Moon Face

As the Moon joins the Sun in the sign of Cancer
this Moonface wishes you all a very happy New Moon.
 May we all benefit from new and fertile beginnings.
For us in the arid Southwest desert the signs are promising
as we just had our first downpour in ages.
Now a whole lot more rain on the fires, please,
and life will once more be good.

A view of our solar eclipse;
July 1: Partial eclipse of the Sun at 9.12 Cancer at 08.55 AM with Saturn in Libra square the eclipse point. Solar eclipses always occur at the New Moon while lunar eclipses always fall at the Full Moon. A solar eclipse tells us that the area in question where it takes place in your natal chart is under some form of urgency for change. - Alan Oken, Astrologer


In need of reprieve we can take refuge in beauty.
Felt a few drops, seen a bit of a rainbow 
and met Los Alamos refugees.
11,000 people are under mandatory evacuation orders as the raging fire rapidly advances dangerously close towards the birthplace of nuclear power and the atom bomb, LANL in Los Alamos. 10,000 barrels, some think 30,000 barrels, of nuclear waste, to be transported for permanent storage (an asinine idea we protested in the eighties, but predictably lost to insanity) sit on LANL land largely unprotected. Anguish over the potential for radio active material to be released reached a fevered pitch in some. Personally I doubt the fire will reach those barrels having glimpsed a peak at the lay of the barren land. But I did protest plans to further proliferate nuclear power and instead promoted the ideas of serious green energy development. I applaud Germany for their commitment  to shut down all nuclear reactors by 2022. It can not come soon enough for the whole of the world. If you are so inclined you can make your voice heard here.

Meanwhile some take a very philosophical stance towards the fires, and say that they are inevitable, are even part of the cycles of nature. Some include the warming trend of the earth in this equation and claim that global warming is not man made, but again an inevitable part of nature's cycles. Those guys, and yes, they were guys that I talked to, seem to take a rather depressed, sarcastic, even sardonic stance on humanity's ability to survive on earth. Seems to me that a feeling of helplessness is rampant and masked with nonchalant non-caring and disengagement from society and politics. To those activism seems to have lost it's appeal. What's the good, nothing changes anyway. This shutting down of body, mind and heart is worrisome and does not bear well for a better future. Often I am afraid it is supported by a descend in to addiction of one form or another. Activism, picking our battles, and doing what we can do, seems to be the antidote.

What have you done to make the world a better place?

Cutie Patouties

Las Conchas fire update:
3% containment - 12 residences destroyed! 
Democracy Now, Amy Goodman's Report

Sunset Through Smoke

The sun settles through layers of smoke due to the Las Conchas fire, 
viewed from the Santa Fe dog park.

Resource info for evacuees of Los Alamos and surrounding areas:

To find hotels offering discounts or families offering shelter in their homes, visit

Art Bouffard of the New Mexico Lodging Association said hotels in Santa Fe, Española and some in Albuquerque are  offering discounts ranging from 40 to 70 percent to people affected by the fire.
Bouffard said people will be required to have ID showing their residences are in areas affected by the fire.

Shelters have been set up at the Cities of Gold Casino in Pojoaque and the Santa Claran Hotel and Casino.

The Santa Fe Indian School at 1501 Cerrillos Road is opening its Abeita Gym for evacuees. The school needs cots, but evacuees may bring air mattresses and other bedding.

People can call the school’s public information officer, Edward Calabaza, at 238-8203, for more information.


The Santa Fe Humane Society can accommodate evacuated pets, but is asking evacuees to consider boarding pets with relatives or at boarding kennels first. Call 983-4309 or check the website

The Española Humane Society also can help by taking pets and by serving as a staging area for livestock, except cattle. Call 505-753-8662.


Challenge New Mexico, near the Santa Fe Humane Society off Caja del Rio Rd., is accepting horses. Call 988-7621.

Northern New Mexico Horsemen’s Association, at the Santa Fe Rodeo Grounds, is accepting horses, mules, donkeys and goats. The association also will help people find places for other types of livestock. Call 471-6654.

Cattle can be taken to the rodeo grounds. 

Las Conchas Fire

More smoke descended on downtown Santa Fe from yet another fire. The Las Conchas forest fire broke out around 1 p.m. June 26th and grew to 3,500 acres by night fall. Los Alamos only 12 miles away is on alert. Too close for comfort to LANL and the nuke industry. Check with the New Mexican for more specifics. Or find useful fire information here such as this:
    • What’s in smoke from a wildfire?
    • Smoke is made up of small particles, gases and water vapor. Water vapor makes up the majority of smoke. The remainder includes carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide, irritant volatile organic compounds, air toxins and very small particles.
    • Is smoke bad for me? Yes. It’s a good idea to avoid breathing smoke if you can help it. 
    • Remember your P’s: people, pets, personnel papers and pictures. 

Time lapse Video by Michael Zeiler made from over 1000 stills.

Meanwhile it is past 11 PM I had to chose between more smoke drifting inside or closing windows and spending the night again in sticky, hot air. I keep 3 spray bottles with varied essential oils combos conducive to breathing in reach. My last batch made up from a few drops of Grapefruit,  fewer Lemongrass and 2 drops of Clove. It makes for a very aromatic, refreshing and pleasant scent.

Sweet dreams to those in similar time zones, mine have been vivid of late. In fact I just remember yesterday waking up as I was reaching for a chair to defend myself from an intruder. I was rather impressed with myself for having the presence of mind to reach for a chair as a tool of defense. I chalked it up to having felt a bit exposed because I had not pulled the curtain. So back again to wishing all those in need the rest they deserve.

6.27.11, 8 a.m.: The fire has grown to about 44,000 acres and to only 1 mile distance from LANL!
6.27.11, 1 p.m.: Mandatory evacuations from Los Alamos ordered!
6.27.11, 4 p.m.: 50,000 acres! 
6.28.11:             60,000 acres! More favorable fire fighting conditions today.
6.29.11: 11 a.m.: 69,555 acres!
6.30.11:               93,000 acres!
7.03.11:             The 121,248 acres Las Conchas fire continues to burn close to Los Alamos.
                          Evacuation for Los Alamos residents is over, they may return!
7.5.11:               127,821 acres, 4 injured to date,
                          10 active fires in the state of New Mexico.
7.11.11:             148,000 acres, 50% contained 
7.15.11: 2 a.m.: 150,041 acres, 61% contained
                          (The smoke is heavy in Cochiti pueblo was again bad in Santa Fe the night before, 
                           but not today.)
7.28.11:             Las Conchas fire almost contained spread, over 244 square miles, destroyed 63 homes.
8.2.11:               Finally 100% contained!
Early morning weather patterns create extra heavy smoke.
The Espanola Animal Shelter will take in some pets, but more private boarding options are needed.

GLBT Pride

A perfect day to celebrate pride 
after New York Governor Andrew Cuomo
signed in to law the legalization of same sex marriages, 
to take effect in 30 days.
"Marriage is a wonderful institution, 
but who wants to live in an institutio­n?"
Groucho Marx
  " Gay marriage? Haven't those people suffered enough?!"
Alec Baldwin Tweet
 Joy Behar's two word advise:
Pre. Nup.
I agree.
 While New Yorker were dancing in the streets,
the Swiss denied the right to adopt to same sex couples!
 While I have wondered
about all that Sturm und Drang for marriage,
while about half will end up in divorce,
to deny a needy child loving parents is simply moronic.
 A walk on the wild side.
 Gay, Lesbian,
 Bisexual, Transexual
 Yes, the bullying has to stop!
In memory of my Swiss buddy
who had to endure many a beating.
Equal Rights For All!

Summer Record Heat & Smoke

Pacheco Fire - Day 8Credit: Mike Spieth; Pacheco Fire, Day 8, flickr 
"This afternoon produced possibly the biggest plume of smoke so far."
"The firefighting crew numbers over 700 now, and the latest size given is almost 7000 acres."
Summer record heat is upon us, night has fallen, temperatures have dropped, so smoke from a raging fire nearby descended upon us. The Pacheco fire has grown to cover 5,800 acres and has been contained so far by June 24th only a measly 10%.

The first time in 25 years of living in this home of mine that I can not depend on natural cool and fresh air for relieve during the night from the day's heat. Cross ventilation between my downstairs sliding door entry and my upstairs window have done a perfect job of airing out my indoor living space until the present, where unusual heavy and on-going winds, common in the month of March only, have carried smoke from fires as far as 200 miles away. 

I can tell when my eyes start to sting that the outside air holds smoke so thick it be better to guard against. With the sun's rise the smoke will dissipate and I have a few hours for ventilation before the heat gets too much in the later part of the mornings.  I am not complaining, it is not as bad as some other places, not as bad by far as some 3 weeks or so ago, when the smoke lay heavy like fog across not just town, but good parts of our state (see post below.) So sad to consider all the devastation to an area favored by hikers and wildlife.

Updates can be found here.

Pacheco Fire - Day 6 - Cuyamungue View
Credit: Mike Spieth; Pacheco Fire, Day 6, flickr
Pacheco Canyon Fire - Day 2
Credit: Mike Spieth; Pacheco Fire, Day 2, flickr

Longest Lunar Eclipse Since 2000

"The moon turned a blood red over the Sossusvlei Desert Lodge on NamibRand Nature Reserve in Namibia in this stunning photo taken by skywatcher George Tucker on June 15, 2011."
"Photographer and skywatcher George Tucker snapped this amazing view of the eclipsed moon with the stars of our Milky Way galaxy in the background as seen from Sossusvlei Desert Lodge on NamibRand Nature Reserve in Namibia."
"Skywatcher Jeet Raval created this time-lapse series of the total lunar eclipse of June 15, 2011 from Dubai in the United Arab Emirates."

For more images check out  

In The Land Of Enchantment

My buddy, visiting from California, was incredibly lucky, the winds were blowing in his favor so that despite several raging fires, blowing at times almost unbearable density of smoke in to our communities,  the skies were clear enough for us to venture outside and for me to play tour guide and show him some of the magic of The Land of Enchantment.

San Jose De Gracia, Las Trampas, New Mexico, built in 1760


Your Lady glows in the light of the setting sun,
reinforced by the pink hues of lingering smoke.

While the Wallow fire in Arizona still threatens to jump the borders in to New Mexico, a new fire broke out in northern New Mexico, in Raton, near the Colorado Border. We learn a new sense of gratitude when the winds shift and the smoke disperses anywhere else but in to our homes. We humans can be so short sighted. Now should we pray for rain?

Where there is smoke there is fire!

Yesterday's sun glowed low on the horizon
through hazy, smoke filled air in pastel hues.

Strong winds carried serious smoke from 2 fires 200 miles away in Arizona. The smoke descended on us in downtown Santa Fe suddenly, starting last Thursday. By Monday June 6th it had gotten real bad. We were advised to stay indoors, to keep our windows shut, and to turn off swamp coolers, mind you with summer heat. Tuesday's particulates in the air were 15 times the norm.  Ash filled air made for an ominous, is it the end of the world kinda feeling. One wondered if the prophet's predictions of the rapture were late only by a few weeks. While it seemed eerie to move about a deserted downtown, those pastel hues that seemed to emanate from what looked on Monday like a glowing, bright red tennis ball above the horizon, made for an astounding spectacle. Stunning to behold such beauty,knowing it to be tied to such devastation.

"The blaze has blackened about 389,000 acres and destroyed 11 buildings, primarily in the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest" according to the New Mexican. Visit this official flickr site for more images

"The Wallow Fire, the second biggest in the history of Arizona.The inferno, fueled by high winds and low humidity, is raging out of control and has consumed nearly 600 square miles (157,000 hectares) of land, prompting some 3,000 people to evacuate." Check for ongoing updates with InciWeb.

Official Photo taken 6-4-2011 by Wayne Clement, Guadalupe Fire Department, off Hwy180/US191 near Nutrioso, AZ. Credit US Forest Service, Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests.

Meanwhile having on hand liquid Cholorophyl that builds red blood cells and boosts the oxygen carrying capacity of blood is comforting to me. So is hanging my face over a pot of boiling water infused with peppermint leafs. Inhaling the steam  feels deeply calming, cleansing and comforting.


"In tough economic times people get creative. 
They fall back on old and proven methods." 

For this rancher spinning is a meditation. His spinning wheel is considered a beginners one, but the bigger spindel suits him just fine and he appreciates how the wheel fits just right in to his pick-up truck. His booth, part of the artist market right across from the farmers market on Saturdays, holds photos of his sheep.

Stereotyping be damned; men can spin 
and women no longer have to!

P.S: in Swiss-German "Schpinner" would also translate in to meaning "idiot", more specifically to someone crazy, or someone that creates a web of lies. The term was used frequently in it's derogatory meaning in my growing up years. So it tickles me to think of it in new ways, in appreciative ways, in ways where life is approached in a more old fashioned, slower, more contemplative manner. A life where status is not of utmost importance. But being down to earth and real, maybe even self sufficient, is where it's at. The times they are changing and so are the meanings of words as language  and humanity evolve and this makes me chuckle.

Necessity is the Mother of Invention

I stuck what used to be my Mom's red umbrella (parapluie) in what used to be my Mom's biggest vase - for shade. I am afraid that seedlings will not last unprotected from the intense sun of our high (7000 feet) desert climate, here in our City Different. I am rather pleased with my ingenuity.
In the foreground sits a Jalapeno Pepper plant that I just got on sale for 99 cents. The strawberry plant was given to me at the Farmers Market that bore already 3 fruits,  eaten by pests. There is a catnip plant for our Pretty Kitty to knibble and an arrangement of seedlings made up of lettuce and basil of various kinds. 
I am not familiar with growing edibles. All I know is to remember to water  my mostly decorative plants that I acquired over the decades. But times are a changing and I am experimenting.


 It's a matter of a point of view
and the amount of light we shine 
on any given subject.

Mellow Yellow


A woman yells across a good size street. Is she saying hello to me? Should I know her from somewhere, is she referring to something I ought to have remembered? The woman, a seeming local, now yells on top of her lungs. What? She demands of me to be a "good citizen" and pick up my Isabella-girl's poop. Her request made on top of her athletic lungs comes across in a most uncivilized manner.

I had been thinking. Yep, Oprah has been on my mind of late, since I watched her moving, heartfelt  finale. It touched my heart, made me reflect, even write to Oprah. I had not payed close attention to my Isabella-girl. I thought she had peed on the grass, not pooped. I am all for picking up poop and being responsible and I carry the prerequisite, biodegradable bags on me for that very purpose. There was nothing wrong with the message, sometimes we all can use reminders, but there was everything wrong with the delivery. Why did that happen to me now, this very evening at the moment I am thinking about lessons I may or may not have learned from Oprah?

Well, I turned back and searched for those usually sizable piles my girl manages to expel and found - nothing, not even with the help of a nice young man. Isabella-girl must have peed just as I had thought. But I will make it a point to pick up an extra pile at the next opportunity.

The incident reminded me of that time when my back was out, I was barely able to stand much less move, not to speak of bending over. I was in bad shape, seriously verklemmt. Isabella needed walking and so I got myself up and out with my then still very new puppy, my first dog. I was apprehensive, concerned her pulling on the lead could seriously hurt me. Then I stood there wondering how to manage and pick up that poop, barely able to stand straight.

Sure enough two women approached, one of them statuesque and somehow familiar looking, a local personality, she proceeded to tell me in an off-handed way that it was my job to pick up after my dog. I looked at her and then told her that my back was out and if she would be willing to lend me a hand and help me out I would be very grateful. With a sneer she told me what I already knew, my new puppy was my responsibility. She walked on. I felt like I had gotten stabbed in to my heart. Still feel it as I remember this. I have no doubt this woman had no sense how cruel her exchange felt to me, she must have felt all righteous. Maybe that is the problem, believing ourselves in the right, we can become pompous, even cruel. So this is a reminder, especially to us outspoken, outgoing, take charge kinda women, of which I include myself: Always remember KINDNESS!