Monday, December 31, 2012

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Got up at 6:15 am to get ready for our dog walk with Jean. It was 25° on my patio and everything was covered with frost. Would have loved to crawl back under the warm covers this morning. Met Jean at 7:20 am and we headed down to Discovery Park. We had to be very careful walking because there was ice in the street and we almost lost our footing a few times. My hands and my feet were numb from the cold. We came back to my house and let the dogs play in the yard for a little while. Just about froze sitting on the patio watching them. It warmed up to about 55° in the afternoon, so Hiker and I went out for another walk. We did almost 1.5 miles. We did what I refer to as a “Hiker led walk”. I hook her leash to a belt around my waist and just let her take me wherever she wants to go. She prefers walking on the dirt trails in the park because there are no bikes or skateboards on the dirt. I just let her lead me around while she sniffs everything and I look for photo ops. Tonight at midnight, another year fades away. Once again I have the sad feeling that I will be facing another new year without Ben. I thought that last year I felt this way because it was the first year change since Ben had died. I can't really explain the feeling. It's as if his existence slips farther and farther away from me each year. I don't know if the other people in my grief group have this feeling or not. I wonder if I will feel this way each New Year's Eve. Don't know if we will be awake at midnight. Will probably fall asleep around 10:00 or so.


Frost on the ground at 7:30 am

Beautiful day after frost melted

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Normal Sunday

It was 25° when Hiker went out the first time this morning. We jumped right back into the warm bed for awhile. Got up and had breakfast then we headed over to the Home Depot because I wanted to buy some more Duraflame Logs. I use them because it is easier to clean out the fireplace since they burn completely up. Regular wood does not burn all the way and you end up with chunks of unburned wood. At first I thought the store was all out of the Duraflame Logs. I asked if they had any and they told me the were up by the “self checkout”. They only had 3 boxes left. Came home and decided to take Hiker out for a short walk. It was on still only 41°, so we just walked about a mile around the streets of my community. I really need to lose some weight. I noticed that I get winded walking up the hills. I noticed that “The Majestic” was on TV so I started watching it. It was hard for me to do because the movie was filmed in Ferndale, CA, Ben's and my favorite vacation place and seeing the town brought back memories of Ben and I being there. The sun was out this morning when Hiker and I were walking but around 11:45 it started getting cloudy, dark and windy. The temperature dropped from 50° down to 42° and it started to rain. At 2:00 the sun came out again but it stayed cold.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Cold And Cloudy

Hiker seems to be better this morning. She went outside at 6 am and she still had a little bit of soft stool, but also had some solid. I'm guessing the Pepto-Bismol worked. She never did act sick...was hungry and was playing. Jean called around 8 am to see how Hiker was doing. It was cold again when we got out of bed this morning. It drizzled a little and then the sun peeked out then it got really cloudy again. Only got up to a high of 42° here today. Stayed inside and watched TV all day. Went online and ordered some cheese from the Loleta Cheese Factory. Still have a little bit left from my last order but I'll use that up tomorrow when I make mac & cheese. Tonight I'm going to have meatloaf. Love the leftovers for sandwiches.

Friday, December 28, 2012

A Cool But Sunny Day

Slept in until 8 am this morning because it was too cold to get out of bed. Went grocery shopping and was going to take Hiker for a walk when we got back, but I noticed that she had the “runs”. This is the first time she's had this problem since I got her. I think it was because of some chicken I gave her last night for dinner. I don't think it was fully cooked even though I had it in the oven for almost 30 minutes. It was a thick breast, so I don't think it cooked all the way through. I know I didn't finish mine for dinner last night because I was making me gag. Think I'll stick to cooking it in the crock pot because I slow cook it all day and that way I know for sure it is cooked through. I hope her belly is not hurting her. It was such a beautiful day, I took Hiker out for a walk this afternoon. I always attach her leash to a belt I wear around my waist so I don't have to hold onto her leash. This afternoon, I just let her walk wherever she wanted and sniff everything to her heart's content. She dragged me all over the river bed and the trails in the park. When we come to either the paved bike path or a dirt trail, Hiker always turns and looks at me to “ask” me which way we are going. I know she prefers the dirt trails because she knows there are no bicycles out there. I just told her to go where she wanted and she headed off for the dirt trail. It started clouding up around 3 pm. We are supposed to have rain this weekend.


Thursday, December 27, 2012

Beautiful Day In SoCal

It was 35° when Hiker and I got out of bed this morning. The sky was very clear and there was a light breeze blowing. I got dressed and headed over to Wal-Mart to buy myself some new jeans. All of the ones I have are getting really old and starting to get holes in the knees. I know that's the latest fad with the young people, but my knees were getting cold (LOL). Came home and saw that Ben's sister Donna had called me. I called her back and she said that they were going to be heading back home today so they would not be able to see me again until next month when they will be back over here from Las Vegas. After lunch, I decided to go out and work in the yard. I had bought 5 bags of wood chips when Keith was here to spread in my flower beds, so I decided to do that because we are supposed to get more rain this weekend and I wanted to get it done before more rain came. I needed to fill my hummingbird feeder. I got my clothes all dirty. Looked like I'd been playing in the mud (LOL).

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Finally A Sunny Day

Got up earlier this morning because I needed to go over to the main post office to mail something and to get some stamps and then headed over to Kaiser to pick-up my blood pressure medications. People must be out for the “after Christmas” sales because there was no line at either the post office or the pharmacy. It rained most of the night and it was harder than it has been. The sun came out this morning though. I had some dinner last night around 5 pm and decided to get into the shower and get my jammies on early to relax. While I was in the shower, Ben's sister called and said they wanted me to come over to her son's for dinner around 7 pm. I told her thanks, but no thanks due to the fact that I had already eaten and I was in my jammies with wet hair. Ben and I always ate dinner around 5 pm and we loved sitting around in our jammies watching TV. We were never “night” people and I still like to be home after dark. Jean had mentioned yesterday when we took the dogs for a walk that she was busy this Friday and would not be able to do our regular dog-walk, so she wanted to go out this afternoon and walk them, which we did. The sun was out and there were big white fluffy clouds. Really a beautiful afternoon.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Day

Didn't get out of bed until after 8 am this morning. I had what Pete, one of the widowers in our group calls a “meltdown”. I was not even thinking about Ben, but I just started sobbing. I was thinking that I really didn't need to get out of bed because all I had to do today was housework and walk Hiker. She kept whimpering and licking me. I was cleaning my master bathroom when Jean called and wanted to know if Hiker and I would like to do a dog walk, so when I finished the bathroom, we met her and walked and then let the dogs play in my backyard for about a hour. After lunch, I decided I'd wait about doing the rest of my housework, so I sat down and watch a “Rizzoli & Isles” marathon. Also called my older brother Ron. He said it was cold and rainy up in northern California. Was supposed to be clear today but was gloom almost all day. The sun came out for a few minutes. It only got up into the 50's today here.

Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas

Rain all night again. Keith left to head home around 9:15 am. He wanted to get started early because of the traffic. We knew there had been a sigalert on the 210 so he waited for it to clear up some before he left. It's just me and Hiker again so the house will be quiet and a little lonely after having Keith here with us. This is my second Christmas without Ben. Even though Ben and I never really did anything special for Christmas Day, it still hurts to be alone when I see families getting together to celebrate. As you know, we never had children. When our mom's were alive, we'd usually go to Ben's mom's house with my mom and we'd have Christmas with the mom's and Ben's brother and sister and their families. After the mom's died, we usually just stayed home on Christmas. We did have a few “traditions” even though it was always just the two of us. Just before Thanksgiving, I would get Ben to pose for our Christmas card photo. I always took the photo with the help of my tripod. He'd complain, but he'd always give in and let me take the photo. I'm so glad that I took several photos in November 2010 because those are some of the last photos I have of Ben and that is the way I always want to remember him, NOT the way he looked when he was in the hospital. The day after Thanksgiving, Ben and I would put Christmas lights on the outside of the house and the rest of the weekend, I would decorate the inside of the house putting up a tree, our Christmas stockings and garland. Ben would sit in his chair and “supervise”. He'd also sing Christmas carols. Not really knowing most of the words, he'd make up his own and make me laugh. Sometimes he'd grab a handful off tinsel or an ornament and hang it over his ears or put it in his hair. He was always so silly. If I was wrapping presents, he'd always grab a bow and apply it to his forehead. Ben's favorite Christmas movie was “It's A Wonderful Life” and our main tradition was to watch it together every Christmas Eve. It's hard for me to watch that movie now. However, Keith and I did watch it on Saturday night. I used to love to hear Christmas music, but it is so hard now to listen to some of the songs, especially “Blue Christmas” by Elvis. But....I think I have done very well so far.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Nice To Be With Family

Cloudy and foggy when we got up this morning. It rained softly most of the night and they say we are supposed to have more rain today. We went over to The Dollar Tree Store so Keith could pick up some Christmas paper to wrap a couple of things before he takes them home to his family. I used to have paper stored away, but after Ben died, I gave it all away. Went up to Sam's Club to put gasoline in the car and then came back home and took Hiker for a very short walk. We had planned on doing a longer one, but it started getting cloudier and looking like it might start to rain, so we headed back home. Ben's sister Donna called me from the road. She and her husband Rich were heading down from Vegas to be with their son and his family for Christmas. Their son lives not far from me. She wanted to say they were going to stop by my house on their way in and they wanted my brother Keith and I to go to lunch with them. When they got here, we went over to the Stonefire Grill. It sure was crowded there today. After lunch, they headed to their son's and Keith and I came back to my house. Good thing we took two cars. When we left the restaurant, it was starting to rain, but once we got back to my house, the sun was trying to peak out. It was very chilly outside though. Ben's sister will be here probably until Thursday, so hopefully I will be able to see her again before she leaves.

Ben's sister and her husband

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Hang Out At Home Saturday

Not as cold this morning when we got up. It was about 30° at 7:00 am. Had to wait for the gardener to come before we could head out to do anything because I need to let the gardener into my backyard through the garage. So we sat around while I did a load of laundry and we played with Hiker. After the gardener was here, we headed over to Der Wienerschnitzel for lunch and then stopped by the Goodwill store and Big Lots. It was getting pretty dark and gray so we decided to stay in and watch some TV. Not much on TV on the weekends anymore. Since Keith won't be here for Christmas, I am making us a “Christmas dinner” tonight. Having baked ham and my cheesy potatoes.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Enjoyable Day

Went out last night and checked out the Christmas lights in our neighborhood. Hiker went with us and my neighbor Jean came along too. When we got up at 6:30 am this morning, it was 24° on my patio thermometer. Jean came over at 8:00 am and me, Hiker, Keith and Jean headed out to Pearblossom, CA to go to The Devil's Punch Bowl. Took us about an hour to get there. It was so pretty with the snow on the mountains. It was still in the mid-30's while we hiked around on the loop trail. Hiked about 2 miles. We were being “dare-devil's” today since we were right on top of the San Adreas Fault on the day that the world was supposed to come to an end. LOL. Came back home and them me, Keith and Jean went to Jimmy Dean's for lunch. In the afternoon, Keith and I went out and sat on the patio for awhile. Amazingly the temperature was 70° in the afternoon. How can it go from 24° to 70° like that? Only in California. Played “keep away from Hiker” with one of her toys. She still kept getting it from us and making us chase her. Having pizza and salad for dinner tonight.









Thursday, December 20, 2012

Keith Is Visiting

Another very cold morning, plus the wind was blowing which made it feel even colder. Hiker and I went to buy my Lotto tickets for Saturday and then we went for a short walk down to the park. Came home and I did a little quick housework before Keith got here. He arrived just before noon. Hiker was so excited to see him. She was at the door barking and crying and jumping all over him. She loves her “Uncle Keith”. We went to have lunch at Subway and then hit a few stores because Keith needed to do some Christmas shopping. Guess no one is working this week because the stores were packed. Also stopped by Home Depot because I needed to pick up some things for the yard. Think we will head over to Denny's for dinner this evening and then around 7:00 pm, we are going to meet up with Jean and walk around the neighborhood and look at the Christmas lights. Hoping that tomorrow is not too cold or raining because I want to take Keith, Hiker and Jean up to The Devil's Punch Bowl in Pearblossom, CA. There may be snow up in that area. The Antelope Valley got down to 14° last night which broke some records.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

My New Yard Decor

It was really cold this morning when Hiker and I got up. We went for a dog walk with Jean and her three dogs plus a dog she is boarding for a few days. After the walk, Hiker and I headed over to Stater Brothers so I could pick up a few things I needed for when Keith is here. A couple of years ago, my brother Ron had given me a bird bath that he no longer wanted. I put it on my patio but because it sat in the direct sun, it started to rust away. I needed to put something in the spot where the bird bath was. I had received a $100 Amazon gift card for doing online surveys, so I looked on Amazon and found a 39” tall solar lighthouse. I ordered it on December 16th and it arrived on the evening of December 18th. I spent some time this morning setting it up in the backyard. Also had to do a little housework before Keith gets here tomorrow. It was cold here all day.


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Went To Group Today

It rained all night and into this morning. Stopped just as I left to go to my grief group. Even though it is a busy time of year for most people, most of the regulars were there. Our therapist was surprised to see so many of us there today. It was a sad day for her as she had to inform us that her beloved dog Mulligan had to be put down yesterday. He was an 11 year old Bearded Collie. We all knew that he was sick. She found out he had an enlarged heart a year ago and at that time, the vet didn't think he'd live more than a couple of days. Needless to say, I came home and gave Hiker a really BIG hug. Did not go to lunch today after group. There were only three of us who might have gone, but I needed to go to Sam's Club and Ruth had to babysit her grandchildren. Judy, our therapist might book a room for us at a local restaurant for a lunch between Christmas and New Years. The sun came out while we were in group and it looked like it was going to clear up, but around 2:00 pm, the clouds started to come back and it started to get very cold outside. I am really looking forward to Keith coming for a visit in the next few days.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Nice Lunch With Friends

Had trouble going to sleep last night. For some reason, I just tossed and turned. Finally took a sleep aid around 1:15 am and fell asleep. It rained again last night and when I got up to let Hiker outside, it was very cloudy and wet. Had a dog-walking date with Jean but called her around 6:30 am and we both agreed that it was too cloudy and too wet to take the dogs out. One of her dogs (Charlie) is a King Charles Spaniel and he gets really wet and muddy. I went back to bed and slept until 8:00. Hiker kept looking at me and then the door as if she was asking why we were not going on our walk with Jean. My good friends, Karren and Wally Meggitt came down from the Antelope Valley and the 3 of us went to lunch at Cathy's Deli in Newhall, CA. Was nice to see them. I only get to see them maybe 3 or 4 times a year. We used to get together more when Ben was alive and even went on a couple of vacations together. Hiker really likes Wally. She seems to take to men more. I guess it's because they want to play with her. Was very dark and cloudy here all day. Only got up to 55° which is “cold” for southern California.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

