Thursday, September 29, 2011

On The Road

Good morning and hope you're enjoying your lovely Fall weather where ever you lay your heads. It's still hotter than hell out here in TX and it's getting a bit tiring. The local meteorologists have given up....I think they've taken up reading tea leaves or chicken bones because they're way off course with their predictions. It's not as if we get these really cold winters, hardly, but it would be nice to smell the crispness in the air and the ozone that Fall usually provides for us out here in far West TX. LOL

This is going to be short post, but I wanted to introduce to you my second set of dancing skellies:

I sold the other two, as I mentioned in my last post. I'm saving one of the unfinished hanging skelly for my little granddaughter's nursery, which she will be sharing with her older brother, the two year old Sammy, and yes, he's going through the usual "terrible two's!" Oy

I will be leaving for Austin, TX today to attend my friend's birthday bash. We arrive this evening after 10 p.m., way after my bedtime!! Tomorrow, Irene has to work, but her beautiful daughter, Michele, will be taking us out to the Rocky River Ranch in Whimberly. Of course, we have to stop at Shady Groves for our fix of green-chile cheese fries....delish!! We'll also stop somewhere for ice, beer, water and's girl scout camp all over again, except with beer!! LOL I will be seeing my daughter and grandsons on Monday. They're driving down from Round Rock, a burb of Austin and about an hour from my friend who lives in South Austin. We're planning on having breakfast then they'll drop me off at where Irene and Edna will be, hopefully, somewhere on South Congress place!! Edna and I will head on home on Southwest and arrive late afternoon...sigh!

Before I go, I wanted to show you a little doll I made out of an Altoid box. Wendy Aspinall over at is having a swap. I made this little skellie girl for my partner, Mercedes, and hope she likes it, because I do...LOTS!!

Ok, friends, have many miles to go before I lay my weary head...approximately 640 of them!! Need to run a couple of errands then start packing because I have to head out to the airport around 5...great...just in time for the 5 p.m. I-10 parking lot!! Peace out,

Sunday, September 25, 2011

More Masks & Restless Night

Hello all you wonderful people out there in Bloglandia. Hope you've had a great weekend. I finally finished the last of my paper mache masks, and I say the "last" of them because Michaels ran out and they don't anticipate getting anymore in. When I asked the young woman about it, she looked at me as if I were growing lobsters out my ears, but stocking up on more Halloween stuff at the end of September, oh Lord, no's September, for goodness sake!! We are so done with Halloween in September!!!???!!?? I suppose I shouldn't complain, it's been that way for many years now...Halloween in July, Christmas in September, Valentines Day in December, Easter in January/Feb....sigh! Anyway, here are my little lovelies:

I don't know of any of you remember the little sets of earrings and pendants I made last year for Dia de los Muertos, but I made a few more for the little shop I occasionally sell locally. Desi asked me to make a few just to test the waters, so here is a set of pendents I made since I had four pair of earrings left over from last year. Sorry about the quality of the photo, but must have been a bit shaky the other day when I took this shot.

This past weekend I've had my youngest son, Ian, over for his birthday. He turned 26 on Friday and even though he's that age, he still behaves about certain things as if he were 10. I made sure he had a great birthday weekend, which may be over by today. I'll explain. My son is unable to really read well, so he fills his time watching television, movies and sports shows mainly, and listen to music while hes' here...he loves music!! For those of you who are unaware of what I'm talking about, Ian is autistic with other issues; he's mildly retarded. So I said it, "retarded!" Not mentally challenged, but a "tard." I call it like I see it. Anyway, now that we've gotten that non-PC word done and over with, I also want to mention, he loves to eat. I suppose he fills his days with just so much music and television that he enjoys the feeling and taste of many foods. I've shown him how to make certain dishes for himself when he's over here....the stepmother doesn't allow him to cook in her kitchen...don't know why, she doesn't use it herself either. The kid can cook an artichoke with butter sauce!! The reason I taught him, was one weekend, he was going back home and I didn't have time to cook his artichoke, so I typed out a very detailed set of instructions for this woman, pics and all, and sent it on with'd have to be a total idiot not to understand them...let's just say, she was unable to complete the task!!

