Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Leap Day

There was ice on things this morning when we got up. It was about 29° at 5:30 am. Let Hiker go potty then went back to the warm bed. We got up for “real” around 7:15 am and at 8:45 am I headed over to the Kaiser lab to do the blood work to see if the Red Yeast Rice is helping my cholesterol. I should have the results by this evening. The I sent to Wal-Mart which is a block from the Kaiser building and got some groceries. Keith is coming tomorrow to stay for a few days, so needed to stock up a little. Came home and took Hiker for a walk. The fire department had some prisoners in the park working. They were raking and cleaning up. Discovery Park does not have lawn, just trees and bushes, so they doing some brush clearing. Came back home and made lunch and watched my soap. It was really a sunny morning but by 2:00 pm it started getting cloudy again. We have a chance of rain tonight. Decided to take Hiker out for another 20 minute walk. Felt very chilly outside. I cannot believe that it's going to be March already.

An Evening With Hiker

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Bad Memories But A Pretty Good Day

One year ago this date I rushed Ben to the ER at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital. He still was not feeling well since the colonoscopy and asked me to take his blood pressure. When I could not even get it to register because it was so low, I rushed him over to the ER where they told me that on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being close to death, he was a 9. They told me I had saved his life by bringing him to the closest ER instead of trying to take him over to Kaiser again which was 23 miles away. I had already taken him to the Kaiser ER twice the week before and they just kept sending him home even though he could not go to the bathroom, he could not eat and he was so bloated he looked like he was 9 months pregnant. Toxins had backed up into his system and he was very sick. They did emergency exploratory surgery on Ben that night and found his colon was twisted which was causing a blockage. The removed 12” of his colon and put him into an induced coma for several days so he could heal. Little did I know then that in 4 1/2 months, he would be dead. I was at the hospital every single day for those 4 1/2 months, except for a couple of days the first week when he was in the coma. I had gotten a bad virus and I didn't want to infect him. I had so many people telling me that I didn't need to go to see him every single day, but I am now so thankful that I did. Took Hiker out for a short 1 mile walk. It was about 34° while we were out this morning. Hiker wore her jacket and she didn't seem to mind it this time. Today was my grief support group. Had a very good session. After the group 5 of us ladies went to lunch at Cathy's Deli. The food was very good. When I got home, Hiker just about ate me alive because she was so happy to see me. I took her out for a 30 minute walk to calm her down. Tomorrow morning I am going to go over to Kaiser to have blood work done. Since I cannot tolerate statin drugs my doctor had told me to try taking OTC Red Yeast Rice to see if it will help lower my cholesterol numbers. I had emailed him to see if I could take another blood test to see if it is doing any good because if it's not, there is no need for me to spend the extra money on it. I had read online that due to government regulations, the manufacturers of Red Yeast Rice were told to remove the natural statins that were in the supplement. I assume the drug companies brought that about because they were losing out on money because people were using the Red Yeast Rice instead of manufactured statins that cost to much more.

Monday, February 27, 2012

It Was A Dark And Cloudy Day

Yesterday Linda had texted me about us taking a hike this morning. We had planned on going over to Pico Canyon. When Hiker woke me up around 5:30 to go potty, I looked outside and the sky looked very threatening. Dark and cloudy. I texted Linda and told her we'd better not risk the hike because I didn't want to be in the canyon and have it start pouring down rain on us. I turned on the morning news to get a weather report and they said there was a chance of rain, but more than that, there was a chance for snow at the 2000 foot level. The canyon we would be hiking is about that altitude. So Hiker and I went back to sleep for awhile. When we got up, I made breakfast and then took Hiker for a short 1 mile walk just to satisfy her. I felt so sorry for her this morning. Last night I had told her that Linda would come by in the morning and we would go for a hike. Hiker knows the words “Linda” and “Hike”. She knows that when Linda comes, we usually do go out for a hike. Last night Hiker's ears were up and she was so excited when I told her about going hiking. She saw me put my backpack out and she got even more excited. This morning, I put my backpack away and Hiker's ears drooped and she looked so sad. That's why I took her out for the short walk. She doesn't care how far we walk, just the fact that she gets out makes her happy. It was cold when we went out for the walk. I went up to Costco. I had not been there since about a month after Ben died. They have the best sheepherders bread and the best canned chili. Ben and I used to go there just to get these two things and that's why I went this morning. The chili is called Cattle Drive. It is sold exclusively at Costco and as my friend Rick says “it tastes like home made chili”. After lunch, Hiker was getting “antsy” because she was in the house most of the morning. I decided to take her out for another 1 mile walk. It was very dark and cloudy when we started out and very chilly. We got back home just in time because we no more than got to my driveway and it started hailing and hailed for about 45 minutes or so.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

