Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Dear Refrigerator Please Stay Strong


The other morning at Joyce's house, her kitchen counters were full of food packages of all kinds and she was busy stuffing them into her refrigerator. 

It was pretty obvious her fridge was reaching its max capacity. 

As it turned out her tenant had bought a lot of extra food for herself and her daughter to have during and after our recent tropical storm. 

Then her refrigerator broke!

Since Joyce's fridge was getting stuffed, I got some of the food too. A lot actually.

My fridge is at least 20 years old. It's a Kenmore, a brand that I've found to be very reliable, but still, old is old. 

It has a huge bottom freezer drawer, which was rather empty, so I stuffed most of the food in there.

I ate all the yogurts, of course I did, I live on yogurt. And I even tried some pork sausages that were in an opened packet. They were really, really good, but I don't think I would buy some, as I still don't like to eat a lot of meat. But maybe I will, they were that good, from Walmart, where my neighbor works.

I hope she will get her refrigerator situation resolved, so I can return the frozen items to her. 

In the meantime, please, dear old fridge, stay strong, don't collapse under the weight and responsibility of keeping and preserving so much food. 

I know you're not used to it...

But you can do it!


Sunday, August 27, 2023

Sunday Morning Reflections

Gratitude ~ I have so much to be grateful for. My cancer year is over; even though I tire easily, my health is good now; I'm working on being able to tolerate my medicine and feel sort of proud to have persevered.

My neighbors are wonderful. Yesterday, Joyce graded my roads. I went to see her just to say hello, and before I knew it, she attached the grader to the rhino and took off. 

She did such a good job and looked like she had a lot of fun. 

And I went on Amazon and entered - Bed & Body Works and ordered their Signature Collection Cucumber Melon Gift Set.

I hope Joyce will enjoy it. 

I'm grateful for my friends of so many years, around the world and here in the canyon. 

And all of you, my friends on the blogs. 

And I'm forever grateful for Faith, all 67 pounds of her. Yes, she went to the vet and got weighed. 

Faith: Mommy, please don't discuss my weight on the blog!

Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Neighbors & Firemen Make A Wonderful Day

Firemen from our town came out yesterday morning to help put our road back together.

As you can see in the above picture, there's not much left of the road. Last  I saw, there was some heavy scooping equipment down in the creek bed moving dirt and debris.

And there certainly was a lot of debris down there.

I woke up to a foggy morning and took some pictures, of which I found this one to be special.

I spent the day with my neighbor, Joyce, who spent some of her time baking carrot cakes for the firemen. We drove down to the road and gave them the cakes, which they appreciated a lot, it was clear to see. 

Since they've already brought in their heavy equipment, I feel confident that the road will soon be fully repaired. 

As for me, well, the gate you see is my gate. My road that went from my house to the gate, is pretty much intact closer to the house, but downhill, by the gate, it looks like this. Just one huge mud puddle. 

Joyce told me that Mark, who helps me with my outdoor work, is good with roads. I was happy to hear that and, once the mud has dried up, I hope he can bring my road back. 

This was an all together lovely day!

I'm grateful for wonderful neighbors and firemen.

Tuesday, August 22, 2023

Tropical Storm Hilary Hits The Canyon


She brought more rain with her than I've ever seen in my life. It began with a lot of rain on Saturday, before the "real" storm hit on Sunday. 

I got very tired from listening to so much rain. 

The power stayed on for a surprisingly long time, until it finally gave up yesterday. But it came back this morning, so it wasn't bad. 

In the middle of the tropical storm, we got an earthquake alarm. Lots of loud beeps on the phone, then: Duck, Cover and Hold On! 

Something no one in Southern California needed to hear just then. It turns out there was a 5.1 quake in Ojai, a town closer to the coast than to us here.  

My neighbor Joyce's and my road, which leads to the main road in the canyon and goes over a creek has been severely damaged and is impassable. 

The creek flooded, the culvert is damaged and the road also. We are looking into some disaster relief from the county or FEMA or wherever we can find some. It will cost a lot to get this fixed. 

And, of course, it needs to be fixed right away. 

In our broader community, the 60th Anniversary of the Mountain Festival was taking place this weekend, with thousands of people coming from all over to our town. They had to cancel the rodeo on Saturday night, and all events on Sunday. A lot of effort goes into this annual event and I feel bad that the storm happened the weekend of the festival. 

Neighbors in the canyon were evacuated or they were not. I've heard both. 

There was a mud flow on highway 58 near here, with a truck and a car stuck in the mud. 

The official rain amount was 4.58"; Jeanne's count for the part of the canyon where she lives was 7" and that was before the rain stopped. 

So we got a really ginormous amount of rain. 

Our normal rain amount for August is 0.08", how many drops of rain would that be, I couldn't help but wonder. Not very many...

The paper said that the water infrastructure worked well, the power outages, including ours, were taken care of promptly, and everything worked well. 

And I'm glad I bought food and water before this event. I didn't really believe I would be stuck here, but I've always felt that it never hurts to be prepared. 

Faith is also happy to have had ALL her canned dog food arrive in time at the post office. Being stuck here without good dog food, she said, is not an option.

Sunday, August 20, 2023

Sunday Morning Reflections


Reflections of the setting sun on the hill outside my bedroom window.

I have been reading Mary Oliver's poems recently and I'm glad to have discovered this American poet I didn't know about earlier.  

Nature walks sustained her. Her nature poems sustain me and remind me it's time to get up and take my morning walk with Faith. 

The Summer Day may be one of her most read poems, with one of the best endings ever: 

"Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life."

~ Mary Oliver

Wednesday, August 16, 2023


I never had any problems with doing household chores, except vacuuming. I used the one above when I had Samson, my Samoyed, it was perfect for picking up his piles of fur. Then I bought an upright one, which is not all that great.  

Errol and I never had a discussion or a disagreement about who was doing what. Things just got done. (I must confess to sometimes reading advice columns where married folks  squabble about who's supposed to do what.) 

Now that I'm 83 and live alone, I find I must approach household chores in a new way in order to get them done. 

Mark, who helps me with outside chores, will wash and polish my floors, which makes a big difference. 

The rest I do myself and I have my good days and days where I look around and see that I must have forgotten to dust for a very long time.

To get things done, I have a system where I do a little, then sit and rest for a while. Then go back, do a little more, then repeat until the chore is done. 

I'm not surprised to learn that others use the same method to clean their homes. When I read an article about this way of approaching chores, I learned that it has a name: Pacing.

So, now I know. I'm pacing through my chores and somehow or other, most of them get done. 

I'm just a little bit proud of this...

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

A Treasure Trove of Photos

My photos, from January 1 until yesterday, have sat on my phone while I've been unable to upload them to my computer. 

Granted, I've had a foggy brain for some of this time, but I suspect laziness may have had more to do with me never even trying to fix this. 

Now that I want to blog again, I will of course need my photos. So I asked Google (we're becoming quite friendly, Google and I, after not getting along for many years). And I learned that I needed to press something, probably the photo pinwheel. I've forgotten what I pressed.

Anyhow, magically, eight months of pictures began to show up on my computer. 

Here is one from each month, January to present:




Taking a picture of the great shawl that Jeanne crocheted for me to wear after my surgery.


My great-niece, Jasmine, at the ruins in Sand Canyon. 


Joyce's donkey and its mini me. 


Red Rock State Park


My shed, after Mark put up siding and painted it. The colors match those of my house. The half French door was a left over from Errol's business. There's nothing behind it but dirt, but at least it's a door. I think that part of the shed was a chicken coop.


Of course I had to include Faith, so focused on me here.

Sunday, August 13, 2023

You Touched My Heart My Dear Blogger Friends


You know, there are moments in your life when you need a hug from your friends and yesterday was such a day for me. What happened is this: 

Since early this year, I've become good friends with another Swedish woman here in our town. Her name is Helena, she's about 30 years younger than I, has a big heart and I feel that she really cares about me and will do anything she can to help me, should I need it. 

She has two big dogs, American Staffordshire terriers that are just adorable. She also makes dogfood that I buy from her every now and then. Faith loves this food so much.  

Anyhow, I learned on Saturday that she's in the process of moving to Palmdale a town about 55 miles from here. An easier drive down the mountain and in the opposite direction from Bakersfield. 

I've so enjoyed getting together for "fika" which is Swedish for having coffee together, speaking Swedish, following the World Cup in soccer, where Sweden is doing well, and so on. So, as I drove home, I felt really, really sad. I even teared up. 

Then after lunch, I opened my computer to see if anyone noticed that I had posted something on my blog. 

And there you were, my dear friends, welcoming me back, leaving your kind comments, letting me know you've thought of me and wondered how I'm doing. 

Thank you. You reminded me that we don't need to sit opposite each other in order to be loving and caring friends. 

Your comments assured me that returning to blogging will be good for my soul, my heart, may even improve my writing skills, and will definitely make me be a part again of this community, where we care deeply about each other, even though we've never met, never hugged, and never sat down opposite each other with a cup of coffee and a good conversation. 

This is pretty wonderful and really amazing, isn't it? 

Saturday, August 12, 2023

Back To Blogging


Good morning, it's been a while. I hope you all are doing well this hot summer.  

I'm feeling much better and would love to get back to blogging. 

In January I encountered a problem with uploading photos from my phone to my Chromebook, where I blog. I've made no effort to find out what's wrong or how to fix it. 

I blame this on the aftereffects of cancer, surgery, and the medicines I'm taking. I will try to resolve it now. 

I've also felt unable to write. It's something my friend Annette in Copenhagen disputes, as we write emails back and forth all the time. But I feel our emails are different from writing on my blog. Not sure why.

Annette and I both love the English language though. 

Faith is doing well and wants to voice her canine opinions here every now and then. She says she loves English too and is very proud of how many English words she understands. 


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