Thursday, February 24, 2011

Being My Mother

As I have stated in a couple of previous posts my family, at least on my mom side, were rockhounds and my granddad was actually a prospector that went out hunting for gold, silver, turquoise, and other minerals in Grant County, NM back in the 1930's and 40's.
All her life my mom remembered all that her dad had taught her about hunting for gold and silver and was always picking up rocks that she liked. As she got older her memory began to fail and by the time she was in her late 60's she would just pick up any old rock or pebble that she saw regardless of it's looks. All we could do was put up with it and throw them out; when she wasn't looking of course. There were a lot of rocks that she had that we did like and allowed her to keep. She and my dad, who also had picked up the prospector/rockhound bug had collected quite a few larger rocks that had crystals, or lots of nice colors in them. Most of these were so big I wondered how my dad had managed to get them home and while he was alive they were regulated to the yard. After dad was gone Mother got it into her head to bring all of these rocks into the house. Some of them weighted at least 50 pounds or more. It always amazed us when we found one of these rocks in the house and sometimes they got to sit there for a while until one of us had the energy or got one of our husbands or sons to take it back out. We might go to visit and check on her one day and take most of the rocks outside telling her there were enough in the house to have to clean around and the next day there they would be back in the house usually with even more of them. When Mother was gone we did divide up the better of these rocks and hauled them to our own homes as we were putting her house up for sale. (Can you see that it might have been a bit hereditary, this rockhounding bug.)
Where I live now in N. M. we get lots of wind storms which cause the desert sand and dirt to blow in and creep into the house as well as covering up anything in it's path outside that doesn't move.
Two years ago I took Mothers rocks and what I had collected myself and made a nice little rock garden in one spot in my backyard. I put a lot of work into and had to have hubby use the hand dolly to move several rocks that had to weight a couple of hundred pounds. As of this morning all I could see of that rock garden were the tops of a couple of the larger rocks. There was a sand dune on top of my rocks and the flowers I had planted around them. I doubt if the plants will come up this spring. So I got a shovel and started digging. I got less than one forth of the area done. 2 rocks were too big for me to dig up. I got a small pile of rocks I could handle dug up and moved again. I will do more digging when I have time. (of course we are expecting bad winds again this weekend)
I find myself acting like my mom so much when I do something like this. I'm not sure if this is good or bad. But I guess it is me as it was her. I will try not to bring so many into the house, at least until my mind is gone.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Surprise From Post Office

Well, the US Post Office has been up to their old tricks again. That is not getting the mail where it is supposed to go ---- ON TIME. On Feb. 19, 2011 I got a Christmas card from a friend and it was mailed out of Houston, Texas. The surprise part was that it was post marked on Dec. 08, 2010. That means it took about 10 weeks for the Christmas card to go from Houston, TX to Rio Rancho, NM. That is longer than it would have taken to cross the US a hundred years ago, or even longer ago.
I will add that there was nothing wrong with the way my address was writen on the envelope. There was no indication that it had been caught in a P. O. machine and torn nor did it have any damage of any kind to the envelope.
So why did it take so long to go about 850 miles?
I called the US Post Office 800 number and of course was told to sit in my house and wait for a phone call from my post office within the next 24 hours. I said I couldn't just sit and wait. They said I had to if I wanted a phone call. Finally, after about 48 hours, I called (and I didn't just sit and wait but I do have an answering machine and there hadn't been a message from them on it) to be told that there was no way to know or even guess what had happened.
And that was that. Again I have no answer as to why something was late getting to me, or why it was damaged, or why I get the neighbors mail and they get mine, or why the package or letter I sent somewhere never got there. Or why the streets here all have number names with directionals like SE, SW, NW so that all mail gets mixed up, or why the people that live at the other address can't learn to give out the correct directional on their address so I don't get their mail.(do they think I'll pay their bills well I won't).
Thank you for letting me rant and rave about the PO again.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

New Walk Way

Lee is putting in a new walk way by the hay shed. When we built the shed we found that that area was a big mud pit when we had one of our rare rains. We laid old pallets down then laid old plywood sheets on top. After 7 years the plywood decided to come apart. A couple of times Lee or I stepped on a rotten section and almost fell through the pallet underneath. The nails were so loose they didn't want to stay down and we and the dogs kept tripping on them. So the other day after the cold left and we had a couple of warm days we started mixing and pouring cement. This photos showes two sections done. The one in the center is now finished. As soon as it drys we will do the other and I will take a photo of it. It should be a lot nicer even if not as 'authentic' as the old boardwalk.

