Eastern Utah
EMAIL ME AT: mgypsy97 at aol dot com

Saturday, September 29, 2018

The old folks & their sayings

My mother must be nearby because I keep thinking of some of the old sayings she used.  I never heard them from anyone else so they must have come from the farm country that she grew up in.

When I get out of the shower Rocky tries to lick my legs.  Whether it's the soap, or the lotion I put on them, or whatever, he drives me crazy while I'm desperately trying to get dressed.  I always think of my mom's old saying that someone was jumping around "like a chicken with a bumblefoot".  I just thought it was a made-up word, but recently I googled it, and I'll be danged if there isn't a condition of a chicken with a bumblefoot.  It's a blister or swelling they get on the bottoms of their feet.  I don't know if it's curable or if they just go into the stew pot or fried up for supper!

I'm going to start googling her sayings from now on if I can remember.  I always thought it was funny that growing up in Cincinnati I never heard some of the things she said from anyone else.  So Mom, if you can hear me now, I'm telling you that you sure were right about the bumblefoot!

I'd be curious to hear some of the sayings you might remember hearing from the old folk.  (Now many of us ARE the old folk, and we need to pass them on!).  I have viewers to my blog some times from other countries, and I'd also be interested to hear your old sayings.  Having lived in the countryside of SW Ireland for 3 years I  loved hearing theirs.

Rocky has been busy this morning trying to get into trouble:  I caught him with my camera, then a short time later with my cellphone!  I took him for another long walk to try to settle him down (tire him out), but I'm the one who is settled down.    I'm sure the exercise is good for me although my legs are turning into sticks from all the walking!  I wish I knew of a safe place to walk him that is more in the coutryside or the hills.   Maybe we should go back to the Appalachian Trail where I left off with Smoky years ago!

The walking is sure increasing my appetite, so lunch is calling me at 11:15am just now.  Have a great weekend!

Friday, September 28, 2018

Lost in my neighborhood!

I decided to take Rocky for a long walk this morning because it's a bit cooler today.   I ended up turning down a street or around a circle that I had never been on before and got completely lost.  This was probably after 20 or 30 minutes of walking, and I was tired and think Rocky was as well.  We kept going over streets that I hadn't been on before - obviously a newer and more classy area of the park - newer homes, larger yards, 2 car garages, and certainly not much like where I live.  I finally found my way out of the maze and am now glad to just sit down.  I thought Rocky would go right to sleep, but he's busy tearing up a tissue he found in the house.  He's resting his legs mostly though.

Yesterday when I was getting my grocery order together I looked through some of the departments I hadn't checked out and rarely shop in.  There is an aisle where they have home improvement things and little items for the house, and I bought a night light.  No big deal, right?  I have never used a night light because I like the dark, and can grope the walls to find my way from the bedroom to the bathroom.  Now that I have Rocky I make sure to have a clear path between the bedroom, down the hall and over to the back door.  Sometimes it's pitch dark and I have always carried the dog outside, as well as back to bed.  He is getting too heavy now so he walks, but he sees his way in the dark much better than I.  I placed the light in the kitchen and was amazed at the soft glow that was visible as soon as I came out of my room.  I love it, and feel much safer now than stumbling around in total darkness.   We live and learn.

Note that I get abundant light in my bedroom from the moon and stars  on clear nights, but the rest of the house is in total dark due to the proximity of houses on both sides.  My bedroom is not blocked by other buildings, because of the angle of the houses.  It's weird, for sure.

Thursday, September 27, 2018

My second order

I am out of bread and even if I walk to a store I can't take Rocky into a grocery with me, so I decided to place another order for delivery.  It will be delivered between 3:30 and 4pm this afternoon.  Most of the surcharges were free with my 1st order, so I'm probably paying them now, but as nearly everything I bought is on sale I'll come out ok.  You don't order groceries to be delivered if you want the absolute lowest price - but for me it's a real convenience and necessity.

While I was cleaning the kitchen floor I heard Rocky crunching on something, but I was so glad he wasn't underfoot while I cleaned I tried to ignore it.  Turns out he chewed an entire red pencil to bits - the remains that I found were certainly not enough to make a whole pencil.  

We started out for a walk this morning and after one block we came to a dog that was loose.  I believe he belonged to one of the nearby houses, but no one seemed to be looking for him.  We tried to pass him and naturally Rocky wanted to jump up and make friends.  The other dog had no such ideas and snapped at him - Rocky yelped but I don't see that he was bitten.  A man who works in the Park came and urged the dog to go to the house on the corner - I hope it was the right house but I quickly moved Rocky on!  He needs to learn he can't be so exuberant with an unknown dog, but he won't listen so he will learn the hard way.  Sounds like my kids when they were young - they enjoyed learning everything the hard way, but in the long run they learned well! 

It is another hot day, but tomorrow should be about 10 degrees cooler, and the following day should be 10 degrees cooler again.  Then maybe we will stay in the70's  for several days, possibly even seeing some showers.  I'll believe it when I see it, as Sacramento isn't known for showers in the fall.

I didn't sleep very well last night, no doubt because I took a daytime nap.  I have to quit doing that.  I hate going to bed so early (and getting up so early), but right now I have to follow Rocky's schedule.  He usually tries to tell me that bedtime is around 7pm, but I don't buy it - even 8 is too early so I try to make it about 9pm.  What I wouldn't give to get back to sleeping through the night!

