March 29, 2001
Dear Subscriber:

Water is no big deal, unless you don't have it.

In the cities, it is left up to the municipalities to be sure
the water runs cleanly and freely to each home. In the Silver
Cloud Subdivision near Cloudcroft, it is up to those of us that
live here.

Several years ago our Owner's Association drilled a well, laid
the pipe and bought the holding tanks. The water system serves
about 65 homes.

We don't have many water problems, but when we do, we fix it
ourselves. Problems invariably occur during sudden-death
overtime in the football game we're watching or just when the
steaks are done.

When the water pressure is low
...we grab our rubber boots and go.


There are about a half dozen of us. We're all volunteers. We
are there to fix all water problems and upgrade the system when

Granted, there should be more of us, but as it is anywhere
else, people have other things to do.

It is often muddy, tedious and tiresome work, but we find a way
to enjoy it. We're not seeking accolades. Our reward is when
someone steps into the shower and turns on the faucet and water
comes out. It's not important that the person taking the shower
knows we worked all day to fix a busted pipe that guaranteed
them the wetness.

It is an unheralded gratification shared only by THE WATER

Paul is our chief. He runs and maintains the association
back-ho. He is in charge of design and planning. His wife Rita
keeps the books and smooths the feathers of disgruntled
home-owners when the water pressure is too low for their taste.
Paul calls the shots on repair jobs.

Jim is the Lieutenant. Jim and Paul live next door to each
other and they work closely together on water projects. They
often go out on small repair jobs together sans help, but when
things get out of hand (like they did this week) they call in
the rest of us WATER GUYS.

It seems Paul and Jim were digging up a problem line when the
back-ho hit a main line.

Harry was called. He's savvy about construction and plumbing.

I was called. I know what a fitting is and can go to the truck
and get it.

Allen is our newest recruit. He and his wife and two daughters
just moved here from Austin. Allen works for the Alamogordo
school system, so he won't always be available for water duty,
but he was there yesterday wearing a tee shirt with a slogan
printed on it in some kind of foreign language. I'm sure he was
dying for someone to ask him what it said, but no one did.

We work together like a well-oiled machine. There are no wasted
words as we grapple with the problems at hand. It's much like
surgeons in an operating room. Here's how the conversation went
during the repair of the pipe (expletives deleted).

"We need two 45 degree tees with a slip on one end and an
inside thread on the other."

"Is that an inside thread or an outside thread?"

"Did I stutter? I said inside thread."

"Just wanted to be sure."

"Should I go ahead and cover up this pipe?"

"What pipe?"

"THIS pipe."

"Where's the shovel?"

"I don't do shovels. Ask Allen."

"Where's the shovel, Allen?"

"This is my shovel. I think there's another one over there."

"I think there's a shovel in the back of my truck."

"What's it doing in the back of your truck?! Go get it!"

"Who has a tape measure?"

"I think there's one in the truck."

"WHAT TRUCK? There's 4 trucks out here!"

"Here are those 90s."

"90s? I said 45s!"

"Isn't that what I said?"

"You said 90s."

"I meant 45s."

"You have beans for lunch?"

"No, why?"

"Where's the meter?"


"Don't tell me we don't have no meter! Who was supposed to
pack the meters?"


"Oh. Well...who was supposed to watch and be sure I packed
the meters?"

We all laughed, except Allen who was still wondering why no
one had asked him what his tee shirt meant.

Hard to believe, but we finished the job long before sundown.
We pressured up. No leaks, no runs, no errors. No one in the
subdivision had to go to bed last night without their bath
(unless they just wanted to). We high-fived each other and
started home to our wives who would likely chew on us for
tracking in mud.

Paul has been sick, so after we picked up the equipment and
loaded up after the job, he sat down on a tree stump. He said
he was tired, but knowing Paul, he also wanted to sit a few
minutes and survey yet another job well done.

To THE WATER GUYS, "leak" is a four letter word. "Good job,
guys," is manna to sleep on, and "friends" has a special

Don Vanlandingham

This first week of official spring brought with it some warmer
temperatures and the first hummingbird at our feeder by the

Experience tells us to be prepared for more cold weather, but
hope for an early summer prevails throughout the village.

