Monday, April 30, 2012

Those Darn Ticks

When Hiker and I got up this morning there was a thick marine layer outside. We went for a short 1 mile walk because I needed t get home and clean my house. After our walk, I made us both a poached egg. After breakfast, I was playing with Hiker and I noticed a small lump behind her left ear. I had seen her scratching that area a lot lately so I suspected she had a tick. Every time I felt the small lump, it had moved a little, so now I was sure it was a tick. I was finally able to pull it out and so far I have not felt any other small lumps on her. Last week when I was at Wal-Mart I picked up some Hartz Ultragard flea, tick and mosquito drops and I had applied it to her coat the same day I bought it, so it was about a week ago I did that. Hopefully the tick I pulled out was the only one to escape the Hartz Ultragard. That's the trouble with having a dog who loves to go hiking and play in the yard. I worry that the ticks may transfer to me since Hiker sleeps with me. So what do the rest of you who have dogs do to prevent ticks? Decided to bake a cake today. Every now and then I get a craving for something sweet, so I figured I'd make a quarter sheet cake, cut it up into individual servings and then freeze them. That way I can pull one out and defrost it whenever I want some. Finally got up to 80° today. Took Hiker out for another short walk as it felt pretty hot out there around 1:15 pm when we went out.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Boy Was I Busy This Morning

Another beautiful morning here in SoCal. Got up around 7:30 am and took Hiker for a 1.5 mile walk then came back home, put my sheets and towels into the washer and made waffles and sausage for breakfast. After putting the sheets and towels into the dryer, I headed over to the liquor store to buy my Lotto tickets, but the Lotto machine was down so they told me to come back later. Came home and decided to wash both of my vehicles. That took me about an hour. Headed back down to the liquor store and got my Lotto tickets then came back home, put the sheets back on the bed and folded the towels then tried to figure out what to have for lunch. I was going to clean house, but decided to wait until Monday to do that so I'll have something to do tomorrow. Finally decided to have a toasted ham and cheese sandwich and a green salad for lunch then went out and sat on my patio with my laptop. Don't know why but Hiker didn't want to come outside with me. She was acting funny when I tried to get her to come out. I finally came back inside because it was starting to get too warm outside. My air conditioner came on right around 2:15 pm. My old brother Ron called me this afternoon and we talked for about 45 minutes. He said it was in the 80's up in northern California today too. Finally got Hiker out for a short walk this afternoon. It was warm but there was a nice breeze blowing so it wasn't really that bad. Hiker got to see the 2 ducks in the ditch again down by the park. That's the first time they have been there in about a month or two. It is a mallard and his mate.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

A Warm Saturday

Beautiful morning in SoCal today. Took Hiker out for a 1.5 mile walk before breakfast and then ran a load of laundry. Paid a few bills and then just hung out on the couch for awhile. Decided it was too nice outside to stay in, so took Hiker over to the South Fork walking/biking trail for a walk. We did just about 2 mile there. The thermometer on my patio when we left said 80° but my car thermometer said it was 91° so I don't know which was correct. At least we had a lot of trees and shade along the trail. On the drive over there, I saw two deputy sheriffs doing their patrol on Segways. I've heard of law enforcement using them at events where there are a lot of people, but I had never seen them just using them on the streets on their normal beat. Trying to figure out what to fix for dinner tonight. I'm getting in that old rut again where I'm getting tired of the “same old thing” and not knowing what I want to eat.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Paper Flowers

Hiker and I stayed in bed late this morning. I just did not feel like getting up and doing anything. For some reason, I could not stop my tears from flowing today. I was not really sobbing or crying, but my eyes were just “weepy”. Seems like ever since my brother Keith left after his last visit with me that I feel really sad and alone. Finally got out of bed and made breakfast. I could tell that Hiker sensed that I was feeling down. She kept jumping up on my lap and she would lick me and try to get me to play. I took her out for a morning walk and it was beautiful outside this morning. I got a note from my friend Linda this morning asking if I would help her make some tissue flowers. She said she'd bring the materials over to my house this afternoon and she would show me how to do it. She was making them for the Cinco de Mayo lunch at the Senior Center. We worked on them most of the afternoon. Hiker just laid around and watched us.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Side Note - Where My Head Was Today

I have a lot of people tell me that even though they have not lost their spouse that they feel they understand the grief of a widow a little more now than they did before. They also tell me that they are trying to spend more time with their spouse now. They say it is due to the blogs I wrote during Ben's 4 ½ month hospital stay and during the past 10 ½  months since he passed away. I am glad that my words have “inspired” others. I would imagine that people who have not lost their spouse think that the first few months of the grief journey is the worst. It is true that the grief attacks and tears come more often during those early months. The wound is so raw and you are trying to sort your new life without that one person you loved more than life itself. The person who knew you better than anyone else and who you trusted with your heart. But I have found that the closer I get to the 1 year anniversary of Ben's death that the pain cuts deeper. I think it is because even though the wound has started to heal and scar over, the numbness you feel those first few months has completely gone away and the knowledge that I will never again hear Ben's voice, I will never be able to hug him again and I will never be able to look into his eyes again has now become a reality. I can only hope that in the next few months that the hole in my heart will continue to close and I will be ready to accept the rest of my new life and that I will one day be happy again.

A Visit From Ben?

I was so tired last night from all of the work I did yesterday that I went to bed around 8:15 pm and went to sleep almost immediately, and as I figured, I woke up this morning very sore all over. Last night for the first time since last July, I finally had another dream about Ben. I had 2 dreams about him a month after he passed away and then had not dreamt about him since. I dreamed that he and I had gone to visit our friends Karren and Wally. They live in Lancaster, CA, but in my dream they lived out of state. I'm thinking it was Washington or Oregon. I remember in the dream that Ben went into the house to see Karren and Wally, but then went back out to the car and someone told me that he was out there scratching a lot. I went to see what was going on and found out that he had shingles. I told him I'd take him to a doctor to see if they could give him some cream or something for the itching. Next we were in an airplane, which is strange because Ben and I didn't fly. We were heading back to California and had an unscheduled layover somewhere and we got separated. Ben ended up on the wrong plane and I was trying to find out where he was. I kept calling him on my cell phone and could not reach him at first but when I finally did, we got cut off. I never did find out where he was because I woke up. I remember that in the dream he never looked at me. He just stared out into space like a zombie the entire time I would talk to him. After breakfast, Hiker and I went over to Wal-Mart and I did my weekly grocery shopping. Came home and took Hiker on a very short walk around our gated community. I didn't feel like walking very far because my body ached so much from everything I did yesterday, but after lunch I felt better, so I took Hiker for a 1.5 mile hike. It was still very cloudy and gray outside. Started raining again around 2:00 pm.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Bet I'll Be Sore Tomorrow

It was supposed to be raining this morning but it wasn't. I got up, made breakfast and then cleaned the master bathroom. When done with that, I de-odorized and vacuumed my carpets. Then I went outside and started weeding. Got most of the weeds in the front yard done, but stopped for lunch and a rest before I went out and finished the ones in the backyard. So I was pretty busy and getting a lot of exercise all day. I felt bad that I had not taken Hiker for a walk, so took her down to the park in the afternoon once I was done weeding. When we got home, I took a shower and then finally sat down to watch a little TV and relax. The weatherman sure blew it with his prediction for rain today. At 3:00 pm it was sunny and 80°. They had predicted 1” to 1.5” of rain. I cannot believe the changing weather we've had for the past few the 90's over the weekend, then cold and drizzly Monday and Tuesday. Supposed to rain today but didn't. Strange. I kept thinking it was Thursday all day for some reason.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

I've Got Those Funky Blues

After Keith left yesterday afternoon, the house seemed so quiet and empty. It is so nice when he visits because then I have someone here in the evenings to talk to. I miss not having Ben here with me at night to discuss what we did during the day or what we see on the TV news, etc. When Keith is here, I feel a little more like my “old” self again. As yesterday afternoon turned into last night...I mentioned to Hiker how lonely the house feels when Keith leaves and it's just her and me all alone again. Then Ben's face come into my mind and I sobbed. I have not done that for awhile. I ended up taking one of the sedatives the doctor has prescribed for me right after Ben died. I felt like I was having an anxiety attack. That's the first time I've taken one of those pills in a long time. I slept pretty good through the night but didn't really want to get out of bed this morning. I knew I had to get up eventually because I had my grief support group at the Senior Center today. I got up and made some breakfast, but did not take Hiker out for a walk as I just didn't feel like walking. I took another sedative as I was still feeling “anxious” and then headed over to my group. When I got there, I told DeDee to not let me fall asleep during group. This week, we had a very small group compared to last week. It seemed to go by pretty fast too. After group, DeDee and I headed over to Cathy's Deli for lunch. We sat and talked for a little over an hour and then headed home. I came home to a “happy Hiker girl”. She was glad to see me. I took her out for a short 1 mile walk and then came home to relax. I have a “work day” planned for tomorrow. I need to clean the master bathroom, vacuum Hiker's hair out of the carpet and then I need to go outside and pull some weeds. Linda and I had pulled a bunch of weeds a couple of weeks ago and now there are a bunch of new dandelions growing on the hillside again. Of course the weed pulling will depend on whether or not we get the rain they are predicting for tomorrow. Hiker will be glad that I'll be home with her all day since I was leaving her home alone a lot while Keith was here visiting. Going to group and having lunch out with DeDee seemed to clear my foggy head some, but I still feel like I'm in a shallow funk. Hopefully it will clear up soon.

