January 13, 2019

Stella And I Tip Toe On The Walk

I keep reminding myself this is just a normal winter, that winter weather is NOT the same every year. From the history of my photos, sorted by day or a blog post written in the past, I can see consistent changes taking place about ever three years. Although I cannot remember off the top of my head the last time we had a major snow storm where schools were closed, highways were closed and the bread plus milk aisles at the grocery store looked like the last day on earth ... empty. I remember those types of storms happening a few times since I moved in this house in March 1998 but unless my memory is really in the failure mode, that type of snow has not happened in the past ten years.

But it wasn't snow that Stella and I were concerned with this morning ... it was the extremely saturated ground with standing water on the field path in spots, after some rain, temps near 40 melting the snow from Friday night and as we started our walk, little balls of sleet were hitting my dark blue down parka sleeve.

Here you can see how the light overnight rain depeleted a lot of the snow, only to have its evidence frozen with low overnight temps. As my North Face boots took each step through the yard you could hear a loud crunching of ice only to met by 'mud' ... not really mud but ground so soft I thought I was stepping in mud.

You can see here each step we took yesterday at the end of the walk has melted. Also it's interesting to me to see that up in the north yard, the bare grass is the exact spot that the underground water flows, even making that right turn ... I've only seen that path after I cut and cleared all the natural overgrown brush in that area a few years ago.

I took this picture of Stella not knowing  my camera was still on "landscape" mode, after I was checking some things out yesterday. I did intend for the flash to be on because it was that dark outside, even at 8:05am.

When I saw the flash show up on the image on the camera monitor, I turned if off ... this is the exact time I caught the camera in "landscape" mode instead of "auto no flash" mode.

As you can see, with bad weather yesterday and about 4 hours until kickoff for the first NFL Playoff game, I had time to 'play' with the blog template. If you checked the blog between 12:30pm and 3:30pm Saturday you may have seen 3 or 4 different designs I had published. I was close to what I wanted but was still looking and using up my internet data like a water faucet left on. Yes, I thought I loved the dark background, making my pictures stand out but there was just something about a white background I really like. I even caught myself seeing every sports website now moved to white backgrounds along with the news websites I saw a few weeks ago. I found my own eyes preferred the white background with black fonts better than my dark and light tan color font. Still at 3:27pm ... I was still looking through the long list of WordPress themes I could choose from.

Then there it was!! Had I seen this theme before? If so, why didn't I choose it. I had used some search terms I had not used before such as "clean", "one column" (I did use this prior) "grids" (I did use that prior) ... but this theme looked great before making any adjustments plus it had a feature I had never seen before. I could choose for the home page to be skinny, standard or wide. I could choose my blog post content to be skinny, standard, wide and wider. If I made the home page wider I'd have less columns and if I made my post pages extremely wide I had huge pictures for us that read the blog on large monitors. For those of use that use laptops, those pictures would fill the screen ... for the tablet and phone readers, it did not make any difference. I checked the new blog design on my laptop, iPad Mini and iPhone so I had some idea what the readers on those devices would see.

Unlike yesterday I saw a ton of deer tracks in the melting snow this morning and so did Stella. They had followed the edge of the woods up to the first turn. Then around the corner where Stella is always checking out their entrance to or from the woods, there were tracks coming out of the woods and following the edge of the gully heading east across the field to the back.

It's funny to see when Stella picks up her pace. It reminds me that she really does have a bloodhound nose and she isn't a 100% 'couch potato' ... a term a bloodhound breeder told me once. She separated her puppies with a test at 45 days old and could tell who the 'trackers' were and who the 'couch potatoes' were. I have never bought a puppy from her but at the time I was talking to her about some issues Sadie was having as a puppy. I did not get Stella until she was 6 years old.

If that isn't an overcast day I don't know what is. The temp is hovering around the 40° mark so most of the white stuff will be gone by tomorrow. I must admit I like the pictures I take in the spring, summer and fall from this vantage point. There is just something about bare trees I don't care for. At least when I lived in Washington, it might rain a lot in the winter and get dark by 4pm or earlier but those pine trees are always green.  :)

While I walked softly along the wet path, Stella had been tip toeing most of the way as if she didn't want to get her feet wet. She will walk around puddles of water near the house or on the carport floor, here I have her in 7 acres of puddles this morning.

Here you are looking at 4 stages of weather .... snow from Friday night ... residue of ice from last night ... tiny holes of rain drops from last night and then frozen overnight ... and standing water from the warmer temps Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning.

Although in recent months, she has never taken off north toward those woods or even tried to escape on the worn ATV path made in the summer of 2017 ... she glances that way at times wondering either "what if ... " or "I remember when ..."

Stella is walking in the exact same steps she took yesterday ... she even veered left to walk parallel ... can you see where veered turned left?

With that left paw held up, that just shows you how slow she was walking with each step as the path got wetter. Super slow-motion. Tip toe through 'the tulips' ... wasn't that a song many years ago??

I've been feeling lighter this week. How can I tell? Two ways ... by what I bought and snack on since Thursday plus how much easier it is to fasten my jeans. I always find out that I can no longer eat breads in any form. It doesn't matter if it is wheat, sourdough, rye ... it's bread and my body craves it like candy when it's in the house. I also know that a 1/2c of pasta sauce isn't enough, nor is the 1c of 'dry' pasta ... even fact the word pasta can only be eaten about once per month and only in the recommended serving size on the jar or bag. I was looking through the list of diets by USNews the other day for their 2019 ratings. At #4 was something called the Flexitarian Diet ... I found out I'd had been following that for the past 5 years more or less. That is mostly veggies and fruits, eggs, seafood, chicken and then an OCCASIONAL burger at 5Guy's or that Stromboli at Nick's.

