Sunday, February 28, 2010

A Night of Dreams

I am an active dreamer. I dream in color and I quite often remember my dreams in vivid detail. But some nights my dreams are just more over the top. Last night was such a night. I woke up feeling as if I had participated in some Olympic event. The last dream before waking was of skiing. I have not skied in eight years but I was on a familiar run - one that is a combination of places I have skied and all the horrid fears skiers can have when they drop over the top into unfamiliar terrain. Getting up seemed wise. It certainly was going to be more relaxing.

I have often wondered if my more vivid dreams, and nights like this last with seemingly endless dreams, have a root cause. I know I am apt to get a round of nightmares when I am coming down with something. And dreams that repeat like the airport bathroom dream (a version of the empty box dream women often suffer) occur when I am quite frustrated.

I dream more on the three days of full moon influence (day before through day after). And tonight is the Full Snow Moon which I probably won't be able to see because of snow. Major low pressure areas moving in have their influence. And disturbances in the cosmic force (the earthquake in Chile) seem to generate dreams some of which are almost prophetic. Three nights ago I dreamed I was trying to get across an huge expanse by going from one piece of huge ice to another. The ice plates tipped and moved like a fun house floor but the openings between them seemed to fall to infinity.

Researchers into sleep and dreams tell us we need REM sleep where the dreams occur and these periods only last for seconds to a minute. Mind scientists say dreams are essential to our sanity. But I fall into the Shaman camp of thinking about dreams. Some of them are trying to tell me something in their very unique code. And it is wise to pay attention.

Do you dream? Do you pay attention to your dreams? Ever write them down?

Friday, February 26, 2010

Some Weeks Life is a Switching Yard

And it has definitely been one of those weeks. Looking back maybe it has been one of those months. I always have these expectations of quiet hermitage for the first quarter of the year. And perhaps on reflection that expectation is unrealistic. Just snow can be derailing when it comes in two feet dumps. It has to be dealt with. And it doesn't take two feet.

Wednesday night the wind blew. Howled. And it built up drifts and ridges and mountains of the snow which fell before and added another six inches to the total. Just the six inches would have shut down New York City. Us mountain folk bundle up and grab the snow shovel and do what needs to be done.  But a major impediment yesterday were the tourists. The ones staying right across the road decided since they could not get in their driveway they would park in the middle of the county road right in front of the driveway I was shoveling out.

Then the group from Houston staying up the hill arrived all upset the driveway to their house was not plowed. Well, the plow could not get there because of the cars parked in the middle of the road. And us residents could not get out for same reason. They whined. I have trouble with people in open toed flats standing in a foot of snow on my doorstep whining. BTW, no coats. It is 17 hour drive from Houston. Surely a suitcase can be opened around the Texas/New Mexico border.

I was suppose to be assembling seven paintings that are to go to Raton for an exhibit at a gallery there. Some were older paintings that had to be found and re-framed. Some new that had to be framed. Frames needed to be made or swapped. All needed to be cataloged and labeled. Boxes had to be found for transfer. The house and studio was a wreck, but miss open-toed-shoes wanted to use the bathroom. It is times like this I miss my two German Shepherds. People seldom came in even when I opened the door. Note: When seeking the good will of a person providing a toilet do remember to flush and turn off the light when done.

After whining about the snow and the condition of our roads, the visitors finally relinquished the county road as a parking lot and I was able to attend a board meeting for the arts council. The president had resigned (we figure she made only 2 meetings in a year) and I went from vice-president standing in for her to president until June. It was just another switch in plans that has been the rule since 2009 slinked out. My sister called this morning to inform me that after three weeks she will have her Jeep back - or has it been four? It is only just over a year old and with electrical problems. Shades of Toyota. Murmurs of a bad computer module. I like cars without bells and whistles.

I have hopes of getting back to plans for this month which centered around building up inventory for the summer fairs, but it seems late Saturday more snow is coming and no doubt more shoveling and more tourists that want to use the county road as parking lot. We locals had a great laugh about it in the privacy of our own homes. Which took more time out of my precious schedule. But one needs to vent before grabbing the guns. I am taking photos next time.

