Corrales Garden Tour 2015

Adobe Dragon Kirby Garden 2015“What if they don’t like the garden? What if they hate it? They’re going to hate it. Oh, crap, why did I do this? My poor little garden!”

The demented wail of the neurotic gardener. It’s quite possible, at the moment, that my level of neurosis would make Woody Allen seem stable.

My garden, aka. the Kirby Garden, in this year’s Corrales Garden Tour, is a work in progress. The main bits of garden are completed–but no garden is ever done. Plus, there’s the perpetually not-stuccoed adobe wall, which is a patchwork of plaster, stucco netting and in few places, crumbling. The wall’s lamentable state being a function of us Kirbys being too busy with regular jobs and our little art business.

I’ve been told–repeatedly–that my garden is lovely. But I’m insecure. So my little garden’s public debut is nerve-wracking. If the garden was an actual debutante, she’d be quite pretty, but with unruly hair that refused any tame hairstyle; her clothing would be colorful but too bohemian among her sleeker, chic counterparts.

Adobe Dragon Kirby Garden 2015Unruly. Chaotic. Cottage garden. That’s the little space the hubs and I carved out in the dry desert sandhills.

It started out with the best of intentions, if “best” is defined as “tidy, everything in its place.” Color schemes were planned, flowering times coordinated.

But plants and disordered minds like mine chafe under rules. We plot bloody insurgency and would see order’s head on a plate.

Stuff died and was replaced with things with the wrong–“Oh, the horror!”–flower color. Things that actually grew well in the heat and survived the freezing temps over winter. In some cases, things that should have failed miserably, but thrived where the perfect plant died in a month. I started worrying less about design and began planting whatever the hell caught my eye in the nursery. “Ooo! That’s pretty. Cha-ching! Buy!”

And feeble order gave way to chaos. Yeah, go Team Chaos!

Adobe Dragon Kirby Garden 2015By June, the garden’s heyday, before the blistering summer heat beats most things into wilted submission, it’s a mess of riotous color. Color schemes are a thing of the past, but the abundant wildlife doesn’t care. The quails enjoy the bird feeder; lizards hunt for insects in the shrubbery, and the squirrels–Fucking squirrels!–snack on flowers.


Zombies rise from the gravel, shy dragons and gargoyles hide among flowers and Pan plays a tune on his pipe. Original metal artwork, made by my husband and I, fills niches along the garden’s walls. A little fountain gurgles in the rock garden.

It’s a garden; it’s filled with life; it’s fun.

Gnome Zombie Kirby Garden 2015Anyhoo, here’s the linky-dinky for the Corrales Garden Tour 2015. Tickets are $10 for a tour of six gardens, including mine. Come out and spend a day in our lovely little community!

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The Passive Aggressive’s Mantra

“Listen, smile, agree, and then do whatever the fuck you were going to do anyway.” ~Robert Downey Jr.

Even though I’d like to think of myself as given to speaking my mind, the truth is, even now, I rarely do. My default reaction to shit that pisses me off; people trying to give me commands; or plain old human stupidity, is “Uh-huh.”

“Uh-huh” is code for “Fuck you.”

If I think it’s in my best interest to not be a total asshole–because like Captain Mal of Firefly my driving motivation is “what’s of use to me” –I’ll give you a faint smile and lie to your face, feigning interest in your totally wrong point of view or pretending I’m going along with your moronic plan. A frequently-played song in my passive aggressive repertoire.

But…then I’ll go and do the exact opposite of what you proposed.

Because, as the saying goes, it’s easier to apologize than ask permission.

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Guardians of the Galaxy

Guardians of the GalaxyOn watching Guardians of the Galaxy, two things become quite evident. First, Thanos should hire better minions, or he needs to get his bad-ass, mad Titan self off the throne and fetch his magical McGuffins o’power all by himself. Because the hired help, thus far, in Marvel movie ‘verse, just aren’t working out.

Also, if it weren’t for daddy issues, nothing–good or bad–in the universe would get done.

Of course, if it weren’t for dead mothers, no hero would ever get motivated. Consequently, the first scene in Guardians shows a young Peter Quill, eventual Starlord, sitting outside a hospital room, listening to that awkward predecessor to playlists, the mixed tape. His grandfather appears and ushers him into a room where a deathly pale woman lies in bed. Before getting down to dying, Mom rambles about the boy’s father, using the word “angel,” so that you know young Quill is something special.

Mom lifts a trembling hand toward the lad and Continue reading

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The Lone Ranger (2013)

“Well. That was a hot mess,” says my husband as The Lone Ranger‘s credits crawl up a scene of Monument Valley, a dispirited Tonto limping off into the sunset.

The statement is significant, in that my spouse, unlike me, is generally kind to movies. Me, I love excoriating a bad movie, detailing its sins against plot, characterization, cinematography, etc. But the hubs usually just shrugs and says, “It wasn’t good, but there were some funny parts.”

To say The Lone Ranger is a hot mess is to disparage steaming piles of poop everywhere.  After all, certain types of excrement make good fertilizer. Not so, The Lone Ranger.

Possibly taking a page from Continue reading

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It’s Alive

Been AWOL, busy, making like a hippy (growing my hair). And creating art.

Por ejemplo, this little demon, a collaboration between myself and my talented spouse. apologetic demon, yard artLittle demon haz the sad, so he brings rose.







My heart is perfect pendantAlso making jewelery* from scrap metal. This pendant’s my fave.


