Santa Fe Charm

After almost 10 years of walking my 'hood, downtown Santa Fe, on foot with dogs and camera,
I am still able to discover such as this charming window above and the lovely nicho below.

An Abomination #NeverTrump

Demand an investigation of Trump by the Secret Service or FBI.
These irresponsible, dangerous incitements from this joke of a presidential candidate have to stop!

Scored Again & Again & Again

Today I followed the invitation of a client and scored big time.
A lot of overripe apples, some still hanging on an ancient looking tree.

 Those plums were perfect, ripe & sweet, with no blemishes, delicious in pancakes.

 My tart-making skills have suffered from disuse.
Below Zvieri was taken 4 years ago, today, September 19th. 
2012 was the year I discovered that fruit picked in public places taste better.

Today's apple tart crumbled and buried my preferred little fork, the one I have used since I was about 2 years old, the one that is perfect for desserts.
Where is the goat butter when needed? Sesame oil does not work very well for crusts. I used about 1/3 coconut flour, 1/3 spelt flour and 1/3 whole wheat flour and a bit of wheat germ. I added Braggs for a nutty flavor that I like, to a mix of water with oil and rolled the dough out over oat bran.

Love Is Found In The Details

Isabella, my bigger dog, insisted we go check out an antique gallery, no doubt lots of intriguing smells. Since it was late and all galleries were already closed, we followed Isabella's nose along the building and down an alley and I discovered this gem. Wow, what detail on an old, funky antique cart sitting there among an array of antiques possibly to be restored! Isn't that face just gorgeous? One can only imagine how splendid and impressive this cart once looked. Surely this does demonstrate that love is truly in the details.

Golden Yellow

Occupy Wall Street Started 5 Years Ago!

Occupy Wall Street started 5 years ago.

Concepts such as the 99% versus the 1% helped articulate our frustrations.

Money Out Of Politics!
A growing awareness of corporate power corrupting our democracy 
no doubt made Bernie Sanders' success possible.


My American Dream

38 years ago yesterday, I entered the United States in the middle of the night never expecting to become a US citizen. I wore wide trousers my best buddy Joe had made for me from curtains and a wide comfy wool/cotton top and on my feet cheap chinese tai-chi canvas shoes. I carried only one shoulder bag Joe had created from old carpets that had 3 compartments. The middle held another set of clothing, the back side pocket held a pack of miso and chopsticks and toiletries and the front held my red Chinese-style diary and special fat coloring pencils. My valuables I wore in a belt around my waste underneath it all. Pay from a 1 1/2 year stint in a psychiatric institution as a nurses aid, I imagined then would be enough for half a year of exploring the US. 

I settled in the back on a bench at Kennedy airport and dozed off as I waited for public transportation to resume. A caring black worker noticed me and alerted me to the first overcrowded bus then guided me into Manhattan. The man insisted I show him an address and as I pulled out the only one I had on me for New York he got us on the A-train that bypassed 72nd Street. So he got us to turn around and he was not satisfied until he had brought me safely to the nearest subway station to my contact, despite my on-going protests. What an outstanding, kind and generous introduction to the people of New York!

With nothing better to do, I called my one contact, the actor, teacher and therapist Alec Rubin, the inspiration for my jump across the ocean, and as luck would have it he had just returned from Fire Island, invited me over and asked me to stay until I got my footing in what was once Billie Holliday's digs. I was so lucky, or blessed, or else had a watchful, protective eye over me. I was young, white (a revelation then) from a relatively protected upbringing in a Swiss working class environment. I was a Hippie, a drop-out, at a loss of how to fit in, but in search of my soul, my creativity, my bliss. Well, I had a taste of it all, and I wanted more, hence my adventure to the US. 

32 years ago yesterday, almost broke, we arrived in The City Different in The Land Of Enchantment, in a funky pick-up truck. He found work the very next day, I was at a loss. I had overstayed my visa, I had never learned to drive (no subways and at that time no bus service to speak of either in the City Different.) I was unfamiliar with American mainstays such as Wal-Markt, K-Mart or Walgreens, in short, everyday American culture.

Only 2 1/2 years later I owned my first and my only home, my tiny studio on the wrong side of the tracks in the Railyard, I have been inhabiting for almost 30 years, the last 10 years with my furry buddies. In 1992 I became an American citizen and promptly experienced what seemed psychosomatic symptoms of a painful split right through the middle of my body (a psoas contraction that kept me upright for that one whole night.)

I am still feeling like a mermaid out of my element here in the high arid desert, in a foreign and very strange land that speaks in very strange tongues. I am a first and only generation immigrant. I own my own home free and clear, but I live an existence below the poverty level. 
Am I living The American Dream? Better yet, am I living MY dream?

