Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Taos and Other Fun Places

One thing I have learned after being on the road for 21 months is that weekends are not good times to blog. Campgrounds tend to be filled up and it is difficult to find a time that I can upload a blog post, especially with photos.

So what have we been up to? On Friday Bob and I visited the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture. We browsed around before taking advantage of a docent-led tour that gave us further insights into many of the exhibits. Unfortunately, this museum has a strict no-photograph policy and I was unable to take pictures of the many woven sashes and blankets in the museum. I hope to return with a sketchbook and capture some of the designs before we leave.

On Saturday we went to Santa Fe's bustling farmers market in the Railyard District.
We brought home some veggies and some local honey. What a fun place. The market is open on Tuesdays and Saturdays and everything here is locally grown or produced.

Apart from knitting on the shawl I'm working on (and working on, and working on...) I wove this belt using 3/2 cotton and my Sunna Heddle from Stoorstalka, with my Seidel Card Loom. It went much faster than I thought it would.
We did some antiquing on Sunday and relaxed yesterday, while I kept knitting in-between times.

Which brings us up to Tuesday, when we took a trip to Taos. It was about an hour and forty five minutes to get there, and we enjoyed the ride with beautiful views.
  Just south of Taos we passed the Rio Grande Gorge.
Taos itself is a lovely little town, with adobe homes tucked into lovely gardens. It is greener than Santa Fe and has a personality all its own.
We love small town museums and stopped into this one--the Kit Carson Home & Museum. While the above is a painting, the building does not look very different (although there were not actually any donkeys in the road today.)
Around the side of the building is the courtyard, with the entrance to the museum. This is where Kit Carson's wife Josefa and their seven surviving children spent their days, cooking outside and enjoying the beautiful sunshine.
Kit Carson was a trapper, a scout, a rancher, an officer in the US Army, a transcontinental courier, and a US Indian agent. He was instrumental in discovering the passageway to the Pacific Ocean. He was also in charge of one of the most dramatic events in the history of the West, the conquering of the Navajo people at Canyon de Chelly in Arizona.

The house itself was rather small and simply furnished, typical of homes of the mid 1800s. We saw a very informative film of Carson's life before wandering around the building.

We headed back to Santa Fe just ahead of a storm that was threatening to drench us. I spent much of the rest of the day knitting. But my shawl is almost done, so I will have pictures of it soon!

Friday, May 27, 2016

Meow Wolf

Have you heard of Meow Wolf's "The House of Eternal Return?" The NY Times described it as "an interactive, multimedia art experience." Funded by George R. R. Martin (author of "Game of Thrones") to the tune of 2.5 million dollars, it is located in a converted bowling alley and features a Victorian House as well as worlds from other planets.
Inside the entrance, you are told about a fictional family, the Seligs, who have mysteriously disappeared. You are encouraged to open doors, read letters on the desk, and open drawers to try and discover where the Seligs went and what exactly happened to them. Or you can just wander around and see all the weird and wacky things in this 20,000 square foot building.
The house is rather spooky looking as you approach it.
The fireplace mantel leads to another dimension...
 ...and what in the world happened to the chandelier in the dining room?
Or the wainscoting ?
You can open the refrigerator and step into another world...
...and everywhere you turn is a new world to explore.
Climb into a tree house...
 ...check out the bathroom above the dining room...
...and this upstairs kitchen is seriously odd.
 This entire room has anime drawings on every surface.
There are city streets unlike any you've ever seen. The sign says "Sorry we're high."

Bob and I never figured out where the Seligs went, but we sure had fun wandering around this bizarre yet amazing place. If you are ever in Santa Fe, you must make a point to see it.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks Nat'l Monument

In 2001 Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks was designated a national monument. Bob and I visited it on Wednesday.
This is a hauntingly beautiful place. "Kasha-Katuwe" means "white cliffs" in the Keresan language of the Pueblo Indians. Cone-shaped tent rock formations were produced 6-7 million years ago during volcanic eruptions that left pumice, ash and tuff deposits over 1000 feet thick. The "tents" are boulder caps on top of tapering hoodoos (pillars of rock) that protect the softer pumice and tuff below. Some tents no longer have their caprocks and are slowly disintegrating. 

