Friday, July 29, 2016

We Love Lucy

It's been a rather rough week for our Lucy.  She developed a "hot spot" on her cheek which spread quickly as they are wont to do.  She went in to see the veterinarian who said she is seeing lots of dogs with hot spots recently.  (Hot spots are areas of moist dermatitis.  Starting with one small area, they can spread very rapidly..)

Lucy has never had a hot spot before, although our Ellie seemed to get at least one every summer.  The veterinarian also found that Lucy has an ear infection as well, another first for her.  So she is on an antibiotic and a topically spray as well as ear drops.  Because the area is on her cheek and neck, a cone to protect her from scratching is not feasible.  So the veterinarian recommended keeping her sedated with Benadryl.  It also helps prevent the itching in addition to the sedation.  I was amazed at the high dose...75mg three times a day.  The veterinarian wrote on the instruction sheet that that was indeed the dose and not a typo.  Apparently dogs metabolize the drug differently than humans do so a dose that is excessive even for a 150 pound human is appropriate for a 60 pound dog.  The drug is definitely sedating her, but not making her dopey.  She still gets up when called and walks normally.  But she is asleep the minute she lies down again.

The only good thing going for her is that she dearly loves bread.  So three times a day she gets a little sammich (that's the way you say "sandwich" in WI) with cream cheese and pills inside.  She is so attuned to the process that the instant we get out the cheese and open the baggie with her slice of bread, she is right at your feet waiting for her treat.

This was taken several days before Lucy developed her hot spot.
She loves to rest on my husband's shoes and lie underneath the recliner.

Our heat wave continues, but at least our breezes have returned.  Rain is very spotty and seems to miss us every time.  Our little creek is really down and our trees are looking dusky in the forest.  We are watering our shrubbery on a regular basis.  Very unusual for mountain summers.  Some of the tubing and rafting vendors are not putting people on the rivers because the water levels are so low.  Recently our LOW temperatures at night have been 70.  And the swimming areas and waterfalls are flooded with people.  We've already had five deaths and two serious injuries from idiots getting swept over a waterfall.

Two quotes today seem appropriate for these days when so many are preaching isolationism:

Martin Luther King, Jr.
Make a career of humanity.
Commit yourself to the noble struggle for human rights.
You will make a greater person of yourself, a greater nation of your country and a finer world to live in. 

And from Albert Schweitzer:
Seek always to do some good, somewhere.
Every man has to seek in his own way to realize his true worth.
You must give some time to your fellow man.
For remember, you don't live in a world all your own.
Your brothers are here too.



Monday, July 25, 2016

Summer Days

Finally, the mountain woman returns.  What a treat to have a nice break and visit with family.

Like most of the country, we are suffering from the so-called "heat dome" that hovers over us.  We've had day after day of near-record high temperatures.  The rain that falls is very spotty and unfortunately we have had very little.  The woods are dry.  Our mountain breezes have temporarily deserted us.  It feels quite strange to look out and see such stillness.  But it does make us appreciate the bird activity even more than usual.

We have been treated this summer to multiple Pileated Woodpecker pairs bringing their fledglings to our feeders.  Most often we see only one, but there was one pair who brought two fledglings to the feeders.  The trees were certainly not still when these two big babies screamed for food faster than the mother could fetch it.  I'm sure she was relieved when they finally learned how to reach the suet for themselves.
(You may want to click on the pictures to enlarge)

The mother gets some food while the siblings wait.

 The trio in a tree

 Even in this miserable weather, our birds give us such enjoyment.  The bird bath is in constant use.

 The little ones always seem to have unruly hair.

We are hoping for some respite but that does not appear likely for at least another ten days.  I know it is far worse for many others so we are grateful that we can stay comfortably inside and watch our birds.

I hope you love birds too.  It is economical.  It saves going to heaven.
Emily Dickinson 

Monday, July 4, 2016

Happy Independence Day

...That all men are created equal...

 July 4th is a very special holiday here in the United States.  It is wonderful to be patriotic and loyal to our beloved country.  I advise you however, to be a bit skeptical of folks who boast that they are VERY PATRIOTIC.  Let these and all of us not forget where we came from and that all of our ancestors (except for Native Americans) came here as immigrants or refugees.

 The "New Colossus."  Our Statue of Liberty, Mother of Exiles.
Liberty Enlightening the World

In 1883, American poet Emma Lazarus wrote a sonnet to help raise money for a pedestal for the Statue of Liberty.  The complete poem is on a plaque inside the statue and the final portion is on a bronze plaque on the outside of the pedestal.

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.

"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she with silent lips.  
"Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

So as you celebrate this Independence Day with picnics and fireworks, please remember that while we must love our country, we are not alone on this planet.  I hope all of us can strive to be more accepting of other people while still proud to be Americans.


I'm taking another blogging break for a week.  Summertime and the living is easy with guests coming to visit the mountains.

Friday, July 1, 2016

We Love Lucy

Once again we are in the midst of a drought.  Significant rain is falling very near us.  But every afternoon we get thunder and humidity and not a drop of rain.  We do have some in the forecast so we are hoping it comes to fruition.

Every Friday my husband drives to a neighboring town to Fresh Market for seafood, meat, and fresh baked bread.  And each Friday he has a slice of the bread with his salad lunch.  Lucy loves Fridays.  Because I must cut a small portion off the end of the loaf to slice a piece of bread.  And that small end slice gets cut into small cubes for Lucy.  Our Lucy loves bread as much as Oprah does, but unlike Oprah, Lucy gets bread only once a week and not everyday.  [In case you are confused, Oprah does a Weight Watchers commercial in which she talks about her love of bread.]  Always alert to the sounds that mean good things for her, Lucy waits until she hears me open the bread box.  Then she runs into the kitchen to wait for her bread.  She is all smiles as she waits and her tail is wagging non-stop.

It's time, Mom!  Where's the bread?
Forget about the beef, where's the bread?

In these days of frustrating politics and news, it is such a welcome relief to have such a goofy dog.  She makes me laugh at least once a day with her antics.

Our quote comes from Pope John XXIII, a Pope meant to be a place-holder but who made huge changes in the archaic Catholic dogma.

Consult not your fears but your hopes and dreams.
Think not about your frustrations, but about your unfulfilled potential
Concern yourself not with what you tried and failed in,
But with what it is still possible for you to do.