Sunday, August 31, 2014

Coping In Uncertain Times

 Red Rocks Park in Morrison, Colorado
From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, 
when my heart is overwhelmed: 
lead me to the rock that is higher than I.

Psalm 61:2

Friday, August 29, 2014

What's Happening at Meadow Cabin

Last month I wrote a post with the same title as what I am using today.  It was a time to catch-up on recent events.... newsy for my readers while an exercise for me in sorting out the happenings in my life and trying to make sense of it all. 

Life can push us unwittingly into a state of mental frenzy where we just do what needs to be done without taking the time to contemplate. If there is one thing I've learned in the last decade or so, I don't handle clutter and chaos very well! 

When I was younger and had more people (and animals) in the house, with schedules to keep and that "Mom's Taxi" bumper sticker on my mini van -- well, in that stage of life one has to put up with clutter and chaos, in spite of our best efforts to keep it under control.

But now that it's just Beloved and me (yes, even the dogs are gone), I get truly distressed when my peace is disturbed for too long of a time. Maybe it has to do with aging.

So, my week ...

I can't show you a snapshot of this because all I have is a video, but last Sunday one of our grandsons was baptized because he has asked Jesus to be his Savior and Lord. That was most definitely the highlight of my week! 

We have been blessed with two of our grandsons getting baptized this summer.  Now they are my "little brothers" in Christ!

my grocery shopping list
Then past actions of mine came back to both hamper and help me.  You may think me to be OCD, but most weeks I type up my grocery shopping list and carry it on a clipboard to the two to three stores where I shop.  This keeps me from buying more than I should and prevents my mental ducks from wandering after I've made my menu plans.

Apparently last week I left my clipboard in the shopping cart after unloading the groceries into the car. Boo! It was a clear aqua plastic one that I really liked. I didn't discover this until a week later as I was gathering my things to do the weekly shopping. So that was the hampering part.

I knew I had at least one other clipboard packed away from our move last year. So this is where a past action helped me. I did much of the packing for our move myself, using the Emilie Barnes' method of filling white Bankers Boxes, numbering each one, and making a list of the contents of each box. When she first suggested this years ago in one of her books, she used index cards, one card for each box.  (see Emilie's book, More Hours in My Day)

organization is a thing of beauty!
I, of course, did not use index cards but instead put it all on my computer in an Excel document. This program has a search feature so when I wanted to find another clip board, I simply typed that into the search engine and in moments it told me to look in box 29. 

As George Peppard used to say on the old TV series, "A Team," I love it when a plan comes together!

lunch by myself on the deck
In between the grocery stores I had the pleasure of lunching on the deck with my feet propped up on the box that stores our chair cushions. I am thoroughly enjoying the health and flavor benefits of a nearly all-vegan, nearly all-raw, totally gluten-free, and nearly dairy-free habit of eating. On this particular day, my entree was red lettuce combined with sliced red grapes, sliced bananas, a splash of rice vinegar, and topped with a chia seed and nut mixture.

pineapple and garbanzo beans on top of a portobello mushroom
While I'm on the subject of food, I was also blessed by my daughter (once again!) when she sent me pictures of some of her favorite vegan recipes, accompanied with her own snapshots.  When  I sent that email on to Beloved, he just had to chuckle and shake his head, saying, "Like mother, like daughter!"  Tell me, how many of you take snapshots of most of your food?!!

But then the entire week was not rosy. One of our grand nieces was bit by a neighbor dog in the afternoon and by midnight she had been to 2 hospitals and was in surgery to repair the damage done to her precious little face. Thankfully, the dog's shots were up-to-date and the surgeon appears to have done a very skillful job.  We now pray for no signs of infection and for recovery from the trauma of it all. 

That was on the East coast. A couple of days later we got a call that my aunt on the West coast is tending to her husband who is hospitalized and not doing well at all. So we continue to petition our Lord to minister to the hurting in our family.

Bad news often comes in 3s. But the last one ends on a bright note. I have been drinking a lot of water this week for what felt like a  small kidney stone in the left flank.  Peggy suggested adding lemon to the water.  I did that, alternating it with Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar and after a day or so of that, the pain is completely gone. Cured? Passed on? I hope so. Thank You, Lord!

the raised flower bed in our back yard

In the back yard we do, finally, have some flowers coming up in the raised flower bed. Last year at this time we had gorgeous, bold-colored Zinnias, but I don't know if the birds picked out my seeds, or if they got too much water.... they didn't come to the show! 

