Eastern Utah
EMAIL ME AT: mgypsy97 at aol dot com

Monday, December 30, 2019

At least it's a sunny day

I don't want to complain about rain, but just about as soon as the weeds dry out enough for me to cut them, it rains again.  I'll have to say it's nice looking at all that green in my backyard after a summer of dead brown grass.

I took this photo when I got up this morning and managed to catch him before he woke up.

Why he burrows his head underneath the covers is a mystery to me, but it's okay.

My christmas tree still looks beautiful, and the needles aren't prickly yet nor are they dropping off the tree.  I add water to the tree holder about every other day, and I hate to think of taking the tree down.  Usually I'm not that sentimental about  it, but this one is such as perfect shape and exactly a perfect size.  Rocky can just about walk under the lowest branches, although he pretty much steers clear of the tree.

I hope there isn't too much celebrating of New Year's eve around this neighborhood.  The mobile home park was perfect to me in that most people's houses were always dark after 9pm.  I might enjoy popping a champagne cork, but as for all the noise of New Year's Eve, I was done with that years ago!

I think I will take Rocky for a short walk.
I might write a short post tomorrow, but if I don't I will wish everyone a Happy New Year a day early.

Friday, December 27, 2019

Out with the old; In with the new!

Actually, I haven't had many real problems during the past year, although I've had enough to gripe about.  Closing on this year I'm thinking about what I want to change during 2020.  I think I want to be more optimistic; more loving; more forgiving.  Considering what I've spent during the past couple of months, I should also try to be more frugal!

I took a photo of the center of the mantel and here it is: 

The wreath in the center was made for me by Steve, Ara's fiance.  The lighthouse on the left was painted by my granddaughter, Autumn, and the puppy in the picture on the right was drawn by granddaughter, Arianna. 

I just took Rocky for a short walk and am trying to work with him to keep him from pulling on the leash when we walk.  He is definitely an alpha male, but he'd better learn PDQ that I am the  alpha female!  I plan to start going back to my chiropractor after the first of the year as Rocky's constant pulling has my lower back all out of shape!

So I have every reason to be optimistic about the coming year, (except for the political drama and the state of the world).  I may or may not post again before the end of the year, but I wish all of you the very best for 2020.

Thursday, December 26, 2019

The Day After

Christmas turned out to be a fun experience at my house yesterday.  The tree was surrounded by stacks of gifts, and family filled the house.  Everyone brought delicious food and while I was nervous about hosting so many people in my house, it turned out to be so much fun.   Most of them left between 11pm and midnight, and Jeannie and I sat and talked until about 2am.  Rocky and I slept late this morning and have been napping throughout the day.  I'm relieved it all went so well, and that it is over with.

Everyone wore their pajamas to the party; everyone brought food.  It was a fun and comfortable gathering and I believe everyone really enjoyed it.

Tree and presents:   (Click on photo to enlarge)I
 Lab calendar:

 I know most people keep their calendars on their phones these days, but I'm an exception.  I love to hang a large calendar on my fridge, with all my appointments and pertinent notes scribbled in for each date.  Every year I always receive calendars from several different places - this past year I have been using one sent to me from the Arbor Day Foundation.  To date I haven't received one single calendar, so I bought my own.  I'm going to love using it, as it features my very favorite dog!

I want to mention a product I used to clean and shine my old, worn-out, ugly hardwood floors.  It didn't hide some of the worst spots, but as you can see in the first photo above, it looks pretty good.  Even after having a large crowd last night including my dog as well as Ara's puppy, the floor still looks pretty good.  I have enough left for at least one more, possibly two, applications.  I'm not sure how long this will last before needing another treatment, but I'm  very happy with it - the product is called Rejuvenate Floor Renewer - and includes a bottle of product for wood furniture as well.  It sure improves the look of my coffee table.

I hope you all had a very happy holiday (if you are one who celebrates it).  I'm feeling so good about Christmas this year I'm even thinking about making a couple of serious New Year's resolutions, which is something I've rarely done in the past.

The best of the season to all of you.


Sunday, December 22, 2019

I'm running out of time

Here I am going into the week of Christmas, and I certainly haven't done much the past few days to get ready.  Donald is going to cook the meal so at least I don't have that to worry about.  Cleaning is what I have to do, and that is my least favorite thing.

The floors are hardwood and in horrible condition.   Because I sold my mobile home so fast and the buyer needed to move in as soon as possible, I arranged to move in here without much being done to the place after the former renters moved out.  The floors need complete refinishing.  I bought a product called "Rejuvenate" for which I don't hold much hope, but I'll try it.  Since we are having so much rain, I'm going to wait until late Christmas Eve or early Christmas morning to start cleaning them.  I think it will be mid-afternoon before my guests start arriving, so I should be ok although cutting it close.  I did a test run on a small area next to the tree, and it looks pretty good, although that isn't where the dog gets his paw prints and scuffs all over.

I have been laughing so hard this evening, and feel so much better because of it.  I've watched some Johnny Carson youtube videos.  That man was so funny, and I don't think there has been anyone on tv, or any late night commedian, to come close to Johnny.  He was particularly funny when he had animals on the show, and I watched a 30 minute compilation this evening of Johnny and various animals and birds.  He was particularly funny with chimps, gorillas, and other monkeys, especially the young ones.   TV has changed drastically since those days, and I don't think it has improved much, especially with regard to content.  I'm sure sick and tired of the political crap, and it's going to get worse in the coming months I'm afraid.  (I don't have a TV, but watch youtube to find out what is going on.)

I have been stuck inside for the entire weekend, with the exception of a 10 or 15 minute walk each day with Rocky.  His behavior cut it short yesterday, and today the rain was the cause.  I love this apartment so much better than the mobile home, but I sure preferred the location I was in before.  I saw people every day, and enjoyed walking Rocky.   Now I just feel trapped, and wonder - is this what it's like to grow old.  I sure don't think it will get any better.

I got Rocky's nails clipped on Friday, although they couldn't cut much off because they can't see the quick on his totally black nails, and it had been a while since he had them trimmed.  I need to take him back next week, and as the quick moves back a little each time the nails are trimmed, they can take more off.  Not being able to get there without bumming a ride, I can't keep to any kind of schedule.  Donald is one of the kindest people I know and I'm sure he would take me anywhere I need to go.  I don't want to overdo it and be a nuisance.  This morning before I got out of bed, Rocky  clawed my arm and it really looks bad.  Taking a baby aspirin every day, along with the aging process leaves my skin very thin and I bruise and bleed easily.  I can't complain about the aspirin because other than prescription eye drops, I don't take any kind of meds - just vitamins and a couple of supplements.

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Jumping the Gun

As if one holiday at a time isn't enough, I got a mailer from Costco yesterday featuring Christmas gifts.  On the back of the mailer was a large ad reminding me to get ready for Valentine's Day!  I think the merchants are probably worrying that our future economy, including the rise in prices we are already experiencing, is going to lead to a change in spending habits very soon.  Get it while you can seems to be their motto.

