Monday, February 8, 2016

The Truth About Bacterial Meningitis... Part Two

After Mr. Snooty found me laying on the floor of our bedroom, babbling unintelligibly and unresponsive, the ambulance came and delivered me to the same hospital where my children were once both born. After arriving, at some point, I had a grand mal seizure. Hubby looked over at me thinking I was just yawning then suddenly realized I was seizing and alerted the nurses. I was out (or in some parallel dimension) and have no recall of what actually happened. I only remember my wonderful dreams. Well, most of them. All I know is what has been relayed to me by Mr. Snoots and others.

Apparently, the doctors did not know what was was wrong with me because bacterial meningitis has the exact same symptoms of a great number of illnesses. That makes it very difficult to properly diagnose in a timely manner. At one point my vitals were so bad (?) they believed I only had a couple of hours to live. Which, of course, led to the decision to put me into an induced coma... To buy them some time in trying to diagnose. I'm still not sure if I had the two strokes before or while in, the induced coma.

I guess somewhere along the way someone decided to do a spinal tap (or something like that) and soon they discovered the bacterial meningitis and after one week brought me back from LaLa/Wonderland. The first time I sort of *came to* the doctors asked me if I remembered anything and I said, "Remember what?" My precious husband was there every day as often as he could be, as was our son, giving me whatever strength they could. 

My most precious daughter was on spring break at the time, from SMU law school (she was also doing an internship for a Dallas law firm), while also studying to take the Bar. She stayed all night with me every night for a week, Bless her heart and soul. Evidently I spoke to her many times while I was in the coma and then when coming out of the coma. I could neither hold a thought nor play a hand of gin, which really made me mad for some reason. I had to be bathed by a stranger, had a catheter in, the tube I'd had down my throat had irritated it to the point I could barely swallow anything but ice or Jello, and apparently I was not at all nice. To anyone. That is just not me.

When I was slipping in and out of the coma, I thought I was at my brain doctor's house with he and his family and I was ready to go home. So I thought I called our daughter to come and get me (because I knew she was in town) and she refused to, saying that spring break was over and she had to go back to finish law school and graduate. The truth is that she had been asleep on the uncomfortable little *window seat* in my hospital room when I demanded that she take me home. Of course, I don't have a solid memory of this. But, it did happen and I was mean to the one person I could not and have not, ever hurt. Luckily, she has a nurse friend who warned her of what I would be like so she was at least prepared. I won't even go into the time I thought there were spiders all over the ceiling and started freaking out. It took everything she had in her to calm me down while trying not to laugh.

Anywho, Snooty Daughter went on to graduate, moved back to Austin, passed The Bar, was sworn in by a Texas Supreme Court Judge and got a fantastic job with the state as a lawyer for environmental issues. I wasn't able to go to graduation because although I was by then out of rehab prison, I still couldn't walk. I've never in my life been so proud of her. She knows I would not have missed it but for the doctor forbidding me. I was still taking physical therapy every day, but on a walker. I had no physical strength and used our extra computer chair (with no arms) to maneuver my way around the house, using the walls to move faster with my hands. I kid you not. It was a real laugh fest. Not.

So anyway, once they transferred me to the rehab hospital I saw many roomies come and go. I think I was there longer than anyone and got to know all the workers and patients by name. Once my mind began to return I had many late night talks with many nurses and students of nursing. I can't remember any of those conversations but they helped to pass my sleepless nights while there. I was STILL on the crazy IV antibiotics so it's entirely possible I didn't even have those conversations. I was still having to take breathing treatments twice a day (those really hurt) and to go PT (Physical Therapy) and OT (Occupational Therapy) every day. Those really cut into my nap times because Lord knows you can't sleep in a hospital at night. They wake you up every hour or so to check your vitals. I wonder if my vitals revealed I was sick of being awakened. Sleep heals you, right?

