Sunday, June 26, 2011

Sunday Morning Reflections

Midsummer in Sweden 2005

Only when we dare to spread our wings
and expose our own unique patterns
to the world do we begin to truly live...

Note: I'm having some computer issues that I cannot deal with right now should they become serious and require repairs. In other words, money is tight, so if we crash, I may be gone from Blogger for a while. Other than that, all is well here and let's hope for the best. Just wanted to let you know because I tend to worry when bloggers I have been following stop blogging and I have no idea what happened.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Rogue Road Runners

Welcome Pauline Barclay, a new follower of Desert Canyon Living. Pauline is a writer and animal lover, who blogs here.
Also, thank you all so much for your birthday wishes. I had a great day and I appreciate all your good wishes so much.

The other day, I looked out our living room window and saw this in our dead tree. And I didn't even know road runners could fly. Well, that is, I had never seen one fly before. 

The dead tree will be cut down in due time. Right now a pair of Western Kingbirds have a nest with young ones in the tree. You can see it right between the two road runners in the pictures above and below.

For a while, I have enjoyed watching the kingbirds
feeding and taking care of their young. Because of this, I am by now a bit emotionally attached to this nest and the baby birds. So I only took two pictures from the living room window, before I ran out to scare away the road runners. While they are my favorite canyon birds, and I'm thrilled they came back this year, I have to draw the line somewhere. Like stick with snakes and bugs for your dinner. As I approached, the male flew down from his branch, landed a bit away, and took off at a run. But the female just moved higher up in the tree and wouldn't leave until I shook the branches. All the while, several kingbirds and some other smaller birds were all over the tree, but not able to do anything much to protect the nest. An interesting wildlife encounter for me and a reminder that there is no end to what I can learn about the critters of the canyon.

Monday, June 20, 2011

This and That From the Canyon

Welcome edu-mattos1, yet another new follower who blogs in Portuguese. I am assuming you are from Portugal, please correct me if I am wrong. The photos on his blog are incredible and will make you, and yes even me, want to go there. Please check them out here:

I know exercise is important for my bones and since I hate the pure exercise idea so much, I'm wondering if there is anywhere I could find out how pure old-fashioned work rates as exercise. This morning I vacuumed the house and mopped the kitchen and dining area floors. Not much work if you are young, I know, but it must rate as something for exercise. For the above branches, I had to stretch to cut some of them down, I had to bend to pick them up, and then push the wheelbarrow to the dump place up a hillside. It, too, must count for something and all this is work I love to do.

I also love to walk, but cut back a lot after last year's accidents. Starting again, I measured the walk to the mailboxes, using our old Ford Ranger's trip meter, there and back it came to .6 miles; for now I walk it once a day. I am starting with that and will increase it. 

Samson Says: Thank you, all you nice persons, for your comments on my poem. I have to show Angel that you think I have a romantic side. She thinks I'm just pushy, but then she's old, so that's maybe why. She just wants to be left in peace.

Me again: I got tagged! This is the first time that ever happened to me. I got tagged by Rosalind Adam, a writer, who blogs from Leicester in the UK. I will tend to that later, it should be fun. Maybe I should write my memoirs since I seem to like to talk about myself so much. Hmmm..........

My blogging project is going slowly, much because my computer was going slow and acting up, kicking me out of Google Chrome a lot. I signed up for a cleanup program 30-day trial from AOL, and I think it is working because things seem to go faster. I still have around 60 blogs to visit. 

Yesterday, I got hooked by a book, Divine Justice, by David Baldacci, and didn't even open my computer. Secret Service/FBI rouge guys and so on. A fast and fun book that one just had to finish that day. This author, whose name I have seen around but never read, was recommended to me by my friend Fran. 

My husband is coming home today. Tomorrow is my birthday. It is also the longest day of the year; the summer solstice; the first day of summer. (BTW, I have no idea where you put semicolons, I just stick them in where I think they will look good!) In Sweden it is gorgeous this time of the year with the midnight sun or at least the light nights in my hometown of Stockholm, which is further south. Those of you living in Alaska, Canada, must be so beautiful there too right now. And, I will be 71. Yet another reason to enjoy each day. Have a good one, everyone!

Hubby just called he's in the canyon, so I gotta go!!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Samson Writes a Poem for His Two Gracies

Samson Says:

Gracie and I met online
She's the cutest doggie
All fluffy and fine
Click here to see her online

This is Gracie my toy
She's fluffy and cute
Not a substitute
For my Gracie online

Gracie online has my heart
Since we're far apart
We write in our logs
And meet on the blogs

But Gracie my toy
Is my greatest joy
We play and we play
Til the end of the day

I'm one lucky boy
I will forever be true
To both Gracie One
And my Gracie Two

Have a nice day, everyone!

