LIFE'S BETTER IN THE MOUNTAINS

Friday, July 14, 2017

We Still Love Lucy and Update


One day last week my husband was eating his lunch.  Sitting in a recliner and watching the local weather.  I was in the kitchen when he suddenly said, "Oh, my God!  Look in the tree.  QUICK!'

I grabbed the camera and hurried to the door, expecting to see a special bird.  Lucy was at my heels of course and looked out, her body stiff with excitement.



What?  I don't see any squirrel"


There was no squirrel to see.  Lucy was scanning the deck and did not see what was in the tree.  A big black blob that my brain finally identified as a black bear.  Climbing the tree nearest the deck.  In the middle of the day.

I took two quick photographs only because I had camera in hand.  The bear is hidden behind the leaves but I did not want it to climb any higher.  (Although I did give a fleeting thought to let it climb to a clearing so I could get a good picture.  Fleeting thought, folks.)  My primary fear was that the bear might jump onto the deck when I (hopefully) would scare him away.  The deck is on our second story living space, directly above the screened porch.  (And the screen porch is about twelve feet above the ground,)  So had the bear jumped to the deck it would likely have climbed over the deck railing and then shimmied down the screen  porch below.  Imagine the damage those bear claws would have done on the way down.

Putting down the camera, I grabbed two sheet pans and ran back to the door.  Lucy was aware something serious was going on but still had not seen the bear.  She was still scanning the deck.  I prayed that she would not try to bolt out the door when I cracked it open to bang the pans together.


Bear in the tree.  Likely a second year cub whose mother had "kicked" him out on his own.



The bear continued his slow climb up the tree.



I told Lucy to "stay" and opened the deck door slightly.  I started banging the pans together, unsure of what the bear might do.  "PLEASE do not jump onto the deck," I thought.  To my great delight, the bear did not even glance my way.  Clearly terrified by the noise, it scampered quickly down the tree and ran as fast as he could down toward the creek.

Why would we have a bear wandering around in the middle of the day?  I suspect he was roaming since his mother had evicted him.  He likely followed our creek from the nearby lake it feeds into.  At some point he might have smelled our bird feeders.  Bears have an unbelievably keen sense of smell and perhaps the wind was just right to send the scent of the hummingbird nectar or suet to the bear down in the creek.  So perhaps he ambled up the hill and climbed the tree to get closer to the marvelous scents and perhaps even some food.

How fortunate for all of us that we were not only at home, but my husband was watching out the windows.  We are not terribly concerned about this particular bear returning.  In the first place he did not actually get anything to eat.  In the second place he was totally frightened by the noise so it seems this was his first encounter with humans and not a pleasant one at that.  He did not return at all and we have not seen him since.  He ran down the tree and out through the woods as fast as he could, never even glancing back.  And I watched until he was out of sight, and he was still running.  We have lived in this house for ten years and this is the first time we have had a bear climb a tree near the house.  We never leave any food out and we bring the birdfeeders inside at dusk.  So we are assuming this was an isolated incident, not to be repeated.  Interestingly enough, I had been sitting on the deck reading not ten minutes before the bear arrived.  I'm not at all sure what I might have done, but I now have a large metal spoon and pot on the table where I sit to read.

As for the update...all is well and there is absolutely no reason for my failure to blog.  Truth is, every time I think of doing a post, it feels like a chore.  So I decided to remain dark.  And will likely continue to do so for a couple more weeks.

Our lovely granddaughter is two months old now and growing like, well, like newborn babies do.  I'm heading up next week for several days of quality baby time.

Our county is bursting with excitement about the August solar eclipse.  Our house is within the center swath of the maximum darkness.  There are eclipse shirts, stickers, glasses, mugs, shot glasses and almost anything you can imagine.

We are having unseasonably hot weather.  It was 70 degrees last night when I took Lucy outside around nine.  And it was 70 when we got up this morning.  The air is still and it rains intermittently, just enough to increase the humidity even more.  YUCK!

Today's quote comes from Aristotle:

"Men acquire a particular quality by constantly acting in a particular way."

 I hope life is treating all of you well.  I am reading and following your blogs and will return at some point.  When it's fun again.


HAVE A WONDERFUL WEEKEND, EVERYONE

Be like Elizabeth Warren of whom McConnell said,
"Nevertheless, she persisted!"


Friday, June 16, 2017

We Love Lucy


Another topsy-turvy  week for us.  Thunderstorms brought heavy rain almost every afternoon.  As I've mentioned before, Lucy doesn't mind thunder and loves to sit on the screen porch and watch the rain.  She does not, however like to be outdoors in the rain.  I think it's the drying off part that she dislikes most.

