Thursday, September 20, 2018

Hurricane Florence

I"m very happy and relieved to say that Florence was a week-long, nerve-wracking, non-event! It tore me away from MSNBC and diverted my attention to the Weather Channel, a sad commentary on my life!! Early on it looked like we would be okay and I was relieved to feel that I could stay put. I didn't want to have to sedate Rosie for hours in the car, nor did I want to put Mama Mia through it again. She is just to frail. Then, there was a model that showed it hitting NC and skimming down the coast, at which point I made a reservation in Valdosta, GA. By this time, all of the outside furniture was inside. Water, ice, and food had been stored, but now I packed to leave. The next morning, the situation looked much better, so I cancelled reservations.  I then just waited and watched. It was comforting that most of my neighbors and Bluffton friends were staying, so if I needed help there would be people to ask. As we waited, we had three gorgeous mornings - cooler, breezy and low humidity. Yesterday was 95 degrees again, so the storm didn't take the heat with it. We are all longing for a hint of fall in the air.

Once Florence hit NC, it slowed down and lingered forever. I can't imagine recovering for that much water short of tearing everything down and starting from scratch. Mix in with that all of the dead chickens, hogs and released coal ash, and heat - it will be a toxic situation for a long time. Since being here (1997), until a few years ago I had evacuated only once, years ago. Now it seems we have several serious situations per year. I hope to never go through what the folks in NC are dealing with now.

It is with great sadness that I report the passing of Chris's husband, Larry. Things were pretty much at a standstill over Labor Day as doctors were not available. Chris came down from Charleston and David and I took her out to dinner. She went back up and stayed overnight on Monday, knowing that Tuesday would be a full day with doctors, tests, etc. They have tests they do to determine how much ability he might recover and he failed them all. At that point, the feeding tube and meds were stopped, except morphine to keep him comfortable. He died within hours. Friends were just stunned, and felt helpless, with the severity and speed with which it all happened. On Thursday, once Chris was back in town, I had her and friends over for an impromptu dinner. If nothing else, we (her friends) felt like we could show our support. Both the dining room and kitchen tables were used, but we all wound up sitting around the dining room table, toasting Larry and sharing our favorite recollections. It was a nice moment. It also warmed my heart that Chris asked for the photos (in my last post) of Larry that I'd taken at our last Drinking Liberally meeting. I don't often do that but we had such a good group, it was comfortable enough to dine outside, and we had lots of new people.  I'm just so glad I took them!  DL will certainly miss Larry as he was always so animated in his discussion and always solicited a laugh. No doubt we will have a toast to him at our next meeting.

There isn't a lot else to report, except most of us are trying to reschedule everything that was postponed last week. I was to have my windows washed and that is scheduled for tomorrow. Most of my friends and I are highly involved with Getting Out The Vote (GOTV) between now and November election....and responding to the onslaught of Trumpisms that happen on a daily basis. I do the newsletter for Liberal Ladies, am on the GOTV committee of Indivisible, and act as a substitute host for Drinking Liberally when needed. Just this morning, I've taken on another mission. I was called by the rabbi of Congregation Beth Yom and asked if I would serve on the Steering Committee of Lowcountry Coalition against Hate. The initial meeting took place several weeks ago and I hadn't heard much since then; so, needless to say, this was a surprise. We had a nice, long conversation....and he was very flattering, though he really didn't have to be. I feel this may be "over my head" but I do see the need. They also hope to make this a lasting voice in the community, not just about the Holocaust denier running for mayor. Anyway, tomorrow I am going to the first meeting before committing to anything. We'll see how it goes.

I continue to look forward to Ann's visit and being distracted from my usual, mundane existence. it will be fun to get out and about, beyond my usual haunts.

Since I am without anything to dress up this post, I'll leave you with an angelic photo of Rosie and her new, soft toy from our friend Camile.

Monday, September 3, 2018

Happy Labor Day 2018

It's hard to believe that September and Labor Day are here. Though I'm ready to feel a little fall in the air, we are still in the low 90s. The mornings are getting a bit nicer, so we feel that relieve is near. The summer has flown by at record speed. 

With September here, we are two months away from mid-term elections. Things are beginning to rev up and I'm pretty much committed to doing whatever I can to help between now and then. It will be a big push and I hope we will win enough for everyone (me included) to relax a bit...and to slow down much of what is happening in our government. The last two years have been totally bazaar, unbelievable and frightening.

Our local Democratic Headquarters has opened after having great difficulty getting anyone to rent a space to them!! And for the first time since I've been here, we have a democrat nominee for all open positions except two! So, we have a lot to work for. The one thing I'm doing new is joining a group to canvas communities. I hate making phone calls, as most of you know, so I thought I'd try canvassing, which should be interesting and test my metal! We'll see how it goes. The trump baby in the photos was given to me by David, a Drinking Liberally buddy. He has a funky little Mini and asked if we could use my car to pick up a sheet of glass he had ordered. It was no problem at all as everything was close by, and he had some play time with Rosie beforehand!! A couple of days later he called and asked if he could stop by on his way to work. As a thank you, he brought me the cute trump baby balloon and an RBG pin!! So, I mustered the courage to have the balloon inflated in the floral department of Publix. I was hoping I could pay there and make a rapid escape, but I had to go through the check-out counter!!  Three of the cashiers got a real kick out of it, much to my surprise. I then took it to the Friday social at Democratic Headquarters and left it with them. Share the fun!

It hasn't all been politics, though. I was invited to the 12th birthday party for Reyna's daughter, Valerie. It was lots of fun, complete with a huge pinata, and I met some very nice people who made me feel welcome. The smallest daughter, Michelle, was the one who whacked open the pinata and everyone scrambled for candy. I hate that the photos are blurred, but at least you get a feel for the afternoon.

This is Reyna in my kitchen showing me how to make Gallo Pinto, a delicious rice and black bean dish. Next time I will make it and see how close I can come to her version, which was very tasty. This is a perfect dish for a vegetarian. Just add a hearty salad and you have lunch. The second photo was a visit when she fell asleep on the sofa under Rosie's protective eye!

As if there isn't enough going on, I was contacted by the President of Congregation Beth Yam to ask if I would ask our local Indivisible group to join a newly formed Lowcountry Coalition Against Hate! Believe it or not, in our sleepy, little hamlet we have a Holocaust denier running for mayor!!  So, I emailed members of the Board whom I know and passed on the information. I then volunteered to attend the meeting as a representatives of Liberal Ladies of the Lowcountry. It was a pretty diverse group and a cross section of our community. By the end of it, the consensus was that the LCAH would stand against hate in any form (against people of color, LGBTQ community, documented  workers, etc) and that it would extend beyond this one issue. There were lots of ideas as to how to deal with this issue and it will be interesting to see how things develop - as well as how some groups handle the rabbi's interpretation that we would defend LGBTQ, undocumented workers, etc. Not sure the republican lady (from Mormon church) who sat by me will be on board with that!!

This is a photo I shared of Facebook after our last Drinking Liberal gathering. The guy in the green shirt, Mark McGinnis, (with Tippy and my neighbor Lynn) is running for County Council and stopped by DL for a chat. We had 15 people RSVP and then 26 showed up, with lots of them being new to the group. Lots of people are feeling the need to be with others of their own persuasion. Liberal Ladies has also shown a surge in membership (449), so Democrats are here. We just have to get them motivated.

On Thursday I received some sad news from my dear friend Chris, whom many of you have met.  On Monday Larry, her husband (in beige shirt at left), had a massive stroke. It was a real jolt. He was airlifted to University Hospital in Charleston, which is the major stroke center in the state. Thus far they have not been able to dissolve the clot, and he suffers paralysis on the left side. Another major issue is that he is unable to swallow. David, who had a severe stroke on his 60th birthday, and I had dinner with Chris last night, and she is hoping to get more definitive information on Tuesday. It is doubtful that he will  be able to walk again, and even sitting up is difficult. So, they have dealt with a lot this week. This is one of those situations that makes one feel totally helpless and reminds us how little control we have over the really important things in life. Please keep them in your thoughts and send comforting vibes their way.