OK, so Hiker normally wakes me up around 5:30 to 5:45 am to go outside to potty, then she comes back to bed and sleeps with me until around 6:15 to 6:30 am when she wakes me up again so I'll feed her. She usually starts crying, licking my ears and barking and won't stop until I get up and do what needs to be done. This morning, I woke up and noticed it was already light outside. Sat up and looked at the clock and it was almost 6:45 and Hiker was not in the room with me. I called her and she came running in and jumped up on the bed, so I got up and let her outside and then fed her. Either she did not try to wake me up this morning, which I find very strange, or she did try to wake me up and was not able to do so. But that would be strange too, because as I said, she usually licks my ears and barks and does not stop until she wakes me up. She also will “claw” at me with her front feet if I don't pay attention to her. I got dressed and had my breakfast, then I went to get my Lottery tickets and also went to Stater Brothers to get so soda pop that was on sale. Took Hiker out for a short 1 mile walk and then came home and put my sheets and towels into the washer, vacuumed Hiker's hair out of the carpet and also ran the dishwasher. After lunch I took Hiker over to Central Park and we walked around a little and sat on the grass and watched people for awhile. I noticed that every park I drove by that there was a lot of families in them. I'm assuming that with the economy, people go to places not far from home to save on gasoline and parks are always free. Sundays still get to me when it comes to missing Ben. Sundays just feel lonelier than other days. I think about Ben all of the time, but for some reason, on Sundays I seem to have more thoughts and memories about him.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

A Day For Doing Nothing

Hiker and I stayed in bed an extra hour this morning. Wasn't sleeping, we were watching TV. When we got up earlier for Hiker to go potty, there was a thick marine layer outside, but when we got up, the marine layer was gone and the sun was out. Put a small beef roast with some potatoes in the crock pot for dinner tonight and then did a load of laundry. Hiker and I have been eating pretty good this week. Last week when I went shopping, I bought a rotisserie chicken at Sam's Club, which we have been eating off of all week...dinners, sandwiches, etc. Last night I made a small meatloaf for dinner and now tonight the roast. Did not go out for any walks today because my feet were still a little bit sore, but they were a lot better than they were yesterday. I could barely walk on them last night. Watched TV, was on my computer and worked on my latest jigsaw puzzle. I took a fall today. I ate my lunch in front of the TV with my tray as usual. When I got up to take my tray into the kitchen, I tripped over the small ottoman next to the sofa and felt myself falling, so I just let it happen. I think when we stiffen up and try to catch ourselves we are more apt to break something. Luckily I have carpeting so my fall was cushioned. Hiker jumped off the sofa and started barking and going crazy then she slowly crawled over to me on her belly and the hair on her back was standing on end. Don't know what she was thinking. Anyway, now my back is hurting some because I must have twisted it when I fell. Actually, my entire body aches. Will have to soak in a hot tub tonight.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Sore Feet

Another night of not getting to sleep until after midnight. Got up at our normal time and made breakfast then I went out to pick up some things I needed at the store. Hiker was so excited because she thought she was going to go with me and I started out the door with her but then realized how hot it was outside already and brought her right back into the house and told her she had to stay home. She looked so sad and I felt so bad about it because she had been so happy to be going with me at first, but I didn't want to leave her in a hot car while I was in the store. By 9:00 am it was already 70° and windy. The Santa Ana Winds always blow hot winds and bring the temps up. When I got back from the store, I immediately took Hiker out for a short 1 mile walk because I had felt so bad about disappointing her. The blisters on the balls of my feet started to hurt me again, so we didn't stay out long. I had hoped they were not blisters, but they are. By 11:00 am, it was almost 80°. I cannot believe how beautiful the weather has been, but they say starting Sunday it will change and we will have the marine layer and possible drizzle. I noticed last night that all of my new TV channels had unscrambled already. That was not supposed to happen until February 29th, so now I supposedly have about 500 channels, but a lot of those are sports channels and/or duplicate channels, but I have a lot more than I did before. Sure hope the blisters on my feet heal quickly. I can hardly walk now. Hiker wants to go for her afternoon walk and I cannot take her. It was hard enough for me to walk up to the mailbox earlier. Hope the blisters heal over the weekend.

