June 23, 2019

The Urge To Blog Is Gone

Just like the change in weather, things change in life, in daily activities or thoughts. That is the case here in June 2019. I am practically forcing myself to sit in front of my computer to write even this post. Words are not there and as I scrolled though photos to post on this blog, I couldn't decide what to post.

Blogging about the hounds and I in a public format is over.

Yes, I have done it before a couple of times since I started in October 2011. For various reasons I came back but those reasons have also disappeared. At this point in this post I am not sure I can finish this ... the words are just not there.

I will say that I really got tired of this type of weather this spring and into the early summer months. I have emailed a few readers, ones I have kept in touch with over the years via emails, what the current situation is. For those wondering, I am fine and the hounds are even better. None of us have any crisis going on in our lives. So that's not the reason for the lack of blog posts.
I no longer want to stand down by the highway passing out current updates to our lives with photos to every car that passes the house, whether I know them or not. That is how I described blogging years ago. Sure, friends are made and have been made through blogging but the "privacy thing" as always been big with me. It's always lingered in the background of my thoughts.

I found out this spring that the more time I spent away from the computer the more I enjoyed life. Even when I was doing things I didn't want to do, it was still better than spending time in front of my computer. I found it harder and harder to grasp that hour or two it takes to put a post together with 12-25 photos in the post.

An ex-friend told me once some of the best photos you will ever take, will be those you don't.

Whether you want it to or not and other bloggers may feel the same way ... blogging gets into your thought process, your photo taking process and your daily life ... if you blog that often. You find yourself taking your camera not to capture possibly the best photo of the hounds but to get photos for the blog post that day.

That is no way to take photos.

I could be sitting outside battling the bugs, the gnats or mosquitoes and enjoy watching the day come to an end but battled within myself to get up, go inside and post something on the blog when I had not blogged in days. A feeling of 'obligation' sneaks into my daily routine ... and I've never wanted any kind of obligations.

It brings back that time I had an ex-girlfriend screaming at me "you have made a commitment ... not to make any" ... for the first time in our relationship we had agreed on something. LOL

I will say that my life and daily routine has changed drastically from what you have read on this blog and my old blog over on Blogger. I am back to bicycling again. I am back to loading the hounds into the car for local drives and exploring new interests. I no longer sit my first cup of coffee down in front of my computer in the morning and spend the first 2-3 hours of the day in front of my iMac. I'm outside enjoying the sights and sounds of another day getting it's start.

My time in front of a computer has decreased drastically and I like that ... a lot.

The hounds have had a slight change to their routines but all for the better. They still eat twice per day. Heidi still goes right back to sleep after her breakfast but a HUGE DIFFERENCE, she now goes to the door every morning around 10am expecting me to take her for 'her' walk.

Stella is now whining to go on her morning walk, if we are not outside by 6am. She is not only walking further than we use to but breaks into a fast trot and shows more activity than she has in many months.

Both hounds are looking better than they ever have and have done more activity than before. They are good.

The words reluctance and privacy seem to go hand in hand anymore when it comes to me being open on a blog. I gave it a gallant effort of being more open on the blog back in December. I cannot say I liked it but I did it anyway. Then I caught myself falling back into that privacy mode of mine of writing less about my thoughts and more about what the hounds were doing.

The urge to blog was disappearing even while I posted the past few times.

So where does the word reluctance come into play?

If I were to post like I did every day for a few years or many months, the possibility of unexpected visitors would be more possible than ever before. If I were to post current photos of the hounds, there would be a few keen readers that could figure out what was going on and might even go as far as knocking on my door to see the hounds.

Just like the strange lady I found one day a few years ago ... looking into the back bedroom window because she wanted to see the hounds. It didn't matter that I wasn't home at the time, she was there to see the hounds no matter what. I had been too open in my blog posts and the photos I took ... she figured out where I lived.

Over the years I have read more times than I wanted to, about blog readers showing up on the doorstep or knocking on an RV door of people that blogged, to see the people and dogs they were reading about. I don't want that to ever happen to me and the hounds.

