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May 2022
By: Esther M. Powell
Posted on: Sun, May 01 2022 - 4:19 pm

May 16, 2022
Silver City, NM

Last night was the most spectacular lunar event I have ever seen. I had an ideal view from the comfort of a cushioned wicker chair on my east-facing porch. How I wish I had invited some people over!

The fact is, though, I had forgotten about yesterday’s eclipse until I looked out the window and saw the moon with a big bite taken out of the lower left portion of its perfect sphere.

I grabbed my binoculars and settled down for a leisurely view of the encroaching shadow. How strange to see our shadow - ours! - cast in a curved line across that vast expanse! It made me feel  (ridiculously) powerful. Even more so when I could see it multiplied many times through the binoculars.

Strangely, at first the moon looked flat, but as it was more and more covered in shade, its spherical nature seemed more and more evident. The blood moon seemed more dried blood than red to me, but nobody promised fresh blood! Vampires might have been disappointed.

I know that part of my dedication to watching so much of the celestial action was due to the fact that I was alone and part of it was due to its easy visibility from where I live. I got very lucky.

Turns out this is another good reason to live in Silver City: not too many clouds.

I am going to try to pay more attention to what is happening in the night sky. I have such a wide stage on which to see the action.

May 15, 2022
Silver City, NM

I’m trying to grow a few things in pots. Yesterday some seeming wilting and yellowing of leaves led me to believe I was overwatering so I didn’t water them. Today they were just as much or more wilted, so I watered them more. They perked right up.

Someone I worked with in a nursery said letting a plant wilt set it back two weeks. I certainly hope not. Already I am seeing a cherry tomato form on one plant; I am looking forward to having a little bit of color and tang in my salads soon.

It is supposed to go up to ninety today. So far the house is staying comfortable. Imagine! I am still using a down comforter at night.

I don’t understand. Is this a consequence of being almost three quarters of a century old??

May 13, 2022
Silver City, NM

In the last town I lived in - Madison, Indiana - a woman who read my blog commented on it to me, “so intimate!” I do not know if she found it offensive or whether she just could not understand my openness.

A couple of weeks ago I was with an old friend and he said he appreciated how outspoken I was about what is going on with me. Not many people are like that, he said.

Since I arrived in Silver City I have not talked very much about personal stuff, but today I will. Maybe if it is so rare it is an important offering.

Wednesday I had two vaccines: my second shingles shot of two, and a new pneumonia vaccine. Wednesday night I had a spell of weakness that forced me to lie on the floor for a while. I have had these before; I guess they are ischemic strokes. It occurred to me to go to the Emergency Room, but the hours I would spend sitting there put me off. Besides, I was pretty sure what it was.

I also had worse than usual leg cramping. Were all these symptoms due to the vaccines? I did not think so.

My thoughts went back to what I had eaten the day before and some of the information I have come across about greens: greens are good for you, I have read - until they are not. Spinach, for instance, and borage. Too much of a good thing may be a bad thing.

My thoughts turned to the broccoli greens I bought last Saturday at the farmers’ market. They were good. Not only they, but the last too-large head of broccoli I had purchased at the co-op the week before was exceptionally good also. (I like broccoli, but I do not looove it.) So I had a lot of broccoli. A couple of times I had leaves and florets in quantity. It was all tasty.

The next morning I looked up broccoli and found out that while it is of course very nutritious, it can also have unintended negative effects. One source specifically stated that there is a possibility that an excess of broccoli might cause ischemic strokes, especially in women.

So there you have it folks, my latest report in intimate detail.

In case you’re wondering, borage does contain some liver toxins and spinach... well, I do not remember what spinach might do, but I do remember my mother telling me a decade ago that you do not need to eat large quantities of greens to get the nutritional value you want. She did not say that they might conceivably be, in excess, positively bad for you.

Now I know, and so do you.

Of course, it might have been the shots.

May 12, 2022
Silver City, New Mexico

On the way to the Visitor Center this morning I went to the spot where someone spotted the hummingbird yesterday and was delighted to see the bird sitting on its nest! And bulging out over its edges somewhat, which is hard to compute with such a small bird! Sweet.

Not such good news is the word that the accident involving the pedestrian on Bullard Street yesterday was a hit and run. At 2:30 in the afternoon. There had to be quite a few people around. The police are asking for any witnesses to come forward.

May 11, 2022
Silver City, NM

What a strange day! From males in the laundromat loudly and openly talking revolution and speaking dismissively about a Karen (moi??) to finding out I only had to pay $138 for my second shingles shot instead of the expected $200 and unexpectedly getting a free new vaccine for pneumonia (a shot in each arm, goodie) to interesting conversations on the bus ride to a man in the Big Ditch Park alerting me to the presence of a hummingbird nest and the hummingbird itself.

Run-on sentence? (Moi??)

Did not hang around long to see the hummingbird because I strongly suspected that two parties with their heads tilted up to see its nest might be just a little off-putting - especially since the man who told me about it could see a parent hanging out on a tree branch nearby. In my experience hummingbirds don’t just hang around much. They have to live life at a breakneck pace to keep the little hyper engines burning.

The nest was, of course, very small and looked to be partly made with soft fuzzy stuff perfect for small delicate creatures such as those babes must be.

P.S. Just heard someone got hit on Bullard Street. Very bad. So much for all my raving about how polite the drivers are here. But, hey, it’s tourist season! Drivers from all over right now.

May 10, 2022
Silver City, NM

Met some friends at Chentes at the Hub for Taco Tuesday today. Luckily I got hungry ahead of time and had half an apple and some leftover broccoli and carrots before I left home, because otherwise my four little tacos and chips and salsa would not have been enough. My, walking and working out for almost two hours of a morning really makes a difference in my appetite!

I wonder how much my food bill will go up every month as a consequence of my workouts. I cannot help but wonder, though, if I can credit the workouts with a significant improvement in my flexibility. For the month or two preceding beginning my pretty intense initial weeks working out on the machines, my fingers had been start to freeze in an extended position. I would have to shake my hands or physically unbend the problematic digit on one hand with the other hand. This was happening every other day or so. Scary!

Since I started working out a couple of weeks ago, though, it has only happened once. I do not know if the workouts cause the improvement but it is certainly a possibility. That alleviation of symptoms and the consequent fears of what sort of problems might be looming in the future are worth a few hours in the gym every week.

The WNMU gym is a spacious, comfortable place to work out. So far it has not been uncomfortably noisy or crowded. We will see what happens when the summer semester begins.

May 9, 2022
Silver City, NM

The second worst forest fire in New Mexico’s history going on right now: the result of an intentional burn gone wrong. This is the second time while I have been living in New Mexico that this has happened; the first hit the town of Los Alamos in addition to the intended area and houses in the community were destroyed. There are some cases in which the preventive medicine is worse than the disease.

The high winds we are experiencing this spring are not helping. This morning I talked with a man who lives on the ridge to the east of the downtown area who was lamenting what the wind is doing to his trees. They are getting an inordinate amount of leaves blown off. I hope they survive.

In my wandering around town I have noticed the wind, but I have experienced way worse both in Santa Fe and Albuquerque. Maybe a good part of Silver City does not get the worst of the impact because it does seem to be in a shallow bowl with some protection from surrounding if distant mountains and ridges.

A relative reports the worst winds in over a decade in Las Cruces. The worst winds I have experienced here were in Albuquerque and Cerrillos. After one particularly grim day in Cerrillos I swore off visiting in the Spring - until some folks started an iris ranch there. Who could stay away from that? Not I.

May 6, 2022
Silver City, NM

I have been playing the fool so much lately that it might as well still be April. This morning, leaving the Family Dollar, I expected the door to open automatically. When it did not I thought it was nonfunctional and tried again. Ha ha ha ha! It was my mind that was nonfunctional. I was in the store yesterday and gee, the door wasn’t automatic then, either. For some reason I did not expect it to be then.

Yes, as my former partner was fond of saying, I am a nutcase!

Sometimes I feel I have spent my life seeing how many different ways I could make a fool of myself.

And goodness, have I had a lot of fun!

May 5, 2022
Silver City, NM

The other day I met a man who is multitalented. I first heard him singing as he was walking along with his dog, and he sounded good. He has sung professionally. He also is a finder of meteorites and diamonds and showed me some of his discoveries.

One was a silver-colored meteorite with a smooth surface a good size to fit in your hand as a worry-stone. Way cool, except he told me he was not sure what elements were in it. Might have some uranium. Does that automatically mean radioactive? That might give you something to worry about.

He also showed me a wee heart-shaped diamond he found in front of a local business at night. That is, according to him, when he finds diamonds the best. Pretty impressive. That Little rock  had a significant amount of fire. Of course, that does not mean it was not a synthetic diamond, but it was awesome. I would hate to have lost it myself.

He gave me what he said was an ordinary little meteorite, probably iron and nickel. I have bagged it just in case it is.

One thing I appreciated about him was the way he gave his dad credit for a lot of his knowledge about the natural world. Evidently his dad studied everything with enthusiasm and intelligence, and he benefitted from it. Including, he hastened to say, the genes for really good eyesight.

May 3, 2022
Silver City, NM

So often when people talk of love they talk about trust. It is so important to have trust, they say. Something about that always seemed a little off to me and made me feel inadequate. I could not seem to manage to summon up trust.

Then this morning it came to me: I think one of the important things in a relationship is to not to trust, but to be trustworthy. I am not saying I have always been trustworthy. There have been times I have failed in that quality.

Face it, though. The quality of trust cannot survive in the face of lies without insult to intelligence or endangering the grip of a person on reality.

So please quit already. Trust is nothing without at least the trustworthiness of honesty. And just as people can love without being trustworthy (as I see it) they can love without trusting. If trust is impossible or uncalled-for it becomes irrelevant, not essential.

May 2, 2022
Silver City, NM

Walking along the river this morning I spoke with a woman who thinks mountain lions and coyotes come out at night and might even come into town to drink from the river. She said that is why you see deer out in town sometimes; they have been flushed out of their resting places by predators.

Yesterday when I was on campus I did see two adult deer running along college street. I have also seen deer prints in the dirt driveway of a friend. There is quite a bit of open space around.

I may have reported inaccurately when I said I saw Bendire’s thrashers. I have heard other people call them curved-bill thrashers, but yesterday a birder at the gym told me they have divided that species into two subgroups and the ones around here are now called something else entirely. A long name - I will have to ask him again sometime and write it down.

May 1, 2022
Silver City, NM

All day yesterday I crossed the paths of groups of cyclists. I live in the middle of the city course set up for them to do laps. In Silver City, that means hills. To be honest, I did not envy the riders. I loved bicycling but not in races. Coming down the hill on Broadway from Cooper St. and whipping around onto Broadway looked, quite frankly, terrifying.

So the races definitely held some excitement, even for those of us who did not get out into the country to watch the more far-reaching events.

Walking around town you can see quite a few flowers - even climbing roses in full bloom - so there is definitely something to celebrate this May Day. Have a happy one!

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