Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween Jack is a real cool cat

I love Halloween pumpkin cats!

This is a cool Halloween video made to the tune of Scary Monsters. It's got my favorite Halloween movie in it. LOL. Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Happy Halloween to all!!

Halloween Jack is a real cool cat - song: Diamond Dogs, artist: David Bowie, album: Diamond Dogs

It's the angel-man

I've been tagged for the Online Book Club!
Here are the rules:
1) Grab the nearest book.
2) Open the book to page 56.
3) Find the fifth sentence.
4) Post the text of the next two to five sentences.
5) Don't dig for your favorite book, the cool book or the intellectual one --pick the closest.
6) Tag five people to do the same.!

Well, since I always have a stack of books nearby, here goes:

Angels & Demons by Dan Brown
"This particle accelerator," Langdon said quietly. "It's down this tunnel someplace?"
"That's it there." Kohler motioned to his left where a polished, chrome tube ran along the tunnel's inner wall.
Langdon eyed the tube, confused. "That's the accelerator?" The device looked nothing like he had imagined. It was perfectly straight, about three feet in diameter, and extended horizontally the visible length of the tunnel before disappearing into the darkness. Looks more like a high-tech sewer, Langdon thought. "I thought particle accelerators were circular."
This accelerator is a circle," Kohler said. It appears straight but that is an optical illusion. The circumference of this tunnel is so large that the curve is imperceptible--like that of the earth."

Since I'm only on page 32 I have no idea what this is about...

My other books are history and Sociology textbooks and I didn't think they should count. I finished the Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck last week and I am beginning to read the Rumor of War now too.

I will not tag anyone but I'd love for others to play along and comment here with a link.

It's the angel-man - song: I'm deranged, artist: David Bowie, album: Outside

Spy, spy, pretty girl, I see you see me through your window

My computer got infected with Spyware! My son has a Myspace account and opened an attachment that was sent to him. Shame on him, but bad things do happen. Suddenly, I had all kinds of things popping up on my computer telling me I was infected and to buy software at this or that site. I didn't know what was good and what was bad. Even my task manager had been disabled and my desktop had a big message- "Your computer has been infected with spyware."

I had two antivirus softwares installed but I didn't really know if either was working properly. Obviously not! Anyway, a friend helped me out today and I'm happy to say that the computer seems to be working all right, finally, after HOURS and HOURS of scans, defrags, cleanups, etc.

I would like to suggest to everyone what I learned.
  1. only have one kind of antivirus protection. Two can stop each of them from working properly. My friend helped me remove all the antivirus software I was using and load on Avast! Antivirus. It's free and continuously updates to fight the latest bugs, worms, viruses, and whatever. Set your computer to automatically update and scan at startup.
  2. regularly perform computer maintenance in the form of disk cleanup and disk defrag.

Here is an article on 5 ways to improve performance. The first 3 items are good, the last 2 may not be necessary.

Last year I bought a laptop. I took out an extended warranty on it. For the first year it worked fine but this year, the AC cord keeps going bad and when you run out of battery, that's it! No computer! Unfortunately, every time I have this problem, it seems to take a week or two to get it resolved. I must have sent the cord in at least six times this year. The only reason I can come up with is that I have power surges in my house. Now I have my laptop plugged into a surge protector so we'll see how long my latest cord will last. I never really thought about using a surge protector for my laptop because it's not always plugged in.
Computers! Ugh!! I have a definite love-hate relationship with them. I consider them "timeboxes". They use up all my time. Everything is wait, wait, wait. And this year, my computer seems to be down more than up. But nowadays, you can't live without them. And who wants to? I love googling and blogging.

Spy, spy, pretty girl, I see you see me through your window - song: Unwashed and somewhat slightly dazed, artist: David Bowie, album: Space Oddity

Thursday, October 23, 2008

He rides and he rides

Here are some recent photos of Scout and I. This is my new German silver, sweet iron, snaffle bit. Isn't it pretty? It's heavy and I've found that it helps give his head and neck a nice flex. He's got 1/4 Arab blood. I have to use a noseband and tiedown on Scout because sometimes he throws his head too high. I certainly don't want a bloody lip but I like to keep it loose for normal riding.

It's interesting to see what's on the other side of the fence. I'm riding in my neighbor's field.Meanwhile, Annie is snoozing along the fenceline.

