Category Archives: Hiking

Dogs and Connection

Spring is a blustery time.  A time of longing and too soon and still cold and then the phone rings and the cat steps out of the cupboard and well it is no ordinary Saturday.  I have been dog sitting the past few months.  Part of my new Girl Friday/Personal Assistant duties even though not on my original “task list” –who knew I had such capacity to love given my solitary track record and the great distances between my two legged relationships .  So thank you life for giving me other people’s pets to love.  And there have been a variety:  Labradoodle (very regal), Corgi (energetic) and now two Bulldogs I’m not quite sure how to describe.

Almost reptilian their weight low to the ground.  That under bite so hillbilly dental and pushed in (lovable) face that looks up with longing and rests easily on the top of my foot.  Their coat beautiful and buff.  I listen to them lick themselves clean like a cat.  And they snore and snort all through the night.  I contemplate changing rooms though imagine they would simply follow me so I stay put.  Adjust.  When I wake in the morning there they are.  Waiting (heaven only knows how long) for me to wake too.  Ruby does a little dance and so suddenly I am dancing too.  Around this borrowed bedroom in leaps and circles, and even Ace does a little thing with his front paw.  All so happy.  The other dogs on my watch have the same routine.  Wait patiently beside the bed. For my eyes to open.  For my voice to call their name.  To begin again.  Good thing I’m a morning person.  All this unconditional adoration before coffee.

And what’s not to love about them too when they ask so little of you, a walk in the arroyo, a belly rub, a few tender words, give the dog a bone.   Ruby Tuesday and Ace is the Place and the Rubicon and well there is no judgment in their eyes. Not even walking on dog slobber while I’m trying to cook dinner is too annoying.  Minor on some level – compared to sleeping in the wet spot–though I do go in search of slippers.

 And today a big wind blows.  The weather nemesis that is Santa Fe in spring.  Thirty-six degrees before wind chill.  I go on a walkabout to explore trails on the north side of Hyde Park Road.  Invigorating.  Love every minute.  The you are here trail number scratched out at every sign.  Who does these things? The Buddha on top of the ridge.  Dust billows in the valley.  A man who forgot his hat.  I lost in nostalgia from a phone call that crossed 30 years to ring that morning.  The voice a connection that lights you up like Christmas.  Puts you back together in a way you forgot you were broken.  I barely 19.  He saw me like an x-ray.  All of us:  from Ohio and Michigan and Minnesota.

All broken and brilliant, hopeful and strong.  Dancing our dreams at the 3.2 bar and hiking our way through the Rockies. He told me you haven’t lived long enough to look back on your life.  And now I have.  I could spend the rest of my life having that conversation.  So there it is –come full circle.  This voice from the past holding my letter in his hands.  A spring blizzard raging.  He 30 years sober and married.  Made a good life.  I so certain he had walked off the edge a long time ago cannot even describe the elation.  Thrilled he is alive and well.  Thriving.  Somehow this gives me permission for happiness too.  For success no matter the failures or judgments.  What joy to stand visible in the eyes of a beholder who saw you the first time your world cracked open.  And yes, I do normal well I tell him.  We laugh.


The wind whirling so strong now.  It whistles and bends low then flares up like fire.  All the ghosts are flung out of hiding.  I hear them skipping across the roof and against the windows and imagine my ristra has blown off the side of the house again.  Chile seeds scattered like pearls.  Like today.  Gifts come when we least expect them.  Pick them up and put them in your pocket.  For safekeeping.

We all sleep at the base of the volcano Sage.

When not dog sitting or running errands for other people Brenda works in her home studio painting abstract shapes on small canvas and writing the occasional poem.  Her work can be seen at the new Kristin Johnson Fine Art Gallery in Santa Fe or on her website.  Studio visits welcome and by appointment.



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Back in the Studio

Friday night hot summer daze cool music on Canyon as June turns to the 4th of July.  The moon in the late afternoon sky nearing full and I am back in the studio.  Finally and joyfully.  A woman in waiting.  Ribbon and buttons and charms.   The vintage affair in motion after months of dormancy and collecting and travel work friendship poetry after hours wine on the patio trips to high mountain lakes from high mountain trailheads.  Life is good.  Still.  as I evolve more forward than back.  Another birthday nears.  Plans.  Chocolate cake on the table.

Peace IS patriotic.

Hope to have the untitled vintage wedding dress charmed into art by the opening of:

Zaguanistas: –the intermezzo– Friday the 13th of July, 2012

 ummm think English cucumber and key lime sorbet

between solo exhibitions Marilyn Sahs (6.22) & William (Billy) McLane (7.27)


Back in the studio last Saturday afternoon where the hours passed happily –the chicken wire and I,  not into the hoop skirt I envisioned but straight out of the studio and down the stair to take shelter against the shop for anyone or next time.  Away from tripping over it on the yoga mat –it doesn’t fold neatly like a pillowcase though it is high functioning and patient.  Out with the old and immediately I sat down with craigslist to find exactly what I needed, a 5 foot mannequin, at Au Boudoir on Early Street.  Cast iron curves and easily adaptable. $35.

Oh joy and so it goes.  Art is on again.

 Williams Lake

The weekend jaunts have been delightful. Williams Lake (Taos Ski Basin) and Nambe Lake (Santa Fe Ski Basin) and yes Virginia there is water in New Mexico.  Next stop Heron Lake State Park but not today.  Tomorrow an urban adventure in the spirit of the Rail Runner in gray and yellow and red.  Love that logo.  From Santa Fe to ABQ and a trip up the Sandia Tram for hiking about and views to behold and a reprieve from the 90+ temperatures.  Later noshing beside faux Roman statues and wine flowing fountains on the grounds of Casa Rondena.

Love is everywhere.  

Roll on roadrunner through the enchanted possibility of rain along the Rio Grande.

And with that I bid you adios & a dieux —my lady is calling. . .

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