I Was A Couch Potato Today

Another cold and gray morning when Hiker and I got out of bed this morning. I don't know what is wrong with me, but I have not felt like doing anything for the past few days. I don't know if it's the holidays, the weather, or just that I am missing Ben. Keith will be coming to visit for a few days before Christmas. I am really looking forward to that. One of the ladies who is in my grief group is visiting her family in Utah. She called me yesterday evening to see how I'm doing. This is her first Christmas without her husband. I cried again this afternoon. Seems that I've been doing more of that lately and I'm sure it's because of the time of year. I was outside with Hiker. She wanted me to play with her. It was cold and cloudy outside and I started to remember another cold and cloudy Sunday in January 2011. It was January 2nd. Ben and I had gone over to the Home Depot to buy a bag of wood chips to put in a spot in the backyard that I had just cleaned up. It had been full of weeds. Anyway, we bought a bag of wood chips and brought it home and he helped me spread the chips around the area. That evening it snowed here. Funny how I can remember every detail. Seems like this Christmas holiday time is harder on me than last year was. I'm guessing it's because last year I was still numb. Watched a very good movie on TV that I had never seen before. I had heard of it, but never saw it. It was called “A Time To Kill” and it had so many stars in it.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Another Lazy Day

Had a nice time at the community Christmas party last night. There were about 200 people there. I met some nice people who live in the community. The food was good and there was Christmas music. The did a raffle for the kids and a raffle for the adults and gave out many prizes. They also gave out prizes for the 3 best decorated homes in the community and my neighbor Jean won 3rd place. One of our gate guards who lives in the community (Marty) played Santa and all of the kids got to sit on his lap. Several adults did too (LOL). We were there for about 2 hours. When we left around 9:00 pm, it was cold and raining outside. We had walk home around 2 blocks, but it wasn't too bad. Hiker was so happy when I came through the door. I had left the lights and the TV on for her while I was gone. When we got up this morning, it was about 38°. We had breakfast and then headed out for a morning walk. The sun was out but it was still very cold. Cannot believe that as of today, Ben has been gone for 18 months. Where has the time gone? But it still feels like it was not that long ago. I still feel him here with me. Hiker was having a fit awhile ago. She saw a kitty on "her" fence in the side yard. I don't know how she relates to cats one-on-one. I was very sunny most of the day but stayed cool outside. Around 2:30 pm it started getting very cloudy again. Got an email from my brother Ron in Paradise, CA. He said it was starting to snow there.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Very Cold For SoCal

It was very cold when I got up at 6:15 am to let Hiker outside this morning. It was 32° and there was ice on all of the houses. Went for a dog walk with Jean. Had to bundle up to stay warm. We “SoCal Gals” are not used to cold weather (LOL). We only got up to 48°. I was born and raised in Southern California and I have seen snow and cold weather now and then, but I know our “cold” weather is nothing compared to what many of you have. Tonight is the community Christmas party at our club house. I'm a little nervous about °going since I will only know a couple of people there. I've never left Hiker home alone at night, so I hope she will be OK. Guess there was a pretty good sized earthquake off the coast from us last night, but I didn't feel a thing. So sad about the school shooting in Connecticut this morning. Why are there people in this world who do things like that? Always seems like terrible things happen close to Christmas. Was cloudy and gray most of the day so Hiker and I stayed inside where it was warm.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Another Gray Cloudy Day

It rained all night. I had to use earplugs because it was keeping me awake. Got up around 6:00 am to let Hiker outside and it was very dark and cloudy. Went back to bed and got up around 8:00 am. By then the sun was breaking through the clouds. Took Hiker with me to get my Lotto ticket for Saturday and then took her for a walk inside our gated community. It was too muddy to take her to the park. I burned another log in the fire today. It was pretty cold for southern California. Don't know if it's because of the time of year or the weather, but I just feel like I don't want to do anything but sit on the sofa and watch TV. The sun kept peaking out off and on all day.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Dreary Day

Got up, had breakfast and then put Hiker in the car to go over to Wal-Mart. Had to get there before it got crowded. Came home and put my purchases away then we headed over to the bank because I needed to cash a few checks. When we got back, started out for a walk within our gated community. It started to rain while we were out. I had my umbrella with me and I pushed the button to open it and it scared Hiker and she “screamed”. She does that when something frightens her which all the more makes me believe that someone was mean to her when she was a puppy. Came back home and decided to settle down on the sofa and watch TV. Perfect day for it with this kind of weather. Hiker and I had a nice fire in the fireplace and just relaxed all day as it stayed dark and cloudy and a bit chilly. Didn't get much rain, but they are saying we might get some tomorrow and that the snow level will drop to about 3000 feet.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Good Day At Group

I cried this morning. It was a “major” cry, not the little minor ones I have now and then. I was outside “cleaning up after Hiker” and I heard some sirens. For some reason, my memory flashed back to the two ambulance rides I had to the ER at Henry Mayo when right after Ben's first colon surgery. He was still unconscious when I was in the ER those two times and after he woke up, I never told him about those two trips I took. I figured I would tell him later when he came home. He didn't need to know about them right then. Anyway, as I said, my memory flashed back and I started to think about how Ben always worried about me. How he would call me from work if he had not heard from me for awhile to make sure I was OK. How he would insist I call him if I was going anywhere and to call him when I got back home. Next thing I knew, I was sobbing. I'm sure that these feelings have a lot to do with it being Christmas time. I have not cried like that for several months. Moving on...I'm beginning to think that Hiker may associate my leaving her for 5 or 6 hours when I go to my group on Tuesdays with my gathering up the trash. Why do I think that you ask? Well, before I go to my group, I always gather all of the trash in the house and put it out in the big trash bin so that when I come home from my group in the afternoon, I can put the bins out by the curb for pickup. Lately, Hiker has been “attacking” me and the trash bags I am taking out to the bins. She tries to grab the trash bags and I'm always afraid she's going to get hold of one and tear it to shreds and the trash will be all over the house. I'm now thinking that she associates the trash with my leaving her and maybe she thinks if she “kills” the trash, I won't leave her. Maybe I'm wrong, but it's a thought. Group was good today. Had a full-house again. Shed some tears but also laughed. Went to lunch with DeDee, Linda, Jane and Ruth and we always enjoy our conversations. Probably because we all understand each other. When I got home, I got kisses from Hiker. She “helped” me put the trash bins out and she went up to get the mail with me, then I took her down to the park. There was a man there that came up to ask me what kind of dog she was and he told me how pretty she was (which I already know LOL). Came home and relaxed. Pretty good day after all.

Monday, December 10, 2012

I Hate It When Things Quit Working

I don't know what was wrong with me the second half of yesterday, but I could not stay awake. As I mentioned in yesterday's email blog, after I took Hiker out for an afternoon walk, I came home and fell asleep on the sofa, which is strange for me because I have never been a napper. I slept for about an hour and even after I woke up, I was still feeling very sleepy. I dozed off and on for awhile until I finally got up and fed Hiker and made my dinner. After dinner, I went in and took a shower to try to wake up, but it did not help. I finally went to be just before 8:00 pm and feel right to sleep. I remember having very strange dreams all night, but don't remember what they were about. Got up and went for a dog walk with Jean this morning. It was pretty chilly outside at 7:30 in the morning. I went up to Sam's Club this morning to pick up some things and when I got home, I was using my Food Saver Sealer to package some things I wanted to freeze and my sealer started acting up and I was afraid it was going to stop working. Ben and I bought it several years ago. It was the second one we had and I have noticed that they only last about 7 or 8 years. Anyway, I had a 20% off coupon for Bed, Bath & Beyond so I went up there and bought a new sealer. I saved $30 with the coupon. Ben and I used to say that those Food Saver Sealers were the best things we ever bought. I use it all the time. I guess Facebook was down this after. I could not get on it on my computers, my iPad or my iPhone.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Busy Sunday

