The Knitting Nurse

Rambles and Travels


Tent Rocks Hike

Today was a stellar day!  Mid seventies, light breeze, puffy clouds, all the backdrop for a pretty hike.  Went to Tent Rocks, a park 45min from ABQ near Santa Fe.  Met up with two fellow nurses from work, Elena and Nate, and had a blast!  The hike leads into a slot canyon which opens up into a gully of sorts.  A moderately steep trail (I huffed and puffed) leads up to a stunning view.  Canyons full of “Tent Rocks” open up below your feet.  It was quiet, the ravens swooped above, we got to tease Nate about his fear of heights ; ) 

Nate and Elana by you.  Nate and Elena

IMG_4600 by you. 

IMG_4604 by you. 

IMG_4606 by you.

IMG_4613 by you. 

IMG_4608 by you.  Fuzzy, fluffy fuzz.

IMG_4617 by you.  Drove by a whole bunch of yellow, along the Rio Grande, beautiful.



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Sunday in Corrales



Seems like ages ago, my friend Sarah and I spend a lovely afternoon in Corrales, just north of ABQ. After brunch at Indigo Crow, a fabulous little cafe with yummy goat cheese omelets and a shady patio, we headed to Casa San Ysidro. This gem had been on my list of places to see since I moved.  It is owned and run by the ABQ Museum of Art and History.  Tours are scheduled a couple times a day.  Throughout the year they hold ‘living history’ type events with re-enactments of everyday life. Our docent was incredibly knowlegable.  More info than I could possibly retain filled my head. 

What a life these  folks had!  Apparently, the Don Felipe Gutierrez family recieved a land grant in 1704 from Spain. The land is a long rectangle that adjoins the Rio Grande, a precious commodity.  It all started as a “mud hut” with no windows and mabye a blanket on the door.  As generations went on, they aquired more wealth, more family to earn more, and the home grew into what was then very affluent.  It consisted of four rooms growing to a larger “L” shape with an inner courtyard. Much of the home’s design was about security.

They do not allow photos taken indoors, only out.  I’ve included links to some virtual tours offering peeks indoors.  What amazed me was the simplicity of the thick, (3-4 feet) adobe walls, what were dirt floors, joined with luxury items such as iron beds and cookstoves that must have taken LONG train rides to make it to that part of the world (which was truly on the fringes).  They were innitially completely self-sufficient.  Recycling was crucial (evident by the reuse of cans in light fixtures, mirrors.)  Nails were rarely used. Iron scarce.   As time went on they had money to import items such as spices and silk. 

The museum and collectors have gathered a collection of over 1300 items for the property.  Most items were not original to the site but representative of hundreds of years of what would be there.  They range from early Spanish Colonial New Mexican styles to 19th century Victorian artifacts.  Religious artifacts abound.  Tools, pottery, a very cool, huge loom, woven rugs and fine embroidered bed linens were there.  One could see their wealth in the presence of furniture for children.  A frivolity. 

Casa San Ysidro is on the New Mexico State Register of Cultural Property

A virtual tour can be found here:   

This link shows interior photos as well as more history. 

After this, Sarah and I found a road-side produce market, roasting chilis.  I picked up a couple of bags for hte freezer and an looking for a green chili recipe or worth.  Mmmm…

Some pictures from the day: 


IMG_3810-cropped  Sarah and I

IMG_3824 First glimpse of fall!

 IMG_3819  Grain storeage  IMG_3820 


IMG_3814  IMG_3808  IMG_3804    IMG_3800 Note the cactus on the top of the well?  Home grown security system. 


IMG_3805  The inner courtyard.  


 IMG_3797  A bunkhouse.  This was salvaged off a farmer’s property.

IMG_3796    Reconstruction of a primitive cart. They use it now and then.


 IMG_3795  Less primitive.

Highly recommended you see this place if ever in these parts.

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Last Sunday I returned home from work, bruised, battered, torn.  Shortly after, popping and banging noises erupted outdoors.  Annabelle, freaked, ran for the Cat Cave.  (Her little cubby next to the bath tub.)

IMG_3446  Annabelle’s safe spot, not towel storage.

