Saturday, November 29, 2014

Thanksgiving & Black Friday

We had planned to stay home on Thanksgiving, neither of us up for a long drive to visit relatives, so hubby bought a duck. Then our new friends in the canyon, Patti and Mike, invited us to come over. And we did. They have a lovely home and lots of animals. We enjoyed plenty of wonderful food and met a houseful of their kids and grandkids. I hope some day to take pictures of their animals and post here.  That would be so much fun: horses, a donkey (a gorgeous donkey with quite a story), Bull Mastiffs, an old boxer, an adorable beagle, a cat, kittens, chickens, but, alas, no more turkeys......

On Friday, Rachael came up to see us. We drove up Tehachapi Mountain to visit the nuns. By now we know the sister who runs the gift shop and we were looking forward to seeing her. She wasn't there that morning, instead, we met a very talkative, but nice, woman from San Diego, who asked where I was from. 

While Rachael was shopping, the woman and I began to talk of languages, Swedish compared to German, and I had a chance to speak some German, something I haven't done for about 50 - 60 years. Surprisingly, I remember lots of words, but since I never mastered the grammar, that was about as far as it went. It was obvious the woman enjoyed speaking a foreign language, showing off a bit, so that was good. 

The monastery's gift shop is a lovely place. The nuns keep goats, cows, bees, and grow many different kinds of flowers and herbs that they then use for the things they make and sell in the shop: Jams, marmalade, honey, salves, soaps, and so on. This in addition to many books, cards and other religious items. I bought a small soap and the healing salve made of lavender oil that's so good for my hands in the cold of winter. 

On our way back, we stopped to see the goats, catching this one goat as it tried to reach some morsel in a tree. 

The goat was large, but not quite tall enough. Almost!

Fall is the most beautiful time of the year up on the mountain, with sun shining through dark shadows on fall foliage. Spectacular.

Coming down from 5,000 plus feet to the valley at 4,000 feet, the difference is amazing.

Rachael and I went out for lunch and talked. She has been the lead singer in a band for a long time and now she has learned to play the drums as well. She told me she's getting the hang of it and loves it. I can just imagine. She has also written and published a book, which I haven't read yet, but when I do, I will let you know. 

After a lovely morning we drove back home where Rachael cut my hair and gave us our Christmas presents plus some gifts of food. I feel very fortunate to know her, she's a generous person with such a good heart. 

Now, wasn't that a wonderful way to spend Black Friday?

Monday, November 24, 2014

A Windy Day In The Canyon

Sheets I washed while the weather was calm had to go on the line after the wind picked up. It was cool out, but they dried in no time, which was good

since sand, whipped up by the wind, made it a lousy day for laundry.

Not great flying weather either, said the raven, as he somersaulted on the wind.

Soon our part of the canyon was a sandy mess: Sand in eyes, mouth, ears; the mountains disappearing behind brown dust. 

Inside it was peaceful. Puppy Faith practicing the frog pose.

Who me? I'm just cleaning my teeth, minding my own business, so get that camera out of my face, OK.

Samson Says: I'm here too, minding my own business, but since you took my picture already, this is what I have to say: Can you all see how dirty I am? Can you see I haven't been brushed in ages? Not that I enjoy it, but still, enough is enough! I used to be white, now I'm beige.

Gracie, I'm almost embarrassed to have you read about what I tried to do to Faith. It's just a guy thing, it has nothing to do with my love for you, my feisty one. Now, Faith is just a real tease and she's not in real heat yet (whatever that means) and mommy is hoping she will hold on until next week, so she can be fixed. I like her just the way she is and don't think she needs any fixing. But of course no one around here listens to me.

Have a nice day everyone! 
Hugs, ear licks, and kisses to my Gracie! 

This last part posted by Samson, the Samoyed Dog.

(For those of you new to our blog, Gracie is Samson's fiancee. (Gracie is a white Cockapoo, who lives in Maryland, so it's a virtual romance. But it's still a Very True Romance.)

