Thursday, May 31, 2012

Very Hot Here Today

Had a dream last night that Ben was in and this time he was not blurred. I could see his sweet face so clearly. He and I were on a trip and Hiker was with us. Ben didn't talk at all in my dream, but he would look right into my eyes when I spoke to him. That's the first dream I've had of him in several months and the first time ever that his face was so clear. Hiker and I went on a 2 mile walk this morning and then came home for breakfast. Took her in the car with me when I went to get my Lottery tickets. Ben's buddy Ed called me last night from Boise, ID where his mom lives. He goes up there every few weeks and stays with her from a month or so then comes home for a few weeks and then heads back up. She is in her 90's and lives alone. His dad died several years ago. He and I still share the Lottery ticket that he and Ben used to share, so he was calling me to tell me that he was not going to get home this week and would I buy the ticket. We alternate who buys the ticket each week. He is still having a hard time accepting Ben's death too. They were friends for 35 years. Ben met him about 2 years after he met me. By 10:00 am, it was already 80°, so once again spent the day inside with the A/C on. The trash trucks were running today. They ran a day later than normal due to the holiday last Monday. Hiker is so funny when they empty the trash containers. She growls and barks at them like they are stealing something from us. It hit 100° here right around 1:30 pm. I was sitting on the sofa watching TV and suddenly I started thinking about that last day at the hospital with Ben and I started to cry. Hiker was lying over by the fireplace on the tiles where as they are cooler than the carpet. She got up and come over to me, jumped up on the sofa and started licking me. I am so glad I have her.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Another Hot Day In SoCal

Had trouble going to sleep last night then had crazy dreams all night when I finally did go to sleep. Had a small grief attack this morning. Those little boogers can creep on you so unexpectedly. At least the don't last as long these days. Hiker came to me while I was crying and was whimpering and kissing me. Yesterday at group, Ernie, one of the guys in the group said that over the weekend, he was just sitting at home and he started thinking about his wife and he started to cry. His wife has been gone for a little over 2 years right now. Hiker and I did our normal walk this morning. It was really nice outside but felt like it was going to get pretty hot today. Hiker and I headed to the recycle center after lunch to take over our empty aluminum cans. Sure don't get as much money for them now since Ben is not here drinking beer, but then I don't have as many cans to take either. Hiker seems to like to ride in the car. All I do is ask her if she wants to go with me in the car and she is ready to go. I put her leash on her and she leads me right out to the passenger side of the car where she gets in. I'll have to take Hiker out after dinner for her second walk. Too hot outside to go now. It's about 85° and not much of a breeze. Going to make some Mac & Cheese with the cheeses I ordered from Loleta Cheese Factory (Northern California) a few weeks ago. I love Mac & Cheese. I put those little Smokey Weenies in it.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Stay Strong

Some mornings I wake up wondering “how much longer can I go on without Ben?” I know for a fact that I can go on. I've been doing it for almost a year now. I am NOT suicidal. There are several reasons I must go on, First...Ben would never have wanted me to do anything to myself, second...I have Hiker to live for. The day I adopted her, I made a promise to take care of her for the rest of her life and I intend to do that, and third...I'm a big chicken. I would never do anything to hurt myself. But that question to myself still comes up every now and then. I've been told by several people in my grief support group that the second year is worse than the first because true reality sets in. I am NOT looking forward to that because the first year has been no picnic. I remember my mom always saying to me after my dad died “I wonder how many years I will outlive your dad”. Took Hiker for a short walk to the park this morning. Was another beautiful morning here in SoCal. I just wish it didn't get so hot in the afternoon. Went to my grief support group today. Our “leader/therapist” had car trouble so she did not make it to group. She called the Senior Center and told them to let us know and for us to “carry on without her”, so we did. Edwin (the obnoxious man) was there, but all of us kept him “under control”. We let him talk but when we felt he was trying to “analyze” someone or trying to tell someone what “he” thought they should do, we stopped him in his tracks. All went pretty well. We all just talked about whatever came to our minds. After group, DeDee and I went to lunch at Cathy's Deli and we invited Gin, one of our newer members. Gin (Virginia) is 80 years old and lost her husband of 58 years due to results of an auto accident they were in with a big rig. She is such a sweet lady, only about 4 months or so into her widowhood. She says being with us and seeing how we all have coped gives her encouragement. Got home a little earlier than I normally do on Tuesdays. Hiker wanted to go for a walk, but it was 82° so I told her we'd go out later after it cools down some. So even though I was a little “discouraged” this morning when I first woke up, the rest of the day turned out pretty good. I am strong!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day

Woke up this morning trying to decide if Hiker and I would go over to our local cemetery for the Memorial Day Ceremonies and watch the WWII planes fly over. This was something that Ben and I did every single year since we moved to Santa Clarita. Last year when Ben was in the hospital it was the first year we missed. I remember mentioning to Ben that Memorial Day was coming. He asked me if I was going to go to the ceremonies without him and I told him “No. We'll go next year when you are well”. Hiker and I went over to Central Park for our morning walk. As we were walking on the trails around the park, we got to see the WWII planes fly by as they were making their turn to fly over the ceremonies at the cemetery. I have a feeling that Ben made sure I got to see them even though I did not go to the ceremonies because he knows how much we both enjoyed watching them every year. There were a lot of people in the park today and a lot of them had their dogs with them. As we were walking, Hiker would stop at each dog to say “hi”. When she does, everyone always tells me how beautiful she is and what a well behaved dog she is. They don't know how spoiled she is and how “miss-behaved” she can be at home LOL. Didn't do much the rest of the day. I did make some blueberry muffins and I watched a spooky movie called “The Fog”. Got up to around 84° on my patio today.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

God Bless The U.S.A.

