Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Last Day Of 2013

Was a little more chilly this morning when Hiker and I got up. I had my Grief Support Group today so I had to get up and get ready to go. Had a really nice session. Today was our therapist's birthday so we sang to her and we had some homemade cup cakes that one of the members made. After group seven of us ladies went over to the pizza parlor for lunch and as usual had a great time. We talk about the darnedest things (LOL). On my way to group this morning, I had stopped by our community office to pick up a calendar. One of our residents is a loan officer and she is the person who helped Ben and I refinance our home back in 2001. She always has the coolest calendars made for advertising and she usually hands them out at our community Christmas party, but we didn't have a party this year because our community manager broke her foot. Our manager is also my neighbor (Chris) and she “warned” me that her oldest son was throwing a New Years Eve party tonight. She has some pretty good kids, so I'm OK with that. Although I'll have to make sure I close my bedroom door so Hiker doesn't run into the front of the house and bark all evening. I had picked up a calendar for Jean, my other neighbor, so when I got home from my group/lunch, I took the calendar up to her house and visited for a few minutes. Hiker loves going to her house to visit Jean's dogs, plus there are always treats and other goodies there.

Hope everyone stays SAFE this New Years Eve.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Almost New Years

Up early this morning to go on a dog walk with Jean. After she left, I had to do some housework. I do a lot of my housework on weekends because I want my week days clear in case I want to go hiking or shopping. I prefer the week days because there are less people out then. I needed to wash my sheets and towels and vacuum Hiker's hair out of the carpet. I was also going to mop my floors, but I got too tired doing the other work so decided to do the floors another day. I have to remind myself that I'm not the “spark plug” kid I used to be who used to do the laundry, clean the house, mow and rake the lawn all in one day and that was when I was working full time at Lockheed. After lunch I paid some bills online and then Hiker and I walked down to our community office so I could drop off my monthly land lease payment. Marcie was out to lunch, so just had to drop it off in the mail slot. Very warm outside...around 80°.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Nice Day

I let Keith sleep in a little this morning. Hiker was at his door around 7 am trying to get him to wake up and play with her. We had some breakfast and then headed up to Vasquez Rocks to do a short hike. Keith loves going there and so does Hiker. It was very windy there but still a lot of people there exploring. Came back home and had lunch and the Keith and I headed out to hit a few of the stores in town before he heads for home later this evening. Our brother Ron emailed me that he was feeling much better today. He said he slept very well last night and that his blood pressure and his heart rate were normal today. He had all of us a little worried yesterday. After lunch, Keith and I did a little driving around. We were looking for the location of two restaurants here in town. Found one of them but not the other.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Scary Day That Ended Well

Got up just before 7 am this morning. Around 8:30 am I got a call from my older brother Ron. He was calling from the hospital. He called 911 around 5:30 am to come and get him as he was feeling dizzy, weak, clammy and had the chills. He said they ran all kinds of tests on him...EKG, CT Scan, blood work, etc. He said one doctor came in, took a look at him and said he looked very dehydrated. His B/P was not bad and he didn't sound too bad but I know he is scared. He said his cell phone battery was low so he asked me to contact his son Matt who also lives in Paradise, so I did. Matt called the hospital and they said there was no one by that name registered there so I told Matt to go to ER and they would know where he was. I'm guess he is still in ER because the last I heard from Matt around 1 pm was that he was waiting for the nurse to find out if it was OK for him to go back and be with his dad. I also contacted Ron's daughter Darrah who lives in northern Nevada. She is very scared so I told her that either Matt or I would call her when we find out what is going on. Keith got here a little after 10 am and I told him what was going on. He and I later went out for lunch. Matt texted around 1:45 saying all the tests are coming back OK and Ron is hungry, so that is a good sign. I called Darrah and told her what Matt told me. Keith, Hiker and I went for a drive in the car and just before 3 pm, Matt texted me and said that the hospital was releasing Ron. I'll probably talk to him later this evening.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Another Beautiful Day

Got up at 6 am this morning as we had a dog walk/play date with Jean and her dogs. It was 38° on my patio at that time. Don't think there will be a hike today. We pretty much “hiked ourselves out” after doing three hikes in the past 5 days. I'm made some fudge today. Keith is coming up from Orange this weekend and I didn't make the fudge before Christmas because I knew he would not be coming until after Christmas. Since he's working again, he will only be able to stay the weekend instead of the 5 days he was staying before. Hiker and I went for a walk after lunch. It was 80° while we were out. We usually have nice weather during the holidays but not usually this hot.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Another Day....Another Hike

Hiker woke me up a little later than normal this morning, but we still went back to bed for awhile as the bed felt so good. After breakfast, we headed out to get my lottery tickets and then back home where I had to do a little housework (YUCK). It was warm again this morning and got up into the mid 70s by noon. Watched a little TV and then Hiker and I went out for another hike. The weather has been so nice the past few days that we just could not stay inside sitting on our butts all day. We headed over to Towsley Canyon and hiked up into the Narrows. There were a lot of people out hiking as many people still have not gone back to work. When we were coming out of Towsley Canyon I could see Interstate 5 and it was stopped bumper to bumper as it was merging into the I5/14 Interchange. Guess a lot of people are returning from their Christmas trips.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas Day

Didn't get much sleep last night as the 2 dogs that live behind me started barking around 9:30 pm and did not stop until after 3 am. Maybe they were barking at Santa (LOL). I'm guessing the people who live there were not home or else they were deaf and didn't care that the dogs were keeping everyone in the neighborhood awake. I let Hiker outside at 6 am to go potty and when she came back in, I went back to bed while she, or so I thought, was in the front of the house sleeping. Just before 8 am I woke up and I rolled over to find her on the pillow next to my head staring at me. What a surprise that was. Then she started kissing me and jumping all over me, so we got up and had some breakfast. It was warm and windy outside this morning. My brother Ron called me to talk for awhile. He is taking a new medication for his blood pressure and heart and said it was making him feel a little “stuffy”. I was surprised that "The Young And The Restless” was on today. Usually they don't show it on holidays. After lunch, Hiker and I drove over to Whitney Canyon to take a hike, but instead of turning left from the parking lot to head up into Whitney Canyon, we went right and headed into Elsmere Canyon. I'd only gone into this canyon once so thought I'd try it again. We started to head of the Loop Trail but it became too steep and too narrow for my liking. Hiker likes to walk near the edge of the trail and I'm always afraid that she might slip and pull both of us off the trail and down into the canyon. We headed back down the Loop Trail and decided to take the Creek Trail instead. The Loop Trail has good views of Santa Clarita, but the Creek Trail is nice because it has a lot of oak groves and some awesome views of the steep canyon walls. The creek bed was bone dry since we have not had a good rainfall. It was still very windy while we were out hiking.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Quick Note Today

Just a short note today. I went to my grief support group this morning. More people showed up than I had expected. After group, a few of us went to Red Robin for lunch. On the way home, the traffic was really bad and later in the after, something sure was going on somewhere as I heard a bunch of sirens and two sheriff's copters kept flying overhead. Don't know what that was all about. Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 23, 2013

Picture Perfect Day

Got up at 6 am for our dog walk with Jean and her dogs. We didn't do a play date today as Jean had something planned and had to get home earlier than normal. Hiker and I had breakfast and while I was having breakfast, my brother Ron called saying he had called his doctor to see if he could get an appointment today as he has been having some dizzy spells and not feeling very well. He got an appointment for 9:30 so I told him to call me back when he got home from the doctor to let me know what was going on. Hiker and I got in the car and headed up to Stater Brothers so I could do my grocery shopping. It was pretty crowded for a Monday morning, but I figured people were shopping for Christmas dinners. There was also a lot of people in the baking isle. Ron called me back around 11:30 and said the doctor wants him to wear a portable heart monitor next month. He said Ron's heart “skipped a beat or two”, plus his B/P was way up but that's because he was upset about not feeling good and having to go to the doctor. The doctor also prescribed some other medications besides Ron's normal B/P meds. Hopefully he will calm down and relax today and start to feel better. This afternoon, Hiker and I drove up to Vasquez Rocks and hiked around a little. There were a lot of people there since school is out and a lot of people have this week off from work.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Very Normal Sunday