He rides and he rides - artist: Iggy Pop, song: The Passenger, album: Lust for Life

I hid in the clouded wrath

I was reading The Grapes of Wrath and Terra was sitting on my lap. I thought she looked a bit "wrathful". LOL. Notice Buddha laying at the end of the recliner in the last photo.

I hid in the clouded wrath - artist: David Bowie covering Bruce Springsteen, song: Growin' Up, album: Diamond Dogs, 30th Anniversary edition

Crazy Clothes

I read on MidwestHorse about her barn diva attire so I decided to show mine. In the mornings, I usually throw my big overcoat over my nightgown and put on my bright green and pink rubber boots. My gloves almost always have holes in the fingers and they usually are different colors.

Buddha is always nearby.

Crazy clothes - artist: David Bowie, song: Join the Gang, album: David Bowie

It's been awhile since I posted any Bowie videos. Here's one for this song with some nice photos.

I hope I make it on my own

I recently went letterboxing with my neighbor, Lisa, and her son, Jackson. It was so much fun that I decided I wanted to go again. But I needed a stamp. A personal, handmade stamp.

So, my neighbor came over tonight and with her help, and my mom's, we made one.

I chose a celtic winged horse for my design. The Celts worshipped the horse goddess Epona. She represented nobility, fertility, and power. In Greek folklore there was a horse with wings called Pegasus that had the power of flight. I decided to combine the two.

We used some Mastercarve and sculpting tools and, little by little, whittled away until we got the look I wanted. It took a few hours and was messy but I think it came out splendidly!

Voila! The Fantastyk Voyager is born! The hooves are actually better than in the photo. I got a little too much ink on the bottom of the stamp and it made the two lower hooves extra thick.

Thanks to Lisa and my mom for all their creative skills and advice.

I hope I make it on my own - artist: David Bowie, song: Can't help thinking about me, album: David Bowie

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Just the ghost of a story

I have been ghosted by nuzzlingmuzzles. Normally, I don't forward things like those crazy emails that say you must pass it on to ten other people to get good luck or suffer the consequences. (Is that why I always have bad luck?) However, this time, in the spirit of Halloween, I will make an exception.

Here are The Rules:
1) Have a Ghostly Image to pass along
2) Tag three people on your blog, with links to their blogs. Tell about what great folks they are, or offer to send them a Ghostly Treat.
3) Include a link to Ghosting It Forward in your blog.

So, I would like to tag Cara at doublecatbatik because she follows my blog, is a wonderful quilter, and I love quilts!!

Also frazzlefrenzy, (hehe, back at you, NM!) who is also a wonderful quilter and I have no idea how she manages to quilt, ride, work, blog, have a husband, and be a mom!

and finally, twinvilletrekkers for letting me go letterboxing with them (wink, wink, LOR).

Did I trick ya?

Now for the treat! - I love the artwork at this gypsymare site. She has her things for sale so I'd rather just give you the link. Go check it out- Gypsy Vanner horses!! I gave you her Halloween artwork page.

Oh, and here's the ghost and her story follows.

This Ghost Tale Takes Place in Harper's Ferry, West Virginia ~

The old storage sheds along the tracks were abandoned shortly after the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad was built, and it wasn't long before the poor folk of the area moved in. The sheds provided shelter - of a sort - although the winter wind still pierced through every crevice, and the small fireplaces that the poor constructed did little to keep the cold at bay.
A gentle, kindly woman named Jenny lived alone in one of the smaller sheds. She had fallen on hard times, and with no family to protect her, she was forced to find work where she could and take whatever shelter was available to someone with little money. Jenny never had enough to eat and in winter her tiny fire barely kept her alive during the cold months. Still, she kept her spirits up and tried to help other folks when they took sick or needed food, sometimes going without herself so that another could eat.
One cold evening in late autumn, Jenny sat shivering over her fire, drinking broth out of a wooden bowl, when a spark flew from the fire and lit her skirts on fire. Intent on filling her aching stomach, Jenny did not notice her flaming clothes until the fire had burnt through the heavy wool of her skirt and began to scorch her skin. Leaping up in terror, Jenny threw her broth over the licking flames but the fluid did nothing to douse the fire. In terror, Jenny fled from the shack and ran along the tracks, screaming for help as the flames engulfed her body.
The station was not far away, and instinctively Jenny made for it, hoping to find someone to aid her. Within moments, her body was a glowing inferno and Jenny was overwhelmed by pain. Her screams grew more horrible as her steps slowed. She staggered blindly onto the tracks just west of the station, a ball of fire that barely looked human. In her agony, she did not see the glowing headlight of the train rounding the curve, or hear the screech of the breaks as the engineer spotted her fire-eaten figure and tried to stop. A moment later, her terrible screams broke off as the train mowed her down.
Alerted by the whistle, the crew from the station came running as the engineer halted the train and ran back down the tracks toward poor dead Jenny, who was still burning. The men doused the fire and carried her body back to the station. She was given a pauper's funeral and buried in an unmarked grave in the local churchyard. Within a few days, another poverty-stricken family had moved into her shack, and Jenny was forgotten.
Forgotten that is, until a month later when a train rounding the bend west of the station was confronted by a screaming ball of fire. Too late to stop, the engineer plowed over the glowing figure before he could bring the train to a screeching halt. Leaping from the engine, he ran back down the tracks to search for a mangled, burning body, but there was nothing there. Shaken, he brought his train into the station and reported the incident to the stationmaster. After hearing his tale, the stationmaster remembered poor, dead Jenny and realized that her ghost had returned to haunt the tracks where she had died.
To this day, the phantom of Screaming Jenny still appears on the tracks on the anniversary of the day she died. Many an engineer has rounded the curve just west of the station and found himself face to face with the burning ghost of Screaming Jenny, as once more she makes her deadly run towards the Harpers Ferry station, seeking in vain for someone to save her.

