Personal Demons – YA Novel by Lisa Desrochers

Bailey here again –

I’ve been totally wrapped up in my latest read, Personal Demons, by Lisa Desrochers. While the main character, Frannie Cavanaugh,
deals with actual demons from Hell and angels from Heaven, her own personal demons are of another kind. But no spoilers here.

As for the demons and angels, Luc, an actual demon from Hell – and a sexy one to boot – is sent to tag Frannie’s soul for Hell. And let me tell you, Luc is hard to resist. But Heaven has its own plans and sends sexy angel Gabe to thwart Luc’s plans and tag Frannie for Heaven. Gabe is also impossible to resist. Caught between two hot guys, and not knowing exactly what they are, is where Frannie’s fun begins.

You’ll have to read the book to find out why Frannie is SO important to both Heaven and Hell. And you’ll never be able to guess it.

I won’t spoil the story for you, but there are so many twists, turns and surprises in this book. I didn’t see most of them coming, which makes for a great read.

I can’t wait to dive into the sequel, Original Sin, and then the third installment, Last Rite, to be released in May 2012!

Check out more about Personal Demons and Lisa Desrochers at http://www.lisadwrites.com

Jay Tavare – Gorgeous Native American Actor

Bailey here –

So while we’re on the topic of hot Natives, I found another one for you. Jay Tavare! And he is something. Not only is he gorgeous, has a hot bod and can act, he also did his own Emmy nominated stunt on CSI Miami – jumping out of a 23rd story building in 200 foot free fall! Not me. No thanks.

Jay is Apache, Navajo and Latin. And a nice mix of it to be sure. He is 5’11”, has hazel eyes and black hair – and lots of muscle. His favorite meal is breakfast and his favorite colors are red, black and tan. Jay believes that one way we can all help the environment – and save trees – is to stop requesting useless ATM print-outs. Such a small thing, but done by many would make a HUGE difference.

Where can you see Jay – besides here in my journal?

Movie and TV Appearances:

  • Cold Mountain
  • The Missing
  • CSI Miami
  • Into the West – one of my favorites!
  • Vatos Locos
  • Pathfinder
  • El Padrino
  • Among others . . .

Jay has also been on the covers of Cosmopolitan, GQ, Vogue and Vanity Fair. He’s been featured in articles in The Hollywood Reporter, Entertainment Weekly, LA Confidential – and my personal favorite – Cowboys and Indians.

Jay lives in Los Angeles and writes screenplays and non-fiction magazine articles in his spare time. He’s also a sought after speaker for a variety of subjects including American Indian history, diet and nutrition, and health and fitness.

Jay is a humanitarian and a dog lover. Jay supports the Adopt-an-Elder program by having adopted several Navajo elders and a Navajo family, providing desperately needed food and clothing to those in need. He’s also actively involved in Samoyed and Wolfdog rescue, owning a Samoyed of his own.

Check out more about Jay on his website at http://jaytavare.com/

Adam Beach – Native Actor

Bailey here again –

Adam Beach is a prolific Native actor you’ve likely seen on TV, at the movies, or both. He most recently co-starred with Harrison Ford in the movie, Cowboys & Aliens.

Adam was born in Manitoba, Canada and grew up with his two brothers on the Dog Creek First Nations Reserve. He was eight years old when his mother was killed by a drunk driver. Eight weeks later, his father drowned. Adam doesn’t like to recall his childhood very often because it was so painful. He and his two brothers eventually were taken to Winnipeg to live with an aunt and uncle (his father’s brother), who he refers to as “dad.”

Adam made a name for himself as Victor Joseph in the award-winning film, Smoke Signals. He played opposite Nicolas Cage in Windtalkers, the story of the World War II Navajo code talkers, and received acclaim for his powerful starring role as Ira Hayes in Flags of Our Fathers, directed by Clint Eastwood and produced by Steven Spielberg.

He has also received a Golden Globe Award nomination for his portrayal as Charles Eastman in the film Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee. He’s also worked extensively in television, appearing on HBO’s fourth season of Big Love as the manager of the Indian casino; as a series regular on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, playing the role of Ice-T’s partner, Chester Lake; and in the CBS miniseries Comanche Moon. Adam currently has a recurring role on ABC’s new series Combat Hospital (2011).

Adam brings a unique and diverse perspective to his work as he is strongly rooted in his Native heritage. He received the Best Actor Award from the American Indian Film Festival for his role of Frank Fencepost in the film Dance Me Outside.