To add to the sadness of the week were the funerals of Aretha Franklin, a real celebration of life and talent, and John McCain, a patriotic call to country and decency. Through the week I was only able to see bits and pieces of the events, but on Saturday I made a point of seeing McCain's whole service, which was very impressive. It was truly patriotic, making a plea to save our government from trump. His name was not mentioned once, but he was indicted repeatedly. It was wonderful to hear President Obama again, and George Bush even made sense! It was also interesting to get a more complete picture of the man in various aspects of his life......but then everyone seems to see the good once you're dead; and, if your foil is trump, it doesn't take a lot to look good. Between the music and eulogies, it was emotional. I was in tears with Meghan's eulogy and the last straw was Danny Boy!! Ugly cry in full display. Melodee and I messaged throughout the service, which added to the experience - sharing it with someone while remaining in the comfort of your home!

Thankfully, there is some happy news. At the end of this month, Ann is coming for a visit and I'm really looking forward to it. We had been talking about this for a while, but then when I heard their first grand-baby (Katie and Adrian) would be arriving in December, I really pushed for her to visit before that time. Once grand-babies start arriving I knew she would be much too busy and visiting me would move way down on the list!  I'm hoping that our weather will be a little cooler by that time so we can enjoy some beach time or whatever else we decide to do. It will just be good to catch up.

And finally, when Eileen was here we had an impromptu tour of Graves' House in downtown Bluffton - just as it was finished and before the pastor moved in. Shortly thereafter a local magazine ran a nice article on it, which you can see HERE on page 138. It really was beautifully done, in an understated kind of way. Seeing it was a real treat.

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Odds and Ends

Not a lot has happened, but next week looks busy and I thought I'd better catch up while I had the time. 

My first update is about sweet George. This is one of my favorite photos of him, which gives you a good idea of the boxes we made for them. This always made me think that he was sitting on his front porch! I was amazed at the number of neighbors who kept an eye on George. After George left us, Joe put this little vase of flowers at George's place. When I drove past, I teared up a bit, but I thought it was just me because I got to know him. Two neighbors saw the flowers and called to ask what had happened. Another stopped us as I was walking Rosie to ask.  I was surprised that so many people looked for George when they passed his spot, just as I did. I told Joe about the many comments and I hope it brought him some satisfaction in knowing how much joy his efforts brought to our community.  I put the little marker there. It was in my yard but I thought I would enjoy seeing it there more, in memory of George. So, George was well loved and well remembered. 

It seems that pets are the theme for this post, what with George's death and the passing of my friend Sharon's dog, Daxie. She was cute as a button and very smart, performing at nursing homes, etc. Sharon would dress her for every occasion and adored her; but alas, she was 14 and in failing health. I know it was a jolt to them and I can imagine how much they will miss her.

All of that makes me more concerned for my last surviving cat, Mama Mia. She has to be in that age rang and is becoming more unsteady on her feet. While she eats well, she looks skinny and frail and spends most of her time sleeping. She still demands attention and is more loving than I every thought she would be. My main concern is that she not suffer. I don't think she is, but I'm not sure what to look for.

Yesterday was spent in Charleston where I took Reyna to have a polyp removed. She had one removed in April, but another grew, so I hope this will produce better results. We had to leave early and I knew I wouldn't have time to give Rosie a good walk and also didn't want to leave her all day. So, I arranged a play date with Bogey, neighbors Lynn and Tom's doggie.  They get along well and look so cute together. I'll return the favor anytime Lynn and Tom need time away.

We continue to have lots of rain, In fact, on the drive to Charleston yesterday, I have never driven in such a downpour. It was dark as night and just a deluge. Were it not for the lines in the road, I would not have been able to move forward, and I could not tell where the water had pooled, which tends to happen here. Luckily, traffic slowed and many people were using their emergency blinkers. A positive is that everything looks nice and green but many yards are growing mushrooms of various colors and sizes, some almost large enough to put garden gnomes under!!