You can read about Gracie's life here:

Growing Old With Gracie

Friday, November 21, 2014

Some Random Stuff From The Canyon

1.       I'm sorry I missed participating in Good Fences on Thursday, but I went to the Diabetes Support group and didn't have time to link up or read blogs. By the time I get ready to join in, perhaps you all will have run out of fences. Hoping for next week.

2.     I'm so glad I went to the group meeting though because, as it turned out, it was the last meeting. Eve is 75 now, she has done this on a monthly basis for the past 20 years, all on a volunteer basis, so I understand, but I will miss the group very much. 

3.    Because of the medical trips we had to take at the end of October, beginning of November, when Faith was six months, the recommended age for spaying, I called later, when Faith was six and a half months, hoping to be able to schedule her spaying surgery this past week. No luck, we had to wait until December 2nd. And, you guessed it, she's coming into heat. We are not doing any surgery while she's in heat, so we just have to live through the next couple of weeks. I can see it now, stray dogs, coyotes, and of course, Samson, who is neutered, but doesn't seem to know it. I guess he feels it's worth trying, poor thing. What a mess!

4.    I'm hoping my friend Rachael will be able to come up before Christmas. We both want to drive up the mountain to the nuns' place and visit their gift shop. I also badly need a haircut, which she does so well I don't want to have anyone else doing it. Of course, there's always the good old ponytail.

5.    We're staying home for Thanksgiving, having duck for dinner. I don't remember what duck tastes like, but I'm sure my hubby will make it delicious. We certainly have a lot to be thankful for.  

Tuesday, November 18, 2014


A shadow picture just for fun!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Sunday Morning Reflections

There is a harmony in Autumn
and a luster in its sky

                                ~ Percy Bysshe Shelley

Friday, in the crochet group I now happily belong to, a woman, a neighbor, but still someone I only know briefly, said this after I shared the good news about my husband's test results: "I'm still there for you, if you ever need anything, just let me know. My offer of help has no expiration date." 

Those words made such a difference, they made me feel so much more secure, even though I, of course, hope I can manage EVERYTHING myself. Still, since we have no children and with friends and relatives far away, this meant so much to me. 

As I reflect on the kindness of strangers, of neighbors I barely know, of course, I think of all of you who read my blog. Who all through the summer left encouraging comments and who continued to leave comments even when I didn't have the energy to visit your blogs. I think of all of you who prayed for my husband and for me and who keep sending healing thoughts his way. Thank you so very much for being there for us.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Road Trip Toward Great News!


The pictures from our drive to Pasadena this past Monday are  a bit dark and foreboding, I know. But the news we received at the end of our trip is so great: My husband's cancer is in remission; his hepatitis C is gone; and best of all, to judge by the doctor's facial expression, his liver is coming back!!! 

My husband is not out of any kind of permanent woods, but we both will have time to relax now. Relax over the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays and see in a New Year. Every day is a gift for both of us, but this news was like one large present wrapped in red, with a huge silver bow on top.  

As so often is the case with medicines that work to cure serious illness, the HepC medicines, although wonderful drugs for which I am very grateful, are very debilitating. My husband has to take vitamins to maintain his red blood cell count, but he still suffers from extreme fatigue and other side effects. He began taking the the HepC drugs in the beginning of June and will finally be done with them on November 19. 

The doctor said he's most anxious to find out if the treatment worked, so more blood tests are scheduled and another MRI needs to be done at the end of January. We go back to Pasadena to see the liver specialist in the first week of February and that's when we will have a better knowledge of how well both the the cancer treatment and the HepC drugs worked.

I brought my camera along, hoping to take some pictures of the gorgeous San Gabriel mountains that border the 210 freeway to Pasadena. As we came out of the high desert, driving toward the huge interchange of freeways heading toward Los Angeles and Pasadena, we saw this: 

and into those gray clouds we drove and, since I had the camera, I decided to try for some more "industrial" looking pictures. What can I say, they certainly are a nice break from the blue skies and constant sunshine I'm faced with here at home. 

Thank you for your prayers and healing thoughts, you are the best.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Sunday Morning Reflections

Love must be as much a light, as it is a flame.
~ Henry David Thoreau

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Puppy Faith Growing Up Month To Month ~ September 2014

Lucky me, as the weather gets colder and my fur don't grow, I got a warm and fluffy pillow all my own ~ September 4, 2014.

Samson got this toy from mommy's friend, Auntie Judy. He never got it ~ how to use it, but I do. I play with it all the time and I love it! Sometimes, he grabs one end and we pull. That's how you're supposed to do it, but he doesn't like it much ~ September 6, 2014.

This picture is from September 7, 2014. I think mommy wanted to show how my legs grew. And I'm not pigeon-toed, but Samson is, heh, heh!!

Here I am, just looking cute, I guess on September 17, 2014.

That's the real me, running, fast! Only mommy is a shadow here. Could have fooled you, maybe.....

This is my outdoor MO, that means something, not sure what, anyhow MO: I run, and run, and run, then I run to a shady place and flop down. Then I rest until the slowpokes catch up with me, then I run, and run, and run.

And flop down, stick my tongue out, and rest ~ September 21, 2014.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Notes From The Canyon

The trip down to Los Angeles was awful: many accidents on the freeways, I got our departure time wrong by an hour, hubby mad, no way to get there on time. Fortunately, they squeezed us in and many other late comers as well. Don't know the results of the MRI yet, we probably will not call the oncologist, but wait until we see the liver specialist next week. I can check hubby's bloodtests online. I did, and they all looked very good. Best of all, the tumor markers were well within normal range. Low normal, I hope this means the MRI will show a good result as well. 

Friday, as I was doing laundry in the shed, I heard a horrific noise in the skies above, as if a fleet of about 10 fighter jets were flying low over the canyon, way, way too low.  I went outside and looked and heard another strange noise, but saw nothing. Hubby came outside and wondered too what made that sound. When we heard about the Virgin Galactic Spaceship accident, we found out. So sad.....

Last night it finally rained. I think it was the best rain since this spring and the first since those 10 minutes we got on September 8. I do keep track here on my blog, I have all year. For me a scary place to look, since it documents our drought in black and white. If you are interested, it's down below where I keep all my stuff. I am so happy it's all there and not in my sidebar. 

The leaves on our tree are finally dressing up in autumn colors. 

I have had to rest every day since our trip to L.A. on Wednesday. I've had a lot of pain in both legs, in the front of my thighs, as well as my right hip. It's interesting that even at my age, I sort of have to force myself to rest. Why do we always feel like we have to keep doing something? Women, I mean. The pains are better now, I'm sure I sat in the Jeep too long. Glad once again that I traveled so much when I was young.

I discovered a mystery writer I never heard of before, which made resting in bed just so much more pleasant. I have no idea why I never heard of her before. You may have, but, as much as I read, as much as I love a good, well-written mystery, I never have. Her name is Kathy Reichs. Dr. Reichs is a forensic anthropologist, as is Temperance Brennan, the main character in her books. I found out about her a few weeks ago and I've read four of her books already. What I like about the books, what makes them different from most other mysteries, is that they each provide an interesting learning experience, and not just about bones, but that too. 

Dr. Brennan spends half her time in Montreal, examining bones of murder victims (the TV series Bones was based on these books ~ wish I had known) and getting in trouble too, of course. The rest of her time is spent in North Carolina. I have learned so much about Montreal, the province of Quebec, the City of Quebec, which sounds like a place I wish I had visited in my traveling days. Both Montreal and the City of Quebec sound like wonderful places to visit. I have learned about Acadians living in New Brunswick; I have enjoyed revisiting the islands off the coast of North Carolina, places that are fascinating and so worth while reading about. Dr. Reichs is an excellent writer, her books are always interesting, the mysteries good. I am happy she has by now written many books, so if I slow down, they will last me a while.

How I love a cloudy day!


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