Independence Day Kaysville Rotary Run For Reading 5K

Davis High School Flag

Davis High School Flag

This morning was the Independence Day Kaysville Rotary 12th Annual 10K and 5K Run / 5K Walk “Run for Reading” at the Davis High School Stadium. In 2009 there were 873 participants who entered, beating the previous year by over 200 runners. The proceeds of the $15 race registration will go towards the purchase of “I Like Me” reading books for Kaysville area elementary school children.

I was there to take a few photographs. Click on the images to enlarge.

Before the race

Before the race

Sarah's friend Jennifer and her husband

Sarah's with her friend Jennifer and her husband

Sarah, Derek, Jill, and Bryson

Sarah, Derek, Jill, and Bryson

Bryson was not too thrilled at the early morning start to the race

Bryson was not too thrilled at the early morning start to the race

Start of the 5K segment

Start of the 5K segment

Run For Reading 5K

Run For Reading 5K

Run For Reading 5K

Jill at the finish (39:25:00)

Jill at the finish (39:25:00)

Derek, Sarah, and Bryson at the finish

Derek, Sarah, and Bryson at the finish

Rickety signature.

Kaysville South Stake 5K Family Fun Run 2010

Kaysville South Stake 5K Family Fun Run

This year’s Kaysville South Stake 5K Family Fun Run participation was a little lower than usual, probably because of the weather. With rain, temperatures in the 40’s, and a 12 mph wind only the hearty ventured out. Here’s what the weather looked like from where I stood, nice and dry inside the bowery.
Kaysville South Stake 5K Family Fun Run

There were plenty of officials on hand. There were official officials — our stake president and one of his counselors.
Kaysville South Stake 5K Family Fun Run

Then there were race officials like Rachel and Matt, and Lisa Sagers to record the times.
Kaysville South Stake 5K Family Fun Run
Kaysville South Stake 5K Family Fun Run

I had family participating — Jake, Jill, and Paul on roller blades. I was asked if I was running. I said, “The Press doesn’t run — only the presses do.”
Kaysville South Stake 5K Family Fun Run
Kaysville South Stake 5K Family Fun Run
Kaysville South Stake 5K Family Fun Run

The bishop of my ward was there ready to run.
Kaysville South Stake 5K Family Fun Run

A bullhorn was used to get everyone lined up for the race. The athletes listened intently for the starting signal. Then they were off and into the rain, wind and cold. To record the times a laptop is used where the time of a runner is assigned a number which is written on the runners race label when they finish. The label is peeled off and placed on cardboard for the appropriate age group.
Kaysville South Stake 5K Family Fun Run
Kaysville South Stake 5K Family Fun Run
Kaysville South Stake 5K Family Fun Run
Kaysville South Stake 5K Family Fun Run
Preston Johnson, age 15, with a time of 18:33 was the first runner to finish. Jill was right behind him with a time of 38:12.
Kaysville South Stake 5K Family Fun Run
Kaysville South Stake 5K Family Fun Run
Below are thumbnails of a few runners. Click on them for a higher resolution picture (1200 x 900). If you want the original (4000 x 3000) email or call me. Alternatively, leave a comment and I will use your email entered in the form. I didn’t plan to take photographs of the runners, it was an afterthought once the race began.

There are two videos I will post. Check back later after the England v. USA soccer game.

Kaysville South Stake Family Fun RunKaysville South Stake Family Fun RunKaysville South Stake Family Fun RunKaysville South Stake Family Fun RunKaysville South Stake Family Fun RunKaysville South Stake Family Fun RunKaysville South Stake Family Fun RunKaysville South Stake Family Fun RunKaysville South Stake Family Fun RunKaysville South Stake Family Fun RunKaysville South Stake Family Fun RunKaysville South Stake Family Fun RunKaysville South Stake Family Fun RunKaysville South Stake Family Fun RunKaysville South Stake Family Fun RunKaysville South Stake Family Fun RunKaysville South Stake Family Fun RunKaysville South Stake Family Fun RunKaysville South Stake Family Fun RunKaysville South Stake Family Fun RunKaysville South Stake Family Fun RunKaysville South Stake Family Fun RunKaysville South Stake Family Fun RunKaysville South Stake Family Fun RunKaysville South Stake Family Fun Run

Rickety signature.

