A Dog Named Dexter…addendum…


The colors of the foliage as it seemed to change over night.

Change is definitely upon us now as the leaves turned quickly into an autumnal landscape. It was amazing to see that some of them happened so rapidly. The nights are cool to cold; however, this morning I was in a tee shirt as I cleaned Maggie’s over night addition to her living quarters. I started out in layers that soon were deposited throughout the barn. The humidity is high and with movement I was a mass of heat. Consequently, by the time I had cleaned out Maggie’s generous pooping my back felt good from being worked and the tee shirt was just enough clothing.

I sneaked in a photograph of Maggie yesterday as she was snooping on the neighbors. While she still has some sheen her winter coat is growing. In the mornings when I groom her there isn’t as much hair in the comb. However, she’s still doing her famous rolling around. I suppose it feels good after being groomed to get back to her original dirt laden self. She’s in good shape to go into the winter months though, feet and all are in excellent condition. I have to mend her winter coat a bit here and there though. I’ll put mending on the list.

The first weekend in October will bring herd health for the alpacas, Maggie and fall check ups. Since a rabid dog has been reported in Albion, Maine it is imperative to call on Monday morning to schedule rabies shots for the critters. Then there is the paperwork to update all of the 3 ring binders with documents. In addition, the new Savvy 2013 calendar has arrived and will need to be filled with information. The year’s end will be here soon enough.

Moreover, the new weekly schedule will allow me more time to contemplate the changes for the upcoming year. Since the alpaca girls are bred there will be some adjustments to make inside and with a new addition. And then there’s the time that’s so precious these last few months before the winter takes over. I have noticed that people talk about time all of the time. They usually don’t have enough time, or time passes quickly and it is about time.

I don’t suppose I ever thought much about time while I was busy attending college, caring for my sons, and working. Later, after college I found that there was so much more time than I had experienced before. I yearned for my old schedule. I suppose that it was comfortable to have such a rigid time management schedule. Then just like that I was graduated and it was over. I remember thinking that I didn’t have enough to do. I wanted to study, write papers, listen to lectures. I wept over the lack of mental stimulation of an academic lifestyle. Sure there was more time, but what to do with it?

So I worked and worked. There’s something about working that makes a person tired. It isn’t that it was physical work or very mentally exhausting at the jobs I worked. It was the idea of being upright and moving to accomplish something. It was about producing. I think the first time that I realized work was the advent of producing something that could be observed or counted I fell into a funk. For example, the whole process seemed like the little hamster in her cage that we had as a pet. She slept during the day and then ran all night in her wheel. The unfortunate thing was that she didn’t get anywhere in that wheel. She could have traveled thousands of miles, but she didn’t produce anything either and neither did I. Granted, I did received a paycheck for my time; however, it took away my time for little compensation.

Then after my sons left home and I realized there was more time. Time had been passing without notice. There was still work, but the reason for doing it changed. I didn’t work for purpose any longer. Consequently, time mattered more than the compensation. I didn’t particularly suffer the empty nest syndrome because I expected my sons to join the world as productive human beings. I taught them that work was necessary. In addition, the fact that they were males they weren’t going to be able to run out and get married to have a husband take care of them. They were going to be out there paying their way. Of course as they had grown they required less and less attention from me anyway. So there was more time to schedule to do something.

And now it is about time. It is all about time. Without making a life plan that included extended travel, moving to Florida, or settling for someone else’s dreams I have found a new schedule. I have found that it is not particularly necessary to manage time. Time happens to leave whether I am paying any attention or not. In addition, I can do with it as I please. If I choose to fill it with things to do then it is up to me because I don’t have to follow it. I can cancel, remove, or change the schedule at any time. After all, it is all about time.

The sun, what there was of it, as it tried to pry through the rain clouds.
And so it goes….

Copyright © 2011

What is like, comment or share?


My little luxury that I bought yesterday.

I’ve been reading through the admissions on Facebook and find that it is amazing the number of different posts. And I don’t have hundreds of ‘friends’ either so where do these submissions come from? I cannot imagine the people that have hundreds or thousands of ‘friends’ that they do not personally know who have access to posting on their news feed. I suppose someone out there in cyber land creates these things with the hope that they will be passed around and around. It depends on the person’s viewpoint as to what exactly their particular bend is when it comes to selection. There are the daily notifications of one’s life, the silly and frivolous as well as the extremely serious in nature that tend to be more prevalent. However, I find that when I am clicking ‘like’ I am not sure whether I am in agreement or not.

