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Friday, April 24, 2009


Greetings From Taos is moving! New adventure, new blog! But I'm not going far. Just hop on over to TAKING THE LONG WAY HOME. Once you get there (it will only take a second!), you can bookmark it for future use, and add your name to the Followers list. If you already follow this blog, I think the new one will be bigger, better, and way more fun, because I'll be on the move! Hope you'll all come with me!

Monday, April 20, 2009

waving good-bye

Lauren left here this morning, with all her things loaded in her car, ready to move to Seattle in a couple of weeks. I think it caught us all by surprise when we realized that she was leaving Taos for good this time. She's come and gone so much the last few years, with college and her stint in Denver, we sort of forgot that she was actually prepping to make a big move this trip. When she took down the dusty wooden "Lauren's Room" sign that swung above her door for the last eight years, it got real for me. I don't need to tell you, this mommy cried, more than a little bit.

You'd think I'd be used to it by now. All my kids, but especially Lauren, have left me plenty of times. I remember the first time Lauren "let me go". She was seven years old, and I was dropping her off at school in Seattle. Normally, she would hop out of the car, and skip through the school yard, and up to the door, turning every few steps to wave and blow kisses. I'd watch her until she was inside, waving and blowing kisses back. But on this particular day, she hopped out of the car, spotted a friend, and darted away, forgetting about me completely. I sat there stunned, and just barely made it back home before I fell apart, sobbing to Rick. It was awful. I was in a poetry writing phase back then, and somewhere there's a poem called, "She Let Me Go Today"...

Now at least I know she'll keep coming back. With our many ups and downs as a mother/daughter team, nothing has ever gone so terribly wrong that she's left me for good. We bicker. A lot. But we also talk on the phone almost every day. And even though I'm still sitting here feeling a little weepy, I'm so happy for her, and so proud of her. Seattle will be a great place for her again, and not too scary, because her brother is there too, and will in fact, be her roommate. Now we just need to get Julia back to the North West, and everyone will be centrally located again, where we can easily reach each other, but will still have some space. Taos wasn't a mistake, but it's not where we all need to settle, if settling is possible for a family like us.

As Lauren pulled out of the driveway today, waving and blowing kisses, Rick and Julia and I all waved and blew kisses back, and nobody will forget anybody this time. We know that much now.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

one more off the check-list

Well, we did it. We bought a trailer. No surprise here, really. We feel like the Angels are flapping overtime all around us these days, and I'm not kidding when I say, "We live a charmed life". I'm convinced... the more you say it, the more it's true. If you've been paying any attention to me at all, you know what I'm talking about. If not... maybe you'll want to tune in more often.

I'll start by saying that the snowy day almost instantly turned into a sunny, beautiful day, the minute we left the house this morning. Weather reports are for sissies. We drove into and over the mountains, into Mora and on to Las Vegas, NM, where we looked at Trailer Number One. It was very nice, and the owners were lovely, but... it wasn't "ours'. We knew it right away.

We drove on... and on... through wide open spaces that looked more like Texas than New Mexico. We played Lyle Lovett in honor of the terrain. We drove some more. And finally, after a Very Long Time, we pulled into Moriarty, and called Dean, to get directions to Trailer Number Two. Cell phone service was pretty sucky there, but we found our way eventually, after several calls and wrong turns. As we pulled into the driveway of Dean's farm, I said, "I'm having the weirdest Deja Vu here...". It all felt familiar and good and trustworthy. Dean took us to the trailer and showed us around. He was soft spoken, sweet, and a little bit funny, talking about his new baby girl, and camping trips with a rather large family. He left us alone to look around and talk it over. We needed about two minutes to whisper to each other, "Let's buy it!". And that's what we did.

We spent the rest of the afternoon driving back toward home, along old Route 66, the Grandmother of Road Trip Roads, feeling we were in precisely and cosmically the right place to find the right guys to install our fifth wheel trailer hitch. We found them, of course, and will return on Monday, to "get hitched", as it were, and to pick up our new home.

Once we drag our big white box back up the mountain, and park it in our driveway, we'll begin the redecorating process. A trailer interior, sadly and predictably, looks like a trailer. We intend to make it look more like a very small house. You'll see. It will be grand, in a very small way...

