Last week when Chic and her “big sister” were here, we did lots of fun stuff. (Hopefully lots of it coming to a blog near you soon.) One day we went to the top of the mountain on the tram. There was about 6 feet of snow at the top, so the girls had a great time playing in it. We walked around to get better places to play, and I saw this picture. I really liked it, so here you go!

To see LOTS more terrific sky pictures or to find out how to participate in this meme, head to the SkyWatch blog.

Note to my regular readers: I know, I know, I have been worse than usual about posting/visiting. Chic was here for 10 days. I was completely occupied with the visit then. Now I am trying to dig out from under the pile that accumulated while she was here. I will be back!

Last Sunday after we left the Track and Field Championships, we saw this foreboding sky. We were not in a place to get a good picture so hoped it would last until we got to a good spot. This is not nearly as intriguing as when we originally saw it, but a few days later, it looks interesting to me.

To see LOTS more terrific sky pictures or to find out how to participate in this meme, head to the SkyWatch blog.

This picture is dedicated to those of you who live in the Northeast… and the Southeast… and, well… pretty much anywhere east of here.

I took this earlier in the week on a bike ride. No, it was not warm (below freezing anyway), but the sun and blue skies goes a LONG way in making the cold bearable.

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To see LOTS more terrific sky pictures or to find out how to participate in this meme, head to the SkyWatch blog.

I have shown “my” mountain before, but this weekend I was in Corrales, a quaint country village outside of Albuquerque, walking along an arroyo and got some new pictures from a different angle. It was a springlike day, giving me some hope for warmth, but it is over now. We had more rain and snow today.  (Sorry for the graininess in some of the pictures. I did not realize until I uploaded that I had one of my camera settings not exactly where it should have been.) All pictures will enlarge when clicked unless otherwise noted.

This is the arroyo along which we walked. Chicklet is in the bottom. During other seasons there are varying amounts of water in this. It stretches for several miles along the "back road" of Corrales. One rarely can take even a short walk beside it without seeing people with dogs and horses.

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My World is a weekly meme in which participants are virtual tour guides. Go check it out and see the worlds of others. Or better yet, take a look at the guidelines, and do your own My World Post!

I cannot add words that will enhance this view.

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To see LOTS more terrific sky pictures or to find out how to participate in this meme, head to the SkyWatch blog.

I promised myself (and you) that I would not post anything but my two weekly memes until I got caught up. But I cannot help it. No, I am not caught up; not even close, but there is so much spinning around in my head that here I am, making a post rather than visiting you and answering e-mails.

And this one has very little to do with what has been going on in my head.  I have had a chaotic week filled with a sort of conflict.  No upfront, bold conflict, but mostly the backbiting/stabbing kind. Or the kind in which someone smiles and pretends to be in total agreement when I am present, but turns around and does the exact things as before, and maybe even in a harsher manner as if to punish me for even questioning something.

But today is not the day for those posts . (Though I fear I will not be able to keep quiet about it forever.)  This is a random post about some of the nice or funny things that have happened to me in the last couple of weeks.

First, to my Maine trip. I have more of that coming up by the way. I visited three states, all new  to me, on that excursion. While I was in Portland, O’Mama and Mrs. Chili were kind enough to cover considerable miles to meet me for lunch.  Do I have pictures? No,  not really. I must admit that except for my kids, I am really lousy at getting people pictures. I do not think of it, and it is not my forte anyway. So no pictures except for the lovely pizza I had for lunch at Flatbread Pizza. I had never heard of Flatbread Pizza. Generally I am mostly opposed to franchise food operations, but this was different. Maybe it was different because I had never been there before, but it was GOOD.  O’Mama and Mrs. Chili are willing to rack up some mileage for this food, and I completely understand why. There is one in Maui. I told them I would be happy to join them there for pizza as well. (In another state to which I have not been.)

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My pizza. I can't remember it all, but it had artichokes, yellow peppers and cream cheese for sure.

I just have to say something more about the two women I met. The reason I read them is because they are honestly two of the most sensible (albeit, honest) women I know.  They each have two daughters with similar age differences as mine, but slightly older and a little older than that, and they are amazing parents. They are both teachers, and what a different place our educational system would be if all teachers had their values and principles.  I am not slamming teachers in general, and I know there are a LOT of good ones out there and even some good ones who read this blog. I am just saying that I appreciate their points of view, and they are vocal about them.