I was very busy this morning. After we got up I vacuumed out my Corolla and washed it. Hiker gets so much hair in it because that's usually the car I use if she is going somewhere with me. After I finished, I washed my sheets and towels and vacuumed the carpet. I went to bed early last night because my joints were bothering me. I really think I am getting arthritis. Hiker woke me up a little later than she normally does. After lunch I was just heading out the door to take Hiker for an afternoon walk when I heard the house phone ringing. It was my friend Karren calling to plan a day for her and her husband Wally to come and go to lunch with me before Christmas. We made a date for December 17th. After the call, I took Hiker down to Discovery Park where we walked around the dry riverbed. While there, Hiker got scared from a kid riding by on a skateboard and she peed from fear. She has not done that for a long time. Was a beautiful day outside. When we got back home, I sat down on the sofa and turned the TV on, only to fall asleep. Woke up about an hour later.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Baking Day

Took Hiker out for a 1.6 mile walk this morning. It was crystal clear outside. The mountains looked beautiful, but it was a little chilly. When we got back home, I put a load of laundry into the washer and then I started making fudge. I made a batch of Hershey Milk Chocolate with walnuts and a batch of Reese’s peanut butter with extra peanuts. Then I made some peanut butter cookies and some sugar cookies. The peanut butter cookies didn't come out as good as the sugar cookies, so I'm not going to share them with my grief group. They taste good, but just don't look right. I've decided that next year, if I make anything, it will just be fudge because it just takes too long to make the other stuff and it makes a big mess.


Friday, December 7, 2012

Lunch Out With The Girls

Was chilly out this morning when Jean and I did the every-Friday-dog-walk. After the walk and a little time for the dogs to play in my yard, Jean left and I got ready to head up to Palmdale for a lunch with a few of my retired girlfriends. Several of them could not go this time because of illness or other family things, but that's OK. Only 4 of us were there, but it was still nice. On the way up, I got stuck in traffic on the freeway because there was a bad accident just before the off-ramp I needed. One care overturned and the other car...the rear bummer was crushed all the way into the car to right behind the driver's seat. Don't know if anyone was hurt because I got there when they were putting the vehicles on the flatbed tow trucks. When I headed home, I had to take the “scenic” drive through Palmdale because the on-ramp I use was closed. Then when I finally got back on the freeway, there was a funeral procession on the freeway, so I just got off and took Sierra Highway the rest of the way home. Hiker was happy when I got home.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Relaxing Day

Got up, had breakfast and then went grocery shopping. When I got home, I took Hiker out for a morning walk. The sun was so bright. Was pretty much “do nothing” day after that. Thought I'd relax today because I've been busy most of the week and tomorrow I'm meeting my Lockheed retired girlfriends for lunch. I'm thinking this weekend I am going to do some baking of Christmas cookies and make some fudge so I can take it to my group on Tuesday. I took Hiker for a short late afternoon walk and it was starting to get windy. They are saying we are supposed to have a very windy weekend. I also noticed that there are leaves all over my front yard and I don't even have a tree in my front yard. Go figure.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Lunch With Ben's Best Buddy

Was cold when we got up this morning...43° outside. We sent for a walk with Jean and her dogs, then sat on my patio while the dogs played in the yard. Jean keeps asking me to go to our community Christmas Party with her on December 14th. I'm thinking about it. Ben and I never attended and last year I didn't feel like doing anything since it had only been 6 months since Ben had passed away, but I'm thinking about maybe going this year. They serve dinner, have a Santa for the kids in the neighborhood, have raffles, etc. My friend Ed, who was Ben's best buddy, is coming over today and we are going to go out for pizza. Ben and Ed worked together years ago and were friends for over 35 years. He really misses Ben and he keeps in touch with me and we get together now and then for lunch. I was going to invite Jean to go with us, but she had to go to a memorial service today. What's so good about Ed keeping in touch with me is that we have learned at our grief support group that we are now living a “different” life than we shared with our spouses. We now have friends who never knew our mates and so we cannot share the old life we had with our new friends, but with friends like Ed, a person who REALLY knew Ben, we can sit and talk about Ben for hours and share stories about him and that is good for the healing process. After Ed left, Hiker and I went down to the park for awhile. It actually got up to 81° here today.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Good Group Today

Was very foggy when I let Hiker outside this morning, but by the time we got up, the fog was only over the mountains and in the canyons. The sun came out but it was still chilly. Today is my friend DeDee's birthday, so I treated her to lunch after the grief group. We went to Red Robin or burgers and one of the guys in the group (Jim) actually came with us. This is the first time one of the men has joined us for lunch. We always invite them, but we always figured the felt a little “funny” going with the women, but Jim seemed fine with us. He lucked out too. Red Robin was offering (today only) a free Jim Beam Burger to anyone named Jim or who lived on “James Street”. Our therapist was 30 minutes late for group today because she got stuck in bumper to bumper traffic. We had a new person today. A very nice woman named Edith whose husband of 60 years passed away 5 1/2 months ago. When I got home, I took Hiker for a short walk down to the park. It was getting a little cloudy outside again, but they keep saying the clouds will be totally gone soon.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Today's Post

Slept in again this morning. When I let Hiker outside to potty it was dark and cloudy, but not raining. When we did get up, the sun was actually peeking out some. We went for a walk and it was mostly cloudy but once we got home, the sun came out and stayed out all day. Didn't do much most of the day, but the rest of my week will be busy. Tuesday is grief group, Wednesday, Ben's buddy Ed is coming up from Pomona to go to lunch with me. Thursday I will do my grocery shopping and Friday I'm meeting with my Lockheed retired girlfriends for lunch in Palmdale. We went for an afternoon walk. Looks like it's finally going to clear up.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Drizzled Most Of The Day Again

When I got up at 6:15 am to let Hiker out to potty, it was extremely dark and cloudy. I sure can tell that we are close to the shortest day of the year because it is so dark in the morning and then it gets dark really early in the evening. Since it was so gloomy out, I  decided Hiker and I were going to sleep in. She was OK with that for awhile, but around 8:15 am she decided it was time to get up and she let me know it. I always feel like I've wasted half my day when I get out of bed late. Last night I was watching the History2 Channel and they are doing a “Countdown to Apocalypse” thing heading into December 21st...the day the world is supposedly going to end per the Mayans. It actually scared me a little because so much of the stuff the Mayans predicted is happening right now, including this thing about the “fiscal cliff”. But I try to ignore it all because there is no use in worrying because if something is going to happen, we can't stop it. I think my biggest fears would be a nuclear war or the earth being hit by an asteroid or Yellowstone Park exploding. But if any of these things were to happen in our lifetime, we'd most likely be killed instantly. OK...enough doom. When Hiker and I finally dragged ourselves out of bed, I made breakfast and then took Hiker with me to buy my Lotto tickets. When we got home, I decided to take Hiker out for a walk before it started to rain. I was going to just walk her around inside our gated community and we no more than got out the door and we ran into Jean and her three dogs. She had gone to her mailbox. We decided to do a dog-walk since we can't do one Monday because Jean has an appointment Monday morning. Just before we finished our walk, it started to drizzle and has been drizzling off and on all day. After the walk, I put the laundry in the machine and then vacuumed the house. Finally sat down to watch the “Murder She Wrote” marathon on Hallmark Movie Channel. I wish they would show “Hart To Hart” on one of the cable channels. The sun came out in the late afternoon, but it was still chilly because the wind was blowing. I decided to light the fireplace again to get the chill off the living room. Hiker was lying in front of the fireplace enjoying it.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Another Cloudy Day

