Friday, May 28, 2010

Fridays are Golden

Oh, look! A present for us. Big human sis brought us a present!

So what if there are two bags. This is the one I want! Now let go.

Not at all certain what the toy is, Ellie decides the best course of action is to grab it and go to a bed to investigate it.

Lucy does the same and almost gets it right.

I'm trying to be gracious about this, but I just don't get it. I don't know what I'm supposed to do with it and you are making me nervous by putting that round thing in my mouth.

I showed them the package with a picture of the cute 'stach. I've seen dozens of pictures of dogs posing with them and they look so funny. However, nothing would entice either dog to grab the ball end and give me a photo op.
Sorry the girls absolutely would not pose with the toys. Our daughter had hoped we would get a nice shot of the two of them side by side but that was not to be. They did, however, like the gift bags.

We are especially happy this weekend. Our son and daughter-in-law are visiting from Indianapolis. How lucky we are.

Have a safe and wonderful weekend. Give more than a passing thought to the reason for Memorial Day and think on those whose sacrifices helped make us safe from harm.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

What a Nice Visit

Our daughter lives in Wisconsin and we don't see her nearly often enough. All the more reason we enjoyed her recent visit.

She was our firstborn and was such an easy baby. She slept well, ate well, and was an adaptable, happy-go-lucky baby. She seemed to have a sense of knowing just what she needed to do to get along in every situation. An outstanding traveler, she easily adjusted to changing meal time and sleep time. She smiled a lot and made me smile a lot as well. I never dreamed having a baby would be so satisfying and fun.

On a trip when she was four, she asked if the people we were visiting had any children. I responded that yes, they had children but they were all grown up now. She pondered that for a moment and said, "If they are grown up, they aren't children then, are they?"

This Polaroid snapshot shows our little family so many years ago. My daughter was soon to have a sibling (a baby brother), so her days as an only child were numbered.

Now our daughter is an adult and we are good friends. We like the same movies and read the same books. We have similar attitudes about politics, human nature, and the environment. We stayed up late every night drinking wine and talking, occasionally watching Miss Marple or Sherlock Holmes.

Every day we took a trip to a different destination. The weather was cooperative for the most part. Our daughter loves the North Carolina mountains almost as much as we do.

On this particular day, we went to Chimney Rock. This is not an aerial photograph...I actually climbed this high above the rock formation to get the shot.

Both of the dogs were excited to have yet another person around who would stroke and pet them and cater to their every need. The morning after she left, they hung around the door to the guest bedroom waiting for her to come out. They were disappointed to find she wasn't there. So was I. It was a wonderful visit.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Yet Another Break?

Yes, I'm taking a two-week break from posting. I have another best friend who is coming to visit. This one is REALLY special. She's my daughter and we plan to have some great fun. Few things in life are as satisfying as the realization that your grown children are wonderful adults and have become your good friends. My daughter was 12 when we moved to Wisconsin so she spent her early years in the south and she loves our NC mountains. We will be day-tripping all over the place.

I leave you with some photographs of real signs. I did not take any of them, but the site from which I downloaded them did not give credit to the photographers. The signs make almost as much sense as the three executives who played the blame game yesterday in the Senate hearing. BP quickly identified Transocean as the guilty party. Transocean just as quickly pointed the finger at Halliburton. And who did Halliburton blame? Why, BP of course.

Well, at least the signs are a bit humorous. There's NOTHING humorous about the disastrous oil spill and lack of accountability.

Finally, the Washington Post recently invited readers to "invent" new words by combining or altering common words. Here is my very favorite:
ignoranus: a person who is both stupid AND an a**hole.
I have a frightening number of people I have so labeled.

Have a wonderful two weeks. I'll be checking your blogs and when I return I'll share some of our little trips with you.

Monday, May 10, 2010

All Over the Place

Isn't it nice to see the Ruby-throated Hummingbirds come back every spring? They now extend over most of their range and are always such a welcome sight.

Every year I closely monitor the migration map. Perhaps because of the nearby escarpment, we see them reported north of us, east of us, and west of us several weeks before they arrive here.

We seem to have a lot of them this year. We have three feeders and a guardian hummingbird at each one. We saw one of them challenge a goldfinch that dared to perch on the branch with the hummingbird. The goldfinch left.

This particular bird often sits on the hook above the feeder as if daring anyone to approach.

