Saturday, June 30, 2012

I'm Pooped!

Well today was a busy day. Hiker and I got up around 7:30 am and we headed out for our morning walk. Was already getting warm, but there were quite a few people out this morning. Came home and had a bowl of cereal and put a load of laundry into the washer. Started working on emptying out Ben's dresser around 9:30 am and didn't finish with all I wanted to do until almost 2:00 pm. I did stop for lunch around noon. I wanted to go through whatever I found in the dresser to make sure I didn't toss something I wanted to keep. I found a big envelope that Ben had been keeping his birthday cards that were given to him in. I was so glad I went through them one at a time because I also found a homemade Valentine card he had made for me in 1975 when we were dating. He had given it to me back then because I remembered it, but I don't know why it ended up in his envelope full of cards. I also found two watercolor paintings he had done in I'm guessing, elementary school. I'm going to give those to his sister, and I found an essay that he had written in school which I will also give to her. We had two dressers in our bedroom, one was Ben's and one was mine. Now that Ben's was empty, I moved all of my stuff from my dresser over to his dresser. I moved my dresser into my dining area for extra storage. I did not have a night stand on my side of the bed, but Ben did have one on his side, so I moved his over to my side of the bed. My dad made this night stand. After moving the dresser out and moving other furniture around in the bedroom, it looks so much bigger now, not that it was that small, but we had a lot of furniture in there and a king size bed. I thought Ben had a lot of shoes when I went through the closet the other day, well in his dresser I found 26 pair of sunglasses and 15 wrist watches. I knew he had bought a lot of these two items through the years, but I had no idea he had kept all of them. He quit wearing a watch when he got a cell phone because he could use it to tell time. I'm giving all of both to the Goodwill. So now I'm done with something that I had been dreading for over a year. I'm feel good about doing it, it was time, and I'm pooped.

I'm making progress on my latest jigsaw puzzle

Friday, June 29, 2012

Finished The Closet

Hiker got me up a little after 7:00 am. She wanted to go for her morning walk. We never went for our second walk yesterday. I tried to take Hiker out around 6:30 pm, but she did not want to go. I think the heat was getting to her. Plus I wonder how hot the pavement is on those little pads on her paws when we go out on really hot days. After we got back from our morning walk, made breakfast and then started working on cleaning out the closet in my bedroom again. I didn't realize how many pairs of shoes Ben had. I ended up giving 12 pair to the Goodwill and tossing several pair that were not in good condition. Ben always had trouble finding shoes that fit him good. Usually he'd return them if they didn't but there were times that he thought they were OK and then by the time he realized they hurt his feet, it was too late to return them. I finished cleaning the closet and then cleaned out his night stand. Tomorrow I will go through his dresser. There won't be much there because I already gave his sock to my brother and put most of his underwear out in the “rag box” in the garage. I'm going to put my things in his dresser and use my old dresser in another room. Hiker and I went over to the Goodwill Donation Station to drop of some stuff and then went up to Sam's Club so I could fill the Corolla with gas. Worked on my jigsaw puzzle a little more. It got up to about 92° here today.

Nice morning for our walk

Thursday, June 28, 2012

I Made A Decision Today

I think I was having dreams all night last night a because of it, I feel like I did not get much sleep even though I know I did sleep. Don't really remember details of the dreams except the last one just before Hiker woke me up. I was sitting next to Ben and had my arm looped through his. I remember I said something to him, but don't remember what it was and he turned to look at me and he smiled. Next thing I knew, Hiker was waking me up to let her outside. Got up and took her for a 1.8 mile walk. There wasn't anyone out on the path this morning which I found kind of strange. Thought people would get out before the heat comes as the TV News said we would be about 95° today. I made a decision this morning to start going through my bedroom closet and dressers and start going through the remainder of Ben's belongings. Most of his shirts had been used to cut pieces from to make the memory pillow that Ben's sister made for me. What was left were shirts that he very rarely wore and his slacks. I went through the pockets and carefully folded each garment and put them into bags to take to the Goodwill. Everything went fine until I went through a small bag that he used for his toiletries when we would go on trips. Going through those things made me cry. I sat on the floor and cried for about 10 minutes and Hiker tried to console me the entire time. I only got through about half of the closet today and will probably continue on it tomorrow. After lunch I drove over to the Goodwill Donation Station and dropped off 2 bags of clothes, a box of shoes and a few other things then I went to Sam's Club and picked up a few things I needed. When I went by the thermometer at the Jr. High School it said it was 97° at around 1:30 pm.

