Friday, September 25, 2009

One Golden Raintree

Waking up slowly this morning...zzzz...gray sky, little streaks of color variation but they're all gray...a nubbly carpet of treetops, deep green, dense again a year after Ike...I can barely see the flicker of car headlights heading east on San Felipe, broken by the dark green canopy.

And in the middle, there is one Golden Raintree in full bloom, like a dappled sun pushing its way upward between the shadowy foliage around it.

I am hypnotized by its light...

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Smoky Josephine

Actually there's no Josephine. At least that's not her name. But there is smoke. Where? In our Houston condo unit. Coming through the air vents in the living room.

No, folks. We do not smoke. Hale did thirty or forty years ago, but I didn't ever take up the habit. I was a very obediant girl back in my basketball playing days. The coach said she'd bench any girl who smoked and I darned well didn't intend to be benched. So I resisted the languourous long-fingered sophistication of smoking friends. (My fingers are short, anyway.)

But now we reside in a condo when we're in Houston, a high-rise condo, and the smoke from the rental unit down the hall infiltrates our living room, where I often perch to work when I don't need to be in the office below. (That is a separate matter.)

Is this fair? The law apparently allows a condo unit owner to do whatever he/she likes inside his unit. But if he decided to have a nice bonfire in the middle of the living room floor, would that be OK?

Isn't there any legal precedent for saying, fine, smoke in your unit but you cannot allow any smoke to leave your unit to mix with the common air, and you cannot allow your smoke to seep into the units of other residences.

Don't the non-smoking people who breathe have rights that supersede those of the addicted smokers whose exhalations have been proven to increase the incidence of heart attacks and other health disasters?

For that matter, what about protecting smokers against themselves? The common highways have speed limits, restrict cell phone use, etc.

Any ideas, folks?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Lion on the Road

Amarillo by morning...and it's a beautiful one! To anyone travelling by car from New Mexico to Texas, I highly recommend the route following I-25 from Santa Fe to Albuquerque, then a left turn along I-40 to Amarillo. For scenery. Especially with the sun at your back.

We had amazing cloud structures above dreamy landscapes of ever diminishing mountains and it truly made the time pass quickly. So did the wonderful NM speed limits, a sensible 75 mph. (This is ignoring the construction we encountered, but surely someday they'll complete construction along that stretch of I-40!)

Actually, though, we're not in Amarillo. It's really Canyon, a few miles to the west, I think.

We spent hours with our dear friends Donna and Walt in Santa Fe; then a nice dinner last night with my cousin Soeurette and her husband Bob overlooking the sliver of the Palo Duro Canyon that is visible from her cabin at the Palo Duro Club. She is the CFO of our corporation, so we mixed a bit of business with the delicious meal.(Boeuf bourgignonne, salad, Monkey Bread, apple dumplings with ice cream. All prepared without salt and excellent! I have two teachers, now.)

Soeurette's recent excitement includes the mountain lion she encountered recently at the gate to the property, and LH was hoping for a glimpse. Apparently the lion is a mother with two cubs.

The first time she saw the lion, she'd been returning from Amarillo, and as she approached the gate she saw something large run across the road. She stopped; and it stopped; and they looked at one another. And looked. "She had such a sweet face..." Then the cat started to walk along parallel to Soeurette's car, so Soeurette began to roll along with her. Then the lion stopped and they looked at one another again. Then the animal bounded off.

This is a club of rustic cabins, mind you, tucked away in rugged terrain around a lake. Dogs and children run free; there are horses. So you might imagine that the reaction of the members is mixed. Some carry guns and are frightened; others celebrate this emergence of the wild into our over-citified lives. Presumably she is drawn by water, and food

What would you do if a mountain lion chose to live quietly in your neighborhood?

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Hello, again

Hello again to any of you who are still remembering this blog exists. I'm so sorry that I've been unable to post for so long. We had an encounter with the medical profession that took a lot of my energy--LH had a small cancer discovered in his bladder--and until it was removed and we received the good reports, I had no energy for anything else.

To celebrate the positive outcome, we undertook a driving trip to Santa Fe, to see old friends and renew acquaintance with the city where so many of our happy times took place.

So far, we haven't been very actively engaged in all that touching of bases since we both came down with altitude sickness.

Altitude sickness is a puzzling phenomenon. It doesn't care whether one is fit (I am not) or young (ditto). Some people have trouble at 7000 feet and some do not. No one knows exactly what determines this, apparently.

But oxygen helps; and acetominophen for the headache. And time appears to be the best help. We're feeling better now, on our fourth evening here. And so tomorrow, perhaps, we will venture forth as we originally planned.

Today, we were treated to a cozy, chilly day with clouds nestling in among the Sangre de Christo mountains--in particular one pale gray cloud shaped like an eel.

We should have lighted the fire in the fireplace...