• Palabras Pinturescas: One family tradition is missing, but there are plenty of others

    One of our family traditions is missing. Oh, my! How times have changed. There are no big Christmas catalogs filling up our mailbox anymore. I think our mother would be pleased, however, because the arrival of those catalogs started many a fight between Sweet Brother Bill and me. Yes, both of us worked at hiding them from the other. They were our wish books!

    We had many family traditions growing up in our Valmora hospital complex.

  • A work of Art:The idiocy of idioms

    Being the host family for a couple of Euros, my wife and I have needed to tone down our use of idioms. My dictionary defines an idiom as “a group of words established by usage as having meaning not deducible from those of the individual words.”

    I believe a more acceptable definition would be an expression that on the surface doesn’t make sense. We refer to “carrying out the plan” when there’s no hint of hefting something out of a room. And we speak of fixing breakfast when nobody was aware of anything broken. Except maybe a fast.

  • Another Perspective: Early Holiday Gift for Students

    By Betty Patterson

    New Mexico ushers in this holiday season with one of the best gifts students and educators have received in a long time — passage of the Every Student Succeeds Act. Passed last week in the U.S. House of Representatives, and this week in the U.S. Senate, ESSA is a bipartisan bill to reauthorize the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, better known as No Child Left Behind.

  • Just a Thought - You are responsible for your joy

    I cannot make you happy. I just can’t do it. There are absolutely no words I can write from my computer at this moment that you will read today and that will make you live a joyous life.

    Okay, we’ve got that behind us. Now let me tell you what I’ve found works for me.

    I have met a lot of people. You have met a lot of people. Each one  is programmed differently. There are general patterns of behavior, but there is also a high level of individuality. Each person brings different gift sets, different hang-ups, and different attitudes.

  • Palabras Pinturescas: Holidays a time for a family visit to the farm

    This time of the year, the holiday, festive and visiting, communicating with family member near and far brings back many memories with my family. One Thanksgiving holiday is long time ago is always remembered by three kids.

    Big Boss Jim and I decided it was time, since all three were almost young adults, to meet the Bartley clan, their father’s large and extended family who lived and worked near Fulton, Mo.

  • Dispatch New Mexico - U.S. riddled with mass shootings

    ROSWELL — As a nation, we’ve got an epidemic on our hands, but instead of addressing it in ways that would actually be productive, we pray for the dead, argue over what to do and brace ourselves for the next round of random violence.
    Mass shootings in the U.S. are an everyday occurrence these days, done by and against fellow Americans. Maybe you haven’t noticed the severity of it all, given all the handwringing over “foreign” terrorism these days.

  • A work of Art: Ready to spend $34,000?

    Once, around this time of year, my father-in-law, the late Stanley E. Coppock, asked me — I have no doubt whatsoever he was simply trying to humor me — what I’d like for Christmas. In the manner that we often traded barbs, I responded, “How about a partridge in a pear tree?”

  • Beth Speaks for Herself - When it is dark enough . . .

    Ralph Waldo Emerson’s quote, “When it is dark enough, you can see the stars,” has been a favorite of mine for decades. A fact check determined that Emerson never wrote these words. Apparently Russell Lynes did. That’s when I turned off my laptop and went outside to see the stars.

  • Another Perspective: Momentum building for Sportsmen’s Act

    Like many New Mexicans, some of my favorite memories with my family are from camping, fishing or hunting in our mountains and public lands. Last year, my 11-year-old son and I went on his first backcountry elk hunting trip on national forest land. The bull elk that we brought home from the Carson National Forest fed our family for the year, but the experience of backpacking into the high country, sleeping on the ground and hearing the elk bugle around us will feed my son’s imagination for years to come.

  • Just a Thought - In our days here we are living the dash

    There is an exercise that motivational speaker and writer John Maxwell does at some of the seminars he teaches. He gives each participant a note card. He then has each person write down on the card their full name, first, middle, and last, and then write underneath their name the date they were born and then a dash.

    He points out that each of us knows those entries will appear on our tombstone, but we don’t know what the date after the dash will be. What we do know is that there will be a date following the dash.