Sunday, August 31, 2014

New Mexico

From Clovis, we headed west toward Arizona.

Clovis is a railroad town and, unfortunately, the railroad and a small freight yard is just across the street from our motel. Switching cars, with the requsite banging and whistle signals kept my wife up much of the night. In the morning, we rolled westward.

There were a few places we wanted to see, but each was closed on Sunday. THis included all of the state visitor's centers along Interstate 40. If we could have gotten at least a free map, we would have spent more time in New Mexico and spent more money.

While driving, we passed through a small town, Santa Rosa. We have passed through this town several times over the past twenty-five or so years. It used to be a vibrant little town with many business on Business I-40, also known as Historic US-66. Each time, there were less and less businesses open. This time, most of the storefronts were vacent. At the rate this is going, the next time we drive through we will see tumbleweeds rolling across the road. It is so sad to watch this little town die.....

We found an interesting place for lunch - a restaurant chain called Lot-A-Burger. It has been around since 1953, but only in New Mexico and Arizona. For a fast food joint, the food was good, made when we ordered it, and reasonably priced.

We stopped in another railroad town for the night - Gallop, NM. We found lodging at a DaysInn and dinner at a Chinese restaurant where they really overfed you. We ordered three dishes - one lo main, a chicken and cashew, and one sizzling beef. We ate our fill and then filled (and I mean filled!) three to-go boxes.

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Saturday, August 30, 2014

Clovis, NM

We crossed the Texas-New Mexico border on US-60 and landed in Clovis, NM for the night. We found an Italian restaurant and a TravelLodge model. Unfortunately, it was across the highway from a small, but busy, railroad freight yard. The noise was unrelenting all night. It kept my wife awake while the rest of us slept.

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Good Grief! Where has the Time Gone??

Here it is:  vacation time again.  I just realized that it has been eleven months since the last time I posted anything!  So much has happened, but I have been so busy....
A quick synopsis:
  • I am still working off the ranch, but my wife is not. She is now permanently disabled due to her knees. Now, if we can only get the Social Security Administration to agree...
  • We have expanded our operation to include chickens. We built a coop to keep them safe at night, but let them range freely during the day.
  • The children are taking on-line classes this semester. This way they can keep up while we travel. I wish this option was available when I was in college...
  • We rented out the double-wide, but the new tenant defaulted after the first month and we had to evict her. Now, we have to find another tenant.
  • We actually had some decent rains this year. Our pastures are still green at the end of August! The state, however, is still in a drought: replenishing the aquifers will take much more rain than we have gotten.

The economy, while it has improved, is still bad. I keep hearing economic pundits complain that the consumer, which comprises 70% of economic activity, is still not spending. This leaves me wondering what planet they live on. Since wages have been static and the prices not included in the "market basket," are rising, where are we supposed to get the money to spend on non-essential items? The official inflation rate does not include food, energy, taxes, medical and education. Jobs have increased, but not for veterans, part-timers and the long-term unemployed - three groups not included in the standard employment rate. All the pundits are trying to do is make us feel better without making the reality better. As W.C. Fields said - lies, damn lies and statistics.

Anyway, it is time for vacation. We are headed to my mother-in-law's place in California to celebrate her 80th birthday. My wife's best friend will take care of the flock and the herd while we are gone.
Gotta run for the New Mexico state line.....

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