Eastern Utah
EMAIL ME AT: mgypsy97 at aol dot com

Thursday, December 30, 2021

The Times, They are A-Changin'

Born in 1940, I had mixed emotions when the music changed in the 60's.  Bob Dylan was an example of one whose music I waffled between loving and hating!  Now as 2022 approaches, I appreciate Dylan as I never did before.  The times certainly are a-changin'!   I think I tolerated the changes in the 1960's better than the changes of today, though.

I have really been feeling rotten for the past several months, and the holiday season hasn't been anything to write home about!  I'll be glad when Jan 2 rolls around and we just get on with it.  Who knows what 2022 has in store for us, but it probably won't be much of an improvement!   I'm glad to still be around though, and I hope I can make it for a few more new years' eves.

Rocky and I are home alone this evening as Jeannie and her family went to visit Steve & his family.  I am not interested in going anywhere at all, except maybe I'll attempt a Costco trip tomorrow (if they take me along).  

Speaking of Rocky, he is curled up next to me on the sofa, and with just a few lights on in the living room, his gorgeous black coat is so shiny and pretty.  He's a beautiful dog!  I probably have been too lenient in his training and now that we are living in the same house with others, I wish I had been more consistent with him.  But I love him as he is, and if anyone doesn't like it they can ask us to leave and we will be out the door!

I think the temporary living arrangements are starting to get to me.  Nothing specific with this situation, but just the fact that it isn't my place nor would I choose it to be my place if I had a choice.   We are using some of my furniture and some that was left here.  I shouldn't complain - the owner is a friend of Jeannie's and a woman I really like, and we are fortunate to have this spacious house to live in.  I do have a room of my own, and while it is much smaller than the bedroom in  my rental, it is private and adequate.  I've lived alone for too many years to be able to deal with others around all the time, and especially when they try to tell me what to do.  But I avoid conflict at all costs because if you open the door to it, it can ruin everything in an instant.  I'm especially careful when family is involved and don't want to rock the boat.   But I'd like to scream once in a while!   Donald is so peaceful and everything is calm when he's around, so that is a plus.  We have been talking about plans for gardening at our new house, and although I don't totally agree with all his ideas, I can accept and deal with them because he is such a sweet and calming person, and he will be the one to carry out all the plans, not me.

In just one more month I will mark one year since the pandemic began, although I don't think anyone had a clue about the severity and length of it.  I would really appreciate being able to see my doctor in person because I know the cancer is active again, but all I get are video visits.  Maybe they are better than nothing, but I'd do just as well off with no visits as far as I'm concerned!  I am so fortunate that my symptoms have no pain whatsoever, so that isn't the issue many cancer patients deal with.  The worst for me, is what it has done to my frame of mind and my patience with others.  I know I'm a real b**ch most of the time, and I don't intend to be. 

I don't mean for my post to be such a downer, and will make a New Year's resolution to write nothing but optimistic posts in the coming year!

Monday, December 13, 2021


Every so often I get disgusted with a particular company and I swear I'm going to boycott them forever.  Because they have everything there is to sell, and it's so easy to order from them online, I always go back to shopping with them.  Now, I really want to be done with them. 

This company told employees in their facility near Mayfield, Ky., that they could be fired if they left their workstations to check on their families when the recent tornado was approaching and touched down in the area.  If they must do that to keep their prices low, then I don't need their cheap merchandise!  I'd rather pay more to a company who values its employees as human beings.  I have decided to write them a letter and send it through the mail, to notify them that I will no longer spend my money buying from them.  What kind of people own and operate a business that treats their employees like robots rather than as human beings?  Should we enrich their dirty coffers by spending our money to buy through them?  I'm finished with Amazon!

I've had an absolutely do-nothing day today.  Rocky and I spent the day stretched out on my bed - me reading and Rocky snoozing!


Stormy Weather!

The weather is chilly, stormy, and windy!  Not my favorite weather but it's part of winter in this area of California. I really don't mind it because I don't have to go out in it!  Many of our trees still have their leaves, but the wind is going to shake a lot of them loose! 

Rocky has been napping on my bed most of the morning, rising up to look out the window now and then.

Jeannie and her family set up the Christmas tree last night.  They had gone out to a tree farm in the summer and selected the tree they wanted, then went back last week to get the freshly cut tree.  It is now decorated and looks beautiful, as all Christmas trees look - even a "Charlie Brown Christmas tree" looks good to me!

I'm worried about when Tito comes over and he and Rocky get to wrestling, that they are going to topple the tree or at least knock some ornaments off.  When Jeannie and her family were decorating the tree last night I was very concerned about the dogs, but evidently I was the only one who worried, so I went to bed early!  Everything looked fine this morning, but I still worry.  If there is an accident Rocky will get the blame, for sure.

I'll be glad when we finally move into our house and I can relax.  Donald and Jeannie go out to see it every week, and I used to go with them.  Now, I don't really care to see it untll it's nearly finished!  I think they told me that my kitchen cabinets are up, as well as a few other things done.  I really haven't been feeling well lately, so I'm just trying to live in the "now" and not worry or think about the future.

I've let my hair grow for the past year, and it wasn't exactly short when the year began.  Now my hair is way too long to do anything with, but it's still thick, (especially considering my age!) so I just pull it back into a ponytail to keep it out of my face.  I'd like to get it cut short, but of course, I have to ask someone to make the appointment and take me to my hairdresser.  She is continuing her business out of her house, so I feel comfortable that she is keeping everything sanitized and as safe as possible.  I'm too old for this long hair!  I have a lot of gray, but there is still a lot of reddish brown.  I have the feeling that when I get it cut short, the gray is going to be all that shows!

I'll close with something that makes me happy, and that is my collection of house plants.  I don't have many, but what I do have is an extraordinary snake plant (sansaveria), a beautiful spider plant which I've divided many times and have lots of smaller pots of them, an aloe vera, and a pothos, which is beautiful in its simplicity.  When I move I'm going to divide the snake plant so that I have several of them.  The spider plant is from a plant I originally got from my grandmother, who lived about 10 miles from Mayfield, KY (in the news lately).  I spent wonderful summers visiting my grandparents, and spending time with aunts, uncles, and cousins as well.  Going to Mayfield was a treat!

Winter Has Arrived!

We are looking at several days of intense rain (off and on), which translates to a lot of snow in the mountains!   One weather report calls for 80" of snow in the Sierra in the next few days.  That's a lotta snow!  Living most of my life in the East, I've had my fill of snowy winters and now enjoy  rainy (sometimes) winters in California!

Donald and the girls put up the Christmas tree this evening.  They had gone to a Christmas tree farm this past summer and picked out the tree they wanted.  It is beautiful, but it's going to be a disaster and Rocky will take the blame.  He and Tito (my daughter's family dog) love to horse around and there is an accident waiting to happen.  I will be so glad to get into our place where I can bring Rocky in and close the door, or we can sit out on the patio and enjoy everyone's company.   Living so close to my daughter and her family as we are now, is very difficult over the long haul.  I'm already tired of it, as I am sure they are, and since I haven't been feeling well lately it is even a more difficult situation. I'd like to be happy and enjoy what time I have left.

The recent disaster that destroyed the town of Mayfield, KY has hit me hard!  My mom grew up near a little farm town about 10 miles away from Mayfield, and I spent a lot of time there during the summers.  Going into Mayfield now and then was a real treat!

Friday, December 10, 2021

More on F.B.

Thank you Cindy, for trying to help me delete my account on FB.  I followed all the directions scrupulously, but I think FB deliberately makes it so difficult to leave, that probably few people ever do.

I mentioned previously that I didn't log into my account for several years.  When I finally did log in, intending to just close the account, I found it had been "taken over" by a person who had a real thing going, with umpteen followers on my/his account.   I was able to delete everything and everyone from my account fortunately.  But I just can't get rid of the darned program. 

