11 October 2019

Let's go to New Mexico (part 2)...

On Wednesday (Aug 21st) I hopped in the shuttle van and headed from Santa Fe to Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu.  The ride was so beautiful and the driver of the van was so nice.  We talked so much!  Honestly, I was so overwhelmed by the landscape that it was hard to focus on the conversation.

Throughout the 10 day trip, I took over 600 photos with my camera and probably around 100 on my cell phone.  

I was the first of our group to arrive that day in our building.  After settling into my room, I wandered a little bit around the outside of the building, just taking it all in.  There was a monsoon off in the distance that I kept watching as it came closer and closer.  The lightening was amazing and when the storm finally made it to us, only a few drops hit the ground.  It sure was fun to watch move over the land.

One of the things I learned was that the land had once been the bottom of the ocean, which I guess I should have known from school, but it just didn't register.  They had a couple of museums on the ranch, that I never made it to.  One of them was about the dinosaur bones that had been found on the land.  It turns out they matched bones that had been found in Africa.  So fascinating!

Anyway, I walked A LOT on the ranch.  I only hitched a ride with my classmates a few times.  It was really important to experience the land as much as I could.  I walked over 12,000 steps daily and a few days went as high as 15,000.  

My time on the ranch was from Wednesday until Monday.  It was the most wonderful five days I think I've ever spent.  

One thing that surprised me was the lack of wildlife.  I saw one rabbit, one deer (just barely), a couple of little lizards and a few birds.  I could hear ravens but never got to see them.  Not a single rattlesnake or scorpion.  No coyotes or wolves.  I was very disappointed in that.

On Monday, I took the shuttle back to Santa Fe and met up with my friends from class.  One had a flight out later that day and the others had to drive back to Albuquerque for their flights, so we hung out in my room for a few hours until she had to leave.  I had to get up at 4 on Tuesday to make my flight home.  

I'd been watching the weather before I left for Ghost Ranch and was worried about a tropical system that was supposed to hit the Miami area when I had my return flight through there.  Once back in Santa Fe, I turned on the weather channel and found that the storm was still incoming, but my bigger problem was a system moving across the country into Dallas - which was my first stop on the way home.  

I made it home Tuesday after lots of flight delays and re-routing of flights.

Being out there, experiencing the open spaces and the clear air, seeing all those stars, it just reiterated how much I would love to live away from a city.

Next up is a post about the art we made in class and the art I made after returning home that was inspired by my time there.

What have you been up to lately?

Thanks for stopping by for a read...

love & blessings


02 October 2019

Let's go to New Mexico (part 1)...

 (Holyhocks outside the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum of Art)
 (Bear Lake painting at the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum of Art)
 (Untitled O'Keeffe painting at Georgia O'Keeffe Museum of Art)
 (Rattlesnake skeleton on display at Georgia O'Keeffe Museum of Art)
 (Santa Fe Plaza)
 (Santa Fe Plaza facing the Palace of Governors)
 (St. Francis of Assisi Chapel at the New Mexico Museum of Art)
 (The Railyard in Santa Fe - farmer's market, art galleries, shops and restaurants)
(Boulder Falls by Pansy Stockton at the New Mexico Museum of Art - made with leaves, twigs, grasses and feathers on board)
(New Mexico Museum of Art)
 (St Francis of Assisi statue in garden at New Mexico Museum of Art)
(Sculpture Garden at New Mexico Museum of Art)

Let's talk about New Mexico...

First, a little back story...

Last year I signed up to attend a session of the Red Thread Retreat.  Normally, they are held at a beautiful retreat center in the mountains of Maryland.  This particular session was to be held at Ghost Ranch in Abiguiu, New Mexico.

I'd heard about Ghost Ranch several years ago on an art Instagram account and was fascinated.  So when I saw it was being held there I immediately decided to sign up.  Once the co-instructor and the dates were announced, I knew I would have to attend.  The co-instructor was Nina Bagley, whom I have adored and admired for years.  And the dates, well, it was scheduled during my own personal hell week.  I was sold!  I mean, what could be better to alleviate my yearly depression during that week?

My original plan was to drive cross country, go to the retreat then head north and visit Montana.  I had a list of places I wanted to stop and see... Yellowstone, Tetons, Deadwood, family homes in Illinois and Indiana among others.

Unfortunately, the driving didn't work out so I had to fly.  I am not a comfortable flier.  In fact, I'm terrified to fly.  But...

Santa Fe - I flew out to Santa Fe, New Mexico on Sunday, August 18th.  I spent a few days at the Santa Fe Sage Inn.  The first day was just resting from the migraine that developed on the flight out.  On Monday, I went to The Plaza and spent time at the New Mexico Museum of Art and the Georgia O'Keeffe Museum of Art.  

