Hard Decisions

Today is a beautiful day, but I am sitting here crying. Tomorrow will be worse.

16 years ago, when my daughter was 3 years old, she picked a female beagle pup from a litter for my parents, and named her “Freckles”. She (the pup) was supposed to be my dad’s new hunting partner. We lost Dad later that year, and Freckles became Mom’s Best Friend. We’d had beagles before. Joi died at the age of 7 due to pneumonia. We had to let Tippy go at the age of 12 due to cancer.

Freckles is 16. That is the equivalent to an 87-year-old human. She has trouble with her hips and her eyesight. She has fallen down the stairs many times these past few months.  She has fallen walking around the yard, and walked into things. She recently stopped showing interest in her bubbles, her treats, and company.

It is time to let her go with comfort and grace. There are now veterinarians who will come to your home, so the last sight the pet will have is their beloved humans in a familiar setting. It is still going to be so hard to let her go to the Rainbow Bridge, but her love and devotion to this family deserves, no DEMANDS nothing less. Kidling is sure Poppy (my Dad) will be waiting for Freckles at the Bridge, along with Tippy and Joi, and she’ll be able to chase the bubbles once again.

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The Eagle is Dying.

I have never been so disgusted and heartbroken over this country I grew up loving. The Administration is lying to everyone, and trying to blame former administrations. Trump pulled us out of the efforts to protect the world environment. Now, he is pulling us out of the UN Human Rights Council. He is turning this country into something I don’t recognize, don’t like, and am afraid of. His enablers, his “Pussy-Grabbing Posse”, don’t see the problem. They are part of the problem. The increase of tensions between races and religions getting so far out of hand, it’s frightening. We have a “president” who thinks its’ alright to break families apart; that it’s ‘provocative’ to hold military training exercises; who thinks if you have the money, you can get away with anything.

What happened to my country? We have never been perfect: slavery, Jim Crow laws, Japanese Interment camps during WWII…. but we should have learned by now. We have gone from point to point…supposedly improving. This past year and a half, I see no improvements. I see dangerous trends. What kind of world will my daughter, my grandchildren, end up with?

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Sometimes, You Need To Go With Your Gut

Nick wants to try goat’s milk, to see if it’s easier on his stomach than cow’s milk. He found one place in the area that sells it, so he made arrangements to go today and pick some up.  We got a bit… not really lost, because we were in the right area, but confused. We stopped at the mailbox with the address number on it, and there was a house behind it with chickens in the yard… but no signs of goats or a milk barn.

I told him to drive. Find a place to turn around and go home. I did NOT want to get out of the car at that place, nor did I want anyone else to. It was such a strong feeling, my head felt ready to split into multiple pieces. He went and turned around, but Nick still wanted his milk, so I told him to park on the side of the road and walk across to get it himself. He called the place, and found out we were actually parked next to the guy’s drive…across the road from the mailbox.  Nick walked up the drive on his own, and Mom, the Kidling and I waited in the car. The pain in my head eased off to a throbbing ache. Nick returned with goats’ milk, goats cheese, and a dozen fresh eggs, and told us the animals were well-cared for and the place was clean and organized.

I  still think things would have gone bad had we gotten out of the car on the other side of the road. The chicken were free-range… and Rhode Island Reds, which are NOT the friendliest of the chicken families.

Sometimes, you have to go with your gut instinct to avoid trouble. Or, in my case, the sudden over-whelming urge to run at top speed and pray I can see straight enough to stay on my feet long enough to get out of range.

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Memorial Day 2018

A day to honor those who have given the greatest sacrifice to others: they fought and died so others could live in freedom. The goal was also peace, but…

As most years for the last twenty, I took Mom and the Kidling, and drove up to the Gerald B.H. Solomon National Cemetery. Dad is buried there, several of the guys from the Rod and Gun Club are there, a few of Mom’s friends from church, and several former neighbors. It is a beautiful place; well-tended, serene, where you might see deer grazing and eagles flying over-head.

This year, as I understand it, we have lost the last WWI veteran. The ranks of WWII survivors are thinning rapidly. This year, a list was read out of 22 active duty members of the US Military who died in the last year. With few exceptions, the names belonged to men and women whom I could have given birth to: under 35 years of age. That is a gut-wrenching thing to think about.

Yet, even while I sat there, listening to speeches and music and poems, honoring those who have paid the ultimate price, I can’t help but face some hard facts:

* There weren’t many blacks or Latinos at the ceremony. I know there are Latinos buried there with honor (some names just can’t hide the ethnics). I would imagine there are blacks there…. there should be. But they have never really been represented at these ceremonies.

* Children were chosen to lead the Pledge. There again, it seemed they were all white children. Children who don’t have to worry about agents pulling them away from their parents and shipping them lords know where.

* The rights the men and women buried here, and in places like it across the country… or in unmarked and forgotten graves elsewhere …. are under attack today, from our OWN government, or at least very vocal members of it who think they can dictate to the rest of us how to feel, think, react, be.

 

I do not bow my head over clasped hands to pray. I lift my eyes to the heavens, and my hands are not in a position of begging. I am sure it was noticed today, but nothing was said: I am a white woman.

