Golden Lucy's Spiral Journal

Going on 87...Savoring and Surviving the Senior Years

Monday, July 31, 2006

Until Manana...

Inspired by Diane aka Mrs. DOF I present:
An actual letter sent to a man named Ryan DeVries by the
Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Quality, State of Pennsylvania.
This guy's response is hilarious, but read the State's letter before you get
to the response letter.

SUBJECT: DEQ File No.97-59-0023; T11N; R10W, Sec. 20; Lycoming County

Dear Mr. DeVries:
It has come to the attention of the Department of Environmental Quality
that there has been recent unauthorized activity on the above referenced
parcel of property. You have been certified as the legal landowner and/or
contractor who did the following unauthorized activity:

Construction and maintenance of two wood debris dams across the outlet
stream of Spring Pond. A permit must be issued prior to the start of this type of activity. A review of the Department's files shows that no permits have been issued.

Therefore, the Department has determined that this activity is in violation
of Part 301, Inland Lakes and Streams, of the Natural Resource and
Environmental Protection Act, Act 451 of the Public Acts of 1994, being
sections 324.30101 to 324.30113 of the Pennsylvania Compiled Laws,

The Department has been informed that one or both of the dams partially
failed during a recent rain event, causing debris and flooding at downstream locations. We find that dams of this nature are inherently hazardous and cannot be permitted. The Department therefore orders you to cease and desist all activities at this location, and to restore the stream to a free-flow condition by removing all wood and brush forming the dams from the stream channel. All restoration work shall be completed no later than January 31,

Please notify this office when the restoration has been completed so that
a follow-up site inspection may be scheduled by our staff. Failure to comply with this request or any further unauthorized activity
on the site may result in this case being referred for elevated
enforcement action.

We anticipate and would appreciate your full cooperation in this matter.
Please feel free to contact me at this office if you have any questions.
David L. Price
District Representative and Water Management Division.

Here is the actual response sent back by Mr. DeVries:

Re: DEQ File No. 97-59-0023; T1 1N; R10W, Sec. 20; Lycoming County

I am the legal landowner but not the Contractor at 2088 Dagget Lane, TroutRun, Pennsylvania.

A couple of beavers are in the (State unauthorized) process of
constructing and maintaining two wood "debris" dams across the outlet
stream of my Spring Pond. While I did not pay for, authorize, nor supervise their dam project, I think they would be highly offended that you call their skillful use of nature's building materials "debris." I would like tochallenge your department to attempt to emulate their dam project any time and/or any place you choose.

I believe I can safely state there is no way you could ever match their dam skills, their dam resourcefulness, their dam ingenuity, their dam persistence, their dam determination and/or their damwork ethic.

As to your request, I do not think the beavers are aware that they must
first fill out a dam permit prior to the start of this type of dam activity.

My first dam question to you is:
(1) Are you trying to discriminate against my Spring Pond Beavers?
(2) Or do you require all beavers throughout this State to conform to said
dam request?

If you are not discriminating against these particular beavers, through
the Freedom of Information Act, I request completed copies of all those
other applicable beaver dam permits that have been issued. Perhaps we will see if there really is a dam violation of Part 301, Inland Lakes and
Streams, of the Natural Resource and Environmental Protection Act, Act 451 of the Public Acts of 1994, being sections 324.30101 to 324.30113 of the Pennsylvania Compiled Laws, annotated.

I have several concerns. My first concern is; aren't the beavers entitled
to legal representation? The Spring Pond Beavers are financially destitute
and are unable to pay for said representation -- so the State will have to
provide them with a dam lawyer.

The Department's dam concern that either one or both of the dams failed during a recent rain event, causing flooding, is proof that this is a natural occurrence, which the Department is required to protect. In other words, we should leave the Spring Pond Beavers alone rather than harassing them and calling their dam names.

If you want the stream "restored" to a dam free-flow condition please
contact the beavers -- but if you are going to arrest them, they
obviously did not pay any attention to your dam letter, they being unable to read English.

In my humble opinion, the Spring Pond Beavers have a right to build their unauthorized dams as long as the sky is blue, the grass is green and water flows downstream. They have more dam rights than I do to live and enjoy Spring Pond.

If the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental
Protection lives up to its name, it should protect the natural resources
(Beavers) and the environment (Beavers' Dams).

