a99kitten’s Musings

I blog about a WHOLE LOT of stuff :)

Smokey decided on a different route this morning than the last few days. As we are walking I hear coyotes going bonkers again. And we are obviously heading in their direction as it is getting louder. A thought pops into my head about the little husky girl who lives close to there. And is allowed to run free (grr.)

As I turn from the street to head onto the trails I see the lady who lives a couple streets away with 2 of her 3 dogs leaving and walking back towards her street. The lady who has the little husky girl. But the husky is not with her. So I instantly thought “ohmygosh – my earlier thought!” about the coyotes. But NO WAY could this woman just leave her little dog up there?? I must have just missed seeing her?!?!

This husky is small. I’ve actually never seen such a small husky but she is feisty. She is literally about 1/3 the size of Shadow. But what she lacks in physical size, she makes up for in sass. She doesn’t ever back down from any dog and walks up to everyone. And basically is Queen of her street. She used to love Angelus (who didn’t?) but she gives a little grief to Shadow and Smokey. She likes them – tail wagging, follows us – but she treats them a bit differently than she did Angelus. More like she asserts her Queenliness to them.

Anyway, she is tough. But still – she is small and 1 dog. I could hear at least 2 coyotes. And there was no way I could just walk away thinking that all day. So up we went into the forest – getting closer to the coyote yipping. Smokey was excited actually. New forest to smell is always a good time :) He was on leash and frankly I was not too worried about him and I but I was really hoping I didn’t find any coyote den or a hurt dog.

Then I saw 1 of the coyotes who kept howling and yipping as he saw me approaching. I walked kind of closer but around and that scared the other coyote who was closer to us but hidden. He/she shot up out of the bushes towards the the other coyote. Then I saw a white butt and tail tear out of the bush and down the hill. And the 2 coyotes took off up the hill.

I tried to follow the white butt and tail but no way we could catch up (Smokey said he could have easily caught up if he was off-leash!) So we got out of the forest and headed towards the house where the husky lived. And there she was – sitting right in front of her driveway – in the street as usual (again…grrr.) She had dirt all over her head and paws.

I have no absolute proof that was her up there. But all circumstantial evidence points to it. It also points to the fact that her mom left her up there to deal with the coyotes on her own. Something that I cannot even fathom. But I hope I helped anyway. Perhaps it wasn’t her at all. Or perhaps the husky does this all the time and is fully capable of taking care of herself and I wrecked her fun time. But leaving your dog alone in the forest with 2 (or more) coyotes is disgusting. I want to go back over there with a bat and knock sense into that stupid woman. Sigh.

Smokey had a good time though :)

And I don’t mean in the markets! (but yes that too)

I let Smokey choose our route every morning. This morning, we went straight up my street on the way to the trails. First, we came across a wild puppy. Same puppy we met before – Chase. He 100% spaz. Watching the teenaged girl trying to wrangle him was pretty funny. He was off-leash and kept following us to play with Smokey so I stopped until she could go grab his leash.

Not 10 seconds after she got the leash on him, I see a large critter further up the street (I live on a giant slope up and he was at the very top.) At first I thought to myself “what a huge dog – where is his person?” He was just hanging out in the middle of the street. Then I saw another critter come out and the bigger critter bat him away. That’s when I realized it was a bear and coyote!

The teenaged girl freaked out a bit – mostly because she just realized that she had her out of control puppy off-leash not 30 seconds prior and what could have happened. She turned around and went home.

Of course I had to keep going! By now Smokey was pulling because he wanted to go take over this pack and make them his minions! But I kept him on short leash.

As we were getting closer, I see another coyote shoot out from a driveway and the bear swatted again. He was clearly not interested in sharing his booty. Then he moved across the street towards the bushes and trees and grabbed his garbage bag and went down into the bushes. And the coyotes followed. By the time I got up there, I saw the bear box that the garbage came from.

