Saturday, December 31, 2011

year 2011 in review

After wrecking my 2003 Infiniti FX45 in December, I bought my 2002 Subaru Impreza wagon,

My mom and I visited the Bosque Del Apache wildlife and bird refuge at sunrise, one Saturday. Visit here to see a Sandhill Crane dance video.

Alas, I missed the Scottsdale Arabian Show for the first time in years. February was a busy month for me with both my boys' birthdays to celebrate.

My son,  daughter, and I took a quick road trip to Holbrook and saw the Hashknife Pony Express set off. Read all about it here.

I also attended a Dennis Reis clinic and invited my neighbor and her daughter. She got lucky and won a DVD set from him during the give-a-ways.

I lost my 16 year old cat, Simba, to kidney failure. I picked him from the litter of six kittens our Pearlie had. (We lost her the next year to coyotes.) Then Terra was the last kitten still to be given away and my husband convinced me to keep her too. As it turned out, Terra claimed me and I was never able to spend much time with Simba. He was beloved by all the family and used to head-butt on command. He was half Siamese and would wander around the house in the wee hours of the morning, crying out loudly, as only Siamese cats can. I miss him terribly but the yowling and prowling, I do not miss.

I did not fall off of my horse but maybe I should have jumped. I was riding Scout at the back of my neighborhood when he got spooked from a pack of loose, running dogs, reared up, and fell over backwards on me, breaking my ankle, which required surgery.
I now have a plate and several pins on the inside of my ankle. I learned what it was like to be disabled, since I was off my foot and in a wheelchair for two months during rehab. I still have a very stiff joint and continual discomfort in my ankle.

I was fortunate enough to attend two fantastic concerts- both were opening nights of those tours and both required road trips to the Denver area:

In April, my daughter and I saw Arcade Fire in Broomfield (above Denver).

During our road trip, we visited Manitou Springs, Colorado Springs and the site of the Ludlow Massacre. Read more about that trip here and here.

In May, I added two aliens, erm, alpacas to my animal family: Thelma (red) and Louise (bay/black). Louise was supposed to be pregnant.

I saw U2 in May with my Sister-in-Law and a friend of hers. I bought the tickets for this concert over a year ago, on ebay, and then Bono hurt his back and the tour was postponed. After driving up to Denver, over 450 miles, I found out the tickets were fraudulent, on the morning of the concert. The girl who sold them to me, Natacha Gillis, had received a refund from Ticketmaster, right after I had purchased them from her! Fortunately, we were able to purchase three seats in the handicapped area (I was still in a wheelchair because of my broken ankle), and had a fantastic weekend together. We visited the Denver area, Central City, and the  Red Rocks Arena where U2 performed their landmark song, Sunday, Bloody, Sunday in the 80s.

While in Denver for the U2 concert, my SIL and I went to the National Alpaca Show to experience lots of close encounters with the "alien" alpacas. See here and here for more.

June just seemed to come and go. I had three physical therapy sessions and rode again for the first time since my accident. We had the alpacas sheared and I took a lesson on wet felting alpaca fiber. I made a hat which I will post about some day.

It was a time of snakes and swallows.

My mother, daughter, and I flew to Oregon for my nephew's wedding. It was a mini reunion for my family- my mother, sister, brother and I were together for the first time in years.

Also, the family took a scuba diving lesson. How do I look?

I also went to the Arabian Youth Nationals. click on previous link for more.

And, very sadly, I lost my Little Buddha (Japanese Chin) to the coyotes one morning. Tragically, I heard him yelp but could not rescue him. He was only seven years old and I miss him every day.

My son, daughter, and I celebrated with my Mom for her 84th birthday at Pietown with lunch and a freshly baked green chili, pinon nut, and apple pie.

It's a long drive there and back but we all enjoyed the road trip. We even stopped along the way back to see the VLA visitor's center.
We celebrated more birthdays- my daughter's and mine. My sons took me for a nice little hike in the Sandia Mountains, my first and only this year.

I made bones for the One Million Bones project.

Meet Skyy, a part Australian Shepherd and part Blue Heeler puppy that my daughter acquired.
Yalla! came down with a case of Pigeon Breast, (pigeon fever, dryland strangles, etc.) and it was weeks before it was advanced enough to be lanced. Nasty stuff, the infection usually settles in the chest, causing a huge swelling like that of a pigeon's breast, thus the name. Annie has had it two different times in years past. It is caused by flies and nearly impossible to prevent although it is not too common, fortunately. Annie had to have multiple lancings. Yalla! had one vet visit and drained thoroughly, although she is still scarred from it.