Monday, April 23, 2012

Foggy, Soggy Hike

Got up early and went for a hike in Rice Canyon with my brother and my dog. There was a thick marine layer when we got up and it was very overcast when we were hiking. As soon as we started out on the trail, we encountered a coyote. He was running around in the rangers yard. He actually sat down on the slope watched us as we went down the trail. He acted like a “tamed” dog, but we knew enough to stay away from him. We figured he saw how pretty Hiker was and he was enamored with her (LOL). The grasses were very tall and green due to the late rains we have been having and the creek had water in it. This was the first time I've hike this area when the creek wasn't dry. There were even a few wildflowers in the meadows. We hiked to the top of the trail where it dead-ends and then started back down and this time we encountered a gopher snake stretched out across the trail. We knew it was not a rattler because it was too cold for a rattlesnake to be out plus it was not coiled and ready to strike. It was about 4 feet long and about as big around as a garden hose. I am dreadfully frightened of snakes whether they be poisonous or not. Keith was brave and went up close to it and chased it off the path so Hiker and I could proceed. We were wet and muddy by the time we got back to the car and Hiker was a mess! I had to bathe her when we got home and I was surprised at how good she was when I did. She used to fight me the whole time I was bathing her but this time she stayed calm. I'm thinking it was because I had taken her to the groomer for her last bath and she enjoyed it there, so she was enjoying it now. After Hiker's bath, Keith and I went to Round Table Pizza for lunch. Keith left for home awhile ago and it is very quiet here now.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Money Is Only Worth Something If You Spend It

No hike this morning. We got up around 7:00 am and headed out for a morning walk. We did a little over 2.5 miles. Came home and I made us a pancake and sausage breakfast. Headed over to Sam's Club to pick up a few things and then also went to Wal-Mart. We went by a place that is supposed to be a new “open space” for hiking, but it is still not open. We came back home to check on Hiker and then Keith and I headed over to Carl's Jr. for lunch. Came back home and watched an old movie called “Final Countdown”. Keith had never seen it before. We are planning another walk later this afternoon or early this weekend and we are planning another hike tomorrow morning. I had said last week that I had the urge to spend some money and I've been doing that this weekend. Bought some new clothes, new shoes, a lithium powered screwdriver since my old one that Ben bought about 20 years ago quit working, and a new DVD player. Also spent money for food at Sam's Club and also when we've gone out to eat lunch every day. Only got up to 80° here today which was much better than the 96° we had yesterday. We even had a “marine layer” this morning. They are saying we may even have some “drizzle” tomorrow.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

A Hike And A Rose

Keith, Hiker and I got up early this morning to go on a hike before it got too hot. We headed over to the Haskell Canyon Open Space. I had never hiked that area before and wanted to see what it offered. It was actually just an “OK” hike as it was kind of boring. Not much scenery and you know since I love to take photos, that's what I'm looking for on a hike. We did notice that this must be an area that the BMX bike riders love. They had ramps set up everywhere along the trail for jumps. You'd have to be a crazy person to jump from some of those ramps. Hiker enjoyed the hike, but then, she loves getting out no matter where we go. We got back home around 9:15 am and I made us some breakfast. After being home for about 3 hours, Keith and I headed out for lunch at Arby's and then we went to some other stores in town. We love hitting the thrift shops when he is here. Then we headed for home to my Hiker Girl. She stayed in the cool house with the A/C on. Got up to almost 100° here today. They say we should cool down about 12 degrees tomorrow. We want to do another hike before Keith heads home, but we might wait until Monday.

This rose is in my front yard

Friday, April 20, 2012

My Brother Is Visiting

Took Hiker for an early evening walk yesterday. We waited until 6:30 pm before we went out. It was still 80° out but there was a nice breeze blowing, so it wasn't too bad. We still only did 1 mile though. When we got up this morning it was about 55° so Hiker and I headed out for a 1.5 mile walk around 7:00 am. It was really nice out. Keith got here around 11:30 am and we headed over to Alamo Mexican Restaurant for lunch, then went to some of the local stores (Wal-Mart, Kmart, etc.). We got back home to Hiker around 2:15 pm and the temperature outside was about 96° outside, so we could not walk until early evening.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Hot Hot Hot

