Native Writes: What if I die?

Recent events have moved me into another realm of thought: What if I die?

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Amarah's Corner: Don't give up on your dreams

In spite of the hurtful things our parents who are addicts say and do to us, they don’t seem to realize we still love them.

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Editorial: Overdue to brand the SLV as ONE

Over the course of two years, 55-plus meetings, 2,000 volunteer hours, at least 5,000 miles of in-valley travel and 25 gallons of coffee, leaders of the San Luis Valley may be just hours away from branding the area as ONE.

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Geiger's Culture Counter: Remembering Reed’s room

I didn’t send any words of encouragement. I didn’t want any message to be my “last” message.

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Alamosa Flowers: Alamosa Arbor Week and early blooms

There’s still time to help plant trees during Alamosa Arbor Week!

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Just the Facts: Meteorite or meteor-wrong?

The oldest thing in Colorado is more ancient than Earth itself. It’s a meteorite.

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Rabbitbrush Rambler: ah-CHOO

In Del Norte, not far from the San Juans, every morning I’ll find that my car has a blanket of dust, blown from the Four Corners. In Alamosa, Monte Vista, Center, Mosca, and Hooper, people will close their windows while the wind blows across the Valley.

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After the Fact: Smarty pants

My mom was somewhere barely short of brilliant: she had the answers to all of my questions and she read stories to me every night before I fell asleep

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Valley Gardening: Low water landscaping doesn't have to be ugly

Life is good in the neighborhood—and it is almost warm enough for me to unload the flowers and vegetables out of my truck.

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Still Waters: This is how it’s done

I’m so proud of our Alamosa city staff, city council and local residents for developing an ordinance amendment regarding feral cats that I think (most) everyone can live with, especially the cats.

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Being Beautiful: Revision, reunion, and the joy of second chances

My favorite prefix is “re.”

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Native Writes: Love lives on

When I was in college, I took a course called Thanatology, which dealt with death and dying. In fact, the instructor, James Douglass, attempted to deal with it in writing as his own death neared. I treasure a long note he wrote explaining his decision.

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Movin' On with Nellie: Fight cancer with memories

My cousin Jerry is fighting liver cancer. Like so many families today, our loved ones have fought some tough battles with cancer. I wish that it could be different.

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Amarah's Corner: Loving an addict

Kathy Suazo, Child Protection Supervisor, Alamosa County DHS, is my guest this month.

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Land, Water and People: Desert Journal 2017—Photographing Factory Butte

Blue-grey ridged slopes curved 1,600 feet upward, increasing in steepness the higher they went, ending with a golden, vertical sandstone cap. From my perspective, the geologic sculpture looked like an accordion lampshade.

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Guest Column: You are loved

In his eulogy for his brother Robert F. Kennedy, Ted Kennedy said, “My brother need not be idealized, or enlarged in death beyond what he was in life; to be remembered simply as a good and decent man, who saw wrong and tried to right it, saw suffering and

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Valley Gardening: ‘Tracing’ minerals

I think it is finally spring, and you can start planting some of your seeds and plants.

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Rabbitbrush Rambler: Moving water through acequias

It’s a short growing season for crops like corn and squash – only about 90 days or even less. Prayer and good luck might help.

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After the Fact: Observing holidays

When there are younger brothers or sisters in a family, you get to practice essential parenting skills long before you actually become a parent

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Movin' On with Nellie: A lesson for every story

There’s a lesson for every movie & story we watch and read.

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Being Beautiful: Far across the distance and spaces between us…

I grew up with brothers, three of them, not a single girl child in our house when we were children.

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Editorial: Quaff more economic growth

We believe that within the next year, the SLV will also become a target for lovers of craft beer.

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Still Waters: Flawless

At the beginning of the music video, nothing is white except the lead singer’s teeth as he begins to sing the words:

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Native Writes: Snow on Easter

This Easter looks to be a better one than the past, though fellow old timers have a way of reminding me that Mother Nature is, if nothing else, deceptive.

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Amarah's Corner: 'Kids like me' recieve a 'terrible gift'

In Matthew 18:10 (KJV), Jesus said, “Take heed that ye despise not (hurt or be mean to) one of these little ones; for I say unto you, that in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.”

