Category Archives: Daily


Our daughter, Windsor, was born on Saturday, September 13, 2014 at 4:24pm. She was 7lbs 10oz and 19 1/2 inches long.

Portrait of Windsor at 2 Weeks Old

Portrait of Windsor at 2 Weeks Old

Portrait of Windsor at 2 Weeks Old

Full Moon Hike at Lake Pleasant

Tonight Chris and I went with my parents on a “Full Moon Hike” at Lake Pleasant. It was a two mile guided hike starting at sunset. We all had a great time. The guide, Terry, was full of interesting information. The hiking was easy. The temperature was low (for July)…in the 80’s. We saw all sorts of wildlife – wild burro, rattlesnake, and scorpions.

    Some things I learned:

  • Lake Pleasant has two dams. The first was finished in the 30’s and is now underwater. It was started by the Beardsley family. The structural engineer was Mr. Pleasant and he had a special/new multi-arch design. Though he passed away prematurely from stress due to the dam construction.
  • Lake Pleasant has 400 wild burros. They’re originally from Africa and were brought in for mining. There are two kinds – Nubian (with a white cross) and Somalian.
  • Lake Pleasant holds all the water used by Phoenix and Tucson. It’s a major part of the Central Arizona Project (CAP) for water delivery. In the summer, the lake levels are down because of water delivery. In the winter, lake levels are at their highest. Most of the water comes from the Colorado River.
  • Creosote has oil on its leaves and that oil can be used as an anti-fungal and antiseptic.
  • Brittle Bush was used as incense in Mexico.
  • Packrats create dens that are called middens. (I had to look up the spelling…I thought Terry was saying mittens!) They like to collect the scat from different animals and decorate their midden. The scat throws off predators. We’ve got a lot of these at the ranch so it was exciting to learn that there are packrats living in them.

Lake Pleasant

Chris, Mom, Dad

Sunset at Lake Pleasant

Yarnell Fire

I’m absolutely heartbroken about the 19 firefighters who died while fighting the Yarnell fire. Our ranch is about 30 minutes from Yarnell and we love that little town. Yarnell and the kind people in it was a major reason we chose that area. The loss of life and property is truly sad. My heart goes out to everyone and I look forward to being about to help the town rebuild and support the community.

Here are some pictures from Yarnell that I’ve taken over the past year:

Yarnell Fire Department



Yarnell Emporium

Thank you from my Credit Card

Today I got an email from my credit card company thanking me for my loyalty. They offered me a cup of coffee through a $5 gift card they’ll send me in the mail 4 – 6 weeks from now. Really? The better thank you would be to take $5 off my next credit card bill.

Thank you cup of coffee

About Erica – February 2008

I started blogging in 2001 for the following reasons.

  • The web was so new (to me) and fascinating. I wanted to learn HTML and later CSS.
  • It was an easy way to inform my friends & family who lived in other places of my daily life and to keep that history for myself.
  • I had been reading other people’s blogs and felt it was only fair if I produced as well as consumed.

I had no idea at the time that it would change my life. Blogging has given me friendships that I would never had otherwise. I’m so blessed by those friendships.

In 2001, blogging was simply a place to share personal stuff with other people. In 2008, blogging is business. Change is the only constant.

The whole Fam

I’m married to Chris Altman and we live in Phoenix, Arizona, with our three dogs – Stewie, Bentley, & Mac. We both grew up in Arlington, Texas, where we went to high school together. We started dating after our ten-year high school reunion and got married in May 2008.

I have two sisters who are also on the web – Karen & Kristen. I guess blogging changed more than just my life; the lives around me as well.

Chris and I are getting more and more into riding bicycles. We’re lucky to live in a city with a wonderful network of bike lanes and paths. (I love Phoenix.) We also love making things. Chris does woodworking and I like to sew. We both love to learn new things so there’s always a project going on around here.

Currently I work for OpenRain, a company that excels in web design, web development, web marketing, and mobile application development. My role is a mix of project management, customer service, and consulting. I love being close to technology and daily interaction with the developers. I also love our customers! If you want to know more about my work and education, just ask! I’m especially proud of my bachelors in fine art from Texas Tech University and MBA from Southern Methodist University.

Contact me if you’re interested in my resume and previous job history.

About Erica – March 2002
About Erica – July 2005