October 27, 2000
Dear Subscriber:

On this date exactly one year ago, I was lying in the Intensive
Care Unit of Covenant Hospital in Lubbock, not sure of my future
(or even if I had one). I was undergoing procedures to correct
aneurysms on both my Carotid Arteries. An aneurysm is a
little bubble that forms on the artery that can burst. If it
bursts, it's time to call the organ player.

Thanks to a red-headed young doctor named Tom Windisch and his
highly talented team of assistants I am able to sit at this
computer keyboard and bore hundreds of people with my idle
scribbles today.

It started on the morning of May 1, 1999 when I was getting
ready for work and had a cerebral hemorrhage. Peg called 911
and the amazing work of the volunteer EMS team here in
Cloudcroft, coupled with the skills of the staff at Gerald
Champion Hospital in Alamogordo and the talented work of
Neurosurgeon Dr. Harry Smith in Lubbock helped me beat the 5 to
1 odds against surviving such an attack.

Dr. Smith says those 5 to 1 odds are based on having such an
attack in a house right across the street from a state-of-the-
art health care facility. Since I was stricken in Cloudcroft...
hundreds of miles from a hospital equipped to deal with my
problem...my odds of survival were off the radar screen.

It was during my month in the hospital that they discovered the
aneurysms which necessitated my return trip on October 26 of
last year.

So today is a sort of anniversary. I'm a year old today. The
end of the first year of the rest of my life. I am the poster
boy for 21st Century medical technology.

Perhaps you never know how much people care about you until
something like that happens to you but I was humbled by the
out-pouring of support and sacrifice from both friends and
family. I am truly thankful that I am still here to be a pain
in your collective behinds.

It is probably because of my brush with death that I became more
aware of the important aspects of our existence here on earth,
such as the size of toilet tanks and whether toilet paper should
roll from the top or from the bottom.

Is there something inherent in such an experience that makes you
more aware of indoor plumbing? Go figure.

So if you ever read anything in this newsletter that makes
absolutely no sense to you or you have a difficult time agreeing
with, just remember: The writer has brain damage.

Oh, well...at least I'm out-of-this-world handsome.

Don Vanlandingham

The weather picture in the Sacramentos is still rather
schizophrenic. One day will be dominated with drizzle, rain and
cold and the next day will be down-to-your-tee-shirt sunny.
Highs are around 60 on the warmest afternoons with lows dipping
around freezing. Two full days of rain this past week. The
Forest Service signs indicate the fire danger at present is
It would be hard to determine from official records, but it
could be David Venable has held more administrative offices than
anyone else in any other community of comparable size.

Venable remains the Mayor of the village. He is now or has
recently held office in the Cloudcroft Chamber of Commerce,
Cloudcroft Light Opera Company and has chaired numerous
committees and task forces.

The reason we mention this is because Mayor Dave was recently
elected President of the Cloudcroft Rotary Club.

The Mayor's appointments calendar must be thicker than a
Webster's Dictionary.

Speaking of Webster's...look under Public Service. There may
be a picture of Dave.
For over a decade we have been serving the buying and selling
needs of those interested in Real Estate in the Weed area.

See their website on Cloudcroft.com, including and extensive
list of properties. Ranch land, cabins or commercial.
A different kind of observatory located between Cloudcroft and
Mayhill just off Highway 82. New Mexico Skies caters to
amateur astronomers that take their hobby seriously. The
Southern Rockies offer some of the best viewing of the heavens
compared to any other part of North America.

See their website under "links" on Cloudcroft.com.
Q AND A -- Because Cloudcroft On-line readers want to know.
Q - Are lodging, dining and activity rates higher or lower in
the winter months in and around Cloudcroft?

A - It is safe to say that, while Cloudcroft promotes itself as
a year-round resort, our Southern location makes our winters a
little milder than many snow areas in the state to the North of
us. For that reason we're more of a summertime resort area and
winter visitors can often find lower "off season" rates for goods
and services in and around the village.
October 28 -- Harvestfest

November 24, 25 -- CLOC Melodrama. Thanksgiving performance.
Zenith Park Pavilion

December 23 - 9, 10 -- Town of Bethlehem reenactment. 
Sacramento Methodist Assembly

December 12 -- Cloudcroft School District Bond Election

December 25 -- Christmas in Cloudcroft. Caroling, the arrival
of Santa. Downtown Cloudcroft.

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


Dear Newsletter:

I hesitated to write, thinking that someone would supply the
reasoning that I am going to share with you now.

While discussing this at sometime in my past, the person that
I was discussing this with pointed out that designs on both TP
and paper towels are placed such that the designs are only
visible with the paper placed on the holder so that it comes
over the top.

