Wednesday, August 27, 2014


Gypsy Rhapsody
 New Mexico...The Land of Enchantment
There have been so many nice New Mexico moments this week, I just had to  share the best of the best.  Of course, starting the day with me can brighten anyone's spirits.  

The lighting was just right...Don't' ya think!  SWEET!!!
Yes, in New Mexico one can just hang their wares on the back of their truck...and, viola, your own little store.  Vannie set up this "store" right in front of the barber shop in Questa.  There were 2 other "stores" next to her...honey and peaches.  She didn't sell much, but had a great time.  She had pillowcase dresses, paintings, necklaces, a knitted scarf, etc.
Apples are everywhere these days.  Dave borrowed an official apple picker from our landlord.  Makes life much easier!!!
Bread, Anyone?  Vannie is just faking it, but she is secretly wishing that she could REALLY bake something in this oven.  Their friends, Bob and Jean, took them on a little excursion up the mountain.  One of the homes they stopped to see was like a mini-museum.  All kinds of nooks and crannies to explore.
V said this little chapel was adorable. There were pews and soft music inside.  Anyone was invited to enjoy this special place.
One evening, Dave said..."Gypsy, we are going for a walk.  Hold the fort down". They asked Bob and Jean to go with them, and they headed to a small lake right down the road from me.
Would you check this out....picture postcard quality!!!!
The scenery...Magnificent
Gosh darn...when Vannie showed me these pictures from her camera...I was breathless.
Their friend, Bob, is still making those he is always looking for soda cans.  As Jean and Vannie and Dave were enjoying the view, they looked up and there was Bob...dumpster diving.  He didn't know Vannie caught him in action. 
Elephant Rock is a Campsite right up the road toward Red River. 
David, Annette
Bob, Jean
Shirley, John,
V and D
...sittin' around enjoying each other...the campfire...the scenery...the cool mountain air!!!
Vannie hoggin' down a yummy fried pie...made right on the open fire.
Annette and David had these cool little thingys.  V said that they just put all the stuff in the thingys and cooked the pies in the fire.  Ok...I'm getting hungry.

Vannie's new favorite place...besides me, of course.
Questa Public Library

Flower Beds out front

Is this New Mexico...or what?
Inside the library looking out...
PS...I have a special request this week.  A former student of Vannie's was in a go-cart accident this past weekend.  Her name is Grace Turner.  Grace is in critical condition in the ICU at Lafayette General Hospital in Lafayette, LA.  She is 14 years old and is a sweet precious young lady.  Please pray for Grace and her family and her doctors/nurses. 

Monday, August 18, 2014


A week of "Vannie" projects...She really LOVES a good project.
 To hike to the top of the sky lift in Red River, was a project that she has been talking about since they arrived in New Mexico.  Now, this is quite a feat.  They have to be acclimated to the altitude.  They have to get in "hiking" shape.  They have to pick just the right rain, hopefully.
Last Tuesday seemed to be just the right time.
V and D said, "Bye, Bye, Gypsy, we are heading out to walk to the top of the mountain.  Wish us luck."  I actually think they needed more than just a pocket full of luck...lots of courage, stamina, bravery, and GUTS were on the agenda.

Would you look at Dave up there...Gosh, darn...that hike is steep...real steep!!!

Beautiful...that's little bitty Red River in the valley.

Snow makers all in a row...When Red River doesn't have enough snow at the beginning of ski season, they plug up these machines, and the snow begins.  Fake snow is better than no snow at all.

Tiptoe through the Tulips (aka daisies)

Almost to the top

WHAT IN THE WORLD IS THIS????   "A fly photo bomb"
Looks like something out of a old horror movie..."The Fly".  Vannie said she watched that movie for the first time at the Royal Theater in Bernice, LA many many years ago.
So...Dave said this picture was taken in the restaurant at the top of the lift. As Vannie was taking a picture of the beautiful mountains and sky, this audacious fly flew right into the scene.  I bet it had seen humans do this time and again, so this was it's chance...good job, Mr. Fly. 
You get the photo bomb award of the year.
Starting down...a quick rest in an old chair lift

Oops...Did Vannie say, "no rain"??
Well...somebody didn't get the message.  Dave said that right before they got down the mountain, the skies opened up.  They were pretty soaked by the time they got back to me...but happy to have accomplished this project.

