Saturday, January 31, 2009

A little green in New Mexico

No, I am not a "greenie".

But here in New Mexico, we are surrounded by so much brown that I heard someone say, "In New Mexico, green is an accent color" and that is so true.

We try to have as many green xeric plants in our yards as we can get to grow well, with as little watering as possible.

However, I have also chosen to fill the indoors of our house with green plants.

I think I have learned how to take care of houseplants fairly well over the years, meaning I don't kill too many of them anymore. Since we have moved to New Mexico, the houseplants I have gotten have been flourishing... and all this green in our house brings us a lot of enjoyment. I am always adding more plants; I guess I will be doing that until I run out of room.

Hey Val: Your book turned up in one of the pictures!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Is this heaven? Maybe .. it's Lotaburger!

Nothing but nothing says "New Mexico" like Blake's Lotaburger.

A New Mexico institution since 1952, Lotaburger has grown to 75 locations throughout the state. We have several in Santa Fe, and we were just at the one on Cerrillos Road today.

Oh those green chile lotaburgers! Yummo!!

Those incredible breakfast burritos!

No other fast food can top Lotaburger in New Mexico.

(Food pictures from Lotaburger website; Cerrillos Road location picture by John.)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Out in the Eldorado Wilderness

It was a gorgeous New Mexico day today: 50º, brilliant blue sky, abundant sunshine.

We took advantage of this beautiful Sunday to go out walking in the Eldorado Wilderness Area.

Encountered some areas of melting slick snow and lots of mud, but for the most part, it was just nice to be outdoors enjoying the nice weather and great scenery.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Starman and Sugar

Been a long tough week at the Towanda hacienda, where we are not sharing in the joy that half of the country is. We are in the other half...a little worried, discouraged and down.

There are two residents of my home, though, who have made it through this week with no worries other than when they can go for a walk and what kind of dog treat we are giving them next. Their life revolves around naps on the radiant heat tiles and getting petted.

Oh, if life could be that simple for humans.





Monday, January 19, 2009

To My President


Thank you for your service to this country.

Of course I do not agree with everything you have done in the 8 years you have been in office, but I respect you as an honorable and good man, who always did what he felt was right for this country.

Thank you for your strong and courageous response when terrorists attacked our country in 2001, and for never losing your resolve to fight the war on terror.

Thank you for always honoring our military, for being a good commander in chief and keeping the respect of your men in uniform.

Thank you for choosing Dick Cheney to be your vice president.

Thank you for choosing two excellent men, John Roberts and Samuel Alito, to serve as Supreme Court justices.

Thank you for keeping your promise to cut taxes.

Thank you for never responding in kind to the brutal and vicious attacks that you have had to endure day after day for all the eight years of your presidency.

Thank you thank you thank you for making the decision to commute the sentences of Scooter Libby and border agents Ignacio Ramos and Jose Alonso Compean.

And thank you to Laura Bush for being one of the most gracious first ladies we have seen in this country in many years.

It is appalling, Mr. President, that you are leaving the presidency with no proper dignified farewell from this nation, for every president deserves this from the country he has served. My great hope is that history will judge you kindly.

Enjoy the retirement that you and Mrs. Bush have earned. And please know that some of us will miss you greatly.

God Bless you, Mr. President. Peace be with you.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Luci Tapahonso, Navajo poet and native New Mexican

I heard about Luci Tapahonso long before I moved to New Mexico.

She is a native New Mexican, born in Shiprock, NM in 1953, attended school in Farmington, NM and attended the University of New Mexico. But I heard about her when she was a professor of English at the University of Kansas, which I attended at the same time she was on faculty there.

I became interested in her life and her accomplishments, and especially her poetry. Her writing is usually based on her childhood, life and culture as a member of the Navajo Nation. She is recognized as an authority in the Navajo cultures.

She is such a well-rounded person, with a long resume in education, poetry writing, giving speeches and writing magazine articles, but more interesting to me, in promoting the Native American culture.

Right now I am re-reading Saánii Dahataal: The Women Are Singing: Poems and Stories, a collection of poetry about her childhood and her life as a Navajo woman.

She is one of my New Mexico heroes, right at the top of my list. If I ever have a chance to hear her speak, I will not miss the opportunity.

(bio and picture from

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Election Day in Eldorado

We went to the polls yesterday to vote in the election for board members of the Eldorado Area Water and Sanitation District. Water has been a huge issue here in the past couple of years, as Eldorado and the Hwy. 285 corridor has faced many problems, such as the availability of water supply, the necessity of infrastructure repair and adequate funding.

So. The turnout for the election was huge ... and the people running the balloting were quite shocked. In the election in 2006, 79 people voted. Yesterday when we were there, almost 600 people had already been through the polling and there were four hours to left to go before the polls closed. Time standing in line was close to an hour -- this was MUCH greater than what we saw in the presidential election in November.

The election people expected a late night counting votes. It may be several days before we find out which candidates won.

