Wednesday, June 16, 2021

A Few Days in Tennessee

Have you ever felt like the world was being just too much? Where things and life were pushing in, crowding out your quiet thoughts and you feel exhausted, overly tired, irritable ... Need I say more? 

Many of you know that's how I've been feeling the last few months. For me, there is no better place to remedy all that than to unwind in my happy place.... A cabin owned by friends in eastern Tennessee, where I've been with Todd and Max for the past several days. 

Out in this section of the hinterland, there are fewer people. 

There’s the huge sky full of beautiful clouds, mountains, and the people are always welcoming and warm as has been the summer sunshine. 

~The Smokey Mountains from Pigeon Forge TN~

In the morning, there are of course birds singing and there is the pecking on the kitchen window made by a male-Cardinal who we named John -- We have seen him at this window for the last 3 years. 
And for the first time since I was a kid at my Grandfather's in Kentucky, at sunset, I am hearing the call of a Whip-poor-will off in the distance. What memories that brings back!

All of this allows my mind to settle and those inner-batteries to recharge - 


And Todd and Max have fun too! 

So tell me, where do you go when you need to think? What do you do when you need to get your sense of humor and smile back ...

and restore yourself? 

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Brood X -- They're Here!

It is the 26th of May, and we are really in the thick of things with life running at full speed. Whether I want it to or not. I'm working some extra hours and days to cover for a couple of co-workers who are out of the office. 

With today as my only day off this week, I'm using it to catch up on a few things, inside and outside. 

~George!!!~

We are also in the "thick" of the cicadas, known as "Brood X." Most of the species we have are annual cicadas, which emerge every year and take only one year to complete their life cycle. But these are different. As I mentioned in a previous post, this particular "brood" has been living underground for 17 years. 

All in preparation that has been leading up to this moment when they have surfaced in droves -- up to 1.4 million cicadas per acre -- to climb whatever they can (mostly trees)

~The cicadas are making a pilgrimage up our old Maple tree~

to molt into their adult form, leaving the past behind them...

to sing their deafening love song in a loud chorus...

                           **A video below that I made today, or here's the link ....

and produce the next generation before dying in just a few short weeks from now.

I really find the whole cicada thing so fascinating, and I've taken a lot of photos. Maybe it's because it's taking place all around us, and because there are so many, we can't ignore them. 

And since their parents lived here before we did, and the ones that we are seeing did too, we are doing our best to not mow them, weed-whack them or step on them. Or let the dogs eat them, which is what some dogs in the area have been doing. Ours thankfully are not. 


Cicadas don’t bite or sting, or eat anything and so for the next several weeks, our yard, is their yard too!


I think there's enough room for all of us. 

Sunday, May 16, 2021

The Phone Call

I had a little bit of a surprise this week - While I was at work, Judy's son, *A* called me and asked me to return his call.  You will of course remember that he wanted to euthanize both Tiggy and Sophie when Judy went to live in a nursing home. For a couple of reasons, I was a bit leery about calling him - Because I will admit that I had a bit of a grudge against him for what I viewed as being callused and heartless towards Sophie and Tiggy. 

~Tiggy~

But I will say, that those feelings had lessoned over the last several months because *A* had paid all or part of the vet bill for Sophie when she'd seen her vet, *Dr S* in October. Of course at the time I said I would pay the bill, just as I said several times that I would do for Sophie's final vet visit. But I was told each time by Dr. S to not be concerned about it, that her vet bills would all be taken care of. Despite being told that, I still wondered if what prompted*A's* call to me, had to do with money and Sophie's final expenses, because I'd asked for her ashes to be returned to me - Which is an expense outside of vet care.


The lesson here is, to not judge and remember that everything is not always about money. Because Sophie's vet bills were not the reason for *A's* call. Well, at least not all of it. He wanted to thank me for taking care of Sophie and Tiggy and giving them a home together. He also wanted to apologize for not reaching out sooner. He then went on to explain to me about the pressure he was under at the time with his Mother and moving her into a care facility, etc. *A* felt that he had no choices with Sophie and Tiggy, because he could not keep them. In listening to him, I could tell it was a difficult time for him. *A* really didn't know what to do other than euthanize them.... Thankfully Dr. S and Irina (our groomer who gave me Sophie) were there to help him with them both.  

We had a good conversation. *A* talked about the longtime friendship he and his Mom (Judy) have had with both Dr. S, and his memories of Dr. Howard (the previous practice owner) who owned Sophie's Mother. And he told me that Tiggy had been a present from him to his Mom, about 7 years ago. We both laughed about the things that make Tiggy such an unusual character - because he is after all, a Siamese cat -- And as we shared the loss of Sophie,  he told me several times how much she meant to his Mom. We ended our nearly 1 hour conversation with *A* offering to pay for any future vet expenses that Tiggy has - I thanked him for that while reminding him that cats can live about 20 years.🙂  I don't know that I'll take him up on that generous and kind offer. But I think it was nice of him to put it out there. And I think it was nice of him to reach out and to call. 

Finally, I have to say, that after the experience with Buddy and his family, I did not want to have any connection to the previous owners of dogs or cats in our care. But this time, it is one of those instances where it's okay. I have not felt judged or under a microscope for a moment. Instead, from Dr. S, (his photo is below) and Judy's son, and even from Irina (our groomer), I have felt nothing but friendship, kindness and support for the care and the home I gave Sophie, and the life that Tiggy has with us. That trust is humbling and it has meant and still means a lot to me. 

*Dr. S*

Sunday, May 9, 2021

The Lighter Side of Life

My heart remains heavy after the loss of Sophie, coming a couple of months after the loss of Charlie. I really miss them both. But I cannot help but reflect how blessed I have been to share my life with these unique and special dogs like Sophie and Charlie that have left me with so many memories. And I'm grateful for your sharing their losses with me. There is a lot of power in that. It has become part of my healing and I cannot thank-you enough. 

On the lighter side of life, we all know that cats and dogs have a way to bring joy and laughter into our lives. If we've had a bad day, they are right there by our side helping us to forget our troubles. And as always, Todd is no exception to that. The video below is something Todd does all the time. And it always gives me a grin. Todd is truly the lighter side of life for me. 

If the video doesn't appear below, click on this for the link...