Well, after much to-ing and fro-ing, I got the first Liberal Ladies' newsletter under by belt. The Steering Committee seemed pleased with the results. I enjoy doing that type of thing and have more ideas that I hope will improve it; however, with a minimum of three editors, there were a lot for long emails floating around. So, I've been playing around with Google Docs as a means of working collaboratively on one document. It really is neat and I hope I can get it to work to save time and effort.

I have also been asked to work on our local Indivisible's committee that is going to focus on getting out the vote (GOTV) in November. I was recommended to work on communications and social media.....since I'm "good at that"!! LOL I'm sure many think I'm closer to obnoxious than good, with all of the political stuff I post. Anyway, all of this is why I will be busy next week and probably until the November election. We all really need to do whatever we can to get a positive result. So, Monday I have Liberal Ladies Steering Committee; Tuesday, Indivisible GOTV; Wednesday, Drinking Liberally; and Friday Liberal Ladies Luncheon. Thursday will probably be for solitude!!

Along these same lines, I spent one rainy afternoon - all afternoon - trying to reduce and organize my emails. Basically, I switched to gmail, which allows me to separate emails into personal, social, promotions and updates. It also allows for labeling emails; so, as I receive emails from friends, I can set up a label which will easily identify such emails. The labels really make it easy to spot certain emails right off the bat. In any case, you may notice a different address (gmail), but all of my address (yahoo and hargray) come to my new gmail setup. If I'd known how much junk mail I would receive (of my own making), I would just have one address for personal communications and another for junk mail/subscriptions. Too late now!

Well, you know I couldn't write this much about pets without something more about Rosie. This video was a surprise. I store all of my photos on Google photos and last week I received this composite from them. The first photo is the day they brought her to me and it goes right up to about a month ago. Some of the photos aren't good and I don't know whether they blurred them or I just kept bad photos (likely). 

Monday, July 16, 2018

Shout Out to UK Friends!

There isn't a lot to report, but I couldn't let too much time pass without a big shout out for the appropriate welcome the UK gave to our supreme leader. It was absolutely amazing, and my thought was "the whole world can't  be wrong"! His interaction with the Queen summed up his character, and his intelligence (lack thereof) has never even been up for debate! The whole Putin thing has just been amazing. They are meeting PRIVATELY as I write and our Congress has said not one word to prevent it from happening - not one! Other than Russia's assistance with the election, I think Trump wanted the same thing as Kim Jong Un - a photo! Kim wanted it to add North Korea to the Big Boys' Club. Trump wanted it for his ego. Cheryl and I, Eileen and I, and Jenny, Jacqui and I traded some of the best signs and videos of the protest via Messenger and snide remarks on Facebook. I also received a frantic email from Jan asking me to apologize to all of you for the way trump treated Prime Minister May! So, your efforts were acknowledged far and wide! It was wonderful reinforcement for the Resistance and the great part is that it followed him to Scotland and Helsinki! We are also hopeful that the big balloon will come here. He would hate that! SO, from the reasonable people on this side of the pond, a big THANK YOU!! 

On the subject of politics, I have to confess that I have truly gone to the dark side! I'm now on Twitter. I avoided it for such a long time and whenever I checked it out, it never seemed to make sense. Then, one night last week I logged on  and it all came together. SO, my future is as a political hermit, totally consumed by MSNBC, FB, Twitter, phone calls and faxes to my reps!  It's a sad life!!

As I'm writing this note, I'm also working on my first newsletter for Liberal Ladies of the Lowcountry. This is the waiting part as people edit articles, niggle over details, etc. While it is not yet finalized, you can check out the first issue HERE.  I enjoy fiddling with this kind of thing and I hope it helps out the group. You might be surprised to read that we have 424 members here in this little corner of SC!!

No, we don't feed raccoons!
The raccoon is eating leftovers and George is drinking water.
Those of you who have visited have probably met George, one of the feral cats that I've been feeding for a long time. He lives right outside our back gate. Sadly, Georgie has not been doing well lately. He has lost lots of weight, does not eat well and has a cough. One of the other feeders has had him at her house over the weekend and will take him to the vet today. When I fed him on Friday, he didn't come out, but there was a car parked close by and I assumed that was the problem. So I ran an errand and came back when the car had gone. I tooted my horn several times (usually not required) and had almost given up when he finally came out. He got some loving, but didn't eat anything.....and once I leave, the food will not longer be available to him for obvious reasons! Georgie is much older that I realized. Joe, the organizer of our group, said that he has been feeding George for 9 years and he wasn't a kitten when he started, so he is old enough for bad things to happen. I'm waiting to hear from the vet report. My guess/fear is that if it is anything serious, he will be euthanized.  He is such a sweet, loving cat. If anything happens, I will really miss him.