The Cosmos did come, although not in the profusion I expected. I've not have them in yellow and orange before, so that was pleasant.

one of 3 mums added to the garden
Wanting more color before the snows arrive (which can be early here along Colorado's Front Range), I bought 3 small pots of mums and plopped them into the ground with some healthy potting soil.

Veronica Speedwell

If any of you are wondering about Veronica Speedwell, she is doing very well after recovering from the shock of her transplantation from Illinois to Colorado. She was in quite a snit about it for several weeks and I feared our efforts to establish her with us would be fatal. But the care my brother-in-law gave in her  younger years must have given her a strong constitution and now, under my care, she has come around. 

This pretty well brings you up-to-date with the joys and pathos of this week.  There is one more thing I'd like to say that affects all Americans as we are bombarded with terrible news every day. 

Trust the Lord. As Anne Graham Lotz said in her e-Devotional, "It's time to simply Trust." If you know Jesus Christ as your personal Savior, then you know this all eventually turns out for your good. Yes, some extremely tough times are here and it may get worse for us, but better to trust God and ride it out with Him. If you have any doubts, read the Book of Revelation in the Bible. God wins in the end!

Remember in an earlier paragraph of this post when I said that my past actions came back to help me? When Jesus Christ calls His children Home, be sure that your past action of trusting Him as your Savior comes back to bless you! If you don't know how to do that, scroll to the header of this blog and click on the link that is titled, "How to Get to Heaven", or simple click here.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Wednesday Hodgepodge Questions - Volume 187


     Joyce has come up with questions this week having to do with Labor Day weekend.  To see what other bloggers are saying on this subject, click here:

Sometimes my formatting gets a little goofy when I answer these questions (i.e. the "1" floating in the upper left hand corner...) I can't fix it so we'll just ignore that and read on, okay?

One aspect of "labor" that Joyce did not touch on was that of childbirth ... I have a niece who is due in this next week to embark on the adventure of motherhood (for the 2nd time). I pray it goes very well for her and the precious little girl she is carrying.

.   1. As August draws to close, share what’s been your favorite weekend of the entire summer.

That’s hard to narrow down because it’s been a good summer. But among my favorites was the few days I got to spend in the South when 2 of my 3 children and their children all got together. There were a total of 14 of us. It’s very hard for us all to get together, so that was a very special time.

me 'n my grandchildren

2.   Labor Day is marked in the US of A on Monday, September 1st. What paying job have you held that you’ve loved the most? Liked the least?

My favorite paying job was when I was a receptionist at a Christian radio station. My least favorite job was at a bank during my newlywed days.

3.   Does the new school year start before or after Labor Day where you live? When do you think it should begin? There is much discussion about older students having later start times to their school day .. your thoughts?

Ahem. Please excuse me while I climb onto my soapbox to reply to this question. I think that anybody, teenager or not, would get plenty of sleep if they disciplined themselves enough to get to bed earlier. Creating a later school start time for teenagers is a bad idea because they are, at that stage of life, nearly full-grown adults, needing to prepare for adult responsibilities.  Most adults don’t get to have a late start time for their jobs just because they are sleepy. (good grief!)

I like the idea of school starting after Labor Day and ending before Memorial Day. Those holidays are natural breaks from which we can transition from one season to another.

4.   What’s something you’ve worked at recently that could be deemed a ‘labor of love’?

Nothing in particular (recently), but tying in with Question 5 (below), “a woman’s work is never done…”  If her work doesn’t get done, the household quickly degenerates to a sorry state. So I consider the work of a homemaker to be a continuing “labor of love.”

5.   Which of the following work idioms can you most relate to right now … ‘A woman’s work is never done.’, ‘All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.’ ‘Many hands make light work.’

See my reply to Question 4 (above).

6.   Crab or lobster or thanks, but no thanks? Favorite way to have your choice prepared?

While I like both crab and lobster, grilled salmon (preferably at Texas Roadhouse, with a green salad and a plain baked sweet potato) is one of my most favorite dinners in the world.