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Geiger's Culture Counter: ‘Attack on Titan’ reintroduced me to anime

It’s no secret that I’m a fan of animated television shows. I’ve written about “Voltron,” “Samurai Jack,” “Steven Universe,” “Rick and Morty” and other shows in this column. However, my love for anime is a bit more reserved

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Alamosa Flowers: Tree plantings, pruning, and species worldwide

Arbor Week and Earth Day are coming up. Celebrate Earth Day by helping to plant trees and shrubs at the Rio Grande Farm Park (RGFP). There will be a breakfast at 9 a.m. followed by planting and kids’ activities at 10 a.m. You will also have a chance to le

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Rabbitbrush Rambler: Turning the other cheek

It’s time for another of my columns usually called “Going to the Movies.” The film I’ve chosen this time is “42: The Jackie Robinson Story.”

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Editorial: Some growing pains with new website

The Valley Courier is excited to announce a brand new look and a whole new functionality for our website, which changes the way our readers can interact with us.

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Valley Gardening: Peas could be planted

If you weren’t at the SLVCRF concert at Society Hall last week, you missed a really beautiful evening!

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After the Fact: It’s a small world

There aren’t too many things that, between the daughter and I, cannot be managed in the arena of household maintenance and repair.

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Land, Water and People: The challenge of managing a travel system

I think most people reading this column know people can’t ride their motorized vehicles anywhere they want on the national forest.

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Land, Water and People: Protecting our investment-Knowing when to turn around

stepped out of the car into the unseasonably warm sun. The shhhh of the breeze moving through the branches of piñon pine and juniper trees dominated the soundscape. Nearby a male bluebird blended into the sky as it flitted from one tree to another. Spring

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Land, Water and People: Insect populations on the decline

The 2016 forest health survey results were released a month ago and showed a decline in activity of the three forest insects that have been most noticeably impacting the Rio Grande National Forest: The spruce beetle, spruce budworm and western tent caterp

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Still Waters: Emerald Isle heritage

Thanks to some expert research on the part of my maternal uncle, I now can claim Irish ancestry on both sides. We were never sure about my maternal grandmother’s heritage since she was basically left on a doorstep as a baby.

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Rabbitbrush Rambler: Bear Dance

While cranes are making it clear that the seasons are changing, another kind of rebirth is happening, but not so readily seen by most of us. Bears are emerging from their dens after their hibernation, usually in March.

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Still Waters: Renewed vision

“Give light to my eyes.” Psalm 13:3.

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Being Beautiful: From Air Supply to ZZ Top and Ricky Schroeder to John Stamos

Some of the things I did as a youngster make me laugh now.

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Amarah's Corner: April is Child Abuse Awareness Month

In Matthew 18:10 (KJV), Jesus said, “Take heed that ye despise not (hurt or be mean to) one of these little ones; for I say unto you, that in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.”

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Native Writes: Atmosphere impeding progress

These are highly charged times and I am convinced one must choose a side and adhere stubbornly to it or risk being boiled in oil.

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Geiger's Culture Counter: Rounding up a gaggle of fools

I don’t use the internet on the first day of April as a safety precaution. If you followed suit, here are the highlights of what you missed.

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Rabbitbrush Rambler: Cat food

A widely circulated report says that from 1.4 billion to 3.7 billion wild birds are killed annually by cats in the U.S., although an esteemed ornithologist, David Sibley, estimated a few years ago that the figure is around 500 million. At any rate statist

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Valley Gardening: Grow naturally

I, and many other supporters, am VERY thankful this week! After a long, brutal YEAR of various treatments, setbacks, and more treatments Casey Kanen Martinez is cancer FREE!! It’s been almost exactly a year since Casey was diagnosed. So many of you readin

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Movin' On with Nellie: Ears, we all have them

I’ve been thinking about ears lately. It started when I watched Charlie Rose’s Monday interview with Sally Fields. Her ears looked like a nautilus shell flattened like an appendage to the head. Ears offer us a lot in terms of communication and elegance.

