These are random musings of my life journey, the people, animals, places, and events which have woven, and continue to weave, a tapestry that is me. We all know there is no real destination, only the ongoing experiences which blend together, creating the trail. Each step gives a glimpse of what is to come, without allowing me to see the end result. It is exciting. I have a home base that is mine, that gives me a place to rest. This is it. This is where my heart is, no matter where I journey...................

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Back To Business As Usual

Is anything with me "usual"? Hmmm.

Well, here we go! Yes, I'm finally back. I think this is the longest I've gone without blogging. Ten days, excluding the little short one from last night, is a record for me.

It has been a good break for me. Being with family members who I haven't had time to visit "properly" for some time was a treat for me. It dawned on me that I hadn't been to my sister's house for about 35 years because they lived off the beaten path. We've seen each other at family reunions, but Odessa, Texas is not close to being on the path to anywhere!! Actually, I could have detoured there last year at this time when I was driving from Seattle to Florida, as I was on I-10. However, Sis and her hubby were at their daughter's home in East Texas for an early family Christmas celebration.

I enjoyed the time with them very much, in spite of the hard work we did. It was fun to have so many to work with, joking and laughing even as we labored. The work, for the most part, was not heavy, just a lot of "stuff" to be done, much of which Sis and BIL can't do now days. I have some pictures of people working; my favorite kind of work pictures are the ones that DON'T include me. For instance, here is my nephew (in-law, but he's been around too long, and he's too much part of the family to use the tag) putting up a new smoke detector.

BTW, I use the in-law tag with my sis' hubby only for distinction. He has been family since too many years ago to even count. He is the dearest person you'll ever meet.

And my nephew is hanging another cabinet for his mom's spoon collection. I didn't get pictures of everyone working, but trust me, it was a labor intensive time. My eldest nephew and his wife, my sis's daughter and I concentrated in general straightening, sorting, organizing and disposing of papers, knick-knacks, etc. Sis has been completely overwhelmed and the house and it's stuff began to rule her, so this was freeing (and at times concerning, also) for her to see her home become the home again.

While all of this was going on, Ali was terribly stressed being in an unfamiliar home with LOTS of people he didn't know. One warm afternoon, he sought out a pile of leaves in the back yard, curled up and took a nice long nap. He made friends with people, but avoided the hubbub as much as possible. I noticed that he followed my BIL to the bedroom and napped beside the bed while BIL did, too. Later it occurred to me that BIL moved around slowly, shuffling his feet much like my late husband did. We wondered if Ali was remembering Glenn. Probably so. He was my "baby" but he was Glenn's dog. He still misses Glenn, I think. I'm worrying more about it as time goes on, because it seems that Ali is not bouncing back from his many losses . . . Glenn, home, Mai Lin. I'm not sure China and I are enough for him.

Now, here is a picture of the whole wonderful family who welcomed me into their presence for the Thanksgiving celebration. I can't tell you how dear they are to me. BTW, I didn't know they were going to do their Christmas gift exchange, and I was unprepared and rather embarrassed when they had gifts for me. I'll pay them all back one days. Not sure how, but I'll thank them properly.

I was very tired by the time I left, but it was well worth it to see everyone together and to make the house more comfortable and less overwhelming for sis and her honey.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~

When I left for home, I decided to take a different route. Going down, I followed a path that took me over the path that I used to take to Odessa before I moved to the Midwest. Mostly smaller roads, through little towns that had some memories. One was Roswell, NM, where I lived briefly years ago. Yes, THAT Roswell, the one where the aliens descended. And to answer your question . . . yes, I was taken up in a space ship, and I have a spot on my neck that is probably an implanted tracking devise, but that's a story for another time!

On my return, I jumped onto I-20 to Pecos (Yes, there really is a place named Pecos in Texas!). I noticed that the terrain along the highway was very typically desert. I remembered that it was the impression of many of you that I was moving to a such, and I decided to pull off and take some pictures. Unfortunately, the exit I took (1) didn't lead me to a good place for pictures of desert, and (2) I couldn't get back on the Interstate for about 20 miles! However, these are some shots of the kind of terrain you find in West Texas quite a lot.

I photoed the highway purposely, so you could see the flatness.

This area, like Southern NM, had more than usual rainfall this year, and there is more grass than usual.

From there I turned North toward Carlsbad, NM, near where the Carlsbad Caverns are. As soon as I crossed the state line, I was startled by the change of terrain. It was suddenly no longer flat, but had arroyos, gullys, hills, etc., almost as if the state line divided these contrasting vistas. Farther up the road, I came to some flat ground again, and was in and out of both types for several miles.

