January 07, 2023

We're Back

I know, I know, never say never. I guess I just needed a "rest" from blogging for a month. The urge to blog again had become a daily thing recently so here we are. Me, the hounds and the dog. 44 photos in this post to catch up and a surprise at the end. I went hiking yesterday at New Harmonie SP with my old friend. 44° and 4.8 miles later, I was feeling it in my hips and legs last night. That's good.

So where do I begin? Well too much time in front of the computer. While I would read books that I have in Kindle or the list of websites I had hid in a bookmark "To Read", the hounds and the dog would sleep. They had no problems with the single digit temps during the "polar bomb" or whatever they called it. Walter has found a couple of new sleeping spots.

At times while drinking my morning coffee and reading, I could barely get out of my seat with all three surrounding my desk chair. 

I was until last Saturday still searching for a dog food that Watson could digest. Luckily he did all of that outside if you know what I mean. I went to new pet food place on the other side of town called Tri-State Vet & Pet Supply I told the lady at the counter what my problem was and she said I might take a look at a dog food I had never heard of. So far after 6 days I am seeing amazon results when I clean the yard after every meal they eat. Anyone ever heard of Holistic Select Dog Food ? Well it is working quite well for Watson digestion problems.

Due to the cost and a small 30# bag, their largest, Watson will have his own dog food while Henry and Walter continue to eat what they do since they have no issues. Yes I have still been trying to get the dog toenails cut. Henry is no problem as he rolls over on his back after sniffing the clippers. Watson has decided he will let me cut his again but Walter takes off sprinting after smelling the clippers closely. So for him I am doing one at a time while he sleeps.

When the temperatures over Christmas got into single digits, the hounds and the dog found the warmest sunny spot in the house and didn't move.

Watson continues to grow and has about 18 more months to become full grown. He is already a big boy and really really strong. Big news this week, he went on his first walk outside the fence, up and down the street in front of my house. He really enjoyed all the smells on the edge of the street in peoples front yard plus he was tall enough to stop and smell literally every mailbox on my street.

It was funny afterward but scary when it happened. Don't know why but Walter not only does NOT like to walk, he does NOT like a dog leash. I was trying to get Watson use to a 6' leash. Went outside to the backyard where the plan was to walk him around the fence and once I saw he was not going to jump on me like usual or walk around me and trap me with the leash, then we would walk outside the fence.

More squirrels. Can you find him in this photo?

Well Walter didn't like that plan. About the time I clipped the leash onto Watson choker collar, Walter grabbed that leash with his powerful jaws and took off running. Watson normally tries to get away from the leash and backs up. So with Watson trying to backup and Walter sprinting and going nowhere but pulling the leash extremely tight. He was choking Watson to the point Watson was gasping and gagging for air. The leash was so taunt that I could not get it unclipped nor could I put any slack in the leash because Walter kept pulling.

Walter then whips around me, taking the leash around my legs which tripped me as I fell to the ground. As I untangled myself from the leash and they saw what had happened, they took off running to the corner of the yard. Walter finally let go of the leash and I was able to unclip the leash from Watsons collar and call it a day.

The next day I tried to get the leash on Watson's collar in the garage hoping to separate him from Walter but before I could even get inside the garage, Walter grabbed the leash out of my hand and took off running for the computer room. Finally once I got only Watson in the garage and clipped the leash on him, he walked straight to the side door to go outside and walk. Henry ??? He loves to walk and gets excited when he sees the leash in my hand. So I had to separate him from Watson too.

The couch Henry and Walter were not allowed to get on in Arizona is now a lounging couch for Henry. He likes to lay there and look out the window. Watson is no longer baying and howling at everything or everyone that walks by the house. Walter is always watching for his friend the mailman, Matt. I have not completed the window project. I still need to sand, prime and paint those repaired wood window frames. (from Stella's separation anxiety)

December 23rd it started snowing around 5pm as they predicted. A lot more drifting than snow due to the high 45mph winds. Extremely cold when I took this from the window. 6° outside Christmas Eve morning.

By 11am I had my drive shoveled and sidewalk. Although it was up to 11°, the bright sunshine started melting what was left on the driveway. As I shoveled I found out we had more snow fall than what it looked like. It was a good workout. I also went up to my friends house and did their driveway because I like cleaning driveways. Plus they were inside on a major project of installing new wood floors in their dining room and kitchen.

About an hour later in the sunshine, this deck was completely clean and ready for the next snow on December 26th.

