Words Matter – Authentic



A friend of mine several years ago shared with me that more than anything she wanted to be authentic. That resonated to the depth of my soul, but what did it mean? I knew the meaning of the word, but what did that mean for me, in my every day life.

Being authentic is a goal of mine today. I want my inside world to match my outside appearance to the world. For many years, I judged my insides by your outer appearance and I always came up lacking. I saw you as beautiful, happy and peaceful. I looked inside and saw none of that in me. That is no longer the case.

After many years of searching, maturity and spiritual growth have resolved that disconnect, and I am glad because one of the wonderful by-products of this quest is a deep serenity–a feeling I had never felt before in my life.

Look in that beautiful little girl in the photo above. She appears happy and a little shy but certainly OK with herself. So today I aspire to be as authentic as this child–to love deeply and freely, to giggle and laugh at tiny things and large things, and to run wildly through my life being me.

In the end, the only person I can be is Larada and that’s enough today.

My next word will be harmony–what does that conjure up in your mind?

Check out my web site: http://larada.wix.com/author

Don’t Wait 30 Years!



I wrote two books and waited 30+ years to publish them. Don’t wait! I stashed those manuscripts away in a desk drawer for years, but they were not silent. They whispered to my spirit often, but I ignored them. At first, their constant chatter distracted me, but after repeated negligence, the sound grew dimmer and dimmer. I married; I divorced. I walked away, turning my back on my creations.

Somehow I listened to the soft voice of This Tumbleweed Landed, sent out a query letter, and received a request for the full manuscript. Then came the rejection—that put an end to my writing career for several years.

I filled my life with other activity, but those two manuscripts kept up their relentless vigil. They haunted me, wanting to be released from that dark prison of my desk drawer. They were stories and poems that needed to be told.

I retired and refocused. Finally I couldn’t stand their noise anymore! The endless clamor ended because I listened!

I took out This Tumbleweed Landed and fell in love with my poems and stories again. J. R. Gilstrap’s illustrations ignited my heart and soul. I self-published this book in 2014 and felt empowered and successful.

After this experience, When Will Papa Get Home? demanded my attention. After my first read-through after so many years, I knew it needed expanded–it was only 10,000 words. As often happens in the creative world, snippets came to me about several additions: how about Felipe Baca, the founder of Trinidad, CO which led to tying Mora, NM to my immigrant family; how about adding reference to Dutch Henry, the notorious horse thief; how about Philly building his own rock and adobe house and starting with an outhouse as a prototype; how about a family outing to pick piñon nuts.

When Will Papa Get Home? was released November 2015. The clamor of those two books has ended because I listened! And I continue to write–a new book to be released this year and another next year.

Promise me you won’t wait! Write! Publish! Share your stories with the world! We need them!



Replacing a Light Bulb–An Ah Ha Experience



Do you ever let household chores slip by for months before you remember to do them?

At Christmas time,  I looked up at the light fixture in the bathroom of our house in Branson, CO and chuckled. One of the bulbs burned out about six months ago, and I just now remembered it. I am 5’3″ and the ceilings in our old rock house are 10 foot or better. Changing out light bulbs is a major event for this short person!

What helped at this moment was my 6’5″ nephew was visiting after Christmas, so I asked for his help. Caden always is willing to help.  Quickly, he climbed one or two steps on the ladder–I would have been on the top step and still stretching to reach the target. The job was done in a matter of minutes with no fear of falling and little effort.

This simple project has been whirling in my mind for the last few weeks. Immediately when the light burned out, I noticed how dim the lighting was in the bathroom, but as time passed, it gradually became the norm. I didn’t notice any longer.

How often in life I have done that with major issues I face! Looking at the solution for this problem gives me some guidelines to apply the next time I let something go for a long period of time and then realize it:

  1. Awareness is key, so I need to be present in my life, not walking through my life numb and preoccupied with thoughts racing through my mind. I need to be here. I need to face my reality and be willing to fix whatever I face.
  2. Have the right tools. A hammer is not the tool for every job, so I need to analyze the situation and then find the appropriate tool for the task.
  3. Have welling volunteers to help. More times than not, if I ask someone to help, they happily comply. I don’t want to bother someone else with my petty needs, so I don’t ask.
  4. I must ask for help. People can’t read my mind. To ask someone for help is to offer him or her the opportunity to help, to be of service. Most people love to help a friend or relative when needed.

What’s your thoughts on this topic?

New Book Coming Out This Year



I Grew Up To Be The Woman I Always Wanted to Be is my grief memoir, a collection of poetry and prose, about the loss of my Dad 21 years ago and my Mom 4 years ago. The majority of the book deals with Mom’s death and my process afterwards.

Here’s the poem the book is named after.


Have you lost both parents? Do you feel like an adult orphan? Fill out the poll below and we will see the results–also leave me a comment about this topic.













Hello 2017!


celebrationHappy New Year to you!

I enter this year with sadness and anticipation–more so that other years.

My sadness comes from thinking about the past and facing a year of uncertainty. It will be four years since my Mom died. Last year was filled with losses too. We have some dear friends facing major health crisis and that shadows what this year may be.

The weather in southeastern Colorado continues to be dry–we need deep moisture to heal the drought we experienced last summer. How do ranchers and farmers deal with the uncertainty of the weather and mother nature?

I’m new to this position but I so respect my Dad and all my ranching and farming friends who have experienced this for years. My Dad would say it’s just a part of the job.

I base my anticipation on my eternal optimism.  I have a book ready to be published. My husband and I scheduled out our fun travels fro 2017  for pleasure and dancing last week–looks like a great year.

We got snow in New Mexico a couple days ago, so the dryness received some relief here.

All in all, I know that possibilities abound this year, and I am ready.


My Grandma’s Homemade Turkey & Egg Noodles and Popcorn Balls


I have two favorite Christmas memories about my maternal grandmother. 

Grandma made all the traditional sweets for Christmas time, but she made something really different that became my favorite. She made popcorn balls for a Christmas treat. I never made them with her because she had to prepare all those goodies before we arrived.

I found a great recipe in the Folsom Garden Club cookbook and have used it every year since. Every Christmas I make two batches of popcorn balls–a red and a green batch. I love making these sweet treats and as I munch on them, Grandma Dickerson comes to mind. I don’t have her recipe, but I have my memories.

The other memory I have is the day after Christmas, Grandma made homemade turkey and egg noodles. She would use the leftovers and the turkey carcass to create the soup. She was of the generation that did not waste a thing, so the carcass was boiled to get the good broth for the soup she was preparing.

Then she would make the homemade noodles. She never used a bowl; she poured out a mound of flour on the table, scooped out the center to make the bowl then started adding ingredients. She would roll out the noodles and cut them and leave them scattered on the table to dry for awhile.

Grandma was a short lady, so I stood at her elbow often watching the process, anticipating the finished product. She knew it was my favorite dish so she spoiled me with this treat any Christmas we were at her house.

The delicious smell of the turkey cooking and the knowledge of the dish coming had my mouth watering. The sampling of the broth, the aroma of turkey cooking and the warmth of the hot soup warmed my heart and soul.

I have never tried to make her noodles–again I don’t have her recipe. I’m not sure she had one. Maybe I should google a recipe for homemade noodles and try my hand at a batch. I’m sure all those years at her side would help me create something special.

Mom was always a part of this special time in the kitchen. Grandma was a great cook and these two Christmas memories warm me every holiday time. It was communal time in the kitchen–three generations enjoying each other around a tradition I miss today.