Saturday, August 31, 2013

Good-bye August

Hiker woke me up at 5:45 am to go outside. It was already 72° and extremely humid. We got out of bed at 7 am and by 7:30 we were out for our morning walk. It was 75° and the humidity was 72%. The bugs were eating me alive and I felt like I was walking through a sauna. By the time we got home I was drenched with sweat. I wanted to put some more of that anti-itch cream on Hiker this morning but she sensed something was up and she kept hiding from me. That little bugger is so smart. I have no idea how she knew I wanted to put something on her. I kept trying to get her to go outside because she gets the “scared wee wees” and I didn't want her peeing all over the house, but every time I'd try to get her to go out she would run and hide in my bedroom. Any other morning, she would be wanting to go outside and lay on the patio after our walk, which is what she usually does every day, but not today. I finally fooled her into going outside just before lunch and I applied the lotion while she peed all over the patio (LOL). The rest of the day, we stayed inside as it was 96°. The humidity level went down to 42% but that is still more than we are used to. The sky was beautiful all day with big white fluffy clouds.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Last Friday Of August

Hiker and I had our normal Friday morning dog walk with Jean and her dogs. We left at 7 am and it was already 75° and starting to get muggy outside. Because of the humidity, the bugs were eating us up as we walked. Hiker has been scratching and chewing on herself a lot lately and I thought it was fleas or bugs, but I checked her out really good and don't see anything on her, so Jean and I talked about it and Jean thinks Hiker is having a problem with dry skin. We went up to PetSmart and I bought some lotion to put on Hiker where she keeps chewing on herself. The lotion is for hot spots, rash or itching and it has aloe in it. Since I put it on her, I have not noticed her chewing for awhile. She would chew on her back so much that her hair would be sopping wet. Once again we stayed inside all day. It was a few degrees cooler today, but not much. I see in the 10 day forecast that a week from today it is supposed to be 104° which does not make me happy. Watched the latest episode of “Under The Dome” today on Amazon. Wonder if this dispute between Time Warner and CBS will ever end. I've read that whatever happens between them that it will set the precedent for negotiations between networks and other cable/satellite companies from now on.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Techie Day

Got up at 7 am and Hiker and I went for a mile and a half walk. It was already getting hot and muggy. I was having a strange dream when I woke up. For years I have had dreams that after I retired from Lockheed that I went back to work there planning to only be there for a short time and retire again (strange). Anyway, I was having a dream that once again, I had gone back to work there. Besides me returning after retirement, my friend Judy Holdt was also back there working after retirement. In the dream our boss was leaving to go to another company and she was putting Judy in her position as boss. I recognized the woman who was our boss in my dream as a woman who really did work with us years ago at Lockheed, but I cannot remember her name) Well Judy wanted me to be her assistant and I agreed, but I told her I would be retiring (again) very soon and this time I actually filled out the paperwork to do so. In all of my other dreams, there was always a deadline of when you could fill out the paperwork and I always seemed to miss it, but this time I didn't. Also saw my friend Rick Kuklok in the dream. He is also retired now but he was working again too. I went over to my friend Gin's house today. She is a widow in her 80's who goes to my support group and she has been having some computer problems so she wanted me to check it out for her. She is using Norton for her Anti-Virus which is one of the worst ones to use plus it costs money. I told her that the Norton is causing her computer to run slow and showed her the difference if I turned Norton off how much faster her computer worked. Problem is, she just renewed her Norton for a year and still has almost 250 days left of it and they won't refund any unused money, so I told her I would leave Norton on her computer until February but then we need to remove it and put Microsoft Security Essentials on it so that it will run faster and she won't have to pay for the Anti-Virus. I ran some scans on her computer to make sure she didn't have any viruses or malware and I downloaded a disc and registry cleaner and set them to automatically run on her computer. She made me lunch and we sat and talked for awhile. She has the cutest little dog named Goldie who is a Doxie/Chihuahua. Got up to 103° here today. YUCK!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Too Humid!

Didn't really sleep in today since I had to go up to Wal-Mart this morning. I always end up spending way more than I planned to when I go to Wal-Mart. Wonder why that is? (LOL). By the time I got home at a little after 9 am it was already about 85° and humid outside, so it was too hot to take Hiker out for a walk. Probably won't get her out for a walk tomorrow morning either unless I get up really early because I am going over to one of my friends house (a woman from my support group) to look at her computer and see if I can clean it out some and speed it up a little for her. I did promise Hiker that I would take her for a ride in the car this afternoon, so we did that right after lunch. It was too hot and muggy to even get out of the car, but she was happy just to have a ride. My neighbor Jean and I have been discussing taking a trip over to Simi Valley when it gets cooler for a visit to the Reagan Library. Ben and I went there many years ago and Jean has never been there, so thought it would make a nice day trip for us. Probably won't do it until late September or early October. Didn't do much else today, so it was a lazy, hot, muggy day here in SoCal.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Cloudy, Hot and Muggy

