Sunday, October 9, 2011

Halloween Mantel

As I said in a previous post about my sad sad sad fall mantel Mr and I are getting started on adding stone around our fireplace but until then I can't resist NOT decorating my sad sad sad mantel for the holidays.  Yesterday I was cleaning house and decided to re-arrange accessories.  I have boxes and bins full of holiday decor, decorations, holiday decor, etc.  I pulled out my un-used decorations and there she be......

Young and Crafty
Nifty Thrifty Things

Saturday, October 8, 2011

First Snow on the Sandias!

We decided to do the whole parade of homes things today.  We went to most of the homes in Placitas and the East Mountains.  This year is appeared there were more contemporary south west designs.  Not my fav but I can appreciate the craftsmanship.  I am really bummed to say this but.... I only had one day to do the parade of homes this year.  Usually it is a 2 weekend event for me!  I love going but I have family coming into town so its a no go next weekend.  :(  

My friend who usually goes with me canceled last minute so I had to bribe my hubby to go.  If he did the parade of homes with me all day I had to take a short 4x4 trip with him up the backside of the Sandia Mountains.  WHAT A GORGEOUS TRIP!!!  The Sandias had their first snow fall last night and the sights were amazing!  Enjoy the pictures! 

Big Announcement!

After being on a blogging break for a week (work has been busy and home life has been even busier!) I guess its time to announce the big news......

After almost a week of talking with Emily from South Central Bloodhound Club, it looks like we will be adopting our first bloodhound!  Meet Duke.

Duke shortly after his arrival with his Foster parent in Texas.  Look at those eyes and ears!!!!!  

I feel alittle guilty about asking him to leave that pool!  Duke loves Bluegrass music and laying by the pool.  What a life!!

With his love of the water I guess more Jemez mountain trips will be needed!  oooo darn!!  :) :)

Is he not precious!!

Everything is approved and done except the home inspection.  Normally we are home every weekend but this week my grandparents will be in town!  We are heading to the grand canyon so unfortunately it looks like we can't do the inspection until next Sunday. :(  The home inspection should be fine as we are responsible pet owners.  After the inspection we should be able to pick Duke up around the 29th or 30th of October!  

We are so excited!  The foster parent to Duke will be taking him on some search and rescue trails the 22nd of October.  Hopefully we will do well and like search and rescue.  Mr. would love to start training him to do that.  

If you are thinking of getting a bloodhound and have done your research I suggest you contact South Central Bloodhound Club.  They are BY FAR the best rescue group I have ever worked with.  Everyone is very professional, helpful, and they understand the breed and the dog.  Some rescues just want to place the dog but Emily and her group want what is best for the dog!  That is what is important.  If you are not interested in adopting a bloodhound but still love the breed please donate to this wonderful club.  It is a 501c3.  Please visit their website for more information. 

So for my new friends who are reading this in the bloodhound world wish us luck!  

Saturday, October 1, 2011

My sad sad sad mantel

This fall has been alittle hard for me to start decorating.  Mr and I are getting ready to start our fireplace project. We are adding stacked stone from the floor to the ceiling.  I love the look of a grand fireplace!  We have slowly taken everything off the mantel and yesterday I couldn't take it anymore.  We can't start our fireplace project until the middle of Oct due to work schedules so I grabbed what left over fall decorations I had and this is the end product.

It is not the perfect fall mantel that I love and adore but it will due for a couple of weeks.  Everything was free or a re-use.  

Candle Holder my Grandma bought me a few years ago.  Tossed some left over leaves, mini-gourds and small Indian corn inside. 

Extra glass container, left over pinto beans, mini pumpkin and extra scarecrow.  Also, my favorite stuffed moose I've had since I was a kid.  

Empty vase stuffed with left over flowers and an extra scare crow.

Again.. not my favorite mantel but atleast I have alittle fall spirit!!

This was our fireplace when we first moved in.  

Pinned Image
This is similar to what we will end up doing

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Fall Floral Arrangement

I have been decorating this afternoon as was in the mood for a new arrangement.  I need some fall color on one of my end tables in my living room.  I am not afraid to admit this... I have an accessories problem... There I said it.  I have bins in my craft room FULL of accessories for my homes.  Candles, candle holders, knick knacks, arrangements, pillow covers... you name it.. its in there!  I am a serial decorator!

Today I rummaged through my bins and pulled some some pieces to make a quick arrangement with. :)  It was like Christmas!

#1- Find cute vase, candle holder, or whatever you think would be cute with flowers arranged in it.  My Grandma bought me this candle holder a few years ago. 

