Living Large-Vacation in Westcliffe, Colorado

This is the post excerpt.


The question you may be asking right now is, “Where is Westcliffe?” and “Why would I want to go there?”  Westcliffe is a hidden gem located about an hour and a half southwest of Colorado Springs.  Not only is it an outstanding place to retire with it’s below average housing prices, low taxes, and utilities, it is a magical place to vacation.  Westcliffe “captures the heart” the moment you come face to face with the Sangre de Cristo Mountain Range.  At this moment,  keep buckled in, because you are going to want to live here.

Why?  This breathtaking valley is unlike modern metropolis.

Here people actually smile and wave, hiking trails are filled with wildflowers not to mention top of the world views, mountain lakes are naturally stocked, abundant wildlife run freely, majestic mountain peaks, reaching over 14,000 feet, surround this quaint little town that has managed to resist breathing in the culture of dirty air and stress.  With 97% clean air, only 41 days of precipitation and 273 sunny days (July high around 79 degrees), chances are weather will be on your side.  A wide array of accommodations are available.

Sunrises paint a rose-colored glow on the mountain peaks,  hence the name, Sangre de Cristo, the Blood of Christ.  By night,  the most important star you will see is in the sky.  Westcliffe is the first in Colorado and ninth and highest in the world to be certified as an IDA International Dark Sky Community. That means you can see the Milky Way from horizon to horizon at night.  Here are DSC events coming up: http://www.wetmtndarkskies.org/pages/calendar.htm

  1.  July 6 to 9,  the Hay Fever 15th annual Bluegrass Festival. High Mountain Hay Fever Bluegrass Festival
  2. July 15 and 16 the Stampede Rodeo, an institution since 1946.  Westcliffe Stampede Rodeo
  3. Fall is a perfect time for a road trip through some of the most breathtaking golden Aspen groves in Colorado.

Regardless of when you come, the best reason to come to Westcliffe is that you will be taken back in time to a place where the beauty of nature is a rapture experience detoxifying the soul.

Life is large here because a step through the doorway of this unique Western town is a window into beauty unspoiled by concrete and traffic while having all of the conveniences needed for happiness with a modest cost for entertainment.  Still, you can go to the grocery store, natural foods store, the gym, a great restaurant, the Post Office, Library,  church, bowling alley, theatre, concert or even sit under the stars for Shakespeare.   Being Custer County’s Seat of government, all of the functions and services provided are convenient but without lines.

So what does it mean to live LARGE.  The Free Dictionary defines living large “as able to pay for and enjoy a very expensive style of living”.  For those of us who like to live LARGE on a budget, Westcliffe, Colorado is arguable the most inexpensive paradise in the West. Explore the value of a getaway to hidden gem of the West and how “Living LARGE on a Budget”, can leave the dollars in your wallet while giving you the escape of a lifetime.

Everything you want and need to know in Custer County

This Luxury Home in Westcliffe could be yours. East side of home_closeup of mtns. (1).jpg

Don’t Be Passive-It Can Kill You —Hospital Stay is 10 Times More Likely to Kill You Than a Motor Vehicle Crash

Preventable harm from medical care is the third leading cause of death in America.

Scan Here I am.  Twelve years old.  One month stay in the hospital after my appendix ruptured.  I am thankful for hospitals.  I owe my life to the help I received from the doctors and staff at Lancaster General Hospital.  Yet, today, we need to be mindful that mistakes happen.

“All men make mistakes, but a good man yields when he knows his course is wrong and repairs the evil. The only crime is pride.”— Sophocles, Antigone”

What does passivity mean and how can it harm you?

  1. accepting or allowing what happens or what others do, without active response or resistance:

You don’t have to be brave if you do not fear.  Becoming informed about procedures and checking the side effects of the prescription you are being given makes sense.  When it comes to prescription drugs, know what you are taking and what it does for and to you. ie. What about the little red pill.  Sounds so catchy, doesn’t it?  Read this:the-little-red-pill-being-pushed-on-the-elderly

Good question to ask:  “Who does it benefit?”

The following statistics are alarming.   

Dr. Mercola:

Reality Check—Hospital Stay is 10 Times More Likely to Kill You Than a Motor Vehicle Crash


Take a look at these links if you are taking prescription drugs or have an upcoming date with a surgeon at the hospital.  Things like getting the wrong medication, surgery removing the wrong body part, and this article that in a paper published in JAMA Surgery on Wednesday, researchers found a surprising pattern. 421,476 patient records from a national database of hospital inpatients, seven procedures accounted for approximately 80 percent of all admissions, deaths, complications and inpatient costs related to emergency surgeries. The sample included only adults who underwent a procedure within two days of admission from 2008 to 2011.


Bottom line, be engaged. Ask questions.  There are safety patient laws in place if you are going in for surgery.  Know your rights.

