You’ll Be Enchanted by All New Mexico Offers!

New Mexico is The Land of Enchantment.  It earned this nickname because of its scenic beauty and rich history.  New Mexico has beautiful mountains, forests and deserts.  It is home to the largest cave system in the world, the world’s largest white sand desert, and country’s oldest apple orchard.🍎  It was there before the Pilgrims arrived!

New Mexico has the oldest capital city in the United States and the only round capital building in the world.  Home to 23 Tribal Nations and some of the largest international fiestas  ~ New Mexico is a place full of wonders to discover and explore.

Come on!  Let’s check out the landscape.  The Rocky Mountains end in northern New Mexico.  Wheeler Peak rises 13,161 feet into the sky. That’s more than two times as tall as Mount Washington.  Carlsbad Caverns in the southeast is a series of over 119 caves.  One of them, The Big Room, is longer than 10 football fields and over 22 stories high.  The caverns are home to one of the world’s largest bat colonies ~ 350,000 bats!  Imagine the amount of mosquitos they eat every night!

You know what is white and just right for sledding?  The white sands found in the Chihuahuan Desert in White Sands National Park.  Covering over 275 square miles, it is the largest gypsum dune field in the In the past, this desert was once Lake Otero and home to Ancient Camels, American Lions, Ground Sloths, Mammoths and Dire Wolves.  You can see their fossilized track ways in this natural wonder in the southwestern part of the state.

If you want some water fun, head to the middle of the state.  There you’ll find the Rio Grande River.  You can choose any type of rafting trip, from the white water racecourse in Taos Box to a mellow float along the Orilla Verde section.  Enjoy the water birds and eagles, and perhaps you’ll even spot a bighorn sheep looking down on you as you paddle by.

Looking for some history?  The dwellings preserved Bandelier National Monument were once occupied by the ancestors of the present day Pueblo Indians and provide evidence that people have lived there for over 10,000 years.  Nineteen different Pueblo tribes live in New Mexico.  Their world famous adobe homes are multistory buildings made from stone and adobe clay.  Adobe clay is a mixture of water, dirt and straw.  Many of the original Pueblo towns were built right into the sides of cliffs.  They used ladders to climb from one level to another.

The Taos Pueblo is the oldest, continuously inhabited community in North America.  It has been lived in for 1000 years.  Currently ii houses 4,500 residents.  Those who live in the Taos Pueblo, choose to live without running water or electricity as a way to preserve their native culture and beliefs.

Georgia O’Keeffe did much to share the culture of New Mexico with the world as well.  When she died at the age of 98 in Santa Fe, she was considered one of the most influential and famous female artists in American history.  She loved the changing color of New Mexico’s desert landscape. They provided her with endless inspiration.  She painted hills, cliffs and rivers.  She look everywhere for space and color and light.  Cerro Pedernal in the Jemez Mountains was one of her favorite things to paint.  She said, “It’s my private mountain.  It belongs to me.  God told me if I painted it enough, I could have it.”

New Mexico is a state full of unique and amazing fiestas.  Travel to Lovington for the World’s Greatest Lizard Race.  Only lizard owners 16 and younger can enter.  From there go to Albuquerque to the world’s largest international hot air balloon fiesta. In this 9-day festival, over 1000 balloons representing fifty different countries take to the sky flying at around 12,000 feet in the air.  From there head the Fiestas de Santa Fe, an annual celebration for the past 300 years.  It opens with the burning of Zozobra – Old Man Gloom – that symbolizes the elimination of worries and problems for all in attendance.  Once the statue is gone, the fiesta begins full of mariachi performances, a children’s pet parade and a mass at the local cathedral.  And lastly, why not go to The Whole Enchilada Fiesta in Las Cruces.  A team of cooks use 750 pounds of ground corn, 175 gallons of vegetable oil, 75 gallons of red chili sauce, 75 pounds of cheese and 50 pounds of chopped onions to create the world’s largest enchilada.  It is so big that the 70,000 visitors to the 3-day fiesta all get a piece! Now that’s an enchilada!

New Mexico is the only state with an Official Question on its state symbol list.  “Red or Green?” is asked anytime you are serve food in New Mexico and refers to the type of sauce you’d like to come with your meal.  New Mexico is the country’s leading producer of chili peppers.  🌶 Over 200 varieties are grown.  Much of the peppers are dried and ground in chili powder used around the world.

Found in the southwestern region of the United States, New Mexico is full of wonders. From Four Corners Navajo Tribal Park in the northwestern corner of the state – the only place your can be in four states at one time  – to Roswell UFO Museum in southeastern corner where you can decide for yourself if aliens crash-landed there New Mexico has something for everyone and a little bit more.  Come and find the enchantment of New Mexico! ☀️🏜⛰






New Mexico State Symbols – in addition to The Official State Question, New Mexico has 35 state symbols.  Here are some I thought you’d be interested in knowing

  • State Bird – The Greater Roadrunner
  • State Flower – the Yucca
  • State Tree – the Pinon Pine
  • State Mammal – Black Bear
  • State Cookie – Biscochito



The original bear who inspired the creation of Smokey Bear was saved from a wildfire in New Mexico over 75 years ago.













Table set with a place for everyone – even if it’s super crowded.

Heat and warmth on cold fall days

Aunts, uncles and cousins who join together to celebrate

Nature that brings us nights and days to enjoy

Kids who come to school each day and promise to make the world a better place

Family and friends who add joy to my days

Understanding and thoughtfulness to help the world become a kinder place

Loving care to share with those who could use some help

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.  I feel grateful for all I have.  I’ve been lucky to have my family gather together on that day every year of my life.  Each year I’ve gathered with grandparents, aunts, uncles, parents, sister, daughters, son-in-laws, grandchildren and cousins!  Lots of cousins – they are the best.

What do you think is the best part of Thanksgiving?

Practice Makes Progress

This year I decided that I would try having my own blog.  I thought that maybe I’d explore ideas about how our school was transforming under new leadership.  I thought about sharing books with families or posting themed collections of books that could bring classroom discussions home if families chose to do that .  I thought that perhaps I would share resources to grow understanding about various social issues.  I do some of that in the classroom, but am sensitive of differing family values and choices.  How much should I talk about the refugee crisis or poverty or the Sustainable Development Goals adopted by the UN?  I wanted to share and allow families to make choices.

That was my thinking in August, but then I got cold feet.  What I’ve discovered is that blogging makes me nervous – I think of things I could post all the time, but putting them down feels risky.  I’ve talked to Mrs. Wyman about what I am learning about this process.  She said I should just do it.

Today, on this second snow day in a row (UGH!), I read this post on a teacher’s blog that I follow.  It’s about teachers as learners – in this case these teachers are learning about blogging.  At the end of the post, Megan, a teacher in this project, pretty much described everything I’ve been feeling.  She wrote about it eloquently and reminded me of what I need to do.  Practice!  Many years ago I told my cousin that I just couldn’t seem to capture light in my paintings.  “I just can’t do it,” I said.  He asked, “How many times did you try it?  Once, right?”  He was right, I had only tried once.  How silly of me.  Of course I couldn’t do it the first time.  Of course I’d need to practice and experiment over and over and over and then some.

I realize the same is true with blogging.  If I truly want to find my voice, I’ll have to explore, experiment and practice.  With time, perseverance and patience perhaps I’ll find my way.

Vacation Memories

My vacation was full of small ordinary moments. There was nothing anyone could call sensational but each one made me appreciate each part of my family. I had time at home with mom and dad and my sister Beth. We remembered the “the old days.” We laughed about Christmas night at Aunt Muriel’s and crazy days of runner sleds on the crusty snow in Grandpa’s back fields. My cousin dropped off poinsettias from the family greenhouse. There were five different colors – one for each of us. We brought the red-flecked one home.


The next day we got to see James. He was in awe of his Christmas morning abundance. I think he’s still getting used to everything that fills up his play spaces and room.


A few days later as many of the Eaves family as could make it, came over for feasting, a gift swap and an enormous bonfire.


My favorite vacation memory though, is playing Scrabble with my sister. We don’t see each other very often, but when we do we often fit in a game. My sister’s nearly three years older than me. There were no other kids around so if we wanted to play something more than Solitaire, we played with each other. My memory of things is that I NEVER WON anything. Whether we played Rummy 500, Chinese Checkers, Chess or Scrabble, Beth won. That was especially true when we played Scrabble!

But here we were playing and laughing and struggling to come up with the longest words possible. We’re “a little bit” competitive when we play. We don’t necessarily gloat but, hey, if you use all your letters in one word and get a fifty-point bonus, well it’s worth repeating. I didn’t win this time either, but the score was close. There were still comments of, “I don’t think you spell that word like that, Brenda”, but it was okay. I didn’t feel embarrassed anymore about not being able to spell or not knowing big words. I didn’t worry about not being able to claim the double or triple score spots. We were about equal in that. We just had fun. We had fun playing and we had fun remembering. And we agreed we’d play again in March when I saw her on her birthday. We’ll take out the pencil and paper we’ve been keeping score on for the last 35 years and we’ll play just for the fun of playing because now that’s what we do.