Maybe my daughter can figure it out - she also has a FB account but I don't think she ever uses it.  I think the entire program is totally ridiculous and haven't used it for years.  I know many readers use and like facebook, and that's fine.  But I want to close out a program I haven't used in years, and don't understand why FB makes it so difficult.

I'll end on a happier note (well happiER, if not entirely happy!)  Last night Jeannie took me to Raley's supermarket and I absolutely was in heaven being able to walk the aisles and buy stuff!  In the deli, I bought some sliced ham as well as a loaf of bread to have for lunches.  I am slowly getting my appetite back, and I was anxious to have a sandwich today. When I went to make my sandwich I found half a loaf of bread and absolutely not a scrap of ham left!  Someone sure beat me to it.  I would have bought more if I thought they would like it, but they didn't even leave me a crumb!

Wednesday, December 8, 2021


I was reading some of my really old blog posts, including one from December 2010.   I wrote about people taking over my Facebook account and posting their own entries on it.  I could never get removed from FB, as it requires info from when I originally opened my account, which I obviously don't remember nearly 12 years later!  I quit using it because I thought it was such a scam, but couldn't ever close it.  (Hotel California:  "You can check out any time you like, but you just can't ever leave!")  After a few years I went back to look at it, and it had been taken over by a total stranger.  I quickly deleted him and all his friends and posts, but I still can't close the account.  I do check it out periodically to prevent another takeover.

The old blog posts brought back memories - including when I bought a 5th wheel camper and drove it across the U.S. from Virginia to California.  I wasn't a spring chicken then, but now I can't even imagine an older gal like me having the nerve to do that, including driving that rig over the Los Angeles freeways!  One thing I learned was to get behind and follow an 18-wheeler.  I always remembered that if I was far back enough to see his side mirror, then he could see me in back of him.  A lot of times cars would slip in between us and then I would have to drop back a bit.  To this day I don't even like riding in a car on the freeway.  But as long as I was still driving, I tried to get behind a big rig and stay a safe distance behind.  My experience is that they never exceed the 65mph speed limit, so I could smile when I saw police hiding out to catch speeders!  I was "holier than thou"!

As for Facebook (whatta scam!), I still have it and check it out periodically just to make sure there aren't any surprises!  If someone could tell me how to close it and get rid of my account forever, I would certainly appreciate it.




Monday, December 6, 2021

I'm still here!

We are currently staying in a house that belongs to a friend of Jeannie's.  She wants to rent it out but since it needs many repairs, Donald is going to do some work for her in exchange for rent.  He has already made quite a difference.  That man is simply amazing - he can do just about anything he sets his mind to do!

I haven't been feeling well, and just taking one day at a time.  I think I'm doing a little better than I did last week.

Jeannie & Donald drive out every week to see the progress on the house, and yesterday I went with them.  It is really coming along, and now the house is kept locked since all the plumbing and electrical work is in.  Jeannie got the key so we were able to enter and see everything first-hand.  It's beginning to take on the looks of a house nearly finished compared to just a house in progress.  I also was surprised to see that so many of the homes in the new development are the "Next-Gen" model - large house with separate quarters for in-laws or adult children, etc.  So I won't be the only older person there, although I will certainly be one of the oldest!

My son, Steve, who lives quite near to our new location, was there with his two kids; we walked through my unit and talked about various issues and how I can make best use of my space.  It looks a little smaller to me now than I had noticed before the walls were up, but when I really think about it, it's going to be perfect for my needs.

I'm sitting on the sofa while typing this, and as he likes to do, Rocky slips in behind me so that I have to move closer to the edge.  But he stays comfortable and warm,  wedged between me and the back of the sofa!

Thursday, December 2, 2021

Windows and Fences!

The kind of windows you can look through - not the Windows on your computer!  My mother was a fanatic about clean windows, and could let other household jobs slide a bit, but the windows were always gleaming. 

Since we've been here in our temporary housing, I've spent some time each day washing windows, inside and out.  My mom is pushing me, and I can definitely feel it!  So far I have done most of them, and Mama is happy.  You know the saying that I'm very fond of:  "If Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy!"

I'm gradually settling in and getting my room and belongings in order here.  I am really looking forward to only one more move  - my last.  At least after that someone else will have to move me, lol.  I have come to love this house and will hate to leave it.  It's an older house, probably built in the 1950's, but it has such character and a few quirks.  To tell the truth, I'd love to be able to buy it and live here rather than out in the boonies where we will be moving. 

 I haven't been outside much, so I haven't met the neighbors, but I hope to feel better soon and possibly get out for walks with Rocky.  There are a lot of dogs and therefore, dog walkers, in this area.  I could easily meet people if I was in better health.

The only thing I dislike about this entire property is the pool!  It's empty and has probably been empty for quite a while.  It's fenced, but takes up a good chunk of the entire space, although even at that there is adequate space here for Rocky.  The back yard is fenced, of course, as are all California homes that I've ever seen.

It reminds me of the first business trip I took with a team of about 4 others, all from California.  We visited our office in Omaha, and while driving towards the downtown area, the others were all gawking out the windows, simply amazed that there were no fences blocking the views into back yards.  In the west the back yards have tall wooden fences that maintain privacy but also block any views or interactions with one's neighbors.

One feature of the house that I really love is the bay window in the living room.  It is large and has a huge window sill that is holding many of Arianna's and my houseplants!

Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Living out of boxes!

Although we have some of our furniture set up here in our temporary home, I still have a lot of items in boxes that I should unpack and put away in an orderly fashion.  Yesterday I thought I was out of clean socks and asked Jeannie to pick up some new ones for me when she went to Costco.  She came back saying that Costco was "all out of ladies socks".  It's a good thing because I later checked an unopened box and found more socks than I would ever need!

This move is showing me a bit of what old age is like!  In the past I have been a master at packing up, either to travel or to move, and I was really good at it!  Not so, any more.  Somewhere along the line I lost the knack of being efficient and capable.  And while I feel bad that I'm no longer good at something I was very good at, to tell the truth I really don't care! 

When I went to bed last night I promised myself that today I would get dressed first thing in the morning, and manage to take a walk and explore the neighborhood before lunch.  It doesn't look like I will make it though - at mid-morning I'm still drinking my coffee and sitting here in pajamas!  I can honestly say that life at a slower pace can be sweeter than always rushing to get things done!

I've also come to the conclusion that I like it here in this location, and sort of dread moving out to a new neighborhood quite a ways from Sacramento.  I always loved vacationing in the countryside, but prefer to live in the city!

Tuesday, November 30, 2021

The move went smoothly!

My health is another matter.  I haven't been feeling well, but managed to get myself and my belongings moved a few days ago.  We are all adjusting well.  I like the house and the neighborhood seems fine - although I still haven't felt like going anywhere.  Maybe in another day or so.

We are at the home owned by Jeannie's friend from high school, and are using a combination of furniture and household items from what she left as well as a lot that I brought with me.   So far I haven't felt like doing much or going out, but I need to change that soon!  Rocky seems to have adjusted very well, but I'm not surprised since he's here with Jeannie and one of her daughters - the two daughters take turns staying with their mom and with their dad.  I hate it that they can't stay here together, but he has been at him mom's and helping her   get her house in order.  He is in and out several times a day and has done several jobs that needed doing and fixes that needed fixing!  There is a big and beautiful bay window in the living room - perfect for the larger of my potted plants!  Two of my favorites, a snake plant (sansaveria), and a spider plant, look great in that window!

Speaking of the snake plant, I need to divide it as it is growing a lot of little plants (I think they call them "pups"?).  I've watched several you-tube videos on propagating this plant, but if anyone has experience doing it please give me all the advice you can offer!  I think I can divide the spider plant with little or no trouble, although I may regret even saying it out loud or in writing! 

So I'm back and hope to post more often - maybe even take some photos and include them in a post!