Another thing she loves is the fireplace.  She loves it on winter mornings when we light it to take off the morning chill.  She also loves it in the summer because there is a spot of hardwood and the stone hearth for coolness.





I'm going to be taking another two-week break.  Our daughter is coming for a visit and we will ride the mountain roads come rain or shine.

It is wise to heed the words of those more articulate then I when you become so frustrated with the goings on in our world.  These fine words come from Ada Louise Huxtable, Pulitzer winner in 1970.

Summer is the time when one sheds one's tensions with one's clothes, and the right kind of day is jeweled balm for the battered spirit.

A few of those days and you can become drunk with the belief that all's right with the world.

Here's hoping that we all can have some of those jeweled balm days.  Heaven knows we have a sufficiently battered spirit.


HAVE A MOST WONDERFUL WEEKEND!

HAPPY FATHERS DAY TO ALL FATHERS


Monday, June 12, 2017

Rethink this one, NBC.

The man is a far-right radio talk show host.  In its profile of him, the Southern Poverty Law Center described him as "the most prolific conspiracy theorist in contemporary America."


All images from the Internet


The man claimed the attacks on September 11, 2001 were perpetrated by the US government.  As were the Oklahoma bombing and Columbine shootings.

The man called the shootings of the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando a "false flag terror attack" (one of his favorite terms) orchestrated by the Obama administration to enhance the acceptance of the LGBT communities.

The man claimed the Clintons are murderers.  Beginning with the suicide death of Vince Foster and continuing through the slaying of five police officers in Dallas.



The man said his gut told him the death of Antonin Scalia was murder by the Obama administration and warned that Clarence Thomas would likely be next.

The man said the Boston Marathon bombing was nothing more than another "false flag terror attack," this one designed to take away the rights of citizens to bear arms.

The man said that the US government has a "weather weapon" that can generate and steer tornadoes to certain areas causing floods and thus contributing to the fallacy of global warning.

The man has said far too many outrageous statements to list.  To me, the most egregious of his comments came when he called the 2012 attack at Sandy Hook Elementary School "synthetic, totally fake with actors" portraying the murdered twenty small children and six adults.

In case you did not recognize him in the photographs above, the man is Alex Jones.  And the man was recently interviewed by Megyn Kelly for her new show, "Sunday Night with Megyn Kelly." Outrage followed the announcement of the plan to broadcast the interview, none more poignant than the ones from the parents of the slain children from Sandy Hook Elementary.

NBC has declined to comment about the upcoming broadcast which gives this outrageous man a platform. Megyn Kelly, on the other hand, defends herself by saying that President Trump had praised Jones and had been a call-in to his broadcast.  In fact, Jones was issued White House press credentials.   She further went on to say that many people don't know him and it is "our job" to shine a light.

To make this interview more onerous, NBC plans to air it on Father's Day.  A day when so many fathers will grieve for their children killed at Sandy Hook.  If you are so inclined, you can contact NBC here.




I hope the powers that be will take a look at photographs such as this one and rethink whether it is appropriate to give any credence to Alex Jones.  On Father's Day or any other day.

[Purely Personal Note:  I cannot recall a time when I have objected to an interview without having seen it.  My view is generally "watch it, don't watch it; listen, don't listen; read, don't read."  My objection is not so much on my own behalf.  It's for the parents, victims and relatives still grieving from the horrible acts so demeaned by Alex Jones.  They should not have this dredged up again in such a malicious manner.]

Friday, June 9, 2017

We Love Lucy



It's June already.  We have immensely enjoyed the number of birds who are bringing their young to our feeders.  It's such fun watching the parents feeding the greedy little ones.  And even more fun when the parents stop the feeding and the young ones must find their own way to the feeders.  Often they make several awkward attempts before they are finally successful.  Soon enough most of the birds will have another brood and we can watch the whole process again.

Lucy is enjoying our weather.  It's cooler than normal with sunny mornings and rain most afternoons. We are fortunate to have several areas where she can run safely off leash. Like the rest of our household, Lucy refuses to acknowledge that she is getting old.  She runs like a puppy but then relaxes the rest of the day.

We have a wide swath of grass between the road and the woods.  Wide enough for a short jog.

Her face shows that she is not pleased with a recall.
We interrupt her fun periodically for no reason.

I'll do it but I don't like it.