Video Of Hiker Getting Her Toys Out In The Morning

I had promised that I would post a video of Hiker getting her toys out one by one so here it is.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Got In A Hike Today

Went to bed early last night since I had not slept well the night before. Another beautiful morning when Hiker and I got out of bed. I decided to take her for a hike over in Towsley Canyon. We hiked up our favorite trail there which took us to The Narrows. It's about 3 miles there and back to the parking lot. I stopped to get gas on the way. Paid $4.02 per gallon at Sam's Club. I noticed that the other gas stations were charging $4.23 to $4.25 per gallon. I'm glad I'm not commuting anymore. By the time we got to Towsley Canyon, the temperature was already in the 70's. Got a little warm walking up into the canyon but when we got into The Narrows, it was nice and cool. There are always a lot of hikers in that canyon when I go there. Doesn't matter if it's a weekend or a week day, the parking lot is always full. On the way back to the car, the balls of my feet started to feel like I was getting blisters, which is strange because I was wearing my thick socks with my hiking boots. My feet were killing me by the time I got back to the 4Runner. When I got home and took off my boots and socks, it looked more like calluses instead of blisters. Hiker has a new thing she does now. I have one of those tin containers that you buy those big bags of flavored popcorn in. I have it next to the fireplace and I have been putting Hiker's toys in it when we put them away at night. Well now in the morning when she wants her toys, she will go sit by the container and bark. I take the lid off of it and lay the container on its side and Hiker puts her nose in the container and removes one toy at a time until she has them all over the living room. I'm going to try to get a video of her doing it so I can post it. It's so cute. It got up to 86° here today. They say it will start cooling down each day and next week be back to “normal”.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Felt Like Summer Today

It was one year ago this date (February 22nd) that Ben went to have the colonoscopy that eventually led to his death. I remember him making jokes the night before about going in the next day to have the procedure. Little did we know that it would be the beginning of the end. I wish that he had never gone in for that damn procedure. I saw a post on Facebook recently from a widow who said that her late husband's parents just told her that she is no longer a member of their family. It seems that there was a death in her late husband's family and she had told her in-laws that she would be happy to come to the funeral and help out with the food and whatever else they needed help with. She was told that her presence at the funeral was not necessary as she was no longer a member of their family. The reason they gave her was that she will “probably remarry someday”. I felt so bad for her. I know for a fact that Ben's brother and sister would never tell me that, no more than my brothers would have told Ben that if I had been the first to pass away. How uncaring can people be? Had trouble falling asleep last night. Finally got up around 12:30 am and took a sleeping aid. I think I had two things on my mind...the fact that it was February 22nd and also I'm worried about whether or not I'll have my Internet the end of April. Today I did it.....I finished cleaning out the garage by going through the stuff on the last of the storage shelf unit. Most of it was Ben's tools (circular saw, jig saw, power drill, soldering iron, small torch) and his tool boxes containing pliers, screw drivers, drill bits, etc. I didn't toss any of his things because who knows, some day I might need to use them. I'm pretty good with hand tools. Most of cleaning this shelving unit was tossing things that I didn't need or junk that had been put there because Ben thought maybe he might need it someday. He hated to toss anything he “might” need some day. It took me about 90 minutes to go through everything. For some reason, Ben had a bunch of chair casters. I must have found about 20 of them. I just put them in the recycle bin because I'm sure someone can do something with them. So now my next cleaning project will be the small bedroom which I refer to as my “office”. It will mostly be cleaning papers out of the drawers as I have already cleaned out the closet in that room. After lunch, Hiker and I went over and walked around the lake at Bridgeport-Valencia. Got up to 89° here today.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A Good Day At Group

Since today was Tuesday, I went to my grief support group this morning. Hiker was so upset when I was getting ready to leave that she had a little accident in the house. She just hates it when I leave her alone, even in the house. She wants me with her all the time. Had a really good group today. All of the regulars were there. Several of us had teary eyes today just because of the discussions. But it's OK to cry there because we all understand each other's pain. After group, DeDee and I went to lunch and another group member named Linda joined us. We went to Red Robin at the mall. The have a lot of interesting things decorating the restaurant. I happened to look up over our table and notice this huge ceiling fan. It had an aeronautical theme and I just had to take a photo of it. The blades had to be at least 6 ft. long or more. We left the restaurant around 1:45 pm and I headed home to Hiker who met me at the door and was so excited to see me. I had taken her for a short walk this morning, but I decided to take her for another short walk this afternoon. It was overcast when we went out, but still in the low 70's.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Stayed Busy Today