On Friday, he was taken out to lunch by one of his friends to P.F. Changs...brought me back a lettuce roll....yum!! That evening we were planning on taking him to Chopes, wrote about it in my last blog. Well, as all best laid plans, this one fell apart. Both hubby and I had put in a long day, and I wasn't feeling too well and we just didn't want to drive 45 mins. to this place, so we had an alternative plan since he wanted to have a steak at Applebees....when I think steak, I don't think Applebees!! So we offered going to "Great American" today for a late lunch, early dinner....another local place that serves the best red meat in's for anyone who's looking for a stroke to happen!! LOL

Last night, we went out to another local eatery, Cappetto's. It's a Italian restaurant in town and it's not half bad...pretty good as a matter of fact. So we went there last night and met up with my mother, brother and his partner, girlfriend...what ever you'd call her. He was bound and determined to have a beer, after I was against it due to the heavy-duty meds he takes, but the doc told him he could have on occasion, one lite beer, which he ordered. According to my mother, he gulped it down, plus 8 oz. of Dr. Pepper. Explains why he was feeling so lousy within a few mins. My brother took him to the restroom, where he was able to splash some water on his face and just allow the guzzled contents to settle a bit. He came back out feeling much better, the rest of my salad, ate 2 pieces of his pizza and more Dr. Pepper. He swore he'd never touch any alcohol again!!

We returned to my mother's where she had prepared one of our favorite desserts and Ian's, Arroz con Leche, or plainly put, rice pudding, but the Mexican style....another yum!! I gave him a hefty serving, then he served himself twice after that. We came home and he proceeded to pop 2 bags of popcorn much to my chagrin. So at about 2 this morning, I'm awaken by DH, telling me that Ian called 911! The dork felt like sh-t and he decided to call 911 since he couldn't wake me up!! I shot out of bed, looked at my dialed numbers on my cell phone, called them back and told them to cancel...thankfully, the ambulance hadn't arrived and they were able to stop it. Well, let's just say I turned him every way but lose!!

We all had a rough night since I lay awake waiting for the other shoe to drop, but thankfully, it never did. At some point, I fell back to sleep and woke to what sounded like running water. DH told me Ian had been in the shower for about 30 mins. Went down the hallway and listened in at the door and he was doing his usual mumbling about something, so I know he wasn't dead. Again, stayed awake for any other sounds, but he finally went back to his room and shut the door.

So today, I'm hoping to get some work done in the studio and start on my new little skelly dolls. I still haven't set up a PayPal account over at my Etsy shop...may have to put that on the back burner for another 2 weeks. I also have been asked to make 2 more of those little hanging ballet skelly girls. Desi told me that a woman came in the other day, bought the two I had for sale there, for her daughter's nursery....and here I thought I was being a bit strange since I plan on making one for my future granddaughter's nursery! So I went to Hobby Lobby for more real girlie colours too!! My teeth ache!! Also, returned to Michaels and bought out the rest of their little wooden hanging skellies...I don't assume they'll be getting in more before next July!!

This coming Thursday, a friend and I will be heading out to Austin to spend a birthday weekend with a mutual good friend. We'll be heading from Austin to a town called Whimberly where we'll be staying at the Rocky River Ranch...sounds like a girl scout camp! Due to the drought, there will be no fire pits and from what I've also heard, whatever river than runs through it (no, it's not called Rocky River, just the facility), is dried up, so it will be interesting how we'll spend our time...told my buddy this body will not see a bathing suit anytime soon, so I will not be participating in any water activities unless it's the shower. However, every first of the month, Whimberly has an open craft market, so I'm really looking forward to that. That Sunday, we'll be heading back to Austin for an at -home birthday celebration given my my friend's kids, 5 of them, then Monday, it's back to El Paso...a quick weekend, but should be loads of fun...always have a great time with these two ladies.