Finally, there must be lots of job opportunities for proof-readers.

Freeze-frame from the Internet

Friday, May 7, 2010

Fridays are Golden

Somber dogs? Outside in the sunshine? Off leash in the yard? Not possible.

Yes, it is possible when they are focused on one thing. That one thing was my husband who was washing off some of the furniture. I would not let the girls go over to "help" and they were not happy. No smiles this Friday.

Ellie lies beneath a blooming rhododendron. Her attention is directed at the work being done.

Ellie almost always sits and poses when I have the camera out. Not this time.

Lucy walks up and down the steps, thinking she can divert and sneak over to the hose. Not a chance, Lucy.

The girls look at me in frustration. "What is she thinking?"

The girls and I walked to the back of the house and went inside. Lucy is sitting in front of the mint I planted two years ago. [Note: If you plant mint, put it in a container.] I spend more time thinning this stuff than I do gathering it for tea, garnish, or lemonade. Starting with a single plant, this stuff seems to love its location.

Well, we've reached the beginning of another weekend. Who would have thought that a sell order with a typo would drop the Dow Jones more than 1,000 points in less than 30 minutes? The error triggered pre-set computerized sell orders and the machines just took over. The effects were seen all over the world. (Think "2001 A Space Odessey"). I am so naive I honestly thought there would be a stop-gap for this kind of error. Of course I also thought there was a stop-gap to prevent massive oil spills.

As we approach this Mother's Day, our thoughts go out to all mothers in distress. Especially those who lost their children in the recent floods, those who lost their children in the mining disasters, and those who lost their children in the oil rig disaster.


Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Yes, (Yawn), I Voted

Yesterday was primary election day in North Carolina. Usually an enthusiastic informed voter, I found myself dreading the task yesterday. Oh, I was still informed...I just couldn't muster any enthusiasm this year.

We have the misfortune of receiving network television stations from both North Carolina and South Carolina so we have been blasted with advertisements from candidates of both states. Almost all of them proudly proclaim they are Christian, as if other religions cannot possibly know the needs of the people. A vast majority of the candidates emphasize that they are "native" and have lived here X number of generations. (Please don't tell them that the Cherokee are the only true Natives around here.) Because we declared a specific political party when we first registered to vote, the "do not call" list does not apply to that political party. [Note to self: Run down this week and change your party preference to "Independent."]

So this very apathetic voter headed down to the polls. Why? Because that's one of my jobs as an American. I did want to cast a vote against a certain person running for County Commissioner but wouldn't you know? He's a member of the other party so I couldn't vote against him in the primary.

I got this sticker as a reward for my vote.

Our polling place is a rural community center with lovely old trees all around and a horse farm across the road. A very pleasant place to be.
Here some of the political signs indicate the theme of the day: God, Country, Constitution, Character.

I must admit I don't understand what the "Trust in Freedom" means, but I think it refers to the fact that the government shouldn't tell individuals what they can or cannot do, even to other individuals.

A faint orange line is visible on the driveway and parking lot.

It is replaced by orange flags in the grassy areas.

The orange area marks the area in which all "politicking" must stop. Once you cross that orange line you better have made up your mind because no one can influence you once you are inside that perimeter. A very sweet lady representing a tea party (whatever that is) told me, "I can't accost you if you stay within that orange area." I can't imagine her accosting anyone for any reason and told her so. (But I didn't cross over to hear her commentary.)

I love this wonderful old tree and I was so glad it did not suffer from last winter's storms. It's such an inviting place. It makes the community center seem small indeed.

So I did go and vote. It's quite easy to cast your votes when you are enthusiastic about a candidate and his or her ideals. It's a real chore when you are selecting the least of the evils. But I did it and I'm glad I did. I will always vote. It's my right and it's also my duty.

I don't believe the late Senator Paul Wellstone foresaw the political climate of today, but perhaps he did. He said, "When too many Americans don't vote or participate, some see apathy and despair. I see disappointment and even outrage. And I believe that out of this frustration can come hope and action."

We certainly have disappointment and outrage on many fronts. I would like to believe that hope and action can indeed come out of this frustration.

Monday, May 3, 2010

The Sign Says It All

I rarely post photographs without giving credit, but I have no idea how this one came into my possession. The irony of the spelling error gives me pause. There isn't much else to say about it.