Sunday, December 29, 2013

Lessons from Seven Years Ago

On December 29th, 2006 it started to snow. It snowed on the 30th and the 31st. On January 2007 we had six feet of snow in parts of the Moreno Valley and all of the four routes in and out of the valley were closed. They were closed for five days. My neighbor's husband was in crisis because of his just diagnosed cancer and could not be gotten to the hospital in Taos until January 2nd. The continual snow made even life flight impossible. It started to snow again, a friend reminded me, on January 3rd. Some areas of southern Colorado and northern New Mexico received a total of nine feet of snow over a week long period.

When the weather was clear the National Guard dropped hay to stranded herds of cattle on the eastern plains of New Mexico. That made the national news. But the plight of our valley did not. It was the height of holiday season tourist and the visitors were trapped in the valley with us locals. That means 10,000 more people than normally live here in the towns of Eagle Nest, Angel Fire and Black Lake. We depend on a constant flow of supplies over Taos Pass or through Cimarron Canyon from Raton Pass. My Trinidad, Colorado friend tells me nobody came to help them either. Nobody believed they were snowed in. Or that we were snowed in.

Albuquerque received 16 inches of snow from the same storm and their weather station had forecast just 20" for us. All their "local news" focused on the plight of their city and not us. Or did until the snow sliding off my roof knocked off the satellite dish for DirecTV. I never had it re-installed. Broadcast news does not apply to me.

Most of us locals are survivors but nobody had seen that level of snow in such a short time in 70 years. Everyone did what they could but plows could not keep up with it. Those with plows on their trucks were overwhelmed with the depth of the snow. The Hawaiian down the street had a tractor and he kept our road and driveways semi-passable until he ran out of fuel and the local gas stations refused to sell him more because they were saving it for the tourists who could go nowhere. Note: if you are snowed in that means the next person on the reservation list is snowed out. 

It took a few days for business owners to realize us locals had to be able to get to our jobs to take care of the visitors snowed in here. And it took days for the overworked road crews to get the roads just a bit passable. Many of us, out of gas because the visitors filled their cars, snowshoed to the highway and thumbed it into work. Even some of us were caught unprepared. This had not happened here before. It is not happening to me again. When fall comes I start subconsciously stockpiling food in my pantry and freezer.

I built my snowshed that summer so I could find my firewood. I had lost three cords under the snow. I installed a lock on it to keep the visitors in the vacation homes in the neighborhood from stealing wood again. The two gas cans for the riding mower are never empty even if it is winter. My friend in Trinidad still believes snow is evil. I admit to a bit of panic when it starts piling up. And I have never again believed a weather forecast even when I go on line to get it from NOAA.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmases Past

Christmas Morning Elk 2011

When my sister lived in New Mexico she would come up to my house for the holidays and we would almost always have several photo exhibitions. The Christmas Day photography trip was a tradition.

Snowshoeing Christmas Day 2012

Last year we had snow but we have had some warm Christmases in the past few years which allowed for more playing around. In 2010 we even had a picnic on Christmas Day. 

Crystal and Debbie Looking for Picnic spot 2010

Ponil Creek 2011
2011 was a bit chillier but in the sun it was definitely warmer than expected. We took tons of photos and had great laughs. But 2010 was exceptionally warm as the picture below indicates.

Off road in Ocate 2010
There was always animals and great photos to be had and memories to be made. Everyone else was at home in front of the television and we were able to have the wilderness and off roads to ourselves. Nobody to spook the buffalo which were sunning themselves. It was bitterly cold that day in 2012 unless you were in the sun.

Buffalo on the Vermejo Park Ranch 2012

Debbie bundled up against the cold 2012

Debbie hamming it up at Val Vidal 2012
I miss my sister and the wonderful off roading adventures we used to take in her jeep. I especially miss my sister on Christmas Day.  She returned to Texas. And she took the jeep!!!

Christmas 2012 Val Vidal

Monday, December 23, 2013

Really? Tomorrow?