Cowboys Stadium Tour

Cowboys Stadium tickets

Sarah has Cowboys Stadium tickets

Why is Sarah smiling? Because she has Cowboys Stadium Tour tickets. One each for Derek and herself and her parents. Bryson gets to go in free. Tours of Cowboys Stadium allow fans behind-the-scenes access to several areas including the Cowboys Locker Room, Cheerleaders Locker Room, Playing Field, Private Clubs, Media Interview Room and other areas.

Cowboys Stadium big screen

The center-hung video display board is the largest high-definition television screen in the world

Cowboys Stadium Jill and Bryson

Jill and Bryson watch the big screen

Cowboys Stadium is a domed stadium with a retractable roof in Arlington, Texas. It serves as the home of the National Football League’s Dallas Cowboys. It replaced the partially-covered Texas Stadium, which opened in 1971, and served as the Cowboys’ home through the 2008 season. It was completed on May 27, 2009. The stadium seats 80,000, making it the 3rd largest stadium in the NFL by seating capacity.

Cowboys Stadium football

A football in the ceiling

Cowboys Stadium encouraging words

Some words of encouragement

The stadium is the largest domed stadium in the world, has the world’s largest column-free interior and the largest high definition video screen which hangs from 20 yard line to 20 yard line. The facility can also be used for a variety of other activities outside of its main purpose (professional football) such as concerts, religious ceremonies, basketball games, college football and high school football contests, soccer matches, motorcross races and rodeos similar to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.

Cowboys Stadium Derek Jill Bryson Sarah

Derek, Jill, Bryson, and Sarah, on their way to visit the private suites

Cowboys Stadium private suite

Derek, Sarah, and Bryson would be enjoying the game in luxury, if there was one

Cowboys Stadium was designed by the Dallas-based architectural firm HKS. Originally estimated to cost $650 million, the stadium’s current construction cost was $1.3 billion, making it one of the most expensive sports venues ever built. To aid Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones in paying the construction costs of the new stadium, Arlington voters approved the increase of the city’s sales tax by 0.5 percent, the hotel occupancy tax by 2 percent, and car rental tax by 5 percent. The City of Arlington provided over $325 million (including interest) in bonds as funding, and Jones covered any cost overruns. Also, the NFL provided the Cowboys with an additional $150 million, as per their policy for giving teams a certain lump sum of money for stadium financing.

Cowboys Stadium Tony Romo locker

Bryson and Derek by Tony Romo's locker

Cowboys Stadium cheerleaders lockers

Bryson at the cheerleaders lockers

A pair of nearly 300 ft-tall arches spans the length of the stadium dome, anchored to the ground at each end. The new stadium also includes more than 3,000 Sony LCD displays throughout the luxury suites, concourses, concession areas and more, offering fans viewing options that extend beyond the action on the field and a center-hung video display board that is the largest high-definition television screen in the world. Glass doors, allowing each end zone to be opened, were designed and constructed by Dallas-based Haley-Greer glass systems.

Cowboys Stadium at the 10

Bryson makes it to the 10

Cowboys Stadium at the end zone

Jill, Bryson, Sarah, Derek, and Rick are in the end zone

The retractable roof was designed by structural engineering firm Walter P Moore and the systems were implemented by mechanization consultants Uni-Systems. These Kinetic Architecture fundamentals will be employed in order to create quick conversions of the facility to accommodate a variety of events. When the design was officially unveiled on December 12, 2006, it showed that, from inside the stadium, the roof will look very similar to the Texas Stadium roof, with its trademark hole. However, it can be covered by the retractable roof panel to protect against the elements.

Cowboys Stadium

Cowboys Stadium

Cowboys Stadium Tom Landry

Tom Landry, head coach 1960 to 1988, career record 270 - 178 - 6, Super Bowl Champions 1971 and 1977

Photos by Rickety. Text by Wikipedia.
Rickety signature.

Open Thread Week: Valentines Day

An open thread refers to a blog post where readers may comment and discuss any topic that they choose. Valentines Day is mentioned just to help get you started.

Terry and Jill in Valentines dresses

Jill (right) and her cousin Terry in Valentines dresses (1954)

In a week it will be Valentines Day. In the past I have bought my wife flowers or gone out to eat. One year I bought a new dryer and had it installed without telling her. When she went to use her old worn out dryer it wasn’t there any more. That made her happy. Not very romantic but fun.

Do you enjoy Valentines Day? What have you given for Valentines in the past? What have you received?
Rickety signature.

Preparing A Missionary

Today my wife spoke in church.

