Saturday, May 31, 2014

Look What We Did!

As the June 15th deadline for wild fire abatement, that is clearing weeds for 100 feet around your house, loomed, we decided last week that we had to get going. With the drought here in California, we have had no weeds to clear for the past two years, but this year they came back with a vengeance.  And......

of course, gentlemen farmers, of the broke kind, that we are, we don't own a tractor. But we do have a weed whacker/trimmer so hubby cut down the really tall weeds with it, but it wasn't nearly enough. 

We found this sort of plow-like contraption here last year and used it with a great deal of success in our vegetable garden. We hooked it up to old Betsy, our 1989 Ford Ranger, and I drove it around the place with hubby directing me. It didn't work that well with the weeds, but hubby had another thing up his sleeve. 

This old trough, part of the junk left behind here, hubby thought could be turned around and used to get rid of remaining weeds as it is really heavy.

And it worked great. 

We took turns driving old Betsy around and around and at the end of the day, the weeds were gone, and two old folks, hubby ill and me in pain, got the job done. 

Our yard went from looking like the picture above, to looking like this:

Not the prettiest sight in the world, but legal and safer than before.

We even did the road up around the barn, so now Samson and I don't have to wade through knee-high (my knees) weeds to get around our exercise "track."

At the end of the day, we looked back and knew we had accomplished a great deal. And we had, in the face of adversity, had a fabulous, wonderful, and very fun day together. 

Once I know more, I will let you know what is going on with my husband. For now, one day at a time, peace at the end of the day, greeting our mornings with a smile at the sound of the first little twitter from the finches that live outside our window. 

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

A Guest Post by Samson's Gracie: Gracie's Dowry ~ A Fall Wedding! ~ You Are All Invited!

Gracie's Dowry

dow·ry  (dou′rē)
n. pl. dow·ries
1. Money or property brought by a bride to her husband at marriage.

Dear Samson,

As our engagement lingers, I have to wonder how long till I become your Mrs.    So anyway...   I'm thinking a fall wedding when it cools a bit and the leaves are bright and colorful.   What do you think?  


Are you paying attention?

Okay.  So if you have lost interest, maybe this will change your mind:

I have a dowry all my own,
Included are 3 ice cream cones.
Balls that light and ones that squeak,
I even have a ball that speaks.

My Wally measures 4 foot long,
And Piggie - he will sing a song.
Squirrely Friend and Skunkie too,
A hat that krinkles just like new.

One Santa who is missing stuffing,
Man who wont put up with nothing.
Hotdogs, hamburgers, Kongs with treats,
Mr. Raccoon who's lost his feets.

Reindeer, Gumby, balls galore,
Need I mention any more?
All these things for me us were bought.
Are ya ready Samson...  to tie the knot?

Samson Says: 

Gracie,Gracie you I adore
but I am a simple hound
who needs no more
than to have found
true love with you
Just us two
gives me more joy
than any toy

Gracie, Gracie, are you spoiled
no matter how I toiled
that much stuff I couldn't buy
Now I worry ~ can I satisfy
you, my Gracie, and I fear
is it enough to simply kiss your ear

If you will have me anyway
this is all I have to say
Let's get married in the fall
and love each other for evermore

Yours truly, Samson XOXOXOXOXO

To read more about Gracie's life with her sweet family (you should see the grandkids), please click here.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Amazing Clouds At Sunset

Sometimes it is best to just be quiet...........

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Got Milk, Said the Cow ~ Making Butter Said Hubby ~ Meeting Llamas Said Samson ~ And Other News From the Canyon.

Last month, after watching Luis, our neighbor, milk his Guernsey cow, hubby got some milk and instructions for how to make butter. After leaving the milk in the fridge for 24 hours, he separated the cream from the milk and later that evening, while I was asleep, he sat in front of the TV and shook the can of cream for about 45 minutes. And, voila! We had butter! The milk is delicious and has a high content of beta carotene, which makes it look a little yellowish. The butter doesn't look too great in the pictures above, but it had a mellow taste and was fun to try. I'm going for yogurt next.

Two little calves have been born next door. One to a Devon cow, the other to one of the Guernsey cows. They are staying far away in the field, so I haven't been able to get a picture yet. The two llamas are getting used to Samson and me as we walk down the road, past their pasture. They are very alert and don't miss a thing. Can't say that for Samson who didn't notice them until yesterday. Then he got very excited as they came walking across the field to check us out. The llamas looked at him calmly while he pulled on his leash and barked at them. I told him they were neighbors and to be nice. I had to pull him away to walk back home, Samson walking backwards, not wanting to leave these interesting critters.

