Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #185 Changes

Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #185 Changes coincidently match my just posted subject about Moxie. John wants us to see what change means to me.

Moxie’s dramatic change from little pup to “almost” full grown.

I started this post over 4 months ago, and life got in the way. In August I expected my grandson to stay with us as he planned to relocate from Tennessee. He stayed with us two days, and he headed back to Knoxville, Tennessee. Refusal of CoVid vaccine, relationship issues, and youth.

Isaac enjoys a homemade waffle, meets Moxie, and leaves for Tennessee, again.

My daughter and family returned to Sacramento after a second try at living in Knoxville. They found an apartment, and as soon as their second house sold in Knoxville the hunt was on for house number three in Tennessee. Sometime in January they will head east. This time they left all their belongings in Tennessee. So that expense is eliminated. I’m not sure what draws them to the “Volunteer State”. Tomorrow I will again say goodbye.

Deja Vu. Or Groundhog Day. This photo was taken in June 2021. Moving to their new home in Tennessee.
Two month old Moxie

So what has kept me so busy that I haven’t posted in a while. Well, I look to my puppy Moxie. Time has a way of disappearing and moving at a snail’s pace. The other day I was making an appointment for a vet visit for Moxie and I kept saying she was almost nine months old. Wrong. She is now eight months old. I work with her daily, and sometimes I see the progress, and sometimes I feel defeat. I am told she is going through the teenage years. Training is ongoing. We go to training once every other week. Manners are being worked on. I am focusing on jumping up on people, and playing rough with me.

For a Golden Retriever, Moxie is a petite pup. She weighs in at 34 lbs. at 8 months. She is about 20 pounds lighter than one of her sisters. I have been dealing with her sensitive stomach, and it seems we have a couple of good weeks, and then I am back to square one. I enrolled in a puppy care club, and when I last tried to make an appointment for her acute tummy issue, the first available time was over three weeks away. As with all things CoVid, I found out that the hours and staff have been reduced due to staffing shortage in veterinarians. This is not adequate care so I will be looking for a new vet. Luckily, I have Golden Retriever friends, and I sought their advice. The “great resignation” attributed to CoVid is shaping our life.

Most puppy owners are shocked by the sharp shark teeth their puppies have. Until Moxie lost her baby teeth (around 5-6 months) I only wore clothes with holes around my pup. These denims kind of look like ones people purchase at fashionable stores. I now do not have to change before I play with my puppy.

At 5 months Moxie has lost her shark teeth.

CoVid caused many supply glitches. I have a small backyard, and two fences were down. Lumber prices rose dramatically. By the beginning of November my yard was fully enclosed. Lucky thing because my next door neighbor just got an adorable black lab. Perhaps a future playmate for Moxie.

Fully fenced, but not entirely safe for my puppy to romp around without harm.

Moxie is always on the lookout for something to eat.

This fall my neighbor’s oak tree hand an abundance of acorns that are toxic for puppies to chew. This along with a pine tree that continues to shower my lawn with needles makes for an unsafe environment for a curious puppy. So each morning a pick up acorns and a variety of mushrooms that appear out of nowhere each morning. So I am always on the lookout. Unfortunately, on Thanksgiving Moxie was too fast and ate a mushroom.

Mushrooms come in such a variety, and none should be consumed by my puppy Moxie.

On the way to the emergency room most of the contents of her stomach ended up on my backseat. Thank goodness my seats were covered.

Moxie is safely harnessed in the back seat. Most of the time she is not interested in the surroundings. Go figure.

There was only one vet at the emergency hospital and the parking lot was filling up. Puppy is ok. And I did make it to Thanksgiving dinner hosted by my friend Anne.

Well at least Moxie ate her mushroom early, and we arrived at 9:00 am. We were able to avoid the crowd.
After her ordeal, all she wanted to do is sleep in my lap. We often get some quiet time and a nap on the Lazy Boy recliner.

CoVid has taken the spontaneity out of life. No quick decision to go to the zoo. Now you must go online to make a reservation. I am waiting at Kaiser because to visit the optical department an appointment is needed. I need new glasses because Moxie chewed up my glasses. To be CoVid safe I make an appointment and wait my turn.

Next week my girl will be 10 months old. When I see her mother Phoebe they look so much alike. Moxie is at her adult size, almost. Puppies grow so very fast. I am glad I took all these photos along the way.

