Monday, September 27, 2010

That was the week that was three

Debbie and Crystal Fenced In
 Most of the past week was spent in San Fidel. And much of it was sadly without visual commentary as my sister and I were doing things like the Feast Days at Laguna Pueblo where cameras were inappropriate. As the mission church there is quite stark and beautiful I am including a Google Images picture of it. Yes, it will be the subject of a painting.

Laguna Pueblo Mission
I do like the sky in this picture but on the day Debbie and I and her friends were there it was a clear blue day and hot. Over 400 vendors to shop and an invitation to one of the homes to eat. We had a grand time but were exhausted when we got home to the little house on the mesa.

The following Monday was a shopping day in Albuquerque so we could get supplies for the fence and other projects we had planned during my visit. We met our friend Dianna in town and proceeded to see just how much stuff could be loaded into a Jeep Rubicon. We might hold the world record. Any challengers?
Debbie and Dianna with gates and fans, etc
Driving home in the evening after a tiring day of Shop-till-you-drop we encountered a huge storm moving in.

Cloud burst on the west mesa
Having grown up mostly in Albuquerque I always think of this sort of hit and miss thunderstorm as what is meant by the term cloud burst. It really does seem to me the clouds have burst open in a couple spots and just dumped.

Tuesday we got the fence installed as per the top photo and three ceiling fans put up in the house with light kits It was a definite improvement. And there was the doggie door to allow Debbie's two dogs and my two visiting fur kids access at will to the new fenced yard. Thus we ended their unsupervised walk-abouts. No worries they still get more walk-abouts than the average pooches.

 Wednesday was rain. A tropical storm up from Baja made for overcast skies and bouts of rain. Debbie and I spent some welcome downtime and also did the laundry, looked over our new treasures from the shopping trip, taught the dogs to use the doggie door, and watched some telly.

Dawn in San Fidel
Thursday brought the above dawn and packing to come home. I arrived here to two cords of wood that needed to be stacked in the woodshed which I did on Friday. The weekend was to be about catching up until Jessica called on Sunday morning and enticed me to the raspberry picking adventure. More about that in a separate blog. I probably have bored you enough with my week.

Monday, September 20, 2010

That Was the Week That Was Two or TWTWT

Sister and dogs on Sand Stone Bluffs
With the tooth ache that rose to a high pain level last week I thought I would not be able to go to my sister's in San Fidel as planned. But I got in to see the dentist on Thursday after getting my van back on Wednesday from its last scheduled repair. Turns out it was just (like the way I say just?) a bad gum infection around the root of the back bottom molar. A couple hundred dollars of antibiotic later and I was able to roll on Friday morning. Only one day late.

Ventana Arch
I was going down to install dog door and fence to make my sister's life with her two fur kids just a bit easier. But on Friday afternoon we went exploring in the Rubicon and I was shown some things like the above arch I had not seen before in New Mexico where I grew up.

Shadows of trees on Sand Stone Bluffs
We were trying to capture the setting sun on the cliffs but got the shadows of the tall pines in the bargain. And the sunset.
And the next day being Saturday it was of course necessary to go back out off-roading with the fur kids. And while seeking a stop for them to stretch their legs we found a hidden oasis.

Hidden pool in rocks
And exploring just a bit more found it opened into a whole series of pools some big enough to swim in. It was cold but the dogs swam. And we discovered a hidden waterfall at the cliff base.

Cascade to hidden pool
Crystal and feather offering to missing friends
Yesterday was feast day at Laguna Pueblo and so today we are finally getting started on that fence with a buying trip for supplies. Oh, it is a new week? Best laid plans and all.

Monday, September 13, 2010

That Was the Week That Was

See Wiki for More
TW3, That Was The Week That Was, was really popular in my college dorm. No other program prompted us as much to abandon bridge games, studies, and dishing the dirt quite like it or Startrek. And no this blog isn't about it. It is about the week that was. My week. But it seemed like a really good name.

My week was not earth shaking. I survived the paranormal convention held at the resort basically by staying away from town. But I am happy to report that for the second year in a row no landing of alien spaceships in Black Lake for attendees from other worlds.

I did pick up a Western Giant Puff Ball mushroom, which in my opinion look rather alien, and place it on my property. They grow in fairy rings in high meadows and I rescued this one just a 1/2 mile from my house. My back meadow seems perfect for it. BTW mushrooms are the blooms of a subterranean fungi. My theory is when this one goes to seed (spores) it will establish the fungi in my yard. Progress reports in the fall of next year.

I began my separation diet last week. See the blog below this one for more information on it. I have dropped two pounds which isn't as significant as other markers. I have more energy ergo I have been exercising more and crashing on the easy chair less. And a couple pair of jeans that were to tight for comfort (to be honest wouldn't zip) are now fitting. Which gets us to the major plus of this diet to date: I am just less bloated. Bottom line is I am going to continue with this one.

