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Hermitage Letters

Last week of October!

Well, here we are – almost to Halloween – and so many updates! No one thinks Meg’s eggs are going to hatch now, except once in a while Meg still moves them around and sits on them for an hour or so, but she leaves them at night. I’m sorry for Meg because I’m sure she wanted goslings, but Mom said this is not a good time of year for baby geese, so maybe it’s better that the eggs just remained eggs.

Dottie, one of the dogs at Somerset County animal control, has now moved to her forever home at Rikki’s Refuge in Orange County, VA. Dottie is happy there and we are very happy for her!

Sammy and Hallie, also from Somerset County animal control, are now living at Sanctuary House – I think they’ll live here forever, but that’s not sure yet. Sammy is not so afraid any more, in fact he likes to play in the yard with the other dogs; but Hallie is afraid of everything and everybody. And Casey, the very old beagle from South Carolina, is still at Penny Angel’s Beagle Rescue in NJ, and I think she’ll live there forever. This isn’t what Joan and Mom had planned, but you know people make plans all the time and then have to change them.

Two days ago, when the morning was very cold, Mom turned on the heater switch, and . . . NO heat! So we are hoping the repairman will come tomorrow – probably the heater just needs to be cleaned (because the beagles shed so much!). The heater has only worked for one winter, so it is practically new . . . except for the beagle fur and beagle dust. We cats groom all the time, so you know the problem with the heater is NOT cat fur. I’ll let you know what the repairman says!

More tomorrow. . .
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A week in October

October 10th

Guess what – we got a brand new washing machine! Mom is happy now that our laundry room is back in business.

We had a lot of rain and wind at the weekend, but were fortunate that Hurricane Matthew did not come here. Suddenly our warm, end-of-summer weather is gone, and it is much cooler – Mom said it’s almost cold, and since she doesn’t have fur or feathers like we do, she’s wearing a sweatshirt! Everyone is hungry, and this morning Jackie came to the pasture gate when the sun first made the sky light to call to Mom because he wanted his breakfast. Overnight the leaves on the big oak tree in our back yard have begun changing from green to golden brown.

Meg the goose is still on her nest and no eggs have hatched . . . the boys, Crockett and Desmond, are keeping careful watch on her and sit close to her all day. Early in the morning Meg leaves her nest to eat and drink, and all of the geese talk excitedly to each other. But when Meg goes back to her nest and everyone is very quiet, and the boys sleep with their heads under their wings, and wait.

October 18th

So much has happened in the past week that I hardly know where to begin. Maybe the biggest thing is that the two scared beagles, Sammy and Hallie, came to live with us, at least for now. . . . and the other old beagle, Casey, is living with Joan for now. And for another good dog story, Mom is helping rescue another dog named Dottie – Dottie is probably a pointer mix and she is a total escape artist! But now she will be going to live at Rikki’s Refuge in Orange, Virginia. Kerry, who runs Rikki’s Refuge with her cat helper Opie, said Dottie could live there forever and ever. They are the best, Kerry and Opie are, and we thank God for them every day. . . in fact, I learned to write this blog because Opie is a blog writer too! Opie helps Kerry a lot, just like I help Mom.

Last Saturday Mom sat down on the outside steps into our house and discovered that they were rotten on one side . . . yep, as you can imagine, she spent Sunday going to Lowe’s and rebuilding the steps! Now I think she’s imagining a new handrail too. Good thing we are having a few warm days if she wants to have outdoor projects.

And one sad thing happened at the weekend too: our sister cat Belinda died. Belinda had lived at Sanctuary House for a long time – she came with her three kittens. One of the grown up kittens still lives with us; her name is Bisou. Belinda was a dark gray kitty with white paws and a white milk moustache – Mom always said Belinda was asking “Got milk? Or other cat treats?” Belinda loved to jump and climb when she was younger, but when she got old she mostly sat on the window sill or on the climbing towers. Belinda loved other cats more than she loved people, but on the day she died she wanted Mom to hold her and then she went to sleep leaning against Merwyn, a big black cat. We miss Belinda a lot. I’m not like Belinda – I want Mom to hold me every day . . . and she does!

