Archive for the Uncategorized Category

Presumptive resumption

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on October 14, 2012 by bosquechica

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Having been gone for almost 18 months from Trees, I hesitate to say I am back. But I find myself thinking about this site fairly often, so here goes.

My mom died on September 27th. My handsome barn cat, Chipper Jones, died about two months ago. We went to Spain in September, for 17 days. I’ve taken to working out 6 days a week, with dramatic improvement in fitness, health, mental, emotional and spiritual balance. I’m leading meditation group(s), and developing meditation and yoga classes for people with neurological disorders, for families of children with autism, and for caregivers and teachers to manage stress. I’m working on the road still, doing rehab therapy with home-bound people from Albuquerque to Santa Fe and points north. It’s still a great job, in spite of the heavy driving and the long days. I learn a lot.

The little farm continues apace. We have had a record year for fruit – apples, pears, plums, apricots and grapes in abundance. We’ve got half grown guinea keets just learning to get along safely outside of their coop. It’s almost November, and yet we haven’t yet lit the heaters, or put the swamp cooler to bed for the year. Tomorrow begins the real first baking of fall. Beef stew, apple pies, extra for friends and family. I made green chile stew on Wednesday, with mild green chiles from Wagner’s here in Corrales, and it was a fine batch. Recipe, perhaps?

All in all, this has been a challenging time for me and for us. The stress of aging parents and aging self carries significant weight. What I see and feel is that taking good care is what keeps me sane and loving. I am fortunate to have the strength, the resources and the support to set myself on this path.

And perhaps to write again here in this little corner of the blogosphere.

Pictured above is a plate of roasted veggies, taken last fall. Inspirational, innit?

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Huevos Rancheros like nena used to make

Posted in family, food, recipe, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on May 3, 2011 by bosquechica

Only better. I’ve modified this recipe to suit my own taste. No relatives are allowed to complain about these changes unless they’ve tried it. Consider that either an invitation or a threat.

So. “Huevos Rancheros” is Spanish for “Ranch Eggs”. That’s all. It means different things in different regions, and this version comes from my great-grandmother, Isidra Ybarra y de Valle, of Sabinas Hidalgo in the state of Nuevo Leon, in northern Mexico. I think she made it up, though – per family report, she had no domestic skills at all until the family moved to the United States in 1915 and, apparently, did not bring their cook with them.

Ingredients:

  • 6 tomatoes
  • 1 sweet yellow onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 5 guerito chiles, bottled in vinegar
  • cumin
  • oregano
  • eggs
  • olive oil
  • 4 cups water
  • shredded Mexican cheese (cheddar, jack, asadero blend)

Directions:

In a large skillet, heat oil. Add diced onions and garlic, sautee until clear and soft. Add diced tomatoes, sliced guerito chiles. Cook on medium heat for about five minutes. Pour some of the liquid from the bottle of gueritos into the skillet, add four cups of water. Bring to a full boil, then reduce to a medium heat. Add cumin and oregano. Reduce to a fresh vegetable soup consistency – brothy and chunky, but not thick! When your kitchen is steamy and smells of chiles and vinegar, drop the eggs in the broth and poach them. Spoon the warm broth, the tomatoes and chiles over the eggs to seal in the heat while poaching. Turn gently once for a fully poached egg white.

Heat corn tortillas in skillet. When warm and soft, place tortilla(s) in a pasta bowl, spoon the eggs and huevos over the tortillas. Top with cheese, and pour the rest of the soup over the eggs.

 This is a very spicy version of Huevos Rancheros; the gueritos are sharp and quite delicious, if you like heat and you like vinegar. They can be found in many grocery stores in the Mexican food section or sometimes in the condiments aisle.

The changes I’ve made have included taking the time to reduce the broth, and the cheese is an addition that complements the chiles and restrains the heat just slightly. For some reason, my mom has always served this with rye krisps instead of tortillas. This makes no sense to me, and I can’t imagine what she was thinking. Corn tortillas – that’s the way it ought to be done. This recipe makes 2-4 servings.

Try it, let me know what you think. I assume I will not be sent to family recipe hell for my changes, or at least not for long.

Salud!

Forgiveness, revenge, release

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on May 3, 2011 by bosquechica

“I mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” —MLK

These words, from Martin Luther King, Jr., have been traveling around the internet ever since the news of Bin Laden’s death came out on Sunday. It’s interesting, I think, that vengeance and redemption and forgiveness seem to be a part of the collective conversation at this moment.

I have been reflecting on what Laurie and I have often observed about human nature, which is that forgiveness is at the top of our brains. The flowering of human endeavor lies in our ability to forgive, to care for and nurture our fellow humans, our animal cousins, the very earth and water and air. It is also true that war, tribalism, retribution and violence are hard wired in the core of our brains – these are survival and crisis responses, and as such, we are relieved and in some ways satisfied when we hear that a Bin Laden is dead. And yet, every time someone rises above those impulses – as MLK did, as any number of spiritual leaders have done – it is a gift of grace. This is a good time to focus on grace, and to start to release the anger, fear and division that have driven us as a culture and a nation since 9/11.

Mexicans, Muslims and Gays – oh My!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on August 19, 2010 by bosquechica

This just in from the Wizard of Foz. Film at 11.
I don’t like this forest! It’s – it’s dark and creepy!

