The summer of 2017 has been busy, intense, rewarding, demanding, short…and is almost over. In fact let me declare it over because I leave on my fall road trip in two weeks—which obviously means fall begins on August 26th. The more I get used to this world of “fakery” the easier to live within it. Consider this: Donald Trump is a fake president—behind all the photos and stories there’s a “real” president, leader, congress who will not let anything truly awful happen to us! It’s okay. Take a deep breath and believe me when I tell you August 26th is the first day of autumn.
Since I last posted, I’ve been writing The Book, going to real-work, enjoying the bacterial infection from hell (I may now hold the world’s seven-day Netflixing record), and getting to know my newest great-grandchild, Kalia.
I am going to be blogging regularly again, starting today, on Time and Place (mneset.me) because, finally, Traveling 2017 begins.
A few pictures from life In New Mexico these past weeks.
FRIENDS COME TO TOWN.
SARA, KALIA AND I PREPARE UNCLE SCOTT’S FRIED RICE RECIPE. SCOTT LIKES TO THINK OF HIMSELF AS A FOODIE, BUT AT HEART HE’S HIS MOTHER’S SPAM-FRYING SON.
THE FAMILY’S MOST BEAUTIFUL MEMBER MUST BE INCLUDED IN EACH AND EVERY POST.
Since Patricia’s Luna remains the world’s greatest dog, we’ll start with pictures of her, move on to two of my favorite artists and their recent shows, followed by one of my glacier photos, and finish up with plants…Only Then can summer begin.
LUNA THE WONDER DOG.
AND TWO OF MY FAVORITE ARTISTS:
AND MY FAVORITE PHOTOGRAPHER: ME
It is only possible to live in this little apartment so near to the person across the way because of my bamboo plant, which along with my giant king size bed are my only two important possessions. However for Mother’s Day Steven planted a Texas lilac in front of my other front window so hopefully in a year or so I’ll feel closed in by my forest, not by human beings.
In New Mexico things have happened; I’ve just been writing something else and neglecting my blogs. Now there’s a whole spring of photos to post…What comes first in order importance? Kalia, Sara’s new puppy of course.
Oh yeah, besides Kalia, Sara did graduate high school and is off to UNM this fall. She chose to live at home so she could have Kalia. Here’s a small album of family gatherings surrounding graduation.
ENOUGH SARA AND KALIA FOR NOW. MOVING ON TO A SECOND POST FOR LUNA AND PLANTS AND ART. BE RIGHT BACK.
When I don’t blog it feels like I’ve forgotten something. But I’m so very busily writing so the posts are few right now. It’s been a very nice Sunday and days like this should noted and treasured…First I wrote and watered my plants, including this new mystery flower that’s grown up next to the bamboo. What is it?
Then I made serious Fried Rice, I say serious because it took lots of chopping and tasting and googling (to find out how to properly cook Basmati rice and whether Sherry really can substitute for Shaoxing wine). I recommend making this recipe; it’s full of interesting tastes but they’re subtle and it’s just the right consistency…and I love it. However it would be even better had I been drinking wine while cooking, but with no time for a lengthy nap I had to forgo the vino. And I hate Sherry so I nip of that wasn’t going to work. Here’s the recipe. https://cooking.nytimes.com/recipes/12177-fried-rice
A splendid day. Now to bed with my newest detective novel. Denise Mina…who’s okay, not wonderful. Scottish noir can’t compare with the real stuff from Scandinavia.
Wait…there is no spring here, at least not one a northerner would consider worthy of the name. Here we go from bare branches to full blown leaves with no pause for odes to the season in between. That may be an exaggeration but not by much. No falling icicles, no rich earthy smells as the sun and melting snow instigate the Big Spring Thaw, no muddy roads or mud vacations. But the wind…oh yes, the spring wind…that we have. April wind is to the high desert what April showers are to the north—except for the part about May flowers. However, I am gradually re-learning to re-love every sunny dust mote of this sometimes magical, sometimes annoying place.
