september 27, 2018

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“Because you are alive, everything is possible.” Thich Nhat Hahn

 

boy

 

Look at this face! This little guy greets me everyday when I get home from work. He’s a good boy. I got lucky. I really must be living right.

september 24, 2018

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“There are three ways to ultimate success:
The first way is to be kind.
The second way is to be kind.
The third way is to be kind.”
~ Fred Rogers

 

Sunday morning (snapseed)

 

Yesterday I rose before dawn, even though it was a rainy Sunday, perfect sleeping weather. Nevertheless, I snuggled into my armchair with hot coffee and a book. Wally was the first to appear. Over the last few weeks he’s wanted to sit with me. That may sound sweet, but the chair is just wide enough for a person. There’s no extra space for a dog, too. But I can’t deny him when his sweet brown eyes look at me. I make myself as small as I can so he has room, too. Within minutes Lily perched herself nearby, and then it wasn’t long before Leo became brave enough to take a step toward me. You can see the side-eye stare he’s getting for it from Wally. It was a truce, but it was oh so temporary. Nevertheless, if I could start every day like this, I sure would do it. 

june 9, 2018

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“Embrace uncertainty. Some of the most beautiful chapters of our lives won’t have a title until much later.” ~ Unknown

 

we love corn

 

You might recall that I had to cancel my Derby party this year, but I promised we’d get together in the summer. Stacy suggested we gather for the Belmont Stakes, which ran today. That turned out to be a brilliant idea as Justify won the Triple Crown. He ran a flawless, stunning race and we erupted in screams of joy as he crossed the finish line. We then retreated to the backyard where our salt water soaked grilled corn (John’s recipe) had cooled to perfection. We also took a few moments for the funny group pic. The only problem today was being reminded that I only see John once a year, and that’s just not enough. I adore him. I love all these people so much. Every time we’re together we laugh and talk and eat very well. What more could I want? They fill me with joy.

 

we really, really love corn

may 31, 2018

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“Be selective with your battles. Sometimes peace is better than being right.” ~ Unknown

 

sunbathing beauty

 

Dad has taken to sunbathing. He’s so not a sunbathing kind of guy, but there he is. He just sits in the sun. If he doesn’t have a chair, he’ll sit in the grass. I suspect that, if he didn’t have grass, he’d sit in the dirt or gravel or blacktop or whatever there was to sit in. He refuses to use sunblock even though he’s had one bout of skin cancer. He really can’t do much work anymore, and since he was always an outdoorsman, it makes sense that he’d be drawn to anything outside that fills him with joy. That would be the radiance of the sun. I often do the same thing when the weather turns warm in spring and the bugs aren’t yet unthawed. I’ll come home from work, park that same chair in between the apple trees, and soak up the warmth until the sun goes down. Yes, skin cancer is a very real threat, but our elderly have few joys left, so if he wants to bake in the sun, fine by me. It sure won’t be the thing that kills him, and if it gives him a little happiness, that’s just what the doctor ordered. Wally, on the other hand, prefers the shade. 

may 3, 2018

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“Keep your face always toward the sunshine – and shadows will fall behind you.” ~ Walt Whitman

 

Edgar Allen Crow, Jr.

 

I’m so proud of Edgar. He survived the night under the protection of the forsythia bush. I looked out the window first thing this morning and he was already up and hopping. I was utterly delighted. By the time I left for work he had worked his way down the fenceline – walking far better than just twelve hours earlier – and managed to climb up a small mound of sticks. All this under the watchful eye of the rather vocal parents. It was amazing to watch them coach little Edgar along without interfering.

 

guardian

 

When I got home this evening, I found Edgar on his stick mound. He’s balancing rather impressively, and he’s noticeably larger than he was last night. I believe he’s beginning to recognize his name, too. Each time I say ‘Edgar’, he turns his head to me and raises his brow. I neglected to mention yesterday that, when I got from home from work, St. Francis, patron saint of animals, had disappeared from his gas cap perch. Yet, Edgar, the fledgling crow, appeared in the backyard. Coincidence? There are no coincidences. Thank you, St. Francis. I hope Wally and I are worthy.

 

new digs

april 30, 2018

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“Every now and then it’s good to stop climbing and appreciate the view from right where you are.”
~ Lori Deschene

 

into the west

 

This post is especially for my sista from anutha mutha, Crystal Heis. I will simply say “Mark II” and she’ll know exactly what’s up. We speak in code and hand gestures most of the time anyway, so why not blog it, too. For everyone, I hope you enjoy the photos I snapped this evening as much as I enjoyed snapping them. Me and The Boy had a lovely time in the very reasonable temps of the setting sun, and then I needed to snap some pix. Meanwhile, I chose the quote several days ago purely by coincidence. Crys turned me on to Lori Deschene because she’s super positive. It’s fitting that it’s today’s quote what with this being for Crystal and all. This is a new, better week for me. I hope it’s awesome for ya’ll, too.

