Sunday, August 31, 2008

Summer into Fall

It has been a month today since Murphy left us, but seems like just yesterday he was the trouble making pup that he is in this picture. Time passed too quickly. It is good that we have the other guys to keep us busy. This must be the time of year for them to blow their old coats and ready themselves for the coming winter. I have black fur balls the size of tumbleweed blowing through the house. With what they have lost and all I have brushed out I would think they should be bald by now !!

Our foster guy, Lakota, is fitting in well and is extremely smart. He has learned to sit for treats, food and occasionally just when you ask him to. There was never a problem with house training as he already knew to use the doggie door. However, he is a master of escape so the doggie door is locked down for the time being until he feels fully secure with us and does not have the need to try and escape. We have also reinforced the fencing in the yard. I don't know who he belonged to originally or where he escaped from, but someone has lost a really good dog. I cringe at the thought that someone just dropped him off and let him fend for himself although I am well aware that happens all too often. He was in serious need of grooming and had not been neutered when Bob picked him up from the shelter lady. Both needs have been taken care of. He goes this Tuesday for his heart worm test and I have my fingers crossed that he is negative.
For any of you that read this that have older dogs with the onset of cataracts or nuclear sclerosis, I have just ordered some eye drops from Revival that are supposed to help alleviate both of these problems. They say you can see results in as little as 35 days. I am sceptical but willing to try anything that might help Phantom see just a little. I will keep you all updated.
Cool weather and rain are upon us. I think winter is just around the corner and I am not looking forward to it..............

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

3 Day Vacation.....and newest house disaster !!

We started our jaunt in Aztec NM where we walked the ruins of an Aztec village. There are still parts of several buildings standing. The kiva or meeting house has been rebuilt and is used today. Our next stop was in Shiprock NM and wasn't actually a stop. More like a drive through and quick look. I think the drawing factor here is the large rock formation which is off limits to everyone. We stayed in Farmington NM on Friday evening and had dinner at a very quaint restaurant/bookshop that has live music on Friday night. If you are ever in Farmington make sure you make a stop at Andrea Kristinas. It is well worth the visit. There was a four piece guitar group playing the evening that we were there and the lead singer sounded very much like Eric Clapton. Combine that with a good sandwich and soup and you will have a very enjoyable 2 hour visit.
Saturday morning we did a little shopping in an antique store in Farmington and then moved on to Gallup for the 87th Intertribal Ceremonial. We grabbed a bite to eat when we arrived in Gallup at a great Hispanic restaurant called Virgie's. We had eaten there two years ago and it is just as good now. I did not take any pictures at the Ceremonial as they don't turn out well from the distance at which we were sitting. The dancing lasted for almost 4 hours with tribes from Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Mexico. The Buffalo Dancers from Ohkay Owingeh (San Juan Pueblo) are one of my favorites and they are just down the road from our pueblo. I had seen them on two previous occasions but had made no association as we were still living in Tularosa and did not know the pueblos in this area.

Sunday morning we slept in a bit as we were out late Saturday. We had breakfast in Gallup in a restaurant called Earls, which is also a must for anyone going to Gallup. The Native Americans come around to your table while you are eating to show you their handicrafts in the hope that you will have money left from the ceremonial and be able to buy something. Their work is lovely and it is hard to resist buying something from each one of them. We left Gallup after breakfast and headed out on the scenic back roads to the Bandera Volcano and Ice Cave. I find it hard to believe that northern New Mexico has 29 inactive volcanos. You can see 15 of them from the top of Bandera. The photo below is one of the areas where the lava flow was 10,000 years ago. Also below is a picture of the ice lake that has formed inside of one of one of the caves formed by the molten lava. The temperature is a constant 31 degrees inside the cave area and the water is frozen to a depth of 20 feet. The really odd part is that you aren't down below ground level very far even though you are on the side of a mountain. The temperature drops rather suddenly on the way down the steps to the cave. It is really something to see. I went to Mammouth Cave in Kentucky when I was in my 20's and don't remember seeing anything like this. No one had to rock either of us to sleep that night. The next day we took Lea to the airport for the flight back to Florida and then went to a feast with dancing in the Santa Clara Pueblo.

