About Me
My name is Rachel, I live in California, I'm 40, married for 15 years to Sean and have two dogs. My hobbies are my dogs Leo & Ferny, hiking, exploring, enjoying life.

Rob Follett

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Mojave National Preserve
JTNP - Geology Tour
Children's Forest
Calico Ghosttown
Holcomb Valley
Photo Page 1
Photo Page 2

Currently Reading
These Canyons are Full of Ghosts ~ Emmett C. Harder
Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood ~ Rebecca Wells
The Field ~ Lynne McTaggart
Unfinished Tales ~ J.R.R. Tolkien
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance ~Robert M. Pirsig

The Re-Enchantment of Everyday Life ~ Thomas Moore, April 29, 2005
Nine Princes in Amber ~ Roger Zelazny, April 18, 2005
Battlefield Earth ~ L. Ron Hubbard, March 31, 2005
Quilter's Apprentice ~ Jennifer Chiaverini, March 21, 2005
Contact ~ Carl Sagan, March 19, 2005
Eye of the World ~ Robert Jordan, March 14, 2005


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Khiori's Solitude

"Climb the mountains and get their good tidings; Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine into flowers..."
~John Muir

If you are looking for the Canine Epilepsy page related to Khiori, please click here


February 12, 2008

It's Spring!

Oh wait, no, it's not! It's only February. But it's so WARM and I want to plant things. And make a compost pile.... and grow my garden. Never mind the foot of snow on the ground. Besides that will melt right off any day now. Oh well. Here's a picture of Ferny last snow.

April 06, 2007

SoloDancer - 1/99 to 4/07

Solo is gone. He died this morning at 10am at the vet's office. We had him euthanized. He had stopped eating several days ago. He wasn't in bad pain but the prognosis was poor at best. The vet said he had some sort of auto immune thing. I don't remember exactly what - I was too busy crying and holding Solo. He died softly, like how he lived. He went easy. He was ready.

Solo was an extremely gentle newf. I have been told already a few times by friends who knew him that he was the most good natured dog they knew.

My sweet Solo is gone. After he died, Sean and I went to the nearby fire lookout to sit and cry and remember all that Solo meant to us. His quiet presence is sorely missed. He was a sweet sweet dog.

Here are some pictures that are precious to me of Solo. I love him so much. I will miss him tremendously :cry:

Added - Later in the day, my parents sent a lovely bouquet of flowers. They're all white. I am so touched :(

February 06, 2007

Yes yes, more Ferny pics :)

January 23, 2007

Fern's Here!

Pics later but Fern is here!! Ok maybe ONE pic :)

December 30, 2006


A video of unparalleled cuteness *dies*

lol "you're not going back outside. Do you want to go back outside? Alright!" hee hee hee....

I can't wait until she gets here.

July 14, 2006

I'm so excited *glee*

Yesterday while at the library, I found a book that I never thought I would stumble across. It's a book of poems by Jimmy Stewart. One of the poems is a very precious one that's been on my site for years and years. It's called "Beau". The book tells a little more about Beau and how bonded he and Jimmy were - despite Beau's wildness. Beau is even illustrated several times throughout the book. I think if we allow it, we all will have a "Beau" in our life. Here's the poem again (The "Old One" refers to the Stewart's other dog, Simba):

by Jimmy Stewart

He never came to me when I would call
Unless I had a tennis ball,
Or he felt like it,
But mostly he didn't come at all.

When he was young
He never learned to heel
Or sit or stay,
He did things his way.

Discipline was not his bag
But when you were with him things sure didn't drag.
He'd dig up a rosebush just to spite me,
And when I'd grab him, he'd turn and bite me.

He bit lots of folks from day to day,
The delivery boy was his favorite prey.
The gas man wouldn't read our meter,
He said we owned a real man-eater.

He set the house on fire
But the story's long to tell.
Suffice it to say that he survived
And the house survived as well.

On the evening walks, and Gloria took him,
He was always first out the door.
The Old One and I brought up the rear
Because our bones were sore.

He would charge up the street with Mom hanging on,
What a beautiful pair they were!
And if it was still light and the tourists were out,
They created a bit of a stir.

