Sunday, September 28, 2008

Chimayó, Part Two

Here are more pictures that John took on Friday at El Santuario de Chimayó. These were all taken on the grounds around the church. It is such a peaceful place.

These next two pictures were taken in the outdoor chapel (John called it a grotto) behind the church. It is full of very tall cottonwood trees which make a kind of natural ceiling over the benches and altar.

The santuario grounds have many shrines as well as the stations of the cross and fences where pilgrims leave various items: handmade crosses, ribbons, rosaries, pictures, handwritten letters, poems and other mementos. This one had many baby shoes and bibs. Inside the church believers have left crutches and walkers. The first time I visited Chimayó and saw all the items visitors had left behind, I was extremely touched and amazed at the faith which inspired people to take time to leave something tangible of themselves or their loved ones behind.

(Remember you can click on all pictures to enlarge.)

Saturday, September 27, 2008

My pilgrimage

El Santuario de Chimayó is a Roman Catholic church in Chimayó, New Mexico. Revered to be a place where believers can find healing, the shrine has a room where visitors can scoop up some Chimayó dirt to take with them: applied to the area of the body which needs healing, the dirt is said to have miraculous properties.

Soon after I was healed from salmonella and the accompanying complications in August, I knew I wanted to make my own pilgimage to the shrine at Chimayó: not to gather dirt for healing, but to thank God for saving my life and giving me more time for the future, and to give thanks for all the prayers I had from family and friends which saw me through this illness.

It was a very beautiful day to visit Chimayó. We wandered all over the grounds of the church property. They have made some really nice upgrades to make it better for visitors. But inside the little church it remains the same as always, timeless, stepping back into 1816, when the present church was built.

I was not prepared for the rush of emotions I would feel sitting there and talking to God. To be given a miracle, and know that my life here on earth is because of God’s mercy, is humbling, and a reason to rejoice.

Our visit to Chimayó included a couple of other stops in addition to the santuario. We ate burritos and tamales at Leona's Restaurant, where they have been serving up great food for many years, and we stopped at Ortega's Gift Shop, where we bought a lot of gifts for family members. It was just a wonderful day.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Down at the Fire House

El Dorado Fire/Rescue had their annual open house last Saturday. It was our first year to attend. What a wonderful event - the fire house and all the trucks, emergency vehicles and equipment on display, lots of exhibits and free goodies for everyone, fun things for the kids to do, and a great barbecue buffet.

John and I had a good laugh -- first condiment in line to put on hamburgers and hot dogs -- a big bowl of green chile -- only in New Mexico!

We met our next door neighbors there and got acquainted with them. Very nice couple.

And I had a chance to meet the Fire Chief. Actually it was our second meeting - he was in our house in August with the ambulance crew that came to my aid the day I needed to go to the hospital -- but I don't remember much about that visit; I had a chance to thank him for the quick response by his crew.

It was a nice afternoon. Eldorado sure has a lot of events for the residents and a wonderful community spirit.

Here's some pictures:

Monday, September 22, 2008

Fire in the fireplace - Life is good

Last night we had our first fire in the fireplace in our house in New Mexico.

Been a long time since we have had a house with a fireplace - almost 30 years!

So finally enjoying an evening in front of the fireplace was really cool.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

This one's for you, Laurel..

We were at an Open House at the Eldorado Fire Department today and we saw this:

HINT: It is a dog.

Any idea what breed it is?

First time I had ever seen one of these; the owner said they are quite rare. Indeed.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Four months at La Casa Towanda

It's been four months today since we arrived at our new home in Eldorado. Been quite a summer!

Getting the house settled, watching our garden bloom, getting acquainted with the library here in Eldorado, enjoying nightly sunsets behind the Jemez Mountains, taking some drives around the area to see the sights, many trips into Santa Fe for errands, doctors appointments, meals at some great restaurants, and that weeklong stay at St. Vincent's in August.

We love it here! It's everything we hoped it would be. And now that summer is winding down, we look forward to the fall -- cooler days and nights, the golden quaking aspens up on the mountain, chamisa in bloom everywhere with that wonderful fragrance, the aroma of roasting chile all over town, chile ristras for sale at the farmer's market and shops in Santa Fe, the smell of wood fires in neighboring homes, and soon ... our first fire in our fireplace.

