Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Holiday Recap

A summary of the last couple of months;

  October-Haloween, the kick off of the holidays.   I had seen some cool images online of great day-of-the-dead make-up.  Wal-Mart of all places, had some make-up that is basically water color.  It dries & isn't messy like the old grease paint.  We had a couple of nights of activities so we got to trot this look out more than once :)

   November- The plan was to go to Los Angeles this year to see Morrissey w/Iggy Pop over Thanksgiving.  Visions of punk-rock nirvana and a Disneyland excursion danced in my head.  The universe had other plans.  Morrissey's mom was hospitalized & the show rescheduled.  So we decided to stay home & be w/family.  For the first time we delivered meals for Other Options, a local food pantry that provides meals for those dealing w/HIV/AIDS.  Sooooo gratifying!!  Because of the last minute change of plans we were a small group at Mom's for the meal but it was a lovely day nonetheless.
Mom & Brad delivering meals

  December-I don't know why but I just wasn't as fired up as I normally get to deck the halls this year.  But we drug out the "Christmess" & over the course of a few days the house was ready for the holidays.  One neat new bit of inspiration, Ernesto painted a Christmas mural over the mantle.  He designed it so that we could remove the painting that normally lives there but leave the frame so it gives the illusion of a framed painting.  Then when the holidays were over the painting could go back in & the mural would be hidden until next year.  

Ernesto's X-Mas Mural

   We rented our same casita as last year in Santa Fe for the week of Christmas.   I love the idea of insuring snow for the big day by heading to the mountains of New Mexico.  This allows for Christmas day skiing!!  As it got closer we began feverishly scanning the mountain weather reports in vain.  No snow in sight.   Sadly Miles' work schedule prevented him from joining us this year.  Our big gift to him, new ski jacket, pants & a helmet began to look like the gift of the magi.  Oh well.  There would be other ski trips...

  So off we went December 22.  Snow was forecast for Christmas Eve so that was welcome news!  We decided since the slopes weren't in great shape yet we'd try snowshoeing.  We rented the shoes & dropped our skis off for a wax @ the ski shop.  The 23rd we drove up to one of the trail heads & spent a beautiful crisp clear winter day traipsing up & down the mountain.  You don't see near as many people when you get off the beaten path.  We could see the trails of others but didn't see another soul the entire day.  We could see the tracks of animals too; deer, rabbits.  And the bare aspen soaring up to the bluest skies was breathtaking.  We carried some snacks & had a picnic on a downed tree trunk.  I had a little mishap with a "nature break" as I tried to cantilever my backside down the mountain.  I narrowly avoided frostbitten privates, LOL!!

 That night about 8" of fresh powder fell & they were able to open up more of the terrain on the mountain so we were able to ski Christmas Eve day.  We opted for a half day so we could grocery shop for our Christmas Eve dinner.  Mom & our friends Kay & Becky were also in Santa Fe and our other friend Ron came down from Taos to share the feast.  Our casita is real cozy & has a kiva fireplace.  More snow began falling so it was a picture perfect night.  Mom fixed her incredible roast with all the trimmings and I surprised her by bringing our Christmas china from home.  It actually turned out to be one of my favorite Christmases!  I had an epiphany that I was probably the one with the most regrets about Miles not being with us.  He was fine at home with his friends.
Mom feverishly preparing our feast


Christmas day we got on the road at dawn to drive up to Taos to ski with Ron.  I've always been intimidated by the mountain.  I know so many people who have gotten hurt.  & I'm what's known as a cruiser.  I like big wide open groomed runs.  Taos claims to have lots of those but I found it to be a very steep, rough mountain.  I did have a great day & only fell a few times with no injury.  Ernesto was in heaven with Ron.  After lunch I skied on my own so they could go all out.  The sun had moved to the other side of the mountain & it became frigid so I called it a day.

  We decided to check out a place I'd heard of for ages but had never been; Ojo Caliente.  It's about half way between Taos & Santa Fe to the west.  It's a low-slung adobe spa with many outdoor pools piping in mineral water containing various properties for health benefits.  We got there after dark & it was mysterious and gorgeous at night.  They had crackling fires laid in several outdoor fire pits.  We spent as long as we dared in the pools before heading to their excellent restaurant for Christmas Dinner.  It was a prix fixe, 4 course affair & Ernesto ordered a sangria to go with.  When our tab came & it was only $70 I was floored.  Ojo Caliente is a hidden treasure.   They have lodging and massage options so this place definitely warrants further exploration!!

  We had one more day of skiing at Santa Fe & then more spaing (is that a verb?) at Ten Thousand Waves.  Another perfect trip to one of my favorite places on earth!! 

    January-We went to a super fun dinner/drag show New Year's Eve @ the Boom.  We've shared seversl holidays @ this neighborhood caberet & it's always super fun.   Then we were up & at 'em early the next day for our annual brunch.  My mom has hosted this gathering for more years than I can remember.  At some point it outgrew her condo & we moved it over here.  I think we had a turn out of about 45 good friends who look forward to kicking off their year with us.  Mom's got the menu down to a science; ham, jalapeno cheese grits, hot curried fruit & black-eyed peas for good luck.  

This lady knows how to have a good time!

   So here we are on the eve of Valentine's & I've caught up you up with our goings on.  Usually I like to keep my blog breezy & happy.  Sadly we are not in that kind of a mood as we have lost someone near & dear to our hearts; my former husband & father of Miles, Basile Kolliopoulos.  Back in the fall he began having some health concerns that proved to be fatal & mercifully for him, quick.  We are still reeling with his passing.  Thank you to everyone who has asked for Miles.  Our hearts are broken but the love & support of our friends is carrying us through this sad time.

RIP Basile Kolliopoulos