Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Difference

I went to a national touring production of "Fiddler on the Roof" on 10/29/10.  I love musicals, and this is one of my favorites.  It was very well done, and as I do every time I see the play or musical, I cried through most of the last half. 

I was totally impressed with the professionalism of this production:  the sound system was good, the dance moves intricate but synchronized, the presentation of the actors was strong and confident...

I love the Lubbock Moonlight Musicals  but their amateurish presentation, and poor sound system really do represent them poorly...

I suspect, with time the Moonlight Musicals will increase their polish, and I have seen it as the years progress.  I suspect, thought, that audiences want the presentation now, and are not willing to wait....

Labels: , , ,

Friday, October 29, 2010


Did you know that Nike was a Greek goddess  I am always amazed at how much new is based in old culture. Whether it is Greek, Roman, Norse, and some other civilization, sometimes new things are not as new as we think they are...

Labels: , ,

Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Really Good Educational Experience

Today, a colleague and I were able to attend a continue education opportunity.  It was a workshop regarding mental health, dementia, delirium, and mental health treatment in various care settings. 

The workshop was very good.  The amenities were fine: the facility was a little cold, but comfortable, there were snacks and a meal and in general it was a good facility... The cost was reasonable. So it was a successful day.

What made this so good was the energy, interest, passion, caring and knowledge of the presenters.  They were obviously people who felt strongly about what they do, do it with the best of their ability, and believe in what they do...This affirmed those of us who approach our work in the same way.

It was a great experience. I am always grateful when I can attend an inspiring and energizing educational activity like this.


The World Series - The Participants in 2010

So, I have inquired about your thoughts regarding the World Series... Is it truly "the World Series" or is that a misnomer? 

Nevertheless, the contest progresses... The participants are the San Francisco Giants vs. the Texas Rangers.  Do you have a team that you favor? Would you be willing to share why? 

Labels: ,

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Cultural Index Question

For quite some time, I used to send out an almost weekly email called Lisenby Lines to my family... It was a combination of drivel about my life and snippets of news that I had received from various members of my family. There were few comments about the email...

As time has gone on, I have sent Lisenby Lines out less and less.  Recently, I sent out an email asking a "cultural index question."  Just for fun.  But, I received several responses...More than I expected.  It was fun for me, and, I hope, fun for the respondents.


The World Series

Do you enjoy baseball?  If so, what are your thoughts about the World Series  Baseball is a sport that was started in the United States, but has spread throughout the world...

The World Series was conceived between the winner of the American League and the winner of the National League in the United States.  But there are so many other nations where baseball is an important sport, I am not sure that the title "World Series" is an accurate or descriptive title for the championship series in the United States.

Labels: ,

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Rounding Up the Purchase or Transaction Amount

I am seeing more and more advertisements for credit cards or banking services that "round up" purchases, or transactions, and put the rounded up amount into savings.  This is not a new concept.

I have been doing some version of this since the 1980s.  I used to do it with my checking account:  Instead of writing the exact amount of the check, I rounded it up to the next dollar amount.  It made subtracting the amount from the balance easier, and at the end of the month, the money saved could go to savings.  Or, as Lisenby and I sometimes did, we used it as "mad money:" a special dinner out, a special purchase, or whatever.

Later in life, I started doing the same with my credit card:  I subtract all my credit card purchases from my bank balance, as if I am using a debit card.  At the end of the month, when the credit card bill comes due, it is "paid for."  Additionally, I "round up" the charges.  This serves several functions.  One is to allow for putting money aside for savings.  Another is in case I forget to write some purchase in, hopefully the extra will cover the amount. And most importantly, by deducting the amount from my bank balance, I stay within my budget.

I rarely use the credit card for emergency purchases, but when I do, I am grateful that the extra money is in a bank account. I am blessed that way.

I have not had to work on a budget in a long time.  I am thinking I may want to, again. 

Labels: , , ,

Monday, October 25, 2010

I Really Like Texas

I really like Texas...There are a lot of things I like about Texas.

Traveling down the road, you may get a "Hi Howdy" wave from a complete stranger... I love it!

Early voting is easy... Just show up at an early voting place in your county.  It is great.