Hiker and I slept in again this morning. We didn't have any plans for today so we figured it wouldn't hurt. Still cloudy and gray here. Hiker has been “playing” with her pillow bed all day. She somehow gets it upended and she pushes it all around the living room. Silly dog. Did not take Hiker out for a morning walk because everything was so wet, plus I was waiting for the gardener to come and mow. I needed to be home if and when he did so I could pay him for the month and to let him into the backyard through the garage. He used to go through the side gate but before Ben died we had gravel and stepping stones put on that side of the house so he cannot get his mower through there anymore. I have to let him go through the garage. I don't know what the heck happened today, but I got an upgrade for iTunes on my laptop where I sync my iPhone and iPad and when I plugged my iPhone in to sync it, I lost a bunch of apps and a bunch of contacts so now I have to go back and add them. Took Hiker down to the park just before lunch. Very cloudy outside.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Hiker's "New" Bed

Rained all night again. It's not a heavy rain. Just a constant drizzle, but that's good because it waters my yard without flooding. When Hiker and I got up this morning it was not drizzling but everything was still wet. Jean called me around 7am to see if I still wanted to take the dogs for a walk. Hiker really wanted to go, so I said yes, but we decided not to take them to the park because it's very muddy down there. Instead we walked them around inside of our gated community and it gave us a chance to look at people's Christmas decorations. We did not have the dogs normal play time because my backyard was very wet. I had to go up to Sam's Club this morning. Took Hiker with me. She slept in the car while I was in the store. I had to buy some “big” items so it was a little pricey this time. I've been thinking about buying Hiker a dog bed to put in front of the fireplace so she could lay there and keep warm during the winter. I checked out several dog beds at several stores...Wal-Mart, Sam's Club, Bed Bath & Beyond, PetSmart, but just could not find one I liked for her. Then suddenly I heard Ben's voice in my ear. Several years ago, Ben's sister Donna had made a huge “body pillow” for Ben. I had it on the shelf up over the bedroom closet and had pretty much forgotten it was there. Ben was always very “frugal”. I heard his voice telling me “you don't have to buy a bed for Hiker...you can use that big pillow Donna made”. Well DUH! I got the pillow down from the shelf and put it in front of the fireplace and guess who decided to take a nap on it? The sun came out this afternoon, but it's still a little cool outside and we are supposed to get more rain this weekend.


Thursday, November 29, 2012

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious

It rained most of the night. A soft quiet rain. Hiker and I slept in until 8am. Did not go for a morning walk because we were waiting for the chimney sweep guy to come and check out my fireplace. Ben and I stopped using it about 2 years before he died and I didn't use it after he died, but now I've decided I wanted to start using it again and I wanted to make sure it was in good working condition. The two guys who came were really nice. They were probably in their mid-30s and the owner, Paul, has had the business for 16 years. Since Ben and I had never had the chimney cleaned, I had them do it. They told me that 1/8” of soot in the chimney can start a chimney fire. They suggested I have it checked every 3 years to see if it needs to be cleaned. The told me that some states have laws that you have to have your chimneys cleaned every 3 years. Anyway, they answered all of my questions and it only took them about 15 minutes to clean the chimney. A huge pile of soot came out of it, so I'm glad I had them clean it. Now I have to decide what I want to burn in the fireplace. Ben and I always used Duraflame logs, but these guys told me that they actually do not burn cleanly as they claim because they are held together with chemicals and waxes and that hard oak and hard ash are the best. I also asked about those creosote cleaning logs that Ben and I used to burn. They said they help a little bit, but that they are really not worth the money. They checked that my chimney was not leaning or loose and that my chimney cap and spark arrestor were in good condition and that there were no cracks in my firebox. I was really happy with these guys. They also gave me a 10% senior discount. I will definitely use them again. Took Hiker for an afternoon walk because I think she was getting cabin fever. I had closed her off in the bedroom while they guys were here.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Dark And Cloudy All Day

I do not know how Hiker can tell time, but she always wakes me up each morning at exactly 6:15 am. It was cold, dark and cloudy when we got up this morning. I wanted to get over to Wal-Mart early to pick up a few things. I hate going to Wal-Mart around Christmas because they seem to be busy every day, all day long. I took Hiker to Wal-Mart with me because she can stay in the car this time of year. I lucked out at the check-out because they only had 2 registers open and I was in a line and the person in front of me had a lot of stuff in his basket, but they opened another register and I was next, so I got to go first. When we got home I took Hiker for a walk. Felt a couple of drops of rain but it stayed dry while we were out. Today is trash pickup day and as usual, Hiker was having a fit when the trash truck was “stealing” her property. She barks and runs around in circles and comes to me like she's telling me about it. Decided to make a Frito/Chili/Cheese Casserole for dinner. Ben used to call it “Frito Pie”. Seemed like perfect weather for it. Around 1:30 pm I went up to the mailbox and noticed it was getting a little windy and a few raindrops were starting to fall.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Small Grief Group Today

When Hiker and I got out of bed this morning, there were a few thin clouds in the sky but as the morning passed, it began to get more cloudy and darker outside. They are saying we have a chance of rain by Thursday. Since it is Tuesday, that means it “Group Day”. I noticed that Christmas falls on a Tuesday this year, so that means counting today, we only have four group sessions left this year. I need to get my cookies baked and my fudge made so I can take it to share with the group. Group was “small” today. I guess a lot of people were still visiting relatives after Thanksgiving. After group, me, DeDee, Jane and Linda went to lunch at Cathy's Deli. When I got home, I took Hiker down to the park for a short walk and then settled down to watch TV for awhile. The sun was out when we went walking but by 3:00 pm, it was starting to get cloudy again.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Last Monday Of November

Stayed up and watched that “Liz & Dick” movie on Lifetime last night. Was not impressed with it. It was not made very well and it was all “mish mash”. Went for our morning dog walk with Jean. While I was out, the chimney sweep guy called, so I called him back and he is coming out on Thursday to check out my fireplace and chimney. Then I called the guy who sold us our Puronics whole house water filter. It's time for them to come and do a carbon flush. He promised the first one free, so I want to get it done. Mopped my kitchen floor and then went outside and trimmed back so rose bushes. I took my hummer feeder down because I had not seen any hummers for awhile and wouldn't you know, right after that I saw a hummer out on the patio looking for the feeder. I cleaned it up, refilled it and put it back out. We get hummers all year round her in SoCal. Put away the few Fall/Thanksgiving decorations I had on the porch. Put out a Christmas decorative flag but that's all I am going to do for this year. Maybe someday I will feel like celebrating the holidays again, but not this year. My brother Keith called me. He is so thrilled to be working some again, even if it is just “consultant” work for the company that laid him off a year ago. He is hoping that it will lead to them hiring him full time again. It's good to hear the happiness in his voice again when he talks about working. Took Hiker down to Discovery Park this afternoon. Nice day. They had said we would only get up to 67° today, but it got up to 75° and it was breezy. We were heading back home when three snowy egrets took off and flew really low over the park. Hiker saw them and she stopped, sat down and just watched them soar across the sky. When the were out of sight, she got up and headed for home. I noticed that all of the graffiti I reported yesterday had been cleaned up this afternoon. It was still there this morning when Jean and I went for our walk, but now it's gone. Good work SCV Graffiti Clean-up Team!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Stayed Busy Today

