Toys for Curious Kids: Moon Rabbit & Out of the Blue

shutterstock_696775111It’s been a particularly stunning fall––I’m sure you’ve noticed––the leaves a glorious phoenix before the ashes of winter softly pull them to the earth. I remember growing up, when the sole purpose of autumn was getting all the neighborhood kids together to play in the backyard. Our goal? To make the biggest leaf pile imaginable. It was awesome. Or, as Shana Hack, owner of Moon Rabbit Toys in Santa Fe has a penchant for saying, “Awesome sauce!” But Midwestern winters could be brutal, and many an hour was also spent inside, creating galaxies with Tinker Toys, imaginary kingdoms with wooden blocks and trying to get the family together to play charades, or Trivial Pursuit, or an epic, sometimes week-long game of Risk.

I suspect I’m dating myself with the aforementioned board games, but it would appear that a new generation of board-game nerds is on the loose, as both Moon Rabbit and Out of the Blue Toys in Albuquerque note there’s a full-on resurgence in the popularity of board games in the past couple of years. Lisa Gallegos, manager at Out of the Blue for the past five years, thinks this might be a rebellion against or reaction to all of our solitary screen time, but perhaps it’s best not to overthink it, and just enjoy the “throwback family fun,” with new classics like Kingdomino, a twist on dominoes in which you are a lord seeking new lands for your kingdom, or strategic, long-play games like Ticket to Ride or Settlers of Catan. Shana advises looking for games that have won the prestigious German “Spiel des Jahres” (Game of the Year) award; a coveted honor that rewards excellence in design. Apparently the Germans don’t play around when it comes to board games.
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Art buzz – September 2016


For the ninth year, the Albuquerque Art Business Association honors area artists as Local Treasures who not only excel in the arts, but who have given back to their communities. Congratulations to this year’s nine exceptional artists: Joan Fenicle, Lyla Garcia, Phil Hulebak, Carol Maestas, Pat Marsello, Lee McVey, Marcia Sednek, Jorge Trisanti and Alice Webb. The awards ceremony on Sept. 4 at the Albuquerque Museum features keynote speaker Manuel Gonzalez, Albuquerque Poet Laureate. Receptions for the artists at sponsoring galleries will be held throughout the fall. The awards ceremony is free and open to the public, details at

Tamarind Institute hosts an opening reception for Garo Antreasian: Innovation in Print on Friday, Sept. 9, with the retrospective exhibition running through January 2017. This overview of Antreasian’s innovations as a printmaker will also feature a public conversation with Garo Antreasian, and a book signing for his recent book, Garo Z. Antreasian: Reflections on Life and Art. Look for a future collaboration with Tamarind’s new Master Printer Valpuri Remling, too. Antreasian’s contributions to printmaking techniques and standards, his experimentation with commercial materials and methods, and his role as Tamarind’s first technical director cannot be overemphasized. Tracing six decades of work, this exhibition will draw extensively from the Tamarind archive, photographs and letters from this period, and the artist’s own writings. Visit
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Journey into the New Year

JourneyNewYearWinter has always been a season of endings and beginnings, a threshold between the old year and the new that beckons us to turn our thoughts inward, contemplating what has been and what might be. Looking behind and looking ahead, we resemble the Roman god, Janus, January’s namesake. With two faces—one for either direction—Janus gazed perpetually on the past and on the future simultaneously.

In recent weeks, as the wheel of the year turns and autumn makes its cold, slow, quiet way toward winter, I’ve felt the irresistible desire to wrap myself in scarf and cardigan and mimic the season. So every day, pondering my place among the colorful collage of houses and the freshly fallen leaves, I walk a slow, serpentine route through the Southeast Heights, adding my steps to the undulating path that traces Ridgecrest’s grassy, tree-lined median, and traversing quiet miles by foot in the cold midmorning sun. Learning to love the names of the streets: Morningside, Graceland, Pershing, Montclaire. Learning to love the glimpses of other people’s lives. Admiring the occasional roadrunner. Continue reading

Jill Scott Momaday

August2015-LocalFlavorcoverFor two years in the early ’90s, Jill Scott Momaday drove one day a week to Jemez Springs to visit her Grandmother Natachee. “I’d bring a bag of groceries, a nice bottle of red wine, and it would be just me. We’d sit all day, telling stories.” She stares inside, remembering. “Getting to do this was very important to me. Grandmother Natachee was a really strong woman—maybe 5’2”, if that. She was a spitfire, a hellion! Everyone said I looked and acted just like Grandmother Natachee.” Jill laughs, adding, “Thank God I got the tall genes in the family!” Her grandfather, Jill says, was Kiowa; her grandmother was “mixed blood”: Cherokee, English and French; her father, author N. Scott Momaday is seven-eighths Kiowa. Her mother is German, Irish and Jewish. As the middle daughter of three (later four), Jill is the only one who took after the Kiowa ancestors; her sisters are light-skinned and blue-eyed. “I was searching,” she says, “learning who I was through my grandmother and my dad, connecting with old places, people and their way of life. Each time I drove away, I’d have tears streaming down my face, thinking, ‘I’ve got to preserve these stories that are so important to who I am.’”

Throughout their childhood, Jill’s grandparents and dad always told the sisters stories. “When we visited Kiowa relatives, we partook in the Gourd Dance, our sacred Kiowa ceremony, which falls on the 4th of July—that’s my birthday,” Jill says. “I was enmeshed in my Kiowa heritage from a very early time. When I’d dance in that arena, in the park—and it’s hot in July in Oklahoma!—it was so powerful for me.” She says relatives always remarked, “Well, you’re the Indian in the family!” And Jill “embraced and celebrated that. And I loved that it was my birthday; they would place shawls over my shoulders.” The dance and ceremony, she says, “were magical for me, as for my dad.” Jill’s grandfather was born at Rainy Mountain, Okla., in a tipi, where they lived while Jill’s great-grandfather built the homestead. His parents took Jill’s father, an only child, up to Wyoming when he was very small to see a place sacred to their ancestors. An imposing monolith, Devil’s Tower, seemingly appeared straight out of the ground to embrace the sky. According to the ancestral story, seven sisters and their brother were playing in the woods one day—the brother pretending to be a bear, chasing his sisters. Suddenly, the boy actually became a bear, and the sisters ran in terror. As they passed a tree stump, it said, “Climb onto me. I will protect you.” Then it shot up to the heavens, where the sisters became the Big Dipper’s seven stars. No one ever knew what became of the brother. Upon the family’s return home, a Kiowa elder gave the young Momaday his tribal name. Continue reading

Jesus’ Posole

Jesus-Posole4 cups dried red or blue corn
5 quarts water
Salt to taste
Chile powder to taste
Meat of your choice (pork is traditional)

Combine corn and water in a slow cooker. Cook until soft, approximately 8 to 10 hours. Add salt, chile powder and meat. Cook until meat is done.

Plant a Row

Photo by Gabriella Marks

Photo by Gabriella Marks

When we think of a food drive, we may think of going through our kitchen cupboard and searching for items that we can collect to give to our local drive. As the growing season is swiftly upon us, we can go deeper, we can expand our reach to local hungry community members by planting a row of vegetables or fruits.

Together we can bring fresh food to families, seniors and community in need across northern New Mexico. Join this amazing initiative led by The Food Depot, Northern New Mexico’s Food Bank.

“Everyone can make a difference.”




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