Thursday, October 20, 2016


What is the world coming to?

Aunt Ruth drove her Meals-on-Wheels route on Tuesday, and afterwards, she came home to eat.  She drove into her garage, took her purse and went inside to eat.  She needed to go to the church to do some work, so she wasn't inside very long.  Grabbing her purse and keys, she went to the garage and discovered the door had been closed . . . and the garage was empty.  No car.

Turns out, the young man who lives across the street closed her garage door because he thought she had accidentally left it open since her car was not inside.  It didn't take them long to figure out that the young man's backpack had been stolen out of his father's car, and then the thief hot wired Aunt Ruth's car.  Within an hour, someone had racked up charges at five stores on Coors Rd. - a long way from Aunt Ruth's house.

Luckily, her insurance agent is my brother, so Bart picked her up, took her to the church, arranged for a rental car, and Jerri took her to pick it up.

All-in-all, it worked out about the best it could have.  The thief did not come into Aunt Ruth's house, which he easily could have done.  She was preparing to get rid of the car because it had been giving her trouble.  And they got a picture of the person using the credit card.  We hope they catch the creep . . . but in the meantime, we are glad Aunt Ruth was unhurt!

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

West With the Night

Have you heard of Beryl Markham?  Neither had I.  But I have now, and after reading this, so will you!

When Diana and I were in Madrid, New Mexico last summer, a man in a textile store gave Diana the above mentioned book, West With the Night.  She didn't have time to read it, so it sat in the Jeep's door pocket for the entire year, traveling back and forth, waiting for someone to read it.  This last trip home, I was out of reading material, so I decided to try it.

On the back cover is an endorsement from Ernest Hemingway about the extraordinary writing of Ms. Markham, and although the identity of the real author is a little uncertain, it really doesn't matter.  What does matter is that this book is as beautifully written as the movie Out of Africa is filmed.  Beryl Markham was raised in Africa, trained horses, and then became a bush pilot - the first woman bush pilot.  She is the first woman to fly from Europe to the US - hence the title since to do so, one must follow the night across the ocean.

The book is set in the 1930's, so the descriptions of Africa are much different from what we now know.  Beryl Markham actually knew the Blixens, who were featured in Out of Africa, and the husband plays a significant role in Beryl's life.  And although she isn't as famous as Amelia Earhart, her life is equally as exciting.

Apparently this book was reissued in 1983 after someone located Ms. Markham living in poverty in Africa.  The sales from the book allowed her to live decently for the remainder of her life.  In 2005 it was still listed as one of the top adventure books available.  It was not exactly gripping . . . but I thoroughly enjoyed reading it, and if you are looking for an interesting read, this just might be the ticket.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Fall Has Arrived

On Sunday, September 30, Don and I took our friends, Claudia and Peter, to Elk Mountain.  The weather was sublime - bright blue skies, little wind, cool temperatures.  Perfection!

The road is always a little rocky, and it did not disappoint.  The trees were not quite perfect, but they were close.

Every year, I take pictures of the beautiful aspens . . . and I never tire of them.

We discovered that Nelson is not particularly fond of bumpy roads, and he was in our lap most of the time.  I felt sorry for him . . . he was shaking a bit and pacing when he could.  Every time the car stopped, he was ready to exit!

Peter is an earth-science professor, and going to Elk Mountain with him to tell us about some of the geology was really fun.  We stopped at one fossiliferous area, and he found many cool fossils.  Don took a picture of one of the best rocks they found.  It has many critinoids in it . . . really exciting for those of us who love rocks, fossils, and geology.

The trip to Elk Mountain lasted the greater part of the day, which was time well-spent.

Movie Making

In September I was contacted by a movie-making firm, asking if they could park their star trailers and canteen on some property I own in the Pecos.  Since I had been forewarned, I was able to do some homework so that when they gave me a "low-ball" offer I was able to counter with a more reasonable one.  That worked well!

They had set up their tents and put all of the star trailers on the land by the time we arrived.  We were invited for lunch, and what a lunch we had!  Besides the best pork chop ever, garibaldi fish, chicken, and beef, they had a large table of salads, another of drinks (including a large jug of almond milk), desserts by the case, and appetizers.  Actors eat well!

The full group of star trailers (left) and canteen
Don thinks he needs this for our tailgates!
As suddenly as they appeared, they pulled out . . . only to need to return.  They came back with an abbreviated crew, and once again, we went to lunch with them.  While there, the actor Jeff Daniels walked in.  We did not speak to him, but it was fun seeing him fairly close up.

The name of the series is "Godless," and it will be on Netflix sometime next year.  About a cowardly sheriff who arrives to help a town filled with women, I was told it was about a "bunch of women who can kick a**."  Sounds like it could be a fun western to watch!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

14,000 Miles

14,000 miles.  Yep.  That's how many miles we drove this summer to the cabin and back.  Seven trips at about 1000 miles each, including trips to Santa Fe, Las Vegas, and Albuquerque.  And I couldn't get enough of the cabin.

It amazes me how happy I am when I am at the cabin.  The minute I get out of the car, a peace settles over me like nowhere else.  Whether it is the lack of a strict schedule, a smaller house with less "stuff," the wonderfully fresh air, or the childhood memories, I don't know, but when I am at the cabin I am just happy.

This most recent trip was especially satisfying, since the aspens were turning.  We went to the top of Elk Mountain, we spent a lot of time at our lot on Grass Mountain, and when we went to Angel Fire to see Bart and Katie, we were able to take in the colors from another vantage point.

I don't know if our cars can manage 14,000 miles every year, but every single mile was worth it!

The Story of Edgar Sawtelle

I purchased this book for Diana a number of years ago.  Oprah highly recommended it, and I thought she would like it.  But I was always afraid to read it.  I knew it was about a boy and his dogs, which for me is a recipe for a hearty cry.  So I decided not to read it.

Fast forward to this year, and I decided I needed to read it.  Diana said it was poignant . . . I say it is a true tearjerker.  About a young boy who was born mute but not deaf, it is the description of how he connects with a certain kind of (fictional) breed - the Sawtelle dog - and how he deals with his father's death.

The thing is, as good as the book was, and yes, as sad as it was, I felt the ending was totally wrong.  Because I don't want to spoil the book, I can't divulge what I thought should have been different, but I would love to discuss the ending.  I have read several reviews, and others have felt the same way.  It was as if the author just wanted to end the book - and he did.

Although I would have changed the ending, I thought the author's descriptions of a boy and his dogs was spot on . . . and the fact that I still tear up thinking of certain scenes tells how well he did.