Picking Favorites

IMGP6489By S. J. Brown

We all have favorite things, that special gift from long ago, or a place with fond memories. Sometimes our favorite is a sentence that just glides off the tongue and completes a thought. After every photo trip Jay asks me what my favorite part of the trip was. Generally it is a brief moment when I am close to a critter and clicking the shutter button. After we arrive home when I am going through stacks of photographs he asks which image is my favorite.

My favorite moment doesn’t always yield a favorite photograph. On a recent trip to Michigan my favorite moment did yield my favorite image from the trip. I hung out with a raccoon while he enjoyed his lunch. Jay spotted him going into a trash can to retrieve the meal. He didn’t care how close I approached, he had a snack and I wasn’t a threat.

20 SJ Brown Raccoon

My favorite critter moment from a trip to Colorado was when we sat and watched a Coyote. We spotted him in the road pouncing on the hard surface. It took us a few minutes to figure out what he was doing. The road was covered with crickets; he would pounce on one, eat it and then move on to the next one.

32 Coyote

My favorite moment on a trip to Minnesota was when Jay and I helped out with a duck banning project. It was cold and very early in the morning, but it was an experience I will never forget. I was a bit busy so I didn’t get very many photos, so my favorite moment and my favorite image didn’t match on that trip.

Me Duck

Some photo trips have more than one favorite moment or image which makes it hard to choose. Hanging around in South Dakota we had several great experiences and came home with loads of great photos.

SJ Brown Deer

When we visited Maine my favorite moment was when we spotted a mother moose and her calf. It took days to find the pair and when we did it was cold and rainy, but I didn’t care. Mama was letting me get pictures of them both.

SJ Brown Moose

Sometimes it is hard to choose a favorite. I have two sisters, but I don’t have a favorite. They are very different people and each comes with their own special qualities. I have only one granddaughter, so of course she is my favorite. We share a love of critters and photography so we have many favorite moments together.
Do you have a favorite food? I have several. How about a favorite place, mine is generally wherever I happen to be. So what are some of your favorites?

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Thanks for stopping by.







This post (c) Doris McCraw


All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them. Walt Disney

It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are. e. e. cummings

Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear. Mark Twain

Faced with what is right, to leave it undone shows a lack of courage. Confucius

These are some quotes on courage, at least some of my favorites. We as humans are asked to be courageous many times in our lives. Sometimes it is a major event, but many times it is in our day-to-day activities we find and show the most courage.

The writer, painter, politician and philosopher all show courage when they offer their ideas, their work to the world. Whether we agree or not, compassion for their effort is the least we can do. Offering suggestions, support, and strength for their creation seems the honorable route.



In my novel “Josie’s Dream” which releases on Tuesday January 17, 2017, my main character Josephine Forrester, is following her dream of being a doctor in a small town in Eastern Colorado.  Yes, in the 1870’s when this story takes place, women were doctors, many who attending medical school. It took courage to follow your dream, you passion then as well as now. In many ways, the above quotes played a part in the writing of this story. The eleven authors who contributed to this series all showed courage in telling their story.


So whenever you wonder if you should try, take heart and follow your dream with courage. Regardless of the outcome, you will have traveled another step on the journey of your life.

For those interested in the novel/series, check out Amazon’s “Grandma’s Wedding Quilts”. http://amzn.to/2iVfF1h  

Angela Raines is the pen name for Doris McCraw. Doris also writes haiku posted at – http://fivesevenfivepage.blogspot.com  Check out her other work and like her Amazon author page:  http://amzn.to/1I0YoeL







Post (c) by Doris McCraw

For something different this post is sharing my love of Fall and Colorado Gold. Enjoy the trip

Colorado high country can be stunning in its contrast


Labor Day is Balloon Festival Time as they take off in the early morning
Fall also is the time leaves begin to fall, leaving reminders of cold to come
The gold that nature shares in fall almost is too bright to take in
Sunsets to take your breath away

And finally,

Nothing compares to the far off vistas

Until next time, enjoy the fall weather, keep up the writing and continued inspiration to all as you travel this creative journey.

