Archive for the ‘My Life-AmeriCorps VISTA’ Category

New Mexico State Fair

Thursday, October 6th, 2011

Celebrating its 72nd anniversary the New Mexico State Fair is a 17-day event that still attracts locals as well as visitors nationwide. The State Fair was cute. Check out the photos below.

The African American Pavilion is fairly new to the State Fair. It’s about five years old. The African American population is small in New Mexico but growing regularly. The Pavilion was nicely put together but I don’t have a lot of pictures to show because some people were shady about me taking them. Black folks. Go figure.

Indian dancers.

I hate to see wild animals in captivity. However once I see them in person I fall in love because they are so beautiful. But I still don’t like the situation and normally boycott the entire thing. These lions were born into slavery. The male lion is a rare white lion. Every white lion on this planet is in captivity. What a shame.

Smoothies. I like the colors.

They are doing MJ’s “Thriller.”

Micky Dee’s had a farm house.

Really cool Reggae Band. Look at the singer’s Locs. They are to his ankles.

Indian Market at Santa Fe

Thursday, August 25th, 2011

I went to the 90th Annual Indian Market at Santa Fe last weekend. The festival was full of spectacular art made by Native Americans from various tribes. Everything there was so beautiful it was hard to make a selection. Below are a few photos from the event. Check them out.

The Chuck Jones Showroom was a pleasant surprise to see at The Plaza in Santa Fe. It was full of original drawings of the Looney Tunes by Chuck Jones as well as original art from Dr. Seuss and Charles Schultz (The Peanuts). I was not allowed to take pictures inside the gallery but I did learn that Chuck Jones loved New Mexico and incorporated his love for the state in his drawings.

For example, Bugs Bunny always said, “I should have made a left turn at Albuquerque.” I always wondered why he said that. Now I know. The road runner and coyote were popular characters in his work. I see road runners running in the street all of the time and coyotes live in the mountains but sometimes they walk around in the neighborhoods too. In addition, Chuck Jones was a big fan of Santa Fe’s Opera season which is held yearly during the Summer. Because of his love for that genre of music, Bugs Bunny often performed operatic skits. I can’t wait until next year’s Opera season. I’ll be there with bells on.

Old Western looking shops in Santa Fe.

A 10-year-old boy performing a Hola Hoop ritual.

The Plaza

Folklore performers


Lil man was doing his thing

These peppers are always hanging someplace

Throw spreads with Native American patterns

Native ritual performer

An antique train at the Santa Fe Rail Yard. I was waiting there for a train back to the  city.

I purchased this piece because the folklore associated with the art reminded me of myself. The Navajo artist had three statues that looked the same in the front but on the back of each statue there was a different pattern that told a different story.

I selected the statue known as “The Changing Woman” because I am going through a change right now  (new city, new job, new life) and felt the folklore was similar (not the same) to my new lifestyle. The folklore in Staci’s short version goes like this:

A baby girl was born. The first day of her birth she was an infant, the second a teenager, the third a young woman, the fourth a middle age woman and on the fifth day she turned into an old woman. After the fifth day she went back to an infant and started changing all over again. Her parents wanted to enjoy her as a child so they performed a ceremony to stop her from growing so fast. The ceremony lasted two days and was complete when she was a teenager. It worked and she began to age in the normal fashion. Today Navajo teen girls everywhere go through the same ceremony as a coming of age, changing into womanhood, celebration.

Turkey and Pullet Eggs

Thursday, August 18th, 2011

I really enjoy shopping at local Farmers’ Markets especially since I moved to New Mexico.

While browsing around one  Saturday morning I noticed a farmer had  a bunch of small colorful eggs as well as large eggs with polka dots. I inquired about them because they looked interesting and I wanted to know more.

The farmer told me that the small eggs are known as pullet eggs and are from young chickens just starting to lay. The large eggs with brown speckles were from local wild turkeys.

I couldn’t walk away after learning that information. I had to buy them. I purchased six pullet eggs and six turkey eggs for $4. What a bargain for eggs coming from free range and drug free poultry.

I offered to cook a turkey egg for my mom but she declined. If I ate eggs I would have at least tried it but my vegan diet does not allow me the opportunity to do so.

However, I do use vegan and vegetarian haircare products, and egg shampoos are a perfect vegetarian protein source for the hair that I highly recommend. Check out one of my older posts on using eggs as a shampoo by clicking HERE.

