Thursday, August 30, 2018

Notes From The Canyon

When our Volunteer Council bought some Neighborhood Watch signs, Joyce and I got one to put up at the beginning of our road. I found out that Joyce is really good with a drill, so all I had to do was hold the sign. The post was old and uneven, but we got the job done. When I turned into our road the other day, it looked so good I decided to take a picture. I guess I was too far away, but I think the mountains look good so there it is.

I've never had a dog before that didn't like to go in the car, but Faith truly hates it. It's impossible to get her in the back of the Jeep, where Samson goes, so she's in the seat next to me, which is not a good place for a dog. There she sits, still as a board, fixes her eyes on one spot and just wishes for the ordeal to be over. When she was little, I would lift her, now that she's heavier, I can't. 

She needed her Parvo, etc. shot so we had to go. Fortunately appointments are not needed for shots. I've been training her, some days good, others not. This morning I decided I was well rested and we should go. I had bought special treats, but she couldn't care less for those. So I had to go back in the house and get two brand new balls, one pink, one yellow. True retriever that she is, those she couldn't resist. In she went.

Since I had to sit in my seat for her to even consider getting in, I tied a leash to the door handle on her side, so I could pull it shut it quickly before she turned around and got out. I pulled the leash and it worked great. We went, she got her shot, and we were back home by ten. Phew!

These rocks are across the street from my mailbox. There are so many fabulous rocks in those hills. Maybe something for my new camera to work on. I took these with my phone.

Last week, I took a "fun" day off, went to town and visited Glenn in his family's new house. Then I checked out our new library and went to the thrift store and donated some things. After that, I wanted to go to our Visitor Center to pick up a few things to mail to my Danish friend, Annette.

However, the place was closed, only open Thursday - Sunday, which makes sense. But I met a lovely couple there. They were in town to look at houses and I directed them to our largest real estate office. And told them that our German bakery, located across the street from where we stood and talked, had some fabulous baked goods and good lunches. Very nice people, so not a wasted trip. 

Then I went across the street and bought an eclair, two lemon tarts, and some good German bread. (Because of my diabetes, it takes me three days to finish an eclair. I have to cut it up. And the tarts are in my freezer, saved for another day or two or three.)

Samson Says: Have a great rest of the week, everyone!

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Resting With Dogs

All dogs know this: Loafing is good for the soul.

Sunday, August 19, 2018

Dog Days Of Summer ~ August 2009

My 9th anniversary as a blogger inspired me to look back to my early posts. Mainly at the pictures, which helped bring back memories. Errol was in Los Angeles then, working. Samson was born at my BIL Keith's house on July 7th, but we didn't know him yet.

Our beloved hound-dog mix, Bandit, had died the year before and three dogs were living here with me: 
  • Angel, the German shepherd 
  • Soldier, the German shepherd cross
  • Princess, the Black Lab/Border Collie cross 

Princess volunteered to blog, sharing a dog's perspective. Here she goes:

In the evenings, when we're all outside, we can get frisky and start a play fight. The picture above shows our different fighting techniques: 

Soldier hangs on to the scruff of Angel's neck; I bite her hind legs (I'm part herding dog, so I know that from -- I think they call it -- instinct); and Angel puts her front leg on Soldier's shoulders so he can't move. These are all very good fighting tricks!

Here we are, friends again after our three-way dog-play/fight. It's only for fun and we really like to play together.

Blogged by me -- Princess!

Present time: 
You remembered Soldier, some of you, in your comments on my Rust post. Soldier died in 2013. This, of course, means we've been friends for a long time. I'm so happy about that.

I feel like I want to sit down and write the story of his life with us. This is not the time, maybe some day. I think 12 dogs have lived me. All so very different and all so much loved. Maybe Soldier most of all because he was such a troubled soul.

Friday, August 17, 2018

Rust ~ Post No. 19 ~ With Ravens, A Hawk, And Dogs

This old truck was at one point in time used to transport beer. I believe it says so on the side of it. It has been many years now since we used to hike to it with our dogs. The truck still sits out there, I can see it from the road. A very large piece of trash, far from everything, but trash nevertheless.