Ara arrived in Sacramento yesterday to celebrate Auti's 13th birthday, and she will remain here through the Christmas season.  She brought her puppy over in the afternoon, and it's going to be exactly as I suspected.  The dogs were having a grand old time, although they didn't want to be having it out in the backyard.  They chased each other around in the living room where we were sitting.  I have a bad feeling about Christmas Day, but I've  reached the point of not caring.  I also have the feeling that my dog is going to get the biggest share of the blame for anything that happens.

On a happier note, I'm looking forward to a trip to Barnes & Noble with Auti, where she can pick out a book or two (my birthday prsent to her).  She and I are so much alike in the way we love actual books over the electronic kind.  Nothing beats the look and feel and smell of a new book!

With tons of things I should be doing to get the house ready for Christmas company, I don't feel like doing a thing and will probably be lazy the entire day.

See ya later!

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Chilled to the Bone

It's all relative - I'm sure many of you in colder zones wouldn't mind trading with me.  Our weather is in the upper  50's during the day, and down to the 40's at night.  Next week the temps will drop about 5 degrees for both day and night.  It rains off and on which means it feels damp and chilly.  I often use my little Lazko heater in the bathroom when I take a shower, and in the living room when sitting on the couch.  It is so easy to move around.  But I dress warmly and throw a jacket on during the day if I get cold.  (It's cheaper than turning the heat up!)

It's hard to believe that Christmas Day is just one week away.  I will be glad when it's over with, and I am never going to let myself get this involved in the future.

I took Rocky to the vet to get his nails clipped today, and asked them if they could give me something to calm him down when all the company comes on Christmas Day.  They gave me 10 pills, and he can take 2 at a time - 3 if necessary.  I have my doubts they will do much good, with Ara bringing her puppy, and with all the people who will be here, including about 10 kids and 10-15 adults!

Rocky has done amazingly well with the Christmas tree.  He sometimes has tinsel clinging to his fur when he walks too closely by the tree, but he really hasn't bothered with ornaments or the tinsel, thank goodness.  Donald made an interesting observation today.  Rocky does a lot of things that he shouldn't, and I'm often telling him "No".  Donald says he doesn't get it:  "No, what?"    So I will have to pay closer attention and change my wording so he can understand what I mean.  As an example, Rocky jumps up when someone (especially the kids) comes in, and I say "Rocky, NO!".  Donald thinks he doesn't make the connection and that I should be more specific when I say "No".  It makes sense.  I'm sure half of the things he does that drives me crazy are my fault to begin with.  I think Donald majored in child psychology in college, so it no doubt applies to animals as well as kids.

I am so sleepy but it's only 8pm!  I should just go to bed.

I hope you are all prepared for the holidays, whichever you celebrate.   Take care and the best of the season to you all.

Thursday, December 12, 2019

Another decoration

For some reason I didn't include a photo of my door decoration in the last blog post.  Here it is:

I still get cold feet when I think of having 25 or so people here on Christmas Day.  I will never have enough seating, for one thing.  

I've decided to kennel Rocky overnight so that will be one less thing I have to worry about.  Of course, I'll worry myself sick that he is ok.  Now I have to get the word out to two of my potential guests who might want to bring their dogs.  

We are still having some rain just about every day, so nothing really dries out.  I'm not complaining, but I love it when the sun peeks out from behind the clouds now and then.

Have a good day - another weekend is around the corner.  It's like watching life go by in fast forward motion!

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

Am I Getting the Christmas Spirit?

 Monday, Dec. 9:
I will say it - "I don't even like Christmas"!  I haven't liked it for years.  This year my daughter is determined to get me involved in the festivities as much as possible.  She decided our Christmas Day celebrations will be at my house.  She took me shopping for a Christmas tree yesterday, and I spent $30 at the Dollar Tree store buying decorations - that is 30 items!

So we put the tree up this evening - she and my two  grandaughters  came over and did most of the work.  Except for the fact that I'm worried Rocky will probably pull the whole thing over on himself, I have to admit that everything looks festive and pretty, and I'm happy with it. 

While shopping yesterday I bought a little leprechaun, which Rocky was sure was a toy intended for him.  He was pretty disappointed when it was set on the fireplace mantle tonight.  He has been so excited this evening, with three of his favorite people being here and the buzz of things happening.  I am trying to overcome a slight sense of dread of disaster which he is capable of bringing about. 

I think if you click on a picture it should enlarge a bit.

There was a break in the rain for most of today.  It's amazing how a few days of rain brings back the green in the yard - mostly weeds, I'm afraid.  I should hire someone to do yard work for me, but after the expenses of the Christmas season it will take me a while to get back to normal with finances.

Tuesday, Dec. 10:
After being up late last night I find the morning swept past by me and now it's the middle of the afternoon.  I'm not sure how I finally got a couple of photos to download, and even though they aren't the quality I would like, I'm including them.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

A break in the rain

Today has been a relativcely dry day but there is still water all around.  I think a terrific rain and wind storm is expected tonight and over the weekend, but I'm not sure what parts of Northern California will be affected.

 I put a Duraflame log in the fireplace and am enjoying watching the flames.  I bought a box of 6 logs and this is the third one I've used.  The first two had a very strong chemical smell while burning, but this one doesn't seem to have an odor at all.  I hope the rest of them will be normal.  I enjoy watching the flames even though there is no heat from them.  I've always loved a cozy wood fire but this is easier to start as well as to clean up after.  And I don't have to worry about sparks going up the chimney and flying about.  I bought myself a fireplace set, with a poker, brush, and shovel, so I'm all set.

Rocky has been getting on my nerves lately.  He wanted to go out at about 3am the past two nights, and that totally disrupts my sleep and it's hard to get back to sleep.  When he jumps down from the bed I have to wake up and be aware of what he's doing as he still chews things, including my comforter which is now missing probably a quarter of its stuffing.

I don't know what to do about a Christmas tree.  Last year Jeannie decided I needed a tree, after a number of years of no longer putting one up at Christmas.  She bought me a very tiny tree - probably about 10-12" high, with a strand of lights on it.  I planned to use that this year but am wondering if I should just go ahead and get a small live tree.  Because of the weather the past few years the trees, both cut and living, are not the same quality as in years past, but I might break down and buy a small cut tree.  Then I have to spend money on lights and ornaments, because I will be having everyone at my house for the Christmas gift exchange on the 25th.  Life sure doesn't get any easier over the years.

I hope you are all enjoying December.  There is a lot of anticipation and joy associated with the holidays - I just don't feel it any more.


Sunday, December 1, 2019

Down to the Wire!

It's hard for me to believe we've reached December, and I don't know how 2019 went by so fast.  I guess I can expect 2020 to shoot by even faster, and that trend will continue the older I get.

Rocky turned 18 months old this past week but shows no signs of maturity yet!  I love his puppy nature except when I'm not in the mood for it.

I skipped Thanksgiving this year, and really wish I could skip Christmas.  My daughter has talked me into holding the Christmas Day celebrations at my house, and to be truthful I don't have the room - we counted a possibility of 26+ people.  The thought of where I'm going to put them all is scary.  I'm not going to buy a Christmas tree and won't be swayed on that matter.  Last Christmas Jeannie decided I needed a reminder of the holiday so she gave me a tiny little artificial tree with a strand of lights on it.  That is going to be my Christmas tree this year, come hell or high water!  Can you imagine the havoc Rocky could wreak with a large tree loaded with lights and ornaments.  I've been there and done that.

I can remember Christmases past, where we had to wrap a couple of beer cases to set on top of an end table, and the tree went on top of those.  The tip nearly reached the ceiling, but all the lights and decorations were out of reach of whatever dog we had at the time.  I'm not going back to that, although I wish I could recover some of the Christmas spirit I had in those days.

 We are having some cold and rainy weather now and the rain will be with us for a while,.  You can  imagine the state of my garden .  Weeds and grass tower over the vegetable plants.

Sorry if I sound like Debbie Downer today.  I should probably pour myself a glass of wine and chill out!  Am I the only person for whom holidays have lost their lustre?   Let me know how you cope with this time of year.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

What is falling from the sky

I walked out to get the mail and was hit by something wet falling from the sky.  RAIN!!!  I haven't tried to figure out how many months since we've had rain and I'm glad to see it even if it is pretty cold.

The interstates through the Sierras have already been closed at the higher elevations, and I'm glad no one I know is trying to travel across the mountains.   I wouldn't want to be on any roads over the holiday.  I'm so glad I was able to have the family reunion earlier in November when the weather was really nice.

I wonder what will happen in my garden with the cold rain - I'm sure the moisture will be welcome, and the plants are all cool weathr plants, but I don't know about cold weather.  I don't think it will get down anywhere near freezing yet. 

I've been looking forward to having a fire in my fireplace most every evening, and bought a big box of Duraflame logs for this purpose.  I don't want to use real wood logs as I know they send sparks up the chimney, and with Sacramento not having rain for the past 9 or 10 months, I wouldn't dare attempt it.  I have used Duraflame logs for years and this is the first time I have noticed a strong chemical smell emanating from them during the entire time they are burning.  If anyone knows of a brand that doesn't emit a chemical odor, I would like to know of it. 

I'm not yet back into the habit of blogging, but I'll get used to it I hope.  Finding a topic to blog about when I'm mostly stuck at home with Rocky doesn't make it any easier to write about what's happening with me.   I did get to shop at Costco over the weekend, and I was astounded at the rise in prices!  In many cases where two boxes, cans, bottles, etc. were always packed together they are now split and you get one item for the price you once paid for two.   With the coffee beans, I noticed the packages are smaller.  I'm sure it will get worse over time.  Hang in there, folks!

That's all for now.  I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving Day.

Friday, November 22, 2019

Back to Normal Part 2

Here I am again, and I hope I can find some photos to publish.  I think there must be thousands of them taken!

In addition to Straw Hat, we also spent time at my favorite craft brewery, Thin Line.  Joe (my youngest) cooked Cincinnati Chili with all the trimmings, and they let us set up a table for all the food.  I'm sorry to say I barely ate anything at Straw Hat and nothing at Thin Line.  I think I was calm on the outside, but inside I was a nervous wreck.  I don't know why, but this was a big undertaking for me and I couldn't just relax and enjoy it as much as I would have if someone else was running the show.  Actually, I had nothing to do with Thin Line this time  - my kids all arranged it.

I am so grateful to Bill & Wilma, my oldest brother (3 yrs younger than me) and sister-in-law.  The more I age the more I cherish the opportunity to spend some time with my siblings and their families.  Bill & Wilma were the perfect house guests, and didn't seem to mind Rocky.  Their oldest daughter, Julie, had a lab who they tell me never had a quiet moment until the day she died at 13!

I'm going to search for more photos - I think most of them came to me in emails.  I hope I can publish them maybe this weekend.


Back to (Somewhat) Normal

Things have been quiet for the past couple of days, and I've had time to reflect on the previous week.  I am so fortunate to have had the opportunity to get all my siblings together. My youngest brother and his wife were vacationing in England and didn't return in time to join us at Straw Hat, but they did spend the day with us and that was good.  They brought their puppy with them, and Ara had her puppy as well, so Rocky enjoyed the reunion as much as I did!

I'm having difficulty with Blogger and can't figure out what they have changed.   I can't seem to be able to write anything after this photo, so I might just publish this and start Part 2 of today's blog.

This photo is in black & white, and taken at Straw Hat.  Sibs & spouses.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Things are moving along!

I just got a text from my brother - they just landed in Sacramento and are waiting for a gate to open.  I'm relieved their flights went well and on time.

Another brother & his family who are staying at Jeannie's house, arrived on Sunday afternoon.  They walked over yesterday and visited, so I got to spend some time with them.  Unfortunately, my house cleaners were here so we had to sit out on the deck, which is kind of cluttered with gardening tools and supplies.

Speaking of gardening, I'm pretty much ready for the season to end.  That said, I have a number of vegetables that are growing well and should be producing in about 2 weeks or so.  Keeping the grass pulled in the second bed is driving me nuts!  I can only lean over for a few minutes and then have to stop.  I'm afraid if I get down on the ground I won't be able to easily get back up, so I just lean over to pull the grass & weeds.

If I had thought about it this morning I would have given Rocky a Benadryl tablet to calm him down.  He's going to love two new people to greet!

So long for now.

Thursday, November 7, 2019

Taking a break

If I have some time to myself during the next two weeks, I'll try to post.  But starting with Saturday, Jeannie's birthday, and through the next week and a half, at least, I will be very involved with family events.

It's going to be pretty special for me, as the oldest of eight, to be able to get all eight of us together.    I feel so fortunate, and I just want to devote every minute I can to being with family.  I'm sure there will be much reminiscing, as well as good-natured joking about our childhood memories.

I'll be back as I get the chance.   

Monday, November 4, 2019

I'm still alive and well!

Some things in my life go fairly well, and others give me a few problems.  I'm pretty sure that's the same for most of us.

I have a couple of photos of Rocky - I wish I knew how to touch up photos, as one of them shows the terrible condition of the hardwood floor.  The prior residents had two big dogs and the floor shows it.  I think I mentioned it on my walk-through, but thought I could live with it because I figured my dog would scratch the floor as well.  He has, and it just adds to the poor condition of it.  The discoloration shows in one of the photos, and I can't help it.  Click to enlarge.  Also, he is not the easiest dog to photograph, and he is way more beautiful than the photos show.

I'm not too thrilled with my gardening efforts this year.  I got a late start because of my move, and the fall planting got a late start because I had to wait for someone to use the rototiller in the additional beds.  So this year has so far produced a lot of tasty squash and tomatoes.  I have peas growing now, and some other things - I think carrots and possible some leafy greens - maybe kale and chard.  As I mentioned, I really didn't think anything would come up so I didn't keep records of what I planted where.  As they come up, I can sort of figure out what some of them are while others are still a mystery.  The grass is sure growing well in the garden, however.

I have to leave in a few minutes to meet my granddaughter, Autumn, when she gets out of school.  I guess the 1st quarter grades came out, and she got a 4.0 score, which is perfect!  All of her classes except for Math are honors classes, and when I see the kind of homework she has, I just don't know how she can keep up with it, or how any 7th grader could for that matter .  

And while I'm bragging, I got an email from Steve, about my grandson, Liam.  

Liam won the confidence award at school.  This is given to one kid per class for their confidence in their work, and classroom leadership.

There are so many distractions for kids today and I know it is a great achievement for both Autumn and Liam.  I'm so happy for them and proud of them.

Well I was gone for about 15-20 minutes.  I left two individually wrapped, boneless-skinless chicken breasts at the back of the countertop to thaw.  (You know where this is going!)   When I got back I found an empty wrapper - he must have eaten one of them, still frozen, and the other was on the floor but intact in its heavy plastic wrapper.  Right now you can imagine which of my lists he is on!

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

More about the lentils

I hope you are not sick of hearing about this, but I just want to add a little more about my experience trying something new - something I never in my life thought I would like.  Perhaps it has something to do with the way I cooked and seasoned them, but they will be a part of my diet from now on.

First of all, I didn't cook them until they got all mashed into a paste.  You can still see the individual lentil in the soup, and I can tell you it is as good the next day as it was yesterday!

I started with a couple of tbsp of "Better than Bullion" paste.  It is is organic, reduced sodium, roasted chicken base, and I stirred it into the pan of water.  I added some chopped onion and celery, along with a can of Muir's Glen organic cubed tomatoes.  I added the lentils when I had brought the liquid to a boil, and only boiled them for about 20 minutes, before they turned mushy but were thoroughly cooked.  I threw in a few shakes of pepper, and maybe a tsp of cumin.  If I did anything else I can no longer remember it!  (oh yes, I did dice a chicken breast and added it to the pot.)  Delicious.

The high winds we experienced a few days ago certainly left a mess of dust & dirt, leaves, and other debris.  Fortunately for us, there wasn't damage to speak of in our area, although I don't have TV so I might not be aware of it.   It seems like the winds are picking up again today so it's not worth raking leaves or cleaning the driveway/carport.

Stay safe, wherever you are.


Monday, October 28, 2019

The verdict on lentils

I looked over many recipes for cooking lentils and finally found some suggestions that appealed to me.  I don't eat spicy foods these days if I can avoid them, so that whittled down the list.  What I did was take the ingredients from several different recipes and made my own concoction, to my own taste.  I'll have to say that I think lentils are tasteless in themselves, but with other ingredients and spices, I ended up with a pretty tasty lentil soup.  I think I will buy more lentils to have on hand while they are relatively inexpensive, and from what I've read about them, they are nutritious.  I used red lentils, but will probably buy some green ones to compare.  Thanks to everyone who responded with suggestions, recipes, etc.  I probably included a little bit from each suggestion and it turned out well for me.

Thank goodness the winds have died down here.   If they caused much damage in the Sacramento area, I haven't heard about it.  The winds came in gusts that looked and sounded pretty ominous.  At one point Rocky wanted to go out, and a bit later I saw him sitting on the backyard slope, his floppy ears blowing up and down in the wind.

I think I'm going to have another bowl of my lentil soup!  The lentils are not mushy, though I thought they would be.  Wonder if freezing them will cause them to get mushy when thawing for later use.

Now I'm too full and need a rest before continuing on with the little jobs I've been doing this morning.  I wish everyone a good week ahead, and hope you all stay safe from the disasters that seem to be in all parts of the country.  My heart goes out to all the California residents threatened by the fires, as well as to the brave men and women who are fighting them.

Friday, October 25, 2019


I'd like to say thanks those who responded to the questions I had in my last post.  I am planning to try the lentils within the next couple of days.

Rocky and I took our usual 4 block walk a few minutes ago.  He did so well on the final block - I guess he just needs to settle down a bit for the first part, although I'm going to try to get him to do it correctly from the time we go out the door.  I think a big part of the problem is me - I am not the most consistent person on the planet, and tend to be too easy going and lenient.
I'm going to cook lentils this afternoon (or maybe tomorrow), and I'll let you know how it turns out.  It will be a new taste for me and I'm eager to try them, although I don't cook very often these days.  Costco has such an amazing array of foods/meals that just have to be put into the oven or heated on the stove.  I've gotten lazy about cooking things from scratch.

As for my garden, I don't have the energy to get out there and work on it the past few days.  Grass is growing faster than I can pull it, and I don't understand why I didn't have a grass problem with the first garden square - the one with tomatoes and zucchini (as well as the marigolds).  The marigolds seem to be the best crop yet!  The second blooming is absolutely gorgeous.  They are now twice the size they were when they first bloomed.  I can take photos of them, but when I try to transfer them from my phone to the computer, I just can't make it happen.

I'm not sure if I covered all the questions in my last post, but I think I have.  Rocky and I have been feeling a little "off" today, so I hope things improve over the weekend, and a good weekend for all of you!

Wednesday, October 23, 2019


I have a few.  For any gardeners out there, can you tell me if I need to stake and tie up pea plants?  My plants are growing well, but I really am not sure how tall they will get or anything about them.  I had a seed packet and took out half the seeds for myself, giving the rest of them along with the packet to Ara.  So now I'm really not sure how to handle them, and don't find much help from the internet.  Thanks to anyone who has some advice about growing these plants.

Another question is for dog owners, particularly those with labs.  I just walked Rocky for about 4 blocks, and I want him to match my pace and to heel.  He wants to keep his head to the ground and sniff everything, and in his excitement he wants to pull me along at the pace he prefers.  By the halfway point in our walk he settled down pretty well to my pace, but he certainly isn't very disciplined.  I think part of it is his natural puppy disposition, and I certainly don't want to mess with that.  It is such a joy to try to see the world through his eyes, although I think most of what he knows about the world is through his nose!  He is so big and bold, but got his comeuppance when the garbage truck rolled by.  Rocky crouched in terror as far away as his leash would permit.  Unfortunately, this entire neighborhood as well as those surrounding it, have no sidewalks.  The property owners want to retain the "rural" nature although it is certainly no longer rural.  I'd vote for sidewalks and pavement that isn't cracked or buckled up.  It's no longer a joy for me to go walking with Rocky or on my own.  I miss my old neighborhood for things like that.  I seem to have  lost my original question, which is:  should I be more strict with Rocky, or should I hold off until he has a few more months under his collar?  He is very good about some things, like coming when called, but with others the little devil in his head distracts him completely.

My last question for now is about food, specifically, lentils.  I have never eaten them in my life, but have decided to try them and bought some red lentils.  There are many youtube videos that feature cooking with lentils, but most are of recipes with a Asian accent.  As I grow older I find myself returning to the foods I ate as a child - seasoned, but not too strongly, and certainly not highly spicy.  So I'm basically looking for a way to eat this grain (I think it is categorized as a grain).  Any recommendations will be appreciated.  My mom's cooking was southern, but she learned to like the German influence of my dad's sisters' cooking, so mom's was a great mix of those two cuisines.  Seasoned well but not too spicy.

I am trying to load photos into my blog, but it rarely works out.  I use my cellphone and the option to forward a photo to my email account, but nothing ever appears.  Of course you might note that once in a while I can post a picture and I have no idea how it happens or what I might have done differently.  My personal opinion is that smart phones are too smart for many of the people using them.  And who wants to be outsmarted by a phone - either a smart or stupid phone!

Monday, October 21, 2019

Here's to a new week

I wanted to include this photo in my last blog, but couldn't get it to work.  I will post it here, but it certainly isn't the best photo I've ever taken.  I keep saying I want to go back to a regular camera, but when I tried it I couldn't navigate through all the steps to simply snap a picture.  Why, oh why, do things have to be so complicated.  I think they do it on purpose to make people my age feel dumb!  And I refuse to feel dumb!  (Click on photo to enlarge.)

