Friday, January 18, 2013

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

New Mexico Memories

Anson and his best friend, Jack
Well, I think finally, after two years, I can look back at this blog of our family in Vermont without becoming really sad. There's still so much we miss about our life there. But, we are making friends here and finding our place in NM and learning to see the beauty here, too. I think turning to community service and trying to make this city and state a little better for all those who live here, including my own family, helps to bring a lot of meaningful moments.

I have been showing the kids the stories and pictures from the blog this week and we were just laughing and laughing at some of the funny things they did. And, of course, they love hearing about what they said and did when they were younger. I realized that they would also appreciate a record of our time here as well. So in that respect I've been remiss in not keeping up in the past two years.
It was just such a time of upheaval and resettling.

Now, it's NM's time to shine!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Adventures in Africa

I'm borrowing this idea from my dear friend, Dana, who is currently in Cameroon. While she's gone, her husband is blogging all her texts and emails for us. I thought that was such a cool idea and I wanted to do the same for Eric's trip to South Africa this week. Plus it was a good excuse to jump start the blog again.

So he's in Cape Town for a few days and then is heading to Johannesburg. I guess I have to be careful what details I include due to the secure nature of his work. But I can tell you that Maeve steadfastly insisted that this time she does not want a dress from Africa but a pair of shoes. When Eric claimed not to know her shoe size she was quick to solve that problem: "I'll just come with you and try them on!" A great solution except for the $4000 plane ticket. He is loving being right on the coast and went running this morning. Something strange was happening with the GPS tracker he usually uses for distance and he finally quit after what the GPS said was about 3 miles. But when he tracked it on an actual map it turned out that he ran 10 miles! Eric was so surprised because he hadn't been breathing hard at all, and then he realized that he's now at sea level instead of the high altitude of Albuquerque so his lung capacity was huge. I don't really understand how someone can accidentally run 10 miles. I would have quit long before then!

Other cool things are seeing a sea lion swimming along the shore while running on a beach path and visiting the market where there is a shop that sells beautifully carved ostrich egg lamps. Definitely things we don't have here!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Little Artist

So back in Vermont a group of us ladies got together once a month and called it Mom's Night Out. One Friday in May we went to a really cool place in WRJ called Tip Top Pottery. We had such a great time that we decided to go there again the next month and this time to bring our daughters (all of us had little girls close in age). Maeve just loved painting her unicorn. So, for a teacher's gift, I thought I'd bring Wells to the pottery place and have him make something for Mr. Haley.
He designed and painted this great little plate. I was surprised since Wells usually hates coloring and drawing and things of that sort.
Tip Top Pottery, it turns out, runs several week-long summer camps, so I asked Wells if he'd be interested in attending. The camp offered pottery every morning and then other art activities in the afternoon like batik, acrylic painting, sketching, tie-dying, etc. Wells was enthusiastic about the idea. And it turns out that he's quite a little artist! His painting teacher, Rebecca, who is awesome, noticed that he had some talent for painting and brought this to my attention one day when I went to pick him up. She said he was delightful and that art was his new favorite subject. He really does love painting so for his 10th (!) birthday this year I bought him some canvas, paintbrushes and paints. Here's a mini show of his artwork to date:

Hermit Crab


Piano on Pond Surrounded by Frogs
(this was a gift for his piano teacher)

New Mexican Praying Mantis

Monday, September 20, 2010

The Kindness of Musicians

Wells's violin teacher is out of town. So, this Wednesday, I decided to take him to the New Mexico Orchestra Chamber Music concert, held at the violin shop. A small venue. So I called on Wed. afternoon to make sure there were still tickets available. "Oh yes, we will have tickets at the door," the woman assured me. "The box office opens at 6 and the concert starts at 7:30." That is all she said. So, I forced Wells into some decent clothes and we arrived at the concert a little after 7. Only to be told, by the same woman I spoke to on the phone, that the concert is sold out. I was a little upset and protested and recounted our earlier phone conversation. Where she tried to convince me that she told everyone to buy tickets in advance due to the size of the venue. She did not tell me that. During the conversation a few people started surrounding the table. I didn't realize it right away, but they were the musicians. They began trying to help. One woman suggested that the piece they're performing is very popular and I should leave my name and number and they will call me if they do it again. Another man offered to have us sit just outside the door to hear the music. I replied that, although a very kind offer, my son was taking violin lessons and I wanted him to see the musicians, their posture, how they hold their instruments, etc. He nodded. Then, a very nice man with an accent came over. He shook our hands. He said, "Please, leave your name and number. Come to our next concert for half price. And please, come backstage and talk with us afterwards." Then he said, "I am the conductor of the orchestra." I didn't know if I should feel honored or embarrassed. I think it was a little of both. He guided us over to the table, insisting to the nasty woman that she write my name down. Then, with another plea to enjoy our evening and many apologies, he went in to begin the concert. Late. Because of us. The frowny woman did take my name but NOT my phone number and I didn't want to press the issue. But Wells is so excited to meet the musicians at the December concert that he's been practicing a song to play for them. So, I guess it turned out to be a great concert after all!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

This was a funny story from April or May that I wanted to remember. After Eric had his job interview with Sandia, his mind was totally on Albuquerque and moving to Albuquerque. I think, mentally, he'd already left. So, one day as I was getting the kids ready for school, he called to check on how I was doing. I asked him to give me the weather forecast for the day so I'd know what clothes to put on the kids. He said something like, "Oh, it's going to be a beautiful day in Vermont. Really sunny, high in the 70s." We were both surprised at that forecast since it was gray and cold and drizzly outside, which fact I mentioned. He said, "Well, it'll probably clear up soon." So I dressed all the kids in shorts, sandals and sweaters, thinking it was going to clear up and warm up any minute and sent them off to school.

An hour later it started to snow.

I don't know what those teachers must have thought of me sending them to school in shorts and sandals and no coats. They couldn't go outside for recess because they were freezing. Poor kids.

And where did that beautiful forecast exist, you wonder? That's right: Albuquerque.

NOT Vermont!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Spider Princess

I asked Wells to play nicely with Maeve for a little while so I could get some unpacking done. This usually works as long as he comes up with a game she's willing to play. And he's generally pretty flexible. Well, they came up with quite the collaboration this time: spider princess. It combines the best of both worlds - a remote control tarantula with tiny little princesses. The tarantula (named "Fluffy") even consented to pull Cinderella's carriage around the house. It was the most bizarre, hilarious thing I've seen in a long time.

They played spider princess for quite a long time. Thanks for not eating any princesses, Fluffy!