Daniel receives his mission nametag from his mother

Daniel receives his missionary nametag from his mother

Our five children were born within seven years of each other so are really close in age. When they were small our favorite song in FHE was “I’m so glad when daddy comes home“.  Instead of a great big kiss at the end of the song, the kids would tackle dad and wrestle with him on the floor until one of the kids got hurt and then the song was over. Our other favorite song was “I Hope They Call Me on a Mission” when I have grown a foot or two. I hope by then I will be ready to teach and preach and work as missionaries do. I have been asked to talk on preparing a missionary. Our oldest son served in Santiago Chile West, the next son served in California Oakland Spanish speaking, the third son served in Mexico City North and our last son is serving in the Ulaanbaatar Mongolia mission.

I don’t have anything profound or new to share, just four simple things we did in our family.

1. Family Home Evening

I am glad to be able to teach primary to an amazing group of eight year old children in our ward. They are bright and happy and it is very apparent that these children are being taught the gospel in their home. They know how to say a prayer, they are learning to read the scriptures and starting to memorize the articles of faith. They have wonderful parents. These children have parents that follow the counsel we have all been taught about holding a regular FHE, scripture study and family prayer. We had times in our own family when we were consistent and able to do these things but there were other times when family scripture study, FHE or family prayer just didn’t happen. We had our share of teenagers that came to FHE and remained in a prone position on the floor with their eyes closed the entire time. But we never decided it wasn’t worth the effort and we never stopped trying.

2. Home Teaching

Jake tracting in Mexico.

Jake tracting in Mexico.

We have been fortunate to have the best home teacher in the stake for the past twenty years or so. During all the time he was a counselor in the stake presidency and then as our stake president, he never missed a month home teaching. I’m not sure how many home teachers are that faithful. We got to know all the Hulse boys over the years — young Loren, young Nathan and finally young Joseph. They learned to set up appointments by calling us on the phone or talking to us in person. They learned how to shake hands in greeting and how to prepare and give a message. I’m grateful for Brother Hulse and his example and love for our family. I’m also grateful to my husband, Richard, and the families in our ward that allowed our boys to home teach and learn these skills.

President Monson said:

Brethren, is every ordained teacher given the assignment to home teach? What an opportunity to prepare for a mission. What a privilege to learn the discipline of duty. A boy will automatically turn from concern for self when he is assigned to “watch over” others. (Thomas S. Monson, “The Call to Serve,” Ensign, Nov 2000, 47–49)

3. Savings Account

We were our children’s employers while they were young so they could learn to manage money. As Richard was the main force behind this topic, he agreed to write how the savings accounts were managed:

A black hole has a one-way surface, called an event horizon, into which objects can fall, but out of which nothing can escape. It is called “black” because it absorbs all the light that hits it, reflecting nothing.

Thus a black hole mission savings account will not allow any deposited money to escape. The one exception made is for a mission.

We set up mission savings accounts at the bank for all the children when they were young. The accounts were set up so that their Dad’s signature was required to withdraw money. The children were required to put 50% of any earnings into their account. When they were old enough for Scouts, ten dollars was paid into their accounts for each completed merit badge. An Eagle required 21 merit badges which meant each boy earned a deposit of $210.

Remember Richard wrote this part for me:

One day my wife said the children wanted to change the mandated percentage. It sounded like a rebellion and my wife appeared to be siding with the children. I called a family council and planned for the worst. The new percentage that the children wanted was to change it from 50% to 40%. So after tithing they would still retain half their money to spend. I pretended to reluctantly agree and was happy they would still be saving a substantial proportion of their earnings.

After a few years I removed the percentage requirement but the children still contributed heavily into their black hole accounts. Their percentage would sometimes be much higher than the old 40% rate.
All four boys earned all their mission money this way. Our daughter, Sarah, was exempt from saving for a mission but the account was still a black hole. She could withdraw money for parental approved activities like marriage and buying Fathers Day gifts.

She used it to go the Europe instead.

We tried to help some of the children with dating and other expenses to allow them to focus on saving for their missions. One of our sons worked at Lagoon in Group Foods for a summer when he was 15. He went to work happy and came home covered with grease from having slaved over a hot grill frying hamburgers all day. But he came home just as happy as when he left because he was earning money for his mission.

4. School and Church Activities

Most of our children studied a foreign language in Junior High. President Hinckley said:

Study a foreign language if you have opportunity to do so. You may never be called to a land where that language is spoken, but the study will have given you a better understanding of your own tongue or of another tongue you may be asked to acquire. (Gordon B. Hinckley, “Tithing: An Opportunity to Prove Our Faithfulness,” Ensign, May 1982, 40)

Paul with a little girl.

