go. Of course, Daniel has been very upset. I was upset.

Upset, angry, in tears,… everything. He is very angry with me and Dan. No other course of action though, but to get rid of the dog.

This morning, I went to turn my resume in at two different secretarial type jobs. One for the D.A. and one at the local chiropractor. I will have to wait until Monday to see if I get an interview. The chiropractor didn’t know what to think of this middle aged woman who wanted a job. A paying job. He kept asking me questions like I was a 20-something. Honestly didn’t know what to think of someone who didn’t want more education, just a job that paid. Oh well.

After that, Daniel came over and practically threw Oscar at me. The whole, “you get rid of him, and I’ll hate you forever” mind trip. I called all over trying to find a place for him. No luck. So, Dan and Erin took him up in the hills. I’m not happy about this, but it is better than him being dead. Of course, now Daniel wants his dog back, there is no way to get him back and I have to deal with all of that.

Of course, in the middle of this whole thing, my Dad calls. The medical tests came back positive for cancer. Two or three kinds. Bladder cancer, a tumor of some sort and one other thing. Treatable, but still. Trying not to worry. I’ll get more details from Mom tomorrow.

Dan just got back. He told Daniel and I about Oscar. From the moment he got out of the back of the truck, he was blissful. Ignored Dan and Erin, his ball, everything human. He got a drink out of the stream after playing in it and then was hunting a vole and snacking. They called to him and he just went over the hill and out of sight. They waited around for 30 minutes and while they saw him a time or two, he was happy to be out there. He went out of sight and they came home. It may not have been the best thing, but there was no one who would take him. There are no No Kill shelters in this end of the state for dogs his size. (German Shepard and Wolf) No ranchers. All in all, it is the best choice. Our only other one was a bullet in the head. Not even Dan could do that to him.

I’m going to bed.

Soporific Day

I am doing my best to stay awake. Not working really well, and the bed is looking better and better. Who knows, maybe I will take a nap in a bit. It’s been a long week and it is only Tuedsay.

Yesterday, we took care of all the business stuff. Dan went and helped John with a technical telephone conference and I tried to organize stuff here at the office. hahahaha! That didn’t go very far. I worked on my area a bit and that was all. I have to wait for Dan on the rest of it.

We spent the rest of the evening sort of in that numb zone. Lots of people sending condolences and “hopes” that things get better. Erin and Morgan came over with Logan and we had a late supper. Spaghetti.

We also learned yesterday that after Dan let Airspring know that he was no longer employed by RBT, that they told Karen she had to pay the whole bill now! Some $2200.00+. She paid it. Didn’t even touch what was in the bank account. This peeved me no end, that here we are struggling and being honest about where every penny went and ‘the money’ wouldn’t help us. However, the moment we quit, ‘the money’ is helping Karen. Oh well. We know we aren’t thieves. We know we did the best we could and just how hard the work really is. Too bad we weren’t appreciated. Oh well. Yeah, I’m a little bitter.

We were suppose to be up early so that Dan could go job hunting. Well,… We almost made it. He and Erin finally headed to Trinidad around noon. I’ve caught up on my computer stuff, moved email out from the account and in general done a whole lot of sitting. I know I aught to go get the papers and start job hunting. Just don’t have the urge to do it. Yeah, I’m a little blue about the whole thing. Maybe I will take that nap.