Thursday, November 23, 2017

Giving Thanks

Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. 
~ Rachel Carson

Today, I am grateful for still being able to hike and enjoy a beautiful morning in the canyon.

I am grateful for my 30 years with Errol. I miss you more now.......

I am grateful for my family and friends here in the US, in Sweden, and other places around the world. And, of course, I am grateful for you, my blogger friends, who have been so supportive and kind throughout the years.

I am so very grateful for Samson and Faith.  

They keep me going, they get me up in the mornings, they make me play, they take me for walks and hikes, whether I want to or not. 

I am grateful for nature, for living close to it, where it's still relatively unhurt by humans.


Monday, November 20, 2017

Samson Goes Visiting And Climbs A Mountain (No, A Steep Hill)

Samson Says: Felt like a mountain to me!

When I drove Samson to the vet for what turned out to be his unsuccessful eye surgery, I promised him that the next time we went somewhere in the Jeep it would be for something fun.

I called Mary and asked if we could come for a visit. She agreed, so off we went. It's not far, a couple of miles, but nature at Mary's place is totally different with scrub oaks and many other kinds of trees replacing the junipers that dot my hillsides. 

And the views are magnificent. Mary lives on top of one steep hill and below another, with deep canyons on each side. So gorgeous! We went for a hike and climbed to the top of the hill above her house.

Samson: What's this? I didn't expect to find a surfboard on a mountain top. Mary: It belonged to my son, would you like to step up on it? 

Samson: Not sure, auntie Mary, I think I'll just walk around it. 

But Mary was determined to get Samson to pose on it. 

She was very patient and kind. Samson to himself: OK, if this is what she wants, I'll do it. Humans have some strange ideas every now and then, us dogs know this and just play along.......

Thanks, Samson, I got a nice picture of the two of you to share. 

And there's nothing, well maybe food, that Samson likes better than to climb a mountain. As in the John Muir quote below, it truly kindles his enthusiasm and makes his every nerve quiver. He drags me uphill, so full of happiness. This is just what I wanted for him. And I'm grateful to Mary for making it happen. 

We are now in the mountains and they are in us, kindling enthusiasm, making every nerve quiver, filling every pore and cell of us.

~ John Muir

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Rust ~ Post No. 14

An old firetruck - another priceless contribution by my friend Jane. Note the red light on the fender. I bet this old truck has some tales to tell.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Samson Update

Samson went in for his tear duct surgery yesterday. Unfortunately, it didn't work. The vet said he couldn't even get the catheter in far enough to take the X-rays he'd hoped to send to the veterinary opthalmologist. 

He said, though, that Samson's eyes looked better than last time. We got a new medicine then that the vet mixed himself and I give to Samson twice a day. Then the NeoPolyDex three times a day. The brown stuff that leaks out of Samson's eyes is a protein and I learned that it's better brown than yellow, which it was earlier. 

We left it that I will continue with the eye drops and the warm washcloths for another month, then evaluate again. My understanding is that Samson will eventually need to see the ophalmologist, who's somewhere on Sepulveda Blvd. in Los Angeles. That somewhere could be pretty close or far away as Sepulveda is one of those really, really long L.A. streets. 

I will find out where this place is located and  compile a list of questions for this vet, then call to find out what's involved. I imagine several visits would be needed. Before surgery, surgery, after surgery, then there's Samson's liver issues, apparently something special had to be done  yesterday because of that. Then a new place, a long drive, oh well....... I will need help. 

I feel so bad for Samson who is such a trooper when it comes to going to the hospital. As we drove there, I promised him that I would take him on a much better ride in the Jeep. To a fun place, maybe auntie Mary's house, where we could visit the horses that stay in her barn. I feel so bad for him right now and I just want him to have some fun. 

The pictures here are all old. This is one of my favorites.  It shows how sweet he is. He is the kindest and the only totally unselfish dog I have ever known. 

Samson Says: That's easy mommy, all you have to do is give me some more food, or some of those good smelling little treats you got. 

Saturday, November 4, 2017

My Mom ~ Gone Now For 31 Years

I love to see you, young and carefree, in photos before life brought you so much sadness. 

