Sunday, August 31, 2008

Summer into Fall

It has been a month today since Murphy left us, but seems like just yesterday he was the trouble making pup that he is in this picture. Time passed too quickly. It is good that we have the other guys to keep us busy. This must be the time of year for them to blow their old coats and ready themselves for the coming winter. I have black fur balls the size of tumbleweed blowing through the house. With what they have lost and all I have brushed out I would think they should be bald by now !!

Our foster guy, Lakota, is fitting in well and is extremely smart. He has learned to sit for treats, food and occasionally just when you ask him to. There was never a problem with house training as he already knew to use the doggie door. However, he is a master of escape so the doggie door is locked down for the time being until he feels fully secure with us and does not have the need to try and escape. We have also reinforced the fencing in the yard. I don't know who he belonged to originally or where he escaped from, but someone has lost a really good dog. I cringe at the thought that someone just dropped him off and let him fend for himself although I am well aware that happens all too often. He was in serious need of grooming and had not been neutered when Bob picked him up from the shelter lady. Both needs have been taken care of. He goes this Tuesday for his heart worm test and I have my fingers crossed that he is negative.
For any of you that read this that have older dogs with the onset of cataracts or nuclear sclerosis, I have just ordered some eye drops from Revival that are supposed to help alleviate both of these problems. They say you can see results in as little as 35 days. I am sceptical but willing to try anything that might help Phantom see just a little. I will keep you all updated.
Cool weather and rain are upon us. I think winter is just around the corner and I am not looking forward to it..............

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

3 Day Vacation.....and newest house disaster !!

We started our jaunt in Aztec NM where we walked the ruins of an Aztec village. There are still parts of several buildings standing. The kiva or meeting house has been rebuilt and is used today. Our next stop was in Shiprock NM and wasn't actually a stop. More like a drive through and quick look. I think the drawing factor here is the large rock formation which is off limits to everyone. We stayed in Farmington NM on Friday evening and had dinner at a very quaint restaurant/bookshop that has live music on Friday night. If you are ever in Farmington make sure you make a stop at Andrea Kristinas. It is well worth the visit. There was a four piece guitar group playing the evening that we were there and the lead singer sounded very much like Eric Clapton. Combine that with a good sandwich and soup and you will have a very enjoyable 2 hour visit.
Saturday morning we did a little shopping in an antique store in Farmington and then moved on to Gallup for the 87th Intertribal Ceremonial. We grabbed a bite to eat when we arrived in Gallup at a great Hispanic restaurant called Virgie's. We had eaten there two years ago and it is just as good now. I did not take any pictures at the Ceremonial as they don't turn out well from the distance at which we were sitting. The dancing lasted for almost 4 hours with tribes from Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Mexico. The Buffalo Dancers from Ohkay Owingeh (San Juan Pueblo) are one of my favorites and they are just down the road from our pueblo. I had seen them on two previous occasions but had made no association as we were still living in Tularosa and did not know the pueblos in this area.

Sunday morning we slept in a bit as we were out late Saturday. We had breakfast in Gallup in a restaurant called Earls, which is also a must for anyone going to Gallup. The Native Americans come around to your table while you are eating to show you their handicrafts in the hope that you will have money left from the ceremonial and be able to buy something. Their work is lovely and it is hard to resist buying something from each one of them. We left Gallup after breakfast and headed out on the scenic back roads to the Bandera Volcano and Ice Cave. I find it hard to believe that northern New Mexico has 29 inactive volcanos. You can see 15 of them from the top of Bandera. The photo below is one of the areas where the lava flow was 10,000 years ago. Also below is a picture of the ice lake that has formed inside of one of one of the caves formed by the molten lava. The temperature is a constant 31 degrees inside the cave area and the water is frozen to a depth of 20 feet. The really odd part is that you aren't down below ground level very far even though you are on the side of a mountain. The temperature drops rather suddenly on the way down the steps to the cave. It is really something to see. I went to Mammouth Cave in Kentucky when I was in my 20's and don't remember seeing anything like this. No one had to rock either of us to sleep that night. The next day we took Lea to the airport for the flight back to Florida and then went to a feast with dancing in the Santa Clara Pueblo.

