Wednesday, September 30, 2009

More work at Habitat Home in Santa Fe

Saturday we had about 75 volunteers, friends and family gather for two ground breaking ceremonies at the Habitat for Humanity build site. It was a memorable time.

On Tuesday, we started putting up the walls at one of the two new homes.
We had a great day getting the walls plumbed, putting up firewall sheetrock and watching the house take shape.One of the new homeowners we saw on Saturday was on the job site today. She (Bianca) has volunteered over 400 hours and spent two years in the selection process to become a new Habitat homeowner.Mike & Bob, two friends from high school here in Santa Fe, were able to join Pam and I for lunch today at Lotta Burger. The green chili cheeseburger is still pretty good!Since we were close to the Rodeo de Santa Fe campground, they came over for a quick tour of the Roadrunner.I wanted to let you see the great folks that we have had the privilege to work with and get to know here in Santa Fe. We are all part of Habitat for Humanity's "Care-A-Vanners" RV group.

We have really enjoyed our time with the group and last night we went out to eat at Maria's New Mexican Kitchen in Santa Fe.That does it for this post of the Roadrunner Chronicles~if you have never left a comment on our blog, give it a try! We'd love to hear from you!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

The Circus Came to Santa Fe!

Since we were parked in the Santa Fe Rodeo campground behind the bleachers, we had a front row seat to some behind-the-scenes preparations when the circus came to town. The circus rolled into town about 2:00 in the morning but I didn't hear a thing.

After we finished up with our work at Habitat for Humanity for the day, we walked over to the stands and got ready to see the show.

I walked around and took a few pictures before things got started.
These folks were warming up about 30 feet from our RV. It was quite the serenade. After the bagpipes finished, they were part of the opening ceremonies along with the color guard.
They had some high wire acts and three swinging around up in the sky. The bears were fascinating. How do they train them to do those tricks?
One guy was walking on the cage, another was juggling while the third act was on rolling skates during some high speed turns on a small stage three feet off the ground.Then there were three guys in a wire cage on motorcycles-- all at the same time.
There were hand stands, contortionist poses, bends and twists, balancing a sword on the tip of a knife...Then my favorite -- the elephantsThere were two shows that night and a larger crowd the second time.
It was a fun time to sit and watch. Not sure the last time I saw the circus. And it was a beautiful evening and for circus under the lights at Rodeo de Santa Fe!

Not sure have another circus to grab some pictures for the Roadrunner Chronicles, but you never know...Thanks for stopping by!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Day Four at Habitat de Santa Fe

We began our Friday at the Habitat de Santa Fe with devotions. We read some from the book of Nehemiah and had a short prayer. Then we finished up our coffee and started the work day at the Oshara Village.
It wasn't too long before everyone was fully engaged. Some were working on hanging blinds, vacuuming and doing trim work inside. The rest of us were working outside.
Bill and Pam and I worked most of the day on the picket fence.
It was a very pleasant 65 degrees or so most of the day. We had another terrific lunch provided by a Santa Fe volunteer and had time to sit back and rest.Later in the afternoon Mike Chapman dropped by the work site and said hi. He is a high school buddy (we both grew up here and graduated from Santa Fe High in 1971...). He is President of Chapman Builders and has been in the business a long time. It was great to see him.
A little later Posey and Marty said good bye to some local volunteers.
After a long day (it seems the days get longer as the week progresses) we went back to the Rodeo grounds where the Circus was getting ready for two performances-- not 20 yards away from where we are parked!

But I will save that for another edition of the Roadrunner Chronicles. Thanks again for stopping by.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Thursday at Habitat de Santa Fe

Our Care-A-Vanner team at Santa Fe Habitat for Humanity had a busy day. Yesterday we decided we'd gather at 0730 in the Roadrunner for some coffee before we went over to Oshara Village. It was a short 30 minutes but a great way to start the day.
Usually we form up around the main area for work instructions. This morning, the Santa Fe Habitat Director introduced a new construction manager who will be learning the ropes for a few months from the current on site manager.
John got on the task of painting the Hardy Board gables under the eves while Bill and I put up some diamond mesh for the plaster underneath the eves.The ladies were working inside on the shelving in the morning and we had our first boo-boo. Pam was using the hack saw and some edges of the shelving collided with her finger. Ouch! Marty provided some first aid. Meanwhile, Maria worked with Posey in another room.While Bill was working on the mesh, Allen was putting his tile cutting skills to use for the tile work on a bathroom window sill.Later in the day we wired rough cut tree poles to a metal pole frame fence. Once it is finished it provides some privacy for the driveways.In the evening, Maria and Allen invited us over for beef stew. While we were outside it rained in the distance and we were blessed with a spectacular rainbow.It was a day where we got a lot done. With all the exercise in the 7,000 altitude of Santa Fe, we are tiring quickly and we will be getting some good rest tonight!