My husband and I quickly made the choice of Moxie for my puppy’s name. Many have asked the origin of the name. My in-laws had an advertisement for this drink in their kitchen. Recently, my husband brought home a bottle of Moxie.

Where we got the name “Moxie”

This is the second time around with puppy raising in the past two years, and I still am amazed at how quickly the tiny puppy grows to adult size. Glad I took all these photos. Change happens fast, and I am glad I grabbed some of these shots using my iPhone 8 instead of relying on my Fuji xt4. I plan to upgrade my iPhone since much has improved in the last couple of years. I’m looking at the iPhone 13 pro. I just need to make an appointment. The display on my Nixplay frame brings me a lot of joy. If you are thinking of getting one and have questions I’m happy to help.

This is my New Year’s Eve photograph. She has changed so much in these first 8 months.

Moxie at 8 months

I think things may calm down in 2022, or at least I hope so. Stay tuned for my continuing adventures with Moxie.

Undersocialized Charlie and my efforts to have a companion dog!

Among the many problems created by the pandemic is the under socialization of my puppy. My nine-month wait coincided with CoVid 19. Born on February 7th he arrived home just after society was shutting down. Governor Newsom declared a stay at home order in mid-March. We picked up Charlie at 7 weeks rather than chance not being about to make the 2-hour drive to Orland, Ca, and Serenity Springs Labradoodles.

So instead of allowing Charlie to have many social interactions during this critical puppy period, we were busy having our groceries picked up through e-cart, and sanitizing them before bringing them into the home. No one knew what we were up against. Social interactions consisted of listening to Amy teach us on Zoom. Charlie would sit next to my computer and together we learned. Amy’s voice and treats were our first classroom at Baxter & Bella online training. As more was known about CoVid 19 I reached out to my friend Carly and a few months ago we went to our first in-person training with other under-socialized puppies.

Nearing one year of age, Charlie now attends class with the “gifted” pups training to be CCI (Canine Companions for Independence) dogs. Sometimes this works, and sometimes not so much. Skateboarders, cyclists, and motorcycles are triggers (Puppy training language). He was so alert last week, that when I asked for a paw he followed the instruction with his eyes on the road. It was funny to watch but frustrating to teach. In this new 6 feet separation society when you take dogs in public you may not want to let anyone pet your dog. So to be polite, you can say, “Please don’t pet my dog, but if you want he can wave to you.” Giving a paw is the first step in teaching dogs to wave. Good adaptation for the pandemic. Right?

Being anxious is detrimental to learning. To desensitize Charlie I decided to park in front of a store and let him watch the world around him. He feels safe in the car. I give him treats when he is calm. I listened to an NPR interview with Alexandra Horowitz, a cognitive scientist. Her research specialty is dog cognition. I have since downloaded one of her audiobooks to take with us. A perfect soundtrack for people watching from the car. While we watch I capture some images with my Fuji x100f. I like this camera for street shooting.

Next time I will park right in front of entrance!
Looking in to the store.
Reading while walking.
Charlie, the ghost dog!

Last weekend my friends planned to walk the Johnny Cash Trail outside of Folsom Prison. Since my focus has been on Charlie I decided to take him with me. I brought my Fuji x100f to simplify the photo walk. This was a real test. I met the group in a shopping mall parking lot next to very busy, fast-moving street traffic. He was doing well considering the noise.

Right outside the razor-wired fence of Folsom Prison.

Group planning doesn’t always work out, so I decided to pass on the trail, and went in search of a nature trail. The Miner’s Ravine Nature Preserve parking lot was 1 1/2 miles down the road.

Came across this interesting tree. Such an expression What does it say to you?
Gave Charlie the command, “Wait!” He allowed me to take my photograph.
Raised manhole cover ahead. My friend Anne sees something else.
Charlie walks around the manhole cover.
I took this photo after our walk. I think the nature preserve was on the side that we did not visit. Or else Charlie did not pay attention to the sign. That’s my story and I am sticking to it!

Charlie relaxed, and when I asked him to wait, he allowed me to capture some images. This was a win-win situation.

He always recognizes our car, and is happy to jump in!

I plan to make a point to take Charlie out with me daily. After all, someday we all will not be homebound. I hope!

Can you really ever plan something?

About two weeks ago I prepared myself to be a long-distance grandma. I began to investigate photo frames to get pictures all the time. It would be some time before David and I could travel to be together. Thoughts went through my mind, and I felt sad but hoped that by moving to another state her family would find peace and happiness.