I was overwhelmed with determination to make it back home (sooner rather than later) so during my nights of insomnia and interruptions I began to shuffle up and down the hospital halls with my trusty (not really) aluminum walker adorned with golf tennis balls on the two front legs. My ultimate goal every night was to reach the communal fridge where free ice cream was available to all who could walk there and get it. I'm pretty sure there was only one other person who roamed at night, like me, but she was on the other side where they had their own fridge. I might or might not have raided theirs on the down low a time or two. Everyone else was either bedridden or needed assistance with a wheelchair. The ice cream was ALL MINE! Time moved like an ailing tortoise but I SURVIVED hospitalized captivity because of that ice cream. It was not easy.

There were many other crazy dreams and things that happened but I've said enough. For three years now,  I've slowly been coming back to life and good health. I'm also older and wiser now. I know that if you always put others needs first, you will suffer in the long run. I still take care of everyone else but now I also take time for ME. It's just part of surviving this world as long as possible. I also see life differently now. Trivial things that once mattered to me are no longer important and those I love are more important than ever. I can't really explain it, but the way I see everything is different now. It was one helluva a way to learn a lesson but I was given a second chance and, I've gotten it right this time.

Be well, my friends!

Don't forget to take care of YOU! Truly love and appreciate every single day of your life... It's such a special gift that can be taken away so swiftly...

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

The Truth About Bacterial Meningitis... Coming From Someone Who Knows

For the last three years, since my near-death experience with bacterial meningitis, I have done extensive research about it and how you contract the disease. You don't *contract* it in any way. It's like a sleeping dragon that lives within your body, only awakening when you neglect to take care of yourself. Good Grief! I've been doing that for years. The cold hard truth is that even the most seemingly harmless illnesses can cause what we would know to be the *Perfect Storm* inside our bodies. Frightening though it may be, we all have the very bacteria that causes it in our bodies. Normally, they are dormant as long as we take care of ourselves. We don't all always do that, do we?

I spent a week (or more) in an induced coma until the doctors could figure out what was wrong with me. I don't remember a thing. If I had, I'd have gone stark raving mad. Thank God they finally deduced that I had bacterial meningitis which meant 24/7 I.V. antibiotics and a catheter which is oh so comfortable. I also had a small stroke, a medium stroke, and a seizure, almost like a cherry on top. Mr. Snooty thought at first I was yawning then realized I was seizing and alerted the nurses & doctor. Again, I don't remember a thing.

After being in CCU for over a week I was slowly coming around and moved to the ICU where they let me eat mounds of ice cream. Thanks so much for that new addiction. Every single day they would asked me annoying questions like my name & date of birth & who was the president. I was foggy on all answers at first. I damn sure didn't know the date. I said the president was Osama Bin Laden, then cried. The I.V. antibiotics made me completely nutso while they worked their magic on me. Oh, the stories I could tell of my Alice-In-Wonderland-bacterial-meningitis-induced antibiotic stupor.

I still (3 years later) have a scar on my lower lip where the whatever-it-was tube was during my induced coma (like they couldn't have occasionally moved it around... whatever). There were many other atrocities I cannot speak of but they were humiliating and degrading none the less. No matter how great the hospital, you will feel degraded... More than once.

I was *restrained* (tied down with straps) numerous times because of the IV going into my neck. It leaked constantly because it had not been properly inserted, which made it itch beyond belief (and yes, I scratched like a kitty with fleas). Before I was moved to the rehabilitation hospital (Hell South, where I was the only person under 80) they inserted a Pic Line (while watching its progress on an ultrasound). I never had a moment of trouble with it beyond that point. I still despise the nurse that repeatedly tied me down. Learn to properly insert an IV, idiot. You really get paid for your ineptness?

My brain doctor, my heart doctor, and my regular GP were the ones who saved me as well as the nurses. I literally owe them my life. It happened the first night of Spring Break, when most doctors take vacations with their families. Hubby found me on the floor of our bedroom, babbling and coated in sweat. Great visual memory for him, huh? He called the ambulance and the rest is history. I have no recollection whatsoever.

I spent nearly 2 additional months at the rehab place, which made me very irritable but I did ultimately survive. Bad roomies (no private rooms), bad food, no one to take me to the bathroom (after they said I couldn't go alone), freaking wheelchairs & walkers, shower seats, and canes. The atrocities of the elderly are only a breath away, my friends. Take care of yourselves, be well, exercise often, love hard, and laugh always. Growing old is not for pansies.

