Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Tuesday's Treasures & Things

Welcome Allison and Tracy, two new followers of my blog. I'm looking forward to getting to know you and I am so happy you are leaving comments. For me, comments are just so much fun. It may be because I'm here alone so much (while dogs communicate, they don't exactly talk) or maybe this medium is perfect for me, who does not like to go out and socialize much any more. Does anyone else have any thoughts on this?

As Christmas draws nearer, I have decided to put up some of my holiday treasures here in the coming weeks. This plate and the Christmas tree ornament were gifts from my friends Judy and Bill. We worked together at UCLA and used to exchange Christmas gifts.

I treasure these gifts so much that I don't put them away after the holidays are over. Instead, they spend the year on display with my other treasures in my dining room cabinet.

Isn't it a lovely plate? And it makes me think of my good friends when I use it at Christmas time.

Here is Judy when we went hiking at the beginning of November. Looking at this, I realize how much the weather has changed and how cold it has gotten since then.

I'll skip the book review tomorrow because I have to go to the dentist. I have an infection, probably an abcessed tooth. Then on Thursday, I go to Bakersfield to see two doctors. I like to try to catch as many appointments as I can so I don't have to go there too often. So if you don't see me or hear from me for a few days, that's why.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Pogonip, Rain, Hail, Sleet, Snow, Wind, Storm, and Today -- Brilliant Sunshine!

As we drove to my BIL's house for Thanksgiving dinner and turned a corner on the road that leads to the highway, I spotted something unusual in the forest on top of the mountain range to the east. I would have had no idea what it was if I hadn't read about it in our local paper last year -- pogonip. Then when we came to town, we saw that the entire Tehachapi range was covered in pogonip. This is pogonip according to Wikipedia:

In the western United States, ice fog is commonly known as pogonip.[2] It occurs very rarely during cold winter spells, usually in deep mountain valleys. Ice fog can be quite common in Alaska, since the temperature frequently drops below -40 °C (-40 °F) in the winter months. Pogonip forms under only the right conditions, the humidity has to be near 100% as the air temperature drops to well below 0 °C (32 °F), allowing ice crystals to form in the air. The ice crystals will then settle onto surfaces.
The name pogonip is an English adaptation of the Shoshone word meaning "cloud" (payinappih). The English-speaking settlers who encountered this unpleasant and sometimes scary phenomenon when they went out West in the 1800s needed a word for it and they borrowed it from local populations.[3]

It was interesting to actually see this rare phenomenon, albeit from a distance.
On Saturday, my husband got a ride back to the city with his brother and nephew and guess what was left for me! This:

I am so relieved and happy to have 4-wheel drive transportation again. 
After a night -- Saturday to Sunday -- that included all the elements, except the pogonip and sunshine, from the title of this post, we all woke up tired. The only window to bang and clang in a storm is in my bedroom. And when the wind howls, Angel, always vigilant, thinks it's something she has to bark at. Then she got scared of the hail and had to sleep in my bed, but she also decided she had to walk around in the bed and on top of me. So after a not so restful night, this is what we found outside yesterday morning:

Storm clouds and

 snow on the ground.
 The wind continued to blow during the day but we had no more rain, hail, sleet or snow.

It was very windy outside all day and big clouds of snow blew across the land, much like a sandstorm in summer.

Samson was probably the only one in our family to truly enjoy and appreciate yesterday's weather. He was happily running around, jumping high in the air, playing with the other dogs, so full of joy in his true snowy element.

The rest of the day I spent catching up with the blogs, while the dogs did what dogs do best. Here are a few shots:

 Snoozing in front of the fire.

Making sure no one gets HIS bone!

Knowing life is good when you have best friends to snuggle with.

I went outside to get some wood around 4:30 in the afternoon and noticed that the temps were quickly moving toward freezing.

And when I looked up, I saw that the sun, hidden behind clouds in the southwest, was reflected in these pretty, puffy clouds to the northeast. How that happens, I don't know, but it was pretty to watch.

So that was our Sunday. The first Sunday in Advent.

This morning the temps are in the teens, but not for long.