Apples were on the agenda for the next project.  These were sweet juicy ones that Vannie picked off of the apple tree right outside my door.  No pesticides, no insecticides, no algaecide...just had to coincide with a recipe that she had decided to use. 

Apple Braid
This recipe was one Vannie got off of Facebook.
I'm impressed!

I put the recipe at the end...You have to try this one.

Vannie had no idea it was "Sharknado Week" when she completed her next project...this shark pencil holder for her grandson, Cooper.  Now, this is a hoot!  Cooper loves boxes or pouches that hold stuff.  This should be a hit.

Last but not least...painting projects
Vannie's displayed these little art projects all around in the living room, bedroom, bathroom (that's about all the rooms in me).  She puts them on the cabinets...the refrigerator...the blinds...wherever.  I'm starting to feel like an art gallery.
Her new friend, Jean, loves to paint, so they get together to do art projects.  These are all done with watercolor pencils. 

The church in Rancho de Taos

A New Mexico Poppy
The infamous recipe...APPLE BRAID
Apple Filling
3 medium Granny Smith apples
3 T sugar
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp lemon juice
(Vannie said that the next time she made it she was going to add a little more sugar, some raisins, and a few nuts.)
2 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 T instant yeast
1 cup warm water
2 1/4 tsp. oil
1/3 cup powdered sugar
5 tsp. milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt
350 degree oven
Make the Filling:  Chop the apples..toss with sugar cinnamon, lemon juice.  Cook in microwave until soft...Set aside...
Make the Bread:  Mix dry ingredients together in large bowl.  Add water, oil and mix for 6 minutes with electric mixer.  Spray 12x16 pan with Pam and turn dough out onto it.  Knead briefly.  Spray rolling pin with Pam and roll dough out into a large rectangle to fit pan.  Using a sharp knife, cut each side into strips about 1 inch wide down each side, leaving center third uncut.  Spread filling down the middle.  Fold strips of dough into the center, crisscrossing.  Bake for about 25 minutes.
Make the Glaze:  Mix together the glaze ingredients in a small bowl until smooth.  Brush on bread while cooling.  Transfer the bread to a cooling rack to finish cooling.
Enjoy with a nice cup of hot coffee...!!!

Monday, August 11, 2014


Gypsy Rhapsody
La La La La...I'm just warming up for my rendition of the ever popular birthday song.
Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday to David...T-Pop...Dave
Happy Birthday to you...
Celebrations were going on all week for the big guy's birthday.

I have so many neighbor's now, I have trouble keeping up with everyone. 
People were gathering for the first of "several" celebrations

Man, he looks darn good...
There he is with his favorite food...white cupcakes with almond flavoring with almond icing...and candles.

Celebration #2...Taos Cow Restaurant in Arroyo Seco. 
They went there for Vannie's birthday and liked it so well, they made another visit.

Celebration #3...Another round of cupcakes with the office staff at the Caribel Condos in Red River.
L to R...Angelique (office manager), Katie (head housekeeper), Barry (maintenance), Vannie and Dave
Celebration #4...Check this out...Nathan Williams and the Zydeco Cha-Chas from Lafayette, LA
V and D said their toes were tappin' and their booties were shakin'.  It was like old home week.

This is Dennis Paul Williams, Nathan's brother.  He is also a famous artist in the Lafayette area.  I have a painting of him hanging on my wall.  Vannie said she talked to him during their break and showed him a picture of his painting on her phone.  He was tickled pink.  He looks kind of blue in this picture.  Guess it was all that stage lighting. 
Ya think I could get some stage lighting...

