Friday, November 30, 2012

Hiker's "New" Bed

Rained all night again. It's not a heavy rain. Just a constant drizzle, but that's good because it waters my yard without flooding. When Hiker and I got up this morning it was not drizzling but everything was still wet. Jean called me around 7am to see if I still wanted to take the dogs for a walk. Hiker really wanted to go, so I said yes, but we decided not to take them to the park because it's very muddy down there. Instead we walked them around inside of our gated community and it gave us a chance to look at people's Christmas decorations. We did not have the dogs normal play time because my backyard was very wet. I had to go up to Sam's Club this morning. Took Hiker with me. She slept in the car while I was in the store. I had to buy some “big” items so it was a little pricey this time. I've been thinking about buying Hiker a dog bed to put in front of the fireplace so she could lay there and keep warm during the winter. I checked out several dog beds at several stores...Wal-Mart, Sam's Club, Bed Bath & Beyond, PetSmart, but just could not find one I liked for her. Then suddenly I heard Ben's voice in my ear. Several years ago, Ben's sister Donna had made a huge “body pillow” for Ben. I had it on the shelf up over the bedroom closet and had pretty much forgotten it was there. Ben was always very “frugal”. I heard his voice telling me “you don't have to buy a bed for can use that big pillow Donna made”. Well DUH! I got the pillow down from the shelf and put it in front of the fireplace and guess who decided to take a nap on it? The sun came out this afternoon, but it's still a little cool outside and we are supposed to get more rain this weekend.

Thursday, November 29, 2012


It rained most of the night. A soft quiet rain. Hiker and I slept in until 8am. Did not go for a morning walk because we were waiting for the chimney sweep guy to come and check out my fireplace. Ben and I stopped using it about 2 years before he died and I didn't use it after he died, but now I've decided I wanted to start using it again and I wanted to make sure it was in good working condition. The two guys who came were really nice. They were probably in their mid-30s and the owner, Paul, has had the business for 16 years. Since Ben and I had never had the chimney cleaned, I had them do it. They told me that 1/8” of soot in the chimney can start a chimney fire. They suggested I have it checked every 3 years to see if it needs to be cleaned. The told me that some states have laws that you have to have your chimneys cleaned every 3 years. Anyway, they answered all of my questions and it only took them about 15 minutes to clean the chimney. A huge pile of soot came out of it, so I'm glad I had them clean it. Now I have to decide what I want to burn in the fireplace. Ben and I always used Duraflame logs, but these guys told me that they actually do not burn cleanly as they claim because they are held together with chemicals and waxes and that hard oak and hard ash are the best. I also asked about those creosote cleaning logs that Ben and I used to burn. They said they help a little bit, but that they are really not worth the money. They checked that my chimney was not leaning or loose and that my chimney cap and spark arrestor were in good condition and that there were no cracks in my firebox. I was really happy with these guys. They also gave me a 10% senior discount. I will definitely use them again. Took Hiker for an afternoon walk because I think she was getting cabin fever. I had closed her off in the bedroom while they guys were here.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Dark And Cloudy All Day

I do not know how Hiker can tell time, but she always wakes me up each morning at exactly 6:15 am. It was cold, dark and cloudy when we got up this morning. I wanted to get over to Wal-Mart early to pick up a few things. I hate going to Wal-Mart around Christmas because they seem to be busy every day, all day long. I took Hiker to Wal-Mart with me because she can stay in the car this time of year. I lucked out at the check-out because they only had 2 registers open and I was in a line and the person in front of me had a lot of stuff in his basket, but they opened another register and I was next, so I got to go first. When we got home I took Hiker for a walk. Felt a couple of drops of rain but it stayed dry while we were out. Today is trash pickup day and as usual, Hiker was having a fit when the trash truck was “stealing” her property. She barks and runs around in circles and comes to me like she's telling me about it. Decided to make a Frito/Chili/Cheese Casserole for dinner. Ben used to call it “Frito Pie”. Seemed like perfect weather for it. Around 1:30 pm I went up to the mailbox and noticed it was getting a little windy and a few raindrops were starting to fall.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Small Grief Group Today