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After the Fact: No two snowflakes

My nephew David taught my grandson how to swim. They were “fooling around,” as it was later explained, by the swimming hole at the ranch. Zan, 3 years old at the time, told David he wanted to swim. So David threw him in. And Zan swam for shore like his li

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Still Waters: Fool among the angels

I am so grateful that God suffers fools on April Fools Day and every other day.

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Being Beautiful: Food for the body and food for the soul

Why are we so nostalgic?

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Amarah's Corner: Mom in community corrections shares advice

In Matthew 18:10 (KJV), Jesus said, “Take heed that ye despise not (hurt or be mean to) one of these little ones; for I say unto you, that in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.”

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Native Writes: Googling myself

A good friend asked me if I knew everything about myself.

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Alamosa Trees: Trees for our parks

Twenty-two new trees will be planted in Alamosa parks and the cemetery this spring. We’ll plant many of the trees – and we hope with your help – during Alamosa Arbor Week, April 22 -28.

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Geiger's Culture Counter: Jordan Peele changed the horror genre

I don’t watch horror movies often, whether on my home screen or the big screen. I rarely see them in theaters because they’re almost never worth the price of admission. The last one I saw in a cinema was “Paranormal Activity 4” in 2012. Yet I knew I had t

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Rabbitbrush Rambler: Fish facts

Even during the icy months fishermen were trying their luck at Mountain Home and Big Meadow Reservoir. And this summer, who wouldn’t love to get out and catch a nice trout from one of our streams?

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After the Fact: Proper planning prevents work

“People who enjoy meetings should not be in charge of anything.” Dr.Thomas Sowell is a retired professor of economics at Stanford University and undoubtedly knows whereof he speaks.

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Movin' On with Nellie: Trump-y needs Dr. Phil for Whitehouse call

This week I learned that Trump-y has some serious behavioral health (aka mental health) issues. These behaviors are manifested with his 3 a.m. tweets that are riddled with lies, fake news, and threats to build a wall.

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Valley Gardening: With our compliments

I am so thankful for a day like today—Friday! The moisture is so appreciated—unless you live in San Luis or Ft. Garland because they got between 8 and 18 inches of snow—YIKES. If the weather forecasters are on their game we should get more moisture next w

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Still Waters: More weird emails

Julianne Kaufman was so kind to reach out to me today. “We’ve been out of touch for a while,” she emailed. Out of touch? We’re so “out of touch,” Julianne, I don’t even know who you are.

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Being Beautiful: What ever happened to Baby Jane?

Imagine with me if you can saving up your spare coins for a long time, heading off to an anniversary or birthday dinner at The Brown Derby, one of old Hollywood’s most celebrated restaurants.

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Amarah's Corner: Pediatrictian addressess marijuana effects

In Matthew 18:10 KJV, Jesus said, “Take heed that ye despise not (hurt or be mean to) one of these little ones; for I say unto you, that in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.”

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Just the Facts: Colorado's mass extinctions

Colorado’s full of rocks. Some bear gold, diamonds or silver. Others burble oil, gas, and water. A rare few record death itself.

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Native Writes: Why then and why now?

It was a sunny afternoon when I sat watching little dust particles drifting through the air. They do that when sunbeams yield the spotlight.

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Geiger's Culture Counter: The case for utopian entertainment

If I had to choose of favorite genre of fiction, I’d probably pick dystopian. It’s not the most uplifting media to consume, but the thought of how bad life could be refreshes my perspective of my current circumstances.

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Rabbitbrush Rambler: Food for thought

Some of us have never been desperately hungry. Not even during the Great Depression was I ever hungry. Bored perhaps because, during my childhood in New England, we had too many Wheaties for breakfast and too much salt cod on toast for supper.

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After the Fact: School supplies

Expectations for graduating from high school today seem significantly different than when I was a student, or maybe they just go about it in a different way.

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Valley Gardening: Where there's a Willie Wade, there's a way

Life is good in the neighborhood! Is not this weather so wonderful? And so warm? Maybe too warm?

