Sunday, May 31, 2009

Photos from a Farm

Eerily early monsoon season...a monster compost tumbler...thirsty rain barrels that now supply most of our water for farming, gardening, and growing trees...sheep grazing on the pasture...sunflower seedlings...these are a few of our favorite things:

Fifth Wedding Anniversary

Indeed, it's been five years. Five wonderful, crazy, exciting, never-a-dull-moment, challenging, rewarding years since Jon and I tied the knot. I realize that "tying the knot" sounds a little crass, but knots are a recurring theme in our marriage, starting on our wedding day.

The place where we married, Stewart Chapel at the San Francisco Theological Seminary just north of San Francisco, had a prayer labyrinth on its terrace that charmed us so much, we incorporated the design into many areas of our wedding: maps that were sent with our invitations, the wedding programs, our album, and other small touches throughout the planning, reception, and post-wedding activities. We're not sure if anyone noticed the recurring theme, but we became rapt with labyrinths as symbols of infinity, history, culture, peace, and--because it became our own personal symbol througout the wedding--love.

If you're unfamiliar with labyrinths, they look much like knots. The Celtic people of Ireland and northern France (our ancestors!) used labyrinths in their lore and ceremonies. While the Greek origins of labyrinths reveal stories of overcoming evil or solving puzzles, they have a spiritual history as well. Some cultures from the Middle Ages onward used labyrinths as a source of meditation and prayer, which is why many modern-day labyrinths are in churches and parks. When we bought our farm here in New Mexico, one of the first things we agreed to do was to somehow, someday, design a labyrinth somewhere on the farm. We haven't done it yet, but it's still in the plans.

No matter how labyrinths came into being or how others use them or perceive them, we favor our interpretation of labyrinths, and see our lives together as a meandering, spiritual journey within a safe harbor of love to enjoy together, forever.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Memorial Day Weekend: Decisions, Decisions...

This weekend, while we take pause to remember those who have lost their lives in service to our country (whether we agreed with the mission or not), we also take what we consider a well-deserved break from work--corporate work, farm work, and round-the-house work. We've been pretty busy around the house and farm these days; it's nice to see things shaping up.

We enjoyed a lovely, albeit brief, visit from our friends Jennifer, Jonathan, and their 18-month-old son, Christian, earlier this week, which got us off to a happy start for this long weekend. Jennifer and I met the first day of first grade and have been very close friends ever since. It's magical to have a friend that's known you that long, and it was magical having them over, if even for a couple of days before they headed off to help with wedding preparations for their friends.

So, what does a 30/40-something married couple/no children who live on a 2-acre farm in Central New Mexico do for Memorial Day weekend? While it's no San Francisco, it turns out the choices are aplenty:

Albuquerque Wine Festival at the International Balloon Fiesta Park

Isotopes home games Sunday and Monday - Albuquerque's minor league baseball team (Triple-A partner of the Los Angeles Dodgers)

There are also various parades, fireworks shows, BBQs, fairs, concerts, and, of course, there's always the movies. We love the occasional theater visit and still haven't seen latest Star Trek or Terminator flicks. With the weather being unseasonably rainy all weekend (Vacation Val: Rain, Rain, Go Away! Farmer Val: Bring it on!!), what better time to check into a dark theater and watch some great action movies?

Enjoy the long weekend, everyone!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Life is Good

In the midst of continually depressing recession news (wait--are we recovering, or not?), perhaps more pending layoffs at Autodesk this month, and whatever else you can watch on the 10 o'clock news--life is pretty good.

It's the small things that make life good these days: the weather has warmed up so that I'm able to post this blog from our back porch while watching the sun set on the majestic Cottonwood trees along our acequia, and inhaling the lovely smoke of Jon's BBQ chicken on the grill. Jon also prepared homemade pizzas for me and my folks last Friday (so yummy, and so gracious). And our cat Watson has been helping with home improvement projects: in this photo, the Fearless Feline is helping prep the dining room ceiling for fresh paint before we finish applying the last of the American Clay to our walls this summer. Finally, we enjoyed a lovely Mother's Day today, hearing that Jon's mom loved the chocolate-covered strawberries he sent her, and touring around Osuna Nursery with my mom before coming back to enjoy brunch on "the farm".

It's times like these with family and friends that we savor most these days, and we're looking forward to more good times this summer with family, local friends, friends visiting from far away, neighbors, and lots of local events and activities. Stay tuned to read more about our Summer of 2009 adventures!