When Hiker and I got out of bed this morning, there were a few thin clouds in the sky but as the morning passed, it began to get more cloudy and darker outside. They are saying we have a chance of rain by Thursday. Since it is Tuesday, that means it “Group Day”. I noticed that Christmas falls on a Tuesday this year, so that means counting today, we only have four group sessions left this year. I need to get my cookies baked and my fudge made so I can take it to share with the group. Group was “small” today. I guess a lot of people were still visiting relatives after Thanksgiving. After group, me, DeDee, Jane and Linda went to lunch at Cathy's Deli. When I got home, I took Hiker down to the park for a short walk and then settled down to watch TV for awhile. The sun was out when we went walking but by 3:00 pm, it was starting to get cloudy again.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Last Monday Of November

Stayed up and watched that “Liz & Dick” movie on Lifetime last night. Was not impressed with it. It was not made very well and it was all “mish mash”. Went for our morning dog walk with Jean. While I was out, the chimney sweep guy called, so I called him back and he is coming out on Thursday to check out my fireplace and chimney. Then I called the guy who sold us our Puronics whole house water filter. It's time for them to come and do a carbon flush. He promised the first one free, so I want to get it done. Mopped my kitchen floor and then went outside and trimmed back so rose bushes. I took my hummer feeder down because I had not seen any hummers for awhile and wouldn't you know, right after that I saw a hummer out on the patio looking for the feeder. I cleaned it up, refilled it and put it back out. We get hummers all year round her in SoCal. Put away the few Fall/Thanksgiving decorations I had on the porch. Put out a Christmas decorative flag but that's all I am going to do for this year. Maybe someday I will feel like celebrating the holidays again, but not this year. My brother Keith called me. He is so thrilled to be working some again, even if it is just “consultant” work for the company that laid him off a year ago. He is hoping that it will lead to them hiring him full time again. It's good to hear the happiness in his voice again when he talks about working. Took Hiker down to Discovery Park this afternoon. Nice day. They had said we would only get up to 67° today, but it got up to 75° and it was breezy. We were heading back home when three snowy egrets took off and flew really low over the park. Hiker saw them and she stopped, sat down and just watched them soar across the sky. When the were out of sight, she got up and headed for home. I noticed that all of the graffiti I reported yesterday had been cleaned up this afternoon. It was still there this morning when Jean and I went for our walk, but now it's gone. Good work SCV Graffiti Clean-up Team!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Stayed Busy Today

I must have really been sleeping last night. I do remember I woke up around 11:30 pm thinking I heard sirens. I had been dreaming and I heard the sirens in the background and in my dream I remember going to the window to look outside. I woke up to find my TV still on and “CSI: Miami” was on and there were sirens on the TV show. I was in a deep sleep and dreaming again when Hiker woke me up at 6:15 am to go outside. The details of that dream are sketchy. Got up at 8:00 am and had breakfast, then put Hiker in the car and went to get my Lotto tickets and headed over to the post office to mail my car insurance. I like to mail envelopes that contain checks in the lobby of the main post office. I feel it will get processed faster there. When we got back home, took Hiker out for a 2 mile walk. The walk ended up taking longer than normal because I was busy taking photos of graffiti and submitting them to the city's graffiti clean-up website on my cell phone. I took 8 photos and still don't know if I captured every spot. After lunch I took a few items over to the Goodwill Collection Station. Another very warm day here for being so close to December.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Too Hot For November 24th

I was sore when I woke up this morning from helping Jean put up her decorations. I took Hiker for a short walk around our gated community this morning and it “limbered” my muscles up some. When we got home, Hiker was laying out on the patio and I had the patio doors open. Would you believe that after a couple of months of nothing, that crazy guy in the blue and white helicopter buzzed Canyon View Estates again? He flew over extremely low twice. I should have grabbed my camera and taken a photo showing his call letters on the chopper so I could turn it into the sheriff. I cannot believe that no one else has turned him in. Did a load of laundry and settled down to watch The Hallmark Channel for awhile. Hiker kept trying to get me outside to play with her and her stuffed toy. I play for awhile, but she wears me out, LOL. Went down to the park this afternoon. Didn't stay long because it was too hot outside. We got up to 89° here today and it's almost December.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Helping Jean With Her Decorations