BTW, I was thinking about the varied types of landscape I encountered as I drove across TX a year ago, and it occurred to me that a state as big as TX can hold a lot of such. You may not realize it, but Texas is so big that while winter is settling in on West Texas, it is spring time in East Texas. Honest!

As I neared home I watched the storm clouds ahead of me. I knew that there was a good probability of snow in the area, so I had tried to get out of Odessa in time to beat it. When I was at the Eastern limits of the village, I began to see a few tiny snow flakes. I was delighted as I was hoping for lots of snow here this year. By the time I crossed town, probably only about 3-4 miles or a matter of 7-8 minutes, I pulled into the driveway with a good smattering of snow coming down. I unloaded my car and by then the snow was beginning to stick. Within 30 minutes you could no longer see the village in the valley below. Here is a shot that is the same location I've taken many times before showing the town in the valley and the Capitan Mountain range across the valley. Notice that you can't see beyond the trees at the edge of the property! It was coming down in flurries that blocked anything past about 30 feet!

Later the wind was blowing ferociously! I took some pictures of the snow in the glow of the yard lights. In the two that follow, I adjusted the effects in order to be able to see the path of snow flakes. You'll need to click on them, making them large enough to see this. It's worth it!

Now think about it . . . I used just a normal, automatic setting for the shots, but the wind was blowing so hard that the flakes moved over those illuminated courses in the short opening & closing of the shutter!

Back inside the house, China Doll apparently thought she was my best Christmas present!

This morning I took a few more shots outside. I had to do this soon after I woke, because snow on the lower elevations (yes, this is "lower," even thought it is about 6500 feet!!) melts quickly when the sun comes out. And since the sun shines here almost 365 days a year . . .

I loved the pine branches with pine cones and snow, so I took several of same.

A picture across the front yard with the dogs out for their morning constitutional. They loved it, but, as they usually do on the first snow of the year, the romped too far, freezing their little feet, and I ended up carrying them back into the house!

Here is a shot this morning across the valley. Familiar view for you, but notice that the snow is already gone in the flat areas where there is no shade to protect from the sun's strong ability to melt snow in a heartbeat. Although I couldn't photo it last night, trust me, it was covered with 1-3 inches, even in the wake of those winds.

This is simply a view that I thought was very pretty this morning.

Those prairie grasses poking through the snow caught my eye, too.

To show the depth of the snow, I snapped my car.

OK, one more of the pine tree!

And finally, these bright red berries just jumped out at me as I strolled through the yard. What a nice photo for this time of year, with the festiveness that they bring to mind!

We're decorating the tree, so maybe more pics later today or tomorrow. Later, Y'all!


  1. What a blessed holiday: to be with family.

  2. ragged - Life can't get much better than that, can it?

  3. Looks like you had a wonderful (yet busy) time with the family. That is great that you live close enough now and have the time to go visit them.

    Love the pictures of the snow. Would you believe tonight we are suppose to get 8-15 inches of snow. We already have 4 inches on the ground. It's beautiful now that I am home.

  4. caroline - I did have a good time. I'm going back in a couple weeks to stay in touch and help them feel less isolated. Yay, SNOW!! But I have to say that it is somehow less oppressing here even though it has been VERY cold today. It is wonderful when we can stay in, isn't it?

  5. Good to have you back...but so glad you had a wonderful time away!

  6. Lyn,
    Sounds like you had a great trip. Welcome back, there's snow to greet you.

  7. jennifer - It is good to be back. It was a nice break, but I needed to be here again.

    ilias - It was a good trip, and I'm very glad I beat the snow. Being tucked in the house, the snow is great! Do you have much snow where you are?

  8. What a wonderful trip you had! As always your photos are breath-taking. Yes we here in Texas never really know what the weather will bring no matter the season. Here in Big D we actually got snow yesterday.

  9. Lyn, It was wonderful to see you again. We didn't tell you about the gift exchange on purpose. Your visit was gift enough. It was wonderful to see you again. I promise to make the next interval between visits shorter than a decade. By the way, you mix a mean margarita. I'm inviting you to my future parties.

  10. Wow, that was really long...and fun to read tour impressions of Odessa. Is there an uglier place on God's earth? Excluding Afghanistan of course. I can say these things because I was born in Lamesa, Texas and spent my youth in the desert of West Texas.

