Saturday, September 29, 2007


Our fridge arrived this week, after we'd been living out of a 2'x2' loaner "bar fridge" from Baillio's, our appliance dealer the past few weeks. It took them over three weeks to put a custom stainless slab on one side of the built-in fridge to make it look presentable. Our days of living on Subway sandwiches and Mexican takeout are over! (Thank goodness for Mom's dinners--it was so nice to have a home-cooked meal once in a while the past three weeks!)

The first thing we did when Val arrived from Boston was go to Costco to buy food to fill our fridge. We've never been good at buying bulk, but we were like kids in a candy store (see photo). We stocked up on the freshest meats, fruits, vegetables and cheeses we could find at a warehouse store, and we didn't do so bad--we made sure nearly everything we bought was local, organic/free-range/wild, and made in the USA (quite a challenge--we dare you to try it!), and Costco was pretty good about having several local products to choose from. For example, we chose a trio of salsas from Cervantes restaurant over the icky Pace stuff, which we would never eat anyway (can you say salsa snobs?). Cervantes is just around the corner from Val's folks' house. You can't get more local than that!

Gotta go--Val's brother Eric is visiting and it's time to BBQ and eat some of that yummy food!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Val Headed to Boston

Hi Folks!

Val's headed to Boston over the next few days for work. Thereafter, watch for news of our preparation for a golf tournament at the Santa Fe Wine & Chile Festival on Sunday -- wine and food served by Santa Fe's finest restaurants at every 3rd hole...mmmm mmmm good!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Fog has set in

San Francisco is following us....we woke up Friday morning and were covered in FOG!

Fog's somewhat a rare thing to see in New Mexico, but it's been raining quite a bit and we do live in the Rio Grande river valley. This is the most beautiful time of year to visit or live in New Mexico.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Our furniture has arrived!

After THREE WEEKS of sleeping on an air mattress, we finally have relief. With moving companies, you truly pay in time for what you save in money....

We also bought some new furniture--behold, the office:

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


Now here's a scenario for you: move from living in a 1000 sq. ft. loft in downtown San Francisco with a fast-paced, fine wine & dining lifestyle surrounded by your 30-something friends, to a rural area of New Mexico with lots of overgrown weeds (but with a fabulous house and property--sorry, we just love it!), and get to know your neighbors. Turns out, one of your neighbors has a small flock of sheep, and offers to unleash them on your back acre to cut down the weeds so he can save on feed. Here's what it would look like:
We can't help but giggle everytime we go outside. And the cats are fascinated with them--they sit at our back screen door quizically looking on as these creatures stuff themselves with tall, moist weeds from the deluge we had yesterday. But we can breathe a sigh of relief that an acre of weeds will be gone in the next few days! (They work fast...)

Monday, September 17, 2007

Psychology of Color

We put a lot of thought and research into our color palette for the house and discovered such interesting things about the psychology of color. For example, recent studies show that people are more productive in blue rooms. And because yellow is the hardest color on the eye (reflects the most colors on the sepctrum to your retina), it can incite tension (and oddly, also increase metabolism)? For that reason, people lose their tempers and babies cry more often in yellow rooms. So don't have difficult discussions in a yellow kitchen with your spouse!

More on color psychology (not to be confused with color symbolism) on

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Painting the Night Away

We're going a little nuts with color in our new casita, but we absolutely love this Bunglehouse Blue from Sherwin Williams for our office. After shopping for and sampling several swatches over the past few weeks, we want jobs naming paints....

We chose an Arts & Crafts color palette for the house. Whattya think?

Great room & Kitchen:



Thursday, September 13, 2007


We love you and will see you Saturday for a celebration dinner. Hooray!

Val in Vegas

I've been here since Tuesday night for our Autodesk mid-year sales meeting, and all I can think about is Jon, the kitties, and our new little casa. Even with a room upgrade at Caesar's Palace (top floor of the new Augustus tower--palatial!) and the luxury of sitting and sleeping on real furniture, I just wanna go home!!!

Friday, September 7, 2007

Friday Night at Luna Mansion

We ventured out this evening, deciding to have drinks at the bar of this New Mexico institution (Val came here for prom her senior year in high school--a very popular thing to do in the 80s and 90s if you went to high school in Albuquerque, but apparently the place has dropped their dress code so not such a prom/homecoming venue anymore--which is probably good for us at this point!).

So, we had Manhattans on our first real Friday night living in New Mexico (we were pretty out of it last Friday night--our second night here). The Luna Mansion was established in the 1880s by a wealthy European Spanish family that came to New Mexico in the 1600s (the Lunas, who married into the Otero family, also from Spain). Rumor has it that the mansion was built to the Lunas' specifications by the Santa Fe Railroad, who decided to plop down tracks right in the middle of the Lunas' homestead in the Rio Grande Valley in the mid-1800s. The mansion is Southern Colonial style, but built with adobe (thick mud brick typical of Native American contruction in these parts--very well insulated), so the mansion is very unique.

The interior is uber-Victorian. Walking in was like traveling in a time machine, but the drinks and appetizers were fantastic. Visitors--prepare for a treat when you come to visit!

After a Long Day's Work

Sipping wine from our back porch, watching the sunset after a full day of pulling weeds....SO MANY MORE WEEDS TO PULL!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Want & Need

Everyone should try living without their belongings for a week. It really puts things into razor sharp perspective. You find out how well you can actually survive without all that "stuff", and how important it is to sometimes depend on others. You also discover the true difference between "want" and "need".

