Early Morning in Sorrento

Tuesday, August 31, 2010
The umbrellas are all lined up, ready for the tourists and sunbathers.  They're not free either.  If you want a lounge and umbrella there is a cost.

"Early Morning in Sorrento"     © Kathy Dunham 2010

The 'Ol Coal Tender

Monday, August 30, 2010
The railyard in Chama, New Mexico is filled with old narrow gauge rail cars.  This coal tender with it's "Dog House" on top for the front brakeman, is sitting patiently waiting to be called back into service. 

"The 'Ol Coal Tender"    © Kathy Dunham 2010

More Slot Cnyons

Sunday, August 29, 2010
Everywhere you turn, there are colors, undulating forms, shadows and sunlight.  Antelope "Slot" Canyons on Navajo land outside of Page, Arizona, is like walking into another world.  It's ethereal and surreal.  Unlike anything most of us ever come across.  These weather worn, extremely narrow canyons, really show you the beauty in nature.

"More Slot Canyons"    © Kathy Dunham 2010

A P P R E C I A T E ! ! !

Friday, August 27, 2010
Hey blogy.... It has been a long time huh... Have been busy lately... Anyway, I was successful in allocating some Zeit (means time in german) for my dearest blogy.. lol... What is it about this time around?? It’s about appreciating others... I mean life is all about appreciating one’s existence and being appreciated...

Sometimes, we tend to forget that every single human being has his/her own feelings and emotions... I mean... without these elements... we can’t be human right... So, we should learn to appreciate one and his feelings... Appreciate and understand... I’ve learnt through experiences... Yeah... I thought my 3rd sem would be smooth... However... had a tough time at one point... Anyway, with enough support from my family and friends, I bounced back... I hope everything wouldn't prolong anymore... tired of all these stuffs...

Sometimes... it’s not about who is right... It’s about what is right... I am not gonna claim this as my quote... haha... A friend of mine, Wafi told this a few days ago...The most important thing in life is to appreciate one when he is near at sight... Do not regret for not doing so when he goes far away from u... Life is like a road... Sometimes... the friction is less and sometimes it is terrible... But no matter what... we have to travel on and cling on to each other... The key to cling on: UNDERSTAND... yeah... sometimes... understanding one is the only way to prevent frictions from tearing us apart... No matter how steep the mountain is... we have to climb it together... And when you have an argument with a friend of yours, do not involve the insignificant 3rd parties in it... These people are the ones who would make things worse...

Do not make up your own conclusions on a person... Respect everyone... Be humble.... Do not be over proud of yourself... I can still remember one quote from Mother Teresa;

“Everytime you smile at someone, it is an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing”

Smiling is a simple thing... However, look at the outcome... It can spark an endless effect on a person... What I am trying to say is... Sometimes... it is not about colliding head to head with another person... It’s about discussing in a positive and healthy way... not in an illiterate manner... We should not look down upon others...

And yeah... We should always watch our words... Sometimes...exchange of words can leave a bigger trace in one's heart rather than physical encounters... One would never forget words you uttered if those words offended him/her.

Watch your thoughts, for they become words.
Watch your words, for they become actions.
Watch your actions, for they become habits.
Watch your habits, for they become character.
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny....

Hence, it’s simple as ABC... When you have an argument with a friend of yours... just have a heart to heart talk and sort things out... It’s not about backstabbing, involving a 3rd person or developing the argument day by day... A friend is someone who understands your past, believes in your future, and accepts you just the way you are.

I think that’s all for now..... I am glad that things are getting better in my side of world now... Never give up when things are not fine.... Never give up when you seems like nothing goes in your way... sometimes... the solution is just on the other side of giving up.... If you hold on to what you believe, you will force your way to the solution which is just a few miles from giving up... That’s all for now... I hope that things would get better after this...

And yeah... one important thing... For all of you who catch a glimpse of this post, please don’t get offended in any way thinking that I am trying to offend you or start up an argument with you by this post... I don’t have such intentions... This post is just to spread a message to everyone out there... Hence, the author is not responsible for any damage in any ways... =)

Peace out ;-)

First Ruins

The Anazasi built many cliff dwellings in Canyon de Chelly.  No on knows why they abandoned them or where they went.  But they left us these apartments, nestled high in the cliffs, to speculate on their fate. 

"First Ruins"    © Kathy Dunham 2010

Taking a Break

Thursday, August 26, 2010
Working on a steam locomotive is hard work.  Hard, dirty work.  This was a lunch break for the crew on the Cumbres Toltec Railroad as we crossed back and forth between New Mexico and Colorado.  The fireman is the guy in the bowler style hat.  He's the one responsible for keeping the fires stoked with coal.