#2- It save space I usually put a smaller glass or jar to use for water and to help keep the flowers tighter. 

#3- I filled the space between the two with pinto beans.  I loved the color and texture. 

#4- Separate all your bunches of flowers.  It makes it so much easier to arrange when they are cut apart.  This involves wire cutters.  

#5- Create your arrangement.  I love arrangements that look natural and are not perfect.  I like varying height and colors. 

All together this arrangement cost me less than $5.  All the flowers are dollar store flowers.  I used maybe a cup of beans and the candle holder was a gift. :)

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Fall Wreath 2011

Every year I get very excited for fall.  I LOVE this time of the year!  Due to the worst cold I have ever had I am about 2 weeks late in decorating for fall this year.  Bummer... I know...

I needed a quick and "frugal" wreath this year for fall.  I ALWAYS check out the dollar and thrift stores for quirky and cool stuff.  This year I decided I was going to make my wreath with EVERYTHING from the dollar store (except my straw wreath).  I have many straw and vine wreath forms stocked in my craft room.  I wait for sales and buy a few every time.  You never know when a girl may need a wreath!  

#1- Wrap form in twine.  You could use the straw if you wanted but I like the look of both.

I let the straw peak through a little.  I think it gives it some texture and breaks up the color of the twine. 

#2- Buy cheap dollar store wreath and remove super cute little scare crow from it. 

 #3- Twist together leaf bundles. 

 #4-  Once wrapped bend steam to the back of the leaf.  It will give support and you won't have to use your wire cutters :) 

#5- Cut Styrofoam pumpkins in half very carefully!

#6- Start hot gluing leaves, scare crow and other decorations in place. 

TA DA!!! A wreath that took about 10 minutes and cost less than $10 (with the straw wreath form)

As you can tell I am still battling my HOA on painting my front door. UGH... Also... There is a reason why my wreath is slightly off center.  My scare crow blocks my peep hole.  :(  

Linking up with:

Friday, September 23, 2011

Hellllooo Fall!

After being sick for almost the whole month of September I am the happiest girl EVER to see Fall and October! Fall is my favorite time of the year.  I do get homesick during fall :(  I have finally embraced New Mexico as my home and I enjoy its beauty and history but I miss Michigan this time of year.  I miss the cool mornings, crisp leaves, pumpkin patches, and apple cider.  I miss the fall harvest the most!

This week I finally started decorating for fall.  This cold threw me back about 3 weeks from my goals.  I have some pictures on my camera to load this weekend and post.  I don't think I am going to decorate all out for fall/harvest until after Halloween.  This year hubby and I decided we are "putting on the ritz" for Halloween this year.  I hate to decorate the exterior only to put it back in the garage for Halloween and back out after.

I have spent the last week catching up on some of my favorite blogs and I have found some AMAZING fall posts.  Here are some of my favorites:

I am in love with these Dryer Vent Pumpkins by Diamond in the Stuff

These are just some of my favorite ideas I have picked up from other blogs this year.  I have many many many more!!  

If any of the blogs featured would like to put my "Booked and Blogged" button on their blog you will find it to your right.  :) 

Happy blogging!  I will be at a toastmasters speech contest all day tomorrow.  My club missed the contest last weekend but I will attend to cheer on some of my friends!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

New Mexico History- Apache Battleground

I love history.  Growing up in Michigan I spent countless hours pouring over Michigan history.  It is fascinating to me!  I have started doing the same with New Mexico.  During Thrill On The Hill our trail leader, Chris Adam, took us on a historical run near Ruidoso and Cloudcroft, NM.  Chris is an archaeologist with the State of New Mexico and one of the most fascinating people you will ever speak with.

One of our stops was an Apache Battleground near the area where Captain Stanton was killed.  This drives my husband nuts but I LOVE stopping and reading the historical markers around New Mexico.  I usually try to photograph them and the area.  As luck would have it after I took a picture of the marker I jumped back into the FJ Cruiser and realized I forgot to take a picture of the area.

This marker can be found on US-82 and NM-130 IN Mayhill, NM.  If you get the chance to go please stop to the Mayhill Cafe. SSSOOOO GOOODDD!!!!!

APACHE BATTLEGROUND: In this immediate vicinity, Captain Henry W. Stanton of the U.S. Army, for whom Fort Stanton was named, lost his life in 1855 in a skirmish with the Mescalero Apaches.  For several weeks, soldiers commanded by Stanton and Captain Richard E. Ewell, were in pursuit of Indians who had stolen livestock from the Pecos River area south of Anton Chiro.  In the final confrontation lives were lost on both sides. 

