Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Soldier Gets a Bath and Has an Anniversary

Daddy gave Soldier a bath the other day. And daddy was the one who gave Samson a bath a while ago too. There's no way I could do that any longer. Doesn't Soldier look good wet and without his collar? A little bit like a wild red dog.

This month, he has been with us for six years. He is 13 years old now, so he has spent nearly half his life free from being chained to a dog house. 

He was sick the other night, but seems OK now. We even walked to the mailbox yesterday morning and that's a good walk for an old dog. In general, he's doing very well and I'm grateful. 

Monday, July 29, 2013

When You Can't Sell Your Old Trucks & Cars

just drop them in your field, next to the highway.......

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Life is Good!

After lunch I want nothing more than a nap, but that doctor's advice ~ walk 10 - 15 minutes after each meal and your bloodsugars will improve significantly ~ rings in my brain. So I get up, take my camera, walk up to the barn and around it twice, then back down to the garden. That takes about 8 minutes. A good start ~ a foundation to build on. 

Then I sit above our garden, under the juniper tree. Our garden got a very late start, but it's growing like crazy. Last night, deer trampled in it and the gopher is moving closer and closer. Suddenly, the entire tree above me is full of little tiny birds. They look like regular sparrows, but are about half the size. I have to check my book as I have never seen them before. Peace overtakes me and I begin to nod off to the twitter of the birds. 

Life is good!

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Thunder, Rain, and Deer

Friday morning, around two, I woke up to a gorgeous lightening display. Thunder in the distance could barely be heard above the noise of the fans we keep going here, day and night. 

Then the rain came, finally. And it was a good rain that continued on and off during the day.

My husband and I heard a doctor on TV mention some really good results in lowering the three-month average test score, the A1c, for people with diabetes who walked only ten minutes after each meal. I only walk after breakfast and that really helps both my diabetes and my general sense of well-being. I eat a very light lunch, but even so, I feel like a lump afterwards and often just take a nap. Same thing after dinner.

So last night, when hubby suggested we go for a walk, I was ready to begin something new. I took my camera and off we went. Up to the barn and all around. 

The evening sun provided a beautiful contrast to the mostly dark skies. One end of a rainbow appeared over the eastern mountain ridges. Hubby said lets just walk down to the gate and then turn around. And that's when we saw them:

Two deer, running at full speed through the field.

We have deer here, but we seldom see them. And I don't think I've ever seen two running like these did. It was a magnificent sight that we would have missed had we stayed in, in front of the TV.

Friday, July 26, 2013

An Old Shed

I drove down this road that I had never been on before and liked the way the trees framed this old shed. I found a few more interesting things on this road for later posts.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

An Old Photo of My Dad & Memories of Summers on the Baltic Sea

My dad with our dog Troika circa 1955, showing off his tan while dispelling the myth that all Swedes are blond and fair. My dad loved to take pictures, and when no one else was around, or for group pictures that included him, he would place his camera, a Hasselblad, on a tripod, set the timer and pose for his own shot. 

This picture is very special to me because it speaks of our summers in the Stockholm archipelago. Every July, we left our house and set out in our boat, my dad, my brother, Troika, and I, while mom was happy to stay ashore. In our small motor boat, made of beautiful wood, we passed by the inner islands, stopping here and there at a fishing village to stock up on supplies or visiting friends. We were headed for the outer islands, those craggy rocks that meet the Baltic Sea head on, deserted islets, that from a distance look lifeless, except for their sea birds. But we knew better, we knew that there would be meadows with beautiful orchids and many other exquisite flowers, often a lagoon where we studied the small creatures of the sea, where the water was warm and swimming was a pleasure rather than an act of bravery. 

How simple the tents were back then. Small too, so I slept on the boat.

