Sunday, September 30, 2012

Will Fall Ever Come?

Went to bed last night before 9:00 pm and my hip was still bothering me, but when I got up this morning, it was not bothering me very much. I even took Hiker out for a 1.5 mile walk. Still decided not to do the vacuuming today which I normally do on Sunday morning because I didn't want to chance making my hip worse. Hiker spent the morning sleeping on the patio. Guess she was taking advantage of the cool fresh air since she can't get out much because of the afternoon heat. Was up to 99° by 12:30 this afternoon. By 2:00 pm it was 102°. Tomorrow morning I won't be on the Internet until late morning because I have to go over to Kaiser and have my boobs squashed. Have to be there by 8:30 am, and then on the way home, I need to stop by AAA and get the registrations for my two vehicles.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Just Sittin' On The Sofa

Did not sleep well last night. All last week, my lower back on the left side kept feeling like it was going to go out on me again but instead, the pain went into my sciatic nerve and now my hip is killing me. The slight pain I was having in my lower back went away but now I have pain from my hip down to the back of my knee. Poor Hiker. She has gotten used to walking every morning again and she kept looking at me with a look in her eyes that was asking “when are we going for our walk Mom?” I'm thinking that I should hold off on the walks for a couple of days to see if the pain goes away. There was a “Murder She Wrote” marathon on the Hallmark Movie Channel, so I sat and watched it all day. We got up to 98° today.

Friday, September 28, 2012

It's Friday

Once again Hiker didn't sleep with me last night. I think it is cooler for her out in the living room because she can sleep on the leather sofa or the tiles in front of the fireplace or the wood floor in the entryway. If she sleeps with me, there are sheet and covers that probably make her hot, even if we toss them back. Woke up around 6:15 am and got up. Hiker heard me and came into the bedroom. It was really dark this morning at 6:15 but started getting light pretty quickly. It was 60° at that time of the morning, so we are, at least, having some Fall weather in the morning. Met Jean and her dogs for a dog walk/play date. While Jean was here, we got talking about our property taxes. We are always sharing ways to save money if possible since we are both single women and both retired. She told me about a form that I can fill out claiming a decline in my property value due to the economy. She told me to look it up online, print it out, have our community manager give me some sale prices of a couple of homes that have sold in the neighborhood in the past few months, fill in the necessary information and get it to the county assessor. She told me that she has gotten her property taxes lowered in the past 3 or 4 years. I had no idea that anything like this existed. I'll have to get the information I need on the sale prices from Chris (community manager) and get the form in the mail soon. It has to be sent in before November 1st. It's nice when we find a new way to save some money. After Jean and her dogs left, I headed over to Sam's Club. I needed to get some multi-vitamins before I totally ran out of them. I was also going to get some gasoline in the Corolla but the Sam's Gas Station was closed for maintenance, so I had to stop at a different station on the way home. Not looking forward to the hot weekend that they weather people say is upon us. Hit 94° today but supposed to be up to 106° this weekend.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Getting Hotter Again

I left my bedroom door open last night so Hiker did not sleep with me. I guess she slept on the sofa in the living room all night. She didn't wake me up this morning either. I woke up out of a deep sleep at 6:30 am and when she heard me stirring in bed, she came in and started licking me. Got up around 7:30 am and took Hiker out for a walk. We are having Fall-like mornings, but still having summer weather in the afternoon. Got back from our walk and I had some breakfast, then I headed over to Kohl's because I had gotten another free $10 gift card in the mail from them. I bought two long-sleeve, v-neck t-shirts. With the card, it was like I got two for the price of one. On my way home, I stopped at Stater Brothers and picked up a few groceries. I am still not sure where things are in the store, so it takes me awhile to look around for things I need. By 1:45 pm it was already 95° so Hiker and I just stayed inside where it was nice a cool. Wish some of you who are having rain and cooler weather could send some out to SoCal.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Kind Of A Boring Day

Got up and headed over to Wal-Mart this morning. I'm not doing my major grocery shopping there anymore, but I had to go and pickup some other things in the household department of the store. Came home and took Hiker out for a 1.85 mile walk. The temps are finally nice an cool in the mornings, but it gets hotter by the afternoon. I finally got an answer from the city of Santa Clarita about that low flying helicopter. Appears they didn't know anything about it. My email had been forwarded to the Sheriff's station and here is the reply that was sent to me:

“Kay, I checked our records and we have only had two low flying aircraft calls dating back to August 1st and they were both airplanes. Please call our station at 661-255-1121 when the helicopter is flying around the area and we can look into it. Sgt. Harris.”