Angela Raines is the pen name for Doris McCraw. Doris also writes haiku posted five days a week at – http://fivesevenfivepage.blogspot.com and has now passed one thousand haiku and photos posted on this blog. Check out her other work or like her Amazon author page:http://amzn.to/1I0YoeL

Lost Knight cover

never cover option


Angel Of Salvation Valley ARaines Web (2)





Colorado Day

Post by Doris McCraw

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August 1 is Colorado Day. For many years the state of Colorado celebrated big on this day, but over the years many have forgotten what the celebration stands for, not that they don’t celebrate. To let you in on the reason, it was on this day in 1876 that Colorado became the 38th state in the Union, hence the name “The Centennial State”. Yes, I believe Michner took that piece of information to name is book about Colorado “Centennial”.

So what do Coloradans do to celebrate? Well, we allow everyone to visit any of our forty-two state parks and 350 wildlife areas for free. The rest of us, well, we’ll go to work.


In honor of this day, I’ll share some tidbits about this ‘Colorful’ state.

  1. At 104,094 square miles, Colorado is the eighth largest state in terms of land.
  2. The state is named for the Colorado River, which got its name for the ruddy silt Spanish travelers saw in the water.
  3. Colorado has over 50 peaks above 14,000 feet. The tallest is Mount Elbert, near Leadville, Colorado at 14,439 feet.
  4. Pikes Peak is the tallest peak, 14, 115 feet, in the Southern Front Range. The nearest mountain peak its height or taller is at least sevety miles away. It is one of the few fourteeners in Colorado that has no other peak of its altitude nearby.
  5. For a number of years it was believed the mountains in Colorado could not be crossed by the people traveling west with their wagons.
  6. Colorado is the only U.S. state that lies entirely above 1000 meters elevation. Its lowest point, 3,317 feet (1,011 m) in elevation is the highest low elevation point of any state, and is higher than the highest elevation points of 18 states. Colorado contains 75% of the land area of the U.S. with an altitude over 10,000 feet
  7. Pikes Peak Cog Railway is the highest cog railway train in the world.
  8. The world’s largest flat-top mountain is the ‘Grand Mesa’ in western Colorado
  9. The Dwight Eisenhower Memorial Tunnel between Clear Creek and Summit counties is the highest auto tunnel in the world. Bored at an elevation of 11,000 feet under the Continental Divide it is 8,960 feet long and the average daily traffic exceeds 26,000 vehicles
  10. The tallest sand dune in America is in Great Sand Dunes National Monument outside of Alamosa. This bizarre 46,000-acre landscape of 700-foot sand peaks was the creation of ocean waters and wind more than one million years ago

I’ll throw in an eleventh one for fun: 11. Leadville is the highest incorporated city in the United States at 10,430 feet elevation. Because there was lots of ‘silver’ named towns at the time, the founding fathers suggested Leadville


For those of you who would enjoy more about my adopted state, here are some links you might like to check out:




and last a video on the ‘Prayer Trees in Fox Run Park’ near Colorado Springs. https://youtu.be/3LkYQbcnlkEhttps://youtu.be/3LkYQbcnlkE

Angela Raines is the pen name for Doris McCraw. Doris also writes haiku posted five days a week at – http://fivesevenfivepage.blogspot.com and has now passed one thousand haiku and photos posted on this blog. Check out her other work or like her Angela Raines Amazon author page:  http://amzn.to/1I0YoeL

Current Publications Available:

“One Hot Knight” Summer Medieval Anthology

“One Christmas Knight” Medieval Anthology

“Angel of Salvation Valley”






Delightful Details

Post copyright Doris McCraw

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As I work to complete my short story for a Medieval Anthology, along with a Western one and a proposal for next years History Symposium, I am having fun with those delightful details. In the midst of preparing this post, the link for a music video came through. Talk about details. So folks take a listen, then read on for some delightful details from history. https://youtu.be/Wgm9gZs1hYw

I’ll start with the Symposium. If I my proposal is accepted I shall be expected to present a detailed story defending my position on the myth of women doctors. I spent time wondering how I would cover such a large subject, then a friend gave me an idea for the hook. How the story of one created the myth we now believe to be true of the women doctors in Colorado. It is the true details of her story and that of others that will bring the story of those early women doctors life. Yes, some women doctors lived and worked in large cities, but even those larger cities were not without their dangers. Just because Leadville was one of the largest towns in Colorado in the 1870’s, there were still shootouts, killings and mining accidents. Even Doc Holliday made his home there awhile. Some women were reported to carry a gun when out on a call in the country.