What I've told here is merely the  tip of the iceberg, as it were. My life, as I previously knew it, is over. But you know what? It's not so bad. I like being alive...

Monday, January 18, 2016

A Pebble Beach Wedding To Die For... Carmel-by-the-Sea

I had no intentions to miss attending this wedding, although Mr. Snoots was scoffing at the mention. Yes, it was far away. Yes, we had to leave here at 5:30 in the freaking morning with 6 hours of flight and layover time. Yes, we also had to drive more than an hour from San Jose in an unfamiliar rent car searching for an unfamiliar destination. And yes, we were only able to reserve a room at an old cottage style Inn in Carmel that was pretty much a dump (for $200.00 per night). I'm pretty sure the Art Deco carpet was original to our cottage. The only thing that attracted me to this particular inn was that our daughter was staying there (w/ friends) as well. That upped the place a few notches or a hundred. Their garden was very pretty and well kept though.

At any rate, I was so mesmerized by Carmel that I was hardly able to do a competent job at driving. Curvy little streets, most with names but some maybe not. Actual numbers of places seemed to have been entirely ignored long ago. Very few traffic lights seen. Most everything seemed disguised in the thick forage and trees.

Of course I've seen Carmel-By-The-Sea and Pebble Beach on TV and in movies. Who hasn't, right? But none of that prepares you for how delightfully beautiful and quaint these places are in person. I really have to give Clint Eastwood major snaps for all that he accomplished in Carmel over the years (20+) he was mayor of Carmel. It is still quaint and unspoiled by fast food restaurants or anything that is part of a "chain". It's almost as if you have stepped back in time, to a less complicated world. Still, whatever you can't find in Carmel can be had in Monterey, a mere 4.5 miles away (or 12 minutes). I couldn't even find a pair of stockings in Carmel. Not joking. Thank Heaven I took along my Garmin GPS. She served me well.

Clint Eastwood also rescued (saved it from becoming concrete condos) a 22 acre parcel of land called Mission Ranch, which has a lovely restaurant/bar and guest rooms, as well as wedding/party venues. Friday night we co-hosted a party there after the Rehearsal Dinner, with a live band and Open Bar that was truly great fun. We didn't have to do a single thing, other than pay for it. My kind of party hosting.

On Saturday, we wandered around Carmel, exploring, shopping and eating. We walked down to the ocean and beach but found it necessary to call for an Uber to take us back up the 6 vertical blocks to our cottage.

We ate lunch at a wonderful little bistro called A.W. Shucks, where we dined on delicate little oysters, fresh salad with bread and of course, cocktails. I highly recommend the place if you can get in. It seems to stay busy but the wait staff is as polite and savvy as you can find..

Since the wedding was being held at the "Old Fifth Tee" on the Pebble Beach golf course, it was set to happen at 4:00 PM (before the sun set and it turned cold). Rather than walk straight uphill for two blocks in my brand new expensive satin heels to take the bus they provided for wedding guests, I suggested hubby try that uphill walk in my heels if he thought it was so easy. He declined and gave in to my demand of taking an Uber to Pebble Beach. It only cost us $8.00 + tip. Uh-Huh. No blisters and shoes that still look new... Priceless.

Upon arrival at Pebble Beach, the scenery literally took my breath away. I've never seen a lovelier wedding venue. A group of musicians played soft, soothing classical music as the guests anticipated the arrival of the wedding party. Staring out at the gorgeous Pacific Ocean, I was in no hurry to be done with such an intensely beautiful sunset.

The bride was one of the most stunning brides I have ever seen, wearing a full length hand made lace dress that fit her perfect figure like a glove. They had 12 bridesmaids and 12 groomsmen plus a rather large House Party, which our daughter was part of. After the ceremony all the wedding party and guests (150+) walked *en masse* (barefoot, I might add) to the club house, for the reception. However, not before a toast of champagne to the newlyweds as they left for the club house in a golf cart.

We initiated celebrations on the outdoor deck of the club house with champagne and cocktails and then the hors d'oeuvres started to roll out. The staff had by then turned on all the heaters because it gets cold there at night in November. We had tiny little lamb chops, demitasse size cups of a delicate artichoke soup, smoked salmon canapes, some kind of small fritters, and the list goes on.

