The Girl made a new friend Saturday, Sandy. What a cutie she is and a great match for the Girl.
The Girl made a new friend Saturday, Sandy. What a cutie she is and a great match for the Girl.

Although the weather changed abruptly Saturday evening, Saturday morning was beautiful — cool and sunny. On our morning outing, we met Mike and Sandy. I’d watched Mike working Sandy a day or two before and he handles her well. They play a jumping game with a bird dog lure that is fun. Sandy can jump.

While we were visiting with our friends, Mike and Sandy drove up. She came over to the Girl and introduced herself. And then… the game was on.

Sandy has a bit of bull terrier in her. She’s has a gorgeous coat and color. Her personality is funny and she is engaged and interactive with her handler and her friends. Interestingly, she is laid back but has a no-bullshit side to her that the Girl discovered.

So, once that was sorted out (the Girl can be a real bitch at times), off they went to play. The Girl loves to chase the ball; Sandy loves to chase and tease. So for the next half-hour Mike and I took turns throwing the ball and playing with the two playful canines.

During one break in the action, I had the opportunity to make a few images of the girls together. They were relaxed and social.

What great fun the morning was. Life is good…

Snowy Morn

It snowed Saturday night for the first time this year. We had about three inches of beauty in the morning.
It snowed Saturday night for the first time this year. We had about three inches of beauty in the morning.

Saturday was a beautiful day here in Northern Nevada. The morning was gorgeous and the Girl and I were out and about early to walk and play. About noon the wind came up and our afternoon hike was blustery, to put it mildly. I knew weather was coming in — I could see the advance guard creeping over the Carson Range.

Sure enough, when I woke Sunday morning (the first time), I peeked out the window and saw the coating of white. The Girl had to go out, but we delayed our morning outing until the sun was up and shining brightly. After breakfast, we dressed for the cool and headed out.

The Girl, like many dogs, is frisky when it’s cold. She loves to play in the snow as well. She will dash about, kicking up snow and laughing. This makes me laugh (which is good) and it’s fun to chase her playing a little grab-ass and rough-housing with her. She loves play but I have to manage her energy or she can be a little over-excited. I have torn jeans and sweatshirts that will attest to that.

Over on the old State Orphanage property, there is a line of pines along our regular path. This Sunday morning they were adorned with a sheath of snow and ice. The morning sun illuminated that combination of color and texture with a beautiful light. So, while the Girl checked all the squirrel holes (uneventfully), I paused to make a few images before we headed back to the room for warmth and coffee.

There will be more snow, I’m sure. Perhaps we’ll wander up into the mountains this winter for some play and photography. That could be fun. But one thing I know is that winter is coming. It’s not here yet, but this little snowfall reminded me that winter is on its way.

Going Forward

It appears that someone did not escape…
It appears that someone did not escape…

While on walkies, we often come upon interesting things. The other day when we walked out on the Silver Springs Ranch, we came upon an escapee who did not make it. I suppose the sight of another 12 miles was too much to bear. But, I digress from my original train of thought…

Of all the applications filed, none produced a new engagement. I have no new applications pending and I don’t think I will tender any new ones. At least, I think I will tender any new applications for now.

A rental is available here in Carson City and I can afford it. It will give me a place to live and work while I process my durable goods. I don’t intend to rush the processing of my things, so that will take me a few months. There is project work for me. Money will be thin, but I’ll have enough to pay my bills and feed us.

Months ago I was troubled about leaving the States for Bolivia without dealing with my personal property. Traveling with my dog (the Girl), dental work (that is now done), and the rapid movement was too much for me to process. Therefore, I stopped moving that process forward to deal with the immediate.

The dental work is done and now I am back in maintenance mode. I am working through other regular reviews and should be done with those by the end of the year. I am healthy.

With my wandering (mostly) done, my intention is to be stable for awhile so that I can work through my personal property. I lived without any of those things in storage for more than a year. I now know there is a group of them I want to use. I have a pretty good idea what those things are. I also have a good idea what things I need to maintain my life.

The remainder are in two groups: Things that are unnecessary and can be used by others, and things that are nice to have but are unnecessary. The former group I’ll ferret out and eliminate. The latter group I will process and decide which I will keep, which I will give to my kids (like family pictures), and which will be eliminated. That will take time. God willing, I have time.

This process was my intention at the beginning of 2016. The Bolivia experience, the aftermath from that trip, travel to see loved ones and for interviews, and dental work interrupted my plan. Those occurrences didn’t stop my plan, but they delayed it.

Now I’m healthy. I learned that the probability of finding another full-time engagement seems reduced to the point where I should seriously consider running my own business. I am running my own business — it simply needs a little more development such that I have a few more projects.

So, I’ll move into my apartment, set up a life, and get to work. I have projects to find and execute, photographs to make, guitars that need my attention, my durable goods to deal with, and a dog who loves me.


On the Carson River
On the Carson River

Thanksgiving morning we rose and started our day. The day began like so many others — with the routine. I then sat at the computer for a few minutes, ruminating on what I might write and what image I might share. I considered the day, its meaning, and reflected for a few minutes on all that I am thankful for. I paused for a few minutes to pray, to give thanks for God’s provision for me and my family.

I received a text message from a friend (a travel nurse) that her apartment-mate was taken to the hospital, potentially with a serious illness. I paused for a few more minutes to sit before God in prayer for my friends.

My muse passed and I began me day. Traffic was light and morning walkies were alone. Our usual suspects were not at the park when we arrived and not there when we left. Yet, the Girl and I had a good time walking, hunting squirrels, talking, and playing. The air was cool and the Girl was frisky, so the play was rough and rowdy. But, eventually the ball won and she was ready to return to the room for breakfast.

I received a text later that day with relief that the nurse’s illness was not life-threatening, but still possible serious. I paused, again, to pray for a few minutes.

When I took the Girl out later, the day was gorgeous. So, I elected to go for a longer walk out by Carson River. I took one of our favorite routes. Although the air was cool, the sun provided much-loved warmth. The Girl had great fun sniffing, leaving pee-mail, and critter-hunting.

She sometimes is distracted and falls far behind. When she realizes that I’m ahead a hundred yards or more, she tears after me, beating feet with that happy-dog face that is so enjoyable. That face, that engagement, this relationship I have with an alien species is another item I am deeply grateful for. That thought often comes to mind while we are out walking and playing. I laugh when she zooms past me, kicking up sand to patter face and body as she passes.

These sun-bleached kayaks were parked along the river all summer. I passed them many times on our walks. But they are particularly striking now, with the drape of winter colors surrounding them. They really caught my attention in the afternoon sun. And so I paused to make an image.

We headed back to the rig to go home and clean up for supper. Young Son, my friend Jimmy, and I shared a Thanksgiving supper in a man’s fashion. We had New York strip steaks, French bread, salad, and pumpkin pie. Jimmy brought a nice wine and we toasted Thanksgiving and Wife. My kids and I always toast Wife when we are together. The meal and conversation were fun and to be thankful for.

My friend texted that her apartment-mate was home with no clear diagnosis. There was another thing to be thankful for.

The celebration broke and Jimmy and I headed home. With the darkness, the air turned cool and I was ready to settle in for the evening. It was a good day.

Life is good…

Squirrel Hunting

Yesterday morning was cool, but not cold... and perfect for some squirrel hunting.
Yesterday morning was cool, but not cold… and perfect for some squirrel hunting.

Yesterday morning broke cool, but not cold. I overdressed us, I think. There was a bit of sun early and the Girl wanted to get out for morning walkies. I think I was ready too, after a coffee. I was ready enough to go ahead and make breakfast (for both of us) and then dress to get outdoors.

It was not as cold as I expected. It was certainly not as cold as this morning. This morning she’ll need her coat and I’ll want my thermals. But I’m still looking forward to getting out into the outside air — and, hopefully, some sunshine.