Highs right around 60. Lows in the upper-20s.
Dear Newsletter:

Love your newsletter and am always waiting for it every
Thursday. It makes us feel like we are keeping up with what is
going on in our second home. 

Can you tell me if AccuWeather has quit posting the weather
for Cloudcroft. I have not been able to get your weather for
the past week. Every time I try to pull it up, it says that
this pages is unavailable.

Just curious because we usually check it at least once a week
to see what kind of weather you are having. Comes in handy when
we get ready to come visit on our vacation.

Anyway, keep up the great letters and opening stories. The one
about the barber shop brought back a lot of great memories. I
also share your opinion cats and dogs. 

Ken & Judy Warner
Baton Rouge, Louisiana

Dear Newsletter:

For about a week now I can't get the AccuWeather site to show
the current and forecast conditions.

Is it out of service?

Charles Taylor

Dear Newsletter:

For over a week now I have been trying to pull up AccuWeather
from the Cloudcroft.com website but it won't come through. Do
you know if there is a problem or is it just me and my
computer? I have waited up to five minutes and nothing ever
happens. Thanks in advance if you can give me some advice on
how to pull it up.

By the way, I have a family of friends from Wimberley coming
around July 20th to stay at one of your places for about 2
weeks. I told them to check you out but can't remember which
place they picked. They're very excited about coming. Our new
son-in-law's family stayed with you this past Sept when they
came for our daughters wedding and loved your place. I figured
my friends would too.

We will be there at our cabin the same so we'll all do some
hiking together.

Gay Lynn
Cedar Hill Guest Quarters
Wimberley, TX 

[For at least a week, AccuWeather had a problem with their
Cloudcroft weather site. That is now fixed. Special thanks
to Ken and Judy Warner, Charles Taylor, Gay Lynn, and the
many others who contacted them about this problem.

Click on AccuWeather's graphic logo in the left column of any
Cloudcroft.com page for this weather report.]

Fires with high property damage charred areas near Ruidoso this
week, putting Cloudcroft residents on heightened alert. High
winds, dry conditions and forest over-growth can combine for a
serious wildfire.

The fire in the Kokopelli residential area near Ruidoso was
likely caused by human carelessness.

For a comprehensive list of fire links, see the Information
page of Cloudcroft.com:


Canyon Tree Houses I and II are conveniently located for your
summer and winter activities. They are comfortable, beautifully-
decorated, fully-equipped homes. Both have phone, TV, VCR, BBQ
grills and nice decks. Everything you need including linens,
toiletries, firewood, dishes, spices and small appliances are
supplied. Reasonable prices with reduced rates for monthly and
weekly rentals.

For more information, call 800-748-2537/505-682-2537 or see the
link to their web site on the Lodging page of Cloudcroft.com.


Becoming a favorite destination for those that enjoy the
features of Cloudcroft.com.

Go to:


Click on the Links button and then click on "news sources" at
the top of the page.

For the latest Newsletter in web format, click the Latest
Newsletter link in the left column of any Cloudcroft.com page.


Q - Is Ruidoso the County seat of Lincoln County? I have a bet
with my wife.

A - You lose. Carrizozo is the County Seat of Lincoln County.
March 30 -- Easter Egg Hunt, Zenith Park, Cloudcroft, 10am.
For more information, call (505) 682-2733.

March 30 -- Easter Bonnet Parade. Downtown Cloudcroft. 2pm.
For more information, call (505) 682-2733.

March 30 -- Community Easter Egg Hunt and luncheon. Rio Panasco
Park, Mayhill.

March 31 -- Timberon Easter Egg Hunt. 1pm.

March 31 -- Easter Sunrise Service, 7am at the Cloudcroft
United Methodist Church. Dr. Lowell Swisher will bring the

March 31 -- Easter Breakfast, 8am at the Cloudcroft United
Methodist Church following the Sunrise Service. The Breakfast
is a fundraising project of the Methodist Women's Group.

Lydia Aspen will have an autobiographical art exhibit at the
NMSU-A Townsend Library Gallery through March.