Went to my support group at the senior center today. They are refinishing the main parking lot there and it is all a mess. We are now parking in the back lot which actually has more spaces than the front lot does. You can see the bison at Hart Park from the back lot. We also are having our meeting in a different room since they have our regular room blocked off because of the work. Actually, I like the new room better. It is in the main building instead of in one of the trailers and it is closer to the restroom which is a big plus (LOL). The heavy lady that comes to our sessions is so obnoxious. We all thought Edwin was bad when he first came, but she is worse than he is. At least now she is wearing pants instead of the dresses, so we don't have our “peep” show anymore thank goodness. What none of us like about her is that she is a “know-it-all”. She tries to tell people what they should do about certain situations and she doesn't even know anyone's story. She also has something to say about everything. Obviously she reads a lot and she will start telling a story like she was actually there, but in reality it was something that she read somewhere and she tries to make it funny, but it's not and she's the only person laughing. None of us still understand why she is coming to our group because she is not a widow, but we cannot stop her from coming because it is open to anyone. It has been cloudy and very humid here today. I remember when people used to say they didn't like summers in southern California because it was so hot and we would reply “yes but at least it is a dry heat”. Not anymore. We are getting more and more humid here as the years go by and us natives are not used to it. Some of us girls went to Round Table Pizza for lunch after group. I left a little earlier than the rest because school is back in session and I have to drive right by the junior high, so I try to get past that point before all of the buses and parents start arriving to pick up the kids and cause a major traffic jam. I've gotten caught in it before and I hate it. When I got home, Hiker “helped” me put the trash bins out at the curb and she went with me up to the mailbox, then I walked her down to the park. I wanted to get some photos of the beautify clouds. It was so muggy that by the time we got back home I was soaking wet with sweat. Come on fall, hurry up and get here.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Muggy Monday

We didn't sleep in this morning because we had a dog walk/play date with Jean and the dogs. I sure wish the entire day would stay nice and “fall-like”. The mornings are so nice a cool but by 10 am or so, it starts to get hot. After Jean went home, I went to do my grocery shopping. I noticed that the Halloween candy was already out on display. Got up to about 95° here and there were some big thunder clouds towards the east and some big fluffy clouds to the west that didn't look like thunder clouds. It was feeling pretty muggy.

Map shows thunderstorms in the SoCal desert

Thunder clouds to the north east of where I live

Sunday, August 25, 2013

A Lazy Sunday

Hiker and I got up around 7:30 am and headed over to Bridgeport Lake to take a 2 mile walk. There were a lot of people out walking their dogs this morning. Hiker wanted to say “hi” to some of them, but a lot of the people didn't want to let her. Maybe their dogs don't get along with other dogs. We were walking along the sidewalk and a duck came out from the bushes right in front of us. It startled Hiker a little, then she wanted to go after it, but I didn't let her, so she just watched it run away from us. It was a beautiful morning but then started getting hot outside around 11 am. When we got home, Hiker went outside as she does every morning. She alternates between lying in the sun and then in the shade on the patio. While she was outside, I did a load of laundry, vacuumed and put clean sheets on my bed. Since Hiker does not like the vacuum, it is best for me to do that housework when she is not in the house. I watched the movie “First Daughter” on the Hallmark Channel. It was pretty good. Then I watched “The Way We Were” on Amazon. Would you believe I had never seen “The Way We Were”?

Saturday, August 24, 2013

I'm Watching You

Hiker and I slept in again this morning then went for a morning walk. Did some laundry and watched some TV. I really want fall to get here so I can get up off my lazy butt and get out to hike. It's just too hot right now to do much of anything but stay inside with the A/C. It was a few degrees cooler today...only got up to 95° instead of 99° like it has been, but it's not enough to be able to feel the difference.

Saw this shed with eyes peeking over the fence this morning while Hiker and I were out for our walk.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Friday Again

I was going to watch a movie on Amazon last night but got really sleepy around 9 pm so went to bed and went right to sleep. When I woke up this morning, the bed felt so good that I decided to go back to sleep and slept in until 8 am. Got up and took Hiker out for a morning walk and then did a little housework. Watched the latest episode of “Under The Dome” on Amazon. Was another extremely hot day so did not go outside much. I will be so happy when fall gets here. Problem is that here in SoCal, we don't really get into fall until mid October.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Fun Day With Friends

Slept in a little this morning. Drove up to Palmdale, CA to have lunch with some of the ladies I worked with at Lockheed for so many years. All but one of us is retired now. There were only six of us this time. For those of you who might know them, it was me, Kay Limpus, Gail Plessner, Diana Brewer, Judy Holdt and Jacki Sanderson. Diana is the one that still works and she always has “gossip” for us from the old salt mine. Was about 102° out in Palmdale and was 99° in Canyon Country when I got home. Judy had given me a new toy to bring home to Hiker and as always, Hiker loved it. Every new toy she gets, she puts aside all of her other toys and ignores them totally.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Another Hot Wednesday

