Sunday, December 6, 2009

Christmas in the Kirk

No snow down here in New Mex for a white Christmas. We had some the other day and it lasted about 2 hours. Pretty boring. We were able to find a little holiday cheer . . . at the River of Lights!

Bats and Jack in the box, definitely the first things that come to mind when I think of Christmas.

Santa is writing on his list what Dan wants for Christmas this year. Its the same as last year's Christmas wish and the jolly old man is still too poor to get him a metal lathe. Plus, it wouldn't really fit in the sleigh.

My favorite was the T-rex with moving parts.

It's no Temple Square, but it'll do for these New Messicans.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Practicing with acrylics

This is the first of many inspirational paintings I'm working on.


Monday, November 23, 2009

Thursday, November 12, 2009

How is it . . .

How is it that there are so many wonderful, caring people who yearn to have children and never get that opportunity when I see children every day with parents who are unable to care for them or just don't want to? For instance, there is a little four week old girl I have been taking care of since she was a few days old whose mother was in jail for most of the pregnancy, did not get adequate prenatal care, was taking four different types of narcotics including heroine and came to visit her daughter zero times during her hospital stay. The baby stayed in the hospital for over three weeks because she was withdrawing from narcotics.

And then there is the 15 year old girl who was pregnant and kept it a secret until her water broke and she was in labor. And she has no idea who the father is because she had three partners at the time.

Then there is the 20 year old who has toddler twins and a six year old at home, all of whom should probably be in foster care because she is unable to care for them. She told me they weren't brushing the twins teeth everyday because "they can't really hold the toothbrush." Right. I let her know that as the mommy, she was supposed to be brushing them! Sometimes it is really hard to hide my feelings of amazement at peoples' low levels of functioning. People should have to take drug tests and parenting classes before they can get pregnant.

How is it that parents are allowed to name their children ridiculous things like Meconium, La-a (ladasha), Genocide, Unique, King, Nevaeh, (heaven spelled backwards) and Desire? I am not kidding around, I have met children who have been unfortunately labeled with each of these names. Seriously, meconium? You know what that means right? Baby poop. Wow, right? What were these people thinking? Maybe choosing the name of future children could be some sort of screening test to weed out those people who shouldn't be allowed to have children.

How is it that one psycho lady has so much control over my life and happiness? I am speaking of, you guessed it, our landlady. Super crazy. Completely irrational. And she continues to cause all sorts of emotional distress in our lives. This is one very big reason I will be excited to leave this place soon.

Ok, I guess that's all I have for now. Sorry for the rant. Sometimes it is the only thing I can do to help myself cope.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Do you wanna win a prize?

I like to win things. At least, I think I would like to win something, but I am pretty sure I never have. Ever. So, I'm going to try it out. My sister-in-law is having a fun give-away on her blog for these really cute crocheted headbands. Not only are they super cute, but they are made from recycled materials, so you can be stylish and green simultaneously. That's pretty cool. To see all the fancy headgear (not that kind of headgear) that is eco-friendly, check out Salt City Design products here. But beware, you will want to acquire lots and lots of cute accessories.

From Jill's blog

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Make a wish come true!

Make a Wish Foundation is an organization that helps children with life-threatening medical conditions realize their dreams. As a pediatrician I know many children who have been helped through this program. Some children choose a trip to Disneyland. Other kids want to meet a certain celebrity. Make a Wish grants all types of wishes for these sick children.

Riley is a little girl who was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer when she was 6 years old. She has been battling this cancer for the past three years. Her cancer has returned and she is back in the hospital. Make a Wish foundation was contacted and Riley's wish is not a trip to Disney World--it is to have the mailman dump "a million" get well cards at her door when she returns!!

Please take the time to send a get well card to Riley. You do not have to know this little girl to make her wish come true. Please pass this message along to friends and family who might also help make her wish come true.

If you are able to send a card to Riley, leave a comment and I will send you the address. Please have your card in the mail by October 16th.

To learn more about Make A Wish Foundation, and other ways to help check out

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


So, I have no idea what happened to chapter one of The Hills Have Eyes? Does anyone else? It mysteriously disappeared the other day, and I am baffled. I was really looking forward to chapter two.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

A little update

So here's some news . . . we don't have to move! At least not right now. Once again Dan has proved himself an excellent communicator, a people person, a diplomat. He's amazing. He discussed things with the landlady and the end result was: we stay until my residency is finished! Hooray for Dan.

