Getting back to painting and doing more aerial
Dates: 2017-11-12 to 2017-11-24
In between work, aerials and going to Tucson, I’ve found small pockets of time to paint with acrylics again.
I also finally bought a Bob Ross master oil paint set! Time to get started with one of his famous videos. Excited to try out oil paints.
A couple of weeks ago I managed to convince Luis and Rachel to try out an intro class to aerial on a Sunday morning! So proud of how much work they put into it:
All Souls Procession
Luis and I looking scary for All Souls Procession 2017 in Tucson:
I had pictures with me of three of my grandparents. Others had an entire collage of friends, family members and pets:
Tucson Village Farm and more folklórico!
Dates: 2017-03-18 to 2017-03-19
This weekend Erin and I went for a plant sale at Tucson Village Farm, a wonderful project close to the Farmers Market on St Philip’s plaza. Erin bought cacti from a very young farmer and I got some chile and eggplants with me to the farm on 5th St.
After that, Luis had a dance performance at the International School of Tucson. Some of the poses were quite dramatic!
And for lack of male dancers, Luis and Marvin had to dance with more than one partner, to everybody’s amazement and amusement.
The bailarinas beautiful as always:
Oh and the week before that Luis and I went to Arcosanti that I had not seen since Erin took me there a year ago. A word of advice for the future: bring food or make sure to be there before 1.30pm when the restaurant closes!
I’m trying out Instagram as instantkaren !
El cumpleaños del abuelo!
Dates: 2017-02-18 to 2017-02-19
Quick weekend excursion to Hermosillo for the birthday of Luis’ grandfather. After a long trip through pouring rain and soul-twisting winds, poor Luis had to endure a veggie burger at Señor Sol*:
*My friend Erin had prepared me this time with a list of vegetarian places in
Hermosillo (oh yes, they do exist), so that I would feel less like an
Later that Saturday, en casa de los abuelos, vegetables were harder to find,
but one of the tías actually made a salad just for me.
Below, some photos from when grandpa opened up presents, and later on, when the aunties took to the guitars and got everybody singing:
Back in Tempe making penis bread!
Dates: 2017-01-04 to 2017-01-05
It’s that time of the year… we have 3 aquarius ladies in the house now, so that called for celebration. This Saturday we collected firewood, music and good people on the front terrace and roasted some penis bread! From a very innocent Danish tradition (called snobrød), it quickly turned into something more wild last year, and so we decided to repeat the success this year with even more dough!
Even Cosmo wanted to come out and say hello!
I also finally let go of a painting that I finished before Christmas. It somehow felt right to leave it with Scott, so it’s now in Tucson:
Inspired by Danish artist and writer Hans Sherfig.
Running and sand-sliding in Las Cruces, NM
Dates: 2016-11-13 to 2016-11-20
Arizona turned out to be a republican state overall after the elections on November 8, but as in all of America, the people are split like rarely seen before. This is causing much fear, especially in minority groups such as gays/lesbian/queer/trans people and in groups that have suffered from racial discrimination. Now, more than before the election results came in, it’s time to stand together for these minorities, as well as for the planet. Now is the time for revolution as said lately by Bernie Sanders in an interview.
In Phoenix there have been several gatherings in the street, of which I joined one in front of the state capital with Luis, Celina and her friend Chris, after which we felt a bit better:
I can’t vote here, but I can show my standpoint.
Dates: 2016-11-5 to 2016-11-6
Time to get out of the city and see some rocks! Luis and I headed for the Chiricahua National Monument, also called “Wonderland of Rocks”, with a short stop in Coronado National Memorial for the Borderlands festival, celebrating the mix of Mexican and American culture at the border:
From there it was a 1.5 hour drive to the park entrance, with not much but cows to look at. And then, unexpectedly, a hawk (we believe) with a snake in its claws! I tried to take a photo from a distance, but it was better seen with binoculars:
Arriving at the park, the sun was already down behind the steep mountain sides so we went straight to making dinner and setting up the tent. The campsite we had reserved for the night was really well maintained, and my only fear (of black bears) was soon forgotten. On the following Sunday morning, we had a slow and warm breakfast before getting ready to explore the park.
We then went up the mountains in Coco in order to walk through the Echo Canyon. Turned out we chose wisely, as the views confirmed by taking away our breath:
It seems like someone just had a lot of fun with the rocks but suddenly got tired of the toys and left behind half-finished creations. Like the mushroom:
Or the snail:
Or a barstool:
Or just impossible balancing rocks:
Driving down from Echo Canyon, the canyon walls also holds secrets, like these “dinosaur legs”:
Or the “Captain”, as someone actually named it:
These mountains are worth the drive, and it’s easy to see why the Chiricahua tribe had one of their strongholds here, in a natural fortress.
Carving pumpkins for halloween with Amee and Lupe!
They died after a couple of days in the sun…
Doing lots of aerial with Holly and the gang!
