Saturday, July 25, 2009

Saturdays

Aren't Saturdays just the BEST day of the week? I am in love with the day from the first moment I open my eyes and its realization sprinkles on me like a fine waterfall. I do not have to go to work. It is a day to set aside "routine" and "required." I have a all the opportunity and possibilities of a day opening ahead of me like a light filled forest path. I can do whatever I want. Just now, typing on my computer in my sunroom, a hummingbird fed off the Bee Balm just outside the window. But, my camera was just out of reach. I had to halfway get up to get my fingers around the strap, and I scared it off. Here are the flowers it just visited. There is the old sailboat my husband has just restored. See, just there through the sunroom door? We were going to head out to Lake Winnipesaukee this morning, the biggest lake in the State. The sailboat is not quite ready yet, though. There are a lot of fittings, lines, sheets, etc. on a sail boat, I guess. The engine is not running right yet, either. Soon! My husband is working diligently. We are both looking forward to exploring a new area and sailing on our own little craft. I am excited to practice my new found sailing abilities. Yet, since this is SATURDAY - I don't mind. Instead, I get to write, visit, cook, bake, swim, and clean all of the mud out of my bed and bedroom floor from the dogs.
I have been honored by Angela by a new award. Thank you. Her blog is graced with the touch of an artist, combined with honest and thought provoking words, and a love of animals.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Pets

This week we received news that pet owners everywhere ultimately hear, especially with older dogs - a likely fatal illness has developed. Our Golden Retriever, Beau, suddenly exhibited symptoms of lymphoma. These were taken the morning he suddenly started acting very sick, lethargic and dull, the day he went to the vets. One of the other dogs, the "pack leader," was licking Beau's eyes (he frequently does this). Immediately after starting Prednizone treatment, Beau felt much better. But, now, after a few more days, he is acting sick again, didn't keep down his dinner. Will be calling the vet tomorrow. Pets hold very special places in our lives, yet they live such a short time compared to us, we end up loving and saying goodbye to so many. A cycle of joy and grief. Beau came to our little dog family of two Portuguese Water Dogs. His former owner kept him chained outside, behind the garage, we think at least most of the time, if not all the time: night; day; summer; winter. We believe he was beaten. His health was badly neglected. He had ulcerated ear infections, about 100 ticks, Lyme's disease, and heartworm. He also had food aggression. I found this behavior problem one night soon after we got him when he was licking his food dish under a cabinet and I reached down to pull it out for him and was attacked. I still have the scar on my arm. But Beau is also very sweet. After all the terrible experiences he must have experienced, his love for people is extraordinary(NOT, however, children). He craves being physically close and being touched. He must have suffered in loneliness being chained alone. Now, he loves to lounge in our little pool on a "floatie," lie on his back on our bed between us in the morning, get his belly rubbed while he plays with a tennis ball. Do you have a pet story to tell?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Do we have Free Will?

I watched the film “Knowing” last night, and actually the night before as well. Although I do not feel it was a good movie, it has got me thinking. While mostly I am just trying to figure it out (the pieces do not seem to fit together), the smarter side of me is letting go of the specific nonsensical parts of the movie, and consider the bigger question presented: determinism vs. randomness. Is there a purpose to our lives and events, or is it all a convergence of a random set of accidental occurrences? And, if one believes in determinism, then who or what is making that determination?
This movie certainly muddles the answer to that question – or, opens us up to wider possibilities. This movie seems to suggest that it is not God! “Knowing” begins with the protagonist depressed over the idea that there is no purpose to our lives, yet in the end is reassured that aliens have whispered frightening catastrophic events to a disturb a child for her entire life, so that that child can warn someone in the future… so that they can do nothing about it? Roger Ebert, film critic for the Chicago Sun Times wrote a blog entry in which he explored these theories much more deeply. He also included You Tube clips of several philosophers discussing determinism and free will. They seem to find a convergence. Certainly, some sort of combination of these opposite theories is the only palatable choice for us. Either determinism or randomness in its absolute leaves me depressed and unsatisfied. Their absolutes leave no purpose for our lives, and that is not the way I want to live. The other reasons I chose to watch the movie again on consecutive nights were not so high minded. First, the little girl in the movie looks EXACTLY like my granddaughter! I was riveted, and missed my little grandbaby badly. Second, it was pay per view and I was still within the 24 hour window of viewing time! So life comes right down to the little things, doesn't it. And, that may be all the purpose I need.

Monday, July 13, 2009

The magic about wildflowers and perennials, I think, lies in the variety in which they bloom. The yard is ever changing. It's almost like fireworks in very slow motion. It's life. It's also a lesson. We all have our time to bloom.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Thank You

Thank you Lianne from At My Kitchen Table for your kindness and recognition.

