Saturday, August 30, 2014

Sightseeing Saturday: Taos

The 6th town we visited last month was Taos, New Mexico.
A great little day trip from where we were in Las Vegas, NM, but also a short trip if you are ever in Santa Fe.
Our specific destination was Taos Pueblo.
The pueblo is about 1000 years old and is the only living Native American Community that is designated a World Heritage Site and a Historic Landmark.  This north side pueblo is said to be one of the most photographed and painted images in North America.
St. Jerome Church was built in 1850 to replace the original church that was destroyed by the US Army in 1847 during the War with Mexico.
The original 1619 church was destroyed during the Spanish Revolt but rebuilt in 1680.  All that remains of it now is the bell steeple.
The Taos Community is known as being one of the most private, secretive and conservative pueblos.  90% of the Taos Indians are Catholic.
Although running water, electricity and indoor plumbing are prohibited in the pueblo, there are about 150 full time residents who make their money by tourist trade, traditional crafts and food concessions.
Their water source is Red Willow Creek which runs through the middle of the compound.
Originally the only way into a pueblo was through a square hole in the roof.  Ladders could easily be pulled up in case of attack.  It wasn't until the 1900's that doors were installed.
The pueblo is one mile north of the modern town of Taos.
We had lunch and wandered around for awhile before heading back to Las Vegas, NM for the night.

On the road again.
Next stop is Durango, Colorado.

Have a super Saturday!
And for those celebrating Labor Day, have a great three-day weekend!

Monday, August 25, 2014

Make It Monday: Two New Things

This afternoon I tried a new pattern for a standard crochet mandala.
I just wanted something simple that worked up quickly.
The pattern is increased rounds with a scalloped border.
Can't get much easier than that.
 You can find the pattern at A Creative Being.
I definitely want to make more in brighter colors.  I think they will make great gifts with a vase of flowers.

I also tried a new recipe for vegan peanut butter cookies.
My husband isn't a peanut butter eater like me, but he says the cookies are delicious!
And my son just shouted from the kitchen "good cookies, Mom" so you know they gotta be good.
Recipe can be found at Blissful Basil.
Have a marvelous Monday!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Stashbusting Sunday: A Week of Makes

In addition to the wonky baskets I posted about this past week ...
same pattern (found here), different result ...
 I also crocheted some regular square dishcloths; daisy wheel dishcloths; tea light holders; and a jar jacket.
I made flowers using this pattern from The Lazy Hobbyhopper.
 Made a cardboard loom and tried my hand at making a tiny little rustic weaving. (It now hangs proudly on the wall of our tv room from a little stick I picked up from my walks.)
 And Susan, this photo is for you ... crocheted decorations for the window that I sit by every day.  So much nicer than looking at a dirty window.
 More stashbusting projects can be found at Linda's Crafty Corner.

.
Have a super Sunday!

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Sightseeing Saturday: Las Vegas, NM

Everyone knows Las Vegas, the one in Nevada.
So when I say I went to Las Vegas, I always have to say New Mexico, which most people have never heard of.

The city was originally developed as the Mexican port of entry on the Santa Fe Trail.  It is divided into two parts; Old Town, founded by Spanish Settlers in 1835, and New Town which was developed when the railroad arrived in 1879.  It is a lovely mix of adobe and Victorian homes.
My girlfriend and former hairdresser here in Kuwait, moved there a couple of years ago and bought a gorgeous Victorian house built by a Syrian family in the late 1800's.
For a small town of about 14,000, Las Vegas, NM has a lot to offer.

It is the home of Highlands University established in 1893; Luna Community College (not pictured) ...
and the Montezuma Castle which houses one of the 14 Armand Hammer World Colleges found worldwide.
The Plaza is where all community activities and concerts are held.
Across from there is The Plaza Hotel, built in 1882, known as the Belle of the Southwest at one point.  It has been purchased by an individual and is currently being completely refurbished.
We ventured into Plaza Antiques where there is a resident cat.
I could not pass up this lovely beaded bag that says Jerusalem as that is where my husband's family is from.
 Kathy is very much into the historic preservation of the town and for the past few years has organized a tour of historic homes (now called Places With a Past).  We took a driving tour of the places on this year's tour that was to take place on August 2nd (the very day I was returning to Kuwait).

