Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Saturday Chronicles...Afternoon

When we left off Isabell had been rescued and was recovering in front of the firepalce from her ordeal. Love of my life and I were watching The Illusionist and napping to catch up on the lost sleep. We were resting, anticipating the event we were planning to attend Saturday evening.

My Mother describes our family as pleasantly dysfunctional. She as usual is right in her assessment. As Paul Newman's character observes in Road To Perdition, sons were put on earth to trouble their fathers. It's a leitmotif in mythology that sons overcome their fathers. I think it all started with Zeus killing Chronos but that's a different story. In my situation, my son, the other David in the family for some long unknown slight doesn't communicate with this David. But all this aside when my Mom called somewhere in the midst of Edward Norton appearing Jessica Biel to say David Jr. had spent several days in hospital after passing out needless to say I was extremely concerned. I take great pride in this guy. He is a chemical engineer and a officer in the Navel Reserve and I take comfort knowing he has a good life he has created for himself. He was at that point home and seems to be doing well.

I was recovering from that news when the sound that wives make when something is wrong emanated from the living room. Stella has been known to for some reason consider house plants and fair game and she had decided to work on the orchid. Yes. that's right, the orchid which, after living with us for six years, was going to bloom. The bulk of it, including the hopeful buds, now lay, shredded, on the living room floor. I hope we don't have to wait another six years for a bloom.

It was at that point the funk set in. Since the season is either ending or ended there was not even football to improve on a day not going well.

Winter Moon

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The Saturday Chronical...Morning

I have recovered enough now from Saturdays events to talk about the day. The tale of Isabelle (the dog on the right and the larger half of double trouble) began Friday evening. Coming home from work we were greeted only by Stella's jumping around and yelping which was unusual as she is normally the one who wanders off by herself. When Isabelle was still among the missing later that evening worry set in. Wanda and I had a restless night and Stella sat by the door whimpering for her missing sister.

Only once before had the dogs been missing all night and that time they were both AWOL. We found them in the morning up at Doe Run cavorting in the parking lot. It was a weekend hen there a lot of people up here and we suspect they had been partying all night. It was our thought that was the situation this time however to Isabel to party without her sister didn't make sense as Stella is the party animal.

The nice thing is that everyone up here knows the girls and as we drove around Saturday morning looking for the missing dog the word soon spread she was among the missing. The work from several was the last time she was seen was in the vicinity of the villas up at Doe Run. After several hours of searching we concentrated on that area. It was drive, stop,, stop, whistle until suddenly there was a panicked barking and yelping. We heard her very close but couldn't see her.

Exiting the car what could be seen at the edge of the road was the tail and a rather large beagle butt protruding from the opening of a large but not large enough drain pipe. Poor puppy had crawled in and could not back out. After I dug away some of the accumulated dirt at the entrance she extricated herself and all I could see as I looked into the drain was darkness. Muddy and relieved to be liberated from the cramped quarters where she had apparently spent the night she gave little yelps of joy all the way to the house. After a stop in the rhododendrons for some much needed relief there was a joyful reunion with her sister who seemed as relieved as we to have her home.

And that was Saturday morning. More on the rest of the day later. Oh, yes, there's more.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Baby, It's Cold Outside!

There's this spot on the Parkway just down from the Mabry Mill where the ice comes early and stays late. Water seems to seap from the rock face and freeze.

Winter has come to the mountains. It's 7 degrees down in Galax this morning. It's a much warmer 14 down the mountain the other way in Mt. Airey. A dusting of snow lays on the ground and as things go we have ran out of gas for the fireplace.

Since I've tried for an hour to download some pictures and have only been able to get this one I'll post the others later.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Horses and Homefolk

We see these horses most every day on the was to and from work. As Sean over at the Pecor Family can tell you this is horse country. We stopped by to see our friend, Diane, who has several horses they have rescued from unfortunate situations. Her daughter, Tia (called Toothpick) greeted us and there was great excitement. They had, the night before, purchased a Arabian thoroughbred for $30. The poor fella had been terribly abused and they will nurse the horse back to health.

I've written about this family before. Diane's mom and dad, Jesse and Geneva, have a place up on Buffalo Mountain. "The Buffalo" is a landmark in the area and is rich in flora and fauna and a beautiful place.