Later that same evening while we were at home eating dinner we experienced yet another "pleasure" of living in a 100+ year old adobe. We lost part of the electric in the house. Not all lights on one circuit, but just those that drew a lot of power. Lasted about 30 minutes and then everything went back to normal (if there is such a thing). Around 11:30 the electricity went off again and this time stayed off. Our landlord and the electric company showed up this morning and found that one of the 110 leads going into the house had burned out. So wiring had to be replaced and finally at 2:30 this afternoon we had power again. This may be the last straw. I don't even want to think about what will go wrong this winter. Oh - I almost forgot - when I was working at the kitchen sink yesterday afternoon a centipede fell out of the vigas ceiling on to my kitchen counter and ran behind the microwave. My husband the bug killer dispatched it to a higher plain............What's next ??

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

I have greatly broadened my knowledge of the Southwest and of the Native American people since our move to Santa Fe. My perception of Native Americans - which is probably the same as a lot of other Easterners - is that they sit around all day in front of their houses, don't work and drink all day. This is quite possibly the case with some of the truly poor reservations like those in the Dakotas and I believe Oklahoma but that does not appear to be the case with the pueblos in our area of New Mexico. My husband and I had the opportunity to go to a "feast" at the Cochiti Pueblo a few weeks ago. We witnessed the residents of the pueblo doing the Corn Dance, which lasts throughout the day. There were vendors selling handmade pottery and jewelry and others selling food. We were invited by one of the BIA (Bureau of Indian Affairs) officers that I dispatch to the home of his girlfriend to take part in the feast. It is a great honor to be invited into the home and one not to be turned down. When you have had your fill of the food provided, you thank the host and leave the residence.
Besides going to the Cochiti Pueblo, we have also visited the Taos Pueblo, which is pictured above and below. This pueblo is 5 stories high and still has some families living in it. It has no electricity running to it and the families that live there use propane and wood for heating and cooking. Several of the rooms on the bottom level have shops in them displaying the beautiful Taos pottery and the jewelry. The pueblo is divided in half by a stream running through it. This is a really beautiful setting. A large part of the drive from Santa Fe to Taos follows the Rio Grande River which offers white water rafting.

The feasts for the Nambe Pueblo (we live on the Nambe reservation) and for the Pojoaque Pueblo (which is where I work) will be held later this year. There can be more that one feast for each pueblo and these two are heading towards the holidays.
My veterinarian (and seriously good friend) is due in here tomorrow from Florida. We will be heading out to the Shiprock New Mexico area on Friday for some sightseeing before going to Gallup on Saturday for the 87th Intertribal Ceremonial. Lea and I have been twice before and enjoyed it very much. As this will probably be my last year living out here, I really wanted to go
this time. Bob and I are doing as many day trips as we can also so that we don't leave here wishing that we had gone to see more places. Made that mistake when we lived in Florida the first time. We will try to correct that mistake when we get back there...............

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Loss of a friend.....

It is very difficult to do this posting as it concerns the loss of my friend for the past 16 years. We had taken Murphy to the doctor for one last attempt to pull him up and give him a little longer, but that was not to be. His immune system was shutting down and he was becoming unaware of his surroundings. He had comforted me in bad times and accepted me no matter what my mood. In good conscience I could not let him suffer even slightly. He already had an IV going so his transition to the Bridge was an easy one. He will long be remembered by our family for truly living up to the name Murphy. I have wooden knitting needles still bearing his teeth marks and jeans that have had buttons resewn. He traveled with us several times to Michigan and made the long trip from Florida to New Mexico. Fate determined that only his memory, spirit and ashes would make the final trip back to Florida with us. Be at peace my friend........