One of those sneaky grief attacks hit me last night. I have not had one in almost two weeks. I was thinking about when Ben was alive and I was still working. He and I would be making the bed on Sunday because I've always washed my sheets on Sundays. Anyway, we'd be making the bed in the afternoon on Sunday and I'd tell Ben how much I hated Sunday evenings because I knew I had to get up and go to work the next day and for the last 5 1/2 years at my job, I really hated going to work. I would start getting headaches and starting to feel depressed every Sunday afternoon. Well now I feel the same way on Sunday afternoons because I know that tomorrow, I have to start another week without Ben in my life. I realize that there is nothing I can do about that. I have to go on because that's what Ben would have wanted me to do and I have Hiker (my dog) to take care of now. But...sneaky old grief came up behind me and smacked me in the head (and heart) and made me cry for awhile. Went to Wal-Mart this morning and did my shopping. I tried to buy some things to try to make some “real” meals instead of just throwing something together at the last minute. When I got home I did a little housework and then took Hiker out for her morning walk. There were a lot of people out walking today because of the holiday and I ran into one of my neighbors along the way and she was not aware that as of April 30th we are supposed to lose our Time Warner Internet Service here in our community. She does her job on her home computer and she uses TW Internet so she now doesn't know what she is going to do since she works from home. Now I'm also wondering if we will be allowed to use AT&T Internet service since their U-Verse uses fiber-optic cables just like TW does and I'm wondering if the owner of our community is going to allow them to use his underground cable system. That is why TW is dropping us because he is not going to allow them to use his system anymore. The community has to do something because there are a lot of people in this community who work from home on their computers. After lunch, Hiker and I went up to Sam's Club so I could pick up a few ore things I needed. I still like to buy some things in bulk even though it's just me here now. I can get them cheaper in bulk and I have a big freezer in the garage. I can buy certain things like pot pies and chicken breasts and they last me a long time. Came back home and went for another short walk and then I messed around with some of my sprinklers in the backyard. Some of the heads needed changing. So I was pretty busy most of my day.

I let Hiker go out on the front lawn for a few minutes

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Pretty Much An Uneventful Sunday

Got up at 6:00 am to let Hiker out to go potty and it was totally cloudy, but when we got up at 7:30 am, the sun was out. Had waffles and sausage for breakfast then I vacuumed the carpet. There was not quite as much dog hair this time. Maybe Hiker's shedding is slowing down. After I finished vacuuming, took Hiker on a 2 mile walk. Baked some banana nut muffins this afternoon. Made the house smell really good. Took another 1.8 mile walk in the late afternoon. The sun could not make up its mind today. First it was cloudy, then the sun came out by mid-morning. Got cloudy again right around lunch time and then the sun came out again in the middle of the afternoon. I finally tried to make a dinner menu for this coming week. Got a few of the days decided. Now I just have to remember to get things out of the freezer to thaw. Ben and I used to do both lunch and dinner menus because he was still working 3 days a week and he wanted different sandwiches on his work days and then we would sometimes go out for lunch on his days off. Plus he was the one who would remember to get things out of the freezer, so I'm going to have to make sure I do it. Made a shopping list for tomorrow. I'll head over to Wal-Mart early to pick up my groceries and hopefully find some different things to eat.

While out on our morning walk, I saw these clouds and thought they looked like toes.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

It Was A WooHoo Kind Of Day

Was feeling a little lazy this morning. For some reason, I didn't get to sleep last night until around midnight. When Hiker and I finally dragged ourselves out of bed, we got out for a 1.5 mile walk. Along the way, Hiker met a couple of other dogs that the woman referred to as “fake Aussie dogs”. Her two dogs looked like Border Collies, but she said they were mutts, then she proceeded to tell Hiker what a pretty girl she was. Everyone does that when we meet people out on our walks. I'm afraid if they keep it up, Hiker's head will be too big to fit through the front door of my house (LOL). I have found lately that I am getting to where I just do not know what to make myself for meals anymore. I was this way when Ben first died because I did not have an appetite, but now it's different. I'm hungry, cut I just do not know what I want to eat. I open the refrigerator and just stand there and stare at what it holds, which really isn't very much. I think I'm just getting bored of all the same meals over and over. I wish I could get myself back into the habit Ben and I had of writing up a weekly meal menu every Sunday evening. It's just one of those things he and I did together than I cannot get myself to do alone. Took Hiker with me when I went to pick up my tax papers from my tax man. I was so worried that I was going to have to pay this year. My tax man had thought so because of some of my investments, but he spoke with my investment man and got some needed information and WOOHOO! I got a really nice refund from both the Feds and the State. That makes me feel good. Took Hiker over to Placerita Canyon this afternoon and we walked around there. Did about 1.5 miles. There were a lot of people, mostly families, there today. Lots of people on the trails.

