Happy Summer Solstice

It is with melancholy that I greet the longest day of the year.

I know for lots of folks, this is a day of celebration. Like the folks mentioned in the article in today’s Las Cruces Sun News.

Beating a drum and greeting the sun actually sounds like a nicer way to spend the day than beating the keyboard and greeting the boss.

You have to know this about me: I love the summer. I mean LOVE. I mean obsessively love and I stingily count the days because I know soon enough it will be again be cold, and dark and I’ll leave work at 5:30 in pitch black wearing shoes that cover my liberated feet and *gasp* the socks come out of the drawer.

But today I’ll frolic like I’m at Stonehenge because today it’s warm, and beautiful. Flip flops adorn my feet. A summer dress swings about my fairly tanned rig. Today I’ll enjoy the light and not think about the dark that presses at the edges. In the next months I’ll gape at the heat and lament my lack of air conditioning and worry about how my furry cat and less furry man will endure this season’s heat.

Today, we rejoice!

(painting by Alison Pebworth, titled “Summer Solstice, Once Removed”)

I *told* you so!

I did so tell you so!

(what a little snot I am…hee!)

From this article in the Albququerque Tribune:

“Warning to you outdoorsy New Mexicans: Please don’t pet the bunnies.”

Or the squirrels. Or the rats. Or the other fluffy-but-not-cute plague and Hantavirus and now something called Tularemia ridden creatures.

In all seriousness, if you live in NM, read that article. It’s kind of scary. Rabbits are dying off left and right.

Is this one of those “what’s happening to the bees?” kind of things because folks, I’m getting concerned……..

Man, this is why I love New Mexico so much….

Because of things like this article which made its way into the somewhat respectable ABQjournal.

Titled “Courthouse Camera Catches Curious Image”, there is speculation that an errant image seen on security tapes might be a ghost. Furthermore, they think they know who the ghost might be.

And to the good folks of New Mexico it’s *totally plausible*….AND it made the newspaper!

I love that! I’m totally bought in! I’m the girl who thinks I could see a woodbending Jesus at Loretto. The one who has deeply inspected the chairs and the dark corners of the Double Eagle in Mesilla and who goes into the store (also in Mesilla) that once was the courthouse and tries to squint to see the ghosts of criminals who swung from the trees in the plaza.

I’m in! And now that I’ve seen the video, I’m even MORE bought in! Weird!!!!

(heck, this story even made the San Francisco Chronicle!)

Video here:


Going to borrow a page from Natalie over at Petroglyph Paradox and mull over the implications of Father’s Day a little bit. Though I’m a day late (and a dollar short), as the old saying goes.

My dad was an odd fellow. Odd in all sorts of ways. My sister who is mother to a couple boys with as yet undiagnosed problems has been forced to read up on the markers for autism. My sister has said that had my father been born in a different time, he probably would have been tapped as a high functioning autistic.

He was smart as hell and obsessive about numbers. He worked hard but had a nasty temper. I chalk up the temper to being of fiery Irish and German descendentcy. His full-blooded Irish mother is the only person I ever knew who could yell at HIM. And boy did she.

He was bitterly type A. He put in a hell of a career at Sandia Labs, was an engineer to the core, and probably was a better man that I ever gave him credit for.

I could talk a lot about all the bad things he did to me personally, or the bad things I saw him do to my siblings and mother. But at the end of the day, there wasn’t any sort of physical abuse, no. I don’t want to mislead. He never laid a hand on us. He just had a cruel mind and would say hateful things in a fit of fury. And words can hurt too.

So I won’t talk about the fact that he was a bitterly mean and insecure man who lashed out at his family because he could.

I also won’t raise him up as the model of a father, then join hands and sing the praises of dad.

What’s it’s taken me most of my life to learn is that he was an incredibly imperfect person. Fraught with fears about boogeymen around every corner and demands for us to be better, he actually did try very hard to run his family.

Out of three kids, we all turned out with our fair share of “issues”, but we also turned out to be three decent people, all contributing members of society. In the case of both of my siblings, marriages and kids of their own. So I guess to raise three more or less well adjusted kids, he must have done a few things right, in the end.

And so I’ll give him credit for that.

On this Father’s Day, some two years after his passing, I didn’t exactly miss him. He never liked celebrations of holidays and such. I was sort of relieved that I didn’t have to find some meaningless gift and card to send. It’s nice to be “off the hook”. Instead of mourning my Dad, I spent the day with my partner’s Dad who is chock full of his own set of insecurities and missteps, but is a hell of a good man.

And it doesn’t pass my notice that he reminds me in many ways of my own father.

But the one thing that the father of my love remembered to do that my own forgot was to love his child unconditionally.

I’ll take that as the lesson for Father’s Day…and Mother’s Day…and every day.


Baked into my childhood is a certain deep-seated fear. It’s a fear baked into every young kid in most parts of New Mexico, parts of Texas and Arizona, and plenty of Mexico. Any kid raised in the Hispanic culture.

The deep fear was brought to me by my APS teachers, of all people. Every fall, around Halloween time, actually, they would darken the classroom, crack open a book, and regale us with the tale of….

La Llorona.


Scares the you know what out of me every time.

It seems that some folks have been trying to portray the weeping woman in a better light lately. There was that commercial seen only in California that had her weeping over an empty milk container. Every time it came on, I either turned my head away or turned the channel. : shudder :

And whatever creepy feelings I have, for some people, it’s even way worse. The mother of my ex was born and raised in Mexico. She was a traditionalist and you couldn’t say “La Llorona” around her or she would start praying and crossing herself and yelling at you for saying that out loud. She thought saying her name brought her near.

There is a restaurant in San Francisco’s East Bay that serves all manner of margaritas, one of them called, you guessed it, La Llorona. Now why would I take a nice activity like drinking a marg and use it to scare the crap out of myself? Huh? : shudder :

For a while in the early 90’s, in a bid to increase awareness about safety around arroyos, the City had a campaign featuring the “Ditch Witch”, ostensibly to scare us back.

And boy, did La Llorona scare me off of rivers and streams and such. Tho not enough that I didn’t ride my bike and skateboard through the dry concrete arroyos near my childhood home. I did always keep an eye on the sky, especially over the mountains, and if it got one bit ominous, I was OUTTA there.

By the way, in case you don’t know the legend of La Llorona, here it is, in a nutshell (or at least the way it was told to me….other versions vary widely):

“Many of the legends portray a woman who is abandoned by her husband or lover and who then drowns her young children in despair, because she cannot support them, or for revenge…she is stricken with deep remorse, doomed to eternally wander near the Rio Grande or other bodies of water, looking for her lost children.” The story I heard went further. Not only was she looking for her lost children, she would abduct and in some cases drown any OTHER little children she found wandering on the ditch banks. : shudder:

I cut and paste that story from an article in today’s Las Cruces Sun News titled La Llorona’s stories to be told at Saturday festival

In regards to attending such a festival, I just have this to say: Oh hell no.

Actually, it sounds like a fun festival and I love the folklore of passing down stories from one generation to the next. But I think the “Honk if you’ve seen La Llorona” bumper stickers are going a *bit* too far.

: shudder :