Got up at 6:15 am to get ready for our dog walk with Jean. It was 25° on my patio and everything was covered with frost. Would have loved to crawl back under the warm covers this morning. Met Jean at 7:20 am and we headed down to Discovery Park. We had to be very careful walking because there was ice in the street and we almost lost our footing a few times. My hands and my feet were numb from the cold. We came back to my house and let the dogs play in the yard for a little while. Just about froze sitting on the patio watching them. It warmed up to about 55° in the afternoon, so Hiker and I went out for another walk. We did almost 1.5 miles. We did what I refer to as a “Hiker led walk”. I hook her leash to a belt around my waist and just let her take me wherever she wants to go. She prefers walking on the dirt trails in the park because there are no bikes or skateboards on the dirt. I just let her lead me around while she sniffs everything and I look for photo ops. Tonight at midnight, another year fades away. Once again I have the sad feeling that I will be facing another new year without Ben. I thought that last year I felt this way because it was the first year change since Ben had died. I can't really explain the feeling. It's as if his existence slips farther and farther away from me each year. I don't know if the other people in my grief group have this feeling or not. I wonder if I will feel this way each New Year's Eve. Don't know if we will be awake at midnight. Will probably fall asleep around 10:00 or so.
It was 25° when Hiker went out the first time this morning. We jumped right back into the warm bed for awhile. Got up and had breakfast then we headed over to the Home Depot because I wanted to buy some more Duraflame Logs. I use them because it is easier to clean out the fireplace since they burn completely up. Regular wood does not burn all the way and you end up with chunks of unburned wood. At first I thought the store was all out of the Duraflame Logs. I asked if they had any and they told me the were up by the “self checkout”. They only had 3 boxes left. Came home and decided to take Hiker out for a short walk. It was on still only 41°, so we just walked about a mile around the streets of my community. I really need to lose some weight. I noticed that I get winded walking up the hills. I noticed that “The Majestic” was on TV so I started watching it. It was hard for me to do because the movie was filmed in Ferndale, CA, Ben's and my favorite vacation place and seeing the town brought back memories of Ben and I being there. The sun was out this morning when Hiker and I were walking but around 11:45 it started getting cloudy, dark and windy. The temperature dropped from 50° down to 42° and it started to rain. At 2:00 the sun came out again but it stayed cold.
Hiker seems to be better this morning. She went outside at 6 am and she still had a little bit of soft stool, but also had some solid. I'm guessing the Pepto-Bismol worked. She never did act sick...was hungry and was playing. Jean called around 8 am to see how Hiker was doing. It was cold again when we got out of bed this morning. It drizzled a little and then the sun peeked out then it got really cloudy again. Only got up to a high of 42° here today. Stayed inside and watched TV all day. Went online and ordered some cheese from the Loleta Cheese Factory. Still have a little bit left from my last order but I'll use that up tomorrow when I make mac & cheese. Tonight I'm going to have meatloaf. Love the leftovers for sandwiches.
Slept in until 8 am this morning because it was too cold to get out of bed. Went grocery shopping and was going to take Hiker for a walk when we got back, but I noticed that she had the “runs”. This is the first time she's had this problem since I got her. I think it was because of some chicken I gave her last night for dinner. I don't think it was fully cooked even though I had it in the oven for almost 30 minutes. It was a thick breast, so I don't think it cooked all the way through. I know I didn't finish mine for dinner last night because I was making me gag. Think I'll stick to cooking it in the crock pot because I slow cook it all day and that way I know for sure it is cooked through. I hope her belly is not hurting her. It was such a beautiful day, I took Hiker out for a walk this afternoon. I always attach her leash to a belt I wear around my waist so I don't have to hold onto her leash. This afternoon, I just let her walk wherever she wanted and sniff everything to her heart's content. She dragged me all over the river bed and the trails in the park. When we come to either the paved bike path or a dirt trail, Hiker always turns and looks at me to “ask” me which way we are going. I know she prefers the dirt trails because she knows there are no bicycles out there. I just told her to go where she wanted and she headed off for the dirt trail. It started clouding up around 3 pm. We are supposed to have rain this weekend.
