Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Where've we been?

I just realized we've been off the blog an unconscionable length of time. It's true ... time flies when you're having fun!

We spent the weekend in Bluff and Mancos. This was the weekend for the 2011 Bluff Balloon Festival, so we went up Friday, stayed for the balloons on Saturday and Sunday, went to Mancos on Sunday and returned to Silver City last night with the last of our "stuff" that was still left at the Mancos house. Now to unload, return the U-Haul, pick up the dog and try to figure out where to stick the "stuff."

Back to Bluff. We realized that we really should have planned ahead earlier and come up on Thursday and stayed in Bluff. By the time we made reservations, everything in Bluff was sewed up, so we had to stay in Blanding, half an hour away. Also, we didn't get to see and photograph the ascensions on Friday. We both went out for an hour or so on Saturday morning, then spent the next hour setting up our booth for the arts and crafts show in the Bluff Community Center. Tom then went out for another hour of photography.

We have a new Epson Picturemate printer that does a great job of printing out 4x6 color prints, just the right size for our keepsake photo cards. So, we were able to print and assemble cards of balloons that had flown that very morning!

We were swamped! One pilot wanted a card of her balloon inflating for every member of her crew!

While it was GREAT to have such a positive response to our pictures and the cards, we were just not as prepared we'd like to have been. So, we learn.

We've already made our reservations in BLUFF for next year, and we will go up on Thursday, not Friday, so we can catch Friday morning's ascension. We'll have those photos ready to go and plenty of pre-printed backs for Saturday's show ... next year.

The chances of being bogged down in mud were too great again this year, so Sunday's flight was in the Bluff area, rather than Valley of the Gods, where it was two years ago. Still, the thrill of standing on Cemetery Hill, surrounded by colorful balloons and red-rock cliffs in the constantly shifting early morning light was wonderful! It was like being in the middle of a balloon rodeo, with a different picture opportunity in a different direction every second!

Well, we survived the excitement and headed for Mancos. 'Twas nice to have the apartment to fall into for the next two nights. We took in the MLK Breakfast at the Mancos Community Center, where we saw lots of Mancos friends. We got the U-Haul trailer loaded with the rest of the "stuff" in the afternoon and got an early start for the trip back on Tuesday. Sunny and uneventful all the way ... it's great to be home! tv

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The new year begins

Sandy has wonderfully explained our constant head-games with the critters. Sophie just avoids me, Scooby Doo is getting settled into an acceptable pattern ... and Fifi played rattle-and-run again last night, but she didn't disturb me long. Maybe she'll get tired of it.

We continue to enjoy exploring Silver City and seeing anew what we've passed by before.

The snow after Christmas led us to spread lots of bird seed, with the reward of seeing birds in the early morning sun, like the curve-billed thrasher in the bottom pic.

The high altitude sun is warm when it's out, allowing street musicians to be playing against sunny walls and morning coffee clubs to be sunning themselves outside coffee shops. Silver City is listed at 5,900 feet, and I figured out from the National Geographic set of NM USGS quads on a CD that Beth got us for Christmas that our house is at about 6,350 feet (which explains why we get more moisture than they do downtown). So that sun is really nice when it's out!

Our little walk downtown also gave us a view of Big Ditch Park that we didn't see when we were there for the drumming and dancing event that we enjoyed so much in December. It's really a charming little pocket-strip park; it will be fun to follow it through the seasons!

And then, for the first time, we took a good look at a mural/sculpture on the back wall of a vegetarian deli in a complex that we've heard was once an auto dealership. Art everywhere; so exciting.

Next to that mural is Diane's Bakery, which we took a good look at and bought some scrumptious cranberry/walnut bread and will go down today and pick up our order of rye bread. Yummy!

Albertson's does specials on the first Wednesday of the month, a day when it also gives an additional 10% discount to folks 55 and over (which we BARELY qualify for, of course!), so we did a major buy there yesterday.

Last night we heard a speaker on coal-mining at the Silco Theatre and tonight we'll go there again to see flamenco dancers (with lap robes in hand this time ... brrr). Tomorrow night is an event we've been waiting for for months ... a performance at the Opera House in PiƱos Altos. We were fascinated with the building when we crashed the Mimbres Region Art Council annual meeting there in July and now we'll get to experience it! The performer is Slaid Cleaves.

And, on the home front, we've made some decisions on how to get FeVa Fotos set up, which enables us to usefully place "stuff" that's still in boxes in the garage ... the pile is getting to be manageable. It also sets us up for the trip next week, when we'll be going to show and take pictures at the Bluff Balloon Festival. Then we'll arc over to Mancos, visit the house there, pick up the last "stuff" there and bring it back to Silver City.

Before then, our pics and interest in old Fort Bayard have gotten us invited to a private tour Friday with a historic preservation specialist and maybe involvement, via our photos, in the efforts to "save" the facility, whatever that turns out to mean.

Snow from the "blizzard" is almost gone, days are getting longer, the pool opens next week, we can sign up Friday for the Western Institute of Lifelong Learning courses ... life is good! tv

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Fifi,Shake, Rattle and Run

Ever since our move to our new home in Silver City Tom has been plagued with the sleep disturbing habits of our three four legged house mates. It was either one animal or the other that was barking, meowing etc etc at early morning hours(I'm talking 3am or 4 am). I sleep much sounder than Tom so it has always been Tom that wakes and tends to whatever the problem be.Scooby-Doo and Sophie are settling into a proper nightime routine but the remaining nightime pet problem has been with Fifi and the door rattling trick that she had learned in the Mancos house. It involves sticking a paw under the closed bedroom door and rattling the door. Well, she discovered it works well in our and her new home also. Tom has in the past used the spray water bottle treatment to break other habits, such as climbing on kitchen cabinets so he decided that this would also work on the door rattling pesky cat. You know the old trick of kids ringing the doorbell and running? Now , after having been squirted with water a couple times, Fifi rattles the door and by the time Tom is there with the waterbottle to spray her there is no cat in sight when he opens the door. I would really like for Tom have a full nights sleep, but I think Fifi has outsmarted us on this game. I'm trying a throw rug under the door next so her paw won't fit under. We'll see how this goes! Meantime, afternoon naps are being had by all!