Baby Goats!

Posted by Van on Wednesday Apr 27, 2011

The girls squealed with delight when we received an email from our friend, David, sharing the news that John’s goat, Cosmos, was the first to deliver her kids. David sent these photos of the new arrivals.

David and Kid

John, with a new addition to the family

Our burning question has been answered. Thanks, David!

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Four States, Four Corners

Posted by Ana on Wednesday Apr 20, 2011

After Mesa Verde, we went to buy some groceries and then Mommie told Dad, “yes, you can take the girls for subway sandwiches”. We love subway sandwiches because they are so bacony and mayoney and pickley, and HUGE!! Mom and Dad let us get HUGE footlongs which is great because I am not very big but usually I finish mine before everyone else, except Greta.

We all got footlongs!

And then we went to Four Corners where Colorado, Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico all come together in one place. But we were sad because the gate was closed when we got there so we couldn’t stand exactly at the spot where the four corners meet. Mom and Dad tried to encourage us to be happy and believe that we were already on Four Corners but close enough wasn’t good enough so we were still sad. 🙁

Four Corners was closed. And, we are standing on a... cattle gate!

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Gardening with David

Posted by Greta on Monday Apr 18, 2011

On Wednesday, April 13th, after visiting John and his goats, we went to David’s restaurant called the Red Mountain Cafe. He showed us around, then made us delicious smoothies with apple juice, bananas, and blueberries, which we thoroughly enjoyed after walking around in the hot sun with the smell of goat poop still in our noses. After our smoothies we helped David with his garden at the cafe. I was prepared to smell even more like a goat. (We were using goat manure as fertilizer!)

Watering the Goat Manure in the Flower Bed

We put down a whole bunch of goat poop on top of the sunflower beds in the front, and then we started to plant some vegetables in the back garden. I planted green beans, snow peas, carrots, broccoli, and beets. It was fun but hard work.

Planting vegetables with David in his garden

Soon everyone was starving, especially me after working in the garden, so Jean went to the RV to get bread and hummus for sandwiches after washing up. At first I thought it was a boring lunch, but then David brought out his own homemade hummus and salmon spread, freshly-made bread, fresh veggies, and chips. It was delicious and a perfect lunch for me. Thanks again, David!

After lunch, we had to let David get on with his day, so we said our goodbyes.

We got in the RV and left the nice little New Mexico town of Ojo Caliente (meaning hot eye!) and headed for Colorado, my favorite state in the U.S. It stinks that ski/snowboard season is over! But Colorado still rocks! Go Burton shirts!!!

On to Colorado!

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John and the Goats

Posted by Stella on Monday Apr 18, 2011

Wednesday, April 13, Dad’s friend, David, took us to go see his friend, John’s, farm. When we first got there, David was going to take us to see John’s goats. David looked for the goats out in the field but didn’t see them. We didn’t even bother to look in the goat’s pen, which is where they were. I was fascinated by the goats. There were ten goats; all female except one. All the females were pregnant and we saw them right in the season when the baby goats were being born. I really wanted to see one give birth. And I REALLY wanted to see a newborn baby goat. I sat there and watched the goats and there was one pregnant one was laying on the ground right next to me. The biggest goat, which was also a pregnant female, really seemed to think she was in charge. She butted one goat out of the way so she could be closest to the people. But the goat laying on the ground was still the closest to us. The big goat wasn’t okay with that. So she put her head down and butted her out of the way too. Now she was in front.

You may be be thinking that this big goat is mean and like a goat-bully, but really, she just wanted a lot of attention. Actually, she was very sweet; once she was in front, she put her front hooves on the fence and stuck her nose out. When I petted her nose, she didn’t move a muscle, and she just stood there and let me pet her.

