Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Sarah has three dogs. The first and oldest is Sasha the black Lab and Husky cross show in the first photo. The dark German Shepard is Ruby a dog she adopted after she found her almost dead from lack of food and water when she was about 3 months old. The light colored German Shepard is Lobo. Lobo is about 9 and has cancer in his front leg. The vet has no idea how long he might have and right now Sarah is just trying to keep him happy and comfortable. Lobo is a brother to a Shepard I used to have.
In the 2nd photo Sarah is playing a Navajo Indian flute for Ruby. Sarah majored in music in collage with the flute being her favorite instrument.

Organ Mountains

The Organ Mountains are the most well known of the rugged, mostly rock mountains that seem to circle the Las Cruces and Rio Grande Valley. I didn't get a chance to see them up close. Maybe next time. They are called Organ Mountains because they are supposed to look like the pipes for the old fashioned pipe organs. Someone had a good imagation.

Old Mesilla Old Buildings

I am so glad I decided to take photos of the plaques on the old buildings as I would never have remembered what they said. Sorry to say but the strange little square things on top of the La Posta are very modern electric luminias or lights. Traditionally they are made from paper bags with candles and only used at Christmas. It is now common to see the electric ones year round as people are to lazy to take them down.

Old style of ceiling in this building that is now the Billy the Kid store. This building was originally a courthouse where Billy the Kid was tried and has been several other things but is now a gift shop.

Deserae and Dustin

I will let those that want to read about the oldest brick building in New Mexico.

Inside the Gift Shops

We prowled through several of the gift shops where you can find lots of Southwestern gifts. This Christmas tree was covered in chili pod lights. there were pots, fetishes, blankets, baskets and religious crosses and other items. I bought a small carved owl for me and one for a friend. Plus a Christmas bell decoration with a hand painting of the Mesilla church on it.

Did it Rain?

Of course with all this talk of drought the weather decided that this day was a good day for a drizzle of desert rain while we were sight seeing through some of the shops. The rain only lasted about 10 minutes. Long enough for Sarah to get wet and chilled while she run back to her van to roll up the windows she had left cracked open for the dogs. (Yes, we had her dogs with us since we had started the morning by going to the river and had returned to her house yet. They are used to being in the van lots as she takes them with her as long as it is not middle of the summer weather.) But there was a nice rainbow afterward over the Mesilla plaza. Being November the trees around the square where still in their fall colors and they flashed color brighter colors to us after being washed by the rain. Old Mesilla (pronounced Ma - see - a, the double ll's on most Spanish words are silent.) was a stopping place for travelers going from Texas to California. Many of the building were built in the early to late 1800's. Mesilla was a stage stop for the Butterfield Stagecoach Company. It is said there was a population of 2000 in Mesilla in about 1860. Mesilla became part of Las Cruces as the two towns grew into one. Las Cruces being named for the Three Crosses that were put over the graves of three travelers or priests that died when they were attached by Indians. Now there is some non-religious person saying that the name of the town needs to be changed because the name Las Cruces or The Crosses has to much religious meaning. I am not a religious person, but the name has been there for so long it should always be there and as far as I can tell it really doesn't have any religious meaning to it. Most graves have a cross over them. That doesn't mean the person buried there was religious. I can not believe that so many people are going against our historical names here in New Mexico and other parts of the southwest and Yes, all over the United States and trying to change any little part that seems religious to them. Again I am not religious but I still say 'under God' when I say the Pledge of Allegiance because that is what I was taught in school, although research has shown that the first Pledge didn't have those words in it.
Sarah in the rain.

Desirae and Dustin in the rain.

Many of the shops and business in Old Mesilla are adobe building that have been remodeled to bring them up to code but still have the old look.

San Abino Church

Nearly all of the old southwestern towns were built around a catholic church with small shops and maybe a courthouse around the church with a park or a place for festivities in the center. Old Mesilla is built around the Basilica of San Albino church which was built in 1855 and still offers mass in both English and Spanish. Originally built out of adobe it has had to be remodeled some. There is a memorial to parishioners who have died in combat in front of the church with a white statue on it.

Los Mariachis Restaurant

Sarah and I met Dustin and his girlfriend Desirae at Los Mariachis restaurant for lunch. It is just off of the area called Old Mesilla which is kind of like our Old Town here in Albuquerque. Both the restaurants I went to did sure wine and beer. This day we all stuck with soft drinks since everyone but me were driving. None of us are big wine or beer drinkers.

Having eaten a late breakfast, Sarah and I split a quesadilla (melted cheese between to hot tortillas with guacamole and sour cream on top). Sarah doesn't care much for the hot in Mexican food which the quesadilla doesn't have but since Los Mariachis's salsa is a red and more to my liking I poured some on my part from the bowl of salsa that came with the tortilla chips. Desirae had a plate of gorditas (a thick corn tortilla fried, then split with meat, and cheese filling in it) as shown in the last photo. And Dustin had a plate of chili rellenos which are large chili peppers stuffed with a meat and cheese filling with a chili sauce poured over it. In Dustin's case it was green chili sauce. Of course the big question in New Mexico and all Mexican food restaurants is "Red or Green". This is not a question about Christmas but about which kind of chili sauce you want on your food. I prefer red.