As I understand the rules, I am to pass this along to 5 other lovely blogs. Please check out the following special people and their places:

Angela Recada

A Hazy Moon

Meri's Musings

Marinik's Blog

From The Desk Of Bee Drunken

Monday, July 6, 2009

Southern Cross - Crux

Travel. After my trip, I've been going through various emotions about my trip and travelling, unfinished thoughts sloshing loosely around in my head. I've had a blank page open on my computer for a day or two. I hoped if I left it open while I worked, over time I could make those thoughts concrete and cohesive. Just now, before I opened this page to write tonight, I stopped by some friends' blogs to read and say hello. Sallymandy had four wonderfully thoughtful quotes about travel.
The best I can explain it, is that travel both expands you and brings you closer. It's dizzying in its juxtaposition. New people, sights, smells, experience,s tastes, discoveries. These new experiences add layers: memories; knowledge; awareness; interest; viewpoints; culture; tolerance; understanding; curiosity.
I feel that with travel I get closer to understanding myself, my purpose in the world, my potential, my abilities and limitations, prejudices, and preferences . What does travel mean to you?
The picture at the beginning of this post is the constellation Crux, or Southern Cross. Some of you can view this every night. Some of us have gone a lifetime without a glimpse. One of my favorite songs of all time is Stephen Stills' Southern Cross. "When you see the Southern Cross for the first time, you understand now why you came this way." I believed the fallacy that one can only see the Souther Cross from the Southern hemisphere, so I had absolutely no expectation of seeing it when I was in BVI (the most Southern place I have every been). Yet, one early evening on our trip, I happen to glance at the sky just after sunset as we left a restaurant. I knew it immediately! It took my breath away.
The constellation was low on the horizon, directly South. It slipped out of sight too quickly, and was not visible most of the night. I looked for it every night thereafter, but every evening after that surprise glimpse, clouds covered the Southern sky during the brief time after sunset it would have been visible.
Now, I was not sure that what I saw was the Southern Cross. I had never even seen a picture of it, and as I said, I believed what I had always heard, "only in the Southern hemisphere." After all, what I saw was just a set of 4 stars in a kite shape. Was that a cross? I mentioned my discovery to a couple we met. "Oh, no," they said with certainty. "You can only see the Southern Cross...." They smiled a little at my naivite. But I knew I was right.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Baths

On another day of our excursion we visited The Baths on Virgin Gourda.
This is a national park in which piles of boulders lay heaped upon one another. One can crawl under and over, as much as you dare. They tumble into the sea, so that as you make your way over and under stone, you come across pockets of water, like jewels in the mud. Some are protected and calm, others churning with waves.
The informational sign at the park says that these are granite boulders which had been encased in lava, perhaps even formed in the lava. The softer lava was worn away, leaving the hard granite.
Scampering about these rocks was like being on a treasure hunt. The treasure was what we could see: the striking formations; the colors; the cool(er) air. Rounded granite rock also felt very homey, much like our worn, rocky New England coastline.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Snorkeling

Along this island's coast there were caves inviting exploration. We picked up a day mooring and jumped into the water for our first snorkeling excursion of our trip. It was fun to follow the fish into the caves. This is Pelican Island. I could envision sailors from hundreds of years ago taking their skiffs in to explore, their massive wooden sailing ships anchored nearby. Was treasure ever hidden here? It is known that treasure was hidden at least somewhere on these islands. The local literature says that millions of dollars worth of treasure was found in a cave on nearby Norman Island, hidden there by pirates. On the other side of this tiny island, Saba Rock, was a wonderful reef. You can see, just there, looking towards that sunset, where the water turns dark, is the edge of the reef. We took the dinghy out there, and took a look. It's open ocean from there. Only little Anegada between us and Africa. I'll admit I felt exposed out there on that reef. I am a child of the Jaws generation, after all. It's just not good when you are out there, floating on the edge of the black abyss of open ocean and the Jaws theme suddenly comes into your head. Dah dum.... I had to concentrate on counting the different species fish I could see. In truth, the beauty was so spectacular that it was difficult to tear oneself away. I wanted just to float there, looking and looking, to discover the well camouflaged, to remember the the rest of my life. Just to note - I am home now, back from my trip. It took 4 days to stop feeling as though I was rocking. I am writing to capture some special moments and memories, and share a laugh.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The Begining

My camera was unused to the humidity. Upon its first release from the luggage, it fogged in response as if it was not ready to begin. But we were! The anticipation to begin, to take one of those boats and head out to the sea and adventure was incredible. waiting excruciating. After we had travelled an entire day, we had to sleep in a hotel over looking the boats, teasing. You can't sail on the boat at night, and you can't get on the boat until after the mandatory briefing. They would not even tell us which one was going to be our adventure vessel, our Black Pearl, for the week until noon, the appointed time. 32 hours after leaving home, we finally got underway. Within an hour or so, I was losing my lunch over the side of the boat.....