Sunday, November 21, 2021

The Next Move

The next move I have to make is at the end of November, when Jeannie, Arianna, and I will be moving into a friend's vacant house until ours is ready (probably February or March).  Donald and Autumn will continue to live with his mom until our house is ready to move in.  I can't tell you how much I don't look forward to the next few months.  The saving grace to me is that our next move will be into a "real city neighborhood", with sidewalks, lots of houses, a business section within just a few blocks, and other facets of civilization!   I just want it to all be over with so I can unpack and live out the rest of my time in one place.  I am looking forward to being in the midst of the city, with all the people, traffic, businesses, schools, noise, and such.  I had no idea when I moved here from the mobile home park two years ago how isolated I would be.  My niece and her two boys live in the house closest to the street, and I am to the rear of her place.  It would be slightly better if I was able to get out and move around more, but since I haven't been doing well I am beginning to dislike it very much!  The new house will be even more isolated, and probably several miles to any sort of businesses.  I feel like running away from home!  Originally the move-in date was set for the 23rd of December, but shortages of supplies have pushed everything back a couple of months or maybe even more.  The workers are there at the house whenever we visit, even on weekends, and they are making great progress so far.  But the time will come when they can't get what they need to finish the job.

What a year this has turned out to be!  And it worries me that it won't be over, even at the end of 2021!

On a positive note, I have been amusing myself watching a series of youtube videos by "Planterina", which features amazing and beautiful house plants.  My list grows every time I watch a video, and if I can find them (and afford them), my new place will at least have gorgeous plants all around!  Right now I have my lovely spider plant and a snake plant (sansavieria), plus a couple of other smaller plants.  The snake plant is past ready to be divided into smaller pots, and I'm going to treat myself to adding some new greenery when we move.  My list is up to about 15  new plants that I'd like to have.  Fortunately Rocky has shown absolutely no interest in them, but for the most part, I keep them out of his reach!

So I will try to post some photos of our next place, and maybe the next  time I visit the new house I will have some photos to share.  I hope I will like it - being a new neighborhood with quite a few "next gen" homes, means that there will be other in-laws and extended family members living nearby.  I think it will be a friendly place.  But if I don't start to feel better and want to get out and about, I won't meet anyone!


Monday, November 15, 2021

My Beautiful Dog!

Rocky spent a couple of hours at the groomer this morning, and he looks gorgeous!  His black shiny fur is absolutely glistening.  I took several photos of him, but I can't seem to get them onto my computer.  I'm having a lot of trouble lately - it seems that modifications and changes to programs I use have been altered just enough that I can't figure them out!  I will never understand why programs change so much and so quickly - I can't get used to anything before it is updated.  

The weather is gloomy with rain now and then, and at 4:30 in the afternoon, the skies are darkening.

When I moved here two years ago I bought new furniture, and have kept the sofa and chair covered since then.  The furniture looks very nice (uncovered) but I wonder what dog claws would do if I left it bare.  I have a nice set that is a dark gray simulated leather, and I like the look and feel of it better than leather, to tell the truth.    I sure don't want to have to replace much of anything when I move, although I will buy a few new side tables, a chest of drawers for the bedroom, and maybe a new coffee table.  I am probably just being "cheap", but at my age I don't want to buy much in the way of new furniture.

I am getting some last minute pleasure out of using the fireplace since I won't have one at the new home.  Jeannie & Donald will have a fireplace in their master suite, and I think there may be an outdoor fireplace on their patio.  I've found fireplace fixtures online that look like they are real, and maybe some have a flame.  I have always preferred a wood burning fireplace with a real flame that emanates heat, although lately I've been using Duraflame logs because they are so easy to clean up after!


Saturday, November 13, 2021


As if moving isn't difficult enough for me, I will have to do it more than once.  I guess our house is a little behind schedule, or at least estimated to be taking more time, no doubt because of delays in getting needed materials.  So at the end of November we will move into a house being vacated by a friend of Jeannie's; I'm not sure if we will be staying there until completion of our own house.  I love the neighborhood - it's an older one and more "in the city", which makes me feel very comfortable.  I can walk the dog and also go to a store with no problems.  There are businesses just a couple of blocks away and the ground is all level, as opposed to the more hilly nature of where I'm currently located.  Plus, and this is the BIG PLUS, there are sidewalks!  Sidewalks in good repair, with no cracks and upheavals!  But I don't know if I will survive two moves in short succession.  If only I could still drive.  I have a year left on my driver's license, but my eyesight is a problem.  I could probably drive ok but not in traffic; however, I really don't want to do that anymore.

Sometimes I just want to cry about my current state of affairs, but I know better than to open up the floodgates.   I'm sure there are many positives to look forward in the coming months, but I'm no Pollyanna, and I'm convinced that it's not going to be easy or fun for me.  And I, who had no problems packing up and moving to Ireland and then back to the U.S., and who has traveled around the world, don't want to pack up anything!  I'm just prolonging the problem because I am letting things go until the last minute.  Of course, Jeannie is packing some of my things and I'll probably never find them again.  If I didn't have Rocky to think about, I might run away from home!

But to end on a positive note, I get to "go bye-bye" in a few minutes!  Jeannie needs to go to a few stores, including Michael's Crafts, and I'm beyond the moon about getting to walk into a store where there are people, even though we are all masked!

Saturday, November 6, 2021


I had to look at my computer this morning to find out what day of the week it is!  Things are pretty bad when they get to that point!  I was thinking I had to change the clocks but then realized I have another day to go.  I will be so glad when we can just stay on the same time year around.  I have always thought it was a dumb idea - it made more sense for areas of the country that are mostly farms, because they could use the extra daylight hour.  But artificial lighting  has done away with that excuse.  I recall that when DST was instituted for the entire country, the big selling point was that golfers would have an extra hour to be out on the course.  I won't even say what I have always thought of that idea.  Imagine all the productivity lost at both ends of the time change - it takes a good two weeks to get used to it, and maybe more for some folks, and the best we can say for it is that golfers get an extra hour in the morning for the game.

I enjoyed having a fire in my fireplace last night.  Rocky and I were the only ones here, and I lit a log - an artificial one though.  I won't have a fireplace in the new house, and I will miss it.  The only one in the house will be in the master suite!  My son told me I could get a small electric fireplace, but I will have to see what they look like and how much space I will have.  I love seeing the flame and it cheers me up, but at this stage of the game I'm going to take whatever I get!

It's time to put my summer clothes away and get out the winter wear.  I have most of the items in my closet packed up and ready to move, and I just wish I could get it over with.  There is so much I should be doing but I simply have no energy for anything.

I have my Costco list ready and hope someone will take me shopping this weekend!  I need to be around people for a while! 

I'm wishing you all a great weekend!

Sunday, October 31, 2021


 To tell the truth, this has never been my favorite time of year.   Even as a kid I thought it was sort of dumb, and since I was never much of a candy-eater, I didn't really care for most of the items I was given.  But I wonder what will happen to the holiday after this current year.  It has been dark for a while and I have had no trick-or-treaters.  I set a bowl of individually wrapped candy bars out on a little table in front of my door, turned on the porch light, and left a note to "Please Take One".   I didn't buy much candy to give out and if it is all taken, then the lights go out and I go to bed!

This morning Jeannie, Donald, Arianna, and I took our two dogs out to the new house to let them get a feel for it.  It was my idea, and a pretty dumb idea, at that.  Rocky isn't used to riding in a car as I quit driving about the same time I got him.  He was a total pain - too excited to stay still in the back seat.  But we went to the site and took the dogs into the house to show them around.