Amazing what can happen in one day. The world can change, and sometimes for the better. Next on the list... who wants to rent a beautiful house?

snow, trailers, beads...

Sheesh......... more snow this morning. Is it spring anywhere? We're heading out to look at trailers today. Not letting a silly little thing like weather stop us. Don't worry. It's just little flurries here and there, and besides, we have Rosie The Truck!

Got some good news from Jean Yates yesterday. She wrote an article about me for Australian Beading Magazine, and she finally has a copy in her hands. Apparently, we can't get it here in the states, but you can read it on Jean's Blog.

This whole new life-on-the-road thing has me wondering if I might be able to make a living doing something other than making beads... Wouldn't that be weird? But I'm open to all options. Life is big. There's a lot more than I can begin to imagine. But of course it's most likely that I'll make the shift to Traveling Beadmaker, in which case, I'll take all the publicity I can get. Thanks Jean! I guess I'd miss playing with fire if I were to actually leave the torch behind...

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

road trip

I had a great weekend in Denver with my kids, and now that I'm home, I can post some pictures. One big part of the fun was my new truck. It was terrific to drive up there, and then the kids took over the driving. Sure, they laughed at me, but they grabbed for the keys whenever they got the chance. I didn't mind at all. I'm a little rusty with the city driving after all these years in Taos.

This was the first time in years that the three of us have spent any time together.It was really nice, from a mom's point of view. Sometimes I get sort of nostalgic and weepy, thinking about them when they were little, and wondering how the growing up time went by so quickly. But spending a few days with my grown-up babies, I can see that even though those years are something of a blur, something must have gone right, because these are two most wonderful adults now. I love them at least as much as I did when they were small, but now I like them an awful lot too. I'm a proud mom, but I don't take much of the credit for who they are. They were built this way, and maybe I got to help a little.

So Rosie The Big-Ass Truck brought me home safely, and now the search is on to find The Trailer. As soon as we have that parked in the driveway, we'll start a serious search for Good Renters for our house. We'd still consider selling it, and in some ways would prefer to do that. So now's the time. Any takers out there? If we keep it for a couple more years, it'll only go up in price! Check it out here: . You can look at the slides, or click on the Virtual Tour, which is really lovely. If you know anyone who might be interested in buying, or renting, please feel free to share the link. June first is our target hit-the-road date!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

happy easter

I'm sitting in my 5th floor, $79 a night room at the Hilton, watching the rain fall, and waiting for Danny to get himself moving so we can go over to Lauren's to make breakfast. It was a fast paced day yesterday, and I think we're all tired this morning. And it's Easter... whatever that means to a lapsed Catholic and her two grown-up, religion-free, curiously spiritual kids. I can't speak for them, but for me it's a good day for appreciating the rebirth part of the the cycle of life. Even though it's raining, and doesn't "look like" Easter, it's still spring, things are beginning to bloom, and there's something fresh and new in the air. And spending time with my kids always feels good, always reminds me to keep an open mind and heart, and also to keep my eyes open to how somebody else might see what I'm looking at. I have great kids, and I feel completely honored to have them in my life.

On Easter Weekends Past, we would have done Eater Bunny sorts of things. Little Urban Rituals of re-birth and renewal... eggs and chocolate and bunnies and such. This is the first time in quite a few years that we've been together for Easter, and we're changing up the celebration a bit. Yesterday we went to the Coors Brewery. It's good to see the local sites, especially when there's free beer involved. Not a Coors drinker myself, I was just going along for the ride, more or less. But I have to admit, it was pretty interesting. The bottling room was cool, with all the fancy machines humming along, doing their jobs so perfectly. And a taste of super fresh, super cold Coors Light was... well, really good. Coors just happens to have the biggest brewery in the world, which is pretty impressive, considering the tiny little town of Golden, Colorado it lives in. There's a bridge in this old mining town that still has a sign posted, telling us we can't have more than 100 sheep crossing the bridge at any given time, and at no faster than a walking pace. The law is still in place. Good to know. I really enjoy dipping into these little unexpected pockets of history. And now I have a new respect for the humble can o' Coors. Kind of like when we went to the Spam Museum a few years ago... I won't eat the stuff, but I have much kinder things to say about it now. There's a lesson in there somewhere I suppose. Not a bad idea to get to know a thing... or a person... before deciding too much.

