Friday, October 29, 2021

A Foggy Morning In The Canyon


Not sure why, but I really like this picture.

After I walked the dogs, I went back outside and took these photos. I love this weather, I'm so happy the long, hot summer is finally over with.

Looks like our changing climate now makes summer last into the middle of  October. I found a blogpost from mid-October 2010, where I'm dressed in winter clothes because the temperature was 18 F.

I took some selfies. Oh, well, this is the best one I could find -- an old Swede in a desert canyon, and loving it.

Have a Happy Weekend!

Thursday, October 28, 2021

Checking Blogger Stats On A Rainy Day

I intended for this to be posted three days ago, but something went wrong and I've been busy so didn't notice. Anyhow, here it is:

Today, Monday, is a miserable day outside. Just the kind of day, I was longing for in our long, hot and dry summer. So I can't complain. And we're getting quite a bit of rain from that bomb cyclone to the north of us. I haven't seen rain for so long, I must go outside and let it rain on me. How I've missed the sounds and smells of rain. 

I had a busy week last week and my great-niece, Jasmine, came to visit me on Sunday. Before she left, she wanted to be sure to schedule another visit. This touched my heart. She's 17, very caring, very bright, and a joy to sit and talk to. I've decided to stay in bed today to rest, read, and write. Maybe watch the Sunday movie I missed yesterday. I have a movie afternoon every Sunday. Something new I started this summer. It's becoming a tradition. 

Reading about blogger stats, I decided to visit mine, something I haven't done for many years. 

Here are the results for the past Three Months:

Most popular post:  Another Puzzle Done. -- I was hugely surprised by the interest in this. And embarrassed too since I'm a puzzle beginner and maybe these viewers' expectations were high for a real difficult puzzle solved.

Second most popular: 25-Year Old Otis Wins Fat Bear Contest. -- I'm happy this one was popular. I'm in with love this contest myself. 

Third most popular: Wildfire Smoke Causes Breathing Issues. -- I've noticed that scary posts and those about illness, even a cold, will draw readers. 

In Pages, the most popular was Contact Me, with triple the number of views of each of the above posts. Which is so interesting, because no one has contacted me. As far as I know. 

Could spammers be checking this? 

And Faith would be upset to learn that  Conversations With Samson got more views than my conversations with her. Even though he doesn't speak English nearly as well as she does. But, of course, he's the Fluffy one. 

Then I clicked on More About This Blog where I found where the people who read it resides. 

My blog has the largest audience in the United States, no surprise there.

Followed by Sweden. Now this surprised me because it's never been the case before. 

Then Indonesia, how I would love to get to know you better, but you have to leave a comment for that to happen.  

It was fun to look and I'm not done yet. I want to go back and look at all the people who signed up to follow my blog. There's a place for them somewhere. Sometimes I wonder how those I knew who stopped blogging are doing, are they OK?

The sky was gorgeous this morning. 

Have a Happy Day, Everyone!

Monday, October 25, 2021

Conversations With Faith


Faith: Who's that pretty dog?

Me: Her name is Lilli and she lives in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Faith: That's very far away, isn't it?

Me: Yes, it is.

Faith: What breed of dog is she?

Me: She's an English cocker spaniel. 

Faith: Are they hunting dogs?

Me: Yes, they were bred to hunt the Eurasian woodcock, which lives in England.

Faith: Phew, that's a lot to absorb. So do we have an American version of the cocker spaniel?

Me: Yes, we do. Our American cocker spaniel looks different, smaller than the English, and was bred to be a family pet. The American cocker has less prey drive than the English version.

Faith: Do I have any prey drive?

Me: You sure do, you're always chasing rabbits and ravens, even though they always outmaneuver you.

Faith: Let's change the subject. What's that under Lilli's head?

Me: Looks like some sort of pillow. 

Faith: So dogs in Denmark get pillows?

Me: Lilli has one, maybe it belongs to her mommy. 

Faith: But you don't know. 

Me: No.

Faith: You better stop writing about things you don't know or you may get in trouble.

Me: Maybe if you stopped asking so many questions.

Faith: Can I have a pillow?

Me: Why? You have your very own soft blankie. You have three or four very soft blankies, actually. I think that's enough.

Faith: You are right, I think I would get a crick in my neck if I had a pillow. 

Faith to herself: Bred this way, bred that way, it's criminal how they play around with us dogs. Some breeds are so fancy and full of themselves even though they are absolutely useless, all they do is get cuddled by their owers. I'm sure they all have pillows to put their heads on. 

Breed one this way, another that way, if humans aren't careful, they may breed a MONSTER dog by mistake. 

Me: Did you say something?

Faith: No, mommy. Good night.

Me: Good night, sweet dog of mine. Love you.

Faith: Love you too.

Friday, October 22, 2021

New Cups And Strangers Cheer Me Up


I was recently diagnosed with asthma. A mild case, but I need to use an inhaler, which I really don't like, but it could be worse, of course.

To cheer myself up, I bought these colorful cups. 

The other day, a kind young woman at our local small DMV office fixed all my problems with the Motor Vehicle Department: changed my mailing address, gave me a set of license plates, affixed the 2022 stickers, found a screwdriver in an office drawer, went outside and screwed the plates in place on my car. 

I thanked her and she said she wouldn't let her own grandmother bend down to do that job, so she needed to help. 

Then I went to the post office to pick up a package or two. One was medical supplies, the other was gigantic! I looked at it and shook my head. The clerk asked if I wanted a cart. I was going to say yes, when the guy behind me in line offered to bring it out for me. I accpeted and thanked him. Short man, big package, but he mananged. (It was a badly needed new kitchen trash can.)

As I drove off, I felt my bad mood lift, my negative thinking fly away thanks to the helpfulness of strangers. 

I truly need to get out more, interact with strangers more, talk to people I meet in the stores, as I did before the pandemic. 

I used to have so much fun, just going to the grocery store.


About the mailboxes from my last post: 

1. They have been replaced by a modern structure and are now all locked.

2. The road has been paved.

3. It's nowhere close to me, it's farther into the canyon. 

4. Finally, I'm very happy I captured that shot, sort of from a bygone time. 

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Wordless Wednesday


Country Living

Friday, October 15, 2021

Conversations With Samson


Me: Good morning, Samson. How are you this morning?

Samson: Woof, woof!

Me: You are smiling, must mean you're fine.

Samson: Woof!

Me: You're looking kind of dirty. I've asked Mark, the nice helper man, to come and help me brush you.

Samson: Woof, woof, woof, great!

Me: Why do you look like that now? Ears back and everything? 

Samson: Woof, woooooof, woooooooof, hungry!

Me: You're always hungry and now you're so fat, you're going on a diet.

Samson: Woooooooooooooooof! Oh, no, I'm just fattening up for the winter. I'm nowhere near as fat as those big bears you had pictures of. Nowhere near!

Me: But they don't eat anything until spring. That's why they have to get so fat. They hibernate, go into a den and sort of sleep until spring.

Samson: Woof, I mostly sleep all day long too. Wooofhy, because someone I know is too busy to take me for my long walks. 

Me: I'm sorry about that, but someone you know can't walk very well right now. And someone you know feeds you three meals a day.

Samson: I'd be thinner if I walked more.

Me: True. -------- And ate less!

Samson: Woooooooooooe is me......


Samson is the barker in the family and not as well versed in English as Faith. 

But he's my snuggle dog, my Fluffmonster (as Theresa in Texas, who's no longer blogging, so appropriately named him, years ago) and the sweetest, kindest old dog, I've ever known.

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Stormy Weather And Opera

High winds hit our area Monday, howlig and whistling around the corners of my house, stirring up the dry sand and soil mixture that covers my front and back yards.

Needless to say, the dogs and I stayed in the house. When my German shepherd, Angel, was alive, our windows were not as good as the new ones I had installed, so the wind noice was  much louder. How she would sing and howl, my sweet angel dog. 

I'm not fond of high winds either. I had plans to get some much needed work done Monday, in an attempt to start the week off right. But I just couldn't concentrate, so I looked through my CDs and played some operas.

I listened to Tosca, Jane told me recently how much she likes it, so I wanted to listen again. Then Rigoletto, which is my favorite opera, and, finally, La traviata. I listened to all of them in their entirety. 

After that, I listened to one of my favorite jazz CDs, April in Paris, with Charlie Parker. 

I don't play enough jazz these days. And what's happened to jazz? I'm as guilty as anyone to have stopped listening. 

But I will remedy that. It was such a beautiful experience, listening to a sad genius playing gorgeous music. 

So that was my day. Nothing got done, but it ended up being a lovely day, wind and all.

The storm continued after I went to bed. As I turned the lights out, Samson came in the bedroom a couple of times. I let him out to do his business. He didn't seem very disturbed by the wind, he's a calm dog. But I think, that like me, he just didn't like it. So I gave him one of his calming pills and he soon went to sleep.  

As did Faith and I.

Sunday, October 10, 2021

Three Trips To Town


Friday morning early, I took off - for the third time in as many days - to our veterinary hospital, which is located at the other end of town, around 20 plus miles away. There had been so much confusion about Samson's medicine, but finally it had been straightened out. 

I'm not good at waiting unless I know why, at least. So I left the vet hospital the first day I was there, after waiting for a long time. And then I left the next day too. Thursday, after I got home from there, I got a call from the pharmacist, who told me that she had just returned to work that day after being out with Covid-19 for some time.  She said her husband is really ill with it.

She and I have become friendly, her mom is from Sweden, so we have something in common. She apologized, but once I understood the reason for all the confusion, I was no longer upset.

Driving my new car and trying to improve my mileage and my driving skills is so much fun that I really didn't mind the driving. Sorry I keep talking about my car of all things, but I'm just so happy with it. 

With the help of the Mayo Clinic web page, I learned something I didn't know about neuropathy that helped explain the sudden onset, if that's what is wrong with my leg. I will talk to my diabetes team about this after I'm done with the pulmonary tests that are coming up. One thing at a time is about all I can cope with.

I enjoyed many sightings of the migrating turkey buzzards as I drove to town. It was so much fun and I was really excited. They stop and spend the night in the tall trees in town and circle around in the mornings, looking for breakfast. 

Many, many trucks come through on the highway that goes through the pass. About 40,000 a week, I once read. Sounds impossible, but there you are. Here's one of them, coming from Love's where the driver may have spent the night. 

On my way to the vet, I pass by the Pioneer True Value hardware store, the one place in town where I like to have duplicate keys made. I needed to have some made so friends could reach me in case I fell or something happened to me. It was a good thing that I had to go by there three times, because the first time I went in, I only had a copy made of my front door key. Completely forgetting that, in order to get to me, a person also needs to be able to unlock my gate. Old age, you really need to keep your sense of humor. 

Friday, October 8, 2021

Rabbitbrush Turns The Canyon Yellow


and Jeanne captured some amazing insects in hers:

Monarch Butterfly

Tarantula Hawk

Thank you, Jeanne.

The above are from my yard and the pictures below are of Joyce's fields.

Here in the canyon, rabbitbrush blooms from mid-to-late September into October.  They always make me happy because when they begin to bloom it means our long hot summer is over with. 

Rabbits don't eat the bushes, one site I looked at said that jack rabbits do. Here rabbits live among the rabbitbrush, as do many other small critters. Native Americans used rabbitbrush for yellow dye, to make medicinal tea, and as a chewing gum. If you like more information, please click on the link below.


Thank you all so much for your concern after I posted that I fell. I hope I said I wasn't injured much, and that I didn't even land on the floor. 

I do carry my phone with me in a leather pouch that attaches to my belt. This doesn't work at night or first thing in the morning, of course. But when I walk outside, yes, and also in the house.

I tried those Medic Alert type companies, three different ones, I believe.  And I never felt comfortable with their devices in my house. This is not like me, I'm a rational person, so I have no idea why they sort of creeped me out. So after spending between $400 - $500 in annual fees with three different companies, so between $1,200 and $1,500, I gave up on trying to get used to them. It's not like me, so I have no explanation. And I agree, they are a very good idea for someone like me. But I have another idea I may try.

Thanks for caring, you are the best!

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

25-Year Old Otis Wins Fat Bear Title, I Fell, We're Old -- Otis and I

This morning, I stepped out of bed and my legs gave way and I fell. I'm still sleeping in my office, so I fell on my office chair, which has wheels and it rolled, I rolled with it and smacked into a small cabinet, which broke my fall. 

