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Monday, November 23, 2009

The Folded Twenties

The Folded Twenties
Originally uploaded by LacyLu42.

The Folded Twenties ROCKED the Fox Theatre Sunday afternoon. ;)

Sunday, November 01, 2009

New Mexico, Part Tres

"King" in Red River

This is King, and he was kind enough to carry me around the next morning in Red River. We went horseback riding with the funniest, most polite cowboy I have ever met, up into the mountains, and it was beautiful. I sort of remembered how to ride. A little bit. Enough that I wasn't too sore the next day, at any rate!

After lunch we left Red River and headed for Angel Fire. The town is so-named because of a crazy light phenomenon that happens sometimes at sunset, where the mountains are painted red with light. We checked into our hotel and then went on a drive to visit some local artists.

Wood-fired kiln

This man and his wife make pottery in a wood-fired kiln. As you can see, it's bigger than he is! When this thing gets going, they have to continuously feed the fire for 40 hours straight.

That night we had the best meal of the whole trip at a restaurant called the Roasted Clove. Exquisite food cooked up by a chef who used to be the vegetarian chef at the North Pole!

On top of the world at Angel Fire

Sunday morning we had some time to ourselves before heading up to the top of the mountain on the longest chair lift in the US. Then they packed us back in the vans and heading to the Buffalo Thunder Casino Resort in Pojaque.

Finally, on Monday morning, we visited el Sanctuario de Chimayo.

Santuario de Chimayo

This church is a pilgrimage destination because it is said to have holy, healing dirt. It's also a photographer's dream.

Santuario de Chimayo

Santuario de Chimayo

Santuario de Chimayo

That night, I got to have dinner with Larry and Zana, and then flew back the next day. It was an amazing trip and an amazing experience, only cementing my love for Northern New Mexico.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Dinner Party at Steph's House

Dinner Party at Steph's House
Originally uploaded by LacyLu42.

We had a dinner party at Stephanie's house for an article/photo shoot, and this is one of the photos from our awesome photographer, Julie.

Friday, October 23, 2009

New Mexico, Part Dos

Ghost Ranch

We last left New Mexico on the gorgeous expanses of Ghost Ranch. In the above photo, you can see Georgia O'Keefe's beloved Peternale (the mesa).

From there, we got lost (only briefly) and then went to Tierra Wools which is a shop just outside Chama trying to keep the old traditions alive by ranching traditional Churro sheep that the Native Americans used to keep here, and then dying and weaving their wool in traditional ways. This shop keeps 25 local weavers employed full time.

Tierra Wolls

Tierra Wolls

That night, we were hosted at a reception by the Jicarilla Apache nation, and they sang and danced for us — and then we all joined in! It was very cool, and they were extremely friendly and willing to tell us all about their customs.

Jicarilla Apache dancers

The weather was bitterly (and unseasonably) cold, so most of us hadn't packed appropriately. On the way to the train the next morning, our PR host let us stop at a Dollar General, where we cleaned them out of gloves, hats and scarves. It made us all a LOT happier on the train!

The Dollar Store Divas

Because of the cold, we got a really unusual treat: snow and changing aspens at the same time! The ride through the mountains on the Chama railroad was absolutely breathtaking. The train stops at the top, half way, where you have your choice of turkey dinner, meatloaf dinner, or soup and salad for lunch. It was actually very, very good!

Cumbres & Toltec Railroad

The Geiger Group

That isn't everyone who was on the trip, but all of us who rode the train. Carol (second from the left) turned 65 that day! So we celebrated with Little Debbie cupcakes I bought at the Dollar General! ;)

...Don't let your babies grow up to be cowboys

That night we were treated to a cowboy dinner, complete with entertainment, which was when I decided that I needed me a set of cowboy children. They were all so cute and polite and helpful… when they weren't trying to lasso one another.

That's it for now! More to come!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Northern New Mexico Trip

Santa Fe

Last month, I had the amazing opportunity to go on a press trip to Northern New Mexico for work. It was an eight-day trip of epic proportions that I will be writing about for our annual travel issue in 2010.

Santa Fe

We started in Santa Fe, which I'm sure many of you know, is one of my favorite cities in the world. There's something about Santa Fe that simply defies explanation: is it the light? The air? The people? The food? What makes this place so magical that even common doorways and mailboxes are photo opportunities?

Santa Fe

I can't say that I know, but I do know that I was taking full advantage of every history walk, every restaurant stop, every moment — and full advantage of our new camera.


One of my favorite parts of the trip was a restaurant tour we took through the Santa Fe Cooking School. They take the group around town on foot, visiting four or five different fine restaurants, where you get to meet the chef and then sample some of his food, sometimes even right in the kitchen!