We frequently hop in the car and take a short drive to a park or other grassy areas.  One of our favorites is the top of an earthen dam on one of our lakes.  Although she gets good exercise on trails, she really loves open areas where she can run full speed ahead.

Heading back to the car.

It has been quite an interesting week, hasn't it?  It seems that we are supposed to overlook all the failings of our President.  According to the Speaker of the House  we should take into account that the President "is new at this" and does not understand the protocols of the relationship between the Department of Justice, the FBI, and the White House.  Well, excuse me Mr. Ryan, most of us learned this relationship in grade school.  It's part of that "separation of powers" thing.

Several quotes once again:
"Men acquire a particular quality by constantly acting in a particular way."
Aristotle

"To know what is right and not to do it is the worst cowardice."
Confucius

"I think I am almost too honest to be a politician."
Donald J. Trump


HAVE A WONDERFUL WEEKEND, EVERYONE


Monday, June 5, 2017

Pinket Revisited


A while back, we gave both our children some of their things we had kept from their childhood days.  Our son took his Christening gown and baptism items, his religious education certificates and achievements among other things.   His favorite lovey was included in the items.

Interestingly enough, the item to which our baby son became attached was a blanket that had been his sister's.  An ordinary pink baby blanket with a satin border.  As he began to add words to his baby sounds, he called the blanket "Pinket."  (Obviously a combination of "pink" and "blanket.")  This blanket and another lovey were with him constantly until he was three or so.  The other item was a small stuffed Winnie-the-Pooh.  Ironically, it also had belonged to his sister who never cared much for it.  (Her constant companion was Eeyore.)  If our toddler son wasn't carrying the two loveys, they were surely somewhere close at hand.  He called them "PinketandPooh" as if it were a single word.

Fast forward if you will to 2017 and the arrival of our lovely little Violet.  Violet's parents are fortunate to have some good friends who are excellent photographers.  One of them came to do a newborn photo-shoot when Violet was two weeks old.  Our son sent me a picture of the photographer taking one of the photographs.  The message was captioned, "You might recognize the blanket."  And there was tiny Violet covered by Pinket.  The same blanket that covered our son forty years ago.  (And his sister three years before that.)

iPhone photograph taken by our son
She is indeed a tiny little girl


If you click to enlarge the photograph, you will note that the edges of the blanket are frayed.  Over time, the satin border became detached.  I bought the pink satin to sew on a new binding but my husband objected.  He felt replacing the binding might attach too much importance to the blanket.  I suspect that he also thought that the blanket would unravel without the binding and shrink thread by thread.  But somehow the blanket remained relatively intact despite the constant use.

You can't imagine how thrilled I was to see the photograph of our dear granddaughter covered by Pinket.  Who knew when we gave the items to our son that he would have his own daughter so soon? Oh, we are blessed.



Friday, June 2, 2017

We Love Lucy


Another week has gone by.  Another week in which we humans are perplexed and saddened by the statements and actions of our leaders.  Another week in which we vow again to follow the wisdom of our dogs.  And fail yet again.

Even our trouble-free Lucy looks a bit down.
"No, Mom.  I'm just adjusting my pillows 
Ready to relax and snooze again"


Our little Violet is thriving.  Eating well and gaining weight. Her parents and grandparents are over the moon with delight.  I got a text from a good friend after some particularly onerous happening this week.  She said, "My sincere apologies to Violet since she will inherit a total cluster-f--k."  I must admit that having an infant grandchild makes me even more fearful of our planet's future.

Once again, there are several quotes for today:

From Marcus Aurelius:
"That which is not good for the beehive is not good for the bees."


And an anonymous one:
"Everything happens for a reason but sometimes that reason is that you are stupid and make bad decisions."


And from Isaac Asimov:
"No sensible decision can be made any longer without taking into account not only the world as it is, but the world as it will be."


HAVE A MOST WONDERFUL WEEKEND,  EVERYONE!





Monday, May 29, 2017

Moment of Remembrance


In the midst of our picnics, our fun at the park, our drive in the country, let us spend some time today to reflect on those who gave their lives in service to our country.


Little white crosses and their rows are so long. How will it end if you don't know it's wrong?
From "Little Play Soldiers"




Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
John McCrae

So this afternoon at three o'clock (your local time) stop.  Reflect for one minute on your country and those who gave their last full measure of devotion for you.  For this one minute in time, we can have national unity.  It's only a minute but the symbolism of it is huge.  Imagine.  One minute of unity.


Peace to each soul that sleepeth
Rest to each faithful eye that weepeth
                    Thomas Moore