Realizing it was not gunfire I headed outside.  A spectacular fireworks show was visible above the trees across the street.  Neighbors filed out onto the street.  Oohs…ah’s…aplenty.

Never did learn of the source. Grabbed my trusty camera and thought, “These will never turn out.”  Right I was.  What I did capture looks pretty cool, reminding me of the underwater sea critters I’ve been seeing on the Blue Planet series discs I’ve been watching from Netflix, transparent, delicate creatures with lines of neon-like lights in their bodies.  Fascinating, really.   What a spectacular ending to a crappy day.  What a treat!

IMG_3766 by you.

IMG_3774  IMG_3764

IMG_3773  IMG_3772

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ABQ Farmers Market

A knee update:  Going back to work this Sat.  Have mixed feelings about that.  I’m a little worried about being on my feet all day.  I’m worried about hurting myself.  I am looking forward to work in some ways, though.  Having nearly three weeks off of work has been a mixed blessing.  I’ve had lots of down time, something I don’t do enough.  I’ve taken care of busy-work stuff I’ve neglected around the house.  I’ve taken the time to research stuff like going back to school and language immersion programs in other countries as well as Public Health volunteering.  Add some PT, trips to the YMCA, the Olympics, get-togethers with friends, time filled up but differently than usual.  Got some knitted projects done.  Will post some pics once the recipient recieves them. ; )

Found the ABQ Farmer’s Market last weekend.  It’s been on my hit list all summer, finally made it.  A beautiful day, I spent my $20 on a CD, breakfast, goat cheese, fresh flowers and handmade soap.  Not planning well, I went to the grocery store a couple days earlier and had a fridge full of produce.  Next time I’ll plan better.  Next time I should be able to ride my bike there! 

A fantastic bluegrass band called Young Edward was playing.  They are super-talented, fun.  Check out their MySpace page for music, schedules and a bio.  I bought a CD from them and hope to see them play again.



This little pooch cracked me up.  He was standing under this ladies skirt.  He peeked his head out  but I missed that shot. 

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Some snapshots of the bounty:

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IMG_3742  IMG_3740  IMG_3738  IMG_3736

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Osage Orange! Osage Orange!

Mom called. She said the mystery tree is called an OSAGE ORANGE.  Mom’s really do know all.  “How do you know that?” I asked.  “I just do,” I think, was her reply.  I Wikipedia’ed it (I love that site) and sure as you know what, she’s right.  Here’s a link if you’re plant-curious:

They are native to  Arkansas, Texas, Oklahmoa, Kansas, and Missouri but can tolerate climates further north as Pennsylvania. 

Apparently it’s nasty inside and critters don’t eat them except for the ocassional squirrel, which screws with the critter eats, then poo’s, then spreads the plant around way of nature.

According to Wikipedia, “The fruits have a pleasant and mild odor, but are inedible for the most part. Although not strongly poisonous, eating it may cause vomiting. The fruits are sometimes torn apart by squirrels to get at the seeds, but few other native animals make use of it as a food source. This is unusual, as most large fleshy fruits serve the function of seed dispersal, accomplished by their consumption by large animals. One recent hypothesis is that the Osage-orange fruit was eaten by a giant ground sloth that became extinct shortly after the first human settlement of North America. Other extinct Pleistocene megafauna, like the mammoth, mastodon and gomphothere may have fed on the fruit and aided in seed dispersal.[4] An equine species that went extinct at the same time also has been suggested as the plant’s original dispersal mechanism because modern horses and other livestock will sometimes eat the fruit.[5]

Oooh…I love such oddball trivia.  Other cool tidbits, FDR planted them as a primary windbreak tree, Lewis found them curious and sent a clipping to Thomas Jefferson, it has sharp thorns and is sometimes planted as a fence to deter cattle, the Osage Native Americans prize the wood for bow making and a yellow-orange dye may be extracated from the bark. Here is a sliced open version.

Osage-orange sliced

There, plant lesson of the week.  Mom gets the prize for speedy reply!