Written and Posted by Samson, the Samoyed Pup

Thursday, June 16, 2011

A Snake -- A Cake -- My Bones and More On Followers and Comments

Now you
 now you

My husband is a snake magnet, for sure. The other day we saw three racer snakes in the yard. I saw two and this is the smallest one. I thought the photos were cute and wanted to share them. I know, I know, I'll be the one to think a snake is cute. Needless to say, my husband saw the "huge" one while I only saw the two smaller ones. 

Thank you so much for your kind and thoughtful comments about my bone predicament. The doctor (the one I want to change) didn't say a word about exercise. And now I know that without a doubt that should have been the first discussion point. So thank you so much for that. Hilary mentioned HRT therapy. I was on that way too long and ended up with estrogen driven breast cancer. So that's out, but I believe it helped keep my bones healthy. I will look into exercise in addition to treating this with drugs and supplements. I like homeopathic remedies too. It works so great for my dogs.

About my blogger/follower/comments project. I have read and commented on about 30 blogs so far. What this means is that if I commented on your blog in the past two days, I will not be back for another two weeks or so. I figure I have about 130 more blogs to check out and at 13/day it will take 10 days. Then I want to organize the information and work on my blog a bit. I am not really doing this project out of the goodness of my heart, I am just curious to find out who these people are. Before there are too many of them. People are so interesting to me and this will be a fun thing to do.

I cleaned up my computer and, low and behold, AOL sped up a lot, but Google Chrome still keeps on crashing. 

How I wish for a rotating feature for Blogger photos that end up like this.

I'm going to stay in and cook this morning. I plan to bake a cake/bread like the one in the sideways picture above. I also want to make spicy potatoes and something else, I forget what right now. I guess when one gets old, one has to return to the kitchen to recall what one planned to cook. Such fun!

Have a great day everyone!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Following Blogs -- Canyon Life -- Tuesdays' Treasures Postponed

I still have treasures to share, but I'm feeling very unprepared this morning. So instead of posting a hasty treasure, I plan to read blogs for a few days. I also need to check my computer, it keeps crashing a lot. Not good, since I have no funds for a new one, not even for repairs. 

I'm on Day 2 of my Building Up My Strength and Energy project. I got up early, went outside and trimmed some weeds that hubby missed with the weed whacker. Then I trimmed some branches off my dead tree and some of those growths that pop up every spring on my other tree, forget what they are called now. 

By now, I have been outside for over an hour. Working on the yard and cleaning up after the dogs. Then I washed clothes and hung on the line, one of my favorite things to do, living this simple life. It is a glorious morning here in the canyon. It's getting hot, but it's still comfortable if you get out early. 

This morning, I printed a list of my followers. The list just shows the name of each follower, it does not provide any links. I would like to get a handle on that so I know who is who. This may not be the purpose of the Following feature, I mean what to those of you who have over 1,000 followers do? 

My blog needs some work too, I think. We'll see. Anyhow, thanks for all your well wishes for my back. And for all the information, including the scary parts. Even though my osteoporosis is not that serious yet, I need to take it very seriously. And your comments helped me understand that. I love the support I get from you guys. Thank you so very much.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Responding to Your Comments on My Brittle Bones

Welcome Jesus te ama! a new follower of Desert Canyon Living and another follower who blogs in Portuguese. 

I enjoy your comments and though I don't always address each one in my responses, I appreciate each one very much. Sometimes your comments are so interesting and helpful that I feel I need to dedicate a post to getting back to you. And so it was with the comments on my June 11, 2011 post. 

texwisgirl: In addition to being hot at 20 and not knowing it, you must have been the cutest little girl on the block. Every time I see you picture on one of the blogs we both follow, I smile. Of course, we both know what is important in life: Having a round ranch, a pond visited by birds of many colored feathers, a nice hubby, horses, dogs, and being able to record all this with fantastic photos. Believe me, you are one terrific woman.

Christine: I hope you had a nice weekend too. Thanks for understanding my whining. I hope it is over for now. I'm
working on it.

Deb: Yes, it is good it was caught early. Now I just have to figure out what to do about it.

Rosalind Adam: Thank you for the information. I'm considering all options as I don't like pills either. I love cats, they have very healing qualities. There is nothing like having a cat sitting on your chest or tummy, purring and keeping you warm, when you don't feel well.

fishducky: Wow, now you are picking up Swedish slang words! I am so impressed. Funkar is slang for fungerar, which means functions (well, that was kind of easy, I guess). Yes, Judith's books are great, thank you so much for sending them.

Farmchick: Yes, I hope I find the right treatment as some of the side effects of these drugs are pretty serious. 

Kim, Happy Belated 50th Birthday!

Kim: I saw the raven chicks when they were sort of small. The other day, they were beautiful, sleek, young birds ready to take off into the world. Hope you had a nice weekend and a wonderful birthday. 