Ornaments on the tree

Tomorrow is Christmas Eve? Really? Already? Physically I am ready. The tree is up and decorated. I have had my studio open for those looking for (and finding last minute gifts), and I know with whom I am spending tomorrow even with my sister having moved back to Texas.

But 2013 from July until now has moved at such a pace I am exhausted. I feel as if I have run the entire time. And yet my body does not look that slim and trim. My 365 day photography challenge appearing on my other blog certainly has told me daily how soon 2013 is destined to end but denial is a God given survival skill.

I have not even reviewed my wish list for 2013 let alone made out one for 2014. Did one of those silly games on Facebook where you post in comments the first word you see on a box of jumbled letters. It was wealth. I will go with that. I usually put that one down and hope for peace or love or some such. But I am going to stick with wealth for 2013. Wealth and fame.

Some decades ago in one of those philosophical discussions about futures I told my assembled drunken friends who all wanted money that I would take fame instead. I am now willing to change my mind. I want wealth. Wealth AND Fame. Never fear, I am willing to share. Wealth. hard to share fame.

In fact I think I want Wealth so I can share it.

I also want two cats that totally get along. And two totally healthy dogs. And snow tires which I think I will not be able to get until next winter because all the people with sedans in warm states bought them up this year when the forecast said freezing rain. But I want the snow tires on a four wheel drive pickup. Not new. Willing to accept old. I do not want to waste my wealth on one of those tricked out ponies the auto companies are rolling out these days.

Hell, I am self-sufficient. Just give me the wealth and I will handle the rest. And fame. Do not forget the fame.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Goodwill to nobody?

It is that time of year again. I swear the absolute worst comes out in everyone. Maybe it is all the expectations of peace and love and goodwill. Or that we look back at all the times we have prayed for peace and it has never been delivered. And there seems no hope that it will.

Read some where that out of the entire history of the United States we have only been not at war 35 years. Not any of my 35 years. In fact I no longer can say Vietnam is my war like WWII was Dad's. There has been Korea which Dad and I shared and then Iraq one and Iraq two and Afghanistan. Peace on earth is just a laugh.

And unless you can put it in a computer program and sell it as an app for your smart phone there is no good will to man or woman either. Angry Birds sort of says it all.

But the sun keeps moving on through its cycles and this morning brought the Winter Solstice (Summer Solstice for my southern friends). The days will be growing a bit lighter every day and that is good. And that Wiki says it is not the first day of winter but Midwinter is also very good. I always thought after suffering the cold of November and 21 days of December it was very depressing to think winter was just beginning.

I do wish my fellow humans good will if for no other reason than I would hope they would share some of that with others and our fur kids and other creatures upon this planet. But then we are back to those wishes that never seem to come true.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Open Mouth and Insert Foot

There is this debate on this other blog I post to sometimes weekly. The Mag is a weekly post by Tess Kincaid in which she challenges us to write a poem or vignette in response to a visual prompt. I like the group of people and their poems. I like the challenge of having to come up with the right words in a set time frame. I like thinking out of my comfortable box.

Even when I do not post a poem I will read the poems of others linked to The Mag. I do not always comment. How many times can you say "nice imagery" and sound authentic. I do comment, however, when a particular offering really hits a nerve or it is a friend of mine or someone who has just posted a particularly nice comment on my offering. Hey, they are not always gems.

The debate this morning on The Mag was down in comments and about the difficulty of posting comments. Not there but on the blogs of some contributing poets. It is those damnable "prove you are not a robot" puzzles you have to get through to prove you are real. And they do not stop everyone - like real people with vile language.

I deleted those little hoops to jump through from my blogs but I still go for comment moderation. Because of those real people with vile language. I use my Creative Journey blog as a website and I do not want potential customers of my business to be slammed up against a wall by a comment I have not yet seen. Moderation prevents that because I have to see and read it to post it. Yes, comments can be deleted even if automatically posted but I would just as soon not allow a chance for the vile comments to be seen.

I say debate. But it is not a debate. It is a witch hunt. The declarers of opinions less than poetic want the owner of this delightful weekly opportunity to delete all from the link up who require the word puzzle or moderation.

