Showing posts from September, 2011

Feed the Birds

Everything is drying out here, including me. As the weather cools, I forget to drink all that water I guzzle in the hotter months. I need to find a way to trick myself into it. Maybe some nice herb teas or something. There's nothing to be done for the flowering plants in the yard though. It's Purple & Yellow season around town, with all the last minute bloomers coordinated into this glorious color scheme. I still have a few stray hollyhocks in bloom, and the cosmos are going strong, along with one unlikely pink-and-yellow rose bush. I don't know why or how it survives here, but I sure do enjoy it. The local birds are having a real feast these days, fluttering around the finished sunflowers and hollyhocks, and splashing in our makeshift bird baths. One is a saucer stolen from under a potted plant, and the other is a beautiful blue frying pan that I overheated and blew a hunk of enamel out of. So sad to lose it from the kitchen, but lesson learned, and now it mak

Moving Forward

As you may have gathered, our daughter Julia, and her sweet baby Jacob have been living with us for a while. Jacob is 5 months old now, and it's time for them to have their own place to call home. Although our house is too big for the two of us, it's too small for two more. And of course, Julia wants her own place, filled with her own things, where she can do things her own way. And now, happily for all of us, she has it, and we will soon have our guest room back. Yesterday, Rick and I helped move them to their own pretty little apartment near the center of town. It's clean and bright, and off the beaten path, so hopefully quiet too. They have 2 bedrooms, a bathroom with a nice tub, and a big kitchen that flows into the living room, and opens out the back door to some wide open space, and a very friendly looking old cottonwood tree. I think it's perfect. And best of all, they're still only a few minutes away, so we'll have lots of time with them, and lots of b

New Blog

As promised, I've started new blog, focusing on vegan cooking and lifestyle. Even if you aren't vegan or vegetarian, I think there will be a lot of fun, interesting, and tasty things for everyone. It's called Positively Vegan . I hope you'll visit! And if you spot any typos, please let me know. As my own editor, I sometimes miss a few. Enjoy!

Field Trip

Rick and I went for a nice hike to Williams Lake yesterday. It's our favorite hike in this area. It starts above Taos Ski Valley, and goes up to 11,000 feet in elevation in about 2 miles. It's not exactly easy, but not too hard either, especially for uncommitted exercisers like us. We paused to consider our options when we saw a school bus parked at the foot of the trail, but decided not to let a bunch of kids scare us off. The hills were indeed alive... with the sound of high schoolers. It wasn't exactly a serene setting, so when we got to the top, we kept going to the waterfall, where we had a nice quiet lunch, all sounds of youthful exuberance drowned out by the stream. The kids left after a while, and we had a chance to sit quietly by the lake for a while, in the cool fall air, before skipping back to the bottom, where there is always a reward for our hard work... on the deck of the Bavarian ! Who would guess there was a little slice of Germany, high on a mountain

I'd Like to Explain

Facebook, love it or hate it, is a great platform for discussion. And due to the limited space and custom of saying things in the briefest of ways, it's also a great place to be misunderstood. I really put my foot in it yesterday when I glibly quoted a bumper sticker that I found witty. I will repeat it here now, but you are not allowed to start yelling at me until you've read this entire post. It said, People who truly love animals don't eat them... just sayin. The sh*tstorm ensued almost immediately, and continued throughout the day, leaving me feeling battered, tearful, exhausted, and eventually... inspired . I learned a lot, and came up with a great idea - I think - as part of the process. As Difficult Things tend to be, even self-induced Difficult Things, it was absolutely perfect, and I'm not at all sorry it happened. I am sorry I hurt some feelings with my blanket statement, which of course could only reflect my own limited perspective. But because of those hu

My Boys

Rick and baby Jacob, almost 5 months old already, share a sunny September moment on the porch. I love this picture.

What a Beadmaker Wears

Over the years, I've made a name for myself - in the bead world, at least - as one who makes flower beads. I do other things too, but the flowers are what I'm known for. I like making them. And I stopped trying to stick to "real" flowers long ago, realizing that any flower I think I invent already exists out there somewhere, so matter what colors or how crazy looking. But as much as I like making the flower beads, they aren't what I tend to wear. I wear my own beads all the time, but usually not the ones I put out there for the world. I prefer to wear simple strands that celebrate light and color. One great bead is a wonderful thing, but I prefer to wear a necklace that's more a sum of the parts. I also have and wear a lot of silver jewelry. Plain silver makes my heart sing. I wish I was a silver smith. I've tried, but I didn't love the process, so I leave that to others. The silver is great with any of my beads, whether they're simple or extrava

Green Chile Stew

It's a magical time of year in New Mexico. Everywhere you go, there are big tumbling chile roasters, in market parking lots and on street corners. The delicious scent on the fall breeze is enough to make your mouth (and eyes) water, and even to mask the stench of nearby fast food joints.  It's Green Chile Season, and it's a good reason to celebrate. More and more I'm making our food from scratch, which takes a bit more time, but pays off in much better meals. So when Lauren brought home a big box of freshly roasted, steaming chiles a few days ago, I was happy to jump in and start peeling them. It's a messy job, but it's necessary. The roasted chiles are placed in a bag right out of the roaster, so they can steam, which loosens the tough, charred skins. when they're cool enough to handle, you peel the skins off, and if you really want to super-prep your chiles, you can remove the seeds, ribs, and stems. I just deal with the skins, and then freeze the chiles


I like nice things as much as the next girl, but I don't like a lot of clutter and stuff in my house. I came up with a way of shopping some years ago that works really well for me, and it comes in especially handy for big ticket items I could never really afford. No, not credit cards. In fact there's no cash exchanged at all. I just claim the coveted item as "mine," and then leave it right where it it, usually in a beautiful store or gallery, reasoning that it looks better there than it would in my house, it will be safe there, and I can go back and see it when I want to. Last time I checked, the gorgeous antique Chinese bronze rhino with the beautiful green patina was still in the window of the gallery I left it in, somewhere in Seattle. It makes me happy to visit it, but I have no need to actually possess it. I know a lot of people who collect things. I've tried a few times, but have been pretty unsuccessful since the giant coffee can full of marbles I had in

First Fire

It's been so hot here, and suddenly... it's not. It's been raining (mostly) since sometime yesterday, and tonight the damp chill in the house made us feel the need for the first fire of the season. It's a hard thing to give in to, so we didn't go for the big wood stove, but only the little kiva in the dining room. It's so cute and cozy. Almost like a camp fire indoors. It's been quite a week, with car shopping and waiting for deliveries, and now learning how to use all the things that have finally been delivered. It's not that we're going crazy buying a bunch of new things. More like trading things we no longer need for things we will actually use.  Since selling the trailer, which we can't make proper use of at the moment, the BigAss Truck has become the wrong vehicle for us. Besides being huge and hoggish, it's only one truck, and there are two of us who need to get around. It's been two years since I had a car of my own, and I'm

Labor Day

Labor Day doesn't mean a lot to me. I take days off when I need them, and usually not when everybody else does. I'm working today, but not too hard. Yesterday was a theoretical day off, but instead of power-lounging, I pulled out some fabric scraps and the Dreaded Sewing Machine, and made a bag I've been designing in my head for weeks. It drove me crazy the entire time I worked on it, but I was also enjoying the construction puzzle of what to put where first, and how to get lining, pockets, and handles all in the right place. I was asking way too much of the machine with the heavy faux-leather and oil cloth, but eventually, together, after many, many re-threads, we did it. I still have dozens of threads to trim, but it looks pretty good, I think, considering how much I hate sewing. I learned a lot, I feel smarter, and I might even use the bag... Today is a bead posting day, with part of the afternoon spent in the studio. I'm not going to do too much. It's almost


I've lost track of time, but I think it's been about a week and a half since we started the Floor Project. It wasn't as big a job as expected, at least in some ways. Once the carpet was gone, the pine floor underneath was fairly easy to clean and paint. I kind of liked the way the plain white primer looked, but then remembered we don't live at the beach, and white floors in Taos are just not practical. We decided on a two-part epoxy floor paint. I can't remember the brand, but it was the only one we could get in town, at Ace Hardware. The stuff can be tinted any color you want, so we grabbed a bunch of brown paint chips, tossed them on the floor, and walked all over them with our dusty shoes on. The color that showed our own Taos dust the least was "popcorn kernel," so that's what we picked. Not exactly a design theory you'll find on the home makeover shows, but it worked here!  We spent yesterday afternoon moving furniture all over the house.