A short while ago, the sun just made it over the eastern mountain range.
It will melt the snow, but not before it has created one of those magic mornings that I remember from my childhood in Sweden, of  glistening snow in the cold. I must go outside right now before the magic turns to slush. 

Have a wonderful day!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Sunday Morning Reflections

Remember this -- very little is needed to make a happy life. 
----- Marcus Aurelius

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving 2010

Welcome Sandy, I'm so happy you signed up to follow my blog. 

On this Thanksgiving morning, I first want to thank all of you for your comments on yesterday's post. I'm thinking that I no longer live here alone so much. I feel like I have so many new friendships and so much caring coming from all of you. It is something I am truly grateful for on this day. 

Terry asked about the photo of me and Soldier: My husband took it Christmas 2008. I love that afghan that I got from the local thrift-shop for $8.00!

I also want to give thanks for all the good things in my life. After I had cancer 11 years ago, I began something that started out as a bargaining tool, you know, please don't let me die, kind of thing. Now it has become a simple gratitude prayer for each new day and it has now moved me from fear to peace. "Thank you Lord for this new and beautiful day and for all my blessings." It is very simple, but it reminds me. Life has not been all that easy this past year, but I am so grateful that I am here in my home with my husband and pets on this Thanksgiving Day. And that I have good friends both of the kind I can physically hug and all of you out there.

We are getting ready to go to my BIL's house for Thanksgiving dinner. So I won't have any time today and maybe not tomorrow either to visit your blogs. But catch up I will, soon.

Have a wonderful day everyone and enjoy your meal. I'm sure many of you have been working hard on giving your family and friends the very best from you kitchens.


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving!
from all of us (invisible husband included)!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Tuesday's Treasures & Things

Welcome Vicki Lane, John Gray, and Cheryl Ann...I'm so glad you signed up to follow my blog.

Last night as I wrapped myself in my ruana and sat down on the couch to watch the finale of Dancing with the Stars, I began to wonder what my treasure for today would be. I had no idea and no treasure came to mind. I even got up and wandered around my house, but didn't feel inspired. Then I thought, as I wrapped the nice woolen blanket tighter around myself, this is my treasure, right here. And a treasure it is... it keeps me warm during these cold winter months.

A long time ago, I lived for 12 years in Princeton, N. J. and there I met Bianca and Guillermo, a very nice and lively couple from Columbia. After a trip back home they gave me this authentic Columbian ruana. 

Here I am today all wrapped up and it is just as nice and warm as it was back then. It even looks like new. (My haircut is by my friend Rachael. Just a little asides for those of you who have followed me for a while.) 

The ruana also makes a nice throw.

Or a small, but warm blanket.

Here is some proof of both its and my longevity. I believe this is from a mid-60s trip to New Hampshire. 

And this is also from the 1960s. I remember this: It's from a trip to New Brunswick, Canada, and I am looking at the Bay of Fundy as it meets the Saint John river and famously makes the flow of the river reverse itself for several hours during high tide. An interesting natural wonder to behold.

And here I am all wrapped up on the UCLA campus sometime in the 1970s. You would all crack up if I showed you the very 1970s style of clothes I'm wearing under the ruana. I had to laugh out loud myself.

And on a completely different subject, this is what I did with the apples yesterday. It doesn't look all that great, but it tasted really good and all that cinnamon made the house smell like Christmas. I just sliced the apples and layered them in this dish (is this a Pyrex -- do I own a Pyrex dish after all?? Jim?? Sharon?? Let me know!!). I sprinkled brown sugar and cinnamon between the layers, dotted it with a little butter and put some water in the bottom. Then I baked it for 25 minutes at 375. And it came out so good, I'm happy to say. Simple and easy, just the way I like it and nothing went to waste as the dogs, happily ate the apple cores. Thank you so much all of you who offered recipes and suggestions. I have to look into how to make some of the apple dishes you mentioned.

Another big storm is supposed to come our way, bringing more snow and up 60 mph wind gusts. I just love it!! I'll let you know what happens.

