Wednesday June 19: Clifford and I enjoy a leisurely morning with our friends, Kaylee and Ren, who are here visiting us on their way to Arizona in preparation for their upcoming wedding. Clifford and Kaylee work on the Carnicom Institute website, while Ren I visit and drink her delicious coffee substitute.
though they have to leave this evening, we decide on an outing to
Canyonlands National Park, as Ren has never been there. We are taking
the road over Abajo Mountain and our first stop is a viewing area on
the far side of the mountain. The wildflowers are in bloom and it is
really lovely here on the mountain.
next stop is “Newspaper Rock,” a rock panel covered with
petroglyphs. There was vandalism at some point, but the panel has
been protected and is in very good condition, for the most part. It
is fascinating to look at all the etchings, recognizing what some are
and trying to guess at the meaning of others.
there we continue west through BLM land until we arrive at
Canyonlands National Park. It was quite warm on the mountain, but
much more so here in the lower elevation of the canyons. We stop at
the Visitors Center to see the displays, then continue on the scenic
stop at Pothole Point to hike the loop. Even though Clifford and I
have hiked this loop before, it seems the cairns have been moved and
a portion of the loop is missed. However, it is much too hot to go
back and redo it. As it is, we appreciate the unique formations and
the shade of rock overhangs.
last stop is a side road that gives us a closer view of the iconic
Wooden Shoe Arch.
at home base, the guys nap (Kaylee has a long drive ahead yet
tonight), while Ren and I chat as she writes wedding invitations and
I edit photos. For dinner, we all sit outside at one our bistro
tables, enjoying the mild evening temperature. Then our friends
finish packing their car and are soon on their way. We wish them
well and look forward to seeing them on our journey south next
Tuesday June 18: After starting out clear in the early morning, today is a mix of clouds, thundershowers, and hail.
Getting up at 6:00 per my new sleep plan, I dress warmly and head west toward Abajo Mountain, walking through town to catch the morning light when the sun rises. I end up in a part of town I’ve never seen before. A couple residents are getting ready for their morning power walk and I talk to them briefly. However, I notice that they keep an eye on me until I am out of sight heading back toward our place. I walk for over an hour, a good outing, and already getting quite warm by time I arrive home.
make coffee and sit outside to write in the journal, all this before
Clifford is even up. The rest of the day proceeds with our usual
activities, but I’m noticing that getting up this early and not
really getting to bed early enough is taking a toll on me.
Adjustments will have to be made.
The highlight of this day is the arrival, in the early evening, of our friend and CI webmaster, Kaylee, and his fiance, Ren, a very lovely young woman. They will be getting married in July, and we are very pleased to meet her and very happy for both of them. Due to the stormy weather and hail this afternoon, we have to figure out where they are going to sleep, as they had intended to camp in our backyard. In the end, finding a dry spot under the big pine trees, they do indeed set up their tent there. We provide an extra rain shield and an electric heater, should they need it.
Ren and I fix dinner for all of us. It is really nice to have a companion in the kitchen and it gives us a chance to get to know each other. After a very tasty shared dinner, we ladies do clean up and head to bed, while Clifford and Kaylee stay up late talking, catching up on past and current events in our lives.
The week of Monday June 10 to Sunday June 17 is highlighted with a visit from an independent film maker who is interested in Clifford’s research and who spends some time interviewing him. It will be interesting to see how Clifford’s work dovetails with other researchers who will be interviewed for the documentary in mind.
Most mornings I am able to sit outside for my journal and quiet time. I am pleased to see more poppies, the nearly hidden climbing rose, and volunteer flowers making their appearance.
One morning, having arisen at dawn, the color to the east is quite pretty, so I quickly put a poncho on over my pj’s and walk to the end of the street to take photos. I can’t really get away from buildings and powerlines, but I am liking the early morning light on the grasses and silhouettes against the cloudy sky. The next morning, I walk a different direction to catch more of the morning light at sunrise.
I had watched a Youtube video of Dr. John Bergman, who is quite an inspiration due to his unique understanding of health. His discussions on high blood pressure and on sleeping are helping me think of different ways to stay healthy. One is to go to bed earlier and get up earlier. There is more to it than that, but I figure it is certainly worth a try. It is because of moving to a different sleep cycle that I am able to get up before sunrise to do these walkabouts for photos, but I’m also realizing that with our lifestye, Clifford being quite the night-owl, it is hard for me to get to bed as early as recommended.
my morning walkabouts, I see that most people have yards that are
neat and tidy, and I am inspired to redo a long-abandoned flower bed
on the far front of our lot. It was easy to ignore it, but now I’d
like to fix it up. Clifford takes care of the outside-the-fence
patches of lawn, and now we are looking much better here.
work in the lab continues, while I continue with writing blogs,
editing for several authors, sending literary agent letters, and
taking care of CI email.
