Saturday, June 30, 2007

Peace and Quiet

There hasn't been much to blog about lately, which can be a good thing. With all the madness going on in England and Scotland, I'm grateful to live here in Taos. It's nice and quiet and definitely not a target for terrorism.

The picture of the cactus is one I took a couple of weeks ago. We have literally hundreds of cactus plants in our yard. We only have an acre, but one day we started to count the cactus plants in our yard and by the time we got to 200 we'd only covered three quarters of the yard and were starting to lose count, so we stopped. Most of them are prickly pear cactus; there are a few barrel cactus and a few small pincushion cactus. Not all of them bloom, of course, and some years are better than others for flowers. We had a very wet spring, so we had a lot of blooms this year. Most are yellow, like this one, but some are magenta. Unfortunately, I didn't catch those in time; they faded away before I could get pictures.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Fire Update

On the news last night, they said the fire was now 400 acres and 30 percent contained. I hope they didn't have the 25 mile an hour winds near the fire like we had here last night. There was no storm, just tremendous winds for two or three hours. It's unusual to have strong winds like that at night.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The First Fire

The first local fire of the season started yesterday. I didn't get a picture of it, but there's a good one on a great local blog I just discovered, Farr Feed. I had been inside all afternoon (escaping the heat) and didn't know anything about it until about 5:30 when Ron got home. He called on his cell phone from the driveway asking about the fire. I ran outside to look and was shocked by the huge cloud of smoke to the northwest of us.

It looked like it was near Tres Piedras, which worried us a little, since we own 40 acres south of TP. We hopped in the car and drove up Blueberry Hill to get a better look. We drove partway up and saw that the fire wasn't quite to TP and wasn't endangering our property, so we turned around and drove home to watch the news and see if they would mention the fire.

It wasn't the top story, of course, but the did mention it. At 6:00, it was only 40 acres, but it continued to grow. They're calling it the Double D Fire, since it's near the Double D Ranch, which is east of Tres Piedras. They expect to have the fire fully contained later today.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Let There Be Light

We finally jumped on the compact fluorescent light bulb bandwagon.

There are 14 shrouded lights on the outside of our house. A couple of them are always on, a couple of them are rarely on, and most of them are on timers and are only on at night. The bulbs are only 25 watts, but with 14 of them, that still adds up. So we decided to try the compact fluorescent bulbs that we keep hearing are more energy efficient.

The only trouble was, the bulbs we'd been using weren't the regular clear kind, they were amber colored. Clear ones would be too harsh. And the compact fluorescent bulbs only come in clear. Ron had the idea of spray painting the bulbs orange. I was skeptical, but it worked! We started with one and after letting the paint dry overnight, plugged in the bulb. It put out a very pretty pinkish orange color. This was one of the bulbs on a timer and we waited a week to see if the paint would melt or flake off, but it remained intact, and we decided we liked the color even better than the amber bulbs.

So this past Saturday we painted all the bulbs we would need plus a few extras. Sunday we installed them all and we're very pleased with the results.

The compact fluorescent bulbs use only 10 watts each instead of the 25 watts we'd been using. They put out the equivalent of 40 watts of light, but the paint probably diminishes that a little. They're supposed to last 8 years if they're turned on an average of 4 hours per day, so if they last 5 years, we'll be happy. That's better than a month or two, which is how long the old ones lasted. Plus our electricity bill will go down; the bulbs will pay for themselves almost immediately.

Friday, June 22, 2007


I live west of Taos, New Mexico in a house I share with four dogs, two cats, and one husband. This blog will include various adventures involving the animals (and occasionally the husband).

I'm a freelance editor and a writer. I'm trying to improve my writing career and increase the number of my submissions, and those adventures will show up here, too.

I'll also write about events in the news -- world, national, state, and local -- and my take on them.

Enjoy the ride!