Thursday, October 29, 2009

Gosh, I Guess I'm a Cook!

The journey of my life is a continual adventure.

For the years I was working, I never really gave a lot of thought to my retirement. I assumed I would retire and do something, but, much like now, I didn't really make plans. I did my work, enjoyed my life and waited for the next chapter to begin.

Then we retired, bought Cholula Red and have been enjoying a lifestyle we never imagined.

And now we've found Ghost Ranch.

Once again, we marvel at our good fortune to be in the right place at the right time. We signed on as Campground Hosts, and stayed for our commitment. Then we were offered the chance to stay at this astounding place. We've been fortunate enough to be offered jobs that we both love, Terry working with the horses and in the kitchen, and I get to work with computers and cooking in the kitchen.

Are we the luckiest people or what?

So I've been making soup.

LOTS of soup.

I've made cream of asparagus soup, chicken noodle soup, Italian sausage tortellini soup, creamy sweet potato soup.

And more are coming.

Yesterday I made a gigantic hummingbird cake, and today I made a red cabbage apple salad. Tomorrow, I'll be making a huge pan of roasted vegetables (potatoes, onions, garlic, sweet potato, cabbage, YUM).

And you know what? I love it.

I'm a huge fan of the Food Network, and all of a sudden I find myself cooking in a kitchen with all these snazzy gadgets and a well stocked larder. What could be better?

I find myself wishing I knew better how to cook for great numbers of people. And if you think that professional stoves and ovens are the same as those in your home (not to mention RV), I'm here to tell you that they are most definitely not. Still, it's a learning curve that I'm enjoying.

I often get the feeling that we must have done something right somewhere along the line in order for us to be so very lucky.

And just because I can, I'll include a few pictures of this landscape that has so enthralled me.

I just had to include this shot.
Yes, the trees really were this color.

I never seem to tire of these hills
you can click to enlarge.

And because I found a new angle
from which to shoot Pedernal,
I had to include this shot.

You know what?

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

a Walk in the Fall Woods

After being sick for so long, I was afraid I had missed the Fall colors. And I did miss a lot of them. But we took a walk a few days ago and were pleased to see that some color was still in evidence here at Ghost Ranch.

Before I go on, once again, be aware that there are lots of pictures here, so this may take a while to load. And many of them are similar, but I have to tell you, I am a terrible editor and just can't seem to pare down how many images I post.

Terry says that maybe I should change the name of the blog to Too Many Pictures, what do you think?

So on to our walk in the Fall woods.

We took off behind Pot Hollow,
down into a dry arroyo.

The sky was this shade of blue
that seems to define New Mexico.

The trees were this astounding
shade of yellow.

Like I said,
too many pictures.

Every once in a while
the red rocks show through.

I just couldn't resist
one more shot
of the leaves against the sky.

Then I found myself becoming
interested in branches.

Regular readers know
I love black and white.

Then I looked down
and found the ground
every bit as interesting as the skies.

This shot
so intrigued me
that I transferred it
into a fresco painting.
Click to enlarge it
to see the detail in the painting.

I find myself fascinated
with the patterns
on the forest floor.

One final shot
of the intense yellows.

It's interesting, one of the things I love about Ghost Ranch is the sweeping vistas. Now, as I look out the window, it's a good thing I shot the fall foliage when I did.

Today, the vistas are non existent. Winter is lurking, we had rain last night and today we're surrounded by low hanging clouds. It's like we're in a small basin of red rock with a backdrop of huge fluffs of cotton.

Kind of like the little villages we used to make when we still decorated for Christmas.

And while it's not as stunning as the panoramas I've grown used to, it has a beauty all it's own.

I like it.

In my next entry, I'll have some more photos (probably too many again), and relay some of my kitchen adventures.

Have I mentioned that I'm cooking for the ranch now? I'm officially Soup Girl.

More to follow.

Saturday, October 17, 2009


In this entry, I'm only showing one photo.

I know this isn't very impressive, but wait. If you follow the instructions below, you're in for a treat.

Click on it so it appears
in a new window.
Click your plus button
till it's displayed full size.
Now scroll from side to side.

Be aware, this is a pretty large image and may take a while to load, but I think it's worth it.

What you're seeing is a view of the mountains at the back of the dining hall at Ghost Ranch.

This landscape is made up of seven images, pieced together to make one long panorama.

And when I say long, I mean truly lengthy. The original stitched image comes in at a whopping 28 inches high and 265 inches long!

Now where would I find paper to print this out?

Still, pretty cool, huh?

As a side note (and on to a completely different subject), when was the last time you listened to Dinah Washington? My God, what a voice! And her phrasing is so perfect. She is incomparable.