While on walkies one afternoon, the Girl and I came across this inscription in the concrete at the old Nevada Children's Home.
While on walkies one afternoon, the Girl and I came across this inscription in the concrete at the old Nevada Children’s Home.
A couple of weeks ago, the Girl and I were out for a late afternoon walk. A favorite place is the old Nevada Children’s Home (Nevada State Orphanage), which is now relegated to what appears to be state storage and a great place for dog owners to gather with their fur-friends. I had not noticed this inscription before, but the late sun caught the texture of the concrete just right and it caught my eye.

We are entering the portion of the year when I like to stop and reflect. The ending of the year and the beginning of a new year is a great time to review what is done and look ahead to what might be done. I like that.

I woke really early Sunday morning, dreaming of Wife. She was not happy and was telling me about it in no uncertain terms. As I shook off the dream, I wondered “What was that all about?” I’m uncertain yet what it might be. But I trust my intuition and I’ll know if/when I need to know. Regardless, being awake, I rose, emptied my bladder (always a good idea), and decided to make a cup of tea. Tea is good for the soul, I think, and the process/ritual is also good.

I really didn’t want to sit at the computer too long, so I wrote a short weblog post and turned off the machine. With my tea finished, I took up a book I was reading, The Peaceful Warrior, which I picked up on my travels last summer. I decided to finish the book. I don’t have to be anyplace most days, so if I want to read a bit and sleep a little late, I can.

(Although the truth is I live a very regular life. It’s not regimented — in that I get upset if I don’t keep my regimen — but it’s orderly. I like that.)

I finished my book and the Girl wanted to go out. It was not raining, so we went outside in the morning dark. She took care of her business, scratching the ground furiously after relieving herself (and grinning at me in the process), and was ready to go back to bed. I snuggled up close, loving her smell, her heat, her small sounds of contentment, and I fell asleep too.

I rolled out a bit late, but not really late, made some coffee, and sat down to wake. Before long she asked for her morning routine.

Laughing, I dressed us, collected my things, and peeked outside. There was a little sun shining and not much wind. So, out we went.

As we walked toward the usual place, the Girl danced around me, looked over her shoulder, grinning, and pranced about. She makes me smile and laugh, so we started trotting toward the park, both of us laughing and playing. We met up with another pair, an old man and his dog, who get it. He’s seen a lot of life, is retired, and enjoying his time. His girl knows what’s doing on. She’s intuitive, engaged, and social. She and the Girl get along very well, despite the disparity in physical size.

We walked a bit while watching the weather blow over the hill (much like yesterday morning). There are good relationship to be had between men. I’m learning something of that these days. We talked about the weather and our experience with life. Then the sky darkened with the increasing wind and a few drops of rain fell. The Girl began to shiver a little, although it was not too cold, but the vanishing of the sun took away that warmth and the wind was cool.

“We’d better go. She’s cold and there is rain coming. She’s fine with snow; but she hates being in the rain and being wet.”

Life is good. I am happy, regardless of whether a full-time gig comes or not. I am confident that God provides what I need and that there will be plenty of work in 2017. I’m expecting my apartment to be ready soon and will have a place to live, work, and process my durable goods. It will be good to have my own space again.

I think the path for the next few months is starting to come clear. What I thought I should do and what I’m going to do were not aligned. I think they are aligning with the passing of each week. I’m beginning to see the path and that’s good for me. It isn’t necessary that I see, but it is comforting to have a plan, even if it’s only for a few weeks or months.

Truckee River Charlie, thanks for your inscription. You gave me an interesting photograph and a nice wonder about who you might be.

I am thankful. Whatever I have, it will be enough. Life is good.

Fall is Fallen

On walkies one morning, I noticed the light on the street sign at Eighth and Fall. The irony amused me.
On walkies one morning, I noticed the light on the street sign at Eighth and Fall. The irony amused me.
The Girl and I returned from our trip to Denver about a week ago. The weekend and first few days of the week were filled (for me) with work. A client needed help with a critical phase of her project and I was able to help her. I returned with a Winder$ box that needed some work (a failed hard drive for starters and additional upgrades) and spent a couple of days working through its issues before it was stabilized.