The real surprise happened when we were then herded inside and treated to a brilliant 4 course sit-down dinner that even had dinner napkins monogrammed with the bride & groom's initials. We were served a fabulous dinner of locally grown, raised and prepared salads, beef tenderloin, stuffed flounder, dreamy potato stacks, assorted desserts, wine, champagne, cocktails, and finally, The Cake The picture tells the story better than I. The meal was absolute perfection, as was the service. There was also a fabulous 8 piece band that could play everything from Bach to ZZ Top. We even danced a few times.

 The cake was among the prettiest that I've seen.

Being the *Old Farts* that we are, I believe we missed the slicing of the cake because were the first to leave, around 10:30 PM Pacific time. I think the bride's parents were thankful to us for starting the trend. I wasn't able to snap a picture of my friend, the Mother of the Bride, but I can tell you I have never seen her look more divine, with the grace of Jackie Kennedy/Onasis.

I'll tell you more about our day in Monterey, CA another time...

Monday, November 2, 2015

What A Difference A Little Rain Can Make....

We've been in a drought for so long I'd forgotten what a difference rain can make with the yard. Having been under watering restrictions for the last three years, in the throes of a horrid drought, we were beginning to think we should switch to Xeriscaping. We lost a total of 7 trees and endless amounts of landscaping plants. I should have taken pictures of the carnage but it was just too depressing. And so the adventure began to find the right plants to work for us. This picture was taken standing on our front porch on August 7th of this year.

Even though we slowly and methodically planted ornamental grasses and other drought resistant plants, nothing seemed to really take hold and flourish. Still, we planted away hoping something might someday take root enough to last. At least a year. But with water rationing at 2 days per week, triple digit heat, and no rain, severe winter ice and snow storms... it just wasn't happening.

Thankfully, this year, we have received flooding amounts of rain since early spring. It doesn't mean we're off the water rationing. The City says we'll never go off water rationing again. Water is too precious in our part of the world and like ours, many wells have gone dry, at which point you have to wait for the City Works to lay a new line for what was once watered by your water well. For us that meant the entire front and back yards. We had to wait 12 weeks which means we lost a lot of what we'd previously planted. We tried to take it all in stride but we lost trees too. It's been devastating.

Thankfully, Mother Nature occasionally blesses us with massive amounts of rain. In two months (August and September) our front half-circle bed has tripled in size. This year she is my new best friend...

Even some of the ornamental grasses we thought were long gone dead, are back. To think I almost had our yard man remove them, but here came a rainy late summer and autumn and I love the results. Perhaps the larger grasses are from 2014 summer planting. I never have a plan in mind because you can never predict which ones will survive the brutal seasons. It also depends on what is available at local nurseries. I tell our yard guy to plant the new ones in the holes of the formerly living ones but he never listens. He just plants a new one beside the one that appears to be dead. Helter Skelter. However, now I'm thinking he might be on to something. Hmm.

Friday, October 23, 2015

Introducing My New Best Friend...CloSys

For approximately 40 years my dentist has been patching me back together because I've never been very good about taking care of my teeth. I forget to floss most of the time. And, over the years I've had countless tooth abscesses, often resulting in loss of that tooth. Sometimes he was able to bond the tooth to its neighboring teeth but that can only work for so long.

Because I'm a major teeth grinder at night, he made me a mouth guard to wear while I slumber. Unfortunately, I would almost always awaken to find it somewhere in the bed or on the floor.

Finally he was forced to remove two teeth which ultimately became tooth implants. Twelve months and $10,000.00 later I eventually emerged with the two implants. What a nightmare that was! I dread ever having to go through that ordeal again, which has made me slightly more conscientious about caring for my gums and teeth. Slightly.

Then, about two years ago my dentist attended a conference where he ran into a colleague he had not seen for some time. The other dentist told him about a product he'd had a great deal of success with called CloSys and that the success was astounding. So he began to tell his patients (us included) about this wondrous new product, which we immediately went out and purchased.

