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At Blyss, at home, everywhere: walking to death.

I feel like  how a dog from the past must have felt trying to enter England, in a long, seemingly endless quarantine.  But no, I am a human being in the USA and I never left home.  I just cannot go out anywhere safely.  To be safe, I must stay home and be alone.  However, walking around town is allowed if safe social distancing of six feet is maintained.  Still, that does not satisfy my never ending gnawing need for intimacy.  With so much time on my hands and because I am so good at procrastinating leaving my lawn not mowed and my flower beds not weeded, I have decided to write on my blog at Blysskennels.us tonight.  I have been procrastinating writing on my Blog, too, showing how bad I have really been and how low my spirits have sunk.

 

Walking to Death

April 7, 2020

I am told it is a remedy, but tell me,

What is it that I see on my walks that makes for improvement?

It began in mid March and now it is early April.  Hateful spring.

No one knows when it will end.  It could be a very long time from now.

Although it remains cold and windy from winter,

I see there are splashes of color now: yellows and pinks, from flowering bushes and trees,

Breaking through.  I contemplate them.  They bring a hope or sorts

Having seen only grey, dark branches for so long that appeared to be dead.

It was an illusion, I thought, that this was a death of the flora, on the shrubs, on the flowering trees, and especially on the mountain.

Do I see a tiny splash of green there?  I am not sure…..

I know it will be there soon,

And then thee will be the miracle of  tiny white Dogwood blossoms among the green

Before their own virus came for them.

We live in the day of viruses, and all we can do is walk to death.

Walk them off, walk them away,

Walk them until we tire, walk them until we die.

Walk them with our children, walk them with our dogs,

Walk them with our friends, with our fathers, with our mothers and with our lovers.  And while we are at it, remember to say hello and to admire your neighbor’s house and dog

Even if it is a rescue and yours is bred true.

How can there be so many places to walk to and so many places to walk from,

And learn so many people’s stories along the way that don’t do anyone any good

For each and every one has one, a story that is

And not about the virus that always lurks behind us now taking souls away.

 

A new life and second chance at Blyss, snatched from the jaws of death

It is October 2020, and one month ago, I faced three harrowing challenges alone.

The first occurred five weeks ago.  A significant other, someone I thought I could love and trust, created an  ugly scene over seemingly nothing, and walked out suddenly, without any explanation that made sense to me.  My emotional makeup makes the acceptance of events like this virtually impossible without intense emotional pain.

A day later, and one week prior to the separation, I had to take Kensie to Garden State Veterinary Specialists in Tinton Falls, NJ for a series of comprehensive tests.  She appeared to be “fading” for lack of a better word, being lethargic, feverish and not eating.  It appeared that at that rate, she could have died.  I wanted to address this prior to my own upcoming health challenge.  Fortunately, all of her tests were normal, adding to the mystery of what was wrong with her.  I had to confess that my intense relationship with my boyfriend had resulted in a diminishment of my attention to her, and she was acting out.  Since the boyfriend left the day prior to the visit to the vet, it was almost immediately that she returned to the old Kensie I knew before.  Only now I notice how very clingy and needy she is emotionally.  She came to me in late January, and due to COVID-19, she was accustomed to having me all to herself.  Apparently, she liked it that way.

The third event occurred exactly four weeks ago.  I had been given a diagnosis of lung cancer and I underwent a surgical procedure to remove the lower lobe of my left lung.  Coupled with the emotional trauma of the precipitous separation of the previous week and the crisis regardingf Kensie’s health, I struggled painfully and long to recover.

So, we all have our little crises, canines and humans alike, over how we want our love, over how much we want, over how much we need, and over what happens to us when we lose it. The boyfriend ran out of the house in a seemingly fabricated rage.   Kensey felt she lost my love.   And I was in terror over a cancer diagnosis.  It brought out the worse in us all.

As I hate to be alone more than anything in the world, having my borzoi, and now Kensie my Silken Windhound, is essential.  But I do not do so well outside of a relationship with a significant other, either.  But I cannot “fix” that problem as easily as buying a dog.  In fact,  it is in the hands of destiny regarding how it will be resolved.  I have learned I cannot do very much about it. If there were a personal God, He would have had mercy on me long ago having tired of my repetitious prayers and Novenas.   He would have found and sent me the man who truly loved me, free of abuse and abandonment.  But there is no such man  Today,  I walk alone through the maelstroms of bizarre challenges and events that mar my life like a scar.   For they are challenges and events He has put in my life.   Therefore,  I must live them alone but gratefully, with Kensie, today.  For we are partners in recovery from the brink of death.