I must have really been sleeping last night. I do remember I woke up around 11:30 pm thinking I heard sirens. I had been dreaming and I heard the sirens in the background and in my dream I remember going to the window to look outside. I woke up to find my TV still on and “CSI: Miami” was on and there were sirens on the TV show. I was in a deep sleep and dreaming again when Hiker woke me up at 6:15 am to go outside. The details of that dream are sketchy. Got up at 8:00 am and had breakfast, then put Hiker in the car and went to get my Lotto tickets and headed over to the post office to mail my car insurance. I like to mail envelopes that contain checks in the lobby of the main post office. I feel it will get processed faster there. When we got back home, took Hiker out for a 2 mile walk. The walk ended up taking longer than normal because I was busy taking photos of graffiti and submitting them to the city's graffiti clean-up website on my cell phone. I took 8 photos and still don't know if I captured every spot. After lunch I took a few items over to the Goodwill Collection Station. Another very warm day here for being so close to December.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Too Hot For November 24th

I was sore when I woke up this morning from helping Jean put up her decorations. I took Hiker for a short walk around our gated community this morning and it “limbered” my muscles up some. When we got home, Hiker was laying out on the patio and I had the patio doors open. Would you believe that after a couple of months of nothing, that crazy guy in the blue and white helicopter buzzed Canyon View Estates again? He flew over extremely low twice. I should have grabbed my camera and taken a photo showing his call letters on the chopper so I could turn it into the sheriff. I cannot believe that no one else has turned him in. Did a load of laundry and settled down to watch The Hallmark Channel for awhile. Hiker kept trying to get me outside to play with her and her stuffed toy. I play for awhile, but she wears me out, LOL. Went down to the park this afternoon. Didn't stay long because it was too hot outside. We got up to 89° here today and it's almost December.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Helping Jean With Her Decorations

Got up this morning and headed out with Jean and her dogs for our “every Friday dog walk”. When she went home, had breakfast and then I headed up to Stater Brothers to do my weekly grocery shopping. I held off until today because I knew that everyone would be out shopping for “Black Friday” and not at the grocery store. I was right. I pulled into the parking lot and it was almost empty. I parked in the first slot right outside the door and there was hardly anyone in the store. I did my shopping, went up to checkout and there wasn't anyone in line. After I got home and put the groceries away, Hiker and I went over to Jean's and I helped her put up all of her outdoor Christmas decorations. I figured I'd help her since I am not planning on putting up any decorations at my house again this year. I just still am not in the state of mind to do that. Spent 2 ½ hours at her house helping. Another neighbor named Sharon was there helping too. I will probably be sore tomorrow from the stretching and stooping, plus I kept hitting my hand with the hammer I was using to put the stakes in the ground for the decorations. Got so busy I skipped lunch. Sure was warm today. Got up to 85° by 2:00 pm.

Here are photos of the decorations we put out in her yard.










Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

What am I thankful for today? I am thankful that I have Hiker. She gives me a reason to get up in the morning. I am thankful for my brothers. I am lucky to have them. Several of my friends no longer have their siblings. I am thankful that my brother Keith got a call from his ex-employer to have him do some consultant work for them. He's been out of work for over a year. Hopefully they will eventually hire him back full time. I am thankful for my nieces and nephews, my own and the ones I have in Ben's family. I am thankful for Ben's brother and sister. They are still my family. There are several people in my grief support group who's in-laws no longer consider them part of their family since their spouse has died. I am grateful for my grief support group. They have made me stronger. I am thankful for my friends...old and new, including my online friends. I am thankful that I have food to eat and a roof over my head. Hiker and I slept in a little this morning. Got up put my turkey roast into my crock pot and had breakfast and then went to buy my Lotto ticket. Came back home, cleaned my master bathroom and then took Hiker for a walk. It was warm and breezy outside. When we got back home, Hiker wanted me to go out to the backyard and play with her, which I did for awhile. She wears me out (LOL). Been trying to decide if I want to start using my fireplace again this winter. If I do, I really should have it inspected since I have not used it since a couple of winters before Ben died. Went for a second short walk just before 2:00 pm. Such a beautiful day outside. Will probably have dinner around 4:00 pm.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Hiker...My Protector

Well now I know that Hiker will protect me if anyone ever tries to attack me. Hiker and I went for a hike in Towsley Canyon with Jean this morning. We hiked up to the Narrows and we stopped to rest just off the trail on the rocks along the dry creek bed. We were off on a small side trail that isn't really even a trail. The main trail was across the creek bed from us. Well while we were sitting there, some guy who was jogging through the canyon decided he was going to take the side trail where we were sitting instead of staying on the main trail. This was a bad decision on his part because there is not much of a trail where we were sitting and so there was not much room for him to pass. He would have been better off staying on the main trail. So here he comes running toward us. Hiker had been sitting on the rocks with me and she stood up and started growling at this guy because he is running right at us like he's about to attack us or something. Most people with common sense would stop and turn back if they heard a dog growling at them, but not this guy. I'm sure Hiker thought he was going to harm us in some way. Her growling should have been enough warning for him to stop and go back to the main trail, but he kept jogging toward us. Jean told him to wait a second and she would get up out of his way because there was not that much room for him to go by us where we were sitting. But he did not say anything or even slow down. I was trying to pull Hiker up close to me so I could hold onto her. Just as he got next to me, Hiker grabbed on to his pant leg. He had on sweat pants so she got a mouthful of cloth. She was on her leash and I was still pulling her back. The guy started flailing around which made Hiker even more mad and I guess she did nip his leg a little, but she didn't really bite him. Jean thought the guy was going to fall into the rocks. He kicked at Hiker, which was not a good idea because he was making matters worse, and he started cussing me out and telling me I should not take a vicious dog out in public. Hiker is NOT vicious! She has never reacted to anyone like that in the 13 months I have had her. She has always been friendly with people she meets along the trail and even lets them pet her. Jean and I agreed that she only “attacked” this guy because she thought he was going to hurt us, plus the way he was running at us and then started kicking, any dog would have reacted the way Hiker did. I had always wondered how she would react if someone tried to hurt me and now I know. I was a little nervous however that he was going to report the incident at the ranger station, but we didn't see him again when we headed back down the trail. We met a family on the trail who had a “domesticated Dingo” named Dixie. She was a very pretty dog. They told us that their neighbor had two dogs just like Hiker and that they just had a litter of puppies and that the guy was going to give them away free to good homes. Jean kept trying to talk me into getting one to be Hiker's playmate, but I don't want or need another dog.

Beautiful in Towsley Canyon


Hiker looking up at Jean while we were in the canyon

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

She Talked And Talked

Went to my Grief Support Group today. You all remember me telling you about Edwin and how obnoxious he was and how he never stopped talking. Well today we had a new person, a woman, who could out-talk even Edwin. She was not obnoxious like he is, but the minute our therapist asked her if she wanted to talk or just listen, she started talking and we all thought she was never going to stop. She doesn't just tell you the basics, she started telling us her entire life. Her husband was a retired Sheriff’s detective and she told us about his family, all of their doctors, all of the deputies at the Sheriff station, all of the trips she and her husband took, etc. Our therapist would finally cut in and start to talk about something else, but then one of our male members who was sitting next to this woman would ask her a question and off she'd go again. When some of us went to lunch after group, we decided she must be a very lonely person and has no one to talk to, so when she got the opportunity, she was going to take it. I felt sorry for her but I didn't think it was right that she was hogging all of the conversation. Our session room was “standing room only” today. As our therapist says “it's a good thing that these people are coming because they need help, but it's bad because it means they had to lose someone the loved to be there”. When I got home, I took Hiker down to the park for a few minutes. It was a pretty day.

Monday, November 19, 2012

I CAN'T HEAR YOUUUUUU!