Well, time to wrap this up and get my day started. Y'all have a great week and don't forget to do something creative...what's better than making creative stuff?? Making more creative stuff! Peace out.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Saturday Afternoon On The Old Road

Howdy Blogger buddies! Thought I'd greet you today with the traditional "Howdy" of Texas A&M. My son graduated from there in '99 and was in the corp of cadets band for four years, playing the trumpet. The school is steeped in traditions, I just don't remember them all. I was in the local Aggie Mom organization for about 3 years and had a blast with most of these women, but as their kids began to graduate, those old members left the club for other distractions, and the incoming membership was a bit in major sticks up their "nose!" So I left for a couple of reasons, was going through a hellish separation and I returned to college and the old fun and crazy Aggie guard were gone , oh, that's 3 reasons!

Yesterday, DH and I decided we'd enjoy lunch at one of our favorite eateries, the Riviera. It's been around for years and I just love their enchiladas, both red and green, so I had a combo platter....finished half of it since we had decided to take a nice drive up to Mesilla, NM and I just didn't want to feel that bloat on the ride up. Mesilla is this lovely little community outside Las Cruces, NM. We love taking the drive on the "old road" as it's referred here or the historical "Onate Trail." Onate was this New Spain (Mexico) born Spaniard explorer back in the 17 c. who was looking for the proverbial Cibola, one of the legendary 7 cities of gold. A side, he was also married to Hernan Cortez granddaughter. Anyway, this guy was not very popular among the residing tribes and got into some big trouble with the Acomas...if he didn't like you, he'd lop of an arm, leg, whatever...really nice guy! Ok, so I digress, but had to give you a little background on the old road and pretty much my backyard.

Speaking of my "backyard," just thought I'd show some of the beauty of my desert, both west TX and southern NM, which is a valley...the mountains are the tail end of the Rockies. This is a distant view of the mountains and one of the many pecan orchards.

This photo is one of the many pecan orchards in the area (why in the hell are pecans so expensive then??)

The next 3 pics are were taken in the middle of Stahmanns Farm, the largest pecan orchard in the world.

When I was a child, we would take this road to Mesilla and you could see large gaggles of geese in the orchards. They were used to keep the grounds clean plus, they sold their eggs, chicks, and of course, many of those dear birdies ended up on Christmas tables. It's been years since they've had geese, but the orchard is still quite impressive. This area is known for pecans, pistachios and of course, wine.

There's this wonderful restaraunt in La Union, NM, on the road to Mesilla, called Chopes. It's been there for years and in just the last ten years, it's really gotten popular, especially with the weekend motorcyclists, as you can see. They're famous for their red enchiladas. Planning on taking my son, Ian, there for his birthday next week.

Next is this little church that's one of my favs in the area. It's in the small town of La Mesa, NM. I remember the residents would dry their chile crops on the roofs their homes, making the whole town pop with beautiful colours of reds and yellows. I don't know if they do that now, haven't seen it for some time, but the smell of roasting chile just permeates this area this time of year...the scent of the gods!

Above is a house with the adobe wall exposed. It was across the street from the church and thought some of you who have never seen it before would like enjoy this. Adobe is still used in this area, both out here in West TX and NM.

I have been asked to make a painting of San Albinos church in the city square of Mesilla, so we thought it would be nice to stop by, take some pics and just do a little shopping.

I didn't take this particular photo, but borrowed it off their site because our plans for a nice, quiet afternoon in the town of Mesilla turned out to be not so quiet. The square was completely off-limits to traffic. They were celebrating 16 de Septiembre in the town and it was madness, fun, but none the less, madness!!

There were Mariaches:


Tiny Dancers:

It was all very festive and I felt as if I were in a mercado in Mexico. Sadly, the Juarez Mercado across the border is shutting it's doors due to the violence there. I have wonderful memories of the market. I used to go with my mother and/or grandmother and we'd buy fresh everything. The smell of cooking food, herbs, even the scent of the starch finishes on the clothes, the a line of little old ladies making fresh corn tortillas in their comals. I loved to hear my grandmother call out, "Marchante," to who ever was selling the best priced veggies, cheese and meat that day. We would stop at the herbman, that's what I called him, and she would by fresh herbs for the days meal. She also would always get us these rocket shaped suckers, called "piruli (pee-rul-ee)" with the accent on the last "i." They could be considered lethal in the wrong hands, ie. an older sister sticking it to her little brother!! LOL

