Saturday, June 27, 2009


We are definitely in the midst of a heat wave and the weatherman says the worst is yet to come. A couple of days ago it was 107 and today it was 105. That makes me wonder what is yet to come--especially as I see so many of our plants struggling to stay alive in this heat.

Please share with me the ways you stay cool in hot weather. I stay inside as much as possible but I long to be outside working in the yard. Today, though, the heat felt like it was pressing me into the ground. I guess that is the high pressure system that has been sitting on top of us for more than a week creating our above-normal heat.

I am praying for rain and a break in this heat wave!

Friday, June 26, 2009


It is so hot where we live that our A/C is running much of the time although I have it set pretty high. Luckily, my husband and I don't mind it being somewhat warm in our house. However, all this heat has made energy consumption sky rocket in our area this past week or so. That set me to thinking about all the ways I might save energy around the house.

*For starters I don't put my hot car in the garage when I come home during the day, but I leave it out on the driveway until it has cooled off in the evening.
*I hang my clothes outside to dry rather than allowing my clothes dryer to put more hot air into our already high temperatures.
*I am hand washing my dishes (like we did in Chaco Canyon--no dishwasher there) and letting them air dry. That way I don't have the dishwasher running for a long period using up water and electricity.
*I shut down my computer at night to save energy.
*I unplug recharge cords for phone and camera the minute I finish recharging those items because I understand that those cords left plugged in still use energy even though they are not connected to anything.
*I unplugged all our electrical appliances, lamps, computers, TVs and clocks while we were gone on our trip, AND I ran our thermostat up several degrees.
*I only run the washing machine when I have a full load of clothes to wash and I use the cold water setting when I wash.
*I keep the shades closed on the sunny side of our house.

I am trying to pay attention to our energy consumption so that I can live more efficiently. If you have any suggestions, please pass them on!

Thursday, June 25, 2009


After we left Chaco Canyon, we drove to our friends' wonderful villa near Santa Fe for a brief (too brief) stay. They fed us well, took us on a hike, showed us their petroglyph, treated us to some rainy weather, and took us to Santa Fe. It was a delightful visit. Here are some pictures. This first picture shows their courtyard in the front of their house. It was just gorgeous with wonderful flowers and roses everywhere.

The next picture shows their backyard as seen from their back porch. Everything there is lovely and green because they have had regular rains for several weeks.

The picture above shows the view from the porch outside our bedroom. And the next picture shows the petroglyph that they discovered in the cliffs just below their house. We had quite a hike down hills to see it.

And then we had to tell them good-bye as they waved at us from the doorway to their front courtyard.

We really hated to leave...

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


My husband and I are having quite an adventure in New Mexico. We are staying with a Forest Ranger friend in Chaco Canyon and have spent the last couple of days exploring Indian ruins in a beautiful setting. Our friend's dinner table looks out directly on Fajada Butte and it changes with the weather and the time of day.This morning we got up and he said we were going on a little 3 1/2 mile hike. I was excited until we reached the place and he showed us the bluff we were going to climb before we began the hike. It was a sheer bluff but he said the trail was not too bad. The sign had an arrow pointing straight up!
We started climbing up a small crack in the bluff and we climbed and we climbed and finally got to the top. The view was wonderful and the descent was MUCH easier--mostly on the seat of my pants!

This afternoon we drove to a ruin that is quite a distance from the other ruins located close by. We went with a group of Sierra Club people who are here doing volunteer work in the park.
The road was little more than a cow path and we dodged afternoon showers and vivid lightning all the way out there. It was a beautiful site with a building that had been built about 900 A.D. It is a stretch of my imagination to think about people living in this vast wilderness that many centuries ago. And their buildings were quite spectacular!On the way back we even saw a herd of elk! And more adventure tomorrow!

Monday, June 15, 2009


My husband and I are off on an adventure in New Mexico. We will leave civilization behind for a few days. We will have no cell phone access limited computer access, and will be far away from civilization. We will be in one of the places that has the least amount of light pollution of any place in the United States. Tomorrow night we are supposed to participate in a Night Sky program which includes a presentation by an archeoastronomer and then a viewing through a 25 inch telescope!

I am not sure what our accommodations will be like but we will be staying with a forest ranger friend in his quarters. I believe he said something about shared facilities. We are taking food in for the days we will be there as the nearest grocery store is almost 4 hours away. I can hardly wait!!

Pictures and more information will follow the next time I get access to a computer!

Saturday, June 13, 2009


A friend sent me a link to an article by Pico Iyer in the New York Times entitled "The Joy of Less." It is an interesting article on what makes people happy. I thought I would share it with you: .

Friday, June 12, 2009


I just returned from a quick trip to the Mall where I had volunteered to pick up a gift for someone else. I was dashing through Dillards and a pretty blouse caught my eye. I stopped to admire it and my jaw dropped when I saw the price tag: $148.00!! For a blouse! Give me a break! And I thought we were in an economic downturn!