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

A Few Photos

I don't have many yet because a few other people have taken photos but haven't shared them with me yet.

I took this one today at home - he moves around so fast that I can't really catch a decent photo.  Also, I had to use my jitterbug phone.   Click to enlarge. 

This was taken at Jeannie's house:

 Sorry this is all I have right now but I hope to get more in the near future.  I'm still thinking about taking him to a photographer in hopes they have lighting that would show him at his best.  He is really so beautiful it might be worth it.

Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Cooking with a dog in the audience!

I actually love cooking with a dog overseeing the operation.  It can be aggravating, but all you have to do is "drop" something accidentally once in a while.  There is no one in the world who will appreciate the kitchen smells more than a dog, and you know how advanced they are in that regard.

I had all those beautiful vegetables in my recent delivery, plus some organic chicken breasts, so I decided to make a soup.  Rocky supervised the process.  I haven't eaten any yet but it sure looks and smells delicious.

Last night was the second of six puppy training classes.  I took him for a walk this morning and tried the suggestions I got from the class, and was very surprised at how well it went.  He is a fast learner.

Last week I wasn't thrilled with the instructor.  This week she showed herself to be the same as me although closer to my daughter's age than to mine.  But the "same" applies to the frustrations, being upset , and downright p***ed at her dog once in a while!  So I decided to listen and learn, while still retaining my own "language" rather than using what feels stilted to me.  Jeannie is so good at it and I'm very proud of her, and I realize that I was once that good as well.    Our star shines brightly for a few years, and then, hopefully, we can bask in the light of our children's stars - or nieces/nephews, younger siblings, etc.  I'm very lucky to have four such shining stars, and they all make me proud.  And believe it or not, this beautiful animal is going to make me proud!

Monday, September 24, 2018

A nice family Sunday

I didn't do much yesterday but joined the kids and their families for an afternoon at "The Thin Line", our favorite craft brewery nearby.  Rocky behaved fairly well but I kept his leash on him and he couldn't get more than a step or two in any direction.  Everyone was paying him lots of attention so I think he had a good time too.

I managed to clean the kitchen floor and half the living room.  I am just learning to be happy with what little I can accomplish, and not worry about the rest.  I'd give anything for a fenced in yard.

I'm too tired to write more so I'll say bye for now, and have a good week ahead.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

He can swim!

My granddaughter Ara drove with a friend from PA to CA to attend an engagement party for another friend of hers.  I went over to Jeannie's after my eye appointment yesterday to visit her, after picking Rocky up at home (where I think he may have annoyed one of the neighbors with his barking).

 During the afternoon we sat out by the pool for a while, and Ara got into the water that was maybe 9-12" deep.  She was on a step and picked up Rocky to dunk his paws; he didn't put up too much of a fuss so she let go of him in just a little more water than he could stand in, to see if he could swim.  I didn't know if it is a natural instinct in labrador retrievers, but I can tell you that it was natural to my Rocky!   I don't get into water myself or I would have him swimming in deeper water by now!   He knew exactly how to doggie-paddle!

I'm not sure if today is the airshow or if it covers the entire weekend.  I heard the planes but only briefly, so maybe they were just taking a practice run.  Yesterday they continually passed over my house so I got a very good look; today they were flying but I couldn't see them.  I would have had to go outside and I was too comfortable on the couch with Rocky snoozing next to me. 

I think the family is getting together tomorrow afternoon at one of the local craft breweries.  It is small and intimate and we just love it.  I haven't been there since I got Rocky, so maybe I'll try him out tomorrow.  There is a room off the main room which is for kids, but most people who bring a dog just keep it under the table.  I can't see Rocky being content to stay under the table unless someone continually passed him treats.  I may have to go outside with him if he can't behave.

I had bought a box of 4 LED lightbulbs a few weeks ago and got them out today.  Wow!  What a difference it makes.  I was reading that people with macular degeneration can require light that is 4 times as bright as what most people need, and it must be true.  Now I need to get some new lamps to replace the ones Rocky ruined.  I haven't caught him trying to chew on an electric cord lately, but that could mean I'm watching him like a hawk, or just plain lucky.

One more thing about Rocky is that his hearing is beyond excellent.  I can be in the kitchen while he is sleeping in another room, and if I quietly, quietly open the door of the fridge, it's only a matter of seconds until he is there.  I can't understand it because it doesn't make any noise when the door opens, especially when I'm really trying to be quiet.  He is a real nuisance when I try to eat - he sometimes leaves me alone at breakfast but even a snack from the fridge brings him running!   Will I ever get him trained?

Friday, September 21, 2018

Busy day ahead

I'm writing this early today as I have a fairly busy day ahead of me.  I first off want to say that I don't think the very loud jets that I didn't like hearing yesterday were the old models.  The planes are no doubt practicing for the air show this weekend, and the ones I heard were definitely some of the latest models - so fast you could hardly see them before they disappeared, and no doubt loud enough to possibly set off alarms.

Donald is driving me to the see the eye surgeon this morning, and I hope I don't have to go back.  It's one of those places where you sit in a waiting area and then are called from one doctor to another, with going back to the waiting area in between doctors.    I have never been out of there in less than 2 hrs, and I hate leaving Rocky to bark for that long (add another hour for traveling to and from the eye center).  I leave him with toys and treats, and he's quiet until the treats are gobbled up.  Same when I try to take a shower.