Until next time,
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St. Francis' Day

Blessings on St. Francis’ Day! Mom and her friend, Joan, have been on the telephone all day trying to rescue a 14 year old beagle named Casey. Casey is in South Carolina – she is safe now. She may get adopted in South Carolina, but if not she will come to stay with Joan and then come to Sanctuary House. I can’t imagine how sad Casey must feel since she lost her person and her home, but I am glad there are other people who will take care of her.

And Joan and Mom are also trying to rescue two beagles here in Somerset County. Mom is going to meet them tomorrow and take pictures – they are a very young brother and sister, and the sister is very, very scared. Our friend Cindy who works at the animal control office is taking care of them for us.

This is a difficult time of year for beagles – some of them are not such great hunters and some of them get lost, and too often the hunter people do not take care of them.

Here is a poem for today, written by St. Francis and translated by Howard Chandler Robbins (Mom hopes and believes it is in the public domain!)

Most High, omnipotent, good Lord,
to thee be ceaseless praise outpoured,
and blessing without measure.
From thee alone all creatures came;
No one is worthy thee to name.

My Lord be praised by brother sun
who through the skies his course doth run,
and shines in brilliant splendor:
with brightness he does fill the day,
and signifies thy boundless sway.

My Lord be praised by sister moon
and all the stars, that with her soon
will point the glittering heavens.
Let wind and air and cloud and calm
and weathers all, repeat the psalm.

By sister water be thou blessed,
most humble, useful, precious, chaste;
be praised by brother fire;
jocund is he, robust and bright,
and strong to lighten all the night.

By mother earth my Lord be praised;
goverened by thee she hath upraised
what for our life is needful.
Sustained by thee, through every hour,
she bringeth forth fruit, herb, and flower.

My Lord be praised by those who prove
in free forgivingness their love,
nor shrink from tribulation.
Happy, who peaceably endure;
with thee, Lord, their reward is sure.

For death our sister, praised be,
from whom no one alive can flee.
Woe to the unprepared!
But blest be they who do thy will
and follow thy commandments still.

Most High, omnipotent, good Lord,
to thee be ceaseless praise outpoured,
and blessing without measure.
Let creatures all give thanks to thee,
and serve in great humility.

Yes, let us all give thanks to God, and serve in great humility!

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First weekend in October – NO HUNTING here!

Well, we still have no working washing machine . . . I am not even going to write about that again until the problem is solved!

We have had lots and lots of rain, and even more rain. At first that was very good because everything was too dry – Mom had to water the flowers and Jackie’s pasture was all dusty. Now the flowers are blooming and Jackie’s pasture is muddy. School was cancelled on Friday because there was too much water on streets during high tide, and we even had a little lake back in the woods.

Three deer visit Jackie almost every day – a doe and her two fawns. The fawns are not tiny, but about half the size of their mother. They climb right between the rails of the fence; their mother jumps over the fence – she is very graceful and beautiful. Mom hopes they will stay near Jackie because there might be hunters in the woods. Mom and our neighbor, Cindy, put up a lot of NO HUNTING signs and painted some trees with purple paint, but some hunters don’t care and some hunters drink so much beer that they can’t read signs or tell one color from another. Cindy and Mom worry about the deer and about all of us because our houses are too close for hunters to be shooting here. So far the weather has been warm and there are still millions of bugs – ticks, mosquitoes, biting flies, etc., so that might help keep hunters away! Jackie has a bright orange vest because sometimes he stands by the fence near the woods – we want him to be very safe from the hunters.

Saturday afternoon and the sun is out! The sky is still very blue-gray and cloudy, but we are all glad to see the sun. Meg the goose is still sitting on her nest – Mom thought there were only three or four eggs, but this morning she saw that there are at least seven . . . no counting goslings before the eggs hatch, but if they all do hatch and grow up, we will have a much bigger flock!

Mostly rainy Sunday too. Rosh Hashanah begins at sundown – very soon now. Shanah Tovah!

Until next time,
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