So, as far as the beavers and I are concerned, this dam case can be
referred for more elevated enforcement action right now. Why wait until
1/31/2006? The Spring Pond Beavers may be under the dam ice then and there will be no way for you or your dam staff to contact/harass them then.

In conclusion, I would like to bring to your attention to a real
environmental quality, health, problem in the area. Bears are actually defecating in our woods. I definitely believe you should be persecuting the defecating bears and leave the beavers alone. If you are going to investigate the beaver dam, watch your step! The bears are not careful where they defecate!

Being unable to comply with your dam request, and being unable to contact you on your dam answering machine, I am sending this response to your dam office.


Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Loco Lucy

I'm a wreck. Atwitter, aflutter---assuming it's possible to do both at the same time. I've also had an ugly vanity relapse which I think is probably poetic justice for making disparaging remarks about self-centered, humorless, grumpy old men. (And yes to all of you who reminded how self-centered, humorless and irritable many old ladies are. I think I agree with Terri---old men may be more gracious in death than spoiled and fearful old women.)

But let's talk about me. My current nervous condition is all due to Ben and Teresa's wedding this weekend. I'm the only one doing any worrying around this house and I'm sick of it! I mean, there's laid back and there's laid back. My kids are so laid back they can only see the sky. Thank goodness Teresa's family knows how to fret productively. I simply can't do it all myself!

In addition this vanity thing is getting out of hand. Hair, nails, clothes and jewlery. Make-up, gifts and shoes. It's all I think about. Doctor, dentist and podiatrist. I've seen 'em all in preparation for the big event. Carole feel proud of herself because she may have found a "fabulous vintage dress" at the thrift store. AAACCCKKKK!! Thankfully all Jack has to worry about is picking up his tux---and Ben will probably end up doing that.

I know I've written about this kind of thing before but I really must vent. At least YOU'll listen! I appreciate that.

BTW, and not that it's any great loss, I won't be posting or commenting until after the wedding. I can't sit still long enough to do it. But I'll be back soon with pictures. Maybe even some of the wedding.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Girls' World

Sorry boys. I know this might put your shorts in a twist, but I'm going to say it anyway. I think that women over 70 are generally cuter and more interesting than you guys at that age. Yes, I do believe it's true.

From 40-70 there's no doubt men have the advantage. When it comes to free sex, the reasonably interesting 55+ guy with a decent income and no social diseases will beat a witty 55+ year old woman with botox and cosmetic surgery almost every time. He doesn't even need hair. Aside from a few media divas, it doesn't matter how "well-preserved" a woman might be. As far as society and popular "culture" are concerned, Mrs. Robinson was pushing the envelope.

However, excepting Sean Connery, few men in their 70's and beyond seem to retain their edge--or their sense of humor. Hey, I don't claim this is an empirical fact. It's just my opinion---which, at my age I'm certainly entitled to. I also allow there are some frightfully witty old guys like Old Hoss or the eloquent and interesting Octogenarian rattling around in cyberspace. Oh, and of course, there's Art Buchwald.

The thing is, I can name 5 sparkling over-70 women for every irresistible man at that age---not that I plan to get in an actuarial pissing contest about it. (I find old dead guys even less attractive than the live ones.) No offense fellas. Like I said, just my opinion.

As Monk says, "I could be wrong now. But I don't think so. "

Monday, July 17, 2006

If It Feels Good...

I've been pretty vain most of my adult life. Before that I was acutely and embarrassingly aware of my exceptional unattractiveness. Now I consider both attitudes a big waste of time---and when I think about it, two sides of the same coin: vanity and self-absorption. I've decided to get over it. I think it's working. It's very comfortable not to give a damn about that stuff---and easy, when I realize no one else does either---and probably never did.

Yes indeedy. I mention this because I've been deciding what to wear for Ben and Teresa's wedding next week. But for once I'm not depressed. I finally realize I'll never look as terrific as I think I could but also not as ghastly as I'm afraid I might. Now this girl just wants to have fun.

I'm concentrating on the perks of getting really old. Lord knows there are many frightening uncertainties about aging, However, I'm tired of thinking and talking about them. Today I want to concentrate on and appreciate the freedom I feel. Let's face it, tomorrow I might be much more pressed by the uncertainties.