It was 35° when Hiker and I got out of bed this morning. The sky was very clear and there was a light breeze blowing. I got dressed and headed over to Wal-Mart to buy myself some new jeans. All of the ones I have are getting really old and starting to get holes in the knees. I know that's the latest fad with the young people, but my knees were getting cold (LOL). Came home and saw that Ben's sister Donna had called me. I called her back and she said that they were going to be heading back home today so they would not be able to see me again until next month when they will be back over here from Las Vegas. After lunch, I decided to go out and work in the yard. I had bought 5 bags of wood chips when Keith was here to spread in my flower beds, so I decided to do that because we are supposed to get more rain this weekend and I wanted to get it done before more rain came. I needed to fill my hummingbird feeder. I got my clothes all dirty. Looked like I'd been playing in the mud (LOL).
Got up earlier this morning because I needed to go over to the main post office to mail something and to get some stamps and then headed over to Kaiser to pick-up my blood pressure medications. People must be out for the “after Christmas” sales because there was no line at either the post office or the pharmacy. It rained most of the night and it was harder than it has been. The sun came out this morning though. I had some dinner last night around 5 pm and decided to get into the shower and get my jammies on early to relax. While I was in the shower, Ben's sister called and said they wanted me to come over to her son's for dinner around 7 pm. I told her thanks, but no thanks due to the fact that I had already eaten and I was in my jammies with wet hair. Ben and I always ate dinner around 5 pm and we loved sitting around in our jammies watching TV. We were never “night” people and I still like to be home after dark. Jean had mentioned yesterday when we took the dogs for a walk that she was busy this Friday and would not be able to do our regular dog-walk, so she wanted to go out this afternoon and walk them, which we did. The sun was out and there were big white fluffy clouds. Really a beautiful afternoon.
Didn't get out of bed until after 8 am this morning. I had what Pete, one of the widowers in our group calls a “meltdown”. I was not even thinking about Ben, but I just started sobbing. I was thinking that I really didn't need to get out of bed because all I had to do today was housework and walk Hiker. She kept whimpering and licking me. I was cleaning my master bathroom when Jean called and wanted to know if Hiker and I would like to do a dog walk, so when I finished the bathroom, we met her and walked and then let the dogs play in my backyard for about a hour. After lunch, I decided I'd wait about doing the rest of my housework, so I sat down and watch a “Rizzoli & Isles” marathon. Also called my older brother Ron. He said it was cold and rainy up in northern California. Was supposed to be clear today but was gloom almost all day. The sun came out for a few minutes. It only got up into the 50's today here.
Rain all night again. Keith left to head home around 9:15 am. He wanted to get started early because of the traffic. We knew there had been a sigalert on the 210 so he waited for it to clear up some before he left. It's just me and Hiker again so the house will be quiet and a little lonely after having Keith here with us. This is my second Christmas without Ben. Even though Ben and I never really did anything special for Christmas Day, it still hurts to be alone when I see families getting together to celebrate. As you know, we never had children. When our mom's were alive, we'd usually go to Ben's mom's house with my mom and we'd have Christmas with the mom's and Ben's brother and sister and their families. After the mom's died, we usually just stayed home on Christmas. We did have a few “traditions” even though it was always just the two of us. Just before Thanksgiving, I would get Ben to pose for our Christmas card photo. I always took the photo with the help of my tripod. He'd complain, but he'd always give in and let me take the photo. I'm so glad that I took several photos in November 2010 because those are some of the last photos I have of Ben and that is the way I always want to remember him, NOT the way he looked when he was in the hospital. The day after Thanksgiving, Ben and I would put Christmas lights on the outside of the house and the rest of the weekend, I would decorate the inside of the house putting up a tree, our Christmas stockings and garland. Ben would sit in his chair and “supervise”. He'd also sing Christmas carols. Not really knowing most of the words, he'd make up his own and make me laugh. Sometimes he'd grab a handful off tinsel or an ornament and hang it over his ears or put it in his hair. He was always so silly. If I was wrapping presents, he'd always grab a bow and apply it to his forehead. Ben's favorite Christmas movie was “It's A Wonderful Life” and our main tradition was to watch it together every Christmas Eve. It's hard for me to watch that movie now. However, Keith and I did watch it on Saturday night. I used to love to hear Christmas music, but it is so hard now to listen to some of the songs, especially “Blue Christmas” by Elvis. But....I think I have done very well so far.
