Sunday, August 31, 2008
Friday, August 29, 2008
There was a time when both girls had stuffed toys which they would carry around. One day Ellie found a seam and started to pull at it. She eviscerated the toy. So excited about her discovery, she systematically tore apart every single soft toy they owned. So we have learned that any toys (other than hard ones) will be destroyed within 15 minutes. Ellie has a real knack of finding the weakness in construction and tearing the toy to shreds.
On a recent visit to the pet supply store, I came across a Kong toy with a heavy fabric covering. Thinking it would take quite a while to destroy, I bought two of them. It appeared to have a regular Kong underneath so we could at least salvage that.
We gave the toys to the girls. They are intended to be "toss and retrieve" toys.
Ellie immediately grabbed one of the toys and went off to play. Forget about toss and retrieve. She was making this a chew toy.
Lucy sniffed at the remaining toy as if she wasn't quite sure what to do with it.
Lucy walked over to the bed where Ellie was chewing the toy.
She loved it all right. Within 10 minutes, she had found the weakest spot and tore into it. To our surprise, the inside was not a Kong. It was two small balls which Ellie quickly started to tear into.
Wednesday, August 27, 2008
My computer is fixed and it's like having an old friend back. I have truly missed reading your blogs and I'm looking forward to catching up.
On Monday, our newspaper printed a delightful story that I would like to share with you. A Western North Carolina man (David Hayes) regularly takes his three-year-old granddaughter Alyssa fishing. The two of them go out to the garden to catch crickets and dig worms and then go to the pond behind the house. Mr. Hayes usually does not fish; he baits Alyssa's hook and takes off the catch, usually small bluegills.
During one of their outings this month, Alyssa had a sudden urge to go to the bathroom. She asked her grandfather to hold her fishing pole. The pole is a hot pink Barbie Rod and Reel. A few minutes later, Mr. Hayes felt a tug on the pole. He had hooked a fish...a really big fish.
After a twenty-five-minute struggle, Mr. Hayes pulled in a catfish. It was a big catfish. In fact, the channel catfish Mr. Hayes caught on the Barbie Rod and Reel breaks the North Carolina state record! The fish weighed 21 pounds, one ounce, and at 32 inches in length it was longer than the Barbie Rod.
Saturday, August 23, 2008
The thing that really frosts me is that it got injured by downloading an updated version of a spyware program I PAY MONEY FOR!!! (Thank you very much Webroot.)
I must admit to playing a rather stupid role here myself. The "doctor" at the computer hospital asked me if I had a backup drive. Of course I have a portable external hard drive to back up my files. Doesn't everyone? So he said it wouldn't matter if they had to wipe the files. Um, well, I may have been a bit of a procrastinator. So please call me if file deletion will be involved. I may want you to backup some of them first. Gulp.
Do you think for one minute I moved my recipe files there? Or backed up my iPod music? Or my most important files I cannot afford to lose? OK, so all I actually transferred to the backup were the huge number of photographs that were slowing down the speed of my laptop. But I do have a backup hard drive and I had every good intention, blah, blah, blah. I assure you when my laptop has recovered and is home from the computer hospital, I will immediately back up those files.
So after four months or so of blogging, I will have to take a rest while my computer is down. I should be back up and running by mid-week, so check again on Wednesday. If the computer has to be sent for extensive rehab, I'll let you know.
Friday, August 22, 2008
One thing she is particulary interested in watching is any bird that may be on the deck. When we hear a "thunk" on the window, Lucy is right there to see if a bird has fallen. She will then concentrate on watching the bird until it recovers and flies away. She will wag her tail in approval every time the bird moves its head or wing, or otherwise shows signs of improvement.
Yesterday I came into the great room to see Lucy staring at something on the deck.
She was focused on something just outside the door to the deck. I grabbed the camera, although it was so close to the door I expected to see an insect.
There sat a little hummingbird, staring up at Lucy while Lucy stared down at the bird. I moved to get a better angle, but the hummingbird had had enough of the stare-down and took off. Lucy looked at me as if to say, "I saved another one."
Then she lay down, confident that the matter was settled.
And so it's Friday again so soon. We still have lingering hope that Tropical Storm Fay will oblige us with some much needed rain. We had high hopes earlier, but that fickle Fay has not followed anyone's predicted path. If you are in Florida, inundated by rain, we are thinking of you and praying that you and your loved ones are safe from the flooding.
And no matter where you are or what you have to do, I hope this weekend is wonderful and lots of fun.
And THANKS SO MUCH, fishing guy for my first blogger award. I am honored.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
The park is situated on land covered with huge rock formations.
This is taken from the trail leading to an area in which Caesar's Head (the rock formation) can be viewed.
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Every year, Wisconsin eagerly awaits the mindset for incoming college freshman, published by Beloit College. The following information was taken from their Website (cited at the end).
This month, almost 2 million first-year students will head off to college campuses around the country. Most of them will be about 18 years old, born in 1990 when headlines sounded oddly familiar to those of today: Rising fuel costs were causing airlines to cut staff and flight schedules; Big Three car companies were facing declining sales and profits; and a president named Bush was increasing the number of troops in the Middle East in the hopes of securing peace. However, the mindset of this new generation of college students is quite different from that of the faculty about to prepare them to become the leaders of tomorrow.
Each August for the past 11 years, Beloit College in Beloit, Wis., has released the Beloit College Mindset List. It provides a look at the cultural touchstones that shape the lives of students entering college. It is the creation of Beloit’s Keefer Professor of the Humanities Tom McBride and Public Affairs Director Ron Nief. The List is shared with faculty and with thousands who request it each year as the school year begins, as a reminder of the rapidly changing frame of reference for this new generation.