Beautiful Sunday

I went to bed last night at 8:30 pm with the TV on and fell to sleep. Woke up around 1:30 am and turned it off. When Hiker and I got up, it was about 50°. I went and got my Lotto tickets, came back and put my sheets and towels into the washer then made breakfast (had waffles & sausage). Then Hiker and I went for a walk. Keith called me while we were out to cancel his visit. He sounded terrible. He had tried to go to Kaiser Urgent Care which was supposed to be open weekends and holidays from 9 am to 9 pm, but he said the doors were locked and no one was there. He called the on-call Kaiser nurse and she told him to go to the Kaiser ER. No one could figure out why the Urgent Care office was closed. Anyway, they gave him some antibiotics and sent him home. He said that he will come up on June 7th and stay with us a few days. Before lunch I ran over to Sam's Club to get some things I was running out of. It was a beautiful day. Sunny and 78° today. After lunch Hiker and I got in the car and drove over to William S. Hart Park again. I wanted to take her somewhere that had shade plus I wanted to see if their prickly pear cactus were blooming yet. Only a few of them were. A lot of people over in the park today.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

A Little Bummed

Well my brother Keith is still too sick to come up for his visit. He is hoping he will be able to come up tomorrow. Hiker and I went out for a very short walk over to the park this morning because I needed to get home and do a load of laundry. I also had to call Time Warner because I still was not getting all of my cable TV channels. When I called, I did not get the recorded message so I pushed “4” to talk live to a representative. She told me that the disruption had been fixed and I told her that I still was not getting all of my channels. She had me reboot both of my boxes (again) and that did not work, so she said she would have to send out a technician to figure it out. She did not have a tech available to come until Wednesday, so I figured I'd be without most of my channels until then, but at least I did have some channels to watch. She suggested that there might be a problem with our community connection which would not surprise me one bit. When Hiker and I went to the park this morning, it was only 45°. Crazy since just 3 days ago we were in the 90's. I noticed a little tiny hummingbird this morning at my feeder. It was not moving and it stayed in the same spot for about 30 minutes. Two other hummers kept buzzing around it and it still did not move. I finally went out to look at it closer. It still did not move even though I was no more than about a foot from it. I finally touched it's little tail and it flew off. I don't know if it was sick or afraid of the other hummers or what. Found out from a neighbor who had Time Warner coming today to hook her up to the cable that there was actually a major problem with the cable in our complex. She said the tech told her that he didn't have any idea when it would be fixed. I felt a little “bummed” all day because I had been looking so forward to Keith coming He said he still might come tomorrow but I doubt it. I would not want him driving when he is sick and I would not want him to give whatever he has to me if he is contagious. Plus I would not want him to take the chance of getting even sicker. I am disappointed that he probably won't get to come tomorrow either since he seems to be pretty sick, but I'm sure he'll come out soon. Hiker and I went out for an afternoon walk and when we got home, I had all of my TV channels back! Don't know what they did, but I'm glad they did it. Now I need to call TW back and cancel the tech who is coming Wednesday, but I'll wait until tomorrow to make sure I still have my channels by then. It never got above 62° here today and it has been breezy and cloudy all day. I love the fact that it is cooler. Wish it would stay that way.

Me after I got my TV channels back (LOL

Friday, May 25, 2012

Long Weekend Coming

Around dinner time yesterday, I noticed that over half of my TV channels were gone. Waited for about an hour and then tried rebooting the digital box in the living room. That didn't help, so I went in and turned on the TV in the bedroom only to find that the channels were gone there too, so I knew it was not the digital boxes. I called Time Warner and got a recorded message telling me that they were experiencing a service disruption in our area and that the technicians were working on it. I was able to get a few stations, so I watched TV in the living room until about 8:45 pm and then went into the bedroom to read. After about another hour, I tried the TV again but still nothing, so I called Time Warner again and got the same message. Usually if this happens, it only takes them a couple of hours or less to fix the problem. Decided to try to go to sleep but I just could not get comfortable in bed and I just tossed and turned. I think I finally fell asleep around 2:00 am. Hiker woke me up around 6:00 am wanting to go potty. While she was outside, I tried the TV again and it still had not been fixed. I once again called TW and got the same message again. Got up around 8:00 am and had breakfast and then Hiker and I went for a walk. There was a thick marine layer so it was a lot cooler this morning. I had put on shorts but when I walked out the front door to head out for the walk, I turned around and came back into the house to put on some jeans. That's how much cooler it was. We walked our usual 1 ½ miles. We came home and then took the car over to the post office so I could mail a couple of things then we came home and I went out on the patio to water my plants. Got a text message from my brother Keith. Yesterday he told me that he had a stuffy nose, sore throat and was starting to feel achy. His text message this morning said that he felt worse and that he's hoping he does not have to cancel his trip up here for the weekend. He also said that if he still feels bad tomorrow (Saturday), that he hopefully will feel OK on Sunday and he will come up then and it will just cut his visit short by one day. Hope he doesn't have the flu. After lunch, Hiker and I went for another walk. This time we did 2.1 miles. It was still very cloudy and very windy. Not gusts but strong sustaining winds. The temperature today only got up to 64° which was a very nice change from last week. Earlier I went online to Time Warner's website and did a live chat with a tech person. Asked them about this disruption of the TV cable we are having. Again I was told that they are working on it and will try to have it fixed asap, but if my total service is not back on in 24 hours, they told me to call Time Warner and speak with someone on the phone. When their service is down this long, they should take some of the money off of our bill but you know they won't.
Photo from our morning walk

