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November 23

Yes, Thanksgiving come and gone and both Ruth and I feel pooped and wondering when all the fun will stop...a joke, being all this fun has become a very large endeavor. What's new? It seems that is life and it was only the illusions of youth that ever allowed me to think someday life would be uncomplicated.

So the day before Thanksgiving we were still wrapping long wire cables with ferns and lights, while on the feast day itself we were in the kitchen at 9 AM until 4 PM getting the goods together for ten friends and family.

Hosting a party is about making everything as good as possible for the guests, which usually means you are the last to enjoy the event itself, but can feel gratified if it all worked out pleasant for the others...so it is and all of our guests gave rave revues.

Then today, we woke up to a few inches of snow and still over half of the Christmas decorations for the the village to be done. The funny thing here is Ruth is a Jew and technically I am a non-believer.

I think Christmas is about many things, so even people like us can make the world look good for a little while despite religion or beliefs...

Anyway the pictures below are a glimpse of the last three days...
















1. Xmas decorating for Madrid. 2. More Xmas. 3. Shiloh looking around for his old friend Flat Tire, who is still missing. 4. Shiloh in the ferns. 5. Shiloh posing. 6. Looking out the dining rooms windows this morning. 7. Some grateful little hungry birds. 8. The patio. 9. Ruth's walk-in closet delayed. 10. Looking out my office window. 11. The end of motor-biking this season. 12. The north driveway and Cerrillos hills behind our house. 13. Opera Road in Madrid looking north. 14. Opera Road looking south. 15. Ruth's shop.

4:30 in the afternoon and the weather continues to be winter-like...well, it is no surprise considering it is almost December.  We got spoiled with the very long Indian-Autumn. Only two days ago it was 70 degrees and not a cloud in the sky. Ruth is feeling low because we had to cancel Xmas decorating, as well as the heater in her shop stopped working  and then her computer suddenly died.

 Hey, I think I might do something novel like go to the beer joint and celebrate a dull day while pondering an old Zen parable, "When swimming up-river, let large logs pass."

November 21

Happy Thanksgiving to you. I hope your world is healthy and bountiful and all the people who are special in your life are near or connectable in some way.

As for my world, it is full in more ways than usual but all is working and eventually will be in the order that probably is already set in some parallel existence...

Today I did what I have done for many years, which is part of the preparation for the Thanksgiving feast. I peeled and puréed an entire pumpkin with the result of filling six pie tins. They are in the oven at the moment and if luck is with me, there will be enough pie for the friends and family arriving tomorrow.

To do this task was very nostalgic and just a wee bit sad, being that I started the ritual when my daughter was just a little girl. She is almost thirty now and will be here tomorrow to get her share of the feast.

Most things in life I have no regret or spend time pondering things that no longer are, but I do miss very much those years when I had my little girl who hung on my lap and thought I was the best pie making hero that ever could be. The good part of that is at least I had that experience and it remains beautiful in my memory. For that I give thanks.

So...whoever or where ever you are, I wish you happy new times and the luck to have had some days behind you that were blessed.

November 18

Back trying to figure out the frame work of the new extension...and at the moment it is really more of playing with the pre-made forms I brought home from the TV production of KID NATION. I wonder if any of those people will ever get back to New Mexico to see where there material re-configured?





1. The floor scattered with the upright beams that will be the base for the roof frame. 2. Being Christmas is coming a reflection of the Christ is hoisted. 3. Perhaps it will be just a short ride. 4. I am not sure I can deal with a poor soul (manifest in Russian Olive) hanging over my head.

...as I said, I am playing with the physical mass of wood I have, so as of yet I really don't know what the final architecture will be...

November 16

...and there but for fortune go you or I...

I stepped out my back door and saw boiling smoke only 50 feet away...

It has been just a few days since the fire in our backyard. I keep thinking how lucky we were. Lucky the firemen got here in ten minutes, lucky the wind was not playing its gusty game, lucky that twenty years of yard cuttings are all burned up and now we have a large fire barrier...just plain lucky we still have a house to call home. I can not help but think of all of the people who are not so lucky. What can I do but pray good will for others and thank God and the miracle of the universe of protection that  has been wrapped around our life. 

I really don't know how my life would feel without the accumulation of material and the wealth of having enough. I would continue to live, but I like my junky stuff and the place I call home.

November 12

To get back to the events of yesterday...

I just got home after helping set the first two lines of Christmas lights across the highway in Madrid. I checked my email and then went outside to proceed with construction. To my absolute horror, huge flames were leaping up from the bluff next to my house. My God, how ironic, the visit from Matt the week before, and the tour to his burnt-out-down house in the same week that all of southern California was on fire...and now here right on my own doorstep FIRE!

I immediately called 911. By the time the all-volunteer got to my home, only ten minutes later, the entire hillside was on fire, and fingers of flame were crawling quickly towards my studio and neighbors house on one side, and the tinder dry bosque (river meadow) on the other side. If the the fire department had been ten minutes later, or if the wind was just a bit more strong, all would have been infernal.

No joke, it was scary, So scary, I did not think of getting my camera until it was mostly under control.

I discovered a couple of things about the fire. One is how grateful I am there is a local volunteer fire department, who did an amazing good job. The other thing is how a lawn hose is about as affective as pissing into a volcano.

By the way, it would appear the fire was started by one of the local kids who probably tossed a cigarette into the super dry under brush. I will have a word with the ladd.

November 11

Hey, but who am I to say what will happen in a day?

Everyday seems to get shorter with the few hours of daylight trimmed away for winter repose...actually not much repose around here. The decorations for Madrid's Christmas lights has become a kind of large job as you can see by just a little that is laid out in our driveway below. The way it is going this project may become my WORLD COMMUNITY ARTS DAY event as it may be Feb. 17 before it is done.

The other thing that has to be done before winter really sets in is get the firewood together.

So it began simple, just to hang lights in a street.

It is a long story.  I'll explain later

November 8

I have been busy with two projects for the last few days. First is the continued labor towards extending the proportion of our house. Second is helping Ruth put together Christmas decorations that will be part of Madrid's traditional celebration of light (see: http://www.turquoisetrail.org/madrid.htm )..

Another event that is coming again is the 2nd World Community Arts Day . At the moment I have no idea what I will be doing, but no doubt something...

November 6


And I love the fall in our little valley of the Galesteo.

November 4

Back from the hills, halleluiah the hunter...

Well, in a matter of speaking, the last last week has been a flurry of activity, beginning with the arrival of my old friend Matt  Foster.

Matt returned from his home now in Tennessee to view his destroyed to the ground home he once lived in and loved just up the hill.

I went with him to view the site of many many merry days, to see only ash and shadows of the past. I felt very sad for him, but I have to say, Matt took it all in stride, and accepted things one can not change.

And then...after that it was the Halloween Dance at the Mineshaft. Ruth and I dressed for the occasion, so you will have to guess which one is which.

And on it went until All Saints Day. We went to the Mine Shaft again on behalf of a new friend, who much to our surprise and sadness, died suddenly. In the true Irish spirit we celebrated his wake in the best way we could..

This life goes on despite my own absurd chancing with death and destruction. I am a lucky man to have been loved so much and have had the good fortune to be loved even more by Ruth.

We went off to Springer, New Mexico where Ruth bought numerous items for her shop and a Tow Trailer I am sure we will fill up many time in the future.

And that brings us back to our little box of a house that is getting a face lift.



1. Foundation for extension being set.

2. The floor begins and a whole lot of stuff ahead.