Recently an article concerning the ‘like’ button was fully discussed on the news. Who knew this was news? I hadn’t considered whether or not the ‘like’ button was pushed had any real merit. But there it was on the major news as something worth considering. I suppose in the world of ‘likes’ it is important. The main thrust of the article was that Facebook officials were deleting the fake ‘likes’ of those that ran up the numbers of some pages and not others. I fail to see why it is of any real consideration, but someone who has more likes than another person is probably running amok spewing that their page is better than others. It reminds me of a little child screaming that they are liked more than someone else with a tally sheet of numbers in their hand. Of course the ‘share’ and ‘comment’ are worthy of the same coverage, or at least they should be equally considered.

Sometimes the things on Facebook are so damned beautiful that it seems they should be shared all over the world. However, other times I have to wonder why anyone would send the posting out even once. Moreover, is it important to share everything or be more selective about the ‘share’ button? I wonder if anyone has considered a study on what is going on in someone’s mind when they decide to ‘share’ or not. Probably someone somewhere will ask for the detailed numbers, if they exist, to begin such a study. And then this study will become a major news event as the ‘like’ situation. On the other hand, the comment button may be the most noteworthy.

Is it possible to comment on everything posted on Facebook? In addition, is it really that interesting to other people? I specifically like the ones where there is a continued discourse. Everyone has an opinion, I’ve heard they are like noses or another part of the anatomy. Therefore, I suppose the comment section is worth making opinions known or voicing a response to another posting. The ones that are miles long are usually not worth reading. In fact it is impossible to open up the comment section that lists hundreds of responses. Likewise, is it important to read all of these comments?

In conclusion, is this social media really necessary? I suppose it is too much to ask that people communicate by writing each other a letter or picking up their phone to speak directly. Of course that is another whole matter because people are unable to use pens or pencils any longer. Further, the act of writing isn’t important in order to communicate. And when it comes to phones everyone has one that does everything for them and provides an instantaneous connect. All of this begs the question that if people are so well connected with the availability of communications resources why are they still not able to get along? And does the ‘like’ button really need to be an option?
And so it goes…

Copyright © 2011

Off to the coast, Moxie, and tranquility…

A path to the water at Fort Knox State Park, Stockton Springs, Maine.

 

After an exciting evening I woke this morning with new vim and vigor. I decided to take the day off as it were and drive down to Belfast. I love the Reny’s Store in Belfast because it is bright with wide aisles and of course there is always a great selection of stuff that I probably don’t need. However, I always find something that I just have to purchase. Consequently, I did buy some things I needed but also purchased a wind chime that is made of little metal water pots and buckets all of different colors. It is hanging on the porch and makes a great sound. I’ll have to take a picture of it later on as it is very different. I noticed it before but figured I had better not spend the money. However, today there were only two left and one was certainly marked ‘mine’.

 

Then I decided to head up Route One to see what I could see. There are so many things along the road because this is the main tourist route it is difficult to keep from running off the road. But I did slow down as the speed limit isn’t 55 mph there so I could see plenty. I stopped here and there snooping around to see what kinds of things people were selling. There are two pottery shops that tended to call my name loudly into their lairs. I was pretty good about purchasing anything though as they have some pretty high prices for the tourists.

 

There was a long line of the big recreational vehicles. Some of the tourist’s vehicles are large enough to house a family of 8 or 10. In addition, they always have a car that they are dragging as well as some motorcycles for when they are parked somewhere. The out of state plates were too numerous to bother to notice. It suffices that they are tourists and still here to clog the roadways.

 

I found myself in Stockton Springs where I bought gas, got a crab meat sandwich, Moxie, and a candy bar for dessert. Then I followed the signs to the state park where I ate my lunch at a picnic table in the  woods with a view of the water. Since it was what I call a blue-blue day both the sky and water were absolutely beautiful to admire. The air smelled of pine. And the breeze was just right, not too cold or too warm. I practiced deep breathing while I enjoyed the views around me. Unfortunately, the spot that I had picked began to be inundated with people wandering up and down the paths, talking on their cell phones and listening to their music. I departed as the quietude was broken.

 

As I drove back toward Belfast I slowed down and annoyed the locals as I took some photographs of the scenery. I suppose that they wondered since I have Maine plates why I was causing such a slow down. As a result, I pulled off the road at one point to allow the parade to pass as I waited for a clear shot. It shouldn’t have been such a big deal, but a couple blew their horns as they had to angle their vehicles ever so little away from the side of the road.

 

As the afternoon ticked away I realized it was time to abandon my luxurious wandering and make for home. It was still quite beautiful even though the sun was beginning to longingly linger toward the gloaming. And I arrived home in time to hear April begin her conversation with the other ewes remarking about dinner. I brought in my goods from Reny’s, walked the girls, changed clothes and entered the barns to the welcoming calls of the hungry critters. I’m not sure that they missed me at all during the day; however, since they heard me return it meant that it was definitely time to eat.

The radio was turned up, hay, grain and water were dispensed and the noises quieted. Then as I sat on the chicken’s food can I found myself pleasantly content. Though the day was busy, I was relaxed and nurtured by the knowledge that the coast is still there.

