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Just One Thing To Do This Week: Give

on December 22, 2017 - 5:44am

By MARY BETH MAASSEN
Los Alamos

My neighbor Al Miller is a world-class shopper.

His eye for style and design, whether it is fine art, textiles, or every day home goods, is remarkable. His shopping prowess is so impressive that he and his partner, Richard LaBelle, opened an antique and home décor store in their hometown in Wisconsin to repurpose and resell Al’s purchases. It was hugely successful.

Al and Richard, both retired art teachers, eventually sold their store and now live comfortably in El Rancho. Al continues to shop and shop. He never shops online.

Home Country: Education Can Be Ugly

on December 20, 2017 - 7:31am
Home Country
By SLIM RANDLES
 
“I can’t stand winter,” Herb Collins said, who had dropped in at the Mule Barn’s philosophy counter for a quick cup.
 
“There’s nothing to do.”
 
“Get out and enjoy it,” Doc suggested. “Go skiing. Go ice fishing. Build a snowman. Do something. Then you’ll feel better.”
 
“I don’t think your advice will take,” Dud said. “Herb seems to be intransigent on this one.”
 
We all looked at Dud.
 
“You see, he said he couldn’t stand winter,” Dud continued, “which shows he has a proclivity for intransigence on that particular subject.”
 
We looked at him

How The Hen House Turns: Urban Deer

on December 20, 2017 - 7:02am
Courtesy photo
 
By CARY NEEPER
Formerly of Los Alamos
 
While living beside the canyons of Los Alamos, one learns to get along with deer—or not. I would recommend it.
 
They are beautiful animals and don’t eat more apples than their share. A large buck was very careful to take no more than one bite out of the three huge green tomatoes that I had laboriously watered all summer in the only sunny spot in our front yard.
 
There was a chance that those tomatoes might have ripened. Maybe. It was late August. Maybe not.

Smart Design With Suzette: Answering Holiday Decorating Questions

on December 15, 2017 - 7:51am
Decorating outside with wreaths and greenery. Courtesy photo
 
By SUZETTE FOX
Los Alamos

December brings hot cocoa, blankets, movies and lets face it, lots of anxiety with the holidays. There is quite a lot going on trying to get everything done, keeping everyone happy, juggling your schedule with shopping, party hopping and decorating this time of year.

A few clients brought some of their decorating issues to me in hopes that I might help calm their anxiety and get it all done. Have you wondered how to hang wreaths on a brick fireplace?

Housing Shortage An Issue In 1960s As Well

on December 15, 2017 - 7:43am

Archival document on ‘Disposal of the Los Alamos Community’. Courtesy photo

HISTORY News:

Los Alamos is known worldwide as the birthplace of the atomic bomb. Our history and the people who made it have an international reach.

For the Los Alamos Historical Society, whether the stories are about geopolitical machinations during the Cold War or about the development of a neighborhood, all of our history is “local.”

We bring this up because of the convergence of two points: the continued housing shortage in Los Alamos and a document we recently ran across in our Archives, “Disposal of the Los

Just One Thing To Do This Week: Make A Miracle Happen

on December 15, 2017 - 7:26am
By MARY BETH MAASSEN
Los Alamos

‘Tis time for the story of the Christmas miracle. This is my Christmas miracle, and it happened just last year, so this is the first time I have told the story. I am quite certain after you hear the remarkable details you will want to include this tale in your own Christmas story repertoire. Please feel free.

It is early Christmas morning and I am using a new sweet potato recipe in preparation for our holiday dinner. I am very excited about this recipe because I usually find sweet potato casseroles to be too sugary, but this one sounds delicious.

The recipe

Home Country: Reasons For Christmas Season

on December 13, 2017 - 6:58am
Home Country
By SLIM RANDLES
 
For years now, Herb Collins has been helping Santa by donning the red and the beard and the tassels and waving to passing cars on Christmas Eve out at the Old Fort Road crossing.
 
He takes a bag of candy along, in case anyone cares to stop, and he also takes his daughter Cindy along, because she’s always been his head elf. Cindy’s grown now and has helpers of her own, but this has been a daddy/daughter event for a long time and neither sees any reason to quit.
 
He had done it a few years and was wondering why he was doing it when one special Christmas

LAMS Native Hawks Celebrate Feast Day

on December 12, 2017 - 5:15am

The ladies of the Los Alamos Middle School Native Hawks serve their fellow students during a Feast Day event as Native American Heritage month comes to a close. Photo by Bernadette Lauritzen

 

By BERNADETTE LAURITZEN
LAMS Instructional Assistant

The Los Alamos Middle School Native Hawks celebrated a Feast Day recently as Native American Heritage month came to an end.

Throughout the month, students attended a special gathering at UNM-LA, to spend time with Native poets and potters. The artisans shared their talents and backgrounds inspiring young students for the future.

The Native Hawks

Home Country: It Must Have Been The Weather

on December 11, 2017 - 9:20am
Home Country
By SLIM RANDLES
 
It began the way most miracles do: by accident or the hand of God, take your pick.
 
It might have been the weather, at least partly. For December, the day had been almost balmy and warm. You know, sweaters instead of heavy coats. No mittens in sight.
 
Then there were Christmas lights on the stores, and that little bunch of Girl Scouts out raising money in front of the Read Me Now bookstore.
 
Jasper Blankenship was inside going through the books to fortify his cabin’s library for winter and sat, listening with a smile to the girls as they laughed and

Home Country: December Dreaming

on December 9, 2017 - 4:50am
Home Country
By SLIM RANDLES
 
There is a nighttime sweetness and hope that hovers over us this time of year here at home. This is a time for summing up and looking ahead … and a time for dreams.
 
And at night … ah, that’s the time, isn’t it? Outside it’s dark, December dark, and we’re inside and warm and cocooned up. The cold makes our world shrink, especially at night. But we have our dreams.
 
For Janice Thomas, our art teacher at the high school, it’s that painting she’s planning.

CDC: Keep Active This Holiday Season

on December 8, 2017 - 6:48am

CDC News:

The holidays are here again! Not only does this festive season bring egg nog, cookies, candy canes and stuffing with extra gravy, in many areas it also means cooler temperatures.

Although being physically active can help you avoid some holiday weight gain, what should you do if it is too cold or icy outside? Why not beat holiday shoppers to your nearest mall for a morning walk?

Although mall walking can be done by almost anyone, it tends to be most popular among people middle-aged and older.

Just One Thing To Do This Week: Seek Inspiration

on December 7, 2017 - 3:17pm

By MARY BETH MAASSEN
Los Alamos

I enjoy writing, but I love reading even more. I was in Nashville on Small Business Saturday and made a point to stop by the independent bookstore co-owned by one of my favorite authors, Ann Patchett.

I opened the door to the busy shop, and Ann was standing right there, helping a patron find a book. I knew she co-owned the shop, but I never thought for minute she would be there working.

“Oh my god,” I whisper to my husband, “there is Ann Patchett!”

“Is that someone from Los Alamos?” He asked.

“Not hardly,” I say, as I take off to follow her around the

Just One Thing To Do This Week: Be Enchanted

on December 1, 2017 - 8:57am
By MARY BETH MAASSEN
Los Alamos

The Land of Enchantment is a fitting moniker for New Mexico. The towering red rock mesas, the snowcapped peaks, dramatic cliffs and canyons.

Of all the activities and destinations that New Mexico has to offer, not one envelopes my heart and spirit quite like Light Among the Ruins, at the Jemez Historic Site (formerly the Jemez National Monument). It is always a mind-blowing, magical evening, and my favorite tradition.

It usually goes something like this:

We arrive in the Village of Jemez Springs in mid-afternoon to take advantage of the community activities

Los Alamos County Named Bicycle Friendly!

on November 30, 2017 - 12:38pm

COUNTY News:

Today, the League of American Bicyclists recognized Los Alamos County with a Bronze Level Bicycle Friendly CommunitySM (BFC) award, joining more than 400 visionary communities from across the country.

With the announcement of 65 new and renewing BFCs today, Los Alamos County joins a leading group of communities, in all 50 states, that are transforming our neighborhoods.

“We applaud these communities for making bicycling a safe and convenient option for transportation and recreation,” said Bill Nesper, executive director at the League of American Bicyclists.

Inspirational People: Sharing Positive Traits

on November 30, 2017 - 4:33am
By CAROL A. CLARK
Los Alamos Daily Post

A local resident revealed that he has held another person in town in high esteem – for years – yet never thought to mention it.

“I discovered early in the years I’ve served on boards and worked on community projects with her that she is keenly intelligent, impeccably mannered and always conducts herself on the highest ethical plane … yet it never occurred to me to tell her,” he said.

He was humbled to learn that she for as many years harbored similar opinions of him.

Home Country: Morning Coffee

on November 29, 2017 - 5:57am
Home Country
By SLIM RANDLES
 
“Ahhh! Coffee!” said our resident cowboy, Steve, raising his cup at the philosophy counter. “Let’s raise our cups to whichever Brazilian came up with this stuff.”
 
Very slowly, Herb Collins stood with his cup of coffee there in the midst of culture and education at the Mule Barn truck stop.
 
“Actually, Steve,” Herb said, in his most professorial tone, “his name was Kaldi. He lived in Ethiopia.” And here Herb grinned fiendlishly at Steve. “And he was a sheepherder!”
 
“No way, Herb!”
 
“The truth, cowboy, nothing but the truth.

Just One Thing To Do This Week: Tell Your Story

on November 23, 2017 - 10:11am

By MARY BETH MAASSEN
Los Alamos

The story goes that in the early spring of 1929 a dark-eyed infant was left on the doorstep of a humble home in rural Arkansas.

The owner of the home managed food and other provisions for the nearby prison and he was one of very few in the area who had a steady job and regular income. The baby girl became the youngest in a family of six girls and one boy. She would be adored and loved by her new brother and sisters. Rumors and speculation regarding her origins would occasionally surface, but even as an adult, she would never speak of it.

This is my mother’s

Garrison: 2017 Thanksgiving Thankful List

on November 23, 2017 - 9:08am
By TOM GARRISON
St. George, Utah

Each November I compose  a “Thanksgiving Thankful List” for the preceding year. My wife, Deb, and I enjoy our life in red rock southern Utah and have many things for which we are thankful. I hope sharing them brings a smile and acknowledgement that even the seldom thought of can be a source of thankfulness. Below is my 2017 list.

  1. I’m grateful for salad dressing. I’m an adult (sort of), I know veggies are good for me.

Inspirational people: Caring For A Dying Husband

on November 22, 2017 - 7:32am
By CAROL A. CLARK
Los Alamos Daily Post

Many people have died in this community in the years I have covered the news here. One death a couple of years ago stands out because I know quite well the man’s wife.

It was her behavior in the six months leading up to that death that took my breath away.

This woman’s serene reaction the day her husband’s brain cancer was diagnosed was the first indication that she would handle that tormenting road ahead with extraordinary grace.

Leading up to the diagnosis, she had expressed quiet concern with his personality changes and

How The Hen House Turns: No Horses In The Backyard

on November 21, 2017 - 7:56am
Former Los Alamos resident Cary Neeper's four granddaughters on a horse ranch in Colorado. Courtesy photo
 
By CARY NEEPER
 
The residents of the Hen House during our forty years in Los Alamos taught us tovrespect their personhood. And now, in the last decade or two, academic studies confirm the notion that animals do have emotions and cognizance.
 
Sadly, we were stuck too long in Rene Descartes' 17th century idea that "nonhuman animals cannot reason or feel but are...machines made out of meat.”
 
Charles Darwin disagreed, and now we have lots of evidence, not only from personal

Home Country: Too Much Pumpkin Pie

on November 21, 2017 - 7:55am
Home Country
By SLIM RANDLES
 
Steve will have Thanksgiving dinner over at Doc’s and Mrs. Doc’s this year, and any number of his friends are grateful for that. Steve is one heckuva cowboy and trainer of young colts, and a good friend to all, but he’d never make it as a dinner host.
 
Very few Thanksgiving dinners achieve legendary status, but “Steve’s Thanksgiving” was certainly one of them. Some said it happened because he’s lived alone and cooked meals for himself for so many years. Some say he has worked alone for so long that he isn’t of a coordinating mind.

Drowsy Driving: Don’t Be Asleep At The Wheel

on November 18, 2017 - 7:28am

CDC News:

Drowsy driving is a major problem in the United States. The risk, danger, and often tragic results of drowsy driving are alarming. Drowsy driving is the dangerous combination of driving and sleepiness or fatigue.

This usually happens when a driver has not slept enough, but it can also happen due to untreated sleep disorders, medications, drinking alcohol, or shift work.

No one knows the exact moment when sleep comes over their body. Falling asleep at the wheel is clearly dangerous, but being sleepy affects your ability to drive safely even if you don’t fall asleep.

Drowsiness:

One In Five US Adults Still Using Tobacco Products

on November 18, 2017 - 7:27am

CDC News:

About 1 in 5 U.S. adults used some form of tobacco product in 2015, according to new data published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Center for Tobacco Products in the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR).

This is the first time CDC, in coordination with FDA, has used the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) to assess the range of different tobacco products used by U.S. adults. The survey has been used to assess current (“every day” or “some day”) cigarette smoking among U.S.

Smart Design With Suzette: Are You Ready For Holiday Guests?

on November 18, 2017 - 7:26am

By SUZETTE FOX
Los Alamos

Now that it’s November, the holidays are upon us, and with them, holiday guests.

Recently, I’ve read that 40 percent of Americans—including millennials (59 percent), people with kids (57 percent), Gen X-ers (41 percent), and a quarter of Baby Boomers have avoided hosting the holiday because of their clutter. Not only are most people concerned about cleaning and organizing their home for company, there’s also pressure to make it festive, too.

If you’re feeling less-than-enthusiastic about the idea of hosting the holidays in your home, you’re not alone.

Just One Thing To Do This Week: Make Memories

on November 18, 2017 - 7:21am

By MARY BETH MAASSEN
Los Alamos

Prior to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, my first childhood memories are random bits and pieces—snippets, really.

Mostly, of me being stranded in a tree. I am guessing this has something to do with my brother who is seven years older than me. When I went outside to play with him my mother would securely strap a football helmet on to my little toddler head. Good call on her part. I remember being stuck in a dark green citrus tree, trying to pluck an orange.

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