A Takedown of Trump by Keith Olberman

An outraged Keith Olberman requests we listen to the whole of his rant attentively to grasp the enormity 
and I would say the absurdity of a Trump nomination for US President.


Laboring on Labor Day

Woke up at 5 am and was up by 7 am laboring away at home as I had decided the night before it was time to tackle the rearrangement of my long overdue bookshelf. One change in my tiny studio leads to everything else in need of repositioning. Perfect activity during a mercury retrograde period and perfect it seemed for Labor Monday. Especially for a woman out of a job in need of income with plenty of anxious energy to dissipate.

By late morning I had managed to move my lovely round, recovered teak table back into the corner to switch places with this solid pine dresser which makes a perfect match with the pine of my ceiling. Except, I really don't care for dressers and drawers that need to be pulled out by the handling of two arms. Should I try and sell it after all? 

I managed to move half a bookcase of my favorite books accumulated over the last three decades, to make space for new cookbooks I mostly been gifted with so as to inspire me toward a more balanced diet. No doubt, one should not live on chocolate alone! Ah, the accumulation of dust, as I was reaching toward the further corner of the top of my 8-foot bookcase I must have strained too much. The rest of the afternoon was spent lying down in hopes of unwinding and releasing what otherwise might become a full-blown sciatica episode. I personally was taken by surprise by such an attack only once, but I have treated many clients with sciatica successfully. I hope to never have to experience such pain again, along with such wretched helplessness. On top of that a perfect stranger, a seemingly nice woman, berating me for not picking up after my pups, when I was barely able to walk, think, much less bend over! Careless cruelty from and to strangers with limited understanding of what truly is at stake. I am all for holding each other responsible but please, with kindness.

By evening I managed to get up, at first walking gingerly, but soon enough I felt good enough to take my pups out for their walk into the glorious light of our land of true enchantment. Magic was in the air with rainbows, pinks and purples, the whole glory of it. But there also was a breeze that blew off my hat, slippery streets for my worn Crocs, and drizzle that threatened my camera, plus two pups overly eager with one pulling and the other dragging. I had enough and was glad to make it back home and back to bed, enough labor for one day.

Chris Rose, 7 Years, but not forgotten, RIP!

I love the expressions on their faces. The image was captured in July 2009 by Susan, a tourist, a world traveller, an artist, an empathic and artistic woman. I had watched this photographer in tears, focused on blind Bonnie Hearn on stage, sitting on the side, no longer able to perform with her husband, tenderly petting her guide dog. As Susan's heart was touched, so was mine, we talked, we became friends and Susan mailed me these images, my favorites among her many wonderful photos. (Susan graciously gave me permission to share her photos with the public.)Sunday morning September 6th, Christopher Rose was found lying face down along the Santa Fe River at the DeVargas Park, a victim of a violent, crime.

It is disconcerting that he may have been there for a while, somewhat hidden in the brush, along a route I take all the time, so I may have passed him unknowingly. This is also the place from where I watched him steal a few roses from the Santuario de Guadalupe's magnificent rose garden in bright daylight only about 6 weeks earlier. I chastised him for it. I figured someone ought to speak out and tell him what is not right. Defensively he mumbled that the flowers were his, and he was Christ, and he needed them to sweet talk the ladies into dancing! I did not respond too kindly. It was obvious that he was excited and in a hurry to get to the plaza where the music and dancing were happening in full force. I had seen him there before and here Susan captured him with his grin that clearly shows his pleasure. It reminds me how music and dance can bring out the best in us and bring us together and almost bridge gaps of social rank, age, and at least for moments unite the fringe elements of society with the establishment.

Christopher Rose, 45, the victim of a premeditated murder, stabbed to death, had arrived in Santa Fe only about 4 months prior and was considered homeless even though he had family members in town, and is remembered by at least someone as a dear and kind uncle.

"George R. wrote: I knew Chris as a friendly guy who never harmed anyone, always had a smile, who sometimes went a little overboard in his remarks to people. He was boisterous, but mostly in a fun way. He carried a guitar and was always ready to belt out a tune whether he could play it or not. He knew more pop songs than I have forgotten. 
Vaya con Dios, Chris"

Sara commented in the New Mexican: "He was a sweet man. He came to Santa Fe for rehab and it didn't work. Rest his soul."

August 2. I was hanging out with my buddy at the fountain on Water Street involved in intense listening to his concerns about work. Chris came stumbling along, almost falling over my pups who, uncharacteristically, barked at him. In no time some tough looking and acting biker duds took offense to Chris and it looked threatening enough for me to insist to call the cops. As usual by the time of their arrival the tension had dispersed and the guys had moved on, no harm done.

Afterwards one young street kid came up to us and apologized for Chris, saying something like that he did not know how to hold his liquor. We got in to an exchange of alcoholism, family problems, willpower and seeking help with AA. On our leave my buddy expressed surprise that Chris had not been harmed yet by anybody, as he seemed to manage to offend others rather easily. This was said only a bit over 1 month prior to Chris' demise!