Cloudy, windy, and cold yesterday when I took this picture. 

When Rachael came to see us on Friday, it was hot, as you can see here. 

We drove up the mountain to visit the monastery gift shop, where I got the heavenly salve the nuns make of lavender oil and many other healing herbs and oils. 

It was so hot, the goats were too lazy to get up and socialize. There are lots of them resting in the shade, I didn't get a good picture of them, but I love the green colors. We haven't had much of that here these past few years. Rachael and I had breakfast for lunch at Denny's and talked. After we got back home, she gave me my summer hair cut. It was great to see her and catch up on her busy life. 

Samson Says:  It's very windy here. Every day, the wind blows, and howls, and blows some more. The wind irritates mommy and disturbs me too. It keeps me cool, but still, enough already. Anyhow, I just wanted to send my love to my Gracie: XOXOXOXO and say this to all my blogger friends:

Have a nice day, everyone!

P. S. Mommy told me Gracie sent me a marriage message on her blog and it will be turned into a Guest Post here real soon. I can't wait to hear from her and for you all to meet her on my blog. Sorry mommy, our blog.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

She Is My Hero: A Courageous Young Woman Shares Her Experience With M. E.

International M. E. Awareness Day was May 12th and this year, as she did last, Hayley-Eszti shared her experiences and knowledge of this horrific and often misunderstood illness on her blog. 

Last year, she guest posted here as well, and this year, we are doing it again. All in the hope of spreading awareness of M.E.

This is Hayley-Eszti's post: 

Today is international M.E awareness day! If you've been reading my blog for a while then hopefully you know a little bit about the illness now, but if you're still unsure about what it is, this post is going to help refresh your memory. But first, I just have to share with you this amazing photograph of The Niagara Falls being lit up blue and purple (the official awareness colours for ME and fibromyalgia) Every year the beautiful Canadian nation light up the falls on May the 12th, which is amazing!

My M.E story began sometime in my teens. I still don't know exactly when it hit me, because looking back I had a slow insidious onset and I have no idea when I first started getting ill, or what even caused it. I was fit and healthy - at least before, so I had no reason to worry about ill health and mostly passed off feeling tired and generally not quite right as a result of all the exercising I was doing! (I was at dance college and also a trained aerobics instructor) I didn't know then that things were soon to become very serious indeed.

When my M.E really hit me, it hit me hard. It was Christmas time so I remember it well. Christmas day I was perfectly fine, and by New Years Eve a week later, I was paralysed and couldn't move. I was hospitalised with a suspected brain injury, that's how serious ME can be, so bad they could even question something so sinister. Since that time three years ago, I have been hospitalised, suffered from amnesia, spent most days in bed, and I've even stopped breathing a few times too. Scary right? You can't make up those sort of symptoms, so why people still believe ME is not a real illness is beyond me.


So what exactly is ME anyway?

M.E stands for myalgic encephalomyslitis but it may also be known as Post Viral Fatigue Syndrome (PVFS) Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) or Chronic Fatigue & Immune Dysfunction (CFIDS) confusing right?! It is a life changing and life long neurological disease that attacks every system in the body, including the brain, nervous system and immune system. It is an extremely debilitating illness even in it's mildest form. Severe cases leave people bed bound, house bound, confined to a wheelchair and in need of everyday care. In some cases is can even kill. We aren't even touching the surface though. The affects are endless and we must not forget the emotional impact having the illness has on a persons life. To be stuck in bed, unable to work, socialise, or do very much at all is devastating. There is currently NO CURE.

So what causes M.E and who can get it?
Absolutely anyone can get M.E. Babies, children, teenagers and adults. There is no proof as to the cause, but many people get the illness following a virus. Other triggers may include an operation or an accident, although some people experience a slow, insidious onset. It is more common in females.

How common is M.E?
Official statistics are unknown but it it is estimated that it affects
250,000 people in the UK
800,000 people in Canada
150,000 people in Australia
Over one million people in the USA

Why raising awareness is so important

M.E is still massively misunderstood and undermined, by Doctors and the general public. If you catch it early enough, you can control your symptoms and save your life both literally and metaphorically. The longer it is left undiagnosed, the bigger the chance that you will be left severely ill and disabled.

It is also hugely important that people start to understand that ME is not a joke. Millions of people worldwide suffer with the illness and the majority of them are being left to suffer in silence. In some countries, people with the illness are put into mental institutions and disowned by family and friends. Sufferers are battling so hard to get through each day, and they need support. They don't need to be questioned and made a mockery of, joked about (I'm looking at you Ricky Gervais) or to hear comments such as 'you just need to have a positive mind' We want nothing more than to get better, simple as that, but in the meantime we want people to treat us with respect and understanding.

I hope I have helped you understand M.E a little more. If you have any questions leave them in a comment below or contact me directly through my twitter, instagram or gmail. Make sure you come back later in the week because I will be sharing my ME campaign, and I can't wait to share it with you all!

Thanks for taking the time to read this, feel free to share it!

Lots and lots of love, and happy awareness day to all ME CFS sufferers worldwide!


Hayley-Eszti is my hero because she has found a way to deal with her illness through incredible strength, indomitable will, and a wonderful sense of humor. She has reached out to the blogging community and found many friends, and also, and of this I am sure, helped and encouraged many others who suffer from M.E. and related illnesses. 

You can find Hayley-Eszti's blog here. Go and visit, she will light up your life. I promise you......

Below is the link to Hayley-Eszti's Visual Campaign where you will meet her in photos as well as words; a stunning and strong woman by the sea:

Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.

~ Mahatma Gandhi

And in the case of Hayley-Eszti, I say Amen to that.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Thank You & An Update

Thank you for your comments, good thoughts, wishes, and hugs on my Will Be Back On Saturday post. I didn't mean to worry anyone, just wanted to let you know that things are a bit difficult here right now, but we will muddle through. I also realized that I will not really be back on Saturday because my friend Hayley-Eszti will guest post about M. E., the horrific illness she lives with. Talk about difficult, I know of no one who has it quite that difficult. 

So please come by on Saturday and read Hayley-Eszti's post, she is one magnificent young woman and I promise you will enjoy getting to know her. 

As for us, Samson is barking like crazy outside right now, Wednesday evening, coyotes are coming around this time of day. 

I'm going to see my doctor about my leg pain tomorrow and hubby is seeing his specialist on Thursday next week. But since he doesn't want me to write about him, I'm not quite sure what I will do.  

I can tell you what we have done: Together we removed all the leftovers from last year's garden, weeded it, dumped everything, and hubby raked it. Next we will think about how we want it this year. Design it a bit differently based on what we learned last year. Then turn it over, add fertilizer and whatever else is needed. And plant the seeds. 

But before that, we need to get rid of this:

Which can be found all over our land, the result of these:

that blew innocently in the wind last May when I took this picture. That's how they spread their seeds, and spread they did. Everything is green and pretty around here right now, but since we are under Red Flag fire alert already, and the Santa Anas have been blowing strong, we better get ourselves in gear and get moving on all those weeds. I hope our friends in San Diego county are OK; the fires there look terrible on the TV news. 

Our friend Rachael is coming up from Burbank Friday morning. She and I will visit the gift shop at the Norbertine Sisters' Monastery on Tehachapi Mountain, hopefully pet a few goats, then have lunch and talk. And she will cut my hair, which will be so great. She has good intuition and couldn't have picked a better time to come and cheer us up.

Thanks again for everything, you guys are the best! 

Samson Says: Have a nice day, everyone!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Will be Back Saturday

Hello everyone, I will be back on Saturday. Things are a bit difficult around here, related to illness and the need to take care of some things having to do with that. We are both affected this time.

No need to comment, but I'm leaving comments on because last time I turned them off some of you wanted to comment. But I may not be able to comment on your blogs, I will try. Thank you so much for the wonderful comments I received about my mom. And about me too, come on you guys. She was beautiful, that's true, however I am not. Just very Swedish looking, which means I always wanted dark hair and brown eyes. But thank you, you are all so kind. Have a great week!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Mother's Day

My Mother at the age of 24

Thank you Mom, you were the best
You have been gone now for almost 30 years
But I think of you every day
I let you guide me still
You will always live in my heart
Love you

Happy Mother's Day to all of you my friends.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Wild Sweden

Wild Sweden is a gorgeous video, and I'm not just saying that because I was born there. If you love nature and its wild inhabitants, please take a moment and watch Wild Sweden, you will not be sorry, I promise.....

My Swedish friend at Lindsjo Taxar  found the video on a blog that I have by now lost track of. Thanks, M, for sharing it. 

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Springtime In The Mountains

A little tired after the A to Z, I will let the pictures speak for themselves. 


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