Saturday, April 10, 2010

Bathers at Seven Falls

If you look very closely in the clicked-on larger version of this photo, you'll see that that pool is full of bathers! This is the most water that I've ever seen in this area called Seven Falls at the north end of Bear Canyon. In fact, many times that I've hiked this, the "falls" are bone-dry! This evening, I'm exhausted. I worked with Jack all day on cleaning his place, lining shelves, washing new dishes, putting things away, packing up things from here, going out and buying new things at a rummage sale, an estate sale, and Wal*Mart, driving to the warehouse to pick up my new loveseat (thank you, Richard, for letting us borrow your truck!), carrying it into my house, carrying the "old" loveseat out and loading it into the truck, and then getting it settled into Jack's new place, collecting all of Eddie's things and moving him into his new digs, and finally going out to get flowers for church tomorrow, before taking Jack back to his place.

Both Jack and Eddie seem to be well-satisfied with the new house, and I'm so far enjoying the idea of having more freedom and space to spread out. These 400 sq ft cottages are suitable for two compact individuals, who like living a simple sort of life, unencumbered by lots of extras.

The day was very warm, with a reading on one of the bank thermometers of 89°. And, when it's warm here, the sun feels like its rays are actually sharply pointed, piercing your skin. It's a different sort of heat; that's for sure.

Friday, April 09, 2010

This is a shot along the Bear Canyon / Seven Falls trail from our hike on Tuesday, the 6th of April. The hillsides were streaked in yellow with the poppies. What a wonderful sight!

Today I had my follow-up appointment with Dr. Lowenstein, here in Tucson. All is well with me, as I had expected, but the real surprise was how promptly I was seen. I arrived on time for my 10:30 appointment, to find the waiting room full. But I waited all of maybe 5 minutes, before I was called back.

Called to wait in another magazine-lined, too-cold room for another half hour? Nope! I was taken into the doctor's office and, no sooner had I taken my seat, but he came in! How often does *that* happen? I wish that every doctor could be so mindful of his patients' time and so diligent about keeping their schedules running well. And, of course, while emergencies do come up, I do wish that more offices were better at handling them.
So I found out that, while my total cholesterol is a little high - 236, my LDL at 148 is evidently high enough to counteract the evils of the high total cholesterol. I have a small nodule in my lung, which showed on chest X-ray, and they think that it's a granulating histoplasmosis, which is the same thing for which Michael had that surgery on his lung, back in 2005 or so. Doc says that mine's calcified, or seems to be so, so he's not concerned. He said that we can repeat the X-Ray in a year.
He told me to keep up the good work with my exercise and that my weight is really perfect. And he said that the Mediterranean Diet would be a good one to follow for heart health and for keeping control of the weight, as well. Sounds like all good stuff -- easy diet to follow!

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Last Photo from T or C

Gadzooks, do I love the desert! This is one that I shot when we were on our way up the Turtleback Mountain, just outside Truth or Consequences, New Mexico: I got the day started right with an hour on the Wii. I actually got a high score in Rhythm Boxing, which surprised me. I've done that so much that it's very hard to surpass my high scores! High scores depend upon precise timing of the punches, and getting the pattern right every time.

Then Jack did some time on the Wii and we had breakfast before hitting the stores for Jack to lay in supplies for his new place. We're both having fun stocking his place. I feel like I'm sending my kid off to college. :)

We went to two different parties this evening and both were enjoyable, involving nice people and good eats and drinks!

After the parties, we did more shopping, procuring more cleaning supplies and a nice lamp for Jack's living room. The plan is for him to move in tomorrow.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010


What a beautiful day this was! Jack and I were up above the T on the Turtleback Mountain outside of Truth or Consequences, NM. This is the hike that we did without benefit of trail. ;)Today we were a-hoppin'. We began with me on the Wii. Then we were off to Jack's PT appointment and then we did some other errands. Back home again, I finished my taxes and got all 3 returns filed. Yay, me! It's always a fine moment for me when taxes are done for another year.

Then we got Jack's key and went in to assess the job ahead. We spent a couple of hours chipping food, grime, and grease off the surfaces in the kitchen. The crusted junk in the stove... and in between the crack of the table just about made me sick. We're making headway, though, and the place will likely be ready for Jack by tomorrow or Friday.

We went and looked at kitchen sinks, since I want one that's deeper and stainless steel, to replace this white plastic one. Then we'll install this white one in for Jack. It's far superior to the one that he has now, and cleaner too!

This evening, we went to dinner at Texas Roadhouse and that was fun. Then I had church choir practice, which I always enjoy. There were about 10 of us there. It's a small choir!

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Photo from Elephant Butte

Elephant Butte near Truth or Consequences, NM: Today was hiking day and we took a drive first -- up the Catalina Highway toward Mt. Lemmon. The hike took off from the General Hitchcock Campground, and went up the Green Mountain till we got to the saddle. We had 1000 feet of elevation gain and the most wonderful of views!

I still have not decided which of the floorings to get. I'm thinking now that perhaps the one with the square tiles (first photo), but in the shades a bit lighter. I do have plenty of light here. The furniture that i'm getting is a loveseat in a sort of taupish brown and a small recliner-rocker in terra cotta. The walls, window coverings and ceiling are white. The kitchen appliances (which are right next to the living room) are white. The filing cabinets which double as end tables for my loveseat are white.