 

26 MP and then some

april 29, 2018

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“Can you remember who you were before the world told you who you should be?” ~ Danielle LaPorte

 

spring

 

I’ve had a beautiful, introspective weekend. I’ve mostly been thinking about photography and my role with it. I love pictures, but more than looking at them, I love making them. The point of photography for me is a way to explore how I see my world and the people in it. There’s nothing unique about that. I have tried a few times to do it commercially (weddings mostly), and every single time I come away needing a drink…. and I rarely drink, let alone drink to calm my nerves. Over the last week there have been a few nudges from the universe reminding me why I didn’t choose to go into photography as a profession. It boils down to this: With money comes expectation. I can go to work and follow orders no problem, but when it comes to expression, particularly the form of expression I hold personally close, I simply can’t do it. For lack of a better term, I find it spiritually difficult. I don’t mean to suggest that every hired experience I’ve ever had has been bad, far from it, but the few bad experiences I’ve had were enough to last a lifetime. I’ve had several conversations about this over the past few days, and each one has allowed me to let go a little more this idea of what I should be (a professional photographer), and be okay with who I really am. And who I really am is a photographer documenting my world, not a photographer for hire. There are lots of good photographers out there who want to do it for a living. I’m happier doing it for myself, and I’m extraordinarily grateful to everyone who let’s me photograph them as part of my explorations. I’m happiest when I’m just being me. Aren’t we all?

march 31, 2018

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“Without rain nothing grows, learn to embrace the storms of your life.” ~ Unknown

 

Wallace J. (snapseed)

 

The last day of March has been wonderful. Catherine Brereton and I had a little business proposal that went swimmingly (stay tuned for that news). Me and the boy above got some overdue yard work out of the way. I played a little music. And then Stacy and I tried a great new Mediterranean restaurant. What a great day. Also, you might recall I mentioned Debra Faulk a few weeks back. She did her Tedx Talk rehearsal that we were all so excited about. I promised I’d let you know when it was available to see, and et voila, here it is. The talk is good, she’s still funny, and the message is always important. So, friends, enjoy the talk, enjoy this last day of March, and may it have been as awesome for you as it was for me and Wally.

march 8, 2018

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“Did I offer peace today? Did I bring a smile to someone’s face? Did I say words of healing? Did I let go of my anger and resentment? Did I forgive? Did I love? These are the real questions. I must trust that the little bit of love that I sow now will bear many fruits, here in this world and the life to come.” ~ Henri Nouwen

 

Ready for home

 

Someone from Aunt Millie’s shop sent this photo via text when Wally was done with surgery. Is he not the cutest thing ever? He didn’t have an abscess as originally diagnosed. Rather, it was the root of a baby tooth that did not fall out or be absorbed by the body. It was an easy excision and he got to keep his adult incisor. Millie also suspects that he’s barely four years old, which means he was still mostly pup when I got him. Have I mentioned he’s adorable? Meanwhile, Leo had his stitches removed and is also aw some. Millie Hardigree is a great doctor and an incredible human. I’m glad to know her.

february 12, 2018

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“I think the purpose of life is to be useful, to be responsible, to be compassionate. To stand for something, and to have made some difference that you lived at all.” ~ Leo Rosten

 

at the vet

 

I’m running about six weeks behind on everything including taking the pets for their annual vaccines. It was not a good day for them, and it would have been awful(er) for me if Stacy hadn’t gone along to help. Let me just say that taking all three pets at once was not one of my better ideas (note to self: don’t do it again). I don’t remember if I’ve mentioned that Lilly (the black cat) has trouble riding in a car: Anxiety like you wouldn’t believe and I’ll just leave it at that. On Friday, I stopped in at Aunt Millie’s for some Kitty-Kalm-Down drugs. Next time, I’m going to double the dose because the prescribed amount did little more than lessen the yowling from the back seat. Poor thing is just a wreck on vet day. Meanwhile, Wally, who has exhibited zero distress other than gaining weight because dad doesn’t understand that table food is really bad for him (that’s a whole other issue that was addressed today), has an abscessed tooth. He came home with antibiotics until the tooth can be removed because that bit of unfortunate news was hardly the worst part of the visit. Oh yes, it got worse. Poor Leo, the kitty in the carrier on the floor; my beautiful, affectionate, sweet-as-can-be orange tabby boy, has a tumor in his eyeball. Over the last few months I’ve noticed his pupil was a different size from the other eye, and the iris was changing color. What I couldn’t see, until Aunt Millie showed me today, was that the color was actually a three-dimensional tumor rising from his iris. If it wasn’t so awful it would have been totally fascinating. (You can thank me for not taking a picture of it.) So, on February 22, my beautiful green-eyed boy will lose his eye. This will be the second orange tabby I’ve had that has had only one eye – one-eyed Jack being the first. As I learned today, this is not uncommon among orange tabbies. In fact, they’re quite prone to cancer, and eye cancer is not at all rare for them. Who knew! After we get him patched up, we’ll get Wally’s tooth pulled unless the antibiotics don’t help, then we might have to address it sooner. Lord help me if I have to take them both in for surgery on the same day. All things considered, Lilly wasn’t that bad. This is the price one pays for unconditional love. I’m glad I’m able to provide for them, because it’s the least I can do for all the love they give me.

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