Got up this morning and headed out with Jean and her dogs for our “every Friday dog walk”. When she went home, had breakfast and then I headed up to Stater Brothers to do my weekly grocery shopping. I held off until today because I knew that everyone would be out shopping for “Black Friday” and not at the grocery store. I was right. I pulled into the parking lot and it was almost empty. I parked in the first slot right outside the door and there was hardly anyone in the store. I did my shopping, went up to checkout and there wasn't anyone in line. After I got home and put the groceries away, Hiker and I went over to Jean's and I helped her put up all of her outdoor Christmas decorations. I figured I'd help her since I am not planning on putting up any decorations at my house again this year. I just still am not in the state of mind to do that. Spent 2 ½ hours at her house helping. Another neighbor named Sharon was there helping too. I will probably be sore tomorrow from the stretching and stooping, plus I kept hitting my hand with the hammer I was using to put the stakes in the ground for the decorations. Got so busy I skipped lunch. Sure was warm today. Got up to 85° by 2:00 pm.

Here are photos of the decorations we put out in her yard.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving

What am I thankful for today? I am thankful that I have Hiker. She gives me a reason to get up in the morning. I am thankful for my brothers. I am lucky to have them. Several of my friends no longer have their siblings. I am thankful that my brother Keith got a call from his ex-employer to have him do some consultant work for them. He's been out of work for over a year. Hopefully they will eventually hire him back full time. I am thankful for my nieces and nephews, my own and the ones I have in Ben's family. I am thankful for Ben's brother and sister. They are still my family. There are several people in my grief support group who's in-laws no longer consider them part of their family since their spouse has died. I am grateful for my grief support group. They have made me stronger. I am thankful for my friends...old and new, including my online friends. I am thankful that I have food to eat and a roof over my head. Hiker and I slept in a little this morning. Got up put my turkey roast into my crock pot and had breakfast and then went to buy my Lotto ticket. Came back home, cleaned my master bathroom and then took Hiker for a walk. It was warm and breezy outside. When we got back home, Hiker wanted me to go out to the backyard and play with her, which I did for awhile. She wears me out (LOL). Been trying to decide if I want to start using my fireplace again this winter. If I do, I really should have it inspected since I have not used it since a couple of winters before Ben died. Went for a second short walk just before 2:00 pm. Such a beautiful day outside. Will probably have dinner around 4:00 pm.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Hiker...My Protector

Well now I know that Hiker will protect me if anyone ever tries to attack me. Hiker and I went for a hike in Towsley Canyon with Jean this morning. We hiked up to the Narrows and we stopped to rest just off the trail on the rocks along the dry creek bed. We were off on a small side trail that isn't really even a trail. The main trail was across the creek bed from us. Well while we were sitting there, some guy who was jogging through the canyon decided he was going to take the side trail where we were sitting instead of staying on the main trail. This was a bad decision on his part because there is not much of a trail where we were sitting and so there was not much room for him to pass. He would have been better off staying on the main trail. So here he comes running toward us. Hiker had been sitting on the rocks with me and she stood up and started growling at this guy because he is running right at us like he's about to attack us or something. Most people with common sense would stop and turn back if they heard a dog growling at them, but not this guy. I'm sure Hiker thought he was going to harm us in some way. Her growling should have been enough warning for him to stop and go back to the main trail, but he kept jogging toward us. Jean told him to wait a second and she would get up out of his way because there was not that much room for him to go by us where we were sitting. But he did not say anything or even slow down. I was trying to pull Hiker up close to me so I could hold onto her. Just as he got next to me, Hiker grabbed on to his pant leg. He had on sweat pants so she got a mouthful of cloth. She was on her leash and I was still pulling her back. The guy started flailing around which made Hiker even more mad and I guess she did nip his leg a little, but she didn't really bite him. Jean thought the guy was going to fall into the rocks. He kicked at Hiker, which was not a good idea because he was making matters worse, and he started cussing me out and telling me I should not take a vicious dog out in public. Hiker is NOT vicious! She has never reacted to anyone like that in the 13 months I have had her. She has always been friendly with people she meets along the trail and even lets them pet her. Jean and I agreed that she only “attacked” this guy because she thought he was going to hurt us, plus the way he was running at us and then started kicking, any dog would have reacted the way Hiker did. I had always wondered how she would react if someone tried to hurt me and now I know. I was a little nervous however that he was going to report the incident at the ranger station, but we didn't see him again when we headed back down the trail. We met a family on the trail who had a “domesticated Dingo” named Dixie. She was a very pretty dog. They told us that their neighbor had two dogs just like Hiker and that they just had a litter of puppies and that the guy was going to give them away free to good homes. Jean kept trying to talk me into getting one to be Hiker's playmate, but I don't want or need another dog.

