Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Slinky fun

It was so fun watching Skyy play with a slinky that I just had to share some photos:

Fortunately, nothing happened to the plastic slinky because my son came into the room, saw her playing with it and got all mad for us letting her have it. Ooops, but, oh my, it sure was fun for a while, wasn't it, Skyy?

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Sunday Stills (9/25/11 Signs of Fall)

The Sunday Stills photo challenge this week is to show signs of Fall.  I didn't get a chance to go out shooting this week so I'm going to have to use archives for this one.

There are always beautiful sunrises and sunsets this time of year too.

For more Sunday Stills, please visit here.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

One Million Bones

There is a national social arts program called One Million Bones which I took part in last weekend.
My son's girlfriend works at the ceramics lab at our local university and invited me to come and make a bone for this project last Saturday. Last month, she took part in laying out 50,000 bones in downtown Albuquerque.

I went and took pictures as well.

There was a garbage can sized tub full of porcelain clay just waiting to be shaped and fired into bones. 
Here are the ingredients and utensils. Working with clay is very much like working with bread dough. First, you have to work it to take out the bubbles and air pockets, by kneading and pounding. Then, you can shape it by hand, adding water as needed to smooth the surface or by using special tools to smooth and shape it into forms.
 I really had no idea how to make a bone. Then I decided that, in a pile of one million bones, nobody is going to inspect them very closely and anyway, they won't even know that I made them. So, I went to work. It seemed to get easier as I made more and more of them.

 Here are some of the artsy folks crafting their masterpieces. The blue rag is water dampened and covering a small supply of clay to keep it from drying out as we work with it.
 Here is some more molding and forming. It's much harder than it seems like it should be, to build a bone.
 Here are some of the bones I made. I actually made 55 in all that day! 0.0055% of the total bones needed for the project- LOL!!

I know they're funny looking but hey, it's for a good cause and it was fun to do, too!
 This is the sign on the kiln room door. Crazy, huh?
 Here is one of the kilns. It's huge and very, very, very hot when in use.
Here's the inside of one of the many kilns. These are student projects. Nice stuff, huh?
 Since it was on a weekend, some people were coming in to work on their class assignments.

Almost makes me want to take up pottery making or ceramics...

If you are interested in contributing to the One Million Bones project, check out this website.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Joe vs. Jose

You have two families: "Joe Legal" and "Jose Illegal". Both families have two parents, two children, and live in California.

Joe Legal works in construction, has a Social Security Number and makes $25.00 per hour with taxes deducted.

Jose Illegal also works in construction, has NO Social Security Number, and gets paid $15.00 cash  "under the table".

Ready? Now pay attention....
Joe Legal:  $25.00 per hour x 40 hours = $1000.00 per week, or $52,000.00 per year. Now take 30% away for state and federal tax; Joe Legal now has $31,231.00.

Jose Illegal: $15.00 per hour under the table x 40 hours = $600.00 per week, or $31,200.0 0 per year. Jose Illegal pays no taxes. Jose Illegal now has $31,200.00.

Joe Legal pays medical and dental insurance with limited coverage for his family at $600.00 per month, or $7,200.00 per year. Joe Legal now has $24,031.00.

Jose Illegal has full medical and dental coverage through the state and local clinics and emergency hospitals at a cost of $0.00 per year. Jose Illegal still has $31,200.00.

Joe Legal makes too much money and is not eligible for food stamps or welfare. Joe Legal pays $500.00 per month for food, or $6,000.00 per year. Joe Legal now has $18,031.00.

Jose Illegal has no documented income and is eligible for food stamps, WIC and welfare. Jose Illegal still has $31,200.00.

Joe Legal pays rent of $1,200.00 per month, or $14,400.00 per year. Joe Legal now has $9,631.00.

Jose Illegal receives a $500.00 per month Federal Rent Subsidy. Jose Illegal pays out that $500.00 per month, or $6,000.00 per year. Jose Illegal still has $31,200.00.

Joe Legal pays $200.00 per month, or $2,400.00 for car insurance. Some of that is uninsured motorist insurance. Joe Legal now has $7,231.00.

Jose Illegal says, "We don't need no stinkin' insurance!" and still has $31,200.00.

Joe Legal has to make his $7,231.00 stretch to pay utilities, gasoline, etc.

Jose Illegal has to make his $31,200.00 stretch to pay utilities, gasoline, and what he sends out of the country every month.

Joe Legal now works overtime on Saturdays or gets a part time job after work.

Jose Illegal has nights and weekends off to enjoy with his family.

Joe Legal's and Jose Illegal's children both attend the same elementary school. Joe Legal pays for his children's lunches, while Jose Illegal's children get a government sponsored lunch. Jose Illegal's children have an after school ESL program. Joe Legal's children go home.

Now, when they reach college age, Joe Legal's kids may not get into a State School and may not qualify for scholarships, grants or other tuition help, even though Joe Legal has been paying for State Schools through his taxes, while Jose Illegal's kids "go to the head of the class" because they are a minority.

Joe Legal and Jose Illegal both enjoy the same police and fire services, but Joe Legal paid for them and Jose Illegal did not pay.

New Mexico is one of only three states that allow illegal immigrants to get driver's licenses and our governor, Susana Martinez, wants that law repealed. I say "yes!" 