It did not matter to the hounds how cold it was. I let them decide when they wanted to come in. Walter on the other hand sprinted to the patio door as soon as he was finished with what he needed to do. Single digit temps in the daytime is cold, too cold. 

Woke up to this two days after I had shoveled the drive and sidewalk. I found out why our small street gets plowed by the county truck with Indiana's sand/salt mix to cut through the ice on the pavement. Up the street is man that use to be on the city council. Thus, a clean street anytime it snows. 

Another good workout cleaning my driveway and sidewalk. The heart does not know the difference between shoveling snow and riding a bike. All it knows is the pulse rate and for how long. I also helped a neighbor finish the other neighbor's driveway, then went back up the street to my friends house to clean their driveway. With layered clothing under my Carhartt jacket, I was soaking wet with sweat by the time I finished a couple of hours later.

Henry likes to get two belly rubs per day but Watson was not going to be the one to give him one.

All that snow disappeared around January 1st as the temps got up into the 30s and 40s. We spent a lot of time outside just hanging out and walking through our over saturated backyard.

Henry had found his favorite winter thing to eat ... a big chunk of ice.

Walter watching the wrestling match out in the yard.

The squirrels continue to torment Watson. Luckily he does not know that if he really wanted to he could probably spread those aluminum posts apart far enough to get outside the fence. Yes, they are that flexible. I'm disappointed in that, it wasn't expected. They do bend back straight.

They have always liked getting their picture taken. Just calling their name will have them facing the camera. 

It's a new year with a lot of new changes. One is to get off my lazy ass, get outside away from my computer and enjoy what I have in this area like I did in Arizona. My friend had told me a lot about New Harmonie (thats they way they spell it) SP and all the hiking he did there. This time of year we would have the whole park to ourselves. We decided that yesterday would be a good time to go.

The only mistake I made was bringing the Nikon 70-300mm lens instead of the Tamron 28-200mm lens. A lot of the photos I wanted to take I could not fit the object I was aiming out into the view finder. Not enough room to step back in some cases. Luckily my friend was using his iPhone and sent me some of his photos last night after we got home. 

We hiked 4.8 miles, climbed a little over 500' in a little under 3 hours. We would stand at times and just listen to no sounds but the quietness. Not only will this be a good place to hike but it will be a great place to ride the bike. All I will need to do is put the bike in back of the FJ with the backseats folded down and I am set. 

Looking south on the Wabash River. That is Illinois on the other side.

Ralph transferred some of his photos to black and white. Can you see that old shed? That is on private property. 

Looking down into a very steep gully. The hiking trail was narrow, had to walk single file. From the first day that mountain bikes were invented I have never liked them on hiking trails. I own one but I don't ride it on trails. I don't ride it the way it was designed for. Yet Ralph brought up a good point. 

There are very few people hiking these trails so the mountain bike traffic keeps the trails worn, and clear of overgrowth.

Yes that is what you see. The large tree on the left had a limb cut off and the tree next to it grew right around it.

Ralph and I have our suspicions on what happened here. They might be true, maybe not, but seems like a logical explanation. Granted, as old as that car is, almost all of those trees were not there when he drove his car back here. We are guessing he drove his girlfriend or wife out in the woods to see the Wabash River within view and got stuck in the mud. No way to tow it out and here it sits. Who knows how many years it as been there. No gunshot holes anywhere.

Everything is still there like the engine in front and the spare tire in back. Looks like a Chevy Belair, not sure of the year.

We assumed that "Lubbock" is Lubbock Texas. That is a long way from New Harmony Indiana. 

We walked a couple of these roads. They were blocked access roads for official trucks only. Nice and quiet out there.

Finally we popped out of the woods and walked the pavement that looped back to where the FJ was parked. It felt great to get outside and do something besides working around the house, raking/mowing leaves or shoveling snow. This is going to be a regular activity. New year with new plans that I will discuss later below.

Christmas morning I am setting at the computer when Watson starts non-stop baying at the patio door. He is going crazy. I glance out the door when I walk to see what he was after. This Cardinal was sitting on the patio deck not moving an inch while Watson was going crazy 10' away inside the house. By the time I got the camera the cardinal had move outside the fence but close enough to see what the bloodhound was going to do.

Some people believe it is a sign when they show up. This one seemed to hear me while I talked to him and flew away when I told him to find somewhere warm. It was 4° at the time.

I mentioned changes with the new year. Isn't that the norm for all of us where we chose January 1st to start changing things we either don't like or to add something new. I have a few pretty hard resolutions that I am so far successful with.

