The Worries of a Country Kid

As you read this, I’ll be winging my way over California and Arizona and on my way to New Mexico.

Look up and wave hi if you see me coming by.

I’m headed back to Southern New Mexico for a purpose.

As I’ve told you, I take my job as co-madre very, very seriously. I love the two daughters of my best friend with such intensity that sometimes I forget I didn’t carry them inside my own body.

They matter that much.

My baby girls, now 8 and 11, are part of their local 4-H and this year they took on the project of raising pigs. They worked very hard at this, including helping their dad clear an empty space in their yard and building the pig barn.

Every day they feed and medicate and care for those little oinkers. They text me photos. They tell me how cute they are. Those girls are in love with their little piggies.

This weekend is the final part of the process: an auction at the Southern New Mexico State Fair.

I never raised show animals myself, but most of my friends did. I know from experience that the auction can be really difficult.

Really difficult.

Especially the first time through.

As my friend said, “get ready for big crying.”

And I am. I think.

The Good Man and I will join forces with my best friend and her husband and we’ll hug those kids as hard as we can and try to make it better.

Because in the end, I’ll probably be the one crying the hardest. It hurts when my little ones hurt.

This is the dilemma of a country kid. It’s part of their 4-H training, learning to raise and care for animals, but knowing that these animals are also part of the food chain.

Most people don’t look at a bag of groceries and understand where, exactly the food came from. People think beef just comes in patties like that. Eggs are created in foam containers. Milk is mixed up back in the stockroom.

My girls know better. My girls are savvy and strong. They know the land and how to create sustenance from it. They join the long line of proud agricultural New Mexicans.

And so they’ll cry a little and grow up a little and learn a lot.

Or, hell, they might both grow up to be vegetarians after this experience. Who knows?

Wish me luck! I’m going in!

Photo by Gareth Weeks and used royalty free from stock.xchng.

Texas On Tour

Because confession is good for the soul, I need to declare that what follows is a post sponsored by Texas on Tour, a function of the Texas Office of the Governor, Economic Development and Tourism.

Proceeds will be donated to the Southwest Indian Foundation.


This Saturday October 1st ushers in the 40th Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.

The special shapes and crazy events like the key grab, Balloon Glow, and pin trading are back for another year of fun. I’m sad I’ll have to miss it, but work beckons. Photographic opportunities abound!

Hey, if you happen to make your way over to the Balloon Fiesta Park, keeps your eyes out for a little sumptin’ different. This year at the Balloon Fiesta, in addition to participating in one of the most notable events New Mexico has to offer, you’ll also be able to experience a little bit of Texas.

Albuquerque has the honor of being the last stop in 2011 for Texas on Tour, an interactive virtual trip to the Lone Star State.

Through the magic of green screen video and photography, visitors to Texas on Tour can get a taste of the fun that Texas has to offer such as kayaking, visiting San Antonio, or experiencing the bats fly out from underneath the Congress Avenue Bridge in Austin.

Texas is a big ol’ state with a lot to offer, and Texas on Tour helps you experience it all.

The good people behind Texas on Tour hope you’ll be so intrigued, you’ll want to visit in person.

“We are thrilled to have Texas on Tour traveling to nine destinations across the U.S. in 2011 to encourage travel to Texas and give potential visitors the ability to experience firsthand the many sights and sounds of the Lone Star State,” said Julie Chase, Director of Tourism, Texas Office of the Governor, Economic Development and Tourism.

If you take a look at the Texas on Tour blog, you’ll see a whole lot of people having one heck of a good time at all of the stops so far.

Sure, it may seem a little odd to visit a site touting the charms of Texas when attending one of New Mexico’s most iconic events. But I say why not?

Have another hot chocolate and breakfast burrito and go see what the Texas on Tour team has to offer.

You can also follow Texas on Tour on Facebook and on Twitter @texastourism

All images courtesy of the Texas Office of the Governor, Economic Development and Tourism.

Just an aside: neither this blog nor this writer endorse the presidential campaign of Texas Governor Rick Perry…or any of the other presidential candidates from any party, for that matter. Not even former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson.

In Which My Victorian Side Emerges

Ok, ok, I admit I was raised in a pretty strict Catholic family, but I don’t really consider myself to be that uptight.

In fact, I’m a fairly laid back cat in a lot of ways. I laugh at dirty jokes. I *tell* dirty jokes and I have enough street smarts to make it through life just fine.

Generally I believe live and let live. It’s all good.