Oh, I could easily open another blog on the same platform that is just for poems and not moderate comments. But I am feeling shunned and forced and blackmailed. My first response is to post a poem never again. Or to just flip the bird and say, "who needs you to comment?" I know like me not everyone does comment. And as I link my blogs to Facebook some of my readers comment there where I have already deleted all the posters of vile comments from my friends' list.

Do not feel you have to comment on this blog, but know if you do I will moderate your comment before allowing it to be posted. BTW there is this Nigeria fellow that is always posting a comment asking me to buy his country.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Time keeps slip sliding away

The Time of Long Shadows

I definitely think I am behind in my weekly blogs here. Too quickly we seem to be into the time of the long shadows. And the too short days. I seem to have gone into longer sleeps and more things to accomplish when awake. And less of those things done perhaps.

My neighbor has been gone and when she left that seemed like a really good thing because I was going to gain all that time I had been spending on morning coffee of late. Best Laid Plans*, etc. She left me with a list of tasks I could work on and get paid for while she was gone and I fully felt I could easily get them all done. BLP* again. And this week she will be home. I blame all the things I had to do at my house like clean up the studio, get the holiday tree cut down and decorated, etc. But there is a whole list of what I was suppose to do here that did not get done. BLP again.

Studio open for visitors
 But the Yule tree did get selected and erected and decorated. And the studio clean enough to have it open on the weekends through the holidays and then it snowed. About 10 inches with high winds. All other plans got set aside as I concentrated on the getting the snow out of mine and my neighbor's drive and shoveling walkways and keeping warm. There was this mishmash of which came first. Trudging through a foot of snow and deeper drifts I opted for the less is more approach to the tree and retrieved only enough boxes out of the storage area to do a Charley Brown tree with no lights.

Went with the old fashioned look

This week is about doing some catching up and wrapping up. And this blog is about trying to sum it up. The tenants are out but left behind the mess you would expect including the irate letter saying they are not paying for the extra days (10) their stuff occupied the space, that all future correspondence should be sent to their personal address (which they never provided and are still using my mailbox) and not the office, and a promise (I am sure they will never keep) to get the rest of their trash after the snow melts (they had 60 days before it snowed to get it gone) and they set that limit.

They left me with major repairs and stuff to get rid of and a total distaste for officers of the law as tenants, a section of fence down where I wanted to install snow fencing (I think about that every time I shovel the section of the driveway that snow fence would have protected), an endless source of kindling to pick up, and an acre of land that has to be reseeded next spring. But I have my driveway back and people coming to the studio can park.

Major storms across the nation held up new shipments of snow tires while generating a huge demand for them. I am renewing all my driving skills on slick roads without snow tires or a four wheel drive vehicle (I am doing better than the visitors with the huge SUV's). All I want for Christmas is snow tires. Well, a used four wheel drive pickup would be nice. A girl can dream.

But the studio is clean and open again this coming weekend. I am looking forward to morning coffee with my friend when she returns, and I know in the next few days I can wrap up round one of her list and tidy up the mess before beginning on round two.

Sometimes you have to look at what you accomplished and not what you failed to do. Dad always said I had a tendency to bite off more than I could chew. And there is always 2014 ahead. To close really.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Can You Hear Me Now? Part II

While the rest of the world is upgrading to more and more sophisticated cell phones I have downgraded to a burner phone. And have even debated doing that at all. I got it originally for road trouble but on my roads I have no signal in any place where I might have a mechanical problem. It gets used mostly to find my shopping partners in large box stores.

I once used it for long distance. But I had signal problems. Turns out 55% of users do have signal problems and I am willing to bet the majority of them live in Utah or New Mexico. And that isn't easy to do because there are whole sections of both states which do not have cell towers. The service at my house has improved except when doing cell phone to cell phone.

A whole group of people have decided in the effort to economize to cut themselves off from a land line. Yes, I went the other way when my land line company added DSL. But I had to get unlimited long distance because it does not matter if the person whose cell you are calling is next door if they bought through Verizon in Santa Fe. That is a different area code and ergo long distance.

