Friday, August 31, 2012

Foto Friday

Couldn't resist when I saw this in the parking lot of our local grocery store.

I enjoyed my week off, but I still feel that I haven't looked at anywhere near all the blogs I wanted to visit, done half the chores I wanted to do, written all I wanted to write, and so on. That's life, I know that, but still frustrating. Auntie and Uncle in New Orleans rode out the storm OK. Thanks for keeping them in your thoughts. They are indeed a beautiful couple, still in love, and it doesn't get much better than that.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

New Orleans In Our Thoughts

Auntie and Uncle ~~ Easter 2004

My husband's aunt and uncle and now mine too, is the sweetest couple you could ever meet. They live in New Orleans but come to the Los Angeles area often to visit. They have been so very loving and kind to me from the moment I first met them, many years ago. My husband's mom was the same way. After we got married and I began to slowly meet  these people, these New Orleans people, as they came to town to visit, I felt an instant sense of family, a sense of being embraced, supported and loved. 

When Katrina approached New Orleans, uncle and auntie left for their daughter's home in Houston. They returned to find their home more or less gone. Living in a trailer next to their home, they rebuilt it. Themselves, as far as I understand. It took them years as they were in their seventies then. I don't even know if it's completely done to this day. But stubborn they were and worked hard they did, with no thought of selling out and perhaps moving to something easier to manage, like an apartment. 

With Isaac approaching, we called them the other night. They are now in their eighties. Auntie answered the phone and told us uncle was outside, boarding up the windows. Did I say they are in their eighties? She was mainly concerned with losing power, not too scared of a category one hurricane. We have called every day. The power is out, of course, but they do have a generator. They sound as calm as ever. 

I just wanted to share one story from the city of New Orleans with you. Watching TV, I have seen many, many people much worse off. My husband has hundreds of relatives and friends in New Orleans, some of them very old, like his aunts and uncles. I'm sending our love and prayers to all of them and to the rest of the people affected by this storm.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Foto Friday

Giant Panda Cub ~ San Diego Zoo 2004

It was well worth the trip to the San Diego Zoo to see the Giant Pandas back in 2004. While the adults slept most of the time, this cub was active and fun to watch.

I will take about a week off from posting to my blog. I have a lot of stuff to catch up on, one of them reading your blogs. I'm looking forward to finding out what's going on with all of you. So, if I can contain myself from posting something, I will be back in a week or so. 

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Thank You

I am overwhelmed by your kindness and thoughtfulness, thank you so much for your comments on Samson's post yesterday. Lately, bloggers I don't know have commented on my posts. I appreciate your comments so much and I will get back to all of you. I am looking forward to reading new blogs and, of course, I'm feeling guilty because I haven't responded  soon enough.

I was sitting here yesterday afternoon, thinking I had to write something and nothing came to me. Sometimes with diabetes, when life gets too much, your brain fogs over and that's what happened. There's a scientific reason for that, but never mind for now. Then Samson came up to me, sat down, put both his front paws in my lap and looked at me expectantly. He does this when he wants his chest scratched. He helped me a lot and I decided to let him write for me and it worked. And letting him complain about his water bottle, made me smile.

My friend Jody was more than eleven years younger than I and that hurts because I feel she had so much left of life to live. She fought a five-year battle with multiple myeloma. I first met Jody at UCLA in the early 1970s. In the mid-80s, we spent a lot of time together with my husband and Jody's baby daughter, hiking, sailing, eating good food and doing the things that good friends do. Jody moved to Seattle in 1991 to create a better environment for her daughter. Jody was a deeply spiritual person, always searching. I could talk to her in a way I couldn't to most people. We would have the deepest, most soul searching conversations. 

Even though Jody was brilliant, made a lot of money at work, traveled the world, had the best quality of everything from clothes to cars, that was not what motivated her. Her daughter and her spiritual search were most important in her life. I know you were at peace my friend, and that is good to know. Jody, I will miss you, we will miss you.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Samson Says: Mommy Is Sad, So I Help Her Blog

Mommy asked me to tell you that she is very sad because her friend, Jody, passed away last week. Mommy and Jody were very close for many years back in the 1970s to 1990s and Jody was her matron of honor when mommy and daddy got married. Jody was family to mommy and daddy so they are sad right now. That's why I'm here again. I don't want you to worry when you don't hear from her.

I let her hug and kiss me as much as she wants to right now. I know that makes her feel better. She hugged me lots when Angel died and that made me feel lots better. Hugs are good ~ I don't know about kisses so much.

Then I want to thank all of you wonderful, supportive, blogger friends of mine for all of your nice comments on my Morning Adventures post. Next time I post, I think I will tell you what happened when Gracie 2 got a bath. She looked so funny, all wet. And then she smelled of laundry detergent when I went to kiss her!!

Finally, I asked for air conditioning and this is what I got! Mommy said I was supposed to get a gallon bottle, but daddy had stuffed the freezer so full of food and ice cream that there was no room for a larger bottle. Since the weather has cooled down, I forgive her for now.

Have a nice day, everyone!

