Sunday, January 30, 2011

Sunday Stills (1-30-11 Circles)

This week's Sunday Stills challenge was circles. Please excuse the quality of these photos. They were all drive bys.



For more Sunday Stills, please visit Ed's website here.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Enter the Sweepstakes to Win a Free Trip to Albuquerque!!!

With the best year-round weather in the country, an Albuquerque winter vacation is beyond comparison to traditional winter vacations. Diverse cultures, authentic art and vibrant traditions have shaped the centuries-old story of the city. Come experience the history that continues to unfold with premier cultural events, distinctive attractions, skiing, and shopping.Immerse yourself in all that Albuquerque has to offer at an incredible value.

Win a free trip to Albuquerque from the Albuquerque Convention & Visitor's Bureau! Enter here by February 28th, 2011 for:

a two-night vacation to Albuquerque valued at $1,420:
  • A two-night stay at the Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort & Spa
  • Dinner for two in the Corn Maiden restaurant at the Hyatt Regency Tamaya Resort & Spa
  • A hot air balloon ride for two with World Balloon
  • Sandia Peak Aerial Tramway passes for two
  • $200 Visa card that can be used for airfare, gas or shopping
Hotel stay is subject to availability and expires 12/30/11
Balloon ride is not valid October 1 - 9 and expires 12/31/11
Tram passes are not valid October 1 - 15 and expires 12/31/11

Stylish Blogger Award

Recently, I was given the Stylish Blogger Award from Honeysuckle Faire. Thank you! I have enjoyed reading about your journeys with your boys, Pie and Sovereign. You remind me of my first horsie hero- a  college student who had two OTTB Thoroughbred boys. She helped me a lot with my English riding on my young TB mare when I was a teen and she was my barn neighbor.

There are 4 duties to perform when receiving this award:

1. Thank and link back to the person who awarded you this award
2. Share 7 things about yourself
3. Award 15 recently discovered great bloggers
4. Contact these bloggers and tell them about the award!

I am thrilled to receive the award. Here are 7 facts about me:

1. I have grown more assertive and outspoken as I grow older but I am still basically a wallflower. I am the person nobody really notices in a crowd. I tend to keep my feelings to myself.

2. I have an ancient wardrobe of clothes. Seriously, I think all my dresses are from the eighties! I haven't changed sizes much during my life so I continue to wear the same old clothes- mid length hems are ageless, I've found. I have one dress, a royal blue corduroy shirt dress with snaps down the front, that every single time I wear it, someone complements me. I wear it with a concho belt and suede boots and I really do look good!

3. I had straight, straight hair as a little girl. As a teenager, I tried to get curls but every time I permed my hair, it went frizzy. Then, I found out my hair was naturally wavy and was being over-processed. Now, I wear my hair in varying lengths of short and let it do whatever it wants. Seriously, I wet my hair down every morning, run a brush through it, styling it as much as I can in about 5 minutes, then never touch it again all day.

4. I can get ready in about 10 -20 minutes. This usually includes a shower, getting dressed, putting on make up,and  styling my hair.

5. I am not artistic. I like to cross stitch only so that I can pretend I've created something. That's why I like doing jigsaw puzzles too, pretending I've made the picture myself.

6. I found my scent. I wear Obsession every day and people are always telling me how good I smell. I still worry about putting on too much because I can't smell it on myself but I've decided it's okay. Just the other day, I was walking into a movie looking for a seat in the dark and a woman reached out to me as I passed her. I wondered what I'd done. She just wanted to tell me that she thought I smelled good. Strange! Still, I made sure not to sit next to her. lol. When the time comes, I guess I should be buried with my blue dress and a bottle of Obsession.

7. I love traveling. If I could afford it, I would quit work and just travel the world. I'm an easy packer- one gym bag works for a week, and I really don't care much about accommodations- a tent, cabin, hotel, whatever. I've even considered sleeping in the car if I needed to.

