September 04, 2020

Does Stella Have A Pulse ??

It does not feel like a holiday weekend. In fact it feels just like any other day especially since the life altering news last March. It has been almost 6 months since the news broke to all of us about COVID-19. Little did we know just how much that news would change some things in our lives, possibly permanently. Yet when I stepped out on the patio early this morning with this view and a cup of coffee in my hand ... all that 'newsy' stuff was the furthest thing from my mind.


We had been up for a while by this time, so it was time for Heidi to take her second trip of the day outside. She does like to walk about half the fence line to the far corner and then head for home.



Henry was hydrating himself for another big day although it would be awfully hard to top his 'historic' day from yesterday. Each day he becomes more tuned into living here and in a short 9 days, he acts like he has lived here for years.


Where it use to be Stella being hassled and played with right after breakfast, it is now Walter in the reverse role. Henry attacks him about the time they walk into the computer room after their post-breakfast trip outside, then they play non-stop for almost an hour before Walter has had enough. In fact they are playing again as I write this at 4:14pm local time. (They were all sleeping with Walter snoring just 45 minutes later)


It was a very productive day here. Before moving outside I had found my answer about the new way Blogger was handling my photos. I posted about that in the post before this one. After that post I found more information and a few new ways of handling things on this blog. I have a process down close to what I use to do that will only take an additional step and some time waiting for the blogger library to load. It seems to load a lot faster than it use to. So far it is working after having thousands of photos over a nine year period in that blogger library. All for free.



Once I had a handle on that, I needed to get outside for a few tasks at hand. One was to vacuum a TON of dog hair out of the Tacoma after our three hour road trip yesterday. Yes, a road trip for the second day in a row, hounds included. I'll explain at the end of this post why the hounds and I left the house, to nowhere in particular. Of course it doesn't matter how old or new your car or truck is, dog hair has to be the hardest thing to get off of carpet or interior of a vehicle. Let me know if you know the secret as I am very open for ideas. Before I grabbed the vacuums, extension cord and a rubber dog hair brush that was suppose to help ... I had to check the engine bay on the 1959 VW Single Cab truck.



It had been running poorly the last few weeks. Good enough to keep driving but not nearly as quick at acceleration as it had when I bought it. I am not a gearhead but over the years of owning VW's I can fix most anything as long as that best selling "Idiot Book" is nearby. John Muir wrote that VW book back in the 70's. I had been expecting the worse even though the engine has less than a thousand miles on it. But today was my day .... for some reason as I reached to the back on the left side of the engine, there lay the spark plug wire completely off the plug. Could it have popped off the spark plug? It was like someone had pulled it off. It was just laying there on the flat piece that surrounds the engine.


I pushed it back on the plug, checked the other three spark plug wires then fired it up. I could already tell the difference in the sound of the engine and had to take it for a spin. I backed the Tacoma to the curb so I could back the VW out of the garage. Walter and Stella in their crates, Heidi had the back door open to move in and out at her leisure and  .... I left Henry out to run free while I was gone. That will not happen all the time because eventually he will get into his "search and chew things found" stage. No accidents by Henry when I returned over two hours later. In fact he was sound to sleep in the living room when I walked in.


I drove down to the bicycle shop which is a good five mile test run for the VWs. As I opened their door I realized I had forgot my mask. Their shop has always had an "option" rule ... wear the mask if you want and we will put one on. I would not be kicked out if I didn't have one. Currently we have 11 active COVID cases in our town of 44,000 people. That is not for our county but our zip code. We had a high of 81 cases earlier this summer. After standing outside while they looked over the 59 single cab truck, I headed home to get in my 64 VW Panel van and show them "the workhorse" ... BF Goodrich AT N02 tires that would take me anywhere combined with those low VW gears. 

They had the van planned out for me. Bike racks inside the van, camping gear in back above the engine bay with a full length roof rack on top for spare tires, spare gas cans (which they did not know the spare tire is behind the front seat) more camping gear and more bike gear. They thought both were good purchases.


I returned a little over two hours later to find a house of sleeping hounds. Even Stella and Walter were sound to sleep as I quietly unlocked the padlocks that keep them from breaking out ... not a possibility ... because they have more than once. Henry was in his normal sleeping position he takes at night ... between the couch and coffee table. Heidi ?? She was outside laying on the patio enjoying the 98° heat.


As you can see Henry is not intimidated by Walter and if he needs to walk in some empty food bowls to get a better position to drink water with Walter he will. Late yesterday Henry thought it was best to sit in the water bowl since it was still above 95° after 6pm. 


It is great to see how much stuff Henry does on his own, not needing me or the other dogs to be with him. That is one thing I was looking for, an independent hound like Winston. Also he has had his chances to "bolt" when out in the front yard but has not. He stayed around as the neighbor and I talked this morning. The way Henry reacted meeting her, I am pretty sure Henry likes women more than men. His tail was wagging a mile a minute as he walked up to her greeting hand and it wasn't long before he rolled on his back to see if she would give him a belly rub. It's good to see he is sociable with strangers at nine weeks old.


By mid-afternoon when these photos were taken it was close to 100° but if felt cooler. All the hounds except Heidi made it outside, while she slept in the computer room.


Henry's lower eye lids are starting to droop like a basset hound this week. Those are not tears you see running below his eyes but loose skin in a fold.


Between the heat and all the playing with Henry today ... Walter is just flat wore out.


Stella looks in that direction but there is no dog to see next door today.


Can you name that fruit ??


I could see that Stella was thinking hard about laying down. To the touch of my hand, the rocks were not too hot in the heat. It would probably feel good to her hips to lay down for a while.


With two curious puppies it is impossible to lay there in peace very long, before she was bothered.