Image result for leadville colorado
http://www.leadville.org During its peak, Leadville bragged over 30,000 residents and at one time was slated to be the capital of Colorado.

A Western Romance at Christmas, ah the possibilities. Of course there has to be conflict between the man and women. Most of the time, these stories involve young people. But what about the older widow, the man who has been footloose and fancy free. There is a story, whether true or not, of a woman who bought property in Denver, then found out it was a brothel. Since she had invested all her money, she did what any respectable women would do, she became the Madam, and with the money earned sent her daughter to boarding and finishing school. Delightful details like that add a hint of mystery to what could be challenging romance. We will see what my characters decide will work for them.

Eibingen Abbey

Now to a new arena for me, Medieval romance. Yes, I read a few when I was younger, but how was I going to make this one work. Okay, I set it in 1151, during the time Hildegard of Bingen created the first stand alone convent ever. Now I have done a lot of research on this amazing person. Women were seen and not heard during that time, I think not. Hildegard wrote music, books, and traveled and preached, when women were not allowed to do so. She corresponded with popes and kings. If you want to learn more about her, you can start here. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hildegard_of_Bingen you can also read more at:http://www.hildegard.org/

To add more detail I studied books on the life of people during the 1100’s.  A cookbook was a great read. Everyone eats, so adding food to the story helps to make it real. It is in those details that our narratives come alive, whether fiction or non-fiction. So the next time you’re telling a story, include those details that bring the reader or listener into the world you’re describing. Until next time, happy researching and writing.

Doris McCraw specializes in Colorado and Womens History. She writes fiction under the pen name Angela Raines. Join her on facebook and her Amazon author page.

Product Details
“NEVER HAD A CHANCE” , second in the Agate Gulch stories, in the Prairie Rose Publications “A COWBOY CELEBRATION” anthology http://amzn.to/1GzwJhw

Product Details
HOME FOR HIS HEART the first in the Agate Gulch stories. http://amzn.to/1GJhpSu

Author Page: http://amzn.to/1I0YoeL

Photo and Poem:http://bit.ly/1dVnNwO

The Electric Physician by Doris

Doris McCraw
Doris McCraw





Post copyright 2015 by Doris McCraw



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I have spoken of Dr. Harriet Leonard in post before, but felt she deserved to have folks know more about her.

Born in New York in 1829 and died in Colorado in 1907 at the age of 79 (?). She was married to John  Leonard and they had seven children, with four surviving to adulthood according to the 1900 census. John died in 1895/6.

Along with Julia E. Loomis, the first woman doctor in Colorado Springs, Harriet Leonard was the first woman doctor in Manitou Springs, Colorado. Her advertisement appears as early as July of 1878. Her ad read: Mrs. H. A. Leonard M.D. ELECTRICIAN. Special attention given to nervous and chronic diseases. Office in the Mineral Bath House. Manitou. This form of treatment was not that unusual in the 1870’s. You can read more at: http://blog.nyhistory.org/electric-medicine/

Dr. Leonard later became the proprietor of the Bath house, a rather unusual position for a women. None the less, Harriet was constantly working and learning. There is some indication she may have gone to Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, (originally known as Hot Springs) for a time, but no definite proof has been found at this point. It would not be out the question as the town has numerous hot springs. The springs in Manitou are mineral, and not hot springs. It would make sense given her history.

An additional difference between Dr. Leonard and the other female physicians, she was an allopath, while Dr. Loomis and others were homeopaths. Dr. Leonard graduated from the Keokuk College for Physicians and Surgeons.http://www.keokuk.net/history/1820sto.htm  Dr. Loomis a graduate of the Cleveland Homeopathic College for Women as were the two other women doctors who joined these two early pioneers.

