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Nancy's Notes

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I can’t wrap my brain around the fact that it is July. In some ways, it’s hard to believe we’re halfway through 2020, even though the coronavirus seemed to put us in slow motion; at least it did early on in the pandemic. Now it seems like everything and everyone is going full-speed ahead, as if the “re-opening” of many places and activities has been like a race to make up for lost time.
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Country singer Thomas Rhett says he wrote the song, “Be A Light,” last year in response to the negativity and sadness he was seeing in the world. It wasn’t due to be released until sometime next year, but at the urging of Rhett to his label team, the song released March 30, just as the nation was really starting to feel the effects of the coronavirus. The song quickly hit the prestigious Billboard Hot 100 List, landing at No. 71 on April 18.
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Right now the back of my right hand looks like something terrible happened to me, but it was just that Charley nailed me with her paw and claws that need to be trimmed. The scratch didn’t break the skin; there was no blood—at least not visible on the outside. But on the inside, underneath the skin, is where the injury is visible. As I look at the mark I feel like I’m looking at my grandmother’s hands. I remember her hands and arms being marked like this frequently, although she rarely remembered what had happened to cause it. But she was OLD when her skin looked like this. She had crepe-thin skin that showed every vein, liver spots, scars, and yes, bruises of blood under the skin. Just like mine looks now. And it’s not the first time it’s happened; but I remember the first time it happened, and my thought was… How can it be that I am old enough to have my grandmother’s hands?
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Last September, on Labor Day weekend, we adopted a little girl, and we named her Charley. Even though it’s a name usually reserved for boys, my husband and I both had the name in mind; and anytime we can agree on something, we need to go with it. So our little girl is Charley. She was such a sweet little thing, a snuggler, and of course very playful. She used to love to play with balls and noisemakers of just about any kind. I say, “used to,” because she doesn’t get to have squeaky toys anymore. It became a particular goal of hers to see just how quickly she could find and remove the squeaker in any toy. If I say we’ve gone through more than $100 in balls and toys, with or without squeakers, I would not be exaggerating at all. We thought we had outsmarted her when we realized there was a “chew rating” on many of the toys, and we started buying only toys rated at least an 8 or higher, for “aggressive chewers.” If I say she could ruin a chew toy rated #8 or higher in less than five minutes, I would not be exaggerating there, either. She has also chewed on the carpet, rugs, furniture and every bed/blanket/towel that we’ve tried to use in her kennel.
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Some days, I’m anxious to get home and watch the evening news. Some days, as I’m watching the news, I turn it off and go do something else to get my mind off of the news. It’s such a dilemma. It’s not that I don’t care about what’s going on. It’s just that some of the news these days is hard to take. Whether it’s mounting death tolls from the coronavirus, our tanking economy, or political squabbling and jabbing, there’s not a lot of positive things to report. What I appreciate in every evening news broadcast (I watch CBS), they try to end with a “feel good” story.
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Biographies are generally not my favorite genre to read. In fact, I could probably count on one hand the biographies I have read; I just don’t go to that aisle of the library. But there was something about the stories I heard when Donald Stratton died that made me want to learn more about him. Just to remind you, Donald G. Stratton was the USS Arizona Survivor who died on February 15, 2020 at the age of 97. A motor cade in his honor came through Stockton the evening of February 27, carrying him to his final resting place at Red Cloud, Nebraska, where he grew up.
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Here’s a True Confession of a Stockton Housewife: I am a clipper and a saver, a stasher and a filer. I’ve got notebooks and files and shoeboxes and storage boxes and plastic totes full of stuff that I’ve saved over the years from every place we’ve lived, every job we’ve worked at, every life we’ve had. And yes, every once in a while I actually go through some of that stuff with the idea of purging and pitching, but very little gets tossed because, well, it’s just a part of our life story. Besides, I want to make sure my sons have plenty of entertainment when they clean up after I’m gone.
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NANCY'S NOTES

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The news every day is often so sorrowful and worrisome that most days, I just avoid it. But I love hearing or reading a happy story, especially when it’s about a dog. There’s just something about a good dog story that warms my heart. I guess it’s because many of us have dogs who take care of us more than we take care of them.