For me, you were the best mom, you were the mom I was meant to have. I always knew this, I always appreciated it, felt so blessed because of it. You never judged the choices I made in life. You gave me moral standards to live by and you gave me strength to deal with life's difficulties. From you, I learned that to love someone is to set them free. You did this for me. You helped me to move all the way here, thousands of miles away, when you figured out, long before I did, that I needed to leave. I was fragile then, but never again, thanks to you. 

So mom, you live in my heart and I will always love you. 

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Just A Quick Note

to thank you for your comments and to let you know that we are OK.

Samson is feeling great and that's such a joy. I attribute it to the change in food we put him on during the summer. It's called Wellness and Chewy's have it. The vet also recommended Zukes for treats. These tiny tidbits smell so great, your dog thinks he got a steak. Samson will have surgery on the 10th. His vet has never done this surgery before, but I trust him. Instead of the cannula he inserted into Samson's tear ducts without success, he now will insert a catheter that will enable him to take X-rays that can be forwarded to the veterinary ophamologist in Los Angeles. But one day and one thing at a time and right now Samson is so happy and feeling so good and that's all that matters.

Faith had her wellness exam and weighed in at 61 pounds of sheer muscle. The vet left this comment on the receipt: "Continue excellent care." This made me feel good even though I don't really do anything for her, except throw balls and let her run around.

I'm feeling good too and will take some time to visit all of you and also prepare a proper post to update with pictures of the floors and house. All that's needed on the house is a second coat on the top of the east side of the house and paint on the front door. Then both the pump house and the dog house need roofing material added, which Glenn may do tomorrow since rain is predicted for the weekend. The rest of the renovation work will be done in the spring. I'm very happy with the colors I picked for the house and it feels great to have come this far.

And, yes, I do love trains and many, many come through here each day.  The cement plant, not so much, but it's been here for a very long time and provides employment for locals. 

Saturday, October 14, 2017

My Crooked House

is testing my patience. 

It was freezing in the house this morning, 24 degrees outside, and the floor installers had put my bookcase in front of the window I opened for them yesterday. So it was open all night, no wonder it was cold. Before sunrise, the sky was smoky to the east. I went to town yesterday morning and it was much worse there. I don't know where the smoke came from, but it was far enough to not smell too much, just very bad air.

 My living room right now. I love the color and grain of the laminate floors, as well as the 4-foot long boards. 

Two guys came Thursday to install the floors and ran into trouble because my house is not well built and nothing is level, plum, even or whatever. And that's particularly noticable when you lay down flooring. They did the best they could, got my approval for another large amount of money to grind down the concrete as needed and add cement to make it even. When they left at the end of the day, that's all that got done.  

Two new guys came Friday. Much better, according to Glenn, who kept a close eye on the proceedings. They completed the living room, but when they got to the kitchen and hallway, they realized they needed to remove the above boards and grind, sand, and add some more cement.  Not the best news, but what can you do? And this also gave me a chance to work on my ever lacking patience. Glenn is so good at it, the most patient human being I have ever known. 

It got too late last night, so they came this morning and added the cement where needed. But it was freezing in here, they had another job to go to. They said they could come back later today, but I suggested they come tomorrow morning instead. "You don't mind on a Sunday?" they asked. I said, "no, not if you don't." So now I'm tip-toeing around the cement to get to my coffeemaker, fridge, and so on. 

Ever cautious Faith, stepping gently, sniffing, sniffing, while ever hungry Samson sticks his head in a box, hoping for something to eat, no doubt. 

And here I am in my only unaffected room, which is my office/bedroom combination. Not knowing what to do with myself, I have so far cleaned out my email, cleaned up my computer, talked to Glenn and Mary on the phone, visited some blogs, taken these pictures and written these words. 

My closet door was open while I sat here and talked to Mary. It's a mess in there, plus my summer tops are still on their hangers and it's in a generally disorganized state. So I said to Mary, "I know what to do today, I will clean my closet!" 

So on that note I will leave you with a raven on a post, smoky sky in the background. Should I take before and after pictures of my closet too? 

