Friday, November 29, 2013

Random Five Friday

Giving Thanks:

1. After seven weeks away, my husband came home a week ago. A very good thing, indeed.

2. While I was alone here, I got a lot of things done. But of course, work is never done, so I am thankful for my health, for being able work around here and take Samson out on our daily walks and hikes. 

3. California's wild fire season officially ended on Wednesday. Last year we had a bad fire that went on for several weeks in the back of the canyon. Walking the dogs, I breathed in a lot of smoke, not thinking about the danger of this, and my lungs were affected. This year, we didn't have any fires close to us and for this I am very grateful. I can breathe so much better now, which is, if you think about it, one of the best things in life. 

4. Samson Dog is a year into remission of his illness, Uveodermatologic Syndrome (UDS, VKH), which made him temporarily blind last fall. Only the fast action of our vet, treating Samson with steroids and eye drops, reversed the blindness. Now he only needs Neo-Poly-Dex eye drops every other day, no more steroids. I am immensely thankful for Samson's healthy year and for our wonderful vet.

5. I didn't post yesterday, Thanksgiving, so let me say it here today: I am thankful for you my blogger friends, and for my friends who do not blog, all of them long-time friends ~ the longest since 1946. And, of course, I am so very thankful for my husband, Samson, and our families, here and in Sweden.

Trees are the earth's endless effort to speak to the listening heaven.  

~Rabindranath Tagore

Samson Says (to himself): I'd be more thankful if I got a treat every now and then.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Yellow Highlights ~ Railroad Again

Waiting to make a right turn at a stop sign, I took a few pictures of men working on the railroad. As I began to drive again, making the turn, I took another picture out the side window. I had no idea if it would work, or even what I had just snapped. This is what I got and I feel lucky about the overpass structure and the yellow stripes in the road.

I'm enjoying trying for scenes other than nature and want to thank my blogger friends who like to mix it up for your inspiration. 

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Sunday Morning Reflections

How glorious a greeting the sun gives the mountains.
    John Muir

Saturday, November 23, 2013

After the Storm

I snapped these when I drove to the mailbox yesterday. At first I thought they were too dark, but I didn't edit them. Now I think they are different, but OK. I couldn't help wonder what our new neighbors will think of this big puddle at the end of their road. It can get muddy here this time of year. 

Snow and clouds cap Sugarloaf mountain.

This morning, I'm finally on my way to town to pick up some food, so I'll see you later. And I'll let Samson put an ending to this post. 

Samson Says: Have a nice day, everyone!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Random Five Friday

  1. The first winter storm hit last night with pouring rain, thunder and lighting, howling winds, and this morning snow at 5,000 feet, just above us. You know I'm happy!

2.  For years now, I've worn Wrangler men's jeans, size 34/34. If I take a deep breath, I still fit in them, but not when I add long johns. So I went to buy some size 36/34. Imagine my surprise when I discovered they were too long! I found out I'm now 36/32, which sounds like I'm getting rounder, for sure. 

3. Samson's getting rounder too ~ his coat fluffed up almost overnight, it seems. He refused to go out in the pelting rain, the thunder scared him, but by now he seems used to it all and wants to go for his walk. I'm not so sure about that.

4. Hubby's coming back home tonight or tomorrow after many weeks away. I got a lot done and enjoyed my alone time, but by now I miss him. Lots!

5. Memory is strange, isn't it? I often forget in the present, but I remember that on this date 50 years ago, my girlfriend and I were going to a party with some foreign Princeton University students. I don't remember where they were from, I'm thinking Middle East, maybe. We, foreigners also, shocked and very upset after learning that the President had been killled, cancelled our dates. We were shocked all over again to learn that these guys were totally unaffected, very callous, almost pleased about the assassination. While I could pass judgment on that whole area and wonder if this was a preview of things to come, I will not. There's something wrong about judging everyone by the actions of a few. And, of course, those guys missed out on going to parties with Swedish girls ever again........

