“You wanna fly, you got to give up the shit that weighs you down.”
~ Toni Morrison, Song of Solomon
There’s not much that exudes confidence more than a kitty with his tail wrapped around his little legs, straight backed like an Egyptian statue. This is what says goodbye to me every morning as I walk out the door for work. My Leo. It’s hardly light and there he sits, quietly bidding me goodbye, and if he could talk he’d say, “You’ve filled my bowl, right?” That’s my boy.
“I cannot tell you any spiritual truth that deep within you don’t know already.
All I can do is remind you of what you have forgotten.” ~ Eckhart Tolle
Once more lunch talk prompted outhouse sharing. On the second day of this week’s two-day migraine (that would be Monday), I struggled to let poor Wally out first thing in the morning. When he came back inside he stopped at my sandals. He began to chew on something. My vision was so bad I couldn’t see detail, but I could tell he wasn’t having much luck with it. I traded him for a real dog treat. I got a good look at it once I put on my glasses. Poor Leo. He’ll be going to the vet in the morning to be sure his whole fang fell out, and didn’t just break off at the root. This is the third tooth he’s lost since I’ve had him. Aunt Millie pulled the first two. She might have to pull more by the time she’s done tomorrow. Leo’s a trooper though. He’s as sweet as ever, and he’s liable to be a little sweeter when he can’t bite anything.
“At the end of the day, we can endure much more than we think we can.” ~ Frida Kahlo
Today has been all about publishing I guess. I got home from work to find a copy of The Bible Belt Almanac in my mailbox. BFF Catherine Brereton has a piece about Mamaw in it, which includes some of my photos. Catherine was inspired by my exhibit at First Presbyterian Gallery back in October. (I absolutely love it when art inspires art.) It’s a story that’s happy, sad, tragic, loving, faithful, funny, and much more. It’s pretty amazing that she was able to wrap all those emotions into a short story. Of course, I was thrilled to pieces when they wanted to publish the photos along with it, but more than that, I was honored that Catherine found Mamaw’s story worth writing. It means more than words can say really. Then, I checked my email and learned an article Judy Sackett and I wrote is being published next month. Like I said, I guess today is all about publishing. Blessed beyond measure is what I am.
“So far you’ve survived 100% of your worst days. You’re doing great!” ~ Unknown
I must be living right because Christmas in July continues straight into August. Earlier in the week my C.C. Grace CD arrived. So, imagine my surprise when, in today’s mail, I opened a package from my dear, dear friend Sharon Shearman to find this thrilling book and giant bar of chocolate. I really wish I could see Sharon. I so often miss her. You’ve never met a finer person than Sharon. She’s very conscientious of others, always has a kind word, and funny as all get out. We met when she was an exchange student from New Zealand working with Magg Jacobs at Glenmore Farm (a broodmare operation). I went to work with them at the September or November sales at Keeneland in 1998. We’re closing in on our twentieth year of friendship, and it feels like yesterday that we were schlepping 60 pound bags of horse feed through sweltering hot Kentucky paddocks. You talk about a hard worker, that’s Sharon. She’s small in size, but huge in heart and grit and toughness. Earlier this week, an even older friend, Ronnda Cadle, sent her three records, the last produced by famed musician and Windham Hill founder Will Ackerman. Ronnda and I go back even further than me and Sharon (I’m showing my age, I know). Like Sharon, Ronnda’s as sweet as the day is long. I listened to her soothing music all morning, and then, boom, here came Sharon’s surprises in the mail. I don’t know what I did to deserve so much kindness, but I sure am grateful for my friends near and far. I hope I never let them down.
“I’m keeping my torch, thank you very much, and I’m using it to light the torches of others.”
~ Gloria Steinem
What a gloriously beautiful day this was in Kentucky. I came home from work, put the fur babies on their leashes, and outside we went. Leo and Lily sunbathed in the backyard while Wally and I went to the front to expand my flower bed. The sun felt so good, the wind and temperature just right. The fur babies were content and happy. I was content and happy. I called mom and even she was able to go outside and take in the beauty. It was a glorious day to be alive.
“Impossible is just a big word thrown around by small men who find it easier to live in the world they’ve been given than to explore the power they have to change it. Impossible is not a fact. It’s an opinion. Impossible is not a declaration. It’s a dare. Impossible is potential. Impossible is temporary. Impossible is nothing.”
