October 18, 2019

Stella's Anxiety & Hip Update

For the third day in a row I have had little to no soreness in the hip area. I felt so good yesterday I was doing so many things and went to a few places in town that I did not have time to blog. My hip and leg felt normal all day and at times I forgot what had happened 39 days ago. Today I felt the same way and I took a short drive to Best Buy. It was my first chance to tape a video on my phone of Stella in the backyard while I was gone. It was sad to watch and listen to her for the 26 minutes I was gone.

By 10:30am yesterday I had taken two different walks. One of five minutes doing laps around the backyard and then one ten minutes long where I walked to the mailbox and back, which is about .26 of a mile roundtrip. Every time I waited for my hip or leg  to show some sort of discomfort. They never did. I had not planned on it but I decide I'd check to see if I could get into the seat of my Toyota FJ using the same technique I use to get in bed. I also used the same technique to get in my friend's Jeep Cherokee on Wednesday night. It was the technique I was taught by the PT the day I left the hospital.

My only point of concern was, the right leg would have to be bent a little to swing into the floorboard area even with the seat back all the way and the back of the seat tilted back a little to keep my hip and waist of breaking the 90° rule. Where getting on or off the bed, both legs are kept straight during the side movement.

Again I sat there for a few minutes to see what kind of reaction I would get if any. Things felt normal and good enough I was pretty sure I could drive. If I could drive then I had something I needed done in town. Right before my accident I had ordered some Toyota black steel OEM wheels and rock rails. They arrived by FedEx the day I was in the hospital. Last week my friend that set up my bike also was nice enough to put the 5 boxes of wheels and 2 boxes of rock rails in the back of the FJ.

He recommended a good tire shop in town for swapping out my stock wheels for the steel wheels. I already knew the Toyota dealership would install the rock rails for me. Normally I would have done that simple task but I have no idea how long it will be before I am given the approval to get on the floor or the driveway, plus that would have been too much twisting and turning. I may not be able to do that type of stuff for at least a year.  It was easier just to have them do the hour job.

I was gone around three hours and when I walked in the bedroom Stella was asleep in her. large crate I bought for her due to severe separation anxiety. I cannot afford to keep buying vertical blinds that she had tore down before when I left her. Soon after I moved in I thought she would be okay if I left her in the house with the patio door open leading out to the yard ... but that is a whole different story.

Here she is hydrating herself before I decided to make a quick trip to the local Best Buy. I had finally decided on my strategy for cameras, lenses and the iPhone 11 Pro. Only today I was going to give her a break I thought, let her stay in the backyard while I was gone. She spends a lot of time out there on her own when I am here ... but that is the key words "when I am here".

While Stella was outside for her morning sunbathing session, Heidi thought it was the perfect time to ask for a dog treat. Could she sneak one in without Stella finding out?

As the rustling of the plastic bag of dog bones opened, Stella never moved a muscle and Heidi had her free treat in the morning. Now ... looking at that photo you would wonder how is it Stella would get so upset if I left her in the yard while I was gone for only 26 minutes ???? Believe me, I have asked that same question a million times.

If I was sure that a 26 minute video would not use all kinds of extra data you have by opening my blog or that video. I would learn how to post it but I don't want to take that chance. I remember how it was when I had to stretch 15Gb of data across the month. I didn't watch many videos with that much data to use.

I will say it was a sad 26 minutes listening to just how upset she was. She tried digging under the security screen door (steel) that I left locked to keep the nice breeze coming into the house. She did NOT try to dig under the fence gate like before since I had added short concrete blocks, surrounded them with the backyard rock to keep them in place. She did NOT try to dig through the window screen that sets so low in the wall. But she pacing and whining looking for any way possible to get out of the yard or into the house.

As I listened to the video while checking out my new Nikon D3500 camera, Heidi could not figure out why she was hearing all of Stella's whining and howling for the second time while Stella stood close to her.

As usual once I am home, Stella calms down and everything is back to normal for her. She didn't hesitate to follow me into the computer room, back to the kitchen and outside.

She finally curled up in the corner of the computer room and took a nap while I started this post.

I am losing my train of thought for this post. I just had a local realtor call me wanting to know if I wanted to sell the house I just moved into. LOL Investing in houses to rent out seems to be pretty popular in the town. A lot of the houses in my neighborhood are rentals.

She looks so innocent doesn't she?

They are preparing to watch the MLB Playoffs tonight. Their lunch has been served so they are pretty satisfied.

