Goodbye to New Mexico

jen and katie

Jen and I have been friends for 25 years. Considering this sampling of pictures from our past, we’ve decided we look better with age :)

We’ve seen each other through a lot of change in the past decades. These kiddos are some of favorite additions

 

Ruby

Ruby and Kaitlyn

I love this little fashionista with her long legs and her pink fascinator

kate marie

kate marie

And this tiny terror with her pigtails and sunglasses.

I’m so glad I got to hang out for a week and be a part of the Silver City White family. Much love to Jen, Shawn, Ruby and Kate Marie. Thanks for the gardening, potato salad, visits to the chemistry lab, political debates and yoga sessions. I can’t wait to come back!

State road 78

Now I’m back on the road, headed to AZ for a brief stop with my brother

The old west highway

Arizona tomorrow

 

Silver City Yoga

Lotus Center

Silver City has a new yoga studio and it’s so pretty! This city deserves a quality yoga studio and I’m so pleased it’s finally happened.

Lotus Center

I took the Align and Refine Vinyasa class with Melissa and we worked through some complicated poses like Eagle and Upward Bow by starting with less complicated stuff and transitioning into the complications. This kind of work is incredibly helpful for me as a relatively unpracticed yoga practitioner because I rarely know what I’m doing. In any class. Ever. But Melissa broke down the complicated poses into components so we could work on our alignment in the simpler poses and when we transitioned into the full poses, they made so much more sense.

My yoga lesson of the day: How you get somewhere is as important as where you go.

Funny how all my recent yoga lessons are about slowing down and paying attention to the particulars, my intent, my breath, the method in which I do things… This particular lesson has a much wider application than just yoga. It’s like that saying “how you do anything is how you do everything.” The How matters. Deeply. Relationships, jobs, politics, yoga poses… they’re all built on small uncomplicated transitional choices and if the choices aren’t solid, the end result falls apart too.

Focus and going back to the basics, right? Good practices for yoga and for life.

If you’re in Silver City, visit the Lotus Center. The interior is a gorgeously appointed oasis of calm and beauty fully stocked with mats, blocks, straps, scented eye pillows and anything else students might want or need. There are no additional fees for equipment. It all comes with the cost of the class, which makes it so easy to stop in. There are yoga classes every day of the week as well as meditation, qigong, tai chi and even some Buddhism basics. Lots of options, lots of times and a beautiful space.

So go forth and do yoga. Namaste.

Spring in New Mexico

Silver City

Because I don’t live anywhere in particular, I adopt the places of people I love. Silver City is such a place, (see also Bellingham and Chicago). While I might be conflicted in my relationship with Arizona, I have few mixed feelings about New Mexico, especially in the spring.

Silver City

Hard to argue with a sky this big and blue, either real or painted.

Southwest Ouroboros

I particularly love the colorful way New Mexicans decorate to reflect the natural colors of their surroundings.

Blooming cactus

Yellow cactus fruit

Silver City doors

Brightly painted doors

Fruit tree

Blooming trees

Downtown Silver City

Painted buildings

Red flowers

Exclamation Points

Bushes and exclamation points. So much color! This is the perfect season to visit the Southwest.

Last time I was here at this exact same season and it snowed while we were waiting  for the birth of this little one

Kate Marie

She’s so big now! (and that’s glitter pencil on her face :)

3 years goes quick.

Goodbye and Hello

Goodbye to great breakfasts

Silver City

cute babies who endure mardi gras photo shoots

Kate Marie White

And their older sisters who enjoy it a little more

Silver City, NM

To domesticity

Silver City, NM

Silver City, NM

Silver City, NM

To Mad Hatter bridal showers

Silver City, NM

That migrate to the Buffalo Bar

Silver City, NM

Goodbye to all that and the lovely people of Silver City. It’s been an amazing month and I can’t wait to come back!

Until then,

Hello, Roatan.

Roatan, Honduras

It’s gonna be all diving and islands and adventure for the next 5 months. Stay tuned!

For the love of taco trucks

I didn’t have a real appreciation of taco trucks until I moved to Tucson. There I discovered that some of the best Mexican food in town was served in parking lots under makeshift umbrellas and out of dusty trailers that looked like they’d driven all the way from Argentina. Three words: Sonoran Hot Dog.

In New Mexico, it’s hard to find true Mexican food because New Mexican food is its own cuisine. Most Mexican restaurants in Silver City serve New Mexican dishes that all come with green chilies and lots of smothering sauces.