COVID-19 in the USA

In response to the current debate over whose idea is right about how to flatten the curve in countries or US states with increasing cases of COVID-19, in March, activities and places were closed or shut down, and people were advised to social distance, self quarentine & wear masks to stop the spread of COVID-19 in the population and flatten the curve. It was very effective in accomplishing that when citizens heeded the advice.

What is there not to understand here?  Medicine is a hard science  based on theories proven with experimental results that are  statistically significant.  Politics is a social science, which is a soft science, lts data makes it more difficult to prove theories that reach statistical significance because the variables in designing social science experiments are more difficult to control.  If I were going to follow the advise of either President Trump or Dr. Fauci, I would choose Dr. Fauci, our country’s leading Infectious Disease specialist.  Medicine is a hard science and its facts, when studied, always yield the same results.

To repeat the advice of Dr. Fauci:

Do social distancing,

Avoid large gatherings.

Wear masks and

Self quarentine.

We disregard this advice at our peril.

They are ALL the right thing to do.

Kind regards,

Lorene

Health Challenges for me at Blyss

Having difficulties balancing the feelings of my several very fine and appreciated friends who are in my life, some woman, some men, who hover around me and occasionally become overly concerned, jealous of another, angry at one another and/or me.  We are all stressed to the breaking point, and just want to throw in the proverbial towel.  Maybe it is easier not to have friends now.  A friend can give you COVID-19 at worse, or put you into a horrible depression.  Trying to lower the dosages of my meds in 2019 proved to be a disaster.  I lost over 10 pounds then, and another 5 pounds so far in 2020, too low a weight to have resistance to an infection if I am exposed to one.

I just learned I need to have a serious operation on my lung, but the surgeon will not operate on me until I gain a significant amount of weight.  My internist informed me that my body mass is so low that if I were in Europe, I would not be allowed to model, either on a runway or a photo shoot.  Personally, I like being very thin, but it figures it is another of a long line of mistakes I have made that I think that even if it is nobody’s business but my own, clinically speaking, it is a mistake.  I hate it when people bully me, even medical data,  but these are the orders of a world class thoracic surgeon and I do not argue with doctors.  Send good thoughts my way.  I have a young Silken in my life, “Kensie”, at home now who loves me, and I cannot get sick or die because she needs me.  I am also loved by a wonderful gentleman who I want to be with always, so that, too, inspires to me to get healthy.

Censorship, beware! Upset at Blyss Kennels over so many things.

I see in the news today, in an attempt to be politically correct, a corporate giant, known for it’s long history and many levels of accurate information dissemination, has enforced censorship on its subscribers rather than letting each of its world wide respected universe of subscribers decide for themselves. This clearly reveals a corporate superiority complex, contempt and lack of respect for us all, by its action of removing the Hollywood icon of 1939, Gone With the Wind (GWTW), from its offerings today. In so doing, the entire country’s First Amendment Rights of Free Speech under the U.S. Constitution are violated.

This was called censorship the last time I looked. GWTW is one of Hollywood’s all time great masterpieces on many levels and deserves to be seen for many reasons, but especially from being entertaining, beautiful to watch, to being historically accurate and thereby edifying.

GWTW was a brutally realistic depiction of the South’s punishment or destruction for its slavery based economy by losing the Civil War. It accurately captures the South in decay and then being destroyed, with burned out fields devoid of crops. In addition, all the main characters suffered enormously for their southern, slave based economy. There are no winners here. The loss of the Southern way of life based on slave labor is clearly and unequivocally depicted.

Moreover, tragedy, symbols of moral punishment, follow the southern main characters to the film’s long end:

Scarlet and Rhet’s young daughter dies in a horrible riding accident,

Scarlet suffers a miscarriage,

Scarlet and Rhet, husbands and wife, hate one another and are both alcoholics,

Melanie dies horrifically in childbirth leaving a small son and a grieving husband behind,

Scarlet then realizes that her long time and illicit love for Melanie’s husband, Ashley Wilkes, has always been unrequited, and

At long last, Rhet leaves Scarlet when she wants him to stay with her with his most famous line of all:

“Frankly, My Dear, I don’t give a damn” , racy words for 1939.

