Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Fresh Tortilla Company

There is a new restaurant in town called the Fresh Tortilla Company. Yes, they make homemade tortillas that you can buy. There are 6" or 12" plain flour or cheese and jalapeno. I bought some plain six inchers yesterday to go with a killer green chili I had made - we had bean burritos last night.

They have this Big Ass Burrito (yes, that is how it reads on the menu). It consists of marinated steak, grilled chicken or barbacoa (a slow-cooked pork as a viewer corrected me) cilantro rice, pinto or black beans, lettuce, cheese, sour cream and salsa. While I was waiting to pay for my tortillas ($2.59 for a dozen 6") a man came in and says "I'll take one of your big burritos" and the owner said "oh, you want the Big Ass Burrito?". The man said "yes, I just can't say that other word in public". I laughed. Thought that was cute.

The tortillas were very good, by the way. We had breakfast burritos this morning smothered in green chili sauce.

Remember, you are loved!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Laundry Day

Well, in preparation for our trip up to the mountains for the summer, I did all the miscellaneous laundry needed today. That was the equivalent of 22 loads of wash. Had to do all the scatter rugs, winter jackets, pillows, comforter, dogs blankets and pillows, etc. But it only took me 4 1/2 hours and about $30 in quarters ha-ha. But it is all done now.

We still want to polish all the wood inside the rig before we head up to the mountains. I think Jim wants to wash and wax the rig as it's been a year. I want to wash the windows gutters and get rid all of the sand and dirt we have accumulated from the wind storms in Texas, New Mexico and Colorado. In fact, we are getting gusts of 46 MPH right now!!!

I survived my annual mammogram yesterday - like being rolled over by a car tire! And have my annual exam on Friday. Jim's is next week. All that medical stuff will be finished for the year. Yippee-e-e-e! Hate all this stuff.

Here's another photo of the puppies - all animals are "puppies" to me. I've been none to pet the donkeys at Sumter Oaks and call them puppies, for Pete's sake!

Remember, you are loved!

Visit to Forest Service

Not much going on here. After being in Pueblo for a week I ran around yesterday doing errands, visiting Naomi, etc. We had a meeting set with the Forest Service, so about 11 am we took off and drove to Monte Vista and indulged in lunch at my most favorite restaurant in the whole world - Baldo's Mexican Restaurant. They have a small noon buffet of homemade, wonderful Mexican fare that is to die for.

It was my lucky day as they were serving menudo. This is a spicy soup made with tripe - or cow's stomach. You typically eat it with a sprinkle of oregano and cilantro, chopped onion and a squeeze of lime. Oh, goodie! Jim is not a fan, by any means, but I like it. But, again, what do you expect from someone who also likes liver and onion, or a tongue sandwich, or pickled pig's feet? It's part of my Slavic upbringing. I even liked mustard and pumpernickel bread as a child :-)

I stopped at a quilt/yarn shop while in Monte Vista and picked up a skein of sock yarn. I am really ga-ga over sock yarn lately!

We had a great meeting with our Forest Service rep - very encouraging of the year to come.

Afterwards we traveled up to South Fork and visited our friends Rich and Terry who have taken a job as campground managers for the South Fork Campground. It's a very nice 52 site park on the eastern end of South Fork. It sure was nice to see them again. We will be within 20 miles of each other this summer and intend to spend a lot of our day's off together.

Well, it's 5 am and I need to make coffee and take out the puppies, so I'll talk with you tomorrow.

Remember, you are loved!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Colorado Chapter Rally Planning

Last Friday Lesle, Bill and I went at Cracker Barrel for a breakfast meeting with Susie and Denny Orr, Escapees RV Club Chapter Directors. The Orrs were coming from The Rally in Albuquerque and brought along new Escapee members, Bill and MJ, who live in Pueblo.

Lesle, Bill, Jim and I are putting on a rally for the Colorado Chapter of Escapees RV Club, June 9-12, at the KOA-South Pueblo/Colorado City, where Lesle and Bill are working for the summer. As Chapter Directors, Susie and Denny gave us some great pointers and ideas for the rally.

We have 12 rigs signed up so far with another 8-10 requests for information. So if everyone signs up we will have a pretty big rally. Since the Colorado Chapter has been dormant for many years, it will be exciting to get it active again.