Another cold morning when Hiker and I got up. We went and picked up my lottery tickets then came home to do some laundry and clean the house. Just hung out on the sofa most of the day. We did go for a short walk after lunch and we refilled the hummer feeder on the patio. I'm thinking about getting one of those “shepherds hooks” to put by my kitchen window and hand another hummer feeder there for the spring. I used to have one by my kitchen window and I had one hummer that visited it several times a day. I've been waiting all day for the USPS to deliver something I ordered on Amazon. I is supposed to be “Prime” delivery which is free 2-day shipping and it says it is supposed to be delivered today. Amazon has contracted with USPS to delivery on Sundays now and I've seen them delivering on Sundays in my neighborhood. It was usually early on Sunday mornings that I would see them so I expected them to deliver my order this morning, but I'm still waiting and it's a little after 3 PM right now. Although the email does say that it should be delivered by 8 PM so they have a few more hours.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Another Lazy Saturday

Hiker and I slept in today since we didn't have anything planned for the day. I made myself a big breakfast...ham and cheese omelet, sausage and toast and I was way to stuffed to even think about lunch. Don't know what happened to my regular gardener today. I went up to the mailbox to post a letter and saw him on the street above me, then I saw his truck parked on my street but he never showed up to mow my lawn. He usually comes between 10:30 am and noon and when I saw his truck on my street it was around 11 am. Around 2 pm his brother showed up and mowed my lawn, so I don't know what that was all about. Maybe my regular guy was out of town for the holidays. I felt lazy today so I spent a lot of the day watching Christmas movies on Hallmark Movie Channel again. Around 2:00, Hiker and I took a walk around our gated community. It was actually pretty warm outside...in the mid 60s.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Friday Before Christmas

Cold and clear this morning when Hiker and I got up to get ready for our dog walk with Jean. We only got a light drizzle of rain yesterday. The so-called “storms” we've been getting have not given us much rain and we really need rain badly here on the west coast. We are in one of our worst and longest droughts ever. Didn't do much today. We did drive over to Bridgeport Lake in Valencia and walk around for about 35 minutes. Nice day...in the mid 60s.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Sad Day

It rained here today. We really need it. I received some sad news from my friend DeDee today. Our dear friend Gin, who was part of our grief support group passed away this morning from a heart attack. She was in her early 80s. She joined our group a little over a year and a half ago after losing her husband Bob due to complications from an automobile accident. They had been married for over 60 years and Gin was having a very difficult time coming to terms with her grief. She had mentioned several times that she sometimes wished she could just go and join her husband. Gin was a fun, feisty lady and she was a joy to our group. She always said she didn't want to lose her independence and she hated it when something kept her from coming to group. We will all miss her very much. It was a perfect day to make Hiker more treats on the Bake A Bone. Also going to give some of them to Jean's dogs for Christmas. While working on the treats, got a call from Ruth (another group member). I had called her to tell her about Gin's passing but got her voice mail. Ruth called me back saying she just felt like she wanted to talk to someone from the group after hearing about Gin. I had also called Carol from group, but she said Jane had already called her.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Cool, Cloudy Day

After Hiker and I got out of bed this morning, we jumped into the car and headed up to Wal-Mart and Sam's Club. I let Hiker ride with me and she stayed in the car while I was in the stores shopping. Last night Hiker and I joined Jean for a 2 mile walk around our community to check out the Christmas lights. It was cloudy here all day and in the mid 60s. We are supposed to have a chance of rain from tonight through Friday and the snow level is supposed to fall to around 2500 feet. I wanted to get my shopping done so if it does rain this weekend. If it does, it will be a good time to make Hiker some more of her treats on the Bake A Bone and also sit in front of a fire and watch movies. After lunch today, Hiker and I did a two and a quarter mile walk.

A couple of photos of some neighbor's lights

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Support Group Today

Went to my grief support group this morning. We actually had empty seats today which is strange since the past few weeks we've had standing room only. Only three of us went to lunch after group...me, Linda Clark and Jane Hager. Even though next Tuesday is Christmas Eve, we are still planning on having a group meeting. I wonder how many people will actually show up. It go up into the low 80's here today but they say we have a chance of rain Thursday and Friday and that our temps will drop back down again. This evening, me, Hike and Jean and going to walk around inside our gated community and check out the Christmas lights. It's nice to know that I'll have a nice calm week this week since for the past two weeks, I've been so busy.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Nice Warm Day

Walked with Jean and her dogs this morning and she also had Rev, the Cockapoo puppy that she boards now and then. It was warm this morning, already 58° on my patio at 6 am. Got a little warm sitting on the patio while the dogs were playing. Had to take my hooded sweatshirt off. After Jean and the dogs left, I did a little housework. Got a call from Kaiser Ophthalmology. They have scheduled my first two eye injections for January 31st and February 28th. Just hope my blood pressure will cooperate with me and not go up much on those days. If it's too high, they won't do the procedure. While I was watching “The Young And The Restless” Hiker was sitting next to me on the sofa. I told her that as soon as the soap was over, she and I would get into the car and head over to the Iron Horse Trail Head for an afternoon walk. I told her to listen for the end of the show. She got down and was laying on the floor near the sliding glass doors when the show ended. I don't know how she knows, but as soon as the credits started to run across the screen, Hiker got up and ran to me, jumped up on the sofa and started kissing me and pawing at me. I swear she understand what I tell her. Was a nice day for a walk. Temperature was around 78° but didn't actually feel that warm. There were some high, thin clouds and a little breeze.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Lazy Sunday

For some reason I was very tired today. I let Hiker outside at 6 am then we got back into bed and I turned on the morning news, but I fell back to sleep which I usually don't do. Woke up around 7:45 and still felt very tired. Got up at 8 am and had a bowl of cereal then Hiker and I went to buy the lottery tickets. Did a load of laundry and put clean sheets on the bed. After lunch, Hiker and I walked over to Jean's house so Hiker could give a few of her homemade treats that I made for her yesterday to her buddies Sassy, Charlie and Timmy. Stayed for about 20 minutes and then came home. I had planned on taking Hiker for a walk today but for some reason, I was feeling really tired still and decided not to go. It's better to go during the week anyway because then the traffic is not as bad if I want to drive somewhere different to take a walk. Some high clouds started coming in by late afternoon but I have not heard anything about any rain this coming week.

My solar "toys" were dancing like crazy in my kitchen window today.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Pleasant Day

Hiker and I slept in a little this morning as we had no plans for the day. I made some poached eggs for us and then put a load of laundry into the washer. I made Hiker some homemade treats on the Bake A Bone I bought while out shopping with Jean the other day. They seemed to turn out well and Hiker seems to like them. I'll have to give a couple of the them to Jean for her dogs. Had lunch and then took Hiker out for a walk within our gated community. I noticed that people have not decorated the outside of their houses as much this year as they did last year. Also seems like less people decorated. Could be because our community is not judging decorations this year and not giving out prizes for the best decorations. Our manager broke her foot a couple of weeks back and she is the one who always organizes and hosts the community Christmas party and because of her broken foot, we are not having a party this year. I know she is disappointed as she seems to enjoy the parties. Got up into the low 70s here today and was a bit breezy.

