Eastern Utah
EMAIL ME AT: mgypsy97 at aol dot com

Saturday, December 29, 2018

I won't be welcoming the New Year after all. UPDATE ADDED!!!!!

All the planning and anticipation of going up to the mountains to welcome the new year just fell apart for me.

I have been having a real problem with itching lately, all over, but the only redness was in my waistband area.  Last night I was awake all night long with extreme itching all over, and by this morning I was covered with an ugly red rash.  Jeannie took me to an emergency medical care center today, and  they did some blood tests and wrote me 2 prescriptions.  I had planned to go with Jeannie to get the prescriptions filled, but after what the dog did to my house while I was gone I just stayed home and asked her to get them filled at Costco.  So right now I'm still very itchy, but I hope when I get the 1st dose of meds I will begin to get some relief!  The kids have rented two cabins each with several bedrooms and I know I will miss a good party.

Jeanne and I looked at a duplex she wants me to move into about May or when the current family leave for a move to Washington State.   It seems very nice, especially the kitchen which is on the small side but has much newer appliances than I have.  There is a dryer in the laundry room that will stay, and I'll have to buy myself a washing machine.  It will be so nice to not have to leave home to do my laundry.

The back yard is incredibly big although it goes downhill from the deck - Rocky and no doubt I will get some good exercise.   I can see some frisbee tossing back there.  The house, as I've said before, is 3 bedrooms ad 2 baths.  None of the bedrooms is extremely large but they are all a good size.  I'll probably use one as a spare bedroom and the other for my art table, desk, bookshelves, and misc. storage.  I don't know how I am going to pack up my belongings, and I hope to donate some items and clothing.

I will definitely be happy to leave the home I'm in, and I'll be in a much better location, although I will certainly miss my favorite stores and restaurants here.  I don't eat out often, but when I do it's usually Chipotle which is only a few blocks from me.

I wish everyone a happy new year. 

I'm packing and planning to go.  After taking the first dose of the meds last night I am noticeably improved, although still have a bit of a rash and itchiness.

Rocky is beside himself because I'm packing his food, toys, etc.  and he's ready to go.  My son Steve is bringing his dog Sammy, and along with Rocky will probably drive us all crazy with their unbounded energy.  Sammy is about 4 yrs old but still acts like a puppy.  I will try to get some photos of them if they can hold still long enough. 

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Happy Holidays to all.

Whatever holidays you celebrate at the end of the year, I wish you the best.

For myself, I plan to go to my daughter's house where our California families will gather for a wonderful Mexican meal prepared by Chef Donald, and then the pandemonium of the children opening gifts, to the adults and our secret santa gift exchange which is always full of laughs.  While I'm looking forward to it, I hate the thought of leaving Rocky at home alone.  I just couldn't do it two evenings in a row so I missed the Christmas Eve celebration last night (another wonderful meal prepared by Donald).

Have a great day however you celebrate it, and if you don't celebrate then have a wonderful day just as well.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Odds and Ends

I just bought the first Christmas gift of the shopping season - a gift card!  Now I need to get the rest of it done soon.  Try as I may, I can't conjure up much Christmas spirit this year.

I just returned from the 3rd walk today with Rocky.  He had been out with Andrew for the second day, and what an improvement!  He responds much better to "heel", and a few other simple commands.  Yesterday I could hear him barking and whimpering when Andrew took him out of sight of the house, but today he went willingly and quietly.  We've arranged for these walks for the rest of this week, and will just play it by ear next week due to the Christmas holiday.
Al asked me about the prong collar and I will try to describe it.  It isn't nearly as bad as it sounds, but maybe there are worse models out there.  It is a collar consisting of rather large chain links.  One end of each link opens out  (two prongs) so there are prongs along the inside of the collar.  They are not small in circumference, and they aren't pointy, and he doesn't seem to be bothered by them at all.  I think he realizes he has to walk in a civilized manner and not be jumping on everyone we meet, nor can he pull my arms out of the sockets.  I wouldn't be able to keep him with the way things were going, and I hope we don't need this collar for long.  Also, he chewed up two really durable nylon collars in two days last week, and that can't continue.  By the way, I checked numerous times on the walk, and when he is walking in a normal fashion, even stopping to smell something on the ground or whatever, the prongs never touch his neck.  I'm sure he couldn't lunge at  someone without feeling it, but they would definitely not pierce or even prick his skin.

As far as stress on his neck, I worry about that as well, but when I have him on his regular collar and leash and he pulls with all his strength to try to get to another person or animal, that certainly can't be good for his neck.   He knows instinctively not to pull with the chain collar and also I can feel a slight tug if he wants to stop to relieve himself, stop to smell the roses or whatever, etc.  We both are doing fine with this system, and I look forward to the time when he doesn't need it.  No doubt many of you thought I was a damn fool to get a dog, and I was, but I did!

While Andrew and Rocky were walking I tried to get as much cleaning done as I could, even moving furniture.  Now I'm plumb wore out and think I need a rest.

Have a good day!

Monday, December 17, 2018

Better Days?

After several days of feeling bad as well as unhappy with Rocky's behavior, things are looking up since I got the prong collar I'm using for his walks.  He doesn't give any indication that it hurts him or is uncomfortable, but just walks very nicely most of the time.  He will give a little tug now and then, especially if he wants to stop and sniff something wonderful along the way.  We are getting along a lot better the past couple of days.

Jeannie and I went to Target and Costco last night and left him for probably 2 hours or so.  I expected to find some disaster when I returned, but evidently he held off until he heard us coming in the driveway.  My jacket was on the floor as was one of the sofa pillows, both of which I had placed out of his normal reach on the high back of a chair.  He must have climbed up into the chair and gotten them, but since no damage was done I think he waited until he heard us returning.  Good boy, Rocky!

Jeannie stayed for a while and she played with Rocky, and went through some training routines with him.  He knew what she wanted, but some times he is just stubborn, acts like he's never heard English before, etc.  I have found that to be true quite often - he ends up doing what I ask him to do, but in his own time.  I usually turn my back on him and act like I have something else to do, and then he'll comply.  I have never had such a stubborn dog!

I cannot believe it is this close to Christmas and I haven't bought one single item.  I have had it with Christmas as well as other holidays that are mostly celebrated to make money for the stores and corporations that own them. 

We just got back from our second long walk today.  It had rained a lot yesterday and last night, but the sun is shining today and it seems warmer outside than it does in my house!

Jeannie told me that she has been in contact with the man who is renting the duplex that I might be interested in.  He and his wife are expecting their 1st child in a few months, and they want to move back to be closer to their families.  He said that it would be okay if we came to see the place the week after Christmas, so that's when I will no doubt make up my mind about it.  I will have a lot of work to do in the first few months of the year in cleaning up this place and making minor repairs.  I think I will miss the storage in this place.  There is much more than in most houses or the later model mobile homes.

I hope you are all doing well and looking forward to the holidays if you celebrate them. 

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Is it Time.......

....to throw in the towel?   I don't know how much longer I can put up with Rocky.  The big problems now are excessive chewing as well as jumping on people.  The Gentle Leader that I bought for him worked so well, but he found it during the night and by morning had one end chewed off.  Yesterday a neighbor gave me a type of harness which I noticed this morning he had chewed one end off.  It was obviously new so I'm going to have to find another one and pay her the amount it costs.  If I try another collar or lead, it's going to be a metal one.

I've been feeling really ill since yesterday - every bone and muscle in my body aches from being pulled; I've developed a problem with itching - forget what they call it - but it's driving me bonkers!  I don't have a rash of any sort.

So I am going to try once more to find a suitable collar and lead that Rocky can't chew up.  If that doesn't work, then I'm going to find another home for him.  I really do love that dog, but he is so boistrous and strong that I know it's just a matter of time until I have a serious accident.

