Back To The Beach!

I love when, in the night, I can hear the waves crashing on the beach, from my bed….

And if I wander outside, it’s louder….clearer.

This usually starts happening in November, and it’s happening now.

The poet Robinson Jeffers wrote a poem about it. He lived in Carmel and built his home with rocks from the sea. It’s called Tor House. Google him, or his house. Here’s the poem.

November Surf

“Some lucky day each November great waves awake and are drawn

Like smoking mountains bright from the rest

And come and cover the cliff with white violent cleanness: then suddenly

The old granite forgets half a years filth:

The orange peal, eggshells, paper, pieces of clothing, the clots

Of dung in corners of the rock, and used

Sheaths that make light love safe in the evenings: all the droppings of the summer

Idlers washed off in a winter ecstasy:

I think this cumbered continent envies it’s cliffs then…But all seasons

The earth in her childlike prophetic sleep,

Keeps dreaming of the bath of a storm that prepares up the long coast

Of the future to scour more than her sea-lines:

The cities gone down, the people fewer and the hawks more numerous,

The rivers mouth To source pure; when the two footed

Mammal, being someways one of the nobler animals, regains

The dignity of room, the value of rareness.”

Phew. Heavy.

Anyway, the beach….with my Blue Sky…

I pick up sea glass. I can’t help myself. I gave away pounds of it when I went Wandering, and now I’m collecting it again at the beach we walk most frequently.

Do you see it there in the sand?

My small collection from our last trip there.

Added to my bowl ( thank you Laura), of the collection since I came back to the home place.

A misty morning.

Busy little birds!

Lots of Blue….

A different place. This is Asilomar State Beach in Pacific Grove, not too far from where Jason and Mandy got married.

And it’s where Blue Sky first put his feet in the Pacific Ocean, on November 1. Not so scary there in the tide pool like area.

Back at our beach…Joy and Shilohs beach…we are faced with this sign as we cross the sand dunes. And this…

Hopefully it helps with the problem of the dung Jeffers refers to!

It’s up near the recreation trail…

Lots of fall color in the sand dunes…

I’m glad to be home. Good to be here. “Good to be anywhere”, as Keith Richards often says.

I’ve made a little memorial for Joy and Shiloh in the back yard…

Thank you to Mary for those memory stones.

Oh and one more thing to show you…Blue Sky dressed up for Halloween 🎃.

Talking to the big dog at Pet Smart!

Watching for trick-or-treaters! He had a great time on 🎃!

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Life In The Slow Lane

When I’m on the road I always drive in the slow lane, and now that I’m planted…I remain on slow speed. And I like that, mostly.

Puppies take lots of naps…but look how big he’s getting!

Still, we get around, Blue Sky and I. At about the age 4 months his puppy vaccines were completed and I felt better about letting him explore more.

We made it out to Big Sur with my son and daughter in law. We chose lunch at Rocky Point Restaurant because its a very dog friendly place. They have a huge patio overlooking the ocean where dogs are allowed while their people eat lunch.

Mandy and Jason on the patio. What a view there behind them!

Blue and I went to Watsonville to Gizditch Apple Ranch.

It’s kind of a California tradition for me in the fall…one that was fun to get back to.

Apples apples everywhere.

Mary invited us to go with her to a benefit for a local dog rescue in Carmel Valley at a winery. You could paint your dogs (or cats ) picture on a pumpkin while you sipped wine. Dogs were invited and Blue Sky attended. I didn’t paint, but I sipped.

There were some good artists present!

We continue to go to school….

For the puppies it’s socialization time. That’s Mike, with Naomi the Newfoundland, and Gertrude the Bulldog. Mike is Katie Mays dad, and Katie is Blues sister. Wait…Gertrude. Not sure that’s her name. I will correct it later if I need to. (It’s later, and I’m correcting, her name is Gladys).

Katie May left. Blue Sky right.

Pet Food Express, where their classes have been, has a do-it-yourself dog wash, so after class sometimes, it’s bath time!

Blue getting soaped up by Mike while Katie looks on.

Katie and Blue have actually graduated from the Play And Learn class and this coming week will start attending the next class, for pups starting at 5 months of age. Yes! They will be 5 months old next week, and….wait for it…..Blue weighs 45.6 pounds!

