Saturday, December 29, 2018

Odd but Comfortable: Mother's Perspective on the Main House

Welcome to the Main House.....

And I do use the porch, when the weather is warm enough....

Tobey and I greet you....On a chillier day....

Come inside to the first of two very comfortable living areas.... 

Looks pretty comfortable, so why have there been complaints about the decor?  Why was a  print by the famous artist Diego Rivera taken down in the Anna Gamz room and turned face forward?

SHOCKING, I tell you!!  A nude back!!!

However, before we take a closer look at the artwork, let's look a bit more inside the house.

Hmmm.... Day of the Dead theme emerging over the stove....

High heels aren't usually comfortable, but turns out this chair is a nice fit for the human body....Mother quite liked it.
BUT   the skeleton taking up another chair in the living room was not wanted (except by me).  Alex claimed we needed the chair, which I thought was a rather lame
excuse, but Mother was adamant:  Skeletons are morbid!!  So off it went to the appropriately named "Goth Room."
However, not all the bedrooms would be comfortable for vampires and ghouls.  Mother stayed in the one below...

the infamous "Nude with Calla Lilies" room, yet somehow, Mother managed to sleep peacefully...

And Alex's room.....



                                              However, some of the art might be NSFW
In my bedroom (I stayed in the house and gave my abode to Susie and Harry)

In the back entry way

                       And to greet you in the living room...

   Why, then, was a nude back so offensive?????

Who is responsible for this outrage?  Meet my landlady...

Add caption
Given the name Susan at birth, by parents who obviously didn't see into her future, she is now Soleil or Zia, both referring to the sun.  Her partner is Dragon.  No idea as to his birth name.  Notice the heavy boots she's wearing, though you can't see the very practical pants under her painting dress.  Twice that I've seen Dragon, he was wearing skirts; he has the legs and the tush for it.  

The Air BnB site for the Bisbee House of Art and Mirrors makes quite clear that a renter will not be stepping into country cottage chic:
Our house is filled with ethnic and erotic art and, of course, mirrors!
 The main house is filled with art, photographs and crafts. Some by local artists and also Spiritual, ethnic, erotic and kinky.
We are LGBTQ friendly and welcome medical Marijuana use.
Anais Nin room
The king sized bed (big enough for 3) is under the skylight.( Tobey and I are in this bed for 3!)
Wouldn't those descriptions and statements offer some....clues....that one is not stepping into Mayberry?  Or these visuals...
When I asked Soleil and Dragon about it, they said that potential renters looked at the price of a room, and nothing else.  According to Soleil, the prices are very competitive and that's all the people care about...until they get there.  Deal with it people!!  Another sign on the house.....


Now we come to the last day, when the skeleton was returned to its rightful location...

Harry ignoring it.....

And Harry saying that Susie had finally found someone who truly appreciates her!!!

                        Mother wearing her Queen's crown from her holiday "popper."

And they say goodbye while I remain in ....

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Saturday Morning at the Bisbee Farmers' Market

 The Bisbee Farmers' Market is actually in Warren, a few minutes' drive from Bisbee, and a few minutes walk from my abode.  Yes, I've not been telling the truth when I say I'm in Bisbee; I'm in Warren.  Historic Bisbee is fairly pricey, Warren more affordable for moi.

 The Market is in a nearby park, and is a mixture of food and crafts.  As I neared, I caught a whiff of "the weed" but did not investigate as I was more interested in coffee.  I'd decided to have coffee and pastry at the Market.  And what a wise decision!  Coffee was excellent and the cinnamon roll pastry was gluten/flour/sugar free...and still surprisingly good.  In fact, I think that most all fruits and veggies are organic, and it was easy to find gluten free items.  Much of Bisbee is very health conscious.
The coffee just hit the spot on the slightly cool, though sunny, morning.  After my very healthy cinnamon roll, I decided to try a "Scottish Pot Egg."  The Bisbee version of a Scottish Pot Egg was not bad, though a bit rich, so I ate only half and brought the remainder back to the abode where it is now refrigerated.
   Ahhhhhh....the music man. Unfortunately, I couldn't figure out how to insert the video so this photo must suffice.  As I drank my coffee and ate one half of my pot egg, I was enthralled by his voice and the sadness of his songs.  I bought a CD.

                                                                                 Santa was his usual jolly self though his outfit seemed to be brand new.  I guess Mrs. Claus was tired of washing all that chimney soot off the suit so made sure he began this season with a new one.  Santa did confess to me that earlier in the morning he'd been rather chilly but was now warming up along with the day. 

 What a good sport was Santa, about having me on his lap.  I was a tad heavier than he'd anticipated; most of his lap sitters were under the age of ten, not pushing several score....  However, it was for a good cause:  Bisbee Homeless, so I made a donation which seemed to compensate for my heft in his lap. 

All in all, a very pleasant morning of good coffee, good food, and delightful people-watching.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

View from my window....   I put the rocking chair in front of it...... media res....

My MacBook Air developed a nasty cough, which copious doses of moonshine leavened with honey did nothing to cure, so today, I took the journey to the  Geek Squad at Best Buy in Sierra Vista, about 30 miles, rather shorter than the trek to the Genius Bar at the Tucson Apple Store.  After my nearly 2000 mile jaunt, I'm not yet ready to face that longer trip to Tucson, though I do love that place.

Also on my shopping list were a visit to a veterinarian,  Walmart, and a grocery store.  By the end of my stay in Sierra Vista, in addition to those items, I went to Lowes, a gas station, and a car wash.

First, Best Buy.  Over the years, BB has come to realize the need to cater to us Apple aficionados, so Mr. Mac was handy.  By the time I decided to go to BB, I'd reached the limits of my computer fixit skills, so Mr. Mac and I discussed my options:  1.  go home and try a malware program or 2.  fork over $200 for a contract.  Deep in the recesses of my little mind was the notion that perhaps that other Judy Pearce had a BB contract, as we'd done business with them in Columbia.  Hmmmm...Mr. Mac looked it up and sure enough, Judy Peace did indeed have a BB contract which covered three devices and there was a slot for me.  Mr. Mac knew I was not that Judy Pearce, as I told him ho I'd forged Mother's signature all over Wise County when I was building the house.  Left my MacBook and ventured to item #2....

Veterinarian: Tobey is on three heart meds.  I don't buy them in large quantity lest the little stinker decide to die.  And it's not a bad idea to have a relationship with a vet, even one 30 miles away, which is still closer than the one in Abingdon.  A vet needs to see him, even though I have his medical records with me (though god knows where my own reside so I might  come a cropper and the local medics will know nothing about my health), so we have an appointment for Thursday.

Walmart:  My goal was a one burner, electric hot plate, something which my abode lacks (which I knew) but I want to be able to do some basic cooking, using the cookware from my camper.  None left at Wally World, so I headed to Target, which had two left, although soon it had only one.

An aside:  While the days here are in the 50s and low 60s (wonderfully pleasant), the car starts to heat up, and I start to worry about the little stinker, but I need food (immediately because I'm more than peckish) and to supplement the Bisbee groceries.  Bisbee has sophisticated eateries, but pedestrian groceries.  I find some semblance of shade in the Fry's parking lot and dash in, around, through.......though not finding anything immediately edible for myself.  Grrr........

So:  I forgot to check Walmart for a slatted shade for the door for the abode.  My guess is that this addition dates from....a while back....and the door blind is dusty dirty and will no longer go up and down, except at about a 100 degree angle.  I cannot sleep, knowing of such slovenliness, so off to Lowe's where, after seeing another customer with a tape measure, I had her measure my arm from the tips of my fingers to my shoulder seam, which was what I'd used to measure the old blind, given that my own tape measure was tucked away in the camper.  29 inches.  Perfect.  Bought the blind.  And  Tobey is allowed in Lowe's, so no need to stuff him in his carrying case which looks like a weird purse thrown over my shoulder.

Gas and car wash nearby.  My car is green; I'd forgotten.

Then back to Best Buy.  By then Mother had gotten a notice saying the device was ready, so she emailed me to tell me that one of us needs to change our name.  Device had indeed been infected with a nasty virus, which slipped through but Apple had put in a patch so while it hacked me around, it had not spread, and Mr. Mac had no trouble dosing it with RAID and killing it.

Back home.  Walked, exercised, had dinner.....

Tomorrow, I'm going over to the Guild to begin a tutored weaving project.  Wednesday morning is book club:  The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.  Saturday is the Guild holiday get-together.

Monday, December 3, 2018

Am going to start blogging again, but probably with fewer photos.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Marfa, Texas

 An Odd Little Artsy Town in the Middle of Nowhere

Marfa is south of Interstate 10, in west Texas.  If you look at a map, to be south of I-10 in west Texas means being pretty much nowhere.  And yet, Marfa, Texas, has been written up in Vogue, which called it magical and mystical, which I think was stretching the adjectives a bit.  
I’d known that Marfa was designated “artsy” (though not the about Vogue write-up), and on my previous stay at Davis Mountain, I’d driven through Marfa in a fruitless endeavor to discover its artistic character.  It just looked like another dusty west Texas town, plunked down in the midst of the vastness of the land that stretches from the Canadian border to Mexico.  Nothing there….
Then, recently, I read a whodunit by John Sandford (yes, I consume large quantities of trashy whodunits):  Golden Prey.  The finale shoot-em-up, wherein the bad guys die in a blaze of gunfire, was set in Marfa.  In fact, that final, climactic scene where everything goes to hell, took place in and around the reason for Marfa’s claim to artistic fame:  the hangar museum that displays the modernist/minimalist/something works of Donald Judd:  The Chinati Foundation.
Obviously, learning about the work of Judd through a whodunit is indicative of my lack of culture.  Oh well.
So, to Marfa I came, to see art, to become one with Vogue culture.  And here is where I stayed:

Not here, at the beautiful Paisano Hotel, where Liz and Rock and James Dean had lounged (and maybe loved) while making Giant, one of the many films made in Marfa:

No, here, surrounded by the vastness of west Texas. 

Not here, with the lovely bathroom, fireplace, and tile floors:

That’s OK.  I had this beautiful sunrise.

Artsy Marfa
After a stop at a most excellent local historical museum, I ventured into an artier venue:  The Chinati Foundation.  I won’t burden you with the whole story, but, basically, New York weary Donald Judd stumbled over Marfa and its defunct military base; he bought the latter, which had sufficient indoor and outdoor space to house his ….large….concrete ...... pieces.  I did not wish to pay to see the pieces in the hangar, but here are those outdoors, scattered like the toys of giants over about  1/3 mile.

Yup.  Not portable. At all.    And so I moved on to Silver City, NM.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Davis Mountain State Park, Texas
I’d been here before and wanted to return and stay longer.  It’s a good birding location, and it’s just a few miles from Ft. Davis National Historic Site, where I’ve also been before.
Remember that I head west in part to escape the gray, icy, snowy, cold Wise County days and nights.  Well, guess what I got at Davis Mountain???  Cold and snowy…..VERY!  But first, the before:

An arty photo...........

Top of the mountain, looking across the valley toward the east....

Top of the mountain again....

So much for my plan to set up my little tapestry loom on the picnic table...

When a dog has to go, a dog has to go.....

Tobey and I stayed inside.......


I was having a delicious cup of coffee in a health foods kinda place, and chatted, of course, with my table companion.  When she realized that I was an outsider, she asked me where I was from; when I said Virginia, she said her sister lived in Virginia.  Where, I asked.  She mumbled something that I didn't quite understand and then she repeated it: Nellysford.  And of course, I know exactly where Nellysford is, as I have kinfolk there.  This woman's sister actually lives in Wintergreen, which I guess has a Nellysford address.

Then I ran into a birder, and we started discussing birds.  As we chitchatted in the cold, somehow South Carolina was mentioned; turns out his deceased wife had gone to Columbia College:  Duh, so had I, for one semester before I decided the pond was too small for me and transferred to the university.  His wife graduated the year before I arrived.  Small world, indeed.


  As an aside, I am drawn to these western US Army forts, established primarily to safeguard western migrants (mostly white) against the marauders (not white, and whose territory it was to begin with).  They were often so isolated, so far from anything that seemed civilized.   The men would have had duties and chores….and rampages against the people whose land they were taking.  But the women, the wives of officers and enlisted men:  What were their lives like?  How did they cope with the vast loneliness that must have engulfed them from time to time?  I don’t know, but I can wander and wonder.  
The last time I was at Ft. Davis, I became intrigued by the status of the laundresses; they were not merely women of poor moral character; they were paid and in some cases received housing (hovels) and a food ration.  When I inquired about them this visit, I learned that a dissertation had been written about them, so naturally, I begged to look at a copy.  What fun!!!  The social structure had Ft. Davis was quite stratified and complex, including officers, NCOs (black soldiers in this instance), and enlisted men; wives, who were acutely aware of their positions vis a vis their husbands; laundresses, who may have been single Mexican or native American women, or wives of enlisted men and the black NCOs.  Unfortunately, I  didn't have time to read the entire dissertation, but what a treat to be able to dip into it, even if for a short time.
And here is my Davis Mountain bird list  (mostly spotted at the two feeding locations set up by the park, and which also attract javelinas, as did my campsite).


chipping sparrow               red breasted nuthatch    acorn woodpecker
ladder-backed woodpecker (female)                       canyon towhee
junco (don't ask me which kind)                             lesser goldfinch
western scrubjay                 titmouse                       house finch
white-winged dove             Berwick's wren            spotted towhee                     

NEXT:  The decidedly odd little hamlet of Marfa, TX.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Which side of the street at 5 PM?

In Ft. Davis, that makes a biiiiiigggggg difference.  But let me jump back in time and geography.
Growing up in South Carolina, even though I left about the time I was of legal drinking age, I was aware of the oddities of booze buying under our fair state’s blue laws.  For instance, if you belonged to a country club, you had a locker where you stashed your booze.  ABC stores were open from dawn to dusk, so you’d damn well better know the exact minute when dusk ended, or you would be without your 5 pm bourbon.  If you wanted a G&T in a bar, you had to buy a mini-bottle of gin, which arrived along with gin and ice and lime.  Imagine what it cost to build yourself a Long Island Iced Tea from five mini-bottles of vodka, rum, gin, tequila, triple sec. Then I moved west, away from blue laws, more toward Miss Kitty and Matt Dillon—until a trip to Salt Lake City.  Turns out, back before tourism was accepted as a powerful force for financial well-being, SLC had some downright quaint customs regarding spirits.  Wandering around, seeking 5 o’clock sustenance, I went into what appeared to be an ordinary drinking establishment:  bar stools, bar, colorful bottles reflected in the big mirror behind the bar.  People sitting around imbibing what I assumed were spirits and chatting amiably.  But I was refused service, as it was a private club!  One could buy spirits by the drink only in these private clubs, and I was not a member.  Undeterred, I asked how I might become a member.  The bartended handed me a brief form:  name, rank, serial number, the usual.  Then, it asked for a reference, and the reference had to sign the damn form.  I was flummoxed, until a man standing next to me laughed, signed….and I was a member in good standing.  In recent years,  SLC has discovered the long green of tourism, and has loosened up considerably.
That brings me to today and Ft. Davis.  I planned to meet a new acquaintance for an early dinner at the Bistro.  Turns out it’s closed on Wednesday.  A very nice local person recommended a Mexican place just down the road, pointing out that it was on the right side of the street, so it couldn’t serve any kind of alcohol, but Uncle Buck’s was just across the road.  Uncle Buck’s consists of two side-by-side buildings, and never the twain shall meet:  a “Quick Shop” for beer and a store for spirits.  I wanted beer; my companion wanted spirits. 

 I could take the beer from the Quick Shop and pay for it in the spirit shop, but spirits couldn’t go the other way.  So, we bought and took it with us as we dined on enchiladas and huevos rancheros.  Huh??   Yes, apparently in Ft. Davis, the legal boundary to sell spirits runs down the white line on Main Street.  A dry precinct is on one side, and a wet precinct is on the other side. 
Now, Ft. Davis is in the County of Jefferson Davis, so we have a very good idea of those who were around when the county was founded. (Actually, I’m wrong about this; it was named after the US Secretary of War, not the President of the treasonous confederacy.)  Perhaps the southern blue law contingent predominated in what is now the dry precinct and the kinfolk of Matt, and Doc, and Miss Kitty settled on Uncle Buck’s side.  I’ve always wanted to be Miss Kitty and own the saloon; it’s her face paint, I think.