Friday, September 28, 2018

We Love Lucy

We're having another rainy week.  The rain is scattered and unpredictable.  So we've taken the UK point of view...put on a slicker and just go.  My walk now is on our hilly streets rather than the track and it feels so good to be gaining strength.  The walking does me a world of good so I'm not letting a little rain stop me.  I push myself a little more every day and it seems to be paying off.  How wonderful to hear the birdsong, to startle some deer, and enjoy the peace of nature's sounds.  Unlike before, I do not listen to music or podcasts while I walk.  I want to embrace the outside world, a world I was away from for many months.

I digress.  This post is supposed to be about Lucy.  As most of you know already, Lucy hates the rain.  Even warm rain.  She is quite slow in getting up from her bed if it's raining outside.  Amazing how much the rain affects her hearing.  If it's raining we usually have to call her twice.  In normal weather, she is up immediately.

What did you say?  You can't seriously want me to go outside again, Mom.
You know how I hate the rain and I'm quite comfortable right here.

We feared she might be losing her hearing, and she probably is losing some as she ages.  But if she is downstairs with the TV on, and I start to chop vegetables or fill the doggie treat jar, she is upstairs in a flash.  So it appears her hearing is definitely selective.

Here in the United States, we are caught up in a very controversial Senate Judiciary Hearing for a Supreme Court nominee.  There are many, (myself included) who believe the process of this particular hearing has been flawed by overwhelming partisanship, the likes of which we seldom see.  It makes us wonder about our Pledge of Allegiance when ends, "and justice for all."  Soon we will hear the already-determined outcome.

It is fitting that today's quotes are about justice.  The first is by Saint Thomas Aquinas:

Justice is a certain rectitude of mind whereby a man does what he ought to do in circumstances confronting him.

The second quote is by Elie Wiesel, Nobel laureate, holocaust survivor and political activist:
And protest we must in our own ways.

Friday, September 21, 2018

We Love Our Lucy

Much of North Carolina sustained significant damage from Hurricane Florence.  Areas of the Coastal Plain and the Piedmont suffered major flooding from the rain associated with the slow moving storm.  All of the river basins flooded, even those here in the mountains near the Eastern Continental Divide where the waters begin.  The current death toll from Florence is 42, but the numbers may climb as the waters recede.

We were well-prepared but fortunately, predictions of rain and wind in our area were vastly  overestimated.  We received rain, but not in heavy volumes.  We had some flooding and power outages but far less than predicted.  And for that we are extremely grateful.  Our daughter arrived for a visit before the storm and left after the storm and we are also grateful for that.  We had a lovely visit although the weather kept us inside much of the time.

Lucy was totally unconcerned about the weather.  As long as we didn't make her go out in the rain, she was happy.  As she ages, she wants and needs less and less exercise.  She would probably like to have larger food portions, but we certainly don't want her older joints to bear more weight so we have adjusted her diet to fit her reduced exercise.  Her veterinarian is very pleased with her health for a Golden Retriever who has celebrated her twelfth birthday. She still gets excited about our daughter's visits and she still runs free every now and then, albeit for shorter spurts and less often.  All in all she is a very happy dog.

She does rest in some rather unusual places

And just like her owners, she is getting a lot of gray.
(NOTE:  One of her owners is finally growing hair!  Hooray!)

Today is  World Peace Day, declared by the United Nations in 1982.  A day in which the world would be devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace within and among nations and peoples.  Please pause for a few moments and think about what can be done to bring about peace within our Nation.  We are sorely in need of more peace among our citizens and neighbors.  Think also about peace among all the others who share this planet with us.  We are not alone and what affects one affects us all.

Today's quote is from the Dalai Lama XIV:

“Peace does not mean an absence of conflicts; differences will always be there. Peace means solving these differences through peaceful means; through dialogue, education, knowledge; and through humane ways.”


Friday, September 14, 2018

We Love Lucy

Today has been a beautiful day in the mountains.  Bright sunshine and a gentle breeze.  We have taken advantage of this gorgeous day because all predictions suggest we are in for some heavy rains as Hurricane Florence heads our way.  Most predictions are for ten or so inches of rain.  And our soil is already soaked from near-daily thunderstorms.  If there is much wind with the rain, there will be lots of downed trees and power outages.  So while we are far better off than most areas of North Carolina, we will definitely feel some effects from the storm.