We found out this weekend that our furniture may take another 2-3 weeks to arrive. What did they do, drive to Siberia first?!?! The airbed is killing our backs and our sleep cycles--we dread to think of 14+ more nights on that torture device. Time for a call into the Better Business Bureau....

Having no fridge is also a challenge. We've had to buy ice every night. Frequenting the local Albertson's in Los Lunas, NM, isn't really our idea of a good time, but it's necessary. So far, we've managed to make a couple modest salads for dinner; we've eaten microwaved potatoes with olive oil and garlic salt (not bad, actually); and we eat fruit and energy bars for breakfast in the mornings.

We shipped a box of random kitchen goods to arrive last weekend so we'd have some basics, but most things were broken. Our tea kettle was pretty much intact, so black tea and Jon's favorite--Celestial Seasonings Morning Thunder--serve as our caffeine. What I wouldn't do for a walk around the corner to my old neighborhood coffeehouse to have an Americano or hot, silky soy chai latte! What a city wimp....

After researching, shopping, hemming and hawing for several weeks--only to find when we arrived that our measurements were WAY off--we finally settled on a floor model built-in fridge that we have to customize to fit into our kitchen (that photo's not our kitchen). The fridge isn't exactly what we had planned financially, but aesthetically and functionally, it's a "beauty".

We're Here!

Sunday, September 2, 2007


To a supernova mom, wife, and all-around fabulous lady:
Happy Birthday!!
We love you lots, and miss you a ton but you're always in our hearts and on our minds, putting smiles on our faces all the time. We hope you have a fantastic birthday weekend!

Farmer Jon

We spent 3 hours Saturday morning pullng the most enormous weeds we've ever seen. It was! Looks like this move will get us into great shape.

The weeds grew so tall (and deep-rooted) over the month between purchasing the home and moving in. We did pay our realtor a few bucks to find someone to mow the lawn in the front while we wrapped things up in San Francisco, but the lawn isn't the problem--it's these WEEEEEEEEDS!

After our weeding session, the place looks great once again (starting to look like the photo in our first blog post back in July).
Weeding was scarily fun, but we can't wait to map out our plan for "The Farm". Stay tuned folks...

Saturday, September 1, 2007


Hope you're enjoying your Sweet Sixteenth, and these wonderful glory days. We love you!

Lions, and Tigers, and Toads! Oh My!

Our first night in the new house, in the country. I don't think we heard as many sounds living in the heart of a big city as we heard last night. To make it even creepier, we don't have any window coverings so we felt totally exposed, like camping under the stars--no tent.

It was outrageously cool, but also pretty scary for a couple of city folk. It's always weird to spend your first night in a new house (especially with no furniture--arriving in a few more days. Ugh.), but moving from 2nd story city loft in San Francisco to ground floor ranch-style home in New Mexico with no shades on your sliding glass door in your bedroom is downright creepy. Period! Even the cats were skittish--and rightfully so. They were visited through the glass by a feral cat and had an intense growling session with it, which was such a treat for me and Jon at 3am in the morning. What the #%!$*@!???

So far we've heard geese honking, goats and horses braying, so many dogs barking (people love their dogs out here), perhaps a teradactyl or two, crickets and frogs. We found this GYNORMOUS one on our pathway last night. Jon was beside himself. I immediately ran in to get the camera. This is good stuff!

What a Long Strange Trip It's Been!

One word: EXHAUSTED! It took us weeks to get plane tickets for two humans and two cats on the same flight. For some reason, it was incredibly difficult to get United Airlines phone agents to understand the concept that we wanted to fly the cats in the cabin with us, all on the same flight. I must have called around 10 different times to make corrections to our email confirmations. Not once did they ever show a "reservation" for the cats, which they should have. I finally had to go to a ticket agent AT THE AIRPORT to get the correct confirmation for our flight. Customer service woes.

Not all airlines allow animals in the cabin, but United does--only on certain aircraft, and each aircraft has a limit to the number of animals allowed on board, usually one or two.

We also had more suitcases and packages than we anticipated since we're moving out of state, so with 5 check-in bags, two carry-on bags (laptops, and kitty supplies) and two cats, I'm sure we were an eyeful at the airport.

The security line was another hurdle. Several airport security agents checked our tickets and IDs, and no matter how many times we asked each of them how to put our cats through security (no X-ray machines, thanks), we just received blank stares. So we get to the security check and they freak out and tell us we have to take the cats out of their bags and walk them through the metal detector with us. Right. And the airport gets two more stray cats to chase mice for them.

After debating with them and holding up the entire security line for several more minutes (everyone was incredibly understanding), the more attentive TSA agents gave us a private screening in a special area behind a curtain. I felt like we were about to perform magic tricks, except we were pulling cats out of bags instead of rabbits out of hats....

One of the TSA agents looked horrified of the cats, which was amusing since ours are so gentle--they've never scratched or bitten anyone while we've had them. She told me she'd seen some agents badly scratched in the face during these special screenings, but once we pulled Max out of his bag, she was immediately disarmed. Who wouldn't be?

Finally through security, we embarked on our 6-hour journey from SFO to ABQ (including waiting in the gate area, layovers, etc.). I think we all aged a few years, but once we arrived during a glorious New Mexico sunset, we felt relieved. We finally felt at home.