Paul with a little girl.

I’m grateful to the good youth leaders from our ward that served over the years. They took the boys camping even in the winter and organized terrific youth camps and treks. There were lots of great service projects that helped the boys learn to work and serve others.  Participating in ward activities, attending church and going to seminary helped build the enthusiasm for serving a mission.

What young man wouldn’t look forward to the adventure of eating sheep head, goat stomach, and horse pizza? Daniel, who is serving in Mongolia, also looks forward to the day his eyelashes freeze his eyes shut. When I asked Daniel what helped prepare him to serve a mission, he wrote:

To Mom:

The things that helped me prepare for a mission the most were the small and simple things we were taught to do every week and day. Scripture study, prayer, attending church, and opportunities to serve others. I am happy that I always liked going to church. I can’t really remember a day when I wanted to stay home and not go. I learned that from Dad and your example of always going yourselves. Also I don’t know how you taught me, or where I learned it from, but the discipline to wake up every morning is very helpful. I just remember always waking up myself with my alarm for school every day, and giving me that responsibility early was probably a good idea. That seems to be a struggle for some missionaries.

After turning 18 years old, going to mission prep class each week really helped. It made me want to go and got me excited about it. I learned a lot from there, especially how to take notes from teachers in that kind of setting, as in the MTC there is tons of things to take notes on.

Other important preparation was just the fact that I knew Dad and you loved me and always wanted to help. Sharing of your testimony and love for the gospel were all things that influenced me to get ready to serve a mission.

Daniel is not allowed to proselyte but serves the Mongolian people by teaching English and can share the gospel with those that express an interest. He writes:

We did two big service projects this week. One was on Friday for a member in the branch. She needed her fence to be moved since the ground where it was no longer could support it. We had most of the members in our district get to work. As I was working it reminded me of my summer job. I had the thought that, “I worked all summer earning money for my mission digging fence holes, and now I’m on my mission digging fence holes.” It made me laugh. We were able to finish the project and it looked good.

I wish I could show you a picture of the fence they moved. It consisted of some logs with the rusted tops of barrels connected eight lids across and four lids down. It is an interesting structure but I wouldn’t call it a fence.

In 1993 Elder Neal A. Maxwell of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles dedicated Mongolia for the preaching of the gospel, and the Ulaanbaatar Branch was organized that same year. Today, the Mongolian members of our Church number 9,000, reportedly the largest group of Christians in the country.

Couple Missionaries

Steven's welcome home sign as he returns from his mission.

Steven's welcome home sign as he returns from his mission.

We have been counseled to get out of debt. President Threadgold said he hoped we all had a 401-M account in place in preparation for our mission. I’d like to share an experience from the blog of a couple now serving in Mongolia.

The people of Mongolia sometimes seem to be caught between a rock and a hard place. Universities and Colleges here are not as robust as we find elsewhere, like in the States. They are improving but still have some catching up to do. So, many companies located here in the capitol city of Ulaanbaatar ask for a college degree from a foreign university in order to qualify for their best jobs. But it is very difficult for most here to be able to handle that kind of expense. Particularly when a young family is involved. Sometimes, fathers have left their families to secure the needed degree, something we worry much about.

Then, a couple of months ago, Brigham Young University – Hawaii campus announced the offering of new online classes which students could register for and take over the Internet. What a tremendous blessing! Students can actually complete up to three years of college over the Internet. The final year they must spend on campus. But that is much better than four years!

Interest was high here, as one might expect. We knew the tremendous benefit this could be and tried to pass the word around. We would learn later that Mongolia would account for 50% of all enrollments in the entire Asia area!

The couple wanted to help by setting up a computer lab in the mission home. They tried lots of different ways to get the needed computers.

We finally contacted the BYU-Hawaii administrator over the online program, Brother Griffiths. He said they were in the process of upgrading computers and he would bring them personally. We worried about customs and the enormous charges that might be incurred.  We finally greeted Brother Griffiths as he made his way through the airport. We weren’t seeing what we had expected by way of boxes, etc. in which computers might be transported. So we figured they might still be making their way through customs and we would need to pick them up somewhere.

But finally we asked him how it went with the computers. And he said, “Great! They’re all right here in my bags!” He had packed them all in his luggage, only needing to pay for one extra suitcase! They didn’t even bother to ask him his name. Just checked him through without even saying “goodbye”! And he had twelve computers — six laptops and six desktops without monitors. Twelve of them!