Cloudy and foggy when we got up this morning. It rained softly most of the night and they say we are supposed to have more rain today. We went over to The Dollar Tree Store so Keith could pick up some Christmas paper to wrap a couple of things before he takes them home to his family. I used to have paper stored away, but after Ben died, I gave it all away. Went up to Sam's Club to put gasoline in the car and then came back home and took Hiker for a very short walk. We had planned on doing a longer one, but it started getting cloudier and looking like it might start to rain, so we headed back home. Ben's sister Donna called me from the road. She and her husband Rich were heading down from Vegas to be with their son and his family for Christmas. Their son lives not far from me. She wanted to say they were going to stop by my house on their way in and they wanted my brother Keith and I to go to lunch with them. When they got here, we went over to the Stonefire Grill. It sure was crowded there today. After lunch, they headed to their son's and Keith and I came back to my house. Good thing we took two cars. When we left the restaurant, it was starting to rain, but once we got back to my house, the sun was trying to peak out. It was very chilly outside though. Ben's sister will be here probably until Thursday, so hopefully I will be able to see her again before she leaves.
Not as cold this morning when we got up. It was about 30° at 7:00 am. Had to wait for the gardener to come before we could head out to do anything because I need to let the gardener into my backyard through the garage. So we sat around while I did a load of laundry and we played with Hiker. After the gardener was here, we headed over to Der Wienerschnitzel for lunch and then stopped by the Goodwill store and Big Lots. It was getting pretty dark and gray so we decided to stay in and watch some TV. Not much on TV on the weekends anymore. Since Keith won't be here for Christmas, I am making us a “Christmas dinner” tonight. Having baked ham and my cheesy potatoes.
Went out last night and checked out the Christmas lights in our neighborhood. Hiker went with us and my neighbor Jean came along too. When we got up at 6:30 am this morning, it was 24° on my patio thermometer. Jean came over at 8:00 am and me, Hiker, Keith and Jean headed out to Pearblossom, CA to go to The Devil's Punch Bowl. Took us about an hour to get there. It was so pretty with the snow on the mountains. It was still in the mid-30's while we hiked around on the loop trail. Hiked about 2 miles. We were being “dare-devil's” today since we were right on top of the San Adreas Fault on the day that the world was supposed to come to an end. LOL. Came back home and them me, Keith and Jean went to Jimmy Dean's for lunch. In the afternoon, Keith and I went out and sat on the patio for awhile. Amazingly the temperature was 70° in the afternoon. How can it go from 24° to 70° like that? Only in California. Played “keep away from Hiker” with one of her toys. She still kept getting it from us and making us chase her. Having pizza and salad for dinner tonight.
Another very cold morning, plus the wind was blowing which made it feel even colder. Hiker and I went to buy my Lotto tickets for Saturday and then we went for a short walk down to the park. Came home and I did a little quick housework before Keith got here. He arrived just before noon. Hiker was so excited to see him. She was at the door barking and crying and jumping all over him. She loves her “Uncle Keith”. We went to have lunch at Subway and then hit a few stores because Keith needed to do some Christmas shopping. Guess no one is working this week because the stores were packed. Also stopped by Home Depot because I needed to pick up some things for the yard. Think we will head over to Denny's for dinner this evening and then around 7:00 pm, we are going to meet up with Jean and walk around the neighborhood and look at the Christmas lights. Hoping that tomorrow is not too cold or raining because I want to take Keith, Hiker and Jean up to The Devil's Punch Bowl in Pearblossom, CA. There may be snow up in that area. The Antelope Valley got down to 14° last night which broke some records.
It was really cold this morning when Hiker and I got up. We went for a dog walk with Jean and her three dogs plus a dog she is boarding for a few days. After the walk, Hiker and I headed over to Stater Brothers so I could pick up a few things I needed for when Keith is here. A couple of years ago, my brother Ron had given me a bird bath that he no longer wanted. I put it on my patio but because it sat in the direct sun, it started to rust away. I needed to put something in the spot where the bird bath was. I had received a $100 Amazon gift card for doing online surveys, so I looked on Amazon and found a 39” tall solar lighthouse. I ordered it on December 16th and it arrived on the evening of December 18th. I spent some time this morning setting it up in the backyard. Also had to do a little housework before Keith gets here tomorrow. It was cold here all day.