While we were there we met a man who lives in the area, and who seems like a great guy - he was the local high school sports coach for a number of years, and was interesting to talk to.  Jeannie is so outgoing she will meet everyone in the area by the time we move in!  The house is coming along very well - the doors and windows are all in, but the plumbing hasn't been installed yet.  Now that my bedroom is all closed in, it seems smaller than what I have now although they are exactly the same size.  The new room has a double sliding door to my patio, plus a door to the private bath and a closet.  And dramatically high ceilings!  My current room only has a double closet door and an entry door, and I think there is way more wall space.  I'm going to love it though and will find a way to arrange my belongings so as to get the most out of the space I have.  The patio is going to be wonderful!  It looks like they will be installing several electric outlets in the patio area so I can see myself making my coffee out there in the morning and relaxing in the fresh air while having a cuppa!

As far as I can remember, the only smaller space I've lived in would have been my 35' 5th wheel RV!  But the new space will have everything I need, and more.  I'll have family nearby, a very large yard for the dogs, gardening, etc.  I'm lucky indeed!

I've had the candy sitting out on a little table on my front porch and no one has come by.  I know some kids are out later, but at 8pm I'm ready to bring the stuff back indoors and turn off the porch light.  I'm at the end of a driveway off which are four separate units.  I'm the only house with any lights on - I think Halloween is a bust this year!

Friday, October 29, 2021

Not Much New!

I'm just trying to get things straight in my mind as to what I will pack and where I will store everything.   I can't believe I will be moving out in a month, and have a lot of things to do in order to be ready for it.  But I'm still not feeling up to par, so I don't do much other than think about it.  

This morning I finished the series of treatments for cancer.  It didn't take long as I can tolerate the infusion at a faster rate, so they speed it up accordingly.  I think I will now be good to go for another 2 or 3 years, at least.  I'd much rather have to repeat the treatments than have to tolerate the negative side effects of some meds.  I came home with a pretty good appetite and have eaten a large lunch!  It's been a while since I actually looked forward to a meal and then enjoyed it, so I'm pretty content now!

Sunday, October 24, 2021

Plans for the move!

It looks like we will be moving at the end of November to temporary quarters in a house owned by a friend of Jeannie's.  We'll stay there until we can move into our new place.  We will be within walking distance of a nice shopping area, including a Whole Foods store!  I'm just looking forward to the day we have our very own space, and Rocky and I can finally settle in.  My landlady's sister will be moving in when we leave.

I now have a chair on wheels that has handlbars that I can push, and a seat to sit in if I want to sit.  I bought it a year or so for my sister, Amy, and since she died my niece has kept it at her house; she brought it over to me this afternoon.  I'm so used to just getting up and walking around my house, so I need to get used to taking it a bit easier.  I could probably benefit from sitting in the chair and moving myself around that way, but I've never tried to take the easy way, and as long as long as I can do it I will just use my own two feet!  It is pretty comfortable, though, so I may try to use it now and then and see if it helps keep me from falling.  

We're not sure when the house will be ready to move in; the workmen have kept working on it but there may be a point where supplies aren't available.  They might be sitting on a ship out in San Francisco Bay!  What a ridiculous situation, but what can we do about it.  I just want to be settled into a permanent space and relax. 

Saturday, October 23, 2021

What happened???

I woke up a few minutes ago and thought it might be morning, but figured out I had come home from my second to last cancer infusion and crawled back in bed.  The clue was that I was still fully dressed.  What a nice sleep!  Now it's only 9pm and I will try to stay awake for a couple more hours.  Whatever is in that cocktail they give me makes me very sleepy!  (I think it is benadryl!)  I have one more infusion to go and then I hope to have 2 or 3 more cancer-free years.  It's aggravating to think of having to do this all over again, but the lack of negative side effects makes it worthwhile.  I think I will fix myself a scotch & water and chill out for a bit.

 It is actually raining now - not a good downpour,  but enough to feel a bit of misty rain.  After months of no precipitation, it sure is welcome.  I think rainfall is predicted to be fairly heavy tomorrow, and I hope it is, but Rocky doesn't like to get his feet wet so it's difficult to get him outside!  I suppose I should stay indoors myself, rather than take a chance on falling where the pavement is slippery.  The doctor seemed to have thought I could get a walker right away, but even though I have excellent medical insurance, things have to go through channels and be approved.  Everything is moving more slowly these days.

I need to get started on deciding what I'm going to keep, and to begin packing it up for the move.  I really dread having to move everything. I think Jeannie wants to move into a friend's vacant house until ours is ready, but I don't want to do that so I need to make a plan for myself and Rocky.  I think I would prefer just staying on my own in a familiar neighborhood, than to move into an unknown place for a short time.  

I also have given lots of thought into just finding a senior living apartment in a familiar area.  Most that I've checked into allow pets, but I have never seen a weight limit and don't know if my 90# boy would be accepted.  It would sure be nice to get back to an area where I could walk to stores, etc. It would also be very nice to have people to talk to once in a while!   Something has to change in my life, but I don't know what that could be.  After 80 wonderful years of living my own life, things have really gone south!  I am too stubborn and too used to calling my own shots, so I have to figure out what I want to do now and just do it!

Friday, October 22, 2021

Doc Martins!

I've had many years of watching styles change, especially for the younger generations.    My granddaughter is getting outfitted for the Homecoming dance at her high school.  Jeannie took her on a shopping trip that ranged from Sacramento to San Francisco, and they finally found a gorgeous kelly green dress, short, and very dressy.  She put the dress on to model it for me, and I asked her mom about what shoes she would wear with it.  Jeannie responded very nonchalantly, "Oh, her Doc Martins", as if to say, "What else?".  I've lived long enough to see styles change drastically, but am still laughing about wearing Doc Martins with a dressy satin dress, to a Homecoming dance!  For those of you who aren't familiar with the "Doc", here is a link to his line of shoes.  


Oh, to be young again!

Note:  I tried to click on the link but it didn't work correctly, and I had to copy and paste the link to the search bar.  Sorry for that.

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

News I Can Use!

I saw my doctor this morning and came away feeling pretty positive.  She always has that effect on me.  She immediately put in an order for a walker (covered by my insurance, evidently), but seemed to think I was doing well other than the fall.  I'm hopeful that with a bit more attention to what I'm doing and the circumstances surrounding me, I can prevent future mishaps and worse injuries.  So my outlook for the future is getting better - which will certainly enhance my day to day life.

The weather has cooled down which I am so happy about, although we haven't seen the last of hot days - not yet!  I feel like I can deal with anything now, especially after finding out that I am in better health than I thought!   My eyesight is getting worse however, which means I need to pay more attention to my surroundings and to what I am doing.  It also makes it very difficult to see my black lab sometimes.

So I need to focus on the positives in my life!  Don't we all. 

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Books and Authors

I've been corresponding with my granddaughter, Ara, who is studying for her Master's Degree in Writing.  We've been discussing authors, and my all-time favorite is John Steinbeck.  Just thinking about it makes me wish I could go to the library and check out a stack of his works - I  guess "Grapes of Wrath" would be my all-time favorite, but I really loved all of them, including "Travels With Charley".  "Travels" starts out with the line, "You don't take a trip; a trip takes you!"   Remembering my many trips throughout my life, I can attest to the veracity of this quote!

I sure wish I could check out a stack of library  books, but my vision is just too poor these days.  And don't mention books on tape - most I've tried have been read so slowly and distinctly that I lost interest in the first minute or two.  I think that even the large-print would be difficult for me to follow now, although I should try it again.

My granddaughter, Autumn, needs a special dress for a special occasion, and since nothing could be found in Sacramento, Jeannie and the girls drove to San Francisco this morning.  I sure hope they get lucky!  San Francisco has always been one of my favorite cities in the entire world, but I sure wouldn't want to go there, or anywhere else, at this point.  I do hope I can leave the house for a few hours this weekend to go check on the status of the new house.  Moving in still seems like a long way off (a little over 2 months if we are lucky).

I don't know what to do about my balance and walking these days.  Even in my house I have fallen and the last time I really hurt my ribs  - they take a long time to heal.  There's nothing I can do except wait to feel better.  I would even look at getting a walker, but can't imagine maneuvering around a house with one of those.  If any of my readers has experience with using a walker, please write to me and give me your opinions, experiences, etc.  How steady are they?  I would hate to trip and fall, and bring the walker down over me!  Just the image of that happening has made me lose the urge to get a walker! 