As the journey continues, more and more information sheds light on these early pioneers. It is a passion, and a trust to find and tell their stories. For now, Harriet A. Leonard is the focus.Her end came when she fell and  broke her femur. At her age she declined quickly, passing away in September of 1907. She appeared to have an interesting life. Stay tuned as the pages of time are pulled back and we learn more about Dr. Leonard and others like her who ventured to the West and Colorado to follow their dreams of being healers. 

home for his heart angela raines

also available as an ebook on Barnes & Noble and Smashwords.

Doris Gardner-McCraw/Angela Raines
Author, Speaker, Historian-specializing in
Colorado and Women’s History

Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/angelaraines-dorismccraw
Photo and Poem: http://fivesevenfivepage.blogspot.com
Blog: http://renawomyn.blogspot.com/ 

Will I Be Renewed or Discouraged?

105182105411111CDPAs I write this I am anticipating what this trip will bring. Gayle Irwin and I are in a motel, just 41 miles from our destination of YMCA of the Rockies near Estes Park, Colorado. We are attending a three day writing conference.

I have attended about five times before, but not for about six years now. It is by far the most economical yet information packed conference I have found. There are seven workshops going on at the same time twice each day and eight continuing sessions that meet each day. There are also four clinics that accept only 8-10 people that run the length of the conference.

Topics range from Indie Publishing, (not covered or encouraged 10 years ago), to memoirs, fiction writing, non-fiction, children’s writing etc. There are 15 minute free critique’s to sign up for and paid 30 minute ones. And you can mingle with teachers and fellow writers/hopefuls at meals in the cafeteria.DSCN0886

Opportunities to get to know authors and editors there happen at meals and at the worship times in the morning and evenings. Also, a hayride is planned for the last evening, weather permitting. (It doesn’t always permit at this time of year in the Rockies.) I met Lauraine Snelling on that hayride at one of my first conferences there. She was just beginning her career I believe and now is a bestselling author and quite revered in my home state of North Dakota where she did a series of stories on the Norwegian Immigrants to the Red River Valley.write it

While there is excitement and learning, how-to books available as well as books written for enjoyment, there are also the critiques! I must prepare to hear the changes they think my manuscripts need, that I didn’t “show” enough, that I didn’t develop my characters enough, that I need a ton more work! Hopefully, there will be positive comments saying I did some part right, I developed that part well, this is a story the person would want to read.

So, perhaps, if it doesn’t snow on us too hard, I will drive home Saturday evening with renewed vigor to finish my stories, begin new ones, and picture my success, signing my books right there alongside Nicholas Sparks, Johanna Lindsey and the rest!

And with that last sentence, perhaps my career in comedy has just begun! Or, God willing, it’s a prediction!


Post copyright 2015 by Doris McCraw

I confess, but then you already know, I love research. If something catches my eye or ear, I want to follow up, know all I can. This, I believe keeps me young and involved with life. (I must be doing something correct. I met an acquaintance who hadn’t seen me for a while. Her comment, “You are the only person who looks younger everytime I see you.”)

It is common knowledge I research early Colorado women doctors. Their stories need to be told. But in addition to their personal stories, there is a need to place them in the context of the time they lived. The stories of the life around them.


In my novella “Home for His Heart” Sam was a child soldier in the Civil War. In order to understand the world he lived in, it was important I research child soldiers. Yes, there were young boys (and women) who served in the Civil War. Most were in the drum and fife corps.Their jobs were to signal the soldiers during battles, among other duties. For more information about these child soldiers, here is a link. http://civilwarsaga.com/child-soldiers-in-the-civil-war/. The thought of the time, no one would harm the children. That turned out to be a dream.

Early Colorado Territorial Prison Building

In two current works that are in edits, it required research on the Colorado Prison System of the 1870’s, and Pueblo, Colorado from the same time period. There was some overlap, but each story required its own special research. To bring the characters and their stories to life, I try to walk the ground they would walk, whenever possible. This might mean a trip to an area I haven’t been before. Finding the stories of the region, learning what was happening. Yes, my characters are fictional, but their lives are based on facts, on truths, on real happenings.

