Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Rachael and the Mountain Spirit Center

First, thank you so much for your recent comments -- the Peace Bell is beautiful and I am so glad I managed to get that closeup photo I posted on Sunday. I can imagine the sound of it against the canyon walls. Fran, your Swedish getting so good! It's amazing how much you are picking up.

My computer conked out once again and I can't even turn it on right now, so I'm back at the library to finish this post that I began at home. I can read blogs here, but if I comment it will show up under Anonymous and most likely end up in your SPAM. I hope all these issues will soon be over, but Fran, I am OK, it's just that I am really missing my blogging routine.
The last time Rachael and I visited the Mountain Spirit Center the photos I took of the Peace Bell and the incredible structure that houses it did not do it justice. Look under Mountain Spirit Center 1 and 2 in my Blog Subjects at the bottom of the sidebar to see more photos of this wonderful place. (I don't want to take the time right now to try to link here.) Anyway, I was determined to do better and I think I did (see the actual bell at the end of this post).
I live in the canyon and know how dirty and dusty it gets but this place is immaculate. Not a speck of dust, the beautiful paintings on the outside of the buildings are as clear as if they had just been painted. And inside it's the same. So when I saw this mop, resting on the railing, it really spoke to me. I know it is being well used.


Rachael has regular sandals on, but the shade made them look like shoes worn by Geishas. (I just watched Memoirs of a Geisha again the other day. Without TV, one tends to watch movies over and over and that's a good one.

A view from the hill.

The Peace Bell. Children of the world are displayed in the lower part of the bell, holding hands and dancing in the circle that is the bell. And I'm sure praying for peace in this world.

At my age, there is something to be said for shadows hiding one's face. Thank you, Rachael, you did a great job here.  Once my computer gets better, I will update my avatar photo with one of me as I look now. One of the many Rachael took that day. 

Are you leaving, Auntie Rachael? And we can't come? Are you sure? We'll be good, promise.

We had an exciting day too! We just love to have visitors. So after Rachael left, it was time for a snooze.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Sunday Morning Reflections

The Peace Bell at Mountain Spirit Center, Tehachapi, CA, USA

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Summer in the Canyon

First a word about my computer issues. And yours! I am amazed at how many of you guys have had problems too. It will be difficult for me to read and comment on your blogs until I get Fran's computer and set it up. Cat left a comment and told me she just got a new computer and there is a steep learning curve. To practice and also to see if it would help my present computer, I ran a System Recovery the other day. While it helped: I can blog here right now, which is wonderful, but it still didn't cure the basic problem. And yes, we have taken it apart and used the large aircompressor my husband uses for the cars to blow all the dust away. But it still shuts down without being asked to and has some other issues.

My friend Upupaepops said she missed pictures of summer in the canyon and is looking forward to fall pictures once I get the computer situation fixed. I am looking forward to fall too and the cooler weather. But with my husband here and the weather reasonably hot, this really has been a great summer. Rachael and I talked about the daily difference in temperatures in northern Minnesota, where she is from. We have it here too -- 40 at 5:30 a.m. and often 100 by the end of the day. Here are some summer photos that I couldn't post in the last month:

On the way to the mail box, I pass the fields that were so pretty in spring when covered in mustard tumble weeds with bright yellow flowers. Now they are dry and brittle and will soon begin to tumble in the wind as they spread their seed.

 Fence lizards are everywhere here and this little guy followed me around as I did my morning chores in the garden. Then he found a neat place to take a rest and get some sun.

It seldom rains here in the summer but when it does, it is fabulous. Huge thunderstorms come through the mountains and roll around the canyon. After a storm, you feel so refreshed and ready to deal with the desert heat once again.

The above photo from earlier in the summer. The garden has been weeded, the corn is growing like crazy, the gopher ate four of the squash plants before we decided he had to go. He then became food for the resident fat raven. We are enjoying lettuce, yellow squash, mint, and radishes so far. And we have some stuff growing that we have no idea what it may be. Also, we know what we did wrong this year and have great plans for next spring. So much fun this!

I'm writing from my Wildblue Satellite provider's (powered by Google) portal and it has not been easy. The screen jumps up and down and the post gets saved about every 30 seconds, or so it seems, so all typing has to stop. I do, indeed, have a some work ahead of me. So I will end this post with a rose and a

desert mountain sunset. Have a great day --- I will try to prepare a post now about Rachael's visit and our trip back to the Zen retreat here in the canyon. I have a great picture of their Peace Bell and some of Rachael and me too.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Testing, Testing

My computer seems to be in a good mood this morning, so I thought I would post a picture of me at 71. OK, I know a picture of Samson would have been sooo much more fun, but Rachael came up yesterday and we took a lot of pictures of me, just fooling around. Rachael cut my hair and I am very happy with the results. She is a woman of many talents and a huge and caring heart. I am so blessed with my good friends.

I will not push my luck, so I'm signing off here. I have a lot of pictures and stories to share once I get my computer. Yes, I will get my friend Fran's old computer. Fran, also known as fishducky here on the blogs, is another friend with a huge heart, full of generosity, helpfulness, caring, love and on and on. Yes, I am truly blessed with the most wonderful friends and that includes all of you who follow my life on my blog. Oh, I was really just kidding about the lost followers since it happened right after I asked if anyone was bored yet in my header. I have lost some before too and I have also had some double entries, so it all evens out in the end.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Another Update From the Library

Just a short update, once again from the Library. It looks like my computer issues may be over by the end of the month. All kind of good things are happening in my life, but my computer still comes on and goes off. But like I said, things are looking up.

I went to the dentist this morning and we decided on another 10 days of anti-biotics and if that doesn't work, he will redo the root canal. There is only one root so that's good to know. We also talked about the side-effects of Fosomax on the bones in your jaw and how you can't have your teeth pulled with ease after you have been on that stuff for a while. That plus the complications of my diabetes and its effect on my teeth. So the health part of my life is turning into a not so fun thing. My dentist, who is also my friend here in town, will discuss with UCLA where they have protocols for my situation. 

Thank you Ron, Sophie's dad, for the recommendation to http://www.librarything.com/ I will check it out. It warms my heart to think that Ron, way over there in Nova Scotia, would think of me with such an appropriate website. That's what is so truly great about blogging. And I miss all your blogs so much but I have half an hour left on my time here, so I think I will be off to read some of them now. I have lost two followers already -- I imagine it is because I'm not around enough and unable to read your blogs and leave comments, who knows, it would be nice to know though.  Maybe they were the ones that got really bored with these no picture posts. Oh, well, Samson and I will soon be back with some real good stuff.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Are You Bored Yet?

 Our first vegetables this year. The most reliable of homegrown veggies and so good too.

First, thank you so much for your comments and well wishes both for the computer and the tooth problem. Your comments make me feel so much better, you have no idea. I have been really, really sick with this infection (I looked like one of those cartoon figures with a big ice pack wrapped around its head, Donald Duck, perhaps, can't remember who now) but it is getting better. Thanks Kim for your thoughts on this. I know the root may be hiding an additional abcess, it happened recently to my husband. All my teeth have crowns and the crowns are old. Who knows...

A little yellow squash taking form. Will the gopher get it first?

I tried to visit some blogs the other day, but was only able to make one comment. And this morning I was unable to upload a photo. I will deal with the tooth first and the computer after that. In the meantime, I will work on some posts for this blog -- I feel like I'm losing it, ideas are not coming as fast, I forget to take photos, and I feel like I'm getting a bit boring with my bad teeth and computer issues.

Samson Says: See, I told you Mommy. You really need to keep your computer clean!

To remedy this, I took some photos yesterday. It's a start. Samson as usual was hamming it up for the camera. Some yellow squash, some corn, radishes, lettuce, and greens are happening in the little vegetable garden and our yellow striped umbrella made for a cheerful picture (this in case I can't upload the photos, so you can imagine). I finally was able to post a few photos after trying about three times. 

Finally: Oh, fishducky, what's up with your husband? He never took you to a dump? Well, I took myself to France, but I never went to Paris, so what can I say!? We're all bound to miss some of the great places on this earth, so don't feel bad.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Surprise -- A Photo!

My computer has worked so well in the mornings that I decided to try to upload a picture. And it worked, I am so happy. This may not mean that it is fixed, but maybe, just maybe....

Samson chilling in front of "his" fan.

With this success, I will read some blogs and try to comment. If that works, I will be a very happy woman. I feel better today and I think I will try to go to the dump with my husband and then ask him to drive me to town so I can go to the library and borrow some more easy to read books. 

Friday, August 5, 2011

Summer in the Canyon

First, thank you so much for your comments. It's so nice of you to both read and comment on my posts after all this time of me not being able to comment on yours.

Today was the day I was taking my computer to the shop at the other end of town, a bit more than 15 miles away. But I have a terrible tooth infection, if that's what it is, so I can't go anywhere. My dentist, who is also a friend, only works three days a week. I was lucky to be able to get there on Wednesday morning when this started to get really bad. The infection seems to be in a tooth that had a root canal done about six months ago. The x-rays showed nothing, the gums look good, so who knows what I have. I got antibiotics and pain meds. Yesterday, the entire right side of my face was swollen, I mean really swollen, the only benefit being that my wrinkles got ironed out. The pain was intense. I think I'm better today, but I can't go anywhere, just stay here and rest.

I finished reading all the library books and most of those I got for my birthday, but I still have the latest Peter Hessler book to read. So I will not be bored, just frustrated.

You may recall all the pretty yellow mustard flowers that covered the fields here last spring. Well, they have all dried up now. I have never seen so many, two large fields full, and so huge. The rescue manager put the cows back in one field, but they haven't made a dent (there's only three of them, after all). Come fall, the weeds will turn into a kind of tumble weed and blow all over the place. I have seen pictures in our local paper of houses covered by these weeds. That should be fun! It's a bit scary right now, as the fields look really dry and like a big fire hazard. But I feel a lot less worried since my husband cleared all that grass and weeds around the house earlier this summer.

