Monthly Archives: September 2011

Feeling Random

I spent most of Thursday resting because this cold has really done me in.  I’m feeling somewhat better today.   To give you a hint how bad I felt, I didn’t drink any coffee yesterday and haven’t had any today either.  Don’t worry, I’m not giving it up…just didn’t feel the need.

I thought I’d share a few photos I haven’t shared from the trip.  Kind of random shots, but I like them, so I’ll share!

The wind chime that Ralph bought me somewhere on the road and now hangs in our kitchen in Silver City.  It says “Wish.”  Yes, I do…

One last shot of the Kneeling Nun, the mountain we see from our living room window, featured in so many of my sunrise photos.

The church in Old Mesilla where we visited on Sunday.

And some of the crafts for sale in the plaza…

Lots of religious crafts in New Mexico.  Many of them are really beautiful.

The General Store at Stahmann’s Pecan Estate…the place where I ate the wonderful butter pecan ice cream.

A field of pecan trees on the estate.  As we drove, there were miles of these fields filled with pecan trees. Amazing!  Our friend Del, who we were visiting has pecan trees in her yard.  She sent me home with 2 huge bags of them.  Now I just have to figure out what to do with them!!

As we left the El Paso area, we took a route that Ralph and I had never traveled.  We drove through the Guadalupe mountain rage.  The sights were incredible.  Here are a few photos of Guadalupe Peak, the highest point in Texas.

It was a neat experience to drive through there.  Ralph and I always like to try new routes in order to see something new.  This was truly worth it.  The entire route was beautiful.

So it’s Friday now and I have to get myself moving even if I don’t feel like it.  There is still no food in the house.  We survived yesterday on egg salad that Ralph bought at the local deli and we put it on toast.  It was very good and neither of us was hungry for much more than that. 

I’m off to try to greet the day…Happy Friday!!

Settling Back In

Wednesday seemed like a daze and Thursday morning is not shaping up to be much clearer.  Ralph and I both picked up a cold on the long road trip back to New Jersey. Gee, guess we share everything!

Wednesday was spent unpacking the car and cleaning it out to take it back to Avis.  Then there was the unpacking the unpacking.  I got all of the general bags unpacked…the snack bags and things we try to keep close to us in the car when we’re traveling (tissues, paper towels because we’re messy!)

I got the water bottles out of the cooler and into the fridge.  My idea of freezing the water bottles to use in the cooler works really well.  I know, I hear that you’re not supposed to do that because of the cancer causing agents, but it works!  The bottles were still cold-ish and they went into the cooler Saturday morning.  Not bad!  Much better than using bagged ice which makes such a wet mess.

Still haven’t unpacked the suitcases, that will be today’s project.

After returning the rental car, we needed food.  There wasn’t really anything in the house and we thought a trip to the Gateway Diner would work for us.

I had my new favorite there, the veggie gyro…

It comes with a small Greek salad…

Weird perspective, objects in the photo are closer than they appear, especially the TOMATO!!  Good!

Let me start by saying I did NOT eat the fries!!  I forgot they came with it.  I brought them home for Ralph.  The gyro is so good-a combo of lettuce (?) mushrooms, tomato, green peppers, onions and cheese.  The pita is very soft and tasty.  It comes with tzaziki sauce and it’s very tasty.  It is messy though.  They wrap it in paper.  I think I’m going to ask next time to have it wrapped in foil.  Might work better.

This cold is making me feel very fuzzy.  I think I’m going back to bed.  I’ll leave you with the sunrise photo I took in Arkansas Tuesday morning.

Hope to feel better later in the day.  The unpacking can wait, but there’s no food in the house!! Yikes.  I will feel better, I will feel better.

Happy Thursday!

Road Warriors-WIAW Style

How lucky am I to be back in New Jersey, just in time to be part of What I Ate Wednesday presented by our buddy Jenn at Peas & Crayons!?!  So here goes…

Peas and Crayons

Our trip back was long and interesting and long and scenic and long.  I’ll talk more about the trip itself over the next few days, but for WIAW…it’s all about the food.  Let’s just say we left El Paso on Sunday at 4pm.  We arrived in New Jersey at 2:52am Wednesday morning.  I think that’s enough to say at the moment.   The fact that my eyes are open and my fingers  moving is fairly amazing, but here I am!