Living a primitive life at sea, I learned about the planets and constellations and I learned to navigate from sea charts. I was very proficient with those charts, which was a good thing since there are about as many rocks below water as there are above in the Stockholm archipelago. I learned to dock the boat on a rocky isle and to read the wind to know if it was safe to dock in a certain place. I also learned about engines, to discern engine problems, and to help fix those that inevitably would occur. If all else failed, since this was not a sailboat, we had to be self-reliant, so I helped row the boat if necessary. And it happened, once we had to row for an entire night. 

I also learned to fish, to clean fish, fry fish over an open fire, make a fire, pitch a tent and much, much more.

This was my father's gift to his children, a gift never forgotten, and often thought of with love.........

Monday, July 22, 2013

Samson Sings a Song for Gracie!

To all our British friends, congratulations on the new Prince!

Here is Samson:

Mmm, mm, mmm, I'm getting ready here, a dog has to warm up:

Mmmm, ♪ ♪ mmm, ♫ I my Gracie so, she's my , ♪ ♫ and she 

makes me so VERY, VERY ♫ ♫ HAAAAAAAPPY! ♫ ♫♫

That's all folks, you have to imagine how I sound.

This is Gracie, she's very clever ~ as you can see, she helped her mommy write a book. But that's not why I love her ~~ I love her because of the way she is, a tough talking girl who knows how to score a cookie. But it's really her ears! Gracie's ears are fluffy and gorgeous!! Oh, those ears! Could drive a boy to distraction, they could!!!

To buy this very good book (mommy says it is good) go to the bottom of this blog, find the book and click on the image.

Have a nice day everyone!

Posted by Samson, the Samoyed Dog (in love with and older Bitch!)

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Bird On A Faucet

All the wild critters love our leaking faucet, so we will not fix it.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

An Old Apple Shed

Apples are a major crop here. This old shed is on the main street of our town. You can drive by it often and not notice it, but once you do, you wonder about it: The flag is out, is it being used for something now? Why is it still standing here, rusting, on valuable real estate? And, of course, what went on here in days gone past.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

A Little Bit of This & That

Samson Says: Thank you all for leaving such nice comments about my clean and fluffy fur and about how very handsome you all think I am. I could be blushing underneath all this fur!

I Say: Thank you to Carol Kilgore, a writer I met on this year's A to Z Challenge. Carol, not realizing I don't accept them, gave me an award that meant a lot to me. I always feel honored when someone lets me know they appreciate what I'm doing here, it was just that all the work involved in accepting awards got to be a bit much for me a few years ago. You can check out Carol's blog Under the Tiki Hut, here. 

I Also Say: I can't tell you how happy I am that so many of you went over to feral woman's blog to read her posts about surviving last year's Montana fires. I just love her, she is an amazing woman. 

Samson Says: I found my place where I can oversee my domain and keep an eye on all you critters out there. 

It's so dry and boring looking around here that you can only get half-way decent looking pictures at sunrise and sunset. The weather has been pretty much unbearable, but I won't complain since it is just as bad everywhere else. At least we have very cold nights now ~ around 40 F when I wake up. In the evenings it's around 98 - 100 F!  So a bit crazy, but I love the cool desert mountain nights. 

I saw two doctor's yesterday, one was for my pre-op for the procedure I will have on August 2nd, the other was my gut doctor. All went well and between visits I had a couple of hours to spend. What did I do? Drove around looking for barns! I found a few and some gorgeous horses, Budweiser commercial material kind of horses. Why I don't remember what they are called, I don't know. Anyway, pictures will be posted later.

Tomorrow, I go to the Diabetes Support Group meeting where Eve will share what she learned when she attended the annual meeting that covers the latest diabetes research and scientific discoveries. Always one of the most informative and interesting meetings. I hope to write a post about it as there usually is lots of good information to share.

I'm very happy to report that Soldier, my old dog, who has some issues, is doing very well lately. He stays outside most of the day, I just bring him in during the hottest hours. There is a tennis ball out there that he has started to play with. He picks it up, drops it, lets it bounce, and picks it up and starts all over again. Both dogs and I are working on getting back in shape since we were sick. But I have to say one thing, when you get in your 70s and you, for one reason or another, stop exercising, you better get with it as soon as you can. I find that I much rather linger in bed, reading a book than getting up and out. But I do get up, I have to. That's one of the many good things about living with dogs. 