Later that same evening while we were at home eating dinner we experienced yet another "pleasure" of living in a 100+ year old adobe. We lost part of the electric in the house. Not all lights on one circuit, but just those that drew a lot of power. Lasted about 30 minutes and then everything went back to normal (if there is such a thing). Around 11:30 the electricity went off again and this time stayed off. Our landlord and the electric company showed up this morning and found that one of the 110 leads going into the house had burned out. So wiring had to be replaced and finally at 2:30 this afternoon we had power again. This may be the last straw. I don't even want to think about what will go wrong this winter. Oh - I almost forgot - when I was working at the kitchen sink yesterday afternoon a centipede fell out of the vigas ceiling on to my kitchen counter and ran behind the microwave. My husband the bug killer dispatched it to a higher plain............What's next ??

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

I have greatly broadened my knowledge of the Southwest and of the Native American people since our move to Santa Fe. My perception of Native Americans - which is probably the same as a lot of other Easterners - is that they sit around all day in front of their houses, don't work and drink all day. This is quite possibly the case with some of the truly poor reservations like those in the Dakotas and I believe Oklahoma but that does not appear to be the case with the pueblos in our area of New Mexico. My husband and I had the opportunity to go to a "feast" at the Cochiti Pueblo a few weeks ago. We witnessed the residents of the pueblo doing the Corn Dance, which lasts throughout the day. There were vendors selling handmade pottery and jewelry and others selling food. We were invited by one of the BIA (Bureau of Indian Affairs) officers that I dispatch to the home of his girlfriend to take part in the feast. It is a great honor to be invited into the home and one not to be turned down. When you have had your fill of the food provided, you thank the host and leave the residence.
Besides going to the Cochiti Pueblo, we have also visited the Taos Pueblo, which is pictured above and below. This pueblo is 5 stories high and still has some families living in it. It has no electricity running to it and the families that live there use propane and wood for heating and cooking. Several of the rooms on the bottom level have shops in them displaying the beautiful Taos pottery and the jewelry. The pueblo is divided in half by a stream running through it. This is a really beautiful setting. A large part of the drive from Santa Fe to Taos follows the Rio Grande River which offers white water rafting.

The feasts for the Nambe Pueblo (we live on the Nambe reservation) and for the Pojoaque Pueblo (which is where I work) will be held later this year. There can be more that one feast for each pueblo and these two are heading towards the holidays.
My veterinarian (and seriously good friend) is due in here tomorrow from Florida. We will be heading out to the Shiprock New Mexico area on Friday for some sightseeing before going to Gallup on Saturday for the 87th Intertribal Ceremonial. Lea and I have been twice before and enjoyed it very much. As this will probably be my last year living out here, I really wanted to go
this time. Bob and I are doing as many day trips as we can also so that we don't leave here wishing that we had gone to see more places. Made that mistake when we lived in Florida the first time. We will try to correct that mistake when we get back there...............

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Loss of a friend.....

It is very difficult to do this posting as it concerns the loss of my friend for the past 16 years. We had taken Murphy to the doctor for one last attempt to pull him up and give him a little longer, but that was not to be. His immune system was shutting down and he was becoming unaware of his surroundings. He had comforted me in bad times and accepted me no matter what my mood. In good conscience I could not let him suffer even slightly. He already had an IV going so his transition to the Bridge was an easy one. He will long be remembered by our family for truly living up to the name Murphy. I have wooden knitting needles still bearing his teeth marks and jeans that have had buttons resewn. He traveled with us several times to Michigan and made the long trip from Florida to New Mexico. Fate determined that only his memory, spirit and ashes would make the final trip back to Florida with us. Be at peace my friend........