Friday, September 30, 2011

Foggy Dew

Haiku My Heart
September 30, 2011

Every Friday, folks from around the globe write their haiku from the heart. See more and find out how you can join in at Rebecca's recuerda mi corazon.

Shrouded shadows cry
Let the sunshine brighten us
Heavy morning dew

This was the scene at sunrise over the Nebraska Sandhills last week. The photos cannot do justice, nor can I explain, how the landscape slowly comes alive and cries out to the world on a Fall fog filled morning. I know I was not alone here, yet there was not a soul to be seen or heard along this road. The silence was deafening.

The sleep wasn’t quite washed from my eyes when this low flooded area presented itself. Something about the natural beauty of the lifting fog, burning from high above, that made the land look like a painting. I took photos, but it is the memory that is indelible in my mind and touches my heart.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

My Love of Baseball

Okay folks. This post is gonna be about sports. Baseball to be exact. Major League Baseball. I know that many can’t stand professional sports. If that’s the case, well, that’s the case. I love baseball and the finish to this years regular season is the most awesome, intriguing, dramatic and exciting that I can remember in my life.
I grew up in Chicago. I was exposed to baseball and started going to games as a youngster. The Lions Club sponsored bus trips to Wrigley Field, home of the Chicago Cubs. My mom paid two bucks and gave me a brown bag lunch. I met at the park and rode the bus to the game. I was right around ten years old.
I saw all the greats. Ernie Banks, Billie Williams, Hamerin’ Hank Aaron, Warren Spahn, and the list goes on and on. I learned the game and carried it through my life.
Years ago, one team won the National League and one team won the American league. These two teams played the World Series and that was it.
Some changes were introduced into the game. I didn’t like the changes, but it was still a pitcher throwing a ball at 90 plus miles per hour and a batter trying  to hit it. The changes made for a playoff scenario at the end of the regular season.
There are three divisions in each of the two leagues, and each team plays 162 games. After these games are played, the division leaders have a play off. Since there are three divisions, they use the team with the best record amongst the league as a ‘Wild Card’ team to round out the field to four teams.
The three division leaders and this wild card team play off until one team is left. This happens in the American League and the National League. Then, the two teams left play the World Series.
This year. 161 games have been played. The three division leaders have been determined, but not the wild card in either league. Each league has two teams with identical records going for the wild card spot. Today’s game will either produce a clear cut winner, or if they remain tied after today, they will play an extra 163rd game on Thursday where the winner takes all and makes it into the playoffs.
In the divisions themselves, who the team plays in the playoffs and where the game is played goes to the team with the best record. In both leagues here, the margin between the number two and number three seed is one game with one left to play. The outcome of these games tonight can decide whether the team plays on the road or at home, and this is important as most teams want to play at home in front of their home town fans.

There will be no playoff for the division lead placement. This will be determined by a tie breaker in the event these teams are tied at the end of today’s play. In the case of the Milwaukee Brewers and the Phoenix Diamondbacks. If their record is tied after tonight, the Diamondbacks would win the spot since they have a better record against the Brewers in regular season play. Same between the Texas Rangers and the Detroit Tigers.
So, it’s exciting to watch the games today and if you can’t see each game as they are in other TV markets, the technology today offers real time scoring and the possibility to check the scores continuously throughout the evening.
Besides this unbelievable scenario, within each game are phenomenal things happening. Prince Fielder of the Milwaukee Brewers hit three home runs in one game. The Tampa Bay Rays turned a triple play. The Arizona Diamondbacks made up a five run deficit and hit a grand slam in the bottom of the tenth inning to win. The National League batting title is tied between two players, and a rookie, called up from their minor leagues to play with the Boston Red Sox, hits two home runs in his first game as a big leaguer in a game the Red Sox had to win to stay alive.
It’s an exciting day in Major League baseball for me and for fans around the globe. I guess it’s akin to getting one of your quilts in a show or one of your close-up macro flower shots chosen for publication. You can just imagine how excited I am.
Will you be watching baseball tonight? Which team or teams will you be cheering for? Any predictions as to who will play the World Series and which team will ultimately win it?
My heart would love to see the Brewers play the Tigers with the Brew Crew coming out on top. On paper, The Yankees will play the Phillies, but my prediction? The Brewers play the Texas Rangers for the title and the Brewers come out on top.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Sandhills of Nebraska at Sunrise

Shadow Shot Sunday
September 25, 2011

Every Sunday, folks from all over the world join in and post their shadowy photographic delights. Some with stories. To see more and find out how you can participate, see Hey Harriet's Photography blog.