Friday, February 17, 2012

New Cable Box

Got up 30 minutes earlier than normal today because Time Warner was sending a technician out to install my new cable box. Our community has a new contract with them and we are getting our cable boxes for free and we will get 500 channels for the same price we were paying for 100 channels. I'm really pleased with the arrangement, but I still may be losing my Time Warner Internet on April 30th. Our community and TW are still in negotiations for the Internet, however as of right now, they are miles apart on an agreement. Have also heard that the community is considering setting up their own WiFi encrypted network just for our community. That would be fine with me if they do, but I sure hope they get something done before April 30th because I do NOT want to be without my Internet! I guess if they don't come up with something, I will have to see about getting AT&T DSL installed or something. I am eligible to upgrade my cell phone the end of this month, so when my brother Keith comes to visit in early March, I am going to see about getting an iPhone and then I will at least of an Internet connection on my phone until I can get the home Internet straightened out, but I won't be online as much on my phone. Got up to almost 80° here today. Hiker and I did a short 1 mile walk this morning right after the cable tech was here and the we did a 1.5 mile walk after lunch.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Weather In SoCal Is Awesome

Stayed in bed about 30 minutes longer than normal this morning. It was too cold outside to go for a walk and I didn't really have any plans for today. Got up and made breakfast and then Hiker and I drove over to the liquor store and bought my Lottery ticket for the weekend and then we headed up to Stater Brothers market to buy some ice cream. I was almost out so though I'd better pick some up. I like to buy their store brand because you still get a full half gallon and it's cheaper than the name brands. After we got home, we went for a 2 mile walk. It was really pretty outside this morning but there was a cold wind blowing. Just sort of “vegged” most of the day. We did go out for a short afternoon walk, only about a mile. It was so beautiful outside today. I keep telling myself I need to get out into the garage and finish off going through the things in the last storage unit. I've done everything else out there. There are a lot of Ben's tools on the shelves of this unit. I'll probably keep most of them, but I think maybe deep down inside, I'm just not ready to go through that unit yet.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Expensive Day

Got up a little earlier than normal this morning. Wanted to make sure I got over to the Toyota dealer on time for my service appointment on the 4Runner. I waited in the lobby of the dealership for about an hour while they did the lube/oil/filter service and the 27 point checkup. Then my service adviser Julie came and told me that I needed some additional work done. She said my drive belts were cracking, I needed new spark plugs and I also needed to have the throttle body serviced. Had to look that one up on the Internet to see exactly what it was. Has to do with emissions and engine power. If it's not clean, it can bog down the power of the engine and cause it to stall out. Would not want that to happen on the freeway. I got both vehicles serviced (LOF) 6 months ago and I know it's been over a year since Ben had gotten major work done on either one, so I anticipated that it would need more than just the LOF service. Julie told me it would take another 2 or 3 hours, so she got me a ride home on their courtesy shuttle. The work cost a small fortune, but I would not want the 4Runner to crap out on me when I was out driving it on the freeway or something and about 90% of the costs were for the labor, but it is a lot cheaper than purchasing a new vehicle. Ben always trusted the dealership more to work on the vehicles than he did the local mechanics. He delivered parts to most of the locals and he told me he didn't think they knew anything about cars. He always said that the dealership mechanics were trained specifically for Toyotas, so I still go by the way he did things because I trusted him. I did notice when I drove the 4Runner back home that it seemed to have a lot more power than it did before. I had not realized the engine was getting so sluggish, but since they did this throttle body service, I could feel the difference.

The view inside of the Toyota dealer

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Another Day At Group

Went to my Grief Support Group today. My friend DeDee who usually meets me there didn't attend today so didn't go out to lunch after the group. That made Hike happy because I got home earlier than normal. Didn't have too many people at group today. There were only about 8 of us there (the regulars). I stopped by Wal-Mart on my way home from the Senior Center and picked up a take'n'bake pizza to fix for my lunch. Hiker was glad to see me when I walked in the door. She always acts like she's been a bad dog when I come home from somewhere. I still think someone punished her as a puppy by leaving her alone. I made my lunch and watched my soap (which I had recorded). This morning I had told Hiker that since I didn't take her for a morning walk, I promised that I'd take her out in the afternoon. We usually take our afternoon walk around 2:00 pm. Well about 2:02 pm, she decided it was time to go and started bugging the heck out of me. I know for a fact that she can tell time (LOL). It was another beautiful day out. About 65° and sunny. Today was Valentine's Day. Ben and I never celebrated Valentine's. We both felt that it was a day that retailers made up to make money. Ben and I didn't need a special day to let each other know how much we loved each other. We told each other that every day of the year. I have to get myself going early in the morning. Have to take my 4Runner over to the Toyota dealer to have it serviced. Hopefully it won't take long because I'm going to wait for it. Hiker will have to be alone again until I get home since I cannot take her with me.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Still Not Much Rain