Gosh, I'm not really sure how Stylish I am. I definitely don't care what others think! But there you go, at least seven things about me that you never knew before. I will find it very hard to name fifteen bloggers who haven't received this award already so I just want to pass it on to any of my readers. (I might have fifteen... on a good day. ;) )

Monday, January 24, 2011

Found photos of snowy NYC- looking for the owners (video)

Watch this video and pass it around. This young man from New York was out cross country skiing in Prospect Park and found an old cannister of undeveloped 35 mm film. He had it processed and posted this YouTube video in the hopes that he could locate the photographer.  It is believed that the young men in the photos are Europeans on holiday in the Big Apple. I am impressed with the photos. They are very, very good.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

We'll Dance until Sunlight

Dance of the Sandhill Cranes

We'll Dance Until Sunlight - song: Chilly Down, artist: David Bowie, album: Labyrinth

Sunday Stills (Green)

This week's Sunday Stills Challenge was to photograph "green" things. Here are my two favorite trees right in  my own backyard.
When we went south last weekend to Bosque del Apache we had to stop for a green chili cheeseburger on the way back. Usually, we go to The Owl Bar and Grill but this time we went to the Buckhorn across the street. It was even better than the Owl's!

Doesn't it just look yummy?

Looking through my photos for green, I came across this cow with green bushes which I took last weekend.

Of course, there's always Terra's beautiful emerald eyes to photograph.

I threw this one in from my archives because I think this is what green should look like. He's certainly enjoying his green canopy bed.

For more Sunday Stills, please visit here.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Get You Down

Last weekend, I decided to ride horses. It was cold and windy but I was determined. (I get wimpy in less than fair weather.) I bundled up and went out to the barn. I decided to run the horses first because it's been several weeks since any of them have been ridden.

Annie loves to run by herself. She'll run all the way down the arena and back, blitzing past the other horses. She likes to come back and fancy trot around me. Scout and Nadia always stay together. They'll run to the far end and then wait for me to go to them. Then they run to the other end. Sometimes, I can keep them moving and they'll do a full circle or two. Yalla! tends to run with Scout and Nadia but often joins up with Annie for short distances. All the horses were enjoying themselves and Nadia would often neigh as she hurried to catch up with Scout. It was good watching them enjoying their run and I almost forgot the cold wind blowing.

Sandy, the stray dog who came to stay, was outside with us too. She would chase the horses and I would yell at her, NO! She'd stop momentarily and then start up again. The horses would run from her, or kick at her, depending on the horse and I finally decided that they'd have to work it out between themselves. I kind of appreciated the help in running the horses, actually. I decided Sandy was going to have to learn to leave them alone or risk getting kicked and I could see she was getting tired of running anyway. 

Once, Annie was at the end nearest the barn and Scout and Nadia were coming up to her along the rail, still a good distance away. Yalla! was running towards Scout and Nadia, away from Annie, to join up with them.  Sandy, the dog, was running towards the three horses. I think all the horses were watching Sandy because, much to my dismay, Yalla! and the other two collided head on. Yalla! went down as the others ran over her. I was aghast! Poor Yalla! Was she okay? I watched as she struggled up and walked back towards Annie. She seemed shaken but fine. Whew! Scary!! I looked her over and she appeared to be good so I chased them some more to make sure.

Then I decided to ride. I chose Scout and, because I was lazy, I just threw on a bridle. I have come to the sad conclusion that I am not so limber anymore and will probably never be able to jump up on a bareback horse again so I walked him over to the pipe rail gate at the end of the arena and climbed on. I used to vault up on one of my horses over his tail! Granted, Alfie was only 13.3hh, but still, I can't even jump up on a 14.2hh horse from the side! Age! Sometimes, I just feel stiff all over, oh my. But this post isn't going to turn into a pity party. I'm okay with giving up some of my more athletic abilities as long as I can still do most things.

