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A San Diegan in Santa Fe

April 11th, 2013


green stool

green stool

After moving to Santa Fe three months ago, it’s time to weigh in on how I’m feeling about the place.

You gotta love a state that has its own official cookie. The Bizcochito (pronounced “Biscuit-Cheeto”) possesses all the characteristics of New Mexico rolled into a thick, two-inch disk.

Dry, brown and dusted with grit, when you put it in your mouth, it sucks all the moisture out of your body.

Speaking of dry, How dry is it , you ask? It’s so dry that earplugs petrify inside your head during the night. It’s so dry that toothbrush bristles go from soft to extra crispy between brushings. It’s so dry that the water in your drinking glass evaporates faster than the waiter can pour it.

At the risk of sounding like a 4th-grade report, the state bird is a roadrunner which I still haven’t spotted and the state insect is the tarantula hawk wasp, which thankfully hasn’t appeared inside my house yet. Wish I could say the same for the stray centipede that came to visit and ended up a fossil on the bottom of my boot.

The state vegetable is a chili, which leads us to the official state question: Red or green? (it could also refer to the contents of my nose on some days). It’s a burning question, no pun intended. As newcomers we’ve learned to order our chilies “Christmas, on the side.”

Santa Fe is the highest state capital at an altitude of 7,000 feet, which is just high enough to blame all my problems on. Altitude adjustment has taken up much of my time, along with an occasional attitude adjustment, and I am starting to breathe easier. My little green bottle of Chlorophyll drops has helped too, despite the warning on its label, “Side Effects: dark green stools may occur.”

If there were a state color, it would be brown. State drivers—-crazy, all of them. State of mind? Learning to love it here. Sure, I miss the ocean, but the sky in Santa Fe is a daily feast for the eyes. Winter mountains are brownies dusted with powdered sugar. And did I mention the stars?

Spring is just around the corner, there’s a squint of green in the air and I’m starting to learn my way around this town. Now if I could only figure out why I-25 South goes north and vice versa….


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18 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Lauren McMonagle  |  April 11th, 2013 at 8:13 pm

    New Mexico – It ain’t new and it ain’t Mexico, and I’m glad you are in it with me.

  • 2. lswagerty  |  April 11th, 2013 at 8:50 pm

    I second that emotion, Lauren!

  • 3. Melanie Handley  |  April 11th, 2013 at 10:43 pm

    Ahhh Lois! You make me almost miss Santa Fe – even after a short visit. Brown, brown and more brown!

  • 4. lswagerty  |  April 12th, 2013 at 6:59 am

    It was fun to have you here…& it’s all about to turn green. Stay tuned for the spring version 🙂

  • 5. linda pearce  |  April 12th, 2013 at 3:46 am

    I am observing alot of food references(maybe because I have’nt had breakfast yet).I love your writing–and this solid East Coast girl is learning much about the Left Coast–keep up the good work!!

  • 6. lswagerty  |  April 12th, 2013 at 6:58 am

    Linda – thanks! We’ve left the left 🙂

  • 7. cynthia  |  April 12th, 2013 at 6:42 am

    A few thoughts…A “real” bee-sko-cheeto” melts in your mouth, doesn’t suck it dry. Those 2″ discs in the Commons are defintely lethal. Start hiking with us and your attitude will surge with joy. We need to take you to Tent Rocks and up to Hyde Park.

  • 8. lswagerty  |  April 12th, 2013 at 6:57 am

    Thanks, Cynthia – love it here!

  • 9. lisa lough  |  April 13th, 2013 at 7:16 pm

    This is so great. I can certainly relate. Missing the TX lakes but how I love these NM skies.

  • 10. lswagerty  |  April 13th, 2013 at 8:46 pm

    Tonight it was 360 degrees of pink!

  • 11. Carol Novosad  |  April 14th, 2013 at 8:23 pm

    Love your blog! You have a wonderful talent of telling stories which bring big smiles and chuckles! Can’t wait for you to experience the May to October weather. Think you will find it worth bearing the cold & windy months!

  • 12. lswagerty  |  April 14th, 2013 at 8:25 pm

    Thanks Carol –you & Dirk are two of the reasons we love it here 🙂

  • 13. Sarah-Anne K.  |  May 9th, 2013 at 11:10 pm

    We’re so glad you’ve left the left to come more to the west! You bring laughter and joy wherever you go, thanks for moving to Santa Fe. What a delight you are! 🙂

  • 14. lswagerty  |  May 10th, 2013 at 7:59 am

    You make me smile, sarah-anne–left the left!!

  • 15. Andrea Bearden-Kuhns  |  May 11th, 2013 at 2:13 pm

    I see you are adjusting well . . . brown is not my favorite color and here in Carlsbad, things have gone to dry and brittle – except for the ocean which I know you miss.
    I thought Dodge City, as in Gunsmoke would be the worst place to live – now I have to wonder.

    We are well. Hi to Doug.

  • 16. lswagerty  |  May 11th, 2013 at 8:33 pm

    Brown is beautiful 🙂

  • 17. elaine pinkerton coleman  |  July 8th, 2013 at 11:46 am

    Lois- I love your take on New Mexico (having moved here from northern Virginia 46 years ago) and I can appreciate your reactions. Of course, all these many, many years later the contrast is even greater. So much fun seeing you at the garden, and I look forward to reading more of your delightful commentary!

  • 18. lswagerty  |  July 8th, 2013 at 2:09 pm

    Elaine–gardening & writing–it doesn’t get much better than this! Thanks for your warm welcome 🙂

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