Mike has two more dogs. The picture below is Army, waiting to get his bath next.

This is Sunny, who has been completely blind for the last 5 years. She is older, and having some of the same difficulties as Joy had.

To backtrack a bit, and explain, it was my neighbor Mike who told me about Westwing Golden Retrievers, in Arizona, where we got our puppies, and it was Mike and his daughter who flew there to bring them home back in August.

Next blog, coming soon, I’ll take you back to the beach….

In the mean time, another snooze….

A Poem I Found

I didn’t write this, but it seems like I could have. I added my own pictures.

WHEN I AM OLD

I will wear soft gray sweatshirts…

and a bandana over my silver hair…

and I will spend my Social Security checks on my dogs.

I will sit in my house on my well worn chair

and listen to my dogs breathing.

I will sneak out in the middle of a warm summer night

and take my dogs for a run, if my old bones will allow…

When people come to call, I will smile and nod

as I show them my dogs…

and talk of them, and about them…

…the ones so beloved of the past

and the ones so beloved of today…

I will still work hard, cleaning after them,

mopping and feeding them and whispering their names

in a soft loving way.

I will wear the gleaming sweat on my throat,

like a jewel, and I will be an embarrassment to all…

especially my family…

who have not yet found the peace in being free

to have dogs as your best friends.

These friends who always wait, at any hour, for your footfall…

and eagerly jump to their feet out of a sound sleep.

to greet you as if you are a God,

with warm eyes full of adoring love and hope

that you will always stay.

I’ll hug their big strong necks…

I’ll kiss their dear sweet heads…

and whisper in their very special company…

I look in the mirror…and I see I am getting old…

this is the kind of person I am…

and have always been.

Loving dogs is easy, they are part of me.

Please accept me for who I am.

My dogs appreciate my presence in their lives…

they love my presence in their lives…

When I am old this will be important to me…

you will understand when you are old,

if you have dogs to love too.

Author Unknown

BEACH!!!

I wonder what he’s thinking?

Yay!

It’s the same beach pictured at the top of the blog, that Joy and Shiloh romped on so very many times during their lives, but now their spirits fly free here, and welcome Blue Sky as he makes his debut.

His introduction went well!

We moved slowly…very, very slowly, as he sniffed and looked and listened.

New scents.

New sights.

New sounds.

Big waves that day on Monterey Bay!

He eyed the wild waves with interest but was happy to keep his distance , but not fearfully.

He sniffed the air and stuck his nose in every pile of washed up seaweed he could find.

He learned that mommy doesn’t get upset when he digs holes in the wet sand.

He watched the little hopping bugs with curiosity and tasted the tiny crab shells that wash up with the kelp.

He scared up a flock of birds….

And then watched with surprise as they flew off over the waves.

He greeted the black lab and her owner who happened by, joyfully and ready to play.

And then we did it all again on Friday, but we walked just a little farther and in the opposite direction.

This is why I’m here.

This ocean.

This ‘affordable ‘ (just barely for me, now) dog friendly rental community, with easy access to many dog friendly beaches.

Many, many trails here on the old Fort Ord and beyond.

Dog friendly Carmel-By-The-Sea just down the road, where dogs are welcome just about everywhere including restaurants.

And Big Sur. Of course Big Sur. Just beyond Carmel, a treasure of beauty beyond my wildest dreams.

Yup. That’s why I’m here with my little Blue Sky.

More soon!

PS. I used a new format writing the blog today. Keeping my fingers crossed that it works ok!

Blue Sky Growing Fast!

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Blue Sky, 16 1/2 weeks old, 33.8 pounds, and finished with puppy vaccinations as of Friday.

My vet says wait one more week for the antibodies to build up, and then we can go exploring…..

The beach….walks in the hills….in the woods…..

In short, getting back out in nature, which I feel like I desperately need by now, and Blue Sky has yet to discover.  Oh, we take short walks in the neighborhood,  but I had no idea how much I would miss nature, and the degree of freedom and wildness that I’ve grown to love so much.

I’m on edge, and that’s exacerbated by being so disappointed, discouraged, and disturbed by the government of my country.  Sorry I try not to be political here but it’s really affecting my everyday life, and causing me to need a nature fix all the more….while we still have nature…before we totally destroy it, and each other.

All the hatred, anger, and division….it’s just….ugly.

I need nature’s beauty….the healing beauty.  I just need to soak it in SOON.

7EA63452-F246-49D5-89E4-E914E60C2F8EBlue Sky doesn’t fit very well in his puppy bed anymore!

A03F2E37-4889-4B47-AA54-2535953DB22BHe fits better in his (Joy and Shiloh’s) big boy bed.

A8C61887-4F6F-4FA0-8CB7-32550A5B077ABut he prefers mine.  Which is fine with me.

Add to that I’m still strongly feeling the loss of Joy and Shiloh, to the point of daily crying jags.  I may take some of their pictures off the walls because it hurts too much to see those sweet faces.

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I can’t tell you how thankful I am for the little sweet spot in my life….my very own spot of Blue Sky….

6D0706E5-5555-43C9-B343-3EA903256E9EHe put my my shoes in his bed.

Joy really knew what she was doing when she chose his name!

We go to puppy school.  Our class is called ‘Play And Learn’.  Puppy’s play, parents learn.  We were also attending a second weekly class just for puppy socializing, but I’ve dropped out of that one.  Blue Sky has been having some diarrhea issues, and I’m not sure but it could be related to the amount and variety of treats he gets at both classes, or maybe the stress of it all, but his poop problem seemed to be happening after classes.  So now after 2 vet visits for meds, we are just attending one weekly class and I’m asking the other parents not to treat Blue unless they use my treats (which is his kibble).

303FA62F-D8A2-4BB3-9D79-A6EDA47D7E47Blue Sky with one of the teachers, and Ohla looking on.

200AFF76-A30A-4E93-9623-6E3C311A8DB0Sister Katie is in the same class.

CDACC15E-B0D1-4FB7-89DD-80F953C09EF4That’s a Great Dane puppy!

Knock knock knock on wood, but I do believe Blue Sky is potty trained.  Despite poop problems, he hasn’t had an accident in the house for a few weeks now!

Mary baby sat one day so I could go to a birthday party, and we stop by at Mary’s house from time to time for a visit.

92DEB01D-5159-4E47-8412-087BD1F63617 Visiting Aunt Mary.

Laura and Joel came out and spent a couple of days here and got to know their little nephew better.

43F99A90-3BF1-492E-A976-0CFFF6D3554EAsking to go for a walk.  We do take short walks in the neighborhood every day now.

i think….when we can get out and have more adventures, I’ll be more inclined to post blogs…here it’s been almost a month since I wrote, and that’s a first!

Hoping to have beach pictures to show you next time!!

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Morning Glories and Pink Jasmin.

 

Three Months Old!

As of today, September 12, Blue Sky is 3 months old.  He weighs 24.4 pounds.  When he came to me at 7 and a half weeks he weighed 9 and a half pounds, and yesterday marked 13 weeks.

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There are all the vital statistics for now.  Time is flying.  Time is all about him.  Everything is all about him.  I’m loving all the yard work I’m doing…but it’s all about Blue Sky…all the grass seed and sod, and plants and walkways I’m laying.

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Friends Marian and Al gave me the patio stones from their yard…about 140 of them.  Some I used to make a walkway in front of the house to help avoid muddy feet.  I had an assistant. (Not!)

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Here are some more of the stones.  Not all though.  Some were still in the back of the truck when I took this picture.  I am thinking I’ll make a second patio in the back with these…or more walkways.  Not sure yet.

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The bottom sign kind of reflects my sense of humor.

Puppy raising seems to be a full time job, and I do believe I have the help of Joy and Shiloh, too.

He gets to play with his sister Katie May a couple times a week.  Sorry about the butt shot.

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It’s hard to get good pictures of them together, since they are in perpetual motion.

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The pictures usually come out something like this, or…..

AC361066-752A-47C6-BF19-A98082949E26

Like this.

It’s easier when he’s sleeping, or at least very tired.

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Thankfully, puppies take lots of naps.

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Sleeping on my pillows.  (One of his favorite spots).

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Cute as a darn button, 100% of the time.  Oh yeah, a cute button with sharp teeth and nails….

