August 16, 2002
Dear Subscriber:

We had a domestic disturbance at our house this week.

To refresh your memory...we have 4 dogs and 2 cats. I know that
must conjure thoughts of smelly and noisy, but most of the time
life is pretty civil around here. We obviously have to "pick
up" after the dogs every week in their yard. Since we're in the
rainy season, we have to wash off and dry 16 paws every
afternoon before the dogs can come in the house. We have
hard-surface floors wall-to-wall because carpets would not do
well. We have some neat throw-rugs that can be tossed into the
washer when need be.

With the help of good mops, an ample amount of cleaners and
a monumental amount of patience, Peggy and I are able to
maintain a very hospitable home.

We added the 2 cats to the mix a little over a year ago. Heavy
on the word "mix."

To refresh your memory again, the dogs stay in their yard during
the day, while the cats more or less come and go in the house.
In the late afternoons, the cats are put out the front door and
the dogs (after their foot-cleaning) are let in the back door.

The arrangement worked out well until this past Thursday...
...the day of the Domestic Disturbance.

We took Tipper (our border collie) to Alamogordo to the beauty
shop (not a dog groomer...Tipper doesn't know she's a dog).

When we got home 3 hours later, Peggy was greeted at the front
door by Phoenix, our Lab. There was something dreadfully wrong
with that picture.

The dogs were supposed to be OUTSIDE. The cats were supposed to
be INSIDE. Evidently both genera were inside. There was probably
an animal WWF tag-team match going on in our house while we were
gone, and we didn't yet know who had won.

Peggy started crying.

Men still have jobs women don't. One of those jobs is checking
out the scene of the crime.

I went in. I ran the dogs back out through the doggy door they
had broken through because (evidently) they had been spooked by
the thunder and lightning of the day's rain shower. They have
a canopy over part of their yard, but despite being dry and
safe, they are also whimpy. They wanted in the house. I can't
blame them. I would want in the house, too.

The scene was...well...not so bad.

Reconstructing the crime, I decided the dogs, after breaking
into the house, located and tried to assault the cats. The cats
(being cats) were able to avoid the assault. I found Harry
(the female cat) in the window of the back bedroom...meowing
when I walked in. There were signs of a struggle, but Harry
wasn't particularly upset.

Tom (the male cat) was in the window over the washing machine.
He had taken the brunt of the attack. Tom is a tough nut to
crack. Evidence pointed to the fact that the dogs had chewed on
Tom's tail, but there was no injury deserving of medical
attention. The dogs had no chance against him. He held them
off until we got home.

A total of 100 pounds of dogs against one 2 pound cat.

I'm indifferent when it comes to cats, but I have developed a
lot of respect for Tom.

There were no discernable injuries to the dogs. I guess Tom and
Harry were gentle with them.

Outside of a couple of knocked-over stools, some broken plant
pots and paw prints on a couple of bedspreads, there was no
property damage. Within a half hour we had the scene of the
crime cleaned up.

Then came the worst part. We had to discipline the dogs.

They needed to learn that when they're outside, that's where
they belong, until we let them in. None of that strong-arm
bust-the-door-down stuff...thunder and lightning or no thunder
and lightning.

We had been told by other dog owners that the meanest, nastiest
thing you can do to man's best friend is ignore them, so we put
the whole bunch of them on "ignore."

It worked, but it was so pathetic. Phoenix went outside and
stared in through the window. Her expression conjured up
thoughts of a driving blizzard and sub-zero temperatures. I
had to remind myself that she put herself outside and it was
70 degrees.

Pogo (the German Shepherd mix...they're all pound dogs) is our
most docile dog. He probably had little to do with the cat
attack, but he had to be punished along with the rest. He
curled up in the corner of the bedroom after being ignored...
his nose in the corner. I had a second grade teacher that made
me stick my nose in a corner once.

Misty (part bull and part obstinance) refused to be ignored.
She kept coming around for a hug or a lick of the hand. After
several "go aways" she laid down next to the couch and pretended
she was happy with the arrangement, thankyouverymuch.

