Friday, December 28, 2018

Lucy on Friday

Believe it or not, after all this time we still have some bits snow on the north slopes and along the roadside.  Lucy is so very glad to see the snow gone, although as it melted she did venture to walk about the yard.

Most of the snow had melted when she gingerly walked around, scouting out various scents in the snow.

Very careful as she went down some wide stone steps

"I'm not sure this was a good idea.  Think I'll head back inside."

Our son and daughter-in-law are adamantly against the commercialization of the prolific Disney products and wanted to keep them from Violet as long as possible.  Well, that has ended as someone gave her Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse stuffed animals.

This photograph clearly shows what an 18-month old feels like after so much unwrapping and oohing and aahing.  It's just a little bit too much.  She does love the Mickey and Minnie but is clearly exhausted with the flurry of activity on Christmas morning.  I told my son to be happy it wasn't a princess.  Those will come soon enough.

A very tired little girl.

Poor Lucy can't seem to get a break.  We are having heavy rains, having received three inches overnight with more predicted today and tomorrow.  And Lucy hates to go out in the rain. The snow will surely be totally gone by the end of the day.  We are having flash floods and some roads are closed.  Thank goodness our propane tank was refilled so the generator is ready to take over if we lose power again.

It has been quite a year for us, and for many others.  We are definitely ready to say good-bye to 2018 and hope for a better year in 2019.  That is my wish for us and for all of you.

The quote today comes from Alfred, Lord Tennyson:

"Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come
Whispering, "It will be happier."

Let us hope that these words are true and that we all have a happier New Year.


Friday, December 21, 2018

Lucy and Violet Again

We still have a good bit of snow lingering on the ground.  The good and bad news is that it is raining and expected to continue to do so for the next several days.  It will definitely help melt the remaining snow but will also cause flash flooding in our mountains.  At least the weather is not going to drop below freezing.

Lucy does not like the snow at all.  She doesn't even like fluffy snow and she certainly does not like the heavy, icy stuff we got last week.  She no longer runs in the snow but walks gingerly and clearly wants to come back inside as soon as possible.  Our maintenance crew made a sweep with the plow while my husband had Lucy out.  He stopped and asked if we would like for him to plow a swath on our lot for Lucy.  He did and it was so much nicer for Lucy to have a relatively snow-free space for her business,

Lucy walks carefully in the icy snow

Her attention momentarily drawn to some passing deer.

I mentioned in a previous post that our son and his wife think all toys should be considered gender neutral.  Boys should freely play with dolls and girls with big trucks.  We buy new toys to keep here since they usually fly down to visit.  Before their visit in November, we bought Violet a baby doll and a little stroller, along with some stacking rings.  (I had to bless the stroller after the adjectives my husband used when assembling it.)  We knew she would love to push the stroller empty or full.  We figured she would treat the doll like any other stuffed animal.  To our surprise, she seemed to know just how to cuddle and rock the  doll.  She always placed it in the little stroller properly, never facing backward.

It became clear that dolly was not going to remain with us, but would go home with Violet. She held her on the plane and periodically held her up to look out the window.  When she first awakens she wants dolly.  Violet awakens slowly and needs quiet time to come to life.  She sits in Mommy's arms for a while and then she holds dolly while they prepare her Sippy cup of milk.

Not much for posing first thing in the morning

This little girl has brought so much happiness to so many of us.  Words cannot express our gratitude and admiration for the courageous woman who gave birth to this wonderful child.  And the adoption agency that placed her into our lives.  It is a miracle indeed.

Today's quote is again from philosopher Marcus Aurelius and it is particularly appropriate at this Christmas season:

"Very little is needed to make a happy life;
It is all within yourself,
In your way of thinking."

So let's not get caught up in things this joyous season.  As the old saying goes, "the most important things in life are not things,"


Monday, December 17, 2018

A Sense of Humor

I mentioned in a previous post that our granddaughter has quite a sense of humor.  Here she is listening to something her daddy is saying.  Not sure what it was but she found it hilarious.

I like that story, Daddy.

Oh, that's a good one.
You really had me going there for a while.

Since she often wears rock band shirts and has so little hair many strangers think she is a boy.  They often remark, "What a shame such gorgeous eyes and eyelashes are wasted on a little boy."

My son would prefer that all toys be considered gender neutral, and he is determined to keep her from knowing about the Disney princesses for as long as possible.  She does have some tutus and loves to wear them.  They look a bit strange with her Nirvana tee shirt, but that look works for her and she carries it off very well.

Friday, December 14, 2018

We Love Lucy (and Violet)

We did indeed get the full blast of the latest winter storm.  We received twenty inches of heavy wet snow.  Broken branches and fallen trees led to major power outages.  Clearing mountain roads is a very difficult task because most have protective fencing on one side of the road and high banks on the other side.  We lost power late Saturday and it was not restored until late Monday night.

We have a very large generator that will power the house and sequentially turn off "non-essential" things if the propane levels get low.  I could hear the hum of the generator from my bedroom and on Saturday night it was reassuring to awaken and hear it.  After that, it became annoying because it meant power was still not restored.  We had no Wi-Fi but we did have television, thanks to Direct TV.  I must admit it was frustrating to watch television and see sixteen utility vehicles just sitting in downtown Brevard waiting for the roads to be sufficiently clear.  We conserved energy as much as possible, eating soup and sandwiches rather than using the oven to cook.  We didn't bother to clean off the gas grill since it was socked in with snow.  We cleared a small path near the deck railing to hang the bird feeders and fill the heated water for our feathered friends.