I did a little shopping too. I got my friend, who I'll be seeing in 2 weeks in Austin, a pair of earrings. Due to the cost of silver these days, the Indian jewelers have discovered the wonders of aluminum and the jewelry is quite nice, plus, no tarnishing and very light weight. I'm just glad I got all my Indian silver & turquoise jewelry back when it was still affordable, in the '70's and '80's. There's this quaint little bookstore that's been on the plaza forever. They sell lots of the locally published books, so I purchased a little children's book by a local guy, written and illustrated by him. I collect children's lit and this book was so beautifully illustrated, I just had to add it to my collection, besides, the author's last name is "Diaz," like mine. I also had to buy a "concha" bag. Let me explain why I call them "Concha" bags. When I was a kid, we had this maid whose name was, ok, 3 guesses...Concha!! She would come every week with her clean clothes and some belongings packed up in two of the bags, hence, Concha bags. Anyway, I'm sure you've seen them, they're the plastic woven Mexican bags with pictures or stripes...I bought one with the Virgen de Guadalupe from a group of local monks from the Holy Cross monastery up the road. I had to help translate for a woman from Duluth, MN, who wanted to purchase a special order carving of San Pasqual...seems this round of monks "speak English very few," but they had some wonderful products, stuff they make there at their monastery. I also purchased a colourful little nosegay of paper flowers made in Mexico. I used to make them as a child and I've forgotten how, so I bought some to spark my memory...DH asked if I spent $6 just to take them apart...nah, just need one!!

Now for some pics of local colour in the town of Mesilla:

A metal "Catrina" sculpture made from large oil cans from Mexico.

A watering can made from a La Costena jalapeno can...very cool!

This is another metal sculpture like the Catrina. His name is Phil, or should it be "Felipe?"

This is one of the many charming homes in town. I wish I had time to take more pics of the more older, rustic houses.

Hope the folks that are remodeling this house know about their attic visitor!

Well friends, that concludes my short tour of the very festive, colourful and one of my favouite places in the world, Mesilla, NM. I feel so lucky to be so close to such a fun place, like I mentioned, this is almost in my lucky am I!!?? It's time for this ol' desert rat to drag her tired butt (neighbors had a 16 de Septiembre party in their backyard last night and went on till 2....oy, can't get the mariachi music out of my head!!) and write down all the ideas I was bombarded with while I lay awake singing "Adelita" along with the mariachis!! LOL Peace out.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Remember Me???

Hello Fellow Bloggers, it's been a while. I thought I had so much to tell you, and for some reason, I can't remember a darn thing!! I was reading one of my favorite blogs yesterday and she talked about just tuning out some of this tech stuff because it is addictive, right? Since my mother's illness, I have found it's real easy to tune and turn off.

Speaking of my mother, she's doing lots better. She seems to be slowly returning to her ol' self, finally. She does have an ability to be a bit "chiplona," with my brother, though. "Chiplona" (pronounced, cheeplona) means being a bit whiny. Well, he falls for it, but not I. I told her the other day that her house, as mine, are "Chiplona-Free" environments! I just don't do well around "chiplonas!" Anyway, she decided she didn't want to make meals for herself anymore, so I'm making some meals for her and my brother will take something over to her too so she can just reheat in the microwave. We've also told her no more driving on major streets.

I've been noticing lately that there seems to be more careless drivers in this city. A lot of these drivers aren't from here, not even from this country, but since the violence erupted across the river from us, lots of the citizens have moved here to get away from the terror that grips the once beautiful Cd. Juarez in Mexico. They have also brought with them their once thriving businesses to this side of the border. We've had an explosion of so many wonderful and exotic restaurants and shops that's it's been great for our economy, plus, they give much to the community. Unfortunately, many of them also have brought with them their bad driving habits, as if West Texas and Southern New Mexico don't have enough of their own! LOL It can be really dangerous out there sometimes and you have to drive always, and I mean always, with extreme caution. I recall when I was in Mexico City many years ago, the guys that were driving us around would honk as they approached a stop sign...they didn't stop, but honked as a warning to those that had the right of way!! Yeppers, that was pretty scary at times. My uncle told me once that in Mexico you don't watch the person in front, but the one behind you...again, pretty scary. LOL

