Friday, September 24, 2022

Yesterday, I needed a little therapy and decided to roam Costco. My excuse was to replenish my dwindling supply of dog biscuits. My real reason was from a weird bit of restlessness making me want to wander in a big store.

Feeling “housebound” can be unsettling. My flooring person has stashed around tools and a large supply of vinyl flooring. He’s a friend, working on his own time and sometimes disappearing for periods. I get it, that’s our deal.

I’ve begun sleeping in the guest bedroom. Like most other spaces, it’s crammed with “stuff” needing removal from the floorer’s work areas. In disarray, I must search for items. No longer are comfortable areas for sitting, reading, and dozing.

Sometimes I need to wander. Not out walking through the streets, alone or with an animal companion, but roaming among other wanderers.    

As things turned out, Costco was a good call. I spotted the Pharmacy Department and managed to receive both a Covid booster and a flu shot. That wasn’t a conscious part of yesterday’s plan but was a key goal.

Exiting Costco with dog biscuits and a couple of on-sale items set me back a hundred dollars. That’s almost a non-issue in a store that easily can set one back hundreds of dollars. Best and accidentally, I received those boosters.

Dear Friends: That wander dissolved nervous energy and solved a need. Diana

Hound Dog

Friday, September 23, 2022

Today, I will take Ranger, my aging hound dog, to the veterinarian who last week assessed my mini-Aussie, Louie. She was observant, knowledgeable, and supportive, agreeing that Louie, in old age, had fallen ill and was suffering. She helped me say goodbye to my brave and loyal little buddy.

Ranger, too, is aging. He needs an updated health baseline. My recent experience with Louie’s health issues alerted me to be more aware of the aging process. Ranger’s face now shows some gray and he’s also a bit stiffer and slower.

Twelve years ago, as a little lost puppy, he appeared on my doorstep. I advertised but nobody responded. Meanwhile, the puppy made it clear that I was “his person.” That’s never changed.

I always preferred working-type dogs, especially herding breeds. I never estimated hound-types as being smart, but Ranger changed my attitude. He’s been a devoted companion, dependable outdoors buddy, and is plenty smart. I’ve appreciated that he has what’s called “a cold nose,” referring to hunting types, uninterested in seeking or chasing the wild game.

For years, along with Louie, Ranger ran alongside me on horseback and over all sorts of terrain. On all trails, straight-arrow Ranger ran in the lead, and always, upon losing sight of me, he quickly backtracked and made sure my horse was following.

Dear Friends: Ahead, is watching over his senior years. Diana


Thursday, September 22, 2022

Each morning, I write a blog and try to publish it as close as possible to 8:00. For some irritating reason, my writing platform, Word Press, often dies around that time. After writing a blog on the WP site, it stalls and I’m unable to save and publish. I’ve tried many ways and failed to get a stalled WP up again and running. If the problem is that WP is a too-busy site, that’s not good.

Today, I’m taking a different approach and drafting my blog using a Word platform. I’ll save my draft before logging onto WP. Maybe, quickly, I can paste and publish before the site again fails.

Contacting a live site representative for help is like pulling teeth. Most internet sites refer questions about problems to topic lists with user questions and expert answers. Those rarely answer my questions.  

One alternative is to change my writing platform. I have loved Word Press, but earlier this year, the “stalling problems” had me beginning to do that. Before completing the switch, I installed a new computer which seemed to help. Recently, when WP began acting up again, I installed another new computer. This has allowed publishing until the same site problems recurred.

I will discover if this drafting method can work as I hope on the WP site. If all goes well, it’s a happy good morning to you all.

Dear Friends: The “Cloud” is just that, beautiful and often fuzzy. Diana     

Generation Gap

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

I was asked to work yesterday (my day off) after scheduled employees called in, declaring themselves unavailable. This busy supermarket is well managed and pays a decent wage but copes with the same personnel problems commonly haunting businesses today.

I might be from a generation that can’t understand today’s workers’ attitudes and behaviors. Or maybe it’s just me, self-blindsided by my early life experiences. Throughout my high school years, I knew finding a job was essential. My family didn’t push for post-high school education, which left no alternatives for my next steps.

I managed to find my way by gaining higher education and a career in large corporate environments. After finally retiring, I enjoyed several unworking years, finally responding to a nagging need to find some paying work. So, I re-began, and at the bottom, spending years serving samples in the local Costco Store. Since then, after learning to operate an electronic cash register, I became an employable cashier.

In a busy store, cashiering both is fast and physically challenging work. It requires talking, processing merchandise, searching for product codes, entering data, and handling money. This part-time job alerts me to the importance of dependable front-line workers. And my store can’t find enough of them.

I’m surprised to discover myself enjoying this work, and can’t help wondering how, today, people are deciding not to work. Or how they may be so casual as to not show up for work, or how they simply can quit shortly after being hired. I haven’t suitable answers.

