Thursday, January 26, 2012

Around the Lake

This is little Gwen Lake. I have no idea why or how it got
that name, unless an early settler named it after his wife or
daughter or maybe his mother. Who knows?
In order to keep up my commitment-to-exercise plan, I took a little walk around one of the many lakes that are the reason for this location in Florida to be called "Lake City." This one is very close to my home, but I am not blessed with a view. Maybe that's better because it forces me to walk to see it. Anyhow, along the way I noticed that the azaleas are starting to bust out, which means I may miss the Azalea Festival.
The azaleas are starting show their lovely colors already.

And as I was walking, this cat came up to greet me. That in itself is sort of amazing, since most cats tend to be somewhat standoffish. But then look what happened (See photos). This cat dropped right down in the middle of the road, and although this is not a very busy street, nevertheless, I would take this as somewhat risky behavior. While flipping over from side to side, obviously hoping for some tummy scratching, it finally simply just settled down and watched the approaching car without even flinching.

No, this is NOT a dead cat in the
middle of the road. This is a cat in the
 middle of the road with a death wish,
or possibly just showing off
how brave it is.

I watched, too, and in the end it was the car and driver who veered off to avoid the cat. The cat never moved! I saw a smile on the driver's face, and thus concluded that he was accustomed to dealing with this fearless feline as I saw him turning into a nearby driveway. But what about those drivers who are not cat-conscious?

Maybe this is the clue that we are coming to the End of Times - when dogs acts more like cats and cats do more dog-like things, when the weather is upside-down with snow falling in places it normally doesn't and isn't coming down in places where it usually does. We are rushing toward the December 21 deadline for Something To Happen, but I am unsure that there is anyone who really has a clue.

The cat just stayed in the road watching the car approach.
It was the car that took evasive action, not the cat.
Suddenly it is nearing the end of January and, according to one of the astrological blogs I follow, the next seven days are critical for World Peace. The writer asks for us to pray until February 4 and hope/intend that no rogue nation does something foolish to upset the delicate balance in place at present.

I see no harm in promoting seven days of conscious prayer and/or intending the world's people can put aside their prejudices and imagine being peaceful. 

The biggest obstacle I have is that most people cannot stop arguing for a day, never mind seven of them, and that seems like an important mental and emotional shift when it comes to political beliefs - and those appear to be the elements of conflict both locally and globally. At any rate, I am willing to suspend my disbelief in this matter for seven days.

Will you join me in this intention? "Intending that everyone, everywhere is having a moment of imagining a world at peace and this imagining is growing every day until peace is the only acceptable solution, for the highest and best good of all concerned, so be it and so it is.... Whooooooo!"

Friday, January 20, 2012

The Chicken Chaser or Colombian Chicken Rodeo

Just before I left Colombia for the U.S. I had a friend's child take the dogs for a walk. Somehow the dogs got away from her and began to chase a neighbor's chicken. While the dogs were eventually brought back to my fenced yard, apparently the chicken still remained outside the gate, finding many interesting things to eat in the driveway.

The gorgeous black, and very fast, Colombian chicken.
As I was leaving to go to town later that day for either a class or a meal, I came upon this lovely, large, almost black chicken. Having seen it on the next drive over (really should be called a path because it is not paved like a street or driveway in the U.S.) I decided it would behoove me to grab it and return it. While the idea was fleeting, the concept was large and so was the chicken, who was even fleeter of foot than I was.

There might be the possibility of great entertainment to watch grannies as chicken-chasers, because they - the young birds - can certainly cause the Old Birds to pant and risk falling down trying to corner a fowl that has no interest in being caught.

This bird required me to dash back and forth in lateral moves down the sloping path as I first tried to herd it toward its home. Then in a sudden move, intending to possibly frighten the Old Bird, the chicken ran right at me and then did an Olympic leap with flapping feathers right over my head into the brambles, almost out of my reach. Well, technically it was out of my reach, but risking the sharp thorns, I bent down and forced that wily critter up against a rock wall, grabbed its neck and then by distracting it by making cluck, cluck sounds was able to then grab the legs and hoist it out of the maze of twigs, thorns and dead branches noticing that my hands were pretty well sliced up in the bargain.

As I began my walk down the path toward Chicken Casa with the bird upside down in my grip upon its legs, it craned its neck up at me and gave a sort of guttural cluck as if to say, "Now what?" I probably should have lifted it up and cradled it in my arms, but frankly was afraid that if it decided to peck at me I might drop it and hurt it and knew the leg hold was secure until I reached the owner's place. i was mildly embarrassed when the owner (who was very happy to have his fowl friend returned) briefly cradled the clucker, petted her and then put her into the house with the others... his house, not the hen house.

