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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.

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Why I can never decide what to do with my weekends and other piddling details

Posted in community, family, garden, home, life, pets, random, this-n-that, work, writing with tags , , , , , , , on May 20, 2009 by bosquechica

I can’t make up my mind. It’s a holiday weekend. Should I leave for the weekend? Go with Alyx and Julie to Cochiti Lake and have a sun-fest? Go to Portales to visit Dan and Elizabeth? Go to Santa Fe for a secret weekend hideaway with my sweetie? Take the dogs camping? Paint the master bedroom a light sage green? Stay home and work in the yard?

The dogs say we can’t go to Cochiti or Portales because they would not be able to run free like the little wolves that they are. They also don’t like the Santa Fe idea because they would not be invited. They like yard work just fine as long as they are helping, but really need a good hike. They don’t care a fig about painting, unless it leads to a walk.

We’ve been discussing it for over a week now and have conclusively determined that we can’t make up our minds about anything.

We could plant some tomatoes. We could go to some movies and take a nap. We could lie around and read books.

Ok. The problem is, we can’t commit to going anywhere or doing anything. We are BAD FRIENDS who WON’T DO ANYTHING FUN. Dammit. And we’ve had friends over the years who would not commit to advance planning and have been VERY ANNOYED with them at the time. Hmm. Maybe we are overextended?

I think I’m voting to stay home and either paint or play yard games and take the dogs for many walks because I honestly feel for them, I do.

Have you ever noticed that I never talk about my work? I wonder why not? I mean, I think I could. Or about my fiction or my goals as a writer? Or about my writing group.

I think I’ll write more about writing itself, and the group that meets at my house, and what we are doing that works or does not work.

I miss my friend Ken, who just shut down his writing group after 16 continuous years.

This weekend, though, I think I’ll play it by ear.

Summer fruit in Tuaca

Posted in chickens, community, family, farm, food, garden, geese and guineas, how to, nice things, recipe, seasonal with tags , , , , , , , , on July 6, 2008 by bosquechica
melon boat

melon boat

Choose a variety of ripe summer melons:

Cantaloupe
Watermelon
Honeydew
Crenshaw

Add some other fruits:
Strawberries
Grapes
Cherries

Other ingredients:
Tuaca
Fresh mint
Juice

Cut one watermelon lengthwise in half to be a melon boat.

Using a melon baller, make a colorful selection of balls. Place in melon boat. Slice and add your other fruits. Add juice (orange, mango,  or watermelon) and a small amount of Tuaca (or Triple Sec, the usual choice), just enough to enhance the flavor of the fruit. Chop the fresh mint and sprinkle on top. Serve chilled in small bowls, on your patio, with your family and friends at a weekend barbecue. Save some for brunch on Sunday morning. Give the melon rinds and other fruit scraps to your geese and chickens!

Drafty in here

Posted in family, life, this-n-that, Uncategorized, work, writing with tags , , , , , , on April 18, 2008 by bosquechica

On my fiction blog, Cuentos, I am in the habit of tossing in freewrites without judging or editing, and this has worked well for me, I think. Here at Trees, though, where I am theoretically exploring creative non-fiction, I’ve got actually dozens of drafts rotting in my manage files, and I am afraid they are stuck there. Why is that? I am somewhat reminded of my journalism internship back in dark wet moldy Seattle. I believed I was an unreliable source of factual information, and found myself wretchedly unsure of my ability to report the facts of the council meetings and “about town” features that I was assigned. To report “facts” at all, actually. I’m given to hyperbole, equivocation and dithering (the robin was 7 feet tall, well almost, well metaphorically, and maybe it wasn’t a robin, maybe it was a shadow or something someone told me or I just heard it somewhere). And sometimes I say things because of how they sound instead of how they mean. I’m pretty sure my internship advisor would still shudder and turn away if she ran into me in a back alley somewhere.

