The daily life in 'the tropics', the high desert of the southwest and back to 'the tropics' with the hounds and a dog
May 26, 2018
This Blog Is Going Out Of Business
I've gone back and forth on this decision a lot in the past months. It probably shows in my writing and photos that this blog has ran it's course. There are a couple of reasons I am going to stop blogging, from being bored with writing the same kind of posts each time and posting photos of the hounds in almost the same positions, the same areas of the field as before ... more importantly I want my time back.
I started enjoying the days I did not post on the blog a lot more than the days I sat down to put a post together. It's amazing how much time you have when you are not blogging or spending time on social media. I now have time to ride my bicycle in an attempt to get back into some really good physical shape. I can sit outside reading a book without wondering if I missed a great photo for the blog. The hounds roam freely while I am outside.
There is also more time for hound maintenance for three of them. Things like trimming toenails, giving them a bath or combing their undercoats out. I also found the walks to be more enjoyable without the camera, then being able to come back inside and do other things besides moving in front of my computer to download, edit photos and put a blog post together.
I guess I am just tired of doing the same thing on this blog over and over. It is more like work than being fun.
This blog would be 7 years old this October. I have quit numerous times in the past and even deleted it a couple of times. In fact over those 7 years I have gone from a paid domain to two different blogspot domains.
I'll still take photos of the area and the hounds. I don't need a blog to look at them. They are all on my computer in specific folders for quick access. I know that is selfish in a way but really what was life like before the internet. I'd like to get part of that life back, especially in reading books and riding my bikes. In the winter I will ride my road bike indoors setting on a 'trainer'.
I made a comment a year or two ago when I quit this blog. At times blogging is like me standing down by the highway passing out pages of my life and that of the hounds to passing cars and strangers I don't know. Being a private person and one that likes solitude living wins out in this case.
I have spent time thinking about all the options of blogging, maybe some new ways of blogging that I thought I might want to do but the bottom line was I did not want to do any of it.
I want to thank all of you that stuck it out to the end. Believe me there have been a lot of inconsistent activity written here, sometimes even changing my train of thought in the middle of a paragraph. So you had your chances to leave many times. Thanks again for taking your time to stop by and see what was up.
Thanks for all the comments, all of the emails and becoming online friends with some of you.
So with this post I will officially announce that the hounds are retiring from blogging and we will continue to enjoy living in 'the tropics' of Southern Indiana.
Good luck to you all.
The Hounds Battle Hotter Weather
As the temperatures get hotter every afternoon this week, our routine didn't change much. Fewer photos were taken and there was less interesting things to write about. I continue to be on the fence on deciding a few things. So here are a few photos from the last few days that I didn't blog.
Every day after her lunch Stella likes to take a 30 minute nap in the sun. Heidi sprints back inside as soon as she relieves herself and Sadie roams the field. While Stella wanders the field during the morning walks, Sadie will get her running in as the grass gets taller and taller all over the field.
Each time Sadie finds Stella over by the neighbors house. I've been letting her do what she wants since our last post here. I have been basically lazy and haven't done anything besides two walks per day, nibble food during the day only when I feel hungry, without fixing what you would call a meal. Then every night I watch Reds baseball on tv and while the hounds sleep.
With my food supply very low it was time to find some groceries and the perfect time to get serious about what kind of food I was going to start eating. I went back to logging all my food intake on Cronometer.com It will break each food down into the micro nutrients and track your protein, fat, carbs and calories plus all the vitamins and minerals. If you click on one of those topics, it will list from the highest to the lowest food in that category. I can see now why my weight was starting to creep upward while I ate less food before this recent change.
So far I am losing a pound per day after three days. Most likely that is just water weight. I can make it from breakfast to the time I go to bed without feeling hungry. Basically no grains, no pasta, no beans, a few nuts or seeds and dairy is allowed but not much because that kills your required low carbs count.
On the Friday morning walk I didn't see Stella anywhere on the horizon and she wasn't near the edge of the woods behind the neighbor's house. So I told Sadie "go find Stella" and she took off with her head in the air as high as she could get it.
She stopped once looking in all directions, then moved left toward the last place I saw Stella. About the time I started walking that direct she turned completely around and started running toward the neighbor's backyard.
Sure enough, there was Stella right next to the woods in their yard where they throw food scraps out for the field cat. Stella was scarfing down food as fast as she could. I couldn't take any photos of that because I was trying to get to her as fast as I could. That included jumping over their small drainage ditch that goes along the edge of the yard.
Sadie headed her back in the direction of the house ... the afternoon walk I had Stella on the retractable leash to keep her near us.
