Wednesday, July 31, 2013


So this year is the first year I've ever tried to grow my own garden.

One of three strawberries so far! Mmm.

My parents and grandparents are all great gardeners. I've got some great childhood memories of gardening with my mother, finding "wormies" in the garden and saving them from imminent death. My grandparents gave me odd jobs around the yard, and I'd get to see my grandmother's wonderful wildflower garden. My dad grows lots of great veggies, and in the summer you can reliably find him tending it in the backyard. I guess I always thought that one day I would just know how to create these beautiful spaces.

This is what happened. 

Not really so much. My first attempt at growing plants has been a bit of a roller coaster ride, with mistaking what I planted for weeds, to frying nearly all of my seedlings in the sun, to a squirrel absconding with my first strawberry.

My first ripening tomato!

Anyway, it's rewarding, if only I have grown a couple strawberries and kale. Also, I'm reading Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver right now, and it's makin' me feel all folksy and connected to the earth.

You can see some of the blooms unfolding in a spiral pattern. Cool!

Cultivate. I've been thinking of that word conceptually lately. I'm sure it's influenced by making my first home with my partner, and truly nesting for the first time on my own. Regardless, I can't shake this feeling that I am at a beginning of my life, starting not just a new chapter, but a new novel. And in this novel, the epilogue will be determined by cultivating different facets of my life, if I have any say over it.

Kitty helping me siphon the Red Chili Pale Ale.

Marie and I left rainy New Mexico for beautiful, sunny Oregon.  Our wonderful friends Kyler and Alex got married on Gray Gander Farm, Albany, OR.

There was plenty of Maiden the Shade to go around.
The ceremony and reception were so beautiful and fun! The goats approved.

We also stared in awe at Kyler's marble race. It's pretty awesome, all ten minutes of it.

It was so great to see the old Bellinghamsters! I do miss the green of the northwest, the berries aplenty, and the hint of the ocean in my nostrils. Marie and I both really wish we could make it up there again this weekend for Matt and Marcela's wedding in Washington.

Happy to be in the Northwest and happy to have just eaten a huge awesome meal.

The day after, Marie and I hung out in Powell's in Portland and met up with the none other than Marie's college roomie Anna!

She also brought us macaroons, which were delicious. 

Just a few weeks before that, Jenni, Preston, and K McRae came down to Santa Fe. We played Settlers of Catan, ate ugali at Jambo Cafe, hiked in the foothills, and learned to marinade for a three-month belated housewarming party.

Representin' the Fort Collins hometown brew. (Also, I totally won this game!)

Grilling veggies.
Oh, and I think Zeezy misses them.


Anyway, I hope the people in Russia, Germany, Thailand, the United States, and everyone else out there who apparently have checked this blog are out there, living, loving, cultivating.


Sunday, July 21, 2013


One of my favorite things about my life here is my commute to work. Not a common thing to love, I know, but hear me out. In the mornings, I walk 15 minutes up the street and through the plaza. I see all the jewelry sellers, restauranteurs, and shopkeepers setting up, and I see tourists slowly wandering through the streets. I walk past the oldest house and the oldest church in the United States. I walk over the (almost perpetually dry) Santa Fe River. On Wednesdays, I grab a copy of the weekly alt newspaper of Santa Fe. Then I get on the bus, where I have 15 beautiful minutes of uninterrupted time with whatever book I'm reading before I get to work.To me, this is the perfect way to start the day.

Today is my 3-month anniversary of living in Santa Fe, and I've been thinking a lot about all the little things that make our life here pretty wonderful. Included in that list are the things that make me feel like a real Santa Fe local. When I can give tourists accurate directions, for example, or the fact that I am a recognized regular at our neighborhood grocery store and our neighborhood liquor store. (Just FYI, they sell pints of ice cream at the liquor store, so we frequent it much more than we would if we were just buying beer.)

Lots of great important things have happened lately as well: Three of our friends from Colorado visited this past week, I just finished a 20-hour self defense course with IMPACT Personal Safety (the organization I work for!), Eric fixed up the garden and bought us house plants and added worms to our compost, etc. And the reason I am so happy about all of these things is that I love the feeling of settling into our house, into the community, into Santa Fe. Here's to many more months of happiness in the Land of Enchantment!

Our new New Mexico beer koozie! Now we are legit locals.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Coming Home

Eric & I are back in NM after a great vacation in Idaho. We spend almost a full day traveling from Boise to Santa Fe in planes, trains, and automobiles, quite literally. It was our first time taking the Rail Runner, the train that runs between Albuquerque and Santa Fe, and it was awesome. As we rode past the scenery of northern New Mexico, eager to get back to our kitty and our apartment, Eric said something along the lines of, "Now that we've left Santa Fe and are coming back, it's really starting to feel like home."

He's right. Walking home from the train station, it was easier than ever to appreciate everything I love about Santa Fe: the smell of a desert rainstorm, the beautiful green hills surrounded by adobe abodes, the undeniably incredible food, the art, and all the eccentricities that the city and its people possess. It is good to be home.

Honestly, one of the best things about being home is being reunited with our favorite lil' fuzzball:
Nothing makes you feel better after a long day of travel than having an adorable cat purr contently on your lap. Having a pet is really the best. (Even if he does try to eat our chips and sandwiches when our backs are turned.)

So like I said, we had a vacation!