Blogging from Grant’s iPhone this evening as we drive around Tucumcari, looking at Christmas lights, after dinner at Golden Dragon and a trip to the grocery store to stock up on supplies.

I don’t anticipate any guests at the Tumbleweed this evening, but we left Joey and Lil Miss in charge just in case. When we left, they were making kettle corn and hot chocolate and getting ready to spend their evening watching A Christmas Story and playing video games.

Hope you’re having a good Friday evening, wherever you are.

— Sierra

Lights on

November 26, 2010

Grant spent most of this afternoon up a ladder, hanging Christmas lights all over the Tumbleweed.

I spent most of this afternoon standing on the ground behind Grant, admiring his handiwork. And by “handiwork,” I mean “arse.”

I’m told this sort of diversion will eventually cease to amuse me.

I would like to point out that the women telling me this are not married to men who look like Grant. No offense, ladies, but until I hear it from Margaret Sandberg or Billie Perry, I’m afraid I’ll have to take your matronly wisdom with a grain of salt. Just sayin’.

For the record, Grant did a nice job with the lights. The Tumbleweed looks really beautiful this evening, with hundreds of little twinkly lights tracing the rooflines and architectural details.

Hope your Friday was filled with beautiful things to admire, too.

— Sierra

Fairy tale ending

November 16, 2010

Having read my last blog entry, Grant came in after the rest of Coldwater was tucked into bed last night, put “A Song for You” on the stereo, swept me into his arms, and slow-danced me around the lobby.

As the kids say on Facebook:


— Sierra


November 2, 2010

Sorry I haven’t posted in a couple of days; our Internet service got all jacked up the other night, and it took me a while to sort it out with the tech-support guys.

Sunday was the best Halloween ever. Grant is a giant kid when it comes to holidays, and he and Joey and Lil Miss sat on the floor in the lobby all afternoon Sunday, assembling 150 treat bags. They weren’t skimpy, either. Grant bought good stuff to put in them: little Snickers bars, plastic spider rings, shiny Halloween-themed pencils, snack-size Reese cups, SweeTarts, and I don’t know what all else.

Joey and Lil Miss stretched polyester fiberfill “cobwebs” all over the porches outside the rooms and hung rubber bats and pumpkin party lights and LED-lit nylon ghosts all over the place, and then Grant helped them carve elaborate designs into a half-dozen pumpkins and roast the seeds to snack on later.

I was sure the treat bags were overkill — after all, there are only 258 people in Coldwater, and that includes all the adults — but I think Lil Miss must have spread the word at school, because we saw a LOT of teenagers with younger siblings and cousins in tow, and by the end of the night, we had less than a dozen treat bags left.

Highlight of the evening: Watching Grant try to keep a straight face when a 4-year-old dressed as Tiana from The Princess and the Frog tugged on his hand and said, “Hey! Are you listening to me? Tell me back what I just said!” after he failed to look serious enough while she was explaining how princes turn into frogs. I wish I’d had video of that, because it was one of the funniest things I’ve ever seen.

— Sierra

My boys

October 30, 2010

Grant and Joey went to Bill Swinney’s this morning and picked up materials for their latest project: They are building a birdfeeder to put in front of the Tumbleweed this winter. Grant found a pattern for it online and doubled the size so I won’t have to go out in the cold to fill it as often. He’s going to get Joey a book on birds so they can identify the critters that show up out there. They built the feeder this afternoon, and Joey painted it this evening. It’s very colorful.

We rented a room to a couple from Wisconsin; otherwise, all is quiet. We thought about going to Casa de Jesus, but somehow it just seemed nicer to snuggle up on the couch and relax.

I think we are officially boring.

— Sierra

Wedding update

October 28, 2010

Grant is asleep, Joey is watching TV in his room, and I am wrapped up in a falsa blanket, blogging from a metal lawn chair under a clear New Mexico sky, watching the steam curl from my cocoa mug and drift off into the cold night air, and thinking that this quiet evening is probably the best chance I’ll have to post a full account of the wedding.

The ceremony itself was simple but pretty. Brother Jerry and a couple of deacons from church set up a little metal archway at the park, and Sandy decorated it with solar-powered Christmas lights, faux-fall-leaf garlands, and a couple of small chile ristras. Lil Miss presented me with a bouquet of sunflowers and daisies that she and Joey had arranged, and we set up a portable sound system and played a couple of Dad’s songs during the ceremony, which made me cry.

The most memorable part of the whole wedding — at least for me — was the gift Grant presented to me immediately after the ceremony.

Hank Freed came over one night last week, while Lil Miss was working, and offered to donate a junk car to the FFA for a fundraiser. He talked Bill Swinney out of some spray paint and a sledgehammer, towed the car to the festival site, and let the FFA kids charge people $5 to spraypaint an enemy’s name on the car and then hit it as hard as they could with the sledgehammer.

