.OK, taking up from yesterday's short post.
- I met a number of new friends. I liked everyone I met, and I felt as if I had known them forever within a few minutes. I especially liked one woman who is a close friend of our host. I knew her through the friend, and we had emailed about a couple things several months ago, so I sort of knew her. Meeting face to face was really fun. She is much younger than I am by about 14 or 15 years, but we just clicked. She was around all day Monday, and I really enjoyed talking with her. It is really fun to meet new people, and when it is friends of friends, it is especially good, I think.
- I took Jazi and Sammy; Jazi because she is well behaved and well socialized, Sammy because I felt he was probably ready for a trial of being out of his comfort zone. It went very well. More on that tomorrow. It worked well. I considered taking Joey, too, because he is very good and would be a good house guest, I'm pretty sure. But I thought if there were adjustment problems, two would be enough for me to handle.
The only problem with Jazi was that she barked at the cat for the first couple hours. The cat was pretty laid back about it. She looked like she couldn't believe this tiny little canine was just .... so ridiculous. When I told Jazi to quit, she would, but as soon as I wasn't looking, she would trot back over to bark again. Finally, we ladies were out of the house for a bit, and Joe said that the kitty finally had enough and "told" Jaz about it. Jaz was fine with the kitty after that!!
Jaz was right at home. Joe and Sandy have three dogs, all small (Shih Tzu, Maltese, and Miniature Pincher), so everyone was on the same page there. She discovered that the home has nearly an acre that is completely fenced. How cool is that?? Our fenced area is about 800-900 square feet. I believe the girl covered every square inch of it. Occasionally I got nervous because she was out of sight too long and would look for her. She is such an escape-artist, my personal little Houdini! But no, she was always just in a new area to check it out.
She got along with all all the dogs. Well, she did outside of the car. In the car she was really bitchy with Linda's dog. She planted herself where Murphy couldn't get to her mommy. Then when Murph tried to get Linda's attention, Jaz would do that low-growl, quivery-upper lip thing. Linda and I figured she was being territorial because the car is "hers." But out of the car, they were fine together.
Sam did well, but he was glued to my side at all times. He was very shy, but not "frozen" as he would have been a year ago. You would have thought, however, that there was an invisible string tied from my ankle to his neck, because when I moved, so did he! He allowed people to pet him without freaking. He even allowed others to pick him up, although when he was put down again, he moved right to my side again. He got along fine with all their dogs, as well as Linda's 1.5 year old Cocker Spaniel. He ignored the cat. When he wasn't with me, he was similarly glued to Jazi! But by yesterday morning, we left the house for a while, and Joe said Sam got up in his lap for a while followed by Jazi! Wow! He actually asserted himself onto a human being besides me! MAJOR PROGRESS!!
On Monday evening, Sam and the little Maltese, Isis, began playing! Another cool move! They were soon joined by Jazi and the Min Pin, Rita. He played only a minute or two, but still....! It was a good thing to see. Also, Sam began searching the huge yard with Jazi, including running up and down the fence with the dog next door. Occasionally, he even ventured without her, but not out of sight of me. The fact that he could be in a strange place with strange people and strange animals and able to step away as he did is a huge thing. I'm so proud of him.
All in all, the time was successful. I feel that with a few more exposures to social settings, Sam will be just fine. He will probably never have Jazmyn's easy-going, acceptance of everyone, but he can be in public without looking like a ceramic figure. I can't believe how well this little boy has done!
- I didn't take very many pictures. First, things were happening fast enough that we would already be into something, often already away from the house, before I would think of the camera, which was back at the house. Even at the house, I'd be so into the fun conversations or whatever that I would not remember to take photos till it was too late. I'll look at the few pix I took and post some later on.
Well! The few pictures I took are mostly not worth publishing. Here are some of the view from their house.
Isn't that ridge interesting? Rugged and angular. Makes me think of how they were formed. This part of the state/country is revealing in that way. Somewhere beyond that ridge (90 miles or so) is home.
I watched the sunrise over this ridge yesterday morning, and it was completely awesome!
Sandy's garden around the house is beautiful, a peaceful sanctuary. I meant to take pictures of it. I didn't. sigh.
I promise (yeah, right!) to be better about taking pictures next time. But please, forget I said it, because we both know I will sometimes, anyway.
This is a stock photo of the Butte. Do you see the Elephant? We went swimming roughly in the area of shore in the middle of this picture. I have to admit that I didn't swim. I only waded about up to my waist. The water was actually a very nice temperature, but (1) I'm not a real swimmer, just a paddler/floater person. Yes, I can swim just fine; I just don't enjoy it, and I prefer to just be in the water puttering around. (2) I really don't like lake water usually. A few small lakes I've been to have had nice water (but they were high in the mountains and very cold!), but most lakes are murky. I don't like murky for swimming, just fishing and boating. For swimming, I want a pool or the ocean. (3) Since this lake is a reservoir, the shore drop off is sharp. Because I am not a strong swimmer, I don't care to push that limit, either. I did enjoy cooling off, admiring some of the stones that make up this creation of the earth's forces many Milena ago. The official information says that this was part of a huge inland sea 100 million years ago and that fossils in the rocks tell of the presence of "Rex" back in his day. It is a beautiful place, but you have to be open-minded to the type of terrain .... stark, dramatic, mysterious. The Butte is an island now with the dam backing water up around it, but it was once the core of a volcano! Sandy's 93 year old mom went with us, and I enjoyed talking with her during this time. She is a fabulous lady, still lives alone, gardens, keeps her house, walks most days. Very sharp mentally, friendly and warm.
The lake covers over 36,000 acres. It was built on the Rio Grande shortly after the turn of the last century, so it is almost 100 year old. It serves to help reclamation of land for farming such things as pecans, pistachios, chilies, etc. down stream in NM and the horribly parched western tip of Texas (where El Paso is and following the Great River toward the Gulf). It has enabled people to use that land for something in ways that it couldn't otherwise.
Some stock pictures of the terrain around the lake show that it is desert.
This aerial shot indicated the lack of much green vegetation around, however, I think there is more than is observable in this photo. Desert, yes, but with lots of low growth suck as shrubs, grasses, cacti, yucca, agave, etc.
- It ... was ... hot. or perhaps I should say, it ... was ... HOT! But that's going to take a while to explain, so mañana, OK?
I'm not used to 99°. I'm just not. It was 98° or 99° every time I looked at the thermometer, so I avoided looking! I already knew it was hot, and I didn't really need to know the numbers. And as Sandy's mom observed, it has been more humid this summer than usual, despite the lack of significant monsoon rains as is usual. I do not know the humidity levels, but I can tell you that I had sweat running off various parts of my body most of the time that the sun was up and till a couple hours after it was dark. It ran down my neck, was a solid coating on my face, made my underarms constantly slick, and gave the dogs something to lick off my calves. No, I'm not used to that, and physically I don't do well with it. Most people have air conditioning, of course, but it is usually the evaporative type which puts more moisture in the air. It does cool, so if I went in, sat quietly for a few minutes and just let it work, I would be near normal. I longed, really longed for the temps which I knew were 10-15 degrees less here at home. However, the delight of the company I was in made it bearable. Oh, that, and the breezes. When the breezes stirred the air, I was much better, and fortunately it did so often.
I will definitely go back to visit, but it will be in the fall, after the temps have cooled so I can more fully enjoy the time there. I just don't do heat. Allan and I have talked about this and we both suspect I had heatstroke at some time and didn't realize it. If that happens, it effects you forever after that, making a person very sensitive to any heat exposure. Sad. I've probably picked one of the more comfortable places to live under the circumstances. I'm thinking about a friend in Tucson who has invited me to visit. I knew I needed to wait till winter, and this just confirms that wise decision!
- I had fun. I really did have fun!
We very busy .... going, doing, seeing, talking, laughing. We did a bit of shopping, lots of eating, sight-seeing, swimming, simple sitting and talking. That last was probably the best of all. Sandy and Linda are both silk artists, so they spent some time talking about their work. while I find that interesting, I used much of it to sit and talk with Joe, getting to know him, and I enjoyed doing so. It was very nice. Monday evening, a couple other friends came over. We sat on the patio, enjoying pomegranate martinis, followed by my introduction of the joys of coconut ice cream drizzled with chocolate syrup. Oh, yeah, they liked it a lot!
Homecoming was adorable. Joey, Lola and Max, who had stayed with our teenage friend, Garrett, were bouncing up and down on the deck, barking and panting. Jazi and Sammy ran up the steps, and all five were clambering and clamoring on their respective sides of the gate and sticking their tongues through the gaps to greet each other. Once inside, the sniffing, licking, spinning routine was followed by chasing and barking! They were more interested in each other (and probably the "other dog smells" on Sammy and Jazi) than they were with me! Yay! That means they might even become relatively independent of me one day! We enjoyed the evening on the couch, everyone cuddled fairly close, and bedtime brought big, deep, contented sighs from all of them.
I slept this morning till 8:00. That is a rarity for me. I was tired. A good tired, but deep enough to make me really sleep, really long. You can see from this picture that Jazmyn is glad to be home, too. She had fun, but home is best.