7.   Albert Einstein is quoted as saying, ‘Three rules of work: Out of clutter find simplicity; For discord find harmony; In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.’ Which of the three do you consider to be the most important? Share one of your own ‘rules of work’.

“In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.” I am aware of the needs of some people that I wish I could help but I am not able (for a myriad of unnamed reasons). I am reminded of times in my past when I faced great difficulties and no one came to my rescue. With the Lord’s grace, I got through those times and have lived to tell about it. My conclusion is that in the middle of difficulties are opportunities to learn to cope and grow stronger in the process.

As for one of my own “rules of work”? Do the task now and get it over with so you might have time left over to do something fun.

8. Insert your own random thought here:
One of my grand dogs with sunglasses
Have a safe and enjoyable Labor Day weekend!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The Blessing of an Ordinary Day

flowers outside my public library
My day began with a leisurely pace.  I put the finishing touches on  my grocery list and then headed out to the post office, a farmer's market, the library, Walmart, home to put away stuff and eat lunch, and then out again to Michael's, Sprouts, and King Soopers.

today's borrowings from the public library
After putting away groceries and before Beloved texted me to say he was heading home from the office, I had a few minutes to sit down and browse through the books I had brought home from the library. I found a recipe for salmon that I adapted to my preferences and prepared for my dinner. Beloved doesn't care for seafood (with the exception of deep-fried shrimp).

our new umbrella for the deck

Yesterday we bought this 9-foot diameter umbrella on close-out at our favorite furniture store.  We really wanted to dine on the deck this evening, but the storm clouds played havoc with our resolve. 

the open umbrella

As time passed, the clouds passed away so we could go ahead and get set up outside. 

Oh, I forgot to include in my errands today that I made a stop at the dollar store to buy 4 dinner plates. Since I often share with you what we are eating, it was time for some new backdrops for my edible creations... I got four of them, in case we have guests sometime.

our dinner on Thursday night: Beloved's burger is on the left; my salmon is on the right

Our dinner was a grilled burger for hubby, and oven-baked salmon for me (recipe from one of the library books). Then we both had oven fries and salad greens topped with peaches from the Farmer's Market and an orange juice-infused vinaigrette.

our nightly habit
After dinner Beloved pulled out the devotional book we are using this year and read the selection for today. We always finish up the evening meal with scripture and prayer for our family and anybody else that comes to mind.

Today was a fairly ordinary day. Not all days are that easy, so I am thankful for this one. Regular habits, routines, rituals serve as one of the foundations that give me comfort when troubling things are on my mind. 

Sunday, August 17, 2014

High Altitude Hiking

me with my trusting hiking stick and ever-present navy blue sun visor

Last Friday morning it was time to set out on yet another summer's day hike with Denise. I should tell you that I'm not all that athletically inclined, and if it weren't for my hiking buddy, I wouldn't have all these outdoor adventures to share on my blog. It really is a blessing to have a friend who urges me to get out and do those things that are good for us -- and along the way we have fun, too!

looking northwest from atop a ridge in my neighborhood
This trek was so close to my house that we left the cars and began the trail not even half a block from my front door!

looking across Castle Rock to the east
My town is made up of a lot of hills and canyons and meadows. Neighborhoods and businesses tend to be clustered in the indentations of the terrain while golf courses span over hill and dale to make them appropriately challenging to those wielding the irons and woods.

looking west toward Devil's Head
My readers may remember my blog post from a couple of weeks ago when Denise and I drove up to Rampart Range Road to hike the trail to the ranger's station at Devil's Head (also referred to as Sleeping Indian). It was interesting to be able to view the sleeping body from a high ridge on our Friday morning walk. 

If you use that imagination you had as a child to see apparitions in the clouds, then you may be able to visualize the body of the Sleeping Indian. His head is on the left, then his torso, and his feet on the right. 

When we were standing inside the Ranger's fire lookout station a couple of weeks ago, I asked him where it was on the Indian's body that we were standing. He said we were on the stomach. 