Friday, December 13, 2013

Eye Exam

Left early to go to my appointment with my retina specialist. Jean drove me and we had to take surface streets over to Panorama City as there was a terrible accident on the freeway where the I5 and the 405 come together. We still got there early enough for me to check in on time. So now I have to start getting injections in my right eye. It seems that the inside of my eye has a small cyst and some swelling that doesn't seem to go away so the doctor wants to start treatment for the swelling. His appointment girl was not in today, so she will call me to make an appointment (probably in January) for my first injection. The doctor said they do a series of four injections about a month apart and hopefully the medications they use will make the swelling go away. The only problem with the injections is that they make cataracts come sooner (which I already have baby ones) and there is the risk of infection or retinal detachment, however the doctor said the last two risks are very rare. My doctor had hoped that the swelling would go down on its own, but since it didn't we have to start the treatments. I've attached a link that tells about the eye injections. I went online to see what it said about them as the doctor told me that they are not really painful, just a little discomfort at the time. I told my doctor that I've been worried that my eye problem will eventually cause me to have trouble getting my driver's license, but he told me that he doesn't see any reason that would happen. He said that in California, you have to be “legally blind” before they take away your license for your vision. We came back over to Santa Clarita and did a little shopping then went to a place called Everest for lunch. Very good food, and a lot of it for a very reasonable price.


Thursday, December 12, 2013

Warmer Today

Slept in a little later this morning. Got up around 7:30 am made a couple of poached eggs (one for me and one for Hiker) and then Hiker and I got into the car and headed up to Stater Brothers so I could do my grocery shopping. Hiker slept in the car while I was inside the store. After lunch, Hiker and I drove over to Whitney Canyon to see if there was any parking spaces in the “free parking area” but there wasn't, so we headed back up to Placerita Canyon and did a short hike...about a mile and three quarters. I am so out of shape that it is sad. I didn't walk or hike much during the summer because it was too hot, then I just wasn't in the mood to walk/hike for awhile, then it was so cold those few days. I need to get myself back up to where I can do a 3 to 4 mile hike without any trouble. Got up to around 75° here this afternoon. I have an appointment with my retina specialist over at Kaiser in Panorama City in the morning. Jean is going to drive me over since they always dilate my eyes.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Lunch With Good Friends

Got up at 6 am. It was 40° outside this morning. We had a dog walk with Jean and her dogs. It was not freezing cold this morning on our walk. My friends Karren and Wally Meggitt came down from the Antelope Valley to have lunch with me. We went to The Saugus Cafe for lunch which is the oldest restaurant in the county of Los Angeles. It was established in 1887. I had their beef French dip and fries and it was pretty good. Started getting windy again this afternoon. I noticed that one of my roof shingles has come loose but I don't go up on my roof so I guess it will just stay that way. It's over my garage so hopefully I won't get any leaks.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Busy, Busy

Hiker let me sleep in an extra half hour this morning. She slept under the covers all night so I'm guessing she was so warm and toasty that she didn't want to come out into the cold. I heard her whimpering and then she started pawing at me. When I looked at the clock it was 6:28 am. I went to my support group today. Once again we had “standing room only”. We really need a bigger room but the Senior Center management doesn't seem to want to cooperate with us in getting one. Had some good discussion today. A few of us went over to Round Table Pizza for a pizza and salad lunch. I stopped by Big Lots on my way home to pick up some boxes of chocolate candy. They always have a good variety of Russell Stover and Maxfield's chocolates this time of year at a very good price. I bought two boxes which were priced at $5 each but when I went to the register to pay for them, they rang up at $3 each. It was another cold day. Actually got up to around 60° here today but it was still windy and that's what is making it so cold. Still have not put my garage magnet decorations back up because I'm afraid they'd all blow away. This is a busy week. Getting car serviced and shopping with Jean yesterday, group and lunch with the ladies today, dog walk with Jean and then lunch with my friends Karren and Wally tomorrow, grocery shopping Thursday and Jean taking me to Kaiser for my appointment with my Retina Specialist on Friday.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Very Windy Day

Got up at 6 am as I had an appointment at the Toyota dealer to have my Rav4 serviced this morning. It was cold and windy and stayed that way all day. The winds were so bad that some of my Christmas magnet decorations that I had on my garage door blew away. My neighbor Andie found a few of them in her yard and returned them, but some are still missing. Jean picked me up at the Toyota dealer and we headed out for a little shopping. First we went to Kohl's and I bought 3 tops. One of them is a Christmas top that was on sale and the other 2 were T-shirts for when it gets warmer. They were on the clearance rack. Then we went to the senior center to the holiday boutique for the knitting class. Didn't buy anything there. We then went to Bed, Bath & Beyond and I bought one of those dog treat makers (it's like a waffle iron). It was on the clearance rack. It is called a “Bake a Bone”. They are usually $29.99 but I got it for $19.99 plus I had a 20% off coupon. Also bought a couple of boxes of the mixes to make the bones. We then went over to Pet Smart and I bought Hiker a little squeaky snowman. Had lunch at Del Taco and then went to get my car. Jean went back to the senior center for her Monday card game group and I headed home. Hiker didn't want to go outside much because of the wind.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Another Cold Day

When Hiker and I got up this morning at 6 am, the temperature on my patio was 25°. We went on a dog walk with Jean today instead of tomorrow because tomorrow morning I need to take my car to the dealer for its first service. The best part about that is I don't have to pay for it. The temperature stayed very cold while we were out walking. There was frost on everything and there was only a couple of other people out with their dogs at the park. The water in the street gutters was frozen solid. We brought the dogs back to my backyard and it was now 30°. The dogs were not play much, I'm guess because of the cold, so Jean left earlier than normal. I fixed some breakfast for me and Hiker and then I went to get my lottery tickets. Came home and did some laundry and vacuumed. A little after 1:30 pm, I decided Hiker and I needed another walk. As I've said many times, when we walk with Jean and her dogs, we really don't get any exercise. So tomorrow morning Jean is going to follow me over to the Toyota dealer then we are heading over to the senior center to a holiday craft boutique and then over to Kohl s as we both have some coupons. Should be fun.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Cloudy And Cold

Hiker and I slept in this morning as we had not dog walk or any other plans for the day. When we got up at 8 am, it was raining a little. Around 9:30 am, the sun started to peek out and my gardener suddenly showed up. He must have been hiding somewhere just waiting for the sun to come out so he could mow my lawn (LOL). My brother Ron called me from Paradise, CA. He is getting snow up there. He posted some photos on Facebook. Looks really pretty and “Christmassy” up there. It started sprinkling again around 2:30 pm. It stayed dark and cloudy all day. I watched a movie on Amazon. It was called “City Of Angels”. I thought it was really good. It never did warm up much today. It stayed at 44° all day.

Friday, December 6, 2013


It was 28° this morning when Hiker and I got out of bed at 6 am. Got up early to go for a dog walk with Jean and her dogs. It was sooo cold when we were out walking. Hey, this California Girl (born and raised) is not used to weather this cold. I had on extra thick socks, thick jeans, a T-shirt, Sweatshirt and a parka, gloves and a stocking cap and I was still cold. Hiker had on her Martha Stewart jacket. We let the dogs play in my yard for awhile but not as long as normal because it was too cold. Stayed inside watching the sun go in an out from behind the clouds all day. After lunch, I decided we really needed to get out for a “real” walk so we headed down to Discovery Park, but it was still pretty cold outside, so we didn't stay there very long. Did just over a mile walk around the park and then headed home. But I guess a short walk is better than no walk at all. I'll probably have another fire going tonight in the fireplace as it is supposed to be another cold one.

Thursday, December 5, 2013


Extremely cold for SoCal this morning. When I let Hiker outside to potty at 6 am it was 30° and it stayed at 30° until a little after 8 am. By noon, it had only gotten up to 58°. I like it though because I hated the hot summer we had and I'm glad we are having “seasonal” weather now. I had to go over to Sam's Club this morning. They still are not very crowded, but I noticed that the Wal-Mart parking lot had a lot more cars than usual. After lunch, Hiker and I drove up to the grocery store to get some firewood because it is supposed to be another really cold night here. Came home and decided to wash my car. I usually have it washed professionally because I get coupons for 50% off but I have not had the time to get over to the car wash, so decided to just do it here at home. My Kindle should be coming later this afternoon. Our UPS guy comes around dinner time.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Cold In SoCal

Had a dream about Ben last night. I remember I was going all over the place trying to find the exact dog food I wanted for Hiker and could not find it anywhere. Ben was with me. At one point we somehow ended up at a Jewish wedding for someone we didn't even know (strange), and Ben being his usual self was up and wandering all over the place and I had to keep going to look for him. He never was one that could sit still in one place for very long. At one point I found him out in the parking lot of the temple sitting in a car waiting for me, then I woke up. It was 19 years ago on this date that Ben and I moved into the home I still live in. Jean called me around 8:30 this morning with a computer problem. She had tried to look something up on the Internet and she got a pop-up telling her that she had to download something to get into the site she wanted and she did so, which I told her NEVER do that because you can get viruses that way. Anyway, whatever it was she downloaded changed her home page on her browser and she had no idea how to change it back, so I went over and took care of that for her and deleted what she had downloaded. At 10:45 I left for Palmdale to have lunch with a few of my retired Lockheed girlfriends. Originally 9 of us were going but it ended up just being 4 of us as the others were either sick or had other plans. But it was great seeing Suzi, Judy and Jacki. When I left home it 60° but when I got to Palmdale it was only 45° and breezy. When I got back home it was 58°. On the way home my stomach started gurgling so I don't know if it was something I ate or not.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Good Day At Support Group

Got up at 7 am as I had my support group at the Senior Center today. Was a little chilly this morning and only got up to around 65° today. We had a “standing room only” group today. We really need a larger meeting room. Had a lot of fun at lunch with the “girls”. We always have such great stories and we laugh a lot. I'm so glad I met these great ladies. Tomorrow I am going to meet some of my Lockheed retired girlfriends for lunch. We started out with a large group, but it has been dwindling down and now it appears that there will only be about 4 of us there for sure, but we will still have fun. They are saying it is going to be very cold here the rest of the week with possible rain and snow in the mountains. They also are saying we are going to have high winds. I'll be driving up to Palmdale alone (about 30 miles one way), so I hope it's not raining then and I hope it's not too windy as they always have extremely high winds up there.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Still Sore

After working on my outside Christmas lights and all of Jean's decorations in her yard over the weekend, I was wiped out Sunday night. I started to watch a Hallmark Movie at 8 pm but fell asleep on the sofa around 8:30. Got up and went to bed and went right to sleep. Got up around 6 am this morning as we had a dog walk with Jean and then I went to Wal-Mart. Thought getting there early this morning and the fact that everyone had been shopping Thursday through Friday that the store would not be very crowded, but I was wrong. However it wasn't as bad as it will be in a few more weeks. I don't Christmas shop, but I had other things I needed to pick up there. Got home and put my purchases away and then sat down to watch “Young And Restless”, then my older brother Ron called me right after the soap went off. I was having trouble with my email this morning. I could send emails but was not receiving any. Finally started getting some email after noontime. Maybe it had something to do with “Cyber Monday”. Started getting a little cloudy here this afternoon. It got up to almost 80° here today but they say we are going to drop around 20° tomorrow.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

More Decorating

I cannot believe it is December already. Where has the year gone? My entire body was sore this morning when I got out of bed. Did too much work yesterday putting up my Christmas lights and then helping Jean with her decorations. She and I took the dogs for a morning walk and then headed over to our community hosted holiday boutique. Not much there to talk about. I did buy Hiker some homemade dog biscuits. Went back over to Jean's house to finish decorating. She wanted to put up some lights and we didn't get around to doing that yesterday. By the time I got home, it was after 2 pm. Hiker wanted to come home earlier, but she had to wait until we got done. My body feels like a steam roller ran over me. The weather for the past 2 days has been beautiful, but they are predicting more rain sometime next week.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Christmas Decorating Done (At Least Mine Is)

I stayed up watching the Garth Brooks special last night. It ran a little past 11 pm and just watching him run all over the stage made me so hyper that I was wide awake and when I went to bed, I didn't fall asleep until after midnight. So...Hiker and I slept in until 8 am. Well, I should say I slept in. Hiker kept trying to wake me up so I'd play with her. After a bowl of cereal, I went out to the garage and found my outdoor Christmas lights and started putting them up. My neighbor Jean happened to drive by and saw me on the ladder so she stopped and asked if I'd like some help. I said “sure”, so she went home and put her car away and then came over and helped me with the rest of the lights. I also put a little 2 foot Christmas tree on my porch. It's got fiber optic branches so it lights up nicely. This is the first Christmas I've put any kind of Christmas decorations up since Ben died. This is my third Christmas without him. After we finished my house, I took a little break as I needed to wait for my gardener to come do the lawn and I needed to be here so I could pay him. After he left, Hiker and I headed over to Jean's house to help her put up here Christmas yard decorations. She has TONS of them that she has bought at craft fair through the years. Last year she one third place for best decorated house/yard at our community Christmas party. Just like last year, I was at her house for about 3 hours helping her put up all of those decorations and we still didn't finish! So tomorrow after we walk the dogs and then go to our community's craft fair at our clubhouse, Hiker and I will once again head over to Jean's house to finish what we didn't get done today. I needed this good day of work as for the past 2 days, I did nothing but stay inside the house watching movies.

Friday, November 29, 2013

Rainy Friday

Well my plans for today were squelched by rain. We were supposed to do a dog walk with Jean and then I was going to start putting up Christmas lights on the outside of the house. But that's OK. We really need the rain. We had showers off and on all day, so Hiker and I didn't get any chance to get out for a walk or play in the yard. I watched a movie on Amazon Prime called “Message In A Bottle”. I had never heard of it, but I liked it. The forecast for tomorrow says sunny and in the 70s so hopefully Hiker and I will be able to get a walk in plus I'll try to put up the outdoor Christmas lights after my gardener comes by and mows the lawn. Jean and I are planning on going to our community craft fair on Sunday. I thought they picked a strange day to have it as they are having it on a Sunday instead of Saturday, plus it's a long holiday weekend, so a lot of people will be out of town.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Hope Everyone Had A Great Thanksgiving

Slept in until around 8 am this morning. I fell asleep on the sofa last night watching “Criminal Minds” so I finally got up and went to bed. It was only partly cloudy when Hiker and I got out of bed, but by noon, the clouds had completely blocked out the sun. Then had said that we were going to get rain today, but so far, nothing. Watched a couple of prime time TV shows ON DEMAND. I had missed them during the week. Then I watched some of the “Twilight Zone” marathon episodes and Ben and I always did on Thanksgiving. I didn't have any lunch today as I decided to have an early dinner around 3 pm. I put my small ham and homemade scalloped potatoes in the oven around 1:15 and the house got to smelling so good it made my stomach growl. I don't know about everyone else, but I ate waaaaay too much. But it was yummy. I “might” start to put up some outdoor Christmas lights tomorrow if the weather is good.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Eve Of Thanksgiving

Slept in a little today. I have found that the older I get, the more sleep I seem to need. Had some breakfast, ran my weekly/monthly scans on my computers and then cleaned both of my bathrooms. I usually don't do them both at once but since I didn't get to clean them when my back was hurting so bad, I wanted to get them done. Watched Y&R and had lunch then took Hiker out for a walk. Would you believe it was 78° here today?

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Nice Day With Friends

Very short blog today. My back felt better today than it has felt in several days. I went to my support group. We have so many members now that we are packed in our little room like sardines. Went to lunch with some of the ladies after group. We always have such great conversations. Was a really nice day outside...in the low 70s and breezy but they say in a couple of days, we may get some rain. We sure do need it.

