Tuesday, December 29, 2009

New Year

As we go into this New Year, please, remember that Nature is our greatest resource. May your year be filled with peace and beauty.

New Year

No Fireworks or shooting of guns on New Year's. It's not safe. And this beautiful sunset looks so much better. This is from my yard looking over the horse pens. What ever you do on New Year's Eve, please, be safe.

Saturday, December 26, 2009


Christmas was a down day. Just the two of us here with the critters. And Cold. Not much to do so while I was on the computer I went to Facebook and signed up. Found that most of the people I email already has a facebook page. So I will try it now and them.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas

All of us here at the Tumbleweed Crossing want to wish everyone a Merry Christmas.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Huge Owl

Maybe the dreaded mice and rat problem will be solved by the huge owl I saw last night sitting on the top of the power pole that connects my neighbor and I to the electric company. He was making a weird kind of screek then the normal hoo-hoo-hoo of a horned owl so I think it may have been one. If not a horned owl probably a barn owl. I have seen both in this area along with a lot of the smaller owls. I really like owls as they eat lots of rodents, grasshoppers and the over populated sparrows. I hope he comes back but it seemed very upset at the activity going on under the power pole. A lot more than normal. Our neighbor had company and someone had left the car running to warm up, and we were feeding horses, and my dog and theirs were out. It flew off after I sighted it. I have heard an owl a few times over the past few months. Don't know if it was the same one or not. I hope there are several.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Mouses, Mouses

Drats, we have mice in the hay shed, and storage shed. Again.

Shooting Stars

We heard on the weather channel that the next couple of days would be a good time to see meteorite displays at night. So we drove out onto the desert away from the lights of Albuquerque, Rio Rancho, and Corrales. We weren't disappointed. We saw about 24 of the 'shooting stars' that we would see well enough to say we actually saw them. There were lots of times we thought we might have seen one but it was gone so fast we wondered if our eyes were playing tricks on us after looking up at the sky so long.
We have always liked to go out and look at the stars. Growing up with Star Trek may have contributed to this interest. We got to see Halley's Comet back in the 80's and even better the Hail-Bop Comet in the 90's. Halley's was a disappointment as it couldn't be seen that well here. But Hail-Bop was better as we could see it and it was so new and unexpected.
Guess we have been really lucky to see both of them in our lifetime.

Friday, December 04, 2009


It's cold. It seems like it is a lot colder than normal at this time of the year. It was 20 degrees at it's coldest the night before and last night it was 20 degrees when we went out to do the late feed at 9pm. At 4am we got up to rebuild the fire and it was 13 degrees. And then when we went out at 8am to feed the horses it was 10 degrees. That can be usual for late January through March but this is only December. So what will those months be like when they come.
Lee has been telling me that our newest member of the family that high energy kitten, Wiley had been waking him up when the fire in our woodstove that we use for heating starts to go out and it gets cooler in the house. Wiley gets in the bed with Lee and starts pushing right against his face. When Lee wakes up enough to try to get the little black cat to leave him along he will realize that it is cool enough he should get up and load the stove with wood again. None of our other cats or dogs has ever done this. Murphy our 8 year old black cat will lay right in front of the woodstove as long as it is really warm and when it starts getting cooler he will move to a chair but he doesn't try to wake any one up. Jade our 13 year old black cat sleeps huddled up again me. Since we have a water bed with a good heater to keep it warm a lot of the time we don't realize that the fire is going out. Of course we have the propane furance set to come on if it should get down to 55 degrees in the house. Usually we wake before then but it is nice to have a cat that tells us when we need to put wood in the store before it goes completly out.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Kitten Energy

Oh, to have the energy of an 8 month old kitten.
Willey attacking Murphy.

