Friday, December 19, 2014

We Love Lucy

Much as Lucy loves the fire and the warm hearth, she misses one other thing.  We have always kept the house cool in winter.  We routinely wear sweatshirts or sweaters as we go about the day.  But it did get chilly when we stopped to sit and read.  And especially in the early mornings before we got dressed.  At those times it was not unusual to find someone sitting in a recliner and using a quilt or afghan for cover.  Lucy found that the area underneath the footrest made a  great little tent just for her.

I'm not actually underneath the covers, Mom

 I'm sure no one can see me under here.  I'm completely hidden.
Must remember not to wag the tail.

 Oh, it's so comfy.  Wonder why they don't give me my own blanket?

 Now I'm on lookout duty

Now that we have the warm fire, we simply turn on the fire while the coffee brews.  It quickly warms up the room.  And poor Lucy has lost her tent.  On the other hand, she does have the warm hearth upon which to lay her head.

Today's quote comes from Dorothy Parker:

"If you want to know what God thinks of money, just look at the people he gave it to."

BTW:  Did you know that Dorothy Parker bequeathed her estate to Martin Luther King, Jr.?  And that upon his death the remainder of the estate went to the NAACP?

I have guests for the holidays so I won't be blogging for a couple of weeks.  I hope all of you have a wonderful holiday, whichever one you celebrate.  And if you don't celebrate any of them, have a great week anyway watching the others in their frenzy.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Christmas Carolers

As is the case with most people, our Christmas decorations bring back warm memories of other Christmases.  Some of them bring back poignant memories of those who have gone.  Others remind us of our very young children, and rather young selves.

One of my favorite decorations was a gift from my son many years ago.  It was one of the Byers Christmas Carolers.  A nurse.  We loved it so much that we added to the collection over the years and now we have Carolers all over the place.  The photograph below shows the carolers singing in the streets.  You will notice that there is a doctor behind the nurse.

[NOTE:  Interestingly enough, this is what nurses actually used to look like.  When I first became a nurse, we wore those white uniforms along with a cap unique to the school of nursing from which we graduated.  And yes, we all had a blue cape, just like this caroler.]

We now have an extensive collection of Carolers.  We have a large set of street vendors.  My favorite of these is a fishmonger with her cart, complete with a cat sitting below with a fish in its mouth.  My husband's favorite is an organ grinder, with a monkey holding a tin cup.  We've had many laughs over the years at my husband's expense because he once referred to it as the "monkey grinder."

We have a set of "A Christmas Carol" with the spirits, the Cratchetts and even the Fezziwigs dancing in front of the fireplace.

I really love all the Carolers, but none more so than the nurse.  Ah, the joys of Christmas Past.

Friday, December 12, 2014

We Love Lucy

This has been a rather chilly week for us and we have totally enjoyed the beauty and warmth of our new fireplace.  Lucy loves it as well, especially the warmth of the hearth.  Most evenings she can be found stretched out near the hearth.

Sometimes she stretches out full length

Sometimes she pulls her paws in

Hanukkah begins for our Jewish friends on Tuesday.  And for all of us winter begins next Sunday.  The longest night of the year and then the days will lengthen.  Yes, in milliseconds for a while but the idea that the light is increasing is what we focus on.  In this hectic season, try to relax and enjoy yourselves and your family and friends.  Don't turn everything into a problem.

Our quote for the week comes from the Dalai Lama:

"Our prime purpose in this life is to help others.
And if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them."



Monday, December 8, 2014

Finally Finished

Following removal of the old insert, trimming of some stones, and removal of the old hearth, the new insert was put in place.  It is wider and taller than the old insert.

The gas line was hooked up, new electrical wiring to accommodate the new remote.

 The unit viewed from the cut in the chimney.
It looks very much like a small furnace.

 The chimney was closed off about eight feet up and the new fireplace vented to the outside.  The workers re-assembled the shingles which were removed for the cut.

 Look at that.
You cannot tell where the cut was made.

 The lower hearth stones were placed and cemented.

The gas logs were inserted and connected.  The wiring was completed.  A glass panel was placed to seal the fireplace and then the frame was placed around the unit.

The county inspector came out twice during the process to make certain everything was done safely and properly.

 So after 10 days and a ton of money we went from this...

 To this.  TaDa!