After Santa Fe, we trucked up to Los Alamos and Bandolier National Monument. It was a gorgeous day, if a little chilly, and our guided tour of the dwellings with the ranger was fantastic. (We also got a lecture on proper terminology. The people who lived here are no longer called Anasazi [which is the Navajo word for "strangers"], they are the Ancestral Puebloans. And, because in native beliefs, everything is always as it should be, they are not ruins, because there's nothing ruined about them! They are dwellings.)


We also got some of the history of Los Alamos when we went back to the city, which was fascinating. Because the city didn't actually "exist" during the war, the 150 children who were born there at that time all have "P.O. Box 1667, Santa Fe, NM" as their place of birth on their birth certificates. We stayed in a hotel directly across the street from Brandon's apartment, and ate at a restaurant where he and I used to eat!

Ghost Ranch

After Los Alamos we headed to Abiquiu to visit Georgia O'keefe's home. (They don't allow any photos of her home, but it was lovely: very minimalist and modern.) Then we went on to Ghost Ranch where she had a second home and where she painted much of the scenery. We took a great tour where the guide pointed out the scenery and then showed the painting of it, which was fascinating. Beautiful country, too. It's now owned by the Presbyterian church, which uses the facilities as a wellness retreat center.

Ghost Ranch

That's all for now! More when I upload more photos. To see the whole set that I've uploaded so far, click here.

Monday, August 24, 2009

This Our House: Episode 6 "Say Hello to Our Little Friends"

About three weeks ago, we came home to discover that our four-foot square summer vegetable garden had been completely dug up by something the size of a small dog. All the plants were torn out and DEEP holes had been dug in several corners.

We filled the holes in (the plants were not salvageable—no veggies for us!) only to have a repeat performance the next day. And every couple of days since.

About a month ago, my in-laws were visiting and saw a red fox in our yard in the early morning. That was kind of exciting! Foxes are awfully pretty and not as threatening or worrisome as seeing a coyote in your yard—OR SO WE THOUGHT.

Last week, Brandon and I saw it for the first time—in fact we saw two at once one morning—and that's about the same time we started finding little presents left for us in the yard; so far the remnants of two birds, one rabbit, and a bag of beggin' strips dog treats, plus some droppings.

And they're still digging up the now-empty garden square.

We're pretty sure it's the foxes doing the digging. Someone at a local garden store suggested they might be attracted by the smell of the manure we had mixed in for fertilizer. At the advice of the internets, yesterday we sprayed all around the wood enclosing the square with ammonia, as well as in the places where they'd left droppings and refuse from their meals in hopes that it would deter them.

No such luck. This morning, the garden plot was completely dug up again.

Our second attempt is going to be mothballs. Brandon put a bunch of them in old socks and put one at each corner of the garden. If that doesn't work, I'm not sure what we'll try next. I've wondered if maybe a friend would let us borrow a big dog that could pee all over the yard. We've also read it might help if Brandon went out and, er, marked his territory a bit as well.

And if those don't work? I guess we'll have to call vector control. It's not that we mind them passing through the yard, but we don't want them to make a home here, and we DEFINITELY don't want them to get habituated to digging up our garden; someday, I'd like to have veggies out there that WON'T get torn up.

In other news, there are now two snakes. Brandon is not pleased.

Stay tuned.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Housewarming Party

Housewarming Party
Originally uploaded by LacyLu42.

This was the spread at our housewarming party last weekend! Unfortunately, it rained, so we had to nix our plans for showing a movie in the back yard, but we still had a great time catching up with friends.

P.S. We are STILL working on those sandwiches, because this was sandwich platter one of two!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

This Our House: Episode 5 "I fought the lawn and the lawn won."

Sorry to have been AWOL for a few weeks. We have been busy bees, though! Two weekends ago, we started making serious progress in the yard and built a garden! Take a look:

Brandon built a frame for our new "square-foot" style veggie garden and we decided where to put it.

Then my sweet husband had to dig out the lawn there. I want you to know, that while he did all the digging, I mowed the entire lawn. And then did some other digging later.

I just wanted you all to know that so you don't think I was sipping lemonaid and working on my tan while he labored.

The next day, I got my hands dirty and put the crops in. We tried to stick with things that, we were assured by our books, would do OK in late summer and fall. So here's what we planted:

  • 1 tomato
  • 1 eggplant
  • 1 summer squash
  • 1 green bell pepper
  • 1 orange bell pepper
  • 1 cauliflower
  • 2 bush beans
  • radishes
  • lettuce
  • spinach
  • shallots
  • carrots
  • and some marigolds to help keep bugs away
Some of these were transplants, and some were seeds, as you can see. The transplants are mostly thriving; none of the seeds have come up yet.

But even if the seeds don't work, this is a test year. So that's OK.

Then, because our local greenhouse was having a sale, we put in some flowers, too!