Dark and cloudy when we (me and Hiker) got up this morning. I made breakfast and then cleaned the small bathroom. It started raining around 8:30 am but around 9:30 am the sun was out again. We just cannot get a good rain here this year. My friend Linda and I were supposed to meet Ben's friend Ed up at the Sunland Sizzler for lunch today but Linda texted me yesterday saying that she had the stomach flu or something. I contacted Ed and canceled lunch because I didn't really want to drive in the rain alone, plus even though I've known Ed for about 30 years, I just feel strange meeting him alone for lunch. Maybe that seems strange but that's just how I feel. I've been wanting to buy some corduroy jeans for awhile and I saw some on the JCPenney website. It said that they were “available in stores” but naturally when I checked, the are NOT available in the store nearest to me. I drove over to Wal-Mart to see if maybe they had them, but they don't even carry corduroy anymore. I remember years ago when I wore cords, you buy them almost anywhere. While at Wal-Mart, I purchased a candle warmer and a candle in a jar that smells like Mandarin Orange Zest. Took Hiker our for an EXTREMELY short walk. The sky looked very threatening plus for some reason today, I'm feeling tired and a little sad. Didn't feel like being out for long. Could just be the gloomy weather.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Keeping Busy On A Sunday

Got up to a sunny morning, but it is supposed to rain tomorrow into Tuesday. Made breakfast and then headed over to get my Lottery tickets and up to Sam's Club to fill the Corolla with gas. Was going to head for home, but decided to drive over to Bridgeport Park. I had Hiker with me, so thought it was a good time for a walk. We did two miles on the walk/bike path that goes along the riverbed and around behind the Lowe's Center. We did 2 miles then headed home. I didn't get to vacuum when I had that head cold so I needed to do it today because Hiker's hair is everywhere. I think I vacuumed up enough hair to cover a very large collie (LOL). I had washed my sheets before we left so I got them out of the dryer and made the bed. Sure takes me a lot longer to make that California King bed by myself than it did when Ben used to help me make it. Someday, I'll probably buy a smaller bed. Played ball in the backyard with Hiker after lunch and then we went for another 1 mile walk. A few clouds started to blow in around 2:00 pm. Watched a movie on The Hallmark Channel called “Straight From The Heart”. It was filmed in Wyoming and had some really beautiful scenery.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Taxes And Rain Clouds

Woke up to a dark, cloudy morning. They say it won't rain today but it “might” rain Monday and Tuesday. Fixed breakfast and put a load of laundry into the washer. Had a “sneak grief attack” this morning. I have not had one in quite awhile so was a little surprised when this one hit. They come without warning and just about anything can bring them on. I was in my bathroom brushing my teeth. I wasn't even thinking about Ben when all of a sudden I thought of that day again when Ben was lying in the hospital bed and I kissed his cheek, hugged him and whispered into his ear that I loved him and that he was my life. I felt his kiss on my cheek and once again heard him whisper “you're my life too” and suddenly, there I was, standing in my bathroom sobbing. Took Hiker for a 1.92 mile walk this morning. Could not take her for an afternoon walk because I had to go have my taxes done. Had to drive to La Canada which is about 25 miles one way to the home of my tax man. This was my first time there in over 30 years without Ben and I did not looking forward to going. Plus it may suck. I may have to end up paying this year because of some of my investments. Will have to wait and see. On the drive back home, I came around the curve from Interstate 5 onto State Route 14 and the sky in front of me was really black. Just as I got to my off ramp, the sky opened up and it poured the rest of the way home. When I walked into the house, Hiker was sitting on the sofa. That's where she was when I left so I don't know if she stayed in that same spot the entire time I was gone or what.

Friday, February 10, 2012

1 Walk - 1 Hike Day

Another beautiful day here this morning when we woke up. You would not know that it was winter here in SoCal. Made breakfast for me and Hiker (she gets a poached egg when I do) and then I headed over to the bank and stopped by Big Lots on my way home to pick up a flash drive for my photos. Then when I got home, Hiker and I went for a 2.47 mile walk. Took us about 45 minutes. It was almost 70° when we left just before 10:00 am. We walked down the normal route and then cut over and walked around the parameter of the Jr. High School. I think Hiker was pooped when we got home because she “collapsed” on the floor in front of the open front door and went to sleep. Got a notice from our community today stating that “someone” has been going up on the porches of the homes in our gated community and rattling the doors to see if they find any unlocked. I guess this is happening very early in the morning and people have been awakened by the noise. Last night around 8:00 pm Hiker was growling and barking at the front door and the hair on her neck was standing up. I went to check and saw nothing. That's why I hate to tell her to stop barking when she barks at neighbors or people walking by because I want her to guard her home and protect me. The notice also said that the community and Time Warner still have not come to an agreement about the Internet connections here. I sure hope TW doesn't drop us because I would rather not switch to a new Internet provider. I like having cable. It's faster than DSL and I hate to think that I might have to work with AT&T again to get an Internet connection. I contacted Verizon to see if their FiOS Internet was available in my area, but it's not. They told me they could offer me some promotions for AT&T U-Verse Internet which I thought was strange because I was talking with Verizon NOT AT&T. I took Hiker up to PetSmart this afternoon and she and I just wandered around the store looking at everything. We found a box in the back of the store with “clearance” dog toys in it. Hiker picked out two new toys. A little orange spotted snake and a little black and white whale. On the way home, she had her head in the plastic bag trying to get to them. Linda had texted me around lunchtime that she wanted to take an afternoon walk, so Hiker and I are going to pick her up around 3:30 pm and head over to Central Park for another walk. It got up to 80° again today. Hiker and I got back from our short hike with Linda just before 5:00 pm.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Nice Day - Nice Hike