But, even with being busy, part of every day is spent outdoors with the Girl. She needs outside time and interaction with me. I need outside time and interaction with her and our circle of doggie-friends. Even on cold mornings (and we’ve had a few already) we get out at least once and usually twice. With the shortening days it’s more difficult to get in two walks a day, but we’re managing.

One cold morning I noticed the light on the street sign near the hotel where we stay. The irony of “fall” made me chuckle as I paused for a capture. The Girl, impatient as she can be in the morning (“gotta poo!”) pushed her energy at me (“let’s go… now!”) and so I made the hasty capture and off we went for morning walkies.

I’m settling back into my routine after the odd days of travel. It looks like the Grand Junction engagement is not going to happen. I’m completely OK with that — if they don’t offer me the position then I don’t have to decide.

That is my approach these days. I can make a living (I think and God willing) without a full-time gig. I’ll have less money. I’m OK with that. I’ll have more time. I’m OK with that too. So, whether or not a full-time (or part-time) gig materializes, I’m OK with it. God provides what I need and I have an abundance already. I do not need more.

So, back here in Carson City I’m happy. I like it here. I like the climate. I like the outdoors. I like the mountains. I can go to the coast if I want to (and if I want to spend time in PRK). I’ll have time this winter to work on some projects I want done. In the spring we’ll spend more time outdoors as the days lengthen again into summer.

I have more captures and more thoughts rattling around in my head. For the next few days, though, I’m going to spend some time reflecting on thankfulness. I do that as a kind of tradition. But it’s more than a tradition; it’s real. I am thankful.

I also have a little work to do. Work is good, too.

It’s good to be back in Nevada. This place feels like home to me.

Happy Birthday, Wife

Wife and Pier at Crissy Field Today, Wife would have been 64-years old. She’s been gone for three years and change. Rarely does a day pass when her memory does not arise, often in the context of an event I think she would have like, a sight she would have enjoyed, or a song we shared.

I still miss her and think I always will. As I wander my way back toward Nevada, there are times when I think “Wife would have enjoyed that…” in the context of something I see or hear. The thought occurred to me yesterday when I was driving through Glenwood Canyon on my way to Grand Junction, Colorado. The light played on the rocks in the afternoon fall sun. The way the rocks were illuminated was interesting and we would have shared that sight.

Birthday celebrations are supposed to be happy affairs. I think when I settle in for the evening, I’ll raise a glass of wine to the east and salute Wife, her life, and her love. Happy Birthday, Wife!

Happy Birthday, Nana

The grandmother I knew as “Nana” died a few weeks ago. She was 100-years old. She saw a lot over her years and knew quite a lot. She shared that wisdom freely. She was the sweetest person I ever knew.

Today she would have been 101-years old. I miss her. Happy Birthday, Nana!

The Road to Denver

That is one happy dog! After just an hour in the rig, she's ready to get out and explore.
That is one happy dog! After just an hour in the rig, she’s ready to get out and explore.

I finished the last bit of packing and then loaded the rig Monday morning. It’s an old routine done many times before, but I was a little anxious to get it all done and get moving. For this trip I had a deadline in front of me, so there was no leisurely “leave when I’m ready” approach; I was in “get it done” mode. That done, we stopped at the doggie park to visit the Girl’s friends and let them know we were headed out. Social groups wonder if a member suddenly disappears.

The morning of All Hallows Eve was bright and sunny, a wonderful fall Nevada morning. There wasn’t much traffic, although the state troopers were working traffic along US 50 on the east side of Carson. We drove east, the Girl interested at first, but soon curling into her travel tuck in the seatpan of the passenger’s seat. I love to reach over and stroke her side, play with a paw or ears, or just touch her. She’s the best traveling dog I’ve ever been around.

When the weather is nice, we often drive with the windows down. She likes the air and so do I. When the weather is not so nice, we both enjoy having some music playing and the heated seats of the 4Runner. Creature comforts are really nice.

