Friday, February 28, 2014

Random 5 Friday

1. Much needed rain finally arrived in California. Here in the canyon, it began in earnest sometime during the night and it has rained steadily since then. A soft, but still puddle-making, rain. 

2.  I usually wake up between four and five in the morning; today I slept until 8:00. I must have been really tired, but that's all been made up now.  

3.  I just finished reading My Antonia, by Willa Cather, and I thought about our Random 5 host, Nancy, somewhere in Nebraska. I loved this book about the people who settled the Nebraskan prairie, so many of them from Norway. No wonder you have so many red barns in your state. 

4.  Yesterday, when my husband and his brother were having lunch outside, a coyote came by with one of our neighbor's chickens in its mouth. The coyote stopped twice to check out the brothers, then it went on its way, accompanied by an unkindness of Ravens. 
5. Many thanks to those of you who sent good and healing thoughts to our sick blogger friends. As far as I know, they are doing OK.  But yesterday I learned that blogger friend Ron, SophieDoodle's dad, had a heart attack on Tuesday. Jim wrote that he was being evaluated in a hospital in Halifax. Wow, this was a real shock as those guys, with Sophie's help, keep up such a healthy life style. So, if you don't mind, please send good thoughts to Ron. Thank you.

Linking up with Nancy at A Rural Journal

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Come With Me to Town and Good News for Sick Friends

I took this picture in our Albertsons parking lot March 22, 2013.
Yesterday, February 24th, I took this picture in the K-Mart parking lot. Ornamental fruit trees are in bloom all over town, a full month sooner than last year. Birds are singing springtime love songs, our ground-squirrels are awake and sunning themselves in our yard. All signs that spring has arrived in the mountains.
Pretty spring flowers are on sale at K-Mart together with 
lawnmowers for those whose lawns haven't perished in our drought. 
After buying a housewarming gift for my BIL, I drive over to St. Vincent de Paul's thrift store, which I use as my library. I buy surprisingly good books here for a quarter/paperback - dollar/hardcover; after I read them, I return them to the store to sell again. The store supports the homeless in Bakersfield. 

Then I stop at Walgreens to pick up test strips for my diabetes care and buy chocolates (yes, I do know the two don't go together). In the chocolate isle, an elderly man approaches me and shows me a small box he has filled with a variety of goodies. He asks, "do you think these will last me to Texas?" "It would depend on how fast you drive," I answer flippantly. Then I feel bad and ask where he's going in Texas. I forget where, but he says, "I'm going to visit my sister. She's 90 and I haven't seen her for over 30 years. This will be a trip of forgiveness." I think, oh, the things lonely old men will share with you in the chocolate isle. But I say, kindly, "I believe you will need a lot of candy for your trip." And I wish him good luck and go on my way. I will not forget him though. 
Almost done with my chores, I drive to the recycle place and get rid of my magazines and some cardboard boxes. My husband suggested we take the bottles tomorrow, when we both go to town. Great, but it is supposed to rain, which doesn't mean much here, so maybe we will get it done then.
On the way home, I drive by the railroad tracks and see views like this.
The road stretches out empty for many of those 15 miles I mentioned yesterday. 
Some of the dead weeds you see above are Rabbit Brush. It is very invasive and has overtaken the fields in our canyon. And these hardy bushes, among which our Cottontail rabbits live, are dying now, everywhere. 
People in Bakersfield and the San Joaquin Valley gathered recently to pray for rain. They may have been heard, because the forecast calls for another Pineapple Express from Hawaii coming our way with a 60 percent chance of rain from Wednesday this week through the weekend.

Finally, thank you for your prayers and healing thoughts sent to Fran, aka fishducky, who had a mastectomy yesterday and is doing fine. Fran wrote a post called: Ode My Left Breast, which her son posted as soon as he knew she came through the surgery OK. You can read it here.

And blogger friend Roland Yeomans had skin cancer surgery last Monday and is recovering well also. Thank you for thinking of Roland as well. Our blogger community is so caring and kind and I believe all this really helps. Click here: Writing In The Crosshairs to check out Roland's blog.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Demi Tasse & This and That From the Canyon

With nothing much to write about, I hope you will enjoy a few cups from my demi tasse collection. The last two belonged to my maternal grandmother.