I also decided to pony Yalla! around with us, partly to make sure she was okay from her tumble. She has never been ponied but hey, why not? It's not hard to do. So I haltered Yalla! and held the end of her lead as I climbed on board Scout. So far, so good. I gathered up the lead rope in my right hand and the reins in my left and nudged Scout, saying walk to Yalla!. We moved off from the gate at a nice little clip. It was great! Since Scout is Yalla!s number one buddy, she readily followed along with us. Sometimes, she bit at Scout's neck and I quickly nudged her head with my foot. We trotted together easily and even moved into a lope many times. Scout is smooooth riding bareback and Yalla! easily kept up with us. Sometimes, she'd get a little ahead of us when we slowed down which forced us to turn with her but I could stop her and get her straightened out as we moved on ahead. Once, when we were walking around the arena, I decided to walk over the old log. Scout never hesitated and gracefully lifted his feet until we had crossed over it. I let the lead rope play out, fully expecting Yalla! to follow in his footsteps. I was so sure that she wouldn't hesitate that I never even looked back. All of a sudden I felt like my arm was being jerked off. I almost got pulled from Scout's back! Yalla! had flat out refused to follow and stood stonily on the other side of the log. I quickly pulled Scout up and he stood, like a roping horse, with the steady pull from the rope. We were at a draw. She wouldn't move and I didn't know what to do to urge her on. If I jumped off, remember, no saddle, I knew I couldn't get back on. I was hanging on to the end of the rope and she wasn't going to budge. No way!
I decided to move Scout over to the side of her and wallop her on the butt with the end of the rope. I don't remember what I did to ask him but we maneuvered right over to her with a little backing and sidepassing. I was impressed! He did so well, just like he knew exactly where we needed to go. We came around to the side of her, back at the original side of the log and I smacked her with the rope. She started forward and stepped over the log as I again stepped Scout over. YAY!! Success! We continued going around the arena, both ways, and I switched the rope from hand to hand to keep her on the outside.

We walked over the log two more times and it was a battle both times. Scout would cross and Yalla! wouldn't. I'd sidle Scout back over to her side, whack her rump, and she'd step over. Scout got smart and sidestepped instead of crossing it the third time but, can you blame him? He was doing double work. Anyway, we did get Yalla! over it each time and it was getting easier, so I decided to continue another day. I am finding that she is basically a lazy horse. If there is an easier way to do (or not do) something, she's going to figure it out.

I was very impressed with my Scout. I hadn't ridden him for many weeks and he was the perfect gentleman. I appreciate the fact that I can just jump on him and get a good ride. Overall, I was very happy with our little lesson in ponying too. Yalla! was fine from her little stampeding mishap.

I slid off of Scout's back and took off his bridle. I took off Yalla!s halter too. 

Then I caught Annie and bridled her up. She usually is right next to me but today she didn't want to be caught. Maybe, because it was getting close to dinner time? Anyway, I led her over to the log rise near the water barrel and climbed onto her back. She was tense. I rode her around for twenty minutes or so but it wasn't nearly as enjoyable as riding Scout. I could feel that she was anxious and wanted to take off running at any second. I had to ride very loose legged and balanced. She spooked a couple of times and even tried to bolt. I trotted her a couple of times but there was no way I was going to let her slip into a canter. She tends to spronk and flip her head up and down when she's excited and I didn't relish going into a bucking match and falling off. I rode her another time around the arena and called it quits before anything bad happened. Oh well, at least I rode her, uneventfully. ;)

I think that Scout, Yalla! and myself all got a pretty good workout. I was kind of sore for the next few days. I'll bet Yalla! was too.

Get You Down - Battle for Britain (the Letter), artist: David Bowie, album: Earthling

Friday, January 21, 2011

Friday Foto

Sunrise at Bosque del Apache, a wildfowl refuge. The Sandhill Cranes are standing in water, not snow, BTW.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Sunday Stills (1-16-11 Close Ups)

This week's Sunday Stills challenge is CloseUps. 

Hmmm, looking at my photos, I could have called it Eyes and Noses.

Here's one last Christmas- 2010

For more Sunday Stills, please visit here.

