Friday, August 29, 2014

We Love Lucy

Here we are the last weekend in August and we are definitely having some hot and humid August weather.  Lucy is spending more time in the shade than in the sun.  One of her favorite spots is behind the recliner.  Or worse, under the raised foot rest.  The problem is that my husband cannot reach her when he is sitting there so she begins to miss out on a lot of petting.  Sometimes she actually whines and thwacks her tail for attention.  Then she realizes she must get up in order to get some petting.

In a surprised moment she is actually looking at me with the camera

She loses interest quickly and begins to nod off

Our thoughts still go out to the people and animals who are suffering here and abroad.

[Note to "news" media:  Please pay more attention to what the President is saying than what he is wearing.  Honestly.]

Our quote is from Kahil Gibran and is food for thought:

"When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you will find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.  When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight."


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Jay At The Feeder

Yesterday dawned with the sound of our lift pump alarming.  It is ever so much worse than the most annoying alarm clock you could imagine.  So we had the plumber here most of the day.  And for that privilege, we paid him dearly.  But we had little choice.  Want to use the bathrooms again?  Then pay the plumber to install a new pump.

The plumber spent a bit of time on the phone locating a pump.  (We do not get cell phone reception at our house.)  He was totally amazed at the variety of birds he saw coming to the feeders on our deck while he was inside.  I didn't tell him, but we never have Blue Jays at the feeders.  This sighting marked the second time in our eight years of living here.

He seemed quite at home

 Dipping right in

 Did he hear me?

 Grabbing a seed

There are lots of Blue Jays in our area, staying in the woods and meadows.  But I suppose even they want a little variety every now and then.

Friday, August 22, 2014

We Love Lucy

We shop at local businesses whenever we can.  It is in everyone's best interest to keep local shops operating.  We have a local pet shop and used them for quite some time.  Their prices were a little higher but fortunately we can afford that.  We became increasingly frustrated to find they did not have our dog food and probiotic on many occasions.  This despite the fact that we would call them well ahead of time and they would assure us of a delivery date.

I read about on several of your blogs and we decided to give them a try.  The products are far less expensive than at our local pet store.  But the selling point is their service.  In every case we have found delivery to be quick and accurate.  So we now use them for our food and treats.

Each delivery brings an excited Lucy, despite the fact that chewy does not include a cookie with the delivery.

Lucy checks out the box

 Something smells really good

 There it is

 She licks her lips just thinking of those delicious Zuke's mini treats

We are disappointed that we no longer shop at one of our local stores.  But we have found chewy to be an excellent resource for pet products.

[NOTE:  Chewy has no idea we have praised them in this blog and we received nothing for it except some cute photographs and a blog entry.]

Our nation mourns the death of a journalist and the brutal murders of hundreds of civilians at the hands of ISIS.  Here in our own country we have major uprisings in Missouri and other cities.  The Palestinian/Israeli conflict continues to take lives and the people in the middle east are suffering.  In such times we fervently hope for peace.  And our thoughts go out to the innocent people, especially the children who are suffering.  And when the people suffer, so do the animals so we send thoughts for them as well.

We find ourselves so very frustrated that we can do so little to bring about peace.  And so we must focus on our own inner peace as much as possible.

Saint Francis de Sales had this to say:

"Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset."


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Scrap Metal Birds

Shears and gears.  Rakes and shovels and spades.  Motorcycle tanks and balers.  These are some of the scrap metal pieces that make the birds in our yard.  Because the yard is large and filled with trees and shrubs, the birds do not scream out but sit peacefully for us to enjoy.

This is the largest bird, almost six feet tall.

 This one is large as well and sits on a perch.  I love his blue beak.

 A smaller one, about four feet tall.

 And the smallest one, less than three feet tall.

 This one seems to be squawking all the time.