Sunrise over the Nebraska Sandhills in the Valentine Wildlife Refuge

I recently traveled across the Western USA from New Mexico to Wisconsin. My business was finished on the Southwest and it was time to travel home. I'll return to New Mexico in a month or so.

We made our way into the Sandhills of Nebraska and caught a beautiful September morning sunrise. I couldn't resist stopping for a few shots of Ole Sol creeping up over the crest of a hill. Then, back on the road, it happened. The crisp shadow of my truck against the grassy hills along the roadside.

Always at the ready while traveling, I grabbed my camera and snapped off some Shadow Shots. 
I like to find new and different routes to make this trek as I do make this run often. A rather new friend of mine didn't quite understand why I would undertake driving back and forth the 1500 odd miles one-way from River Falls, WI to Truth or Consequences, NM. He just doesn't understand. I do this because I want to. I have family in the way of Grand children in Wisconsin, and I also love the Southwest. Besides, the Winter can be a long drawn out cold dreary affair up North. I like to warm my bones in the Southwestern sun, especially in January. An after all, I'm retired!

This particular route is not new to me. In fact, in years past, I used this road many times. It is US Highway 83 and runs from the Canadian border near Westhope, North Dakota to Brownsville, Texas along the Mexican border. I use the section from Murdo, South Dakota to North Platte, Nebraska on this trip. I always say I am going to take a trip and traverse the entire 1885 miles of US 83, drive it end to end. Maybe it's time to accomplish some of these road excursions that I dream of.

The road crosses through the Valentine National Wildlife Refuge and the beautiful Sandhills of Central Nebraska. The town of Valentine, just nine miles from the Nebraska/South Dakota border, anchors the Northern edge of this area with the Niobrara River coursing through the countryside.

We spent the night in a Howard Johnson's motel in North Platte, NE. We were up early, so Mrs. Spadoman and I decided to get on the road and make the last portion of our journey home, over 650 miles, in one day. It was dark when we left North Platte. The early morning light was just starting to light up the Eastern sky.

We arrived home safe and sound before 7:00 PM that same evening. A mere 12 hours on the road. We both retired early and got a good nights rest. It feels good to sleep in our own bed after so many nights away. I'm planning the next trip, but have some chores to accomplish before I can head back to New Mexico. I think I'll be right in the middle of the Winter Sandhill Crane migration.

I hope your travels are safe and plentiful.

Peace to all

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

On the Move

Leaving Truth Or Consequences, New Mexico today in an hour or so. Headed back to Wisconsin and home. I'll be on the road and we'll be taking our time. Computer time will be hit or miss while traveling.

Due to stop in Albuquerque and maybe Santa Fe today, and head through Denver on the route back. I heard they're wearing sweatshirts in Wisconsin. I will be angry if this ruins my tanned face.

Peace and Love to all

Monday, September 19, 2011


Aye Mates, she be International Talk Like a Pirate Day t'day. Don't ferget now mateys. An make sure yer rapin' and pillagin' meets the standards of ye ole Cap'n.


Cap'n Jack Spadelowe be a watchin' ye closely

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Home Sweet Home

Shadow Shot Sunday
September 18, 2011

To see more Shadow Shots and to find out how you can participate, please visit Hey Harriet's Photography.

These first couple of days and nights in our new casita here in New Mexico have been fun. Shopping the second hand and thrift stores and finally succumbing to a trip to Wally World has anxiety, drama and fun built in to the process. Once finally home, relaxing and sitting around on the patio, listening to the radio and enjoying the late summer breeze, we realized that we have achieved something in our lives.

The view from our patio, overlooking the courtyard.