Last week was Chicklet’s half-birthday. We usually do not celebrate it because her birthday is in April, so we do not need to celebrate it. (Chic’s is at Thanksgiving, so we just do a small family party then and her friend party at her half-birthday.) But the girls are getting older and notice the disparity, so we had to have some acknowledgment of Chicklet’s half-birthday. We actually forgot, but had a dessert last weekend and remembered to put candles on it. She was elated.

Double Chocolate Cherry Dessert Pizza with 5-1/2 Candles

Double Chocolate Cherry Dessert Pizza with 5-1/2 candles.

Last Sunday morning I checked the weather and there was frost in the forecast. After returning from New England, it had been pretty much beastly hot, so it was a bit of a surprise. I always work in my garden early Sunday morning. Well last Sunday I spent 4 hours picking all the green tomatoes and peppers of any size worth picking and finding places for them to ripen. I have them on every inch of counter space and in three produce bins in two  refrigerators. I am hoping to be able to make fresh salsa with some of the tomatoes for Christmas. (Stranger things have happened.) By the way, it did  not frost that night, but it did later in the week, and Sunday is the only day I would have had enough time to take care of that, so I guess it was not a wasted effort.

Tomatoes

Cleaning out the garden before a potential frost

When I woke up yesterday morning, the thermometer said it was 19 degrees. OK, it gets cold in New Mexico, even colder than that. But NOT IN OCTOBER! One of my posts one day will be about one of my eccentricities which involves a cold house, so I was not amused by the temperature.

Then later in the day it warmed up… enough to snow. And not just a little, but coming down harder than it did when I was in Vermont a couple of weeks ago. Clearly still October. It was even sticking to the ground. Had it not been so hot a few days before, we probably would have had more than two inches sticking. The good news is that we are already returning to regular October weather.

2009-Oct-29. Seriously?

29-Oct-09 in Albuquerque. Not amusing. And the center of the picture is the cosmos bed where the picture from the last post was taken.

This week I have spent some part of every day except today making Halloween costumes for my girls. Below is what they chose. Chic is an Indian Princess and Chicklet vacillates between Laura and Mary Ingalls. Today we got a surprise bonus when Prince Charming called to say there was Trick-or-Treating at his work after lunch. I dressed up Chicklet, and she has already made a haul. We think the weather is improving enough that they will not get frostbite tomorrow night.

I have always liked Halloween, but I love it more since I moved here. Our neighborhood is quite festive, and we usually get about 200 Trick-or-Treaters. The streets are full of  parents and children, and it is wonderful.

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Chic and Chicklet in their Halloween costumes. They picked out the fabrics themselves, so don't judge me for Chicklet's apron that doesn't really match the dress.

I hope you have a fantastic weekend and a Happy and Safe Halloween if you celebrate the holiday.

As if I am not absent enough from this space (and yours), today I am heading east for a few days. The official reason is a stamping event, but the real reason is that I will get to three states I have never been to before (thus making me three states ahead of Prince Charming on the count, a position where he will likely never pass me–47 total). Going east in the fall is not exactly a stupid thing to do, either. Although I realize I am going to FREEZE, I can hardly wait to see the colorful leaves.

And to add icing to this lovely cake, I will be meeting Mrs. Chili and O’Mama during my trip. How exciting!

It is unlikely I will do much blog visiting, but in the event you came here to see something for

or

I am leaving you with a picture of my recent sky and the one tree I have that gets pretty in the fall.

Sunrise two days ago. The sky was amazing in every direction. (I say that too much, don't I?)

Sunrise two days ago. The sky was amazing in every direction. (I say that too much, don't I?)

This is some kind of ash tree in my front yard. It is still small--maybe 2-1/2 times as tall as me--but it really is pretty in the fall.

This is some kind of ash tree in my front yard. It is still small--maybe 2-1/2 times as tall as me--but it really is pretty in the fall.

Hopefully I will have some things to show you when I return (and I never finished my Utah trip in the blog.) Have a terrific weekend!

Looks like it will be a while before I get back to that Utah trip.

Last week Chic’s class went to McCall’s Pumpkin Patch for a field trip. They go every  year, and we have gone on our own a couple of times. No matter what, it’s always fun.

The place is open during the week only to groups with reservations. There are less activities on weekdays than weekends, but there is enough to keep the kids happy no matter when they go.