Ok. Now that we’ve laid that groundwork.

There is something going on at work that has my Puritanical lace handkerchief all in a ruffle.

It’s really in my craw, and so I’m going to use my blog to have some group therapy.

Ok. Here we go.

This is the breakroom on my floor here at work.

Your everyday average office breakroom, right? Coffee. Tea. Microwave. Sink for rinsing out your dishes.


Across the hall from the breakroom is the “mom’s room” where ladies who are breastfeeding their babies can go, have a quiet moment, and pump.

Great. I’m all for that. I think it’s fantastic that my company has set aside this resource strictly for working moms.

And it’s convenient that the women who use this room have the sink nearby to wash up their gear and get it ready for the next use. Perfect.



Let’s zoom in a bit on that last photo.

One of the ladies rinses out her pumping supplies and leaves them on the counter to air dry.

In the public breakroom. Right by the coffee maker (usually. Not in this photo.)

Yesterday, she set them to dry on the same paper towel that held the coffee cup belonging to Mr. Big Boss. They were touching his coffee mug.

Her boobs were just in there, you know. AND…I know who it is who is doing this, so it makes it seem even weirder. I try not to think about my coworkers boobs.

I am really struggling with this. I utterly support a woman’s right to breastfeed her baby, and be a working woman, and use the resources in the office.

But do I have to reach over this to get myself a tea bag and a packet of Splenda?

Her boobs were just in there!

I believe if it were me, I’d want to take the boob couplers with me back to my office to dry. I mean….who KNOWS what people are doing in there around your boob dealies? What if someone splashes their lunch on there? Or…touches them?

I know. I know. This betrays the “laid back” attitude I described above.

But this just drives me bonkers.

Thanks for letting me talk about it. I’ll get over it.

I feel better now.


Back in 2006 when I met the product called Sirius, I was enchanted. It was a whole new way of listening to radio. Fewer commercials, more choices, and lots of stations that let me listen to whatever I wanted to whenever I wanted to.

For several years, we were together, and musically I was very happy.

Over time, the renewal price of my Sirius subscription started going up and the quality of the programing starting going down. During the time I took a sabbatical from work, I looked for every possible way to cut costs.

So I broke up with Sirius.

Sirius had a hard time with the end of our relationship. Sirius didn’t really want to let me go. Sirius still calls, email and snail mails me several times a week.

Bright yellow envelopes in my mailbox shout “We want you back!”

No, honestly, they actually say that. It’s weird. Soon Sirius will start writing me bad poetry.

Well I’ve been back on the job for a while now and while I *could* sign up again with Sirius, I just don’t want to. I’m over Sirius.

The trouble is, there hasn’t been a respectable suitor to take its place. I listen to some form of music in my office while I work all day (we’re talking a good eight to ten hours a day of music) and I have tried just about every local radio station I can get. They all suck.

So I did what I usually do. I whined to The Good Man.

Who replied, “Have you tried Pandora?”

Why no…I hadn’t.

So I downloaded the free application to my iPhone and started listening.

Last week I finally dug down into the instructions and figured out how to not just listen to the stations already set up, but instead program my own station.

Oh my. I’m in love.

Deep love.

I am all about Pandora, now. ALL. ABOUT. PANDORA.

Sorry Sirius. You can’t have me back. I’m with Pandora now.

And I like it.

** By the way, I wasn’t paid for this, I just wanted to talk about my feelings.**

Guest Blogging

Hi! Today we’re going to mix it up a bit. You’ll find my Friday post over on a wonderful blog called Into The Bardo.

This blog is a collaborative effort of three friends who all face serious health conditions. They created this blog to provide a forum to explore a variety of topics with talent, humor and verve. Post authors include the three main editors, their family and friends and include a number of notable poets and writers.

I was honored to be asked to contribute an essay for their “Perspectives on Cancer” series. I wrote a piece about my paternal grandmother.

Writing this essay has proven to be a magical experience for me. I’m very close to an Aunt on my dad’s side, and I sent her an early editorial layout of the piece as I very much wanted her approval before publishing. She not only approved, but sent it out to many of my cousins, some of whom I’ve only met once or twice.

I’m getting email from around the world to discuss this piece and our grandparents and the connection to my extensive family has touched me very deeply.

So please, give me a click today and go read my piece:

The Divining Trunk

Thanks much, and happy weekend to us all!

That’s my grandma and me in 1976.

Photo from the family archives and Copyright Karen Fayeth, 2011