Reyna and Chili Rellenos
My new friend and neighbor, Reyna, is a delightful, young woman who has a lot on her shoulders - four children, 2 live-in elderly people for whom she gives full time care, a live-in boyfriend, and works nights 2-3 times per week. Even so, she continues to check on me almost daily via text, phone or stopping in after her run (yes, she manages to run, too) or as she comes and goes in her daily life. Last week she invited me over for Chili Rellenos the way her mother taught her to make them. Wow, they were delicious - and she spent hours cooking the night before! As I said last time, she seems thrilled to have someone to talk to and socialize with a bit, and it is quite reassuring for someone to check on me. It isn't something I think about often, but you never know when something might happen. I also think she's lined me up to replace one of her tenants should anything happen to them, though I hope it's way too early for that!!  We're having brunch today. I'm taking over a salad and she's doing omelets!  She also likes tasting my vegetarian grub, which is not the case with everyone - though I have to say, most of my friends don't seem to mind and many of them are already vegetarian or almost.

Another bud of mine, Tippy, just had shoulder surgery on Monday. She's at home now and had several rough nights. I think she sees the doctor again today and finds out about physical therapy......OUCH!  I do hope things go wall as I like keeping my partners-in-crime fit and at the ready!

trump is making his statement after meeting with his hero. If there is anything worse that listening to him spout off, it is listening to him trying to read!!  His speech writers must be challenged to make someone with a 4th grade vocabulary sound even reasonably adult and intelligent. 

Joe just called and Georgie is gone. He had advanced feline leukemia, the same thing that killed Zorro a few years back.  I often felt that George wanted the loving and petting as much as the food, and the last day I was with him, he proved that. He was such a loving and pretty kitty - reminded me a lot of Gabby!. Many people in our community will miss seeing him as they drive out our back gate. So sad!!

I've been trying to incorporate a Comment Box that is easy to use and this is the best I've found. However, it seems to come with some fairly disgusting ads, with which I'm not so happy. I have tested it, but sometimes things work because I'me signed in to the blog. So, I hope you will give it a try so that I know whether or not it works AND so that I hear from you!

Sunday, July 8, 2018

It's Summer in the South!

Yes, it's been hot...and humid. Stay in the house kind of weather. Even with her cooling jacket, Rosie has been cutting our afternoon walk short and on most days I take her to an area in the community that has a shaded walkway. This morning, however, was wonderful. It was cooler, not humidity and with a nice breeze. Such a welcomed change!

I'm sure you know about our terrible political situation that just seems to go from bad to worse....every single day!!  On June 30th there was a nationwide rally in support of the
immigrants who are being treated so shamefully at our border. Our little town of Bluffton in a deep, red state had a great turnout. Rose, the organizer and my neighbor, was fearful that there would be a small turnout based on responses she had gotten. Needless to say, she was pleased with the result. I went over the day before and loaded my car with various items needed for the rally and took it over around 8AM the next day, before the rally began at 9:30. I also took Rosie and gave her a walk while I waited for others to arrive. Then I dropped off Rosie and picked up Rhonda and Chris for the rally. It was a fun morning and we were surprised to get some positive reactions.

The rally was a nice diversion from all of the calling, faxing, letter writing, etc. that we've been doing on a daily basis. Last week was so brutal - the travel ban upheld AND the possibility of trump appointing another Supreme Court judge (and something else that is escaping me at the moment)!!  I had to take some time off and get away from it, so I spent a few days reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, which was excellent and a page turner.  I have the second in the trilogy ready to go but had to use it as a bribe to get caught up on some things, including this blog. Once I've completed my "To Do" list I will take a few days for reading.....unless something abominable happens!!