Good thing I didn't end up on the floor. Bad thing, I twisted my back on this short journey with my chair and now I hurt here and there, but nothing serious.

Except the fact of this being a warning signal. 

Except the fact that I need help.

I've known this for some time, I have made inquires. Formal ones for paid help. I will definitely do more today.

When I call to find out about help for myself, without fail people at the other end think I'm calling for my mother. Simply because I don't sound the way I feel. 

Yesterday, I felt terrible all day, but decided to still move on with my day and do what I could and what was needed around here. It went well and at the end of the day, I felt happily accomplished.

I now think I couldn't tolerate my new inhaler. I have another one that I got from the NP in my doctor's office up here. I think I will tolerate that one better.

But enough about me, the winner of the Fat Bear Title is no youngster either: 

Fat Bear of 2021 -- Otis 

(L. Law)

Otis is about 25 years old. I read that some voters were a bit annoyed, calling his win a sympathy win. People voted for him because he's old and tough and a survivor, not because he's the fattest bear in the park. But who cares, he's an old guy, let him eat his salmon in peace, says I. 

I spend some time during the year, watching the bears at Katmai National Park. It's a lot more fun, with more action, than the other nature show I watch every year: The Migration of the Swedish Moose, which is definitely slow-motion TV. 

Check out the bears at: 

Saturday, October 2, 2021

Honda, High Desert Driving, Fat Bear Week Ends


After the sun/moon roof on my new Honda mysteriously opened on its own and then could not be closed all the way, I had to take it to Honda, Lancaster. After a while it was clear this would be an all-day affair. Fortunately, my relatives were home and could come and pick me up. I took this picture while waiting for Kenny to get us a Subway lunch. I could have lightened it up, but I like the spooky atmosphere of the dark, spiky trees, so I left it alone.

Honda had to keep my car and gave me a Honda Accord as a loaner. A car, as opposed to an SUV. What a difference it made for me: My bad right hip acted up, my right leg got numb, I was lucky to be able to move my foot from the gas to the break pedal. Being tall, I much prefer the seating in my old Jeep, pickup truck, van, or the Honda SUV to a small car.

Because of road work on the freeway, I took Sierra Highway, which runs parallel to the freeway, part of the way home. This also made me able to stop a few times and take pictures. As you can see, there's actually light colored sand in this high desert. But mostly it's full of rabbit brush and other low growing vegetation, as well as the occational tree.

I took this picture of Soledad mountain, which was mined for silver, then more recently for gold. I don't know if they are still mining there. If they are, I wish they would just leave the mountain alone.  

Finally, Fat Bear Week just ended in Katmai National Park and Preserve in Alaska. People go online and vote for their favorite Fat Bear. I don't, but I like to check in on them. 

I'm so in love with their chubbiness. 

The above bear is number 409 Beadnose. I'm rooting for number 131 Marshmallow, a lovely golden bear. The winner will be announced on Fat Bear Tuesday, which is this coming Tuesday.

The Washington Post will announce the winner, so I will be able to  show him or her off in all their Fat Bear glory soon.  


Friday, October 1, 2021

First On The Scene

Thursday morning, on my way back home after a post office run, I came upon this scary scene. A young woman was pacing up and down by the truck, which was down an embankment, something not clear from my pictures. So she went off the road, down into a field below and, from the looks of it, the truck must have rolled. The windshield was completely smashed.   

Needless to say, the woman was very distraught, her face was bloody, she was crying. I was the first car at the scene, so I stopped, I called 911 and reported our location and that she appeard injured. She just wanted me to give her a ride to her parents, but I told her she couldn't leave the scene, the police would come soon, and would make sure she was taken care of. 

Soon a local guy drove by and stopped also. Fortunately, he was more able than I to climb down to where she was and to better help console her and try to calm her. Soon the police arrived. The woman said, "I was wearing my seatbelt." The policeman said, "you may not have survived this crash if you hadn't." 

Once things were under control, I asked if it was OK that I leave and the cop said yes. So I drove home, a bit more slowly than usual, and so glad the young woman was going to be fine. 


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