Trip to Cochiti Mesa

As I said, it was a spectacular day for a ride. The snapshots don’t do the scenery justice, but they give you the idea.

The middle picture is a distant view of our house and shed. Here is an expanded view:

For more pictures see the flickr album 1-19-19 Trip to Cochiti Mesa.

I’ll write more about the roads tomorrow.

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Busy Day!

Andy stayed home this morning, planning to go up this afternoon to see if the road to Cochiti Mesa (the mesa across the valley from us) was open. Then we received this email:

Hi Neighbors,

The first county road grader made it through about 9 AM this morning. Two more are coming, so they will be widening the road over the next few hours.

That was good news! And later the author wrote to say our neighbor down in Del Norte Canyon, on the way to our house, had talked the grader into making a pass down from the fire station. Even better news.

It was a gorgeous day, so Andy asked if I wanted to go too. Sure, why not?!

We decided to go sometime after lunch to give the road crew plenty of time, so in the meantime I decided to look at the problem of commenters having to input their information every time they wanted to make a comment. It was annoying, but other people had the same problem and blamed it on WordPress changes, and I didn’t want to spend the hours and hours that problems like this can sometimes take.

The recent post, Interesting Questions, reminded me of the old saying,

For every problem under the sun,
There is a solution or there is none.
If there be one try to find it,
If there be none, never mind it.

It’s not that simple. Sometimes you know there is at least one solution to a problem, but it may take a huge commitment of time to find it and you have other priorities.

OK, so I would spend an hour or so trying to find the answer. If it took longer than that I would drop it for now. I did find an article that pointed me in the right direction, and, once I figured it out, the answer was really easy. (If you’re interested in what change to make, just ask, I won’t go into it here.) Here’s what the change looks like in the comment section:

Notice that if you click the little box that says

Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment.

it should save you from entering your information every time. How cool is that?!

The ride up to Cochiti Mesa and the walk down and back from Del Norte Canyon was cool too, but I’ll write about that tomorrow.

Take care and have fun!

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Home Early

When Andy left this morning he said he was going up to see what the conditions were like. He wasn’t concerned about the new snow (6-8″?). He was more concerned about the wind, which could mean drifts and possible fallen trees.

Sure enough, he was back home about 1:15. He managed to get within about 2.3 miles of the fire station, 4.4 miles of the house before he got stuck in the snow. He had been trying to drive (without chains) in the road he had plowed yesterday, but it was hard to see with the drifts and he go too far over to the left. It took him about an hour and a half to dig himself out and put chains on, so he decided it would be prudent to come back home and try again tomorrow.

We were surprised someone else hadn’t driven on or plowed that part of the way in, but with any luck someone else or the county will eventually plow it. Andy will drive up again tomorrow to check, but he’s not about to snowshoe in to the house to get our truck and plow!

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Interesting Questions

I recently took a quiz about how we handle expectations, both external — what other people expect of us — and internal — what we expect of ourselves,.

One of the questions was

Have you kept a New Year’s resolution where you weren’t accountable to anyone — a resolution like drinking more water or keeping a journal?

(1) Sure. I’m good at keeping New Year’s resolutions, even ones that no one knows about but me.

(2) Sure, I’m good at keeping resolutions, but I make them whenever the time seems right. I wouldn’t wait for the New Year; January 1 is an arbitrary date.

(3) I’ve had trouble with that kind of resolution, so I’m not inclined to make one, whether at the New Year or any time. When I’m only helping myself, I often struggle.

(4) No. I hate to bind myself in any way.

Another was

At times, we feel frustrated by ourselves. Are you most likely to feel frustrated because …

(1) My constant need for more information exhausts me.

(2) As soon as someone expects me to do something, I don’t want to do it.

(3) I can take time for other people, but I can’t take time for myself.

(4) I can’t take a break from my usual habits, or violate the rules, even when I want to.

I didn’t have trouble with the first question. Yes, I do keep commitments to myself, but when it makes sense, not because it’s January 1st. And I try to make the commitment easy to do, like the decision I made last August to draw a doodle/ little illustration, a day. Sometimes I do more, but the consistency is the main thing.

The other question was an eye-opener. When do I get frustrated with myself? I don’t. It turns out my mantra

Stay curious and open to life. No matter what happens keep learning and growing. Find what you love and find a way to share it with others.

is my default state when things come up. For instance I lost my house key twice in the past month or so. I haven’t done that in years because our keys say “Do not duplicate”. I have a spare, but if we lose one and want another we have to ask the management to have another one cut and will also eventually be responsible for having the lock changed. The keys also have our apartment numbers on them, so theoretically if we lose one in our complex someone would have access to our apartment. Not a nice situation to be in.

The first time I lost the key I looked carefully in the car but couldn’t find it, so talked to the management about having another key cut and moved on. Then later it dawned on me that one place I hadn’t looked in the car was between the passenger seat and the console. If it had slipped in there it would have been hidden. Sure enough, there it was so I canceled the order for the new key.

Then, a couple of weeks later I lost it again. It was again when Andy was driving and I was the passenger — I have never lost it when I was driving alone. This time it wasn’t in the car and we didn’t see it on the ground around the car when we got back and parked. I decided I wasn’t about to talk to the management again, even though they were super friendly, I would just use the spare until/unless I lost that one too.