The days of early June see warming temperatures with the highs in the mid 70’s most days. It is pleasant to sit outside for morning coffee and journal writing, sometimes in the sun, sometimes in the shade, sometimes moving from one to the other.
A purchase of marigolds and petunias, which I plant in a couple of pots, bring a little color to the backyard. There are also some wildflowers, astors perhaps, blooming and the grass is green, so the backyard is a pleasant place to spend time.
I am thrilled that the poppies on the outside bed are blooming. Looks like there will also be hollyhocks blooming, although maybe not before we leave for the summer.
of the activities of these days could be done by the maid or the
secretary. Where or where are they! For my part, I continue writing
blogs and editing for Ang and a couple of other folks. Clifford’s
research in the lab continues.
go on any outings
than a trip to Cortez, Colorado, for groceries and sundries. Due to
the winter snow and spring rain, the landscape is quite green, a
prettier drive than usual.
Tuesday May 21 to Friday May 31: These last days of May are punctuated by inclement weather. Lows are mostly in the low to mid-30’s and highs vary from 40 to 70 degrees. Rain, sleet, and snow make for interesting interludes between the sunnier days. Some days I can sit outside in the morning to write in the journal, but most mornings journaling happens at the writing table at the sliding glass door.
is focused on his work in the lab, the most important being the
development of a process for protein separation.
to-do list for busy work continues with consolidating our various car
insurances, involving much time on the phone. Where is our secretary
when we need him (or her)?!? In my morning quiet times, I try to see
a positive aspect to all the daily activities that I would gladly
turn over the maid and the secretary.
In spite of the busy work that eats precious hours of the day, I continue editing photos, writing and posting blogs, playing viola or cello, and editing for my daughter Ang, making good progress on Emperors and Exiles, the second trilogy of the current series.
The only outing other than errands is to a view point where I can take photos of Abajo Mountain cloaked in new-fallen snow.
As May draws to a close, I am encouraged to see the appearance of some kind of mint family blooming in the back yard, as well as the the promise of rose and poppy blossoms to come.
Wednesday April 24: Leaving as early as possible, Clifford and I say good-bye to our campsite at Percha Dam New Mexico State Park and head north, arriving in Socorro, NM, by early afternoon. The wind really picks up the last several miles, so we are glad to have made it here as early as we did. We go to the best-ever laundromat, a pleasant surprise in this small town, then park in the Walmart lot. After purchasing some needed items in the store, we walk to a nearby Subway for dinner. Much easier than preparing and cleaning up after a meal when enroute.
Thursday April 25: It is steep climb from the desert floor to the foot of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains where Santa Fe is nestled in. I’m happy to see these great mountains that were the backdrop to our life in Santa Fe for over fifteen years. Topping the last rise, it is kind of exciting to see Santa Fe spread out before us at the foot of the mountains.
We make our way to Rancheros de Santa Fe, the RV park/campground on the outskirts of Santa Fe where a site has been reserved for us. Most sites are quite close together, so we are pleased that we have a nice front yard with trees and a picnic table. We run into town for errands, including Trader Joe, my favorite, for groceries.
Friday April 26: We are busy this morning with CI business and trying out our Rhino (auxiliary sewage container) to see how it works, when a car pulls up. To our surprise and delight, it is our friend Diana who has tracked us down. We sit at our picnic table sipping ice tea with Diana and her housemate, Martha, talking over old times and current events.
Clifford finishes the final touches on his presentation and I help him organize his notes and trim his hair a bit. He has done a lot of work to organize his talk and prepare slides. We are feeling ready for tomorrow.
Saturday April 27: We are on our way by to the Women’s Center by 9:15 this morning, where we meet the lady who invited Clifford to this event and who made all the arrangements for us. We also join up with our long-time friend and fellow researcher, Elana Feeland, who will be the other speaker on the program.
The two hours of Clifford’s talk goes by quickly as he delves into Carnicom Institute Past and Present, from the beginning stages of research to the depth of where the research is at this point.