Wonderful article!!!  

TRAIL TALES: The Legend of Capt. Stanton

By Ollie Reed Jr.
Albuquerque Tribune Reporter

MAYHILL - There's just one sentence on the sign, less than 40 words. Unless you're looking for it, you might not even notice the marker, and on this day, a tranquil, golden Sunday morning earlier this month, it's all but hidden by the tractor-trailer rig nosed up to within a few feet of it.
Apache Battleground
In this immediate vicinity, Captain Henry W. Stanton of the U.S. Army, for whom Fort Stanton was named, lost his life in 1855 in a skirmish with the Mescalero Apaches.

The immediate vicinity referred to in the sign is the area around Mayhill, a tiny farming and ranching community and outdoor recreation center center 28 miles east of Alamogordo. Mayhill was settled in the 1880s and is in the lap of the thickly wooded Sacramento Mountains.
The sign, one of those historic markers scattered around the state, is just across Mayhill's main street, also known as U.S. 82, from the Mayhill Phillips 66 service station and food mart, just east of the Mayhill Cafe and and just west of the Mayhill Baptist Church.
One sign, one sentence, less than 40 words, just a roadside footnote.
And yet the event snared between those few lines is as action-packed, heart-pounding and blood-curdling, as violent, courageous and frightening as any scene director John Ford filmed in his epic movies about battles between the U.S. Cavalry and American Indians.
Capt. Stanton must have been surprised to see Indians bolt from the lodges as he and his men trotted their horses into the Sacramento Mountain ravine on the afternoon of Jan. 19, 1855.
For several weeks, 24 dragoons, or mounted soldiers, and 50 infantrymen commanded by Stanton and another 80 men commanded by Capt. Richard S. Ewell, had been after Indians, presumably Mescalero Apaches, who had stolen livestock from the Pecos River area south of Anton Chico.
Ewell, who would later gain fame and lose a leg as a Confederate general during the Civil War, set off on his pursuit of the Indians from Anton Chico, located in the northwest corner of what is now Guadalupe County. Stanton's force moved out from Fort Fillmore, which was six miles south of Las Cruces. The two columns met on Jan. 13, 1855, at Sierra Blanca, also known as Old Baldy, the snow-topped peak seven miles northwest of Ruidoso.
From there, the combined force followed its quarry's trail south toward the Sacramento Mountains. The chasing was tough through that rugged, winter-cold mountain country. But the catching up was worse as indicated by this diary entry, written by James A. Bennett, a soldier in Capt. Ewell's G Company.
Jan. 18 - Camped in a ravine. High rocks are upon both sides. 11 o'clock at night, a dozen rifles cracked and a score of arrows came flying into our camp. The dry grass was set on fire around us. Our horses stampeded, running in all directions. With a great deal of trouble we got them together.
At dawn on Jan. 19, the soldiers found 100 Mescalero warriors taunting them from the side of a mountain. The dragoons mounted up and a running fight lasted throughout the day.
That afternoon, several Mescalero lodges were seen 500 yards up a valley. Stanton and a squad of his men set off to investigate.
Despite the brazen behavior displayed by the Indians up to that point, Stanton probably didn't expect to find any of them lounging around inside dwellings so close to the fighting.
But when several Mescaleros darted from the lodges and plunged into the pi§on, juniper and ponderosa pine along the ravine, Stanton put the spurs to his horse and went lickety brindle after the Indians.
Better mounted than his men, Stanton soon outdistanced them and had to wait for his squad to catch up. By that time the trail was cold, so Stanton ordered his men back to camp. They walked, leading their lathered horses through a narrow valley now known as James Canyon.
A bullet from the first volley hit one of Stanton's men in the head, killing him instantly. The soldiers had walked into an ambush at a place where trees lined both sides of the valley.
At first, Stanton told his men to take cover behind the timber, but when he realized the Mescaleros had the advantage in number and position, he ordered the soldiers to ride for camp, which was only three-quarters of a mile away.
The brave Stanton and an equally courageous private stayed behind to cover the retreat. Stanton was reloading his carbine when he was killed by a shot through the head. The private was surrounded by the Mescaleros and killed by their lances.
Meanwhile, Ewell, alerted by the shooting, sent a squad of men racing to the scene. There, after a fierce 20-minute firefight, the soldiers drove off the Mescaleros.
Three months later, a Mexican boy, who had been a prisoner of the Apaches during this fight, told Bennett a chief and 11 or 12 other Indians had been killed during the skirmishing in the Sacramentos.
But the soldiers were unsure of how much damage they had inflicted on the enemy when they brought the bodies of Stanton and his two men back to camp on Jan. 19.
That evening, Bennett, on guard alone on the camp's perimeter, could hear the spades and pickaxes hitting stone as other soldiers dug graves. It was a long, nervous night for Bennett, as he records in his journal.