My heart goes out to all those that suffer violence, addiction and mental illness. As a community we have a responsibility to provide adequate care to the fringe elements of our society. Some readers of the news jumped to premature conclusions, condemning the police, condemning the day workers that hang out in the area where Chris' body was found, condemning the illegals and the transients and the local and the national figures in politics. I sure wish we were less quick to condemn and more readily available to empathize and to seek working solutions for ongoing problems, that are not just local, but world wide. This homicide was Santa Fe's fourth for 2009.

P.S.: The lady dancing with Chris is German and after years of living in Santa Fe, I believe she returned to Germany. She was always to be seen near where there was music and dancing, I miss her unmistakable presence in our community as well.


Following a suggestion on where to locate apricots, I scored big time in finding these apples ripe for the picking 
right near a nature preserve, still hanging from the tree, but in easy reach for me. Such luck!

Next will be the baking of 'Oepfel Waehe' or my kind of apple tart.

I can now, a few days later, attest to the deliciousness of those apples.
No, I am not about to nibble on a dog treat. 
Such are near always when eating in the company of my canine companions, 
as leaving them with a sense of deprivation is not an option.

My casual breakfast out on the patio while it is still warm enough 9.8.16.

Break of a non-existent fast 9.6.16 with my own home-made pizza topped with pineapple.

Zvieri with an apples-cranberries tart topped with whipped cream from 5.1.2011.

Oepfel und Zwetschge Waehe, meaning apple and plum tart from 4.6.2011.

Living the good life with Oepfel Waehe or home made apple tart while gazing at pretty orchids 8.16.12.

W21 Facade

The Facade of our Warehouse 21 teen center in Santa Fe serves as a canvas for their fountain of creativity.

"A big SHOUT OUT to IFAM, W21, and the NEOGLYPHIC CREW (an indigenous aerosol professional group from LA and AZ) 
for bringing contemporary native arts and culture to the Railyard." - Santa Fe Railyard via fb

Impromptu Knit-In

An impromptu knit-in happened this morning at the Artisan Market adjacent to our Farmers Market. The fluffy burgundy shawl around the expressive green crouching dog sculpture really adds something 'je ne sais quoi'. As I expected Don Kennel, the artist, was delighted to hear of these interactions from the public with his newest art installation Shelter With Sky.  My favorite green sculpture because it is so expressive and deeply felt, I learned was modeled after Don's very own dog.

Until this morning I had never heard of a knit in, but it reminded me of wearing my own hand crafted bright orange/red cap to  and from work (never during work) in my late teens. I was an apprentice in a law firm in Zurich, Switzerland. My boss heard that I no longer lived with my parents (new secretary snitched on me as she must have overheard my phone conversations.) I was called in to the old, conservative man's office and I was grilled. 19 years old, I had been running the office for a while on my own until a new secretary was hired from a what she must have thought more prestigious school. I had been typing long letters by dictaphone, taking stenographic notes and doing a rather good job I thought while my co-worker was on leave of absence. The office was hard at work at a proposal of a major change on a federal level that would eventually effect every Swiss citizen. But in the old man's office this lawyer, Dr. Matti, had the nerve to suggest that my wearing a colorful red cap may be a sign I might be spying for the Russians! It was the early seventies, I was a hippie chick, not a spy for god-dess sake. My not living with my parents at the age of 19 must have really unnerved this old fashioned, high powered Swiss lawyer. I lost that job. Not a minor cause of my leaving Switzerland and eventually immigrating to the United States, for better or worse!

Shelter With Sky - Don Kennell

Shelter With Sky is Don Kennell's most recent art project on exhibit currently in the Santa Fe Railyard for the benefit of the Santa Fe Animal Shelter.

"Sculptor Don Kennell created this piece to remind us that homeless animals have a special place in our community." 

"Pieces of metal have been shaped, banged and welded into dogs and cats vying for your attention, including details of tiny welds of "hair." Viewers were encouraged to grab sticks of chalk and "sign" the pavement around the installation with the names of their beloved pets, past and present. This piece showcases dogs and cats of various shapes and sizes, representing the many pets waiting for a forever home at the Santa Fe Animal Shelter." Railyard Park Conservancy

You can make a donation to support the Santa Fe Animal Shelter as well! More then $34,000 have been raised so far.

I like to add that I adopted my Isabella-girl from our animal shelter on October 23. 2006. We will soon be celebrating 10 years together. I can only rave of the quality of shelter that our community can now boast of. The aim is to be a no-kill shelter. The place is clean, spacious and welcoming with individual cubicles for each dog, lots of volunteers and plenty of outdoor space for walks including 3 publicly available big and enclosed dog parks.