Monday, April 05, 2010

Looking at new floors

This is an art piece -- part of a huge art piece, really -- in a park on Main Street in Truth or Consequences, NM:

Last evening, we went to a very fun party up the street. It was a potluck Easter dinner with only fun people, lots of laughs and plenty of love. I had made a most delicious bread pudding with chocolate chips, cinnamon, pecans, toffee chips, and a whisky sauce.

Today we ran a bunch of errands, including a run to Walgreens, the license branch, Apollo Floor Coverings, Lowe's, Dr. Lowenstein (for Jack's followup), Lowe's again, and Fry's. At Lowe's, we were looking at tile and such for redoing my shower. I've never liked the shower/tub that's in here, and Jack's going to do a lovely tile treatment, should we decide to go through with it.

I am going to get a new floor for this place, for sure. I'm looking at a really neat tile-looking but very nice linoleum. It's a product that "floats," that is, it is not attached to the floor. While it looks like tile, it's a little soft underfoot, so will be comfortable to stand on. Both samples that I have here to study will go great with my new furniture. And this carpet I have now is just horrible.
Here are the two floors that I'm examining.

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Cactus Bloom

This is just a small sample of the wonderful blooms that we're starting to see in profusion around Tucson. Unlike previous years when it seemed that the brittlebush and desert marigolds bloomed non-stop, this year, they're just starting to show off their brilliant yellows. And the cactus flowers are so brightly colored that they almost hurt your eyes!

I find it a bit amusing that some anonymous person cares enough about my personal life to criticize my choices. In this case, the unsigned person questions whether I am unable to get attached to people or things. Yes, Dona, I was married to Michael, and very attached, for 25 years. I have some wonderful friends and a great family to whom I'm quite attached.

I'd be the first to say that I'm not very attached to things. When I cleaned out my Bloomington house to move to Michigan, I gave away many things that had been important to Michael, meaningful to me, or even financially valuable. I did this partly because I just wanted to move on, to not store things that I was not likely to use or enjoy, but also partly because I could see that these things might benefit others. (I spend winters in Arizona, so do I really need 3 heavy winter coats? No; I'll give 2 of them to Goodwill, even if one was a gift from Michael and another was my mother's. I'm still not going to wear them, and someone else may.) If this means that I don't form attachments, then.. I'm guilty.

I think that this person is actually concerned that I'm "moving on" from my relationship with Jack. Even if I were doing this, I think that it would be pardonable. He and I *did* get together fairly quickly after his split-up and after my husband's passing. We'd have to be pretty good at mate-choosing and creating a loving home, if we were to get it right on the first try, wouldn't we?

He needs some time to get to know himself, what he wants and what's important in his life. I, likewise, need to be alone to get to know what I'm all about. We should have done this before we got together, perhaps, but it's better late than never.

Well, the truth is that, while we are moving apart and, for that reason, changing our relationship in some fundamental ways, I don't do well with that "clean break" idea, and nor do I want that with Jack. I am hopeful that we'll be able to hike together when we're here. I'm hopeful that our friends will keep him and me as friends. He's a wonderful man and I love him for that man he is.

Maybe Anonymous is worried about my giving my cat to Jack. Is it too much that I gave away my dog and then, 2 years later, gave away my cat?

Of course I loved my dog Maddy fiercely. She gave me a reason to get up in the morning many mornings after Michael died. She approved of me, even when my eyes were swollen and red from the seemingly endless tears during those painful months. I'd raised her from a scampering out-of-control puppy into a civil and responsible dog. I was proud to walk with her right by my side.

But is that enough? I found that, as I began to date, and as Jack and I spent more time together, I was spending less and less time with Maddy. She spent more and more time at home, waiting for my return. How much nicer is it *for her* to be in a home with other dogs, with a big yard, a big house where she can be a happier dog. I wasn't thinking as much about myself as I was about Maddy. I don't think that speaks to my attachment issues.

Eddie's a great cat. I love him, too. He greets us with a mew every morning and, when we return, he's right there to greet us at the door, if he's awake. Eddie was clearly a man's cat. He adored Michael and clearly preferred him to me. When Michael was close to dying, Eddie got up on his hospital bed and just waited one day. Michael went into his final coma that evening. After Michael passed away, Eddie was nearly inconsolable. He mewed and carried on, looking all around for Michael. He ate very little for about 3 weeks.

And when Jack began coming around, Eddie found in him the buddy he'd been longing for. Now Eddie spends time on Jack's chest every night before they both go to sleep. It seems more natural for him to be with Jack than to be with me, since they have developed such a bond.

I don't feel a need to defend myself, actually, but explaining my motives and actions makes it more understandable to myself. Actually, I thank you, Anonymous, for helping me to clarify this to myself. :)

Today we enjoyed a wonderful sunrise Easter service, followed by a pancake breakfast at the church, and then the regular Easter service where I got to sing with the choir.

This afternoon, we each worked on our own taxes a bit more. I'm nearly done with mine. I just have to figure out what taxes I paid in registering my Tucson car. Then the Federal part of things will be done and I just need to do whatever button-pushing has to be done to do the state taxes. I don't know yet if I have to do Indiana or if I just do Michigan. I did own the Indiana house till February of 2009, after all.