Thursday, February 21, 2019

Notes From The Canyon

We finally got some "real" snow overnight. A soft powder created a beautiful morning. 

Which inspired a few pictures. Then we headed out early for a chance to play in the snow.

It has been interesting to see how these storms travel east and become so much more ferocious as they move across country. There have been so many of them and I wonder if this is the last one bringing snow to our area. Since I've lived here, the last day it snowed was May 23rd. Years ago. 

Before we walk, I throw balls for Faith. Chasing balls is her absolute favorite thing to do. 

She has gained some weight so she's not as fast as she used to be. She looks larger and more solid with the weight on, more like a Lab, albeit a short-legged one. 

But she still needs to lose a few pounds. 

I'm sure Samson does too, we just haven't been active enough. His food is so good though that he has managed to maintain his weight, but now I'm not sure and it's hard to tell with all that winter fur. 

He loves the snow, of course, and one can see he's made for it. 

Other than that, I've been pretty much stuck here, sitting out one storm after another. Our road is so bad that even if one can get out, one doesn't want to try because driving on it just makes it worse. 

Tuesday was a glorious day and I had to go to town to get some groceries, donate some of the things I purged when I tidied up, go to the post office, and a couple of other places. It was a perfect day! Cold, beautiful blue sky, snow in the mountains, but clear roads. I was so happy, the day was perfect!

I have made progress on the tidy up project. Both closets are now completely done, as are the shelves and drawers in the master bedroom. I just need to wash the mirrors on the closet doors, then I can move on to the next project, which is clean my house. I haven't done any spring cleaning for a couple of years and it is much needed. So I will move on to that soon. I had set a 2/28 deadline for the closets so now I guess I have some time to play -- or work on my income taxes........

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Road Trip With Mary

Earlier this week, Mary and I went down to the Central Valley to visit friends. We were happy to leave the cold and snow behind. 

When we stopped at Murray Farms at the foot of the mountains we were greeted by this beautiful pink rose.

I always enjoy the palm trees there. And I always take a picture. 

The sun was strong, the shadows sharp, so I took a picture. Just for fun!

Once we got to Carol's place, she drove the rest of the way to Exeter, where she and I had lunch and Mary met up with  Chan. Last time the four of us had lunch together, this time, we separated to better catch up with each other. Carol and I have been friend forever and so have Chan and Mary.  

When we finished lunch, Carol took me to her favorite thrift store, The Pink Lady, where everything was on sale for $1.00 or less. It was a fun place, and I bought a sweat shirt, two books, and two small paintings.

The valley is beautiful with fertile fields, plowed and planted now, 

and the Sierra Nevada mountains in the background.

We passed grove upon grove of orange trees; these are naval oranges, the best ever. Carol has a tree of her own in her backyard.

So, of course, when we came back to Carol's house, we picked oranges. I picked some of these and Carol gave me the ones she picked. You know I will be busy enjoying them for a long time to come. 

This backside of a row of kitchen cabinets faces my dining area. I know this is a fuzzy picture, but it's just for now. The two small paintings on either side of the Bell painting are the ones I bought at The Pink Lady. I thought they would be perfect here.

I will adjust them so they are at an even distance form the Bell painting. And take a better picture for a future post. Since the Bell painting was a gift from Carol, I just wanted to show her this to give her an idea of what "her" wall will look like. 

Thank you Carol for a lovely day. Mary and I had such a good time. Hope to come back in May.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Snowflakes In The Dark

These are snowflakes falling in the dark. This really inspired me to finally begin to learn how to operate a camera again. There was a time, years ago, when I knew how. I even had a Leica with a lightmeter and all that.

Then, as cameras became automatic, my laziness took over. The pictures usually came out OK and I never, until now, bought a camera I could actually do something with. I've had it for almost a year so it is time to begin to learn and understand what it can do. Snowflakes are hitting the ground in the above picture. 

Snowflake or flakes hitting the ground. Just think how much better it would have been if I had understood the setting, the light and so on. And opportunities like this don't come often. 

Then, just for fun, my ghostly shadow takes a picture of Samson, who perhaps thought he really saw a ghost and turned his head away. 

