Wednesday, November 16, 2016

We Are OK

and I had no idea a whole month went by since I last posted. 

My computer is not doing as well as it should. Windows 10 anniversary update helped some issues, but now it is so slow. Worse than ever, then better for a few days, then bad again. This makes blogging difficult. It's difficult to pull up your posts and to leave comments. 

My mood is such that I don't want to have to worry about it. I have done all the basics to clean it up, but still....  Sometime in the future I will definitely deal with it. It is clear it needs more in-depth attention. And maybe a visit from the nice computer geek in town. 

Another thing I have no patience with and my computer is unable to handle is something new that's going on between it and my cell phone. 

Yesterday, Samson came and lay down next to me on the couch and started to communicate with me, the way he does. He's so cute, little looks, noises, and then a full howly bark. I took a set of pictures that really captured his cuteness in doing this. I used my cell phone, which is the only way I can do it since neither dog will pose for my other camera and its flash. Then, as I went to download the pictures, I was informed on my phone that I needed to take some other action, involving a download. This took so darned long that in the end it couldn't be completed. 

I was really annoyed, but decided to go outside and try to capture some of the feeling of autumn in the canyon: rain, mist, and clouds that finally showed up this morning. The pictures you see here are from that effort.  

I'm getting very tired of technology, cell phone in particular, right now. Of course, other technological advances are wonderful. And so it was for my first cataract surgery. I had it done on the 7th and it went off without a hitch. So far, so good, and how great to be able to see what's really there again. Seeing how deep my wrinkles are, the only exception. The rest is just fabulous, just as great as everyone who has had it done told me. 

I'm having my left eye done on Monday, the 21st. It has some issues the doctor told me, that may make it a bit more difficult to fasten the lens, but he assured me he would be able to deal with any complications. But I feel very positive about the whole experience and not worried at all. So I will go and get it done. 

I will continue my blogging break until I'm past the other surgery, Thanksgiving, and all that. Then I plan to be back to blogging and dealing with computer issues until they are all fixed. 

Have a nice Thanksgiving and take good care. 

Sunday, October 16, 2016

My Screen Is OK ~ Madsnapper Fixed It

remotely from Florida. Aren't blogger friends wonderful? She researched it and recommended I just unplug the monitor from the computer. I know to unplug my computer or TV if there are issues. It just didn't occur to me for the monitor. So all is well. Thanks, Sandra, you are so much more than a Madsnapper. 

Outside my house last night. Would you be scared to walk around there? 

Good thing is (if you are me anyway) the weather is finally cooling off a bit and clouds are appearing after a long and very hot, dry, and dusty summer with nothing but blues skies and sunshine. It's in the 30s at night and 60s-70s during the day. Weather I can enjoy and function in. Rain is still missing, but maybe some day soon.

I will see you again next week. Still on a blogger break. Just wanted to let you know my screen is OK. 

Thursday, October 13, 2016

A Newborn Burro Foal ~ Good Fences No. 21

Behind a barbed wire fence a burro foal, born on a stormy December day in 2007, stands up and takes her first steps. I unofficially named her Storm. If she is doing well, she's in West Texas with the rest of the donkeys and burros from the rescue. I love to think of her roaming larger fields than were available here. 

Joining Tex for
Good Fences

P.S. I have a problem with my computer screen which seems to have lost its color and now is a pukey (sp?) greenish yellowish. At first I thought it was my eyes gone weird, but everything else is looking as it always does, so it's probably another Windows 10 glitch. 

Thank you for your comments on the Sunrise post. No need to leave comments here until I get back with you. I think I may take a blogger break until after the 21st. I just don't have time to figure out what may be wrong. If you have an idea, please let me know. Thanks and have a great week ahead. 

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Sierra Sunrise

Samson (who, because of his eye problems and general furriness, does not tolerate the sun) Says: OK, mommy, now that the sun's up, it's time for me to come in the house. Maybe I could get something to snack on? A dog biscuit, perhaps? 

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Good Fences No.20

Not a very good fence, this. It's old and falling down and not keeping anyone in or out. 

The field is not a part of my property, but I drive by it every day on the way to my mail box. 

Joining Tex for
Good Fences

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Notes From The Canyon

Every fall nature honors our town, valleys and canyons with a couple of wonderful events: Turkey vultures by the thousands stop to rest here on the way from their breeding grounds in the north to Central and South America, where they will spend the winter. Mary pointed out a flock, or "kettles" as they are called (who comes up with these names for many birds flying together?) soaring above town the other day. Today I saw some flying over my backyard as I was hanging laundry on the line, wishing, as I always do when things happen, that I had my camera with me. 

And then there is the Rabbit Brush, a rather non-descript looking nuisance for most of the year, that bursts into bloom as fall approaches. I live next to a very large field, which this shrub has more or less taken over, with many spilling over on to my property, where I really don't want them. A few would be OK, but it's a lot of work to keep this shrub at bay without major machinery, like a tractor. But still, every October, I marvel at the beauty of the bright yellow flowers and the multitude of bees and butterflies that come around to enjoy the nectar. I read that beekeepers keep the Rabbit Brush honey for their bees' winter provisions because it doesn't taste as good as honey from other plants. To us humans, I mean; I'm sure the bees like it just fine.

Native Americans used Rabbit Brush for medicinal purposes and teas. Here in the canyon, the shrub provides cover for many birds, from little sparrows to California Quail. Rabbits also take cover under the dense bushes and  hide away their young there. They, however, don't like to eat these shrubs named for them.

One more of nature's wonders, this one grown by man, bursts onto the scene in our mountain town each fall: Apples, a crop grown in abundance around here. Tourists and locals alike visit the orchards to pick their own apples, or buy cider, applesauce and other apple goodies. 