Monday, November 25, 2013

The Start Of Thanksgiving Week

Did our usual dog walk and play date with Jean and her dogs. After they left to go home, I headed over to Sam's Club to do a little shopping. Turned out to be a prosperous. As I as driving home, I was not far from my house when I noticed something in the road that appeared to be paper money. I pulled over as soon as I could. Luckily I was on a street with not much traffic. I got out of the car and picked up two $20 bills! Looked around to see if there was any other bills floating around, but didn't see any, so I got back in the car and drove the rest of the way home. After lunch, I took Hiker up to Todd Longshore Park. We didn't really do a “walk” but we just wandered around a little. Had not planned on going to the park but when Hiker heard the end music for “The Young And The Restless”, she came running from the other room, jumped up on the sofa next to me and started kissing me. That's what she does when she is trying to tell me she wants to go for a car ride. I'm planning on going to my support group tomorrow. I'm hoping that I'll be able to sit on the hard chairs they have for the 2 hours of the session. If I had not gotten my Federal Court jury duty postponed until July, I would have been on call this week and next week for service. I was kind of mixed about postponing it. I wanted to because I didn't want to be going to downtown Los Angeles in the dark and also going home in the dark, even if I do ride the train, I didn't want to have to travel in the dark, but then I may not have had to serve much because of the Thanksgiving holiday.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Beautiful Sunday

I have really made it a new custom to sleep in until 8 am on most mornings. The bed just feels so good in the morning and Hiker and I cuddle while watching the morning news. Had some breakfast and then took Hiker with me when I went to get my lotto tickets. Came home and started the laundry and then vacuumed the house. My back still hurts some but not as bad as it did. I'm trying to do a little more work around the house, but I'm being very careful with my back. I find that moving around keeps me from getting stiff. Hiker and I went for an afternoon walk. It was a beautiful day outside, not cold like it was yesterday. The sky was very blue and the sun was very bright. I love this time of year.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Feels Like Winter

Cloudy and cold this morning when Hiker and I got out of bed. All that running around I did yesterday must have worn me out because I was very tired last night and still a little tired this morning. My back is still hurting some. It's on the lower left side in the muscle that they doctor and the physical therapist told me felt so tight when I saw them last week. If I sit too long, it starts to hurt and get stiff on me and when I stand up, I'm bent over for a few seconds. It almost feels better when I'm walking around. Did a load of laundry this morning and then this afternoon, Hiker and I took a walk. My back did pretty good while I was walking, in fact it has felt much better since we got back from the walk. It was very cold and windy outside while we were walking. Actually feels more like winter than fall, and I am loving it. I enjoy this kind of weather much more than those nasty hot days we have in the summer.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Cold And Windy Day

Last night a little after 7 pm, Hiker and I were sitting on the sofa watching TV when the sky opened up and it poured down rain and hail for about 30 minutes. It scared Hiker. She ran into the bedroom, up onto the bed and borrowed under the covers. We were supposed to do a dog walk with Jean this morning but she called me around 6:30 and said maybe we could do the dog walk this afternoon when she and I get home from shopping because it was so wet and muddy out this morning. I agreed. Jean had to have an eye exam this morning to get some new eye glasses, so we went to Kaiser first so she could do that, then we went to Soup Plantation for lunch. I'd never been there and I was not very impressed. I was surprised to see how many people were there. They have a nice salad bar, and if you ask me, they should be called “Salad Plantation” (LOL). We left there and went to Best Buy so I could get some ink for my printer, then we went to the Saugus Drug Store. They are a “mom and pop” drug store so they always have “fun” stuff for sale there, especially when it gets close to Christmas. After leaving there, we headed up to Bed, Bath & Beyond, then Pet Smart and then Big Lots. Headed for home and took the dogs for the walk we'd promised them I bought Hiker a little squeaky Santa and Pet Smart. I hid it in a plastic bag when I got home to see if she could find it. She did and she put her head in the bag and grabbed the Santa and started running all around the house squeaking it. We let the dogs play on my patio for about 40 minutes and then Jean headed home. It was very cold here all day. Our high was 50° and it was very windy. May put a log on the fire tonight.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

A Little Rain

Was drizzling at 5:45 am when I let Hiker outside. Nice morning to go back to bed, so we did. Drizzled off and on until around 10:30 am when the sun came through the clouds. We get a little bit of rain, but it is not enough. We are still in a drought here in SoCal. My back was hurting me more this morning than when I got out of bed yesterday morning. Don't know if it's because of the wet weather or because I went out and did a few errands yesterday. So tomorrow, I'm supposed to spend the day shopping with my neighbor Jean. I'm hoping my back holds up.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

A Much Better Day

They keep saying we are going to get some rain. The sun was out this morning but then just before lunch it got really dark and cloudy. I need to get my car washed but will have to wait and see what the weather is going to do. I actually went grocery shopping this morning and I'm not all bent over like a troll under a bridge. Came back home and wrote some checks for my homeowner's and earthquake insurance on the house. After lunch took Hiker with me up to the post office to mail the checks. It got so dark this afternoon that I had to turn the house lights on around 3:30 pm. Think I'll have chili and crackers for dinner. Seems to be the perfect day for it.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Day By Day

Each day, a little less pain. Hiker and I slept in this morning. It was cool and cloudy when I let here outside around 6 am. We decided to stay in bed until 8 am. Hiker was all tucked in under the covers and had crawled all the way down to my feet. Got up and made some pancakes for breakfast. I had just sat down to go on my computer when my older brother Ron called me from northern California. We talked for almost an hour. He said it was raining up there. Told him to send some of it down here if he could. The do keep saying we “might” get some rain here, but the sun came out before noon. My brother Keith texted me that he was out walking. It's bad enough that I was getting lazy and not walking much before my back problem and now because of those problems, I'm getting lazier. I'm hoping tomorrow or Thursday I'll be walking somewhat better because I really need to go buy a few groceries. Plus I'm hoping that I'm even better on Friday so Jean and I can finally go do lunch and some shopping.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Another Day....A Little Less Pain

I'm beginning to wonder how long this backache is going to last. When I've been in this situation before, the pain usually lasts no more than 3 to 4 days. Today is the 6th day. I supposed it's because I'm getting older so things take longer to heal. I'm trying to not let it depress me. I really need to get better because I'm going to have to go grocery shopping sometime this week and I need to be able to walk around the store with no problem. I called Jean this morning and told her I couldn't do a dog walk but for her to bring the dogs over to play with Hiker in my backyard for awhile. Hiker needs to play since I have not been able to walk her or play with her. I probably won't be going to my support group tomorrow because I would not be able to sit in those hard chairs for 2 hours. Jean and her dogs stayed for about 2 ½ hours. Hiker was so happy to see the other dogs. Jean also had Rev, the cockapoo puppy that she takes care of now and then with her. Hiker and Rev were playing and lot together. After they all went home, Hiker and I drove down to the liquor store to buy my lottery tickets. At least I was able to do that but my back was hurting a little more after I drove the car. Did a little reading this afternoon. It's nice to be able to once again read a book and comprehend what I'm reading. For such a long time after Ben died, I could not do that.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

A Hallmark Sunday

Felt a little better again this morning. Each day my back aches a little less. I guess the medications are working. Still did not feel strong enough to do any of my normal stuff. No walking again. No changing the sheets on the bed because it involves too much bending and stretching. Still no going to this weekend's craft fair with Jean. I'm hoping that I will feel up to a dog walk tomorrow morning. It's been a week since the dogs have gotten to be together. Jean called me around 10:30 am to see how I was doing and I told her that I plan to walk the dogs tomorrow morning, but if I don't feel like walking, I want her to at least bring her dogs over to play with Hiker since Hiker is getting cabin fever. We've decided that if I feel well enough on Friday that we will go out to lunch and do some shopping that day. I noticed that my back has been itching where it was hurting me so much before. I remember my mom always telling me that if you had an injury or a wound that when it itches that means the injury/wound was healing. I sure hope she was right. All I know is that the itch feels like it is really deep inside. My TV was once again set on the Hallmark Channel all day.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Cloudy Saturday

Today's plans for going to the craft fair and then out shopping with Jean did not pan out. Although the muscle relaxants the doctor gave me have taken the tightness out of my back muscles, the muscles are now extremely sore. I'm guessing the soreness could be caused from the physical therapist re-aligning my back yesterday plus the fact that the muscles were so tense, now that they are relaxing I am feeling the soreness more. Hiker still cannot understand why I am not playing with her and taking her out for walks. She keeps bringing me toys to play and I feel so bad for her. I was able to do a load of laundry. I just have to remember to squat and not bend when I have to get things that are low to the ground. Was lying on the floor again with my legs up on the sofa. Almost fell asleep. The medications they gave me say they may cause drowsiness. The physical therapist had said that lying on my back with my legs up was a good thing to do. Spent all day watching Christmas movies on “The Hallmark Channel”.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Long Day At Kaiser

