Sunday, July 28, 2013

Summer Sunset art quilt

This is a small at quilt called "Summer Sunset.  It's about 15x15.  The red star stands for Mars which isn't really that prominent in the early evening sky.  It was done for a swap, there are a few glass beads in the sky for early stars. 

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Morning bird song?

The sweet sound of bird song waking one on a summer morn is a poetic cliche.

Around here it's a truism that the birds wake me but "sweet" it is not.  About 4:30 that famous early bird seems not to be seeking a worm, Mr Robin Redbreast is shrieking repeatedly, maybe calling his friends and family -- but there is nothing sweet about his shrill call.

4:30!  Yes.  I go to bed early and I wake early but I would not wake that early if it were not for Robin.  As soon as Robin calms down, and possibly goes seeking those famous early worms,
the gulls start in.

A whole colony of gulls live  on the flat roof of my building and they have three adolescent chicks up there (as I'm told by Joe, the handyman who has checked out the situation).  Gulls are not going to win any singing contests either; they sound more like a batch of super loud kittens demanding food.  That is not just three babies I hear, it is the whole colony. 

Joe also tells me that the crows are very interested in the babies.  I think they have infanticide in mind -- and that's what the adult gulls think also. They gang up on the crows and so far have scared them off. 

Now crows are not among my favorite "singers" either.  Until this summer they were my alarm clock, although they had the decency to wait until at least 5:00 before announcing their presence in certain trees to their buddies in certain other trees.  But lately they seem to have settled somewhere else.

Once all this shrieking and mewling begins to quiet, sometimes the LBB and LGBs in the shrubbery have a chance to actually sing a little bit.  (LBB-little brown birds, and the G is for gray  -- I don't know which is what kind of happy little singer),

For unknown reasons the usual gaggle of geese have forsaken our lawn. I have heard no lamentation about their absence. The goose droppings were a mine field in the grass, but the white splats of the geese on our automobiles is equally irksome.  They just "got no couth." 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

More interesting food

Rachel and I started our initiation into  New Mexican food with lunch at Monica's in the Old Town section of Albuqueque.  It had been highly recommended by a coworker of hers and was an good introduction to the huge plateful enchiladas, (or whatever) with rice and beans and plenty of embellishments.  Served with light and delicious sopadillas and flavored iced tea.  Great introduction but it convinced us to go lighter in our ordering in the future. 

In that heat and atmosphere we decided we did not often want real Mexican influenced food.  The photo here shows one of our best meals, yes, that's tacos on the plate in the lower left corner but they are light -- blue corn tacos filled with trout and a spicy sauce, with generous shaved Montery jack cheese on top.  The other plates include a small steak, and I've forgotten the other dish.  This was at a totally enjoyable restaurant in O'Keefe country, the Abiquiu Inn. 

Among other memorable places we ate, from funkiest, The Big Dawg in Esopolito (fine hamburger) to the Sugar Nymph on the High Road between Santa Fe and Taos, and the Love Apple in Taos, were the most memorable. The tall, beautiful carrot cake at the Sugar Nymph was unthinkable after a serious lunch but so haunted Rachel she had to have a piece of carrot cake shortly after getting home.  At the Love Apple we had locovore food, delicious and beautifully served on a patio.  One of our very best meals was all vegetarian from food we bought at the Santa Fe Farmer's Market and cooked in the suite (complete with kitchen) at the  Villa de Santa Fe, so attrative that we stayed an extra night.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Food, glorious food!

 I never imagined baby beets could be so beautiful -- such a multicolored bouquet.  They were at the Saturday Farmer's Market in the Railroad section of Santa Fe.  A glorious farmer's market where the onions were like new found pearls and the carrots were golden nuggets, the breads were heavenly, the sausages spicy and mouth watering.  A few of these beets plus carrots and snap peas, became our dinner that evening.  Yum!

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Ruth's creative life

Ruth,  nearly 80, has a house full of art and craft, much of it produced by her in her TWO  -- yes, not one but two -- studios, and much  of it collected over her years in Mountainair, New Mexico and all of it on display in her house that is a work of collage in itself.  Above my two daughter, Rachel in background and Leslie (back of her head) admire just a tiny corner of a rather capacious house as Ruth leads us to yet another discovery.

She studied doll making (the dolls are all over the house) and currently makes patterns for a famous doll maker. She paints -- and has painted the walls, inside and out, of her house in the folk colors of the Southwest.  We were privileged to spend a night at her house and to wander through rooms full of delight. I will never get over the envy of her space for creating and will always be inspired by her open spirit. 

We met 17years ago on a trip to Tibet -- at that time she wore gold sneakers and had orange hair.  When she was widowed she left her home in Los Angeles and moved to New Mexico near a sister who is also a creative person. We kept in touch with letters every few months and I have told her that she was my inspiration for moving from a large city to a small town and making friends, living a full creative life.  Before we left the next morning she took us to the homey coffee house in town which has become her social center, where she decorates for Christmas and helps out a bit when needed and always meets loving and interesting friends.