Packed up and ready for their big adventure!

My daughter and family sold their house and packed up to move to Knoxville, Tennessee. This was a sudden decision pushed forward quickly by the CoVid 19 pandemic. School was starting soon and her thought was attending school was better than distant zoom learning. Well, after driving for 4 days in the van with her family of 4 boys and a small dog they arrived in Tennessee. Driving up a road named 13 curves proved to be Knoxville’s undoing. Got a call, and in less than 2 weeks, the family arrived back in Sacramento on September 8th. Costly lesson learned. Don’t buy a house sight unseen in a place you have never visited. Luckily, her husband was able to resume his job.

Life has been a bit of a roller coaster ride. Charlie enjoyed having visits with the boys. Eli is particularly good with him. and his pitching arm has landed a couple of balls in my neighbor’s yard. Lucas, the four-year-old, helped with the training by playing a game called, “Mother May I”. The baby has clean toes compliments of Charlie’s licking them. Wyatt, the two-year-old just thinks Charlie is funny.

So Eli started third grade on Zoom, the family made use of our water (showers and laundry), and my stressed-out daughter took care of reestablishing herself. Moving is always a stressful situation. Looking for a home with a contingency is not much fun. It is a seller’s market. Good for the house she is selling in Tennessee, not so good for finding a home she plans to live in.

All her stuff finally made it to Waldon, Tn. in a Pod. It took almost a week of negotiating a “Gypsy Moth” form to get her possessions to return to California. It was filled and refiled almost a dozen times. The date of arrival is in early October. The question remains, where will this family of 6 live???

Tension abounds here, and everywhere.

The strangest year – 2020 – note the cobwebs!

Inhaling the smoke from the fires that surround the area can be the equivalent of smoking 20 packs of cigarettes according to the governor. Add to this a presidential election year. Sorry no pictures. I only went outside to take Charlie out for many, many days.

This is a very, very, very important presidential race. This county desperately needs some sanity in a leader.

Becoming “Ruth less” with the passing of the Notorious RBG. I think this was designed before her passing, and I hope that next year she will reign supreme!

RIP Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Add to this the large response to protest continued police killings of our black citizens and the tension is felt by all. Some of the businesses are boarded up to prevent loss of property. While many peacefully protest there are others who take advantage of the situation and break, trash, and steal.

Boarded up windows provide a place to share words of hope!
I found this painted on a parking lot space

And then there is CoVid 19.

Face Covers Required

As of this writing, more than 200,000 people have died here in the United States. It has been 7 months since the Corona Virus has taken a firm grasp in our state. I heard rumors of a virus in mid-February, but it was March before changes started to happen. Now in downtown Sacramento, there is evidence of this pandemic.

Reminders everywhere. Masks help reduce the spread of CoVid

To mask, or not to mask.

Sorry sight. I’m sure there was a trash can close by.

To go along as if there is nothing to be concerned about, or to ask the question, “Is it worth the risk?” For the most part, my husband and I have chosen to be cautious. David is a diabetic who smokes. I have a post nasal drip that will probably clear out anyplace I venture out to. Most of our shopping has been online. Many of my activities have been delegated to Zoom Meetings. Even Charlie is being trained on Zoom. When I do go out I am masked. Actually, since the arrival of my puppy, there has always been someone here with him. We go to no restaurants, travel no further than a couple of miles, and if I am out it is an outdoor photoshoot with few people around me. So all the family comings and goings started to play on our minds. This did not sit well with all. No one likes this intrusion into our way of life. But I want all to be safe rather than sorry.

This past weekend I ventured downtown to meet up with my CTD friends. Since 2017, Sacramento has invited artists to participate in “Wide Open Walls”. Murals are painted on the walls around the city. The event usually runs about 10 days, but with the smoke, heatwave, and CoVid 19, and political tensions have extended the event. This time I did not capture any artists hard at work.

There is much evidence that this country wants to unite for the good of all its citizens!
Black Lives Matter. We stand with you.

For many years I taught 4th grade with the social studies curriculum being California. This mural reminded me of the first chapter where I taught the four regions – Coast, Desert, Valley and Mountain regions.

California diversity. Four distinct regions of the state.
PEACE – Amazing artwork.
Making the alleys soar!
Painting on such a large canvas. So peaceful looking.

Sometimes parts of murals interest me.