Shopping Early

I find it hard to belive that people actually get out at such un-natural hours to go shopping. There is nothing I need that I am going to get up and go shopping for at 4 or 5 am. Which would mean getting up at 2 or 3 to get to the stores for the opening. And then standing in line. And I understand that there are idiot people that will stand in line all night to be some of the first in the door. And for what? Is that one item really worth it? NO! I would rather do with out or pay a few dollars more than to go through the hassle of getting it for a few dollars less. On top of which usually there are only 2 or 3 of the special item at that special price which means that only a very few will get it at that price and the store could care less if YOU didn't get it at the sale.
And I do not like those companies that require employees to go to work at those horrid hour usually for regular pay. Been there, done that. And won't do it again. And wouldn't wish it on anyone. Mades for BAD employer/employee relations.
As you might have guessed I don't care for shopping and really don't like crowds.
Stay home today. Have fun with your family and friends or go out for the day with your horse or dog.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

Everyone here at the Tumbleweed Crossing wants to wish everyone anywhere a Happy Thanksgiving.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Cream Cheese Candies

This little candy was one of our favorites for any special time, especially at Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter, Birthdays, Halloween, well, anytime.

1 - 3 ounce package cream cheese, softened
1/4 teaspoon almond extract (can use vanilla, peppermint, orange, or others)
3 cups confectioners' sugar
Enough food coloring to get the color you want. (Green and red for Christmas, or what ever you want.)
In a small bowl, beat cream cheese with preferred extract. Beat in half the confectioners' sugar until smooth. Knead (with hands if you want to ) in remaining confectioners' sugar. Shape dough into small nickle size balls. Place on baking sheets covered with wax paper. Flatten with thumb to make a flat candy. Use any thing from your kitchen to make a design in the candy if you want. I have some tiny plastic cookie cutters that work good if you don't press to hard. Allow to stand 1 hour to harden. Store in airtight containers in refrigerator.

Peanut Butter Cookies

one of my favorite cookies as a kid were the peanutbutter cookies my mom would make. So I thought I would share it with everyone.

1/2 cup peanut butter (any brand will work, even a crunchy if you want to use it. We prefer without the peanut chunks)
1 egg 1 cup white sugar 1/2 cup shortening (Crisco)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla 1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking soda
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease cookie sheets. Or use a spray-on oil like Pam. (Some newer cookie sheets do not need to be greased.)
In mixing bowl, cream together the shortening, sugar and peanut butter. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt, shift then stir into the creamed mixture until well blended. Roll the dough into small balls in palm of your hand. Flatten slightly then place the cookie about 2 inches apart on the cookie sheets. Press balls down using a fork dipped in water. This will make a nice crisscross design on the cookie and alow it to bake better.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes. Check often so they do not burn. Let cool about 2 minutes then remove to a wire rack so cookies can cool.

Carpet Cleaning Hints

It's holiday time and if you are like me you are like me you are cleaning house so that you are not embarrassed when company comes calling. One of my biggest cleaning projects is shampooing the carpet as it is so dirty and stained. I moved the furniture with hubby's help, then vacuumed twice. Then shampooed with a good quality carpet shampoo. But don't stop there. Now you need to rinse the carpet. Yes, you read right. RINSE and if needed rinse again. I have heard of many people that don't rinse the carpet.
If you wash your dishes, clothes, hair, body - don't you rinse the soap off afterward. Of course you do. So why not rinse that extra harsh shampoo out of your carpet.
I have known of several people who tell of pets or babies who develop a rash and allergies when they don't rinse the shampoo from the carpet. Cats or dogs will lay on unrinsed carpet and first thing you know their fur will start falling out. Babies or children, even adults who lay on unrinsed carpets will get a rash and itch like heck. It can be a quick death to a pet parakeet.
So please RINSE that carpet to avoid these problems.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Ghost Canyon