I have spent months researching cameras, or just lenses to add to my older D3200 or buying another point and shoot camera. The spot on the sensor inside the Canon G9 X kinda took any urge away for another point and shoot. Plus I have a iPhone that takes great photos within short range, but not so much when I zoom even 2x. When the new iPhone 11 Pro came out taking fantastic photos it was tempting to upgrade from my 8+ but that really wasn't what I was looking for.

I am happy with the 8+ photos.

So finally after more research I found what I wanted in stock at the local Best Buy. With my Cash Rewards from buying the watch recently and past purchases I was able to knock off about $75 more dollars off of the total price. I went back to that website I use that has a detailed comparison between any two cameras you are interested in.

Once I found out that in "image quality" both the D5600 and D3500 were rated equal with identical sensors, I was leaning toward the D3500. It was not only a few hundred dollars cheaper but it included the lens I have been wanting for almost a year after seeing the photos on Al's blog. The Nikon 70-300mm ... the special price today got me the camera, the 70-300mm lens and a 18-55mm lens for $200 less than it would have cost me to buy just the 70-300mm lens. I found out later it would not work with my D3200 even with the firmware update.

Why buy a new camera ???

I like taking landscape photos using a 200mm and now a 300mm lens.  My D3200 had been dropped a few times, once in the snow, once on the concrete and again when the wind blew it out of a chair onto the concrete floor of the carport then bouncing it across the gravel driveway. The Tamron lens I had been using was also used in a rough manner, just by taking photos every day as the hounds and I would hike through the field once or twice per day.

I thought when I bought the Canon G9 X last January that would be my everyday camera but it was not really good when the zoom was extended out to the maximum allowed. Then when the black spot showed up on the sensor and can only be cleaned by a professional, unless I attempt to take the camera apart ... I tired of that camera quickly.

So my phone camera will take the close up shots. The 70-300mm lens will be mounted full-time on the new camera and I will still use the D3200 with the old Tamron 18-200mm lens that has so much use, the rubber piece in the center of the lens for grip is worn and stretched out.

And the main reason ... for years I have always thought the picture quality of the D3200 was not nearly as good as it was when I first bought it. I am sure the times it hit the concrete or fell into the snow when I slipped and fell one day was not the best thing for good picture quality.

So now a short summary for the FJ story. Yes, the new 4Runner is gone. It was just too nice to off road in. All leather, great ride but reminded me too much of a "Family SUV" ... sure the hounds trashed it out with hound drool, dog hair and I helped by dropping a burrito one time  but I have ALWAYS loved the Toyota FJ. I've had Autotrader and Cars dot com bookmarked where I could look for FJ and Mini Cooper S 2-doors every day and night, even after getting rid of them.

By the end of August I bought this 2013 FJ at the Toyota Dealership downtown. It was a one owner and serviced as scheduled at Toyota since it was new. I still wanted to make it look like my 2007 Voodoo Blue with the rock rails and black wheels.

So that is what I did yesterday. D&M Tire swapped out the wheels and Toyota installed the OEM Rock Rails. I have the center caps arriving tomorrow so it will be completed by tomorrow. The only question is ... how does Stella get in the back???

I am not in shape nor have approval to lift the butt of a 90# bloodhound, helping her get up into the back. Her hips are also where she no longer jumps up in back like she and Sadie use to. I guess I'll need to get some collapsible ramps for her to use. Would she be able to get up the ramps or even want to?? That is pretty expensive to find out that she wants no part of walking up ramps to get inside.

Toyota quit making the FJ in 2014. It's my all-time favorite Toyota vehicle. What did I do with the 4Runner ... I found a Mini Cooper S, Arizona rust color at a Jeep Dealership in Tucson. They gave me more as a trade-in than what I paid for it because the TRD Off Road was a trim they could not keep in stock. They sold it within 2 days after putting it up for sale.

With the difference in trade in and sale price, plus license plates ... I made a little extra money after all the dust settled. That check from Jeep went right into my savings account.

I am still cautious when I get up out of a chair or car, or when I sit in one of those. I watch how I make turns when walking and I try not to move my right leg out to the right. That will happen later after the doctor gives me approval to start some exercises to get the hip stronger. I expect to get that approval this coming Tuesday. Again today, even in the store, I was walking on my own with my cane in hand in case there was an emergency where I needed support.

Busy times in the Wild West the past few days.

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