By Meredith Hughes

A new year, with me pondering the fate of three bees I spotted wandering among the corn I put out on a large dish for the birds. The temperature had risen into the low 40s. Stunned, I just stared at them and wished them well. As I wish all creatures, great and small, the best in 2023.

Even me, as I continue in vain to search for tissues in my puffer pockets, pulling out instead all manner of doggie bags, or poop bags, if you will. Yet I am grateful for so many available free bags, most of them far easier to open than the fiercely self-adhered eco-appropriate bags at certain markets. I no longer attempt to open those, simply wrap them around the broccolini. 

Coffee talk

So at such a market, I bumped into Santa Fe’s Aroma Coffee refilling guy at Natural Grocers, sang the praises of the BlackLightning blend, which he agreed was a winner, but also that, yes, the freshest beans were indeed in those annoying fill-it-yourself setups. But he said the packaged Aroma Coffee bags were much cheaper at Albertsons. Hmm. So the thought came to buy one large portion of “fresh” beans, those to be added in dollops to portions of the “not as fresh” but less costly beans. Stay tuned for the results of this by now utterly boring experiment.

Fancies is indeed fancy

Fancies Market in Corrales, at 4940 Corrales Road, meanwhile, invited some of us to stop by for a preview visit, at the end of December. The shelves were lined with brightly packaged uber speciality food items, and the main room gave off a World Market vibe. The adjacent space is slated to be “an upscale restaurant featuring modern world cuisine,” when the time is right. Check for its opening.

It’s amazing!

Hey—my personally most loathed word of the past several years, the eternally repeated “amazing” has made the “2023 Banished Words” list of Lake Superior State University in Michigan. 

Ana Gasteyer

Also, Ana Gasteyer of SNL fame and more, was a host on NBC’s recent coverage of The Rose Parade in Pasadena. Her dad, Phil Gasteyer, was mayor of Corrales; her mom, Mariana Roumell-Gasteyer, a long-time artist.

Carol Merrill’s new book

Speaking of words, Carol Merrill has a new project. Carol is a former Corrales Comment contributor and author of OKeeffe, Days in a Life and Weekends with OKeeffe, both published by University of New Mexico Press. The book honors the Japanese poet Nanao Sakaki, a counter-culture star dubbed “the wandering poet.” Merrill shared a son with Sakaki, named Issa after the fabled 18th c. Haiku writer. Issa Merrill was born in 1980 and was stricken with Batten’s Disease as a teen. He was a bright, funny, warm-hearted fellow, keen to spread peace in the world and, incidentally, a close friend of my son. At Issa’s death in 2012, his mother created a scholarship in his name.  

She recently put together a group of 54 Nanao-related poems, hand bound, which she is selling for $25 each to raise funds for the scholarship endeavor. On January 22 at Chatter Sunday about 10:30 a.m, Carol Merrill will read from the book. To get a copy, contact her at

Corrales Historical Society

The first 2023 speakers event sponsored by the Corrales Historical Society takes place at Old Church on January 15 at 2 p.m. and is titled Les Arabes of New Mexico. The presenter is retired history professor Monika Ghattas. She relates how young Turks, Arabs, Syrians and Ottomans arrived in New Mexico in the 1880s as itinerant peddlers before becoming established in local communities. 

Katie Neeley art giveaway

Former graphics guru for the Corrales Comment, Neeley has been a professional artist, and is now ready to let go of her art. Her current pursuit is as an app developer. Jan. 14,  noon-4pm, Art Give Away! 4402 Los Reyes Rd SE, Rio Rancho NM 87124. Info:

Corrales Arts Center

Another offering, this one via the Corrales Arts Center, is available to members only. It’s one of the organization’s six salons per year. The first is on January 22, from 2-4pm, and spotlights water conservation expert Sanda Postel. Postel is the founding director of the Global Water Policy Project. The topic: Water Worries and Solutions. To become a member, visit


Before you go, please take a gander at one of Jim Tritten’s several roadrunner pals, solidly perched. Tritten reports that typically three regular visitors “come into our backyard. They come up to our glass door and stare at the cats.”

Please do get in touch with News-y—gossip, questions such as “Does anyone want my mom’s collection of Meissen Blue Onion dishes?” Upcoming events? Many thanks.


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