March 19, 2004
Dear Subscriber:

I was having a Tecate at The Western a few days ago and the
waitress brought me a wedge of lime to go with my beer. It was
a plump and fragrant fruit, but when I squeezed it it just sort
of collapsed. No juice. She got me another and the day was

I'm thinking of that juiceless lime now. It's time to write
another article for the newsletter, but there's no juice.

If I sit here and stare at the computer long enough...maybe
something will come to me. I sat here too long. The blank
page with the blinking cursor has disappeared. The computer
has reverted back to the screen saver. On our computer, the
screen saver is actually a mini slide show. Some of our
favorite pictures in no particular order taken over the past
two or three years.

There's the one of me standing in front of the F-17 Stealth
fighter at Holloman Air Force Base a few weeks before the start
of the last scuffle in Iraq. I remember how honored I felt to
have been invited to the base. We had lunch with some of the
pilots. One of those memories that stay with you forever.


There's a picture of Peggy standing at the side of the highway
in the middle of nowhere going to Las Cruces. She has a pair of
those big cutters in her hand. When she has those cutters in
her hand nothing is safe.

"Pull over." I remember her saying.

I was thinking of lunch at Red Lobster and wasn't really in the
mood for one of Peg's side trips.

"Why?" I challenged.

"That long sticky thing would look good in the hallway with a
little barbed wire wrapped around it."

Peggy sees artistic possibilities in just about everything. If
it's rusty and made of metal, it's not junk...it's an antique.
Yucca plants grow by the zillions in New Mexico, but to Peggy
each one is unique. This particular one now sticks out of a pot
near the front door. I have to admit it looks more artistic
than it did when it was beside the highway.

Next on the screen is a picture of Pogo.

Pogo is, to say it tactfully, the most aesthetically challenged
of our four dogs. I think that's why Peg rescued him from the
pound. She was afraid if she didn't take him no one would.

He's a brown sort of German Shepherd sort of Whippet sort of
several other things with short little ears that would be noble
looking if they stood up but they droop forward like old

Peggy tried straightening them when Pogo was a pup with some
airplane glue and popsickle sticks, but of course it didn't

I love Pogo. He's easy to love. I think he knows if we didn't
love him no one would, so he's very appreciative.

The only dog I ever saw that chews on his nails.

I've been sitting here staring at the screen saver long enough.

I'll try and think of something to write about tomorrow.

Don Vanlandingham

Springlike temperatures. No new precipitation. Highs in the
high-50s. Lows in the upper-20s.
Dear Newsletter:

I happened to have my camera Saturday when I came across the
largest snow wheel I've seen. I took a picture of it with my
cell phone on top for scale. I thought you might like to see
it. Unfortunately it was rather cloudy at the time so the
contrast is not good.



[If you are not familiar with snow wheels, check out what Kit
Richards wrote about them in our April 4, 2003 issue:]


Also attached is a picture the newest addition to our family,
a very active 7 week old border collie. We are having trouble
deciding on a name.


I've also seen miller moths already this year. I've decided
to stop feeding the birds so they will eat the moths instead.

I hope your spam battle is not taking too much of your time
and energy these days.

Kit Richards

[If you missed Kit Richards' fascinating Seasonscape photo 
experiment which ran in the Newsletter last year, you can see
it here:]


[You can see his panoramic photos here:]



The Cloudcroft Senior Citizens center will hold its Board
elections March 18 at the Cloudcroft and High Rolls centers from
8am to 2pm. All those running for election are incumbents.
We've got what you want at Gary Mack Real Estate. We will take
care of all your real estate needs. We offer quality service
because our customers are our top priority. So the next time you
are in the Cloudcroft area, stop by and say hi. Gary Mack Real
Estate, where the coffee is always hot and the smiles are always
free. For additional information, see the link to our web site
on the Real Estate page of Cloudcroft.com:


Timely information on Otero County.


Q - Is ATV riding allowed in the National Forest?

A - In certain locations. There are specific restrictions on
ATVs when fire prevention measures are in place. Contact the
Sacramento Forest Service office for maps and details.
April 7 -- High Noon book club. 12pm. In the library. Bring
your lunch and join us in discussing "Life of Pi" by Yann

April 10 -- Easter Egg Hunt and Easter Bonnet Parade

April 11 -- Community Sunrise Service. Baptist Church, 7am.
There will be a breakfast following the service.

April 17-18 -- Rattlesnake Roundup. Alamogordo.