And for me, just the fact that fall has arrived is enough. Every July first, I count 100 days, which takes me to October 8, to when I feel I can begin to come to life again. Growing up in Sweden, a land of lakes with a climate on the cool side, I sometimes wonder what I'm doing here, except, of course I love it for the other nine months. So I put up with the constant sunshine from a clear blue sky, with no rain, hardly any clouds and hot temperatures. At least it isn't humid and that's a good thing. I know, I lived in New Jersey for nine years, phew! 

Other than that, I hope to reschedule my cataract surgery for October. I go for the pre-op visit next Friday. Samson is doing well with the dental chews the vet recommended after his teeth cleaning revealed stage 3 gingivitis. Faith chews them too. Since her mouth is really healthy, she gets the thicker chews, the ones Samson can't handle quite yet, and she demolishes them with relish. She's going to the vet tomorrow for a yearly wellness visit, necessary since she is on incontinence medicine. She's doing well, took off after a jack rabbit the other day, but they are just too quick for her. She's having so much fun though and is definitely the happiest dog I have ever lived with. 

Faith and her shadow.

Thanks for stopping by ~ have a great week!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Walker Basin, California ~ Good Fences No. 19

Old barn and horses behind a fence in Walker Basin, California ~ Spring 2016

Joining Tex for 
Good Fences

Sunday, September 18, 2016

GranFondo 2016 ~ Tehachapi, California

Here we go again, how fast a year goes by! On Saturday, bicyclists from all over gathered in our town for the 2016 Tehachapi GranFondo. 

This year, I helped out at the entrance to our canyon. Only the best riders, those who sign up for the 100 and 80 mile rides, go down the canyon and turn around for a roundtrip of about 12 miles. Mary is to the left and I'm to the right in the above picture, and, as you can see, we had plenty of water. We also had powdered electrolytes and protein bars.  And a tray full of doughnuts and muffins. (It went fast!) A more full service station with sandwiches and such was 10 miles ahead.

The pro and elit bikers come by so fast, look so great, but it's over in the blink of an eye, so no pictures. Then come the rest and they stop, they talk, use the port-a-potties, fill up their water bottles, grab a protein bar before they take off again.

The GranFondo is only a race for the best cyclists, for the rest it's more of a folkfest. For me, it's a lot of fun, a great time with friends, helping in a small way to make the event a success for our town. 

These guys wanted to be in my picture and on my blog too. It was really fun to see so many older bikers participating in the event. 

I thought the bike rack was really cool. We will need more of them for next year. A lot more people than last year came by this station, so notes were made of items we will need more of. In its third year, the Tehachapi GranFondo is a big success. 

As you can see, people are taking their time, meeting friends, and socializing with fellow cyclists. 

Then the pros returned from their trip down the canyon, still as fast, so I only caught this last guy. 

Followed by this great old car. 

Fun as it is to see the really great cyclists zoom by, it's those who had some bad luck early on, but who didn't give up, that I will remember best. 

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Rabbit Brush In Bloom ~ Good Fences No. 18

Down by my mailbox, I spotted this large Rabbit Brush bush just beginning to bloom. 

Soon this entire field will burst into yellow blooms, a sure sign that fall is not far behind.

Joining Tex for
Good Fences

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Nature At Mary's Place

When Mary went away for a weekend a while ago, the guy who boards his horses there offered to feed her dogs, so I said I would come and play with the dogs and take care of Kitty, the cat. 

Mary lives on top of a steep hill and has a gorgeous view of the canyon from her house. I forgot my camera on Saturday, but I brought it on Sunday. And left it in the Jeep!  

I saw it as I drove away, and decided to just take some nature pictures.  Mary lives deeper in the canyon and a bit higher and nature there is completely different from where I live. Her hillsides are very steep and covered in scrub oak, with some pines mixed in.

As I climbed up on a rocky slope to take some pictures of the canyon spread out below, I saw these round balls attached to a scrub oak. I was happy to know that they occur after wasps lay their eggs on a tree branch, but annoyed with myself, again, because I didn't remember the details, ack old age......

I found an amazing number and variety of galls on Google Images. These resemble those on Mary's trees.

There are many answers on Google, as these growths, called galls, are more common than I realized. They occur on many different types of trees and are caused by various insects from wasps to mites. They are a reaction from the tree's hormones to the eggs laid on its branches. I'm quoting here: "The galls have a long and complex development that takes two or more years. The inhabitants gain their nutrients from the inner gall tissue. The adults emerge in the spring." I wondered how they get out of there and found a couple of answers, including that the gall falls and breaks, but nothing to completely satisfy my curiousity. 

I also came away from that rocky hillside with this picture of Sugarloaf mountain.

Mary boards two horses and I couldn't leave without saying hello to them.

Neither was thrilled to see me.

Driving down the final hill, I had to stop and take a picture of these rocks that I've never noticed before. In every picture you see here, where the hillside is cleared of weeds, that's Mary's doing. She has worked so hard and done such an amazing job this summer. She really deserved to get away for a few days to relax while visiting a good friend. 

After I leave Mary's house, I drive for a while on a rather long road that leads to all these mailboxes by the main road through the canyon. I took my header picture one day while I waited for Mary there. I'm so glad you like it. 

Finally, to answer a question or two, the road from my house to the main road is short, which is good because the way these dirt roads get in the winter, the less you have to drive on them the better. I only have one neighbor and I can't see her house from mine. Oh, and these guys are my neighbors too:

Samson and Faith Say:

Have a great new week everyone!


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