Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Gopher Madness!

Samson Says:

Spring is here and I'm mad! I think I suffer from an aff, aff, -- what's it called, mommy? An affliction, Samson? Yea, that's it! Gopher Madness!! There are many critters in our yard now that it's springtime. They all get on my nerves, but the gophers are the worst! They tease you until you get crazy!

Here's Soldier going nuts over one. Gophers pop their heads up out of the ground, look at you with beady eyes, show you their long, long teeth (as if that would scare us dogs), then they pop their heads down in the ground again and disappear. 

I'm looking for you and one day I'll get you sneaky things.

One kept teasing and teasing me all day long. I got so mad, so full of madness, I tried to climb the fence to get him.

But he just disappeared down in his hole, popped up again, and back and forth he went.

Until mommy came out and covered up the hole with a big rock. I never saw that gopher again. I hope he perished underground. But mommy says they just dig their way out somewhere else.

Then we have these little critters, called ground squirrels. They get on my nerves too, but not as bad as the madness gophers. But these are in my yard, where they don't belong.

Look, there's a whole family of them, eating off my bushes. 

"You vermin get off of there," I call out in my bark. Momma vermin looks startled, checks me out, and figures I'm behind bars and can't get to her. This makes for a very annoying life.

And here's one in a closeup picture, mommy is so proud she took. She thinks they're cute. 

But I'll keep patrolling and if they come in my yard, they'll have to deal with me. So far this year, my catch is: One mouse, two lizards. And it's only May! LOOK OUT, CRITTERS!

Posted by Samson, the Samoyed Pup.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Treasured Family & Treasured Blogger Friends

After yesterday's post, I didn't feel like writing about Treasures & Things today. So instead, a few words about friends and family. What you see below are pictures from my husband's brother's house here in town. A very artistic person, who loved birds, lived there before and the place is a reflection of whimsical fun:

Bird houses that represent a hotel, an airport, a jail and so on; a shed painted with flowers and a cat snoozing in the window, painted benches, and many other lovely things. These pictures are old, but you may not have seen them before. We went there yesterday for a barbecue that I very much enjoyed. I treasure my husband's family so much, they have truly become my own. 

I always hesitate to write how I feel about things, like the state of the nation, on my blog. I used to be on the front lines of fighting for what I thought was right when I was young, but now I want the young people of today to do it. While I greatly admire older people who stand up and fight for what they believe in, I just want to be here and tend to my soul so to speak. I have several major illnesses to deal with and feel a need to nurture myself now. I love the peace of living here, in nature, not even close to nature, but in nature, with those I love. And take pictures and write about my life here.

But then things happen or things go on and on and I just have to say something. I think the best post I ever wrote was about the suicides of gay young men, when so many died so close together. Yesterday, I wasn't going to write anything, but then, after reading Kittie's blog, I felt compelled to say what I said. 

 See the ground squirrel?

This morning, I read your comments and I want to thank you so much. Today is Tuesday and what better treasures than friends? I have some really, really wonderful friends in "real" life and should they read this, please know you are treasured.   And all of you that I have met through this blog. I never expected this to happen. I had no idea that you could make friends on the Internet. And it isn't superficial friendships either. I have talked about that harness before, then there was that fund raiser, that little dog, the flowers for Leontien, and so much more. People help each other with advice on publishing books, raising chickens and other farm animals, tending vegetable gardens, posting countless of wonderful recipes, and on and on. And now I even have a dog who is in love with another dog on another blog!!! Who would have thought?

I love reading your blogs and feel guilty when I don't have the time to read them all. I love your comments and love to leave my own. Which reminds me that there are still some blogs that I really like where the blog owners have kept that pesky double word verification thing. It is absolutely unnecessary in my book and I think in the experience of most bloggers. I wish you would get rid of it!
So, after a nice family gathering yesterday, and after reading your comments today, I feel a lot better. I appreciate your friendship so much.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Thoughts on Memorial Day

What I have to say below is not about politics, it is about my feelings on this Memorial Day. 

Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a memory no one can steal. 
 ~From a headstone in Ireland

I am concerned this Memorial Day because I know none of our heroes died for a divided country. They died fighting an enemy from beyond our borders. They died because they thought this country worth fighting and dying for. This country isn't perfect now and wasn't perfect then, yet there was promise here. Promise that it would get better, promise that those who came here from other countries could work toward a better life, promise of civil rights for everyone, of same pay for same work, of a good education, and so much more. No country is perfect, but the United States is a good one. I strongly believe we have to watch out now, because damage is being done here. Damage from within that could bring us down in a way no outside force ever could. My one wish this Memorial Day is that we bury our differences and prejudices and move forward together.

This post was inspired by Kittie Howard's  post of today. 

Sunday, May 27, 2012

The Legend of Sugarloaf Mountain

Sugarloaf Mountain

Sugarloaf mountain looms over the northern end of our canyon. Large and mysterious, this mountain hides a treasure buried during California's gold rush days. The legend of Sugarloaf mountain tells of a group of Spaniards and their Indian workers traveling through the mountains with burros and mules carrying loads of gold.

A mural in Exeter, California, depicting a mule train coming down a mountain.

They were headed toward the coast where their treasure could be sold and where enormous wealth awaited them. The Indians, who drove the burros up the steep canyons from the desert through the mountains, were not treated well by the Spaniards. They were guarded by Spanish soldiers and were, in fact, not much better off than slaves.   By the time they reached the slopes of Sugarloaf mountain, the Indians carried out a successful revolt, killing all the Spaniards. No one knows what set the revolt in motion, but  one can imagine they were tired of being treated badly. The Indians knew from their experiences that gold was nothing but trouble. It was of no use to them, and they actually considered it cursed. So they buried the Spanish gold somewhere along the slopes of Sugarloaf mountain where it has remained ever since. Many have searched for this treasure, but it has never been found......

Saturday, May 26, 2012

The Weather and The Dogs

Thanks for your comments on my first Foto Friday post. I'm glad you enjoyed the pictures and I'm looking forward to posting photos only every Friday. 

The blue sky and warm weather took a break yesterday. It's been very, very windy here for several days and yesterday the weather turned very cold. It was around 50 F, with a wind chill factor and as gray clouds gathered and blocked the sun it got really cold. I had to fish out my wool sweater and my hubby was thinking of making a fire in the fireplace. Well, that didn't happen, but it may today since it was a chilly 38F early this morning. That's around 3 plus Celcius (this for my Lindsjo Taxar friend, who gives me updates on the heat-wave in Sweden).

Last night it rained and hailed for a while. If it had continued, we could once again have had some snow today, May 26, our last snow day in 2011. Had you asked me last week, I would have said, "no way." Our spring had been way too warm, but then that's the weather here in the mountains. It can get pretty crazy. 

Soldier and me in 2008 ~ We are both a bit older and grayer now.

I have felt sad since Angel died and it has helped a lot to lavish love and attention on Soldier and Samson.  Soldier, whose back was so injured and so painful he was unable to get up on his own last fall and we were giving serious thoughts to having him euthanized, gave me a gift of grace and joy this morning.

Soldier last November.  Thanks again Terry for the harness that helped him so much.

He actually ran through the living room on his way outside to the dog run. In horse terms, it would be called a canter, almost a full out gallop. Never did I think he would be able to do that again! It thrilled me so -- I'm still smiling.

Samson with Gracie 2 and his bone. 

Samson gets very sad at times and goes off by himself, I know he misses Angel. In the house he plays with Gracie 2 and his bone, but outside he always used to play with Angel. So he has done a few things to amuse himself outside lately. The other evening, he brought a half-dead mouse in the house, jumped up on the dog couch and played with it, like a cat. My hubby killed the half-dead mouse and brought it outside. Samson was not to be deterred, while outside alone a few days ago, he dragged down one of his daddy's pepper plants from a table and began to play with it. This it what's left:

Daddy wasn't too pleased. But this made me realize that Samson needed some toys to play with outside as well. So in my hall closet, I found some old toys and a bunch of tennis balls, left behind by Angel and Princess who both loved to play catch and retrieve. So yesterday, after resting from our walk, Samson and I played and played with the toys and the tennis ball. He got the idea that I wanted him to pick up the ball and bring it back to me almost immediately. Soldier never understood this, so while he may look like part lab, he definitely isn't. Samson is smart though and it's very easy to teach him things. He is no real retriever, but he enjoyed the playtime. And as the gophers begin to pop their heads out of their holes and mice and lizards invade his space, Samson is developing his hunting instincts and they seem to be very strong in him. That part of the story will be continued some other day. 