We do  enjoy our yard birds.  And are glad the metals were re-used in such a lovely fashion.  Friends who visit are surprised when they see one of them, often after a couple of visits.  They often ask, "Did you just get this?"  Then they look around for the others, amazed they hadn't noticed them before.  Large as they are, they seem to fit right in.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Craft Fair

The hills are alive with craft artisans.  And we attend a lot of the craft fairs here and in neighboring counties.  Not necessarily to buy, but always to look and to admire.  One crafter's guild held a fair last weekend.  And the variety of crafts was amazing, far too many to include in one post.

I love the wooden toys.  My favorites are the Noah's Arks with the animals two by two.  In earlier days children were not allowed to play with toys on the Sabbath.  So biblical characters were carved by creative parents and grandparents, the most popular being Noah's Ark.  Since these carvings represented stories from the Holy Bible, they were not considered true toys.

[NOTE:  You should click to enlarge the following photographs.]

There were arks of various sizes.
There was a huge one but I couldn't grab a picture without so many admiring people around it.

 One craftsman makes animals and flowers from ordinary metal objects that might otherwise have been discarded.  It is interesting to try to identify the various tools and metals comprising each piece.

 Who knew rebar could be twisted and welded into a piece of art?  (Did you know that "rebar" is short for "reinforcing bar"?

 Dave's stained glass is always popular.  He makes a variety of smaller sun catchers and ornaments.

 And some very large and lovely glass pieces as well.

It's always a fun time to see all the wonderful and clever crafts.  And we do often buy pieces for ourselves or for gifts from the mountains.  We have purchased several yard birds that are scattered throughout out yard.

Friday, August 15, 2014

We love Lucy

Want to see yet another photograph of Lucy determined not to look at me and the camera?

In spite of her love for pillows (shoes, chair rungs, hearth) Lucy often sleeps with her head lower than her body.  You figure.

We are having  such wonderful weather, especially for August.  Cool nights and crisp mornings.  Lots of rain early in the week.  And the leaf color predictions are already being printed.  I have no idea why they do that since there are such differing opinions.  All we know is that life has become more quiet around here and will get even better after Labor Day.  And for a few weeks we will have our mountains to ourselves before the leaf peepers come to town.

Today's quote is from Marian Wright Edelman, founder of the Children's Defense Fund:

"We are not going to deal with the violence in our communities or homes, and our nation, until we learn to deal with the basic ethic of how we resolve our disputes.  And to place an emphasis on peace in the way we relate to one another."

We wish for peace for those who are troubled in our country and all over our planet.


Monday, August 11, 2014

Last of the Summer Dance

Many small towns close off the street for dancing in the summer.  And many of them do it for the tourists.

Brevard closes Main Street for the residents every Tuesday evening during the summer.  Tourists are welcome, but the dancing is mainly for the people who live here.  There are volunteer instructors available to help those who need a little refreshing.

Typically the children dance together in groups separate from the adults.

Children love the dances

 And the adults have a lot of fun

 Sometimes the bridge is rather low but so are the dancers

 A great time for everyone

 The band stands in the gazebo at the Court House lawn

A sure sign that summer is coming to a close is the announcement that the last Tuesday Street Dance is here.  And that day came last Tuesday.  School starts soon, the camps are closing, and the tourists are leaving us.  But they will be back in a few months when the autumn leaves begin to turn.


Friday, August 8, 2014

We Love Lucy

Interesting week we've had here in the mountains.  Today is stormy with heavy rains predicted for this afternoon continuing through the weekend.  Oh well.  Guess it is meant for us to relax this weekend.

Our Lucy really knows how to relax.  The other evening she was sleeping so soundly she didn't hear me cutting the carrots.  As I approached her, she was clearly deciding whether to continue her nap or if it was to her benefit to get up. I should tell you that Lucy loves fruits and vegetables.  She especially loves apples, carrots and green beans, but also likes strawberries and tomatoes.

I'll just open my eyes and raise my head a little bit

When I asked if she would like some carrots she jumped to her feet with a smile.

 Oh yes!  I'd love some carrots, please

I handed the carrot pennies to my husband.  He makes Lucy sit and wait before giving her any.  Then he hands her one at a time, slowly.  She hates that.

 Why doesn't he just give me the carrots already?

