Monday, July 27, 2009


After the Rain

This rainbow tried to be a double and I couldn't get all of it in the camera.

Thunderhead Clouds

We have been having what is called the New Mexico monsoon season. We have had more rain this year than we have had for several years. This is more like we used to have 25 to 30 years ago and more. Which is really good. Nearly every afternoon we watch the thunderhead clouds come across the Sandia Mountains or else come across the desert from the west until they turn dark and we get a bit of rain. Sometimes just a sprinkle, some times up to a half an inch of rain or so, and then sometimes the clouds just go around us and it rains somewhere else.

Old Town Albuquerque, New Mexico

This sign sits in the park or town square in Old Town Albuquerque, New Mexico. My friend and I decided to take a walking tour around the shops and sights while she was visiting on July 15, 2009. She had never been but I have been going now and then ever since I was born. Although it has been about seven years or so since I was last there with my two aunts on one of their trips to Albuquerque. The town of Albuquerque was founded in 1706. The church of San Felipe de Neri Church sits on one side of the square and the other three sides are full of shops, and cafes, as well as one old, large, and famous restaurant named La Placita. When visiting you need to remember that Old Town now is mostly for the tourist trade and prices may be higher here than in other, more modern, parts of Albuquerque. There are lots of gift shops, jewelry stores, and artist shops and galleries. Some shops have the cheaper tourist trade gift items but lots of unique, and very high quality items can be found in other shops. This website has lots of photos, history information, and tourist information about Old Town.
I have posted a lot of the photos and some brief descriptions of the day that we toured Old Town. I have tried to put them in a semblance of an order of the way we walked and so that it would make since to those readers that have never been there. Hope you find it interesting and that maybe if you are ever in Albuquerque you will find time for a visit to one of my favorite places in my home state.


Many of the shops in Old Town were first residents, some over 200 years old. There are still people that live over their shops or behind them.

Old Town Walk

Most of the walk ways in Old Town have been covered to make for a more pleasent tour due to our hot sun and in the summer sudden downpours of rain in the monsoon season, which we are having now. There was no rain the day we were there but the shade was welcome. There are still several of the old cottonwood trees still along some of the streets and in the park.

Outdoor Cafe

I loved the colors I found in this outdoor cafe off of a coffee shop. There was no one there so we took the time to take several photos of the umbrellas, Spanish style table and chairs, ristras, and flowers in their little garden.

Clay Jug

This is probably my favorite of all the photos I took on mine and my friends trip to Old Town. It was sitting in a back corner of an outdoor coffee shop area.

Shop Door

I think this was the back door to a shop or might have been a privite residence behind the shop.

Blue Window

Blue window frame with a huge dark pink crape myrtle blooming beside it.

Blue Door

This little garden was behind a shop with lots of Native American gift items. They also had a coffee shop with outdoor tables to sit at. The walls were the traditional adobe tan color, and the door and window frames had been painted blue. I love the color combo.


this large yucca was in a corner. The small native yucca is New Mexico's state flower.

Purple Door

I liked this purple door and bench by an art gallery.


A really dorky looking photo of me taken by my friend when we made the day trip to Old Town.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Chili Website

There is a shop in Old Town that is all about chili ristras. This is their website. I didn't get to this shop on this outing but have been there before.

Chil Pepper Ristra

Chili Pepper Ristras where hanging a lot of places in Old Town. A ristra is a string of dryed chili peppers. New Mexico is known for lot of different kinds of chili peppers. It was and still is tradition to hang the strings of chili ristras on your house to finish drying and then over the winter you could take down a string and use it in what ever you were cooking. I don't use enough chilis or chili power to buy the ristras (and most people don't). Most of what I use is already ground into a fine powder ready to put into my beans, or chili stew. Hatch, New Mexico raises more chilis than any other place in the United States. I can't seem to raise them at all.

Small Ristras

These small chili pepper ristras where hanging across a shop window.

Flower in Old Town

These flowers were scattered all over Old Town and were in full bloom. The blossoms were huge being as much as 10 to 12 inches across and with big leaves. I was told they were a perennial hibiscus.

Metal Pot

A metal pot or vase inside the Patio Market with the fountain in the background.

Patio Market

The Patio Market is set off on one of the side streets of Old Town. This is the entrance. I think there were about 8 shops.

Market Shop

One of the shops in the Patio Market.


I do not remember this large fountain being in the Patio Market the last time I was here but it looks like it has been here forever. Inside of it somewhere was a pump that kept the water constantly circulating so that it looked like the bucket was always spilling water out.

Big Metal Vase

There were these big metal vases or pots by the entrance to one shop.

Privite Allyway

This little allyway was blocked off by a big, heavy, iron gate so I assumed it was privite. We did go ahead and take a couple of photos anyway.

Ristra Display

I could see this ristra display down the ally way we couldn't get into.