I love the way the sun creates the individual shadows at each doorway, and the beautiful shape of the tree surrounding us. (I'll need to identify what kind of tree this is). The achievement of being old enough and having configured our finances to afford what is a luxury to us and our lifestyle, like this little casita 1400 miles away from our home in Wisconsin, isn't what I'm talking about. It's the 40 years Mrs. Spadoman and i have been married. We celebrate in three weeks.

Enjoy your shadowy weekend.


Friday, September 16, 2011

Visitors From Abroad

Haiku My Heart
September 16, 2011

Friday is the day many of us gather at my friend Rebecca's blogsite and share haiku. You can see and read more submissions by clicking on this link to the recuerda mi corazon blog.

Landing space platform
Imagine silver space ships
Tiny green figures

Of course this rock formation found alongside the road from Santa Fe to Espanola, NM wasn't for alien landing craft, but what if it was? I woke this morning with a "What if" mentality, (and a bit of whimsical spirit).

This place is called Camel Rock. If you use your imagination, you can see in my photos the figure of a camel. The stock photo below from Google images shows the idea far better than my attempts. (Oh to have the skill of the Molokai with my cell phone).

I just couldn't help but wonder how it would feel to be high atop the camel's "head". Then realized there is no easy way up or down. Those ancients that landed here with their space craft probably left after having a look around.

I'm in Arizona, traveling with Mrs. Spadoman back to New Mexico.

Peace to all

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

By the Time I Get to Phoenix

The title of this post may be a tad bit misleading. The lyrics from Glen Campbell's song by the same name don't share the reasons I'm saying this line tonight. In the song, he tells a tale about leaving his women. For me the opposite is true. Read on, you'll see what I'm talkin' about.
It has been an interesting couple of weeks for me. I left Wisconsin on August 31st. My destination was Truth Or Consequences, New Mexico. I have been traveling around New Mexico since I’ve been here, making it to Taos for a weeks worth of motorcycle riding as well as around the area to places like Hatch, for the 40th Annual Chile Festival, Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Las Cruces, (to buy a new pair of Ray Ban sunglasses since I stepped on my old ones).

Tomorrow, early morning, I leave here for Arizona, Phoenix to be exact. I will reunite with my best friend, soul mate, wife, mother of my children and lover who I affectionately refer to as Mrs. Spadoman. Her Sun Country Airlines flight is due to arrive at 4:15 PM.

As excited as I am about what has taken place down here so far, that is, selling my RV camper and renting a permanent casita, opening a local bank account, relaxing in the natural hot springs, riding my motorcycle, meeting new friends and eating way too much green chile, I am too excited about seeing the Missus for me to sleep!
I am all packed for the journey, the Ranger is full of gas, (petrol), and I’ve got my route planned and have driven it over and over in my head. 
Soon, I’m sure I’ll get back to doing some creative writing in hopes of chronicling various parts of my tumultuous life and entertaining the faithful wonderful souls that frequent this blog. Until then, I want to acknowledge the fact that I appreciate greatly those that stop by here to check in on my doings.
Chile rellenos smothered in chile verde

We’ll spend the night in Phoenix, (There will be a restaurant report when we decide which place we’re going to eat dinner, Lolo’s Chicken and Waffles or Bill Johnson’s Big Apple Restaurant), then head back to our new place in New Mexico and more relaxing time in the natural hot springs. (As well as more New Mexican Green Chile!)
Huevos Rancheros, again smothered in green
When I left, the weather in Wisconsin was still a bit steamy with daytime highs in the 90’s. Temperatures down here were well into the high 90’s and closing in 100. On Facebook, friends in the heartland have been giving reports of cold weather, people covering plants and garden vegetables for fear of heavy frost, and heavy winter clothing being dug out from the storage totes. The winds of change have started to turn with a vengeance up North.
I don’t fear the Winter’s cold and snow, but I do know it lasts a longer time than I want it to. And seeing as I am retired, we made the decision to have a place to escape to here in the Southwest.
Thanks to every one of my blog friends for being around and allowing me to share my daily happenings. I also very much appreciate the encouragement. 
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I think I’ll toss and turn for a couple of hours before I get up and start driving like a Knight going to save the damsel in distress. Maybe I’ll read those menus one more time and make an executive decision about a place to eat in Phoenix, because by the time I get there and greet my Little Honey, we'll both be powerful hungry.
Peace to all

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Let's Change the Subject, Shall We?