(retold by S. E. Schlosser, see here for more ghostiness)

Just the ghost of a story - artist: David Bowie, song: 87 and Cry, album: Never Let Me Down

Sunday, October 19, 2008

They hide behind trees

My neighbor, Lisa, at LaughingOrcaRanch invited me to go letterboxing with her and her son, Jackson. Letterboxing is an intriguing pastime combining navigational skills and rubber stamp artistry in a charming "treasure hunt" style outdoor quest. A wide variety of adventures can be found to suit all ages and experience levels. (from

We were going to Cerrillos, an old mining town. It's not far from home, about an hour's drive, but it is a beautiful road winding through the foothills of the backside of the Sandia mountains. We drove through Golden and Madrid, on the way. We arrived in Cerillos shortly and looked around. (You will have to excuse all the poor photos.)

The letterbox was not in town, however, so we drove on to the historical park (I never even knew there was one!) The historical park is a group of foot trails winding through the hills with numerous old mines to view. There are information signs near each mine. Regretably, we could not go down into the mines as they are considered unsafe.

This mineshaft was VERY deep. We couldn't see the bottom and it probably had passageways branching out underground. The bridge was very cool because you could walk over the mine opening, not for the fainthearted.
Alas, we couldn't find the first letterbox we had come for. We looked all over the hill. It was supposed to be under this tree in a crevice. Do you know how many rocky crevices there were??
Lisa and Jackson resting from the search.
I really liked this lone yellow tree. Isn't it a pretty view?We finally gave up and went looking for the other letterbox. It was a couple of miles down the trails.We went past a mineral spring and some more mines.
Success! We found this one easily! For our reward, we got to stamp our books with their handmade stamp. In return, we made an entry in their journal with our own stamps.

On the way back we stopped and wandered through Madrid. There are lots of shops and art galleries to browse through and artistic sculptures everywhere. I liked this horse and coach.

I also liked this "natural" cactus garden
For some reason I love old buildings

Jackson showed us what a swinger he is.
He can be such a handful, sometimes.

Everywhere in New Mexico, there are beautiful little churches. Here is San Christobal in Golden.

And here is a photo of Lisa and I, neighbors, and horsebackriding, blogging, and now, letterboxing buddies. :)

They hide behind trees - artist: David Bowie, song: Diamond Dogs, album: Diamond Dogs

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Just another future song

For anyone who is curious about the titles of my posts, I have gone back and edited each post this month to include the Bowie reference. Most titles are directly pulled from lyrics of Bowie songs. Sometimes, it is a Bowie connection. I invite you to discover the worlds of David Bowie. PS- hope you enjoy my blog.

Just another future song
artist: David Bowie
song: Diamond Dogs
album: Diamond Dogs

Friday, October 17, 2008

I'm home, lost my job

My company has been having financial woes since the startup of two spin off companies in the past year so I was laid off today. They gave me two weeks notice and asked me to continue working until today. I thought long and hard about my future and decided maybe it was a good thing. After all, I probably would never quit on my own and the stress has been killing me.
I've been there six years.