“Ask your doctor what the infection rate is for the procedure you’re going to have,”

How many procedures of this kind has your doctor done and with what results?

“Document everything. Take a little notebook with you and write down every drug they give you. Make sure you have your cell phone with your little camera so you can take pictures of things,”

Now comes a study in the current issue of the Journal of Patient Safety that says the numbers may be much higher — between 210,000 and 440,000 patients each year who go to the hospital for care suffer some type of preventable harm that contributes to their death.

That would make medical errors the third-leading cause of death in America, behind heart disease, which is the first, and cancer, which is second.

An estimate of 440,000 deaths from care in hospitals “is roughly one-sixth of all deaths that occur in the United States each year,” John T. James




Here is more help that comes from Heaven above:

James 1:5 – If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

James 3:17 – But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, [and] easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.

Proverbs 3:13-18 – Happy [is] the man [that] findeth wisdom, and the man [that] getteth understanding.   (Read More…)

Ephesians 5:15-17 – See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise,   (Read More…)

Proverbs 12:15 – The way of a fool [is] right in his own eyes: but he that hearkeneth unto counsel [is] wise.

Proverbs 10:23 – [It is] as sport to a fool to do mischief: but a man of understanding hath wisdom.

Proverbs 18:15 – The heart of the prudent getteth knowledge; and the ear of the wise seeketh knowledge.

Proverbs 19:20 – Hear counsel, and receive instruction, that thou mayest be wise in thy latter end.

Proverbs 17:27-28 – He that hath knowledge spareth his words: [and] a man of understanding is of an excellent spirit.   (Read More…)


Savory Recipe: Peppers & Eggs from the infamous Lanzetta brothers – Guilty of Shootouts at 9th & Christian Streets in Philadelphia – These bad boys could cook!

When time and money are short, Eat Longer, Eat Italian.

This is one of the simplest recipes, packed with flavor and light on the pocket book.  We enjoy this tasty dish with a simple green salad.  It is a staple when peppers are plentiful.  For a hearty lunch or supper, you can have this on an Italian roll.

Peppers & Eggs

1 pound bell peppers (mixed colors) cut into 1 inch pieces

3 to 4 eggs beaten with 1/2 cup of milk and 1/3 pecorino romano cheese grated

1 medium onion diced

3 T extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil

salt and pepper to taste

On medium heat, add oil to the pan and then the peppers. Add the onion and cook until tender.  Add egg mixture and stir.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve while still warm.   Don’t overcook.  Makes 3 -4 servings.

I think you will really love this dish. Try it and let me know.

Buon appetito!






“Aspen” My Favorite Color


A street named Hermit – (Westcliffe is a perfect place for a person who seeks solitude but does not want to be lonely.)

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If you have an addiction to beauty, drive to Westcliffe, Colorado in October. It is like wandering through a natural Art Museum born so long ago with monuments of rugged mountain cliffs laying a foundation for the strong green pines and the featured collection of Aspen in captivating colors of amber, topaz, gold, orange, yellow and turmeric. With leaves shining as the sun hits them just right, put this ride on your bucket list.   

Autumn, is also a time of harvest and a season for those of us whose hair is beginning to change color (or falling out.) to hopefully enjoy the productivity of a life well lived.  Despite the winding road to get here, we finally have fruit on our branches and maybe even the joy to hold our grandchildren in them.

I thought I had forgotten how to hold a baby–but my arms remember. author unknown

The Bible mentions Autumn only once.  

Jude 1: 12 These are the men who are hidden reefs in your love feasts when they feast with you without fear, caring for themselves; clouds without water, carried along by winds; autumn trees without fruit, doubly dead, uprooted;

These are false teachers.  So what does uprooted mean?

Jesus said in Matthew 15: 13 But he answered and said, Every plant, which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up. 14 Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch. 15 Then answered Peter and said unto him, Declare unto us this parable. 16 And Jesus said, Are ye also yet without understanding? Do not ye yet understand, that So whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught? 18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man. 19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies: 20 These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.

Below you will see the root structure of a stand of Aspens. Insects and diseases, if caught early, do not kill the trees.  On the other hand, fires or drought can destroy a whole stand of aspens.  Remarkably, even if the trees die, the root system is preserved and the aspen will re-tree themselves.

Image result for root structure of aspen explainedImage result for aspen root structure explained

Like the aspen, when our foundation is truly Jesus Christ, it doesn’t matter what other people say or do to us, we will not be uprooted. If our words define us,  are we proved to be phonies when stressed?  If you are the one who excuses your outbursts because it is just the way you are and you did not mean it, or are deceived by thinking that everything Supernatural is Divine, or believe that a little compromise is worth the gain, think again.  In his book, Breaking the Blue Wall, One Man’s War Against Police Corruption, Justin Hopson, my son, warns, If you find yourself in the middle of a test of integrity, don’t be corrupted.”   Choices have consequences.