When in Los Angeles earlier this week, my husband bought a big bucket of icecream! Then he bought some really nice strawberries in town. The ice cream was just too tempting for me, so I had some. A big NO, NO when you have diabetes and an infection on top of it. (Both ice cream and infections raise your blood sugars, so in combination it is not a good thing.) I enjoyed it though. It is summer after all and I felt a bit sorry for myself. But no more! Fortunately it is not difficult for my husband to eat most of a bucket of ice cream in just a few days.

My husband is in a battle of wits with the gopher in our veggie garden. We sprayed some Critter Out down his hole. He didn't like it, but he just burrowed away to another part of the garden and got going on the roots of our zucchini plants. We are both looking at this little garden as a learning experience and after studying up on it, we know what to do next year for some gopher control. This year, my husband just did a little bit of soil prep and threw the seeds down in a hurry. Then we got frost, but after that several plants came back. We'll see how much will remain when it comes time to harvest. We have a fence around it and it has helped a lot with the rabbits and ground squirrels, but this little gopher is another story. We don't want to poison him, but I am really ready to get him by now. Any suggestions? People around here practise their shooting skills on them, but I don't see that as a solution either.

Summer days in the canyon are hot, very hot, but the nights are cool. Temperatures go from 40 F in the early morning to above 100 F in the late afternoon. We now love to sit outside in the evenings and watch the sun set behind the mountains. As soon as it disappears, a chill settles over the land. It is amazing how fast it gets colder. I do all chores in the morning, take my afternoon siesta, and enjoy our evenings.

The junipers and the few other trees we have around here really benefitted from all that rain last winter. I haven't had to water our trees, the planted ones, much and the native junipers look green and healthy. They are so full of berries this year and will attract coyotes and maybe even a black bear or two come fall.

The dogs are fine. Samson spends the nights outside in the dog enclosure. Soldier spends most of his days out there. His daddy built a nice shady place for him to sleep with thick pillows and every comfort. He likes it outside, but has to come in at noon to get out of the worst heat. Angel is still hanging in there. Her breathing doesn't sound good in the heat or after walking, but in general, she is in very good spirits and good health, and continues to take great care of all of us.

So that's a little about our summer here in the canyon. Hope you are enjoying your summer too. And winter too -- dear  blogger friends in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and other points in the southern hemisphere.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Blogging from Home Again

So I went to the library the other day, got a computer with a 60 minute limit, sat down and happily started to read your blogs. I was so excited to finally have all those minutes to catch up on what has been happening in your lives. Well, that worked for a while and I was able to visit a few blogs and make comments. But then that computer too started to have problems. I couldn't open the blogs with large pictures, so I tried some that I know have small photos or none. That worked, but then I couldn't leave comments. I know I could have complained and changed computers, but I had had a busy morning and still needed to go to the grocery store. Going to our small town makes me very tired, particularly in the heat. So I left.

Bobbi, if you read this: I loved the new photo of Gracie in your header and I'm sure Samson will too. Yes, Samson has an attitude mixed with sweetness, just like Gracie. I couldn't leave a comment though.

I plan to take my computer in to be repaired sometime this week. I hope it will not be something expensive. Basically, it seems to work fine like this after it got cleaned, but I can't upload, download, or print. If I try, it just shuts down. At least it is clean -- I would have been soooo embarrassed if I had taken it to the shop full of all that dust.

While I don't like to blog without pictures, at least I can try for an update here. I have been very good with my walks, which will help my back. We take the dogs out early. I know walking Soldier will help him to keep his mobility for as long as possible. And that motivates me to get going, of course. I also work out on my stationary bike. It is a very old bike that someone gave my husband. It has no electronics and sits outside since the house is so small. So I only use it in the summer, but it works great and I can tell it really helps me. I discovered it can also be used to just work my arms, something I really need after my injuries. So I do two workouts every day. It's nice to sit on it and observe nature, the coveys of quail picking their way across the field and the ground squirrels running around while I'm busy with my exercises.

We have a little vegetable garden too. I thought we lost it due to late frost, but the plants were able to handle it and some are now thriving. My husband put a fence up around it, but of course some critters will dig underneath. We have a few tricks of our own, like Critter Out and cayenne pepper that seem to work. I do have pictures, but can't upload them.

The ravens have all but disappeared from the ranch and the surrounding fields. I have no idea why. Observing nature here, I find that it constantly changes. The place was over-run by rabbits when we first moved here, then there were none. And now the ravens. Rabbits are back in small numbers so maybe there is a cycle to all this.

I have been reading some really good books that I got from my friends for my birthday. More about them later.

I like the new spot we created where we can sit outside and relax. The other evening, I turned my chair away from the setting sun and watched how it reflected in the tall mountains to the east. It was so beautiful with the fields taking on a golden color, the closest hills and mountains turning dark, while the taller mountains in the back picked up the colors of the setting sun.  Oh, well, you see why I need pictures -- too hard to find the right words.

Take care and have a great day!


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