Earlier this year I signed up for an Algebra class. I hated it and dropped it. Well, since the layoff was coming, I went and talked to a guidance counselor. We decided it might be best to go full time to school for a while and then look for work in the fall, if my money can hold out. I only need seven more classes for an associate's degree in pre-management. I was able to sign up for two classes which really surprised me since it's almost mid-term. Now I have full days scheduled on Monday and Wednesday. Maybe I can find a part time job evenings or Tuesdays and Thursdays.

The only thing that's constant in life is change.

I'm home, lost my job
song: DJ (David Bowie)
album: Lodger

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Over the bushland, over the trees

This past weekend my son and I decided to take my newest car out for a road trip. (One week ago, I bought a used 2004 Hyundai Accent with automatic transmission and 51K miles.) My son has been learning to drive but doesn't want to learn with my Infiniti FX45. I don't really want him driving it either! All the other cars are manual transmission and, as a beginner driver, he really needs to concentrate on driving more than shifting. So, when I bought the Accent he was very excited. He wants to drive it all the time. We call her Sally because she has a salvage title. She was in an accident and the insurance company totalled her. However, the same guys we got the Saturn from fixed her up for us and she looks almost new. Engine is working fine, no body damage anymore, and the frame is good.

We decided to go north, so we loaded the dogs and a few odds and ends. Here's Gunnar on the back seat with Daisy's head behind him. Daisy is looking out the back window (sort of).

Here's Buddha on the floor. He likes to sit on my lap but for some reason he wanted down between my legs. He sure curls up into a little ball, doesn't he?

We stopped at Dixon's Apple Ranch hoping to get a bag of delicious champagne apples. Alas, they were sold out! We drove past Santa Fe, Pecos and Las Vegas. Here's Storrie Lake outside of Las Vegas...New Mexico, that is! The photos are bad but the water is always varying shades of turquoise and really pretty.

It was a beautiful autumn day even though it threatened to rain a few times

We passed several old buildings

and pretty, little churches
Since we couldn't get apples, we decided to get some raspberries at Salman Ranch. We shared a scrumptious raspberry sundae!

Salman Ranch is next to the old mill at La Cueva. Click on photo for close up of sign.

We drove past Victory Ranch where there are lots and lots of alpacas.

We drove through Mora which is an old village with one main street.

I do like this mural on the weaving center building, Tapetes de Lana. Never been in it though. One day I'd like to stop and see what's inside.

After almost four hours we finally arrived at our destination. I have a cabin in Sierra Bonita where my mom lives. She has a house down by the river. You can't see it in this photo but her house is in the top left section in the trees. Also, the very first photo of this post is showing my car in front of her house. This is Coyote Creek.

My cabin is at the top of the mountain in tall, old pines.

Here's the kitchen, complete with microwave and stove. The refrigerator is on the other side with the kitchen table.
Here is the living room with a lovely stone fireplace and huge picture window (not shown)
This is a view of the high ceilings in the living room and the propane wall heaters (one old and one new).This is the master bedroom. There is an electric blanket on the bed for cold nights. :)

This is the second bedroom. That single brass bed actually came from a hotel in Colorado in the 1800's.

I have always loved my "little cabin in the mountains" even though it has no running water. We have a dvd player, books, games and a phonograph. There's always fishing and hikes to explore the roads and woods. We are only seventeen miles from Angelfire for winter skiing.

In the past, I have seen bears, bobcat, wild turkeys, and a wolf. Mountain lion tracks have been found in the nearby meadow. We have a little bat that comes every summer. He sleeps under the wooden window covers when we are not there. When we lift the boards he flies away. The neat thing is that we can see him from the inside of the cabin through the glass before we remove the window covers. e looks like a winged, leathery mouse.

It's so peaceful in the tall trees, although I do worry about forest fires. Wild strawberries grow in the summer along with pretty wildflowers. I have spent many wonderful weekends, in all seasons, there.

We had a great weekend visiting my mom and then staying the night at the cabin. It was so cold in the morning though! 30 degrees outside and only 60 inside. I really cranked up the heater for a while. Then we went down the mountain and had breakfast with my mom. We stayed with her awhile; then it was time to head home.

I noticed gas has actually dropped below $3 a gallon! When I checked the mpg for the trip we averaged 38 mpg! Not bad, considering we went up and down mountains and did 75 on the freeway.

I think we're going to really like Sally!

Over the bushland, over the trees- song: African Night Flight (David Bowie) album: Lodger