That piece of information seemed to end the discussion. If the
manufactures intended the paper to unroll from the backside
(or bottom) then the design would be on the side of the paper
that rests against the remaining part of the roll.

Seems to me that the manufacturers intend for it to come over
the top; however, deviations due to pets and children are

Just thought I would provide this piece of information.

Really enjoy the Newsletter. I grew up in Alamogordo and
probably took Cloudcroft for granted while living in Alamo.
Now after living in Arlington, TX and Houston, TX for the last
30 years, I've come to appreciate Cloudcroft much more. We hope
to move to Piney Woods in a few years and come back "Home".

Hank Kumpunen
Arlington, TX

Dear Newsletter:

I was out-of-town and missed the toilet paper issue. I'm pretty
sure the correct way is over the top, especially if the toilet
paper has a nice print or design on it; but I personally prefer
the "from the bottom" method. That was the way of my parents and
to date my mom continues this way.

When I got married and moved into our brand new house, I would
place the toilet paper so that it would fall from the bottom as
it is easier to tear off. My husband kept changing the toilet
paper to fall over the top. I would switch it back and this
continued for quite some time. His parents always used to and
still continue to use the "over the top" method. Well, guess
who's way won in our house?

You got it!--the Queen of the house got her way of course!

Now how about paper towels? Over or under? Same as above for
me, regardless of whether the paper towels have nice print or
not--it is definitely easier to pull off this way.

I enjoy your newsletter very much and look forward to spending
the day or maybe weekend in Cloudcroft this Fall.

Thanks for the beautiful visions.

Christy Lopez-Moya
El Paso, Texas

Dear Newsletter:

A Lutheran minister acquaintance recently returned from the
state of Washington where he spent 60 days on an island in the
middle of a lake participating in a "sabbatical experience". All
who attended worked, rotating chores such as trash collecting,
cooking, laundry, dish washing, or whatever. He states the
location consists of lodges, etc., and they are very big on
recycling. What tickled his fancy greatly was the sign over
each toilet encouraging saving water. It read: If it's
mellow, let it yellow. If it's brown, flush it down.

I don't imagine the brand of commode came into question in
this case.

Bud Sparks
Clifton, TX

Dear Newsletter:

Really enjoy reading your e-mail each week. Though I haven't
lived there yet, reading your weekly message makes me "homesick"
in a way for the trees and beautiful area encompassing Cloudcroft.

My husband and I visited Cloudcroft only one time and decided
that was where we needed to be when Texas weather gets too hot--
and probably lots more times than that!

Thanks and keep the e-mails coming!

Linda Kelley

Dear Newsletter:

Living just north of Houston and still having to work for a
living, we don't get to Cloudcroft near often enough. Your
newsletter takes us back there if nothing but for a few brief
moments each week.

I absolutely love the stories...you cannot stop writing them!
My husband automatically knows I am reading my weekly newsletter
when I burst out in laughter. Everyone at work has enjoyed them
as well. Living in the piney woods of deep east Texas, we have
our share of skunks and everyone here has suggested their
remedies...we obviously have a lot of dogs who like to play with
our skunks as well.

Be safe,
Karen Ibarra
Huntsville, Texas

Dear Newsletter:

Hi to Cloudcroft! I was reading the newsletter this morning
regarding dogs and skunk smell. There is a solution! I have a
very curious Golden Retriever who OFTEN thinks that skunks want
to play with her. Skunks don't want to play, therefore our dogs
suffer from the smell. My vet gave me this solution to the smell
problem and it really works. Bathe your pet in this mixture:
1 quart (3%) hydrogen peroxide, 1/4 cup baking soda, 1 tsp.
liquid soap. Mix this together and bathe. Rinse very well. Your
little pet is once again welcome in your house.

Carol Henry

Dear Newsletter:

Thanks for all the Cloudcroft news. We've already made our
New Mexico trip so we'll contact you again the next time we
plan a visit to your area.  

Margaret Murnane

Dear Newsletter:

Your stories about your dogs (people) are great! I know that I
really like you because I too am a real pet person....
Personally I feel that most pets are better than most people....
They only give love and ask for a little food and caring in
return. Mine including, a poodle people that I had for 17 years,
gave to me much more than I ever gave to them. The worst day of
my life, bar none else, was the day I had to put "Sam" to sleep. 

I look forward to meeting you someday.... My husband and I have
a home in Ruidoso and right now can only visit on occasion,
but we hope to be there soon and maybe get to Cloudcroft.

Eileen Taulbee

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Copyright © 2000 Cloudcroft Online
The Travel and Visitor's Guide to Cloudcroft, New Mexico.
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