Triumphs in Taos Motorcycle Rally 2011

Group photo in front of the Kachina Motel on Sunday, the last day of the rally

A great time was had by all. We ate, we drank, we talked, we laughed and we rode our motorcycles in the sunshine, the warmth, the rain and the cold. I even rode mine in the mud.

A little mud, worn like a badge of honor

I even wore my muddy shoes and pants to dinner
There were periods of rain. No one's spirits were dampened. Daily rides through the mountains around Taos, NM took place. I'm not sure how many people came for the rally with their Triumph motorcycles, but the group photo will attest to a good sized group and a wide variety of bikes.

Someone, that loves us dearly, even brought a cherry pie to the BBQ, bought at a local Farmer's Market

Saturday night, the hotel where we stayed, the Kachina Inn, put on a BBQ. All the riders gathered, and sticking with tradition, a couple of hard-core Triumph riders wore kilts.

This may seem like a lot of craziness to some, but it is akin to the art shows, horse shows, dog shows, quilt shows and other activities that trip your triggers. Attending a motorcycle rally trips mine.

Just thought I'd give you a taste of what I've been doing here in New Mexico. I feel like my controversial post yesterday might have kept readers away. Then again, so will this one, as I'm sure you're sick and tired hearing about my motorcycle adventures.

Don't worry, life is a cycle, and this phase shall pass in its own time.

I'm back in Truth Or Consequences now. Excited about meeting Mrs. Spadoman Thursday in Phoenix so we can spend some time together at our new place in New Mexico.

Peace to all

Monday, September 12, 2011

Read This!

I know, September 11th is over. We did our honoring ceremonies, paid numerous tributes to the dead, their friends and families and bowed our heads appropriately at every Major League Baseball game and National Football League game. While surfing the channels on TV last night in the motel here in Socorro, New Mexico, I even heard one announcer mention that it was after midnight, (I was watching the Cubs/Mets broadcast from New York City), "....and now it is September 12th."

I mentioned the tragedy of September 11, 2001 on my Shadow Shot Sunday blog post yesterday. I mentioned it. Just as I mention D-Day, June 6, 1944 and the bombing of Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941, (It was December 8th in Japan). I'm pretty sure I mention the day John Lennon was killed, December 8, 1980. Then, I went on and posted my Shadow Shot Sunday photos and explained them. Business as usual.

I checked my e-mail, and forwarded to me was this very striking piece written by Emmanuel Ortiz, a Chicano/Puerto Rican/Irish-American activist and spoken-word poet that now lives in Fort Wayne, Indiana. This expression, entitled "A Moment of Silence", made me stand up and notice.

I noticed what kind of world we live in. How we treat our fellow man. That we allow the atrocities, bombings, killing, injustices and judgement of others for reasons of superiority, as in Super Power superiority. It made me ashamed that I have placed my activism aside lately.

The feeling I have now is that the people that come visit my blog, largely an art crowd these days as I have subscribed to weekly meme projects, don't mention the political scene and world situation except to mention national disasters like storms, earthquakes, tornadoes, tidal waves and hurricanes. Many are from Australia, England, India, Philippines, Canada and the good ole USA. The politics and status of the world is not openly discussed.

When I started blogging way back in  2005, I jumped on the politics band wagon. I'd 'sing to the choir' and force my opinions down the throats of my blog friends. Since they were all doing the same, we all read each others unprofessional editorials and patted each others backs for agreeing with each other. I got away from this over time, yet remained a concerned citizen as far as matters of state were concerned.

That brings me to the heart of the matter for today's post. The piece written by the above mentioned poet and spoken-word activist, Emmanuel Ortiz.  Everyone has an opinion, I share mine with Mr. Ortiz and apologize for allowing myself to forget some of the events he mentions in "A Moment of Silence".

