garden bouquets

Enjoying all the bouquets from the garden. Happy zinnias & cosmos. 



today. picked (& ate) our garden's first tomato. picked a bunch of red, pink, orange zinnias.
prepared and waited for our guests to arrive. (the little ones are coming!)


a dip in el rio

our best nearby place for a swim is the Rio Grande. 

beginning somewhere in southern Colorado, the Rio Grande winds its way down through New Mexico, and then becomes part of the Texas/Mexico border. (in Mexico its name changes to the Rio Bravo.)

yesterday to beat the heat, and enjoy a few lazy hours with friends, we packed up cold drinks, hats, sunscreen and river shoes, and took a dirt road to El Rio. after a little walk on the trail we found a good shore-spot to throw a blanket. we weren't alone. all along the river walked parents carrying coolers and kids holding brightly colored rafts. some people also carried fishing poles, others with a beer in hand. from up & down the river you could hear laughing, splashing & music playing. 

the river, a dark green, is slow & low right now (due to drought). and wide enough that you can't quite see the faces of the people on the other side. the rocky canyon towering over us all.

for a few hours we enjoyed the hot sun & the cold water. leaving as the afternoon clouds were building up for the day's rain. 


rainy season

before New Mexico weather became a part of my life, i thought monsoons were only something that hit India.

but we have our own North American version. also known as the Mexican monsoon, here in northeastern New Mexico we go from a parched earth June to a very rainy July. starting in southern Mexico, the winds take a shift in direction and the dry heat-beaten desert air begins to meld with the moist air from the Pacific. (though also, if the Plains have a rainy Spring, it also contributes to the monsoons. --so, a rainy spring in my Kansas means a rainy summer in my New Mexico.)

as the monsoons come, the wild forest fire threat that had loomed over us all of spring, is relieved. and the desert southwest gets most of its rain for the whole year. feeding the trees, the cacti, the fields and the wells.

as a Kansan, I know the power of a thunderstorm. the force of tornado winds and the feel of a drenching rain. but those storms usually come with dark, rolling clouds & a feeling of electricity in the air. the power is in the wind & the clouds.

the power here is in the rain. in the afternoon, the clouds build up fast. but never very dark, instead grey, blue and white clouds all of a sudden pile on top of us. a big wind comes, blowing up the desert into a wall of dust, making our doors & windows creak, and then a downpour hits. washing away all the desert dust in a swoosh. arroyos, huge mountain ditches that are bone dry most of the year, become rushing creeks from flash flooding.

and then it is gone. leaving the ground wet and the air cool enough to put a jacket on.


misty mountains

so much rain fell yesterday & night (the kind that drops full force & windy) this morning I woke to a coveted moment in New Mexico. -- wet, misty, foggy, muggy & muddy. the tree branches hanging low with heavy moisture.

I read somewhere that New Mexico gets 75% of its rainfall in these few weeks of monsoon rains.

strolled out to the garden with my cup of coffee. a bit too chilly almost for just a t-shirt. and wet, wet greens & browns & puddles, feeling like Kansas after a summer thunderstorm.

the mountains have scattered fog hanging over them. wispy lost trails of moisture.

the roosters & the ravens are crowing all over the valley. and it seems like something was moving around in the tall grass near the property fence. (I haven't seen a snake yet up here, I'm not excited too)

tall tomatoes, blooming cucumber, bushy beans & basil!

it is a Monday morning. and soon I'll turn on the work computer, and do my corporate job. but my 15 minutes outside, alone, listening to all the morning sounds, checking on the garden (muddy & thoroughly watered) and getting my feet wet & cold, has made for a lovely start to the week.


pretty & quiet

the pansies are losing their luster. 
blooming less, stems turning slightly yellow. 
they are telling me it is already the middle of summertime.

I clipped my huge pot of pansies, cutting back the stragglers. and I was throwing them on the ground, when d. stopped me, and reminded me that they are pretty too. so in some water the bunch went.

a busy social, day today. yard sales this morning with a friend, afternoon bbq & yard games at another friend's, and this evening helping at the theatre with concessions. a different kind of day for me.

I have always had a tug-of-war with my desire to be quiet, and around quiet, and the idea I'm too quiet. growing up my mother said it was fine to be "anti-social", while my dad said I needed to get out and smile more. they were both, in their different ways, encouraging me to do what they thought was best.

I think as I've gotten older, I've figured out my balance. and I do the things I enjoy with the people I like to be around. (people I find it easy to smile with) I accept invitations when they are important to the person inviting me. but I've (mostly) stopped doing social activities out of guilt or obligation. 

I visited a healing, comforting curandera last Fall. and she thought it is just in my personal being...I'm simply quiet on the inside, and therefore, I seek the quiet places outside too.



Published in 1954, Maurice Sendak & Ruth Krauss collaborated on this little book about friendship.  More illustrations and history of the book can be found here at BrainPickings.

The two pages I thought made for a happy start on this Friday.



Goodmorning, morning glories


seco fourth

packed up a little lunch. with some cherry pie I'd baked the night before. and a jug of tequila pink lemonade. and we headed over to our neighboring village of Arroyo Seco. 

their 4th of July parade is quite famous around these parts. Seco has one, short, curvy road through town, and sits at the foot of the Sangre de Cristos. and is a community with mixed traditions from its centuries-old hispanic roots and its more recent anglo residents.

it was a fun & festive little parade.
and we ate our lunch, in a lucky shady spot.

I like to celebrate that we have this country to live in & make better each year. our progress often feels too slow, and we suffer many setbacks. but we have these basic freedoms that allow us to speak what it is we believe & gather & worship. the ideals of this country (& its people who keep the debates going) are worth a parade.

"we light the oven so that everyone may bake bread in it"
      - jose marti


up high

way up high over the mesa, down the valley below. each morning the hot air balloons fly as the sun rises. we see them from our house.

and an advantage to living out in the country, is that you can run outside with unbrushed hair, in pajamas and your boyfriend's shoes, with your camera in hopes of catching a picture.


morning starting july

it rained for a long time last night. a soaking rain from the dark sky.
the garden, the desert & the trees all seem fresh & happy this morning. the dirt & grass, more brown & more green in their wetness.

my cup of coffee often ends up on the garden fence post, as my hands inevitably end up weeding & tending. this morning I talked to the beans & the cucumber, as I helped them wind into their trellis. coaxing them towards support & success.

the green beans have a few blossoms.  the cucumber has sent out vines, seeking places to go. 

and our first sunflower has unfurled. (the seeds were a going-away present from kansas)

& having such happy morning glories makes me, well, happy. they will eventually cover this fence, in a wall of green & purple.

flying high in the sky, was a hot air balloon. we see them most mornings, out there over the mesa. I think of the people getting a view of the land, in way I haven't seen it. and then I think of them, as missing out on the view of the land, as I do see it.