CloSys is an alcohol free mouth rinse unlike any other. We now use it to rinse about 2-3 times per day and neither one of us has had a moment of problems concerning our gums or teeth for the last two years, which is a miracle unto itself. This stuff really works! It does come with a little flavor packet you can add or not. I chose not. I like the clean water taste of it with no flavoring.

It is available for purchase at grocery stores, Walgreen's, CVS, etc. and I usually find it on the bottom shelf of the mouthwash section. Also, it comes in a box and has an easy-pull safety cover on the opening. I'm sure they sell other products as well, I had just never heard of them.

I wish I could say this company was paying me for this sterling review (it seems no one ever does) but they are not. When I find something that actually really works, I like to share it with family and friends. It's especially important for people who smoke to use it as it prevents many mouth problems that result from smoking. Anyhoo, give it a try. You are welcome to check out their website HERE.You can thank me later.

Friday, October 16, 2015

How Did I Not Know This About Where's Waldo?

After watching an episode of Millionaire w/ Meredith a few years ago, I discovered that there was apparently a tiny hidden woman who was topless among all those crowds of tiny people my kids had to search through to find Waldo. We had so much fun searching for Waldo *back in the day*. How did I not know about this sinister secret?

Certainly, other parents across the world must have the same feeling of ineptness at this disclosure. Of course, we didn't discover the internet at home until the mid 90's, so it's entirely possible that we simply weren't privy to such pertinent information. It's not like it was the front page news, okay? It was long before information streamed daily at your fingertips. That was around the time our kids learned to lock us out of our own computers by their computer teacher at their private school. Yes, she was immediately bombarded with calls from irate parents that day. But, it taught us to pay closer attention to what our kids were doing on said computer. That was then.

Still, what recourse do we have as parents? Tell our kids we're sorry for having missed this strange addition to an otherwise wonderful way of focusing our children's attention to tiny details? Seems a bit late through the gate to me. "Gee honey, you're 30 but I'm sorry for that bit of exposure during your formative years. I should have been more watchful." However, I'm further convinced that our son hid *Find Waldo* under his bed along with my Victoria's Secrets catalogs, for future use.

That said, we fought constant battles against the porno spam, which was abundant in those days. I mean, they did start the internet, right? Right. Click the wrong link and your child was inundated with multiple windows showing porn. Those were NOT fun times. It was a constant stress. Today, they have controls. Back then, we parents were the controls and we often failed due to sheer ignorance.

The truth is, we were being exposed to a whole new world of information at that time and were just barely able to process even a portion of it. We didn't even have cell phones then. We had car phones, at best. They were large, cumbersome, and we carried them in enormous bags and had wires that plugged into car lighters. No one worried about their conversations being monitored unless they were drug dealers, for crying out loud. Although not quite in *olden times*, we were living in soon-to-be-antiquated technological times, for sure. Boy, were we ever naive.

The threats are even greater today. Parents must monitor their children's use of the internet if they want to provide protection for their most precious gems, children. I shudder to think what kind of darkness awaits future kids on the internet. And we also have to navigate through what they read. Is there no end? It's little wonder today's parents are stressed to the max... You have my sympathy.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

A New Backporch For The Snooty Household.... After 35 Years

I was the first one to admit that the wrought iron patio furniture we'd inherited was many years past its beauty and functionality. For years I'd watched longingly as friends updated their outdoor furniture, dreaming of the day I'd be able to replace our own. Over the years I had spray painted the old furniture countless times but by the next year it would all look shabby again. Also, the squirrels had completely eaten my outside linens so much that they were in shreds.

I did everything I could to make it look less shabby, all to no avail. I'd buy new pillows, new tablecloths, more plants, new chair cushions, outdoor candles, you name it. Nothing really helped hide the fact it was all slowly falling apart, wired together in many places. I didn't really want any one to see it. I didn't even want to look at it. The picture right below was taken in 2009 when things still looked pretty good.