Ara came into town last night after driving across the country with a friend.  They are here for another friend's engagement party.

I want to mention that I have changed my computer's settings so that the print is always bold and always enlarged a bit.  So I was surprised when my brother asked me to use bold and large print in emails.  Does anyone have an idea what could be causing the  problem?

Hey, it's Friday!  Have a good weekend  

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Tricks and treats

I was ready to throw out an empty Kleenex box but let Rocky take it into his crate.  He is tearing it to bits but the cleanup is worth the peace and quiet for a few minutes.

I've been trying to think of small actions or "tricks" to add to the routine - he has the sit, give me your paw, down, etc perfectly now, and this morning I've added  a "turn around" command where he turns a complete circle.  I do it all without a clicker, just plenty of treats.  If anyone has suggestions for simple things he can do for treats, I'd be interested.  I know I'm going to completely mess up the training program I'm already paying for at Petsmart, but a few little things can occupy that mind of his and maybe keep him out of trouble for a short while wouldn't be bad!

I see the eye surgeon tomorrow and I hope I hear some good news.  I don't think I will see as well until I can get new glasses (6 mos. after surgery).   The floaters are driving me nuts and I'm seeing "bugs" everywhere.  

It is so nice to have all the fresh produce that was delivered yesterday.  Four different kinds of fruit on my breakfast cereal was a treat.   I also ordered a container of vegetable salad that is absolutely delicious.  I probably would never go to the trouble to cut all the veggies up, and I'm not sure what kind of dressing they use, but it's not easy to stop eating it.  I should probably make  soup or maybe a saute with the fresh vegetables I bought so that I use them while they are perfectly fresh.

I think the dog walking every day, usually done a few blocks at a time, is causing me to slim down to a point where I don't need to slim down any more.  I was shocked to see my legs when getting dressed this morning - they are to the point where they are too skinny.  Too bad it hasn't worked for the belly!  Isn't that just the way of life though?

My head still hurts where I was cut and I wonder how long it will take to completely heal.  I can't tell if the "knot" has gone down or not - it's probably about the same size. 

 I might try to get a short nap in if Rocky will take one at the same time.  Have a good day!

1/2 Hr. later:  I might as well forget about a nap.  "Someone" is flying very loud, very fast, and weird looking jets in huge circles around overhead, so after about 3 passes I got up to see what is going on.  I don't like it one bit!  The are faster and louder than any jets I've ever seen, and they look weird.  If they want to test something new, they could be out over the Pacific ocean within minutes at the rate they are going.  Matter of fact they are flying in from the west and probably going in a big arc out over the ocean.  I think they have no business making the terribly loud noises unless it's to intimidate!

I just googled it and found that it is a B-17 that is in town for the Capital Airshow this coming weekend.  I didn't think those old WW-II craft flew that fast!  And loud?  Lordy they are loud!   Now three of them flew in formation over my house.   Rocky and I might as well skip the nap today!  (Now two of them flew over so close that I thought their wings might be touching.  They left a big trail of smoke behind them.)

These planes are probably practicing for the airshow this weekend - Mather AFB closed down quite a few years ago, but the runway is still used for cargo planes such as UPS, etc.  The runway is the longest west of the Mississippi, if I remember correctly.  The Air Force dumped a lot of jet fuel & contaminants somewhere on the base, so they haven't been able to develop a huge part of it.  I think they want to build housing for the homeless there but the cost of cleaning it up first has been prohibitive so far.  OK, enough for today.  Sorry this turned out to be so long.  This link is to a newspaper article about the show as well as the AFB.  


Wednesday, September 19, 2018

If st first you don't succeed ... (UPDATE)

Try, try, again, and that is what I'm going to do.  I'm referring to my grocery order for delivery to my house that didn't go through the last time.  I was so irritated I swore I wouldn't ever try again, but when I looked at the order I saw that it was my fault for not completing the credit card info.  I had intended to pay cash but I can certainly understand why they would rather not have the worry of delivery people carrying cash.  So I thought about it and decided I would try again and do it right this time.  By now I had changed my mind on a couple of items and finally figured out how to remove them.  Not really difficult but you have to hit the right buttons!

My order is set to be delivered between 2 and 2:30 pm, so I'll let you know how it turns out.  Most of the items are produce or dairy, so the freshness of the produce will be the key to my ordering again.  I'll have to say that Bel Air/Raley's always has beautiful produce so I should be happy.   I have to keep in mind to "never say never"!

Rocky has mostly been an angel this morning.  I nearly missed my breakfast because he was sleeping in my lap and I just couldn't move him.  He follows me everywhere, so when I went into the bedroom to get dressed he immediately went to the laundry basket.  He loves to grab the socks and carry them around.  I normally keep the bedroom door closed or he'd have dirty socks all over the place.

I am going to go fry up a package of bacon that I need to do something with.  I'll fry it all and save the slices in the fridge for future use.  I like having the bacon grease to fry eggs in, and have been out of it for a while.  Those of you who seriously watch their cholesterol are probably cringing, but there are different "expert" opinons on everything including the use of natural fats.  My cardiologist hasn't told me to quit using them and I don't have them often, so as long as I'm feeling good I will follow the adage "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!"