April 6 -- Trinity Site Tour, line-up 7:15am Otero County
Fairgrounds, depart 8am.
For more information, call (505) 437-6120 or (800) 826-0294.

April 12-14 -- Trinity All-Arabian Horse Show, Otero County
Fairgrounds, for more information, call (505) 437-9367.

April 14 -- 14th Annual Bataan Memorial Death March, White
Sands Missile Range, for an application booklet call
505-678-3374, register on-line at www.wsmr.army.mil.

April 15 -- Congressional Candidate Forum. Cloudcroft Village
Council Chambers at 6pm. Speakers are Democratic candidates
Ruben Smith and John Arthur Smith.
Reservations required, call (505) 682-2504.

April 20-21 -- Rattlesnake Roundup. Otero County Fairgrounds.
For more information call (505) 437-7116.

April 22 -- Congressional Candidate Forum. Cloudcroft Village
Council Chambers at 6pm. Speakers are Republican candidates
Ed Tinsley, Steve Pearce, Earl Greer, and Leo Martinez.
Reservations required, call (505) 682-2504.

April 26-28 -- Cloudcroft Dance Theatre, Artesia.
For more information, call (505) 687-3192.

April 27 -- Moonlight Bicycle Ride, 8:30pm, White Sands
National Monument, advance registration required.
For more information, call (505) 479-6124 or (505) 679-2599.

May 4-5 -- High Altitude Classic Bike Race.
For more information, call (505) 682-1229.

May 11 -- Old Timer's Reunion, Cloudcroft High School, 12pm.
For more information, call (505) 682-2932.

July 4-6 -- 35th Carlsbad NM Senior High Reunion. For more
information, contact csi@greymane.com or visit www.chs68.com.

Cloudcroft Art Society meets the first Sunday of each month,
2-4pm, in the Old Red Brick School House. Call (505) 682-2494
for more information.

Senior Van from Timberon to Alamogordo leaves the Timberon
Lodge promptly at 8:30am every Tuesday morning.

For information on highway closings for missile testing between
Alamogordo and Las Cruces/El Paso, call (800) 432-4269.

If you have news of public events in the Cloudcroft area, email

For an online calendar of area events, click the Events Calendar
link in the left column of our home page:


Dear Newsletter:

Love your newsletter. You could make any story interesting!

When reading your story about your 4-wheeler, tumbling down
the hill, but still running, reminded me of an e-mail that
someone sent to me recently. I thought you might get a kick out
of these amazing photographs.

Be sure and highlight the entire HTML address or the pictures
won't come out right, (someone else I sent it to had that
problem). If you have problems, let me know and I will send
it from my home computer. Keep up the good work!



Dear Newsletter:

Just finished this week’s newsletter and LOVED your ATV
comments! Having been known to do my fair share of stupid
things, I feel I am a qualified expert on all manner of things
dumb. I was captured by your storytelling abilities once again
as I felt I was on that hill with you.

Hope the bruises heal soon and your wife will let you have the
keys again! Thanks again for brightening my day once again. I
anxiously await my Thursday e-mails for your letter. Keep up
the good work. 

Kevin Haley
Abilene TX 

Note: No trees were destroyed in the sending of this message.
We do concede however, a significant number of electrons were

Dear Newsletter:

The item on skunks had me laughing at work. I have to relate
my father's first-hand (first tail?) encounter in Las Cruces a
few years ago.

My folks have the habit of sleeping with the front door open
(and the screen locked) on hot summer nights. One night Dad
heard something on the front porch, got out of bed and went to
see what it was. Did he bother to put on his glasses? Nope. A
few minutes later, my stepmother heard him say, "Honey, there's
a cat on the porch. Should I let it in?"

Before she could reply, the cat, which was actually a skunk,
had doused him liberally with eau de skunk. Needless to say,
Dad slept on the couch for several nights before he was
welcomed back to the marital bed and his pajamas were burned.

Shirley Alford

Dear Newsletter:

So you want to get the skunk smell out? I found this recipe
after moving to Cloudcroft. It seems that my big, hairy dog
decided to inform every furry creature within a mile of our
place that there was a new sheriff in town and they best leave
his mountain. As far as I can tell, the skunks have a faster
draw. I've lost track of how many times he's been skunked.