BTW, a couple more quick notes: We just live here and don't have any control of the weather. And if you are coming here to ski, snow is not ruining your vacation. Maybe it is just best to have no plans for February then having my access to and from my house blocked or my peace disturbed would not be an issue.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Severe Weather Statement

Let me mention I love weather. One of my favorite parts of flight lessons was learning about weather. And learning to draw my own conclusions because if I learned anything from flying and living in the mountain west it is that the weatherman knows nothing about our weather.

They know so little about mountain effect snow that prior to the previous Winter Olympics in Utah the federal government funded a two year study of mountain weather. They learned nothing it seems. I find the severe weather statements and advisories and watches almost comic.


Strong beginning I suppose but note they had to wait until there were actually clouds to the west of us to come up with this. So there is a need to hedge their bets here.

I should point out that at one time there were three computer models for forecasting weather. One of these three models did not even included the state of New Mexico. They had used a National Geographic map (oh, yes the great maker of all maps) that put Arizona next to Texas and our largest city, Albuquerque somewhere near Phoenix. And the models are based on collected data from remote automatic weather stations. They better two programs forecast Angel Fire weather based on a station outside of Santa Fe. Okay it is within 100 miles but it is 3000 feet lower in altitude and on the dry side of the mountain. And south of us!. That makes a huge difference when the Sangre de Cristo mountains are between you and them.

Okay, so maybe the National Weather Bureau in Albuquerque needs to hedge just a bit more.


All which brings us to one of the most frequently asked questions at our Visitor's Center: How much snow are you going to have next Christmas? We want to book reservations for next year.  I just want to get over to Taos to run a couple errands. And there is the art council meeting we have been trying to get in for two weeks and keep canceling due to weather. It is currently scheduled for Thursday when it was just going to be snow flurries. So maybe Saturday?


BTW the Italics are mine. I know better than to make any statement about weather here. They don't even do current weather well. My scroll at the bottom of my browser says it is haze and -24F. It is clear as a bell and 7F.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Hamster Wheel Thinking

Woke up this morning to the silence of snow and total awareness that it was not time to get up. I don't keep a clock beside my bed and in the winter especially in the middle of a snow storm there are no telltale signs of morning approaching. But I knew. So I snuggled down deeper into the covers surrounded by fur kids and sought to go back to sleep.

Almost succeeded a couple times but my mind was beset with hamster-wheel-thinking. I used to raise hamsters as a kid and sold them to pet stores. They love their wheels. I used to watch them run in them endlessly and wonder if they knew they were not getting anywhere. To this day I cannot get on a treadmill or a stair stepper and not think of hamsters and their wheels. But I digress. Subject of this blog is hamster-wheel-thinking - going round and round a subject and not getting anywhere but back to where you started.

When my mind gets into HWT mode it doesn't matter what subject it is tossing around endlessly. This morning at approximately 3 a.m. it began with a movie from Netflix I watched last night - A Time to Kill based on a novel by John Grisham. I have read the book and maybe even seen the movie before. Both book and movie have some unforgettable parts. I kept replaying those in my mind. There are times having a photographic memory is not a blessing. Three in the morning comes to mind.

In HWT of my experience there is always one dominant theme (this time the movie) and all other subjects you try to force your mind to come back to this. Interlaced this morning was my own pending testimony before a court (make not to avoid legal thrillers until after wards), and todo list items scheduled for much later in the morning that the snow might delay (looks like about 6 to 10 inches in the porch light), and things not on the todo list (tax time is rapidly approaching, and oddly enough an idea for a new painting.

At four in the morning I just gave up. Something I noticed as a kid hamsters didn't do until dawn. So the day is beginning a bit earlier than usual. Oh, and BTW, if you have not seen A Time to Kill or read the book I recommend both.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Shoulder the Sky

I have recently gotten involved with reading Anne Perry's series of novels on World War I. I love historic fiction and Anne Perry has been a favorite of mine for her Victorian Era mystery novels feature William Monk and Thomas Pitt. I was gratified when reading No Graves Yet, the first in the series to find these books are also mysteries. Though the mystery seems secondary to horror of war.