Tipper was with us during the crime, but if we gave her special
treatment the other dogs would notice and growl at her, so she
had to be included in the discipline.

She didn't get her chew bone that night.

One day of ignore was enough. I was weakened by all the sad
looks and hanging heads.

The next morning I got the dogs together, scolded them one last
time, replaced the doggie door with a super-duper double-lock
doggie door and called it a truce.

The Domestic Disturbance and subsequent disciplinary measures
seems to have made us all stronger as a family. The dogs seem
to pay more attention when Peg and I say "NO!" Peg and I have
agreed that 4 dogs is too many...they pay more attention to
each other than they do to us. We agreed that if one of them
leaves us through old age or a bad pork chop, we'll not replace

I'm not looking forward to that day. Keeping Peggy true to her
word that we will not add another dog could be worse than The
Domestic Disturbance of August, 2002.

Don Vanlandingham

Still the rainy season, but it is beginning to taper off.
Forest conditions are approaching normal moisture.

Highs in the mid-70s. Lows in the mid-40s.
Dear Newsletter:

Here is the URL for a photo essay just published by me - no
advertising - I did it for the fun of it:


Jack Schuller
Jeff Farmer...long time Cloudcroft resident and member of the
Cloudcroft School Board, passed away Monday. A memorial service
is scheduled for 2pm Friday at the Cloudcroft High School.
Canyon Tree Houses are conveniently located for your summer and
winter activities. They are comfortable, beautifully-decorated,
fully-equipped homes. Canyon Tree I has 2 bedrooms, 2 baths and
sleeps up to 8. Canyon Tree II has 2 bedrooms, 1 bath and sleeps
up to 4. Both have phone, TV, VCR, BBQ grills and nice decks.

For information, call 505-687-4114 or 707-786-9654, or see the
link to our web site on the Lodging page of Cloudcroft.com.


In Alto, New Mexico, an hour from Cloudcroft.


Q - I hear there are great bicycle trails around Cloudcroft.
Is there a good bicycle mechanic there in case we need one?

A - Yes, both in the village and in Alamogordo, about a half-
hour away.
August 14-17 -- Otero County Fair. Otero County Fairgrounds.
For more information, call (505) 437-6120.

August 16, 17, 18 -- Singing in the Clouds. High School.
For more information, call (505) 682-2733.

August 25 -- Music Night, Ice Cream Social, and Silent Auction.
Cloudcroft Methodist Church, 5pm. BE THERE OR BE SQUARE!

August 31-Sept. 2 -- Labor Day Fiesta. Burro Avenue.
Sidewalk sales, street dance, entertainment, games.

August 31 -- Street Dance. Burro Avenue. 7pm.

August 31 -- James Canyon Volunteer Fire Department Labor Day
BBQ, Auction, and Dance. Dinner 5pm. Auction 7pm.
Dance (live band) 9pm. Call (505) 687-3960 for more details.

September 7 -- 	CANCELLED -- Methodist Men's Auction. This 
decision was regrettably made due to the lack of items donated
for the sale. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have

September 15 -- Governor’s 10K Run/Walk. For more info, call
(505) 682-2733.

September 16 -- Meet the Candidates Night. Otero County
Fairground, 6:30pm. Hosted by Otero County Association for
Family and Community Education, 505-687-2133.

September 21 -- Lumberjack Days. Chainsaw and ax competitions.
Zenith Park. For more information, call (505) 682-2733.

September 28-29 -- Aspencade tours (fall foliage at its best).
For more information, call (505) 682-2733.

October 5, 6 -- Oktoberfest. Juried art show. Zenith Park

October 5, 6 -- Aspencade tours

October 19, 20 -- High Rolls Apple Festival. High Rolls, NM.
For more information, call (505) 682-1151.

October 26 -- Harvestfest. Pumpkin carving, hay rides.