I think we are going to have a week in the 80's and then drop back to the 70's & 60's.  I'm anxious to see what is going to do well in my garden, as most of the plants are cool-weather varieties.  The grass in my garden is growing spectacularly, and I need to get out there and pull it before it's an overwhelming job.  When I look out the back door and see it, I feel overwhelmed already!

I've noticed that in the past several years I crave sweets more than ever before.  I've always preferred salty foods, but something happened to me.  Today I watched a couple of programs that say sugar is not healthy for the brain, and lord only knows, I want to hold on to as much brain power as I can.  I already find that I can't keep a thought in my head for over a minute or two and then it flies off into the wild blue yonder!  It's going to be hard to do without ice  cream, but I'd rather retain my memory!

Here's to a good week ahead for us all.  I am thinking about the folks in the Dallas area who have been affected by the tornado yesterday, and hope they can start the recovery process soon.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Under the Weather

I have been feeling pretty crappy today and sacked out on the couch for a big part of the morning.  I got up recently to get a pillow for my head, and my warm snuggly robe to cover me.  I was busy doing a couple of other things, and when I came back to the couch I found Rocky, stretched out like a king, with his head on my pillow!

Today is just about a perfect day, and I hate it that I can't really enjoy it.  I think tomorrow might be a good one, so I can make up for today.

Enjoy the weekend.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

The Days Roll By!

Sometimes I forget what month I'm in, and of course, I certainly can't remember the date.

Ara returned home this past weekend, and almost immediately got a new puppy.  She's been wanting one for some time, and now has a very cute blue heeler puppy.  Like children, the baby stage is so precious, but you can breathe a sigh of relief when they grow out of it.  I'm very pleased with my puppy (and yes, he's still considered to be a Lab puppy at 17 months).   Ara will do well with puppy training, as she really helped Rocky for the relatively short time she was here this summer.

I had my first experience with house cleaners this past weekend, and I'm very happy with their work.  They were here quite a long time, but said the next time it won't take as long.  I'm sure certain jobs aren't necessary as frequently as others.  But today I had an "AH HA! Gotcha Moment" when I found one of the side windows was neglected.  It gave me something to do, and I cleaned the dust off the wooden venetian blind slats and washed the window!  Everything else is just about perfect.

I want to mention that my garden is full of tiny sprouting plants - so many that I need to start thinning them.  As I said before, I was a bit despondent when sewing the seeds and I didn't keep any records of what the seeds were.  I can recognize the peas, and think I see carrots coming up, but I know there are several more veggies growing,  I need to get in there soon and start pulling out the grass that is sprouting.  I'm so happy about the garden so far, and look forward to next spring when I can get an early start and do it all better, I hope.  I will also need to figure out some way to provide a bit of shade in the hot Sacramento sun. 

I'm really sleepy, but am trying very hard to not nap in the middle of the day.  Enjoy the rest of the week, and I'm going to try to do the same!

Saturday, October 12, 2019

All is Quiet Now.

Ara left for home this afternoon, and Jeannie invited me over this morning for coffee and a last visit with Ara for now.  Rocky went with me and is always happy to see them.  He loves being around people, and sometimes I get annoyed with him but he's just showing his lab boistrous and loving nature.

Now I am back home and it has been so quiet this afternoon.  Rocky has snoozed most of the time, but I would like to go to sleep early tonight so I didn't want to nap. 

I went out into the back yard with Rocky a few minutes ago but didn't stay long because there is smoke in the air.  I'm sure there are fires in this part of California, and while the air isn't too bad it's still sort of smoky.

My garden is looking terrific - lots of seedlings popping up, but I need to start thinning them.  I'll do that sometime in the coming week.  I think I mentioned that while spreading a lot of the seeds I was feeling a little down and despondent, so I just sprinkled seeds without keeping a record of what was where.  I really didn't believe anything would come up.  Now I will be surprised to see what is growing.  The only seedlings I am sure of are the peas.   Fresh peas sound good to me right now.  I think I can spot carrots coming up also, but  not entirely sure yet.  I planted lots of either kale or spinach - didn't record which.  That will be a lesson to me to keep records, and I hope I get some nice vegetables before Christmas.

My house looks and smells so nice after the cleaning yesterday.  I will have them do it again the day before my brother and his wife arrive in November.  The cleaners took a really long time but were very thorough.  I think they are trying to get their business moving, and probably are fairly new to this.  I'm a good one to learn and to practice on because I usually have a lot of patience for something like this and don't mind giving someone a chance.  I'm sure they will get faster as the business grows.    Now, what I need to do is to empty out my refrigerator and clean it thoroughly!  It is a side-by-side model which I think doesn't holds as much, although it might just be my perception of how much space there is. 

I went back to my old hairdresser yesterday and once again got a beautiful haircut.  I had decided to find someone closer when I moved since I don't drive anymore, but now she has moved to a location closer to where I live now, and I was desperate for a good haircut.  I couldn't be happier.  My hair grows really fast, so I need a trim more often than I used to get by with.  I take the supplements Lysine as well as Biotin to keep my hair and nails in good condition.  The nails grow faster as well, and with my fading eyesight I don't trim and shape them as well as I used to.   Nothing works perfectly as one gets older!

Another Sunday is rolling around and a new week beginning tomorrow.  Have a good one.

Friday, October 11, 2019

Sitting in my yard!

I am sitting outside because I have a cleaner today.  I decided to hire someone to clean my house once a month, and today is the first day.  Next time she will be here is the day before my brother and sister-in-law arrive, so I will feel better about the house when they are here.

I have never had a cleaning service before and I think I'm going to love it.  I  have to keep Rocky out of the way, so that's why we are in the back yard.  The weather is gorgeous today, and my granddaughter (Ara) is here to take me to get my hair trimmed this afternoon.  Life is good.

I got back from having my hair cut and think it looks great.  The cleaning people are still here and my granddaughters and I are sitting on the deck with the dog.   Ara leaves tomorrow and we will all miss her so much.  She and Rocky have bonded!

Weekend coming up - hope you all can enjoy it.


Monday, October 7, 2019

Tired from the Weekend!

The weekend has been pretty busy for me, especially since Ara is here for a week.  Her mom threw a fantastic 30th birthday party for her and I've never seen such gorgeous decorations, mostly with a "30" theme.  Of course Donald made a prize-winning cake! 

Yesterday Jeannie and the 3 girls came over and stayed for the day, just "hanging out".   Yesterday we worked the Sunday NYT puzzle together which is always so much fun.  At one point Auti asked me "How do you know so many words?"  I told her that when she is my age she will probably know many more words than I do now.  She and I are both voracious readers, and that does seem to help increase one's vocabulary.

I'm pretty tired out today and haven't done very much so far.  If I didn't have the dog I would have gone back to bed for the day, although Rocky and I have both snoozed on the couch for a while. 