I have to say I am surprised that the Queen has agreed to see trump! I love the story of the giant balloon of baby trump and it looks like it has scared him away from London. Feel free to get out there and protest him. The Resister Sisters will be glad to offer any advice needed.

My friend Tippy is back in town and we met for brunch last Tuesday. About 6-8 weeks ago she went to be with her sister, who was going into the hospital. She went for 3 days and stayed until last weekend.  Her sister was found to have stage 4 cancer and Tippy stayed with her from that point on, only coming home twice for a couple of days. Her sister passed away surrounded by family and Tippy was there until the end. She's one of our Resister Sisters and it's good to have her home.

Melodee and I went to see Becoming Harriet Tubman, a one-person play by Natalie Daise. Natalie and her husband did the children's program 20+ years ago on Nickelodeon called Gullah Gullah Island. They now live in Beaufort and she is obviously a very talented and creative person on many levels. They raffled two of her prints, which I had seen online and liked. This one is called The Collard Queen.  Well, Melodee won it and gave it to me!  Melodee will be selling her house soon and moving back to St. Louis, where her daughter lives. So, she is downsizing rather than adding-to, which was my good fortune.

My only other news is that last week I did something to my back. At first I thought it might be a UTI since that is the only time I've had pain in my lower back. I went to the doctor right away and that was ruled out. She prescribed Tylenol and ice packs. Slowly but surely it has almost gone away. I have absolutely no idea how or when I injured it but am just glad it's almost gone. Getting old is not for the weak!! 

This is Miss Rosie rather immodestly cooling off after our evening walk. She is directly under the fan. She also does this when she wants to play. Her toy basket is nearby and, if I get up to play, she will hop up and pick a squeaky toy to be tossed!  She has also acquired a new nighttime activity. For a long time she was not allowed in the sun-room because it was dedicated to Mama Mia (and seeing that she got her medication in her water without Rosie drinking it.) Mama has gotten so good at taking her meds that the sun-room can be open again. Rosie has discovered that if she sits out there at night, something with come up for her to bark at. I've seen deer, but most of the time whatever it is has vanished before I get there. I usually go in, point my finger at her and shoo her to bed. She sheepishly puts her ears back and trots funny!

Sunday, June 17, 2018

Eileen's Visit

Eileen arrived on June 2nd and we had a great visit. I was hoping the cooler weather would hold through her visit, but it was not to be. By the time she left, we were firmly in the 90s and this coming week we are moving up to the mid-90s. Summer is here.

For those who have visited, you will remember many of the places we visited:
  • A day on the island and a day in Bluffton, covering thrift shops in both. It was market day in Bluffton, so we browsed around there before checking out the neighborhood . We also had a surprise tour of one of the houses on Calhoun Street that is being renovated. As it turns out, the house is owned by the church beside it and will be a parsonage. The only workman around asked if we'd like to see inside, and it was wonderful. It is near completion and fully furnished. It was so tastefully done in an understated fashion. The interior was in keeping with the exterior, but it was more spacious than expected. Baths, kitchen and laundry room were huge. It was just a real treat to get to walk through it and we were appreciative to be invited to do so. We thanked him as we left and he said he enjoyed working on the project and "I thought you ladies might enjoy seeing it".   
    • We were also pleased with out thrift shop finds. Eileen found some shorts and pants that fit perfectly. I found a great summer jacket/wrap and a purse/backpack. I hadn't checked out the shops in a long time and I definitely know which ones I would visit again. It was fun.
    • We also had a day of local shopping, winding up at Palmetto Bluff in late afternoon
  • We went to the Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens, which I'd not visited before so it was something new for me, too. Obviously the best time to visit would be the spring, but it was still pretty and we enjoy strolling around and seeing it. I took my new camera and played around with it a bit, with moderate success.
  • Eileen joined me for our monthly Liberal Ladies meeting. She was probably inundated with American politics, but I feel that I have a witness to the insanity that is going on here. She said they weren't hearing half of what is going on. So, while I've always been a bit of a news/politics junkie, she can testify that I haven't completely lost it! For most people here, it is like everything is upside down.
    • That afternoon we went to Bluffton Sunset Party at a local park. The rain held up long enough for us to have a glass of wine and enjoy a little music.
  • We had a day in Beaufort with Melodee, who gave us the grand tour. It was rainy so we didn't get to sit out at Hunting Island or visit the animal farm as we'd hoped, but we saw as much as we could.
    • Another treat was Street Music in Port Royal, which we really didn't get to see, Melodee's friend Julia invited us to join their regular group (liberals) for drinks and snacks before the concert. She had a wonderful screened in porch and it was soothing to listen to the rain on the roof and leaves.....I could have slept there! The people were friendly and jovial; we thoroughly enjoyed it. The music had to be moved inside, so the time for it to start came and went and no one made a move! Now that's the sign of a successful gathering!! We were actually the first to leave as I wanted to drive home in daylight (after lots of rain) and get home in time to take Rosie out.
  • The day after Eileen's arrival and the day before she left were beach days. The first day we just sat out, but the second time we went in, which felt great, though there were no big waves, just swells. It was lots of fun and I don't know why I don't do it more often.
It was a great visit and I hope Eileen enjoyed it. She certainly got to meet lots of my neighbors and friends I mention here frequently. The only mishap was that she lost her camera. Neither of us are sure how it happened and I keep hoping I will just discover it somewhere here in the house. So far, no luck.

