That there picture is what I am seeing out the dining room sliding glass door of a condo in Taos Ski Valley, a small alpine desert enclave about 40 minutes (along a winding mountain road) outside of Taos proper, where I’m doing another travel nanny stint with the charming Kira and her mum Lesley. We arrived Monday and will be here until the 21st, when I return to California and they head to Maine for another chamber music festival. Still having some altitude adjustment issues – we’re over 9000 feet – but every day is better, and you can’t beat the scenery!
This is the river running right outside our deck, burbling along happily. Since this is New Mexico, I don’t know the plants, but this gorgeous flower is growing alongside our unit.
It reminds me of passion flower, but whatever it is, it’s a glorious addition to the setting.
Tuesday evening the chamber workshop students, faculty and support staff went for a picnic along the rim of the Rio Grande canyon; Lesley caught me in action.
Beautiful views, amazing sky (did you know that it actually goes on forever? That’s not something you can really appreciate when you live in an urban area) but the picnic was curtailed as an enormous black cloud covered the western sky, and we hightailed it back to the village before there was a chance to get mired in sticky adobe mud on the climb out of the canyon. 10 minutes into the drive, we were in a downpour, but we made it home safe and sound.
Of course, one part of travel preparation is checking for yarn pushers. I found three shops in Taos, but since we’re a bit out of town, it’s not that easy to get to them. But when I went to look for food, I found Sol Foods in Arroyo Seco, which is just out of the valley we are staying in, and noticed that there’s a yarn shop there! Arroyo Seco is only a block long little business district, and the shop is off the main drag, but I went to look and discovered they’re open Thursday – Sunday, so I am planning to get in there tomorrow if I can. And I will certainly get into the Taos shops (at least 2 of them) before leaving, so there will be another post soon to show off more swag and report on the status of yarnaholics in New Mexico.
Before I left California to meet the girls here in New Mexico, my friend Pam came by to get the skinny on the new microwave and meet the resident foster-cat before she settled in for two weeks of house- and cat-sitting at my place. I pulled out the sweater I’d spent so many hours on that came out too big, and she tried it on. Presto, a perfect fit!
Doesn’t she look great in it? She looks so poised you would have no idea it’s about 85º. So rather than frog the entire body from the armholes down, I sold it to her for enough money to buy another sweater’s worth of yarn. She gets a sweater that looks like it was made for her and I get to knit some more. Now I just have to pick a new yarn to play with, and decide what it’s going to be. I’m determined that I will have a sweater for myself by the time cold weather comes back to the Bay Area.
One of the reasons there’s been little knitting to post is that fruit is at its peak season right now. The first Saturday of July, my friend Dianne and I trekked out to Brentwood to go picking. Brentwood used to be a farming community, and then the housing crisis meant that a lot of land was taken over by housing – giant McMansions that were bought by a lot of people who couldn’t afford housing closer to the Bay, which are now standing vacant as the mortgage crisis forced people out. It’s quite sad, as the communities never really had a chance to form, and now will probably disappear. However, the picking was good and I came home with pounds of peaches, apricots, and nectaries, which became jam!
Here’s what I did with the week of the Fourth – five batches of (from left to right) Double Nectarine (white and orange fleshed fruit), White Nectarine/Strawberry, my much-admired PAN (peach/apricot/nectarine with cinnamon), the last and partial jar of Olallieberry, and GingA Peachy (mostly peach, a quarter apricot, and fresh ginger). Sweet work!
And here’s one last beauty shot – this is what I see when I look up in my backyard, a growing young redwood and the clear blue sky. Sometimes the color and vibrancy is so much it almost brings tears to my eyes, and I realize all over again how fortunate I am to live in such glorious surroundings!