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BBQ goodness…

You’d think with all this laying around time (I mean, productive, rehabbing, knitting, cat-bonding time) I’d be blogging up a storm.  Haven’t been staying current, though!  Took a much too quick trip to Denver a couple weeks ago to enjoy a very full social calendar.

Went to a baby shower for Lisa, a former co-worker and great friend and her hubby, Rob.  Gave her the baby bolero sweater I made.  Looks like this:

IMG_3622   IMG_3611   IMG_3589

Lisa’s due 9/1.  My bday is 9/4. Wouldn’t it be cool if she delivered on my b-day.  Although, if I were this preggers I wouldn’t want to wait any extra days.  More pics from the shower:

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IMG_3630  Little girls took turns holding this little guy, who was two weeks old. So cute!  Dog’s name is Iceman, a rescue Greyhound that’s so sweet!  He did great with all the kids running around.  Little does he know his world’s about to be shook up in a big way.

After Lisa’s I headed to Golden for a Stitch N’ Bitch and my friend Meghan’s.  Had a  blast. Was a much needed girlfriend-reunion with plenty of wine, food, conversation. Even met a couple of new gals.

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l-r:  Meghan knitting another tube, Kim scrapbooking, a craft I haven’t dared to start, given the lifetime supply of fabric and yarn in my stash. Red crocheting.


IMG_3634  Rada, back from Montenegro, Beth, Red, Denise.

What a great time.  These guys are hard core!  Continued on into the night after I left at midnight. I believe a bonfire was lit.  Thanks, Meghan, for hostessing such a fantastic gathering.

Went to my first Rockies game ever, with Garrett, a new-found friend in Denver, at Coors Stadium.  He’s  major baseball fan.  I used to go to the Metrodome in MN with my pop to see the Twins and the Vikings.  Never been a game watcher on TV, but, do like the excitement of a stadium. They lost 9-3 but was still a great time.  Got do drink expensive beer and throw peanut shells on the floor, something tha made me a little nervous. ; )  Some photos Garrett took. He’s a professional photographer. Taught me some technical stuff about using a digital camera. He didn’t laugh at me when I asked, “Doesn’t the camera just record what it’s looking at?”  Yah…there’s more to it than that…

See his work at: 

Now THAT’S a sunset! 

IMG_3696_1      IMG_3695              IMG_3703_1        The wave was not up to the Metrodome standard I remember.  

IMG_3669  IMG_3657 G and I

IMG_3707_1  Looking into Denver.

Then…dinner at Lee’s, BBQ goodness paired with friends, photos from some’s travels to Peru.

IMG_3712  Brian and Lee

IMG_3714   IMG_3713  John and BW (striking a well known pose)

IMG_3710   IMG_3709 Caitlin, Ralph and Kurt, Kim and Matt

Just a group of friends who always recharge the battery, for me.  I miss you guys…

So quick a trip, but better than the packing and moving whirlwind I last had there.  I’ve lived a lot in the last 6 months!  It’s a good thing.  (Why did someone as corny as Martha have to coin that phrase?)


Soggy camping, a trip around the world, blissful relaxation, all rolled into one.

Headed out a couple weekends ago. II’m really delayed on getting this up.  Met up with some friends in the Jemez Mountains, about 1.75 hrs drive from ABQ North and East.  I’ve only had a teasing glimpse, driving through a couple times.  There’s a tantalizing expanse to explore.  My friend Cliff, in photos below, grew up in Los Alamos, making this area his childhood playground, lucky duck.

Was a new visage of NM for me to look into.  It’s the “monsoon” season, meaning afternoon rain.  We’ve gotten a little bit down here in town.  Most seems to hit up in the Sandia Mountains or not hit the ground.  Loads must be falling in the Jemez judging from the soggy ground, lush, green grassy meadows,  light green ends of new pine needle growth and MOSQUITOES!  Yep…nasty little buggers, thought I left those in MN when I moved away.

I’ve become very intolerant of that whiny noise in the ear, the welts from the bites, the slapping.  I applied DEET liberally.  Must have cancelled out all the healthy food eating I’ve done in the last year.  Hah!  Love DEET…love it.

  Rain makes red really red and green really green.