October 31 -- Trick or Treat. Burro Avenue. 5-7pm.

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

Mountain Garden Club meets every third Monday of each month.
Call (505) 682-2910 for more information.

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

Free Vitals Clinic. Third Tuesday of each month starting at 6pm
and last Thursday of each month starting at 12 noon. James
Canyon Fire Department, 2346 Highway 82.

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:

Thank you for your wonderful newsletter, it really helps to
keep me connected to my adopted town.

My husband and I are planning another visit to Cloudcroft when
the Aspen trees are in full color. We are hoping that you, or
someone, can give us an approximate time for when that will
occur this year.

Thank you.

Mary-Hanna Renfro
Houston, TX 

[Being here at the apex of the foliage change in the fall is a
lot like being in the right place at the right time for the
perfect sunset.

It seems the "perfect" time lasts 5 days to a week. Beforehand,
the colors aren't as bright. Afterwards the leaves start

I has a lot to do with the previous summer's moisture and
whether or not cooling conditions begin early or later in the

It seems cooler this August than in Augusts past, which makes
me think our foliage change will be a little earlier this year,
but I'm no expert. It's just a feeling I have.

Normally our colors are brightest in the early part of October.
We'll try and give our readers a "heads up" when the colors
begin. -- Don]

Dear Newsletter:

Don't change a thing about the newsletter, you're all three
doin' just fine! Your opening line always catches us and we are
drawn in for the whole letter, every time

I also must say that I agree with the small town "thing".
Having grown up in a small town, I can now wax nostalgic about
it. There were times when I wished to be anywhere but in that
small town (age 14-18) and then I left!

Now, with monster chain stores taking over for everything that
might resemble a neighborhood store, I am longing for a small
town, and may just get there gradually. With a little luck, we
are working our way West - not as far as y'all - YET!

I did stop in to our only small town hardware store today for a
small lacquer thinner - the four men in there actually HELPED
me. I would have been in the monster store all day, looking!

Keep it going, guys.

Beth Scott
Tampa, Fl.

Dear Newsletter:

I love receiving this newsletter.

We stayed at Daisy's Lodge about two years ago. I hope that you
remember us, because we were so touched by our stay at Daisy's
Lodge and our visit to Cloudcroft.

When troubles arise in our daily lives, I love to read the
newsletter and remember Cloudcroft. My daughter Janet, met a
student who is from Cloudcroft at her school which is the
Columbus College of Art and Design.

(We were the big family with the little red car.)

Rita M. Bar

Dear Newsletter:

Well, just reading the newsletter makes me dreamy of the
mountains, the cold, crisp air, cozy fires in the fireplace
and seeing your breath on the morning walk.... Hope to be
there sometime soon.


Please tell Dave hello from a fellow Arlingtonite!

The Myers Family

Dear Newsletter:

"...Do you suppose David will ever admit my ideas are more free
and un-tethered than his? (I wonder if that last sentence will
make it in The Newsletter.) [Yes.]"

It looks like David let that last sentence stand, but he
certainly got the last WORD!


Dear Newsletter:

Every week, my father forwards your newsletter to me. He's been
subscribing for a long while now. I haven't managed to subscribe
yet, but I need to. I'm receiving it each week anyhow.

Last week, I kept re-reading your column about the encounter
with "Houston" in the hardware store. You have a way of bringing
all my wonderful memories of Cloudcroft back to life. Boy, do I
have a lot of them, too!

The first time I remember visiting Cloudcroft, I was about 3
years old. I remember looking out the window of our little
rented cabin and seeing that straight down the hill from that
window was a miniature golf course. Since then, I've seen that
place in sun and snow. I've been there with my parents, my
friends from college, my husband, and my children. 

My children love it as much as I ever did. They've grown up with
memories of Cloudcroft, too. My parents bought a cabin up there,
in Ponderosa Pines. We all regret having sold it a couple of
years ago. Long story as to why that decision was made, but
suffice it to say that plans don't always go as you think they
will. They still have land there, so maybe another cabin will
come along someday. My folks are planning on taking my children
camping there this weekend. 

