Friday, October 26, 2018

We Love Lucy

We moved with lightning speed from Autumn weather to down-right cold.  We are getting remnants of the recent tropical storm in the Gulf of Mexico.  So it is raining and dreary.  Temperatures will not get much above 40 today.  I am so not ready for cold weather.  On a positive note, we will almost certainly have some warmer days with sunshine.  Meanwhile, we will sit by the fire and read or knit.  And love on our dear Lucy.

Much like a child busy playing, Lucy pretends not to hear us call her the first, or second, or even third time we call to tell her it's time to go outside in the rain.  She hates it despite the towels we put in the dryer to have toasty warm for drying her off.

Even when the room is warm, she curls up into a ball when she comes back inside.

When we have the gas logs burning, her favorite place is near the warm hearth.

Early voting ends here in North Carolina on November 3rd.  If your state has early voting be sure to check the times and try to vote early.  If not, make certain you check your polling location for Election Day.  Many of them have changed locations and hours,  Make your voice count.  If you are turned away for any reason demand a provisional ballot.

Today's quotes are from my favorite philosopher,  Marcus Aurelius.  Reflect on the first when you are watching the "talking heads" on the 24/7 "news" channels.  And reflect on the second as you live your daily life.

"Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth."

"Concentrate on what you have to do. Fix your eyes on it. Remind yourself that your task is to be a good human being; remind yourself what nature demands of people. Then do it, without hesitation, and speak the truth as you see it. But with kindness. With humility. Without hypocrisy."


Friday, October 19, 2018

We Love Lucy

Lucy continues to be more active and seems to feel much better on the new medication.  It's an anti-inflammatory, similar (or perhaps identical) to one used for human arthritis and is worth every penny of its high cost.  She is clearly a more comfortable and happier dog.

We live in the woods and are used to wildlife of all sorts.  But we recently got a real surprise.  A black bear inside our garage!  We bring all our bird feeders into the garage every evening at dusk and put them in a closed container.  Some spilled birdseed had not been swept up and this bear walked between our two vehicles to get to the seeds.  Imagine my husband's surprise when he opened the door to the garage and saw the bear.  My husband made a loud noise, slapping the wall and the bear took off as fast as he could.  In an extremely frightening second, Lucy took out after the bear.  Fortunately the bear had a head start and Lucy quickly ran out of steam.  I shudder to think what might have happened had the bear turned around to face Lucy.  It all happened so fast my husband simply shouted at Lucy to come back.

Thank goodness it was a rather small bear, likely one whose mother had "kicked" him out in order to care for her younger cubs and prepare for the winter's new ones.  It seems this was its first encounter with humans so we are ever so glad it was very frightened.  Our new habit is to close the garage door at 4:30, and it will be earlier as the dusk comes earlier.  Obviously we are more careful to pick up any stray seeds that may have fallen.

Lucy looks pretty gentle to be a bear dog.

In our continued plan to make our home safer as we age, we are having decorative (but functional) fencing placed by the stone steps and walk you see in the photograph.  We already have a metal railing that lines the stones steps going from the back of the house down into the woods.

Early voting has begun here in North Carolina.  So it is appropriate that today's quote should be about voting.  It is a quote from Franklin Delano Roosevelt and was accurate for its time.  Sadly, it is no long correct.  And for that we can blame the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) and gerrymandering.  And it is a shame.

Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves and the only way they could do this is by not voting.

Today we are seeing other ways to deprive Americans the right to vote.  If you haven't been keeping up, read about the voter suppression in Georgia, and in the Dakotas.  The SCOTUS opened the door for such massive last-minute changes to the voting process.  (And that was even before Kavanaugh was seated.)  Polling places have abruptly been changed, and many have been closed.  Registration requirements for absolutely identical information have been invoked.  (If you used a middle initial, your information must also include that initial.  Even an extra space between names could invalidate the information.)  In some areas university students were told how to register as residents of the town where they go to school.  Now those requirements have changed and those students who followed the instructions will no longer be registered.  They will have to reapply consistent with the new regulations.

All of these maneuvers are designed to make it harder for people to vote.  And every singe one of them are in GOP-held areas and are much more likely to affect the Democrat voters.  Surely you can see the unfairness of this even if you are a Republican yourself.

So it's up to us.  We cannot afford to miss this opportunity to exercise our rights to vote.  Vote early if you can.  Offer to drive a neighbor who might not otherwise be able to get to the polls.



Friday, October 12, 2018

We Love Our Lucy

Another week with lots of rain.  The ground was already soaked and then we got some rain from the edge of the recent hurricane.  Thank goodness the storm did not follow the initial path or we would have gotten even more rain.  As it is, we have lots of flash flooding, a few slides and some damaged roads.  But it could have been so much worse and for that we are truly thankful.