Monday, October 11, 2021

An Accident-Free Weekend!

Thank goodness for a weekend with no problems, although I'm still suffering from the old problems!  At least it's a little bit easier when I have to cough, but I still hold my ribs when I do that!

It's been a boring weekend for Rocky and me.  I feel so sorry for him, especially.  A healthy 3-year old dog should be more active, as I am sure he'd  like to be.

The cooler weather we've had lately has been wonderful.  I didn't even leave the window by my bed open just a bit last night!  I like the fresh air blowing in over me, but it was too chilly for an open window.  Knowing how our weather can be, I'm sure we will have some hot days ahead, but for the most part, I think autumn is here.

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Another Accident

Last night I tripped over my own feet again, and fell to the kitchen floor.  Somehow in the process, I hit the ribs on my left side against the fridge.  Today I have been in some serious discomfort.  I don't know what the answer is - I can only get around my own house by walking, but it seems I can't stay upright while I'm doing it!  I'm now in some serious pain, although I haven't asked the doctor to prescribe anything for it.  Maybe tomorrow I will look into it.  I really don't want anything narcotic, although I doubt a non-narcotic would be much help.  I guess I should ask for something strong, and just sit back and enjoy the trip it might take me on, lol.  Actually, I would be more likely to get an adverse reaction and it would be a nightmare!

Jeannie and Arianna found a dog park for Rocky and took him back there this evening.  The dogs can run free, and usually group together by size and activity level.  That was my experience at the dog park where I formerly lived.  The big young studs don't really want to be with the older and/or quieter lapdogs, and vice versa.

I know I have a birthday coming up next month, but I honestly could not remember how old I will be.  I had to look at the date online to see what year it is, and subtract my year of birth from that!  I would have been perfectly happy not knowing, but of course I had to check it out!  Now I wish I had just let it go.

I hope I have a better tomorrow, and of course, I wish you all the best!



Sunday, September 26, 2021

Who Knew?

 I've always liked the scent of Irish Spring, but have been looking into other uses for the soap.  Moving into a new development as we will be in just about 3 months, I'm sure we will be displacing lots of small wildlife from the area.  I intend to try to get along with them (including the snakes), but I hope to deter sneaky creatures from ruining my proposed garden!  I don't mind sharing, up to a point! 

So it seems that the strong scent of Irish Spring is a deterrent to many critters.  We will see how it works!  According to what I read, you can sprinkle shavings of Irish Spring around the plant stems and they will keep them relatively pest free.  And it's all relative.  I'm sure I'm the pesky critter to all the other critters who would like to invade my garden!  I am really looking forward to growing a garden, as well as to provide some entertainment for the neighborhood critters!  You know they enjoy the game as much as we do.  But my aged brain doesn't stand much of a chance against a horde of critters!  I wonder how Rocky is going to react to it all.  He will probably ignore them when I'm not around, and then jump into action when I appear.  "I'm workin' for ya, Mom!"

I am so happy to see that daytime temps will be lower in the coming week, at least if you can call the 80's and 90's  "lower".

Saturday, September 25, 2021

To Blog or Not To Blog!

 I really plan to quit blogging!  But I have been writing about my day for years before I even heard the word "blog" being used.  I think it was called journaling, or keeping a diary, back in the day.

For some odd reason that I can't even fathom, I get a lot of satisfaction out of writing even though my efforts wouldn't hold up next to those of good writers.  Since I'm no longer traveling, nor does my life hold anything of interest these days, I should just stop!  But I can't seem to do it!  I tell myself, "ok, this is the last one"; and then tomorrow I think, "well, just one more".

So I will probably be writing an entry when I can no longer do anything else.  I appreciate and love all my faithful readers, and I want you to know that you don't have to read any more if you don't want to.  I no longer have much of interest happening in my life, but the urge to put it down in writing is something I can't explain nor can I stop doing it!

Memory Loss!

It's a terrible thing to forget things.  Yesterday I read something about a special use for a bar of Irish Spring soap; I was ordering groceries for delivery and included in my order, a couple of bars of Irish Spring.  This morning I couldn't remember a thing about what I wanted it for, and still have no clue!  I do recall seeing an article that included a photo of a bar of Irish Spring, a hole drilled in the middle, hanging somewhere in front of an open cabinet.  But for the life of me I cannot recall anything else about it.  I do like the smell of it, and might keep it around just for the pleasant scent!

I've never had any problems with insects or pests in the kitchen, but I think that is because my landlady has the property regularly treated for pests.  The Irish Spring just might be double protection!  Fortunately I have always liked the scent of it.  If anyone has a clue what this soap is good for, (other than a good bath/shower soap), please refresh my memory!


Wednesday, September 22, 2021

I Think I Quit ...

 I am going to stop writing and publishing a blog for now.  I may return if I ever get something joyful in my life again.  Reading my last few posts I can't imagine why anyone would want to read something so dispirited. 

So thank you all who have stuck with me for such a long time, and I may be back now and then if I have anything uplifting and positive to write about.  Love you all!

Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Just Sitting Around!

I am trying to avoid everyone so that means I'm staying in my bedroom most of the time.  It's spacious enough for a bedroom, but  living in it ain't easy!  The two dogs come and go, and it's nice to have a warm breathing creature around once in a while!  I think I mentioned my covid test was negative (no surprise to me - I am only around immediate family).  But I do have a really bad cold, with coughing and sniffles. My ribs hurt from coughing so much!  I feel so sorry for myself!

I just checked my mail to find a small box that I wasn't expecting.  The box contains individually wrapped cookies - 6 of them, all different, and they sure are tempting!  It turns out they were sent to me from my former boss, who now lives in Florida.  She and I worked together in Washington, DC.

I remember the joy of baking cookies in my younger years.  My mom let me bake from about the time I was 8 or 9, and my dad always had nothing but compliments for whatever I baked or cooked!  Just thinking about my dad makes me want to cry.  I sure do miss him!

So now I guess I will read all the advertising material that was in my mailbox!  Speedee Oil Change sent me a flyer about their services, and I intend to read every word of it, even though I no longer have a car!  Just imagine what I will be like in a couple of days if I have to remain in my bedroom pretty much to myself!


Monday, September 20, 2021

Where I am, Right Now.

I should bring you up to date on where I stand, health-wise.  I had a Covid test yesterday and I DON'T have Covid.  I do have really bad congestion in my chest and in my head, and all other complaints are minor.   The chest congestion and cough are the worst, and they don't seem to be ready to go anywhere soon.  I think I'm getting a chest xray tomorrow and I hope they can give me something to relieve the congestion. 

All the space in front of my fireplace and then some, is filled with boxes of Jeannie's things, her rocking chair and my rocking chair.  I just realized I can find a space to put the treadmill in, but I can't plug it in anywhere.  All the outlets are two-prong, and the plug for the treadmill is 3-prongs.  But Donald to the rescue, figured it all out and I will start walking on my treadmill tomorrow! 

Saturday, September 18, 2021

How times have changed!

Back when I entered 1st grade in about 1946 I had to have a smallpox vaccination, and I don't remember anyone fighting about whether or not to have their children vaccinated.   If you wanted them to go to school, vaccination was the rite of passage to that new world.  I just can't figure out what drives people to fight everything that comes along, even when their own health could be at risk, and the health of their families.

I can't remember the year the polio vaccine came out, but I got it, along with my younger siblings.  Probably no one would have insisted I get it (I think I might have been out of school already, or possibly in high school, but I just chalked it up to being for my good and the good of others.