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Catching Up......

Haven't posted anything for a long time. Hope I remember how. I am coming up on the 3 month mark at my latest job since our move to Santa Fe. Seems like this one is going well. I wasn't sure if I would be accepted by the people I work with as most are Hispanic or Native American. I have been adopted by one of the sergeants and he refers to me as his Hispanic sister. It is sort of like a large extended family with lots of joking and clowning around. The actual dispatching is much the same as when I worked in Ruidoso Downs with the exception of the tribal laws. I am working 11 am to 9 pm which are good hours for me since I can't go to sleep early and hate getting up in the morning.

My oldest schipperke turned 16 last month and is not doing well. He has Cognitive Disorder which is the animal version of Alzheimers and is not eating much these days. He is sleeping a lot more than before and doesn't want any attention as he used to. He doesn't appear to be in any pain, but I watch him closely. I hate the thought of losing him, but I know it is inevitable. I hope he will pass quietly in his sleep which would be so much easier for all of us.

We have done just about all that we are going to do on the inside of the house. The landlord had not finished off a lot of his projects, so Bob has been finishing up for him and we just deduct it from the rent. We have ceiling fans in all the rooms now, with the exception of the kitchen, and that is next. I have painted both of the bathrooms and of course, have put up mini blinds and valances in the bedrooms and bathrooms. I have some touch-up painting to do on the walls and especially the two kivas to cover the smoke marks from the fires. I don't think we will use the kivas much this coming winter as we now have gas heat and the fireplaces are really dirty. I am sure it is not good for Bob to be inhaling the smoke from the fireplaces either. I will try and take a few new pictures and add them to my next posting.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

And So It Goes..........

Here it is, 4:00am and sleep is eluding me once again. That must mean it is time for me to post to my blog which has been neglected for sometime. We finally got gas heat the end of the first week in April. The electric bills were sky high because, as we all know, the small ceramic electric heaters make the meter spin and two kivas do not keep the house warm enough. About a week after the heat finally started working, the kitchen sink backed up and since the landlord was on his way to Colorado on business, I had a bucket under the sink for the week he was gone. Seems a tree root had grown through the 40+ year old pipes. The kitchen is part of the original 100 year old house. So along with having the backyard torn up to replace the gas line, the side yard was also backhoed to dig to the kitchen drainage pipes. I have my fingers crossed that nothing else will happen for awhile.

At least the house is starting to look like someone actually lives in it. We purchased ceiling fans for the livingroom and one of the back bedrooms as the ceilings had not been finished as far as putting in light fixtures. And after losing about half of my plants, my hibiscus has come back and has it's first bloom in the new house.
On the job front, things have been bleak. I left the security position after 3 weeks. Being a reformed smoker - but not one that lectures - I found that I couldn't handle the smoke in the casino. Apparently the building had been a school and was converted to a casino without making any improvements to the ventilation system. I never thought that I would be bothered but I guess when you aren't smoking it is a different story. I took a position with an E911 dispatch center in an adjoining county only to find that after being the lone operator at smaller police agencies for the past 12 years I am not fast enough for 911. The center is severely short staffed and instead of having 3 or 4 on a shift, there are only 2 dispatchers working. I could not concentrate on the 3 police agencies, 15 fire depts. and the various EMS units that were dispatched and take calls and type the information into the CAD all at the same time. I hope this doesn't sound like sour grapes, because it is not meant that way. I don't know that I could have handled this position 20 years ago, especially as short handed as they are.
So for the past 2.5 weeks I have been playing domestic goddess, working around the house. I finally got the small bathroom painted and replaced a few tiles that were missing around the bath tub. My next challenge will be to paint the master bathroom which has 12 foot ceilings. The ceilings are the wooden beams (vigas) and don't get painted, but there will be a lot of stretching to do those walls. I don't think there is any other major project for me to do, just the normal cleaning. Spring winds here are really something and blowing dirt is everywhere. Not to mention the amount of dirt that 4 little "pot bellied" pigs (aka schipperkes) bring into the house!!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The Casino