I've photo-shopped an arrow to show you the spot.  I absolutely love that we can see so far in Colorado's high, dry climate, with very little humidity (i.e. haze) to obscure faraway objects.

prairie-like ground cover at over 6,000 feet above sea level
As we continued our walk, the path was narrow with high grasses and weeds on either side of us. We walked single-file. Sometimes I took the lead, and sometimes it was Denise.

always on the watch for "creatures" along the way
We are always on the lookout for rattlesnakes, bears, mountain lions, rabbits, and chipmunks.  Thankfully on this particular morning, a startled lizard about 10 inches long was the only creature we saw, besides several chipmunks skittering ahead of us and out of sight. 

the 13th hole of the golf course below us
Well, there is also the threat of some stray golf ball, but we were counting on being too far away for that.

my latest trail mix concoction
I've said in previous posts that it's my habit to provide trail mix for both Denise and myself when we take these hikes. She is such an uncomplaining companion, even when I make silly mistakes. 

I used the large Toll House Dark Chocolate Morsels which are not only delicious, but also gluten-free. However, like any other chocolate chip, they will get soft and melt when in a hiker's backpack. The last time I brought along plastic spoons so our hands wouldn't get messy.  This time I forgot.

I would use M & M's, which are famous in part because they "melt in  your mouth, not in your hand" -- except that they are not gluten free! Alas!

You can see in the picture that this particular trail mix has some of my recently-dehydrated fruits, raspberries, blueberries, and cherries. Also in the mix were Pine nuts, pecan halves, and some gluten-free Rice Crispies cereal. Denise pronounced it delicious and then pulled out her moist wet wipes to deal with the melted chocolate on her hands.

wild flowers along the path
I had thought the entire hike that day would be about 4 miles. As it turns out, the half-way point was at just about 1.5 miles. That was when we reached a trail head with benches for sitting, a port-a-potty, and some conversation with another hiker and her sweet dog.

some plant life has a foreboding appearance, like some people
Beloved put a free pedometer app on my cell phone before we took this hike. Among the many things it provides is information about our elevation (how far we are above sea level). That fascinates me. Our house is at 6,329 feet. I think the highest we climbed for this hike was 423 feet (up to 6,752 feet above sea level). Denver is officially at 1 mile high, so we were nearly 1500 feet above that!

small cactus beside the hiking trail
Although our bodies are used to the thin air at this altitude, we don't feel any need to hurry our stride.

sunflowers direct their faces to the light

We also carry water with us and sorely regret it if we don't. The high terrain, thin air, and abundant sunshine can dehydrate a person very quickly.

we were crossing a dry creek bed for this picture

When people from the lowlands come to Colorado, they are sometimes caught off guard by the altitude. A young guest of mine fainted one time outside the Air Force Academy Chapel, due to her body not being accustomed to the altitude. Headaches are not unusual, either. If guests take it slowly, they usually do fine.  New residents to our state take anywhere from 3 to 6 months to manufacture the additional red blood cells they need to feel well in our high climate. 

my first Gladiola to bloom greeted us as we approached my house at the end of the hike

We took nearly 2.5 hours for our hike, not having  need or desire to break any speed records. But the time in friendship and exercise were well spent.

Trail Mix Recipe for High Altitude
M & M candies (or gluten-free dark chocolate chips)
dried blueberries
dried cherries
dried raspberries
Pine Nuts
Pecan Halves
dry Rice Krispy cereal

In a very large mixing bowl, combine all of the above in the amounts you desire (1/2 to 1 cup of each). Store in airtight container. Freeze for longer storage.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Embellishing the Family

It's been a little over 15 months since we moved into our new house. In the past I've hung nearly everything I own on the walls, but after 16 years in the last house and having had to apply a lot of spackle before we left, I have been very reluctant to put nails in these fresh new walls. Very reluctant.

In our upstairs hallway, on a wall that never saw sunshine, I had hung oh, I don't know, 25? framed pictures of our family. The brilliant Colorado sunshine blesses us over 325 days of the year, so I am very careful of what I hang on walls that get that bright light.

It was a gallery look and everybody loved it. But by the time we moved and had filled every hole with spackle, that wall looked like it had a case of albino measles and I felt kind of bad about that. (although the new owners wasted no time repainting the entire house, so I didn't feel bad for long)

Here at the new place I did finally hang the kids on the wall, all 15 of them (that's 3 born to us, 3 who married in, and 9 grandchildren) in one frame. Minimalistic, you could say.  I am liking the simpler look. (note: one more grandchild is expected to be born early next year!)

But the other day I decided they were just kinda floating in space, unattached and lacking in style, or something.