There is no victory lap here for the South and many lessons to be learned for getting it wrong. Yet to this day, while handling perhaps our county’s most sensitive period in our history, I do not believe a film as beautiful to watch as it gracefully depicts terminal punishment on the loser has ever been created again in Hollywood.

A stunningly beautiful young, English actress and a newcomer, Vivien Leigh, won a Best Actress Oscar her first time out playing Scarlet O’Hara with her heart and soul on constant view. Hattie McDaniel, an American of color, won Best Supporting Actress.   This was the first time a person of color won an Oscar.  The film also won a Best Picture Oscar and several others. GWTW stands up as well today as it did when it was released, and it is as respected and revered today as it was when it was made, as is the novel by Margaret Mitchell, a Southern woman, upon which it is based, when it was published. The film is a huge Hollywood icon of excellence that subsequent films tried to emulate but failed.

So sad and sorry to see this happen. This is a loss for HBO that I hope other services do not emulate.

Tears for America.

Lorene Connolly, M.L.S.

 

 

 

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Yvonne McGehee, Charlotte Wyda and 9 others

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Riots in America

May 30 at 7:53 PM

I guess when you have lived a long time, as I have now, you have the perspective of watching the worst of history repeat itself before your eyes and are unable to do a thing to stop it.
I remember the original riots our country witnessed for four days in July 1967. In the NJ city of Newark, near where I live, a beautiful city founded by the Dutch in the 17th century, with beautiful architecture and many buildings on the Register of Historic Places, with a city park designed by Frederick Law Olmstead, the same landscape architect of Central Park in NY City, and adorned it with more cherry trees than Washington DC; a city that was second in excellence only to neighboring NY City in school achievement and health care delivery accomplishments, and site of the State on New Jersey’s first state medical college, where I got my first job after college in the medical school library, launching my career as a research librarian in 1972, where I worked for several years, the foundation of a forty year career.
Newark and other NJ and US cities around the country endured four days of intense rioting in 1967. I was 17 that year, and I assure you the rage that provoked it may have been legitimate but the destruction the riots created almost 50 years later has never been recovered.
Ghettos are the legacy of riots, with the exception of the revived downtown areas, with big office buildings, sports arenas and performing arts centers. For some reasons, urban planners believe building office building complexes, sports areas and performing arts centers in an urban downtowns are a good thing but I don’t get it. It creates an illusion of prosperity that does not exist once you drive down a side street. Instead, I think riots further polarized and divided the races. They deepened despair that lead to drug abuse, eliminated jobs that never returned, created welfare states in the cities, and broke down family structure in the absence of the jobs that left never to return. I believe the riots had the unintended consequences of further marginalizing the races as it widened the income levels between Black’s and whites.
Fast forward to today. There have been many incidences of injustices against our Black human family members and they have never really stopped. Now, they have erupted into a country wide mass action of rioting once again 50 years later. 50 years……
Until we recognize we all belong to one human family where all of our lives are intertwined with and interdependent on one another, where one person’s sorrow or joy becomes our own, and every human life has equal dignity and worth and is blessed, rage, racism and riots will not stop.
Tears……….
Prayers……..

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Stephen Metzger, Yvonne McGehee and 27 others

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Charlotte Wyda
I remember the riot at Rahway NJ State Prison,in the 60s, my Dad was on duty and Mom and I feared for his life. Protests were here in Charleston SC, last night destroying many buildings. What purpose does it solve ? None !

Paul Schryba
Well said, Lorene.

Arlene Boulos
I remember the riots. I lived in Newark at that time but on the other side of Penn station. The only part of Newark that was safe and still is

Daniel Foran
Lorene very well written.Stay safe in these sad times

“I’m just me”. More Facebook fun at Blyss Kennels.

I’m just me.

I’m not perfect. I’m me.   I’ve made bad decisions and wrong choices, but I’m me.  I’ve said the wrong things, I’ve said the right things, because I’m me.

I don’t like everything  I’ve done but I did it because I’m me. I’ve loved the wrong people and trusted the wrong people and I’m sill me.  If I had the chance to start over again, I wouldn’t change a thing,  Why?  Because I’m me.

There are a lot of good things about me, you just have to look past the imperfections to see what’s right.  If you can’t do that, then it’s your loss.  I’m the best I can be.   I’m me!

 

 

Jelly – Ten Years Old

It has occurred to me, one day late, that yesterday would have been the tenth birthday of my beautiful borzoi bitch, Jelly, CH Kasharra Bibikov, that I received about five years ago from Frances Wright of Cross River, NY. She has been gone one year, and my grief from losing her has been terrible. I almost did not survive it. My weight loss has been extreme. I was not planning on replacing her, but my physician and I agreed that a Silken Windhound might be in order to help me feel not so alone and be of comfort to me at this time. So, I purchased “Kinsey”, or Gr CH Wind ‘nSatin It’s My Party, from Mary Childs and the rest is history! She is an angel and a dream, and I am feeling much better.  It is difficult for me to move on from loss, or from the death of one of my dogs, as we know.  It does not get better.  It stirs something primal, deep in my heart to lose a dog, something I cannot feel for a human.  I have lost parents, two husbands, and many close friends to death, without feeling a twinge of anything amiss, and I can accept it as natural.  However, if any of my dogs die, my heart is torn to shreds with an agony that requires a high dose of a serious anti-depressant.  Recently, I was graduated to several hundred milligrams of Seroquel as maintence.  Not for the faint of heart.  Still:

“We who choose to surround ourselves with lives even more temporary than our
own, live within a fragile circle, easily and often breached.

Unable to accept its awful gaps, we still would live no other way.

We cherish memory as the only certain immortality,
never fully understanding the necessary plan.” —-Irving Townsend.

So I hold Jelly’s memory close and still.  The longer we were together, the more she reminded me of Opal.  I felt perhaps Opal had returned.  I began to sense Opal’s presence with me.  A great deal of my pain went away.  However, it quickly returned again and grew stronger every day after Jelly died.  Dear God!  Let me be with my adored and beloved Opal again, and all the other Blyss borzoi, when You call me home!

 

 

Blyss Kennels with death at the door: COV-19

It has been a while and I am derelict in not writing sooner of the death that is visiting us all over the world.  In particular, in the United States, it is particularly devastating here in New Jersey.  Here, one finds so many beautiful, precious borzoi at places such as Majenkir Borzoi in Swartswood and those that previously lived here at Blyss Kennels in Mountainside that could be found running in play throughout the Watchung Reservation, borzoi with names like Paris and Opal, and Mikhailya and Casanova.    Still, as of the Westminster KC dog show in February, which had three Mikhailya progeny in the ring, every dog show has been or will be canceled. But worst of all, we must all stay home and stay home alone, in quarantine.  It is with tears that I contemplate these realities.

I feel like I must be a dog of past times trying to enter England. But no, I am in the USA and I never left home. I am in quarantine.  I just cannot go out anywhere safely. To be safe, I must stay home and be alone. However, walking around town is allowed if safe social distancing of six feet is maintained. With so much time on my hands and because I am so good at procrastinating leaving my lawn not mowed and my flower beds not weeded, tonight I have decided to write on my blog at Blysskennels.us

What is it that I see on my walks?
It began in mid March and now it is early April.
No one knows when it will end. It could be a very long time from now.
Although it remains cold and windy from winter,
There are splashes of color: yellows and pinks, from flowering bushes and trees, breaking through.
I contemplate them, having seen only grey, dark branches for so long that appeared to be dead.
It was an illusion, I thought, that this was a death of the flora, on the shrubs, on the flowering trees, and especially, on the mountain.

Do I see a tiny splash of green there? I am not sure…..  But I know it will be there soon,

And then the green will be dotted with white Dogwood blossoms although not nearly so many as in years previous, before they were afflicted with their own virus.

We live in the day of viruses, and all we can do is take walks.

Walk them off, walk them away,

walk them until we tire, walk them until we die.

Walk them with our children, walk them with our dogs,

walk them with our friends, with our fathers, with our mothers and with our lovers.

Remember to say hello and to admire your neighbor’s dog even if it is a rescue and yours is bred true.

How can there be so many places to walk to and so many places to walk from,

And learn so many people’s stories

For each and every one has one, a story that is, that is not about the virus that always lurks behind us now

But about themselves after the virus goes away.

These days, I walk with a Silken Windhound, Gr Ch Wind ‘n Satin It’s My Party, Kensey.  She could not be more wonderful or perfect a companion.  She is up for every walk I want to take her on, either on the winding, hilly roads of Mountainside or the hiking trails of Watchung Reservation.  She has a way of transcending her little body and cuteness as if to reach out to all whom she sees and often times elicits and glowing accolade of complements and praises.  Some people have even asked me if she is a Borzoi!!!  She truly is my companion and Guardian Angel.