New Mexico

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Good morning, Santa Fe! The handsome hubster enjoys the little yard at our casita. We’d already walked to Dolina’s Bakery, where the service is adorable and patiently kind, and the pastry choices difficult to make. We bought croissants and a slice of amazing coffee cake.

Silly Juniper would not run through the tunnel! We tossed the ball halfway, and she darted in and backed her way out. We also forgot to bring her water to the dog park, so she made due with snow. Eeek, that dog is so stinking cute!

I am slightly embarrassed to admit that we haven’t spent much of our Santa Fe time on Museum Hill. We got to work on it, with a trip to the glorious Museum of International Folk Art. What fun that was, with every manner of joyful treasure I adore: amazing rugs, guitars made from license plates and cigar boxes, straw dolls, miniature after miniature, treasures from trash (the moose made by kids from Santa Clara Pueblo), and a memory of my time at Standing Rock. Woot!

Greg makes use of the overlook…
Apache Mountain Spirit Dancer
Craig Goseyun

We spent an evening at the Rail Yard, enjoying The Gentlemen at the Violet Crown. We’d never been, and were sure glad to go. Everyone was super friendly, the snacks and drinks top notch, and the theater was pretty posh, too, with those seats that make you feel you aren’t really at the movies. The fil-um satisfied, providing laugh after laugh, in an uber-clever Guy Ritchie caper way.

The pointilist-ish sky was on the scene for hours….
Fisher’s Peak on the verge of a fresh dusting of snow.

I vacillated on my decision to show you our treasures, mostly because I feel slightly boorish saying, “Look what I got!!” The more I thought on it, however, I realized I want the people behind them to get their due. It is their bread and butter, after all. These are in pretty random order, so get our your magnifier and use your beautiful eyes!

The Anasazi beans (so delicious!), mild green chile powder, and Chimayo chile powder (only a few families in the area grow them – pretty special), as well as the barely discernible tiny spoon charm came from El Potrero Trading Post in Chimayo. They ship, should you have a hankering and not be lucky enough to go.

The other charms and strings of beads came from Glorianna’s, the oldest bead shop in Santa Fe. Chockablock with every manner of beautiful bead, I had a hard time restraining myself. The woman who runs the shop is Starr, the daughter of Glorianna, who passed in 2018, and is so kind and helpful. She was wearing a beautiful velveteen suit her mother made in the 50s – a stunner! What a treasure of a place.

The blue corn pinon pancake mix from Santa Fe Culinaria is delicious, but contains soy flour which makes my tummy scream, ruh-roh! Greg is luxuriating in a selfish pancake moment. The milagro heart and cross with pink flowers are from the Palace Hotel in Las Vegas and look fabulous among their New Mexico kin on my basement bathroom wall.

Fun and yummy red chile chocolate bar from Los Muertos. Another round of the best cola in the mundo – Zia Pinon, as well as several more bags of our favorite Casa Blanca Red Chile Jerky. The magnet with the car is from El Zocalo in Las Vegas, a very dangerous place for me. They have a stellar selection of paintings, jewelry, pottery, just about everything an art lover wants to take home.

The ornament was made by Rita Johnson, a Navajo Sandpainter we met on the plaza. She doesn’t have a website, but if you’re interested in her work, as she does more than ornaments, message me on my about page, and I’ll hook you up with her phone number.

Oops! I nearly forgot the wee Huichol bowl, purchased at the Folk Art Museum and the super cool thunderbird belt Greg bought at the Tin-Nee-Ann Trading Post in Santa Fe. It’s one of the old school places that’s been open longer than I’ve been alive. We finally made it in. A trip of firsts…

The beautiful weavings! The top right was from the Mora Valley Spining Mill, and does not indicate the name of the weaver. The remaining two were done by Victoria Verry whose work is available at Centinela Traditional Weavers, and send my heart singing, especially the one on the left, as it has yarn with plant dyes from indigo, madder root, and chamisa (a.k.a. rabbitbrush). So cool!!