The class of 2012 has grown up in an era where computers and rapid communication are the norm, and colleges no longer trumpet the fact that residence halls are “wired” and equipped with the latest hardware. These students will hardly recognize the availability of telephones in their rooms since they have seldom utilized landlines during their adolescence. They will continue to live on their cell phones and communicate via texting. Roommates, few of whom have ever shared a bedroom, have already checked out each other on Facebook where they have shared their most personal thoughts with the whole world.
It is a multicultural, politically correct and “green” generation that has hardly noticed the threats to their privacy and has never feared the Russians and the Warsaw Pact.
Students entering college for the first time this fall were generally born in 1990.
For these students, Sammy Davis Jr., Jim Henson, Ryan White, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Freddy Krueger have always been dead.
- GPS satellite navigation systems have always been available.
- Coke and Pepsi have always used recycled plastic bottles.
- Gas stations have never fixed flats, but most serve cappuccino.
- Electronic filing of tax returns has always been an option.
- All have had a relative--or known about a friend's relative--who died comfortably at home with Hospice.
- As a precursor to “whatever,” they have recognized that some people “just don’t get it.”
- Universal Studios has always offered an alternative to Mickey in Orlando.
- Martha Stewart Living has always been setting the style.
- WWW has never stood for World Wide Wrestling.
- Films have never been X rated, only NC-17.
- Clarence Thomas has always sat on the Supreme Court.
- There have always been gay rabbis.
- IBM has never made typewriters.
- McDonald’s and Burger King have always used vegetable oil for cooking french fries.
- They have never been able to color a tree using a raw umber Crayola.
- There has always been Pearl Jam.
- The Tonight Show has always been hosted by Jay Leno and started at 11:35 EST.
- Authorities have always been building a wall across the Mexican border.
- Lenin’s name has never been on a major city in Russia.
- Caller ID has always been available on phones.
- Living wills have always been asked for at hospital check-ins.
- They never heard an attendant ask “Want me to check under the hood?”
- Iced tea has always come in cans and bottles.
- Windows 3.0 operating system made IBM PCs user-friendly the year they were born.
- Muscovites have always been able to buy Big Macs.
- The Hubble Space Telescope has always been eavesdropping on the heavens.
Information and list taken from the Beloit College "Mindset List for the Class of 2012." The list has been pared for brevity. For complete list, go to: www.beloit.edu/mindset/2012.php
Now, does that make you feel a little old? This magazine may make you feel better.
Monday, August 18, 2008
Sunday, August 17, 2008
It rained yesterday. We actually had some rain. Not just a sprinkle, but a real summer shower. The rain was not expected or predicted by the meteorologists. It just fell. And welcome it was.
There was a puddle in the turn-around and the raindrops spashed the water.
When the rain ended, we were delighted to find that we had received an inch of rain. It isn't much, and it won't end the drought. But it certainly lifted the spirits of this household.
Friday, August 15, 2008
Reporter: "The French Broad River and basin has reached its lowest level in recorded history. Records began in 1895, and this is the lowest on record." The reporter then turned to the fisherman and asked, "Have you ever seen the river this low?"
Fisherman: "No, I've lived here for 25 years and this is the worst I've seen."
I was so hoping the fisherman might have responded, "NO, you idiot. If the river hasn't been this low since 1895, how in the world could I have seen it lower?"
The following picture shows just how low the French Broad River is today. Normally, NONE of the rocks would be visible. The river should extend to the shore lines. There should be rafts and canoes, and tubing all along the river.
(Photograph from the Asheville Citizen-Times)
We now resume our regular "Fridays are Golden" post. I took the girls out for a new photo. I put them at a "Sit/Stay" which usually means Lucy will tense up and look goofy while Ellie will look directly at the camera and smile her award-winning smile.
Surprise! Lucy (on the left) is giving me a big smile, while Ellie (on the right) seems distracted.
I took another shot. This time Lucy is almost laughing, while Ellie is still not even looking at me.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
This mountain, to the right of Table Rock Mountain, is a Raven rookery and it is not uncommon to see ravens gliding the thermals from this sight.
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Looking Glass Rock is a mere 5 miles northwest of Brevard. However, one must drive about twenty miles to see the north face. The Blue Ridge Parkway winds around several faces of the rock. Located within Pisgah National Forest, it is a popular destination for hikers and rock climbers.
Looking Glass Rock reflects the sunlight, especially when water or ice collects on the faces. (Hence the name.) It was formed by underground volcanic activity and is a mass of molten rock which hardened beneath the earth. Centuries and centuries of erosion exposed the underground rock and shaped it into the marvelous dome we saw today.
Monday, August 11, 2008
Along this escarpment, the high mountains drop dramatically to the piedmont areas. In some places, the drop is more than 3,000 feet and is quite a sight to see. Here are a couple of views of the escarpment taken from (barely) inside the South Carolina State Line.
Sunday, August 10, 2008
Smokey Bear, and his famous slogan, "Only YOU can prevent forest fires," were begun as a public service campaign. How did they determine August 9, 1944, as his birthday? That is the release date of the first Smokey Bear poster.
Many people mistakenly believe the entire Smokey Bear campaign began because of a little burned bear cub. In fact, the little cub who became the living symbol of Smokey was rescued in 1950 in New Mexico. He lived the remainder of his life at the National Zoo in Washington, DC.
The image of Smokey Bear became protected by federal law with the passage of the Smokey Bear Act of 1952.
The Forest Discovery Center did a fine job of arranging Smokey's party. Multiple tents and staging areas allowed wonderful activities for the kids. Face-painting, making birthday cards, practicing with fire fighting equipment and several others delighted the children.
Here, the kids play Smokey Bingo.