Monthly Archives: December 2011

Gifts from ‘Patto’

I’m sitting in my new bungalow in Valparaiso, IN – just 27 miles down the road from my sister, Pat, and brother-in-law, Otto. It’s been a year since I put the Las Cruces house on the market and set my sights for home. And now, I am home, largely due to gifts from Pat, Otto and their family – married 51 years ago today.

They met at George Rogers Clark High School in the late 50s. When Pat brought Otto home to meet the parents he was fun, handsome and sweet. He went into the Navy and was stationed in Okinawa. She put herself through St. Agnes School of Nursing, Fond du Lac, Wisconsin. Continue reading

Mele Kalikimaka

If I were moving for the weather, I’d be going to Hawaii. That’s what I told friends in SoNewMex when they questioned why I was putting my house on the market and moving to Indiana. Fact is, I moved to be closer to family and, for the most part I am tickled to be home. (“For the most part” may be another story. Stay tuned.)

Why leave Las Cruces when the local chamber of commerce claimed 340 days of sunshine. What’s not to love about that plus the mountains, the desert, great friends? It was great – all that happy sunshine  – for the most part.

But as a midwestern transplant, I actually missed cloudy days. Turns out I wasn’t alone. Even natives embraced the gray days. But then there were only 25 or so each year, right? I mean, according to the chamber. And even when it was overcast, the skies were not cloudy all day. (Insert smiley face here.) So why move to Indiana of all places, right?

I was in Hawaii in December 1988. While it was nice being on the beach December 9, it was just plain weird seeing palm trees decked out with tiny white lights while “White Christmas” was piped out over the oiled sun lovers. Weirder still was seeing decorated Christmas trees in condo windows. Sunny? 80 degrees? and I’m hearing “Mele Kalikimake”? I might have been more comfortable on the moon.

Strangely enough, I feel that way today  Continue reading


Puppy for Christmas

This gallery contains 2 photos.

Holy ghost of Christmas past! I was watching “Miracle on 34th Street” and Kris Kringle was on his way to Bellevue when I realized I have a blog deadline. I don’t want to miss this one because I’m writing about … Continue reading

Green ‘n’ Easy Holiday Fare

Happy Holidays to you and your family! This writing could be about so many things. So, amidst all the options, confusion, business, I’ve decided to go with what’s most important. Food.

Thanks to Vanilla Bean for this great photo of the dish du jour.

Bought my house this week and while I’m happy as a hermit crab in a new shell, I’m pouring more than clams into the place. That’s what happens. Buy under market and bring it up to par. Good problems to have. So while I’m peeling old contact paper out of kitchen drawers and you’re buying that special gift for your favorite person, we still have to eat, right? I have two recipes to share – one classic winter dish from friends in New Mexico, and my cheap and easy online version of … Posole.

OMG, if you read about Posole online, you find a WikiPedia entry about prisoners’ hearts being torn out and served with hominy. My pedestrian 21st century recipe from Epicurious calls for a rotisserie chicken (I buy mine at Sam’s or WalMart. What would Mesoamerican say about THAT? Sorry, that just made me lol.) Continue reading


Happy Birthday, Otto!

Sun Catcher Sun shines through the north window. The back of an oak chair defies the rays, forcing its shadow on the kitchen tablecloth. Sunlight, stronger still, glows around the dull yellow shadow and the shape slowly, slowly recedes. Soon … Continue reading