"Taking a Break"   © Kathy Dunham 2010

Monsoon Sunset

Wednesday, August 25, 2010
This time of year the Southwest gets moisture coming up from the Gulf of California creating monsoons.  Sometimes we just get big clouds, other times it's rain and thunder and lightening.  Tonight it was just clouds here in the desert.  But they were certainly colorful.

"Monsoon Sunset"   © Kathy Dunham 2010

Taos Pueblo

Tuesday, August 24, 2010
The oldest pueblo that's been continually lived in, Taos Pueblo has been active for over 1,000 years.  Made of adobe and mud, this beautiful structure is a statement to the simple life style of the Native Amreicans who inhabit it.  It's open to the public and you'll find artisans selling their wares and residents co-mingling with the tourists.

"Taos Pueblo"    © Kathy Dunham 2010

Desert Moonrise

Monday, August 23, 2010
It's a full moon tonight and the clouds were billowing in the east just at the moon was coming up.  Perfect timing.  The rose of the sunset created a nice backdrop for the moon.

"Desert Moonrise"     © Kathy Dunham 2010

Listening to Accu Holidays Radio

Sunday, August 22, 2010
Music of the Coventry CarolImage via Wikipedia
Well, I don't know about you, but when I'm on someone else's Christmas blog or even my own, I like to listen to Christmas music. After all, what's visiting a Christmas blog like without music to help you get excited about the holidays??

I also like to listen to Accu Holidays Radio. I can go there, pick out any kind of Holiday music I want to listen to out of their many different genres, just click on any music icon of your preference, and the player opens up in another window. I can then minimize my window and listen as long as I like. Love it! The player has three tabs, a Now Playing tab, an Artist List-banned artists-ones you can select to never hear again while listening, and a Other Channels tab to pick from if you want to change the kind of music you are listening to. You can do it all from the player. It streams great and sounds wonderful! What more can you ask for?!

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Salt River Canyon

I keep experiencing new and wonderful landscape.  New Mexico and Arizona both have some unique and very beautiful landscape.  If you take the road less traveled you can experience many new things.  I found this raw canyon just outside Show Low, Arizona on the way to Globe.  It's not very big but stunning none-the-less.  It's on route 60 which goes east from Phoenix on the way up to the mountains. 

"Salt River Canyon"    © Kathy Dunham 2010

Is Anyone Out There?

Saturday, August 21, 2010
If you saw the movie "Contact", you saw these.  In the middle of nowhere, at an elevation of 7,000' in New Mexico are these huge radio receivers referred to as "Very Large Array" or VLA.  Used for radio astronomy, these parabolic discs, 82 feet across, are aimed at the skies in search of knowledge.  Hello?  Hello?

"Is Anyone Out There?"    © Kathy Dunham 2010

Fresh Chiles

Friday, August 20, 2010
If you've ever seen those dark red chile ristas (lots of chiles tied in a 2' long bunch) hanging from the eaves of houses in the Southwest, well let me tell you, this is how they start out.  Fresh chiles are licked and tied together with raffia and strung up to dry.  This is a simple storage solution and you just pick a chile when you're ready to cook.

"Fresh Chiles"     © Kathy Dunham 2010

The Bar - El Farol

Thursday, August 19, 2010
 El Farol Restaurant, at the top of Canyon Road in Santa Fe offers a very Spanish menu.  Tapas and paella are some of the choices.  The food is good, they have Flamenco shows on the weekend and are the oldest restaurant in Santa Fe.

"The Bar - El Farol"    © Kathy Dunham 2010

Marinez Hacienda

Wednesday, August 18, 2010
The Martinez family were early settlers in Taos.  Their hacienda still survives today and gives us a look into what life was like a couple of centuries ago. 

"Martinez Hacienda"     © Kathy Dunham 2010

Santuario de Chimayo

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

This old church about 30 minutes north of Santa Fe is considered the "Lourdes" of America.  Pilgrims flock here to partake of the "Holy Dirt", said to have curative powers.  Just a few hundred yards north of here is a fantastic restaurant...  Rancho de Chimayo.  Make sure you take the time to drive out for a great meal.

"Santuario de Chimayo"    © Kathy Dunham 2010

Cemetery - Taos Pueblo

Monday, August 16, 2010
Taos Pueblo, the oldest, continually inhabited pueblo in the United States, is a must see when in Taos, New Mexico.  The heritage it represents makes this a historical sight you should not miss.  Today, there are lots of native artists who sell their hand crafted wares.  It also provides a great chance to meet and talk with those who still live there. 

"Cemetery - Taos Pueblo"    © Kathy Dunham 2010

Blowing out the Tank

Sunday, August 15, 2010
The Cumbres Toltec Scenic R.R. runs between Chama, New Mexico and Antonito, Colorado.  The train criss crosses back and forth, in and out of the two states 10 times. During the trip, the engineer blows out the water from the bottom of the tank to clean out the sand and dirt particles that accumulate.  It's quite a blast of water.

"Blowing out the Tank"    © Kathy Dunham 2010

"Old 492"

Saturday, August 14, 2010
The Cumbre Toltec Railroad is a historical treasure that runs between Chama, New Mexico and Antonito, Colorado. It's the highest narrow guage railroad still operating in the country. This old engine, #492, is no longer in service and sits in the railyard in Chama. It's a K-37 type engine with a 2-8-2 wheel arrangement. It's boiler was made for a standard gauge locomotive in 1902 but was put onto a new narrow gauge frame in 1928. But alas, it sits rusting in the railyard

"Old 492"    © Kathy Dunham 2010

White House Ruins - Canyon de Chelly

Friday, August 13, 2010
Canyon de Chelly, just outside Chinle, Arizona, is an awesome trip back in time.  Home to the Anazasi or "Ancient Ones", the canyon has numerous ruins that are 1,000 years old.  This one is called "White House" since one of the dwellings on the upper ledge was white.  Now home to the Navajo, the canyon provides fertile farm land for their crops and livestock.

"White House Ruins - Canyon de Chelly"    © Kathy Dunham 2010

Antelope Canyon

Thursday, August 12, 2010
Outside Page, Arizona are some hidden slot canyons.  What's a slot canyon?  It's an extremely narrow "slot" in the earth, created by millenium of erosion.  Sometimes they are so narrow you can barely pass through.  At the right time of day the sun streams in, creating shafts of light that are magnificient. 

"Antelope Canyon"        © Kathy Dunham 2010

Glen Canyon Dam

Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Glen Canyon Dam is a marvel of engineering.  Built in the narrow Glen Canyon to provide hydroelectric power for 7 western states, it also provides some of the most awesome boating and naturally scenic beauty in America.  Take a tour of the dam if you're ever in Page, Arizona.

"Glen Canyon Dam"    © Kathy Dunham 2010

Drink with a View

Tuesday, August 10, 2010
I would love to have a view like this every day.  But I'll enjoy it when I can, even if it means a trip to Sedona.  If you stay at the Enchanment Resort in a remote canyon outside the city you too can have a drink on the patio at sunset with this view.

"Drink with a View"   © Kathy Dunham 2010

Giving Gift Cards for Christmas

Credit CardsImage by Andres Rueda via Flickr
Well, I decided to add another post about gift cards. I did a little research on the fees associated with bank issued gift cards...Visa, Mastercard, and American Express. Read the fine print! Here's a link to a very informative video about gift cards and fees. http://moneywatch.bnet.com/saving-money/video/gift-cards-fees-and-fine-print/367592/ 

American Express seems to have no fees after purchasing, no expiration date, and no fee for dormancy. The link for the terms and conditions is: https://www212.americanexpress.com/dsmlive/dsm/dom/us/en/personal/cardmember/additionalproductsandservices/giftcardsandtravelerscheques/amexgiftcard_cardholderagreement.do?vgnextoid=2d49e6e93492a110VgnVCM200000d0faad94RCRD&vgnextchannel=95ddb81e8482a110VgnVCM100000defaad94RCRD
Here you will find FAQ'S. They have business gift cards and personal gift cards. Their link is: https://www.americanexpress.com/gift/giftcardslanding.shtml?ne_ppc_id=839&ne_key_id=5339907&gclid=CK6-n9evpqMCFQuenAodHycT4w 

GiftCards.com has many cards to choose from, but they also come with fees. Depending on the amount of the card, the fee is between $3.95, $4.95 and $5.95. Also there is a $4.95 service fee deducted after 12 months of inactivity, a $4.95 replacement fee for lost or stolen cards. It's got a 7 year expiration date. Now I don't know about you, but if someone gives me a gift card, I would be out shopping as soon as possible! It would burn a hole in my pocket!

Retail stores sell all sorts of gift cards. So if you're really sure of what tastes your recipient has, go for it. It may be easier and less expensive than a bank issued card.


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Verde Canyon RR

Monday, August 9, 2010
Just outside the old mining town of Jerome, Arizona, is the Verde Canyon Railroad.  Add this to your list of things to do if you want to see some spectacular scenery.  Originally built in 1911 over a period of one year at a cost of $1.3 million it was used to initially haul the smelted ore from the copper mines in Jerome.  Now it hauls only interested spectators through a rugged wilderness area in Arizona.  Red rocks abound in this narrow canyon as the Verde River plows its course to the south.  An awesome sight to see!!