Patti: I do agree that it is important to keep moving. Before my accidents (I had three in the last year) I moved a lot. I started back this morning, which is why this post is late. Also, thanks for pointing out that medicines may not be so bad after all, considering the alternative. I have managed until now with just my insulin, so I guess I should be grateful for that. I know people my age and younger who are not as fortunate. So thanks for those good words. 

Bobbi: I didn't say I will take Fosomax, just that the doctor suggested it. I have to talk to my second opinion doctor and do research before I decide what to do. I trust him more than the one that I saw up here. Exercise helps everything, well, most things. I'm so glad my canyon pictures make you feel good. You have no idea how much that means to me. Thanks for letting me know.

Nan: Happy 70th Birthday This Week! 

Nan: If I figured it correctly, your birthday is one week ahead of mine. As I said to Bobbi above, I haven't made any decisions about drugs yet. And I know there are terrible side effects from some of the ones that are supposed to help with brittle bones. My bones were not bad and now that my back is better, I will start working outside and walking again. I can't lift anything much right now, but that will come in time. Being a skinny Scandinavian who used to smoke and had other risk factors, I'm actually happy that I didn't encounter these problems earlier. I had a Swedish friend whom I knew since we were four. She broke her hip at age 63 or 64, then got addicted to pain meds, messed up her liver and kidneys, and died at 68. Such a waste and so sad.

Barbee: I agree that these comments are so wonderful and interesting. That's why I just had to devote this post to them. Yes, Angel is my girl. She follows me everywhere I go. She will be 13 in October and if I get up to go to the next room, up she goes. Of course, as soon as Daddy leaves, the two boys act like I'm the love of their lives. They know where their food comes from, that's all I have to say about them.

Samantha: Yes, I will do research and get my second and maybe even third opinions. Thanks for the good wishes. 

Manzanita: My friend Fran (fishducky) wanted to cheer me up so she sent me several of Judith's books. I loved the one when she was 30, back in the 1960s. I was married to my first husband back then and recognized so much stuff I had forgotten about. No wonder I forgot since the marriage didn't last, but that's another story. So she is 80 now, good for her. I'm sure her sense of humor is keeping her going strong. 

Thanks again for your comments -- I hope you enjoyed mine back at you.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Sunday Morning Reflections

Loafing invites the soul.

I don't know who had this insight, but I suspect it may have been a dog. What do you think?

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Brittle Bones and Other News From the Canyon

My plate runneth over.

Welcome two new followers: Carolina at cisnesyrosa and Terry whose blog myjourneywithcandida includes information about healthy food and supplements.

Talk about health, my friend Fran gave me this book: 

A very fun read and exactly the way I felt last year, right before my 70 th birthday. Now as number 71 approaches, I have had some setbacks -- no need to mention those again --and I'm not at all sure how I feel. I know it's a learning process, this being old business. So far I've figured out that acceptance is very important and so is cutting out the whining  I've indulged myself in during the past couple of months. For me, many other things need work: Exercising my shoulder, walking, building up my strength again, finding my misplaced energy and so on. And being creative, which may well be most important of all.

Do you see the meadow lark, balancing on top of the weed?

On Thursday, I saw the doctor and found out that I do have osteoporosis in my spine and osteopenia, the precursor to osteoporosis, in my hip joints. Both of these were in the very early stages and that's the good news. Treatment is needed and as I talked to my doctor I was reminded it has to be covered by Medicare and my Blue Cross HMO since I can't pay that last portion myself right now. I know of a few good treatments, but now I need to find out what my insurances cover. The doctor suggested Fosomax (sp?), because it is a generic taken once a week. 

After the doctor's visit, I went to the library and borrowed a lot of easy to read books. Once again, I left my camera at home, which was too bad since the raven chicks in the nest above the K in Kern County Library sat there, black, sleek, and shiny and by now fully grown, checking out a world soon to be theirs. Yesterday, my husband and I drove by and I looked over and saw that they were gone. 

Early summer has finally arrived in the canyon. This year fields everywhere are covered in yellow mustard weeds, pretty but very invasive. Come fall, their kind of dry tumble weeds will cover town and country around here. At least the cows are doing their share in keeping it down a bit. 

A fall 2009 mess.

My husband has been here for a few days and will go back to L. A. next week. The dogs are fine and less bored now that daddy is home. It's interesting how they bond to the person who rescued them. Of the three only Angel is bonded to me; the other two are so daddy's boys. 

The three rabbit babies are still alive. They come out at dusk to eat and play, chasing each other recklessly around the yard. As I watch them, I think maybe they should be more careful. But I also see that they are learning and play-acting the evasive moves that may come in handy some day. And that's about all I have to report from here in the canyon. Have a nice weekend everyone.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Tuesday's Treasures & Things

Welcome Marcia, a new follower of Desert Canyon Living. Marcia blogs in Portuguese here. 

