Sunday, August 21, 2011

It's Mid-August already ...

And the days just roll by!

We were commenting yesterday that the heat of summer is past and it really hasn't been bad. We had maybe six weeks of "hot" weather, with the daytime temperatures reaching the mid-90s, rarely hitting 100. In the evenings, it always cools down as the cool air flows down from the Continental Divide a few miles north of us. Now it's mid-80s during the day and it was 66 when I got up this morning. The "monsoons" (daily afternoon/evening showers) were late in arriving this year but once they started, everything greened up and cooled off. Very comfortable!

We have a long course of wound care ahead of us, but it's clear that the infection is gone and the dressing changes are only once a day now. Beth, the home health nurse, takes care of the dressing twice a week and her reports are consistently positive. So, good news, but still taking one day at a time.

Even at that, we do enjoy taking part in the many activities around the area. I just loved that old Studebaker Avanti at a car show a few weeks ago!

Tom was involved in getting news out and setting up for the Gila Friends Meeting's annual Hiroshima Peace Day Remembrance in Gough Park in Silver City. About two dozen people showed up and the event got good coverage, reminding us that we are still in the nuclear age and even peacetime uses carry hazards.

Tom also took in part of the public meeting Rep. Stevan Pierce held in Silver City ... he got quite a bit of push-back on his Tea Party stands!

Life in the backyard continues to be enjoyable. This brown towhee seemed indignant that I was taking his picture during his bath. The thrashers are still around, but not trying a third batch of eggs. The deer still come through regularly; bucks are still in velvet.

We're members of the Grant County Art Guild and we agreed jointly to take on the PR function, press releases and Facebook. It's had its frustrations, but we're getting on top of it. Our group had it's regular meeting recently, followed by a presentation for the members and the public by local artist and WNMU adjunct professor Judith Meyer.

Little short trips to neighboring communities have been fun and visually stimulating. We went to a fiesta in Santa Clara, to the east, and then west one afternoon to the little town of Gila. Their farmers market is in this painted building, next to brightly painted wall with colored adornments. The landscapes are beautiful, especially with the afternoon clouds over them. The post in the picture of the low water crossing, graduated in feet of water depth, is a reminder of flash floods!

Yesterday we enjoyed the tour and 145th birthday celebration of Fort Bayard, as well as hearing our favorite musical group, Bayou Seco, sing the "Tickle Song" at the Silver City Farmers Market. Plus, there was another, bigger car show downtown!

And finally, a bluebird at rest in the place of rest, Fort Bayard National Cemetery. TV

Friday, August 5, 2011

It's August already!

Well, the monsoons are still bringing evening rains, thank goodness! The afternoon highs dip quickly, even when it's just overcast, and the evening temperatures go down to the low 70s or high 60s. Quite tolerable!

One of the joys that came with this house is a flowering tree, which I think is called a Bird of Paradise tree (Caesalpinina gilliesii). Even the smallest seedlings can support this gorgeous, complex bloom; this happens to be on a recumbent branch, so it looks like it's coming out of the grass.

The poorer news part (better covered in Sandy's blog: is that Sandy's infection flared up again Wednesday a week ago. Temperature spiked, redness increased, etc. The doctor who did drained the abscess was on vacation. So, Sandy contacted Dr. Wasif at the Mayo, who did the partial mastectomy, and he said, "Come on down." We left early Thursday, Sandy was seen by Dr. Wasif shortly after noon, got an ultrasound (which showed widespread inflammation) and she was scheduled for surgery early Friday afternoon. Dr. Wasif basically reamed out the opening, clearing it of all dead tissue and leaving a cavity with fresh, raw surfaces so the healing can be uniform and unimpeded by dead tissue. The wound care problems is much bigger now, in terms of volume of cavity to care for, and will probably take longer, but the process is the same, the redness is gone, the fever is gone ... all signs are good!

Hence the pictures of the Mayo Clinic Hospital just off N. Scottsdale Road in North Phoenix, where Sandy lived on IV antibiotics from Friday afternoon till Monday morning. The facade of the building hides the really beautiful "Angel and Paul Harvey Atrium" ... the rest of the story. The view north to the mountains from the seventh floor ain't bad, either!

And what could be more glorious than to arrive on the morning of Sandy's discharge and be greeted by a profusion of big, beautiful cereus cactus blooms (which only last a few hours)? The grounds of the hospital are really beautiful, with flowers and succulents everywhere, palo verde trees shading the parking areas and volunteers driving electric carts to help you get between your parking space and the entrance to the hospital, which I greatly appreciated when it was aroung 110 degrees!

Yes, I have a thing for bugs in blooms!

So, we got home Monday evening to 30 degrees cooler temperatures than when we left Phoenix. We found the curve-billed thrasher nest empty ... we're being positive and assuming the last remaining fledgling was able to fly away in our absence, not be carried away by a predator. The thrashers are still around, but it doesn't look like they're going to go for a third clutch this summer.

We're really enjoying the wildlife right around the house. In addition to the deer and the roadrunners and the thrashers, there are lovely bugs, like the tiger swallowtail butterfly I saw on the tree out front yesterday.

Yesterday we took a little jaunt out to Mimbres for their farmers market (good peaches, squash and green beans) and stopped briefly to look into the Chino Mine, where Santa Rita, NM, used to be. To get a perspective on the size of the shovel on the other side of the mine, those are pickup trucks parked to the left of it.

Time for the morning wound care. Maybe we'll venture downtown for the First Friday music, shenanigans and pet parade this evening. tv