May 8 -- Old Timer's Reunion

May 29, 30 -- Mayfest

June 12 -- Miss New Mexico "Show Me Your Shoe" Parade. Golf
Tournament at the Lodge Golf Course. Proceeds go to the
Scholarship Account for the Miss NM Contestants.

June 18, 19, 20 -- Western Roundup

June 25-27 -- Chimney Spring Bluegrass Festival. For more
information call 505-687-3520.

July 10, 11 -- July Jamboree

July 23-25 -- Singing in the Clouds. We invite all to join us
for some great gospel singing, solo's, trio's, quartet's, and a
lot of group singing by all. (325) 691-9123.

September 19 -- Gary Johnson’s Cloudcroft Run. World’s highest
certified 10k run. For more information call 505-687-2133.

October 2, 3 -- Oktoberfest

Cloudcroft Art Society meets the second Sunday of each month,
2-4pm, in the Old Red Brick School House. Call (505) 682-3004
for more information and details on the Cloudcroft Summer Art
Workshops. March program is "The Basics of Art" by Ed Woten.
All artists are welcome - especially beginning artists.

Cox Canyon Volunteer Fire and Rescue is organizing an
auxiliary unit. If you would like to help support this group
of dedicated men and women, call 682-3084, 682-4664, 682-3719
or 682-3234.

Would you like to help deliver meals to the homebound around
Cloudcroft? Monday through Friday deliveries. Call the
Cloudcroft Senior Center at (505)-682-3022. For information on
other Senior Center services, see their web site, listed on the
Cloudcroft.com Links button.


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 8:30 every Tuesday morning.

Free Vitals Clinic. Cloudcroft Senior Citizens Center, every
Wednesday. High Rolls Senior Citizens Center, first Thursday
of each month.

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


Put CC-Editor in the subject line of all communications to the
Dear Newsletter:

Do enjoy your newsletter each week. Makes me want to pack up
and move to CC tomorrow. Working on that. Keep up the good

Glenn Wittge

Dear Newsletter:

I enjoy reading the Cloudcroft online newsletter. Thank you
for sending it each week.

Keep up the good work on the online newsletter Mr.
Vanlandingham. It takes a lot of work to put an online
newsletter together and my husband and I appreciate your

Kathy Whitaker
Midland, Texas

Dear Newsletter:

That is the cutest cat story I believe I have ever read. I am
a cat woman. They really know how to operate and can get a
person to do most anything.
Joyce Roye

Dear Newsletter:

That's funny - I think my cat, Oreo, has moved to your house!
He sounds exactly like your self-confident Tom. Oreo is the
run of the Golden Retriever, the Boxer and other cat we have
at our house... It's a strange thing to watch, indeed.

M. Potter
Midland, TX

Dear Newsletter:

I absolutely love your letters, and especially, when you talk
about our 4-legged friends. I have the sweetest baby in TEXAS;
she is a 5-year old Golden Retriever, and she has added so
much to my life. The world is a much better place with these
wonderful creatures in it.

Keep the stories coming, they're great!

Love from Texas,
Penny Evans
Ft. Worth, TX

Dear Newsletter:

I have been getting your newsletter for a while now because I
am curious about Cloudcroft. In the summer of 2005 I am
scheduled to teach a watercolor workshop there and am looking
forward to being in your beautiful part of the country.

Newsletter #205 is so charming as must be your cat, Tommy. It
makes me wish I had his confidence and how far such confidence
goes in the world.

Thank you.
Sharon Pitts

Dear Newsletter:

I love Thursdays because I love the Cloudcroft Newsletter!
Enjoyed the story about Tom and the dogs. I have always loved
cats because they are independent creatures and have an

We have a 13 yr. old calico who is queen of her domain. We
have always had birds as well, but they stay in the sunroom,
and Kat bosses the rest of the house. A few months ago, a
neighbor's cat sneaked into the sunroom and got our blue budgie.
Kat had always ignored the neighbor's cats outside, but right
after that incident, I saw her box the jaws of said cat, and
after that, it disappeared & we have never seen that cat again!

We acquired a new cockatiel a while back that DOESN'T stay in
the sunroom. He doesn't know he's a bird and sits with us while
we watch TV or whatever.

Kat couldn't understand it, didn't like him, and would leave the
room if Roscoe came into the den. She couldn't stand it for long
though and would jump into the lap of whoever had Roscoe. Very
possessive! Roscoe had no idea that birds are food for cats and
would eye her curiously. BUT, if he got within a few inches of
Kat's head, guess who won! Roscoe did! Kat just couldn't take
it, being so close to a bird & would jump off the lap. I
wouldn't have believed a bossy little bird could put Kat on the
run in her own kingdom!