Celebration #5...Will it ever stop...!!!!
A group of folks headed to Taos to celebrate some more with the birthday boy.  Here he is standing by the door in the E.I. Couse home.  Mr. Couse was a famous artist in the Taos area during the early 1900's.  His home is open to the public once a month, so Dave added this visit to his birthday fun.
This site includes not only the house and studio of Mr. Couse, but the garden designed by his wife, Virginia, the workshops of his son, Kibbey, and the 2 studios of his neighbor and fellow artist, J.H. Sharp.

This church, which is part of the site, was bought from the Taos Diocese.  
It was used as a art studio by Mr. Sharp.
The group...L to R...Mary, Bob, D, V, Jean, Bob...Mary and Bob are news friends from Oklahoma.
I wonder if Dave planned in advance to wear that blue shirt. It sure goes well with the adobe and blue trim on the square in Taos.
Celebration #6
Oh my goodness...sometimes I wonder...I know Dave is a little goofy, but now he has coerced his friends to go along with him.  Here they are at an art opening in Questa.
Speak no evil
Hear no evil
See no evil
Monkey see...Monkey do  
What a perfect end to a perfect week of celebrations...!!!
The Lord painted a "Happy Birthday" sky just for Dave.

Monday, August 4, 2014


Gypsy Rhapsody
Yep...Just a bunch of hodge-podge this week.  Vannie and Dave had to work a bunch at the beginning of the week, because some of the housekeepers were off playing with their grandkids.  That seems to be a valid reason to take off work...remember, V and D did the same thing when their grandkids were in town.  Turn about's fair play...!
Vannie came home with a few pics from work...Sure is a pretty place to call "work".

The ever popular ducks...They seem to always be putting on a show.

Cool mornings...Cool nights...sunshine around 10:00 am...rainy afternoons...makes for beautiful bouquets of flowers

Barry, the maintenance man at the Caribel, added some new signs with updated information.
Looks nice!

Dave and new friend, Bob Plemons
I could hear them laughing and laughing trying to figure out how to make this whirly-gig from old soda cans.  I heard Dave say..."Bob, I think we have found our million dollar project."
You think????
After a hard afternoon of working on their project, Bob and his wife, Jean, had V and D over for a fish fry.  Bob is an avid fisherman...these are rainbow trout. 

Bob was fryin' 'em up outside by his camper.
I think I see a little drool on Dave's chin.
Gosh..this is really a bunch of hodge-podge.
The Dulcimer Festival was in Red River for the weekend.
Vannie took this scene on the porch of the Community House right in the middle of town.
She said it was just a bunch of hillbillies have a good time jammin' to beat the band. 
The Sweet Song String Band
They specialize in traditional and popular music of the 19th century in America.
Their instruments include hammered dulcimers, Appalachian or lap dulcimers, piano, autoharp, mandolin, banjo, guitar, and limberjack.
David Lindsey on the hammered dulcimer...that he made himself.

Annette Lindsey on the autoharp

Karel Wheat playing "limberjack".  Dave said that was a hit.
The little guy was dancing on a board...up and down...up and down...clickety-clack...clickety-clack.
V said it reminded her of clogging or Irish dancing. 
One of V and D's favorite songs was "Gum Tree Canoe".
They tried to sing it for me when they got home, but somehow it probably wasn't the same as when The Sweet Song String Band did it.
On the Tom Big Bee River so bright I was born
In a hut made of husks of the tall yellow corn
It was there that I first met my Julah so true
And I rowed her around in the gum tree canoe
Sing row away row o'er the waters so blue
Like a feather will float in my gum tree canoe
Sing row away row o'er the waters so blue
Like a feather will float in my gum tree canoe.
...There's more...but that's all they could remember...
Guess you'll have to Google the rest.
Have a "Gum Tree Canoe" kind of week!