Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A very fine New Mexican meal!

So yesterday we went to Rancho de Chimayo and had a most brilliant meal with enjoyable company a fitting farewell to a lovely old tradition.  (The first time I was up there was 36 years ago...) 

Of course I had to have a green chili enchilada that was wonderful and totally melted in my mouth.  It was a most brilliant "yum".

(notice the glass just above is a lovely shade of apple... which is the marvel known as the Chimayo cocktail!!  It goes down as smoothly as a liquid apple pie.  The real Cocktail has the rim crusted with sugar mixed with cinnamon- wonderful!)

After the meal we went to visit the Sanctuario de Chimayo and it was as lovely and peaceful as I'd remembered it to be.  Lovely.

[Click on the pictures to see them larger]

I include a couple of pictures of the scenic roads on the way up to Chimayo (the old road to Taos) in the Sangre de Cristo mountains.

"Old Baldy" is the friendly name for this mountain...

Driving in the mountains at dusk is the BEST light...

Truly unique scenery.  I am honored to have spent time in the marvelous State, and I really am sorry my mother is leaving it.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Life: reduced to a cardboard box

Well, OK, I don't mean, like,  LIVING in a cardboard box, but boy oh boy today I put together and filled about 20 of them (with books) for my mother.  (only about another 15 to go, but this evening, I'm just kind of  "oof-ed" out.)

My 85 year old mom, bless her, seems to find the energy to do five things at the same time... well actually, she calls me over to do them, and once I'm involved, flits off and finds another thing to immerse herself into for a nano-second or two, and then calls me over to "help her", which I do, thereby giving her the freedom to find something else to do!  A real Catch-22 sort of deal!

It got to the point where  I finally told her that she couldn't leave her little corner of papers, until she'd sorted them!  AND if she wanted to pack a box, then she could put the stuff she's didn't throw away, and didn't need in the next two weeks into a few little boxes I'd made up for her.  (That worked for about 45 minutes!  I got a lot done!)

I have set her next task (for tomorrow anyway) by placing a suitcase and a box in her bedroom and told her to start putting things in it that she doesn't want the packers to pack, as well as first things she'll need when the movers arrive (like her favorite sheets and her favorite towels) as well as her three months supply of medications, her "costume" jewelry- not really worth much but all her favorites that she'd had to have misplaced, etc.

So I'm a bit fried today.  Yesterday I ran about four hours worth of errands.  I have to say tho that everything seems to be falling into place. We've managed to take care of the phone (will be turned off on the 27 as I am assuming all the phones will be packed), and cleared a few other things on the check-off list. 

I cleaned up Joe's gravestone (May 31 is Memorial Day) and put some nice flowers out.  Then I took a couple of digital pictures so I could show my mother how nice it looked.  That took about an hour as I had to dig up all the grass that had grown over it!  (tough stuff that grass!  I had a bread knife that seemingly was the only thing that could cut through it!)

Tomorrow my mother has a eye doctors appointment, she plans to drive herself. 

As driving herself is a basic "line in the sand" sort of "baiting argument" she tosses to me on occasion, I have decided to let her do what she wants to.  I have offered to drive and received a contemptuous glare, so I am keeping my fingers crossed and continuing with the box packing. (really hoping to get it finished!)

She doesn't WANT me to go with her (as I have told her that if I am in the car with her- I drive.) 

Whenever I drive with her, she spends all her time clutching the roof and giving me explicit directions as to which lane I should be in, how fast I should go, where to turn and why I am driving wrong unless she's talking about something else, then she forgets and it doesn't matter. 

I am hoping that I will have the books pretty much done by tomorrow, as my mother would like to start saying goodbye to the city and doing several things outside the house.

One of those things I am really looking forward to- we'll be going to Chimayo on Sunday.  (really super cool restaurant up in the mountains! Where I, at least plan on having a Chimayo cocktail for old time's sake.) 

My darling mother started out by saying that she wanted just the two of us to go up there for a nice meal - and then,  the whole thing just seemed to expand exponentially and so now she's invited  her dear friend with a big SUV who will be driving and she has invited another friend and her daughter as well to join us! 

It will be a fun "party" but I'm thinking the back seat will be chock full of me, the friend and her daughter... making the thought of the Chimayo cocktail a really good thing to focus while riding in the back seat for- an hour each way - on nice windy mountain roads!

Anyway, no big profound things to impart - Life and times continue, albeit a bit boringly, but they continue...  The only exciting thing to happen in my life this week (so far) was when I tried to take a shower in the guest bathroom the day before yesterday. 

Apparently the washer was missing (after the last time the fixit guys came to repair something!) and so the water went straight up to the ceiling and splashed down on me - outside of the shower.  As I was waiting for the water to warm up and not IN the shower at the time, I got very cold and very wet quite suddenly.


I send you all big hugs and many thanks for the kind comments!

Saturday, May 8, 2010

To all and sundry - Greetings from Chicago!

Just a quick note to let everyone know that flying is still not nearly as fun as it used to be. 

(Also to remark that "yes we have no "real" pictures, as I'm on a borrowed computer... OK, I could borrow something from the internet...there.  I did.")

I have arrived.  It took me 27 hours to go from drinking coffee in MY living room to having a glass of wine with my son in HIS living room, but then,  I suppose that is a miracle of sorts anyway.  Taking our daily technological miracles for granted seems to be a natural thing for some reason. 

[Really happy I'm not living in the middle ages...]

Of course there were delays everywhere (late out of Athens) and hours of sitting doing absolutely nothing in waiting areas. For a change we were all slowly herded slowly onto, then wedged onto  planes only to sit and wait for mediocre food. 

Then the sitting part was interspersed with mad runs through Frankfurt Airport- or as I like to refer to it, "The Rabbit Warren Airport"  (arrival at Terminal B same time as boarding for connecting flight to States... at Terminal A - and naturally, mine was the last gate on the entire gantry.) 

At one point - honestly - along with several other people, I had to go down 6 flights of stairs! and then run down a long hallway, only to pop up again (fortunately by elevator and moving stairs) at ground level. 

There was a moment when following the signs to TERMINAL A, I wondered if the planes had a secret bat cave runway that was in the parallel universe below the airport.

Still the overwhelming and more than acceptable good news was that I managed to actually "TRANSFER" and not accidentally leave the proper area and find myself trapped "outside" and have to go through the angst of security AGAIN.

The other really good news was that the people from Lufthansa in both Athens and on the flights were charming and very kind.  (I can say that because they changed my seat to a very nice aisle seat for my flights to Frankfurt and then for Chicago.  Who knows what I would have said if trapped in a middle seat???)

So that's the short thumbnail sketch of the trip- we overflew the volcano and ended up flying the "far" northern route, which tacked on another hour or so to the flight. 

I arrived in Chicago about 8:30 PM local time spent an exceptionally long time waiting to go through passport control and was greeting by a great group that included darling (chattering constantly in sentences!!) baby grandson, his beautiful mother and my middle son.  (youngest and father to Gabriel was recovering from a nasty bout of food poisoning! Bad egg.)

So. On with the day!  (this marvelously refreshed feeling will probably fade by this afternoon when I will find myself LONGING for a nap!)

Wishing you all well and I hope everyone has a delightful Mother's Day.  (I'm planning on it!)


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