Finally I found a deal that we just couldn't pass up. I was browsing at Sam's Club online and found a deal for a square dining table w/ 4 chairs along with a living area set that included a sofa, 2 matching chairs, 2 side tables, and a cocktail/coffee table. The side tables can be slipped under the coffee table for storage and all sitting pieces had nice, thick pads that tie on. All this for a mere $1099.00 and yes, FREE DELIVERY. It also came with lumbar pillows, which I did not like at all so I gave them to a friend who did. Honestly, I couldn't find a better deal anywhere. Below is the picture I took after all the new goodies arrived and were assembled by Mr. Snooty. I already had the chaise lounge which matches nicely with the entire set of outdoor furniture.

Next, I went to and searched for the pillows I knew I wanted. Found them. I got 4 square Sunbrella pillows, plus 4 matching seat cushions I wanted to use as backs for the dining chairs. They were a bit uncomfortable without something soft to lean back on, so these were just the ticket. I spent a total of $82.00 (including shipping). They are really well made and just what I had been looking for. This is a picture of everything BEFORE adding the pillows.

Before it all arrived I also went to and ordered the outdoor rug I'd had in mind. It's reversible and you clean it by hosing it off with water. Sweet. $129.00 on sale with FREE SHIPPING.

Don't the pillows add just the right touch? Mr. Snoots had to, of course, put almost all of the pieces together but we are thrilled with how our new patio looks. I can foresee spending many long hours out there with friends and family. The cushions are soooo comfy! As soon as the 90 degree heat goes away it will get us outside more often, which is a good thing, right? And, no sore feet or aching backs from going everywhere to look.

Next, I'm off to shop online for outdoor furniture covers that will be delivered FREE...We have brutal winters here and this year is predicted to be the worst yet. Really? It can get worse? Heaven help us...

Friday, September 25, 2015

Meet Our Two New Family Members....Trouble and Pepper

Our 20 year old black & white tuxedo cat was diagnosed with kidney failure after the first of the year so skiing in New Mexico was the only trip we took until August. After all the good years she gave us we felt it was important to stay close to her until she got close to the end. No, we didn't spend thousands of dollars to put her on cat dialysis. I don't believe in that for an elderly cat. There is no cure for elderly cat kidney failure so we were not going that direction no matter what. The vet did give us some powders to mix in her food which helped for a while. Yet, it was quite painful to watch her go steadily downhill over 3 months time. Eventually, she wouldn't eat or drink and stayed in the same spot 24/7. R.I.P. Miss Trouble. We loved you well and we'll meet up with you someday.

At first, we weren't going to get another pet. Really. Then I found myself thinking I'd see her in all the old familiar places, heard her meow. You get the picture. I knew then that I needed a new baby to love on. My life just wasn't as good without a furry baby. So the search began.

After looking at all of the animal rescues and PetSmart (also rescues) I became exasperated that I couldn't find *the one* that I was looking for. There has to be an immediate bond for me and the kitten, which I wasn't finding. A friend told me to check Craig's List but every time I'd call they had already found forever homes.

Finally, in late June, I found one that needed a new home. A lady had been driving down the street, saw a bag making wild moves, stopped her car and discovered that it was a little kitten. I almost died over the story so I felt that I was lucky to fetch her & bring her home. The lady was afraid to take her to the pound for fear of her getting put to sleep. I immediately bought a cat carrier, some kitty food, and new toys on my way to pick her up. Meet Trouble (#3) when we first brought her home....
Yes, we ended up calling her the same name as our previous cat because we're getting old & couldn't remember any of the names we came up with. Our daughter thinks we're idiots.

And this is what Trouble #3 looks like at 4 months old....

The more comfortable she became with us, the more I became her *toy* and major teething source. My hands, arms, and feet were totally scratched and bitten. I was miserable and she had decided Mr. Snoots was her favorite. Tired of the condition of my hands, I went on a new quest to find her a little friend. She just looks like a little stinker trouble, doesn't she?

Oddly enough, it was Craig's List once again. I found the most adorable Manx *Rumpy*, which is a Manx with absolutely no tail. A total opposite of the Black Beast - Trouble, little Pepper was sweet and at first so very shy. She spent the first 5 days under my bed so I put out food , water and a litter box for her, and she was obviously eating, drinking, and using the box. So, I gave her time to adjust at her own level of comfort. Less than a week later I had to ban the two new best friends from my bedroom just so we could get some sleep. Their romping up & down the halls was keeping us awake. This was Pepper when she first came to us....