Talking about books, I just finished reading The Shadow Catcher, a book about photography in the early days, about Native Americans, about the desert, about family, and even about using words and pictures together, something I have become addicted to in this blog. It got four stars on amazon, I would give it five. 

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Samson Gets a Bath!

 This wasn't much fun, but look at me now:

 I'm fluffy and clean!

Have a nice day everyone!

Posted by Samson, the Samoyed Dog

Friday, July 12, 2013

An Extraordinary Account of Survival

OK, so I posted this at 7:37 PT this morning and it is not updating in anyone's sidebar where Favorite Blogs are listed. I have tried everything, short of reposting it, so I will see if this update works first.

Something extraordinary is happening in Bloggyland right now and, although I'm late in doing this, I must let you know about it. 

Last year, my blogger friend in Montana, feral woman, and her husband were caught in the horrendous Montana fires, which burned over 300,000 acres. And now, she and her husband are writing an account here: 

of how they, both trained professionals in forestry and fire safety, survived this fire. These are her words:

 This is our factual account of what happened here
on the night of July 3, and early morning of July 4, 2012, 
concerning the Taylor Creek Fire, 
which burned over 65,000 acres; 
this was later added to the Ash Creek Fire Complex, 
for a total of over 300,000 acres burned total in our area.

As you know, I read books all the time, but I have never, ever, read such a harrowing, heart breaking, heart thumping even, account of survival. Feral woman is not only a timber cruising, forest living, feral person, she is also a writer of the highest caliber. She does not hesitate to share her fears, her anger with stupid neighbors who nearly got them killed, her love for their animals, and her love and immense trust in her husband as she describes that one unbelievable night. 

For those of you who live in fire country, this is a must read, as feral woman also gives great advice. And for the rest of you who read my posts, this has been the week I'm referring you to other blogs, please, just one more time, click on the link and read feral woman's story of survival, you will not be sorry. 

Wednesday night on TV, I was happy to learn that a fundraiser held by Kern County Fire in conjunction with our local, out of Bakersfield, NBC affiliate TV station, raised over $55,000 for the families of the 19 fallen fire fighters in Arizona. 

The fire fighters stood across the street from the TV station for just that one day, reaching out to passing cars with a boot in their hands, and people drove up and put cash in the boots. Now Bakersfield is not a wealthy town, so that they were able to raise $55,000 in mostly cash really touched my heart. I imagine fire fighters are doing this in many other towns as well. 

Wednesday, after almost two weeks of 100 plus degrees in the shade ~ here, where there is no shade, the sky turned gray. Thunder rolled around the mountains and about six drops of rain fell. A bit more rain came in the night, and yesterday it drizzled a little. Not much, but a joy nevertheless and a wonderful break for me who is not all that heat tolerant. 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

What Would Madsnapper Sandra Do While Waiting For A Very Long Train To Pass?

She would snap train pictures of course! Most likely she would try to capture one end of the train in her rear view mirror, while the other passed in front of her. So, inspired by my friend Madsnapper Sandra I try .........

But I have a long way to go before I get to be as good, fun, and creative as she. Please go here to see Sandra use everyday items in a way you've never seen done before. She also has a way with flowers and nature, showing off her backyard in gorgeous pictures. Visit her blog several times (it's never the same from day to day) and you will soon be addicted. Promise!

In only one picture did I manage to capture the train both in the mirror and in front of me. Squint a bit and you can see the train in the left corner of the mirror. 

After that, I completely blew it. But I had fun,

which was good since this was the longest train that took forever to slowly wind its way down the tracks. 

This train would have been a trainspotter's delight as it wound its way around the Tehachapi Loop, the first cars passing over the last as the long train looped around, went through the tunnel, onto the overpass, and traveled on top of itself. 