It rained all night and into this morning. Stopped just as I left to go to my grief group. Even though it is a busy time of year for most people, most of the regulars were there. Our therapist was surprised to see so many of us there today. It was a sad day for her as she had to inform us that her beloved dog Mulligan had to be put down yesterday. He was an 11 year old Bearded Collie. We all knew that he was sick. She found out he had an enlarged heart a year ago and at that time, the vet didn't think he'd live more than a couple of days. Needless to say, I came home and gave Hiker a really BIG hug. Did not go to lunch today after group. There were only three of us who might have gone, but I needed to go to Sam's Club and Ruth had to babysit her grandchildren. Judy, our therapist might book a room for us at a local restaurant for a lunch between Christmas and New Years. The sun came out while we were in group and it looked like it was going to clear up, but around 2:00 pm, the clouds started to come back and it started to get very cold outside. I am really looking forward to Keith coming for a visit in the next few days.
Had trouble going to sleep last night. For some reason, I just tossed and turned. Finally took a sleep aid around 1:15 am and fell asleep. It rained again last night and when I got up to let Hiker outside, it was very cloudy and wet. Had a dog-walking date with Jean but called her around 6:30 am and we both agreed that it was too cloudy and too wet to take the dogs out. One of her dogs (Charlie) is a King Charles Spaniel and he gets really wet and muddy. I went back to bed and slept until 8:00. Hiker kept looking at me and then the door as if she was asking why we were not going on our walk with Jean. My good friends, Karren and Wally Meggitt came down from the Antelope Valley and the 3 of us went to lunch at Cathy's Deli in Newhall, CA. Was nice to see them. I only get to see them maybe 3 or 4 times a year. We used to get together more when Ben was alive and even went on a couple of vacations together. Hiker really likes Wally. She seems to take to men more. I guess it's because they want to play with her. Was very dark and cloudy here all day. Only got up to 55° which is “cold” for southern California.
Another cold and gray morning when Hiker and I got out of bed this morning. I don't know what is wrong with me, but I have not felt like doing anything for the past few days. I don't know if it's the holidays, the weather, or just that I am missing Ben. Keith will be coming to visit for a few days before Christmas. I am really looking forward to that. One of the ladies who is in my grief group is visiting her family in Utah. She called me yesterday evening to see how I'm doing. This is her first Christmas without her husband. I cried again this afternoon. Seems that I've been doing more of that lately and I'm sure it's because of the time of year. I was outside with Hiker. She wanted me to play with her. It was cold and cloudy outside and I started to remember another cold and cloudy Sunday in January 2011. It was January 2nd. Ben and I had gone over to the Home Depot to buy a bag of wood chips to put in a spot in the backyard that I had just cleaned up. It had been full of weeds. Anyway, we bought a bag of wood chips and brought it home and he helped me spread the chips around the area. That evening it snowed here. Funny how I can remember every detail. Seems like this Christmas holiday time is harder on me than last year was. I'm guessing it's because last year I was still numb. Watched a very good movie on TV that I had never seen before. I had heard of it, but never saw it. It was called “A Time To Kill” and it had so many stars in it.
Had a nice time at the community Christmas party last night. There were about 200 people there. I met some nice people who live in the community. The food was good and there was Christmas music. The did a raffle for the kids and a raffle for the adults and gave out many prizes. They also gave out prizes for the 3 best decorated homes in the community and my neighbor Jean won 3rd place. One of our gate guards who lives in the community (Marty) played Santa and all of the kids got to sit on his lap. Several adults did too (LOL). We were there for about 2 hours. When we left around 9:00 pm, it was cold and raining outside. We had walk home around 2 blocks, but it wasn't too bad. Hiker was so happy when I came through the door. I had left the lights and the TV on for her while I was gone. When we got up this morning, it was about 38°. We had breakfast and then headed out for a morning walk. The sun was out but it was still very cold. Cannot believe that as of today, Ben has been gone for 18 months. Where has the time gone? But it still feels like it was not that long ago. I still feel him here with me. Hiker was having a fit awhile ago. She saw a kitty on "her" fence in the side yard. I don't know how she relates to cats one-on-one. I was very sunny most of the day but stayed cool outside. Around 2:30 pm it started getting very cloudy again. Got an email from my brother Ron in Paradise, CA. He said it was starting to snow there.
It was very cold when I got up at 6:15 am to let Hiker outside this morning. It was 32° and there was ice on all of the houses. Went for a dog walk with Jean. Had to bundle up to stay warm. We “SoCal Gals” are not used to cold weather (LOL). We only got up to 48°. I was born and raised in Southern California and I have seen snow and cold weather now and then, but I know our “cold” weather is nothing compared to what many of you have. Tonight is the community Christmas party at our club house. I'm a little nervous about °going since I will only know a couple of people there. I've never left Hiker home alone at night, so I hope she will be OK. Guess there was a pretty good sized earthquake off the coast from us last night, but I didn't feel a thing. So sad about the school shooting in Connecticut this morning. Why are there people in this world who do things like that? Always seems like terrible things happen close to Christmas. Was cloudy and gray most of the day so Hiker and I stayed inside where it was warm.
