Santa Fe

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Ask anyone who has ever traveled to Santa Fe, New Mexico and you’ll get the same response – It’s a dream come true.  My adventurous hubs, Clark, and I had the opportunity to travel to this lovely southwestern city in September and within hours of our arrival, it was easy to see that Santa Fe could have earned it’s state’s nickname – ‘the land of enchantment’ – all by itself.

This beautiful New Mexico city is both the oldest and highest capital city in the US. It’s  special in that the area is a gorgeous combination of both mountains and desert.  It’s population of approximately 70,000 residents, is small by comparison to other U.S. state capitals, but extremely rich in native American culture and history.

Santa Fe is known for its art scene, which is the 3rd largest in the U.S. by sales. It is home to the 20th century American artist Georgia O’Keeffe and the Georgia O’Keeffe museum where you can see her accomplished works.   You’ll find talented artists by the hundreds all around its charming downtown square, up and down the lovely boutique filled streets and especially on its famous Canyon Road which is dotted with one gallery after another.

This winsome city is nestled amidst the Sangre de Cristo mountains. This combined with the striking Adobe architecture makes for delightful and breathtaking sceneries.  It’s beauty surrounds you in every direction.

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With a large selection of amazing restaurants to choose from for dining, it’s no surprise that this city earns a top ranking among foodies.  Geronimo’s on Canyon Road is rated #1 among many of the locals and tourists alike as well as being named in the top 100 restaurants in the U.S.  It’s thick adobe walls, Kiva Fireplaces and wood beams which surround you make it warm and inviting. Executive Chef/Partner Eric DiStefano and Chef de Cusine Sllin Cruz create a wonderfully eclectic menu which changes seasonally.  Additionally, this Southwestern city’s food scene is probably best known for the fire-roasted green chili.  We were there at the peak of the chili season and saw it pop up on everything from your dinner rolls to the top of your cheeseburger and even on your breakfast burritos’ – a popular breakfast choice for locals.

Santa Fe’s beauty and endless list of activities makes it a top tourist destination in the U.S.  This fabulous city offers everything from hiking to museums as well as wine tours, shopping and art.  It has something for everyone and is a great destination for families.  I highly recommend that this ‘land of enchantment’ be put on everyone’s bucket list.

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I carry my stain stick with me – Im officially my mother.

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We’ve been told all our lives that the day would come.  The day when we will officially turn into our Moms.  It’s universal.  It’s a mysterious phenomenon that can not be avoided and can not be controlled.  One day you wake up and bam! – You can’t keep your kids names straight, you remind people to grab a jacket before leaving the house and you’ve become a bit more judgmental.  *You’re going to wear that?*

I noticed the change slowly. I shrugged off the first few warnings, thinking it was just paranoia. I brushed off the comments when people started saying I looked so much like her. I ignored the first few signs, thinking they were just coincidences.  A little similarity here and there.  A comment about turning this car around, which I swore I’d never utter.  The gestures.  The mannerisms.  All the little things.   I’d catch myself standing with my hands on my hips, with a “because I said so” attitude all over the place.  I chalked it up to a bad day, while in the back of my mind a quiet voice whispered to me, Good Lord, it’s happening.  

I’ve noticed recently that I’m prone to spilling little bits of my lunch or dinner on my shirt.  Something my Mom was famous for.  It happens most when Clark is with me.  “You’ve got a big blob of something on your shirt”  I got tired of today’s young food servers staring dumbfounded at me, a look of confusion on their little freckled faces when I asked for a small glass of soda water to dab on my spill.  So, I’ve started carrying stain sticks around in my purse.  That’s right.  I admit it.  I carry stain sticks.  Oh, I’ve seen older men just eat with a napkin tucked in around their neck to catch the spillage, like a big adult sized bib, but I think I’m a few years away from that yet.

The metamorphism has taken place slowly.  Suddenly, running three errands to three different stores in a single day is exhausting.  It’s just too much.  And, I run the errands early because I feel the need to be home by 4:00 to start thinking about dinner.  (By the time Clark gets home from work, I’ve usually got the restaurant all picked out.  Hurray!!)  It’s not that we don’t have enough food in the house to cook a dinner.  No, we have plenty of food.  After-all, I’ve started to stock up on things (just like my mom did) because if a storm or inclement weather is predicted, God forbid we don’t have enough tuna in the house.  Or, frozen bread. My mom stocked up on things because there was a big sale she could not pass up – even if it was for something she never used.  I’m on the lookout for that habit to start creeping into my everyday happenings.