We left Silver City on Saturday to travel to Anthony, Tx. near El Paso to visit our friends.  We got a bit turned around regarding which exit, where the street was and we had forgotten to bring the address with us!!  Turns out, since everything is big in Texas, even small towns have 3 exits off the interstate.  We of course took the wrong one.

It was actually our good fortune.  We were hungry and decided to stop for lunch so that we could clear our heads, call our friends and get proper directions.  We stopped at The Great American Land & Cattle Company.  This has got to be the most vegetarian-friendly steakhouse I’ve ever visited. 

My choices…

I had the half Caesar salad with dressing on the side and

Tortilla soup-a tomato and green chile soup with cheese, tortilla strips and avocado on the side.  It was quite spicy, but really good!  Ralph got cole slaw and beans with his burger.  He made me taste the cole slaw which was sweet and tangy at the same time.  Turns out they put pineapple in it!  Also, our server told us that the beans had no meat in them.  Since they were too spicy for Ralph I ate most of them and they were delicious!  Also spicy.  Wish I had known there was no meat in the beans to start…I would have added them to my soup.  An overall good experience!

We got to our friend’s house and spent a pleasant evening.  Sunday morning we got up and headed to Old Mesilla, a wonderful town in New Mexico!  Gee, didn’t I just LEAVE New Mexico!  Anyway, it’s lovely and I’ll tell more about that visit later.  On the way back to Texas, we stopped at Stahmann’s Farms.  Apparently, Texas is big pecan country, I didn’t know that, did you??  Big business, not big pecans…they’re just regular size…

Well, at their country store, they have wonderful ice cream.  My choice of course was…butter pecan!

I started gobbling it before I thought to take the picture.  It was delicious!

We left Texas at 4pm and drove all night except for about a 1 hour nap at a gas and go place.  Actually that helped a lot.  We continued on until we got to Arkansas and found the town of Brinkley.  We were both so tired and hungry, all we could think of was something to eat and some place to sleep.  We found a Pizza Hut, somewhere I hadn’t been in a long time and we each had a personal pan pizza.

Mine had mushrooms, green peppers and black olives.  Pay no attention to the missing bites…I was really hungry and this was quite good.

We crashed at our motel, forget which it was…We headed out by 7am on Monday and didn’t stop till we passed downtown Memphis.  We wanted to avoid the rush hour traffic.

We stopped at a Bob Evans for breakfast.  I had one of the stuffed omelettes with spinach, tomatoes, green peppers, onions and cheese. 

Neither of our omelettes were really what you’d call hot which disappointed us.  They were ok, but we really only go for the biscuits anyway!! 😉

It was a LONG day and there may have been a few indiscretions including a Blizzard and a turnover but we won’t mention those just now.

There was also many beautiful sights!  We took a route we hadn’t taken before and it was quite interesting…but today is Wednesday and it’s all about the food.  Over the next few days, I’ll share some of scenery and adventures from the road.

Time to get back to reality…We have to unpack the car and return it to the rental company.  Do laundry, grocery shop and try to make myself not ashamed to show up at Weight Watchers on Saturday!!

Sorry there was a lapse on posting, but it just didn’t work out for this side of the road trip.  More road details to come.

Beautiful reflected sunset from Monday night.  I actually forget where we were!!  Probably Tennesee or Virginia.

Happy What I Ate Wednesday!  Time to get back on track!!

The Road Beckons

Friday has been a busy crazy day filled with goodbyes and packing up to leave on Saturday.  You’ll be reading this on Saturday after we’ve left.  Love that feature!

We had lunch with our friend Leslie from the bank  who gave us the loan for our first land here.  She holds a special place in our hearts.  We had lunch at Wrangler’s again and again I had the green chile and cheese quesadillas.

Very tasty, although I had to send the first one back due to the fact that they added meat to it!  It was corrected quickly, which I appreciated.

We made our last trip to Java The Hut to say goodbye to all our friends there.  Even on our last day, we met some new people and as seems typical in Silver City, you meet the people, you meet the critters too.

