Santa Fe – The La Fonda Hotel

While I was in Santa Fe, The Artistic One and I visited the La Fonda Hotel a couple of times, the second time having lunch in their dining room.

I was interested in this hotel because The Author, the friend I visited in New York State last fall, is writing a book about Mary Jane Coulter, the early architect and designer who worked with the Fred Harvey Company in the first half of the 20th century (see her blog post ). Mary Coulter and architect John Gaw Meem worked on the La Fonda during its expansion in the 1920s (see more info at

The dining room
is surrounded by multi-pane doors and windows which Mary and her artist friend Olive Rush decided should be decorated with little paintings. Artist Ernest Martinez has painted 450 panes over several decades.

At the back of the picture of the dining room, you’ll notice a fireplace
which has a sand-colored frieze above it, designed by Mary Coulter.

There are other bits of her design remaining in the hotel (since remodeled), one of which is the fireplace below
I excused myself to the women chatting around this fireplace as I took the picture, explaining that it was designed by architect and designer Mary Coulter and I wanted a photo to share with my friend who is writing a book about her. I was able to speak with authority – very little authority, but thank you, The Author, for that gift.

Mary also played a large part in designing what is now the French Pastry Shop, including the tinwork for the light fixtures and the chandelier (I apologize – it is hard to see in the photo, blending with the ceiling beams as it does).

The final photo is of the Lady’s restroom – I don’t know if Mary had anything to do with this design, although I could see her playing a part with the light fixture tinwork in here – but I liked the colorful tiles and ambience of this room.

And thank you, Artistic One, for humoring my interest in this hotel, and for the delicious lunch (one of many we had while I was there)!

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Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Weathered Wood

This week Cee chose Weathered Wood as her fun foto challenge. It just so happens that I took a few photos of weathered wood on the trip from which I just returned, so here goes my response:

The bark of an Alligator Juniper tree:

And when the trees die, they become ghost trees:

More old trees with weathered wood:

The interior wall of an old cabin in Chloride, New Mexico:

The exterior wall of the old Pioneer Store in Chloride, New Mexico:

An old farm wagon:

I learned that when you look around, there’s a lot of weathered wood to be found. Thank you, Cee.

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Share Your World – 2015 Week 12

There has been little time or remaining energy at the end of the day to post on this trip, but this morning is to be a slow-starting day, so I thought I would join Cee again and share a little more of my world as well as a few random photos taken around Santa Fe.

1. When was the last time you sat on a park or garden bench for more than ten minutes? Describe the occasion. Do the chairs on my front deck count? I sat out on the deck several afternoons before I left on my trip for half an hour or so each afternoon. It’s so peaceful out there, and I love watching the birds and the green branches of the trees and shrubs dancing in the breeze.

2. Would you ever be interested in observing a surgery or do you turn away when the nurse brings out the needle? No, No, No!! Could not do that. Could not, would not.

3. Where’s your favorite place to take out-of-town guests? The obvious answer in our area – Crater Lake, then over the mountain to Becky’s Cafe at the headwaters of the Rogue River. Becky’s has great hamburgers and pies, and I never tire of watching the Rogue rush through it’s narrow canyon.

4. If you had an unlimited shopping spree at only one store, which one would you choose? Why? Again, in my town probably Fred Meyer’s because they have everything there – garden things, clothing, groceries, fun stuff – I could indulge every whim there. Or if the store doesn’t have to be in my area, how about Amazon? Wow! I could really indulge every whim there!

Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? I am grateful for the opportunity to spend time with The Artistic One and with my brother and sis-in-law. I am looking forward to seeing some of Utah on the trip home and getting home to my Bailey girl and the brat cats.

Now, those photos:





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Share Your World – 2015 Week 15

Do you ever wonder how much more I can possibly have to share? Do you sometimes think I’ve already shared too much? Not my fault, you know – Cee keeps asking these questions – just blame it on her.

1. List 2 things you have to be happy about? I’m alive. I still have all my faculties, even though they might have dulled a little bit with time and use.

2. Do you prefer ketchup or mustard or mayonnaise? Well, now, that just depends on what I’m eating it on, don’cha know? If I’m having a hamburger patty sans bread, it would be ketchup. If I’m having a hamburger patty on a roll, it would be mayonnaise. Mayonnaise on sandwiches, for the most part. Mustard with a hot dog or sausage link – other than pork sausage.

3. If you were to paint a picture of your childhood, what colors would you use? For some reason, reds and golds come to mind, although that certainly doesn’t fit with the psychology of those colors.

4. Do you prefer a bath or shower? Shower, most of the time. The idea of a nice hot bath in a deep tub, with lit candles and a glass of wine, sounds like heaven – but the truth is, when I do that I get antsy very quickly or the water cools too quickly and I never linger as long as I thought I might.

Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? I am grateful that I made it to Santa Fe to spend time with the Artistic One. I am looking forward to going down to visit my brother and his wife tomorrow for a couple of days, then returning to spend a few more days in Santa Fe.

This week, a few photos taken when we drove around Santa Fe a little bit on Saturday, where we stopped at some sculpture galleries.





