Saturday, March 26, 2011


Luke positions his helmet to begin his ride to work.

Today is a travel day to return from Tucson to Albuquerque.  We are up early, as last night we remembered the time change (losing an hour) and we need to meet Jed in time for lunch so he can get to volleyball practice by 4 pm!  I quickly take a few pictures of Luke's house, which I had neglected to do!   Luke takes off on his bike for work at 7:15 and Rick and I pull out minutes later heading east to Benson, where we pick up Mom. 

We have a tail wind today (much better than the gale force head wind on Monday) and somehow the drive seems to go faster than Monday's trip!  We didn't stop as much, the views were much better since the dust wasn't flying all over the place.  Mom insisted on sitting in the back today, so I worked on macramé necklaces, etc. from the front seat!  We grabbed a quick snack or drinks in Deming, which was really our only stop of the day besides Socorro.  Cruised in to Sophias at 2:30 where Jed met us and had a good meal (although I ate too much!).  

Home to Three Fountains by 5:15.  Rick and I promptly unloaded stuff and took off on a walk to get a few kinks out.  I should have changed my sandals to shoes, as I am hoping I haven't developed a blister on the bottom of my foot!  We headed south a couple blocks and hit the bike path that runs along the arroyo coming down off the Sandias.  A good walk, but glad we turned around when we did because shortly after that my foot started hurting.  Good and sore by the time we got back (having also picked up a few groceries from Walmart)

Quiet evening reading the papers, watching TV, etc.  

Hmmm..  ten pm and I am ready for bed, but it's been a profitable day!  Profitable for the economy of Albuquerque anyway!  We had a change to sleep in a little this morning and have a little more leisurely start to the day than the past three have been!  Eventually Mom and I leave to go shopping and Rick takes off on a walk after finishing a few chores on Mom's list.  
Rick has sent me out with a coupon for a sale at Penney's - so what can I say?  I was just doing as I was told!  I ended up with a new pair of Arizona flipflops, a dress, two new tops (one that will go with my outfit for San Diego), two pairs of skorts (I hadn't been able to find any at Wal-Mart), material for a new shirt, and enough plastic mesh to get started on some Christmas presents.  Everything was sale price!  Came home and got started working on fitting everything into my suitcase!  Mom bought some new shoes and top also!  We had a good time!  
Rachael and Regan
Randy Rembold Family & Mom
Mom and #1 and #3 sons. 
Around 2:30 we leave for Edgewood and an evening with Randy's family.  Rachael and Randy are home when we arrive, and one by one the rest of the family come home.  Patty is first, then Regan, then Julian (Regan's boyfriend who is living with them), and finally Ryan.  A casual dinner and lots of good conversation.  Good to see everyone and I think this was the first time we have met Julian.  I gave two of my recently made necklaces to Regan and Rachael.  
Home around 9:30 to finish up a few things and get to bed.  Randy and Patty will be here late morning to take us out to the airport.  

This will be short and to the point!  We flew home today!  Finished up a few last minute chores for Mom (hanging some pictures) and enjoyed bacon and eggs breakfast before Randy and Patty arrived at 11am.  A little late meeting them downstairs because I couldn't remember where I had "safely" put the keys to the car!  
Randy and Patty drop us off at the airport, we check our baggage, and then discover our plane is about 25 minutes late arriving from back east.  Not a problem....Rick gets a USA Today and I continue reading the book Mom loaned me!  
Smooth flying into Las Vegas, but we are running about 20 minutes late at that point and we only had an hour layover.  We hit the bathroom and then go to find gate C12 ..... which proves to be a LONG DISTANCE from D5 where we arrived.  We walk and walk and walk and arrive just 10 minutes before flight time.  Everyone has boarded already.  These were our BEST seating passes of the whole vacation and we didn't get to take advantage of it!  In fact, Rick and I were not able to sit together for this last leg of our trip because all the duo seats were taken.  Ah well.  
The pilot takes good advantage of the SW winds and we arrive in Boise a half hour AHEAD of schedule!  From sunshine and a forecast of 75 degrees in Albuquerque to 42 degrees and rain and wind!  We quickly pull out the vests and long sleeves we left available for the trip home.  
Quick stop at Win-Co for some supplies and then on to Baker City.  We drove through a couple pretty good rain squalls enroute, but arrive home safely with a little daylight left at 7:30 pm.  

A great visit to the Southwest and family time with Mom, Jed, Luke, and Randy's family!  