Restrooms are not all that hard to find.  So many convenience stores, truck stops, and fast food places have public restrooms.  You can also stop in libraries, county courthouses, municiple buildings, if you have to... Many roadside rest stops have restrooms or portapotties. 

There is WiFI at some rest areas.

Rest areas that have picnic tables have shelters that reflect the culture of the area:  teepees, longhorns for example... Hmmm.

Stores stay open late.  After 10 PM.  Even in small  towns...


Remember to Vote Early

Remember to vote early.  In the State of Texas, in 2010 voting early is easy.  It is so amazingly easy, voting early in Texas includes "curbside voting."  Wow!

Voting early in Texas is not related to absentee balloting, which is still a part of the voting early option. Voting early may involve someone who is going to be absent during election time, someone who is elderly, disabled, in the Armed Services, or otherwise confined but eligible to vote.

There are lots of options, exceptions and aids to allow for voting.  Isn't this wonderful! 

What are the advantages of voting early: 

Many sights have early and late hours, including weekend hours, so voting can be accomplished around work/school schedules.

Many voting early sights are convenient: where you shop, go to school, go to church, or conduct government business.

County wide voting early means you can find a voting sight convenient for you, the voter, not necessarily the designated sight for your precinct, which, because of voting times on election day, may not actually be convenient for the voter.

If the voter will be otherwise unavailable on election day, voting early allows this civic duty to be accomplished.

Early voting, by reporting interest, can influence people to turn out.

However, voting early can be problematic:

Early voting requires the voter to make a decision before all the campaign information is in... Sometimes, there are last minute campaign activities that can reverse voters' decisions.

Early voting, by reporting interest and numbers, make voters assume that their one vote will not count nor influence an election.

Voting was not always an option for all the citizens of this country.

Texas has it's own timeline regarding voting:

The point is, voting access has changed, and citizens are encouraged to get out and vote!

Labels: , , , ,

Sunday, October 24, 2010


I was watching PBS tonight, and they talked about the website Gozaic  It is supposed to be a website that can connect you with information about various cultural and historic events.  I have spent a few minutes on the site... It seems a little busy, and too overloaded to be much help, but maybe I will get better at refining my searches.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Who'd a Thunk It

I have been trying for some months to find books by Alexander McCall Smith in my local library.  I looked in the general fiction stacks, the mystery section, and the large print section, with only occasionally coming across one of the books by this author.  I am trying to ready the books in the series The Number 1 Lady's Detective Agency in order.  I have not been able to find them in the library, although the computer indicated they were there.  Today, I asked a reference librarian, who took me directly to these books.  Hmmm. They were not listed under Smith, but under McCall.  Who'd a thunk it!

Labels: , , ,

Cats are not Dogs

For years, I used to sit outside with my dog:  we would go to the park and sit, we would sit in our back yard.  Sometimes the weather was not so great, but he wanted to be outside, so we would sit outside.  I would be in my winter jacket, wrapped in a blanket, or in my summer clothes, gasping for shade.  Mack loved to be outside.  And so do I.

I have cats now, and they like to go outside for a little while.  They like to eat grass. I do not let them roam free.  Unlike Mack, who was content to roam the fenced back yard, they are not. So, to keep them from climbing fences, especially Sake, I put them in a pen or on a tether when we are outside.  That is not as interesting for them... They seem to be content, more often than not, to be inside.  But, they want to be with me. Even when I am outside, they often cry, not to be outside with me, but for me to be inside with them.

I spent the better part of this glorious morning and afternoon outside, but Haiku wanted company inside. The minute I stepped in to get a fresh drink, so wanted company. Inside.  So, I am spending some time inside.

I have an errand to run later, though, and plan to take a quick trip to the canyon, just for a refreshing junket outside... That will be nice.

Labels: ,

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Storm as Background Effects

On the 21st of October, I was at a Reading Circle.  We were discussing Isaac's Storm,  by Erik Larson  This is a story about the 1900 hurricane that devastated Galveston. We were in a large second story room, facing large picture windows that looked East.

As we talked, a storm blew in... Watching storms blow into West Texas is phenomenal:  You can see the front move in...You can see the lightning, unimpeded by hills.  You can see the clouds lower, the virga, the areas of downdrafts, the outflow boundaries, the anvil clouds, the towering cumulonimbus clouds.