(That's Sugar in the doorway.)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

At the Farmers Market in Santa Fe

Santa Fe has a new location for the Farmer's Market, a great new building in the just-renovated Railyard District of the city.

A trip to the Farmer's Market is full of wonderful produce, flowers, crafts, cheeses, food, color, music, and interesting people to observe. It's becoming a weekly event for us.

Next post: more pictures.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Grammy and Victoria

This post is not about my life in New Mexico or my house here or any day trips we have made lately.

This post is just to say I love my four-year old grand-daughter Victoria and I miss her every day. Hopefully I will see her in a few weeks!

(This picture was taken in July in upstate New York.)

Thursday, September 11, 2008

September in Towanda's courtyard

Star is watching for geckos:

Ooops, there's one:

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

On a country road in San Miguel County

These pictures were taken on the county road that parallels Interstate 25 between Las Vegas, NM and Pecos, NM. Much more fun than driving the interstate.

The pictures below are kind of a mystery. If this is a descanso, it's huge. It looks more like a gravesite. If it is a gravesite, it appears to have three graves. Just behind it is I-25.

(You'll need to click on the pictures to see them clearly.)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The church at Tecolote, NM

This is one of my favorite little country churches that we have run across so far.

Tecolote is one of the tiny towns between Las Vegas, NM and Pecos.

Tecolote in Spanish means "owl."

Monday, September 8, 2008

The little church on La Manga Trail

I am not sure what town this little church is in.

It's just off the county road between Las Vegas, New Mexico and Pecos.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Saturday in Las Vegas, NM

We drove up to Las Vegas, New Mexico yesterday to go to the Tapetas de Lana weaving shop on the Plaza. It is a wonderful place with woven items made by people in the Mora-Las Vegas area, subsidized by a government grant to provide jobs in this depressed area. Well, it WAS a wonderful place. The whole store had been transformed - practically no local woven items, but other additions to the store - souvenir stuff shipped in from all over the world, a coffee bar-cafe in the back, and even a woman in the front of the store giving chair massages. The girl operating the cafe said they had run into "some hard times" and most of their weavers had stopped producing. She anticipates things might pick up in the coming months. We were very disappointed.

Since we didn't want our trip all the way out to Las Vegas to be wasted, we stopped for lunch at Charlie's Spic & Span Restaurant and Bakery. Ridiculous name for a GREAT place. It was packed which was a positive sign it was going to be good. It was my first visit to a restaurant since I got sick after eating in one in Santa Fe, and ended up in the hospital, so I was a little nervous. But -- oh this food was GOOD!!! I had cheese enchiladas which were smothered in green chile sauce which was perfect. John had a chicken sandwich with green chile on top and onion rings which were fantastic. No wonder there was such a crowd in there.

They make their own tortillas in the back of the restaurant and they have a wonderful bakery - we didn't buy any baked goods but we admired all of it in the bakery cases. The long Johns looked too big to eat, and the cinnamon rolls, well .. yummmmm...

We had heard it was a good place to eat, so we were glad we tried it. It will go on the list for a return visit the next time we are in Las Vegas.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Santa Fe to Lamy to Santa Fe

There is a neat excursion / commuter train which makes a daily run between the Railyard in Santa Fe to Lamy and back again.

The other day we encountered it as it was making the leg of its route that goes through Eldorado. It was very cool.

I'm anxious to take our grand-daughter for a ride on it when she comes to visit.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


I love sunflowers! And they are in full bloom here in Northern New Mexico right now.

The little native sunflowers line the streets, roads and highways all over the Santa Fe area, both in town and out in the country.

Here in Eldorado, the sunflowers have been a blaze of golden color along our roads.

At early dawn, like soldiers in their places,
Rank upon rank the golden sunflowers stand;
Gazing toward the east with eager faces,
Waiting, until their god shall touch the land
To life and glory, longingly they wait,
Those voiceless watchers at the morning's gate.

~~By Albert Bigelow Paine~

Monday, September 1, 2008

Today in the Galisteo Basin

Just south of Eldorado on Highway 285 is the Galisteo Basin. It's an interesting land formation, as well as immense, scenic and peaceful.

We took a ride out there today; here's a few pictures: