Sunday, January 31, 2010

Goodbye January, Hello February

I cannot believe that January has come and gone. Now comes February. Is it just me or does the month of February always seem to go by slower than any other month of the year, even though it is actually the shortest month of the year?
Tomorrow is my fourth anniversary since I retired from Lockheed. Those four years sure went by fast.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

My Exercise Bike

After Ben left for work this morning, I pulled all of the parts of my new exercise bike out of the box, along with all of the nuts, bolts and washers, which to my surprise, were very well marked and packaged so there was no way you could use the wrong hardware on the parts as you assemble the bike.
The instructions stated that it takes 2 people to assemble the bike, but I did it all by myself and it took me about 2 hours to complete the assembly.
The seat is very comfortable. When "riding" the bike, it is very quiet, which is nice for watching TV while you are cycling.
I did my first session on the bike about an hour after I had my lunch and was very please with how everything worked. It has a monitor that shows you your RPM's, your speed, your time, your miles, calories burned and your pulse rate.
I did 30 minutes with ease. It showed that I did 6.71 miles and that I burned about 120 calories. Of course, I have the tension set on "1" right now until I get used to it. My older brother has the same bike and he claims that the calorie monitor does not show the "true" amount of calories burned. He purchased a "heart rate" wrist watch because he feels the watch gives him a more accurate count on calories burned.
So far I am very happy with the bike.

Friday, January 29, 2010

My New "Toy"

This morning Ben and I went over to KMart and purchased an stationary exercise bike. I bought the one that my older brother bought a couple of weeks ago as he highly recommended it. He has lost 8 lbs already using his. He told me he used it about 30 minutes a day while watcing television.
I'm going to try to assemble it tomorrow while Ben is at work. Hopefully Ben will use it also because he cannot go for walks with me. He was born with a "dropped foot" and has fallen arches. He has had trouble with his feet all of his life. He needs to exercise some for his high blood pressure and maybe he can get some on the bike.
Here is the bike we bought:

http://www.kmart.com/shc/s/p_10151_10104_080W074282110001P?keyword=weslo+pursuit+ct+3.8r&sLevel=0

New Hiking Blog

If you enjoy my photos, you might enjoy my new "Hiking" blog. It contains more photos and commentary of my hikes.
Check it out at:

Hiking With An "Old" Woman

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Nice Afternoon Hike

Took an afternoon hike up the Waterfall Trail in Placerita Canyon today. The weather was beautiful and everything was so green due to our 7-day rainfall last week.
The trail is about 1.2 miles round trip. The trail dead ends at a 12' waterfall that is only there during our "wet" season. The sound of the water rushing down the rocks was very peaceful.
It was a really nice hike.





Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Nice Day

Today, our friend Judy, whom I used to work with at Lockheed, came down from Lancaster, CA (about 50 miles away) to have lunch with us. She wanted to give me my belated birthday gifts. She gave me a cute dark blue v-neck t-shirt, a pretty lighthouse sun catcher to put in my kitchen window and two lighthouse calendars. She also paid for my lunch at our favorite steak house.
After lunch, we dropped Ben back by home and then Judy and I went shopping at Target and Kohls. I bought a cute t-shirt off the clearance rack at Target. Judy bought two or three tops at Target and she bought a couple more cute tops at Kohls. I didn't find anything I liked at Kohls.
Was a really nice day. Weather was really beautiful too.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Ben's Third Laser Treatment

Just got back from Kaiser where Ben had his third laser treatment in his right eye. We found out today that they usually do 3 treatments per eye because they cannot shoot the laser into the eye for too long or it can cause permanent blindness.
The ophthalmologist told Ben that they will send us an appointment card for his next visit when the hope to start the laser treatments on his left eye. The doctor said he will have to see if some of the blood has cleared up so he can see what he's doing.
Started raining while we were down in Panorama City, but not a hard rain. Barely raining when we go back home.

