Monday, September 29, 2008

Taos Wool Festival

Well, it's almost here.  When I flew back to Albuquerque on Saturday, I saw ladies at the luggage carousel that I'd be willing to bet were arriving to be here for the wool festival this coming weekend.  You know how you can just tell that someone is a fiber person?  I love that about all of us.  Like a secret handshake, almost.

I've posted our hours for this week on a page on our What's New listings, if you're planning to come to town.

I'm beyond grateful to be home again.  It was starting to concern me that I'd miss the last week of our shop, miss Wool Festival, and most of all, miss seeing all of you who have become such great supporters and friends during this special week each year.  If you're not coming this year and I miss getting to see you, please know you will be missed.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Long road ahead

First, thank you for all your good wishes these last weeks; it has meant so much.

My sister is improving only a tiny bit each day and it is breaking my heart to watch her misery.

I miss my little family in Taos, my friends, my forest, and the first signs of fall. I will return there in a couple of weeks but know part of my heart will stay here.

Here is a photo of Earl. He is my neighbor on the coast. He's quite the guy and always available for love when I need some.Long road ahead

Monday, September 15, 2008

Dog therapy

When I'm away from home, I miss my cats and dogs terribly. I find myself talking baby talk and making a fool out of myself at the sight of a neighbor's cat or a dog being walked by its owner. It is, if you'll forgive me, just dog gone hard to not be with my buddies.

This evening we got the news that my sister is going to be allowed to come home tomorrow. There is much joy all around. I know she will heal faster at home, where she can sleep, get good meals, and have some puppy loves from Max, her German shepherd (?). Max appeared one day about two months ago and refused to leave. Janie had been missing the love of a dog but was waiting until her surgery was behind her to adopt. There are more than a couple of us who believe his arrival was no accident.

Tomorrow there will be three VERY happy humans and one canine bursting with joy!

(P.S. He has sure saved me these last two weeks.)

Dog therapy

Friday, September 12, 2008


When I moved to NM years ago, I fantasized that every day I would be out hiking and hiking and become totally buff in no time.  What I've found, instead, is a list of reasons not to hike alone that is possibly longer than the list of viable hiking trails in NM.

This week here in SoCal CannaLily

has left me with time on my hands and not much to do but whatever I please.  What has happened is that I have spent much of this time feeling guilty because I am not accomplishing something specific, not back in Taos fussing around my messy desk at the shop, beng part of the last weeks of my retail shop, not dyeing fibers for the web store, not spinning...well, you get the picture.  Why do we do that to ourselves?

My friend Liz has moved back to the coast. 
She has a house about 4 blocks up from ours.  For two years, she lived at the bottom of our road in Taos.  All of this more or less serendipitous, mind you.  During the time she was in Taos I believe we got together and hiked or snowshoed maybe half dozen times.

This week, we've walked several miles two out of the last three days.  RockNearBeach
We are very proud of ourselves.  I am off this morning to buy ankle weights.  I'm starting to feel like that exercise gorilla I dreamed of being years ago.  Stay tuned.

While we walk, I've been shooting snapshots of local things with my new iPhone (I am passionately in love with my iPhone, thank you Kay for sharing yours and infusing me with technology lust).  Here are a few of the things I've shot that I wanted to share with you.

Back to Los Angeles today, will write more from there...Martie

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Strange garden

Once upon a time, the lot upon which our home was eventually built was a nursery.  I don't remember it; I'm afraid that was during those hormone-riddled years when nurseries were probably one of the last things I had any interest in.