So for no other reason than here I am, awake and ungrounded, here are a few fact-lets (or they may be fict-lets) about my life of late:

  1. The geese are frisky due to spring. This is a good time to pat their soft chests (they come running when called) and chat, but a bad time to turn your back on them (they do not ask for your phone number first, they just grab ass and go for it).
  2. The elder patients are feeling good with the warm sun heating their bones. Less dying, more sparking.
  3. The babies are rowdy and physical, and prone to throw things in one’s face. Exuberant, but no finesse. One split my lip a couple weeks ago. Ha-ha-ha-HA! he said. Little heathen.
  4. The lilac is in bloom. It is too big to be a bush now, more like a lilac tree.
  5. The friends are lining up to visit. Ah, the bosque in the spring! Warm, green, sleep with the windows open.
  6. The missus and I will take a week off in May and stay home to play lady farmers together. Don’t tell anyone, cause we want quiet time in the garden together.
  7. We rented our friend’s fire station to a children’s theatre troupe, because they will use the dance floor (used to be the firetruck bay) as it is intended to be used. And because we liked them. They have a St. Bernard named Menaleus.
  8.  I am paying attention to the primaries, but even thinking about what a mess it is makes me want to talk about the seven foot robin mentioned above. So never mind.
  9. My mom has moved home and is walking, making her own meals, dressing and bathing herself, and getting physical therapy at home three times a week. Pretty good after almost five months in a nursing home.
  10. I’m saving money to build a new chicken coop. I’ve almost got it now, but usually something happens to eat the money before it gets done.
  11. Our very sweet nephew, Ed, graduates from high school next month. He wants a membership to the ACLU for his 18th birthday, and cash for graduation. He is a good boy. In my head he is often still six years old, playing pirate in the yard.
  12. I think I’ll give up private practice and go work in the schools for a while. Summers off. Benefits. Still ambivalent, but the academic schedule is very appealing. Last summer driving around all day doing home therapy was like getting in and out of a pizza oven. I’m dreading the coming months already.
  13. It’s about time for another all-day writing retreat here at Casa de Bosquechica. More planning this time – the last one needed more structure.
  14. Mrs. Bosquechica is looking for a job. Her funding is way gone now. Anyone need a brilliant systems analyst with a background in medical research?
  15. I’m in the mood to go hiking, biking and camping, but have been spending weekends working. This seems fundamentally wrong.
  16. I’d like to go back to sleep now, or if not that, I’d like to write a great play or a poem, or decide what to be or do next with my life. Maybe that’s the problem.

Goodnight or good morning, wherever and whoever you may be.

 

Doppel

Posted in body, family, life, nice things, personal history, random, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on April 7, 2008 by bosquechica

On Friday, I was shopping at Smith’s on my way home from work. I bought tortillas, sour cream, guacamole, wine and ice. Company expected. On my way out, I paused at the freezer to pick up my 10 lbs. There, I was stopped by a tiny old man with a snowy white beard. He was riding a red electric scooter chair, and his eyes were a sparkling, electric blue (not unlike my husky’s eyes). Morgan

“Whoa,” he said. “I gotta follow you for a little while.” I looked at him and smiled absent-mindedly, thinking more about my house and how to get ready for guests with less than an hour to spare. I crossed the parking lot, stopped at my car and opened the trunk. Then I realized that the little man really had followed me. I looked at him again and he looked back with those sparkling eyes, big smile.

“Excuse me, but I just had to tell you that there is a golden glow shining all round you, and following you, too. You are beautiful!”

“Thank you,” I said. “You know, you remind me of my friend Eunice F.”

“Why?” he asked. “What’s wrong with that person?”

“Not a thing,” I said back. He did a nice little preen, put his hand up against the back of his head as if puffing up his hair, and said “Well, thank you kindly” and looked delighted.

“You have a nice weekend, now,” I said. He scooted on to his own car, right next to mine, and put his things in the back seat. His license plate had DAV plates (disabled veteran) and a bumper sticker that said “Honor the dead, heal the wounded, end the war”.

I went home feeling decidedly perked up by this exchange, and thought about his strange similarity to my good friend Eunice F. Eunice F. is the seventh Eunice in a long line of Eunices. She is 63 years old, with electric blue eyes. She attracts lightning, and has been struck several times. She is an apple-faced hippie lady who lives in a stone cabin in the mountains east of Albuquerque. She is a doll-maker and an artist. She has a beard (not snowy white) that she does not remove, and she is a calm and moving storyteller. She is very poor, hauls water and raises chickens. At 63, she is suffering from the effects of a life of hard labor, and she has a lot of physical pain. She made me a doll with wings who flies around the house and appears here and there on window sills and mantlepieces, apparently at will. storyteller doll

I went home and told Mrs. Bosquechica about my strange meeting and she was amazed on many different levels. First of all, who gets stopped by total strangers with that kind of comment? Second of all, another Eunice F.? Astonishing! Funny thing is, though, that like Eunice F. and her repeated encounters with lightning, I have been stopped periodically with the “you are glowing/beautiful/ or something equally surprising” by total strangers, both men and women, since I was very young. Not, you know, weekly or anything, but about every two or three years someone does this. It’s been awhile, though, longer than usual, and I started thinking about that and about Eunice and the little man and his bumper stickers, and healing the wounded and electric scooters and lightning.  It occurred to me that, like the storyteller doll that Eunice made for me, maybe I have started flying again, maybe there has been time for healing and resuming whatever that glowing thing is that attracts lightning to some and odd compliments to others.