I think this is a really interesting picture because that shadow looks so real, doesn't it?

Friday, February 8, 2019

Faith Says:

Nothing gets between me and my ball.

I Say: More like caught in the act.

Samson Says: Nothing stands between me and the couch. 

We woke up to a gorgeous morning, 14 degrees (-10C) so I went outside and took a picture of the sky, the frost, and the shadows. 

When I went back inside, the drapes were still drawn and it was pretty dark. So the picture quality is bad, but the dogs are funny. 

I moved my furniture together to protect my new rug from dirty paws. There's so much mud and water in the dog run and they drag it in. I have good rugs both outside and inside the doggie door, but they got wet and I had to hang them on the fence. 

Well, nothing stops a determined dog, I guess, and this is what I walked in on. Samson stole Faith's ball (I should say one of her many balls, but the one she wanted NOW). He's chewing on it. Faith sees me and her tail goes between her legs as she must know she's so BUSTED! I never caught her on the table before, so I guess she just had a sense it wasn't OK. But you know Faith, she just had to have her ball.

Here her tail is going  a guilty 100 miles an hour, but she stands her ground, and the minute Samson turns his head, she moves forward and grabs the ball. I missed that moment.

And here she is, on the folded up part of the rug with her ball. Life with dogs, what can I say?

Tidying Update

The clothes on hangers in both bedroom closets and the hall closet are sorted: keep, donate, consignment, and toss. It wasn't too bad. I go through my closets quite often. The difference this time is that got inspired by my friend Christina, who told me she had gotten rid of practically all non-essential stuff. 

This morning, I pulled down everything that was on the shelves above the clothes. There were bags, hats, caps, my CERT hard hat, scarves, and so on. I got so many gifts of bags from Rosemary after Errol died, her way of cheering me up, which has resulted in me having way more bags than at any other time in my life. I love them, I love what she did for me, so they will stay for now. Instead, I'm donating my older bags. I had all of them when I worked at UCLA, many years ago now, so time for them to go. 

I took this picture on our way home from the DMV in Arvin, where Mary got her license renewed and Bob got his Real ID card. After all this rain, there should be gorgeous wildflowers growing up and down those hills pretty soon. 

Thursday, February 7, 2019


Our lawn was replaced by weeds during the drought and now, because of the high fire risk, we must have 100 feet clearance around our houses by June 1 of each year. When a hard rain falls and there's no vegetation, everything becomes a muddy mess. 

Samson doesn't mind becoming a muddy mess. He also doesn't mind if his furry paws drag it in the house. I'm glad though that I put in the patio, it helps a lot.

Then some snow fell, some snow mixed with rain fell (snoblandat regn in Swedish - don't know why that has stayed in my mind). I love the wintry light here, I love when a weak winter sun shines from behind the clouds. 

I'm definitely a winter person, apart from horseback riding and swimming, my favorite sports were ice skating on hockey skates and later speed skates, and cross-country skiing. But when I was a kid in Sweden, winter lasted from about November to April, or something like that, which is way too long as you get old. Here the snow lasts a few days at the max. The sun is still very warm and I am still living in Southern California and that's OK. I've never had to shovel snow here.

Samson is loving it!

Faith says, "please get me out of here! Now!"

I'm finishing up with a picture Barbro just sent me from Sweden where it's very cold and a huge amount of snow has fallen. She said she's so ready for spring.

And a beautiful spring it will be, all around. However, my tractor guy has retired, so I will have to find someone else to cut back the weeds before June 1.  Joyce says not to fret, it will all work out. Since I do tend to fret, I will, even though that is a completely useless emotion. It will probably all work out. It usually does.

Have a great day, everyone!

Happy Birthday to my friend Jane!

Monday, February 4, 2019

Samson The Samoyed Dog

I saved this Christmas card from Defenders of Wildlife because that wolf pup could be Samson's sibling. 

This from the American Kennel Club:

"The Samoyed is an ancient working breed developed by the nomadic Samoyed people of Siberia. His jobs included herding reindeer, hunting, hauling sledges and guard work. The Samoyed people depended upon their dogs for survival. Samoyed dogs actually slept in the shelters with their people.

