Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Wild Flowers of New Mexico 2015

 New Mexico had above rain showers this summer of 2015 and the countryside was covered with flowers. I did not know that the desert had so many flowers.

Navajo Rug

 We have been looking for a Navajo Rug to take home with us.  We checked at the stores but they are extremely expensive.  We went to an auction in Crownpoint better prices but the same concern.  They come in many sizes.  A room size rug can go for as much as $40,000 in the stores.  We wanted a small one to hang next to the one we have from Malaysia.  We were visiting Elder and Sister Huffakers who are serving in Window Rock in the Employment Center.  They showed us the work of a women that came into the center.  It was perfect.  We are very excited to buy the one above.
This is Sister Pearlene Begay who made our rug.  The rug she is holding in this picture belongs to Elder and Sister Huffakers.

Young Single Adults

The Young Single Adults in Gallup meet once a week at Sarah and Chris Mortensen's home for dinner, Institute Lesson and then games.  They are small in number right now but hope to help build the program.  Our favorite game to play is "Wild Uno".  I'm excited to teach my grandkids how to play.

Gallup New Mexico Soil Problems

Gallup has soil problems.  They have to be very careful how they build.  Cedar City, Utah had gypsum in the soil that cause the soil to dissolve if water came in contact creating cracks and holes.  We were always careful to keep water away from our foundations.  We have not heard what is causing the concerns in Gallup.

President and Sister Adams

 President and Sister Adams began their service in the New Mexico Farmington Mission in July 2015.  They are from Logan, Utah.  President Adams had a construction business before he came on his mission.  We made a cake for him with construction equipment for his birthday in October.  The signs read.  "New Mexico Farmington Mission, Construction site.  Adam's Construction, Behold a Royal Army... Happy Birthday President Adams"  They were good sports.

Green Chilis

 One of the mainstay of the diet in New Mexico and Arizona is Green Chilis.  The most famous green chili is the Hatch variety.  Almost all dishes are served with green chilis.  They come in different varieties of spicy.  I like them all but Elder Boyter has to buy them as a side dish in case they are hot. We stopped to have a hamburger and the green chilis that were on the hamburgers were even too hot for me!  They come on in the early fall and the whole city smells of green chilis being roasted.  Our friends Barb and Doug Decker gave us a demonstration on how to roast and peel the chilis.  You first roast them, this can be done on the BBQ or a torch until they are black.  Let them cool a little or refrigerate and peel later.  You peel the black off and they are ready to use.  You can freeze or can for later use.  The girl with the red hair is Susan their youngest daughter.  She is attending college at BYU-Idaho.

Rattlesnake Skinning

 We went to CrownPoint, New Mexico to help another senior missionary couple, Elder and Sister Palmer, winterize their trailer.  Their son is President Palmer, the Stake President of the Winslow, Arizona Stake and is our supervisor with Seminary and Institute.  Elder and Sister Palmer are on a service mission.  Elder Palmer is a retired Institute Director.  They have started a LDSSA at a small college in CrownPoint and an institute class.  This day President Palmer brought his family to help his parents winterize the trailer.  Their oldest son is on a mission in Texas.
 Earlier in the day Elder Palmer ran over a rattle snake on the road in front of the church where the trailer sits.  The grandson wanted the rattle of the snake so we piled the three grandchildren into the  car with a shovel and went to retrieve the rattle.  Elder Boyter was very careful to cut the head off the snake before he took the rattle.  We have been warned that the snake can reflex bite after they are dead so removing the head was the first priority.  Then we cut the rattle off.  It was only about 2 inches long.
 When we returned to the trailer, Sister Palmer having 10 children, knew just what to do with the snake.  She showed us how to skin the snake. The granddaughter her held the backbone of the snake  and the grandmother pulled the skin off the snake.  It was very interesting and slick.  Grandpa brought the snake back to our trailer where he researched how to take care of the skin.  He soaked it in a mixture of Glycerin and rubbing alcohol.  He now has it pinned on a cardboard to dry.  Grandpa was hoping to make a hat band with it for his cowboy hat.  He needed it to be 24 inches long but the snake skin is only 18 inches.  I think he is relieved it is too short.  The idea of wearing a snake on his head was not comfortable for him.

The Navajo Indians hold the rattlesnake as a special animal and they would not be happy if Grandpa wore a snake skin hat band on our mission.  Grandpa was going to wait until he got back to Idaho to wear it on his hat.  Since is too short for a hat band, Grandpa is thinking that we  will make a picture box with different things from our mission and put the snake skin in the box.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Chaco Culture

Our Senior District will be visiting different sites in the mission.  Our first visit was to Chaco Canyon.  The roads into the Park are difficult when wet so it was decided to visit this National Park first.

The Chacoan people's cultural flowering began in the mid-800s and persisted over 300 years.  Using masonry techniques unique for their time, they built massive, multiple-story stone buildings (Great Houses) with hundreds of rooms- far larger than any they previously had built.  Buildings were planned from the start; rooms weren't just added to existing buildings as needed.  Construction of some buildings planned decades or even centuries.  Each great house is unique, but all share recognizably Chacoan architectural features.

They were often oriented to solar, lunar and cardinal directions.  Lines of sight between them enabled communication.  Sophisticated astronomical markers, communication features, water control devices, and formal earthen mounds surrounded them.  They were set in a landscape surrounded by sacred mountains, mesas, and shrines that still have deep spiritual meaning for their descendants.

By 1050, Chaco was the ceremonial, administrative and economic center of the San Juan Basin with a large sphere of influence.  Roads linked dozens of Chaco Canyon great houses to over 150 great houses in the region.  We don't think great houses were traditional farming villages with large populations but probably impressive examples of public architecture used for ceremony, commerce, and trading when temporary populations came to the canyon for these events.

Pueblo descendants say that Chaco was a special gathering place where many peoples and clans converged to share ceremonies, traditions and knowledge.  They traded with peoples from the sea shores and Central and South Americas.  They found sea shells, feathers from South America birds and jars with chocolate in them.

 Elder Palmer, Elder Boyter, Elder Dalton, Elder Huffaker at the Visitor Center of Chaco Culture National Park

 This is an artist painting of what the complex looked like.  They are unsure how many stories but they think 5 to 6 stories high.

Fort Wingate Branch President

President Joe is the Branch President of Fort Wingate Branch in the Gallup Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  He is a very warm and caring president.  We invited his family to our home for Sunday dinner.  Left to right: Britney (Seminary Student), Bradley (YSA), Tiffany(blue blouse is a neighbor), Tiffany, President Joe, Teresa (wife) and Malia.  We loved having them in our home.

40th Wedding Anniversary

While we are on our mission in New Mexico we celebrated our 40th Wedding Anniversary.  This picture is taken in front of Window Rock about an hour from Fort Wingate.  It has been a blessing to be married to my best friend.  He has been a wonderful husband, father and companion.  Serving missions with him has been a delightful experience to start our retirement years.

Blessings of Health