It is wise to leave the pretenders alone and join ourselves to people who have good fruit on their branches. Those who tell the truth when it is inconvenient and do the right thing when no one is looking.

Because we are in the season of promise, knowing that winter is coming, I write this verse to those who are in danger of being uprooted.

Jeremiah 8:20, “The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.”

If you’ve never made a commitment to Jesus Christ, do it now, while there is still time.  When you need your foundation strenghtened, read God’s Word and talk with him everyday.

Thank you for reading my heartfelt blog today.  Comment below and let me know your thoughts or questions.  If you like the post, please like and share.  Thank you again and God Bless YOU!!!



Westcliffe, Colorado-One of the Most Beautiful Places on Earth

Some People Sleep with a Gun on their Night Stand, I Have a Camera.

This Morning’s Masterpiece






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Imagine opening your eyes to this from your pillow.







A walk on the Beautiful Road


Aspens are my favorite color.




The heartbreaking and crushing headlines of these past few weeks can become overwhelming, bring us to our knees to pray for those who have lost so much, and move us to respond when there is something we can do to help.

When done, I turn to the beauty of nature which I call home, Westcliffe, Colorado. Escapes like this are seldom found this side of heaven. A mountain community, which stands shoulder to shoulder with the most stunning landscapes in Colorado, Westcliffe is a stress buster.  The people who share this amazing place are so caring.  Though the sounds of the city are absent here, honking horns, heavy traffic, sirens, and crowds the sounds of the country in a word, peaceful. Drinking it in restores the soul.  After a walk away from the thunderous sounds of the city, I saturate myself with the sounds made by God.  “He restoreth my soul.” Psalm 23.

So, I sleep with my camera at arm’s length.  When I open my eyes I am surprised anew every morning.  I run from window to window to see the hand of God and stand in awe with my camera ready to capture the new strokes he has painted upon the mountains just outside.

If you have had a week of stress, take a deep breath and travel to Westcliffe, Colorado.  The above photos were taken here this week.  I am collecting more if you want to send me yours.

Just three hours from Denver, an hour and a half from Colorado Springs, you will find a place so rare that you might say, “Westcliffe, where have you been all my life?”  Breathe in truly fresh air and surroundings guranteed to lift your spirit as you listen to the sounds of stillness.  Let the wind invigorate you as you move your eyes toward the views of the solar system at night.  But beware.  One visit in October and you probably will want to live here.





Grandma Joanie: A Perfect Life Doesn’t Build Character

Eighty years of living, Grandma Joanie puts things in perspective on how to keep your joy and hope,  no matter how many lemons are thrown your way.



God the Father created me to be a woman. My gender was already decided so long ago.  He did not make a mistake. He knit me like a fine, beautiful piece of art. God took me in his hands, and formed me, and turned me over and over smoothing this part and that part. He gazed at me and smiled and He said I have created this masterpiece. He said to himself, I am well pleased and looked at me and said this is good.  He looked so pleased with his handy work.

Moving on. I was born September 11, 1937, at 11:02 in the morning.  I was number 13 child.  Wow. Things weren’t perfect.  A lot of ups and downs. A perfect life doesn’t build character, a spiritual body, etc.  I was married at 17 to my high school sweetheart.

As I continued on my path, we had eight children together.  Our marriage lasted twenty years before it ended when my husband broke our marriage covenant. It was a painful time. My children were impacted and had their own problems, experimenting with what the world had to offer them. More sorrows and disappointments.  Three of my children died, two boys and one girl. My boys were so very handsome. My girl was very beautiful.

My future was still moving on.  I always knew Jesus was with me.  I prayed alone. His word became a personal letter to me. God the Father became a loving Father to me.  Our relationship became very real.

When God created woman, he knew what he was doing.  He put into each of us different attributes.  We are the exact representation of His being, His image.  He provides and meets all of our needs.  Females are made so differently from the male.  We are physically uniquely different to accommodate childbirth. The Father made us that way.  I think the woman feels much deeper and is more emotional than the man.  We wear our hearts on our sleeves.  The woman was created as a help mate for the man as was Eve for Adam.  Husband and wife, mother and father. God created women fairest, blessed, honorable and to be sober.

Now, who can possibly want to be that woman, that wife, that mother?  I think back when I became that woman, that wife, that mother.  I think how being a woman is God’s gift to the man. God said that it is not good for the man to be alone.  The woman was created from the rib of Adam and brought unto the man. The man shall cling to his wife and the two shall become one flesh. Each of us complementing one another.  I found it takes a Mother and Father to raise our children.  We fit together perfectly.  I know a lot of us don’t get the perfect lives. We can keep trying.