As soon as the ceremony was over, Grant took me over to the car, painted Jim Hendry’s name all over it, handed Lil Miss a crisp $100 bill, and told me to have fun avenging Ryno.

I’m no Willie Stargell, but I think I did a pretty respectable job with that sledgehammer. :)

Remarkably, I still had enough energy left to change a tire on the Volvo after Grant ran over part of a broken bottle on the way up to Santa Fe — the only glitch in an otherwise lovely weekend.

We stayed at the beautiful El Rey Inn. I’d had some good intentions about leaving work at work, but El Rey’s owners have given the property so many cute little flourishes that I couldn’t resist photographing some of the details and writing down a few ideas to bring back to Coldwater. We spent part of Sunday afternoon hiking La Bajada Hill and then spent Sunday night in Santa Fe before heading home on Monday.

We came home to find a check in the mailbox from that consignment lot in Flagstaff where Grant put the Firebird up for sale. After five months, it finally sold. We’re thinking about using the money to get the neon sign out front relit.

— Sierra


October 23, 2010

I was expecting something a little more dramatic right about now, but the primary emotion flooding my mind at this moment — three hours after Brother Jerry pronounced us man and wife, and fifteen minutes after I broke out a four-way lug wrench and wowed Grant with my best impression of a NASCAR pit crew after he ran over a broken beer bottle in the middle of the interstate somewhere between Dilia and Starvation Peak — is relief.

Flat tire notwithstanding, the day went very smoothly, and if the rest of the evening goes according to plan, I’m less than an hour and a half away from a long, hot shower, a cold bottle of champagne, and a much-anticipated evening at the beautiful El Rey Inn in Santa Fe.

In case you are wondering, I will be out of pocket for the next few days….

— Sierra

Still moving

October 12, 2010

Every square inch of my bedroom is now covered with books, boxes, clothes, and random objects pulled from closets and cabinets as I attempt to sift through everything I own and sort it into piles: yard sale, Freecycle, fireplace, landfill. I am actually sleeping in one of my own motel rooms tonight because I can’t find my bed.

I’d take a picture of this craziness, except I think my camera is buried somewhere under the clutter.

A very big part of me secretly wants to pile all this stuff in front of the Tumbleweed and put a big sign next to it that says, “Free Useless Crap….”

Lil Miss came up with one idea that I really like. She pointed out that motel rooms — including mine — always feel sort of sterile and cold, no matter how cheerful the paint job or how friendly the clerk in the lobby, but even the worst bed-and-breakfasts generally feel warm and inviting. She suggested that we might give the Tumbleweed more of a B&B feel while reducing the monumental piles of clutter in my bedroom by putting a shelf full of books in each guest room. Lil has even volunteered to sort the books into collections that include a little bit of something for every sort of reader, and she said if I will get some boards and brackets from Bill Swinney’s tomorrow, she will help Joey build the shelves, paint them to match the trim in the rooms, and install them for me this weekend.

I would like Lil if she were merely bright and efficient, but her patience and willingness to go out of her way to include Joey in things are just amazing. I should send her mama a thank-you note for raising her right, because she is an absolutely great kid.

— Sierra

Moving in

October 10, 2010

Grant and I spent most of today moving non-essential items from his house to the Tumbleweed. I have no idea where we’re going to put everything. Most of it is in storage at the moment while I sift through my possessions and jettison anything I don’t absolutely need.

Something tells me I’m eventually going to have to rebuild those units that burned down in 1968….

— Sierra

How to make a biker cry

October 9, 2010

A half-dozen bikers from Las Cruces checked in tonight, having taken advantage of the utterly gorgeous weather to hike the dunes at White Sands in the morning, cruise up Highway 54 all afternoon, and then pick up 66 from Santa Rosa to Coldwater this evening. They’d called from Alamogordo to tell me they were coming. I told them I’d give them a discount on their rooms if they’d stop in Tularosa and pick up some green chile pecans for me. They showed up with two pounds of pecans and a little package of pecan brittle. I managed to get one piece of the pecan brittle before Grant and Joey descended on it like locusts.

Our guests were in the mood to socialize, so Grant and I let Joey and Lil Miss hold down the fort while we headed down the street to Casa de Jesus. As usual, Jesus fired up the karaoke machine as soon as I walked in. I am playing a very dangerous game with this karaoke nonsense, but Grant loves it, and the little snot knows I can’t resist when he turns those dark eyes my way and whispers, “Please?”

If you ever need to make a big, tough biker cry, I have the secret:

1. Sing “He Stopped Loving Her Today.”
2. Follow it up with “Old Violin.”

After I’d made everybody in the bar sniffle, I roughed up my vocal cords with smokes and bourbon and then tackled “Kozmic Blues,” which about drove Grant up a wall.

I really ought to be ashamed of myself for teasing that poor boy so mercilessly.

Two weeks….

— Sierra


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