So, why am I writing to you? I have no idea. I just wanted to
say that Cloudcroft is a special place and thanks for keeping
those memories alive for me. Reading your column last week was
a joy to all of us. My Dad read it and said (with a BIG smile),
"That's exactly how it is there! Jerry is always behind the
counter and you always have to be careful not to let the cat

I hope it never changes!

Thank you!
Kristyn Rose
Lubbock, Texas

Dear Newsletter:

What a great story! Your humor, dedication and humility are
most refreshing.

We have recently "rediscovered" Cloudcroft thanks to my
wonderful cousin Jeanelle Green, who recently bought a home

Our belated honeymoon in 1960 was accidentally to Cloudcroft,
and since then, we have been back about 4 times. It has always
been a place we compare all other locations to.

Other than a recent visit, it has been several years since we
were there.

Everyone enjoyed their recent visit and we are pondering the
purchase of a home.

Our other interest in New Mexico is a missionary effort in the
Sangria de Cristo mountain area up north.

We look forward to regular updates on Cloudcroft via your

God bless,
Jim and Pat Lanier
Giddings, TX

Dear Newsletter:

I really do enjoy your newsletter, and cannot let it wait its
turn in the lineup of daily mails, just go straight to it and
read it through first, then on the the other STUFF.

The reclining lady on the mountain is easily visible from many
places in Alamogordo by looking slightly south and east from,
say, Indian Wells Road.

Is it too late for my Bear Story? If so, delete the rest of the

When We lived in Dark Canyon, I worked at Gerald Champion
Hospital, usually seven 12-hour days on and seven off. When
off, I loved to go for long walks, very slowly, and with my
Nitro in my pocket.

My son Kris had seen bear several times in Wilmuth Canyon, but
I never had, and thus I was not afraid. After one particularly
long walk, I took a shortcut home. I was enjoying the smell, the
wind in the trees, and the sun/shade shadows on the ground as I
started around the side of a mountain.

When I looked up to see where I was, I noticed scratches on a
tree, and that a small pile of dead trees would be a good place
for a bear to look for grubs. At about that time a small bear,
maybe 40-50 pounds, came ambling around the tree trunks.

I think he saw me about the same time I saw him. We both stopped
and observed. I decided I had to go home, about a mile and maybe
a half away. Downhill. No place to hide. No way I could go up
hill faster than the bear. No one at home to come after me.
Prayer and Nitro time!

I was afraid to move enough to take the Nitro, so I just held
onto the little bottle and began a slow walk down the hill, just
angling toward home, and the bear decided to do the same thing.

To begin with we were about 50' apart, by the time I decided he
wasn't going to turn aside, we were down to about 25 feet. I
decided the only thing to do was have a little talk with him.
(I was too scared to have a long heart-to-heart, I hoped that
wouldn't become necessary.)

I just said, in as assertive a voice as I could manage, that one
of us was going to have to change directions or we would be sure
to collide--and since I lived that-a-way, it should be him.

He just looked at me for a couple of minutes while we both stood
still, then he turned slowly and ambled back the way he had
come. I watched until he reached the deadfall, the went home as
fast as I could without running. It took me years to stop
shaking whenever I thought of that bear.

Ilda Reid Calvert

Dear Newsletter:

I have a suggestion for the businesses that are operating there
who don't take credit cards because their business is seasonal,
but want to accept them.

I happen to be in that business and our company offers a program
that the merchant can shut off their processing and pay no fees
during that low business time and the reactivate the account for
a small fee when the business picks up again.

Anyone who would like more information on this I would be glad
to help and do the best I can out rates and all as a faithful
reader of the newsletter. Just have them ask for me and tell me
they saw it in the newsletter and I'll see what I can do for
them. Thanks again and keep that newsletter coming

Philip Duncan,
The Woodlands, TX
By way of Carlsbad, NM

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