Still no relief with my back this morning so I called my neighbor Jean to see if she could take me over to Kaiser Urgent Care. I checked my doctor's office online to see if he had any openings today but he didn't. Kaiser's Urgent Care is strange...you have to make an appointment with them, which I didn't know. So we get over to the facility and I go to check in and they asked me if I'd called my own doctor and I told them I had checked online and he didn't have any openings. So they check their schedule and said the first opening in Urgent Care was at 11:20 am. Being that it was only 9:30 am, Jean and I drove back to my house and then headed back over there later for my appointment. While she was at my house, she took Hiker out for a walk since I have not been able to take her out for 3 days. We were wondering if Hiker would be hesitant to go with Jean since I was not going with them. She was a little...kept looking back to see if I was coming along. Jean said that Hiker kept looking up at her and then would stop, lay down and expose her belly to Jean. We don't know if she did that because Hiker knows that Jean rubs her belly whenever she see's Hiker or if it was Hiker's way of telling Jean that she didn't want to walk and that she wanted to go home. So off they went down the street and Jean decided to go over by the community office and visit with Marcie for a few minutes. When she said “Hiker, are you ready to go home” Hiker yanked Jean out the door and practically ran the rest of the way home pulling Jean along behind her. When the got back to my house, Hiker immediately ran up to me on the sofa and started kissing me. Jean and I headed back over to Kaiser for my appointment. The doctor spoke with me and prescribed some prescriptions (an anti-inflammatory and a non-steroid muscle relaxant) then she had a physical therapist come in and work with me for about 10 or 15 minutes. He felt the tightness in my lower left back muscle and he told me my back joints were a little out of alignment, so he did a couple of procedures on me to realign them and then he showed me some exercises to do to help my back muscles get stronger. He told me to try to do a few of them each day. I told him the ones I'd been doing and he said they were good also. He pretty much said if I start doing these stretching exercises regularly that I should eventually have no back problems. He told me to call or email him in 2 weeks to let me know how I'm doing and if I'm still in pain, he will have me come in and align my back some more. I'm hoping the prescriptions will do the job. I normally do not go to the doctor for something like this, as I have had this problem off and on for about 20 years, but the pain was so severe this time that I decided to go. After we picked up my prescriptions, we headed over to McDonald's. I don't normally like McDonald's but I told Jean I was buying since she was nice enough to driver me back and forth to Kaiser twice today, so I let her pick where we would eat. Took the meds with my lunch to get them started in my system. Hopefully they will now kick in and the pain will go away. Today would have been my mom and dad's 75th wedding anniversary.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

My Boring Day

My back was still killing me when I got up this morning. I feel sorry for Hiker because she knows “mama” is not acting “normal”. She knows there is something wrong with me and she doesn't know what to do. We are not doing our “regular routine” so she seems confused. She keeps coming over to sit or lie down beside me and she just looks at me with sad brown eyes. I called Kaiser this morning to reschedule my appointment with my Retinal Specialist. Jean was going to take me to that appointment tomorrow morning, but I felt I would not be able to make it due to having to walk a lot. What makes me mad is that Jean and I were going to have lunch and go shopping after the appointment and I was looking forward to that. If I feel better by Saturday, she and I are going to a craft fair here in Santa Clarita and then I guess we can go to lunch and out shopping. I've tried alternating heat and cold treatments on my back. Don't know if it is helping or not. I've been told to lie on the floor and put my legs up on the couch as if I were sitting in a chair, which I did and it seemed to help a little. I think it's just one of those things that has to run the course. Jean offered to take Hiker out for a walk, but I told her I think Hiker can do without a walk for a day or two. She can go out into the yard and run around with her toys. After lying on the floor with my legs up on the couch for about 2 hours, I couldn't stand being in that position anymore. Had to sit up for awhile. My back still hurts, but doesn't seem as intense as it was this morning. Would you believe we hit 90° here today? What's up with that?

Hiker stayed right next to me while I was lying on the floor with my feet up.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Oh My Aching Back!

Well today didn't turn out the way I had planned. My plans were to take the car to get it washed then head over to Wal-Mart and then come home and do some housework. Well most of my plans didn't happen because my back went out on me this morning. It was really odd. I got up just before 6 am to let Hiker outside. When she was done, we went back to bed. I played with her awhile while in bed and then around 7 am, decided to get up and get going. When I sat up on the edge of the bed, the muscles in the lower left of my back felt extremely tight. I tried to stand up and stretch the muscles but they just got worse. I was able to get dressed, but when I tried to put my shoes on, which I did after about 10 minutes, but had a heck of time trying to bend down and tie them. Got some breakfast and decided the car could wait to be washed and the housework I was planning on doing could also wait, but I needed to go over to Wal-Mart to get some Fresh Pet Dog Food for Hiker. I had to buy the small size of Hiker's food as Wal-Mart did not have the big size I usually buy. Don't know what is going on lately with Wal-Mart and Sam's not having the dog food I normally buy. Maybe when Jean and I are out and about on Friday, we can go by Pet Smart and I can get some Fresh Pet for Hiker there. I was in pain walking around the store, but got in and out pretty fast. Bought a couple of those Solanpas Patches for my back. When I got home, I called Kaiser. I had received a voice mail from them last night when I was in the shower. It was from the Radiology department in Panorama City. They were calling to make a mammogram appointment for me but my doctor has me doing mammograms every 2 years, not every year, and I just had one last year, so they said they will call me back next year. I spent the entire day trying to get comfortable on the sofa. Tried sitting up, tried laying down. The hard part was when and if I needed to get up like to go to the bathroom.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Cloudy Day

Was cool and cloudy when Hiker and I got out of bed this morning and it stayed that way all day Wish we would have gotten some rain out of those clouds.. Decided to go to my support group at the Senior Center today even though I didn't really feel like going. I wasn't sick or anything, just felt more like hanging out at home. But I've been doing “nothing” since my brother Keith visited so I needed to get out and about again. Had a full house at group today. A new lady came. She lost her aunt who she had been a caregiver for and she said she didn't grieve right away, but now it has hit her. We let her tell us her story and she cried. She kept apologizing for crying and we all told her that she did not need to apologize and that it was good that she was getting it all out. There had been a time when our group seemed to be getting a little smaller, but now it has increased in size again. Glad I went. After group, three of us went to lunch at Jimmy Dean's Grill and then I headed home to Hiker.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Veteran's Day

Did our dog walk with Jean and her dogs this morning. After Jean left to go home, I went up to Stater Brothers and did my grocery shopping. I was surprised at how crowded they were today. The only thing I could figure was a lot of people didn't work because of Veteran's Day so the went to do their grocery shopping. Didn't do much else today. Thought about going out I the afternoon for a walk with Hiker but got lazy sitting on the couch watching TV.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Sunday In The Fall

Another sleep in late morning. Seems that's getting to be my normal morning. Hiker and I had breakfast and then went to buy my lottery tickets. It was a cool morning and it started getting a little bit cloudy. Watched a little bit of TV then put Hiker in the car and we headed over to Central Park for a walk. The parking lot was really full. A lot of people there with their dogs and also people playing baseball and/or soccer. Came home and gave Hiker her mid-day snack then I vacuumed the house and had my lunch. After lunch, I watched a movie on Encore called “The Thing Called Love”. Since Ben and I never went to the movies when he was alive, there are a lot of movies I never saw, so now I'm catching up with them on Encore and Amazon. Around 2:30 pm I looked at my phone and realized I had a voice mail. It was from Jean and it was from around 10:45 am when Hiker and I were over at the park walking around. She said something about her new printer that I installed for her last week was not working. I tried to call her back but got her voice mail. Oh well. She'll either call me back or I'll see her in the morning for our usual Monday dog walk.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Simply Saturday