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Been Having Some Flashbacks

Beautiful morning here when Hiker and I woke up. It had been pretty windy all night. Hiker would bark when she heard some of the large gusts. She sure is a good watch dog. We went for a 2 mile walk this morning since it was a little cooler than it has been for the past few mornings. Hiker saw here 2 duck friends in the ditch near our community gate. She sat down for a few minutes and watched them swimming around. I am finding that the closer it gets to the first anniversary of Ben's passing that the tears are starting to flow again. I keep having flashbacks of going to the hospital every day to visit him, but I'm also having flashbacks of vacations he and I took to northern California. I keep thinking about “our” places that we loved to go to together. I can hardly believe that he has not physically been in this house for almost a year and a half. I feel him here with me spiritually every day. My brother Keith is coming to visit me and Hiker for the Holiday weekend. It will be nice to have someone here to talk to in the evenings. I really miss not having Ben here to talk to when we'd settle down for the evening after dinner. Did not get as hot today as it has been. Temp topped out at right around 78° and it was breezy all day. We went for another short walk, about a mile round-trip. Even though the temperature was lower, it was still hot in the direct sun.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

It Was A Little Cooler Today

Got up at 7:00 am this morning and was heading for Wal-Mart by 7:15 to do my grocery shopping. Was nice because there wasn't anyone there. When I got back home, I fixed breakfast and then Hiker and I headed out for a 1.5 mile walk. Along the way I stopped and took a few more photos of the Yucca I photographed on my cell phone the other day. Wanted to get a few more shots of it before it dies. The sun was already feeling warm but there was a cool breeze so it wasn't too bad. Came back home and watered my outdoor plants then settled down on the sofa with my laptop. I've noticed the last few days that they have been planting a lot of new trees down in Discovery Park but they still have not put a restroom there. Got up to 80° here today and it was a little windy so it didn't really feel that hot.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Nice Day With Group And Lunch With The Girls

Hiker had to stay home alone for several house while I was at my Grief Support Group and then out to lunch today. At least she gets to stay in the house with the A/C and her toys instead of in the garage like when I first got her and was not sure how she would behave in the house alone for several hours. I do have a wall A/C in the garage though, so at least she was not hot when she was out there. It was already 70° by the time I left for group. The morning news said that we were going to have high winds with the heat which would make our fire danger really high. The obnoxious guy showed up at group today but he was more quiet than normal. A couple of times our leader had to shut him up but it wasn't too bad today actually. If he stays like that, maybe the rest of us can tolerate him. DeDee, Linda from our group and I met up with Linda Pippin over at the Stonefire Grill for lunch. I had never been there before. It operates kind of like order at the register and then they bring your food out to you. The food was pretty tasty and priced pretty good. I stay longer than I normally do and had to stop off to fill the 4Runner with gas on my way home, so when I got home, Hiker was all over me giving me hugs and kisses. Need to get Hiker out for a walk. The thermometer reads 90° but feels cooler because the wind is kicking up.

Here is a photo of where we went for lunch. I did not take this photo

Monday, May 21, 2012

I Really Hate This Heat

I was waiting until it cooled down some before I took Hiker out for her second walk yesterday. I noticed that when the solar eclipse started that the temperature stated to drop so I grabbed Hiker and headed for the park. There was a guy there who had a box set up so he could see the eclipse without looking at the sun. He had a pin-hole in it on one side and inside the box he had a sheet of white paper. He held it up so the sun's light went through the pin-hole and you could see the shadow of the moon blocking some of the sun. Pretty cool. The temperature dropped over 10° while it was happening. My brother Ron called me from Paradise, CA and said that it was getting dark up there and that the outdoor lights had come on because they sensed the dark. He lives where it was going to block the sun out almost completely whereas down here in SoCal it only blocked 86% of the sun. Only took Hiker out for a short walk this morning because I needed to get home to do some housework and it was already getting hot by the time we got out. I also got out and put new nectar in my hummer feeder and watered my plants. Once again it got so hot outside that Hiker and I stayed in most of the day. I had to force her to go outside to go potty because of the heat. I'd open the door for her and she'd feel the heat and turn right back around and stay in the house. I finally went outside with her and then she went potty. If it is going to be this hot for the next few months, Hiker and I won't be getting out too much. Will have to wait until after dinner to go out for another walk this evening. I'm running late on sending this email out today because I had to run over to the Time Warner store and pick up a new Internet modem. I've been having trouble for months with my Internet not connecting so I've been calling TW a lot. Today the technician asked me how old my modem was and I told him at least 10 to 12 years old so he told me to go over to the store and get a new one because mine is so old that it does not have enough memory to accept the daily updates and that's why I keep losing my Internet. While I was there, I spoke with a nice lady again about my cable being in Ben's name and that I wanted to change it if possible into my name and again I was told that I'd have to totally cancel his account and open a new one in my name and that I'd have to pay all of the fees for a new account. She was probably in her 60's and she told me to not worry about it. That as long as the bill gets paid, it doesn't matter who's name is on the account and she said there is no need for me to have to pay all off those fees. She also told me that the agreement between Canyon View Estates and Time Warner has been extended again until August 1st. It was supposed to end on June 5th, so it's nice to know that they are still negotiating. BTW…when I passed the thermometer at the Junior High School it said it was 100° at 4:30 pm.

