Sunday, May 27, 2012

Railroad Museum

Our Las Cruces Railroad Museum is located in an historic Santa Fe Railroad Depot in the Alameda-Depot Historic District of the city. It is staffed by knowledgeable and enthusiastic volunteers. 

When we visited during the 5th Annual Railroad Days a couple of months ago, we talked with model railroad enthusiasts, Harvey Girl reenactors from El Paso's Railroad and Transportation Museum, and lots and lots of train fans. 

Our little museum hosts other events, as well. We recently attended a talk about the Orphan Trains, which I'll tell you about in a later post. I see that the Museum's upcoming activities include brown bag lunches with talks about local history; a monthly toddler story time; and the Rail Readers Book Club, which discusses a different train-related novel every month.

Vintage railroad posters line the walls of the old railroad depot waiting room

Upstairs in the model railroad room you can operate parts of this exhibit yourself. It was built by students during summer programs held at the museum. From the exhibits page: This HO layout depicts railroading in the southwest in the 1940s and 1950s. It includes a switching yard, a vibrant downtown area featuring a few buildings from Las Cruces’ past, and outlying farms and mountains. You can find out about this summer's modeling classes here.

Admission to the museum is free. There is always something new to see, although it might just be the look on the face of a little boy (some of them quite grown-up), fascinated with the world of model trains.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Eclipse Party

Although Las Cruces wasn't along the path for the best viewing of the May 20, 2012 annular eclipse, we still had plenty of fun gathering with a big crowd up above the city to watch the show. Local organizations sold eclipse-viewing glasses but soon ran out, so we used pairs of paper plates with a pinhole in one to do our looking. You can read about making such a pinhole camera here.

To tell you the truth, I enjoyed the people watching almost as much as the eclipse watching.

Although it was hard to tear myself away from the crowd and some mighty interesting eclipse-viewing outfits, I tried taking a couple of not-very-successful shots of the eclipse, once it was well underway. 

The National Geographic photos are much more impressive.

Monday, May 7, 2012

La Mesa en la Noche

Anton doing "puppy eyes"

In the middle of the night, I was feeling as though something was not quite right. I got up to take a look around and heard a voice from the kitchen: "Ooo-hoo," it called to me. "Ooo-hoo, SeƱora. Psst... yo soy aqui, sobre la mesa." 

Little Anton Chico had snuck out in the night to have an expensive special prescription kitty food snack up on the kitchen table. However, things had been rearranged in the ongoing kitchen renovation project and little Anton couldn't find his way down from la mesa in the dark. He had to make a tiny bed up there on my purse, and when that wasn't comfy, on my sun hat. 

When I rescued him, he was muy avergonzado (according to my Google translator) and, stopping only for a quick drink of agua, ran off to bed and burrowed back under the covers where all good little chihuahuas belong. 

Here is Anton checking out the runaway vegetation in the front yard after his rescue from la mesa.
(You were right, Christine, those hollyhocks will take over--see the comment from Quiet Paths on the
5/4/11 post called "My First Hollyhocks")

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Dialing Back the Calories: Ten Ways to Lose Weight With Your iPhone

Zits, May 5, 2012
I was slow to embrace cell phones, but I'm catching up. I've had my iPhone for a while now and am just starting to tap into some of the amazing apps that are changing my life. Yes, changing my life. Today, I'll tell you about some that are helping me get healthier.

10 Ways to Lose Weight With Your iPhone

1. Use free apps like myfitnesspal, a calorie burn calculator, and a pedometer to keep you on task and measure your progress

2. In myfitnesspal, enter your height, weight, activity level, and goal weight to get the number of calories you should be eating daily

3. Keep a food diary by entering the name of the food you are eating; the app will provide choices and let you adjust serving sizes. Once you've entered some favorite foods, you can easily add them from a personalized list

4. Use the built-in barcode reader for a quick calorie total of grocery products

5. Watch your vitamin and nutrient intake throughout the day just by checking your iPhone, and make sure you're getting enough healthy foods. I always have to be careful that I'm getting enough calcium and potassium, and the ongoing daily summary helps with that. I can even enter my brand of daily vitamin by scanning the barcode, and those additional vitamins and minerals are tallied

6. Keep an eye on your accrued calorie total and check your numbers before eating a meal, so you can adjust serving sizes accordingly

7. Log your exercise activities

8. Using the calorie burn calculator, check the number of calories you are burning throughout the day. Although myfitnesspal gives calorie totals for plenty of exercise activities to choose from, I like to have a more extensive list of activities. The calculator I use has all kinds of workouts, plus things like yard work, housework, and even reading!

9. Using the pedometer, go for lots of walks, measuring your speed and distance so you can log your benefits

10. Enjoy instant feedback, non-judgmental reminders, and graphs showing your progress

I'm finding that being mindful of what I am eating really helps me to make good choices and lose weight. I hope that you will leave a comment to let me know if you've tried any of these apps or if you've found others that are helpful.