Local

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The word local arouses mixed feelings in me. I think it’s important for people to buy local as much as possible in order to sustain small business owners in the face of business giants who invade smaller communities. Wal-Mart, of course, being the main offender. Buying from your farmer’s markets, you local retail stores, your local restaurants, puts money into your community and not in the hands of the corporate giants.

Unfortunately, corporate giants have driven business out of small communities and it is not always possible to buy local because the goods and services you need are not available. In my case, I have to go to the closest large city to get what I need. I used to be able to buy what I needed in my local community.

The word “local” has both good and not so good meanings for me. There is drug trafficking very close to where I live. In a smaller community, it’s not confined to so-called “bad” neighborhoods. It’s everywhere. I live in a nice neighborhood with mostly nice neighbors. There is still drug trafficking. There is also reasonably heavy drug use. I often jokingly say you can’t hire anyone to work for you because they would rather be cooking meth.

Having said all this, there is still a beauty in the local areas of small town America. Even though everyone is busier than they used to be, working and with their families, there is still a feeling of the “sit on the porch and talk awhile” than in the city.   There is more of a feeling of trust of people than you have in a city. I trust every neighbor on my street and feel that I could call on any of them in an emergency or crisis.

Local areas are still beautiful things in the United States. As long as we don’t let a criminal element, such as drug distributors, into our communities.

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The Adventure Tour

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“So this was what an adventure tour was like,” Michael thought, as he and Sasha disembarked the small vessel onto Pitcairn Island in the South Pacific.

Pitcairn is one of four volcanic island, still under British control. Population 54. They trudged up the path to their new digs, lodging with a local family. Most families were descendents of the mutineers of the past.

Their family spoke some English. The young girl followed him everywhere he went, aggravating Sasha. Pitcairn was not heavily visited and she hadn’t seen many outsiders. He and Sasha had planned to fish as the waters held all kinds of species of fish. The young girl watched.

Michael and Sasha were fishing in shallow water. Their idea was to get a big fish, something the entire family could have for dinner. They snagged a large white fish. The Pitcairn family would have a wonderful dinner tonight..

Song Lyric Sunday

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For this week’s Song Lyric Sunday, our theme is to post a song with a word that describes a sound in the title or lyrics. So in the spirit of my generation:

Have You Ever Seen the Rain

Creedence Clearwater Revival

Written by John Fogarty

Someone told me long ago
There’s a calm before the storm
I know it’s been comin’ for some time
When it’s over so they say
It’ll rain a sunny day
I know shinin’ down like water
I want to know
Have you ever seen the rain?
I want to know
Have you ever seen the rain
Comin’ down on a sunny day?
Yesterday and days before
Sun is cold and rain is hard
I know been that way for all my time
‘Til forever, on it goes
Through the circle, fast and slow,
I know it can’t stop, I wonder
I want to know
Have you ever seen the rain?
I want to know
Have you ever seen the rain
Comin’ down on a sunny day?
Yeah
I want to know
Have you ever seen the rain?
I want to know
Have you ever seen the rain
Comin’ down on a sunny day?
Songwriters: John Cameron Fogerty
Have You Ever Seen the Rain lyrics © The Bicycle Music Company

Old Man Red

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“Grandpa, you said you’d tell me a story about my momma.”

“Yes, Dolly, Here goes.”

Old Man Red saw everything. He sat on the fence, behind the well box and within sight of the backdoor. He dominated his territory. Those cats that live around here sometimes tried to bother him and he scared them away.

What really bothered him was the girl. He remembered when she was young. She was only just fifteen. Almost every night, when they didn’t know he was sitting on the fence, she snuck out the back bedroom window. He didn’t know where she went. She came home right before he woke up in the morning.

Today, he couldn’t wait on her. He woke up and crowed. The sun was coming up. She wasn’t home yet. She came running in and I caught her around the waist. I sat down with her, held her, and talked to her. Old Man Red had done something good. The girl never snuck out again.

“Grandpa, what do you mean that he crowed?”

“Dolly, Old Man Red was a rooster.”

“Oh Grandpa, roosters don’t think like people!”

 

An Update about Betsy

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When I am upset about something, I usually write about it. In fact, the first place I turn is usually the computer and I write. Not this time. I wrote a post entitled, “Tender Betsy” a week or so ago. It was about my little dog having a seizure. Since then, I haven’t talked about Betsy, but I’m now writing about her and posting an update. I haven’t written much of anything since Betsy’s diagnosis. I hope writing this update can jumpstart my writing again. Here goes.

After Betsy’s second seizure over a week ago, we saw a veterinarian specifically about what appeared to be a seizure disorder, with the blessing of Betsy’s regular vet. We got some bad news. Before I get into that, just let me say that I’ve not had a good feeling about Betsy for some months now. She had seemed to undergo a bit of a personality change. She was not my sparkly, impish Betsy. Everything seemed to be an effort for her. She was moody. Quiet. She didn’t play with her toys or chew on her bone. There were times she even seemed angry with me, but she clung to me at the same time. I wish I had read the signs better and figured out that Betsy was trying to tell me that something was, indeed, wrong. But, in the end, it would not have mattered.

Betsy does not have a seizure disorder. Seizures are just one symptoms of what is wrong with her. She has a condition that is genetic in Cavalier King Charles Spaniels and a handful of other breeds – Boston Terriers, Brussels Griffons, and Chihuahua’s (if they have the round head). It is called Syringomyelia. I’m not going into the gruesome details, because they are gruesome. I will say that it develops due to a dog’s round skull and involves the spinal cord and spine. The symptoms are horrible. It is always, always fatal and is genetic in the Cavalier King Charles Spaniels like my Betsy.

Betsy is going to die. We can possibly manage her symptoms and conduct pain management – for a while. I can’t define “a while.” It depends on the dog. I think she has been showing symptoms for at least six months.

We have started pain management and she is responding. But, she is pretty stoned on her medicine. I hope she adjusts. I am very conflicted over what we are doing. As we progress along this path, I have to watch her closely and see if we are really giving her any quality of life – or not. I’m not interested in giving her quantity of life because quantity would be for me. I will only agree to this approach if Betsy can have days when she feels good, can play and enjoy her life, have quality of life. If that does not happen, it will be time for Betsy to join my beloved dogs who came before her on the Rainbow Bridge. And wait for me.

When I feel stronger about this, I will write a blog post about the wonderful dog breeders – the responsible dog breeders – that I have been fortunate enough to know. I will talk about the other dog breeders, like Betsy’s breeder, who won’t even answer her phone or respond to my email. All I wanted to know from Valerie was the medical history of Betsy’s sire and dam and she would not give me that information because she knew she had bred dogs that had this horrible disease and she was ashamed. My friends, be careful who you buy a dog from.

I’ve considered starting another blog. About this horrible illness and Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.

Please don’t feel like you have to respond to this. It’s up to you. Do something for your local animal shelter in Betsy’s name. Write a letter to the American Kennel Club, as I’m going to do, and ask that they do not register any more Cavalier King Charles Spaniels for five years until some of their genetic issues are solved. These docile, wonderful companion animals do not deserve this suffering. Mention Betsy whose pedigree name is Cappy Hollow’s Magnesium Bright Light.

Because Betsy has, indeed, been a Bright Light who is being snuffed out far too soon. She is four years old.

Thank you for reading this.

Rosemary

 

Through the Rabbit Hole

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The little Blenheim spaniel ran to greet every visitor that came into the old bookstore. Josie bent down to pat her. Josie had one book she wanted to find and she was told she might be able to find it here.

She started down a row of books marked “Fantasy.”

“Odd,” she thought to herself. She didn’t recognize any of the books. Some smaller books were lying on the floor around a stool, so she sat down and started reading. Later, she realized two hours had passed and she was almost finished with the book. The shopkeeper walked up to tell her he was closing for the day, but she could come back the next day and read.

As Josie walked home, she mused on what a wonderful book she’d just read, but she didn’t recognize the title or the author. She read a lot of fantasy.

She went back to the bookstore the next day. She only had 20 pages left to read in the book she read yesterday. She started reading and the same thing happened. Two hours later, she was still reading the book. The book was growing longer, and even better, every day. A real-life fantasy.