Eileen also got to meet my new friend in the neighborhood. Reyna is of Mexican descent and in her early 40s. She has 4 children and cares for two elder people in her home, both of whom she has a longstanding relationship. She also works 2-4 nights per week at Bloom, where my mother was. She is as sweet as can be and I hear from her almost every day, either by text or dropping by for a few minutes during her run. While I am much older than she, I think she is just happy to have someone to talk to, and I'm happy to be that friend. She, Eileen went out for a delicious Mexican dinner one night, which we really enjoyed and I found great Mexican food! We were chatting here one afternoon and I, knowing that she has two sisters here in the area, I asked if they all came together. She said she remembered holding her son in her arms and the bus arriving. She had to give her son to her mother and get on the bus, crying the whole way. At that point, she burst into tears. It took her six years to be able to bring her son here. She came alone and came to this area because she had a name and number of someone who would help. She called the number and there was no answer. She spoke no English and took and job she could, cleaning houses, etc. It just broke our hearts. She has gone through a version of what is happening at our border today except she was able to leave her son with her mother. 

One afternoon she brought her daughters over and it was like Disneyland for Rosie. She didn't know whom to play with first!! The girls are smart and fun to be around....and they get a 'reminder' in Spanish if they get out of hand. I was going to take Reyna and Alex, her son, to vote but Reyna was in bed with strep throat so it was only Alex. So, I feel like I did my part in the primaries and we're lined up for the general election.

Since Eileen's visit, I've resumed my hospice visits and feral cat routines. Janeen and I had lunch last week and plan to see The Book Club this afternoon. Last night I went on island to see a special showing of Notorious RBG by the Democratic Club. It was outstanding. The only problem was that I left home at 6PM for a 7PM start, thinking I would get there in time for easy parking and might even have time for a quick browse through Chico's. Not to be! Traffic was backed up way before the bridge, then again at the toll booths on the cross island parkway and then again at the traffic circle. I actually parked (after trolling the parking lot 3 times) at 7PM. Note to self: NEVER go on island on Saturday evening during the summer!!

I've also volunteered to work for Joe Cunningham, Democrat running for Congress. Sanford is already out...yippee! Now we just have to be sure he is replaced by a Democrat!! I've volunteered to help  with set up and clean up at a fundraiser here in Bluffton.

Let me share a political experience I had this week: I was so tickled off and appalled at the atrocities happening at the border that I decided to call Ryan and McConnell's DC officer. Ryan was called first and I was given 5 options to listen to Speaker Ryan's views on various issues. Option 6 was to leave a about 15 seconds. I had hardly given my name and location when my time was up. Then I was given the option to review, delete or re-record my message. You can imagine the message he got at that point!  McConnell office just had a message that due to the excessive number of calls they were unable to take my call......not even an option to leave a voice message!!  That is our government. On Monday they can expect a fax, where I will have lots of space to express my views!  Resist. Persist.