Hiker and I got up this morning and headed out for our dog walk with Jean. There were a few clouds then, but it became bright and sunny. I've been having a problem with my left ear since yesterday morning. I've noticed that I've had some “ringing” in my ear and the sound I'm picking up in that ear is a little “tinny”. I'm hoping that I'm not starting to have a hearing loss in that ear. I tried flushing my ear with peroxide and water, and it helped a little, but the sound in the left ear still is not a clear as in my right. I'm trying some suggestions I found online to loosen up the wax. Took the 4Runner up to Sam's Club to fill my tank. Hiker went with me. She sure loves to ride in the car. We also went for a short walk this afternoon. It was just too beautiful outside to stay inside the house. We went down to Discovery Park and walked around in the dry riverbed. The main riverbed may be dry but I've heard that the creeks in the hills along the trails that Hiker and I hike have a little water in them due to the few days of light rain we had.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

A TV Kind Of Sunday

I remember a few months back, I was having trouble sleeping. I'd go to bed around 10:00 pm but could not go to sleep, then when I finally did go to sleep, I'd wake up several times during the night and then around 6:00 am I'd get up because I could not go back to sleep. Well that has changed. I now get in bed around 9:00 pm. I will turn on the TV but most of the time by 10:00 pm, I have fallen asleep and I stay asleep until Hiker wakes me up to go potty around 6:30 am. But now the problem is I go back to bed when she comes back inside and we fall back to sleep and don't get up until 8:00 am. On the days I have my dog walks with Jean, I have to set my alarm to get up earlier. Everything was wet this morning, so Hiker and I did not go right out for a walk. Instead I had breakfast, we went to get my Lotto ticket, I came home and put my linens into the washing machine, then we went for a walk. The sun was out during our walk, but then it was mostly cloudy all afternoon. I watched “Vegas” On Demand because I always fall asleep on Tuesdays before it comes on.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Rainy Outside/Dizzy In My Head

Woke up at 6:30 am and let Hiker outside. It was dark and cloudy but not raining. Went back to bed and woke up around 8:15 and now it was raining. No walks for me and Hiker today. I was feeling pretty good this morning but then I went to put my clothes in the washing machine and I got a little dizzy. Decided to lie down on the sofa and I fell asleep. Woke up about an hour later and still felt a little light headed. Finally got off the sofa and made my lunch and after lunch, I felt much better. Hiker had “cabin fever” because we didn't get out for our walks. She would go outside to go potty now and then, but would come right back in because it was raining. Both of my brothers called me today. Ron called “just to talk” because it was gloomy out and he was bored. Keith called because he was working on a friends computer because it's not working and he was having trouble with it. I just sat on the sofa most of the day watching “NCIS” reruns.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Hiker's Grooming Day

Heard it raining some last night. Hiker woke me up at 6:15 am to go potty. It was not raining at that time. We got out of bed this morning because we had a dog walk with Jean plus Hiker had an appointment to get groomed after the dog play date. It was very cloudy while we were out walking, but it did not rain. I stayed at Jean's house while she groomed Hiker. It was funny, when Jean went to put Hiker in the tub, Hiker grabbed onto my leg with her front paws and it was like a little kid going to kindergarten for the first time and wrapping it's arms around mommy's leg because they didn't want her to leave. That's how Hiker had a hold on me and she was trying to “clamp” on with her claws. Finally got her to let go and Jean finally got her into the tub. Once she is in the tub, she is good and lets Jean wash her. So now Hiker is all clean and her hair is all soft a fluffy. She smells good too because Jean sprayed her with something that smells like mixed berries. I went over to our new 99¢ Only Store. It was jammed. It's only been open for a week. I just walked through quickly and then headed home. Took Hiker for a short afternoon walk. It was still very cloudy. The sun did come out for a few minutes right after lunch. Notice that one of my neighbors had put up all of his outside Christmas decorations already. A little too early if you ask me.

All clean an pretty (she smells good too)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Cloudy All Day...But I Like It

I am getting so lazy! On the days that I don't have anything planned, I let Hiker out to potty around 6:15 am and then she and I go back to bed until about 8:00 am. The bed just feels so good that the two of us just fall back to sleep. Took Hiker with me to buy my Lotto ticket this morning. She just loves riding in the car. After we got home, we went for a walk inside our gated community. Then I had to do a little housework. I hate housework. I hear some of my girlfriends talk about their “cleaning lady” and sometimes I am so jealous. Just got back from taking a second walk with Hiker. I'm so glad that we finally got cool weather so she and I can once again do both a morning and an afternoon walk. It is still cloudy outside.

Morning walk

Afternoon walk

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Walk In The Morning/Hike In The Afternoon

Hiker and I had to go over to the bank this morning so I could cash some checks I received for doing online surveys. I have gotten kind of paranoid about going to the bank because we have had so many bank robberies here in Santa Clarita lately. My bank branch has a bullet proof screen protecting the tellers, but if someone comes in with a gun, the customers are not protected. When we got back home, I took Hiker out for her morning walk. Had high, thin clouds and it was in the low 60's when we were out. Jean (my neighbor) had wanted to go for a hike this morning but she had a doctor's appointment, but she called me from Kaiser in Panorama City when she was done and asked if we could still do a hike this afternoon. She got here around 12:30 and we headed over to Towsley Canyon and hiked the front of the 5.1 mile loop trail. We only did 2.5 miles. There is a bench on the trail about 1.25 miles in so we hiked to there and then back. Hiker sure loves getting out on the trails again. We were surprised to see several people out on the trail in the afternoon. Most people go out in the morning.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Hiker Has A New Game

Today was my “group” day so did not take Hiker for a morning walk, but she is doing a “new” thing now. She keeps one of her stuffed toys out on the patio. Well has started going out and getting it and she comes to the patio door with it in her mouth and sits there and stares at me because she wants me to come out and play with her. She wants me to chase her all around the yard, which totally wears me out (LOL). I played with her for awhile and then made her come into the house so I could leave to go over to the senior center. She didn't like that because it meant she'd have to be alone for 5 hours. We only had one new person at group today and she was not there for the grief portion, she was there for the “moral support” portion, but she didn't arrive until the second half which is the grief portion. After group, me, DeDee, Carol, Gin and Jane went over to Dario's Mexican Restaurant. It is only a few blocks from the senior center. When I got home, Hiker greeted me at the door with kisses and then I took her down to the park for awhile. When we got home, she again went outside and got her stuffed toy and wanted me to come out and play. I did for a little while, but I had some other things that I needed to do, so she sat at the door with the toy in her mouth again staring at me. When I was driving home after lunch, I was sitting at a stop light and I saw two little tiny dogs running down the street with no collars and no humans. I didn't see where they came from and they disappeared into some bushes and I couldn't see them anymore. It just tears at my heart when I see dogs running loose because I know how I would feel if Hiker was out lost and all alone. Last night I didn't eat dinner because I was so full from lunch and I feel the same today...no dinner again.