From our house, we first hiked up on our east-facing hill, then walked on an old road up there until we came to the end of the hills, where we had to climb down to the field below and then walk to the truck.  

It was a horrible mess around it, broken glass and metal, so dogs had to be leashed. The hike itself was lovely, we saw horned toads, all kinds of lizards, and one time we saw a raven chasing a red tailed hawk. 

The raven was noisy, the chase went on for a while. I took blind shots with my camera with no idea if they would come out OK.

The encounter ended when the raven's calls for help were answered by another raven, approching at a great speed. Outnumbered, the hawk gave up and nosedived out of sight. 

At the end of our hikes, Soldier and Samson would compare tongues to see who had the longest. 

This post became more about good memories than rust. And I have come up with another new phrase. In addition to rust spotting, I now have sad smiling. I'm sure you know what I mean. 

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

My 9th Blog Anniversary ~ And My Very First Post

August 14, 2009 I posted this:

Last Monday was the big day: the Wild Blue satellite arrived and was installed by two guys from Gilroy. They were pretty efficient and got everything working for me. So now that I have high-speed Internet, the time has come for me to finally start my blog. I have discussed this with Princess to see how she feels about having her own Dog Blog and she seems excited about it. You know I'll need a partner in crime and some help with all these new things.

Looking at the picture, I'm struck by a couple of things: 

My van has sat in the same place since then, and who knows for how long before. It was a great van, but we never had the time to really enjoy it, and, as far as I'm concerned, should never have bought it. It belongs to Glenn now, but I doubt he will ever find what he needs to fix the totally chewed up electric in the engine. A rabbit lived there, and went at it, chewing everything up. The old van will probably end up in a junk yard, which is sad. I feel bad I didn't take better care of it.  

How awful those windows in our house were. The almost constant high winds here whistled through those old windows and my German shepherd dog, Angel, used to howl with the wind. Cute, but not funny in the long run. So glad I was able to replace them. I'm saving lots on heating and cooling now. 

I'm not sad, looking back. I guess it's like the situation with the master bedroom. I couldn't sleep in there for three years, but now I can. Looking back to 2009 feels only interesting and fun. I've accomplished a lot around here. I have put both my house and my life in order and it feels good.

Finally, looking at my posts from 2009, I found this photo of me in my best hat ever:

I bought it at the Farmers Market in Los Angeles. I wore it every day after I moved here, and loved it so. I've never found a hat to match it. It finally fell apart. Miss you, hat. 

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Samson and Faith

Whispered secrets.......

Friday, August 10, 2018

Notes From The Canyon

The sweet Guernsey bull greeted me as I drove down our road, back from the dump. Glenn has helped me with the trash for many months now, so it  felt good to be back doing things for myself. My friend Benny, he was friendly with Errol and has been very kind to me, was there and helped me unload the Jeep. 

As you can see, the air is pretty clear. 

Wild sunflowers grow all around the dump. I have been looking at the early days of my blog and found this picture. It looked just the same today. I started my blog in August 2009 and it has been interesting to go back in time and see how both my blog and I have developed. 

I took these pictures Tuesday, after I had been to town where it was very smoky. As I drove down our road, I noticed for the first time all the Russian thistles lining the road. 

I hadn't noticed them before, so to me it looked like they had just sprung up overnight. Then, today, as I drove home from the dump, I noticed that the canyon road was framed on both sides by these bushes. And all of them will turn into giant tumble weeds later in the year.

Like this one that attcked me from behind and really scared me back in 2013.

The ones in our road will blow down to my gate, where they will stop. Looks like I will have my work cut out for me, trying to get out of here.

You can see the haze in this picture too. It's impossible to imagine what it must be like in northern California. My lungs got messed up from fires here in 2012. The Jaw Bone Canyon fire lasted a long time, but it was nothing like what's going on up north now. Firefighters will be my heroes forever. 

Yesterday, I had Mary over for a smorgasbord lunch. Followed by ice cream, which Mary loves. It was nice to visit and catch up. It feels so good to have friends over now that my house is almost together. 