The Mall incident made me think back to a meeting I attended recently where some builders were talking about bids for buildings and how they were coming in higher than expected. They knew that suppliers had lower material costs and the cost of labor is lower right now, but it seems that subcontractors are padding their bids anyway. Guess Dillards caught on and figured if the blouse did not sell at $148.00 this week, then they could mark it 50% off next week and still make a bundle selling it at $74.00 or mark it down to 70% off in a few weeks and still rake in more than $40 for a blouse that probably cost less than $20 to have it made in China.

I think I am going back to sewing! I used to make all my clothes and then I got busy doing other things. Now, with prices as outrageous as the blouse I saw in Dillards I can easily save a bundle of money! Or--do my shopping at resale shops where the $148.00 blouse will probably end up for about $20 if I wait long enough and stay vigilant!

Monday, June 8, 2009


Over the weekend we visited Son #4 because his oldest turned 3 and we were invited to the party. We went a day early so that we could get in a visit with the family before the party. Here are some pictures:
Grandson #2 (soon to be one) is really growing up fast!
Miss Ella Bella was so glad to see us!
We visited Son #4 at his fire station and Miss Ella Bella showed us how she can "drive" the firetruck.
Son #4 and his family at the fire station.
Grandmommy with Miss Ella Bella in the Birthday Girl's chair at her party.
Granddaddy got to take care of Grandson #2 during the party--they got along just great!
Miss Ella Bella with her birthday cake.
Party time--Miss Ella Bella and some of her friends. A great time was had by all!

Thursday, June 4, 2009


I have been thinking about shopping in my own kitchen pantry and freezer lately. By that I mean that I need to use up what I have on my shelves and in my freezer before I run to the grocery store for ingredients to fix a meal.

We only live about 4 blocks from a grocery store, so it would have been mighty easy to run over there to get things for fixing breakfast for company this week. Instead of going to the store for breakfast tacos or ingredients for some fancy breakfast dish, I decided to use what I had. The night before I checked and saw that I had more than a dozen eggs, plenty of milk and some cheese for scrambled eggs. I rummaged in my freezer and found some turkey sausage links that I put out to thaw. I also had a can of biscuits that I needed to use before the expiration date ran out. I also had butter, two kinds of preserves, salsa and catsup for the eggs and orange juice, coffee or tea to drink. Voila! Breakfast without even leaving the house for a run to the grocery store--and it did not cost me anything except some pre-planning time.

Thinking ahead might be the key to using what I have rather than doing the last-minute run to the grocery store for whatever pops into my head to fix for a meal. This use of what I have also prevents having to throw things out because they have spoiled or gone past their expiration date. And, this evening I did find some spinach leaves in the bottom of my vegetable drawer that had seen better days. A little pre-planning would have allowed me to toss them in a salad a couple of days ago. What a shame!


We have had visitors the past three days--LOTS of TEENAGERS! I had forgotten how it feels to have four teens in our house--all at one time. My daughter-in-law (wife of Son #1) was on her way to join some of her family for a camping trip in West Texas and stopped here for a couple of nights. She, brave woman that she is, brought our two grandchildren and two friends of Granddaughter #1.

We had 3 girls sleeping on blow up mattresses in our living room and that room was delightfully filled with giggles late into the night. Grandson #1 kept his granddaddy entertained by taking him to a movie and by attending to some other chores that they found needing their attention. Meanwhile, Daughter-in-law #1 organized these teens into an amazing cleaning crew while they were here. They could clean off a table and do the dishes before I could blink twice. And before they left this morning, all sheets had been washed, towels folded, and mattresses deflated and in their bags. Uh, Girls, please come back sometime to help out around here!
Not all was work, though. We went swimming--see grandchildren below enticing Daughter-in-law #1 into the cold water! Shopping and more shopping--no pictures, but lots of bags!!
And out to eat at the lake where we watched a beautiful sunset. Granddaughter #1 in the middle with her two friends.
And where would we be without our Blackberries??
Daughter-in-law #1 with the three girls.
Packing up their camping gear before they left this a.m. Lots to pack for 5 people!
Bye, Grandkids! Come back soon!

Daughter-in-law #1 checking to see if the girls are loaded up and ready to go.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


In the past couple of years I have learned to blog, to join Facebook, to burn DVDs, to program my picture key chain, and master my self-publishing project. Lately I have been feeling right proud of myself and all my technological accomplishments. However, today I got a message that requires me to join Twitter and a request to put a bit of a video on my blog. Those two requests were just about the straws that broke my techie camel's back!

All of these advances in technology are marvelous and I really am excited when I master them, but the learning curve for me is often quite a stretch. I grind my teeth, make attempts by myself, and when all else fails I call one or more of my sons who know far more than I will EVER learn. They certainly did not inherit their technological skills from me, but I am really grateful that they are willing to share their expertise with me. And they do it so nicely. Thank you, boys!

Anyhow! When I have a block of time, I will figure out how to join Twitter and I will hopefully learn how to put a bit of video on my blog. Meanwhile, I continue being proud of the techie skills I have acquired so far as I prepare to post this message to my blog.