Keep your "critter stories" coming! I love them!

M. Sykes
Odessa, TX

Dear Newsletter:

Hi there. I subscribed to your newsletter because my daughter
and her family recently moved from Abilene, Tx. to your town.
My son in law is with Wal-Mart in Alamagordo.

I loved the picture of the snow! Your story about the cat and
dogs brings to mind one of my own. We had a BIG dog, a cross
of black Lab and German Shepherd, tipping the scales at about
one hundred pounds. He was an outside dog, very sweet and
loving. His doghouse had once belonged to a much smaller dog
and he was barely able to get inside but he would go in head
first, screw himself around and settle in with his head just
inside the door.

He loved it and we decided it was nice and warm in there,
sitting close outside the door to the patio. We also had a big
yellow tomcat who was the scourge of the neighborhood. He
didn't get along with dogs at all.

Winters in Abilene are mostly mild and enjoyable. But that year
we had one of your left-over snow storms and had a couple of
inches on the ground. Mister, the dog, didn't want to come
inside because he was cozy where he was.

The cat was nowhere to be found that night when we retired. We
worried about him being cold. Next morning my husband opened
the door to check on things and there was Mister in his dog
house, his nose barely sticking out. Nice and warm. The big
head came out to check out his master.

There was a little commotion and suddenly another head popped
out just over Mister's. It was Tuffy's, the yellow tom who
hated dogs. He had slept atop Mister, blending their body
heat, in the cold of an unexpected winter night. They were
great friends ever after.

Helen Smith
Clyde, Texas.

Dear Newsletter:

Thanks for the picture of snow which fell on 3-04-04. I'd like
to see a few more snow pictures. We enjoy seeing what we have
missed by not getting up there in the winter. We didn't get to
visit our friends, in Robinhood in 2003, so sure hope we make
it in 2004.
Best regards from the land of the Spring Breakers.
B. Alexander
Corpus Christi, TX 

Dear Newsletter:

We were lucky enough to be in Cloudcroft on March 4 and 5 when
all that snow came down. We had come up for the weekend to
finalize plans on a little cabin we are building near Mayhill.

We had some interesting adventures, such as thinking we could
walk along the highway into town on Friday morning­-we had just
set out when we spotted a snow plow roaring toward us, and we
made the plunge down the embankment just in time not to get a
"little" mud on us. But of course, we are not in the habit of
seeing snowplows in Houston.

We needed to go down into Alamogordo to check out a few last
details at Home Depot and Loew’s, and we were surprised that
we were actually able to do that by Friday afternoon­-they
sure get your roads cleared fast.

We amused a few Alamogordo citizens with the big pile of snow
that we left on the hood of our truck until it finally melted
away­-a souvenir of sorts.

Here is a photo we made from the window of our room at the
Aspen Motel. (Doug is a great host.)


Coincidentally, today I found a postcard online of the Aspen
Motel from back in the 1970’s, also on a snowy day, and I’ve
included it­-one little example of how Cloudcroft maintains
its unique character and charm. 


We thoroughly enjoyed our "adventurous" visit. 
Missouri City, TX 

Dear Newsletter:

In answer to the cell phone question, we have had great
reception with our Cingular Wireless phone. There are few
places we cannot get a signal, mostly when the mountains are
blocking us on all sides. At our cabin in the village, we
never have a problem.

We have had three different cell phone servers over the years
and this is the best we have used. With their Nationwide
program there is no extra charge in New Mexico. 

Gloria DuBose,
Midland, Tx

Dear Newsletter:

Good morning Don -- You have done it again. A great newsletter!

The one thing I took exception to was the comment from the lady
who "bad mouthed" Texans. The only thing I want to know from
her is -- where is she from originally, Jupiter? If she is a
native born New Mexican, she is blessed, but, more than the
rest of the United States?

Oh, well, we all have our little idiosyncrasies, huh? I believe
it is a complement to New Mexico that Texans would even consider
leaving their state to live in your great state! And I do
believe it is a wonderful place, for lots of reasons. But more
especially Cloudcroft, for lots of reasons.

Thanks for the great story about "tommy". We have two cats, who
adopted us and they are a great twosome, and give us many

Have a great day.

Dear Newsletter:

I was just reading the e-mails and happened to be on the phone
with the Alamogordo Chamber. I asked them when the rattlesnake
roundup was and the answer is April 17 and 18th. Tom Bolents
was wanting the info. Could you pass it on to him?

Carol Henry

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Copyright © 2004 Cloudcroft Online
The Travel and Visitor's Guide to Cloudcroft, New Mexico.
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