And finally, a wonder of a painting by Gwen Wilemon from El Zocalo.

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Santa Fe

Our fantastic Casita was everything we could ask for in a home away from home and was a lovely walk from the Plaza.

We made an unexpected change for our first meal, enjoying Italian at il piatto rather than the New Mexican that is our go-to. We’re so glad we did, with yummy wine, a fab Caesar salad, scallops, mussels, and the best gnocchi I’ve ever tasted. The pretty roasted pear panna cotta wasn’t too shabby, either. Our resident chocoholic adored it!

What made it even better was our fine server, named Greg (I know!!). He and his girlfriend moved from Long Island to Santa Fe on a lark back in December, after she whispered in his good ear. A great story! We hope all that is wonderful about Santa Fe keeps them there.

The light! The adobe! They don’t call it the Land of Enchantment for nothing.

Our cutie pie was weary of the fire. It made noises at her. We made up for it with long walks, extra treats, and cuddle after cuddle.

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San Jose de Gracia Church in Las Trampas, looking much as it did when it was built, circa 1770 – 1776. I stand in awe of the strength of such modest and beautiful structures.

Views for days

The friendliest conquistador greets us at Centinela Traditional Arts in Chimayo. It is a cooperative run by Lisa and Irvin Trujillo, some of the finest weavers in the world. They were off on a rare vacation, and their daughter Emily was our wonderful guide. She was warm, funny, modest (You’re lovely and big hearted. Be kinder to yourself!), highly knowledgeable, and let us see the back room, where the hand dyed yarns, many of which with insects and local plants, were in full splendor.

I also appreciated her patience, as I initially couldn’t decide between two weavings by Victoria Verry. After a bit of hemming and hawing, I bought them both. Which reminds me, I also bought a weaving in Mora, and will show them all to you in my final post, in a round up of our treasures.

Santo Nino Chapel
El Santuario de Chimayo

El Santuario de Chimayo is considered one of, if not the most important Catholic pilgrimage site in the United States. It is no doubt magical and beautiful (no photos allowed of the interior, sadly), but my reasons for visiting were not of the typical variety. I believe my Great Grandmother Esquipula, who was born nearby in 1825, was named for the original church and most definitely, along with many of my local ancestors, attended mass here.

The thrumming in my heart, all those joyful spirits cozied up beside me as I sat in contemplation, was utterly spellbinding, and, no surprise, brought me to tears.

If ever you decide to visit, be sure to make a stop at El Potrero Trading Post. They have a wonderful selection of milagros, local beans and chiles, sweet treats, and every manner of Chimayo treasure.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Sangre de Christo Range
Wahatoyas
Remains of St. Aloysius Church – Raton Pass
Southbound with Fisher’s Peak in the distance

As my 49th year saunters ever closer, and mere days after Greg and I celebrated a wild and wonderful 29th (!) year since our first date, much thought has been bubbling. On who I am, this western place that is home, and our couplehood.

I feel more and more centered, in body and spirit, than ever. More honest, stringent, and strident. My intolerance weeding more and more people from my life. I am shucking those who are irresponsible and unkind, who place demands of adults on children too young for the burden, those blinded by an embittered victimhood and confusing love with control (If you loved me you would…). My desire for balanced relationships nudged ever more to the fore.

I have no social media link: no Facebook, no Instagram, no Twitter. I am here on this old fashioned blog form, and likely mostly alone. I honestly have no idea. It brings the hubster and I great joy to read and reminisce, and that is the best I could ask for, really and truly.

Before quitting Facebook last summer, I experienced a general sense of unease. Some of it was my use as a pawn in the Zuckerberg machine, and some political, too, but I also had this impression of being among people speaking a language I did not know. Groundless. It’s strange, too, because, I’d been in that space for nearly a decade and had enjoyed it enormously at times.

Then the shift came, when I realized that relationships have a season in life. Change and death are as natural as growth, without an ounce of malice or regret. Time and distance separated me from individuals I’d known or never truly connected with in the first place. Yet this world opened up to me, and I sent and accepted requests for friendships that were out of season. There were exceptions, of course, but relatively few, and I have kept in contact with the majority of those people. It feels right.

