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Luna’s Mud Vacation

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I do indeed love this dog. I do. But maybe kids are easier than dogs after all…Let’s see eight-month old dog…is that the same as about an five-year-old kid. Yeah, okay that explains it. But you can’t explain to the dog that if you get all muddy there’s be no dessert tonight. So here’s album one for today. More to follow…

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Luna is in the House

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Probably not such an interesting story unless you are one of Luna’s admirers or simply obsessed with dogs…all dogs.

Luna is granddaughter Patricia most beautiful husky/Australian Shepherd/Border Collie (probably) who is living with me for a week. She’s about eight months old and the prettiest and smartest of all my grandchildren and I do love her. That said I had forgotten how much work goes into being a good dog parent. Back in the day we were, I’m ashamed—or not—to say, much less solicitous. When I was a kid we had farm dogs…not the kind that live in the barn and eat old food or things gone bad…ours were the ones that slept on the couch and ate pretty directly from the table. But they did roam about the fields freely, never had shots, ate the same treats we did (Hershey bars on shopping days) and they usually lived to ripe old ages. And even though my dogs back in the not-so-far-away day had a yard, slept on the couch, and had dog food and lots of table tidbits, they were rarely walked and frequently didn’t get shots (since I was usually on the poor side of that great middle class we often hear about).

Now Luna, on the other hand, has a myriad of shots, pills, regularly scheduled appointments with the vet; pricey dog food, dog treats, dog toys, a giant cage thing, harnesses, leashes, brushes, blankets and special bowls. It’s not all good however. I’m not allowed to give her treats except tomatoes and bananas. Really! Whatever happened to the pork chop bone or licking the chocolate frosting off the plate? Her mom will find out…so I may as well admit it…I did share a peach Activia with her tonight.

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Our day went something like this. Luna and I took a short street walk at 5:15am; we drove family to airport for their Hawaiian holiday a little later; we went to work and adjusted the office for max Luna comfort and she made many of our artists very happy by letting them scratch her belly; we went for two relatively short walks in the 96° oh-so-sunny high desert day; we went to the dog park for about an hour and one-half and played.

Luna is very funny at dog parks, initially shy and hanging back; then a few forays toward and around the other mostly older dogs; then back and forths where Luna runs away, circles around, cuts back through the middle of the action; finally she’s front and center in the races, even getting rolled over in one big happy melee which scared me a bit. She is now dirty and exhausted…me too.

There, family on the beach…that’s my report. Tomorrow Luna and I are hanging out at the air-conditioned brew pub up the street and having burgers for dinner with blueberry pie and ice cream afterward.

Hike # 2 in the Fine Month of June 2016

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Maybe the truth is that all this walking isn’t about my health–it’s simply an excuse to play nature photographer!

Forgive me…I had never heard of a single poet except Robert Louis Stevenson until I was in high school. By which time I knew a whole lot of RLS by heart.

I have a little shadow that goes in and out with me, 

And what can be the use of [her] is more than I can see….

For [she] sometimes shoots up taller like an india-rubber ball, 

And [she] sometimes gets so little that there’s none of [her] at all. 

I don’t love it in the foothills yet. But every place is beautiful isn’t it? Next week back to the Bosque, a new part of it I’ve never walked before. Please let there be ducks and geese.

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From the River to the Mountains

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Or Movin’ on Uptown as we say. I’ve written a bit about my new apartment with which I’m quite happy, especially with my very own bamboo tree/bush/plant? right outside a front window. It’s quiet and pleasant and so forth. However—it’s nearer the mountains than the river. I took a first foray into my new environment this morning, a couple of hours of a Bear Canyon/foothills trek. I was happy to be walking outside again but it’s just not the Bosque and that made me sad. No more ducks and geese enlivening my walks. No water in sight. Only scattered little Piñon trees; no bushes, brush, big cottonwoods. Oh sure, the vista is grand, in a brown-gold New Mexico kind of way, and the early morning air and light and sky have inspired a multitude of painters, and it is completely bugfree. In fact I only saw one single living creature, that one big black bug—a roach cousin I think—who’s managed to make the foothills his lonely home.

I’m going back on Thursday morning with my walking buddy Beth and I will learn to love the foothills. However there are some alternatives like driving over to the Bosque—maybe starting at the north end and doing some round trips or the 10-mile walks I must do to prepare for Greenland. If I have ducks and geese around on alternate walk days I’ll be happy, won’t I?

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End of the Move

 

FROM MY MOM'S GLOXINIA PLANT. OVER 50 YEARS OLD. STEVE AND MICHELE HAVE IT BECAUSE THEY'RE PLANT PEOPLE, BUT THEY GREW A BABY ONE FOR ME AND I THINK IT LIKES ITS NEW HOUSE.

FROM MY MOM’S GLOXINIA PLANT. OVER 50 YEARS OLD. STEVE AND MICHELE HAVE IT BECAUSE THEY’RE PLANT PEOPLE, BUT THEY GREW A BABY ONE FOR ME AND I THINK IT LIKES ITS NEW HOUSE.

I declare the move to the new apartment officially over–Sunday, May 8th. I say that because for the first time in over a month I’m am paying attention to writing again. I’ve been doing my assignments for class but otherwise journaling, blogging, reading (an essential part of writing), thinking about the book, the ‘100’ flash pieces, listening to the lectures and poems in my Coursera poetry classes, and trying to think like a writer has been on an extended break. That Is Over. Done. Back to work.