Another week has passed and still no gas hooked up. The plumber was a no-show at the landlords to pick up half of his money and at our house to hook up the new gas line. Something about this scenario reminds me a lot of trying to get things done in Florida !!
I have finished my first week in security at the casino and am enjoying my two days off. It was quite interesting. I am not a gambler and the closest I have ever been to gambling was on the boats that went out of John's Pass near St. Petersburg. I went out on them a couple of times when my son was home on leave from the Navy, but I always took my knitting and sat on the top deck and enjoyed the boat ride and the view. Needless to say, I am getting quite the education. I still have no desire to gamble - lucky as I am I might just as well throw my money down the toilet. The pay is decent and the benefits are good and kick in after 90 days. My son starts sometime this week. He should pick up his Gaming Commission badge and uniforms tomorrow. Hope he enjoys the job as much as I do.....
Here's hoping we get gas hook-up before summer !!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Everchanging World of - Oh !! Us....

Last Thursday morning, March 6, this is what we woke to. This was supposed to be a dusting. Now I didn't want to go to work to begin with and this didn't improve my mood I stayed home. Later that day I called and told my supervisor that I decided I didn't want to be a dispatcher for Santa Fe County Communications. I have always dispatched for small agencies where you know everyone by their first name - even when you don't want to. Although we did have a mayor at my last employment in Florida who always thought my name was Phyllis. After awhile you even begin to recognize the voices of the "frequent flyers" who love the police department. Santa Fe Co. Comm. or RECC as it is called, is very large with very unfriendly women working there. I would sit and listen to them talk to the people they were training and think to myself, NO WAY. Speak to me like that once and it will be the last time. So before that had a chance to happen, I left gracefully.

I did have a job waiting in the wings (thankfully, as the checking account is getting thin). My son and I have both been hired by the Pueblo of Pojoaque as security for the Cities of Gold Casino and surrounding stores owned by the Pueblo. The new resort being built is called Buffalo Thunder Resort and will employ 600+ people. I start tomorrow on the 3-11 shift, which has always been my favorite. I am really looking forward to this. Something different from sitting on my butt in front of a radio for 8 to 12 hours.

We still do not have the gas heat working in the house. The ground finally thawed enough for the landlord to dig the trench for the new gas line. The plumber showed up today and is going to do the outside work over the weekend. The interior work will be done on Monday. Hopefully by the end of next week we will have gas heat. As you can see, the kiva has been put to good use keeping the house warm, along with some small electric heaters. I also have a smaller kiva in my room.

So, life marches on. When we have the final closing on the house in Tularosa, I hope to be able to take a few days off after I have been with the Pueblo for 6 months and visit Florida. We will wait and see what happens.......

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Home at Last ????

Well, today is supposed to be the last day in the motel. The landlord put an electric water heater in yesterday so that we will have hot water, if not gas heat. The ground is still frozen solidly enough so that his trencher can't get through to the old gas line. I am sure if the gas line were at the front of the house it would be easier, but sun doesn't hit the back until late afternoon. He says hopefully it will be thawed enough by the end of the month. So, we won't have a gas bill, but the electric will be high from the ceramic heaters. We also have the vigas that will be burning brightly tonight. We bought a cord of wood last week. Nice wood - pinon. Burns well and smells great.
Bob is leaving Tularosa sometime tomorrow afternoon with the last load of "treasures". There are a few boxes from the house, mostly kitchen things. Most of the load is from the garage. He has some last minute errands to run in Alamogordo before leaving so he probably won't be here until late afternoon or early evening. I actually start work tomorrow at the communications center. I'm not too thrilled about dispatching again, but at this point I need to generate some income. I will keep my eyes and ears open for other opportunities. Tuff - watch the mail for those reference letters and keep those lies flowing..........