A Moment of Silence

Emmanuel Ortiz
Before I begin this poem, I’d like to ask you to join me in a moment of silence in honor of those who died in the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on September 11th, 2001.
I would also like to ask you to offer up a moment of silence for all of those who have been harassed, imprisoned, disappeared, tortured, raped, or killed in retaliation for those strikes, for the victims in Afghanistan, Iraq, in the U.S., and throughout the world.
And if I could just add one more thing…
A full day of silence… for the tens of thousands of Palestinians who have died at the hands of U.S.-backed Israeli forces over decades of occupation.
Six months of silence… for the million and-a-half Iraqi people, mostly children, who have died of malnourishment or starvation as a result
of a 12-year U.S. embargo against the country.
…And now, the drums of war beat again.
Before I begin this poem, two months of silence… for the Blacks under Apartheid in South Africa, where “homeland security” made them aliens in their own country
Nine months of silence… for the dead in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, where death rained down and peeled back every layer of concrete, steel, earth and skin, and the survivors went on as if alive.
A year of silence… for the millions of dead in Viet Nam —a people, not a war—for those who know a thing or two about the scent of burning fuel, their relatives bones buried in it, their babies born of it.
Two months of silence… for the decades of dead in Colombia, whose names, like the corpses they once represented, have piled up and slipped off our tongues.
Before I begin this poem,
Seven days of silence… for El Salvador
A day of silence… for Nicaragua
Five days of silence… for the Guatemaltecos
None of whom ever knew a moment of peace in their living years.
45 seconds of silence… for the 45 dead at Acteal, Chiapas…
1,933 miles of silence… for every desperate body
That burns in the desert sun
Drowned in swollen rivers at the pearly gates to the Empire’s underbelly,
A gaping wound sutured shut by razor wire and corrugated steel.
25 years of silence… for the millions of Africans who found their graves far deeper in the ocean than any building could poke into the sky.
For those who were strung and swung from the heights of sycamore trees
In the south… the north… the east… the west…
There will be no dna testing or dental records to identify their remains.
100 years of silence… for the hundreds of millions of indigenous people
From this half of right here,
Whose land and lives were stolen,
In postcard-perfect plots like Pine Ridge, Wounded Knee, Sand Creek, Fallen Timbers, or the Trail of Tears
Names now reduced to innocuous magnetic poetry on the refrigerator of our consciousness…
From somewhere within the pillars of power
You open your mouths to invoke a moment of our silence
And we are all left speechless,
Our tongues snatched from our mouths,
Our eyes stapled shut.
A moment of silence,
And the poets are laid to rest,
The drums disintegrate into dust.
Before I begin this poem,
You want a moment of silence…
You mourn now as if the world will never be the same
And the rest of us hope to hell it won’t be.
Not like it always has been.
…Because this is not a 9-1-1 poem
This is a 9/10 poem,
It is a 9/9 poem,
A 9/8 poem,
A 9/7 poem…
This is a 1492 poem.
This is a poem about what causes poems like this to be written.
And if this is a 9/11 poem, then
This is a September 11th 1973 poem for Chile.
This is a September 12th 1977 poem for Steven Biko in South Africa.
This is a September 13th 1971 poem for the brothers at Attica Prison, New York.
This is a September 14th 1992 poem for the people of Somalia.
This is a poem for every date that falls to the ground amidst the ashes of amnesia.
This is a poem for the 110 stories that were never told,
The 110 stories that history uprooted from its textbooks
The 110 stories that that cnn, bbc, The New York Times, and Newsweek ignored.
This is a poem for interrupting this program.
This is not a peace poem,
Not a poem for forgiveness.
This is a justice poem,
A poem for never forgetting.
This is a poem to remind us
That all that glitters
Might just be broken glass.
And still you want a moment of silence for the dead?
We could give you lifetimes of empty:
The unmarked graves,
The lost languages,
The uprooted trees and histories,
The dead stares on the faces of nameless children…
Before I start this poem we could be silent forever
Or just long enough to hunger,
For the dust to bury us
And you would still ask us
For more of our silence.
So if you want a moment of silence
Then stop the oil pumps
Turn off the engines, the televisions
Sink the cruise ships
Crash the stock markets
Unplug the marquee lights
Delete the e-mails and instant messages
Derail the trains, ground the planes.
If you want a moment of silence, put a brick through the window
of Taco Bell
And pay the workers for wages lost.
Tear down the liquor stores,
The townhouses, the White Houses, the jailhouses, the Penthouses
and the Playboys.
If you want a moment of silence,
Then take it
On Super Bowl Sunday,
The Fourth of July,
During Dayton’s 13 hour sale,
The next time your white guilt fills the room where my beautiful brown people have gathered.
You want a moment of silence
Then take it
Before this poem begins.
Here, in the echo of my voice,
In the pause between goosesteps of the second hand,
In the space between bodies in embrace,
Here is your silence.
Take it.
Take it all.
But don’t cut in line.
Let your silence begin at the beginning of crime.
And we,
We will keep right on singing
For our dead.
Emmanuel Ortiz is a third-generation Chicano/Puerto Rican/Irish-American community organizer and spoken word poet. He is the author of a chapbook of poems, The Word Is a Machete (self-published, 2003), and coeditor of Under What Bandera?: Anti-War Ofrendas from Minnesota y Califas (Calaca Press, 2004). He is a founding member of Palabristas: Latin@ Word Slingers, a collective of Latin@ poets in Minnesota. Emmanuel has lived in Minneapolis, Minnesota; Oakland, California; and the Arizona/Mexico border. He currently lives in Fort Wayne, Indiana, the “buckle of the Bible Belt,” with his two dogs, Nogi and Cuca. In his spare time, he enjoys guacamole, soccer, and naps.