Except at the taco truck

Silver City, NM

Chip’s taco truck is an unassuming little trailer

 

Silver City, NM

set up in a former autobody shop with a shady overhang and little picnic tables for dining alfresco

Silver City, NM

Jen swears by the #1 combination with brisket and carne asada tacos but I’m partial to the #4 with queso quemado veggie tacos.

Silver City, NM

Queso quemado is cheese slapped on the grill until it’s browned and melting and then plunked on corn tortillas and topped with sauteed green peppers and onions.

And lots of salsa.

His salsa bar is outstanding

Silver City, NM

With pickled onions, fresh cabbage and salsas ranging from red and green “greasies” to mango salsa and spicy pico de gallo

Chip's Taco Truck, Silver City

There’s nothing glamorous about a taco truck, but sometimes really good food needs to be eaten with your fingers outside while the sun beats off the blacktop and grease drips down your hand.

When that’s the case, go visit Chip.

Silver City, NM

Frontier Restaurant in Albuquerque

I wish this place were attached to a living history museum, something commemorating pioneers with a collection of dusty covered wagons while men in suspenders bale hay and sun-bonneted docents show you around.

Instead, this whole gigantic building is kind of a fast food restaurant.

Albuquerque, NM

The “kind of” part being the crowds, booths and ordering procedure

Albuquerque, NM

And the relative speed of service. However, the food is surprisingly good for a restaurant with foam cups. I got the breakfast burrito, which was full of green chilies and hashbrowns

Albuquerque, NM

This cinnamon roll might be the most decadent thing I’ve laid eyes on in weeks.

Albuquerque, NM

Yeah, that’s melted butter…

University of New Mexico students have been patronizing Frontier Restaurant for decades because it’s right on Central Avenue and it’s open until 1am. However, the Travel Channel has recently taken notice and guess who came to visit?

Frontier Restaurant, Albuquerque

Tune in next week to see if Adam Richman agrees that Frontier Restaurant serves the best green chili cheeseburger in town.

It’s hard to believe that Frontier Restaurant could get busier, but TV exposure tends to do that; so, if you actually want to taste that cheeseburger, you should go this week. Barring the cheeseburger, try the cinnamon roll. It’s de-li-cious.

Gila Cliff Dwellings and a Picnic

Alex, Carrie, Santouza and I took a picnic and went up to the Gila National Forest. Santouza got the seat of honor

New Mexico

But she really hated the switchbacks and needed Alex to keep her company

New Mexico

Alex lives in  Ohio so Carrie wanted to show him the Gila cliff dwellings, which were built by the Mogollan people on the outskirts of what is now the Gila wilderness.

New Mexico

They’re about 150 feet off the canyon floor and, unlike many cliff dwellings in the Southwest, we could hike up a relatively easy trail to these cliffs and actually go inside these caves.

New Mexico

Walk around the houses where people used to live

New Mexico

Look out their windows

New Mexico

See their artwork

New Mexico

And the way they organized their living space

New Mexico

It blows my mind that these stairs have survived the elements for 700 years

New Mexico

Sidebar -If you’ve read Born to Run, this is also the area where Caballo Blanco was found dead. And even further incidentally, if you haven’t read this book because you aren’t a runner, you should read it anyway because it’s a fantastic adventure story – Unsidebar

The Mimbres River runs near here

New Mexico

So we stopped near the river for a picnic

new mexico

in part of the dry river bed

New Mexico

It’s such a beautiful area and that much more of a bummer that it’s all closed now because of the smoke from the giant Whitewater fire that wiped out thousands of acres in the Gila forest.

We took this trip about 2 weeks ago when the fire was much smaller so these pictures predate the fire and I don’t know what this area will look like when it reopens. I’m hopeful that the cliff dwellings will survive this fire, like they’ve survived everything else for the past several centuries, and that the river will once again be full of kids.

I raise my glass to all the fire fighters who’ve been fighting the New Mexico forest fires over the last month. Thank you.

New Mexico

Please Welcome, Kate Marie White

Dear Kate Marie,

We’ve been waiting for you all week. Your Gigi and Papaw came all the way from Nashville to be here for your birth and I came from Tucson.

It snowed on Sunday and I was sure you were going to be born. But you weren’t ready.

April 2012

Your mom was very tired of being pregnant by this point. For the past week, I’ve told her good night every night by pressing on her belly and saying “Baby, come out!”