Late Thursday night I logged into my two week old Instagram account and deleted it. Then I logged into my Facebook account and deleted that. All in the name of downsizing my internet footprint and spending time on this blog and my private blog whenever I feel like writing.
I still have a Twitter account which I will keep. I use it as a reader mostly for all my sports teams. I do follow James Woods, the actor, because he comes up with some great stuff to remind people just what the truth is in this time of constant manipulated information.
For some reason the Z4 has not left the carport for the past three days. I had a big workout mowing the yard on Thursday afternoon late. It was hotter than I had planned on and 52 minutes later I finished and then stood in front of a fan to cool off as fast as possible. My highest pulse rate during that time was 82% of my max and for the past week my resting pulse rate has averaged 49. I think that shows have a healthy heart. Now to get rid of some of this gut.
When I put some gas in my FJ the other day it was the highest prices I had paid but was still not higher than prices were in 2013 based on my checkbook register entry that I do on a spreadsheet. I have done that on a spreadsheet since 1997 when Lotus 1.2.3 was the spreadsheet to use.
I did think about starting a blog where I could rant yell and scream about anything that made me mad. Plus I would talk about life in general, ask questions I wonder about at times. I even talked it over with a friend of mine that is also thinking of downsizing his blog activity and social media.
The more I thought about what he said and what I felt, I decided I did not want to have a blog like that. I want my life as simple as possible, the fewest conflicts as possible and computer time online the least amount possible. That might change next winter when it's single digits outside.
I'll be prepared this winter though. That same friend I was talking to me, mailed me a full length Carhartt Coverall that fit me perfectly since I am two inches taller than he is. Last winter at times on the walks I found out that high quality ski underwear and jeans were not enough to stay warm during that half mile walk. The Carhartts should change that drastically.
Sunday will start with the daily hound walk, then back home in front of a tv by 9am for the F1 race at Monaco. After that I will flip over to ABC to watch the Indy500 at noon with the hounds being fed and out for a pre-race pee. I will not watch all of the preliminary pre-race stuff loaded with commercials.
I am thinking of stepping out on the 'thin ice' and expanding the "Other Stuff" part of the blog title and possibly bring some life to this boring blog where no topic will be left behind.
All is good in 'the tropics' of Southern Indiana because I LOVE hot weather.
May 22, 2018
... from the retractable leash.
I wanted to try something brand new this morning, something I had never done before and I wasn't sure if it would work or not. With Stella wandering to the north almost immediately on our morning walk the past few days, I didn't want to go after her this morning so I thought I'd put her on the 25' retractable leash PLUS take my camera. (also none of the photos this morning were edited)
I have used this leash on many of our afternoon walks and she does fine with it ... until a couple of days ago when she refused to move from the corner of the house. In fact when she did that yesterday, I let her back inside the house, then Sadie and I did the late afternoon walk in 8:19 When we returned she was sleeping on the floor.
The first test started as I walked toward the field and she walked along the house, her 'new' path heading north and eventually to the woods behind the neighbors. I thought to myself "well, you have 25' from me to find out that path isn't going to work today".
The small wire springs were found at the foot of my driveway this morning where someone must have decided they did not need them or it fell out of someone's passing pickup truck. It looks like the size of a chair seat cushion. I'll hide it back here until I make my recycling run this week and give it to them.
Stella wasn't happy about it but she turned and started to walk toward me at the edge of the field and yard. I stood as the leash retracted, not wanting to pull on her collar.
With me on the path already getting soaked from a field that was wet from late night rains, she was walking up the return path which gradually moves further than 25' from each other. I stopped to get a better grip on my camera and felt a tug ... a strong tug ... an escape tug.
Seconds after I took this picture, I heard the leash retracting fast and on the end of it was her collar. She had wrestled herself out of confinement when I was feeling those strong tugs with my head down looking at my camera.
Sadie was oblivious to everything going on between Stella and I. She was darting back and forth across the path and finally started making a beeline to the corner of the field.
At the same time, Stella walking as if she was proud of what she had accomplished, walked on the return path ignoring me when I was calling her name and saying "over here".
She finally decided to join Sadie and I and jumped over to our path heading out to the field. I could see that a lot of the tall grass had been blown down or beat down by the rain sometime last night after 1am. I didn't hear any rain while sleeping so maybe it didn't rain at all but the field was wetter than anytime this spring.
To make it easier for me I left the retractable dog leash on the path right at the junction where we either take the original path to the left or the alternate path to the right that heads to the north backyard.
Every one of those tips (buds) were wet and somewhere out there is our path that we wear down with our two to three walks per day unless it is raining. I remember when my neighbor bought this field a few years ago, he told me he was thinking about planting corn. Hearing that I was ready to move. Luckily for me and the hounds he left it as it was and trades the hay to the farmer that cuts the field in exchange for them to plant corn in one of his fields.