Little piece of wood across doors to keep out bears. LOL

Little piece of wood across doors to keep out bears. LOL

Full time residents used to be able to put their garbage out in the AM of garbage day but any 2nd home owners or rentals HAD to have a bear box. This was so no garbage was left out very long to attract bears. Two problems with this 1) people want to have cute wooden ones that match their homes. Sure – they look much cuter than the metal ones. But thinking that a little wood door will keep out a bear if he smells something yummy is ridiculous. It’s now a building rule around here for all new houses built that you have to install a metal bear box no matter what – full time or part time resident. And if you replace your bear box, it has to be metal. Not sure the bears like those rules :) And 2) Bears are very smart and know the garbage day schedule. They get the locals AM garbage gifts before the garbage trucks come through.

Anyway, I could see the bear down in the bushes going through the garbage bag. He was BIG. And a light tannish brown color. Of course I wanted to hug him :) But I was obviously not going to try and get closer and he was clearly going to stay hidden in the bushes going through his treasure, so no pics :( Smokey and I watched him for a few minutes but then moved on. Didn’t need him thinking we wanted his booty and have him charge up the hill. He was only about 8 feet away and pretty darn sure he was faster than me!

But I saw him! And he was awesome!! Good way to start the day :) First bear I’ve seen since last 4th of July and only 3rd bear ever. Considering I live here full time now and hike EVERY DAY in the woods, that’s a low success rate in my opinion. I need to do better ;)

…when if you wear short sleeves, it will be windy. And freezing in the shade. But if you wear long sleeves, it will be warm and downright blazing hot as soon as the sun peaks over the trees.

When if you wear winter hiking/exercise pants, you will cook yourself. But if you wear regular hiking/exercise pants, you will end up being dragged through bushes with only pointy stick branches to scratch you on your way through being dragged by a husky or 2 hunting wabbits.

And if you wear hiking or snow boots, you will be hot and definitely not as comfy had you worn trail running/hiking shoes. But if you wear those, you are guaranteeing the snow piles and mud that don’t seem to dry up until June and are sought out by fluffy snow dogs.

If you take a jacket or hoodie, you will zip and unzip it at least 5 times each depending on the shade/sun/wind ratio and will still be hot and cold on the same hike. But if you don’t take a jacket or hoodie, you are basically guaranteeing a spring snow shower or wind storm on your hike.

If you don’t wear a beanie and gloves, it will be below freezing temps in the shade and your fingers will actually lose all feeling. But if you do wear them, as soon as you hit the sun you will feel like the sun is actually cooking your brain. So always take them and then you won’t need them. But this means you need the jacket with big enough pockets to stuff them in along with the poo bags, treats and phone.

When you hiked in feet of snow on Friday and Saturday, was out on a hike the following Wednesday and Thursday in capris and a tank top and you were sweating. And are now looking at a forecast of possible snow on Tuesday.

Ah springtime in the mountains…

I went to the doctor today. Missed my first appointment due to getting there 20 minutes late (thanks stalled truck on 92) but they squeezed me in with another doctor. There is a lot of waiting around at the doctor. I hate doctors. And hospitals. Too many sick people. But I have to say Palo Alto Medical Foundation has excellent service.

When I pulled into the underground parking, I told the guy (well…kid) directing traffic that I need to park as close to where my appointment was as possible since I couldn’t really walk. He said hold on, moved a bunch of cones from a saved spot and had me park right there. Then he called over a guy with a wheelchair to take me where I needed to go. How nice.

Then I had to wait for my new appointment since I missed my original one. But I brought my Kindle expecting some level of waiting so no big deal. Then the doctor looked at my foot/ankle and then sent me to x-ray and said to come back there after. So they called someone to wheel me down there instead of me trying to do it.

The x-ray tech was very nice. And then they called someone to take me back to the doctor. He said the x-ray showed a fracture and that I needed to go to the sports medicine ortho. He said he called and was able to get me in this afternoon by chance (usually took days to get in he said) but not until 3pm. He asked where my driver was. I said I drove myself. He said no one came with you?? No. It’s my left foot – I can drive. He asked where my husband was. I said he had a meeting. He looked peeved that I was my own.