I stopped in Fallon to get a coffee and some travel cookies. Wife got me started on McD’s oatmeal cookies. I don’t get them often, but they are a treat with coffee and are something the Girl can share. I really don’t care that much for chocolate chip cookies anymore, unless I make them.

We blasted across Nevada in the beautiful sunshine. After several days of rain and gray skies, the sun was a welcome old friend. We stopped a few times along the way to get out of the rig, stretch legs, and empty bladders. I really enjoy those stops. Unfortunately I didn’t take time to load geocaches into the GPSr for this trip. Those always make for good stops, although one can waste a lot of time on them.

As we dropped into the playa lake west from Hinkley/Delta, Utah, I stopped to watch the sun set and give the Girl a chance to do doggie business. I need to retrieve the images from my compact camera. I think I’ll do that this week. The sunset was pretty cool, but the alpenglow on the mountains was better.

The stop reminded me of the time Wife, Young Son, and I stopped one cold winter day to help a stranded traveler along this stretch of road. The old cowboy appeared to have Parkinson’s and had fallen asleep and run off the road. One of the tires on his rig was flat and he was struggling to get the tools from the rig to change it. Young Son and I helped him while Wife worked overwatch. That was a long time ago, probably almost ten years. Time passes rapidly, it does.

I pulled up in Delta, Utah to spend the night. The Deltan was clean enough and the price was good enough. I’d stay there again. It’s a basic room (meaning few amenities), but it’s clean and quiet and that’s all we really need.

Tuesday morning I woke really early and decided to head out before dawn. I made some coffee to help wake up while I gathered up our few things. The Girl looked at me like I’d lost my mind. But when I opened the door and carried things out, she was ready to go.

Again, she curled up in the seatpan, enjoying the warm seat (bun warmers on!). We stopped at the Denny’s in Salina, Utah. They had moved since the last time we were there. The server who worked our table laughed when she told me, “See that girl over there? She’s new. She just said to me ‘There’s a dog over there!’ I told her ‘That’s a service dog.'” and she smiled.

The Girl looked up from under the table, checked in with me that all is OK, and then resumed her repose, waiting for the bacon she knew would be coming as a treat later. I always save back a little of my breakfast meat, whatever it is, and treat her for being so well-behaved. I use every opportunity I can think of to provide positive reinforcement for her. She has to work for it, but the rewards are good. The bonding is even better.

We watched the sun rise from the east in the badlands of Utah. That area west from Green River is one of my favorite areas. I had a blast there last summer exploring that San Rafael rise and think I want to go back and spend some more time there. The next time I go, however, I want to have a mobile house so I can stay in my own space. I think I’m tired of hotels.

The weather was pretty cool for this time of year. When we topped out of the long climb east from Salina, it was 28F. But, with the sun in the sky and little wind, it didn’t feel all that cold. The stops to get out of the rig were pleasant and I enjoyed playing with the Girl.

Passing through Grand Junction, Colorado, I thought “I could live here.” There is plenty of what I love most about the west — vistas, mountains, dry air, and blue skies. I think there would be plenty of places to explore.

So, we’ll see what happens. Perhaps we will move to Grand Junction for a while. I’ll trust God to provide that direction.

Traffic from the tunnel downhill into the Denver Basin was crazy, as always. The term “bomb the hill” came to mind several times. There are effectively two lanes in each direction; the third lane is for slow-moving heavies. There were lots of slow-moving heavies!

I was reminded, again, of why I don’t like living near large cities. I don’t care for the traffic and I don’t care for the rushed pace. I prefer my life to be lived a bit slower than that, with purpose and reflection. There’s nothing wrong with the hustle-bustle of city life; it’s just not for me. I’d much rather spend my days wandering in the sagelands than in the noise and confusion of city life. I’ve done that because I needed to (that’s where the work was), but I’d rather not do it anymore.

So, here I am in Denver. I wonder what the day will bring?