Wednesday, March 23, 2011


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MONDAY, March 21:
Rick and Mom at Memorial Garden in Benson
We pack up from Albuquerque and are on the way south by 8:30 am - loaded up ridiculously for three people for three days!  But much of it is food treats!  Shortly below ABQ Rick runs into a head wind that seems to last the whole rest of the day!  HIGH winds throughout southern NM and Arizona resulted in dust, dust, and more dust.  We could hardly see the mountain ridges in the distance.  And the otherwise brown scenery just looked even worse.  I sat in back and was highly productive:  Bible study, improve and refined and drew three more Doodle pictures, and then I  made five macramé necklaces.  That's a total of 8 pictures to date, but I had alot of them to draw on this trip just to catch up!  Probably good that we didn't go to church on Sunday - this way I might have a chance!

 Arrive in Benson around 3:30 with the time change and visit for awhile with Kathy and Ron.  Mom is very excited for her three day visit.  We are glad to see everyone welcome her back so well.  We stopped at the Presby church first to see Pop's name on the plaque for the Memorial Garden.  

Then on to Tucson to spend the evening and next few days with Luke at the YAV house.  We stopped and picked up some pizzas and found the house without any problem.  Luke had beaten us home - barely.  Kady had given Luke a haircut while he was in McMinnville!  That was my first surprise!  We got the pizzas into the oven after layering some vegetables on them.  Then a tour of the house - we are in the back bedroom called the Parents Room!  It is a really nice spot.  

Gradually everyone filters in and grabs a bite to eat.  Tucson YAV leader Brandon comes over at 7 for their Monday night SHIT night: Spirituality Hour in Tucson.  Luke was the leader tonight.  It took a little while to get started as the group hadn't been together for awhile.  Eventually we gathered in the living room with candles lit for about an hour of sharing and reflection.  Nice evening.  

In bed early as all of us will be going in to work tomorrow at CHRPA.  

Up around 6:15 to do my exercises in the "quiet room" under the hammock and then out to the living room for Bible Study (more Revelation!)  I say goodbye to Jacob, but sorry I didn't get a picture of him before he leaves today to go out on his recruiting trip.  We take leftover pizza for lunch (well for Rick and Luke - I am eating a PowerBar!) Anyway....on our way shortly after 7:30, Luke probably joyful over a ride to work instead of the bike ride today.  

I was wrong as to the location of CHRPA (Community Home Repair Project of Arizona) - it is NOT west of downtown Tucson, but rather about 7 miles to the east.  We arrive just a few minutes after 8 (oops, took time to put on our boots out in the parking lot!) and walk into the main room just as the gathering meeting is starting. About a dozen volunteers gather together each morning for Scott to make the assignments.  He is a quiet, rather dry wit sort of guy.  I can see the comraderie in the group right away and witness why Luke enjoys his work here.  

The "Rembold Team" are assigned four jobs for the day: one is a furnace issue and the other three are swamp cooler start ups (two with broken water pipes probably due to the extreme freeze the end of January.   There are about 7 CHRPA rigs, each with an individual name.  We are assigned to Brutus, a big truck.  Luke loads up the equipment we are going to need and we take off.  I am assigned as navigator!  And Luke gives me a big book map of Tucson.  It really is a good map!  

First stop is the home of Aurea, an 86 year old lady who is worried because the fan on her furnace won't shut off and seems to be heating up.  Luke and Rick check things out, switch a few levers, relight the pilot, and it seems to be working.  She has medical conditions that make her cold alot, so even though the weather is suppose to warm back up, she wants her furnace back up and working!  It seems to be ok as we leave, but Luke assures her to call again if she has trouble!  

Brutus our truck and Joanne's bright pink gate
Second stop is the home of Joanne, where Luke thinks he worked to fix a broken water line earlier in the year.  She has a bright pink gate to the outer courtyard in the front of the house.  As with Aurea, we seem to be coming early in the day and both ladies excused themselves to get dressed as we caught them in their housecoats!    Joanne has five dogs and asthma and emphysema issues.  Listening to her breathe a few times I can see that!  
Luke visits with Joanne while finishing paperwork

Luke and Rick clean out the swamp cooler
At Joanne's house I learn about swamp coolers!  And how hard the minerals in the water around here can be on this equipment!  Evidently the swamp coolers are shut down in late October or so and then they have to be reconnected before the heat hits in the spring.  Joanne used to do this servicing herself (much to the chagrine of the men in the neighborhood!) so she supervised us completely with a running banter of conversation!  Her yard was filled with trees and birds - the music was glorious!  I didn't help alot here, mostly taking pictures and talking with Joanne.  We did have some problems with the shopvac as it seemed to keep blowing the fuses.  So....we left briefly to run to Home Depot and pick up more fuses and a few spare floats, just in case we needed them.Joanne said I could take her picture when we were done because Luke was a handsome young man and she hadn't had a picture with a goodlooking guy in a long time!    