It rained all night. I had to use earplugs because it was keeping me awake. Got up around 6:00 am to let Hiker outside and it was very dark and cloudy. Went back to bed and got up around 8:00 am. By then the sun was breaking through the clouds. Took Hiker with me to get my Lotto ticket for Saturday and then took her for a walk inside our gated community. It was too muddy to take her to the park. I burned another log in the fire today. It was pretty cold for southern California. Don't know if it's because of the time of year or the weather, but I just feel like I don't want to do anything but sit on the sofa and watch TV. The sun kept peaking out off and on all day.
Got up, had breakfast and then put Hiker in the car to go over to Wal-Mart. Had to get there before it got crowded. Came home and put my purchases away then we headed over to the bank because I needed to cash a few checks. When we got back, started out for a walk within our gated community. It started to rain while we were out. I had my umbrella with me and I pushed the button to open it and it scared Hiker and she “screamed”. She does that when something frightens her which all the more makes me believe that someone was mean to her when she was a puppy. Came back home and decided to settle down on the sofa and watch TV. Perfect day for it with this kind of weather. Hiker and I had a nice fire in the fireplace and just relaxed all day as it stayed dark and cloudy and a bit chilly. Didn't get much rain, but they are saying we might get some tomorrow and that the snow level will drop to about 3000 feet.
I cried this morning. It was a “major” cry, not the little minor ones I have now and then. I was outside “cleaning up after Hiker” and I heard some sirens. For some reason, my memory flashed back to the two ambulance rides I had to the ER at Henry Mayo when right after Ben's first colon surgery. He was still unconscious when I was in the ER those two times and after he woke up, I never told him about those two trips I took. I figured I would tell him later when he came home. He didn't need to know about them right then. Anyway, as I said, my memory flashed back and I started to think about how Ben always worried about me. How he would call me from work if he had not heard from me for awhile to make sure I was OK. How he would insist I call him if I was going anywhere and to call him when I got back home. Next thing I knew, I was sobbing. I'm sure that these feelings have a lot to do with it being Christmas time. I have not cried like that for several months. Moving on...I'm beginning to think that Hiker may associate my leaving her for 5 or 6 hours when I go to my group on Tuesdays with my gathering up the trash. Why do I think that you ask? Well, before I go to my group, I always gather all of the trash in the house and put it out in the big trash bin so that when I come home from my group in the afternoon, I can put the bins out by the curb for pickup. Lately, Hiker has been “attacking” me and the trash bags I am taking out to the bins. She tries to grab the trash bags and I'm always afraid she's going to get hold of one and tear it to shreds and the trash will be all over the house. I'm now thinking that she associates the trash with my leaving her and maybe she thinks if she “kills” the trash, I won't leave her. Maybe I'm wrong, but it's a thought. Group was good today. Had a full-house again. Shed some tears but also laughed. Went to lunch with DeDee, Linda, Jane and Ruth and we always enjoy our conversations. Probably because we all understand each other. When I got home, I got kisses from Hiker. She “helped” me put the trash bins out and she went up to get the mail with me, then I took her down to the park. There was a man there that came up to ask me what kind of dog she was and he told me how pretty she was (which I already know LOL). Came home and relaxed. Pretty good day after all.
don't know what was wrong with me the second half of yesterday, but I
could not stay awake. As I mentioned in yesterday's email blog, after
I took Hiker out for an afternoon walk, I came home and fell asleep
on the sofa, which is strange for me because I have never been a
napper. I slept for about an hour and even after I woke up, I was
still feeling very sleepy. I dozed off and on for awhile until I
finally got up and fed Hiker and made my dinner. After dinner, I went
in and took a shower to try to wake up, but it did not help. I
finally went to be just before 8:00 pm and feel right to sleep. I
remember having very strange dreams all night, but don't remember
what they were about. Got up and went for a dog walk with Jean this
morning. It was pretty chilly outside at 7:30 in the morning. I went
up to Sam's Club this morning to pick up some things and when I got
home, I was using my Food Saver Sealer to package some things I
wanted to freeze and my sealer started acting up and I was afraid it
was going to stop working. Ben and I bought it several years ago. It
was the second one we had and I have noticed that they only last
about 7 or 8 years. Anyway, I had a 20% off coupon for Bed, Bath &
Beyond so I went up there and bought a new sealer. I saved $30 with
the coupon. Ben and I used to say that those Food Saver Sealers were
the best things we ever bought. I use it all the time. I guess
Facebook was down this after. I could not get on it on my computers,
my iPad or my iPhone.