First, I shampooed my hair. Afterwards, I shampooed again using the eggs.

Pullet eggs. They are really small. I like the blue one.

Turkey eggs.

The blue pullet egg.

This is the turkey egg. The yolk looks just like a Chicken egg to me.

Side by side. Look at the difference.

Both eggs mixed together.

The eggs in my hair. It lathered rather nicely. After rinsing, my hair was literally squeaking clean. Seriously. I am not kidding!

Homemade Lavender Oil

Monday, August 8th, 2011

I like that New Mexico has a lot of local farms and farmer’s markets that sell a variety of organic produce and other foods within an hour or less from where I live.

One morning while driving on Rio Grande at 25 miles an hour (this is the speed limit on this strip and they are very serious about not going any faster than that for at least a mile or so) I discovered a farm that grows and sells all things Lavender.

Since Lavender is one of my favorite essential oils, (I use it in all of my home made stuff) I became excited when I saw the farm and decided to stop and take a look around.

With all of the fresh organic Lavender for sale (I missed the harvest in June) I purchased a bunch for $10 to make my own oil along with the strongest organic Lavender essential oil I’ve ever experienced. That was the best $15 I spent to date.

Below are photos of the farm and how I made my verison of Lavender oil. This was my first attempt at doing this. It’s a very simple recipe. Check it out.

Los Poblanos Farm House.

Lavender fields

My bunch of Lavender

A goat grazing.

Lavender after I pulled all of the flowers off of each stem.

I placed the flowers in a glass bottle.

I saturated the Lavender flowers with organic Safflower oil.

I added seven drops of organic Lavender essential oil to the bottle

And I was done.

I poured enough Safflower oil into the bottle of Lavender to cover the flowers only.

I plan to let the mixture sit in a dark cool place for two weeks before I strain it and use the Lavender oil on my hair and skin. 

I will post an update about the oil in about two weeks or so.

Sandia Mountain

Thursday, August 4th, 2011

Last weekend I spent the morning hiking throughout Sandia Mountain. New Mexico is a dry looking place, but despite the dryness, Sandia is still beautiful and I enjoyed my experience.

I have to get to the other side. It is supposed to be greener. However it’s been said that the bears and mountain lions make their home on that side as well. But all of that does not bother me. I ain’t scared. 

Check out the pictures below.

With the fam – I don’t know what my fro was doing that day but it felt soft.

I Am Official!

Monday, July 25th, 2011

I am officially a member of AmeriCorps VISTA!

I spent last Tuesday through Friday attending my Pre Service Orientation (PSO) designed to prepare me for my service in Albuquerque.

At PSO, aside from the workshops, what made my experience amazing were the people I met from almost everyplace in the United States.

I met a man who is a retired brick-layer. I thought he was a retired college professor. He decided to get his Bachelor degree at age 62. It took him 2 1/2 years to finish. He also has a Master’s and is now working on his Ph.D. Another gentleman has an Associate degree, spent six years in the Armed Forces, married, had a child, then somehow became homeless. He got himself out of that and is now doing more than great. There was a woman who decided to get her Bachelor degree at 60. She now has a Master’s. I hung out with a former model and retired successful business men. My roommate recently graduated from college.

For various reasons all of these people decided to be apart of AmeriCorps VISTA! I was in good company. Just amazing I tell you.

Below are a few pictures from our Swearing-In Ceremony. Check them out!

They called me HM, short for “High Maintenance.”

My roommate

Santa Fe International Folk Art Market

Friday, July 22nd, 2011

I had a blast at The Santa Fe International Folk Art Market. Various countries from everywhere represented their culture and art. This is the largest Folk Art Market in the world and I am so happy I was able to attend. 

In the photos below I don’t remember the name of every country, I was just taking pictures, but will do my best to describe each shot.

Pottery from Africa


She’s from South Africa

She’s from Kenya

I purchased this piece from Haiti – Can’t wait to hang it in my new place. I think it is called “Pineapple” because of the hair that looks like dreads. The hair and unique face is what attracted me to it.

Mom holding a pair of booties from Peru or China

A crown from China

Henna Tattoos

South Africa

I forgot where he is from

Thanks to Argan oil and Beautiful Curls my hair stayed moist all day in the desert sun.

Americans doing African dance.