 

 

 

And so it goes…

 

 

Copyright © 2011

Dexter…

The end of a beautiful day as a rainbow descended from the clouds over the mountains.

I don’t suppose I could credit the day to being very productive; however, the morning chores were done and then I did what I get paid to do. I answered emails and graded papers. I reviewed rough drafts and sent corresponding feedback. I was inside keeping my nose in my own business when Betsy Ann, the consummate watch dog, started barking hysterically. Usually I don’t pay much attention; however, Bonnie joined in with the barking and thus I ventured to the door to find another dog at the bottom of the steps looking up at me.

Now I have seen this dog before and recognized him. His name is Dexter, although I don’t know exactly where he is supposed to call home, I realized that it wasn’t here with Betsy Ann and Bonnie. I opened the door and he began to meander to the road. Then as I followed him off the property he made a zig zag down the road to two people on horses that appeared to be ignoring his existence. I supposed that he was with them. There upon I called out to them that the dog need not be on my property that I have livestock. The young woman turned on her horse to continue the conversation by trying to dismiss the whole event. After a couple of my assertions that the dog was on private property she continued to yell something of no consequence. I finalized the conversation by stating clearly that the next time the dog was on my property he would be shot.

Now the reason that I know that the dog’s name is Dexter is that he has been here before and not very recently at that. In fact the last time he was meandering around someone called him by his name before he decided that the smells on my property were concluded and he followed the people riding their horses. I suppose he figured he’d done his best to figure out who or what peed and pooped in my front yard.

It isn’t so much that the dog was doing his normal behavior; however, it is that Maine has some laws about dogs running amok. First and foremost they should be on a leash. I believe that is commonly called a leash law. When I take Betsy Ann and Bonnie outside to do their constitutionals they are on a leash. I do not want them to be harmed, or run off. I am particularly keen on keeping them because I love them. They are my dogs and companions. I am not inclined to allow them to run amok, certainly not near the road, so that they could possibly be hurt. But these people who were horseback riding apparently have different ideas as to how they feel about Dexter.

Subsequently, anyone who knows me realizes that the threat to shoot Dexter is an empty retort. I would not shoot someone’s dog. However, I will call Dexter to me if he is on my property and corral him until he is picked up by the animal control officer. I will ask that he be kept from running amok. I will ask that the letter of the law be followed by the people who are ignoring him. I will ask that Dexter be cared for properly and protected. I will be determined that Dexter be cared for properly by being leashed as per the law. And if the people who own Dexter are inclined to bring him on their horseback riding excursions I will call the animal control officer several times.

What I find most disturbing is that the people that own Dexter are not particularly interested in what happens to him. And how do I know that they aren’t interested in Dexter? Well, I would consider that Dexter is running amok on people’s property without the knowledge of the horseback riding people. In addition, this great country road on which people are supposed to be going 45 mph is very busy. Consequently, the people driving this road do not drive 45 mph but travel at much higher speeds. I would think that the horseback riding people would be interested in keeping Dexter safe. But perhaps they don’t love him. Perhaps it is inconsequential that Dexter is loose and running in and out of the traffic on Hill Road.

All in all though it was not a particularly productive day I found that perhaps Betsy Ann and Bonnie as well as the farm animals are well protected. I suppose they don’t think about it; however, I am inclined to consider their safety more now. I am thankful that the farm animals are behind walls that a dog could not get through. And that Maggie and the rams are behind an electric fence, although they are barn sour and stay inside most of the time.

In the end it isn’t Dexter’s fault. He’s a dog that would probably attack one of my chickens and kill it. It is his nature to do what comes to him. However, his owners are at fault for not protecting him. In addition, they are not abiding by the rules either. I suppose if they have a ‘big’ name in Clinton they think because they own an exorbitant amount of property and their god given right to a legacy that they have more rights than the rest of us that live in a dilapidated old house with a few farm animals.

And so it goes….
Copyright © 2011

 

Empathy

This suggests that there’s something about the experience of high status that hurts our ability to connect with others emotionally. Other studies have suggested that high status makes people less compassionate, less generous and less interested in connecting with others in general.

How inequality hurts Romney’s happiness
By Jason Marsh, Special to CNN

I read the above opinion editorial this morning and realized that I have been conducting a similar, albeit low level survey of my own. I have fallen into the habit of asking people if they would extend credit or help someone who needed groceries. I didn’t ask for money or groceries for myself, I just wanted to know if they would step up to the plate to help another fellow human being in need.