Monday, February 4, 2008


Tell me again why at a nicely aged 62 - I am moving yet again !! The spirit may be willing, but my body has given up the ghost. The new rental in Santa Fe appears great - except - there is a gas leak between the meter and the house and the temps up there are the coldest in the past 10 years. We are leaving tomorrow morning and will be staying in a motel for at least a week, just unpacking at the house during the day. The 2 kiva fireplaces should keep the cold down to a minimum. Or I can look at the picture of the pellet stove in our house here in Tulie and remember. The landlord has hopes that it won't take longer than a week to fix.

And for those of you who don't have gypsy blood (something MY parents obviously neglected to tell me) I am sure you remember the joys of moving and sleeping on a mattress on the floor. Thank goodness there was Palmetto Canvas that made such a nice foam mattress when we lived on the houseboat. It has come in handy several times. Our little caravan is taking off tomorrow morning and hopefully all will go well. I still have to pack up the kitchen and shampoo the livingroom carpet. Oh - and the stove and oven. Joy !! The dogs will all be riding with me along with as many of the larger house plants that can fit into the Jeep Liberty. Keep your fingers crossed for us and speak with the Gods........................

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Once upon a time, A long time ago, In a Faraway Place...............

It's amazing what one finds when packing.......I found a floppy disc holder with about 25 discs in it. We have 4 computers at our house and none of them accept floppies. I have spent the entire day (between dispatch calls) transferring pictures, etc. from the discs to my jump drive. At some point they will be loaded into my lap top and downloaded to a CD. I found pictures I didn't know I had taken and ones that I had completely forgotten about. Old times are the best with friends that we won't soon forget. Tuff - it's time for a visit. You will love Santa Fe and you can park the camper in the yard at the house.......Next excuse !!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Home in Santa Fe

It appears that we may have found the home we were hoping for when we first moved to New Mexico. This one isn't for sale, but it is a great rental.

It is located about 20 miles north of Santa Fe in a small gated area. I have not seen the house yet, but my husband says it is great and the pictures that he took bear this out. He says the interior is immense and that we don't have enough
furniture to fill the house.

This is the livingroom - hardwood floors - I can picture small black dogs sliding on their butts. The dog in the picture is the landlords poodle. The kitchen and the bathrooms have Saltillo tile on the floors. I love that tile. We had put some of it down in our house in Florida shortly before we moved. The kiva fireplace in the corner of the livingroom is great. There is also one in a bedroom. I have 6 more days of work and then I will be Santa Fe bound. Today is my sons last day at the Wal-Mart here. He will start in Santa Fe on February 4. He and my husband are taking a trailer load of household goods to Santa Fe on Monday. Utilities get switched on Tuesday. When they get back we will finish loading the big truck and hopefully be on our way. My husband will be staying in Tularosa until we close on the house. I just don't have enough hours in the day to finish all that needs to be done...................

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Homeless in New Mexico
Once again we are faced with a challenge. Our house in Tularosa has sold and we will be closing on Feb. 15. Happily, the couple that wanted it so badly have found financing and will be able to purchase it. However, we are not finding a house in Santa Fe to move into. I am hoping something will appear magically as I do not want to have to rent for 6 months and move furniture again. We found one townhouse that would have been super - on the Cochiti reservation - but unfortunately it is leased property for 99 years and banks do not look kindly on leased land. So we are back to square one.........On an extremely pleasant note - Those of you that know me personally are aware that I have two sons twenty one months apart in age. The eldest, retired from the Navy, came out west with us. The younger was living in Florida and has now moved back to upstate New York near his father. We have been estranged for the past 4 years and have reacquainted ourselves in the past two weeks. Makes me feel much better and I am relatively sure he feels the same way.It isn't good when family members are not close.It looks as though I will be spending my next two days off packing. I will have to keep boxes separated until we know for sure whether they will be going into a house/apartment or into storage. I will try and keep up with my blog so everyone knows what is happening.............
Posted by Schiplady at 6:57 AM