Hiker trying to stay cool on the bathroom floor

Sunday, May 20, 2012


Hiker didn't wake me up the normal time (6:15 am) this morning. I woke up and looked at the clock and it was 6:30 am and she was snoring at the foot of the bed. Got up and fed her and let her out to potty, then we both got back in bed and stayed there until around 7:45 am. We headed out for a 2 mile walk and then home where I made my breakfast...waffles and sausage. I ran out and got my Lotto tickets and then came home, put the sheets and towels into the washing machine and vacuumed Hiker's hair out of the carpet. It was already 80° by 9:30 am. Spent all day in the house with the A/C on because it was just too darn hot to go outside. There is supposed to be a partial eclipse of the sun here as the sun goes down this evening. I may try to see it by having the sun's light reflect through a pair of binoculars since you are not supposed to look directly at it. Where my older brother lives in Paradise, CA, they are supposed to have a complete “Annular Ring-of-Fire” solar eclipse. Here in SoCal we will only be able to see a partial eclipse. Worked on a jigsaw puzzle most of the afternoon. Got up to 95° here which is way too hot for me. If I am going to take Hiker out for a walk, I'll have to do it around 7:00pm. Maybe it will cool down by then.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Sofa Saturday

Got up and headed out for Hiker's morning walk. It was really nice out this morning. Came home and had breakfast and put a load of laundry into the machine. Also sorted my meds in the pill container for next week. Most of the day I just sat around watching The Hallmark Channel. Around 1:00 pm, put Hiker in the car to go for a ride. Drove over to Placerita Canyon (photos below). We got out and walked around a little, but it was 85° and I don't like having Hiker in the canyons right now because I am so afraid she will pick up more ticks. As soon as we got home, I checked her entire body out and didn't find any. There were a lot of people having picnics in the oak grove in Placerita, but even under the trees it was hot. I noticed on the way home that there is yet another pet center going in closer to me than the one I checked out a few weeks ago. This one is not there yet, but they have a “coming soon” sign in the window. They are in the Food-4-Less shopping center and they are called “Canyon Pet Center”. If they get moved in before July, I will have to check them out too. Going to cook a couple of small steaks on my George Foreman for me and one for Hiker.

Saw this Acorn Woodpecker trying to get a
drink from the drinking fountain

Then Hiker spotted this little squirrel along the trail
and as usual, she planted her butt and just
watched it 

Here is Hiker Girl watching the squirrel 

Friday, May 18, 2012

Lazy Friday

Had strange little short dreams all night long but cannot remember any of them. Got up and immediately took Hiker out for a walk. There was a slight marine layer this morning so it was a little cooler than it has been. Came home and poached a couple of eggs, one for me and one for Hiker, then I headed out for some errands. I went to Bed, Bath & Beyond to pick up a couple of those new Genie Bras that the advertise on TV. I had a $5 off coupon, so thought I'd better take advantage of it. Also took some things over to the Goodwill donation station and dropped off a few things. Was sitting on the sofa around 2:00 PM and noticed the wind was coming up. Hiker was lying on the floor when suddenly one of the chairs on my patio got knocked over from the wind and slid across the patio. Hiker started barking and her hair went up on her back. I had to let her outside so she could go check on the chair. Once I picked it back up, she was satisfied. Took Hiker out for another short walk to the park. It's about 80° and just a little breezy. Tilapia and rice for dinner tonight.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Out And About

Hiker and I waited until 7:00 pm before we went for a second walk yesterday and it was still about 85° outside. At least there was a stiff breeze that kept us from getting too hot. There were a few people out on bicycles at that time too. This morning I wanted to check out a new hiking area I had heard about, but I never found the actual place. If I was in the right area though, it sure would be a pretty place to hike. I'll have to check into it more. Hiker went with me. She is good now about wearing her seat belt harness. She knows it means a ride in the car. On the way home, we were near William S. Hart park so we stopped and walked around the park for about 20 minutes. Hiker saw the bison that are there and she seemed really interested in them. It was a little cooler today. Was 80° by noon. After lunch I went out and trimmed some areas of the lawn with my new cordless string trimmer, then I came back into the house and went through some things in the cabinets under my kitchen island so I could give things I don't use to the Goodwill. Then I went out to both of my cars and removed anything that was Ben's from them. His sunglasses, his ball cap his jacket and brought them into the house. I'm making my way to our bedroom where I will then take the rest of his clothes out of the closet to give to the Goodwill and any of his shoes that may be in good enough condition. But I'm not going to do the bedroom today. I'm still not quite ready for that, but I am getting close to being ready. I don't feel like I'll be tossing him away with the clothes anymore. Only got up to 82° today and was a little breezy so it didn't feel that hot.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Oh Please...Not Summer Heat Already

There used to be a Looney Tunes cartoon that Ben and I liked called “The Abominable Snow Rabbit”. It started Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck and the Abominable Snowman. The was a time in the cartoon when the snowman picks up Daffy and says “I will hug him and squeeze him and call him George”. Ben and I used to tell each other “I will hug you and kiss you and call you George” and then we would hug, kiss and call each other “George”. It was just a silly little thing we'd do. This morning I was watching the local CBS News and one of their reporters was at some place with some penguins. She said “I was told not to touch them but they are so cute I just want to hug them and squeeze them and call the George”. Suddenly I felt this tug at my heart that brought tears to my eyes because I have not heard anyone say that in over a year and I immediately thought of Ben. In our grief group, we always talk about things that will trigger a memory and this morning, that was what triggered mine. I had to go over to Wal-Mart this morning to do my grocery shopping. When I got back home, I started to take hiker out for a walk. The thermometer on my patio read 75° when we started out around 9:30 am. We went about a half mile from home and it was just so hot already. I was sweating and Hiker was panting, so we came back home only completing a mile walk. At 10:00 am it was already 80° and by noon it was 90° on my patio. Stayed in the house and watched TV most of the day.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The "Maniac" Was Back At Group Today

