Tuesday, March 3, 2015

My realtor's going to break up with me !!

You know that feeling in HS when you think your boyfriend's gonna break up with you?  But you won't find out 'til after 5th period?  Crikey, house shopping isn't for sissies.  So we took today off and drove to Chama for a hamburger. 

Chama is a small (but WAY bigger than Abiquiu) town about an hour north of here, way up north by the border with Colorado. And much higher, too - Abiquiu is 6200 elev., Chama is 7800 - so there was snow up there; a lot of snow.  But it's spring, so plenty of mud, too.  We had lunch at Foster's which has been there (under different names \ management) since 1881.  Good burgers.  Great (large!) margaritas.

I keep catching myself out on how different New Mexico is from any place else I've ever lived.  Nobody lives here.  It's quiet, I haven't heard a jet in weeks.  The skies are endless and clear.  The rocks are simply magnificent.  The snow on the way to Chama is a pristine white, for miles and miles.  The people are open, and intelligent.  And nice.  Really, really nice.

Monday, February 16, 2015

What do you do? 

Six months ago I was a voice teacher, a professional singer, and a farmer going to farmers markets.  That was until September.

Then my life flipped upside down when I tumbled down the stairs and broke (shattered, L says) my ankle.  I don’t think the metaphor is too strong, and of course I wondered what it all meant, what the Universe was trying to tell me.  Immediately my job became taking care of myself, healing my ankle, and I practiced this in Colorado for ten weeks, then came home to AZ to practice for another ten weeks.

Now I’m in a mobile home park in New Mexico, and my job is “moving”. 

L and I are in full-on move mode.  We are driving around, seeing the sights, getting to know the neighborhoods, and meeting new people on the rate of about 3 a day.  Names, so many names, not the strong suit of either one of us.  No TV (gasp)!  Very sketchy internet (gasp gasp)!!  We crashed over the weekend and holed up.  The Airstream got very small.

Perhaps “occupation” is a better word. How do I occupy myself.  Overall, my occupation for the past six months has been a lot of hurry-up-and-wait times.  During the wait times, I continue down the path of learning (AFLE) how to be in the moment.  I have periods when I’m fairly successful at this, and periods – like right now – when not so much.  Did I mention how small the AS has gotten?

What does it all mean?  I haven’t a frickin clue.  But my mantra from the bone-healing phase – take time – seems to still fit.  When I can remember to breathe.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Things on top of other things.

When living the Airstream life, space is, of course, at a premium.  Therefore, I have come to the conclusion that 2 layers of things, on top of other things, is my goal.  I shall only ever attempt to have two things on top of one another, and only two.  This gives me the facility to pick up the top thing – which is invariably NOT the thing I want – in order to achieve the bottom thing. 

This is greatly preferable to simply carrying around things, which is another one of my “tricks”.  One becomes, in essence, a mobile storage device; a bi-pedal bookcase, or pantry, or laundry cabinet, depending on what one is carrying around.  I have read many wise RV-ers speak of never purchasing one more thing,  unless one knows where that thing is going to be stored.  I admire their principles.  I try to adhere to mine.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Living the Airstream life. We have now been at Base Camp for 6 nights, and I have learned two things about a tiny home; how I still think my coffee cup (jacket \ phone) is too far away (you mean I have to get up & walk, what, 10 ft?) and, as long as the outside is also part of my living space, this is plenty of room. And earplugs. I recommend earplugs. After all, each passing in the hall, each reaching over one another is a smoochie opportunity.

This is Bessie's first real test run, and we've been checking out the various systems and making sure they all work. Yesterday, for instance, she was a little constipated, but thankfully we figured out quickly how to alleviate that. Today we're dealing with a dodgy water heater.

On the 4th night out we got hit with a snow storm, which left about 6 inches total before passed through. Bessie performed like a champ, and we are snug like bugs in rugs.

I really love the little kitchen. Sure, it could be a lot more modern, but it functions beautifully and, with the possible exception of no oven (we haven't tested it yet) it has everything you'd need. So far we've made spaghetti with meat sauce, green chili burros, pea soup, oatmeal, omelettes, salads, and apple crisp. And lots and lots of coffee.

