Friday, December 31, 2010

Birds of Winter

Early morning good light and sunshine gave an opportunity to capture some photos of the birds that have been feeding in the back yard. The sunshine didn't last and it looks like 2010 will end in another snowstorm. We were out taking snow photos this morning and it looks like we might have another opportunity to do the same. The birds and wildlife around us are a pleasure to watch. We saw a large hawk this morning but I didn't get a good shot. So I will share the best of my bird photography for the day. sf

Thursday, December 30, 2010

A Bit of Weather in Silver City

To put it another way, we are having a heck of a snowstorm. Roads are closed going out of town and there are several accidents causing traffic problems. I know that our 4 wheel drive vehicles could get us around but since the other 10,000 residents aren't used to this kind of weather, I think we will just stay home. The repairman came yesterday to get the fireplace going and we are enjoying the cozy feel that a fireplace gives a room. I've taken a few pictures early this morning but should get some more. After living in Colorado, it seems strange where snow pictures are the unusual. I know many areas are going through much worse weather than this so I am not complaining. Stay warm everyone and A Happy New Year!!!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Interesting El Paso

Our exploring extended all the way to El Paso. Checked out the mall but decided purchasing wasn't a good idea when one has a garage full of boxes to be unpacked. Had a wonderful lunch at PF Changs and went sightseeing in "The Golden Horseshoe" area of old downtown. We just made a quick trip through as the day was fleeting and we wanted to be home at a resonable hour. Interesting, that El Paso. . Will share a few photos from the old town area. .and then there is this interesting Giant Roadrunner Sculpture of sorts that sits along the highway on the New Mexico side which appears to be constructed of "stuff". Now there's an idea for those boxes in the garage! sf

I Did, I Did !

I did post a blog about Christmas! With photos. Don't know where it has gone. So will just say we had a good holiday. . Not going to do a rewind and am on to the next blog! sf

Monday, December 20, 2010

The Many "Sides" of Silver City

One of the intriguing things about Silver City is the variety in people and activities that are open to all who choose to participate. The Silver City Museum has had an interesting schedule of family oriented events which include music, book readings, children story times and socials with food. And yesterday we found this gathering in a well done river walk area with live music and spontaneous dance with spectators joining in. As well as this seems to be a haven for us older folks that enjoy a relaxed lifestyle, having a four year college here gives the community a sprinkling of young energy. We love the fact that the Arts Community is alive and growing here. And then there seems to be a core group of multi-generational families where Silver City has always been "home". Interesting and welcoming place, this Silver City. .

Sunday, December 12, 2010

A Treasure Discovered

Yesterday was a day of discovery. We set out to attend and photograph the wreath laying ceremony at Ft. Bayard National Cemetery , just a short distance from Silver City. The program there was moving, to say the least, with tributes to fallen and injured soldiers from all branches of the military service. The mild weather, blue skies and colorful jackets and Christmas wreaths made the photography a bonus. Beautiful music was provided by a local chorus group. They appropriately call themselves The Hi Lo Silvers. After the program we decided to spend sometime exploring the grounds of Ft. Bayard. What a beautiful setting! To me it had some of the same "feeling" as the well known Ghost Ranch retreat center. The many buildings are old, but appear well maintained for their age. Complete restoration of the complex was a vision that hangs there in my mind. As it has recently been vacated by a large health facility, it appears from what we have read that there are plans for future development, while preserving the historical nature of the area. The stately row of large two-story houses reminded me of southern influence. I think that Rhet Butler would be comfortable on the upper porches! Anyway, it was a treat to browse and enjoy the grounds. I am sharing a few of my favorite photos from the morning. This treasure has a beauty as it stands, but restoration and future uses could make it so very much more. sf

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Pearl Harbor Remembered

No,born in 1942, I don't remember Pearl Harbor Day. But this date brings to mind and I do remember two very significant people in my life, both of whom were adults on the day Pearl Harbor was bombed.

One is an amazing 92 year old lady who has a birthday on December 7th. Frieda has a sharp mind, lives independently and plays a mean game of cards. She has been such a joy to have in my life.

The other,deceased years ago, a distant step-relative, a colorful irish fellow that I didn't meet until his older years. Kelly was also in the military and his ship was in Pearl Harbor when it was bombed. He is such an example of how war changes people forever. Kelly physically sealed the door on a ruptured chamber in the ship that he was on that day. It saved the ship and many others, but thereby cost the lives of those shipmates on the other side of the sealed door. Even after all the years, he still had nightmares about that day and what he had to do. Tears came to his eyes when he told the story as an old man. Yes, war changes people forever. This is just one story, one soldier, one battle.

I guess I remember both Frieda and Kelly for very different reasons this Pearl Harbor Day. Both are lessons learned.


Sunday, December 5, 2010

Wow! Another month ... and decade.

Lots has happened since last we blogged!

First, we've moved to Silver City, NM. We convoyed out of Mancos on Nov. 23, a day of sunlight 'midst days of cold and snow. 'Twas a long day, but we made it, pulling into our new driveway butt-sore and tired after dark. We found our "stuff" exceeded our vision, so had to delay a day and add another trailer to the convoy, still leaving a few items behind to pick up later.

We do have a resident herd of grounds-keepers that are usually through the yard twice a day. There's also quite a few birds and I've seen a black-tailed jackrabbit on the premises. There's still what seems like 350 boxes in the garage, but we're getting on top of it. We've got enough unpacked to be able to live reasonably comfortably. Sandy's done a great job of getting some of the flat art up around the house, so we're not just looking at bare walls. And, we've got all the utility systems more or less in order.

Silver City is full of activities as the holiday season begins. They have a horse-drawn trolley that was giving free rides up and down the main drag, Bullard Street. We were fortunate to be invited to Lorna and George's for Thanksgiving dinner with some mutual friends, and they also invited us to join them for dinner in the corner window at Isaac's on the evening of the Parade of Lights, which passed by right outside.

We've toured the galleries again and started getting a sense of how our photography might fit in. Pictured are two of Sandy's prints (second and third from left) as they are displayed in the Mimbres Region Arts Council's juried show in their gallery at the Wells Fargo Bank downtown.

There's lots of musical events during the Christmas season. Friday night we went to see and hear "Joy! 2010" at the university theater. This afternoon we're going to a chamber music concert at the Methodist Church. Last night we enjoyed a guitar-playing singer at the Buckhorn Saloon in Pinos Altos. Still to come is the concert by the Hi Lo Silvers, a group our realtor sings with.

Yesterday we went about 30 miles east of Silver City into the Mimbres Valley, on dirt roads and across the one-lane bridge in the foreground, to the Mimbres Hot Springs Ranch studio sale. Way at the end of a dusty trail in the middle of nowhere ... and the place was packed! There were about 30 artists with displays, plus music and food and drink, all on a beautiful December afternoon with temperatures in the low 60s.

Oh, about the decade thing ... yesterday I turned 70.

Drayton came down from Colorado Springs Friday, returning today. So, we got to go to Joy! with him, brunched at Isaac's, did the studio show (where Sandy snapped us standing in the entrance archway) and Sandy treated us to dinner at the Buckhorn, where a nice lady at the next table offered to immortalize the three of us!

In a way, this has been a momentous birthday for me, what with the move, the end of being a tour guide at Mesa Verde after more than 40 years, etc. And it's been a very good one. It's a joy to be here with Sandy, and we're both finding the community very friendly, very welcoming. I don't expect to be shoveling snow very much here and the sunny afternoons are warming. There's lots of cultural activities for us to share, and our photo bug juices really got flowing on the trip out to the art show yesterday ... so many places to explore and photograph at different times of the day, different seasons, etc. Life is SO good! tv

Sunday, November 21, 2010

So, what's new?

Packing and loading is what's new, plus a lot of other things. It's been a while. Sandy has been the superintendent of packing, and she's gotten us well ahead of the game. There's still a few odds and ends to tend to, but we were pretty ready when we picked up the truck in Durango yesterday and brought if back for three neighbors to help load yesterday afternoon. I should really say they loaded the truck, because I wasn't much help. Thank goodness for three strong backs, with one of them having a pretty good idea how to load a truck! We intend to finish off the project this afternoon ... there's a real possibility that not everything will go in the 26-foot truck, leaving us with a decision what to leave and where to put it, so the house can be rented (he says hopefully). We'll probably have to come back up, rent a U-Haul trailer and move the rest of the stuff down. That'll work out well in one way; we'll have had a chance to gnaw away at the first load before we bring down the rest. I have visions of a large pile of boxes in the garage for a while!

While Sandy was slaving away at packing, I went off to Washington, D.C., for the annual meeting of the general committee of Friends Committee on National Legislation. Most of the time was spent inside one hotel in 14-hour days of meetings.

I did walk up Massachusetts Avenue one evening to have a quiet supper. On the way, I was reminded of how interesting DC can be, beyond the famous attractions ... little plaques and statues and shops and offices, etc. It's also an architectural hodge-podge, with strange juxtapositions of building styles. The quaint old structure in the bottom picture is one such, and then I noticed the sign ... it's an "I Am" sanctuary. I first met the I Am folks in San Antonio in 1959, when I was in the Army at Ft. Sam Houston. I was curious and met one of the folks ... they are the consequence of an experience in 1930, when a mining engineer met the ascended master, Saint Germain, on the slopes of Mount Shasta (

Anyway, life went on and I didn't encounter them again till the Harmonic Convergence at Chaco Canyon in 1987, which an I Am leader from southern California attended. She wore a long white robe, drove a huge white Mercedes sedan (not commonplace at Chaco!) and was accompanied by a big white standard poodle.

And now I run across them again in DC! Seems like they enter my life every couple of decades. Let's see, the next encounter will be when I'm in my 90s!

Back to business. We honored our departing executive secretary, Joe Volk, who served us for 20 years, and greeting Diane Randall, who will be growing into his shoes.