Several people have told me about a man in the park that is excellent in dog training, so I may try him as a last resort.

Have a good weekend!

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Government Red Tape

I am so angry with one of my supposed "representatives" to Congress, .  I have written both senators as well as the other congressional representative in my district, but when I attempted to send a message to one rep, I was prevented from doing so because I don't know the zip + 4.   So the message could not be sent and I was informed I could look the +4 at the website for the US Postal Service.  All I can say is WHAT A WASTE!  To be truthful I never received a satisfactory answer from this representative in all the years I've resided in California, but I have never been required to add the +4 to my zip code.

Now that that is off my chest, I feel much better.

With 13 days until Christmas I have only bought one gift so far.  I don't have many to buy - mainly the kids - but I haven't even done that yet.

Rocky continues to walk very nicely with the gentle lead collar, although he still doesn't like it and tries to shake it off.  It hasn't stopped him from trying to jump on anyone we meet.

(NOTE:   I have already received an acknowledgement of the email I sent to my other congressional representative.  (No +4 digits needed!)

My day was only going so-so before I decided to email my senators and reps.  I think the rest of the day can only get better!  I apologize for letting my views seep into this blog, but I had no other way to vent.  I won't do it again

 Have a good one!

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Almost like a new dog!

Steve came over yesterday and finished replacing door knobs on all the hallway doors plus the side door to the house.  It's amazing to be able to open and shut them easily and firmly.  Joe also showed up, and the three of us took Rocky to Petsmart as I needed more of the special high-priced food that I am trying to wean him off of.  So far I give him one cup of the expensive prescription stuff to 1/2 cup of the original kibble I bought for him (expensive enough as it is).  This weekend I will up the ratio to half & half and hope he does well with it.

While there we tried a prong collar on him - oooh it was ugly!  Also tried the easy leader (or is it gentle leader?).  I can't remember the name and he found the box and instructions while I was in the shower - nothing is left of it except the plastic box and the DVD that accompanied it.

I bought the easy gentle leader and what a difference it makes!  He doesn't like it much and sometimes tries to shake it off, but he walks like a real gentleman.  I'm hoping that after a week or two of  discomfort he will settle down and walk nicely.  We have yet to pass close by a person or another dog while he is wearing it, and that could be the acid test.  Something has to happen because my control over him is about 50-50 now and that won't do.  Every bone in my body aches - I feel like my left knee is coming out of the socket sometimes, and that is no doubt  from bracing while trying to hold him back from something or someone he wants to get close to.  To say I've been depressed doesn't come close, but this gives me hope I can finally get some cooperation from him.  I don't want to break his beautiful puppy spirit, but I can't let him break me, physically or emotionally.

Several times a person has driven by us today while we were walking, opened the car window, and complimented me on how beautiful and well-behaved he is!  That's the collar working!

I'll be happy when December is past.  It was my favorite holiday until my dad died in 1978 when all the joy went out of Christmas (and every other celebration).  I often thought my dad actually still believed in Santa Claus, or maybe he was the real Santa Claus!

So, looking forward to better times, with a well-behaved labrador retriever walking gently at my side, and possibly living in a house with a big back yard for this lab to run and have fun, I'll get through December.

I hope you are all enjoying the lead up to the holidays, as well as ignoring much of the hype associated with trying to sell you stuff you don't need or want.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

If at first you don't succeed -

READ THE INSTRUCTIONS!   I don't read instructions.  I have never in my life read instructions until all else failed.

Last week I watched a couple of Youtube videos about making zucchini fritters, and I thought it looked easy and delicious as well.  Not having a food processor I had to grate everything by hand, which I didn't mind.  They were delicious and got me to thinking, if they were this good for entailing all the work, I should buy myself a food processor, which I did.  Costco had a small Cuisinart processor for $25 and I tried it out this morning.  It took me at least a half hour to get it all assembled and connected, and I could have had all the ingredients grated by then, but at least I tried something new.

I may use it again but to tell the truth, I think my hand-grated fritters tasted better.  The ones I made today are a bit mushier and the flavors don't stand apart.

A funny moment occurred when I was cutting the zucchini in smaller sections to put into the processer.  While I was busy putting the pieces into the machine, Rocky came along and stole a chunk of zucchini and then ran like a rabbit so I wouldn't see him!

While I'm sitting here typing this, I've eaten the entire batch of zucchini fritters and it's only 9:49 am!


Monday, December 3, 2018

Good Boy, Rocky!

We went for a long walk yesterday morning, and starting out I told him to "heel".   I don't know how he knew what I meant because I've tried it before and it didn't work.  This time he heeled perfectly, and although I could sometimes feel tension on the leash, I would repeat "heel", plus telling him what a good boy he was, and he would ease up and walk perfectly.  The day went pretty well after that.

Donald, Jeannie and the girls came over in the late afternoon to take me to Costco, and I wondered what Rocky might do to repay me for leaving him.  He didn't do much, although he was back at the toilet paper.  The locking part of the bathroom door handle came out so the door can't click shut.  He took advantage of it, and messed up a 25 cent roll of toilet paper!  Until Steve can put a new handle on the door I need to take the paper off the roll and set it where he can't reach it if I need to go somewhere without him.

I know he desperately needs exercise, so I took him out often through the day hoping to work off some puppy energy.  Again, he was fine except when he saw a person or another dog.  A lady we passed was out working on her lemon tree and offered me some lemons.  She clearly didn't like the dog, who was jumping furiously to get to meet and greet her, so she picked 4 lemons and set them on the ground well away from the tree.  I find it so embarassing as well as infuriating, because I know how good he can be.  But I have what I have, and I don't give up.  So if anyone wonders if I will have to give up this ball of energy and wilfulness, the answer is that he's mine and I will deal with him as best as I can.

At Costco I was in the beer & wine dept. and wanted a case of beer but would have to lift it from a stack about head level to me.  Ordinarily I ask someone to help me get it down but there was no one around, so I bit the bullet and pulled that big ol' case of beer towards me and then lowered it down to the floor.  I was stunned that I could do it like I was 10 years younger!  I think my arm muscles are being strengthened by Rocky and the leash!  If only there was a way I could tie the leash around my belly and get rid of the fat there! 

So here I am on Dec. 3rd, with not much done towards getting ready for Christmas.  I don't have a present bought for anyone, although the kids should be easy enough to shop for.  The adults in the family do a "Secret Santa" where we pick a name and buy a nice gift for that person.  The fun is in act of giving, and the person opening the gift.  This is always accompanied by much laughter, especially when one of the "boys" is doing the giving or opening.  I have no idea what I will get for my person.  I'm almost broke for the month already after the trip to Costco!

Here's hoping we all have a good and productive week!

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Rocky is Doing Fine!

He has all his old devilment back.  I was sort of hoping he would ease up a bit, especially when out walking on the leash.  I've read that it takes several weeks for the hormones to leave his system, so I guess he's not ready for "civilized" just yet.

It is so cold to me today - currently around 49 degrees, but I feel like I'm in an Arctic climate today.  The rain stopped for a while but will no doubt return.  I came back indoors a few minutes ago and changed to warmer and heavier sweat pants, plus warmer socks.  I need to dig out a hat although I've never liked to wear one.  I still have the hat I wore on the Appalachian Trail in 1997, and I think it belonged to one of my kids before that.

Day 4, and he hasn't slowed down yet! 

Thursday, November 29, 2018

I knew he could do it!

I'm just surprised it took him two days!  Rocky got the snaps open on the cone and was in his crate chewing on one edge of the cone!

The rains have been pretty hard today.  There was a brief period of sun and I'm sorry I didn't take Rocky for a walk at that time.  I really don't want to go out at all - for one thing the streets are littered with leaves from the trees, and they are slippery.

After dinner I took the cone off and gave Rocky a break from it.  We were both sitting on the couch so I could keep a close eye on him.  I'm still not getting a good amount of sleep at night, so I think I will go to bed early tonight.  We should get a break tomorrow and get some sun, which will make it much easier to walk Rocky and maybe reduce some of his energy.   

Here's to a good weekend.  I'm hoping to get to Costco where I will probably spend way more money than I want to, but haven't been there for a while so I don't mind. 

A little update:  This morning Rocky never heard of the words "heel" or "easy".  Yesterday must have been a fluke!  He was awful and never once loosened the tension.   As often, one step forward, two steps back.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

The patient is doing well!

He keeps trying to brush off that silly cone from around his neck, but so far he's fairly good about it.  It's difficult when he tries to go out the door and down about 5 steps, and then the return trip back up.  The cone definitely gets in his way.  Last night neither one of us got much sleep - we stayed in the living room and I tried to sleep on the couch.  I think the sedatives affected him as well, but we both survived until this morning.  I hope to sleep better tonight.  He whined and cried nearly the whole night long.

The vet's office always calls after a visit, and today they wanted to know if the patient was doing okay.  I told them that he would never get to the 10 day mark with that cone.  I looked at the surgery site and to tell the truth it didn't look bad at all - I couldn't see any stitches, but they may all be internal.  I'm just glad we have the first day behind us.

It has been drizzling or looking like rain all day long, but we have been able to get in a few short walks between the raindrops.  The cone sure gets in his way when he wants to taste something on the ground!

I haven't been able to duplicate Donald's skills with the TV so far, and I'll have to ask him to give me another lesson, which I will write down.  As remotes go it looks fairly easy, but I haven't had any luck. 

The days go by pretty quick lately with the shortest day of the year coming up in a few weeks.  I wish we could slow time down a bit.  I hope you all enjoy the rest of this week and the end of November.  I just can't believe December is almost upon us!

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Rocky lost a bit of weight!

Joe drove us to Banfield Pet Hospital (Petsmart) this morning at 8am, and got Rocky admitted.  His surgery has been performed and he is resting and doing quite well, as of when the vet called me a while ago.  I will pick him up around 2pm, and I'm grateful to have been able to get some things done while he isn't here to distract me.  I dread the cone, and when I asked the vet how long she thought he would need it she said a week to a week and a half!  I think they are giving me the worse-case scenario, and he will no doubt have some say as to how long he puts up with it.  They asked me if I wanted them to give me a course of sedatives and I jumped at the chance.  I told them if he didn't take them, I would!  Fingers are crossed  that this makes him settle down a bit, but I've not been encouraged by anyone that it will change his behavior.

After a couple of dry but cloudy days, we're having off and on rain today.  Temps in the 50's all week is fine by me.

Jeannie picked up a big tube of Icy Hot for my aching muscles and I'm surprised at how well it works.  I used it sparingly when I got it, and haven't had to use it since.   I'm glad to have it on hand, but I have to get down to business when it comes to training.   I can't have a dog that acts like he does when we meet anyone out on our walks or when the family comes over to visit.  I'll have to study up on works with labs, as Rocky thinks whatever they taught at the pet obedience class doesn't apply to him.

I think I'm going to try an every-other-day schedule of posting.  I said I would quit when I reached 1 Million views, and I have about 20k to go.

I need to go across the street to pick up my last load of laundry before leaving to pick up my baby!  Have a great day, and I'll be back soon.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

My baby is 41 today!

Joe  is 41 today, and the Sacramento family is joining up at the Thin Line to celebrate his, plus Quinn's 2nd birthday (last week) and my great nephew Romeo (18 yesterday).  I'm looking forward to it, but terrified of the damage Rocky can do while I'm gone, especially with the new TV.  I'm leaving the big box it came in sitting on the floor in front of it, and hope if he chews anything it will be the box.

Jeannie & fam. are picking me up and I asked her if they could stop at a store on the way where I can get some Ben Gay.  I ache all over and it doesn't ever feel any better - I hate to smell like Ben Gay but it's better than suffering!  I'm also going to get an adjustable hiking pole for use on our walks and hope it will stabilize me and reduce falls.  I probably am more likely to fall where a walking stick or pole wouldn't help me anyway, but I'll try to reduce the risks that I can.

I enjoyed hearing all about Jeannie's trip to Jamaica and seeing her photos.  They stayed on a Sandal's resort - there is more than one in Jamaica but this one is especially for families.  She couldn't say enough good about their visit and they are planning to go back some day.

I just took Rocky for a rather long walk and he was pretty good until a lady met us with her two (well behaved) dogs.  My own dog humiliated me.  I realize a walking stick or hiking pole would be a real hindrance rather than a help.

I need to start figuring what I can put away while I'm gone so that the dog doesn't destroy everything.  The door to  my spare room doesn't stay closed, and I discovered the papers I had left sitting on top of my shredder were torn to bits.  I have an electric shredder, and then there is the "other" one.  

It's the end of the holiday weekend, and I hope those of you who are driving home stay safe. 

Friday, November 23, 2018

Another day of wind & rain!

It's really not a very nice day out there, but I'm glad to see the rain anyway.  We haven't had lightning here, and I hope there is none near the forests.  I haven't walked very far with Rocky today - just too cold, wet and windy!

I talked to Jeannie last night after they arrived in Sacramento, and I'm so glad they had such a good time in Jamaica.  She said the employees at the resort were so sweet and attentive - going the extra mile for them.  They just loved Jeannie's girls and gave the family extra good service.  I'm relieved they are back, and that Joe made it to the Grand Canyon and back to celebrate his 41st birthday on this coming Sunday.  Maybe I can relax for a while - it seems like I've been waiting for the end of the world lately.  I hope it's not the end of my world because I don't know who would put up with Rocky until he "grows up" to be a good dog!  He is absolutely the sweetest little thing, while at the same time the most destructive and irritating little thing.

 So while my kids have been traveling all around, I still haven't gone anywhere lately.  I was looking forward to the trip to Napa Valley for mine and Jeannie's birthday, but the fires and smoke nearby made us decide to skip it for the time being.  I still hope we can get there later on this winter.  When I try to think of someplace I would like to go for a mini vacation, I come up with a blank.  There are places I'd like to go and people I would love to visit, but I don't think I could do that anymore.

Thanksgiving sure flew by this year.  I don't think anyone planned much for it as Jeannie and Joe were both gone during days preceding it.  I don't worry about holidays much any more but I usually enjoy being with family.  We are all getting together on Sunday to celebrate Joe's and Quinn's birthdays.

I hope the Thanksgiving holiday was a special one for all of us who celebrate it.  And I hope everyone has something to be thankful for.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope everyone has a wonderful day, with good cheer, good food, good people to be around.

Everything outdoors is wet this morning but right now the sun is shining.  Rain is in the forecast though.

Rocky was acting strangely yesterday, looking up at the ceiling and seeming to see or sense something that I could't understand.  He was nervous and edgy, and then when the rain started pouring down, I understood.  He has never seen rain before - good thing there wasn't lightning and thunder.  I think he was a little frightened at first and he just didn't know what to make of it.  I put on a rain parka and walked him in the rain several times and I think he enjoyed it!  I had a difficult time at first wondering why he was looking so intently at the upper walls and ceiling, and thought maybe he saw spirits that I coudn't see.  I guess he saw the spirit of rain!  With a dog's acute sense of hearing it's probable that they can hear rain coming in their direction before it actually gets here.  It's like watching a child grow and seeing their wonderment of the world around them.  