Have a great day, and I will try to post an update on the grocery delivery.

A little added note:  Rocky is out of his mind smelling the bacon.  I caught him up at the countertop where he could reach part of the package and was licking it.  The package not the bacon!  Will life ever be simple again? 

UPDATE:  My order came, on time,  and is just perfect.  The produce is absolutely perfect, and I shouldn't be surprised because all their produce is excellent.  I bought everything organic, including bananas.  I recommend trying home delivery if it's available to you nearby, and especially if you have difficulty getting out to do your own shopping.  I will definitely shop this way when I have no other way to get there.   So I will have to admit that it is a very convenient way to get your groceries, especially if you have difficulties getting to the store or walking around the aisles.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Puppy School

I'm trying to stay positive, but I certainly have mixed feelings about it.  It's like anything else in this world - you can expect it all to change about every 20 years or so, including using different words.    Twenty years ago when I took my lab Smoky to training, they used words such as sit, down, stay, come, etc.  You used hand signals to emphasize what you wanted the dog to do, and Smoky was quick to learn it all and become a well-behaved (mostly) pooch!

Now I find I need to use new words that include "release".  Now those of you who are within 15 years or so of my age, can you imagine saying "release" to your dog?  The trainer went to a lot of trouble to explain the mentality of a dog and how they learn, but I would like the training to be more straightforward and not so much of the psychology of the dog.   Sadly nothing ever stays the same, but with me the old saying is so true - "You can't teach an old dog new tricks."  This may be a loooonnng 6 wks.  I also don't like using a clicker - as many of you know, we slow down as we get older, and by the time I remember to use the clicker, the behavior I'm supposed to be approving of is long past.  I'd get more reaction from saying "Good boy".

The trainer did tell me that 16 wks of age is the worst and most difficult week for a puppy - usually the juvenile delinquent stage.  It seems to be true, but maybe that week is over with because this morning Rocky has been the sweetest, most cuddly puppy I've ever seen.  I love it and will enjoy it while it lasts.

I just had a funny thought.  I went to Catholic schools and I seem to remember a nun or two who had a clicker.  Can't remember what they used it for, but if it worked for a bunch of bratty 2nd & 3rd graders, it might just work for bratty puppies!

Monday, September 17, 2018

Beautiful Night Skies!

I got up in the middle of the night and what I saw out of the bedroom window was a wonderful surprise.  It was the constellation Orion in all its glory!  I often see the 3 stars in Orion's belt at certain times of the year, but after months of not viewing much of anything in the night sky, last night was a real treat.  Also there was a separate group of stars at two opposite points outside the Orion cluster.  If anyone saw this and can tell me what all I was looking at I would be grateful.

My son, Joe, took me to get the stitches out this morning, and everything went ok without a hitch.  I'm glad that is over with, and I need to do a tour of my house to see how I can keep pathways clear.  I try to do that because when I get up with Rocky in the middle of the night, I carry him out rather than let him walk, and he is getting heavier by the week.  I also try to not turn any lights on until I get to the outside light at the back door.  So having a clear pathway is critical.  There is enough lighting from street lamps, neighbors' outdoor lights, etc., so that I am able to see enough to grope my way.   Now that the days are getting shorter I have a lot more darkness to contend with.  (I carry him rather than let him walk because I don't want him to get distracted.  I hope he won't have to go out in the middle of the night for much longer.)

Joe drove me to Bel Air after the doc visit  because I had mentioned that I wanted to make some pie crust to see if I had lost my touch.  I always made extra crust dough when making pies so that I could put butter, sugar & cinnamon on small pieces and bake them to snack on.  The kids always loved them and I wanted to make a special treat to thank them for all they do for me.  Once he heard what I needed he drove straight to Bel Air!  Now I guess I have to get busy, and I know Rocky will drive me crazy when he gets a whiff.  He is so funny now - he watches for when I put my coffee cup down because he figures it has whipped cream in it.

I'm really hoping for a successful first puppy class this evening.  Life will be so much better when Rocky gets some manners and doesn't jump up on people.  I have to be patient - he is so far advanced from just a couple of weeks ago, and I think he is learning fast. 

There was something else I wanted to write about but my mind fails me just now.

Sunday, September 16, 2018


I just answered a couple of comments from yesterday's post, and will write today's while I'm still sitting here.  I've had a puppy sleeping on my lap for a while and am about ready to get up and dressed before I go out and tackle cleaning the driveway!

Jeannie, Arianna, and I took Rocky to the vet yesterday, and he got his shot plus a couple of other tests.  The vet and her assistant loved him and spoiled him with treats.  I commented how I had taught him to sit, give me his paw, lie down, etc., so after a few minutes the vet tried it.  He performed like a champ, and I felt like a proud mother of a first grader who just recited the pledge of allegiance!  Whatta good boy!

This morning I brought my coffee into the living room and set it on the coffee table.  I had topped it with whipped cream since I am out of 1/2 & 1/2.  Before I knew it Rocky had his front paws on the table and his tongue into the whipped cream!  I took the cup and spooned the cream into his food bowl, then added more to top off my coffee!  He sure cleaned that bowl and got every last bit of cream.

I bought him several new toys yesterday, and I just wonder how long it will take him to destroy some of them.  He's working on a big thick rope right now and will soon rip enough of the cord to start the unraveling of it.

