Archive for August, 2009


How have you improved your BQ?

Reply by cc on August 2, 2008 at 7:50am
Hey Bosque Bill, I do want to comment that where we live up in Alameda – old farming area that is getting filled in – our neighbors yard has been for decades the nesting ground for a pair of roadrunners. I have watched them from my desk frolic in their mating in the front yard, then heard the mournful late winter mating call from the birds on their roof perched above our driveway. They would hop the fence over into our yard all the time to get snails, bless them.

Well, guess what? After our wonderful neighbors passed away and the daughters sold the property, a very nice family bought the property and fixed it up to rent. BUT they knocked down all the cover in their attempts to improve the yard! They made it too neat! Tall beautiful dense pines cut down, bushes scraped so the corners of the fences and the ground were all clean. They neglected to water any of the trees in the yard for many months and a number of the shrubs and trees that were left died. Needless to say, no roadrunner courting took place this past winter spring – and didn’t see a roadrunner around!

Good news is they recently installed a timered sprinkler system and planted grass back on the dirt lawn. All over the yard the plants and trees are getting watered again on a regular basis (our elder passed neighbors would water diligently with their old drinking water well as well as plant a chile and veggie filed each summer from saved seeds!). Just two days ago a roadrunner appeared in our yard to eat our grapes. I am so happy and hope this means the area might be a habitat for these roadrunners again.

On another note – to reply to your original request finally — the grapes that we have had all these 20 plus years here are a very important lure for birds. They are an old variety that the folks who had this place for 3 years before us put in – small purple with lots of seeds – great for juice and wine. Well – most every year we let the crops go to the birds. When they are allowed to dry up we have had flickers come in the winter to harvest them. And the last 3 or 4 years the funniest thing – about now – late July as the grapes start to turn purple, we have this group of fledging out robins come and eat every last grape, pooping their purple poops on our windshields. How do they remember to come back when they are just newborns? They have the orange on their bottom breast and their baby stripes still on the top near their necks. Last year I had put up netting only on one section of vine to try to save some of the grapes and the net caught and killed one poor robin – I didn’t find it until the winter when its body was all desecrated – tangled so completely I gave away my netting and won’t try that again. I prefer to feed the birds. And we do have lots of cover in our much smaller yard, tho we have cats…


anybody want to comment on being a mom and making time for making art?

I am Mom to one daughter, now a teen.
I have had quite a journey and some successes making time for making art while also enjoying raising our daughter and running a business with my spouse. But I feel frustration a lot at not “digging in” enough.

How do you make time to tap into muse amid the distractions of motherhood?

I am curious how you focus just on your art in these times and not get pulled by other projects like cooking, yard work, organizing the laundry room, etc. And how does it feel – do you feel satisfied with your development of your ideas? It’s neat that you have identified a way to wait til your free time comes and use it as rehearsal – which is such an important step in my mind, too.

One room of our house was converted to tables for creations back when our daughter was little. She is now 14 and we still share that room. She has a smaller space that’s all her own her tree house that she has chosen to set up with a table and art supplies — cool. I also have my clay shack I built over 20 years ago out in the back. I share that space with students, too.

Around the time she was 4, I rented studio space at a friends twice a week while she was at preschool. That was heaven – short lived tho cause I went back to teaching after I had started that.

Another thing that helped me was joining with my spouse on a studio tour – having my clay creations for sale alongside his paintings at his studio. Before our daughter was born, I had been going to some sales (coop). After joining the studio tour I started selling at the craft row of growers mkt. I would take daughter and she would even sell some plates she had glazed. She had spending money and liked hanging out. She would also meet her friends there.

But this emphasis on selling work has gotten in the way of a feeling of real connectedness to my muse that I used to feel before her birth, when I taught and had summers off and those summers gave me such long solid solitary times to connect.

I think writing this out just helped me realize the exact thing I miss in this motherhood state ( that will not go on forever, right?) – solitary space. And I know I love what I exchanged it for — parenting a wonderful human.


a carved out hole here for me

At the Sandoval County Dump yesterday, I was moved to tears.

Why at the dump?

And so this personal space begins with beginning to answer that question – why am I so touched at the dump?

Three things to start:

1).  I had not been able to drive “in the dirt” at the dump in a number of years, and now they have this whole new area available to the public, up the dirt road hill to the 3rd power pole: “Green Waste” “Metal Waste” “Wood Waste” (those last two might not be the official nomikers). My spouse has been there lots, he told me this morning (i’ve been going to the Eagle Rock facility these last coupla years and have missed the switchover). He loves to go scrounging there.  I like the fact that there’s a place to drive on the pink sandy dirt and a place where we ARE ALLOWED to scrounge. My spouse has scrounged us great stuff at the dump over the years. And many a time he was told “put it back.”  A dump is a receptacle for all that we produce and then DISCARD. A place of redemption, potential redemption at any rate.

2).  The area around the dump is no longer “just the wild mesa.” There are many many houses and businesses out there along Idalia Road in Rio Rancho, on what, ten years ago, was rolling ‘established’ dunes – the geographical feature that runs all up and down this particular north-south ribbon between Rio Puerco on the west and Rio Grande on the east. If I can apply what I’ve learned about dunes teaching at NMMNHS’s Young Explorers camp, the prevailing westerly winds have piled the loose, plentiful topsoil/sediment from the Rio Puerco into the banks of dunes all along the intermediary volcanic easement that stretches north and south in between the faults. eh – sorry that’s probably hard to follow. If you could see my hands moving with the explanation which I rely on usually, maybe it’d be clearer! The places where the layers of rock have dropped down or shifted up are the places that catch the sand deposited by the wind. And we have a few of those places, or faults, that run on either side of our Rio Grande valley, that originally made our river flow here.

I have been to this dump throughout my life  – memories fill that space for me –  end of days of clean-up – wide views of the western horizon – mingling time with my compadres and comadres in the satisfaction of end of work.

3). Recently read Luis Urrea’s Into the Beautiful North. The place the book centers on in 2nd quarter (and for too little time in the book, in mi opinion) is a dompe outside of Tijuana. Amazing family domiciles established at that dump in the book. It was a poignant read for me documenting the economic, social, political, community reality that surrounds me.

As my family used to say when I was little, ‘Old Méjico, and Nuevo Méjico.’  And now I say, Qué lindo es Méjico.

Adiós – hasta pronto.

clay & log posts

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