My Grandson once wrote on a piece of paper at the kitchen table these words. I offer them to you today:

Peace please, Thank you 

Saturday, September 10, 2011

A Shadow of Itself

Shadow Shot Sunday
September 11, 2011

Before getting into the Shadow Shots, I want to mention and remember that today marks a special anniversary in the history of the United States. Ten years ago on September 11, 2001, The World Trade Center in New York City was attacked and hit by hijacked aircraft. Many people lost their lives.
The government here thought it wise to rebuild the twin towers of the World trade Center. A friend of mine is an iron worker in New York City and has been working on this mammoth project. He sent me these arial photographs of the scene.

Above are two fantastic photos of the 911 Memorial & WTC site. These two photos are very new. The Memorial will open for the victims families today. Tower 1 (Freedom Tower) is up about 80 stories, going to 102 & Tower 4 is up about 35 stories, going to 65. Towers 2&3 are just coming out of the hole.
Today, I remember the victims, the families of victims and the myriad of effects this tragic event had on the lives of so many around the globe. My mantra for Peace still resounds to all.

Now, on the the Shadowy Business at hand.
I’ve photographed this place before. Amidst all the shadow shots at my blog and the literally hundreds that show up every weekend, I certainly don’t expect you to remember this particular place.

As you may know, I am away from Wisconsin and in New Mexico. I used the same road as I did last Winter and came across the same building. This time, I was traveling North on New Mexico Highway 1, in the small town of San Antonio, and instead of early morning Winter sun, it was mid day late Summer sun.

I took the close up you see above of the northern interior wall. As you can see in the older photographs of the entire structure, the shadows played out very different from one season to the other. Here is the post on Round Circle from last February for you to use to compare. 

Right now, I’m attending a motorcycle rally put on by Triumph motorcycle aficionados in Taos, NM. The weather is cooler than normal, wetter than normal and not conducive to taking leisurely rides through the twisty mountain roads. I’m glad I packed up the laptop and could share this shadow shot with you.
I believe if we stayed in one spot where we saw a shadow that was created, we could shoot there all year, in different seasons and different times of day and come up with literally millions of possibilities. Today’s post is an example of that.
A big Thank You to Hey Harriet Photography for creating this weekly blogging experience. People from all around the globe participate and post their shadowy shots and stories. Check out Hey Harriet Photography to see many fine examples of shadows in pictures and find out how you can participate.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Red Bells Ringing

Haiku My Heart
Stardate September 9, 2011

Haiku My Heart is a wonderful place where people from around the globe post stunning photographs and write amazing Haiku. It was the brainchild of my friend, Rebecca, who pens the recuerda mi corazon blog. Have a look to see more and find out how you can participate HERE.