Monday, January 25, 2010

House Cleaning Day (YUCK)

Today I have to do one of my most dreaded chores.....clean the house. Seems the older I get, the heavier that vacuum cleaner gets. It's so hard to push across the carpets sometimes. And the dusting! Makes me sneeze more now than it used too. Wish I was rich so I could afford a housekeeper.
Yesterday was beautiful here in SoCal....no rain and beautiful blue skys. Some clouds started to appear late in the afternoon and they made a beautiful sunset.



Today, so far, it is also clear but they are telling us that another storm is supposed to hit here tonight and last through tomorrow. I'm not looking forward to more rain, especially since I have to drive Ben down to the Valley to his Ophthalmologist. I have to drive down Interstate 5 in the rain. People drive crazy on the freeways in good weather and they are even worse in the rain.
Well, I'd better get to work on the house - YUCK!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

New Fangled Telephones

They sure don't make home telephones the way they used too. I remember when I was a kid, we had a big, black, heavy phone that had a dial on its face....no push buttons. It was hard-wired to the wall, not plugged in. The receiver was so heavy, you could use it for a weight. You could have run over that phone with an 18-wheeler and it would not break and it would still be working after the fact.
Today, they make phones out of cheap plastic. If you drop it a foot or two from a table or desk, it shatters in a million pieces and needs to be tossed in the trash.
We have cell phones, but we still have not been able to make ourselves give up our home phone like many of our friends have done. We actually have four phones in the house. They all have a base that is plugged into the wall. Two of them are "cordless" and two of them are "corded". We always like to have at least one "corded" phone because in power outages, the "cordless" phones stop working. One of the "corded" phones is on our fax machine, the other is just a phone.
We had a "cordless" phone in the kitchen that had an answering machine on it. It worked great for about 10 years and then the digital voice on the answering machine started to get "garbly" to where you could not understand the messages that people left, so we decided to get a new phone.
Have you gone shopping for phones lately? It's very difficult to find a phone that has only one receiver (or handset as they now call them) these days. Most of them have at least two and some have up to six and you can just keep adding as many as you want or need.
Anyway, we bought a V-Tech brand wireless phone with two "handsets" and it had a base with an answering machine in it.

I had a hell of a time trying to figure out how to set-up the answering machine, but I finally did. Everything worked fine for about 27 or 28 days and then the answering machine just stopped working. When people left messages, the messages were not there. My brother would call and say, "How come you didn't call me back? I left you a message two hours ago." But the phone showed no messages.
I tried and tried to get the answering machine work by calling my home phone with my cell phone, but to no avail.
We saw that we could return the phone to Best Buy before 30 days and since it had only been 27 or 28 days, we packed everything back into the box, which is a struggle in itself, and returned the phone to the store. We told them we wanted to upgrade to another phone because we figured since this one only cost $45 that maybe one that cost $69 would be better.
We left the store with a Uniden "cordless" with two "handsets".

This phone set looked and worked pretty much the same as the V-Tech brand, but the phone that we had used for 10 years in the kitchen had been a Uniden, so we assumed that this was the best one to go with.
After about a month and a half, we started noticing a "hum" on the handsets of the Uniden phone. We thought it was our wiring, but noticed that the "corded" phones did not have the hum. But by now, we were past the 30 days for the return/refund of the phone to Best Buy.
We decided to head over to Office Max and buy just a plain, ordinary "corded" telephone with an answering machine inside of it. We found an AT&T phone for $29. Inexpensive and simple. This one actually ended up being more complicated. I don't know how many times I read through the manual to try to figure out how to set-up the answering machine with my "outgoing message" and "contact numbers".