Hiker and I went for a 2 mile walk this morning. The sky was so pretty with the little “cotton ball” clouds. When we got home, I poached a couple of eggs (one for me and one for Hiker) for breakfast and then I put my license plates on my new car. For some reason, once you put the plates on and remove the dealer paper plates, it feels like the car I no longer new. When Keith was here I purchased a Black & Decker rechargeable, hand held vacuum to use to keep the inside of the car clean. It's not one of those car vacuums that has no suction. This vacuum can be used in the house too and has a lot of power. I vacuumed any dog hair that was in the seats after I put the plates on. The rest of the day, Hiker and I just stayed in the house with the A/C since it got up to 99° here today.

Nice sky when Hiker and I went for our morning walk. When the flowers on this prickly pear cactus bloom, I'll take some photos to share.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Started My Day Early

My neighbor Jean and I went over to the old Saugus Speedway for the every-Tuesday “antique” swap meet. Most of the stuff just looked like junk to me. Jean bought a couple of things. After we left there, we headed over to Denny's and had breakfast and then went across the street to the Goodwill Store. I didn't buy anything there either. It was nice early this morning but was starting to get pretty warm by 10 am. I'll be so glad when fall gets here. I got playing a “hidden objects” game on my iPad and before I knew it, 2 hours had passed. Had lunch and then went out into the yard with Hiker and played some ball. It is about 90° but there was a nice breeze blowing so it didn't really feel that hot. It will be 2 weeks tomorrow since I got my new car and I already got the license plates for it today. That was really fast.

Monday, August 19, 2013

New Blog

If you like my "Fotoblog" and/or my "Hiking" blog, make sure you check out my new block about Vasquez Rocks County Park. This is one of my favorite hiking places and also one of my favorite locations for taking photographs:

Picturesque Vasquez Rocks

Pleasant But Busy Monday

Did our regular Monday dog walk/play date this morning. The weather was really nice this morning before it got really hot. When I got up at 6 am, it was partly cloudy. I guess they had some thunderstorms in the desert last night. There was a nice breeze and once again it felt like fall weather, but by 9 am, it was already getting really hot. By 10 am it was already 90° outside. Jean usually leaves around 8:30 am but today she stayed until 9 am, so I was late starting my housework. I needed to do the stuff that I didn't get to this past weekend because Keith was here. I had to clean the big bathroom, wash my sheets and towels, dust and vacuum. Also ran my dishwasher. I was only going to do some of the stuff, but then I remembered that Jean and I are going to the antiques swap meet tomorrow so I wanted to get everything done today. The thermometer read 94° at 2:30 pm when I walked up to the mailbox, but it didn't really feel that hot. There was a bit of wind and I could see thunderhead clouds off to the east.

Product Alert!

DO NOT buy any of those "Pocket Hoses" that you see advertised on the "As Seen On TV" commercials. I bought 2 of them 3 or 4 months ago and I have tossed both of them in the trash as of this morning. The one in my backyard started leaking from where the hose and the coupler that screws onto the faucet meet. I thought it was the washer, but appears the hose was tearing away from the coupler. It finally broke apart. The one in my front yard was really strange. The "skin" on the hose, that they claim is made from the same material as fire hoses split open. It the caused a blockage somehow around the rest of the hose and the cheap inner tubing started blowing up like a water balloon. I turned from watering my plants on the front porch and saw this huge hose and at first it scared me because I thought it was a snake. (LOL)

Anyway, even though they "claim" they are guaranteed for life, there are several terms (in small print). You must have the original receipt for the hoses. I only kept my receipts for a couple of months and then tossed them. Also they want to take the hoses back to their manufacturer and have them run through tests to determine that I didn't run them across any sharp rocks or other objects before they would refund any money. I had a guy at Target tell me that his broke 2 weeks after he bought it. He returned it and the company refused to refund his money saying that it appeared he had some how "cut" the hose.