After breakfast Lesle and I had a "girls day out", inviting Bill to join us :) After an hour roaming through Barnes & Noble (our favorite place) Lesle and I walked around the mall. Lesle got another ear piercing so she could wear all the beautiful dangling earrings Bill has bought her through the years. Now she can wear her stud on top of the danglings. That's a tedding bear in Lesle's left arm which the shop provided for comfort! The garnet birthstone Lesle choose is very attractive. I neglected to take a photo of the finished affect, dang it. This photo was taken with my camera phone and then sent to my email - came out pretty good.




Jim finished the rural water certification class. He said it wasn't too bad, but the math will be a bear to accomplish. It is algebra stuff and it has been $%&*# years since Jim took an algebra class. Someone else was scheduled to take the test this year and had to resign, and the powers that be would not let Jim take the test in his stead. So he has a year to bone up before he has to take the test.

Yesterday we packed up and left Pueblo. On the way back to Alamosa we stopped by Colorado City and had breakfast with Lesle and Bill. Boy, if you are ever on I-25 in southern Colorado, take off at the Colorado City exit and go west over the overpass and eat at Max's. It was so good - people were standing in line to get in. Best breakfast burrito with green chili - yum.

We stopped in Walsenburg so I could go touch some wonderful yarn at Edla's Yarn Shoppe. I found some soft yarn for socks. I plan to go back next Saturday and spend the day knitting with the ladies.

So we are back in Alamosa at Chapman Campground by the airport. We'll be here for a week or so before we move to our summer camping job. More later.

Remember, you are loved!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Dinner with friends

Jim was the thorn between four roses last Thursday night as we went to a friend's Pueblo home for dinner. Here is Jean, Carolyn and our host Judy.

I met Jean seven years ago when I visited Leadville, Colorado, for a workshop and Judy suggest I contact her friend. (I remember it was seven years ago because it was the same week I had my nose pierced. Oh, you didn't know about my nose ring?) Jean was the high school librarian in Leadville, the same place Judy and her late husband, Dick, also worked. Jean moved from Leadville to Pueblo just recently. She is a fun lady to be around.

I met Carolyn at church where she played the piano and I sang some solos. We became BFFs and have been for 26 years. We have gone through many life crises together. She lives in Colorado Springs now and graciously drove down to Pueblo.

We also met Judy and her late husband, Dick, at church. She has been school counselor, principal, assistant superintendent, coordinator of teacher ed graduate program for Adam State College, and trained life coach. We have spent many a night eating out and playing Trivial Pursuit with Judy and Dick.

Judy was a wonderful host and even remembered I love pickled herring, which she served along with guacamole.We had a wonderful Italian casserole dinner, salad and bread....but also the little nice touches of large gourmet olives and a plate of olive oil with slivered garlic to dip our bread in.

We remembered old times together, caught up on the lives of mutual friends and discussed current happenings in our lives. It was such a nice evening - so enjoyable.

Remember - you are loved.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Family revisit

It has been blissfully warm the last three days here in Pueblo, with temperatures in the mid 80s. I am so very happy about that as it's time to get my tan going for the summer and I can wear Bermuda shorts again. Nice to feel the breeze coming through open doors and windows.

Yesterday I finished the second Magie Sefton book in two days. Oh, it is so nice without any radio or TV on and just the silence to read for hours on end without interruption. Puppies slept the whole time. It was grand!

This was Jim's second day of class and he was fried by the time he came home. Eight hours of sit down, in the chair classroom lectures on water tank capacity, flow rates per foot by size of pipe, measures dah, dah, dah. Jim is very good in math and figuring.....doesn't even use a calculate - just does it in his head. However, the math needed for this class is taking him aback. He says it isn't even trying to remember algebra, it's more like new math algebra. Luckily, he doesn't have to take the test this year, but will next year, so we'll have to get him a book or something to bone up with during the year in preparation. Any have any book suggestions?

Last night we had a delightful evening over dinner with Jim's cousins, Larry and Etta Sue. They were sweet to drive down from Colorado Springs to meet us for dinner.

