Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Chama New Mexico

Leon and I spent the weekend RV camping in Chama, New Mexico with five other guys. We had a great time socializing in the wind. It was quite cool up there near the Colorado border and very windy. Definitely NOT a day at the beach.
Chama's only tourist attraction is the Cumbres-Toltec (antique coal powered) railway which we have never taken. It is shut down this season due to fire danger. The town, otherwise is pretty sad. A few gift shops and restaurants. No photos to share of that, but we did take a walk through a field with pretty nice scenery.
Me and Leon


Thursday, May 26, 2022

Link to another Blogger's Post

 For further opinion and information I refer you all to Bobservations at "I Should Be Laughing"

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Thoughts and Prayers are a Joke

We were eating dinner when the evening news came on. I told Leon I could not watch the news of children being shot while we were having dinner. It is difficult to eat when one has tears in one's eyes. I had to turn off the TV. 

Seeing the pictures right now on the morning news of some of the children and the teacher who lost their lives so needlessly and tragically. It is so wrong. We should all be sad beyond words for these children, teachers and their families. And for those who lost their lives and their families in Buffalo.

The second mass shooting in as many weeks. Business as usual. Life goes on.

Sick and angry with the gun culture in America, the NRA, and the republican's phony reasoning about the 2nd Amendment. And the evil and disgusting take on the President's speech by the Fox idiots. As if he were somehow disrespectful to the victims and families for calling out the lack of action by the congress to control gun sales and possession. Fox had the nerve to criticize his speech as "politicizing" the tragedy. Blood is on the hands of the Republicans who enshrine gun ownership and falsely use the 2nd amendment to justify their lack of action on gun control.

I've seen the photos of Republican politicians and their families including children, posing with guns and assault weapons for Christmas cards! SICK. Disgusting but as American as apple pie. Yeah right. I'll take the apple pie any day. Blame anyone, anything for mass killings except the ridiculously easy availability of guns. Deflection, projection, and lies. Anything but gun control.

The Republicans, the hideous, hypocritical "pro-life" party has blood on their hands. And like the Pharisees are like "whited sepulchers, .... full of dead men's bones, and of all uncleanness."

I hope the midterms will untie Joe Biden's hand so he can lead us back to sanity.



Friday, May 20, 2022

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Saying Goodbye to Two Special Women

I have been seeing a mental health therapist since last August (2021) and a physical therapist since last November (2021). Both therapies were, to a large degree, due to my ageing body. 

I had been experiencing some ongoing depression, mostly about getting old and partly about the road not taken (not to imply that there was ever a different road I could have taken). 

And then there was the osteoarthritis with loss of cartilage and torn meniscus which left my left knee swollen and painful and which just added insult to the injury of being 74.  

Well, I had an 8:00 am appointment with my physical therapist, Alexi, this morning and I suggested that I had perhaps improved as much as could, which, all things considered meant that I could now bend my knee to put on my socks and shoes, walk at least a mile without any real pain, do my house chores and tend to my vegetable garden with only mild exhaustion. So we decided that it would be my last PT session. She put me through the gauntlet as a parting gesture!

I am very grateful to have had such a knowledgeable, professional, warm and compassionate therapist. I thanked her and gave her a good-bye hug before leaving.

I stopped for coffee and then went to my appointment with my mental health therapist, Linda, which was at 10:00 am. Our meetings had been reduced to every other week for a while and there would be several weeks in the next month when I would not be able to schedule. So after we reviewed my journey briefly, we decided together that this would be my last therapy session.

Part of that review included acknowledging the imaginary "road not traveled" as well as the "road actually traveled." That actual road was the road to accepting my self and my sexuality. But it was one long, rough, bumpy, treacherous and difficult ride. One that left me a bit battered and wounded...and angry. 

When I came out at 36 I was able to channel some of that anger into Gay Lib and AIDS activism. 

The residual anger I still feel now sometimes is due to the fact that it was our judgemental, oppressive and homophobic institutions of school, religion, society, family, culture, and ethnicity that sent me on that very long, difficult road to begin with. It was strewn with guilt and fear and humiliation and depression and pain. And seemed to go on forever. (Each day now I read about new anti-LGBTQ shit that makes me angry, but that's another thing.)

Now I am still learning to own and embrace that road I traveled. It is not resignation, it is not quite acceptance. I am seeing that journey as part of what made me who I am, like it or not and.... too bad that I am not a marine biologist!

So, that was heavy. And after reviewing my therapeutic journey, I said, "Gee, maybe I need another year of therapy!" We both laughed.

I am very grateful to have had such a knowledgeable, professional, warm and compassionate therapist. I thanked her and gave her a good-bye hug before leaving.

Today I said good-bye to two special women (both of whom kind of had a "free spirit" vibe and were generous with their presence and attention) who were there to help me through a difficult time.  

My mental and physical pains may not be "cured" but thanks to these women I am walking and living with much less physical and emotional pain ... all on my own now.

Today was cathartic. Wish me luck.