Perhaps I’m from the wrong generation to be questioning attitudes today. A key attitude of mine is to work; it’s ingrained in who I am. Surprises me, too, for until recently this idea never entered my mind.

There’s tons more to consider and learn about this topic. I’d really like to understand better. Right now, there’s no time to elaborate, for today, I must work in that supermarket.

Dear Friends: Could it be that generations are ingrained differently? Diana


Puppy Ranger, in 2011

Monday, September 19, 2022

Yesterday, our local weather turned cold. I wore a heavy jacket while feeding my outside critters, and later, while going to work. The day stayed gloomy, and in parts of the city, rainy. I was surprised to see more grocery shoppers in summer shorts and t-shirts than in long sleeves and jackets.

It was a typical Sunday in the store, busy all day. We cashiers worked nonstop. I was at the tail end of coping for days-long with a still-sore rib and an attack of ferocious cold. Halfway through my shift, I began feeling the physical tiredness that suggests overdoing. I welcomed the workday end.

Adding to my discomfort was mental re-processing of bidding farewell to a beloved pet. My mini-Aussie, Louie, a larger-than-life twenty-five-pounder, was a big part of what had become my new life here in Central Oregon. I adopted him soon after following my dream of acquiring an outside-the-city property and learning to ride on horseback. Louie became integral to my new world.

So did a hound dog puppy that one morning showed up on our rural street. Lost and crying, he crawled to me on his belly, and I popped him into my car. That instant I became his person, and in the twelve years since, Ranger’s focus on pleasing me hasn’t diminished.

He has lost some hearing. Occasional noticeable hints suggest his loss might be significant. I won’t make the mistake I might have with Louie, of ignoring the signs of aging. Louie proved again, how well dogs cover what’s wrong and make problems unnoticeable by casual human attention. This week, Ranger will be assessed by the veterinarian who attended to Louie. She was observant, compassionate, and intelligent, and worked comfortably with me.

I have today off with a couple of things needing my attention. Afterward, I’ll gather the dogs and a camera. It’s a good day for finding a pretty outback and having a fall ramble.

Dear Friends: Thanks for caring about Louie and me, and today’s a new page. Diana

Louie, My Love

Carrying Louie, 2011

Sunday, September 18, 2022

The header photo captures Louie, in my arms and riding back to a trailhead.

He had lived a while with me, and the picture is from his first time following my horse on a trail. He was hesitant starting out but with encouragement came along, but only slowly trailing. While guiding my horse, I knew that Louie was following because a bell was attached to his collar.

This outing had several riders, all aware that Louie was a novice follower and carefully remaining aware of the newbie. For about a mile all went well. At some point, as we riders chatted, I suddenly realized, No Bell! I stopped my horse, and looking around didn’t see Louie. I yelled, “Does anyone hear a bell?”

We all stopped, looking around, hearing nothing, and not seeing Louie. One rider, Linda Hanson, reacted quickly, by turning her mule and thundering backward on the trail. The rest of us followed and shortly came upon Linda. She was standing on the ground and holding my little fellow. She’d discovered Louie fast asleep next to a pile of brush and twigs. Linda handed him to me, and Louie, still half-asleep, returned to the trailhead in my arms.

That was the only time Louie wasn’t a perfect trail partner. From then on, Louie faithfully has followed my horse paths everywhere. Months later, a young hound dog puppy showed up at my house. I advertised and nobody claimed the pup. He became “Ranger.”

For years afterward, Louie and Ranger followed my horse on trails. We rode everywhere, in mountains and forests, scaled heights, and crossed waterways. The dogs were constant companions.

Louie wasn’t easy. He was so cute that people always wanted to pet him. His marble eyes could stink-look at would-be petters and frighten them backward. In truth, anyone unafraid of Louie’s stink-eye became his great friend.

Unfortunately, yesterday happened, and I had to say goodbye to Louie. Soon after turning thirteen years old, he noticeably began failing. My awareness was sudden; there isn’t any telling how long his problems weren’t noticeable.

I wish to remember that the little guy was bigger than life. Louie filled a hole in my heart and losing him feels awful. I’d love to repeat with my two trail buddies many past activities and adventures.

Ranger is turning twelve years old. He has lost some hearing and I’m keeping an eye on his aging process. Like Louie, he will cover his problems well, for so long.

This ending is a reminder that some of us connect deeply to our pets. We allow ourselves to participate fully in a two-way commitment. That’s a miracle of true companionship.

Louie, 2017

Dear Louie, RIP. Love, Diana


Dawn, 9-17-22

September 17, 2022

Chilly morning, this one, and beautiful besides. The horses, frisky with hunger, are calmed by an early feeding.

It’s back-to-work for me. My three days off involved fighting a severe cold. Probably for having an immune system already compromised by a cracked rib. Speaking of which, for the first time since the accident, I finally could sleep while on my left side. Can’t be pain free while on my right side, but any sign of progress pleases.