I decided to remodel my house. For years, I debated on bamboo, tile, carpet, or cork. I finally settled on Pergo laminate. I refinanced the house,  purchased the flooring and began the project. My son ripped out the old carpet and baseboards, I repaired the concrete floor, and everybody painted.

The best thing to happen this month was the birth of little Sophie Rose Iman, Louise's cria on November 3rd. When I went out to feed in the morning, I was surprised to find a miniature alpaca with the two big girls. The birth went well and, because the alpacas and the horses had their fall shots in August and the little cria looked extremely healthy, in spite of being all legs and neck, I didn't even bother to call the vet. Besides, I was still paying off Yalla!s vet bills for the pigeon breast. Unfortunately, my camera was completely broken by now. It had been giving me problems for several months. These photos were taken courtesy of my cell phone.)

Meanwhile, the flooring project was becoming a nightmare. I had Thanksgiving at my house for family and friends even though the only complete room was the kitchen and that was a mess. We had originally been hoping for the flooring to be installed BEFORE the holidays but, alas, this was not to be. The order came in short two boxes. I had to wait almost three weeks for those to come in and then two more weeks before the installers would begin their four to five day job. 

We had snow and snow, and more snow!! At Christmas time, we still had almost two feet of snow everywhere from the build up of the recent storms. Here's a view of my backyard.
Here, at the homestead, we had no furniture in the house. Without wood, I couldn't make fires in the woodstove and my heater was not running properly. We slept on mattresses on the floor for six weeks and the house got down to 56 degrees most nights. Needless to say, it's been rather miserable for the last couple of months. 

I splurged and bought myself an early Christmas present, a Canon Powershot SX 230, 12 megapixels and 14X zoom.
Finally, last week, the installers came and did a fantastic job in just three days (1500 square feet- living room, dining room, den, hallways, and four bedrooms). And guess what? There are at least four unopened boxes of flooring! We could have been finished a month ago!!! Didn't need to wait for the missing boxes after all, did we? Really?? My whole family has been sick for the last two months, living in a shell of a house, for no reason!

That was my year, more or less.

Happy New Year!!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Friday Foto

This is soot on the back wall inside my wood stove.

I see a gremlin leaning to the right with a pointed ear, curly hair, large, dark eye, hooked nose, mouth open, and receding chin. I can even make out the shoulder and arm on the left. He/she's holding something in the hand, like a baby bird. All I know is, it really creeped me out when I looked into the cold, dark wood stove and saw it.

Someone else pointed out a bunny rabbit where the mouth and chin are.

What do you see??

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


When I went to work yesterday, my floors looked like this:

When I came home, it looked like this! 

There's still a lot to do, but I like it already. 

The dogs are liking it too. At first, I wasn't too sure about the color, Bristol Chestnut, but I think it will fit in well with my furniture.

Ch-ch-ch-changes- song Changes, artist: David Bowie, album: Hunky Dory

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

I don't have any Christmas decorations up in my house so I decided to post some decorations from the neighbor's house and my workplace.

Ya'at'eeh Keshmish!

And don't forget to watch this classic holiday video! ;)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Just Disappear

The other morning, I noticed rabbit prints heading towards my garage. Where did they go from there? Those are dog prints behind, and maybe a human boot print too. Interesting...

Just Disappear -  song: Black Tie White Noise, artist: David Bowie, album: Black Tie, White Noise

Neither Snow nor Rain

This morning, on my way to work, I drove through snow, fog, and sleet. I felt like the mailman, lol. I knew the winter storm was still moving in so I left work early, around 1:30PM, when the snowflakes were big and the streets were slushy. I stopped by WalMart to get some last minute shopping and I think everyone else had the same idea. After over a half hour wait to check out, I loaded my packages and realized I had forgotten to buy one of the priorities on my shopping list. I stopped at Walgreens to get that and then back on the road, this time to rain. I have a 45 minute commute on a good day now since the company moved their office earlier this month, so I got comfortable, turned up the defrost, set the windshield wipers to intermittant, and prepared for the journey home. Most of the way home is freeway but, because of the snow, I got off the interstate and took Historic Highway Route 66, the frontage road, for the last ten miles to home. I could see that the light, mid-day interstate traffic was still moving well, despite the now heavy snowfall, but Route 66 highway was practically deserted, a winter wonderland, although treacherous, with the foggy snow, slushy roads, and freezing temperatures. Still, I wanted to see how my new Canon Point and Shoot camera worked for point and shoot photos. So, here goes:

This might be my favorite photo. I like the snowy trees and the lone mailbox.