Egret at Reid Park
After finishing the job at Joanne's, we stopped at Reid Park for lunch.  A busy place next to the zoo with classrooms visiting and plenty of other people in and around the pond.  The pond was filled with turtles and ducks and even an egret that kept flying around!  Weather was very pleasant as long as you were in the sun - the breeze is cool still.  

Ginger and Rick clean up the deposits from the cooler
Our next job is at the home of Walter, a man four years younger than me but on disability.  He had a wonderful long white beard!  Very pleasant man, who let me take his picture as long as I remember to send him a copy!  This job only took about an hour - Luke told Scott we were a well oiled machine!  I helped Luke run new copper hose while Rick scraped and shopvac'd the minerals deposits from the cooler.   We had this job done in a flash!   

Rick and Luke assess the water leak 
Our last stop of the day is at a house of a man named Tim.  (He also has an flowing beard!)  Tim was recently in the hospital during the freeze and had someone come by to turn off his water hoping to save the pipes, but unfortunbately he still has a leak inside the house.  The cooler itself is a different model, with THREE sides of vents and filters.  And what a mess of mineral deposits!  I immediately get started with the scraping of them up on the roof, while Luke assesses the cooler and then heads downstairs with Rick to check out the leaking pipe.  It is warm in the sun up on the roof, but fortunately the cool breeze blows often enough.  I still got a little sunshine, especially on my arms.  We take another trip to a Heating/Cooling supply store, Naughton's, and then back to the house.  I back on the roof and Luke and Rick back to fix the pipes.  By 4:15, when ANOTHER leak is exposed downstairs, and I told Luke I thought the filters should be replaced, it is apparent this job will not be completed today.  Luke may end up on this one Thursday!  We get tomorrow off!  

Back to the CHRPA headquarters to fill out our volunteer paperwork and Luke to update Scott on Tim's situation.  Everyone else seems to have already returned as we are the only ones in the office.  

Showers, a visit to meet the chickens and look for eggs (found one!) and a load of laundry into the washing machine.   By then we are ready to hop on the bikes and ride toward downtown in search of a place to grab some dinner. We end up at The B Line, lured in by the advertisement out front of Fish Tacos!  Luke and I have them while Rick orders a Mahi Burrito.  All are very good.  Good meal and conversation with Luke over goals and aspirations.  It is dark by the time we head back north on 4th Avenue, but there are lights on the bikes and the distance isn't far.  

We see Alli and Meredith this evening.  Stevie is at work, but will be leaving in the middle of the night to fly home for a death in the family.  Alli will be taking Stevie's Borderlinks delegation tomorrow and not returning until Thursday evening.  So....we bid them goodbye.  Only Mer will be left tomorrow night and she works late again!  We have driven them all away!  I hope not.  

Laundry hangs out at Luke (this is Wed am, not the starry night!)
We hang out the laundry by the light of the stars.  I can't say I have ever done this before - hoping my clothes will dry overnight.  And typically it would be dry in the morning if the weather was a little warmer!  

Into bed to be ready for another early morning....bound for Lincoln Park and Jamie Moon's softball game at 8 am.  Lincoln Park is even further to the east than CHRPA!  



Up early AGAIN!  Quickly do Bible study and grab breakfast (we finish eating in the car) and head back to the east side of town for Jamie Moon's Lewis and Clark College softball game.  It is their last game before they head home to Portland.  Brandon (Luke's YAV supervisor) and his daughters are calling it PE curriculum and coming to watch as well!  (They are home schooled)  Brandon met Jamie coming home from Louisville and the YAV Gathering last weekend.  

Jamie takes a cut and hits a double!
And the Pioneers win with a 7th inning come from behind 3 run home run!  Wow!  Exciting.  Also great for the team to win 4 out of 5 games while here.  Shows how tough a league the NW Conference is for softball when LC is at the bottom of the heap.  It was a cool game to watch at first as the breeze was quite frosty!  
Luke & Rick at Gates Pass "Pride Rock"
Teddy Bear Cactus with Sajuaro
Back to the house to gather in the laundry, change and head WEST of town to the Mountain Gates Pass in the Tuscon Mountains.  Good desert area to visit and we walked out to what Luke calls "Pride Rock" (from Lion King) to survey the valley west of Tucson.  He and the YAVs like to come out here to watch the sunset.  We could see Kitt Peak Observatory (just barely) in the distance.  Octotillo is in bloom and the Teddy Bear Cholla is very fuzzy right now.  LOTS of sajuaro cactus, prickly pear, ocotillo, and the teddies.  The sun felt good, but my arms are already burned enough.  The CCC built several stone shelters up in this pass area and it is laced with hiking trails.  
Ocotillo in bloom

We stopped at a fruit market just before getting back to Luke's house to pick up some oranges and grapefruit and a few more apples.  Then a little quiet rest time before we have to head out to Benson this afternoon.  

