Several years ago our little dog “Pepper” came into our lives as a rescue. She was not friendly to strangers nor especially other dogs, regardless of size. Pepper was so protective, loving, and the best alarm of unfamiliar sounds of any dog I’ve ever known. Her capacity for love was universally limitless – the wide smile, wagging tail, and bright eyes always brightened our outlook on anything.

Some time ago she had some incident where her hips and back were injured. At time she could hardly use her back legs nor climb steps, but being such a trooper, always did all she could. A vet in Socorro offered no treatment except for ‘mickeys’ we could administer occasionally. More recently her in Alamogordo it became evident that she was in pain all of the time. Her behavior changed being aggressive at times, even toward us. Our Belgian Granddaughter said that it must be her way of telling us that it was ‘her time’.

This morning, Christmas Eve, we took her to a local vet on the recommendation of a dear friend of about 40 years. This kind hearted old man examined Pepper thoroughly and said that there was nothing at all that anyone could do and that euthanasia was the most appropriate action, that it was the KINDEST thing we could offer. So, he completed that and we brought her home.

I had contacted a pet crematorium early today just in case we needed that support. I called the operator as soon as we got home – she arrived within a half-hour to take Pepper to her facility in Tularosa. She was the kindest most supportive person that could ever be our contact for this we would hope for. Debbie will return the cremains in a few days. She operates a large animal rescue/treatment facility for abused and injured animals. I did feel great relief that the honor of our dear Pepper would be preserved.

But, while we feel great relief that Pepper is no longer suffering, we are. Neither of us can see ever having another pet right now. I wish all of our friends a very Merry Christmas. Unfortunately, ours is not. Some might say that she was “just a dog”. Nope, Pepper was not “just a dog” – she was as much a part of us as we are to each other. We’re so much better for the few years we had with her.

Sadly, Jim

Plugging Away

Here Cat and I continue to move into our new home here in Alamogordo. We continue to find every encounter we have with people here to be simply remarkable! Every person is so kind and considerate. The USPS is the most efficient and pleasant in our history! Such happy helpful people. We’re blessed to live here in such a mecca of good people. We have discovered so many marvelous restaurants and shops everywhere.

Well, except for our only and last ever visit to an Applebee’s restaurant…. Never in our past has a visit to one of them been even marginally acceptable…. Ever! We decided to give them another chance and regret doing so. Everything associated with the visit was unpleasant. No circumstance will make us return………

Our home is really coming together. The living room is about 95%, our bedroom super, and ‘office’ also near complete. The walk-in shower in our master bath is to come as is security/storm doors front and rear, window treatments, and back yard landscaping with rock and the workshop there. We’re patient as we can be…. The garden shed we ordered from Lowe’s will be assembled Wednesday/Thursday. Yea! The garage is workable, though not for vehicles yet. I’ve worked on a workbench and shelving. We’ll likely have a water softener installed soon. The kitchen cabinets are to be installed next month! We’ll have them do the cabinets in the master bath too.

Our ’41 Ford pickup is in progress to resolve the catastrophic engine failure and a few other things. I really considered the Chevrolet LT-1, but am going with a different crate engine. It will have fuel injection mostly for the efficiency and reliability it provides.

Cat and I love living here – the Sacramento Mountains are so majestic and CLOSE! Our view to the West of the Tularosa Basin, White Sands, and then the Organ Mountains by Las Cruces are so nice. Frequent colorful sunsets and sunrises bring joy to us both. Our neighbors are marvelous as well. It’s a very quiet neighborhood with very little traffic.

Wednesday is our 25th Wedding anniversary. Doesn’t seem a day more than a week. We’re profoundly happy together! Not certain yet what we’ll do to celebrate, but it’ll be appropriate.

Wishing everyone a magical and loving Christmas!



Yahoo changed my mail password, so must establish a new email address. It is:

I could have changed my password had we not dropped our internet carrier in Magdalena…. When changing your password in Yahoo they send an email to your secondary address…………………… Very Very BOO to Yahoo…………. I did NOT change my mail password! They did!