Sunday afternoon we had a workshop on lobbying (our issue this year was the New START treaty, which looks dicey right now as far as Senate ratification) and Monday we went to the offices of our elected Congress persons. I walked the 2.5 miles from the Washington Plaza Hotel to Capitol Hill both days and enjoyed seeing Massachusetts Avenue up-close.

One of the incongruous sights, for me, was the "For Sale" sign on this tiny little dump, squeezed between two multi-storied buildings. It can't be more than 20 feet wide ... what in the world could you build in that space that would be cost-effective?!

Monday morning, on my way from the Cannon House Office Building to the Hart Senate Office Building, I ran across a rally in its formative stages. So, I stuck around to watch democracy in action! It was organized by Americans For Prosperity and there were about 100 participants, who had come from near and far to give the deficit and tax message to Congress. I thought it interesting that, while the recent election was supposedly about "jobs, jobs, jobs," none of the signs were about that subject. It also seemed unusual to see a hundred people in DC that included only one dark-skinned participant ... they didn't "look like America."

While many of my neighbors in the group were talking about hoping Michele Bachmann would come and address the group (she didn't arrive while I was there), they did get to hear from Sen. Jim DeMint (pictured) and Rep. Mike Pence and several newly-elected Representatives. DeMint said "no earmarks" and Pence said "no compromise."

One thing I found offensive ... the little girl perched on her daddy's shoulders to the right of and behind DeMint, holding a sign that says "Obama's bad" and on the sign is a picture of Obama with red horns pencilled on the top of his head. Enlisting one's little kids in demonizing the President is beyond the pale for me! tv

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

New Mexico Traveler

In traveling the highway between Mancos and Silver City, this is the second time we have seen a man with a packhorse. I don't believe it was the same twosome on both sightings. It is a rather lonesome road between the two towns but some picturesque scenery and an occasional surprise such as horses and riders and wild animals such as the group of wild pigs we saw crossing the highway. So ugly they are cute! My only regret was that they are fast, and ran before I could get my camera turned on. It's always and interesting ride! sf

Moving, moving, moving ...

Gee, it's wonderful to be retired ... and free of commitments! Saturday evening we went to the Millwood for dinner, and decided to go see our "new" house and check on utilities, etc.

So, Sunday morning early Sandy and Scooby Doo and Tom got in the "Radish" and headed south! Eight and a half hours later, a little butt-sore but having enjoyed a lovely trip down, we got to Silver City. Scooby Doo learned to use the doggy-door and the outdoor pen and thoroughly explored the house.

It was nice to see roses were still blooming in the yard, and the third one up, with the green door in the background, actually opened the next morning. What a nice greeting! The next pic up is the entry way at dawn Monday, and the top picture is the view out of that doorway at sunset Monday evening.

Scooby Doo and I talk a walk a block west and back on Monday morning; I was impressed with how quiet the area is! I've gotten used to the road noise here, but it was really peaceful there.

There were three stair-step deer in the yard, and we saw piñon jays and towhees come to the feeders after we put seed in them.

We got to the WNMU pool and had a nice swim Monday afternoon. It's bigger than the one at the Cortez Rec Ctr., but without the walking track, exercise room, resistance current, etc. We'll miss the Rec Center, but the pool will be good. In the evening, we had a gut-busting supper at the Buckhorn Saloon in Piños Altos, but did not stay for the Open Mic music; the bar was already filled.

We got an early start back on Tuesday. North on US 180, up in the evergreen forest, we came upon a herd of 10-12 javelinas alongside the road. Well, they were gone in several directions after the first bark from Wonder Dog! Anyway, those were the first we've seen (anywhere, ever, including Silver City). I was kind of surprised to see them up in the forest; I think they were more desert denizens.

Anyway, it was a good trip and I'm glad we made it. It was nice to spend two nights in our new home!

And tomorrow I need to be up about 4 a.m. so I can be at the La Plata County Airport in time to be on a 6:25 a.m. flight to, ultimately, Washington, D.C., for the annual meeting of Friends National Committee on Legislation. Just hoping DC isn't as cold, wet and dreary as it was last year! In any case, I think I've got myself packed in the easiest way to get through security, notwithstanding the fact that a metal knee gets special attention anyway! Back Tuesday to help Sandy finish packing ... and then we load up and drive south! tv

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Packing, packing, packing!

Sandy knows how to organize packing and has it well under control! The place is starting to look empty ... except where the piles of boxes are.

We did take a break Thursday night to go to the historic Mancos Opera House for Michael Martin Murphey's concert. As you can see, there was a good turnout. We've heard him four times now, and I think this was his best concert.

We decided over supper to take another break and go to Silver City tomorrow. Why not? We're retired ... and free of all those club and organization commitments that we've had to plan around before. So, we'll go check on our "new" place, wake up in it, introduce the dog to it, unpack a few things we've already got at that end, etc. Never did such spontaneous things before I met my Sweetheart! tv