Lucy certainly did not like the rain at all.  Good thing we have accumulated a large number of "dog towels" for drying off wet dogs.  Yet another benefit of a long marriage.

After days of rain, the wonderful and welcome sun popped out yesterday afternoon.  The deck dried and we sat out enjoying the sun and watching the birds.  The Rose-breasted Grosbeaks are migrating through and are such a delight to see.

She loves the sun, indoors or outside

Lucy had her annual checkup and we mentioned that she is moving much more slowly and groans occasionally when she lies down.  Our veterinarian recommended an arthritis medication.  We started it on Monday and we can tell a major improvement.  She no longer hesitates before going up or down the stairs and she jumps up to enthusiastically greet us when we come in from errands.  The medicine is quite expensive but well worth it.  She definitely feels so much better and we are grateful for that.

Today's quote is another from Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain):

The rain is famous for falling on the just and the unjust alike;
But if I had the management of such affairs,
I would fall softly and sweetly on the just,
But if I caught a sample of the unjust outdoors
I would drown him.

I suppose it's quite a good thing I do not have management of such affairs.  I can think of so many of the unjust I would drown.


Friday, October 5, 2018

We Love Our Lucy

I've been talking lately about our Lucy getting older, as we are all wont to do.  So I pulled out some old photographs of her from 2005, the year we got her.  She was a tiny little fluff ball and like all puppies, just as cute as could be.

Little Lucy on her first day with us.

The following is one of my favorite photographs of the pair that came to be known as the "Golden Girls.'  Ellie was a year old when Lucy came to live with us.

Quite a difference in size

This photograph was taken a week or so later.  Notice the lush green yard, with flowers all around.  Not seen are the deck, the brick patio and flower gardens.  Yes, absolutely typical suburbia.  Great for the children as they grew up and for puppies as well.

Our house today is so very different.  A house with no grass and a backyard that is a forest.  Both excellent locations and both perfect for their times.

Ellie was so patient with this little newcomer.

The day the veterinarian told us it was all right for Ellie to engage in play with Lucy was wonderful.  It was almost as if Ellie knew Lucy was big enough to take it.  Lucy came running and jumped on Ellie.  And Ellie flipped Lucy a somersault in the grass.  Lucy was totally surprised at this new behavior and she had a lot more respect for her big sister after that.

Now Lucy loves to soak up the sun.  She moves around to catch the sun puddles which seem to warm her old bones.

One of her favorite spots catches the early morning sun.

I am still avoiding the TV news shows and pick up bits and pieces from the Internet.  I go for longer walks every day and a song I do not own plays in my head.  It's Louis Armstrong singing "What a wonderful world" in his marvelously gravelly voice.

In spite of all the politics, in spite of everything, it is indeed a wonderful world.

Two quotes for today.  The first from a former Supreme Court Justice, Oliver Wendell Holmes:

"The great thing in the world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving." 

The other is from humorist Samuel Clemens, better known as Mark Twain:

I hate to hear people say this Judge will vote so and so, because he is a Democrat -- and this one so and so because he is a Republican.
It is shameful.
The Judges have the Constitution for their guidance; they have no right to any politics save the politics of rigid right and justice when they are sitting in judgment upon the great matters that come before them. 



Tuesday, October 2, 2018

To Honor Roald Dahl

Roald Dahl was a favorite writer of both of my children when they were younger.  But it was my son who most loved his books and stories.  Among his favorites (along with The Fantastic Mr. Fox) was Matilda.  It is the story of a brave little girl with magical powers who stood up to her horrible parents and to the evil headmistress of her school.  The book was published in 1988 and for the 30th anniversary, the Roald Dahl Story Society decided to erect a statue of the strong Matilda standing up to a modern tyrant.

They felt the public should decide which modern-day person Matilda should stand up to.  The winner?  Our own President Donald J. Trump.  So now, there is Matilda, hands on her hips staring defiantly at Trump.

Little Matilda stares down a very large Trump

The statues are located in Great Missenden, Bukinghamshire in England, where Dahl lived for many years.  I believe it is a marvelous way honor Roald Dahl.  I suspect he would have loved to see Matilda take on Donald Trump.  Some may say that regardless of one's feelings, one should respect the office of the President of the United States.  To them I would say the this particular President does not respect the office himself.

A personal confession:  I STILL love and re-read Roald Dahl.  His stories are not just for children and adults will find deeper meanings within their pages.  I have an old copy of Roald Dahl Omnibus and every now and then I take it down from the bookshelf and read some of the stories.  It's like visiting an old friend.