Thursday, December 31, 2009

A brighter day

We went to town today to stock up so we can stay home until sometime next week. The intermittent snows of yesterday gave a fresh look to the local mountains, and those blue, blue skies we love so much were back. This photo was taken at about 45 mph, out the car window, with my iPhone. I hadn't planned on a tree and fence ending up in it, but as often happens with surprises, it's far better than what I was hoping for.

Monte told me today that there's a story that says whatever you do the most of on New Year's day will lay the groundwork for the year ahead. I've decided to spin and about you???

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Looking ahead

It's been a bit since I've felt inspired to blog, I admit. I guess it's that year end reflection stuff...thinking about what was and what may be ahead. This week's news about the Panty Bomber and our never ending tales of government screw ups wasn't any help, I admit. I guess that's just what happens when something gets too big and there are too many people in the loop. Sometimes I think it's a wonder any of it works at all.

I've been spinning some fun stuff this last week...batts, mostly, and turning them into what I hope will be lace weight yarn when all is said and done. I guess spinning tiny yarn is a component of being in this mood, something small that requires focus and gives one a small feeling of control of something.

I took these photos on the morning of Solstice when that first light entered the house.

I wish you all a safe and happy 2010. Thanks for being there.


Thursday, December 24, 2009

A sweet Christmas present

I was talking with my friend Liz a few days ago, and she told me she had found a package on her porch a few days earlier. It appeared to be a gift basket, and she was fearful it was one of those holiday baskets that was full of things like salami (she's a vegetarian). Upon opening it, she found a basket full of memories of her beloved step mother, Rachel, who passed on earlier this year. Rachel's daughter had thoughtfully assembled the following items:

  • 3 rolls of pennies and an old newspaper clipping Rachel kept about "always stop for a penny."
  • 3 skeins of her acrylic yarn and blue knitting (metal) needles
  • crochet hook
  • directions for both knitted and crocheted slippers
  • 3 iris bulbs from her garden
  • Aunt Mary's Sherry wine cake recipe--including a box of yellow cake mix and pkg of vanilla instant pudding
  • 4 of her pretty handkerchiefs
  • 3 of her tea cups
  • her small book of Christmas Carols that the insurance companies used to give out for advertising--this one from Salesian Missions
  • 2 decks of "coca cola" playing cards (she loved to play bridge)
  • thank you notes
I was so taken by this story I asked Liz for permission to share it...I love the idea of such a heartfelt present. Thanks, Liz.

Monday, December 21, 2009


Just this past week, I was honored with an invitation to submit photos taken on Solstice for an on-line photo show that has been created by and for photographers as a way to celebrate the day.

So this morning, I bounded out of bed, well before daylight, to make sure I could caffeinate enough to rise to the occasion when the sun came over Taos Mountain. I actually got out there a
wee bit too early, so I spent some time
crawling around on my stomach (yes, in the snow...what I won't do to try to get a good shot) taking photos of things from that perspective. One such shot is this photo of the little plants that seem to have come to our mountain the same time the aspens were brought in and planted. They never seem to flower, but are out in abundance near the aspens all summer.

Just these last weeks, we had some more solar panels added to our system. Our other panels are now 10 years old, and while they still function fairly well, we decided to take advantage of some spare south facing roof space and add some more. With this installation came a new inverter system, and a now we are helping to provide electricity to someone else in our community when we're not using all we gather each day. It's pretty cool...and it beats the heck out of the years I spent with one 12v light bulb and a back up generator that had to be rewound by hand (yes, it's true...sticking my fingers in there on zero degree nights to rewind that cord left a lasting impression on the electricians who planned the system for this house would tell you).

And now, off to use some of that electricity to watch some TV before hitting the sack. Good Solstice to you.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Back to real life

My friend had to leave yesterday. We had six glorious days of enjoying each other's company. She has lived in India for the last number of years, so she was in dire need of lots of green chile, Dr. Pepper, and good old Ben & Jerry's ice cream. We made sure to cover all those bases each day.

We sat at our spinning wheels each afternoon and watched lots of movies. These are the yarns that we made.

We often talked about our country versus her adopted homeland. I enjoyed hearing about other countries and cultures she has been exposed to. I decided for all the concerns and complaints, it's pretty clear we're still in a good place.

What a wonderful holiday present.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Road trip

I'm in Albuquerque a little more than an hour, one of my dearest friends is arriving at the airport for a one week visit. We haven't seen each other in several years and I am so excited I can barely stand it.

Driving isn't something I enjoy very much, especially in winter. Today was one of those gorgeous days when the roads were clear and you could study the colors in the sky and the snow caps on the mountains. One thing about road time is that it's good thinking time for me...I'm a captive audience and I can't bounce around distracting myself. One of the things I was laughing about today was how I thought moving to NM was going to be "country life" and driving would be slow (my favorite) and carefree. Little did I know what awaited me! Country roads: the yellow line appears to be used for centering your vehicle. Interstate: speed limit is 75 mph, which, if you drive it, puts you in the slow lane as a pokey. Another New Mexico favorite: driving along at the speed limit of 65 mph and suddenly, about 20 yards before a dip in the road, there's a 45 mph sign to keep you from bottoming out. SURE.

I don't know much about Albuquerque except the great international food market and the airport. I visited their visitor site and found these photos to of the tram up to the top of the Sandia Mountains that hover directly over town, and another of the church on their historic plaza. Guess I should be a tourist sometime and come down and poke around.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Mariah, was that you?????