Desert Treasures

I never make a guess at what I might find when out on the desert. We have found all kinds of strange things - lots of beer cans and beer bottles, wine and liqueur bottles, soft drink cans and fast food wrappers are common. We have found lots of tires, chairs, broken TV's, computers, printers, cell phones, clothes, dishes, broken drills and other tools, and anything that you might think of would be in any household trash can. It seems a lot of people would rather dump their trash on the desert instead of paying their trash bill so that the trash company will haul it for them. To me that doesn't make any since at all. We have heard of people that have found nice furniture and other things that they took home and used - a recliner, dresser, kids swing set, and someone found nice curtains in a plastic bag they took, cleaned and used for years. You have to wonder why some things are thrown out. Couldn't they just be donated to the local thrift store?
The other day Lee and I were driving down the road and at the same time we pointed and said, "Is that a boat?" we could just barely see it out in the sage brush. We drove out and yes, it was a boat, but to bad it wasn't in condition to take home. It looked as if it had been wreaked. Maybe on a trailer going down a highway and rolled off.
We went on farther and there was what had been a nice couch sitting under a juniper tree just waiting for someone to sit on it and enjoy the scenery. The hill behind the tree and couch in the photo hides a pond where cows were drinking. I had a though about how many cows could sit on the couch at once but none came over to try.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

This is an arroyo bank that the weather and rain has been working on for - well I have no idea how many years. The arroyos can be cut out in just one huge flashflood or it may take years and years with a lot of little rains. This one allowed me to see the different levels of different kinds of rocks, sand and dirt that may have taken a hundred years or more to expose.

I have always been interested in geology and different kinds of rocks. I have always been a rock hound as were my parents. My granddad was a prospector in the Silver City, NM area and had an interest in a gold mine once and had a turquoise mine for a while. That really started our families interest in geology and rockhounding. Of course as all rockhounds do I am usually looking for rocks that are pretty or unusual. Lots of petrified juniper wood, quartz, crystals, are usually what I am looking for out in the desert were we go as well as some unusual shapes now and them. But recently I have become very interested in meteorites. I have become a fan of the TV show Meteorite Men which shows the travels and finds of Steve and Geoff who hunt and find meteorites.

So on this day I taped our strongest magnet to a mop handle and took it with me. Knowing how rare it is actually find a meteorite, especially without a metal detector, I didn't expect to find anything. But I knew there were lots of rocks on the desert that had the look of some of the meteorites shown on TV - dark and kind of rusty. So I worked my way here and there down the arroyo we drove down especially all the banks. Nothing.

But I was surprised when I got lots of tiny - I mean very tiny, black specks stuck to the magnet. I had learned in the classes I took to get my nurseryman's licence that there was lots of iron in this dirt but I sure was surprised it was large enough to be picked up. When I would clean off the magnet it was as if I taken it across the floor of a metal working shop and picked up the metal shavings.

One time when I cleaned the iron shavings off the magnet there was a slightly larger piece that kept jumping back onto the magnet. It was kind of squarish in shape and looked like a small black pebble. Hummmm - was this just a large piece of iron or a meteorite. I like to think it is a meteorite. But who knows. Above is a photo of the 'meteorite' stuck to a one inch round magnet, sitting on a small post-it note pad. I have put my 'meteorite' in a small plastic jewelry bag for safekeeping. If it is or isn't a meteorite I had fun looking for it.

While we were out I found a juniper tree that had almost been uprooted by the rare rain storms that cause flash floods down the arroyos. Behind the tree was a fairly large hole (seen in the first photo and behind the tree trunk on the left in the second photo,) where I think something has been living. By the size of the hole I would guess it to be the home of a coyote, or a badger. The last photo shows the tree trunk and the arroyo going south. If you look close you can see the tracks of our truck where we drove though.

The Flu

I've had the flu for the first time in 8 years. YUCK. I had forgotten how horrid it is to be that sick. With no warning I got up the other morning sick to my stomach and with a fever. I spent several days on a diet of RC Cola and dry Cherio cereal. Today I seem to be somewhat better. I kept down Ritz Crackers and applesause. And felt good enough to open the computer. Still haven't felt good enough to go feed the horses. But was able to feed the dogs and cats and shove the dishes from the sink to the dishwasher and turn it on. (Hope I remember to put soap in it.) It will take an extra week to catch up on housework and yard work.
On the plus side - maybe I lost a few pounds.