I have a renewed eagerness to see my garden thrive.  I mentioned that all the seeds I planted in two big starter trays have not resulted in one single tiny leaf popping up.  Last night the puppy from next door, my niece's puppy,  came over to play.  It didn't take but a few minutes for me to send him back.  He has the unbounded energy of a 5-6 month old puppy, and I noticed even Rocky trying to correct him a couple of times to keep him from getting into trouble.  He turned over one of my seed starter trays (about 75 little sections were planted) and I had dirt all over the deck;  then the little monster tried to chew the starter tray and I've had to throw it out.  But the seeds I planted in the garden are coming up, and as I started out to say, I can actually see rows of little plants.  I was almost despondent when I planted them, and didn't even bother to write down what was planted where.  It should be a fun guessing game as they grow.

I see the oncologist tomorrow and was looking over the results of the blood tests done a few days ago.  Everything looks excellent except I'm low on sodium.  I don't know why that is because I've never given up salt although I'm conscious to taste as I salt so as to not use too much.   Maybe sodium levels don't have anything to do with how much salt is in the food.   I still can't understand why I am so exhausted all the time.

 Have a good week, everyone. 

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Rip Van Winkle

I think I might have a slight idea of what Rip must have felt like, waking up after a 100-year sleep!  I just watched a Youtube video featuring two old guys - grey beards and all - talking about a device which might have been welcomed by airmen in the Vietnam War.

Wait a minute, I remember very well the time of that war, as I was in the age group of those who fought in it.  So back to the YouTube video, he is holding up this piece of survival equipment for airmen .    This old guy with the gray beard mentioned that his father served in the Vietnam War and would have appreciated having this equipment!  So I guess this indicates that I could have a son who looks ancient with a long gray beard.  Thankfully none of my 3 sons have beards, because they would probably have a little or a lot of gray in them!  I certainly feel every year of my age after watching and listening to this conversation!


Tuesday, October 1, 2019

In the Doldrums

I haven't had much energy or motivation for some time now.  I quit taking thyroid pills - I was getting a bottle of them every 3 months and paid all of $.86 for the entire bottle.  The last time I had the Rx refilled they charged me $15, and upon checking I notice the mfr was the same, and everything else was the same.  I think I wrote about this in a previous blog.  I really didn't think the pills did much for me, but now I'm wondering if the tiredness and lethargy I'm experiencing might be a sign I need the meds.  I will be going to the lab soon to have blood drawn for my upcoming visit to the oncologist, and wonder how I could get a thyroid test in the works.  Since I've moved I haven't gotten a GP at the new place and want to get a recommendation from my cardiologist at the same location as to which one she would suggest.  I really wish I had some energy and a positive outlook.

I've been going out for a short period of time now and then and planting more seeds in the garden - I just planted a row of spinach.  I had sewn 6 or 7 different kinds of seeds in special planting boxes about 2 weeks ago.  So far there hasn't been any sign of a leaf emerging, which is really disappointing.  I'll keep watering and hope I see signs of life within the next week, and if not then I will just give up on it.  What a waste of seed!   I'd like to hear from some of you gardeners out there as to your take on what I might be doing wrong.  I bought high-quality non-GMO seeds and planted them according to the directions on the packs.  I might spend a small fortune next year and buy established plants rather than deal with seeds.  Of course, I can thank Rocky for destroying a lot of what I planted.  Now I have fencing all around the garden plots, courtesy of Donald.

Speaking of Rocky, I've taken him for a short walk, about 3 or 4 blocks, for the last few days.  We both miss the exercise and it doesn't seem to make his limp any worse.  The vet told me he is overweight, but she also wants him to "stay quiet".  I think he got way more exercise when we lived in the mobile home park, and of course, it helped me as well.  So we are going to take a short walk each day for a week or so and see how we both feel about it! 

Our weather has been so beautiful and cool.  I'm actually wearing sweat pants and a sweatshirt today and am comfortable.  I think we will be going back up to the 80 mark for several days and then back down to the 70's for a while.  It's so nice to have doors and windows open, and no a/c necessary.  Rocky loves to look out the front door and I hate closing it on him so we can run the a/c.

Since I mentioned I'm in the doldrums, I think it is because I can't drive.  I need to go so many places - all nearby - for things like shopping, haircut, etc., and it's such a hassle to ask Donald to take me so I just don't go until I can't wait any longer.  Being stuck at home I have no opportunity to see and chat with others, and it's a damn lonely existence.

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Always looking for trouble!

Of course, you know who I'm talking about.  I'm so mad at Rocky right now I can barely suppress it.  Yesterday I worked in the garden planting peas, and I even got some carrot seeds in the ground.  This morning Rocky tore up the entire bed - I don't know whether to wait and see if anything comes up, or to replant.  When I first planted in early summer he did the same thing, and the only seeds I planted that came up were squash & zucchini.  I think I am going to look for established plants from now on rather than try to grow from seed.  

Donald and I were discussing how I could fence in the new garden area, but we should have done it a few days earlier.   It is so disheartening that my first thought was the heck with it all.  But now I have all these tilled garden beds and was so looking forward to seeing results, I just can't let it go.  I'm really mad at Rocky but he long ago forgot what he did wrong - and he'd do it again if given a chance!

So it's later now and Donald finished working on the garden - we went to Ace Hardware to get more stakes and fencing, as well as topsoil.  Just finished a minute before the first thunderstorm of the year - Rocky doesn't seem to like the thunder!

This is about halfway through the day.  Still have a lot to do.

I just looked at the weather for the next two weeks - a few days in the 60's, several days in the 70's, then more in the low 80's, and then back down again.  I'm not sure how my garden will do.

I hope I sleep well tonight - I sure worked harder than usual today.  I'm hoping for all of you out there to have a good day tomorrow, followed by a great week as we move into October.

Friday, September 27, 2019


Thanks goodness for being able to listen to music, especially since I don't have a TV.  Back when I was a child my dad loved music and on weekends would play his 78 records.  Some of his music was classical but many were Latin music.

Both my parents are of   nearly 100% German heritage, but I learned from my dad to love Latin American music, especially the music of Cuba.  Lately I've been watching youtube music videos, and today when listening to Cuban music I realized I was grinning from ear to ear.  Cuban music has always made me smile and feel happy.  And close to my dad.

I've always wanted to travel to Cuba but never got to go.  If there is consciousness after death, I hope my spirit can fly over that beautiful country and join a group of street musicians!


Thursday, September 26, 2019

A few hours to myself!

I dropped Rocky off at the vet for several hours.  He was poked and prodded and received a number of vaccinations and shots, and finally returned to me.

I started to sit down and relax when I got back home after dropping him off, and immediately realized I needed to make good use of the time I had.  I accomplished a lot of cleaning and am paying the price for it now - total exhaustion.  And to tell the truth, I missed my little troublemaker!

It was way up in the 90's today but has finally turned cool.  I am looking forward to spending some time in the yard tomorrow, although I have a lot of physical labor to accomplish, and I don't know how long I can work without taking frequent breaks.  Actually, the daily forecasts for the next week are slowly inching upwards, and I'm still waiting for the lovely 70 degree days to come.

I'm relaxing now with a glass of Dewar's (scotch) and water.  So satisfying and refreshing.

Monday, September 23, 2019

I love to plan!

You might have guessed I love to plan get-togethers and my favorite place in the whole world to hold these events is Straw Hat Pizza.  So I'm at it again, and I couldn't be more excited!

