The Project


This was one of those projects that started as a casual discussion, then I started looking at the space, and the materials on hand, and decided I could do it right there and then.

The idea started with wanting to put a shade structure over the weights that we have outdoors, but if I put a shade structure where the weights were, it would block our view of the mountains.  I decided that if I cleaned up the junk on the side of the shed, I could put up the shade structure we had over the deck for years, until I cut down trees and remodeled the deck in 2008.  Between rain showers, and with a little help getting the roof on, the project is complete — not bad for a day and a half worth of hard labor, and zero trips to the hardware store.


From 2003 to 2008, the shade structure now over the weights covered part of our deck, providing filtered light for our bonsai trees in the summertime (Tristan painted the design on the main support). Large crabapple trees provided shade over the rest of the deck, but the crabapple trees were old and dying, so I cut them down, took out the shade structure, and put a canopy over the deck. We put an outdoor kitchen where the bonsai shelf is in the above photo.


I also decided to take down the power pole that was installed in 1963. It had rotted out and about fell over in 2004. The power company told me the pole was my problem, so I propped it up with an old railroad tie.  We got an electrical upgrade in 2013, so the pole has been standing, unused for the past three years, but I hadn’t gotten around to taking it down. I had to cut the top half off first so it wouldn’t smash a couple of rose bushes when it fell over.


After I took out the long bolts I used to secure the power pole to the railroad tie, it started to fall over after a little push.


After a bigger push it lingered at 45 degrees, held up by some other supports I had driven into the ground in 2004. It finally went down, but the railroad tie was difficult to remove because of the creosote, which made it hard and dense.  When I finally got it cut down, the 6 feet of railroad tie weighed as much as the power pole.


View of the frame for the shade structure without the power pole (compare it to the view in the first photo).


We had set the roof to the shade structure along the south side of the property after I took it down in 2008. Many elm trees had grown up through the spaces between the slats. I cut down all the elm trees growing through the roof when I cut out a few hundred trees along that side of the property some weeks ago (you can see where the porcupines have been eating the bark of the elm trees in the background).  The problem was how to get the roof over to the frame, and then up on top of the frame.


I talked a couple of cute, blue haired beauties (Jamie and Tristan) and Laurie into helping me carry the roof over to the frame, but it was too heavy for us to lift with all the slats on it.


I removed all but five of the slats and then Tristan and I were able to lift the roof up and get it in place on top of the frame.


I put all the slats back on the roof after I secured the roof to the frame. It was a lot of screwing as I had to take out 180 screws to remove the 9 slats, and put 180 screws back in to put them back on.


After I got all the slats back on, I leveled the ground and moved the weights and equipment under the rebuilt shade structure.

The Week: March 30th — April 5th

Photo of the Day, Etc for the week of March 23rd — 29th includes:

March 30th: Spring flowers and wild boar macaroni —

March 31st: Spunk in the window —

April 1st: Construction —

April 2nd: Spunk gets  his kitty prints —

April 3rd: Moonrise and Lola —

April 4th: A snaky lick and wild turkey —

April 5th: Flower girl —

More Progress

Site of the downtown grocery store complex on Monday, January 26, 2015
Faye and Jay climbed to the 16th floor of the New Mexico Bank & Trust Building in 2:46:30 on Wednesday, January 28, 2015. They were a minute faster than Bruce and me.


Looked like they had dug down to the water table on Wednesday, January 28, 2015.


Bruce and I set personal records climbing the 16 floors on Thursday, January 29, 2015 in 3:27:50. Thursday was our 10th climb up the stairs at the New Mexico Bank & Trust Building.


Friday, January 30, 2015 was cold and wet with a mix of rain and snow falling most of the day. The front end loaders, grader, tractor and back hoe got the day off on Friday.


Panorama of Downtown Albuquerque on a gray, wet Friday, January 30, 2015. The New Mexico Bank & Trust Building is in the center of the photo.




A Furry & Feathery Merry Christmas

Spunk helping Laurie wrap presents.


I photographed all the animals Christmas Eve, trying to get them to have a “Merry Christmas” look about them. The birds and Spunk were more than willing participants, Diné was okay with it as long as she didn’t have to get off the heater vent under the bed, but Rosencrantz and Guldenstern took quite a bit of coaxing. Blue, the Boa, opted out because she is getting ready to shed — she has milky-blue eyes and she’s a bit cranky — it’s best to leave a 7 foot long boa constrictor alone when she doesn’t want to be photographed.

Beaker is still looking great after 22 years.


Guildenstern thinking about making a mad dash to get away from the pesky camera.


Søren was more than happy to get in some time in front of the camera.


Rosencrantz was like “You bothering me boy!”


Diné wouldn’t budge from the heater vent under the bed.



Pretty in Pink @ the Kimo


We went to the Ballet Repertory Theatre of New Mexico’s production of “The Nutcracker” last night in the historic Kimo Theater. Laurie wore her pink stripes and pleats with “Count of Monte Cristo” boots, white silk scarf, and her Harley Davidson leather jacket for the cold walk back to the car.