Long time readers know I am a man of many spreadsheets. I have one for blood pressure readings that I do every few weeks. I have another one that is now eight years old where every month I log my weight, what size of jeans or cargo shorts I wear, body fat measure with calipers (have no idea where they came from) and the old tape measure around my stomach. I have been defying those medical experts for the past eight years telling me I might be a dead man once I get that circumference over 40" or is it 38" ????

Well this month I was not happy at all with the numbers taken. My weight had not been this bad since 2016. When I make a change in what I eat or diet (not really a diet just a change in the way I eat), I note that outside the chart for that particular month. Add in the fact I seemed to be having more and more indigestion no matter what I ate ... I decided it was time for a change. BIG changes.

Pulling an old book off the shelf, one I bought when it was new in 1987 then revised in 2003. I decided I needed to start Dr. Fuhrman's 6-week plan in his book Eat to Live. I forgot I could not pull it off the shelf because in my downsizing before the move in 2019 I had given most of my books to the local library and the paperback books to Goodwill. So I looked at the 2003 version in a pdf file I had downloaded last year.

Well 7 days later I am seeing results without taking any measurements or weighing myself. I am going to wait until the last day of January for that. But I can see things changing and I have had ZERO indigestion. The big thing is ... the sugar bowl and salt shaker are hidden out of sight. I drink my coffee black now and eat all of my food salt free, with other healthy seasoning.

The next thing is a shock and it will be interesting to see if I pull it off like I want to. For my whole life, really, I have been a sports fan. My parents took me to IU games by the time I was 6 months old. Dad was finishing his last year of college. Up until 2019 I would spend 12-14 hours on Saturday watching college football and every basketball game during the winters. Was it a sports addiction or just something to do?

Over the past few years I have disliked the new "modern athlete", college or pro. Just because you make an interception or score a TD you don't have to put on a show after that. Then the corruption of college athletics where the rich get richer and the poor teams get poorer, I started losing interest in those college games. The "transfer portal" where players can play for different schools almost like a free agent in the professional sports started me hating the whole nationwide ballgame. Then this past year when NIL came into existence I have lost total interest. Even for my lifelong team IU.

Players in college are now making 6-7 figure incomes and for me that is it. I am finished. I told myself if was wasn't watching ballgames there wasn't much need for Directv, who will raise my price again this month. I don't list "all my channels" but have over 200 loaded into "my favorites". They were not really favorites, just a way to eliminate QVC, the religious channels, the news channels and all the other BS. I rarely find anything to watch within those 200 channels or more.

So before I "pull the plug" I decided I would not turn on Directv for two weeks. I'd miss ballgames, the National Championship college football game on Monday night. Plus who would want to spend another spring, summer and fall, every night watching your favorite baseball team lose over 100 games in MLB.

So far so good.

I watch Apple TV sometimes and Amazon Prime through my Apple TV box which costs me $6.99 per month after their price increase from $4.99. Their first increase in many years. Throw in the DVD movies I have here in the house and I think I am pretty well set for the times I want to watch something. I don't have that urge to watch tv much so it should suffice.

Based on my experience in Arizona for two years I know I can do this. Instead of watching games out there, I was hiking and biking, sometimes the same day. I was spending time outside on the patio watching the hounds and the dog plus the nighttime sky.

There are also nights we all go to bed very very early. No tv needed.

I plan on getting outside 5 times per week and doing some sort of walking, hiking or biking. I am biking indoors on my bike and trainer it is attached to. I plan on grabbing my camera and exploring this area like I should have started 18 months ago. Can you believe I will have lived here two years already this coming April 29th???

So that is my update. I feel good blogging again. I think the hounds and the dog likes it and I hope you do too.

It's a bright sunshiny morning here in "the tropics" of Southern Indiana.


  1. Enjoyed reading and seeing your catch up post. Kelly

    1. Hmmm where did my first comment to you go? So this might duplicate what shows up later. Thank you and glad you enjoyed it. It was nice seeing you stop by. I hope you are feeling better.

  2. Requiring yourself to do a daily blog entry is a death wish in my life. If I have something to say, then I say it. If not then just don't blog. I found skipping a non productive day causes no harm but by the second day just publish that you have nothing to add to the world yet. Then wait until you feel good about it to publish again. It has worked well for me since the first blog entry in mid November 2007 for my brain to operate in that fashion. WELCOME BACK.