When our home was built in 1979, the builder had the class to keep this enormous Euphorbia specimen Euphorbia&CenturyPlant

intact and prominent in our tiny front yard.  Over the years it has grown, and at this writing its tallest spires are as tall as the roof of our second story.  It is often confused with a cactus plant, since we are located in a desert.  For those of you who aren't familiar, it is part of an enormous family of plants and a relative to the Poinsettia.  Originally a native of the Transvaal area of South Africa, our Euphorbia has a very toxic milky substance that burns your skin terribly should you have to experience it.  Someone once told me that during WWII, there were studies to see if this latex, as it is often referred to, could be used in the production of rubbery or latex-like products (however they are made...I am just repeating a story I was told).  Our plant has started to sag towards the street, and at this time, we are looking for someone expert (and no doubt brave) enough to know how to trim it back to save it from an undignified demise.

To the right is our Century plant CenturyPlant
(a member of the Agave americanus family). 
I actually relocated this plant to the corner of the front yard about 20+ years ago.  This summer is its swansong. 
My understanding is that once this bloom occurs, the entire plant will die (I can only has caused havoc in our yard), leaving behind a plethora of "pups" for some unfortunate person to try to unearth before this whole show happens again.  My neighbor, Eddy, can hardly wait to get his hands on the is apparently a material that is lighter than balsa wood and is used, when available, to manufacture the lightest of surfboards.  Further proof that one woman's trash is another man's treasure.  (At this writing the bloom from this plant stands about another 10 feet taller than our second story of our home.)

Sunday, September 7, 2008


My sister is recovering in the intensive care unit of the amazing university hospital she is in.  I have not seen her since just after surgery; I hear she is already looking so much better.  I will return to Los Angeles to help care for her when she comes home later this week; in the meantime, I'm at our home near San Diego, taking care of things so I am prepared when I return to her home.

It is a happy, sunny, day with a light breeze off the ocean.  I am sitting at my husband's desk, where I can see the ocean for approximately 100 miles from north to south.  On a clear day (rare anymore), you can see Catalina and San Clemente Islands just offshore.  On days like this, the outside observer would question why I would want to move and leave this behind. 

Thank you so very much to all of you who have sent loving messages and good thoughts our way.  You are my "other" family and your support means a lot to me.  ---Martie

Friday, September 5, 2008


I am in Los Angeles.  My older sister is having open heart surgery today.  I flew out on 24 hrs. notice, and am waiting with her husband and our other sister's daughter, Laurie.  It will be a long, anxious day.  The meaning of family is never stronger than when you're going through times like these.  I am blessed to have the opportunity to be here.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

On a lighter note

Ok, I was in a lousy mood when I posted last, but I just had to get it out.  We had a few bum experiences last week just after our announcement and I needed to get it all off my chest.  I promise to drop it.

I finished knitting my hand spun sweater last night. Finishedhssweater
I am in mad mad love with it.  It's hard when I love knitting on something so much and then it's finished...kind of like reading a great book.  I miss it terribly and flounder around for a while, wondering what to do next that can even begin to compare.  I think I'll postpone needling in the ends and blocking it for a bit, so we'll have a little more time together before it cools off enough for me to wear it.

The other afternoon I took some photos of things I love in my yard.  For those of you who are familiar with these plants, probably you can stop here.  I so enjoy learning about things through other blogs, I decided to share with those of you who don't live in this type of climate or may not have enjoyed some of these plants.Chamisa

First...the yellow Chamisa bush is just starting to bloom.  Known in English as Rabbit Brush, it is a popular local dye material for shades of greenish yellows and a plant used by local families for generations for teas for colds, if I recall correctly (anyone with better info, please jump in here!).  While these grow down in the valley below us, it is, to my knowledge, the only one on our land.  I have no clue how it got here, but I am grateful, and it's always a sign of fall when I see it starting to bloom. Russian Sage bush. Russiansage
The nursery told me years ago that this plant wouldn't grow at our elevation, but I loved it so much, I decided to give it a try.  It has taken about five or more years to reach this size (about 5 feet across, at least) and is now having pups grow in the adjacent walkway.  I love the color of it contrasted by our wild sunflowers that crowd our yard each summer.  Here's a photo of the walkway in front of our house, to give you a small idea of what the sunflower population is.  Why bother with fussy landscaping when nature is doing such a wonderful job?