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December 31, 2017

The goal & the hurdle.....

The Goal for 2018  (Bing images)

This is it.  This is the year I want to graduate.  It will require a sacrifice of my free time, because I must take two classes for two semesters this year in order to meet it.  I have tried to take 2 classes a semester before, and dropped one when I discovered I couldn't handle the load.  To be fair, the second class I attempted last year was a short semester class where the professor promised to cram 16 weeks of class into 8, which is when I knew I was in trouble.  I do have 2 classes for the spring semester, but since they are both 16 week classes I'm hoping I can do it.  Because if I can't do it well, I won't.  

So, here's to 2018 ~ may we make peace with the past and have hope for the future ~ don't forget to be part of the solution....

Love, 365

December 30, 2017

Oh, the joy......

(Bing images)

I jumped the gun.  I spent likely an hour unsubscribing from various e-mails last night.  

I've already seen the benefits this morning....only had about 10 e-mails between 9pm and 7am.  Still too many.

Truthfully, there were a few where I hesitated.  "What if I miss something?"  Soldiering on, I hit the unsubscribe button.  I think this process might take awhile.  Romeo mentioned that he still receives e-mail from organizations he unsubscribed from.  No matter, I will continue to unsub until they go away.  I'm not sure what I'll do if they ignore it.  Some of the e-mails didn't have an unsub button or link, so I replied with "STOP!", although I doubt that will work.  There's probably some poor schlub that deletes all of those..in a dark closet with a cold cup of coffee.

Romeo and I are driving up to Santa Fe today for lunch and a bit of sidewalk shopping.  It has been wonderfully warm here this winter.  Normally by this time there have been several snowstorms, with the cold air to go with it, but we are supposed to have temps in the 60's today.  In December!!  I don't mind it being warm, but it is also terribly dry.  We haven't had any measurable moisture for over 2 months.  It's going to be an ugly spring if we don't get much snow.  

To all of you who have read this blog over the past year(s), and bothered to 
comment or give encouragement or tell me I'm crazy or whatever.....


It is truly appreciated....I love this blogging community!

Love ~ for reals! ~ 365

December 29, 2017

It's biscochito season here in NM.......

Biscochito cookies......our state cookie (Bing images)

Not long after moving to New Mexico I encountered biscochito's, and love them.  Introduced by the Spanish ~ after invading Mexico ~ they have evolved to become a local favorite, especially during Christmas.  If you want to learn more about them go here.  You either love them or hate them (star anise and cinnamon).  Some are made with lard (traditional) or margarine/butter.  In my opinion, the cookies made with lard are the best.  Yes, there is a place for lard in cooking!  I've never tried my hand at making them, and I probably should, but they are everywhere during the holidays so I stick to what I know and buy them.  

If you recall, I recently filled out the paperwork for the annulment of my first marriage (not my idea, I assure you).  The only time this subject has come up is when Son #1 was married.  At both weddings,  Mike's wife became morose because apparently she attends an orthodox Catholic church that doesn't allow the taking of the sacraments (communion) unless the marriage meets all the requirements of the church ~ in other words, you must be married only once or have previous marriages annulled (unless your spouse dies as hers did).  I told Mike that I didn't have any objection to the annulment process.  I received the paperwork after Thanksgiving.......didn't even review it until the week before Christmas.  And discovered that Mike lied.  Every single reason he gave was a lie.  I was furious and sad.  I filled it out, added my own letter to the paperwork and mailed it off.  So, there is my first New Year's resolution: I will no longer communicate with Mike in any way (unless it involved the health or safety of Son #1).  One of my friends told me that the annulment may not be approved, and my sister thinks that Mike put all that down so that it would be.  But, really?  You lie to the church?  If it isn't approved that's justice.

My second resolution will be concerning e-mails.  I plan to unsubscribe to everything I routinely delete.  I am hoping this will reduce my e-mails to a minimum.  Currently, I will have 25+ every day, and typically wait until there are over 100 before I clean out the inbox.  My sister was horrified to see the number of unread e-mails on my phone :-)  She's much more organized than I am.  

On a lighter note, here's the annual tumbleweed snowman Albuquerque puts up every year.
Courtesy of the Albuquerque Journal

Cute, isn't he?  I love this tradition.  

Love, 365


December 25, 2017

Need something to do for 2 hours?

The Mayflower (PBS)

The American Experience: The Pilgrims ~ available on PBS/Amazon and probably lots of other places as well.  It is a well crafted and interestingly fair view of the story, based on the writings of one of the founders, William Bradford.  His book was lost for years, and somehow ended up in the library of a London bishop who originally refused to return it ~ it took over 100 years to have the petition to return it granted.  I found it fascinating, Romeo was a tad bored.  I had to finish watching it in my office.  If you do have Amazon, you could watch it in segments.  Two hours is a loooong time, lol.

In the meantime, it's 4:30pm Christmas day here.  We had cinnamon rolls for breakfast, and roast chicken, fruit salad and rice for Christmas dinner.  This hasn't been my most memorable holiday culinary adventure.  In a week and a half, I'll be getting together with a friend to make seafood gumbo.  I only wish it was happening before the 1st so we could eat it New Year's Day.  Maybe we'll have tacos.......

Once again the powers that be at UNM have listed the start date of the spring semester as January 15th, which is Martin Luther King Day.  Two years ago I made the mistake of going to class on that fateful Monday, only to discover that the spring semester start date is our first holiday of the semester.  And yet, they still do it.  Why can't they just start the semester on Tuesday?  Romeo thinks it's a money thing and he's likely right.  So, the first day of the semester is a holiday.  Stupid.  Luckily I don't need to buy any books for these two classes, but I'm willing to bet that I'll be doing a lot of printing.