Beautiful in Towsley Canyon

Hiker looking up at Jean while we were in the canyon

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

She Talked And Talked

Went to my Grief Support Group today. You all remember me telling you about Edwin and how obnoxious he was and how he never stopped talking. Well today we had a new person, a woman, who could out-talk even Edwin. She was not obnoxious like he is, but the minute our therapist asked her if she wanted to talk or just listen, she started talking and we all thought she was never going to stop. She doesn't just tell you the basics, she started telling us her entire life. Her husband was a retired Sheriff’s detective and she told us about his family, all of their doctors, all of the deputies at the Sheriff station, all of the trips she and her husband took, etc. Our therapist would finally cut in and start to talk about something else, but then one of our male members who was sitting next to this woman would ask her a question and off she'd go again. When some of us went to lunch after group, we decided she must be a very lonely person and has no one to talk to, so when she got the opportunity, she was going to take it. I felt sorry for her but I didn't think it was right that she was hogging all of the conversation. Our session room was “standing room only” today. As our therapist says “it's a good thing that these people are coming because they need help, but it's bad because it means they had to lose someone the loved to be there”. When I got home, I took Hiker down to the park for a few minutes. It was a pretty day.

Monday, November 19, 2012


Hiker and I got up this morning and headed out for our dog walk with Jean. There were a few clouds then, but it became bright and sunny. I've been having a problem with my left ear since yesterday morning. I've noticed that I've had some “ringing” in my ear and the sound I'm picking up in that ear is a little “tinny”. I'm hoping that I'm not starting to have a hearing loss in that ear. I tried flushing my ear with peroxide and water, and it helped a little, but the sound in the left ear still is not a clear as in my right. I'm trying some suggestions I found online to loosen up the wax. Took the 4Runner up to Sam's Club to fill my tank. Hiker went with me. She sure loves to ride in the car. We also went for a short walk this afternoon. It was just too beautiful outside to stay inside the house. We went down to Discovery Park and walked around in the dry riverbed. The main riverbed may be dry but I've heard that the creeks in the hills along the trails that Hiker and I hike have a little water in them due to the few days of light rain we had.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

A TV Kind Of Sunday

I remember a few months back, I was having trouble sleeping. I'd go to bed around 10:00 pm but could not go to sleep, then when I finally did go to sleep, I'd wake up several times during the night and then around 6:00 am I'd get up because I could not go back to sleep. Well that has changed. I now get in bed around 9:00 pm. I will turn on the TV but most of the time by 10:00 pm, I have fallen asleep and I stay asleep until Hiker wakes me up to go potty around 6:30 am. But now the problem is I go back to bed when she comes back inside and we fall back to sleep and don't get up until 8:00 am. On the days I have my dog walks with Jean, I have to set my alarm to get up earlier. Everything was wet this morning, so Hiker and I did not go right out for a walk. Instead I had breakfast, we went to get my Lotto ticket, I came home and put my linens into the washing machine, then we went for a walk. The sun was out during our walk, but then it was mostly cloudy all afternoon. I watched “Vegas” On Demand because I always fall asleep on Tuesdays before it comes on.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Rainy Outside/Dizzy In My Head

Woke up at 6:30 am and let Hiker outside. It was dark and cloudy but not raining. Went back to bed and woke up around 8:15 and now it was raining. No walks for me and Hiker today. I was feeling pretty good this morning but then I went to put my clothes in the washing machine and I got a little dizzy. Decided to lie down on the sofa and I fell asleep. Woke up about an hour later and still felt a little light headed. Finally got off the sofa and made my lunch and after lunch, I felt much better. Hiker had “cabin fever” because we didn't get out for our walks. She would go outside to go potty now and then, but would come right back in because it was raining. Both of my brothers called me today. Ron called “just to talk” because it was gloomy out and he was bored. Keith called because he was working on a friends computer because it's not working and he was having trouble with it. I just sat on the sofa most of the day watching “NCIS” reruns.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Hiker's Grooming Day