I used to wonder about the long distance charges on my cell which was a regional plan. It was all those friends with cell phones from Miami and Washington, DC who did not change service provider when they moved to New Mexico. Remember it is not the distance between you and your friend two aisles over at WalMart. It is the distance between their service provider and your service provider. So look carefully at the area code before calling that person back.

But the biggest problem of all with cell phones is they are mobile. And the owners of said instruments are using them as them move.  No way do you have their full attention, and the shouted, "Oh damn," may have nothing to do with you. These instruments of modern technology seem to be able to garble any language and lay it over static but they do background noise as clear as a bell. If you do not believe me watch more CSI. I can now identify the particular beat of tires over a bridge or cattle guard or railroad track. I know the location of various callers because of church bells, airplanes landing, and shopping carts being pushed down aisles, and sirens. But I have no idea what my sister said the last twenty minutes of this morning's call when she was digging through boxes looking for the shock collar.

Remember when your mother was taking on the wall phone and she would say, "Excuse me a moment," to the person on the other end and press the mouth piece to her breast before shouting, "Time for lunch!"? Nobody does that anymore. Especially not if they were blue-toothing the call. You get the ear splitting yell, parts of the conversation made to people standing close and of course whatever background noise like loading the dishwasher or flushing the toilet. Note: cordless land line users can be guilty of the above offences too, but as you have to actually hold them less so.

A randomly established code says the person on the cell replaces a dropped call. If you are both on cells then both call and get each others message box. This can go on too long. If you are on the land line and do not get called back by the cell phone user one of two things is possible; 1) they hung up on you or 2) the phone fell in the box they were rummaging through or the dishwater or the toilet. In one case out the window and under the tire.

If you get the please leave a message option then it is 1. And if you get the message this number is unavailable then 2. And if you do not call back at all it is because you were so frigging tired of all the background noise you have no F**King  interest in continuing the conversation. Call me back when you are going to sit down on the couch with a cup of coffee.

And do not dare criticize me for a few key strokes of a reply to a friend on chat with me before your call.

Catch you later.

Oops that month went fast. Thankfully.

There is something about November which is without distinction. If it were not for Thanksgiving we would all forget it as we do February. I get so tired of things in November. Maybe it is some primal desire to crawl into my prepared cave and sleep away the winter. And yet because of December one has to stay conscious through November. At least barely.

And the cycle of submissions for exhibits in the art world requires some attention to details I would rather just forget. But I know I will regret it come January. And a whole number of things have been going on which have required my attention. The tenant is not moving out at the rate promised. My sister has moved to Texas, and that has not gone as planned. My friend next door went frantic in her speed to get to Florida. Frankly, I am finding myself happy she is gone. And guilty I feel that way.

December looks busy with a whole list of odd jobs for pay. And with the driveway (hopefully any day) free of all cars but mine I can open my studio at least three days a week. There is the accepted framed photograph to get to Albuquerque, two pet sitting jobs for now, consideration of entries or a show which juries in January, engagement of plumber to fix shut off valve in rental unit (should the tenants actually get their shit out), a order of vacation of property to file in Raton (if they don't), and paintings to paint, photographs to paint.

And fighting against just curling up in front of the fire and sleeping the winter away. Someone please wake me up in May. No I do not want to head south for the winter. I am a hibernator and not a migratory bird. The lowering skies and grey days do not inspire. I do not like the too early dark at night. The dogs are still on regular time.

So tomorrow is December. Will the world instantly change because of the date? God, I hope so. I want the world my way for the rest of the year.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Words in the forecast I loathe

Wintery Mix
I really do not hate winter. I was a ski instructor for more winters than I am willing to admit to this morning. And I have lived in Colorado and New Mexico where winter provides much of the local income. But there are certain winter conditions I am not fond of. The older I get the more picky I get about snow. And since the record winter of 2006 I would just as soon the snow line be 250 feet above my house.

