Sunday, December 13, 2009

Yes, this is hard to believe... ;-)

We both got an A in Spanish for medical professionals at the SFCC. We can't speak spanish but I guess our learning curve has forcibly been very steep... we gained quite a bit of vocabulary and some grammar... If you start from 0, there's a long way to go!!!

I'm planning to keep it up with Rosetta Stone next semester.... wait and see!

Braving the cold and the snow....

I was starting to get cabin fever.... we hadn't been out hiking for almost a month; freezing temperatures, a good amount of snow, Doug's finals and lots of other things to do... But today was the day: Temperatures cautiously climbed to around freezing, I had the day off and Doug could take a break from the outside home improvement project!!
My head cleared, my legs and longs were grateful for the exercise and my energy level has risen by at least 50%!

The parking lot, blocked by a wall of snow, cleared off the road...

Crossing the river... what is underneath this snow; a steady tree trunk or traitorous ice?

That's what I want INSIDE the house for X-mas, snow and all....

I can see you!?!?


Somehow Sinterklaas and his "zwarte pieten" -black Peters- made it over the Atlantic ocean, through the Midwest, all the way to the Rockies in Santa Fe! I was very relieved to see he hadn't forgotten his Belgian souls on December 6th!

He brought his usual collection of mandarin oranges, chocolates, candy, cookies and marzipan.... MMMmmm...

Friday, December 4, 2009


I am never moving to Alaska or Montana, way too cold!!!

It's 3 degrees (-16C) out this morning..... Pretty sure I won't be riding my bike to work today....

View of the front window / balcony:


Monday, November 30, 2009

Knitting is an art, not a science.....

I don't think my knitted vest will make it to the catwalk in Paris but I do think it's one step up from the $1 items at the hospice store so I'm keeping it in my closet and might even venture wearing it occasionally!!!
It's not like everything matched up nicely but with some creativity and some extra yarn I made it work!!! A colleague at work prevented me from turning the seams into keloid scars, so as long as you don't look too closely, it seems like a nice piece of clothing.... ;-)!!!

Giving thanks....

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. The fact I obviously didn't grow up celebrating this holiday doesn't take anything away from it; Reflecting and being grateful AND great food.... how wonderful!
I couldn't be more thankful for all the people that have crossed my path over the years and all the events that shaped my life to this date.... I love the life I'm able to lead!!!!

We went to Barb and Art's for great -and colorful- dinner...

and wonderful company, including Magic and Gulliver ;-)...

Doug guarding the famous 'plaza diner apple pie' with his life...

Hospital folk

It's not everyday you meet...

- a 90 year old woman with sky blue nail polish, with purple tips.
- a little old lady that invites you to their 100th birthday party to be held in 8 years.
- a hospital chaplain in cowboy boots.
- an MD rounding in shorts when it's 20 degrees and snowing outside.
- a 22 year old who just -proudly I might add- sustained his 25th fracture in a motor cross accident.
- lots of people dressed in the same-one-size-fits-none (hospital) gown.
- a patient who gives a detailed description of the mating habits of alpaca's to the MD's on rounds - seriously!!!
- a older gentleman stating very convincingly that he is perfect (I am nobody - nobody is perfect - so I am perfect!).

Those are the highlights of my job..... Well that and riding my bike to work ;-).... !!! There are definitely times where I feel I'm really helping people, even if it's just a little. Knowing that some patient or family is better off for me having crossed their path is a great thing.....
But on the other hand there are days where I feel like all I do is help spin the crazy wheel of the US health care system, pushing papers from one desk to the other, checking boxes and performing plenty of evaluations of people who would have NEVER been referred to Physical Therapy in any country with a healthier health care system....
Even after 19 years in the field, I love the core of my profession but I feel that core is taking up less and less space and the surrounding layers of paperwork, insurance demands, time constraints and financial incentives for somebody along the chain, have become the number one priority.

After living and working inside the bubble of pediatric PT for many years, it has been good to see what adult hospital based care is like. Where my career will go in the next decade, I'm still not really sure of but I guess I'm looking forward to finding out!!!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

King Doug and Queen Tinne

That's what we googled the other night (don't ask me why, I'm sure we had a perfectly sane reason to do so ;-)!)
No results for King Doug ;-(, but I found this neat article about "Miss Tinne", an explorer who lived in the mid 1800's ( and just really had to put it on my blog!!!

"Alexandrine Petronella Francina Tinne's story deserves to be heard, not simply because she was a female explorer in the arduous African desert during an age where such a thing was generally unheard of, but because she embodied what it is to be brave, with a heart full of adventure and a yearning to bring knowledge of regions unknown to the rest of the world ... not as man or as a woman... but as a fearless explorer of the highest caliber.
None rises higher in my estimation than the Dutch lady, Miss Tinne, who after the severest domestic afflictions, nobly persevered in the teeth of every difficulty." - Dr. Livingstone, explorer and missionary

I like my namesake a lot; I'm not quite that adventurous but loved reading the article!

Friday, November 6, 2009


I was looking for something productive to do during the cold winter nights in the months ahead... and I've decided to take up knitting! I'm starting with a very easy project that has a decent chance of being successful. Hopefully it will inspire me to knit more (hat or scarf anyone?).
It has been more than 20 years since I've knitted anything but I hope my motor memory will just take over and my little vest will be finished in no time!!! Maybe I'll be wearing it soon but I admit there is a fair chance it will end up at the Salvation Army....

Monday, November 2, 2009

No, this is not a hiking website... ;-)!

But, here we go again.... I couldn't imagine ever getting bored of hiking and I hope you won't get bored of reading about it or looking at pictures of yet another one.... We hiked up Raven's Ridge and down the ski area yesterday. The only downside was that there was no napping in the wet snow!!!!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Some hiking "specials"



Are you sure we don't need snow shoes?

Our hiking companions ;-)

SF Baldy behind us

On the way down from the mountain....

White snow instead of white sand

This time last year, I was spending quite a bit of time in "White Sands National Park"; gorgeous wind shaped dunes of fine sand, resembling snow. Looking at the accumulation of snow close to the ridge where the wind had full play, this looked quite similar (but felt MUCH different!!). Not to mention the fact that I wasn't wearing my infamous Doc Marten sandals and shorts but hiking boots, gaiters and long underwear!!!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Snow proof!

Definitely couldn't resist; we just had to have a little taste of the first snow of the season.... on the Borrego trail of course!

I love ordinary days!!

Breakfast with freshly brewed Tanzanian pea bean coffee,
Catching up by phone, email and skype,
A town bike ride that included some ignoring of fences and walking up an arroyo (even on the bike, Doug likes to busch-whack!!!),
Cooking Belgian beef stew whilst Doug tackles another home improvement project,
Home cooked mouth watering dinner,
Watching a movie with the wood burning in the fireplace (first time -but definitely not the last!!!- this season).

Sunday, October 25, 2009

First Santa Fe snow!!!!

Proof that winter has arrived, and with it the first snow....

In town we had just rain and the few snowflakes that did come down, didn't stick. The mountains are still covered a few days later... COLD but beautiful and fun!!

View of the mountains from the front porch (SF Baldy!)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Spanish update

I'm sure there is a reason I'm giving you an update on my Spanish course BEFORE the mid term grades come out ;-)...!!!

I'm doing well on the tests and homework part of the course (memorizing vocabulary, doing little word searches,....) but the minute some spontaneous utterances, or worse even conversation, is required, I'm totally lost... looking like I've just been dropped into a meeting with a bunch of aliens....

Our mid term exam was a doctor-patient-role-play. Doug was the MD, I was the patient coming in for a physical.... I think it could have been worse. The teacher says I'm good at the pronunciation and facial expression parts of role play. I think it's a very polite way of saying I really suck at the real dialogue part.... Oh well, there are worse things.... ;-)!

Still, hanging in there and learning....

Sunday, October 18, 2009

another fall hike

This time not through the aspen forests but through the ponderosa trees...

We hiked up Atalaya trail and a little beyond into the Pecos wilderness. After a yummy sandwich in a super lunch spot

we had a nap on a perfectly level bed of pine needles (who needs a sleep number bed if you can have this?!?!?!).

All this adjacent to an ideal meditation location....

No wonder I felt this energized afterwards...

A great dinner at Harry's Roadhouse and some good phone conversations to finish of the day.....

Monday, October 12, 2009

Balloon fiesta NOT!!!!

We had big plans..... Saturday night I drove down to Albuquerque to visit Lisa and we made plans to get up early Sunday morning to see the mass take off of the hot air balloons on the final day of the fiesta. This yearly fall event is world famous with balloonists and visitors from all over the country and abroad. I have visited before when I was out here on a trip but was never quite this prepared and eager (in preparation to add plenty of pictures to the blog!!!).

It wasn't to be: yes, we did get up before 5 o'clock, yes, we did brave the cold with hats and gloves and scarves, yes, we did get there in time to get parking fairly close by and yes, we did have spare camera batteries.... But the weather didn't cooperate and the event was first delayed and than cancelled because of gusting winds... In a way it was familiar and reminded me of the endless hours we would hang out at the drop zone; talking, playing back gammon, staring at the clouds, checking the weather radar online,..... waiting for a change to get at least one jump in for the day...

So we left (or tried to leave the park together with the 1000's of other cars), went for breakfast and spent some good time just talking and visiting...

Better luck next year I hope....

Here's a picture of what we DIDN'T get to see... ;-(...

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Fall colors...

Fall is definitely here... Temperatures are dropping below freezing at night and the days are getting shorter. I'm not sure if I'm ready for the cold winter but the positives are the beautiful fall colors of the aspen trees...

Trying to decide on which hike to do yesterday -a long good exercise walk versus a stroll to get some good views of the fall colors- we ended up doing both! Starting at Aspen Vista, we followed the trail (can you believe it, no bushwhacking!?!?!), hiked up to deception peak and scrambled to Lake Peak (the 3rd time this year!). The lower sections were loaded with people carrying their camera's and tripods, but we lost most of them half way up the mountain. I took 189 pictures; you'll be glad to see I'm not posting all of them and managed to narrow it down to just 8, not an easy job!