We haven't seen them since last summer. They are both very active in Friendship Force, where you travel to other places and countries and stay in Friendship Force member homes and then reciprocate by hosting folks in your home. It is a great way to see a lot of places without the expense of housing, and you have built-in tourist guides. Larry and Etta Sue have been all over the world with Friendship Force throughout the years.

We had a grand time telling them about our travels this year and antics about our job with amazon.com. It was a very, very pleasant evening!

Remember, you are loved.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Product recommendation

Jim and I eat out way too much. But it is hard not to eat the food in all the regional areas we all travel through. So when we do cook (yes, Jim does most of the cooking) we cook from scratch.

However, when we were working at amazon.com in Kansas we were checking out a grocery store in a little town during a drive and bought a "new" packaged meal product they just got in. Well, it has been five or six months, but we finally ate it last night and I have to say, it is the best package meal I've ever had.

It's called Romano's Macaroni Grill Creamy Basil Parmesan Chicken & Pasta. Here is a photo.

You add the chicken for this meal, but the package itself includes the linguine pasta, grated Parmesan cheese, a seasoning packet of basil and cheese, another packet of creamy sauce and even a packet of sun-dried tomatoes.

I did add more pasta as what they gave you didn't look like enough....but it really would have been. I used chicken thigh meat instead of the chicken breast the package suggested. I also added chopped broccoli for a veggie.

The finished dish was amazingly tasty!!! The seasoning was excellent and the creamy sauce was a nice addition to the overall flavor.

I highly recommend this product and if you find it on the shelf during your next shopping trip, give it a try. I think you will be happy about your decision.

Remember, you are loved.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Pueblo-Day3

Didn't do too much yesterday. Tried to make a movie of photos for this blog and that didn't work-twice. Drove to where Jim will be taking his class and made sure he was enrolled, etc.

Took a look at new recliners for the rig at American Furniture Warehouse. Found some nice ones for $199, but we'll wait and see.
Then we drove to downtown Pueblo to see what has changed in the year or so since we've been here. There are more buildings, some old timers out of business. Tried to visit a yarn shop but they were closed on Mondays; I'll try again as peering through the windows it looks cute inside with lots of knit samples. I did go to the Pueblo Public Library and took out a couple Maggie Sefton Knitting Mystery series books. They are light and fun.

Weather is pleasant and heavenly warm. After our snacks last night it was green chile cheeseburgers for dinner with the last of the chocolate cake. Watched Dancing with the Stars and early to bed.

We both woke up at 4 am this morning. Jim left in the truck at 7:30 am for his class. I turned off the tv and am enjoying the blissful silence, ah-h-h! Puppies and I will spend the day reading and knitting at intervals till Jim comes home. Not a very exciting day or exciting blog....just everyday life today.

Blogs are more interesting with photos so here are some of the pups I took today. Chorizo especially likes to lay in the sun.




Now the Chorizo fans will be happy with new pics! Remember, you are all loved!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Over the Hill to Pueblo

Alamosa has continued to be cold and snowy at times. Yesterday, Sunday, Apr 19th, we pulled up and drove towards Pueblo, Colorado. On the way we saw magnificent views of Mt. Blanca on the outskirts of Alamosa and then drove over La Veta Pass passing Spanish Peaks.
Mt. Blanca is one of Colorado's fourteeners, meaning it is over 14,000 ft in height. Colorado has 53 fourteeners, California has 12 and Washington has 2.
La Veta Pass is 9,200 ft. and can be treacherous if you are caught in a snow storm. So we waited and watched a live webcam to make sure the road was clear.
Spanish Peaks are behind the town of La Veta. Locals call these Two Breasts.
We are staying in Pueblo West at a not so neat campground that reminds me of that terrible one in Ft. Stockton, Texas. But it is only three miles from the place Jim has to go to take a four day class in Rural Water Testing. So we will endure!!!

The really nice part of being in this area is that we got to see Bill and Lesle again at their summer job, working for KOA-South Pueblo/Colorado City.

We stopped on our way in and then made arrangements to have dinner together last night at Country Buffet. It was nice to catch up on our lives the last month. They really like their job at this KOA. It is a beautiful campground with a lot of amenities. It will be perfect for the Colorado Rally in June.