My daughter and her family arrived back in the U.S. yesterday and spent the night in an airport hotel in Miami.  They will be arriving in Sacramento in a few hours, and I'm glad they are safe and sound.  I've traveled in so many parts of the world and loved it, but I'm nervous when any of my kids go far from home.  Having one go to the Grand Canyon and another go to Jamaica in the span of about 10 days, I nearly worried myself to death.  Actually I'm proud of their desire to explore the world, and I think they got at least a part of that from me.  As I told one of them, "It's a mother's job to worry".

I wish everyone a good day!

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Out and About This Morning!

I have already been to the dog park at 7:30 am, dressed in my bathrobe & pj's.  I had taken the dog out to the back yard and he didn't want to come back indoors because he saw one of his favorite people in the dog park.  She waved me over, so I took Rocky, hoping no one else would show up this early.  We only stayed about 15 minutes, but it was long enough to wear Rocky out and he's sleeping with his head in my lap right now.  I still haven't gotten dressed!

If I thought all this wonderful exercise would calm Rocky down I was so wrong.  He is still destroying everything in sight that has a cotton type stuffing, and I see little wads of it all over the place.  He's nearly ruined the comfy pad in his crate, the throw pillows for the sofa and chair, and several of his stuffed toys.  I will definitely need new furniture when he's grown out of the destructive stage!

It looks like we are in for about 3 days of rain which I welcome.  I'm glad Joe put the cover back on the swamp cooler a few days ago. 

Jeannie and family are leaving for home today after a week's vacation, and I'm hoping to hear from her soon.  They arrive back in Sac tomorrow.  Monday is Joe's birthday and I'm looking forward to us all getting together to celebrate.  I sure need something to celebrate!

I have to get dressed and start my day, but this little doggy sleeping on my lap is so sweet I hate to move him and break the spell.  This is partly why I never get anything done - I'm either cleaning up after him, taking him outside, or relaxing with him on my lap!

Monday, November 19, 2018

My Wandering Boy is Back!

My youngest son, Joe, had last week off work and he and a friend went camping at the Grand Canyon.  I believe they camped 3 nights in the G.C., and then decided to go to the beach for a day or so, and ended up in California at Pismo Beach.  He took lots of pictures and it seems he had a great time.  Now I can stop worrying about him falling over a cliff, and spend the next week worrying about Jeannie & her family who are on vacation!  A mother of four is always worried about one or the other of them - in this case I've been fretting for a while about 2 of them!

I am so disappointed, worried, irritated, and a lot of other emotions - I was so happy Rocky had such a good time at the dog park socializing with other dogs and getting some great exercise.  However, every single time I've ever taken him inside those gates he gets the same condition back.  The vet is blaming it on food, and I was convinced that it was what and how I feed him.  I'm sticking to the special (and expensive) food for gastro-enteritis, but I do  like to give him treats, for training as well as just because I love him and like to see the joy he gets from anything and everything he eats.  Sometimes I use the kibble as treats, but sometimes I sneak in a special packaged treat that might be contributing to what ails him.   To be truthful, I don't think a treat now and then would have this sort of effect, but I'm wondering if there is a problem in that park with giardia.  If there is, then I'm sure to hear of other dogs that have it as well.  I'm really stumped, and don't know why a healthy 6 month old pup is having the problem he has. 

His other problem is that he chews anything and everything he can get by with.  And he is so clever he gets by with a lot!

Much of today wasn't as hazy as it's been, but late afternoons have been weird.  I wonder what lasting damage this smoke is doing to people as far away from the fire as we are in Sacramento. 

I forgot to publish this yesterday, so I'll just make it Monday's post!

Saturday, November 17, 2018

The Dog Park

There were about 3 women there when I took Rocky outside and they called to me to bring him over.  As soon as we entered through the gate he was off and running!  There were several large dogs who could handle him fairly well, but the little dogs tell him in no uncertain terms when he's being obnoxious.  I loved it!  Actually he learned to play a little better by the time we left and he certainly got some great exercise.  I think he really needs the socialization, and maybe he will learn some doggie manners as he gets a chance to find out what is acceptable to the other dogs.

I rarely close him in his crate but wanted to mop the floors this morning, and was amazed how easy things can be without a puppy underfoot.  I really need to clean the driveway as he "goes" on it most of the time, but just haven't had the energy in the past two days.  It's a daily job!  I do manage to douse it with the hose frequently to keep the odors down.

I finally bit the bullet and bought another TV.  After being without one the past few years, I decided I needed to have one, although I do keep up with the news on youtube.  When I last had a tv there were very few programs I liked to watch, mostly on NPR and Animal Planet.  I like the science shows as well, but little else.  The tv will be delivered Monday and I need to talk to someone at ATT about service, and how it will work if I move in 5 or 6 months.  I suppose I'll have to pay for installation here and at the new location.  I would probably rather get an antenna that will allow me to get local news and PBS, as it's hardly worth the money to pay for all those channels I would never watch. 

My desktop weather tells me that rain is predicted for next Wed. & Thurs.  I haven't looked at a longer term forecast yet, and hope we get some decent cleansing rain.  I hope the areas that have been burning in the state also get some rain, although no lightning, please.


Thursday, November 15, 2018

Falling Apart!

I had hoped all the aches, pains, and ailments would hold off at least  until I reached 80, but I'm getting a glimpse of my future!  It's my left knee, that sometimes gives me a pain and then it wants to buckle up under me.  Scary when I'm a few blocks from home with a dog that is pulling on the leash!  I wish I knew what I might do about it, but I'm certainly not going to mention anything I don't have to mention to a doctor.  They are delighted to order tests, xrays, scans, multiple visits, etc.  I'm just not having any more of it if I can stand the pain and aggravation!  It might just be the cold, and it might be having a strong puppy nearly pulling me over while I'm trying to brace myself and hold on to the leash!  I sure don't see an easy life ahead of me these days.

Steve took me to my cardiologist appointment yesterday, and then we made a trip to Home Depot.  We went to a store that neither of us is familiar with and it was difficult trying to find things.  Next time I want to visit the store in Rancho Cordova, where if I can't find what I need, a store employee notices the perplexed look on my face and rushes up to help me!  They have the best employees of anyplace I've ever shopped!  So far Steve has repaired or replaced several door handle sets that were not operating properly, and we are working down a long list of fixes.  I have the tiles to replace the kitchen floor, and am going to order a butcher block countertop for the kitchen.  Little by little the place will start to look better, and I can enjoy it for a few months before I move.   It's not going to be easy to get things done with my nosy little pal hanging around.

Speaking of the "pal", I made the appointment for him for Nov. 27th to "lose his jewels"!  I don't recall 20 years ago that Smoky had to wear that cone for an entire week.  I just don't see how I'll be able to control Rocky for that time.  I forgot to ask if he will have to keep it on when he sleeps, but I would imagine it will be necessary.   I should look into the cost of a puppy motel for a week and drop him off, or maybe find a doggie caretaker and drop myself off at a nice motel for a week! 

The poor thing isn't getting enough exercise but the hazy air makes me worry about our lungs.  I didn't realize that there was as much still burning as there is.  I know the story and explanation for how it started, but something about it just doesn't ring true to me.  

I'm getting ready to eat dinner.  If I wait until a normal dinner hour I will lose my appetite completely!

Take care everyone, as we move up towards another weekend!

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Glad That's Over With!.

I'm sure I've mentioned this before, but if you didn't see it I will repeat it.  I get absolutely TOTALLY depressed about my birthday.  It is an irrational dislike for getting older, but it's been that way for me since I turned 21, which probably didn't have anything to do with aging.  Thirty was the worst.  Ten years later I went to the store or something on my birthday and came back to find a surprise party, with a banner emblazoned with the words "Oh Lordy, Marty's Forty" outside the house for the world to see.  So about a week before my birthday I get really irritable, depressed, and just plain nasty sometimes.  The very next day I'm back to my old self.  So that's my explanation for my erratic behavior the past week.  And while today is the dreaded day, I feel I'm over the worst part of it and can get back to normal.