Since Dan has been so busy communicating and painting, there hasn't been much time for blogging. Alas, you will have to settle for the second rate blogger. Hopefully this time my entry with pictures won't be mysteriously deleted. We still haven't figured out how that happened.

Anyway, I have taken the opportunity to do some baking this weekend. I like to call it bake-therapy. It is definitely therapeutic--does wonders for my mood, psyche, soul. Yesterday I made honey wheat bread with my Mama's recipe. Then I used the Leamington cookbook to make some good ol' breadsticks, half savory, half sweet. They were delicious!

Today I got all crazy and made some hamburger rolls. Ok, so the recipe is called beef rollups but that conjures up strange images in my mind, so I prefer hamburger rolls. I have wanted to make them since I received my cookbook from Grandma Finn for Christmas. Today was the day. I had to do some fenagling of the ingredients with substitutions and such. (I always think I have ingredients and then get surprised by what I need). Plus I like to add different spices, to keep things interesting. Everything turned out well. It was a nice little reminder of childhood dinners at grandma's. Dan said he liked them too, even if they do look like cinnamon rolls.

I have the recipe for all you daredevils that want to try it:

I made a gravy to go over them with white sauce, cream of mushroom soup, chili pepper, white pepper and a touch of season salt. Super tasty.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Moving again!

It turns out our landlady is a real jerk. Even though we signed a rental agreement for two years, she decided that she needs to move back to the Kirk and live in this house. We just found out this morning in a "regretful" email. Really not cool. I'm pretty pist about it. I have had many unkind thoughts today . . . many. Even some thoughts of litigation, revenge, criminality. But don't worry, I won't be acting on any of those thoughts. I can't vouch for Dan in that department though. There has been talk of sneaking back into the yard and getting the produce from our garden he has slaved over all summer. Which, if you think about it, isn't stealing. I mean, we planted, weeded and watered it. (And by we I mean mostly Dan). It's still ours, even if someone else is living in this house.

So, Dan and I will be moving yet again. We are really on a roll. This will be the 4th time we've moved since we've been married, and we have only been married 2 1/2 years! Simply ridiculous.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

The Adventure Continues!

Okay... where were we?... ah yes... the shrieking eels.

So, as we sped up the 180, I tried desperately to clear the images of the past Friday night from my thoughts. We had attended the Silver Skate Adult night. The lights were dim, and the pungeant odor of wet horse sunk deep into our clothing, never to come out. (and we used Bonami) For a few brief moments the cigarette smoke cleared. There on that rickety "stage" made of shipping pallets and beaver pelts was Silver City's legend... Nancy. We didn't stay long. But even now, weeks later as I sit and spin this tale, the horrifying vision of Nancy's wrinkled, wiggling body actually bruises my brain with every pelvic thrust.

Anyhow, lets focus.

As our first scenic stop, we decided to see the Gila Cliff Dwellings. For those of you who don't know about this fantastic place, here is a little background.
The monument is on a location of 553 acres. The cliff itself was created by volcanic activity. The cliff contains the ruins of interlinked cave dwellings built in five cliff alcoves by the Mogollon peoples. People of the Mongollon culture lived in these cliff dwellings from between 1275 and 1300 AD. (A long time ago) Archelogists have identified 46 rooms in the five caves, and believed they were occupied by 10 to 15 families. It is not known why the dwellings were abandoned, but due to the fact that no one remains there.... they believe they were.

The dwellings were a perfect place for human living and human dying. Two mummified bodies have been discovered as well as a nearby burial ground. Some travelers have reported witnessing Mongollon spirits still roaming the empty caves. The caves provided adequate shelter and gave the inhabitants the upper-hand during warfare due to the unusually high vantage point, while the wooded area concealed the homes. The nearby area also provided for growing and finding food such as wounded deer and wild dogs. The children found entertainment by making games and having contests to see who could throw a rock all the way to the ground.

This is a view from halfway up the trail.

Add Image

I discovered the panoramic feature on my camera and really gave it what-for. As we finally reached the trails end, and the explorations beginning... we stumbled across this first of the five caves. This was considered to be the kitchen. No kidding, the kitchen. Look it up!

