Thursday, April 30, 2009

More spring hiking....

Two weeks later, probably 30 to 40 degrees warmer, the same Pino Trail but this time with views rather than snow loaded clouds...

Monday, April 27, 2009

Sunset over Santa Fe

Just another ordinary NM sunset...

Longer days mean evening hiking!!!

It doesn't get dark until after 8, I finish work at 4.30-5.00..... that means there is plenty of daylight left for getting outdoors!! Last week, we made it to the Borrego trail for an evening hike that included quite a bit of spring trail maintenance (courtesy of Doug!) and over the weekend we hiked the Atalaya trail with beautiful views over Santa Fe.

Nature calls... ;-)

Relaxed bliss at the top of the trail...

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Life is good - Work is good!!!

I started my new job last week and my impression so far is positive!

People seem friendly, interesting and caring, the 'boss' is laid back and seems to balance the need for good patient care with the need for happy staff. People seem to like good food and pot lucks (that's always a bonus!!!) and there is usually plenty of laughter to be heard in the office.... so I think I'll be happy here until August at least!

I will be covering acute adult orthopedics which is not the most thrilling specialty but routine care definitely has the advantage of being straight forward and therefore low stress. By August I'll be dreaming of CPM machines, hip abduction pillows, raised toilet seats and spine precautions....
Occasionally I'll be helping out in ICU, medical, psychiatry and oncology.

The negative side of it is that I will be working more than my share of weekend days... I just received my May schedule and to say I was shocked is an understatement; I am working at least one day EVERY weekend. I'll obviously have weekdays off but still... How spoiled have I become?!?!?! In Alamogordo I worked every single weekend (my working week was Wednesday to Sunday) and I never thought about it twice but I became spoiled after 3 months in a Monday to Friday job.... Hopefully the June schedule will be a little more to my liking... ;-)!!!

AND the days are getting longer.... There is at least 3 hours of daylight left after work these days!!!!

Monday, April 20, 2009

Reflection time again....

After a busy few weeks, the weekend was one of quiet reflection time and meditation; the end of another assignment and the start of the next one..... Although the change to this one is less drastic (I'm staying in the same apartment working for the same health care system in the same town), it is a change nonetheless; a different speclalty area (acute care versus acute IP rehab), different hospital, different co-workers and set-up...

Lots of questions about the future arise, few of them can be answered definitively and I'm trying to rise to the challenge of truly living in the moment and enjoying the good fortune I've experienced since making the decision to move out west... Grateful for the past that made all this possible and confident about the unknown future ahead, I'm fairly successful at waking up happy in the morning, excited about what's bound to be another good day!!!!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

More snow!!

Mother nature listened; I really regretted not having my camera with me last weekend... we had another snow storm yesterday!! I was under the assumption is was just going to hit Colorado and the Northern NM mountains but as I was driving to the Pino trail head here in Albuquerque, it became obvious we were in for a treat too: just a little dusting at the base, but at least 4" towards the saddle!!!

Loving it, despite the cold!!!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Striving to be....

Whilst browsing in a little store in Santa Fe, I came across this on a postcard....

FOR LOVE OF THE WORLD (Charlotte Tall Mountain)

For the love of a tree,
she went out on a limb.

For the love of the sea,
she rocked the boat.

For the love of the earth,
she dug deeper.

For the love of community,
she mended fences.

For the love of the stars,
she let her light shine.

For the love of spirit,
she nurtured her soul.

For the love of a good time,
she sowed seeds of happiness.

For the love of the Goddess,
she drew down the moon.

For the love of nature,
she made compost.

For the love of a good meal,
she gave thanks.

For the love of family,
she reconciled differences.

For the love of creativity,
she entertained new possibilities.

For the love of her enemies,
she suspended judgment.

For the love of herself,
she acknowledged her worth.

And the world was richer for her.

Spring snow storm!!!!