Your mom had contractions on and off for several days but you weren’t ready to be born. This made her cranky. She made muffins on Sunday and then she threw them when they burned.

In other news, your older sister Ruby also throws things when she’s angry. We don’t know where she gets it.

Easter 2012

Today, I was writing about Michelle Shocked when I got a call from your Gigi saying “You better come.” So I did.

Your dad came home and your mom was in labor.

April 2012

Everything got really intense around 11am and your mom said “I can’t do this!” a lot but we all knew she could.

At 12:30 your Gigi sent your Papaw out for tacos because everyone was hungry. I didn’t go because I didn’t want to miss anything. Your Papaw walked in the door at 1:10 with 4 boxes of tacos and we said “Hurry!” He got there just in time to watch you come out.

Your shoulders got a little stuck but your midwife, Shauna, reached in and pulled you out. Your Gigi nearly fainted.

At 1:11 on April 16, 2012, you were born.

April 16. 2012

You were very purple and we were all a little scared but Shauna breathed into your lungs so you could breathe and you started crying and we knew you’d be ok.

We talked about you all day. Then your sister, Ruby, came home to meet you and tried to feed you a carrot. She thinks you’re pretty great until you cry.

April 2012

We’re all so happy you’re finally here.

April 2012

April 2012

Welcome to the world, little girl.

April 2012

It’s a pretty crazy place but I think you’ll like it here.

Love,
Auntie Kaitlyn

April 2012

Michelle Shocked at the Buckhorn

Buckhorn Opera House

I went to hear Michelle Shocked a couple of nights ago. I’m a fan of her Short Sharp Shocked album and even though I hadn’t heard anything she’s released since then (which isn’t much) I happily paid $20 for a chance to hear her play in the historic Buckhorn Opera House in Pinos Altos, NM (population 300).

Pinos Altos, NM

Strangest concert I’ve ever attended. Hands down.

Michelle is 50 (ish), very tall and thin with a slightly manic attitude and tendency to ramble. She admitted at the beginning that she talks a lot and that she enjoys a certain unprepared/extemporaneous vibe to her concerts, but I wasn’t prepared for the reality. In the 2.5 hours of the concert she played fewer than 10 songs and she talked for the rest of it, which is a rough ratio for a concert.

Moreover, she’s enchanted when other people sing her songs; so, whenever she did sing, she insisted that the crowd sing with her. That’s 2.5 hours of listening to your neighbor warble through “Memories of East Texas” and “The L&N Don’t Stop Here Anymore” while Michelle strums three guitar chords (she says that’s all you need), smiles maniacally and says “This is awesome! I love this!”

But the crowning moment of weird was her 20 minute lecture on foreclosures.

To repeat: Michelle Shocked took a 20 minute break from leading summer camp sing-a-long versions of her most popular songs to lecture us on bank foreclosure policies and how they may or may not be fraudulent.

So. Strange.

She tried to link the whole thing to the Occupy movement by putting signs over her speakers (fraudclosure!) that immediately fell down and had to be taped up with gaff tape. Then she unfurled a pop-up tent that filled the pocket-sized stage so she had to stand in front of the stage, which meant no one could see her except the front row. And then she lectured.

I don’t mean that she gave an impassioned speech on subject matter about which she feels so strongly that she can’t help talking or writing songs to proselytize. I mean that she pulled up notes on her iphone and gave the kind of speech you might hear in a college history class held in a giant lecture hall where the professor never looks up from his notes and is so far away that you can’t see him so you zone out and draw pictures of hearts all over your notes until he stops talking.

She started with a rambling history of America’s home mortgage policy since the Depression and progressed to a question and answer section to clarify what we’ve heard in the news about foreclosures.

She used the words meta story.

I was so fascinated by the twilight zone nature of the event that I sat through the whole thing, as did almost everyone else. I hate to miss things so I stick around through the boring parts in case the situation takes a weird left turn and becomes story-worthy. I don’t know what everyone else’s excuse was.

She finished the set by exclaiming that this second night of her tour was much more polished than the first night (!!), she tried to fold up the tent (no luck) and sang 3 songs. Then she requested donations so she could hire homeless people to make her more fraudclosure! signs and she called it a night.

Overall? Super awkward.

Worth the money? Definitely. I’ll pay money for Weird any day of the week.

Possible chance I’ll ever go to another of her concerts? Nil. Zip. Zero. Once is plenty.