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He still needs move vaccinations before he can go for walks and hang out with other dogs, so we still go for walks using Joys stroller.  I’m longing for the day we can go exploring…the beach and local trails.  I’m seriously missing getting out in nature.

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This is about as much nature as we get right now.  I just took this picture of him a few minutes ago.

Friday we have another vet appointment, for his third round of vaccinations.  I’ll see what the vet says then about when he can have ‘feet on the ground’, but I think he recommends 16 weeks…or after the fourth round of shots.  We’ll be starting puppy classes then too.

He travels well in the truck now, inside a wire crate.  I haven’t gotten to the point of leaving him home by himself yet (crated).  Mary is coming over to babysit on Sunday so I can go to a birthday party.

If anyone has any kind of training hints, I’m all ears!

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He stole my stinky shoe!  Ewwww!

The Thing(s) I Didn’t Tell You About

(With mostly pictures of Blue Sky).😍

BF8F729A-F2F1-4187-B2C9-6BB41B078754Let’s go for a walk in Joys stroller!

Life has not been uneventful since moving here.  In most ways this is good.  It keeps me busy, and I’ve wanted to keep busy.  But I could have done without The Flood.

it was the very evening that Joy named Blue Sky.  I returned home from Mary’s about 7pm, having been gone from home about 4 hours.  As I approached the back door I heard a strange sound coming from inside and I hurried to unlock the door.  As I opened the door I was sprayed in the face with warm water and I stepped into water standing on the floor.  My first reaction was to scream….and then I ran outside to shut off the main water to the house.

E0F096E5-9C5D-4FA9-8434-9EB3A224F1FCBlue Sky playing in his pool.

Back inside I sloshed around in shock trying to get a grip.  I called the after hours emergency number for residents here and asked for help.  I began soaking up water in the kitchen with towels and blankets.  The house was flooded from the kitchen through the laundry area, through my bedroom and bathroom.  I got home in time to save the living room, 2nd bedroom and bathroom.

E38312AD-E021-45C9-B445-A76B27B7BF34Blue Sky playing with his sister Katie.  She’s on the step.

I could see what happened.  A pipe that leads to the hot water of the washing machine ( if I had a washing machine) had burst.  The water had started out hot but emptied the hot water tank and was only warm by the time I got home.  Still the place felt like a sauna, and the water had destroyed the wall that is between my closet and the laundry area.  Most everything in my closet was soaked, and all my shoes were doubling as full water buckets. Since water was spraying on the walls too, some pictures and frames were ruined.

2A276F2C-92D8-4E0A-B2C3-285AF8C26BD1Watching tv, close up.

The on call emergency guy arrived and we moved furniture out of the bedroom.  He was surprised and said he hadn’t seen anything like this happen here before.  He took pictures and made a video.  It turned out that this particular pipe had been broken previously, and a shoddy repair had been done.

D97D9502-2C91-4206-BCB6-0F0AA46E90DEOh, I think I’ll just take a quick nap…

The following week was not fun, as you might imagine.  I was glad that Joy didn’t have to experience this, and was glad That Blue Sky had not arrived yet.  Sopping carpet and padding was cut up and removed piece by piece.  Huge fans were placed, new pipes were installed, and repair on the walls commenced. I had a new puppy arriving in a week and Ruth and Jan coming from Wisconsin shortly after that.

6A647968-A868-40A1-855A-97C60C5329A2Beautiful blue morning glories in my makeshift garden,

Amazingly, with some pressure applied to management, the house was back together by the time I went to pick up Blue Sky at the airport the following Saturday.  They still needed to paint the new walls in the laundry area but they could do that after my company left, and before I had my washer and dryer delivered. (Which they did).

24801915-A154-4E04-866B-DAF58AE111D2Washer and dryer being delivered.

It wasn’t long after that, the car port started to fall apart.  That has been repaired now too.  At least it appears that way.  I’m keeping my fingers crossed.  The back yard has been the scene of major work all along, and finally part of it is beginning to shape up, though it will be a work in progress for a very long time.  That’s ok.

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***Also, on a much happier note, Mary is home!  She has been here for a visit and met Blue Sky.***

i didn’t mention all this before because I didn’t want to interrupt the Blue Sky Story.  😊

The adventure continues!