Area near Pikes Peak

So as I continue to write both fiction and non-fiction, it is important that I immerse myself in the worlds I am writing about. This may mean trips to remote cemeteries to read the headstones of the people in that area. Reading old newspapers, taking the stories there and creating my fictional words from those words. The newspapers are also goldmines for the non-fiction. These are the worlds the doctors lived in. Even though train travel was fairly popular in the early 1870’s, the use of horses still was a major mode of travel. This along with the status of medical discoveries, plays a big role in the lives of the women doctors.

So if I seem a bit distracted at times, just know I’m immersed in some wonderful research. I promise to come up for air, and maybe share some of the stories. In the meantime, here’s to creating the stories we all were meant to share.

home for his heart angela raines

also available as an ebook on Barnes & Noble and Smashwords.

Doris Gardner-McCraw/Angela Raines
Author, Speaker, Historian-specializing in
Colorado and Women’s History

Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/angelaraines-dorismccraw
Photo and Poem: http://fivesevenfivepage.blogspot.com
Blog: http://renawomyn.blogspot.com/ 

Elevation Education by Doris

hhj spc 3Post copyright Doris McCraw

Ever Envision Entertaining the thought of writing about E? There are a lot of avenues of possibilities. For myself after entertaining the idea of Electricity- Tesla V Edison, I realized I lived at 6,000+ feet above sea level and traveled to 8,000 and 10,000 regularly. What is common place for me can be challenging and sometimes hazardous to others. Therefore a lesson in Elevation seemed in order.

Colorado Topographic Map-USGS

Colorado is considered one of, it not the highest state in the nation. It is home to over 50 peaks above 14,000 feet. The highest incorporated town in North America is here, the town of Leadville, know for it history, minerals and the folks who came, went or died there. Many people in the late 1800 and early 1900’s came to Colorado for their health. The clear air, the exact opposite of the coal laden city air of the eastern cities, was the factor that drew them here. It was life saving for many, but for some, a death sentence.

Colorado Springs historic map – Colorado Springs, Colorado City and Manitou, CO, 1882

Why a death sentence? If you have ever been to Colorado you will notice cities have their elevation listed, not population. If you have heart problems elevation is a defining factor in your traveling. It is my thought that one of the reasons elevation is listed is for that very reason. Many people with heart problems have trouble when they go above certain elevations. For many that is 8,000 feet, for others it is much less. For Mary Lincoln Mellon (Queen) Palmer, it was the reason she could not remain in Colorado Springs with her husband, Wm. Jackson Palmer, the city’s founder.

Palmer and his wife “Queen” Palmer …

Even those without heart issues can find the change in elevation challenging. Coming from sea level to Colorado Springs or higher can lead to altitude sickness, depending on your susceptibility. The following are two links describing the problem and some tips:

http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/altitude-sickness-topic-overview http://www.emedicinehealth.com/mountain_sickness/article_em.htm.

One interesting side effect, especially for those who imbibe in alcoholic beverages; folks you can’t drink as much at a higher elevation as you did at a lower one. There ain’t as much oxygen at higher elevations. Even when going from my 6,000 to the top of Pikes Peak’s 14,115 is a big change. I’ve been to the top many times, sometimes to speak and sing ‘America the Beautiful’ as Katharine Lee Bates, and I have to conserve and use what oxygen there is to be effective.

Pikes Peak as seen from the West
Pikes Peak as seen from the West, from the authors collection

Now you have had a bit of an education, please don’t let it stop you from traveling. There are many beautiful things to see in this world. But as they say, education is power. Power to make good choices and to prepare for eventuality. Until next time, may this little education about elevation help you make plans for travel and add insights and ideas to your writing.

home for his heart angela raines

also available as an ebook on Barnes & Noble and Smashwords.