When John decided it was time to take the goats out for water, (which was a tiny bit strange because there was already a lot of water in their pen, even though I understand that John would want his goats to have some freedom ), I didn’t want them to leave. I was excited when John said, “Would you guys like to take the goats out with me? I could use some help.” He opened the gate, Dad told us to step back because if we didn’t, the goats would be too scared to come out. My sisters and I stepped back a little and they filed out of the pen, the biggest one in the lead, of course, and the little trotting of the goats was beautiful. Once they made it out into the field, John used a stick to herd them through a hole in the gate, big enough for humans to climb through and goats to easily hop through. The goats seemed to know the way down to the river. I wasn’t surprised when John said, “Follow the goats!” We followed them out to the river and we left the goats alone while John told us stories about dog attacks and how one of John’s goats, Raisin, was killed. It was so sad but I was glad that the other goats survived.

We had such a great time at John’s farm, and now, we have one burning question for David and John: Have the goats had their babies yet?

I enjoyed John’s goats so much that I decided, when I grow up, I’m going to get some goats for myself!

Ellie drew this picture of John in his covered wagon with his mules

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Visiting a Friend

Posted by Ellie on Monday Apr 18, 2011

April 12 we headed to my dad’s friend’s home to spend the night. His name is David.  He lives near Ojo Caliente, NM. When we got out of the RV, we saw two polar bears. At least we thought they were polar bears; they were really big, fluffy, cute, furry, friendly dogs. They were almost as tall as me, and a lot bigger.

Visiting our favorite friend in New Mexico

We had dinner at david’s friend’s house. His name is Filipe. He is an Apache artist; he makes pottery. We had spaghetti and salad for dinner. I had red sauce with tofu in it, and it was spicy! We also had yummy garlic bread and, after dinner, ice cream with chocolate syrup on it. We met a girl named Rose who was seven years old and went to the Waldorf school. David told us that Filipe would burn leaves and read the smoke and tell people how to fix their problems.

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Climbing High with Luciana

Posted by Jean on Monday Apr 18, 2011

I had the pleasure of hiking with Luciana to the cliff dwellings at Bandelier. Van and the girls moved quickly ahead of us, anxious to climb up the infamous series of 30 foot ladders and walk through the ancient homes in the cliff alcoves. Luciana wasn’t so sure about the climb, in fact, she was pretty clear that she wasn’t going to be doing it. She wanted me to wait at the bottom with her and look for beavers in the creek. As we approached the dwellings, Van hollered from the top of the first ladder that he would go up and down quickly so he could hang out with Ana while I went up. As it turned out, that wasn’t necessary. As we got to the first ladder, Ana said “I think I’ll go up” and off she went. Any hestitations that I had about going up myself were put aside as I followed her.

Halfway up a 30' ladder

I kept close to Ana as we climbed, holding tight to the rungs of the ladder, ready (somewhat unrealistically) to catch Ana if she slipped. We surprised Van and the older girls as we approached the top. And we were thrilled with making it there. It was an amazing sight, the dwellings themselves and the view of the valley from them. Going down was a bit more nerve wracking, for me at least, Ana seemed to have no problem at all.

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Bandelier National Monument

Posted by Stella on Sunday Apr 17, 2011

Tuesday, April 12, we went to Bandelier National Monument.

I usually complain when I hear that we have to get up and go. And today was one of these days–until I walked inside the visitor center.

First of all, the park ranger was really nice. She gave us our Junior Ranger packets. Then she said if we went on a hike, by the time we got back, the visitor center would be closed. So she gave Jean and Dad Ellie, Ana, Greta and my Junior Ranger patches. She said that we had to complete our packets to get the parents to give us our patches. That was kind of annoying because I knew they would make us do extra work. But the park ranger also gave ME Jean and Dad’s patches. They had to do a packet too; it was called a Deputy Rangers packet. So anyway, she gave me the patches so I would get to grade their packets and if they didn’t do it right or didn’t do as many assignments as they were supposed to, they wouldn’t get the patches. Dad said, “You’ve given them to the right person.”, to the park ranger. I was confused so I asked why. He said, “Well, you’ll… make sure we finish the packet!” And then he and the park ranger laughed.

Scaling a ladder to enter a cave dwelling at Bandelier

Inside a cave dwelling. Notice the black ceiling from ancient fires in the cave. You can see the ruins of the Tyuonyi pueblo below.