Meet Naomi…my new best friend!

It’s so hard to leave here.  We’ll be leaving early Saturday morning to head to visit our friends in Anthony, Texas near El Paso.  There may be an adventure involved, we’ll see.

This is Thursday night’s sunset.

I can’t say more than that.  See you all from the road.

I miss it here already.

Have a great Saturday!  Can’t bring myself to say Happy…

…And The Days Dwindle Down

Thursday, I was really feeling the pressure that we are leaving soon.  I have a hard time putting into words how I feel about leaving.  I miss everyone back home, my sister Ele, my friends Gail and Alice, all of my Weight Watchers friends and my meetings since I was unable to attend one here.  But this place…it just makes me feel like I belong here.

Ok, no more whining…well maybe just a little…;-)

We did a few things around the house in preparation for leaving: sorting laundry I need to do before we leave, deciding on what we plan to leave here and what we plan to take back to New Jersey, that sort of thing.

We decided on lunch in town and Ralph gave me the choice of where we wanted to go.  I had thought of one place but then I remembered Vicki’s Eatery.    I’ve heard about it for years and never had the opportunity to eat there.  Believe me, it won’t be my last!

Housed in a wonderful old brick building

Complete with gargoyles!!

They have a VERY veggie friendly menu. 

(There goes that weird big picture thing again, can’t seem to fix it!)

My vegetarian vegetable soup with bread.  Very tasty.  Ralph had the broccoli and cheese soup.  I snagged a taste and it was much better than you usually find in restaurants…nicely spiced and not “floury.”

I had the special which was a black bean and green chile burrito with guacamole and sour cream.  It also came with a side.  I picked the chips and hummus knowing I’d leave the chips for Ralph and I could eat the hummus with my burrito.  I didn’t know they would give me ALL the chips in the kitchen!!  I didn’t eat any,  but did enjoy the hummus.

Ralph had the stuffed tomato which was huge!  Only after ordering, did I think about the fact that I could have asked for it stuffed with hummus.  Next time…and there will be a next time!

Two happy Lunchers!!!

Ralph spent the afternoon with a trip out to our land outside of town.  He wanted to gather a few things he’d left out there. I spent the time trying to get my preliminary packing done and for the most part I’m packed.  That way I don’t have to spend all of my last day here packing!  Ralph on the other hand needs to get to it.  He has lots to get together.

We didn’t feel like going out for anything to eat when it came time for supper.  Ralph had brought his leftovers from lunch plus he had all of those chips to eat.  I didn’t know what I would have but I came up with a good idea, even though I didn’t think to take a photo.   😦

Our friends had given us some home-grown tomatoes and I had a few left from what we bought when we got here.  Combined with a red bell pepper, some black pepper and lite balsamic vinaigrette, it was simple and delicious and I almost couldn’t finish it.  I had some saltines with it and it was a great accompaniment to the season premier of The Big Bang Theory!!  Love those nerdy boys!

So it’s Friday…our last day here.  We are hoping to have lunch with our friend, Leslie from our bank out here.  She helped us buy our land and our house.   She’s a sweetheart and we like to get together with her when we’re here. 

Time to get the day going…lots to do and not much time to do it.  We’ll be spending part of the day saying goodbye to people,  which is never easy.  Off to start the day!

Happy (Sad) Friday!!

Sneaking Around Silver

Silver City is a town with a long history and you can see it everywhere you go in town.  We’re told that many of the locals just refer to it as Silver.  So, I guess it’s Silver to us now too!

Catching some sun on the deck before heading to town.

Why do carpets always try to compete with my sneakers?!  They can’t win!!

Riding into town…

Browsing for souvenirs at Wal-mart.  Who would think they’d have such a good selection.  Can’t tell you what though, it’s a secret!!

We made a stop at O’Keefe’s Book Shop on Broadway. It’s a great little shop with quite a good collection of books considering it’s size.  I picked up two books.

A birding book…Yes, Ele is finally getting me into birding…I think, and a book by a local author. 

Strolled around the Silver City Trading Company Antique Mall.

I believe that’s Billy The Kid!!

Some beautiful old buildings along Broadway.  The Palace Hotel and two others, one under renovation the other one used for shops and offices.