Lucy is surprised that some dogs, even  Golden Retrievers do not like fruits and veggies.

(Shamelessly stolen without permission from 
"How Sam Sees It")

Harlow (above) and her brother Monty are entered in a contest for a wine label to benefit the Arizona Golden Retriever Connection (AZGRC).  Go to their blog here and see their lovely photographs.  There is a link on the post that allows you to connect and donate to the AZGRC by voting for them if you are so inclined.  The votes are one dollar and you may vote as many times as you wish.  All proceeds will go to helping rescues.

This week has seen an escalation of fighting across the middle east.  The US has made air strikes in Iraq against a group of terrorists who seem to be killing and destroying civilians indiscriminately.  Our thoughts go out to those civilians in Iraq, the Palestinians in Gaza, the Israelis, the displaced Syrians as well as those in Ukraine.  We also turn our thoughts to our fellow Americans in Hawaii during the hurricanes bashing their shores.  We hope they can find peace again.

Today's quote is from Mother Teresa:

"If we have no peace it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other."



Monday, August 4, 2014

Missed the Birthday Party

Smokey Bear celebrates his birthday every year right here in Transylvania County and I often drive up for the big party.  At the Cradle of Forestry in Pisgah National Forest.  Since this was Smokey's 70th, I decided to drive up to watch the children celebrate.  It is such fun to see the little ones squirting water, making birthday cards, and learning about fire prevention.  And eating cake.  Several sheet cakes are prepared and served to the guests and Smokey himself always makes an appearance.

[Educational side note:  There is a riddle popular with children.
Question:  What is Smokey the Bear's middle name?     Answer:  The
Smokey Bear does NOT have a middle name.  His name is Smokey Bear, not Smokey the Bear.  "The" came into being when a popular song was written about him, but it is not part of his name.]

The weather looked a little "iffy" at best.  But one never knows where the rain will fall in the mountains so I decided to give it a try.  I drove up the mountain and when I got within a mile of the Cradle of Forestry, it started to rain.  And it rained pretty hard.  So I decided not to even drive in to the parking lot, even though the festivities would be continuing indoors.  I would have gotten soaked walking from the parking lot to the building.

Photograph by P Sullivan from BlueRidgeNow

I decided to keep driving up to the nearby Blue Ridge Parkway and see what the storm looked like from there.  It was rather unsettling to look out at the rain not far away from where I stood.

 Rain moving across the mountains

I started back down the mountain, listening to music and enjoying the light rain.  And then the rain became heavier and heavier.  It was so loud I could no longer hear the music.  My windshield wipers were on maximum and could barely keep up with the rain.  Finally I decided to pull over and wait for the storm to abate.  It kept pounding on the car but finally slowed a bit.

The rain followed me (or I followed it) all the way back to Brevard.  Where the streets were dry.  I drove up another mountain to our house to find the sun shining with nary a sign of rain.

Reminded me of one of my favorite cartoons.

 click to enlarge

So I missed Smokey's big party on his 70th birthday.  But I heard from good sources that he doesn't look a day older than 20.

Friday, August 1, 2014

We Love Lucy

Our much cooler than normal weather continues, now mixed with thunderstorms.  Lucy has managed to get to the park almost every day and runs and runs and runs.

Whereas Ellie always stopped and posed for me, Lucy tries to avoid the camera.  We laugh about the fact that she hardly looks at me when I want to take her picture.  Perhaps she has heard the legends about photographs capturing some of one's spirit.

Purposefully ignoring me

 And staring into space

 Pretending there is something of interest under this bush

 Our world is in turmoil right now.  We desperately need to see change in our own country and around the world.  More of us need to step up and get more involved.

Another quote for today comes from my favorite Lennon song:

"Imagine all the people living life in peace.
You may say I'm a dreamer,
But I'm not the only one.
I hope someday you'll join us,
And the world will be as one."

Amid the suffering sent by Nature and by people, we should pause to think of our neighbor.  And not just our neighbor next door or in our town, or in our state, or in our country.  Do whatever you can do to help those in need.