So the mystery of the low flying, buzzing, helicopter is still a mystery.

Didn't do much this afternoon. Might take Hiker out for another walk later if it cools down some. It was 93° when I sent this out. She and I did a walk late yesterday afternoon.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Excellent Day At Group

Had strange dreams last night. I was dreaming I was at a car dealer, but the show room looked more like the inside of a library. I was there to buy and new car but I didn't know what I wanted to buy and none of the sales people would help me, which is very strange for a car dealer. Ben was in the dream, but he was always across the room from me and he always had that blank look in his eyes that he always has when I dream about him. Got up around 6:10 am to let Hiker outside and it was only 53° this morning. Actually felt like Fall. They are saying we will be about 10° cooler today at about 86° but that by the end of the week, we will be back up into the 90s and possibly the 100s. Did not take Hiker for a walk this morning as I was getting ready to go to my grief support group. Had a lot of people at group today. There is a new guy who is there because he lost his dog and he is grieving for it (I can understand that) and another new guy came with his caregiver. He lost his wife in February after 57 years of marriage. He said she had just gone to the doctor and got a clean health report, they went shopping, she collapsed in the parking lot, they rushed her to the hospital and she died an hour later. Four of us went to lunch at the Alamo Mexican Grill for lunch. We were noticing that there was a lot of high school aged kids there and we figured it must have been a minimum day today. I left a little early to get home before the kids got out of the Jr. High that is near me because when they go in the morning and when they get out in the afternoon, there is a huge traffic jam. Anyway, as I drove by the school near me, I noticed on their electric sign board out front that today was minimum day for them. When I was a kid, we never got minimum days. Got up to 88° today and it did feel somewhat cooler. I was even driving around with my car windows down instead of running the A/C. Hiker sure was happy to see me when I got home.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Just Another Day

Around 2:30 am, I got up to go to the bathroom and when I got back into bed, Hiker curled up next to me on the pillow. We both heard a loud “pop” sound. Hiker jumped out of bed and started barking. I got up, turned on the light and looked around but could not find a source for the pop. I got back into bed but Hiker would not get back into bed. She just stayed on the floor near the bedroom door. She finally got back into bed around 4:00 am, just as I was finally falling back to sleep. Never did figure out what the popping sound was. It seemed to be near our heads. Went for a dog walk with Jean and then all of the dogs had a play date on my patio. Now that Hiker is used to Jean's dogs, she tries to initiate play with them, but they now all seem kind of “afraid” of her because all she wants to do is herd them. Another warm day here. It was a few degrees cooler but they are saying by this weekend we will be hot again and have Santa Ana Winds which is not good because it will raise our fire danger.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Will Fall Ever Come To SoCal?

Got up at 6:00 am this morning to let Hiker outside and it was very dark and it looked cloudy. I decided this morning I was going to sleep in, so after Hiker came back in, we went back to bed until 8:00 am. Got up, got dressed and headed out for a morning walk. Ran into a neighbor along the way and we talked for awhile. She was asking me about hiking areas around town. She said she had taken her dog for a hike over in Placerita Canyon the other day and saw a huge rattle snake on the trail. Came home and had breakfast and then did a load of laundry and cleaned house. Went to the liquor store to pick up my Lottery tickets for Wednesday. I won $10 on my ticket last night so I won't have to pay for my tickets this next week. I wish everyone who is having cooler Fall weather could send some of it to SoCal. It was 100° here today.

While on our morning walk:

This afternoon on my patio:

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Fall Is NOT In The Air

It was dark and a little overcast when Hiker woke me up at 6:10 this morning to go potty. I couldn't make up my mind if I wanted to go back to bed and sleep until 8:00 am or get up at 7:00 am and go for a walk with Hiker. The walk won out. Had thought about driving over to a different area of town to walk this morning, but then changed my mind and we walked down through Discovery Park as usual, but instead of doing our norm 1.5 mile walk, we did a 2 mile walk this morning. I keep hoping my back is not going to go out on me. I have been having this pain in the lower left side for a couple of days and usually when I have that, my back goes out for 3 or 4 days. So here it is the first day of Fall. It should be cooler but here in SoCal, we are still in the 90's. I have not cried for Ben for quite awhile but today, I am really feeling lonely for him. I keep thinking of things we used to do together and places we used to go together and the memories keep coming back to me. I'm not really crying like I did before, but I've been going around all day with tears in my eyes.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Historic Day