Friday, January 14, 2011

And it Breaks into Pieces

I like to sit on the floor and put jigsaw puzzles together while I watch TV.

Terra is helping me.

And it Breaks into Pieces - song; It's no Game, artist: David Bowie, album: Scary Monsters

Friday Foto

I love the texture of this morning sky.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Earthlings on Fire

It's been a looooong cold winter because, until last night, our wood stove hasn't been working. With vaulted ceilings throughout the house and the heater vents in the ceiling, it seemed that the house was always cold despite the furnace always running. My kids were running space heaters in their bedrooms more often than I liked and we all wore layers and layers of clothes. And we ran through 100 gallons of propane in the last month or so. I debated long and hard about buying a new wood stove and decided to fix up my old Lopi. It's a good, solid stove and really only needed minor parts replacement. The firebox is still good so I decided that it would be a lot cheaper to replace a few parts for several hundred dollars than to buy a new stove for a few thousand dollars. 

It took a few weeks to get the parts: three air flow bars and the door seal, glue, etc. My younger son replaced the seal around the door and my older son put in the air flow bars, kind of like catalytic converters, I think. Not all stoves have them.

Anyway, when my son was putting in the new air flow bars, he realized that the brackets holding up the bricks needed to be replaced too. The parts that needed to be replaced had worn thin and melted in places. A wood stove's worst enemy is green wood and too hot of fires. (Guilty, as charged. Of course, that stove has been used a lot too. We burn fires from November to April, nearly 24/7 most days. I usually go through at least 3 cords of wood a winter.) We ordered the parts and, after a couple of weeks waiting for them to be delivered, finally picked them up. When my son went to install them, he realized the guy had ordered the wrong stove parts and they wouldn't fit. So, we had to reorder them and again wait another couple of weeks for delivery. 

FINALLY, we got the right parts and then my son found that the support pins were missing. After unsuccessfully looking online, my son found some at Home Depot that he thought would work. YES, they fit!! Success!!!

My son kept the fire going all day today and when I came home from work tonight, I can actually say that for the first time this winter, it feels nice and warm in the house. ;) 

Mucho Thanks, boys!!

Earthlings on Fire - song: Law (Earthlings on Fire), artist: David Bowie, album: Earthling

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Sunday Stills (1-9-11, the letter "W")

This Sunday Stills challenge is the letter "W". 

How about some Winter Wonderland?

Or the World?

Here's a Wild West Wall mural.

 Or how about just a Wall, although it's not so plain.

This picture shows both a Windmill and a Water tank.

One last one- Water (in the frozen state)
For more Sunday Stills, please check here.

Sunday - song: Sunday, artist: David Bowie, album: Heathen

Friday, January 7, 2011

I Feel Free

Sandy always goes out to the barn with me in the mornings to feed the horses. I open the back door and she runs right out. But she waits until I come outside too before she takes off out to the fields in back of the barn. Sandy loves to play outside. Here she is running around in the snow. 
Sometimes, she comes in to the barn or out to the horses to check things out. She likes to chase at the horses. I yell "no" and she stops bothering them but I think they are used to her and kind of expect it. They kick at her if she gets too bothersome. She licks up the grain they spill when I feed the horses their morning rations.

When I'm heading back to the house, I call her and she comes running back to me, at full speed. Sometimes, I play a game with her and see if I can make it back to the house before she does. I always make sure I have a head start but, boy, is she fast!

Sandy never seems to get cold. She loves to roll when she goes outside, especially in the snow. Notice her "snow" face? I think she must have been eating snow.

Here's Buddha all bundled up. He's so little that his small sized blanket coat is too big on him. When we have deep snow, I have to shovel a path or he gets swallowed up. He doesn't like snow at all and gets cold so I usually carry him and stick him in my jacket after he does his business.

I Feel Free - song: I Feel Free, artist: David Bowie, album: Black Tie, White Noise

Friday Foto

Monday, January 3, 2011

Yeah, they've bargained

Meet Subee, my new "old" Subaru Impreza! She's a 2002 with 103,000 miles. I hear Subaru's are good in snow (all wheel drive) and have great heaters. My boss has owned two Subarus and says they're good to 200K and then he gives them to some teenager to use up. That's good enough for me.  Besides, I've heard that lots of mountain folk drive Subees. She's definitely not Lola, but she does have power windows and doors and a nice after-market JVC stereo with cd and mp3 player. I bought her on New Year's Eve and had to drive home on icy roads. So far, so good. That's frost on the windows, btw.

These two photos were taken this morning. I thought the sunrise was beautiful. You can see that I still have snow everywhere. It's been so cold the last several days! Brrrr! 

We drove around looking for an SUV for under $10K at several car lots. I thought it would be a great day to buy a car, last day of the year and all. HAH! It was so cold we couldn't stand it. All the salesman practically laughed in our faces at the price I wanted to pay. Nobody had anything! I think everyone was ready to close up for the holiday too. Then we decided to see if the guys we bought my other used cars from were still in business. They were! We drove down the row of cars they had and spotted Subee. My daughter said she just looked like my car. We pulled up and told them we wanted to test drive her. They recognized us right away from the other two car purchases two years ago (we were driving the Hyundai) and just handed us the keys. This was the same seller I bought my Hyundai Accent from. And they just handed us the keys then too. I've had Sally for over two years now and no problems except new tires. I've put on over 50,000 miles in that time too. Sally's got 108,000 miles now. I also bought my daughter's gold Saturn there two years ago and Goldie is still running too, although my son has taken her over now. We drove the Subaru down the block and decided it was the right one. It was getting late so I told them that I trusted that it was a good car and within the hour we were buying it. I think it took longer to write out the sales papers than it did to decide on the car. The car lot owner told me that if I buy 3 more cars from them I'll get my next one free. lol. It could happen, you know. My daughter bought a used Honda Civic a couple of months back. I told her to go see if my guys were still in business. She didn't, and 6 weeks later is currently replacing the engine. Well... I'm paying for the engine for her. Sucker that I am. Hopefully, she will get a job soon and pay me back. And her boyfriend just bought a used Toyota 4Runner. Guess what? He had to put in a new engine.

I can honestly say that these guys do a good sales job on the cars. They're very nice, friendly, honest folks and don't hard-sell. They let the car sell itself. They usually buy the cars at auction and fix them up. It's amazing how quick insurance companies total cars and how many people flip cars (buy, fix up, and resell). They have a great mechanic and do a good job with the body work too. The detailing is excellent- you feel like you're getting a new car. As long as there is no major damage to the car's frame I'm okay with getting this kind of car. I even spoke with the insurance company about salvage title cars. They basically told me they're fine to get but not worth carrying full insurance coverage on. I'm down for that. If I wreck it- it's a loss. It's a gamble. But then, so are lots of things in life.

My only complaint with the Hyundai is that the hood is getting some chips in the paint. Well, they're going to repaint it as part of the Subaru sales deal. So, if you're ever in the market for a reasonably priced used car, let me know. Maybe I'll get it for you and you can pay me back. Three to go, you know.

Yeah, they've bargained - song: Port of Amsterdam, artist: David Bowie

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Sunday Stills (1-2-11 best 2010 pix)

This week's challenge is a look back on 2010 to pick some of our favorite photos.
I'll start with baby Yalla! taken last January.

 I like this shot of Annie with her mane flying in the air.

 I know, another horse photo, but aren't they cute together?

This was in the Canyonlands of Arizona. Pictures don't do it justice. I like the windmill and painted water tank in front for contrast.

Here's magnificent Spider Rock from Canyon de Chelly.

Terra has the most beautiful eyes and such a cute little pink nose.

Here are my most favorite people in the whole world on my Mom's 83rd Birthday. 

Isn't this horned toad so tiny and cute?

This might be my most favorite photo of Yalla! She looks so grown up.
How about a little artsy shot?

What's your favorite picture of this collection?

For more Sunday Stills, please visit here.