Beautiful morning when Hiker and I went out for a 1.8 mile walk this morning. Wanted to get the walk done before I headed over to Sam's Club for some shopping. Why does everything cost so much at the grocery store? Now I need to go over to the bank and get some more cash. After lunch I took Hiker over to Central Park and we hiked up the trail behind the park to the big water tank. It was 85° and we hiked 1.64 miles. Not a long hike, but the views were nice. When we got home I opened the sliding doors and the front door and Hiker stretched out on the hardwood floor I the entry in front of the door. Guess she was pooped.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood

Had one happy doggie today. She got to ride with me to Wal-Mart while I did my shopping and when we got home, she found out there was a new doggie toy in the bags. But whoever made the toy obviously made it for a “foo foo dog” who doesn't play rough because within 5 minutes, she had its head torn off. It's a piece of rope with the head and tail of a raccoon at each end. They had the head (and tail) sewn on with just one little piece of thread. So I got out the heavy duty thread (twine) and sewed the head back on for her. They she proceeded to tear the tail off, so I had to fix it too. Anyway after we did the fix on “Rocky” we went for a 1.5 mile walk which really made Hiker happy. She was just prancing along while I was getting winded because I'm still not totally over this cold. After lunch Hiker and I went into the backyard to play ball. She ran in front of where I was throwing the ball and it hit her right in the face. She yipped a little but then ran after the ball. I felt bad for hitting her with the ball, but she seemed OK after. Beautiful day outside. Sunny, clear, 75° and breezy. Another wasted hiking day. Sure will be glad when I am totally rid of this cold so Hiker and I can get out on the mountain trails again. I'm sure she is looking forward to that also. Decided to go for a second walk today. Hiker and I walked around inside our gated community. Did another 1.1 mile. When we got home, she was tired and went to sleep on the sofa next to me. I think she had a good day (except for getting hit in the face with a tennis ball).

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Grief Group & Pizza Lunch

Keith left this morning around 9:30 am as I was leaving to head over to the Senior Center for my Grief Support Group. I left Hiker inside the house this time because I knew I would not be gone as long as we were yesterday. My friend DeDee met me at the group and after group, she and I met Linda over at the main building of the Center because she was there volunteering today and the three of us headed over to the pizza parlor for lunch. As usual, we had a great time. When I got home, Hiker did not come running to the door as usual, she kind of “crawled on her belly” up to me like she had been bad, but once I said “Hi” to her and started to hug her, she was happy again and started licking me. I checked around the house and she was a good girl again, so I don't know why she was acting like she had been bad. We were supposed to get a rain storm today and all we got was a little rain fall while I was driving over to the Center and that was it. The sun came out around 3:00 PM and no more storm. WE NEED MORE RAIN!

Monday, February 6, 2012

A Day Of Memories

Today my brother Keith and I went to the memorial service of our Aunt Wanda. It was at the Inglewood Park Cemetery in Inglewood, CA. Was a very nice turn-out. Keith sang and did a little spiritual service then my Cousin Lynda said a few words (she is Wanda's daughter), our Uncle Gus who is almost 93 said a few words about his sister-in-law and the Lynda's sister, my Cousin Carol said a few words. Some of Wanda's grandchildren and great-grandchildren also spoke. My Aunt was laid to rest next to her father and mother (my grandparents). After the service we all went to a Mexican Restaurant for lunch and the food was excellent. Was nice to see my family. I had put Hiker in the garage because I knew we were going to be gone a long time and I was afraid she'd have an accident in the house. We were gone for 6 hours and she was a very good girl. I let her out into the backyard immediately because she started peeing as was so excited to see me. She jumped all over me and kissed me for a long time.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Waiting For My Brother