Two things finally:

My heart goes out to the fire victims all over this state. Both Bakersfield and nearby Oildale had fires last week and many horses perished, so terrible I had to turn off the news. So terrible too for the people all around Northern California. I knew a wonderful woman, years ago, who lived in Santa Rosa. Haven't thought about her for years, but now I have. What a horrendeous year this has been.

Finally, as a breast cancer survivor, I can attest to the importance of early detection and the role that mammograms, while not perfect, can play in saving your life.

Samson Says: Can't help I'm hungry, it's those little pink pills you keep giving me. Don't think I don't know. 

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Rust ~ Post No. 13

Another rusty treat from my friend Jane. 

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Notes From The Canyon

Once upon a long time ago, I used to post almost every day. Now it has been a whole month and hurricanes have moved on from the letter I for Irma in my last post, through J, K, L, and M, spreading more disaster, and now we're at N for Nate. And there's been another, worse than ever, mass shooting. And the president says we're in the Calm before the Storm.... 

Here in the canyon, life is trying to move from summer to fall. The nights are cool, in the 30s and 40s usually, but the days are still warm. It was a good summer for all critters, huge coveys of quail, hundreds of rabbits, large murders of ravens, coyote packs yodling at night, waking me up, dogs barking. 

It was also a great summer for wild sunflowers that lined the roads, the railroad tracks,  and in  places took over entire fields. And now the Rabbit Brush is in bloom and for a short while I will enjoy these bushes, as the fields turn yellow. 

For this past month, Glenn has been here early to beat the heat. Getting the house ready to be painted has involved a lot of noisy tools, sanders, hammers, and so on. After being with Errol, who never knew a house he couldn't improve upon, you would think I should be used to it. But no, I'm a morning person and all this noise has been difficult for me to deal with. Just an excuse for not posting to my blog. 

So this is to let you know that we are OK. Samson's liver values are better, one is within normal range, the other on the way down.  However, Samson's eyes continue to be problematic. Now his tearducts are blocked. After a week of two kinds of eyedrops five times a day, total, and placing a warm wash cloth over his eyes and nose and massaging his tearducts (or their proximity, I mean I don't really know what I'm doing, but read online to be careful as it is a sensitive area).

I took him back to the vet Friday. The warm wash cloths didn't work, so the vet tried to do their procedure and it didn't work either. "Like concrete in there," said he, which brought me to tears. Samson is so good, so kind, so patient, and I feel bad he has to go through all this on top of his steroid induced hunger and thirst. We were sent home with some special eyedrops to be applied twice a day, continuing his NeoPolyDex three times a day, as well as the warm wash cloths, but no massage, I don't think. We go back on Friday. 

Faith is fine. I haven't taken any pictues of the two of them for a while, so I'm posting landscapes instead. And I'm fine too. My hand is OK, just the arthritis pain now and that's not all that bad. Thanks for your concern about my falling. I have to do better on that, it is a bit scary. 

On Thursday, the flooring people are coming to install Pergo XP laminate floors (Highland hickory) in my living room, dining area, kitchen and hallway. I have taken all the books out of my bookcases, my china out of that cabinet, it's on the guest bed and all over the guest bedroom. 

With a whole month gone by, I have so much to tell you. I can see I will never get my perfect blog together. The one where I post a picture or two and just write a few lines, but often, almost every day. I so envy those of you who do that so well. 

Friday, September 8, 2017

Thinking Of Everyone In Irma's Path And

all the people in Texas and Louisiana who now have to deal with the aftermath of Harvey's destruction. 

I was thinking about growing up in Sweden and how disasters like we have here never happened there. Sure there were forest fires and floods, but not the kind of fires we have here.

No hurricanes, no earthquakes, not even any really, really dangerous snakes. There's one, but I don't think you can die from its bite. 

There are snow storms and bad winter weather, summers where it rains all the time, but where it is neither hot nor humid like it can be here. 

But I regress, all I wanted to say to my blogger friends, Sandra, Janie Junebug, and Diane, as well as the rest of the people in the hurricane's path, I am thinking of you and feeling pretty helpless as this monster storm looks like it will just envelope your entire state. 

I have been absent from blogging because of the reno work on my house, and then I fell again, this time it was scary, but I'm fine now, except for my left hand. 