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Being Beautiful: Spreading sparkles from china cabinets to petting zoos

I was just a little boy with his mama, and we had driven up Dykes Chapel Road to Miss Jessy Jean’s house, Perry County’s own petting zoo because she had at least one of every living thing created by God and known to man.

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Amarah's Corner: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Part 2

In Matthew 18:10 KJV, Jesus said, “Take heed that ye despise not (hurt or be mean to) one of these little ones; for I say unto you, that in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.”

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Native Writes: Thissa and thatta

My old editor, F.G. "Doc" Kirby called columns like this "thissa and thatta." They are observations from passing along the road we call life.

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Alamosa Flowers: First blooms of the season

Hurray for purple Crocus (Crocus). It’s the first plant to bloom in our garden this year and is displaying four lovely blossoms. I spied the blossoms poking their heads out above the mulch in our protected, south facing garden.

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Geiger's Culture Counter: 'Samurai Jack' is back, bleak, and beautiful

This weekend I went back in time to the early 2000s. I was in my basement surrounded by my LEGOs, “Star Wars” action figures and had no care in the world. How and why did this happen? Because “Samurai Jack” was back on the air.

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After the Fact: Tragedies of Shakespearean dimension

My sister Micki had an assortment of friends about on a par with the Whitman’s Sampler box of candy, except hers was heavier on the nuts. Knot-head Mixon lived a couple of doors down and she was a typical over-indulged, spoiled only child of older parents

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Valley Gardening: DE—not just for plants

Okay…before I start writing this week, I am feeling like I need to write a disclaimer. Like…what I have to say may hurt you, may cause diarrhea, may save you money, may cause suicidal thoughts, may make you want to throw up, etc.

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Being Beautiful: Of Willie Vee, Victoria Ivy, and their unbroken circle of love

Let me be guilty of many things, but never of ingratitude.

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Still Waters: American and proud

Saturday night provided an inspiring lesson in democracy. I attended the Lincoln Day Dinner, which was held at Adams State University’s student union building. A number of protestors gathered at the entrances with messages for the Republican leaders who a

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Amarah's Corner: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Part 1

In Matthew 18:10 KJV, Jesus said, “Take heed that ye despise not (hurt or be mean to) one of these little ones; for I say unto you, that in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.”

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Native Writes: The pot lifestyle

The current debate over marijuana brought back some interesting memories of The Courier newsroom in the 1970s.

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Geiger’s Culture Counter: Can you separate art from artist?

Before the best picture envelope snafu, the most controversial moment at the 89th Academy Awards was Casey Affleck beating Denzel Washington for best actor. Washington delivered what some call his best performance ever in “Fences” while Affleck moved audi

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Rabbitbrush Rambler: Return of the cranes

Migrating Sandhill Cranes started to arrive a month ago and now are here en masse. They have been arriving earlier each year lately to herald the news that the parade is ready to begin in the Valley, and some will be staying for a month or so.

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After the Fact: Olly-olly-ox-in-free

Do you remember ever, on a summer’s day, saying, “I’m bored.” Neither do I. Growing up as the “leading edge” of the Boomer generation, we didn’t have television and our telephones were firmly attached to the wall, or to a cord that ran in through the wall

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Valley Gardening: Ruthie get your gun

Let’s see…. I have not been able to find my little criminals—that’s what happens when you work for a living—you can’t just park in the neighborhood and look for them. I did find out that the same ones that stole from me more than likely also stole from a

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Being Beautiful: And the greatest of these is love

“Three things will last forever: faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.”

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Still Waters: Blessings from Bill's basket

Every Sabbath morning right after the offering is collected during the worship service at my church, Bill passes another basket, this one to provide rather than collect.

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Amarah's Corner: Music is important to self esteem

In Matthew 18:10 KJV, Jesus said, “Take heed that ye despise not (hurt or be mean to) one of these little ones; for I say unto you, that in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.”

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Native Writes: Learning respect

I need to wean myself from Facebook.

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Geiger's Culture Counter: Gaming on the go

I'm sitting at a ski shop as my dad is getting fitted for new boots. The entire process takes roughly an hour and I've killed as much time as possible by browsing the store's other wares. I pull out my phone and load up a game.

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