Sunday, July 18, 2021

I won the lottery!

What's better than a picnic?

Trees are for climbing. The artsy looking soft filter effect is a result of having grubby three year old finger slime applied to the phone camera lens.


"Why," asked the little one, "do you have water running down your face?"

I explained that it was sweat. "I just finished working out and when I work out I sweat a lot. Sweat is good, it keeps you cool and shows that you're working hard."

"I don't like it," she said. She's at a place in her life where she makes major and important pronouncements about whether she approves of things or not.

I am so enormously blessed. I never had any idea what loving children was like, and never would have known had I not met Alexzandra.

I had no idea what loving another human being unconditionally was like until I suddenly found my world completely changed by loving Alexzandra completely and without condition.

These are things I would never have experienced had life not put them in my path, and had I not taken that path and instead chosen the other fork.

Which reminds me of an old post I found while searching for a different old post. It's titled as a Corpsman Chronicle yet it remains a formerly lost post which does not appear in the CC Sidebar Pantheon.

Searching blooger via the search feature is a hopeless task. Therefore I did not yet find the post I was looking for. But I did find a lost and largely forgotten post about forks in the road. Perhaps you'll enjoy the tale. I enjoyed the living of the thing.


I may or may not have mentioned that Alex's birthday was June 13. I didn't expect it to be as hard as it was. I was nearly frantic as seemingly fresh waves of grief washed over me. To my great good fortune I do my livin' in a place where I can easily convert hurt energy into physical exertion. And I can do so in a place where, in mid-June, nature displays a gentle and beautiful canvas of her circle of life work.

Baby Mourning Doves.

Scarlet Globemallow(Sphaeralcea coccinea) or Cowboy's Delight.

Baby Lark Buntings. Or Larks Bunting?


I've been on an incredible journey of discovery these last few months. The immediate, shattering shock of losing Alexzandra has eased. That's not the right word by any means, but I'm at a loss to find a right word. Anyway, I'm finding myself doing actual livin' these days, especially since weathering the emotional storm of her birthday. Actual livin' (the proper phrase I think) as opposed to reactin'. The indescribable shock of loss will always be with me, but I'm beginning to understand that the presence of the thing will be bearable.


I've written at length here about the first and foundational principle of America; that all men are created equal. That all human being are equally human; that none of us are "other." None of us are airplanes or tomatoes or wuhandromeda viruses. The contract we Americans have with our government -- the Constitution of the United States -- stipulates that not only are we all equally human, we are each and every one of us sovereign human beings. We are not the property of the government.

But this argument isn't about the government. It's about the principle of human equality and the responsibility which attends this principle.

In simple formulation we're talking about the Golden Rule. "Treat others as you would yourself be treated."

A lot of people I encounter -- many of them having achieved full adulthood and some having extensive higher education (there's your problem!) -- read that simple dictate differently than I. Their golden rule reads something like, "you have to treat me the way I demand you treat me, because I am me and you are not me."

Another way to write the concept is the way Emanuel Kant did in his Categorical Imperative, which says that one should always seek to treat oneself and others as an end only, and never as a means to an end.

Trolls stop by this place from time to time. Mostly to tell me how wrong I am and how victimized they are by my writings. I guess being a professional victim is hip and cool. 

I mean c'mon, what do you even do with that?

The Golden Rule comes to mind.

The other thing that comes to mind is how very blessed I am to not be mired in a nasty pit of certainty and resentment. My days are filled with livin', and in livin' my life I find myself loving people in a way I didn't even know existed not so long ago. I've won the life lottery. Blessed.

The point of livin' seems to be to keep exploring and discovering new and important things, regardless of the quantities of shit sammiches you encounter along the way. Finding and learning about life's important lessons is the proper path, and along that path is indescribable beauty.

Walking dogs.

Doing the slide the hard way.


Be well and embrace the blessings of liberty.




  1. Good to see that you are still here. Even better to see that you are still livin’. So, stay safe and well and keep on livin’. That is the best advice that I have. By the way, thanks for the post. Kids and puppy dogs and beautiful country with its flora and fauna are always nice. Not sure that I can use the medical information. Maybe the part about staying active. The rest would be a bit intense for me.

    1. Thanks Mark. It's a beautiful life for sure. I'm enjoying the livin' of it. Thanks for stopping by and commenting๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿ‘

  2. I so admire your commitment to those children. That you so enjoy them and they enhance your life is a bonus.

    1. It's an odd thing "having kids" at my age but it is what it is. I can't imagine a different way of doing things everything considered. Loving and being loved by this new unexpexted family is the best thing I've ever experienced. Thanks for stopping by and commenting Frank.๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿ‘

  3. Welcome back. Life has been good to you all, so keep doing what you are doing.
    Thanks for the secret Chronicles installment. Forks are good, and you never know what would have happened if you had taken the road not taken.
    John Blackshoe

    1. Thanks John. Life is indeed good for all of us. We are blessed. "If you come to a fork in the road, take it!"

      Yogi knew.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting.๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿ‘

  4. I don't get around to the blogs as much as I once did.
    I find that living in gratitude makes for a much more bearable existence.
    Like life, it isn't easy but, it's simple.
    Thanks for showing us the beauty in your life.