Monday, August 28, 2017

Rust ~ Post No.12

My friend Jane sent me this picture. What a marvellous old truck, I thought. Jane said this: 

Seen near Maroon Lake, in the shadow of the Maroon Bells, the most photographed mountains in Colorado. And I took a photo of a truck?

To which I say: Thanks Jane for thinking of me, you are becoming a regular contributor to my Rust posts and I love it! You don't often see a truck like this and I'm so glad you decided to stop and take its picture.

Rusty old things, particularly trucks, are growing on me as I'm posting them here. In a way I feel I'm honoring them. If that makes any sense. 

Finally, thank you for your comments on my Silver Linings post. I am feeling much better now. I said in my other post that I missed Errol when I got ill so suddenly, but everyone in my life stepped up, were concerned, and helped me. I didn't know all this at first, but I do now. So, to quote my blogger friend: Life Is Good!

Maroon Bells, Colorado 

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Silver Linings

It's good to discover silver linings in difficult situations. When I was recovering from my kidney infection, I spent a wonderful day watching the goings on in my own backyard.

After that micro burst that blew the blinds straight into the room, Faith, who is a cautious dog, was worried, keeping an eye on the blinds while still staying with me in the bed. I felt bad for her so I pulled the blinds up. 

And a whole new world opened up in front of me. I was resting in bed that day, feeling better, but not well. With nothing much else to do, I decided to watch through the window. 

One day and one evening as darkness fell:

It was easy to watch the sky and there I saw only one raven the entire day, which is strange since there are so many of them here. 

From Images

Instead I saw a red-tailed hawk fly by overhead, four times. Either one hawk or two maybe, probably not four different ones. I also saw another, smaller hawk that I had seen before. It has a distinct almost square pattern on its belly and chest. Looking it up in my bird books, I realized that the next time I see it, I have to watch the tail. It will help me put it in the right hawk category at least. 

An old picture, but the coyote had a similar reddish coat, usually they are gray here.

Later, a large coyote, with a beautiful red tint to its coat, came strolling down the hill on one of the coyote trails. I know their trails well, they are so straight, nothing at all like the way dogs move around. 

Hearing the warning signals from their lookout squirrel, the ground squirrels dove into their holes as the coyote approached. I had kept an eye on one squirrel and he came back up soon thereafter and sat down in the shade of his juniper tree. I'm sure it was an old grandfather squirrel. He sat there for a long time, straight up, paws at his chest, and seemed to just enjoy his life, taking in the scenery the same way I was. I felt he kept me company that day. Yes, I know, it's so easy to project our feelings on what animals do, but still, it was lovely.

Some day I will get all I need to take better pictures and learn how to do it. I know I have a good eye, but I need the technical knowledge and the camera to go with it. I counted twelve little chicks here, there were many more in the covey behind this family.

Early evening, sun still high in the sky, I heard a clucking sound, and had to stretch my neck to see a covey of California quail move across my backyard. There were at least thirty small, small chickens in this covey. So adorable, I had to get up and try to get a picture. It didn't work very well as you can see. 

Same thing here, this Jack rabbit is just too far away. 

Then at dusk, the rabbits appeared. This has been a grand year for rabbits. I imagine all the rain we had made it so. At dawn and dusk, my road is covered in rabbits, darting from one side of the road to the other. Here in the canyon, we have two kinds: Audubon's cottontail rabbit, the small cute ones with the white round tail. And the much larger and not quite so cute black-tailed Jack rabbits. 

Cottontail Rabbit

Faith loves to go out in the dog yard at dusk to scare them and make them run. Usually, this only works with the tiny young ones. They soon learn that the dogs are fenced in and cannot harm them. When she is loose, she chases them up into the hills, but she never catches one. I bet she would have no idea what to do if she did. Samson is the hunter in the family.

As night came, I was looking forward to seeing stars. My bedroom faces north and there are no lights there, just wilderness. But there was a full moon that first night, so I got to see something else instead: Bats! I had forgotton how many bats live in the canyon. 

It was a fabulous day, a silver lining day, a day, where I once again found myself so grateful for the healing powers of nature. 


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