I’m Here to Tell You Different

There is accepted scientific fact, and there is truth. Sometimes they’re not the same thing.

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Salad Days

I watched a canine documentary a couple of years ago that centered around behavior.  The Host started right in on a dog’s limitations, of which there seemed to be many. For instance, one of the first listed was the leash/obstacle problem.

The Host posited as truth the old chestnut that a dog can’t comprehend that they must stay on the same side of an obstacle as their owner; that they are connected by the leash. ‘They just cannot think laterally’, he said.  ‘They can’t work it out’. That’s when I turned the show off.

Well, Bree worked out for herself as a puppy that we were connected and after two times going the wrong way around a light pole and never did it again.

Last night while watching Stephen Fry’s series QI I heard him say that dogs cannot follow where you point. They watch your finger, not the direction in which you are pointing.

Once again, Bree got pointing right away. I can point at stuff anywhere and she’ll go get it. Stuffed babies, usually. She loves it and regards it as work, which is the highest calling for a herding breed.

She also knows how to ‘take it’, ‘come’, ‘go’, ‘hug’, etc… and saved my life once when the electric blanket I was using caught fire.

Got kids? Get Collies. There will be an excess of hair, but your children will have a best friend you can count on… one who won’t introduce them to meth.

Conversely, Badger, also a herder, does not always get it. Maybe her original people didn’t spend much time with her when she was a puppy.

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She’s old now, the Bree. Her face becomes progressively whiter and she moves slower. But she’s still the best girl.

Down the Rabbit Hole

I’ve been researching my heritage… well, nearly all of my almost 60 years. Being adopted means being loved… but also facing a blank wall as far as ancestors go. Who were they? WHERE were they??

I always assumed mine had to be bank robbers and horse thieves.rabbit

Well, thank goodness for Ancestry. The DNA testing found my half-sister (she hasn’t been back to the site since October, so doesn’t know I messaged her in return. I wish the service would email if there’s a message!) and from there my family tree started, buoyed by other member’s family trees and documents.

I now know my father’s name, and surprise!, I’m not a bastard. My mom married him. Briefly.

And so far, through my maternal grandmother’s branch of the tree, I’ve been able to go as far back as Ireland, 1599. Now… I have to go over all this a million times before I really believe it… but the magnitude of it is kicking my butt. I have ancestors who fought in the American Revolution, the Civil War, the War of 1812, WWI and WWII. The phrase ‘Fighting Irish’ now holds new meaning.

Not horse thieves, this clan – O’Rourke – seemed to be leaders instead of wastrels.

Of course, other branches have led back to England. Nothing yet from Scandinavia, but maybe that’s my father’s side.

Here’s where the going gets sticky… a few times in documents I’ve read that my ancestors owned slaves. It was a kick in the gut. Seriously; one woman being willed to a surviving wife was called a ‘negro wench’ and upon reading that my lunch nearly came up.

No, I’ll not be paying reparations. No, I don’t feel guilty; I’ve never owned slaves and it’s been a damn long time since my family has. But it did put a damper on the joy of finally having a family tree.

 

Glow

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I wouldn’t necessarily take a mundane photo of my neighbor’s hibiscus, but I saw the glow on the fence and couldn’t resist. This flower’s color is so radiant, even the fence can’t resist absorbing some of its beauty.

Not the correct explanation, but it’s the one I like.

 

Luna

I captured (and subsequently released) a Luna moth caterpillar. Couldn’t help myself; it was huge. Easily the largest I’ve ever seen. And so close to his pupal stage.

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He was the length of the mason jar.

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His legs were nightmarish. Seriously. They have ‘faux legs’ that look harmless and then the things you see when he’s turned over, which grab leaves and… elongate.

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Tell me that won’t give you bad dreams.

 

Two Things

We hit the beach again yesterday. Cloudy days are the best… next to evenings.

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He looked for buried treasure and I walked up and down glancing at snowbirds. Every other license plate in the parking lot said Québec.

Here are two things that drive me crazy:

  1. People sitting nearly at the water’s edge of one of the most beautiful beaches in the world… playing games on their cellphones. REALLY?
  2. Tourists wearing shoes (flip-flops are shoes) walking on the beach. Down near the surf, where the sand is packed well enough to walk without looking like you’re falling. Sure, we all do that. The sand and the water… they’re for digging your toes into. They’re really good for buffing the callouses off your feet and let’s not discount the pure sensory pleasure of it… If you don’t want to feel that, just go to DisneyWorld and be done with it.

‘As A Warning’

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I was just looking through some old photos and found one that made me laugh… I had killed a fly and mounted him on a toothpick as a warning for the others… 😉

Beach

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My Valentine roses have nothing whatsoever to do with the beach. But I think they’re pretty and since I didn’t have my camera last night…

Ever since we moved to Pompano Beach in 2002, I’ve been looking forward to leaving. Never ‘blooming where I’m planted’; never putting down roots of any kind here. Made few friends and don’t see them much. To my embarrassment I never even reach out to them, preferring an insulated existence. Why would I want to become good friends with people only to leave them? That’s happened before and I hate it.

The virtues of the area have made themselves known over the years… aside from a hurricane once in a while, the weather is usually wonderful. But the cost of living is so high we’d never be able to retire here, which means within the next couple of years we’ll be forced to make a move.

The beaches… are quite exquisite. I’ve always lived near the ocean and this time it’s only 10 miles due east. We went last night as the sun was setting; was able to stand at the water’s edge as it roared and look west as the orange and pink sky put on a show. The power, the sheer magnitude of it always leaves me awestruck.

One has to wonder why I’ve been trying to run from this place back to Texas… wasting years of my life looking back, just because it was my home, because of faraway friends? I miss them, but how blinkered is that?

Just when I’ve come to really appreciate the place, we’re preparing to leave. And that’s very sad indeed.

 

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