Rocky is his old self which includes getting into whatever he can get his paws on, and chewing it to bits.  He chews EVERYTHING, and I'm about to go crazy about it.  He has even thrown up twice at which time a rock came up.  I really watch him like a hawk because he tries so hard to pick up every rock around and chew it, but it's almost impossible and I have to stop numerous times on our walks and pry those teeth open to remove a stone.

I've decided to get him neutered shortly after he turns 6 months old.  I had planned to wait until he was closer to a year, but my son Steve said they did that with their dog and have regretted it ever since as he still has the male behavior that neutering usually takes care of.  I'm hoping it will calm Rocky down a bit.  I had Smoky (my other lab) neutered at about 6 months and he was a delight to be around all his life.  That probably had more to do with genetics than neutering, but I've made up my mind.  All the vet staff have strongly urged it each and every time I take him in, and they no doubt see something in his behavior that could improve.  For my own sanity I'm going to do it.

Steve came over yesterday to take us to the vet, and he's coming back this morning to take me to my cardiologist appointment (so Rocky will have to stay home, and I cringe to think of what he can do to pay me back for leaving him.)  We have gone over a number of things that need to be done before I try to sell this place and move to the duplex and will shop for some of the smaller items after the doctor appt.

I'm back at home and there is a lot to be done, and I wear myself out just dealing with a puppy.  Steve has already replaced 3 door handle sets that were bad, and we're working with a long list of to-do's.  After my cardio appt. he took me to Chipotle for a birthday lunch.  Chipotle is about the only restaurant where I really enjoy the food, so it was my choice.  When we got back the house was in better shape than I dared hoped.  Rocky chewed a few insignificant things, but all in all, I'm learning to do a better job of getting things out of his reach. 

This is growing way too long for a blog post, but I have to mention how horrible the air is here.  The haze is unbelievable and the sky has an ominous look to it.   We stopped in Home Depot after the doctor, and I heard one of the cashiers saying they were out of face masks but that the police were giving them out.  I'm trying to hold Rocky back as I don't want to be out walking him, and I don't want his lungs messed up either.  My heart goes out to anyone who lives in the area of Paradise, as well as those affected by the fires in the south.

Monday, November 12, 2018

A Brief Hello!

I just want to say hello and to tell you that I will be back in full force one of these days.  I haven't been feeling all that great lately, which of course, affects my mood.  I'll be back as soon as I can get an attitude adjustment, or maybe a new lease on life.

Meanwhile, I hope you all have a good week ahead.

Thursday, November 8, 2018


I have been feeling a little "down" lately, and when I came across a 2-1/2 hr Youtube video from back in the 50's, featuring Lester Flatt & Earl Scruggs, plus a lot of other fine musicians, I decided to listen.  So I've been watching and listening part of yesterday and today.  Surprisingly, I can remember a lot of the words of most of the songs, so I was singing right along.  It is SO nice to hear music played on acoustical instruments, no wires draped everywhere, and the simplicity of TV back in the day.  The forward that accompanied this video apologized for the lack of hi tech sound and video taping, but to me, it was beautiful and just like old times.  And it's the music I love - Appalachian, bluegrass, hillbilly, or whatever you want to call it.  I also love the way they look - suits and ties, combed hair, clean shaven, sometimes a cowboy hat and sometimes not.  I never outgrew the  preference for that look!  And continuing in my favorite music, I'm now listening to Ralph Stanley and the Clinch Mtn. Boys!  

I have been cold all day until I took Rocky out around 2:00.  I was warm with a fleece shirt and fleece jacket over it! 

I walked into the living room this afternoon to see Rocky by the side door which was wide open.  It isn't closing properly lately, but I doubt he tried to open it.  I was so proud of him for not bolting out into the wild blue yonder! 

I went with Jeannie to Target this evening and bought two inexpensive floor lamps which I desperately needed.  Rocky had chewed the plug off both of my floor lamps and I haven't been able to use my living room after about 5:30, so I'm really happy to have light.   It will also be nice to have it early in the morning when Rocky decides it's time to greet the day!  Gone are the days when I conduct my life to suit me.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

An outing without Rocky!

Joe picked me up this afternoon so we could go shopping at Sportsman's Warehouse.  He is planning a backpacking trip with a friend, of about 4 or 5 days.  He brought his pack over and showed me all the items he was taking - some I agreed with but I don't think anyone needs a big air mattress to get a good night's sleep under the stars.  They will be "cowboy camping" (no tent) in an area where the weather will be below freezing, so I made sure he had an extra layer of warm clothes for "in camp".  Now I've got the bug and want to go hiking/camping.  Joe's birthday is in a couple more weeks, so I was glad to have the opportunity to get him some things he really wanted.  And I can borrow them from him if I ever get away on a camping trip!

My hair looks absolutely awful the past few weeks and I have no way to get to my regular hairdresser, so Joe stopped by a place he takes his girls to get their hair cut.  My head must be several pounds lighter now.  Oh, and I bought a squeaky toy for Rocky at Sportsmen's Warehouse!  I thought he might completely destroy the house while I was gone, but it wasn't too bad.  

I had another dumpster brought to the front of my place and I think I got rid of the last of the recent tree/bush trimming frenzy.  There are still some leaves on the rocks and driveway, but they will be easy to sweep up and throw out with the trash.  I still have a tree in front that needs a couple of branches taken off, as well as another large bush that should have at least half of it taken off.  I'll spring that on Joe after he gets back from his camping trip.

If my furnace was turned on and the pilot lit, I might have run it for a half hour or so this morning to take the chill off.  But as long as I can manage without it I will be happy to not spend money on the gas to run it. 

I'm getting hungry and I will not be able to wait until the normal dinnertime.  I figure that is a good sign for me because I never want to eat much, if anything, in the afternoon or evening. 

I hope you are all having a good day, and can keep smiling.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

I ran!

No, not for public office.  I ran with Rocky!  I sort of surprised myself - didn't over do it, but I ran for a short stint, then walked, then ran agan, and so on.  Rocky really got into the spirit of it all, and took his cue from me when I needed to slow down.  He is a delightful little boy, but I can't possibly recount the things he chews and destroys in just one day!  I have been losing a ballpoint pen a day, as well as bank statements,  and papers I can't even recognize when I catch him.  What he really wants is to get away with a sock from my laundry basket, and it has become a game for us - well, it's a game for him and an exercise in quickness and being alert for me!

I am expecting a grocery order today, and  it includes a couple of containers of plain yogurt, which I'll spoon out in small amounts for Rocky.  I hope he likes it because I sure can't stand the stuff, plain or flavored.  I'll only give him a small amount each day as I don't want to upset his digestive tract, although yogurt probably wouldn't be any worse than some of the stuff he picks up everywhere.  It speaks to my nimbleness that I can constantly pry open his jaws and stick my fingers in among those sharp teeth to remove things he shouldn't be chewing on.

I ran out of half & half this morning so I had to use whipped cream in my coffee to lighten it up.  That meant holding the cup out of sight of a certain member of my household who would be on me in a second if he knew I was holding whipped cream in my cup!

I think one difficult thing about the time change is meal times.  I usually eat when I'm hungry, mostly before 2 pm, but try to keep the dog on more of a schedule.  He can't tell time, but his stomach will be on daylight savings for a while.  I feel like I'm punishing him with the looks I'm getting.