I'm having my first grocery order from BelAir delivered at 1pm today, so I'd better get showered and dressed.  Actually I first must check the house for anything a curious and clever puppy can get into!  Can't wait for the training class tomorrow, and I hope I'm not expecting too  much.  He's a quick learner, but he's also smart enough to learn how to bend the rules.  Come to think of it, I had 4 kids who were experts in the same tricks!

Speaking of tomorrow, I have to go back to the clinic in the morning to see if they can remove my stitches now.  I hope I don't have to listen to more whining about "why didn't they shave the area before stitching it".  

Saturday, September 15, 2018


I like mornings to go smoothly, especially when I've already made one trip outside in the early morning dark.  I took Rocky out after he ate his breakfast, and wanted to clean up after him so I planned to step on his leash to keep him away from the business at hand, but still have control over his movements.  The incredibly smart little dog knew the exact split second when I didn't have my foot down securely on the leash, and he made a dash for freedom.  I ran after him, called him, to no avail.  He was moving and didn't plan to stop!  

He looked to be headed across the street to the dog park but suddenly a man walking by became of interest to Rocky and he tore after him.  When he reached him he started jumping up; the man turned towards the dog and his knee came up.  Perfect job - he didn't push at Rocky but let Rocky run into the obstacle.  It's just like I tell my grandkids to do but they are too young to realize it won't hurt the dog at all and he will think it was his fault in the first place, not the owner of the knee.

So I'm running after him, still dressed  in my bathrobe, and was humiliated in front of the snickering audience at the dog park.  I was furious with Rocky and brought him in immediately, and he knew I was angry as I probably had smoke coming out of my ears at this point.   I did a little cleaning of the kitchen and came in to the living room to sit down on the couch.  A little contrite puppy finally walked over to the couch and wanted to be lifted up.  I have said before that he is NOT a cuddly dog, with the exception of when I'm hurt.  So I truly enjoyed cuddling this little imp for a while, forgiving him, and will have to work on "Come when called". 

I think I mentioned in yesterday's post that they didn't take the stitches out of my head yet.  I am really getting annoyed with the stitches - when I put my hand near them they feel like prickly little wires coming out of my head.  It's difficult to sleep, and I always worry about Rocky hurting me by moving into my head.  I sleep as still as a log, but a dog moves around all night long.  Sometimes I pull the quilt up over my head but then I want to breathe fresh air.  Can't win!

We have an appointment for the parvo shot this afternoon and I've decided I definitely won't get anything other shots at the same time.  And I will wait several months to get the rabies shot.  If I somehow get caught for not getting him a license for a few months, then I'll just pay the fine or whatever.  If the license for an intact pet is $75 you can only imagine what the fine would be for not licensing the pet!  

This morning I have been working on getting my Bel Air grocery order together.  I decided to try their delivery service.  Costco also has a delivery service but Jeannie goes to often enough and I'll just continue to go there with her.   I would really rather pick out my own groceries - most of what I buy is fresh fruits and vegetables, plus dairy, but without a way to get there on my own I am hopeful this system works out well.  I shop mostly around the perimeter of the store and avoid the aisles.

I need to go get dressed but the little guy is sleeping peacefully next to me and I sure hate to wake him up right now.

Friday, September 14, 2018

Another delay

Donald took me to get the stitches out this morning.  The wound was bleeding a bit yesterday but seemed ok this morning.  When the nurse was looking at them she discovered there was a slight amount of bleeding, so they are having me return on Monday when everything will be fine, hopefully!  My brother's stitches were removed yesterday, and our accidents were on the same day last week although his  fall seemed to be much more serious.

I left Rocky in the crate and told my neighbors on both sides so they wouldn't be worried.  I have no idea if he barked a lot - he sure was happy to see me, and even happier to see Donald. 

The weather has been super the past few days, and I hope it is a sign of things cooling down a bit.

Rocky is going to the vet tomorrow to get his parvovirus shot and rabies vaccination.  I'm going to double check the rabies shot because I seem to remember they don't get it until at least 6 months.  I was looking at the requirements for getting a dog license, which I haven't done yet.  For a neutered pet the fee is $15 (if I'm remembering correctly).  If the pet is intact the fee jumps to $75!  I don't intend to get him neutered until somewhere from 6-9 months, so I won't get the license either.  It's surprising they don't make a different rule for a small puppy, as there is no way a young puppy should be spayed or neutered at such a young age, and I don't intend to spend $75 for the license either.

Have a good weekend.  I have no plans except for the visiting the vet.  He looks so innocent sleeping on the floor next to me now, but he really knows how to get me riled up!  Getting into my purse and chewing up Kleenex is one way that he loves to do it.  I can see the gleam in his eye, and before I can clean up the chewed tissue he is already on his next trick!   

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

Moving along!

I don't know where the days are going so fast.  Time speeds up as you get older for some reason.

Jeannie took Rocky and me home with her after work last night and I visited with her and fam. for a while.  We sat out by the pool and I was really tempted to throw Rocky into it to see how his Lab skills are coming along, but I guess that wouldn't be fair to him now, but I'll do it one of these days.  He kept trying to reach down and drink the water, and Jeannie held him over it and dipped his feet into it. 

I will be so glad when his classes start as his manners need some improvement.  