I just finished the second in what I thought was going to be a three book series but evidently it was a longer war. Thus far there are five.
  • No Graves As Yet
  • Shoulder the Sky
  • Angels in the Gloom
  • At some Disputed Barricade
  • We Shall Not Sleep
The first two books which I have finished have definitely helped me understand the German/British connection. What a love hate relationship that one is. My father is of Irish, English and Scot ancestry and my mother was half German with a lot of other things tossed in there. Our home from time to time seemed like a reenactment of WWI and WWII .

I am currently taking a break from the series as I have not found Angels in the Gloom in paperback or at the library sale shelf. I have gotten involved with the characters that she uses to spin the war around and it makes this hideous conflagration more personal than Rise and Fall of the Third Reich (compulsory reading in high school). And she does give some serious handling to those opposed to war at any cost.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

When did you stop beating your wife?

Went through another session with my lawyer to prepare me for trial on the 19th of March. First time we did this is was a lot more about fact finding for her case preparation. This time was more about posing questions that would actually be asked while I was in the witness box by either my attorney or the opposing attorney on cross. We prepped for two hours and then she informed my that my direct would likely be 2 1/2 and then it would be the other attorney's turn.

I am exhausted just thinking about it. And with the effects of my head injury I have major doubts about my ability to answer questions while sitting in one place for that long - or longer. Especially when the questions will be hostile from his attorney. I have my doubts about being able to physically and mentally make it through the remaining month of trial preparation. I could lose by tharning out when asked the question, "When to you begin planning to cheat your contractor?"

And then there are all the rules to remember. I cannot answer that question with a question like, "When did he decide he could cheat me?" And I have to stick with the evidence entered at discover or get the "Assumes facts not in evidence" objection. Between an intern at legal aid and my own diminished capacity to think in linear form into history we missed a couple key discovery dates.

Sadly if I had the money I would just pay him to go away even if he does not deserve or merit a single penny. In fact, by all valid accounting methods he owes me about $17,000. I just want the torture to stop. But I don't have the money. All I have is my home and he wants to take that away from me. Hard to be a bag lady with four cats and two dogs.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Sometimes Life Just Gets You Down

I am reading Anne Perry's second book of her WWI trilogy: Shoulder the Sky. Reading about a chaplain on the front lines having to bolster the faith of others can be a bit depressing. How does one keep the faith that this too shall pass? Let alone spread a positive message to the soldiers on the front lines about a loving god.

There are months that just get you down. February is a month with low cosmic energy (sorry, but cannot think of another way of expressing that). But I have decided to do something stressful like diet. And my two year battle against my contractor-from-hell comes to a head the 19th of March. Shrinks will tell you there are more suicides in this month than December, which most of us believe with Christmas depression. And those among us fighting chronic illness go through the biggest crises in February. And those with fatal illnesses die.

Mortuaries hate the month. The ground is frozen but more people die than any other month discounting those with a WWI German poisoned gas attack (back to that book I am reading). Which reminds me of the episode of Northern Exposure when the mayor must come up with a list of graves to be dug before winter sets in. I thought it was macabre humor until winter loomed with an aging and infirm fur kid in residence.

I don't mean to sound trivial about any of this though sometimes the only thing that gets us through the hard times is a sense of humor. I have two friends with serious health issues. Another that has threatened suicide. Losing my house terrifies me, and some days dying sounds easier then continuing to fight. There are days for all of us when it just seems we cannot handle one more bit of bad news. Which brings me to the picture I am using as an illustration for this blog. As my frequent readers know, I am not a conventional religious person. But I do gleam life lessons from the stories of the prophets and saints. There may not be life after death. Or another life after this one ends. But living has shown me that generally even the worst situation gets better eventually.

It is that eventually that often gets me down. I am not a patient person. I am much better than avoiding the issues until someone tries to drive a nail through my hand. It often seems as if any personal hell we are going through will just never end. I think it is wise to remember that even Jesus on the cross had his doubts. Doubting is not wrong. Just don't do anything permanent during those moments of doubt.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

I took a wrong turn last spring

I got an awful case of the flu last April. It was the worst viral infection I have had since the Hong Kong flu in 1968. I personally think it was the H1N1 but as I felt entirely too bad to even leave the house for three weeks I have no proof. I did not even near my former self until the end of May. By then it had been six weeks of being couch potato.