The adjacent clinic has done wonders over the last 3 years for Isabella as they discovered her thyroid imbalance and offered her excellent care on an affordable sliding scale. I am so grateful to this institution, our Santa Fe Animal Shelter for which I have nothing but praise and appreciation.

Gratitude to the amazing artist and human being Don Kennell who charmed our community earlier with his Yard Dog, later his Blue Gorilla commissioned by a zoo to shed light on the plight of those magnificent animals, then his most charming, gigantic Coyote which found a permanent home sadly on the other side of town to our chagrin,  but everyone else's delight. Don lends his tremendous talent to so many worthy causes, while I delight in observing the reactions of the public to his gigantic works of art. A statement on the powerful effects of good works of art in public places!

Shelter - Martin Vansteenkiste

Published on Dec 29, 2013, Copyright music & lyrics: © Martin Vansteenkiste, SABAM - Belgium
Recorded in Kampala (Uganda) on the 10th December 2013

This moving piece of music by Martin, which appeared on my facebook feed, then mysteriously disappeared, speaks strongly to how I feel reluctantly viewing the image of a seemingly stunned, sitting and bleeding Syrian boy, heartbreaking. It also echoes my sadness and disbelief, then outrage about hearing of recent attacks on a hospital in Yemen that killed kids and doctors working for Doctors Without Borders. Kids world wide deserve better. What are we going to do about it? Stop the sales of arms to Saudis, to Israel, but preferably demolish all weapons of destruction as too barbaric to tolerate any longer? One can and one has to dream!

Meanwhile big hugs to Martin and those that manage to touch and uplift us amidst all the inhumane atrocities humanity still has to endure.

President Barack Obama's Address DNC 7.27.2016

"We all need to be as vocal and as organized and as persistent as Bernie Sanders' supporters have been during this election."

Vice President Joe Biden's Fiery Address DNC 7.27.2016

Vice President Joe Biden, referring to Donald Trump’s alleged concern for the middle class.

Our Revolution

Larry Sanders cast his official vote from those for Sanders Abroad for his brother, Presidential Nominee Bernard Sanders 7.26.2016.

Popular Votes Total for Bernie: 13,168,222
Popular Votes Total for Hillary: 16,847,084

Yesterday Bernie Sanders officially conceded as he gave his electoral votes to Hillary Clinton. In so doing his remarkable campaign has come to an official end. Today the sadness sunk in for me. Bernie got so close. The votes short could easily have been made up from votes tossed or lost, and of course from Independents who were not eligible to vote in primaries in so many states, including our own here in the Land of Enchantment. 

Bernie supporters knew all along of an obvious bias for Clinton coming directly from the democratic headquarters as well as the mainstream media. Too late in the process this finally got exposed. The media started to question it's own reporting and tried to make up, while the chair of the democratic party, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, due to exposure of damaging e-mails via Wikileaks (Russia?) finally, under pressure, stepped down just before the convention. Now she may be in trouble for her re-election to the senate and given her support of TPP I am not sorry for her.

So with deep sadness I mourn the loss of my vision of a Social Democrat for President of the United (or divided) States. This would have been a president not swayed by corruption, a president not filled with lies (Bernie has not yet been caught with his pants on fire) but a Jewish president with a heart big enough to hold concern for the Palestinian people. A president for the working class people and the poor, not only the upper middle, professional class and rich. A president that wold have pushed for a green economy and opposed TTP and fracking for real. A president that would have understood the dire urgency of climate change and toxic load on our environment. It would have been a damn interesting experiment. It could have been so very exciting to see those changes we hold so dear for so long in our heart become reality. Solar power for all, certainly in our mostly sunny state. Our national lab focused primarily on the developing of green energy, rather then in service to the weapons industry. A living wage that would stimulate our local economies. Last, but not least health care for all, rather then a give-away to the pharmaceutical industry. 

The reality Social Democrats or Bernie supporters envision is not extreme, rather it is a reordering of our values, of our priorities with the recognition that the top 1%, the cream of the cream, profit from the current system unfairly, while the poor  and working stiff have it too tough. The system is rigged in so many ways, it needs an overhaul badly and the majority of Americans seem to agree on that, if not the remedy.

Besides policies there is the simple human factor, men like those Sanders brothers, able to cry in public, because we no longer belong to a patriarchal system of thought that equates emotions with weakness and strength with dominance and bullying.

Bernie, as I like to refer to him affectionally, not disrespectfully, has been nothing but a model of civility and eloquence, even under an enormous amount of pressure. The work to steer the US back toward the left and progressive values will continue. Bernie started the Sanders Institute, this e-mail was sent out yesterday.

"Our work will continue in the form of a new group called Our Revolution. The goal of this organization will be no different from the goal of our campaign: we must transform American politics to make our political and economic systems once again responsive to the needs of working families."