Have a good day - it's a beautiful day here although the skies are being messed up by the chemtrails.  I noticed one joker this morning made a tick tack toe image - all the skeptics tell me how jet contrails can make that pattern, and jet contrails evaporate within minutes anyway.


Monday, November 5, 2018

Beautiful Day!

It has been a really nice day so far, the first of days in the 70's this week and 40's overnight.  My favorite weather.  Last night the sky in the west was almost a dark maroon color - I've never seen anything like it before.  It was beautiful but I don't think it seemed natural either.

Joe came by this afternoon and trimmed two additional bushes for me.  I filled two large bins the park provides - and still can fill another one with what I still need to rake up.  We haven't done much trimming for the past two years and everything is so overgrown.  Rocky helped by chewing twigs when he could get by with it.

It's almost pathetic - I try to make all our longer walks go past the park clubhouse as there is such a huge grassy area.  Rocky loves to just lie down in the grass sometimes, and I try to let him as it is better than pavement or rocks.  I took a look inside the dog park yesterday evening, and it is a total mess where the dogs have scratched up the grass and it gets muddy when  watered.  I am getting more and more enthused about moving to a duplex with a huge grassy backyard. 

This evening will be the last of Rocky's meds, with just one tablet remaining for tomorrow morning.  I drip a little peanut butter on the tab and add it to his food bowl.  He would no doubt eat it even without the peanut butter, but I spoil him with it.  By the way, I think I mentioned in an earlier post that I give him a special peanut butter for dogs, with no additives and just two ingredients - peanuts and flaxseed, and free of hydrogenated oil.

It's "walk time", so I'll check back in another day.  Remember to vote!

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Time Change

How do you get a dog converted to standard time from daylight savings time?  He loves his food and doesn't even want to wait until meal time to start putting on the act that he's starving.

I didn't post yesterday because I spent a lot of the day in tears.  We must be reaching a particular mark in his maturation where he is exceedingly annoying.  And enjoying it!  He isn't much better today. 

I desperately need to get new glasses and hope they improve what I can see.  Reading is becoming more of a problem, as is recognizing people from any distance.  I hope none of my neighbors thinks I am ignoring them - I just don't always make out the features from any distance at all.

That's all from me for today!

Friday, November 2, 2018

Something is changing!

It's probably to do with my age, but my legs ache, especially when I get up from the couch or a chair.  You would think the extra walking I'm doing with Rocky would make my legs stronger.  I probably should look for something to rub on them to relieve the aches.  My old grandpa used to use Absorbine on farm animals, himself and his family.  He could treat almost any kind of injury!  If I didn't dislike the smell of that stuff I might look to see if it is even on the market!

The results of the blood tests I took last week were mostly good.  I may have mentioned the oncologist wants me to start taking B-12.  I've taken it in the past and didn't notice a difference. 

On our walk this afternoon I could hardly get Rocky off the grass down by the Park entrance.  I stopped for a minute and let him enjoy it.   I think he's getting antsy for his final meal of the day but he has some time to wait.  

I'm seriously thinking about getting a small TV - nothing big or fancy, and I won't pay for cable as I just would like local channels for news and maybe PBS programming.  I'd prefer to subscribe to the newspaper but the ink is so hard for me to read - sort of a grey color rather than black.  I still haven't replaced the two lamps in my living room that Rocky chewed the plugs off.  I don't want to buy anything expensive because he might do the same thing again, but I end up going to bed so early because I can't just sit in the dark!  Sometimes I sit for a while in the kitchen but that isn't really what I want, so I end up going to bed.  It's a good thing because I'm up early as well.   My kids used to determine how I lived my life, and now it's a puppy!

I have no plans for this weekend, but next weekend I'm going to a winery in Napa with my kids and a brother & his wife.  I'm really looking forward to wearing something other than sweat pants or jeans!  I'll probably be overdressed!

I wish you all a good weekend.


Thursday, November 1, 2018

Odds and Ends

I haven't accomplished much but I did get a few things done.  I returned my iPad for one, and hope I never get excited over anything new in the computer world again.  It's all updated so fast and they have to do something that is noticeable - even if the reasoning is incomprehensible.  I will never understand why simple and easy is so frightening to techies and developers.  Change for the sake of change is pretty dumb, in my view.

Rocky managed to tear up a lot of things while I was gone for the short while it took to return the iPad.  I thought I had pretty much dog proofed the house, but the bathroom door just wasn't closed tightly enough and he had access to one of his favorite things to do - chew a roll of toilet paper!

I mailed my ballot today and feel relief that it is done.  I hope a lot of young voters cast their ballots - they are the ones who will be living with the results for the long run and they should turn out to express their choices.  

Rocky seems to be doing well on the special food I'm feeding him for about 10 days, although he accuses me of starving him!  He's not allowed to have any treats, but the vet did say I could use some of his food pellets as treats.  He's trying to make up for the lack of food and treats by eating paper!

 I have a problem that someone might have a solution for, although I can't imagine there being a solution except to get rid of my dog!  I have a very small and narrow electric stove in my kitchen - with 4 burners on top.  Because it is so small, two of the burners are close to the front edge, and I have a puppy that loves to put his 2 front paws on the stove while he's standing to see what he can possibly snatch, or maybe he just likes to see what is going on.

I am extremely careful when I have turned one of the burners on, although anyone who cooks with electric knows that they don't provide instant heat, nor do they instantly cool down when the burner is turned off.  Every time he jumps up and puts his paws anywhere near the 2 front burners I am terrified that the instance will come when I can't stop him in time. 

You can buy metal covers for the burners, although I wouldn't put a cover on until the burner had cooled down.  Any ideas?

I can remember the days when I longed for the weekend to arrive, and it always seemed that time flowed at a snail's pace.  Tomorrow is Friday, but yesterday was just Monday!

These were taken with my jitterbug phone which isn't really a very good camera!  I had a 6 pack  carrier with a couple of empty bottles that I had rinsed.  Evidently he can taste what was left after the rinse because he was fascinated with the bottles!  Click to enlarge the pictures.  Like a very young child, he likes the empty box more than what had been in it.



Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Vets and Doctors!

I got Rocky's meds into him - there are four of them he takes, with 3 only once a day and a tablet twice a day.  I put the tablet into a spoonful of peanut butter and he's happy as a clam!

We went from the vet yesterday to my med clinic where I had blood drawn for my oncologist.  I missed my last appointment with her and couldn't get another one until January, so I decided to at least get the blood tests done.  She wrote me and said everything looks great except for one test the results will take another week to process, as well as my B-12 levels being low.  She wants me to start taking B-12 tablets which is fine with me, and maybe it will give me more energy to deal with Rocky.

My energy has been flagging a bit lately but I just chalked it up to being too old to raise a dynamo puppy! 

I have a craving for ice cream, and have 1/2 gallon in my freezer.  A certain little friend of mine can hear the silent freezer door opening which will even wake him up from a sound sleep.  I often wonder if he hears it or reads my mind and knows I'm trying to sneak ice cream  past him.

Well, we are on the downside of another week.  My life is going by too fast to suit me.

The weather has been beautiful the past few days, and much cooler.   The forecast for the next few months is so vague and difficult to know what it's going to be over the winter.  I remember a lot of rain last year, but that may have been after New Year's.  I doubt we'll be lucky enough to get good rains two years in a row.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Visit to the vet

I'm relieved that the worst outcome I feared is not a problem.  According to the vet, Rocky has a  case of giardia plus a few other problems.  I recall hearing about giardia when I backpacked on the Appalachian Trail in 1997, and at the time it was always water related.  I filtered my water from all sources and didn't have a problem.  My dog (lab) Smoky drank from rivers, streams, etc., and didn't have a problem.  I think we were extremely lucky!