Today, Monday, April 20, the temperature got to a stunning 80 degrees! Yea, yea, yea. Jim and I actually sat outside and had snacks and cocktails. It was so nice. We figured we have only been able to sit outside two times since Boerne, so it was so nice to sit outside again today. We didn't have to use the heater last night and we actually had the windows opened all day today. Oh, so very nice.

Joe, we finally got to the 70s.

Remember, you are loved.

Friday, April 17, 2009

A new type of weather

Jim greeted me this morning with "I've heard about it, but never seen it. It's snowing with thunder and lightening....go figure!" Yup, there's a couple of inches of snow on the ground and you hear the thunder crashing and see streaks of lightening. Phenomenal!

Prediction for us is 6 inches of snow. Weather forecast for Denver (250 miles north) is 12-22 inches of snow. And this is mid-April. Last year we came back to Alamosa about now with Sandy and Mike Bubar joining us a couple of days later. We were in short-sleeved shirts and were barbecuing.

We're off today for our local health fair to get our blood drawn for tests. You cannot beat this deal as for $30 you get about $600 worth of medical tests done.

I've spent the last couple of days continuing to see old friends. Yesterday was especially fun when I had lunch with my friend Nora and her granddaughter, Erika. I've known Erika for about 10 years and now she is a sophomore in college. I was so happy to see her before she goes back home to Tennessee. It was so stimulating speak with her about social and political issues. What a bright mind she has. Nora was my boss when we worked together at our local high school library and we have remained friends the last ten years. What a savvy, sharp lady she is. Nice to catch up.

I finished knitting my denim colored jacket and now I have to put all the pieces together so I can wear it while it is still cool around here.

Guess I'll come up with something warm and comforting for dinner tonight. Maybe potato soup or oyster stew. What do you think?

Remember, you are loved!!!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Alamosa, CO-Day 9





It snowed all day Saturday, April 11th, and the dogs sure made it quick with their business. Both of them ran under the truck to "wee" to get out of the falling snow. With the snow Saturday and Sunday we got a total of 6.5 inches...that's 6.5 inches too much IMHO!!!



The family gathered at Jim's brother, Ron's house to celebrate Ron's *% birthday. He has been working out and has lost a lot of weight since we saw him last September. Looking good there, Ron, old boy.



I was able to convince the three brothers to pose for a photo for me. That's Don, the baby, then Ron the middle child, and Jim the elder.
We had a wonderful Easter dinner at Jim's brother, Don's house. He grilled a prime rib and oh, my goodness, it was fantastic....charred and seasoned on the outside and just perfectly medium on the inside. Add on mashed potatoes, gravy, roasted asparagus and salad and you have the makings of a memorable meal.


This is Don and his wife, Sommer. Both are volunteer firefighers-he is the Fire Chief and she is a Lieutenant. Don sells fire trucks and equipment for a living. Sommer is an EMT and respiratory therapist.


This is Ron and his wife Cindy. Ron is a partner in an accounting firm. Cindy is also an accountant working at the local hospital's grants accounting department as well as having her own private clients.




After dinner we all watched the Rockies lose to Philadelphia 5-7, ugh!!! We broke up after the game as naps seemed to be in order. Even Don's four dogs wanted to nap. Sommer, I think there is enough room on the right side there for that Great Dane puppy you want! Yup, yup, there's room there.We are bidding our time till Saturday when we go over to Pueblo for Jim to attend a water testing certification class for four days. The weather is COLD with highs in the 50's (for goodness sake) and the nights-burr-r-r-r-r-r degrees! But with our very low humidity it doesn't feel really cold. We shall endure.
Remember - you are loved.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Alamosa, CO-Day 6

Look - look - just look at what we saw from our front door this morning!
Oh, our friend, Joe will not be happy to hear about this other four-letter word that starts with an "s"!!! It is 34 degrees, but says it feels like 29. Oh, my, the ground is really covered right now with that white stuff. It's coming down in big, fluffy flakes covering the ground fast.

The weather forecast says, "Chance of snow showers in the morning. Then chance of rain showers and slight chance of thunderstorms in the afternoon. Snow accumulation around 1 inch." What a prediction. It covers everything, doesn't it? Snow, rain, and thunderstorms all in one day.

I think I'll send Jim to the market for some hamburger and beans and make chili for tonight. Sounds like we need some comfort foods for this cold weather.
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Yesterday I spent the day sorting through and organizing all the paperwork for our jobs this summer. I created a bunch of new folders to use, made copies for training our camphosts and mailed necessary paperwork back to American Land & Leisure headquarters in Orem, Utah. The company is providing us an Alltel phone to use as our Verizon phone doesn't work in our campground at Big Meadows.

Even though Verizon bought out Alltel, Colorado is one of the states where Verizon will not be using Alltel towers....part of that non-exclusive coverage requirements or something. We will use a "pay as you go", no-frills Alltel cell phone.

Visited my friend, Naomi again. She is a sweetie pie and very nice. Naomi taught in grade school for 39 years. At 93 years young, she is doing pretty good at the nursing home. She is an avid reader and reads one or two books a week. Naomi taught me how to quilt so many years ago and shares my love of all crafts.

Before Jim and I went fulltime rving I made a quilt for Naomi for her bed at the nursing home. She says she loves being wrapped up in my love while she sleeps. Isn't that nice?





Today I plan on knitting most of the day and see if I can finish knitting the second sleeve for the jacket. I want to get done and on to the socks I bought yarn for the other day. Knitting socks has become an obsession with me lately. I buy all these patterns and sock books and I haven't knitted a pair yet. Ugh!!! Luckily Jim is so very tolerant and doesn't say a word about it. What a wonderful man I am married to!!!

Remember, you are loved!!!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Alamosa, CO-Day 5

We had a very relaxing and fun day yesterday when we decided to drive up to the mountains and check out the campgrounds we will be in charge of this summer. For those who haven't heard Jim and I are going to be area managers for seven campgrounds in the Rio Grand National Forest-Del Norte area. All of these campgrounds are outside South Fork, Colorado.

We were able to look at five of the seven campgrounds. The entrances to Tucker Ponds and Big Meadows were still covered with a foot or so of snow so we couldn't drive in. All the campgrounds look to be in good shape without any fallen trees and not too soggy from melted snow. That is different from previous years where we had trees down in several campgrounds. But there wasn't as much snow this year. Last year the area got 40 feet of snow!!!

We will be staying at Big Meadows Campground which is along side a reservoir. It is a beautiful place.

We still have a couple of jobs available at our campgrounds if any of you boondockers are interested. No hookups.

After our trip we met with our local friends, Rich and Terri also SKPs, who spent the winter at North Ranch while Rich worked at Wickenburg's Safeway grocery store. They had also just returned to the valley. It was so very nice to see them again. We worked with them the last two summers camphosting. It was so good to compare how cold the weather got in Arizona and Florida.

The wind is still windy - really getting tired of this stuff!!! We're hoping to be able to barbeque those T-bone steaks tonight. I told Jim we should eat them for breakfast as that is about the only time the wind is still.

Today I have to devote myself to organizing all the paperwork for the campgrounds.

Remember, you are loved.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Alamosa, CO-Day 3

We started out the day by going to our favorite breakfast place, Campus Cafe. It is a small place off Main Street, frequented by students of Adams State College here in Alamosa. The managers are great supporters of Adams State and especially the athletes and many of the wait staff are ASC students. Campus Cafe makes homemade cinnamon rolls and breads. Those cinnamon rolls are huge. How huge you ask? This huge.

Yup - that's one cinnamon roll with a large scoop of butter on top. It's the equivalent of about four regular sized rolls.

Jim and I had our usual Spanish omelet smothered with green chili sauce and white toast. The green chili here is made with hamburger and thickened a bit....it is so-o-o good and spicy hot. And that is toast made from their homemade bread cut thick. Here comes another yummo-o-o-o


Then it was to Walmart (the only game in town unfortunately) for staples and then to City Market for groceries (Marcia-City Market is a Kroger store and it is my favorite also). We bought huge T-Bone steaks for $4.99 a pound. After buying three of them in a family pack that is about all I can get in my freezer.

The wind is really kicking butt today - shades of The Ranch windstorms. I just checked the weather online and it says the winds are 41 MPH with gusts of 52 MPH. We be rockin and rolling! Jim had to go to Walmart to buy a rivet gun and rivets cause the wind blew down the satellite dish and broke off the arm thingy. Howie's rivets held for a long time though.

I finally got my hands on a book I've been longing to read Knit Two by Kate Jacobs. She wrote A Friday Night Knitting Club a few years ago and I have waited for the sequel with anticipation.

While at Walmart I bought some yarn to try out making socks on the Magic Loop, which is a circular knitting needle with a 40 inch cable. You can knit two socks at the same time. The yarn I bought is called Simply Soft and, get this, it is made from recycled plastic bottles! It's that wonderful? My friends Linda B. and Linda S. would be proud of my recycling commitment!

Sticking close to home last night and eating some of those tamales we bought Monday. Travel safe and remember, you are loved.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Alamosa, CO - Day 2

It has been a full day-we both woke at 2 am unable to go back to sleep so we drank a pot of coffee, checked blogs of friends and then went back to sleep at 4 am and woke again at 8 am. Love being able to change up sleep patterns.

I visited my friend, Salai at the library and we went to lunch at the Thai House, a new restaurant in town. It was fabulous. I've never eaten any Thai food before, but it was good. I had Green Curry which was sweet from coconut milk with chicken and eggplant. Very interesting.
Then we went to enjoy touching hand dyed yarn....luscious. That was fun. Had to see another friend at her flower shop. Oh, yes, and have a piece of fudge that she also sells at her shop. Yummo-o-o

By then it was time to get back to the library where I was happy to pick up a few books to read. It is so nice to be at a place where you can use a library card and read books you really have waited to read, and not just pick from available paperbacks from an rv park. I've been keeping a list of favorite authors and now I can read their latest offerings. Yipp-p-p-e-e-e

I finished my running around by visiting my friend, Naomi, in the nursing home.

It's good to be back. Remember, you are loved!

Monday, April 6, 2009

Back to Alamosa

We took off from Albuquerque about 9 am and headed north towards Alamosa. But we had to stop at the Chevron station in Espanola to see if they had an extra dozen tamales. They DID!!! They get these tamale from the La Parasol restaurant in town and they are the bomb. They use a thin coating of masa with pork and red chile spices. We bought a dozen for $17 and then bought four singles and ate them in the car.


Well, we made it back "home" to Alamosa, Colorado, today at 1 pm. The sight of Mt. Blanca sure was nice to see. Notice it is covered with snow? Ugh!!!

I immediately went to the nursing home to visit my 93 year old girl friend, Naomi. Although she knew I was going to back in town early April, she didn't know exactly when....we'll neither did we! We had a nice long visit while Jim parked the rig at his brothers "toy box" garage out of town.

We have full hookups here, so we call it Chapman's Campground. While I visited Naomi, Jim washed the rig to get as it was looking pretty rough from the road grime since Boerne, Texas, and all the wind we have had since then on the road.

It's nice to be back "home" and see friends, tour the town and see all the changes and be with family again.

Remember, you are loved.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Family in Santa Fe

It's a dog's life
I really like the photo of Chorizo as a blond and Poncho hiding behind me!
Sunday, April 5th was a beautifully sunny and calm day as we traveled to Santa Fe to see our daughters and grandchildren. We had lunch at Olive Garden, a favorite of ours.

That's granddaughter Alyssa, who will be 16 in September daughter Christine, Jim, daughter Beth and me.
Our grandson Maxx joined us after lunch so we got some nice photos. We had a fun time laughing and joking around. It has been seven months since we've seen everyone and it sure was nice to be together again as family.
Tomorrow we drive home to Alamosa, Colorado. It will be niced to be back. Remember, you are loved!!!


Mini Class Reunion-Albuquerque, NM

Thursday, April 2nd we drove from Magdalena towards Santa Fe to visit our daughters and granddaughter, but then we had that truck gas filter trouble and decided to stay the night here in Albuquerque. We called Bill and Lesle who were parked at the Fam Cam at Kirkland AFB and we went to Casino Rout 66 for a great seafood buffet dinner. It certainly was nice to know we had friends close by during our stressful experience with the truck. Thank you, Bill and Lesle, for holding my hand.

We decided to stay put for a few days until the winds subside. We had high wind storms with gusts up to 55MPH. After reading the blogs of many of our friends there were wind storms in many parts of the country from California to Texas. Friday night it got so bad we got up at 3 am and pulled in the slides and tried to go back to sleep.
Friday we had a mini Class of 07 reunion when Mike and Sandy called after reading our blog to say they were also in Albuquerque. So we invited them over and called Bill and Lesle and back we went to Casino Rt 66 for lunch.
We hadn't see Mike and Sandy since we traveled together for a month last April through Arizona, Utah and back to Alamosa, Colorado. We went over Saturday to Isleta Casino to visit them again ...Sandy is so in love with Chorizo, she hadn't gotten enough of a fix, so we accommodated her. Sandy and I exchanged knowledge about Picasa and blogging while Jim and Mike talked about our respective travels and ventures.

More wind, and wind, and wind....this is really getting old!!! The gusts are so strong it is worrisome.

Today we will drive to Santa Fe to visit our girls for lunch. It's been seven months, so it's been a long time. They are a crazy bunch so it should be fun with lots of laughter. Here is a photo of the last time we were together.

Do you get the idea of what we are in for? Craziness, that's what!!

Remember, you are loved!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Living off the Grid-Emily & Randall

Here is my first attempt at composing a slideshow of photos, so be patient with me.

Tuesday, Mar 31, we drove to Magdalena, west of Soccorro, to visit our friends, Emily and Randall. I worked with Emily at the public library in Alamosa.Randall was a professor at Adams State College. Emily and Randall bought property in Magdalena and have spent the last two years completing their home.

This first shot is of their water pump house where we parked our rig as there is electricity here. Their home is 1/2 mile downhill from here so they have a gravity fed water supply.

Click on the button on the lower left corner to start the slideshow.

video
Their home is a straw bale structure that was only four walls and a roof with a dirt floor when they bought it. Emily and Randall did all the work by themselves with a hand from Randall's son from time to time.

They live completely off the grid as they have 12 x 40 watt solar panels that supply all their electrical needs in the house, which Randall completely wired; propane refrigerator and water heater; Earth stove for heat; and a wonderful wood burning stove to cook and bake;

Emily plastered all the walls by dipping her hands in the plaster and smearing it on the walls in circular motions. Randall put built dividing walls with adobe bricks left inside the house when they bought it. He also put in a beautiful hickory hard wood floor....so warm. He also dug the septic tank and leech field. I admire these two people so much for building their home all by themselves.

We had such a wonderful time together. Emily was the one who taught me how to knit and we spent all of Wednesday looking through each other's knitting magazines and knitting together. She was knitting socks (my fav project) and I was finishing up a denim color jacket. Randall made a savory Salmon Bisque for dinner Tuesday and Emily made a wonderful round loaf of artisian bread. It was a meal fit for royalty!!! Absolutely heavenly. Wednesday I made scones for breakfast with Seafood Chowder for dinner using Gulf shrimp, Mobile Bay scallops and good, ole canned clams with lots of heavy cream and whole milk. Not very healthy maybe, but oh, my, so devilishly delicious. I made a mini apple pie for dessert.

Thursday morning we went over for coffee and were welcomed by Emily and Randall playing music and singing blue grass songs. What an absolute treat. It was wonderful to sit on stools by the wood burning stove, drinking coffee and listening to melodic strains to bid us farewell. Thank you Emily and Randall for sharing your home with Jim and I. Magdalena will definitely be on our list of annual places to visit from now on.

Remember, you are loved.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Albuquerque, NM

We left Magdalena, NM after visiting my friend, Emily, and were driving through Albuquerque and the truck stopped going forward.....went down to 20 MPH. Pulled over and the "check engine" light went on. Called road side service, got towed to a Chevy dealer and they towed the fiver to the tow company's lot. It was a fuel filter and faulty sensor. After 45 minutes we were back on the road again....minus $300. Spending the night in Albuquerque and having dinner with Bill and Lesle at Casino 66. Bad winds predicted AGAIN for tomorrow so may stay put for a couple of days.

Remember, you are loved.