Could not go to sleep last night for some reason. Took a sleep aid and finally fell asleep around 1:00 am. When I got up this morning, I decided to head over to Kaiser and get my Shingles vaccination. My doctor recommended I get it when I was there in January for my physical, but I didn't get it then. I'm a big chicken when it comes to shots, even though these days you really cannot feel them at all. I remember the Polio shots we got in school back in the 1950's when we were little and how much they hurt. They just have used “square” needles back then (LOL). After I did that, I stopped by my bank to cash some small checks I had received for doing online surveys, they went up to Kohl's because I had received another free $10 gift card from them. I had intended to use the card toward a new purse at Kohl's but they didn't have any that I liked so I used it on a screened T-Shirt and tank top, then I headed over to Target and as soon as I walked into the store and headed toward the purses, I saw exactly the one I've been looking for. Came home and took Hiker out for a short 1 mile walk. It was already 75° by the time we went to the park and it felt just too hot to walk much farther. I don't like leaving Hiker alone at home because I know how lonely she gets when I do that, but I just really needed to get out alone. I was feeling kind of like I had “cabin fever” or something. Ever since we had that big thunderstorm here, I have been feeling “extra” lonely. I'm sure I am feeling down because the 1 year anniversary of Ben's death is getting closer and closer and with the summer weather coming on, I'm having memories of vacations Ben and I used to take, so that doesn't help. Thank goodness my brother Keith is coming to visit this weekend. What's bad is that I'm feeling like I just want to go out and spend a bunch of money for some reason. Got very warm today. Was 85° at the time I normally take Hiker out for her afternoon walk so I told her I'd take her later after dinner. I know she doesn't understand, but at least I feel better about telling her that because she wants to go walk so bad.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Talking About Ben With His Buddy

Woke up to a beautiful morning. Took Hiker on a 2 mile walk after breakfast. I'm trying to take longer walks in the morning because it is getting too hot to walk much in the afternoon. I drove up to Sunland today to meet with Ben's best buddy Ed for lunch. I was raised in Sunland and Ben and I lived there for 3 years when we were first married. We used to meet Ed at the Sizzler there for lunch before Ben died and Ed and I still try to keep that tradition going. Ben met Ed when they worked together about 35 years ago and they stayed friends for all of those years. I met Ed when Ben and I were dating. Ed says that he felt Ben and I were meant to be a couple because we “married our best friend”. He misses Ben a lot and says that he enjoys having lunch with me because it makes him feel like Ben is with us. When I came home, Hiker was excited to see me as usual. I was bathed in kisses. I had to take her out on a short walk even though it was about 85° out. She was lying on the tile in front of my fireplace and kept looking at me as if waiting for me to say “OK lets go for a walk”.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Starting To Get Warm

Took Hiker out for a short walk this morning before I headed over to the Senior Center for my grief group. Our group therapist was an hour late for group today because she came out to get in her car to come to the Senior Center and her battery was dead. There were a lot of people at group today, so in her absence we all just started talking and went around the room and let everyone say whatever they wanted to say. It actually went pretty good. I didn't go to lunch today because DeDee was not at group and my other friend Ruth had a hair cut appointment. I came home, hugged Hiker while she went crazy giving me hugs and kisses, changed into some shorts and then I made some lunch. After lunch I went outside and fixed a sprinkler in the front yard that I noticed was squirting nothing but the side of the house, which would eventually rot the siding if I didn't do something about it. Then I uncovered my A/C unit because they keep saying we will be in the mid-90's by this weekend. When I got home from group it was in the low-80's but the house felt nice a cool because it had been all closed up and I had turned the fan on for Hiker. Hopefully won't have to run the A/C for a few days. Took Hiker down to the park but we only stayed a few minutes because it was too hot. I had to use my “Report Graffiti” app on my iPhone again. Someone had painted all over one of the concrete picnic tables.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Why Do I Always Get The Side Effects?

Decided to stop taking the Cholest-off as of this morning. It was starting to give me muscle pain and fatigue just like the statins do. They “claim” it won't do that, but it did it to me. Just like about 5 years ago when one of my doctors gave me Zetia. Zetia is a prescription drug that lowers cholesterol but not through the liver like statins. It does it through the digestive track and that is supposed to be how Cholest-off does it too. Well the doctor had told me that Zetia would not give me the muscle aches, but it did and I researched it online and it said that it was a possibility that muscle ache and fatigue was one of the side effects and I guess Cholest-off has the same side effect on me. Oh well. Did some minor housework this morning and then took Hiker over to the community office with me to check on the status of the agreement for our Internet between the landlord and Time Warner. The manager told me that she was told that we would NOT lose our Internet connection on April 30 and that it will probably be extended out to the end of June. She feels that eventually the landlord and TW will come up with an agreement of some kind. Then Hiker and I went off for a 1.5 mile walk. I sometimes wish I knew more about Hiker's history before I got her. I notice that when we are out walking, she hates people on bicycles and skateboards and wants to attack them. She is “fascinated” with motorcycles. She barks at them, but she also cowers from them a little. After lunch we drove over to Central Park and did a 1.5 mile walk around the grounds. It was pretty warm...80° out there. We are supposed to get up to 90° this weekend. I may have to uncover my A/C and get my shorts out.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Can We Go For A Walk Mom?