 

FFftPP

Family

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Tonight had been high school graduation for Jacob’s class. Mom, Dad, and Sara, his sister, had been there to watch him walk across the stage. He was pretty proud of himself. It had been a struggle at times to get to this stage.

Jacob had straightened up and graduated with straight A’s. He had slipped up tonight. After graduation, he had gone out for a while with friends and had a few drinks. He was walking home.

He was only two houses away from home. A car pulled up and a guy jumped out and tried to pull him in the car. He started fighting and yelling. He was just about to lose the fight and he felt someone pulling back and he heard Dad yelling in return. Dad had heard the commotion. The car sped off and he fell to the pavement. Dad picked him up and held him. He saved him again. He’d been watching out the window for him to come home.

Trump: The Apprentice or The Imposter

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There are moments when I feel sorry for Donald Trump. Most of the time, it seems so obvious to me that he is involved in something – something – that is way over his capacity to cope. Something big. A tiny percentage of the time, I look at his face, and his pout, and wonder if he is the incarnation of The Apprentice. He is an apprentice regarding his job. No big-time career as a businessman prepared him to be President of the United States and all the complexities of that job. He could truly yell, “You’re fired,” at people as a businessman and hire another competent person to fill the position. He becomes the President of the United States and he has to justify his actions. He can’t just fire the FBI Director because, guess what, Jim Comey was investigating HIM. The Donald. That is not kosher for a President to do. Maybe it never occurred to him when he was acting out the first half of his dual role as The Apprentice or The Imposter?

Those of us who really think about it say, “Nah.” Anyone would know that. We are the ones who think he is The Imposter. I fall 99% in this category and 1% in The Apprentice category. But, is there a rule book called, “How to be President of the United States?” I don’t really know the answer to that question, but my guess is no. Many presidents rely on their predecessors for advice. Trump can’t do that. He’s too busy rolling back, or trying to roll back, every program President Obama implemented, just because he implemented it. So, he doesn’t have the wisdom of someone who was President for eight years. He doesn’t even have George W. Bush to brainstorm with since Bush has made no secret of his disdain for the President. Bill Clinton? Well, we know why he can’t talk to Clinton. Let’s not go there.

As a result, Trump is flailing around in very deep waters like a person who doesn’t know how to swim. He doesn’t know how to work with Congress. Not that Congress works. They do so little. Yes, they just sustained a terrible tragedy, but let’s be real here. They have been obstructionist for a long time. It appears that they are going to try not to be obstructionist with President Trump since he is their only hope. What do you do with a President who is so focused on and scared of whether or not he is being investigated for crimes against the State that all he does is watch Cable TV all day and use Twitter. He doesn’t appear to have much time to do things like suggest legislation. Instead, he finds it more convenient to sign executive orders, even those which mean nothing. He looks like The Apprentice.

Let’s take Trump’s recent comments on Cuba. Does this mean no one can go to Cuba? Trump would like for his base to stand up and cheer and most of them did, but SURPRISE! His remarks meant very little. We won’t really know the impact of Trump’s remarks until 90 days have passed and the regulations about Cuba are released. However, the major impact will be on any dealings with the Cuban military.

In the meanwhile, Cuban Americans will worry about whether they will be able to see their relatives on the island and cruise ship operators and tour guides/travel agencies will not know what to do about booking travel. It has looked like Trump only tackled the Cuban issue because Obama did. Apprentice or Imposter? I say Imposter with a dash of, “Take that, Obama,” thrown in, since Trump appears to be acting like a petulant child.

Then we have the tweets. The Tweetmaster. Soon, the hole Trump is digging for himself with those tweets will go all the way to China. Only The Apprentice would not realize you can’t, as President of the United States, go around threatening to fire the people who are investigating you. The tweets are becoming increasingly irrational. They sound like they are written by someone who either thinks he is King, as opposed to President, or that he is scared to death. Again, the Apprentice or the Imposter? I don’t even like him and I want to tell him just to put down his phone. Quit digging that hole. He seems to listen to his daughter. Can’t Ivanka do something? Can’t someone do something? Many of the tweets are about the Russian investigation. Doesn’t he realize he’s making himself look guilty? I’m surprised he isn’t putting the tweets in a bottle and tossing them into that giant hole he is digging for himself.