Woke up around 4:30 am but was able to go back to sleep. Finally got up about 6:45 am and got ready for our dog walk/play date with Jean and her three dogs. Today she had another dog that she is watching for someone, so we had a total of 5 dogs. Hiker kept trying to get the visiting dog (Lexy) to play, but Lexy kept growling and snapping at Hiker. I'm glad Hiker is initiating the play now. She used to just sit right by my side and not move, just watching all of the other dogs running around and playing. She also now “herds” the other dogs, using her in-bred skills I guess. It's fun to watch. I guess the Endeavor Space Shuttle is flying all over California today before it lands at LAX and then it will be taken to its new home at the museum down in Los Angeles. It won't fly over my area. If I had wanted to see it, I would have either had to drive to Palmdale or Pasadena. Those were the two closest fly-overs to me. I have seen it before though when it flew over Lockheed when I worked there in Palmdale. I watched all of the fly-overs on our local news and it was pretty interesting. My gardener was next door doing some work and I noticed he was mowing their yard so I went out and asked him if he was going to do mine today or tomorrow. His normal day is Saturday, but he told me he'd do it today, so that's done for this week. Started getting a little cloudy here this afternoon but we were still at 99°, so even though tomorrow is the first day of Fall, I think we are still in for a few more days of summer.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Lunch With Ben's Buddy

My handyman never did show up yesterday. Hiker and I got up this morning and headed out for a 1.5 mile walk. Was really nice and cool out this morning. Felt like Fall, but by this afternoon, we were back up to 102°. Hard to believe that in a couple of days it will officially be Fall with this hot weather. I met Ben's best buddy Ed up at the Sunland Sizzler for lunch. We always enjoy sharing memories of Ben. When I got home, the renewal for Hiker's dog license finally came in the mail. It is due in just over 2 weeks. I noticed they were showing the wrong expiration date for Hiker's rabies vaccination. They had vaccinated her at the shelter in August 2011. The rabies vaccine is supposed to be good for 3 years, but the paperwork they had given me for her at the shelter said that she would be due for another rabies vaccination in August 2012, so when I got her other shots this past July, I also got her the rabies shot which makes her due in July 2015, but the county shows her due in August 2014. I wrote an check to mail to them this weekend and included a note and her latest vaccination certificate asking them to make the correction in their records, but I don't know if they will or not. I wish the shelter had not put the wrong date because now she's been “double” vaccinated. Guess it didn't hurt because it didn't seem to affect her in any way.

Taken on our morning walk.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Another Typical Day

I was really sleepy last night for some reason so I went to bed just before 9:00 pm. Didn't sleep through the night like I did the night before though. Got up around 6:15 am to let Hiker outside and decided to get up because we were going for our dog-walk with Jean and her dogs. When we stopped by my house for the dogs to play in the backyard, Hiker was “herding” little Sassy all over the yard. It was so funny. She had her “cornered “ into the back section of the yard. After she and the dogs went home, I cleaned my big bathroom and did a few other things around the house. My handyman never showed yesterday evening so I called him and left him a message on his voice mail. Hope I hear from him. Well the TV weather guys are finally starting to tell us that we will soon start to cool down and it should start feeling like Fall for us. I sure hope so. Updated my iPhone and iPad to ios 6 today and it has a lot of cool improvements. I can now use my phone camera to send photos directly to Facebook instead of using Instagram, you can set up a VIP inbox for special people in your email, also found out that when I uploaded ios 6 to my iPad that I now have Siri on my iPad. I'm still exploring the update. Got up to 95° here again.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Just Me & Hiker Again

Actually had a good night's sleep last night. Went to bed at 10:00 pm and did not wake up at all until about 4:15 am. Went to the bathroom, got back in bed and went back to sleep until about 7:00 am. I did not go to my grief group today. Keith, Hiker and I did a 2 mile walk and then came home and had breakfast. After awhile, Keith and I ran some errands and then later we went to lunch over at Red Robin. Keith had never been to a Red Robin. Keith left to head for home around 1:30 pm. Yesterday I had asked my handyman to stop by to check out a portion of my living room wall that looks like some of the plaster is coming loose where the wall and the fireplace come together. He had told me he'd try to get here after he gets off work today, so hope he remembers to come by. After Keith left, I got my new carpet steamer/shampooer out of its box and put it together. Now I'm going to have to think about when I'm going to use it. I used to shampoo the entire house in one day, but now I just do a room or two each time and it takes me about 3 days, which is much, much, better. Hiker and I have a dog walk date with Jean tomorrow morning and I probably should do a little housework after we get back. Got up to 97° here today. I envy you people who are having Fall weather already.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Driving The Old Ridge Route

