Sunday, January 13, 2008





After a restless night, I awoke around 7:00 a.m. and took Rip out for a walk in the gravel pit. As usual, she found many exciting scents to follow, but I cut it short so that we could walk over to “Drift Inn”, the RV belonging to Jan and Brad. Their two Siberians (Tuuk, an eighteen-month old female and Keyfur, a two-year old male) greeted us, but Ripley soon had them in their place. After an exuberant greeting to Jan and Brad, Ripley and I joined them on a walk with their dogs.

Then, it was time to say goodbye, but I am sure that we will meet up again, if not in the southwest, then back in Canada. Perhaps at their newly purchased property in Prince Edward Island. Speaking of PEI, by sheer coincidence we were both in adjacent campgrounds at the same time earlier this year, but didn’t know it!


Today was also Palomas, Mexico day at the Pink Store. Larry offered a ride to Doris and myself, and we headed south of the border for another good lunch. I ordered a Bacardi and Coke, and didn’t realize that the drinks are on the house. What luck! My chicken in garlic and mushrooms was lovely, and I decided to have flan for dessert, which I love. It is a custard soaked in caramel sauce.
Statue in Palomas, Mexico
Some of the goodies at the Pink Store
Since dentists and opticians are much cheaper in Mexico than in the USA, I brought along my extra set of glasses with a broken frame, to see if I could get a new frame at a reasonable price. But, I guess Mexicans enjoy a long weekend as the store was closed. There’s always next week!.

Larry grew up in these parts, and gave us a guided historical tour of the town of Columbus. We passed what was left of the original bank, the hotel and the jail. I certainly would not have wanted to serve any time in the jail, as the windows have no glass, and it must have been frigid in there.


New Year’s Eve is traditionally a couples’ celebration, especially when midnight rolls around. But here in Deming there are a few places where singles can go. Doris and I tried to get some of the other occupants here to come with us , but there was only one other person interested, so Chuck, Doris and I headed out to the Deming Performing Arts Theater to enjoy the music of Way Out West, a trio of musicians who blend bluegrass with the traditional sound of Western music. They call is “bordergrass” music.

For the sum of $6 we were treated to this live performance, plus finger foods. Where in Toronto could you find that kind of bargain?? Emily, Tom and Slim played some of their own compositions as well as music that I hadn’t heard since I was a child. We sat at a table with four locals, all of whom had moved here from other parts of the USA because they loved the small-town atmosphere here. Many got up to dance, and I really would like to learn how to dance properly, especially line dancing which doesn’t require a partner.

The evening was very enjoyable, and we still were home by 10:30 p.m.

JANUARY, 1 TO 13, 2008

As mentioned previously, for the next little while I will not be writing on a daily basis, to enable me to have time to pursue other activities while I am here at LoW Hi Ranch.

There was a New Year’s lunch at the Ranch rec room, featuring enchiladas, tacos, salads and lots of desserts.

I’ve been down to Palomas Mexico to The Pink Store twice this month. On the second visit I took along the glasses that I had stepped on, and had new frames put in for $30. I also had my teeth cleaned by a dental hygienist for $30. If I had $750 to spend, I would have them do a dental implant (the price quoted in Canada for this work was $1,500).

Doris has very kindly taken me into town every time that I have needed to go. That is where I can connect my wireless to send and receive emails and update my blog. It is very inconvenient not to have wi fi here at the Ranch, and I am planning to subscribe to T-Mobile to get an air card so that I can plug in just about anywhere, provided there is cellular service.

I am still experiencing hives on various parts of my body. I wish I knew what the cause was so that I could avoid that. The hives are extremely itchy and uncomfortable.

Doris and I spent one day in the local museum here. They have an incredible collection of memorabilia from earlier times; for instance, there is a diorama of an office featuring a non-electric typewriter, a very early copying machine, an adding machine that you crank. That is only one small part. One room contained all sorts of dolls and dollhouses that any collector would drool over. Another room featured photographs and newspaper articles from as far back as 1920. There were two rooms full of the Mimbres and other tribal pottery. There was art on the walls, a corral with a chuckwagon, saddles and a fake horse, and much, much more. You could spend days in there to see everything.