So he called an orderly and told him to take me to get some food and sit outside if I wanted and then to take me to ortho. Alright. I was getting a bit hungry! So I sat outside in the garden area and ate my sandwich and read. And then went to my appointment. I got way better treatment there than at home! I wanted to stay :)

Ortho said fractured fibula and showed me the xray. Said it was a clean crack and I did a good job keeping it in alignment so that it could heal on its own and did not require surgery. Go me. His first sentence was actually “you are lucky you broke it this way.” I said “yeeeeeah…pretty lucky.” He laughed and said “OK, not the best choice of words. But if I was going to break my ankle, this was the way to do it.” Again – go me!

He said as long as I stay off it and follow his instructions, it should heal in 6-8 weeks. Plus possible follow-up rehab (I won’t need that. I have spoken.) He said a cast would be perfect but it’s also hard with showering, rainy weather, etc. so he was giving me “the boot”. Good. No casts! He lectured me on keeping it on all the time except showers and bed (for bed I use a brace) and no exercise. I said so walking my dogs would be a bad idea. He said yes, walking your dogs is definitely on the no list. Damn. He said waking around anywhere for any reason is on the no list. To keep it elevated as much as possible during the first 2 weeks and stay off it. The first 2 weeks are crucial to proper healing. Then the next 2 weeks are important but I could test it for a bit more weight bearing. But NO exercise. Sigh.

He asked if I needed a pain med prescription. No. Why? He said for the pain. I said well, if I stay off it, then I shouldn’t have much pain. He said a lot of people still want it for the dull ache. I said Advil was good enough. He told me I was tough. I said no – the others are just babies ;) He laughed.

I go back in a month for another x-ray. He said he’ll be able to tell if I followed his instructions by that x-ray, so don’t let him down. Alright, alright. No exercise.

When I got back home I cleaned up the kitchen a bit and fed the huskies. They were pretty happy to see me when I got home :) Then I got sore again so am now sitting feet up like the lazy slack I will be for the next 4, 6, to 8 weeks. Sigh.

Frack.

Angelus says it is too deep in the backyard – fix it. :)

But I do think I wore the huskies out. They are both sound asleep tonight. And not even looking at the front door.

It’s been snowing all day. Well, actually it’s been snowing since Saturday night. I have been out a lot having plenty of snow fun with the huskies since we got here. And they are pretty tired now – even Angelus! So I decided to just take a walk on my own. On my walk I met up with a LOT of doggies and skooshed them all and they were following me so I felt pretty much like Snow White :) Shhhhhh……don’t tell the huskies!

They just closed Interstate 80 again due to whiteout conditions! Crikey…no wonder the Donner party got lost up here….

p.s. I am a goober sometimes :)

This weekend I bought myself some new sneakers and workout pants. Well, workout meaning dog walking. I have exercise gear for doing my stepper indoors. But I need a whole different set of clothes for dog walks/hikes. They need to be warm (but then not too warm for the not-as-cold or bright sunny days), able to get rained or misty-fogged on, able to deal with wind, pockets for dog treats and poo bags would be exceptional although I’ve given up on pants having these. I use a zippered pocket in my jacket for my phone nowadays. After sacrificing a couple old phones to the Pacific that were held in non-zippered pants pockets…I’ve finally learned. Also I must thank Verizon’s insurance/replacement program…AT&T is not so grand that way so I am way more careful.