 Maybe the answer is let people refuse it for themselves and their families if they choose, but they won't have my sympathy if their gamble falls back on them and they or a loved one gets the disease.  I just have no patience with people who want to fight everything that comes along.  I am not speaking about those who might have a valid medical reason, and not a "You can't tell me what to do" reason.  I can't work up much sympathy when a parent is on their deathbed and heroically tells people they should get vaccinated.  We are seeing more and more of that lately.  I stress that I am not speaking about someone with a valid medical reason to refuse a vaccine, if there is a valid reason.

I realize it is common for "old folks" to look back on the way things were better when they were young, but dang, I can't believe how negative and uncooperative people can be today.  They seem to have no respect for anyone, and that is reflected in many of the people they vote into public office.

Ok, I'm stepping down off my soapbox now.  But if you are anywhere within 20 years of my age, get the damn vaccine!   You most likely have already done that, because our generations were pretty smart, and didn't want to "cut off our nose to spite our face"!  (And how many readers have heard our mothers use that expression with us!)  And I just read today that a booster shot will soon be available to us "oldies but goodies", and you can bet I'm going to be in the front of the line!

Thursday, September 16, 2021


I have been asking myself lately, "Why should I go on like this?"  I'm really getting tired of the ups and downs of it all - the thought of moving into new space away from the city is an "up", but all the hassle with my health is certainly a "down".  I think the "down" far outweighs the "up", I'm sorry to say.  One health issue gets fixed and then another one comes up, and I'm simply fed up with it all.

If only I could drive I would leave this place and drive far away from everything and everyone I know.   Then I could just take life as it comes, and not try to "beat the system" by going to doctors, taking medicines, and then taking more meds to counter the side effects of the original meds.    When I write it down (or type it up) on paper I can see how ludicrous it is.

So I am going to try to start anew.  For one thing, I've felt so bad I never get up and move around any more than I have to.  That certainly causes negative effects on my health.  To start with, I will walk a mile a day on my treadmill until I feel it is safe to walk a mile outside on the cracked, broken pavement and streets.   Then I might raise the bar and walk 2 miles a day.  (I may be dreaming here, but I will shoot for the stars.)

Then I am going to try to take control of my life away from the medical people and put it squarely back into my corner.  I am not critical of medical people, by the way.  They are wonderful and most are very supportive.  But I don't want to need them to tell me how to live, or to tell me what is wrong with me.  I've forgotten what is right with me, and I need to get it back! 

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Gardening Plans

I am so looking forward to gardening in my new space, although I still have a few months to wait.  I'm looking at online catalogs and ordering print copies of some;  there are so many good choices I don't know how I will decide.  I think I will enlist Donald to help me as he is very interested, and he will be taking care of the plants when I can no longer do it.  There are SO MANY beautiful plants out there which makes it hard to select just a few.

I also bought some seeds to grow my own herbs - parsley, sage, oregano, thyme, and basil.  Those are the ones I use most often, at least I used them back in the day when I cooked!   Donald will put them to good use.  I've also been reading up on what to plant in order to attract pollinators to the garden.  I would love to hear of your experiences - those of you who like to garden.  I'm especially eager to find out what I can successfully grow in shade, as my side of the house will be in shade much of the time.  Depending on the cost, I may hire a landscaper or gardener to help me plan for what I want to grow.  And since there are several excellent garden supply houses in this area, I might be able to get some good advice from one of them.

I have always loved this time of year from the standpoint of garden planning.  What didn't work so well the past season can be forgotten and plans made to try something new and different.  I always hope for a good year ahead! 

And speaking of the new house, I am sorry to say I won't have a fireplace.  That is one thing I truly love when the weather gets chilly, and I have enjoyed using the one in my rental.  I believe Jeannie & Donald will have one or two fireplaces in their part of the house, and I think there is an outdoor fixture as well for having a fire.  As dry as  California is this year, and the drought is predicted to go on for at least four more years, I guess it's probably just as well to not have an open flame.

I think I will be very happy to get up into the foothills by the end of this year.  It seems the traffic is getting heavier lately, even on my side street which wasn't as heavily traveled when I moved in two years ago.  There is a middle school less than a block away, and I think they are building some new classrooms, so the construction vehicles are going by quite often.   I just want some peace and quiet, and few if any planes flying overhead, etc.   Is there a place like that in the entire country these days?


Monday, September 13, 2021

A turn for the worse!

After doing so well with my cancer treatments, I had a not-so-good experience with the one last Friday.  The RN was probably very new to doing this sort of thing and did not exactly exude confidence.  Probably making matters worse was another RN who lurked in the background while she was inserting the IV and again when she removed it.  He never said a word but was obviously watching her, and I don't know if he was supposed to be learning from her how the procedure should go, or if he was monitoring her work.  I sure got the worst of the whole procedure.  

I have two huge dark blood blisters indicating where she had tried several times to insert the IV; they don't hurt but they sure look mean!  I haven't felt well since I came home from the treatment, and have developed some minor symptoms which I realize probably have nothing to do with the IV.   I have been fortunate up to this point but now I'm worried about what is happening.  I did send a message to my oncologist, who has ordered a prescription for me - I haven't picked it up yet so I'm not sure what it is, but I hope it works!

I'm trying to keep optimistic and think good thoughts of the new house, but it sure is difficult to see the bright side right now.  I know my kids think I'm complaining too much but they don't have any idea what I'm going through.  I have every right to complain!

I just read that there is disagreement on what part of the population should be first in line to get booster shots of the vaccine.  Of course it should be medical personnel, and then nursing home residents.  That is how they broke it down for the initial injections of the vaccine, so why should there be any change at this point!

On the bright side is my gorgeous dog, Rocky!  He is so beautiful to look at, and his soul is beautiful as well.  He deserves better than me, and I realize I should never have gotten a puppy when I did.  I felt great then and had no idea what turning 80 would do to me!

I'm so happy to read the weather forecast for our area for the coming week.  It will "only" be in the 90's, which is almost like a cold front at this point!  Then we might possibly dip into the 80's by mid-week.  If only we could have a week or so of rain that might help to put out the fires burning north of here (near Lake Tahoe).  I'm looking forward to fall!

I hope tomorrow is a great day for all of you, and I can use a great day for myself as well!


Sunday, September 12, 2021

The Latest from the New House

We visited the house site this afternoon and I have some photos which are starting to look like our new home.   I apologize for the placement and description of each photo - I have never had trouble like this with blogger before when it comes to inserting photos.  I don't know whether it's something I'm not doing right, or a glitch in the program or computer.   I think you can figure out what you are looking at.   From the front of the house my space is straight back on the right, and looking from the back it is on the left.

The door to my home.

My Garage/Playroom

Back of house-my space on left
From my patio

Front-my space on right


I apologize for what is probably the worst blog entry I've ever posted!  My excuse is that I haven't been well the past few days, since my last cancer treatment.

I think I'll stop now and hope I can post an intelligent entry in the next couple of days!

Wednesday, September 8, 2021

Injured again!

Rocky did it again!  He got injured trying to play basketball.  He's being very quiet today, limps when he walks so he has been staying pretty quiet so I don't notice.  I think all dogs love to play, but Rocky is quite competitive about it and just adores being with people and playing their games.  It will heal in time, but today he is being very quiet.

I've been entertaining myself going over ads for plants and flowers, and trying to determine what I might like in my new yard.  It is still a little under four months until we move in, so I'm really trying to restrain myself from making decisions and ordering plants at this time.  Donald is excited about it as well, so I have a "partner in crime"! 

I'm also trying to envision what I might need to add to my space in the way of furniture.  When my ex died several years back, the kids kept a lot of his furniture, plus the furniture he kept that had been his parents' collection.  I don't want to buy "new" at this stage of my life, and I am thinking about what pieces I might be able to refinish, or even use "as is".  His mom always believed in buying quality pieces, so it has held up remarkably well for having been stored for several years since Bill passed away.   And well built furniture from the 1950's and earlier will last forever if taken care of.   I've been using a chest of drawers  that was Bill's, and the rest of his bedroom set is in my spare room; since Ara wants his bedroom set I will be glad to give it to her and re-use my ex in-laws' furniture.  It would be stupid for me to buy something new at this time.  My new bedroom will be the same size as the one I currently have, but there will be more doors including a patio slider, which will reduce the amount of wall space.  I just want to be moved and settled in, and it seems like forever.