The person replacing my carpeting with vinyl tiles will be here today. After tiling most of the downstairs area, he is about to re-floor the master bedroom. Yesterday, I emptied that room of most of the books and odd junk. I’ll need his help to move a couple of pieces too heavy for me alone.

It feels as if months have passed since this flooring project began. Now, I’m astonished that the main floors are nearly complete, after which remains only a loft area. I’ve happily ousted most of my oversized furniture one way or another. Ahead, I will opt for minimalist furnishings.

Ah, we learn as we grow, with changing a never-ending process.

Dear Friends: Enjoy this day. Diana


Friday, September 16, 2022

Hello World! Yesterday, a day of debilitating cold symptoms had me sleeping away most of the daylight, punctuated by going to feed the horses. After sleeping through the night, I am much better now.

I anticipate this as an active day. My flooring person, Leroy, has worked his way to the main bedroom, where there are shelved and stacked, books upon books. I wonder why I can’t bring myself to toss books, when they’re easily available online, new, or used. Well, my books must be moved today to empty their spots before Leroy returns tomorrow.

The new vinyl flooring he already has set looks good and is a breeze to clean. It’s waterproof and a quick mopping takes care of, well, in my house, dog accidents. Back in my days with wall-to-wall carpeting, I weekly operated a carpet scrubber. That job was cumbersome and unfortunately didn’t clean spots well enough. Finally, I gave up. When a decision seemed necessary about having dogs, I opted for them.

My breakthrough occurred earlier this year when a neighbor introduced me to a vinyl flooring he had installed in renewing an old home. The flooring looked good and needed minimal care, it suited perfectly living with pets.

Now, on my home’s new flooring, the dogs have the challenge of slippery footing. If trying to hurry, they will slip/slide on the vinyl. This could be resolved by laying a room-size carpet, and if appropriate later, simply ditching it. That’s an alternative, but I’m counting on the dogs’ learning to move around more slowly.

Meanwhile, the new flooring meets my expectations. It looks good, is easy to clean, and seems to open more of my home, making its other elements more noticeable.

Dear Friends: And now, for me, it’s off to start that book-moving. Diana

Online Again

“Afgan Girl”, 1976, Natl. Geographic

Thursday, September 15, 2022

Miracle of miracles, once again, I can access my Word Press site. Anytime I try accessing the site using a new computer, WP doesn’t recognize me. This time, after three days of hot emails back and forth to WP Support, the problem is resolved.

My new computer arrived (you guessed it) three days ago. It’s an android, sleek and fast, with a very sensitive keyboard, and a nervous light touch sets it going to places previously unknown to me. That aside, with WP again on screen for blogging, I will turn my attention to downloading and editing photos.

Lately, I’ve been practicing taking pictures with a mirrorless camera. This camera offers more creative possibilities than I might ever attempt to use. This camera’s capabilities are intriguing; its captures yield impressive clarity and depths of field. My new computer has the critical role of handling and processing the software, Photoshop, a program enormous and complex for photo and video editing.

If you happen to be wondering what might be driving all this, the answer is it’s for myself. I’ve long wanted equipment that enables high creativity in working with images beyond the capabilities of ordinary software and systems.

A hearty good morning to you all. It’s good to be online again.

Dear Friends: It has been a long road toward viewing photography as an art form. Diana


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Monday, September 12, 2022

Yesterday, as I was leaving work, a man exiting a car asked me, “Why is the flag flying at half-mast?” I turned, and yes, it was at half-mast, but not flying as there was no breeze. I mouthed my first impulse, “Probably, Elizabeth.” He agreed, “Yes, Elizabeth.” Only later, because it seemed off that the grocery’s flag might be flying for Queen Elizabeth, the reason hit me. The date was “Nine-Eleven”; that morning, I had remembered and blogged about it.

All day I had been busy behind a cash register interacting with non-ending grocery buyers. Every Sunday is a shopping whopper and so was yesterday. I participated in numerous verbal exchanges with buyers. Quick discussions ranged from the impending armageddon (I don’t argue with anyone’s viewpoint), and how everyone in the know must stock up on emergency groceries; to the pros and cons of camping “somewhere around” the Metolious River, and if so, needed provisions.

And so it goes all day, most days, when I’m working.

Yesterday, in the back of my mind, I couldn’t help wondering why the British keep supporting a monarchy. It’s a complex question opening a specter of social change both spectacular and enormous. Since my private thoughts had been busy puzzling over monarchy pluses and minuses, I forgive myself for making a “flag blip.”

Today, I’ll be back at it, checking and talking and thinking private thoughts. At the moment, I’m wondering about the stock market and its ups and downs. It’s really challenging to try to comprehend the meanings and depth of economic news. Like, what might happen if the Fed takes a deep breath?

Dear Friends: I’ll reserve questions about formal economics for a long while. Diana