    1. Me neither!

      Gratitude is the best place to be, that's for sure. I don't think I understood that at all until I'd been squashed a few times. I think I'm only recently starting to really understand and appreciate everything I have to be grateful for, including having an angel on the team!

      Glad I can share a bit of the beauty.

      Thanks Skip๐Ÿ™‚๐Ÿ‘

  5. I wrote several long replies. I know you suffered a huge loss but somehow you gained something that made it all worth living. I honestly don't know how. Someday, you'll fill that in because custody was a thing back when I lived in California and it was as strange to me as that bench under the stairs is in the background of your face. Why would anybody think that was an appropriate place for a bench?

    Nevermind, you know what to do.

    Carry on.

    1. I'm starting to understand, I think, what's made this survivable for me. The thing I gained was love. Alex let me love her unconditionally, and it seems to me that that was the key. My life switched from being about me to being about her and her family. When she died the love remained, because it was real and utterly without condition. I love all of her, always and forever, and because her family is part of her, I love each of them completely, always and forever. The other thing I'm coming to understand is that she is presently serving as an angel. She is constantly throwing loving guidance and support at me, and it's stuff I'm consciously aware of as it happens. Which is beyond cool and beyond any other explanation. In addition, her kids and her sister and brother-in-law and her mom are the most beautiful, fantastic people I've ever met. The love we share is beyond any earthly means of explanation. So I have indeed won the life lottery. It's tough to live without Alex's physical presence but it's okay in many, many ways. Now I do what I know to do and what I'm guided to do and I get to love bigger and better than I ever imagined possible. Blessed. I will carry on.

      Thanks Defiant.

  6. Life moves fast, often faster than we care for.

    I'm out in California, working systems test on a warship, long days, only Sunday off, and I am absolutely loving it. I'm working with great people, contractors and sailors, and I'm learning new things.

    Loss is hard, it doesn't go away, it hides in the corners of your mind. When it pops up, I try to remember the good times, but I also allow myself time to grieve that which is no more.

    My constant prayer is that we get to meet up once more in the Great Beyond and enjoy each other's company for Eternity. That keeps me going.

    1. I wholeheartedly agree; life moves very fast. Particularly these days when the realization that my remaining heartbeats are fewer than they once were.

      Sounds like you're having an adventure out there in Cali. Enjoy!

      Grief is a sneaky biotch, and powerful. It's a challenge. I believe that love is the path of healing, and I'm blessed to have more love in my life than I ever knew possible.

      Life is beautiful and I'm enjoying the livin' of the thing.

      Thanks Chris.

  7. Late entry here - I'm reminded of an old Gene Pitney song, "Only Love Can Break a Heart, Only Love Can Mend It Again".
    Sometimes love doesn't get the credit for healing that should be its due.

    1. Love certainly turned my life around and allowed it to blossom into something I had no idea could exist. There aren't any words to describe how love has worked healing magic in my heart and soul. I am blessed beyond measure.

      Thanks Frank.

  8. Enquiring minds want to know, and since you are the only "Cowman" I know, so thought I would ask. No need for an immediate reply, so perhaps an excuse for a future post...

    Driving thru southwestern Montana today I saw two herds of maybe 150-200 head each with the mommas all black, or maybe a few with a touch of white, but their calves were all a sort of slightly off white color. Too far from the highway to tell much more, but obviously they are the result of some sort of crossbreeding. Any idea what these particular critters might be, or the reason? Also, how common is this in the cattle business, and is there a demand for mixed breed cattle as opposed to purebred x,y or z breeds?

    We have not seen many photos of cattle on your ranch lately, are you still leasing it out, or giving the grass a break for the season?

    John Blackshoe

    1. Impossible to say exactly how those calves got their coloration but you're correct, it's one of the forms of crossbreeding or genetic manipulation. As to the why of the thing, at the end of the day it comes down to profitability up the production ladder, from cattle producer to sale barn to cattle buyer, to feedlot to packer to retail. For the producer income derives from selling calves which will ultimately become people food. Being able to more quickly grow a quality and desirable calf means more income, which can if done correctly mean more profit. So the whitish calves are someone's attempt to produce bigger, higher quality and more desirable calves. In general, crossbreeding is better and safer for the producer than you might imagine. Crossbreeding results in heterosis, or hybrid vigor, which makes for healthier individual cattle and eliminates most if not all of the genetic problems associated with purebred cattle. BTW, if you see beef labeled as "angus" or "hereford" or something similar, it's not what you think. If you want to experience a good solid freakout, look into food labeling rules and regulations. Kongrass and regulatory bureaucracies have made it legal to print flim-flam and illegal to print clear, factual, and consumer-helpful food labels. Go non-gmo salt! Your tax dollars at work. Anyway, these days we can do a lot to dial in desirable characteristics in cattle operations. I should explore that, as you say, in a future post.

      We are leasing pasture again this year, and I have a big backlog of images and stories to post. Will I find time to do so? Spring hopes eternal.

      Thanks John.