Last night I took the dogs out to do their business and spotted a snake on the driveway by the trash cans. I took the dogs back in, grabbed a flashlight, and walked over to get a closer look. I always want to know what kind of snakes are visiting. Unfortunately, this was a juvenile Diamondback -- very dangerous. It had both its rattle and its head in the air and was watching me closely. I decided to just close the garage bay and hope that it goes away and doesn't come back.
So, now we are on snake watch. We have to look both ways before exiting doors, garage bays, and staircases. It's one of the many inconveniences of living in the desert.
When we went hiking this weekend, my hiking boots were rubbing blisters on both my heels and toes, so today I stopped at Big 5 to try on some new pair of hiking boots. The first pair I tried on were the BearPaw brand. If I tied them tight, the ankles rubbed, and if I loosened them up, my foot slid around, which causes callouses on my soles. The second pair I tried on were the Denali brand. Getting the laces to fit in the hooks was hard, and they slipped at the heel, which would give me blisters, so I passed on them.
I was going to try on one more pair, but right then a big crowd came in and my helper disappeared. I was about to give up and noticed another lady waiting patiently. I decided to wave down the salesman for her, because I could tell that she was in pain being on her feet. She said she was having problems with her arches. While he helped her, I also got him to bring out the one other pair of hiking boots for me to try on. These were the Coleman Golden-W. I liked them. They were well cushioned, light weight, and there was lots of room for adjustment just using the laces. They were roomy, but I could also tighten them up to prevent slippage, so I bought a pair. They were on sale for $29.99 from a regular price of $59.99.
Driving home I saw a lot of winter visitors struggling to navigate the roads. We have these odd left-hand turn lanes here that are like two Ls hooked together. So, drivers are supposed to let two cars into the short part of the L, and everyone else is supposed to wait without blocking the intersection where cross traffic has stop signs. However, those waiting to make the left have right-of-way over those at the stop signs, so when one car leaves the two-car section, the third car has the right to turn in there before anyone else goes. The only time the people at the stop signs can go is when their intersection is clear and the left turners coming from the other direction cannot go because of traffic.
It's confusing. Anyway, I saw this one winter visitor stopped in the long half of the L, and there were no cars in the short half. He was supposed to go, but he was paranoid that the person at the stop sign would hit him. The person at the stop sign could not go because of traffic. The people behind the man who wouldn't take his right-of-way were getting frustrated.
A short time later, I got into the short section of the L to make my left at another intersection, and this driver pulled up right next to me instead of behind me. This was a one lane road, and here was my truck and a little car crammed in there side-by-side. I looked at the guy like what the heck are you doing? It turned out that he was making a U-turn while I was making a left, so it worked out, but had I been making a U-turn too, he would have cut me off. That's the type of driving we've got to deal with this time of year.
When I got home, I took the new boots for a test hike along with Lostine, who hadn't been out of the barn for a while. She spooked three times, mostly at grasshoppers. She feels so light weight, that even when she jumps into me, all I have to do is put my hand out and I can push her away with just a touch. And when she bolts, as soon as she hits the end of the lead rope, she stops immediately, so I don't get rope burn. She did trip several times. She's been having problems with her equilibrium, stumbling, staggering, and sometimes falling. She's not sick, she's just getting old. I myself fell into the vacuum cleaner last night for no apparent reason. I just lost my balance. I blame it on the antihistamines I've been taking to fend off allergy symptoms.
The new boots passed the quick hike test. My right pinkie toe hurt a little, but all of my boots bother it. I need to remember to wrap my pinkie toe up against the toe next to it any time I wear boots.