På tur med mor og far!
Dates: 2016-10-16 to 2016-10-20
Hieroglyphs and piñatas
Dates: 2016-10-1 to 2016-10-9
After a weekend with Luis in Mexico and a birthday-party for a very happy Rachel…
… Luis and I went to check out the Hieroglyph Trail as a kind of preparation for my parents coming the week after. We came well prepared, with Amees book to guide us through the wilderness:
The trail is short (2.9 miles loop), but we were on a tight schedule and almost giving up, when suddenly - the rocks were covered in drawings!
Ok, maybe it’s hard to see them on this photo, but look at this then:
Note: The name of this trail comes from European settlers that found the carvings of ancient Hohokam Indians and concluded that Egyptians must have been here…
Date: 2016-08 to 2016-08-28
Two weekends ago it was the opening night of my 2.5-person tent from Walmart:
Luis and I drove up to Clint’s Well Campground, and we were not bothered by rain or wild black bears or mosquitos, but we did hear some strange animals at night, one of which might have been an Elk as other campers suggested. The campground is FREE which is amazing when considering the table with benches and fireplace assigned to each spot, not to mention the beautiful forest surrounding the site. Our only problem was that all potential firewood was wet, but our neighbors were quick to help with supplies to get a small fire started. And now we know what to bring for next time!
The next day we drove down to Fossil Creek, a drive that should take half an hour according to the map. However, the entrance we intended to take was closed off and we had to take a long way around to the western entrance on a road less suited for my low-hanging Prius. Lesson learned to call in advance or study the map a bit better…
The water was all worth it though… crystal clear and not too freezing:
We even found a small playground.
And after some self-convincing, Luis also took the dive:
On the way back we stopped for dinner at Coffee & Tea in Camp Verde, and that was the end of a rather beautiful weekend.
The next weekend we decided to check out Saguaro National Park, on the westside of Tucson. Pictures coming up!
Mexico is calling!
Date: 2016-06-24 to 2016-06-26
Paco (the cousin of Luis) had also just defended his master thesis so of course we had to go celebrate him. Also, I suddenly realized that I had not been to Mexico the entire year since I came, so Luis and I cut out time in June to go for 3 days.
We ended up staying with his grandparents who kindly woke us up at 9AM with birds placed right outside the window (they would be inside at night):
I adored the little patio in the back where all kinds of plants for the kitchen are growing, including a big papaya tree:
Luis’ grandfather, Carlos (or tata Carlos), worked as a chief investigator in the police force in the area, so he knows a lot about the history of Nothern Mexico, including that of the native Americans.
After having arrived Friday in Coco, we drove to Kino beach on Saturday:
The island is Isla Tiburón. For both of us it was a good opportunity to be in contact with the sea again and feel far away from the buzz of city life. And the coconuts with shrimp and salsa where not bad either…
This coastal area used to be inhabited and ruled by the Seri people, who now stay mostly on Isla Tiburón. One of them became very famous, el Coyote-Iguana. On top of being a charming and handsome man:
He also has a legend attached to him, according to which he stole a young woman from a family living in Guaymas further South as she was traveling towards Hermosillo with other family members. When the seris attacked the caravan, all were killed except Lola, daughter of a Mexican mother and a Spanish father. The tribe never accepted her for being white and she had to see her first son killed by the tribe members after the death of Coyote-Iguana. But she kept on fighting and her 2nd son managed to take leadership of the tribe in the end. See the full story here: [http://sonorenseviajero.blogspot.be/2012/11/la-leyenda-de-coyote-iguana-y-lola.html].
Anyway, Paco took us downtown where artists in Hermosillo have been shining up the streets recently, among other things - with an iguana and a coyote on the same painting:
We also got to jam a bit with Paco who had rythms for us to learn on the cajón. We got Pacos father to join us on egg shakers, and even Orión wanted very badly to join us:
The boy comes to visit me!
Dates: 2016-05-26 to 2016-06-09
A couple of weeks ago, Luis and I went to Sonoita, mostly because we had never been there and needed to get out of Tucson while still being able to work from a cafe with internet. But also because we liked the name of it. Not much to tell about Sonoita; 1 souvenir shop (that was closed when we came), 1 restaurant and a couple of cafes. But we still made an adventure out of it!
Desert botanical garden and Moringa trees
After coming back from a conference in Charlottesville, Virginia, I went with Luis to the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix. Now is a good time to go, 1: because it’s not too hot yet and 2: because most of the cacti are flowering. Cactus flowers are so intense visually, as if the plants are trying to compensate for their otherwise stern and dry look:
We spent a long time in the park, especially in the ‘edible garden’ section and the area with restorations of native american housings.