For field trips, Prince Charming always takes a day off work, and we make it a family event.

Here is some of what we did…

The New Mexico sky is ever-changing and always beautiful. I could not stop myself from taking this picture of it over the pumpkin field.

The New Mexico sky is ever-changing and always beautiful. I could not stop myself from taking this picture of it over the pumpkin field.

On field trips, the first thing we do is take a hayride to the pumpkin field. Everyone gets a pumpkin. Size doesn't matter as long as they can carry it. It really is funny to watch the kids and what sizes they choose to believe they can carry.

On field trips, the first thing we do is take a hayride to the pumpkin field. Everyone gets a pumpkin. Size doesn't matter as long as they can carry it. It really is funny to watch the kids and what sizes they choose to believe they can carry.

Lunch is always after pumpkin-picking. This rope maze is right outside the lunch area. It is always difficult to make the chren finish their lunches before they run to play in it.

Lunch is always after pumpkin-picking. This rope maze is right outside the lunch area. It is always difficult to make the children finish their lunches before they run to play in it.

There are lots of farm aniamls at the pumpkin patch. There is "Bunnyville" with the cutest bunnies in the world. But my favorite are the goats. This one was happy for me to scratch its head--no food required. If I lived in the country, I would have goats.

There are lots of farm animals at the pumpkin patch. There is "Bunnyville" with the cutest bunnies in the world. But my favorite are the goats. This one was happy for me to scratch its head--no food required. If I lived in the country, I would have goats.

Probably the biggest attraction on a school day is the slide that goes through this hill.

Probably the biggest attraction on a school day is the slide that goes through this hill.

From the top, the slide is steep, but I have never seen a child whose fear got in the way of their sense of adventure with this slide.

From the top, the slide is steep, but I have never seen a child whose fear got in the way of his sense of adventure with this slide.

I even went for a picture. I tried to streamline myself, but it wasn't nearly as fast as I thought it would be.

I even went for a picture. I tried to streamline myself, but it wasn't nearly as fast as I thought it would be.

Second biggest attraction is the "corn box." The kids could be here for hours burying one another and transferring corn kernals from one bucket to another.

Second biggest attraction is the "corn box." The kids could be here for hours burying one another and transferring corn kernals from one bucket to another.

New this year for a weekday was the corn maze. Prince Charming went through it backward to hide and scare the girls and their friends. I think it scared the teacher more than them!

New this year for a weekday was the corn maze. Prince Charming went through it backward to hide and scare the girls and their friends. I think it scared the teacher more than them!

It was a horribly windy day, but by 1 p.m., it was getting to be more than most of the grown-ups could handle. (The kids didn't seem to notice.)

It was a horribly windy day, but by 1 p.m., it was getting to be more than most of the grown-ups could handle. (The kids didn't seem to notice.)

Chicklet (and Chic) were on the giant tractor tires dancing... to country music.  (Who are these children, and why are they calling me "Mom?")

Chicklet (and Chic) were on the giant tractor tires dancing... to country music. (Who are these children, and why are they calling me "Mom?")

One of MY favorite things there is that they have nice, big funnel cakes for only $4! We got two for the road. One for me; one for everyone else.

One of MY favorite things there is that they have nice, big funnel cakes for only $4! We got two for the road. One for me; one for everyone else.

My World is a weekly meme in which participants are virtual tour guides. Go check it out and see the worlds of others. Or better yet, take a look at the guidelines, and do your own My World Post!

Today I am taking a break from my Utah trip more than a month ago to show you a place we found this weekend due to letterboxing. We have been hunting boxes for over two years and started planting boxes this past spring, but we had never been to a letterboxing event before. This one was nearby, so we went, and what a good time we had!

El Rancho de las Golondrinas is a place I might have never known about were it not for this event. (The way a lot of places are–we find the COOLEST places by letterboxing.) We arrived late, and I am not terribly into people pictures, so this post just shows a little of what I saw. Because we were late, we really only had time to find boxes, not explore the museum, but we will go back; it is a very cool place.

This event also brought me face-to-face with the first person I have ever met through blogging. I actually knew of her family before blogging due to letterboxing, but that connection made us notice one another in the blogging world. So I met Rapunzel from Laughing Orca Ranch as well as her children. She has a picture of that (I pray she does not post it; I’m horribly non-photogenic!), but I did not get one. But for a much different (and more thorough) view of this incredible museum, go to her post here.