 

I will continue to honor the fallen, and the veteran. They were able and willing to put themselves at risk for the rest of us, to improve and protect. I will continue to honor the Stars and Stripes, for it is a symbol of my COUNTRY, not the shifting power cells in charge. I will also continue to tell some people to get a clue, before the current mess can’t be fixed at all.

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Solo: the legacy of Star Wars

It’s Opening Weekend, so don’t expect any spoilers here. I don’t do that.

What I will say is that Ron Howard did the franchise justice; and so did Jonathan and  Lawrence Kasdan, who wrote the screen play. The actors did, as well… Alden Ehreneich may be a little shorter than Harrison Ford, and his eyes are the wrong color, but he was a young Han: a bit cocky, ready to take a chance, loyal to those who are loyal to him.

Sometimes, prequels don’t work. They mess up canon, or ignore important aspects of an established character. Solo doesn’t do that. It works. Like Rogue One worked. Probably better than Phantom Menace ,  Attack of the Clones, or Revenge of the Sith. Maybe because they are focused on one canon character, or two, and not several.

Star Wars is one of those wonderful series that stands the test of time. I was in my teens when A New Hope came out. My daughter was raised on the original trilogy, and the animated Clone Wars series and Star Wars Rebels series. Someday, I fully intend to share it with her children, as well.

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Mixed Bag

When you work in retail, be it food or stuff, the lead-up to any holiday weekend is crazy. Sometimes, it is an out-right nightmare. Especially when customers read tags wrong, or want to ‘bend’ (break) rules about item limits, coupons, or substitutions. Add in equipment breaking down, and not having enough stock…. madhouse. For a while, our company was taking our store coupons, manufacture’s coupons, and competitor’s coupons. The rules were: 1 store and 1 manufacturer’s coupon per item; 1 dollars off coupon per order; limits on sale items. Has to be fair for everyone, yeah? You’d think, anyhow. Some people just don’t get that.  Things got really nuts for a while, and the company ended up losing money, although we actually had more people shopping with us. So they revised the coupon policy again. 1 store coupon and 1 manufacture’s per item’ no competitor’s coupons; one dollars-off per order;item limits. We posted the change for almost a month before implementing it. That was almost a month ago now, and some people are still bitching when we cashiers tell them we can’t do certain things. Some of the younger cashiers have already lost their jobs for just giving in to the whiners. I NEED this job, so no, I am NOT going to be bullied into taking two manufacturer’s coupons for the same item. READ THE DAMN COUPONS! Just because it comes out of a machine in our store does NOT mean it is a store coupon. Then there is the whole deal with the self-service check-outs. I will gladly use the scan-gun on large items, so you don’t have to lift them. BUT there are set rules I need to follow to do so. Self-scan  has 4 stations, and 1 cashier keeping it going. I cannot stand there and ring your entire order for you, when I have other customers who also may need my help and attention.  If you have a lot of produce, please use the chart provided….or go wait in a regular line. If all you have are cases of soda, no problem….but you MUST open the order at your station, and pay for it at that station. Cursing me out for not doing it all from the Master Station isn’t going to get you anywhere fast. For one thing, I don’t have a card reader at the desk to process your debit or credit. Also, bitching out the cashier who is trying to keep up with everyone’s needs makes you look like a real pain in the ass to your fellow shoppers.

After dealing with the public this week, I’d come home and try to get some yard work done. With the weather so far this year, the lawn got away from us to the point Mom bought a  new battery-operated weed-whacker so I could get the grass down far enough that the lawn mower could actually handle it. It’s a light-weight little tool, but still… the vibration from the motor and the constant sweeping back and forth killed my arms. For the most part, Nick and I have finally caught up with it. I need to trim around the roses, flagpole, hedge and house tomorrow, and get out the hedge trimmer.

On top of that, the damn mouse (okay, there are probably more than one) got into some of my baking supplies and made a mess. DPW  is just gonna love us this week. Tossed a lot of stuff, (not all of it mouse-attacked. Checked date codes while we were at it) stripped the pantry bare, cleaned it all with bleach, and re-arranged the goods. Nick has to fine a new place to keep his ski pole and ice pick, because Topo Gigio was using them as climbing ramps to get from the floor to the shelf. I got my hair cut to help me deal with the heat, and I am still dripping sweat.

Speaking of the hair cut. I haven’t had it this short since I was pregnant with the Kidling: twenty years now. I thought my hairdresser was going to faint when I said “Pixie”. The same day, one of my cousins got hers cut in almost the same style. A few days later, so did her youngest sister. Yeah, sometimes, you can really tell we are related.

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Questioning

So, I was poking around my  pages, and I notice I have 120 followers. Wow, cool….but… what brought these people in to my page? And why are so many in the last three months from Outlook?

So, maybe some of you could take the time to leave me a line about why you decided to follow me? Yeah, there are a few who are people I actually know. But there are a few for whom English isn’t their first language, and there were some who had no profile (I say ‘were’ because I tend to mistrust what I call ‘non-accounts’, and I deleted them.) My posting has become hit-or-miss; some of my original goals for it have fallen by the way-side; So, what brought you here, and why do you follow an aging mother-of-one who doesn’t often get out to do the fun stuff anymore?

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