My only other realization is that I'm going to have to be mean to myself. I'm either going to have to lose some weight or buy new clothes, which I refuse to do. I officially have a fully inflated spare tire, which I can't ignore because my arms keep nudging it!! Not a happy thought!!

Friday, May 18, 2018

May in the Lowcountry

It's a dark, drizzly day here so I'm using it to catch up on long overdue emails, update this and just generally try to get caught up. It was suppose to rain most of the week, and I had made my peace with that, but we haven't gotten as much as expected, and we really do need it. Yards are suffering and lagoons are way down, so I hope we get more.

My major accomplishment is that I've finished our vacation video after three revisions. After I posted the original, I knew there were things I wanted to re-visit and I also received some wonderful shots from real photographers who were with us, people with real cameras! Then, I was sitting outside with Rosie one Friday and Tippy, who went with me, called to say that she had friends in town and they had decided to have pizza and watch the video that evening. She asked if I wanted to come over, which I did. By the time I got there, neighbors had joined the party so we declared it the Lowcountry Premier!! Everyone seemed to enjoy it but thought I should slow it down a bit (though I was trying to keep it short so as not to become boring). Anyway, I slowed it a little, included the great photos, as well as a video of the staff saying goodbye to us at Mbugani Camp, and a surprise bonus at the end. It is now 25 minutes long, but shorter if you don't watch the bonus.....but I think you will want to see and hear it! Anyway, I could work on it forever but this is officially the final copy! When you have the time, you can see it here:
So, pour yourself a glass of wine, sit back and enjoy! Both Tippy and I continue to marvel at the awesomeness of it all!

One advantage of fiddling with the video much longer than I should is that it took my mind off politics and the misery many of us feel. That proved to be temporary!! One week I went to Drinking Liberally on Wednesday, Surf the Blue Wave Rally on Thursday, and Liberal Ladies of the Lowcountry on Friday!! The Africa trip was a wonderful escape on so many levels, but with all the heinous crap happening on a daily basis, it's difficult to pull back. I am thankful for having liberal friends with whom to commiserate and vent, otherwise it would be unbearable!

Tippy, Kieran and I went to the Bluffton Mayfest last weekend. I had not been in years and really had no plans to go until Tippy texted. I was so conflicted and couldn't make up my mind, finally asking her to text again when they were leaving home. I ultimately decided to join them and am glad I did. The fairs are all  much the same, but we enjoyed it and had a fun time.....and a nice lunch! I've asked them to put the Bluffton Christmas Parade on their calendar as it is always quirky and fun......and I also haven't been in ages, so it's time to go again!

Am looking forward to a visit from Eileen in early June. I'm doing a little cooking and freezing, as well as keeping a list of whatever is happening during her stay, so we can take it easy and enjoy ourselves.The weather is not yet too hot and I'm hoping it lasts through her visit. Eileen will just need to brace herself for all the loving she's going to get from Rosie!!

Speaking of Rosie....I bought her a little cooling vest for the heat of summer. 
I know! Don't say it......BUT, with her short legs, she gets the heat from the sidewalk....and won't walk on the grass (which is for pooping!). She is also black on top and has very compact hair!! I think the vest will work if I can get her accustomed to it. I moisten it with cool water and wring it out well.  It does keep her body cool, but she has been cutting our walks short when wearing it. I'm hoping that in the real heat of summer she will appreciate it. You can tell by her stance and ears that she isn't a happy camper!

Was just reminded of this boy in the top photo who was found by one of the ladies (Dawn) who saved Rosie. His name is Reeve and his story is different in that his injuries happened a while back and has begun healing incorrectly. Dawn is trying to raise money for his care and recalled Rosie's story on Facebook. She posted these photos,  which reminded me of how hurt and frightened Rosie (Baby Ruth then) was. Look at that sad, pained face and those akimbo ears! But look at her now!!! I do hope sweet Reeve has the same results. He certainly has the right people on his team! He has had two surgeries and things are looking better. Think good thoughts for him.