More from Santa Fe on the Habitat for Humanity project and the Roadrunner Chronicles... see you next time and thanks for stopping in.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Another Day at Habitat de Santa Fe

This is one of the great scenes out of our front window: the sun rising in the east over the foothills of Santa Fe.
We got going at Oshara Village at our 0815 start time and continued with our team assignments. Part of the group was working at another house (Shelley and Lucky) and the other four couples in our Care-A-Vanners team was finishing up at the same house where we worked yesterday.Marty, Maria and Posey were working on the west side of the house securing the wiring for the stucco. Bill, John and Pam were cutting up a precision piece of Hardy Board to fit up under the gable and eves.

10:30, 12:00 and 3:00 are important times on site: morning break time, lunch and the afternoon break time. Like most construction sites, we gather around an area, have some coffee and get to know folks.
We are grateful for the lunches that have been provided by local volunteers. Yesterday we had sandwiches and today we had hot dogs. They really hit the spot.

After our day at Habitat, we joined others at John and Posey's for social hour. This was the first evening that we have gathered with other RVers for a 'social hour'.

I have read about other RVers getting together in the evening but in four months of full-timing this was our first opportunity. We had a chatted for about an hour, had some munchies and drinks, before we departed for our RVs for dinner.
In the distance, some rain showers were coming down and maybe even a light dusting of snow up on the Sangre de Cristo mountains. Yikes! We would rather not see that stuff! It is only supposed to get down to 35 tonight and hopefully it will not get to freezing.

So~ we end another day with the Roadrunner Chronicles and thank you for stopping by!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Habitat de Santa Fe

We arrived at Rodeo de Santa Fe, NM about 1130 on Monday after an easy trip from Cochiti Lake. The campground is 'sparse' but adequate. Pam is helped me get lined up so I could back the Roadrunner next to fellow Care-A-Vanners Allen and Maria (in their Winnebago).
We are part of Habitat for Humanity's RVers (a.k.a. Care-A-Vanners)who travel to work sites around the U.S. and help build houses.

The team meeting and dinner was later in that night and we arrived in time to drive in downtown to Santa Fe and take in some sights. We went to the Plaza and saw the Pueblo Indians selling jewelry in front of the Palace of the Governors.
We also went by some outdoor cafes, saw the Basilica of St. Frances not far from the La Fonda Hotel and all kinds of Southwest shops.We made it back to the Roadrunner in time to get cleaned up and relax a bit before the Santa Fe Habitat for Humanity dinner and initial team meeting. The executive directive (Marty) hosted the evening and gave us a lot of information about Habitat and how it works in Santa Fe. Devin, the volunteer coordinator provided the lasagna and we had a great evening.
On Tuesday morning, we arrived at our work site, Oshara Village, and broke into work teams. Typical work days go from 8:15 AM to 4:30 PM. Pam and I helped with the 'Hardy Board' that needed to be installed under the eves. We put together scaffording and then spent the rest of the day measuring and cutting the Hardy Board to fit into place. Others on our team worked on framing, sanding doors and putting insulation up outside.We had a great lunch provided by a Habitat and spent the day in the brisk Santa Fe weather. It was a bit cool but it was a lot of fun. Habitat requires owners and prospective owners to volunteer and we met a couple of future candidates. It was great way to start our time here in Santa Fe with Habitat. We are excited to be here!

More from the Roadrunner Chronicles. Please stay tuned!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Tent Rocks NM and Grace Church in Albuquerque

Kasha-Katuwe is the Pueblo Indian name of the Tent Rocks National Monument near Cochiti Lake NM. We camped at Cochiti Lake Army Corps Of Engineers recreation campground for three days with Reid and Amy.

On Saturday morning we drove about 7 miles to Tent Rocks and went on a beautiful hike. The trail is very well maintained and the hike was more than a stroll but not a real hard one. There were some places with a lot of steps and low rock overhangs, but mostly it was just gorgeous scenery.The Cochiti Pueblo have always considered this area "white cliffs" an important place. It was designated a National Monument in 2001 and is under the Bureau of Land Management's administration. It has toilets and a small parking lot and is a little out of the way (which makes it perfect).
We met some nice people along the way. My twin brother noticed that some guys that went right past us were twins. We talked with them for a minute and snapped a picture.
They were from Albuquerque. We met others from Minnesota, Colorado, California and Texas.

We took a lot of pictures:

The Tent Rocks are located on the Pajarito Plateau in northern New Mexico and has an elevation range of 5,570 feet to 6,760. It was not over stenuous but 1,000 feet of upward hiking took us about an hour to reach the top and about half that time to return to the car.