When I got up this morning I couldn't get my computer going, although it had been on the charge all night and was warm to the touch.  To make matters worse, my phone was critically low on charge, and my Nook was totally discharged.  I haven't ever figured out how to send a msg on the Nook, although I have gmail on it and I get my books via wi-fi.  So I was pretty isolated until I was able to call Jeannie, who got in touch with Donald, who then came by, opened up my computer and voila!  It came on!  I don't know what kind of magic he used, but I was sure happy to see that it hadn't give up the ghost yet.

I know we are still in summer here, but Jeannie was mentioning a place on the way up to Lake Tahoe that has a special for New Year's Eve.  I haven't celebrated that holiday for years and I think I'll go.  It is a beautiful area near Donner's Summit, which is where the ill-fated Donner party was trapped during a severe winter and few survived.  If we go as planned I sure hope there is snow on the ground so I can introduce Rocky to it.  I can't remember the type of accommodations but I think they are rooms and suites (rather than cabins), and they are pet friendly.  It is so hot now and seems crazy to talk about snow and New Year's Eve, but I think I will enjoy it and know Rocky will love it.  I remember when Smoky was a baby back in Virginia during a huge snowfall at Christmas time - none of the kids could get back to their homes because of the weather, and we had a wonderful day or two playing with the tiny black lab pup in the snow.  I'm sure Rocky will be just as excited.

It's refreshing today - we're having 3 days in the 70's and the sky is a bit overcast.  I love thinking about colder weather ahead.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

They did everything but call out the troops!

Now and then I need to shop someplace I don't feel comfortable bringing Rocky.  Yesterday after work Jeannie picked me up and we shopped at Target and Costco.  Not all that much time spent at either store, but a couple of other stops including the gas station and a paint store were also made.  I've been trying to leave Rocky in the crate for short absences, but he still barks, and yesterday was no exception.

He must have made so much racket my neighbors on either side became worried that I might have fallen again.  They knocked on the door and when they got no response they called the park manager who came over and determined I wasn't here.  They released Rocky from "doggy jail" and put him on the front porch, where they kept him company.  One of them came in to get some of his toys, fill up his food bowl (he sure got a lot to eat yesterday), and just worried what had happened to me.

It's nice to have caring neighbors, but I see now I have to let someone know when I will be gone.  And I certainly can't leave that little scamp in his crate for any reason.  It really takes away the last bit of personal freedom I have. 

My head is getting a bit better but it still hurts to touch the area of the stitches.   What is bothering me now is the fact that my legs and hips are killing me!  Even the side opposite to where I hit the floor is very painful, especially when getting in and out of bed.  I guess it will ease up in time, but I sure didn't realize it was going to get worse before it gets better.  As much as I dislike taking any kind of medication - the side effects are often worse than the pain or discomfort I'm trying to cover up - it might be time to search through my stash of vitamins and other pills to see if I can find an Advil!   I'm  shocked that there is still a hard lump on my head in the area of the stitches that hurts when I touch it.

I'm still battling with ants in the kitchen.  I've already declared war on them but I'm close to going nuclear!  If ony I could get in a car and drive to the dollar store I could pickup supplies such as essential oils that repel ants but isn't harmful to people or pets.  I think life needs to give me a break pretty soon!


Monday, September 10, 2018


I seem to have bugs everywhere!  Many of them are "floaters" in my vision.  I've had floaters before, but since my eye surgery these seem to be different and look more like actual bugs. They fool me just about every time.

I also have ants!  I'm fighting them everywhere and all the time.  I had to throw out puppy kibble because of them, so when I bought a new 20# bag I portioned it out in gallon ziploc bags and was able to get some of them in my regular dog food container.  I don't know if the ants found their way into that container or if Rocky figured out how to get the top loose, but I have four big ziplocs stored in it and the rest on my countertop surrounded by cinnamon.  I never thought I'd be living like this!

My neighbors report the same problems with ants so they are definitely not going away easily.  I have the dog's water bowl on the floor, but always wash the food bowl after he eats from it. 

My stitches come out Friday and it will be a long four days' wait for me.  It's difficult to get comfortable when sleeping, plus I'm always afraid Rocky will bump me when he's moving around on the bed.  I'm not sure why a dog can't just go to sleep and stay in that one spot, but he sure doesn't.

Speaking of Rocky, he certainly is a stunningly beautiful dog.  My neighbors on either side are always raving about how gorgeous he is, and complete strangers slow down when they drive past and call out to me what a beautiful dog he is.  It's too bad most photographs don't show how cute his face and eyes are because of his color.  I almost consider taking him to a photographer for a portrait.  He will be my last dog, so why not?  I should look up one that specializes in pet portraits.  I'll let ya know what I find!

Maybe we will have some autumn weather soon.  I think Wed-Fri are forecasted to be in the upper 70's which will be a relief!  The lows are in the 50's which makes evenings and mornings bearable. 

Take care, especially those of you who might be within reach of Hurricane Florence.

Saturday, September 8, 2018

Deja Vu

I received an email from my brother Bill this afternoon, telling me about his fall last night, which required 3 stitches in a blood vein (didn't know they could do that), as well as an unknown number of stitches in his head.  My sister-in-law drove him to the VA hospital in their area, so they wasted no time getting help for him.  He says he isn't feeling too well today.