I am eighty years old now.  When I think back on my life, memories are mixed with good and not so good.  A lot of years of sadness and many of happiness.  We do reap what we sow.  So very true. Blaming God and everyone else for our unhappy times doesn’t work. Seeing things so black and white then, I now realize there are the in between’s. When I went over my ups and downs, I alone was to blame, not God.

The Bible says that some will dream, dreams.  I dream. Sometimes they are so real I can never forget them.  I call them my spiritual dreams.  My first spiritual dream was surreal. I was taking a nap, pregnant.  In this dream, I and others were standing high above the earth with our Lord Jesus.  I was on the right side of him looking down. As we looked, Jesus said to us,  “Earth is a very tough and hard place.”  We all chimed in, “but we still want to go.”  He pointed to a very high mountain far away and said we had a mission.  We were to climb that mountain and carry flowers to the very top.  When I woke my arms were so tired as if I actually climbed that mountain. I understood that the flowers represented souls that we were to bring to heaven with us.  I will always remember that dream when I was taking a nap, the flowers and how hard and how difficult it was climbing the road to the very top.  We all wanted and cheerfully agreed to go.  We all have a free will for this mission.

I think of eternity.  It’s for eternity.  You never get out. We are eternal beings. Just as heaven is for eternity.  Beloved ones, do not risk for one minute going there without Jesus.  Believe this while there is still time.  Open your hearts. Ask Jesus to forgive you of your sins.  Mean it.  Tell Jesus you know that he is the Son of God and you know He is the only one that can save you. That he died for you and the whole world. He gave his life so that you can have life eternal with Him.

Jesus said it is our choice.  Follow Jesus.  You are a flower and He wants you to live with Him forever and when you get to heaven, you will love Him even more.

Who is the man who reverently fears and worships the Lord? Him shall he teach in the way that he shall choose.  Psalms 25:12.

As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Revelation 3:19

For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. Hebrews 12:6

Thank you for reading my Third Blog.  I appreciate you and would love to hear from you.  God bless you.

Grandma Joanie:)


The following link is one of my favorite gifts to give to people I meet.  At my age, I have gained boldness.  I like to ask, “Are you born again?”  You would be surprised by the many positive responses I get.  Then I say, “I have a gift for you from my Heavenly Father.  No one has yet to say no thank you.

(see http://www.FathersLove Letter.com)- Created by Father Hear Communications using scriptures to tell the story of the Father’s Love for You.

Actual scriptures.

For you were made in my image.  Genesis 1:27.

For you are my offsprings. In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: Acts 17:28

In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ.  Ephesians 1: 11:12

Then the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations.  Jeremiah 1:4-5

And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;  Acts 17:26

 I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well. Psalms 139:14

By thee have I been holden up from the womb: thou art he that took me out of my mother’s bowels: my praise shall be continually of thee. Psalms 71:6

The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing. Zephaniah 3:17

And I will make an everlasting covenant with them, that I will not turn away from them, to do them good; but I will put my fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me. Jeremiah 32:40

Now, therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: Exodus 19:5

But if from thence thou shalt seek the Lord thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul. Deuteronomy 4:29

Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. 2 Corinthians 1:4

He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.  Isaiah 40:11

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.  Revelation 21: 3-4

I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me. John 17:23

 Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high:  Hebrews 1:3

What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? Romans 8:31



I love how you love me,

I love how you care,

and I love how you praise my Name,

with hands held high in the air.









October 2, 2017, One of the Most beautiful days in Westcliffe, one of the Saddest days in America.


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As the photos of the victims begin to appear and the stories of their lives bring a personal sense of loss and sadness, I look at the faces and wonder. The danger that lurked hidden on Sunday night and the decision made by a watchful foe from the pit of hell to bring death and injury to so many defies reason.   How can the survivors bear this crisis, with normal reactions to a horribly abnormal act of evil?



While the facts are still being gathered, it appears that the unthinkable has just occurred. It is beyond imagination that a single man could unleash an attack against so many innocent.  The sense of loss, pain, and sadness is overwhelming tonight.  This was not a case of God not caring.  This was a case of a fanatical spirit doing what it does to bring death and destruction.

I put together this video

as a tribute to the precious lives lost along with those locally that are facing trials that are mountainous.  May our sense of need for God be awakened in us as we pray for those who are grieving, surviving and to our President and the people in our country who must go forward toward greatness because we have God on our side.

Mark 11:22-25 (KJV)
22“Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. 23

23 For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.

24 Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.

25 And when ye stand praying, forgive, if ye have ought against any: that your Father also which is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.

Happy Sunday: Truth


“Deliverance from believing lies must be by believing truth. Nothing can remove a lie but truth. “Ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8: 32), is applicable to every aspect of truth, as well as the special truth referred to by the Lord when He spoke the pregnant words.” War on the Saints by Jessie Penn-Lewis