I will be getting my second treatment for  cancer on Friday and hope it extends my life a few more years.  I doubt that it is a permanent fix, but it's worth it to not have any side effects whatsoever.

Sunday, September 5, 2021

Back Home Again!

I'm back home after a wonderful weekend at son Steve and his wife's  (Meg) house.  It was fun to be with them, and Steve and I stayed up late each night talking over old and new times, and just catching up.  He's my 3rd (out of 4) child, and now has two of his own.  They have two great dogs and I really loved being around them as well.

With me being gone Jeannie, Donald, and their two girls were able to stay comfortably in my house.  I would gladly give up my bedroom and sleep on the couch if he stayed here with them, but he's been with his Mom and trying to help her get her house in order.  It's difficult and we still have until the end of this year before our new house is move-in ready.  We took a drive out to check the progress and it's coming along  nicely, although I wish it would go faster.  I am so excited about my "in-law suite" which will be exactly enough room for me and Rocky, and will suit us just fine.  I will take some photos next time I'm out there.

Donald and I are planning a wonderful garden in one corner of the property, and it is going to be a great way to provide fresh fruits and vegetables for our table.   My son (Steve) and his wife (Megan) have a house with an incredible array of garden produce and fruit trees.  If the weather cooperates we will be fortunate to have the best, tastiest, and most healthy food that we grow ourselves (and which are chemical free!).  I'm a lucky woman!

Last week I started the cancer treatments (infusions) again and it went quite well.  I'm starting to  feel better now than I have in a month or so, and I'm hopeful.  I realize the benefits only last about 2 years and then the cancer will probably come back, but I would like to do it this way for as long as I can.  It's painless, and has no really bad side effects - I still have my long thick hair, my appetite, and just about everything I hope for.  I am a very fortunate woman, and just hope my luck holds out until my time comes to cross over!

It is good to see Rocky again.  Jeannie had their dog (Tito) here and the two dogs  are great company for each other, even though they are so different in size.

I skipped a trip to Costco this evening (although I sent Jeannie with my list) and am staying here with the two dogs.  They are so sweet and such good company.  I'll have to say our family dogs are so special.  Steve has two, and Jeannie and I have one each.  Pets give us such unconditional love, and can read our minds especially when we're sad.

I've had a great weekend and hope all of you reading this have had a great one as well.   My family and our pets are my treasures! 

Thursday, September 2, 2021

I'm Off for the Weekend!

I feel so bad for Jeannie and Donald having to be separated - she is staying with me, and he is staying with his mom, not too far away.  So this weekend I invited myself to Steve & Meg's house for a couple of days.  Jeannie & Donald can live as a family should for at least a little while.  It is going to be very difficult for them until we finally get into the house.   Donald was here yesterday evening and I could hear him helping Arianna with her homework.  He is so sweet with the girls, who are reaching the age where they are sweet one minute and the exact opposite the next.

I start my infusions tomorrow for the cancer and I hope it goes as well as it did the last time I had them.  I think Joe is taking me this time, and he, Jeannie and Steve will switch off.  I feel like such a trouble maker! 

Meg and I both love gardening, and I think we will be visiting some garden centers this weekend.  I am trying to decide what I want to plant this time around, and how much space I can devote to a garden.  When you look at the gardening websites you can just imagine yourself growing and enjoying everything.  I'd like to try a few veggies I've never grown before as well as a lot of herbs.  Even though I don't cook anymore, Donald is an excellent chef and will be able to use whatever grows.

It has been wonderfully cool yesterday and today, but we will get back into triple digits by Sunday and the beginning of next week.  How I dislike the really hot weather!

I hope everyone has a great weekend, and I'll be back soon. 

I just have to add a paragraph to describe what is happening at my house.  My granddaughter and a schoolmate of hers walk home from school together, and the friend's mom picks her up about a half hour later.  The two girls were giggling in the other room, and finally walked out with their long hair braided together on one side.  It is hilarious and I can't find my camera to take a photo of it!  It's very difficult to walk but they manage somehow, and of course, the giggling never stops when you have two 12-year olds!


Monday, August 30, 2021

Living With Others!

I've mentioned previously that until the new house is ready Jeannie and one daughter are living with me, and Donald and the other daughter are with his mom.  On the one hand, I love having other people in my house and it is very comforting to me that they are near.  On the other hand, it can sure upset a routine when someone else has a hand in it.

Jeannie is an excellent organizer (she gets that from her late father, God rest his soul, and she has organized my kitchen cupboards, fridge, etc., so that I can't find a damn thing!   I really don't mind, because at my age I'm just glad I have the company, and Rocky and I really love the chaos.  As the oldest of 8 kids and with 4 of my own, I've lived in chaos all my life and thrived in it.  But finding things in my kitchen has become a little more difficult.  As long as she doesn't touch my bottle of scotch, I'll keep my mouth shut, just grin and bear it!

Sunday, August 29, 2021

The Caldor Fire

The fire keeps burning and continues to cover thousands of acres in the mountains.  I took Rocky out very early (for me) this morning, and the air doesn't look very healthy - yes, you can almost "see" the air.  I didn't walk far as I noticed and felt the poor air quality.

At this time of year I get a lot of mailings from nurseries, offering sales of plants and seeds for the coming spring (2022).  I am so anxious to get started in a new place, and design and plant a garden.  I think Donald is getting interested too, and would like to have some input on what to plant.  He is a gourmet cook, and I'm sure I will have a really good variety of produce and herbs with his collaboration.   

Last year I grew tomatoes from seed, but this year I think I will buy established plants.  I'd rather grow from seed because I love watching the tiny shoots when they pop out of the soil, but it is a crap shoot as to how they will turn out.  Last year I had about 26 tomato seedlings and gave half of them to Megan (my d-i-l).  She has done wonders with her gardening this year and has really reaped a good tomato harvest.  I think I didn't enrich the soil enough or with the right enrichments, because nothing i tried to grow was very productive, if it came up at all.  What a let-down after my success last season.  I won't give up though, because it is such a joy to me to see any results at all.

I can remember years ago, when I was just a child, visiting my grandmother, whose garden behind their house was probably just short of a quarter of an acre.  I still see her in my mind, in the garden with some type of hand plow, and a mule pulling it along as it dug trenches in the soil.  I wish I had been more attentive to her gardening, but my favorite thing to watch was when she made biscuits every morning.  Those biscuits were heavenly when just out of the oven.  But I also ate them cold and leftover, which amazed her.  She saved leftover biscuits for when she made dressing (or stuffing as northerners call it).  When I was a bit older I often made biscuits myself, and although they couldn't hold a candle to my grandma's biscuits, they were pretty good.  My husband and kids didn't really appreciate them for the amount of effort I put into making them, so I quit doing it.  I think about it now and then, but probably wouldn't try it at this late date.  It takes practice, and a person gets better at it as they get used to handling the dough, and I have no one who would help me eat them now.  Not that I couldn't eat a half dozen fresh warm biscuits at a sitting, but I wouldn't eat them cold, and I certainly wouldn't make home-made dressing!

After writing about biscuits, dressing, etc., I'm tempted to go make a small batch of biscuits!


Friday, August 27, 2021

"Another "T.G.I.F." Day!

 Fridays used to be looked forward to, and weekends planned with fun things.  Those days are long gone for me - I just appreciate living each day at a time.

This wait until our move is getting to everyone, and it isn't easy for any of us.  As I mentioned, Donald is staying with his Mom and Jeannie with me, with the two girls switching every now and then.  With the current fire situation, I'm worried the air quality will be such that the construction workers won't be able to do much on our new house until the air clears up.

