Thursday, September 9, 2010

There's Something About Lizzie...

...that makes her the perfect dog for me. Is it her sweetness? Her politeness? Her appearance? It's those things and so much more. She's timid but has a real joie de vivre. She rarely barks but doesn't hesitate to voice her pleasure when playing with her toys. She walks very daintily but "zooms" with a purpose. She's a bit too big to be a lap dog, but she makes an excellent "spud puppy" (couch potato). She's never pushy or demanding, but I always know what she wants—she's that expressive. 

Last month she accompanied us on our interstate vacation. She is the perfect traveling dog.  Well, she travels perfectly, but once we're stopped she does tremble a little. She wears her pretty pink harness with the seat belt running through it. Her traveling water bowl is nearby.  She succeeded in ignoring the other dogs at the rest stops, which is preferable to exhibiting her true feeling of displeasure. 

I was concerned what her reaction to riding the ferry would be, but she did well! Then there was riding in the golf cart. Well now, she did well with that, too! I sat on the wide back seat with her—my hand firmly grasping her harness. When we hit a rough patch she merely backed in and wedged herself more snugly between me and the back of the seat. I even caught her stretching out to get a better view of the ground as we moved. Yay!

 Porch Sittin' on Kelleys Island

We stayed at three different places in the nearly two weeks we were gone and she adapted remarkably well at each place. She kept her eyes on her mama though, and her mama likes that. She offers me so much adoration, joy, and companionship. The least I can do for her is be her human security blanket when needed.

There was one dog at each of the first two places—one young and large, the other small and frail. There were three cats at the last place, one of them taller than Lizzie. She offered them all a wide berth. Smart girl!  She had a beautiful yard to play in for several days—lots of lush grass and shade trees. Oh, what fun that was!  

Keeping Tabs on Me in Columbus
The weather has cooled off here at home, which means we've resumed our long walks in the morning. There are so many smells worth backtracking and "tag dragging" (big tags, short dog) for. Stopping on the beach to run in the sand and occasionally to get her paws wet or get a quick sip of the river water. Ears alert listening to the wind rushing through the cat tails and marsh grasses. Bright eyes staring off in the distance at a squirrel on a power line or climbing up a tree. Sniffing at a turtle crossing her path. She's a true nature doggy! She's a girly girl who is not afraid of rain or snow or mud. That's my Lizzie. 

Today is special day. She receives a great deal of attention from us on a daily basis, but she's getting even more today. All of her toys spread out on the living room floor instead of just a few. More time playing with the toys. A little more time to stop and sniff during our walk. A large organic treat instead of the tiny one. These are the little things that probably matter to Lizzie and make us, her humans, think we're making this day special for her. What does a birthday matter to a dog after all? Yes, it's her birthday. My Lizzie Sweets is seven years old today. I'm a sap. I admit it. I have LOVED all my dogs, and luckily for me, they've loved me back. There is not a day that goes by that I don't feel blessed for having Lizzie in my life. I will never take her for granted. She's perfect for me and I know it!

Happy Birthday, My Darling Girl!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Rose - By Many Other Names

Rose in Honolulu - 1937

My grandmother, Rose KENNEDY, (her legal name for nearly 40 years), was born 97 years ago today. For as long as I knew her she celebrated her birthday on September 8. I had no reason to think it wasn't September 8 until I received the certified copy of her Record of Birth in 2002, which clearly shows her birth date as Oct. 18, 1913 and has a surname that I had never seen before. What?! She was a bit of a mystery. An enigma, if you will. The more I think about the reasons she would change her birth date, the more I wish I could ask her why. Too late by almost 32 years as Rose died in 1978. However, because it is highly doubtful that someone will present me with any real proof I have determined that she likely changed her birth date from October 18 to September 8 because that would have been the difference between being 16 years of age when she married my grandfather, Anthony DeCOSTA, and being only 15. Current minimum age to marry in the State of Hawaii is 18 years; 15 with parental consent. I don't know if that was the case in the Territory of Hawaii in 1929, when Rose and Anthony married. According to their Certificate of Marriage, Rose (with yet a different surname) was 16 years of age and her mother, Maria (CARVALHO)(CHONG) LONG was not a witness.

