Not sure I got my priorities straight. It is clear though that the 2000 ladybugs had no problem knowing theirs. I had released all of them exactly according to instructions on the base of my ailing Honeysuckle bush at dusk, not before. I held high hopes for these natural predators of Aphids which have plagued my bush now for the 3. blooming season. What should be pretty blossoms attracting the Hummingbirds devolved again in to a shriveled mess, like a fist that will not let go and open up. These pests have a devastating effect. Usually I do not like calling a living creature a pest as it seems to deny it's right of existence and seems to give it value or lack of it only in terms of human needs and wants. But he world is a lot larger and more varied. Things do not  exist simply for our pleasure and convenience. Yet the devastation to my lovely blooms makes the term pest seem appropriate here to me.

In search of natural non-toxic means I resorted to thousands of Ladybugs, which really is only a small bag full. Odd to have live creatures in my refrigerator, if only for a few hours. Well, the bugs, not the cat, were out of the bag to spend a cool night, too cool to venture far I hoped,  down at the bottom of my  dear Honeysuckle in need of rescue.

Next morning I had great expectations to see a lively swarm of bugs feasting on those pests, but as I said the ladybugs know their priorities. Sex first - feast maybe later! Maybe about 20 of the 2000 bugs seemed in active pursuit of mating, hanging out anywhere but on the Honeysuckle bush. Now all is not lost, their off spring may be the ones that will appreciate a feast of Aphids in roughly 2 weeks, we will see. 

Meanwhile I wonder about those 2000 bugs in a semi state of consciousness,  maybe in my refrigerator, cool and more dormant then awake, unable yet to move about, but maybe sensing those 1999 potential mates. I imagine them sniffing each other out silently and still immobile, trying to get a sneak peak, making preliminary choices as regards attractiveness in potential mates. Oh, the anticipation of an orgy to unfold. Life wants to procreate itself, no ifs and no buts.

But I digressed, my curiosity got peaked with the idea of priorities clearly noticeable in those ladybugs but also in me. Mine of a different nature these days when I time my activities so that more often then not I am out and about walking my pups at sunset, because each and every single one is different and awesome. Yes, the beauty of changing hues fills me with awe, makes me smile, sometimes drop my mouth in wonder and excitement. 

Today, after an overcast late afternoon with heavy winds and a bit of rain, we were blessed not just with one but two rainbows, a double rainbow. While on the other end of the spectrum, the side of the setting sun out west, the sky glowed in a most fantastic silvery shimmery hue that would turn yellowish before slowly dispersing and revealing a bright delicate gray sky with white outlined cloud formations.

Despite mounting bills, today was a day for paying those due and a few overdue, my focus these days is on beauty and that which pleases me. Not sure these priorities of mine are proper, but they do keep me going.

Happy Full Moon, once again!

... give us our daily bike ride

... and give us our daily bike ride, morning and night.

I took this morning for myself, rare,  as usually I do not see the point of going out and about without my two pups in tow. But this morning it was only me on my bike with my Nikon. My favorite shot from this hunt for images is the one I got because without pups in tow, it was easier to get up some steps in order to discover some new vistas of familiar places. This one is of the Pink Adobe Restaurant an infamous, illustrious hang out spot for maybe centuries and a favorite of legislators during legislative sessions held at our nearby Round House, the seat of our New Mexico government.

Notice the faralitos, these pretty lights are no longer limited to Christmas season but these days appreciated all year long. I imagine putting these electric versions on and off high places could be a real pain.

You can also notice on the upper right a tattered ladder, an important symbol in the Native traditions and frequent adornment to homes in our neck of the woods.

This property is for sale, I imagine not cheap either. What I never noticed is the battered wagon wheel on top, like a remnant of the not too distant Wild West.

This picturesque home is a great example of the traditional adobe Pueblo style architecture our town decided to make a name for itself with it! Yep, it was decided to create an intentional style of architecture that echoes Anaszi culture to attract tourists, and it worked. 

These rounded earthen forms seduced my eyes, but in our climate they are also very practical, as the thick walls keep the heat in or out as desired.

... and give us our daily bike ride

Isabella is giving me a look of excited anticipation as we pass the familiar red entry where a kind lady treated her extravagantly with not one but several Chicken Jerky treats - years ago! The sweet scent of Wisterias in full bloom lingers in my nostrils. It is my intention to try and capture this lovely, romantic overhang of purple goodness this late afternoon while the rays of sun light are low and soft, but are not too low to leave too much in the shade.
The pale moon near the cross made me stop, offer the pups some water, pull out my Nikon and capture one more image of this most popular photogenic Mission San Miguel, the oldest church in the US.

Me on my bike, my pups running along side it very nicely, we pass by pretty pastels that can look drab and dreary in harsher light.

Having navigated cars and tourists on a narrow street we are taking a well deserved rest and later tumble on the lush green grass that grows in these fancier neighborhoods. My Kona Africa bike serves me well. I am getting used to the back peddling breaks and riding with one gear only. It's not too hard.

Turning to head back home, we stop at the river where we check out our miniscule, but still appreciated waterfall, then follow a long and narrow trail until we eventually get to the plaza. To my surprise new overflowing, lush and varied hanging flower baskets dangle from street lamps for our delight. The city worker had told me that this year he had time to plan the beautification of our city. And I will have to congratulate him to a job very well done. I learned that he used to be the main manager at the Ore  House restaurant right on the plaza. After decades he was let go off due to the economic downturn. Turns out he is happy with his new occupation, the beautification of our City Different, that leaves him busy with plants rather then people and has him working outdoors rather then inside. (In fact the very next day, an early Sunday morning he was there watering the baskets, that qualifies as dedication and a good work ethic in my book, something not be taken for granted, not with any city workers in the world and certainly not our own City Different.)

Meanwhile I am happy with my pups that behave very well running along side my bike. They are not getting distracted and are not endangering my or their lives. They deserve a treat. While I feel blessed to be living in such a picturesque place where a walk or bike ride becomes a feast for the eyes and nourishment for the soul.


Today another, a bit younger woman told me that her big C, cancer is gone. She credits a drastic change in her life style with a diet, limited to 500 calories/day for 6 weeks of cleansing and releasing toxins stored in fat with the help of Human Chorionic Gonadotropin (HCG) used according to Dr. A.T.W. Simeons guidelines.

I am not a fan of fad diets, but I do believe in the importance of cleansing and releasing. My friend did not just lose pounds but also cleaned house, literally and emotionally. She let go of most all relationships that no longer served her, maybe had toxic elements in them. I must say the woman looked radiant today.

Romance at any age.

Today a 70 year old woman told me about her romance with a 10 year older man, now in it's 4th year. They travel places together,  have fun and the sex is supposedly great. This inspires me and I hope you.

Que Sera Sera

Pet Peeves

Shocking to hear of the vehemence with which some object to the presence of pets. My furry friends are my family. While they are not human, they are beings, they are organisms, they have feelings, they have needs and they have desires and they thrive on the love and attention we give. I am not one for humanizing animals, making them in to extensions of our selves, embedding in them feelings and motivations that are ours rather then theirs. My furry companions are not my children and I am nobody's mom!

While most do not wish to harm another, least through our furry companions, my heart goes out to all those so inconvenienced by an overwrought immune system that living a normal life becomes the greatest of challenges. I do wonder what the world has come to when the simple peaceful presence of an animal becomes a threat to life. I am no expert on allergies and knock on wood, I am not plagued by any to my knowledge, even though many suffer from pollen and so much more here in the Southwest.  Could the American life style have anything to do with these hyper reactive systems more seem to suffer from here in the US then say in Europe?

I am writing in response to this New York Times article that ends with the suggestion of leaving our pets home with their predictable routine rather then putting them through the stress of taking them along on our trips. And I am writing in response to the long discussion that ensued. Many seem to think that to leave our pet behind like an object (rather then a dependent, bonded, dear buddy with the brain of maybe a 2 year old child) should be the obvious thing to do. But who in their right mind cherishes to leave their 2 year old behind? No longer living in extended families, we are to depend on the kindness of strangers (pet sitters, professional boarding places, all to be had for whooping amount of dollares.) Would you entrust your baby to strangers?