I have gotten to the place of being able to chuckle when memories of Marc spring to mind. I made it through 9/11 without a reactivation of PTSD by ignoring it (my apologies to all that still want to blog about it). Instead I walked in the sunshine with my camera and immersed myself in the wonderful scents and sights of fall. I am reminded again that life should be about living and not about dying. We are here but briefly so make the most of it.

I got back into the studio to paint but on a rather low key level. There will be plenty of time to paint when the weather turns foul. I keep getting drawn into the yard and the hills beyond and late next week will go to my sister's to off road the Zuni's!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

OMG Another Diet!

This is my goal
Let me say right at the outset of this blog that weight has NEVER been a neutral subject for me. I was born in an era of chubby babies being the healthy ones and I was not chubby. I was a healthy and active youngster with a very good appetite, but following a bout with Scarlet Fever my mother became obsessed with my weight. Or lack of weight.

It only got worse when all my peers were getting their figures and I could still get into movies for under 12. I graduated from high school at 85 pounds partly because of what we now call bulimia but I figured was just a nervous stomach. Little did I know when I finally put on weight in college, living in the dorm away from the tensions of my family that Mom would shift gears and do everything to get my weight down. Other kids went home for summer break and got fed. I got starved.

For the record let me say my highest weight in college was 130 and I got that under control with my old friend throwing up. This time consciously. Food became anything but just food. Oh, it would be so easy if it were. But it is at various times revenge, love, friendship, pacifier, etc., the list goes on. In my mid 30's I had so messed up my metabolism that I could gain weight on a fast. The doctor I went to said no dieting. None. Never. Period. For at least three years and we had normed out my metabolism. It seemed to have worked.

Twiggy
I have never been Twiggy thin again, but I seldom get uncomfortably fat. Mind you my sense of uncomfortably fat is probably narrower than the average. My definition of diet is now 'sensible eating plan' and following my spring 2009 bout with H1N1 flu I have been almost desperately trying to find a SEP that will get excess weight off. Having a close neighbor that has dropped too much weight and brags about it constantly is not helping my sense of balance. I currently nixed coffees and lunches with her because of her jabs at my WEIGHT. Mind you I am now for me uncomfortably FAT. Also not helped by my sister losing weight. Or that I have low blood sugar and need frequent snacks or the right sort.

So when Deb mentioned that mixing carbs with protein may be my problem I Googled and found the Separation Diet. This could be why Atkins has worked in the past but South Beach doesn't. In fact it seems guaranteed to put weight on me even at remarkably low calorie counts. And it supposedly solves the colon issues that result from pure Atkins. Simply put it is not the hamburger or the bun that makes you fat but the two of them together in a meal.

When you think about it just how often did my ancestors run through MacDonald's for a Big Mac and fries? Last night I had just the fries as it were. I had grown some lovely Yukon gold organic potatoes and had them baked with onion. This morning I had my protein - a spinach omelet with feta cheese. I ate less and feel less stuffed so I will let you know how this goes. It merits at least a 2 week trial.

Besides a friend on Facebook has challenged us all to do what the trapped Chilean miners must do - lose 2 inches around their waists. So obviously exercise too.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Gardening!

Herb/flower bed edging
Yes, I know it is fall. And yes I am gardening. The last two springs in a row have been non starters. In April 2009 I got the H1N1 virus and could not lift a finger till late May. So I just scattered some seeds in my two 4 x 4 raised beds where I grow veggies.

Raised bed cleaned, soil enhanced and covered for winter
This May I was in Moab for two weeks and then my brother-in-law died suddenly. I essentially lost May to any constructive activity with gardening. When I got out of the fog of vacation and grief I had summer fairs to prepare for and once again just scattered a few seeds in my raised beds. Bad things happen when you neglect soil and weeds for two seasons.

So when an on line friend blogged that she as doing some fall gardening it seemed like an ideal solution to my problems. The one trouble with fall gardening is finding everything you need like edging materials and bags of compost and gardening soil so I began scouring the local garden supplies. And found some treasures like 40% off on plants and even some free ones like 6-packs of pansies. Those I plan to put in a container garden I am bringing inside to winter.

Pond end of Herb/flower bed
I scored another Nearly Wild rose to go into the garden and a columbine and two Iceland poppies and an oriental poppy. As parts of the bed are scoured of weeds and the soil is enhanced with compost and new garden soil the new additions are being added. I now have the bed half way edged. It will be 60 feet of edging when done. It is not an easy process.

Aspen grove and new addition
One of the bargains I got was a Canadian Red Choke Cherry. It will be planted in my small aspen grove after it adjusts to the location. At the other end is a red twig dogwood so it will be a color balance. I still haven't a clue what I am doing with my grove. I contemplate removing the grass. Putting down landscape cloth and pine bark chips. But one bed at a time.

Today is more edging of the herb/flower garden and transplanting the columbine out of my other raised bed to it. Then I can do the same with the second raised bed that I have done with the other. Meanwhile I have to take no time out of my schedule for exercise.