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From a Mom: Stay goofy, even at 13

Posted: Saturday, Jul 30th, 2016
My middle child is 13… I just have to ponder that for a minute. Two kids in their teens… Worse yet, two boys in their teens?
My middle child is my baby boy-- my crazy, loveable, cuddling Ryker. Wasn't it just yesterday you hid in the playroom and almost sent me into cardiac arrest, because I thought you had slipped
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Valley Gardening: Beware of loopers and elected officials

Posted: Saturday, Jul 30th, 2016
Life is good in the neighborhood! This week I kind of decided to give myself a raise--yahoo! I had the choice of giving myself an increase of between 2 percent and 30 percent. I figured that since I have worked pretty hard for MANY years without a raise, that I should go for the 30 percent.
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Movin' On With Nellie: Forgive us for so much cruelty

Posted: Saturday, Jul 30th, 2016
As I am writing, CBS This Morning is sharing the visit of Pope Francis to the Auschwitz Concentration Camp. Through his thoughtful walking probe of the camp, Pope Francis remained silent instead of making a speech. The reporter did note though that he did write in a guest book there "Lord forgive us for so much cruelty."
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After the Fact: Eeny, Meeny, Miney, Mo…

Posted: Saturday, Jul 30th, 2016
My dad encouraged me to make lists whenever I couldn't make up my mind about something, even the inconsequential as "should I go to the movie with my friends or spend the evening studying." It was only an" inconsequential" choice in that I already knew dad wouldn't provide transportation to the theater in town on a school night.
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Still Waters: RIP, Phil Ray

Posted: Friday, Jul 29th, 2016
A man with three first names, Phil Ray Jack was always Phil Ray to me. To others, he was Professor Jack, and over the years he influenced many young people in his college classes. He was also an author, photographer, columnist, lecturer, horse rescuer, father, grandfather … and friend.
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Letter to the editor: Monument language is insurmountable

Posted: Friday, Jul 29th, 2016
Do people actually believe that traditional uses will be protected by a monument proclamation that contains the phrase "however the monument is the dominant reservation"? One does not need an Ivy League law degree to know those promises aren't worth the paper they are written on.
If people drafting the language for the monument expect the opposition to even
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Native Writes: Who needs to know?

Posted: Thursday, Jul 28th, 2016
We cannot retrace our steps or relive days that are gone... These words are from a small book I know and respect.
They are also solid fact. What happened five minutes ago is in the past. All any one of us has is one fleeting moment in time.
I guess the Courier obituary page brought these thoughts to mind.
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Amarah's Corner: Amarah introduces Dr. Barbara Troy

Posted: Thursday, Jul 28th, 2016
Hi! My name is Amarah. Kids are important to me, and they are important to Jesus, too. Jesus said in Matthew 25:40 KJV, "Whatever you've done unto the least of these (kids), you've done it unto me." So, it is really important for everyone to know that Jesus, and God, know how they are treating kids, whether good or bad.
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Notes of Gratitude: Expressing gratitude sparks more gratitude

Posted: Thursday, Jul 28th, 2016
"Piglet noticed that even though he had a very small heart, it could hold a rather large amount of gratitude." A.A. Milne
After all the days of negativity, lies, fear-mongering, and hatred oozing from our TV sets, radios, and computers last week, I wanted to write about something positive. I can't think of anything more positive than gratitude.
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Alamosa Trees: People want trees that grow fast, are pretty, and grow anywhere

Posted: Wednesday, Jul 27th, 2016
I had the good fortune to hear Dr. John Ball speak on "The Case for Tree Diversity" at the Trees, People and Towns Conference hosted by the Arbor Day Foundation in Nebraska City, Nebraska recently. As many know, Nebraska City is on the Missouri River in eastern Nebraska south of Omaha. Nebraska was not even a territory when J. Sterling
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Geiger's Culture Counter: Netflix and the power of nostalgia

Posted: Wednesday, Jul 27th, 2016
Netflix knows their demographic (read: millennials) extremely well. Like when Pixar made Toy Story 3, they know what we watch today and what we grew up watching. Because of this, many Netflix original shows and movies are reboots, revivals, sequels and prequels.
Netflix pulls our heartstrings by tapping into our nostalgia. The movie "Pee-wee's Big Holiday" provides hearty laughs and
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Rabbitbrush Rambler: Albert Pfeiffer in the West

Posted: Tuesday, Jul 26th, 2016
After columns for a few weeks about Kit Carson, readers in the San Luis Valley may want to learn a bit about Kit's friend Albert H. Pfeiffer. Ann Oldham of Pagosa Springs has written a very informative biography of Pfeiffer, on which I'll be relying.
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Valley Gardening: Mom's Garden defies the heat

