Out of all that, came the decision that the ranch needs to be north of Dona Ana, not south. It probably won't matter to anyone but me, but it'll make me feel better now I have a clearer view of distances and neighbouring towns, etc.. I looked into flora and fauna, distances, weather, and then got sidetracked over whether hand water pumps would have been indoors at that point. I'm thinking yes, though I haven't found a definitive answer. But along the way, I found an interesting article on "The History of Washing". There's some useful information in there if you need to know things about soap production, plumbing, washing machines, and such. I now have a notes page for the story, with links, bits of information, and things I want to remember to include. I need to do a timeline next, even if just a general one, so i don't fall over myself trying to recall how old I made one of the kids, dates from the Civil War, and time spans between immortals meeting.
Now I need to give my shoulders a rest, and maybe after, I can get some actual writing done!