So here is what I saw of the museum in the midst of my frantic efforts to find 12 letterboxes in a very short amount of time.

This flowerbed with zinnias was right inside the entrance. I liked the picture having the flag in the background.

This flowerbed with zinnias was right inside the entrance. I liked the picture having the flag in the background.

This is probably my favorite photo from the excursion, but unlike Rapunzel, I LOVE fall! (Although her grudges against it are reasonable.)

This is probably my favorite photo from the excursion, but unlike Rapunzel, I LOVE fall! (Although her grudges against it are reasonable.)

I have no idea what kind it is, but I love the blue underneath this lizard. (And I always try to get lizard pictures when I see them.)

I have no idea what kind it is, but I love the blue underneath this lizard. (And I always try to get lizard pictures when I see them.)

The area had water, thus it was greener than where I live, and had big trees. Lots of good trees to climb. My daughters loved it!

The area had water, thus it was greener than where I live, and had big trees. Lots of good trees to climb. My daughters loved it!

This is the view in one direction from a hilltop. It was quite picturesque. (I should have taken pictures every direction, but we were in a hurry.)

This is the view in one direction from a hilltop. It was quite picturesque. (I should have taken pictures every direction, but we were in a hurry.)

This is a working mill. (Not working the moments we were there.) My daughters were smitten with the frogs in the mill pond. I was smitten with the building.

This is a working mill. (Not working the moments we were there.) My daughters were smitten with the frogs in the mill pond. I was smitten with the building.

Wildflowers always require a picture. I saw these only in one small area. I believe the are "Butter-and-Eggs," Linaria vulgaris.

Wildflowers always require a picture. I saw these only in one small area. I believe the are "Butter-and-Eggs," Linaria vulgaris.

I believe this is a Viceroy butterfly. If I had a butterfly book I would look up its range. I know Monarchs; I grew up where they were abundant, and have several pictures of them, and this one just did not look exactly like a monarch to me. Please correct me if I am wrong.

I believe this is a Viceroy butterfly. If I had a butterfly book I would look up its range. I know Monarchs; I grew up where they were abundant, and have several pictures of them, and this one just did not look exactly like a monarch to me. Please correct me if I am wrong.

This cottontail arrived when I met Rapunzel. Apparently it was RIGHT behind me, but I missed that part. I liked the sun through its ears.

This cottontail arrived when I met Rapunzel. Apparently it was RIGHT behind me, but I missed that part. I liked the sun through its ears.

There were two old churches at this place. The history of the entire place is quite interesting.

There were two old churches at this place. The history of the entire place is quite interesting.

My World is a weekly meme in which participants are virtual tour guides. Go check it out and see the worlds of others. Or better yet, take a look at the guidelines, and do your own My World Post!

2008-07-04.3FlagsThe promised post about the winners of my giveaway is not going to be now. I made extra cards which have not been photographed. The banner has to be made with materials I need to order (ASAP). And there will be photo cards which I have not yet assembled, so I will save it until everything is ready–which could be a couple of weeks.

The winners have all been notified and responded, but I’ll tell you who they were. (And if you know me, I did not only pick two. There were four.)

Maria of One Day in Hania and Organically Cooked won a small pile of hand-stamped cards.

Painted Maypole won the “summer” banner. The colors she likes are exactly the ones I was going to use to make my own, and the paper for that JUST because available.

Leia of We Love Luna won another pile of hand-stamped cards.

Fishing Guy won photos cards–my choice!

Thanks to all of you who entered and read this blog! There will be more giveaways from time to time. I love to make stuff, and I especially love giving it away!

Dogs and horses, especially horses are always dressed up for the occasion.

Dogs and horses, especially horses are always dressed up for the occasion.

So usually for Independence Day we go to a small-town parade in a neighboring town. We have done this every year since moving here, but we will not be going today. It’s a bit of a bummer, but we went to an even SMALLER parade when we were in North Dakota last month (and got WAY more candy), so I think the girls will survive this year.

The images in this post are from last year’s parade.

My two girls and a friend, anxiously awaiting the next candy throwing, but intrigued by the horse-mess clean-up--maybe the most integral part of the parade!

My two girls and a friend, anxiously awaiting the next candy throwing, but intrigued by the horse-mess clean-up--maybe the most integral part of the parade!