Stopped by the Silver Spirit Gallery for a few minutes.  We’ve met the owners and they may be interested in showing Ralph’s art work once we get out here.

Lunch from Diane’s Bakery and Deli again,

The Veggie is very tasty, this time with horseradish cheddar and dill Havarti…yummy…

Then relaxing with coffee at Java The Hut, Again!!

When we were leaving Java, a young man dropped off a copy of The Silver City Daily Press.  What was on the front page?!?

A photo that was taken Saturday at the writing workshop I attended with Mary Sojourner.  I was quite excited.  Marcia from Java The Hut gave us the copy, but of course Ralph ran right back to Wal-mart to pick up more copies.  He’s quite impressed.  I think it’s cool.  Can you see my sneakers in the photo??  Sadly, I wasn’t wearing them that day.

Later we stopped by to see our friends, whose granddaughter turned 2 on Wednesday.  We took her a baby doll which she loved.

Of course, Uncle Ralph had to decorate her birthday card…

She loved her dolly and everyone else loved the card.  It was a fun visit.

It was a long fun day.  We stopped at Taco Bell for a quick supper snack but no photos.  I’m so excited that Taco Bell is so close.  We should probably try some of the restaurants that have more authentic Mexican style food, but we haven’t gotten to them yet.  We will!

My sneakers and I were pretty tired by the end of the day…

I almost went to bed with them on!  Not really…just relaxing for a few minutes before it was pajama time.

Thursday is shaping up to be another busy day.  I don’t even want to think about how little time we have left here.  We just need to make the most of every minute.  We’ll see what the day holds.

Happy Thursday!! 🙂

Join Us At The Buckhorn-WIAW Style

As always, it’s fun to be a part of What I Ate Wednesday presented by the Lovely Jenn over at Peas & Crayons!  I’m always ready for a party!!

Peas and Crayons

I have to admit that I am feeling at the point where I may be drummed out of Weight Watchers when I get back to New Jersey, for various reasons, but I’m just going to go with this whole, I’m having a wonderful time in New Mexico thing and do my best along the way.  I’ve  never heard of anyone being thrown out of WW, I just have to hope I won’t be the first!

I have Not been the Queen of Breakfast since I’ve been here.  I brought oatmeal and chia seeds with me, bought yogurt and almond milk at the store but I’ve only made overnight oats once.  Most days, this has been my breakfast…

…with several cups of coffee.  In fact I feel the urge coming on as I sit here.  I love Nature Valley Granola Bars. They’re tasty and filling and I know how to count them.  They’re good for road trip food which is why I bought a huge box to bring along.  It doesn’t seem we’ve even put a dent in the box in spite of eating a lot of them.

Monday lunchtime found us downtown, strolling around seeing what we could see.  I’ve mentioned Diane’s Bakery and Deli before, with the incredible pies and strudel Bigger Than My Head.  Their deli is also pretty terrific.  Ralph loves it because they have deli meats like we find back in New Jersey, which is unusual out here.  They have wonderful sandwiches also.  This was our first time trying their sandwiches.

Mine was the Veggie…tomato, lettuce, banana peppers, red onion, mustard, mayo and my choice of 2 cheeses.  My choices were pepper jack and horseradish cheddar.  It was So Good.  It comes with a side of pickle and 2 cookies!  It was delicious.

Hoping to do lunch there again before we leave.

After we ran into our realtor, Dana last week in town…

We had made plans to meet her and some of her friends at the Buckhorn Saloon & Opera House  in a small town north of Silver City called Pinos Altos.  It opened in the 1860’s.  We’ve been there before and we thought it would be a fun idea.  The Buckhorn is such a great place, read up on the history…you’ll enjoy it!

The inside makes you feel you’re going back in time.

It turned out that we were actually meeting her sister and brother and their spouses.  They were a great group.  Here’s proof that Ralph and I were there…

We didn’t know that it would be open mike night and that there would be music!  We Really didn’t know that Dana and her friend Butch would be performing!

Really great music and they have it every Monday night…I think Ralph and I will be regulars once we move out here.

Oh, yes…there was Food!! 😉

I ordered from the appetizer menu, something called a Mediterranean Plate.

