Dunrovin Lifestyle Magazine
Holiday Season (November and December) 2016: A Season of Gratitude
Thanksgiving. Christmas. Hanukkah. Winter Solstice. Across the world people pause at the end of the year to give thanks, to embrace family, friends, community, and religious traditions, and to enjoy quiet moments of reflection before beginning a new year. Dunrovin is grateful for all the riches that life had brought us.
Winter is the silent season. Everything conspires to bring a calming hush to the world. Gone are the voices and laughter of our guests, the loud chirps of the osprey family, the music and dancing of wedding celebrations, and the hissing of summer lawns. The dense cold air and blankets of snow muffle the earth. Dunrovin's herd luxuriates in its quite solitude, free from human demands.
What will Beth create? We are excited to have Beth Huhtala come to Dunrovin in January so serve as our winter artist in residence. Beth's work is strongly influenced by the many rich stories and myths of rural Wyoming that captured her childhood mind and heart; animals, bright colors, nature, and life's cycles of death and renewal.
Thanks to our literary guide and D@D cyber book club hostess, Judy Blunt, we again have an exceptional line of up books to read and authors to meet. The 2017 Book Club will get started in January and promises to have us all talking about the role that gender plays in our visions of the West.
Giving thanks is at the core of the holiday season. Research psychologists and neurologists are just now beginning to quantify and understand on a scientific level that which most of us intuitively know from our own experiences, and which the poets and theologians have touted throughout the ages: the road to happiness is paved with bricks of gratitude.
Early November found Dunrovin Ranch owner, SuzAnne Miller, in the hospital for a total left knee replacement. This medical interruption with its confinement, enforced periods of rest, and focus on rehabilitation, may be just the opportunity SuzAnne has been wanting to make some life changes.
Looking Forward at Dunrovin
It has been a year of big changes for Dunrovin Ranch. Our longtime ranch manager, Jamie, took a new and exciting position with the Missoula Food Bank. Their gain was most definitely our loss. Luckily, Danielle quickly stepped in right before the hectic summer season and did an outstanding job. However, she too is now moving on. She recently got married and she wants more flexibility in her summer schedule so they can pursue their outdoor passions. Our barn manager, Taryn, who had done such an outstanding job of training Mystery is going back to the University of Montana to complete her degree. She won't be entirely absent from Dunrovin as she changes her schedule from full time to limited part time work with us. Finally, one of our longest serving wranglers and prized employees, Maggie, is graduating from UM's pharmacy school and will be departing this spring.
Change is always both difficult and an opportunity for any business. We will certainly miss the talents of these wonderful women who have contributed to much to us and our guests. But we also are excited to be bringing in new talents and new energy to take us to new places. I have been busy interviewing people and I am most confident that I will soon have some announcements to welcome several new employees to our little slice of paradise. ________________________________
Behind the Barn at Dunrovin
While our personnel changes are rather obvious to our DaysAtDunrovin members as they see various people come and go in front of the web cameras, many important modifications and improvements are happening behind the barn and out of view!
Our D@D web site is still a work in progress. While we love some aspects of the site, we are not completely happy with others. Two specific aspects of the site have been a challenge to us:
- We still don't yet have the kind of forum or community bulletin board that we desire. We want to duplicate Facebook like functions from within our site - but alas, that is a tall order. Facebook's ease of use and different posting options are just not available as plugins to our WordPress site. We are in the process of investigating some options and we hope to have this solved soon.
- Dunrovin generates a ton of content on a wider range of topics. We want to make this all very easily accessible and efficiently organized for our members. Members should be able quickly bring up all content on a specific topic or author or animal - whether it is a magazine article, a blog post, a photo gallery, a video, or an archived recording of one of our broadcast sessions. We will have a new content organizational structure to meet these requirements in place by early spring.
October and November were been BIG months for Training Mystery. Taryn, Brandon, and Mystery are all to be congratulated for their "tele-training" success. Brandon's expert coaching, Taryn's courage, self control, and honesty together with Mystery's all around willingness attitude brought it all together for Taryn to take her first ride!
Tell me the facts and I’ll learn.
Tell me the truth and
But tell me a story and
it will live in my heart forever.
- Native American Proverb
In the Spotlight
It was just over a year ago that the DaysAtDunrovin community lost a dear friend. Mary Birchard was a famous New York City Central Park birder who delighted in sharing her knowledge about birds with all of us. Mary's was a gift to our community. Her memory lives in each of us. We often say, "MaryB should be part of this conversation."
It often amuses us when we read in some horse magazines that dogs should never share the trail with horses. Here on western ranches, horses and dogs naturally go together. That is not to say that every dog makes a good ranch dog. Our Jewel, however, is without doubt the BEST ranch dog ever.
Each issue of the Dunrovin Ranch Lifestyle Magazine will focus the spotlight on something near and dear to Dunrovin - one of our animals, a staff member, a place, a guest, a D@D member, or something unique about our onsite or online communities. Send us your suggested subjects for our spotlight via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Miss Maude loves dressing for the season and sending her greetings for a Happy Holiday to all.