Saturday, November 28, 2009

A bit of heaven

I hope your Thanksgiving was a good one. We had a quiet, cozy dinner at our friend's home, enjoying a delicious dinner and the company of good friends. It doesn't get much better than that.'re talking about desert...yummmmmm...I took a pie, made from the cookbook I purchased at the Turquoise Room at the La Posada Hotel in Winslow, AZ, last time we were there. The Turquoise Room is one of the most amazing restaurants I've ever been to. Featuring a diverse menu at affordable prices, the recipes are out of this world. When we had desert there this fall, I swooned so hard over the pie that after finding out it was in their cookbook, I brought a copy home.

Here it is, or what's left of it. It has a cornmeal crust and its filling is pecans with pinion nuts. They suggest you serve it with Vanilla Bean Gelato, but we toughed it out using Vanilla Taos Cow ice cream (slurp).

If you're looking for a cookbook to give to that special someone this season (yourself, I would suggest), you can order directly from the Turquoise Room. If you're a fan of southwestern cuisine with a really original flair, you won't be disappointed.

PS The rest of this baby goes bye-bye tonight, had to catch it when I could.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


The good. The bad. The fattening.

Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving, wherever you are.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Play day

I have long believed that Sunday should be a day of rest and renewal. I remember when I first started visiting New Mexico years ago, in smaller towns like Taos you wouldn't find much open on Sundays, and many businesses closed early on Saturday afternoons.
Adhering to this belief, I have chosen to ignore the laundry, dishes, vacuuming and other things today and am playing on my spinning wheel. It's my first day with my new (blended) bifocals, so I'm trying to stay put and not feel like I'm in the fun house when walking around. Yesterday I managed to make these batts while down at the shop, so I'm working on one of them today. (Locks are courtesy of

Hope you're resting and enjoying yourself today...the housework will still be there later this week, just ignore it if at all possible.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Slow day

Ever have one of those days when you can't quite get it off the ground? Today was one of those. First, I slept until almost 10:00 (I can sleep 11-12 hours if left to my own devices, shameful, isn't it). Then I did some laundry and decided it was time to get my Etsy shop reopened. I've been circling around it for weeks, being the Princess of Procrastination that I am.

This afternoon I managed to edit some photos of hand spun yarns and get a few new items listed. I plan to do more this coming week. I am going to slowly start bringing home items remaining in the shop that I no longer have use for. Next week I'll be photographing and listing New Zealand Corriedale rovings (dyed) in 4 oz. bundles at a super price. These are from Ashford and are great for adding to your own batts for spinning and even better for felting. If you know of anyone who does a lot of felting, please pass the word along.

And now, a couple of the photos I edited today. Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Organized or messy?

When I convinced Mr. Sunflower to let me close the shop, one of his worries was that I'd use that space as some sort of fiber-hell storage facility and he'd never be able to walk in there again. Well, I showed him. I set up this table and the shelves behind it, organizing all my fibers for carding batts. I painstakingly separated each fiber by category and labeled the shelves and all the little baskets and bins on the table. It was picture perfect until I started carding which time the table top looked like some sort of medium sized rodent had piffled through everything in some attempt at making the most colorful nest in Arroyo Seco. It is a constant struggle for me to find a balance between being "organized" (I use that word tenderly) or messy, because of being so spontaneous in my work.

I spent several hours this morning straightening the fibers on this table top and carding two batts. Each little bit of fiber is laid in by hand onto the carder drum, so it took almost two hours to card two 2.0 ounce batts. Definitely a labor of love! Boy, did I have fun spinning one of them this afternoon. I've been spinning so much roving that to spin a batt instead was a real treat.

So how do you work best? Do you do as I do, and go along until the mess gets so horrid you can't stand it anymore, or do you keep it organized as you go? I'm very curious how other people manage this. Please share if you have time. I'm a firm believer we can all learn from each other!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

A Thursday field trip

It's sort of a sad thing to report, but after moving to NM in 1993, I seem to spend more time close to home than out investigating all the beauty that surrounds us. I knew far more about Santa Fe when I lived in San Diego, and rarely go there now except to drive through on the way to the airport. Shame, shame.

Thursday was different, I'm happy to report. I volunteered to travel out to Georgia O'Keefe country to pick up some weavings for my friend Debra, who lives in Arkansas but belongs to a local weaving cooperative. It was a blast from the past. Once or twice I had my own pieces hanging in that same museum, many, many years ago, and I had forgotten what an excellent venue it is. There are no colors or weavings that don't look absolutely spectacular against those old, adobe walls.