Lucy does not like rain but she has never been concerned about thunder and lightning.  In fact, she loves to sit with us on the screened porch during storms.  When Florence's rain fall upon us, she will not like going outside for her necessary trips, but she will love watching the rain from her cozy bed.

Lucy in the front yard.
Mom, I think I smell something

Perhaps you do, Lucy.  But we need to come inside now.

Our thoughts go out to those in harm's way, even those who chose to put themselves in greater danger.  Large areas of coastal and piedmont North Carolina are getting pummeled with rain, some receiving twenty inches or more.  There are already deaths attributed to the force of the hurricane.

We will be fine, sheltered here in the mountains.  Our freezer, pantry, and fridge are full and our generator will power the house when the electricity fails.  Our daughter is visiting and both she and I love to read.  She has her counted cross-stitch and I have my knitting.  As for Lucy...she will hate going out in the rain but will otherwise be comfy.

Today's quote is from an anonymous author:

Life is not about how you survive the storm,
It's about how you dance in the rain.


And dance in the rain every chance you get.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

When We All Came Together

I cannot let this day pass without a mention of the horrid events of September 11, 2001.  A day when America suffered greatly.  A day when one plane hit the North Tower of the World Trade Center and another hit the South Tower in New York City.  Both towers fell as we watched our televisions in horror.

The World Trade Center Towers

Another plane struck the Pentagon, causing loss of 125 lives

A commercial airplane (United Flight 93) was taken over by the terrorists,  It is thought the terrorists had planned an attack on the White House.  On this plane, passengers and crew attempted to overtake the terrorists and the plane crashed in Somerset County PA, killing all on board,  It gave us a new phrase for heroes, "Let's Roll" heard on a cell phone as the passengers began their attempt to take back control of the plane.

The crash site in Pennsylvania
[All photographs taken from Internet sites where no credit was given to the photographer,]

During this horrid period of time, Americans of all regions of the country, of all ethnic backgrounds and colors, of all religious beliefs (or none at all), of all lifestyles, and all political parties came together, united in grief.  We came together giving accolades to the heroes and solace to the friends and families of the victims.  A true United States of America.  Most of the world grieved along with us.

Nearly three thousand people died from the attacks, including many rescuers.  Many more continue to have health problems or have died from the toxic gases released, especially in New York City.

It's hard to believe how divided we have become since that time.  How much lower we have fallen in the eyes of our world neighbors,  That adds even more sadness to the solemnity of this date.

Let us all remember the events of September 11, 2001.  The way we all worked together afterwards.  And let us hope that the same togetherness will return without another tragedy.

Friday, September 7, 2018

We Love Lucy

This has been a hot and often muggy week.  It doesn't feel at all like Autumn is approaching.  Well, except that the hours of daylight are becoming shorter.  Golden Retrievers have two coats of hair so they are well insulated and do not tolerate heat very well.  Lucy gets a bit of exercise early in the mornings and then much prefers the cool air conditioning for the remainder of the days like these.  Despite the heat, she love the sunshine as much as I do.

We have a wall of windows in the great room looking out over the forest.  And we receive the welcome morning sun, especially in winter.  One of the first questions I asked our contractor was the orientation of the house.  I wanted a south-eastern focus for the great room and I was pleased to learn that was the direction of the view.  Both Lucy and I tend to move around to follow the sun.

Sometimes she likes her head lower.

A typical Golden pose

I often wonder if she has any memory of our Ellie.  The two of them were always together, usually with Lucy using Ellie as a pillow.  I suspect she does not have any memory of her but will surely recognize her on the other side.  And even if that is not true at all, it gives me solace to think that.

Ellie in front with Lucy's head resting on her

Today's quote is from poet Robert Louis Stevenson:
"You think dogs will not be in heaven?
I tell you, they will be there long before any of us."

Rosh Hashannah begins at sundown on Sunday.  It is the first of the High Holy Days and marks the beginning of the Jewish New Year.  Our thoughts are with our Jewish friends on these holy days of worship.