Source Wikipedia

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Samson in Black & White

Samson likes to put his nose in gopher and other holes in the ground, so that dark stuff on his nose is just some dirt. 

Monday, November 18, 2013

Fall Colors In Our Mountain Town

On my way to the post office the other day, I pass by Railroad Park in the center of town. It's looking so pretty, I decide to come back after my errands are done.

It's a small and narrow park in the middle of town, with the railroad on one side and main street on the other. The water tower anchors Railroad Park at its western end. 

Along the railroad tracks, red berries grow on bushes that cover the fences. 

I hope for a train, but none comes. 

The tall trees are are magnificent, as their leaves begin to turn. I back away and take a few pictures. 

Then I just have to point my camera to the ground and hope I can convey the beauty I see there.

Of course, I can't help myself and aim upwards. But the trees are tall and so dense, the picture doesn't come out as well as I hope.

In a town where the wind constantly blows, nothing happens here. Having a patriotic moment, I stand and I wait, and wait, for the US and the California flags to fly with the wind, in unison. Nothing happens for the longest time, then our California flag, with its grizzly bear (no longer found in the state) cooperates, while the Stars and Stripes, I guess just doesn't feel it. 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Sunday Morning Reflections

Remember this: Very little is needed to make a happy life.
Marcus Aurelius

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Red Highlights

Busy trying to capture the locomotive as it went by, I completely missed the nice composition of the red highlights in this picture. 

I'm always so thrilled when something I didn't see appears to make a picture so much better. Does this happen to you too?

Friday, November 15, 2013

Random Five Friday

1. At the post office, hubby met a man who lives in the canyon with his wife, dogs, 60 chickens, many turkeys, goats, and two llamas. So now we have fresh eggs again. 

2. I chose to eat the blue egg first. It was so pretty, I put it in my grandmother's egg cup and placed it on one of her plates that I inherited.

3. My thoughts drifted to my grandmother and this picture of her as a child. One can clearly see the determined woman she was to become. 

4. Fall in town and in our mountains is glorious this year, but here in the canyon it's just the same old sun on a dry earth with temps in the 20s in the morning and 70s in the afternoon. 

5. This is my first Random Five Friday. I've  enjoyed reading everyone's random thoughts on Fridays for a while now and it's been fun to join in. 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Samson Weathers the Storm

I'm using Samson to check out and learn about the features of the various photo programs available to us now. How times have changed ~ remember when you had to take your photos to the drugstore to be developed? That wasn't all that long ago. 

I hope you will enjoy these new Samson posts.  

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Samson and the Trespasser

Samson Says:

The other day, when mommy and me were out walking on our own land, minding our own business, here she comes.

Raggedy woman, I seen her before cause she's a trespasser. I seen her climb our fences even. But since I was behind a fence myself, I couldn't do anything about it, except bark. 

Now, here she comes, like she owns the place, down this hillside, marches up to mommy and me, and says hello! I hope mommy will tell her off, and she does: "Do you know this is private property?" mommy asks, but nicely. This gets the raggedy woman started, she screams, waves her arms in the air, turns around, and stomps off across the field.

Mommy mutters, "meth," between her teeth. I don't know what that is, but it can't be good. Then, much to my surprise, mommy goes, "come back here, I want to talk to you." 

So the raggedy trespassing woman turns around and yells, "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I have so many problems, my car is in Texas getting a new......" something. She's really loud, she stinks something terrible, her teeth are all black, and bad, bad vibes come out of her. So when she comes real close to mommy and me by the gate you see above, I decide to take matters into my own paws. 

I lunge forward, pulling mommy with me, while I let out a horrible growling sound. I don't know how I make that sound and I almost scare myself, but I must stay focused. So I'm lunging and pulling and growling something fierce. Mommy says, "that's enough, Samson." Then she warns the raggedy woman, "he's very protective of me, so don't come any closer."  The raggedy woman says, "Oh, I'm not afraid of German shepherds, I used to have one myself." 