Some might think that would never happen here but I have always leaned more toward preventing that one in a million chance.

I was careless before in my photo taking and blogging and thus the strange crazy lady looking in my windows, for the hounds. I'll not make that mistake again.

So combined with the the lack of words to type, the lack of interest for sharing my life and the hounds to the world, and the big reluctance to post photos that would blow our cover ... I cannot see anyway I can continue blogging in a public platform.

For some, this announcement might bother them or as in the past, in a few it will anger them. I'll hear from them since I have not changed my email address nor do I plan to. Some readers are bloggers and will understand what I have spoken about and others that don't blog will think that I am selfish, possibly crazy or even lazy ... I mean it can't take that much time to put a blog post together.

After all it only takes a few minutes to read one of my posts and only seconds to scroll through the photos. So it can't take that much time to blog.

To those readers I suggest you start your own blog and write about every little thing in your life and what you are doing. Take a million photos per day, download them, edit them and post the ones you like and open your door to any blog reader that wishes to stop by to visit you or see your dog, cat, reptile or plants.

For those readers that stopped by my blogs to take a look at the photos over the years, made comments or sent emails ... thank you for taking your time to stop by the blog. I found an enjoyment in taking photos and blogging then ... I don't now.

As each hound passed, things changed. The blog changed, I changed. I know that is just part of life but as I get older I find it harder to lose a hound. Sometimes those walks through the field were not as enjoyable as they once were because past memories overtook the walk Stella and I were on.

When she started losing interest in taking the 2 walks per day through the field, I did too. The window of finding things to blog about and to take photos of got smaller and smaller. Activities outside called life ... became more important than blogging. I cannot even find time to blog privately in my journal and the urge to do so is also evaporating.

So there it is ... it's the best I can do in trying to explain ... still a poor job of doing so.

Add me to the list of other bloggers that have stopped blogging for one reason or another. Some made an announcement and others just drifted out into the black space called the internet.

The hounds and I are more than happy with the change in our lives.

June 09, 2019

Stella Has Changed Routines

After Sadie was gone in September 2018 I always wondered if Stella wanted to walk in the field because she wanted to or because I wanted to. There were too many times I would have to practically beg her to join me on the morning and afternoon walks, causing me to wonder. She is always changing her routine but recently the change has been huge. This is her response 99.9% of the time when I ask her "you wanna go for a walk" and there's her answer.
Where she use to whine around 9am just months ago to take the walk through the wet field, only canceled by rain, anymore she is sound to sleep at 9am and will join Heidi in sleeping right up until lunch is served. With the hot afternoons I try to walk early evening but it doesn't matter to her. Here it is late morning and the response is the same. "I'm not going anywhere no matter how many times you say let's go"

With lunch served, if it's not raining she spends about an hour sunbathing. I can't help but think those warm stones make her hips feel better or her back.
Heidi enjoys her bed now being right next to the central air vent. With the temps in the 80's now, she will spend most of her afternoons here, next to the cold air. I have not caught her on camera but she still likes to go outside on her own every afternoon, do a little wandering and then lay under the sunshine if it isn't too hot. Otherwise ... right there on her dog bed.
I decided to watch Stella's walk one day. I was even prepared to follow her next door if that is where she wanted to go. I'd even go as far as two houses down if she wanted to check out the water temps for the neighbor's pool. So I stood and watched to see what she would do.