Hiker and I decided to be lazy this morning, or actually, I decided to be lazy. Hiker kept trying to get me to get out of bed. We got up at 8 am and had breakfast, then we went for a 1.5 mile walk. Hiker did not give me any problem this morning about putting on her collar and leash. Maybe she is a “morning person” or is that “morning dog”? Anyway, she didn't pee all over the place when I got her ready to go. After we came home I did a load of laundry and then settled down to watch some holiday movies on Hallmark Channel. Later in the afternoon, saw a movie on “Encore” called “The River Wild” with Kevin Bacon and Meryl Streep. Had never seen it before. It was pretty good.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Grooming Day

Was so sleepy when I woke up this morning. I had been dreaming that I was out shopping with some of my retired girlfriends from Lockheed. We were getting all kinds of discount cards for some reason. It was cold when Hiker and I got up to get ready for our dog walk with Jean...thermometer on my patio read 40°. I discovered that those studio lights I saw the other night that I thought were in our community were actually up on the hill outside of our community filming in someone's backyard. With it being dark and the lights being so bright, it was hard to tell exactly where they were but once it was daylight and I looked towards where I saw them, I could tell it was outside of our community. But I did see two big white studio trucks drive up my street earlier that evening. After our morning dog walk, Hiker and I went over to Jean's so Hiker could get groomed. Didn't have Jean shave her this time since winter will be coming. I want Hiker to have her longer fur so she can keep warm. After lunch I went over to Sam's Club to see if they had gotten the food I usually buy for Hiker in stock. I usually buy her the Member's Mark Simply Right” chicken and rice kibble. They have not had it the last 3 times I've been there, but they did have the same brand in lamb and rice so I bought that for her. I hope she will like the lamb. She is pretty good about eating just about any brand I do buy for her.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Back To "Normal" Day

Hiker and I were lazy this morning. I didn't go to sleep until around midnight last night. I was reading until around 11:30. Don't know what was going on in our gated community last night but just before dusk, I saw two studio trucks parked up at the top of my street. Didn't really think too much about it, but then I went outside with Hiker after dark and I noticed big lights up on the hill about 2 streets up from me. Since they do so much TV and commercial filming around Santa Clarita, I could tell they were lights for filming. I'll have to see if Jean knows what was going on. She seems to always be up on the Canyon View happenings. Decided to do a load of laundry (sheets and towels) this morning because I didn't get to do it last Sunday and I got some bills paid. While Keith was here, I just set the bills aside figuring I'd pay them after he left. I do not know what has gotten into Hiker lately. She is really making me mad. She used to love to go for walks, but now that she knows there are skateboards and bicycles along the paths, she sometimes does not want to go. When she gets into that mood, she pees all over the house when I try to put her collar and leash on her. She's been doing that more and more lately. I don't know how to get her to stop. I wanted to take her for an afternoon walk today and she just did not want to go. She peed all over the entry floor. I scolded her and made her go out into the garage and stay out there by herself for awhile, but I don't know if that will help. We eventually went for a short walk. Today felt like summer outside, so it got too hot after awhile and we didn't walk very far. When she knows we are walking with Jean and her dogs or that she is going to get to ride in the car, Hiker wants to go and she doesn't pee when I'm trying to put her collar and leash on. Sure am not happy with “MapMyFitness” since they updated to a new app. It just doesn't work right anymore.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Keith Headed Home/Had Lunch With My Friend

Got up at 7 am this morning. Keith wanted to leave to head home at 9:30 and I had to leave at 10:30 to drive up to Sunland to meet Ben's best buddy Ed to have lunch with him at the Sizzler. When Ed and I sat down at Sizzler and the waitress came over, she was the waitress who used to wait on us back when Ben and I used to meet Ed at this same Sizzler. She said “Oh, there's only 2 of you today”, so I had to tell her that Ben passed away 2 ½ years ago. It was a beautiful day here in SoCal...in the mid 70s and breezy. The house sure felt empty (except for Hiker being here) when I got home from my lunch with Ed. When Keith comes and stays for 5 or 6 days, when he leaves, it always feels that way.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

More Computer Installation At Jean's

Slept in some this morning. It was windy today, but not blustery. Jean came over just before 10 am and Keith and I took her over to Best Buy for her to buy a new printer. She bought one similar to mine but a less expensive than the model I purchased awhile back. After we left Best Buy and we went over to PetCo and looked around then went across the street and Jean bought lunch for Keith and me. We came back home and I set the printer up for Jean, connecting it wirelessly and setting up the fax machine on it. Because of the wind here today, we are under a “red-flag” fire warning here in our area. We were way behind in rain fall totals last season and so far this season we are way low again so everything is very dry. We went for an afternoon walk near home today. I tried a different GPS walking app on my phone but I didn't like it as much as the “MayMyFitness” app. Hopefully they will fix the bugs on it that are causing it not to read accurately.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Another Busy Day

Got up early this morning for our dog walk/play date with Jean. It was a little chilly outside earlier but warmed up to the low 70s. Keith and I headed over to Wal-Mart to pick up a few things and then over to Sam's Club to see if they had gotten any of Hiker's dog food in yet, but they still don't have it. I buy her the Sam's Club brand of chicken and rice kibble. All they have is lamb and rice and I'm not sure she likes lamb. She eats just about anything I put in front of her so she's not a picky eater. I'm beginning to wonder if maybe they had a recall on it or something because they have not had it the last 2 times I've gone to Sam's Club. I'll have to check again later this week and I guess if they don't have the chick and rice I will buy her the lamb and rice. Will not be going to my support group tomorrow because Keith will still be here until tomorrow afternoon. He used to go over there with me but I know he gets bored being there. Jean wants us to go with her to pick out a new computer printer, so we told her we would do that and then the 3 of us can go to lunch. After lunch today we went took Hiker over to Placerita Canyon for a hike. My hiking app on my iPhone wasn't working properly. It was showing that we did more miles than we really did and that we did those miles in a very short time period.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Busy Day Hiking And Computer Repair

Well Hiker's bladder and empty belly doesn't know about changing back to standard time because she woke me up this morning at 4:45 am to let her outside and then she wanted to eat. I made her wait until 6 am to eat because I want her to get used to the time change. We stayed in bed until 7 am and when we got up, Keith was already up and sitting on the couch in the living room, but Hiker didn't see him and she ran down to his bedroom to look for him. When she didn't see him there, she went searching for him until she found him. We didn't have breakfast because we wanted to get out for a morning hike. We didn't know where we wanted to hike so Keith suggested we go back up to Vasquez Rocks because they have so many different trails there. When we got there, we discovered that they were having a “Supervisor Antonovich Trail Ride” and there were hundreds of people and horses there, but we still had a nice hike. We came home and there was a voice mail on my phone from Jean. She was having computer trouble and wanted to know if I could help her figure out what was wrong, but since Keith was here, I decided to let the “expert” look at it. Found out that her combination modem/router had gone bad so she went and bought a new one and Keith installed it for her. We just got back home around 3:30 pm so I thought I'd better get my daily email blog posted.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Another Beautiful Fall Day

Slept in a little this morning. My body as sore from our hike at Vasquez Rocks yesterday afternoon. Hiker kept wanting me to open my bedroom door so she could go wake Keith up, but I would not let her out. She woke me up at 5:45 am to go potty and when we change our clocks back tomorrow, she will start waking me up around 4:45 am to go out, but I need to try to get her to hold it if she can so she will get used to 6 am again. It is sure nice here when Keith visits. It's nice to have someone to have conversation with, especially in the evenings. I talk to Hiker all the time when it's just her and me here, and even though I think she understands just about everything I say to her, she cannot respond except to look at me with those pretty brown eyes. We hung out at home during the morning because I was waiting for the gardener so I could pay him for the month plus I wanted to do a load of laundry. After lunch we went over to Pico Canyon Park and did a 2 mile hike. We had never hiked that area before land we've decided it is not that good of a place to hike. The trail is very narrow with a lot of brush and there are no nice views. Going to make mac and cheese with little sausages for dinner tonight using some of the Loleta Cheese I mail ordered awhile back. Yummy! Probably will watch the movie “Contact” on Amazon tonight.