Once inside the kitchen cave, I began to feel that old familiar hunger pang.
Yeah, get this. So I'm hungry right?... So, I tactfully yelled over to my wife, "Hey there, hey you.... lady-friend! .... How bout rustlin up ol' Dan a hot loaf of that Mongollon bread since you're not doing anything constructive?!"
So there I was, famished and freezing. I didn't have the strength to prepare my own meal. I was even ready to pitch in!, I'd found this really old knife carved from a dogs tail, and I already had two pats of butter I'd nabbed from a Dennys three days earlier!
Here you can clearly see Nicole ignoring and disobeying my innocent plea for help.

I made some whimpering noises, you know... to help her understand how hungry I was.
She walked closer to me, I saw the selfish anger in her eyes and I quickly noticed she was not carrying one smidgin of bread!

See that look?! It's amazing we're still married.

As I sucked on the butter for nourishment, we made our way to another cave. Once we entered I thought I heard a faint, and gurgled cell phone ring. "Nicole, did you hear that?" She ignored me as her attention was centered on some movement in a far corner of the cave. "What is that?!" She whispered with restrained excitement. "Look, LOOK!" I saw nothing.
I took a picture to later prove she's crazy. It IS a beautiful view with or without mysterious movement.

Upon further investigation when we made it home and printed the photos, I made of baffling discovery! We may have very well been the first visitors of the Gila Cliff Dwellings to capture on film, an original Mongollan spirit floating about his old stomping grounds.
I've taken the liberty of magnifying the photo for you.

Notice the traditional beadwork he still wears. I was especially amused by the ancient cell phone! I mean, look how BIG that thing is. That's how I knew he was the real deal.

This was taken in Cave 4. It is one great view. Go ahead, view it.

I was always a bit jealous of those "cool kids" who knew the tricks of the panoramic shot we took at the end of the school year. You know the ones, who when you looked close, were pictured on both ends of the photo?
Apparently Nicole has been patiently awaiting this day for her moment (moments) in the spotlight.
EVERYone want's to be the "cool kid".

So, I'm sure the majority of you have heard by now that we met Rod Stewart on our way back down the trail.
For those of you who haven't..... you're obviously not very loyal friends, and yes.. we met Rod Stewart.

He ran out from the bushes as I was taking photos of Nicole. Jumps out and poses right as Nicole is about to try a heel clicker off a stone step. Scared the livin daylights out of her! I was not pleased, not pleased at all Rod.

I mean, that's my wife punk!!! Don't mess with her! You know?
Plus, who wears a full white suit like that at ALL, not to mention in the forest!?

Yeah, he was a real prick.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Power of Prayer

Nicole and I have been called to help in the Nursery. Some weekends she's got to work and I'm stuck without her Spirit and skills. Today she was able to attend and I was able to catch the magic on video.

Nursery feels like babysitting when I'm there alone, The kids show no respect and run wild. However, Nicole is somehow able to calm the storm a bring a quiet reverence to the room. These kids, who normally smear their own feces on the wall for a good time, are peaceful and pleasant.

Just watch, as Nicole begins her lesson with a prayer. If you concentrate, you can feel the strong Spirit and the serious respect shown for her and her teachings of the Gospel.

She is truly an artist.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Winning the War

As many of you know, our backyard is popular as a pigeon hangout.
I've taken it upon myself to rid this neighborhood of these dirty little bastards. I've thought up a few designs that may possibly scare them away. These designs would also provide plenty of deep, satisfying belly laughs for myself, and possibly a couple of yucks for you. However, the contraptions seem to take up far more time than I should be devoting on a pigeon.

Although it is technically illegal to use a firearm within city limits. I see no real harm using darts.
Hopefully these fatherless creatures will learn not to play around here anymore.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

The Trip to Silver City, AHOY!

As some of you may know, Nicole is trying to be a doctor. She seems to be doing well, I think she looks fantastic in the white coat and the scrubs fit her nicely. So, she's basically there. On her latest attempt however, her owners asked her to travel 5 hours south of the quirk, to a magical little place we'll call Silver City. Her task entailed aiding the locals in big city medical politics, work in their clinic, and teach them to make fire.

While she was away, I (Dan) spent two weeks in Utah, pretending that I still have work. Once my fraudulent efforts were discovered, I gathered my things and fled. I pointed my not-so-trusty steed south, and headed back from whence I came. Upon my late-night arrival in Albuquerque, I was pleased to discover our belongings still locked in the garage and house. I made a thorough and slightly hopeful, trigger-happy sweep of our home for refugees before retiring for the night.