The phone was working great, taking messages and no hum. After 34 days, the phone started making a beeping sound. On the "screen" it kept saying there was a message, even though I could not find one anywhere and when I would unplug the phone, the screen kept saying "line in use" which I thought strange since it was not connected to the phone line. The beeping would go on for about five minutes and then stop, then start up again maybe 20 or 30 minutes later. We tried everything to get it to stop beeping, but nothing worked. We unplugged it from the power cord, moved it to other rooms in the house, but it kept beeping.
I checked my receipt from Office Max, but of course, we had it 34 days and they only take returns up to 30 days after the purchase.
So now we are back using the Uniden with the "hum" on the line. Wish I could find a phone like we had when I was a kid.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Sunshine At Last

What a beautiful day it is today after a week of non-stop torrent rain. It was 32 degrees when we got out of bed this morning. There was ice all over the lawn and on the roofs of all the houses. The sky was totally cloudless and very deep blue.
We went for a little drive so I could take some photographs.


Placerita Creek


Placerita Canyon


Zoom photo of Mt. Pinos


Panorama of Mt. Pinos and the Tehachapi Mountains

Friday, January 22, 2010

The Storms Continue

I went out for a walk in between down pours and shot a few pictures of the storm clouds.




Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Second Day Of Rain

The rain started falling again this morning and has not let up at all today. They just had a tornado or something go through Orange County, CA which is really something rare for SoCal. We had turned on the TV news and heard the warning and then they reported that a funnel had been spotted off the coast and was heading toward the land. There was a new reporter down at Seal Beach and she said the police were coming through with bull horns telling people to get off the beach. They were also telling people to take cover inside their homes.
They got a report that "something" had gone through a parking lot and flipped over some vehicles and blown down some trees. They have not verified that it was actually a tornado yet.
We are over 100 miles north of that area, so we were not under the warning, but we are still getting very heavy rain and wind.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Rain, Rain and More Rain

Well, I've been saying for a long time that SoCal has been needing some rain. We sure are getting it. So far we have gotten about 1.6" of rain in the last 18 hours or so. That's a lot for us. And they say that the storm passing through today is NOT the biggest one of the 3 or 4 that are coming through. They say Wednesday will be our biggest one.
Right now the rain has paused and the sky is lightening up some. I has been so dark and gray most of the day to where I've had to have the lights on inside to see anything.
They came over the television right in the middle of my watching "The Young & The Restless" and said that we were in the middle of a flash flood watch. During the height of the storm that was passing over at that time, I jumped in the car and drove about 1/2 mile down the street from our home to where the usually bone dry Santa Clara River runs through the Santa Clarita Valley. I took a short video and a couple of still photos of the river to send in to our local CBS weather man and thought I'd share them with you.





video

Sunday, January 17, 2010

My Birthday

Well today was my birthday. I turned 60 and it didn't even hurt (LOL). Didn't really do anything special. In fact, we went grocery shopping. After that we went out for a burger. We had gone out for prime rib last weekend because Ben had to work yesterday and our favorite steak house is not open on Sundays.
It started raining here about noon. They keep saying that we are going to have rain all week. We really need it.
Hope you all had a nice weekend.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Discovery Park

I have started a new blog that will include commentary and photographs of the birth of Discovery Park in Canyon Country, CA. They have talked about building this park for 15 years and they are now just getting around to it.
Hope you'll follow me in watching this park grow.
Here is the link to the site:

Discovery Park

Contemplating 60



Tomorrow (Jan. 17) I turn 60.
What does this mean?
It’s “just a number”, right?
But when I was 18, it would have meant that I’m OLD!
Now, it doesn’t really seem all that “old” except when I think that “if I’m lucky”, I only have about 25 to 30 more years of life. Maybe 40 years IF I’m “really” lucky. Hell, I worked at Lockheed almost THAT long. Over half my life ”wasted“ working at Lockheed. Oh well, it did give us the means to have a comfortable life, so I guess I don’t regret that. AND I met a lot of nice people who are still very good friends of mine, so I guess those years were not really wasted. Where did all those years go?
My hair is totally gray. I always had dark brown hair when I was young and I always wanted to know what it would be like to have a lighter color of hair. Well, now I know. It gets me discounts at fast food places, the zoo, and several other events. So I actually like it!
My mind still thinks “young”, but my body won’t let me do what I tell it to anymore. What’s with that?
I’ve seen a lot of history in my almost 60 years.
A president assassinated. Man walking on the moon. Television going from “black and white” to “color”. A war that America could not win (and maybe a second one). A president resign from office. Medical miracles like organ transplants and even artificial organs. The invention of the home computer. Being able to communicate with people all around the world in seconds instead of hours or days. Telephones that fit in your pocket and no longer have to be connected by a cord to the wall. Our homeland attacked. A woman running for president. And a black man actually becoming president! Now that’s something that NEVER would have happened in the 1950’s. But hopefully today, a person’s color doesn’t “offend” people like it did back then.
My grandmother (my mom’s mom) never even got to see 60. She died at age 57. I never got to meet her. She died exactly one month before I was born. She’s been gone for 60 years now.
When I grew up, moms didn’t work. They stayed home and took care of the kids and the house. THAT was their job. I don’t think I knew one kid back then whose parents were divorced.
Children respected and obeyed their parents, their teachers, the police and any other adult. I miss that.
I’m not really afraid of dying. I’m afraid of having cancer, or a heart attack, or a stroke, or Alzheimer’s. I’m afraid that it might hurt before I die, but I’m not afraid to die.
What I’m really afraid of is being alone. Ben and I never had children. That was our choice. I’m selfish in hoping that I die first so I won’t lose Ben and be alone. But, neither of us knows who will die first. That’s not up to us.
I try to be with my brothers as much as possible because none of us ever knows how long we’ll be here. Ron is 67 now and Keith is 54. My dad died at age 67. He was still very young when he died.
So what is 60?
60 is 10 more than 50.
60 is the natural number following 59 and preceding 61.
60 means that 60% of my life has passed, assuming I live to be 100.
Hell, I’ve survived this long and I’m still going strong (well sort of :D). I may as well broadcast it to the world.

I’M 60!

So here’s to ME and to however many more years God has for me on this earth.
Now my main question is….
How can I be turning sixty tomorrow when it seems like I was just 18 yesterday? Go figure.

Morning Sky

We have some big storms coming into SoCal from off the Pacific Ocean starting tomorrow and lasting through next week.
I went for my morning walk over at Central Park in Saugus, CA this morning and shot these photos of the sky.






Friday, January 15, 2010

Ben's Visit With The Eye Doctor

Well, we thought today they were going to work on Ben's left eye (the one with all the blood in it), but they worked on his right eye again. Doctor said he didn't get to finish the right eye last time because they can only shoot the laser at your eye for so long without cause damage to the eye, so hopefully he finished it up this time. He said that there is still blood in the way in Ben's left eye. He cannot see the area he needs to shoot the laser at. He said if it does not clear up enough on it's own, he will have to do regular eye surgery and then Ben will be off work for 2 weeks.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Not Much Going On Here

I have not blogged for a few days because there really has not been anything to blog about.
Today I finally finished cleaning the computer room (our small second bedroom). We've never used that room for a bedroom. We have a dresser in there, a roll-top desk and a huge computer desk for the laptop. Oh, and there is a small fridge in there where Ben keeps some beer. There's a TV and a stereo.
I started cleaning out the closet in there last week, then moved on to the drawers in the dresser. Didn't finish everything because I was going through ever piece of paper and shreading what was no longer needed. I finally finished cleaning out the desk drawers this morning. So now that room is done. It's time to move on to the hall closet.
I'd like to downsize the computer room. Get another laptop to replace the big desktop. Get a smaller desk and maybe a daybed to put in there.
Tomorrow I take Ben back to the Ophthalmologist for his second laser proceedure. This time it will be on the left eye.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Got A Lot Of Exercise Today

Last week, I bought one of those 36" mini-trampolines to exercise on. I can go for walks outside, but I cannot jog outside on the hard pavement. I thought the mini-trampoline would be good for indoor jogging since it is easier on the feet, ankles and knees. This morning was the first time I've used it. I did a 15 minute jog that equaled 1 mile. Sure got my hurt pumping and my pulse racing.
This afternoon, I went for a 1.2 mile walk outside in 25 minutes.
I was trying to make up for the weekend because I didn't do any exercising for 3 days. My bad.