I have some pants from Lululemon. Yes…the overpriced yoga pants. Mind you, I don’t do yoga. There is not one chance in hell I have the patience for that. I tried it once. Pretty much bored out of mind and hated it. Also – stinky. Blech. I’m just not meant to be that Zen I guess. I wanted to like it, but meh. I’ll take outside with the dogs any day. But I do like LULU’s magic ass pants. I can see why they charge so much for them. They make you look great! No kidding! Not so much that I’d buy the stock since I don’t believe there are THAT many women who will fork over that kind of dough for exercise pants (although they have basically replaced the Juicy outfit as the Mom-out-and-about outfit) and have to think they have just about hit their full reach, plus have Athleta to contend with now, but what do I know. I said that when they were at 40. I just refuse to buy the stock at the price they are at now. I’ve read how they are expanding and will possibly offer their stuff in large department stores and that will help sell more but still, I think, expanding the $100 magic ass pant market might not be as easy as they think. Crocs got really big too….although let’s be clear – these pants are WAY cuter. So I say no to the stock for my portfolio but I will still buy the magic ass pants. Hmm…I could buy more than 1 share of stock for every pair…but I’ll get more value from the pants. Of this I am certain :)

Because they were $100 magic ass pants, I do not wear them on dog walks. Why? That’s a damn good question actually. When you think about it, I wear my dog walking clothes every single day. Every day for the past 10 years. But I look for cheap bargains on the clothes. Why? I’ll spend hundreds of dollars on shoes and sweaters and even more on bags that I wear just a few times. But something I wear every damn say, I chintz on? That’s dumb! I am going to start wearing them.

So this weekend, I bought a new pair of (hopefully just as) magic ass pants from Athleta. That’s The Gap’s new(ish) foray into the magic ass pant business. The problem I found with their site is that it looks like a lot of the pants have momma rise. YUCK! WTH? The 2 pairs that specifically said low-rise were sold out in most sizes. Why? Because girls like low-rise!!! So make more!! I have this same problem with snowboard pants and husky walk rain gear and even regular pants. STOP with the high-rise momma pants!!! YUCK!!! Double-YUCK!!

Anyway, I paid the full price for a black pair, since the sale color (which was an awesome chocolate brown dammit) was all sold out in every size but XL (which shouldn’t actually be made in yoga pants but that’s another story.) These are supposed to be the “winter” version. They are lined so you can do outdoor activities and be warm. We’ll see. They show a girl snow-shoeing in them. Ummm…yeah. Have you been out in the snow? But I assume they should work for doggie walks here?! Crossing fingers and paws. And if so, I might just buy a couple more pair. Yes…spend the money on the activity I do (and enjoy!) every day.

I also bought a new pair of Reebok Easytones. I was just thinking it was about time to get a new pair of walking shoes and then the huskies made it easy for me….they took me down a very gloppy muddy hill this weekend. Gloppy muddy like my entire foot sank in. Nice. We were running down the hill so no time to worry about the mud. It is just mud :) We all sank in but they could just run into the ocean afterwards and clean off – little boogers! BUT…it did push me over into the “time to get new shoes” camp. Bummer is I just let a 20% off ‘come back to us’ coupon from Endless. Oh well. The color I wanted was on sale so that worked out. I got the light gray…with a little pink stripe :) Gray should hide the first few layers of sand and dirt!

I do love Endless.com. I ordered them Sunday and they shipped today. I will have them tomorrow or Wednesday. And that fast shipping is free. As is return shipping if I don’t love them. Awe+some. Yes – same as Zappo’s BUT they will actually put their stuff on a real sale, unlike Zappo’s. Not to say I don’t like Zappo’s – I do. And now that AMZN owns them, they can offer the stuff at full retail and people can pay. And some of us will find 80% of the same stuff on endless for less :) And if not, then buy it at Zappo’s. As an AMZN shareholder, all good to me.

Now I just need a new pair of rain pants that aren’t too bulky and big. And then I think I’m set for awhile. I found a pair on Backcountry.com tonight and the first reviewer complained how low-rise they were – PERFECT!!! SOLD!!!