Monday, November 22, 2010

On a Cold and Foggy Morning

I went outside early to clean the dog run, bring in some wood, and take a few pictures.

Most of the snow melted yesterday, a windstorm blew in overnight and it was very cold and windy outside.

My husband took a lot of wood from the woodpile to the house for me before he left the last time. Today, I brought in the last of that wood. Those of you who know about my injured arm and shoulder  can see I'm doing better. I'm using work like this to build up my strength. I do the physical therapy exercises too, but those I see as a necessary evil.

As I was cleaning the dog run, I noticed Samson discovering the joy of eating and playing with ice.

Chores done, I took the camera and went for a short walk. I came upon the neighbor's steer -- hardy critters that seem totally unbothered by any extremes in the weather. Sorry the pictures are so dark, you can hardly see them. 

This cloudy day in the canyon is for me a welcome change from the eternal California sunshine.

This raindrop photo pays homage to my blogger friend Jabacue whose blog, Ocean Breezes, you can check out here. A while back, he took the most beautiful photos of raindrops on a bare tree branch that made a lasting impression on me. I doubt I would have even noticed these raindrops, coming off the roof of our shed, if it hadn't been for those photos. I had so much fun trying to capture one or two and, as you can see, success! Nothing like Jabacue's though, but still fun.

My trusty old clothes-line in winter. You can barely see it either. Oh well, lesson learned -- this light calls for a camera adjustment.

After much ado, success!! Why do I forget how to do this from year to year?

After all that, what's better than to sit down and write a blog post with a favorite cup of hot tea? Rachael gave me this cup and it makes me smile every time I look at it.

I'm also looking at these apples, because today is a good day for baking or cooking. Cold outside, but cozy in here with the fire warming up the house. The apples are going bad....I don't know what to do with them, but I'll figure something out after lunch.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

First Snow!

Before I talk about the snow this morning, let me welcome some new followers of my blog: Alicemckay, Carol, Roundabout Roundabout, and Coltin 1948. 

I let the dogs out at five this morning and found it had snowed after all. Almost to the the day six months after the last snow in May. We had been promised snow or rain, but when we went to bed nothing had materialized. Since everyone here loves the snow and we have nowhere to go and nothing much to do we can just enjoy it today. 

Samson was in his element and, even though she's old, it doesn't take much to get Angel in a playful mood.

The two of them didn't even want to come back in the house.

I took this at seven a.m., right before the sun came over the eastern mountain range.

I knew the snow would start to melt as soon as the sun came up, so I took a few more pictures.

Then I looked east again and saw that the sun had not made much progress and huge black clouds were gathering around the mountains. Maybe we'll get some more snow. Hope so!

Have nice Sunday!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Samson Plays Spa Helper (Could Masseur Be Far Behind?)

SaysSamson Says:

Aha! Mommy just got the basin out and is getting ready to soak her feet.

Let me inspect them. Hmm, the nails look a bit long and

when I look closer, I see some dirt too, so it's high time for a good soak.

Maybe I should help to rub them clean.

No, Mommy didn't like that idea, so I guess I just lie down and wait for her feet to get a good soak. Let her do all the scrubbing if that's the way she wants to be. I'll just relax and pretend I'm at the spa.

Now she's done with one foot and she lets me lick it a little. I bet that felt real good!

Then I go and fetch a nice big towel for her, so she can get good and dry.

Mommy tells me that people with diabetes, like her, must dry carefully between their toes. And then they have to put on a special cream so their feet don't crack! A lot of fuss as far as I'm concerned, but good doggie that I am, I go fetch the special cream.

Mommy loves these samples she gets for free at her Diabetes Support Group meetings. She tells me they're called Neoteric Diabetic Skin Care, Oxygenated Advanced Healing Cream. (Boy those were some looooong words for dog like me!) Woof, woof, I'd say, I'm glad I got it right, cause Mommy recommends this cream for anyone with cracked skin or diabetic feet. She says it's wonderful and healing. So I got to plug it for her.

That's all for now. --- After all that hard work, I'm off to take my nap. Thank you for visiting!

Posted by Samson, the Samoyed Pup.


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