That's when I know our Angel, my second mommy, the dog who raised me, is standing by the Rainbow Bridge, smiling. So proud of me, taking care of our mommy now that she no longer can be here to protect her. 


After that, mommy talks to the raggedy woman, tells her what she can and cannot do on our land. Tells her which road belongs to the neighbor and which one is public. Tells her to watch out for mama bear and the cub, heh, heh. Good for mommy! 

As for me, I'm all puffed up and proud to be mistaken for a German shepherd dog!  


P.S. I mentioned Puddles in the last post. Puddles is a Doxie, which is a Dachshund, and she's one sassy dog with a big heart. Puddles is absolutely hilarious; she's the funniest dog in Bloggyland. Or I think she lives in Blogville, wherever that is. Puddles has blue toenails and drinks beer! Need I say more? If you check her out  here  you won't regret it, I promise.

Have a nice day everyone!

Oophs, Mommy! I'm not Pink Floyd, what are you trying to do to me?

Posted by Samson, the Samoyed Dog


Me:  My new email is: 

I may not be able to answer any emails sent to my aol address. It worked for a while, then the trouble started again. 

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Sunday Morning Reflections

Man's heart away from nature becomes hard.

                                Standing Bear 


I found this old picture and will let it serve to remind me that rain will come, grass will grow green, and flowers will bloom again in the canyon where everything is the color of and old worn out burro, covered in desert dust.

I'm sorry I worried you with my diabetes problems. My husband calls me twice a day, so that's a safety net. And I am very, very vigilant. When you can't feel your low sugars coming on, and usually you can, the trick is to keep them high for a while. I do that by taking less insulin than I need. After that, I can feel my low sugars before they get dangerous, eat some glucose tablets (and chocolates!), thus preventing them from going too low. And today I plan to review everything that's happened in the past week and adjust my insulin pump settings. I do this better than the doctor, but I see him in a month and will discuss this week with him then.

I want to thank my friend Carol, who sent me a lot of test strips she didn't use (she has type 2 and does not have to be as vigilant as I). To be able to test as much, and more, than needed has been a life saver for me this week. Thank you so much, Carol.  

My email is working again, so I will wait with changing to gmail. I'm sure I will do it soon because it will be easier to have everything in one place. Oh, well, Google wins again! I came up with a mixture of our initials and when I included SD for Samson Dog, I was satisfied with my new moniker. Thanks for your suggestions, of course I loved samsonsmommy. More about him soon, he is turning out to be a GREAT dog! It has been good for us to be alone here and really bond. I feel his love, it's so strong. 

Samson Says: The sun rising through the clouds, makes me look pink here. I'm not Puddles, I did NOT dye my fur!

Friday, November 8, 2013

Clouds, Friends, Diabetes & More

Somehow the time change got the better of my diabetes management and serious problems with my insulin resulted in blood sugars crashing to dangerously low levels. Fortunately, since I'm still alone here, I managed to catch each episode in time, before passing out. 

Our bodies, including our brains, need the correct amount of insulin to be distributed and if that does not happen our system gets out of whack. After three episodes of low blood sugars, I felt horrible and stayed in bed for two days. Fortunately, I have an 800-plus page book by Stephen King to read. I never read anything by him before, but the book was only a quarter at the thrift store, so I picked it up. Now I'm so into this book, called 11/22/63, about a man coming back from 2011 to 1958 for the purpose of preventing the assassination of President Kennedy. It's really good with suspense building over all those pages. I'm in 1963 now, but only on page 500 something.

Thank you so much for all your comments that awaited me as I opened my blog this morning. 

I signed up for bloglovin' and I think I will like it and it will enable me to read and comment on blogs more efficiently. I also found some new blogs in the process. Blogs that I know I will enjoy discovering. 