My friend Loraine  introduced me to the idea of these self-adhesive wall stencils. She said one of her daughters had used them and they were great. Unhappily,  they live entirely too faraway from us, so I was not able to get a personal demonstration of how these stencils work.  

I have decorated our home for years with painted designs, using acrylic paints, sponges, and stencils. When I shattered my shoulder in 2008, I ended up with a shoulder replacement  and  some permanent loss of range of motion.  Painting stencils on walls became really difficult.

Loraine suggested I might like to use these adhesive stencils. They aren't expensive and can even be removed with the help of a hair dryer if I decide I don't like it.

I finally got brave last December and bought a stencil to use in our hallway above a coat rack. This was my first experience with the  new method.

Kathy and Friends redecorated one of the Bible study rooms at our previous church, using these same kind of stencils.  I love the clean lines and scriptural messages so easily applied to the walls.

I found this stencil at Michaels (but you can also find them at Target, and probably JoAnn's and Hobby Lobby). This one cost me something like $15. They are not hard to apply. Just read the directions carefully and be sure to grab a level from your hubby's workshop, and some masking tape.

In a matter of minutes, the project was complete and if I do say so myself, the kids look better for the effort!

I have one more tip, that may sound kind of silly, but it worked well for me:  

If you're into taking "before" and "after" pictures, like I am, one way to make sure your camera distance is the same for both pictures is to take your "before" photo, then step out of your shoes leaving them exactly where they were when you took the picture. When you come back later to take the "after" shot, just step back into your shoes and voila'! 

Well, it's close to the same! (smile)

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Wednesday Hodgepodge August 13, 2014

This week Joyce's promptings are related to summer, heat, and adventure. Today I have made a graphic featuring both her Hodgepodge button (on the right) and the header on her blog, From This Side of the Pond. I love how she has included Psalm 139:9-10 in the design. 

Click on this link to see how other bloggers have responded to the  questions:

1. The best part of waking up is:

The best part of waking up is knowing God's mercies are new every morning, great is His faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23

2. Given a choice, which animal interaction would you most like to experience (or for those non-adventurers ... which would you dislike the least?): Swim with the dolphins at one of several locations in the Florida Keys, a lion encounter ten minutes from Victoria Falls (Africa), or a day at a remote base camp high in the Big Sur wilderness via the Ventana Wildlife Society helping track California condors? 

I guess my answer is to swim with the dolphins, although I've thought for years I'd like to have some interaction with Manatees. Both Dolphins and Manatees have such sweet expressions on their faces. It was really hard to narrow it down to this one picture of a Manatee. There are so many good ones on the Internet!

3. What is something you fear about 'old age'? What is something you look forward to? 

Like many people, I fear dementia of any kind. I hope I can keep my mental sharpness, recognize my loved ones and have meaningful conversations with them. What do I look forward to? Having somebody else clean my house for me!

4. Hot sauce ... are you a fan? If you answered yes, what's something you make/eat that must have hot sauce? On a scale of 1-10, how hot is too hot? 

I'm not a hot sauce fan. Anything over "3" on a scale of 1-10 is too spicy for me.

5. It's been said that children learn what they live. What do you think children learn at your house?  

Quilts help to make a person feel comfortable. I have quilts and quilted items all over the house and I've made many quilts for children (family, friends, and charitable donations).

my sewing room in the unfinished basement of our home -- where the quilts are made

6. What's your favorite movie with a number in it's title? 

Without a doubt, The Ten Commandments with Charleton Heston. I cannot count how many times I've watched this movie in my lifetime. I hear there may be a re-make and if so, I look forward to seeing it. (I just hope they don't distort the truth they way they did with the recent movie release of Noah.)

7. Saturday (August 16th) is National Tell a Joke Day ... share one here. 

Why did the chicken cross the road?  To show the armadillo it can be done!

8. Insert your own random thought here. 

Happy Birthday to my daddy. He is 87 today and celebrating in heaven. He was called Home over 28 years ago, but the impressions he (and my mother) made on my life continue to influence my behavior, decisions, and relationships every day.

Me as a 2-year old with Daddy and Mama and the family dog
Post Script: I wish women still dressed as my mother is in this photo, where the clothing is modest, well-made(!!!), classic, and does not steal attention from the face and eyes.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Take Me to the Fair!