I took lots of photos to share with you. It was a rather dreary day, but you'll get the idea, if you have never been before...or a tickle to your memory if you have. Old Georgia was one smart cookie...she knew a great place when she found one. We were trying to imagine what it must have been like (how isolated) in the days when she lived there (it was her summer home), without all the tourists and fancy roads. Today, the Ghost Ranch is a retreat center and I imagine their website must have listings of classes if you are interested.


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

A consuming pursuit

Recently an ad popped up on my computer for I took them up on their offer of an introductory period to snoop around and see if I could turn up any info on my father's family (my mother was adopted, so that's a dead end, at least for now).

I started out with my dad's information and within moments I had found a few other family trees that had him listed. I found one tree that had my grandparents and great grandparents by names with birth and death dates, something it would have taken me an age to figure out on my own. Today I found this page from the 1860 census, listing my great grandfather, his wife, two children, and someone else who could have been related to his wife, but I'm not sure I'll ever know. It's all very cool...his name was Edward Baron, born in France, and his wife was Concepcion, born in Mexico. Pretty cool stuff for this writer who grew up in East L.A., loving Mexican food and the French language. Little did I know.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Treasure hunting

Sometime earlier this year, I read someone's posting about finding great deals on rug hooking supplies on the Goodwill website. I had no idea they had a website, so I had to investigate.
Bad move.

Within 48 hours I was bidding madly and purchased an old Singer sewing machine, and for weeks afterward I found myself stalking (I mean, watching) lots of other sewing machine auctions. In between sewing machines, I found a sale for some hand sewn quilting blocks. I purchased them for more money than I probably should have, and after two attempts and double postage cost, they finally arrived.

I washed them and this week, finally finished ironing them. They are all sorts of little odd shapes. I wonder whose work it is. Was it a child, perhaps, or someone's grandmother, sitting in her chair, waiting out the remainder of her years? I love them. I am not sure, at this time, what I will do with them, but hope to honor the maker by seeing them to the finish line.

Have I mentioned how I worry my things will end up in a thrift store one day? Sigh.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Excuse me, is your pig missing?

This morning on KTAO, our local radio station, there was a change in programming so that the morning host could take phone calls to weigh in on the fact that the radio station's beautiful outdoor concert venue has apparently been shut down pending a ruling on a noise complaint by neighbors.

It was all very serious. I listened to it while I was dressing, and then again in the car on the way to town. The calls and opinions were flying fast and furious. Taos is nothing if not a hot bed of opinions.

Suddenly the host takes the next call, which goes something like this:

"Hello, I live out near Three Peaks, and I just saw someone's pig running loose. It's HUGE. Like the size of a BEAR. REALLY. I saw it over near Harmony Drive. It's HUGE. Someone must be missing it by now. It's like a BEAR!"

Somehow, I was able to manage to not have to pull over to the side of the road while I laughed my head off over this welcomed break in all the seriousness.

I've had to stop on the road for cattle and the occasional horse. I have had elk fly across in front of me on the open roads north of here. I remember the year (mid-90s) when some poor moose managed to range too far south and was seen a few miles from our home. One just never knows what one might see in Taos. Truly.

I just love being here.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The simple life

Just when I think I'm really getting my life geared down into a more contemplative and quiet place, something like this morning happens.

I sat down to follow Chuck's (our electronics super hero) e-mail instructions on downloading a driver so that my laptop could talk to my new printer without having a USB cable. Turns out the original set up with the printer couldn't talk (wirelessly) to a Mac. To make this tale shorter, the net result was two phone calls and lots of sighs before the

problem was resolved.

I have to always remind myself that my computer is here to make my life easier. Some days I seriously think that all that "man" has done to make our lives easier has just made things worse.

Last Saturday, we had a delicious lunch at my friend Konny's house. She is my shining example of living simply. She has this delightful little cabin in the forest and has bear and elk for neighbors. She has worked hard to keep her life simple. She has only those things she needs for her daily use, no frills. When I visit someone like that, I come home and look at the relative chaos of my many belongings and decide that for now, I just have to live her way in my imagination. It's clear I'm just a collector and feel comforted surrounded by my stuff.

And relative to nothing, while everything was busy upstairs this morning, I found this pastoral scene when I went downstairs. It's hard to see because of the light, but the scene was Meika, our elderly female Rottweiler, sleeping on her blanket while Larry the cat was sleeping on the blanket next to her. I found this rather amusing because when she's awake, she hates Larry more than she hates the hairbrush (we have an understood truce in our home, but she still likes to growl at him to remind him how much she'd like to make sashimi out of him).

Ah, the simple life. Maybe I'll go take a nap now, too.