Posted: Saturday, Jul 23rd, 2016
I'm looking at a chance of rain this weekend, with maybe more next week. I'm hoping…and it will certainly tie in with Stampede, which is typical. It's only a chance for the next few days, but that is enough to give me hope. It's just so _______ hot!
What amazes me with the heat we have been going through is
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K.C. at Bat: Baby girl gets hitched

Posted: Saturday, Jul 23rd, 2016
Wow! My baby girl becomes a bride today.
After marrying off three other daughters, and a son, this seems almost melodramatic. But it's high time. . . Katie and Brandon, Bran or stage-name Mosa, have been together since high school. And it hasn't always been wine and roses, but what couples in love really have that 24-
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After the Fact: One man’s trash is another’s treasure

Posted: Saturday, Jul 23rd, 2016
Have I mentioned how much I like thrift stores? Except that I see friends I've not run into for months at the Nazarene Thrift Store or Rainbow's End in Monte Vista, I'd think I kept these places in business singlehandedly with both the taking in and the taking out. Like the hobos of another era who left "hidden" messages telling
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Letter to the editor: Drain responds to Benavidez

Posted: Saturday, Jul 23rd, 2016
I told both the publisher and the editor of the Courier that I would not respond to your rebuttal but my conscience, yes I have one, old queer that I am, but no, I won't let you malign a good Christian lady twice, whose father has been a minister for decades. She is not a "so called Christian." I couldn't
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Still Waters: A cliché in the hand is worth …

Posted: Friday, Jul 22nd, 2016
We all say cliché phrases every day without thinking. Nearly every graduation speech is full of them, and millions of posters, plaques and poems portray them.
Sometimes it's fun to try a few twists on the old tried -- or trite -- and true phrases. Here are a few of mine for what they're worth … $1.99 plus tax.

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It Seems to Me: Exaggerated significance

Posted: Friday, Jul 22nd, 2016
We hear examples all of the time.
"I went to the store and the clerk couldn't count change! Our schools are failing our students!" In reality, I went into the store, and one person made one mistake with one transaction. That's hardly enough evidence to condemn not only our schools, but the young people of today.
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Native Writes: Looking for a cure

Posted: Thursday, Jul 21st, 2016
Sometimes inspiration hits at the oddest time. Fifteen minutes ago, I had no idea what I would write about this week. Then it came to me in a conversation about families.
People have suggested the evil scourge of Alzheimer's Disease exists in several generations of the same family, almost condemning me to an end in that dark area, since my
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Amarah's Corner: For such a time as this

Posted: Thursday, Jul 21st, 2016
Kids like me" are kids whose parents are drug addicts, and alcoholics; kids who have suffered, or who are suffering, abuse and neglect on multiple levels; and kids who are victims of bullying.
Hey kids like me, this week I want to tell you about Queen Esther, Esther 1-10 (KJV), and how she risked her life to save the whole
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Notes of Gratitude: The dream of peace

Posted: Wednesday, Jul 20th, 2016
More shootings between black Americans and the police and snipers aiming at law enforcement officers in retaliation! A truck careening wildly through the crowd at a Bastille celebration in Nice, France takes the lives of 84 people, including 10 children. Senate bills are passed or denied, negatively affecting women, the LGBTQ community, and our veterans.
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Geiger's Culture Counter: Stop with the aftershows

Posted: Wednesday, Jul 20th, 2016
I have a love-hate relationship with AMC. On one hand, they're part of the reason there's so much great television shows on the air today. On the other, they're part of the reason there's so many aftershows on the air today.
The success of "The Walking Dead" spawned the Chris Hardwick hosted "The Talking Dead."
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Letter to the editor: Benavidez responds to Drain

Posted: Wednesday, Jul 20th, 2016
Editor's note: Mr. Benavidez and Mr. Drain will each be permitted two letters in this particular dialogue with each other. This is Mr. Benavidez's second, and Mr. Drain may respond if he wishes one more time to Mr. Benavidez. Then we will consider this matter closed.

I recently read a rebuttal from Mr. Drain. Mr. Drain stated that he
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Rabbitbrush Rambler: Kit Carson and Fort Garland

Posted: Monday, Jul 18th, 2016
Kit still was spending time in the saddle despite pain and heart trouble, as General James Carleton continued to call upon Carson in dealing with Indian incidents. But in 1866, President Andrew Johnson confirmed Carson's promotion as brevetted brigadier general in the cavalry, and in August of that year he was appointed as commander of Fort Garland which brought the
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