Luke, Mom, Rick and I at Halls in Benson.  
We take off for Benson around 2:15, having told Mom that we would be there around 3ish.  Smooth sailing east, Luke pointing out some of the landmarks he has visited along the way.  Ron and Cathy have prepared BBQ ribs, sweet potato fries and baked beans for dinner, plus some "leftover" blackberry tarts from last night for dessert.  Wonderful meal topped with a little wine or beer.  We had a really good visit, but had to leave around 6:45 so we could get back into Tucson at a decent time.  Luke has to leave shortly after 7 in the morning and Rick and I can't be too much later if we are to meet Jed for a late lunch tomorrow, especially with the time change!    We drive back to the west with the glow of a sunset still lingering.  I told Luke the sky looked exactly like the t-shirts I "drip-dyed" for the YAVS at Christmas time.  

Back in Tucson to pack a few things up and prepare to leave in the morning.  

Sunday, March 20, 2011


On top of Atayla Mountain east of Santa Fe. 

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We are off from Baker City, following a brief snowstorm and gusty cold winds, around 5 pm bound for Boise and an 11 am departure in the morning.  I am soooo ready for a break and a chance to soak up a little sunshine!  When I checked the weather tonight at 8pm Boise time, it was 37 degrees in Baker City and 74 degrees in Socorro (at 8pm at night!)  Aaahhhh!  We have packed shorts and sandals and tried to ignore the rain and snow and cold of the week.  

Boise night at the Sleep Inn - comfortable and relatively cheap with free wireless, breakfast, and parking for 7 days for the car.  We ended up having to pay an extra $3 for the additional night parking.  Still cheaper than the airport parking!  We can spend a relaxed morning and be ready to take off at 11 for Phoenix and then on to Albuquerque.  Jed is suppose to meet us at 4:30 pm.  He has been up at Randy's the past few days enjoying HIS spring break which was this week.  

Smooth sailing for the most part, except it is windy in the southwest and EVERY one of our three landings was NOT smooth! We stopped first in Las Vegas, but didn't get off the plane.  We could see the pyramid and the sphinx in the distance.  Then over to Phoenix - which is in the process of rennovation and a huge airport!  By the time we got to Albuquerque,  Rick was definitely ready to be off a plane.  We were running late all day due to a snowstorm in Denver, but made connections fine.  Jed was there to pick us up around 5.  I told Rick it took us exactly 24 hours to get to Albuquerque - same as driving!  We left Baker at 5 pm last night!  Much more rested this way, however.  

Up into town to pick up Mom at the Fountains and go out to dinner at Papa Felipe's Mexican restaurant.  Mom and Rick enjoyed fish as part of the Lenten menu and I tried out a California Tosada - loaded with avocado!  I don't even want to guess the point value on my diet!  We enjoyed the time, but then dropped Mom back off and headed north to Santa Fe. The setting sun makes a great vista with the storm clouds in the west as we leave Albuquerque.   
Western sky

We have reservations at a fairly NICE motel for the Rembold clan, but we got a good deal! This will be nice!  Relax in the room and check out hiking options for Saturday.  Eventually, Jed and I play a game of cribbage which he wins with a ridiculous hand at the end!  

A beautiful morning - crisp and sunny.  We enjoy a great "healthy smart" breakfast compliments of the hotel (Don't ask me, that's how they advertised it!  It was a good buffet of choices!) and head out to find the Atayla Mountain trail near St. John's College.  A coyote crossed the road right in front of us as we were driving up.  Turns out that was the only wildlife we saw all day! 
View toward Santa Fe from our rendezvous spot with Jed. 
Too late in the morning to get a parking place at the upper trailhead, so Jed drives back down to the lower trailhead at the college and highballs it up the extra mile and a half to meet up with us.  I appreciated it as it is still a good 1600' climb to the peak from the UPPER trailhead - the lower would have added another 500' to the trail.  Too much for this lady!  Jed met up with us much sooner than I expected, however!  