So today I am deciding I may not wear pantihose under my dress. I may even decide to take my eye pencil and draw a seam down the back of my legs like we did in the '40s. Or wear a garter belt---but never a girdle! The thing is, whatever I decide, and possibly actually do will be just because it makes me feel happy. I'll bet I'll still end up looking pretty cute for a really old broad.

And that's not vanity talking.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

A Sweet Puzzle Solved...Awwww!

I just received this photo in my email. It was a welcome change after a day of hearing about nothing but death and destruction. Can you see why?

A hint: It was taken by Carole's brother on his KS ranch.


OK Folks. Time's up. Here's an explanation for all you city kids (like me) who couldn't figure what you were looking at:
Yep, it's a wringing-wet-newborn little bullcalf snapped right after his Mama dropped him on the ground. I didn't have any problem finding his ear and maybe his eye but the kids had to draw me a picture after that. The trick is his nose. It's right under that big old black patch to the lower right of his eye (as you look at him).

It's a great optical illusion---like most of the world to me to me these days. In any case, looking for this cute little guy sure beats staying tuned to the news!

Friday, July 14, 2006

Still Kickin'

Not to worry. Lucy isn't dead yet. But life does go on and time takes its toll. Lucy had a fall in the furniture store and has spent the last weeks in recovery (and a drug-induced stupor.) But it's all good, as the kids say. And that's why I want to keep blogging.

Sometimes I'm not sure having my wits about me is a blessing at this age. Our family has been struggling since my fall. The old saying, "When you get old you get more so," seems painfully true. My mind has always been hyperactive but now it seems I can't shut it off. After my fall, which, thanks honestly for your concern, wasn't so terrible, my thinking seems to be even more vigilant and acute. It ain't fun.

With my unerring 20-20 hindsight I'm able to see that my fear of losing personal control has resulted in an attempt to "uber-control" everyone and everything around me. This just won't do in a a family of overt-individualists. After Carole threatened to move out and/or throw herself from a moving car I decided to chill out. Not that I want to. Deep down I still feel I have the best answers.

HOWEVER, as I said before, I'd rather be happy than right. Without exception this is a good philosophy---if not an comfortable reality. Things, other than my personal drama, are blessed in our family. Only two more weeks until Ben/Teresa's wedding. I'm posting an outrageous and alternative engagement photo---not that I think it's appropriate. But anyway, there's more to come.

So. Lucy is still alive and blogging. And grateful for every day.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Darling Lily Ana

We took a drive this afternoon. The sounds of 4th of July family celebrations were everywhere. It was impossible to ignore the packs of pets and children running wild in yards, driveways and occasionally darting into the street to retrieve a ball or Frisbee. The adults lounging on the lawn or whacking volleyballs and softballs, raucously approved. Due to extreme fire conditions the din of fireworks was absent but neighborhoods seem to make up for it with good-natured noise. And then I saw something.

I was vicariously enjoying at all the excitement and I didn't notice it at first. However, as far as I could tell in passing, every "family" group was a combination of every race and color. When we got back to our townhouse we went to the clubhouse. The families swimming, playing tennis and socializing on the green also were also a complete racial mix.

I thought about how times have changed in my lifetime in regard to whom we consider "family." I lived for years in a "gentile" community where no one ever suspected I was Jewish---and believe me, I wanted it that way! Or how about a black man with a white woman? As Tevye exclaimed, "Unthinkable!"

Ditto for (among others) Mexicans, Asian and gay folks when it came to making them really part of our "family." However, this new generation of American society has progressed more than I could have dreamed---or dreaded. I'm not going to speculate on the cause for the cultural attitude adjustment---though I suspect, like most things, it has something to do with the internet and global economy. I just know about me and mine.

Every one of my precious and educated grandchildren has chosen a mate that is distinctly one of the "others." Today I count an brilliant Asian immigrant, a Nigerian/English Canadian expat, a beautiful Latina, and a Swedish/American African as part of my immediate family. The kids call it "hybrid vigor." And after some personal attitude adjustment I call it a beautiful mix.

Our family patois has produced two delicious grandchildren. An earlier blog introduced you to Cole, the 4 year old solo-flying sophisticate who knows how to hail a Manhattan taxi. Cole's 18 month old sister Lily Ana just returned from NYC last week---however she allowed her mother to go along. Here's photo of Lily and her Mama Mer taking a bite of the Big Apple.

I'll just let you guess what the "family" combination is!