It's been 10 months now since Ben passed away. Where has the time gone? I still feel like I'm living in a “fog”. I keep wondering if I will feel this way for the rest of my life or if I will one day start to enjoy “living” again. Woke up to a beautiful morning so took Hiker out for our usual 1.5 mile walk. When we got home I took my older vacuum outside and cleaned Hiker's hair out of both of my vehicles. Then I came in and vacuumed her hair up out of my carpet. Tried to get Hiker out on the patio with her “Shed Pal” to brush her and get some of that hair off of her. She doesn't mind the regular brush but she does not like the kind that helps pull out the hair under the outer fur that falls out so much. She is just too smart for me. She knows what I'm trying. I had to bribe her with treats and even then, she gets nervous and pees while I'm holding her down and she squirms and eventually gets away from me. After lunch, Hiker and I went out and sat on the patio. She mostly laid in the grass in the sun, I sat in Ben's big chair on the patio in the shade. After about an hour or so, we decided to head out for another walk. We did 2 miles this time. It was about 70° as we were walking. Lots of people out on the trail.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

What A Difference A Day Makes (Weatherwise)

I am getting to where every morning I just do not want to get out of bed. The bed feels so warm and cozy that I have to force myself to get up. Took Hiker out for a walk of almost 2 miles. Everything is very wet outside because of bit storm we had yesterday. It was still mostly cloudy and still cool outside. After lunch I updated my earthquake kit, something Ben and I used to do every 3 months. This time I went through the barrel that contained our extra clothes and sundries. I didn't cry when I saw Ben's pants, shirt and shoes, but it sure tugged at my heart. This afternoon turned out to be a beautiful day. Huge, white, fluffy clouds and a deep blue sky. I put Hiker in the car and we drove over to Central Park where we had intended to take a walk but when we got there, they were having some kind of festival. There were booths and food vendors all over the place and nowhere to park in the parking lot, so we left there and headed over to Todd Longshore Park and took a short .8 mile walk there. Never got above 60° today, but they are saying that next week we will be back up into the 80's.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Wow! That Was Some Storm

I cannot believe that I have had Hiker for 6 months as of today. Seems like I just got her but also seems like I've had her forever. She is such a huge part of my life now. She is my best friend and I do not know what I would do without her. This morning I had my “Ghost Radar” running on my cell phone this morning and it said “Ben”. Maybe he was here. Had been getting bands of rain off and on all morning but nothing major. Around 10:00 am, it started to pour and it started to thunder. We don't get a lot of thunder storms in our area of SoCal, so when they do come, they are kind of “exciting”. It also stayed pretty chilly outside most of the day. Around 11:00 am the brunt of the storm hit us. I have not seen or heard a storm like that here in years. We were having constant lightning strikes and they were close. One was so close that I didn't even count to 2 before I heard the thunder. It was raining so hard, I could barely see the house across the street. One lightning strike made the TV and lights go off for a second and the house was shaking from the thunder. Hiker at first barked at the thunder but then when she started seeing the bright lightning flashes and the thunder started getting really loud, she hid in the entry closet. At one point I was sitting on the floor next to her in the corner. She was between me and the wall with her chin on my shoulder and her whole body was shaking. When it calmed down some, she went back into my bedroom and hid in the corner. This was the first thunderstorm I think she has ever experienced. To tell you the truth, it scared me some too. Linda Pippin lives on the hill above me and she said the thunder set off her car alarm. We were beginning to think we were living in the mid-west. The Taco Bell 2 miles from me got hit by lightning. That must have been the flash of lightning that only took 1.5 seconds for the thunder to follow. Just remembered that today is Friday the 13th. Figures (LOL). It was a good day for baking. I made a loaf of banana bread. Sure made the house smell good. Never did get above 45° here all day.