I suppose the local establishments figure I’m actually as loony as it has been reported to them so they responded without an after thought. I had thought we were over the ‘me’ generation; however, it is apparently not true. I guess I shouldn’t have been surprised at the responses that I received. After all everyone is out to gather as many shells and stones as possible before they drop dead. I’m not sure what their intention is once they have accumulated so many of the prizes, but I guess it makes them feel better as they have attained a higher status. Or at least these people who are collecting think that they have attained a higher status which may be the case.

Here’s the results of my low level questioning. Out of several grocery/convenience stores not one of the owners would extend either credit or help to someone who asked for it. Now these are local establishments that certainly make a profit otherwise they wouldn’t be in business. In addition, I fully understand that if they started to extend credit to one person then they would establish a precedent and other people would follow. There wouldn’t be any end to the number of people that the store would be supplying and then without capital to purchase products the store would have to close. Moreover, not one of the owners would entertain a person working for them in order to either pay for the goods or barter/trade.

Furthermore, none of the owners were interested in purchasing or trading any produce/product for theirs. Since this is a rural area and there are many farmers who produce goods: eggs, meat, grains and even transportation/trucking services it wouldn’t be too far out of one’s imagination to be able to trade or barter. However, the farmer’s products are not good enough to be taken in trade. The local establishments would rather have eggs, meats, etc. trucked in, put on the shelf and have the population pay more for a possibly inferior product. One farmer commented to me that he has better vegetables than the ones in the stores and indeed he does. Not only are the farmer’s vegetables fresher because they haven’t been sitting in a warehouse or endured shipping, but in many cases they are pesticide free.

Certainly the owners of these small establishments are not of the same ilk as Romney or others who have enough money to live on for not only their lifetimes but their children’s children’s children. And they are local so that they see and know the people of the area. They are not as removed as a CEO of a major company such as Wal-Mart, Target, Home Depot, etc. So what makes them unable or incapable of being more empathetic to the plight of their neighbors?

When questioned further about what a person might do in such a condition where they needed groceries most responded with the same retort. Women according to the owners should immediately either go on welfare or find a ‘guy’. If it was a family that included a man then he needed to get off drugs and stop drinking. Then he had better find a job to provide for his family. But if these solutions weren’t sufficient then there were always the food banks. In addition, they could make an application for help from their local towns. On the other hand, none of the local establishments donate to any of the social agencies that they mentioned. However, they did note that they all pay exorbitant taxes which pay for ‘those people’.

Is the answer to the coldness of the people who have ‘made it’ versus those that are struggling the same as corporate heads? Is it that even in a small pond the big fish want to devour the small ones? What eliminates their ability to be humane? In conclusion, does having all of the shells and stones make them happy by virtue of having risen above others?

And so it goes…

Copyright © 2011

 

Burning it up and cooling down…

This is the roof line of Maggie’s barn as the sun is burning off the second frost. In addition, it appeared that the ground was smoking a bit.

It definitely was a bit chilly this morning as the temperature on the porch read a cool 35. However, the day has progressed as a beautiful blue-blue sky that has warmed up to a bit over 60 degrees. Last night at final check the alpacas were outside lolling around in the cool air while the ewes, rams, chickens, and geese had hunkered down. Maggie was strolling in and out, too. Of course once they saw me there was the familiar battle cry for food that I promptly explained was out of the question.

While the weather is indicative of the upcoming change I’ve welcomed the disappearance of flying, biting and annoying bugs. The flies that have been accustomed to living inside the goose house annoying me when I go in to feed the goslings are now hanging on the walls in a rather stuck fashion. I suppose that the cold is a signal for them, too. I will not miss them buzzing, landing and biting me. One of the goslings has made it a practice to bite at the flies. I’m not sure how many she actually got to eat, but it was interesting to watch.

The progress to finish winter arrangements for the cellar are underway as I picked up the grand new piping for the furnace. It is splendid. At this point it is still in the back of the truck; however, it will make its journey to be installed shortly. All of the other parts for the cellar have been gathered. Recently I was informed that some people actually have their heat on all ready. Personally I don’t think it is cold enough at night to turn on the furnace even if I had the piping replaced. I was actually throwing off the blanket last night because the cool air felt good. This weather is great for sleeping. The kittens didn’t get up as early this morning either. I was pleasantly surprised that Max was not into his mousa game. Later, after chores, I took a picture of Sarah posing on the chair.

Then I was fortunate enough to find Max. I called him and he looked up for a photograph with his eyes open. I’ll probably never get that lucky again as he’s not thrilled with the camera.

The shuffle for positions took precedence over the morning activities as Sarah acquired the new scratching bed for herself. Meanwhile Max has gone into hiding fearing another photograph I’m sure.

Butternut squash is in the oven baking while I review student’s papers. The bills are paid, for the time being, and the afternoon advances quietly. Mr. Penney is coming today to do Maggie’s feet and then the day will proceed to evening chores. There’s still plenty to do after chores, but the pace is mine to set.

And so it goes…
Copyright © 2011