Well last night I watched “Marley And Me” before I went to bed. Hiker had gone into the bedroom and was asleep on my bed and when the movie was over, I went straight into the bedroom and started hugging Hiker. Those of you who have seen that movie and have dogs know why I did that. Still had “crud” in my sinuses when I woke up this morning. I've been using that Neti Pot every day and it helps, but still takes awhile to get over this virus. It was another beautiful day here, in the low-70's. After lunch I decided to walk Hiker down to the park. Took it slow and didn't do our normal walk, but she was happy to get out. She got so excited that she was going to go that she peed in the entry. At least I have a wood floor in there. I think she just was overwhelmed by the fact that I was going to take her out. Got a call from Keith right after we got back that he will be here between 5:00 and 6:00 PM to spend the night. He and I are going to our Aunt's funeral tomorrow down in Inglewood then he will spend Monday night and head home Tuesday.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

I'm Getting Better Each Day

Felt better when I got up this morning. I've been using the Neti Pot daily and I think it is helping. Thank you Linda for bringing it to me. I decided to continue resting all weekend because I want to get totally well before I get back to walking Hiker, cleaning house etc. I would not want to have a relapse. After having watched a very good movie on Hallmark and having my lunch, I decided to go out to the patio and sit in Ben's easy chair (which Keith and I had moved out to the patio from the house in December). Brought my computer out and let Hiker run around the yard. She seems to stay outside longer if I'm outside with her and she needs to get out and play since we have not been able to go for our walks. Plus I need the fresh air. I've been in the house for 7 days and I'm sure the air inside gets very stale. While we were out there, I noticed an aggressive hummingbird hanging around the hook where I usually have the feeder. He was really making noise with his wings. So not only are my flowers blooming early, the hummers are coming back. So I filled the feeder and I'm hoping he will return.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Couch Potato

I was so tired last night when I went to bed that I fell to sleep as soon as my head hit the pillow. This cold really has me down. I was supposed to go have my taxes done today but decided to call and reschedule because I didn't feel like driving over to La Canada to my tax man's home. So now I won't have to go there until a week from tomorrow. I just hope I get better over the weekend because my brother Keith and I are supposed to go to our Aunt's memorial service on Monday. Although Keith emailed me today that his back has gone out on him so he may not be able to go anyway. Ever since I've had this head cold, I have totally lost track of time. I usually always run a load of laundry on Friday morning and I had totally forgotten about doing that until this afternoon. Oh well. It's not like I had anything else to do. Poor Hiker, I can tell she is so bored. She just lays around watching me. She just doesn't understand why we are not out walking and hiking. She will be so happy when I'm well enough again to take her out on the trails. With this crazy weather we've been having my flower garden is all confused. My glads and my daffodils are already blooming. I just noticed them this morning when I looked out the window. So It's been another day of just sitting on the sofa watching TV, stopping now and then to go put a puzzle piece into place on the jigsaw puzzle and checking my email and Facebook every once in awhile. At least I'm not out spreading my germs around (LOL).

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Happy Doggie

Seems like I start to feel better at night just before I go to bed but then when I wake up in the morning, I'm all stuffed up and feeling bad again. Everyone I talk to who has had this or has it now tells me that it takes weeks to get over it. Linda sent me a message this morning that she was going to go out and get me a Neti Pot and bring it over and show me how to use it. I researched YouTube and found videos there on how to use one. Linda came by around 11:30 am and brought the Neti Pot. After she left, I had lunch and then used the pot. It cleared my passages, but made my ears feel strange. I know that the sinuses and ears are all connected, so I know that's why I'm having that sensation. I was actually breathing through my nose again! It's weird how when you passages are really clear how you can actually feel the air flowing through them. I decided I really needed to get out of the stale air of the house and Hiker has been wanting to go for a walk so bad. I decided to take her out for a very short walk. She was so happy to be out walking with me. We didn't go very far and we walked slowly, but she was satisfied. It got up to 76° here today.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Sad Day

Was not as stuffed up this morning as I have been the last 3 mornings. Still don't feel all that well though. Have a slight headache, I'm coughing and I feel a little weak. I keep telling Hiker that I promise as soon as I get well, I will take her for a hike. She seems to understand because she stopped going for her leash which is hanging on the door. The first couple of days, she would go over and pull on her leash with her teeth and she stopped doing that now. I was running out of orange juice so I went over to the grocery story to pick some up and while I was there, I picked up a few other things I needed. I took Hiker with me. She seems happy as long as she's with me, so I try to take her with me when I can. She understands when we are going to go somewhere in the car because I tell her “we are going in the car” and she goes out the door and goes around to the passenger side of the car and waits for me to open the door for her. When I say “let's go to bed” she runs into the bedroom, jumps on the bed and curls up by Ben's pillow. We just hung out all day at home again...watching TV and working my jigsaw puzzle. Hiker kept bringing toys to me to toss around for her. Got a call from my Cousin Lynda this afternoon that her mom (my mom's last sibling) had just passed away. We knew it was coming as she was 88 years old and sick. She was down to 78 lbs.

In loving memory of my Aunt Wanda