I love Ten Sleep Canyon, but not at this time of year. And I've got much better photos of it, but can't find them of course.
I didn't intend to take the holiday week off --- or at least more "off" than usual --- from the real world, but puttering around the house started to grow on me and so that's what for the most part I did. And high time, too, considering the deteriorated state of my will to housekeep.
On the positive side, there's less dust and the downstairs bathroom (used infrequently by me but usually by those who visit), presentable again. It wasn't exactly dirty, but where do those cobwebs come from? And why were there packages of paper towels, toilet paper and Kleenex on top of counter and in the sink rather than behind cupboard doors? The kitchen table is no longer covered by piles of paper, nor is the bed in this room --- where I do not sleep, but work.
The Christmas tree, taken apart after the lighting crisis, is now fully decorated again and is going to stay up and lighted at least through January. I like to look at it. To heck with anyone who doesn't. Bunch of Scrooges. Taint even Epiphany yet.
I've also done some work on the sidebar of this blog. The big project, started long ago, was to index the site --- now entering its seventh year. Much of it's not worth indexing, some of it a little embarrassing (one rule, broken only once because of excessive snarkiness, is never to delete anything posted no matter how silly it seems in retrospect). There are still some good stories buried in there. That goes on.
If you link to other sites it behooves you to check those links now and then to see if they still work. Some of mine didn't, or were midlabeled.
"Lucas County Genealogy," for example, once led to the Lucas County Newspaper Index on the Chariton Public Library site. That link now is labeled accurately. I've also added Lynne Wilson's excellent Lucas County Genealogical Society Blog to the "Lucas County" links. The Russell Historical Society Web site no longer exists in its former form, but has transitioned into a blog. This is where that link now leads. Also departed is the Mallory Castle Web site. That link now leads to a blog of mine about Mallory Castle and the Mallory family that once ran in tandem with the Web site. Unfortunately, I've misplaced the slip of paper that tells me how to access that blog (I am password and account-information challenged), so it's just kind of sitting out there dead in the water right now --- but still informative.
All of the little photos in the sidebar now are labeled mostly because someone was kind enough to inquire about who that old guy with the beard over there was (Edward Ebenezer Sargent). When I started this, it wasn't possible to label sidebar photos without adding bulk. "Blogger" now has rectified that.
Under 'Homosexual Tendencies" (cute, I thought, but swiped from the header of Andy Towle's Towleroad), I've added a few links to honor the upcoming session of the Iowa Legislature. Republicans, who like noxious weeds will begin to sprout in a few days under the golden dome, will receive a good deal of coverage in the gay media as they attempt to return the state to the good old days when everyone knew his or her place, the rich were rich, the poor were decisively poor and that old white straight cranky God was in his heaven smiting people. It'll be interesting to watch.
Towleroad, pronounced "toll road" by the way, is among the best and brightest of the LGBT digests out there online and a good example for anyone of any orientation or political outlook interested in using the Internet to its fullest (and making a living at it in the process). It's not easy, however --- Towle (left) estimates that he spends from before dawn until after dusk five days a week and somewhat less on weekends to keep it running from his Manhattan base. He also does independent reporting when time permits and often heads down byways related to other interests, most notably nature and specifically astronomy. It's both informative and lively.
The Advocate, online version of the oldest LGBT news magazine around and the first to span the nation, is a sentimental favorite still worth looking at. If I recall correctly, when I started subscribing oh maybe 200 years ago, it arrived in a plain white envelope even though "racy" has never been an Advocate feature. That of course was a time when postmasters and postal carriers while not asking didn't hesitate to monitor mail and tell the neighbors about those ho-mo-sex-u-als living next door. Everyone worried more about what the neighbors thought back then --- in part because they just might burn your house down.
The One Iowa site, while not the most exciting, is a decent closer-to-home news and opinion digest.
Finally, I've added a couple of blogs that I'm a long time fan of, but haven't gotten around to linking to before. Both do extraordinarily good jobs of capturing life in the farm/ranch world, Red Dirt in My Soul from a ranch near Ten Sleep, Wyoming, and "Just Another Day on the Prairie" from the plains of southern Alberta.
I've never been to Alberta, but used to know Ten Sleep. My great-uncle and great-aunt, Homer and Edna (Caruthers) Dent lived, and are buried there. If you take the back roads north from Ten Sleep you'll come to Hyattville, where my great grandfather, Cash Dent, is buried. That Highway 16 drive over the Big Horns from Buffalo and down Ten Sleep canyon and into town is one of my favorites --- but not at this time of year. Too many memories of chains and slip-sliding toward fatal drop-offs. I'll take an Iowa winter any day.
Carol, proprietor of Red Dirt (the dirt on the west face of the Big Horn is red, you see), is a gifted photographer, too, by the way --- so if you follow that link you're in for a treat.