Some of my days have been what I would call “goof off” days where I accomplished nothing more than taking Ripley for walks, reading and relaxing. I took my bike out with Ripley on one day and got a flat tire from the pesky goathead burrs. They are small but very sharp spines.

Every day at the campground people arrive and people leave. There are a few of us who are remaining for awhile, but the majority of people use this as a stopping point before heading to Arizona, and particularly Quartzite. This little town features an area for boondocking for free and they even have a rally there. I might possibly check it out on my way through Arizona.

Speaking of Arizona, I received a card from my cousin Jerry and his wife Diane, telling me that they are renting an apartment in mid-January through to April in Mesa (just outside Phoenix), so that will definitely be a destination.

At the moment, here in New Mexico, I had originally hoped to get up to the Four Corners area (that’s where New Mexico, Arizona, Utah and Colorado all meet) but the weather is definitely not cooperating. They are experiencing a great deal of snow up there, so it is unlikely that I will take my rig that far. I am disappointed because I really wanted to visit some of the Indian villages there.

My brother Carl has been keeping me supplied with DVD movies and that has been most welcome. I am swapping with other people here as well – and there is a movie rental place in Deming where you can rent four first-run movies for $13.99 and keep them for five days.

Deming also has a Wal Mart and a K Mart, but otherwise there are only small individual businesses – and that’s a good thing, I think. However, the only bike shop in this area recently closed down, so I wasn’t able to get my bike fixed until recently when Bruce, the handyman here, replaced the tube for me.

The weather is really variable here in the desert. At night the temperature can plummet to below freezing, while during the day the temperature can rise to around 65 degrees F. These days are pleasant, but there are terribly strong winds that gust through here every few days, making it impossible to be outside for any length of time. I sit in my RV while it rocks back and forth. There was one day when the road beside the campground was closed down because of sand whiteouts. I have to confess that I wasn’t prepared for this kind of weather.

My laser printer gave out, despite the fact that it was wrapped in foam while traveling, so I was forced to buy a new HP inkjet printer for $37. It works fine, but the cartridges get used up very quickly.


There are some migratory birds that have settled here. Unfortunately, most of them are small brown birds, making it almost impossible for me to identify them. One of the long-term campers here has set up feeders, and the birds tend to flock around there.

I have also seen several roadrunners, the state bird, as well as a flock of quail, down in the gravel pit area.

A cold Roadrunner sunning itself

I’ve learned how to play Mexican Train – a version of dominoes. I’ve helped to put together jigsaw puzzles. Every Monday we have a potluck dinner, and every day at 4:00 we meet for Happy Hour. I’ve already mentioned our trips to Palomas, Mexico every Tuesday, and Thursday is dining out night, although I have not participated in that yet. Sundays there is a brunch at the Holiday Inn – and if one really wanted to play bingo, there are a couple of games in the neighbourhood at the VFW Hall and elsewhere. The VFW Hall also features a dance on Fridays and Sundays, but as they are allowed to smoke there, I have not gone.

The sunsets and sunrises are glorious, as are the stars in the night sky, thanks to no pollution in this area.

The joys of retirement are many. Some nights I have stayed up into the wee small hours, watching movies or TV (I can pull in five channels on my rabbit ears), just because. It is wonderful to have the freedom to sleep in if I want to, knit or crochet, read a book or whatever I feel like instead of having a rigid schedule to keep. I may have to pay for these indulgences down the road, but for the time being, I am truly enjoying this experience.

Thanks to all of you who sent cards, parcels and letters. Communication from home is certainly welcome. I will be here at LoW Hi Ranch, 1795 O’Kelley Rd. S.E., Deming, New Mexico 88030 until the end of January, so keep those letters and cards coming!

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