Adam’s commitment to his spiritual development through traditional grass dancing enhances his work. He spends his spare time playing hockey and generously donating his voice and enthusiasm in support of Native youth.

Adam’s film and television involvement is so extensive I can’t list it all here. But you can check him out on his IMDB page at: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0063440/

Indian Captive – The Story of Mary Jemison

Bailey here –

I’ve been reading the Newberry Honor book, Indian Captive, written and illustrated by Lois Lenski. I know, I know, we all read this story in the 4th grade, but I’m reading it again. It’s such an amazing book!

It’s a true account of how twelve year old Mary Jemison, or Molly as she is affectionately called, was taken captive by Indians (and French solders) on a spring day in 1758 – during the French and Indian War. Terrified, separated from her family, and determined to escape, Molly was forced to walk on a long and arduous journey away from everything and everyone she knew.

The story follows her to a Seneca village where she was given to an Indian family in exchange for a son and brother who was killed by the whites. And it follows her through the grief of missing her family, the terror of not knowing how to communicate with the Indians, how to eat their food, or understand their customs.

But there were those in the Indian village who were kind to Molly, who was renamed Corn Tassel because of her beautiful yellow hair. And she began to learn the Seneca language with the help of a kind Indian boy, Little Turtle.

Later, when Mary Jemison – The White Woman of the Genesee – had the chance to return to her own people, she decided to stay with the Seneca. She’d fallen in love with the people, their way of life and their customs. She married an Indian man, and when he died, she married another Indian man. She lived the rest of her life with the Seneca, until she died at about 90 years old.

It’s a heart wrenching and inspiring book. You’ve just got to read it.

Jeeping in Ouray, Colorado

Bailey here –

I promised to show you Ouray, Colorado, so here goes. I loved Ouray! What a gorgeous little town that seemed to me to be a caldera (volcano) surrounded by steep mountains on all sides. Why else would there be a hot springs and a hot river flowing through it?

Centuries before white men arrived, the Tabeguache Utes, a nomadic Indian tribe, traveled to Ouray in the summer months to hunt game and soak in the “sacred miracle waters”. They knew the springs that simmer beneath much of Ouray were therapeutic. The town’s original name was “Uncompahgre,” the Ute word for “hot water springs” and the hot river running through town is called the Uncompaghre River.

The Utes served as guides for expeditions crossing the southern Rockies in the 1700s. Spanish explorers named the rugged mountain range the San Juan Mountains, but the Spaniards weren’t interested in settling such a harsh and unforgiving environment. It was the miners, flooding the region in the late 1800’s in search of silver and gold, who’d forever change the face of the San Juans. In fact, many of the roads we jeeped on were access routes that miners made over a hundred years ago.

In 1873, the famous Ute Chief, Ouray, reluctantly signed a government treaty releasing the Ute’s treasured San Juan Mountains to encroaching settlers. The town, officially incorporated in 1876, was named in Ouray’s honor. Although the locals say it ‘you-ray’ not ‘ew-ray’ and they’ll correct you. In its first year, 400 struggling inhabitants forged their way through the long frozen winter and eagerly greeted spring with its blooming alpine flowers, rushing brooks and gentle mountain rains.

By 1880 with the frenzy for precious metals, Ouray had grown into a booming mining town with over 2,600 inhabitants. The town included a school, several churches, a hospital, restaurants, saloons and brothels, hardware, clothing and supply stores for the miners, hotels and boarding houses. By 1888, the town would celebrate the arrival of the Denver Rio Grande Railroad. Less than five years later, the value of silver fell drastically challenging the resolve of Ouray’s residents.

As you can see, the jeeping was beautiful and amazing. And the guys had lots of fun. I love to watch guys in their Jeeps try to conquer an insurmountable pass. Sometimes they even make it! And it sure makes for some great pics.

We made it to several summits, saw glacier lakes, awesome storms, and lots of marmots (big rodents). The wildflowers this year were incredible. It’s not like this every year and I felt very special to be able to see them in their glory. It was definitely an epic summer vacation!

Oh, and don’t forget you can click on any picture to see a bigger version of it.

Jeeping in Silverton, Colorado

Hey there, Bailey, here –

I was gone for almost the entire month of July on a jeeping/camping trip with the parents. I know, the parents. But it was way cool! I swear the Rocky Mountains are the most beautiful place on earth. Now I know what John Denver was singing about all those years. Yes, I grew up listening to John Denver. All of the pictures posted here are ones I took on our trip. Click on any of pics if you want to see a larger version of it.