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Getting There

It took three days in the car, but we made it to Santa Fe. We drove through the southmost part of Oregon, into California along its eastern fringes, zipping in and out of Nevada as we went, landing in Bishop, CA for our first night. That first day, Shasta really thought we should be there by now, shouldn’t we, mom? Here’s a little of what we saw as we traveled on that first day:


For most of the journey, there were mountains on either side of us, bordering the valley through which we drove.  There were many miles with little sign of civilization, windy mountain roads with curves to be traversed at no more than 15 to 25 mph, long straight wide-open stretches with speed limits of 75 mph and occasionally a town  requiring that we drive no more than 25 or 30 mph. That’s very hard to do after the speed of the open highway. Gas prices ranged from $3.59 to $4.39 per gallon (California – outrageously high, I thought), but I found a station in Gardnerville, Nevada for $2.45 per gallon, which was much better.

The second day we drove into Nevada again, then into Arizona for not-much-change-of-scenery at first. There are still vast unpopulated parts of this country, but for many of them I’m not sure who would want to live there.  Here are some of our Day Two views:

Where is the grass, mom?

 My least favorite parts of the drive?  Through Las Vegas – it so reminded me of being back in Orange County, California again. A good reminder that my isolated little part of the world in south-central Oregon is just fine. The other least favorite part of the drive was the first day, when the GPS burped, turned me right where it should have turned me left (and I was foolish enough to listen), which added some miles to our trek.  I recovered, however, with the help of the maps I’d brought. I learned that sometimes the GPS decides to nap and needs to be unplugged, powered off, then plugged back in to reload its maps. Technology – it’s all in the little tricks. I was wowed by the terrain around the Hoover Dam and Lake Mead, and would have stopped but when I have a specific destination, I do not waver far off. That would have to be a trip with a list of sights to see and nights spent wherever I happened to end up – no advance reservations. 

While we had driven through temperatures ranging from the mid 50s to 70, nearing Flagstaff, Arizona there was some snow on the ground and it was cooler. Most of the trip thus far had been under a cover of clouds – easier driving I thought. The last day we found some green in eastern Arizona which pleased both of us. Shasta thinks her potty areas need grass, and we had not seen much of that.

That last picture was supposed to be first. Technology!

We arrived, visited with the Artistic One, settled in and went for a brisk walk. Mistake! I am not used to this elevation and spent the first day here in bed, feeling anything but human. I am getting better, but think some of the shortness of breath and feeling of fatigue may linger awhile. 

Today? Yet to be discovered.

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Share Your World – 2015 Week 10

Monday again, and before I get busy getting ready for my road trip, which begins tomorrow, I’m going to accept Cee’s challenge to Share my World.

1. When you lose electricity in a storm, do you light the candles or turn on the flashlight? How many of each do you own? When we lose electricity, I have two white gas lamps that I light, but can supplement them with any of the many candles I have or one of the 3 flashlights. Then I sit and wonder what on earth one is to do without electricity, marveling at how much I rely on it, and am grateful my iPad has enough charge and is backlit so I can still read or play silly games.

2. You are given $5,000 and the chance to exchange it for one of two envelopes. One envelope contains $50,000 and one contains $500. Do you make the trade? Why or why not? I would keep the $5,000. While I believe I am a survivor, I do not win things and if I were to choose the envelope with $500, I would rue making the choice to try to gain more. $5,000 would be a very nice gift.

3. What’s your first memory? Silly you! I can’t remember what I did yesterday, so how could you expect me to remember my first memory? I’ll make a stab at it though – probably not my first memory, but a couple of my earliest. I remember staying home from school, most likely first grade, ostensibly sick. After my parents went to work because they had to, I started cleaning house – translate to tossing out my saddle shoes because I hated them. I also remember what was supposed to be a sleepover at a friend’s house when I was very young, but I woke in the middle of the night and was homesick, so I quietly snuck out of the house and went home. Probably gave several people heart attacks, since no one was awake to see me leave or arrive at home.

4. What do you do if you can’t sleep at night? Do you count sheep, toss and turn, or get up and try to do something? I try to lay quietly, telling my mind to shut off, with the eternal hope that I will go back to sleep. Quickly.

Bonus question: What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? I am grateful for the day we had snow, just to remind us to appreciate when the warmth returned that much more. I am grateful for the warmth returning, and the times I’ve enjoyed quiet time late in the day on my front deck. I am looking forward to my road trip to visit The Artistic One and my brother and sister-in-law in New Mexico. Shasta and I leave tomorrow morning, leaving Bailey, the cats and the house in the care of good friends.

A few pictures from this last week, most taken through my window.

Our snow from last week

And a couple of feathered visitors. The dove visits a couple times a day – assuming it is always the same dove.

Then there is a squirrel that visits my bird tree several times a day – again, I can’t be sure it’s the same squirrel but I like to think it is.

Last but not least, my girls enjoying the sunny day.

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Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge – Farm Animals

Thank you, Cee, for featuring me for my entry into last weeks’ challenge. When you posted this weeks’ challenge I was sure I could find a photo or two in my archives because it’s too early in the year for the farm animals that spend summers in our area to come back. Turned out, I had more photos in my archives than I thought, so here goes!

Don’t be doubting me here – every farm has at least one cat and one dog.

From Half Moon Cay, a hen

and from Plimouth Plantation (outside of Plymouth, MS), a rooster
Plimouth Plantation

from New York State, a horse

and from up the road from me, a horse and her baby.
2012 08 29_3570_1024

From Costa Rica, Brahman cattle with chickens

from the yard of friends, Mama Llama
2011 04 23_0002_1024

and her daughter.
2011 04 23_0009_1024

Locally, a goat
2012 08 10_3383_face0

and from Yellowstone National Park, a buffalo
but in justification, there is a buffalo ranch a few miles up the highway from me, I just don’t have pictures of their buffalo.

That’s all folks! My collection of farm animal photos. I hope you enjoy.

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