So, why is it that our biggest fear in life is that we’re turning into our mothers? As a young girl, it’s a dream to be just like your mom.  But, as you grow older it’s more like every woman’s nightmare.  No matter how amazing our moms are, (and let’s face it, they truly are amazing) there is something scary about turning into them.

But, is it truly the fear of turning into them that has us all tied up in knots?  Or, could it be the acknowledgment that we’re simply getting older. We suddenly start to walk into rooms and completely forget why we went there in the first place.  *what was I looking for?*  Our tolerance for alcohol started to diminish.  It’s that second Cabernet or Martini that always puts me over the edge. (But what harm’s a little cockie now and then?)  We shut the drapes at dusk so we can get into our jammies and be comfy and we get up at the crack of dawn declaring ourselves “morning people” when in reality, we are just getting older and need less sleep.  We start to choose to stay in on weekend nights rather than go out and when we do go out, we go close to home.

So, have Mom’s been getting a bad rap all these years?  Are we really so opposed to “becoming” the women who raised us and nurtured us and guided us through everything we know about life?

They were there for us when puberty turned us ugly and hostile.  They stood by us when we resented their very beings and didn’t hold anything against us when we came out on the other side and became human again.  And, as we grew into adulthood our mom’s actually became our friends – someone we enjoyed spending time with and talking to.  All in all, when you really think about it, there probably are worse people we could morph into.

So, remember what your mom always told you.  One day someone is going to be thinking the same about you!

How Absurd – we’re cool!  Who wouldn’t want to be like us??

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Where Were You On October 2, 1998?

It feels a bit like cheating.  But, some words are worth repeating.

I woke up this morning thinking about this exact post and knew it was worth re-posting.  For those of you out there whose hearts are tender – to the new readers to my blog since I last ran this piece, I dedicate this to you.


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Where were you on October 2, 1998?

You probably have no clue.  If you racked your brain trying to remember, you probably would not be able to recall.   But, if I asked you where you were on other significant dates in history, chances are you’d probably not only recall where you were, but what you were doing and who you were with.

Where were you September 11th, 2001?  Where were you when Kennedy got shot?  Or, when Pearl Harbor got bombed?  Some of you may recall where you were when Nixon resigned.  Or, when John Lennon got shot.  Or, when Elvis died.

These significant days in history act as markers on the timeline of our lives.  Because they were so catastrophic and life altering, we can remember exactly where we were and what we were doing in that specific moment in time.

We can also recall our specific whereabouts in our times of personal crisis and joy.  When a baby is born.  When a loved one dies.  When a best friend calls us up and tells us they are getting married.

October 2, 1998 – a significant day in my life.

You may not recall where you exactly were then, but I know exactly where I was.  That was the day my Dad lost his battle with Cancer.  I was with him.  My Mom and one of my two Brothers were there, too.  16 years ago today.  (That’s so hard to believe!!) I was sitting on the side of his bed holding his hand.  It was the first time I was with someone when they took their last breath.  It was the first time I held someones hand and felt them go completely still and feel their life end.  It was surreal.  And sad.  And at the moment, something I could not wrap my brain around.  Even tho I knew he was near the end of his life, nothing quite prepares you for that moment when your parent actually passes away.  Breathing in life one moment – and in the next instance, complete stillness.  Their soul moving towards Heaven.  It was a powerful moment in my life and a precise moment on my personal timeline where I will always remember where I was and what I was doing.

I’ve lost both of my parents now.  My Dad 16 years ago and my Mom more recently – just 20 months ago.  February 14th – Valentines Day 2014.  I did not have the privilege to be with her and tell her goodbye when her time to leave this earth arrived.  But I’m confident that she knew exactly how I felt and how much I loved and respected her.  I’m confident that she knew how much all of my siblings loved her.

While I’m still adjusting to life without my Mom, the old saying really is true – “Time Heals All Wounds.”  You start to come out of the fog gradually and learn to smile and laugh again.

My Dad was Irish.  He was hardworking and funny and sentimental.  He liked sports, Notre Dame and beer.  He passed his sense of humor and hard work ethic on to all of us.  Thanks Dad!!  When my brothers and sisters and I get together, all we have to do is say one word to each other or give each other one look that was his and we all start laughing.  And we laugh long and hard.  And we remember him with fondness and joy and with the sentimentality that he unknowingly passed on to all of us.  Time heals all wounds.

We remember and speak of our personal experiences and that helps to keep those collective memories of history and personal tragedy and triumph vivid and fresh.  And then, suddenly, 10 years have passed.  Or, 20.  Or, 50

I miss my Dad.  Especially today.  I miss my Mom, too.  I will never quite get used to them being gone – or not being able to pick up the phone to talk to them.  And, I’ll never get used to no longer being able to just get in the car to take a road trip to see them.  But I am grateful for two such loving, selfless parents who showered me with unconditional love.  I’m grateful for the memories of their laughter and smiles.  And kindness.

When was YOUR October 2, 1998??  We all have them.

The good new is, Time Heals all Wounds.

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Source: Where Were You On October 2, 1998?

Is keeping it simple really better?


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I’ve been revamping my blog since I started writing again after my summer hiatus. A tweak here. A small change there.  A new format.  A new look.

I have two blogs. One where I showcase my amateur photography skills. Another to write musings and to detail my observances on any given day.  I’ve been thinking about combining the two. In the long run it might be simpler.  One place for readers to visit instead of two.  Only one notification going out to email subscribers, not multiple. It might be simpler keeping up with my blog if I only had one domain to maintain.   Not to mention one yearly domain fee to pay.  The fee is just a small price to pay tho to have a creative outlet and space of my own for an entire year. And as Clark always says, why pay for one blog when you can pay for two – *sarcasm* – he says he thinks I seem to think there’s a money tree in the backyard. I say it’s not easy being married to a high maintenance woman.  That usually earns me a smile and shake of his head.

Ok. Full disclosure. In all honesty, I have three domains and three blogs. (Are you reading this, Clark?  Why would I pay for one blog when I can pay for three. *wink*)   My third blog is private at this time. I’m not ready for the big reveal yet. I can share with you tho that it’s content is the likes of which I have never seen yet on any blogging venue.  Anywhere. When the idea hit me, it was like winning the lottery! Or, hitting the jackpot! It’s a million dollar idea and I’m sure publishing houses everywhere are going to be clamoring on my doorstep to sign a book deal with me to have exclusive rights to my million dollar blog. Move over Human’s of New York – there’s a new kid in town. (Have I peeked your curiosity? Good. Sit tight and be patient.)

So, back to my original point. Is it easier to combine all areas of creativity and simply cram them into one combined blog? Or, Is it confusing to your audience if you combine different genre’s into one’s creative outlet just to save time and a few pennies? Is simpler really better?

Confucius said – “Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.”

Leonardo da Vinci said – “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”

Pete Seeger says – “Any darn fool can make something complex; it takes a genius to make something simple.”

Well, darn it, I’m sophisticated. And, genius!  I’m able to scale things back and simplify just as well as the next Joe Schmoe.  I don’t need to ‘have it all.’  After all, isn’t it the simple things in life that reap the best rewards and make us happiest?

  • the first snowfall of winter
  • a warm meal
  • laughter with friends
  • a good book
  • holding the hand of someone you love
  •  a sunny day

Simplicity. I do believe it’s best when applied to certain situations and circumstances.  Like perhaps, a blog. It can’t hurt to try. Right?  So, for now, possibly temporary or possibly not, I will experiment and continue to tweak my blog.  This month concentrating on  consolidation and simplicity.  It may just work out well to scale back on the double domains (triple – if you count my super secret private blog!)  It will be like a grab bag for my readers.  When you get a notice of a new posting, you’ll not know what to expect until you follow the link.  It will be like a treasure hunt! And, who doesn’t love finding a treasure?

Simplicity – It does a body good.  Keep it simple, my friends

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Facebook – Do you overshare?

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This week on Facebook, I ran across a post that made me chuckle to myself.  It was  a cleverly written piece of satire pointing out just how absurd we’ve all become with oversharing our lives on social-media.  (Satire – a genre of literature or writing in which vices, follies, abuses, and shortcomings are held up to ridicule, ideally with the intent of shaming individuals.)

I showed it to Clark.  He chuckled.  I showed it to my friends.  They chuckled.  I showed it to my kids and they chuckled.  In conversations all week, I mentioned it to my friends and acquaintances.  Everyone chuckled.  And, everyone commented similarly.  Well, that certainly isn’t me.  I don’t overshare on Facebook.  At least not to the point of  Ad Nauseum…….. (ad nau·se·am (ăd nô′zē-əm) adv. To a disgusting or ridiculous degree; to the point of nausea)

That same thought ran through my mind.  That certainly doesn’t apply to meeee…. Or, does it? (millisecond of doubt)….. Nah.  So what.  So my Facebook page is covered with massive amounts of selfies.   And, updates on what I’m doing & where you can find me most hours of most days.   Just because I’ve posted 52 photo’s of my dog in the past few months, all basically in the same position with the same look on his face, that doesn’t really mean I’ve share too much.  (He’s sooooo cute!)

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It’s not like I’m one of those overbearing new parents who lets us know the exact moment of conception or what the baby looks like in the womb.

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And, thank the Lord above that I was never one of those people who shared TMI about bodily functions…

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But in all fairness, I not only have the link to Facebook bookmarked on the front page of my PC,  but also on the first page of my smartphone – which is like the speed dial of the social media world!!   This gives me instant access to being *spring into action* ready to post something I find incredibly interesting.  Like, a picture of what’s sitting in front of me on my lunch plate.  Or, quoting some incredibly humorous comment that came out of one of my kids mouths.

This weekdislike, Facebook announced the unveiling of it’s new *thumbs down* dislike button.  I’m not really sure how I feel about this.  While it’s true that not every post on the social-media site always seems deserving of a virtual thumbs up, do we really want to make it easier to spread negativity online?  Don’t we do enough of that in real life?  Isn’t Social-Media the place we turn to when we want to share with everyone how absolutely (and a little unrealistically) fabulous our lives are?

What will mom’s everywhere do when they find a big ‘ol thumbs down on the posted picture of Jr.   Or, when someone gives us a thumbs down on the photo of the tuna fish sammie on our plate.  What if someone decides to tell me that they DON”T think my dog is deserving of the last 40 pictures I’ve posted of him.  (thank goodness for the *unfriend* button.)  It shall be interesting!

Until then, my Facebook page will remain discreet and humble.  Like always.  And I imagine yours will, too.


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Why do we resist change?

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Finally, a break in the hot, humid temperatures that we’ve all been victims to the past 3+ months.  Along with these cooler tempts comes a new season, renewal of the soul and the world outside your window.  While kids and teens everywhere mourn the loss of their summer freedom, their parents rejoice in a small reprieve from the chaos that accompanies summer.  Goodbye summer!  Hello fall!

Change.  It’s inevitable.  There’s nothing constant in life except for that fact that it changes.  People generally fall into two camps where change is concerned.  Those who love it and those who fear it.  I’ll admit I tend to wander towards the fear camp.  I resist change.  It freaks me out.  (Probably even more than public speaking.)  I’m comfy right where I’m at.  Why change something that’s not broken?

My summer project, besides writing, traveling and weddings, was to revamp my blog.  It was time.  It had looked the same since the day I started it.  I loved the format of it and the look was still pleasing.  But, it was not fresh anymore.  It had run it’s course and it was time for a change.

Like so many others who resist change, I couldn’t quite get myself to do it.  I logged onto my blog in June while I was on my summer hiatus, thought about how I could make a few tweaks, and immediately closed it up again.  I made up some excuses for not doing it at that time.  “The dog needed a walk!”  Or, “Clark was hungry (when isn’t he) and I needed to make him a sammie… (Of course, I kid).

The stalling went on for months.  Most of summer, actually.  In the back of my mind, I knew that I was working with a retired theme and that if I actually changed it, I would lose the option to revert it back again.  That thought terrified me.  One press of the button and Poof!…everything I was accustomed to at my WordPress home would be lost for good.  My beloved blog would look completely different to me.   No more pink wallpaper.  No more clip art header.  It was like saying goodbye to one of my babies.  Soooooo unnecessary!

But, it was necessary.  It was a change that was desperately needed.  Last spring I had an awakening regarding the design of my blog.  I suddenly felt like the homeowner on the block that still had the 60’s themed home – Shag carpeting, avocado appliances and big, flowery wallpaper.  Plastic laminated counters and cabinets, formica kitchen table and chairs.  (Groovy!)  It was still very comfy and everything worked fine, but it was as if I was stuck in a time warp.  (For my insensitivity with the time warp comment, I apologize to all of you change resisters who may still be stuck 5 decades in the past.)

So, I bit the bullet and convinced myself that change COULD be good.  I wasn’t going to fear it.  I knew that with change and by its very definition, it was going to mean separating and departure from the past.  While change can bring on a feeling of loss of control and excessive uncertainty, I knew that with a well thought out plan and clear, simple guidelines, I would still be in charge.  I could conquer my fear and resistance to change!!  Departing from the past and looking forward to something new could be exciting!!  After all, we do it every single year, several times, when the seasons change.  And, we tend to love it!

Yes, it’s cool outside today.  Fall is here.  My favorite season.  The air is crisp and fresh.  It’s more enjoyable to be outdoors.  Soon, mother nature will be showing off her gorgeous array of autumn hues.  We’ll walk out our front doors to the beauty of blanketed, leaf covered lawns, streets and parks.  We’ll soon start to dig out our favorite warm sweaters and jackets from the seasonal clothes we carefully stow away in the spring.  We’ll put away our shorts and pull out our favorite, comfy jeans.  And, closed towed shoes and fashion boots.  The sun will gradually begin to greet us a little bit later each morning and say goodbye earlier each evening.  And, that’s ok.  Change can be good!  It can greet us with a big, friendly, warm familiar feeling.  It can also tease us with a feeling of something exciting and new in the air.

If you haven’t already done so, take a peek at my main blog page, Being Margaret,  here – scroll through it, make yourself at home and let me know how you like (or not) the change.

Perhaps there’s a change in store for your life just lurking around the corner.  Embrace it.  It just might be the most exciting thing you’ve experienced in a while.

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Hello September!

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Labor Day Weekend!

Is there anything better than waking up on a Friday?!  Nothing makes us happier than knowing that the weekend is about to start. Add to that the fact that it’s a three-day holiday weekend and you experience the utter feeling of complete joy.

Three days with family.  Or, friends.  Or doing whatever your little heart desires.

Whether it be three full days of doing absolutely nothing or filling each minute up with bustling activity, I’m wishing you all a  Happy Labor Day Weekend!!


Me?  I’ll be busy with family

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and, friends

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and, maybe a little food.

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And, our adorable 9 month old puppy, Duncan!

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( man, does he lovvveeee hanging out with us 24/7!! )

I’ll be sneaking some time in between all of that F.U.N. to make some new updates, a few changes and a tweak here and there to my blog, Being Margaret!  

Have a fabulous weekend!  Enjoy what may be the last few moments of summer.  And, stay tuned for a new look and new blog posts from me next week.


Time for change


The Boss!

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Forty years ago today, Bruce gave us THIS, and rock’n’roll has never been the same.

Do you know the Boss?  If not, you are missing out on what generations of Americans and Springsteen fans all over the world consider to be one of the greatest gifts ever to Rock’n’Roll.

I was in high school when his iconic album ‘Born to Run’  dropped.  I remember it like it was yesterday.  My brother’s were big Springsteen fans.  My sister’s, too.  My friends and most of my peers loved this rocker – who affectionately was known to all as “the Boss.”  A nickname which originated when a young Springsteen, playing clubs with a band in the 1960s, took on the task of collecting the band’s nightly pay and distributing it amongst his band mates.  

Springsteen comes from New Jersey.   Born into a working class family, he has cultivated an image as a working class man, despite his enormous wealth. Even after finding fortune, Bruce still makes a point to do a lot of charity work and raises awareness for those less fortunate than himself.  He never lost touch with his humble beginnings and has given back so much to his community.  Most often, anonymously

His rock ‘n roll beginnings can be traced as far back as 1966 – what some fans refer to as “brucelegs.”  But it was in 1975 when Springsteen had his breakthrough and exploded onto the mainstream rock scene when his album ‘Born To Run’ was released.  About a year before that time, Jon Landau, a Rolling Stone music critic, said that he “saw rock ‘n roll future, and its name is Bruce Springsteen.” 

Springsteen could arguably be considered America’s most premier and prolific songwriter.  His music is often a written reflection of life through working class eyes and poetry set to music describing growing up in the 70’s.  As anyone who has been to a Springsteen concert can attest to, Bruce and the E Street Band also put on a hell of a show! Often lasting over 3 hours.

Forty years to the day after its release, Born to Run is still considered Springsteen’s masterpiece. It perfectly captures the voices of American youth and rebellion in the mid 1970s.  It catapulted the 24-year-old into stardom  — and he continues to pack sold-out stadiums today with the same enthusiasm and unbridled energy he served up when he was just starting out.

The Boss!  – A true iconic American musician.

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