The fireplace has gentle blowers which, when activated, suck the cooler air from the floor and send it out through the sides.  That plus the radiant heat from the glass warms the room quickly.  The remote has functions we will likely not use and can be programmed like your furnace thermostat to automatically come on or shut down at certain intervals.  You can set a temperature and the fire will adjust itself to keep that temperature.  There is even a light inside to illuminate the fireplace when there is no fire.  The frame doors will open if you choose and you never have to put a log on the fire.

We are absolutely delighted with the fireplace.  How wonderful to have a warm fire with my morning coffee.  We just love it.  And Lucy loves the warm hearth which is so much easier on the neck now that it is not so tall.

Friday, December 5, 2014

We Love Lucy

Even before we finished off the Thanksgiving turkey it was time to take down the Thanksgiving decorations and start decorating for Christmas.  Thanksgiving came later than usual this year.  So December began a mere four days after Thanksgiving Day.

In 1939 Franklin Delano Roosevelt changed the date for Thanksgiving from the traditional fourth Thursday in November to the third Thursday in November.  That year, traditional Thanksgiving Day would otherwise occur on November 30.  The US economy was not good with the country coming out of the great depression, World War II was beginning in Europe and retailers felt that the shortened Christmas shopping season would be devastating for businesses.  So Roosevelt issued a Presidential Proclamation changing the date of Thanksgiving to the third Thursday of November.

The Proclamation was met with confusion and dismay by many.  Football was king even then, and games would need to be re-scheduled.  School vacations would need to be changed and all calendars would be incorrect.  Roosevelt's political enemies loudly questioned the President's authority to change the date of Thanksgiving.  The Proclamation was so divisive that many states decided not to abide by it and to keep the original Thanksgiving date.  In fact, twenty-three states kept the original date for celebrating Thanksgiving Day and twenty-three states followed the Proclamation and celebrated Thanksgiving on the third Thursday.  The folks in Colorado and Texas were lucky...they celebrated two Thanksgiving Days that year; one on the third Thursday and another on the fourth Thursday.  Roosevelt changed the date to the second-to-last Thursday in November again in 1940 and more states followed that date.

In 1941 Congress passed a law that Thanksgiving Day would be on the fourth Thursday in November.  And so it has been.  I must admit, I wish we had kept it the third Thursday.  I think it just might give it the attention it deserves.  Now it seems Thanksgiving is almost forgotten under the rush to Christmas.  And it's one of my favorite holidays.

We always enjoy Thanksgiving whether we are with family and friends or just the two of us.  And a too-large turkey.  We had a quiet day but we felt rushed to move toward the Christmas season too soon afterward.

Lucy does not recognize anything special about Thanksgiving.  Unlike many pet owners, we do not give her any turkey or dressing.  We did give her some freeze-dried sweet potato treats that she loves and she was quite happy with that.

Like many dogs, Lucy sleeps in a variety of positions.  Sometimes she stretches out full length and other times she curls up like a cat.  (My husband prefers that we can it curling up like a puppy.)

She stirred when I approached with the camera.
But then quickly snoozed again.

These past few weeks have been troublesome in our country and in many places around the world.  Today's quote comes from a few lyrics of a song written in 1955 by Jill Jackson Miller and Sy Miller:

Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me
Let there be peace on earth, the peace that was meant to be.

Let peace begin with me let this be the moment now.
With every step I take let this be my solemn vow:
To take each moment and live each moment in peace eternally
Let there be peace on earth and let it being with me.

We are indeed brothers and sisters on this planet and peace will come only when we recognize that fact and stop isolating ourselves from the rest of the nation and world.  We're all in this together and what affects one affects us all.


Monday, December 1, 2014

A Fireplace That Heats the Room

When we built our mountain home, we wanted a wood-burning fireplace.  We paid quite a bit extra for a fireplace that would burn wood, especially considering the fact that the chimney would be almost two stories tall.  We gave the height and width of the desired fireplace to our contractor, assuming (and NEVER assume) that the depth of a fireplace was standard.

 It is a very tall chimney

So we did get a wood-burning fireplace but despite a very deep chimney box, the fireplace itself was almost as shallow as the condo-sized fireplaces designed to burn logs from the grocery store.  We were disappointed to say the least, but decided to install gas logs so we would have a fire.  The fireplace was beautiful and the fire was beautiful, but it gave us no warmth at all.  All the heat was pulled up the tall chimney.

In mid-October, I read Betsy's blog.  (here)   Betsy is a dyed-in-the-wool lover of wood-burning fireplaces.  Yet she described a gas log insert that actually warmed the room.  I showed the post to my husband and we began researching these new types of vented gas logs.

