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:

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Hanging out at the Legion posts

My brother is a Vietnam vet, and he's active in his American Legion post back in western New York.

So on his trip to New Mexico, we visited several Legion Posts. Jake had Legion license plates from his post in NY, and there is a tradition of trading plates with other posts around the country. He was able to visit posts in Santa Fe and Los Alamos, and exchange plates with them.

The fun part was the nice people we met in the Legions in both places. Local people were interested in striking up conversations with us, and were instantly friendly to us as strangers. We had some great conversations with some good people.

Here is Jake outside the Montoya y Montoya Post in Santa Fe:

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Cross of the Martyrs

On top of a hill overlooking downtown Santa Fe, near Otero Street and Paseo de Peralta, is a simple white cross which commemorates the 21 Franciscan priests killed during the Pueblo Revolt of 1680.

My visit there with Jake and Debbie several weeks ago was the first time I have ever visited this place. I was really impressed with the spectacular views of the city. The Jemez Mountains are to the west, and I have heard the cross is a great place to view the Santa Fe sunsets.