This day, the storm moved in black as night...The clouds lowered, and eventually let loose with rain... Although various parts of town had hail, there was none where we were.

What a spectacular backdrop to a discussion about the deadliest hurricane in US history!

Labels: , , , ,

Losing in the Land of the Enemy

I am a New York Yankee fan, and had to endure watching them lose the 2010 American League Championship Series to the Texas Rangers.  I must say, my friends and colleagues who follow baseball, and were cheering for the Rangers, have been gracious about the rivalry.  We are able to agree to disagree most amicably.

I really enjoy baseball.  I have been thinking about it this year in a different way:  I have never found myself enrapt in the Texas Rangers.  Quite possibly, because they have not been a very good team until this year, but in the 30 plus years I have lived in Texas, they have had some interesting years:  Certainly when Pudge Rodriguez, Alex Rodriguez, and Nolan Ryan were playing. So, why did I not catch the "spark" of interest for the team?

I can tell you:  I live in West Texas.  In the 30 plus years of living in West Texas, there has never been a year when we reliably and consistently had good TV or radio coverage of the Ranger baseball games.  It is difficult to establish a loyal and interested fan base if there is no access to the team.

Granted, in the last few years, with Satellite and Internet, access has increased. But if the Rangers wanted Texan support, they really needed to be reaching out to Texans, not just to people in Dallas and Fort Worth.  Maybe, with their new deal with Fox, that will happen.  Hmmmm.

Labels: , , ,

The Day the World Came to Town

I have written about Gander, Newfoundland before, when I watched the documentary about the international airline flights diverted there immediately after 9/11/2001.  Read about Tom Brokaw working on the story:

Read about it at the Gander Airport website

Well, I finally read the book: which Jim DeFede wrote: "The Day The World Came to Town."  I will say that the book was everything I had hoped it would be:  It recounted the history of the attacks, gave a brief history of the Gander Airport, and then told the story of the town and the "plane people."  Not all was goodness and light.  It was a real story, with some less than positive moments, but what would we expect under such dire circumstances.  Overall, however, it was a most feel good, inspiring story of people reaching out and taking care of people...Just amazing!

I would highly recommend it, if you have not read it...

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Starlight Mints

You know what Starlight mints are  those round buttons with red or green stripes on the side, often served as after dinner mints in restaurants, sometimes even with the restaurant's logo or advertising on their wrapper.

Well, I have taken to eating peppermint Starlight mints after meals, sometimes.  Last night was one such occasion.  I was at the computer in the office, and Haiku joined me...We played "pen fetch" for a while.  But, she soon discovered the Starlight mints. 

I may have mentioned previously that Haiku loves anything that smells of mint, menthol or eucalyptus... You can imagine her joy at finding a couple of mints on the desk, next to the pen.  At first, she seemed to be trying to unwrap the candy...She could not figure it out (I have no doubt Sake would have, but Sake is unique about things like that.  And, if she had, in Haiku's presence, Haiku would have mimicked her.) Anyway, Haiku was content to play fetch with the mints.  She seemed to take great pleasure in really whacking the mints like they were hockey pucks: she sent them flying everywhere.  She played until well after I was ready to leave the office. When we finished, the two mints were on the desk.

This morning, they were no longer on the desk:  one, still wrapped, was on the bed.  The other, also wrapped, was in the living room, and later became a hockey puck again, ending up in the kitchen.  Even Sake joined in the game! 

Labels: ,

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

My How the Sky Changes

Monday, October 18, the weather was a little unusual…We were supposed to have a record high in the high 80s but that did not happen. The clouds came in during the afternoon. It was not cool, but it was not hot, either. Then, a storm cell moved in. In the distance to the west, it was possible to see the down drafts, some areas of virga, but the down pouring of the rain. The winds shifted and changed rapidly from dead calm to rapidly swirling. But, the winds were not strong. And it rained.

As the one did on the 17th, this storm had a well defined front. It was larger and darker than the storm on the 17th. Dark enough to seem like night. But as I drove north, I drove out of the storm into bright sunlight. There was a beautiful, broad double rainbow to the east, framed against the very dark clouds. Within a couple of hours, the storm had dissipated, and the sky was dusky but not cloudy…

What weather we have in Texas!

Labels: , , , ,

Spontaneity…Or The Lack Thereof

I have bemoaned my lack of spontaneity in the past. The weekend of October 15th, I had a very nice time, enjoyed watching some TV sports, went to a pottery demonstration, went to a co-worker’s garage sale, all on my “agenda.” I cooked out, which was not planned until fairly last minute…I even fixed the outside burner without planning to. Those are small things, but things I did fairly spontaneously…

It was a beautiful weekend. I think that I may have some more fun experiences if I were a little more spontaneous when the weather is so nice… I am sure there are other times I would enjoy activities if I were more spontaneous.

Labels: , , ,

Cat Jealousies

Sake is the dominant cat in our house. I try as best I can to make sure that Haiku is tended to and gets her share of attention… These measures have included giving her a water dish in the shower, and a separate feeding area. I will say that Haiku will spend time with me in the office, although, recently, Sake has taken to sitting next to me there. And, Haiku sleeps in bed with me, where Sake once slept… Recently, as well as last fall, Sake has taken to coming to bed with us.

Sake gets me up in the morning, although Haiku is usually present. And, sometimes, Haiku awakens me.

Lately, Sake has been very mean and spiteful, both to me and Haiku. She drinks out of Haiku’s additional water dish. She eats out of the extra dishes. She sits in Haiku’s favorite spot when she sits in the garage.

I have tried to spend some time in the living room, as when I am in the office, Sake frequently comes in and cries, wanting nothing more than to have me move to the living room. She sits on the back or arm of the sofa. When she does, Haiku is hesitant to join us on the sofa… I have to be aware to invite her. But that works.

Sometimes, we just need to be sure we express our feelings and invite our loved ones into our lives…Nothing is worse than love unexpressed.

Labels: ,

Brain Chatter

I wrote several things the weekend of October 9th. I have not been able to think of any topics the next week…I really think it was because it was a busy week for my brain, and even when I was away from work, I had other things that were occupying my brain (including carryover from work.) When my brain has all this background brain chatter occurring, I can not think creatively.

There really is something to getting away and emptying the brain to allow the creative juices to flow. It really does help to have that quiet time.

Labels: , , ,

Working Off Line

My computer network went out October 14, 2010. I am having to await until there is a time the technician and I can be in the same place in the same time, which turned out to be about 5 days later. On the 17th, I went to the public library to use the WiFi to clean out my email messages, and to take care a few pieces of online business. I did think to let my family know that I did not have computer access at home.

I had been on the computer a couple of times, to add some addresses, to play solitaire, but that was it.

I have thought about writing for the blog, but I did not have a topic.

I am not amazed to realize though, that I have thought about using the computer as synonymous as being on line.

However, there is nothing wrong with my writing blogs off line, and then loading them later…or doing other business off line.

Labels: , ,

Saturday, October 09, 2010


I am not a very spontaneous person.  I tend to be goal oriented, and frame my days with mental, written, and/or typed lists of what I expect to accomplish. 

I go to work with an idea of the minimum or maximum tasks I want to accomplish.

I plan my weeknights and weekends in generally the same way.  I have grown to hate house work, and that is how I motivate myself to do it:  it becomes an item on my list that needs to get checked off... It might be that I notice something needs doing, and it gets assigned a day to do it... I hate housework.

So, my recent trip, while not unplanned, did contain some spontaneous doings:  I had planned to go to Taos, I did not plan to go to the Pueblo.  I went to an arts and crafts fair I did not plan to attend.

And, I took a route that I did not even consider, at one point.  

Today was a beautiful day.  I knew I wanted to get groceries, watch the Texas Tech football game, and watch the Yankee game.   I figured between these activities, I would spend sometime outside, puttering, reading or what have you... Well, it was so beautiful, I decided to go kayaking, although I had mentally thought I was past the last kayaking outing of the fall... It felt good to be spontaneous...

Labels: , , , ,

Deep Fried

I should preface this by saying I was watching the Texas Tech Red Raider vs. Baylor Bears football game, today. It was being played in the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, and at this time of the year, the Texas State Fair is occurring on the grounds around the Cotton Bowl. The announcers talked about all the food in which they had indulged. The announcers were shown, one with what was probably a corn dog, the other with a turkey leg. They made several comments about the turkey leg which made me wonder if they did not usually see turkey legs. They also talked about all the fried foods to be found at the fair.