These are cosmos that I put in around the base of our bird feeder (the aforementioned digging). We also planted some daisies in the back yard and some sweet william in the beds in the front for some color.

The rest of the weekend was dedicated to pulling weeds. We have so many weeds, you guys. It's just not even funny. We considered going for a "meadow" look and just letting the weeds have their way, but it looks so much nicer when they get pulled out.

And I'm not even talking about dandelions in the lawn, though we definitely have those too. I'm talking about four-foot tall lambs-ear looking things, and stuff with a tap root that I'm tempted to cook up like a carrot. And thistles that sting straight through solid leather gardening gloves. Not to mention this creeping vine stuff with pink flowers that would be nice enough—if it didn't think it needed to take over the world. Honestly. Kudzu has nothing on this stuff. I swear it grows about three feet overnight and if you leave a pile of it lying on the ground, I think it sprouts roots before you can move it.

Thankfully, after about a month of solid pulling and chopping and weed whacking, we've finally made a pretty good dent in all of them. And look what we found in the back corner after we'd cleared out all the thistles and brambles:

More pretty flowers!

This week is going to be dedicated to emptying out the last of the boxes and hanging pictures. Then we'll have a marathon cleaning session and finally a PARTY!

Stay tuned!

P.S. Made a trip out to the compost bin last night and the snake is STILL THERE! I feel like we should name him; he's clearly going to become a part of the family.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Photo of the day:

Baby bird behind the YS office:

Thursday, June 25, 2009

I *heart* my family

Originally uploaded by LacyLu42.

This is my daddy, diligently fixing a big old chunk that was missing from the bottom of our French doors. I'm not sure he, or my mom, or my sister know how much of a gift they gave us coming to help us out at the house last weekend.

More to come! There were moose involved!

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

This Our House: Episode Four "Taming the Jungle"

Oh, so much yard work.

So. Much. Yard.


We managed to mow all six feet (six inches) of grass on the forty acres (one-third of an acre) of yard we have. Then we used our machete (clippers) to remove ten cords (a big pile) of dead wood from the trees and bushes.

Then we found a snake. No parentheses on that one. I was opening the composter that the previous owners left, trying to see if I could move it, and there's a sliding panel on the side, presumably so you can get to the good compost at the bottom.

Only when I slid it open, there was a snake.

I swore loudly and ran over to Brandon.

"What's wrong?" he asked.

"You don't want to know," I said.

"Oh god. How big?"

Not that big really. Probably. I didn't see very much of it or very well. Brandon wouldn't go within ten feet of the composter without his weed whacker for defense. We didn't see it again.

But it could still be out there. Lurking.

Have some photos to distract you from that thought:

Poppies in the flagstones
Pretty poppies in the flagstones.

Lavender in the herb garden.

Herb Garden
Herb garden, all trimmed up, with the sage that plans to take over the world.

First Red Rose First Pink Rose
Our first roses.

Pretty Clematis, I think.

So, after mowing and clipping and pruning and yanking about a thousand thistles and other weeds (with about three thousand more to go), we called it a day in the yard when it started to get hot on Saturday and when it started to rain on Sunday. We moved into the house and we managed to FINISH the master bedroom. Thank goodness.

Master Bedroom
Look how happy he is to be done.

And, remember the weird closet of doom?

This is what it looks like now:
Master Closet

SOOOOOOOO much cleaner and better looking. WOO HOO!

So now, we're going to finish up the walk in closet (just needs a fresh coat of white) and move on to the small bedroom, which will be our office. And the first thing we need to tackle is...

Dino Wallpaper

...the dino wallpaper.

Stay tuned for the next episode, "Death of the Dinosaurs."

Saturday, June 06, 2009

This Our House, episode 3: Name That Plant!

Today is our first day of serious yard work. Brandon bought weed whacker and a reel lawn mower this week:

He mowed our postage-stamp-sized front lawn on Wednesday when he bought it. Today? We tackle the back 40.


Here are some plants I know we have:
  • grass
  • ginormous lilac bushes
  • a Russian olive tree
  • a Fuji apple tree
  • two little aspen trees
  • two big cottonwood trees
  • many various irises
  • tulips (no longer blooming)
  • grape hyacinths (no longer blooming)
  • many various rose bushes
  • phlox
  • mint
  • sage
  • rosemary
  • lavender
  • chives
  • TONS of cat mint
  • two columbines
  • a clematis (I think)
  • a couple of poppies
  • a gooseberry bush
Now, here are a few things I CAN'T identify!

This tree/very large bush:

According to the other photos we have, its leaves keep getting darker purple as the summer goes on. No idea what the berries do.

And we have an awful lot of this:

There are more, but I just realized they're on the computer at work. I'm sure I'll also find MORE things I can't identify today when we start working, but that's enough for now. Anyone know what these are? Anyone? Poppy? Mickey? I'm especially interested in the little pom-pom flowers because there are a TON of them planted (I assume) around the house.