I am not fond of the new favorite term on weather sites: Wintery Mix. It seems to encompass the absolute worst of winter - sleet, hail, freezing rain which it tops off with blowing snow. I hate the term blowing snow. Frankly, I think it is a cop out. What they mean is blizzard but they do not want to panic us because blizzard brings back the PTSD from the winter of 2006. I have a friend who suffered a crisis during that three day storm that delivered six feet of snow which didn't melt until May. I believe it finally just wore out from being blown around into new configurations, but I digress. She heard it was going to be a bad winter this year and she listed her house for sale. I tried to explain nothing sells here in the winter.

In fact, nobody moves in the winter. Which gives me nightmares because my tenants are doing what nobody here does. And they are doing it late enough I worry about all their shit on my property getting snowed under and frozen to the ground. That happened to me with three cords of wood the winter of 2006 before I built my wood shed. Good news is I had my firewood for the winter of 2007.

But the winter of 2006 was the exception to the rule (oh let us hope and pray), and I was talking normal winter terms I loathe. Subzero is one which got added to my list last December. We normally have about ten days of subzero temps and usually in December but unfortunately back to back. But last winter I think we had 31 such days and nights which broke all sorts of records. One record was -33 degrees. Basically the last few winters have proven there is no normal. Take the January thaw, which here in New Mexico generally lasts about two weeks. Nice balmy weather which panics the ski areas because they fear an early spring. Certainly looked possible last year when January thaw continued into March. Had all of us locals actually praying for snow so we would have no forest fires come real spring.

No room for sitting

Depth of snow is not so much a problem as how it falls. I want it moist so it will melt easily. All snow storms should be followed by three or more days of wonderful sunny weather to speed along that melt. Definitely no wind until the snow has melted in all spots which get sun. And it must be highly photogenic. I have studied this and 1 to 6 inches is best. We get about 210 inches a season here but it is very doable at 6 inches at a time.

Wintery reflections

Back to those winter words I loathe - Gale force winds. I left Denver because of winter winds. And Texas because of summer winds. And every place I have lived in the midwest because of twisted winds. i.e. tornadoes. Wind when it involves powder snow of great depth is not nice. I really got to study drift theory. The county road maintenance crew went from plows to front end loaders, and at one point I thought I could build a winter garage by putting boards from the top of one snow pile to the top of the other on the opposite side of my drive. Yes, winter of 2006.

Hazardous Weather Outlook brings terror to my mind. It means lots of snow, cold temps and gale force winds. All together. I could go all winter without having to read those words, in red, on my NOAA forecast.

I want my snow picture perfect like it always seemed to be when I was young.

What are your favorite weather forecast words for winter?

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Epiphany at 2 a.m.

It is 4:09 a.m and I have been up for two hours. For the record I do not do the fall back part of daylight savings (is there a daylight bank were it is stored?) at all well. In fact I am not sure if we are just entering daylight savings or exiting it. But I digress. This blog is supposedly about thinking out of the box when I should be sleeping. At least the clock said I should be sleeping. But I am not sure I believe any of the clocks.

Friends of mine on the ethernet know I am much upset about the current tenant, who thankfully is moving out not a day too soon. I have, rather automatically, put a for rent notice on Craig's List. But in my gut and soul I really do not want another tenant. The last three have been from hell. And the last two have cost me money. With the current soon-to-be-gone tenant I have not been able to have my studio open. There has been no place to park with his sometimes six (yes, 6 large) vehicles and three trailers. People have not been able to see my studio open sign or my front door. Sometimes you could not get to deck to my front door and I could not get my car out to make meetings, do freelance writing coverage of events, or on one occasion get my paintings to a show I was accepted to, etc.

Planning a huge studio sale the first weekend in December when he is gone, gone, gone!!! And endless open studio event!!! OPEN DRIVEWAY.

But when I first purchased my duplex the thought was the rent on the apartment would pay the mortgage. And that worked quite well for the first 12 years. People and times have changed. So I have been racking my brain for how to afford not renting it ever again. I have been playing mind games about conjuring up the perfect tenant if I were to ever rent it again. I have been looking for work outside my studio and pet sitting. Taken on odd jobs.

Then at approximately 3 a.m. (4 a.m in real time) I decided to go completely outside the box. Could have been just that I had not made coffee yet. Some part of my mind entertained going back to sleep. Sorry, another digression. A friend had suggest I figure a use for the 1249 SF unit that suited my soul if not my economy - like artist studios. Like artists have money? And then it hit me that is the point - they don't. So why not turn it into a sort of artist's hostel? A reasonably priced place for my many artist friends around the world to come and take in the beauty of New Mexico mountains.

It means furnishing it again. But I have proved once that can be done quite cheaply. Maybe even secure a used easel or two for those flying in. Other artistic paraphernalia. I have not been able to do a reverse mortgage I was considering. No way the appraiser could park let alone walk around the property turned to firewood lot. So I could begin there. Would give me some funding to do things, and begin advertising the possibilities. I could even hold workshops in my studio and provide lodging in the package. Or invite other artists to hold workshops in the apartment and bring their students.

First order of business is that Open studio event, then having a handiman turn off the water in the unit so I do not spend a fortune on keeping it heated through the winter. Or get just a through ski season renter, cash up front. I would love to be able to launch this venture come spring - well, just past mud and flood season. Gives me time for more brain storming and gathering input from potential visitors. And get the ground work going on the reverse mortgage.

My ideal dream would be to do this only summer and fall. And be able to afford to travel in the winter or just shut myself in the studio and paint. That is something else I have not been able to do with the log splitter running at all hours.

I invite your ideas.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Come November

Goodbye October

The last two days of October were punctuated with snow. The snow on the 30th was beautiful. Wet and heavy it clung to the trees and soaked the land as it quickly melted into the dry ground. The next day's snow was not nearly as beautiful and it came with a wind which closed you into the house.

Halloween snows were once to be counted on here in the high country. Trick or Treating door to door went without protest to community parties, haunted houses, and going to businesses for treats. I live on one of those quiet little back roads with only two juveniles so it has never been an issue at my house. I think I got one party of ghouls after I first moved in and still had the two huge German Shepherds.

On this first day of November I am told by a British friend I must say white rabbit for luck. Living alone that means typing white rabbit. And posting white rabbits.

White Rabbit in Alice in Wonderland

The above image certainly seems appropriate. And it goes with the color scheme of this blog.

I find myself rather tharned by the approaching winter. Tharned? It was a word used in Watership Down to portray the frozen nature of rabbits (white rabbits?) in the middle of the highway with the headlights bearing down. I want the moisture but I want it is precise and measured amounts. Or just 250 feet elevation above my house where it is welcome to rain all it wants. Farmer's Almanac did say wetter and warmer. I am definitely for that.

And if there is snow I want it to be beautiful snow. Like the snow on the 30th of October. And if saying White Rabbit at the beginning of every winter month can make that happen I will risk looking like the Mad Hatter.

Quiet Passage

Sunday, October 27, 2013

The Week that Was

And then the leaves were gone

The lone tree on the hill was glorious last year but this year it seemed to suffer from the drought. By itself on the hill you could see so clearly that its leaves were smaller and its foliage less dense. The monsoon rains came in September in earnest and while they were nice in the amount they were late. Late for almost everything important like trees and deer. First year I saw fawns with spots in October. Almost as if the does had waited and rushed to reproduce when it will be too late for their offspring to survive the winter. Maybe even the fall.

It has been a rough fall. Temperatures have been lower than usual and the golden trees few and sometimes far between. Like the lone tree on the hill few reached peak color before dropping all their leaves. Summer came late and left early. Fall just could not seem to make up its mind.

Grove of gold

I was surprised last week to find this grove of aspen in glorious color. They had stayed greenish for too long. Not that intense almost spring green they turn just before gold but a sort of muddy gold that led me to believe they would just fall to the ground and turn brown.

Leaves on the ground

Last year every leave on the ground was gold or orange and this year they are just less green. Seems an analogy for the summer. Just less. Less rain, less days between major frosts, less balmy days to enjoy, virtually no Indian Summer. And then it is over leaving us all to wonder what will winter be like?