The first load of Ben's things that went to Goodwill

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Semi-Busy Day

Got up at 7:00 am this morning and headed over to Wal-Mart to do a little shopping. While there, I bought a sunshade for my car. I said it fit Toyota Corolla but when I got home it was way too small for my windshield so I took it back and exchanged it for the bigger one but it doesn't really fit my windshield either, but I'm not going to exchange it again. I'll just work with it. Took Hiker for a very short walk to the park but it was already getting too hot so we didn't stay out there very long. I bought 3 small solar lights to put out by my patio so I put them out there this morning. After lunch I put Hiker into the car and went to the car wash...the kind that you stay in as you drive through then a guy dries it for you at the end. Came home and adjusted several of my sprinklers in the front yard because the were watering the driveway. I got all wet but it felt so good because it was pushing 90° outside. I'll try to take Hiker out for another walk later after dinner. Hopefully it will cool down some by then.

A friend sent me this photo in an email today...
It's a cell phone just for seniors (LOL)
Some of you may be too young to see the humber

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Local Hometown Buffet Closes

Now walk for Hiker this morning as I had my Grief Group today and I don't like getting all sweaty before I go to group. Our group was kind of small today, but that obnoxious guy showed up again and now he is bringing his daughter with him. But she's seems OK. She even gets fed up with him and tells him to be quiet now and then. After group, I went to lunch with three of the ladies in the group (DeDee, Linda & Carol). We went to Red Robin. I got home around 2:00 PM and took Hiker out for a short walk around my gated community. It was hot out there...about 85° so we didn't stay out too long. For those of you who sometimes meet with our “retired ladies” at the Hometown Buffet here in Santa Clarita, I found out today that it closed down. I guess it closed last week sometime. They already took the sign of the building. I guess I'm not surprised because their food was not that good anymore and they were kind of expensive.

Monday, June 25, 2012

A Visit To The Dog Park

Wow, was I having some pretty strange dreams last night, but when I woke up from them, I could not remember anything about them. I know I was deep into a dream and I woke up around midnight and I was drenched in sweat. Hiker did not wake me up until after 6:30 am which is about 30 minutes late for her. I was surprised when I let Hiker outside that it was only 48° since it has been in the low 60's the past few mornings. There was no marine layer either. Took Hiker for a walk a little after 7:30 am. I've noticed that the last couple of days that Hiker has been “skittish” when we go out on or walks. Yesterday afternoon, she acted like she didn't want to go for her afternoon walk and this morning, she seemed frightened by every person she saw. That is really strange because usually she is so friendly with everyone she meets. So I have no idea what that's all about because she seems OK at home. This afternoon I took her over to Central Park to walk around. I noticed there were not any people or dogs in the dog park (Central Bark), so I decided to take Hiker in the fenced area and turn her loose to see what she would do. She had never been in a dog park before. When I first took the leash off, she acted like she didn't know what to do, so I picked up one of the tennis balls that they have there for the dogs and tossed it. She took off after it, but then she didn't pick it up and I think it's because she knew it was not HER ball. When she looked back at me and saw that I was about 40 feet away from her, she came running back to me as fast as she could. I kept trying to get her to run around, but she would not go very far away from me, which is a good thing I guess. It was pretty windy over there.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Missing Piece Of The Puzzle

Another day of not wanting to get out of bed this morning. Hiker kept bothering me to get up and take her for a walk, so I finally got up and did. If I put the covers over my head, Hiker will either try to stick her nose under the covers to lick me or she will paw at me and whine. She is so cute. We did our same boring walk that we do almost every day. Just didn't feel like driving anywhere to the other walking areas. After our walk I came home and had breakfast and then went and bought my Lottery tickets. Once back home I put my laundry into the washer and then ran the vacuum. Worked a lot on my dog jigsaw all day and I finished it. But my 1000 piece puzzle ended up being only 999 pieces. Yup, after all of that work, there was a piece missing. I looked all around for it where I was working on the puzzle and it was nowhere to be found. Seems like every puzzle I work these days has at least 1 piece missing. Obviously their quality control sucks.

