Monday, March 30, 2009

St. John's College, Santa Fe

While I have heard of St. John's College in Santa Fe before, I never knew where it was located or anything about it. I figured it was a very small institution somewhere in the middle of the city.

When we were driving the other day taking snow pictures, we came across the campus of St. John's; it was entirely different than I expected and in a gorgeous location high up in the Sangre de Cristo foothills, with amazing views.

St. John's has two locations, one in Annapolis, Maryland, and the one here in Santa Fe. The school is a four year liberal arts college, and the two campuses share an identical curriculum; both schools limit their enrollment to under 500 students, and the faculty student ratio is 8:1. There are no majors; all students pursue the same program; the required course of study is based on the reading, study, and discussion of the most important books of the Western tradition. All classes are discussion-based. There are no class lectures; instead, the students meet together with faculty members (called tutors) to explore the books being read. That seems very unusual among modern colleges. The school is expensive: (tuition is $40,000 per year, with room and board at almost $10,000). But that location - WOW!

One of the dormitories:

Information from St. John's College website.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Santa Fe doorways

Doorways in the Acequia Madre area of downtown Santa Fe:

Santa Fe in the March snow

Scenes around Santa Fe after the late March snow this past week:

This was taken at the junction of I-25 and Hwy. 285 looking towards the Sangre foothills:

Santa Fe homes in the Sangre foothills:

Homes in the Acequia Madre district in downtown Santa Fe:

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Spring snow and spring flowers

I don't think the late snow and our early flowers was a good mix.

The forsythia look brown rather than bright yellow today. I haven't been able to get out into the muddy yard yet to see how other budding trees/shrubs fared. I guess overall I would rather have the snow than the forsythia, since we need the moisture so badly.

Our forsythia still looking bright yellow after the snow fell yesterday:

Our fern bush covered with snow:

This picture of snow on a fruit tree in blossom was taken in the Acequia Madre district of Santa Fe near downtown:

Cafe Castro

We went to Cafe Castro this week. It was our first visit there, and we loved it!

Castro's has been in Santa Fe for a long time, but moved in the past year from their location on Rodeo Rd, to their present location on Cerrillos Road just across from Jackalope.

The service is friendly and very prompt, the food is very well prepared, delicious and inexpensive, and the interior of the restaurant is all painted in bright colors. Lots of windows so the atmosphere is very light and happy.

I had two tamales, with beans and rice and posole. John had carne adovada. The sopapillas were huge and puffy and light. And the green chile was EXCELLENT.

Castro's may move up near the top of our favorites list, and we will be going back often.

(Hey Karin -- you and Carlos will love this place. And Katy - next time we go there I am going to try the chile relleno and let you know how it is.)

Friday, March 27, 2009

March, the month of weather surprises

We woke up to about 5 inches of snow this morning that fell overnight. It was just beautiful here at about 8:00 a.m. when I took these pictures, but the sun is out now, so I expect the snow won't be around long.

Sugar loves the snow:

You can't see the Sangre de Cristo mountains to the north this morning:

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Eldorado Animal Clinic

We were so lucky to find a great veterinary clinic when we moved here last year…and it’s right across the highway from our subdivision!

Eldorado Animal Clinic was founded in 1993 by Dr. T. Murt Byrne in a 2000 square foot building. It has grown to four vets, 7,000 square feet, over 20 employees, five exam rooms, surgical and diagnostic facilities, and a boarding kennel which we have already used several times.

We have been very pleased with all the staff members we have encountered every time we have been there, so it’s good to feel so comfortable leaving Starman and Sugar there for boarding when we go out of town.

The really excellent news is that Dr. Byrne was named the New Mexico Veterinarian of the Year this year, so now it is confirmed for us that we go to the BEST vet clinic in the State of New Mexico.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Early signs of spring in Eldorado

Yesterday was the first day of spring, and there are signs of its arrival in our yard.

Perennials getting green again. Bushes and trees beginning to get buds. Lots of nice sun, many birds at our feeders.

Here are two of our first bushes that are showing new leaves:

I don't know what this little bush is, but it has pretty little compact green leaves:

Forsythia bush just beginning to bloom in our front courtyard:

The dogs enjoy a warm morning on the front portal:

Sugar exploring in the back yard:

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Doing Something New

Retirement is so much fun!

You get to either sit back and become old … or do some of the things you have always wanted to do!

I am not interested in becoming old and decrepit any time soon, so this is the time to enjoy all the free time to do new things.

With that in mind, John and I did something on Sunday that probably none of our friends and relatives ever dreamed we would do. We probably never even dreamed we would do it!

We took a gun safety class at Tina’s Gun Store / Firing Range in Santa Fe. We learned about gun safety, we got to handle various handguns, we learned all about shooting stances and positions, and we got to shoot several guns on the firing range. We had a great teacher named Mark who was informative but patient with us, especially the three newbies in the class.

I learned a LOT, and I found out I have the manual dexterity as well as the coordination to shoot a firearm and hit a target. That was a personal achievement for me.

Why did we do this? Several reasons. We feel we need to be concerned about personal protection and self defense in this society we are living in. Also we live in a semi-rural area, where we have rattlesnakes and bobcats and other potentially dangerous wildlife in our midst.

But perhaps most important to us as American citizens, the Second Amendment to the Constitution is important to us - you know, the one that gives us the right to keep and bear arms and which protects us against a government that may in the future become tyrannical.

What is the next step? We will return to Tina’s to practice shooting various handguns on the firing range, to become more proficient and to try out different firearms to decide which ones we might want to purchase.

And here all this time you thought we were sitting in our rocking chairs watching the sunsets from our portal!!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

The March wind doth blow and we shall have snow..

We are in the midst of that wacky unpredictable early spring month of March when you never know what will happen weatherwise.

We woke up to snow yesterday morning; it snowed all during the early morning and really looked pretty. Then late morning, the snow stopped, the sun came out and everything melted. But it was pretty to watch for a few hours.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Cheering on the Jayhawks

We had the BEST time yesterday!

We went to Albuquerque to watch the Kansas-Missouri basketball game at a watch party held by the New Mexico Chapter of the Kansas Alumni Association at the Fox and Hound Bar and Grille. About 20 people attended, all passionate Jayhawk fans.

The game was beyond awesome, Kansas beat Missouri by 25 points .... we cheered and clapped and yelled for our team. The BEST part was meeting all those Jawhawk alums and having fun sharing our love for our alma mater. There were some really nice people there of all ages and talking to many of them was great. It was our first Kansas Alumni event in New Mexico, and we will go to more watch parties in the future.

The Fox and Hound was pretty nice -- we had fish and chips that were good and we watched the game on about 6 TVs that were in the room.

ROCK CHALK JAYHAWK....even in Albuquerque!

(Fox and Hound Logo from their website.)