Friday, November 1, 2013

A Few Photos Of Our Hike Today

Me and Hiker

My brother Keith

Busy Day With Keith And Hiker

My daily email blog is late getting out today. Keith, Hiker and I have been out running around all day. First we had our normal Friday dog walk with Jean and her dogs. Then I made breakfast for me and Keith (Hiker had already eaten). Keith and I then went to the 3 Goodwill stores here in our valley and looked at all of the goodies in the stores. Also went and wandered around Big Lots and had lunch over at Carl's Jr. Came back home and picked up Hiker and the 3 of us headed up to Vasquez Rocks for an afternoon hike. It was a beautiful afternoon up there...in the mid 70s and breezy. Just got home and will have to get dinner in a little while. I took a lot of photos at Vasquez Rocks (as usual) and I will be posting them later

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Happy Halloween

Had to do a little housework this morning before Keith arrived. Was cold again this morning...around 38° when Hiker and I got out of bed. I normally do not do Halloween. Ben and I welcomed Trick-or-Treaters when we first got married, mostly because my oldest niece Darrah was about 3 years old and we knew she was coming by in her costume. When we moved into a mobile home park in Pacoima, CA, we stopped because the park would not allow kids inside the park. They would set up tables at the entry gate and give out candy there. So for the 11 years we lived there, we got used to not giving out candy. When we moved to Canyon View Estates where I live now, we didn't do the candy thing because the community was so new, there were not very many people here at that time, so we never continued the custom. But since Keith is here, he and I decided to get some candy and sit out on my front porch to hand it out. Didn't want the kids actually coming to the door because Hiker will be freaked out enough as it is. We went to have some pizza and salad for lunch then went buy Wal-Mart and Sam's Club. Got some candy for tonight's kids at Wal-Mart and some other things I needed at Sam's Club.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Do Nothing Day

Slept in some this morning because it was only 38° when Hiker woke me up at 6 am to go outside. Even at 8 am when I finally got out of bed, it was still only 40° on my patio. Just a quick message today (Keith will be happy to hear that LOL). Plus sending it out early. I just sat round watching TV all morning because I have to take Jean over to the Kaiser in Panorama City at 2:15 pm to have a growth removed in her doctor's office. She found a growth awhile back and they did a biopsy on it. It showed as “per-cancerous” so they want to remove it completely. Got up to around 70° today and was breezy. Keith will be coming up from Orange County tomorrow to stay with Hiker and me for a few days. Hiker will be so happy to see him.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

It Was A Dark And Cloudy Day

It was cold here this morning. Around 42° when Hiker woke me up at 5:50 am to go potty. As of today, my “jury status” online shows that I do have to report the first day of jury duty but I am in the process of trying to get my duty postponed until next summer. Because of my retinal problem, my retinal specialist has told me that I should not drive in the dark and since it would be dark both going to and coming home from the courthouse during this time of year, I thought if I can change it to summer, it won't be dark driving there and back. I'm waiting for their reply as I requested it via their website. If I do not hear from them in a couple of days, I will call them. Also I'll talk to my retinal specialist when I see him in 2 weeks and see if maybe my eye problem can get me a excuse not to serve. I'm also considering taking the metro-link train from my area down to Union Station in Los Angeles instead of trying to drive in all of that traffic. I've never ridden the train before so I think I'll see if my friend Jean would go on a “trial run” on the train with me to see how it all works. I'm also thinking about talking with my regular doctor to see if my blood pressure problem could get me an excuse from duty. I went to my grief group this morning. We had another full house plus we had two new people. One lady who lost her husband of 62 years and a young woman who lost her father 4 months ago. Our discussion was pretty somber today which is not normal for us, but now and then it is that way. I did not go to lunch with the ladies because I wanted to get home and call the courthouse to see if I could postpone my jury duty until next summer. Stopped by KFC to bring some lunch home. They granted my request for postponement. I got to thinking how dark it would be going to the courthouse in the morning and coming back home in the evening during those 2 weeks and I am not supposed to drive in the dark according to my retinal doctor. They rescheduled me to be on-call for jury duty starting July 8th. In the meantime, I'm going to talk with both my retinal doctor and also with my regular doctor to see if maybe they can get me a permanent physical excuse from jury duty due to my eye problem and also my high blood pressure. When I received the summons, my B/P spiked pretty high and the result made me feel sick the next day, plus the high B/P can cause more problems to my eye. The stress of going to court may cause me health problems. However, just in case, Jean and I are going to plan a day to take the metro-link train from Canyon Country down to the Los Angeles Union Station so I can learn how the system works. The courthouse is just a few blocks from the train station so I would be able to walk between the two and not have to face the rush-hour traffic going to court and coming back home. So now I have a little over 8 months before I have to think about jury duty again. I think what bothers me the most is getting there and back home since it is 35 miles each way in heavy traffic and then also Hiker would be home alone for about 12 hours. She is sometimes home alone for 5 to 6 hours but never long than that and I'd be worried about her even though Jean said Hiker could stay over at her house while I was gone. It has been cloudy and gray here all day long and only got up to about 58° here today.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Not A Happy Camper

Got up early to do our every Monday dog walk/play date with Jean. It was very dark and cloudy outside and the wind was blowing a little. When Jean got to my house with her dogs, it was starting to sprinkle, so instead of doing the walk, we decided to just let the dogs have a play date in my backyard. It was the wind that was blowing the sprinkles out of the clouds, but we didn't want to get out walking with the dogs and have it start pouring on us. It was very cold sitting on the patio. Had some breakfast and then Hiker went with me when I went over to Wal-Mart. It was still extremely cloudy. When we have this kind of weather, I let her go with me and she sleeps in the car while I'm in the store. I am NOT a happy camper today. I received a jury summons for Federal Court which is in downtown Los Angeles. What is bad about this situation is that if I have to report, I will have to be there no later than 8:15 am. I live 35 miles from downtown Los Angeles and the traffic Santa Clarita to Los Angeles (all freeway) is bumper to bumper in the early morning. They claim I am only 40 minutes away but they are not thinking about the traffic. I would have to get up around 4 am and leave around 5 am to make sure I get there on time and I have never driven myself to downtown Los Angeles, so I have no idea where I would be going. Also, if I have to report, I'll have to see if Jean can take Hiker while I'm gone because they told me the court closes at 5 pm so I would be gone all day and traffic coming home will be just as bad as it is going. Plus it will be the last week of November and the first week of December so it will be pitch dark outside both going and coming. I'm not used to driving in the dark and if it rains, it will be even worse. The only good thought is that I'd be on-call for 2 weeks. I would have to call the Monday of each week to find out if I had to appear at all on either week. If not, then I would be done with the on-call duty. I hope and pray that when I call in, they tell me they do not need me.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Restful Sunday

Got up early so Jean and I could go to our local swap meet this morning. It opened at 7 am but we waited until 8 am because if you arrive at 7 am, a lot of the vendors still are not set up and ready to start selling. I have not been to the main Sunday swap meet in years. Ben and I used to go all the time back before we were married even though we didn't live in this valley back then. The swap meet is held at the old Saugus Speedway. They have not used the race track in more than 15 years, but the use the grounds for the swap meet and other events. The speedway was originally a rodeo arena way back in time. Below is a link that will take you to the chronological history of the speedway. We were there for a little over an hour. It sure is not as good as it was back in the 1970's when I used to go there at least once or twice a month. They just don't have any good stuff anymore. Jean bought a few things including 2 rose trees. I only bought a couple of yard decorations because they were so inexpensive. One is a humming bird on a metal stick that it's wings flap in the wind and the other is a flower on a metal stick. When I got home, I did some laundry and did some vacuuming. All the running around I've been doing (Friday evening, all day Saturday and this morning) really made me tired. When I was young, I never got tired from being out running around. I actually fell asleep on the couch around 1:30 pm and didn't wake up until around 3 pm when Hiker came in and started licking my face.

Saugus Speedway/Swap Meet