Friday, May 25, 2012

Foto Friday

Canyon Rocks and Spring Flowers

From archives.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

The Cloud

I wasn't going to post anything today, but then yesterday

at sunset, this cloud appeared. It was so huge, I couldn't catch it all with my camera. 

So I sat down and enjoyed the magnificence of it, while Samson chewed away on my shoe. 

As the sun set behind the mountains, the cloud's color 

deepened and then it turned gray as darkness settled over the canyon. And this morning, I just had to share it.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Nooo, Not That Place Again!

About 10 days ago, I had to go back to see the smiling people with the big needles again to get my combo shot. I didn't get a chance to complain to you about it. Just let me tell you that when we drove through town, here comes a big, big, huge train and lets out a noise so loud that I got so SCARED, I jumped from the back of the Jeep to the front and landed in daddy's lap, nearly causing a big ACCIDENT. After all that I thought I was done with that place, so I smiled my Samoyed smile, thinking I was going for a nice ride with mommy and daddy when they put me in the car on Monday.

So I just sat there, being a good boy, minding my own business. But as we got off the freeway and drove up that hill in town, I began to worry and started looking out the window to see where we were going.

And as soon as we  got to this corner and turned, I knew I was done for. Once again they were taking me to meet some smiling person with a big, big needle. AGAIN!!! Enough already, I said to myself and started to plan my escape......

But daddy had me in a firm grip and no matter how much I protested...... You can see I'm being DRAGGED here!  

Please, somebody, get me out of here!!

I was told I was getting the second shot of my rattlesnake vaccine and then I'd be done for a whole year. They said, better that than getting bitten by one of those creepy, crawly, critters. Once mommy paid, I knew I had to resign myself to my fate. Stupid snakes, causing me all this pain and trouble. And I've never even met one of your kind.

When they called my name, I put my head down and tried to be invisible. Not a chance. A pretty smiling young girl came out and talked sweet to me. But I'm wise to these tricks by now. Mommy went with me as far as the weighing machine. All she cares about is if I'm getting fat -- 61 pounds is what I weigh, so look out -- by next year I may be so big you couldn't even drag me in here. He, he, I like the thought of that!

Finally I was all done and outside again, sniffing the smells the other dogs left behind.

And here I am again. I was smiling, as we turned on to our canyon road and

our big, beautiful canyon opened up in front of me. Soon we were home and after I took a nap all was forgotten. I'm a dog after all and us dogs hold no grudges.

Have a nice day, everyone!

Posted by Samson, the Samoyed Pup.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Tuesday's Treasures ~ Fishducky's Art Corner

The Carson Mansion, Eureka, California
Pen and Ink Drawing by fishducky, AKA Fran Fischer

According to Wikipedia, the Carson Mansion in Eureka, California, is one of the most famous Victorian houses in the U. S. and thought to be the most grand. It is also one of the most photographed houses in the country. I have myself taken pictures of this fabulous American Queen Anne style home, which has housed a private club since 1950. Fishducky's drawing captures the incredible details of the master carpentry work that went into this beautiful Victorian mansion.  The Carson Mansion is the grandest Victorian house I have ever seen and fishducky's work of art does it justice in a way most photographs don't.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Hubby's Start Up Garden

Last year, the last snow came on May 26. After that we thought we could plant our plants in the garden. Wrong! A frost in early June killed them all. The seeds we planted were OK, but the June chill killed the plants. So this year, hubby has a starter garden. He has been so good about taking care of his plants for the past several weeks. They stay outside during the day and he brings them in at night. The plants have grown by leaps and bounds and were recently transferred to larger planters. I took these pictures about a week ago and now many more cherry tomatoes are bright red and the peppers are getting large fast. We haven't done any work on our "real" garden at all. And it has been so much warmer than last year. But then we are behind on everything, so I'm sure it will all work out.


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