Hiker is so funny. She is a pretty good watch-dog. She barks when she see strangers walking by the house. Last evening she went to lookout of the window by the door and she saw a crow sitting on a rock in the front flowerbed. She started growling and barking at it. I went to look to see what she was making the noise about. She wanted to look out the front door, so I opened it and the crow flew off. Hiker then stopped making noise and went back to her toys. Had my Grief Support Group to go to today. I actually look forward to going to the group every Tuesday because I now live such a boring life, it's the only thing I have to look forward to each week. It means I get to be with my new friends and usually get to go to lunch with some of them. That new guy in our group was obnoxious again this week. We are all thinking that maybe he is on some kind of meds and now and then forgets to take them. Last week he was calmer. He tries to tell everyone in the group how they should feel and he doesn't want to listen to anyone else's feelings. Went to lunch with DeDee and Ruth and we were all saying it's too bad that someone in the group can't get enough nerve up to tell this guy that he does NOT need to be in a grief group because he is NOT grieving his wife. He is constantly telling us how happy he is. I think everyone in the group would like for him to never come back, but he keeps showing up like a bad penny. Linda joined us for lunch a little late and the 4 of us talked for awhile after we ate. I got home to a doggy that was glad to see her mama come home. I had made a mental note this morning as to where her toys were located on the floor in the living room before I left. When I got back home, nothing had changed, so I really think that when I am gone, all she does is sit on the ottoman bed in my office watching out the window for me to come home. Usually I take her out for a walk as soon as I get back on Tuesdays but it was 82° when I got home and too hot to walk, so I promised her that I'd take her out later when the sun has gone down some. I put the dose of Frontline Plus on her this morning. I have been checking her daily and have not found any new ticks so I hope I got them all.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Stayed up late last night to watch the final episode of “Desperate Housewives”. Was wide awake when I went to bed, so I turned the TV on in the bedroom. Was still awake around 1:00 am, so I finally got up and took a sleeping aid and went to sleep around 2:00 am. Hiker woke me up around 6:15 am so after feeding her and letting her out to go potty, I went back to bed and slept until around 8:00 am. I fixed a couple of poached eggs, one for hiker and one for me to put on an English muffin. Then I went over to Stater Brothers Market to get more English muffins. I love their store brand and you can get a double pack of them for less than what Wal-Mart charges for any of the English muffins they sell. Also picked up some Shasta Diet Cola. Came home and took Hiker on her morning walk. It was already about 70° outside. Came home and cleaned my small bathroom. Hiker “helped” me with the cleaning this time. She usually stays in the living room when I clean, but she came into the bathroom with me and sat right next to me the whole time I was cleaning. Then she started hiding in the sofa cushions, so I took photos of her playing. If you want to see the other photos I took, there is a like to them below. After lunch I headed over to Sam's Club to pick up some bulk things. It's amazing how Sam's Club is not very crowded in the middle of the day, but our Costco is so crowded all of the time you can barely find a place to park. I hope they never close I Sam's Club because I like them better. They seem cleaner and brighter inside and like I said...never crowded. I need to go to Wal-Mart this week too, but tomorrow I have my Grief Group, so I'll probably go to Wal-Mart on Wednesday. Got up to about 82° today. I will wait until after dinner to take Hiker for another walk. It is just too hot to go now.

Here is the link to the other photos

Sunday, May 13, 2012

My First Mom's Day With Hiker

Woke up with a headache this morning. I got up to feed Hiker and let her out to potty. When she came back in, we went back to bed and slept for about an hour. When I finally woke up, I put my sheets and towels into the washer, made some pancakes and sausage for breakfast, put the laundry into the dryer and then went to get my Lotto tickets. When I got back, I took Hiker out for a short 1 mile walk because I was still feeling a little light-headed. I think she realized I was not feeling up to par because she kept getting on my lap and wanted to cuddle. Today was my first Mother's Day since Hiker is my baby. I actually had several people send me emails and Facebook messages wishing me my first Happy Mother's Day. Started feeling better after I put the clean sheets back on my bed so I did my normal Sunday vacuuming to pick up Hiker's hair out of the carpet. Made some lunch and watched some movies on TV. Took Hiker out for another 1 mile walk. It was about 85° so we didn't stay out too long.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Busy Saturday

They say that “anger” is one of the phases of grief and up until now, I had not really experienced that phase. I have never been angry with Ben because it was not his fault that he died. I've heard that some people blame their spouse for leaving them. This morning something hit me about the fact that he will NEVER be here again for me to share my life with and I just felt extremely angry at the world in general. It didn't last long, but that is the first time I have had that feeling. Took Hiker out for a 2 mile walk and then went over to the Home Depot to buy a cordless string trimmer. I have a gardener, but there are times when some areas of my yard get so tall in between the times he comes to trim and mow. I wanted the trimmer to clean up those areas. I have an electric trimmer, but it's such a pain in the butt to get a cord out and try to find somewhere to plug it in so it will reach everywhere in the yard. I used to love to do yard work when I was younger, so I don't mind getting out now and then to do small yard jobs like that. Did a load of laundry and had lunch. Hiker kept acting “frightened” about something after lunch, so I thought maybe if I got her out for a walk she'd be OK. NOT! I drove her over to the community of Bridgeport in Valencia to walk around the lake there. She was still acting scared and then she saw some people in a paddle boat on the lake and she went crazy. She peed all over the sidewalk and tried to run. It's a good thing I was holding onto her leash nice and tight. I kept trying to get her to calm down, but she just kept pulling really hard on her leash and she was panting very heavily. I tried to get her to drink some water, but she didn't want any. She finally started to calm down some when I got her back to the car and headed home. Going to have some stewed chicken and pasta for dinner. Now that I've been cooking again every night, I'm gaining weight. I have gained back all of the weight I lost when Ben was sick in the hospital. I was hoping that I'd be able to keep my weight down.

Friday, May 11, 2012

A 38 Year-Old Memory Plus Hiker And I Both Got Clipped

Today is May 11th. On May 11th, 1974 Ben and I had our first “official” date. We went to Catalina Island with some friends for the day. Many years later, Ben told me that he fell in love with me on that date. I would have loved to go back to Catalina Island with him but since he had gotten seasick on the trip over there, he never wanted to go back again. When I was doing come cleaning awhile back, I found my ticket for that boat ride to the island. I cried and then I laminated the ticket and put it in a safe place. We had a thick marine layer this morning when Hiker and I got out of bed. The sun started to come out around 8:00 am so Hiker and I headed out for a 1.5 mile walk. When we got home, I watered my plants and cleaned the birdbath and then I flushed my hot water heater. I used to do that once a year but read that if you have really hard water you should do it at least every 6 months. I have extremely hard water where I live. At 1:00 pm, I took Hiker over to my neighbor's house. My neighbor does dog grooming in her home so I decided I'd give her a try and see if she does as good a job as they did over at K-9 Clippery. Jean, my neighbor, has 3 dogs of her own. She took classes to be a certified dog groomer after she retired because one of her dogs had seizures when she would take it to the groomer. Hiker was very scared of the other dogs because they all came at her at once. She kept cuddling up to me as close as she could get and tucked her face into my armpit. She had such a sad look on her face when I left. The house seems so empty when Hiker is not here. Jean called around 2:30 and said Hiker was ready for me to pick her up. Hiker was so excited when I walked in. She just wanted to get out of there (LOL). Jean bathed her, gave her a “summer trim”, cleaned her ears and cut her nails and it only cost me $25. I think that's a very good price and I think Hiker looks great! Although I don't think she was very happy with me when I got her home because I tried to take a picture of her with her new “do” and she stuck her tongue out at me (LOL). I decided since Hiker got a trim, I needed one too, so I cut my hair with my Flow-Bee. Think I'll make myself a cheese enchilada for dinner.
Here is the first photo of Ben and I on our first date

 Here's Hiker giving me the Raspberries after her grooming

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Fishing In The Park

Another nice morning when we got out of bed. I had a bowl of cereal and then went over to Wal-Mart to pick up a few things. Came home and took Hiker on a 1.5 mile walk. It was already 70° at 9:00 am when we left. Sat on my patio for awhile this morning until it started getting too warm outside. The temps today were cooler than the past 2 or 3 days but still in the 80's. Got bored with just sitting on the sofa watching TV after lunch so I put Hiker's car seat harness on her and we drove over to Central Park in Saugus and did a 1.87 mile walk around the park. Even though it was right around 80° while we were walking, it didn't feel that hot because the was a cool wind coming in from the ocean, so it was kind of nice. They also have a dog park there called Central Bark. There was no one there with their dogs and I considered taking Hiker in a turning her loose so she could run, but then I thought better of it because the dog park is right up again the hills and they do have rattlesnake warnings all over this park. When we were walking around I saw this man in the park with a fishing rod. I thought at first he was just practicing his casting, but then I looked up and realized he had a kite attached to the fishing line. I thought that was pretty clever. Tomorrow afternoon I am taking Hiker over to my neighbor who does dog grooming. She lives around the corner from me and two houses down. I hope Hiker will be a good girl and not give her any trouble.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Sizzler Lunch and Sizzling Weather

Beautiful morning when Hiker and I went out for a short 1 mile walk. I didn't want to go on a long walk because I sweat so much and I didn't want to have to take a shower before I went out to lunch with some of my retired girlfriends. Originally I was going to have 4 other ladies riding up to Palmdale with me to the lunch, but I ended up driving by myself as 2 of them ended up not going to the lunch and the other two decided to drive themselves as they needed their own cars. It was a nice drive up and lunch was nice. There ended up being 8 of us, but 2 of them were ladies who do not normally come. One was visiting my friend Judy Holdt. Her name is Diane Davis and she lives in Montana. The other was with my friend Sandi Owens. Her name was Bonnie. It was hot in Palmdale and it was hot when I got home. I had stopped by a Orowheat Thrift Store to pick up some Sheepherder bread. When I got home, Hiker was all over me giving me “kisses”. I always miss her so much when I leave her at home. Put my shorts on as soon as I got home. I hate hot weather. I won't be taking Hiker out for another walk until about 6:00 this evening when it's cooled down some.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Good Day At Group

I wish I could get a full night's sleep. Right after Ben died, I had grief induced insomnia and could never get to sleep before 3:00 am. Now I fall asleep on the sofa between 8:30 pm and 9:00 pm so I go to bed and go right to sleep, but then I wake up several times a night. I just cannot get a full 7 or 8 hours and I am so tired when I get up in the morning. Between the time I retired from Lockheed in 2006 and the time that Ben went into the hospital in 2011, I was getting a full night's sleep every night for the first time in years. I figured it was because I no longer had the stress of my job. But once Ben went into the hospital, those wonderful nights of sleep stopped and I have not slept well in over a year now. Went to my grief support group today. That new guys did show up today, but he was a lot more quiet and our therapist was able to control him today. DeDee and I were thinking that maybe he is on medication and last week he had not taken it yet. Before he got there, everyone that got their early was saying that they were hoping he didn't come today, but he did, and every time he opened his mouth, people started making comments. But at least he was not able to ruin our group session today. The new lady from last week (Gin) came again. She has been widowed for 3 months. We also had another new lady named Jane. Her husband passed away 6 weeks ago. After group, it was just DeDee and me for lunch as the other ladies had other commitments. We went to the Round Table Pizza buffet. When we left to go home, I noticed that the thermometer in my car said the outside temperature was 99° but when I got home my thermometer on my patio said it was 91°. It may have been 8° warmer over in Newhall. I guess that is possible. I'm waiting to take Hiker out for her walk later when hopefully it will be a little cooler outside.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Another New Week

Had to get gasoline in my Corolla this morning and then headed over to the Newsstand to pick up some crossword puzzle books. Came home and took Hiker out on a 2 mile walk. She was so funny. One of my neighbors has some ceramic ducks in their front yard and they have been there forever, but yesterday Hiker noticed them for the first time. Today she does that “sneak up on them and check them out” thing and bumps them with her nose and then cannot understand why they just sit there and don't move. Silly girl. It was already 75° by 10:15 am. Well at least I know people worry about me. This morning I only got on Facebook for a couple of minutes then headed out to get my gasoline, plus Hiker and I were out on our walk. Then when we got home, my older brother Ron called me and while we were talking I got a text on my cell phone, which I ignored for awhile because he and I were talking, then I started getting a “call waiting” beep on my home phone. Turns out my friend Linda had not seen anything from me on Facebook this morning and then she tried to text me and I didn't reply, so she thought something was wrong because she could not reach me. She called the office here in my community to have them call me to check up on me to see if I was OK. It's funny because my brother had just been telling me about the police coming to his neighbor's apartment yesterday for a “welfare check” on his neighbor. By 2:30 pm it as 89° out on my patio. Decided to wait until after dinner when the sun starts to go down and it gets cooler before I take Hiker out for her second walk.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Sundays Are Great For Hiking

Got up a little early this morning and headed over to Towsley Canyon for a little hike. Wanted to go before it got too hot. Decided on Towsley because the trail there is very wide in most places and I figured if I kept Hiker right in the middle of the trail and away from the brush that maybe she would not get anymore ticks. Hiker saw many little bunnies along the trail. She does not try to chase them. She usually just plants her butt down and watches them until the hop away into the bushes. When we first got there around 8:00 am the parking lot was only about half full, but when we left, there was not a parking space anywhere. I've never seen so many cars there before. I guess everyone else had the same idea as me about getting out before it got too hot. When we left there to come home around 9:45 am, it was already 80°. Did some laundry and then vacuumed the house. After that I made lunch and vegged out on the sofa most of the day. I did get up off the sofa around 2:15 pm and walk Hiker down to the park for a few minutes. Spaghetti and meatballs with a small green salad for dinner tonight.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Hiker Got A New Toy

Beautiful day outside. Took Hiker for her 1.5 mile walk. There were a lot of people out there this morning. Probably because I stayed in bed longer and we got out later than normal. On our way out on the walk, there is a burned-out house that has been sitting vacant for about 5 years since it burned. It's barely boarded up. I noticed 3 little boys, maybe aged 7 to 10 years old sneaking through the fence and into the backyard of the house. I guess a neighbor heard them because I heard them yell “RUN” and they came flying out of the yard and back through the fence. On our way home, I noticed they had been back in the yard again and were just coming out and starting to sneak through the fence. The stopped and looked at me. I decided that their parents obviously don't care where they are or that they might get hurt, so I lied to the boys and told them that I had called the sheriff and told them that there were 3 little boys playing inside the burned out house. I lied and said “the sheriff car is on its way here so you might want to leave now before they get here”. The didn't say anything to me. They just turned and ran away. I'm kind of surprised that the people of that neighborhood have not complained to the city about the burned-out house still being there all of these years. It's an eyesore. By noon it had reached 80°...too hot for a walk by the time I really wanted to go, so instead Hiker and I went over to the open house of the new veterinary hospital that just opened about 3 miles from our house. There were quite a few people there. The staff seemed really nice and I talked with them about bringing Hiker in for her booster shots and an exam. I told them her shots are due in July so they told me to call for an appointment in late June or early July. They said sometimes they can actually get people in on the same day, and if not, the same week. I also talked to a person who works for the company that makes Trifexis which is a parasite protection for dogs and cats. It a chewable tablet that you give your dog once a month, but the problem is, it does not protect them from ticks. She told me that they are working on a new formula that will do that and it should be out in the future. They even gave Hiker a new rope toy just for coming to the open house. When we got home, I took Hiker down to the park. It was getting close to 85° by then, so we didn't stay too long. Came home and I watched the movie “Earthquake” on AMC. I remember when Ben and I went to see that movie when it was showing down in Hollywood right after it came out. We were still dating back then. Going to have a pizza and salad for dinner tonight. I bought a “take-n-bake” pizza at Wal-Mart the other day when I was there.