Sunday, January 10, 2010

Lazy Sunday

Haven't done much today, but then, that's what Sundays are all about.
Did you all hear about the 6.5 earthquake near Eureka, CA? Actually it was much closer to our favorite place in California which is Ferndale, CA.
I've posted photos of Ferndale, CA and the surrounding areas of Humboldt County on my photoblog many times. We were just up there this past September for 7 days.
So far, it appears that most of the damage is minimal and no one was injured, so that is good.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Afternoon Drive

Most of the day has been slightly overcast here in SoCal today. They keep saying we are in for a weather change. Our temps have been in the mid-70's for about a week or so and now they say we have a slight chance of rain on Wednesday, however, they say we may only get about 1/4" which won't help our draught any.
Ben and I went for a late afternoon drive up into Soledad Canyon.




Friday, January 8, 2010

Tired From Yesterday

Yesterday I decided to start cleaning our closets and drawers...room by room. I have not done that since when I first retired four years ago. Back then, I had not done it in about 20 years, so this time, you would think there was not as much accumulation of junk, but it seems that there is still a lot of stuff to get rid of.
I started cleaning around 9:00 a.m. and didn't stop until about 3:00 p.m. and I'm still not done in that room. I didn't think I had so much to shread.
This morning, drove Ben over to the Kaiser Pharmacy to pick up his new blood pressure medication that he is supposed to start taking in addition to the B/P meds he is already taking. Also refilled his first medication because they changed the dosage for him. His two B/P prescriptions cost more than my three B/P prescriptions.
It's a little overcast here in SoCal today. We've had temps in the mid to high 70's for the past 3 or 4 days but it's cooling down a little and they say we "might" get showers the beginning of next week, but I won't hold my breath.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

WalMart and Hike

Went over to WalMart this morning to pick up a few things. Found a 36" mini-trampoline for exercising inside the house when the weather is bad and I cannot get out to walk or hike. It was on sale for $30 which is really good because I saw them over at Big 5 Sporting Goods for $59 the other day.
After lunch, I went over to Towsley Canyon and went for a 2-mile hike. It was a really nice day. Temps around 78 degrees.






Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Ben's Doctor Visit

Ben went to our regular doctor this morning to follow-up on his blood pressure and the medications the nurse practitioner prescribed to him. His B/P was still a little hight (185/83) so the doctor gave him an addition prescription to start taking along with what he is already taking. They also gave him an EKG and a PSA blood test.
He goes back to the Ophthalmologist on January 15th.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Walk....Don't Hike

Had planned on going for a hike over in Towsley Canyon this morning, but when I got ready to go, the sky looked a little questionable.
Now I don't mind walking in the rain, but I do NOT hike in the rain. I am NOT one of those hikers that you hear about on the news who takes off on a mountain trail when the weather may turn and they end up getting lost or falling down a cliff and the search and rescue team has to come and pull them out of the canyon with a helicopter.
I decided instead to just drive over to the lake at Bridgeport (one of my favorite walking paths) and just walk around there.




SoCal Sunrise - 01/04/2010

This is what we saw from our front door this morning.


Saturday, January 2, 2010

My First Hike Of 2010

Ben had to work today, although he ended up coming home early since they didn't have much work. I decided to head out for my first hike of 2010. Drove over to the Placerita Canyon Nature Center and headed up the Walker Ranch Trail.