Sunday, May 15, 2022

A Bunch of Random Photos and Thoughts

The photos below are of smoke plumes from the Hermit's Peak and Calf Canyon combined fires near Las Vegas, New Mexico. The two photos were taken within minutes of each other. View from Santa Fe on Saturday afternoon (May 14) which is about 60 miles from the fire.
This is one huge fire and has been fanned by extremely high winds for more than a week. The air is much calmer today, so the firefighters have a little relief...very little. There are more than 1,800 firefighters on this site.
These are, from what the meteorologists have said, pyro-cumulous clouds that rise up from the heat sucking air inward at the ground and can get heavy and collapse causing winds blowing outward at ground level, which will spread the fire outward. There is science involved and we are all learning new things about wildfires.  

This firefighter was featured on the official fire info page. OK!

It is hot and dry here. Supposedly drier than Death Valley.

The Yucca Trees are in bloom. Some of the blooms are top-heavy and leaning over.

Irises have always been one of my favorites.

I forget the name of these wild flowers. Amazing varieties of wild flowers bloom
 despite lack of rain.

Had to photograph all our worldly possessions in case of fire. My cookbooks.

Purple Robe Locust in our back yard.

We Support Ukraine Flower Boxes - a little battered by the high winds

View of a part of the Veggie Gardens from the deck

Another view of the Yucca Tree

First Roses
Some biscotti for dessert

Post Script:

I am having so much trouble with Blogger. If I try to load more than three photos, it will upload all but one and that one will hold up the ability to "Select" the ones that have been uploaded. The upload freezes. I sometimes have to try 3, 4, 5 times or upload only 3 at a time. 

Yes our internet is not the greatest.

Then, once I get the photos on the post and try re-arranging them they often will just vanish (or not space evenly or have blank lines that I cannot get rid of).  Luckily the "undo" button will get them back.  One photo above is off center and nothing I tried will get it in line. 

Also, when trying to post comments, especially on "I Should Be Laughing" I get an un-typeable comment blank. I have to re-load ten times and sometimes change browsers and even then often just give up. So if I don't comment on your blog, please forgive. It has been frustrating.

SO. Blogging has become more of a chore than a pleasure. Which is one reason why I don't post much. Also because I don't have a lot to add to the conversation. 

Who really wants to know how my last physical therapy session went or get daily photos of my tomatoes and peppers? (By the way I have 32 peppers this year, [24 more than usual] all of which I grew from seed. Some are pepperoncini from commercial seed; some are the pizza hot peppers grown from the seeds out of the shaker; some are mini-sweets from seeds I saved from peppers from the grocery store.)

I am also trying artichokes again. I have called artichokes the vegetable from hell. But I will try to befriend them if I actually get an artichoke. The ones from last year are doing great and some new plants I grew this year are catching up.

Last year's artichokes - 2 varieties?

I think the plants are cool, even if I never see an artichoke. Kind of exotic.

New artichoke plant 2022 - there are 4 new plants

Also trying to grow a fig tree. Another kind of exotic specimen for the garden. I didn't think I had protected it enough for the winter, but it is sprouting.

And the FIG TREE made it through the winter! New sprouts.

Prickly Pear from Martha's Vineyard via Connecticut

Rio Grande at Peña Blanca this morning - South view

Rio Grande - North view

Monday, May 9, 2022

Life in New Mexico in the Era of Climate Change

 The Cerro Pelado Fire in the Jemez Mountains of New Mexico is threatening Los Alamos because of unprecedented, sustained and extremely severe northeast winds. Here at Cochiti Lake, we are still not in immediate danger. But that is no guarantee should the wind change because the southern edge of the fire is only about 6 miles from town.

 Planes and helicopters have been scooping water from Cochiti Lake to fight the fire. They have been at it all day long for days. The fire is expected to burn for several weeks or more. Drought is also severe and coupled with the strong wind, the situation is dangerous all over the state.



Photo taken by a neighbor two nights aago

 Speaking of drought...the hubs, Ranger Leon was helping with trail maintenence in an area west of us and putting up botanical signs to identiy the plants along the trail. They could not find a living specimen of prickly pear cactus on the trail and actually had to go to a greenhouse that specialized in native plants to purchase a prickly pear cactus to plant along the trail. The drought is pretty bad when cactus are dying in the desert for lack of water.

Sunday, May 1, 2022

Another Update on the Cerro Pelado Fire Near Cochiti Lake, NM

We are OK so far. There is a chance we may have to evacuate if the fire gets much closer. 

Last report it was about 5 miles from us, which is pretty close for a wildfire fed by high winds. 

There is a “ready, set, go” system of alerts. We have not been given the “ready” alert. Once that happens “get set” and “go” can happen fairly quickly. 

There will be/are 150 fire fighters headquartered in our town where they will go up into the burn area closest to us where a very hot fire is feeding on huge, dead, extremely dry, fallen timber from the forest fire 11 years ago. According to the fire and forest experts who talked to us today, this is a very difficult and dangerous kind of fire to deal with. Even if there was no wind. 

But the experts who briefed us were all pretty calm...I'm not sure if it's time to panic yet. We have our camper packed fairly well and if we evacuate we plan on taking that. Have all the important papers together and believe me it is difficult trying to decide what has value (there's not much in our house that has monetary value) or is irreplaceable. 

I'm thinking mom's pasta board that dad made. Maybe a few pictures that dad painted. And I put SO MUCH WORK and EFFORT and KNEE PAIN in this year's vegetable garden... 

In the video our town is in the lower right hand corner of the map. That's exactly where the wind will be blowing tonight.



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