Remember back in November….

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So back in November I went on a really cool trip to Mexico.

Since then I’ve been a little busy.

Which means that until last Thursday I had not even touched any of the pictures I took.  So here are a few of my favorites so far.

Puebla Street Scene

Street scene in Puebla Mexico

Pulque Aguamiel Extraction Expert

Aguamiel extraction specialist at a working Pulque producing hacienda.

Pulque Hacienda Views

Fields of corn & maguey surrounding the hacienda with a backdrop of fantastic scenery.

AKA Speedy G

My friend for the week, his real name was Speedy Gonzales but he had a big dog personality stuffed into a little dog so I re-named him Zander and would have taken him home.

Volcano View

View of the distant volcano out our back yard.

One of many church spires around the area.

Walkway surrounding the entry courtyard on our Hacienda tour. Fantastic arches & cobble stones.

An example of some beautiful iron-work at the Hacienda

Maturing Maguey Plan

The Maguey plant when left to itself will send up a flowering stalk, I wish we had seen one in bloom.

Hacienda Entrance

First entrance into the walled Hacienda. Cobblestones, brickwork, artisan woodworking & maguey plants.

Inside the Pulque Hacienda View

View of the surrounding countryside from inside the walls of the Pulque Hacienda

Barrells of Pulque

Pulque is briefly stored in barrels before being delivered to various eateries & pulque bars. Corked with some sort of cane to help it breathe and not blow up in the barrels.

Scenery en route to Hacienda

Surrounding scenery en route to the Pulque Hacienda. Beautiful countryside.

Streets of Puebla Mexico

I believe this was the view of a street in Puebla from our first day… but it could have been Tlaxcala where we tried to catch the mystery bus.

PS. I fully intend to organize things into a more coherent post.  Maybe by day, maybe by place, maybe by recipe… hard to say.  🙂

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New As Illustrated by Orn

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New Illustration (1 of 1)

Hey, whats up?  Whats new?  Isn’t that what you say to friends?  So looking backward at the new things I experienced in 2012 here is what New means to me.  In particular what was new in 2012.

Lots of new music –  A Silent Films & the Band Barcelona were the saving grace to the Blue October Concert my sister and I attended, these two really great bands were brand new to me and I promptly went home and downloaded their albums.  Rebecca Ferguson is my girl crush du jour, an amazing voice that makes me think maybe Aretha Franklin and Macy Grey had a baby who listened to a lot of Tracy Chapman.  I also fell in love with Gotye… and I don’t mean the one pop song that saturated every radiostation… I mean the guy’s whole stinking catalog.  Then watching him perform live at McMenamins Edgefield on the Lawn with a Ruby Red in hand my family around me watching some of the coolest original graphic art work paired with his music sealed the deal.  Oh, and how on earth could I leave out my little Honey Honey Band?  With lyrics to their new song Thin Line “‘Cause I want whiskey when I’m sick, And a man when I’m well, But it’s nice to have them both sometimes, When I feel like raising hell” which resounded in a big way with this lil’ whiskey lovin’ girl.

New Experiences – The biggest of which was the trip to Mexico.  On a whim I signed up for a week-long cooking class deep in Mexico… on my own!  On the way down I spent the day in Houston, which was not long enough to see all Huston… but was enough time for me to get stuck in the barren and scorched patch of dirt they call a park.  I am sorry Texas people… but y’all don’t know what a park is till you’ve been to Oregon.  Parks have green in them, and not just at the golf course.  Mexico was a learning experience every single day, from new cooking skills, to new ways to think about food, to learning history, soaking in the scenery, and meeting new people.  I also got to drink Pulque on a hacienda tour while in Mexico and toured the underground pyramid in Cholula.  Two very uniquely new experiences.

New Four Legged Friends – Looking back on my facebook activity profile I’ve noticed a strong trend towards the dog-centric aspect of my life. From our very long babysitting of Buddy & Holly the Beagle Babies, to mega wrestling matches with Burton & Buddy, loudmouth contests with Haus, to spa weekends with sweet miss Daisy, to a chaotic weekend with Kona, the last year introduced us to lots of new dog-friends and gave my carpet a run for its money.  Saffy and I also completed basic obedience training for the second time with our new teacher Dina of Surf City Dog Training and it made a huge difference.  Next year I hope to do level 2 training with Dina and plan more dog-days where Saffy and I just do things that are fun for her… hikes, swims, beach, dog park visits.

New Skills – Once again my Mexico experience weighs in heavily with beefed up skills in the kitchen including but not limited to: stuffing chiles, making tortillas, de-stickering Nopales pads, and having a better grasp on making Mexican sauces and cooking beans.  I think overall it taught me more about using ingredients I’m familiar with in a completely new way, and that in itself has been very fun.  Also in the culinary department is more experience cooking for friends with dietary restrictions.  And since I already consider cooking for my friends a special way of saying “I Love You”, I now feel I can say it louder by feeding them things that dont give them tummy troubles.  In the studio its hard to say one new skill I learned, but with the help of some new tools my existing skills have improved.  I think my finished jewelery is starting to look like the real thing!  Er… most of the time!  And personally I made it a goal to schedule time with my friends and only missed a couple play-dates due to ill-timed colds & coughs.  It has been really wonderful getting to connect with my friends and to at least let them know I WANT to spend time with them.  Sounds silly, but it became a very important part of my year and a new habit I will try to hang on to.

There were so many other things that were new to Orn-land this last year and I am so happy to look back on my calendars and remember the fun times the travel and all the NEW that filled my hours.  I am already plotting and planning for what New things I can do in 2013!

How about you?  What did you do that was new to you?  Do you have plans to do something new in 2013?