The New Mexico Museum of Art was wonderful!  I haven't been to many museums, but I really loved the layout and structure of this one.  So much beautiful art!  There is a sculpture garden as well as a courtyard and St Francis of Assisi chapel.  I spent several hours wandering.

I wandered around the plaza a little then went to the Georgia O'Keeffe Art Museum.  It was much smaller than I expected and not very enjoyable.  It was too bright and too loud.  The guards (and there were TONS) glared at everyone and it was extremely crowded.  I did enjoy at lot of the art, but really did not enjoy the experience.

After that, I headed back to the plaza for a meetup with one of the retreat attendees that I'd met at a previous retreat.  We had lunch, and spent the afternoon wandering around the plaza.  It was great!

We returned to the hotel later that afternoon for a rest.  Then met up for dinner with another retreat member.  The next day, Tuesday, the three of us went out shopping and exploring.  We went to the local art store (Artisans - fantastic place!), Goodwill, and couple other places I can't remember, then to the Railyard for lunch and exploring. We then took a visit of the Museum of Encaustic Art. It was a small, yet beautiful exhibit that has art from every state.  They also hold  classes and workshops and have a section for local youths to come and make and exhibit art to sale.  It was really amazing and inspiring.  After that, we had a bit of resting in the afternoon, then met up for dinner again. 

I had such fun with the two of them!  And am so happy to have made two new close friends.  We each live in different states, but we've been staying in contact and that is wonderful.

Santa Fe is a beautiful place and I didn't see but a small part of it. I loved how in the distance, no matter the direction I looked, I could see the mountains.  I really hope to go back again and spend more time in Santa Fe and the surrounding areas.

Part 2 will pick up with the trip from Santa Fe to Ghost Ranch.

Have you ever been to Santa Fe?  If so, what did you think?

Thanks for stopping by for a read...
love & blessings

01 October 2019

October, my old friend...

Happy October!  

My favorite month of the year!  Now if Mother Nature will gift my region with autumnal temperatures and turn off the furnace, that would be much appreciated.

Today I thought I'd share some photos from previous Octobers.  I don't know what this year will bring, but it is sometimes fun to look back.

October 2010 at my little cottage with the blue door.  Oh how I miss that cottage and the land that it sat on.  The wooden witch was made by my Grandfather.  He used to make these elaborate holiday displays for their yard and I was lucky enough to get the witch and two black cats.  They are probably as old as I am. 

From the Haunted Halloween Tea of 2013.  I still lived at the little cottage and had the best time setting up that party for one (and the blog).

2015 Witches Tea Party.  I'd moved from the little cottage, but was able to have a nice little party. (I think that year I actually had people over.)

2016 Halloween decorations. I did a small little thing for myself and shared on the blog. 

2018 Halloween party.  This was an actual party I threw a few days before Halloween.  I invited neighbors over and it was quite fun.  I'm trying to decide if I want to do it again this year.  

Do you have plans for October?  Anything big going on?  I'm not sure what plans I have yet, except to be here more.  

We'll see how it goes! 

Happy October!
Thanks for stopping in for a read...
love & blessings


30 September 2019

where did September go...

Is it really the end of September?  How did that happen so fast?!?

I really did have plans to be here.  Where did the time go?

Most of September passed in a migraine haze.  Oh well...I'll just go on from here.

I'll be back here soon with stories of my trip.  And my favorite time is around the corner.  I usually start celebrating on the 1st.  

I hope you had a wonderful September.  Is it autumn weather where you are?  We are still experiencing 90's in the temps here.  The weather channel says the autumn weather will be settling in here on Saturday.  I can't wait!  I really want to wear sweaters, wrap up in cozy blankets and sip hot tea and cider!  

How is your autumn going so far?

Thanks for stopping in for a read...
love & blessings

01 September 2019

Hello, September...

September 1st - in my head it is the beginning of the Autumn season.  I know it isn't "officially" Autumn until the 23rd this year, but...

August for me is very hard, as you know if you've been reading here for a while.  This August started just as bad as they usually do, but it ended...oh my how it ended.

Those pictures above?  Well...I did a thing.  Something so far out of my comfort zone that I couldn't even see the zone anymore.  In fact, I was two time zones away from home.  I took a trip.  Such an adventure!  I'm going to tell you about it, I promise.

I have so much I want to share about my trip and my time away.  Things that happened, things that didn't happen.  I took over 650 pictures.  Crazy, I know...

But it seemed like every time I turned around the sky changed the way the land looked.  So amazing!  And the night sky!  Oh how I wish I'd had a camera that could capture that night sky!  I have never in my life seen so many stars!  And I saw the Milky Way! (no, not the candy bar! haha)

Truly, it was a magical, mystical experience that I'm pretty sure will stay witn me for the rest of my life.  

But for now, I wanted to say hello.  Welcome, September.  I'm so happy to see you.  I can already feel the change in the air and see the change in the light at dusk.  