  11. old lady - I heard about the snow there. It is always a surprise when y'all see it, I know! I watch your weather some because my niece, the one in the family picture, lives in your neck of the woods. Thanks on the photos. I eager to understand each of the settings fully, but I guess this way, every photo is a new and fun experience! LOL

    s3 - Oh, sweet nephew! Do you guys, all of you, understand how dear you are to me? You know it won't be a decade . . . most of our roadblocks to that are out of the way. Only the mileage remains, and it is "do-able." Margaritas . . . LOL . . . I share the family secret with you one day, when you're old enough!! I'm glad you're back in the mode to party!!

    seven - Shhh. Don't tell my sis that Odessa is less than perfect! We can't drag her out of there! Lamesa?! Wow! I love the pronounciation that Texans give its name!! LamEEEsa. In MO, there is a town called NevAAAda, and across the state line in KS is a town called El DorAAAdo! BTW, don't forget that I can say these things, too, because I was born in the Panhandle. But growing up in NM, living here for 20 years before I was "tricked" into moving to MO, cemented my love for this beautiful place. Thanks for stopping by.

  12. Nothing like being around family and doing for the ones you love.

    I am so sorry for Ali, please give him a hug and a kiss from someone down South who is thinking about him.

  13. Thanks for the snow. It sure is beautiful.

  14. patti - Loved ones, yes, yes, yes! And Ali says thanks for the hug and kiss. He feels better already.

    Robert - You're welcome! Do you ever miss snow? Hard to imagine with the scenery you have there, but I truly think I would miss it. Goodlife to you, also.

  15. Oh Lynilu, those pics are BEAUTIFUL!!! So glad that you had such a great time with family...

    Will and I are actually headed to Taos on the 13th. My parents are flying into Albq. (where we'll pick them up) and we've rented a 2-bedroom/2-bath. We're so excited. We're thinking of relocating to Taos and neither one of us have been there for years. So, we're taking a vacation and going to see what we think...

    Those pics are so incredible though. Do you love it as much as I think that you might?

  16. kevin - Thanks!

    I have not been to Taos is many years either. Are you going skiing? Or keeping the lodge in business at the bar? Or being a tourist in the art shops? Or . . . hmmm . . . it almost sounds as if you might be considering relocating? Whatever, have fun, just leave some of it for the rest of us.

    Yes I am extremely happy to be here, home in NM. I didn't think I would settle where I have, but I absolutely love it. People are so wonderfully friendly here. Ruidoso is the largest of the towns near, and it has a growing art community. Some predictions are that it will be the "next" Taos. We'll see. I love things as they are with clean fresh air and skies that just don't stop. Hey, be sure to go out of the town one night and look at the stars. I promise you've forgotten that there are that many in the sky. Awesome!

    Thanks for stopping by! I love your blog!

  17. What a nice family you have. And I'm sure China and you are enough for Ali, but some extra cuddles may be in order:)

    That photo of the berries is absolutely beautiful.

  18. sandera - My family is dear, indeed. I hope you're right about Ali. I suppose that I'm particularly sensitive about him as we as still so close on the heels of losing Mai Lin. I cuddle him a lot, but when I'm busy I'm limited or when his weird, sad mood strikes in the evening, nothing seems to soothe him. I keep hoping that when we have our own home with our own furniture with familiar scents again, he will relax.

    I love the berries, too. Thanks.

  19. Thanks Lynilu, we'll do some sight-seeing, some gallery hopping, so bar-stopping, some of everything. :)

    With Taos being such an artist's community, (and Will being one) we thought that it might be a good place to check out.

    I'm originally from the midwest (Ohio) and then being out here in California so long, I wonder how I'll adjust to being far from any large bodies of water (if we move to Taos). I grew up near Lake Erie... But, I'm told that the Rio Grande is a force all on its own, so I imagine that will do me just fine... I don't know, we'll see.
    Knowing that you're from the midwest, makes me feel better in knowing how much you like it. You did say that somewhere, right? You're from the midwest?

    Anyway, thank you so much for the compliments on my blog. I truly appreciate it. :)

  20. kevin - Ahhh! So, yes, Taos and Santa Fe, too, are artists' communities. A friend of mine is in Santa Fe . . . Enid Tidwell, who does acrylic resin sculpture. So good place to consider. Look around a bit also; remember that I mentioned Ruidoso having a burgeoning art community.

    I originally from the Southwest. Born in Texas, lived in OK and CO briefly, then grew up in NM. In 1974 moved to KCMO. So I'm RETURNING HOME and so delighted to be here! So Yes and No on the"from the Midwest" question.

    I'm going to email you, Kevin, with more information.


If you have something to say about it, just stick out your thumb, and I'll slow down so you can hop aboard! But hang on, 'cause I'm movin' on down the road!!! No time to waste!!!