Of course, I don’t know, but I think it’ll get darker before it gets lighter.

Do – do you suppose we’ll meet any wild animals?

Mmmm – we might.

Animals that – that eat straw?

Some – but mostly Mexicans, Muslims and Gays.

Mexicans! Muslims! and Gays! Oh My!

Grabs the remote. Changes the channel. Ooh. Same report on every channel! Every newspaper! Every blog! Every radio program! Must be bad!!!!!

Straw Man again: Be very afraid. Hate everyone. Government bad! Neighbors bad! Healthcare bad! Education bad! Bad Bad Bad aaaaaaaaaaah

How can you argue with logic like that?

Press Release

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on July 22, 2010 by bosquechica

 

Deepwater Horizon

BP announced today that in a move to improve their public image, the company will be disbanded and reorganized with a new emphasis on environmental accountability. The new company, Hubris Oil, will go public on Sept. 11. Mark Crassus, CEO-elect of the newly formed multinational corporation, unveiled Hubris’ mission statement:

Humble Oil put a tiger in your tank; Hubris lets the tiger out.

Crassus expects the new venture to launch an aggressive online and on-air campaign, encouraging all Americans affected by the recent events off the Gulf Coast to invest in a secure future with Hubris.

(Folk singer in the background, fade away)

        As I was driving that ribbon of highway 
        I saw above me an acid rainbow  
        I saw below me the dying algae
        This land was stained by old BP

        This land was your land
        this land was my land
        from the Chugach Forest,
        to Chandeleur Island
        from the gulfstream slaughters
        to the toxic waters,
        this land was made for you and me

Welcome back

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on April 23, 2010 by bosquechica

This Sunday the Corrales Grower’s Market resumes. My yard is greening, the lilacs, tulips and grape hyacinth are in bloom. The apple tree is bright white.

Now that spring is more than just a date, I am ready to resume talking about life, about food, about the little farm (such as it is) and the challenges of living both as an urban professional and a weekend farmer.

Look for new recipes, announcements of new arrivals, and a little commentary about life in the world at large.

Hesitantly returning

Posted in body, health, insomnia, life-n-death, Uncategorized, writing with tags , , , on February 3, 2009 by bosquechica

ramona-lifting-weights

I haven’t written anything for months, mostly because of the nasty shoulder injuries that were keeping me from doing anything at all. I think I’m ready to write again, but I’m nervous and shy, have regained my blogging virginity, and have been wondering if I have a damn thing to say.

So, since it’s all about me and all, I thought I’d write about prolotherapy, which is the treatment I chose for my shoulders (yes, both of them).

Prolo therapy is a non-surgical intervention for torn ligaments and tendons. According to the prolo pros over at prolotherapy.com,

Prolotherapy uses a dextrose (sugar water) solution, which is injected into the ligament or tendon where it attaches to the bone. This causes a localized inflammation in these weak areas which then increases the blood supply and flow of nutrients and stimulates the tissue to repair itself.

Let me just say that, after I spent a couple of years skirting around the issue of living vs. dying and being repeatedly slit from my guzzle to my zatch, I came finally through that experience weaker and more wobbly than I knew was possible. Everything I did hurt, everything I did caused a new injury. In about 18 months, I sprained my ankles twice, got a hernia while on a tiny little super easy bike ride, and tore ligaments in both my shoulders. This sucked beyond my ability to convey, but was at least better than actually being dead.

I stopped sleeping, due to pain, started taking vicodin, due to pain, and slid into a vague, extended and tiresome period of being afraid to do anything. Let me say, this did not seem to be an actual depression, although it was depressing. More, it seemed like my body wasn’t willing to carry me anymore, and I was tired, and tired of pain. From some angles, I look like Frankenstein, a constructed being, scars shooting out in all directions, lit more by lightning than by nature.
frankenstein11

So. That did sound a bit depressed, eh?

I am a bit driven, by temperament, and this sloshing around in a half stupid hydrocodone fog, alternating with bright and angry pain, did not suit me overmuch. Hence the prolotherapy, after assorted other modalities did not do the trick.

Here’s what they do, and let me tell you it hurts like holy hell:

prolo-therapy1

The needles feel huge, no, enormous, and for about 30 days after the injections the pain was worse, massively and unbearably worse, which made me feel like a complete idjit. Pass the vicodin, please.

Then one day about a month after, it stopped. Not 100%, but about 80%, not bad, not bad at all. I stopped taking vicodin, and switched to ibuprofen with a very mild pain pill on the side. Stopped taking anything in the daytime, and now I’m taking the pain pill at night just two or three times a week.

As soon as the pain stopped, I started lifting weights and going to the gym (still working on frequency, but really I’ve always liked weights, so it feels good to be able to do it at all). I’m starting to sleep again, intermittently. My brain and body are starting to feel better, not well, quite, but better.

I’ve been driving my wife crazy with my bad sleep, chronic pain and forgetfulness (goes with the other two). And I’ve been driving myself crazy with the sensation that my body is the enemy, and that my brain has gone utterly to mush, never to be its own vigorous, adventurous and imaginative self ever again.

 I will let you know how this goes. It’s the old body-mind connection, can’t have the one without the other. I knew that. Wish me luck.

I’ll be back.

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