The brown stripe you see in the next photo is the side of the freeway which runs parallel with Route 66. Sometimes, after a heavy rainstorm, there are temporary waterfalls running down from the upper levels. Not today. ;) 

You can see the roads are getting worse (next photo) as I gain in altitude and approach my home. I live at 7,000 feet above sea level, 1,500 feet higher than in the city. It's awful when you have a cold and your ears plug up and then pop, which reminds me of a story. Two different times, I have purchased neon tetras for my fish tank, only to arrive at home from the city, with dead, little, red and blue fish. It seems that the altitude change doesn't agree with them. Their eyes actually pop out of their heads! Crazy, I know, but absolutely true!

When I got home, my son's friend's car was stuck in my long driveway. Uh oh! I have to go past without hitting him or getting stuck myself. I couldn't even stop because I knew I would get stuck then too. Everybody watched and worried as I carefully drove past and parked in the driveway. When I tried to back up and straighten out, I couldn't. I was stuck. Oh well, I was home, safe and parked. Yay, for my Subaru!! Whew! I do slip and slide a little but I haven't got stuck yet. Then, I snapped this photo, looking back down my driveway towards the neighbor's driveway, just after they got the car going again. Last Saturday night, another of my son's friends got stuck at the end of the driveway nearer the neighbor's wall. The driveway may look easy, but it curves in an "s" with a slight drop on both sides and there is a culvert at the end, near the road. When driving in snow you can't heavy gas it, slow down too much, or stop, and you've got to stay on the gravel. The biggest problem I seem to have driving in snow is the low clearance of my Subaru Impreza. But, my daughter says, "it's all about the driver". Lol, thanks for the compliment. After all, I didn't hit the friend's car OR get myself stuck. Tee Hee.

I wasn't very pleased that my son and his friends were going out in this blizzard but they were performing at a show tonight with their band, Second Thought. He did call me when they got to town so that I knew they were safe. The weather wasn't so bad in the city and he's going to stay at his friend's apartment tonight after the show. Have fun at your show, guys.

I let Sandy and Skyy out for a pee and a romp. They had a blast running through the deep snow.

Skyy was so fast for this photo, I only caught her tail.

By this time, Sandy was far, far away. This photo was taken using my 14X zoom, four times more than my last camera.

Inside, it looks like the snow monsters are outside.
I think I will be working from home tomorrow, in order to stay safe. I really can't risk anything happening to my one driving car, since the Hyundai got totalled.

Neither Snow Nor Rain - song: O Superman artist: David Bowie and Laurie Anderson

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Powder and Paint

I have been living in the shell of a house for over a month now.

We moved all the furniture to the garage and a rented storage unit.

We took up all the carpet and baseboards.

We painted (most of) the ceilings and walls in all the rooms that will be getting the new flooring. (over 1500 sq ft.). Still need to do touch up work and door frames, etc.

Patched the walls (from taking off the baseboards) and the concrete floors. The dark spots along the walls show wet concrete drying after patching the holes made from pulling up the carpet nail strips.

Boxes of Pergo laminate flooring are now sitting in the middle of each room: living room, dining room den, hallways, and the four bedrooms.



Got a call from the installers and they won't be starting until December 27th. She stressed that we must put boxes of flooring in EACH room of the house and keep the temperature at 70 degrees at least 48 hours before they begin. WTF?? I have no flooring, no insulation! My internal house temperature drops down into the 50s overnight. We're lucky if  ever gets to 68 during the day! My electric bill is 30% higher than normal (higher than it's ever been before in the 17 years I've lived here). I have very little wood left for the woodstove and I just bought $700 worth of propane which took the tank to only 60%. Oh my! I considered converting my wood stove to pellet but then I'd need to buy pellets all the time AND run a fan. I guess I better buy a cord of wood quick and get it delivered. With my pickup truck not running, I haven't been able to go get any wood myself this year except for the little bit my daughter and I picked up one afternoon and half of that was rocks, lol.

Did she say DECEMBER 27TH?!?!!

That's two more weeks! Oh my, no Christmas for us this year.

I see a very bleak two weeks ahead. Cold, cold, cold and nothing in the rooms except a few mattresses, my big 54 inch tv and my laptop (of course). Oh my!! Sure not looking forward to it.

Just a few years ago, I had a roof leak and had the entire roof repaired. It took a couple of weeks because of the snows we had during that time. That was in January- and it was COLD!!!! Remind me to do my next major house improvement in the summer, PLEASE!

Now I have nothing to do but wait...

Powder and Paint  song: Maid of Bond Street, artist: David Bowie, album: Deram songs