• Beth Speaks for Herself - In the back yard with Java
  • Just a Thought - If I had only one day together with you

    By Rick Kraft

    I am a both a student and a teacher of leadership. I had the chance to listen to one of my mentors over the past 20 years speak at a recent conference in Atlanta.

    Author and speaker John Maxwell was not on the speaker list, but he showed up at the conference and was given the opportunity to present a short talk on leadership packed full of tools and applications. Maxwell combines a history of 25 years as a pastor followed by 20 years of leadership training in the business world.

  • Palabras Pinturescas: Abundant moisture in mountains creates work for Rociada folks

    In case you missed it, Fall fell fast here in the mountains last week. One beautiful day it is almost 70 degrees, and the next afternoon it is raining at 44 degrees, with snow predicted for higher peaks.

  • A decades-long decline of a free-thinking middle class

    ROSWELL — Politicians like to talk about how the middle class is struggling, and for once they’re right.

  • A Work of Art: That blasted password

    Arrrggg! That blasted password! For as long as I’ve paraded my technological ineptness, I’ve been cursed by the password, that brilliant invention designed to help people along but now behaves like a bank vault.

    Seriously, does a password ever do anything but prevent the user — the poor sap who paid good money for the computer — from gaining access?

  • Just a Thought - Awakening the wonder from within you

    On a scale of one to 10, how would you score yourself on how much “wonder” you have in your life?

    Do you live a life of wonder? When is the last time you truly had wonder in your life? Or is your life empty of wonder? Where did it go? How can you get it back?

    My wife and I just got back from the Catalyst conference in Atlanta that we attend each year. The theme this year was “Awaken the Wonder.” It was a great theme supported by many great speakers. I will share some thoughts gleaned from the conference.

  • Palabras Pinturescas: Patients at Valmora Sanatorium wore mostly pajamas, slept outdoors

    Yes, I am a news junkie, and I watch several news programs on TV, and one of my favorite state news programs is “New Mexico in Focus” Friday nights, with host Gene Grant. I was happily surprised recently when he and his panel of political experts praised our Las Vegas Optic features editor Mercy López and publisher Martin Salazar for their in-depth news story about the recent Mora school superintendent.

  • Brace yourself for a tough winter

    We’re still a couple of months away from the first official day of winter (Dec. 22), but forecasters are already saying it’ll be colder and wetter than normal in New Mexico, so be prepared to bundle up.

    It’s another El Niño year, which means that the ocean-to-atmosphere interaction of temperatures, especially in the Pacific Ocean near the equator, will influence U.S. weather conditions. And since this year’s El Niño is a whopper, this winter could be particularly brutal.

  • A work of Art:

    It’s hard to remember being so affected by a single, simple — even stupid — incident. True, I’ve spent sleepless nights over the death of a loved one, such as Mom and Dad or other close relatives and friends.

    But what about days of fretting over the death of someone I never met, was never likely to meet — in fact over someone whose name before her death might have been known by only half a hundred people.

  • Palabras Pintorescas: Monster hay-stacking machine shows there’s work to do at ranch

    Our mountains are changing, changing rapidly at the moment. Suddenly the green leaves have turned into gold, and they will soon be the stark skeletons left with only crispy and faded reminders that yet another summer is over and winter can’t be far behind.

    There are wild plums simmering in a pot here, and hopefully they will soon become preserves. The fall apple crop is resting in a box out on the porch and fried apples will be on the next menu.