Heard it raining some last night. Hiker woke me up at 6:15 am to go potty. It was not raining at that time. We got out of bed this morning because we had a dog walk with Jean plus Hiker had an appointment to get groomed after the dog play date. It was very cloudy while we were out walking, but it did not rain. I stayed at Jean's house while she groomed Hiker. It was funny, when Jean went to put Hiker in the tub, Hiker grabbed onto my leg with her front paws and it was like a little kid going to kindergarten for the first time and wrapping it's arms around mommy's leg because they didn't want her to leave. That's how Hiker had a hold on me and she was trying to “clamp” on with her claws. Finally got her to let go and Jean finally got her into the tub. Once she is in the tub, she is good and lets Jean wash her. So now Hiker is all clean and her hair is all soft a fluffy. She smells good too because Jean sprayed her with something that smells like mixed berries. I went over to our new 99¢ Only Store. It was jammed. It's only been open for a week. I just walked through quickly and then headed home. Took Hiker for a short afternoon walk. It was still very cloudy. The sun did come out for a few minutes right after lunch. Notice that one of my neighbors had put up all of his outside Christmas decorations already. A little too early if you ask me.

All clean an pretty (she smells good too)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Cloudy All Day...But I Like It

I am getting so lazy! On the days that I don't have anything planned, I let Hiker out to potty around 6:15 am and then she and I go back to bed until about 8:00 am. The bed just feels so good that the two of us just fall back to sleep. Took Hiker with me to buy my Lotto ticket this morning. She just loves riding in the car. After we got home, we went for a walk inside our gated community. Then I had to do a little housework. I hate housework. I hear some of my girlfriends talk about their “cleaning lady” and sometimes I am so jealous. Just got back from taking a second walk with Hiker. I'm so glad that we finally got cool weather so she and I can once again do both a morning and an afternoon walk. It is still cloudy outside.

Morning walk

Afternoon walk

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Walk In The Morning/Hike In The Afternoon

Hiker and I had to go over to the bank this morning so I could cash some checks I received for doing online surveys. I have gotten kind of paranoid about going to the bank because we have had so many bank robberies here in Santa Clarita lately. My bank branch has a bullet proof screen protecting the tellers, but if someone comes in with a gun, the customers are not protected. When we got back home, I took Hiker out for her morning walk. Had high, thin clouds and it was in the low 60's when we were out. Jean (my neighbor) had wanted to go for a hike this morning but she had a doctor's appointment, but she called me from Kaiser in Panorama City when she was done and asked if we could still do a hike this afternoon. She got here around 12:30 and we headed over to Towsley Canyon and hiked the front of the 5.1 mile loop trail. We only did 2.5 miles. There is a bench on the trail about 1.25 miles in so we hiked to there and then back. Hiker sure loves getting out on the trails again. We were surprised to see several people out on the trail in the afternoon. Most people go out in the morning.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Hiker Has A New Game

Today was my “group” day so did not take Hiker for a morning walk, but she is doing a “new” thing now. She keeps one of her stuffed toys out on the patio. Well has started going out and getting it and she comes to the patio door with it in her mouth and sits there and stares at me because she wants me to come out and play with her. She wants me to chase her all around the yard, which totally wears me out (LOL). I played with her for awhile and then made her come into the house so I could leave to go over to the senior center. She didn't like that because it meant she'd have to be alone for 5 hours. We only had one new person at group today and she was not there for the grief portion, she was there for the “moral support” portion, but she didn't arrive until the second half which is the grief portion. After group, me, DeDee, Carol, Gin and Jane went over to Dario's Mexican Restaurant. It is only a few blocks from the senior center. When I got home, Hiker greeted me at the door with kisses and then I took her down to the park for awhile. When we got home, she again went outside and got her stuffed toy and wanted me to come out and play. I did for a little while, but I had some other things that I needed to do, so she sat at the door with the toy in her mouth again staring at me. When I was driving home after lunch, I was sitting at a stop light and I saw two little tiny dogs running down the street with no collars and no humans. I didn't see where they came from and they disappeared into some bushes and I couldn't see them anymore. It just tears at my heart when I see dogs running loose because I know how I would feel if Hiker was out lost and all alone. Last night I didn't eat dinner because I was so full from lunch and I feel the same dinner again.