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

I started this post in the middle of the night, once again unable to sleep and once again having to get up at 0-dark-thirty. I have a lot of things running through my head and they all seem to ram around when I am trying to go to sleep. We still have no offers (or even lookers for that matter) on our house. We have considered the possibility of a house swap for one on the mountain, but I am very fond of this house and I don't get a warm fuzzy feeling about the one up there. We have also looked at an A-frame that is for rent - with the possibility of renting out our house instead of selling. But there again - no renter on the horizon - and what if the renters destroy our home. If we rent it out, it would be with the intent of coming back to it when I no longer work. I am really beginning to think that my son and I should just bite the bullet and drive back and forth and pray to the snow gods to be gentle with us this winter.On a brighter note - one of the firemen that I work with designed some business cards for me and managed to combine both my knitting business and the schipperke rescue. I think that the cards are rather clever and definitely - the name fits! Just ask anyone that has worked with me or that has known me for any length of time.The sweater jacket was knitted for friend that I worked with for a short time at the police department. I did a similar one and donated it to my veterinarian buddy for a silent auction being held to help raise funds for holistic students. Most of the ones I knit are not quite so radical in color. After 35+ years of knitting, I am working on my first pair of socks. First one turned out well and even fits! Lets hope that the second one slightly resembles the first. I did read somewhere that with hand knit socks - no two are exactly the same. Something to fall back on anyway. The afghan is crocheted, as any of you that do needle work can tell, and was done for one of my officers. He has been after me to do another one with camouflage yarn. All projects come with complimentary schipperke fur on them. Most have been tested for sleeping comfort. And all seem to have passed the test..........
Posted by Schiplady at 11:13 PM
Sunday, September 2, 2007

Foolishness of my ways
So here I sit at 3:15 AM having just come off a 3-11 shift and having to work a 7-3 shift which requires me to get up in another two hours................Wondering to myself about the error of my ways in my youth. Possibly I should have been a little more frugal with my money, not run those charge cards sky high, not purchased a different vehicle every year and definitely not spent all of my retirement money from the PD in Florida on the move to New Mexico........I could be drawing my social security now and working part time for a little additional income and to cover the cost of private insurance for a couple of years until I qualify for Medicare.......But instead I am working a turn around shift at the end of a six day run and listening to all the BS that gets dished out in a small department. I have a supervisor who is really a nice person, but having been with the department for 25 years, is set in her ways and refuses to work any weekends. She also doesn't cover when someone is out sick or on vacation. This necessitates the changing of our work schedule practically on a weekly basis. I worked the same shift with the same days off for 8 years before moving and could plan appointments weeks in advance. And, no, this isn't sour grapes....just my middle of the night shoulda/coulda/woulda ! I am sure when today is over and I have my two days off things will look brighter........One of my best friends (who also happens to be my holistic veterinarian from Florida) is coming to visit this month. I am really looking forward to this. She is looking for property out here and is checking out the Santa Fe/Taos area on this trip. We are meeting her in Santa Fe and bringing her back to our area for a six day visit. We haven't really planned any side trips for this visit so it should be interesting. She is in Lexington KY over the Labor Day weekend for a dog show that she attends each year. She is the show vet on call. She had a practice in Paris KY before moving to Florida. Great person and super doctor.....No news on the move to the mountain. No one has looked at our house in a couple of weeks and we are striking out finding an affordable place on the mountain. My husband looked at 4 places while I was working yesterday and didn't even bother getting out of the car at 3 of them. One was so overgrown that he couldn't get to it and another would have required a person to have mountain goat blood to get up the driveway. Maybe I'll just buy a lottery ticket this week!!
Posted by Schiplady at 1:50 AM
Monday, August 13, 2007