Speaking of the fire, it is further "up the hill" as they say, meaning up into the mountains and towards Lake Tahoe.  But we get a lot of air pollution from the blaze, even here in Sacramento.  I certainly think the firefighters are true heroes, and pray for their safety as well as their mental health.  Just looking at videos of the fire on the news brings me to tears over the devastation, and those who witness the destruction first hand won't ever be able to forget it.

For those who have never been in this part of the country, I can tell you that it is probably one of the most beautiful places I've ever been in all the world - nature at its finest.  Now we are seeing nature at its worst.  I always loved backpacking and hiking in the Appalachian Mtns in the eastern part of the U.S., and they are like an old friend.  The Sierra Nevada in the west are more dramatic and powerful in their beauty, but often foreboding as well.

I am ready to get back to the cancer treatments on September 3rd, and hope they can give me a couple years more of feeling well.   Then I will have to start the process all over again.  I wouldn't want it any other way though - the dr. mentioned there was an ingredient they could add to the cocktail they inject into my veins but that it had side effects.  I replied that I don't want anything with side effects, and I've never been sorry, so far.  The only thing I have is fatigue, and that's bad enough.  Fatigue with hair loss or constant upset stomach would be much worse!

Tuesday, August 24, 2021

New Phone

 I am getting so tired of changes in technology, rearrangement of websites, and always something new.  I guess nobody else goes by the old saying, "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!"  Even writing and publishing my blog post is a challenge these days - I just want it to stay the same - easy to learn and easy to use - as it has been for a long while.  What improvement is made by changing things around just for the sake of change?  I'd be interested to hear from people who might like and look forward to the occasional changes.

I'm irritated because I got rid of the phone I had - way too many options for a person who uses their phone to make and receive calls and maybe to text and read messages now and then.  I opted to go back to a flip phone, and my son, Steve, set it up for me last night.  I like the phone, but when I wanted to make a call it wasn't all that straightforward.  I think once I get used to it I will really like it, but I don't recall having a problem with my first cell phone, a Jitterbug, touted as a cell phone for seniors.  That's all I want - a cell phone that works like a telephone - not a secretary to manage my life!  (I even went online and found that there are still regular old-style phones available.  The kind that sit on a desk or table, that many of us grew up with.)  I wish I had thought to look it up before I bought my new cell phone, although it would no doubt take having someone from the phone company come out and install the hook-up. 

I am so sad about the fires burning in the next county over, which is the county I hope to be moving to by the end of this year.  I can probably assume that the move-in date will be delayed - the folks who are working on the house might not want to go into all that smoke filled area.  The fire isn't to our new neighborhood yet, but the smoke is likely unhealthy to say the least.  Planes (tankers, I think) are constantly flying over my current house, no doubt carrying fire retardant, and the skies are hazy even here, about 30+ miles away.

The area burning right now is a special part of California, and the terrain, flora and fauna are beautiful.  Or at least they were - before this fire.  All my kids spent a week with their 5th grade class at a place called "Sly Park".  It was so special, and they learned much about the geology, geography, plants and animals, and the ecology of the area.  It has been a "rite of passage" for kids in the Sacramento area, and no doubt other areas of the state.  Now, I doubt if it will be replaced any time soon, if ever.

The stack of boxes in my living room has steadily been reduced - mostly because Jeannie has been advertising and selling a lot of small appliances and things from their old home.  She mostly does that on weekends, so nothing moves very quickly.  I grew up as the oldest in a large family (8 kids), and had 4 kids of my own; I have never been a stickler for a
"model home look".  Chaos has always been more of my style.  But I have had to look in the other direction many times in the past 4-6 weeks, as I know this chaos will pass.  I'm glad I've been able to "go with the flow" throughout my life, even though sometimes it felt like the chaos was going a bit too far and too fast!   And now this fire has caused me a lot of stress about the future move, but I feel guilty even thinking that.  The people who have had to leave their homes are the ones with a lot of stress!  My heart goes out to them, and to the precious wildlife who have lost their habitat, and even their lives.

Monday, August 23, 2021

Caldor Fire

In times of disaster it is wonderful to see where help comes from.  In the case of the fire burning in Northern CA, a nearby Walmart has offered a large chunk of their parking lot for people who have been displaced by the fire.  Cars, RV's, and tents are all welcomed, and different organizations are bringing food to those in need.

Our weather has been cooler since the fire and smoke block and/or diminish the sunlight!  A good breeze is blowing as well, which certainly helps the comfort level.  I haven't needed the a/c running for the past two days, but I think that will change by the end of this week when we will go back to triple digits. 

I took Rocky for a short walk this morning, and couldn't believe what has happened to the driveway at the nearby school.  Construction is underway for a fairly large new addition, and the heavy trucks pulling in and out of the school driveway have really torn it up.  It is certainly a hazard for me, and probably for many of the kids as well.  The entire street will need to be repaved when the construction is finished!  

Saturday, August 21, 2021

Visit to the house site

Today, Saturday, 8/21, we visited our new house site, and the construction is coming along very well.  The air is smoky from  nearby fires, but we were able to comfortably view the home.  This is my patio area, just outside my bedroom.  I will love being able to sit out on that patio and drink my morning coffee.

 Standing in front of my garage.  (Garage door to left of structure).  I have windows in my garage!  I think I've mentioned previously that the garage is going to be used as an art room by the kids and me, and will hold things such as my treadmill.

The house - my garage on right, and my kitchen, living/dining room, and bedroom behind it.  I will take pictures as the construction and finishing comes along, but this will give you a pretty good idea of what it's all going to look like.

My rooms are all behind the garage, all the way back, shotgun style.  It is small compared to the rest of the house, but is plenty big for Rocky and me.  I can use the living/dining and bedroom furniture that I have and won't have to buy furniture at all - maybe some lamps, but otherwise, I should be all set with a minimum amount to be purchased.

Jeannie's office will be upstairs over my suite -- you can see the three windows up there that will give her a million dollar view of the area for miles around!

This builder (Lennar) advertises the fact that everything is included, so you don't have to buy/add anything except your personal furniture.  I'm really looking forward to see the house completed and ready to move in.  Next time we are there I hope I can get more photos that will show it in a more finished state on the inside.  There is a closet that will hold a washer/dryer, and will be very convenient for me to use.  The kitchen space is small, but adequate, and Donald has helped me pick out some appliances that will be perfect for the space.  I don't cook these days, so I don't need an elaborate set-up - just enough to prepare my basic meals.  I also don't eat much, so I sure don't need to be bothered with a full, family-size kitchen!  It will suit me fine because I will have the space I need in my living and sleeping areas, rather than in the areas less important to me.  I basically need a place to plug in my coffee maker, and room for a small dinette set, plus cabinetry for food and utensils.  Oh, and a perfect spot for Rocky's dish!  And when I'm hungry, I will just go next door where my gourmet cook-son in law will feed me!

Speaking of Rocky, he's been limping this afternoon.  He won't let me look at his paw too closely, and I don't know what he did - if it's something he stepped on, or what.   I feel so bad for him.  He has certainly changed since he turned 3 yrs old at the end of May.  He no longer gets into things or destroys them while I'm gone, so I can safely leave him with the run of the house.

The Mom of a friend of Arianna comes by now and then, and yesterday she brought two of their four dogs with her, one being a beautiful black lab.  I just love the lab's temperament and easy going nature.  Of course they can find their way into trouble if not kept busy and challenged.

I mentioned the fires burning up in the mountains - we are getting a lot of smoke and skies are hazy, but so far they have presented no immediate danger to us.  We always pass a deer or two on the way up to the house site, and they don't seem to be skittish - the first time we drove around the nearby neighborhoods we passed a contingent of deer peacefully grazing at a crossroads.  I worry about the wildlife in the vicinity of fires, from deer to snakes.

Sorry to be so wordy this evening.