Camped with a great group of folks, some I knew and some I met only briefly before, but know better now.  I was a housemate of Amy’s when first moving to ABQ.  Her S/O Dallas, my friend Cliff, and two others they bike with, Woody and Mike were there.  They were mtn. biking.  I, nursing the bummed knee, kept Cliff’s power-lounger chair warm and added a few inches to a shawl I’m knitting.

This was car-camping at its best, complete with comfy car-seat chairs, Cliff’s folding picnic table, plastic wine glasses and wine in a box.


Thank goodness for the clever, organized, handy fellas in the group who procured an awning (that worked until we realized the seams weren’t taped) and a tarp to huddle under.  Regardless, the conversation/stories/jokes were lively. The company warm.

Breakfast the next AM was a smorgasboard feast.  (I was really looking forward to it.)  All contributed some part. Bacon, buckwheat pancakes, veggie and potato skillet, you name it.  We feasted.

IMG_3522_1 l-r: Woody, Mike, me, Cliff, Dallas and Amy IMG_3519_1 Now THAT’s breakfast!

IMG_3511_1 IMG_3509_1  Amy and purdy flowers.IMG_3491_1   IMG_3514_1   IMG_3508_1  IMG_3484_1  Amy, Cliff and I

IMG_3487_1  Jemez Mountains

IMG_3504_1  Tent rocks just off the road to the campsites. Cool!

Left the bunch and headed to Santa Fe for the International Folk Art Festival, a yearly gathering of sponspred artists from all around the world.  I learned of countries I’d never heard of!  Neat facts about the Market:

Aprox. 97% of Market artists come from developing countries.  Over 50% are first-time exibiters.  They take home 97% of the earnings.  Average booth sales equal $15,000.  (Think of how much that is in a developing country.)  Artists named fund-raising goals of schools, medical needs, food, farm animals and their personal business growth.  See  for more info.  I counted 41 represented countries on the provided map.

It was huge.  It was crammed full of people.  Made me a litle twitchy but I dealt with it and recognized the need to slow my usual pace and move with the people.  Being the shutterbug I am, I asked before taking photos. All I asked were happy to share.


IMG_3556  IMG_3555_1  Pieces from China, all embroidered by hand.  Scrummy!

IMG_3538_1  IMG_3540_1  Stunning telephone wire baskets made by South African artist Nomvuselelo Mavundia. She learned how to do this craft to get through school.

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IMG_3531_1  IMG_3533_1  Textiles from Georgia.

IMG_3528_1 Applique quilted pillows from one of the “stans”, in this case, Pakistan, made by Lila Handicrafts, the same folkd who made the 36″ square piece I bought.

Seeing such a cultural smorgasboard was a trip.  Made my brain hum.  Let’s face it.  I love textiles.  I was in heaven.  I drew much inspiration from these artists pieces.  I was good and bought only a couple pieces:

The orange pillow slip is Indian. It consists of tiny stitches all over, with a depiction of women doing tasks (including cooking with a propane stove, shown in the lower rt hand corner). The 36″ square covering is beautiful.  I knew it was meant to live with me when I saw it.  It’s all hand quilted, pieced and appliqued.

I’m not sure where I’ll be at this time next year. (Back in Denver?  Travel RN’ing elsewhere?)  If I’m anywhere close, I’ll return to this Festival and recommend it to EVERYONE.  It’s one of those “life shaping” events (as cheesy as that sounds).

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Decompressed from people overload with a day at Ojo Caliente hot springs, a lovely setting, having seven pools, each with a different mineral composition (soda, iron, etc.)  Soaked and relaxed and treated myself to a night at The Inn at Ojo, a lovely B&B with friendly innkeepers, yummy breakfast, cushy down comforters and a pretty setting.  Do stay there if in that neck of the woods.  The Inn and Mercantile at Ojo’s #’s 505-583-9131.  This litle bug (I think it looks like a Cootie, rememeber that game?) hung out at my feet that night while sitting outside knitting in the fresh air.  The innkeepers told me what it was. Never chirped, though.

IMG_3563_1  Jeruselem Cricket of Potato Bug

Then, home, as always, thinking of the next outing.