Jan. 19 - I was lying alone upon a blanket, waiting and watching anxiously the approach of the foe. I heard the noise of something coming very stealthily through the bushes. The dry leaves rattled. My nerves were at their utmost tension, when I was pleased to discover the intruder to be a large, white mountain wolf, easily frightened off. No Indians were to be seen in the morning.
The troops burned fires over the graves in an effort to conceal them from the Apaches, intending to come back for the bodies later.
After several days of fruitlessly pursuing the Mescaleros through the snow and ice-encrusted mountains, the soldiers, short on provisions, most of which had been lost while crossing a stream, turned back.
On Jan. 23, they reached the spot where they had buried Stanton and his two men. Indians had discovered the graves, dug up the bodies and made off with the blankets that had been wrapped around the corpses. Wolves, ravens and buzzards had been feeding on the men's remains.
"Revolting sight," Bennett noted at the time.
The soldiers built a fire and put the men's bodies on it. When what was left of flesh and sinew had been burned away, they packed up the charred bones and retreated from the mountains. On Feb. 2, 1855, they reached Fort Fillmore.
Facing the Mescaleros and enduring the harshness of the frigid mountains had been easy compared to telling Stanton's wife what had happened. For an hour after the troops returned to the fort, she stood at her front door, waiting for her husband until a soldier finally found the courage to inform her of his death.
On Feb. 3, the bones of Stanton and the two slain privates were buried at the fort with full military honors.
By the summer of 1855, construction of a fort named in Stanton's memory was underway. Henry Whiting Stanton was born into the military life in 1823. His father, a Vermont native also named Henry, served in the artillery during the War of 1812, and the elder Stanton's work in the quartermaster department during the Mexican War earned him promotion to brigadier general.
Gen. John Garland, who commanded the military in New Mexico in 1855, also was a Vermont native and a veteran of the War of 1812. He knew both Henry Stanton, the father, and Henry Stanton, the son.
When Garland determined to build a fort in the heart of Mescalero country, he suggested that it be named Fort Stanton, in honor of the dead son and - no doubt - in sympathy for the father, who was still living.
Several sites were considered before a location four miles southeast of Capitan was settled on in the spring of 1855. Bennett marked the occasion in his diary.
March 19 - General John Garland selected the site for the fort today. The officers all got drunk.
The fort has proven to be a colorful, useful and long-lasting monument to a soldier whose name would have otherwise been lost to history.
With the exception of a brief period during the Civil War, when it was abandoned by Union troops and occupied by Confederate soldiers, Fort Stanton served as a U.S. Army post from its founding in 1855 until 1896.
Col. Christopher "Kit" Carson of the New Mexico Volunteers operated his campaign against the Mescaleros out of Fort Stanton in 1862 and 1863.
New Mexico Territorial Gov. Lew Wallace is said to have written part of his famous historical novel "Ben Hur" while visiting the fort.
Col. John J. "Black Jack" Pershing, who would later fight in the Spanish-American War, lead U.S. troops into Mexico after Pancho Villa and command American forces in Europe during World War I, was assigned to Fort Stanton on Aug. 26, 1887, the year after he graduated from West Point.
Even after the fort was closed in 1896, it did not remain idle long. In 1899, it became the first U.S. Public Health Service Hospital of its kind, a facility devoted to the treatment of merchant seamen suffering from tuberculosis. It continued in this function until 1952 when drugs that could more effectively deal with tuberculosis became available.
In 1939, before the United States even entered World War II, Fort Stanton became this country's first prisoner of war camp. The British shelled a German luxury liner off Cuba in December of that year. The ship sank, and its crew, rescued by Americans, became the "guests" of the United States at Fort Stanton for the rest of the war.
From 1953 to 1995, the fort served as a New Mexico state hospital for the developmentally disabled. It was a women's prison from 1996 to 1999, and since the summer of 2000 it has been the site of a drug- and alcohol-treatment program for ex-convicts.
"The program has been very successful," Gerges Scott, spokesman for the New Mexico Department of Corrections said.
So, more than 146 years after he was killed, Capt. Henry W. Stanton's name lives on in the facility built in tribute to him.
But his story is summed up on roadside marker in Mayhill. One sign, one sentence, less than 40 words, just a footnote to history, just one man's life.
Ollie Reed Jr.'s Trail Tales is a collection of stories rooted in the rich history and legends of New Mexico and the Southwest. He can be reached at or 823-3619.
TRAIL GUIDE For more information about Fort Stanton and Army engagements with Indian tribes on the New Mexico frontier, look for:
"Forts and Forays: A Dragoon in New Mexico, 1850-1856," by James A. Bennett, edited by Clinton E. Brooks and Frank D. Reeve; University of New Mexico press, 1948, republished 1996.
"Fort Stanton, New Mexico," by F. Stanley, 1964.
"Fort Stanton and Its Community: 1855-1896," by John P. Ryan, Yucca Free Press, 1998.
"Fort Stanton, New Mexico: The Military Years, 1855-1896," by Lee Myers, Lincoln County Historical Society Publications, 1988.