Just in case I checked the parking lot at the store the next day, but I didn’t see it, and I mentally kissed the key goodbye. Then later it dawned on me I could phone the store to see if someone had found it and turned it in. Yes! So it had paid to let it go and give my subconscious a chance to work on the problem in peace.

Anyway, relaxing and letting things go seems to be a habit that’s working for me. Now I’m trying to train myself to consciously put the key in the pocket where it belongs when I get in the car when Andy is driving. Fingers crossed!

How would you answer those two questions?

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Too Good Not to Share

This isn’t the post I was going to write today, but the pictures KB took of Hachi, the new puppy, and R, her sweet older brother, are too good not to share.

R has had some health problems, including losing an eye to glaucoma and now losing the sight in the other eye, but he’s still a puppy at heart and he knows how to play with little ones. He’s gentle but convincingly ferocious looking — if there is any doubt look at the expression on Hachi’s face in the second picture. I laugh every time I think of it.

Thanks, KB!

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Marshall Cook, a friend of mine in Wisconsin, is not only a prolific writer but also the editor of Extra Innings, a newsletter he created years ago.

Extra Innings is a place for sharing your news and views on writing and publishing. Fiction and nonfiction writers, poets, screenwriters, editors—-anybody who loves writing and publishing—-is welcomed. Each newsletter is filled with tips, funny stuff, wisdom, and camaraderie.

Marsh was in a bad auto accident last summer and seemed to be recovering when he had a severe attack of sciatica and has been in a rehabilitation home ever since.

So I was delighted to get this email from him a couple of days ago:

What– another one!? Already?? I hope I’m not bombarding you, but I am feeling lots better, and I’m not getting around much outside the therapy room and the warm water pool, and making that newsletter is one of my favorite things to do, so……. Enjoy. Love from Coach

Needless to say I, and no doubt many other well-wishers, wrote to thank him for the update on his progress and for doing the newsletter, and to remind him of how much we have been rooting for him.

Bless the internet for keeping us connected, and for being there for him.

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More Snow In the Mountains

Andy had to plow yesterday, of course, and at times it was so misty he had trouble seeing the road. He did manage to keep from getting stuck in a ditch.

He’s down here today because the Jeep needs some minor repairs and the roads aren’t safe for the 4Runner.

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Nourishing Our Spirits

So much for the snow melting and opening up some some parking lots!

January 7, 2019

January 13, 2019

For me the word “nourish” in yesterday’s post doesn’t mean just the body, it also means our spirits — how to make our own sunshine on dismal days when we’ve been laid low by a cold or other illness.

One experiment I’ve been doing since last August is doodling/expressive mark making every day. It doesn’t have to be much if I don’t feel like doing it, but one of the books I bought, Drawing for Joy, has a page of circles in a spiral, we’re supposed to outline one of the circles every day we do some drawing.

The idea of the book is to spend 15 minutes a day drawing, both as a meditation and for skill development. But 15 minutes is too long for what I want — I just want to have a regular habit of mark making so (1) it’s there as a resource when I need it and (2) to communicate with my subconscious. I don’t know about you, but my subconscious runs my life, and I learned long ago if I wanted any say I needed to make friends with it and develop good communication.

So what do I doodle? Sometimes just squiggly faces, often smiling, and lately two themes:

The doodle on the left is a fellow pulling weeds and throwing them away. It’s shorthand for the mantra,

Pulling the weeds, nurturing the flowers.

I think of the good life as a garden that needs regular gentle attention.

The doodle on the right is of stairs leading up towards sunshine. A quick visual for when I need to make a change. It’s shorthand for the question,

What is one small step I can take right now to make myself happier?

Sometimes it’s just the sun with no stairs, shorthand for the phrase,

Sometimes we need to make our own sunshine.

That works for me, do you have special ways of nourishing your spirits?

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Four Simple Words

During nearly 20 years writing about health, I’ve had the opportunity to speak with hundreds of top medical experts about how to live well. What I’ve learned from all of them can be summed up in four simple words.

Move. Nourish. Refresh. Connect.
—Tara Parker-Pope, Four Simple Words to Help You Live Well

Do those words mean anything to you? They resonate with me, presumably because I’ve been fighting a cold the past few days and have been in a low-energy state. I’m refreshing by resting a lot, but I’m also making sure I move some (exercise and doing some chores) and that I eat nutritious food and stay hydrated. And when one blogs every day one can’t help but connect.

What works for you?

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Smart Pups

Tempi and Zoe don’t need to resort to trickery to get on the couch.

They curl up so there is plenty of room for the two of them plus one sitting human.

Zoe did notice that if the humans investigated something in the living room she could whip into the kitchen and steal food, so she tried distracting them by barking at the living room window. Unfortunately they were too smart for her.

Tempi isn’t sneaky. She communicates. For instance when she checked the rule of no climbing on the couch up on the land she made sure the humans were watching and meant it when they said no. No problem, she just climbed up on the table to sit. The view was better from there anyway.

More recently she had learned not to sit on the couch at Torben’s parents’ place, but then Torben’s sister’s puppy, Snowy, was somehow allowed to do it. Tempi looked at Snowy on the couch, then at the humans, and climbed up on the couch too. The humans had to admit, fair was fair, so they let her stay.

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