belated yarn along, and summer vacation in new mexico

I am so very late to yarn along, but better late than never. I am working on a simple watch cap for my husband for when the weather turns this fall. It is this pattern, called Two by Two. I’m using Jojoland’s Baritone Superwash, and it is a superwash merino. Soft, warm, in a vintage tan color.

We went to Santa Fe for a week and explored the area. It is so beautiful there. It’s beauty is very different from the prairie, and also, from my jungly island hometown in Florida. Different, but just as lovely, in its own way. Juniper trees, cholla cacti, dry riverbed, yucca, lizards, birds, and dry air, all set against a starkly beautiful mountain backdrop. The sun was bright, hot, and relentless during the day, and then at night the desert would cool down and be chilly and breezy. Such a land of extremes and intensities!

We went on a few hikes, and the one that stands out the most in my mind was the hike at Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument. You hike through a slot canyon and then up to the summit of a mountain. It was breathtaking, interesting, and a good hike without being too strenuous. There is some scrambling over rocks and climbing toward the end, but nothing crazy. I saw several lizards, lots of cool wildflowers and trees, and a lot of birds.

We also kayaked 8 miles of the Rio Grande, which was fun and relaxing. I spotted a lot of birds. In some places, the river was so shallow that we had to get out and dislodge our kayaks from the deep mud. We all got sunburned and went back to the cabin we were staying in to slather ourselves in aloe and order takeout New Mexican food.

We visited several parks, one of which was Pecos National Historical Park, where they have an old pueblo and some kivas that you can climb down into. The story of the place is fascinating and troubling, like much of history.

My favorite place to eat in Santa Fe was The Pantry. The food and service were both excellent, it was well-priced, and had a great “local fixture” vibe to it. Another yummy place was Maria’s. We ate dinner at several different places, but I kept finding excuses to go back to The Pantry. I didn’t think to take any photos of my meals, but everything I had was delicious. If you ever go to Santa Fe, check this place out for sure!

At the end of the week, we were all ready to come home to our chickens and pine trees and wide views and rolling prairie grasses. I so love my home. Driving up into our driveway, I noticed several new wildflowers in bloom in the front yard, which is mostly comprised of native prairie flowers and grasses.

Home sweet home. I do so love to travel, and even more, to come home at the end of my travels, and sleep in my own bed!

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yarn along and planting time

Well, Ginny inspired me and I am also knitting the South Bay Sweater, in a dark fuschia wool. I’m thankful for yarn along, which offers such inspiration that keeps me motivated to knit and share my new projects. I’m still reading At Home in Mitford. I read so slow these days. I used to blow through a book or two a week, but I am busy with so many other things in this season that I don’t have nearly as much time to read.

I found a solution for my chickens. You will remember they were in the barn after we lost one to a predator in the small yard around their coop. The barn was safe, but they could not have regular sunshine or fresh air. I had another coop with a run that I brought from the old house. I spent a few hours last weekend, me and Hubby, and we spruced it up, cleaned it out, built a quick little ramp, and set it up in a nice level place out of the wind. It is weathered and a little rickety, so I am planning to reinforce it and also, paint it in order to seal the wood from any more exposure to the crazy elements of Colorado sunshine and elevation. The run is not big enough for my flock, so I have been letting them out each day for a few hours to range while I am out there to watch them. But at least they can see the sun and breathe fresh air each day! It really is only a temporary solution, but I feel so much better. They seem happier too.

I finished the purple baby cardigan and only need to sew a button on before wrapping it up as a baby gift for a friend expecting her first baby.

I have been spotting wildflowers everywhere. My apple trees have tiny leaves and blossoms on them, some tall shrubs near the garage that I have not yet identified have sprouted, and the peas are up. It is planting time. This weekend I will be planting some perennial flowers along the front walk, berry bushes, lettuce, spinach, and kale.

That photo is a series of (overgrown) raised beds outside the privacy fence that we are removing this weekend. Once we remove the dilapidated fence, all of the raised beds will be together and we plan to fence them in with something simple for the growing season this year, and do something nicer and more permanent next year. I find it fulfilling to have projects for now, and plans for later projects too.

I have been going for long walks, listening to the birds singing in the warming air, noticing the plants that are waking up everywhere, and finding so much joy and beauty in the slowly greening prairie hills.