What will happen if Trump is found to have obstructed justice or other charges and is removed from office? Presumably, Mike Pence will become President unless it is found that he knew about and was complicit in some of the seemingly shady dealings going on in the White House. If Pence can’t become President, Paul Ryan is next in line and Mitch McConnell is next. Please no.

It is difficult to consider that we have elected a President of the United States who is less than honest, who may have ties to a foreign power who is our adversary. I want to believe none of it is true, but the evidence that it is all true is mounting rapidly.. The Apprentice or The Imposter? The jury is still out.

#weekendcoffeeshare – 06/17/2017

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Good morning, everyone! It’s so busy around here, I’ve just put out some pastries here on the table and the coffee machine is by the door. There is also hot water for tea. Please help yourself! I’m so glad to see everyone this morning!

I guess the big news this weekend is that it’s Father’s Day. I hope that those of you who are fathers are having an awesome weekend with your children.

I suspect I’m not the only one who feels like this, but Father’s Day is a little difficult for me. My dad has been gone for a long time – over 33 years. He passed away when he was younger than I am now – too young. Of course, I remember everything about him and our relationship. I was much closer to my dad than to my mom. He was usually jolly and he taught me so many things. My dad was from Sweden and emigrated to the U.S. Not long after he emigrated, he joined the Navy because World War II was just starting. He was in the Navy and the war until the end.

He was injured. His ship was almost sunk in the Pacific theatre. He watched the carnage on the beaches of Normandy. When he finally came home to my mother, he was shell-shocked and a changed man. Gradually, he became somewhat like himself again. He never ever talked about the war except a little to my mom who told me about it. It took them a long time to have me, but they finally did. My dad was the best father a girl could have.

I miss him every day – still. As I get older, I think I miss him more. I hope you’ll excuse my nostalgia this weekend. Father’s Day is one of those tough times.

I think I got my writing “gene” from my dad. He was a beautiful writer in his spare time, as was his father. My grandfather wrote in Swedish. Both wrote personal essays and what these days we call op-eds. Writing has come naturally to me since I started writing as a child. Did anyone in your families write?

One of the other things going on with me is that we are having our house appraised. The appraised is on Wednesday. Sometimes, appraisers just look at the outside of your house, but we have requested that he come inside as well. This means a whole lot of work getting the house ready. I will be doing a lot of that over the next few days!

Mid-June is a lovely time here in Kentucky. The flowers are just starting to bloom and show their colors. We have a lot of bright blue skies and sun. It is one of our best months. June and September are my favorite months in Kentucky.

I’m finally over bronchitis, which I still had the last time I wrote a #weekendcoffeeshare. It lasted six weeks! I probably kept the drug companies in business. I hope all of you are well!

That’s it from here this weekend. I have to get to work! I’d love to hear what’s going on with each and every one of you!

#SoCS – 06/17/2017

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Sign

I’ve never really believed in fate. Never believed that something that happened could be taken as a sign. I’ve always thought that we make our own fate through hard work. I guess that shows you where my head has always been – my work, my career. Never really on personal relationships except in the most tangential way. Even though I’m loathe to admit it, I suppose that’s still true. There was a time, early in my career, I was convinced I could have it all. Fulfilling personal relationships and at least one successful career. Wrong. I was really wrong. At least as far as I was concerned. Not possible. Maybe it is for some people. I chose career, but by then, it was too late to make any other choice.

Back to signs and fate. I can’t quite wrap my head around the fact that people believe that if one thing happens it means, in the vast space that is the universe, something else is going to happen, something random. That they just have a “feeling” it is going to happen. That the first thing is a “sign.” What is that? That “sign?”

I surely see connections between things, even random events. But fate? Signs? Too random for my taste. I prefer to call it logic. I have made some huge mistakes in my life. Some would say there were signs that those mistakes were going to happen. I can look back now and I don’t see signs, but I do see logical reasons that my actions caused my mistakes. Is that the same thing as a sign?

What do you think?

#SoCS