The storm that is now history for us could well be dumping on you as you read this. We managed to collect around 4" of snow yesterday and another 8"+ overnight. The real kicker with this storm is the wind. We heard on the news that down around Carlsbad, there was actually a warning for winds that could possibly hit 100 mph. Turns out those same winds blazed through here early this morning and were clocked around Taos at 65-70 mph. Our house is built like a bomb shelter, so I didn't hear it, but other friends had plenty to say about it. Wowzer.

It made me think of this beautiful song:

Away out here they have a name for rain and wind and fire.
The rain is Tess, the fire's Joe and they call the wind Mariah.

Mariah blows the stars around and sets the clouds a-flyin'.
Mariah makes the mountains sound like folks was out there dyin'.

Mariah. (Mariah).
Mariah. (Mariah).
They call the wind Mariah.

Before I knew Mariah's name and heard her wail and whinin',
I had a gal and she had me and the sun was always shinin'.

But then one day I left my gal.
I left her far behind me
and now I'm lost, so gol' darn lost
not even God can find me.

Mariah. (Mariah).
Mariah. (Mariah).
They call the wind Mariah.

Out here they have a name for rain and wind and fire only.
When you're lost and all alone, there ain't no name for lonely.
And I'm a lost and lonely man without a star to guide me.
Mariah blow my love to me. I need my gal beside me.

Mariah. (Mariah.)
They call the wind Mariah.
Mariah. (Mariah.)
They call the wind Mariah.

Be safe, wherever you are.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

A day of rest

After spending yesterday photographing and editing photos for new Etsy listings, I'm going to spend today hooking on one of Deanne Fitzpatrick's designs. I've not worked on it in months and it will be good to get back to's almost finished.

Not to beat the topic of cooking to death, but this week I hauled out a cookbook I found in CA earlier this summer. It has recipes for slow cookers that don't involve lots of bottles of ketchup, BBQ sauce, and cream of mushroom soup (not that I don't like these things, I just tired of those recipes years ago). My first meal from this new book was the Jalapeno Corn Chowder. It's a vegetarian soup, but I added chunks of grilled chicken and used masa to thicken instead of regular corn meal. my late friend, Bernice, would have said: it was so good, it'd make you want to jump up and slap your grandma. (Origin of that saying unknown, if you know, please enlighten me.)

For someone who loves to eat as much as I do, I'm not wild about spending much time cooking, so this could be a real find. I love the idea of putting it all in a pot and having it ready to eat at the end of the day, with some freshly baked corn muffins. (NOTE: photo of soup taken before the cup of heavy cream went into it...bliss.)

And to wait for the storm that is supposed to be headed our way.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Seco Weather Report

7:30 a.m.: -10F

Shiver me timbers...

Seco Weather Report

7:30 a.m.: -10F

Shiver me timbers...

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


This blog started way back when I barely knew what a blog was. It was created as a way for all of us who worked in my former retail shop to keep in touch with our friends and customers, both near and far. Over time, the other writers dropped off, and it became mine alone. I no longer see it as a marketing tool for my business, but rather a way to keep in touch with friends and afford me a place to capture some of those things that I seem to write constantly in my head.

As it has become more personal than business, I've still kept my family postings few...because I have a level of privacy I like to keep. Having said that, today I'm doing a "Proud Mama" posting about my son and his wife, who together run a sport fishing business in San Diego while raising a lively 4 year old son. If you or anyone you know is interested in fishing, please visit their website at

I'll stop the marketing here and share with you my excitement: two weeks ago, while running a charter in Magdalena Bay in Baja California, they had one of those days that fishermen dream of. The waters were teeming with fish, and everyone on board had a record day. One of the customers caught a 362 lb. (if I recall correctly) yellow fin tuna, a record for the boat. Erika, my daughter in law, caught a 276 lb. yellow fin, after reeling it in for almost two hours all by herself.

Here's where the proud mom stuff comes in. When they returned to the village of Lopez Mateo (a village so small that it has no hotels, motels, or restaurants, to my understanding) my son gave all the fish that wasn't going home with clients to the entire village. Those who couldn't get to the dock had a home delivery by one of his crew. This is the man I admire so much...who chose a hard life and lives his dreams, sharing with others happily, and has been lucky enough to find a strong partner to help him live his dream.

I love you, Cary and Erika. I'm one lucky mom.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The season to give

I love reading other blogs at this time of the year and finding yet more inspiration for charity knitting and donating to those who are less fortunate than I. This summer, when I wasn't feeling well and I wanted to knit but barely could, I managed to (ta da!) get my scarves knitted for the annual scarf donation project for the St. Elizabeth's Shelter in Santa Fe (a project lovingly started and continued by one wonderful Sarah Bienvenu).

On Thanksgiving day, one of my friend's daughters mentioned she donates time twice a week to a really well run shelter in Albuquerque. Yay! I've long been suspicious of where donations really go in our little town (cynic that I am), so here was a chance to get things straight to the folks who need it.

So today I spent a large portion of my day spelunking through drawers and my my dear friend Tracy would say...facing the seedy underbelly of my life. It was worth it...I managed about 5 trash bags of shirts, sweaters, socks, scarves, mittens...and four fists full of hangers with coats and more shirts.

My stepdaughter wrote me this morning, asking what I'd like for Christmas. Think I'll write her back tonight and tell her I did it today.

(Photo courtesy of reminded me of how all my stuff feels on some days.)