And because of secondary infections in my mouth I had gone from my healthy diet of proteins to soft white stuff. I craved anything with milk. Besides I was trying to get my natural immune system back up to par and was making my own organic yogurt. You can gain weight on yogurt. I am proof.
Until the flu I had established a balance of exercise and sensible eating which worked at maintaining a balance with my scale and clothes. But the flu and weakened condition following the flu threw all that out the window. And every time I tried to get back to my fitness routine another round of not feeling good would interject itself. Or the stress of the pending court date on the lawsuit.

Trying to find a costume to wear to the Mardi Gras krewe party this week was a wake up call. Only 2 out of 5 costumes fit. Easy to just stay in joggers or get a larger pair of jeans from the thrift store but costumes do not get replaced easily or lie like elastic waist bands. February is heart health month and I know for a fact the 15 pounds I have gained is not healthy. I looked up an approach to realistic goals this morning on Google and came up with 6 strategies for Success at the mayo clinic site. Not one of those lose it now and fit into your bikini by summer commercials. They say a goal of losing 1 to 2 pounds a week is not unrealistic. I have 11 weeks before operation Moab. I want to lose 13 pounds as a minimum. 

Today is day one. So I don't have to throw everything out of the refrigerator I am beginning with just half my usual amount on the plate. And four small meals a day. And EXERCISE! I am going to start with 10 minutes and work up at 5 minutes a day until I am doing 30 minutes 5 days a week and one day of 1 1/2 at the spa. I get one day off for good behavior. This is in addition to the 20 minute walks the fur kids get. BTW just walking 20 minutes a day does not get weight off. I have proven it.

You are my support group. Feel free to ask about progress.

Friday, February 12, 2010

My Day to Whine

The theory is having survived the gradual disintegration of Yahoo 360 I am a master at coping with platform glitches. Oh, but that were true. I find myself totally intolerant of Facebook following their not (in my opinion) successful launch of their new format. And when I at last, after posting several comments that would not stick around, logged off until notified by a friend they have this fixed I decided there is such a thing as Post Traumatic Internet Stress Syndrone or PTISS. Pronounced with the T silent.

I am frankly PTISSed off. I thought I had found a social network that met my needs and wants especially when combined with my blogs here on Blogspot. I even researched and set up automatic feeds of two of my blogs: Creative Journey to Binford-Bell Studio Fan Page and this blog to my regular profile page. There have been some minor glitches from the beginning but nothing I could not cope with as in FB takes their own jolly good time to do this seemingly automatic function. Then they changed formats. Now the fan page never works on the link. Yes, I have checked that it is all as it should be. And the regular page can take hours or days.

And that cute little flag that was the icon for fan pages has vanished as an option on bookmarks. So getting to my own fan page is a complicated process. First I go to info and scroll to the bottom of the page and then click show more on pages I am a fan of (had I not opted to be my own fan this would not be possible) then click on my fan page. Sometimes updates I put on that page show on News Feed and sometimes not. But the links to Creative Journey in notes have ceased. So I manually put in the link and it did not allow a thumbnail. And the second time I came back to the page it had vanished.

Vanishing comments and status messages seems to be the norm even on my regular page where links love to vanish as well. Off to the Home and the News Feed to see if they are there. Tons of application updates so I started looking on the left side for my favorite option: Status Updates. It is gone! Vanished like the little flag icon!

That was it! My lack of tolerance level had been exceeded and I was fully aware of the effect on PTISS on my peace of mind and serenity. I tried to post one last status message to say farewell (at least until things are fixed) to my friends from 360 and beyond and logged off.

If this feeds through to FaceBook as it is suppose to then my friends will know where I am hiding. If not then, oh, well.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Okay, any minute now it can stop snowing

Februray 9th, 2010

This was a very pretty snow storm. Meaning there was no wind and just these huge flakes cascading down seemingly forever. I went out this morning and with a broom brushed the snow from the top of my van. The last time I had that much snow on the top it broke the windshield. I had never even considered snow to be that heavy.