First though one last post and a small album of photos from my new place–which I seventy-five percent love. The apartment is great now that my stuff surrounds me, good layout, windows in every room (unlike my sweet but cave-like previous digs) from which I can see green. The street is, as previously stated, boring, but the neighborhood behind me is quite lovely and I’ve discovered I’m okay living in The Heights, an area that the more arts-oriented among us have long decried as soulless at worst, dull at best. Maybe I’ve just never admitted to myself I am not particularly soulful although I’ve always known I was not exactly the animated life-of-the-party type. So…I guess I Am Home. There are still some things to do, but I’m out of home-improving energy and money for now.

It’s Mothers Day. One nice son has called and told me to look for a card in the mail and the other nice son and daughter-in-law are taking the moms to the Cheesecake Factory, which has just arrived in Albuquerque, to dinner. Loved it when eating there in San Francisco so am quite happy about this day of reading, writing, good food AND A NEW HENNING MANKELL SERIES ON PBS this evening.

LAUNDRY/LIBRARY/GUEST ROOM

LAUNDRY/LIBRARY/GUEST ROOM

ALL IS WELL NOW THAT THE VOODOO ART FROM HAITI IS IN PLACE.

ALL IS WELL NOW THAT THE VOODOO ART FROM HAITI IS IN PLACE.

 

Moving: The Countdown to Saturday

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The fourth day from now I’ll move—with a lot of help from my sons of course. I do feel quite sentimental about my eclectic downtown neighborhood, the Bosque nearby, and my brightly-walled apartment. That is until the upstairs kid thunders across the floor above my head and then sentimentality goes right out the window.

My new Northeast Heights neighborhood is…well…is…boring. But pleasantly quietly so; single story; tiny yard where I could grow turnips out back and maybe raise a couple of Leghorns—that’s a joke; dishwasher, garbage disposal, washer, dryer, windows in every room; elementary school across the street in case I adopt tiny children; decent pizza place in the hood—although pizza is not among my favorite foods; little further from work/little closer to the gym. Economical. What’s not to like except the boring part?

I’ll move in my stuff, add a few extra IKEA touches and a new era will commence…hmmm…how many of those do I have left?

I do like reasons to declare a next life-phase about to begin though. Yet one more chance to Get It Right!

Moving

DUCK OF 2016

DUCKS OF 2016

It is time. I’ve lived downtown for over 15 years, same apartment, and I have loved it. Just the right size, cost, landlords, neighborhood. A few months ago a rather rambunctious family moved in upstairs, not awful people, just awful right above my head. It has taken me a little time to realize I can’t will these people away, and that I’ve just been really lucky all of these years with upstairs neighbors. So dear downtown apartment, with great reluctance I’m am severing our fine relationship. At least it was with great reluctance until today.

I took the day off, wrote for a long time and then headed down to the river after too long not walking. Halfway through the walk I realized I was done with here. That I wanted to move. That 15-year stint is longer than anyplace I’ve ever lived except for my 18 years at my original home in Koochiching County, Minnesota. Long enough. Done.

Steven will go with me Saturday on a first reconnaissance mission for the right neighborhood. Must be between work and the gym and his house. In fact, although he and Michele and Sara are far up on Paseo and Tramway, that’s where I would like to live. The problem is money of course. Steve’s neighborhood has few rentals and they’re probably all out of my price range since I must stay at the low end of that food chain in order to continue traveling. Damn…hate the reality of things.

There’s all the time in the world to search fortunately because I’m still not unhappy here. Just annoyed and bored. Which is the way my walk felt today. Boring. I need a new path.

So dry. None of the juicy spring of the snowy melting north.

Blogging

CHRISTMAS DAY 2015. FLORIDA.

CHRISTMAS DAY 2015. FLORIDA.

Blogging is an insidious pastime. Addicting. Attention-seeking. Time-consuming. I love it. Sometimes I share a thought or event or photo of some small value. Sometimes I am simply silly, self-indulgent with a cookie or a ragged leaf.

I vowed to only post ‘good writing’ for awhile. But that’s what I’m working on in my classes, for my book and it’s difficult—satisfying but not fun. It’s what I intend to do in a writing blog in the future. It’s what Time & Place is for when I’m traveling. Where’s my 2016 fun coming from then? You know—the daily small stuff.

And communicating with family and friends. How should that happen?  Facebook? Not usually. Emails? Sometimes. Phone calls? Too invasive. Texts? My thumbs get tired. Letters? Yeah, right. A diary? To be read after I’m dead perhaps.

How about I just give myself permission to keep doing this TODAY blog when the mood so strikes? Like TODAY. It’ll be fun.

ALMOST NEW YEAR'S EVE 2015. NORTH FOURTH STREET, ALBUQUERQUE NEW MEXICO.

ALMOST NEW YEAR’S EVE 2015. NORTH FOURTH STREET, ALBUQUERQUE NEW MEXICO.

Cheerleading. Cake.

My beloved Galaxy 6 Edge is on strike or I have screwed up some of the settings because taking photos of the family cheerleader was a disaster…all 400+ were off. I salvaged these three just to have proof that I went to a football game.

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This picture of Steve at lunch didn’t work out that well either but maybe I just got his bad side–he looks too skinny. My saying that will make him happy.

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Cheerleader Daddy.

More. Walking. Autumn.

I went for a walk and it hailed on me. And it’s been very gray and thundery and lovely.

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