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Meet Skyy

Last year, my daughter acquired Sandy. Last week, she acquired Skyy.
We're not sure how old she is but she can't be more than a couple months, at the most. She loves to play and sleep and eat and pee and poo, and not in that order. We crated her the second night, after she went my daughter's bed the first night, and she cried practically the whole night, wanting to be let out of the crate. I gave strict orders to the kids not to give in to her, no matter what. Next night, she didn't cry so much, and then by the third night, she went right to sleep. By day, she must be taken outside constantly or she has accidents all the time, everywhere. I convinced the kids to keep her on a leash so that we can control her more. I've read that she has about an hour of bladder control for every month old she is. Of course, every time she wakes up she has to be walked...and every time she eats or drinks...and, well, you get the idea. She is very good about going once she is outside. Several times, I've caught her in the act and she'll finish outside, so hopefully, it won't be too terribly long before she is fully house broken. It's funny, the day before she came, I was looking at carpet samples, ready to do the house. Boy, I'm glad I didn't!

She's about twelve pounds and growing like a weed. I swear I can see her growing! I'm not sure how big she's going to get but my best guess is around 35-45 pounds. Sheila says she's Australian Shepherd crossed with something? Anyone care to guess??
Oh, and she chews on everything! We bought her some rawhides and she loves them. Between those, and the old dog toys we have laying around the house, I sure hope she stays away from the shoes and furniture.

I'm not so sure about having another dog after losing Buddha but she sure is a cutie! Unfortunately, Sandy is feeling rather jealous of her. Sheila keeps saying that she doesn't need to keep her- that she can give her back, but I seriously think she is here to stay. This is one of the reasons why I haven't posted about her previously. I guess time will tell.

Sunday Stills (9/18/11 On the Road)

I live right off of Historic Route 66, known as the old "Mother Road". Follow me as I drive it home from the big ABQ.

I wanted to include this photo for two reasons- the weather making clouds over the mountains and the fancy designed overpass. Click to enlarge for a better look. New Mexico has some of the prettiest highway designs around, IMHO.

I'm driving Central Avenue, which is the old Historic Route 66, towards home through the mountain canyon and into a huge storm.
This next section of the Route 66 highway is a frontage road going under the freeway. It's a twisty canyon road and fun to drive.

I wonder how they get to this house with all the huge boulders?

I suggest that you enlarge this photo to really see it. There is a large white cross almost centered in the photo. I don't know why it's there but I believe this is 'Deadman's Curve' on the old highway. If you look closely, you can make out the old dirt road up above the freeway. I took this photo from the Route 66 frontage road which I am still driving on.
This memorial was recently placed on Route 66 as a result of a fatal head-on accident. For a long time, there was a large blood stain on the pavement. I'm relieved to see that it's finally worn/washed away. The strange buildings below are a rental storage place just down the hill.

This is the road home. It appears that I followed the storm after it passed through because I drove on wet roads but never through actual rain.
For more Sunday Stills, please visit here.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Should have took a picture

The other day I went out to run the horses and ended up taking a photo session.

Here is Scout, my pinto/Arabian/Appaloosa gelding, born and raised at my ranch although not bred by me. I would never mix up the color breeds like that! I bought his mother, Beighley, a 1/2 Arabian/Appaloosa, already pregnant with him. Unfortunately, she tragically died shortly after we got Annie and Nadia. Scout was only two at the time.
This is Fantastyk Gal, Annie, my registered Polish Arabian mare and Yalla!s mother. That is dirt on her back by the way. She always gets her dirtiest when I pull out the camera.

Here is my sweet old Nari Asbah, Nadia, my Egyptian Arabian mare. I've had all three of these horses for the last fifteen years. You can see Sandy/Seven, the stray who came to stay, in the background in the next photo. We've had her a year now. She adores my daughter but she enjoys being with all of us.

Yalla! FantastyKheema, my selectively bred Arabian filly, found my whip quite entertaining in the next photo.

I bred her highly excitable race-bred mother, Annie, to a champion cow horse, Kakhem Sahib, to get some "calm." I think it worked. She has "cow horse" so instilled in her that she chases Sandy all over the place.

I am finally going to acknowledge that she is going to stay dark. yay! By now she should have signs of gray appearing or yellow in her tail, at least. Although, when I brush her, I find minute white hairs in her coat. huh?? She's still on the small side for a two year old but so was Scout. Like him, I won't ride her until she is three years old, next summer.

They did run a little but mostly, just stood and watched me. Oh well, next time they'll get more exercise.

Should have took a picture - song: Everyone Says Hi, artist: David Bowie, album: Heathen

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Stamp Act Tree?

This marker was on one of the largest pine trees in the forest along the trail we followed a few weeks ago. Does anyone know any more about it?

I found this information about the Stamp Act 1765 on wikipedia but I don't know that it's related.
Any help in this matter would sate my curiosity.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Sunday Stills (9/11/11 Shiny)

Ths week's photo challenge was HARD! I can't think of anything "shiny." Not my cars and I don't have any money. SO, I went to the archives for the shiny event of the year- the Youth Arabian Nationals. Enjoy!

The horses are so well groomed and shiny for the halter classes. They shine them up even more around the eyes and muzzles!

Cruella de Ville was wearing an extremely shiny outfit for the freestyle reining class. Also, did you notice the silvery, "shiny" bridle?
The Native Costume class always shines with glittery costumes.
Trophies shine, as does the winner's smile.

Even the riding classes sport shiny derby hats, browbands, stirrups, hooves, and horses.

For more Sunday Stills, please visit here.