Last week we went to a place in the Jemez Mountains where we hadn't been for about 10 years. It's a small canyon we have always called Ghost Canyon but it is called Cow Creek Canyon on the maps. This is the main meadow at a wide spot in the canyon. When we first came here in 1977 there was a log cabin to the side of the big tree. I have heard that the cabin was taken down and moved to an outdoor type museum somewhere in the state but don't know that far sure. If it wasn't it is a shame that someone else would take those logs for what ever use. There were at least six cabins in this area and it was used as summer dwellings for loggers back in the early 1900's. They loggers came in by train through the little village of Gillman then used wagons and old trucks to go farther back into the forest to do the logging. The logs were hauled out by wagons pulled by horses and loaded onto the same trains to go to Gillman or Bernalillo, NM to the saw mills.
The canyon is now mostly used by wildlife and some cows that are turned in each summer by a rancher. But there are several of us that know of the area and find it a perfect place for camping and picnicking.
Everytime I have been here I have felt like there were ghosts talking to me. Even on this day at one time I was sure I heard the faint whisper of voices on the wind. At first I thought it might be some one else that had ventured farther down the canyon and was coming back out but no one ever appeared and there is only the one way in and out.
The first time we came into the canyon in 1977 we actually were able to drive our car in. Later years there was a lot of rain and spring snow runoff that did a lot of damage to the road. In those years we had to use either the jeep or a truck to get in. Usually then and now 4-wheel-drive is necessary. During that time we took snowmobiles there in the winter time several times. Then for a while the road to the canyon was in such bad shape we had to go in using our ATV's. Due to bad fire seasons and high gas costs we didn't get to go there for about 10 years. Spur of the moment last week on a day trip to the mountains we decided to see if we could get in again. The road down to the canyon had been reworked by a road grader and was in a lot better shape. There were a couple of places in the canyon where it was sidling or had big ruts but wasn't to bad for our Chevy S10 truck with 4-wheel-drive. There was water with some ice in some of the ruts and no sign of tracks to say that anyone had been in for a long time. We didn't see any wildlife except a few birds but did see tracks of deer, elk, coyotes, and squirrels. We always comment on how quiet it is in Ghost Canyon compared to the natural noises that one can hear in other parts of the forest. Just another reason why it seems so ghostly there. To me they arn't ghost to be frightened of but ghosts that want to let me know how wonderful it was to be able to live in the canyon one hundred years ago.

Tuffee's Log Cabin

While we were wondering around the meadow Tuffee descovered what was left of an old log cabin in the trees. Can you just imagine having to cut and build a home with these big logs. I could see the notchs cut into the logs with hand tools to keep the logs stacked on top of each other. What seemed to be the front side was gone but I could see where a window had been on the side away from where Tuffee is in this photo. That tree behind here is about the size of the size of the ones used for the cabin but it was probably just a seedling when the cabin was build if it had even sprouted at that time.

Cabin & Truck

In this shot you can see the logs that were part of the log cabin and an old rusted out Model T truck that was near the cabin.

Another of Log Cabin


I'm sitting on what I think is part of an old wagon for hauling out the logs that were cut in this little canyon all those years ago.

Rusted Truck

Near the log cabin area at the edge of the meadow we found the remains of an old truck, probably an old Model T. Near it was one of it's tires. When we first went into the canyon many years ago there were several old trucks and wagons and many have been taken out by either the forest service or visitors to the area.

Old Truck

On the edge of the meadow where the logging camp used to Lee and Tuffee check out the old truck.

My Rock

I saw this rock by the road and wanted to bring it home but Lee wouldn't let me.

Big Rocks

This big rock was along the steep hill going into or out of Ghost Canyon. Because it is fall the leaves were gone on the aspen trees and we could see the rocks better than we would have been able to in the summer. The rocks on this portion of the road were the biggest we saw.

Three Trees

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Sandia Mountains

These are the Sandia Mountains as we see them every day from our home west of Albuquerque, NM. Albuquerque lays at the feet of the mountains along the Rio Grande River and can't be seen in this photo. Most of the time we simply see this big mountain and take them for granted. But the last part of October we decided to take a drive up to the top. The following photos are the ones I took that day. We took our Border Collie, Tuffee with us and you can see her in this photo, too. At our home we are about 6500 feet in elevation. The top of the Sandia Mountains, known as Sandia Crest is a bit over 11,000 feet high. Much higher than it looks in this photo. When making this drive you will go from about 5000 feet in parts of Albuquerque and desert country all the way to the top which is considered Alpine country at tree line. There is a dirt road going up the west or 'backside' of the Sandias through the little town of Placitis. Or you can drive the paved road up the east side of the Mountains through Cedar Crest. The Sandia Mountains are part of the Cibola National Forest. There are many acres of forest with lots of wildlife. I don't believe there is much logging or hunting allowed in the Sandias anymore. There are several nice picnic areas that are constantly being improved. Plus there is a ski resort and restaurant as well as the Sandia Tram which is the longest tram in the United States and goes from a restaurant in the northeast part of Albuquerque to the restaurant at the ski resort near the top of the mountain. I rode the tram in 1968 and 1980 but haven't raked up the nerve to ride it again. There is more info on the Sandia Mountains at http://www.fs.fed.us/r3/cibola/districts/sandia.shtml

Mountain Meadow

One of the small mountain meadows that are scattered all over the Sandia Mountains. This one slopes toward the edge of the mountain so that you can see toward Albuquerque. There are lots of deer, elk, bear, squirrels, cougars, bobcats, skunks, and lots of different kinds of birds in the Sandias. We have seen nearly all these animals except cougars in the 35 years that we have been coming here. But once we got here today and started thinking about it we realized it had probably been at least 10 years since our last trip. Usually we go west to the Jemez Mountains.


One of the first things you see when you get to the top of Sandia Crest is all the TV and Radio towers that tower over the Crest. Many of them have been there more than 40 years, and others are newer. It seems to be the best place to have these communication towers. You frequently see men working on them. This day there were several trucks from Qwest Telephone Company which supplies all the landline phones in Albuquerque and most of NM and some other places.

Beautiful Old Tree

WindSwept Tree

I really loved the photo quality of this very nold, Juniper tree that was along the edge of Sandia Crest. I took lots of shots of it from all three angles I could get to. The fourth side of the tree was hanging off into space and I didn't want to go there. Lee took several pictures of me under it and then I took some of him. I think it is a Juniper tree and who knows just how old it it. Due to the wind blowing on it almost constantly I am sure it isn't as large as it would be if it was on flat land. And it is that wind that has shaped this tree the way it is.

Rock Edge

This rocky ledge was along the edge of the trail. I think it is mostly limestone. The rock seems to be fairly soft and full of lines, and holes. The holes sometimes hold water that birds and small wildlife drink. Lost hikers and travelers have looked for holes in rocks where water can collect in any outdoor setting. There are also lots of fossils in the rocks that confirm the fact that the Sandia's were under water, either an ocean or sea many, many, many years before man.

Lee & Tuffee

Lee and Tuffee with Albuquerque down below them.

Tuffee & Me Again

Tuffee & Me

This is me and my dog, Tuffee taking a break in our very slow, windy walk along the first 100 yards or so of the trail down from Sandia Crest.


This was my best photo actually looking down at Albuquerque, NM from Sandia Crest. It was hazey this day, on better days you can actually make out buildings and streets in Albuquerque, and with field glasses you can see my house way, way west, almost 100 miles west of the mountains.

Looking South

From the Crest of the Sandia Mts you can look almost in all four directions. It was so hazey that day that we weren't getting the best views as you do on some days. I didn't get any good ones from the walkway but did get this one at the start of one of the trails where you can actually hike from the top of the Crest all the way down into Albuquerque, about 11,000 feet down.

Walk Way

On the main trail to the very tip-top of the Sandia Mountains is this paved walkway with handrails for safety. It was very windy on the day we were there and the railing and it was necessary for me to hold onto the railing. Others weren't but I needed to.

Lightning Warning

There were signs warning that lighting up on the Crest could and is very dangerous. They warned that it is advisable to leave when there is lightning. But there was none that day while we were there.

Dead Tree

This dead tree was right outside the gift shop and made an interesting photo.

Looking NorthEast

From the Crest of the Sandias you can see Albuquerque but can look off to the northeast also.

Blue Sky & a Bush

I don't know what kind of a bush this is that I found on the edge of Sandia Crest.