I was very busy this morning. After we got up I vacuumed out my Corolla and washed it. Hiker gets so much hair in it because that's usually the car I use if she is going somewhere with me. After I finished, I washed my sheets and towels and vacuumed the carpet. I went to bed early last night because my joints were bothering me. I really think I am getting arthritis. Hiker woke me up a little later than she normally does. After lunch I was just heading out the door to take Hiker for an afternoon walk when I heard the house phone ringing. It was my friend Karren calling to plan a day for her and her husband Wally to come and go to lunch with me before Christmas. We made a date for December 17th. After the call, I took Hiker down to Discovery Park where we walked around the dry riverbed. While there, Hiker got scared from a kid riding by on a skateboard and she peed from fear. She has not done that for a long time. Was a beautiful day outside. When we got back home, I sat down on the sofa and turned the TV on, only to fall asleep. Woke up about an hour later.
Took Hiker out for a 1.6 mile walk this morning. It was crystal clear outside. The mountains looked beautiful, but it was a little chilly. When we got back home, I put a load of laundry into the washer and then I started making fudge. I made a batch of Hershey Milk Chocolate with walnuts and a batch of Reese’s peanut butter with extra peanuts. Then I made some peanut butter cookies and some sugar cookies. The peanut butter cookies didn't come out as good as the sugar cookies, so I'm not going to share them with my grief group. They taste good, but just don't look right. I've decided that next year, if I make anything, it will just be fudge because it just takes too long to make the other stuff and it makes a big mess.
Was chilly out this morning when Jean and I did the every-Friday-dog-walk. After the walk and a little time for the dogs to play in my yard, Jean left and I got ready to head up to Palmdale for a lunch with a few of my retired girlfriends. Several of them could not go this time because of illness or other family things, but that's OK. Only 4 of us were there, but it was still nice. On the way up, I got stuck in traffic on the freeway because there was a bad accident just before the off-ramp I needed. One care overturned and the other car...the rear bummer was crushed all the way into the car to right behind the driver's seat. Don't know if anyone was hurt because I got there when they were putting the vehicles on the flatbed tow trucks. When I headed home, I had to take the “scenic” drive through Palmdale because the on-ramp I use was closed. Then when I finally got back on the freeway, there was a funeral procession on the freeway, so I just got off and took Sierra Highway the rest of the way home. Hiker was happy when I got home.
Got up, had breakfast and then went grocery shopping. When I got home, I took Hiker out for a morning walk. The sun was so bright. Was pretty much “do nothing” day after that. Thought I'd relax today because I've been busy most of the week and tomorrow I'm meeting my Lockheed retired girlfriends for lunch. I'm thinking this weekend I am going to do some baking of Christmas cookies and make some fudge so I can take it to my group on Tuesday. I took Hiker for a short late afternoon walk and it was starting to get windy. They are saying we are supposed to have a very windy weekend. I also noticed that there are leaves all over my front yard and I don't even have a tree in my front yard. Go figure.
Was cold when we got up this morning...43° outside. We sent for a walk with Jean and her dogs, then sat on my patio while the dogs played in the yard. Jean keeps asking me to go to our community Christmas Party with her on December 14th. I'm thinking about it. Ben and I never attended and last year I didn't feel like doing anything since it had only been 6 months since Ben had passed away, but I'm thinking about maybe going this year. They serve dinner, have a Santa for the kids in the neighborhood, have raffles, etc. My friend Ed, who was Ben's best buddy, is coming over today and we are going to go out for pizza. Ben and Ed worked together years ago and were friends for over 35 years. He really misses Ben and he keeps in touch with me and we get together now and then for lunch. I was going to invite Jean to go with us, but she had to go to a memorial service today. What's so good about Ed keeping in touch with me is that we have learned at our grief support group that we are now living a “different” life than we shared with our spouses. We now have friends who never knew our mates and so we cannot share the old life we had with our new friends, but with friends like Ed, a person who REALLY knew Ben, we can sit and talk about Ben for hours and share stories about him and that is good for the healing process. After Ed left, Hiker and I went down to the park for awhile. It actually got up to 81° here today.