Closer to Home

We’re working for all we’re worth to make this new place to us “Home”. That requires so much effort – and connecting with our new life here. We’re getting closer. It seems the packed boxes are multiplying, but really we’ve made such progress. We’ll not completely move into the kitchen since the new cabinets will displace it all, so the necessities are out and in use. The large display cabinet that was used for motorcycle collectibles has been repurposed. It’s now our canned goods and related storage. The clear door panels add to the uniqueness of it, and we love the effect. Our small appliances will go in a tall cabinet that was office related – and the overflow in lower cabinets when the new ones are installed.

The old ’41 Ford pickup was delivered Thursday early. We met Travis in Tularosa and led him to Alamo Tire in Alamogordo. The whole crew watched the unloading, each so prideful that it was there at their place to be made complete. That afternoon the chief mechanic called to report several critical issues that were causing such issues with the truck. 4 plug wires were grounded and melted onto the exhaust manifold, the brake master cylinder was leaking directly onto the engine, temperature gauge still inoperative, distributor had not been installed correctly, waaaay out of timing, and others. His assessment was that it was simply thrown together……….. I agree. The builder responded that he knowingly delivered it incomplete as I was insisting it be delivered! I’m a bit blown away by that assessment…… Spend two years and almost $100,000 on a custom build, and he delivered it KNOWING it was not finished! Well, Alamo Tire is not such an organization. They promise to make it absolutely reliable and complete. Finally. I’ll be frank if anyone asks me for a recommendation for the builder and welcome the opportunity to do so. It is actually distressing.

Neither Cat or I have been 100% – physical stuff comes up. For me my BP has been terrible – shouldering SO many things that are critical. I don’t know how to handle it, I guess. Sunday we took off. Well, for the biggest part – we still did stuff around.

Here is hoping for a great week to come with lots of successes!


Settling In

Cat and I made it to our new home here in Alamogordo. So many issues along the way but we’re so happy to be settling in. We knew what we’d be bringing so much more than we would keep, and wow but that was so very true. This afternoon we found the silverware! Dishes soon I hope. Did find the pots and pans but no preparation utensils. Yet. Sleeping in our own bed is refreshing and so comfortable.

Pepper is getting used to having a huge yard – but we’ll have landscaping done and no more grass except for a patch just for her. Found a garden storage building that will work – will design a workshop for the lapidary equipment eventually – no hurry. Part of it will be storage of course. Still don’t have the ’41 Ford here yet – Travis is having scheduling issues – perhaps very early this week. Tomorrow afternoon the phone REPAIR people will return – it worked a whole 12 hours or so…….. The internet is blazing fast and love it! Our rabbit ears in the house only gives us a couple of independents, but usable minimally. Also Monday afternoon the cable crew comes to make our home connected for basic broadcast and some cable like National Geographic and such. It’s what we watch most of the time anyway.

Need go return to the base pharmacy after Kirtland AFB transfers our prescriptions. LOVING having a big range of food/restaurant choices here!!!!!! And, 3 large grocers – not just stuck with wallyworld.

Our handyman is so good! While the new cabinets are 3 months out, we’re anxious already……….. The views from our home of the mountains are magnificent. Exploring the region in the old truck is a huge fun thing to come. The guest room is simple storage right now – yet another thing to look forward to. Having the office set up is great – but about 1000# of Cat’s books to deal with. At the moment there is no place for them. Will be dumping or giving away more than 100 LP’s mostly from the 60’s.

Huge changes in our lifestyle – adjustments every day……… But, we’re handling it bit by bit…. Thanks to those who have followed and supported us in this fun though unplanned move..


Packing It In

Cat and I have just about completed packing everything for our move to Alamogordo. Today marked a milestone for myself – ALL the shops, new garage, old Bike House, and bowl room are totally empty and cleaned, even the shelving. The crew of Tyler did an amazing job of it all. Robert came with his son and took lots of stuff, including the shelving I had used for so long.

The morning started with a huge jolt – the ‘mover’ I’ve been talking to revealed that his services were ONLY he and another packing our items – we have to supply all the supplies, boxes, and even RENT THE VAN for them to load!!!!!!!!!!!!! Up to this point he was going to come in a 31′ van with a crew… I was totally blown away and stunned at this revelation! The work leader of the Tyler crew overheard my angst and offered that he and helpers routinely move people and could do that for us too! Tyler arranged for the van and all. So, we’ll still pack the guest bed, computer work stations & computers, and outside stuff tomorrow, driving down with Pepper Sunday. We have two able helpers to unload and set that up there. We return to Magdalena Sunday afternoon and Tyler’s crew come Monday morning to pack, load, and likely take the load down Tuesday morning. Cat and I will leave Pepper at a boarder Sunday and after the crew does their thing Monday, go on back to Alamogordo…… They will show up at our new home with the truck and disperse everything as we direct.

What a saving action by Tyler and the guys! Two local professional movers to take care of us and our stuff! We’re blessed.

Today I met with our friend across the road who will deliver the ’41 Ford pickup to our home in Alamogordo the 17th. HUGE problem solved!

We’re on the way and at a more relaxed & reliable pace. Both Cat and I are so desperately tired and worn out, but it’s a good feeling. We can hardly wait to be “Home”…………

This morning it was 24 degrees when I went out with Pepper. So, we finally turned on the furnace. Still feels good as it’s just 57 now at 4:00 pm…..

Thanks to all the good people who have sorta moved along with us giving their blessings and support. We have so many good friends who share with us that way. Now, a lite dinner and a quiet evening.


Movin’ On Down

Cat and I continue to make progress on our impending move to Alamogordo. Packing away, pitching, and setting aside for donation. I just know that we’ll dispose of a LOT once we’re settled. Closing last Monday was such fun.

Then, Friday evening our realtor called to report that vandals had entered the home and broken light globes, knocked some holes in walls, broke a glass panel in the fireplace screen, and sprayed their name on 2 walls. Welcome to Alamogordo. It is a marvelous neighborhood and this sort of thing is extremely rare according to friends there. I called the police but they would not respond or make report! An office would call when available…… No call. I drove down Saturday to survey the damage and was pleasantly surprised that it was not bad. There wad no sign of forced entry so entry was either by key or an unlocked door. A cleaning lady had did her thing the day before so I’m convinced that she did not lock one of the doors. The little punks were drawn to the home as the pure idiot listing ERA real estate agent left their huge sign in the yard for a WEEK after the sale! I should not have to pay for the damage because of those human failures. I’ll begin by having all 3 locksets replaced. We had already decided to replace all the ceiling fans. A contractor will repair the wall damage and painting.

Looking around with nothing in the way discovered that all cabinets are in bad condition – we’ll probably have new ones made and installed. Now is the time.

The selling agent, Future Real Estate, has been remarkable in helping us through the process from looking at homes- and they have not abandoned us now after the sale. Fantastic group! Both Justin’s are going above the call.

We have a huge pile of refuse and about 1/4th of a garage full of packed boxes. All the exotic woods go the 3rd. Everything else was sold to one person and it all should be removed by Friday. Cat and I are so excited and the bump in theroad of the vandalism is not going to affect our excitement.

Been starting the ’41 Ford pickup often to let it run awhile to help with break-in. The builder had rather I not drive it till the exhaust leak and temp gauge are repaired. A shop in Alamogordo will do the work – I visited them last week. Will trailer it down. Had thought the builder was going to break it in, guess he didn’t get around to it.

We so look forward to moving to Alamogordo the 15th. We have worked so hard to make it a smooth transition. Our lives will be radically changed. I’m taking NO equipment! A nice lapidary shop will be my form of “work” fun. We will both greatly enjoy frequent drives in the old truck visiting all the attractions in that part of the state. And, a nice guest room awaits.