Here is Hiker hiding in the closet during the thunderstorm

She finally came out of the closet and hid in my room

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Cloudy Thursday

Had some strange dreams last night. Was dreaming I was out with people for lunch. These were not people I knew or recognized but it seemed that I worked with them. I am retired and have not worked for over 6 years so I thought this was strange. Anyway, we were out for lunch but it seemed to be dark outside. I had driven these people to the restaurant and when we came out to leave, my car was missing. Also I remember dreaming about my mom and dad last night. I dream about them every now and then, but I don't dream about Ben and I don't understand why I don't ever dream about him. I've always heard that when you dream about a deceased loved-one that it means their spirit has visited you. This morning Hiker and I were lying in bed. I had the morning news on the TV and I suddenly thought of Ben lying in the hospital bed and how the nurses and orderlies would come in and move him around and how he'd look at me with such a frightened look on his face. I started sobbing and Hiker started licking my face and whimpering. Took Hiker out for a morning walk and once again she stopped to look for the pair of ducks in the ditch, but again they were not there. It sure looked like rain while we were out this morning. We are supposed to have more rain by this weekend. I ran into one of my neighbor's while we were walking and she said she heard that our Internet service with Time Warner has been extended again for another two months through the end of June. I'll have to check with the office about that. I re-potted a plant that I had in the backyard. It was part of an arrangement that I had received from All Saints Healthcare after Ben passed away. That was the sub-acute care unit he was at for a few days about this time last year. Most of the other plants in the arrangement had died due to my neglecting them when I was not feeling up to doing anything, but one plant survived, so now it is in a pot on my front porch. Hiker napped while I had lunch and watch “The Young and the Restless”, then we went for a 2 mile walk. Still very cloudy outside and breezy, but it was still nice enough weather for a walk.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Lazy Day

Woke up to rain here in SoCal this morning. The sun came out for about 20 minutes at 7:30 am but then went right back behind the clouds and it started raining again. Had to go to Sam's Club this morning. It didn't rain the whole time I was out and the sun came out a little. After lunch, I took Hiker out for a very short walk to the park. She once again stopped at the ditch to look for the ducks but they were not there. We didn't stay at the park very long as it was pretty muddy down there. While we were there we heard a lot of sirens but have no idea where they were going. The sun came out a few times but not for very long. Has been mostly cloudy and breezy all day. Never did get over 60° outside. It's been a “lazy day” for me and Hiker.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

A Good Day At My Grief Group

Took Hiker for a 1.5 mile walk before I went to my grief group this morning. There is a ditch that we pass by on our way to the park and there was some water in it this morning. There was a couple of ducks “swimming” in the ditch looking for bugs to eat. Hiker noticed them before I did. She stopped an sat down to watch them. I let her watch them for a few minutes. She was good and did not try to chase after them. They looked at her and then went right back to eating. I thought the grief group was an especially good one today even though there were very few of us there. I sometimes think the conversation is better when there are less of us as it seems that people seem to speak up more if there are not a lot of people. I really enjoy going to group every Tuesday. It's nice to get out and to be with people who understand what I am going through. I sometimes wish we met twice a week. After group, DeDee, Ruth and I went to lunch at Alamo for some Mexican food and some girl chat. Came home to find my Hiker girl waiting for me. She always gets so excited when I come home. I took her for a short walk down to the park. When we got to the ditch, she stopped to look for the ducks but they were not there. She knew exactly where they had been. Was cooler here today. Only got up to around 60°. We've been having 80° days for the past week, but there is supposed to be a storm blowing in tonight.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Open Windows And Open Doors Kind Of Day

Got up at 7:00 am and headed right over to Wal-Mart to do my grocery shopping. Came home and made some breakfast. Took Hiker down to the park to walk around some and then came back home and watched Y&R. Made lunch and then took Hiker out for a 1.5 mile walk. 80° outside again but they are saying we might get some rain Tuesday or Wednesday. I've been trying to figure out what kind of plants to buy to put in pots on my front porch. I've thought about ferns but have not seen any I like yet. My porch only has partial sun in the morning and then it's shaded the rest of the day. Any ideas? Sat around and watched Antenna TV all afternoon...”Leave It To Beaver”, ”Adam-12”, “Dragnet”, etc.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter Sunday

Got up “late” for me this morning. Stayed in bed until around 8:00 am. Had a little breakfast and then took Hiker out for a walk. Very nice weather this morning. Came home and put my sheets and towels into the washing machine and then vacuumed Hiker's hair out of the carpet. I noticed this morning that I am starting to feel sorry for myself. I don't like this feeling as I have nothing to be “sorry” for. I have my health, my home and I have my Hiker girl. The spring weather has always made me start thinking about going on vacation. I used to always tell Ben that when spring got here, I was ready for a trip to Ferndale, CA (our favorite place). I've been thinking now that I won't be going on those trips anymore, mostly because I won't travel alone and also it would not be fun without Ben being there with me. I'd be thinking of the fun we had together and that would make me sad and I would not enjoy myself. Ben's sister Donna has been wanting me to come to Las Vegas and spend a few days with them, but as I said, I won't travel alone. I wish I was brave like an online friend of mine who lives in Montana. She has no fear of getting in her car and driving around several states every year alone to visit friends. I'm always afraid of having car trouble or something. Later in the afternoon, I took Hiker down to the park and we just sat under the gazebo and listened to the birds singing while the breezes blew. Felt kind of “down” all day.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Feels Like Summer