The park ranger was also very helpful. She gave us suggestions on where to go, where to hike. She suggested hiking up to the Alcove House. The Alcove House is a tiny village in a giant dent in the canyon wall. I had never been up there before and it looked really cool, especially since you got to go inside the hole homes and the big kiva.

Entering the Kiva at Alcove House

A kiva is an underground room with a ladder that went through a hole in the ceiling. Girls and women weren’t allowed; I guess there were special ceremonies or something that the women and girls couldn’t attend. I was lucky to even be able to go in them!

I begged Dad to let us go up to the Alcove House. Three thirty-foot ladders led up to a kiva and three holes in the wall, homes for people long ago. It really looked amazing and I wanted to have the adventure of climbing up such long ladders that led to a great experience. Of course, Dad said we could hike up there; he loves for us to get exercise. We grabbed our waterbottles and got ready to go. We made it up to the Alcove House with a few stops to climb up ladders into holes in the walls which were also homes.

Climbing one of the three big ladders up to the Alcove House

Jean has reached the Alcove House, 140 feet above the valley floor

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Pecos National Historic Park

Posted by Ana on Sunday Apr 17, 2011

On April 12, we went to Pecos National Historic Park. There were the ruins of a big pueblo which was built by the Pecos people. There was a wall all around it.

Outside the pueblo wall was a field where the Apaches and the Teyas put up their teepees when they came to trade with the Pecos. 

There was a big Kiva. A Kiva is a round underground place. You get into the Kiva using a ladder in the roof.  Girls are not allowed in Kivas. But we were allowed to go in this Kiva because it was not being used. Inside there was a fireplace. 

Stella drew this Kiva, or at least what you see from the outside.

We saw a big black beetle near a Kiva inside the pueblo ruins.  

We saw an old church and a turkey coop. The church was outside the pueblo walls.  The church ruins had no roof and most of the walls were all gone. The church has two open places. One was where the priest went. My dad says the church was a mission built by Spanish priests 400 years ago. The turkey coop was outside of the church. My sister Ellie says the coop was a big rectangle around it made of stones with a gate in the back so people could go in and out. The floor of the coop was cobble stones so it would be easy to keep clean.

Ellie drew the turkey coop

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Downtown Santa Fe And A Sweet Campground

Posted by Greta on Friday Apr 15, 2011

After seeing the Miracle Staircase in the cool church, we walked into the square, sort of like Decatur Square in Atlanta only different, more New Mexico-like. You have to have been to New Mexico to know what I mean. There were vendors everywhere selling pottery, jewelry, paintings, clothes, and other things unique only to Santa Fe. It was really cool and I saw some super cool beads that were shaped like little chili peppers in a shop near the square. We walked around for a bit, then stopped to look inside another church. It was really old and really cool, with a ceiling almost 40 feet high. We explored the church for awhile, then decided to head back to the RV, eat, and find a campground, which is what we did.

Stella, in front of the mighty Santa Fe River

We found a very nice, tree-filled campground with a “really good playground for playing horses” as Ellie said. We had delicious Indian food for dinner, and then I got stuck doing dishes while my sisters went to play. >:-( After the dishes I finally got to go enjoy the nice campground. We slept there for a night then moved on to Pecos National Historic Park. Read Ana’s post to find out more!

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Santa Fe Stairway

Posted by Ellie on Friday Apr 15, 2011

On April 11th, we drove to Santa Fe. We walked to a church. When we got inside we saw the “miracle staircase.” We heard a story about some nuns who prayed for a staircase from the chapel floor to the choir loft. A carpenter came and built the staircase using no nails, only wood. Once he was finished he left and asked for no money. People tried to figure out who the man was. When they first used it they were scared because it had no railing. They got another man to build a railing for them. We saw a picture of the nuns using the miracle stircase. The nuns were all standing on the stiarcase. We listened for a little while and then we left to go and look in the gift shop. After that we started our walk.

The "Miracle Stairway" in Santa Fe, NM

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