Yet that doesn't help me lose weight. And .... I'm not really dieting but just finding the best way to eat for the rest of my life ... of course open to changes as I get older.

I keep thinking about writing and posting my review of the Apple Watch I bought a little over a week ago or has it been two weeks already .. not sure. I still love it as much as I mentioned the last week. I still consider it one of my best if not the best electronic purchases I've ever made. I did a lot of research before I bought it. I also talked to an online friend who bought hers last year for health reasons. She emailed me a couple of days ago with an update about the watch, with some news you could almost consider negative as far as the watch goes but very positive that she is okay.

She has atrial fibrillation (A-fib) and that can be picked up by the Apple Watch Series 4. This newer model is supposed to detect when you fall, then automatically call 911 if that person whom has fallen does not respond in a certain amount of time by pressing a button on the watch. She fell, and passed out but that was not detected by the Apple Watch plus it did not call 911 as it was designed to do. Test reports stated it was very accurate in detecting a fall and if you had A-fib. Luckily her husband was at the house and found her soon enough to call for medical help. She did say the watch DID detect that she had a A-fib episode.

Fall Detection is one of the reasons I decided to buy the watch since I live alone. As I said when I wrote about it a few Fridays ago .. I don't think I will ever be in that situation, but you never know. If I would fall and the watch did NOT detect it, I guess I would be in the same situation as if I had not bought it. So nothing lost really ... I still love the additional information the watch gives me and the different ways it provides that information.

I have two more NFL Playoff games to watch today. I did not finish watching the second game last night. It was not that late but the urge to sleep was greater than wanting to watch the game. I guess that is what I get when Stella thinks I should get up every day at 5am. Only today, she let me sleep late. In fact I had to wake her and Heidi up to go outside a little past 7am.

I know you have heard me say this many times over the 7+ years of blogging on this blog, either here on WordPress or over on Blogger. I really like this current theme and am pretty sure this is the final design. I DO have one more option to check out. It is on this same theme.
I can add a sidebar either on the home page, the post page or bothI can only add to the footer, a sidebar is not an option I found out I had two options, in the footer but only two columns wide or on the single post page BUT only after the post BEFORE the comments section So I chose in the footer so the comments section is just below the post ... a sidebar would let me list those other blogs or websites I like to follow, the most visited posts or pages for those first time blog visitors, maybe a few favorite pictures, or the link to my new Flickr account that I keep forgetting I set up a few weeks ago.

That will be the only change that MIGHT HAPPEN ... a sidebar added ... IF I decide I want that information within a click away.

The Question of the Day ... why does Stella always whine or howl when I sneeze or when I am trying to break the record for the most consecutive sneezes in a row?

It's Sunday, the snow is melting, the hounds are laid-back like always, my coffee was good and my Apple Watch battery has lasted longer active than the 18 hours they told me it would. NFL games on today with some college basketball, good food available, a fairly clean house for a single hermit and a 'toy' list that is once again blank.

It's all good today in 'the tropics' of Southern Indiana.


  1. Whatever blog theme you use is fine by me. As I use a large desktop computer the size of the photos matter not. I never enjoy the mess that melting snow makes. As to Stella's noises in response to your sneezing I have no idea.

  2. I am glad you visit the blog with all the changes I have made over the years. I've chased a few away with not only the design changes but my words. Sometimes Stella can detect when I am about to sneeze and whine a little before it happens. :)

  3. kellyfrombayfieldJanuary 13, 2019 5:15 AM

    I wonder if Stella is trying to copy you, Sneeze along.....mimic

  4. LOL .... now there is a possibility I have not thought about !!!! Strangely, that sounds very logical.

  5. Arrowhead GrammaJanuary 13, 2019 5:44 AM

    We have sunny skies this morning, however, starting tomorrow night more rain is on the way through Thursday. Hoping it stays as predicted - rain and not snow. We are at 33 degrees at 9:45 AM. Enjoy the games and stay warm.

  6. It's almost too warm here today. LOL

  7. "At least when I lived in Washington, it might rain a lot in the winter and get dark by 4pm or earlier but those pine trees are always green....."

    Same here in Oregon! There was a big old white owl in the huge pine tree out back this morning just a hootin' at me -- he was so cool!

    Been meaning to ask, what are the little bald spots on Stella's hind end on each side of her tail? Is that a natural thing or did she get injured or...??

    "Why does Stella always whine or howl when I sneeze...??"

    Perhaps it is a dog's way of saying "Bless You..." or "Stop it! You're disturbing my sleep!...."

    I'd wager it's the latter. Dog Rules ya know. LOL

    Looking for a new electronic toy? Ever consider a camera drone? You can take some awesome photos with one of those!! Some of the folks at work have one and they're always out playing with theirs and taking some great photos. :-)


  8. The two bald spots on each side of Stella's tail is from her leaning on the carpet, applying all of her weight as she scratches herself. Never was a raw spot, just wore the hair off.

    Ah, that sleep theory would work IF she was asleep but she rarely is when I sneeze.

    In fact with that 7 acres of open sky behind my house I have seriously thought of a drone ... I'd rather have one deliver groceries !! LOL

  9. So Stella has mysterious doggy-butt crop circles! How cool is that? LOL

    Drone would be fun with all that space you have! You could film and photograph Stella taking a walk on her trail without having to leave your recliner!! LOL

  10. I wonder if I could attached a retractable leash from that drone to Stella's collar and do the walks for me. That would make the drone taking care of all three of my activities ... grocery delivery, taking photos and walking Stella. :)