Well, anyway, now that she's not driving much, I've been officially been given the job of chauffeur. My brother, who recently retired from the D.O.D, thinks that art-making isn't a job, so I need one, another one. I don't have problems with driving Miss Daisy, never has been since 1979, but to be told that I'm to care for her in that capacity, well, let's just say that chaps my hide and I've told him so. My husband asked me if she's just gotten that way but since I've always been around, it's just what it is. After I graduated from college in '05, I couldn't find employment here and since I did get a B.A. in Art, well why not put that talent to work, right??

Many of you are artists and know that this profession or rather, passion can be a sinking ship at times. We don't go into it expecting to make lots of money, unless you happen to be in the right place at the right time and have a gazillionaire patron....what are the chances for that?? But we love what we do and I'll admit, I sometimes resent others taking away my time for what I love to do. Last week I was frazzled from caring for my mother, taking her to doc appointments, making meals, visiting with her, taking her on some errands. I hadn't had any time in the studio and I was really getting agitated, then add the crap from my brother, well, I was ready to just kill something or punch them out at least!! My mother noticed I was a little "da-clempt" and asked me what was wrong. It's very difficult for someone who doesn't possess the artistic passion to understand and I can't think of anything to compare it to her life, or her having to be denied something so very important for one's sanity. The only thing I could think of was her golf.

My folks were avid golfers. My dad was one of the first Mexican-Americans to join the El Paso Country grandfather established the first country club in Cd. Juarez, so we come from a long line of country clubbers. When I was 16 my mother insisted I learn how to play golf...bor--ing!! She even took me out shopping for golfing outfits. Well, that year, I had to drop geometry because I was failing it miserably (a whole other story), so I took it during the summer. I not only I had a really cute wardrobe, but I aced the course and met lots of cute guys!! Needless to say, I was never approached about it again. As of right now, I am not in a country club, nor do I intend to join one, as a matter of fact, none of my sibs are in one because we have better things to spend our money on. My folks left the club some years back when the new bunches of brats decided that it was unfair for the older members to continue using their standard tee times during the weekends, so they voted all that out. As a result, many of the older members left the club...these were the members that built that club and sustained it with their hard earned cash, unlike these other stinkers who were the products of hard-working parents and brought up with entirely too many privileges, they felt entitled.

Well, enough of the rant. Today we're celebrating my mother's 89th birthday by taking her to a nice local seafood restaurant for lunch. Her real birthday is tomorrow and her old friends are taking her out for lunch. I have been invited and since I'll be taking my car into the shop tomorrow for a new switch, I won't have wheels!! So pray that no one will be nice enough to pick me up!! LOL I want to play in my studio and just relax doing what I love, art-making.

Speaking of art, here's a few samples of what I've been doing in between my sharing my life with family. Let me know what ya think. I found these great paper mache masks at Michaels and make sugar skull designs on they way turned out.

Again, at Michaels, I found these little jointed unfinished wooden skellies that I "girlied" up. I am going to be a grandmother again, but this one will not be part of the Penis Posse...talkin' estrogen finally!! LOL Anyway, with Zoe's impending birth, I'm finding myself doing more "pink." I know, I'll get over it, but till then, I'm having way too much fun!! I took these little ladies down to a little shop that sells all sorts of neat-o stuff. She makes all kinds of adorble bows, tutus, personalized t-shirts and some really great jewelry. If you're looking for some really great girlie stuff, visit her etsy shop under the "Royally Sweet" name as her FB page, so go on over there and hit "like" button, plus, her work is top of the line and at very good prices...amazing prices. She's selling her stuff all over the country right now, so bidness is good for her. Of course, I've already enlisted her into making an tutu for the little Miss Zoe, but told her no rush till next Spring.

Well my lovlies, time for me to go get ready for this birthday soiree. Beleive me when I wonder what to get an 89 year old woman who has everything and if she doesn't, she'll get it, of course, I have to drive her there!! I went to this wonderful Mexican bakery and bought her a selection of her favorite sweet breads...that should do it. Peace out.