Have a great week!
Love, 365




December 23, 2017

It's time.........

Just another beautiful sky in New Mexico

Here I am, finally getting a little Christmas spirit going, and I received the annulment paperwork from my ex.  How interesting it is to read his "reasons" that the annulment should be granted.  I'm just a tad bit furious.  I'm attaching my own letter to the process.  I don't know that I would have agreed to this process had I known what I was getting into.  There were questions about my childhood that I refused to answer, because it's really none of their business.  But, it's done and I'll mail it off today.  

Beyond that little bit of Christmas cheer, I still have a few more things to do.  I would like to bake a few more cookies, and I need to figure out the menu for Christmas day, and get all the ingredients.  I should definitely do that today as I figure the grocery stores will be crowded tomorrow.

Even though I told Romeo not to buy any gifts for me ~ he does so much for me over the course of a year, by cooking dinner, laundry, house cleaning (no he doesn't do all of these things all of the time, but he does do it 80% of the time), I suspect he purchased a few gifts.  So, I need to go out and find a few things for him, although going to the mall makes me want to curl up into a ball.  We'll see if I have a great idea while getting ready to head out....come on, brain!  Think!

Merry Christmas everyone!

Love, 365

December 18, 2017

December ~ watch the money fly out of my wallet......

Two of the young women at the gym put together Santa and his reindeer out of towels...
Don't ask me why she posed like this, haha...

This is the official first week of Christmas/winter break at UNM.  I am celebrating by tossing out all of the readings, notes, and syllabus of my previous class.  I'll stick the offending paper in the recycle bin.  There are so few classes I've saved my class materials from.  Just an example of how useless so much of this stuff is.  Whatever, I'm ready for classes to begin in mid-January.  The notebooks are now ready!  One class is Stone Age Europe (looking forward to it), the second is National Parks and American Culture ~ not sure exactly what that means, but I guess I'll find out.  

But, as to my title ~ between the downpayment for the spring semester, Christmas and property taxes, my account is not experiencing a holly jolly season.  Bah humbug.

I did a fair amount of baking this weekend, with gingerbread, sugar cookies and lemon-lavender sandwich cookies (which were really yummy).  I still need to bake pumpkin bread, and I'm considering baking one more type of cookie ~ as yet to be determined.  I need to mail off a gift, return a pair of jeans, wash my vehicle and do a little ironing for the work week.  This is my first Monday off in a month.  I volunteered to work today for my co-worker so that I could increase my hours (I'm paid by the hour, no one in the office is paid a salary), but she wanted to add to her hours too, so I'm off today.  Although it would have been nice to have the extra 8 hours, I'm happy to have time to catch up on a few things.  It was nice sleeping until 7am too.....

Have a wonderful week!
Love, 365



December 16, 2017

Week wrap up.....

I meant to redo the chalkboard for the seasons, but as you see I've missed
Halloween
Thanksgiving
& now Christmas.....

It has been a rather exhausting week.  I spent most of last weekend studying for my final ~ recall that it was on Tuesday at 7:30am, ugh.  I pulled out my 35 cent blue book and went to work.....it didn't take me very long to finish the exam.  I finished, and looked at my watch which read 8:10.  No one else had turned in their exam yet, so I figured I would go over everything again.  I changed one answer ~ usually a mistake as I note that when I do that my first answer is usually the correct one, but what the heck, I changed my mind.  I added a little bit of jargon to my "short essay".  I reviewed it again, and by 8:30 I decided I didn't care if I was the first to leave, I was done.  I collected the graded essay we turned in the week before, and was surprised to see I made a 96 on it, and happily thought that the grade I needed on the final was now lower to get an A in the course ~ which I did.  So, now I move on.  

*****IF ANYONE IS INTERESTED IN "The Faithful" by James O'Toole, now is the time to say so.  
Please e-mail me at nmhiker56@icloud.com saying you're.....interested.   I will mail it out to you.  The book itself is not worth more than 10 or 15 bucks, just in case you're thinking it might be valuable.  The value is in the story, not the item.  If more than one person is interested, I'll do a drawing (consisting of names on a piece of paper and drawn out of a hat, haha).  See?  I'm not even requiring that you "follow" me to get your chance........

After the tournament style racquetball game yesterday ~ wow, was that exhausting! ~ I stopped into my neighborhood store and spied a small live "tree" (I think it's an Italian cypress) including a small string of lights and tiny ornaments for $18.  I snapped that up along with my baking necessities.  So, now we have a small ~ make that tiny ~ tree complete with lights and decor.  Still not sure I'm doing much decorating other than that, but it is cheerful and cute.  I still need to mail out a gift, but I need to wrap it first.  I guess I'll take my chances and mail it out on Monday.  I should have just let Amazon deliver it, but it would have been so early.  

Well, I've got a long list of to-do's!  Have a wonderful weekend!
Love, 365



December 9, 2017

No, I haven't put up my tree yet......

(Image courtesy of Bing)

I had plans....I was going to attend the Christmas arts & crafts sale at the Railyard in downtown.  I was going to catch up on my laundry.  I was going to Michaels to look for a small table top tree since I don't want to put up the big one this year.  I didn't do any of those things though, because I've spent the entire day studying for my final exam.  

I did well on the mid-term, and the final will be similar.  But I have to study.....it seems to be an obsession these days, where I would never have thought to spend so much time for a single event before.  There will be a two paragraph essay included in the final, which I'm not looking forward to.  But I figure that studying for all the other parts (there are 3) will prepare me to write a short essay on whatever she decides to put in front of us. 