I have mentioned before that I am the oldest of 8.  The 5 after me are brothers, with two sisters bringing the total to 8.  Many of us have gravitated to California and western Nevada, while two are in states outside the area, Washington and Wisconsin.  My next-in-line sibling is my brother Bill, and he and his wife Wilma are planning to visit me for a week in November.  You all know my favorite place to get together in the Sacramento area is Straw Hat Pizza.

I'm starting to make plans for such a get together, and it has grown in the past 24 hours.  My brother Phil and his wife live in Washington state, and I've confirmed that they can make it, which will mean that all eight of us will be present if everything goes according to plan.  So this Straw Hat event is growing by the hour, and I am so excited and looking forward to it.  I'm even looking for a photographer to come and take pictures at our event.  There will be so many of us present, so I'm looking at generational pictures - the original eight, their children who can be present, and their grandchildren who can be present.

Other than that, I'm working on my garden, and managed to turn over a few spadefuls of dirt this morning.  I believe we will have about 4 hot days this week and then it looks like the weather will turn cooler, so my plan is to try to get some seeds planted in the next day or two.  I'm still waiting for some shoots to sprout up from what I planted about 10 days ago.  The waiting drives me crazy! 

Rocky is taking it easy in between finding things to chew on that he shouldn't!  He is really turning into a very good boy - most of the time.  I think one of the best things he's learned is to come when called.  So far, he responds immediately, no matter what he is doing,  although if I added a few grandchildren into the mix it might take him longer to obey, or he might just pretend he doesn't hear me.

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Always waiting on something!

I seem to be forever waiting, and lately I keep checking the two flats of seeds I've planted - about 150 seeds in all, of 5 or 6 vegetables.  I have the garden beds rototilled, and need Donald to cut the wood to construct four good sized beds.  Ara will be coming back to Sacramento for a few days at the end of this month and I'm almost tempted to wait for her to help me, although I know she will want to plan her own activities for the short time she is here.

We have about 4 more hot days next week, and from then on it looks to be fairly cool (that is, Sacramento cool, which is probably much different than, say, Michigan cool).  I'm anxious to start planting although the seeds I've started haven't sprouted yet.  Maybe it will be another week.   We have a wind advisory for the next few days and I hope my garden soil doesn't blow away!  I'll try to keep it damp in hopes of holding it down.   There is so much to do, indoors and out, and I just can't get much accomplished.  No one would believe what a whirlwind of energy I was in my younger years.

Rocky and I walked over to Jeannie's house this morning.  There were kids from a sleepover last night; both Steve & Joe left their kids with Jeannie & Donald.  Rocky was in heaven with all the people around.  He spent some time out by the pool and actually managed to get in the water for about the first step or two down; when I see him standing on the steps or the edge of the pool I'd like to push him in but I haven't yet.  It's too cold to swim although Rocky has a double coat and the chilly water shouldn't bother him at all.

Jeannie and I got about a third of the Sunday NYT crossword puzzle done when I decided to start walking back home.  Rocky and I promptly fell asleep for over an hour.

On a shopping trip to Costco yesterday I bought a package containing two bottles of Scrubbing Bubbles shower and tile cleaner, and another two of bathroom cleaner.  So I don't need to use  carpet cleaner in the bathroom from now on.  All those scrubbing bubbles should do the trick!  But as someone commented, "soap is soap", although I'm sure the scrubbing bubbles will smell nicer.

I wish you all a good week ahead.  They certainly fly by too fast to suit me!

Friday, September 20, 2019

Should I laugh or should I cry

Noticing a rare burst of energy this morning I decided to do a good cleaning on the bathrooms, although it just makes the dog hair fly around.  I was looking for something to clean the tub with and spied a spray can of 409 Cleaner, and thought it would do.  After I "cleaned" the tub and read the label on the can in better light I found I had used carpet cleaner to scrub the bathtub!  I guess I need someone to come in periodically and clean my bathrooms and kitchen.  I can deal with the rest of the house, although who knows what I could be doing wrong or mis-using products there.

I was able to keep Rocky mostly quiet yesterday but he's still limping.  Donald thinks it is getting a little better.  Donald plays on a men's basketball team as well as co-ed indoor soccer, and hurt his wrist a while back, which is still giving him some discomfort.  He thinks Rocky is suffering from something similar and that it will eventually stop hurting him.  It sounds likely since the vet doesn't even seem to think he is limping although I think it's very noticeable most of the time.

I don't know whether to take my chances and continue housecleaning.  I really should redo the tub!
Wishing a good weekend to everyone out there.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

What a Naughty Dog!

Every weekday afternoon I walk up to school, pick up my granddaughter Auti, and we walk back here to wait for her dad.  Rocky knows I do this and that I can't take him with me.  I usually take great care to remove anything from his reach that could get him into trouble.

This morning I  opened a new box of Kleenex to keep on the kitchen countertop.  When I arrived back here with Auti, the entire contents of the box of Kleenex was on the floor.  He usually never bothers with them, but I left him no choice.

It rained a bit this morning and it has been breezy and cool all day - absolutely beautiful weather!  I even was able to spend some time in the garden this morning, but have so much to do to get it into shape for fall planting.  My son, Steve, is going to come by this weekend and rototill the garden plots.  I hope I can snag him into helping me cut the grass.  Much of it has gone away with the dry weather we've had, but it wasn't really grass to begin with just because it was green.  Weeds are green too.   I'm going to get some good grass seed to spread on the ground and hope some of it will take hold.

We're turning the bend and going down the stretch to the weekend.  Time goes by so fast these days I feel like I'm on a race horse!


Monday, September 16, 2019

What a good dog!

Rocky is still limping, and in fact I'm taking him back to the vet this afternoon.  But last night my niece came over with their new puppy, what they think is a Rottweiler/Pitbull mix.  It's a cute little 6 month old dog with boundless energy, and ran around the back yard like a mad dog!  Of course Rocky ran as well, contrary to what the vet said he shouldn't do.  Then as it got dark we came into the house, and that darn little puppy wasn't the least bit tired - he continued to try to get Rocky to rough-house with him.  Rocky didn't really want to but the pup kept after him.  I was getting really agitated about the whole situation, when Rocky, like the champion wrestler he is, pinned that puppy so tightly to the floor he couldn't move a muscle!  I have never been so secretly proud of him.  (If he could have talked he would have said, "say mercy").So I finally got my voice back and said I didn't want Rocky playing any more because of his leg and whatever is wrong with it, and my niece went home with the pup soon after.

Today poor Rocky is limping much more than he did before, and we are going back to the vet in a few hours.   I feel so bad for him because his instinct is to take it easy, which he does all day.  When the kids, or anyone else for that matter, come over his instinct is to jump with joy and want to play.  What an absolutely beautiful temperament and personality he has, and I love him to pieces.  So then, how can I get so mad at him at times I could throw him out the door and lock the door?  Of course I would never do that, but it crosses my mind for a second or two.

I really wish someone would have taken a photo of those dogs when Rocky had the other one pinned! 