After the break for lunch, we listen to Elana’s talk on the dangers of electromagnetics in the environment. Once Clifford and Elana break free of all the questions that are being asked after the presentations, we follow our host to a retreat house in the mountains where we enjoy an amazing view and a fabulous healthy dinner. The talk at the dinner table is quite intense, as is fitting given the topic: Geoengineering-Bioengineering – The Unmistable Link.
About sundown, we head back to our campground, a beautiful sunset in the background as we drive down the mountain. Two messages on my phone are of special interest: a photo from my daughter Ang of flowers blooming in her greenhouse and a photo of new snow sent by my sister, both from western Montana.
Sunday April 28: This morning we meet with friends for breakfast at one of our most favorite restaurants – Harry’s Roadhouse. We have a tasty meal and a great visit before heading to the Women’s Center for the final presentations: Carnicom Institute-Future, and Elana’s closing talk. Another hour is devoted to a Q & A session. When the session wraps up, people continue coming forward to ask questions. People are eager for answers to the current health and environmental ills.
at camp we are joined by a group of friends. It is good visiting
with everyone, as we sit around snacking on the leftovers of
yesterday’s fabulous dinner. What with one thing and another, it is
after midnight before I get to bed.
We pay for a couple more days at the campground, as we still have friends to see, including CI’s webmaster who has made the trip to Santa Fe from Albuquerque in spite of the rather chilly weather. It is a good couple of days, well worth the extra time here in Santa Fe.
Life is a journey. Even when Clifford and I are not on the road (the outer journey), the inner journey continues. Being back at our home base in southeast Utah, the lab for Carnicom Institute, we appreciate its conveniences. We have power and internet, not to be taken for granted, and Clifford will have the full lab to work in.
We take care of business, I do a lot of photo editing, blog writing/posting, finish editing and begin doing agent research for Ang’s fantasy novel Princes and Priests. Clifford is deeply immersed in his lab work.
Although being in town is not very inspiring for me as a photographer, there are moments that are worth documenting and remembering, even if only in their ordinariness that is part of the fabric of life.
Morning is a special time for me. The rising of the sun is the daily miracle that I delight in. The first rays of the sun bring a glow to the naked trees that I see from our east-facing sliding-glass door.
This is the time when I write in my journal and in the smaller Gratitude Journal, read inspirational writings, most especially resonating with poems by Mary Oliver, “…. and you too have come into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled with light, and to shine” and “My work is to love the world” and “be astonished,” (excerpts from the collection “Thirst”). As I write and read, I savor the aroma and flavor of fresh French press organic coffee.
We have had a bit of a rough start to our return to Monticello, as we discover that the hot water heater has been leaking while we were gone, and now the bathroom/laundry area has an unpleasant odor. A neighbor helps us cap off the leaking pipe, and after the mop-up operation, we run a fan and ozone to dry things out and deal with the odor. I begin having serious head ringing and auditory issues. From the ozone? I start spending time out in Cougar to get away from the source of the problem, whatever it is.
November 5th is a sunny fall day, so we go up Abajo Mountain to the Buckhorn campground for a picnic. I do a walkabout for photos, happy to have a blue sky day, rather rare nowadays. Because of the chilly breeze, we end up sitting in the car to have our picnic. A year ago we came up here and had a picnic sitting at the picnic table in spite of the breeze. Guess we were tougher last year. Haha… We then drive out to Pine Flats where we camped last June for the Amateur Radio Field Day. We are pleased to see that the roads have been improved, so we may able to come here with Cougar next spring.
As the days go by, my head and hearing continue to be “off” and I don’t know if it is the ozone, which is being run less or something about the house itself that is causing this toxic reaction. In spite of the head issues, I continue with photo editing, blog writing, and agent research, while Clifford works in the lab. We take breaks to run errands, walking to the post office, the hardware store, or the market. Because of the auditory problems I am experiencing, I don’t play cello or viola much, and Clifford does not take time for his music, either. He is focused on the lab and the work that needs to be in place before we leave for Arizona next month.
In mid-November we make a trip to Farmington, New Mexico, a drive that takes us through the reservations of the Four Corners region. It seems to me to be a rather harsh environment.
We are meeting with CI associate, Gary S., who has been on our unofficial staff for many years. He is exceedingly talented at fixing electronic devices and has repaired an important lab instrument, an osmometer, for us. Once we all arrive in Farmington, we go out to dinner before Gary and Clifford run tests on the repaired instrument. Everything is looking good! Hooray! This is an important addition to the lab work that Clifford is involved in.
We spend the night in Farmington and the next morning, after saying good-bye to Gary, we head back to Monticello. We have many things to accomplish in the upcoming weeks.