But every once in a while, he would stop in his tracks
And with a frown on his face look around.
It was just to make sure that the Old One was there
And would follow him where he was bound.

We are early-to-bedders at our house--
I guess I'm the first to retire.
And as I'd leave the room he'd look at me
And get up from his place by the fire.

He knew where the tennis balls were upstairs,
And I'd give him one for a while.
He would push it under the bed with his nose
And I'd fish it out with a smile.

And before very long
He'd tire of the ball
And be asleep in his corner
In no time at all.

And there were nights when I'd feel him
Climb upon our bed
And lie between us,
And I'd pat his head.

And there were nights when I'd feel this stare
And I'd wake up and he'd be sitting there
And I reach out my hand and stroke his hair.
And sometimes I'd feel him sigh
and I think I know the reason why.

He would wake up at night
And he would have this fear
Of the dark, of life, of lots of things,
And he'd be glad to have me near.

And now he's dead.
And there are nights when I think I feel him
Climb upon our bed and lie between us,
And I pat his head.

And there are nights when I think
I feel that stare
And I reach out my hand to stroke his hair,
But he's not there.

Oh, how I wish that wasn't so,
I'll always love a dog named Beau.

July 13, 2006

Leo again

Leo is one happy dog. All the time :)

July 11, 2006

Missing dog

I am on a local BB online and someone's dog ran off while being pet sitted. I feel so badly for them all. I know how crushed I would be if Leo or Solo disappeared. Anyway, long shot but worth a try. Here is Rogue. Say a prayer she's reunited with her family soon and safely.

July 10, 2006

Solo and Leo

Long overdue. New picture of Solo and Leo :)

June 04, 2006

Memorial Day

Every Memorial Day (Monday, not the weekend) we go visit whatever Fire lookouts that we can. Usually because this is the weekend that the road to Keller Peak lookout (Children's Forest or ) is first opened.

Let me back up....

The Memorial Day weekend is the weekend that the mountain communities start coming alive for the year. At least the warm part of the year. It stars on Friday with garage sales. Then Saturday continues with more garage sales PLUS the annual book sale at the library. Which I live for. All year long. Saving my nickels, dimes, quarters and occassional dollar bill. :) Sunday the garage sales die down and the BBQ's pick up. Then Monday most people are recreating or leaving.

Now on Monday it's our tradition to visit whatever Fire lookouts are open - like I said above. And this year was no exception. We started the day packing up lunches, dog stuff, camera and gear, and water water water. Off we went.

First stop was to the closest lookout: Strawberry Peak! We had an added bonus this year. Friend's of ours are manning the lookout this year! Bill and Robbie (his wife) were there starting their first day, complete with training. It was so nice that day. Clear, cool, and great company. Here's a picture of the tower:

We left there and headed to the next stop: Keller Peak fire lookout. Again, it was clear, cool and beautiful. The volunteer looked a bit lonely. No one was visiting nor had they :( We saw only one car come up. People! Climb on up if you visit!! The volunteers love to have company! I talked with the volunteer a bit while Sean let the doggies run a bit. The volunteer came right out to see the dogs as he worked with rescue too. He liked them :) Here's a view of this tower.

Where I took that picture was the place where the marker is for the lives due to a military plane crash. We always stop. It seems appropriate to pause there on Memorial Day.

Directly above the plaque is this awesome root system. I don't know how long this tree has been dead. But it's roots are beautiful.

We left finally with the intention of driving from Green Valley Lake to Butler Peak via the Snow Slide Road. Long drive, long story. I will condense.

We entered the road, it was pretty rough. But we drove it a ways. Stopped to hike a small portion of a trail (I don't know what it was called). Then drove some more. Stopped to have lunch on the road side. Drove some more. Passed to men bicycling who didn't know where the road went (hee hee) - they told us to watch out for some springs. Drove some more. Stopped to investigate a side road. Drove some more. Found the springs!

Butt shot!

Drove some more, ended up at a locked gate. Huh?? We finally got back to Fawnskin and headed home. It had been a long day. Tuesday I checked online on the condition of that road and why the gate was locked to GET OUT of the area we were in. Appears the road was closed and somehow managed to find the correct maze path to get on to it ha ha ha.

Butler Peak Fire lookout was closed due to poor road conditions.