I am getting lazier and lazier each morning. When Ben was alive, I liked to get up early and get out for a morning walk. Now I like to just lay in bed with the TV on and veg until around 8:00 am. Dragged myself out of bed and had some breakfast, then I took Hiker for a 1.5 mile walk. It was so pretty outside this morning. About 60°, sunny and breezy. While we were walking, there was some guy with his pit bull in the dry river bed. Well that pit bull came running up the bank to the sidewalk and right up to me and Hiker. I shielded Hiker with my body, but luckily the dog was a friendly pit bull and “kissed” Hiker on the nose. The guy came running after it yelling and it and apologizing to me. It is illegal to have your dog out without a leash in California, but people never obey the laws. We are always coming upon people with dogs off lease while we are hiking. This afternoon was just way too nice to stay inside so Hiker and I went back over to Quigley Canyon Open Space to walk around some more and so I could take more photographs. While out walking, I got to thinking how when Ben was alive, I was such a happy person. I was so satisfied with my life. Now I “put on a happy face” and everyone thinks I'm the same person I used to be, but I'm not. It got up to 80 ° this afternoon. Today's photo is of me in my “Easter Bonnet”. The story that goes along with this photo is that back in the 1980's Ben and I were out for a Sunday drive one Easter Sunday. We decided to stop at a Wendy's and get some burgers and fries. Wendy's was selling these caps for $1.00. Without my knowing, Ben purchased this one and when we got into the car, he handed it to me and said “here, I bought this Easter bonnet for you”. I've kept it all of these years.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Good Friday

I thought I had gotten through Ben's and my anniversary yesterday without shedding a tear, but I was wrong. After I had my dinner last night, it hit me. I sobbed, I wailed, I cursed, I mourned. Memories of Ben flooded my mind and my heart. But this too shall pass. When I finally dragged myself out of bed this morning I considered taking Hiker for another hike this morning, but ended up just taking her for a morning walk. After we got home, I put her seat belt harness on her and put her in the car and we went for a ride. I had heard there was a new animal hospital just opened about 2 to 3 miles from me so I went to see where it was for when Hiker will need her shots renewed in July then we drove over to the Haskell Canyon Open Space to check out the trail head for a future hike. Also drove by another future Open Space called Wildwood Canyon and saw that they are putting in a nice little parking lot at the trail head there. After lunch I took Hiker out for a short 1 mile walk. It sure was a beautiful day out but a little windy. Going to make baked Tilapia and rice for dinner.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

I Made It Through This Milestone

Today would have been Ben's and my 32nd wedding anniversary. This morning, I went back and read from his “journal” that I was keeping last year about this day one year ago. Our anniversary last year was not a good one as he was in the hospital. He was mostly “out of it” the entire time I was with him that day. I remember I kept thinking “next year we will make up for this anniversary”. I never realized that I'd be alone on our anniversary this year. Linda came by at 7:30 am and she, Hiker and I headed over to Quigley Canyon Open Space to meet our friend RuthAnne to go for a hike in the canyon. None of us had ever hiked this area before, so it was a new adventure for all of us. There are 4 trails there ranging from easy to difficult. We did an “easy” and a “moderate” trail for a total of 2.7 miles. Hiker smelled like sage brush when we got home. She must have ran through some while we were in the hills. It was really nice out this morning. When I got home, I went and picked up my eyeglasses, got my Lotto tickets and filled the Corolla with gas. Came back home, watched Y&R and had lunch, then took Hiker for a 1.5 mile afternoon walk. Stayed in the low 60's today but was warm in the direct sun. Our community office contacted us that more cars in our neighborhood had been broken into last night. I've been wondering if it has anything to do with the taggers who have been hitting Discovery Park. I'm wondering if they are walking into here late at night from the park. Or....whoever has been doing the tagging in the park lives in our community. That is a possibility also. So I survived my anniversary so far without my Ben.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Was A Nice Afternoon For A Walk In Nature

Have been crying off and on all day. Tomorrow would have been Ben's and my anniversary. At least Linda, RuthAnne, Hiker and I will be out hiking tomorrow. That will help ease the pain some. Took Hiker out for a 1.85 mile walk this morning. Noticed that the graffiti was back and this time there was a huge “F” Police on one of the walls of the drainage canal. I saw a park employee in Discovery Park and went to talk to him about it and he told me he was on the phone to the office reporting it and trying to get the removal team out here. I guess some gang named “4:20” keeps tagging the park area because that's what they are tagging on everything. I keep telling myself I need to start cleaning out the hall closet and the entry closet, but I have just not been in the mood to do so. Today is our trash pickup day but it's already after 2:00 pm and I have not heard or seen one single trash truck in our community yet today. They are usually here very early in the morning. Took Hiker over to Placerita Canyon just to “hang out” for awhile since it is so nice outside. When we got there, there were bus loads of kids there making all kinds of noise and wandering around everywhere. I thought it was spring break so I don't know if they were school field trips or something the city set up for the kids while they are out of school this week. Needless to say, we didn't stay very long.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Grief Group And Lunch Out