Hummus, cucumber, tomatoes, red onions and calamata olives with pita.  It was so good.  You can’t tell from the photo, but there was a lot of hummus.  Ralph had a Cobb Salad that had avocado on it.  He’s not a fan so I had quite a pile of that to go along with this.  It was so filling I almost couldn’t finish…but of course I did!!

Of course, even in a bar with music all around, Ralph was still drawing!!

It was a lot of fun at the Buckhorn, truly a piece of the Old West.

Tired of my sunrises yet??  You only have to put up with them for a few more days…

Sadly, I haven’t been able to capture any really good sunsets.  I think that’s the fault of the camera and the operator, not the fault of the sunsets.

So, here comes Wednesday!  I need to get going to make the most of our last few days here!

Happy WIAW!!

I’m Not Leaving

The other day we were getting in the car to go downtown and I said to Ralph, “I have some bad news for you, dear…I’m not going back to New Jersey.”  He chuckled but that’s really the way I feel right now.  I don’t want to go back and as each day moves me closer to having to pack up and leave, it gets harder.

There are so many fascinating things and such a rich history in Silver City.  There are 3 movie theatres in town left over from the 30’s.  They are actually all for sale.  So if you’re in the market…

This is one of them and unfortunately, I can’t remember what the name of the theatre used to be.  They were all owned by one man.  Last year we met Ward who told us it was his grandfather who had built and owned all three theatres.  I don’t have Ward’s photo, but yesterday Ralph and I got to meet Ward’s sister, Wendy who just moved back into town.

Wendy is an artist and of course, Ralph was showing her some of is techniques for drawing faces.  She was very interested.  It’s amazing how other artists are intrigued by what he does.  I’m very proud of him.  It’s fascinating to meet people who grew up here as well as the people who migrated here.

All of the theatres are still in use as shops of various types.  Ward told us that he tried to get a group together that could finance purchasing and renovating one of the theatres to get it back to its original use.  He wanted it to show movies and be equipped to do live theatre as well.  I think he’s still trying but it takes a lot of money and effort.  The money seems to be the hard thing to come by.  One thing you see a lot of here is people pulling together to get something done.  He would have that help, but there’s not enough money to be found to do it.  So sad.  Maybe that could be a project for me when I get here!

All over town you see art work.

This is a mural in The Hub Plaza.  So colorful and lively.  It’s nice to see things like this just walking down the street.

Last but not least is one of my favorite mural, painted on the side of a building as you enter the historic downtown area.

It’s just there as you walk down the street, and it even has a dragonfly, just for me.  Incredible!  This is a wonderful town, filled with historic significance …supposedly Billy The Kid spent some time here.  There are still plenty of characters around, all you have to do is take a walk!

Tuesday already; we’re leaving Saturday morning.  We have so many things we have to fit in before that.  Maybe that’s why I find myself waking up at 5am!!

Happy Tuesday!!


Sunday Sun and Fun

Sunday was kind of a slow and easy day for us.  We had nothing in particular planned.  We got up, had coffee at home and then headed out.

 Our one mission for the day was to pick up two pies for our friends Fred and Delfina and their daughter Amy and family. We went back to the scene of my cherry strudel indiscretion on Saturday, Diane’s Bakery at the Hub.  We got an apple pie and a blueberry crumble pie.  They were still hot when we picked them up.  We’ve had their pies before and know that they’re delicious.

We brought the pies back to the house to cool, then went back down into town.  Everything is so close here, it’s no big deal to have to make two trips like that.  We decided on lunch at Wrangler’s a restaurant we’ve tried it before and always liked it.  We were rather early and the sign on the door said they opened at noon on Sunday.  Lucky for us, this was the first Sunday they were opening at 11am. 

This is the kind of place with peanuts on the table which can be a problem for me, but I think I kept myself under control.  My choice was actually from the appetizer menu, green chile and cheese quesadilla.

Served with sour cream, salsa and very tasty guacamole.  It was huge for an appetizer and I had a hard time finishing it.  Very good.