Treasures come in many forms and I treasure the views outside our windows here. This morning, I was thrilled to see that my friends, the cow (above) and two steer, have now returned to the large field that is part of the view from our living room window.

I have something in mind for a special treasure post, but I haven't had the energy to put it together yet. So when I spotted the cattle this morning, up to their tummies in mustard and other weeds, I thought I would share this country view with you.

And make it my treasure for this week. She is pretty isn't she?

Monday, June 6, 2011

Sweden Celebrates Its Flag While I Freeze In The Canyon

Swedish Flag Day!

Today, June 6th, Swedish Flag Day, Svenska Flaggans Dag (translation for fishducky, who is working on her Swedish), is celebrated as the national holiday in Sweden. It commemorates the day in 1523 when Gustav Vasa was elected   King of Sweden. Gustav Vasa was involved in liberating Sweden from the Danes; he established a royal dynasty (prior to that kings were elected by parliament); a bureaucracy; a protestant church; and an independent nation that has stayed that way ever since. I remember this day as a beautiful, warm, early summer day with a light night and lilacs in bloom. And, of course, our pretty flag flying in the wind across the city.

I've never thought much about this day before; once again, I find that blogging is keeping me on my toes.

Moving on to California: In Los Angeles, the month of June is for the most part cloudy and misty – they call it June gloom there. This year, June gloom seems to have spread across the state. Most of the blogs from California I read yesterday mentioned the gloomy and cold weather in the Golden state. 

Here in the desert mountains, the weather has been strange, indeed. After a gloomy, windy and cold week, it was finally nice yesterday. Cold, but sunny. Then it rained overnight and it was 44 F in the morning. Wait a minute, I plan to wash and hang some laundry on the line.

 But, of course, I still could and did because no matter how bleak and cold it is outside, laundry will definitely dry in the afternoons here. The always reliable wind that starts to blow in the late mornings will do the job, provided it doesn't rain. A little sun is out now and the gray clouds have been replaced by white, fluffy ones. I wonder what the snakes, lizards, and insects think about this weather. Just kidding, but I do tune in and think about the wild critters all the time since I moved here. 

Usually we are done with mowing and weed whacking when June comes around, but now grass and weeds are growing again. I can't mow with my back problem, so my husband will have to take that on. Fire safety clearance has to be in effect by June 15. Personally, I like this cool weather and, as I've said before, the longer it will keep the desert heat at bay, the happier I am.

Finally, my back still hurts, but is much better. I hope it is healing OK. I see the doctor on Thursday. When I called to find out the results of the bone scan, she said, via her receptionist, that she would discuss it with me when I came in to see her. I know I could have insisted on finding out what was going on, but I let it go and will find out on Thursday. Not much I can do between now and then anyway. Each little incident with this doctor makes me more determined that I will find another one here. No energy for that right now, but in time I will.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Sunday Morning Reflections

Fragile as a spider's web
hanging in space 
between tall grasses,
it is torn again and again.
A passing dog
or simply the wind can do it.
Several times a day
I gather myself together
and spin it again.

Spiders are patient weavers.
They never give up.
And who knows
what keeps them at it?
Hunger, no doubt,
and hope.

May Sarton 1912-1995

Friday, June 3, 2011

Samson Tells Us How Our Moods Affect Our Dogs

Samson Says:

OK, so most of you know that people around here have been either sickly, stressed or in bad moods lately. I think I blogged about some of it last time. How did it affect us dogs? Well, as you can read here, all we did was tune out and go to sleep. Then they decided to get themselves together. Mommy decided to stop whining about her pains and Daddy decided to get happy again. The more they did it, the better they got at it. And all of a sudden, us dogs had fun again! We got to go on walks with Daddy and we had so much fun playing with him. Then he had to go back to the city and we were left with Mommy. Truth be told, us dogs were a bit worried. Would she pick up her whining again? I mean she can whine as bad as Soldier and he's the whiniest thing I know. But no, this morning she woke up in such a good mood and that got Angel and me going.

Come on old girl, let's play!

Come on Angel, where are you?

Come get me if you dare!

She dares, so round and round the coffee table we go.

Angel says, I'm getting tired, you young pup, you. Get down from my couch.

Then she escapes to the bed, where only she, the princess, is allowed. But I'm so excited, I follow her and Mommy is so happy to see us play, she doesn't seem to mind.

OK, so Angel is tired, but I have my doggie to play with. I've named her Gracie and I promise I will only chew on her very gently. And lick her ears, of course, that's my specialty with girls. I send xoxos to my real Gracie, wherever you are.

To the rest of you, I hope you all have a very excellent day!

Posted by Samson, the Samoyed pup.


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