On Sunday we drove back to Albuquerque and went to Grace Church. We attended there when we were stationed at Kirtland AFB (1988 - 1992). They moved into a new church after we left in the early 1990's and are now doubling the facility. It is really beautiful. The new additions have more classrooms, a basketball gym and a garage for single mothers to get their cars worked on.

Gladly we saw some old friends and were able to catch up. Reid has been one of the Sunday School teachers there for years and he did a great job with Mark 10:32-52. He had very good questions and some good points (relevant and practical) we can apply to our daily lives.

After church we went with some new friends (Paul and Debbie), and Reid and Amy to have Mexican food at Monroe's Restuarant. (Doesn't really sound like a Mexican Restaurant but it was great!) Thanks Paul!Later we took Reid and Amy back home, did some wash and went back to the Roadrunner at Cochiti Lake. We packed up, got our winter jackets out (supposed to be cool 40 degree weather in Santa Fe this week) and then went to see Bob and Judy for a little bit.

We called it a night and that wraps up the Roadrunner Chronicles for today.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Roadrunner at Cochiti Lake

The last couple of days it has been raining hard at the campground. When a motorhome pulled out on Thursday it drove near the center of the dirt road and had mud up to its axle at a sewer junction. The coach didn't slow down and 'bounced' out.

The camphost and front office were notified about the big hole and they got right on it. Less than 24 hours later the maintenance crew was out there with a backhoe and tamper. I was very impressed at how quickly they responded and what looked to be a very good repair job.While they were doing that, we packed up and departed. We stopped at Reid and Amy's house and gave a quick tour and then went to our Army Corps of Engineers site at Cochiti Lake.
We were able to pick a spot on a loop that was pretty good. No water or sewer but it has 50 amps. The scenery near the campground is great.
We settled into our site and got a visit by Bob and Judy. They have been full time RVers for about three years and are about to move into a house they bought in Cochiti. I have followed them for over a year on their blog and have watched them travel back and forth from Pennsylvania, through Florida and back out here to New Mexico. It is pretty neat meeting people in person after following them online.

Reid and Amy are joining us for a couple of days and are staying with us in the Roadrunner. We had another great dinner. Pam fixed fish (tilapia and salmon), sweet potatoes and coleslaw. After dinner we went for a nice walk in the cool evening breeze and wrapped up another day in the life of the Roadrunner Chronicles. Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Food in Albuquerque and Corrales, NM

Wednesday night we had Reid and Amy over for dinner. Pam made ziti and put together some smoked sausage, chicken, pasta and tomato sauce. It turned out great.We ate and sat and talked for a couple of hours while it rained hard outside. They departed and we called it a night.

On Thursday morning Pam and I decided to go to Frontier Restaurant. It is on Central Av right across from the UNM campus in Albuquerque. I have been going there for 40 years --ever since Reid went to UNM in the 1970's. Frontier is one of those unique restaurants where people from all walks of life eat.I had a couple of eggs, beans, hash browns, salsa and a tortilla while Pam went for everyone's favorite- the cinnamon roll.

After breakfast we went back to the Family Camp. Pam continued on to the commissary to get groceries and I worked on the report/journal of our volunteer time at Greensburg, KS last week. I finished compiling the photos in a CD which we mailed out to one of the team members at Chapel Hill UMC for distribution.

We were scheduled for dinner with Jim and Linda's (my cousin) out in Corrales, NM. It is about 30 minutes away from Kirtland AFB. Corrales is a neat village of 7,000 that has a strong country ambiance. Next to Jim and Linda's place is Wagner's Produce Farm where we bought some Hatch green chile and had it roasted.
We picked out a pound and then had Sergio roastcook it in the outdoor roasters. We took the chile back to Linda and Jim's and peeled the skins. Then we packed them for freezing and use at a later time.

Jim and Linda are growers and have produce for sale every week at the Corrales Growers Market. Jim grows beans, tomatoes, eggplant, jalapenos, peppers and about 50 other vegetables.
We spent a few minutes in between rain drops seeing some of the garden and picking some long beans.

Linda had been spending most of the afternoon preparating dinner and appetizers. The appetizers were wheat crackers with a tasty eggplant spread and an assortment of pickled garlic. Later she served a fantastic dinner of tomatila soup, chicken with pesta over pasta, green beans, and it was finished off with Jim's apple crunch dessert. It was great!
Jim and Linda have been very active in their community over the last 12 years since they moved to Corrales. Jim is currently on the village council and we enjoyed hearing about some of the projects the village is getting done.

That is about it for now -- thanks for stopping by the Roadrunner Chronicles.