I was really tired last night from the hike we had taken yesterday morning. I was almost falling asleep by 8:30 PM so we all went to bed just before 9:00 PM. Once I got in bed, I was having trouble falling asleep, but finally did around 9:30 PM. Kept waking up several times during the night though. Got up around 7:00 AM, had breakfast and then headed up to drive along a section of the Old Ridge Route which used to be the main highway between Los Angeles and Bakersfield. The southern portion of the route is closed due to heavy rainstorms a few years back that caused a lot of slides. On the north portion of the route, there is a 7 mile strip that you can drive along. The old road is very rutty with potholes and there are even some slide areas along it. It took us up through some pine trees and then up on top of the mountain (over 3000 ft elevation). Great views of all of the Tehachapi mountain range. Along the old route are a few plaques showing where there had been restaurants and hotels back in the “heyday” of the Old Ridge Route. Headed back home and had lunch, then headed over to Kaiser to pick up my blood pressure meds for the next 3 months. The Kaiser Pharmacy here in Santa Clarita has closed both their old pharmacies and moved everything over to the other side of the medical building into a newly remodeled section. Came home and have no other plans for the rest of the day.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Nice Morning For A Hike

This morning my brother Keith and I took Hiker over to the East Walker Ranch Open Space in Placerita Canyon for a hike. Had never hiked this area before and even though it is a short loop trail (less than 2 miles), it is a little more strenuous that what I am used to. I am so out of shape because I can't get out as much on these hot summer days. Hopefully once Fall gets here it will cool down and I'll be able to hike more. There are actually two trails in this area that we hiked so you can make your hike longer than 2 miles if you want. The trail went up behind New Leash On Life where I adopted Hiker. We could hear the dogs barking down there when we went by. After the hike, we came home and rested a little then Keith and I drove up to Sunland, the town we grew up in, and had lunch at the Sizzler Steak House there. After lunch, we drove around our old town a little to see what changes there were. Most of it looks pretty much the same. We drove past our old high school. Both my brothers and I went there. Also drove by our old elementary school where all three of us attended also. Then we drove down the street we lived on as children. I had not been by there since my mom passed away 14 years ago. The entire neighborhood looked so different to Keith and I. So many changes to the properties in the area. Even some changes to our old house. We almost didn't recognize it. Headed home and on the way stopped to fill the Corolla with gas for our drive up a section of the Old Ridge Route tomorrow. Not all of the Ridge Route is accessible, but we are going to see how much of it is. We will take Hiker along on that ride with us. Today got up to about 95° which is about 10° cooler than the past two days.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Another Busy Day

We got up and headed out for a 2 mile walk this morning. Was nice and cool while we were walking but started getting warm quickly after we got home. Hung around home until lunchtime and then headed out to check out the Goodwill Thrift Stores, have lunch at Taco Bell, and hit a few other places in town. I thought I had lost my iPhone. I had gone into the bathroom at one of the Goodwill stores and when I went to wash my hands, I put my iPhone down. Got to Taco Bell which is a block down the street and realized I didn't have my phone. While Keith was getting our food, I jumped back into the car and rushed back up the block to Goodwill, ran into the bathroom and thank goodness, my phone was still sitting right where I had put it. I felt so relieved. Got up to 104° here today.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Busy Day

I seem to be sleeping better but I am still have some strange dreams. This morning around 6:15 am, Hiker woke me up from one. It seemed I was at some kind of meeting with a lot of the ladies I worked with at Lockheed. Got up around 6:30 am because Hiker and I were doing a dog walk with Jean and her dogs and then we were going over to Jean's to have Hiker groomed. I stayed this time since Jean had some problems with Hiker last time, but Hiker came through with flying colors this time. Good girl! After Jean finished with Hiker, I showed Jean some things she did not know how to do with her “On Demand” with Time Warner Cable and then I helped her do some minor plumbing on her toilet. While I was at Jean's, Keith texted me and told me he was on his way up here for his visit. When Hiker and I got back home, I told Hiker that her “Uncle Keith” was coming and to watch for him so she sat at stared at the front door until he got here. Keith and I went to Mighty Mouth Burger and got a couple of yummy chili cheese burgers, fries, drinks and when you buy a combo, you get a free small soft serve cone. The we went to Lowe's and I bought a new carpet steam cleaner. The one I had for about 5 or 6 years crapped out on me last year so I needed a new one. Got a Bissell that was on sale. Saved about $150 on it. The we went over to Home Depot because I needed a new mini-blind for my kitchen window and I had gotten my old one there and knew that they had exactly the one I needed without having to change out all of the hardware. Got up to 103° here today.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Hot Thursday

Woke up around 4:30 am and could not go back to sleep. I tried listening to music and watching some TV but that didn't help. Started flipping through the TV channels and then decided to just watch the morning local news. Got up and had some breakfast and then headed over to Stater Brothers to do my grocery shopping. Since I'm not really sure where everything in that store is, I had to do some searching but finally found everything I needed. Came home and put my groceries and then went outside and washed my Corolla. After the last little rainstorm we had, my windows were so spotted that I could hardly see. Tomorrow morning Hiker and I will do a dog walk with Jean and her dogs and then Jean is going to groom Hiker. Keith will be coming tomorrow around 11:00 am or so. Did not do much all day because it was 103° outside.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Spent All Morning Getting My Car Serviced

Got up early today because I needed to get my Corolla over to the dealership to have it serviced. I decided to take Hiker with me since it was overcast. I thought after we dropped off the car we could do a walk on the paseos over in the area near the dealership. Started down Soledad toward the dealership but ran into a bunch of traffic. Must have been an accident because soon after an ambulance and some cops came down the street. I turned around and took a different route and bypassed whatever had happened. Left the car at Toyota and then Hiker and I headed out for a walk. We walked 2.54 miles and then headed back to the dealership even though the car was not supposed to be ready for another 45 minutes. Went inside the dealership and got Hiker a bottle of water and then she and I sat in the waiting room for awhile. Julie, my service advisor came out and told me that the found some things that needed to be done and that they were critical so I told her to go ahead and do it and she said we'd be there another 45 minutes to an hour so we sat and watched HGTV in the waiting room. When I got home I turned on the TV to watch “The Young & The Restless” only to find that while I had been at the dealership, the Bank of America that is only 1.5 miles from my house had been robbed and the robbers took off in a stolen car and there was a police pursuit going on. The robbers went down the 14 Freeway to the I5 and then over to the 210 Freeway. They stopped on the freeway and two of the guys jumped out of the cars and ran down into the neighborhoods in Sylmar where they sheriffs and L.A.P.D were looking for them, but the other two guys in the car kept going and drove all the way down to South Los Angeles where they started throwing the money out of the car to cause people to get in the way of the pursuing officers. However, this did not work because the officers captured these two guys. They were wearing slacks, white shirts and ties, probably a ruse to make the people at the bank think they were “respectable”. Then the grandmother of one of the guys arrested started making trouble because she heard the cops had her grandson and she was mad because the officers were “manhandling her” to keep her away from her grandson. Well excuse me woman...your “sweet little grandson” just held up a bank with a gun and ran from the police. What the heck do you expect them to do? She's the type that will probably try to sue the police. So what happened in your neighborhood today? LOL!

Here is Hiker lying on the marble floor in the waiting room at the dealership

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Never Forget

Eleven years ago this morning I was sitting in my cubicle at Lockheed when we heard that the planes had crashed into the World Trade Center and that day became one of the darkest days in our history. I remember all I wanted to do that day was get home to Ben and hug him. I wish he were here today for a hug. Did not go a walk this morning since I'd be going to my grief group. Group was very interesting today. Don't know what was different but a couple of us commented at lunch that it felt a little “different” today. After group, four of us ladies went to the pizza parlor for lunch. It didn't get as hot today. Reached about 89° and we had a cool “fall-like” breeze blowing all day.

Monday, September 10, 2012

What's That Smell?

Did our normal Monday dog walk with Jean and her dogs. It was very humid outside this morning. Last night at 10:00 pm it was still 85° outside. Keith is coming to spend a few days starting this Friday morning and I was really hoping that it would cool down enough for us to go hiking while he is here, but it doesn't appear that that is going to happen. I'm thinking since we've had this really hot, humid summer that we are probably going to have a cold, harsh winter, which is not normal for here. Kept noticing a “rotten egg” smell in the air and heard on the TV news that over the hill in the San Fernando Valley that people had been complaining about the smell since this morning. They have no idea what is causing it. Plus a “mysterious” fog started forming over the San Fernando Valley and it too started heading over the hill into the Santa Clarita Valley where I live. I found it a little bit scary due to the fact that tomorrow is 9/11 and we never know what the terrorists might do, especially since we killed Bin Laden. We always hear about “biological weapons” and when I heard about the smell and the fog, that was the first thing that popped into my mind. After lunch I took Hiker over to William S. Hart Park and we walked around there for about 20 minutes or so. Tried to stay in the shade as much as possible and it was about 90° outside.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Happy Birthday Fella

Today would have been Ben's 62nd birthday. I would have sang “Happy Birthday” to him and he would have told me that “it's just another day” and then he would proceed to tell me as he had every year for 30 years that he and the state of California shared a birth date. Ben never wanted to get a dog. He said it hurt way to much when they died. I've been thinking about how if Ben was still alive, I never would have met Hiker. I never would have known what a great dog she is. I hate that I had to lose him to find her. I've learned in my grief group that “the source of our happiness is also the source of our grief”. Took Hiker out this morning and it was pretty humid. While we were out I saw a couple, probably in the 70's, getting into their vintage 1950's foreign convertible. It was obvious they were heading out for a fun Sunday drive. I felt both resentment and envy...resentment that I no longer have Ben to do fun things with and envy that these two still had each other, but I wished them a good day. I was still killing those huge flies today. There didn't seem to be as many, but they are still getting in somehow. I've looked around trying to see where they are coming from but still have not been able to find out their entryway. After lunch Hiker and I went out into the backyard and it was so humid that we both just turned around and went right back into the house. Got up to 100° again. It's so hot that Hiker will go out to potty and come right back into the house without even checking anything else out. When it's cooler, she will sniff around and investigate things in the yard.

BTW….."Fella" was a nickname I had for Ben

Saturday, September 8, 2012

The HEAT Is Back

Got up at 7:00 am and went right outside to finish cleaning up the flowerbed in my front yard. Hiker went out with me and she sat in the front yard while I worked. After I finished we went for a morning walk. It was very nice outside. Hiker and I were sitting on the sofa watching TV and that “mystery” helicopter flew over very low again. This time he didn't really “buzz” my house, he just kind of “buzzed” the entire community. This is the second time the blue and white copter has done that. The first time a copter flew over low it was a sheriff helicopter. This time the copter only flew over twice and then headed west and I watched him “buzz” some other areas. The last time he flew over our area four times before leaving. I'm sure there is some logical reason this pilot is doing this, but I emailed our city to see what they have to say about it. By noon it was already 95°. I sure wish Fall would hurry up and get here. Would have liked to take Hiker out this afternoon, but it was just too darn hot. I'm hoping it will cool down some by next weekend because my brother Keith is planning on coming up for another visit and we are hoping to get a couple of hikes in. High temp today was 102°.

Friday, September 7, 2012


Went for our dog-walk with Jean and her dogs this morning. After they left, I headed over to Sam's Club. When I got home I had a voice mail from my friend DeDee so I called her back and told her I could have kicked myself when I got to Sam's Club. I found the perfect spot to park and got out of the car and headed for the store when I remembered that I had forgotten my grocery list. Got back in the car and went back home to get it and then turned around and went right back to Sam's Club. While I was walking around Sam's Club I made up my mind that I'm not going to do my regular grocery shopping at Wal-Mart anymore. I'll still go there for household things but for groceries, I'm going to start going to Stater Brothers. When Ben was alive, I remember there was a time when the grocery clerks were on strike. We didn't have a Wal-Mart back then and Ben and I used to shop at Ralphs, but during the strike, we shopped at Stater Brothers because their clerks were not on strike. We found them to have much better prices than Ralphs, Vons or Albertons and they always kept the store very well stocked. You don't have to have one of those stupid rewards cards to save money and they also have “paperless” coupons. We have a Food-4-Less close by but they don't carry very many brands and a lot of times do not have things I need, so Stater Brothers it is. Last night I was having strange dreams again. I remember that Ben was in one of them, but don't remember the details. The second one was about a tornado which are not a common thing here in SoCal, but I remember that it went by my house and I remember seeing cars that had been turned over from it. Strange thing was that I found out this morning that there was an earthquake in Beverly Hills last night a little after midnight. I remember waking up just after midnight but don't know if it was the small quake that work me up or what. Beverly Hills is just about 30 miles from where I live, so it would be possible for me to feel it. Didn't do much the rest of the day. Temps are back up into the 90's again. Wish that cool rainy weather would have lasted longer. Hopefully Fall weather will start in the next few weeks. Ben's birthday is this Sunday so I'm just going to try not to dwell on in and stay as busy as I can with Hiker.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

That Makes Me Mad

Got up and headed over to Wal-Mart this morning to do my grocery shopping. I shop at Wal-Mart because they are the least expensive grocery store in my area. I always try to get there early to beat the crowds. I needed some pest insecticide so I headed for the garden area. The shelves were bare. I asked a clerk where they had moved the insecticide to. She told me that if it was not on the back shelf (where I had already looked) that they were out of it. She told me that they are getting the garden area prepared for the seasonal things like pumpkins and later Christmas trees so they will not be stocking anything in the garden area until after the holidays. That does not make much sense to me. So that means I'll have to make a trip over to Lowes or Home Depot. Then when I got up to the registers to check out, they only had two open plus the self-checkout registers. Both regular registers had very long lines, but I got into the shortest line and waited, and waited, and waited. Some woman was buying some garden bricks that were from the clearance area and they had no price on them. I was 3rd in line and there were about 8 people in line behind me. The person in front of me put all of their groceries back into their cart and headed for the other register, so I was next in line. In the meanwhile, my ice cream was melting, my sour cream was turning more sour and I had to go to the bathroom. The clerk at my register suggested I go over to the lady at the register where the self-checkout was, so I did. When I got there, that clerk told me that she was only there to help people with the self-checkout, but when I told her the other clerk had told me to come to her, she went ahead and checked me out. Makes me mad. OK, I'm done bitching about that. Didn't do much the rest of the day, in fact, I dozed off a couple of times sitting on the sofa watching TV. Tomorrow Hiker and I have a morning dog walk date with Jean and her dogs and then I will have to go to Sam's Club.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

I'm Lovin' This Weather

Got up at 7:00 am and headed right outside (after I got dressed of course) to start cleaning up the flower bed in my front yard. It was starting to look like a jungle. I could only clean up half of it because my trash bin was already ¾ full from when my gardener mowed my lawn. I took Hiker out front with me. Hooked her up to my flag pole so she would not try to chase anyone who went by on a bike or skateboard. She just laid on the front lawn and watch people going by while I worked. After I did what I could before the trash bin got full, I took Hiker on a morning walk. It was extremely overcast here because we were getting remnants of Tropical Storm John which was breaking up just southwest of Baja California so it was very humid outside. Hiker and I no more than got back home when big rain drops started falling. They were the ones that are so big and so far apart that you can walk through them and not get wet. They rain drops kept up all morning. It would have been a nice morning for a 3 or 4 mile hike except for the humidity. Made another trip over to the Time Warner store this morning. I was over there the other day to swap out a bad remote control. Today I swapped out a bad digital cable box. The one I had kept rebooting several times a day. Had big rain drops all the way over there and all the way home. Around 1:00 pm, I put Hiker in the car and we went over to Central Park to walk around. When we got there it was pouring down rain but we got out and walked in it anyway. We were both soaking wet, but it felt so good after all of those days of 100+ degrees we've been having. The local studios were filming something in the park. This is the second time in about a year that I've seen them filming there. Have no idea what they were filming but there were a lot of studio trucks and trailers and a lot of people milling around. We have several studios here in Santa Clarita and a lot of TV shows like “CSI”, “NCIS” and “Criminal Minds” are filmed here, as are several movies and commercials. I love when I'm watching TV and see something I recognize here in town, especially when the show is supposed to be located in Washington D.C. or Las Vegas. Anyway, we decided to only walk a little over a mile because we were getting so wet. It only got up to 77° here today. Loved it.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

A Widow's Journey Part 3

My latest chapter of "A Widow's Journey" was printed in the September issue of the senior centers newsletter "The Mighty Oak". Since they usually do not put the newsletter online until later in the month, I am sending out my article now. If you missed the August issue, below is the link for the newsletter.

Below is my latest article:

A Widow's Journey Part 3

The first few months of your “new life” as a widow/widower you are numb. Your mind knows that your spouse has passed away and will never come back, but your heart does not hear what your mind is saying.

You try to conduct your life as “normally” as you possibly can, but your “old normal” no longer exists. You now live in a “new normal” and it is hard to find your way without your “other half”. You actually start to understand that phrase people use so “other half”. You actually feel that half of you is gone, especially your mind. You cannot think, your forget things, you cannot concentrate and when you try to read, you cannot comprehend what you are reading. You misplace things and you feel like you are losing your mind.

You cry a lot. You cannot believe how much you cry. You wonder where all of the tears are coming from because you have never cried that way in your entire life. You sob, you wail, you scream. Your throat tightens up and you feel like you cannot breathe. You feel like you are going crazy.

I have learned in my Grief Support Group here at the Senior Center that if we did not do these things, THEN we would be crazy.

A Good "Group" Day

Another Fall-like morning when I let Hiker out this morning. Went back to bed for a little while since today was my Grief Support Group and I wasn't leaving until 9:30 am. Had some of the pumpkin bread I made yesterday for my breakfast. Most of the regulars were at group today and Obnoxious Edwin was there. He was talking a lot today until I finally told him “enough already”. He just never gets that he is annoying everyone in the group. When we go to lunch after group, we all talk about him and what really bugs us about him. Hiker was happy to see me when I got home. I had a message on my voice mail from our community office. I had written the wrong amount on my lease check that I had given to them. I had the numbers correct but the part where you write out the amount was wrong. So I had to run a new check down to the office right after I got home. I'm glad they look for things like that. The older I get, the more I worry about doing things wrong like that. Put my trash bins out by the curb and then remembered that they will pick up one day later this week because of the holiday, but I'm not going to put the bins back inside. They can just stay out at the curb an extra day. It's 98° and I don't feel like going out into the heat to drag them back inside for one day.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Today Has Gone By Really Slow

To show how smart Hiker is...When I bake something in the oven and the timer goes off, she always jumps up and runs into the kitchen when I get up to go get whatever I had in the oven out. Yesterday I was baking some pumpkin bread. I took it out a little early because it was done and I did not turn off the timer. I went back and sat on the sofa. About 3 minutes later, the timer buzzed and Hiker jumped up and ran into the kitchen. I didn't follow her. She was barking in the kitchen and then came and looked at me on the sofa and barked at me, then she ran back into the kitchen. I finally got up to see what she was doing and she was sitting next to the oven looking up at me. When I asked her what she wanted, she actually pawed at the stove. I think she was telling me the timer had gone off and that whatever I was cooking was ready. I showed her that I had already taken the pumpkin bread out of the oven, then she went back into the other room and settled down. Maybe it's all just my imagination but.....

Hiker and I went on our dog-walk with Jean and her dogs this morning, plus she had two other dogs that she is watching for friends. The morning was “Fall-like” again. While we were sitting on my patio after the walk, a helicopter flew over my house 3 or 4 times. He was like “buzzing” my house and he was only about 100 feet up. We could see the pilot very clearly. It was not a sheriff's copter. It had no markings on it at all. Don't know what the heck he was doing. After the final “buzz” over my house, he just flew away. This happened a few weeks ago when my brother Keith was here but that was a sheriff's copter and it was not as low as this one was. Got into the low 90's today but also got some humidity clouds so it actually felt cooler. I was able to leave the A/C off again most of the day and just have the fans on and the sliding door open.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

MMMMMMMMM...Pumpkin Bread

This morning it finally felt like fall was in the air when I let Hiker outside. But then it warmed up and felt like summer again in the afternoon. I'll be so happy when the fall weather stays. Hiker and I drove over to an area where I've never walked her before and we walked almost 2 miles this morning. Came home and made some pancakes, put my sheets and towels in the washer and vacuumed the carpet. Today it got up to about 92° but it felt cooler than that because we had a pretty good breeze blowing all day. I even went out and sat on the patio for awhile with Hiker this afternoon while she played with her bubbles. Called my brother Ron to wish him happy birthday. He was watching the movie “Battleship” when I called him. I didn't turn my A/C on until about 2:30 pm today. I had my oscillating fan blowing and had my sliding door open. Was nice to have the fresh air for a change. Baked a loaf of pumpkin bread today. Made the house smell really good.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Found A New Hiking Area

I decided I was going to be “lazy” this morning so I stayed in bed until 8:00 am. Hiker kept bugging me to get up but I kept telling her to lay down and go to sleep, which she finally did. When we got up, we went for a 1.5 mile walk. It was a beautiful morning and there were a lot of people out on the walking path. Hiker and I get a better cardio walk when it's just the two of us. Jean's dogs would rather investigate all of the smells than walk. Hiker sniffs, but she love to walk. After lunch Hiker and I got in the car and went for a ride. We drove through Placerita Canyon to locate a new hiking area I've read about. I'm always looking for new areas to hike for when the weather gets cooler. Got up to about 95° today.