The seasons pass…how do you spend your time?

What’s been going on with me in our little mountain village this September:


Mountain Mutts – Joy’s Tale
(published in the Lake City Silver World, September 4, 2020)

When a new puppy named Joy joins the family she struggles to be accepted by the older dog, Spring.  Why is Spring so reluctant to acknowledge Joy? Is it the right move to bring a puppy into Spring’s world after her beloved friend dies? What adventures await these two delightful dogs?

Mountain Mutts – Joy’s Tale is a charming story of life and death, as seen through the eyes of two beautiful shelties.  This children’s book written by local resident, photographer and author Julie Stephens, is a wonderful read aloud to your children, as a family or to a class of students.  Parents and teachers alike will enjoy the life lessons woven throughout the story, including tolerance, death, sadness, joy, helping others, the excitement of learning and the always relevant qualities of kindness and diversity.

Both charming and honest, the author describes the pain of loss Spring feels when her canine companion dies and how Spring feels as a new puppy is brought into the home.  Eloquently, the author describes in both words and photography, how puppy Joy ultimately wins reluctant Spring’s friendship.

The photography in Mountain Mutts – Joy’s Tale skillfully captures the dog’s expressions.  The whimsical and colorful photos make this story set in the mountains, even more believable, as you truly see Spring’s pain and sadness; as well as Joy’s confusion and enthusiasm in making Spring her new friend.

While identified as a children’s picture book, Mountain Mutts – Joy’s Tale is so much more.  The book connects with readers of any age: as a picture book, for people welcoming a new puppy, helping to comfort someone who has had a dog die, as well as collectors of anything dog.

Stephens is an accomplished author and photographer.  She writes an award-winning column called, Life from My View, for the Lake City Silver World Newspaper.  Julie has also has an informative and inspirational blog entitled, Living in the Mountains, which can be found at  Check out her website at where Stephens other books and information can be found.

Mountain Mutts – Joy’s Tale can be bought locally at Slumgullion Gifts as well as by contacting the author and on Amazon.

Review by Erin Cavit.

Julie, Thank you so much for the donation of your very sweet book. It made Taffy and I both tear up. – Elaine (Elaine Gray – Lake City, Colorado Head Librarian)                                                                     


        Joy today – still adorable at 10 years old



   My flowers give me such joy – our garden is a happy place – our flower season at 10,000 feet in the mountains is short and glorious


This stunning white poppy with a blush of pink came up on its own and survived early September snow!


The sunflowers look a little worn around the edges at the end of the season, especially since the snow – still pretty – like life after awhile J



This is Crystal Peak. She’s visible from my writing nook, our living room and front deck. We had snow the second week in September. We needed the moisture. Warm weather has followed along with our aspen leaves turning stunning autumn hues and the flowers have kept blooming beautifully.



          Colorado – where we have snow and flowers simultaneously!     Still so pretty, Colorado purple asters


The bear in front of our bakery 2020 seasonIMG_2649


                                   Autumn Aspen!



The Blessing of the Animals –in commemoration of St. Francis


Prayer of St. Francis: Lord, make me a channel of your peace, where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; and where there is sadness, joy. O, God, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; as to console
To be understood, as to understand
To be loved, as to love
For it is in giving that we receive
And it’s in pardoning that we are pardoned
And it’s in dying that we are born to Eternal Life


Morning Has Broken…My sweet hearted husband had us at Deer Lakes for 7:20 AM this beautiful, autumn Saturday morning~!



The aspen leaves are picturesque, vivid, beyond beautiful – makes me so happy just to be alive!

Hope our border collie has that ‘happy to be alive’ look!

What’s your favorite season? Why? The seasons pass…how do you spend your time? Are you happy about what you choose to do with your time / your life? Has Covid made big changes to the way you live? Are you ok?

“May you live all the days of your life.”  J. Swift

Living in the Mountains

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