Before the construction began

We visited a fireplace and hearth showroom and talked with the owner.  He was delighted that I had several pictures of the fireplace on my iPod.  We decided on a unit made by Mendota.  After some discussion, the owner gave us a "ballpark" figure for removing the old insert and replacing it with the new unit.  I gulped audibly but my husband said, "great."  So the owner came to our house for a home evaluation.  Imagine our surprise when he said they could begin installation in mid-November and we would have the new fire for Thanksgiving.

The work was more extensive than I had imagined.  They cut a large hole in the chimney and did a lot of the work from the deck outside.  The weather was perfect, albeit a bit chilly, and the workers were precise.  They lettered and numbered each shingle as they removed it and stacked them in order so they could be replaced in exactly the same spot.

 A couple of workers, one inside the firebox and one in the great room.

 Looking through the firebox to the deck outside.

 And looking through the hole from the outside to the floor of the room inside.

Each evening the workers carefully closed up the hole with insulation and plywood.  Despite some of the coldest weather we've had, our great room was actually warmer even with the cut.  That made us realize just how much heat had been sucked up the chimney, even when we didn't have a fire.

The next step would involve cutting through some of the stone (one-and-a-half inches on each side and three inches from the top).  While they made every attempt to keep the dust level down, it was still quite messy and I covered the furniture with sheets.  Cutting through stone inside a room is simply messy and there's no way around it.  After the tedious job of cutting the stone, it was time to place the new insert.  Next would come the electrician to wire for all the remote-controlled activity and the lights inside.  (Yes, the insert has lights that we can turn on to illuminate the logs when they are not burning, or even when they are.)  The gas line was already present but needed to be upgraded.  And then would come the tedious task of removing the hearth.

More to come...

Friday, November 28, 2014

We Love Lucy

The new fireplace is finished and we love it.  I am pleased to tell you that Lucy does not mind at all that her eight-inch hearth as been taken down and the new hearth (actually the top of the old hearth) is a mere two inches high.  She finds it very comfortable indeed.  And it doesn't stretch her neck so much.

Please don't make me get up.  This is so cozy.

We will be repeating Thanksgiving dinner for some days to come.  Dear husband brought home a fresh turkey.  A 15-pound fresh turkey.  The man will happily eat turkey until the turkey is all gone.  We had a quiet dinner and a lovely day.

French novelist Marcel Proust gives us our quote for the week:
"Let us be grateful to people who make us happy.  They are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom."

There is no better person than the one who makes us happy.  In times of trouble and stress, we turn to these people and we are so grateful to them.  I hope you have these wonderful gardeners in your own life.  Tell them just how important they are to you and how grateful you are to know them.


Monday, November 24, 2014

Through the Cullasaja Gorge

US 64 runs the length of North Carolina, from the Tennessee mountains to the Outer Banks.  It runs through our town and some of its most beautiful areas are not far away.

Our favorite section of 64 runs from Brevard to Franklin, NC, past Cashiers and Highlands.  The route from Highlands to Franklin runs through the Cullasasa Gorge and features many waterfalls as the elevation changes.  We love to drive it in spring and fall.

The largest waterfall is called Dry Falls, although it is far from dry.  Stairs descend to the base of the falls and one can actually walk behind the waterfall if you don't mind a bit of mist.

Click to enlarge and you can see the walkway behind the falls

 Along the route are some beautiful cascade falls

 Some smaller than others

 Because we were meandering we took a different road.  Just to see where it took us.  We came upon a nursery and enjoyed the pumpkin farmer they had on display.

While we do not have the highest mountains in the country, we have the oldest and some of the most beautiful areas to appreciate.  We spend a lot of time wandering the mountain roads.  Well, except during the summers and leaf season when the tourists take over.

Friday, November 21, 2014

We Love Lucy

This has been a rather stressful week for our Lucy.  A creature of habit, she does not like changes in routine.  With the workers still working on our new fireplace she has been limited to the den while they are working.  She loves people and is certain they are here for her to entertain.  So she is better off away from the workers and in the den with either me or my husband.

I think she is looking for new items to use as pillows.  In this instance, it is one of my husband's shoes.  She seems quite comfortable.

 Her hearth is gone completely.  When it is rebuilt it will be only 2 inches high.  Until then she decided to just let her head drop off the bed to the floor.  If she intended to make a statement, it was totally missed as she fell fast asleep.  You can see the outline of the old hearth.  It seems the builders finished the floor before installing the hearth.

It has been a rather chilly week for us but it is finally beginning to warm up to normal for the date.  (I do not use the word "cold" out of deference to our daughter who lives in Milwaukee.)

I will be so happy when the new fireplace is finished and our great room is back in order.  Might as well not have decorated for Thanksgiving this year since most everything is either moved or covered with a drop cloth.  Can it really be?  Is Thanksgiving next Thursday?

Our quote for today is by Franklin Delano Roosevelt:
“Remember, remember always, that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists.” 



Monday, November 17, 2014

iPod Photos

The first day of our daughter's visit, she and I drove on the Blue Ridge Parkway to the East.  I had my usual Nikon SLR with me and also my latest generation iPod.  I took photographs with both cameras and I must admit I was quite surprised at the quality of the iPod photographs.  So all of these pictures were taken with it.  How easy it is to stick in one's pocket, pull it out and shoot.  Makes me wish all the more that we had cell phone service at our house so I could have an iPhone.  But we are in a tiny "no bar" reception area.

Our first stop was at Craggy Gardens, best known for the gorgeous rhododendrons blooming profusely in the early summer.  At this elevation, most of the color was gone from the trees.  But it was one of the most clear days we have seen in quite a while.  And we were enjoying almost record-high temperatures.

Across the road from the visitor's center

We continued our drive, going higher and higher in elevation all the while.

 The distant mountains were gorgeous

 We arrived at Mt. Mitchell, highest point in NC
In fact, the highest point east of the Rockies

 We stopped for lunch at the restaurant near the top of Mt. Mitchell.  The food was good and our waiter was hilarious.  He called us "doll babies" and if you could have seen him and his drag-queen mannerisms you wouldn't have minded it either.  Daughter felt like a teenager among the old folks.  Most unfortunately, I felt right at home.

 Filled with a delicious lunch and enjoying the rockers in the warm sun.
The lady standing behind was breathing hard and leaning heavily on her cane.
But not one of those old farts was about to give up a seat.

 Descending a few thousand feet in elevation, we found plenty of color.  Gorgeous color.  That's one of the best things about living in the mountains...a twenty mile drive makes a huge difference in the Autumn color.

We spent every driving on mountain roads.  And the weather was perfect.  I still sort of miss my old (ten years old in fact) car, but my new one really does love the mountains even more than the old one did.  It has four turbo modes and goes effortlessly up the mountain inclines.  The more I drive it, the better I like it.

Friday, November 14, 2014

We Love Lucy

Much cooler air has swept through the South as it has over much of the US.  Our daytime highs are lower than our typical lows.  At least we did not get snow and the sun is shining.

Poor little Lucy has had a rather bad week.  She had a hot spot and the assistant who shaved the area knicked her skin in several places.  Our veterinarian gave us Prednisone and a topical cream.  The area improved.  Then my husband and I washed the area with Softsoap.  We failed to notice that it was anti-bacterial.  Apparently something in the soap irritated the skin and the next morning the area looked much worse with evidence that she had been scratching and biting it during the night.  We applied topical Benadryl and it seemed to calm things down.  Then, after a romp in the park she developed severe itching.  Back to the veterinarian.  We started her on an antibiotic and oral anti-itch medication along with the ointment and she is improving rapidly.  She hates to be scolded so when we stop her from scratching, she is very sad for a while.  But I try to tell her it's better than a cone.

A very sad pup after being gently scolded
She looks as sad as Harlow   (here)

 A creature of habit, Lucy does not like for things to be disturbed.  She doesn't like it when we decorate the house for holidays, especially if we move any furniture.  And today we have workers pulling off shingles on the outside of the chimney.  They have moved several pieces of furniture and put down mats to protect the floor and rug as they will begin dismantling the hearth in preparation for  a new fireplace insert.

 After today, there will be no hearth for Lucy's head.
Only the large stones covering the hearth will remain and they will be at floor level, making a two-inch hearth.
No longer suitable for a pillow.

Lucy's skin is nearly healed and she is no longer itching.  She really looks forward to her pill sammiches...Laughing Cow cheese spread on little pieces of bread and folded over the pills.  She will be glad (and so will I) when the project is completed, hopefully by next Friday.  I hope she won't miss the taller hearth too much.

The following quote is anonymous but rings true.  It reminds me of the divisive politicians  who now want us to all "come together."  The new Senator who unseated Kay Hagan in the most expensive senatorial race in history is pleased that the threats of ISIL and Ebola kept voters from looking at his dispicable performance as leader of our General Assembly.  [And yes, I AM TOO trying to get over it.]