My husband (the chef around here) thawed some sushi fish, but since he had a lot of left-over wild rice, which didn't work for sushi, he created this dish. Some of you may not like raw fish, but at our house, we just love it.

I thought these old, rusty, things (whatever they are) were quite handsome. 
It says Drilling Dept. on top. 

Spring has arrived here, at least for now. The other morning, we saw a chipmunk darting across the yard, looking for cover. And I saw two white doves, the kind that flew around us when we buried Angel. Angel, our much loved German shepherd dog, died in May 2012. I have not seen white doves around here since that morning. 

This is the last picture I took of our Angel.

I guess you could say, these are my random thoughts for a Monday morning. I'm off to town to run some errands: 

Donate books to the thrift store; drop off bottles, cans, and cardboard at the recycle place; get some much needed batteries, more needed chocolates, and some milk and fruit at the store. It's 15 miles to the the stores. They are located on the other side of town. Even though our town is small, traffic is never a problem, stores are close together --- I get tired by the time I get back home. So I will catch up with everyone tomorrow, if not today.

Samson Says: Have a nice day, everyone! But don't bother me, you can see I'm busy digging. 

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Sunday Morning Rreflections

We got a card this week from Gabby, our friend Jody's daughter. Jody passed away a few years back, young, only 60. The card announced the birth of a son, Lincoln Thomas. I felt so sad for Jody ~ that she didn't get to see him, hold him, and watch him grow up. Then I thought about Gabby and her husband, of their happiness; and I thought about life, how it goes on, one generation after the other.........

Friday, February 21, 2014

Random 5 Friday

1. Walking the land with Samson, I'm amazed at the things we find, things left behind by others who once lived here. 

2. Although I have lived in the U. S. for over 50 years and am a citizen of this country, it's amazing how all that falls away when a Swede wins gold at the Winter Olympics. 

3. So many friends are ill ~ I will continue to think of  you all.

4.  I wonder why, as I have gotten old, I don't want to learn anything new about tech stuff (and I used to be good, wrote software user's guides and trained others, even) and now I want nothing to do with tablets, smart phones, and so on. Or, for that matter, Facebook and Twitter.

5. While so many of you, across this country and in the U. K., are plagued by horrific winter weather, spring is slowly arriving here in the California mountains. The drought continues, but some new little birds have arrived, singing away happily. 

Linking up with Nancy at A Rural Journal

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Samson Comments on the Dog Show and the Samoyed Dog

Samson Says:

Last week, I watched the big important dog show with mommy and those were the best groomed dogs I've ever seen. But I kind of feel sorry for them, having to be combed and brushed like that just to get on TV. I bet they get baths too, poor things. I helped them judge the show like this:

MOST HANDSOME DOG: (I say handsome, not beautiful, cause I couldn't tell who was a dog and who was a bitch. You can't smell that from the TV.) But I ... what's that word again? ... DIGRESS. I do that a lot, mommy does too.

Me: OK, Samson, tell us who you liked. And also let our blogger friends know we missed the first part of the show, where the herding dogs competed, so we didn't see the German shepherd dogs, did we Samson?

Samson: No, and I wonder whose fault that was?  Me: Next.

Samson: Of what we saw, which wasn't the whole show:

MOST HANDSOME: The Doberman Pinscher.


BEST GROOMED: The Samoyed.

BEST POSTURE: The Wire Fox Terrier. 

He sure deserved to win. 

Here he is, kissing the judge, which is OK, since he'd already won. You're not allowed to kiss on the judges before the show.

Me: Next time we have to make sure to watch the whole show and take some notes, OK. What else did you like about the show?

Samson: I liked when the guy talked about us Samoyeds. He said we were the working dogs of the North. He said we would: Haul, hunt, and herd. But he forgot one thing: Guard! So to make sure he didn't forget anything else, I asked you to look us up on the web. This quote from the Westminster Dog Show site was all about us, but the TV guy didn't have time to read it all:

The Samoyed Dog

"The Samoyed is an ancient working breed developed by the nomadic Samoyed people of Siberia. His jobs included herding reindeer, hunting and hauling sledges and guard work. The Samoyed people depended upon their dogs for survival. Samoyed dogs actually slept in the shelters with their people. Their exceedingly close association with humans helped to imprint a wonderful temperament on the breed with the smiling face, laughing eyes and stunning silver tipped coat. The Samoyed, a working dog, is happiest when he has a job, even if it is just bringing in the daily paper." 

I like this picture of me in the snow, but where has my snow gone? Don't they know I'm from Siberia? I need my snow!

Samson: Mommy, did you know my fur is stunning and silver tipped?

Me: Yes, your fur glitters like diamonds, I saw that and told my friend Madsnapper Sandra. She said it is impossible to capture in a picture. She has tried and she is very, very good. But what I didn't know is that you got your nice personality (most of the time) from your ancestors sleeping with their people. I bet one of their jobs was to keep their people warm. You are very good at that.

Samson: Then why can't I sleep in the bed? 

Me: Never mind.....

Samson: Humans, not fair!

Have a nice day everyone!

Posted by Samson, the Samoyed Dog.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Sunday Morning Reflections

Today, I am thinking of our friend Fran who is dealing with medical issues. Some of you know Fran from her pen-and-ink drawings and stained glass windows that I post here; others know her from her clever and funny blog: fishducky, finally and her book, Fishducky's Fables. Please send healing thoughts Fran's way ~ thank you so much. 

I am also thinking of Roland, a blogger friend, facing surgery; and my dearest friend, who may not want her name here, dealing with skin cancer.

Samson Says: Daddy and me hope you get better soon, Auntie Fishducky!

Finally, I want to thank all of you for your concern and the kind and healing thoughts that came my way after I injured my ribs. I'm feeling much, much better and I am grateful for you, my blogger friends. 

Friday, February 14, 2014

Samson's Valentine Surprise for Gracie

My Sweet and Feisty Gracie,

I had this dream, oh, how I dreamed, we were free and running wild, just like Lady and the Tramp. We chased each other round and round until we got very, very hungry.

Then, just like Lady and the Tramp, we sat down at a nice table, a candle shining a not too bright light over us. Then a big plate of spaghetti appeared for us to share.

It just so happened that we grabbed the same noodle, you from one end, and me from the other.

Yummy, yummy, this is good and when you're hungry, you may not notice that we get closer and closer, just like Lady and the Tramp.

Until our noses collide and our lips meet in a kiss so sweet. Oh, Gracie, you don't know how I felt. I felt I could fly!

Lady may be sweet and her ears fluffy, just like yours, but you are just as sweet and feisty too, and your ears are the fluffiest of all. 

After I woke up, all I wanted to say to you, my sweet girl, my Gracie, is this:

And then against all sense, all distance, I want to give you this box:

And when you open it, I hope you will be very happy to see this glittering thing:

Will you marry me, my sweet and feisty Gracie? I hope you will say yes, I hope we can have a virtual marriage and live happily ever after. 

I love you Gracie!

Your Samson, forever!

If you say yes, I guess we will leave it to our mommies to work out the wedding details.

By the way, to see where Gracie lives, please click here.

And before I go, mommy and me want to wish all our blogger friends, and our friends who do not blog, and my daddy too:

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Rockin' and Rolling Through the Clouds of the Pineapple Express

The much awaited Pineapple Express, a storm system from Hawaii, finally arrived in our area Monday morning, just as we set out to drive down the mountain for my eye doctor appointment in Bakersfield. 

Bear Mountain, pictured ahead, is now home to most of the California condors living free in the United States. These are the condors that were brought back from near extinction and released into the wild to fly free in the mountains, away from the dangers of civilization. I guess the birds thought differently and discovered some easy living in the gated community up there on Bear mountain. So far, two condors have drowned in water storage units and homeowners, excited at first, are now unhappy because the birds have proved to be very destructive. I will let you know what happens.

It got a little foggy, driving down the mountain.

It rained on and off, the wind blew so hard, the Jeep rocked and rolled, and we couldn't keep up a conversation. It was that loud inside.

The moonscape looked wet and green grass sprouted at the road side.

On the way home, it cleared up. 

A sign warned of 'Dense Fog' on the mountain.

But it had cleared by the time we got to the pass.

Just clouds hanging low over the mountains,

like cotton candy at the county fair.

Samson Says: And I was left behind, locked in the bedroom. But this time I got the better of them. I messed up all their bedding and made me a big old fort to play in. Heh, heh,........


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