 I'm not feeling so well either.  My head aches off and on - just when I think I'll take something for the pain it goes away.  I'm just generally feeling like crap.

It is getting warmer today than it has for the past few days and it makes me feel so grumpy.   And Rocky lets me know that  he is back to his normal old self, and that I'd better get back to mine!

I hope your weekend goes better than mine is at present.

Friday, September 7, 2018

Thirteen Stitches!

In the head!  Mine, that is!

Yesterday while walking from the bathroom into the hallway to my room, my foot slid out of the Birkenstock sandal I was wearing, and I went down!  I have a terribly sore right hip, but worse, my head connected with a metal frame for the ceiling light fixture that I could never find the screws for.  I just set the frame in a small niche in the hallway, and my head jammed into it.  Good thing I didn't fall on my left side or my face would have gone into the metal.  

This happened in mid morning and I thought of my options since it was bleeding horrendously!  The lump on my seemed to grow into the size of a small apple, while the blood kept flowing, soaking up into the wet towel I covered my head with.  I couldn't rinse the towel fast enough.

The first thing I considered was to  call 911.  I skipped over that one quickly because I knew I would never leave my puppy while the medics hauled me away.  I kept the wet towel on my head and felt the swelling increase!

At about 1:30 I called Jeannie at work, but she was at a meeting and I sent a text message to her explaining that I was hurt and possibly needed help.  She felt so bad about it later because she didn't return to her desk until after 4pm, called me then and said she would leave work and be there as soon as she could.  She wanted to call 911 but I wouldn't have it.  She ended up contacting Steve who said they would come by as soon as they could and pick Rocky up; she then drove me to the emergency room.  We arrived around 5 or so, and finally left after I was seen and treated, at 12:30 a.m.  It was a busy night at the emergency room.

I got 13 stitches in my head, and was glad they numbed it with lidocaine before stitching it up.  The job was made more difficult for them because the time that had elapsed resulted in more swelling, but I was finally fixed up.  My son Joe was working the night shift (he's a respiratory therapist) and came down to see me around 12 Midnight.

Here are some photos:  They were taken today as you may see by the bruises on my arms.

 Click on a photograph to enlarge it.

I don't have the time or patience to do a great job with these pictures, but here they are anyway. 

I almost forgot the most important thing.  You know how I've mentioned that Rocky is sweet but he doesn't cuddle much.  Today he has climbed up into my arms and slept there most of the day.  I've never seen such a snuggler, and I'm loving it.  Even though it might not last, I'll take it when I can.

Thursday, September 6, 2018

I took a little break!

Jeannie & Arianna came by yesterday afternoon and took me to Costco.  We left Rocky in the crate, and I worried most of the time I was gone.   I just hope he didn't bark the entire time I was gone but I'm sure I will hear about it from one of my neighbors if he did.

I enjoyed  shopping, and need to go to several more places for things I couldn't get at Costco.  When we got back Jeannie took these 4 photos with her iPhone.  It was difficult to get a decent picture because he wouldn't stop wiggling, but it's the best we could do for now.  Click to enlarge.

I hsve to go clean up doggie do-do, but wanted to get these posted.  I may be back later in the day.

Wednesday, September 5, 2018

Is my peace & quiet gone forever?

Life sure isn't dull around here.  Up to now I've always enjoyed putting my feet up and nursing a bottle of beer in afternoon, and yesterday was no exception.  I had to go to the bathroom and didn't think twice about it, but when I returned I found Rocky had knocked the bottle over and it was on the floor spilling most of the beer.  He was a good dog though - tried to lap it up so I wouldn't have to!  I was so upset but I kept my mouth shut and cleaned it up.  When I finished I looked over where he had gone to lie down - fast asleep!

A puppy will ALWAYS find something to chew, often something dangerous like an electric cord.  I had a box I was going to break down and take out to the recycling bin, but he is enjoying breaking it down for me.  I have bits of cardboard all over the kitchen which I'm constantly sweeping up, but he is getting lots of mileage out of this "toy".  It is a low, flat box, and it's so cute when he sometimes sits inside it to chew the edges! 

I have laundry to do so I'd better get started.  I will leave Rocky in the crate when I have to take the baskets across the street to the laundry building to dry, and I think I will try to find some soft music on the radio and place it next to the crate.  Soft music is hard to find these days - maybe Rocky would enjoy Ozzie Osbourne, or the Grateful Dead!

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Luck is running against me!

I don't know why this keeps happening to me.  Last night Jeannie drove me to the PetsMart store that had scheduled a puppy class, to find that the store was closed.  Two employees were still there, including the woman who runs the training program.  She said they had cancelled last night's class and it was moved to two weeks later.  She also said she had called me and left a message.  Upon checking my phone there was indeed a msg from her, but the notification never showed on my phone.  It will usually turn on a small light and the msg "Missed Call" will appear.  (I have a jitterbug phone, quite unlike the phones many folks use.)

This is the second time I've gone to a class to find it has been rescheduled, and I'm pretty fed up.  The pet store closest to me and within walking distance is Pet Club, a family owned small chain centered in the Bay area of CA, but they don't hold classes at any of their stores.  I think the worst part about both the SPCA and PetsMart cancellations is that they were both called off at the last minute.

