Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Last Post Before The A to Z Challenge

A quick post to thank you for your comments on my previous post. I don't think I will have time to visit you guys before the A to Z starts on Friday. Between doctor's visits, which have included tripst to Bakersfield, about 50 miles away, having fun times with Mary (I have been to more movie matinees lately), dealing with the weeds, and preparing ahead for the A to Z..... 

This is to thank you so much for coming by, for supporting me this past year, and for your interest in my A to Z posts. It has been a journey to write those post, for sure. I have been both sad and happy, even wondering if I could see it through. I'm now on the letter V, so I know I will get to the end.

This year, the A to Z has gotten more complicated, with more involvement of social media, which is something I don't do. And some other stuff too, linking up, and things I don't get. An early reveal of our themes that resulted in a separate list of participants. Well, I revealed my theme to you guys, but didn't participate and didn't get on that list. A bit confusing., if you ask me. 

So I have no idea how many new people will come and visit me. But I really did this A to Z for myself. To both record my thoughts and also deal with the loss of my husband. 

I will love it if you come by, you are such good friends by now. I'm so happy about that. And also much happier in general. 

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Notes From The Canyon

Isn't it amazing what a little rain can do? It seems strange that we are still in a very bad drought.

I cut back these weeds the other day.

The dogs are mad because they can't see out unless they climb up on their table. I will start on this tomorrow, because, before you know it, the snakes will be out. 

Fortunately, I found out about a guy who does tractor work and doesn't charge a lot. I got his phone number yesterday and will give him a call later today.

Other than that, I have now been back to Bakersfield for a bone density test and also to see an orthopedic hand specialist. I don't know the results of the bone test yet, but the pain in my hand is from osteoarthritis. I got a cortisone shot, which hurt like, you know what. So far, the pain is a little bit better and I'm hoping it will improve more. 

Mary went with me to my appointments, which made the whole day so much nicer.

The field next to my property suddenly filled with Texas thistles last year. Now they are turning into tumble weeds. Last week we had a wind storm with up to 75 MPH wind gusts, so you can imagine what happened. Lots of tumble weeds to deal with. I don't mind though. I really love everything country. 

I have been busy editing my A to Z posts. It's recommended we limit our posts to around 100 words. I'm a bit disappointed because some of the posts were better with more words, but then I know how time-consuming it can be to read long posts during the challenge, which is there to introduce you to new bloggers and perhaps make a few new friends. 


Sunday, March 20, 2016

A Visit To Mission San Fernando Rey De España

After many years of not seeing much of each other, my friend Jane and I are now working on meeting every three months or so. Jane lives in Orange County, which is on the other side of Los Angeles from where I live. So far, we have been to the Getty Museum and to William S. Hart park, where Rachael works. And on Thursday we met at Mission San Fernando Rey, which is the one I never saw on my quest to visit all of the southern and central California missions.

We actually didn't see much of this one either. I was tired when I arrived and so happy to see Jane that all I wanted to do was sit, rest, and talk.

We were able to briefly visit the church, which was large and very beautiful. Funerals were held there so we couldn't stay long. 

A couple of different classes of fourth graders were also visiting the mission. Jane told me that studying the missions are part of the 4th grade curriculum here in California. The kids were beyond polite and well-behaved and, of course, so very cute. 

As a result of the rain we finally got here, the canyon is turning green, temporarily, and that includes my yard and fields and the hills too. I saw yellow flowers beginning to bloom in the foothills of the canyon mountains. A busy time ahead for me, dealing with all this sudden growth.

Last year, I missed the A to Z Challenge, the one where you post every day, except Sundays, in April. A while back, I decided to join in this year's fun. I never wrote anything more than a day or two ahead of time when I participated in the previous challenges, but this time I decided to prepare ahead. So I have been busy with that. 

My subject is serious and I wanted to take time to think about each post. I decided to write about this past year, my first in over 30 years without Errol. Borrowing the title of my theme from a book by Stewart O'Nan, called Emily Alone, a lovely story about a widow in Pittsburgh and her old dog, I'm calling this journey: Me, alone. Life after loss. I have written almost all the posts, maybe 10 are left, and I think I'm doing OK, sharing the sadness and also the surprising joys of the past year. 

It's just my story, a story of how I set out to deliberately create a new life for myself. There are so many of us out there, us widows, and we all grieve in our own unique ways. This A to Z is for me. I must admit I was depressed and sad as I wrote it, but I believe that in the long run I will be so glad that I did. 

Monday, March 7, 2016

Notes From The Canyon

Heavy, wet snow fell this morning and melted more or less right away. 

I have a lot of gravel on my property and the other day I dug up some and put it in the wheelbarrow and dragged it up the hill. Nothing is flat land around here, or so it seems. I dumped it outside my door, next to the gravel Glenn put there a while ago. It looks like it will hold and help me get into the Jeep without stepping in the mud. Believe me, you don't ever want to step in deep mud! 

The other day, when I was waiting for Mary and her cousin, I socialized with my neighbors. 

Mary's cousin came to visit and we took another trip to enjoy the wildflowers.  It's just gorgeous down the mountain now with yellow, orange, blue and white flowers covering the fields and hillsides. We stopped a few times, but for the rest of the trip I sat in the backseat and the pictures through the window didn't come out all that clear. 

Fields and fields of flowers.

More flowers, mostly fiddlenecks and poppies from what I read in our local paper.

With some white and blue flowers mixed in. 

Other than that, I have done what old folks do: seen doctors, been tested for breathing issues, messed up my computer by allowing myself to get hacked. This resulted in a lesson learned and meeting a very nice computer guy who came and made sure everything got fixed. It feels good to have met him, so now I have someone to call on if I have any questions or problems in the future.

Fortunately, I didn't lose any money, but I had to close my Credit Union account, which I've had since the credit union at UCLA was located in a trailer, computers were new and very slow, creating long lines of customers waiting to be served. Ah, nostaligia for times past, long lines and all......

Fortunately, they will assign a new account to me remotely so I don't have to come in, a trip of over 100 miles one-way. 

We drove by a beautiful part of this area. Large homes, beautiful fences and gates, and statues even. 

The dogs are OK. Samson is now a serious guard dog and considers himself the man of the house, sleeping on the couch, barking at everything, not listening to the woman of the house. 

Faith is growing up, calming down, and becoming a wonderful dog. She is the happiest dog I have ever known. It is a joy to share my life with both of them. 


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