Friday, December 16, 2011

December sunrise

A particularly beautiful sunrise earlier this week:

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Our first snow - 2011

Last night we had our first measurable snowstorm of the winter and this morning everything looked so pretty. Nice to have snow right before Christmas to get into the holiday spirit.

Most of it melted throughout the day, though.

Here are some pictures around my property:

The snow covered mountains in the late afternoon sunlight today:

Thursday, November 24, 2011


To all of my blog friends and faithful readers of La Casa de Towanda, I wish you a Happy and Blessed Thanksgiving. I hope you will be spending the holiday with loved ones, enjoying good company and good food.

I will be going to my friends' house and we will have 12 people there, most of whom I know, and several other new ones to get to know.

This has been a tough year, but there is still much to be thankful for ... and I count ALL OF YOU among my blessings!

Enjoy your day!

Love, Sharon

Thursday, November 17, 2011

New wheels

My old Buick Century was 13 years old and in deteriorating shape ... it was time to get a new vehicle.

My son Brian came out to Santa Fe last week. We made a trip down to the Chrysler-Jeep dealership in Albuquerque and picked out a nice shiny brand new Jeep Liberty to buy.

It's perfect! It's wonderful! I have wanted a Jeep for years and years and finally here I am an old geezer and can drive around in this cool SUV.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Thank you to our veterans

To all the military men and women who have worn the uniform of our country, and preserved our liberty.

And especially to

My husband, John Hosenfeld
My son, Brian Hosenfeld
My Dad, Bernard Davis
My Brother, Jake Davis
My Brother, Steven Davis
My Uncle, Frank Davis
My Uncle, Patrick Russo
My Uncle, Arthur Lippens
My great-grandfather, John Couse
My Great-Great Grandfather, Leonard Davis

A grateful family salutes you all ...

God Bless you all for your service to this country ...

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Entering cancer care

Starman recovered very successfully from his episode of cluster seizures. Started on medication over ten days ago, he has had no seizure activity, and is acting like his old happy, contented self.

HOWEVER...the MRI and spinal tap indicate that something is in his brain, and the veterinary neurologist and oncologist have not been able to determine the exact cause. The test for lymphoma, the most common brain cancer in dogs, came back negative. It may be a more rare cancer ... or it might be an erratic immune system which is causing encehpalitis and swelling in the brain. So they are treating both, in hopes we can hit whatever the problem is.

Yesterday we had our first visit at the Cancer Center, which is adjacent to the Emergency and Specialty Clinic.

I am so impressed with everyone I have met and everything I have observed so far. They are professional and caring, and they do a lot of teaching so the pet owner does not feel lost in the dark. It was explained to me that the focus of chemotherapy in dogs is not to hit the animal so hard that they suffer effects from the chemo. The goal is to give low doses of chemo which shrink the tumor or prevent it from growing, while the dog lives a normal, happy life with no ill effects from the chemo.

So, Star started on his chemo treatment yesterday. I am to watch for side effects, but so far have observed nothing except his normal behavior. He is on the chemo drug, prednisone, an anti-seizure drug, and two antibiotics. We are getting used to being on a strict medication schedule.

Right now, we are taking one day at a time, waiting to see what happens. And so far, I have my sweet dog to hug and love.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Fighting for my best friend

I may not be able to blog very much for a while.

My dog Starman is sick and we are waging a fight for his life here.

After a long period of seizures early last Friday morning, he was treated at the very WONDERFUL Emergency Veterinary Clinic of Santa Fe, and had several tests which show something ominous going on inside his brain - either some form of cancer, or a rare immune response. The clinic has a fabulous neurology clinic with all the latest treatments. The neuro vet told me both conditions are treatable with meds and are affordable. So -- right now we are waiting for the test results to get a definitive diagnosis.

Star is home. He is acting like normal again. Eating, drinking, running around the yard, taking his medications. No seizures in 48 hours. I still feel like I must watch him every single minute, and I cannot leave him here alone at all.

The vet told me that other than the brain disorder, Starman is in excellent physical condition in every other aspect, and could live for four or five more years. Since he has been my main companionship since John died, I have decided to give him a shot. I will know if and when the time comes to let him go.

2011 has been a horrendous year for me, and if John were still here, it would be so much easier to go through this. But he isn't and I must suck it up and realize that life is not fair ... and try to go on. I keep reminding myself that God does not give us more than we can bear.

Happier times:

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Beautiful bloom

I received many beautiful flowers and plants when John died. After 5 1/2 months, this lily I received from the Parrish family is blooming for the first time.

It is a symbol of life to me.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Nothing says autumn in New Mexico like the chamisa plants that are in bloom everywhere. They are at their peak right now, creating a golden landscape all over this part of our state.

Chamisa is also know as "tall rabbit brush" and is related to the sage family. It has a sweet aromatic fragrance.

Here are some chamisa blooming at my daughter's property in Santa Fe:

Monday, October 10, 2011

Roundhouse Art

The New Mexico State Capitol Building is just full of wonderful pieces of sculpture.

Here are two of my favorite statues on the grounds:

Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Western Sculpture on Museum Hill

Up on the entrance to Museum Hill from the Old Santa Fe Trail in Santa Fe is this wonderul multi-piece bigger than life size sculpture. It is such a great depiction of the Old West and the arrival of settlers to New Mexico and other western states.

For Jake and Debbie, it was the last stop in our great sightseeing tour that spanned ten days. And we only stopped the sightseeing because we ran out of time.

I still have a long list for their next visit.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Fiesta Santa Fe

Our annual Santa Fe Fiesta was going on during the week my brother and sister in law were here. We went down to the Plaza on Sunday, the day of the Fiesta parade. It was fun walking around, checking out all the crafts and food booths, etc. Lots of local Fiesta color happening and a short memorial service commemorating the tenth anniversary of 9/11/2001.

When the time got closer to parade time, the Plaza got very crowded and we had been there for several hours, so we left before the parade. Still, it was an enjoyable morning. I guess I was too busy looking at all the sights to get many pictures.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Indian attack on Eldorado?

These approaching Indians have been in Eldorado all summer, right at the edge of the La Tienda shopping center.

I have no idea why they are there, or what they are used for.

But they were interesting as a photo op.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Valles Caldera

Ever since the first time I saw Valle Grande over 40 years ago, I love going there, and especially taking visitors there. The sight of the immense volcanic caldera (over 1 million years old) is stunning. After visiting Los Alamos, I went there with Jake and Debbie on Sept. 10.

On this visit, for the first time, we went down into the caldera on the paved road that goes back a little ways to allow visitors to actually enter the basin.

The views, as always, are just spectacular, but on this visit, we had an added bonus -- we spotted a herd of elk, with the male elk guarding his herd of probably 50 females as they grazed in the caldera. It was really something interesting to see!

The elk herd:

Watching the elk herd with a nice young family we met:

Areas of burned trees were all over the Jemez area near Los Alamos; it was a heartbreaking sight to see: