Old People, Dogs and Woods

Well, she did it. Tight as it was she slipped her collar and took off up our backyard into the woods. Even hot dog pieces did not stop her. So I went in the house, got my phone, sunglasses and took off after her hoping to head her off further along the woods. We used to have a trail in the green space to walk through the edge of the backyards. Between neighbors dumping over their fences and trees falling, especially from Asian longhorn beetles, the trail is now an obstacle course. EXCEPT for a little beagle! And maybe that helped slow her down? The nose on legs!

This is especially difficult when your dog does not know her name! I went down the street calling “Here, Lucky! Here Sweetie!” (the top two contenders for name.) Neighbors offered to be on the lookout. I told Troy’s beagle mutt if he found her to keep her there. I cut down the hill through Joy’s yard and into the woods. Troy’s dog barked and I thought it was at me. Then I realized there was noise besides just me in the woods. And there she was. I called and eventually lured her to me with a piece of hot dog. I called Bob to let him know I found her. He brought the car to Joy’s house. I fashioned a collar from the leash and began to guide her through the woods. The terrain was just too rough and her legs too short to follow me. She laid down.

So picture this old woman carrying a 20+ pound dog through the fallen, rotting trees and shrubs, on a hillside, uneven terrain, using tree trunks and honeysuckle branches to balance. Must have made someone laugh! As I got to the edge of the woods, I thought it was strange that Bob had changed his shirt. Nope, not Bob. The young man who had been sitting on his porch was coming to help me out of the woods. He had met Bob in the driveway and insisted on coming down. Except for the dead thorn bush that attacked my arm, I did pretty good!

We got her to the car and we were all exhausted. I drove home with Bob holding her on his lap. Had to bathe her in the utility tub in the garage as she (of course, beagle) had rolled in something. Got her into the office and she could not wait to nap. I am about ready to nap also.

This is a form of exercise that is good for me, but I would rather stay out of the woods! If she ever slips that collar again I will insist on taking her outside with the harness on and only the harness, not the collar for leash connection! Yikes.

Zoom Calls and Video Church

Since March 17th or so when we began to learn more about and practice video church and video calls this song has been rolling around some place in the back of my mind. Of course, when it was written in 1967, we could barely imagine what a video phone was. Now most everyone carries the ability in their pocket! Previously I have occasionally used Whats App and even Face Time. I am grateful we can connect with our friends this way, but after so many years of in-person contact, it does get tiresome for this old lady.

Why must every generation think they’re folks are square?
And no matter where they’re heads are, they know mom’s ain’t there.
Cause’ I swore when I was small, that I’d remember when,
I knew what’s wrong with them, that I was smaller than.

Determined to remember all the cardinal rules.
Like, sun showers are legal grounds, for cutting school.
I know I have forgotten maybe one or two.
And I hope that I recall them all before the baby’s due.
And I’ll know he’ll have a question or two.

Like, hey pop. Can I go ride my zoom?
It goes two hundred miles an hour, suspended on balloons.
And can I put a droplet of this new stuff on my tongue?
And imagine puffing dragons, while you sit and wreck you’re lungs.
And I must me permissive, understanding of the younger generation.

And then I know that all I’ve learned, my kid assumes.
And all my deepest worries must be his cartoons.
And still I’ll try to tell him all the things I’ve done,
relating to what he can do when he becomes a man.
And still he’ll stick his fingers in the fan.

And hey pop, my girlfriend’s only three.
She’s got her own videophone,

and she’s taking LSD.
And now that were best friends, she want’s to give a bit to me.
But whats the matter daddy? How come you’re turning green?
Can it be that you can’t live up to your dreams?

So use your videophone, but skip the LSD. I’ve been told it can be brutal on the mind and body. Do not want to find out!

I’ve Been a Little Busy

You see it started like this at League for Animal Welfare in Batavia. They try to give the dogs unique names so if you call in for records years later they can find the dog. They named her Shelia, which we all knew does not fit her.

She is a four year old very small beagle who likely was captive in a puppy mill before she escaped. She has had at least 2 litters of puppies. The vet at LFAW had to pull many of her teeth as they were worn down or rotted from chewing at the cage, trying to escape. She was found in Louis County, Kentucky at a kill shelter and transferred up here for adoption.

The above photos are our first visit. She was just as friendly on our second visit. By our third visit I was hooked as she sat on my lap for a long time. When the trainer put her in a harness to fit it for her ride home she stood stock still. Bob said, “Look! We trained her to stay!” I mean she would not move a muscle.

We brought her home in the car with Lizzie last Tuesday afternoon in same harness. She has been in shock. Getting to know us and trying to warm up to Bob. It is obvious that she was likely mistreated by a man. First night she slept in her new kennel all night without a sound! Yeah! I was not certain I would get any sleep at all that first night.

She likes out doors better than in. Sits and stares at the street or about the yard. Had not had a wild fling yet, but they warned us she is likely a runner. Suggested we not put her in a fenced yard as she would likely try to dig her way out. Good thing, because our yard is much too hilly to fence!

First hours home. Giving Lizzie kisses after Lizzie LET her drink form her water glass. Rotten Grandgirl!

For now, we do not have a name. The candidates are Sweetie (because everyone says she is so sweet) or Lucky (because we are her family and we are glad to have her). She does not know a name.

Stories will follow as she relaxes and we find out what she is really like!

Recovery Now

May 13th I posted about Hard Frost damage to our Yellow Poplar tree

Just look at it now!

Yep! Same tree! No, it did not bloom this year.

And the young Ginkgo tree that looked as if it was near death, Now restored …

Restore us, LORD God Almighty; make your face shine on us, that we may be saved.

Psalm 80:19 (NIV 2011)

Riding Around

And remembered seeing this once before, but could not place it.

Can you guess what it is?

Lovely, but what is it?

Red clover, used by farmers to fix or replenish nitrogen in the soil! And it is pretty, too! Then I remembered, we saw this on our trip around the country last year. Here is more information about the uses for red clover https://gardenandhappy.com/red-clover-plant-one-of-the-most-beneficial-nitrogen-depositors-ever/

Keep your eyes peeled for those Treasures in Plain Sght!


I was headed downstairs the other day. I saw something on the carpet at the base of the stairs. I figured it was a piece of glitter or a shiny piece off my jeans pocket. When I got to the landing I bent to pick it up. Was very startled to wind up picking up a lightning bug. It was no longer moving, but still glowing. Must have come in on the bottom of a shoe, I mused, and then floods of memories.

I have fond memories from childhood of hunting and catching lightning bugs. First we would pound holes into the lid of a jar. (Lids were metal then before plastics took over manufacturing and metal became rare.) We would capture the bugs in our hand and then put them in a mayonnaise jar. Yep, a glass jar we were allowed to run around with! The more you caught the harder it was to get it in the jar without releasing the others or squashing it in an effort to close the lid quickly. If I was particularly lucky, I was allowed to keep the jar in my bedroom over night. Nothing quite like the magic of falling asleep to blinking fireflies!

Only God could think up something this amazing!

This year in mid-spring when I saw one in the daytime on the window screen I couldn’t wait to tell Bob. He said he had seen one, too. The first brood was in early May, but they never last long. Now in Mid-June we are in the type that live about 2 months.

Amusing that we see these in the middle of the night. (No, I have not ‘stayed out late’ and tried to catch any in years.) Bob and I both wear Fitbit step counters. They also monitor our sleep. He says that sometimes when I roll over in the night mine lights up. Or if he gets up and returns to bed his lights up. Says it is like having giant fireflies in the bedroom.

As a real child, growing up allowed to explore the natural world as far as our yard and one or two others, some kid (probably one of the boys from down the street that we played “War” with), taught me that if you step on a lightning bug on the sidewalk and smear it, it will glow. Turns out we were triggering the chemical reaction that the bugs produced in life to create their bio-luminescence. If you want more information click on this link: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/invertebrates/group/fireflies/

So thank you little beetle for bringing me such joy for my entire lifetime. I was amazed when nephews and nieces visited from California and they had never seen fireflies.


While riding a bus I once asked a man how he was doing. He responded, ” Can’t complain. Complaining don’t do no good anyways.” I recently heard another person state, “I can’t complain. But I do!”

You might have read my blog entitled “1983 and 2020.” I was complaining about my frustrations during this pandemic. I recently read an article in Time magazine, dated June 15, 2020, entitled “The Guilt of Complaining About Anything Right Now” by Susanna Schrobsdorff. I want to link you to her article, https://time.com/author/susanna-schrobsdorff/ Definitely worth the read.