Of course my standard poodle and labradoodle are in their element. Snow, they figure, was made just for them. So naturally a walk (it really is more like porpoising when it is this deep) was in order and I took along the camera and did a slide show for everyone in the southern climes.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Monday Morning Chat Over Coffee

Cannot blame Mercury being in retrograde because it was not. But last week seemed all about communications or missed communications. Talking or writing at odds bad enough to make you want to be mum for the rest of your life. And get off the internet forever. Replies I got from e-mails sent in regard to the every growing Lake Coyote in my backyard were so off the mark I re-read my own missive two or three times to see if I had made a faulty edit. NO.

I wrote what I meant they just read what they wanted to read. Whatever let them off the hook as it were. On verbal conversations I even checked back in once with a third party and she also didn't have a clue where the other person was coming from about what I supposedly said. She had heard what it was I thought I had said.

Ever have one of those weeks? I got to the point I didn't even want to try and clarify their opinions. Even Facebook was against me by not allowing deletes this week. No editing is bad enough but no deletes is abuse in my opinion especially if the comment box doesn't open totally and you are typing all but the first sentence blind. How can you be held accountable for that?

Finally got the state engineer out of Cimarron to agree to a site visit. It is suppose to be today but Lake Coyote is under eight inches of snow. So even if he makes it over through the canyon what can he see? At the moment I am considering moving way far away to someplace where can hide. Not even sure I am taking the computers.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Three Way Tie for Second

And one of the winners is: Frosty Aspen


Don't you like that phrase - the potential exists? The weather reporting bureaus have been wrong all winter long. The storms have been giving us a miss on the whole. We did get the 6 inches forecast on the last storm but it was a day early. Skiers were ecstatic and the people that invested heavily in snow plowing equipment three winters ago were able to at last get out and use it this winter.

The man that once made $600 one month just from me plowed the snow from the driveway across from me and pushed into the west entry of my loop driveway. THANK YOU, VERY MUCH. And on to the edge of my property so it can melt and join Coyote Lake. I don't think I am calling him again.

When I mentioned what Paul did to my neighbor Steve he chuckled. Don't you just hate men at times?! The anger really helped me shovel my own driveway! Something I probably will be doing more of if the weather bureau gets it right. It is good exercise. And the only time I totally hate doing it is before I get bundled up to go out and do it. And because of the wind yesterday it does have to be done again today. But it will be 35F and so melt will help. The potential exists for Coyote Lake to become even bigger. Anyone know where you can get used channel buoys?

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Coyote Lake Update

I first addressed this issue of the ever growing Little Coyote Creek (I will soon be dropping the modifier - Little) on my blog Travels With Charley and figured it was time for an update.

Rising waters are temporarily frozen due to weather. Or since they are under the snow I haven't a clue whether they are frozen or not. But Friday when the sun reappears there will of course be more barely thawed water to add to my growing water issue. I am now calling it unofficially Coyote Lake and am looking for a used Sunfish sail boat for spring. And as the picture of Leeds Castle in England shows I won't be the first home with a water feature out the back door.

My letter writing (well, e-mail writing) has finally gotten the attention of some governing bodies. The county of Colfax still thinks I am talking the irrigation ditch and not the creek but the state engineer's branch office in Cimarron is beginning to see the picture. They have scheduled a site visit for Monday. Hope by then to have the dock built to tie the sailboat up to.

My conversation with the employee from the engineer's office made the complexity of the issue almost alarming. In addition to my accidental lake we have the irrigation ditch theft of water, the endangered habitat of a salamander and one species of rare trout, the wetlands on the far side of the stream, the earthen damn (sic) I know of in my neighborhood, and a rather more elaborate one further down toward Black Lake proper (actually I wonder if there is anything proper about Black Lake) but I digress.

All these items together make for a rather raped Little Coyote and there is talk of bringing in the BIG GUNS: The United States Army Corps of Engineers. They are in charge of dams, levees, and alterations of waterways. I have always wondered why it is an Army division and not part of the Department of the Navy. How many sail boats do I have to own to have my own Navy? And can it be a raft, a punt and a sailboat? Coyote Lake is not currently big enough for a submarine.,

More on this exciting subject, god willing, and the creek doesn't rise further. My latest concern is the major power pole on my property line that is standing in the middle of Lake Coyote. Could it fall? That would be electrifying.