Monday, November 12, 2012

I'm Enjoying This Weather

Was warmer when I got up this morning. 44° is still chilly for us here in California though. After breakfast had to fix one of my sprinklers. I noticed that when they came on this morning, the water pressure was very low, so I started to check them and found that one of the sprinkler heads was missing and I had a small “geyser” in the yard. I had to dig and replace the head and then the sprinklers worked just fine. Then I headed up to Sam's Club for a few things and to get gas in the car. Came home and took Hiker for a walk. It was pretty windy and in the 60's when we were out. I ate too much for lunch and felt too full to go for a second walk with Hiker. Don't think I'll eat dinner tonight. Anyway, we just went out into the backyard and played for awhile. She kept wanting me to chase her around the yard and try to take her toy away from her but she's way too fast for me. It actually got up to 70° this afternoon. I decided to sit outside on the patio with my iPad for awhile and I was actually feeling too warm in the sun.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Cold Must Bring Out The Crazies

Was 33° this morning, so Hiker and I once again cuddled under the covers until the heater warmed the house up. Went for a morning walk. By the time we left it was about 45° but the wind was blowing so it felt colder, but I am not complaining after that long HOT summer we had. Washed my sheets and towels and vacuumed the carpet, then headed over to the post office to mail my homeowner's and earthquake insurance. Must have been “idiot on the road” day. First there was a woman trying to park in front of my neighbor's house. The person behind her just kept honking their horn at her for no reason. I encountered two people who flatly refused to turn right on a red light when no one was coming, even though it is legal in California unless posted. Had a guy riding my bumper and he could not have been more than 2 feet off my bumper. Another moron turned left when he was not in the left turn lane. But the best one of all was an idiot on a bicycle. Our city has great bike paths all over the valley. They are there because it is not safe to ride in the heavy traffic on the main roads. This guy was riding his bike down Soledad Canyon Road in the middle of traffic, making people swerve around him and almost colliding with on another. The bike path was right next to him, but there he was being a traffic hazard. Took Hiker over to Canyon Country Park and walked around. Was too pretty of a day to stay inside.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Chilly Day

It was only 35° this morning when Hiker went outside to potty at 6:00 am. There was frost on all of the rooftops. I turned on the heater and Hiker and I went back to bed until 8:00. Went for a short (less than a mile) morning walk. It was still a little chilly out. Ben and I used to cover our outdoor water pipes with plastic and duct tape when we would have a cold winter because one of the first winters we lived here, our pipes froze, so we decided to always cover the pipes when the cold weather would come. I went out before lunch and put new plastic over them and new tape. Last year I had a very mild summer and winter, but since the summer was so hot this year, I am expecting to have a cold and possibly wet winter this year. Don't know if it was the cooler weather or what, but I felt “lazy” all day today. Mostly stayed on the sofa watching TV. Watched one of my favorite movies “Coal Miner's Daughter” on Encore.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Not A Bad Friday

Felt much better when I woke up this morning and I slept pretty good last night. I did not keep waking up all night like I normally do. Hiker and I had a dog walk date with Jean. It was cold and cloudy while we were out walking and when we were sitting on my patio so the dogs could play for awhile. After Jean left, Hiker and I headed over to Wal-Mart because I had to pick up a few things. I try to avoid Wal-Mart the closer it gets to the holidays. They are saying that we may get more rain later today and that the snow level may drop down to about 3000 feet. I am at about 1600 feet, but we have had a little bit of snow here now and then. Around 1:45 pm, I took Hiker out for an afternoon walk and it was beautiful outside. Blue sky with big white fluffy clouds.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Dark, Cloudy Day

Woke up not feeling well this morning. Not really sick, just not feeling “normal”. I fell asleep on the sofa last night watching “Criminal Minds” so went to be and fell right back to sleep. I wish I could make myself lose weight the way I made Hiker lose weight. When I took her to the Vet on Oct. 5th, they weighed her in at 45.7 lbs. I weighed her on my digital scale on Oct. 15 and she weighted n at 47.6 lbs. I cut back on her dog food, stopped giving her bites of my food when I eat my meals and I've been walking her more. I just weighed her on my scale again and it shows she now weighs 38.2 lbs. That's 9.4 lbs in 3½ weeks. The Vet had wanted her to lose 8 to 10 lbs...well she did. I've noticed that ever since we changed the time last Sunday and I adjusted my grandfather clock that the chimes are not working correctly. It is not ringing the correct time. I know it takes a little while for it to catch up with itself when you first change it, but it has never taken more than about 2 hours. Guess I'll have to try to find a clock repair place here in town that specializes in grandfather clocks. Stayed inside all day. It was cool and cloudy outside and we had some light drizzle. I was on the sofa all day watching TV.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Boy Did I Get A Good Deal