A man may smile and bid you hail
Yet wish you to the devil.
But when a good dog wags his tail
You know he's on the level.


Monday, November 10, 2014

Celebrating the Life of Ellie

I had a wonderful blogging break.  Our daughter and I traveled the mountains and had perfect weather.  Until the day she went home in a terrible early snowstorm.  More about that later.

Today marks one year since our beloved Ellie died suddenly.  While we still miss her every single day, the pain is less and we spend more time reflecting on her life than on her death.

 Ellie's first day as part of our family

 Her favorite little yellow duck which she carried with her constantly.

 She loved the Wisconsin snow

 She was a perfect dog.  Friendly, amusing, and loyal

My favorite picture of Ellie.  Standing in the hall entrance pleading with me to come out of my study and spend some time with her.

I've been lucky enough to have two "heart dogs."  My first heart dog, an English Springer Spaniel named Tipsy Pudding was with us for sixteen years.  Our next Springer Spaniel (my husband's heart dog) was named Penny Lane and was with us for 15 years.  Our Ellie was gone too soon, barely ten.

Dichi Sirius Eleanor Rose, we were so very fortunate to have you in our lives and you will never leave our hearts.  Dear sweet Ellie:  June 21, 2003 to November 10, 2013.

Friday, October 24, 2014

We Love Lucy

We have enjoyed some wonderful Autumn weather this week.  The trees are not very beautiful with dull color and lots of brown leaves falling.  But the mornings have been crisp with frost most of them, and the afternoons have been sunny.  It is a dog's best weather and Lucy has been full of energy.

Sprinting along

 She does love to run

 She got a little bored when we made her stop and rest for a while.

I'm taking a blogging break for a couple of weeks.  Our daughter is coming for a visit and we will hit all the nearby mountains and towns and maybe some not so nearby.  I won't return until after Election Day so I need to encourage all of you to vote.  And don't concern yourself only with the Governor, Senate, and county elections.  Perhaps even more important in some states is the vote for State Supreme Court and District Appeals Court judges.  What better way to control the nation than to control the court system?  (And if you don't believe this, look at the actions of the Roberts Court and what the Citizens United vote did to manipulate our election process.)  This is especially true here in North Carolina where a single party controls the State Senate and House as well as the governor's seat.  They are desperate for like-minded judges less inclined to listen to appeals of some of the more onerous laws they have passed during their controlling time in office.

Judicial races are supposedly non-partisan, but a little bit of reading will give you an idea of which candidate  is more conservative and which is more liberal.  Find the candidate who reflects your views.  Despite the importance of these votes, many people vote blindly for judges.  And that is a shame.  So do some research and don't just vote for someone whose name sounds vaguely familiar.  Or who attended law school at the university of your favorite athletic team.  Be informed. These votes are crucial.

Today's quote is from John Quincy Adams:
"Always vote for principle though you may vote alone.  And you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost."


Monday, October 20, 2014

Annual Tribute

Once again I will reprise this story about two marvelous people.  There is an update near the conclusion of the post.

They met on a blind date and took an instant liking to each other. Much of their courtship consisted of hiking in the mountains of western North Carolina. She was three years his senior, a fact that brought many laughs in years to come. They were married in 1949.

He became a lawyer. A lover of animal, she became a veterinarian, rather unusual for her time. Her continued quest for knowledge led her to take courses in forestry, icythyology, and she loved and studied all things living. She would later give up her veterninary practice to take college-level science courses full time.

They lived in Montana and in New York, but their passion was for western North Carolina where they always intended to retire. The couple were true lovers of the outdoors. When their children grew up they traveled extensively, hiking some of the most rugged mountains in the world. They always stayed in hostels or inexpensive lodging because, as he said, "You meet so many more interesting people that way."

When they were in their 50s he hiked the entire Appalachian Trail from Maine to Georgia. She joined him for parts of the hike and they celebrated with champagne at the end of the trail. Other hikers were delighted with her ability to identify every tree, every bush, and every flower along the trail.

In 1990 John and Irene Bryant moved to the North Carolina mountains they loved so much.

Both photographs from the Transylvania Times

She was an avid gardener and an award-winning quilter. Their passion was hiking, especially the lesser known trails in Pisgah National Forest. They were stewards of the land, purchasing land in their community and donating it to be a nature preserve.

After 58 years of marriage they were deeply committed to one another. The continued to hike together...she in her 80s and he almost 80. They hiked at least once a week, often on the trails of nearby State and National forests.