Three of us on top of Atayla
We wind through pinon and ponderosa forest with occasional juniper and cactus type plants.  Not much new growth showing yet, and we even pass a few snow patches here and there.  The peak is at 9127 feet - not alot of snow on top, but you could tell some of it had recently melted. The view from the top of the peak is awesome - south down to Sandias and Rio Grande valley, west to Santa Fe area, and east to more mountains of the Sangre Cristo range.  A cool breeze up on top, but the rest of the time we were hiking in shirt sleeves.  Overall, ended up 7 miles RT for Jed, and about 5.8 miles for Rick and I.  A good climb, but perfect temperatures!  

St. Francis Basillica
Back to town to shower and ready to head into town for some shops and dinner.    We haven't had enough exercise yet today, so we walk.  Part of the reason we chose this motel was the close proximity to the Plaza area.  We walk toward the Railway area, past numerous galleries and shops, and check out the two restaurants Jed had picked.  We end up at Zias out on the patio.  A little cool as the sun is started to sink lower and the breeze is still strong, but we were the only ones out there so it was nice and quiet!  I ordered from the "small plates" - a smoked salmon quesadilla with avocado and asadero cheese.  It was wonderful and just the right amount.  Jed had a Buffalo burger with sweet potato fries.  And Rick blue corn enchiladas!  All of us thoroughly enjoyed the meal, and then the opportunity to "walk it off"!  We basically spent the next hour and half wandering around downtown Santa Fe, visiting more shops than Jed probably wanted, but I am looking for something appropriate for the boat christening!  I wasn't sure how many places would be open on Saturday evenings, but quite a few were open at least until 7ish!  Also enjoyed checking out the old Catholic churches - St. Francis Basillica, Loretta Chapel, etc.  The latter had an amazing kinetic sculpture garden outside of it.  Fun to watch in the wind.  Most open back up tomorrow morning around 11.  We are also hoping to visit the Museum of International Folk Art tomorrow.  Jed said he wasn't in any hurry to get back down to Socorro, so that was the go ahead to stay a little longer!  
Kinetic sculpture

Rest of evening spent in room watching March Madness basketball, downloading pictures, writing, and grading papers!  

Up around 7:30 to Bible study by the light coming in the window from the east.  Jed and Rick are sound asleep and I didn't want to turn on a light!  It is a beautiful day outside!  
After breakfast in the lounge (which was packed with people today!) and some time outside reading the paper, Jed joins us for a bite to eat.  We get checked out around 10:30 and take off for downtown Santa Fe.  Will finish our shopping and then head out of town to the Folk Art Museum. 

Paper Cuts flutter in the breeze outside a downtown shop.
A successful morning of noseying into a variety of shops, and time spent back at Lucille's where I bought two things last night.  We were successful today in finding an appropriate dressy flowing jacket to wear with my black pants!  Also found a new t-shirt top all sparkly on the neckline!  Also visited the Blue Moon Toy store which was fun.  Jed spent time in a bookstore while I was shopping at Lucille's. 

We decide a bite to eat is in order before the museum, so go to the grocery store, Whole Foods Market, which advertised a deli bar.  What a spread!  I get a spinach salad, Jed a sandwich, and Rick Chicken Postle, which was a really good soup he said.  Then it is off to the "museum hill" where three of Santa Fe's museums are located.  We are going to visit the International Museum of Folk Art.  
Entrance to main gallery at Folk Art Museum

This museum is largely the efforts of one man who donated his entire collection of over 100,000 pieces of folk art from around the world to New Mexico.  He also set up all the displays just as he wanted them arranged - like multiple little dioramas from all over the world.  Much of it is from South America and India/Persia area.  Fascinating stuff!  Also a section dedicated to "Winter Arts" which had pictures as well as nativities from around the world.  I have to say I have as good a nativity collection, however!  Some of his are just bigger!  
Detail on one of MANY dioramas filled with folk art figurines.

A whimsical look at the Last Supper
Another section of the museum featured textiles and clothing and finally a section called "Empowering Women"  which highlighted many of the folk art cooperatives started in developing nations to help women make a living wage and support their families.  

At 3:30 ish we leave the museum and head south toward Albuquerque and dinner with Grandma!  Arrive at 4:45 and I head over to the Wal-Mart next door while Rick and Jed take our bags upstairs to the apartment.  Pizza and fruit for dinner and Jed takes off around 7 to head back to Socorro.  We will see him again on Thursday as we drive back up from Tucson.  

Quiet evening with Grandma getting ready to leave in the morning.  The next portion of our blog will be from Tucson!  See you then!