Las Vegas was originally named Nuestra SeƱora de los Dolores de Las Vegas Grandes (Spanish: “Our Lady of the Sorrows of the Great Meadows”).  We stopped to visit the Nuestra Senora de Delores Catholic Church which was started in 1851 and completed in 1870.
The showpiece of the church is the massive pipe organ that was brought piece by piece by train from Kansas in 1885.
The Historic El Fidel Hotel was built in the 1920's and has a beautiful lobby and restaurant where local art is sold and the food is always good.

Kathy has her own resident cat named Charlie.  He showed up one day last year to find his forever home with her.  He is a handsome little fellow with a big personality.
 
She also has some very friendly neighbors.

If you ever find yourself in Las Vegas, NM, you must stop at the Spic for fresh tortillas.  (This picture is from last year when my husband was with us; I didn't take a picture of the Spic this year but I did drop in to get some of the tortillas.  Oh my, they are the best.)
Kathy believes that the town is going to boom once again.  The Hotel Castenada, built in 1898, is currently being restored by the owner of La Posada Hotel in Winslow, Arizona.  Homes across town are slowly being restored to their original glory days.  It is wonderful to see so much of the past being preserved.
Have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Changing Things

Apparently I am pattern illiterate.
I used the same type of yarn; I used an H hook with the red basket and an I hook with the other two.  I followed the same pattern.

So how did each one turn out entirely different?
Oh well!  They are unique and handmade and will be useful as gift baskets or for holding bits and bobs.

If you are looking for a charitable opportunity, a way to give back, then please read Vicki's post here.  
"I used to pray that God
would feed the hungry, 
or do this or that,
 but now I pray that he will guide me
to do whatever
 I am supposed to do,
 what I can do.

I used to pray for answers,
 but now I'm praying for strength. 
I used to believe that prayer changes things,
but now I know that prayer changes us,
and we change things." 
Mother Teresa

We all have opportunities each and every day to create change in this world,
in big and small ways, for the good.

Have an awesome day!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

My New Rule

No matter what ...
CREATE EVERY DAY!

Thanks to Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow, this was today's project.
She's made many of these baskets lately in so many lovely colors.
You can find the pattern for a small or larger basket at Crochet in Color.
Think I'll make a blue one next.

Have a wonderful Wednesday!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Travel Tuesday: Bandalier National Monument

Our only day trip out of Santa Fe was a 2-hour roundtrip to Bandalier National Monument which is maintained by the U.S. National Park Service.
A description from their website:
Bandelier National Monument protects over 33,000 acres of rugged but beautiful canyon and mesa country as well as evidence of a human presence here going back over 11,000 years.  Petroglyphs, dwellings carved into the soft rock cliffs, and standing masonry walls pay tribute to the early days of a culture that still survives in the surrounding communities.
 There are different trails you can take throughout the park, so with map in hand, we set out to explore.  
The Main Loop Trail is just outside the Visitor's Center and is a 1.2 mile loop.
 There are numbered markers along the way that explain what you are seeing.  Unfortunately, my boys were not at all interested in the history of the area.  They just wanted to walk.


 There were lots of stairs and ladders to climb along the way.


You can just barely make out some of the petroglyphs here.

And there is still evidence of the damage received by the worst flooding the park had ever seen, on September 13, 2013.


At the end of the second trail there were 4 sets of ladders that went straight up.

 And then teeny tiny stairways built into the rock.
My college boy and I made it up that first set but then turned back.

We had already walked a couple of miles on a very hot day so they were ready to go.
All in all I thought it was worth the trip.  We had to park in White Rock and shuttle in (a 20 minute ride) because of the flood damage and limited parking.  The fee was $12 per vehicle which I thought was reasonable.  If you are ever in the area, I would definitely recommend a visit.
Our next stop will be to the very small town of Las Vegas, NM.

Have a terrific Tuesday.

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