Lessons Learned in New Mexico Upon Turning 40

1. Trust my gut:  if something doesn’t feel right, if I have serious reservations, if it all seems too difficult, retreat. Set boundaries and keep them. Realize that I don’t have to do everything, or be everywhere. People are convoluted, my higher power is simple.

2. Do not compromise my happiness unless it is for someone I really love, and the situation is indeed dire. Truly.

3. Schedule in alone time, often.

4. Don’t be held hostage by people I don’t know — don’t put myself in a position where they can control my fate.

5. Be helpful, not snarky.

6. Stop and THINK before I speak. THINK how the other person hears it.  Is it: Thoughtful, Honest, Inspiring, Necessary, Kind.

7. Know that I am not responsible for others': comfort, happiness, self-actualization, successes. Nor am I responsible for others': unhappiness, discomfort, sense of self, failures or personal belongings.

8. Take time off from New Mexico periodically.

9. Pray, work Step 2. Believe that my higher power can restore me to sanity (sanity = health).

10. Communicate!  Do not be passive-aggressive, and do not expect the worst.

11. Don’t break rules that I worked hard to establish and have experience with via trial and error. For example: do not drive for longer than 6 hours. Do not drive at night.

12. Work on my self-esteem. I know what I am doing, my higher power guides me to know. I trust in and use my relationship with my higher power to feel comfortable enough to set my boundaries and not succumb to peer pressure, “tyranny of the masses.” Trust in my inner wisdom and rise above. Make a decision and stick to it.

13. Creep…avoid creep (“scope creep”) if not getting paid. When getting paid, get paid more. Invoke a creep tax.

14. Material possessions have no meaning.


Copy Top

Copy Top

Turkey Crockpot Chili

Decided to make chili and cornbread today,  used Trader Joe’s Cornbread mix that I hauled back from Boston in my suitcase — it’s really good if you can get it, I think the secret is in its vanilla powder and malted barley.

OK, so for the chili:

– 1lb Ground Turkey, browned in olive oil (season w/ dash salt & pepper) – dump into crock
– 2 peppers, 2 onions, sauteed in olive oil – dump into crock
– 4 cloves mashed garlic, quick sautee – dump into crock

add to crock:
– 1c dried kidney beans (sorted and rinsed)
– 1c dried black/anasazi/pinto beans (sorted and rinsed, I had a leftover mixture of all these)
– 1 bock beer (Shiner!)
– 3c water
– 2 sm cans diced tomatoes

– 2 tbs sugar, honey or agave syrup
– hefty pinch or two of dried oregano
– about 1/4 tsp cumin powder
– 4 tbs New Mexico red chile powder
– 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
– 1/2? tsp salt

Cook on high 5 hours, then check beans for softness and check your water content, add water if necessary.

Then cook on low with the top off for two additional hours.

Serve with grated cheddar, chopped cilantro, guacamole, cornbread or totopos. My husband puts honey on everything…

2012-12-09 15.40.10

Second Quilt

I haven’t made a quilt since 1983! But here is a baby quilt that I made over the last two days for my soon-to-be niece, Kerry Elizabeth.  I am waiting to affix a quilt label with her birthdate as soon as she is born.

I selected 8 fabrics and cut them into 4.5″ squares, then arranged and assembled (on my treadle!) to make about a 36×52 inch crib quilt.  In quilting, I decided to stitch in the ditch rather than attempt to free motion quilt (although my ditches were uneven, so I faked it).

I’m happy with how it came out and look forward to my 3rd quilt!



And for kicks, here is my first-ever quilt from Brownies in 1983. I remember my mom helping me with this.



Anthro Copy

I just love 70’s (1940’s?) inspired jumpsuits and rompers. This chambray number from Anthropologie has it all: halter, wide legs, pockets, sweetheart neckline, etc. I knew I must copy this!

Anthropologie’s Version: ($128.00)








My version ($13.00) with patch pockets (I can’t do welts yet) and orange topstitching.

I mixed it up with a number of patterns, namely Simplicity  2401 and McCall’s 6331, resulting in a different style neckline, no elasticized backing on the bodice, and omitting the wooden buttons.

















Mi Chela Helada (Michelada de los Chicos)

Bueno, pues, the boys have their idea on what makes the best michelada. And as such, I’ve been asked to post said receta here.







Makes 3

  • One (yes one) Bottle of Beer (Negra Modelo/Pacifico is preferable  – but use what ya got, here I’ve got Shiner Blonde)
  • Trechas, (or other), Mexican SPICY POWDER (generally next to the mangoes at HEB)
  • Chipotle Tabasco (or you could use less of La Costeña Chipotle Peppers in Adobo if you have that ’round)
  • 2 Mexican (Key) Limes
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Ice – lots

Split limes.  Rub 1/2 lime on the rims of your three glasses.  Using the palm of your other hand, press some trechas powder onto the rim of your glasses (like salt to your margarita glass).

Fill up your tall glasses with lots of ice.

Juice 1/2 lime into each glass.

Then add to each glass: one dash worcestershire, two heavy dashes tabasco, three dashes trechas.

Top off with the beer. Mix and drink LIBERALLY.

Post to blog with gratuitous photo.

Aviatrix(?) Jumpsuit

80’s Vintage McCall’s Pattern 7454. Reminded me so much of a jumpsuit I dumpstered in the 90’s that I had to have one.  Perfect for a bike ride!