We still have plenty of snow on the ground but we can now get out of the community and downtown,  Unfortunately we are experiencing heavy rain and flash flooding will be a big problem as the rain adds water and melts the snow.  Thank goodness I had my chemotherapy last Wednesday.

I mentioned before that Lucy was not interested at all in the Christmas decorations this year.  That was not always the case.  Here she is in 2016, inspecting each ornament and then following my husband to the tree.

Granddaughter is growing like a weed.  Now 18 months old she is in the 95th percentile for height.  That doesn't necessarily mean that she will be really tall, but she does have such long legs it is hard to buy sleepers for her.

Our son is a stay-at-home dad and says it's the best job he's ever had.  Here is our Violet, dressed by her dad.  Pink kitty hat.  Red Def Leppard sweatshirt.  Yellow pants.  Purple shoes.  Carrying a stuffed otter.

Only a true fashionista could carry off this look.

She seems mechanically and musically inclined and already knows how to operate all the safety features they have installed.  Fortunately she is not yet strong enough to operate them but she knows the process.  On a recent visit to a good friend who has two-year-old twin boys, Violet learned how to open their gate at the foot of the stairs.  Then she taught the twins how to do it for themselves.  She has quite a sense of humor and is such fun.  I'm so envious of her other grandparents who live in the same town.

Today's quote is from the author Tennessee Williams.  It fits someone we know quite well as both.
"The only thing worse than a liar
Is a liar who is also a hypocrite."

Whatever your faith or beliefs, I do hope you are enjoying the season.  We are relishing it, taking things slowly and not rushing about trying to do everything.  Store bought will do just as well as homemade this year.  Well, except for Ina Garten's sour cream coffee cake.  That must be available for Christmas morning's coffee.


Friday, December 7, 2018

And We Love Lucy

We've begun decorating for Christmas and listening to carols as we do so.  We are so grateful to have this Christmas together.  Last year I was discharged from rehab days before Christmas, still very weak, and we were anticipating chemotherapy as soon as the surgery was completely healed.  A totally unknown and frightening future lay ahead of us.  Our Christmas was low key as you might imagine.  So while we are still realistic, we are also optimistic and we are indeed celebrating with enthusiasm.

 We decided it would be too difficult to put up our regular tree which exceeds more than ten feet with very heavy sections.  So my husband went  to Lowe's and got an 8 foot tree we could manage.  To our chagrin, the top section of the pre-lit tree did not light up.  We did the usual troubleshooting and it still did not work so the next suggestion was "return to store."  My husband was not happy to have to take the tree and expected to have to argue with some clerk.

But when he told the clerk his story, she looked deadpan and said, "Well damn!  Let me go get you another one,"  He thought it was the best customer service he'd had in quite a while.  Best of all the tree did indeed light up all the way and a smaller one seems just fine.  He has enjoyed spending time selecting ornaments since we have far too many to fit on the tree.

Lucy was totally disinterested in the tree.  Her only concern came much earlier when we moved the armchair that was in the corner.  Like many other dogs, she does not like her environment changed.  Once the chair was gone she pretty much ignored the rest of it.  Alas, another sign of her aging.  In the past she would have stuck her nose into every ornament as it was moved to the tree.

She manages the stairs more slowly but doesn't seem to have pain

In the den she enjoys her soft bed

And upstairs she finds the sun puddles wherever they may be

We have very strong predictions for heavy snow this weekend.  All models predict at least ten inches for us and some of them say the snow will be measured in feet.  We are prepared with plenty of food and a generator with a full tank of propane.  We will dig out for Lucy first and then do the rest at our leisure.  (Actually, my husband will do the digging.  I use a cane for stability and can't imagine a cane in one hand and a shovel in the other.)

Experience has taught us that snow in the mountains is unpredictable.  Often a small difference in elevation will make a large difference in the amount of snow.  The valleys and peaks also make a difference.  So I'm hopeful that we will get much less snow than predicted.  I really should not mind the snow.  After all, we have no place we must go.  My chemotherapy treatment was Wednesday so that won't be a problem.  But after 20 years in Wisconsin, I had my fill of snowy winters.  It was great at the time and we enjoyed the outdoor activities.  But now I will stay inside and enjoy reading and watching old movies.

The quote for today is from one of my favorite philosophers, Marcus Aurelius.  It reminds us how important it is to think positively and with kindness and hope.

"The soul becomes dyed with the color of its thoughts."


Saturday, December 1, 2018

And Still We Love Lucy

And here it is the first of December.  Our Jewish friends will begin the Hanukkah celebration Sunday at sundown and in a few weeks the Christians and heathens alike will celebrate Christmas, all with their own reasons and motivation.

I went to my hair stylist for my first haircut in more than a year!  It was not really a haircut; more of a trim up some wild areas.  As my hair has grown in, it has grown rather wild in all directions.  Think of the worst baby picture you've ever seen with wild hair sticking out all over the place and that gives you an idea of what mine was looking like.  It is still very short, but my stylist was at least able to trim it to manageable and now it looks like someone who dared to cut her hair short enough to dry quickly on its own,

Ironically  enough, Lucy had a bath and style herself.  She doesn't mind her bath and the groomers let her wander around rather than wait in a crate.  She loves watching them work and they seem to love her so we are very pleased with them.

Never one for posing, she sits for a photograph but does not smile.

It's pouring rain here but the weather is warmer.  We had such a subdued Christmas last year we are decorating fast and furious this year.  And we are ever so thankful we have yet another Christmas to celebrate.

Today's quote comes from the late Stan Lee:

"We live in a diverse society
In fact, a diverse world-
And we must learn to live in peace
And with respect for one another."

There is no room for isolationism.  We share this planet with others.  Their problems are our problems.