Wednesday, March 12, 2008

This post brough to you courtesy of the Burlington, Northern & the Santa Fe

I love this photo, taken near my house - some weird foreshortening effect makes it seem as though the mountains rise directly behind the train tracks, although this is not in fact the case.

Here are some other pictures taken on my Sunday walk.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Perfect Macro Moment

Driving down the hill from the high school this morning, I could see the town laid out before me. A few landmarks stood out: the blue roof of the Casa de Flecha, the old brick building with the wooden top story sitting next to the railroad spur that I haven't identified yet. For no particular reason I was just filled with a great affection for my new home, literally as though I had in the moment before been an empty glass and some large hand* had poured and filled me with fondness. Since I didn't have a camera I will have to make do with this mental snapshot of Socorro on a late winter morning, seen from high on a hill, with M mountain behind, and in the distance more mountains.

*No, not "God" for pity's sake. It's a metaphor.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

On the bright side...

Call me Pollyanna if you like, but there's a silver lining in every cloud. When you're drowning in snot and regularly horking up tadpoles of mucus that are threatening to metamorphosize into giant bullfrogs of phlegm in your lungs, cigarettes just aren't as satisfying as usual, which makes it a great time to quit.

Also making it a great time to quit is a lovely program they have here in New Mexico where they send you stop smoking nicotine patches in the mail, and all it costs you is a half hour of phone time answering highly personal questions asked earnestly of you by total strangers who sound like they're virginal seventeen year old honor students, honor students who would never do anything as stupidly self-destructive as poisoning their temples with nicotine. Not that anyone I talked to sounded in the least bit judgemental, in fact everyone was extremely pleasant and friendly, but still, I would have preferred to talk with a fifty-year old ex-chainsmoker, or at least someone who sounded like they might be even slightly acquainted with the concept of human frailty. Or maybe I'm just of an age now where youth is just, frankly, annoying.

But anyway, if you'd like some free help quitting, try or call the 1-800-QUIT-NOW hotline.

The patches have worked beautifully for me before, and seem to be working just dandy this time around as well. The old patches could easily be trimmed down to reduce your dosage, but the new ones are a bit differently made and specifically say DO NOT CUT PATCH IN HALF OR INTO SMALLER PIECES. I don't know why.

We went for a walk this morning. Saw some goats playing king of the mountain on a pile of wood. The air was cool and damp. The horses were frisky and the ducks subdued. The district's irrigation season has officially begun, and water is running in the irrigation ditches, but not yet into farmers' fields. The weather has been swinging from warm and sunny to cold and overcast, and back, and I am swinging, myself, back and forth, between the usual spring urges - yes, all of them - and the comfortably dormant winter of body and mind.

If, like me, you're not quite ready to emerge from hibernation, may I suggest that you do as I did yesterday: put clean sheets on your bed, pile it high with cosy comforters, plump up the pillows, and crawl back into it with Louise Penny's beautifully written mystery novel, Still Life and a lovely cup of tea.

If, on the other hand, you are bursting with a sense of renewal, etc., by all means, put down that double-espresso and read this article in today's Albuquerque Journal, Pruning Roses Just Isn't That Effing Difficult, All Right? Okay, that's not really the title, but it's what I immediately thought when I read the real title, for some reason, and although I've only skimmed it, I can tell you this much: you'll need Elmer's Glue. Presumably to put back the bits you didn't mean to cut off. Or maybe for some other reason.

I think I had better go put on a fresh nicotine patch. Have a lovely day.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Flu season

As far as I can tell, we started coming down with the flu here around January 17th, and everytime we think we've shaken it, it's come back around with a vengeance.

I don't want to complain too much, but I will say that between the three of us we've produced more mucus than should be humanly possible.