Aspen Tree in Sandia Mountains

This is an aspen tree we saw on our recent trip to the Sandia Mountains. This was what is considered the 'backside' or west side of the Sandias. It is a narrow, usually single lane, dirt road that goes up the mountain from the town of Placitis, NM, which is north of Albuqueque.

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Arts & Crafts Fair

Well the first A & C Fair was a complete loss. I didn't even make enough money to pay for the entrance fee. I could have done better having another yard sale.
And it wasn't just me. I didn't see or talk to anyone that had sold much. We were all very disgusted and won't go their for a fair again. It was a nice but small church but they stuck a lot of us off in little rooms away from the big room and expected us to sell to customers that couldn't find us.
On top of which it was the same day as a very large church on the main street through town was having theirs.
As my dad would have said, " What a bunch of 'hooie'. "

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Crafts Projects

The following photos are of the crafts projects that I have been working on to sell at a couple of up coming local Arts & Crafts shows. The first photos are of the gourds I grew last summer, dried last winter and made into birdhouses and artificial flower vases. Then is several of the Dream Catchers that I have been making and some of the wooden Howling Coyotes that I like to make.
The first crafts sale is this weekend.

Red Gourd Birdhouse

Natural Gourd Birdhouse

Blue Gourd Vase

Large Black Gourd Vase

Large White Gourd Vase

Thunderbird Dream Catcher

10 Inch Dream Catcher

5 Inch Dream Catcher

Pair of Wooden Howling Coyotes

10 Inch Howling Coyotes

6 Inch Howling Coyotes

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Hello, Again

It's been a while but will try to update the past few weeks. Have been busy or feeling like heck. Have been trying to make some craft items to sell at a couple of Arts and Crafts Fairs that will be held in the nearby city of Rio Rancho, NM this month and next. I made some wooden howling coyotes, some dream catchers, and some birdhouses and artifical flower vases made out of the gourds that I grew last summer. I have more gourds from the vines I grew this summer but they are still to green to make anything from them yet. They need to dry all winter before they can be opened, the seeds extracted and then the hull made into what ever. I will try to get some photos of the birdhouses and vases posted soon.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

National Parks Shows

I have been watching a really great series of shows on our local PBS channel by Ken Burns about the history of our National Parks and Monuments. It has been very interesting but wish they had done it over several weeks instead of bomb-barding us with it all in one week. If you get a chance take a look at it.

Huge Bird? or What Is It???

Of course when you go to all these wonderful forests, state and national parks you might find your self face to face with some unusual sights. Like this great, huge, burnt looking - - well, is it a bird? or a monster? or just what is it?

Spa Treatment and Another Wind Storm

I spent most of Tuesday doing spa treatments on two of the horses, Sunny, my old paint and Nita my Quarter Horse. They seemed to really enjoy it. I soaked them well with the waterhose, then soaped them good from a bucket of warm water and expensive shampoo from the Dollar Store. After I shampooed each quarter of the horse I would message it with a rubber curry comb followed by a quick rinse. When I had shampooed and messaged all four quarters of the horse I did a complete rinse with the waterhose. All of this was followed by a sweegie to get the rinse water off and then a dry with a couple of towels. Next each horse was allowed to be a four-legged lawn mower for a few minutes and a cottonwood tree trimmer for a few more minutes while on a halter and lead so that they didn't get right down and roll in the dirt after all of my hard work. This included a short bit of ground work to remind them of the basic manners all horses should know.
They were so pretty and clean and soft after all that.
Then today we had another of our putrid wind and sand storms. It has blown all day and sand has seeped into every crack and crevice in the house, the hay shed, storage shed, and my skin. There is desert sand all over my tomato plants that are now producing nice, ripe, red tomatoes. And sand all over the last of my flowers. And of course there is sand all in the nice soft coats of my two horses that were so clean just 24 hours ago. Still have three horses that need the same spa treatment but it will have to wait until this storm is gone.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Rough Road

This is a really rough part of one of our favorite roads in the Jemez Mountains.


Look hard and you can see the tiny chipmunk on the left side of the tree stump. We saw him last time we went to the mountains.


Eye to Eye

Yellow Rose