A week after that, I came down to Tucson and we got to meet Doctor Sam!:
(this is actually a more recent photo from April 30 - were at a showcase of solar ovens on a CLOUDY day.) Anyway, he runs a small eco-village north of Tucson where he grows Moringa trees, and he was offering to teach the benefits of Moringa trees on meetup.com. For $10 you could even leave the village with a baby Moringa! I had heard a little bit about the extraodinary benefits of eating Moringa, but Dr Sam lifted Moringa up to a near-holy status, explaining all the scientifically proven benefits and those suggested. First of all, you can eat everything from the Moringa, from roots to leaves to flowers to pods. Among other things, it gives energy, helps blood circulation and is an excellent aphrodisiac! It’s a tropical tree that grows fast as can be seen from these 1-month old Moringas that he took us to see in the greenhouse:
Dr Sam is a very active guy, also working with aquaponic systems and off-the-grid architecture op top of running a dinosaur museum that should be particularly good for children.
Tanque Verde and dancing
The closest we get to a beach in Arizona:
Driving up the mountain from Tucson for about 40 min, you can arrive at Tanque Verde - a series of small ponds created by rain water running down the mountain. I was here 2.5 years ago in fall when the water level is higher (see my old homepage). This time I came with Luis and Rosa to hang out and have brunch on the rocks:
We also dived into the cold water and saw a turtle!
The day before, Luis was dancing with the folklórico group in an international school and I tagged along as the photographer/cheerleader:
A very nice and Tucson-like weekend!
In Denmark for christmas
Dates: 2015-12-21 to 2016-01-12
Ice and hot springs
Dates: 2015-11-30 to 2015-12-7
Meeting a celebrity
Doesn’t happen to me very often. But sitting in Cafe Passé on 4th ave doing our python training, it happened to me and Luis. We saw and spoke to the keyboard player (and vocal) of Cafe Tacvba!! For those who don’t know Cafe Tacvba, it’s a Mexican band that has been around for some 20 years and is a bit hard to describe because their music combines rock with old folkloric traditions of Mexico, jazz and other styles. Actually we knew that these people might be in town, since we already had the tickets to go see their show the next day, but we did no expect them to walk in quietly and start looking at records in the back of the cafe. Emmanuel (“meme” the keyboard player) agreed to have a picture taken of the three of us, and was even so nice to suggest that we go outside where the lighting was better.
Memorable day and the concert on the following day was a burst of pure happiness.
Just another weekend in the desert
Back in November, I dragged Luis out in the wilderness to help Sky Island Alliance do their spring assessment. The spring was called Ojo Blanco and it’s so far out, that we had to hike some hours through the bushes to get there, because no path exists.
The spring turned out to be a pretty little square, seen here with our happy guide Sami in front:
After lunch, we took notes on the spring and surrounding vegetation+animals.
The weather was good for hiking and on the way back, we took another route, on top of the rocky hills, with an amazing view of the Sky Islands.
The next day was All Souls Procession in Tucson - this time I got to experience it as part of the audience, which was completely different.
Time to get out of the city! Luis and I took Coco (the Prius) for a spin this weekend to visit Bisbee, about 2hrs drive South East of Tucson. It’s starting to get to me, this driving in the desert. Makes it so easy for the mind to forget about the stress of the week and zone out…
A former mining town, and now supposedly full of cowboys and hippies, I did NOT expect to find a Mariachi Festival in the main square!
People in Bisbee were so friendly, that I had a strange feeling of knowing them but not remembering their names. The town is full of small shops and independent restaurants (we had lunch at a vegan mexican one called Poco!), that one saturday evening easily slipped away. Actually, Bisbee was so cute and charming that we had to spend the night there, which luckily was still possible at the Silver King Hotel, just in time for the Saturday concert of blues/psychedelic/jazz.
Goodbye Bisbee, I hope to come back soon! And go on that ghost tour…
My first Halloween
I was all ready with mandarins wrapped in candy (yes, these American kids will have to accept the fruit, an idea I got by my mom btw.), but in the end I only got rid of half of them. Guess my neighborhood is too close to campus to contain a lot of families with small kids. But I think I got to see some of my neighbors!
Housewarming! Having finished the painting of the house (ok, except the ceiling, but who will notice), I invited my new friends to a Lunch with Limes! That resulted in a cozy Sunday afternoon with a curious mix of astronomers and couchsurfers. The weather now in Tempe is perfect to sit outside in the shade, and focusing our attention on the birds around, we almost forgot about the mosquitos.
And, without having asked for it, my guests brought me two gifts, a gnome (nisse in Danish), that is now guarding the kitchen next to the fire alarm, and a mini-blender!
Danskere all over Arizona
Super Blood Moon and margaritas
So this past Sunday, not only was the fullmoon closest to the Earth in its orbit (supermoon), it was also red from being in the shadow of the Earth (blood) leading to a most spectacular sight.
However, I am not sure which part of the night I enjoyed the most - squinting at the moon or hanging out on the roof in good company and with chili-salted margaritas.