Posted by Samson, the Samoyed Pup.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Samson's Morning Adventures

In the early morning hours, mommy and me go looking for the BIG jack rabbit. I've seen him up on the hill behind the house, and he is huge. I would very much like to chase him, but I know mommy won't let me.

Black tailed jack rabbit. Image from Wikipedia

The jack rabbit is really a hare. I know rabbits, they're small. What a jack is, I don't know. What humans do most of the time, I also don't know. They like to confuse themselves and us dogs too. Just saying.......

This is how it looks here in the morning when the sun is about to come over the mountain tops. We go down this road, even though I KNOW the jack rabbit lives in the hills above our house. Which is completely opposite from where we're going. Do I have a say in this? No, I'm on a leash. 

We walk down this road and this morning we see two ravens, one on each post. Mommy isn't any good with camera lenses, so she just points and shoots, maybe you can still see them. I don't blame you if you can't.

Here, I get excited, because here is where a lizard used to live. He'd come out of the bushes and run down the road at max speed. I think he liked to tease me. I know I could have caught him if mommy would have let me run, but you know how she is. 

The lizard is gone now, he looked a lot like this one but bigger.

This morning, two of these came running across the road, so fast mommy didn't get a picture. Camera got stuck in her jeans pocket and she said two BAD words. I heard her! So an old picture of a road runner.

Then we pass the field where the cows lived. I miss them lots, they are on their way to Texas, I think. Angel once kissed a cow, but I wouldn't go that far. Not me!

Now I spot something in the road.

Do you know what it is? It's a kangaroo rat! It can hop like a kangaroo, but it has to be alive to do it. This one is dead. I lunged and picked it up in my mouth, just to make sure. Mommy yelled for me to drop it, so I did. Mommy said I looked disgusting with the rat's tail sticking out of my mouth. Humans!!!

Soon we've walked this whole long road and come upon our little rabbit friend. 

He's kind of dumb. When he sees us, he gets petrified. That means he can't move. Or he thinks he is invisible, either or, I don't know. All I know is if I were a coyote, he'd be my dinner. For sure. But I'm just a well-fed dog, so I all I want to do with the rabbits is to chase them. 

On our way back to where the real BIG jack rabbit lives, we come upon a bird feather. Maybe a hawk or an owl, we don't know. I think mommy, who is human, should know, but she doesn't. 

Soon we're up by the barn where most of the rabbits live. I look, I sniff, I look some more, and then I use my very excellent nose again, but the BIG, GIANT, rabbit is nowhere to be found.

Many little cottontail rabbits, like this one, scatter into the bushes. That's all ~ maybe if we'd walked this way first, like I wanted........

I am bitterly disappointed, but then I look down on the ground where I see a lot of busyness. Ants! I scared them! Big and red, they rush into their houses. 

Their houses are big and round, surrounded by little twigs, and with a hole that they all rush into when I get close.

I guess they all live underground when it is time for them to go home and get some rest. They deserve a nice house to rest in. Ants are among the most hardest workers in the animal world. I'm sure glad I wasn't born an ant. Phew!