Their last Christas card.

On October 21, 2007 they went for a hike in Pisgah National Forest. Their son who lived out of State was concerned when he didn't hear from them. He contacted neighbors who also were concerned that they had not returned. The son called the local police.

The car was found near a trail head here in Transylvania County. On November 9, 2007, Irene's body was found near the trail, not buried but covered with leaves. Telephone records showed that she had made a "911" call from her cell phone on October 21 but the signal was insufficient to relay beyond the tower. Their bank card was used in nearby Tennessee.

Irene Bryant had died of blunt force trauma to the head. Her husband John was still missing.

In February 2008 the remains of John Bryant were discovered near a forest service road in upstate Georgia. He had been shot in the head.

Evidence linked the senseless killing of this wonderful and devoted couple to Gary Michael Hilton, although he was not immediately charged.  Following the deaths of Irene and John Bryant,  Hilton pleaded guilty to an equally senseless murder of 24-year-old Meredith Emerson in Georgia. Under the terms of a plea bargain he was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole in 30 years.  He was tried in Florida for the murder of Cheryl Dunlap, a 46-year-old nurse.  He was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to death.  Hilton is considered a serial killer, having murdered at least four people in three different states.
[Update:   Hilton was extradited to Federal court in Asheville, NC and charged with murder, robbery, and kidnapping in the cases of John and Irene Bryant. He initially pleaded not guilty but in March, 2012 he changed his plea to guilty.  He was sentenced in Federal court to four additional life sentences for kidnapping and murder.  Hilton, now 67 years old is on death row in Georgia.]

But this post is not about Gary Michael Hilton. It's not even about justice. There is no justice here. There can be no justice for such heinous actions. This post is about two of my heroes...John and Irene Bryant.

They left behind a legacy of love. Love for each other, their children, their fellow man, and the future. Love of nature, love of the outdoors, and love of these wonderful North Carolina mountains. They are together once again and after seven years we still grieve for them. They left the world better than they found it. Let's all take a lesson from John and Irene Bryant. Live your life to the fullest and give back to nature and to humankind.

Friday, October 17, 2014

We Love Lucy

We had severe weather earlier in the week.  Extremely high winds and 7 inches of rain before the storms subsided.  Seeing our trees swaying back and forth like blades of grass was a bit scary.  Fallen leaves and tree limbs were everywhere as the storm blew away much of the colorful Autumn foliage.

On the first nice day, we decided to take Lucy to the Biltmore Estate to walk the trail along the French Broad River.  It is such a lovely place and especially beautiful this time of year.  As we drove down the mountain the day became more gray and foggy.  We decided to go somewhere closer and ended up at the Pink Beds in Pisgah National Forest  (HERE).  The area was deserted except for us.  So we broke the rules and let Lucy run off lead in the large grassy picnic area.  We feel safe doing this because she immediately runs to us if she sees any other people and she is consistent at recalls.  She doesn't chase squirrels or other animals and the picnic area is sufficiently far away from the parking lot that we could see anyone approaching.  And we are always prepared for poop patrol.

She took off like a rocket, smiling all the way.
(If you enlarge the photos you can still see the shaved area from her hospital visit.  The hair is finally filling in)

 She kicked up her heels

 She stops every now and then to see where my husband is.

 We made her stop and rest, but she wasn't going to take it lying down.

We love the fact that Lucy is well-behaved enough to be allowed some freedom to run even if it is technically illegal.  One place we would never break the leash rule, no matter how empty the area, is at the Biltmore Estate.  When you arrive with a dog in the car, the staff will tell you very politely about keeping the dog on lead.  And then he/she gives an additional cautionary statement...that if you are caught with your dog off lead, they will confiscated your annual passes.  'Nuff said.

We are absolutely thrilled that Lucy has not had any seizure activity and nothing abnormal at all.  We are getting more content that it was an isolated occurrence and idiopathic in nature.

Our thought for today comes from our beloved friend, the late Fred Rogers:

We live in a world in which we need to share responsibility.  It's easy to say, "It's not my child, not my community, not my world, and not my problem."  Then there are those who see the need and respond.  I consider those people my heroes.

We all share this planet together.  What affects one area, affects us all.  We, here in the richest country on the planet owe our help to those less fortunate.  It IS our child, it IS our community, it IS our world, and it IS our problem.  Try to do something to help, no matter how small.  A lot of people doing small things becomes very large indeed.