February 2023

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Moody light over Taos, so beautiful!

Taos Mountain enveloped in snow

Picuris Peak

Sangre de Christos

For our return trip home, we found a cool casita just a “block” away from our Taos land. We know the neighborhood, but this was the first time we actually set foot on the property, having bought it at the height of the pandemic, and walked the gorgeous views.

We also had a wonderful breakfast (how excited I am to have New Mexican style food I won’t have to make myself!) with our delightful realtor and equally kindly person, Yvonne Trujillo and her husband David, talking land and concrete and wells and everything in between. How real this is all becoming, thrilling and frightening, too. Please think good thoughts for us!

I am ridiculously content, sitting in the wood stove warmth of the Sugar Nymphs Bistro in Penasco. We love this place, as the service (our sweet server was named Colleen!!), all the food, and especially the desserts, are top notch. This is my absolute favorite seat in the house, right by the stove and with a great view of the art lined walls.

We also, for the first time, made a couple of wine and cider tasting stops at Black Mesa and La Chiripada. Both were marvelous, with super friendly staff. We bought quite a bit for two people who don’t drink on the regular!

Taos Mountain from Picuris Peak and zoomed from our neighborhood. We’ll have a view of this stunner from our back porch. Huzzah!

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Hi! I’m listening to a super chatty tour guide. Completely unrelated, my very cool necklace charms are Gemini and Cancer constellations (for me and my star crossed love) from the delightful Kayla at Fox and the Fawn. They have the most wonderful jingle! I am also wearing her rings. Here’s to supporting hard working metal smiths.

Greetings from Taliesin West, stop number two on places of architectural interest in Arizona. As you know, if you’ve been with me for a while, I am rather fond of Frank Lloyd Wright structures, and this is no exception. We visited Phoenix in part to see this great place, all stunning angles and sublime views, unlike the hordes of suitcase rollers we encountered post Super Bowl. We didn’t know it was even happening, which gave Cynthia (see below) a good chuckle! The pair of us are impossibly out of touch when it comes to sports and absolutely without apology.

No visit to the Phoenix area would be complete without a visit with Greg’s awesome cousin, Cynthia, who picked up her Texas stakes for Arizona at the beginning of the pandemic. We enjoyed tacos on an eye wateringly hot heated patio, walked in the rain, and caught up on stellar, in-person conversation. We are super proud of all she has accomplished and what is happening next. All the things, indeed.

She and Greg are not only looking good (seriously!) in the wee slice of afternoon sun, but standing in front of one of her multiple citrus trees in her beautiful back garden. She gave us a bag of fruit, and I made marmalade, no surprise. It is all the more delicious knowing the origin.

bird of prey and ocotillo

Fun Valentine lunch at Tonto!

Our final full day in Cave Creek was a cold one, rife with mist and fog, with our cozy Valentine lunch sandwiched midway. It was as delicious at it looks.

Juniper and I cozied up with sweaters and books while Greg did some fast typing. Have I ever told you about this? He is the fastest typist I know. So much so, I often call it fake because he sounds like a child hammering willy-nilly at the keys. He absolutely is not.

Boy howdy, the photos, save maybe the last one, absolutely do not display the horror of being on the roads of northern Arizona on February 15, 2023. We have never seen so many smashed vehicles: lying on their side, heading the wrong direction, upside down. We found, quite literally, the one artery to I-40 that was not closed and inched along at 20 miles per hour. The final photo is a mere smidgen of the at least three-mile long chain of vehicles stopped overnight and hoping to get moving westbound to Flagstaff. Yikes!

Our friend Mary said we must be living right to have such good fortune. Thanks for saying so and big hug.


Another lovely drive, westward along I-40 to Gallup. If you may recall this is where Juniper was found all those years ago. One day we will time everything right to buy some moccasins for Greg (my feet are too poorly now) and some jewelry for me, as we keep arriving on quiet Sundays, when all the shops are closed. The eye candy is still worth a stop, oh, and lunch at Blake’s Lotaburger. Yes, yes.

Navajo Nation Land

Oh, yes he did!

From mountains to desert, and so quickly! My heart was aflutter at the geologic wonder.

Arcosanti has been on our list of architectural places to visit for ages. There is a certain hesitation knowing the whole history of the creator, Paolo Soleri, but for the countless others responsible for the magic of the place, we could not miss it.

A place of solitude and contrast to the desert landscape, yet wholly of it, it is quite remarkable.

So many gorgeous details and stunning views. This is a window to a private residence.

I spy with my little eye…Greg Cooper!

The bells! We did not take a tour, for reasons of timing and thrift, but did by a couple of the exquisite bells. The gallery is church-like, a perfect hall for bouncing sound. We tiptoed through, ringing each that caught our fancy, and after much discussion on size and shape, chose the perfect tones.

The view out our window!

We stayed in a super modern getaway in Cave Creek, well away from the hullabaloo of Phoenix and positively surrounded by saguaro of every height and armature. It was quiet with people and alive with birds and insects. Juniper was wild with excitement at the scent of every new step.

When we arrived, I worried a bit at the temperature. It was in the mid-seventies, and we packed long sleeves and pants for for cooler temperatures. My fretting may have jinxed the whole situation, as the weather took a drastic turn, feeling more like the Pacific Northwest than the desert, with rain and more rain, even a little hail. We made the best of it, however, as you’ll see in the next post!



At the heart of every being lies creation’s dream of a principle that will one day give organic form to its fragmented treasures.

Pierre Tielhard de Jardin


Hello from a week a little over a week ago, on the road south to Albuquerque. It seems a bit sacrilege not to include a dazzler of the Spanish Peaks any time we are in the neighborhood, so here we are. It was a gorgeous day for a drive!

Happy New Mexican Black Dog meets University of New Mexico Lobo. Juniper gave it a curious sniff before realizing it wasn’t going to make a move on her.

All the above photos were taken on the UNM campus. Like most colleges I have visited in my life, the grounds were quite unexpectedly beautiful. You’d think I would be prepared for it, at this point, but alas, I am an occasional slow learner. I can’t imagine a more perfect sampling of New Mexico arhitecture, either. Sweet sigh.

Also, for a fun bit of history, Grandpa Marv attended school here before enlisting in the Navy. What a wonderful picture I conjured of his handsome young self, long legs carrying him across campus.

San Felipe de Neri

We stayed in a great airbnb, owned by a very talented artist (Lezle Williams and bought a few prints!), and just a short walk to Old Town.

Historic Route 66 continues to be a big influence in Albuquerque. We got some kicks at this delicious diner, sharing a burger and milkshake, of course!

The Kimo Theater was built in 1927, and is quite the stunner. It is another place I like to imagine Grandpa when he was little, with his family, or maybe even on a date with Grandma.

I was keen on getting the neon in full regalia, so we made a beeline here after our Route 66 Diner treats. Little did we know that Saturday nights are for cruising, and were treated to a sort of American Graffiti moment of stunning low riders along Central Avenue. I am super psyched to get in on this when we are New Mexico State residents. Yes, ma’am.

Our Albuquerque abode…

Crazy to think how old this city is – 317 years!!

Get ready for Arizona…


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