Saturday, July 23, 2011

Becoming New Mexican

La Paloma Hot Springs & Spa

Yesterday I started my job as a part-time spa attendant at La Paloma, which offers hot springs baths, massage, lodging and a conference center for retreats. It's a very nice facility, and one of the perks is that I get all the free soaks I want.

The job itself is pretty easy--two days a week, I will take whatever reservations come in, check in people as they arrive for a stay, and do some light housekeeping in the bath house between bathers. Job duties include such things as making sure the New Age music from Pandora is always streaming into the bath house and doing a sage ritual at shift change.

The downside of the job is that everyone that works there is seriously nucking futs. Housekeepers come into the office to complain about everything and everybody. So I'll be learning to have good boundaries on this job. The only question is whether to be really positive or just tell these crazy people I will hurt them if they spew their negativity at me. I'll probably try the nice approach first.

I did talk to a few people that I consider to be sane about the bitchy backbiters at work, and they said, "Welcome to TorC." I could get a job somewhere else, but it will be the same anywhere. This is a town where you are a superstar at work if you show up, do the job, and don't say anything really crazy (such as attributing missing cleaning supplies to ghosts...seriously!), and that's what I intend to do.

Turtleback Mountain just before a monsoon

In my last entry, I wrote about selling both antiques and my artwork at January's Gallery With a Card Shop here in Truth or Consequences. A few days ago, I stopped by with more vintage stuff for January to sell in her shop, and she kindly included me in a "ladies night out" at the new ice cream shop in town that evening. It was really fun getting to know a few more people here, especially since they share my interest in reselling old crap.

I took the picture of Turtleback just as I left the house. Normally the mountain is a dark brown against a light blue sky, but with a rainstorm about to begin and the sun on its way down, the mountain was illuminated against a dark cloudy background. For those of you who know Brian, that's his house on the right with the big swamp cooler on the roof. Brian lives so close to me that I sometimes back the Guppy into his fence, trying to get out of my parking space and into the alley. Not on purpose, of course.

Sonja's kibble in a moat

I didn't know about the monsoon season before I moved here. Coming from the Pacific Northwest where it rains all fall, winter and spring, it seems funny to be someplace where the majority of the rain falls in the summer. But it's also nice, because the storms usually occur in the afternoon or early evening, and they bring cool relief from the hot days. When I was at the ice cream event the other night, the rain came down pretty hard for a while, so we just stayed longer and chatted more until it cleared up.

Another thing I didn't know about before moving here was the ants! Lots and lots of little ants, different colors and different kinds. The locals know their names. I don't. They're all just pests to me. I was feeling frustrated about ants coming into my house and swarming in Sonja's cat food dish, until I talked to my neighbor Janice, who does a lot of pet-sitting. She told me to put Sonja's dish inside a larger dish full of soapy water. This completely alleviated the problem.

Candlesticks painted in New Mexico colors, then distressed

This week I took a major shopping trip down to Las Cruses with my friends Gretchen and Tom. Man, do they know how to shop! I thought I was a shopper, but they wore me out. Gretchen shopped 'til I dropped. It was good, though. We hit some thrift stores that have a 30% senior discount on Wednesdays, and I found lots of good stuff for resale and also to incorporate into artwork. Then we went to deep discount department stores, such as Big Lots and Factory 2U, and I got a bunch of things I needed for my apartment. We topped it off with lunch at Golden Corral, which also has a senior discount, but I wasn't old enough for that one. I don't think I can afford to go with Gretchen and Tom every week (money-, time-, or energy-wise), but it was fun and I will definitely do it again.

Overall this past week has been another social butterfly week for me. This just amazes me, given that I used to be such a loner. I find myself dropping whatever I'm doing to have coffee with Dhultky or iced tea with Brian or a chat with Janice, plus I need to fit in the phone calls to friends and family elsewhere. I've also begun writing a weekly snail mail letter to my son Sly, because sometimes it's difficult to find times that we're both available to talk on the phone. I am changing longer isolating, and becoming a person who values companionship, kindness, and mutual interests when they come my way.

Mosaic birdhouse completed this morning

I do, however, need to grab those times that I have to myself and get things accomplished! I actually do that, but not to the extent of my capabilities. I gather things up to take to January and I do artwork and I eat pretty well and ride my bike here and there to run errands, but I tend to put off the less fun stuff. So today I'm having a Garbage Day to take care of the garbage I'd rather not do, such as pay bills, do paperwork, and clean house. And I'm going to get it all done before my siesta, so I gotta run. I know I'm not completely a New Mexican yet, because if i was, I'd take my siesta first. One day at a time, I guess.


  1. I am glad you figured out the soap moat idea. We had to keep moving the dog food storage container around like it was in the witness relocation program at our old Southern Cali house. So far, no ant problems in the north, but a little chipmunk was on our porch today getting water from the spigot there.

  2. Sounds like a good life, Sue. Good for you.

  3. I am so going to check out T&C one day..sounds like a fun funky place....your job sounds perfect to me...just do your own thing and let the others take care of all the pettiness.

  4. Hey! When are you going to write again????

  5. Sorry, Sharon, my knee problems have taken precedence lately...I haven't felt like I've had much to say, nor have I taken any pictures lately. However, I have the MRI films on disc, so maybe I could write a blog about that!

  6. What's this about knee problems? Hope it isn't serious.