This mural fascinated me the most.

Along with the murals I enjoyed walking the streets of downtown Sacramento. This year I missed the “Chalk It Up” event. To create a safe environment this event was spread out . I came across this one, and wanted to show myself enjoying the artwork. Plenty of electric scooters just left on the sidewalk. Bumper sticker that says it all! Vintage retail sign l liked.

This mural prompted me to look up Betty Inada

Summer, Charlie and CoVid

When I think of summer, July 4th seemed to be a dividing point. Early summer, mid-summer, and late summer. Before July 4th the days were warming up. The country’s government was bowing to the idea that the economy needed to get back to a more normal status. This put some additional pressure on me to move away from self-quarantine and slowly, carefully join others outside.

July 4th came and went. Many firework displays were canceled. I was not too disappointed. The local groups sold “safe n sane” fireworks on every corner. Pride was taken in opening up more windows so fewer people would be waiting next to one another. I am not a fan of these pop-up fireworks stores or the fireworks they sell. Growing up in New York, all fireworks are prohibited. Large firework displays are planned, and I can still remember watching fireworks in the skies on Long Island. Salisbury Park (the name was changed), and over the Sears parking lot from the Gertz-side in Hicksville. One year we were in Boston and watched the display along the river with Tschaikovsky’s 1812 Overture. Cannons included. One of the first fireworks display I saw in California was at the Hollywood Bowl. Unbelievable! Picnics with candelabras and more. Here in Sacramento, we took the kids to Cal Expo, and in Carmichael at the closed La Sierra High School campus. Once we went down to Old Sac to watch the display. Unfortunately, the crowds made me feel uncomfortable and unsafe. A lot of alcohol.

Since CoVid 19 got in the way of large gatherings the following images are from a past Fourth of Julys

Folsom parade with costumes, a cattle drive down main street.

Carmichael parade with old cars decked out.

Photographically, I like parades.

For the past 9 years, I have had more concern for my dog. Libby, a calm black lab felt better at home in her crate. So fireworks were watched on tv along with the movie 1776. This year, with my new pup Charlie I was warned by my neighbors that it would be noisy in front of my house. They were right. There was noise also coming from the street behind us. And the smell of gunpowder hung in the air. But Charlie remained calm, and even went outside to do his business! Good boy!

The hot temperatures here in Fair Oaks does not disappoint. I went looking for a small wading pool for Charlie. Scored one on sale at Emigh’s. I just love this store. Service is top-notch. All of the employees know their products. In summer or winter time my photo friends and I have permission to photograph at the store. No money was exchanged for this endorsement. The parking lot is always full of satisfied customers.

The first time I filled up the 45″ pool Charlie thought it was a BIG water dish. I got in and pulled my puppy in. The next time he ignored the pool altogether. The third time, he got into it. Started digging, splashing, and jumping in and out.

Charlie’s first time in his pool!
Enjoying splashing around!

Getting out and socializing in the time of CoVid 19 is not easy. In July the Sactown Doodles Meetup Group planned an event in Rocklin. No need to RSVP, and I decided that Charlie could use the experience. It was outdoors and the description of the dog park made it very tempting. I messaged Gidget’s owner and arranged a reunion. We also saw Kona, Charlie’s great Aunt. An unexpected surprise. I met Jennifer and Kona last summer when I was looking for a breeder. Many people, not quite so many masks, and many doodles participated. At five months Charlie was one of the younger members there, but he thoroughly enjoyed himself. Visited with many dogs and dog owners. Glad I went. Charlie kept an eye on my whereabouts. I only brought my iPhone, and I didn’t even video this one-hour event. Just enjoying the moment with doodles and their owners.

Glad to have this photo of the two of us. Thanks Beth!

Unfortunately, CoVid 19 is not going away, and numbers are way up here in California. Just heard, a teacher I worked with is getting over this virus. He said it was “no flu”. Glad to hear he is on the mend. But with all the new cases, and no testing or contact tracing being done the scary factor is growing.

Just got three masks I ordered from Etsy. I wanted to support small businesses here in the U.S. A. This new accessory will be around for a while, and I wanted to be protected, comfortable, and stylish! This is the first time ordering on Etsy, and it was a positive experience. Orders went in easily, and arrived quickly. I will test drive these three styles, and then order a few more. So when I am out, I will be wearing a mask to help stop the spread of the Corona Virus. And you should too!!!