Stay tuned for next time when I talk about (presumably) how hard yard work is and how foolish we were to want a big yard!

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

This Our House, episode 2: Meet Stella

It's been a week today since we took posession of the house, and a lot has happened! We have (in no particular order):
  1. Changed the locks on the front, back, and garage doors
  2. Reprogrammed the garage door opener
  3. Went around and collected all the miscellaneous stuff that the people left that we didn't want (and threw it away!)
  4. Cleaned the two bathrooms to within an inch of their lives (my husband volunteered for this!)
  5. Vacuumed the rugs
  6. Swept the floors
  7. Swept out the garage
  8. Sorted through all the paint cans and other junk in the garage
  9. Took down all the ugly curtains we didn't like
  10. Washed the curtains we're going to keep
  11. Took all the nails out of the walls in the master bedroom (there were a LOT)
  12. Took down the ugly light fixture in the master bedroom
  13. Patched all the many holes in the walls in the master
  14. Re-caulked all four windows in the master
  15. Sanded all the trim and built-in shelves in the master
  16. Painted 3/4 of the trim and all the built in shelves
  17. Painted two big walls in the master
It feels really satisfying when I write it all in a big long list like that. (We won't talk about the fact that it is BARELY a fraction of the total list.)

We've been over there every single day doing something. Today, we're taking the night off. I'm getting my hair cut, and Brandon is going up to McGuckins to buy a lawn mower and a weed whacker before we get overrun by tall grass. Then we're going to take ourselves out to eat.

The master bedroom is coming along swimmingly. It's kind of an odd shape, so picture this: there is one long wall that runs the entire width of the front of the house and has four windows in it; that wall will be painted bright white. All the other walls will be "milk chocolate" brown with bright white trim and a white ceiling. (The carpet is a sort of blue grey, like the carpet at my parents' house.) We've got two of the brown walls done, and it looks really good!

Everyone told me to pick one room and make it perfect, so the master is that room. The downstairs doesn't need too much; we need to patch a hole or two and clean it really well, but that's doable. The other two bedrooms will be painted next, but I'm not sure if we'll get to them before we move in. The smaller of the two will be our office, and I want to paint it bright green, possibly with black and white pinstripes. We'll see how ambitious I am when we get there. Not sure on the color scheme for the guest room yet.

Last night we cleaned, and I don't know what it is, but something about the fact that it's other people's dirt and junk that we are cleaning really creeps me out. There are certain things I don't mind keeping — like a couple of shovels, a hose, some nice wood hangers that were left in the front closet — but other stuff just skeeves me out for no reason. The squeegee for the glass shower doors that they left is probably perfectly fine, but I think we're going to get a new one because it just gives me the heeby jeebies. Why? I have no idea.

I DO have plant photos from the back yard for playing "Name that plant!" but I can't upload them now. Next time!

On a final note, Brandon has decided that the house is like an abused puppy that we are rehabilitating. He has named her Stella.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

This Our House, episode 1

More house stuff!

Our new sofa arrived! It is awesome. It is a grown up sofa. (The sofa we currently have feels more like a teenage IKEA sofa.) It looks pretty good in our red living room, don't you think?


Brandon moved all his plants over to the house. They seem to like the sunshine on the deck quite well.


This Columbine is a volunteer between the flagstones below the deck. Pretty!


This is the gargantuan lilac bush in the back yard. There's another that's just finishing flowering, but it is not nearly as gargantuan.

DSC00658 DSC00660

Some of the local fauna.


Yesterday Brandon changed the locks and reprogrammed the garage door opener. I think it gave him a feeling of power…


He also took down the pink crocheted curtains in the master bedroom. He didn't like them for some reason. Can't imagine why.

Here's where we enter... the closet zone.


That's the end of the master bedroom. You can see there's a closet down there, and what looks like space for another closet that was ripped out.

But if you turn left at that closet...

DSC00666 DSC00667 find this closet, which was actually once a pass-through to get to the bathroom (but the door has now been blocked off with a shelving unit in the bathroom).

Riddle me this, my friends: why did anyone think this room needed three distinct closet spaces? And does that look like a load-bearing shelf unit to you, or do you think we could rip the whole thing out?

I guess we should just be glad that those three (two? four?) closets don't look like THIS:


Yup. That's orange shag carpet. It's in the bottom of all the other closets. Which says to me that it was, at one point, in the entire rest of the upstairs of this house.

It was built in the '70s after all. That was probably the height of sophistication then.

By the way, that particular closet is in the fish room:


Brandon thinks that curtain has to go, too. He's so picky.

Stay tuned! Next time on this our house we play "Name that plant!"