Still breathing a little faster than normal, I headed in the direction of the pueblo, remembering not just the chicken chase, but even back all those eons ago when my father had chickens and I had to deal with an aggressive rooster just to collect the eggs. The sum of my experiences with chickens has not led me to believe I will ever want one of my own.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

First, Last and Best

Dee was quick to remind me when she
dug out this photo that the doll in my
hands was hers... laughing, of course!
(I'm on the left and she's always right!)
Last weekend I spent two days and nights with my First Best Friend, Deanna (now known as Dee), and it was a wonderful reunion! We talked and talked and talked and laughed and laughed. It was a delight after nearly XX years (a lot of them!) to find out we STILL like the same things, read the same kinds of books, laugh at the same kinds of jokes.

She was all ready for me, sharing the high school yearbook, photos of the last class reunions, commentary about the people there and missing, summarizing all the years that had passed since I'd been there or even in the vicinity, had a couple of town history books to help me get more caught up, lots and lots of photos of family and stories to go along and then there were the 'inside jokes' we still shared... and yes, Dee, I did give up my role as the Lone Ranger once in awhile so you could be him and I could be Tonto!!! But probably not enough and for that I do apologize, belatedly.

Sadly too many of our classmates have died, some younger than others. And it was a reminder to me that it is time to prepare my Last Will and Testament because I don't want my children to have to sort out things and have to pay to do it. And it is only with an old friend that you can discuss these sorts of subjects without resistance and with plenty of humor.

The Port Orange lighthouse is now a
national historic landmark, but two little
old ladies did not climb to the top to see the view.
Reminders of the little ways we had affected each other's lives as children (because we have known each other since we were five years old) were discussed and evaluated along with all the changes the world has gone through since "the good old days."

Dee had a passel of kids and now has loads of grandchildren and even a couple of Great grands... I showed her past photos of my family and recent shots of everyone and we shared grandmotherly stories, something I never imagined could be so much fun to do with someone who has known you for-evah!

I'm still on the left and Dee is STILL
right... in our late 40's?
Once, while I was living in St. Augustine and Dee and Kevin were headed south, they stopped by and we had a brief catch-up, but a lot got missed in that short pass-by. Here's a mid-life shot of the two of us.

As we sat on a beach bench seat, on the coast north of the Kennedy Space Center, we found out that we had been looking for each other off and on between the birthing and raising of children and jobs and husbands and finally it was the death of her beloved Kevin that got us together again when I stumbled on his obituary in a New Hampshire paper.

We are still friends after all these years and I am so glad we
reconnected! More fun to come!
"But I had been looking for you long before that happened," Dee said, wanting me to know that she was still my 'bestest friend' and she is... because who else would keep searching for someone who had basically fallen off the face of the earth relative to their life? The same one who saved me from a gang of girls who decided to kidnap me and tie me up in the woods and then walk away, leaving me unable to move or get loose as the sun set on a wintry afternoon. Yes, this really happened as I was leaving a Girl Scout meeting to walk home and it was Dee who found me, untied me and went home with me.

In so many ways, she is not only my First Best Friend but she is certainly my Last Best Friend, too. And we don't get to have too many of those, do we?

Sunday, January 1, 2012

A Foggy Start to 2012

My driveway in Florida is enshrouded in mist today.
Colorado's snow is behind me and I awakened to moderate temperatures and fog all around my little cottage here in Florida. I did not 'celebrate' the passing of 2011 except to have a nice home cooked meal with my son and watch a movie until about 11:30 p.m. The head cold that accompanied me to the U.S. and further west has finally left and I feel blessed to be bug-free finally! That was two weeks of nose-blowing and coughing intermittently, depending on how tired I was, and when I stepped outside this morning, I could finally breath in the misty air without any disruption. Yea!

I intend for all my readers, wherever in the world you may be, that your 2012 is a healthy one. If you are dealing with MM, that your medical team is divinely guided for your highest and best health, and for all the caregivers out there, that your health and hope is supported for your tasks. I am so grateful for all the people I have encountered this year, through this blog, across the Internet, and my travels and my intention is for all of you to have many good things in your life in 2012 - health is always first, happiness can be found in many ways, and prosperity may be acquired or gifted.

What was your first look at 2012? Send me a link! and Happy New Year to you all!!