I have a number of medicines to give him several times a day, and I hope I can keep it all straight.   The prognosis is certainly 100% better than I dared hope, and I think we will eventually get it all straightened out.  I have special food I will be feeding him for a week or so, and since a Lab isn't as fussy about food as most dogs, he will love anything I set down in his food bowl!

I am so relieved and hopeful - I was really worried that I might lose him, when I didn't yet have the diagnosis from the vet.  

I'm tired and will make this a short (for me) post.  Back tomorrow.


Monday, October 29, 2018

Another vet visit scheduled

We go back to see the vet tomorrow, and I sure hope I get some answers and recommendations.  Rocky still is having problems with diarea (I know that is mis-spelled, but you know what I mean).  I'm supposed to keep him on the same seafood diet for a few more weeks, but I can't keep walking to PetClub to get it, and a small bag doesn't last very long.  Also, he seems to be getting worse, not better.  So I called this morning and couldn't get an appointment until tomorrow afternoon, at which time I'm going to press them to do a test or two to see what's wrong.  He's lethargic much of the time, although still eats his food with gusto, and still chases his toys around the house, obviously enjoying all the noise and chaos he is making!  He's not up to the longer walks we've been doing, and I have to admit I'm not up to it either.

After years of not going "out" much, Jeannie & Donald are taking me to a Napa Valley winery that is a favorite of theirs.  We will be joined by my brother & his wife who live closer to San Francisco and will meet us in Napa for the day.  I've also committed to spending New Year's Eve in a cabin in the Sierra, and I think I've mentioned it in a previous post.  I might have to get a new wardrobe to replace my old "hanging out" clothes. 

Today is cool and breezy, and I love it.  I wish this was our year-round weather.

I don't have anything else to write - my day has been dog-watching and cuddling!

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Fingers Crossed!

The new charger arrived a few minutes ago and it is working fast!  I just hope it holds up.  The last one I had wasn't all that old, but I dropped it and it never worked right after that - also, the cords aren't very sturdy and develop rips and tears in the casing.  I'm going to find one outlet that I always use to plus into, and not move the charger anywhere else.  Maybe it will do better this time.

Using the iPad has messed up some of my usernames and passwords, and I will have to straighten that out.

I'm still having the same problems with Rocky's diet, although he eats everything with relish and acts pretty much the same - maybe a little more quiet at times.  I'm not buying another bag of salmon/trout for him and will go back to the chicken, but I'll call the vet first of all.  Rocky and I walked to PetClub to buy a small bag of food for him, crossing 6 lanes of traffic and I was more frightened than Rocky was.  I don't want to do that again.  I will probably order his food online from now on.

Our weather has been pretty nice lately - warm in the daytime, but not too warm - and very cool after the sun goes down.  I don't like the hot weather and never did.

I hope my computer will not crap out on me again, and I can continue to post on a regular basis.  I've always thought I would quit when the page views reach 1Million, and I have about 40k to go.

Have a good week ahead, and I'll be back.

Friday, October 26, 2018

All is Well!

I'm sorry I disappeared for several days.  My computer completely stopped working.  I bought an iPad thinking I could use it to communicate, but  could never figure the damn thing out!   I'm disgusted with it as I just wanted something simple, but spent 4-5 hrs after I brought it home, and still hadn't set it up properly.  To make it worse, there is an obnoxious voice called "Siri" that wanted me to talk to it, and I absolutely will not!

Donald got my computer working and brought it back to me today, and I have tons of emails stacked up to read.  I wanted to let everyone know I'm ok and sorry if any of you were worried.  I had absolutely no way to communicate for much of that time, as I left my cell phone in Jeannie's car:  so no TV; no phone; no computer; nada!

Rocky is growing every day and is so sweet most of the time, so I can deal with a bit of devilishness once in a while.  I spend a lot of time laughing at his antics.

I gotta start reading through about 100 emails, so see ya later, and have a good weekend.

Friday, October 19, 2018

To Buy or Not to Buy

That is the question!  For someone who is opinionated (as I usually am), I sometimes let people talk me into buying what I don't want.  I shopped at Pet Club last night (a local CA business centered in San Francisco).  I like that their prices are great, their selection is overwhelming, and their employees are knowledgeable.  But I wanted a bag of puppy food for large breeds, and the woman kept talking me into one that she swore was good for ALL dogs.   I knew better.  How can the same food be the best for a doxie, yorkie, lab or golden retriever, boxer, etc.  So now I need to return the bag of puppy food and get what I was advised by the vet.  It makes sense that a puppy who is growing into a big active dog would need stronger legs, bones, etc.  I could train this dog to be a hunting dog which would require him running through the woods, retrieving, swimming, etc.  His needs are definitely different than a lap dog!  (I won't be doing any of that training by the way, because I don't have the legs for running through woods, retrieving, swimming, etc.)

Right now, as I'm trying to type this blog, he is looking for trouble to get into!

I haven't mentioned the possible move in a few days, and I'm still not certain but I'm leaning toward the duplex with the big fenced back yard.   I like the fact that I have stores near me such as Pet Club, Dollar Store, Sportsman's Club, and Smart & Final (which I rarely shop at), but since I had to turn back when Rocky got closer to the traffic noise and congestion, it doesn't matter that it's close.  I can't walk him there.  With the duplex I would be at least a mile from shopping but while there is traffic, there are also sidewalks which should make Rocky feel more secure.

The current tenants of the duplex are expecting their first child and would like to move back closer to family.  They have 6 months on their lease, but may move sooner (or later) than that.  I'm really not in a hurry especially with winter and holidays approaching.   I could also change my mind during the waiting period.

I love lazy mornings, but it's time for me to get dressed and possibly do some cleaning before Rocky needs a walk.  T.G.I.F.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

I cooked today!

I don't often do it, but when I do I make enough for several meals.  I recently saw a Youtube video of a man cooking chicken ala king, and it sure looked and sounded good to me.  So I ordered a few ingredients I normally don't have on hand, such as mushrooms and heavy cream, and the order was delivered late yesterday.

I couldn't put this off because I had thawed the chicken and had to use it, so today was the day.  I haven't eaten any yet, because Rocky is getting close to his afternoon feeding time and I just wouldn't eat in front of him.  But I tasted the sauce and it is wonderful.  I don't know how it will reheat when I have the leftovers, but the flavors are great.  

I started to walk Rocky to Pet Club and the dollar store this morning.  As soon as we left the park, there is a short street, fairly busy as In 'n Out Burger is here, plus one of the entrances for Shell gas station.  This bit of street leads to a 6 lane divided blvd., Sunrise Blvd, which is heavily traveled all the time.  We didn't get half way down the short street to the blvd when Rocky started getting nervous and didn't want to go on.  I decided I wouldn't put him through that at least at this age.   The sound of trucks and cars were too much for him.

I changed his food yesterday for a brand without many ingredients, and selected a bag with no chicken - but it has salmon instead.  He has been having trouble as I mentioned, and I noticed every one of his "treats" plus his food contains chicken.  Poor little thing -  one thing I wanted to get at Pet Club is some treats he can have - some beef, bison, etc.  He also needs a new collar as well as a harness - I'm not sure whether to get both but want to talk to someone at the store about it.  Several people we meet in the park recommend a harness over the collar for all times.  He walks like a perfect gentleman when he's with only me, but the minute a person appears he goes crazy.  I'm afraid he is going to hurt his trachea with the excessive pulling.  Do any of you who use a harness take it off when they are settled inside the house?  I can't imagine it being comfortable for a dog when they are sleeping, and we all know that's their favorite thing to do next to eating! 

 I have 2 pills left for tomorrow, and one for the following morning, and then I'm finished with that prescription.  It seems to be working but I'll see.  It could be the sandals I mostly wear, that rub across my toe.  I'm wearing athletic shoes now and Rocky loves to sneak up and untie the laces and chew on them.