So stay clear of those hoses. They are a scam!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Another Hot Summer Sunday

We had planned on maybe going for a hike this morning but when we got up at 7:30 am, it was already getting warm. I had promised Hiker that we would take her for a ride in the car, so we drove up to Vasquez Rocks and walked around for a few minutes. It was already 90° there so we didn't stay long. Keith and I went over to Wal-Mart where I purchased a portable vacuum to use in my new car. I didn't realize that the black seats would show every little thread, etc. We also went over to GameStop and picked up a few Wii games. They had used ones at buy two get one free. I've decided not to go to my support group on Tuesday even though Keith didn't get to stay as long as he was going to originally. I had already made plans with Jean to go to the Tuesday Antique Swap Meet at Saugus Speedway, so I'm not going to cancel that plan. So just a heads up to the ladies in group, I won't be there this Tuesday.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Spending The Day With My Brother

Hiker and I got up and took a nice walk this morning and then I came home and did a load of laundry while waiting for Keith to arrive. Hiker was so excited when he got here. I knew that he would be arriving around 10:30 am so I told her to watch out the front window for him which she did. When she saw him pull into the drive way, she started "screaming" and ran to the front door to meet him. She was yapping and jumping up and down. He finally had to get down on the floor and play with her to get her to settle down. She loves him so much. Keith and I went over to Round Table Pizza for lunch and then headed out to do a few errands. Came back home to be with Hiker and we played some Wii games for awhile. Now we are trying to figure out where to go to get some dinner.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Another Week Come & Gone

Did our usual Friday dog walk and play date with Jean and her dogs then Jean wanted me to come to her house because she needed to groom her dog Sassy and Sassy squirms a lot when she is on the grooming table. Jean wanted me there to hold Sassy while Jean groomed. After lunch, took Hiker with me up to PetSmart. She loves going there because she knows they have cookies behind the counter. I needed to buy some flea & tick preventatives for her. I found some all natural ones that do not use pesticides, just natural plant oils. When we first walked into the store, Hiker went right over to the check out person and sat down to ask for a cookie and she got one, then when we were checking out, she went behind the counter and sad down to ask for another one. At least she sits like a good girl to get one. Got up to 100° here today. Watched the latest episode of “Under The Dome” on Amazon Prime. That's the only way I can watch it since I still don't get CBS on Time Warner.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Flea & Tick Medications

When I first got my dog Hiker, I took her out hiking and she got about 5 or 6 ticks. We had gone hiking in a canyon that had a lot of tall grass along the trail and I'm sure that is where she got the ticks.

I decided to start putting a monthly flea & tick medication on her. I first bought Hartz because it was inexpensive, but I was told by many friends not to use it because it had a bad reputation, so I decided to spend the money and buy Frontline Plus because I had heard that it was vet recommended and I had friends who used it on their dogs.

Then I saw Vetguard Plus at Sam's Club and it appeared to be a generic of Frontline Plus and it cost a lot less, so I decided to start using it on Hiker.

The first time I put it on her in June, I noticed that she was acting strange. She didn't want me to bother her and she seemed lethargic, but I didn't connect her actions with the Vetguard Plus.My brother had been visiting us and he had just left to go home. Hiker loves him so much that I thought she was just having separation anxiety for him.

The next time I put it on her in July, I noticed that she seemed to be breathing hard and once again she acting lethargic, and still I did not associate her actions with the flea & tick medication.

Today I put another dose on her as it had been a month since the last dosage. Once again, I noticed her acting strange. This time she started pacing. She circled the sofa for hours and then would lay down for a few minutes and soon get back up and pace some more. Again she acted like she didn't want me to bother her and she once again started acting lethargic.

I decided to go online and research these products and once I did, I tossed the last 2 tubes I of flea & tick medication that I had and I put Hiker in the shower and washed off the stuff I put on her today.

In my research, I found that all flea & tick medications are nothing but pesticides. The main ingredient in them is Permethrin. They claim that this ingredient is safe for dogs as long as you follow the instructions on how to use it but I disagree.

The most common side effect of Permethrin is redness, itching, rash or loss of hair, but it also has other side effects which include vomiting, drooling, diarrhea, increased excitability, lack of coordination, change in body temperature, seizures, tremors and lethargy.

I noticed the "excitability" in Hiker when she was pacing all over the house and the lethargy once she settled down some.

It is up to my friends who have dogs as to whether or not they want to use these kinds of products, but I just wanted to let you know the experience I had with my Hiker Girl.

Another Lazy Day

Not only did I fall asleep yesterday afternoon while sitting on the sofa, I dozed off last night while watching a movie on Amazon Prime. Went to bed at 9:30 pm and fell asleep immediately which is nice since a few weeks ago I was lying wide awake at 2 am. Got up around 7:15 am and took Hiker for a 2 mile walk. I love the mornings we've been having. They feel so much like fall, but then by around 9 am, it is already getting very hot. At noon today, it was already 95° here. After the walk and breakfast, I headed over to the bank, then up to Costco. Don't know what was with Hiker today. She was “pacing”. I've never seen her do that before. She just kept walking a circle around the sofa. I was wondering if she knew Keith was supposed to come today and since he has not shown up, she is pacing. I watched a very strange movie on Amazon Prime called “The Cabin In the Woods” and when I say strange I really mean freaky strange.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Sleep Afternoon