From my own experience I am one to believe that small children are best off near their mom. I have limited trust in today's emphasis on early schooling. Maybe for those, probably way too many, whose parents have to work and have to be away from home and for those whose parents have a very limited ability to focus and provide for their kids, an early source of attention outside the home may be beneficial. Piaget and Steiner, both from the last century, stressed the importance of stages in the developing brain and the importance of non-linear, magical thinking in the early years.

My dogs are not kids, but I know they prefer to be by my side most of the time. In 3 years my little guy, Sumo, indicated only twice his preference to stay home, and so he did. If I walk my dogs twice a day for 3 years, it comes to more then 2000 outings, which means maybe 1 in 1000 times my dog might prefer separation and that for a short time only! If I am indoors they want to come in and if I am out in the yard they want to be there too. Dogs belong to packs, I am their pack leader, I am the one they are focused on, I am the one they want to be with, and so it should be.

I would not want to abandon a 2 year old kid and I would not want to abandon my dogs. They are my only family these days. And look how many abandoned pets thrown away like garbage, can be found at our shelters. We should celebrate those that take it on themselves to provide a good home and rescue those discarded, sometimes badly abused pets. Can we ad insult to injury by traumatizing an abused pet over again? Travel may be a luxury for leisure and fun, or may be a necessity. Why penalize pet owners with excessive charges? Enough already of canine discrimination!

Somehow these creatures of God-dess made it in to this world and we have a humanitarian responsibility to treat them with respect, care and consideration, also during times of travel, by choice or necessity. We live in a complex, and more and more crowded world and we have to find ways to get along. Denying other then to the human species the right to normal modern activities, like traveling by train, or plane, or bus is wrong!

Create special sections that serve special needs, like we have smoke free sections, we can assign  allergen free areas in a plane it could be something like a 0 class rather then a 1. or 2. class. And there could be a pet section that would accommodate a rapidly growing number of pet lovers. We could pay for an extra seat for a larger pet and other passengers would have the time of their life getting free entertainment from the canine passengers they chose to sit near by. Maybe coats could be invented to keep offending dander to a minimum. Maybe diapers could be employed on long trips to spare fellow travelers unpleasant accidents. Where there is a will there is a way. Please let us gather our collective will to honor all species and find ways to coexist rather then for one to dominate another and to deny it's right to exist.

P.S.: I never attempted to smuggle my pets in to an airplane, have no intention to fly, with or without my  furry companions and I am very grateful for my VW Vanagon that is still going strong after more then 200,000 miles and serves as a very comfortable 2. home. Even the kitty calmed down as we all headed in the van to the vet last week.


A different kind of hoop dancer, not in the Hopi tradition, but on the Santa Fe plaza, from Australia via New York, one late Spring morning.

She got in to a good rhythm. I enjoyed her graceful, extemporaneous moves. I imagined myself in her place, absorbed in rhythm and play created moment by moment, unconcerned about the rest of the world. It could have been me - a few decades ago.

Deliriously Ecstatic

Unhappy Pretty Kitty

With pests (Mites) on my furry ones, I enforce a regimen of keeping them separated from areas in my home as much as possible. Meaning they are (for now) no longer allowed on the furniture, no longer allowed upstairs, and they no longer cuddle, much less sleep with me (each time I start to feel 'kribbely'.)

This has been hard on all of us. But our Kitty is really fed up with spending nights locked in to a tiny bathroom with two dogs that will not cuddle! So he has been staying out for the last few nights, o.k. with me now that it's warmer and we seem to finally be over the freezing temperatures, although  they still drop in to the thirties at night. 

I do worry though when the kitty does not show up in the mornings or evenings and barely eats the food I offer. I am afraid he no longer feels welcome in my home, sadly maybe no longer feels safe with us. Isabella gave him a serious growl the other day when he got too interested in Sumo's canned food rather then his own kibble. It shocked me and I believe the Pretty Kitty.

This kitty has been very fussy with food of late and will refuse kibble  and hold out for the  canned junk food, he must have come to love with a former owner.

He also goes out stalking prey. I did place, reluctantly, a collar with a bell on him, so his hunting efforts may be unsuccessful. Here I finally caught up with him today in the early afternoon and brought him some of his favorite canned junk food and then had a good talking to with him. Hard to explain the necessary restrictions to my furry ones.