It turned out to be nothing more than the "new normal", her afternoon walk and only walk of the day for so long that I can't remember when it started to be this way.
Yes, the hay is that tall again, where you can barely see her tail. All the rain has been good for the hay growth but the fields across the highway are still not planted and it's raining again as I type this. About the time it dries out enough to get tractors and plows in the field, it rains.
While I was giving her the chance to go anywhere, she walked from the previous photo over to our return path and came home without a word of any kind coming from my mouth. She does that day after day and goes no further than she has to, to relieve herself.
She likes to shake off all the hay seeds and yellow pollen before she comes back inside.
And the "official" end of the walk by walking along the side of the house.
Sometimes her walks are not even what you have seen. They are not any longer than a quick search on the driveway and back to the house. A few times I attached the 25' retractable leash to her thinking that might lead her to the field ... she sits there and makes sure her 85 lbs are as low as possible so there is no way I can move her. Similar to a heavy rock you are trying to move.
Along with her changes to routine, I have seen and felt changes with me and blogging. I admit I love having the extra time to enjoy the day and I seem to get a lot more done around here without taking the time to put a blog together. I take daily photos but not nearly as many as I did in full blogging mode. Nothing official to announce but a post or some hound photos here and there are about all I can come up with.

Both hounds will be 10 years old this summer. Is that the reason for a slower pace summer this year? I think Heidi may be 10 years old since her age is really an estimate. When I picked her up 8 years ago from GABR they estimated she was around 1-1/2 years old but no way to tell. She shows no signs of older age except some graying on her nose and around her eyes.

Stella is so laid back in personality that there isn't a gray hair anywhere on her. I have noticed more crud around her eyes this summer than usual, from the pollen in the air. She still gets the hip/joint supplements 2x per day but there are times she looks like her hips are bothering her as she tries to lay down. No yelping of any kind but she takes it slow and easy to lay down.

Things are good in 'the tropics' of Southern Indiana.

June 01, 2019

The Hounds Move Into Summer

We have been very busy as we move into June. The weather has been great overall and these few photos will show you the hounds have not been doing much at all. That painting you see was sent to me by Chewy.com It was quite a surprise as I opened up the unexpected mail package yesterday. I had sent them a photo of Stella a month or so ago while I was talking to a customer service rep about my auto-shipment of her supplement.
With record amounts of rain, it has been hard to dry out the fields enough to get farming equipment into them to plow and plant this year. I just saw some equipment turn the corner down the single path but I didn't catch if it was towing plows or weed killer for the field of yellow next to this one. We are schedule to get rain around 5pm today.

Due to the rains, they are a few days short of being a month behind of getting that field planted.
After lunch everyday ... it's not much more than this for activity. They turn and head back inside for their afternoon siesta. Depending how warm or hot it is, Stella likes to spend some time sleeping in the sunshine. Heidi spends a lot of time going outside on her own to lay, roll and sleep in the backyard grass most afternoons when it's not raining.
I called for grooming appointments for both of them and after calling three different local groomers ... they can't schedule me until AUGUST !!!! I give Heidi a bath in the tub with no problem but Stella wants nothing to do with bathing inside the tub or outside in the sunshine.
She has cancelled the morning walk and we haven't walked first thing in the morning in so long I can't remember the last time we did that. She is always ready for an afternoon walk where she returns with no ticks on her and by that time I am pulling 5-7 very very small ones off of me. The field is taller than my shoulders near the house in the lowest part of the field and much taller than Stella in the rest of the field.

With the warmer than normal winter this year, I have never seen it worse for ticks as it has been this spring in the 21 years I've been here. They are always on me any time of day or night. In past years I have sprayed my yard for ticks and fleas. Living as close to that field as I do ... the spray didn't help. One year I emptied the rooms and sprayed inside, that did not help.

The only thing that helps is the NexGuard the hounds take one time each year in April or May and that keeps them "tick free" for the rest of the summer. I suffer in the meantime.
Heidi was pretty active today after lunch. She barked, spun in circles and wanted to play.
As I walked up the hill from the mailbox ... she looked as if she wondered if Stella still had a pulse.
There has been a lot of "classified" activity going on around here and even some redactions on paperwork being exchanged. I have no idea what is going on in the world because I have been busy enough to keep the tv off except for the Cincinnati Reds games. My computer time is down almost 66% based on data used ... busy busy busy times.

The windows are open, the birds are chirping and a nice cool breeze from the south/southwest today. The hounds are both in a deep sleep for the rest of the afternoon here at 12:47pm.

It's been great lately in 'the tropics' of Southern Indiana.