Arlis, the happiest person I have ever met, is Diane's (we call her Granny because that's what she said to call her) anyway, Arlis is Diane's brother and lives at home with Pop and Mom (that's what we call them because they said to). Everyone in these parts knows the family and they know everyone. Granny's uncle was at one time the sheriff of Floyd county. If you want to know what's going on from Fancy Gap to Floyd, just ask Granny.

For some reason they have adopted us. When the family picture was taken at the church we all go to for Jesse and Geneva's 50Th anniversary, Jesse insisted Wanda and I join the group. We had to laugh at the notion that somewhere down the line some descendant will look at the family photo dismayed, wondering how these two are related.

In spite of Granny and her husband having untold challenges mostly stemming from the several serious heart attacks suffered by the latter, they are some of the most kind and giving people I have ever had the good fortune to encounter. From her early pet groundhog, Boomerang, to the horses they now rescue, they truly care for all creatures great and small including people.

Wanda said she wanted to go horseback riding. Jesse looked at her and asked, "ya ever done that before"? When Wanda answered in the negative, Jesse just shook his head, looked at her, and replied, "make sure ya call me, I wanna to see that".

Thursday, January 25, 2007

The Queen and Princesses

A Few Random Thoughts

Just a few random thoughts this morning (isn't redundancy fun?).

I'm bothered sometimes by buzz words and phrases. "Factiod" was one that really bothered me. When and why was "oid" added to "fact". It's a fact. Another was "funeralize" as in "They funeralized the dead factoid inventor". "Eulogy" is a nice word and funerals are held. The latest to bother me is "moving forward" . George used it several times in that speech the other night. Of course we move forward. Who ever uses the phrases "standing still" or "going backward". People do the latter but people who do usually don't comment on doing so. Maybe a historian could say something like "Moving forward into going backward".

Prescription drug programs for us pre-baby boomers have a list of approved drugs called a formulary. They change from year to year. The company I represent at work has removed Viagra and Cialis from the formulary. I have received more calls from upset women then men about the deletion. Either the saddest or most encouraging call I had was from a 90 year old man. His final comment "Well, I guess I really don't need this" left me wondering what he meant. A ray of hope, maybe? Anyhow this doesn't seem right.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007


I'm told by our brother-in-law, Jorge, that Cardinals are ground feeders. I guess it's unusual to see them on feeders. Last spring we watched as the father of this bird demonstrated to the youngsters how to eat from the feeder. They nest somewhere close by and normally come around later in the AM and PM than the other species.

Coincidence Or.....?

It was several Sundays ago and as is my habit I was making out a check to drop in the collection at church. We had received a bonus at work that week and I was doing as God had laid on my heart and making the draft out for half the amount of the bonus. As I finished I felt Gods urging to give the other half also. The way we figure God has been good to us and when it comes down to it, everything belongs to Him anyway. But for some reason instead of logically voiding out the finished check I simply made out another for the same amount.

(Fast forward to our little church down the mountain in Willis)

I had forgotten that week we were having a visiting ministry group and our preacher announced in addition to our regular offering we would take up a "love" offering to help support the visitors.
Now is that cool or what? There I was with two checks in my pocket. I have found that God sometimes puts in our lives what we think are rather unusual circumstances and when that occurs it's best just to go along.

I have heard many reports of incidences just such as this where one of Gods children feels the urge to do some strange or seemingly bizarre thing only to have the action bring amazing results.

Now if you are one of those people who think things like this are coincidences, that's OK. I just believe the there is some awesome force for good which guides our actions.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

What Do You Mean, Get Up?

Fog In The Valley

Somewhere down there under the clouds is the Ararat Valley. Yesterday after the wet weather the fog was hanging low and this was the view from Groundhog Mountain. In the distance Mt. Pilot pokes up out of mists.

Monday, January 22, 2007


Ice, Ice, Baby

We didn't have any snow but there was ice. It covered the deck which resulted in the birds who feed there to do some slipping and sliding. The dogs also discovered what it is to slip on the ice. They and we didn't venture far.

It seems like everyone who can spell president has deceided to run for that office. And the election isn't for another two years. It's going to be like a political "Groundhog Day" except the kid that keeps falling out of the tree never gets caught and the groundhog turns out to be a turkey.

In retrospect it's been a fantastic football season topped by two exceptional championship games. Now it's Da Bears and the Baltimore....oops I mean the Indianapolis Colts. I like both teams which means that whoever wins I'll be happy.