Friday, May 4, 2012

"Cheesy" Day

Finally a beautiful morning her in SoCal. Made breakfast and then took Hiker out for a 1.5 mile walk. Found another tick under her chin in the thick hair on her chest. I carry my tweezers with me now so I was able to pull it out as soon as I found it. I used to have to stop and go get my tweezers and then I'd have trouble finding the tick again, so now I carry them with me. I went over to my neighbor who does dog grooming at her home and made an appointment to have her bathe and groom Hiker next Friday afternoon. I told her about the tick problem and she said she'd use a special shampoo on her. I woke up this morning around 2:45 am and could not get back to sleep. I don't know what woke me up, but Hiker was up roaming around the house, so maybe she heard something and that's what woke me up too. It was so nice outside that I took Hiker down to the park after lunch. I wish they had more grass down there and more trees for shade. Took some photos of some of the wildflowers. When I got home, found a package on my porch which contained the cheeses I ordered last Tuesday from the Loleta Cheese Factory. That's the fasted they have ever shipped to me. Usually takes a little over a week. This time it took only 3 days. Got up to about 70° which is just about perfect as far as I'm concerned. I don't like it really cold and I really hate the heat, so 70° is just right. I had put a small beef roast in my crock pot this morning and I'm going to make some of my cheesy potato casserole to go along with it.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Still Cloudy Here

Another marine layer this morning making SoCal “May Gray” again. I got an email from my older brother Ron saying that one of his neighbors found a baby rattlesnake under one of her flower pots. Ron said his landlady warned all of them to be careful out in their yards. He lives in a little Senior Complex in Paradise, CA. Hiker and I headed over to Wal-Mart so I could do my grocery shopping. Spent more money than normal but I bought some Frontline Plus for Hiker after so many people told me that the Hartz Ultraguard I put on her a little over a week ago was dangerous to use. After everyone told me that, I Googled Hartz Ultraguard and read all of the bad things about it so tossed the 2 bottles I had left. Thank goodness the first bottle I put on Hiker didn't seem to cause any problems for her. Frontline Plus costs a lot more, but to me, Hiker is worth the price. When we got home from shopping, I took hiker out for a 1.7 mile walk. The sun finally started peeking in and out around 11:30 am. It never did totally come out. I took Hiker for an afternoon walk around 1:30 pm. We went over to the San Francisquito Creek Trail and did 2 miles. Was still very cloudy when we came home. Hiker plopped down on the sofa and took a nap. Going to make fish and chips for dinner. I buy some really good beer battered code fillets over at Sam's Club. I don't deep fry them. I bake them in the oven but they tasted deep fried when they come out.

Soccer anyone?

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

It Was A Dark And Gloomy Day

Yesterday I got an email newsletter from Loleta Cheese Factory. This is a family owned cheese factory in Loleta, CA where Ben and I used to go every time we were up in Humboldt County, CA. I had been thinking about ordering some cheese from them but I just could not bring myself to do it because I used to order it for Ben and me. He loved their cheeses. Every year, between May 31st and October 1st, they suspend shipments of their cheeses because of the warmer weather. When I saw in their newsletter that I only had a few weeks to order, I grabbed my credit card and ordered some of my (and Ben's) favorite cheeses. It was another “Gray May” day here in SoCal this morning. Hiker and I went out for a 1.5 mile walk and then headed over to Sam's Club. I do not like taking walks when it is cloudy and gray. I know it's cooler but I just feel too moody when I'm out walking in gloomy weather. Had lunch and watched my soap and then took Hiker for another 1.5 mile walk. It's still very gray and cloudy outside. When we got back home, Hiker and I kept hearing a knocking when we were inside the house. Hiker ran to the front door and barked. I finally went outside and found out there was a crow up on the roof with a nut or something in its beak and it was banging the nut on my roof. I guess he was trying to crack it open or something.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

A Fly In The Ointment

Last night I decided to get out my little table top grill that Ben and I always hid in our earthquake kit and cook a couple of small steaks on it for Hiker's and my dinner. Now I remember why I got rid of the full sized BBQ Ben used to cook on. It's too much trouble to clean after cooking. I'll just stick with my George Foreman Grill. Had my grief support group today at the Senior Center. It was a very good session. A new lady joined us. Her husband of 59 years passed away 3 months ago. She was crying a lot and kept apologizing for it. I told her to never apologize because she deserves to cry and that the tears are helping her release the grief from her heart. I felt bad for her because I remember when I first joined the group that I cried a lot at first and it does embarrass you until you realize that none of the people there are going to judge you because they all totally understand. It was a good session until a new man joined the group half-way through the session. He was very obnoxious and would not stop talking. It was like he wanted to be the center of everyone's attention. He lost his spouse in February, but the way he was acting, none of us saw any grief in him. He kept telling us how happy he was...that he was not sad. We all more or less came to the conclusion that he is in total denial and that he is forcing himself to be “happy” to avoid the grief. This is not a healthy thing to do. He even started to give “advise” to the new lady who joined us, telling her he didn't like to see her cry that he wanted her to be happy. Our therapist had to interrupt him several times to get him to stop trying to take control of the conversations. All of the regular members were getting very annoyed with him. Our therapist actually ended the session a little early because this guy was frustrating everyone. I went to lunch with a few of the ladies from group and we were all saying we just wanted to tell this guy to SHUT UP! We were all saying we feel sorry for him that he has lost his wife but we really hope he does not come back to our group. I'm afraid he will though because he more or less said he would return. The only good thing he did was make the new lady laugh because of his ranting and she told me and DeDee that she needed that. Lunch was nice. There were 5 of us and we can all sit and discuss our grief knowing that everyone there understands. When I got home, I took Hiker out for another short walk. The sun never did come out here today and it's been in the high 50's all day. Crazy weather we've been having. In the 90's for a couple of days and now this again.