I was sleepy this morning because I stayed up late last night watching the returns and listening to the speeches. I received another one of those free $10 gift card from Kohl's in the mail the other day. I headed up there this morning and would you believe I got a pair of Gloria Vanderbilt jeans for the grand total of 53 cents? The regular price on them was $34.99 but I found them on the clearance rack for $10.49 and. I used the my gift card and only had to pay the balance and the tax. The cashier said he wished he could find a pair of pants for 53 cents. On the way back home, I stopped at Stater Brothers to do my grocery shopping. All I heard was people complaining about the election. Now I am a Democrat and I did vote for Obama, but I live in a prominently Republican city. Everyone was saying that they don't know why we bother voting when our individual votes (the popular vote) don't count, that the election is determined by the electoral vote. Yes, the popular vote was close, but obviously those people did check it carefully because Obama did get more of the popular vote than Romney, so they got their wish. Back in the 2000 presidential election, Al Gore actually got more of the popular vote than George Bush, but Bush went to the White House because he won the electoral vote. Hiker and I went out for a morning walk when I got home from shopping. It was about 74° out there and I was sweating. Started feeling sleepy again around 2:30 pm. Don't know if Hiker and I will get out for a second walk today or not.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Crowded Room

Hiker was not happy this morning. She seems to know when it is Tuesday and that I am going to leave her for about 5 hours. I left a little early for my group today because I know they have a polling place there and I thought maybe the parking lot would be full. DeDee got there early too for the same reason, but we found an almost empty parking lot. Our group just seems to be growing more and more. By the time our therapist got there this morning, we had standing room only. During our session, we opened the back door of the trailer where our meeting room is because it was getting stuffy in our room. DeDee noticed an animal going up the hill with something in its mouth. She asked me if it was a fox. I don't know if we have foxes around here or not, but when I looked, I recognized it as a young coyote and it seemed to have a small rodent in its mouth. I'm just glad it didn't get curious and come in through our back door (LOL). After group, five of us ladies went over to Red Robin for lunch. Hiker was all kisses and hugs when I got home. I walked her down to the park for a little while. It was a little cooler her today, but still go up into the high 80's.

Hiker getting some sun

Monday, November 5, 2012

What Happened To Fall?

Did our regular Monday dog walk/play date with Jean and her three dogs this morning. It was already getting warm and I was sorry that I had put on sweats for our walk. Went to Sam's Club and picked up a few things. When I got back home around 10:30 am it was already 85° outside. I played “hide and seek” with Hiker today, then kind of thought it was mean. She was in the front bedroom and I hid in my bedroom closet at the other end of the house and called her. She was running back and forth from one end of the house to the other for about 5 minutes. Then I heard her barking at the door that goes out to the garage. Guess she thought I went out there, so I let her find me and she was acting so excited to see me. That's when I decided it was mean to hide from her. Got up to 93° which was exactly what they said it would be today when I watched the weather on the morning news.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Feel Like Summer Again

Hiker is mixed up because of the time change. She woke me up at 5:00 am wanting me to feed her and to go outside. I made her wait until 6:00 am before she ate. I need to get her used to the new time. She originally got mixed up last year when we changed time. When I first got her, I was feeding her and letting her outside at 7:00 am, but then we changed the time last November. 7:00 am became 6:00 am and I should have made her wait back then, but I was still in a lot of grief and didn't care about much of anything. So now I'm going to try to get her used to going eating and going out later. Took her out on a morning walk and then we got in the car and went to buy my Lotto tickets. My brother Ron called me today. His son Matt is getting Ron a new cell phone on his account with T-Mobil so Ron can have data and texting on his phone. Ron saw all of us on our smart phones when we were up there visiting and it made him want a smart phone. Took Hiker down to the park for about 20 minutes this afternoon. It was pretty hot outside. Got up to 90° on my patio.