This is my little cupcake Pepper now. She's quite the social butterfly and the perfect addition to our family. She is a total angel and Trouble finally quit biting and scratching me....

I guess she really just needed a little buddy. They romp and play together constantly and you don't ever really see them apart. At first I felt sorry for Pepper but quickly noticed she could hold her own with The Black Beast. They have so much fun together as well as provide us with countless hours of sheer entertainment. It's actually been difficult to get decent pictures of them because they are always tearing through the house at warp speed.

I think we'll keep these two characters. Only love can break a heart and only love can mend it again....

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Ruidoso, New Mexico In the Summer... Absolutely Divine

We've always gone to Ruidoso, New Mexico in the winter to ski, so it was a truly wonderful experience staying at the Inn of the Mountain Gods Resort & Casino during August. We've been having triple digit heat here in Texas, so 80 degree weather was like Heaven.

Ruidoso has had a blessed summer of much needed rain which has made everything look like something out of a brochure. The above picture was taken from our balcony, of the tenth hole. The rest of the 18 hole championship golf course is even more beautiful than this picture. Every single day you could see the course crew out grooming from sun-up to sundown. It was breathtaking. It was quite challenging playing with at least half the holes being uphill and we were told no carts on the course until 10:00AM... We teed off at 9:00 AM. So, for an hour we played aerobic golf since it was mostly uphill. Needless to say, we were thankful when 10:00 rolled around. Luckily, we had a fast five-some playing ahead of us and a slow five-some playing behind us. It was like we had the course to ourselves.

This was taken at twilight.

This was the 9th hole looking down at the Inn of the Mountain Gods.

One day we had lunch at the golf course grill which was nothing special, but it was good and the drinks had ice so we were happy. We also had drinks at the Buffalo Bill Bar and enjoyed the lovely views from the patio as we enjoyed them.

We were also able to do the Apache Eagle Zip Rider which was a blast! The zip line is accessed by ATV and you can go two at a time. Thankfully, hubby stayed at the bottom to record my ride. The man going at the same time as me was heavier so he went across much faster than I. Still, it was a total rush of adrenaline and such a frightening joy, if that makes any sense. You go all the way across the lake in less than 3 minutes. Video will not show here because it's too big by 34 MB. Sigh. So, here's a picture of where you launch from. I never have received my one and only picture I paid for. 

The ATV ride up to the launch was another adventure unto itself, I kid you not. There is another Zip up at the Ski Apache Ski Area called the Apache Zip Tour that is one of the 10 longest in the U.S.A. Unfortunately, it rained the day we were scheduled to go, so we cancelled. Might be more fun in the winter anyway.

Apache Indian Teepee across the lake.

All of their rooms have been updated this year and the room was lovely, the restaurants were better than ever and the room service is still outstanding. We never even saw the need to leave the hotel. We didn't gamble but we did walk through the casino to have lunch at the casino restaurant one day and it seemed pretty dead.

I think I'm back to blogging since it is the best way to recall what I've been up to and when I did it. Yes, I'm old and it's a huge help....

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Ruidoso, New Mexico... A Deceptive Mystery of Sorts

We just returned from several days of skiing at our closest ski area, Ski Apache, owned and operated
by the oh-so-often deceptive Apache Indian Tribe. Let me explain by number.

1. After 25 years the website for Inn of the Mountain Gods STILL DOESN'T WORK properly. After making online reservations, one must still contact reservations at the hotel to secure a room. They add new pictures, new menu items, remodel the entire hotel, adding more rooms, and still the website can't seem to deliver even the smallest improvement, or just retain the info for that matter.

2. The hotel still boasts fine dining at their upper end restaurant "Wendell's". Although we had an amazing Caesar Salad made by our waiter at the table, dinner still took more than two hours to deliver. There were only 9 tables of people (2 tables of which were 4) and 3 waiters. Unacceptable. I could have handled at least half the tables even though I haven't done so in more than 40 years. (Shut. Up.)