Had a slight headache when I went to bed last night and I woke up with it again this morning. Hiker and I did a 2 mile morning walk and then I made some breakfast. After I ate, the headache was almost gone. I went up to Wal-Mart and then over to Sam's Club. On the way home, I got a call from Keith. He was supposed to come tomorrow (Thursday) and stay with me and Hiker for about 5 days but he got an email from his old workplace this morning asking him to do 3 weeks of contractual work for them. He has been out of work for 2 years now, so he needs the money. They also told him that they have put in a request to hire him back full time but don't know if the corporation will accept the request. Will just have to wait and see. He was really excited. So now he will come out on Saturday morning and visit until late Sunday afternoon. I told him that if he didn't come at all, Hiker would really be disappointed because I've already told her that he was going to come. We got back up into the low 100's here in SoCal today. The hot weather made me fall asleep on the sofa this afternoon.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Pleasant Day

Went to my support group today. We didn't have too many people in this session. A lot of them are off visiting family for the summer. We were all very happy to see that the new woman was wearing long pants today, but now we are all wishing she would wear a bra. Oh well. We went to lunch at Cathy's Deli and as always, had a good time. On my way home, I was driving down Soledad Canyon Road towards my house and I saw a sheriff on a motorcycle coming up really fast in the lane next to me with his lights and siren on. After him came two more black and white cars and then another 8 or so black and white cars, plus 3 or 4 unmarked cars. All of them had lights and sirens going and all passed me like I was standing still. Had no idea what was going on, so when I got home, I checked out our local radio station's Facebook Page and they were going to assist the Parole Department in finding an “at large parolee”. They gave his description, but it did not mention why they were looking for him. They had a command post set up at the Albertson’s parking lot at Soledad Canyon and Sierra Highway.

Monday, August 12, 2013

A New Week

Went on our every Monday dog walk with Jean and her dogs. She is boarding 2 dogs again so we had a total of 6 dogs on our walk and play date. Our mornings are so nice. Like I mentioned, they are almost “fall like” which I love, but it has gotten warmer today than it has been. We were in the mid to high 80's, but today it is in the low 90's. After we came home and Hiker and I had breakfast, I did some house cleaning because Keith will be coming for a visit starting this Thursday so I wanted to get it done before he gets here. I decided to sign up for Amazon Prime today. I have been using Netflix for my streaming movies but with Amazon Prime I also get free 2-day shipping on items that I order on Amazon. I can also watch “Under The Dome” for free on the Amazon Prime since I cannot see it on CBS. The newest episode comes out the Friday after it airs on the Monday before. Didn't do much else today.

Sunday, August 11, 2013


Didn't eat breakfast this morning. Had to get some errands done. Took Hiker with me. I went to Home Depot to get a part for my automatic sprinklers. Last evening when they came on, I noticed one of them as leaking which was causing the others to have less water pressure. I think the gardener ran over the part with the mower and cracked it. That happens now and then. Luckily I had a spare of the part I needed and fixed it but then I had to go to Home Depot and get another spare for the next time it happens. I have Toro sprinklers and I've noticed that Home Depot does not carry many Toro parts anymore. They carry mostly Rain Bird but most of the people in my community have Toro sprinklers and sometimes it's hard to find parts. After we left Home Depot, we headed over to Central Park in Saugus to take a morning walk. There were a lot of people in the park. All of the baseball diamonds were being used and the big soccer field too. I let Hiker guide me so we meandered all over the place. When we got near the dog park, she went way around it. She remembers the time I took her into the fenced area and about 5 dogs came running at her to play but she thought they were attacking her and she hid behind me. I don't take her into the fenced area anymore and as we were passing about 5 dogs were running at another dog and there was all this growling and snarling, so I guess it's a good thing I don't. While we were walking around, we kept hearing what sounded like fireworks being shot off, like bottle rockets. I saw where it was coming from and I noticed that there was a small fire truck at the other end of the park. Since the hills around Central Park are very dry, I went over to the fire truck to talk to the firemen about the “rockets”. They told me that they were not fireworks, but model rockets and that they were legal because they don't actually spark or burn. They told me that kids build them for science class at school and come to the park to shoot them off. But they thanked me for being a concerned citizen.

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Pleasant Saturday

Since I woke up around 3 am on Friday morning and was not able to go back to sleep, I feel asleep Friday night on the sofa around 9 pm. Woke up about 9:45 and went to bed and fell right back to sleep. Hiker and I got up around 7:15 am and went for a nice long morning walk. We hadn't really had a good walk since last weekend. Even though we did two dog walks with Jean and her dogs, I don't count those as walk because we do more stopping than walking. Jean's dogs love to stop and sniff everything, whereas when just Hiker and I walk, we don't stop much. It was really nice outside. Our mornings are already starting to feel a little like fall which I love. After lunch Hiker and I took a ride in the new car. I want to get her to understand that this is now our car and she doesn't need to be afraid to be in it. We went “crusin'”. It was about 80° outside, so I opened up the windows and sun/moon roof in the car and turned on my 50s XM Satellite radio and I felt like I was a kid again (LOL). I finally figured out why my Internet was not working on my car media screen. I thought because it was “bluetooth” that I didn't have to plug my phone in to use the Internet. Well the bluetooth is ONLY for making and receiving phone calls. Once I plugged the phone in, I was able to use the Internet. Might come in handy on trips if I needed to search for motels, gas stations, restaurants, etc. I guess I was thinking of “bluetooth” like “wireless Internet”...DUH!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Casual Friday