This is the impact just one couple is making by serving a mission.

A quarterly newsletter is emailed to us telling us news from the Mongolia mission. This was recently written:

Re-upping is something that two of our senior missionary couples are doing. Elder and Sister Olpin have recently returned from a 3-month break in the US to serve a second mission in Mongolia. Elder and Sister Anderson finished their first mission in Mongolia on September 2. They will be back in November to serve their second mission here. Our complement for senior couples is 14, but we have never had more than 11 couples in the country during the past 2 years — right now we have 7. We are constantly pestering the Mission Department to send more.

Elder Tingey said that the senior couples are the scaffolding for building the Church. This is so apparent in Mongolia. We love our senior couples!

In the D&C we read “Behold, the Lord requireth the heart and a willing mind”. (D&C 64:34)

In the May 2001 Ensign Elder Robert D. Hales said:

What is the best way to teach our children — and grandchildren — light and truth?  What is the most important way to set our families, both immediate and extended, in order?  Is it possible that in spiritual matters our example speaks louder than our words?  Temple marriage, family prayer, scripture study, and family home evening are all vitally important. But there is another dimension — the dimension of service. If we are willing to leave our loved ones for service in the mission field, we will bless them with a heritage that will teach and inspire them for generations to come. (Robert D. Hales, “Couple Missionaries: A Time to Serve,” Ensign, May 2001, 25)

I hope they call me on a mission, when I have shrunk an inch or two. I hope by then I will be ready to teach and preach and work as missionaries do.

Sarah inside the Colosseum on her European tour.

Sarah inside the Colosseum on her European tour.

Jill Speaking on Mother’s Day

On Mothers Day 2007 Jill and I spoke in Sacrament Meeting. I am publishing Jill’s words from two years ago to celebrate Mother’s Day this coming Sunday.

Jill holding Steven 1983

Jill holding Steven 1983

You will probably be surprised to hear that I’m happy to be up here today. The main reason is that I get to sit on the soft seats instead of on the hard metal folding chairs in the back. I am also happy today because in a couple of hours I will get to talk to my son, Jake, who is on a mission down in Mexico. He called to give me the phone number yesterday and it was so good to hear his voice, even with the Spanish accent. Jake was 6’3” when he left and he thinks he has grown another couple of inches taller. He’s also grown in more important ways. I’d like to read a portion of his last email:

Mexico keeps getting funner each day. We play soccer, read the scriptures, baptize the people, and improve ourselves in the process. What more can you ask? My soccer skills are improving drastically. We sometimes play the American missionaries verses the Mexican missionaries and we have only lost once. We play every week outside of the church. My knowledge of the scriptures and how to teach from them is improving bit by bit. Studying everyday really helps improve your understanding and application. You can learn each day in a different way how the church is true.

Getting emails like this is one of the blessings from being a mother. Today I’m going to share some of the words of the prophets and others about motherhood.

In 2005, a magazine published a listing of the world’s 100 most powerful women. All the women were included because of their political, business or entertainment prominence. Motherhood was almost entirely ignored or at the very least devalued. The work that most women in the history of the world have performed and continue to perform was overlooked. Good parenting, while very challenging at times, offers great potential for happiness. Parents can experience great joy by building a strong, loving home environment and teaching gospel principles, which can help their children lead righteous, happy, and productive lives. In 3 John 1:4 we read I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.

[Read more…]

Family Home Evening With Teenagers: Just Wing It

At FHE: Rick, Paul, Daniel, Jill, and Jake.

Just Wing It

My advice for Family Home Evening with teenagers is to just wing it. If you get to fussing about it you may never start. Just get up and go and make it up as you go along. If you can plan ahead then that is great but don’t let lack of structure hold you back.

Lighten Up

When our children were young we held reasonably structured Family Home Evenings. They went well and our children learned a lot, especially as we gave them responsibility for a portion of the proceedings at the earliest possible age. As they became teenagers we moved to a loose program which went over just as well.
Family Home Evening Assignment Tracker.

