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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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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.

How to eat like a millionaire

Posted in family, food, garden, home, how to, nice things, recipe, seasonal, this-n-that, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on July 9, 2008 by bosquechica

Wow, I love this headline.

I’ll interview all my millionaire friends and let you know. Back soon.

Well, first of all, they tell me billionaire is the new millionaire, so I’m going to raise the bar.

Second — I was thinking it must be all about eco-friendly, sustainable, local food. Rich folk are locavores this week, right? Here’s the food-for-the-rich scenario as I had imagined it (turns out to have been entirely wrong):

“I’ll have my au pair drive to the farmer’s market to buy all the freshest just picked vegetables – the lettuces, the leeks and onions, the rainbow chard, the homemade pies, the early baby creamer potatoes, the hand-salted goat cheese. It can be a lesson in sustainable farming for my seven-year-old. Truffles dug up by my yard man’s farmer friend Joe. Corn and raspberries are hand-picked and delivered to my home weekly.”

As I looked into it, I realized actually that’s how I eat, and I am not a millionaire. Or billionaire. Plus, I don’t have kids, an au pair or a yard man. Wish I did – at least a concierge or something.

How do the very wealthy eat? I did some light reading, and this is what I found. Let’s go look at some of the finest restaurants in the most expensive cities in the world:

According to selected menu items listed in the SPellegrino 50 Best Restaurants in the World, the very wealthy might be eating at this very moment:

Snail Porridge
Bacon and Egg Ice Cream
Warm lettuce hearts soaked in vanilla brine
Sheep’s milk curd seasoned with hay and toasted fern
Beef roasted with the embers of vine cuttings
“Macaroni and Cheese” (butter-poached Maine lobster with mascarpone-enriched Orzo Pasta)
“Oyster and pearls” (a sabayon of tapioca with Island Creek Oysters and White Sturgeon Caviar)

This convinces me that I am not a billionaire. However, thanks to the beautiful farmer’s market in the small village where I live, I do eat like a millionaire of home-grown tastes. Very sensible of me. Only without the yard guy or the au pair.

With that in mind, here is a recipe for your basic pasta primavera:

Pasta Primavera

Ingredients:
Pasta
assorted fresh spring vegetables
goat cheese 
herbs de provence:

Preparation:
Set your pasta water on to boil. Prep your vegetables – chunky or thin sliced, as you prefer.

This is what we had yesterday:

  • Onion
    Garlic
    Yellow bell pepper
    Yellow squash
    Zucchini
    Fresh oregano
    Herbs de provence – chervil, rosemary, savory, lavendar, tarragon, marjoram, mint (variations are common)
    Goat cheese

Sautee onions and garlic in olive oil at a medium-high temperature. When these are soft and clear, add each vegetable in turn. Denser vegetables first. Don’t abuse your vegetables by mashing them about with a spatula or boiling them to death. Add a generous splash of vermouth or white wine. 

Drain your pasta and dress lightly with oil or butter.

Plate the pasta, sprinkle an ounce or slightly more of goat cheese on it. Spoon the sauteed vegetables on top of all that. Add salt and pepper.

Serve hot, with a glass of chilled white wine. Have some while you are cooking, too, if it seems advisable.
Light mixed green salad on the side.

Life can be relatively easy, can’t it?

My own pillow

Posted in family, life-n-death with tags , , , on November 26, 2007 by bosquechica

I got home this weekend and slept 14 hours. My mother has been from critical care to oncology to inpatient rehab and back to oncology again (this time with pneumonia), all in less than two weeks. Went from 100% independence (home, finances, pets, shopping, cleaning – everything) to almost nothing – she can’t walk, write, stand, sit without help, swallow safely, talk clearly. She’s still cognitively on-board, which is just unbearable, I think.

I’m reminded of my grandmother’s death – she had a stroke during Jeopardy and died on the spot. She was almost 90 and living at home with my granddad — they were married for 70 years. He said she turned to him, said his name (Paul), held out her hand and died. All in the blink of an eye — he always described the transition from life to death as taking place in the blink of an eye — moving from a temporal state to one in which time no longer exists. He and Laurie had a lot of good wine-swilling late night jaws about the nature of life.

Anyway, there will be more to do for mom and the brother, and sleeping with my honey in our bed with my own pillow is a welcome break. I baked, watered the plants, praised the dogs, did some laundry, played scrabble with Laurie (I was a bad sport when she kicked my ass — sorry honey! — sooooo frazzled), and did my billing. All regular stuff, fortifying to have some usual routines. I sense that I will need to regroup again — hell, what is the meaning of life? Of work? Of love? Of family?

The sandhill cranes just flew past my window, coming down low on their way to the fields next door. Maybe they know.

Go for a what?!

Posted in pets with tags , , , , on November 4, 2007 by bosquechica

Good listening, ladies.

 (Shelby and Morgan – image © Teresa Valle Nov. 3, 2007)