How was everyone's August?  

thanks for stopping in for a read...
love & blessings


13 July 2019

Friday in the Garden... (on Saturday)

I meant to post yesterday and became distracted.  These have all been taken over the last several days.  I was so happy to see those black-eyed Susans bloom.  Last year the deer ate them before they started to form blossoms.  I am sad that it seems we don't have many deer around this year.  

The faerie guards the potted mum and apparently has been letting her friends hang out in the plant. Does anyone know what type of mushrooms those are?  I tried searching the interwebs but couldn't figure out.

The raspberry cream zinnias are so pretty and I'm so glad I added them to the garden.  I was inspired to do so by Vanessa and all her talk/photos of her zinnias.  
The salvia is still blooming for the hummingbirds and is very pretty.

That last photo is of a spider web I found in the camellia.  

In other news, those refrigerator pickles I mentioned in my last post?  YUM!!  So good!

Well, that's about all I've got today.  Hope you are having a good day.

What's growing in your garden or being created in your kitchen?

thanks for stopping in to read...
love & blessings

09 July 2019


I'm trying to recover from a couple of really bad days.  These photos are from last week, maybe the one before.  I find myself having breakfast on the patio often, especially on cool mornings.  That same morning, I prepped a nice batch of green beans.  It brought back a lot of good memories from my childhood, helping my grandparents.

That last photo isn't very good.  I took it from inside the house of a little bird taking some nesting materials.  I need to find out what kind of bird it is.  

Anywho...I haven't taken a picture yet, but some little thief stole my tomatoes from the garden.  They were so big and starting to turn.  :-(  I suspect the squirrels.  Well, maybe better vigilance will protect the others.  

I made my first batch of refrigerator pickles today.  My handyman had brought me some cucumbers and I had one ready to pick.  I used this recipe.  I sure hope they turn out. 

I think that's all for today.  I hope to be back soon.

thanks for stopping in for a read...
take care...

love & blessings

02 July 2019

an fo...

Just a short post today to share a finished knitting project.  This is the third Scoreboard I've knitted.  This is the 2.0 version and from the Steelers 2018-19 season.  

I'm probably not going to do one this coming football season. My plan when I started the very first one, was to knit one for each of us in my family.  There are four of us, so I would knit one each for four seasons.  

However...the first one I knit, I ended up using the wrong size needles by accident and used the wrong weight yarn and it was H...U..G..E...HUGE!  My brother is over 6 ft and it hung down to his knees wrapped twice around his neck.  That was also the first version, where you knit one row for every point scored.  In the 2.0 version, you knit 2 rows for every score.  So, if the team scores a touchdown (and extra point) that is 7 points.  In version 1 - that would be seven rows, in version 2, just 2 rows.  

Anywho...I'm planning to keep a log of the scores and the next season that they win a superbowl, I'll knit one for my brother to replace the first one.  And eventually, I'll knit one for me.  The second one I knit went to my sis-in-law and this one to my mum.  

Now that the scoreboard is done, I can refocus on the Tegna sweater I've started and frogged and started and frogged, etc... several times.  I would really like to get a good start on it before the middle of August.  I have a big trip coming up (more on that later) and it would be a good project to have with me for hotel room knitting.

That's it for today.  The past two weeks I was working on a big project around the house and it finally caught up to me.  Yesterday was a REALLY bad headache day and today is only slightly better.   At least I have Wimbledon (on mute) on the telly.

thanks for stopping by to read...
love & blessings

28 June 2019

friday in the garden...

Just a few snippets from my garden today...

A blue-tailed skink climbing down the fence...

What I think are cicadas mating in the roses (they flew off right after I took the photo and were still attached)...

A cucumber almost ready for me to pick...

Million bells, salvia and zinnias in what I'm calling the Goddess Garden...

A few green beans, but the stalk has tons of flowers blooming so I'm hopeful there will be more...

A pretty green dragonfly that followed me around while I took photos...

One of the many hydrangea blossoms...

Some Roma tomatoes getting big, hoping they'll start to turn soon...

And today's harvest... pretty small as the blueberry bush is almost spent, and I could only find a few beans ready to be picked.  I'll add those to the few I picked a couple days ago and add them all to the mess I bought at the farmer's market on Wednesday.  

I also saw another black snake (not the same one from the last post as his/her face shape is different) but I didn't have my camera with me at the time.

It's been hot here this week.  I think we topped out today at 89F, but the heat index hit 100F.  The rest of the week was in the 90's.  I've been working on a big project in the heat for the last two weeks but I finally finished it up late this morning.  That heat really knocked me for a loop and took every bit of energy I had.  I've basically been a vegetable all afternoon.  :-)

Tell me, what's catching your attention in your garden this week?

Thanks for stopping in for a read...

love & blessings