My questions are many:

Do other parts of the country serve turkey legs as part of the junk food frenzy that accompanies fairs, carnivals, festivals, tailgating, and other activities where junk food is consumed in abundance. Is that a Texas thing? Is that a southern thing? Or is it common everywhere. Inquiring mind (mine) wants to know.

What has become very popular recently at these same types of activities is the fried food. It started with battered and fried cheese... Now we see fried snickers, fried s'mores, fried milky ways, fried Oreos, and I have heard, but not seen advertised, fried butter. I understand the latter is fried in cornbread dough (like a corn dog or fried cheese) and the butter just drips when you bite into it...I have not seen anything other than corn dogs or fried cheese, although the South Plains Fair advertised fried snickers, fried milky ways and fried s'mores. 

I understand other items have included Deep Fried Sweet Jalapeño Corn Dog Shrimp, Deep Fried Beer, Fried Peanut Butter, Deep Fried Peaches & Cream, Fried Banana Split, Jelly and Banana Sandwich. This year, Fried Club Sandwich, Deep Fried S'mores Pop Tart, Deep Fried Frito Pie and Fried Lemonade were possible fare.

If you care to comment, I would like to know about the turkey legs, and if you have a favorite decadent food, mentioned or not.

Labels: ,

The Vacation Lingers

I took a very relaxing, very refreshing three day weekend last weekend.  Usually, when I take a trip, I enjoy the trip but do not necessarily come back refreshed.  First of all, as a child, we did not take a lot of overnight vacations.  And, when we did, they always seemed to be stressful: money was tight, my mom did a lot of the work to get ready and go, and we stayed someplace where my mom had to do meals and housework... So a lot of the emotional atmosphere of the vacation was not leisure but business as usual, or even stressful.

I am very task oriented, so "letting go" on a vacation has been hard for me. I tend to plan trips that require certain itineraries or activities that also put pressure on me.

And, I am so anal about my work, that I feel required to "get ahead," not leave anything for my coworkers who are covering for me, to the extent that I feel obligated to work extra-hard to get ready to go.  When I return, I feel the need to get "caught up" right away...So, I put a lot of pressure on myself at work in regards to preparing for and returning from vacation.

My most recent weekend trip was different:  while I "worked ahead" at work, and did some weekend chores during the week, getting ready to leave town was not that stressful. And returning to work was not stressful.

Mostly, though, the plan for my vacation included some specific activities, but nothing required an exact or compact timeline.  While I like camping trips, I stayed in a motel, and had little maintenance chores to do for myself.   Part of what made the trip so relaxing was that I drove through long stretches of beautiful countryside:  What I think are beautiful prairies and plains, rolling sand hills, canyons small and large, coniferous and aspen forested mountains with babbling brooks or rivers chasing the winding road... Just gorgeous. 

This was one of the most relaxing trips I have ever taken...And, amazingly for me, as the work week progressed, and I found myself dealing with the stressors of the day, I was able to take myself back to that relaxed floating feeling I had while I was away...

I do not recall ever doing that with a vacation before...I wonder if I have had other trips that I could have done that with, but did not...Surely, this is not the FIRST time in my life I had a trip that was that relaxing, that stress-free, that enjoyable...

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Friday, October 08, 2010

The High Jump

I have two six foot tall bookcases in "the office."  One is some four feet diagonal from the printer, and about two feet higher...Haiku likes to jump from the printer to the bookcase, then to the other bookcase, down to the desk, and onto the floor...This is not a regular occurrence, but happens sometimes.  Usually when there has been some other disturbance... Tonight, Sake was irritated and took it out on Haiku.  Although they both ended up in the garage at the same time, there seems to be some tension between them, still.  So, I think the jumping is  a release for Haiku, and demonstrates her prowess.

Labels: ,

Thursday, October 07, 2010

A Change in Perspective

I usually work late.  If I leave work early it is because I have an activity which I want to attend, so I go home, feed the girls, and get gone.

Tonight, I left work early:  the Yankees vs. Twins baseball game was on at 5PM Central Time.  So, I went home, fed kitties, and settled down to watch the game.  I cooked dinner, and did the computering I like to do...

So, now the game is done and the computer clock says 8:11 PM.  This is way too early and feels really unusual... I have a Netflix dvd to watch.  Maybe I will do that, it is about 90 minutes, I think...Then read until bedtime.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

Post Season Baseball

I like baseball... I especially like watching or listening to New York Yankees or Boston Red Sox baseball..

If the Yankees or Red Sox are playing, the games usually are very long.. If they are playing each other, the game time may be very extended.

This post season, the Yankees are playing the Minnesota Twins... It will be interesting to see how the Yankees do, and which team advances...


Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Fresh Air Cold

When I was growing up, I lived in a house that had forced hot air steam heat from radiators...The house was old and drafty, but keeping the steam heat high kept us comfortable... I can not imagine the cost to my parents to keep the house comfortable.

I now live in a house that has energy efficient windows. I enjoy the nights, including in the summer, when the air is so fresh and cool that I do not need to run the air conditioning but with the windows open, the air is cool and comfortable.

As the seasons change, so does the air... The main point being, that the outside air can make the inside air fresher....


Idyllic and Pastoral

After 1992 and before 1995, I would have described my life as idyllic and pastoral... One in which I was allowed the luxury of listening to the grass grow...

Then, life happened.  I entered into an emotionally tulmultuous relationship that lasted off and one for the next 11 years. But finally, it ended. 

I tried to embark onto a more calm and restful lifestyle.. I can not say, even today, it is idyllic and pastoral.  But it is more tranquil than previously, and I find pockets of idyllic and pastoral..

I will say that my most recent out of town three day weekend was idyllic and pastoral. I am grateful for that. Maybe, I will have more such experiences.

Labels: ,

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Angry Kitty

The cat sitter gave a good report on the girls, who were appropriate while I was gone.  It is obvious to her, as to me, that Haiku suffers at Sake's temper, and Sake has a low frustration tolerance.

So, after I was settled enough to tend to the girls, i.e., everything in the house from the car, since they were both wanting outside, I put them on their leashes and we went out front.... As usual, they went different ways...I will not let them off my property, and I will not let one in an area where I can not see both at the same time... Sake was not too happy about that...

When she became frightened and wanted into the house, she would not let me unhook the harness, so then I tried to unhook the leash.  Sake just lashed out, yowling and scratching.  She was let in.  Then, Haiku wanted in... Sake took after her, and Haiku hid for a while.. Now, Haiku is okay, and Sake is settled, if not happy...

I hate that Sake gets SO tempermental, but that is who she is...


Saturday, October 02, 2010

Taos Serendipity

Taos is not one of the areas of New Mexico I had previously visited.  I am not sure why, but part of it was because my impression of Taos was that it was a high tone artists colony, an environment in which I would be very uncomfortable.  That may be true.  It was there today, and there are some very posh art galleries.  There are also lots of typical tourist trap artsy-fartsy places that hope some of the posh rubs off on them by association.

On my trip to Capulin Volcano, I did not even consider going from Raton, where I was staying, to Taos, at first.  But, then I Iearned that the Annual Fiber Festival was being held.  I thought that might be an interesting activity to attend...So, my second day of the trip was the ride through Cimmaron Canyon over to Taos.

The trip was breath-takingly spectacular:  High mountains, wide canyon valleys, hills, lakes, aspens turning gold. Part of the trip through the canyon was on narrow, twisting roads with steep ledges.  Not unlike parts of the Berkshires where I used to ride and drive when in Massachusetts.  I loved it...

As I drove west, I saw pronghorned antelope, a mule deer, black-billed magpies, crows, red tailed hawks, Swainson's hawks, another unidentified hawk, and vultures, and a ground squirrel. Returning home, I saw antelope, a Golden eagle, black-billed magpies, crows and a ground squirrel... Good sightings.

As I drove through Taos, I did not stop at the Fiber Festival...I drove straight on to the Taos Pueblo, which is still inhabited by some, and has various shops... There had just been ceremonies the later part of September.  The wares were good, many reasonably price, but nothing I found I wanted to buy...I wish I had found something. I took the self guided tour, enjoyed the babbling brook and shady perch of a bench for a while, and then returned to Taos.  On the way back to town, I bought gasoline at Indian Reservation prices...

I went to the Fiber Festival.  There were some interesting animals, a few demonstrations, lots of stalls of yarn, and some very good music.  I ate a lamb pattie in a tortilla with fixings.  I watched a knitting demonstration for a few minutes... I knit...If you knit, I think watching a knitting demonstration of typical normal stitches with no narration is more boring than watching grass grow. Frankly, I like to sit in the back yard and listen to the grass grow while I read, knit, computer or what have you. But watch the grass grow? No.

So, I wondered throughout much of the rest of commercial Taos...I have already written my impression of Taos...But, as I said the return trip was just as spectacular, made even more so by the contrast in lighting by some black as night storm clouds to my left, and the setting sun behind clouds, as I looked in the rear view mirror... Truly a good vacation day.

Labels: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Friday, October 01, 2010

National Parks or Monuments

So, I am wondering what National Parks or Monuments I have visited:

I have toured Big Bend in Texas.

I have toured the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor.

I have driven part of the Blue Ridge Parkway both in North Carolina and Virginia.

I have been to parts of the Boston Historic National Park:  Fanuel Hall, Bunker Hill, the USS Constitution, and maybe more...

I have been to Bryce Canyon, Cape Hatteras, Cape Cod, Capulin Volcano, and Carlsbad Caverns.

I have driven through Cumberland Gap, through Delaware Water Cap, and by the Devil's Tower, and along the Erie Canal, but never saw any National Heritage Corridor signs.

I have been to Fort Davis National Historic Sight, toured Gettysburg, been to Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, the Grand Canyon, the Grand Tetons, the Great Smokey Mountains, driven through the Guadalupe Mountains, and driven along the Hudson River.

I have been to Lake Meredith and to the Minuteman National Historic Park. I have been to Niagara Falls, the Petrified Forest, Rocky Mountain National Park, Saguaro National Park,  one of the San Antonio Missions, driven through part of Shenandoah National Park, and toured the Springfield Armory.

I have driven through the Upper Delaware Scenic and Recreational River, been through Vicksburg, and been to the White Sands National Monument, to Yellowstone, and to Zion National Park....

Wow, I have been to a lot of places, but have a lot to go.....

Labels: , , , ,

Capulin Volcano National Monument

I think I have previously written about the Capulin Volcano National Monument If not, this is the story:  last spring, visiting with some acquaintances, one mentioned the volcano...  I was all ears: I have lived in West Texas for 33 years, and never heard about this monument, about 6 hours or less from home.  I knew I had to see it... I decided to wait for the fall, and having done so, made the trip this weekend.  I planned a three day weekend, which I probably did not need.  Technically, I could have arisen early, driven to the volcano, toured it, and driven home... But I was ready for a trip out of town, to someplace I have not been before.

The volcano was neat:  I toured the very small visitor's center, and watched the video.  I drove up to the rim. Although I have had some hip problems lately, I put on my good hiking boots, and took the trip down to the crater.  Then, I hiked the rim trail, my trusty hiking stick in hand.  It really helped.  I went a ways into the lava flow trail, but lost the trail, so was able to just turn around and go back... The hiking tired me out, so a drive home would not be very sensible.

It was a good day: it was warm, but there were some clouds in the sky... There was a storm visible in the distance, but the rain did not touch the mountain.  The wind and cooler air from the storm made the hike better.  I saw a ground squirrel, a lizard, some unidentified birds, and lots and lots of crows at the sight.

On the way, I saw lots and lots of hawks, for sure, red tailed hawks, Swainson's hawks, and, I think, at least one kestrel.

It was a good trip to the volcano.

Labels: , , , ,

A Day on The Road

I enjoy a day on the road. I enjoy it especially if I have no deadline, and I can just take my time.  Today was such a day.  I got up later than planned, left later than planned, but still got to my destination in plenty of time to complete my plan. 

Then, I went on to my motel, a dinner at a local restaurant, and a tour of the town where I am staying.

I am fortunate to have some creature comforts where I am staying that include TV and wireless interest... So, I am glad for these creature comforts.

My trip as originally planned had some holes in it. I discovered more activities as time went on, and may have more to do than time... But, it a good trip.

More than one person has mentioned to me that they enjoy the anonymity of travel: for various reasons. I had not thought of that before, but it is nice:  no expectations, no demands, no responsibilities except to participate appropriately in travel...

Labels: , ,