*”jewelery?” Seriously? Wow. Hooked on Phonics really worked for me.

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Corrales Art Studio Tour, May 2013

dancer metal art by Patricia Kirby

"Dancer" flower pot whimsy

Looking for something fun to do in Albuquerque? Drive just a smidgen north to historic and charming Corrales, New Mexico for the annual Art Studio Tour, the first weekend in May.

This year, me and the hubs will be participating! We will be opening our studio/workshop and garden and exhibiting our metal art. Gardeners: this means you can visit an established Corrales garden, free; get ideas for your own yard; and see what works in my high desert garden. The garden is at its finest mid-June through July, but stuff is starting to bloom now.

Garden gate by Justin Kirby May 2013

Tree of life garden gate by Justin Kirby

The Corrales Art Studio Tour is the first weekend in May (the 4-5) and maps can be picked up at the tent outside of Frontier Mart and at Villa Acequia (Preview Gallery), both on Corrales Road. Maps can also be downloaded here. Did I mention it’s free! Free tour! We’re Number 69 on the tour.

The weather should be great. See you there!

Click on images for larger view.

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Don’t Know Much About Geology

greyhound with rabbit on its head

Give a husband an iPhone and he shall torture the dog.

In which I try to teach the greyhound geology.

The lesson is precipitated by our new granite countertops and because I have nothing better to do (other than laundry, yard work, writing, taxes, etc.).

I’m in the kitchen, having a healthy snack of baby carrots and the greyhound is watching in that bright-eyed, super intelligent way that dogs have been watching humans with food since the dawn of time. I crunch a carrot, chew, swallow and consider the hound.

“See this?” I point at a reddish smudge on the counter. The greyhound, a very tall dog, shoves his skinny nose where I’m pointing. “That’s garnet. My birthstone. Can you say, ‘garnet?'”

Finding no food where I’ve indicated, he flares his ears out like a bat and stares at me in a way that says, “Carrot!”

“No, not ‘carrot.’ ‘Garnet.'”


I try again, finger on a black streak. “This here is biotite, a mica. Can you say, ‘biotite?'” ‘Mica?'”


Because I’m stupid that way, I try with feldspar and quartz. I go back to garnet, because it sounds like carrot.


I give the hound the damned carrot.


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Holiday Art Show, Corrales New Mexico

When Pigs Fly

Poking the sleeping blog to do some art promotion.

This holiday weekend, November 23-25, 2012, in Corrales, New Mexico, please come out to the Corrales Society of Artists Holiday Show. Just drive north up Corrales Road until you see the big white tent on the left side of the road. Parking and admission is FREE and there will be loads of talented artists selling their work at very inexpensive prices.

Where's the Picnic?

My hubby and I will have a booth there–Adobe Dragon Designs, featuring our functional and fun metal art. I’ll also have copies of my book, The Music of Chaos, available for sale.

Do come out and visit!

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Horse Eats Hound

greyhound and vacuum cleanerYes, the vacuum is running.

And, no, the greyhound isn’t budging from his spot on the carpet.

In fact, his head is up is because he saw me with the camera and wondered what was going on.  In the absence of the camera, the end result would have been a roughly greyhound-shaped dirty spot on the carpet.

He also does this with the lawn mower, so he isn’t allowed outside when I’m cutting the grass.

On the other hand, he’s wary to wet-himself-afraid of nearly everything with a heartbeat. Even rabbits, yes rabbits.

Of course, Wonder Horse was quick to exploit the hound’s neurosis.

Once upon a time, before heading out for a mid-afternoon walk, the hound and I would stop by the barn to visit the horse. I’d bring along carrots for both critters. We’d meet the horse at the gate and there I’d give a carrot to the equine and one to the canine, then another to the equine, and so on.  The greyhound would eye the horse very warily, but tempted by the carrots, stay at my side.

Then one day, the horse, in one of his Professor Snottypants moods, banged his hoof on the metal gate, making a delightful racket. The hound leaped back, startled. At this point, you could see the wheels turning in the Wonder Horse’s brain. After a pause, he banged again. Dog leaped in the air, and strained on his leash, trying to get as far from the horse as possible. Horse smirked and banged again. And thus was the demise of carrot sharing at the gate.

To this day, when the horse sees the hound approaching, he lifts a foot, poised to start hammering on the gate. I have to drag the hound, his long legs braced and feet sliding through the sand, to get anywhere near the barn.

The hound, the predator, is deathly afraid of the horse, the prey animal.

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Horse Sketches and Fictional Workplace Hijinks

Horse sketches by P. KirbyI start off with a plan. “I will practice drawing people today. Because I still can’t draw people. I will not draw horses. Because horses are easy to draw. Seriously, no horses!”

Five minutes later, and I’ve got this. Four quick horse sketches. Because I can’t stop myself. I’ve been drawing horses since I could hold a pencil. People are hard to draw, with their weird round heads and walking on two legs.

Anyway, I’m making this a sketchbook dump Friday and excerpt Friday. Technically, the sequel to The Music of Chaos is about 90-percent done. First draft, anyway. I got stuck on a scene at the end, and then wandered off to two other projects. The problem is, I got two author voices–Hello, Sybil!–the snarky, first person, Mary Sue-ish voice of The Music of Chaos and the third person voice that I use elsewhere. The second voice has been in control lately.

In this bit of dialogue from Chapter One, Hallowbone Holiday (working title), Regan O’Connell leaves work, the day job, early…. Continue reading

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