It's that time of year in our town when summer is going full-throttle with hot afternoons that mutate into storms with lightening, and the county fair opens up for a few days.

On this particular late afternoon we parked our car and looked to the sky. Rain appeared to be a remote possibility, so we carried through with our plan to buy tickets and enter the gates for the Douglas County Fair of 2014. 

To my surprise, I learned this was the very first fair that Beloved has ever attended. We live in a small town, and this event added to that homey feeling we have come to enjoy.  

The first exhibits were in the main building where we viewed creativity and cleverness at its best with quilts of all shapes and design. 

I take pictures for the wealth of ideas they provide for my sewing room.

Ballots were provided for voting for our favorites.  Also in that same exhibition hall were a variety of other crafts and even cooking samples, several of which were slices of bread.

Since we aren't all that familiar with judging rules at county fairs, I was a bit taken aback to see that the sample for testing is taken from the center of the slice of bread.

The remainder of that first building was taken up with vendors for all manner of things, none of which interested us. There was also some live country music, but we moved on.  Just outside were the first of the animals, some of the main reasons why we wanted to come to the fair.  This handsome donkey was not camera shy.

I was disappointed that the sheep were not standing up, but then it turned out that the majority of the animals we saw that evening were apparently weary from a long day of judging.

My friend Leah was hosting this booth with the cute little baby chicks. We learned that chickens can lay an assortment of beautifully-colored eggs.  You can tell which color they will lay by the color of their ears (chickens have ears??). The ears had not developed yet with these chicks.

The rabbit building was a real treat. "Mr. Squibbles" rose to a standing position as we neared his cage.  I think he wanted us to stroke his silky fur, but I limited our encounter to complimentary conversation.

There were a lot of turkeys of various colors, many chickens and just a few ducks. Since we are city people, we didn't know chickens could be so beautiful with a wide variety of feather colors.

We saw a couple of beautiful Mallard ducks, but our pictures of them didn't turn out good enough to include here. 

Many pigs made it to the fair this year. I am happy to say they all appeared to be freshly-scrubbed and their pens were clean. Of all the pigs we saw, this one was one of the few that was not contentedly sleeping.  She was the spokesperson for all of them and she had a lot to say!  However, I didn't understand a word. I never  even caught onto Pig Latin, so her harangue was lost on me!

Beloved, on the other hand, managed to easily keep up a conversation with this goat. They seemed to be in agreement about whatever they were saying.

Two show-offs!

In between buildings we could see this clear view on the northeastern horizon of the rock for which our town is named.

In the 4-H building we saw these cakes submitted by the kids. I am surprised at the creativity and skill for such young people. My favorite was the green camping scene with the tent and pine trees.

Other exhibits by the 4-H students included this wood bowl and many "how to" displays like this one about how to clean an air rifle barrel.

Eating supper at the fair for this gluten-intolerant, mostly raw vegan gal was an opportunity to be flexible and be creative. Anticipating that there were be absolutely nothing I could eat from the many food vendors, I brought along two LaraBars. I could have made my own version of these tasty fruit-and-nut bars at home, but sometimes it's just nice to let somebody else do the cooking! I tucked these bars into my purse and enjoyed them while Beloved got what he wanted....

... a barbecued sandwich with chips and a bottle of water, which we shared. Yes, the scent of the BBQ was tempting, but when you've got food allergies, the "payback" for eating the wrong things is not anything I enjoy.

We listened to a country music band while we ate.  We couldn't understand a word they were singing, but the atmosphere was cheerful and the weather was perfect, so we had a good time.

As the sun set, the lights and sounds of the carnival rides became more of an attraction.

The number of people increased, both families, singles, and teens.

We didn't play any games or get on any rides.  I've got an unfortunate reputation for upchucking on rides; and people our age are more likely to get injured, so we just stand and watch.

I have no idea why this ride is called "Genesis." 

Before the sun had completely set we were ready to head for home. Next year we will probably pay the extra to attend the rodeo. My preconceived idea of a rodeo was a lot of hot sunshine and dust blowing. 

But from what we could see of it through the fences, the rodeo show looked more comfortable, enjoyable, and entertaining than that. The bleacher seats are under a large roof for shade, which we did not know ahead of time. 

We'll "cowboy  up" next year!