All in all it was a great weekend :)

March 06, 2006

Khiori gone Five Years

Khiori died March 6, 2001. It's been five years.


I still miss her.

February 01, 2006


Wow! What a wild month January turned out to be! Let's see...

Went camping in the Ord Mountains. I just love it there. And the dogs get a real kick out of being in the middle of nowhere full of rabbits and birds. Ok. Bird Dog Leo loves it. Solo just wants to make sure we all stay together and no one gets toooo far from the rest of the "pack" on the walks.

Later in the month : Motherboard and RAM fried. Hee hee. When I say "I don't know how to do this, maybe *you* should" well... listen. :D So yeah. My fault. But it didn't happen without a warning cry of "HOW DO I DO THIS??!!" eheheh.

Turned off Satellite TV again. This time it's not as painful ha. How come I have so much time to do things in the evenings now? Same number of hours. But more is getting done. hmmm....

Speaking of more time: I've been asked to write articles for our local magazine! I'm THRILLED!! So I have to get myself in gear. I'll be writing up stories on our local hikes. It should be a lot of fun. With this and the Forest Service Photography volunteer work - well. Someday I might "know" our forest. In the meantime, we're still poking and learning and discovering TONS of new things.

I think that brings me up to date. The last thing I need to mention: TOTE BAGS! Yes, they are finally here! I've been sewing away like a little magic Brownie in the sewing loft and getting some things done. Now they are ready for viewing. I'm so proud of them. My good friend, Coral (of Newfstitch.com) does the embroidery shown on the bags. She also has her own line of Newfoundland dog paraphanelia. Did I spell that right? Oh well, you get the idea. Just go look at her site. Got a drooler? She's got the bib for you!

For my work: I'll have another entry up in just a few minutes.... *zoom*

January 07, 2006

SoloDancer's 7th Birthday!

Aww, so Solo turns 7 today :) What a sweetie he has grown up to be. He has a wicked funny sense of humor too. He just hides it well :)

January 06, 2006

Solo likes sweets too

September 16, 2005

Solo, Leo and the Champion Joshua Tree

Solo and his injured eye:

The day the E-collar came off:

A few days later on a hike:

The view in the area we went for a hike:

July 21, 2005


I must be losing it. It wasn't Leo's birthday yesterday. It was *Khiori's*. Leo's birthday is September 6ish. Ah well. Happy Birthday, Khiori.

Happy Birthday Leo!

Today is Leo's birthday, or close enough to it. He's five years old! Happy Birthday, little Leo puppy!

April 19, 2005


Little Leo on the Prairie heh

April 11, 2005

Desert Wildflower walks

Not far from home we go to walk the dogs. It's close to the desert and the wildflowers are blooming like mad!! Here's a taste of one day's short hour long walk.

Solo coming down a hillside in a spring wash.

Billy Goat Leo!

Wildflowers. Lovely.

The hills are alive with Solo's!!

Me, Solo and Leo. Look closely for Leo. He will "swim" in front of us when we hike. Solo almost always stays just behind me. DH took the pictures.

Finally Leo gets a bit tired and approaches us.

Solo AND Leo are in this pic. Look closely.

Solo is wondering what's going on behind him.

Fun time is over. Time to go back to the truck. Me and TWO dogs. Look closely for Leo.

March 22, 2005


When on the trail, we call him "Scout"

March 17, 2005

Solo At Kinley Creek

Pretty face :kisses:

March 08, 2005

My fishy

:\ One of our fish died. We only got him last month. And today - he died. *sigh*

March 07, 2005


Yesterday was the anniversary of Khiori's death.

January 31, 2005

Solo Under Desk

He thinks he fits. :|

January 08, 2005

Solo's Birthday!

Had to do an entry for today. Today SoloDancer is 6 years old :) Happy Birthday little guy!!

January 04, 2005


Leo is incredibly cute. I love this picture of him. I can just see him with rainbow colored fairy wings. :D

December 02, 2004

After Dinner Doggies

Solo And Leo

October 29, 2004

A letter from Grandma

I found a letter that my grandmother started to her Aunt Alice. It was so touching I thought I would share it here. I guess the love of dogs runs in my family :)

"Aug 24, 1974

Dearest Aunt Alice,

Well. So you had to get sick. Do you think that is very nice? That is one way to get some rest, but none of us care for it that way.