Sara will graduate high school. Sara will start college. Sara is no longer a cheerleader. But back when she was (up until two weeks ago) what a lithe and pretty presence on the playing fields and courts of Albuquerque. Now, however it’s off to UNM and the next move toward real life. I want to tell her over and over to treasure college and classes and books and the belongingness that college can represent—but whether she turns out to be a perpetual student like me or a normal human being who enjoys moving toward a useful profession, and yet another new stage of life, I hope she finds it exciting and satisfying.
Here are a few photos from the Sara’s last cheerleading competition. Her team didn’t win and she had a horrible cold but she carried on and made us proud.
The idea of geography is exciting to me: especially “the study of the physical features of the earth and its atmosphere…” It doesn’t play out the way it should in my life though—I don’t walk and climb and hike through it; I seem to be better at staring at it from train windows or my seat in a movie theater. I must find a way to fix this—some activity to engage in consistently. Could I spend a day a month visiting one of the magnificent bits of New Mexican geography? Surely I could.
The first week in April, Scott and I will visit some choice bit of geography in SoCal. Maybe out to see the desert in bloom, or through the mountains to Julian to be rewarded with an apple pie, or down by the ocean the ocean the ocean… Then in May, a good Sandia hike when everybody’s here for Sara’s graduation. June, July and August are tough for New Mexicans, and early morning walks in the neighborhood aren’t exactly geographic explorations. although part of the definition of geography says “The study of … human activity …including the distribution of populations and resources, land use, and industries.” Okay, I could make a plan to walk some parts of my neighborhood—although unfortunately it is the most ordinary of lower-middle class neighborhoods. Maybe not.
In September, Steven and I may go on a giant road trip—which will be the study of GEOGRAPHY both from the car windows and trekking about in a grand way. Can’t wait.
This tree in the parking lot at my gym, a sunrise and Sandia (watermelon) sunset are the best I can do today.
It was a great relief to be invited back for a walk in the Bosque with friend Beth’s hiking club after whining a lot last time. I was chastised for not bringing water but the walk was only three hours on flat land so I was fine without, although I believe that’s considered bad hiking form. I’ve promised to be good and bring lots of snacks and liquids if they invite me back. We saw four porcupines nestled among the branches of the tall, presently leafless, cottonwoods. (They are cottonwoods aren’t they…in the bosque?) We were quite excited. Ian and I also spotted a werewolf but I couldn’t get my camera focused fast enough to get her picture. Here’s the album: (can’t caption for some reason but top two photos are one of the porcupines)
Thanks to Friend Beth’s invitation I walked/climbed 6.6 miles/1162 feet yesterday. Now granted I wasn’t appropriately grateful on some of those long uphill stretches but nine hours in bed and a pain pill later I am ready to offer up an earnest thank you. One of those goldy fall days, nice people, such a much better way to spend a day off than binging on netflix (really!) Here’s a two-part photo album: The Big Picture and Up Close and Personal:
BIG PICTURE: SANDIAS WITH FALL COLOR FADING INTO AUTUMN BROWNS AND GRAYS.
I walked the 10K Walk of the Duke City Marathon 2016. Did It. Who knew it would be so much harder to walk steadily and quickly (for me) for 10K than just to amble along taking photos every few yards? It Was Very Hard. But hey, I was second in my age/sex group—out of two of us! And I’m not sure what the overall categories represent but I was 76th out of 109 in the Division and 60th out of 85 in Gen (?) Rank. I realize that’s probably a C- and I’ve never considered myself a C kind of person (overlooking my Math Sat scores). However, considering I spent years living on mac n cheese and cigarettes; never ever playing a sport or going near a gym until recent times, I’ll take C.
My daughter-in-law Michele went way into serious running for her first time with the Half-Marathon—finishing hardly out of breath. Her foray into all this healthy living is fairly recent also but with the sweat on her brow barely dry yesterday she was already talking full Marathon next year!.
There you have it…another perfectly good weekend wasted on healthful activity outdoors in gorgeous fall weather when we could have been watching porn on the news channels.