We had rain this morning, and it's turning out to be a gorgeous afternoon.  I'm wearing jeans and a flannel shirt as it is cool for Sacramento.  I have the doors and windows open and am so happy not to turn on the a/c today.  We will still have some more hot days before long, but they will be few and far between! 

I'll say "so long" for now as I have to go pick up my granddaughter from school in a few minutes.  We walk back here, and then her dad and younger sister pick her up.  I guess today they will all go to the vet with me.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Family Gathering

Our family evening at Straw Hat Pizza was a great party as always - there were close to 20 adults and 10 kids, so you can imagine the scene.  This isn't like being in a restaurant where you sit at a table for the evening - everyone was up and mingling, and of course the kids have their own entertainment at the various machines - little Quinn was so proud of the stuffed toy she "won".  Four of my siblings who live far enough away that I don't see them as often, were there with their spouses, my sister who is facing surgery at the end of this month and her daughter, plus three of my kids and their families, made for a wonderful time.

 I didn't eat or drink too much last night and got a decent night's sleep, but I feel really crappy this morning.  Haven't done a thing so far and probably won't do much for the rest of the day.  

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Nothing seems to change

I don't know why but Rocky still seems to be limping, and it's making me mad!  I paid for a visit to the vet, plus 3 different prescriptions, (and he has no medical insurance) but he's still not getting any better.  I have to take him back soon and will request an xray to see what might be wrong.  Because we used to take several walks throughout the day, we both miss the exercise, so I've been walking him just a short couple of blocks every evening.  He doesn't mind turning around and going back home so the walk is bothering him at least a little.  Everything changes when Jeannie's girls walk in, however, and he's ready to play!

I picked two small zucchini yesterday and that may be it for the season.  Today I shredded them along with carrots and onion, added an egg, and made the mixture  into patties that I fried for my lunch.  Sooo good!  I hate to see the season end, but in a couple of months I hope to be eating lots of greens at every meal.  At least I could freeze some of the greens for use in soup, but I never did freeze the zukes.  The tomatoes will be finished soon also, so I want to get other plants into the ground and hope to be able to harvest up through November/December unless we get an early cold spell, which would be unusual.

You might think I stick to a healthy diet, but I'm addicted to sweets, especially ice cream!  I eat one or more Klondike bars  a day.

I've been thinking a lot lately  about hiring someone to do cleaning for me once or twice a month.  With my eyesight deteriorating I don't often see dirt (and am shocked when I sweep the floors at least twice a day at how much dog hair has been lying there), but I  wonder how it looks to visitors.   Much of my hesitation to pay someone do it for me arises because of when and where I was born, in what is called "The Silent Generation".  I don't know if I could bring myself to pay someone for doing what I should be doing.  I had a wonderful childhood although it was exceptionally frugal, and hiring a maid or cleaning staff was something only rich people could do.  It isn't the money, but the idea is so unlike my upbringing and lifestyle I'm not sure if I could do it!  Isn't that a silly way to think!

I need to go now and call Rocky back inside.  I can tell the daylight hours are getting shorter and shorter, but the best is that the temperatures have moderated.  I'll be back in a day or two.

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Blog Theme

I realize that many people know I started out with a travel-oriented blog, but my traveling days are over with.  I may do a short trip again, but not far and not for long.  My granddaughter is getting married, probably next summer and probably at the beach on the coast of California.  I hope it is a fairly close beach, and of course I will manage to go to her wedding although I will probably have to find a place to board Rocky for the couple of days I'll be gone.  I have never been a beach person but I'll "wing it".  I know I've mentioned a canoe accident I had when my kids were very young and how it affected me when it comes to water.  I certainly have no desire to go near a beach!

I started by speaking about blog orientation, and I no longer can write a travel blog, although I certainly enjoy reading blogs of others who are still leading the nomadic life.  Now I'm more oriented to my dog and my gardening efforts, and well as my kids.

With that said, tomorrow the temperatures here are supposed to go down into the 80's, FINALLY, although I wouldn't be surprised if we don't have a really hot couple of days now and then.  If it is in fact in the 80's tomorrow, I have so much work to do in my garden.  My three tomato plants have all but quit producing, and Jeannie's original 6 plants are down to 4, still producing fairly well.  I've removed several of the squash plants that weren't going to give me any more squash, so I now have enough room to begin planting some fall crops.   I've started a lot of seeds in planter pots, but would like to begin direct sowing of some plants for the fall.  I'm not sure when all those seeds will germinate, but I'm looking forward to a bumper crop all the way up to winter!

From a practical standpoint, I am looking forward to fall weather so I can go back to wearing jeans.  Wearing shorts or capris leaves my legs likely to get bruised and scratched by falls and by Rocky's claws, and long pants will give me some protection so maybe I can begin to heal.  I hope I don't fall again - I have no idea why it happens as I don't experience dizziness or disorientation - it's more like clumsiness and not picking my feet up enough.

This spring I kept the plants to a minimum of one and a half beds, but if I can get one of the guys to rototill the rest of them, I may try to plant four big beds!  I really need help getting it all started, but I've never been one to ask for help and I don't know if I can start now.

I suppose I can consider myself lucky enough to reach an advanced age, but it's not fair to have to lose my mobility, memory, and youth.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Better weather ahead?

It looks like we will have a couple of days in the low 90's, and then head into mostly the 80's.  That suits me just fine, although it is still hot in the sun no matter what the air is like.

I walked up to school using my hiking stick when meeting Auti yesterday.  I'm not sure how it would help me if I tripped on something, so I still have to be super careful.  A very good friend of mine who has been teaching exercise classes for years, sent me some things to do to improve my balance.  I should print it out, although I might just copy it by hand.  This computer has no way to connect to my printer, so I would have to open up my old computer and do it that way.  Such a nuisance, I'll probably do it by hand.  Funny that computers are supposed to make things easier but often just cause more steps to be taken.

My daughter keeps everything on her smart phone - shopping lists, to do lists, all the information that I write on little slips of paper (and misplace half of those slips).  I can't always use my phone to even make a simple call, so keeping important info on it is out. 

Donald and the girls were here for a while yesterday after school, and one of them caught Rocky at his favorite post:

 He is still limping after a week of the meds.  The Dr. told me to keep him quiet, but when the kids come over he can't be kept quiet.

And speaking of limping, I can now walk up and down steps normally, without having to take one at a time.  If I can just remain upright until all my bruises and cuts heal, I'll be so happy!  I'm running out of band-aids so I'm hoping no more reasons to use them.

I am going to plant a row of kale and maybe one of spinach later on this afternoon when the sun is no longer overhead.  I also have planted a lot of various seeds of vegetables that I want to try to raise - carrots, yellow and red sweet peppers, and several leafy greens - into small grow pots for transplanting when they get big enough.  You may remember I planted a lot of seeds in the spring when a certain animal I won't name messed up that part of the garden.  He's never bothered with plants that are up from the soil.  At least I'm blaming it on him - it could have been a rabbit or squirrel for all I know.

I have such great plans for the garden next spring - including a trellis or two, but I'll be another year older and less able to do the things I'd like.  If I could just recover from all the falls and get back to regular visits to the gym, I think I will be ok.  Those are big "ifs"!

We are on the downhill side toward the weekend, and I hope everyone has fun plans.  Weekends are't the same for me any more and I don't make many plans!