All kidding aside I hope your [sic] feeling better by now and that you are home.

How is your dog? Mine is the queen of the roost. I sometimes think I love her too much. But she is a lot of company and like people each dog has its own personalities & cute little habits. Even if they are ugly - to his owner they are cute. And most important they love us no matter what we look like and they are a companion and someone to talk to and fuss at.

I was talking to Henry (Billy's adopt. father) a couple weeks ago. And he told me he has one old retired bitch & a male dog in the house with him.

Each one sleeps on the bed with him. One on each side of him. They hear a noise & both will jump off the bed & investigate. You know how Boston terriers never get along together. They are always scrapping & fighting. Then they'll jump back on the bed get there [sic] side of the bed mixed up & get into a fight on the bed until they get on each side of Henry.

Henry told me he doesn't know what he'd do without his dogs. They are his life. And he enjoys all the work he has to do for them. I guess he has about 12 or 15 of them. Most of them are bitches too old too [sic] breed. But he hasn't the heart to part with them or put them too [sic] sleep. So he keeps feeding them. He can [tell] you the faults & all the cute little things of each dog. So I guess Henry is nuttier than I about dogs. It is all his fault that he made me love animals. Just listening to him talk about dogs can teach you to love them & respect them. Any dog. Well enough about dogs."

She continued the letter about the dust storms in Phoenix, hanging clothes, and the summer rain storms.

Grandma died of lymphoma in 1984 Jan. Grandma Henry committed suicide in 1994 or so. He died not long after his last dog died. He had prostate cancer.

October 08, 2004

Dogs in National Parks

I wondered why dogs are always so unwelcome at national (and other natural) sites. It always seemed a bit snobbish to me. I mean - they're dogs! There are coyotes all over the place and no one is out shooing *them* off.

But now it makes sense. Gotta read those handouts you get at the parks.

According to the Anza-Borrego annual newspaper: "Walking your dog on the trails is forbidden California State Parks. Dogs are predators by nature, and their presence or lingering scent may disturb or frighten wildlife. Dogs can also transmit diseases and parasites to our wild neighbors. Lastly, although your dog is probably delightful, many dogs scare visitors and harass wildlife."

Ok, I don't necessarily agree with the last two statements. Most dogs these days are socialized and vetted. But the first part makes perfect sense. So I finally do understand why they aren't allowed on trails.

In addition:
Why aren't dogs allowed on trails or in wilderness areas?

There are many reasons. Many animals in the Park react to the scent of a canine, reading only: predator. Although your dog may be friendly, many of the animals that live in a habitat will avoid areas where a predator scent has been left. This means they may not be able to search for food or find safety in their usual places. In addition, many diseases may be spread either to your dog from wildlife or vice versa. Some of these diseases like Plague and Lyme Disease are dangerous to humans as well.

The desert poses some special problems for dogs. Cholla cactus can easily become embedded in a dog's paw, then mouth, the other paw, etc. Many dogs have been rushed from the Park to emergency veterinary care an hour or more away. ....

It also talked of rattlesnakes and burned pads. I have to mention the cholla because it happened to us. When we were stranded in the sand, Leo was off exploring the road. (he stays on the road due to my *constant* reminding ;) ) About 10 minutes he can running back looking funny. Sure enough, he brushed into a cholla cactus, got it stuck on his side, tried to pull it off with his mouth, got it stuck in his flew, tried to paw it off, got it stuck on his leg, then finally got smart and ran to us for help. The stuff STICKS. I got it stuck on me as I pulled it from his flew. Thankfully, I had brought their grooming tools and a flea comb works perfectly for pulling out cholla safely.

Sometimes we do walk them on roads. That is allowed. And we did let them run at Truckhaven (no one was around and it's outside the park). It was a lot of fun watching them run 100 yards away from the car, turn around and race past to go 100 yards the other way. Then then jumped in the truck as if to say "Ok, let's go and see what else is out there *pant* *pant*" :D There's no cholla there ;)

Another web site concerning the Mountain Communities of the San Bernardino mountains. Thank you for visiting :o)

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