Lighted Tulips



We worked on the property all day yesterday, which included putting in soaker hoses on the rose beds where it’s hard to check the dippers, and to have as backups since we can only get irrigation waster every three weeks now. We finally got all the branches picked up from pruning the fruit trees — I think the branches double when you cut them, I took down the last of the chain-link fence that was now in front of our neighbor’s wood fence, and no longer needed. I pulled up several metal posts we had holding up trellis at one point, but since we are reconfiguring the beds, they needed to come out. I went ahead and set up the swamp cooler, although it might be a little early. Springtime is really difficult on our property because it still freezes almost every night and it was 82 F this afternoon. The new water hose will probably crack a few times before it stops freezing. After I got all the other stuff done, I went down and dug out 75 feet of our main irrigation ditch and built up the bank on the south of the ditch in an attempt to keep the water from running into the access between us and the neighbor. The digging was difficult because there are mostly tree roots under the ditch.






King Puck



Puck was very proud of the results of his roll in the dirt when I got home. He trotted up proudly and posed like a king, asking me to photograph him to show everyone, pardonnez mon Français, how pucking dirty he got. Speaking of French, my fluency in French expletives improved greatly last night while I snaked out the drain. I had to go at it from the clean-out below the sink, the drain in the laundry room, and the clean-out outside (twice each), and then plunge the sink before I got the sink to drain freely. On the bright side, I got finished in time to photograph trois tulips in the twilight.








René Discovers a Chip



René discovered a chip that he thoroughly enjoyed. His feathers are growing back in after molting and over-plucking after his beak was cut back so he could use it. Yet he still doesn’t know how to properly groom himself, so I have to give him showers and brush his wings. We’re trying to get him to learn grooming from our other bird, but it’s slow going. You can read the history of René (formerly known as Joey) at








Between photographing Katarina, Jackie, David and Rudy playing with the kids in Family Promise on Saturday, I photographed the turtles sunning themselves under the partly cloudy sky, and swimming around in the duck pond. Thinking about the turtles, and all the playing and happiness those kids and students were having spending the afternoon together reminded me of The Turtles song “So Happy Together” —





Family Promise

What does homeless bring to mind? Indigent street people, addicts and alcoholics with mental issues that are not to be associated with, like the Samaritans in the first century CE? While many of the homeless individuals you might encounter on the street have serious issues that contribute to their often perpetual homelessness, there is another, almost invisible, side of homelessness — homeless families. Homeless families tend to be “normal” people who have had some kind of catastrophic event that caused them to become homeless. Fortunately, there is Family Promise of Albuquerque (FPA) to help. FPA is made up of churches that temporarily house homeless families and volunteers who help support the families. Instead of ignoring these families, FPA, offers them life sustaining water.

Now he had to go through Samaria. So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about noon. When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.) The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.) Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.” “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? (John 4: 4-11 NIV).

Central United Methodist Church hosted two families this past week, and Laurie and I volunteered to help yesterday afternoon. When we got to CUMC, we had a pleasant surprise — there were four students from UNM playing with the kids as part of the 11th Annual Spring Storm Event put on by the Associated Students of the University of New Mexico (ASUNM) who volunteer in a one day service project.  The students, Katarina, Jackie, David and Rudy, were wonderful. They played and played the the kids, and had a lot of fun. I was really impressed that they took a day off from their heavy class loads to play with kids — the kids were so happy, and their mom got a nice break. By giving up some of their precious time yesterday, Katarina, Jackie, David and Rudy helped make earth a little more like Heaven.