Have you ever tried to bathe a 90-pound dog in tomato juice?
It looks like a slaughter took place. Besides that, it doesn't
get the smell out.

Now I'm not saying this recipe will have them smelling like a
rose, but at least it will stop the gagging. I found it on the
Internet. (I have also found excellent sites regarding the
removal of porcupine quills, but that's another story.)

1 Qt. Hydrogen Peroxide
1/4 cup Baking Soda
2 Tbl. Dishwashing Detergent

Put it on the dog while it's still foaming. Don't get it in
their eyes, mouth or ears. I let my guy soak in it while I
issue a stern lecture about animals with little stripes on
their backs. After I have decided that he looks pathetic enough
and duly cowed, I rinse him off.


Dear Newsletter:

I don't have the time or the space to share my months of skunk
experiences of last year. Suffice it to say, none of them were

I did learn that skunks like cat food in the live traps we used.
I also learned that if you are trapping the critters from under
an old farm house (I think it was their ancestral home where
family reunions are held each year) you do not seal off the
entrance/exit until you have gone 4 - 5 days without trapping

And, I learned there is no magic remedy, nay, ANY remedy to
remove the odor from wood, carpets, leather coats hanging in
the closet, shoes in the closet, wrapped Christmas presents
under the tree...you get the picture.

Maybe you're even getting some fumes from this email missive.

Sherry T.
Granbury, Texas

Dear Newsletter:

In our attempt to make the transition from flat lander and city
dweller to mountain man and wife (Pat told me never to refer to
her as a "Mountain Woman") as easy as possible. We have already
begun the search for items that can replace the required
necessities that are or would be difficult to come by in the
smaller community. Thus began our search for the perfect pizza
replacement. I know that a pizza can be had in town, but I'm
talking about the late at night already in my jamies no Pizza
Hut delivery pizza replacement. 

In our search we have tried various homemade recipes, kits and
frozen models. The homemade were best, but remember the idea is
pizza with as little effort as possible. The main idea here is
simplicity, after all I wouldn't want to start any middle of
the night conversations that begin with "For God's sake Bill,
it's the middle of the night!" If we were talking ice cream
here, the story would be all together different. 

After a bunch of failures mostly frozen models, we did find one
that was pretty good. I could find no use for most of the others
except for one that made a decent Frisbee to play catch with
our dog, but even Duchess wouldn't eat it. Duchess preferred a
dried pig's ear! Remembering the taste of that pizza I can't
say I blame her.

The model of frozen pizza that we had both agreed was the least
offensive, was added to the "stock in the freezer list." This
model could even be made better, by adding a little extra cheese
(makes my artery stiffen just saying it).

Now, to ensure that we actually did like the pizza, and didn't
just give in to one in order to avoid trying any more. We waited
a couple of months and tried the same pizza again. It was the
same price and tasted as good as before, but it was considerably

The packaging was of the same size and style, it was the pizza
its self that was smaller. The box was big enough for what most
would consider a large pizza but contain no more than a medium
sized model. Understand that the smaller size was more to the
liking as a midnight snack but it caused me to take note. This
was not the only retail item that was using this ploy to
increase profits.

It would appear that in a world where we are trying to deal with
waste and attempting to improve our recycling efforts, business
has found away to increase the amount of waste we create. I
understand that the marketing concept is to make the consumer
believe that he or she is getting more for their money, but are
we really that stupid? I guess we are, since it appears to be

Sorry, didn't mean to bring anyone down. But on the up side, I
wrote a letter without using my sister's name. Wanda I hope you

Take care, all.

Bill White
Phoenix, Arizona

PS. Don, have you ever considered adding a personal section to
your letter? My sister is single and I think she is enjoying it
too much. If we could find her a man so that she could be
miserable again, I think it would be only fair. But on the other
hand, she makes great biscuits and gravy and I might miss that!

Don, disregard, the personal section idea.

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Copyright © 2002 Cloudcroft Online
The Travel and Visitor's Guide to Cloudcroft, New Mexico.
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