And now I'm off to take more pictures!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Fall is in the Air

Where have I been? Just enjoying our annual "the weather is changing so it's time to get a big old ten day cold" ordeal.

I sure don't know why this happens, but it's pretty much like clockwork. Every fall, one of us gets a horrible cold, which we manage to pass on to each other.

The good news is that we have weathered through and are feeling better, so on with the news.

Fall is certainly in the air, and the colors of northern New Mexico are astounding. Since I got my cold before Terry, I've had a couple of days to take some shots of the changing colors.

We even have acorns.
At least I think that's an acorn.

I love the blue skies
behind the vibrant yellow leaves

The many shapes of nature.

Here's another shot,
showing the variety of color.
Of course, that's Pedernal
in the distance.

Kitchen Mesa peeking
through the trees.

A different view of Kitchen Mesa.

One more wide shot.

And my very favorite.

This is the path
going down to Pot Hollow
where the pottery classes
fire their wares.

I took this shot for the foliage
but was surprised to see the deer
when I enlarged it
on the computer screen!

You can click it
and see a larger version.

As I mentioned earlier, I'm now an "official" driver on the Georgia O'Keeffe Landscape Tour. I encourage everyone who comes to the ranch to take this tour. It allows you to see parts of the ranch that are otherwise inaccessible and gives so much information about the ranch and Ms. O'Keeffe. It definitely expands you appreciation of Ghost Ranch.

I love the drive (yesterday was my second time) and I always learn something new. But it's the scenery that really blows my skirt up.

I wish there was a way to explain how this landscape affects me. I swear, it opens my heart and expands my soul like nothing else.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Just a quick note here.

As many of you know we are long time Disney fans (not so much anymore, but we love the vintage stuff).

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs has just been released in a Blu-Ray-DVD combo with a ton of new extras. While many may not care for the "old fashioned" animation, I find it the best of the best. And the story is powerful, funny and endearingly sweet.

This film is truly a landmark in American cinema, and is one of my very favorites, so I wanted to let you in on a deal. If you order Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs from Amazon the price is $19.99, but if you type in the code "Snowhite" (minus the quotation marks) you get a $10.00 discount bringing the price to $9.99.

I thought this was too good a deal not to pass on.

And if you watch it again, let me know how you liked it.

Friday, October 2, 2009

What's Going On?

First off, I have an announcement.

We recently had a meeting with the folks here at Ghost Ranch and they kindly extended an invitation for us to stay on. We talked about it for a while, voiced our concerns and came to an agreement. We still want to travel on occasion but we're certainly happy to use Ghost Ranch as a home base.

With this comes some new duties, since the campground will be pretty slow during the winter. We will, of course, still be the campground hosts, and Terry will continue to care for his beloved horses. We have also volunteered to help in the kitchen. They are often short handed, and we like helping with the clean up. I like to scrape the dishes, because it gives me a chance to talk with everyone, and Terry is enjoying operating the gigantic industrial dishwasher. It also gives us an opportunity to interact with the kitchen staff, whose company we especially enjoy.

I have also volunteered to drive for the Georgia O'Keeffe tour. Regular readers will remember how much I enjoyed this tour, so this was a perfect fit for me. It's also turned out that there will be some computer work for me, so it would seem that Ghost Ranch and Cholula Red is a perfect fit.

As to the blog, once again time has gotten away from me, but at least I've been taking a lot of pictures. In looking at these, I realize they are very similar, but the reality is that the light here changes by the minute and I'm having a difficult time deciding which pictures to post.

So I just post way too many.

My apologies, but as I've said before, I love this country.

While the horses
still come into the corral,
we have opened the large pasture
to allow them to graze.
I caught this shot out the back window
the other night at twilight.

We came out from dinner
and it looked like Kitchen Mesa
was burning from the setting sun

A sunset from our front door.
Pedernal continues to fascinate.
No wonder Miss O'Keeffe
loved it so much.

The pink sunset
turns the red earth
an astounding color.

This is our campground.
This shot was taken from the corral
where Terry spends a lot of his time.

These next shots
were taken the first time
I drove
for the Georgia O'Keeffe Landscape Tour

Tough assignment, huh?

Look who we ran across!

They've been put out to pasture
for the winter.
I think they want a treat.

I just can't seem
to get enough
of the rocks and skies.

I also find I'm becoming
pretty fond of the moon.

I love how this picture
shows exactly where
the white rocks in the foreground

And this
is my absolute favorite
of this series.
Can you believe the light and shadow?

Remember that you can click on any image to see more detail.