Hiker finally looks like she is losing some weight. The vet said she needed to lose 8-10 lbs.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Hiker's A Big Chicken

Hiker got me up at 6:00 am to let her outside. When she got done, we went back to bed and didn't get up until 8:00 am. Well I should say, I didn't get up until 8:00. Hiker got up around 7:30 and then just before 8:00, she came back in and jumped on me and started licking me which means “get up mom”. I had to turn the furnace on at 6:00 am to get the chill off of the house. When I finally got up, I made some pancakes for breakfast and then headed out with Hiker for a morning walk. For some reason, I just could not get myself going this morning. Turned on the TV and saw that Hallmark is already showing Christmas movies. I came upon a short video of Ben on my computer this morning. It made me cry. I'd been having a “teary” morning anyway for some reason. I've been doing so well, but now and then, there are still those times that memories flood back and tears flow. I just keep thinking Ben was supposed to be with me at least another 20 years. After lunch I took Hiker over to Central Park. There were only a couple of dogs in the dog park (Central Bark) so I took her into the dog run area. All she did was stand behind me or stand between my legs. She plays fine with the neighbor's dogs, but she is still frightened by dogs she does not know.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Another Day...Another Walk (Or Two)

Did our regular Friday dog walk with Jean and her three dogs this morning. It was pretty chilly the high 40's when we left. My house felt chilly too this morning, so I put the furnace on for awhile before I got out of bed to get dressed. I cannot believe my calves are still hurting me from my 5 mile hike on Wednesday. I guess it's because I have gotten out of shape from not hiking when we were having those hot summer days. The local weather keeps saying that we will be back up into the 90's again this weekend with more “Santa Ana” winds. It was pretty much a relaxing Friday for me. I did check out the batteries in my smoke detectors and my Carbon Monoxide detectors. I always check them and/or change them when we change from daylight savings time or when we change from standard time, so I thought I'd do it while I was thinking about it. Took Hiker out for an afternoon walk and took my camera along to get some “nature” shots. Temps reached 79° today.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

What A Beautiful Day It Was

Hiker and I turned out the lights last night and went into the bedroom around 7:00 pm. I had the TV in there plus my laptop. Noticed that the kids quit walking around the streets around 9:00 pm. I was still achy from my 5 mile hike on Wednesday, mostly my right leg and right knee. I headed over to Wal-Mart this morning and then when I got home, since I still didn't fell up to taking our regular walk, I walked Hiker down to the community office to pay my land lease and then I walked her around the community a little. While at Wal-Mart, I noticed they had the little boneless turkeys on sale so I bought one for me and Hiker to have on Thanksgiving. I also picked up some baking supplies to make fudge and cookies for the holidays. Ben used to love it when I baked stuff for the holidays. He loved his sweets. I'll probably share most of what I make with my brother Keith and my friends at my grief support group. It was such a beautiful afternoon and my knee was feeling a little better, so I hooked Hiker up to her leash and off we went for a 2 mile walk. It was in the low 70's and breezy.

Is A Dog Just An Animal?

Is a dog "just an animal"? I don't think so. My dog Hiker is my family, my best friend, my "child". She is the most important thing in my life since my husband Ben passed away. So why don't some people understand that?

Before I rescued Hiker from the shelter, I felt so alone. I was in deep grief from losing my husband. I felt lost. Hiker came into my life and that all changed. She gave me a reason to get out of bed in the morning. She gave me something to love and she loved me back. She gave me something to live for.

She and I are now so "joined at the hip" that I do not like leaving her alone for more than about 5 hours and she won't let me out of her sight when we are together. I guess some people would think I give her too much attention or that I dote on her too much. That I should not let her be the center of my life.

Any arrangements I make, any trips, luncheons, socializing, I make all of my plans with her in mind. I've had a few people criticize me for this. They say she is "ruling my life". That she is "only a dog" and that I should not be living my life for her.

As most of you know, I go to a Grief Support Group each week. Our grief therapist uses a great metaphor. She tells us to think of our lives as a movie theater. We should put family and friends in different sections of the theater. People who are supportive and caring should be put in the front row, but those who cause us pain or anger, or those who bring agitation into our lives, that we should put those people "in the balcony" of our lives.

I've had a few friends who have gotten angry with me because I now put Hiker first in my life. I wonder how they will like sitting in my "balcony".