Slogged through September

Yep, I’ve been away from the blog for a bit.  Not that I went anywhere or did anything terribly exciting.  I’ve just been slogging through it, as my boss would say.

In September in New Mexico, there is a lot going on.  The chile harvest is the big signal that fall is coming.  The smell of chiles roasting at every supermarket and grocery store and little roadside stand is intoxicating.  Bill and I buy our green chiles in big burlap sacks from the Mexican grocer near old town and have them roasted right there in the parking lot. Then we take them home, put them in gallon baggies and into the freezer in the garage they go, to be used all year long in everything from scrambled eggs to enchiladas.

We eat chiles by the ton here.  You can’t order a plate of food in any New Mexican restaurant without the accompanying question, “red or green?” meaning, would you like your dish smothered in red chile sauce or green chile sauce?  Personally, I’ve grown to prefer red since moving here six years ago, but I do have a soft spot for some good green chile stew.

Why do mantises like tires so much? I relocated this one to our garden to avoid his becoming road kill.

School is back in, and that means my work load will be picking back up, and that is a very welcome change.  My job involves traveling the state to various school districts and I enjoy the travel.  Summer is boring for me – too much busy work; not enough travel.  I’ve been spending time watching the yard change.  Vegetables ripening, insects leaving, birds starting to fly overhead.  I gotta get out more.

New Mexico apple tree – no, not really.

We had a visit from a good friend from Michigan in September.  He only stayed a few days, but he made a lovely work of “land art” in my front yard.  It involved one of my silver agaves and some falling crabapples.  Thank you, Chris.  It is always a delight.

The New Mexico State Fair came and went.  I entered three photos in the amateur photography competition and did not get a ribbon this year.  Oh, well.  There was some fabulous work there.  My friend Marissa entered and although she did not get ribbons either, she scored well.  Yay, girl!

Peace-loving bees departing the state fairgrounds

I also prepared my entries for the New Mexico Magazine Photo Contest, and for the Annual New Mexico Photographic Art Show.  Getting ready for these contests is really a lot of work.  Perhaps it would be less so if I didn’t wait until the last minute?  Hmmm.

My husband has been working all summer on putting up eaves on our garage and painting the structure.  I’ve had an indoor project because it’s a tad hot for me outdoors in the summer.  We’ve both just about completed those tasks.  He is now back in school, working on his PhD.  I am back to following him around, turning off the coffee pot and doing the dishes and things that his going-to-school brain seems to be too full for.  Pobrecito.  It’s not easy to work full time and go to school, too.

He also takes care of our backyard organic garden patch.  We have a nice crop of tomatoes, chiles, basil, and watermelon.  For some reason we also have a lot of fruit on our prickly pear cacti this year.  So I decided to make prickly pear jam.  But that’s an October story, so never mind.

We celebrated my older son’s 29th birthday in early September.  He is a manager at a seafood chain restaurant, and engaged to be married.  He says it’s not his dream job, and he has plans to move to the corporate offices in Orlando within five years.  We are happy he is working.  Heck, he is making better money than either of us!  Count that as a parental success.

I don’t think I will ever stop staring off into space and daydreaming.

Last week I met my younger son at our favorite restaurant near the university.  He recognized an actor who had a small role in an exciting scene in an episode of ‘Breaking Bad’ last season, so we chatted with him for a few minutes.  My son has done some background work in film in the past, but is currently enrolled at the university and working full-time, so doesn’t really have time to sit around on movie sets.  I remember sitting next to him on the couch once when he took a call and turned down an audition with Kevin Costner’s people because he was too busy.  I didn’t know then whether to be disappointed or proud.  Proud won. Another parenting success! The movie turned out to be ‘The Astronaut Farmer’.  It was pretty good, I thought.

The end of September also marked my parents’ anniversary and my mom’s birthday.  I called the folks for the anniversary, and sent a card and gift in the mail for the birthday.  My dad got a pacemaker this summer, and he seems to be adjusting to it pretty well.  I think the folks are finally getting ready to sell the place on the lake and come on out the southwest. I’m glad, because caring for them from 1600 miles away is a daunting prospect.  No, there is no one else to help.

The russian sage in our yard is losing its purple-ness. The bees are gone, something (insectile) has laid eggs in it, and today birds were picking at the remaining flowers.

Since I’m just about whining already – my car has been leaking radiator fluid for a couple of months so I’ve been sticking close to home until Bill could either fix it or take it to a mechanic.  He finally figured it out and was able to fix it.  Yay!  My hero!  Not being able to go anywhere was a drag.

I’ve also been getting my artistic jones taken care of by doing some painting recently.  I’m working on a series of encaustics that is somehow loosely about borders.  You know, those lines on a map, and what they mean.  To keep my inspiration up, I’ve been going to Artscrawl with my friends Marci and Robert and also spent a few hours at the ‘We Art the People’ festival in Robinson Park in downtown Albuquerque with above-mentioned folk and also Steven and Liz.  The day even included a 25-cent palm reading, and I met local legend Richard Maitland.  It was very uplifting.  I do enjoy spending time with artists.

There have been some new murals going up in downtown Albuquerque during September, too.  These are part of an upcoming ‘Street Arts’ show at 516 Arts, a publicly-funded gallery located on Central.  I can’t wait.

Well, now that it’s actually October, I guess I had better slap some photos on this puppy and hit ‘publish’.  Sheesh.  Slacker!

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