And here is the amazing Eunice F., for those of you who have made it this far.

Eunice F.

 

 

Five Years Ago, I . . .

Posted in personal history, travel, writing, writing practice with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 29, 2008 by bosquechica

(To keep things moving, I’m tossing this out there without the pictures from Africa and without the links that my good intentions wanted me to provide.) 

 

Lost my grand-dad. Bye old guy! Picture (c) visitusa.com

Scattered his ashes in the mountains outside of Las Cruces.

Finalized buying the old adobe house from my wife’s parents.

Worked mostly in Spanish that year.

Had tea in bed every morning, with the globe and an africaatlas propped up between us, learning the names of all the African nations and their capitals.

Grew tomatoes, grapes, pears, plums, onions, garlic, basil and apples. Daffodils, tulips, irises.

Wrote one piece of short fiction almost every week.

Went to Uganda for the international dance festival at the Ndere Centre in Entebbe, where I discovered exactly how white I am. I was one of six light-skinned people in a festival attended by over 6,000 Africans from various nations (three of them were Austrian). The festival took place about six weeks before we started bombing Iraq; I was angry, outraged, and pretty-well petrified to be travelling at that particular moment, with our government hijacked by criminals and my fellow-citizens apparently having lost their collective minds.

On the opening day, I sat roughly 10 feet away from Ugandan President Musevene while he made a very angry speech about the interference of American and European white people in African business, cultural and political affairs. My two friends and I had been seated more-or-less next to him, but were separated by a ring of armed guards. The festival was incredible, high stomping, enormous drums, colorful, with movement that blended some of the conventions of missionary teaching with older dance traditions that expressed sexuality, war, hunting, with the relatively recent influences of modern dance, mixed media performance and pop culture trends from African, European and American sources. For the traditional African dancers, it was the first time most of them had performed together on a single stage.

Attended the going away party of a retiring Anglican priest who was moving to Scotland after 45 years of teaching dance and self-sufficiency to young women in Kampala. Kampala is a hot crowded city, smoke rising in trash can fires all over the city, maribou storks hovering like crows in the mango trees. My friends were tense and angry and closeted and sarcastic. I smoked American cigarettes on the balcony and choked on the urban air. The storks were enormous, prehistoric, almost hip height to me.

After the festival, I flew alone (at last!) from Uganda to Naorobi to Amsterdam. I wandered the streets of Amsterdam late at night until I came to the Café Kale, where I ordered beer, soup and kale pesto with crusty bread.

Back at home, we were maced at a peace rally by mounted Albuquerque police. Hid in a sandwich shop with two dudes who kept saying “Whoa man, we should really shut down.”

Acquired two new cats, the blue-eyed husky and a pair of lovebirds.

Took sides when my friends in Uganda split up. I’m a big fool sometimes.

Saw the little nieces and nephews frequently. Their favorite games at the time were role playing, yoga, fencing and playing dragon in the yard, storytelling and making scrambled eggs.

Had a major flood (in an act of rural vandalism) that almost collapsed the house (it is made of mud). Moved from room to room for almost three months as we rebuilt, keeping the fridge in the front yard the entire time. Good look, that.

Learned to make pie crust.  

Next: Five years from now, I . . .

Pie face

Posted in goose talk, Uncategorized with tags , , on September 28, 2007 by bosquechica

eew! 

Friends brought a lemon meringue pie to dinner at our house. We don’t really eat much sugar, but birds love it. So we put the pie out for the geese the next morning.

It sat there for 24 hours. Hot day. It did not attract ants. The cats looked at it. The geese avoided it entirely. Eventually they examined it, then walked in it, then ate the crust.

Guess lemon meringue isn’t strictly food.

We’ll be having a strange adventure in Las Vegas this weekend. Back next week.