This Evening

For example, consider tonight’s Home Evening. We only have one teenager left but the relaxed approach works just as well with our returned missionaries. Sometimes we use our little wooden rickety house to figure out who is on what assignment but most times we go from memory — that is one advantage to holding Family Home Evening every week. Daniel is on conduct so he tells me to start on the music. I distribute the hymn books and pick the hymn. I choose “Count Your Blessings“, hymn number 242, which Paul plays on the piano. Jake gives the prayer. Jill teaches the lesson which will turn into an activity (Jill loves to have an activity). To begin she quotes a well-known Book of Mormon scripture:

And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God. (Mosiah 2:17)

She continues: The September Ensign has an article about how service can be done in quiet and simple ways. For example one person purchases unstained baby blankets at yard sales, washes them, and donates them to charity. Another member gives the extra items from her buy-one-get-one-free coupons to the sisters on her visiting teaching route or to families with children. Another sister has gorgeous rose bushes and shares a vase of them with the sisters in the ward during the summer.

Jill told how when she was single and had some time to spare she would spend two hours a day at a school helping the teacher. She would grade tests and help in small ways to keep the classroom running. A few years ago my wife and children went to a nursing home and sang for the residents. Our daughter Sarah played the accompaniment.

Jill then had each us write our names on a piece of paper along with something we would like done in the next 15 minutes. Here is what we wrote:

  • Rick: Clean the garage for five minutes.
  • Jill: Put all the winter clothing in the closet and remove all the summer stuff and put in boxes.
  • Paul: Put the blue basket of laundry in the washer.
  • Jake: Make me two sandwiches.
  • Daniel: Vacuum my room.

I ended up with Daniel’s service request. Jill went to the garage while Paul made sandwiches for Jake, providing an extra one for Jill. Daniel put the laundry in the washer and then helped Jake fulfill Jill’s request, which no-one wanted to draw.

We came back for the lesson conclusion. Jill asked that we share our feelings about our service. Now that is one losing request — ask four males to share their feelings. Jill said that she didn’t know that the boys had so many roller blades. Paul commented that we should do it again next year. Jake said it was a good lesson. Daniel mentioned that his was easy so he was able to help Jake. I said that I knew it would take a long time to vacuum Daniel’s room because it is the first time in five years I have seen the carpet. It seems that departing for a mission on Wednesday was incentive enough for him to pick up his room. Jill finishes with this quote by President Monson:

Along your pathway of life you will observe that you are not the only traveler. There are others who need your help. There are feet to steady, hands to grasp, minds to encourage, hearts to inspire, and souls to save. (Thomas S. Monson, “How Firm a Foundation,” Ensign, Nov 2006, 62, 67–68)

The most important item of all was furnished by Paul — FatBoys for the treat.


Rather than listen to me you may want to check with the experts before you leave tonight. If you are still reading I advise for Family Home Evening to just let your hair down and relax. For the lesson Jill picked up a nearby Ensign and flipped to an article and began. Most teenagers enjoy just winging it. If they are in seminary then they will likely do well with scriptures and quotes from the prophets. At times we would have a seventeen or eighteen year old just lay on the floor and sleep rather than participate. I found it best to leave them alone and in a few weeks they would become involved again. Family Home Evening works in raising faithful members who are not afraid to be involved because it encompasses much of what happens at church: prayer, lessons, teaching, singing, listening, activities, and yes even preparation at times.
Rickety signature.

Eye of the Bighorn Sheep

Bighorn Sheep

Bighorn Sheep on the road in Canada

Jill and I were on vacation in July 2007 in the Canadian Rockies when we spied several bighorn sheep on the road. I stopped my car to take some photographs and soon one of the sheep came right up to my car. I stuck my camera out of the window and turned it at an angle to get the picture.

It wasn’t until I got home and looked at the photograph that I noticed the reflection of the car in the sheep’s eye.

Eye of a Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep

If you look closely in the enlarged eye you will see the outline of my white Nissan Maxima. You can view my enlargement on this page or click on the photograph of the sheep to see it. Anyway, the rear wheel can been seen in the bottom left of the eye with the rear door and the trunk also showing. You would think the sheep would have had its eye on me in the driver’s seat and be ready to bolt if I moved. I emailed the photograph to two friends, one of whom asked me if I had had any food in the car. Yes, I did have food laying on the back seat of the vehicle. Then I realized how hungry the sheep must have been. Controlled burns were in progress in the area and perhaps this had reduced the availability of food, along with the drought.
Rickety signature.

Past Pictures: Who’s the Dame?

Jill at 28

That dame sir, is my wife. Actually when this photograph was taken she wasn’t my wife. Twenty-eight years ago, when I took this picture with my rickety old camera, I was traveling with Jill and her parents and her sister and husband. We were married a few weeks later. It has been a happy twenty-eight years made even happier by the arrival of five children.