Their exceedingly close association with humans helped to imprint a wonderful temperament on the breed with the smiling face, laughing eyes and stunning silver tipped coat. The Samoyed, a working dog, is happiest when he has a job, even if it is just bringing in the daily paper." 

Samson as a young dog. This may be my favorite picture of him.

Samson is a kind and patient dog, he practically raised Faith who arrived here when Errol was so ill. He is wonderful with people and is much loved at the veterinary hospital where he has spent far too much time. He was patient and calm when his eyes were examined at the veterinary ophthalmologist. And what he puts up with at the groomer is beyond belief. Grooming him takes about two and a half hours. Just the blow dry requires a lot of patience. 

He knows all the basic training commands and, if he feels like it, he will obey, if he doesn't, he won't. He thinks he's in charge around here and knows best. This is pretty typical for Nordic breeds; they are hard-working and hard-headed dogs. Since he's so calm and so sweet and does behave when it's necessary, I just let him be.

With one exception:

Unfortunately, because he has to take a small dose of Prednisone, a steroid, he is always very hungry and he can get on my diabetic nerves when my sugars are too low and I need to EAT. He likes to hang out in the kitchen, hoping I will drop something. I've been known to raise my voice. He couldn't care less, but Faith gets extremely upset if I get upset, so I've learned to put them outside when I feel shaky.  

I learned once that he will defend me if needed. A meth addicted woman was trespassing numerous times and when I had had enough, I confronted her. When she started screaming at me and waving her hands in the air, Samson who was with me and on leash, lunged at her with a tremendous roar coming from deep inside him. Fortunately there was a fence between us or this could have ended badly as I was completely unprepared.

Samson was depressed when Errol left and never came back. After about six months, it looked to me like he woke up one morning and decided he needed a job. Since then he has been the best guard and watch dog I've ever lived with. And I've lived with three Dobermans and one German shepherd. He also has the best hearing and alerts as soon as a car pulls in to our road.  

He also barks when I leave. He didn't before Errol left that last time. So he is upset, but doesn't suffer from separation anxiety the way some dogs do. He's just too calm for that, so he is protesting in the moment, then he quiets down. By the time I unlock the gate, he has forgotten all about it. But I need to work with him on that barking because he riles Faith up. She doesn't like that he barks at me and tries to shut him up. Which to her means she has to jump on him and try to chase him away from me. So it's a circus here every time I walk out the front door. 

I'm lacking patience and energy to deal with this and would appreciate your advice if something comes to mind. 

Other than that, he is a wonderful dog, my fluff monster, so sweet and kind. And it seems like all his medicines are in balance because he's doing really well and hasn't been to the vet for the longest time. I'm so grateful for every day he is feeling well.

Ancient Dog Breeds

Studies done in 2004 and 2010 found 9 and 13 respectively ancient breeds that were genetically divergent from the modern breeds. These are the 13 breeds: The Basenji, Saluki, Afghan Hound, Akita, Samoyed, Canaan Dog, Malamute, Siberian Husky, New Guinea singing Dog, dingo, Chinese Shar-Pei, Chow Chow and American Eskimo Dog. A 2012 study confirmed these breeds and added three, the Eurasier, Finnish Spitz, and Shiba Inu, referring to these breeds as Basal breeds. 

Samson is part of this group of dogs, which I think is pretty neat.

Friday, February 1, 2019

Archive Favorites ~ Post No. 1

Canyon landscape with clouds.

I will leave the Rust posts until spring when I can hopefully get out more and hunt for rusty things. Instead, I'm starting a new numbered project with favorite photos from my archives.

I have also found some great old photos from my mom and dad's early years together. My dad was a good photographer and used a very good Swedish made camera, a Hasselblad. I found some old pictures while on my quest to tidy up and get rid of stuff. So I'm thinking about posting some of those as well. 


I feel so bad for all of you caught in the Polar Vortex. I was in minus 25 F in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, back in 1970, but there was so much snow around, it sort of made it feel less cold. Probably not much wind either. I'm living in a windy place here and I know that's what really makes it bad. I can't even imagine what you are going through. 

So I'm thinking of all of you. And little Ruby dog in Chicago, I guess you have to stay indoors......


Related Posts with Thumbnails