That was my morning walk with mommy. We didn't see the  jack rabbit, but we sure saw a whole lot of interesting animals and stuff. 

~~~~~ THE END ~~~~~

Posted by Samson, the Samoyed Pup

Friday, August 17, 2012

Foto Friday



The fire to the north of us has burned 12,500 acres and is 85% contained with full containment expected this weekend. Thanks to great efforts by firefighters, over 800 of them, and mild winds, the fire did not reach our canyon. Firefighters are my heroes and I am so grateful for all the work they do here in the heat, every summer without fail. They camp out in their fire camps, they get up early or stay up all night working, patrolling, piloting helicopters and on and on. Thank you so much for all that you do.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

From Finches to Helicopters ~ From Fires to Rain

Last night, after a long day of smoke, helicopters flying over our house, extreme heat, and high winds, a thunderstorm arrived.

Lots of thunder and lightning and a huge downpour.

It soaked the dry earth and left us all feeling refreshed. I wanted to go out and dance in it, from pure joy of seeing rain, but it was just too heavy a downpour for that.

Samson says: I may be refreshed, but I don't like that thunder boom, boom, so I better snuggle up to my mommy for protection.

We woke up to a glorious morning, our flock of house finches twittering away outside the window. They live in the field below us and are the most adorable birds. I've never seen them here before and hope they will come back again next summer.

The rain dropped the temperature to 70F last night and 55F this morning. A frisky Samson enjoyed his walk and I enjoyed the wonderful, fresh smells of wet earth and the fragrance of the juniper trees. 

Then I saw the fire trucks again, so many of them, first the red Kern County trucks,

then the green ones, I think they are local, (Annette left comment and told me these are Forestry Service fire trucks, thanks for that info.) and finally a caravan of green vans. I thought maybe prisoners were assigned to help. I'm not sure, but they do help with a lot of clean up jobs around town. So, I went in and googled the fire. This is the latest: A meeting with fire officials was held in the canyon last night. As of last night, the fire had burned 9,000 acres and was about 30% contained. 

The Jawbone and Rim fires and other smaller fires caused by lightning, are managed as one complex. The fire is within 2.5 to 4 miles of inhabited areas in the canyon, but the canyon is not in any immediate danger. 

This helicopter came in and landed in the field next to ours on Sunday.

The main concern is the erratic behavior of the fire, which experienced a big blow up yesterday. The rainstorm passed to the south of the fire, so no help there. 

It took off, but after a short while it came back again. Two guys got out and removed the bucket they carry the water in. They may have had a problem with it, we thought. It was exciting to see it come down and take off right here by our house.

Big guns, including one of the nation's two DC 10 firefighting planes, along with two Cal National Guard Black Hawk helicopters and numerous other air craft, together with 755 personnel, have been assigned to the fire. God bless them all.

Finally, I read that we would have a day's notice if there was a need to evacuate. The fire would not, all of a sudden, roar down the canyon according to the officials. I'm pretty much sure that we'll be OK, though I'm concerned about those who live deeper in the canyon. A website with emergency information and notification was also provided, which is  comforting. 

Monday, August 13, 2012

Samson Asks For a Christmas Present

Samson Says: 

Samson:  Mommy, what's an air conditioner?
Mommy: It's a device that you can install to keep your house cool. (to herself: poor boy, he's just too hot and he doesn't like to get wet).

Samson: How come we don't have one?
Mommy: It's usually not this hot this long, so we never installed one. It's also expensive to run and we don't know if we can afford one right now.
Samson: to sure can afford everything else.

Samson: Mommy, am I a very good dog?
Mommy: Yes, of course you are. You are the very best dog any mommy and daddy could wish for.
Samson: Then, if I'm a very good dog, do I get a Christmas present?
Mommy: You remember last Christmas, you got lots of presents. So, of course, you will get many Christmas presents this year too. You can start on you wish list any time.

Samson: You promise, I can have anything I want?
Mommy: Yes, within reason, you can.
Samson: Here's my Christmas presents wish list: 
ONE GREAT BIG, VERY BIG, AND VERY COLD AIR CONDITIONER! Thank you mommy, when will it arrive?
Mommy: Speechless.............

Have a nice and cool day everyone!

Posted by Samson, the Samoyed Pup

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Response To Your Comments and More Fires

You know, when I watched the fire in the canyon last month, something marvelous happened: I lost my irrational fear of brush fires. Why, I think because first I saw how brush burns, scary yes, but nothing like a forest would burn. Secondly, in my irrational fear mode, I never saw any fire fighters. In the real fire there were hundreds, there were sheriffs, police, county workers, airplanes and helicopters. Now, how dumb was I, feeling so alone? Also my husband lives up here now and that makes a big difference. So, instead of being scared, I see some interesting pictures in following these fire clouds throughout the day. It's very smoky here in the canyon. I don't know where this latest fire is but I don't think it's as close as it looks here.

Thank you so much for commenting even though I have been pretty absent from your blogs lately. I hope that will change soon. I have had problems with connecting to blogs and to comment forms also. It works eventually, but in this heat, one tends to lose patience really fast with stuff like that. Then there's the Olympics, which I have enjoyed. 

I gave Samson a bottle, just a small one and he held it in his paws and licked it. We'll see. 
Fishducky: Samson is a house dog. Soldier is an outside dog.  That's their preferences. Samson stays outside at night to cool off. Or I let him out in the morning, I wake up early, and he stays out until we walk or the sun comes up. 
Sandra: No, we don't have air conditioning. One cannot be installed in our 1970s windows; we tried a free standing one and didn't like it; and finally, we haven't installed anything more complex and expensive because it is never hot like this for this long. Samson just finished a post that I will post tomorrow or the next day about how he feels about this subject. Poor boy. I hose them, they don't like it, but that's tough. I'm ready to hose myself too by now.

D. G. Hudson: Frozen water bottles! Now why didn't I think to bring some on that hot trip through the Mojave desert?!
Elisa: I'm glad  you enjoyed that Samson post, but I'm afraid you are was written by Samson, not me, so he's the witty one. And you are hilarious, that buffalo that was a cow just cracked me up! 
Munir: Thanks!
Annette: I read that you had the same problem with your night-time temperatures. I'm reminded of Princeton, New Jersey, where I lived for 12 years. Some of them without air. That was an ordeal, for sure, with all that heat and humidity.

J.P.: I am getting a bit tired of the windmills because there are so many of them down in the desert by now. But I guess they are still a better alternative than nuclear and oil, etc.

Feral: I'm trying the frozen water bottle, a small one. He's licking it and playing with it, we'll see what happens.
Kim: I'm glad I'm not the only one to have road trips start out badly. Main thing is they end well, as ours did. 

Amy: All is well that ends with a beer and a Subway sandwich, I'd say!
Barbee: When I started to feel sorry for myself on that hot trip, I thought about the people who came across here in covered wagons. How they did it, I cannot fathom. 

And now my husband wants me to watch the marathon with him on TV, so that's what I will do. 


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