Pretty red flowers
Bells ringing out the beauty
Hiding in silence

While riding in the mountains surrounding Taos, New Mexico, we stopped to take a rest from the grueling ordeal of riding off-road up steep rock strewn terrain. Taos is around 7000 feet above sea level. It would be a good bet to say we were riding up at 9000 feet when I looked around and saw these tiny flowers. While lying prone on the ground, I used the macro lens technique, (Thanks Paula), on my camera that allowed a close encounter with these tiny red beauties.
We stopped for a breather and captured our trusty steeds sitting along Forest Road 114

I don’t know what kind of wildflowers these are. This particular flower was small, less than an inch, and the entire plant sits on the forest floor. This specimen was barely 6-7 inches tall. Maybe someone can help me with an identification. I thought they looked like tiny red bells. I know I didn’t hear any ringing, yet I spotted them amidst an immense forest. I thought of their silence and yet they were so bold as to allow me to notice them. The color was so deep and rich.
Yours truly at a scenic overlook on New Mexico State Highway 518

Keeping with the total Spirit of Haiku My Heart, I will tell you that the riding has been fabulous so far. Getting off the highway and onto the forest service roads and trails in the Carson National Forest has been quite an experience. Yet my body and mind are telling me that my days of being capable of pulling off these maneuvers safely, and keeping myself out of possible dangerous situations, might be coming to an end. Maybe it’s the altitude making me think this way, but these thoughts come from my heart.
The bottom line is this. I am desperately missing my wife and family, but having a wonderful time with new motorcycle loving friends in a beautiful place amidst little red bells that are silently ringing in my ears.
May Peace be in your hearts 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Albuquerque, Santa Fe and Taos

The bike is loaded with the gear I need and I am again on the road. I headed North from T or C and spent the night in Albuquerque. I'll meet some friends for lunch in Santa Fe today, and continue on to Taos for the Triumphs In Taos Motorcycle Rally.

Pictures, videos and recap of this event to follow. In the meantime, just checking in to let folks know I am here and thinking about everyone of my special blog friends, and a few in particular that need some help and attention via prayers, good thoughts and positive energy. I send this to you.

Peace to all

Monday, September 5, 2011

Special Labor Day Monday Mystery Tour

The best Labor Day to all. If I am correct, we honor labor today. That's why the corporations that hire labor make them work so they can increase the profits for the stockholders. I don't spend money on Labor Day. I won't encourage them. I hope you enjoy the day and keep in mind the sacrifices the working class went through and continue to go through to serve your needs. Today is the day set aside to honor the working class.
In the meantime, things happen fast around me. I make things happen, fast. I see them in my mind’s eye, I envision the whole procedure, actually live it, then it happens. I can’t tell you that I know every detail, but I can tell you I know what I set out to do is gonna take place one way or another, if it is suppose to.

When I left Chicago in 1974, I saw us building a home on some acreage. It took us six years from the time we left to get the land and another couple to build the house.
That is kind of what happened here in Truth Or Consequences this time through. I had the idea of living at the Palms for years. As long as I have been coming here, I walked by this place and loved the colors and the way it was laid out. I liked the carports and the little covered patios off of the apartments. I liked that it was close to the Hot Springs District of T or C. It’s not just close, it is right smack dab in the middle of it, and only a block away from the coffee shop and deli where I make my morning appearances.

Problem was, The Palms never had vacancies. I do read the Truth Or Consequences Herald Newspaper on line at home. I was lookimg through the classifieds and saw an ad for apartments for rent at The Palms. I jumped on the opportunity and called. I couldn't do anything over the phone, but I did plant the seed and told Steve, the caretaker, that I would be down there and take a look. When i met him, he told me that many people call and say they are interested, but few ever actually show up. He remembered my phone call from a week prior and was happy to have made an agreement with me to rent Unit Number One at The Palms.
Before I left Wisconsin, I looked for any photos I had of the RV that I had parked down here at The Artesian Trailer Park. I put an ad to sell the RV on Craigslist in Las Cruces, NM. I had a couple of e-mails and a couple of calls. I told interested folks that I would be down here to show it on the first of September.
Morph, the RV, as it appeared in the Los Cruces Craigslist ad