Yes that is Stella continuing up the return path in total denial that she is hearing me calling her. After weeks of following Sadie and I on the morning walks, a few days ago she decided she was going where she wanted, when she wanted and would ignore any sound coming from my mouth ... except ... when I ask her "do you want to eat". Then she howls.
Sadie continued her quest of finding who and what had been in 'her' field in the hours since late yesterday afternoon. She was intense in her search this morning.
Until I told Stella 'no', she had made a left turn to head up the overgrown ATV path from last summer. At the same time you have to remember that she is walking slower than slow in all of these photos.
Sadie is nowhere in view and may have already ran up ahead and made the turn for home.
Unlike Stella, she will always turn and run toward me if she gets too far ahead of us. I am beginning to believe this field is growing by the hour.
Stella is now in her pace to get home. She is tired of the walk, no interest in sniffing scent and stays on the path almost all the way home. She is already thinking about her morning nap.
Sadie will explore and investigate scent all the way home.
Stella followed the path all the way to the yard.
Is it a habit or an allergy? This is one of three places she will stop and scratch herself on the walk. Each place she stops is the exact area within a two foot diameter.
I was standing partially hidden around the corner of the carport just enough where I could see her with the camera but she couldn't see me that well. Dogs don't see well to begin with but with me out of view it was even harder for her ... and to enough to cause her concern.
She moved faster than she had the half mile walk when she thought Sadie and I had left her outside.
A little dark but I wanted to post all the photos on the blog this morning with no editing of any kind. I have gone into the html of this post to change the size of the photo from s640 (Google's compressed size) back to the original size of s1600, which makes them sharper.
Let me know if you can see that much difference in the quality of the photos you normally see here. Thanks.
I am not sure where all of my good energy took off to but it wasn't too much past mid-afternoon where we were headed for an afternoon siesta. Those small corn tortilla soft tacos must have killed any motivation I had to be an active member of society. I think by these photos you will get the picture.
We always go outside right after lunch, usually pretty close to noon or a little after. Each hound does their own thing. At times the bloodhounds take off for the field, Heidi will explore around the house by doing a full lap with her nose to the ground and I will sit outside to soak up rays to get a little extra natural Vitamin D.
It was another day in the low 80's with a slight breeze, right on the borderline of having all the windows open or closing them and letting the air conditioner run. It wasn't quite hot enough for the AC yet a little too warm not using it. Add in some allergies for sneezing ... not much was done this afternoon.
One thing that does happen though daily, is the area the hounds inspect or sit is always different than in the morning as we start our walk.
Stella just about in the scratching mode.
Heidi was just as confused as I was on what to do. Walk? Nap in the sun laying in the grass? What? She decided sleeping all afternoon on the couch in the cool shade was the best thing to do.
It's already late May but still a lot of farm equipment using the highway. I am pretty sure this is the same guy that has the field directly across from me but today he was coming from the south while taking up about a lane and a half of the highway.
It's was one of those times that the best thing I can do is pull the car cover off the Z4 and take a little drive. It doesn't matter which direction we take nor if we have been on that same drive before, it always feels good by the time you finish and return home.
It really was a nice day in 'the tropics' of Southern Indiana today.
May 21, 2018
Perfect Weather In The Tropics
Sunday afternoon was nothing out of the ordinary with the hounds sleeping through the heat, while I watched another miserable Reds baseball game and later some good Indy500 Qualifications. It was one of those days that you have a lot of "I don't know" moments.
Stella started her walk this morning just as she has done the past few days. It's not a direction I like seeing her go because I know she is headed north to the woods behind the neighbors or their drainage ditch. For the 2nd morning in a row I walked over through the high grass to tell her she was going to join Sadie and I. For some reason I think about her and that highway the past two days, so I will follow my intuition and play it safe.
Sadie was sure something had been on our path overnight and she pressed her nose as hard as she could against the small patch of dirt. I wish I had her energy first thing ever morning. My normal two cups of coffee didn't seem to be working so I thought a walk might help speed up my metabolism.
I could barely see Stella heading north, just past the property line pole. While Sadie never changes her routine one the walks, Stella likes to change her routine ever two to three weeks. Why is that? The routines she does not change is when is she back inside the house. She drinks water, moves behind my desk chair and sleeps until lunch.
You can see how much different some parts of the field is based on the height and thickness of the grass compared to the field next to the yard. We have a little more than a month before they normally cut it. I always enjoy walking through a cut field or when the grass is shorter. It doesn't matter to Sadie ... she just wants to track scent.