Then I went to bed early because I have AC in the bedroom and the house was hot. I heard Faith barking, but Samson was quiet, which is unusual. Then he came in and sort of beckoned me to go outside. Faith was by the fence with her head down, barking. I knew it was a snake and hoped it would be either small or not a rattler. Well, it was the biggest rattlesnake I've ever seen. 

It was similar to this one, also from 2013, but longer and thicker and younger too, as it didn't have as many rattlers. 

Long story that ended with the snake going under the rocks that surround this bathtub that people who lived here before used as a flower pot. Snakes that need a place to rest, undisturbed, always crawl in there. So it's either still there or gone and I will probably never know. 

I wish I could get rid of that contraption, but with big rocks and a bathtub full of dirt, it would be a big and - tractor required - job. 

Good thing the snake is large and easily seen. And we are being careful. The dogrun has  quarter-inch wire about half-way up and is secure that way, but snakes climb in anyway. As a rule, rattlesnakes don't. 

I'm happy that Samson, who cannot be vaccinated with the snake vaccine because of his illnesses, didn't want to challenge the snake or take it on in any way. He went to get his mommy which was such a smart thing to do. 

Good Boy Samson!

Monday, August 6, 2018

Favorite Things

Several years ago, I posted something every Tuesday I called Tuesday's Treasures and Things. My treasures varied from fine china I had inherited, my grandmother's copper pots, paintings, treasured gifts from friends, to the wild animals of the canyon. 

Then the other day, Diane of Welcome to Lavender Dreams posted some of her favorite things and gave me the idea to do that as well. 

This time around, the treasures will be mainly thriftstore finds, gifts from friends, things that were on sale at various places and in the many catalogs I receive every month. 

I'm finally using my new Nikon camera that I bought in April. And the above two are the first Nikon pictures I'm posting. 

I have this sense that I want strong colors in my home for my old age. I feel like I want a Mexican house, a Latin home, colorful and fun. Mine is not that, but I try to brighten it up with fun things when I come upon them. 

The tray above was given to me yesterday by my friend and neighbor Joyce. The sugar and cream set I bought recently because I needed a small pitcher for the milk I get from Joyce's cows. My grandmother's small cream dish was too delicate, so when I saw this set on sale in the catalog from Through the Country Door, I decided to buy it. Here's a bigger picture:

There will be more to come. Have a great week, everyone.

Friday, August 3, 2018

Faith: Mine, Mine, Mine.........

OK, so the other day mommy went to town and came home with lots of food and other goodies, among them a bag of colorful balls. You know they were all for me, right? I mean, who's the retriever of balls around here, who chews them until the felt wrapper comes off, who carries them around in her soft, soft mouth? Right, that would be me. 

But Samson comes over with that sweet smile of his, head tilted, looking like he's supposed to get a ball too. Would you believe it? She gives him this pretty orange ball, then turns around and gives me a red one. Samson gives me that look, takes the orange ball into the bedroom and starts chewing on it! My ball! Mine, mine, mine.......

I know I have to be smart (which I am) and patient (which I'm not) and wait him out. He is bigger than me, after all! So I sneak into the hallway and wait. Every now and then I peak around the corner to see what he's up to. It's taking him a long time to get tired of that ball.

But when he hears mommy unwrapping something in the kitchen, he finally gets up and  runs to the kitchen to see if he can get a treat (that's all he thinks about, treats). As you can see in the pictures, I now have both balls. They are mine! Both of them, mine!

I soon get tired of the orange ball and leave it behind. I pick up the red ball and go to lie down opposite Samson, chewing on it.

I wanted to show him how my smarts and patience had defeated him. How I now had both balls, even though I sort of forgot about the orange one. But Samson's so easy-going, I can't get the reaction I crave. He's just hot and can't be bothered, eyes closed, tongue out, frog position on the tile. 

So I hurry up and chew the red ball. Soon it will be gone and maybe mommy will give me the pretty purple one next. Better yet, maybe we can go outside and play with it. Oh well, a girl can dream........


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