Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Last post of 2011 (probably)

It's so good to be home! We had a good visit with Sandy's daughter and her family in central Oklahoma, but it's always nice to get back to our own bed, own house, own animals, etc.

Leading up to Christmas, there was quite a lot of activity for Sandy and Tom. In addition to doing our Christmas letter and sending out cards, there was buying, wrapping and shipping presents. Some of the presents included baked goods ... I made a full batch of peppernuts (about five gallons) and eight loaves of stollen to send out or take with us.

Lots of music here a Christmas; we caught three groups at the Silver City Museum ... this is Gleemaiden, a group of young mothers who sing beautifully a cappella, with their kids at their feet.

The Kiwanis have an annual Christmas party, but you gotta wrap presents for patients at Fort Bayard before you get to eat and do the gift exchange. Fair enough; they do good work!

Sandy created quite a Christmasy corner around the tree, which the cats immediately adopted as their parking place, soaking up the warmth from the Christmas lights. Fifi and Sophie's tanning bed!

We took a different route to OK this time, one that we'll probably repeat. The fastest way is I-25 and I-40 ... boring! So, we went up through the Ruidoso area, spending the night in Clovis. We sidetripped to see Cloudcroft, including the Mexican Canyon Trestle and then the boardwalk in front of shops in downtown Cloudcroft. It was overcast up there, but clear most of the rest of Wednesday.

We had an easy day Wednesday, so we poked around Tularosa a bit. Liked this mission, St. Francis de Paula Franciscan Mission, founded in 1865, only 15 years after New Mexico became a territory of the U.S. A couple blocks east, we wandered into what looked like a bar, the Tulie Cantina, and had lunch in a beautiful dining area with a tree growing in an enclosed atrium and a menu that was surprising in its diversity and the imaginative variety of ingredients. Best stacked enchiladas I've ever had!

And, of course, the slaughter of the wrappings! A good family gathering for the opening of the packages, including Sandy, with coffee and Scooby!

While in OK, we went down to Shawnee on Christmas Day and saw "War Horse." Good movie, ended with applause from the audience.

We targeted Amarillo for our overnight on the way back; 'twas snowy and cold but didn't keep us from having a day-delayed 45th-month anniversary dinner at Outback, which was scrumptious. The weather cleared east of Oklahoma City and we really had pretty sunny weather all the way back, though there was a lot of snow around Hereford. Got in in time to pick up our mail and have a pleasant evening at home. tv

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

it's so dark ...

I'm thinking I will be so glad when the sun begins to return northward in less than 10 days! The days seem so short ... so little time between dawn and sunset. So little time for the dog and cats to follow the sun through south-facing rooms!

On the other hand, it's the time of year to play around with soups and stews, seeing what unrepeatable combinations can be concocted from left-overs. And, of course, it's the annual get-it-together-for-Christmas time.

We've had snow, which has left us with some interesting effects on the street art, like the snowy top-knot on the iron man. We have gotten out for some other reasons, too. I went to the Wreaths Across America ceremony at Fort Bayard National Cemetery (one of two national cemeteries in New Mexico; the other is in Santa Fe). We've also been enjoying holiday concerts, especially the one by the Hi Lo Silvers ... they seem to have the kind of singing fun we enjoyed so much with the Mancos Valley Chorus and Kriss Larson.

On the 10th, we had a booth at the Holiday Arts and Crafts Show in the Silco Theater downtown, cosponsored by two art groups we belong to. We were located near the baked goods booth of the Grant County Art Guild and Sandy helped cover that booth, too. Not great sales, but I realized what a pleasure it is to talk about our pictures with people who come to the booth ... talking about a picture offers a vicarious revisit to the instant the photograph was made ... sharing the joy!

That same day, there was a Tamale Fiesta at the center of town, just a couple of blocks down the street from the art show. LOTS of people lined up at the tamale booths, entertained by these young mariachi musicians and their musical companions.

Packages and cards are beginning to go out, peppernuts are baked, stollen is on the agenda, tree goes up today ... Christmas is coming!!!

We'll leave the house in the care of the cats for Christmas (shudder!!!) and travel to Oklahoma with Scooby Doo, the dachshund. She hasn't traveled with us very much and she'll enjoy this ... she actually travels pretty well.

So, Merry Christmas to all and a safe and happy holiday season! tv

Sunday, December 4, 2011


Last year was the big year ... 70 is kind of a landmark birthday. Still, each year is a mile-marker and worth taking note of.

Sandy asked me at supper last night (1zer06 - "fusion" restaurant here in SC) what I wanted in the next year. My response was to have my 72nd birthday ... and lots more beyond. We had a dump of snow in the last couple of days, but it's going already; I shoveled 30 feet of sidewalk in less than five minutes ... I can handle that! For my physical condition, the move to Silver City has been good for me. I need to be more active, get more exercise, but this town is good for those opportunities. It's also a great place to enjoy being Sandy's partner in life and I hope we'll be doing things together for decades to come!

We got to enjoy the beautiful a capella finish to the community Christmas concert and then went out and joined the crowds awaiting the town Christmas parade. Sandy has really enjoyed the chance to be active in Kiwanis again and this is a very active, very positive group. A chance encounter in the pool with a neighbor who is part of the MainStreet organization led to Sandy's leading a Kiwanis project to get Christmas lights on the gazebo in Gough Park. Sandy got the cooperation of Town Parks, Ace Hardware and the SC Fire Department ... and it's happened! A wonderful thing to see and to know I share life with the person who made it happen!

So, the seasons come and go, gently in Silver City. The downtown area was slushy yesterday, and a dragonfly mounted on a gallery was snow-covered, but the sun came out in the late afternoon and gave beautiful light to the hillside behind the house.

Life is good! tv