We started out with six 4-wheel drive vehicles. They weren’t all Jeeps. We had also had a Bronco, a Land Cruiser and a Ford truck. My parents have the white Jeep Cherokee. The Bronco had a bit of trouble every time we drove above 11,000 feet. Something to do with the carburetors vapor locking. Those of us with fuel injection didn’t have those issues. But as you can see, with a bit of manpower, we got them turned around and back toward 10,000 feet so the Bronco would start again.

We jeeped around Silverton, Colorado for the first part of the trip. Silverton is an endearing little mining town at the elevation of 9318 feet. Beautiful, jagged peaks surround the town and my gorgeous Animas River rushes on the other side of the railroad tracks for the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. It rained there almost every day for an hour or so in the afternoon. I loved it!

The Silverton district opened to miners in 1874, following the Brunot Treaty with my Ute Indians. About 2000 men moved into the region that year from around the U.S., Europe and even China. They had to deal with the severe Rocky Mountain winters and dangerous mining conditions, all in hopes that they’d find gold, silver or whatever other minerals that could make them rich.

We saw a ton of the old mines, mining ghost towns and unbelievable pulley contraptions that were built so long ago. How they built such laborate things without modern technology, reliable vehicles or heavy equipment, I just don’t know. I mean, we drove over rough roads, peaking at above 12,000 feet, just to get to the other side where these ghost towns were. People are amazing.

But not everyone who settled in Silverton were miners. By 1875 the 100 “sturdy souls” who lived in Silverton worked in the post office, sawmills, blacksmith shop, mercantile, newspaper, liquor stores, smelters, or the assay office – an institution that tested the purity of precious metals. The town’s population grew to about 500 by 1876. Life wasn’t easy for any of them. The winters are long, cold and harsh.

Today, many people still live in Silverton year-round. Their school houses about 60 kids, from kindergarten through high school. They even have a preschool. Although most of the cute shops close during the winter, they are open during the few summer months where tourism is at its highest.

And if you’re ever in Silverton around the 4th of July, we were told that their fireworks show is ranked in the top ten of the nation. I hear about 20,000 people bombard the town every July 4th, just to watch the fireworks. I loved Silverton!

Next time I’ll show you Ouray, Colorado! Did lots of jeeping around there, too.

4th of July in Durango, Colorado

Bailey here again –

I had the best 4th of July with Jasmine! In the morning, we went on a gorgeous hike in the mountains. We took Bear Scat Trail and encountered three bear scat piles that were left right on the trail. A bit unnerving, but we didn’t see any bears – but I wondered how many bears saw us. Anyway, the trail sure lived up to its name. We hiked at least 500 feet vertical and ended up right beside one of our red rock mesas. It was way cool. If you look close in the picture, you can actually see the lake way down through the trees

Then we went to the lake for a swim. Two cute little girls were playing on the kayaks so I had to take their picture. The water was cold – really cold – but Jazz and I braved it and dove in. Once I got over the initial shock, it felt great after our long hike. Later a thunderstorm threatened to shorten our lake time, but it ended up going the other way. Which was good because we didn’t want it to rain out the parade or the fireworks.

After we showered and got our red, white and blue on, we headed to Main Avenue for the annual 4th of July Parade. Durango is very festive on the 4th of July with almost eveyone in patriotic clothes. Everyone lines the street to watch the hometown parade. Some of the entrants throw out candy, sending the little kids scurrying around in the street. Others spray the crowd with water, sending some spectators running away, while others raise their hands in the air and to encourage a good drenching. As you can see in the picture, someone drove a beautiful orange Mustang Fastback in the parade. Of course I screamed and gave him a thumbs up. I asked how much he wanted to sell it for, but he said he wasn’t selling. Darn.

Then we went over to The Palace for an awesome pasta dinner. The Palace is one of my favorite places to eat. They’re famous for their chicken and dumplings, but the pasta with tomatoes, olive oil and parmesan cheese is my absolute favorite. Yum!

 

We rounded out the night by sprinting over to the Albertsons parking lot before the fireworks started. They shoot the fireworks from the mesa just up the way, so its a perfect place for viewing. Everyone brings snacks and lawn chairs to enjoy the show. It was a perfect day!

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