I was offered a flight on Silver City's "You very well may die on this flight" Airline. After checking in at a folding table desk, I tried to appear calm while lounging in one of the four chairs offered at the gate. I remained lounged, because I feared I would step on the pilot who had stretched out to have a nap on the floor next to me. This uniformed man arose from deep slumber at the annoying beeping from his calculator watch alarm. He wiped his eyes, smiled, then led three other passengers and myself out to his winged minivan bound for glory. The 50 minute thrill-ride ended upon landing on a patch of pavement located perfectly in the middle of nowhere.

Nicole arrived, I said goodbye to my new friend, the chihuahua (a.k.a. airport security) and we drove to "town". We struggled whether to dine at Nancy's or Diane's. From the name alone I think we all agree, they both make your mouth water equally! After a lengthy debate we settled on Diane's. I am glad we did. Turns out, Nancy is the town drunk.

Over the last few days of our visit, we explored the entire town of Silver City. They were the best spent 20 minutes of my life.

Scroll down to enjoy a small, photo tour.


This is the infamous "SILVER SKATE" where children's roller dreams are realized! Ever heard of Scott Hamilton?! Think about it. AND, every Friday night is 2 dollar (or a blanket trade) Adult night! Apparently Nancy entertains those lucky patrons over 30 with what I hear is very scandalous, yet surprisingly tasteful stage wiggle.

Here we have a view leading into the heart of the city. The city was built around the ancient wall art left by the Gila Indians, depicting their Lizard God long long ago. If you look hard you can still see it to the right of the lamp post.

Here's the thing, this picture is a lie. Nicole stole the camera and is trying to trick you. "Tell everyone I'm doing the last of 100 push ups!" She boasts. I don't like lies, so here's the truth; she's totally on a wall, she turned the camera sideways. I know for a fact she can barely do TEN push ups, let alone 100. Please.

The community built a large park out the wood salvaged when the schoolhouse was deemed pointless and torn down.

The city uses stolen and recovered cars as erosion control.

More erosion control


I don't this one is controlling one bit of erosion

You can't see it in this photos, but Nancy is topless and passed out on top of that cement block.
Nicole had me crop the photo, apparently it would'nt be appropriate to show you.

There you have it. A few of the many photos we use as exciting proof that Silver City exists.

We made our way back to Albuquerque the morning after we ogled Nancy's body under the overpass. We wiped sad but joyful tears from our eyes, as we waved goodbye to those who'd come to wish Nicole farewell. To show appreciation and proof they'd listened to her counsel, they held high their lecture notebooks and ink smeared hands. I saw in the rear view mirror however, the real testament to their newly enriched lives. I watched as every homeowner sat atop their stone wheels and warmed themselves with their first FIRE! Though I was quite a distance away, I too felt the warmth in my chest. Not from the fire, but from the knowledge that Nicole has truly blessed the lives of these once cold, and very deserving people.

Our journey home was not without excitement mind you. No, no... very much the opposite! We stopped numerous times to explore the mountain ranges and wonderment available to all. We will post those and more nail-biting adventures in blog posts in the near future.
Try not to pee your pants while dealing with the anticipation.

Good day to you

This is your Property

This is your property on American soil

This is your property on pretend American soil

Any Questions?

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Big guns

I found this picture on my phone today. It is from the first of January when my parents came to visit us. We drove out west of the city to this fantastic ravine to shoot. There were literally 40 people strung out along this barren wasteland target shooting. So, we found some space and pulled out the handguns. Dan had at least two new guns that he had never fired yet. And my dad had his fancy one that he got for Father's day from the kids. Its a sweet gun. I had a great time firing round after round from all of them. I think Dan and Pop had a good time too.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

He's here!

Yay! He is finally here . . . Jonah L. Finlinson, chubby little boy of Dylan and Darci. He is so cute, and he looks quite a bit like his papa. Though Dyl assures me that he has Darci's nose.

I had to put this picture of him with his Grandma Rita, its the only one I've seen with his eyes open. Apparently he just wants to sleep all the time. They are having a rough time even waking him up to eat. He's already acting like his Papa!

I am so excited to have another new nephew. And, its Dylan's first baby. It is so fun for him to be a new Papa. He'll be so great. I am sure that Darci is glad he's finally here. I've heard those last few weeks of pregnancy are not the most fun. I'm hoping one day I might get a picture of the whole little family together.

Friday, February 6, 2009


This is my 6th picture in the 6th folder. It was taken at Wheeler Farm by Ian when he was doing our engagement photos. I guess we were practicing a stand off so we would know what to do when we got mad at each other.

6 people that need to do it now: