Saturday, May 30, 2009

Cuddly cat: a getting-to-know-you moment

Flicker is not yet really affectionate--except at 3:00 a.m. when one of us has to get up to use the facilities. Then she hops off the bed, trots with the wee-hours (heh) mommie down the hall to the bathroom, and climbs in her lap. She purrs for a while and gets her neck scratched, and then we say, "Um . . . it's time to get down now."

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Helen Hanson passed away

Our longtime neighbor on 48th Street, Helen Hanson, passed away earlier this month. Here is the obituary from the Monitor.

Helen Virginia (Boardman) Hanson, 91, passed away peacefully on May 16, 2009, at her home at Kingston Residence Assisted Living-Memory Care in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

The youngest of three children, she was born in Barron, Wisconsin on January 31, 1918, to Elisabeth “Bessie” Luella (Evans) and Raymond Coit Boardman. As a child, Helen loved school and dreamt of becoming a doctor.  After graduating from high school at the age of 16, she attended college and received her BSN and MSN from the University of Minnesota School of Nursing. She began her nursing career at Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis.

Helen met Raymond Hanson when he moved into her boarding house and they were married on June 25, 1942. Ray went overseas shortly thereafter to serve as a photographer in the Army Air Corps during World War II. After the war, Ray returned to his position at Honeywell until he was stricken with Polio in 1948 along with daughter, Diane. With Helen’s background in nursing, they couldn’t have been in better hands.

In 1950, Helen and Ray moved their family from Minnesota to New Mexico after Ray accepted a position with the Los Alamos Scientific Laboratory (LASL) in GMX-4.  Helen, who was afraid of heights, had a harrowing trip up the main road to Los Alamos and declared that once she got up there she was NEVER coming down! Together, Helen and Ray settled into a government duplex and raised their four children. The highlight of those years was when the family spent a month each summer traveling in their 1956 GMC Carryall; camping, kayaking, fishing, horseback riding and hiking in breathtaking areas of the western United States.

Helen returned to work in 1956 as the division secretary in Cryogenics at LASL.  In 1962, the family purchased a home on six acres in Ranchitos, north of EspaƱola. After many years of commuting to Los Alamos to work, Helen returned to her first love, nursing, and worked as an OB nurse at the local EspaƱola Hospital until her retirement.

The trip of a lifetime for Helen and Ray, as well as their two youngest children John and Susan, came in 1966 when Ray accepted an 18-month long teaching position in Kanpur, India at the Indian Institute of Technology.  Their travels to and from India took them around the world.

An avid duplicate bridge player, Helen also enjoyed her volunteer work with the American Red Cross and  Planned Parenthood. She was a voracious reader who especially enjoyed murder mysteries, an accomplished knitter, a huge baseball fan, and always had a special connection with dogs. The words “feisty” and “fiercely independent” will always be attached to Helen’s memory. The influence she had on her family and friends will be long remembered.

Helen is predeceased by her husband, Raymond Hanson in 1989; her daughter Maribeth Louise Prager in 1979; her parents; her brother Howard Coit Boardman; and her sister Marian Elisabeth Marx.

She is survived by her daughter Diane Elisabeth DeMillo-Boissevain (Jan) of Boulder, Colorado; son John Scott Hanson (Carol) of Albuquerque; and daughter Susan Ann Reynolds-Trivisonno (Nick) of Charlotte, North Carolina.  Helen is also survived by her grandchildren:  Mark Prager of Waco, Texas; Theodore Reynolds of Charlotte, North Carolina; Alan DeMillo of Boulder, Colorado; Gina DeMillo-Wagner (Kris) of Erie, Colorado; Andrew DeMillo (Hilary) of Little Rock, Arkansas; Julie Martin of  Los Gatos, California; Amanda Hanson of Gulfport, Florida; and David Hanson of Albuquerque; as well as her great-granddaughter: Bronwynn Elisabeth Wagner of Erie, Colorado.

To honor Helen’s wishes, there will be no service. Her ashes will be scattered in the Jemez Caldera at the same location she cast her husband’s ashes 20 years ago. Donations may be made in her memory to the Humane Society of your choice.



Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Kitchen lust

Chuckbert's and Mr. Bears' kitchen is wonderful. I hugged the KitchenAid refrigerator. I kissed the KitchenAid gas range. I fondled the KitchenAid dishwasher.

Here is Chuckbert by the range and microwave.

Here is Mr. Bears making pancakes in his new Virgin of Guadalupe apron.

Monday, May 18, 2009

P-Doobie and Michele take a vacation together!

Michele and I had a blast on our vacation to San Diego and Escondido last week. 

Michele surprised me last year with tickets to Madama Butterfly, starring my ultimate hug-honey (after Michele and Natalie Dessay), Patricia Racette, who is an amazing singer and actress; I've been following her career since she debuted at Santa Fe as Emmeline in 1996. We had great seats, and the performance was wonderful (review here). I was emotionally drained at the end. 

Carlo Ventre as Pinkerton That Dope and Pat Racette as Cio-Cio-San

Our hotel was downtown in the Gaslamp District and right around the corner from the opera. It's luxurious enough that you feel pampered, and affordable enough that you don't feel you need to subsist on beef jerky and diet Pepsi from the Conoco station up the street. 

We also strolled around Hillcrest and went to the Ace Hardware Store, which is the coolest hardware store on the planet, and to the Obelisk Bookstore. The Obelisk seems to be scrapping along. Support your local independent bookstores!

We bought bucket hats at the Village Hat Shop so we wouldn't burn our noses and ears.

Two stylin' babes

We also went to Balboa Park and enjoyed the flowers, trees, butterflies, and photographs by Lou Stoumen and Edward Steichen at the Museum of Photographic Arts.

Times Square in the Rain, by Lou Stoumen

Michele's patient butterfly

A yellow columbine in the park

Tree trunk

After "a pleasant walk, a pleasant talk / along the briny beach" in La Jolla, we went to D. G. Wills Books, where I saw this label on a shelf.


Further comment is superfluous.

Our visit with Chuckbert and Mr. Bears was a delight. We drove to Ramona and Julian and enjoyed shopping for bread, having a peaceful lunch in the garden of a converted cottage, eating pie, and poking around the shops. 

We also got to help celebrate Karl's birthday with the traditional homemade mac-n-cheese and brownies. Mmmmmmmm!

On Saturday we went to La Jolla for a little gallery hopping. We went to the Martin Lawrence Gallery. And There. They. Were. Lithographs by Robert Deyber. We spent lots of time talking with Teresa the Curator. Then we walked around La Jolla. I thought a lot about the lithographs. Then we went back. I bought "Bag of Tricks." 

A rebus

Ike was glad to see us when we got back yesterday. Flicker said, "Oh. You were away?"