No photo's to prove it but last weekend, a snowstorm hit Northern NM. Annemie en Griet were in Alamogordo visiting White Sands National Park and staying with Traci and Vassil so they missed most of it except for some hail and cold cold cold wind....
Santa Fe had about 3 inches in town and much more in the mountains; we estimated it at 5 inches from the comfort of the warm indoors, realized it was probably closer to 8 inches once we hit the Borrega trail and after the hike my legs were telling me it was more like 15 inches of knee deep snow ;-) !!
It was so beautiful!!! It felt like we just had a super short summer and X-mas had arrived all over again (without the presents or time off ;-) !! ). What a treat!!!

New Mexican food...

There's nothing quite like the shock of a breadfast burrito at Garcia's for Europeans used to fine pastries and a dainty cup of coffee to start the day....

Alternating Mexican and New Mexican cuisine, some European restaurant dinners, original american diners, plenty of visits to the "Fying star" for pies, pastries and coffee, ... and still the culinary highlight of their trip was "Kashi probiotic wellness breakfast cerial".... How can that be?
The free coffee refills and the 'to-go' boxes (are average US meals really 3 times bigger than European ones???) were definitely also a hit!!!

Belgians in New Mexico....

Griet and Annemie left this morning, back to Belgium, with significantly more luggage than they came with; Shoes, clothes, gifts... They even inspired me to shop some and that is quite a miracle!!! The slogan was: "For Obama", as in: let's pump some money into this awful economy.... !! So if the economy starts recovering any time soon, let's be grateful to old high school friends... ;-)!!!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

They are here!

Annemie and Griet, 2 high school friends, just left their husbands and kids behind for a 2 week New Mexican adventure...


Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Bataan death march marathon

About 2 months ago, Traci, one of my Alamogordo friends, asked me if I felt like joining her in a marathon hike over the Organ mountains in Las Cruces... With vision of the beautiful Mountains and memories of good times fresh in my mind I said yes without much, if any, thought...

As the weeks went by, training, minimal at first, halted and consisted mainly of spending time at altitude (in Santa Fe, although not always in physically active ways ;-) ) and quite extensive "carb loading" ..... We did do a fair training hike last weekend -about 15 miles- along the Rio Grande River here in Albuquerque...

So, the weekend came and after spending time with friends, an extensive pasta dinner and early bed time on Saturday, we found ourselves Sunday morning waking up at 4.00 am to be at the registration at 5.30 am and the starting line -together with about 5400 others- at 6.00 am....

Mile after mile of hiking, a little jogging, plenty of toilet stops and more banana's, oranges, trailmix and cerial bars than I have ever eaten in one day, we did cross the finishing line, 26.2 miles and about 7 hours and 16 minutes later, worn out by the hills, the loose sand and the wind gusts....

Through the opening ceremony and as the day went on and I saw plenty of military participants, including Iraq and Afghanistan veterans with obvious physical disabilities tackling the challenging course with enthusiasm and determination, I learned about the march itself....: It honors a group of World War II soldiers who were responsible for part of the Philippines. They fought in a malaria-infested region, surviving on half or quarter rations with little or no medical help, outdated equipment and virtually no air support. On April 9, 1942, tens of thousands of soldiers were surrendered to Japanese forces. They were forced to march for days (over 60 miles) in the scorching heat through the Philippine jungles. Thousands died and those who survived faced the hardships of a prisoner of war camp. The 3 to-date survivors were there greeting people at the starting line of the race...

Wind, wind and more wind...

Mile 18 -I think-

Back at Traci's house in Alamogordo... still standing!!!

Some phone calls to share our achievements and a long hot shower... and the aches and pains decreased enough to have a little celebration party at Jesse and Cathy's house afterwards -Cathy and Tammy ran the 15 miles in great time!!! Congratulations!!!!!-...

It was so great to see everybody and visit Southern NM again, the place where my wonderful South-Western-USA time started, now more than 6 months ago....

Jesse, so proud of his climbing son...

My 'other' boyfriend, Conrad... ;-)