This morning, as we were getting ready for our walk, Soldier spotted a tennis ball, picked it up, bounced it around for a while, then grabbed it and took it with him on the walk.
This would not be a big deal if he were younger and healthier, but it is because every morning I make sure he's still breathing and I turn my head away as he awkwardly gets up. You can see how crooked his hind legs are in the above picture. He's one courageous dog who loves his life. It will soon be six years since my husband rescued him the day before he was to go to the pound, and one year and five months since we thought we would have to end his life after his back was injured. He took his life in his own hands or paws, I should say, that day and showed us he wasn't through.
Mommy: Samson, you are just one big cloud of fur! I eat it, it's on my clothes, it's in the car, it's on the carpet, on the couch, in my food, on my toothbrush even. And I brush you every day, how can this be?
Mommy: Here you look like Alfalfa, hair sticking up everywhere, matted again, even though I brush and brush. Samson: Do not! Mommy: What, do not? Samson: Brush me, every day. Mommy: Do so! Samson: Do not!
Mommy: Just look at this! I brush, I rake, I dematter or whatever it's called, I pull even. Look at it, will you.
Samson: Mommy, the weather made me do it. It got warm, I can't help it.
Mommy: OK, you are right, it's the weather's fault. I love you my boy and I don't mind the mess.
Our largest tumble weed has not yet tumbled away in the wind storms we have every day.
The A to Z Challenge starts on Monday, April 1, and throughout April I will post according to my Theme ~ My 50 Years in America. The Challenge has gotten so huge now, the organizers even have minions to help out. I think it's great that it has become such a success. I am most definitely not writing a memoir, just little snippets, as we have been asked to keep our posts short, of my life in these United States. Some about my travels, some about a pet or two, some about events that took place during this time.
Samson: Mommy, mommy, the gopher, the gopher! I saw him, I saw him and I'm soooo MAD now!!!!!
I feel bad that, once again, I won't be able to share how the canyon comes to life in April. Apparently, the gopher just stuck his head out of the ground and drove Samson to distraction. Ground squirrels are chasing each other across the yard, but no babies have appeared yet, strange birds, new to me and the canyon, are singing spring songs. It's a wonderful time already and will only get better.
I think that my gut pain may have been identified and it's nothing, really. Just a bit embarrassing. Suffice it to say, I, who eat so much fiber naturally, must now eat more. If it's that simple, I'm happy, but also sorry doctors recommend the most expensive diagnostics first, instead of just recommending some Metamusil or whatever that stuff is called. We'll see.
I also plan to have the cystoscopy with a few related exams while I'm at it. I haven't had any new infections, but last year was so difficult and I may as well just get it all done now.
Finally, I'm so glad that so many took a minute to visit fishducky's blog. She's one funny lady and so talented. And such a good friend to me and my husband.
I love the strength of these women, as captured by the artist, our friend Fran, aka fishducky.
While this is a serious painting, fishducky has a sense of humor that just won't quit. Today, I went to her blog to read about the places where she definitely does not want to live. When I read her posts, I usually find several things that are funny, particularly when she writes about her own life. Today, I was in stitches the whole way through, so I must share this with you, please check it out here.
The trip down the mountain was gorgeous with verdant hills, dotted with cows, that would have reminded me of Yorkshire if I had ever been there. I have not, but I saw Calendar Girls and read many mysteries by Peter Robinson, so I have an idea of the landscape. Orange flowers still in bud covered the fields and the oak trees were coming alive. Sadly, many of them and many fir trees have died in the drought. Looking through my archives, I can't find any pictures of a trip down the mountain in spring. So, instead, I'm posting some I took last year from the west side of our town, where there are oaks and green fields. These were taken later in spring.
As we drove down the highway, low flying buzzards came sailing down right in front of the jeep. This happened twice and so fast, I wouldn't have been able to capture them with my camera, so I didn't miss out. Instead, I had the opportunity to see, with my own eyes, these large birds close up. And it was quite something to see their faces, the red, that you don't really see as they fly above.