Saturday, June 23, 2012


Today was pretty much a “totally do nothing day”. Got out of bed around 8:00 am and took Hiker for a mile and a half walk. When we got home I put some laundry into the washing machine and then had breakfast. Watched several “Murder She Wrote” movies on Hallmark Movie Channel and also worked on my dog jigsaw puzzle. Been trying to figure out somewhere for Hiker and I to walk tomorrow morning instead of the trail down the street from me. 80° here again today. Seems that our weather is in a rut right now.

I'm getting there

Friday, June 22, 2012

Visit To Old Town Newhall, CA

I really need to do two things....not eat too much and try to get up earlier in the morning. I used to never stay in bed any later than 7:00 am. For years when I was working, I had to get up at 4:00 am because I had to commute 40 miles one way. When I retired, it was a luxury to sleep in until 7:00 am. I do remember though that the first summer after I retired, I'd get up around 5:30 am to get out and take a 2 mile walk every morning before it got too hot outside. Hiker and I went for our morning walk around 8:30 this morning. Ran into our neighbor Brenda along the way, so she walked back home with us. After lunch, Hiker and I headed over to Old Town Newhall to walk around and so I could take some photos. Walked down Main Street and took a few photos of our “Cowboy Walk Of Fame”. Hollywood has their “Stars Walk Of Fame” and Newhall has it's cowboys. Below is a link if anyone is interested in knowing more about the “Cowboy Walk Of Fame”. I took a few photos of some of the plaques along the sidewalk. We also went over to Veterans Memorial Park and took a few photos. Got up to around 80° again today. Hiker noticed an alligator lizard that's been hanging out on our patio for a couple of weeks today. She had not noticed it before and she sat by the sliding door whimpering until I let her out and then she took of chasing that lizard. It got away.

Cowboy Walk Of Fame

Here is Hiker with the drummer statue at Veterans Memorial Park

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Another "Out To Lunch" Day

Felt really sleepy when Hiker woke me up this morning to feed her and let her out to go potty. I could not wake up this morning. After I fed Hiker I went back to bed and fell asleep. Didn't get up until 8:00 am. I usually get up between 7:00 am and 7:30 am. For some reason this week has been going by really slowly for me. Actually ever since last Thursday, it seems the days are going by slowly. I keep getting mixed up on what day it is for some reason too. Ben's best friend Ed came up from Pomona, CA today to see me and Hiker and he and I met my friend DeDee over at the Round Table Pizza Parlor for lunch. Spent a nice couple of hours visiting. I ate too much pizza (LOL). Probably won't need dinner tonight. Got up to around 80° again today. I wouldn't mind if it stayed around that temperature all summer. Going to take Hiker down to the park for a little while.

Hiker with her latest "hedgehog" toy - given to her by Ben's sister and her husband

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Visiting Woodpecker

The new hedgehog was in the pile with her other toys when we went to bed Tuesday night. Very early Wednesday morning (around 3:00 am), she got out of bed and went into the living room. She does that sometimes to get a toy or her bone and she brings it back to bed. Well, I don't know if she forgot that she had a new toy or what, but she woke me up barking angrily. I thought someone was outside messing with my car or something so I got up to see what she was barking at. I found her in the living room standing by her toy pile. Her hair was standing up on her back and I realized she was barking at the new hedgehog. I don't know if she forgot that she got a new toy or what, but obviously she realized there was something strange in the pile. I finally calmed her down and she sniffed the new toy and then brought it back to bed with us. She did the same thing several months back when I found an old teddy bear of Ben's and set it on my bed. She came into the bedroom that night and noticed that something "strange" was sitting on the bed and she went crazy. She's so silly. When we finally got up this morning, there was a thick marine layer again but they have been quickly each day and then it gets very warm. Today is the summer solstice on this side of the earth, so will be the longest day of the year. Got up to about 80° here today so it wasn't too bad.

This Nuttall's Woodpecker was on my patio this morning. I have never seen it before.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Little Birds On My Patio

This male and female house finch pair were splashing around in my birdbath this morning.