We started hiking along the Slot Canyon Trail and were entranced by the rock formations. 

The trail became narrower and narrower until we decided to turn back to the Cave Loop Trail, which offered beautiful vistas and towering cliffs above us. 

You can see why these are called "tent rocks." They really look like tents from this perspective.

We arrived at the cave carved out of the soft rock which was inhabited during the 14th and 15th centuries. The Pueblo de Cochiti  people still inhabit the surrounding area.
After our lovely hike we returned to the motorhome and I spent a couple hours knitting. To reward myself, I then played with my Gilmore Inkle Lap Loom and finished the band I had started.
This was a really fun project. I had done a little of this type of pickup years ago but it didn't "take." Now I feel very comfortable with it. I think I will do letters on my next band.

Bob and I went out to dinner to Harry's Roadhouse in Santa Fe and had some great ribs. We don't eat out that often, preferring to cook in, so this was a real treat.

Around 9:00 in the evening I got the urge to warp up my Saori Piccolo loom and get it ready for the grandchildren to weave on in July. It took me less than a half hour to thread heddles and reed using the pre-wound warp from Saori Santa Cruz (thank you, Jill!)
So easy-peasy to do this.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Traveling With an Incontinent Cat

Clarification: He's not always incontinent. But when we travel, he loses it, so to speak.
Our 17 year old kitty, KC, really dislikes the actual travel part of our life, unfortunately. Since we often stay in one  place for weeks at a time, this isn't as bad as it sounds. He really loves the attention he gets, he has his own spot for his food (on the dashboard,) and the view outside his window never becomes boring. I thought I would share how we set up his traveling crate so he stays clean during the ride, in case anyone else out there has a similar situation.

First step is to lay an old hand towel on his crate pad.
We have several old towels just for this purpose.
Next is to enclose the pad and towel with an unscented kitchen-size trash bag. Unscented is very important because those lemony or floral scented bag will make the cat sick, just smelling it. Clip the bag closed with a clothespin (you'll need five, and these will be henceforth and forevermore "cat clothes pins," for no other use than for this purpose.)
Last step is to lay 1/2 of a Chux (those bed pads for incontinent humans, often found in bigger pharmacies) on top of the bag. Use four more clothes pins to clip each corner to the corners of the plastic bag. Place this elaborately layered pad into the crate.

The vomiting typically starts when I begin to pull in the slide-outs, followed by bladder and bowel incontinence as the coach starts to actually move. If I am lucky, KC is all emptied out as we approach the entrance to the road, upon which time I hop up, whip off the plastic bag with enclosed body fluids and solids, and roll it up neatly before tossing it in the trash. KC then curls up and falls asleep for the rest of the trip. Not a fabulous way to start a trip, but it works for us.

So what have we been doing since Saturday? On Sunday we met with another couple from the campground that we connected with through RVillage.com. If you are an RVer, you want to be on RVillage--it's a great way to meet new friends, and after all, isn't that what makes traveling fun? Bobbie and Kurt met us at a local restaurant for breakfast and we had such a fabulous time talking that the management had to practically kick us out. What a nice couple!
On Sunday Bob and I went to the Outdoor Expo in Santa Fe, and ended up purchasing a new Sleep Number mattress. We are having it shipped to San Antonio, TX, where we will be in a couple of weeks.

Monday was a quiet, at home day, except for running out to see a couple of antique shops in the area. While we didn't purchase anything, one of the shop owners told us of two antique malls in Taos, where we will be visiting in the next few days or so. I love antique malls.

Which brings us up to Tuesday (today, as I am writing this.)  We took the motorhome in for its annual oil change and maintenance. They also fixed a crushed generator tailpipe and our crumpled mud guard. Loads of money and eight boring hours later, we are ready for another year. The one bright spot in the day was being visited by our friends Linda and Chuck, with doggie Henry. I had found a rigid heddle for which Linda had been on the hunt, and I also showed her my Seidel Card Loom because she is ordering one for herself. 

After our friends left, I worked a bit on my shawlette I'm knitting. It is coming along, but slowly (although it would go faster if I worked on it more than a couple of hours a day.)
I like this ombre yarn, but I'd much rather be weaving.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Visiting Friends and Tinkertown Museum

Ross Ward was a carver and a "tinkerer." He spent his whole life creating little worlds, and traveled around to fairs and carnivals in the 1960s and '70s to share them with the public. He was diagnosed at age 57 with Alzheimers Disease, but continued to carve and create until he could do it no more. Tinkertown is his legacy.

Bob and I met up with our friends Linda and Chuck to visit Tinkertown together on Friday. We got a chuckle out of this sign in the parking lot.

Some of the walls of the buildings have bottles imbedded in them, and Ross used thousands of bottles of all kinds.
Many of the displays are animated. There is a whole Wild West town complete with inhabitants, food on the tables and goods in the general store.
I enjoyed the Emmett Kelly display.
Outside we saw a medicine man's horse-drawn wagon and a car covered in coins and trinkets.
According to a nearby sign, Ross worked on the car as a substitute for being able to drive after his illness left him unable to be safe behind the wheel.

Linda and I poked along ahead of the men, going at our own pace.

Even Auggie enjoyed Tinkertown, posing for a photograph for us.

After the museum we followed Chuck and Linda to their beautiful home outside of Albuquerque, where we had a lovely visit and a great meal. Linda showed me her inkle loom that she found at a yard sale. It only has two legs and no base, and looks like it is meant to be held between the weaver's knees. A turnbuckle provides control over tension. I've never seen a loom quite like this one, although my grandfather built an inkle loom for my grandmother and used a turnbuckle for tension, so maybe the same plans were used and individualized.
Auggie and Linda's dog, Henry, had a good time playing until puppy exuberance resulted in Auggie putting his new friend in his place. He flipped Henry onto his back and told him enough was enough. Henry wasn't hurt at all but I think his feelings were!
All in all, a wonderful day with good friends.

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Palace of the Governors

One place Bob and I have been eager to see Santa Fe's Palace of the Governors. Built in 1610, it was the seat of government for Spain's Nuevo Mexico in the New World, and America's oldest continually occupied public building. And when New Mexico was annexed as an American territory, the Palace became New Mexico's first territorial capitol. On Thursday we visited the Palace.

We arrived in time for a forty five minute, docent-led tour, that lasted an hour and a half (!) and gave us an in-depth look at New Mexico's early days. Our docent really knew her stuff and enjoyed what she did. One of the famous people who walked these halls was Billy the Kid, who was captured and held here until he escaped while visiting the latrine.
During the tour our docent introduced us to one of the security guards who happens to be the great grandson of Ezequiel de Baca, the first Lieutenant-Governor of New Mexico after becoming a state on January 6, 1912.
The Palace housed some very interesting exhibits, such as this "mud wagon," a real stagecoach used to bring settlers to the territory.
This is a fragment of a Jerga, woven in New Mexico and used as floor coverings and bedspreads. They were a major trade item to the rest of Mexico to the south.
The museum boasts a large collection of santos, likenesses of Spanish saints used in local churches. These santos were made by master craftsmen who worked in talleres, or workshops to produce these masterpieces.
 The chapel has been restored beautifully.
The residents of Nuevo Mexico had to be very resourceful, as supply trains only visited once every three years and Spain prohibited trade with anyone else. This violin was made of rawhide.
On the veranda of the Palace of the Governors was a jewelry fair with artisans presenting their wares. Bob and I walked around the Plaza and stopped into a chocolate shop for a truffle. Yum.
We returned home and I started working on this narrow band, consisting of a pickup pattern and woven on my Gilmore Inkle Lap Loom, precursor to the Mini Wave Loom. Every time I weave something on my Lap Inkle I fall in love with it again. It's too bad Gilmore stopped making them and I'm lucky to have one--Gilmore sold me the last one they had on their shelves, years ago.