Walter swore Stella didn't have a pulse and came over to see if his trusty nose could pick up any sign of her breathing. He is the great analyzer. 


Henry has already figured out when food might be involved. So he was immediately up from his resting spot once he saw Walter was checking Stella out. He had to find out what all the excitement was about.


Henry was smart enough to know that if Stella didn't move when he sniffed her nose, the next thing on his list to find out if she is alive ... lick her mouth, then lick her nose. That always works to get a reaction from her.


No big plans for tonight. Maybe a movie from the shelf of DVDs. No matter what I do each dog will assume the same spot they always do at night to sleep while I watch tv or read a book. Stella and Walter always sleep in the living room in those spots after I turn the lights out, only to migrate to the bedroom floor sometime during the night.


Henry has already taken Walter's normal spot to sleep at night ... in front of me sitting on the couch with no room to put my feet. Walter has since moved between Henry and Stella to sleep.


This tree has grown a lot in the past 15 months that I have lived here. I offered my neighbor a fair amount of money to move the tree to another part of his yard because it is blocking my view from the patio more and more. He didn't have a sense of humor about the idea and didn't appreciate the bribe. I'd say in the next one to two years those mountains you see in that photos will be behind the tree in my neighbor's yard. I am not real enthused about trimming the tree when it grows over my fence into my property. I know he will not trim it either.


As I move the camera barely to the left you see this tree between the two peaks of Miller and Carr. Looking at photos of last year, June 2019 ... this tree out in the vacant land has grown a lot ... and is a very big tree when I look at it's base. I have asked a couple of neighbors if I am allowed to walk in that vacant land and cut down any tree that is going to block my mountain views. Both say I can, both didn't offer to help, both can see how much they are growing ... I am not too enthused to be in tree cutting business.



Moving the camera again to the left, looking due south, yes another tree that will take out half of that mountain that sits in Mexico.


Both of those trees about 20'-30' on the other side of the fence. Preparing to block as much as the Mule Mountains as they can. Combine this tree with my neighbor's tree to the left ....


The days of seeing the Mule Mountains from the patio are decreasing at a rapid rate. Yes, maybe years. Whether it's months, years or decades it has the same results ... the mountain views blocked by trees.


After those trees I have spoke of are fully grown or in the process of growing, this is about the only mountain view I will be left with. That is Coronado NP on the far left and the downward slope of Miller Peak on the far right.


If my patio were to face the opposite direction to the north, the views would be unobstructed of clear blue skies. So different than facing the south. Our road trip on Wednesday for an hour or so was due to a house appraiser looking over my house. The three hour road trip yesterday with the dogs was due to the house inspector looking over my house for the buyer of this contract.

Yes, after months of thinking, analyzing, and talking with those involved to work out some kind of mutual solutions ... I bought a house two miles south of me in a straight line. That same vacant land will be behind my fence but with a street and a row of houses between my fence and the land ... down over the ridge you see in the mountain photos.

Of course nothing is ever official until names are signed on the dotted line and the keys to the house are handed to you. Yes I have thought of backing out of my contract and staying here but it is never long to hear or see the reasons on why I decided to move. Let's just say the log I started to document these sights and sounds is longer than I ever imagined. 

I voted for quiet and privacy over a great view ... that will eventually be blocked by trees.

It is also much better for the three hounds and the one dog. A large area of grass in the backyard for Heidi and Stella to sleep on like they use to love to do. A doggie door already built into the sliding patio door frame, where once the three hounds and one dog are trained, my days of a "professional doorman" may be over. I will face the opposite direction but at the same time I am two miles closer to those mountains you have seen the past year on this blog. 

The three hounds and one dog will have their own paved dog walking path that goes around the housing complex, further than we will ever walk. There are those stands that have poop bags to use for those that don't bring them on dog walks. I can take my mountain or gravel bike on that path to start, turn left on to the dirt path into that vacant land where I can ride or hike trails to the San Pedro River to the east or the US/Mexican border to the south. That pathway is around the corner behind my house, two houses and a concrete wash away.

I have visited that neighborhood at all hours of the day or night, any day of the week, to find anything that would cancel the contract as far as noise or other issues ... none.  Until I met the neighbor while I was with the housing inspector a few weeks ago, I was beginning to wonder if anyone lived in this housing complex.

So it will be a busy month ... my house sold before I could even put it on the market, which I was not going to do until after I had moved out. The housing market in this town is on fire. Houses in my price range are selling within 24-48 hours after they are listed. I have bookmarked houses on, in the price range of my current home. Out of 33 homes for sale, 29 are under contract and the only houses not are over 40 year old. I had to decide to buy the one I did in one day, by 5pm after seeing it at 9am that morning because the buyer had four other offers after the house had been listed for less than 18 hours.

So I think the hounds will like it. I know I will but I will miss standing outside seeing that view as the sun comes up or early morning. Sitting in the backyard at night it almost feels like camping somewhere until dogs on each side of me start barking because I am in my yard within their scent range so I am an intruder to them .... or the few patio parties get a little louder as the night grows longer. If you know what I mean.

As you can see ... I have a way to work with Blogger, after some help from the forum. So the three hounds and one dog will continue to blog here with new adventures ahead.

..... Now ... where did I put that package of disposable facemasks ????


  1. Glad to hear that you're still enjoying your view. We can hardly see across the back yard here in Eugene, Oregon. We're just thankful we are still here to look across our backyard. With the virus, the riots, and now the wildfires, Oregon is really wondering if 2020 was a year that could be any worse. Happy to see you and the pack doing well, Steve. Thanks for staying normal.

    1. Some on this blog have accused me being far from normal and some think I should seek help. LOL