It’s important to be functional AND cute :)

On my way to take Angelus out for his 2nd walk this morning, I took an excellent digger on the icy entry way. I’m sure it looked pretty classic. Knee and hand smacked down on the icy stone. Cut on my hand. The instant sharp pain in my knee made me want to cry but Angelus coming over and sticking his nose in my face to see if I was OK made me smile instead :) Then when I got up and said OK buddy let’s go – he walked slowly next to me as we crossed the icy part. What a buddy :)

Later on in the walk, as we were passing some houses, Angelus started slowing down and sniffing in the air like he smelled something around. Then we came upon a driveway where someone had left their garage door open, either overnight or from this AM, and you could see the garbage can tipped over in the garage next to a car and 2 big plastic bags of garbage ripped open and strewn around the garage and driveway. Oopsie. There is a full bear somewhere. Angelus was walking around slowly and sniffing the air there too.

I got him going again and we went off the street onto a trail that we like that is basically a single track right now going through walls of snow in the forest. But cross country skiers pack down the track well enough so we don’t fall through the snow. About half way into the forest on this trail, Angelus just stops cold right in front of me. And starts growling. I didn’t see anything but trees and snow and didn’t hear anything. He moved up a tiny bit and started growling again and then turned us around. At this point I’m thinking OK, it could be nothing. Or it could be the bear. Or a ghost. Either way, we’re listening to Angelus who has the better sense of smell and hearing. No one is going to accuse me of being the dumb girl in the horror movie you scream at the screen saying “listen to the dog!!!” right before she gets mauled or killed.

So we took the same trail back and as soon as we got back to the road, Angelus immediately took us in the direction of home. I decided he can be in charge of this walk from here! So we got home safe and sound, no more icy falls, no bears and no ghosts. And now I have hot coffee. We’ll try again later :)

5 husky snow adventures today – my legs are sore! (plus Angelus got some time at Squaw Village today.)

2 movies watched – Leap Year and All About Steve (love Sandra no matter what!) Liked them both. Not classics, and pretty sure hated by reviewers, but they were cute movies that made me smile and/or giggle. And that’s what I needed.

And only 3 chores done today!

It snowed all day long today. And the temp has been dropping. It’s currently 11 degrees out. I just took Storm out for a potty break. Holy moley! 11 is dang cold….he sure is lucky he is so cute :)

So all in all, a successful vacation day.

Angelus says it should snow like this every day!!

RAWR!!!!

We just got back from our 1.5 hour snow trek! You could tell our street was plowed earlier but more snow had accumulated. Our easement road and driveway? Well…they did plow during the night but we got a ton more between then and now. Good thing the huskies (or their mom!) don’t mind snow. Even naked-bellied Storm! Although the wind did eventually make him go “OK, time for me to go back.” So Angelus and I dropped Stormy off at home and went back out into the elements. Angelus was pretty darn excited by it :)

Funny how yesterday was clear on our morning walk and we saw no one. But in this morning’s blizzard we saw (and played with!!) 2 Scottish terriers, Meila the giant St Bernard (who we met last winter as a little puppy!) and Travis the spaz brown dog who Angelus LOVED snow wrestling with! :)

The wind was howling (Storm says no *I* howl!) and I got a snowblast facial. Who needs that top layer of skin? People pay good money for that treatment :) Although the giant snow chunks that kept falling off trees from the wind and then whipping all the snow around was a bit sketchy so we did not go into the forest on this trek.

Here’s to more snow dumping today! The local Tahoe weather guru, who has been more accurate than weather.com or any local news weather, says more snow after a brief morning break (currently still snowing though – I wonder if the break was that little bit it didn’t snow on our walk?) and our temps falling due to the very cold front headed our way. Supposedly going below 0 Thursday night. Good times. Modern inventions such as heat and electricity are beyond awesome. :)

They got 32″ of fresh snow last night up on ridge not far from my house. 10-16″ down at lake level!! Wheeeee!!! The Sierras are enjoying an excellent La Nina year. We are crossing fingers and paws it stays strong throughout the entire season.

Planning on going back out in a little while. The 24 degrees it is now sounds balmy and enjoyable compared to the single digits forecast for tonight and tomorrow. And walking through snow in big, heavy snowboots is some crazy good leg exercise! Lazy pants here needs that after a week of Christmas eating :)

Truly a winter (and husky) wonderland here :)

In his element :)