I don't know how many of you have seen programs on TV about the alien space ship that supposedly crashed near Roswell, NM but it is a pretty big deal out here. This is the 60th anniversary of the crash and Roswell is playing it up. I had Sunday off, which rarely happens, so Bob and I decided to go for a ride and headed to Roswell. And of course if you don't have a plan, you end up at the UFO Museum. It was an inexpensive trip through the museum and the newspaper clippings were very interesting. There is a display with the alien depicting the examination that was done on the body. There are also many paintings showing the solar system and alien landings.
Most of the paintings are rather dark. I forgot the camera and ended up taking pictures with my cellphone, so the clarity isn't great. And of course, I came home with the obligatory T-Shirt and other trashy souvenirs. It's really a pretty ride as it takes you through the Mescalero Apache Reservation, Lincoln National Forest, Hondo valley and high desert.
I had an email yesterday from the woman that was my supervisor when I still worked in Florida. She and I were not the best of friends then as she had a habit of stabbing people in the back. Times have changed, she has been on the receiving end and now is enjoying not being in charge. And we have become friends. For the second year in a row she and another dispatcher from Sarasota are going to Europe for a month. The other woman's mother lives in Germany so they have room and board there. They are going to Russia, Italy and France. I hope she has a great time. She had it pretty tough when she was younger and deserves some good times now.
Things are pretty dull where I work now.
Nothing exciting like this happens on the mountain.........................

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Well, I am back to try again, this time maybe with pictures if all turns out well. Things have been very busy at the police department, even though we are small. Yesterday was like "full moon" weekend with a constant barrage of stupid phone calls, walk ins and unfortunately, break ins. Vandalism seems to rise dramatically when the kids are out of school, at least in our little town. We have a great park right across the highway from our PD and we have an outside camera so that we can monitor it even at night. There is a skate park within the park and the kids use it constantly. It is not fenced or monitored as was the one where I worked in Florida. That one was a pain in the butt thanks to the city mayor. This one is wide open for the kids to enjoy and in the 16 months that I have worked there, I have not had to call for an ambulance or send the police over. However, even though the skate boarding part of the park is lit by street lamps when the rest of the park goes dark, our city manager in his infinite wisdom, doesn't want the kids there after 9:00 PM. (And yes, I know, why aren't these kids at home and why aren't the parents supervising! ) So what do they do - they break into empty houses and cause damage. Yesterdays toll was $30 K on a $250 K house vacant and for sale. And they just gave this man a $10K raise just for changing his job title. He is interviewing in another part of the state and we have hopes he will be hired. We also have an 82 year old mayor who surprisingly does find his way home from his office. He only has one more year left in his term. Maybe things will get better........or not !!

Okay, my first picture here is Murphy, our 14 year old male. I bought him from someone that worked in the police department in Florida. He was 6 months old when we got him and had not been treated well. Caged all the time. He also came from a pet store. This was before I learned about pet stores/puppy mills and became a rescuer. Murphy had allergy problems all his life until we moved to NM. It was like someone hit a light switch. No itching, no sores. The most beautiful coat of fur ever. Too bad we didn't move sooner. All those years on and off Prednisone have taken a toll on his overall health although he is in pretty good shape for his age.

The second picture is Sheda, who is my poster girl for rescue. I picked her up in GA at a schip lovers weekend gathering in 2000. She was one of 3 girls rescued from a puppymill auction and so pitiful looking when we got her. She was to go to another family in Tampa, but her arrival didn't fit in with their vacation plans. So - she stayed with us and we have never regretted it. We are unsure of her age as the papers that came with her were not hers. We think she is between 10-12 and due to no early medical treatment, has lost many teeth and has a partially collapsed trachea. She coughs a lot when she gets excited or plays too hard. She has also lost her hearing within the past 3 years. But she is my baby girl and sticks to me like glue. This picture was taken in February of 2006 when I had to go to Santa Fe for 3 weeks to New Mexico's Dispatcher Academy. I stayed in a motel instead of the dormitory and my husband came to visit on the weekends and brought Sheda and Tala to visit. Murphy doesn't enjoy traveling like he once did, primarily due to his age I think. He enjoys sleeping in the A/C and eating. Not much else gets him excited !!

The last picture is of Tala on the left and Phantom on the right. We adopted Tala in September of 2004 while still in Florida. She was 3 at that time. Her owner turned her into schip rescue as she didn't fit into her lifestyle anymore. She was so frightened and even though she had belonged to a woman, she attached herself to my husband and stayed in his room most of the time. She didn't want to socialize with the other dogs. At that time we had a 10 year old female rescue, whose owners had died, and Tala and Lena didn't seem to like each other very much. Unfortunately, we lost Lena very suddenly in October of 2005 to a lung problem that no one knew she had. Tala has now come around and gets along with the rest of the gang, although she is very leary of strangers and will nip at their heels when they walk through the house. She usually ends up locked in my room until company leaves. It is difficult to try and sell your house with a 15 pound fur ball chasing you!! And last, but by no means least, is Phantom. On my husbands' first trip back to Florida to pickup rescues and re-locate them, he met Phantom and it was love at first sight. My husband has never really been attached to dogs as I am, but Phantom is a whole different story. Bob can't leave the room without having his "shadow" and Phantom camps outside the bathroom door and waits for him. He is 13 years old and has lost his eyesight to cataracts since he came to us. It has not changed him in any way, other than just slowing him down a little. He is the sweetest most loving little dog I have ever met. He was left at his vets' office for boarding as his family said he didn't get along with their 2 year old. (I will not comment further here as I am sure many of your prefer children to animals. ) Okay, now you have met the fur family ....... and I must get ready for work.
Posted by Schiplady at 7:01 AM
Well, my first blog attempt turned out okay except I neglected to finish a sentence - duh!! I meant to say that my knitting projects are for sale at one of our local gift shops. When the weather cools down some I have hopes that the items will sell. In the meantime I will keep myself occupied working on new projects. I like to experiment with the mixing of colors in afghans and sweaters. My work schedule has been very erratic for several weeks with people on vacation. We are still a dispatcher short and I hear there is a hiring freeze on for our department. In New Mexico dispatchers have to attend an academy in Santa Fe so our newest dispatcher will be gone for 3 weeks in September. There goes our schedule again. I have been working a 4 day a week schedule, only not 4 10 hour shifts. The 12 hour day is really rough since I have a 45 minute drive to work and home again. If I make it through today and tomorrow I will have 3 days off to recouperate - and pack boxes. We haven't gotten an offer on our house yet, nor have we put in an offer on a house on the mountain. All things come to those who wait. At least that is what my husband says..........
Saturday, July 21, 2007

I am new to the world of blogging although my friend, Tuffenuf, suggested some time ago that I give it a whirl. I am afraid my life isn't as exciting as Tuff's - I am not retired yet and still have to do the old work grind. Like she doesn't work at home! I am in the law enforcement field as she was, but I work from the dispatch desk area. Strange hours, always short-handed and never a lack of "the bad guys" it seems. When I am not driving the 70 miles round trip to work, I am home cooking and cleaning for the other half and my retired Navy son who has chosen to stick close to what little family is left. We are in the midst of packing once again, hoping that our house will sell and we can move closer to work. My son also works on the mountain and of course, we never work the same hours. In addition to all else that is going on, I decided just before the dog food recall that my schips always ate better and were generally healthier when I prepared their food instead of using kibble, albeit very good kibble. So once a week on my days off I spend extra time in the kitchen putting together a weeks worth of food for 4 very eager schips. Most of the ingredients come from the local Wal-Mart (as if we had any other store here in no mans land). The oat bran comes in 50 pound bags from the health food store. The time I spend is well worth the results. I am also an avid knitter and have several sweaters, scarves and even an afghan. And if our temperatures would drop below 100 degrees I might stand a chance of selling something...............
Posted by Schiplady at 3:39 PM