It started out simply enough. I asked Allan if he wanted to go out for dinner. The next few nights may be snowy, rainy, sleety weather, and I thought if we were going to go anytime soon, tonight might be best. We hadn't decided where when we left the house. On the way, we decided to try a different place than we've eaten at before.
Once again, the food was wonderful. Do you think I might simply love food? Well, that aside . . . we both ordered pork chops which were thick, juicy and full of flavor and accompanied by a nice big salad, corn, potatoes of choice (we had mashed with gravy, duh!), pinto beans with green chili, fresh bread and a beverage. For $8.95!!
The restaurant is in a big old building that seems to have grown in spurts. You know the type: started with a room or two, another was added, then another and another. There is an antique shop in one room, a eat-in bar in another, then you walk through part of the kitchen to reach the larger dining room. Every room is eclectic beyond imagination. The dining room has two walls striped in what I would call fiesta colors, bright reds, yellows, greens. Between them, a third wall is covered with a wine colored fabric with a brocade design. In the middle of this last wall is a window with curtains made of six scarves or fabric strips, none of which matched another or anything else in the room. The fourth wall was dark green stucco and had an adobe oven-style fireplace. On the walls in massive numbers were paintings and other wall dressings of every imaginable genre.
Additionally, there were pieces of jewelry hanging on corners of pictures frames or nails or inside antique hutches or inside glass boxes. The jewelry was antique and new, turquoise and stones, crystals and beads.
Tables and chairs were a mixed bag of everything. I don't think any matched, but I could be mistaken. Plates & cups were bright colors, the fiesta colors earlier mentioned, and they did match, but the silverware was all mismatched, but not the cafe type, but like you find in many of our kitchens, a couple of Auntie Jane's forks and spoons, some of Grandma's knives and salad forks, Mom's tableware from 25 years ago, and Mother-in-law's silverware that she quit using when her husband left her. Obviously, we were not just interested in the food, but everything in the room, as well! It was just fascinating!
While eating and wandering afterward we met all kinds of people. A table of four sitting near us were leaving, and somehow, I got into a conversation with them. They asked where I was from, and I told the story right up to making an offer on THE HOUSE. When I said the name of the nearby town, they all said, "We live there! Where are you buying?" I told them the subdivision name and four mouths dropped. Yes, same sub-div. I said, "I'm buying the house on the corner of Buggy Lane and . . . I'm blanking on the other street," and all hell broke loose! Can you believe this? There are two (2) houses on Buggy Lane. One of the couples lives in the other!!! Now it is probably a quarter of a miles away, but we are neighbors. We traded phone numbers and emails. There could be one problem, however. Allan overheard some of their earlier conversation and apparently they are staunch Republicans! I was planning to install a very tall flagpole to fly Old Glory with the Zia, New Mexico's flag underneath. I'm now thinking I'll add beneath that a Democrat flag and see if they still call me!!!
While I was meeting my neighbors, Allan was in the bar talking with another couple who turned out to be owners of an art gallery a few doors down the street that we've been talking about visiting. It is fairly new, and we were enchanted with the name, "Oso Art." "Oso" is Spanish for "bear," and bears are big around here for several reasons. They figure strongly in Native American lore (we are in Apache territory), and the real Smokey Bear, the little cub found clinging to a tree trunk after a forest fire who eventually became the symbol for forest fire safety and ultimately stuffed animals and other memorabilia, was found here in this area at Capitan Gap (this is the "notch" you've seen in several of the photos I have posted taken from here at Allan's house and showing the Capitan Range). In town is Smokey's Grocery, Smokey's Motel, Smokey's Cafe, and the National Smokey Bear Museum. Anyway, the title caught our eyes, and now we have a new place to go and ogle and feel comfortable with friends!
I made some purchases. Duh. You knew that was coming, didn't you?! First of all, I bought something for MY NEW HOUSE! I'm going to be living in the country, alone and vulnerable, so when I saw this, I knew I had to have it. I now own . . .
. . . A GUARD FROG!!!!
He is going to hang on the front wall of the house, near the front door. Now, he's a serious guard frog. He's around 18 inches long, so he is no light-weight in the frog category. Be careful when you come to my house . . . I got frog!
BTW, I'm thinking about getting a butterfly bouncer for those of my guests who drink too much and get rowdy!
The next thing I didn't even have to buy! The owner just gave it to me because they "enjoyed our company just so much!" I'm calling this my "Pot Necklace." I'll try to avoid wearing pot and driving, OK?
Everyone in the place said it was just made for me when I put it on. I have to admit, it is really fun and different. Those really are tiny pots and pitchers of clay.
But the pièce de résistance for the evening was something I got for Allan to thank him for allowing me to be here all this time. We've been looking for a painting to put in a special niche above his fireplace, and every time we think we've found the right one, it turns our to be $1000. Or it is too small. Or too wide. Or whatever.
I looked across the room during dinner and say this one. We both loved this painting. The colors are right. The topic is perfect. The price was affordable. So I bought it, and we brought it home.
Guess what? It's too tall for the niche!!! However, it was less than two minutes before Allan found the right place for it.
Allan has a small collection of llamas. He took a couple of them from their former homes and put them on the bookshelf below the painting, and it is just perfect. He's going to have a problem, however, because the vas is mine, so he has it for only a couple more months! We talked about what would look good in its place, and I think we've agreed on a general look to keep our eyes open for.
Here's a close up. I can't tell you how good it really looks in the room, and it finishes that wall. It didn't look unfinished before, but when we removed the thing that was there and put this up, it was unmistakably meant to be there.
It definitely needs to be reframed. Allan will have that done, but we both agree that it needed to be right where it is now.
So it was another good day, with a perfectly fun, crazy evening to top it off!!