Still settling in… Alamogordo, NM

Sunday, December 31st, 2017

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“The greatest temptation you will ever have in your Life is to give up on what you truly want because it seemed too difficult to have. If you put your Loyalty into anything, put it into believing in yourself.”

Jam-ing Hot Dogs! I hate hot dogs but this guy knows how to prepare them.


Enough hot dogs on the Menu?

I had to go with the Special.

The Special…. Well done!

It has now been six months since we moved here. It still sounds strange to me, yet in slices of time I am getting to enjoy this whole situation more and more. By weekly slices? Monthly? Especially when I get my utility bills, something which has been in the past foreign to me, and realize that in one month I have used as much water as I would use while off the grid at The Oasis in one year! Guilt. I know it is bad. I know we will run out of water eventually before any other resources but you know what? The average American uses 220G of water per day. Of course that includes watering lawns, washing cars, you name it. One of the perks I am thinking about finally being on Life’s Vacation and yet, amazingly I try to conserve. I am not doing a very good job at it.

Pensive and Happy Spirit.

Do I miss being on the road full time? Knowing it is out there for grab and still comfortably healing, not as much as before. Changes! My body mainly. It is not what it was ten years ago at 60, not even five years ago. It is also winter and I enjoy this central heating system! The truck/camper is in the driveway always hooked up to its own source of power as I got lucky while the previous owners also had a camper. It has been washed and waxed and just a week ago as again I told myself “we live here”, I went and bought a 100′ hose with a sprayer, one of those synthetic cloth to dry a vehicle and now I keep up with it. I have even detailed the inside. A far cry from previously living in dust and dirt. It feels good.

Love my Sushi which I finally learned how to prepare.

Apple Tart with Vanilla Custard…

Strawberry Tart with Chocolate Custard…

Blueberries and Blackberries over Vanilla Custard.

I finally also got it together regarding food. It is amazing how things change when food stores are only a couple miles away! When while Spirit is sleeping I get on the sidecar and run errands for some little things I am missing. A “good for the soul” run! There is no Sushi restaurants here and so I learned how to make my own. Not necessarily with raw fish as that is something that lacks here, but with everything else meaning shrimp, crab meat, cream cheese and other vegetables. Making Sushi had always been a dream of mine and after cooking professionally for over 50 years it was about time. Sushi… Back to making Pies… The old habits are coming back.

Mr Spirit in Moab.

Spirit is retired! That is the way I look at it. We went through a hard time not long ago as I was really bummed out about it. I forgot dogs can sense how we feel and the worse I felt the worse he felt. Nervous, his eyes always questioning everything as he cannot hear anymore and his vision is also not that good, constantly scratching himself and even at times trembling. As soon as I realized I truly was the cause of it, my attitude changed. So I have to take care of an older dog now. One that does not want to ride in the sidecar anymore, one with whom I have to be outside with, one that needs a little bit of a push while jumping on the seat of the truck. From bummed out with acceptance I turned happy. He deserves his retirement. How many dogs have ridden through this country so many years and so many miles? It is all fine now! He is happy that I am happy. He even again runs in the backyard [or as I call it the “sideyard”!]. He is happy that I no longer leave him out all alone, he is happy that I lay down with him and scratche his head while he tilts it from pleasure right to left and vice versa. One happy dog… one happy little family!

Mr Spirit

I clean! I vacuum! I wash dishes! We do use the camper and explore a bit. Not up the Mountains right now even though I would love some of “Mad Jack’s” incredible BBQ in Cloudcroft. It is too cold up there and since my bypasses and stents I don’t know how the altitude will affect me. Soon however we will go up again. We spent some time on “Three Rivers Rd”, a road with so many destinations I wrote about in our new travel journal . I am unlike in the past actually planning the Journeys we will take. It has been my turn these past weeks to follow others and write down their destinations. This State is a gem and it feels good to now be a legal resident. I am an “Alamogordian”…. Driver’s License, a real mailing address, New Mexico license plates, vehicle insurance and great health insurance coverage including dental and vision! Everything is so less expensive here. Karma has been good to us. As I said it before and will always think it, Lance sure is watching out for us.

Mr Spirit in Utah Desert.

Destinations! only a few miles from us is the Lincoln National Forest and Sacramento Mountains. A Lifetime of roads to discover as my Forestry detailed maps shows. It will be perfect for summer times while climbing at 9000′. Jemez Hot Springs, Spence Hot Springs, City of Rocks, Elephant Butte Lake, Oliver Lee, Bottomless Lakes, Gila National Forest… so much more. As State Parks alone there are over 30 of them. As a Senior $100 a year covers unlimited entrance and camping! There are 26 State Parks with great fishing. A fishing License for me is $8 a year! This does not even include the National Parks and Forests and BLM lands plentiful throughout this State. Maybe we will never need to get out of New Mexico!

State Parks and Public Lands camping in New Mexico.

State Parks of New Mexico.