Indian Market Place

There is one area of Old Town that is called the Indian Market Place. Many years ago only Native American Indians were allowed to sell their things in this area. After some problems now others nationalities are allowed to sell here as well. But being a traditionalist with some Indian blood I will only buy from those that look and sound like Indians to me. Most it is hand made jewelry that is sold here. Lots of silver and turquoise, some gold, and copper. But it is very good artistic work and you will pay as much for it here as in some of the shops but instead of being in fancy display cases it is laid out on blankets spread on the ground. At one time I am sure it was on dirt but now it is a wide concrete sidewalk.

Another View

This is a view of the Indian Market Place from the other end.

Shop Bench

This bench was outside one shop door and looked like it was worth taking a picture of.


This is the traditional Spanish type bandstand that was in most of the town squares in New Mexico. There is still frequently bands playing there but not on the day I was there. It is surrounded by several large cottonwood trees and is across the street from the church on one side, and shops on the other three sides.

San Felipe de Neri Church

This is the huge, old Catholic church in Old Town Albuquerque. It is over 200 years old. I took this photo from across the street from the church, and you can see the steeple and gates leading to the area in front of the church. This church is still used and very popular for weddings and other celebrations. This church is known as the historic San Felipe de Neri Church.

Church Clock

This is the church business offices with the big clock in the top. There was a small garden in front.

Basket Shop

This is from the courtyard in front of the church looking toward the Basket Shop that is so well known and poplular in Old Town.

Old Town Church

This is the front of the Catholic church that is in the middle of Old Town Albuquerque, NM and is still in use.

Covered Walkway

This is the covered walkway by the side of the church where their offices are.

Old Church Sign

This sign my the Old Town Church told about it's 200th Birthday. 1793 - 1993.

Church Steeple

Photo of the steeple at the catholic church in Old Town Albuquerque, NM. There was a huge prickly pear cactus in the small area to the side of the church. And the sign that was in the previous photo.

Carving in Tree

Behind the church in Old Town is a very big, old cottonwood tree. About 10 feet up the tree is a tree bole as is common in cottonwoods. Someone had taken the time, and talent to carve a old-style catholic saint, (I guess that is what it is as I am not catholic and not into the old art that much.) I do know it is very unique.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

30 Years & Working on More

Anniversary Congratulations are in order for my sister and her husband who are celebrating 30 Years in Las Vegas, NV this week.
There's not many couples that have bragging rights for this one. But I have to brag and say that Lee and I will celebrate 39 years together this fall. My mom and dad, and my brother-in-laws parents each had 50 years together. I believe that my mom's sisters also had 50 years with their husbands, as did a couple of my dad's brothers, and sisters. Congratulations to all even if it has been a few years.
Long marriages are made by lots of give and take by couple. They are made with lots of love and understanding. It takes a lot, a super lot of work to make a marriage work, even from the very beginning. It means doing your job and sometimes having to help with your spouses job. I am talking about jobs at home like dishes, laundry, yard work, auto maintenance, kids, cleaning, and everything that goes with making a home. A man should be willing to do the dishes or laundry or clean the bathroom or change a few diapers. A woman should be willing to mow the lawn, change the oil on the car or take it to be done, take out the trash, or see if she can do a simple plumbing job if need be.
While lee was working I usually cleaned the horse pens each day. When he retired and my medical problems got worse Lee took on the job of cleaning horse pens. This week Lee has been down helping our son get his car running so I had to clean pens. My arms feel like they are ready to fall off this morning cause I am not used to having to do it. But you know what - it gives me a good feeling that I am still able to do it, even if it is hot, and it's dirty work, and now my arms hurt. Think I will try doing it a bit more often after Lee gets back. Besides its good exercise.

Monday, July 13, 2009


Lee is still in Chaparral, NM and working on the car. Sounds as if he is making some progress toward getting it fixed. Someone had tried to replace the gaskets on it at some point and didn't know what they were doing. Hope they didn't 'fix it' beyond repair.
It is hot down there too, actually hotter there than it is here. Hope he is alright with all that heat.
Dustin keeps wanting us to move down there but I keep thinking why trade one desert hot spot for a worse one. Sure wish he could find a job somewhere better.

Wiley's Big Adventures

Wiley sneaked out the door twice today. He can be at the far end of the house and he is so fast he will be out the door before I can slip out the door and get it shut again. I have never had a kitten or puppy as lightning fast as this guy is.
It was so hot today he was happy to come in this morning when he first got out as I was going to feed the horses. He was ready at the door when I went in a half hour later. Later about 3 pm he got out and tried to catch a flock of birds that were bathing in the bird water containers we keep out for our feathered friends. Actually it's to try and keep them out of the horse water buckets. Anyway Wiley chased them off and then let me catch in. But when we got in the house he took off slid across the kitchen cabinet, knocked a plate off and broke it.
I was able to remember to put Wiley Wild Cat into a bedroom each time I went out after that. Now it's late and he is wandering the house looking for bugs. We say he has Bug-idus each night. Along with all the heat we have had a huge amount of bugs this years. Most are moths, crickets, and June bugs, but a few are the weird little scorpians we have here. I don't mind him playing with a few moths but sure don't want him playing with the scorpians. At least once or twice an evening I use pieces of a paper towel and try to catch all the bugs and either kill them or throw them back out the door. Would be nice to know how so many get in the house.