Another unexpected bit of adventure happened as we left Golden. We decided to take the winding little road to the top of Lookout Mountain, and, well, have a look. It was kind of a scary drive, but the view from the top was worth it. And from the big tourist parking lot, we strolled along the path to visit Buffalo Bill's grave of all things. How very odd. I don't even know what to say about that. The little that I know of Bill makes me tend to dislike him. He killed a lot of buffalo...... but then again, he seems to have done a lot of good in his life too. Can't be too quick to judge.

So back down the mountain, in suburban, almost "Stepford" Highlands Ranch, Colorado, a new day starts, cold, drippy, and full of promise. The rain keeps the whole thing juicy, and good things are bound to grow, even f we can't see them today. We don't have a plan for today, but I'll bet we come up with something. Might as well, huh? No matter where we go, here we are...

Happy Easter to you. I hope you're feeling juicy and renewed and curious.

Friday, April 10, 2009

on the road

There's something of a time gap here, but I can't help that. I'll skip the details of researching all the information it takes to make a Wise Truck Decision, and jump right to the important part. We bought a truck. This is a big relief to me. I thought we'd be in research limbo forever. And then, poof, we found it. The perfect truck. It's a 2007 Ford F250, for those of you who now what such things mean. To me, it's very big, has four wheel drive, a diesel engine, a nice interior, and a good back seat for the dogs. It will pull any kind of trailer we ask it to. So now we're looking for a trailer. Actually, Rick is handling that...

While he's at home spending lots of quality time with Craig's List, I'm in Denver with my kids. We bought the truck on Wednesday, and here I am on Friday, on a nice preliminary road trip in the Very Big Truck. She doesn't have a name yet, but I'm trying on "Rosie", like Rosie The Riveter, with her "We can do it" coolness. We'll see if it fits after a little more time together.

So far, everyone laughs when they see me driving this truck. It is kind of funny. But you know, I have to admit to liking this thing. I like being up high and breezing through traffic, seeing the world from a really nice seat. At home, people who would normally run me off the road move over in a most respectful way. Not that I'm trying to be intimidating. I know I'm now one of those people that others drivers say mean things about, so I'm making special efforts to be polite and friendly on the road. I smile and wave and let people in. Maybe I can change the image of Truck People...

I meant to post some truck pictures and travel pictures, but I forgot the cable for my camera. Sorry. But I guess you know what trucks look like, and you've probably seen snowy mountains before. If I get any good ones during the weekend, I'll post them when I get home. Till then, have a good weekend. Happy Easter and all that. See you back in Taos.

Monday, April 06, 2009

box of magic

Kathleen gifted me with this most fabulous old carved wooden box. Oh my... the wheels are turning now! I had been thinking I'd get some kind of portable jewelry display thingy from Rio Grande, so I can easily pull out my "shop" for fellow RVers while we're out on the road. But this box changes everything... I'm seeing sort of a gypsy chest filled with velvet and beads, with a beveled mirror inside the lid, and pictures of exotic, beautiful gypsy women set into the three round spaces on the front. I'll show it to you when it's finished. Don't you think you'd love a campsite shopping experience like this? Man, I know I would.

I was looking for pictures to use, and bumped into this website: In the Vintage Costumes section, I found some really terrific gypsy chicks. Can't wait to get started on this - just as soon as Rick makes some smalls repairs for me. It won't be long... I won't let him forget...

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

the eyes have it

Evil Eye beads have been around for ages. I didn't make them up, but this week I really feel like making them. It all started with the dogs... When little Sarafina got hurt one day, on our watch, I felt like I wanted to do something more to protect her, and the rest of the pack. OK, maybe it's silly, but then we all know I'm a firm believer in silliness. After making beads for all the dogs, I still hadn't had enough of the eye theme, so I made a bunch for people too. I'll put them up in my BeadShop in a couple of days.

Today I'm back to making beads for pets. If I'm drawn to something, it might be a good guess that somebody else would want them too. Besides, is there anyone right now who doesn't feel just a little bit vulnerable? Anyone who couldn't use a little bit of extra protection? Not that I want to play on anyone's fears. Just the opposite. I want to encourage Fearlessness!

Kathleen said - What do you call those? Stink Eye Beads? I think the name is going to stick. What could be better than giving those pesky old Evil Spirits the Stink Eye? Ha! Take that!