3. The web cam at the ski area website boasted great and plentiful snow. The reality was that there wasn't much snow and what there was, was *made* snow. It was slush in the sun and like black ice in the shade. I have certainly skied better snow, even in Ruidoso. It's not a new concept. Had I known how truly dangerous the skiing was, I'd have gone shopping in town instead of wasting a whopping $115.00 for less than 30 minutes of skiing. Enough said there.

4. When I first checked the Ski Apache web cam (on the Ski Apache website), the gondola was running. When I arrived at the ski area 45 minutes later, no gondolas were running and there was no wind nor extreme conditions preventing it from operating it during normal hours. Hmm. Color me confused. So, if I wanted to get to the top of the mountain I had to ride 3 exposed (to the elements) lifts. Did. Not. Happen. The huge parking lot was nearly empty upon my arrival, which shocked me, although I'm not sure why. I've been there many times before when the ski area was void of skiers.

5. Following our last excursion to stay at the IOMG, I refused to even enter the casino during this trip. The Apache Indians may shun us if we wear anything made of snake (or reptile), but I in turn, refuse to lose my money to their obviously shoddy gaming establishment. They do not deserve any of my money, thank you very much. If I'm going to gamble away my money it will be to people (like the best hotels in Las Vegas) who treat me well and kiss my fine derriere while I'm losing my hard earned money. IOMG is not that place. Furthermore, they allow smoking at the tables but do not allow drinking at the tables. What kind of crazy ridiculousness is that? Get me drunk for free and I'm all about losing money. What part of this seems confusing? Oh. Dear. It must be that devil firewater they all seem to find so addicting. Since I'm 1/16th Cherokee I do not understand this craziness. I can handle it. Why can't they? C'mon. Really?

6. Inn of the Mountain Gods also offers NO PAY PER VIEW movies in the rooms nor spa services. In my opinion this is sheer idiocy. We would have watched multiple movies (at whatever price), and I would have totally accessed the spa and all its services, and they would have made money. (Can we spell revenue lost through laziness?) I simply do not understand this absurd oversight. Stupid non-marketing, really. Even in Las Vegas I can get BOTH AMENITIES. Uh-Huh.

7. Our last night there we ordered room service filet mignons and all the sides for dinner (only one side was offered for your effort of showing up in the dining room) and it was more prompt and much more delicious than our first night in the restaurant. Seriously? What's that all about?

8. I did ski one day but the conditions were horrendous and I didn't ski very well. Being a fair weather skier I'm convinced that had the conditions been better I'd have been Hell On Wheels Skis. The sun was out and it was seasonably warm, but the snow itself sucked. It was scary and it was dangerous and I didn't like it.

9. I so wanted to do the Apache Zip Tour until I discovered that it can reach speeds up to 70 MPH. during your *tour*. WHAT? Umm... No. Not I. I'm brave if I reach that speed with my car. I'm no longer a speed freak in any way, shape, or form. Besides, the PRACTICE ZIP LINE is located at the bottom of the mountain, something like 30 to 45 minutes away. Honestly, I just feel that they don't have all the kinks worked out yet (yes - excuses, excuses), so I'll wait until I'm sure they are good to go.

10. Yes, I've become a wimp. I can live with that. Also, I can't stand the Apache Indians and their mistreatment of their clients bread and butter, the tourists. I'm now looking for whiter slopes with friendlier folks, still within reasonable driving time... I'm a tree. I can bend. I can also pray.

In addition to all I've stated above, Ruidoso and the surrounding area have been devastated every year for the past five years (maybe it's been 10 years). Fire. Flooding. Drought. Fire. Drought. Very, very sad indeed. Lost businesses, lost homes, lost valuable employees, lost friends, lost forest, lost wildlife, lost ski area terrain. The list goes on, as must I. Ski Apache will, I'm sure, continue to to let what they've built deteriorate as well as discourage future tourists by continuing their deceptive ways. Not much has changed in the last five years, nor the last 30 years. The Apaches still run the only game in town and I'm Cherokee. Perhaps that is my problem and I am at the end game with Ski Apache, as well as being done with the entire tribe....

Now, it's time to get back to golfing... Just as soon as the weather warms up.


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