I gradually got Stella back in our direction heading up the return path the wrong direction. Just like yesterday we hopped back over to the normal path going around the first turn. While walking I could see that WeatherBug was correct in their forecast of cloudy skies all day where I was questioning Wunderground's that said we had a good chance of rain. It will keep it cool today at 80° with perfect sleeping weather at night in the 60's with the windows open.
I am in the mood to visit the library today. I haven't been there in a while and unlike a few years ago I didn't make more then three or four trips this past winter. Of course that 'to do list' I have is within view of my computer and another copy taped to the front of the refrigerator. Those reminders don't seem to be working again this summer.
I had heard a chainsaw as soon as we left the house and not until I uploaded this photo on the blog did I see the source of that noise. Off into the distance you can see one of the neighbors have someone trimming their trees. It's a nice, large house and in the twenty years I have lived here I have never seen anyone in the yard, their car in the driveway or even lights on if I pass by during the night. Yet I am told people live there all twelve months of the year and do not spend their winter in Florida.
You can see that Stella continues with her own path along the overgrown ATV path while Sadie and I follow ours along the back edge of the field.
There has never been a scent that Sadie has not enjoyed checking out.
Doesn't it look like one of those dark and gloomy days ahead. At least it is 80° warmer than those winter days that I don't care for. A friend of mine is trying to help me adapt to those freezing winter hound walks and has mailed me a Carhartt full length coverall. I should receive it in the mail today. He claims he wore it only once because it was a little long and thinks I'll have a better chance to fit into them.
Stella has one speed, all day on any walk ... "slower than slow".
There are three places she likes to stop and scratch on this walk and this is one of them. The exact some place after each morning walk. No fleas have been found, no ticks, just seasonal allergies.
Back to those Sunday's "I don't knows" ... they were basically about what to eat, what to watch on tv or what to do. When I was hungry I didn't know what for, except I was positive it was for nothing I had in the kitchen. I didn't know what I was hungry for. As far as tv, 200 channels although I don't have many of them on my programmed remote ... but those that I listed had nothing interesting on tv.
If they ever come out with a program package of just sports channels in the future, that is all I would buy. I keep thinking that by the time my two year contract is up with Dish Network the source of tv signals will be so much different by then I may not have a satellite dish mounted for tv nor my internet.
I spent some time yesterday afternoon sitting outside but it is turning into the typical summer war with bugs, bees, wasps or allergies. The hounds didn't want to stay outside long either as they were more interested in being in their normal afternoon spots where they sleep all day. That led me back into the "I don't know...." routine.
We all checked the weather outside right after lunch. No rain and slightly cooler than yesterday so I went back inside to grab the batteries to the weed eater and finish the bank along the driveway. The weeds seem to die out by the sun and heat if I cut them to ground level, not completely out of view but much better for the hounds doing it that way.
Heidi was enjoying the afternoon and I later saw her laying in the shade in the north backyard, a place she hasn't gone, while I was beating down the weeds along the driveway fence.
Stella always likes to think after lunch before she makes any commitments. She is pretty use to sleeping right after lunch. Those weeds you see were gone soon after I took this photo.
I thought I was going to be able to catch Heidi laying in the shade enjoying the day but she saw me looking at her without the camera so she started to walk or trot toward me. I barely had time to grab the camera off the kitchen table and return to take a couple of photos.
While I was killing weeds along the bank of the driveway I kept looking toward the backyard to see if the bloodhounds were still around or had they snuck off into the field. Each time Stella was in view walking around the yard. I didn't know what she had been doing until I was about ready to go inside ... she had been eating pure brown dirt. She likes dirt.
The afternoon was slow enough and cool enough to keep the windows open. I grabbed the book I just finished the other day and started reading it for a second time. Too lazy to get in the FJ and go grocery shopping so I put that off for another day. You never want to get everything done in one day when you are retired. You must spread out your activities to keep sane.
I was almost able to set some new time records in my Mahjong game earlier today. I finished one game under 3 minutes for the first time ever and two other games I broke the previous record of 2:41. I don't think I can eliminate all of the Mahjong tiles any faster than that.
I had another friend tell me today telling me they was shutting their blog down after 10 years. They were also considering getting rid of all of their social media accounts. Is this a new trend?? Other full-time travelers are getting off the road and moving into houses for the first time in a long time.
I love the Indy500 but always watch at home instead of going to the race. Looking at the forecast for Sunday in Indianapolis it looks like rain may happen. If it does, that turns into a long day trying to get 500 miles in while stopping the race for rain and then taking the time to dry the track. That is another good reason to watch at home from the couch ... no lines at the concession (fridge) and no lines at the restrooms (my bathroom).
Another great day checked off in 'the tropics' of Southern Indiana.
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