Monday, February 14, 2011

It's a Button

Yes, the photo below is a photo of the button that I got when I joined the Black Stallion Club in the late 1950's. There is a pin on the back so you can fashion it to a shirt or what ever. Yes, I was lucky to have parents who let me read all kinds of horse books and collect models and pictures. But we are all lucky when we can actually indulge in our passion for horses and actually have one. Same goes for our dogs, cats, birds or what ever you might want as a pet.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Horse Books

Raising Rainbow let a comment about horse books and I haven't even mentioned them yet. I have lots of horse books from a Roy Rodgers book and a Lone Ranger book for small children to The Black Stallion series of which I was a member of the Black Stallion Club to dozens of other teenage horse books both fiction and non fiction. Now I have expanded my horse books since I got my real books with a lot of books about how to care, and train horses, plus some on horse breeds and a couple that are photo books on horses. Anything that concerned horses in any way has gone into my horse collection.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Horse Collection

As a little girl I always wanted a horse but couldn't have one. So I took to collecting model horses. Since my dad was in the Air Force we moved around a lot and when we moved my parents would try to see all the sights in the new town. Of course my sisters and I would want to buy souvenirs each time we went to a different park, tourist attraction, or any where there was a gift shop. I started by model horses, pictures, even postcards as my souvenirs and even kept a written record of the description of the horse, where I bought it, and gave each model horse a name. The two matching rubber horses were a team that came with a wagon that I got when I was about three years old. The white horse with saddle was always one of my favorites. The following posts are some photos of different horses in my collection. A few weeks ago I took a count, then repacked them and put most of them away in the plastic container they live in now since I don't have a display case to put them in, or room for that big a display case in my small house. There were over 30 of the small china horses, no more than 3 inches tall. There were more that were 5 to 8 inches tall. There are some that are hard plastic, some that are a metal, a few that are rubber, and a couple that are wood. Most are still not worth anything even though some of them are getting some age on them. Not all are horses, there are about a dozen donkeys and mules and a couple of zebras. I do have a few of the well-known Breyer horses but couldn't dig them out of hiding for easily to take there photo on the day I took the ones shown here. In all I figure there are about 120 models, plus all the stuffed horses, pictures, postcards, and a few other horse related items. As a child this collection of horses ment everything to me.
Now they don't mean much at all. Those five real horse and ponies out in their pens in my yard are the ones that mean a lot to me.

It isn't just small china, or plastic horses in my collection. Here are three other examples. There was the skirt that my mom made for me when I was about 7. The mare and foal are a picture glued to a piece of wood. The print of the horse, and girl was in that frame and hung in a bedroom in my grandmothers house. It was a print that was on a calander that she liked and framed. I always liked it and she gave it to me on my 16th birthday as we were at her house and everyone had forgot it was my birthday until the last minute. I am not sure how old it might be but I think she had had it before she and my granddad got married in 1923.

Family Group

With the small sets of china horses the family groups were very popular. When I first started getting them I could get a set of usually three, a mare and twins for about $1.50 in about 1960 (twins are so uncommon in the real horse world) (this is an unusual group of four - mare, stallion and twins) By 1965 I was paying $3.00 a set. The in the '70's it went to $5.00 or more and sometimes the set were split apart so you had to buy each on seperatly paying about $4 each. Now I never see these sets or china horses very often if at all.

Several Different Horses

I tried to get little horses in a verity of different colors, poses, breeds.

Small Horse

This is one of my smallest horses in my collection. This colt is only about 1 inch tall and is china. I have 3 blue horses on a wheel that came out of a cracker Jacks box that are only about 1/4 of an inch tall each that are the smallest I have. I couldn't locate them for this photo shot.

Another Horse in Collection

Pinto Horse


In the late 1950's there was a TV show about a little boy and his big black horse called Fury. I saw a model of him and of course wanted it. Both my sister and I got one for Christmas that year. This is mine.


I have several donkeys in my collection. This is one that I got at Death Valley, near Los Vegas, NV in 1959 when we went to Death Valley Scotties Castle several times. The head is on a spring and bobs up and down. He is made out of some sort of metal.

Cute Donkey

This is one of the most unusual of the equines in my model horse collection.

A group of Horses

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Another Day

Another Day, Another Night.
Lots more wind, so hold on Tight.
Blowing Sand. We need rain or snow.
Was predicted to be snow on the TV show.
It ain't gonna happen. Not here.
Just more wind, sand, and cold. Oh, dear.