Another beautiful morning here in Canyon Country. Got up and had a bowl of cereal then took Hiker for a short 1 mile walk. Saw a lot of graffiti in Discovery Park this morning that was not there yesterday afternoon. I was going to come home and go online and report it to the city for clean-up but there were some city park guys down there taking photos of it on their tablet and they told me they were reporting it right then. They thought it was done over the weekend and I told them it had to be last night because I walked through there yesterday around 2:15 pm and it was not there at that time. Also had reports yesterday that 3 vehicles here in Canyon View Estates had been broken into over the weekend. It's Spring Break. Every time the kids are out of school, several people in my community report car break-ins. Parents need to keep better watch of their brats. Had grief group today and then lunch after with DeDee. A couple of ladies (Linda and Ruth) from our grief group joined us and so did Linda Pippin. When I got home, I took Hiker for another 1 mile walk. It was 80° so we didn't want to stay out very long. I noticed that all of the graffiti that was in the park this morning was gone when Hiker and I went out again. Our city works fast when it comes to cleaning up graffiti.

Monday, April 2, 2012

A Good Monday

Beautiful morning here today. I noticed that the was ice on my neighbor's roof. The temperature was about 35° when I let Hiker out to go potty. Today would have been Ben's mom's 93rd birthday. She was a great mother-in-law and I miss her a lot. I went to one of our local Goodwill stores and when I was paying for my purchase, I requested the senior discount. I had to show them my ID to prove I was over 62. Guess that's a good thing! It's kind of funny though because when we were 21 we had to prove it and now that I am 62, I have to prove it (LOL). My brother Ron called me from northern California. He had gone to a new doctor today and wanted to tell me how it went. After lunch, I put Hiker in the car and we drove over to Newhall. I had gotten an email from the Community Hiking Club about a new “open area” that just became available for hiking. I wanted to go over and check out the trail head. It looks like it might be a nice area to hike, so I emailed Linda and we are going to hike over there on Thursday morning. While we were out, Ben's sister Donna called me on my cell. She and her husband were heading for home but had stopped at the Route 66 Classic Grill for lunch and they wanted to know if I wanted to join them. I had already had lunch and Hiker and I were across the valley from there so I declined the invitation. We came back home after checking out the trail head and then I gook Hiker for a 1.81 mile walk. It got up into the high 70's today.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Memory Pillow

You may recall that several months ago my friend Linda suggested she make me a "quilt" pillow from pieces of Ben's polo shirts. We cut out the pieces but her sewing machine broke down and she was not able to buy or borrow a new one so I mentioned it to my sister-in-law (Ben's sister) Donna. She said that if I sent her the cloth scraps that she would be honored to make the pillow for me. She lives in Las Vegas, NV so I mailed the pieces of cloth to her about a month ago. This weekend, she and her husband were in town visiting their son and they met me for lunch and then came back to my house and she gave me the completed pillow.


A Day With Some Of Ben's Family

Crisp and clear this morning. Whenever we have a rain, once it clears up we have such beautiful weather here in Santa Clarita. I had to run over to Home Depot and get a flush lever arm for one of my toilets. The one in the small bathroom broke last night. They make them out of plastic and after so long, the stress of pushing on the handle just breaks them. Bought a metal one this time, but it was too long for the toilet in the small bathroom. The lever arm kept hitting the tank lid and would not let the toilet flush, so I took the older lever from my master bathroom, put it on the toilet in the small bathroom and put the new lever on the toilet in my master. For some reason, the longer one works OK on that toilet. Took Hiker for a short walk this morning then came home and did some laundry and vacuumed. Watched one of Ben's very favorite movies on Turner Classic Movies...”The Great Race” with Tony Curtis, Jack Lemmon and Natalie Wood. I always thought it was funny that Ben liked three old “musicals”...they were “The Great Race”, “The Music Man” and “Damn Yankees”. He knew all of the dialog and all of the songs to these musicals and he would sit and sing along with them whenever we watched them. Ben's sister Donna called me and said she and her husband Rich wanted to have lunch with me so I met them over at Dink's New York Deli. Their son Richard and his wife Jenny and daughter Amelia joined us. After lunch, Donna, Rich and I wandered around the mall some and then went back to my house. Rich wanted to play with Hiker. He loves dogs and they lost one right after Ben passed away. We took Hiker for a walk and then I gave Donna some things of Ben's I had found from his cards, baby book, etc. Had a very nice day.

Here is a picture of Donna, Hiker and Rich. The sun was behind them and I took it from my iPhone so it kind of came out faded.