She notes, “Helplessness, the feeling of being stuck and anxiety about the future are textbook harbingers of mental distress. And there are no rules about who gets to acknowledge that distress. We have to find enough compassion for ourselves that we can admit it if we’re not really O.K. and recognize that, even if we have our basic needs met, this can still be awful. It’s not indulgent to mention it; it’s smart to ask for help. This is as important as avoiding the virus because we’ll need mind and body and soul to help each other through this marathon.”

Yes, it is a marathon. We got my new car. It smells that lovely chemical mixture that says new. It came with 33 miles on the odometer. I took a long drive with a friend on Thursday. Averaged 38.2 mph. Have been deciding what goes into it and what does not need to be in it. Bought a basket to organize the back seat. Bought a windshield sun screen that will be easier to find than the all black one I already own.

Awoke today after a fitful nap. Grouchy and knew this was pandemic blues marching around in my head. Yes, we need to be kind to ourselves. We each need to know when to ask for help and how to get that help. And we need each other to get through this. I was NEVER good at running. Dreaded that 20 yard dash in school (years ago when gym class was ugh). Not what you would call a physically coordinated being. A marathon never ever crossed my mind. But as a metaphor for long distance endurance being needed, I get that!

So, never an athlete, but I did admire these guys! Maybe we can adopt this attitude and help each other along.

Susanna is right: “we’ll need mind and body and soul to help each other through this marathon.”


Heraclitus, a Greek philosopher, is quoted as saying change is the only constant in life. A native of Ephesus, he was born in 535 BC and died 475 BC. His saying has also been translated that the only constant is change.

Heraclitus, depicted in engraving from 1825, Wikipedia

And then there is: Change is inevitable. Come to expect it.

Recently I heard Joseph Goldman teach “Awareness of change and impermanence leads us to greater ease in our lives.”

I have a very long way to go before I accomplish what Goldman was teaching. Aware, yes. Accepting, much much harder to get there. How are you doing with all the changes in our lives these days? Have you been able to find the latest Covid-19 data in the midst of other news? Outbreaks of the virus barely being reported or commented upon. SO many people here in Ohio running around in public with no masks and no intention of wearing a mask.

There are many things that this country needs to change. I agree with that. Getting humans to embrace change gracefully is another matter all together.

Can we become pliable in the hands of God and embrace changes as they come to us? We often said that my mother-in-law would have been happier if she could have embraced changes instead of fighting against them as they arose. Wondering now if Bob and I will be enabled to embrace what we must as this pandemic rolls on and the years catch up with us.

As my dear Episcopalian brothers and sisters taught me, “I will, with God’s help.” And I knowingly emphasize, “ONLY with God’s help.”

 For Jesus doesn’t change—yesterday, today, tomorrow, he’s always totally himself.

Hebrews 13:8 MSG

Flag Day

In 1975 we were about to celebrate Flag Day with my mother. I was nine months pregnant. I tried to tell her not to travel to Lexington as the Doctor said I was not going to deliver anytime soon. She drove down from Cincinnati anyway. When she arrived, she wanted to go shopping and had me drive her car. I remember just barely fitting behind the wheel of her used Plymouth. (No adjustable steering wheels back then!)

As we traveled around the Lexington “Circle Freeway” to our destination she sang me a hymn she had recently heard. The title was “How Great Thou Art.”

Mom had brought food in a Styrofoam cooler. After we put the items in the refrigerator, we rinsed the cooler and placed it on our tiny apartment porch to dry. She arrived Friday night and we stayed up late watching Johnny Carson. He hosted Seals and Croft and they sang “We May Never Pass This Way Again.” I went to bed exhausted. Bob and Mom finished the show. Bob helped her pull out the sofa bed and made certain she had everything she needed.

Saturday there was a Flag Day parade in town. We had decided to attend. Here is a link reminding us of what Flag Day stands for https://www.timeanddate.com/holidays/us/flag-day

Saturday dawned bright, but there was a breeze kicking up outside. Mom was not awake yet, but I decided to tiptoe through the living room to the porch and bring her cooler in before it blew away. As I passed the bed, I knew.

Stunned, I realized she was not breathing. I captured the cooler and walked through again. Certainty about crushed me. I woke Bob and made him go check her. By that time he had been working in a hospital for quite a while and had sometimes gone into a room in early morning to draw blood only to realize the patient had passed.

The rest of the day is a blur. The biggest shock of my life so far. It was years before I could hear “How Great Thou Art” without bursting into tears.

She never met my children. We will never celebrate things on earth again together. Though we had our problems, I do believe I will know her again in heaven, where she is singing How Great Thou Art among the many other hymns that she taught me.