Standing in line for such a long time was kind of fun, because being new residents of Eldorado, every community event gives us a chance to see the people who are our neighbors. There was a large number of older people there to vote when we were there, but I think that was because younger people were at work. Standing in the line went quickly because of the friendly atmosphere of the crowd.

The Ken and Patty Adams Senior Center, where the polling took place, has been opened for only a year or two, and this was our first chance to see the inside of it. What a wonderful facility, and already serving the needs of seniors in the Eldorado and surrounding communities. We expect we will be going there a lot in the future for classes and lunches.

Prior to going to vote, we ate lunch at the Blue Moon Cafe, which is just across Hwy. 285 from the main Eldorado entrance. What a comfortable place -- very small, friendly service, good home-cooking menu, and low prices. I had a green chile cheeseburger and John had a bacon blue cheeseburger. I guess business is good -- at 1:30 p.m. every table was full.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Saying goodbye to our Christmas tree

Some people don't get attached to their Christmas trees like we do. Christmas ends, and they can't wait to take their tree down - sometimes on Christmas night or the day after Christmas.

We love Christmas trees, and we traditionally wait till well into January to take ours down. This year was especially hard, because it was the interesting, less-than-perfect tree that we drove up into the mountains and tramped around in the snow to find and cut down ourselves. It was our first Christmas tree in New Mexico, and it was hard to undecorate it today, take it down and take it to the Community Center in Eldorado to add it to the pile of trees headed off soon to become mulch to nourish someone's garden.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Moon over the Jemez

This is the view this morning looking west towards the Jemez Mountains:

(Pictures by John)

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The American Patriot's Almanac


This is the latest of Bill Bennett's excellent series of books, this one just out before Christmas.

John gave me a copy for Christmas, and it is a really wonderful book.

It is a compilation of little historical essays -- one for each day of the year. They are generally just one or two pages, and he talks about something that happened on that day, and also has a list of several other events from that date.

I have been reading each day's offering with my morning coffee--and learning a lot about American History.

I highly recommend the book!

This is his dedication:

"To the families of the American soldier, families who, for love of country, have sacrificed in countless ways."

Thursday, January 8, 2009

*Warning!* Political Opinion!

Okay. I stay away from liberal political topics on this blog, because my purpose in posting here is to chronicle life in New Mexico ... but this qualifies as such, so here goes:

I saw this bumper sticker in a parking lot in Santa Fe the other day:




I am not "family" with Al Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah, Iran, Hugo Chavez, Fidel Castro, etc. etc. etc.

I am not "family" with William Ayers or Rev. Jeremiah Wright or Senators Schumer, Boxer, Reid, Durbin, Leahy or many others.

I am not "family" with Representatives Barney Frank or Charlie Rangel... or Speaker Pelosi.

I am not "family" with Al Franken or OJ Simpson.

I'm not "family" with Alec Baldwin or Barbra Streisand or Rosie O'Donnell or Joy Behar.

The new age touchy feely mindset in Santa Fe can come up with some zingers that leave my head spinning at times.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Happy Statehood!

97 years ago today - January 6, 1912 - New Mexico became the 47th state in the union.


Monday, January 5, 2009

More scenes around Santa Fe

I had a few more cool pictures of Santa Fe that we took during Christmas week that I never posted .. I LOVE this city!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Dah Diniilghaazh

I found this recipe for Navajo Fry Bread (Dah Diniilghaaz) in the Albuquerque Tribune when I was living in ABQ in 1970. I've been making it ever since.

Try it ... it's easy!


4 cups flour
4 Tbsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
Some water


Oil for frying


1. Mix dry ingredients in bowl.
2. Add enough water for a soft dough.
3. Divide dough into 7 equal portions.
4. Pat between hands (my method) or roll out into circles approximately 5" in diameter. Make a hole in the center of each circle of dough.
5. Fry in hot oil in a large skillet until brown on both sides.
6. Drain on paper towels.
7. Serve hot with butter. I also like it with cinnamon and sugar sprinkled on it.


The original recipe called for the fry bread to be fried in lard, but I don't use lard and oil works well.

Don't add too much flour and make the dough too stiff. It puffs up nicer and is softer if the dough is soft, borderline sticky.)

Friday, January 2, 2009

The Rail Runner - Albuquerque to Santa Fe

(picture by John)

The New Mexico Rail Runner Express commuter train began service from Albuquerque to Santa Fe on December 17. There seem to be two types of customers being served - work commuters between the ABQ and Santa Fe area, and citizens/tourists who wish to take the train between the two cities for fun.

The first few weeks have been accompanied by some problems which are being ironed out...but LOTS of riders over the holidays. It's too soon to call the Rail Runner a success yet, but it has great possibilities if people will keep riding it. There are a total of four stations planned for Santa Fe, with two functioning now and two more planned for the future.

It has been fun seeing the Rail Runner traveling through the town -- it's quite visible and impressive and already becoming a familiar part of the landscape here in Santa Fe.

The best part for us is that being residents of Santa Fe County, we can ride all Rail Runner trains for free until March 17, 2009, if we provide proof of residency. Looks like a trip on the Rail Runner is part of our future adventures!

Thursday, January 1, 2009



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