He went and did it…

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Well Chronicled here is my love for the San Francisco Giants and last night the team, or one man on the team, made history.

I’ve watched Bonds for a lot of years and have seen him perform miracles at the plate. Stuff that left me wide eyed and astonished.

I’m sad to say that I wasn’t watching last night when he performed his latest. He broke Hank Aaron’s long held career record of 755 home runs.

756 for Bonds came in the fifth off of Washington Nationals pitcher Mike Bacsik and he slugged it to the deepest part of the yard. No small feat.

It’s been a long strange road but I’m proud of him, prouder still he wore a Giants uniform when he did it.

I understand the taped speech from Hank Aaron played on the Jumbotron was moving. The crowd was crazy. History was made.

Sadly, it doesn’t lift the last place Giants up from their 13.5 game cellar dwelling status, and they didn’t win the game last night. But it’s a bright spot in a dismal season.

Congratulations, Mr. Bonds.

Aaaand we’re back

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Yes, unfortunately, all good things must come to an end. My weekend in Oh Fair New Mexico was wonderful, due in large part to good friends and good eats.

We stayed at a great little place in Ruidoso called Alto Hombre Gordito. It’s wonderful. What it lacks in high class it makes up for in utter charm. This was my second stay there and it was even better than the first. We managed to book the last cabin at the end and felt truly away from it all.

My best friend cooked up a storm (the room had a full kitchen stocked with pots, pans and dishes). And the rellenos were truly divine.

Saturday was spent at Lincoln at the festival celebrating (if that’s the right word) the Lincoln County War and the escape of Billy the Kid (immortalized, of course, in the movie Young Guns).

It was rained like a mutha and when not raining, humid as anything, so it was a tough day. Nothing that a little funnel cake didn’t fix, however.

On the way back to our cabin we checked out the abandoned Fort Stanton and the Merchant Marine cemetary nearby. I’d never seen either or knew they were there, and neither had my friend, so it was awesome to explore a part of New Mexico we’d never seen.

That evening was spent seeing the Bellamy Brothers in concert at the Ruidoso Downs. I’d never been to the Downs before, so it was fun to see the venerable old track. It’s probably seen better days, but all things considered, it was in good shape. The concert was great (I’m probably showing my age being such a fan of the Bellamys). My best good friend and I sang along to all the songs (we knew ’em all by heart). The Bellamys opened the show by saying “we’re going to play some old songs….then again, all we have are old songs”. Again, it was humid as anything, and I worked up a sweat dancing in my seat, but it was a great time!

Sunday was a leisurely drive back to Las Cruces, many hugs and kisses on my two beautiful goddaughters (they both got an iPod shuffle so I’m the BEST Nina in the history of Ninas…at least in their minds for a minute! :) ), then back to the El Paso airport to get my heiny home.

I passed through the Albuquerque airport and in the layover was able to spend stupid money at the store there affiliated with Casa de Avila. I have always loved their store in Old Town. They have amazing jewelry, a bit expensive, but it’s the real (and good) stuff. A few years back when my dad was sick and I was flying in and out of Albuquerque quite a bit, I managed to treat myself to some beautiful pieces there. They didn’t disappoint this time, I got some unique stuff and went home broker and happier than when I’d landed.

Was happy to return to the Bay Area, get tight squeezes from my man, and sleep in my own bed.

I’m still sick, but have less sinus pressure now after a course of antibiotics. Let me tell you, a sinus infection at cruising altitude is a new kind of pain. Torture.

But I’m back. Work still sucks, but I’m a little bit happier. I found something I’d lost while back in New Mexico. I got to remember, “where I come from” and got right again. It was a great trip, I’m so glad I went. Tonic for a tortured soul…….

A nod and a hug to the teachers

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Having just spent this past weekend with a whole passel of my favorite people, who also just happen to be teachers, I’ve been thinking a lot about the profession. My best friend is one of those rare breeds who actually loves teaching and can see herself doing nothing else. She once tried another career, only to return to the ranks of educators.

And this, her assured ticket into heaven, she teaches high school.

Over drinks and Navajo Tacos on the back patio, I heard her and many of our friends talk about their preparations to return to the classroom this Thursday to welcome students next week.

My friend teaches English, mostly, but also other topics. She spent her summer reading a list of books trying to find some modern American fiction to teach this year. See, she and her fellow teachers realize that teaching the “dead white guys”, while easy (because it’s been done so many times, teaching by rote is what it becomes), wasn’t igniting the minds of their students.

One of our friends said, “I want to make my kids lifelong readers. I don’t want to be that teacher that turned a student off reading for life”. I wanted to kiss her feet, hug her tight and weep a little.

We talked about current fiction, books that hold their own, have something to say, that will be fascinating for kids to read, and thus fire up their kids. It was a long hard battle to be able to teach, “Bless me Ultima” in the classroom…but it’s working. And when kids *want* to read, then learn, they become smarter, they help themselves.

So it was timely to read Jim Belshaw’s column in the Sunday ABQjournal. If you didn’t see it, take a look at “A Few Pointers For New Teachers” for a good chuckle. It’s a list of pointers from a fourth grade teacher.

My everlasting thanks to all the teachers who can do what I cannot….deal with snotty kids. And a special thanks to those teachers who actually, honestly care about doing a good job. You are amazing.

Off the air

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Due mainly to immense stress from work and lack of sleep from worry about my damn job, I have succumbed to a most nasty case of sinusitis. This always happens, crazy stress, then once it lets up, illness. Ugh! I paid a visit to a “doc in a box” who handed me a script for antibiotics. I’m pretty much down for the count and have been for a couple days.

The good news? Tomorrow I hop a plane for El Paso (ah the pressurized cabin should make my throbbing sinus pressured head feel *so* good!). I get to spend the weekend with my best friend in the tall pines of Ruidoso. We’ve rented a cabin and will commence our annual “Chick’s Trip”. Oh how I miss my Fair New Mexico and can hardly wait to be in her arms again.

Plus my best good friend makes, hands down, the BEST rellenos ever. I think I blogged about them here. She’s promised to whip up a batch. I am already salivating…..

So I’ll be a little quiet for the next few days while I try to regain my sanity, recoup my health, and try to relax.