The handsomest
Bridge Street – Las Vegas
It ain’t new and it ain’t Mexico
New Mexico is the 47th state, admitted to the Union on January 6, 1912
Castaneda Hotel, including a dazzler of a mural unearthed during refurbishment.

Tammy Wynot :: Sheilita Buffet :: Iona Trailer :: Anita Mojito

Hermit’s Peak

And to this place – Southern Colorado and New Mexico, where my heart shall be forever rooted. My eyes gaze upon it, joy-filled and centered. The land of ancestors and new dreams. The scent of sage and pine. And that big, blue sky.

I suppose it is no surprise that we celebrated our 29th year in this very space, first to Las Vegas, of course. But then, forging a new path, on our way to Santa Fe, between Mora and Espanola, part of which is the famous High Road to Taos.

The above constitutes the highlights from Las Vegas to Mora. The St. Vrain Mill, which would be lovely restored, and our hike above the Fish Hatchery, with glorious views of the entire Mora Valley. Though the photo of Juniper and I doesn’t show it, the wind was a wild whipping force, and frigid, too.

Mora, and the majority of the High Road, for that matter, is known for wool and world famous weaving, with some families the seventh or eighth generation practicing the craft. We did not miss out, stopping at the Mora Valley Spinning Mill. They have locally processed yarn and weavings and every manner of art and craft, staffed by kind and efficient staff. It’s worth the trip!

The Cleveland Roller Mill – closed for the season, but looking good.

As is the beauty of grace, at the moment our hunger verged on unbearable, we rounded the bend in Penasco, the sweet murals and Sugar Nymphs Bistro awaiting. The wood stove was roaring, the coffee was hot, and the food as delicious and enchanting as New Mexico itself.

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New sage growth filled the air with its intoxicating scent and had the hubster and I swooning.

Our wonderfully cozy digs (and sweetest dog, ever). Greg and I have never been so enamored with a rental, envisioning, were it to come on the market, how we would make it our own.

The Taos Museum of Art at Fechin House. Every bit of the woodwork hand carved by Nicolai Fechin (feshin) in the first half of the last century. My photos pale in comparison to the in-person beauty. The artwork was pretty stunning, too, featuring Marjorie Eaton and Juan Mirabal (student and teacher to one another).

Well worth walking to their our of the way location on Kit Carson, tea.o.graphy serves and sells a stellar selection of tea. I also bought a fantastic mug with an old school pick-up on it, handmade in Taos, of course. If I can’t drive the truck of my dreams, I’m gonna drink from its likeness.

The above two photos are from the Mabel Dodge Luhan house, which was also owned by Dennis Hopper. It has quite the history!

San Francisco de Asis Mission Church

One of the most photographed buildings in the world gets its annual spruce up. How lucky we were to see it in progress. Sad to miss the interior, however. Next time!!

Year round hollyhock beauty! Now that is a thought. We have a massive volunteer in the back yard and a few in the front that I am hoping will bloom this year.

The Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial in the Moreno Valley is a deeply humbling and moving space created out of a father’s deep and abiding love. Doc Westphall began the memorial after his son David was killed in an ambush in 1968. It was the first Vietnam memorial, dedicated in 1971.

When we were there, the Angel Fire Garden Club was busily and quite cheerfully creating beautiful garden beds on the grounds. I was touched to see such an out of the way place so filled with love for those who gave everything in Vietnam. There is so much good in the world, peeps.

More dazzling green! Our nephew Tyler came for a visit last week, and we chuckled that some poor person might move to Colorado or New Mexico believing this is what spring looks like on the regular.

Red River reminds us of Colorado mountain towns of our childhood.

La Veta Pass greening up after last year’s massive fire. Hope springs eternal…

A final glimpse from the road, with gratitude for the best way I can conjure to celebrate the start of my 48th year!

 

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