We came back to the house with relaxing on our minds. We called Fred and Delfina to leave a message that we’d like to stop over and we then spent most of the afternoon, walking around the property and resting in the shade of the garage.  We’ve found some interesting rocks on the property, many yuccas, some cactus and several agave plants.  We often talk about the fact that when we get out here we’ll never have to cut grass again, we’ll only need a weed wacker!  I’m looking forward to that plus a million other things. 

It was a glorious day out and from  the first light of day.  There wasn’t a cloud in the sky and as we sat there we marveled at the beauty of this spot.  As always wondering whether we’ll ever take it for granted.

We heard from Fred and Delphina in late afternoon.  We packed up the pies and headed to their house which is just a little over a mile from our house.  Delphina is a fabulous cook and makes all of her New Mexican specialties from scratch.  As we sat and talked, she tore tortillas and made her own chips.

I realized during the trip that as of September 9, it had been 6 months since I’ve had chips.  I’ve been able to keep to that throughout the trip.  I didn’t take a photo, but I justified eating a few of them because they were tortillas first, before they hit the oil.  I couldn’t say no to her, she was making them for us.  They were delicious and the really delicious thing was the homemade salsa she made.  She’s promised to teach me her recipes when I move out permanently and I’ve promised to teach her to make scones.

Burritos were on the menu.  Amy cooked up the veggies and chicken and brought it over from her house.  Delfina had made Spanish rice.  I had a burrito with sautéed onions, green and red peppers, fresh tomatoes and cheese with some rice on the side.

So good!! Everything homemade.  I WILL learn to do this all when I move out here!

Another busy day ahead of us, even though I don’t know what we’re doing!  I’ll leave you with another beautiful sunrise…

Another beautiful start to a beautiful day in New Mexico.  Boring, I know.  I’m ready to be here, all the time.

Happy Monday!!

Under The Ancient Cottonwood

Saturday morning was a unique and somewhat inexplicable experience for me.  As part of the Gila River Festival here in Silver City,  I attended a writing workshop called Writing From Place.  It was conducted by Mary Sojourner, author and NPR commentator.

The workshop was held in San Vincente Creek Park, under a beautiful, ancient cottonwood tree so big that it’s branches spread out to cover the space occupied by my house back in New Jersey.  We hiked into the spot, carrying our chairs and writing materials with us.  Because of that I have no photos of the park or the spot where our circle existed. 

Ralph and I hope to hike in there later in the week and I’ll get some photos then.  I have no photos of the circle because I felt it was a private thing and I didn’t want anyone to feel uncomfortable. I’m not even sure at this point exactly what to say about it.  I need it all to settle in, first and then I’ll be able to write more clearly about it.  We were a group of 12 teenagers and adults and I know we all left feeling a special bond with each other and with the beautiful spot where we gathered.

I also feel a particular bond with Mary. She asked me to keep in touch, she wants to see more that I write.  That is a wonderful gift and I am so grateful for that.

I called Ralph as I was hiking back to the parking area so that he would be able to pick me up at the Visitor’s Center.  He was there when we got back and was talking to one of the park rangers.  The ranger told him that where we had been in the park is actually part of the park that we can see from our house.  If I had kept hiking that trail, I would have been home.  Hopefully, I’ll get to do that some day.

Our friends Ed and Del from Anthony, Texas had driven up to visit us for the day and they were waiting at home when we got back.  We were all hungry so we went to The Drifter again, because that’s one of Ed’s favorite places.  I really need to get myself under control.  This was my breakfast…

Huevos rancheros with green chile sauce, hash browns, refried beans and a tortilla on the side.  I ate all of the eggs and some of the beans.  I am happy to report that I did not eat all of it.  Actually, that was my only meal for the day, so maybe I’m doing better than I thought.

Oh, yeah…I ate this too..

A cherry struedel that I’m sure qualifies for Bigger Than My Head!  Ralph made me eat it…His Fault!

It was such a long, emotional day that we ended up going to bed early.  I wanted to leave you with one last photo.  This is Midget, Ed and Del’s little furry friend…

She’s so cute, she doesn’t actually look real!  So glad they got to come for a visit.  We’ve been wanting them to see our house.  We’ll be stopping to see them as we head home next week.

Not sure what the day holds for us…it’s always an Adventure here.

Happy Sunday!!