"Verde Canyon  RR"    © Kathy Dunham 2010

Giving Gift Cards for Christmas

Sunday, August 8, 2010
Christmas in the post-War United StatesImage via Wikipedia
Christmas is my favorite time of the year. I can hardly believe that it's only four months away. Where has the year gone?? I'll be ready to listen to Christmas music right after Halloween. Yes, I know that's a little early for some, but not me. I think this year I'm going to make the shopping part of the holiday season easier on myself and purchase mall  gift cards. It's so hard to know what to buy someone. Some people are easy to buy for and some have everything, and some you just don't know their likes or dislikes. This way they can buy something that maybe they normally wouldn't get for themselves because they just didn't want to spend the money on it and now they can!

A fun way to give a gift card is to put it into a puzzle game box that's made for gift cards. They have to play the game to get the card released. These usually come with directions on how to get the card out and if all else fails, get a hammer...just kidding!!

If  it's for young girls, you could tuck it into a small purse or wallet for the men. Tuck it into the sleeve of a candy bar for those who love chocolate. You could include it with a special ornament for the recipient and every year when it's time to bring out the decorations, they will think of you when they see the ornament.

You could put one inside a pair of cute little Christmas socks or mittens.

I'm sure there are so many more ways to get creative with giving gift cards. I guess it just depends on what type or what theme the gift card is...say for instance a restaurant gift card, movie gift card, Starbuck's gift card, gas card, store card, etc. Just go with the theme.

Yes, it's a busy and stressful time of the year and if this can make my life a little easier, I'm all for it!! How about you?
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Cathedral Rock at Sunset

Sedona, Arizona is known for its red rocks.  And they are spectarular, especially at sunset when the light is the best.  It was a bit of a walk to get to this location but it was worth every step to get a shot like this.  And I got there just in time before the light was gone.

"Cathedral Rock at Sunset"     © Kathy Dunham 2010

Red Coleus

Saturday, August 7, 2010
Many times we overlook the obvious.  Coleus are used a lot as filler plants.  They come in many colors of red/pink/yellow and green.  But a close up look shows the beauty of the ruffled leaves. 

"Red Coleus"     © Kathy Dunham 2010

Roadside Mailboxes

Friday, August 6, 2010
The morning glories add a nice touch, but the road reflectors take away the charm of rural mailboxes.  I guess this is how the owners find their "turn off" in the dark.  But they might also serve as a warning to wild drivers to avoid the mailboxes (or serve as a target - you pick).

"Roadside Mialboxes"     © Kathy Dunham 2010

Restaurant Le Poulbo

Thursday, August 5, 2010
My French isn't very good so I'm not sure what the name of this restaurant in the Montmarte district of Paris stands for.  But I love the charm of the area.  I bet it looked like this over 100 years ago when the Impressionists made this area their haunt.

"Restaurant Le Poulbo"     © Kathy Dunham 2010

Christmas Quotes

Wednesday, August 4, 2010
1. "Remember, if Christmas isn't found in your heart, you won't find it under a tree." - Charlotte Carpenter

2. "Unless we make Christmas an occasion to share our blessings, all the snow in Alaska won't make it 'white'." - Bing Crosby

3. "I have always thought of Christmas as a good time; a kind, forgiving, generous, pleasant time; a time when men and women seem to open their hearts freely, and so I say, God bless Christmas!" - Charles Dickens

4. "Christmas is most truly Christmas when we celebrate it by giving the light of love to those who need it most." - Ruth Carter Stapleton

5. "Christmas in Bethlehem. The ancient dream: a cold, clear night made brilliant by a glorious star, the smell of incense, shepherds and wise men falling to their knees in adoration of the sweet baby, the incarnation of perfect love." - Lucinda Franks

6. "I just don't understand Christmas, I guess. I like getting presents and sending Christmas cards and decorating trees and all that, but I'm still not happy. I always end up feeling depressed." - Charlie Brown 

7. "Christmas..Bah Humbug!" - Ebeneezer Scrooge


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Sunset in Tucson

Tuscon is known for it's beautiful sunsets.  Everything takes on a golden glow as the sun dips in the horizon.  It's a photographer's delight.

"Sunset in Tucson"    © Kathy Dunham 2010

Fresh Blueberry Scones

Tuesday, August 3, 2010
We were the second ones in the gate at the spectacular Van Deusen Gardens in Vancouver, B.C.  But we were the first to arrive at the little coffee shack and our timing was perfect.  The counter girl was just taking these yummy scones out of the oven.  They were soooo good!

"Fresh Blueberry Scones"    © Kathy Dunham 2010

Waves of Petals

Monday, August 2, 2010
I never realized that rose petals resemble a cresting wave.  And this rose in full bloom is loaded.  A regular tempest of a storm type of waves.  "Batten down the hatches".

"Waves of Petals"   © Kathy Dunham 2010

Anazasi Newspaper

Sunday, August 1, 2010
I'm not sure exactly what the message is in this petroglyph but it looks to me that the horse on the left has been running in a figure eight, going nowhere, while the horse on the right is turning his back and heading out.  What do you think?

"Anazasi Newspaper"   © Kathy Dunham 2010