Oct 1, 2017

Iceland: Land of Fire and Ice

Iceland



 Where do I start when words can't describe a place? I only have feelings of an introvert, deep inside, somewhere far away, a place like Iceland that feels like home.

 Pictures still burn in my mind of this other worldly land. Single box homes sprinkled along the moon-like shore. An Island that has everything going for it and everything going against it. The Land of Fire and Ice, the land of extremes. The land of beautiful people, fat cats, and active volcanos. The sheer survival and stubbornness of the people is like the landscape itself, and has touched my heart.

 Although only there for a short visit, Iceland dominates my thoughts and dreams. My experience there has planted a political seed, a dream for a world that could possibly be. One with renewable energy, fresh water, fair economics, and respect for the environment. Where a place like Iceland could inspire the entire planet to feel like home.



Iceland
Iceland - airport bathrooms

Iceland
Reykjavik, city capital

Iceland


Iceland
Iceland has already had a lesbian president. No issues.

Iceland
Blue Lagoon -geothermal spa in a lava field

Iceland


Iceland


Iceland


Iceland
        No need to buy bottled water. Icelandic water is not polluted and filtered by lava rocks.

Iceland
About 85% of total primary energy supply in Iceland is derived from domestically produced renewable energy sources. 


Iceland
Iceland
I want one of these sweaters!

Iceland
The quiet Island of Iceland has been overwhelmed with tourism lately. 

Iceland


Iceland
Showing off some of my viking dna. 

Iceland

Sep 4, 2017

Sutherland Farms in Aztec, New Mexico

Untitled

It's that time of year when green chile from Hatch, New Mexico makes its way into our northern New Mexican supermarkets. As hatch chile continues to become more and more popular around the country, competition between growers becomes a friendly but serious sport. After all, New Mexico is the 'Chile Capital of the World', as our license plates proudly state. 

I had heard from some locals that the chile at Sutherland Farms was a little better than Hatch. I thought to myself - that's impossible! I finally made the trip to Sutherland Farms to see what the fuss was about. The season for fresh roasted green chiles is quick, so you want to jump on it. It's way better in taste than getting frozen green chile from the supermarkets. 

So yesterday, we drove to Sutherland Farms to pick ourselves a bushel of roasted green chile. You can order mild, hot, or extra hot. Dori likes it extra hot. The grounds are charming, and the staff friendly. The roasted green chile is more expensive here, but since it's local we don't mind. Our bushel of green chiles lasts almost a year. We literally just finished our last ziplock bag of the old batch the same day we went for the new bushel.

We made ourselves some veggie burgers with the new Sutherland green chiles on top. French fries and a Marble IPA. It doesn't get more New Mexican than that! The verdict, Dori says it's better than Hatch. It was so hot for me that I couldn't make a good analysis. It was more like jalapenos. Green chile is very specific even if I only have Hatch to compare it to. After they sit a while and have been frozen, I'll come back to revisit the flavor.  


Untitled


Untitled


Untitled


Untitled


Untitled
Dori is happy to have her bushel of green chile


Untitled


Untitled


Untitled
I might have taken the New Mexican theme too far in this picture. Happy Labor Day!

Jul 9, 2017

New Mexico : The Land of Entrapment



Untitled


When I moved to New Mexico for a job in 2012, I was looking forward to a new adventure. Initially, I was going to be in New Mexico for a year and then transfer back to Vegas. I've been here 5 years now, and I keep finding an excuse to move. That's what I do, I'm a nomad - I pass through. I've heard people call New Mexico the land of entrapment. That makes me giggle. The official State Nickname is the "Land of Enchantment." When I first started working and living in New Mexico, I noticed people being nice here - especially if they were born and raised in New Mexico. I was telling a coworker from Chama, NM that people in New Mexico are so nice. He said to me, "It's because we are poor." That comment always struck me. Was that true? or is it because New Mexicans are so sparsely populated? New Mexico is a large state that can swallow its population whole. I feel like people here have had to really count on each other to survive. They seem more humble somehow. Am I right about my assumptions? Who knows. I'm sure there are probably 1000 more reasons why. And I thought.. if there are nice people here, then the crime rate would be lower. It's pretty high actually. That part I haven't figured out.

Another coworker, Linda, who made fun of me when I first started working with her. She's actually my best friend now. Who knew! There was a discussion at work about red and green chiles. I opened up my big mouth and said, "Do you plant red or green chiles Linda?" I didn't realize it was just as bad as making that Jessica Simpson comment about chicken of the sea. Well shoot! There are many varieties of peppers aren't there?! Oh no, red peppers are simply ripened green peppers. I knew that. Not! I read somewhere green peppers are why people move here and red peppers are what makes people stay. I just love roasted green peppers but I love red peppers too. I tend to order the christmas blend which is green and red peppers together. Peppers in New Mexico are a serious deal. The most asked question in New Mexico is - red or green? Another common question I was being asked in the beginning - Las Vegas, New Mexico or Las Vegas, Nevada? I would tell people my family lives in LAS VEGAS. Oh no, it's all about New Mexico. I seriously thought there was only one Las Vegas. Nope, there is a Las Vegas, New Mexico. Actor Patrick Swayze had a ranch outside Las Vegas, "New Mexico".

Here comes the french theme. I went to a lavender festival in Abiquiu, New Mexico. Yes, in New Mexico, not in South of France! Abiquiu, NM is Georgia O'Keeffe country (respectfully after the Native Americans). These natives, like me (in away), were nomadic, and knew good territory. I can see why Georgia fell in love with the area. It's truly enchanting. Seeing the lavender fields in New Mexico was breathtaking to say the least. It felt like going into a far away secret place. Lavender is new to the area. A part of the mediterranean in New Mexico. It just paired well together. My bestie, my spouse, and a lavender field under a hot sun...if New Mexico keeps this up, I might continue to be entrapped by this enchantment! Corny? Sorry. 




Untitled

Untitled



Untitled

Untitled