The structure behind the train is the Lehigh Southwest Cement Plant, an eyesore on the road home and a major health danger as it releases mercury and other toxins into our air. I don't think I would like to be stopped here with small kids in the car. 

I will tell the story of the plant and a company town that is no more in a post about The Murals of Tehachapi.

Thank you Madsnapper Sandra for the inspiration, I will definitely try this again. To see Madsnapper's fabulous blog, please click here.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

fishducky's art corner ~ THE MIRROR

It's been a couple of years since I posted about the mirror Fran, aka fishducky, made for us. Since then I have started fishducky's art corner, posts that feature her art, and both fishducky and I have made many new blogger friends. So, I thought, why not share the mirror again. It is a unique piece of art that I am very, very happy to own. 

fishducky's creative spirit stretches far and wide and some years ago she decided to make special mirrors for her family and friends. The mirrors would depict their lives, things they enjoyed and cared about. So the mirror we have in our home is a picture of our lives and what is important to us. And the vibrant colors fit perfectly with the crazy wall color of our living room and entrance hall.

fishducky asked my husband to make frames for all the mirrors, which he did. She then asked us to let her know what we most liked to do and what we valued in life. I submitted a list to her and she made this mirror for us.

The first square: Aren't people interesting? My husband is a people person, much more so than I, but I do find people interesting. Second: Have a long, happy marriage. Something we both wish for, of course, and so far it's been 26 years! And third: Love animals. And that we both do.

Go sailing. Something we loved to do at the time. Still would, but we're desert dwellers now and the boat has been sold.

The blue square: Yeah, team! Some of our most fun memories are from Dodger Stadium, when the Cubs, my team, came to town. We also enjoyed Pop Warner Football when our nephews were little. Next: Visit antique stores. That would be me. And below: Read a good book. Me again, as most of you know, I have loved reading my whole life.

Something you may not know about me is that I love miniatures. There was a dollhouse museum in Los Angeles, close by where I lived, and each time I went there I was in miniature heaven. So you can imagine how much I love these miniatures. An old-fashioned juke box: Listen to music. Something we both like to do. After that, a pretty flower in a frame: Go to the museum. I think we both like that, but it is definitely one of my most favorite things to do. And, finally, the cutest claw-foot bathtub: Soak in a bubble bath, with fishducky's signature ducky, a plaid towel, and a brush to scrub your back. Now how great is that?

Then to the top of the right side panel:

Where you find an acknowledgement of my husband's true love, cooking: Cook yummy food. It says on the little box that it contains Italia Mostaccioli, the very best from Italy. Underneath the cooking square, a butterfly rests: Isn't nature wonderful? Love of nature, dogs and cats was what brought us together. I knew my husband, who was my neighbor in Los Angeles, as a friend for many years, before…..

Then another couple of fabulous miniatures. A toolbox with actual miniature tools: Enjoy your work. My husband is now retired, but he has done fabulous work all over the Los Angeles area, including an addition to fishducky's house, as well as the housing for their elevator. And I have seen a gazebo he made, where the roof is floating on air, or so it seems. Then a pair of sneakers: Take a walk. We both love to walk and hike.

The first of the final two squares gives good advice: Celebrate life. Since this mirror was made sometime in the 90s, the computer below is old-fashioned by now, but I remember them well, these early ones with their floppy disks and simple screens: Keep up with the times. I took a minute to look at it through my magnifying glass necklace.  The sidebar offers the following functions: My Computer, Network Neighborhood, Inbox, and Recycle Bin. The screen says: e-mail and You Have Mail. The keyboard is accurate and on the top are a bunch of floppy disks and a cup of coffee. It doesn't get much better than this.

Again, thank you Fran for this very thoughtful gift. A unique and beautiful work of original art and a true treasure of ours. 

Click here to visit fishducky's very funny blog. Last night I was reading her latest post and laughing so hard, while crying out in pain from what this did to my injured rib, that my husband came to see if I was OK. That's how funny she is! 


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