My aol email got a bug of some sort. I forgot to log out and I don't know if that's how the bug snuck in (or sneaked in, I guess I should say). Now it will not allow me to send emails unless I click on a link. That, of course, I didn't do, instead, I googled the link and found a lot of other aol users that had the same problem. Not feeling so good, I didn't read anything or try to fix the problem. 

Since I'm fed up with aol anyway, I will check out g-mail. Might as well, everything else is Google. I want to come up with a better user name than my entire name. I can't come up with anything, so please let me know if something comes to mind.

Finally, yesterday was my friend Lin's 92nd birthday! I talked to her on the phone, she is still as bright as ever and has kept her sense of humor through all these years. She told me she's now using a walker, but made fun of it, how it gets stuck in doorways, etc. When Lin was 55, she moved into the apartment building where I lived in Los Angeles. I looked out my kitchen window and saw the most beautiful woman I had ever seen. I remember it so well. That she turned out to be just as beautiful inside has been one of the great blessings of my life. Happy Birthday, my dear friend. 

One more thing: Chatty Crone asked who Rachael is. I've written so much about Rachael, I forget that not everyone reading my blog will know who she is. Rachael is a very close friend of mine and another true blessing in my life. She's 30 years younger than I, but still seems to enjoy the company of this old lady. Perhaps the way I enjoy Lin's. I met her when we both worked at the donkey rescue. Rachael has volunteered with animals all her life, while working in regular offices, but now she is one of two park animal keepers in the Los Angeles county park system. She works with critters as small as chickens and as large as bisons. I plan to visit her at her job soon.

Rachael with Orion, the great-horned owl. 

I have to go to town now to pick up a few essentials, like coffee, and may, if I feel up to it drive up to the monastery. I really want to get my Christmas shopping out of the way early this year. And, yes, the checkbook is in my purse. 

Didn't mean for this to be so long.......

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Rachael Comes to Visit

and we drive up the mountain to the monastery to look for Christmas presents in the nuns' gift shop. 

This time, we make sure we know when it's open, it's after all the third try for me this year. Among many religious-themed books, jewelry, and other items, the nuns sell some wonderful homemade goods made from honey, lavender, roses, and berries that they grow themselves. 

While Rachael talks to the nun at the counter, I look at the shelves filled with sandalwood, lavender, vanilla, and rose scented soaps, and pretty jars and bottles of lotions, creams, and healing salves. This is heaven for me and I smile as I pick miniature soaps out of a jar.

Then I remember: my checkbook! It occurred to me, as I was getting ready in the morning, that the nuns probably don't take debit or credit cards. Feeling pleased with myself for thinking ahead, I made sure to take out my checkbook, put it on my desk, and.......

Sure enough, cash or checks only. I say a bad word in front of the nun. Rachael says, "shhh;" I say, "sorry, sister." She smiles, I'm sure she's heard it before. But all is not lost because I'm able to buy Rachael a small gift with the cash in my wallet. 

And I find out that she likes lavender. Now I just have to make it up the mountain again before it snows. 

We drive back down the hill and stop at the field where the nuns' goats are resting in the shade of large California oaks. We scratch a few chins and take a few pictures. 

After we get back to the canyon, we take Samson for a hike in the hills above our house. We are astonished at the numerous piles of black bear scat strewn all over our land. It's too hot for me to hike in the summer, so I haven't been out on the land since mama bear and her cub messed up our vegetable garden in August. Bears usually come down here in late summer to eat juniper berries, but I've never before seen so much scat and so many paw prints left behind. While I'm glad I didn't encounter them, I would have loved to see them from a safe distance.

Google Images

Samson Says: I don't know WHAT you're talking about, mommy! You wanna see that big critter? I can smell him, but I sure don't wanna run into him or her or the baby bear. To himself: HUMANS, they make no sense, most of the time...... With those big critters around, I'll just stay home on my couch where I'm safe. 

Me: What did you say, Samson?
Samson: Nothing, mommy, nothing at all. 


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