After we finally were done with the Jeep/Chrysler dealer, we were starving and I was throwing a few mini-diabetic hunger fits. So we went to Chili's close by Costco and made a meal of it. We rarely eat out, so we splurged. Hubby had steak and I had salmon, both really good. Then I decided I just had to have some dessert and my hubby wasn't going to be left out: I had cheese cake and my husband (I wish I had assigned my Mr. Anonymous a fitting name, like Buttons: My Hero, and feral woman's: Mr. Forestman, when I started my blog; I really don't like this husband stuff), anyway, he had a huge, warm, chocolate chip cookie, with hot chocolate sauce, topped off with a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Dreamy stuff! We ate of each other's goodies and I don't remember when I last ate that much. I could barely move, and kept adding more and more insulin, feeling immensely grateful for my insulin pump. I survived, except for high sugars coming on this morning. Oh, well, sometimes you just have to be bad!
This time at Costco, my husband, full of good food didn't dawdle, he just walked around the store and only picked up what we actually needed. There must be something to this idea of grocery shopping while on a full stomach.
Finally, thank you so much for your comments on my tired tree. I was especially happy to hear from feral woman, who knows about these things. She said this: That looks to me like a healthy juniper that sprawling - they spread out like that when the going gets tough in order to survive - "dropping" unnecessary branches and promoting the strongest branches in order to catch sunlight for photosynthesis... kinda like us ;) Thanks for letting me know this, I will now understand my junipers better. I believe that every living thing in the desert must have some tricks to pull out in hard times, in order to survive. The last time we had good precipitation here was three or four years ago and I remember how green the junipers were in the spring that followed.
I don't know if this picture makes any sense, I mean if it's OK or just a picture of a really tired tree. Sometimes I feel like this too, a little bit tired around the edges. The night following the spring pictures I posted, it was 24 F here in the canyon. I don't know how the trees fared, I hope they are OK. That's what happens in the mountains. Snow can come as late as June here. We are going on a road trip (as we like to call it) today. Just down to Bakersfield, but for the Wrangler, not for me. It needs to be serviced. The battery on my camera just ran out so I'll leave it at home, darned..... I usually keep some extra, but, not this time.
Our town is big on ornamental trees that bloom for a week or two in spring. I was surprised to see that they were already in full bloom when I was in town on Tuesday, so yesterday, I brought my camera.
This and the first picture are from the parking lot at Albertson's Supermarket.
I took a couple of street scenes out the car window. The whole town is full of amazing looking flowering trees.
A final picture of the store parking lot. Other than that, we are all doing well and hope you are too.
About the crazy sky yesterday, yes, we live close to two major airfields, Edward's Air Force base, where sometimes the shuttle used to land, and China Lake, and of course Mojave where they are working on sending paying customers into space. There's a lot of stuff going on out in the desert and military jets are always flying over here, but I have never seen them go in circles, like they did yesterday.
A gorgeous morning in the canyon with clouds wrapped around the mountains and mist in the air. I'm alone here for a few days. Of course, I lived alone here for about four years, while my husband continued to run his business in Los Angeles. But then I had the donkey rescue for my neighbor and there was always someone around. Now there's no one. But I enjoy the peace and quiet. I'm also taking the opportunity to continue to purge my stuff, not his, but he still has a tendency to interfere with mine.
Since Soldier is very unstable when he gets up, it occurred to me that I wouldn't be able to raise him should he fall down, so I took out the harness and put it on him. So far so good.
I made some adjustments to it since I took these pictures and he doesn't mind it.
Samson is doing much better since we bought
this grain free food from Costco, recommended by the vet. He said chicken, but they didn't have any, so we got turkey meal and sweet potatoes. It's around $30.00 for 35 lbs, much better than the vet's, which is over $70.00 for 32 lbs. Janice recommended the dog food she feeds her Samoyed, but the only store in town that carried it just went out of business. It would have been my backup, but as long as Samson gobbles up this food and can handle it, I'm one happy mommy.
I noticed that today is March 16 ~ my sister, Ann-Marie, was born on this date in 1947 with the most severe form of Down's syndrome. She was not expected to live much beyond her 20s, but she was 58 when she died in 2005. She could not speak nor look you in the eye, but she could communicate in her own way. She loved to listen to jazz, Louis Armstrong and Ella Fitzgerald, that record was her favorite; she loved her goldfish and would sit for ours and look at it; she didn't know who I was, but she knew I was somebody close when I came to visit her; and she would always go and wait by the door of the place where she stayed when my mom was on her way to visit. I may tell her story some day ~ while it affected our family in a negative way, it is, in the end, a very uplifting story. Simply because she inspired so much love from everyone who got to know her.
Finally, to the A to Z Challenge, which is the only linky bloggy thingy I participate in. The first two years I just jumped in, didn't prepare a thing ahead of time and it worked out pretty well. In 2011, I wrote about life here in the canyon, in 2012, about my life in Sweden, and this year, my theme will be My 50 Years in America. I started to prepare my posts ahead of time since the organizers suggested it. This may not have been such a good idea for someone as picky as I am, always fighting against my tendency toward perfectionism, something I can't stand. So after preparing about half the alphabet, I stopped. Now I'm faced with the latter part and all those difficult letters, Q, X, Y, and Z. I'm mentioning this for two reasons: 1. I have decided to tackle this last part of the challenge. So for the next two weeks, I will spare you long posts like this one. I will still come by and visit, but I think I will just post pictures. I'm playing with Picasa and having lots of fun. So I will post mostly pictures, but I will visit you, because I miss you when I don't. 2. I hope you will come by and read the stories from my 50 years here in America. I'm not exactly a story teller, but I'm working on it and for me that's all that counts.
Samson: Will you stop taking my picture. I'm not in the mood for flashing lights in my face. I need to rest, it's been a busy day, people coming by and all. Mommy: Oh, come on Samson, you are just sooo cute, I can't help myself.
Samson: I'm NOT cute, I'm a boy! And I'm getting mad now!
You better watch it, I'm coming to get you........
and I'll lick that camera til you stop it! Mommy: Ouch, you're sitting on my lap, it hurts. Samson: OK, will you stop it? Mommy: OK, OK, you win, no more pictures at least not today......... Samson Says: Have a nice day everyone and listen to your dogs or you may be sorry! Posted by Samson, the Samoyed Dog.
This picture made me think of Madsnapper Sandra, and how you, my friend, can make everyday items into art with your camera.
You may wonder what this old chair without a seat is doing out here in the middle of nowhere. I do too.
Fences, and a California gate for texwisgirl. This is where our walk started.......
we walked down to the main road, turned around.......
and walked back to the house and then.......
up to the barn, which is behind the house a ways.......
where the snow was deep and made Samson smile.
As you can see, it was a pretty good walk and I wanted to document it because Soldier looked so bad in the night, pooped in his sleep, and could barely get up. I worried he might die. But once he got outside, he walked all that way ( not much longer than a mile, but still, in deep snow) and he didn't want it to end. I wasn't feeling so hot myself after not eating properly for the procedure, but he inspires me. We are a good team of old dog, old woman, getting up and out with smiles on our faces.
I thought of Dee Ready when I took this picture. I remember you liked the look of the juniper trees, so I thought you might enjoy seeing one covered in snow.
Finally, thank you so much for visiting and leaving happy comments about my good results yesterday. When I opened my blog this morning, it was like greeting some very good friends for breakfast to celebrate my good news. So I leave you with this, which is a picture of my special branch. I will come back to it when buds appear in spring. I appreciate your friendship so much.