Saturday, May 31, 2008

More Pictures

While there's not a lot to write about today, I do have some pictures I wanted to post.

I got up early this morning and took this just as the sun was coming up over the lake.

Then it seems like I didn't do much the rest of the day, just visited with a lot of folks, which I do enjoy. It was really hot today, around 100 degrees, so we were both quite lazy. Fortunately there is usually some sort of breeze which makes it seem not so warm, but still we stayed inside for the hottest part of the day.

When it started to cool off, we moved outside and it was just beautiful. We've set up bird feeders and slowly but surely they are beginning to come. It seems like some places they find the feeders immediately, but at others, it takes them a week or so to find the food.

As the sun sank lower in the sky, it became more and more colorful.

Have I mentioned how much I love the open skies of New Mexico?

In just a matter of moments, the entire sky behind the rig filled with the most wondrous color. . .

Which quickly transformed itself into this.

Just a few moments later, we started walking the loop, and I noticed a view that I've missed up until now. This is taken looking through some bushes, across the lake to this mesa off in the distance.. You can just see a bit of the lake in this photo, but I loved the look of this photo. It kind of reminds me of an old Kodachrome postcard.

And just so you know, I haven't neglected the hummingbirds this summer. So far we have two feeders and two birds, but no pictures of them yet.

Life is Good.

Friday, May 30, 2008

the Various Johns . . .

Regular readers know I am a huge movie fan.

Short of slasher films, there are very few I don't like, but what I really love are the old classics. The ones where you say "They just don't make em like that anymore."

Now that I've said that, I must confess that the are some classic movie stars which I don't quite get.

And for the longest time I just didn't get John Wayne. He seemed to always just play John Wayne, or so I thought (ashamedly admitting that I probably had never sat through an entire John Wayne film).

Then I saw the Quiet Man, and my whole opinion changed.

Not only is it a wonderfully crafted film, beautifully shot, subtly acted, but it also boasts an exceptional script. This film opened my eyes to the John Wayne- John Ford dynamic, and what a fine pairing it was.

So I started watching lots of John Wayne films. Some were definitely better than others, but the man certainly delivered on screen. Both Terry and I particularly like certain of his westerns, including Red River, the Cowboys and the Shootist. Then there are those which he made with John Ford.

Since we've been spending so much time in the Southwest, we've found that we enjoy fine western movies more than ever. With that in mind, I've been looking for a selection of three films known as John Ford's Cavalry Trilogy.

These films include Fort Apache, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon and Rio Grande. After searching various libraries, Movie Galleries and Blockbusters all over New Mexico, I finally decided to break down and purchase them through Then I figured we could have ourselves a little western/cavalry marathon.

So of course, even though I ordered them at the exact same time, they all shipped separately with the last one arriving just today, Hurrah!

Then I took at look at today's lineup for Turner Classic Movies . . .

As proof that great minds think alike, tonight, they are showing, in order, Fort Apache, She Wore a Yellow Ribbon and Rio Grande!

Oh well, I guess if this is the worst of my problems , I can truly say that my Life is Good!

(Reviews to follow, I'm off to the movies.)

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Santa Rosa - And Garlic!

Every morning I wake up and am so pleased to look out my windows, the views here are glorious. The truth is I love the open skies of New Mexico.

I remember years ago speaking with a friend who had moved to Hawaii. She said that what she loved were the incredible open skies. I sort of said Yeah, Yeah, but I was still infatuated with the redwoods of Northern California. And while I still appreciate their beauty, I am just tired of being closed in, not seeing the horizons.

I love New Mexico.

So when we went for our morning walk, I took the camera and took a few photos of the campground for the blog.

When we first step out of Cholula Red, this is our view. I do love these trees.

Here's a wide view of the campground. I really like the layout of this park, lots of open spaces. While every spot doesn't have a view of the lake, it's never far out of sight.

And as I mentioned yesterday, the flowers are just coming out. This is the first cactus blossom I've seen this year (and it looks a lot nicer when you click for a larger version).

This is just a shot of one of the campsites. As you can see, very roomy and again, look at that sky!

And here we are back at our campsite. We've put out the hummingbird feeders but have only seen one hummer so far, hopefully we'll get more as they discover the feeders.

And now I want to talk about something completely different.

When we were in Albuquerque, we had the luxury of Whole Foods, Trader Joe's and Costco, what a wealth of choices for someone who likes to cook!

At Costco, they were sampling this, just sprinkled on some plain pasta.

Well, it was just so tasty I had to try some, and am I ever glad I did. This stuff is just wonderful.

So far, I've used it on pasta, we've made garlic spread with it, flavored a pot of beans (Yum!) and used it on fresh green beans, EXCELLENT!

If you see it in the store, you might want to pick it up, I like it a lot.

Yep, Life is Good.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Oh What a Beautiful Morning!

I woke up this morning to find a light rain had fallen. While that's sometimes not the best of news, it just washed everything clean and sparkling and I had to take a few pictures.

This is what I saw the very first thing this morning as I opened the shade.

And when I opened the back shade, this is what greeted me, Off in the distance you can see Santa Rosa Dam. This thing is HUGE.

When I finally got up (I'm quite lazy these days) This is out our side windows. These trees are so beautiful, we're not sure but we think they might be Russian Olive trees. All the tiny flowers are coming up and it really looks like Spring here in Santa Rosa.

