Thanksgiving Treats

Again, lucky to spend our Thanksgiving evening at Stacy and Jim's for another Thanksgiving dinner that couldn't be beat.

And somewhere in the air there is a cookie I was tossing Cheyenne, during our hike Friday morning on the Chamisa trail. Thermometer said it was cold, but it was a good temperature for getting out. Two hours total, including a break at the halfway turnaround.

Had James over for dinner tonight. Been a long time since we caught up, plus we think he needed a break. May be heresy to some, but ribs out on a grill or in a smoker just isn't possible, so been working on getting Bittman's oven recipe right. Might have hit it tonight — turns out the secret is just cooking it for hours and hours. And then a few more hours. Though it seems like a summer dish, but there's something about having that spiced meat slow cooking in a cold house all afternoon …

Apparently, Nothing Beats a New Straw Bed

Even on a gray, cold day.

With that, the last of the leaves and branches collected, and the rain barrels just about drained, we're done in the yard for the year.


Art Afternoon

Spent the afternoon at John's studio; a former exhibit designer, also an artist, he's due to have an exhibition of his past decade's work and Monica will be working on the show. A lot of his work involves resin, often combined with woodworking and/or found materials.

A beautiful, open, old adobe house (that they've done much work on) and studio that wouldn't look out of place in Marfa.

Also, Labs.

Yesterday, a day of chores. But we did start off at Over Easy Cafe, owned by a fellow Grey person; we won a gift certificate at the big Greyhound fest. A satisfying breakfast at a neighborhood joint that is not, unfortunately, in our neighborhood.


Wintry Weekend

New Mexico Open

The annual fencing tournament was this past weekend. Setup Friday night, and the foil competition was due to begin Sunday at the perfectly reasonable hour of 10:30. When the gray morning rolled around, with about an inch of snow on the ground (the unpaved part) … it was so tempting to just skip. But, up, packed my stuff, drove through the light snowfall to pick up some more gear at the club, and to Prep.

Had an easy start in my pools, and I kept it going from there — a few tough ones, and I turned around a couple. Won four, and lost one (in a pretty big way), my best showing yet. Seeded 7th out of 19 — which drew me Tony, who I fence with (and generally lose to) about every week at the club. At least I gave him a run; here he is, standing his ground, in the next bout:

Final standing: 9th. That wrapped me up around 2:00, spent some time helping clean up, back home to gather those yard debris piles out of the snow, and then back to the club to unload. With the extra-long conclusion to season four, it was a longish day.

Living With Art … On A Trial Basis

We've been looking to buy a painting from Jamie for a while now, but with this and that, it's taken a while to bring it together. Finally got together at his studio to discuss — where Jamie assured us that his acrylic paintings, since acrylics were first designed for signage, would be just fine on the big blank living room wall opposite the window. The one we could never quite figure out what to hang there.

He didn't have many paintings around though and, while just about anything of Jamie's would be great, there wasn't one that we immediately took to. Plus, not sure about the color or size … so he sent us off with one to try out, until we figure out what we'll be doing:

Ah, inevitably a dog picture. Oh, wait, an even cuter one:

In Other News

Saturday's 7000 BC meeting was held at Artisan, where they have a python named Delilah:

And the post's title may not be entirely accurate, but it's clear that the respite we've been getting for most of November is over. Sunday's snow melted, but it's now consistently below freezing overnight. Undeniably, winter's here.


Too Nice Not To

Nature, it seems, in an effort to make up for the snow a couple weeks back and a kinda disappointing September, has seen fit to give us nearly 70° days this past week with surprisingly warm mornings. I'm not willing to accept the tradeoff, but I'm still gonna take advantage of it.

A walk to Tart's Treats to enjoy an early lunch outside.

Upon returning, there was a (pretty darned trauma-free) dog wash. If you're lucky, maybe Monica will post photos and commentary.


It was another day of chores in the yard, clearing and cleaning and spreading more of the mulched Russian Olive. I've grown quite fond of mulch. Beautiful to be out, and an enforced end time when the stuff I had to throw away exceeded the space I have in the trash barrel. By a lot. Pretty much done for the year, maybe some more raking, but I'm going to be gathering piles and tossing them in the barrel for weekends to come.

Time for a dog walk through the neighborhood. And to see — for the first time since we moved here — the extent of some of the Halloween decorations around (click for larger):


Our across-the-street neighbor made the best of the road construction:


It all started around 5:20, a few families with really little kids. Most of whom, we think we were out on their first Halloweens. One group, we were their first stop on their first outing:

I'm not sure the dog helped with their apprehension there. We'd positioned a borrowed baby gate in the doorway and propped the outer glass door open (because it swings out into the way of any kids and, after experimenting, realized that the gate on the landing would only lead to a trip to the emergency for one of us). For those first couple, Cheyenne was very interested, even jumping up on the gate. Luckily, the novelty quickly wore off and she spent most of the rest of the night in bed.

I feel like there were fewer than last year, but maybe not by as much as originally thought. More little kids, a lower percentage of too-old teenagers, it seemed like a lot of ladybugs. Favorite costumes: one group that had two kids in one big jacket, each head with a fedora and Groucho glasses; the little boy with them, dressed in all white with a black and white plaid baseball hat, white beard, and a handwritten sign on his chest that said "God."