Doris Gardner-McCraw/Angela Raines
Author, Speaker, Historian-specializing in
Colorado and Women’s History

Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/angelaraines-dorismccraw
Photo and Poem: http://fivesevenfivepage.blogspot.com
Blog: http://renawomyn.blogspot.com/ 

A to Z Blog Challenge Post A-to-Z Road Trip


Post copyright by Doris McCraw


We all encounter the unexpected. Usually it is fun, sometimes irritating and occasionally an interesting blessing. This post is about the third, and interesting blessing, I think.

Doctor Josephine Dunlop, born December 3, 1875 in Colorado. Died September 15, 1970 at the age of 94 in Austin, Texas. She was the widow of William Dunlop and practiced medicine in Pueblo, Colorado.  One source has her as a graduate of the University of Michigan Medical School in 1898 and receiving her Colorado license that same year. This same source has her as the president of the Pueblo County Medical Society in 1918 and retiring from the practice of medicine in 1946.  From 1919-1920 she was the second vice-president of the Colorado State Medical Society.

Dr Josephine Nachtrieb Dr. Jo Dunlop

Dr. Dunlop was one of consulting pathologist for the Colorado State Hospital, and the Colorado Fuel and Iron company, both in Pueblo, Colorado.

The accomplishments of Dr. Dunlop fascinated me. It was as I researched her background that I took a path I did not expect. Enter- the Unexpected. There I found her father, Charles H. Nachtrieb and early settler in Colorado. Born April 20, 1833 in Germany, Charles came to the United States with his siblings. After settling in Colorado, Mr. Nachtrieb was a candidate from Lake county to the convention in 1866 to establish a constitution to admit Colorado to the Union. (Colorado was not admitted until 1876). He was to have built the first grist mill west of the Mississippi and a vigilante leader on the Lake County War. (Which according to records was  a particularly bloody conflict.) In 1879 he along with Otto Mears, Issac Gothelf filed an article of incorporation for the Poncho, Marshall and Gunnison toll road, the object of which was to build a twenty-five thousand dollar toll road from Poncho creek in Chaffee county to the Gunnison river.

An old school in Nathrop.
An old school in Nathrop.

Charles Nachtrieb was also a rancher, having a large ranch in Gunnision County Colorado. He and his family lived in Nathrop, Colorado ( named for him) where he had a shop and was postmaster. It was in Nathrop that, according to the newspaper report from the time, that a man by the name of Burt (Bert) Remington shot and killed Charles on October 3, 1881. He was forty-nine. As I have searched, I have found no record of the trial or even if Remington was caught. But I have much more research to do. I did find a proclamation printed in the Daily Register-Call ( a Central City newspaper) on Thursday October 6, 1881 which read.

The Govenor’s Proclamation:  Govenor Pirkin yesterday morning made the following proclamation, offering a reward:

Wheras, On or about the third (3d) day of October, A.D. 1881, one Charles Nachtrieb was murdered in the county of Chaffee, and state of Colorado, and Wheras, Burt Remington has been charged with said murder, and, Wheras, said Remington has not been arrested, the proper officers have been unable up to the present time to find said Remington, Now, therefore, In pursuance of the statute in such cases made and provided, I do hereby offer the sum of three hundred dollars ($300) as a reward for the arrest and delivery to the sheriff of Chaffee, county, Colorado, of the aforesaid Burt Remington, so charged with the said murder.                                                      FREDERICK W. PITKIN,  Govenor.”

There is so much more to find out and research about this family, especially Dr. Dunlop’s father. I know I will be writing a great deal about her in the future. Her father’s story is a beautiful one of hard work, success but ultimately a very sad one also. In addition to Josephine, there was wife Margaret and children Jake, Charles II, and Chris.

So you see, I was off down the ‘rabbit hole’ when I ran across Josephine Dunlop’s family tree. There is much more for me to find, and as always, I love the unexpected pieces of history my doctor research is giving me. See you next time, for who knows what I may find.

home for his heart angela raines

also available as an ebook on Barnes & Noble and Smashwords.

Doris Gardner-McCraw/Angela Raines
Author, Speaker, Historian-specializing in
Colorado and Women’s History

Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/angelaraines-dorismccraw
Photo and Poem: http://fivesevenfivepage.blogspot.com
Blog: http://renawomyn.blogspot.com/