And suddenly we jump into 2018! 2020 is only a short time away and somehow it is all starting to not quite feel real. Having been born in 1948, this is truly living into the future for me. For the better or worse we adapt, we have to. We also witness the changes in this Society of ours or is it that maybe nothing has changed, all just is “in your face” so much faster in brighter neon colors? I am constantly feeling that Life here is just too easy! I wonder if it is the same for most everyone who has a home. On a cloudy and grey day I just feel like watching a movie or cooking another pie or taking a nap while I still ask myself if that is “okay?”. Of course it is… Good answer! It is a noiseless neighborhood and I easily can cut myself off from the outside World. There is a metal grilled fence all around the property and ahead of it another fence, wood planks this time and much taller. There are four lockable gates! We are supposed to be here yet a mental wandering never stops. It is harder for me to get used to this home versus calling a forest or a desert “home”. How strange.

I cannot fall asleep in my colorful kitchen!

Until next time, stay well.
Ara and Spirit

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17 Responses to “Still settling in… Alamogordo, NM”

  1. Donna McNicol Says:

    What a wonderful post, the most upbeat in some time. I love your kitchen and am happy to hear you are back to cooking. You both deserve retirement, whatever that entails. I’m glad to hear Spirit is hanging in there…if he still scratches a lot, try fish oil capsules with his food. Helped Murphy so much we are now adding a capsule to both pup’s food daily (snippable capsule kind, easy to use).

    I look forward to your posts this summer when you get out and about again. Yes, aging take adjustment – like you, I can’t do what I did 5 years ago or sometimes, even 2 years ago. We take our youngest grandchild to Disney next October and I fear I will need to rent a scooter. My back just want take that much walking/standing anymore.

    Love to you both!!

  2. d'Lynn Morrison Says:

    The “Today’s Special” looked fantastic. I would have had the same.

    Good post, Ara. Nice to see you and Spirit up-beat and cooking up a storm. [ You must be sharing all those pies !! ]


  3. Randy Says:

    Beautiful kitchen and post. Oh those pies!

  4. judith Says:

    A bit older than you, I am glad you are feeling at home. I’ve been reading you for a while now. Best wishes.

  5. Don McGilvray Says:

    Thanks for the update, Ara! It is wonderful to read that you (and Spirit!) are feeling better, more settled, and happy in your new “digs”!
    Those pastries look luscious! If you were so inclined, I’ll bet there would be a happy outlet for your wares some where in Alamagordo… maybe the Hot Dog stand featured in your latest update??

    I’m thrilled to read that you have been taking little excursions on Old Faithful, as the need and desire dictates! It is good to know that your surgeries for the stents, etc. have healed so well and enable you to enjoy time on your sidecar rig again.

    So… Keep on Keepin’ ON my friend! It’s all good.

  6. Ara & Spirit Says:

    Thank You Don. A “happy outlet” as you write would take the fun away! Many excursions planned for when it gets a bit warmer. We are mainly taking the truck/camper these days. Spirit is tired!… and actually needing a ramp now. Such is Life you know making sure we enjoy our times here… alive! Stay well. Ara and Spirit

  7. Ara & Spirit Says:

    Thank You. Stay healthy…. that is all I can say and have in mind these days. Ara and Spirit

  8. Ara & Spirit Says:

    Soon you will get to taste some!!!

  9. Ara & Spirit Says:

    If there was anyone to share with I would….

  10. domingo chang Says:

    good upbeat update!

    so Spirit has retired eh? does that mean no more sidecar riding for him or just once in a while now?

  11. Ed Schnurbusch Says:

    Ara – We might have to hit up Jam-ing Hot Dogs when I visit. I’ve been a hot dog guy since I was a kid. I love the bright colors in your house. Don’t know how you could ever take a nap in there.

  12. Ara & Spirit Says:

    We will. Trying to help him out a bit. He bought the place [existing business] 6 months ago. Have a lot of ideas for him but I am not looking for a job… See you soon.

  13. Ara & Spirit Says:

    Spirit was not doing well, then did well and now again downhill. He has a serious bad liver condition which requires hospitalization with oxygen and liquid food. But, the Dr does not want to go that route because of his age. One day at the time… Thanks for asking.

  14. Karan & Jim Hart Says:

    Hi, Ara & Spirit, just wanted you to know I enjoyed your blog. Glad to hear your surgery’s went well. My husband & I used to live in Quemado, New Mexico. We loved it there,so beautiful. We Rv-ed for about 12 Years, loved every minute of it. We do go back to visit our friends there in Quemado. Will probably go back out there this summer. We plan on camping in the sawtooth mountains there & a place called the Chrisswell, it was sectioned off into plots, but not a lot of people live there. It’s off grid, it will never have electric, phone or water unless you drill for it. Maybe on one of your little rides,go check it out. It’s very beautiful there & serene. It’s between Magdalena & Pie Town, NM. Take care & God Bless!

    Karan & Jim Hart
    PS. We live in Kentucky now.

  15. Ara & Spirit Says:

    Thanks for writing! We do love it here, love the comfort. It was that time you know… Let us know if ever in the area.
    Have a wonderful day. Ara and Spirit

  16. Karan & Jim Hart Says:

    Will do Ara, in the mean time take care.

  17. Lorrie Douglass Says:

    Hey Ara.. just thinking of you & Spirit, & wishing him well, & sending you hugs!! Thinking of you, & Lance, & saying a silent prayer for you today!!
    Love, Lorrie

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