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 we had our second snow of the year. Granted, it was not much, but still… I am hoping that instead of meaning a long winter, it will mean that winter has worn itself out by January. Only time will tell.

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

When I went to Maine, the official purpose was business, a stamping seminar. But the reason I chose that particular seminar was because I had never been to Maine. And my favorite airline did not fly there, so I had to fly into New Hampshire, where I had also never been.  Add Vermont to that list, and it was just too tempting to not go.

I never dreamed in all my life I would be in that part of New England during peak leaf-peeping weekend, but I was. But I am not the type to wander around aimlessly, so for the Vermont portion of the trip, I decided to look for a couple of letterboxes that might lead me somewhat off the beaten path. (Many letterboxes tend to do that.)

So early Sunday morning, I checked out of my hotel in Portland, and headed to Vermont in search of two letterboxes. This took me to Wilmington, Vermont, by way of Brattleboro, and these are a few of the pictures.

The hillsides were a riot of color, but this picture might explain why there have not been and will not be any SkyWatch pictures from Vermont. That whole day was "November Grey," a color I coined when living in Missouri when the whole month of November looked like this.

The hillsides were vibrant with colors, but this photo shows why there has not been and will not be a SkyWatch picture from Vermont (or New Hampshire, for that matter.) I call this "November Grey," a color I coined when living in Missouri and the whole month of November looked like this.

I was still having camera problems.  For those of you kind people who expressed concern last week, the problems seem to be resolved now, but I am not exactly sure how. I never change my lens, so I did not know how it could be foggy inside, but I decided to open it up and give it a look. It did not seem to be, but that process fixed the problem I was having of it not wanting to take pictures unless fully manual, so I apologize that many of these are from the car. I did not have time to stop for everything. My time was limited anyway, and the weather was bad and getting worse. I did not want to get stuck alone in a place completely foreign to me and not know what I could do to get back. So please excuse the odd angles, etc. Be grateful I was not looking through the lens most of the time while I was driving!

Upon entering both Maine and Vermont from New Hampshire, I crossed these large bridges. I liked them, and it made me realize how much water there was. Water does not divide states around here!

Upon entering both Maine and Vermont from New Hampshire, I crossed large bridges. I thought they were pretty, but it made me realize just how much water is there. In the area where I live, states are not divided by water!

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This is where I stopped to look for my first letterbox. The snow was just starting to get somewhat heavy. While I was there, the ground started to be covered. My sensible nature told me to head back, but when on an adventure of sorts, I might not always be sensible, so I went to the second letterbox.

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This was the location of the second letterbox. I cannot even imagine the view from this place when there is visibility.

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Back at lower altitudes, the snow changed back to rain. This was so typical of the houses I saw. I love the leaves in the yard and the pumpkins. Everything just looks so warm and cozy. (Because it was definitely not warm and cozy outside!)

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This was the only covered bridge I saw. But I was happy for at least one.

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Letterboxing does not use a GPS, but I had one, and after I found myself deep in the middle of nowhere, I just entered my hotel address in New Hampshire so I could find my way out. It did not take me out the regular direction, but through some remote back roads. I was so happy because I saw scenes like this.

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Many of the blogs I visit get exquisite pictures of frost on autumn leaves and flowers. That would never happen in my part of New Mexico (too dry for much frost to form, even when that cold), so I couldn't resist the snow on the autumn leaves.

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Again back in a lower altitude. I was so happy I was on back roads to see this view that is so stereotypical of New England in the fall. But what a wonderful stereotype!

Next week is Vermont, too. There was one thing I saw that I thought merited its own post.

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 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.

Sandia Mountains as viewed from Albuquerque's west side 18-Apr-09. (click photo to enlarge)

Sandia Mountains as viewed from Albuquerque's west side 18-Apr-09. (click photo to enlarge)

Like most places, Albuquerque seems to not be able to decide whether it is winter or spring. However, in my 6-1/2 years of living here, this is the latest I have seen snow. (And if you are on Facebook and know anyone from  Albuquerque, you know the whole city flipped out.)  Easter weekend was cold and rainy (snowy on the mountain), and last Friday it snowed for half of the day at my house (the least likely place in the metropolitan area to get snow). The mountain was gorgeous the next day.

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I am sure I will still see snow on the mountain today, but down at my house we are having spring again. Last night while I was working on a stamping class for tonight, we left the door open. The warm air wafted in bringing the scents of spring and the sounds of crickets. The evening sunset was warm and springlike. It made me truly content.

But if it snows again next weekend…

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!

It is cold here. Extremely cold. It was 12 (F) when I got up yesterday. OK, it is not as cold as some of you have it, but my house is cold inside. COLD. (Note: That was the outdoor temperature. Inside it slightly warmer!)

click photo to enlarge

click photo to enlarge

Because our elevation is around 5000 feet, our heat depends on sun. Thank goodness we have a lot of it–310 days a year. However, this week has been short on sun. Tuesday was a day with mixed snow and sun. There were large snow squalls all day. Toward the end of the day I thought it was actually going to get busy and snow, but three minutes later the sun was shining.  (I am not sure what made me so delusional. Probably wishful thinking about the possibility of no school on Wednesday–“art day.”)

The first photo is one I took on the way to an appointment. I loved seeing part of the city obscured in a snow storm while it was perfectly clear where I was. When I left, however, I drove about 500 feet and got in a mini blizzard myself.

The next photo shows how hard the pellets (yes, usually they were pellets, not flakes) were coming down at times. If these episodes had lasted more than a few minutes, we would have been buried!

click photo to enlarge and see snow detail better

click photo to enlarge and see snow detail better

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

My USB port is not working today, so this is an archived pictured.

click photo to enlarge.

click photo to enlarge.

It is from December 2007 when we went with some friends to their condo at Purgatory Ski Village. I used this photo on my Christmas cards last year because I did not get my regular stamped ones made and someone had the nerve to say, “Your card just wasn’t as cute as I was expecting.”

I’m not sure what could be more beautiful than this!

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

Note:  Please do not think I was offended by the comment about the Christmas card. I realize the world is full of  people without a clue, and that was one of them!  After reading some of the comments, I thought I should tell you this. It takes a lot to make me feel attacked.  A WHOLE lot more than that! I mostly put it in because I thought it was funny.