Sunday, July 12, 2009


It is hot this summer. I know it gets hot here in New Mexico, heck I've lived here for the past 30 some years, and yet it feels hotter to me than in previous years. According to the weather on TV it hasn't reached 100 degrees yet but it's been close, and according to my thermometer outside my front door it has been as high as 102 but that may be because it gets extra hot right there in the afternoon even tho the thermometer is in the shade.
Lee decided to go to Chaparral, NM to see our son, Dustin and to help him with his car that isn't running right. They think it might have a blown head gasket.
I got to stay home and take care of the critters and try to keep the garden and flowers alive with water. Trees arn't doing to bad even with the heat. Guess they are now getting big enough to handle a little hot on their own.
And of course the motor on the air conditioner went out.
But I have this very nice neighbor who came over and took off the motor. I took it to the store and let another nice man tell me what all I needed. Then my neighbor put the new one on for me and now my house is nice and cool.
It is very difficult for me and my family to ask for help for anything. We just never do. If we can't take care of a problem on our own it just doesn't get down. Lee and I are always more than willing to help others that need help we just really are reluctant to ask for it ourselves. I was so glad my neighbor could help with the air conditioner but I still feel guilty for having to ask.
Of course it is very difficult to survive without an AC when you are already used to one. We lived without one most of the time when I was growing up, but I would sure hate to have to do it now.
Thanks again Neighbor.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Wiley & the Angel

Wiley sitting up on the shelf that is over my kitchen sink and divides the kitchen from the living room. This shelf is about 10 feet long and 18 inches wide. Wiley likes to chase his tail up here while moving back and forth on the shelf. I don't know how he keeps from falling off. It is a long leap to get up there for such a young cat. Oh, and that is a griffin siting between Wiley and the Angel.

Sunday, July 05, 2009


The best thing about Independence day that I was saw was a beautiful rainbow that graced our skies after a dreadful thunderstorm that hit yesterday afternoon about 5 pm. It really poured for about a half hour but afterward the sun came out and the prettiest rainbow I have seen in a long time spanned the sky with the Sandia Mountains right under it. I haven't got the photos I tried to take on the computer yet but I couldn't get the whole thing in my lens with either the small digital camera or the video camera. Will try to get a couple of the digital shots on later.

Horror of the 4th

4th of July was a nightmare for us. As expected there were people shooting all kinds of illegal fireworks all night. It was worse than previous years. I don't think the police even tried to do anything about it. I heard that the sheriffs office weren't even answering their phones. Maybe they were just to busy. We can hope they were actually out there trying.
My poor little Tuffee dog hide in the bathtub for hours and hours even tho I had given her a tranquiler. My two mares were really frightened several times by large display type fireworks that are totally illegal going off right over us due to the idiot people that live in this neighborhood. The three boy horses didn't seem to be quite as upset.
It was after 2 in the am before it slacked off and I was able to get some sleep. I spent alot of time out checking on the horses and making sure that the stress didn't cause one of them to run and tangle in a fence or colic.
I bet that there are more doctors on call on July 4th, both for people and animals, than any other holiday.
I heard that there were almost 100 dogs turned into the Albuquerque Animal Control or caught by Animal Control Offices who were having to work Saturday night and Sunday. There were about half of the dogs that did get back to their owners today. Of course there were probably twice that many dogs that weren't found.
We found a mini horse running loose this morning, caught it and held it until we saw a family out looking for it this evening. We were glad to be able to help and to keep the little guy from getting hit by a car or even more lost than he was.
And yet those shooting off all those expensive fireworks things never seem to learn that they are endangering their own lives as well as others, not to mention all the pets that are terrified every year.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

4th of July

Its that time of year again. I hate the sound of fireworks. And my dog hates them even worse. I don't know why they arn't banned everywhere. Not just the big ones but the little noisy firecrackers, and sparklers, too. Every year you hear about people and even worse small children being injured by all kinds of fireworks but especially the sparklers.
And have you ever asked a war veteran if they like fireworks? Most answer that it reminds them to much of having to be in a battle. Battles are not fun. People die in them. So we go out and make mock battles that scare small children, veterans, and our pets. Doesn't make much since does it?

Have a safe Independance Day.

Going On

Life goes on even though we loose those that we love. But there are those times we are sure it would be better if it didn't. Losing a horse, and two dogs in the past year hasn't been easy. I remember the very first time I went to funeral. I didn't know what to expect. Now I think I have been to too many and want them to stop and I know that they won't. Everything and everyone dies at some point. But it always seems so sinceless and stupid.