My eyes are tired and blurry, but I've put a sufficient number of check marks on the review.....I think I can leave the rest for tomorrow.  Poor Romeo is under the weather with a cold, and he went to bed hours ago.  I will have to be quiet when I wander in to the bedroom before collapsing into bed.  

The idea that the registrar's office schedules final exams seems crazy to me.  I've never had to suffer through a final that wasn't scheduled by the professor.  The final for this class is on Tuesday at 7:30 in the morning.  Why didn't we just do it on the last day of class?  We really didn't do anything important this past Tuesday/Thursday.  I think she should have given us the review on the 30th, and have us take the exam on the 7th, which was the "last day of class"....except for the exam of course.  College never ceases to amaze me with it's crazy and inefficient ideas and "traditions".  But, I'm too tired to ! complain about it.  A Christmas miracle, haha.

I hope you enjoy the rest of the weekend....
Love, 365

December 3, 2017

When you do things you don't really want to....

Latest picture of the gang...

Last year, one of my racquetball buddies mentioned that she thought I had signed up for the NM Doubles tournament.  There's another player that has the same first name that I do.....she asked the organizer if I had signed up, and he said yes ~ only it was our newest player on Wednesday nights.  Not me.  So, she ended up playing the tournament with her anyway (because that's the kind of person she is, very nice).  I always felt a little guilty for sort of letting her down, so I asked if she wanted to play this year.  It's a weekend tournament, but it still takes up most of the weekend, especially if you play in different divisions.  

So, we began on Friday night.  It went ok, we should have just wiped the floor with the team we were playing, but neither of us was playing very well.  We still managed to win.  The next day, I'm still not "on" ~ meaning I just couldn't get past the anxiety of playing a tournament.  It had been about 2 or 3 years since I had played in one.  I was, again, not "on".  I made so many stupid mistakes, I was wishing someone would hit me on the head with a racquet and put me out of my misery.  It went to a tiebreaker, which is where I really sucked.  We lost.  Worse than that, I became very frustrated with one of the players on the other team who seemed to stand in front of me every minute.  Which they aren't supposed to do, but the ref wasn't calling her on it.  Whereby I grabbed the back of her tee shirt in an attempt to get her out of my way.  When she turned around to walk back to receive (after the point) I made an ugly face and faked hitting her with the racquet.  Even now, I'm so embarrassed.  I really lost it.  I'm not sure I'm ever going to play in a tournament again.   I apologized, and she was very gracious about it.  Still, I think I'm done with tournaments.  I don't want to put myself in a position where I'm that ugly person again.  

I suppose it's good to know one's limitations.  Although I know that everyone else has likely forgotten about it already, I know I will bring the image to the forefront of my mind and chastise myself over it for awhile.  This is one of my worst habits.  I call it emotional flagellation.  I won't forgive myself for a long time after everyone else has. Now I just need to find a way to move on.

Love, 365

December 1, 2017

Let the craziness begin.......

It's a Santa Fe Christmas

The holiday season has officially begun....our office is festively decorated, our radio station 99.5 is playing non-stop holiday music.  I'm not planning on putting up our big tree, I'm going to Michaels' or some other craft store and look for a tabletop size tree.  It's just Romeo and me after all.  No visitors are expected, so I don't want to do the whole thing ~ move furniture, haul out all the boxes of decor.  It'll be festive and simple.  I still have holiday baking to do as well, and the new Better Homes & Gardens came out with their page after page of cookie recipes...I've picked out two to try, and will do my own family favorites as well.  These will be doled out to friends, but I know we'll have a few for ourselves.  

Romeo & I have decided not to exchange gifts this year.  Instead, we're going to have a fabulous Christmas meal.  I'm thinking prime rib roast or similar.  I've never cooked one before, but it looks very simple.

I'll be fairly busy today, with a Dr's appt, hair appt, along with a racquetball tournament that starts this evening and will go on through the weekend.
**************************************
It was nice to have such a long break from classes as our Prof. went to a conference (truthfully I think she and her family went to Chicago for a visit, I just can't imagine a conference being scheduled right before Thanksgiving).  We had two weeks off, which was great.  I turned in my essay yesterday, which I wasn't happy with, but oh well.  It's done.  Both my previous writing assignments were graded at 88.....she is tough on grading, but I didn't follow all the instructions on the second one (I just got so caught up in it that I forgot to expound on one of the issues she wanted us to discuss ~ stupid me).  I don't really care.  I have a 97 on the mid-term.  The final should be a similar type of exam and as long as I study I should do well.

However, she did remind us ~ she had also mentioned it on the first class day ~ our final is scheduled by someone else (?????), some kind of committee or something?  And it's on 12/12 beginning at 7:30 in the morning.  Holy shit, 7:30, are they serious?  So, although I was thinking our class would be done on the 7th, there will be one more day.  I will have to get going very early to make sure I'm there on time, as I'm never in the area at that time of the morning so I don't know how backed up traffic might get.

Big news!  Remember the girl I mentioned who had the dreads?  Well, on Tuesday I was surprised to notice that the dreads are gone.  Her hair is quite short (probably didn't have the patience to untangle them) and thick.  It looks so much better.  And she's speaking up in class more.  I speculate that she went home for Thanksgiving and her parents took her to a hair salon.  Or, maybe she did it before she went so that her folks wouldn't freak out.

Well, I must get started on the day.  Have a fabulous day!
Love, 365

November 27, 2017

It's great to be home again.....

Son #2 and Sioux

We survived....we drove 900 miles from Albuquerque to Round Rock Texas for Thanksgiving.  The trip there ~ we left at 4:30am ~ didn't end until about 7:30pm due to traffic issues from construction and border checkpoint (which isn't at the border), and taking wrong turns.  It was, in a word, exhausting.

Cedar Breaks Park & Georgetown Lake

We had a nice hike on Thursday morning/early afternoon.  It was lovely, and Sioux had a great time running around and swimming to retrieve the stick thrown for her.  She did suffer from swimmer's tail for a couple of days, but I think it was worth it.

Later that day we had a nice dinner with Son #1 and his new wife.  Friday, we did Thanksgiving all again at my Mom's, where everyone who was in town was there, so I was able to meet my sister's new grand-daughter, Rebecca.  So cute, but I can see at 3 months old, they are going to have their hands full!  She appears to be a determined young lady!

Isn't she adorable?

Saturday we literally did nothing except have a nice dinner (take out, because we had the dog).  We said our good-by's and prepared for the trip back on Sunday ~ again at 4am.  *Side note, the older I get, the easier it is to get up at 4am, haha.  We had no issues on the trip back and made it home in about 13 hours.  I ended up taking off today so that I wouldn't have any problems with returning the rental car (a Ford Edge that we really liked).  All in all, we enjoyed seeing the boys, Sioux was thrilled to see her owner.  Will we do it again next year?  Nope.  I don't want to do that drive again for a long time.  It's just too long.  It's really too bad we aren't 7 to 8 hours away, which would be so much more manageable.  We discussed again the idea of moving back someday, but the final decision will be at least 3 to 4 years away.

I hope all of you enjoyed your holiday!  And I sincerely hope you didn't have to drive 13 hours to get there.....

Love, 365

November 20, 2017

Oh, happy day.....

I don't want to add his photo to my blog..
it would pollute, like oil on birds feathers
(nah, this ain't no poem, haha).
But, I was happy to hear the news this morning
that Charles Manson is dead.

*********************************************************************************

Also, a big shout out to Rick Watson for bugging me about adding the "follow" button on my blog.
I am so impatient, that if I didn't find the widget in 2 minutes, I would give up.  I finally found the darn thing, so, follow away!  


Happy Thanksgiving!
Love, 365

November 19, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!



Happy Thanksgiving!  I know it's a bit early, but we will be traveling and although I'm taking my computer ~ more on that in a bit ~ I doubt I will have any blogging time.

Why I love Thanksgiving:
~The food is great.  Even if it is purchased in advance and warmed up in the oven, you're still sitting at a full table with friends/family/pets.  Ok, maybe not the pets, but they're hanging nearby, I betcha.
~No shopping for gifts.  No wrapping, no worrying (omg, will he/she like it?), no emptying the bank account for a holiday (although I don't do that, I try to shop somewhat early, or buy modest gifts).  No meltdowns from kids that didn't get quite what they wanted, although they might have a tummy ache.
~No trees or tons of decor you have to skirt around.  Maybe a cornucopia that is thrown out the next day anyway.
~I consider this a stress free holiday, for all the above reasons.  Eating and football and Yahtzee or scrabble.
~Dessert.  Pie, that comes in pecan and pumpkin and apple.....
I hope that all of you enjoy!


Although I'm taking my computer, it's an attempt to make some real headway on my essay due on 11/30, which I haven't even started. :-(

Love y'all ~ 365


November 17, 2017

I'm jumpin on (the sexual harrassment bandwagon)....

Al Franken, the lastest harasser to be accused....

Romeo and I were watching the news this morning before he left for work, and saw the story of Leean Tweeden revealing Al's forced kiss, and likely we've all seen the "pretend groping" photo by Al while Leean was asleep.  
She explains that many have experienced worse, but it was a week of harassment with Al at a USO function a decade ago.
I was furious to read that: (and you can go to the article here)
     Congress rules on holding lawmakers accountable re: sexual harassment are as follows:
     ~Accusers can file lawsuits only if they first agree to go through months of counseling and mediation (Does this sound fair to you?).
     ~Then a special congressional office is charged with trying to resolve cases out of court.
     ~After all that your lawmaker-harasser is found guilty & there's a settlement, they don't have to pay.  Confidential payments come out of a special US Treasury fund (that's right, your tax dollars go to pay for the sins of congressmen).

One representative who's chief of staff is a woman reports she doesn't know a single woman in her age group that hasn't experienced inappropriate conduct in the workplace.  NOT ONE.

For myself, I'm all for calling out these men.  I've been sexually harassed in so many situations, it's not even funny.  
~Asked to sit on the lap of a man I worked for in a nursery (plants), while he groped my breasts....I should have gone to his wife and told her.  Afraid I would lose my job, which I needed.  Never got close enough to him for that to happen again.
~While married, have had friends of my husband ask me for sex.
~Had another boss put my hand on his erection and state: "Look what you've done to me", as though I should then agree to have sex with him, because it's my fault.
~A man I know who is married & who knows I'm married constantly ask me for "dates".  All turned down of course.  He knows that I know his wife, and he's met my husband.  What is the deal???

Am I the only woman who is sick and tired of all this shit?  I would think not.  But I am angry with myself for allowing it to happen without speaking up.  

NOW IS THE TIME!!
We can't simply let this sort of behavior continue and keep quiet.  
We have a voice, and we need to use it.  
We aren't at fault.
We don't need to feel guilty, or think we "asked for it".

To the men who enjoy using their power to harass women, shame.  I hope you all burn in hell.

Love, 365


November 14, 2017

Almost naked??

Yeah, I'll get to that in a minute.....

Fall, New Mexico style...

Well, here I sit, trying to make time speed up.  It's a bit past my bedtime now (10:30), and I still have an hour and a half to go ~ my class registration time begins at midnight.

Last year I waited until about 5am figuring that would be safe enough to get the class I wanted.  Wrong.  By then, the class was not only full, but the wait list was full as well.  Lesson learned.  But in order to be absolutely sure, I have to register right at midnight.  Worked for me when there were only 2 slots for the class I took this summer (what a great class that was!).  But, wow, staying up until midnight for something that is necessary but not fun is not my cup of tea.  

So, a little post to distract myself.  Maybe a bit of online window shopping.  

I'm afraid if I go to bed & set my alarm, I'll either not want to rouse myself to get up, or if I do, then I might not be able to fall asleep after.  The wonders of getting older....
*******************************************************************
So now the nearly naked part....

Naked might be taking this subject a little too far....but have you noticed that so many women are wearing yoga pants or leggings?  I have noticed this trend at UNM, although I see it at the grocery store, library ~ just about anywhere.  At the university, I would guesstimate that 50% of the girls wear leggings or tights instead of jeans.  Some are fairly modest, and their shirt or jacket covers the backside, but most don't.  I'm all for comfort, but I think this trend is nearly as bad as wearing pajamas to the grocery store.

I tried to find some decent photos on Bing, but I would say the majority of the pics were a little too.....suggestive?  Sexy?  Pornographic?   ~ OK guys, I know what you're going to do next, haha.

What do you think?  

Love, 365

***Reminder to those of you who might enjoy reading The Faithful by James O'Toole:  class will be over by Dec. 14th, so let me know if you are interested!  Probably best by e-mail, so leave your comment & I'll drop by with the e-address.

November 11, 2017

Mud slog....

UNM 

This morning I viewed a very interesting Ted Talk about higher education ~ mainly college education.  About how the existing system is antiquated and hasn't changed since the 1900s.  It was almost like someone was trying to put a message in front of me.  I wasn't able to post the video here (mostly because I didn't want to spend one or two hours figuring out how), nor could I find the video on its own so that I could provide a link.  Basically, the presenter voiced his concerns that higher education is still running the same model for the last 100 years.  
Think about that for a moment.
Everything else ~ our computers, our cell phones, cars, television have all advanced incredibly in just the last 5 years.  Gautam Khetrapal, the man who gives the speech on TedXU, describes the model as based on linearity, conformity, and "batching people".  That what we learn is basically obsolete by the time we graduate.  This isn't true in all fields......although history remains the same, there are different ways to interpret the stories of history, or a new discovery changes the status quo.  Mathematics doesn't change, although the way we arrive at our answer may.  

This is relevant to me because I'm in a program at a university attempting to earn a degree.  I'm so close to graduation.....but now am running into problems finding the specific classes I need to complete my requirements.  There is a possibility that the advisor can help me with substituting a class for one that I need, or even give me credit to meet a final requirement.  I made my own mistakes.....like not meeting with an advisor every semester or at least twice a year.  After my meeting yesterday, I discovered that I might be able to graduate at the end of next year.  IF the substitutions and credits are accepted.  But, what I wish is that, as Gautam mentions in his video, is that I could design my degree program based on my interests, especially once the junior and senior year are reached.  

During one of my first advisor meetings at the community college I asked why I had to take a class like music appreciation, and was given the age-old "we want you to have a well-rounded education".   
This is a fallacy.  
It's all about money.
Money is the reason I need 128 hours of education to be awarded a degree.
I've understood this for awhile, and understand that meaningful change takes a very long time.  I do hope that someday education will be for everyone that wants it, and that we will be allowed to choose our own path.......

Love, 365 

November 6, 2017

Hold on while I get my coffee......

Ahhhh, that's better.
Onward, through the fog....

I've been obscessing and taking pics of the sunflowers that were in a flower arrangement I purchased recently.  I think this is one of 5 I've taken the last few days.
Although I consider myself reasonably intelligent, I bought this arrangement simply because I love the 3 small vases (and it looks like old fashioned milk bottles!).  Very handy for small bouquets!  See how I saved $$ buy buying shit?  I wish I could recall the comedian who said that...

Ok, I'll stop now.  But aren't they pretty?
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Romeo.....oh how I love thee.  But seriously, you're driving me batshit crazy.  I know I've mentioned the second story deck issue.  Romeo removed it after he discovered dry-rot in the boards.  Since then, he has done......well, really nothing.  He's measured where to put the posts that will support it, and he has drilled the holes and placed the metal support thingy in.  Because we'll be out of town during Thanksgiving, he's not planning on doing anything else until Christmas vacation, although really, isn't it going to be a little cold?  He plans to place the posts and the framework.  Then, according to Romeo, "it'll be easy to do the rest".  Hmmmm.  I'm always suspicious when someone tells me something will be easy.  

The only issue currently, is that we used to access the roof by way of the deck.  So, closing down the evaporative cooler is tricky, and the roof can only be accessed with a ladder.  Have I ever mentioned how much I hate ladders?  Romeo mentioned "Oh, I think I'll shut the cooler down next weekend, since it's going to be windy this weekend", where I promptly stated that the wind usually comes in the afternoon, so he should have no problem doing it now....not to mention that the following weekend is right before we leave, so we might be busy.  I felt only a teeny bit guilty manipulating him into doing it now.  I know chores like that one aren't fun.  I understand procrastination (I'm the queen!).  I'll be so glad when the deck is done, but I guess I'll just have to be patient (I'm not the queen of that one).

Just to clarify, I'm farrrr from perfect (remember the procrastination).  We've been happily married for almost 40 years, which I attribute to each of us complimenting the other.....like I can manipulate him into a chore, and he is great at keeping me grounded.  It just works, haha.

So, Thanksgiving.  This will be the first Thanksgiving that I haven't prepared everything.  Turkey, stuffing, rolls....the only thing I don't do is my own cranberry sauce.  The plan is that I will kick it out of the park for Christmas.  I just need to dial down how much food I cook or we'll be eating the leftovers for a month.  It's great on the day of, and still enjoyable the next day....but 3 weeks later that frozen turkey is taunting you from the freezer, and you've already used up all the ideas on how to fix it in different ways.....

Enjoy your week!
Love, 365



November 3, 2017

Oh, I have bald spots......

Shots from the garden

Apparently, I have been neglecting visiting the "adviser" at UNM to plan out classes I need.  I ran an audit to check on what I would need for the spring semester.  I already know I need history classes, but I was hoping to take a break from history for a semester.  But, no.  I need 9 more hours of history.  I won't be taking any breaks.  I haven't taken a semester break for two years, and I won't be able to take one the summer of 2018.  I'm afraid to take a break ~ I might not go back.  I got myself into this, I'm not going to quit now.

We've made our plans to drive to Austin with the dog over Thanksgiving.  Although it will be a long drive, I'm looking forward to spending Thanksgiving with the family for the first time since we moved here.  

We have seen dogs that are up for adoption and when I see one that will work with Sioux, I inquire.  Sadly other people seem to beat me to the punch.  I'm not very thrilled with these groups that foster dogs, as they never call me back, and a few days later I look on the website and the dog we were hoping to adopt is no longer listed.  I don't know how this all works....I guess next time I will ask them to let me know my chances.  The last one asked me if I could go that evening, but I couldn't, so I guess that meant to her that I didn't really want him, since I wasn't able to drop everything and go.  Argh.

Well, looking forward to our beautiful weather forecasted for this weekend!  I hope you have the same.....
Love, 365

October 29, 2017

I just don't get it

We have approximately 30 students in the class I'm currently taking ~ Catholicism in America.  There is quite a mix ~ most are in their twenties, more than half of the class is female.  There are two native Americans and a few that attend class in military uniforms.  There is one girl that wears her hair in dreads.  She is a pretty girl, with dark blonde hair...smart and capable.  So, why does she wear her hair in this horrible style that looks like a rats nest?  I just don't get it......

It doesn't quite look like this, but bad enough.....(Bing images)
I was reading a website on the care of dreads, and if you decide you don't want them anymore, the process of removing them is daunting.  
Especially the section on ~ bugs.  OMG

At the first class, the professor usually reviews his/her expectations for the class...rules included.  Our professor prefers we not bring our computers unless we are discussing a reading that was posted online.  Likely this rule is simply due to how cramped the class is.  The first couple of weeks ~ before students dropped the class ~ we were sitting 3 to a table, which only seats 3 if you have a small notebook.  Now the average is 2 per table, including those that prefer to sit against the back wall at the tiny desks that were put in to handle the overflow.  Of course, she also mentioned to please not use your cell phone either, but on Thursday, one student spent nearly the entire class texting and surfing.  She noticed but opted not to call him out on it.  I thought it was disrespectful and rude.  
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This weekend was the annual Breast Cancer Walk in Albuquerque.
It was a lot of fun.....plus we all met our goal for daily steps/miles.

We treated ourselves to Mexican food at El Pinto....
Very "fallish" in the decor....

It was chilly at first, but warmed up nicely!

The Rio Grande ~ yep, it's usually pretty muddy.  You could walk across and probably only be in water to your waist in the deepest parts.

Enjoy the last bit of your weekend!
Love, 365



October 21, 2017

My thoughts turn to........


Our beautiful blue skies are the perfect backdrop for fall color.


UNM campus color.

I was listening to NPR (I listen every morning during my commute) and they were discussing the healthcare issues that just aren't ever solved ......... in my opinion, they never will as long as healthcare is a FOR PROFIT enterprise ~ the CEO's of insurance companies ~ like 17 million just for Metlife alone (in 2011).  I don't have a problem with the idea that people need to be paid for their work.  Can you imagine what American health care might be like if the CEO was paid a few hundred thousand and some of those millions were used to help subsidize health care for the indigent, or simply to reduce the premium for families and individuals?  Staggering.  Won't ever happen.
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Happily, the new WD season starts tomorrow.

I'm not watching many of the previous episodes from last season because......well if you watch it you know that last season was tough.  Our protagonist met a particularly wicked villain.   We shall see.....

 Poldark on PBS

We've been watching the new season of Poldark on Sunday nights too, and were worried that they would be on at the same time.....we don't own a DVR and didn't really want to chose which one we would watch, but I think they are one after the other.  Again, we shall see.  Have you watched Poldark?  It's an old British show, remade at least once.  We've enjoyed it, although dang, he has some mighty bad luck.  

Enjoy your weekend!
Love, 365



October 16, 2017

It's that time of year.......

Oxidation.....can you guess what this is?  
Answer at the bottom!

I love fall.....the cooler temperatures, the beautiful blue skies against the backdrop of colorful leaves....it's tough to work inside when we experience this excellent time of the year here in New Mexico.  However, I don't love the allergies I've been experiencing along with the low grade cold.  I've been chasing Romeo out of bed around 2am with snoring.  Which is ironic because I spent years sleeping on the couch because he used to snore every night.  

It's also that time of year that I begin to lose my enthusiasm for the university.  I want to be done.  But I can't do two classes a semester because I just can't handle that much homework and reading along with working full time.  And I can't afford to take two classes financially either.  It's become a tradition of sorts for me to feel frustrated this time of year.  Dissolusioned.  Anxious that it will never ever end.  Somehow I just need to put it out of my mind, but I haven't found an answer other than just turning away from the thoughts, sort of like how you look away at something distasteful.  sigh....

I did manage to complete a huge project this weekend, so I feel good about that.  I had been letting the shredding of documents, and mail that I can't just throw away pile up.  I ended up with two large bags ~ satisfying to put it in the recycle bin.  Now I need to move on to the closet.  

I doubt seriously that we will receive our mid-term exams back tomorrow, but hope springs eternal, huh?  I need to start on my oral history report soon, but I haven't yet heard from the person I hope to interview.  I'll likely move on after Friday of this week.  I can't wait forever for her to decide if she wants to participate.

The aforementioned picture of the colorful leaves and sky.....I took this pic on Sunday.

This is the answer to the "oxidation" issue up top.  It's just a close up 
of the hood, but I thought it was cool.

Enjoy your week!
Love, 365

October 8, 2017

Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta!



2015 pics

For the next 10 days, Albuquerque will be busy with visitors (lots of folks have out of town guests this time of year).  The balloon fiesta is huge here.  Apparently we host the largest balloon event in the world, and there are balloons and pilots from all over.  It is truly a unique experience!  There is the excitement of watching the balloons inflate ~ which as you can see from the bottom photo, spectators are allowed on the field with the pilots, balloons and their crew.  We went 5 years in a row after we first moved here, and manage to go every 3 to 4 years since.  

This year drones are bringing video that is truly breathtaking.  If someone posts it I will show it here or give you a link (it'll probably show up on youtube soon).  Santa might bring a drone to Romeo this year ~ he's been talking about them, and I think he would have a blast with one.  

If you ever get the chance, come an experience it.  It's a unique experience you won't forget.

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I can laugh now....yesterday when I pulled into the garage, Romeo came out and looked completely frazzled ~ his hair looked like he had been nervously running his hands through it.   I asked him what was wrong, and he explained that he thinks he left his phone somewhere.  He had already driven to Lowe's again, retracing his steps, and had gone through every room in the house.  I called his phone ~ it was in the bathroom on one of the floating shelves we have.  :-)

Love, 365

October 7, 2017

35 cents! Wow!

Flowers always make me happy.....

Time is always short when I study for an exam, and the mid-term is coming up on Tuesday.  I do need to take a break soon to go to UNM's bookstore to purchase a "blue book", which I've never had to buy before.  I checked out the price ~ 35 cents.  Nice price as this time of month the money is tight.  All my life it seems that the first of the month is when all the big bills come due.  =sigh=

Romeo is making very little progress on the deck.  The handyman that was supposed to come and estimate the rebuild never showed.  I suppose that's a hidden blessing.  Although I thought maybe we would be surprised at the cost, Romeo was hurt because he thought I didn't believe he could handle the project.  So, that conversation has faded away, and I've decided to just let him do it.  If he comes to the realization that he might not be up to it, I can call the handyman again.  You have to really work at marital bliss, it doesn't just jump into your lap and kiss you.  Haha.

I have all these organizational plans that I just don't ever seem to have time for.  I guess I'll look at the calendar and just put it in.  That might be the only way it's ever going to get done.  For one, I really need to revamp the closet in my office, which has - over the years - become a repository for junk that we thought we would find a use for.  Old frames, and old clock I bought over 40 years ago ~ the list really goes on and on.  Our snowboards are in there ~ something I don't have the desire to do anymore.....I'm thinking of using them to decorate my walls in here.  As for the rest of the gear, I suppose I'll put it on Craig's List, or LetGo, or something.  It's a good time to sell winter sports gear, although I doubt seriously that I'll get much for it.

Have a great weekend, and thanks for stopping in!
Love, 365

October 2, 2017

History lessons which are never learned.....

Flowers along the sidewalk in Austin....

History is such a bitch.  I mean, you've got dates to remember, details and names to recall.  I really suck at dates, but luckily, our professor also sucks at dates, so won't be giving us those types of questions on our tests and quizzes.  

History is written ~ usually ~ by the winners.  Look at us.  In Texas they never discuss the reasons for the Battle of the Alamo.  All we hear about is the American heroes.  We never hear about how we decided to annex through violence, a large portion of what was then Mexico.  In New Mexico you don't read about how we lied to the indigenous (& we don't call them indigenous, we call them Indians) and stole much of their land or killed most of them with war and disease.  

The same is true of immigrants.  My current class is Catholicism in America, which is more about people than it is of Catholicism.  I am enjoying it much more than I thought I would.  We are currently reading "The Madonna of 115th Street" by Robert Orsi.  I figured I would be bored.  It's a fascinating glimpse of the lives of the early immigrants from Italy in the 1800s.  If you are interested in what it was like for those early Italians, it's a book I would highly recommend.  (also cheap as a used paperback on Amazon)  Orsi discusses in detail of life in the "domus" which is a term to describe how life revolved around family and friends in the community that these early immigrants (in Italian Harlem) fought so hard to protect.  Nor is it all fun and games.  The Italians really knew how guilt and shame were powerful motivators.  He does go into the Mafia a bit too, with a view point I had never considered.  

So, at the end of class, I'm going to mail the book to one of you.  I'll let you know when.  No essay required!

Love, 
365

September 30, 2017

It's gonna be a bright, sunshiny day

(Bing images)

(;)) It's a lovely Saturday morning, and I'm sitting here with my coffee at hand trying to plan out the day.  I need to get the tires rotated ~ start studying for the mid-term exam on 10/10 ~ do a bit of house cleaning :-( ~ go to the gym for a little workout.  Why "a little workout"?  Because I've been horribly negligent and will need to start out slow.  Bad, bad me.

Trivia: did you know Frank Lloyd Wright's son John developed Lincoln Logs?  I still love those......

I did finish my essay and turned it in on Thursday ~ my philosophy is, it's all in the professor's hands now, no sense being anxious about it.  Because I was out of town the weekend before it was due ~ and because I did ABSOLUTELY NOTHING on it while I was out of town (although I had my notebook and books with me, smh) I had to kick it every evening after work to get it done.  I missed Ladies Nite racquetball too.  Lazy, lazy me.


Although the mid-term is 11 days from today (and she's not giving us the study guide until the 5th) I figure I will start reviewing my notes.  Although she does spend about 15-20 min each class reviewing the material from the previous class, we still cover a lot of ground.  I'm still fretting over the class I missed, as I don't see many people in class taking notes I didn't feel there was anyone worth asking to give me a copy of theirs after I returned.  I suppose I take tons of notes because the simple act of writing them down helps me remember.  I've already learned that there are times that the professor mentions things during the lecture that are on exams but not in our readings.  Oh, and the older woman I mentioned I didn't see in class is back, so I guess I've just missed seeing her.  I don't know if she's taking the class or just auditing it, not that it matters.

Suppose I should get started.....hope you all have a great weekend!
Love, 365

September 25, 2017

Oh, the humidity.........

It was lovely....

I should begin with how great the wedding was....and it was!  It was a non-stop affair from the moment I stepped off the plane until I went home.  It was a short trip, from Thursday to Sunday, so there was a lot to do.  Thankfully, I only had to help with the incidentals that simply took a bit of my time and freed up #1 son to do other things.  

However, there were a few glitches.  Like Allegiant Airlines.  Really, you just can't fly to Austin from Albuquerque for less.  It was less than $150, and there's no stick you can shake at that.  SW would have been (at it's cheapest) $276.  Having said that, when we landed, I couldn't figure out where we were....other than the fact they said we were in Austin, because we weren't at the airport I was expecting.  Later I found out that the "south airport" is a new area for Allegiant.  From there you are invited to take a 25 minute shuttle ride to the main airport.  It was not a surprise that I enjoyed.  

From there I went to the rental car building.  As I'm walking up, I see that the only rental car counter with a line was Budget.  There was only one person at the counter and a line of 6 people in front of me.  That was another 45-minute wait.  All of the other rental car counters were shooting people out to their rentals in 10 minutes or less.  Made less enjoyable by the fact that I had to pee but because I was by myself, I didn't want to ask a stranger to hold my place in the line while I took care of business.  Again, not enjoyable.  

After that it was smooth sailing ~ my phone map/directions didn't take me to unknown parts of Austin as it did the last time I was there.  I had a wonderful dinner with my soon to be daughter-in-law.  I met her older (5 year old) son the next day as my son and I ran errands, had lunch, and hung out.  He's an adorable kid.  Tiny, with glasses.  Very polite and nice.  The next snag was at the reception.

My ex-husband and his wife were there (of course), and I had said the perfunctory "good to see you!" to him, but hadn't had a chance to say hello to his wife.  I asked him and he told me she was "having difficulty" due to watching my son and his bride take their first communion together, which is a sore spot for her ~ she is Catholic, and my ex converted, but because he hadn't sent me the paperwork to annul our marriage, they are unable to participate in the sacraments.  Which I have learned from my class is a very big deal to Catholics.  I asked him if he was concerned I wouldn't sign (or whatever it is I have to do) and he said no, he's just been putting it off........for 10 years.  So, I kind of had to laugh at that (not out loud of course), and was also just a bit annoyed that she would pick this particular event to become a pouty, unhappy woman.  She walked out of the reception and didn't really come back, I assume because she didn't want to put a damper on the party??  Or something.  Sheesh.

I know it sounds like I didn't have fun, but I truly enjoyed my visit.  And was super happy to come home where the humidity level is 8-15%, and 74 degrees outside.

Love, 365

September 21, 2017

Look out Texas......


I'm leaving today to go to Round Rock for son #1's wedding.  Tonight I will be meeting my soon to be daughter-in-law.  My son already told me she's "shy".  I used to be shy ~ now I can talk to anyone anywhere ~ thanks to my job which forces me to converse the social niceties every day with lots of people.  *Stephanie is a dental assistant.  I've met lots of those over the years, and not a single one is shy.  I suppose my son is prefacing our meeting in case Stephanie can't figure out what to think of, or say to, her fiance's Mother.  Hahahaha   This outta be fun.

I'm kidding!

Love, 365

September 17, 2017

I miss George......





Do you remember George?  I was scrolling through the HBO lineup of movies for something to watch and came across what was purportedly his favorite of his performances ~ "Jammin in New York".  I miss his honesty and weird wacky way of analyzing everything.  Of course, it's always fun to listen to a smart, logical, non-sensical individual bash government, golf courses, "the war" on (countries, drugs, etc).  

I miss him.  He brought something to America than we hadn't seen before but desperately needed.  Someone who could shine the light on all the bullshit.  We don't have George anymore, but his humor is unsurprisingly current.  The only thing missing is our current "leaders" in his monologue.

You can find much of George's work on youtube.  If you have a spare hour and a half, you can watch Jammin in New York at this link.  

Enjoy........Love, 365

Fighting the good fight......

Georgia O'Keeffe's house Yesterday I discovered that with no chores to do, and no classwork going on, and an aversion to shop...