Saturday, September 17, 2011

Why Yes... I Do Shoot Like A Girl...

After our home was broken into and my JEEP was stolen in February I decided I need to learn how to shoot.  I talked with my hubby about it and told him how un-easy I felt when I was home alone. We decided to look for a gun for me.  I have small hands and finding a gun I liked was VERY difficult.  Every gun my hubby told me to try felt big and clumsy.  I was starting to get discouraged.  In a horrible situation I know I could grab any of my husbands guns and shoot if needed but I wanted something of my own, something I felt confident with. I am not saying I wanted a gun so I could go out looking for trouble or say that I have a gun but I wanted something that I knew if my husband was not home I could defend myself and my family until police could arrive.

After looking for about a month hubby and I went to our local and FAVORITE gun store, AC Firearms in Rio Rancho.  While he was getting some stuff I was looking at the Kimbers.  I have always loved Kimber.  My dogs name is Kimber, by the way.  :)  My husband carry's a Kimber Eclipse as his duty weapon.  If a Kimber can protect him, a Kimber can protect me.  I looked at some of their 9mm and concealed carry 45 but again.. they felt big in my hand.  Until I held a SOLO!  Kimber had just started making and releasing the Kimber Solo.  I held this gun.. the stars aligned... the lights dimmed and shined on this beauty.  SHE WAS PERFECT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

As luck would have it AC Firearms had a waiting list for the SOLO.  I put $ down and waited patiently.  After about a month I went into the store to put more $ down on it and mentioned that the reason why I wanted the SOLO was because of feeling uneasy when home alone and that my home had been broken into. The WONDERFUL men at AC Firearms offered to sell me their display.  DEAL!!! DONE!! SOLD!!!!  I called my hubby and told him the great news.  I picked her up on a Friday.  I named her Kimina on my way home.  Kimina means little Kim in Italian.

This is my actual SOLO in my hand.  SHE IS PERFECT!

I am such a nerd that I took a picture of the box.  I know... *shakes head in shame*

Saturday we went out shooting with some friends.  My hubby shot her first.  She has alittle kick!  Hubby was worried I would not like her because of the kick.  I shot 6 rounds through her and was head over heels in love!  I turned to my hubby and told him how much I loved her.  He was happy because he didn't want to go gun shopping again with me :) 

Here are my Pros and Cons of the Kimber Solo.  I am licensed in nothing and this is just the person opinion of a woman with a Kimber Solo:

  • The SOLO is very accurate.  My first time shooting 6/6 shots were on target and 5/6 shots were at mass.  
  • The fixed dot sights are easy to use and find.
  • The SOLO is a 9mm.  I want something that will stop someone not make them more mad!
  • Dual safety.  The SOLO can be shot easily by a righty or a lefty.
  • Easy to conceal 
  • The SOLO is a very solid gun but is also light.  Even when fully loaded she is light.
  • 8 Round magainze will be available shortly 
  • Reliability is excellent.  My SOLO has jammed once and that was my fault.
  • Similar styling as a 1911
  • Price.  I paid $680 and I feel the gun is worth it.  Nothing on this gun is cheaply made. 
  • Springs are stiff.

  • Only 1 magazines comes with the SOLO when you purchase one.
  • The magazine release has to be fully pressed in.  Not a huge con but re-loading must be practiced for accuracy and speed.
  • Wait time on a SOLO can be long!  
  • Night Sights are still in the thought process with the gurus of Kimber. 
  • The magazines are VERY hard to load.  The springs are very stiff!
  • The slide springs are very tight.  Which makes it hard for a woman to rack a round.