Al's Life

Al college caricature  Al in historical painting  Al 2005  Al - as admiral Al in Russian hat 


Relocated from Newport, Oregon, to Santa Fe, New Mexico, in 2009 ... life goes on ...
but different. The previous life of 54 years with Sue was growing, learning together.
The new life is still growing (old) and learning from the grandkids.


Now living in "Eldorado at Santa Fe".
(click here for information about Eldorado)

This community of 2,700 homes is in southeast Santa Fe County (not in the Santa Fe city limits). I am approximately 25 minutes from the Plaza in the center of Santa Fe.

(Santa Fe is at 7,000 ft altitude)

My three bedroom, 1,500 sq ft, adobe home is on 1.5 acres near stores, and just right for me.



Satellite view of Eldorado 

Eldorado community

House in summer 


House in winter 

In the Summer


In the Winter

Coyote in yard 


Al sitting near fireplace 

Coyote strolling through the yard


Waiting for Spring


The Family

Nat and Phil
Daughter Natalie and husband Phil Baca

Ellie at graduation from Baylor


Julia portrait 


Lila portrait 

Ellie Powell (22)


Julia Baca (15)


Lila Baca (13)


Ellie graduated from Baylor University (Waco, TX) in May 2012 and is now in a 5-year PhD program in genetics at Iowa State University. One thing she misses is riding with the Baylor NCAA equestrian team. Julia and Lila are big into music (Julia on viola, Lila on cello and piano) and both are in the local youth orchestra and quartets. They are also big into 4-H activities and have been selling a variety of farm-related craft products of their own design. Their latest work is in making recycled feed bags into large tote bags. The feed bags come in a variety of animal feed designs (horse, goats, sheep, chickens, rabbits, etc). Their feed-tote bags can be ordered through their own website:


Julia with viola  Lila with cello 

Lila and Julia - cello and viola


The Doings  - So what do I do now?

         Try to keep up with the grandkids:
-- Attend and photograph their many 4-H activities and music
                  -- Show them how to win at card games ("Hearts" is the family
                      tradition card game)
Computer doodling:
-- Keeping up four websites and numerous links (see
Processing the multitude of digital photos
-- I take of everything that moves or doesn't move
                     (11 of the 12 monthly photos in the 2013 Santa Fe County Fair
                     calendar were mine)
          Playing computer games
-- So I can remember how to win at "Hearts"
the thousands of family film photos, some dating back to the                     late 1800's.
Promoting my novel "Constitution 20XX" published in April 2013:
                 -- In this young-peoples novel I propose a new constitution to
                    replace our archaic one. The website for the novel is:
          Working on my next novel "Doomed to Circle 9"
-- Circle 9 is the last circle in Dante's "Inferno"
(Hell) and is
                    reserved for betrayers. The novel has 2 brothers as modern-day
                    vigilantes "eliminating" those who most betray public trust.
Thinking about my third novel "Pink Smoke"
               -- The fictitious biography of the first female Pope


Constitution 20XX book covers


"Smiling" Dante 

  Fires of Hell 

Smiling Dante


Where betrayers end up


          Dancing - I'm still square dancing weekly .........
                                          ...... but gave up Tango (it was fun while it lasted)

Al square dancing 


Al tango 

Square dance Al
(see our

square dance club website)


Tango Al
(an old picture!)

lapidary cutting/grinding/polishing equipment is again setup,
                    and now I am turning out gift pieces for friends and visitors.



          Horsing Around
Everybody (except me) in the family rides (quarter horses - they have 4)
                    Natalie and Phil have won prizes galore (including two saddles)
                    Grandaughter Ellie was on the National champion equestrian team at Baylor
                             U. (Waco, TX)
                    Julia and Lila  have won multiple riding/show trophies and prizes.


Natalie reining Phil on Scooter Al on Tac
Natalie reining on "Smoker" Phil winning New Mexico high-point on "Scooter" in 2009 Al just sitting on old "Tac" 2009 (Tac died in 2010
Julia on Truman Ellie on Reward Lila on Popcorn
Julia and her faithful "Truman" winning NM State Fair High Point Ellie in 2005 World Championships on "Reward" Lila on her new horse "Popcorn"


        A Little Hiking
                    A group in my Eldorado community hikes every Tuesday morning. The hikes
                    are local day hikes, 2 to 5 hours, and range from "Easy" to "Very Difficult". If
                    it snows, the hikes are snowshoe-hikes. The first pictures are from a 2011
                    hike to the Cienguilla cliffs to look at petroglyphs.

Al hiking Cienguilla Cliffs  


Here I am hiking (March 2012) with Julia and Lila at the Tent Rocks National
          Monument: 4.2 miles, 630 ft elevation climb.
Al, Julia, Lila at Tent Rocks Tent Rocks National Monument Julia at Tent Rocks


          And here in May 2012 hiking the nearby Galisteo Basin with a geology instructor.
Al hiking Galisteo Basin Galisteo Basin overlook

Home Exercise - My 45-minutes of daily home exercise ... how long will I keep that up!




Photoshop did it !!!



Host visitors
          Santa Fe is the capitol of New Mexico but is "small" (70,000 residents)
                The largest city, Albuquerque, 60 miles to the south, has 1 million plus people
               Santa Fe has no skyscraper buildings (Albuquerque has a 22-story building)
          Santa Fe virtually smells of history - it is a city of adobe homes
               (some say it looks like it was built by Taco Bell under contract to Walt Disney) 
          Santa Fe is a city of art and artisans 
          Santa Fe dines (I have a list of 60 restaurants from which visitors can choose) 
          Nearby - Los Alamos, Taos, Bandalier National Monument, national forests, 
               native pueblos, Abiquiu and Ghost Ranch, Echo Canyon, etc etc etc 
          The October Hot Air Balloon Fiesta in Albuquerque is a special treat 


Balloon 1 over Albuquerque  Balloon 2 over Albuquerque Balloon 3 Balloon 4 over Albuquerque 


My Plans ?

Summer fiestas, winter concerts, year-round plays, local exploring, hiking,
               fishing, photographing
          Did get in a trip to Hawaii (the big island) in 2011 and to the East coast in 2012.
                    In 2013 got to Sedona AZ, east coast (NYC/NH/CT), and San Diego CA.
               Would like to do more travel - U.S./Canada/overseas and a cruise or two.
                    (South America, Spain, revisit Switzerland, Alaska, Europe river cruise)
               Want to do more Elderhostel (now Road Scholar) programs - have done 14.

Think young (even though I hit 83 in 2014)

Al in Hawaii 2011 81st Birthday - Al Al in Halloween hat
Cute! Two-fisted! Watch the back, ol' man!

Some Links
Santa Fe   New Mexico   Bandalier
Los Alamos   Taos   Balloon Fiesta

This page last updated March 03, 2014