Winter Rap

Winter Rap
Low light, black and white, down right sad.
No sun, no fun, like living in the north land.
So cold, getting old, makes you just wanna fold.
Dry air, no fair, blowing noses everywhere.
All gray is okay for some places far away.
Winter rap for today, I just have no more to say.

Winter On I-25

From rain and hail in the middle of the night, to big flakes of snow by daylight, to sleet in the afternoon, then back to snow by nightfall is how the latest winter storm passed through Albuquerque. My weather widget says mostly sunny tomorrow.

“Dead Texan” Burger

The highlight of my otherwise rather dull day was a “Dead Texan” burger I had for lunch. I’m really not into cannibalism, but I just couldn’t pass up a dead Texan. BTW I’m not making this up:

Waitress: “What can I get you today?”
Me: “I’ll have one of those ‘Dead Texan’ specials.”
Waitress: “Very good.”
Me: “How did they slaughter and prepare the Texan?”
Waitress: “Oh! He was road kill. We scraped him up off the corner this morning.”
Me: “Mmmm! Even better!”

I started thinking what could be more green than recycling that mornings’ hit and run, and turning it into the day’s special? I had a few flashbacks to the ’70’s movie “Soylent Green” where Charlton Heston, beaten up, and being carried out on a stretcher says “Soylent Green is people!” I also suppose a dead Texan burger might be considered vegetarian by a few New Mexicans.

I spared you photos of the actual burger, because it looked pretty much like any other burger, except it was coated with red chile to help tame the wild taste, and it had a fried egg on top that, I believe, represented a 10 gallon hat. The burger, it turns out, was very tasty.



My PET scan had improved from the last one in August, so Dr. Marshall was very happy with the results. My blood work came back normal, but my white counts are still a little low, but she thought they were good for the chemo I had. Some of my ongoing complaints are related to chemo, while most of my aches and pains are more related to the ankylosing spondylitis.  I’m scheduled for blood work and a check up in 3 months and then another PET scan in July— that will have been two years since I was diagnosed with lymphoma.

Tonight’s photo is of the north side of the Architecture Department at UNM.



We just got home from the Friends of Medieval Studies holiday get together. We had great time visiting with fellow medievalists. Tim Graham, Director of the program, gave a great presentation of recent finds, and gave us an enticing preview of the spring lecture series.

Polish Balls

Several years ago, a youth group Tristan was in sold hand-blown, hand-painted Christmas ornaments from Poland. There was some special circumstance that enabled the youth group to sell these unique, high-quality ornaments, so not only did we buy several boxes, but Tristan also sold lots of them. We got permission to set up in front of Hastings, and once people realized what a bargain they were, they bought them by the box full. Tristan has them on her giant Christmas tree she and David put up in their living room — they are beautiful.

PET Scan

Step 1 radioactive sugar injection

Although I get multiple cat scans daily, I had a PET scan today to check the status of my remission. There are three steps to a PET scan:

The first step is  to get an injection of radioactive sugar. The technician inserts a very short IV tube, tests for blood draw, flushes it with a saline solution, wrestles the syringe enclosed in a lead and stainless case out of a larger protective housing, connects it to the short IV and injects the radioactive sugar. She told me that she didn’t know how I could watch her insert the IV. She said that most people who watch turn white and look like they are going to faint. I told her I’ve been poked so often, that it’s simply routine to watch, and commented that she was good compared to some of the vampires in the blood draw clinic at the Cancer Center. She reminded me how I watched a surgeon remove a lump off my arm many years ago. Surgery is fascinating.

The second step is to sit in a small, dimly lit room for an hour until I have a nice  glow.

Step three is to lay on a skinny table for 25 minutes while I’m fed into the tube. Since a PET scan is passive, each slice takes 2 0r 3 minutes before the table moves a few inches to get the next slice.

Step 2 hang out for an hour till I glow
Step 3 into the tube

Christmas Bonsai

Christmas decorations and flowers added cheer to the house today as we decorated one of our bonsais and hung garlands, birds, butterflies and insects above the mirror in the dance room.  I was trying to remember if we’d ever had a traditional Christmas tree in the 29 and a half years we’ve been married — I don’t think we’ve ever had a large, cut tree. We decorated a ficus that started out about six feet tall with a skirted trunk and gangly, ball-like crown that we most likely purchased from Home Base for many years. Then we got a pot of 5 small Norfolk Pines, probably from Home Base again, that served as our Christmas tree for many years until it got so big we had to give it away. There were a couple of years we’ve had those little, dwarf pines that come pre-decorated. Those are the closest to “traditional” Christmas trees that we’ve had. Over the past six or seven years we’ve been decorating one of our bonsais, with this large, gnarly ficus being the victim most often because of its size and where it stands.