Saturday, November 19, 2011

Robins, robins everywhere (plus a few house finches!)

When we moved to the high desert of New Mexico in June I figured I'd be saying "goodbye" to one of the most familiar of wild birds, the American Robin. I always associated the cheery bird with lush green lawns and worms.

Neither of those ingredients are part of my new world in New Mexico. I never saw a single robin.

Not until the beginning of November! One morning I looked out the kitchen window and there they were. I'm sure they showed up for the juniper berries or seeds or some thing. But they obviously appreciate the fresh rain water we collect in our barrels (uhm, 33 gallon black plastic garbage cans).

They are flying in in "herds"....up to a dozen at a time perching on the side of the barrel drinking in the water, while another dozen or so wait not-so-patiently on the ground and nearby on the round pen.

They've even been nice enough to share some of the water with the house finches...pretty in their dark pink feathers!

My nice New Mexico bird book says both species are year 'round residents in my neck of the woods. I'm looking forward to their company this winter.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Whats Ya Lookin' at? (Besides Me Havin' Six Legs...) Huh?

Saturday, October 29, 2011

It's NOT?

We moved to our new ranch near Corona, New Mexico on June 21st, 2011. The first day of summer seemed kinda appropriate for us to be moving to our "place in the sun".

Almost immediately the unpacking began..and went on and on and on. Then finally, a reprieve of sorts. It was time to do fencing, six freakin' weeks of it! The unpacking was put on the back burner.

Til today. Hubby just unpacked the firewood holder for the living room, just in time since the nights are gettin' down to the 30s. A fire in the fireplace sounds pretty cozy.

Someone else thinks the firewood holder is for them. "Ohhhh Bailey?"


"C'mon sleepy kitty..."

"This isn't a cat bed silly, it's for storing firewood."

"It's not?"

Grumble, grumble..."Let me know when the firewood is moving in."


Thursday, October 27, 2011

First Snow at the Ranch!

And it was a doozy.

The recipe for early snow apparently goes like this in New Mexico (our new home since we retired in June and moved from Washington to our ranch):

Start with a 60 something degree day. Add one part thunderstorm, strong and gusty winds. Mix in dashes of extreme lightning and thunder that rumbles for a good 20 seconds or more. Throw in a huge amount of rain and intermittent spells of hail. Then let it all quiet down for about 15 minutes.

Turn on the patio light to see how wet it is outside and WHOA! --- Big fluffy flakes of snow!

We hunkered down for the night and woke to about 5 inches of snow with drifts up to 8 inches. After a fence line check to make sure everything was secure we let the horses and Pete out into the Winter Wonderland.

Ahem...they weren't very happy. Someone had covered up what pasture was left!

"Hey! That patch of grass I saved for's GONE!"

We designed our house to be passive solar and positioned it so it could take advantage of the sunshine in the low winter sky. It's working! Last night it got down to 27 degrees, today up to 40. The house, with the sun shining in and warming the porcelain tile is keeping us a toasty 70 degrees WITHOUT the heat turned on. Yes! We have radiant floor heat that will warm us when we need it and two fireplaces. This one is outside. I don't think we'll use it til it's time for some coffee and Baileys!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Just a Quickie!

Today one of my readers reminded me 1.). I am retired! 2.). I haven't posted on my blog for awhile...yikes, almost 2 months AND 3.). I live in NEW MEXICO now!

Yes, folks, THE MOVE has happened and I've been so busy and buried in moving in chores, the blog has been put on the back burner. But not for long! New adventures are happening, new pictures are being, though usually goofy, stories are being tossed around in my head.

Most importantly, you'll soon be able to join me here, "where my heart lives".

Thanks for hanging in there for me......

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Welcome to my world, little man!

Welcome to my world, little man!

Thank you Kim and Mark for the ultimate retirement gift. As we begin our move to New Mexico ... so will "Journey"!

All photos by and courtesy of Mark Thorson of Samhain Cardigans.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Dreams DO Come True!

As some of you might know...we're headed to our 'place in the sun' soon!

Resignations have been handed in, plans have been made to get all the two and four-leggeds moved. Now to pack and bulk up on Ibuprofen. We haven't moved for 22 years and oh, how I wish I had that 30-something body back to help with the lifting!

Here's a post from 2009, so you can see what we've been so eager to enjoy!

At least once a day I find myself daydreaming about my place in New Mexico. Hubby and I designed it, found financing for it (!!!) and had it built during this lovely recession and now it sits...and waits for us. (Sigh, big sigh) We spent six wonderful days there in July camping out, in our new house. The house doesn't have little things like furniture or dishes or towels. No problem, it was heaven anyway.

Some of you have asked for a need to wipe your feet cause we're just going around the outside today.

Here's our entry with my drop-dead-gorgeous front door...all 8 feet of it! I love the full leaded glass done in a Craftsman/Frank Lloyd Wright style with the typical "wheat" pattern at the top. No wheat on the ranch but it could pass for the blue grama grass we do have. The indentation in the wall is called a nicho and is named after the South American decorative boxes ("nichos") that hold religious icons. The nicho has a little light at the top of the dome and will probably house a funky folk art coyote or somethin'.

I think this is the prettiest side of the house, the back. It faces south/southwest so windows will bring low hung winter sun into the house during chilly months. The master bedroom is on the far left, living room in the middle and dining area on the far right. The view from any room is of the Gallinas Mountains and is to die for.

Did I mention we put some windows in the house? Tons and tons of them. They're Andersen Low-E windows so will serve us well for the next couple hundred years. They're casement on the bottom and tilt out on the top. Open wide during the day keeps the house comfortable in 90 plus heat. The tilt out portion brings in cool nighttime breezes.

On the far right is the garage and shop. This time around hubby wanted the shop IN the garage and I relented. But, there was a trade-off. "My" 1 ton truck gets a parking spot too and it'll be IN the garage.

The "ah-ha" moment came when we thought to add a fireplace to the outside of the house. The master bedroom, kitchen and dining area are all convenient to the fireplace. where did I put the margarita glasses?

This is my view of the mountains from the bedroom, on the bed, laying on my right side when my eyes pop open in the morning. We'll thin the junipers some to open up the view after we move in but, anyway you look at it, it's a great way to start my morning!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Outta the Way Boys!

Finally..the stars have aligned!

The house has sold, the resignations have been turned in and signed off by the sergeant. Our last day of work is June 3rd and we'll head to our 'place in the sun' in New Mexico around the end of June.

Outta the way boys!

Thursday, April 28, 2011


First, check and double check the date on this blog.

Remind yourself what Spring brings...daffodils, tweeting birds, Easter eggs. Spring in western Washington is all these things, mixed with mild temperatures in the mid-50's and RAIN, lots of rain. We have over 28 inches of the stuff so far this year....ugh.

So, yesterday it did THIS for 3 hours. SNOW!

The mountain behind our property is covered completely in the snow, the temperature is at 33 degrees, and the humidity? 100%!


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Wordless Wednesday ~~~ I Hear Ya!

Monday, April 11, 2011

A Special Treat for My Birthday!

My friends Kim and Mark treated me to puppy breath for my birthday!

Yup, seven of the little buggers, Cardigan Welsh Corgis born 11 days earlier...all wiggly and snuggle-y. I won't waste my time writing about them, their cuteness and chubbiness speak worlds.

Oh, the manatee? It's from a different litter.

Now, let's hear a collective "awwwwwwwwwwwww...."!

Friday, April 1, 2011

I ate the "flat dog" ~~~ April Fools!

Friday, March 25, 2011


Yesterday "Cotton", aka Samhain's Windfall Shiver Me Timbers, got some fan mail from the Orthopedic Foundation for Animals (OFA).

She'd sent them an x-ray of her hips to check out. She wanted to be sure she was sound in body so she could participate in fun stuff like agility. She's got the cat herding down already so she was pretty sure things were working great in the hip department.

The OFA said a resounding "yes" and gave her hips a score of "GOOD" (which can only be bettered by a score or "EXCELLENT").

Ahem...let the games begin!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Wordless Wednesday ~~~ Here Kitty, Kitty, Kitty!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Wordless Wednesday ~~~ Does This Snow Make My Butt Look Fat?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Wordless Wednesday ~~~ Dashing...

Friday, March 4, 2011


Cotton loves snow! And nothing slows this dog down. She lowers her nose, digs in and pushes through it like a blue merle snow plow.

It would help though if she engaged the 4-wheel-drive once in awhile!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Happy Birthday Quaker!

It's that time again, little buddy. Namely February 28th and the 9th anniversary of your birth ten years ago.

That was the day the Nisqually earthquake came to your mama's pasture and she decided it was time to lighten her load.

And you were born and aptly named --- Mountain Meadows Quaker 6.8.

Oh, the numbers? Never seen that in a horse's name? Well, not many horses are born right after an earthquake where some one noted the Richter Scale reading and added it to the baby horse's name.

Lucky you huh? You've always been my special little man. Hugs!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Wordless Wednesday ~~~ Windstorm!

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