Time is flying by, folks.  We passed the middle of October already!  I'm looking forward to cooler weather and hope we get some here, but I'm sure not looking forward to 2019 which isn't all that far away.   (I will be another year older by the time we reach 2019!)

By the way, next-door neighbor Ed is alive and well and bought himself a car!  That's why I thought something had happened to him and he had to have someone stay with him.  I sure wish I could find an inexpensive used car!

I'm still waffling back and forth about whether to stay here or move.  At least I don't have to make up my mind immediately, although I need to start weeding out stuff I don't want to take to another house.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Remarkable Memory!

When Rocky and I are out walking and a vehicle approaches us or comes up behind us, I always make sure we are close to the curb and then stop.   Rocky sits, and we wait for the car or truck to pass, then go on.  I do this for our safety but also to let the driver know we see him or her, and that we will "stay" until they are past.

I'd forgotten about that this morning and on our walk he stopped near the curb and would not move - Duh!  I realized there was a car coming up the street in back of us.   I often  wonder who is training who!   Sometimes I am struck with awe as to what he retains and how quickly he learns.  I'll keep trying to fix the jumping and barking, but it might just be one of the stages he'll go through.  Even kids go through stages during  their childhood.

 Night-time lows are in the 40's lately and I love it.  I have a lightweight thermal blanket plus my comforter and I'm warm and snug.  Rocky has his labrador double coat so he doesn't mind the chill at all and sometimes snuggles up against me, but on top of all the covers!

I was supposed to visit the oncologist this afternoon, but Jeannie just realized I didn't have the blood work done.  I called for another appointment and the first available is Jan 8.  I can wait.

The dog park was empty so I took Rocky over after lunch.  I don't like it at all.  There was no one else there, but it seems depressing to me.  Such a relatively small space, with  a couple of big tables and lots of chairs for socializing.   Two folks who live nearby take their big dogs in when no one else is there, to throw a ball to their dogs.  I tried that a couple of times with mine and he went for the ball, but dropped it and found something else to do.

The Park has taken some of the available space in what is a very small area (especially with 10+ dogs in it) and made it even smaller with big stone planters surrounding the large trees; making a pathway with some sort of very finely crushed stone, plus big concrete areas for the people to sit and socialize, and just generally trying to cram something in too small a space.  I may try it another time.

It's walky-walky time according to my little timekeeper!  Have a good day.

Monday, October 15, 2018

Still Hobbling Around

As prescribed, I'm taking the antibiotic twice a day for 10 days, and I'm now on Day 6.  I don't notice a whole lot of difference, but then I am rarely able to sit with my foot elevated.  I still have to walk Rocky several times a day, and there are just things I need to do which require being on my feet.  I'm so depressed about this I could cry.

I found a small plastic container I can use for a foot soak, have the epson salts ready, and as soon as I try doing that I'm going to be fending off Mr. Nosey who will not "leave it".

Speaking of Rocky, I have been working with him and can really see improvement.  But it all goes out the window when we meet someone on our walks, and even more so if they also have a dog.  It's so frustrating to see him put his worst paw forward, when he can be so good when no one is looking.

Class No. 5 out of 6 this evening.  If they want an evaluation at the end of the series, I'm going to ask Jeannie to fill it out.  She does better with what they are teaching, whereas  in certain areas I do much better with my old "tried and true".  I sometimes find good Youtube videos, but this morning I started to watch one on keeping  your puppy from jumping.  I didn't watch long, when the trainer started talking about "markers", "clickers" and such.  Sometimes I feel like I'm too old to be alive, and I'm not even 78 yet!  (Too close for comfort though).

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Trip to Urgent Care

I've had a large inflamation on my big toe for the past few days - it only hurt for one day but the redness and slight swelling is constant.  I have no idea what could have caused it - it started out as a tiny little spot that itched, and then became much more problematic.  Last night Jeannie drove me to an Urgent Care center near their house - I've been there several times and was always happy with it.  The doctor prescribed me a round of medicine - I think it's an antibiotic and told me to stay off my feet as much as possible while keeping the sore foot elevated.  He didn't blink when I told him I had a puppy to take care of, go for walks, etc.  He just went on talking.  I have to walk Rocky but I'll try shorter walks at a time, which I had already started doing.  I am so sick and tired of doctors and medical issues I could   scream.

I was full of plans for walking Rocky and had several ideas for training him in areas he definitely needs training.   The woman who does the training classes is nice and means well.  She often mentions her dog and uses him as an example, but it's a small dog.   I don't think she has a clue in the world of what a lab is like to live with.   He's absolutely adorable, but he's also absolutely maddening when it comes to something he has a different idea about.

My neighbor on one side has had a visitor for several days - probably a daughter or d-i-l.  This morning there is a "For Sale" sign in front of the house, so whoever is there has probably been getting the house ready to sell.  Ed is in his early 70's I think, but has had a lot of health problems over the years I've lived here, and he is brought home from a bike ride, or taken away in an ambulance, more times than I can count.  Last time a huge fire engine pulled up in front of his place and he walked from it to the house.  A fireman pushed his bike for him.  He's always been pretty active for the shape he's in, but I've often wondered about the wisdom of riding a bike at his age and condition - he'd be better off walking.  He has always been a good neighbor and is very friendly to all my family when they come by.  He thinks my two sons who trim the bushes, work on the roof, etc., are the greatest.  When Joe trims the bushes in my yard he will usually go do Ed's as well.  It looks like a for sale by owner situation, and I hope it doesn't stay on the market long and end up being snatched by a real estate agent.  If and when I sell mine I told Steve I'd let him handle everything and take a commission!  When I see the grim details in the news about the economy, I think I should stay put right where I am, continue with the plans for fixing up the back yard for Rocky, and forget paying an extra $600+ a month for additional rent and utilities.   

My dear puppy is barking at me and I haven't figured out yet what he wants, so I'd better go try!  

Have a good weekend.

Thursday, October 11, 2018

What does the future hold?

I wish I knew what to do.  My 3 kids here in Sacramento met with me last night at our favorite local craft brewery.  The dog behaved fairly well, and the kids love the playroom there.  

My kids want me to move and have a place in mind, which is owned by Jeannie's next door neighbor.  She owns several apartments and duplexes in the area - in fact, my niece Tammy rents a duplex from her, and the one in question for me is in the same area.  It has more rooms than I need but the back yard is grassy and HUGE!  There is room to even grow a small garden, plus lots of room for Rocky to play.  The neighborhood is close to Jeannie & Donald, and is very walkable.  I was against it because of the rental cost until Steve showed me the back yard on his phone, and then I was sold.  

The people who live there have 6 months on their lease, but may or may not leave before the lease is up.  That would give me time to fix what needs to be fixed to sell my house.

Six months is a long time although it will probably whiz by, as does my life in general these days.  In 6 months I hope to have  Rocky trained a little better and he will be close to a year old - still a puppy for a lab, but maybe a little better behaved.

Speaking of Rocky, he is certainly a handful, and a typical labrador retriever - energetic beyond belief, extremely intelligent, funny and beautiful to look at, and lots more.  When he sees me having difficulty he spots it right away and is visibly concerned, and it's a special feeling that I couldn't have imagined.  On the other hand, I don't know how he does it, but whatever room he is in, asleep or awake, he can hear the freezer door open and he is there in the blink of an eye.  I have never had ice cream last this long!

I just heard something rustling in the background, and looked up to see ol' Rocky working on a roll of paper towels with the same enthusiasm he  attacks a roll of toilet paper.  I am absolutely stumped at how to correct this behavior - but I suppose I should correct myself first.  I had been doing some cleaning and must have left the paper towels within his reach.