And then they are gone

Even the computer models doe not seem to agree but then they all rely on past weather which in this era of climate change is a flawed model. I have talked to my firewood provider and he was to deliver me two cords this week but it rained so he is late. Seems to fit so I am not in a panic. Life just seems to be like that lately.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Photography is a sport

Along the Rio Grande

The aspens because of the drought have not been colorful this year like last. So in a last ditch effort to capture some gold in them thar hills my photography buddy and I set off for the river edges in the area. First was Embudo canyon along the Rio Grande and then on to the Rio Chama near Abiquiu.  We got lucky but not without getting out of the car and hiking remote paths to get unique perspectives.

Unfortunately after about two hours of doing that and taking some 80 pictures my card in the camera failed. So I cannot show you those pictures. They are forever the "fish that got away" sort of thing. And they included to fly fishermen on the Rio Grande. A fly fisherman told me once that it was not the gentle and passive sport it appears to be. Wading through rushing water and standing on slippery river rocks and casting in an exact rhythm does involve lots of fine tuned muscle movements and balance. So does photography.

Reflections in the Rio Grande

Hold camera above head and fight through the bushes to stand on the edge of the water and then lean out to avoid putting the dead tree off to the left in the frame. Standing on one foot frame shot and take picture. The picture blow required one foot on a rock and one on the shore.

You definitely do not want to capture the same image as the person in the high heels with the iPhone. But then she would never kneel down to capture a small cottonwood sapling.

New beginnings

Or lie down to get the reflections on the river through the dried grasses on its edge.

My photography friend is part mountain goat I think. BTW we didn't see any of those this trip.

Jessica on rock

The picture blow was relatively easy because I took it leaning out of the car window. But we wanted to get to the river beyond those trees and that took some off-roading and then waling along winding along a trail to get to the river's edge. Let me mention fly fishermen again because it is them that break the trails for us photographers.

Peaceful meadow
There is a path in there somewhere. And not for the faint of heart. You have to be after the good fishing spot or the perfect photo that the women in the heels with her iphone could not get.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

And we are off to the ball

And it is off to the Ball

The runway is still being repaired in Angel Fire so I had to throw my bags in my car and get to Taos early to meet my dates Henry Standing Bear and Walt Longmire.

Lou Diamond Phillips

Robert Taylor as Sheriff Longmire
 It is cold and dark here on the Taos Volcanic Plateau before dawn but I think I have been promised a catered breakfast once the jet takes off for Ohio.

 I am told a couple other members of the cast of Longmire are coming too but it is suppose to be a surprise. They had heard of the great fun to be had at the 6th Annual Willow Manor Ball. Seems last year's date, Johnny Depp has been talking about the Trinidad Rum

Bracelet by Jessica Duke
At the last moment before I left the house I spied my Jessica Duke silver bracelet from last year's ball and put it on. Something old to bring to the new adventure.

See previous blogs for everything I have packed. And stay tuned for breaking news on the fun to be had at Willow Manor. Who do you want to see from the cast of Longmire?

Longmire cast

Saturday, October 19, 2013


Hammered Silver Necklace

My friend pointed out I had forgotten shoes to wear with the morning dress and I suddenly realized I had forgotten a lot of accessories. The above necklace will go with the morning dress and also with the travel suit and blouse I chose below.

Went for a burgundy silk blouse instead

The ballet slippers will be a nice relief for the high heeled boots I am wearing with the harlequin costume too. When you are dancing all night it is good to have alternatives.

Taking off the elastic and putting on black satin ribbon

And decided to throw in last year's travel shoes because they had a lower heel then those recommended by Bee. These will go very nicely with the black satin lapel suit.

I think one of the reasons I forgot accessories is the harlequin outfit I am wearing does not lend itself to jewelry because of all the ruffs. But I found these gold cuff bracelets for some added bling. They go with the gold trim on the ruffs and accents on my dress boots.

Was about to quit shopping when I found this antique charm bracelet to accent my travel suit. I can also wear it with my morning dress.

Okay, I think I have got it now. Need to make sure I have everything I need in the camera bag.