I arrived on the first and took more photos of the unit itself and of the interior. I went back to Craigslist and changed my ad, adding the newer photos and giving more contact information. This also brought my ad back to the top of the heap and on the first page. I had many calls and e-mails.
I had one person call my cell number and ask me if I’d take $2000. For it. I declined and said they should at least come and see it. Truth is, I probably would have sold it for $2000. If they were knocking on my door with their money splayed out in their hand, ready to give it away, but not a spontaneous phone call asking me if I’d take that much.
Got a couple of e-mails asking me what my lowest price was. Out of around eight calls, five people came to see it. One outright didn’t want it because he thought it was in poor condition, another said it was too small for what he was looking for. Others left me with the old standbys, “I gotta talk to the wife” or the “I’ll think about it and get back to you.”
Yesterday, a guy came by. He had set up the appointment on Saturday and came Sunday. He looked it over, made me an offer. I accepted the offer based on some very simple terms. I needed some cash on-the-spot to let me know he was serious, and a date, which we wrote in a bill of sale, stating when and how he would deliver the balance due and pick up the RV and the title documents.
It was agreed and it has come to pass. I have cash and a signed bill of sale in  my possession. I’ll use the RV as a dwelling until I leave for Taos and the motorcycle rally on Wednesday. When I return on Monday September 12th, I’ll get the last items out of the unit and he will come with a cashiers check on Tuesday, September 13th. The owner of the RV park is sad to see me leave, but The Palms is but a block away, so I'll still run into him from time to time. He told me he will return a half month's rent when the RV leaves.
This is a new picture Mel, I didn't forget my camera, just forget to take a lot of photos

In the meantime, I did sign an agreement for the apartment at The Palms, and gave a security deposit for possession on the 15th of September. The caretaker and I had a talk and he said it would be okay to put any boxes and personal items in the kitchen on the floor before the 15th. He knows that I might sell the RV and need a place to store things until he finishes a few touch up items and steam cleans the carpeting.
Today is Labor Day, but I will pack up into plastic totes and boxes everything that I own. Kitchen fixins’, clothing, I was gonna make a list here, but that’s about it. It’s an RV and there just isn’t that much to gather to move out of it.
I’ll get these items to The Palms and put them in the kitchen with the help of a local resident that does odd jobs. I won’t be hoisting heavy boxes and totes full of stuff, I’ll hire help and feed the community with a little manna from heaven.
A view from Austin Street into the courtyard at The palms

I’ll leave for a great motorcycle trip and return to T or C and a cashiers check. I will probably have the expense of a couple of nights in a motel, but I also might have a chance to stay at a friend’s place. Either way, I leave Truth Or Consequences on Thursday morning the 15th and drive to Phoenix. There, I will meet Mrs. Spadoman who will join me. We’ll travel back here and have some fun stopping at second hand and thrift stores along the way looking for used tolerable furnishings for the new digs. Southwestern decor is a must!
Our Patio

Yep, I made it happen. Me, and the Spirit Guides and Helpers that I rely on to get me through these things, and The Creator. I was either off His radar or He just allowed it.  Both Mrs. Spadoman and I agree that if it was suppose to happen, it would, and it did, or at least is going through the process.
We didn’t sell our home in Wisconsin. This is a place we are renting to use as a second dwelling. I’ll be here on and off during the long cold Northern Winter, and like I am here in September for some bike riding, I’ll return in late April or May for some Spring riding. So the apartment at The Palms will get some use, approximately six months worth, just not a planned here and there Summer and Winter thing.
View of the patio from inside the apartment

So, I'm not selling my home amd moving down here. And Mel, I did not forget my camera, I didn't leave my wife, (sorry ladies), and even have her blessings. Now if you'll excuse me, I have things to do today. Not work, not labor for someone else's profit mind you, but activities that enhance my life and the lives of those I love. 

I may be getting old, but I plan on living until I die, not just be alive until I die. I feel good that I can still get the job done, with a little help.

Honor Labor, working men and women, today!