~ Muhammad Ali
The snow was nearly nine inches deep when I last snapped the shutter. I understand the final tally for the storm of 2015 is just over ten inches here in Lexington. Parts of Kentucky have several more inches. Up north they have a little less. Roads are horrible. The temperature is plummeting to single digits, even below zero later in the week. UK called off classes for today and tomorrow. UK called off work, too, except for the poor Plan B “essential” employees.
Stacy offered to make her delicious scrambled eggs and pancakes for our adult snow day brunch. Wally and I headed down the street, and there was close to six inches on the ground by then, just enough to make him miserable. He walked three houses then refused to walk any further. Seriously. I had to carry him, shivering like a baby, bless his little puppy dog heart. He sure isn’t like Sadie. That dog adored snow. Wally does not, well, not this particular snow anyway. At ten inches it’s almost over his head. The poor thing must have a bladder the size of Texas by now. The cats, who normally adore going outside, also thought better of it when Leo sank in over his head. I’m certain I heard him say in his most butch cat voice, “That’s rude!” At which point they both made an about face and came back inside. I am so thankful to have a warm home for them, and for myself. After the ice storm of 2003, I never take for granted how fortunate I am to have a safe, warm place to lay my head. Here’s hoping everyone is safe and warm and loved tonight.
“All religions are like different cars all moving in the same direction.
People who don’t see it have no light in their hearts.”
~ Ajahn Chah
This is pretty much what things looked like around my house today. One spoiled lap dog, and two very displeased cats who spent most of their day on top of the kitchen cabinets. They were fine yesterday. Leo and Wally even slept on the bed with me last night – both of them! Did they decide they’d lay on the cabinets in protest? Did he chase them when I wasn’t looking? Not likely since the only time I didn’t see him was when I showered, and the cats were already up high. Therefore, I think it’s kitteh protest. Cats can be so stubborn sometimes. I actually love that about them. They’re gutsy.
“Perhaps you have noticed that even in the slightest breeze you can hear the voice of the cottonwood tree; this we understand is its prayer to the Great Spirit, for not only men, but all things and all beings pray to Him continually in different ways.”~ Black Elk
It was nearly dark when I got home. I opened the front door to get the mail when I noticed something in the shadows on the porch. It didn’t look like the usual door-hanging-gone-adrift. I’m not entirely sure the last word is ‘neighborhood’. I also don’t know who Jash (Tash? Josh?) is. What I am sure of is the kindness in their heart, and would like to hug her/his thoughtful little neck and tell her/him I’m glad I picked this neighborhood, too. I have an awesome life.
“We regret to inform you that there’s no better time than the present.” ~ Nein
I had an excellent annual checkup with my favorite doctor of all time, Dr. Barbara Fleming-Phillips. In her care, I feel like someone actually knows my history well enough to really look after me. As a treat to myself for such a good checkup, and to the cats for being totally awesome, we headed to the yard to enjoy the evening sun and breeze. This spring has been so nice (read: few bugs) that I’ve been taking them outside more often. They walk in and out of the house on leashes, and they have fifteen foot tie-outs from whence to perambulate: house kitty heaven. They do remarkably well on the leashes, and when they don’t? Entertainment for me! The weather has been especially perfect for my fruit trees. We park ourselves in the middle of them. This day, as with many others, there is much to be thankful for.
“You’re always you, and that don’t change, and you’re always changing, and there’s nothing you can do about it.” ~Neil Gaiman
The wild green onion doesn’t get the love it deserves. It’s the first thing to come up in spring, peppering the dead brown yard with hopeful green tufts. But it’s the first mow of the season where it really works its magic, releasing one of the most delicious odors to ever tickle my olfactory senses. Some folks enjoy cooking the wild green onion. I’ve never personally done it, and I don’t recall ever eating cooked wild green onions, but I understand they’re a delicacy to some. Leo (and Lily) often nibble on them when given the chance (here, clearly, not being given said chance). The Booker T and the MG’s hit, Green Onions, was also one of my favorite songs as a kid. I played the 45 over and over and over and over again. For years. Yes, I love wild green onions. They have been good to me.