Something woke me up a little after 3 am and I was not able to go back to sleep. Finally got up a 6 am and met up with Jean and her dogs at 7 am for a walk. She said that just after 3 am, she had gotten up to go to the bathroom and she heard either a gunshot or a firecracker. I'm thinking that is what woke me up, even though I don't remember hearing it. After the dog play date, had some breakfast and then I went grocery shopping. Found out that Hiker is “afraid” of the new car. I took her for a short ride in it yesterday and as I mentioned, she acted like I had put her in someone else's car and that I was going to leave her. I guess because the new car does not smell like me or her, she thinks it's not ours. I tried to get her to go into the garage with me this morning and she hid in the house. That's how I figured out she was afraid of it. She will eventually get used to it. After lunch I went over to Big Lots to buy a twin fitted sheet to put on my passenger seat when Hiker goes with me in the car. I had put a towel on the seat yesterday and even with the towel, there were a few of her hairs on the seat when she got out. The interior is black so it really shows the hair a lot. Was really a nice day here today...low to mid 80's which is great for SoCal in August.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Checking Out All Of The Bells And Whistles

Spent most of today sitting inside my new car going through the owner's manual to more understand all of the controls. Jesse (the salesman) took 30 minutes yesterday to go over them with me and he connect my Bluetooth for my iPhone, but I still needed to sit out there in the garage and learn “hands-on”. I think I have most of them figured out now except for the “Internet”, which I probably really would not use much anyway. It told me that I had to go on my computer and set up an account with their Toyota Entune, then download the Entune App on my phone, which I did. Then it told me to sync my phone with the car again, which I did, but when I try to use the Internet (Bing) it tells me “Connection has failed. Please ensure that Entune APP is running on your device”. I had it “running on my device” so I don't know why it won't work. I sent them an email to see if they can tell me. At least the GPS works. I also have Satellite Radio free for 3 months, but I don't listen to the radio that much when I'm driving unless I'm taking a long trip. So regular radio will be just fine when the 3 months run out. First thing I did this morning was go down to our community office and get my windshield sticker for entering the community, then I put Hiker in the car and we went to get my Lotto Tickets. She looked a little scared when I first put her in the car and then shut the door and walked around to the driver's side. I think she thought she was in a stranger's car and that I was going to leave her there. I also called my Mercury Insurance Agent and took care of my insurance. So all of that stuff is out of the way now. Maybe I'll get back to my normal “routine” tomorrow (LOL).

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

I Got Such A Great Deal

What a long day! I got up at 6 am because Jean and I were going to try to get over to the Toyota dealer before the sales people arrived, but it didn't work out that way. We were so glad it didn't. I got the nicest sales person at Frontier Toyota in Santa Clarita. His name was Jesse Livitski. He was so honest. The first thing he asked is what I was looking for and when I told him he asked if I wanted a moon/sun roof and navigation system. He told me right away that the difference between having these items and not having them was about $2500. I told him I wasn't really interested in them, so we started going around the lot looking at the cars. I told him exactly what I wanted, but he didn't have it in the color I wanted. He had me drive one anyway and told me that if I liked it, he would get me the color I wanted from another dealer. We went inside to start negotiations when the owner of Frontier Toyota walked by and Jesse asked him to stop and meet me. We spoke about the dealership and I told him how many years I've done business there and after he left, the owner went over to the finance guys and told them to “take good care of me”. Well the did! The found the color I wanted at the Northridge dealership and told them to bring it up. In the meantime we did a little more negotiating with the finance guy and we stuck a deal. When the car from Northridge arrived it had some “extras” on it that were not on the one they had priced for me, but that didn't matter, I got all those extras for the same price they had quoted me. I saved over $2500 on the car so I am really happy. Jesse also gave me (and Jean) free key chains that the sell in their gift shop that had dogs on them after he found out we loved dogs. He also to me that when I'm almost out of the tank of gas they gave me (which was full) to come by the dealership and he will give me another free tank of gas. He was really a fun guy, and he was actually very cute. He sat and talked with us for hours while we were waiting for the car to be delivered and washed and gassed up. He brought us soft drinks and another employee brought us candy bars. If you live in Santa Clarita and are thinking about buying a Toyota, definitely go to Frontier and ask for Jesse and tell him I sent you. Hiker was so excited to see me when I came home, but Jean and I decided to go over to Backwoods Inn for an early dinner and we didn't get back again until about 4:30 pm.