Sunday, January 21, 2007


Saturday, January 20, 2007

Flowering After Six Years

When I bought this orchid about six years ago it had one beautiful bloom which, because the conditions were not right, soon withered. Since our row house at the time had no windows with a good sunny exposure, for the better part of four years it lived on the cabinet in the bathroom where it got lots of moisture from Wanda's many long hot showers. It thrived there but only in the leaf department.

There was ample light coming through the window but not enough to sustain the one bloom or invite others.

Since moving to the mountain it's lived on the deck in the summer and in front of the glass doors during the cold weather.

Now it appears to have several buds appearing out of the center of the two large leaves. My knowledge of orchids is somewhat limited. I have a suspicion that light conditions must just right for them to bloom. If that's the case then this fellas not moving from his present home.

Flowers are not your typical orchid variety on this plant. When it does put on a show I'll post pictures. That way your anticipation will be like mine as we patiently wait for the plant that hasn't bloomed in six years. Just a hint (and for orchid fanciers, a give-a-way) it's a Golddigger.


Thursday, January 18, 2007


She looks so sweet. Stella was the runt of the litter and it's reflected in her smaller size. But don't be fooled, this dog is fearless. Or it could be she just doesn't have good sense.

Jumping off the neighbors retaining wall, not once but twice, she acquired a two day limp. She has been known to face down much larger dogs and turns into a raging maniac when her much larger sister approaches too close to her food dish.

Sometimes she watches TV. I caught her enjoying the action as the Bears defeated the Seahawks in the NFL playoffs. While on the subject of bears it must noted as this narrative continues, love of my life, Wanda has a fear and at the same time a fascination with the creatures. Also she is no football fan.

It was that interest that prompted the purchase of the DVD Grizzly Man. My watching took some persuasion. I knew the story and was not keen to watch a movie concerning some deranged person who was eventually eaten by his subject matter. A time came when, with Stella perched on my lap, I was persuaded to suffer the movie. In all fairness it is worth watching even though our hero meets a tragic end.

As can be expected there are bears and at the sight of them quiet (well sometimes), sweet little Stella became monster dog. Barking, snarling and growling she fearlessly faced down the TV bears. Throughout the movie at the sight of a bear, and there were many sights of bears, Stella would become super dog.

From her actions we think she must have already had a real life bear adventure. Eventually the movie ended and the bears went away. The Seattle Seahawks really missed a good thing when they neglected to sign her.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Lovers Leap 8:40 AM

Monday, January 15, 2007

Thank You, Dr, King

Things happen in my life that are beyond explanation. Some people say everything happens for a reason. Maybe that's true.

I had been fired from my job at the radio station with good reason I might add. They said it was a re-organization but I was the only one being reorganized. A friend who had worked with some people at a station in Atlanta gave them a call and arranged an interview. It would involve a move from Florida to Georgia but it was a larger market and more importantly another job.

Back then ADD was unheard of but that never stopped me from not knowing what to prioritize. The funeral of Dr. Martin Luther King was taking place in my very destination that very day. I never thought for a moment that event and my trip would become one.

Back in the sixties the trip up I-75 to Atlanta was mostly uneventful broken only by the monotony of palmetto and pine. Atlanta has probably since the days of horse and buggy been a traffic nightmare. With the events of the day it was soon stop and go along the interstate through the city.

Coming upon an overpass the traffic stopped all to gather and people were exiting vehicles and peering over the guardrail. There below was the mule drawn cart with bearing the body of the man who probably did more than anyone to influence my life. Even then it was an epiphany.

With Dr. King there is the unthinkable possibility the I would not have the joy of being married to the live of my life. Back then it was in many places illegal for people of different complexions to marry. When I bought my house in Baltimore in 1992 the deed stated that no person of color could occupy same unless as a servant. Of course, that item was no longer relevant except as a silent reminder of a time which should better be forgotten....or should it?

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Lovers Leap 7:40 AM

Friday, January 12, 2007

I Must Have Been a Very Good Boy

My many years of suffering the agonies of a 6 shot, 2 megapixel digital camera have ended and I have come into photographers nirvana. Santa brought me one of these super Canon 710 7.1 megapixel cameras with a 2 GB card, capable of storing hundreds of pictures. It's a point and shoot or the manual function can be set for more sophisticated photography. One day I will understand the 137 page advanced user guide but for now I'm mastering the 29 page basic guide. The wonderful thing is I can now more accurately capture the fleeting moments of beauty and the more intricate and delicate textures of the amazing environment I experience each day.