I wonder if Rose considered September 8 her actual birthday or did she internally consider October 18 the day she should celebrate? I lived with her from the age of 4, when my mother (her daughter) died, until her death. When she was telling me things about her youth, for the first time, while on her "death bed" did she make a conscious decision to leave out any discussion of her birth date or her many name variations? She must have. She maintained her sharp mind until the end. I don't think she ever forgot a thing. Her 2nd husband, Virgil KENNEDY, after being married to her for nearly 40 years supplied the name, Henry LONG, as Rose's father on her Certificate of Death. Her stepfather's name was Delbert LONG, and Grandpa knew that. Where did the given name, Henry, come from?

One of the things that Rose did decide to tell me was that her biological father was Chinese. She then presented me with the only photograph of him (Lau Chong) known to exist. I don't think she ever did tell me his name. She did tell me on her death bed that she had two full siblings: Hilda [Lau Kui Kyau] and Alex [Alexander CHONG]. I don't recall her ever mentioning them before that day. I had met her half-brother, Delbert LONG, twice, and her half-sister, Leona LONG, remains one of my favorite people in the world to this day. So, what happened to Hilda and Alex? It turns out that Rose did try to locate her brother and sister, all to no avail. I think that never being able to find them likely helped mold her into the strong-willed woman she was. I found out only a few years ago that she persisted in her search for decades. My childhood observation was that Rose always got what she wanted, and that nothing would have stopped her from getting it. As a child I believed that to be unfair. As an adult, I regret that she never got what she probably wanted most—to find her brother and sister.

(l to r) Maria Carvalho, Hilda, Rose, and Lau Chong in Honolulu; c. 1916)

Name Variations by Document
  1. 1913 - Rose Lyu (Record of Birth)
  2. 1918 - Rosa Chong (Orphanage Record)
  3. 1920 - Rose Long (Notarized Affidavit)
  4. 1929 - Rose Long Lew (Certificate of Marriage)
  5. 1929 - 1938 Rose DeCosta (Divorce Decree)
  6. 1939 - 1978 Rose Kennedy (Marriage Certificate and Certificate of Death)
(rev. 05/07/2022)

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Music to My Ears

I always get jazzed when I get new music, don't you?  Not only do I have new tunes, but I upgraded to iTunes 10 and am fairly pleased so far.  The logo has changed, they added the Album List view, it occasionally opens faster than v. 9.2 did, and it looks prettier.  I'm not sure what to think of Ping yet.  I think once they've worked out the bugs it could be a good thing.

My husband shared some of his music with me and bought me some MP3s.  I bought a few singles from iTunes and upgraded a few existing songs to iTunes Plus.  I'm getting great recommendations from Genius - most recently The Black Keys, Carolina Liar, Civil Twilight, Dashboard Confessional, The Script, Switchfoot, and Thriving Ivory.

This is my latest score:
  • The Black Keys - Attack and Release* (already had I Got Mine and Strange Times)
  • Cheap Trick - Rockford*
  • Hall and Oates - Everytime You Go Away, Adult Education, Wait For Me,
  • Jack White and Alicia Keys - Another Way to Die
  • John Rzeznik - I'm Still Here
  • Katy Perry - One of the Boys* (already had Hot N Cold & I Kissed a Girl)
  • Poison - Every Rose Has Its Thorn, Nothin' But a Good Time
  • Ringo Starr - Photograph:  The Very Best of Ringo Starr*
  • Ryan Star - Brand New Day
  • Switchfoot - Hello Hurricane*
* denotes entire album

So, that knocked out my last wish list.  Time to start another one...greedy me!

What say you?  What are you listening to these days?