Me and Jesse, my sales person

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

A Day At The Fair

Didn't sleep well last night. I was thinking about going to the car dealer tomorrow. I'm excited about car shopping but not about the long negotiations. Jean and I went to the Ventura County Fair today. It was Seniors Day. It was really crowded. I think there were more people there than there was last year. As soon as we entered the fair, we ran into our neighbor Charlene. We accused her of being the official greeter (LOL). I only took 2 photos at the fair. It was so crowded that if I stopped to take a picture of anything, I just about got knocked down. We checked out all of the exhibit buildings and checked out the livestock. Also there was a Toyota display there and they had a Rav4 on display so I checked it out. Really like it a lot. The young man who was showing them was very nice and gave us all kinds of information about the car. He told us that the Rav4 is on a Camry chassis, so it is much bigger now. My friend Jane from Grief Group had told me to have some cotton candy while at the fair. Well Jean and I looked everywhere and never did see any for sale. In one of the commercial buildings we found a booth that sold dog stuff, so we both bought some magnets for our vehicles. They overcharge for food at the fair, so we went up to Main Street Ventura and had lunch at the Busy Bee Cafe. I had a patty melt and Jean got the cold meatloaf sandwich. We both had diet cherry Cokes and they were really good. They make them just like the old days with real cherry juice. After we left Ventura, we headed down to Camarillo to stop by the home of some people who used to be our neighbors in Canyon View Estates. They are leaving on vacation so Jean is going to board their little dog Jonah, so we picked him up to bring him to Jean's house. Hiker was so excited when I got home. At the fair we had visited a booth for dog rescue and if you gave them a small donation, they gave you a gift. I got a squeaky pig toy for Hiker and I gave it to her when I came in the door. She loves it! She has been running all over the house with it. So tomorrow morning, Jean and I will be heading over to the Toyota dealer around 8:30 am so wish me luck.

This sow had 12 piglets that were born on July 19

Monday, August 5, 2013

Average Day

Today was Hiker's first dog walk with her three buddies (Jean's dogs) in over a week. She was so excited this morning. She was lying on my bed while I was getting dressed and I asked her if she was excited about seeing Sassy, Charlie and Timmy. As you know, Hiker does not have a tail, but she still has that muscle at her butt that wiggles when she's happy and when I mentioned the other dogs names, that muscle was wiggling like crazy. She had so much fun running around the back yard with them when we got back to my house and let them have their play date. Jean and I planned our strategy for car shopping on Wednesday, figuring how much money I want for my trade ins (I have their Blue Book value) and to figure how much I wanted to offer on the car during negotiations. Tomorrow Jean and I are going to the Ventura County Fair, so I won't be online until tomorrow evening. I didn't know what to do with myself during lunch today. I usually watch Y&R while I'm eating lunch, but since Time Warner dropped CBS, I'll have to watch Y&R tonight at 7 pm on TVGN. What really makes me mad is that I'll miss “Under The Dome” tonight and tonight is when they find a smaller dome in the woods with an “egg” inside of it. After lunch, I put Hiker in the Corolla for another ride to use up some gasoline. I drove the outer perimeter of the Santa Clarita Valley and the gauge shows I'm down between ¾ of a tank and ½ of a tank, so there is probably still about 8 gallons of gas in the tank. Got up to about 95° here today which is about 5° warmer than it has been.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Peaceful Sunday

Woke up from a strange dream this morning. It seems I was visiting a woman I used to work with at Lockheed. Keith was with me. The woman was showing us around the mobile home she lived in, but then I was alone on a mountain trail taking pictures with my cell phone. I went back to the mobile home to find Keith and found him standing on a lake beach taking photos of the lake. The beach was crowded with people and I remember I saw a group of boys dressed in Civil War costumes which I thought was strange. I held my cell phone up to take their photo with the lake in the background, but instead of them being on my screen, I saw Ben standing there smiling and posing for the photo. I quickly snapped the picture hoping Ben would be in it, but when I looked at the photo all I saw was the lake. No Ben and no boys in costume, and I woke up. Got up and took Hiker for a walk around our gated community, then we went by the liquor store to get my lottery tickets and then we headed west, up Highway 126 into Ventura County. I needed to burn more gasoline in the Corolla, so we drove up to Piru, CA and walked around their town park and then farther west to Fillmore, CA to the railroad park and walked around some there. I was able to use of ¼ gallons of gas so far. Now I need to also burn some gas in the 4Runner. I will do that when Jean and I go up to the Ventura County Fair on Tuesday. When Hiker and I returned home, I had some lunch, did a load of laundry and vacuumed the carpet.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Nice Afternoon For A Ride In The Country

Finally got a pretty good sleep last night. Went to bed around 9:30 pm and actually fell asleep before 10:30 pm. Hiker and I got up and went for a morning walk. It was very nice outside and there were a lot of people walking their dogs. Came home and had some breakfast and then I decided I'd take anything out of my vehicles that I really didn't need in them right now. Jean called me yesterday and asked me when I wanted to start car shopping. We decided on Wednesday. She is still boarding the extra dogs this weekend and Monday after our dog walk, she goes to the Senior Center to play cards. Tuesday, I normally go to my Grief Support Group at the Senior Center, but this Tuesday, Jean and I are going up to the Ventura County Fair. Tuesday is “Seniors Day” and we get in free. After lunch I remembered that I had just filled both of my vehicles with gasoline last week and that they are both completely full. Last week I had no idea that I would be shopping for a new car next week. I don't go through gasoline very fast, but I hate the thought of “giving” a car dealer a full tank of gas if I give them my cars for trade-ins. I thought maybe Hiker and I should get out for some car rides (which as you know Hiker loves). We headed up through Soledad Canyon north towards Acton, CA. Took back roads all the way so I could snap some photos. Went all the way up to the Palmdale Grade and then headed back towards home. We stopped off at Vasquez Rocks because there was a t-shirt in their gift shop I've been wanting to buy but every time I went there, the gift shop was closed. I found out last time I was up there that the gift shop was only open on weekends, so that's why we stopped there. I finally got the t-shirt I wanted. We headed back home. Problem is, my Corolla gets such good gas mileage, even after about a 50 to 60 mile round trip drive, I don't think the gas needle even moved. I'll just have to take Hiker for another drive tomorrow and I guess I'll drive the 4Runner up to Ventura when Jean and I go to the fair on Tuesday. That's about a 50 to 60 mile drive one way, so hopefully that will use up some of the gasoline. If I knew how to siphon it out, I would (LOL).


Friday, August 2, 2013

Maybe I'll Get Some Sleep Tonight

Tossed and turned all night trying to make a decision of what to do about my vehicles. Do I sell one, do I keep both or do I sell both and buy a new vehicle? I think I have finally come to a decision and I think I have a plan and that is to buy a new one, but I will have to see if the dealership will agree with my terms. I want to wait until my brother Keith comes up for his next visit so he can go over to the dealership with me. This is the first major (and pricey) decision that I have made by myself since Ben passed away. I am pretty confident that I will be able to buy a new vehicle and I can do it without having to make any monthly payments. So I hope my plan works. I only got about 4 hours of sleep last night. Hiker got me up at 6 am to let her go outside and I tried to go back to sleep when she came back in, but I was too excited about my plan, so we got up and had breakfast. After breakfast I mopped my kitchen floor and since I had decided to try to change the lock on my patio door by myself, I started to work on that. It turns out I didn't have to get a new lock because once I got the old one off and cleaned it up a little and put it back in the door, it seemed to work much better. Didn't feel loose like it did before. Went up to Sam's Club and did some shopping. It was a beautiful morning here. I spoke with Jean today. We have not been dog walking because she is boarding 2 large dogs and Hiker is afraid of them. Anyway, she told me that if I don't want to wait until Keith comes up that she would go with me to the Toyota dealer if I want to buy a car. She went by herself to buy her Rav4 a few years ago and worked out a deal with them. Well Time Warner dropped CBS2 and KCAL9 here in the greater Los Angeles area about 2 hours ago. I hope they come to an agreement soon.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Cannot Believe It's August

Well I took my 4Runner in for “routine” service this morning and naturally, they found two major problems and two minor problems with it. Seems like every time I take either car in for service, they always find something else. I told them to go ahead a fix everything while they have it there and I took the customer shuttle home until they call me later to come pick the 4Runner up. Thank goodness I get the 10% senior discount, but it still costs a pretty penny to maintain an older vehicle. The 4Runner is 11 years old and the Corolla is 10 years old. After Ben died, I considered selling of the vehicles but I remember Ben telling me that we should always keep two vehicles because you need a spare car like you need a spare tire, but now I'm beginning to wonder. I think I'd lean more toward keeping the 4Runner and selling the Corolla. The 4Runner has about 50,000 more miles on it than the Corolla does and I know it does not get the good gasoline mileage that the Corolla does, but I feel that the 4Runner is built better, is sturdier and I have room to carry things in it that I can't in the Corolla. It's getting costly for maintaining two, registrations, tires, shocks, etc. My land lease is going up in October also, so that is making me really think. I really don't know what to do. Called Julie (my service tech) around 1:30 pm to see how my 4Runner was doing and she said it probably won't be ready until around 4 pm so I took Hiker out on a short walk down to Discovery Park. Had gotten a little warmer, but it was nice when we were in the shade. Will have to decide what to have for dinner since once the customer shuttle picks me up and takes me over to the dealer and I pay for the work and get my car back and drive home, it will be too late to cook anything.