And I must apologize, these pictures were taken from inside the rig through rainy windows, so they're not as sharp as I would like. Also, the dark windows distort the colors, but I still wanted to share our view with you. I'll try to take more pictures later when the weather is a bit "brighter".

This is indeed a lovely park.

The rain stopped early with the sun intermittently peeking out, but it's cool and a perfect day to cook!

Last night I set a pound of mixed beans to soak, so today it will be a long slow cook in the crockpot. There's just something so soothing about a big old pot of beans, don't you think? I'm always trying different ingredients, today I'm playing with heat, some chipotle peppers in Adobo sauce, a new cilantro dip I'm trying, we'll just have to see how they turn out.

{Well crapola! during the long cooking, I looked at the beans when I should have just let them simmer and I broke my crockpot lid! When we first started traveling I was sure I wouldn't need a crock pot, but I found this one for $3.00 at a yard sale and it has been a great thing to have when we stay for a while. I guess I got my $3.00 worth out of it, but now I have to decide on a new one. Amazon, here I come!).

Anyway, before the crock pot fiasco, I looked around the rig and discovered we had a bunch of apples that were going soft, so I got on the internet looking for apple recipes and came up with this recipe for Apple Bread.

After doing a bit more research, I decided to replace half the oil with butter, half the white sugar with brown sugar, triple the cinnamon, add about 2 tsp of fresh nutmeg (and if you don't use fresh nutmeg, you really don't know what you're missing), add in another cup and a half of apples, replace the walnuts with pecans, and just for the heck of it, throw in about a cup and a half of Craisins.

WOW! Here's the loaf out of the oven . . .

And here's the moist chewy goodness of the inside.

You'll notice the recipe makes two loafs. I almost only made one, but thought it would be nice to have enough to share, and boy am I glad I did!

This one is a keeper.

And now I'm off to bake a fresh loaf of bread to have with our bean soup for dinner, YUM!

And before I go, here's one final shot, taken after the sun had come out and the sky had blued up a bit.

We're going to like it here.

Life is Very Good!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Going Back in Time

Well, here I am again, and while we've been busy doing boring things lately, there is quite a backlog of pictures so here we go!

We found Leasburg Dam to be a truly lovely place to camp. Our spot was out in the open, with a beautiful cactus garden to one side and a view of the mountains to the other side.

We put out our bird feeders and within a day, we had literally hundreds of birds. Since we had the garden to our side, the birds would hang around in the bushes and take their turns at the feeders.

It was a wonderful thing to see, and unfortunately I didn't get a whole lot of pictures, but I'll share what I did manage to shoot.

We had LOTS of finches.

While this shot isn't anywhere near as sharp as I would like, I liked the composition so I thought I'd include it here.

I was playing around with different lenses and got this shot. While I know it's not exactly the right way to use a lens, I liked the look of it. This was the view out of my bedroom window every morning.

We had so many Silver Cardinals, everyone was commenting on how lovely they are. Remember to click on any of these photos for a larger image. They look much better in the larger versions.

Leasburg Dam State Park sits on a bluff above the Rio Grande River and it is a sight to behold. After spending so much time in the desert, it was such an amazing sight to see all this water, not to mention beautiful green fields.

These next two shots of the Rio Grande were taken from the day use area at Leasburg Dam. While the rive is quite wise, you can walk across the whole width and never get wet above your knees!

One more shot of the mighty Rio Grande.

One day as we were driving into town, I was literally struck by these fields of harvested alfalfa. After so much desert, it was like my skin just drank in all the green.

One more shot of the green, I just couldn't resist.

And here's one final shot out of my bedroom window. This was our view every evening.

I will be posting a few more Leasburg Dam/Las Cruces blogs in the next week or so.

While there, we attended a Cast Iron Cooking Class, Pioneer Days at Fort Selden and had a lovely afternoon at the Las Cruces outdoor mall, so stay tuned for full reports.

And for now, we're relaxing and enjoying the beautiful weather here at Santa Rosa.

Life is Good.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

. . .Hello!

Yes, we're still here.

As regular readers know, we were both sick for a spell, then we left Leasburg Dam State Park, had car troubles, went to Manzano Mountains State Park, stayed one night, got evacuated due to the Trigo fire, moved to Mountainair, stayed one night, started packing up to go back to Manzano, were told we couldn't return because of the fire, decided Albuquerque was the answer, decided it was time for a new toad (LONG story which I don't even want to get into, so don't ask),finally found a new toad (don't EVER try to buy a car in New Mexico, the pickins are slim), now have a 1998 Subaru Forester BUT we can't afford to put the tow equipment on it for a while so we came to Santa Rosa State Park to sit a while, were approached about camp hosting, found out that we wouldn't have to clean toilets or campsites or work in a Visitors Center, (basically just be social and help folks out), so now we are committed for at least a month!

Is that the longest sentence you've read in a while?

Whatever, it's my story and I'm sticking to it.

And it looks like once again I can truthfully write that Life is Good.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Well Again . . .

I would like to thank all of you who have emailed and called.

The truth is I got sick, and then Terry got sick, so we've been lying kind of low.

In the middle of this, we moved, spent a night at a Wal-Mart, moved to Manzano, spent one night, got evacuated due to the Trigo fire, spent a night evacuated, thinking we could go back the next day, started moving and got told we couldn't return and FINALLY ended up in Albuquerque at a Passport America Park, where we are currently hibernating.

Soon, we'll be back among the living and I'll post all kinds of stuff . . .

I am feeling much better and Terry is almost 100% so once again, I can truly say that life is looking good, or at least better.