    1. Thanks Barney. I like that advice. After I posted this that live voice on my shoulder asked "you going to do this every day" ... I said no, just when I feel like, have the photos and the thoughts to put on paper. I see that you are planning to head out soon, sounds exciting.

  3. Welcome back; the admirer is in his glory!!! We hardly ever watch TV as well. We will turn it on to the news for the weather and off a couple times a month. I've just been bummed the last couple of months. With the new year, I figure it's time to start cleaning, sorting, and going through the husband's stuff he left for me to handle. Sometimes, I do good for a few hours; other times, I lose it within minutes. I hired an architect to make me a remodel plan for this house. So, I will completely remodel my home and make it 100% accessible for the admirer. Our spreadsheets, I remember making them on the green sheets before computers LOL... At this point, I am not so sure I should start blogging again. I'm too opinionated about the current administration, just the thought of them assholes make me want to explore relocating to another country.

    1. If the admirer could have seen Walter pulling on that leash and me falling among all the hounds while Watson was gagging for air, I think he would have laughed non stop. Yes in today's world you cannot be too transparent but Big Brother is watching. Best to leave politics and religion out of the blog. Instead I vent to my friend up the street. LOL Good luck in the new year and I hope 2023 is good to you and the admirer.

  4. He's baaaack! Hi Steve. My picture of your pierrette is not pretty. Glad no broken bones!

    1. I forgot to mention the 4 times I fell shoveling the driveway the second time. Sheets of ice under the snow. They were soft landings, no harm no foul. I didn't fall hard on any of them.

  5. So glad to see the dog and the hounds and great to hear from you. The only disappointment I had was I thought for sure you would have traded cars by now but oh well. The old chevy might be a 62. I try and get out for a walk every day but don't always make it but that is why they invented tomorrows, so I have second chance. Keep up the good work. Vern in Boise.

    1. I think my days of trading cars are over at least for a long time. I have two cars that I love. That combo of the Z4 that I owned up north and an FJ has been the combo that has lasted the longest. After five months of owning the FJ I think it is the best FJ I have had yet and just as good as the first one I bought in 2014, my Voodoo Blue. Those "invented tomorrows" made/make me lazy so I have to be aware of those. Glad you stopped buy.

  6. Welcome back and loved each and every photo! Nice to see the updated photos of the gang.When you said there was a surprise at the end of the post, I thought for sure you had been car trading again - a new fitness program never entered my mind. We have had just two very minor snow events, instead we have had lots of rain (about 8 1/2 inches in the last week) with more coming next week. Our lake is only down 2 1/2 feet now which is really great. Happy New Year Steve!

    1. Happy New Year to you too. The water supply sounds good. LOL I had not thought about that surprise being a car traded.

  7. Welcome back,great to see your update plus great pics of the animals & their antics.Your more active intentions sure do make for better health & perspective.Rehab after lengthy chemo ,one of medical suggestions has stuck- “walk as if your life depends on it,because it does”- best advise I had - so, all the best for your future endeavours .

    1. Thank you. The best shape I had been in for years was in 2019 was I was riding and hiking out in Sierra Vista. I can do all that here, just without those mountain views I love. I will keep your medical suggestion in my mind when I have the urge to take a day off. The friend I hiked with feels the same way.

  8. OK, OK already!! I'll add a pin for New Harmonie to my map. You make it sound pretty interesting and depending on weather and what's going on at the time I may very well be checking it out during my family reunion trip this summer.

    If it weren't for the science shows (Just watched a fascinating one all about Pluto) we'd have cut DirectTV out of our lives by this point too. What a boost to the budget that would be!

    1. My friend tells me it is not that crowded in the summer time either. It is a huge park and different parking spots spread out among the park. Yes, tv is quite the puzzle. About the time I am about to pull the plug in the past year, I see a really good science or history show. Then I check to see if I can pay just for that channel without Directv, but many of those apps require "tv service provider" ... so there goes that idea. Getting rid of Directv would be about a month supply of dog food. LOL

  9. Nice to see you all back again. Walter is so funny trying to save Watson from a dreaded walk! Bethers

    1. Walter is the protector of both hounds, depending on who is losing the rare fight.

  10. Glad to see you back on the blog again. Nice to catch up with you and the hounds, and Walter. Sounds like he has figured out how to take you down. Nice to see that hasn't slowed you down.

    1. It's good to be back. Blogging is hard to get away from when you like to write and take photos. I am still clicking along at high speed some days, the three of them keep me on my toes. Ha Ha