When Bessie's 100%, when the weather warms up just a bit more, when I am just a wee bit stronger, we can pull her up north and get started on finding a forever home. 

Saturday, October 27, 2012


In general, on our little farm we seed thick and get ready to pick.  We maximize our growing space by planting as tightly as possible, always closer then the recommendation, and thinning when necessary. 

With the crops coming in well from the first planting in early September, this week's project was to thin.  I'll admit to struggling with this somewhat.  All that lovely energy gone into these plants that I'm uprooting.  All that lovely potential that is arrested.  But of course, that thinking is superfluous.  Thinning lends energy and potential to the remaining plants, and there are always ways to use these thinnings.

I thinned three crops this week; beets, radishes and carrots.  Beets, because unless you purchase special monogerm seeds, your "seed" will be a ball of several potential embryos.  Radishes and carrots because the seeds are so ridiculously tiny, you can't hardly help but over seed. 

Thinning gives you plenty of time to think about the labor intensity of farming.  "Carrots should cost a LOT more," is a frequent theme of mind, while I'm trying to stretch out my aching back.  Which leads me to question how the big guys can afford to sell them for so little.  One way the commercial farms maximize profits is to reduce labor costs by buying special seeds and seed-sowing machines.  This eliminates the whole thin-by-hand step. 

In the meantime, while I don't have the special equipment, I am the cheap labor, and realize that it's like having a free gym memborship.  Plus you can eat the thinned greens - fabulous in an omlette, or added to salad, or blended into a smoothie.  Food from the "throwaways".  Yoga in the garden.  How does it get any better than that?

Plus, I swear the beets & carrots & radishes are twice as big as when I thinned them.  Or, maybe it was just perfect timing.

Sunday, October 7, 2012


This is why we live here.  When other places in the country are getting in-doorsy, we are seriously beginning to get out-doorsy.  I move my office outside, my eating outside, and as much play \ work outside as possible.  All the hard work put into the preparation of the beds has paid off.  The plants are growing beautifully.  I thinned the very first radishes and beets, and used the greens in an omelette and a salad.  Light, peppery taste that informs but doesn't dominate.  And very high in iron (like all dark green leaves), as well as calcium,  magnesium, folate, and vitamins A, C, & K, all used to strengthen your blood and bones.  We are pulling in ever more quantities of Japanese eggplant and Yardlong beans.  Some of the seeds put in earlier didn't sprout, so it's time to re-plant in those spots.  This week I ordered a ton of seeds, and they will go in the ground this coming week.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

 Seeds in the Ground, Ladies

It's hot.  Well, it's going to be hot.  I seem to be spending more time inside, looking out at what needs to be done, than outside doing it.  If there were a lick of a breeze, it'd be more comfortable - as comfortable as it can be when you're turning dirt - basically becoming a human tractor - or shoveling and humping new compost.  But since it's also humid, and I'm sweating buckets, a slight breeze would wick some of the heat away, not to mention the flies.  Bed preparation is not for sissies.
     Last year I planted the fall crops according to the phases of the moon.  Every turn of the phase - from full to waning to new to waxing, for 4 months - we carefully plotted and charted what was planted.  Consistently, I found that my seedlings came up later than predicted by the seed companies, and the harvest occurred later.  ROFL  This year I'm trying to understand the plants themselves better, to be in tune with what they need to produce, in terms of temperature, humidity, soil, sunlight.  I feel like a conductor, marshalling her instruments to perform at their best, and in their own best time. 

     I'm excited about how the tomatoes - and the other nightshades (peppers, eggplant) - are LOVING the hot & humid.  And how the legume seedlings (beans and peas) are JUMPING out of the ground.  I gave my roses an end-of-summer deep pruning for the first time ever, and they look fabulous.  Usually, in the desert SW, roses are deep pruned in January.  But the summer is so harsh on them, more so than the winter (plus the local 5-star resort prunes theirs in August, and I figure they can afford real rosarians) that I thought I'd try it.  I kid you not, the new branches were beginning the very day after I pruned them.  That, and a new layer of fresh compost, and they are looking fat and happy.

     Still, nothing comes up without a little labor, so on this Labor Day Weekend, the motto around our little farm is, Seeds in the ground, ladies.