So I'm not sure what to do next, but I suppose I'm going to have to work with Rocky on my own.  Right now I need to stop the incessant barking and have watched several Youtube videos on this subject, none of which is really applicable in my situation. 

Jeannie and I talked about the feasibility of selling my house and renting an apartment near her.  The woman who lives next door to her owns several apartments in that area, and in fact recently rented one to my niece and her two boys.  The rents are very reasonable as rents in this area go, but it would still be higher than my current total costs.  I would at least have some grass for the dog to play on instead of the unending concrete and blacktop we have now.  I wouldn't have to contend with the dog park across the street from me, and while many folks in this neighborhood are very friendly, it's a certain few who  ruin it.  I'm also not happy about the density of the homes here.  I have never seen any of Carmen's properties, but Jeannie will throw out the idea to her that I might be interested.

In the meantime I have the floor tiles for the kitchen that I need to put down, and a bit of painting to finish.   I also need to seriously weigh the pros and cons of living here or moving.  And all that is with a young puppy to deal with!

Monday, September 3, 2018

Early Retirement

This post is written in response to a suggestion from a  reader who wondered how I've been retired since I was 55 yrs of age.

I worked for the US Govt, Army Corps of Engineers at HQ in Washington, DC.  I was led to believe my position would be upgraded for quite some time but nothing was ever done about it.

Then  they wanted to reduce the numbers of people at HQ so they offered a cash benefit (can't remember how much it was but it was decent) for anyone who took retirement.  I was eligible for an "early out" with 25 yrs of govt service and having reached the age of 55.  I took a reduced benefit amounting to a certain percentage of my retirement for every year I was short (can't remember if it was age or years of service).  So I've received a reduced pension for the last 45 years and it has been worth every penny of it!  The irony of it all is that the Division Chief came to me with my retirement application and offered to upgrade my position if I stayed on.  Too late, buddy!  I've never looked back and have led a magical life for the most part.

While I like the things money can buy and do, especially for my family and friends, I am not motivated by money and never have been.  So I would say that I've lived probably half my life on the "poor" side of the scale, with the other half being at the median or a bit higher.  I've had a wonderful life, and the so-called "poor times" have been invaluable in the process of learning what is important and what is not.  People are important.  Things can be snatched away at the drop of a hat.

So that's my philosophy and it's served me well.  Not all would agree with me or would want to emulate my way of life, and that's fine.  There is a time of life especially when raising a family, that is enriched by certain material benefits, although I see each generation make the mistake of trying to give their children everything they wish they had when growing up. 

I might add that most of my government career was with IRS in Cincinnati and in Sacramento.  The IRS is disliked by everyone because they collect taxes that no one wants to pay, but in my experience I found the agency operates with the highest principles of integrity and decency.  I'm speaking of employees in the regional and district offices - any agency in Washington is suspect in my book!

Sunday, September 2, 2018

Just another Sunday morning

I had a slow and easy morning to start out.  Then I decided to take a shower, always an adventure with a puppy in the house.  After removing things like wastebaskets, the toilet brush, etc. from his reach, I got into the shower, but not for long.  Getting out was even worse.  He wanted to lick my already clean skin and I was pushing him out of the way while hopping around on one foot and then the other.  My mom would have told me I looked like I had ants in my pants!

Even though I managed to get dressed he still was trying to lick the lotion off my legs while I was brushing my teeth and combing my hair.  The simplest things are now such a challenge!   One thing is for certain:  a "good" puppy behavior day is always followed by a "bad" or "Less than good" puppy day.

I am desperate for decent lighting in the living room, which has no ceiling light.  Rocky gravitates toward electrical cords and I have two lamps out of order now - he's working on the third.  I'm at my wits end, I'll tell ya.

Rocky is sometimes heart-breakingly sweet!  If I yell at him about something dangerous to him, such as the cord he was about to chew, he will walk away from it and as soon as I sit down he wants to climb up into my lap as if to say "I'm sorry".   He's only contrite for a short time and then he's off to look for other michief!
I think this is a holiday weekend, is it not?  I lost track of the calendar ever since I retired from my job in 1975!  I do have calendars in my house but I forget to look at them.   I can't remember the last labor day picnic I've been to, or any kind of celebration.  Have fun, if you're celebrating in any way - I'd love to hear about it since I'm not doing anything myself.


Saturday, September 1, 2018

The mind of a smart dog!

I took Rocky out but he didn't want to be in the heat any longer than it took him to pee.  We came back inside and of course, he posed like a good dog for his treat.

He started barking about 10 minutes later and I worried that he might have to go back out and if I didn't take him I would end up having to clean up after him.  So we went out, he walked the length of the short driveway and then came back up the steps to the door.  I brought him in and again he went  to the cabinet where I keep his treats, and went into his good dog pose.  What a trick he's learned, but fortunately I didn't fall for it.  Good try Rocky.

I hate to see the hot weather come back.   I looked at  expected temps through the end of November and I am cheered by the thought that it will be in the mid-high 50's or lower 60's by that time. 

Jeannie & Donald went to Costco last night while the girls stayed with me, and they picked up a few essentials for me while they were there, including a gallon of vanilla ice cream.    It is the creamiest and most tasty vanilla I have ever had, and I don't ever put anything on it because I love the pure flavor of the ice cream!

I hope you are all enjoying the weekend, wherever you are.