Monday, November 12, 2012

I'm Enjoying This Weather

Was warmer when I got up this morning. 44° is still chilly for us here in California though. After breakfast had to fix one of my sprinklers. I noticed that when they came on this morning, the water pressure was very low, so I started to check them and found that one of the sprinkler heads was missing and I had a small “geyser” in the yard. I had to dig and replace the head and then the sprinklers worked just fine. Then I headed up to Sam's Club for a few things and to get gas in the car. Came home and took Hiker for a walk. It was pretty windy and in the 60's when we were out. I ate too much for lunch and felt too full to go for a second walk with Hiker. Don't think I'll eat dinner tonight. Anyway, we just went out into the backyard and played for awhile. She kept wanting me to chase her around the yard and try to take her toy away from her but she's way too fast for me. It actually got up to 70° this afternoon. I decided to sit outside on the patio with my iPad for awhile and I was actually feeling too warm in the sun.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Cold Must Bring Out The Crazies

Was 33° this morning, so Hiker and I once again cuddled under the covers until the heater warmed the house up. Went for a morning walk. By the time we left it was about 45° but the wind was blowing so it felt colder, but I am not complaining after that long HOT summer we had. Washed my sheets and towels and vacuumed the carpet, then headed over to the post office to mail my homeowner's and earthquake insurance. Must have been “idiot on the road” day. First there was a woman trying to park in front of my neighbor's house. The person behind her just kept honking their horn at her for no reason. I encountered two people who flatly refused to turn right on a red light when no one was coming, even though it is legal in California unless posted. Had a guy riding my bumper and he could not have been more than 2 feet off my bumper. Another moron turned left when he was not in the left turn lane. But the best one of all was an idiot on a bicycle. Our city has great bike paths all over the valley. They are there because it is not safe to ride in the heavy traffic on the main roads. This guy was riding his bike down Soledad Canyon Road in the middle of traffic, making people swerve around him and almost colliding with on another. The bike path was right next to him, but there he was being a traffic hazard. Took Hiker over to Canyon Country Park and walked around. Was too pretty of a day to stay inside.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Chilly Day

It was only 35° this morning when Hiker went outside to potty at 6:00 am. There was frost on all of the rooftops. I turned on the heater and Hiker and I went back to bed until 8:00. Went for a short (less than a mile) morning walk. It was still a little chilly out. Ben and I used to cover our outdoor water pipes with plastic and duct tape when we would have a cold winter because one of the first winters we lived here, our pipes froze, so we decided to always cover the pipes when the cold weather would come. I went out before lunch and put new plastic over them and new tape. Last year I had a very mild summer and winter, but since the summer was so hot this year, I am expecting to have a cold and possibly wet winter this year. Don't know if it was the cooler weather or what, but I felt “lazy” all day today. Mostly stayed on the sofa watching TV. Watched one of my favorite movies “Coal Miner's Daughter” on Encore.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Not A Bad Friday

Felt much better when I woke up this morning and I slept pretty good last night. I did not keep waking up all night like I normally do. Hiker and I had a dog walk date with Jean. It was cold and cloudy while we were out walking and when we were sitting on my patio so the dogs could play for awhile. After Jean left, Hiker and I headed over to Wal-Mart because I had to pick up a few things. I try to avoid Wal-Mart the closer it gets to the holidays. They are saying that we may get more rain later today and that the snow level may drop down to about 3000 feet. I am at about 1600 feet, but we have had a little bit of snow here now and then. Around 1:45 pm, I took Hiker out for an afternoon walk and it was beautiful outside. Blue sky with big white fluffy clouds.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Dark, Cloudy Day

Woke up not feeling well this morning. Not really sick, just not feeling “normal”. I fell asleep on the sofa last night watching “Criminal Minds” so went to be and fell right back to sleep. I wish I could make myself lose weight the way I made Hiker lose weight. When I took her to the Vet on Oct. 5th, they weighed her in at 45.7 lbs. I weighed her on my digital scale on Oct. 15 and she weighted n at 47.6 lbs. I cut back on her dog food, stopped giving her bites of my food when I eat my meals and I've been walking her more. I just weighed her on my scale again and it shows she now weighs 38.2 lbs. That's 9.4 lbs in 3½ weeks. The Vet had wanted her to lose 8 to 10 lbs...well she did. I've noticed that ever since we changed the time last Sunday and I adjusted my grandfather clock that the chimes are not working correctly. It is not ringing the correct time. I know it takes a little while for it to catch up with itself when you first change it, but it has never taken more than about 2 hours. Guess I'll have to try to find a clock repair place here in town that specializes in grandfather clocks. Stayed inside all day. It was cool and cloudy outside and we had some light drizzle. I was on the sofa all day watching TV.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Boy Did I Get A Good Deal

I was sleepy this morning because I stayed up late last night watching the returns and listening to the speeches. I received another one of those free $10 gift card from Kohl's in the mail the other day. I headed up there this morning and would you believe I got a pair of Gloria Vanderbilt jeans for the grand total of 53 cents? The regular price on them was $34.99 but I found them on the clearance rack for $10.49 and. I used the my gift card and only had to pay the balance and the tax. The cashier said he wished he could find a pair of pants for 53 cents. On the way back home, I stopped at Stater Brothers to do my grocery shopping. All I heard was people complaining about the election. Now I am a Democrat and I did vote for Obama, but I live in a prominently Republican city. Everyone was saying that they don't know why we bother voting when our individual votes (the popular vote) don't count, that the election is determined by the electoral vote. Yes, the popular vote was close, but obviously those people did check it carefully because Obama did get more of the popular vote than Romney, so they got their wish. Back in the 2000 presidential election, Al Gore actually got more of the popular vote than George Bush, but Bush went to the White House because he won the electoral vote. Hiker and I went out for a morning walk when I got home from shopping. It was about 74° out there and I was sweating. Started feeling sleepy again around 2:30 pm. Don't know if Hiker and I will get out for a second walk today or not.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Crowded Room

Hiker was not happy this morning. She seems to know when it is Tuesday and that I am going to leave her for about 5 hours. I left a little early for my group today because I know they have a polling place there and I thought maybe the parking lot would be full. DeDee got there early too for the same reason, but we found an almost empty parking lot. Our group just seems to be growing more and more. By the time our therapist got there this morning, we had standing room only. During our session, we opened the back door of the trailer where our meeting room is because it was getting stuffy in our room. DeDee noticed an animal going up the hill with something in its mouth. She asked me if it was a fox. I don't know if we have foxes around here or not, but when I looked, I recognized it as a young coyote and it seemed to have a small rodent in its mouth. I'm just glad it didn't get curious and come in through our back door (LOL). After group, five of us ladies went over to Red Robin for lunch. Hiker was all kisses and hugs when I got home. I walked her down to the park for a little while. It was a little cooler her today, but still go up into the high 80's.

Hiker getting some sun

Monday, November 5, 2012

What Happened To Fall?

Did our regular Monday dog walk/play date with Jean and her three dogs this morning. It was already getting warm and I was sorry that I had put on sweats for our walk. Went to Sam's Club and picked up a few things. When I got back home around 10:30 am it was already 85° outside. I played “hide and seek” with Hiker today, then kind of thought it was mean. She was in the front bedroom and I hid in my bedroom closet at the other end of the house and called her. She was running back and forth from one end of the house to the other for about 5 minutes. Then I heard her barking at the door that goes out to the garage. Guess she thought I went out there, so I let her find me and she was acting so excited to see me. That's when I decided it was mean to hide from her. Got up to 93° which was exactly what they said it would be today when I watched the weather on the morning news.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Feel Like Summer Again

Hiker is mixed up because of the time change. She woke me up at 5:00 am wanting me to feed her and to go outside. I made her wait until 6:00 am before she ate. I need to get her used to the new time. She originally got mixed up last year when we changed time. When I first got her, I was feeding her and letting her outside at 7:00 am, but then we changed the time last November. 7:00 am became 6:00 am and I should have made her wait back then, but I was still in a lot of grief and didn't care about much of anything. So now I'm going to try to get her used to going eating and going out later. Took her out on a morning walk and then we got in the car and went to buy my Lotto tickets. My brother Ron called me today. His son Matt is getting Ron a new cell phone on his account with T-Mobil so Ron can have data and texting on his phone. Ron saw all of us on our smart phones when we were up there visiting and it made him want a smart phone. Took Hiker down to the park for about 20 minutes this afternoon. It was pretty hot outside. Got up to 90° on my patio.

Hiker finally looks like she is losing some weight. The vet said she needed to lose 8-10 lbs.