A Little Late Posting This

Today being Tuesday, I would normally go to my Grief Support Group at the Senior Center, but last evening, the therapist who leads our group called me (and all of the other members) to let us know that she would not be leading group today because her grand-daughter is graduating. She said she was giving everyone the option of still going and just “talking amongst ourselves” or not going at all. Since Ben's sister and her husband were in town from Las Vegas and had been wanting to get together, I decided to visit and have lunch with them instead of going over to the Senior Center. Got up at 7:00 am and took Hiker out for her morning walk. It was overcast when we went, but then the sun came out right after we got back home. Before the sun did come out though, I got outside and trimmed back my gladiola stalks that had died already. Wanted to get that done while it was still cool outside and so I could get them picked up in with the trash tomorrow. Went to lunch with Ben's sister Donna and her husband Rich. Had a nice long leisurely lunch then came back by my house so Rich could play with Hiker. He lost his dog last year and really loves Hiker. My brother Ron called me while they were here so I called him back after they left. Got up to around 82° here today.

Ben's sister Donna and her husband Rich at Backwoods Inn

Monday, June 18, 2012

Busy Morning, Lazy Afternoon

Got up at 7:00 am and headed over to WalMart to do some grocery shopping. Came home and took Hiker for a 1.5 mile walk and then had breakfast. After breakfast I did some housework and then I was pooped. Hiker was making me a little anxious today. She is always right on my heels, but today she seemed to be more “clingy” than normal. Made me wonder if she was sensing an earthquake or something. Took Hiker down to the park in the afternoon. While out, she saw a kid coming on a skateboard and she got scared and peed all over the street. Skateboards and bicycles sure scare her. I'm certain that some kids must have chased her or something on their skateboard or bike when she was a puppy. Got up to about 88° here today.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Nice Morning Walk At Iron Horse Trailhead

This morning Hiker and I got up at 7:00 am and headed over to the new Iron Horse Trailhead to check out the city walking/biking trail there. The highlight of this area is the old railroad trestle bridge that was build in 1898. There is also a 15 foot piece of art monument called the “Crossroads at Iron Horse Trailhead”. The 15-foot-tall monument showcases three vertical steel beams, each with two arms pointing in the general direction of an assortment of historical landmarks around the Santa Clarita Valley including the Oak of the Golden Dream, Newhall Ranch, Mentryville, Tataviam Indians, Lyons Station and the Golden Spike. We really enjoyed our walk there. We saw a rabbit, a road runner and a squirrel run across the trail but they were so fast, I was not able to get any photos of them. Headed back home around 9:00 am and the temperature was already 80° and by 11:00 am, it was already 90°. I was pretty busy most of the day. After our walk, I did some laundry, uploaded my photos that I took on the walk, vacuumed the carpet, changed the sheets on my bed, had lunch and then gave myself a hair cut with my Flowbee. Waiting for it to cool down some so I can take Hiker down to the park for about 15 minutes.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Didn't Do Much Today

Well I survived yesterday. Felt very tired last night when I went to bed at 9:00 pm. I think I fell right to sleep, but I still wake up several times a night. I recall that I was having a strange dream when I woke up around 6:00 am but now I don't remember what it was about. After I fed Hiker and let her out for potty, we went back to bed for about 45 minutes more. I was going to stay in bed longer, but Hiker wanted me to get up and until I do, she will not leave me alone (LOL). Headed out for our morning walk, but the whole time I was walking, I kept feeling like my lower back was about to go out. It's been feeling that way for a couple of days now. I was doing my laundry this morning and I decided to wash a couple of Hiker's toys. When I took them out of the washer to put them into the dryer, she kept barking at me because she wanted her toys. I really need to watch what I'm eating. I have gained back all 25 lbs. that I lost when Ben was in the hospital and when I didn't eat after he died plus my pants are starting to feel pretty tight around the middle. I need to quit eating all of the comfort foods I guess. Hiker is such a good “guard dog”. A strange man pulled up in his car in front of my house and came up to my door and Hiker started barking and got between me and him when I went to the door to see what he wanted. He was looking for someone who lives just down the street from me. If someone comes to the door that Hiker knows, she will bark at first until she see who they are and then she is OK, but with this guy, she never stopped barking. Got up to around 90° here today. I hope tomorrow it's cooler and that my back is not hurting because I want to check out a new walking area for me and Hiker.

My protector

Friday, June 15, 2012

It's Been A Year...

June Gloom when Hiker and I went for our morning walk. It's been one year ago today that my sweet Ben passed away. I have been shedding many tears all day. They started to flow while Hiker and I were out walking. The sun finally started to poke through the overcast skies around 11:30 am. At noon I met my friends DeDee, Judy Arbogast, Judy Holdt and Linda (plus Linda's grand-daughter Ava) at Backwoods Inn for lunch today. Backwoods was Ben's favorite steakhouse here in our valley. He and I used to go there every single Saturday for lunch for many years. We had a nice visit and great food today. I took my small container that has some of Ben's cremains in it with me. Got up to around 80° here today.

It's Been One Year Today

BEN WAGGONER - 09/09/1950 TO 06/15/2011


Thursday, June 14, 2012

Lunch With Old Friends

Stayed up and watched “Dallas” last night. It did not go off until 11:15 pm. It was very good. I just hope they don't “kill off” Patrick Duffy right away since they have his character (Bobby) ill with cancer. My bed felt so good this morning. Funny how sometimes when I go to bed at night I cannot go to sleep because I cannot get comfortable, but in the morning, the bed always feels so comfortable I don't want to get out of it. Ben's sister Donna called me last night. She and her husband are in town again. Their second grand-daughter was born yesterday. Their son lives here in Santa Clarita. Took Hiker in the car with me to get my Lotto Ticket for Saturday and then when we got home, I took her for a walk. There was a thick marine layer, so it was overcast and humid outside this morning. My good friends Karren and Wally Meggitt came by today and we went to lunch over at Stonefire Grill. I worked with both of them for many years and Ben and I used to do things with them as “couples”. We even went on vacation twice with them to Ben's an my favorite place in northern California. Wally keeps telling me that when I'm ready, he and Karren will take me and Hiker up north again sometime in their fifth-wheel. Hiker enjoyed playing with Wally. He loves dogs and he tossed her tennis ball for her and wrestled with her. She loves that. Got up to about 80° here today but didn't feel really hot because it was still hazy from the marine layer we had this morning. Tomorrow, the actual date of Ben's passing, my friends DeDee, Linda, Judy Holdt and Judy Arbogast are going with me to have lunch at Ben's favorite steakhouse.

Hiker looking at herself in the bathroom mirror

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

One Year Ago On This Day...

If I counted exact days (not the date), Ben passed away one year ago today. The actual date (June 15) is Friday, but he passed on a Wednesday. Slept in this morning. I think my brother Keith wore me out with all of the walking and hiking (LOL). When Hiker and I did get up, we went for a 1.5 mile walk. It was a little foggy due to a marine layer but it burned off pretty quick. Came home and had breakfast and then I did a little housework. Hiker was out on the patio and she kept barking at me to come out because she wanted to play with her tennis ball. We did that for about 15 minutes and then she decided she wanted to come back into the house. It got up to around 80° today. It was a little breezy too. I took Hiker down to the park around 2:00 pm. Today was the first time since Ben died that I had taken my MP3 player with me on a walk. We stopped to sit under the gazebo and enjoy the breeze and what comes on my MP3? “How Do I Live Without You” by Leann Rimes. I started to cry and I just sat there under that gazebo while that song played and the tears ran down my cheeks. Some songs just get to me that way. I'm looking forward to watching the 2-hour premier of the new “Dallas” tonight on TV. I hope it's as good as the old “Dallas”.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Just Hiker And Me...Alone Again

Had a little trouble going to sleep last night so was very tired when I got up this morning, plus the fact that since Keith was here, we were walking/hiking 4 to 5 miles every day whereas Hiker and I usually only do 2 to 3 miles a day. I've been doing pretty good on these days leading up to the first anniversary of Ben's death, but last night after going to bed, I had a breakdown. I was watching “Great American Country” on TV while in bed and Carrie Underwood sang “How Great Thou Art” and it just got to me and I started to cry and cried for about 20 minutes. Keith went to my grief group with me today. Had a good attendance and good interaction. I didn't say much today because I was still “groggy” from not getting much sleep last night. After group we went to Alamo Mexican Rotisserie for lunch. DeDee and four other ladies from the group (Carol, Gin, Jane and Ruth) also joined us. Keith left to head home just before 2:00 pm. He was dreading that long drive back to Orange County. I love him visiting me as often as possible and I always hate to see Keith leave, but I'm getting used to being alone now. Don't know what got into Hiker yesterday...she was sitting on the sofa, squished in behind Keith. I tried to make her move so Keith could sit back and she bared her teeth to me and growled and then she snapped at me. She has never done that before, so I grabbed hold of her snout and held it shut and raised my voice to her telling her that what she had just done was bad. I think after the incident, she was trying to apologize to me because she kept kissing me, but she acted a little differently toward me the rest of the evening. It got up to around 90° today. It didn't feel that hot when we were sitting outside having lunch.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Not So Busy Day

When we woke up this morning we had a very thick marine layer. Could not even see the hill that is outside my kitchen window (2 blocks away). Thought it would stay that way all day, but by around 8:00 am, the sun was out and it was already getting warm. Had breakfast and then Keith and I headed over to Wal-Mart so I could pick up a few things I needed. We then came home and took Hiker out for a 2 mile walk. Came back home and then headed over to Kaiser pharmacy so I could pick up my refills on my blood pressure meds. On the way home we made a couple of other stops along the way and then went to lunch at Stonefire Grill. Sat around watching Antenna TV all afternoon. Got to up around 90° today. Think after dinner Keith and I will take Hiker over to either Southfork Trail or Bridgeport for our evening walk.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Went For A Nice Morning Hike

We got up this morning at 7:00 am and by about 7:45 am, we headed out for Towsley Canyon for a 3.5 mile walk to The Narrows. It was already in the 70's so it was getting pretty warm. There were a lot of people over there this morning. Came home and sat around for awhile then went to lunch over at Carl's Jr. Also went by Big-5 sporting Goods where I bought one of those hats that has the piece of cloth that drops down the back of it to cover your neck from the sun. Keith and I drove over to the mall and just walked around. Was very crowded over there, probably because it was 90° outside, but it wasn't really all that cool in the mall either. Hiker was glad when we finally came home and stayed. She loves for her Uncle Keith to come and visit, but she doesn't like the fact that when he is here, he and I are always out running around and we leave her home. She did get to go on our morning hike though.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Yard Sale Saturday

Keith and I took Hiker for a 1.5 mile walk early yesterday evening. We walked through Discovery Park and there was a guy down there flying a big kite and Hiker spotted it up there in the air. She started watching it and then the hair on her back stood up and she started growling. She did not stop watching that kite the entire time we were walking. Silly girl. Today was the annual community yard sale here in Canyon View Estates. I never participate by selling anything but Keith, Hiker and I walked around looking at everything everyone was selling. This place is a circus when they have the sale every year. That gave us a 2.3 mile walk this morning. I received an email from where I share my photos online. I was using their free service but now they are telling me that if I don't start paying for their service that they will start deleting my photos. I'll have to share more of them on Facebook I guess. But I wonder if FB will eventually start charging us for storing our photos. We went to lunch at Arby's and then we headed over to Sam's Club for me to pick up some things. Only got up to around 78° or 80° today. We went out in the afternoon and sat on my patio for awhile.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Beach Day

This morning we got up and had breakfast and then me, Hiker and my brother Keith headed up to Ventura to show Hiker the ocean. She had never seen it before so it was fun watching her react to the waves. She was fascinated with the tide going in and out and with the sand and the seagulls. After walking around on the beach for awhile, we took her over to the marina and walked around there for awhile then we headed back home. Dropped Hiker off at home and the Keith and I went over to Weinerschnitzel for lunch and then hit a few of the thrift shops around town. It was about 72° up at the beach and about 80° here in Canyon Country. Keith and I are going over to Hometown Buffet for dinner tonight. I joined their “e-club” and got a “buy one dinner get one free” coupon so we thought we'd take advantage of that.

Keith & Hiker

Hiker checking things out

California surfer

Ventura Harbor Village

Thursday, June 7, 2012

My Brother Is Visiting

Took Hiker out for her morning walk around 7:30 am. Really nice outside. Since I got her the walking harness, she does so much better. She doesn't pull on the leash anymore and I don't feel like I'm choking her anymore. I slept OK last night. I remember having a dream that my friend Rick (who I used to work with at Lockheed) owned a gun shop. I remember he was selling me some kind of a gun that really did not look like a gun and it was not lethal but it would definitely stop anyone from attacking. I have no idea why I had this dream because even though my dad taught me how to shoot and maintain guns when I was 6 years old, I would not want a gun in my house. My brother Keith got here around 11:30 am and around noon, we headed over to Jimmy Dean's Burgers for lunch. After that, we went over to Office Max because I needed to get some ink for both of my printers. We also went by Goodwill because I had a bag of things to donate. It got up to 90° on my patio, but the other thermometers around town were reading 95°. They say it is supposed to get cooler for the weekend. I hope so.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Lazy Day

Another beautiful morning here in SoCal. Decided to take Hiker over to Central Park for our morning walk. It was really nice over there this morning. A lot of people walking their dogs. They always stop me and ask what kind of dog Hiker is and then proceed to tell me how beautiful she is. A few people do know that she is a Cattle Dog and say so right up front. I am really looking forward to my brother Keith coming up from Orange tomorrow and spending several days with me and Hiker. I always enjoy our visits. We are hoping to get in a few hikes and maybe even go to the beach. Didn't do much today, but I'll be busy when Keith is here because we are always on the go. Warmed up to about 85° today.

My glads are blooming in my front flowerbed.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

♪♪♪It Was A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood ♪♪♪

What a beautiful morning it was outside when Hiker and I walked down to the park before I left to go to my Grief Support Group. It was about 58° and a little breezy. The sky was very blue and the mountains were so clear that they looked close enough to reach out and touch. Grief group was crowded today. Seems like more people are starting to come every week. Edwin (the obnoxious guy) did not show up this week. We were saying maybe because of the way we all treated him last week, he decided not to come, but who knows? After group, several of us went over to Hometown Buffet for lunch. From our group was me, DeDee, Linda, Carol, Jane and Gin. Linda Pippin has her grand-daughter visiting this month from Arizona, so they came over and joined us. On my way home, there was a really bad accident on Soledad at Ruether, so I had to take a detour through some side streets. It's a good think Ben had taught me different ways to go around town so I know which way I can go to avoid heavy traffic when possible. When I got home, Hiker kissed me a lot and then I took her out for a short walk. Only got up to 75° today. Wish it would stay this way all summer, but I know it won't. I ate too much at Hometown Buffet (LOL).

Took these photos this morning when I took Hiker to the park before I went to my group.

Monday, June 4, 2012

My Article In "The Mighty Oak"

My friend Linda Pippin suggested awhile back that I write an article on widowhood for "The Mighty Oak" which is the monthly newsletter at the Santa Clarita Senior Center. I wasn't going to write it at first, but then decided to give it a try. This month (the first anniversary of Ben's passing) they printed it in "The Mighty Oak". The link below will take you to the newsletter and if you go to page 7, you will see my article under the menu. They also want me to write a few more articles to follow-up on my story.

A Widow's Journey

A Busy Monday

Was busy this morning. It was very overcast when we woke up this morning. Once again I had trouble going to sleep last night. It's just like it was back right after Ben died when I was having my grief induced insomnia. When we got up at 7:00 am, Hiker and I headed over to Wal-Mart where I did my grocery shopping. There were a couple of things I could not find at my Super Center, so after we came home, put the groceries away, and had breakfast, we got back into the car and headed over to the Wal-Mart Super Store where I was able to find the other things I needed. We then came home and went for a walk. I bought Hiker a new walking harness because she has gotten to where she wants to pull on the leash a lot and it chokes her when I pull on the leash when it is attached to her collar. With the harness, she doesn't pull as much and she doesn't get choked at all. After our walk, I noticed that my home Internet was down. I just got a new modem a couple of weeks ago, so I'm beginning to wonder if the problem is my router. It's only a little over a year old, so it should last longer than that. For over an hour, my laptop kept connecting and disconnecting. Once the marine layer burned off this afternoon, the weather was really nice. It was in the low 70's and a nice breeze was blowing. Now that's the kind of weather I love. I'm beginning to think that my Linksys Valet router that I bought a little over a year ago is going bad already because if I disconnect my Ethernet cable from the router when my Internet goes down and connect it directly to my laptop, I can connect to the Internet, so it doesn't appear to be my new modem having the problem. I would think that routers should last longer. It was so nice outside this afternoon that I took Hiker down to the park. The breeze was coming from the west and felt like it could have been another ocean breeze. Sure wish it would stay this way for awhile.

Took this photo of some wildflowers in the park.
They looked like "butterfly" flowers and were such
pretty colors.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Another Sunday

There was a thick marine layer when we got up this morning. Hiker woke me up out of a sound sleep about 6:30 am. I was dreaming that I was trying to call someone on my cell phone and could not hit the correct numbers for some reason. After breakfast, Hiker and I drove over to Bridgeport Park and then walked the bike path that runs along the dry riverbed. I was still a little foggy, but the clouds were starting to burn off. We came home and I put my sheets and towels in the washing machine then vacuumed Hiker's hair out of the carpet. She always goes crazy when I do that, running back and forth between all of the rooms in the house to get away from the vacuum cleaner. I don't know why she is so afraid of it. I also ran the dishwasher. I only do that about once every 10 days. When Ben first died, I didn't run it and thought there was no reason for me to ever run it again as I could just hand-wash the small amount of dishes I used, but I was told by a friend that she had to have her dish-washer repaired because if you do not use them, they dry out and stop working. Watched “Air Force One” on Encore this afternoon. Had seen it before, but it's my favorite Harrison Ford movie so I watched it again. Got up to about 80° today.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Had Some Visitors

Went to bed at 9:00 pm last night but did not fall asleep until around 11:00 pm. When Hiker and I got up this morning, there was a light marine layer to the west so it was cooler when we went out for our morning walk. I'm sure glad I took photos of that Yucca bush when I did because I noticed this morning that almost all of the blooms have dropped off of it now. Hiker and I sat out on the patio for awhile this morning since it was so nice outside. The past few days had been so much hotter in the morning. Most mornings it was 80° by 9:00 am, but this morning it was still only about 63° at that time. Got up to 82° today so it was a few degrees cooler than it has been. Didn't do much today. I did a load of laundry and watched some movies on TV. Around 2:30 pm, I took Hiker down to the park. It was hot so we didn't stay long, but at least it satisfies her need and want to go out for a walk. She pretty much settles down for the rest of the day once I take her out a second time. A little after 3:00 pm, my phone rang and it was Ben's sister Donna. They are in town for a few days and wanted to come by and visit me. She and her husband Rich came by and stayed for a few hours, so that was a nice visit.

Friday, June 1, 2012

And Still Another Hot Day

Didn't sleep well last night. It was hot (I never run my A/C at night as it dries my sinuses) and someone in the neighborhood was having a party, probably a graduation party. Could hear the “bottom beat” of their music until about 2:00 am. Finally went to sleep but don't know what time it was. Had a bunch of errands to run and since I got up late, I didn't take Hiker right out for her morning walk. Had breakfast and then went to pay my lease and started to head for the bank, but realized I had forgotten my cell phone, so I headed back home to get it, then went to the bank and then to the market to get a few things. When I got home, I took Hiker down to the park just to satisfy her wanting to get out. It was about 9:45 and already 80° so we didn't stay long. Came back home and watered my plants and by noon it was already 90°. It's too bad the mall does not allow any dogs except for service dogs or I could take her there to walk in an air conditioned environment. I was so busy this morning, I forgot to take my blood pressure medications until almost lunch time. Hiker was funny last night. I have my automatically sprinklers set to come on at 9:00 pm. On one of them, the sprinkler head popped off and I had a “gusher” going. Hiker saw it through the sliding door and the hair on her back went up and she started barking at it like it was some kind of a threat to us. Once I went to the garage and turned the water off, she calmed down but wanted to go outside and investigate. Got up to 95° today which was 5° cooler than yesterday, but you couldn't tell. I don't like anything above about 75° myself.