Was very foggy when I let Hiker outside this morning, but by the time we got up, the fog was only over the mountains and in the canyons. The sun came out but it was still chilly. Today is my friend DeDee's birthday, so I treated her to lunch after the grief group. We went to Red Robin or burgers and one of the guys in the group (Jim) actually came with us. This is the first time one of the men has joined us for lunch. We always invite them, but we always figured the felt a little “funny” going with the women, but Jim seemed fine with us. He lucked out too. Red Robin was offering (today only) a free Jim Beam Burger to anyone named Jim or who lived on “James Street”. Our therapist was 30 minutes late for group today because she got stuck in bumper to bumper traffic. We had a new person today. A very nice woman named Edith whose husband of 60 years passed away 5 1/2 months ago. When I got home, I took Hiker for a short walk down to the park. It was getting a little cloudy outside again, but they keep saying the clouds will be totally gone soon.
Slept in again this morning. When I let Hiker outside to potty it was dark and cloudy, but not raining. When we did get up, the sun was actually peeking out some. We went for a walk and it was mostly cloudy but once we got home, the sun came out and stayed out all day. Didn't do much most of the day, but the rest of my week will be busy. Tuesday is grief group, Wednesday, Ben's buddy Ed is coming up from Pomona to go to lunch with me. Thursday I will do my grocery shopping and Friday I'm meeting with my Lockheed retired girlfriends for lunch in Palmdale. We went for an afternoon walk. Looks like it's finally going to clear up.
When I got up at 6:15 am to let Hiker out to potty, it was extremely dark and cloudy. I sure can tell that we are close to the shortest day of the year because it is so dark in the morning and then it gets dark really early in the evening. Since it was so gloomy out, I decided Hiker and I were going to sleep in. She was OK with that for awhile, but around 8:15 am she decided it was time to get up and she let me know it. I always feel like I've wasted half my day when I get out of bed late. Last night I was watching the History2 Channel and they are doing a “Countdown to Apocalypse” thing heading into December 21st...the day the world is supposedly going to end per the Mayans. It actually scared me a little because so much of the stuff the Mayans predicted is happening right now, including this thing about the “fiscal cliff”. But I try to ignore it all because there is no use in worrying because if something is going to happen, we can't stop it. I think my biggest fears would be a nuclear war or the earth being hit by an asteroid or Yellowstone Park exploding. But if any of these things were to happen in our lifetime, we'd most likely be killed instantly. OK...enough doom. When Hiker and I finally dragged ourselves out of bed, I made breakfast and then took Hiker with me to buy my Lotto tickets. When we got home, I decided to take Hiker out for a walk before it started to rain. I was going to just walk her around inside our gated community and we no more than got out the door and we ran into Jean and her three dogs. She had gone to her mailbox. We decided to do a dog-walk since we can't do one Monday because Jean has an appointment Monday morning. Just before we finished our walk, it started to drizzle and has been drizzling off and on all day. After the walk, I put the laundry in the machine and then vacuumed the house. Finally sat down to watch the “Murder She Wrote” marathon on Hallmark Movie Channel. I wish they would show “Hart To Hart” on one of the cable channels. The sun came out in the late afternoon, but it was still chilly because the wind was blowing. I decided to light the fireplace again to get the chill off the living room. Hiker was lying in front of the fireplace enjoying it.
Hiker and I slept in again this morning. We didn't have any plans for today so we figured it wouldn't hurt. Still cloudy and gray here. Hiker has been “playing” with her pillow bed all day. She somehow gets it upended and she pushes it all around the living room. Silly dog. Did not take Hiker out for a morning walk because everything was so wet, plus I was waiting for the gardener to come and mow. I needed to be home if and when he did so I could pay him for the month and to let him into the backyard through the garage. He used to go through the side gate but before Ben died we had gravel and stepping stones put on that side of the house so he cannot get his mower through there anymore. I have to let him go through the garage. I don't know what the heck happened today, but I got an upgrade for iTunes on my laptop where I sync my iPhone and iPad and when I plugged my iPhone in to sync it, I lost a bunch of apps and a bunch of contacts so now I have to go back and add them. Took Hiker down to the park just before lunch. Very cloudy outside.