Furry firefighters

The sound of the dog’s distant but loud bark piqued my dog’s curiosity. The bark spoke of urgency and intruders. As we continued our walk, I soon realized who the intruders were. They were firefighters hard at work clearing land of flammable dead brush. My dog picked up their scent.

These weren’t your typical firefighters, though, using hoses and shovels and axes. Their firefighting tools? Their mouths.

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Goats and sheep wait in a pen for freedom … and breakfast.

The county has hired these furry firefighters to help clear land of dangerous, dry brush. It’s cheaper than hiring crews to use lawnmowers, apparently. And way more fun to watch. Continue reading

A green escape from the cares of the world

There are days I want to turn off the television, the radio, social media. Days I want to escape from the horrors of our world. Days I want to let nature enfold me and bring a sense of peace back to my soul.

If you’re visiting this blog today, maybe you’re feeling that way, too? Want to come on a virtual journey with me?

When my husband and I were in Oregon for the Olympic trials, we spent one of the competition’s off days visiting the McKenzie River in the Cascades. The drive was beautiful, and at one point, I couldn’t see anything but a sliver of road surrounded all around by tall evergreens. It was a sight for sore eyes missing the green of home.

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Trees, trees everywhere (a view from where we parked the car and got out to venture around)

Our surroundings turned magical once we got out of the car. Continue reading

Olympic-sized joys, sorrows and the race that made me cry

I’m still going through the 1,000+ photos I took during the US Olympic Track and Field Trials, but I thought you might like to see a few of my favorites.

There’s beauty in the competition, and I begin on that note today.

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A fluid rainbow of jerseys and shoes at the start of the women’s steeplechase semis (with a pole vaulter watching from the field)

My husband and I enjoyed the time away, and we celebrated as some of our favorites made the Olympic team. This year, though, more of our favorite athletes than usual did not make the team. So when I look back at photos of certain races, there’s heartbreak and sadness in them.

If you stopped by this space last week, you saw a photo of Reese Hoffa from last year’s US championships. Two Fridays ago, he competed again. Continue reading

Back in TrackTown USA

It’s the most wonderful time of the year …

Well, to US track and field fans it is. The US track and field Olympic trials are taking place this week in Eugene, Oregon, affectionately known as TrackTown USA. Olympic hopefuls have gathered in Eugene to achieve their dreams, to compete, to win, to represent the country in Rio.

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Competitors will face many hurdles this week.

Reese Hoffa acknowledges that to make the team—in what would be his fourth consecutive Olympic games—he would have to crush someone else’s dream. For all the glory and cheering that comes with these trials, there are tears and defeat, too. Continue reading

Unexpected sermons

When you think of preachers and sermons, legendary singer-songwriter Lyle Lovett may not come to mind first.

My husband and I love Lyle Lovett’s music and were thrilled to learn he and his Large Band would be kicking off their summer tour in Sacramento. We headed to the fabulous old Crest Theatre, anticipating a great show. We didn’t know there would be a sermon, too.

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Lyle Lovett with Destiny Baptist Church’s choir in the background

As Lovett walked to the center of the stage for the first time, a choir assembled at the back of the stage. Together, they sang a rousing rendition of “I’m a Soldier in the Army of the Lord.” And then another song (“Church”) about long sermons and preachers who, eventually, will get as hungry as their congregants.

Lovett introduced the group as the choir from Sacramento’s Destiny Baptist Church. “Have any of you been to that church?” he asked us all.

Continue reading